High School Fleet – Final Thoughts

79670l

With this season of anime coming to a close, it’s time for me to give my final thoughts on what I watched this season. I went over the shows I planned to watch at the start of the season in THIS POST, so feel free to give that a read if you want to know what i’ll be writing about. Just pull Cerberus off the list, and replace it with Re:Zero.

MY RATING: 8/10

I came upon this show just after finishing the Kancolle anime, and with a fascination of the sea and naval combat already embedded in me, High School Fleet definitely gave me what I wanted.

While this show was adorable as hell, with friendly character designs that are easy on the eyes, and the lovable personalities of the entire cast, it also had me watching in awe during the combat scenes. The ships are all beautifully drawn, and with the animations of their movement through the water, the turning and firing of the cannons, and the on-point sound effects to follow, you get a really good feel for the grace these ships carry themselves with – as well as the destructive power of their weapons. The sound of the Musashi’s cannons firing is one of the most elegantly terrifying sounds I have ever heard.

I felt the story actually had some unique qualities to it, with the “big baddie” the main cast had to defeat actually being a sickness that turns people into bloodthirsty monsters, and they don’t feel “overpowered” in any of their battles. Half the shows I watch just make me feel like i’m looking at an unstoppable force, heroically ramming it’s way through any resistance like it was paper. High School Fleet on the other hand, actually made me feel like the girls were trying their hardest to plan their tactics, and watching them pull it off, it felt like a great success that they truly earned with their hard work. I was sincerely happy watching everything that happened at the end, because it seemed for the longest time that it wouldn’t happen. The build up to that final battle was marvelous – as was the battle itself, and the emotions it pulled out of me were unexpected.

All in all, I say this show deserves a recommend if you didn’t watch it this season. If you like naval combat – watch it. If you like cute girls doing dangerous things while being adorable – watch it. If you’ve been looking for a new show to watch, but can’t seem to decide – give it a try, it might surprise you.

Advertisements
Posted in Anime, Anime/Manga/Novel Reviews, Everything, Seasonal Anime Watchlist | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Anne Happy – Final Thoughts

b00a7ac00ad404de0104ac1133d34ebf1458598720_full

With this season of anime coming to a close, it’s time for me to give my final thoughts on what I watched this season. I went over the shows I planned to watch at the start of the season in THIS POST, so feel free to give that a read if you want to know what i’ll be writing about. Just pull Cerberus off the list, and replace it with Re:Zero.

MY RATING: 7/10

I’ve actually been avoiding writing about Anne Happy, because I couldn’t figure out if I actually liked it or not. After watching the final episode of the season earlier, I feel hopeful of a second season, so I guess you could say I enjoyed it after all!

This show can be described with two words in my eyes; adorable, and strange. The characters themselves are all very lovable, and their antics lead to some solid comedy at times as well. But the premise of the show itself is what I find so strange; the girls are attending school in a “happiness” class, and each of them is unfortunate in some way or another. For example; Hanako loves animals, but they attack her (even cute fluffy ones) as soon as she tries to get near them, Botan’s poor health seems to keep her on the border of death, with even a simple handshake breaking her fragile bones, and the last one I want to mention – this one still weirds me out – Hibari is in love with a road sign. Yupp, she literally has romantic feelings for a goddamn construction sign. Besides those strange character traits, the tests in their class – and their lives in general – bring many wild situations upon them. I actually find the contrast between the cuteness of the characters, and all the horrible things that happen to them, makes the show quite fun to watch.

For my final thoughts on the show, I feel they absolutely have to make a second season at this point; they left wayyyy too many things unanswered, and i’m eager to see what these poor girls get in to next. The show was cute, made me laugh on numerous occasions, and despite how strange and confusing it can be, it held my attention for 25 minutes every week, and I always watched the next episode when it came out. If you didn’t watch Anne Happy this season, and want a show that can give you some giggles and pick up your mood, I say give ‘er a try!

Posted in Anime, Anime/Manga/Novel Reviews, Everything, Seasonal Anime Watchlist | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – Revisited

79410

Early in May I made a post about Re:Zero. In that post I explained how I quickly fell in love with the show, but could not watch it because of it’s graphic content. A few weeks after that post I gave the show another shot, and although seeing the characters suffer and/or die still makes me feel sick to my stomach, the beauty of the shows story, and my love for it’s characters have made me kick myself in the ass for not pushing myself to continue it in the first place.

MY RATING: 10/10

I’ve upped my rating to a 10 from the 8 I gave it before, because now that I am actually watching it it has become one of my all-time favorite series. I give it a 10/10 because it has managed to make me fall so in-love with it, that I ABSOLUTELY have to have some physical representation of it, as with many of my other favorite stories. If I can ever find a figure of a character from the show at a price I can afford, it will be on my shelf within a week, and I will be buying copies of either the light novel or the manga. I still haven’t decided yet; if I go for the manga, it’ll be so I can enjoy the art throughout the entire story, rather than just on certain pages, and if I go for the light novel it would be mainly because it would be cheaper (less volumes to buy as far as i’m currently aware), and the light novels have earlier release dates.

Anyway, now that I’ve rambled a bit about how much I love the show, I have some things I would like to actually say ABOUT the show. I’ll skip what I already said in my first impressions post, and will instead give you this here link, so you can read it if you haven’t already. I’m a bit ashamed of how much of a pansy I sound like in that post, but it was how I honestly felt, and not being able to handle the violence in the show was actually a huge surprise to me, so I was a bit upset that I felt I wouldn’t be able to watch the show at that time.

What I actually want to talk about today is the experience of the show itself – as it is for me anyway. When I first dropped into Re:Zero and saw Subaru randomly (not to mention near instantly) transported to an alternate fantasy world, I was expecting it to cliche and all hell – I was very wrong. Many people were expecting something similar to Konosuba based on the beginning of the show, but while Kazuma and Subaru are both self described “neets”, Subaru breaks the norm with the fact that he is actually fairly well built. He demonstrates this fact quite early on by beating the crap out of some thugs – I was amazed that he could actually manage to even try – before one of them pulls out two blades, causing Subaru to comically drop to his knees and beg forgiveness.

Past that point they start introducing some of the other main characters, and the way it was done felt very fluid, and I quickly find myself deeply invested in each of the characters and their stories every time they bring a new one onto the stage. I knew I was going to like Felt the moment I saw her drop into the alley where Subaru was getting his face beat in, only to dip right back out while barely giving comment, and when she bit him later on I was looking forward to seeing more of her. Sadly she wasn’t around for long after that, but after episode 12 last night, I am glad she’s back and very interested to see what her part will be in the story moving forward. Emilia is a great character as well, and although we didn’t see much of her in the last arc, I imagine she will get more screen time in the upcoming arc. I just hope Ram and Rem don’t get pushed out of the picture. After everything up to this point, I think they are my favorite female characters in the show, possibly just my favorite female characters in general.

I should stop this before it gets too lengthy, so let me finish with this; I feel this show really opened up and showed it’s true beauty in the second arc of the story. The mystery of everything that was going on, the depth given to both old and new characters personalities and stories, and most of all the sheer emotion of it all. This show has made me watch things that I thought would make me either cry or puke, things that made me so happy I couldn’t pull the smile off my face, and it has made me feel a connection to the characters that I always look for in a story of any form. When it was revealed who had killed Subaru before at the mansion, I was praying the person I thought it was wouldn’t be the one to walk out of the shadows. When it was that person who came out, I felt a legitimate sadness and found myself earnestly trying to understand “why”. I just wanted to understand so they and everyone else could stop suffering, and just go back to being happy together. Seeing these characters hurting makes me feel like i’m dying inside.

So there’s my (not so) little rant about a show that I was once afraid of, but fell in love with not long after. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s a hell of a ride, and if you are a person who connects to stories like I do, you will feel every emotion you know the name of – and then some. During all of which you will be trying to soak up every frame, and wishing it would never end.

As a final show of love, here is a wallpaper I have been using both on my second monitor and my cell phone. It’s adorable, and features my favorite girl from the show/in general.

702653

Ain’t she just the cutest thing when she isn’t violently smashing things to pieces with a flail?

Posted in Anime, Anime/Manga/Novel Reviews, Everything, Seasonal Anime Watchlist, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

May 2016 LootAnime Box!

 

Hello again! I finally received the LootAnime box i’ve been waiting for today, and I was planning to do an unboxing video in celebration of this, but apparently my camera that says it records in 720p actually has terrible recording quality… So instead of a video, I took some pictures of the box and it’s contents with my phone, and will handle it this way instead!

20160606_124847[1]

I’ve wanted to try out a subscription box of some sort for a very long time, but none of them really seemed to be worth the price for what you actually get out of them. Now that LootCrate has teamed up with Crunchyroll for their anime themed box though, I can get a $5 discount since I am a Crunchyroll premium member. It still felt a bit too expensive for my tastes, but I figured “what the hell”, and decided to finally give this kind of thing a try.

Everything that was in the box is shown in the picture above, and while it was definitely fun to open everything up, I did find the contents somewhat disappointing. I think the biggest part of that though, was that I really only had an interest in two of the series that this box had items from (Dragonball Z and Fullmetal Alchemist), and had only actually watched/read one of them – I have the first three manga volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist in an omnibus, but still haven’t gotten around to reading them for some reason. The other two series, Yo-Kai Watch and The Boy and The Beast, I hadn’t even heard of prior to reading the preview of this crate on the LootAnime website. Nothing in the box was something I would have actually bought otherwise, but it wasn’t entirely disappointing.

20160606_125049

The first thing I took out of the box was a Fullmetal Alchemist “Transmutation Circle” doormat which I thought was going to be a towel at first. I’m actually glad it was a mat, because magic circles of any sort are usually intended to be drawn on the ground, and while the mat isn’t overly big, it’s a still nice to look at and well constructed for it’s purposes.

20160606_125100

The second item I pulled out was this t-shirt. I knew it was from Yo-Kai Watch by the tags on it, and after reading it’s description on the back of the poster I found out it is made to look like the shirt worn by the series’ character “Nate”. After some google searches, I know what the series is about, but it really doesn’t seem like something i’d care much for. The shirt fits nice, is really stretchy, and is quite comfortable though, so i’m content with it.

20160606_124940

Item number 3 was this cute little thing. Apparently it’s a plush of Chiko from The Boy and The Beast, and while I know literally nothing about this series, the plushie is soft and kinda cute. I found it a nice little spot on my shelf, but being as I don’t really know what exactly Chiko actually is, I’m not really sure what to think of it.

20160606_124932

The next item was something I still wouldn’t have bought for myself normally, but I love Dragonball in general, and the metallic hair looks pretty damn cool. The paint on the figure in general is nice actually. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Funko Pop figures by any means, but this one doesn’t look half bad sitting on my shelf. This was my favorite item out of everything in the box.

20160606_124912

The last item in the box kinda threw me off at first – I thought they were earrings – but once I realized they were a matching pair of charms (With “LootAnime VII” stamped on the back) that matched the centerpiece on the “Unity” poster that came with the box, I actually quite liked them. I’m not sure what kind of metal they are actually made of, but they look like gold and are two feathers that fit together. I plan to attach one to my car keys, and I guess i’ll have to find someone to give the other one to if I want to go with the theme of the box. Or not. I might just find something else to put the other one on.

20160606_125120

At the very bottom of the box was the poster that they have in every box that matches that months theme. I really like the artwork on it, and i’m a fan of Crunchyroll’s Hime-Chan, so this will be a welcome sight stuck up on my wall. It also had images of the box’s contents and information about each item on the back.

All in all, the box was really fun to open and see everything inside, but based on how much it costs and how satisfied I was with everything it came with, I doubt I will subscribe for another box. The doormat and the plushie aren’t really something I have much of a use for, and while the other stuff was nice, they’re still not something I would have cared to pay for if I was choosing something to buy for my collections. Everything in the box was cool and quite high quality, but just doesn’t really fit with my personal tastes.

Posted in Anime, Anime/Manga/Novel Reviews, Everything, manga, Unboxing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Valkyria Chronicles Review

vcbox-1

MY RATING: 10/10 – All day, every day.

Hello again! I’m back with another review; but this time for a video game instead of an anime!

For those who don’t know; a remastered version of the much-loved ps3 game “Valkyria Chronicles” was announced and put up for pre-orders a while ago, and I of course, being a long time fan of the game, jumped on the chance to get a first run copy of it! My copy showed up yesterday – which was cool, because yesterday happened to be my birthday – and in light of this I have decided to do a review of the remastered version, and the game as a whole. Let’s start with what the remastered version gets you.

The remastered version of Valkyria Chonicles brings the graphics up to 1080p running at 60fps, and while the art was absolutely beautiful before, now it has that nice bit of modern crispness (Is that a word? Oh well – it is for now.) that makes it even more stunning to look at. Alongside the updated graphics, this version of the game also comes with all of the released DLC for the original, meaning you can get the full experience of the main story, as well as the bonus side stories that take place outside of the main story. Lastly, if you were one of the lucky ones like myself and pre-ordered it, your first-edition copy will include a special armored (metal) case with unique (and beautiful) cover art in North America, or if you pre-ordered from Europe, you will get the game in a standard case with the cover art above, alongside a 32-page art-book and a poster with the same art as the armored case. Personally, i’m happy I got the armored case, because the art-book they gave is just 32 pages taken from the 400 page (Yes, it’s absolutely enormous) Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive art-book, and the metal case with the special art seems more unique and substantial to me than a poster. That’s just my outlook on it though. The 32 page art-book would be a lovely bit for fans who don’t want to sink $40 into the 400 page archive, as it still gives you a physical way to look at the absolutely amazing artwork from the game, but I’ve gone all the way and bought the full archive. I’m a huge fan of this game, so I am more than happy to throw my money at the creators, and the archive just has so much beautiful art and unique bits to it, that I couldn’t resist being able to hold it in my hands.

Alright! Now onto the main event; actually talking about the game itself!

Valkyria Chronicles is a game that takes place in 1930’s Europa, where the military superpower country known as “The Empire” has begun to invade the small country of Gallia for it’s rich resource deposits. The story follows Squad 7 of the Gallian militia, which includes characters such as; Alicia Melchiott, Welkin Gunther, Isara Gunther and a huge cast of friends and fellow soldiers.

The story itself is beyond amazing; it will see you make new friends and achieve great things, lose dear comrades to the grips of war, and it will have you witness and experience all the horrors and pain that war always carries with it. That right there is one of my favorite things about this game, it doesn’t make war flashy and exhilarating, but shows it for exactly what it is – brutal, destructive, and nothing but pain and suffering for either side. It even tackles racism for crying out loud, and the way is does it all is absolutely flawless. Playing through this game, you will laugh and you will cry, you will bounce with excitement and freeze in panic, and once it’s all over you’ll want to do it again.

The characters are all excellently fleshed out, with even the minor side-characters having an in-depth story and personality behind them. The way the characters interact with each other is very natural, and with such great character design, you will quickly fall in love with all of them.

The art style of the game makes it look like a living watercolor painting, and I never get tired of looking at it. The way everything is drawn is absolutely beautiful, and I could spend hours just staring at the art in this game.

The soundtrack for the game is 100% on-point, and fits the game perfectly while helping to build the atmosphere.

Gameplay is an amazing take on turn based strategy (I’ve been told it plays very similar to X-COM if you are familiar with that) that combines FPS elements to an extent, requiring you  to closely monitor the position of your own troops as well as the enemy’s, and take carefully planning when executing strategies; factoring in things like tank position, the possibility of enemy units hiding around a corner waiting in ambush, how far your units can run in a turn without leaving them in the open, and so many others that it will truly demand your attention. If you like strategy RPG’s, this game may very well be the holy grail for you. No matter how many times you play through a given battle, no two will ever be exactly the same, and each and every one brings a certain feeling of accomplishment when you successfully complete the operation. I have had times where I had great difficulty planning around my enemies movements, and when I finally won the battle I felt like I had barely made it out alive, but had done the best I could. A game that can make you feel like you are truly directing a military operation like that, all the while trying your absolute best to not lose a single soldier in battle, and then abandoning all tactics and strategies to get a medic to one when they get hit, is a masterpiece as far as i’m concerned. Some battles will be frustratingly difficult, you will find yourself struggling to make the best tactical decision possible, and once it’s over and you’ve breathed a sigh of relief, you’ll get your troops geared up and ready for the next operation.

Whew, I think I got enough in there to say i’m satisfied. If you are a long time fan of the series like myself, I recommend buying the remastered version to play through the story again (and for the nice little collectible bits if you can still get an early copy), and if you haven’t played the game before – do so. Now. For the amount of enjoyment you will get out of this game, $40 (CAD) is so ridiculously cheap you’d be a fool not to give it a go. If you just want to zoom through and catch the story, the game will keep you busy for around 40 hours. If you want to play through multiple times – and believe me, you will for the strategy elements alone, if not for a 100% perfect run for achievements and such – this game can easily keep you occupied for around 400 hours, and you will love every minute of it. So far i’ve played the game on PC, PS Vita, and now i’m at it again on PS4, and it still has me wanting to come back again and again.

For those who are curious, here is the pre-order advertisement for the remastered version with the armored case, displaying the unique cover art.

vc-remastered-localize-ann_pre-order

Posted in Everything, Video Game Reviews, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

BAKUON! First Impressions

78914l

I’ve been feeling like absolute hell the past few days (sinus infections are not my friends), and I haven’t really improved yet, but I’ve been wanting to write something about this show for a while now and can’t stand putting it off any longer!

MY RATING: 8/10

My ratings are based on how likely I am to recommend a show to someone, with anything above a 6 generally being something I would recommend someone at least try. 6 or 7 means i’d tell them to give it a shot if I think it’s within their tastes, 8-10 are shows I would recommend to pretty much anyone, as I believe they are interesting/unique enough that people will be able to enjoy them if they just give them a chance.

BAKUON! follows 5 high school girls who are members of the “Motorcycle Club” at their school, and while it doesn’t have the deepest story in the world, it’s a cute little show with lots of fun to be had. Here’s the synopsis of the show as given by Crunchyroll:

“Moe and motorcycles have never looked better together in this sports comedy about a group of students in the motorcycle club of their all-girls school. When Hane Sakura sees the wild-hearted Onsa Amano riding a motorcycle to school, Sakura is inspired to join the motorcycle club and get her license. However, nothing could have prepared her for the challenges, or the joys, that come with hitting the road on the wings of a real bike!”

First off; I don’t think I’ve ever seen moe and motorcycles in the same place before – and it is a marvelous pairing for me! The girls’ personalities make them easy to love, and I absolutely adore how much effort they put in to drawing the motorcycles – if you like bikes, prepare for an eyegasm. The art-style in general is great really, the animation is above average and pleasant to look at, and the character designs are attractive. (Some people seem put off by Hane’s eyebrows, but I find them to be more realistic and a plus on her appearance.) While we’re still talking about characters, I have to give a special mention to Raimu, who is essentially a female version of the stig – the moment I saw her for the first time I actually burst out laughing. I think she was a big selling point for me actually, and if you are a Top Gear fan like I am, the fact that they made a character like that just has to make you smile at least a little.

As I mentioned earlier, the story isn’t anything to get all philosophical about, but I don’t feel this show needs a deep story; it’s one of those shows that doesn’t really give a damn about following a linear plot toward achieving some great goal, it’s just here to help you wind down and have a good time. Building on that, this show is fantastic; the comedy of the show is definitely done right, and if you are a fan of motorcycles and know a bit more about them than the average person, you’ll love it all the more. There are some lewd jokes made here and there in the show, but they are actually funny and not the usual ecchi stuff you see all the time these days. I was also surprised by the fact that the show isn’t overly predictable, and throws you a something to induce a giggle or two out of the blue at times; the best one for me was when Hane hopped on Raimu’s bike to go for a ride and said “Ooooh! My butt’s vibrating with the sound!”. Definitely not what I was expecting her to say, and it was adorable.

Overall, this show is definitely on my recommended list; it’s characters are unique and lovable, it has beautifully drawn motorcycles, the comedy is very well done and suits the cast perfectly, fanservice is present to an extent but usually kept to reasonable levels (there was one scene that was a bit too “sexy” for me, as I felt it sullied the characters innocent personalities and didn’t really seem like it belonged), and the story follows a sequence of mini-plots that are lighthearted and fun to watch, not to mention they actually have some originality to them – which is a breath of fresh air with how generic some shows can feel.

Lastly, here is an eye-catcher from the show featuring my favourite character, Sakura Hane!13147738_10153814100899340_43381420708418342_o.jpg

Posted in Anime, Anime/Manga/Novel Reviews, Everything, first impressions, Seasonal Anime Watchlist, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu First Impressions (Dropped)

79410

Now, I know the title says I dropped this show, but let me explain before you form a mob to chase me out of town; yes, I dropped this show after episode 2, but not because I didn’t like it. To be honest, I was really looking forward to this show, and when I started watching it I immediately fell in love with everything about it; the art is absolutely amazing, the characters are beautiful and have personalities that I immediately loved, the soundtrack is amazing, and it has a top-notch cast of voice actors. After watching episode 2 however, I reluctantly removed it from my queue on Crunchyroll. Read below for a more detailed review of the parts of the show I managed to watch, and my reason for not continuing it.

MY RATING: 8/10

Re: Zero follows Natsuki Subaru, a high-school student who is (ridiculously) suddenly transported to a world of fantasy. Not long after arriving in this world he encounters some thugs in an alley, who try to mug him, but after he attacks them (knocking two of them on their asses in the process. Go Subaru!) one of them pulls out two blades and the three proceed to kick the shit out of him. During his ass-whooping a small girl flies in out of nowhere, essentially shrugs the scene off, and disappears over the rooftops. Not long after that, a second girl shows up; this one a silver haired beauty, apparently looking for the first girl who stole a badge of some sort from her, but despite that she decides to forget about the thief and save Subaru. The rest of the story that I saw is the two of them attempting to get back her badge, with them forming the beginnings of their friendship along the way.

The biggest thing I loved about them starting the show off this way, is that not only does it introduce some of the main characters right from the get go – with enough of their personality shown that you can already identify them as a unique individual, but the scene where Subaru attacks the thugs thinking he has some sort of special power after being brought into an alternate world, only to get put on the ground and beaten to a pulp, showed us that our MC is in fact very human. He doesn’t have any superpowers or advantages over anyone else; he’s just a mortal man – who is pretty fit mind you. Well, he does have one thing special about him; he can turn back time – but only by dying, and it takes him to the same, specific point in time every time it happens. The story as it’s been told so far is fantastic, and the presentation of it all is equally so.

I won’t go into more detail on the plot to avoid the risk of spoilers, but this is essentially where I took my leave from the show. It takes Subaru three bloody and painful deaths to figure out that time is resetting, and all but one where he essentially makes a stupid mistake and kills himself by accident are quite brutal and terribly vivid. Hell, even the accidental one was quite detailed in explaining his thoughts and what he felt as he bled to death. The other two death scenes on the other hand, involved the grim death of other characters along with Subaru; and this is where the whole thing got to be too much for me.

The reason I couldn’t handle these deaths, is that it builds the characters up beforehand; you know a good deal of their personalities, and you have already started forming the typical “connection” to the character just before they are brutally slaughtered. I very quickly grew attached to the characters of this show, and after I finished the second episode I realized I was literally shaking. ERASED had me shaking all throughout many of it’s episodes, but that was the suspense leaving me eagerly awaiting what would happen next – with RE:Zero it was literal fear. I don’t know about you guys, but I seem to form emotional bonds to fictional characters very quickly (probably why I can watch just about anything and enjoy it), and I apparently cannot handle seeing such lovable characters die in such horrific ways. The fear of having to watch them suffer and die again outweighed my desire to see the rest of this story, but I keep seeing cute clips or interesting scenes from some of the newer episodes and thinking “I really want to see that.”, but then I remember how sadistic the author of this story is, and decide to avoid the risk of seeing those characters faces twisted in pain.

I don’t care if people call me a wimp, or whatever they want to call me. The fact of the matter is that I really want to watch this fantastic story unfold, but because the author is so damn brutal, I can’t. I don’t understand how someone could create such lovable characters, only to repeatedly have them suffer and die throughout the story. Based on how many people are lovingly talking about the show though, I guess the majority of folks have a better tolerance for this stuff than me, but it honestly scares me a bit that nobody else seems to mention how brutal this show is.

I feel like i’m starting to ramble at this point, so i’ll end it here; even though I couldn’t handle how graphic the show is, it has all the makings of an amazing story, and I recommend anyone who isn’t squeamish give it a try at least. Although, I didn’t think of myself as squeamish until I gave this show a try, so take that as you will.

Posted in Anime, Anime/Manga/Novel Reviews, Everything, first impressions, Seasonal Anime Watchlist, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Kiznaiver First Impressions

lb6tfuq

Kiznaiver was hyped like crazy by Crunchyroll a while before it began airing, and after watching some of the previews they shared on facebook, I decided to stick the show in my queue and watch it when it finally aired. I’ve actually watched 4 episodes now (all the currently aired episodes), and i’m absolutely loving this show. The show comes from Studio Trigger, the people behind Kill La Kill, and if you have seen any of their other works, you will probably recognize the art style pretty quickly. I will say here that this is a show I will recommend, and I will avoid spoilers at all costs in the main part of this post.

MY RATING: 9/10

“Kiznaiver” follows 7 high school students, who have been connected through a device that shares any pain felt by one equally between all of them. The goal of the inventors of this device, is apparently to see if people can be made to get along by having them share pain – and of course none of our main characters move in the same circles, and aren’t people who would normally get along with each other to begin with. Who better to test this on.

I’ve been loving the characters myself – both art-design wise, and personality wise. Going with the “these people would never get along” ideal, the characters all have very different personalities; you have the punkish Tenga Hajime, weird and attention starved (but still sort-of cute and loveable) Niiyama Niko, the stuck up (read: bitch) character Maki Honoka, obligatory self-absorbed “ladies man” Yuta Tsuguhito, the jealous childhood friend Takashiro Chidori, the ridiculously sketchy guy who gets off on pain (literally) Hisomu Yoshiharu, and our seemingly emotionless MC Agata Katsuhira. The strange part about the MC, is that he can apparently not feel pain. Which leads to a scene early on of him getting the shit kicked out of him, and he just lays there and takes it with an uninterested look on his face. Basically, he feels that it’s less effort to just let it happen.

The interactions between the group are fun to watch, and some of the ways they handle different situations by kinda-sorta-almost working as a team have been amusing. The first task they are given through the “Kizuna System” that bonds them together, is to get to know each other better. Sounds simple, right? Not quite; a more accurate title for the task would be “reveal your darkest secret”, and they aren’t exactly eager to comply. Some of the revealed secrets were fairly obvious, but a couple of them actually gave me a much better image of the true personality of the character, with Niko and Tsuguhito’s making me chuckle a little.

As the story continues to progress throughout the episodes, little slivers of information are given that are slowly piecing everything together. Some things are being explained in tiny bits, but not enough yet for you to actually understand the purpose of that piece of the puzzle. This doesn’t mean the pacing is just slogging along though; so far I feel the pace of the story has been just right for the setting, although some people might not like the focus on dialogue without many action scenes. When I first heard about the show and watched the trailers, I thought it would be a more intense/action oriented show, but it turned out to be rather light-hearted and with some light comedic elements as well, which is just as welcome for my tastes.

The art and animation are very trigger-esque, and I absolutely love it. After watching Kill La Kill a number of months ago, the art in this show makes it feel friendly and familiar for me. All the characters are beautifully designed with looks that match their personalities really well.

The last thing I want to mention is the music; both the opening and ending songs for this show are just fantastic. The opening theme “Lay Your Hands On Me” by BOOM BOOM SATELLITES is one of my favorite songs I’ve heard in an anime, and the ending theme “Hajimari no Sokudo” by Sangatsu no Phantasia isn’t far behind.

Overall, I highly recommend this show; it has great characters, an interesting story, eye-catching art, and a music track that fits the show perfectly. The only reason I didn’t give it a 10/10 is because Hisomu creeps the hell out of me.

Posted in Anime, Anime/Manga/Novel Reviews, Everything, first impressions, Seasonal Anime Watchlist | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cerberus First Impression (Dropped)

I mentioned in my last post that I was not finding Cerberus to my liking, and was planning on dropping it. After watching the 4th episode earlier today, I have followed through with those plans. Read below for the full run-down.

MY RATING: 3/10

“Cerberus” follows the story of the young swordsman Hiiro (A hero named Hiiro? I will admit I laughed out loud when I heard this.) and his companions, whose goal is to defeat the evil dragon “Dagon Zot”. The story starts off promising enough; a woman chained down and being offered as a sacrifice, surrounded by men wearing mysterious shrouds and chanting a spell while an army watches from afar. Once the dragon they are offering her to shows up, the chains are broken and it is revealed she is working with the robed men, and it was all a trap to lure the dragon out into the open; she and her allies are attempting to cast a spell to seal the beast forever, but an act of betrayal interrupts the spell and the dragon kills everyone present – all but one little boy; our hero… Hiiro. (Sigh)

Sounds pretty intense right? Wrong. The moment I saw the CG for the scene of the mages attempt to seal the dragon, my eyes screamed in agony; the whole thing seemed sloppy, and didn’t look to me like they really cared enough to put a real amount of effort into it. But the disappointments don’t stop there! Not much farther into the story, Hiiro gets into a fight with the city guards, and after pulling out his (pathetically puny) sword from it’s enormous sheath, showing off some pretty impressive acrobatic skills; dodging attacks, doing flips over peoples heads, he goes on the offensive and strikes at his enemy. A moment after he strikes, his opponents starts patting themselves down in confusion – turns out he really sucks at what he does, so he missed. Didn’t even manage to scratch one of them. Normally this type of scene will be taken with a laugh, but with the way things were being set up, this scene just made me groan.

The other characters aren’t anything special either; his swordsmanship trainer, Giiru, seems to be OP as hell in most scenes, and is pretty generic and flat under the “master swordsman” role – but he can cook though, gotta give him points for that. I guess. His other companion at the start of the show is a dragon-person-thing that apparently has enough money to fund their journey, but refuses to spend any of it for some un-godly reason. A female character comes into play later, and while she’s cute enough, her dialogue and personality have me under the impression that she either has a severe mental disability, or is delusional. The other characters including the bad guys are all generic as hell, so I won’t bother giving any details on them. To give more detail of Hiiro though, I would say he is an arrogant brat of a boy, who wants to be the greatest swordsman in the world and defeat the dragon that killed his parents, but he sucks with a sword, refuses to train, and for some reason thinks he should just charge at the dragon and he would be able to kill it.

Overall, I liked the dragon based designs of the world, the opening theme wasn’t all that bad, and I like some of the character designs – but those CG’s and the animation, the main character in his entirety, the pacing, just… Everything about this thing turns me away from it. I gave it 4 episodes to make me like it, and literally every episode I found myself sighing throughout, and at the end of each I felt I was watching the same episode over and over. Nothing really seems to develop in a way that makes me care about the characters or the story, and it just feels like it drags on without purpose.

Sorry Cerberus, you gave it your best shot, but you’re just not working out. Please don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Posted in Anime, Anime/Manga/Novel Reviews, first impressions, Seasonal Anime Watchlist | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What I’m Watching This Season

Out of the shows currently being aired in the Spring 2016 season, I will be watching;

  • The Asterisk War: 2nd Season
  • Cerberus
  • Twin Star Exorcists
  • Kiznaiver
  • BAKUON!
  • High School Fleet
  • Tanaka-Kun Is Always Listless
  • Flying Witch
  • Anne Happy

I enjoyed the first season of The Asterisk War – despite a good number of people I know moaning about it, and I’ve definitely been enjoying the second season so far. I was actually quite happy to SEE a second season so quickly after the first.

Cerberus is still kind of “iffy” for me right now. They have 3 episodes out now, and I find myself thinking “ugh” a few times during each episode. I mean, I like the concept of the show, and I love the character designs, but I think Hiiro (the main character) is killing it for me. To sum him up the way I see him, he’s the guy that thinks he’s tough, but gets his ass kicked by a kitten. Hell, the guy carries a big scary looking scabbard, but the sword inside it is almost small enough to be called a dagger. Anyway, I can see myself dropping this show, but i’ll give it until episode 4 or 5 so I can at least say I gave it a fighting chance.

Twin Star Exorcists seems much more promising to me; I like the character designs, the fight scenes are pretty cool, and the character personalities (although generic) are likable enough. I also really enjoy the concept the story follows and how they have presented it so far.

Kiznaiver has been hyped like crazy by Crunchyroll, and I think it was justified so far. The characters and story are fantastic, and I love the idea of trying to achieve cooperation by having everyone share pain. Not to mention the opening theme is my favourite this season. I am very eager for more of this one.

BAKUON! was something I had originally planned to skip over. Somehow I found myself with some free time though, so I decided to give this, Anne Happy, and Flying Witch a try. BAKUON! combines cute high school girls and motorcycles – it’s even advertised as “Motorcycles+Moe”, and I am glad I gave it a chance. It’s nothing overly special to be honest, but it’s different – which is nice to see – and it’s a good pick-me-up show. Well, it does have Raimu, and she’s basically a female version of The Stig. That’s pretty special.

High School Fleet has been an interesting one so far; it starts off showing you a bunch of cute girls manning ships in a naval fleet, and then throws them into a situation I really wasn’t expecting. People have told me “Girls Und Panzer” was very similar to this show -but with tanks instead of boats, so I might have to give that one a try as well later. This show managed to make me interested enough in the first episode that I was actually eager to see where it would go, and after watching the second episode, that feeling hasn’t gone anywhere yet.

Tanaka-Kun Is Always Listless is one of my favourite “relaxed” anime I’ve watched so far. I try to watch this after any other shows I plan to watch on a given night, because it’s one of those shows that leaves me calm and with a smile on my face. The characters are great so far (I really identify with Tanaka. Being able to just relax and rest would be amazing), the art is pleasant to look at, and the opening theme fits the relaxing pace of the show – as well as being a pretty good song in it’s own right. The humor is great to. It’s good, clean and soft humor that actually has me giving some good and honest laughs.

Flying Witch is something I was iffy about when I first started it, but it wasn’t long into the first episode that I decided I would hop on board the train. This is another relaxed anime, but with a dash of cuteness, a pinch of magic, and a good splash of humor similar to Tanaka-Kun. So far the story has been interesting, and i’m eager to see more of the world of witches. The character design and art style are great for me, and I love seeing an actual functioning family in an anime for a change.

Anne Happy is… Strange. It’s really cutesy (which i’m ok with. I haven’t been getting my daily dose of cuteness since I ran out of “Is The Order A Rabbit” episodes.), and one of the characters is in love with… A construction sign?!? But the weirdness and the situation of the girls are what have kept me watching this one I think. I honestly want to see what the hell is going to happen with these unfortunate kids.

Those are all the simulcasts I plan to be watching this season, but I am still working through Monogatari Second Season, and just finished the second season of Love, Chunibyou & Other Delusions (I would like more now, please) and will probably end up watching at least one other show this season. I will be doing “first impressions” of each of the spring seasonal shows I’m watching once I’ve seen the first 3 episodes, and will hopefully be able to write up a couple reviews of other shows I recently finished in the meanwhile.

 

Looking forward to seeing how these new shows move forward!

Posted in Anime, Anime/Manga/Novel Reviews, Everything, first impressions, Seasonal Anime Watchlist, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments