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  • Demon City Shinjuku (Anime) Review

    Demon City Shinjuku Anime Review

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    Over the years I have watched Demon City Shinjuku a few times. Recently I decided to watch the movie again. I had forgotten how serene the movie can be and yet so violent at the same time. The movie takes through a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of today’s age.
    Demon City Shinjuku is a 1988 anime film directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri based after a horror novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi.

     

    Demon City Shinjuku Plot

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    The film follows a young man named Kyoya Izayoi and his journey into the demonized Shinjuku area. During the opening of the film, a man named Genichirou and another named Rebi Ra are fighting on the rooftop of buildings. The two were once a students of a Nempo martial art user named Aguni Rai. Rebi Ra ends up killing Genichirou and letting loose a few demons into the Shinjuku area. Ten years pass by and Kyoya (son of Genichirou) is now left with the aftermath of his fathers failures. Rai asks Kyoya for help when the World President (Kozumi Rama) is attacked. Kyoya refuses at first but reluctantly goes when he finds out the World President’s daughter goes to Shinjuku to save her father. Kyoya ends up following out of guilt. The two are now in the dangerous zone of demons and must find a way to Rebi Ra and defeating him.

    I have watched the movie several times but only recently understood it better now that I am more mature. The story is not hard to follow, it’s just a little confusing. The scenes can change quickly, but it does so in a calm state. It’s nice due to some of the violent scenes it an have. Not that it is gruesome or very graphic, it had little graphic scenes. Those graphic scenes tend to be towards animals. The one thing I didn’t like about the movie. The plot was interesting, but not enough time was given for a lot of details.

     

    Demon City Shinjuku Characters

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    There are only a few characters in the movie that stand out.

    The main character Kyoya is your typical 80s anime male lead, acts nonchalant and has no real motive to save the world. But he does so anyways. I would say I liked his character, but again there was no time for a lot of development. Of course he does like women and that is why he saves the Presidents daughter. He is stronger than he looks as well.

    Sayaka Rama is the presidents daughter. To be honest she is basically just like Relena Peacecraft from Gundam Wing. She looks weak and scared, but is actually very strong willed and determined. Her character got a little annoying towards the end for some reason. She seemed to just do stuff without thinking sometimes and got into trouble which could have been avoided.

    Rebi Ra is a typical antagonist that wants power. He sold his soul to get stronger than Genichirou. Other than the opening and the last scene, he is rarely seen in the movie. That is a little frustrating because there could have been more. He was just a tool in the end.

    Mephisto and the unknown kid are two people who are actually trying to help Kyoya and Sayaka in Demon City Shinjuku. Mephisto is a quiet guy and just reminds me of Darkside from Darkside Blues. The kid is just atypical child about to turn into a teenage punk. These two are crucial to Kyoya finding Rebi Ra and the kid is even used against Kyoya by one of Rebi Ra’s demons to stop him.

    There are three demons in the movie that Kyoya and the group have to fight. The first one is your typical arachnid type demon. Looks big and strong but on the inside (literally) easy to take down. The second one is a roundish water demon. The third is a serpent type female demon that tries to use her sexuality to distract Mephisto. Honestly the enemies could have been better. They were taken down to quickly.

     

    Demon City Shinjuku Animation and Music

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    The animation was actually really clean for the times. It reminds of you any 80s anime from that time. The scenes are serene at times and even the music can draw you into them. The music really helps with keeping the plot calm and leaving little to be tense about. There honestly is no suspense in the movie due to the cut away scenes and the music. It looks like the director used Miyazaki’s technique of ‘ma’ (intentional emptiness).

     

    Demon City Shinjuku Overall

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    The movie does have some graphic scenes when you see an animal around. So do be aware of that please. There is also a little sexual scenes, but nothing serious. With that said, the movie is good if you just want to watch a quick movie and not think to much. There really is not that much dialogue. Overall I would say it’s good for the time it came out. If you wanted something more interesting I would say to read the novel or even the manga. The movie can leave you disappointed in the end when it comes to final fight as well.

     

    Overall Grade: 5/10


  • Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion (Anime) Review

    Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion Anime Review

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

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

    Without further ado, let’s get started.

    Plot of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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

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

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

    Characters of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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

    Soundtrack and Pacing of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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

    Analysis of Digimon Adventure Tri. Reunion

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Overall

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

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


  • One Piece – Pre Time Skip – (Anime) Review

    One Piece (Pre-Time Skip) Anime Review

    “My treasure you say?
    If you want it you can have it!
    Go and seek it out
    I left everything in my life
    In that place”
    Hence the great era of freedom
    Was about to commence
    An age of pirates
    It’s time to sail now
    The route to our dreams awaits!

    One Piece Log Day 1

    This is the first day of I and my crew’s journey in this dangerous sea, writing down everything in this log. I am a pirate, pursuer of boundless fame and glory as the one who’ll become the next pirate king, the successor to Gold Roger, the one who found and hid the greatest treasure of all times only known as One Piece. Ever since the legendary pirate died, countless people sailed in search of the unknown legacy left by Roger, the man who incited the whole world as his last act of defiance. It won’t be an easy journey, many other pirates practising their right to be free are in search of the fabled One Piece as well…

    Prologue

    This is the adventerous review of the pre timeskip arcs of One Piece, the ongoing shounen anime series based on the award winning, Guinness breaking manga with the same name by Eichiro Oda. I am going to review the first 6 great arcs before episode 517 (Chapter 568) but with a notably more subjective take than my previous reviews. Will this deserve to be the king of shounen ? Then let us find this out !

    East Blue Arc

    Starts ep 1 and ends ep 61 (chapter 100). The arc is aimed at introducing us to the One Piece Universe and its basic characters. The most important parts being Romance Dawn, Syrup Village, Baratie Arc and Arlong Park arcs where Luffy, Zoro, Usop, Sanji and Nami are introduced. This arc is produced by Toei Animation during 1999 but the fully drawn animation is nice and colourful, character design and art is simple yet distinguished. East Blue reveals the earliest threats in the series for our crew, the cruelty and mercilessness of the world is shown, being a pirate is not a game, the sea is not a swimming pool

    • Bounty Score: 16.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Dracule Mihawk :japanese_goblin:

    Alabasta Arc

    Starts episode 61 and ends ep 135 (chapter 217). The arc is the first true fearsome challenge for the Strawhat Pirates, getting involved in a country plagued with civil war tension and the sinister plans of the criminal group Baroque Works and their mastermind leader. The sandy kingdom of Alabasta

    is wonderfully drawn, with a highlight to the middle eastern style of the arc. Animation improves, the story plot is thickened with the first mysteries and the first true major villain and themes in One Piece. The focus on the villain that passes himself off as the hero taking advantage of a population in despair to control everything is truely amazing

    • Bounty Score: 87.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Nico Robin :heart:

    Skypiea Arc

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    Starts ep 136 and ends ep 206 (chapter 302). The arc follows the exploits of our crew in an island that does not affect the course of the story as a whole but proves to be one of the most heart felt and flavourful of all arcs in One Piece. Following the legend of the sky island, Luffy and his crew eventually reaches Skypiea, a place isolated from the world

    and first reached by the navigator Noland, branded and killed as a foolish

    liar. The Strawhats will have to face the powerful god Enel that overthrew the previous one and bent the island to his thunderous will together with his priests. The Pre Columbian aspects of the arc make it overall one my favourites of all times, we are in the show’s golden age

    • Bounty Score: 143.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Enel :zap:

    Water 7 Arc

    Starts ep 207 and ends ep 325 (chapter 430). This arc is where the series starts to step up the whole game, reaching the greatest heights of the pre timeskip part of One Piece. Water 7 follows our crew in its visit to a majestic Venice like city built on water where different ship building companies compete with one another. When Nico Robin’s backstory starts to blast from her past, a secret government organization known as Cyber Pol 9 will try to take her away from the Strawhats Pirates. We can call this as one of the most iconic arcs of all times, boasting a new level in One Piece fights like we’ve never seen before, mystery and themes reach perfection, no fault whatsoever, only the best feels

    • Bounty Score: 300.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Rob Lucci :smiley_cat:

    Thriller Bark Arc

    Starts ep 326 and ends ep 384 (chapter 489). This is probably one of the shortest arcs in the whole series, located right after the colossal saga of Water 7/Enies Lobby and it rather pales in comparison. The Strawhats end up in the gigantic island ship of Thriller Bark, owned by one of the Shichibukai, the ghastly Gekko Moria that will stand in the way of our friends. Even though the arc the eccentric and quite particular skeleton Brook (whose backstory flashback is currently my favourite) and we have a nice halloween horror like setting this is however my least favourite of all One Piece Arcs, but it can be considered as a way to catch a fun break once in a while

    • Bounty Score: 10.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Brook :skull:

    Summit War Arc

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    Starts ep 385 and ends ep 516 (chapter 597). Here we go with the last arc of the pre timeskip era of One Piece, the most fast paced and (for many) mind blowing arc. For the first time we have a war in the pirate world against the sworn enemies the Marines trying to execute one of the legendary Whitebeard’s “children” Luffy’s brother Portgas D. Ace, while the Strawhats are scattered, Luffy tries to join the battle for his brother, an ant amidst the giants. The arc has amazing parts like Sabaody, Amazon Lily, Impel Down and Marine Ford. Animation direction changes, making it not as appealing for nostalgic fans like me. Many iconic characters from all sagas return to join the greatest battles in the series as of now.

    • Bounty Score: 279.000.000 :moneybag:

    • Fav Character: Silvers Rayleigh :older_man:

    Overall One Piece is probably the father of the next generation of shounen. It may not be a perfect series but its narrative arcs will surely keep anyone entertained despite the animation for many people would not seem as mature as stuff like AoT and Tokyo Ghoul (sarcasm). If you can follow a long odissey that cares more about the journey rather than the destination then this is your series. It’s also one of the few shounen to deal with so many themes such as: slavery, tyranny, emancipation, brotherhood, war, human rights, discrimination, history, sacrifice, idealism, justice.

    Overall Score 8/10


  • Nanatsu no Taizai (Anime) Review

    Nanatsu no Taizai Anime Review

    Why hast thou fallen from the sky ?

    Bearer of Light, Bringer of Dawn

    The star welcometh the morning

    No longer, never again

    For thou hast committed them

    He hath punished thee

    What are thy sins ?

    Marked by the stain of hubris

    Cast down from pearly heavens

    Thou hast sworn in wrath

    Against His own creation

    Where are thy six fallen angels ?

    Prepare yourself for a journey into a land of fantasy and magic, in the Britannia era of legend and knights. The main force of the kingdoms scattered through out the region lies in orders of Holy Knights, powerful entities that use terrifying magical powers and protect the country from nefarious perils. The story focuses on the renowned kingdom of Liones where a tragic coup d’etat is staged by the notorious Seven Deadly Sins, seven fearsome soldiers at the service of the king. With the kingdom in shambles, the holy knights intervene and supposedly defeat them, banishing them forever. Years have passed and the king is ironically overthrown by the very holy knights, prompting princess Elizabeth to find the infamous group of traitors and release the shackled Liones.

    Art and Animation of Nanatsu no Taizai

    Score 8/10

    Nanatsu no Taizai sports an art style that, albeit not perfect, is unique to its own series (also improving the trait of the manga) and goes well with the mood and setting of the show. The character design is surprisingly well done and can be stylish and iconic, even with secondary members of the cast. However, the part I enjoyed the most about the technical compart is the fluid and greatly detailed animation that does seem to care about every single frame, impressing in every powerful or fast paced scene.

    Characters of Nanatsu no Taizai

    Score 7/10

    Even though the show follows the main stream standards and cliches of the shounen genre for the most party, the characters are easily distinguishable and all possess more or less endearing traits in their personality, thus making the “choose your favorite” game a compulsory step in the fruition of the Seven Deadly Sins. Each of them has his or her own specific goals, quirks and characterization and thankfully not a high amount of annoying or useless characters, and so the experience is never truly compromised.

    Soundtrack and Acting of Nanatsu no Taizai

    Score 8/10

    The music is composed and directed by fan favourite and artist composer Hiroyuki Sawano, already known for his powerful works in Attack on Titan or Ao no Exorcist. Therefore, we are never straying away from the usual style of Sawano that fits the epic scenes the best out of the whole bunch. What really impressed me the most are however the two addictively catchy openings and to an extent, the excellent voice acting (even though certain seiyuu start being a bit redundant).

    Story and Pacing of Nanatsu no Taizai

    Score 7/10

    The anime adaptation of Nanatsu no Taizai is based on roughly 2/3 of the original manga started in 2013 and another season is due next season so I had to expect an ending that is not an ending but nonetheless it does not fail you to want for more. The story is nothing exceptional but it never really commits the greatest sin of an anime: to be boring. It has a standard progression that leads to the climatic final boss of the season, with a few interesting twists along the way. Pacing is good, maybe a bit too fast at times to adapt as many chapters as possible within episode 24.

    Subjective Enjoyment

    Score 8/10

    Merlin bae here leaves you with the last part of the review, my own personal and purely subjective enjoyment of the show. We are talking about a shounen of the new decade based on the One Piece legacy that started at the end of the 21th century (it’s undoubtedly son of this series) and finally something to step forward and fight the supremacy of Fairy Tail. It was overall an enjoyable ride that knows how to mix serious and funny moments into a compelling concept and good characters despite the classic cliches of the genre.

    Final Score :star::star::star::star::star::star::star:


  • Dimension W (Anime) Review

    Dimension W Review

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

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

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

    Plot of Dimension W

    Score: 6/10

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

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

    Characters of Dimension W

    Score: 7/10

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

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

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

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

    Art of Dimension W

    Score: 9/10

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

    Overall of Dimension W

    Score: 7/10

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

    Opening/Ending

    Dimension W – Official Subtitled Anime Opening

    TVアニメ「Dimension W」エンディング映像


  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (Anime) Review

    Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Anime Review

    Plot of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 9/10

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

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

    Characters of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 9/10

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

    Art Showa of Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 10/10

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

    Overall of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

    Score: 10/10

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


  • 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


  • Parasyte (Anime) Review

    Parasyte Anime Review

    Parasyte

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

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

    Welcome to Parasyte the MLG

    Strike Out !

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

     

    Art of Parasyte

    Score 8/10

    Parasyte

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

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

    Characters of Parasyte

    Score 9/10

    Parasyte

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

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

    Soundtrack and Acting of Parasyte

    Score 9/10

    Parasyte

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

    Story and Pacing of Parasyte

    Score 10/10

    Parasyte

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

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

    Personal Enjoyment

    Score 10/10

    Parasyte

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

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


  • Erased (Anime) Review

    Erased Anime Review

    Before I really jump into the review, I’m gonna say it straight out. GO WATCH ERASED. This is a show that deserves to be watched with little to no knowledge. The less you know about the story the more engaging it will be.

    Now I know it’s late but after my three complete viewings of Erased, I have finally decided to do a review for it. With that being said Let’s start the review.

    Story of Erased

    Erased

    The story in Erased follows the main character, Satouru Fujinuma who is a 29 year old Pizza delivery guy who isn’t very happy with where he is in life. However Satoru has an ability he calls “Revival” which allows him to go back in time 5 to 10 minutes to prevent some kind of catastrophic event from happening. However eventually his mother get’s murdered triggering a “Revival” that sends him back, not 5 or 10 minutes, but 18 years into the past to prevent his mothers murder and find the culprit responsible.

    Now it’s very rare to see a show have a clear focus on where it wants to go and how it wants to get there. I like to think that Erased is one of those rare shows. From beginning to end the show has a keen sense of what it wants to show and when it wants to show it. Because of this, every scene or frame feels like it holds some kind of importance. Whether it be a scene where we see a newspaper article, or a frame with a mask. Everything shown feels like it’s there to help further the plot as well as give the audience clues so that they can formulate their own conclusions about the mystery. And I realized during my second and third viewing of the show that there are even some clues that you might miss if you aren’t paying attention. And because of this, the show also has some of best pacing I’ve seen in a while. Not once in my three viewings of this show did I get bored, or uninterested, and very rarely did I think that it was jarring to watch and because of this the transitioning between past and present was done seamlessly as well. This is greatly due to the aforementioned focus that the show has. Erased set’s up the information and events in a way that flows into the next extremely smoothly which prevents the feeling of “What the hell just happened”. However the shows biggest strength as a mystery, is its decision to not treat its audience like children. Never are we spoon fed information and exposition to the point where every single little detail is explained to us and this allows the audience to stay engaged as we are constantly trying to piece everything together.

    Erased

    When I think about it, Erased is really told in three acts. The first two acts really focus on Satoru trying to change things from his past that directly involve the people around him in order to prevent certain events from happening, and all of this connects extremely well into the final act in which everything comes into fruition. There are multiple story arcs that the anime goes through but these story arcs don’t stray from getting to the conclusion. They provide an engaging, interesting, and necessary bridge between Satoru’s overall goals. The reason I wanted to mention this is because a lot of people mention that the shows shift in focus during the first two arcs don’t fit with Satoru’s initial goal, which I find to be an invalid argument as to why the story in this show is bad.

    Nonethless Erased is one of the better mystery anime as it gives you options as to how you want to watch it. You can actively watch the show and try to solve the mystery along with the characters or you can simply sit back, relax, and watch everything unfold.

    Erased

    Now the story does have some major problems that I would like to address as no anime is without flaw. The first one being the ridiculous shift in pacing in the last two episodes. It’s inexcusable to rush the most pivotal moment of a show, which is the conclusion. And Erased did just that. The last two episodes of the show were extremely rushed and felt like a lot of the story elements used in the finale were lackluster and didn’t offer the same emotional impact and intrigue that the rest of the show did. Now although this might seem like a contradiction to my statement saying that the pacing was great, I honestly still think that the writers had a lot more from the source material to work with, but they got stuck with a 12 episode limit. I think that if the show were at least two or three episodes longer they could have really fleshed out the final act and made it just as engaging as the rest of the show. But for working with the episode limit that they got and how they dealt with the ending with the remaining ones, although disappointing, it was satisfying enough for me not to smite it with the fury of angry gods. There is also one specific story element that focuses on the female protagonists family that I felt could have been a lot done better. This part of the story is quickly introduced, then takes a huge backseat and is really only there to provide a reason for character actions, and is never utilized well enough for me to say that it was interesting, and the worst part was that the explanation and resolution to this story arc was extremely dull and just completely random. It was obvious that they wanted to pull the heartstrings here but it just wasn’t focused on or emphasized enough for the moment to really leave a lasting impact.

    Now although this isn’t really a major issue, I honestly would have liked to have been given some kind of backstory for the “revival” ability. Now I say it isn’t a major issue, because it really is just a plot device used to really get us into the meat of the story, however I think it would have been interesting to explore how he got these powers to begin with. But again it’s not a problem that really affects the show.

    Overall regardless of these problems the combination of all the good elements in an anime such as Erased, is the perfect formula for an engaging and thrilling experience that keeps you at the edge of your seat. And luckily that’s what I got.

    Characters of Erased

    Erased

    The characters in Erased are by far the shining aspect of this show. It has a diverse cast of lovable, interesting, and fun characters that are all fairly well developed. First I really want to give the writers props for the way that they gave development to the supporting cast. Rather than giving every single character screen time where they just talk about their back story and their goals and aspirations, they utilize every single one of the characters to develop one another. Especially Satoru’s friends. All of these characters are given a fairly generic archetype, such as the loveable big guy, the girly boy, and of course the good looking one whose also super smart and doesn’t act their age. But they make everyone of these characters feel genuine by developing them through the bonds that we get to see grow and evolve through their interactions with Satoru, Hinazuki, as well as the remaining cast of supporting characters. So it never feels like these characters are useless or just there because plot. We actually genuinely begin to care for them as we start to think about how the other characters would react if one were to disappear or possibly even die. However there are a couple characters that really feel more likeable than others due to lack of screentime that some of the supporting characters get.

    Satoru Erased

    Now our main character, Satoru Fujinuma, is probably one of my favorite MC’s from this year so far. He goes through such a unique development as the show progresses and we learn more about his past life and his present life. There’s also a really interesting juxtaposition between his character at the beginning of the show and after his “revival” when it comes to their attitude, and view on the world as we learn that before this “Revival” past Satoru wasn’t all that different when compared to present Satoru. It’s really great to see the character develop from this person with no goal and lack of motivation, to this person who has a drive to succeed and do more. Satoru becomes a character we really root for, and when he fails we feel what he feels, and when he succeeds we feel great like he does. He even goes through a lot of minor changes that showcase his state of mind which really makes this character feel genuine. One of my favorite scenes being the one where Satoru speaks to his mother after his Revival.

    Hinazuki Erased

    When it comes to our female protagonist, Hinazuki Kayo, although an interesting and well written character as well, was given a very linear development. we see her grow from this quiet and distant character to one that becomes more open. Now this isn’t bad by any means, I just thought that, as compared to Satoru, she wasn’t given as much depth and complexity as I wanted. However just because her development is linear doesn’t mean she isn’t a great character. Hinazuki is a character that you begin to genuinely feel sympathetic for and it’s great to see how we, the audience, feel this more and more as we see her gradually start to become more confident, and more open.

    I think that this characters greatest strength comes from her relationship with Satoru as every scene involving these two characters is thoroughly enjoyable to watch. Another interesting little thing that I noticed is that when Hinazuki becomes a pivotal character in scenes, the two are rarely ever separated which I thought was a very nice and subtle way to emphasize their bond and closeness. And when they are separated it’s normally at the beginning when their relationship has still yet to be established and when there are moments of fear, anguish, stress, or anticipation.

    But of course there are some issues I have to address related to the characters in this show.

    Yuuki Erased

    One of the bigger issues stemming from the setup of a character named Yuuki. This character was a complete and utter waste of space in this anime. Throughout the entire setup for this show, it emphasized how much of an important and pivotal character he was, but he only ever got five or ten minutes of actual proper screen time. In all honesty I completely forgot that he was even in the show until the last three or four episodes. It became more and more apparent that there just wasn’t enough time and space amongst all the other characters and story arcs to actually put this character into motion. So it just boggles my mind why they would make such a huge deal about him in the beginning rather than just simply giving us basic information about his overall involvement.

    Airi Erased

    Another character that I feel got the short end of the stick was Airi. My god was she a loveable character. I honestly would have loved to see more of this character. Everytime she was on screen I had a great time. She was a fun and charismatic character with an ideal that I could get behind. Although not as bad as what happened to Yuuki, I just wish there was just a little more time spent developing her as a character as well as her relationship with Satoru as the chemistry between them was fantastic.

    I just thought that the characters had a lot more good as compared to the bad, and thought they were well thought out and executed. Also I have to give props to the Japanese Voice actors as they did a fantastic job at making these characters come to life.

    Art of Erased

    Erased

    A-1 Pictures has really done a great job. I absolutely love the art in this show. The simplicity of the art really fits with the tone and overall atmosphere that the show has to offer. I also think the fact that because the story was very heavy the light and simple art style really complemented the shows story. But even though the art was simple in design, there was some fantastic use, with some of the gorgeous scenes and frames within the anime. Honestly you could turn some of the scenes into posters, or screen savers. They were just that pretty to look at. However Erased used it’s art in a way that I haven’t seen it used in anime, in a long time.

    It used colors to further develop the story and characters. Which is not something a lot of anime nowadays do. It really adds a more thematic element to the series. Erased uses colors such as red, gray, black, and even purple to foreshadow and give both a metaphorical and physical interpretation of certain things in the show. For example a scene involving Hinazuki where she is standing in a park under a lamp. This is also the first scene we see Hinazuki. The use of the colors in this frame not only tell us that there is something eerie, and dark happening around her but we can also see that she is only within a certain area of the light eminating from the lamp, which emphasizes and solidifies aspects of the character such as her being closed off from the outside and hardly having any friends, and that she keeps to herself, and that she’s surrounded by darkness. You can gather all this information just from looking at the scene, it’s art style, and the color. It’s a subtle little details that really make me think that the art in this show is amazing. I could go on for hours talking about the great use of color and art is but I won’t do that in this video. However the art in Erased really goes to show that anime isn’t just great for bouncing boobies and great fight scenes but that it’s still amazing for visual storytelling.

    Music of Erased

    Now the music in the show was good. It’s not good to the point where I’ll go out and buy the soundtrack for the show, but it’s good enough to enhance the mood and atmosphere in the scenes that need them. The soundtrack has a good range of eerie and haunting melodies, as well as a good amount of nice calming songs to balance it out. However actual use of the music within the show, was not so great. Although the soundtrack worked, I wish there was a more diverse set of music used throughout the entire show. I just felt like I kept hearing the same two or three songs every single episode. There was even a scene where Satoru and Kenya were talking on the staircase that I thought could have used some different music as the song that was used just didn’t seem like it was right for the situation. I won’t really talk too much about the Opening and Endings as that is just up to personal taste. I’ll just say that I liked the Opening but not the ending.

    Overall of Erased

    Erased

    It’s nice to be able to watch an anime that knows what it wants. Erased was one of those shows I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. With a fairly well written and executed story, a cast of fantastic characters, and some of the best utilization of visual storytelling I’ve seen in a while. Erased is a show deserving of the immense hype and praise that it has been receiving. Despite it’s shortcomings Erased has a lot to offer, and is a show that I personally thinks get’s better the second time around as you notice a lot of things you didn’t notice the first time around. So my final verdict for Erased, or Boku dake ga inai Machi, is a LOVE AND BUY IT. I was enthralled, I was intrigued, I was engaged, and I was satisfied. Erased is a show that I think everyone should check out, or at least give a chance.


  • 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”