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  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (Anime) Review

    Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Anime Review

    Plot of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 9/10

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

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

    Characters of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 9/10

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

    Art Showa of Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 10/10

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

    Overall of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 10/10

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


  • Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works (Anime) Review

    Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Anime Review

     

    It is extremely hard to review and critique an anime that is as truly brilliant and this one was, but I’m going to try it anyway. Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is without question one of the best anime of its generation. It is produced to near perfection in almost every way.

     

    Sometimes it can be easy to get bogged down in thinking that a good story has to be overly complex, or that it has to take lots of twists and turns. For FSN however this is not the case. While the story isn’t anything groundbreaking, it is good enough to keep you drawn in, and feels more like the journey is more important than the destination. It is simple, yet punchy and feels like it has weight.

    Despite me calling the plot simple (which again doesn’t mean bad), it never fails to feel like it’s actually moving forward. There is always something happening and no episode made you feel like nothing worthwhile had transpired. The story is mainly driven forward by its characters, with their differing morals and attitudes creating conflict.

     

    Characters of Fate/Stay Night

    The characters in FSN are superb. They all feel unique, with their own goals and motivations. This is helped by the fact that the cast is smaller than that of Fate Zero, so the more important cast members receive more screen time than they would have done. This extra screen time really feels like it allows the characters change and develop a lot more as people over the course of the show.

    Shiro Emiya, the main character, grows from a frankly feeble and useless mage to a proficient fighter with the help of the more adept mage Rin Tohsaka, who serves as the love interest. It is interesting to see how, even though they clearly care for each other, their motivations conflict with Rin believing it is most important to look after yourself first, and Shiro believing he should always put other people before himself.

    Gilgamesh acts as the main villain for much of the show, and he is as annoying as he was back in Fate Zero, and does a really good job of making you hate him. This version of FSN, as opposed to the 2006 edition, is principally about the struggle between Shiro and Archer however, and without giving too much away, it’s really “wow”.

     

    I’m hard pushed to think of an anime that consistently looks as amazing as this one does. The character designs all look stunning, and the animation (especially during the fight scene) look fluid and are a joy to watch.

    The sound in this anime is second to none also. The music always compliments and fits the mood of the scene when it is used, and also the intro music is excellent and really gets you pumped.

     

    So the verdict: Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works is an exemplary work of art that both fans of the series and newcomers alike will love. For me it is the standout series of late 2014 and early 2015, and I give it 9/10.

    Episodes: 25

    Running Date: 4th October 2014 – 27th June 2015

    Studio: Aniplex, Notes, Ufotable

    Score: 9/10

    Verdict: Must Watch


  • Fate/Stay Night 2014 (Anime) Review

    Fate/Stay Night 2014 Anime Review

    Fate/Stay Night 2014

    The city of Fuyuki, the bloody stage where hideous tragedies were consumed, engulfed in an apocalyptic fire as a result of the events surrounding the 4th Grail War. In a modern Japan where all that is left of magic is but a synthetic imitation, the greatest families of magi organized this deadly dance of death in a desperate attempt to see one’s own selfish desires come true. Something that could not be expected happened: The infamous battle royale was back after 10 more years. In this night of fate, seven magi will be chosen by the Grail as the pages of forgotten legends and heroes come to life. Fantasy and reality become one in the same. We’ll follow Emiya Shirou in his steep journey to obtain what his father could not achieve, dragged into this new world of violence and mystery…

    What follows is my epic review of Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 2014 Part 1, modern fantasy show that adapts the arc from the visual novel with the same name (Fate/Zero being the prequel). The anime’s first core contains 13 episode, episode 0, 1 and 12 last roughly 47 minutes. The analysis will follow Animation, Characters, Sound, Story and Personal Enjoyment

    Art and Animation of Fate/Stay Night 2014

    Score 10/10

    Fate/Stay Night 2014

    This is Studio Ufotable we’re talking about so there is nothing too surprising, the animation is literally revolutionary, setting a new standard in the industry. A show that was nicknamed Unlimited Budget Works and there is a reason for that, trust me. The fluidity of movement and the sense of speed surpasses anything I have watched so far, even their previous work Fate/Zero is notably inferior to the animated jewel that is this great show. The main focus are surely the majestically animated battles, shadows, clashing weapons and high speed blows (which are rendered perfectly). This sets an unprecedented way to express dynamism and fast paced action. The art is amazing and highly attractive, surpassing the amazing production values of Fate/Zero. At times there are some graphical imperfection but nothing that a bluray edition will not perfect

    Characters of Fate/Stay Night 2014

    Score 9/10

    Fate/Stay Night 2014

    What!? A bunch of children that still go to high school? At least in Zero it was a true war with all cool adults. Yes yes ok, as if age defined the degree of maturity and likeability of a person. I don’t deny how the characters respect certain stereotypical archetypes, even more than Zero, but this doesn’t make them any less interesting. This is the original characterization the prequel borrowed much from, all those interesting and relatable characters we all cheer or hate. What sets this apart from the prequel is how most of the characters are designed to not do the mistakes the adult counterparts did in the prequel.
    We have extremely likeable characters that we grow deeply fond of (yes even Shinji). Their young age means nothing as they mostly prove to have a degree of maturity and sense of responsibility that even exceeds most of the shows about “adults”. Every character is excellently characterized, they all have their own charm and a very deep ideological and psychological profile, the sense of duality and clashing personalities that you perceive is highly satisfying. Rivalry, love, friendship, the relationships between characters reach the near faultlessness.

    Soundtrack and Acting  of Fate/Stay Night 2014

    Score 9/10

    Fate/Stay Night 2014

    Unlike many shows, it is important to analyze the whole sound in all the aspects and circumstances they are used. The original soundtrack for the 2006 anime and UBW Movie was composed by the timeless master Kenji Kawai (currently my favorite composer in Fate) and the ost for Fate/Zero is composed by the immensely popular Yuki Kajiura. How does the soundtrack compare to these two? It’s still early to judge effectively since the best of the ost is yet to come. The ost generally works amazingly although its composer lacks the experience of the other two I mentioned. It’s then true how the ost may lack those catchy or iconic tunes but this is a mere beginning. What is the acting like? Do not wait for the dub I order you to watch it in sub, cause there is nothing that is even comparable to the Japanese dubs of fate in all its incarnation. This is a show that features a new concept of speed in battles, the sounds that accompany those extremely quick movements, dodges, sprints, explosions and blows are actually a relevant point to the whole thing, I never have heard such excellent sound effects in an anime.

    Storyline and Pacing  of Fate/Stay Night 2014

    Score 9/10

    Fate/Stay Night 2014

    Fate is all about its intriguing fantasy setting and how all plot elements get interwined to create a winning mix of epicness and character interactions. While it’s true that unlike the prequel this series offers an overall less dark and hopeless feeling, what Night does is deeply improve the pacing of the battles that blow Fate/Zero and most other shows out of the water. This series offers a serious and intelligent sphere of elements, it’s just far more natural and climatic compared to the prequel. Drama and slice of life, action and plot twists, they have an incredible sinergy and improve all problems in previous adaptations by far. I grew to feel more for the characters as their background and story is not so far fetched to make it look realistic. While it may be true that those slice of life elements partly break the amazing vibe the show creates, they offer vital characterization to all characters. You can’t do without this, just like plot expositions. I cannot deny how everything is so pleasantly covered with a veil of mystery. Many things are so subtle and foreshadowed, only partly revealed at times, setting our minds in motion making theories and connections. Everything ultimately serves as a means by which everyone can come up with his/her own original interpretations, their perception of characters and themes

    Personal Enjoyment of Fate/Stay Night 2014

    Score 10/10

    Fate/Stay Night 2014

    And this is the end of our review at last, my last considerations will all be given here. This is a series with a very unlucky story in the western world, as the previous adaptations of Night are all misunderstood and hated in favor of the far more popular younger brother Fate/Zero. I do not surely deny its prequel’s validity as a show but this is where everything started, and where all did end at last. Fate/Stay Night is a series that requires devotion to get into, an enormous universe you can get lost into and can give you satisfactions. I overall grew more attached to this than Zero, whether it is actually better or not. Insane battles, excellent exposition and interactions and lovably iconic characters. My boy Archer and my girl Rin are one of my favorite duo in history. Everything is overall epic. Knowing the original material and the way this part 1 was adapted, I highly doubt my Part 2 review will be that different. It will be even more awesome, that’s it.
    Overall Score 9.2/10

    – Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)


  • Hellsing Ultimate (Anime) Review

    Hellsing Ultimate Anime Review

    Hellsing Ultimate

    The Bird of Hermes
    Is My Name
    Eating My Wings
    To Make Me Tame

    Do you know the tale of the no life king? A ruler living in the darkest part of Europe during the middle ages? He was a man that killed over 10,000 of his citizens and impaled them at the border of his own kingdom to scare off the far stronger invader… Yes he was both genius and bloody. He was the impaler, Dracul. He entered the legend as the Lord of Vampires, the most legendary of his kind. According to the tale, he was killed by a vampire hunter. I’ll tell you what really happened, indeed, the no life king was tamed. He was made a weapon at the disposal of mankind. Humans are weak, they perish quickly and both their soul and body are fragile. Quite inefficient as hunters of those godforsaken creatures. Centuries after the defeat of Dracula, Hellsing organization releases its greatest warrior, Alucard, to fight vampires throughout the British nation. A domesticated vampire of the first class…

    What follows is my unholy review of Hellsing Ultimate an ova series of 10 movies that was released in the span of almost a decade. It’s the complete adaptation of the horror manga by Kota Hirano with the same name. This review will also compare this to the original TV series from time to time in order to clear any doubts. It’s also important to tell people that a mini prequel series called Hellsing the Dawn also exists but it will not be taken into account for this review. The review will analyze the series according to graphic, characters, sound, story and personal enjoyment

     

    Art and Animation of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 9/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    The project was born as the ultimate adaptation of Hellsing after the end of its glorious run in 2008. As an ova series (and by Madhouse one of the best studios out there) the show boasts a near flawless animation that it’s been out of the league of many anime since the first movie came out. The art is dirty and messy, a perfect stylistic choice to better portray the general vibe of madness this series has. Indeed we’re talking about one of the most graphically violent and gory shows of the new millennium (no pun intended). This series overall packs an amazing comport of visual awesomeness and it’s one of the most ambitious works in this industry.

     

    Characters of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 9/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    I wonder what a series would be without a loveable cast of flavorful characters? Yes Hellsing ultimately (again no pun intended) does not fail to deliver one of the most interesting set of characters in anime history. Even though we cannot talk of absolute originality or insane psychological profiles (for example Alucard is based on Vincent Valentine from FFVII) we can’t deny how Kouta Hirano created a charismatic protagonist that is everything but the emblem of the hero. He is neither good nor bad, he just does whatever he wants and he is always the best at what he does (maybe even too faultless).

    Character design is not too impressive with the exception of the awesome Alucard, the titular protagonist, but everything works perfectly in the context of the series. The secondary characters are well managed like Seras (who was more like the protagonist in the original Hellsing anime), Rip, Walter, Integra and my favorites Pip and the Major.

     

    Soundtrack and Acting of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 8/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    We’re not talking about a series that aims at using its musical score as a major (ok I’ll stop it with the puns) point of interest that’s for sure. You want awesomeness but this does not mean that Hellsing fails at the sound aspect quite the opposite lately. The original soundtrack works well as a background music and there are a few selected iconic tracks (like Gradius Vita) that make scenes overflowing with epicness and tension. Many genres from pop to solemn choral music are used. One thing that the original anime did well was the ost and its opening is one of the most iconic ones out there. Unfortunately for Hellsing Ultimate no tv series means no opening, but I advise you to watch all endings cause they are neat amvs of the back stories of many characters in the series. The voice acting earns this most of its score, many know how I am no fan of the dubbing but this time I can’t say anything. Alucard is a magnificent Crispin Freeman. Nonetheless the original Japanese subtitle is still superior because of Freeman’s Japanese equivalent Jouji Nakata.

     

    Story and Pacing of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 8/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    I cannot say this is a story driven series because it lets the characters, the setting and the events speak for themselves in a formula that never fails to disappoint. I do not mean that it has no story. It may be simple but surprisingly effective and thematic. In a hollywood fashion we see a mix of all that stuff, from movies or dark fantasy from nazi vampires to warewolves and the modern context, only makes it even more enjoyable and unique. The progression is linear and the storyline is enriched by the addition of every new character, each of them serves an important purpose in the greater scheme of the events.

    The pacing is excellent, maybe even too fast due to the fact it’s adapting a not so short manga in less than one hour ovas. The action is focused on giving the viewer a mix between excitement and disgust as it should be. It massively improves what made the original series miserably fail, a complete and logical storyline that has no filler and far better coherent characters and situations. Even though I liked the occasional humour, it is sometimes inopportune and anti climatic.

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Hellsing Ultimate

    Score 9/10

    Hellsing Ultimate

    Who can’t deny this was one hell(sing) of a ride? oh I forgot to stop the puns… Jokes aside, we are talking about a very valid product and one of the most important horror seinen you can find. There are clear inspirations to works of the past, especially with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures the legendary series whose certain elements resemble closely some of the plot points of Hellsing Ultimate. Even though the two have a similar black humour style, Hellsing is surely one step beyond in terms of controversial and morally questionable content so I warned you, it may offend your sensibility.

    It’s nothing to be worried about, merely a tribute to an older series with similar genre. Take your time into analyzing the various themes in the series, the meaning of human, monster, religion, pride and soul. There is also a certain remarkable complexity regarding the ethics and worth of being what you are, even in your weakness and faults. Stay what you are or you might lose yourself in the process of changing, good and evil are not absolute.

    Final Score 8.5/10

    – Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)


  • Fate/Zero (Anime) Review

    Fate/Zero Anime Review

    Fate/Zero

    Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, Berserker… This is the Holy Grail War in modern world, where magic and heroes become nothing but mere pages of a book in dusty libraries. We have the 4th Grail War. This is where fantasy becomes reality once again, 7 masters and 7 servants compete for the ultimate prize in a battle royale where legendary warriors come to life. This is a story of fates caught in a whirlwind of blood and despair.

    What follows is my magical review of Fate/Zero, 2011 anime produced by Studio Ufotable based on the light novel of Gen Urobuchi and the universe of Fate/Stay Night, sequel to Fate/Zero. We’ll analyze Graphics, Characters, Sound, Story and Personal Enjoyment.

     

    Animation and Art of Fate/Zero

    Score 9/10

    Fate/Zero

    It’s important to state certain things about the studio that produced Fate/Zero: Ufotable. This is a very high budget studio, probably the highest I’ve ever seen so far. It is easy to expect that ultimately we have something with remarkable visual qualities, almost reaching perfection. Beautiful art and fluid action accompanied by so many little details that make other 2011 shows pale in comparison. Light and dynamic effects are astounding and atmospherical. Even though the production values are extremely high, they could have used a little less CG but nothing it does not hurt the experience.

     

    Characters of Fate/Zero

    Score 9/10

    Fate/Zero

    Fate/Zero surely can boast for having a very wide range of characters in its roster, with each of them being more or less interesting. Half of this score is given to our duo Gilgamesh and Kotomine Kirei, jokes aside… this is true. Even though we have many intriguing characters, they are often set on a single frame of mind and characterization, not all of them having actual development. Characters like Waver and Kirei are the most complex in how they become what they eventually are, having the most complicated and realistic personalities. We are humans and as such we cannot be defined so one sidedly after all. The character design is simple but surprisingly effective. The interactions among them are probably the best part of the show. The dialogue is thought provoking and well written.

     

    Soundtrack and Acting of Fate/Zero

    Score 9/10

    Fate/Zero

    Before we go on, I remind you that both ost and voice performance (in Japanese) are what decide the score of this category. The soundtrack is composed by the fan favorite Yuki Kajiura, that is one of my favorites. Fate/Zero’s ost, although excellent with its epic choruses and guitar solos, is not too memorable compared to other works in the franchise, but it does surpass many other shows of the same year in this aspect. As for voice acting, I implore you from the bottom of my heart please watch it in Japanese subtitles! Honestly, the Fate series must be watched in original acting because it’s light years ahead of any alternative and what gets it most of its 9/10 score. We have voice actors that do like playing their characters. Jouji Nakata you’re magnificent…

     

    Story and Pacing of Fate/Zero

    Score 8/10

    Fate/Zero

    This is probably the “worst” aspect of Fate/Zero even though it’s a trivial matter. The series is bound to follow its prequel to Fate/Stay Night. It’s not too hard to expect how certain plot holes and a not so inspiring endings are a very natural outcome but as I said it’s nothing serious. First the series suffers from some pacing problems and it looks like they wanted to save the budget for the second season. This is not saying it is lacking in something serious because it’s already ahead of anything from that period and beyond.

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Fate/Zero

    Score 9/10

    Fate/Zero

    The purely fun part of the series is kindly provided with by 5 people exclusively: Caster, Irisviel, Rider, Kotomine and Gilgamesh. They helped me from drowning in the constant and redundant vibe of hopeless despair of the series that could make the show heavy to digest at times. It’s visually amazing, so are the fights and themes, the characters themselves are very likable despite I detest some of them. I acknowledge how Fate/Zero made me so engaged in loving and hating nonetheless. What doesn’t make this score perfection is the excessive and unnatural drama. The “dark” component is often not a natural result of things but forced like in many Urobuchi’s works. It’s nothing that should ring a bell of alarm in you.

    My Final Score 8.6/10

    – Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)


  • Sengoku Basara (Anime) Review

    Sengoku Basara Anime Review
    Sengoku Basara

    Dei now and repent forever. There are none before me, there shall be none after me. I come to spread the seed of discord, I am the devil king of the sixth heaven. Oda Nobunga! Come with me, it is time for a journey back to the past of a country you may know. Feudal Japan, XVI Century, the country is caught in the middle of the greatest war the land of the Rising Sun has ever sen. It,s an era of the warring states, dividing the country into numerous fractions. Samurai lords trying to contend the place as the undisputed ruler. We will follow Date Masamune, the reckless and young leader of the Oshu, waging war against his neighbors. Soon Date and the other lords will have to put aside their hostilities and face the infamous Oda Nounaga. He is a merciless general who razes everything to the grounds and rumored to come from the deepest pits of hell. Are you ready guys? Get your guns and let’s get this review started!

    What follows is the awesome review of Sengoku Basara, an anime from 2010. It is split into two seasons of twelve episodes (plus one ova for each season) and the movie The Last Party. It is based on the crazy series of video games with the same name by Capcom. I remind you that this review will not include the new season that recently aired in Japan. We’re analyzing Animation, Characters, Sound, Story and Personal Enjoyment.

    Art and Animation of Sengoku Basara

    Score 9/10
    Sengoku Basara

    The visual aspect of Sengoku Basara is astonishing to say the least. Considering the chaotic and epic nature of the series, we have slick fast paced movements and stylish effects that “tear off” the colors from the scene to convey the feelings of epicness. The show throws away realism for dragon ball like action that aims at creating the most impressive visual impact you can think of. As the feudal lords trade blows and their raging spirits clash, the air is twisted and countless soldiers are swept away like fragile leafs, explosions changing the landscape. The art is simply beautiful and is surprisingly realistic and detailed in the face designs, you can see they are clearly Japanese especially by the eyes.

    Characters of Sengoku Basara

    Score 8/10
    Sengoku Basara

    Sengoku Basara does not need to prove anything so the characters are not here to provide the show with a complex psychological layer. They meet common stereotypes and archetypes. Then why like the characters of Sengoku Basara? You simply love them that’s it. They blend perfectly together in the crazy contexts of the series, the cast is colorful and with stunning character design you won’t confuse anyone. You will start picking favorites right away. The characters are all likeable and entertaining, and so are their interactions,. Despite they possess bare minimum character development they simply don’t need it, they are well characterized as they are.

    Soundtrack and Acting of Sengoku Basara

    Score 10/10
    Sengoku Basara

    I feel obligated to say Sengoku Basara’s sound  is near flawless, having a memorable and wickedly fitting ost with a legendary voice cast and acting (Japanese of course unless you dislike having the best). The sound effects during battles are well done, due to the high amount of action this is to be expected. The Soundtrack is composed by the master Hiroyuki Sawano being one of the best scores he ever made. The Japanese traditional tunes are mixed with rock, metal, pop style music and epic choruses. Overall everything suits the anachronistic feel of the series. A special mention for the two themes of the villains of both the first and second season, the epicness that enters your ears will pump you up like nothing before.

    Story and Pacing of Sengoku Basara

    Score 8/10
    Sengoku Basara

    This show is about the Sengoku Jidai, a period of the Japanese history where violence and poverty hit a land plagued by war. This is a seinen and we have a remarkable amount of violence and questionable content, but the series never takes itself too seriously. If you find logic in something, you will realize that it’s actually intelligently stimulating. If you can’t find the logic or explanation in something, then let it go cause it’s all intentional. This is surely a series where the laws of reason and logic don’t really matter, but you are too busy enjoying the awesomeness of the series for it to be a problem. As for pacing, it’s pretty good throughout the run even though it suffers from occasional drops. The storyline follows more or less the actual historical events. Yes all characters in this show did truly exist.

    Personal Enjoyment of Sengoku Basara

    Score 9/10
    Sengoku Basara

    I thoroughly enjoyed Sengoku Basara’s two seasons and movies. The Last Party, the “End of Sengoku Basara”, is simply one of the most epic movies I’ve seen. You will spend hours laughing and cheering on for your heroes. Even the most despicable ones (that in my case are my favorite characters) will not fail to be of your liking. An acting that reaches legendary status with Norio Wakamoto as the big bad Oda Nobunaga, the very fearsomeness of the voice is menacingly delicious. It’s also a chance for you to learn Japanese history. How can one not love the characters and their quirks like Date Masamune speaking English and a black hole standing over Oda Nobunaga whenever he appears

    My Final Score 8.6/10

    – Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)


  • Black Butler: Book of Circus (Anime) Review

    Black Butler: Book of Circus Anime Review

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

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

     

    Prologue Book of Circus

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

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

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

     

    Animation and Art of Book of Circus

    Score: 8/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

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

     

    Characters of Book of Circus

    Score 8/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

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

     

    Soundtrack and Acting of Book of Circus

    Score 9/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

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

     

    Storyline and Pacing of Book of Circus

    Score 8/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

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

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Book of Circus

    Score 9/10

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

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

     

    Ladies and Gentlemen the show is over.

    Final Score 8.4/10

    – Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)


  • Black Butler: Book of Circus (Anime) Review

    Black Butler: Book of Circus Anime Review

    Black Butler: Book of Circus

    This anime is a side story to Black Butler. To fully understand the plot and the story you should watch the first season. It is not necessary to watch the second season; however, if you watch it you might be confused because Book of Circus takes place before the second season. I was highly looking forward to this anime and had high hopes.

    I was thinking that it would be not as popular as the official seasons and it was just more like a fun season. I was also hoping that the animation was similar to the past two, and it was. To say at least, there was no disappointment.

     

    Plot of Black Butler: Book of Circus

     

    In the 19th century, children began to disappear in England. Ciel is called once again by the Queen. He is her watchdog and embarks on the mission to find the missing children. Along with him is Sebastian Michaelis, his demon butler. They focus on a circus that has arrived in town recently. There they get more than what they were searching for as well as a bit more of Ciel’s dramatic past. They start to suspect the performers and find out a huge secret of theirs. Can’t go on much more with out laying out some huge spoilers.

     

    Characters of Black Butler: Book of Circus

     

    Black Butler: Book of Circus
    Ciel

    Ciel Phantomhive is the main character of the Black Butler series. He took over his father’s company at a young age. He is quite notorious throughout English for being the Queen’s watchdog. Since he had to be an adult at such a young age, he has a hard exterior that only Sebastian can see through. The heir made a pact with Sebastian when he was about to be sacrificed and through these events, they hold a special relationship. Ciel won’t let anyone see his weaknesses and often receives help from his butler. He joins the circus under the name “Smile” and acts nice to prevent his social status from being revealed.

     

    Black Butler: Book of Circus
    Sebastian

    Sebastian Michaelis is a demon that also is the butler of Ciel Phantomhive. He follows all the orders that is given and gets things accomplished at a super human pace. Sebastian is protective of his master and won’t let anyone get in his way. He joins the Circus under the name “Suit” after getting too friendly with the tiger at a show. To make sure Ciel got into the circus, he performed his “superhuman” traits so confuse the eyes of people watching. He has a well known saying of “I am one hell of a Butler”.

     

    Black Butler: Book of Circus
    Joker

    Joker is the leader of the circus. He is quirky and wants everyone to be safe and to have fun. He is hiding a secret not only from Ciel and Sebastian, but the other members of the circus as well!

     

    To my surprise, I liked this anime more than I originally thought. It was very strong and it impacted me on a deep level. There was more to this story then a circus or the missing children.

     

    9.5/10

    Blood and sexual thoughts are present as well as mature ideas.

    -Inufma