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  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 2012 (Anime) Review

    JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 2012 Anime Review

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    It’s time to delve into untold pages of forgotten history. We begin in England, the homeland of the most powerful empire of modern era. George Joestar returns from an expedition, of the ancient ruins from civilizations close to America, with an artifact. It was a stone mask. As the man returned home with his family, he was struck with a deadly accident.
    He mistook a thief as a savior and the man took advantage. Dario, the thief, knew a greater reward lay on the other side. Prepare to face a journey where the hideous creatures of the night rise from the dead. the start of an odyssey that will span for generations.

    This is the fabulous review of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures 2012, a 26 episodes action horror shounen from… well guess what year. The anime is based on the legendary ongoing manga series with the same name by Hirohiko Araki, and specifically on the first two arcs of the series Phantom Blood (1-9) and Battle Tendency (10-26). We are analyzing this show according to animation, character, sound, story and personal enjoyment. Will the anime deserve a spot at the top of the world ? Let’s find this out

    Art of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

    Score 8/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    Jojo has seen a respectable array of adaptations of the first manga arcs during the 1990’s as a series of various ovas about Part 3 Stardust Crusaders (and one abhorrent movie from 2007 that never became a dvd about Phantom Blood). When it was announced a new and definitive Jojo project after such a long time the fans rejoiced all over the world. Animation is work of the very young yet promising David Production, this being their first major anime. The studio managed to put into life the old style art of master Araki, at the dawn of his career. The art is colorful and vibrant, the character design is really vast even though the exalted masculinity of male characters might not be of anyone’s liking. Action flows pretty well but unless you watch the uncut kissanime version then censorship and not so refined details may drop the score to 7.

     

     

    Characters of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

    Score 9/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    There is not really a specific need to examine the cast from Jojo 2012 unless you would like to be told “it’s freaking awesome” over and over again. As an old style anime Jojo started what will later be known as the modern shounen but nonetheless I have rarely seen such refreshingly captivating characters, old should not deter anyone from watching this, it was a revolution back in the day and it is now. The feature I appreciated the most is the meticulous personality and surprising development every character is given despite they are not psychological masterpieces but they don’t need it when their flavorful quirks and genius interactions dominate the whole series. Picking favorites will be your greatest delight during the whole run, situations and conversations reach emetic and legendary status.

    Soundtrack and Acting of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

    Score 10/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    When the angel of awesomeness graces mortals with his presence, he needs to be heralded by a horn that produces a majestic melody. This is how I would sum up Jojo’s soundtrack and acting aspects, in a few words we are talking of top tier goodness. The direction is from the master and veteran Taku Iwasaki, legendary compo ser of shows like Kuroshitsuji, Gurren Lagann and Soul Eater and his style finds the best way to be expressed in Jojo indeed.

    In collaboration with the Persona series rap artist Lotus Juice we have dubstep, modern electronic music to accompany the most stylish parts of the series but many other genres like latin style solemn music and powerful German choral compositions are present. The voicing acting is perfect, with veterans like Takehito Koyasu voicing our eccentric cast of characters. I also appreciated the quirk of having onomatopoeic sounds as if it was a manga.

     

    Story and Pacing of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

    Score 8/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    The franchise was conceived as a generational shounen series that would span entire eras of the modern times starting from 1800. The story does not focus on creating a convoluted and a purely twist based progression but it lets characters and their relationships do the job of weaving the gradual development of the storyline. This is a story about a group, a family, the show tends to focus on the wider scheme of the events rather than what happens to a restricted cast of characters. Everyone has a relevant part and everything may affect the future generations and therefore the future arcs. Even though we are talking about a very violent show, the series takes advantage of a wise use of parodic, black humorish almost nonsensical style. The show tends to highlight the honor, manliness and bravery from drama itself, certain situations are purposefully exaggerated to create a unique theatrical feeling that just screams.

    Personal Enjoyment

    Score 9/10

     JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

    We are at the end of our review and there is not really much to doubt at this point. To think that such a work existed in the simplistic and childish times of Dragon Ball makes me think of why the franchise took so long to finally reach a degree of notoriety in the west. Jojo uses style and flavour not as a device to reach a purpose as the purpose itself. Enjoy the fuckton of referances from the pop culture like movies, music artists and other professionists, the memetic poses of the series are indeed inspired by the years Araki served as a designer of clothing and other stylish stuff. This is the series that with its crazy characters and thoughtfully crafted action allowed your One Piece, your Naruto, your Hunter x Hunter, your Bleach to exist, the pioneer of the modern shounen that has never been surpassed

    P.S: I am usually not one to exalt or glorify this much long run action shounen series not being my favourite genre !

    Final Score 8.8/10

    Japanese manga and animu are the best in the world !

    See you in my next reviews my friends


  • Ghost Hunt (Anime) Review

     

    Ghost Hunt Anime Review

    Ghost Hunt

    I think fear is an extremely interesting state of mind. It’s fascinating to experience and see what scares you and what doesn’t. It’s that wide variety offered in the horror genre that makes it so popular and prominent in entertainment. However when it comes to horror in anime, it isn’t really its forte, and I think that it’s mainly due to the very similar nature of a large majority of them. With heavy emphasis on gore and grizzly death scenes, a lot of necessary elements to making a good horror takes a backseat. Now of course, in no way shape or form does that mean that the shows are bad or not worth your time, but it does mean that for some people it isn’t going to be the horror experience that they were looking for.
    Having watched many horror anime, I can wholeheartedly say that these shows are really more uncomfortable to watch than they are scary. However discomfort is only one aspect out of many. I personally believe that if a horror anime is only able to make you feel one thing from a state of mind with a huge array of encompassing aspects other than discomfort, it isn’t a good horror anime.
    However over the years I have been fortunate enough to experience some horror anime that isn’t necessarily bad, and the one that I’ll be reviewing for you today is,Ghost Hunt. This show originally started airing back in October of 2006, and finished airing in March of 2007. It’s a light novel adaptation with animation done by Studio J.C.Staff. So after two complete recent viewings, here is my review for Ghost Hunt.

    Story of Ghost Hunt

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    The story follows a first year high school student named Taniyama Mai who ends up getting involved with Shibuya Kazuya, the president of the Shibuya Psychic Research Company. While Kazuya was conducting an investigation on her school’s abandoned building, Mai ends up interfering and after a series of unfortunate events,Kazuya hires Mai to be his assistant to make up for the damage she caused. Thus begins the ghost hunting adventures.
    First let’s start with the good. The story is presented in the form of arcs. Each arc lasting between three to six episodes. Each arc covers a specific investigation that our characters are assigned. These arcs can be really hit or miss. They can either be extremely creepy, unnerving, and scary, or just extremely boring. However the way that they pace each arc, for the most part, is well executed. The slow and tense buildup is paced well and offers us insight into what exactly our characters are up against, but not to the point where we know exactly what they’re dealing with. An extremely interesting element that the show has to offer is that it isn’t completely grounded in reality. Because of this, during the initial exposition of each arc there’s this sense of mystery to what the characters are actually dealing with, and it helps add a layer of suspense that would otherwise not be there. The show also likes to include tools, procedures, and jargon used by “real” ghost hunters. This helps mask this element of the over the top supernatural elements of the show. It bounces back between this facade of being accurate, and being more akin to a fairy tale.
    Ghost Hunt
    When the story of each arc really starts to pickup and we start seeing unnatural things happen, the order in which we receive this information is done well. There is this smooth sense of gradual growth. We aren’t thrown straight into the thick of things, rather we see the little clues, and small conversations slowly build into a worsening problem until we reach the climax. It is indeed formulaic but it’s effective and gets the job done when it’s done right.
    Regardless of these good elements the show has multiple notable flaws in it’s story. The first major problem is that the show attempts to mesh genre’s that don’t mix well together. It shoves in this pointless shoujo element that feels extremely jarring to watch and experience. The fundamental flaw in this is the fact that the romantic tension, and over the top character drama can really take you out of the horror experience that the show is supposed to be offering you. Other than that, there lies another problem in a few of the shows arcs.
    Some of these arcs are downright boring. The reason is because a lot of the investigations prior to these are far better paced and introduced, and to a greater extent, the stakes are far higher making it seem like the story is moving backwards rather than
    forwards. Watching through these arcs is extremely daunting. The pacing is too slow or too fast, the characters become utterly stupid for some reason doing things that they would normally never do, and the conclusion to these arcs are unsatisfying or feel undeserved.
    For the most part the show is able to offer moments of terror and discomfort whether it be through imagery, it’s dialogue or the decent pacing. However there are multiple issues that really prevent the story from being the best that it could have been.

    Characters of Ghost Hunt

    Mai Ghost Hunt

    The characters in this show are at best serviceable and I think that it’s one of the shows weakest points. Starting with our female protagonist, Taniyama Mai, she’s extremely unlikeable as a lead, but because she’s painted as the innocent girl who wants to do good, we can get behind her basic ideals. But that’s really the extent of her likeability. She falls into a category of female leads that come off as extremely preachy, and sometimes you actually begin to get annoyed with her as there are moments where you think to yourself, “are you seriously thinking about that in this current situation?”, and it’s moments like this that really take you out of the experience. Along with that, it never seems like she grows as a useful character. We do get to see her become more accustomed to certain things, but she ultimately ends up still being underused and pointless. It feels as if she was only included to satisfy the shoujo aspect of the show, which strengthens my point that she’s is practically a useless character.
    Kazuya Ghost Hunt
    The male protagonist of the show is Shibuya Kazuya. He is leagues better than Mai as a character. Although he does have the typical archetype of super smart, quiet, cool guy, there are hints that there are layers to him, as we learn more about who he is and why he does what he does. But to my disappointment, any resemblance of this character plot point developing is immediately eradicated as it’s hardly ever touched on again. Conclusively this makes the character two dimensional and stale, and considering that he is a lead character, it’s unacceptable.
    Ghost Hunt
    As for the side characters, they too are simply just okay. I will say that the diversity of the cast is nice to see. You don’t have to deal with all the characters having similar personalities. However the major flaw with these characters is that they’re simply there because they have one part to play in the arc of the story. Even then they’re only used to either worsen the problem, or lighten the mood. They’re relationships, backstories, and overall personalities are non-existen. They simply rely on the extremely generic moral code and belief that they are the good guys to garner some sort of sympathy from the viewer.
    Ultimately you only care enough about them to fear for them in moments of peril but at the same time you aren’t able to really get attached to them. It’s almost as if the writers couldn’t be bothered to expand and flesh these characters out after they were given a brief introduction. It’s because of this lack of care and attention given to these characters that a lot of the arcs in the show are poorly done. Writers can’t simply come up with a story and fill it with uninteresting and poorly written characters and hope for the best. A story with terrible characters will simply amalgamate into a show with terribly written characters and an equally terrible story.

    Art and Directing of Ghost Hunt

    Ghost Hunt
    This is by far the best aspect of this anime. The bland and dark color palette thatthey chose to go with really helps add to the atmosphere of the show. There are some scenes where they use the darker colors to their advantage. The actual use of the color in combination with the art makes for a sleek looking show. The character designs look appealing, albeit some of them look like they were pulled straight out of a 1980’s romance shoujo manga.
    The interesting thing about the way that many scenes were directed and drawn is that they harken back to the very basic art of horror. Not showing what we should fear. There are multiple moments in the show where because of a certain way the frame was positioned or drawn really helped to emphasize the anxiety, the fear, and discomfort.
    Without giving away too much, there is a scene that is shown from the perspective of a fallen camera, and what we get is an extremely tight shot where very little is visible until we see the decapitated head of a doll. It’s directing like this that really helps make up for a lot of the issues this show has.
    I didn’t have any major problems with the art with the exception of Mai’s character design. Compared to the other characters having a sleek and stylized design, she looks completely out of place, with her awkward body proportions and over the top facial animations. She sticks out like a sore thumb and really breaks the continuity of the overall art.

    Music and Sound of Ghost Hunt

    Ghost Hunt
    Another aspect that this show does extremely well. The music is exceptional. It offers fantastic atmospheric and tension building melodies that really keep you engaged in scenes that need you to be. Even the opening song isn’t your typical J-Rock or J-Pop song to get you hyped for the episode, rather it’s this eerie yet bombastic piece with opera like vocals to accompany it. To be completely honest, I found the opening song to be scarier than some of the actual “scary” scenes in this anime.
    As for the sound design, it’s okay. There’s nothing too special in this anime that sticks out. I mean I’m not gonna say “wow the sound the of that cup shattering was really well done”. They’re creepy enough to help certain scenes but other than that it’s nothing too special.
    Voice acting wise, it was okay as well. I am basing this off the Japanese dub, so keep that in mind. With the voice actors for Kazuya, and side characters, Takigawa Houshou and Ayako Matsuzaki being the ones to standout amongst the rest. All the other voices seemed bland and uninteresting, or too over the top and awkward to listen to. It’s like the voice actors and actresses were either falling asleep, or trying to make do with an extremely lackluster script.

    Final Verdict of Ghost Hunt

    Ghost Hunt

    Ghost Hunt is a show plagued by many problems. Ranging from it’s poorly written story arcs and characters. But the thing is fear is very subjective. What one person finds terrifying might be something someone else might not have a problem with. With that in mind the individual experience a person might have with this show is going to vastly differ from that of another persons.
    However despite it’s major flaws, I enjoyed this show. Even though I’m convinced that the writers were purposefully writing Mai to be a contender for “Worst Character of The Year” back in 2006, I can’t deny that I had fun with this show. The fact that this show is episodic to a certain extent it makes it possible to pick and choose what stories you want to watch, and I highly suggest going about watching this show that way. The fact that they aren’t just dealing with “ghosts” also broke up the monotony of the repetitive storyline in the specific arcs. In these different moments I hope that if you choose to watch this show, that it offers enough to satisfy your need for horror.
    Are there better horror anime out there? Oh hell yeah. Still, this is a show that was extremely overlooked and is considered to be a hidden gem by many in the anime community. If you can get past the major problems of this show and simply watch it to experience some decent horror in anime, I’d say give it a go.
    This isn’t a show that you need to go out of your way to watch, and you may never get it to it. You might even completely ignore the fact that this show exists. Therefore my final rating for the show is: “Backlog It”
    SUPER SHORT REVIEW
    Story: Meh
    Characters: OH GOD NO!
    Art: Aye, that’s pretty good.
    Sound: I like that Sh*t
    Voice Acting: Meh
    Overall: “BACKLOG IT”

     


  • Irregular Magic High School (Anime) Review

    Irregular Magic High School Anime Review

    : Minor spoilers are present; they are marked.

    Irregular Magic High School

    Before I watch any anime, I read the plot from the manga or light novel it was based off of. This anime sounded like it would be great with the jam packed action and trying to defy someone above you as well as trying your hardest to fit in with society. While reading therewas some talk about how the relationship of the main two characters would pan out, as they were brother and sister. In the first place, the idea, didn’t turn me away but I stayed open minded to the potential outcome.

     

    Plot Irregular Magic High School

    Irregular Magic High School

    In future Japan in 2095, there are schools that focus on Magic. Instead of using spells, these magicians use a Casting Assistant Device, or known as a CAD, to perform various specialties in magic. These CADs using psions, that are found in the air, to use and depending on how you can use these particles, determines your status in school as well as what degrees you can get in college. That is where Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba couldn’t be anymore different. They attend a private magic school called First High in which you have to take 2 standardized tests before you start class that determines your placement. Miyuki is placed in Course 1 and Tatsuya in Course 2. As the negative feelings toward Course 2 students cause havoc in the school, Tatsuya and Miyuki try their best to keep it under tabs with the help of the Student Council and the Public Morals Commitee. As one event leads to another secrets are reveled and not everything is what is seems. As the siblings try to protect their school and friends, can they keep the fact that they are related to the Ten Master Clans?

     

    Characters of Irregular Magic High School

    Irregular Magic High School

    Tatsuya Shiba

    Irregular Magic High School

    The older son of the known Yotsuba sisters; however this is a secret to the world. It is commonly mistaken that he is twins with Miyuki but he is born in March and she was born a year later in April, making them in the same grade Tatsuya was born unable to use conventional magic but, when he was very young, his mother used her unique magic to perform mental surgery on him which gave him the ability to use conventional magic at a very basic level. A side effect of the surgery he lost his ability to feel any emotions strongly (with the exception of his love for Miyuki) and the unnatural ability to read activation sequences. Due to this ability to read sequences, he is recognized by the Student Council and the Public Morals Committee. From birth he has what is two super power magical abilities, forms of decompositionand reconstruction. This concept is very deadly and the knowledge of him obtaining is classified.He is skilled in martial arts and received lots of animosity for being the first Course 2 student in the Public Morals Committee. Outside the school life, he is a world known engineer by the nameMr. Sliver. Since he is under the care of the Yotsuba Clan, they dictate what he can and can’t do in terms of what is known to the public. He is often perceived as being cold and can’t take any positive praise well so in which Miyuki likes to gloat about him to see is aware of how stronghe is.

     

    Miyuki Shiba

    Irregular Magic High School

    The daughter and youngest of the children that the known Yotsuba sister had. She is a prodigy in magic and school work making her name known as a secretary in the student council as well as being the class representative for placing first in the entrance exam. She is often seen being jealous when it comes to Tatsuya and assumes the worst in terms of relationships. It is implied that her feelings are deeper then the normal sister ­brother bond. She specializes in temperature control magic which often leaks out because she is unable to control it. Later is was revealed that she placed a limiter not only on herself, but on her brother as well to help control the psions they release. This means that she actually is much stronger then what the show leads us to believe. Miyuki is one of the heir apparent to the Yotsuba family which strives on mental magic; which is a huge controversy. To keep this a secret the last names of Tatsuya and Miyuki are different to protect her: Shiba instead of Yotsuba.

     

    Ending thoughts Irregular Magic High School

    Irregular Magic High School

    This anime was very great in terms of combat and battling with the social aspect of what should be thought of someone depending on their grade or status. The whole magic concept was confusing to understand due to how they explain it in the show. When they did explain went by so fast I had to pause to take it all in. I like how there is also a lot more to it just being “Magic”. There are different types as well as how it can be use which pertains to each person or family. As for the relationship between the siblings­(**Spoiler**) can’t happen. Even if Miyuki felt love for her brother more then being siblings, Tatsuya is incapable to actually love her any more or less then a sister. If this was the main reason for being hesitant to watching this show, don’t let it. Before the anime takes place, there was an event in which Mikyuki should have died and in which Tatsuya saves her. Due to this situation her feelings toward him can be more adoration then the story tries to let us believe. (**Spoiler over**) I don’t like how the anime perceived this two to be more like lovers then siblings because that is not how it really is.

    ­As a side note, I found that the light novel for this anime series, explains a lot of ideas that are hard to decipher in the show. If this anime peaks your interests I would highly suggest reading the light novel. After you watch the anime.

    Rating: 7/10 little blood is shown. Few swear words and minimal sexual ideas are present.


  • Blue Exorcist (Anime) Review

    Blue Exorcist Anime Review

    *Small Spoilers. Read at your own risk*

    Blue Exorcist

    What made me really interested in this anime is the fact that the two main characters are twins and one inherited a power of their father, Satan, and the other did not. As I am a twin, I wanted to see how the world of anime explained the relationships between siblings and the differences they have. From watching the trailer, I could also tell that there was going to be lots of action; not just a little, a lot. So in other words, a lot to look forward too.

     

    Plot of Blue Exorcist

    Blue Exorcist

    This world consists of two dimensions joined as one, like a mirror. The first is the world in which the humans live, Assiah. The other is the world of demons, Gehenna. Ordinarily, travel between the two, and indeed any kind of contact between the two, is impossible. However the demons can pass over into this world by possessing anything that exist within it. Satan, the god of demons, didn’t have one thing. That one thing being a substance in the human world that is powerful enough to contain him. For that purpose he created Rin and Yukio, his son from a human woman, but will his son agree to his plans? Or will he become something else…? An exorcist?

     

    Characters of Blue Exorcist

    Blue Exorcist

    Rin Okumura

    Rin Blue Exorcist

    The eldest fraternal twin. After witnessing his biological father,Satan, killing his adoptive father,Shiro, he decides to become a exorcist at True Cross Academy. His power awoke when the sword Kurikara was opened when trying to save Shiro. Kurikara is a demon sword in which Mephisto sealed Rin’s demon power in. Before his powers awakened, he appeared to be human without fangs and a demon tail. When he was younger, he often had extreme episodes where he often would “black out” and attack classmates or Shiro. Rin has a protective way of going about his actions so he gets into fights. He doesn’t show ambition for normal school work and often times is clueless to certain obvious things. His willpower to defeat Satan is shared with his classmate Ryuuji. One of his positive points is his way to cook for his friends and family. When Rin was young Shiro supported him with this hobby, and Rin got positive feedback from the meals he made, and eventually he became a great cook. In grew up not knowing he was related to Satan or about Yukio being a exorcist.

     

    Yukio Okumura

    Yukio Blue Exorcist

    The youngest fraternal twin. He is also the youngest exorcist in history of True Cross Academy. He is one of the teachers of the cram school for becoming an Exorcist and teaches medicine. Yukio stated when he was young that he wanted to be a doctor, which Rin encouraged him to do. His weapon is a gun that contains bullets for different purposes. Ever since he was born, he was able to see demons and was often bullied by them. Rin, having no idea about the demons, always came to his rescue and also was there to help. Yukio is often scared of getting Satan’s power and takes it out on Rin­ often threatening him. Yukio can be described as being calm and collected but can often has moments when he appears to be bi­polar. He kept him being a exorcist and being related to Satan from Rin.

     

    Shiro Fujimoto

    Shiro Blue Exorcist

    The adoptive father of Rin, and Yukio. He is priest, exorcist and Paladin of the True Cross Order. Paladin is the highest exorcist one can become, and there is only one that can have that title. In attempts to save Rin, he is possessed by Satan in which it untimely killed him. He has a mysterious past and had a protective and kind heart. Shiro knew Yuri, the Okumura twin’s mother, and tried to change her view point of befriending demons.15 years before the series starts, Yuri gives birth to the twins but dies after telling Shiro her last words. With Mephisto at his side, Rin’s power is sealed in the sword Kurikara. Shiro hid this sword in a chest until Rin’s power could no longer be under control. He also used to be a heavy smoker but when he saw Rin smile, he quit. After adopting the twins, he changed the way he did missons to be less violent. One of Shiro’s missions, he helped tamed a familiar, named Kuro.

     

    Shiemi Moriyama

    Shiemi Blue Exorcist

    Currently has a title as an Exwire at True Cross Academy. She is quiet, shy and loves her friends. She is incredibly loyal and is a very hardworking student. Before she met Rin, she didn’t go to school and couldn’t move on passed her grandmothers death. With Rin’s help, using his own experience, changed Shiemi’s perceptive and now wants to become an exorcist to help others just like her. Her family runs a medical exorcist shop which Yukio comes by often for the academy and personal reasons. Shiemi is close with Rin and Yukio and is upsetwhen they do reckless things.  She summons a familiar named Nee that often protects her and her other classmates.

     

    Ryuji Suguro

    Ryuji Blue Exorcist

    Known as Bon, is currently an Exwire at True Cross Academy. He is very good in school and is very determined to defeat Satan. Ryuji is the child of the Head Priest that was destroyed during the Blue Night. He was often teased and not taken seriously because of his vow to kill Satan, which now makes Rin his rival. He appears to have a rebellious look with his bleached hair and piercings but he takes everything very seriously. He often get upset with Rin due to having more of a care free attitude. He will do whatever it takes to make sure his friends are safe. He is childhood friends with Shima and Miwa.

     

    Renzou Shima

    Renzou Blue Exorcist

    Is a Exwire at True Cross Academy. He came to the school with his childhood friends with Ryuji and Miwa, He is carefree and is the joker in a serious situation. He doesn’t care about affiliations, titles, or appearances. Due to the fact he is the 5th youngest son in his family, he lacks some responsibilities. He is shown being very friendly with women and can even come across as a pervert. His hair is dyed pink from his born black color. He uses weapon called K’irk, which he uses more for defense then as an actual weapon. Shima cares for his friends, and will almost do anything to save them, except anything that deals with bugs.

     

    Izumo Kamiki

    Izumo Blue Exorcist

    Is a Exwire at True Cross Academy. She is often rude to her classmates except for her friend Paku. Izumo often gives a rough exterior but deep down cares when the moments count. Her past is unknown and so is her ambition for wanting to becoming an exorcist. First shedislikes Shemi, but after a battle in which Izumo was saved by her, their relationship grew closer.

     

    Konekomaru Miwa

    Konekomaru Blue Exorcist

    Is a Exwire at True Cross Academy. Miwa is very protective of the people he grew up with, such as Shima and Ryuji. Out of everyone in the class he is most scared of Satans Flame due to the Blue Night. He works hard as a student and shares common interests with Ryuji with schoolwork gate at the Academy. Rin can hear the inner thoughts of Kuro, when he became sad due to Shiro’s death. Later in the series, events occur that lead Yukio to be able to listen too.

     

    Shura Kirgakure

    Shura Blue Exorcist

    Used to be Shiro’s student. Her past is also mysterious, but has a strong knowledge of swords. She later becomes Rin’s mentor when her undercover identity is revealed. She has a often skimpy appearance and is very open. Shura drinks but never lets it affect her. The new Paladin, Angel and her often butt heads because they have different viewpoints. She would rather follow her gut then follow the rulebook.

     

    Mephisto Pheles

    Mephisto Blue Exorcist

    Real name being Samael, is an exorcist and apart of the Eight Demon Kings; The power of Time. To the public eye, his name is Johann Faust V. Out of all the characters, he is the most mysterious and often is very difficult to read. Throughout the show he speaks German, often in numbers, and has a infatuation with Japan. Shiro and him appeared to be on good terms with the way he helped with the incident regarding Yuri. Mephisto often makes bets and enjoys toying with people. He brings in his brother, King of Earth, to help make Rin loose control of his powers. Samuel’s power seems to be strong, but not very much is shown. Since he is a demon, he is not trusted by others.

     

    Yuri Egin

    Shura Blue Exorcist

    Previously known as a exorcist, who for whatever reason, is resistant to Satan’s flame. She later marries him and bears twin sons; Rin and Yukio. She dies from childbirth before giving Shiro her final wish. She shares a dream with Satan in order to keep peace between Assiah and Gehenna and hopefully to become one.

     

    Ending Thoughts of Blue Exorcist

    Blue Exorcist

    After finishing the season, I learned that it  does stray path of the manga, which is slightly upsetting, knowing that it will most likely not have a second season. An irk that Ihave with the way the dialogue is, is how they perceive Rin different from Yukio. When they say the son of Satan, they ONLY refer to Rin­since he has the power. It bothers me, as a watcher, to see that Yukio isn’t even considered. Also the fact that Yukio is so scared of the power that Rin has, even though Rin didn’t have a choice. Yukio is just as much a son of Satan as Rin. The ending was really captivating and made me want to keep watching. They did a good job at explaining the stories of the people involved and having great character development.

    Rating: 8/10 lots of blood, violence, and some fan service is present.

     


  • Mirai Nikki (Anime) Review

    Mirai Nikki Anime Review

    Mirai Nikki

    ʟɪɢʜᴛ ᴡᴀs ғᴏʀɢᴇᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴏғ ᴅᴀʀᴋɴᴇss

    ᴄʀᴇᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ᴏғ ʜᴇᴀᴠᴇɴ ᴀɴᴅ ᴇᴀʀᴛʜ

    ᴀʟʟ ᴡᴀs ɪɴ ᴀ sᴛᴀᴛᴇ ᴏғ ғʟᴜx

    ʜᴜᴍᴀɴɪᴛʏ ᴡᴀs ᴡᴏᴠᴇɴ ᴏɴ ᴍʏ ʟᴏᴏᴍ

    ɢʀᴇᴇᴅʏ, ʏᴏᴜ ᴅʀᴏᴡɴ ɪɴ sʟʏ ᴘʟᴏᴛs

    ʜᴏᴘᴇʟᴇss, ʏᴏᴜ ᴄʀʏ ʙᴇᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ʏᴏᴜ sɪɴ

    ʙʟɪɴᴅ, ʏᴏᴜ ᴘʀᴏsᴘᴇʀ ɪɴ ғᴀʟsᴇʜᴏᴏᴅ

    ᴡᴇᴀᴋ, ʏᴏᴜ ғᴇᴀʀ ʙᴇᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴅɪᴇ

    ʏᴇᴛ ʏᴏᴜ’ʟʟ ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴄᴀᴛᴄʜ ᴀ ɢʟɪᴍᴘsᴇ

    ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴇʀᴄʏ ᴇxᴛᴇɴᴅᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʏᴏᴜ

    ᴅᴏɴ’ᴛ ᴄᴜʀsᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴏᴡɴ ʙʟᴇssɪɴɢ

    ʏᴏᴜ ғᴏᴏʟɪsʜ ᴇɢᴏɪsᴛ

    ʏᴜᴋɪᴛᴇʀᴜ ᴀᴍᴀɴᴏ ɪs ᴀ sʜʏ 14 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴏʟᴅ ʙᴏʏ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʟᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ ʜɪᴍsᴇʟғ ɪɴ ᴀ ʀᴇᴀʟᴍ ᴏғ sᴏʟɪᴛᴜᴅᴇ sᴇᴄʟᴜᴅᴇᴅ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀs.

    ʜᴇ ɪs ᴀ ᴘᴀssɪᴠᴇ ᴡᴀᴛᴄʜᴇʀ, ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴛᴀᴋɪɴɢ ᴘᴀʀᴛ ɪɴ ᴀɴʏ ᴇᴠᴇɴᴛ, ʜᴇ ɪɴsᴛᴇᴀᴅ ᴡɪᴛɴᴇssᴇs ʟɪғᴇ ᴀʀᴏᴜɴᴅ ʜɪᴍ ᴛʏᴘɪɴɢ ɪᴛ ᴅᴏᴡɴ ɪɴ ʜɪs ᴄᴇʟʟᴘʜᴏɴᴇ, ʜɪs ᴅɪᴀʀʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴏɴʟʏ ʜᴏʙʙʏ. ᴏɴᴇ ᴅᴀʏ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏʏ ʀᴇᴀʟɪᴢᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʜɪs ᴏɴʟʏ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴠᴏɪᴄᴇ ɪɴ ʜɪs ʜᴇᴀᴅ, sᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ ᴏғ ɪᴍᴀɢɪɴᴀʀʏ ᴡɪsᴅᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴏᴄᴄᴀsɪᴏɴᴀʟʟʏ ᴛᴀʟᴋᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʜɪᴍ, ᴘʀᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴍᴏʀᴇ ʀᴇᴀʟ ᴛʜᴀɴ ᴇᴠᴇʀ. ᴅᴇᴜs ᴇx ᴍᴀᴄʜɪɴᴀ, ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴜʟᴇʀ ᴏғ ᴛɪᴍᴇ ᴀɴᴅ sᴘᴀᴄᴇ ᴄᴏɴᴛᴀᴄᴛᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴋɪᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴘᴀʀᴛᴇᴄɪᴘᴀᴛᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴀ ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ ɢᴀᴍᴇ ɪɴᴠᴏʟᴠɪɴɢ ᴅɪᴀʀɪᴇs ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴄᴀɴ ᴘʀᴇᴅɪᴄᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ғᴜᴛᴜʀᴇ. ᴛᴡᴇʟᴠᴇ ᴄᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴅᴇʀs ᴡɪʟʟ ғɪɢʜᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴏʙᴛᴀɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛʜʀᴏɴᴇ ᴏғ ɢᴏᴅ ᴀs ʜɪs sᴜᴄᴄᴇssᴏʀ, ᴀ ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ sᴛᴀɪɴᴇᴅ ғᴜᴛᴜʀᴇ ᴀᴡᴀɪᴛs….

    This is the psychopathic review of Mirai Nikki shonen psychological thriller anime from 2011 based on the manga with the same name. The review will concern the 26 episodes of the series plus Mirai Nikki Redial ova, the definitive ending to the series and unofficial episode 27. We’re going to analyze the show according to animation, characters, sound, story and personal enjoyment. Will this anime meet its fateful dead end or a glorious happy review ? Let’s find out

    Mirai Nikki Art and Animation

    Score 7/10

    Mirai Nikki

    The show was produced by Asread, a relatively unknown and young studio with a small number of works but they did a remarkable job in animating the series. Character design is nothing complicated but various nonetheless, with a stereotypical modern Japanese setting. It’s safe to say how animation surely kept up with the year the anime was produced, the action and facial expressions (especially of the crazed protagonist Yuno) convey the chaotic and violent feeling of the series perfectly. The opening is surely made to get the best out of the studio’s skills, devilishly hysterical and full of subtle symbolism.

    Mirai Nikki Characters

    Score 5/10 

    Mirai Nikki

    Mirai Nikki’s cast is actually well characterized even though we tend to follow stereotypical archetypes with most of them. The focus is obviously on the two protagonists Yuno and Yukiteru and to a lesser extent, the other 11 contenders. Each of them is easily distinguished, even though their personality and characterization are nowhere near perfection everyone has their own quirks, dreams, morality and ideology. Apart from a few misused and neglected characters it’s impossible to ignore how a number of main characters and their developments are clearly copy pasted from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Yuno is interesting in her unpredictable and crazy personality but she tends to become quite obnoxious while Yukiteru Amano is the bane of my existence, he is not wimpy, he just arouses the most pure form of visceral hatred, he is cancer in art form, a walking mass of animated excrement.

    Mirai Nikki Soundtrack and Acting

    Score 8/10

    Mirai Nikki

    This show’s fantastic and pseudo mythological flavor surely requires an ost that blends the aforementioned elements with the modernity Mirai Nikki is set on and it does succeeds to say the least. The main soundtrack does not really stay engraved into your mind but it serves its purpose of providing with climatic and fitting background music. The anime has its fair number of openings and even though they are all well done the first op still remains classified as crack in sound form. Mostly due to the fact that the gothic singer Yui from Yosei Teikoku is responsible behind the majority of the songs, I don’t think someone will hate this aspect of Mirai Nikki.

    It’s important to mention the amazing thematic album containing character songs Ingaritsu Decibel (probably the best anime inspired vocal album). The voice acting is fine, not that remarkable due to a high amount of “young” seiyuu, but it does its job well (if we don’t consider Deus being voiced by the veteran va Norio Wakamoto :smile_cat:)

    Mirai Nikki Story and Pacing

    Score 7/10

    Mirai Nikki

    It’s really weird how a second time you watch the same anime allows you to look at things for how they truly are. What did change in my considerations list from the first time I watched the show you may ask ? The pacing is still as insane and fast as I expected and you will rarely get dreadfully bored with the series, at any moment the show can catch you off guard, shooting revelations, twists and more obscene stuff literally in your face. Even though the plot is rich with lots of that twisted stuff people like, at one point the series tries too hard, the revelations and plot become needlessly convoluted and that genuine veil of mystery is replaced with excessive drama or stupidity (at times even both). When I was not busy swearing against the protagonist I could also enjoy the Greek style mythological flavor of the series, the 12 contenders are indeed based on olympian gods (with all due references).

    P. S: If the ending proves to be underwhelming for you (like in my case) then the ova Mirai Nikki Redial is even worse

     

    Mirai Nikki Personal Enjoyment

    Score 7/10

    If you try, like all you can, to forget about the very existence of a certain character, the show is worth the whole run. Nowadays we should realize how rare for a series to be fully adapted is, no matter how good was. If you enjoy wimpy cowards, psychopathic yandere, raped girls, insane kids, tons of drama, exaggerated “Luke I am your father” twists then Mirai Nikki is (or was) your kind of animated series. Boasting one of the most popular and iconic female characters to date and a cast of people that surely stimulate a wide range of emotions in you (no not only range). I overall enjoyed this ride to anime despite its obvious flaws and a not so inspiring turn of events at the end of the series. Ah I also liked the omakes (small animated segments at the end of certain shows episodes like Bleach or Naruto) as it provided with much needed humorous situations and comic relief.

    P. S: Spoiler

    For those of you who were surprised at Murmur being the actual main antagonist of the series just check out her name, Murmur is a demon listed in the Ars Goethia encyclopedia :japanese_ogre:

    Final Score 6.5/10


  • Tokyo Ghoul (Anime) Review

    Tokyo Ghoul Anime Review

    Tokyo Ghoul

    ʏᴏᴜ ᴅᴏ ғᴇᴀʀ ᴛʜᴇᴍ

    ʏᴏᴜ ᴀsᴋ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴏsᴇ ɢʜᴏᴜʟs ᴀʀᴇ

    ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴍᴏɴsᴛᴇʀs

    ᴛʜᴇ ᴀɴsᴡᴇʀ ɪs sɪᴍᴘʟᴇ

    ᴊᴜsᴛ ᴛᴇʟʟ ᴍᴇ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴇᴀᴛ

    ᴀɴᴅ ɪ’ʟʟ ᴛᴇʟʟ ʏᴏᴜ

    ᴡʜᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴀʀᴇ

    ɢᴀɴɢs ᴀɴᴅ ʏᴀᴋᴜᴢᴀ ᴀʀᴇ ɴᴏ ʟᴏɴɢᴇʀ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴏsᴛ ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ

    ᴀᴄʀᴏss ɪɴ ᴛᴏᴋʏᴏ’s sᴛʀᴇᴇᴛs. ᴀ ᴍʏsᴛᴇʀɪᴏᴜs

    ʀᴀᴄᴇ ᴏғ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ ʟɪᴋᴇ sᴜᴘᴇʀɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴀʟ ʙᴇɪɴɢs ʜᴀs ᴇsᴛᴀʙʟɪsʜᴇᴅ ɪᴛs ᴏᴡɴ ᴍɪᴄʀᴏ sᴏᴄɪᴇᴛʏ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴊᴀᴘᴀɴᴇsᴇ ᴄᴀᴘɪᴛᴏʟ, ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴀʀᴇ ‘ɢʜᴏᴜʟs’. ᴘʜʏsɪᴄᴀʟʟʏ ʟᴏᴏᴋɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ sᴀᴍᴇ ᴀs ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴇɢᴜʟᴀʀ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴs, ɢʜᴏᴜʟs ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴀ ᴜɴɪǫᴜᴇ ʙᴏᴅʏ sᴛʀᴜᴄᴛᴜʀᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ sᴋɪɴ ʜᴀʀᴅ ᴀs sᴛᴇᴇʟ, ɢʀᴀɴᴛɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇᴍ sᴜᴘᴇʀ sᴛʀᴇɴɢᴛʜ ʙᴜᴛ ғᴏʀᴄɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴛᴏ ᴇᴀᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴅɪɢᴇsᴛ ɴᴏᴛʜɪɴɢ ʙᴜᴛ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ ғʟᴇsʜ. ᴡᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴋᴀɴᴇᴋɪ ᴋᴇɴ, ᴀ ʏᴏᴜɴɢ ᴍᴀɴ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʟᴇᴀᴅs ᴀ ᴘᴇᴀᴄᴇғᴜʟ ʟɪғᴇ ᴀs ᴀ ɴᴏʀᴍᴀʟ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛ, ɢᴏɪɴɢ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴡɪᴛʜ ʜɪs ɴᴇᴡ ɢɪʀʟғʀɪᴇɴᴅ ғᴏʀ ᴛʜᴇ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴛɪᴍᴇ, ᴀ ᴅᴀᴛᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ғᴀᴛᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴄʜᴀɴɢᴇ ʜɪs ʟɪғᴇ ɪɴᴛᴏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴏғ ᴄʜᴀᴏs ᴀɴᴅ ʜᴏʀʀᴏʀ

    This is the monstrous review of Tokyo Ghoul, a psychological horror anime from 2014 based on the popular seinen manga with the same of Sui Ishida. I remind you that this review will only exclusively cover the first season that aired last year. I’m going to analyze this according to Graphics, Characters, Sound, Plot and Personal Enjoyment.

    Art and Animation of Tokyo Ghoul

    Score 8/10

    Tokyo Ghoul

    The anime was produced by Studio Pierrot, a highly popular studio that produced many mainstream shounen series offering an unsteady visual quality (still having nightmares from Naruto vs Pain battle). Tokyo Ghoul is one of those series they would not dare to mess up and it indeed has a fine and sleek animation that shines during the intense battles and extremely violent scenes throughout the run. While the setting and characters are the stereotypical ones belonging to a modern era, the trait is pleasant to look at and the Kagune, the Ghoul’s appendages, are a flavorful and artistic feature to the franchise.

    Characters of Tokyo Ghoul

    Score 6/10

    Tokyo Ghoul

    I’m quite familiar with this genre of works in the anime industry and the show follows the typical stereotypes concerning characters and situations of the horror genre but don’t think it’s actually inherently horrible. The characters do not shine because of development or complicated characterization but they work for what they were intended to. It’s surely one of those shows where the secondary characters are the main attraction and most interesting members of the cast. Even though we have some valid element among the protagonists, the show suffers from not so optimal use of the great number of characters and the protagonist Kaneki is a punch bag almost all the time

    Soundtrack and Acting Of Tokyo Ghoul

    Score 8/10

    Tokyo Ghoul

    The opening is unquestionably the most popular one from 2014 (it boasts over 12 million views on youtube in one video) but I was not that captived by it so it’s passable, not amazing but not horrible, just average. The soundtrack merely serves as a way to provide with a background support to the various scenes, that due to the highly grim and intense nature of the show it serves its job to build up the tension but nothing too memorable. What gets most of this score is the Japanese acting, even though we have some popular voice I occasionally had shivers down my spine for how realistic and heart felt the acting was, especially during violent, painful scenes, those screams and cries cannot pass unnoticed

    Story and Pacing of Tokyo Ghoul

    Score 7/10

     

    Tokyo Ghoul can boast a nicely crafted dark fantasy world that sees the duality between humans and ghouls. This is a seinen and I did expect more than just shounen like (yet spectacular) battles. At the beginning we have the protagonist Kaneki dealing with the realization to not be a human anymore, to have become a flesh feeding creature that acts with homicidal instinct. We see how Tokyo is divided in various territories each led by groups of Ghouls, this whole territorial competition and dichotomy between “I am a human” and “I am a ghoul” is never really fully explored, this would make the show more complete.

    The pacing works but it is mostly characters doing things for most of it, the actual story flows slowly but it knows how to “mask” these flaws very well. I did not quite loved how it occasionally turned violence to genuine and exaggerated torture porn

    Personal Enjoyment of Tokyo Ghoul

    Score 7/10

    Tokyo Ghoul

    I’m really sorry for disappointing all those who believed me to enter the Tokyo Ghoul hate club cause I’m not in there. It’s quite obvious how the series is overrated or rather over popular for what it actually offers. The show does have all elements an anime needs to become the next Attack on Titan in terms of popularity, in this sense this is a show that clearly does not make me astonished at how it is so mainstream and I must admit I quite enjoyed it even though it has evident flaws and holes. Second season has not ended yet and I have yet to watch it and read the manga cause I’m actually intrigued to see how things will continue.

    It’s not the most original work in the world but it’s a lie if one says that it does not offer a bit of personality and entertainment that’s for sure.

    Final Score 7.0/10


  • 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

     


  • 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


  • Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works (Anime) Review

    Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Anime Review

     

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

     

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

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

     

    Characters of Fate/Stay Night

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

    Episodes: 25

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

    Studio: Aniplex, Notes, Ufotable

    Score: 9/10

    Verdict: Must Watch


  • Tokyo Ghoul (Anime Season 1) Review

    Tokyo Ghoul (Season 1) Anime Review

    DISCLAIMER: this review contains spoilers so only read ahead if you’ve seen it or you don’t care. Also this review is of season one only.

    Based on the manga of the same name, Tokyo Ghoul is produced by Studio Pierrot, a studio that makes the long-running shows Naruto and Bleach. The story centres around a human student named Kaneki Ken, who falls victim a binge-eating ghoul named Rize. However in an unexpected turn of events Rize is killed and in order to save Kaneki, her organs are transferred into him. Although not executed supremely well, I thought the overall concept here was a really interesting and didn’t fall into the pitfall of a generic vampire-like story.

    This all happens in the first couple of episodes, and they are actually the best episodes of the entire season. One thing that Tokyo Ghoul struggled to do in my opinion was maintain the themes and tone that this introduction sets up. What was initially a internal psychological war within Kaneki is somewhat lost, and the focus drifts away from this for a large remainder of the show, except in places where the plot conveniently demands it.

    The tone during the overall season felt inconsistent. At points it was this deep wrenching psychological thriller and then at other points it felt like I was watching a slice of life anime. While the altering tempo wasn’t as jagged as in something like Akame ga Kill, it still felt like the writers was slightly confused about what genre they were writing at points.

     

    Tokyo Ghoul Characters

    The characterizations in Tokyo Ghoul were hit and miss for me. Some of the characters were brilliant: the Gourmet was one of the best villains I have seen in an anime. His design fully suited his personality, he was utterly insane but his goals made sense in their own twisted way (which is what you want from a villain).

    Touka was almost certainly the best main character in the show. She is a strong female lead which is something which I feel isn’t always seen enough in anime, and you truly see a metamorphosis in her character from being cold and heartless to becoming reluctantly fond of Kaneki and Hinami.

    The side characters were dealt with averagely, with some of them (for example Hinami, her mother, and the Doves) feeling fully fleshed out, while others felt more like filler characters and plot leverage for the main characters to bounce off of (such as Kaneki’s friend Hide, or Nishiki and his human girlfriend). As there is so little time spent with these characters we don’t learn to empathise with how other characters feel about them. This is a shame because it feels like wasted potential.

    On the other side of the spectrum is Kaneki, who whilst he isn’t the worst main character I’ve ever seen, he is still unremarkably boring. Aside from the ghoul transformation at the start of the show, we see almost no change in him at all until about 3 minutes from the end of the last episode. And for a show which seems to try and put a focus on characters so much it doesn’t really do much for me.

    Tokyo Ghoul Animation and Sound

    The art, animation, and sound in Tokyo Ghoul are good. Whilst they aren’t going to win any awards, they are sufficiently good enough to do the show justice. The setting and characters all look nice (and appropriate to their personality), and the animation is pretty smooth and doesn’t dip in quality anywhere which is good. Aside from the main theme song which is awesome, the sound isn’t especially noteworthy but the sound engineers did a good job of realizing that sometimes silence has a better effect than music in some scenes of tension or exposition.
    So to conclude, Tokyo Ghoul has its flaws but is still worth your time to watch. While there are issues with tone and some characters, the overarching story is enough to keep you invested until the end.

     

    Score: 7/10

    Verdict: Watch it

    Recommended Similar Shows: Parasyte, Another, Elfen Lied

    Review by MrA