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  • Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion (Anime) Review

    Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion Anime Review

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

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

    Without further ado, let’s get started.

    Plot of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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

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

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

    Characters of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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

    Soundtrack and Pacing of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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

    Analysis of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Overall

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

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


  • Dimension W (Anime) Review

    Dimension W Review

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

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

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

    Plot of Dimension W

    Score: 6/10

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

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

    Characters of Dimension W

    Score: 7/10

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

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

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

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

    Art of Dimension W

    Score: 9/10

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

    Overall of Dimension W

    Score: 7/10

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

    Opening/Ending

    Dimension W – Official Subtitled Anime Opening

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  • Parasyte (Anime) Review

    Parasyte Anime Review

    Parasyte

    In the darkness of night, the world’s fate is changed forever as the survival of its apex predator is put to its ultimate test after thousands of undisputed years.

    A mysterious and deadly race of parasitic aliens land on our planet through their pods, hideously small creatures that sneak inside the human body and eat the brain taking control of its owner. A dreadful beginning which will mark the parasytes evolution path aimed at dethroning the human beings from their place as the dominant species on Earth. They lurk everywhere, in their new bodies feeding on that of other unaware victims as they become increasingly intelligent and dangerous. Our story starts when a parasyte that tries to take control of Shinichi Izumi, a 17 years old Japanese boy, fails to eat the brain and is stuck to co exist with our protagonist as his new hand…

    Welcome to Parasyte the MLG

    Strike Out !

    This is the monstrous review of Parasyte the Maxim, also known as Kiseijuu Sei no Kakuritsu, a 24 eps psychological horror seinen from 2015. The anime is an adaptation about the cult manga with the same name from the far 1988 by the mangaka Hitoshi Iwaaki, produced by the popular animation studio Madhouse. We are analyzing this show according to animation, characters, sound, story and personal enjoyment. Will this anime be crowned as the king of its species ? (in this case genre lol) let’s find this out !

     

    Art of Parasyte

    Score 8/10

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    Madhouse is gradually taking a place in my heart as the true and only savior of this dying industry. Once again the studio does not fail to deliver with its exquisite animation and production values. Parasyte is a unique case in the fact that this adaptation modernizes the setting of what is a manga from the late 80’s, character designs are altered to better suit the taste of the current generation. The manga may turn out to be creepier with its old school style but the anime is not devoid of surreal and nightmare inducing situations and characters you can surely take my word on that

    The action is amazing, not overly complicated but it manages to pump you up like few anime before, you feel the very rage and homicidal instinct behind any blow. Censorship is handled perfectly and is barely notable only in the most extreme and gorish scenes. If you do love freaky and disgusting stuff the score becomes 9 out of 10

    Characters of Parasyte

    Score 9/10

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    Development and not characterization, is the key word the whole show revolves around. For an anime whose Darwinian themes deal with the concept of species and evolution, it is quite symbolic to witness some of the most captivating, realistic and thought provoking character evolution in this modern industry. Yes the show has a number of not well explored characters as well but believe me when I say that one or two specific cases are enough to make this anime an academic case that people should analyze till their brains explode into bits.

    It’s very interesting how parasytes and humans are a foil to each other, so different yet sharing more similarities you could ever think of. The protagonist is one of the few of the “high school student” kind that I liked lately, boasting an immersive progression throughout the series. Shinichi grows up both in body and soul as a man in an unforgiving world.

    Soundtrack and Acting of Parasyte

    Score 9/10

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    Once again Madhouse provides his most hyped anime with an equally hyped and exceedingly thematic soundtrack. The show contains a pretty unique soundtrack made up of adrenaline inducing, fast pacing, metallic and electronic music, obsessive dubstep and ominous choruses, all of this arouses constant anxiety and an alarming sense of threats, the sense of “they are emotionless killers” is given by musical themes that at times give a very robotic, machine like feeling. The opening is death metal to its finest, chaotic yet addicting, it was purposefully made for the anime as its lyrics hold the profound and very beautiful meanings of the whole series. The acting is generally flawless and we have a veteran cast voicing our characters especially female ones, indeed it’s as if they decided to call the top 10 most amazing female seiyuu to join the party

    Story and Pacing of Parasyte

    Score 10/10

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    The series tends to not delve into aspects of the story such as the origins of the parasytes or the true nature of certain concepts, vaguely explained or left purposefully unexplained for the viewers to come up with their own theories and think. This lack of explicit answers is behind the very meaning of the whole show, and is symbolically expressed even its narration, covered with mystery, horror and cleverly crafted action. Pacing is near flawless, the series has rarely dead moments in the flow of the storyline and it does not take long before everything takes off.

    There is a perfect duality expressed by the objective, stern and logic parasytes and the emotional, irrational and ethical humans. The show tends to makes us ask, ponder and try to answer ourselves all the times, with dilemmas and themes to the point of reaching philosophical level. The confrontation between these two races, the dichotomy between “fact and opinion” is what made me put my mental energies into this series for days

    Personal Enjoyment

    Score 10/10

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    This show is like an anime form of the evolution path of human’s species under the point of view of another species. As the show progresses, we see how humans as the absolute predators react to the alien threat in an epic clash where we have no good and evil, just winners and losers. No matter what will cause the humans to die out they will not give up so easily, their determination and ability to discard their vilest instincts is what makes me proud of being human, what tells us apart from the rest.

    Behind that mask of flesh that protects our flawed ego, we are basically all the same, we were all given equal chance to pave our own path and reaching our own answers forging ourselves through experience. A fact is objectively immovable but an opinion, although sharing the same objective source, will never be the same between two entities, the product of our unique and inquisitive mind. Enjoy (or I hope you enjoyed) this anime and remember that we are gifted by just being born as human beings.


  • Accel World (Anime) Review

    Accel World Anime Review

    This is an anime I actually planned to do from the start. I also plan to do it’s more popular counterpart, Sword Art Online. To be honest, I enjoyed this anime way more than I thought and it even lifted me a little bit in spirits because of the way the story was. But on to the review.

     

    Plot of Accel World

    For the most part, the story is very linear and has a good plot. Chubby kid in high school who isn’t living the greatest life get approached by the girl of his dreams and she introduces him to a world called the accelerated world. Then from there it’s tons of adventure and plot twist. The plot twist will make you cringe and some of the back stories will make you want to cry. The fighting is amazing and has a kinda of Gundam feel to it. The love story is pretty damn amazing and I can relate to it so well. It’s a lot more realistic than most to. I think the story is great and for the most part I couldn’t stop watching.

     

    Characters of Accel World

    The characters was one of the most interesting parts of this show. Haruyuki Arita is a good character but he can be a little bitch at times to the point to wear it angers me. Kuroyukihime is a great character. She’s strong and she just has a good character feel. Plus she a cute girl who likes a fat kid. She’s my hero ten times over. As for all the other characters they were cool and had good development. They all piss you off at one point especially the main villain. Omg he need to just roll over die. I hated him so much.

     

    Art of Accel World

    The art was good. There were a little mistakes here and there but things you had to look really close for. Everyone had their own unique design and there were no repeat drawings or repeat character models. The drawings of them in the accelerated world is what really impressed me. Like I said before, I loved the way the mech suits gave a Gundam feel. It was just great.

     

    Accel World Overall

    Overall, I liked it and I really enjoyed binge watching all the episodes in one night. This is one of those anime’s that I wouldn’t recommend to people who tend to complain a lot about anime but if you are bored and you want something new to watch them I definitely recommend accelerate world. It’s fun, romantic, and it’s good. But if you have anything different to say or you just want to talk about it, like, comment, send me a hate message. Also click the hashtag if you would like to check out my other reviews.Whatever you like. Thanks for reading.

    -Manga Llama-

    Story: 7

    Characters: 8

    Art: 9

    Enjoyment: 8

    Overall: 8.5


  • Alien 9 (Anime) Review

    Alien 9 (Anime) Review

    Written by ononoki

    Alien 9 is, unfortunately, an anime that will stay off the radar for most anime fans. This short, four episode OVA (based on a manga) managed to package as much quality into it as a regular length series, and left me wanting much more. Produced by J.C. Staff, this series managed to show off their experience in animation and storytelling. A very similar show would be the acclaimed FLCL (a favourite of mine), which had similar production quality packed into a small series, but also had similar meanings associated with it.

    Plot of Alien 9

    Alien 9 centers around three twelve-year-old school girls, who join the school’s “Alien Party”. Their goal as members of the party, is to capture or kill aliens who appear on their schools campus. In battle, the girls are equipped with nets, roller blades, knee pads, tranquilizers and a “Borg”, a symbiotic and seemingly alien lifeform that they wear their heads. Immediately this raise questions, “why on earth are school girls being chosen to fight aliens?” and “what is the meaning of their strange equipment?” This is the first of many mysteries that remain unsolved due to the short length of the series, but is probably explained in the manga.

    The series, like FLCL, centers on the issues associated with young people growing up. Identity issues, personal relationships, body problems, loneliness, and dealing with success and failure are some of the ideas focused on, and are most likely expanded on in the manga. It was interesting to see such complex themes being presented, and it’s very unfortunate that the series was too short to go into them in depth, or provide resolutions to the issues raised

    Plot Rating : 7/10

    Characters of Alien 9

    We have three heroines in Alien 9, all of whom have an interesting part to play in the story.

    Yuri Otani is our main character, whose only reason for joining the Alien Party is because her class voted her for the role. She is a shy, easily scared girl, who is very reluctant to join the party and fuse with her Borg, and much of the OVA consisted of her struggling in the party’s battles. She relies heavily on the other girls and her Borg, but eventually tries to grow and be more confident, learning about herself in the process.

    Kumi Kawamura is the leader of the three girls. She is cool, calm and smart for her age, and is often pushed into leadership roles because of this. In fact, she joins the Alien Party to get away from this, but finds herself needing to take charge even more than usual when Yuri joins. However, her natural skills are put to the test near the end of the OVA, and her insecurities become apparent. Unfortunately, her growth is only lightly touched on, but as the wisest of the group, her growth is probably less critical anyway.

    Kasume Tomine is the powerhouse of the group, and seems like an anti-Yuri. An obsession with perfection, along with bravery and confidence in her abilities has allowed her to become an almost unstoppable fighting force. However, the reasons for her fixation on perfection are kind of dark and creepy, which contrasts with her cheery and energetic nature. Her personal struggle is focused on a lot towards the end of the OVA, and made for a very interesting end to the story.

    Characters Rating : 7/10

    Animation and Artwork of Alien 9

    Alien 9 had some interesting artwork for its time. In 2001, the year it came out, the moe artstyle we see throughout the show was only just starting to take over from the either realistic or very cartoonish style of earlier shows. It was especially strange to see it used in a show that is actually quite dark, violent and creepy, which would call for a more serious art style to suit it. But, that doesn’t lower the quality of the art in my opinion, because for its time, it was quite imaginative. We see a similar style being employed in the more recent success “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”, which also featured a dark, violent story line with cutesy, moe characters. Perhaps this is a recipe for success that JC Staff should revisit.

    Creature design was also very good in my opinion, I find it hard to think of other shows I could liken it to. I often hear the aliens in the series being compared to Pokémon, which was making waves worldwide at the time of Alien 9’s release. Personally I didn’t see the resemblance, since Alien 9’s creatures are much creepier, and more detailed, than any Pokémon I can think of.

    The animation itself is of high quality. Every episode I saw clear, fluid movements, and plenty of it. The battle scenes were especially good, and the value of having good animation in these high movement scenes really shows itself. Episode two in particular had me stopping and replaying at certain points, so that I could really take in the animation quality. However, the use of CGI for the Borg’s weapons disappointed me. Personally, I don’t like to see CGI used in shows that have otherwise very good quality art and animation, simply because it sticks out too much. I almost would have rather had a drop in quality in some of the less important parts of the show, as long as there was no CGI being used.

    Animation Rating : 8/10

    Sounds and Music of Alien 9

    The music in this show was quite lacking in my opinion. Although the music was never really bad, it was never really good either. It can only be called average. The OP was fairly boring and not very catchy, although it’s calm and happy tone fits in with the moe art style of the show (not with the dark aspects of the show of course). Unfortunately, I’m unfamiliar with Kuniaki Haishima, the man in charge of music for the series, so I can’t really compare this to his other works.

    The sound effects weren’t too bad though, I thought they did well in the battle scenes. Also, the voices actors performed their roles well, especially in the cases of Noriko Shitaya (Kasume’s VA) and Juri Ihata (Yuri’s A) who I believe were both relatively new to voice acting.

    Sound and Music Rating : 5/10

    Conclusion

    Alien 9 had enough potential to make it as a full length series. The source material is there, the production was good, and J.C. Staff was doing quite well for themselves during that time period. In fact, work was being done to make this OVA into a full series, but unfortunately that effort was lost in development hell. Hopefully, the success of similar styled shows (FLCL, Puella Magi Madoka Magica) and J.C. Staff’s many recent successes (too many to list) will convince them to go back and revisit this story. But until then, we’ll have to settle for either the manga, or this short but high quality OVA.

    Overall Rating : 7/10


  • Punch Line (Anime) Review

    Punch Line (Anime) Review

    Written by ononoki

    I’ve come to expect a lot from studio MAPPA. A fairly young studio founded in 2011, MAPPA has already churned out a few very notable shows. This year, they’ve brought us the sci-fi comedy Punch Line, which could be one of the strangest shows you’ll see all year.

    Yuuta Iridatsu is absentmindedly catching a bus, when it is taken over by hijackers. The day is saved by Strange Juice, a giant-straw-wielding superpowered girl, who almost takes out the hijackers with ease. Her daring rescue is foiled by the hijackers mysterious leader, who is then beaten by Yuuta when he spots a girls panties, awakening a power that seems to give him super strength. Yuuta then “dies”, his spirit leaves his body and comes back to his apartment building, where the spirit cat Chiranosuke guides him on the path to protecting his housemates, and eventually the world. But the path isn’t easy for Yuuta, who could bring about the worlds destruction if he sees too many panties.

    Plot of Punch Line

    Punch Line is full of corny, cheesy jokes and ecchi moments, panty shots and lewdness, and some of the most random plot points you’ll see this year. If you look for deep and meaningful aspects in a show, you will probably come out disappointed. However, this does not make Punch Line a bad show. Some shows strive for entertainment. They might be funny, nice to look at, and in some cases, sexual, and Punch Line combines all of these aspects into one solid, enjoyable package the whole way through. Straight away you know the show is all about the silly and sexy, so it doesn’t feel cheap to see stupid jokes and panty shots. Instead, it feels like the show hits its targets and stays true to its purpose.

    Despite lacking  in the “deep and meaningful”, Punch Line has a pretty imaginative plot, one that doesn’t really reveal its worth until at least halfway through the season. It’s hard to make sense of what’s happening in the first few episodes, since everything happening seems so random, but as the story progresses, it “deepens”. We see backstories interweaving in ways we couldn’t fathom at first, past and present tragedies, and the slow revealing of this shows very mysterious villain. The plots randomness begins to make sense towards the end of the show, with questions remaining unsolved until the very last moment, something that managed to keep my attention all the way through. The only problem with this is that the show may seem, quite simply, stupid to start off with, possibly losing watchers. This is unfortunate, as the quality of the plot really begins to manifest later in the season.

    Plot Rating : 7.5/10

    The Characters of Punch Line

    The characters of Punch Line are where I think the show lacked a little. The stock standard characterisation is my main reason for thinking this. Rabura was one of the worst offenders, her “older single female who just can’t get a guy but loves a drink” archetype was present throughout the show, and she showed little development. Narugino was the typical beautiful airhead and Yuta was the typical well-meaning male. Ito and Meika seemed fairly original, although I’m sure someone out there will be able to prove me wrong

    However, the characters interactions are still enjoyable despite their faults. I’d say this is due to the result of good writing, directing and voice acting coming together. And lets not forget the bright and bouncy character design and artwork, something that really catches the eye and fits the lighthearted feel of the show perfectly.

    Characters Rating : 6/10

    The Animation and Artwork of Punch Line

    Animation and artwork is something that Punch Line consistently gets right. The first episode was spectacular, the bus fight scene in particular got me very interested. The next few episodes were good too, although there isn’t much chance for MAPPA to show off their animating ability until the next major fight scene, at the end of the season (which was done perfectly), but their prowess can be appreciated through constantly fluid character movements and lack of (or well hidden) CGI. The colour and character design was the art aspect that I appreciated the most, with lots of bright bouncy colours and well drawn pieces that suited the show perfectly. As well as this, MAPPA’s attention to detail and setting design was also superb

    Animation and Artwork Rating : 8/10

    Sounds and Music of Punch Line

    Despite having one of my favourite OP’s this year, Punch Line’s music is a little hit and miss. From the first second, we are presented with a an energetic techno beat that grabs your attention and complements the beginning fight scene very well. But for the rest of the season, the music seems to take a backseat, while the artwork and dialogue makes up most of the entertainment. One song that will stay in your head though, is the Cheermancy song that Meika introduces us to in the second episode (pic related). I’m not sure who at MAPPA thought this song up, but its one of many “so bad its good” moments that make up the show

    As ive said before, the voice acting in Punch Line was done quite well. As well as this, the sound effects were also very good, especially in the final battle. One thing I noticed though, and this wasnt the first time MAPPA has done this, was the terrible fake American voice acting later in the series. It dissapointed me in their show “Zankyou no Terror”, and it dissapointed me here too. Although I suppose you could say it made me laugh more than it made me dissapointed (come on MAPPA, can’t be that hard to fake some accents can it?)

    Sound and Music Rating: 7/10

    In Conclusion…

    Punch Line is not for everyone, and its not without its flaws, but if you like imaginative plotlines, eye catching artwork and character design, cheesy jokes and ecchi moments (which should suit just about everyone) then Punch Line is for you.  The show aims to be entertaining, and it goes above and beyond that almost every step of the way, and I hope MAPPA’s next work “Ushio to Tora” is just as entertaining.

    Overall Rating : 7/10

     


  • 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)


  • Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Anime) Review

    Children Who Chase Lost Voices Anime Review

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

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

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

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

    Genre: Drama/ Fantasy/ Science Fiction/ Adventure

     

    Plot of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Score 7.6/10

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

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

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

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

     

    Animation and Action of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Score 9.4/10

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

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

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

     

    Characters of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Score 7.9/10

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

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

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

     

    Music of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Score 8.4/10

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

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

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

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

    Hello, Goodbye and Hello – Anri Kumaki – English lyrics

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

    Scre 8.6/10

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

     

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

    ᑭᒪOT: 7.6/10 ☆

    ᗩᑎIᗰᗩTIOᑎ/ᗩᑕTIOᑎ: 9.4/10☆

    ᑕᕼᗩᖇᗩᑕTEᖇᔕ: 7.9/10 ☆

    ᗰᑌᔕIᑕ: 8.4/10 ☆

    ᑭEᖇᔕOᑎᗩᒪ EᑎᒍOYᗰEᑎT: 8.6/10 ☆

    Iᑎ TOTᗩᒪ: 8.38/10 ☆

     

    Final Thoughts of Children Who Chase Lost Voices

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


  • Ano Natsu De Matteru (Anime) Review

    Ano Natsu De Matteru Anime Review

    (Warning, there are NO spoilers in this review, but I don’t think I’ve ever had spoilers in my reviews… So, read away!)

    It seems that every single time I decide to watch a anime just randomly, I always end up with something I surprisingly enjoy. For a while now, I’ve scrolled pass Ano Natau de Matteru (Waiting In The Summer) a couple of times on Crunchyroll, but never looked into it cause it didn’t look all that appealing to me, until recently. After finishing Tari Tari, I wanted to try another “Not Well Known” anime and this is what stuck out from everything else, so I gave it a good and was not disappointed.

    Ano Natsu de Matteru is an original anime production by J.C.Staff (they haven’t been very well known until just a few years ago) who have made anime such as the A Certain Magical Index and a personal favorite, Toradora. A manga adaptation was given soon after the 12 episode anime concluded and an OVA was released in late August of this year.

    Genre: Drama, Romantic Comedy, Science Fiction, Slice of Life

    Plot of Ano Natsu De Matteru

    Score: 7.8/10

    When a group of friends decide to make a movie over a long summer holiday, they end up learning a little about film making and a lot more about each other and themselves. What begins as a simple way to avoid the summer doldrums quickly turns into something much more complex, intimate and revealing, as the maturing relationships between the members of the young cast take on new, and sometimes very unexpected, turns.

    When I first read the plot before I started the anime, I was expecting something completely different than from what I watched, which was exciting. I love watching an anime where I know nothing about it, no spoilers, necessary background information, all that jazz. I like being left in the dark and just watch the story explain it’s self, which it did. Sure there were some stuff I wasn’t prepared for, but that made everything much more exciting to watch.

    So if you do decide to watch this anime, ignore the plot summary above. It’s a little helpful, but it’s not going to help with any of the serious parts of the plot that haven’t been explained, but I believe that it’s trying to avoid spoiling to make things more interesting.

    Being a J.C.Staff anime, I was expecting a little bit of drama, but “a little” is kind of an understatement. This anime was extremely dramatic, which isn’t always good for an anime, especially if the audience doesn’t like that sort of thing. For me, I actually enjoyed it. I’m a bit of a sucker for romantic drama that the characters seem to face so I was alright with it, but that’s just me. (More details below)

     

    Animation and Comedy of Ano Natsu De Matteru

    Score: 8.2/10

    The animation style really reminded me of Anohana, making me think that this was actually an A-1 Pictures production until I looked it up after the first episode, leaving me a but surprised. With that being said, the animation was very well done. The scenery and background animation was great and not distracting, followed with some great character designs.

    Mixed in with some great animation, the comedy seemed to shine brightly in the anime. Apart from the extreme amount of drama, this anime was actually really amusing. Sure there was much more drama in the anime than comedy, but the switch between the two were very well done.

    The comedy in the anime was excellent and always managed to make me laugh. The jokes were funny and original, so that’s a plus. A bit more comedy in the anime would have been nice, but I was happy with what I got.

     

    Characters of Ano Natsu De Matteru

    Score: 8.4/10

    Out of the entire anime, I think the best part was definitely the characters. All of them were very unique in their own way and all had a part to play in the story.

    As the story progressed, there was a lot of character development. Usually when something happened or a character did something, it would have a chain reaction on all the other characters. I’ve heard of love triangles, but not of something like this. I made a diagram to explain it better.

    Kaito Kirishima

    He is the male protagonist of the anime and is an avid videographer who is constantly out recording on an 8mm handheld camera that he inherited from his late grandfather. I’m just going to get this out of the way considering it’s not a spoiler and it’ll tell you in the first 30 seconds of the anime, his parents are dead. This doesn’t really effect any of the plot, so I guess it’s just less characters to worry about.

    Ichika Takatsuki

    Can’t say much about Ichika cause I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but I really like her. She kind and polite, making her a fairly well rounded character.

    Kanna Tanigawa

    Kanna is an outgoing girl who is quick to speak her mind. She is a close friend of Kaito, whom she has a crush on, which you already from the diagram above. Kaito’s sister is aware of this and encourages a relationship between the two. Kanna has been friends with Tetsurō since childhood, but is unaware of his feelings for her. Personally, I think I liked her the most. She’s cute and she’s got the booty. She’s up on the Waifu list now.

    Tetsurō Ishigaki

    Probably the biggest bro alive. Tetsurō is a close friend of Kaito and Kanna. Although he has feelings for Kanna, he knows of her feelings for Kaito and encourages a relationship between the two. He seems to be an all-around savvy guy with females and is easily able to smooth-talk a female teacher into giving out Ichika’s body measurements. He also develops a closer relationship with Mio after knowing of her problems and her own crush on him.

    Mio Kitahara

    This is pretty much all you need to know about her. First, she likes Tetsurō, and second, she’s a nudist. Yes ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Sometimes her thoughts seem to innocently go in a sexual direction. Every time she is shown at home she is nude; she also sleeps in the nude (even when sleeping with Kanna) and dislikes wearing underwear. When confronted about this she says that her family are nudists, and that she hides this fact from everyone due to her embarrassment over her family’s unusual lifestyle

    Remon Yamano and Rinon

    You need to experience them for yourself to truly understand.

     

    Music of Ano Natsu De Matteru

    Score: 7.7/10

    I was not disappoint with the music in this anime, it was well made and it was enjoyable to listen to. The OP was decent, but it wasn’t my favorite. I liked watching it and the song was pretty good, but it wasn’t like super amazing.

    The ED was a different story. Honestly, I love this ED. It fit into the anime extremely well and all around fantastic. The song was perfect and fun to listen to, while fitting into the anime, and have awesome animation that also fit into the anime. Amazing.

    The OSTs were all around pretty good. Being a pretty dramatic anime, there were some pretty good OSTs playing in the background of those serious moments, which I liked. There were also some cheerful and laid back OSTs, bring a much happier mood when needed.

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Ano Natsu De Matteru

    Score: 8.8/10

    With everything that has been said, I really enjoyed watching this anime, especially after just watching it randomly. Sure it wasn’t my favorite, but it definitely kept me watching from beginning to end. And in the end, I actually felt like I was going to cry a bit after almost wanting to breaking my IPod in half. All in all, this will be an anime I’ll never forget.

    This anime probably isn’t for everyone. Like I said above, it’s really dramatic and serious, so if you don’t like that stuff, I don’t suggest you watch this. Anyways, if you enjoyed anime such as Anohana, I definitely suggest you watch this anime.

    ᑭᒪOT: 7.8/10 ☆

    ᗩᑎIᗰᗩTIOᑎ/ᑕOᗰEᗪY: 8.2/10☆

    ᑕᕼᗩᖇᗩᑕTEᖇᔕ: 8.4/10 ☆

    ᗰᑌᔕIᑕ: 7.7/10 ☆

    ᑭEᖇᔕOᑎᗩᒪ EᑎᒍOYᗰEᑎT: 8.8/10 ☆

    Iᑎ TOTᗩᒪ: 8.18/10 ☆

     

    Final Thoughts on Ano Natsu De Matteru

    I’m happy I decided to finally watch this anime. It was amazing from start to finish and always left me entertained. Also, the best part of the entire anime is the last 5 seconds of the anime. Don’t forget that. If you do watch this anime, watch every last bit of it or you will have different thoughts on this anime. Watch it.


  • 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