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  • Eureka Seven (Anime) Review

    Eureka Seven Anime Review

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

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

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

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

     

    Plot of Eureka Seven

    core 8.4/10

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

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

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

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

     

    Animation and Action of Eureka Seven

    Score 8.8/10

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

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

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

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

     

    Characters of Eureka Seven

    Score 8.9/10

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

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

     

    Renion Thurston

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

     

    Eureka

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

     

    The Gekko Crew

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Mischa – the resident doctor.

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

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

    Gidget – communications operator.

    Gonzy – fortuneteller.

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

     

    Music of Eureka Seven

    Score 7.6/10

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

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

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

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Eureka Seven

    Score: 9.7/10

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

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

     

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

    ᑭᒪOT: 8.4/10 ☆

    ᗩᑎIᗰᗩTIOᑎ/ᗩᑕTIOᑎ: 8.8/10☆

    ᑕᕼᗩᖇᗩᑕTEᖇᔕ: 8.9/10 ☆

    ᗰᑌᔕIᑕ: 7.6/10 ☆

    ᑭEᖇᔕOᑎᗩᒪ EᑎᒍOYᗰEᑎT: 9.7/10 ☆

    Iᑎ TOTᗩᒪ: 8.68/10 ☆

     

    Final Thoughts of Eureka Seven

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


  • Linebarrels of Iron (Anime) Review

    Linebarrels of Iron Anime Review

    Linebarrels of Iron

    Hello! This will be a review of the anime series “Linebarrels of Iron”, based (loosely) off of a manga series with the same name. (I have not read the manga though, just so it is known) anyway, here goes!

    Plot of Linebarrels of Iron

    Linebarrels of Iron
    Well, we meet the main character of Linebarrels of Iron, Kouichi Hayase, a 14 year old student that gets bullied by a group of boys in his class. At the same time, we are introduced (somewhat) to the two sides, JUDA and KATO-KIKAN (good and bad respectively), who are trying to lead something to Earth, some meteor-like thing. So stuff happens, and Hayase is hit by this thing, which is a machina (mecha) from an alternate dimension. Well, long story short, he becomes the factor (pilot) and the story goes from there. Wow, that’s a ton to take in (though spread over 22 minutes), and for a while, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue the series…especially since the Machina arrived with a naked female (of the same age as Hayase), who is unconscious beside him after it landed on him. So overall, I thought the series was going to be a terrible mecha/ecchi series with little to no actual storyline…I was proven wrong though, and I am thrilled about that!

    To summarize, JUDA is good, KATO-KIKAN is bad, and each is a mecha organization (somewhat…). Hayase, having been a wimp for his whole life, is super strong after becoming the factor, and decides to become a “Hero of Justice” (which is a term carried through the series, so his original goals do not change). He starts out beating up on other mechas, called ARMAs, which are operated by the UN and JUDA, as well as KATO-KIKAN (All ARMAs are attempts at replicating the Machinas). The “Hero of Justice” destroys his own town (areas of it) in pursuit of his selfish goals to be stronger, and punish the evil with his own ideals. Eventually, JUDA recruits him, and JUDA and KATO-KIKAN wage battle after battle over the next 15 or so episodes, until the plot twist! Since I do not wish to spoil it, I will just say that the predictability of the show dropped about 90% after the twist.

    As a side note to the plot, episode 12 is the most pointless episode in any anime series ever. All it is is a beach party of JUDA, in which nothing plot-wise happens, except for one minuscule detail in the romantic life of the characters.

    Characters Linebarrels of Iron

    Linebarrels of Iron
    Linebarrels of Iron had a fairly large cast, so I shall stick with the key characters. Most all of the characters go through some change during the series, and don’t stay all static, so in English they are dynamic. Hayase wins the prize for most character development in any anime like this I’ve seen in a while.

    Hayase is our lead; a selfish, arrogant, lowly person in the beginning, but throughout the series he develops into a man.

    Kizaki is the girl who crashed with LINEBARREL (the Machina), she is one of the romantic interests of

    Hayase, as well as the tactician of JUDA.

    Moritsugu is the Factor of Machina VARDANT, he is a skilled warrior, who also believes he is following the path of justice.

    Yamashita, Izuna, Shizuna, and Miu the four JUDA Factors, Izuna and Shizuna being twins who pilot the same Machina. Miu and the female twin being others of Hayase’s romantic interests.

    Ishigami is head of JUDA while KATOU is head of KATO-KIKAN.

    Final thoughts on Linebarrels of Iron

    Linebarrels of Iron
    Personally, I loved Linebarrels of Iron. I would give it a ten out of ten! However, for the sake of anyone who reads this review, I shall rate it at a 6.5/10. The art was good, the music was phenomenal (trumpet was amazing!), and the plot was better than some cliche piece of garbage show, but definitely not something everyone would enjoy. Here’s why: the romance in the show was all off, and seemed so forced, except for Kizaki/Hayase, and the usual cliche large breasts, beach scenes, and rather annoying sexual humor at times. If you can overlook this though, the series is a great one to watch, and leaves you with one of those *exhales smiling while nodding an thinking “yeah…that was fun…”* feelings. http://youtu.be/q-q2F5WHEU8


  • Aldnoah Zero (Anime) Review

    Aldnoah Zero Anime Review

    Aldnoah Zero

     

    Aldnoah Zero was released in 2014 with a scheduled second half for January 2015. Directed by Ei Aoki, with Gen Urobuchi and Katsuhiko Takayama being credited for the writing, the show had an interesting take on an alternate reality and the conflict between two opposing factions, as well as effectively displaying the ignorance and tension between both sides.

    Set in an alternate variation of our current reality, with its history being identical to ours save for the events which transpired post to the discoveries of the Apollo 17 mission to the moon, Aldnoah Zero is based around the events which were sparked after this space mission lead to the discovery and extrication of ancient and unknown technologies, the first of which was the Hypergate discovered on the moon itself which would enable humans to terraform Mars with the ultimate purpose of settlement and in-habitation.

    As Mars was slowly colonized by more humans, additional fragments of ancient technology, dubbed ‘Aldnoah’, was seized by these immigrants, who eventually abandoned their heritage and affiliation with Earth, accumulating into the Vers Empire. The conflict between the two human factions eventuated into a war in 1999. Within the ensuing battle, the Hypergate which enabled the terraforming of Mars lost control and ended with the destruction of the moon, resulting in a phenomenon known as Heaven’s fall, where fragments of the moon rained down of Earth, destroying multiple locations.
    Fast-forward 15 years to 2014, where a peace visit to Earth from the Vers Princess, Asseylum Vers Allusia, is about to go underway. As she arrives on Earth and is revealed to the Earth populace for the first time, a group of mysterious killers assassinates her, in order to spark outrage amongst the nobility of the Vers Empire for mysterious motives, resulting in an all-out invasion of Earth. This invasion was to be led by the Orbital Knights, nobles of the Vers Empire with the privilege of being able to use the ancient and mysterious weapons, powered by a device called the Aldnoah drive. One of the primary invasion points of this force just happens to be in Tokyo Japan, meaning that the militant nation has gone so far as to conscript teenagers with military training into the armed forces to combat this alien species.

     

    Characters of Aldnoah Zero

    Aldnoah Zero

    Our protagonist, Inaho Kaizuka, is a young Japanese student whose sister is a Warrant-Officer in the Japanese army. Obviously, like all protagonists, he has dead parents and has been living with his older sister. Although his sister is a rather loud and erratic person, he himself is quiet, calm and analytical, yet not in a good way. There’s nothing wrong with having an intellectual protagonist, but when he is so emotionless that he doesn’t even cry when his best friend is killed right before his very eyes, honestly, what’s the point in featuring him? The protagonist is the example to be set for the rest of the characters, so what he’s displaying is that anyone useless to the plot is expendable. Brilliant emotional utilisation right there.
    Like all Japanese students, Inaho has undertaken compulsory military training, including mech operations and military tactics. He is usually the one who faces off against the overpowered mechs from Mars powered by the Aldnoah drive, and is ultimately the one that defeats them through various tricks in his trademark orange mech. I won’t speak much of his secondary role as that would lead into spoilers, but nevertheless he does end up having to grope 2 plot devices.

    The other notable character, and the second protagonist, is Slaine Troyard, an Earth-born terran who has become a member of the Vers Empire through spoilers. He became a close friend to the princess after she saved him and his father’s life five years before the show begins. He obviously has feelings for the princess, yet is disallowed from pursuing a relationship with her due to the watchful eye of his superior. The orbital knight Count Cruhteo. He has a pretty 2-dimensional personality, and does nothing that he thinks the princess wouldn’t want him to, like a subservient slave. His only motive and goal is to avenge or assist the princess in any way he can, making him a rather shallow character. His endurance and tenacity is one thing, yet he cannot operate appropriately as a person without a single thought about the princess.

     

    Soundtrack of Aldnoah Zero

    Aldnoah Zero

    The soundtrack was composed by the one and only Hiroyuki Sawano, ultimately one of my favourite anime composers of all time. He seems to have a talent for providing shitty or mediocre anime with a brilliant soundtrack, proven with a résumé consisting of shows such as Attack on Titan, Kill La Kill and Guilty Crown, all of which have amazing, multi-genre soundtracks. Hiroyuki has a talent for blending electronica, orchestra and rock in perfect correlation to create power and compelling main themes yet subtle and delicate compositions when the softer and more impactful scenes arise, and Aldnoah Zero’s soundtrack was no exception.

    There was a singular problem that I have with the soundtrack, and that is its reminiscence to the Attack on Titan soundtrack. It isn’t a complaint, it still sounds amazing, yet there is something rather unsettling about hearing an echo paying respect to his previous works. It almost felt like he lowered the bar with his standards for unique soundtracks, yet in the process he still managed to make it sound good. The opening was rather nice as well, yet was eerily reminiscent of Yuki Kajura for some strange reason. It’s skippable, along with the ending, which is an 8-Bit remake of the main theme with added vocals.

     

    Animation of Aldnoah Zero

    Aldnoah Zero

    The animation studio was none other than A-1 Pictures, whose other works consist of From the New World, Sword Art Online, Magi and My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute. The animation itself was a blend of environmental CGI and a rather plain animation style for the characters. Unlike multiple anime with CGI, the blending between the normal animation and the CGI of the mechs and several environments was nothing short of perfection, and each style complimented each other in a rather unique way. Much unlike C, Aldnoah Zero even had good CGI, yet I always find mecha anime are more successful with normal animation. Code Geass and several branches of Gundam are a testimony to that, but then again, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

     

    Thoughts of Aldnoah Zero

    Aldnoah Zero

    The characters for Aldnoah Zero predominantly features 2 simultaneous protagonists, both of which are terrans held under different circumstances, along with a plethora of shallow side characters merely fabricated to fill in the blanks for supporting roles and shoddy emotional reinforcement. Literally, aside from the protagonists none of the characters have any true relevance or purpose except to be an annoying plot point, shoddy emotional reinforcement, generic grunts or stupid. There was a limited amount of fascinating characters within the show, with one of the few meaningful characters being lieutenant, a survivor of Heaven’s Fall that just so happens to be *CENSOR BEEP*. The biggest thing for me about Aldnoah Zero is that it almost seems like a homage to its soul predecessor, Code Geass. Although the world and progression of humanity was rather fascinating in Aldnoah Zero and from a narrative stand-point both shows are merely similar, there seems to be an edge within the struggles of the people and the way they conflict with these apparently indestructible forces that causes me to compare the two.

    Along with the story of invasion from a presumably undefeatable force set out to enslave or annihilate a native force and governmental militia, both have seemingly underdog protagonists who use their wits and cunning rather than brute force to perform the impossible and become the narrative hero. That being said, the largest difference between Lelouch and Inaho is their relatability and emotional fragility.

    Lelouch ultimately became a warrior of justice and was enveloped by his passion and drive to overcome all his obstacles that watching him surpass the assigned trials felt triumphant and was something to be celebrated, whereas Inaho was merely an intellectual protégé of Lelouch without the passion or drive, and this attitude does more than reflect the character, yet extends to become a reflection on the show.

    A protagonist is someone that should be able to guide the show’s trajectory and, specifically with this type of show, be the charismatic example to be followed by the accumulation of side characters. Yet he was all bite without bark, which was a rather big let-down. No awesome monologue, no conflicting morality, no clever witticism. Merely a blank canvas with equations.
    Aldnoah Zero also seems to relish in its utilisation of dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is defined as something that the audience or viewer knows about the narrative that the characters within the narrative do not. Although attempting to be used as reinforcement for some deep and emotionally charged narrative, this presentation of the story is overused, and therefore acts a foreshadowing for the climactic conclusion of the first half. I will not go into much spoilers, but will say that the ending was an almost successful attempt at being unique, and hopefully acts as a precursor to an amazing second half that will succeed in wowing me as much as this first season did.

    Aside from that, I was rather disappointed in the presentation of almost all the characters. They have seemingly no motivation for any of the actions they set into motion, and certain characters such as Calm speak of actions they wish to fulfil, yet despite this murderous motive no actions at all are set into motion. If he was truly passionate or emotionally distraught, he would’ve acted regardless of the consequences. That, alongside other spoilerific blunders have me pointing at shoddy writing and plot devices such as deus ex machina, especially within the mecha battles. In some ways, the battle scenes are really clever in their reminiscence of Code Geass, yet are so technical in their explanations that it wouldn’t take anything short of a genius to figure out, especially given the time it takes to make such observations. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the greatest show in the world, but I loved watching it, and it is much better than the other project A-1 Pictures is participating in…. (SAO II).

     

    Final Verdict

    Aldnoah Zero

    Overall, Aldnoah Zero was a cool and interesting show to watch, despite its incompletion. It might not be the greatest thing in the world, but it’s still worth a watch.

    Story: 5.78/10
    Characters: 4.22/10
    Animation: 8.51/10
    Soundtrack: 8.45/10

     

    – The Internet Bear


  • Code Geass (Anime) Review

    Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Anime Review

    Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

    Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion was an anime that someone recommended for me. I was told that it would be better than anything I had ever seen, and I’m going to be honest and say, it almost is! The combination of the characters, along with the plot (including the ending of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2) were all put together really well.

     

    The Plot of Code Geass

    Lelouch as Zero
    Lelouch as Zero

    Code Geass has two seasons to it, commonly know as Code Geass and Code Geass R2. Code Geass begins by explaining how Britannia, an empire that rules more than half of the world, came to be such a large empire and how it captured Japan. The story takes place eight years after Japan was taken over by Britannia. It centers on Lelouch Lamperouge, also known as Zero and leader of the Black Knights, and how he decides to get revenge on the Emperor of Britannia as well as almost destroy Britannia. Lelouch obtains this power called “geass” from a strange girl called C.C. and uses it to his advantage. The specifics of the power of geass vary depending on the person who obtains it. Lelouch’s geass is the ability to force anyone to do anything he wants them to, even if it goes against the victim’s wishes.

     

    The Characters of Code Geass

    Some of the Code Geass Characters
    Some of the Code Geass Characters

    Due to the fact that there are so many characters in Code Geass, I will only cover a few. Lelouch Lamperouge is known as the mastermind Zero, the feared yet admired leader of the Black Knights. He is a high school student and has a younger sister named Nunnally. Suzaku Kururugi is a skilled Knightmare pilot and Lelouch’s childhood friend. He’s Japanese, but an honorary Britannian. He was there with Lelouch when Japan was taken over. Kallen Stadtfeld, also known as Kallen Kouzuki, is another skilled Knightmare pilot. She is the Special Forces/Zero Division Captain in the Black Knights and one of the original members of the resistance group before it became the Black Knights. C.C. is a girl Lelouch found on accident. She has immortality, but has a wish to get rid of it. She has the ability to grant other people the power of geass, and often dresses up as Zero when Lelouch is stuck somewhere else.

     

    The Black Knights

    First Black Knights Members
    The First Order of the Black Knights

    The Black Knights were originally a resistance group containing only a few members. They fight against Britannia in hopes of Japanese freedom. Lelouch decides to help them one day, and tells them where to go and what to do, thinking of it as one big chess game. They do not know who he is, but their operation was successful thanks to him, and he promises to keep in touch. Soon after, the Black Knights are formed with Zero as their leader. They have their doubts about him, since he never reveals his face and chooses to wear a long cape and helmet that covers his face. The only people who know who he is are C.C. and Kallen, but Kallen doesn’t find out until R2.

    Code Geass is easily one of my favorite anime. The combination of everything was just right, resulting in an amazing anime.

    Overall Score: 10/10