Posted on 19 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru (henceforth abbreviated as Uragiri) is a series that doesn’t start out as anything special. Its first ten episodes don’t really stand out aside from a few well written action scenes and overly campy dialogues. Still, it managed to pull itself together as a solid character-study in the end.

Uragiri is restrained, but it knows what it’s doing in terms of characters. Their development throughout the second half is well worth the wait, especially because the creators know how to use it in its action and exposition scenes. This goes for both the main and side characters, who manage to grow together into a neatly packaged whole.

There really is hardly a boring moment in the second half because of this. The entire series has this slow atmosphere, but the series never drags on: it is always exploring its characters, showing new things about them and fully detailing their worries, motivations, and the bonds they have with each other.

The action scenes get surprisingly badass as time goes on thanks to their excellent scenario, the unique visuals for this series (this show is especially good at blending in CG effects with 2D animation in order to give the whole series a very gothy feeling) and a soundtrack that on top of being excellently used, also only continues to get better and better as the series goes on.

Now, this series is technically based on a shounen ai story. To the people who are scared of gays: don’t worry, this show is nowhere near yaoi, and the gay undertones never end up taking over the show. Having said that, though, this series does have an array of very campy characters, ranging from the very eccentric dress sense that the demons in this series have, how underdeveloped the villains are compared to the lead characters and there is matter that the lead character Yuki may be a tad too much of a heaven-descended flower-child at times. There is of course being nice, but there are points in which the creators play a bit too much on his good-natured character.

This series however still has an excellent sense of build up (except for the ending; don’t ask me why, but somehow this show ends with a Deus ex Machina without resolving anything while preparing for a second season that is never going to come) and it skillfully builds its characters throughout its 24-episode run. It’s a very nice example of those series that start off without much of a fuss, but actually get pretty damn awesome near the end (emphasis on near!).

Storytelling: 8/10 – Starts off unimpressive, but gets much better as time goes on. Well balanced, a solid script and knows how to build up save for the ending.
Characters: 8/10 – A solid cast: well analyzed and developed. The bonds between them are very important in this series, and quite a bit of meaning has been put into them.
Production-Values: 9/10 – The character animation may not be much special and the characters-designs may be a bit too bishiefied, but the background art and CG are utterly gorgeous, and the soundtrack is really excellent.
Setting: 8/10 – Does what it needs to do, there are interesting concepts behind the setting and it forms a solid base for the characters to work with.

– Shingetsutan Tsukihime
Night Head Genesis

Posted on with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

I often see people hoping that anime creators don’t pull an anime original ending and adapt their source material faithfully, but this would really have been a case in which the series would have been better off with an anime original closure: just have a battle between everyone, like what was set up in the previous episode, and have those battles resolve everything. I really would not have minded the few questions that would be left after that (like Reiga’s motivation, or how Luka and Yuki met).

Instead, Yuki starts glowing and forces everyone to retreat with some last minute slapped on powers in which he suddenly has the powers to completely eradicate the darkness and make people realize their mistakes. Um, where did that come from? On top of being a bit too close to a Deus ex Machina for comfort, this episode also introduced a rather large plothole in Reiga’s reasoning.

Because in this episode Reiga also claims that he kidnapped Yuki because he believes that Yuki’s light has the power to make his darkness stronger. A bit silly at first, but I guess that in terms of symbolism when you combine light and dark with yin and yang, it makes sense. If it weren’t for the fact that that theory completely backfired when Yuki turned on his god-mode. And survives with pretty much the same exhaustion as the other times in which his powers went out of control.

So no, I can’t call this ending good. It didn’t do what it was supposed to, it hardly resolved anything, and it failed to use the build-up that the previous episodes worked so hard for to set up. For an ending of a series that was hoping for a second season that’s never going to come, I’d call this one average, though: it didn’t ruin itself, it did neatly to prepare for the second season (that is never going to come), and the final fight before Yuki flipped out was excellent.

I can see the potential of a power that shows everyone their mistakes. A second season would have been able to do neat things with that. However, there is no way in hell that that second season will arrive. As a result, we’re stuck with a Deus ex Machina ending. Such a shame, considering how this series was doing so well. Unfortunately, this series couldn’t fully follow in Kobato’s footsteps.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 12 September 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

Ah, you know the cliches: a character is certain to die: there’s some kind of deadly projectile heading in his direction, and only a miracle can save him, which indeed happens as he is saved at the last moment by a friend of his. Or take the cliche in which the lead villain has lost most of his powers, only for suddenly another end boss to get introduced. This episode had both of these cliches, yet it did not, if that makes any sense.

This show has fun playing with these cliches, strangely enough. I really thought that Takashiro at the end saved Yuki there. But nope, it’s a completely new character. This character however isn’t anything like Reiga’s boss: he’s just another one of his subordinates. His intervention makes perfect sense as someone who prefers to work in the background, realizing that Reiga is overpowered with his emotions. Speaking of which, I really thought that Reiga’s emotions would cause him to turn into one of the good guys. Instead, they end up trying to kill Yuki. I mean, this was just subversion after subversion after subversion.

At the start of this show, I tended to laugh at it. But really: this episode had two FREAKING DRAGONS duking it out. Now if that isn’t awesome, then I don’t know anymore. This finale is really progressing smoothly so far: it uses these semi-cliches, but it also shows how the characters have developed, it is well paced and takes its time without dabbling in endless quiet before the storms (this episode again took 5 minutes for everyone to catch their breath, only to move over to the real finale: the storming of Reiga’s castle). I mean, the second half of this series has been really skillfully written.

I only have two beefs with this episode. The first I’m a bit iffy about is introducing a character, right at the end of the SEMI-FINAL episode. I mean, I know Luka’s brother versus him is going to make for an awesome final episode that will very likely delve into Luka’s past in order to explain how he left his clan (to save that for the final episode… excellent idea), but couldn’t his introduction have happened a tiny bit sooner?

Also: Reiga’s motivation. Humans are evil, they pollute the planet. Copied and pasted directly from the Evil Handbook of Generic Villains. I expected better from you!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 5 September 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

For a moment, I thought that the creators here were building up to one of those “final final bad guys”-twists, in which the guy who had been built up as the final bad guy throughout the series actually turns out to be someone completely different, with the final bad guys someone either his subordinate or employer, hidden somewhere in the shadows throughout most of the series (which is a nice idea of course, if it weren’t for the fact that those new bad guys often have nowhere near the depth of the original bad guys). I’m glad I was wrong with that.

So yeah, Reiga remembers his time as Kanata. At first I found this rather cheesy, but after second thought this makes for a pretty interesting plot twist, because he actually consciously decided to live as Reiga, rather than Kanata, rather than this being a matter of mere brainwashing. This makes me even more interested in whatever the hell it was that Reiga hates so badly.

So here’s the thing: there are two episodes left, and we end this episode with Yuki in an actual position to talk to Reiga. Sure, he’s kidnapped and all, but I really like what the creators are doing here: on one side they’re building up to an interesting set-up for a final battle, in which the characters, especially Luka and Takashiro, promise to go all out. On top of that, a major theme of these final two episodes will also be an attempt of Yuki to get through to Reiga, while Reiga needs to explain whatever the hell he’s been trying to do, along with try and successfully carry out this plan. If well balanced, it will make for an excellent ending.

The biggest roadblock will be Reiga himself: the way he develops will be crucial whether the ending will be great or just dull. What the creators need to avoid at all costs is another one of those cases of “talking the monster to death”. I want to see some genuine tension between him and Yuki, without having him magically changes sides because of some cheesy speech that Yuki holds at the end.

Oh, and about this episode: I’m glad that the creators didn’t waste an entire episode as a calm before the storm here, but instead kept it to about half an episode, while immediately putting more pressure on the cast. It shows that those general classes aren’t just sitting on their chair waiting for nothing, but actually are willing to act on their own beliefs and agendas. Not because they’re simply whimsical like a cliched anime protagonist, but because they don’t trust Reiga.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 August 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

Holy crap, here is one series that suddenly became just better and better. Seriously, these past two episodes have far surpassed anything else this series had offered up to that point. And this episode ended with yet another cliffhanger, as if to say that it’s still nowhere near done yet. I keep wondering how many parts of the soundtrack the creators haven’t shown yet.

In a way though: I love these kinds of series: those who for their majority aren’t anything special aside from a few scenes here and there, and suddenly as they enter their final quarter flick the awesome switch and finish with one heck of a finale. Uragiri looks to be well on this path with only three episodes left, same with Kobato half a year ago. The disadvantage is of course that it’s impossible to pick these kinds of series out when they first start. I’m REALLY glad that I took the few hints of episode two and continued to blog this series, because I recall having laughed quite a bit at this series for how silly it looked at times.

One of the things I especially liked here was the way in which Reiga continues to set off hints to Yuki that Kanata was still out there, only to completely trash Yuki afterwards, telling him to get off his high horse. It’s a very interesting way of showing Yuki’s flaws, this naivety in which he keeps hoping for Kanata to magically return really adds to his character, and yet this doesn’t take his naivety over the top like what you see with most naive characters who too often degenerate into utter stupidity.

With three episodes left (according to ANN at least, don’t take my word on that because they still seem to believe that this show is only 13 episodes long), I do hope that the creators still have enough time to put girl Yuki’s background in it. Right now, that’s my biggest question mark along with the reason why Reiga protected Yuki in this episode. If the creators can pull that off, while making these three episodes as good as the past two, then I’ll be entirely happy.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 22 August 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

Holy crap! I’m impressed here. This could pretty much be the best episode of Uragiri so far. It’s really amazing how this episode stood out when it mostly involved characters we only really got to know one episode ago.

When Yuki ran off for Luka I expected another silly conflict. But instead this episode just kept building up its tension more and more. Every time at which I thought that the episode hit its climax, it just went even further. The build-up here was absolutely terrific, there was no minute wasted. The episode started out really quiet with actually some really effective piano music. After that point, there was hardly any break to allow the viewer to catch a bit of breath.

Looking back, the point at which Kuroto told Senshiro to quit was really powerful. After four years of hardships. This choice between protecting someone or protecting yourself from getting involved is nothing new in anime, but because it’s such a major theme in this series it’s really working here. I mean, half the cast in this series is struggling with that exact question, but all under different circumstances.

Also, during the second half, I really like how the creators subverted the “sudden save”-cliche. I’ve seen so many of those scenes in which characters are driven to the brink of defeat, only for someone who was looking for them to arrive at the exact right time. The second half of this episode had three or four of those moments, and yet Luka arrived too late to do anything here. Every time, the save was made by either Yuki, Kuroto, Senshiro or Reiga; all of which were fairly believable. Reiga’s appearance at the end. He may have just been sitting in the shadows. Really: what were his intentions back then? Doesn’t he want Yuki to die or something?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 16 August 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

Whoa, this was a really good episode. I mean, suddenly out of nowhere Kuroto comes and starts talking about his back-story. Of course this adds even more depth to the cast than it already had, but the episode itself also was really well executed, despite how filled it was with death and destruction.

This episode was mostly about Kuroto, but it also fleshed out the people around him, like his grandfather, Senshiro and Yuki’s aunt. He actually received quite a bit of character-development throughout this episode: it’s not like he was the same kid throughout his entire youth, and instead the way that he grew to trust Senshiro and his family progressed bit by bit.

I’m also beginning to think that Luka isn’t exactly being kept away from the main house because of how it would be disrespectful. It’s not like Takashiro hates him or anything, and this episode shows that Kuroto trusts him a great deal. Who would then be left? I can hardly imagine the butler or Yuki’s aunt to hate him with passion. It’s probably some sort of precaution of a power that hasn’t been explained yet, or something similar.

In the past, I used to compare this show with Night Head Genesis. Yeah, so that turned out to be completely wrong. While both series are gothic and have great soundtracks (especially NHG had one of the best soundtracks I’ve listened to), Night Head Genesis was all about its story, while Uragiri is all about its characters. The two series get their depth at completely different points. Of course, I’m still hoping for more series to come along that have plots as tight and interesting as Night Head Genesis, but that has absolutely nothing to do with Uragiri. The plot of this one is simple, but the characters more than make up for it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 8 August 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

Whoa, Luka. This was quite an episode for him, and it had a really good atmosphere here. This episode shed a big light on what actually happened to this guy, and the relationship between him and his kin. The exact reason for this is still left for the flashback that’s going to show the past between him and Yuki, but this episode really showed his loyalty towards his decision to betray his own kind.

Interestingly this episode also explains why Luka kicks so much ass with his powers, and it turns out that in-breeding Duras only leads to stronger species, with him being the best example of this, safe for perhaps Reiga. I really suspect that he hated this kind of upbringing.

At a certain point the villainess also pulled the “I can create illusions and therefore transform into your loved one and you completely fall for it”-card. This was one of those few cases in which it actually worked. Usually you’d see completely through such a trick with enough common sense, but Luka did have his nostalgia to blame for falling for it. I mean, how many hears has he been waiting to see the girl Yuki back?

Also, I really want to praise the background artists of this episode. The use of colours and CG really made for some beautiful artworks. Elegy herself didn’t have the best character-designs, but heck, that could be just the creator’s intentions. All of the Duras have looked rather silly in this series, so it might just be that the demons in this series have a strange taste in fashion.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 1 August 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

Now that the background of Takashiro finally is told, it’s great to see that this series is so good at revealing its mysteries. After all of the build-up, the flashback itself was surprisingly short and to the point (it only took up half an episode), and at the same time it did more than answer questions. In fact, this episode created even more questions than it answered.

I really expected this episode to, like, serve all of the answers on a silver platter. Instead, it turns out that Takashiro himself doesn’t even know why Reiga set fire to his village and killed half of its residents, along with Takashiro’s fiancee (I guess). This episode made a few things clear, especially Takashiro’s motivation, but in terms of Reiga we still don’t know a lot. Could it be that he pulled the same thing that he pulled with Yuki? That he was just another reincarnation who went berserk the minute he awakened? Or is there more.

What’s also interesting here is Yuki’s parents, especially how this episode hinted that they’re still alive (the golden rule of anime: characters aren’t dead unless confirmed so). Now, there’s a good chance that this father is Takashiro, although that wouldn’t fit in everywhere, as people don’t seem to treat Yuki as an important heir, so my money is on another character who has already been introduced. Oh, and Yuki actually finally got to meet genuine family of his with his aunts. That was quite a touching scene.

Now, the manga is still on going, right? That’s going to be the major challenge for the creators of the anime right now. So far they did a great job to adapt the source material, but let’s face it: this show ain’t going to get a second season. It’s nowhere as popular to warrant one. The creators are therefore going to have to come up with their own ending that really makes use of the build-up of the past few episodes, or in some other way create a decent closure for this series. I don’t expect a fully wrapped up plot, but I do want to see a conclusion that makes use of this build-up.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 25 July 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

So, here we finally get to the background episode. Or to be more specific: the start of the background arc. The creators really wanted to give this its time to unfold, and so this episode merely deals with the introduction: we get to know what’s up with Takashiro, we get to know exactly what everyone is, and what has been causing the reincarnations. The actual past is left for the next episode.

But seriously though, this did exactly what I hoped, and it solidified the characters even more. The depth of these characters really prevented this episode from turning into a dull exposition episode, and instead it filled in the blanks in the storylines really well. I also now understand why this series is named the way it is: before this series started, I thought that that somehow was some sort of spoiler to the relationship between Luka and Yuki, but instead it refers to the nature of Takashiro: in which he’s forced to reincarnate everyone in order to stand a chance at taking down Reiga.

I guess that the whole reason for Takashiro to be infused with a Dumas, it is probably to make him able to actually kill Reiga, without reincarnating him, but that will probably be answered in the next episode. We already know that Reiga did something really bad, and Takashiro was probably the cause of that. The question now remains where Yuki ties into this: was she just “there”, or she also have an important part in that tragedy? Beyond that, we also have Luka, who seems like the only character who doesn’t seem to fit here so far. I doubt that he was there when Takashiro got his scar, and my guess is that he met Yuki at a later stage.
Rating: ** (Excellent)


Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:23 AM)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: yeah, even tho it was his highest grossing movie it managed to brought his career to a stand-still. His next film Gods of Egypt looks like it could be fun, albeit it’s just as much as a CGIfest as I, Robot. Egyptian stuff is admittedly rather intriguing, I remember a 2004 French film Immortel ad vitam that blended that with modern themes that became popular for a while.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:50 AM)
    *remove second and
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:50 AM)
    @Bam: Regarding dark city, such a shame the director of that followed up dark city and the crow and with Irobot.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

One Punch Man – 08

I wish I knew just what that girl at the beginning was parodying as she’s clearly been overdrawn in a completely different style. My closest guess would be the poster girls of creature features in the 60s and 70s as she wouldn’t look out of place if pasted into a movie poster. I don’t think […]

Young BlackJack – 08

While I find the level of risk in this two part arc to be inconsequential, I must admit that I like how it all turned out. For this is the first time in this series that Blackjack failed. While he was able to discern the cause of Johnny’s lack of pain, he was unable to […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 07

Oh those poor seiyūs that had to act in today’s episode. I can only imagine the horror when a Japanese speaking seiyū is told they need to have an entire conversation in English in a fairly dialogue heavy show. Japanese and English happen to be two of the hardest languages to learn so if they […]

One Punch Man – 07

This episode mainly focused on a giant Meteor about to annihilate the city and the introduction if S class heroes, Metal Knight and Bang. Bang makes it a point to say how the top class heroes are hardly very heroic with most not showing up at all to stop a city’s total destruction. Even one […]

Young BlackJack – 07

Racism is always a thorny topic to deal with. Regardless of intent there are just so many ways of messing it up, be it by using strawmen or one dimensional caricatures. It’s a topic that requires a delicate hand to prevent pushing it to its extreme all to make an obvious point of Racism being […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 06

I can’t say I enjoyed this episode of Subete too much, mainly because there was less investigating and more character building. That wouldn’t be a problem if the character building wasn’t so focused on our main leads. The leads are fine, what we need is to expand on the other characters present on the island […]

One Punch Man – 06

It is interesting that the challenges that Saitama faces that get him worried that truly the most mundane and ordinary. Saitama can punch a monster into oblivion but when it comes to essays or going to sales he’s powerless. Here we have him about to be kicked out of the hero association if he doesn’t […]

Young BlackJack – 06

There are times when Blackjacks over the top nature can be entertaining presentation wise and others when it can remove any sense of surprise. While I do like the things Blackjack explores, it is very clear cut on how it shows it. In this episode the man that Blackjack and the army Medic have been […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 05

The more I hear about Magata’s DID, the more suspect it becomes. According to this episode, Magata didn’t conceive DID out of trauma or accident but instead intentionally crafted alternate personalities so well to the point that it became DID. I personally find the mechanics of this rather fantastical as I don’t think anyone can […]

Latest Reviews

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]


Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]


Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]


Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]


Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]