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  • Anime Review of Watamote (Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!)

     Watamote Anime Review

    Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! (Watamote)
    12 Episodes

    Aired from Jul 9, 2013 to Sep 24, 2013

    Square Enix

    Rated Pg-13

    For my anime review this time around, I’ll be doing an anime by the name of Watamote. There are many things that this anime did well, yet there we’re a few things that held me back from really enjoying it in the end. It was definitely a realistic show, which made it stand out from other anime in its genre, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good just because it’s realistic and unique. At times, this anime was quite cringe-worthy and hard to watch. I really did sympathize with the poor main character as I watched her fail time and time again. There were a few funny moments, but other times I wasn’t exactly sure if I should laugh or not. I wish that the humor wasn’t so blatantly dark during the show. At times, it was like watching a poor cat getting bullied. Don’t get me wrong, there were some good times, but this was quite grim at times. In the end, this anime frustrated me, as there wasn’t much progression from the first episode to the last. Tomoko, the main character, was just as sad and hopeless as she was in the beginning. Sure, I enjoyed watching her do things every episode, acting out her daily life, but I wished I did see some progression. This anime was fun to watch, regardless. There were some things that the show presented and did wonderfully, to make up for the bad qualities. Still, don’t go into this anime hoping for amazing character development or moments that will cheer up. Overall, I still had fun watching this show, after all. It was one of those shows that was fun to watch occasionally, but sort of gave you a sad feeling afterwards. Let me explain my thoughts more clearly on this anime to show you what I mean and get down to the details.

    Story of Watamote

    (5/10)

    The story of Watamote isn’t really all that great, since there is barely any story there at all. You have Tomoko every episode trying to get popular, but in the end fails in some sad and awkward way. The story can be quite depressing too, as it falls into this pattern for most of the time. I really wished that I could see some character progression and any kind of progression, but alas, Tomoko is pretty much the exact same person in the beginning, except for some new memories and experiences. In the beginning of the series, she really wants to be popular. In the end, she still wants to be popular. If she really wants to be popular that bad, she should gain some common sense and learn something new about forming relationships. Still, I actually enjoyed watching each episode. Even if there wasn’t that much going on in the overall plot, each episode is still amusing and managed to hold my attention. I’ll go a little more in depth to elaborate what went on each episode and more details on the actual “plot”.

    In the start of this anime, we are introduced to Tomoko. She is shows wasting her time away on miscellaneous things on her computer. The audience quickly learns how she is socially awkward and pretty hopeless when it comes to everyday conversation. Yet, her ultimate dream is to become popular. In the first episode alone, she easily fails her goal and ends up making a fool of herself. The first episode was funny in a slightly twisted way, but it also made my heart break for the poor girl. Her brother hates her, her parents don’t even know what to think of her, and she only has one friend, who moved away a while ago (luckily for Tomoko, they hang out every once in a while, but still….). She has a fairly miserable life. The things that she does to try to improve things, only end up causing her more misery and embarrassment. I liked the first episode quite a bit, as it showed some potential and seemed like an interesting idea to tinker with, instead of having another generic happy rom-com. That was when I hadn’t seen the other episodes to know that the show was basically kicking a poor bunny around, but the bunny never makes a drastic change to stop all the pain.

    Even without the progression happening, there were still some memorable moments in Watamote. There were times where she wasn’t totally helpless and actually slightly improved her situation in a way. Most of all, I liked seeing her weird way of doings things and pervertedness that reminded me of myself somewhat. There were some funny moments that weren’t too dark or brought poor Tomoko down. I really did like most of the episodes even though I usually felt really bad for the main character. There were some good moment sprinkled here and there. It definitely wasn’t all bad.

    Tomoko has to deal with many interesting and slightly amusing situations throughout the anime. There was an epispde where she tried to show off to her cousin, but ended up making her cousin feel sorry for Tomoko, instead of admiring her. One episode was focused around her pervertedness and having one of those really pleasant dreams if you catch my drift. As I stated before, most of these situations ended up badly for poor Tomoko, but some were kind of funny in a way. I especially liked the episode where she was hanging out with her friend, as everything felt more at ease and less twisted when she had her friend with her. It wasn’t so sad for Tomoko when she had somebody around who cared for her. There were some funny moments sprinkled here and there each episode for the most part. The most depressing episode was when she was trying to see fireworks with a friend, but the end result was a lot different from what she was expecting. There was definitely some high and lows in this anime.

    The ending was quite a let down and made me surprised that it was actually the last episode for this series. Nothing really has changed in her life, which was definitely sad and disappointing. Whether you’re reading a book, watching a movie, or watching an anime, you want things to change throughout the story. Sadly, for this anime the ending may as well been the first episode. It left me feeling frustrated and wanting a better closure for the series.

    For the story, I decided that this anime should get a 5 out of 10 for the category. There were some good moments, but the story felt unfocused generally and didn’t really show any development. I did laugh out loud at some parts, but for the most part it was just abusing poor Tomoko. I liked the idea of the story, but the anime didn’t present it very well.

    Characters of Watamote

    (6.5/10)

    The only real main character was Tomoko, but there were other characters that were involved in her life too. There were her family (duh), her old friend, and a couple people that she murmured a few words to. The other character weren’t the most amazing character ever. but they were alright. The side characters weren’t annoying or unlacking of at least a little bit of originality. I really disliked her brother. He was always mean to pathetic Tomoko, even when she was weeping and feeling really down. He was a huge jerk to her in general. Tomoko’s parents were alright, but not much is really revealed about them, except for them being standard semi-strict parents. I liked Tomoko’s friend pretty well, as she was pretty interesting and sort of brightened up the show. All the side characters were good; nothing special, but I want to focus on Tomoko, as she is really the focus of this show.

    Kuroki, Tomoko

    She was definitely an interesting character. There is no denying that. Her complex and weird personality made up for the sort of bland side characters. She was perverted, socially awkward, determined, and lazy. Tomoko was a realistic high school character. Still, it frustrated me when she seemed to lack common sense and such in some situations. It was really sad and pathetic at times for poor Tomoko. Although, she was also funny at times, which is definitely a good things for a character. I could relate to her in some ways, but was annoyed at the lack of character progression. That’s what really irked me in this series. Even with little to no development, Tomoko was a fun and weird character at times. She would come up with all these crazy ideas and experiment with them. Quite an oddball. If only she could learn to speak up! She could barely say goodbye to her teacher. At times I pitied her, at other times I thought she was quirky and funny. Well, at least she was fairly unique and not generic one bit.

    Sound of Watamote

    (7/10)

    The best part of the soundtrack was the opening and ending songs. The opening song stood out among the sea of opening I have seen and was also nice to listen to. The ending song was more standard, but still a great song to hear after finishing an episode. There were a couple of background songs that I enjoyed listening to, but other than that the Ost was nothing special. Good to go along with the anime, but didn’t stand out on its own. On a positive note, there was nothing that particularly bothered my in the anime soundtrack, but nothing really memorable. I actually enjoy the opening and ending enough to listen to them on their own from to time.

    The voice actors were pretty good as usual, but nothing really stood out for me. They all did their job very well, but nothing really worth mentioning to be honest. Tomoko’s voice actors was the best, as to be expected for she was the main character. Currently, there is no english dub, but I have heard that people are working on creating one. As usual, my recommendation is to simply stick with the Japanese one. They know how to to get the job done right.

    In Watamote, the background noise are pretty good. The producers weren’t lazy with detail or anything of that sort. Since Watamote is a comedy, there were some funny sound effects that added to the humor which was a nice addition. Overall, the sound was good.

    Art of Watamote

    (8.5/10)

    The art of Watamote was actually my favorite thing about the show. It was obvious that the animators spent a good deal of time and effort on the art. There were clevers scenes that were animated in a way to make the situation more funny or dramatic. There were plenty of cool effects that they threw in the show here and there to make it enjoyable to watch. The animation, character designs, and general quality of the art was great! It wasn’t perfect all the time, but some episodes the art was just so nice. The colors weren’t overly saturated (for the most part!) like some slice of life anime. Also, the animation for the opening was particularly good. It was all nicely done.

    Enjoyment:

    (6/10)

    My enjoyment for this series varied quite a bit throughout. In the first few episodes, I really enjoyed watching every second of it, but the enjoyment tapered off after that unfortunately. Still, the show was easily watchable for whatever reason. Even when I felt frustrated with the characters and the plot, I could still stomach another episode. The ending was one of my least favorite episodes of the series, but I still wasn’t too bored with watching it even then. Still, even without being bored, I couldn’t help but grimace every episode or two. There were some moments that just weren’t that great to watch. There were some funny moments, but most of the comedy for me was a miss. I had some fun with this anime, but there were a few lagging moments here and there.

    Final Notes and Overall Rating of Watamote

    (6/10)

     

    All in all, Watamote was an alright show. Sure, it had some flaws, but don’t get me wrong, there were some good moments in the show too. The character was pretty interesting and there were a few funny moments that made me chuckle. There were also some references to other things that made me laugh when I recognized them. Sometimes it was awkward, sometimes it was slightly painful, sometimes it was funny, but it was never that bad. All in all, it was fairly mediocre. At least there were a good opening and ending, along with clever artwork. I honestly didn’t hate the series; I just couldn’t love it either.

    If you’re looking for an amazing story full of developments and a happy tale, then definitely skip Watamote. If you just want to see a more realistic and twisted tale, along with a poor character where everything never goes her way, then you might enjoy this anime. But really, I don’t think you would want to watch this show. With little development anywhere, there really isn’t a reason to. It can be funny at times, but the not-so-funny moments overshine them. If you thinking about watching Watamote, check out Welcome to the NHK instead. If you have already watched that, look for some other anime then this one. It wasn’t awful, but Watamote certainly wasn’t good.

    ~TheDragonStar


  • Paprika (Anime) Review

    Paprika Anime Review

    Paprika

    Movie

    Aired Nov 25, 2006

    Madhouse

    Rated R

    Wow. After I finished watching this tripping and amazing anime movie, I was a little stunned. This was definitely one of those unique and spectacular movies that leave a mark on you for a while afterwards. I honestly didn’t even know what to think after seeing this movie. What the hell did I even watch? Did I even like the movie? After the effect died down, I realized I did quite enjoy the movie, even though it was confusing and weird most of the time. My memory began to piece what happened in the movie back together and I was starting to figure out what the whole thing was about. The story itself isn’t that convoluted or complex, but just odd and pretty fast-paced. The cool art style, interesting story, and different character all made watching this anime a blast. Paprika felt like some big and weird dream. This anime combined the lucidness of the dream world into reality itself. Sort of like your Japanese Inception anime in a way. All the weird mind trips in the movie gives you a stunned like feeling afterwards. Even the soundtrack contributes to that. This anime definitely does a good job of being surreal throughout. Paprika gave you a very interesting and unforgettable experience while you were watching it. It goes into the concepts of dream and reality. Most of all, it’s simply a fun, interesting, and different anime movie to watch. Kon, Satoshi did a lovely job of writing the story of this anime. He is well known for his works of blurring the concept of reality. Paprika will sure linger with me for a while to come. Time to get down to the details of this surreal movie.

    Story of Paprika

    (9/10)

    The story of Paprika can be a rather simple, yet complex story at that same time. A group of scientists have developed a dream machine that can record dreams for the patient to look back at them later. The use of this machine is for psychiatric therapy, even for the completely insane ones. They’re hoping that they’ll find some meaning of the subconscious and help them out. However, problems begin to arise with the dreams leaking out into the real world and there is a desperate scramble to find the person behind this dream terrorism. People who have used this dream machine start to lose track of reality and their brain enters a dream like state. In their eye’s they could be following a parade of colorful and odd animals, but in reality they are jumping out of a window. You could see how this would cause major problems for everybody, along with mass panic.

    Two people that use this dream machine are focused on throughout this anime. There names are Paprika and Konakawa. Paprika is the dream world version of this brilliant scientist name Chibo. Paprika is basically her alter-ego. Chibo is usually calm, collected, and sort of a introvert in the real world. However, Paprika is energetic, talkative, and basically the polar opposite of Chibo. Paprika tries to help Konakawa with his problems throughout this movie. I like how this anime looks into our dreams, what they could mean, and maybe find your true self in them. Eventually, Konakawa finds the meaning behind his strange and seemingly unconnected dreams, thus helping him solve problems in his life that he needed to work out.

    There are several arguments about who the dream terrorist could possibly be. It’s a big mystery, and it seems that they will have enter the dreams to find the truth behind this chaos. A lot of things happen during this movie, but I don’t want to give spoilers, so I’ll do my best to sum it up. Paprika and Konakawa continue to work together in their dream world, despite the warning concerning the dream device. At one point, Chibo actually gets caught up in one of these dream illusion things, but manages to escape. Paprika gets in serious trouble, the dream terrorist does more wide-scale things to reality, and more chaos/craziness/general trippiness happens. I love everything that went on in the anime pretty much. It was all very fascinating and I think contained many metaphors and analogies to our lives.

    Now, the ending to this anime was actually the ending that it deserved. I was afraid that it would pull off some stupid and crappy ending that doesn’t even make any sense at all. But, no, the ending was a perfect ending for this anime. It had an epic action scene, some deep moments, and wrapped up the story well. I couldn’t wish for a better ending to the movie. The ending made me smile, sit back, and realize how much I loved this anime.

    This story always kept me attention, making wonder what was going to happen next. There were not that many twists at all, but the action and the plot still kept me drawn in at all times. I felt that the characters kept the plot moving forward too. There wasn’t one moment where Paprika ever felt slow or dragged on. In fact, it was quite the opposite. One of my only few and minor complaints is that the story seemed a little rushed at times. I felt that the movie would’ve been better off if it had been split into two parts. At times, there was just a lot going on. If it had been split into two parts, there would’ve been a lot more time for character development, less rushed plot, and a little more enjoyable overall. Otherwise the story was amazing and great. This is just a minor, minor, minor complaint, by the way.

    I often hear this story compared to Inception. Now, I think it’s fine if you compare this movie to the movie, but if you say Paprika or Inception copied off on another, that’s stupid. It’s hard to find a truly original work in this world. Everything is bound to feel sort of similar after a while. It’s only a matter of statistics and how many people there are in the world. I guess you could say that Paprika is sort of Japanese Inception, but please don’t say one copied off another. That just annoys me.

    All the events that happened in this story all seemed chaotic in a way (similar to a dream), yet connected each other in some way to form an interesting and captivating story. That’s what I love about Paprika. It takes the craziness of dreams and makes a fairly comprehensible story. This movie had fun being creative and used the power of animation to draw all these beautiful, cool, and spectacular scenes. It was quite amazing to just sit back and look at the beauty of it all. This movie even went into some deep concepts of reality and dreams. Paprika had an amazing story that didn’t fail to entertain and surprise me.

    Putting it all together, I think Parika deserves a 9 out of 10 for the story score. Maybe a little rushed and convoluted at times, but still amazing. Had fun with the movie, along with exploring a human’s subconscious mind. Paprika kept me enthralled with its action and wondering what could possibly happen next. Just a story that is enjoyable all around.

    Characters of Paprika

    (9/10)

    The characters are odd in a way. This movie doesn’t get you too attached to the characters, but I do realize that they are excellent characters. Their minds are explored throughout this anime. I enjoyed seeing how each character would react to all the events that were happening around them and how their secrets would be explored. Thankfully, none of them were annoying or excessively stupid. I especially enjoyed seeing the comparisons between Paprika and Chiba. It shows how a  person can truly be and feel different deep down inside. I felt like the characters were developed well in the short time that they did have to explore the character. You could see all the different sides to each of them. The characters weren’t made to be likeable to the whole audience. I think they were simply unique, but deep in their own way. I wish that the movie could’ve been longer to learn more about all their pasts. Overall, the characters in Paprika were great.

    Chiba, Atsuko

    Chiba is an intelligent and clever woman. She is also the head of the creators of the dream machine. Together, she and Konakawa use the dream device in secret, as it’s not supposed to be used on anybody quite yet. Most of the time, she is reserved and always appears to be thinking hard about something. It can be really difficult to understand her. Chiba doesn’t really like to crack jokes that often or goof around, especially when there is work to be done. Needless to say, she is also a focused and hard worker. I admire her for being so determined all the time. It’s nice to see a character that won’t give up easily. She likes to follow the law, but in the end, she’ll do what she thinks is right. Sometimes she doesn’t think of what the consequences could be. If she does screw up somewhere along the way, she’ll do her very best to fix whatever probably is at hand. Chiba is cool and collected most of the time, but isn’t totally emotionless like Sasuke. I thought she was an interesting and fleshed character for the movie.

    Paprika

    Paprika is Chiba’s alter-ego. It was shocking to see how different they were. Paprika is bubbly, open, talkative, and likes to mess around a little. Basically, they’re two different people. Paprika appears whenever she’s in a dream. I honestly liked Paprika better than Chiba. Chiba always seemed way too stiff, while Paprika was free spirited and just willing to roll with whatever life threw at her. She is quirky in a lot of ways. It’s hard for me to describe her character, as you would need to watch the movie to understand her. I thought she was a unique and fun addition to the show. It really was fascinating to see the difference between Chibi and Paprika. People can feel really different in their soul, I suppose. The movie explored the character of Parika very well in my opinion. She was as well developed as Chiba.

    Konakawa, Toshimi

    He is my favorite character out of the four. His backstory, secrets, and personality are explored throughout the movie. It was fun to get to know him more and more as the story progressed. He can be quite at times, but loud and emotional at other times. Paprika was helping him figure out the meaning behind his dreams, which I found was a fascinating topic to delve deep into. Do our dreams actually reveal what’s bothering us? Or are they just random? The story definitely presented the first opinion strongly. His character changed throughout the story as he learned more and more about himself through the dreams. He was just an interesting character all around. I greatly enjoyed having him in the movie.

    Tokita, Kosaku

    He’s the geeky and fairly awkward type. As you can tell from the picture, he’s fat. Tokita always feels insecure throughout the movie, but Chiba helps him with it. He’s a nice guy most of the time, but can still be reckless and obnoxious. He was also working on the dream device with Chiba and her crew. He’s also clearly anxious and uncomfortable at times, especially when the dream device goes haywire. I wish there could’ve been a little more to him, but he was still a cool guy. He thinks a lot like Chiba does. He’s a hard worker most of the time. He has a tendency to freak out when things go wrong, but that’s understandable. He was my least favorite character, but still a thought out one.

    Sound of Paprika

    (9/10)

    I actually really enjoyed listening to the background music of Paprika. Some songs were just so memorable and pleasant to listen to. I especially enjoyed listening to Shizuku Ippai no Kioku, even though I’ll admit it sounded a lot better when the movies was playing with it. All the songs that were played during the movie all felt quirky and different, much like Paprika herself. At times, I play a few of these songs as background music. All the songs were wonderful. My only complaint is that there should’ve been more.

    The voice actors were awesome. All of them sounded very much in character. They all put lots of effort into their voice acting and they never let me down once. My favorite ones was the voice actor for Paprika and the voice actor for Konakawa. They were both so good. I really don’t like the English voice actors for this one. They all sounded so flat. Only one or two sounded okay. Please watch the Japanese dub. It’s so much better.

    Other sounds in Paprika were good too. It brought you into the environment and they weren’t lazy with the sound. The sounds of the dreams were well illustrated too. Combine with the songs, it worked quite fine. Good job on the sound overall, especially the songs.

    Art of Paprika

    (9/10)

    The art of Paprika was great along with everything else about this movie. I loved the amazing and fluid animation; especially during the parade scenes. It was just so magnificent. It wasn’t the most amazing artwork ever, but it was still spectacular and breath taking at times. I think that the animators really took their time animating some scenes. There were some situations where everything was extremely chaotic, but the art made it so you could still understand what was going on while at the same times being beautiful. I never felt that the art was clumsy or cluttered, which was really pleasant to watch. It also stayed consistent throughout. Nice shading, colors, and style. The art was always stylized, smooth, and looked nice. Overall, great artwork that didn’t seem too artificial.

    Enjoyment:

    (9/10)

    I loved watching this movie the whole time. I didn’t feel bored at any moment of the show, which was great. It was one of those movies that kept you captivated throughout. When there wasn’t some action going on, the movie would still entertain you with the interesting characters and the intrigue behind the plot line. Everything just made this show so fun. It always had this quirky feel behind it. I especially enjoyed the moments where the explored the inner workings of their dreams. That was always fascinating and kept my attention, wondering what would pop up in the dream next. I actually wished the movie was a little longer to explore more things and maybe have some more character development. That would only make it even more entertaining. The ending was also a really exciting piece to the film, but I won’t spoil that for you. This movie did a good job of being creative and lots of fun to watch.

    Final Notes and Overall Rating of Paprika

    (9/10)

    Paprika was a great movie to watch and enjoy. The interesting and fun story, elegant art style, and deep characters made the movie a solid one for sure. If you haven’t watch Inception before this, you’ll be even more blown away by Paprika. I wish the movie was a bit longer to explore some of its themes and characters more deeply, but that is the only real fault I could see with this movie. I had an excellent time watching this and I’m sure if you decided to pick it up, you will too. It may be confusing at first, which may make you annoyed and disappointed, but it eventually makes perfect sense in the end. This movie isn’t the best anime movie in existence, but it sure does a good job still. For anybody who liked this movie, I recommend more of Satoshi’s works, as he does a brilliant job of making you question what reality truly is. And that is always an interesting topic to explore.

    All in all, Paprika was a solid 9 out of 10 for everything. I really does everything quite well, which is rare for an anime to be this balanced all across the board. The character Paprika brought something to make this movie stand out from Inception. This movie is a lot of fun to experience and see where it will take you. Everything is done amazingly well and it makes a great movie to watch on a rainy day. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a good day.

    ~TheDragonStar


  • One Week Friends (Anime) Review

    One Week Friends Anime Review

     

    One Week Friends/Isshuukan Friends

    12 Episodes

    Aired from Apr 7, 2014 to Jun 23, 2014

    One Week Friends is one of the first slice of life anime that I watched. It helped me get into the genre and realize how much potential these types of shows can have. Even though not the best anime ever, it was still quite a heartwarming story full of friendship, a little romance, and kindness. Some people might look over this sweet gem, thinking it’s just another generic rom-com. I think people need to be more open, as was I, and they might find a story that will linger in their hearts for a while after. I’ll admit, this story isn’t the fast paced anime, nor does it have captivating action scenes, but it was still a great show nonetheless. I wasn’t too sure about this genre as a whole, as I usually stick to fantasy stories and shows, but this show confirmed I wasn’t wasting my time. I am thankful for that. This anime was a lot of fun to watch and see what would happen in the end. My only regret was that I should’ve waited for all the episodes to be out before watching the series. I couldn’t stand the waiting! The things happening each episode drew me in, making me curious to what would happen next to the characters. The art, characters, and story was all sort of… soothing in a way. This is one of those anime that is bittersweet at times, but in the end, the show will melt your heart. Welcome to my review of One Week Friends/Isshuukan Friends.

    Story of One Week Friends

    (7.5/10) 

    The story starts off with the male lead —Hase— chasing after this girl named Fujimiya. He’s always wanted to talk to her, but she doesn’t seem to want to have any relations with anybody at the school. Some perceive her as rude and cold, while others think she’s simply weird and sort of crazy. Hase wants to reach out to her and perhaps comfort her. She runs away from him at first, but Fujimiya eventually feels comfortable to have lunch with him. Still, there’s something holding her back from becoming close friends with Hase. You see, Fujimiya has this condition. Her condition erases her memory of her friends every week. Soon, Hase finds out about her condition that she is vexed by. He is not dissuaded. Instead, he is even more determined to become her friend. Even if it only ever lasts for a week.

    Now, it’s really easy to go into spoilers with this anime, but I’ll do my best to avoid them. Hase begins to regularly eat lunch on the rooftop with Fujimiya.  They also hang after school at places like the crepe shop, a karaoke place, and eventually at each other’s houses. I love how this anime really digs deep into the concept of friendship. What makes a good friend? What is friendship? As their friendship progresses and digresses, you really get to see those things explored in more detail. Also, everything isn’t totally hopeless with Fujimiya’s memory condition. Hase suggests that she keeps a diary to record the events that happened every week. At times, she forgot to record things, but altogether, this improves the situation greatly. Her memory also seems to get better as the anime continues. She begins to remember small details; like how Hase likes his eggs cooked. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s still progress.

    Hase and Fujimiya do get into fights along the way. At times, Fujimiya forgets everything about Hase, leading to some conflict and problems. Hase has to start the whole thing over at the point. Luckily, certain things can spark her memories of him, so things aren’t totally hopeless. In the story, you’ll find the cause of her memory issues and what her life has been like. Also, throughout the story you’ll probably wonder if their is going to be romance between Hase and Fujimiya. I can’t say much without giving everything away, but when I was done with the story and all; I wasn’t disappointed. I loved how all the characters slowly bonded together in the story. It was a sweet and honestly really heartwarming at times.

    Along the way, another character with problems gets introduced. Her name is Saki Yamagishi. She is clumsy, forgettable, and is pretty dependent on other people. This anime shows the mutual relationship between two friends to help each other out. Saki befriends Hase’s friend Kiryuu. Nothing much happens between the two, except for helping other and watching out for each other. Saki used to be bullied a few years back, but now has friends to stand up for her. The new character changes up the story a little bit, adding new conflicts and friendships. The band of friends study together, and get even closer to each other. Saki added some humor and silliness to the show, along with new ideas about friendship. This show really shows how a good friend can truly change your life.

    The story took some interesting twists along the way. Each episode kept you interested for what was going to be coming up ahead. That’s why it was so difficult to watch one episode a week. There always seemed to be a little bit of a cliffhanger every episode to keep you going. You would never know what was coming around the corner. Would love blossom? How would everything end up in the end? The story created a good amount of suspense. Not too much, but just right.

    From tests to gossip, the events that occurred during the anime were fairly standard things you would see in a slice of life drama. My favorite episode was when they went to see fireworks on the beach during summer break. After all their work they had to do at school, it was nice for them to take a break. This episode is one of my favorites because of how beautiful the fireworks are, the chemistry between Hase and Fujimiya, and the comedic moments in between. It felt like it all came together really nicely. Most episodes were done well, but this one deserves a special mention.

    The ending, I have to admit, may have not been the best. I don’t obsess over the endings too much, as it’s the journey that matters, not the destination. Still, I look at the ending as a chance for a bad anime to redeem itself or a good anime to become a masterpiece. The ending did wrap everything up, but perhaps not in the best way. Don’t get me wrong; it was heartwarming and sweet, all that good stuff, but I ultimately didn’t like how all the relationships were settled. How much you’ll enjoy the ending will depend on how you feel about the characters. I can’t say much else besides that without giving everything away. All and all, it did what it needed to do, but didn’t make the anime wrap up spectacularly.

    In conclusion, I give One Week Friends an 7.5 out of 10 for the story category. The pacing was a tad bit slow at times, the dialogue seemed sort of funny in a couple scenes, and the ending wasn’t everything I hoped it to be. Otherwise, this show did great in this department. The creators used not that original of an idea, but still made something quite entertaining out of it all. If they had changed the ending a little bit, I would have loved this show a ton more, but alas, it wasn’t to be. The story did a great job exploring the in and outs of friendship, along with having suspenseful drama and some nice comedy occasionally. No fan service either! A story that was pleasant and not bad at all.

    Characters of One Week Friends

    (8/10)

    The characters were one of the things that did give a lot of lively energy to the anime, but weren’t the amazing characters to ever exist. They were still good and all, but not the best. Not everything can be spectacular everywhere. I especially liked the bonding between all the characters, showing how important friendship was to each of them. The determination of Hase really showed how far people are willing to go for somebody they like or love strongly This definitely pulled a couple heartstrings from time to time. I also loved and valued the variety of personalities there were coming from all the characters. None of them ever seemed like copies or just slightly tweaked from another character. Additionally, the chemistry between the characters was also great to see. The way certain characters could bond together so perfectly was touching and sweet. Sometimes I felt a couple of the characters were a little bland. I also occasionally got frustrated when something was blatantly obvious, but the main character acted oblivious. Otherwise, I enjoyed the charming crew of characters.

    Fujimiya, Kaori

    My heart always ached for her throughout the series. It must be tough to have your memories of your friendships be erased every Monday. She’s lucky to develop such good friends who support her along the way. For the longest time, she was too afraid to get close to anybody; knowing she would simply forget them after a week. People thought of her as cold and anti-social. Hase changed all of this. Fujimiya quickly realized how things could work out even with her condition. Friends no longer seemed far out of her reach. I think she’s a pretty neat female character, as she is kind-hearted, sweet, helpful, and a sincerely nice person. I wish there were more people like her in the real world. I loved all the moments that Hase and Fujimiya shared together. It was quite touching at times. Through hardship, she grows and grows to be a stronger character. By the end of the series, she seems more independent and strong, but holds her friendships quite closely. I think she’s the character that changed the most throughout the series. You really do notice the difference between her character at the start and how she is in the end. She’s my favorite and most interesting character for this anime.

    Hase, Yuuki

    He is the kind of person that doesn’t stop trying to achieve a goal, no matter how hopeless it may seem. He does whatever it takes to help Fujimiya and become her friend. Week after week, he tries again and again. He tries all sort of things to help with Fujimiya’s unfortunate condition. The one thing he doesn’t try is giving up. He’s the kind of friend who will always look after your back; the one who you can trust no matter what. He did seem sort of bland or a tad bit boring at time, but overall he didn’t dissapoint me. Even after the rumors start, involving Hase and Fujimiya, he isn’t dissuaded one bit. He doesn’t care what other people think of him. That’s he kind of personality that I really like to see in an anime of any kind. Hase didn’t change that much throughout the series, but that didn’t matter to much to me. Not every character needs to change. I think he makes a good match for Fujimiya, as he is soft like her, along with them having good chemistry with each other.

    Yamagishi, Saki

    Yamagishi is such a clumsy and forgetful person that she really does need friends to help her out, otherwise she’ll be bewildered 90% of the time. People have made fun of her in the past, but now that is just faint memories. Her friends will stand up for he and stand by her side until the end of time. I always thought she was a nice character to lighten up the mood from time to time. A couple chuckles are to be had when she makes some minor, silly, cute, mistake. I honestly wished she was in the show earlier, so I could experience more of her adorableness. I also wish the anime would give the viewers more information about Yamagishi. I felt like she could have used a little more fleshing out. She was an interesting addition to the show and kept things moving along, even if she might crash into things doing so. A likable and cute character to have.

    Kiryuu, Shougo

    Kiryuu is Hase’s close friend. Most girls in the school actually have a crush on him, but he seems too “scary” to talk too. Although cold, he will still help out a friend in need. At times, I really wish he would open up more, as hardly anything is revealed about his past or feelings. He is quite a stoic character indeed. It seems in the show, most conflicts are actually created by him, but maybe that’s just me. He annoyed me during some parts of the show, but whenever he interacted with Yamagishi, that made up for it. Hase and Kiryuu do get in a couple fights over Fujimiya from to time, as Kiryuu is always suspicious of everything. He is curious why she never interacts with the other students and tries to make friends. That’s how her secret gets revealed to him. Maybe he should’ve just left her alone, and never got involved in the whole thing. Critically, he a fairly good and developed character, but personally, I really didn’t like him. He always seemed to mess up everything. Oh while. At least he wasn’t a Gary Stue and actually added something to this anime.

    Sound of One Week Friends

    (7.5/10)

     

    The sound was an alright addition to the anime. My favorite song from the entire show was the opening theme. It was so sweet and seemed to set the tone for each episode. I really, really, liked how well the artwork and sound went together with the opening. I knew as soon as I saw the opening, that this would at least be a decent series. Not the one of the greatest openings of all time, like Steins;Gate, but still really soothing and spectacular in its own way. The ending was okay, but I would only listen to it occasionally. The rest of the songs were nice during each episode, but all in all, were sort of forgettable. I wouldn’t listen to the music by itself, except for the opening, but it had a good synergy with anime most of the time, never really having an annoying or irritating song.

    The voice actors, as always, did their job better than they ever needed to. I think Fujimiya’s voice actor was the best out of all them. She really stressed her emotions and everything seemed to flow naturally from her character. Kudos to Amamiya, Sora for the excellent job. The other voice actors were great, but she was the one who really stood out for me. At the time of this review, there has been no English dub for One Week Friends. The Japanese one will probably triumph the dub, if there is one to be released for this show, which I highly doubt.

    In One Week Friends, the noises that are in the environment are done okay. To be honest, I don’t really remember that much about how well the show did the noise, but I just remember it was simply fine. It was good most times, but lacking detail at other times. Still a good job, as far as I can remember.

    Art of One Week Friends

    (8.5/10)

    The art style of One Week Friends was unique, soothing, and was beautiful overall. The art was different from the usual over-saturated art of modern anime, but not too lacking in detail. The lighting was done magnificently and the backgrounds right along with it. The animation was also smoothly done, which is always nice. I wish there could’ve been some more detail in some scenes and have the colors be dimmed a tad bit, then it would’ve been perfect. I felt the colors were too optimistic for the show, but it was a slice of life show after all. All in all, I thought the animation fit the show wonderfully. I also didn’t notice any drops in the animation quality over the course of the show, which made everything blend together nicely. Great animation, especially for the opening.

    Enjoyment of One Week Friends

    (8/10)

    As I said before, this was one of the anime that brought me into the slice of life genre, so I enjoyed this show a great deal. This show really opened my eyes to how enjoyable these types of shows could be. I enjoyed watching every episode, even though I was watching it around the time it aired, so I had to wait a painful week. With a couple twists here and there, I really wanted to keep going and see what would happen with all of their friendships. The characters, the importance of friends, and lovely artstyle were the things that had me enjoy it a great deal. Also, the story was also interesting, even though it used the classic amnesia plot. I simply enjoyed seeing the characters interact with each other. This anime did its job of keeping me entertained.

    Overall Notes and Final Rating:

    (8/10)

    If you are new to the slice of life genre, and are wanting a heartfelt, sweet, and sincere anime about friendship, then this show is definitely for you. It will keep you entertained, and delight you with the different personalities of the characters. This isn’t the best slice of life show, but it definitely is a great one. One Week Friends is an more of an upbeat show, so if you want a darker one, go watch Welcome to the NHK. This show strongests point is its unique style of artwork and the interesting characters. The weakest point would have to be perhaps the ending or the story in general. It might even be a little cheesy at times, I admit. From what I experienced, the good qualities overwhelm the bad ones. That’s always a positive sign.

    Since it’s only twelve episodes, it’s a great show to marathon whenever you have the time. Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two about friendship. With no fanservice, this show can take itself seriously and stand out a tiny bit from other shows. I enjoyed the humor in this show too. Even not the most humorous anime, it did have its moments. With all that being said, I say this anime is a solid 8 out of 10. A great anime to watch and see how the characters will react to everything. It’s a fun watch, but don’t be expecting anything too new or a masterpiece of sorts. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

    ~TheDragonStar

     


  • Welcome to the NHK! (Anime) Review

    Welcome to the NHK! Anime Review

    Some spoilers ahead!

    Welcome to the NHK!

    24 Episodes

    Aired from Jul 10, 2006 to Dec 18, 2006

    Gonzo

    Rated R (According to MyAnimeList)

     

    Welcome to the NHK! has gotten quite a lot of attention since its airing date: 2006. This anime well deserves that attention too. I came into the anime not really knowing what to expect. From the synopsis I read, it sounded like a unique and sort of twisted anime. Would it be presented well? Or would it just be some sort of train wreck? A character that thinks everything is an conspiracy? What’s that going to be like? I have heard positive things about this anime before, so I wasn’t totally shooting in the dark. Let me tell you, I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Great characters, a pretty well-crafted plot, and a pleasing soundtrack to go along with it all. Throughout the anime, you also get to see some dark humor, which is pretty rare for an anime. A fairly unique anime that was done well. The issues and lives of NEETs (Not in education, employment, or in any sort of training) is presented well, along with the lives of a Hikikomori  (Japanese for a person who cuts themselves off from society and people. A social phobia of sorts.) The characters and their troubles felt heartfelt and realistic. On a side note, I have heard that there are differences between the anime and manga. For example, in the anime, Satou (the male lead) goes a little crazy simply by being cooped up in his apartment for a long time. In the manga, he is shown doing drugs and that is the reason for his craziness. I don’t really get bothered by this too much, as I never read the manga, but I could see a loyal manga reader getting annoyed. I love this anime a lot, but I do realize it has a few flaws. Let’s get started on the craziness that is Welcome to the NHK!

    Story of Welcome to the NHK!

    (7/10)

    Welcome to the NHK!

    Welcome to the NHK! is quite an enjoyable one, but looking at it critically, it does have some flaws. At times, the story can feel a bit mashed together and can take a few unrealistic turns. Other then that, I really loved the story. The interesting topics that were covered like depression, Otaku, NEETs, and Hikikomori really made this anime unique. I felt like this anime showed the audience the darker side of life. Perhaps in a way, a more realistic one too. I really wish that more anime would attempt this type of story, as it was quite an interesting one. I loved seeing how everything would resolve and what the characters would do to face their problems, if they even did at all. For the review, I’m not going to go into major spoiler territory, but there might be some minor ones along the way. Now, let’s look at the story more in depth.

    The story starts off with introducing Satou, the Hikikomori and NEET. He is lying on his bed in his small apartment. Right off the bat, you can tell that he is a depressed and somber guy. There is an annoying anime theme song playing next door and he wants the noise to stop. The problem is he hasn’t gone out of his house and talked to somebody in years; other than going to the convenience store to get some food or cigarettes. He lays there pathetically and starts to hallucinate these weird pastry things with eyes. After they disappear, he begins to think that he is part of a giant conspiracy by the NHK. Their plan is to create addicting anime, and the addicting anime will create more and more Otaku, which will earn them lots of money. Satou confirms this conspiracy by talking with his fridge… so you can see it’s all in his head. Still, all this conspiracy stuff lingers and infects his mind. The reason he would even being to think this in the first place was because of this girl in college. She was his “Senpai” and they always hung our after school together. She constantly talked about conspiracies, which planted  some paranoid ideas deep in the dark corners of his mind.

    Also, sometime in the first episode, the anime shows how he got to be a Hikikomori and a NEET. It began when he was walking down the street to another day of college. He felt relaxed and at ease at first, but then he slowly felt like everybody was watching him; judging him with an evil grin. Satou thought everybody was whispering about him and how disgraceful he was. He trembled and simply couldn’t take it anymore. Satou dashed back home, wanting to get away from it all. Since that day, he has barely has come out of his house.

    Now, a young girl and her grandmother come to the house and knock on the door. He is sent into a little bit of a panic, wondering how he’ll possibly be able to communicate with another human being. After all, he hasn’t done so in a long, long, time. He rushes to the door and attempts to communicate with them normally. Needless to say, that doesn’t go that well. The girl who takes to him is very beautiful in Satou’s eyes, so that doesn’t help either. They talk about the rising population NEETs, which makes Satou even more nervous. He shakily takes their documents, but of course denies that he would possibly be a NEET, even when they never accused him. He closes the door without saying goodbye. After a few seconds, he peeks through the door and sees the girl again. She’s stunning. They lock eyes for a second, but then she is called by her grandmother to get going. Satou closes the door again, and looks over the papers, eventually deciding to try to get a job at the manga cafe. He wants to turn his life around.

    Satou shaves himself, gets dressed up, and has his resumé in hand. As he walks to the manga place, he repeats over and over under his breath, “I’ve heard you guys are hiring” When he actually makes it to the café, he fails horribly, as the same girl he saw yesterday was there. As soon as he sees her, his plans fall into tiny pieces. He mumbles something to her and then quickly runs out of the door. He hadn’t noticed that he had dropped his résumé on the ground. Later, the girl drops his resumé through an opening on his door. There is also a note on the back of it. The note talks about how he should meet up with her and she will try to help him out of his Hikikomori condition. He would have to sign a contract. She wants him to meet her at the park in the evening and discuss the contract and his therapy.

    Satou, at first, is convinced he won’t come to the meeting. He eventually decides to do come anyhow, as he would have probably went to the park around this time, even without Misaki (the girl), asking him to. They meet up and she tells Satou he need help. He starts to deny everything, wanting to impress this lady. He tells her that he does have a job as a video game developer. She wants proof of this, thus beginning the crazy ride with Misaki and Satou.

    When he gets back to his apartment, he decides to man up and talk to his neighbor next door, whom is playing an annoying anime theme song everyday. He busts down the door and discovers that the person who is playing the annoying music is his high school friend; Yamazaki. Coincidentally, he has been going to a video game school for a while now and is learning how to make games. Since Satou has no experience whatsoever in the video game making department, they eventually pair up and begin to make a hentai game. Yes, a hentai game. They decided it would be an easy game to make without that much experience. I think this is a good time to let you know that this anime can be quite perverted at times, but only to really add effect to the story. I didn’t feel as if it was fanservice at all. After all, what is a 22 year old man going to do alone in his apartment this whole time?

    Anyhow, more chaos, dark humor, and difficulty arises. After a while, Satou finally gives into Misaki and admits he is a Hikikomori. He signs the contract; agreeing to meet up with her in the evening every once in a while for their therapy session. Many interesting things happen to the characters. From suicide pacts to MMORPG addictions, this anime always keeps you entertained. Now, you may ask, if the story is so great and amusing, why only a 7 out of 10? Well, I don’t want to spoil too much for you, but there are a few unrealistic twist and everything seems to piece together a little too nicely. At times, the way Satou acts in certain situations makes me a tad bit frustrated. But, other than those things, the story was a great story.

    Finally, the ending sort of annoyed me. Sure, it was a nice ending, but the way it all unfolded just seemed ridiculous. At least the ending was sort of satisfying. I only wish it had something more to it and unfolded a bit better. Oh well, a 7 out of 10 gives this anime justice.

    Characters of Welcome to the NHK!

    (9.5/10)

    This was one of the show’s major strong points. I think that this anime was meant to be a more character driven than a plot driven anime. The characters all acted very life-like and never ceased to amaze me. I feel connected to Satou in a way (don’t get the wrong idea), as that was how realistic he felt to me. You could always find a way to relate to a few of the characters in Welcome to the NHK. Even the side characters were magnificently crafted. You would see how each individual character would deal or not deal with their struggles. Character development happened a lot in the story; you would Satou progress and digress throughout the plot. The other characters progress right along with Satou. Satou is definitely not the only person with problems. It shows the darker side of humanity nature and the harsh reality people have to deal with. Some people want to simply find somebody lower than them to make themselves feel better. I think every human always wants somebody below them; even if that lower person is somebody they know hardly anything about or even if they have some feelings for them. The anime also shows that people may have problems you may never even know about. Many themes about human nature are introduced in Welcome to the NHK. These characters are so realistic and I simply love every one of them for their each flaws and personality. Great presentation of the characters. Definitely amazing and well-crafted characters.

    Satou, Tasuhiro

    Welcome to the NHK!

    Satou is one of my favorite main characters of all time. In anime you don’t usually see depressed and hopeless people, but Satou is an exception. He’s a pretty sad sack. Misaki is the girl who decides to help Satou out of his Hikikomori state, even if she isn’t the best person ever. In the anime, Satou goes through many phases. From extreme video game addiction to actually walking around a town, Satou’s Hikikomori state varies a lot. It’s quite interesting to see how he develops through the show. Will Satou ever get a life? I also enjoyed his broody and melancholy demeanor. He is also paranoid and on the conspiracy train. Satou thinks everything is to be blamed on the NHK. Pretty interesting ideas, huh? How often do you see a character like that? Satou’s quirks and fears from his Hikikomori state was unique and fun to see how it would play out. His personality brought a lot to this show. I felt like Satou definitely stood out from most main characters, as they are usually the major hero of the story, while Satou is basically a sad loser. Even depressed as he his, he has happy moments and joyful moments in the show. I felt like his personality had depth to it and wasn’t just your usual male main character personality. Satou’s life brings a bunch of dark humor to the show and shines life on the people who are not heroes.

    Nakahara, Misaki

    Welcome to the NHK!

    Misaki is an absorbing character. The way she acts, talks, and does things is all sort of intriguing. At the beginning of the anime, you might think her of as a well-put together individual, but throughout the story you slowly find there is more to her than what meets the eyes. Her character shows that there might be a lot more to a person that you may never know about. People are not just simply good or bad, there is much more behind them. There are reasons the way they act the way they do. Misaki acts rudely at times, but she is simply a flawed person like everybody else is. That doesn’t mean that’s all she is. She does want to help people, even when she may look down on those people, she still wants to make their lives better. I don’t want to reveal to much more about her, but she is a complex person and you find out many things about her along the way. I liked her at time, but at other times she seemed extremely mean-spirited. Overall, she’s a compelling and fascinating character.

    Yamazaki, Kaoru

    Welcome to the NHK!

    Yamazaki is Satou’s next door neighbor and high school friend. He got bullied in school for being a geek and having glasses. That’s when Satou offered a helping hand. Their relationship grew a little more after that, but they never became best of buddies, so they never stayed in touch after high school. Coincidentally, Satou and Yamazaki moved next door to each other unknowingly. Yamazaki always played annoying songs from anime until Satou finally decided to knock on his door and talk to him. They then teamed up and became greater friends than ever before. Yamazaki is an otaku who loves anime. He goes to a video game school where he is still made fun of. He also has some girl trouble along the way. Yamazaki never knows if he can really trust her or not. I think Yamazaki was probably my least favorite character in the show, as he was annoying at times and sort of slow to catch on. Still, he was a well thought out character and had an entertaining personality. Quite a geeky person. He was a good character to have in the show.

    Sound of Welcome to the NHK!

    (8/10)

    The sounds of Welcome to the NHK were pleasing to the ears. I enjoyed the first opening to this show a great deal, but I didn’t enjoy the ending songs as quite as much. Also, the second opening song for Welcome to the NHK was simply a remixed version of the first one. I thought the original version was a whole lot better than the remixed version. The first ending song was a very quirky one. I haven’t heard any other ending song even slightly close to it. For me, it seemed that the first ending song represented all of Satou’s craziness in his mind, which he sure does have a lot of. The background music to this anime was usually quite melancholy, which definitely fits the mood of the show. There were some happy songs spread throughout the show to lighten the mood a little. I enjoyed most of the songs and I sometime listen to the OST from time to time.

    The voice acting in the Japanese and English dubs were both amazing. If you have been following my reviews, you’ll know I usually prefer the Japanese voices, but for this one, either one will do fine. For once, an anime show that has a good dub that doesn’t make me want to pound my head against a wall. You could really hear the weariness in Satou’s voice in the Japanese version, but that could just be my opinion. In all their voices, you could hear their emotions and soul radiate from it. Some moments made my heart break a little because of how well the voices were. Great voice acting.

    The environment noise in Welcome to the NHK was fairly standard; nothing special. It got the job done. There was some good details in the major events in the anime, but other than that, nothing spectacular. The sound didn’t fully immerse you in the anime, but it was still fine.

    Art of Welcome to the NHK!

    (5/10)

     Welcome to the NHK!

    Well, the art was sadly pretty crappy at times. One scene would be animated very nicely; with details of the characters and pleasant shading. Then, the next scene would have the character be blobs of color. It was horrible to transition from a nice piece of art to a kindergarten’s drawing. My guess would be that the animator’s may have gotten lazy or ran out of money so they had to cut some corners. I wish everything was better animated overall; even the scenes that were animated good. It was honestly distracting and sort of frustrating when the art goes to crap.

    Nothing much else to say about the art. There wasn’t really any noteworthy scenes or beautiful things that I noticed. Well, I guess it sort of fits the general mood of Welcome to the NHK.

    Enjoyment of Welcome to the NHK!

    (9/10)

     Welcome to the NHK!

    Man, I enjoyed the hell out of this show. Despite its few minor flaws here and there, along with the artwork taking a dive occasionally, it was still a really fun show to marathon through. I enjoyed almost every episode that was thrown at me. The character interaction and the interesting problems that arose, made you want to watch one episode after another. At first, I was a tad bit reluctant, but once the show got going, I couldn’t stop myself. Whenever the show felt too dark, the creators added some dark humor to make you chuckle. I especially enjoyed this show because of my love for Satou. With his crazy and quirky personality, I couldn’t drop the show for a second. I wanted to see what he would do next. This anime seemed compelling in every way: with the characters, plot twists, and the craziness of it all. I definitely didn’t regret starting this show.

     

    Overall Rating and Final Notes of Welcome to the NHK!

    (8/10)

     Welcome to the NHK!

    Welcome to the NHK was a crazy ride that I won’t forget anytime soon. I don’t think any anime will replace the special spot Welcome to the NHK has in my heart. The troubled characters, the dark and pretty realistic story, and the morbid humor makes this anime quite an enjoyable one. I really wish that more anime would attempt the kinds of things that this show did. Not everything in life is full of butterflies, rainbows, and kittens. This anime shows how life can be really tough to some people and sometimes you will hit rock bottom. Hopefully not very often. Conspiracies in this show is a good reminder for people to not get too wrapped up in them, or you may find yourselves talking to a fridge. This show does the themes of depression and the harsh reality of life well. That’s the main reason why I enjoyed this show so much. It serves as a wake up call for some; that you need to get off your butts and do something once in a while. Anime isn’t everything in life.

    I think this one of the few times where my overall rating is going to be lower than my enjoyment rating, as my personal enjoyment usually adds up to how good the anime is overall. But, alas, this is an exception. I did enjoy this show a great deal, but this show can’t be rated a 9 out of 10 when put all together. The few flaws that the story had and the dips that the artwork took, lowered the score a little bit. 8 out of 10 is still a really good score, don’t forget, but Welcome to the NHK isn’t a masterpiece. I recommend this show to anybody who would enjoy a realistic show and wants something different. Who knows, this show might end up being your Misaki in life.

    ~TheDragonStar

     


  • Mushi-shi (Anime) Review

    Mushi-shi Anime Review

     Mushi-shi

    25 episodes

    Aired from Oct 23, 2005 to Jun 19, 2006

    Artland

    Rated PG-13

    Mushi-shi is one of my favorite anime of all time. This beautiful gem helped me when I felt terrible during my life and gave me a peace of mind. Peaceful, yet creepy, Mushi-Shi is an excellent episodic anime. I haven’t seen any other anime quite like it. Each episode seems to include a nugget of wisdom within it. Some are obvious, while others are a little more tricky to spot. During each episode, the tone was so calming and soothing, it felt like a form of meditation. If you don’t have enough patience to sit through the first episode of Mushi-Shi, this show probably isn’t for you. I’ll admit, this anime isn’t for everybody; with slow pacing and a lack of action or overarching storyline, somebody without enough patience could get bored. Also, being episodic it is best enjoyed in small chunks, unless you’re really in the mood to want it. I love how the anime is mature about all the situations that arise. It’s simply amazing how this show gets nearly everything right. Simply amazing.

    Story of Mushi-shi

     Mushi-shi

    Each episode score varies from 9 – 10

    Since Mushi-Shi is episodic, it wouldn’t be really fair to judge the overarching storyline, since it simply doesn’t have one. The basic idea of this anime is there are creatures called Mushi, which are the most basic from of life; neither good nor bad. Throughout the show, Ginko, the main character and a Mushi-Shi, stresses that they are simply there to exist and should be treated that way. Mushi can cause a variety of problems for the people who are trying to live their lives in peace. The word Mushi actually means pest or bug in Japanese, so I can see where they got their name from. Still, it’s good to keep in mind they are simply entities that are just there.

    Now, there are also Mushi-Shi in the story. These are people who can see Mushi and try to study them; to make some sort of sense of these mysterious creatures. Also, Mushi-Shi will help people that are having problems with Mushi. Ginko is a Mushi-Shi, and most of the episodes are about him studying and trying to help people that are affected by Mushi.

    You would think that the anime would get repetitive after a few episodes of that, but all the different kinds of Mushi and themes always made things enjoyable to watch, while keeping things fresh. Every episode was always pleasing to watch after a long day.

    Now, I think that each episode always had a nice story. Some were better than others, while some I can say without doubt, were masterpieces. The tranquility of each episode always helped me relax whenever I felt anxious. What’s also nice about this anime, you can simply play a random episode and just watch that episode without seeing any of the other episodes. Really excellent if you just want to unwind one day with an episode of Mushi-Shi. I think there might be one or two episodes that are about the back story of Ginko, but otherwise feel free to pick one at random and enjoy.

    Let me discuss a couple of the themes of Mushi-Shi. One thing Ginko wants to do in the anime is to discover what Mushi are truly and maybe along the way discover the meaning of life itself. If he really did fine the meaning is for the viewer to decide, but for today, I’ll just take about a couple of the episodes. One of my favorite episodes is the man who is searching for a special rainbow. I like to think of the rainbow as a metaphor for happiness and love. Both of this things can be elusive, special, and hard to find at times, just like the rainbow he was searching for. In an another episode, there are these boys trying to open their “second eyelid.” I think that represents how the truth might very well be right in front of our eyes, but sometimes it’s for the best if we don’t see it. Quite interesting to think about these things. There are many other themes and symbols in Mushi-Shi. If I started to talk about them all, I would be writing an essay. Just try to look for things like that when you’re watching an episode. If you do, It’ll only add to your enjoyment.

    The last episode was a little disappointing compared to the whole series. It simply seemed like any other episode of Mushi-Shi. I wish it had a better conclusion than it did. I admit, it was a great episode nonetheless, but I wanted more. Well, I’m just glad that there is a season two that I still need to watch.

    In conclusion, Mushi-Shi had great story lines every episode, which all related to Mushi in some way. You don’t need a massive plot to make an epic series. The episodes might seem a little slow to the impatient, but if you are patient, I’m sure you’ll like it at least some what. There were sincere messages sprinkled throughout, along with a peaceful, yet occasionally creepy vibe. Truly beautiful.

    Characters of Mushi-shi

    (9.5/10)

    Again, like the story, it’s hard to judge the characters of this anime. Ginko is the only character that occurs over and over again. Other characters are only there for an epsiode and are never seen again. Which, in some cases is really too bad, as I would’ve watched an entire series about them. Every episode, the characters always seemed to be unique from each other, although a few character designs did repeat. For the most part, the anime creators did a good job of keeping the characters interesting, even though a few of them looked similar. Ginko was a great main character for the series; a little humorous at times, along with being serious and solemn, but most of all very peaceful and kind. The perfect main character for this series. Along the way, you got to see many different  personalities from a variety of characters, but I’ll focus on Ginko since he’s main character of Mushi-Shi.

     Mushi-shi

    Ginko is an interesting main character. He has many different sides to him, which are shown throughout the series. For the most part, he is fairly stoic, but kind. Ginko doesn’t like to reveal too much about what he’s thinking. He also doesn’t seem to mind what other people think of him. When working with Mushi, he always tries to solve the problem, but not with violence and force. Only if absolutely necessary. In this series, he desperately wants peace for all. I think peace and trying to not be full of hatred is of the major themes of Mushi-Shi. That’s what Ginko tries to convey throughout the series. I greatly enjoyed the little jokes he made in a couple of episodes and the way he acted in general. He never seemed bland at all throughout the series. There was a tiny bit of character development; seeing his history and the way he deals with the everyday problems/crisis of human life. I wish at times he would show some more emotion when dealing with people who are in despair. I’m glad the main character of Mushi-Shi was an interesting one.

    Sound of Mushi-shi

    (10/10)

    The sounds of Mushi-Shi really did an exceptional job of putting you into the environment of the anime. The background sounds were very pleasing and set the ambiance well. There wasn’t a scene where you felt like you were messing out on sounds that would be going on in real life. The sounds of Mushi-Shi surrounded you in nature just from watching an episode. I love the detail that was put into the background noise.

    Now, the background music was also brilliant. A few tracks were used a lot, but they were beautiful nonetheless. A great thing about each episode was that you were introduced to a new song at the ending of each episode. The song always felt like a little special treat and ended off the episodes nicely; not abrubt at all, like most anime seem. The opening song is one of the few English openings in anime. Throughout the series, it never changed, which I was glad for. The song helped set the tone for each episode of the anime, which is always a positive note. I enjoy listening to some of Mushi-Shi’s songs whenever I want to fall asleep or daydream peacefully.

    The voice actors did a good job, especially the one for Ginko. I have heard in the English dub that they repeat voice actors, but I’m pretty sure that problem doesn’t occur with the Japanese dub. Besides, I watched one episode in the English dub and compared it to the Japanese one, and let me tell you, the Japaneses voice are way better than the English one. For the love of god, please watch this anime subbed. It’s so much better. I might be a sub elistist, but it really does sound a ton better.

    Animation of Mushi-shi

    (10/10)

     Mushi-shi

    I love the artwork and style of Mushi-Shi. It has some of the most beautiful scenes in anime. The art looks natural and really gives you a serene vibe. Mushi-Shi’s art doesn’t really focus that much on people, but instead focuses on the beauty and elegance of nature. I think we all need to take a moment once in a while, and simply enjoy the beauty of nature around us. It’s sad that most people take it for granted and hardly care. Anyhow, the animation is flawless. The only real flaw is how the character designs got repeated a couple times. I think the beauty of the backgrounds more than makes up for it.

    I also loved the animation because of the soft and amity vibe it gave off. The shading made everything look sort of spiritual. Also, the animation seemed to flow pretty well. I loved the art a great deal.

    Enjoyment of Mushi-shi

    (10/10)

     Evernote Camera Roll 20141026 110959

    I enjoyed this anime a whole lot more than I was expecting to. From the synopsis, I thought it was a quirky sort of story and I didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed everything about this show, really. It was that awesome. Great main character, unique and gorgeous story. Full of symbols, metaphors, and a peaceful tone to go along with it. Some of the episodes can be creepy or sad, but somehow, it still managed to have a peaceful feeling underneath it all. This anime also really helped when I felt really anxious or upset. It always seemed to calm me down at the end of the day. Mushi-Shi is unique in that way.

    I enjoyed each epsiode, but only wished the ending was a bit more fulfilling. Otherwise, I had a great time watching this show. Even slow, it still managed to grab my attention and keep me enveloped in the show.

    Final Notes and Overall Rating on Mushi-shi

    (10/10)

     Mushi-shi

    I conclude, from all of this, that Mushi-Shi is one of those few special gems. Sure, it has a few very, very, minor flaws, but it still well deserves a ten out of ten. Everything in this show fit together perfectly to make this show so enjoyable. This show had realistic characters, an amazing plot, and each episode was unique. To top all that off, the animation and music was also well done. What more could you want from a show? Again, I just haven’t seen an anime quite like this one.

    If you, my reader, is planning on watching this show, please don’t marathon it. Marathoning an episodic anime really takes the magic away from it. Believe me, I know from previous experience when I marathoned other episodic anime. It takes away from the enjoyment, as it’s not supposed to be rushed. Instead, just watch an episode every night before falling asleep or some other time in the evening. That’s a nice and calming way to do it. I found that you will get your best experience from doing that.

    I don’t give away tens that often, but I think Mushi-Shi definitely deserves it. An anime that the creators have poured their soul into while making it. A mature anime that is a nice refresher from all the high school shows. Everything about the show seems well done. A full recommendation from me. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

    ~TheDragonStar


  • Steins;Gate (Anime) Review

    Steins;Gate Anime Review

    Steins;Gate

    24 episodes

    Aired from Apr 6, 2011 to Sep 14, 2011

    Frontier Works

    Rated R (According to MyAnimeList)

    “No one knows what the future holds. That’s why its potential is infinite.”
    -Okabe Rintarou, Steins;Gate

    Steins Gate is one of my favorite anime of all time. Time travel, conspiracy theories, awesome characters, and plot twists all attribute to how spectacular Steins Gate is. I think Steins Gate surpasses other popular time travel shows like Doctor Who. To me, Doctor Who has a cheesy element that prevents me from taking it too seriously. Even though Steins Gate had a bunch of comedy speckled throughout, it had its fair share of serious and tense moments. Another amazing thing that Steins Gate did was the way the anime intertwined real life events into the story. John Titor, Kerr Blackholes, and Sern (CERN in real life) are all prime examples of that. Let me tell you what made me fall in love with this anime from the very first episode.

    Story of Steins;Gate

    (10/10)

    Steins;Gate

    I’ll sum up the whole entire plot for you: bananas and microwaves. In all honesty, the story is of course a lot more than that, but it really does start with those two things. Intriguing, eh? The quirkiness of the plot made me fall in love from the first episode. In the first few episodes, Okabe, our mad scientist protagonist, attends a time travel meeting. After the lecture is over, he wanders the building for a bit. He discovers a girl with red hair stabbed to death. It appears to be the girl he meet earlier. Okabe rushes out of the building in shock. Rapidly, he sends a text message to his buddy at the lab about the girl being stabbed. Things get weird the moment after he sends the text. People disappear for a second and when they reappear, there is a machine that crashed in the building he was just in. The machine wasn’t there a second ago. Things just get more and more confusing from there.Soon, Okabe meets the red haired girl, whose name is Makise Kurisu, again. She’s alive mysteriously. He persuades her to visit his lab and tell him what she thinks. Makise begrudgingly agrees and follows Okabe, Daru, and Mayuri, back to their lab.Shortly they arrive. Okabe shows Makise the microwave that turns bananas in “gel-nanas”, which are bananas that have turn into green, gooey, gel. Okabe thinks that the microwave have to do with all the strange things happening. His lab mates claimed that the time travel lecture was canceled, and he never went. Okabe is perplexed, frustrated, and determined to get to the truth. It’s as if the entire world around him has changed the moment he sent the text.

    Makise and Okabe tinker with the microwave some more, eventually causing a banana to go back into time! Could their messed up microwave actually be a time machine? They begin to experiment with it, eventually being able to send texts messages into the past. The world lines converge each time they do this, changing the whole world around them. Okabe later has to deal with the consequences of screwing with time.

    Now, I really don’t want to give any more away. The story starts out confusing at first, but trust me, everything will fall in place as time goes by. There are plot twists along the way to keep things interesting. The beginning I have to admit, is a little slow, but it still was entertaining to watch. Watching the characters find out everything bit by bit, left you guessing a to what was ahead. I loved how the show brought in real life events that related to time travel. There is a John Titor in the show. In real life, he is a guy that claims to be from the future and he predicts all these terrible things to come. Of course, none of his predictions ever came true, but his supporters claim that he can be from another world line. Who knows, right?

    Anyhow, the story Steins;Gate has is one of my favorite stories of all time. It does all the plot elements of a story perfectly, and for the most part, at a reasonable pace. A few parts even brought me to tears, even when I watched it the second time. The story was so interesting and excellent, I watched all of the episodes of this anime within a few days. It was like a good book, I didn’t want to put it down. The ending was quite spectacular too. Since I don’t want to give anything away, I’ll just say it was the ending the series deserved. This story made me have a little more faith in anime.

    Characters of Steins;Gate

    (9/10)

    Steins;Gate
    Steins;Gate

    Okabe Rintarou (Okarin)

    He is a mad scientist and head of the labatory. Throughout the years, he has created many small gadgets, but nothing huge. That all changes when he finds out that the can use their microwave as a time machine. Somehow, throughout the years, he has messed with the microwave enough to turn it into a machine that can warp time. Yeah, pretty wacky. Okabe has a quite unique personality; refreshing from all the generic male leads. He is crazy and he’s not afraid to show it! Being a mad scientist and all, he has an awesome crazy laugh. Okabe can have a distorted view of reality, but when the time calls for it, he will jump to his friend’s rescue. I love his quirkiness, humor, and courage.

    Steins;Gate

    Makise Kurisu

    She is one of my favorite female anime characters. Makise is from America, a well-rounded and intelligent scientist. At times, she can act like a tsundere, even though she will never admit it. Tsundere or not, she is a sympatic person and always works her hardest. Throughout the series, Okabe always manages to tick her off, making her blush angrily and yell at him some more. I adore her cleverness, wit, temper, and kindness. Towards the end of the series, you really get to see her soft heart and warmness that can be tough to find for some. She quickly bonds with Mayuri, the other female lab member; even though she won’t ever try on her cosplays. Makise is the perfect character to complement Okabe and try to keep him grounded in reality.

    Steins;Gate

    Shiina Mayuri (Mayushii) <3

    Mayuri is the cutest character to ever existed! I swear, she is amazing. Even though she can be an air-head, she is the kindest lab member of them all and simply wants peace for the world. Her character isn’t all cuteness, however. She can be sad and solem throughout the series. You’ll get to see her backstory that she experience with Okabe. Since Okabe and Mayuri are childhood friends, Okabe decided to take her under his wing and let her hang out at the lab. There, she tries to help out the best she can and make money for the lab by working at a maid cafe. Mayuri likes to cosplay and make cosplay costumes, although nobody at the lab ever wants to try them on. She is an adorable, sweet, kind girl who is amazing. Too – tu – ru! (Her little cute fanfare to greet people.)

    Steins;Gate

    Hashida Itaru (Daru)

    Hashida is usually called “Daru” instead of his real name. He is the tech guy for the lab, even having sharp hacking skills. Daru can be very perverted at times; making jokes about bananas and such. Okabe tries to keep him in line. He is also an otaku, a video game and anime one. Even though he jokes around and gets distracted, at the end of the day he will get his job done. He definitely wasn’t my favorite character, but he was vital for the lab to function and succeed in their missions. He also is nicknamed “Super Hacker” because of his flawless hacking skills. In fact, that’s the main reason he’s at the lab. Well, also, he’s another one of Okabe’s friends. A nice character to keep everybody laughing and the show moving along.

    The characters were a big thing that made the show excel. With one character missing, side or not, the show just wouldn’t feel the same. As the side characters get introduced, they begin to play a role in this time travel drama. I felt as if each character was unique and each person had their little quirks. You end up getting attached to evey single one of them. Awesome characters deserve a 9 out of 10.

    Sound of Steins;Gate

    (9/10)

    I love, love, love, the opening song. I have listened it too many times to count. I haven’t found another opening song that could possibly replace it. I’m glad that they didn’t change the opening song throughout the series, except for the last couple episodes. When they did that, they had a special reason for doing so, not to just change the opening song. I don’t want to spoil it for you. The edit song was also very nice, growing on me after each episode. Both songs are so marvelous, I’m happy to listen to them just by themselves.

    The background sound and music was good. I liked the buzzing sound of cicadas to add to the background noise. A couple of the songs that were used during each episodes were quite magnificent, but most of them were just there to add some suspense and music. Fairly nice.

    The Japanese voice acting was amazing! I know I say that a lot, but Okabe’s evil laugh and Mayuri’s cute, tender, voice is difficult to pull off.You could hear evey drop off emotion coming from the voice actors. The English ones, eh, not so much. Most people loves their voices, but me, not so much. Maybe I just naturally prefer the Japanese voices.

    Art of Steins;Gate

    (7.5/10)

     

    Steins;Gate
    Steins;Gate

    I know the animation doesn’t look that special, but art doesn’t really influence my rating that much, only if it’s really good or really crappy. The Steins Gate animation was fairly standard, good scenes here and there, but not that detailed or beautiful. I think the animation is still really fluid at times, making scenes look more alive and fun to watch. The animation for the opening was arguably the best for the whole series. At least the animation stayed consistent and you knew what to expect.

    Enjoyment of Steins;Gate

    (10/10)

    Steins;Gate

    I enjoyed every second of Steins Gate! Even after rewatching it, the show still doesn’t get old. The character interactions and the quirky storyline make this anime very amusing. After a couple of the plot twists hit, I just couldn’t stop watching it! I had to force myself to put the show down and get some sleep or I would have finished it up in one night. The pacing starts off slow, but I still enjoyed watching the characters do their things and discover the true nature of the microwave. Nothing felt purposely dragged out, they just needed to set the stage for future events. The combination of excellent storytelling and unique characters had me enjoying this anime to its full extent.

    Final notes and overall rating of Steins;Gate

    (9/10)

    If you love a unique time travel story with even more unique characters, you’ll sure enjoy Steins Gate. I am a big science nerd, so I loved the science aspect of the show. If you like that sort of stuff, you’ll enjoy this show even more. A fun, but serious show. I think this would be a great show to get somebody into anime. Also, it’s nice to watch this show with a couple buddies. This show has the ability to make you weep, but it can also make you laugh at other times. The plot twists give you shivers, the ending gives you a warm feeling. You will learn that in the end, time shouldn’t be messed with.

    I gladly give Steins Gate a 9 out of 10. A well-rounded anime that was entertaining every moment. Go out and watch it as soon as possible! You won’t regret it one bit! After 24 episodes of the series, there is a special and a movie to watch. Although those aren’t as good as the series itself, they’re still worth a watch after finishing the series. Steins Gate is a series I’m sure you’ll remember and have fond memories of. Too – tu – ru!

    ~TheDragonStar


  • Attack on Titan (Anime) Review 2

    Attack on Titan Anime Review

    25 episodes

    Aired from Apr 7, 2013 to Sep 28, 2013

    Rated R (according to MyAnimeList)

    Production I.G

     Attack on Titan

    Major spoilers ahead!

    Overrated. Best anime ever. The manga is better. An epic thrill ride. Stupid and bland. These are just a few of the many words that are used to describe Attack on Titan. Over the years, this anime has had many clashing opinions from both the haters and the lovers. Sort of like Sword Art Online in a way. It seems like you either love and adore it, or you despise it. For me, I thought it was a good anime, but nothing too spectacular. By now, you have probably either seen it or at least heard something about it. I know I’m a little late to the party. Still, I want to get my two cents in. Let’s get started, shall we?

    Story of Attack on Titan

    (9/10)

    Attack on Titan

    I’m sure you know the story by now. Humanity was nearly wiped out by titans years ago, thus forcing the surviving population into hiding. To keep this crisis from happening again and to survive, the survivors built three walls to withhold the titans and try to live the best life they could. All was peaceful for a long time. Until, disaster strikes humanity once again.

    A colossal titan breaks down Wall Maria. Eren, our main protagonist is forced to witness all of this, along with his mother being brutally eaten by a titan. Terror strikes him as he flees his house and his mother. The people of Wall Maria flee to Wall Rose. After making it to safety, he meets up with his two good friends: Armin and Mikasa. Eren is fed up with how humanity currently lives. He is tired of being treated like cattle. From that day forward, he swears to kill every single titan on the earth.

    Eren decides to join the military to achieve this goal. He eventually persuades his friends to do so along with him. For the next couple episodes, he is shown as a trainee with his buddies, trying to build up strength, speed, courage, and all the tools required to bring down a titan. During this time, he mentions how he has a key from his father to his basement. He doesn’t know what could be lying there, but it might give them a clue about the cause of titans and ways to destroy them all. Along with training, some back story is brought up and along with it, a little character development. Five years later, their training slows down to a halt and they are ready to do some actual work.

    The three friends are positioned along Wall Rose, checking weapons and other miscellaneous things, when a titan attacks. More chaos ensues. The combination of high paced action scenes and gritty survival, makes this arc and whole story in general very tense and always left me on the edge of my seat. A couple characters we are introduced to die during this time. One especially important character dies. Eren.

    Fast forward a episode or two, Eren comes back as a titan. I personally felt that I was cheaply tricked. The whole being able to turn into a giant titan thing that can destroy crap, made everything seem a little surreal. But, maybe that’s just me. The general sees Eren as a chance to reclaim the wall back for them so they don’t have to retreat anymore. They quickly devise a plan to plug up the hole in the wall.

    I felt the whole plug the rock in the wall was dragged out a tiny bit too long, but didn’t really subtract that much from my personal enjoyment. The plan is successful, even though Eren lost control for a second, and humanity has its first real victory against the titans. I could feel the glory and victory radiating from my screen as I watched this episode.

    Shortly afterwards, there is a trial held for Eren. To kill or to let him live? In the end, the survey corps gained control of Eren and decided to embark on a mission with him. Eren is seen as humanity’s best chance for survival. I feel like Eren is sort of Gary Stuish, but I’ll get to that when I review the characters. He felt a wee bit perfect for just being a kid.

    The survey corps then explore the outside of the walls. They created a “human radar” warning system to try to minimize loses. I loved the clever idea of that. Everything goes well for a while with the system in effect. Sadly, they then have to face a female titan who is intelligent and drives them to the great forest. Fighting and running happens. Characters die. A depressing, but exhilarating arc. I think it was my favorite, as I felt captivated the whole time. For each character, there felt like there is a chance that they could die suddenly. That’s what I love about this anime and what it does extremely well. You just don’t know what is going to happen next.

    In the end, they make it back to the city and eventually capture the female there. It turns out to be Annie. At the very end of the anime, she is crystallized and they put her underground to study her. Eren and his gang are determined not to give up, and also find out what’s in the basement. A frustrating ending, indeed.

    I loved the story that Attack on Titan had. The suspense, the emotions of the characters, and the grim fate of it all made me fall in love with the story. The world was built each episode and it felt like it was all put together very solidly. The end of each episode always kept me guessing. The action scenes were excellent too. There are still many unanswered questions that will hopefully be answered in season two. A great and suspenseful story.

    Characters of Attack on Titan

    (4.5/10)

    This to me, is what bogged the anime down a lot. The characters all felt bland and there wasn’t a whole lot of character development happening. Eren was your usual “never give up” determined dude. Mikasa had hardly any flaws. Her only flaw it seemed, was that she loved Eren and was obsessed with him. Armin was the best character on the show; having real flaws, strengths, and emotions. Most of the side characters were tossed away to be eaten by the titans! I wish they spent some more time developing the side characters, before they were merely blood stains on a window. You need to have more attachment to the charcaters before you can cry about their deaths. Anyhow, let me go onto more detail about our three main characters.

    Attack on Titan

    Eren Yeager:

    He is the main character of the story. Too bad he felt like a typical Gary Stue. During the whole story, he always ranted about how much he hated the titans and wanted to kill them all. Eren was your typical shounen character you could find anywhere. Really nothing special or new at all. When he started to turn into a titan himself, and harnessing the power, it felt like a little too much. Now it seemed like a big size and strength vs size and strength battle. He seemed too perfect for being a kid and people in the anime acted like he was the most amazing and dangerous thing on the planet. I wish there was more character development and he wasn’t as quite as bland.

    Attack on Titan

    Mikasa Ackermen:

    God, Mikasa is overpowered. She can literally take down any titan flawlessly. Like I stated before, her only flaw is having feelings for Eren, which is hardly a flaw at all. I also didn’t like how emotionless she was. At times, it felt like a rock was standing there. The only time she shows any emotions is with Eren, and even then, not that much. What is up with that? She had little to none character development during the whole anime, just being strong and perfect for no apparent reason. I enjoyed having an awesome female protagonist, but she felt too powerful and flat.

    Attack on Titan

    Armin Arlert:

    My favorite character in the whole anime. At times, he showed weakness and was terrified of the whole world it seemed. Throughout the story, he eventually found the courage and strength to bring down those titans. Sure, he cried, but is that a crime? Armin was a lot more interesting than Eren who seemed tough all the time. I personally think he should have been the main character for Attack On Titan. Would have made a more interesting show.

    Sound of Attack on Titan

    (7.5/10)

    I absolutely adore the first opening, but the second one, not as much. The first one always got me pumped for another episode of Attack on Titan. Also, the animation to go along with the opening was great too and really added to the tone of the show. The second one, I didn’t really like the singing, but by the end of the series, it started to grow on me and I enjoyed listening to it to some extent.

    Both the ending themes were pleasing to the ears, with the second one slightly better than the first one. In the first ending, I swear, the animation and emotion you get of Mikasa is the most emotion you’ll ever get out of her. That’s how cold and emotionless she is. Along with the ending themes, there is some background music in Attack on Titan. Good background music, but nothing I would listen to on its own.

    The Japanese voice actors were again excellent for this anime. I don’t have much to say for the English dubbed, as I only saw bits and pieces of episodes that were English dubbed. I thought the dub was fine, not the worst, nor the best.

    Art of Attack on Titan

    (8/10)

     

     Attack on Titan

    A lot of people debate over the art style. Some people love it and others hate it. Personally, I thought the art was quite beautiful and unique. Everything seemed to be animated smoothly, from the birds to the titan fights. There were a few still shots of the characters to save enough money to animate an amazing titan fight. Still, the animation was a very interesting style and made it stand out from other anime. The shading of the light looked magnificent. As animation goes, this was nice to look at and would make a awe-inspiring screensaver.

    Personal Enjoyment of Attack on Titan

    (7/10)

     

    Attack on Titan

    Attack on Titan had me entertained and interested in the story for most of the anime. There were a few moments were the story might have dragged a tiny bit or the characters were acting sort of stupid, but I still had a lot of fun watching it. At times, the bland and uninteresting characters did subtract from my enjoyment, but the thrill of the storyline made up for it to some extent. The action scenes also always peaked my interest. Overall, I enjoyed the anime a good amount, even though I felt like the characters dragged down the show.

    Final notes and overall rating of Attack on Titan

    (7/10)

    Attack on Titan

    Even though at times I really didn’t like the characters, I still thought Attack on Titan was a great survival story and I enjoyed all the action, wondering who would die next. Even though the idea of giant monsters eating everybody isn’t the most original idea out there, Attack on Titan portrayed the fight to survive amazingly well. The annoying thing is that the series ended without a real conclusion, but I have heard that there is a season two on its way. I hope that season will answer all our questions and maybe have more character development.

    I give this anime a 7 out of 10. I honestly wish I could give it a higher score, but the characters just weren’t that great. Characters are an extremely important thing in any show. The characters on Attack on Titan needed to have more character! (Excuse my pun.) I would recommend this show to anybody who loves an exciting survival story. I’m going to watch season two when it comes out and possible review that in the future. I also don’t know if the manga is any better, but you could check it out if you want to. I guess you could say, Attack on Titan lives up to its hype to some extent.

    ~TheDragonStar


  • The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (Anime) Review

    The Pet Girl of Sakurasou Anime Review

    24 Episodes

    Aired from Oct 9, 2012 to Mar 26, 2013

    Rated PG-13

    Sentai Filmworks

    ~~~~A few minor spoilers ahead~~~~

    The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    Hello everybody! This is going to be my first review on this site. Sorry in advance for any mistakes, as I’m still a newbie at this. Today I’m going to be reviewing the anime called “The Pet Girl of Sakurasou” or “Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo”. A realistic romance comedy about an autistic girl, a normal boy that wants to do more with his life and the other freaky students that live in the Sakurasou dorms. I greatly enjoyed watching every single episode. I even shed a few tears in the last couple episodes. Let me tell you what makes this so entertaining to watch.

    Story of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    (8/10)

     

    The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

     

    The story for The Pet Girl of Sakurasou isn’t the most amazing one, nor the most clever one, but it still enthralls you and never ceases to amuses you. The basic plot of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is there is a boy named Sorata Kanda who moves into the Sakurasou dorms. These dorms are for the children that are troubled. The reason why Sorata ended up there is he had been keeping pet cats in his old dorms, which was against their rules. In the beginning of the series, he is desperately looking for a home for the cats, so he could move back to the regular dorms. Over the course of the anime, he learns to love Sakurasou and its crazy inhabitants. A new girl moves into the dorms. Her name is Mashiro. Sorata is forced to take care of her, as she obviously doesn’t know how. It was never specifically said that she was autistic, but she sure acts like it, particularly like she has Asbergers. The relationship between Sorata and Mashiro is similar to a master and a pet, hence the name of this show. There is a few plot twists along the way, but I don’t want to give any major spoilers. You’ll just have to see for yourself.

    At the beginning, this show looks like your standard crappy ecchi anime. After the first couple episodes, it gets a whole ton better. There is still some fan service sprinkled throughout, but really only for comedic purposes and didn’t feel too out of place when it did happen. The pacing is a good pace throughout, with the first few episodes introducing all the characters. Mashiro is of course introduced early on, in a suggestive and awkward way. Even though it was funny, it was still fan service nonetheless. It seemed to me as if the first few episodes were for the producers to get all their sexual energy out and move into the real juicy plot, the substance of the whole thing, instead of flimsy fan service. There was a little more throughout, but just to add to the humor and silliness of a situation.

    As the story progressed, you begin to feel a connection form between you and the characters. They each have their own personal roadblock in life, their romances, feeling, dreams, etc. The characters become more and more amazing as the story goes along. You see how the show compares sheer talent and hard work combined with determination. Can the untalented, less skilled, ever catch up the geniuses in life? Why is life so unfair? Will all your hard work and never giving up actually pay off? Was it all for nothing? Questions like these add a bunch of conflict to the story, along with making it very enjoyable altogether.

    I hear the term “forced drama” get thrown around a lot when I hear people talking about this anime. To me, it all felt very real. The characters and the hardships they went through never seemed forced. I’ll admit it was odd that Mashiro didn’t even know how to dress herself; that she should have some parent to teach her that, but it was a comedy show after all. The love triangle wasn’t handled the best but it definitely was still amazing and not forced. The anime handled the drama incredibly well, but at the same time keeping a light hearted tone underneath it all.

    The story ended and wrapped extremely well. I don’t want to give it away, but the all the feelings of love, goodbyes, determination and bravery, friendship, was all portrayed amazingly. A couple tears ran down my cheek as the series came to a close. As always, I hated to see an excellent series end.

    Characters of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    (9/10)
     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    Sorata Kanda:

    Sorata, as I said before, is the main character of the story. He is friendly guy who always want to help everybody. That trait shows a lot in the series, starting off with him refusing to get rid of his pet cats that he adopted. He does his best to stay sane at Sakurasou among all the wacky residents. Sorata has to help Mashiro everyday: getting her dressed, buying her things, and making sure she doesn’t screw up too badly. He even tries to teach her how to cook. For the most part, he is a calm dude. He eventually finds a deep well of determination within him to achieve something huge, to stop being like everybody else. Sorata has his ups and his downs, really showing how he acts in tough situations. At the beginning of the series he wants to escape Sakurasou, but the dorms and the people eventually grow on him. I liked Sorata a lot, as he seemed to have more personality than other male leads. (Cough, cough, Kirito.)

     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    Shiina Mashiro:

    This girl moves in at the beginning of the series. She is an astounding artist who moved to Japan to draw manga. Mashiro has a hard time understanding people’s feeling and common every day sense. For that reason, somebody needs to supervise her most of the time. In this anime, most of the humor revolves around her and her cluelessness, making hilarious situations. Underneath her emotionless outside appearance, she really does care for people, even though she finds it hard to understand why they do what they do. Mashiro loves to draw manga and is very devoted. She is quirky, funny, weird, and a very interesting character.

     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    Nanami Aoyama:

    Nanami decided to move into Sakurasou after Sorata left the normal dorms to live there. She has a huge crush on Sorata and wants to keep him to herself. She is always trying to do everything by herself, wanting to be the strongest person she can be. A few times in the anime, she even collapsed from exhaustion. Nanami doesn’t like to admit it when she needs help. Besides being a hard worker, she is also a sweet and generally a kind person. I liked how she was a tough and determined character.

     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    Misaki Kamiigusa:

    Ah, where to begin with this crazy character. I can say with absolute certainty that she was the funniest and strangest character in the show. She also has an unusually vivid and creative imagination. At times, she can be quite perverted, especially around Jin or Sorata. She works on making on her very own anime to publish to the world. Misaki simply likes to mess around and have some fun with her life. It seems that she has an infinite supply of energy. For the most part, she is a highly optimistic person, cheering everybody up around her, making sure they never give up. Misaki made this show unique with all her craziness.

     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    Jin Mitaka:

    He is a playboy who has broken girl’s hearts in the past. Jin has a hard time deciding who he truly loves and which person is meant for him. He is a fairly average guy, but a little smarter and hardworking than the rest. He also is friends with Sorata and the other residents of Sakurasou. Jin can be flirty or serious.

     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    Ryuunosuke Akasaka:

    Last but not least, Ryuunosuke or “Dragon.” He is the most mysterious character in the show. A lot of the time, he just stays in his room, developing software and video games. He developed an AI called “Maid-Chan” to answer emails and help him out. He doesn’t even like to attend class; thinking he is above all that. He also doesn’t like to come near girls. Ryuunosuke finds females “untrustworthy”. For whatever reason though, he has hair like a girls. Don’t ask me why. He is extremely intelligent and because of that, can be arrogant.

    Sound of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    (9/10)

     

    http://youtu.be/RWqJZ_150h8

    http://youtu.be/zL6lJ3cP6kw

     

    I loved the first opening the Pet Girl of Saurasou had. I felt like it fitted the show very well. The ending songs and the second opening were also well done. During the episodes, the background music was also very pleasant and suiting. Great soundtracks overall, and definitely a nice addition to the anime.

    The voice actors sounded excellent as well. As of today’s date, there has been no dubbed version yet. Not that you would want one anyway, due to the excellent jobs that the Japanese voice actors did. Lots of effort and emotion was put into each characters voice.

    Art of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    (10/10)

     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    I absolutely adored the art. Art is highly subjective, as any creative medium is, but to me, the art of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou was spectacular. I loved all the bright colors and shading. I think the artists were creative with their art style. All the animation seemed fluid and I didn’t notice too many scenes where a lot of people are just standing still. All the character deigns seemed well though out and suitable for their individual personality. Take Misaki for example. You can tell she is a total crazy and fun person just be looking at her. With Jin, he looks sly and flirty.

    I can safely conclude that this animation is top notch. With vivid lighting and color, this anime can be a total eye candy at times. Awesome animation a lot like Angel Beats.

    Enjoyment of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    (9/10)

     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    I loved watching every single episode of this anime. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou never ceased to make me smile and uplift my spirit. All the drama made the show unpredictable, unlike other rom-com anime shows that are so generic. I didn’t feel bored one bit. As the story progressed, I became more and more attached to the characters, their problems and relationships. A very enjoyable watch in my book.

    Overall rating/final notes of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    (9/10)

     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

    The comedy in The Pet Girl of Sakurasou was done well and didn’t seem forced. Thankfully, they didn’t throw in any comedy moments with super serious and dramatic moments. That would be a mess. But, no, this anime was put together well.

    A great slice of life anime for once. I felt like this show handled fan service well, just using it here and there to make some scenes hilarious. I felt like it was more creative with the characters and the plot, instead of using generic story lines, with cringe worthy cliches. I would recommend The Pet Girl of Sakurasou to anybody who enjoys a good school anime, and also fine with brief nudity and a little swearing. I give this hilarious anime a 9 out of 10 in total. Give it a watch, don’t jump to conclusion just because of the first couple of episodes, and I’m sure you’ll have a good laugh.

    Have a good day everybody!

    ~TheDragonStar