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  • Sora no Woto (Anime) Review

    Sora no Woto (Anime) Review

    Written by ononoki

    As I’m writing this review, I’m listening to the soundtrack for Sora no Woto. It’s been sitting in my music library since it came out, and not once have I grown tired of it. The same goes for the full show as well. I watched it shortly after it aired, realised it was a treasure, kept it and have since rewatched it many times. The often overlooked and sometimes underrated anime that is Sora no Woto, aired in 2010 and was the debut project of Anime no Chikara, a joint venture between Aniplex and TV Tokyo. Anime no Chikara’s purpose was to produce original anime (without any source material), which is really quite a difficult thing to pull off, and not done very often in the anime production world. Well, they pulled it off, with an excellent mix of writing, animation, music and an overall experience that will leave you like most of the cult following it’s attracted, wanting much more.

    Plot of Sora no Woto

    Sora no Woto follows the story of Kanata Sorami, a new bugler recruit in the army, who is stationed in a remote outpost town in the post-apocalyptic borderlands of Helvetia. She lives in a decaying world, where war has regressed humanity back to early 20th century standards, and has resulted in nations fighting for control as an inhospitable desert wasteland approaches. But for the majority of the show, the war takes a backseat, as we follow the everyday life of Kanata and her squad mates in the idyllic border town of Seize.

    Much of the show is a military SoL, that shows the girls interacting with each other, the locals, exploring the town and surrounding mountains, and generally has a light hearted mood about it. However, we are constantly surrounded by mystery and intrigue. What has happened to reduce the world to this decayed state? What is with the strange mix of languages, cultures and technology? What is the truth behind local stories of monsters and heroines, and where do the girls tie in to this? Some of the questions raised in the first episode remain unanswered, although there are plenty of hints and different points of views to consider. This is one of the things that gave the show so much replay value, the fact that you can go back and pick up on little things you’ve missed, and let the mystery either clear up, or get bigger.

    But not all of Sora no Woto is cheery SoL and charming mystery. At times we are reminded of the brutal reality of this world. Military duties, war orphans, PTSD and tragic pasts serve to take the shows calm demeanor, and turn it into one of deadly seriousness and depression. It is a show that gets you when your guard’s down, and personally, that made it so much more fulfilling and enjoyable for me. Those who go into this show expecting “cute girls doing cute things” or “k-on with guns” (which is probably the fault of the character designs) will be very surprised.

    Plot Rating : 9/10

    Characters of Sora no Woto

    I found the characters of Sora no Woto to be very charming. At first they seemed to be fairly plain, but as the series progressed they open up to us a lot, revealing unique and interesting stories and personalities, that may even bring us something new if we rewatch it. I watched a few minutes of it a second ago, and noticed something new about a character I had never noticed before. Sora no Woto keeps you interested in, and learning about, characters, and this is an important thing for any anime.

    I already discussed our main character Kanata in the Plot section above, so I’ll dive straight into the rest of the squad.

    M/Sgt. Rio Kazumiya:

    The second in command of the group, who teaches Kanata to play the bugle. Her no-nonsense, strict attitude most likely comes from her upbringing, which is the subject of some mystery at the start of the show. She is later revealed to play an extremely important role in the world.

    2nd Lt. Filicia Heideman:

    The leader of the group. A fairly relaxed and laid back member of the squad, despite her important position. Filicia is very kind and caring to the other girls, and almost assumes a motherly figure to them. However, she is haunted by the demons of her military past, which made for a very interesting side to the story.

    Pvt. Kureha Suminoya:

    The youngest member of the group, but probably also the one looking to prove herself the most (besides Kanata perhaps). She is a war orphan, whose father was once a well-known tank commander. She, like Rio, has a strict nature, but her childishness often comes out on top of that. She serves as a good reminder that despite the harsh reality of the world around them, these girls are simply that, just young girls trying to live normal day to day lives.

    Cpl. Noël Kannagi:

    One of the stranger members of the group. White haired, fragile looking, unsociable and seemingly emotionless, I wrote her off as “rei-clone” (Ayanami Rei from Evangelion) to begin with, but I was very wrong to do so. She eventually grows out of her quietness, thanks to Kanata. She, like Filicia, has a very dark past, one that prompts her emotions to come welling back later on in the series.

    There are many other minor characters in the show, most of whom serve to build the culture and lore of the world, but all are pieces of a puzzle that make up a great cast.

    Characters: 8/10

    Animation and Artwork of Sora no Woto

    The creators of Sora no Woto must have felt ambitious when designing it, and so they should since it was the first project of that studio. Not only is the plot and characterisation good, the artwork to go with it is good too. There are many scenes in the show I felt were “wallpaper worthy”, so I screenshotted them and displayed them on my desktop screen for weeks. Whether it be the country side, the old Spanish style town of Seize, dreary ruins of war and ages past, or even the characters themselves, in curious WW2 era military gear and clothing, Sora no Woto always provides something detailed and interesting to look at. The artwork depicting Seize, which was based on Cuenca (an ancient town in modern Spain), was especially worthy of mention.

    The animation quality itself was fairly good. The show is full of fluid movement and was pretty constant in its delivery. Unfortunately, the show only had a few moments that required the studio to really flex its animating muscles, but they performed well in those places, and I can’t think of any moments where the animation disappointed me either.

    One possible downside I must mention though, is the “tanks” used in the army. They are seen a few times throughout the show, and one is stationed at the girls outpost (the girls pilot it). I’m fairly sure these were the only use of CGI in the show, and generally I’m not a big fan of CGI in anime at all. However, Sora no Woto’s use of CGI was acceptable to me. The tanks generally looked pretty good, and moved well on screen. I would’ve preferred regular animation, but I don’t think the CGI ruined the show at all

    Animation and Artwork Rating: 7.5/10

    Sounds and Music of Sora no Woto:

    The very experienced Michiru Oshima was the composer for Sora no Woto, and he did an amazing job in my opinion. As I mentioned before, I very much enjoyed the soundtrack for this show. By itself, the mostly classical music is nice to listen to, but in the show it adds another level of mood and feeling. From its playful tunes, to its haunting and tense orchestral pieces, I find it hard to find an OST that matches the way this one adds to the experience.

    The super catchy, although not at all similar, OP and ED of the show were also something that I would look forward to whenever playing an episode, and would often find myself repeating them.

    The voice acting was fine, although not exactly stand out, and honestly I grew tired of some of the squeaky voices of the younger characters. But, it is a regular thing in the industry, and it suited the characters pretty well, so I found it forgivable.

    Sound and Music Rating: 8/10

    Conclusion:

    Sora no Woto is one of my favourites. It’s a favourite for many others too, and garnered a strong following for a while. Story, mood, music and good production value all came together to make a very enjoyable show, one that stays with you for a long time. It’s unfortunate that we don’t get to see the answers for many of the shows mysteries, but at least we get the awesome replay value that the show provides. It is one of a few anime that I have no problem rewatching over and over, and I would urge everyone to give it a shot too

    Overall Rating: 8/10


  • Beyond the Boundary (Anime) Review

    Beyond the Boundary (Anime) Review

    Anime fans often pose this question to the general public of its industry: “What makes an anime so great?” Or, “Which characteristics are essential to you within a series?”

    (…Okay, maybe not in those words exactly… but thanks for asking!)

    Well, while this might be a tad unfair of me to say, artwork and animation take top priority over everything else by a landslide. If any amount of visual style is presented so poorly that it distracts and/or confuses the audience at first glance, we have a major problem. And friend, you’re reading the blog from someone who takes pride in being a very, very picky audience member. Art, story line and character development are what I tend to to put in the spotlight upon reviewing an anime (or any sort of film, to be honest).

    Fortunately for this series, it seems to pull through enough for each of these categories. I present to you 境界の彼方,  Kyōkai no Kanata, or more commonly known in English as Beyond the Boundary.

     

    Story Line and Pacing of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 8/10

    The first episode opens up with one evening at sunset, when a high school boy by the name of Akihito Kanbara witnesses one of his fellow classmates standing precariously atop the ledge of their school building. Assuming she plans to commit suicide, Akihito hurriedly rushes to her aid, approaches the girl from a distance, and shouts, “At any rate, someone who looks as good in glasses as you do simply should not die!” The young freshman, later known in the series as Mirai Kuriyama, then proceeds to take on the rational solution of stabbing him in the chest with a sword made entirely of her own blood. Strangely enough, Akihito kneels over in extreme pain… but does not die. Mirai learns that the boy is actually a half-youmu – the offspring of both human and youmu DNA – and utilizes this ability to her advantage by using Akihito for batting practice. Because as a Spirit World Warrior like herself, she is still unequipped with enough courage to kill another youmu for the good of humanity.

    Confused yet?

    In the interesting world of Beyond the Boundary, these odd creatures called youmu are actually raw manifestations of all mankind’s negative emotions, such as hatred, sadness, jealousy and the like. Therefore, it is said that so long as humans exist, youmu will continue to thrive as well. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can even take the form of a common person. Their abilities may also vary, though the basis on which they exist remains the same. And while most youmu can co-exist peacefully and unknowingly among humans, every so often a few of them will upset the balance of nature and need destroying, thus is the job of a Spirit World Warrior like Mirai. When one of these rotten creatures is finally terminated, their remains take the form of a small stone which is then traded as currency among other Spirit World Warriors.

    This is a very unique, and rather symbolic idea. You could go as far as to say that these youmu represent how human kind’s imperfections, if not dealt with properly, can cause the downfall of society, and even the world. Much later in the anime, this notion is visualized quite literally and I personally like it. A lot.

    The only thing I don’t particularly understand about the world itself is that most of mankind isn’t even present for the majority of the series… Hello? Where are all the people whose negativity supposedly created all these hideous monstrosities!? And why is no one alarmed that a handful of attractive teenagers are wielding weapons, playing with magic and essentially bleeding to death? Oh, Japan…

     

    Art and Animation of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 8/10

    While I’ve seen better eye candy prior to viewing Beyond the Boundary, Kyoto never seems to disappoint regardless. The characters were built to move with exceptional fluidity; my inner artist still cried tears of joy every time someone did so much as lift a finger. From motion, to lighting, to color, to scenery… this anime had everything relatively down-pat and polished. It’s no wonder you see so many Mirai fan drawings – they’re all quite beautiful. And while its physical aesthetic was often skewed due to lack of action sequences where an art style like this one truly reaches its full potential, you can’t say even its still composition wasn’t absolutely stellar.

     

    Characters of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 7.25/10

    Our main character, Mirai is a first-year high school student with the unique ability to use her own blood as a weapon. Despite its great power, however, Mirai is constantly shamed by other Spirit World Warriors due to the dangerous consequences of this rare talent when she was only a child. After accidentally murdering her best friend as an adolescent, Mirai’s had an intense fear of killing and often complains about her life via Internet. (Don’t we all?) “How unpleasant,” is her appropriate catchphrase. On the side, Kuriyama’s hobbies are raising small plants, blogging and mooching off her friends. She bears a fearsome appetite due to her deadbeat lifestyle, and timidly asks people to treat her from time to time.

    So she has a history, a dark past… and it’s adorable. Classic, even. As one of my favorite female roles thus far, Mirai has the look, the personality and the skills which make her an excellent main character. She has a problem, a fear, and must overcome it to save a loved one. She has a goal, a longing, and must achieve it in the end, otherwise face an ultimate peril. Mirai the protagonist changes throughout the embodiment of the series. Perfect. 10/10. I love her.

    Her possy, on the other hand…? Ehh.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I adored Akihito’s no-nonsense personality from the get-go and knew his voice of reason meant well to the story as a whole. The banter between him and Hiroomi (far left) is priceless and without both of them, the plot would not have thickened the way it did in the first place. However, what do we truly understand about any of the supporting main characters other than their own strengths and weaknesses? Nothing. There were so many necessary questions left unanswered. And with a seemingly great cast like this, that is a huge issue. Their sorry excuses for back stories were unbalanced, whereas one character got a few lines of exposition, and others were never mentioned once. And for what? They seemed to be of pretty equal importance to me. Why one over the other? Of course within a certain time frame, not everyone can be fully described to a ‘T’, but some helpful information about each character in order of said importance would still be appreciated.

     

    Soundtrack of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 7.75/10

    The very eerie original soundtrack for Beyond the Boundary was written and brought to us by Hiarku Nanase, a Japanese vocalist and composer from Ibaraki prefecture. She’s developed soundtracks for several other television shows in Japan and is part of a few different bands. The sound of this series consists of both the traditional positive slice of life bounciness we all know and love, with its own blend of strings and choir hymns that will leave you chilling with excitement, knowing something equally breathtaking is just around the corner.

    The moment I heard the very first hum voice the entrance of Mirai perched atop the school, wind blowing through her hair, it immediately felt like pure fantasy. The tracks grow more and more suspenseful as time passes, and while it does emulate what an anime soundtrack typically has to offer, some parts of it were so charming and mysterious, they reflected the intentions of each individual quite nicely and almost forced the plot to slow, focusing intently on a single moment in time between two characters. Definitely a work of musical art worth listening to, twice!

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Beyond the Boundary

    Score: 7.75

    I have to say, my motivation to watch this traveled in waves rather than an actual build-up. Usually I don’t take pure interest in an anime until about episode four or five, and after that I’m hooked ’till the very end. In the case of Beyond the Boundary, however, I’d been hooked, dropped, hooked again, and then left limping to the finish… then hooked a third time. There were moments of tension, frustration and bad-ass fight sequences, however few (not to mention one of the most amusing filler episodes I’ve ever seen)… and then there were episodes so stagnant and still I didn’t know whether to call them boring or just downright puzzling altogether. I’m not so sure if writers were scrambling to provide proper information while still making this anime fun and original, but again, it was a bit unbalanced.

    All in all though, I completed the series and was satisfied with its ending, which I can’t say for most. A nice little thumbs-up to those who may want to watch it in the future. It was solid. Not perfect, but solid.

     

    Overall Score: 7.75/10

     

    Your Friendly Enthusiast,

    -Lew


  • Lovely Complex (Anime) Review

    Lovely Complex Anime Review

    Warning: May contain minor spoilers for the Lovely Complex anime.

    Summary of Lovely Complex: 

    Koizumi Risa, a taller than average girl, and Atsushi Otani, a shorter than average boy, have been known as the comedy duo of their class ever since their first year of high school. Although they have a mutual dislike for each other, they soon develop an unlikely friendship when Risa agrees to try to get Otani together with her friend and vice versa.

    When these plans don’t succeed, however, only time will tell what the two outgoing and loud teens have in store for each other.

    Plot of Lovely Complex: 

    The plot, although simple at first glance and at times incredibly cliche, is actually very entertaining due to the actions and reactions that both main characters take/have. I mean, two rash and “mentally-challenged” teens are bound to get themselves into some crazy situations.

    Also, this anime takes a completely different change of pace, which in this case means that the characters don’t get together at the very end of the series, but rather the middle. That gives the show opportunities to build up on their relationship and let the audience follow the two as they struggle through some of the problems that come with maintaining said relationship.

    However, although I liked the plot for the most part, there were some problems with it in general.

    A downfall of the anime is the use of cliches to start off a mini arc in the story and the overuse of unrealistic tropes. I mean, in real life, if your a guy who’s shorter than most girls, there is no way that you’re going to have so many girls crushing on you. Also, they use the SAME PLOT in two separate arcs, just with the roles reversed.

    Overall, still a very entertaining plot.

    Score: 8.2/10

    Characters of Lovely Complex: 

    What I like about this anime is the non-cliche characters (or at least the main ones). Not often do you find a couple where both people are not complete opposites. In fact, Risa and Otani are actually very alike. Yet, the anime is set up in a way that keeps it interesting and have you rooting for them to get together the whole time.

    Risa’s problems, specifically, are very relatable and/or realistic. Never having been in a real relationship unlike Otani, some of the situations that she has to face make sense, which is something I always look forward to in slice of life or romance anime.

    On the other hand, the side characters were all either annoying or underdeveloped. Risa’s friends, Nobu and Chiharu could’ve added more, and Suzuki and Nakao as well. They aren’t necessarily bad characters, just ones that should’ve played an active part in the overall story. Mimi was irritating. She can go jump off a cliff ASAP.

    Score: 8.5/10

    The Animation of Lovely Complex: 

    The art was okay. It’s not my personal favorite, but it does its job well for what it had to offer. I just wish that some parts hadn’t been as choppy as they had been, but I do appreciate that they upped the budget a little for the more important scenes that had to be emphasized.

    Besides, I have to give the animators some credit; those facial expressions are absolutely legendary.

    Score: 7.6/10

    The Soundtrack of Lovely Complex: 

    The music was pretty mediocre though, so it’s not very memorable. It nevertheless sets the mood nicely enough, so I have no major problems with it. The first opening was pretty catchy, I have to admit.

    Score: 7.7/10

    Overall Enjoyment of Lovely Complex: 

    This anime was very enjoyable in the long run. You’ll find yourself being emotionally invested in the main couple, and most of the characters were lovable or likeable in their own right. The plot started off a little cliche, but amounted to something bigger in the end, and the scenery/music was good enough to keep you captivated. If it weren’t for the presentation of the anime, I would’ve given it a much higher score.

    Score: 8.7/10

    And so…

    Plot: 8.2/10
    Characters: 8.5/10
    Animation: 7.6/10
    Soundtrack: 7.7/10
    Overall Enjoyment: 8.7/10

    FINAL SCORE: 8.14/10

    I recommend this anime to pretty much any shoujo fan. This was definitely tons of fun to watch.

    Thanks for reading!

    -Otaku_Cookies


  • Ao Haru Ride (Anime) Review

    Ao Haru Ride Anime Review

    (Warning, this blog may contain minor spoilers that will probably not effect and/or spoil anything important in the anime. Heck, I wouldn’t even call them spoilers. Just read the review)

    To be honest, this was an anime I was excited to watched when it was released. I hadn’t read the manga so I was excited to see how it played out. Sure enough, I really found it entertaining even for the type of anime that it is, considering people give a lot of crap to the Romance genre. Nonetheless, I say to hell with those people’s opinion, cause you’re about to read about a pretty enjoyable anime.

    Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride) is based of the manga first released in early 2011 before being adapted into an anime that was aired during the Summer anime drop. It aired a total of 12 episode, with no information of a second season or any OVAs, but it’s getting an exciting Live-Action movie! Yea…

    Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy, Slice of Life

     

    Plot of Ao Haru Ride

    Score 7.5/10

    Futaba Yoshioka wants to “reset” her life. In junior high, girls ostracized Futaba because too many junior high boys liked her. The only boy Futaba liked, Kou Tanaka, moved away before she could tell him how she felt. Now in high school, Futaba is determined to be unladylike so her new friends will not become jealous of her. While living her new life contentedly, she meets Kou again, but he now uses the name Kou Mabuchi and has a cold attitude. He tells her that he liked her too in junior high, but feels differently now.

    When I first started the anime, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t read the manga before hand or any kind of information so I knew nothing about it. To be honest, I like how the anime started off. It gave an interesting backstory, that was informative, before quickly jumping into the main story. There were a few things here and there that could have been added onto, but overall it was exciting.

    The actual plot was a little bit all over the place, not having a huge storyline set out for the anime. Sure these two people meet up after a couple years and spend together, but there were just little stories in between. I know the story is about these two rebuilding their lost relationship, but you got to give me more. But after with all this said, I honestly still enjoyed it. Yea it wasn’t perfect, but it was still fun to watch.

     

    Animation and Comedy of Ao Haru Ride

    Score 8.4/10

    The animation style reminded me a lot of anime such as My Little Monster, or any Romance anime at that… It’s like they decided to use the animation even at different Studios, but this was definitely a lot better animation than most Romance anime I’ve seen. Anyway, I liked the animation! It was actually really, really well done. I loved the colors they threw in to make it all SUPER colorful (The OP), just the way I like my stuff, and that was great!

    The character designs were well done and background scenery wasn’t distracting and done well enough to be noticed, but never enough to take you away from the actual anime.

    The comedy all around was extremely well done. I liked how this anime had a lot of humor in it, more than most Romance anime, and was able to make a lot of humorous jokes and whatnot. The jokes and laughs were all original and very amusing.

     

    Characters of Ao Haru Ride

    Score 7.9/10

    The characters in this anime were interesting… In a good way. I liked how we were able to see them as their old selves then see them in the future and how they’ve changed.

    The main characters were the most interesting though, considering they constantly went through development once the anime began. You see them start off one way, completely change, then change a little more. It’s nothing too bad so it made the characters fun to watch.

    Futaba Yoshiioka was a little strange, but I liked her. She wasn’t like super weird or anything, but was funny and a good main character. She is strong-willed, stubborn, and passionate, she prefers to be accepted for who she isn’t than ostracized for who she is.

    Kō Mabuchi is an interesting character, haven’t seen a lot characters like him. He is masculine, sarcastic, and crude. In addition, he has extremely pessimistic views about his brother and himself. Sounds like my kind of character.

    The only thing that bugged me was how their relationship never really progressed. Yea they were able to become friends and grow feelings for each other again, but at least do something about it. When the last episode rolled around, I was expecting at least some kind of romantic progression like a kiss? But no, didn’t happen.

    The other characters were enjoyable though, all of them were different and your typical supportive characters. There weren’t any characters in the anime that I didn’t like, so that was good.

     

    Music of Ao Haru Ride

    Score 8.6/10

    Honestly, I think that music was the best part of the anime next to the animation. There haven’t been a lot of anime that I’m watching with music that has stood out, so I’m glad this was able to shine.

    The OP was, to be blunt, fantastic. Easily an instant favorite the moment it started playing. I love how there was just an explosion of colors, so that really drew me in. Next to the animation and coloring, the music was just straight up addicting. It fitted into the anime perfectly and was entertaining to listen and watch every time it came one.

    The ED was arguably good. The music bored me a little, but the animation style they went for kept my attention. Sure there were more colors, but I couldn’t watch it every time it rolled around so I usually skipped it.

    The OSTs were definitely wonderful. Playing at key moments throughout the anime at perfect moments made the anime just so much more exciting to watch. No matter what would be happening, a good OST would most likely be playing.

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Ao Haru Ride

    Score 8.9/10

    The moment I started this anime, I knew I was going to enjoy it, but that’s just me. I also had no personal problems with the anime, meaning I didn’t see anything wrong from my prospective. As a reviewers prospective, I had to find what was wrong, which wasn’t a lot, which is really good.

     

    Like every Romance anime, not everyone is going to like it (cough Amber cough) but anyone who enjoyed anime like Say, “I Love You” or My Little Monster so definitely give this anime a shot. I think it’s way funnier and has better animation than both of them.

    If you’re not really into Romance anime, I probably wouldn’t give it a go. The comedy might keep you entertained, but that’s about it for you to enjoy.

    ᑭᒪOT: 7.5/10 ☆

    ᗩᑎIᗰᗩTIOᑎ/ᑕOᗰEᗪY: 8.4/10☆

    ᑕᕼᗩᖇᗩᑕTEᖇᔕ: 7.9/10 ☆

    ᗰᑌᔕIᑕ: 8.6/10 ☆

    ᑭEᖇᔕOᑎᗩᒪ EᑎᒍOYᗰEᑎT: 8.9/10 ☆

    Iᑎ TOTᗩᒪ: 8.26/10 ☆

     

    Final Thoughts of Ao Haru Ride

    From beginning to end, I enjoyed every second of this anime. Sure it let me down in the end, but the manga is still going, and I’m definitely going to read it. Hopefully a season two will get a green light, but I don’t know if there’s enough manga out for it yet. So, farewell friends I’m off to watch Eureka Seven, causing it’s freaking amazing.


  • Nana (Anime) Review

    Nana Anime Review
    Nana Anime

    The table was her stage, the mobile phone was the microphone and the moon was the spotlight that kind of magic only Nana could make happen. Nana Komatsu, a fragile and insecure girl, hopes that moving to Tokyo will help her start a new beginning. She plans to leave her fruitless love life behind. In the meantime, another Nana arrives in the city determined to become the best vocalist on the best rock stage of Japan. She has no intention of a future as a lovely housewife. Although the two young women are so different, they quickly make a strong bond. Prepare to experience the world of love, music, fashion, and gossip as the two live through the troubles and joys of the path they have in store for them. Will this show conquer a place at the top charts? Let us find out.

    What follows is my review of this relatively unknown gem, Nana. A romance/slice of life/music/drama josei written and drawn by Ai Yazawa and later adapted into a 47 episodes anime series (the one we’re reviewing). We’re analyzing Animation, Characters, Sound, Story and Personal Enjoyment. For those who do not know what a josei is… It’s the adult version of shoujo.

    Animation and Art of Nana

    Score 8/10

    Nana Anime

    Ai Yazawa has a firm and unique trait that can make me recognize any of her works instantly. There must be something good about it right? The series has wonderfully drawn characters, especially their clothing and fashion sense as it’s one of the main highlights of the series. If you are used to characters wearing one set of clothing for the whole series then prepare to be astonished. Animation is nothing too mind blowing but it’s more than fulfilling for a 2006 series. The scenes that have intense animation are not physical fights but music concerts at a stage, everything does its job brilliantly. Also the eyes and expressions are rich with feelings.

    Characters of Nana

    Score 10/10
    Nana Anime

    This is arguably the best part of Nana, even though everyone is entitled to one’s own opinion. What sets this apart from the rest of the works with similar genre and themes is the crude and endearing realism that surrounds the whole series and its characters. “Relationships” is the key word in this show and it’s a genuine masterpiece at making them captivatingly complex. Situations and characters feel so alive and relatable that it hurts. It doesn’t take a long time before you are dragged inside the world of Nana. You feel for every character. You will love guy X and hate girl Y, but with such a passion that few shows can make you experience this level of personal involvement. The contrast between the two Nanas are amazing. So different yet so compatible with each other, and Nana Osaki… She is amazing beyond words.

    Soundtrack and Acting of Nana

    Score 9/10
    Nana Anime

    Nana is about music and its world right ? We’ll explore its progression in the next section. This is about the musical score and the voice acting. The series is not based on background music but it’s rather a song based series. Indeed we have a remarkable number of tunes by Japanese artists that most resemble Nana and her mentality, her dreams. Even if you dislike rock and similar genres, the songs are never too invasive and you’re too busy cheering for Nana to care about it too much. As for the acting… It’s an imperative that you will watch this show in Japanese dub. The cast has the best group of talents and veterans I’ve ever seen in this genre of animation. Romi Paku I obsessively love you…

    Story and Pacing of Nana

    Score 8/10
    Nana Anime

    This part is what ultimately gives Nana a not so perfect score, but it’s not a fault in itself. Let me explain. The anime ends half way through the manga and there is a feeling of “come back for more”. The manga continues right ? Yes and no. Unfortunately the manga has been on a hiatus since 2010 leaving all fans to starve as the manga is even better after the anime ends. It becomes notably darker than the original series. This is an adult series and it’s clearly visible like the sun in a morning of summer. We often have highly controversial themes the characters are drawn into, the show doesn’t try to be shy at all and slaps everything in your face. the result is quite blunt yet rewarding overall (careful for those who are morally sensible!).

    Personal Enjoyment of Nana

    Score 10/10
    Nana Anime

    This is the purely subjective part of the review. What Nana gave me and how I reacted to it, its characters and its themes and situations. I’m not usually into these kind of shows, but they are giving me things that other shows do not have. Do not judge a series by its genre but by its content. I was absorbed into the series for all the run, cheering, fan boying, hating and rejoicing. When the characters were happy, I was dragged into that vibe as well, and I suffered along with them when life hit them harshly. Remember that the perfectly happy ending to life does not exist, sacrifices are made and things are lost.

    Overall Score 9.0/10

    – Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)


  • 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.


  • Wolf Children (Anime) Review

    Wolf Children 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)

    This is my first time reviewing a movie, but this movie deserves my thoughts considering it’s just something so special.

    I am still speechless. I honestly don’t know what to say or even how to start this off. Here, I’ll give you what just came to my head, this movie is beautiful. Absolutely astonishing. Seriously though, those are only small words that can be used to describe this movie. No words.

    Released in the Summer of 2012, Wolf Children was a movie directed and co-written by Mamoru Hosoda, known for movies such as Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. The movie ran for a total of 117 minutes and made almost 54 million dollars in box office money.

    Genre: Slice of Life/ Drama

     

    Plot of Wolf Children

    Score 9.1/10

    In Wolf Children, nineteen-year-old college student Hana falls in love with a classmate with a secret: he is a werewolf and can transform into a wolf at will. He and Hana have two werewolf children: a daughter, Yuki, and a year later a son, Ame. Soon after Ame’s birth, their father dies while hunting food for his children.

    Raising Yuki and Ame alone is difficult; they constantly switch between their human and wolf forms, and Hana has to hide them from the world. When she is visited by social workers concerned that the children have not had vaccinations, Hana moves the family to the countryside away from prying neighbors. She works hard to repair the dilapidated house and sustain the family on their own crops.

    This plot is something great considering we get to live in the lives of these people that are struggling so much. It is something so original and so well thought out, that I am still amazing on how it turned out. Having only one flaw, in my eyes, but I won’t talk about it cause it is a bit of a spoiler which has basically already have been spoiled a bit… this movie truly left you stunned from start to finish.

     

    Animation of Wolf Children

    Score 8.6/10

    In Wolf Children, the animation is comparable to Mamoru Hosoda’s other films, having great artwork for the characters then diving deeper into the animation during certain scenes that were just amazing to watch. I always have enjoyed Mamoru Hosoda’s animation style, seeming to be modeled after Studio Ghibli, but then having him throwing in his own style on top of that.

    As the movie progressed further and further, the animation style began to shine brighter and brighter. Moving from a city to a mountain setting helped the animation get so much better.

    The scenery was outstanding, truly beautiful to look at. Mixed in with the animation, this part of the movie shined at certain parts of the story. I couldn’t help but notice myself in awestruck as this movie just had the animation get better and better no matter what was happening. Amazing.

     

    Characters of Wolf Children

    Score 9.3/10

    The characters are what made this movie almost perfect in Wolf Children. You can’t have a plot like this and not have any character development what so ever. Every single main character went through some of the best development that I’ve ever seen on any kind of anything!

    Every character was amazing in their own way, adapting to this situation and lifestyle while trying to live normal lives in the best way they can while attempting to keep their secrets, well, secret. In all honesty, there’s no way that’s easy to live your life like this, but the characters handled it extremely well.

    As the story progressed further, the characters basically had to decide what kind of lives they wanted to live, all of them choosing a path that worked best for them. I believe that the characters turned out perfect and are probably some of the best characters that I’ve watched in anything. Damn near prefect.

     

    Music of Wolf Children

    Score 8.2/10

    Considering Wolf Children 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 was fantastic.

    The OSTs instantly caught my attention at the beginning of the movie, making me love the movie the moment it started. As the story progressed and characters had to go through the difficulties of this lifestyle, the music only got better and better, helping bring out so many feels I honestly wanted to cry.

    Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki OST – Okaasan no Uta

    The song at the ending credits was the real killer though. After this beautiful movie came to a glorious ending, there’s nothing better than adding a song that fits the movie so perfectly, you can’t help but want to cry your eyes out until you drown from overexposure from your own misery and sadness. Absolutely wonderful.

     

    Personal Enjoyment of Wolf Children

    Score 10/10

    If I actually sat down and thought about it for a good five seconds, I would probably consider Wolf Children as one of the great movies I’ve ever seen. You just can’t compare anything to this perfectly made movie, nothing. It it so unique in it’s own way that any anime fan should have by now seen this movie. I could watch this movie every week and never get tired of it, which I’m honestly thinking about doing.

     

    Like I said before, you can’t compare this movie to anything. I guarantee if you take two hours out of your life to watch this movie, you will not be disappointed. If you call yourself a anime fan, you need to watch this movie.

    ᑭᒪOT: 9.1/10 ☆

    ᗩᑎIᗰᗩTIOᑎ: 8.6/10☆

    ᑕᕼᗩᖇᗩᑕTEᖇᔕ: 9.3/10 ☆

    ᗰᑌᔕIᑕ: 8.2/10 ☆

    ᑭEᖇᔕOᑎᗩᒪ EᑎᒍOYᗰEᑎT: 10/10 ☆

    Iᑎ TOTᗩᒪ: 9.04/10 ☆

     

    Final Thoughts on Wolf Children

    Up to this point in time and most likely for the rest of my life, Wolf Children is my favorite anime movie. It is also part of my top 5 movies of ALL TIME, yea, it’s that good. All in all, this movie will forever be part of my heart considering it is something I truly love. I could go on about this movie all day, but I think this more than enough.

    This movie will change you.

    -TwistedSoul


  • Hal (Anime) Review

    Hal Anime Review

    *may contains spoilers. Read at your own risk*

    Hal Anime

    When I heard about this movie I had high expectations. The promotional cover art for this movie looks beautiful and was visually appealing. The plot even had me intrigued about how a robot could help a human.

     

    Plot of Hal

    Hal Anime

    When Kurumi, a young shop owner, looses her lover, Hal, in a plane crash, she looses all sense of living and settles to staying locked in her home. Family and friends around her is at a loss of what to do. As a last option, a scientist creates a life ­look alike version of the boyfriend but this robot is named Haru. At first Kurumi wanted nothing to do with Haru, but as time passed so did her opinion of him. Haru learned secrets of Hal’s past as well as the devilish things that his former self was apart of but all trying to keep Kurumi’s happiness on top. Confused about what to do with the new information, drama stirs. How will the relationship turn out for a human and a robot?

     

    Characters of Hal

    Hal Anime

    Kurumi is a young lady who looses her boyfriend in a plane crash. After this accident, she shut her self out from the world. She at first is resistant to having Haru there to help but quickly grows accustom to his presence. Having a talent for creating things, such as buttons and bears,  she has made many admirers from all ages. This talent also is her source of income. She got into a fight with Hal before he took his flight, the day he died.

    Hal is Kurumi’s boyfriend that died in a plane accident. It is hard to describe him as we only see things from other character’s prospective, but overall he seemed hesitant to let people into his life. Ryuu, his childhood friend, seems to be the only one that “knows” Hal. The two of them went through some dark events to live but he lost himself in the process. He was known to be violent toward others, not toward Kurumi, but ended up with enemies. Days prior to crash, he got into a huge fight with Kurumi because he sold some of her possessions.

    In the beginning we see Haru as a white robot being very helpful to a elderly man. As time passed, a scientist changed Haru’s appearance to make him look like Hal to help Kurumi recover after his death. Haru does his best to see good in others and to make friends with everyone. Since he is a robot, Haru has some issues as to understanding human emotions as well as the actions that follow. Since Haru looks like Hal, he gets into some drama with Hal’s old enemies. Overall he wants to help Kurumi get better, but to do that he first he has to understand Hal.

    Hal Anime

    To be honest, this movie was a disappointment. It had great potential but it was cut short. Literally cut short. This movie is less than an hour and because of that, the ending was rushed to no avail. There were too many twists that were not expected which,in the end, were not helpful to the plot. The twist was so big that it just made it difficult to grasp the story up to that point.  By the time the credits came I legit said “Is that it? Really?”. To describe this movie  in my own words its like thinking your eating a chocolate cookie when you are actually eating a raisin one. (This might not make sense now but if you watch the movie it will). Even though this movie wasn’t a winner in my book, I would still recommend watching it for the values and merits that can be learned.

    7/10 little violence, no sexual themes, little to no blood. Tragic thoughts are present.­

    Inufma


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

     Watamote Anime Review

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

    Aired from Jul 9, 2013 to Sep 24, 2013

    Square Enix

    Rated Pg-13

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

    Story of Watamote

    (5/10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Characters of Watamote

    (6.5/10)

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

    Kuroki, Tomoko

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

    Sound of Watamote

    (7/10)

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

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

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

    Art of Watamote

    (8.5/10)

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

    Enjoyment:

    (6/10)

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

    Final Notes and Overall Rating of Watamote

    (6/10)

     

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

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

    ~TheDragonStar


  • Clannad (Anime) Review

    Clannad Anime Review

    (WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)

    Clannad

    This review is not for After Story, OVA or the Movie.When I decided to watch Clannad, I prepared myself for the worst. I heard that this series had many “feels” and that it was very sad. Little did I know, that it wasn’t as extreme as I thought. Keep an open mind while watching.

     

    Plot of Clannad

    Clannad

    The story starts off with the delinquent Tomoyo Okazaki walking down the street to the high school when he see a girl staring at a tree talking to herself. Later they reunite and Tomoyalearns that her name is Nagisa Furukawa. Tomoya also learns that Nagisa has been held back a year due to a severe illness and that her dream is to revive the school's drama club. He statesthat he has nothing better to do, and decides to help her achieve this goal along with the help of other girls. Tomoyo didn’t really care about his reputation and often skipped out with his friend Youhei Sunohara. Throughout the series Tomoyo makes it to school on time and gains friends that helps him turn his life around.

     

    Characters of Clannad

    Clannad

    Tomoya Okazaki is a senior at a high school. His mother died in a car accident when he was young and lives with his father. He got into a fight with him a few years before the series starts and now he can not lift his right arm past his shoulder. He was athletic and had a passion for basketball before his accident. He does things because he claims she has nothing else better to do, but deep down he is kind hearted and doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.

    Nagisa Furukawa is a senior at a high school. She is a year older than everyone because she was out for 9 months due to a serious illness. She loves the Dango family and wants to restore the drama club. She often beats herself up over small things but Tomoya is there to cheer her up.

    Youhei Sunohara: Is senior at a high school. He is girl crazy. Youhei is great friends with Tomoya due to the fact that they are both “deliquents” at the school. He is the comedian of the group and often is the one that the other students picked on. He doesn’t let that get to him and in the end of the day he laughs it off. He has a younger sister, Mei, and even though he pretends he doesn’t care, he is always on her side.

     

    After watching this anime, I had nothing bad to say about it. It made me question my choices in life and made me value the relationships I do have. I recommend this anime to all.

    9/10

    No blood, little fighting. No sexual themes.­

    Inufma