Posted on 28 October 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Finished Series: Horror, Mononoke, Reviews by Lenlo, Throwback Thursday

I have reviewed a lot of odd shows recently. From Paranoia Agent to Serial Experiments Lain, they each had their own… je ne sais quoi, their own unique flavor. Keeping with that trend is Mononoke, a sort of Horror Anthology reminiscent of Tales From the Crypt or a Stephen King short stories collection. Though where those went for a more classic sort of horror, Mononoke aims more for a permeated dread. Working to bring horror from the actions of man, but basing it on traditional Japanese monsters. Like a sort of mix between Stephen King and Mushishi. Little jump-scare horror, with more slow built environmental and naturalist horror. How’s that for a sentence you thought you would never read, eh? Made by Toei, directed by Kenji Nakamura and spun-off from the final arc of Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, I believe Mononoke succeeds at just that.

So without further ado, let’s dive in. And make sure to stick around until the end to find out what series will next be featured on Throwback Thursday!

(Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers. Also, I am working to make 50 the new “average”. 70 is not an average score people. 70 is above average. Carry on.)

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Posted on 2 October 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mix, Reviews by SuperWooper

Mix is, by my count, the eighth Mitsuru Adachi work to be adapted to animation. I’ve only seen one of the other seven, so it may not be my place to say this, but Mix probably ranks around the middle of those eight. Its main cast is complex, but the non-baseball players among them slip from the series’ focus near the end. Its visual presentation is drab, only springing to life during isolated scenes. Depending on which source you use to watch the show, you may experience a crippling audio issue that buries the dialogue beneath a string-heavy soundtrack (I recommend Commie’s version, which fixed this problem). And yet, for all its shortcomings, Mix retains that signature Adachi atmosphere of emotional realism, mixed with an unpredictability on the baseball diamond that keeps things fresh. The characters may not have completed their arcs in this truncated adaptation, but they’re still the lifeblood of the show.

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Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, DanMachi

“Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon” burst onto the anime scene as something of a B-tier cult classic.  2015 saw Season 1 massively outperform expectations  – ignoring the occasionally shoddy animation – to bring excitement and mostly fan service (and the cosplayer favorite: the Hestia ribbon).  Now, four years later, the much anticipated sequel has concluded.  How did DanMachi2 do?

To answer that question, a word on my grading criteria.  For me, each show has 50 points to earn and 50 points to lose. Points are earned by going above and beyond the norm – showing me something I hadn’t seen or making me feel something unexpected.  Something that makes me applaud.

Points are lost when I feel a component of the show was below average or less than acceptable in terms of animation, storyline, etc.  Something that takes away from the show as a whole.

Let’s take a look!

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Posted on 29 September 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Finished Series: Action, Kimetsu no Yaiba, Reviews by Lenlo

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent success stories of that being My Hero Academia and Black Clover. However, with this season, I think Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba can stand toe to toe with its contemporaries and stand proud. As the series, written by Koyoharu Gotouge and adapted by Ufotable, has broken into the scene en force. Even managing to break into the mainstream on social media like Twitter with some episodes, really showing how far anime can reach today. So the question then becomes, what does Kimetsu no Yaiba do right? What does it do wrong?

Without further ado, let’s dive right in and see if we can’t answer those questions.

(Disclaimer: I am working to make 50 the new “average”. 70 is not an average score people. 70 is above average. Also this review contains minor spoilers. Carry on.)

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Posted on 26 September 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Saga of Tanya the Evil

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a magical World War One/Two, realistic military environment and a villainous main character. Aside from character title cards and a couple of very brief flashbacks, the movie expect you are familiar with its television series as it goes straight back into its worldwide war.   (more…)

Posted on 23 August 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Reviews by AidanAK47

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically expect spoilers after this first paragraph while I place my general thoughts at the beginning. To throw my final estimate on this right now I will say that Heaven’s Feel II is just as good, if not better than the movie preceding it. Ufotable truly have done great work in bringing this route to life and with two movies out of three adapted as well as this then as long as Ufotable doesn’t make any major missteps in the last movie this will be considered a perfect adaption with only nitpickers trying to amplify its flaws(Take note that nitpicking is to follow this paragraph.) The animation is steller, the music is…well I think Kajura held herself back enough to make my usual complaints of her less evident, the adaption of the source ultimately makes it better by cutting out the bloat and extending fight scenes which were originally nonexistent and the atmosphere and pacing is engaging from start to finish. For those curious I will confirm that yes there is a sex scene in this movie though temper your expectations as it is a sex scene on the level of which you would see in a PG rated romantic comedy. So I am afraid you will once again have to rely on doujins if you require some porn. Funny as it is though I would say that the strongest element of this movie isn’t the fight scenes, character interactions or the further developments of the holy grail war. But the show stealers here is when the story veers into horror as it’s there where Kajura’s soundtrack truly excels and highlights the utterly unnerving nature that the villain of this piece is. The “shadow” captures a near Lovecraftian level of unknown malevolence and any time it’s on screen is a showcase of just how powerless anyone is to oppose it. The combination of CGI and 2D animation makes it truly otherworldly and unsettling, almost making the uncanny effect its advantage. The story is dark to the point of giving Fate/Zero competition as developments long awaited and wished are finally happening to the cast. If there is a detriment it would be that some great scenes with Illya and Kirei were cut to make the runtime reasonable which is understandable but somewhat disappointing. So if you have already watched the first movie and was interested enough to move on to the second then I doubt you need my encouragement to continue.

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Posted on 30 July 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Reviews by Lenlo, Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime history. That said, Serial Experiments Lain can hardly be said to be an “enjoyable” series. It is certainly evocative, Serial Experiments Lain will bring about emotions and force you to confront reality in a unique way. But I at least did not end the series thinking I would watch it again anytime soon, and this density will no doubt be off putting for many. However while these may keep it out of my favorites, it is without a doubt worth your time. Lets go.

(Disclaimer: I am working to make 50 the new “average”. 70 is not an average score people. 70 is above average. Carry on.)

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Posted on 18 July 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Reviews by Armitage

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. It’s a…penguin?”

That is how this particular morning started for young Aoyama, who is the perfect embodiment of a child you would call wicked smart. Smarter than almost everybody in his class. Barring maybe Hanamoto-chan, but Aoyama considers her a bit too complacent. He is a self-proclaimed pupil of science. A true man of research. Well, actually just about 3681 days short of being a man (he keeps count), but you get what I mean. He is secretly in love with the dentist woman. Who is much older but that doesn’t bother him. His love isn’t the sexual kind. Yes, he does think about her breasts 30 mins a day but that’s for relaxation purposes. His sole reason for visiting the dental clinic is so as to get to talk with her for a little while.

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Posted on 5 July 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Finished Series: Action, One Punch Man S2, Reviews by Lenlo

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch Man Season 2 is terrible. Though there are a few occasional gems throughout the series, thanks to one Kenichiro Aoki, most of the series is a mess. On every level. This review won’t even be comparing One Punch Man Season 2 to the original, as that is just unfair. Even if you didn’t like it, in terms of pure production, the first season was on the upper end. Sadly though, this 2nd Season can’t even stand up to the average show in it’s own season.

So all that said, lets get right into it.

(Disclaimer: I am working to make 50 the new “average”. 70 is not an average score people. 70 is above average. Carry on.)

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Posted on 26 June 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Dororo, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama, Reviews by Lenlo

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo takes the viewer back to a time before tropes were commonplace. Predating Berserk by almost 20 years, with many of the same themes. A story much darker than what fit’s is original art style and time period, it truly is a series out of time. But how does this story, canceled after only 4 volumes with largely anime original content, fare in the modern anime sphere? Well, let’s dive in and find out. As always, spoilers after this point.

Let’s go!

(Disclaimer: I am working to make 50 the new “average”. 70 is not an average score people. 70 is above average. Carry on.)

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Neon Genesis Evangelion – 2 [An Unfamiliar Ceiling/The Beast] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all and welcome to week 2 of Neon Genesis Evangelion! I know a lot has been going on lately, what with the site scare, but don’t worry. A lot of work is going on in the back and we have plans. In the meantime, how about we just jump into this week’s episode of […]

Beastars – 06

This episode marks the beginning of the next chapter after introduction phase in the first five episodes. This week it’s all about expanding its unique settings. Many new players are introduced, most notably Juno, the female underclassmen grey wolf, and Gouhin the Panda, who all make a nice first impression. This week is also the […]

Chihayafuru S3 – 06 [Tatsuta River Ablaze]

Every time I try to take notes on this series, I get sucked into its rhythm and hit the end of the episode before I know it. The show arranges bursts of competition, moments of inner monologue, and diverse crowd reactions for maximum effect. In wondering how it manages to cast that spell so consistently, […]

Fire Force – 16 [We are Family]

This episode of Fire Force…was all over the place.  I can’t decide if the show loses points for being so absurd or gains them back for being self-aware.  At any rate, we have some back stabbing, some donkey riding, and … Shinra, you’re killing me here.

Psycho-Pass 3 – 03 [Herakles and the Sirens]

It’s a slower episode this week for Psycho-Pass 3 but there is so much to unpack when it comes to details of the characters and how it relates to the latest case of the candidates for the governorship of Tokyo. There are family connections, hidden pasts and plot threads that point to something far bigger.

Hoshiai no Sora – 04/05

Let’s have a round of applause for Maki the Genius, everyone. In a tennis club full of clashing personalities, only he was incisive enough to see that hotheads and shy boys shouldn’t be paired together. Imagine everyone’s surprise when he put compatible players on the same doubles teams and they immediately started to work in […]

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 1 [Angel Attack] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome all to the next series of Throwback Thursday, Neon Genesis Evangelion! Apologies for the late start, I sorta lost track of time this week. Won’t happen again though, because after this I am excited to keep going. Because if nothing else, I know it’s going to look good. Let’s dive in! Starting off, we […]

Beastars – 04/05

Episode 4 is kind of a testing game for Legosi’s own nature, but from a new angle they haven’t approached before. Instead of testing his relations towards the herbivores, Beastars introduces Bill the Tiger, another carnivore who is the exact opposite with Legosi. Bill embraces his own nature and is proud of it. He’s macho, […]

Chihayafuru S3 – 04/05

Raise your hand if you thought it would be Chihaya vs. Taichi in the finals of this tournament. Okay, manga readers, you can put your hands down. The odds were against them; a former queen, a sadistic Class A beast, and a Meijin hopeful stood between our heroes and the finals of the Yoshino tournament. […]

Latest Reviews

Mononoke Anime Review – 75/100

I have reviewed a lot of odd shows recently. From Paranoia Agent to Serial Experiments Lain, they each had their own… je ne sais quoi, their own unique flavor. Keeping with that trend is Mononoke, a sort of Horror Anthology reminiscent of Tales From the Crypt or a Stephen King short stories collection. Though where […]

Mix: Meisei Story Review – 75/100

Mix is, by my count, the eighth Mitsuru Adachi work to be adapted to animation. I’ve only seen one of the other seven, so it may not be my place to say this, but Mix probably ranks around the middle of those eight. Its main cast is complex, but the non-baseball players among them slip […]

DanMachi2 Anime Review – 40/100

“Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon” burst onto the anime scene as something of a B-tier cult classic.  2015 saw Season 1 massively outperform expectations  – ignoring the occasionally shoddy animation – to bring excitement and mostly fan service (and the cosplayer favorite: the Hestia ribbon).  Now, four years later, the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba Anime Review – 80/100

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent […]

Youjo Senki Movie Review – 85/100

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]