Posted on 7 April 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Junji Ito Collection

In the realm of manga there is a man whose name is inescapable when the genre of horror is brought up. That man is Junji Ito and his work is considered legendary for its artistic detail, mastery of manga paneling and it’s outlandish imaginative concepts. Up till now his work has yet to have an adaptation that fits his legacy despite a number of attempts to do so. And now with completion of the Junji Ito Collection anime I can sadly say that fact still remains. This animes greatest failing is the lack of effort to truly adaption Junji Ito’s work to animation with the animation being bare bones to truly awful and the art not even coming close to his iconic style. This anime at least can be watchable due to the creativeness of the material but having passable animation, voice acting and music isn’t a good enough trade for the quality of the source itself.

The stories all have a problem with endings where many of them just cut off abruptly and move on to the next tale without much breathing room. Few have conclusive ends to the story being told and can feel like they were cut off in the middle of the tale. Some stories also are questionable choices with the main examples being the Souichi stories when are more black comedy than horror and stick out awkwardly when compared to the other content. The horror stories themselves fail to be scary though some do have some disturbing ideas while others prove to be far too silly to be taken seriously. Otherwise Ito’s general weakness with characterisation can have people acting in awkward or idiotic ways.

Horror anime is unfortunately a rarity and it was a solemn hope of mine that this could be something special despite skepticism. Sadly be it due to staff or studio there felt like no real heart put into this production. A meer attempt to cash in on the legacy of some who puts tremendous effort and time into his craft. A man that deserved better than this.The soundtrack has no notable tracks, the opening is a questionable rock song and the presentation weakens the content that while not making a terrible show, unfortunately turns it into a mediocre one. I do not recommend this be your first introduction to the works of Junji Ito and this isn’t really an anime worth watching, nor remembering.

Posted on 1 April 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good strengths about this little show and it becomes one of the show that I enjoyed the most this season. In fact, Yuru Camp’s appeal never really goes beyond its genre offering but as far as slice-of-life genre goes, it certainly offers more than enough to be a solid recommendation. Structure-wise, Yuru Camp is a show made up (mostly) of two half: one with the fluffy pink cupcake that is Nadeshiko and her camping experience with her Outclub’s members, and the other is Rin’s solo camp. Looking at each part, not only individually they are above your average cute-girls shows with distinctive, warm atmosphere and delightful chemistry from the cast, these two segments also complement each other well.

I’ll say it now, Rin’s solo not-quite-as-bizarre adventures make up for best parts of Yuru Camp. Usually, cute-girls shows elaborate the theme of happily spending time together with friends as their selling point (and as the natural way of life, apparently), and while Yuru Camp certainly has that aspect, the show also respects Rin’s little personal space. Maybe it resonates with me more than most people, but I’m always in the camp who believe that you’re truly happy when you can appreciate moments of nothingness. They’re moments when you can truly let go of all the burdens, connections of life that tie you tightly and just enjoy that exact point in time as it is. THE BEST HEALING METHOD IT IS. I get that same feeling while watching Rin sitting in her chair, late at night, totally alone, in the middle of camp site (If you want to see what I mean without bothering to watch the show, check out its ED). Rin is a loner, but she isn’t the type of loner who secretly looks for friends. She enjoys her time by herself and all little moments from her solo trip: from talking with a dog in a passing car, making conversations with other strangers, or quietly observing the place and – my favorite – finding obstacles along the way (block road, no water, etc) and managing to go through them and lastly, eating yummy foods are all rewarding in their own way and certainly make her trips a real treasure to watch. Moreover, Yuru Camp never frames her preference as being anti-social. Through the course of its run eventually Rin discovers the fun of camping together with friends, yes, but in essence she’s the same person who always enjoy camping alone. And the show and the girls all respect her little solitude space.

Outside of Rin’s solo camps, the show still has a lot to offer. All the characters are a delight to watch, Nadeshiko is a big teddy bear to hug and while you could argue their characters’ traits have been done to death, it’s the chemistry those girls share together that makes it all ticked. Their banters (and there were tons of it) feel exactly like conversations you have with your best mates, with easy-going attitude but weirdly sharp and fun at the same time. Their time spent together on the camping trips sing well too, with ahem… laidback tone and nice sceneries all around, which isn’t that surprising when the settings are mainly surround the Mount Fuji. The foods they make, contributes a huge parts to the success of this show. Just like how Rin comments about Nadeshiko: “look at her happy eating face makes the food itself looks tasty”, it’s the feeling that I get too (consider my hesitation on food-centric shows, this comes a rare recommendation). In addition, the fact that the show is set mostly in winter makes it a surprisingly appropriate show to watch this season and further makes camping-during-winter premise such a nice ring to it.

Yuru Camp is not without its issues, however. The cartoon tips about camping and getting the right camping materials distract the flow of the anime and I believe it’d be much better if they cut them entirely. Being a slice-of-show also mean that there’s no real character development and there’s minimum conflict whatsoever and where are the male species? It’s hard to fault the show for those, but it also means that apart from the strong atmosphere, many beautiful scenic backgrounds and delightful characters, there isn’t much else to offer. The score is pretty good as I can recall some of its score vividly and the night time in winter never look more appealing than this, so the background arts are a winner. Overall, Yuru Camp has all its ingredients for a solid slice of life show, and they pull it off. I will remember these girls’ banters, and most of all, the peace of being alone, rather fondly, but it’s also clear that people who don’t like the genre won’t have much to revel in here.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Neo Yokio

This may be half a year overdue but I simply can’t accept that none of the writing staff of Star Crossed Anime have cover the the biggest development in anime where Netflix took a hand in producing anime in the form of Neo Yokio.

Taking place in the metropolis of Neo Yokio, a mashup between New York and Tokyo, it follows the Magistocrat Kaz Khan as he balances his life between hunting down demons, being a connoisseur of fashion and tempering the various relationships with the women in his life. Each episode tells a different stories but still slowly builds the continuity of its themes of the excesses of capitalism and vanity of the privileged.To be fair, you have to have a high intellectual capability to understand the points it’s expertally trying to get across like the giant Toblerones of which Kaz seems to carry everywhere with him as the basis is set in his desires to be the rock hard but sweet protector of Neo Yokio. While Jaden Smith, who is a young Hollywood actor and the son of Will Smith, isn’t known for his voice acting ability, he does an amazing job in portraying a character besieged by his overbearing aunt and social responsibility of becoming the most eligible bachelor in the entire city. Even the side characters like Kaz’s friends and the ever stalwart mecha-butler, Charles, are really well done as they add to the high-end atmosphere that Neo Yokio sets itself out to be by drawing from the philosophical works of Michel Foucault and Albert Camus into their own being. I will say that not everything gets wrapped neatly in the end but the journey of shifting alliances between the top bachelors, exhilarating demonic showdowns and standing up to Aunt Agatha’s tyranny instills the character growth I want to see from my Chinese cartoons. It may only be six episodes long but that’s all it needs to get its point across unless other shows that need twelve or more episodes because they can’t manage their overboasted plotlines properly.

In keeping with its themes and tribulations of Kaz being a part of Neo Yokio’s high society, the musical score does not disappoint in the least with pieces like Vivaldi Concerto in E Flat Major, Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto No.5 in F Minor BWV 1056, and the winter portion from the The Four Season done by the violin in F Minor. Often, I think that we are too focus on consuming original content when there is already such amazing soundtracks to choose from. After all, it is impossible to argue against centuries-old musical scores that have withstood the test of time and are still played by professional orchestras in fancy opera houses around the world. Neo Yokio distinguishes and elevate itself over the typical anime trash by building on top of masterpiece to become a masterpiece.

If there is any fault that I can find with Netflix’s impeccable first stab at overseeing anime production, it is that the animation isn’t the best out there. Produced in conjunction with Production IG, Studio Deen and Studio MOI, it is clear that they didn’t have the sheet talent or funding to reach the levels like Ufotable but the overall quality is quite nice in how they rendered city of Neo Yokio in the landmarks and extra additions like the The Sea Beneath 14th Street or the crazy Formula One race in the finale. Overall, it beats out most of the garbage that comes out every season but could give trashy overrated shows like Made in Abyss or Violet Evergarden a run for its money.

There seems to be a minority on the internet that decries Neo Yokio isn’t all that great to begin with but obviously, they can’t appreciate the nuance that is the choices of clothing like the Chanel suit or the travesty of a midnight-blue tuxedo. It is painfully obvious that criticism of that uncultured nature is shallow and pedantic at its very best. As this site prides itself on watching nothing but the best and with the new season begins in April, you would be a fool to miss out on this pinnacle of anime.

94 Toblerones/100 Toblerones

Posted on 30 March 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Devilman Crybaby

It’s an exciting time to be an anime fan where new business models and players are making big waves within the animation industry. After debuting with the original and excellently-produced Neo Yokio, the juggernaut streaming service of Netflix has decided to revive the classic series of Devilman and gives it the full adaption treatment. By combining the sexual violence of its source material to the likes of Urotsukidoji and having big names like Masaaki Yuasa at its helm, the Devilman franchise makes a comeback into the western mindset after spending decades in obscurity.

For those of you not familiar with the Devilman series, it was a huge series in the 1970s where it tells the story of a teenage boy, bestowed with demonic powers, fighting against other unearthly horrors in an monster-of-the-week format. Subsequent OVAs attempted to follow the manga source more closely but could never finish the job. Devilman Crybaby makes a couple of liberal changes but the core story remains the same with Ryo and Akria teaming up to fight the demons with Miki supporting from the sidelines. Yuasa’s version adds a whole bunch of layers like the incorporation of track and field and roaming beatboxing freestylers . All those aspects are done quite well but perhaps the strongest aspect of having Netflix being the financier and distributor is being able to be very casual about its sexual and violent content. It was once said that:

There is nothing that arouses a stronger response in human beings than either sex or violence. A mixture of the two is very powerful indeed.

Unlike other anime where the mature content is done for the sake of being edgy, Devilman Crybaby uses its brutality to validates its darker themes as it progresses further along its story. I don’t want to give out spoilers but since the source is a 70s manga that influenced works like Berserk and Evangelion, there is nothing comforting about how everything plays out.   

If you are familiar with Yuasa’s unorthodox animation style, then Devilman Crybaby’s eccentric visuals should come as no surprise. It doesn’t have that crude design of Ping Pong the Animation, but lacks the fancy special effects that other studios strive for. Instead, it swings between the plain and psychedelic color palette, the strength to this anime is not found in the details but the unhinged motions of its characters and artistics liberties taken with the framing/composition of its shots. Like its animation, the music (composed by Kensuke Ushio of Koe no Katachi and Ping Pong the Animation fame), is just as unique with its elements of synthwave and an epic orchestral choir to the point like it came out of Hotline Miami 2‘s soundtrack. In keeping up with the insanity shown on screen, the soundtrack does a very job and only serves to enhance the show overall.

Devilman Crybaby is the definitive complete package of its source material but it doesn’t come without its fair share of problems. Clocking in at ten episodes, I had an issue with its pacing especially towards the latter half of the series when Ryo’s grand plan comes into fruition and things get very crazy. It goes far too fast in its escalation of conflict between the demons and mankind and in a few instances, I had to pause and read between the scenes to understand the what exactly happened in the final episodes. In addition, Ryo and Akira’s memories of their early childhood together should have been sprinkled in far earlier in the series instead of shoehorning it into the last episode as it seemed rushed to have the foundation poured in before the conclusion of their conflict. The second negative is the amount of Erglish thrown around as it becomes a distracting element for the story’s more serious moments. While Roy’s japanese voice actor is relatively decent in pronouncing his English line when compared to other anime (I’m looking at you Zankyou no Terror), there are some major speeches where his delivery fall flat in invoking the intended reaction from the viewers.

Devilman Crybaby is not a show for everyone. It is a vulgar, uncensored and sexually violent reinterpretation dreamed up by the surreal creativity that is Masaaki Yuasa. For those of you who are able to stomach such things or have a fascination with anime’s more unhindered aspects, this show is the shining example of the medium is capable of and the new business direction it is heading towards. However, for all its praises, there are just a few significant issues that holds it back from becoming anime of the year although it would easily a top ten list for any serious anime fan. In any case, Devilman Crybaby was an experience for me that I won’t forgetting about anytime soon.

83/100

Posted on 27 March 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Fantasy is a rather prolific genre in anime, with a vast majority of Isekai and Shounen fitting snugly into it. Most take place in their own unique setting, either Amestris of Full Metal Alchemist or the made of world of the latest Isekai trash. Few however try to set themselves in our world. To peel back the mystery of our own myths and legends of lore. Mahoutsukai no Yome attempts to do just this. To bring magic into our regular dreary world. However it Mahoutsukai stretched itself to thin, attempting both a fantasy epic and a sweet character drama, only to fail at both.

Lets jump in!

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Posted on 11 February 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, OVAs and Movies:

Mary's movie poster

Wooper: Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the first feature film from Studio Ponoc, which spun off from Studio Ghibli in early 2015. Given Ghibli’s towering reputation, the bar was high for this inaugural flick, which recently made its way to U.S. theaters, giving Lenlo and I a chance to see it on the big screen. Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, whose previous work includes When Marie was There and The Secret World of Arrietty, selected a source novel (“The Little Broomstick”) that landed his newest film in safe, Ghibli-reminiscent territory. That choice works both for and against the movie, because while its familiar characters and motifs of magic and flight are visually arresting, many anime fans will have seen it all before. There’s hardly a single frame in this film that you couldn’t hang above your mantle, but its story never manages to generate that same impact.

Lenlo: Agreed. Mary and the Witch’s Flower managed to trick me with its Ghibli-esque style a few times. However that also means the comparisons to Ghibli are inevitable. It’s a perfect example of the limits of beautiful animation without a good story to back it up. It’s the classic “little girl finds magical land, saves it from some evil and is home in time for dinner”. I was never surprised by it and often let down. My biggest problem with it however was the criminal use of its characters. Flanagan and Great-Aunt Charlotte are underused and feel more like Director ‘Deus Ex Machina’ plot devices rather than real characters.

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Posted on 4 January 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, it breathes life and it feels all too real. Suzu, our protagonist, is a normal girl who loves to draw and a bit of an airhead herself. Throughout the course of the movie, we see her grown through a passage of time, get married to a stranger in a strange town, find accustomed to the new life, new family, new hometown before the war comes in and destroys everything. Quiet, slow but melancholic and beautiful at times, Corner shines through mostly because of its restraint to go heavy-handed. They could easily go melodramatic in many moments, consider they’re dealing with war issues, one of the most brutal subject on film. Yet somehow they know that the main focus is the life of Suzu, and the terror of war ultimately is just a part of it.

Coming to Corner, I originally expected another war treatment in the veins of Graves of Fireflies or Barefoot Gen or Giovanni’s Island – a full-blown lost of innocence drama about the horrific consequences the war causes to normal citizen. I was taken by surprise by how Corner instead focuses on the ordinary life of Suzu, on her little moments of living her life, the life that she has no control over. The whole film is painted in a way that it feels like a memory, a look back to the harsh period of Japan with a tender perspective, an outlook that both bitter and sweet at the same time. In Corner, there’s no big emotional outburst in display. There’s no angsty statement to be found at the horrible injustice of war. There’s no grand decision that change the course of war. Just like in our own real life the life-changing moments happen only few times, with long in-between time we stay almost the same, Corner is more interested to focus on those in-between moments.

As Corner aims for simple approach, the character designs are decidedly simple, never stand out, which remind me greatly to the art of the old era. The cast share formal, yet natural chemistry and even her relationships with the members of her husband side, especially with her sister in law have some solid development. The tone is light-hearted and episodic – and surprisingly – good humor, but we can all feel the weight behind each fleeting moment. The light humor is what I really appreciate about this movie. As I often see it, if you can find humor even in the worst possible situation, then you can go a long way. Imagine how the father in law falls asleep in the middle of the air raid, or the members of the house nearly burst out laughing with the idea of Suzu being a spy.

In my opinion, the war section wouldn’t be that powerful without the full-of-life coming of age story about Suzu in the first half. She has a normal childhood with a small crush and some true moments of happy carefree life, she then marriages off to a guy she barely knows in a faraway land, spends her days away doing housework. Suzu is significant in a way she never stands out, or like her sister in law comments: “leading a boring life”. Yet, she is the perfect protagonist for Corner. She presents the lives of many ordinary people in that era, the lives that we can all relate to. The latter part has some quietly devastating moments but like what comes before, it becomes just a part of Suzu’s life. For me at least, I feel heartfelt how despite everything happens, Suzu and her family, and in a larger extend, the strength of normal people manage to recover and continue to live on their lives, with a smile on their faces.

In the end, I wholeheartedly recommend In this Corner of the World. Quiet, subtle, humane, true to life, and weirdly humorous and warm, Corner again is a perfect example of a work that can shake off all the flashiness to seek for something real, and simple. The result, of course, is far from “simple” and “ordinary”, the mastery that is so hard to obtain. 2016 and 2017 have been great years for anime movies and Corner stays rightly at the near top of those offerings. A marvelous achievement from studio MAPPA.

Posted on 3 January 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Houseki no Kuni

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production phase. Unlike normal anime products, Orange studio approached the material as early as nearly 2 full years before its initial broadcasting, and the production went through many unusual phases that took much longer time for the studio to complete. This is to say it was a rough path that they decided taking on and the result showcases how much confidence they adapt the material. This season feels much more as an introduction to an epic story and at its core Houseki serves as an coming of age story to our protagonist Phos, while exploring the insecurities of those gems towards their own roles. As I compare the manga and the anime adaptation together, I still regard the manga as a more astonishing version, but by all mean it’s not a criticism against the anime. Houseki the anime approaches the source in the best way it possibly can, both highlights the unique appeal of its gems cast, striking visual metaphoring and dynamic fights sequence that make it one of the best adaptation in my eyes: both respect the core themes that make the manga stands out, at the same time is vibrant with its own personality.

Houseki is a show of pure beauty. Its world building is ethereally fresh and rich, at once strange and full of mysteries yet to explore. Houseki features the world where the three races: the Lunarians who live over the Moon, the Gems who live in land and the Admirabilis who live under the sea. Underneath that surface where we follow the Gems doing their daily patrol and fight off the invaders Lunarians, the three races are hinted to be the three basic components that form the human race: the Soul, the Bone and the Flesh, respectively. Houseki is the work that is dense with Buddhism symbols, images and philosophy. This is further underlined in the way the character designs are drawn: the Moon People are identical entities, the Gems have their lower bodies almost the same, only the Gems-reflected in their hairs are vastly different and the Snails have their own distinctive, over-designed body with clear sexual traits. Speaking of the ambiguous of gender issues, Houseki might be the only series I could give a plus (+) rating for its sensitive approach to the non-gender beings, something that is rare even in today’s standard and something that speaks further to the originality of Houseki.

In order to approach the strange beauty of the Gems and the stylish dynamic of their fights, Houseki decided to go full CG – a decision that freaked out the manga fans considering the bad track of full CG shows. The computer generated might get some time to get used to, but the more Houseki displays its visual the more it reaches its new height. The characters look gorgeous in their CG models, the CG allows Houseki to experiment with many unusual shot angles and long shot tracking that really hard to pull in a traditional hand-drawn production. The sequence where Dia runs away from Shiro, for example, stands out for all the right seasons. In addition, this CG style uses its shortcomings in computer production (its lightweight movements and somewhat awkward character actings) into an asset, making the Gems feel offbeat and whimsical – the very quality that make them charming and pleasing to watch. The physical comedy, as a result, hits the mark most of the time. But not only the CG takes all the credits here, I have to praise the 2D production as well since the characters have 2D facial features that allow many subtle facial expressions. Orange studio really makes the most out of what they have, capturing the feeling of the manga using the tools of a different medium, and they pull off beautifully.

But exploring this mysterious world and its grand cast is only one of Houseki’s many concerns. This season is all about the growth of our main character, Phos, as they breaking apart, metamorphosing, and changing themselves for better or for worse. They experient some of the sharpest character development I have seen in awhile, both physically and psychologically. The more they losing parts of their body, the more useful and mature they become, the less memory they have. At the end of the day, what’s left of the original Phos? Phos certainly carries their own magnificently with their own charm and witty remarks and a natural voice acting from the talented Tomoyo Kurosawa. Moreover, Houseki underscores the identity and the insecurity of the Gems towards the own roles. Many of the gems, from Phos, Cinnabar, Dia are all struggling with their position. Those vulnerables make them so relatable and real. All other Gems of the cast have their own quirks, but they never sell themselves short. They share great natural chemistry to each other and each of them is memorable, grounded and overall a total joy to watch.

Aside from the colorful yet memorable characters, Houseki benefits from the stunning background arts that not only stand out on its own, but they fit to the narrative seamlessly. Take note how the color of the background changes according to the Gems in spotlight – a beautiful trick that both convey the aura of said character, but also is very appropriate to show the sparkling ability of those Gems. The anime visual has a lot of symmetric shots that from what I know isn’t apparent in the manga, but it’s a welcome upgrade since the techniques reflects very well the theme of Houseki. The soundtrack is another highlight that really elevate many sequences to another level, especially during the fight scenes.

But still, Houseki is much more than beautiful visuals. What I impress the most about Houseki is how they manage the overall tones of the show. Sometimes we have silly, offbeat fluffy comedy, at times it goes full on devastating that showcase a very realistic portrayal of grief; in other minutes Houseki is thrilling with monster chase, crazy Gems and dynamic fights. Strangely, all of these moments above feel really Houseki-y. It’s the show that is full of identity. Rarely I see an anime show that feel so unlike any other shows I watch out there, and manage to be so passionate on what it does, that I can let all my complaint about the show down under the kitchen sink. Unique, strange, beautiful, devastating, ambiguous, and charming all at once, Houseki is an one-of-a-kind series, and I mean it in the best possible way.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Fate/Apocrypha

I was quite excited for Apocrypha and in the so called year of Fate adaptations, it looked to be the crown jewel. Sadly, partly due to lacking adaption and the source lacking in areas, this anime turned out to be not quite the jewel I thought it would be. It’s hard to call this a bad anime, mainly because it lacks consistency it it’s quality. Much like it’s animation, Apocrypha goes from highs and lows, from boring mediocre scenes to scenes that range from mildly entertaining to genuinely great. Unfortunately to get the most out of it you need to read up on the mythological of the characters in it as the series itself does a very poor job of fleshing them out. Fate/Apocrypha details a war between fourteen servants with one extra servant acting as referee. As such it boasts a pretty massive cast of characters which proves to be to its detriment. There isn’t enough screen time to flesh all these characters out and sadly a lot of potential with some genuinely interesting characters gets wasted. There are a number of servants in Apocrypha that deserved better than the story they got, such as Sisgou and Mordred, the people who originally appeared to be our main protagonists. Excellent chemistry, fun master servant relationship and despite Mordred being a saberface she gives enough personality to the design that she makes it her own. And all of this is absolutely wasted when they are pushed to the wayside for their screen time to be robbed by the actual protagonist of the story.

At episode three a homunculus called Sieg is introduced and from his very introduction comes the greatest flaw of Apocrypha. Sieg is a mistake. He is a character with no personality who goes from wondering about his existence to archetypical hero. The plot of Apocrypha bends over backward to give Sieg all the screen time and plot devices he needs to steal the spotlight. he is cardboard, a literally one dimensional plank with a sign that says “Your face here” and comes with his own romance subplot that is given far too much time and effort. Sieg sucks the fun out of any scene he’s in that I honestly believe that the times I was most bored watching this show where when he was on screen. Take note that Sieg is not an annoying character nor does he have a personality that irks the viewer. The problem is that he’s nothing and steals precious screen time from servants most desperately needing development. All the characters of Apocrypha suffer due to his presence and that’s a damn shame as this story does indeed have potential. But it’s clear that while the writer set up a grand epic battle, he didn’t quite think of how he was to close it out. Some servants feel like unnecessary time wasters like Jack and Avicebron. Also while the battle starts as shades of grey with no one technically in the right, it slowly changes into a strictly black and white affair.

The music of the series is fantastic which Masaru Yokoyama succeeds in giving Fate/Apocrypha its own distinctive identity through melody. There are plenty of scenes elevated by his OST alone and I truly think they deserved a better show. Though there are some medolics which play a bit too often. The animation, while shaky and nowhere near Ufotables level, does showcase some impressive fight scenes which are exhilarating enough to push away Apocryphas problems temporarily. Ultimately Fate/Apocrypha is wasted potential that made for a mediocre anime with some patches of entertainment and some small moments of greatness. Not to be recommended as your first Fate anime and most likely more for those that are deep into the series. It is a immensely flawed series that could have been better than the sum of its parts but as it there is at least some meat here to give a Fate fan reason to check it out. Provided you keep your expectations low and do a bit of reading on the servants histories. Though if the Light novel ever gets fully translated, that’s the better alternative.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World-

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up to the pedigree of its former season. One factor is that it is somewhat a mix of a remake and a sequel as some old stories from the original 2003 series are remade while other new stories make an appearance. Those fond of kIno for it’s morally ambiguous parables will find the new series to be less focused on that and more on lighthearted little tales with Kino and other protagonists. There are of course dark moments but overall this series has more of an optimistic tone when compared to the previous seasons nihilistic outlook. This could be quite a turn off for old fans but there are indeed still good stories here.

However the choice of stories and their structure in the series doesn’t appear to have been thought out well as stories appear to be chosen based more on Kino and other fan favorites getting the spotlight rather than meaningful allegories on life. Quite a pity as there are well over 200 stories and yet the ones featured here appear to be the weaker ones of a long running series. Stories are placed one after another haphazardly without considering the tone or overall structure. For example, two of the remake episodes are A Kind Land and the Country of Adults. A kind land was the previous seasons finale but is placed in the middle of the series and is followed by Kino’s Origin which would have been more beneficial to place before A Kind Land. On top of which this season decides to finish on what amounts to a joke episode which again is a odd decision that seems to misunderstand the very intent of Kino’s story. Nonetheless there are some standout stories such as the Country of Lies and In the clouds.

That said while we have a B-class selection of stories, the presentation at least does them justice. Aside from some rather awkward CGI, this season of Kino is a visual improvement over its predecessors intentional but rather dated look. I didn’t notice anything noteworthy music wise and the opening is just alright. Characters can act a bit over the top and unrealistic, which is different from the original series more monotone delivery but that can result in some more emotional moments hitting harder. As such if a another season was made with better story selection I believe it could very well match the original. Though sadly this may be the last we see of Kino for a very long time. To sum things up, this series doesn’t hold a candle to the original but it’s still a worthwhile watch.

CHANGE USERNAME
Masky
Huh? Found weird manga named Marry Grave. It feels like older manga but I'm not sure what its release date is.. Has rather interesting art and premise though first chapter is bit clunky on exposition
Kaiser-Eoghan
slightly disappointed to see happy sugar life not being covered =<
Lenlo
Oh man, 57? Franxx must have really gone down hill, because you seemed pretty into halfway through or so Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
<Crazy aunt in happy sugar life will have Belldandy's voice actress
<Terror the terror OMO
Kaiser-Eoghan
How do I save Chi no Wadachi's protagonist =< Manga giving me post traumatic stress ;M ;
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: And that game, to the moon is getting an adaptation. I haven't played it nor know anything about it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It seems you were onto something when you said in your satsuriku no tenshi impressions/posts that other freeware games might see a chance at an adaptation. I recall you talking about a game called To the moon on here a few years back.
Vonter
I did like how they decided to use a Halo aesthetic for the lack of a better term. Bases and alien ships have this Halo like design and color schemes to them. Also when I though a harem could only be depicted in one way, this series proves me wrong.
Vonter
But after season 2. Oh boy, the series becomes a really intriguing and exciting sci fantasy journey, with lots of motivations, hillturns and mystery.
Vonter
I catch up to the Voltron series in Netflix and man. It might the best anime-like series I've watched all year. I was having doubt after season one because while not awful at the start, it's very typical Voltron good versus evil and the like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Chicago was one of the first Manga I read when I was 11, by the same author as 7 seeds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: A 7 seeds adaptation would be preferable, its the more mature of the two. My favourite parts of that manga is everything relating to Hana and also the flashbacks to Ango's team's past, also that flashback side arc which was set in that shelter centered on that guy who had nothing to do with the cast.
AidanAK47
For Mahou, I just wanna see the first VN translated.
Amagi
We will never see the Mahou sequel VN either
Amagi
Theoretically ufotable but I think they'd prefer to wait for the updated story of the new VN sooo never ever
AidanAK47
Op was pretty good for an anime that didn't exist. Honestly wonder what would come first. The remake of the VN or an anime adaption by Ufotable.
Amagi
Just as the Tsukihime anime doesn't exist (liked the OP of that nonexisting anime though)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: The original Basara anime doesn't exist, only the manga does.
Amagi
@Lenlo: I really loved it and as far as I know most people who didn't read it refused it due to its drawing style not the content. The style could get an improvement as anime and I think the story is something most people would enjoy. The side characters were all awesome and pretty diverse too, which is kinda worthy of mention because the series had a ton of them.
Amagi
Arisa might get a decent fanbase as well considering it's some sort of mystery-thriller shoujo despite it's appearance.
Lenlo
Oooh Basara would be one I would want to see
Amagi
@Kaiser: I wish we'd get an actual Basara or 7 Seeds adaption some day. But guess it's impossible in the age of 12-episode series.
Lenlo
Yeah, the Marvin reveal was done in as tasteful a way as I could see it being done. It was just creepy enough without being voyeur
Kaiser-Eoghan
**Done
Kaiser-Eoghan
*superficially
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I have never read this, LetDai is sometimes compared superficial to banana fish.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More fantasy/horror shoujo/josei manga, old ones, not otomeshit or school lifeshit could be adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And wasn't the reveal regarding Marvin down in a tasteful/restrained enough way while still getting the point across?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Akimi Yoshida is actually quite diverse, aside from banana fish, she also wrote Our little sister.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"and NOT with naked muscular men. That’d be depressing!" Thank fuck we still have the slender ones then lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the looks of it Sugar life's only getting 12 episodes, which means it'll stop just before it really gets going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I think 2 volumes of the manga have been covered so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: "However its spelt" and there I am, realizing how rubbish I am with names and remembering/spelling them.
Lenlo
Oh man, Banana Fish is 24 episodes? Oh awesome. All the time in the world
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: In small doese, small doses he would be tolerable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
An anime about all of us would be fucking magnificent and I will hear nothing to the contrary of this fact.
Lenlo
However that name is spelt
Lenlo
Hmm, Steins;Gate 0 Okabe, or what? Cause Hyoin Kyoma would drive me up a wall.
Lenlo
Oh Grand Blue has some great reaction faces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not slice of life, but outside of all the dark stuff, I'd probably think Okabe Rintaro would be a fun guy to be around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually that brings up something, in all of the slice of life dramas/comedies out there, a good measure for how worthwhile some of them are could be "Which ones would I actually like to hang out with the characters in"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember when Free! aired, joking with another guy on here who would be who.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could probably get great reaction faces of the manga/show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I could keep up with the drunkening though.
Lenlo
Wait, ive been psychic robbed? When? How?
Lenlo
Ive known people like them before, though less cartoonishly dude-bro. They are fun in bursts. Made for some good experiences. Luckily the ones I knew, also knew when I was at my socializing limit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jokingly we'd all be blond otaku-t-shirt guy though =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I have committed un-intentional psychic theft of your thoughts.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mario has to be the skinny dark haired Asian guy because it fits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As funny as these characters are, I probably wouldn't hang out with then if they were real, I'd probably be iritated by them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually hadn't thought it as far as the personalities .
AidanAK47
For I am the one that trolls
AidanAK47
@Kaiser/Lenlo, Wait then whose who in that screenshot. Cause looks wise I would likely be Iori but personality wise I would be closer to the burly dudes.
Lenlo
As for the updated setting, I think it will work out. Keeps it sorta relevant for modern audiences. I'm curious if the changes will be obvious or not, but the story should still work
Lenlo
As for Banana Fish, after this episode, Im not to worried about the fetishizing of homosexual relationships. Unlike alot of Shoujo/Yaoi-lite/bait stuff, it actually seems to condemn some aspects of the trope in manga.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I had the exact same thought for that screenshot and the writers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol Now imagine each of the characters in the screenshot representing a writer on this blog =P
SuperMario
Fixed
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I posted using my phone so that was the best I could do
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to state, regarding banana fish, for those avoiding it because of shounen-ai vibes or because its aimed at women, even though its listed as shoujo, its really the female equivalent to a seinen manga, it also created, even in Japan a massive crossover audience that also included heterosexual males.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whew lad, might want to center/neat-en up the screenshot on the latest post =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
See lenlo, while I love the adaptation, I'm still worried about the updated setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The manga had something about American foreign policy and the Mafia boss having to do with anti-communism, I wonder will the anime commit to that.
Lenlo
So far, Banana Fish is ony of my favorites. Im gonna make it very clear why tomorrow when I post on it, but boy I wasnt expecting it to commit so fully.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, my ranking so far of the premieres: -Angels of death
-Happy sugar life
-Banana fish
-Grand blue
Shichisei and planet with are dropped, will only watch sirius until I get bored. Don't like shounen action so I'm not continuing Angolmeh.
SuperMario
I know he's a good writer, hence I was looking forward to Dog eat dog. That film made me think he passed his prime
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Raging bull and mishima also he wrote those.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Nicholas Cage is awful and so was Dog eat dog I can agree to that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its alot better than that I can tell you. Also he wrote the affliction, taxi driver and hardcore, all great films.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you mean First Reformed? I watched Schraders' previous work Dog Eat Dog and absolutely hated it. Hated it with a passion
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I don't even know that until you pointed out
Kaiser-Eoghan
*movie blog
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How amusing, you uses "red blood moon" on your movie blood as a section for bad anime, and have the AKA abbreviation right next to it and that has the same spelling as the Japanese word for Red.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've got a feeling you might be a fan of Paul Schraders new film, its a mashup of Ordet, Winter light, diary of a country priest and Taxi driver. It is speechy, but it has alot to say and Ethan Hawke is great in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think i'd be able to stop myself pulling an animal ears girl's ears if they were real. I'd have to know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think I needed to watch it, just so I could have the feeling of getting away from the world while not needing to think.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that's basically the appeal of Cgdct shows. They're hardy deep or even have that much conflict, but they're adorable and fluffy. Good enough for me ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
The filter/visual style angolmis was going for initially completely took my concentration away from the show.
SuperWooper
(which includes a review of the inevitable AOTS) :^)
SuperWooper
Only one more First Impressions post to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Grand blue is funny but like with wotaku I'm not sure there'll be an incentive to watch every episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Maybe every season or so I will try to fit in a cute girls doing cute things show. I watched Konohana Kitan yesterday and while hardly essential, it was actually sort of adorable.
Amagi
A bit new info about the next When they Cry. Guess the release date will be the winter comiket. Really wonder how it will be, I have to admit I enjoyed the endless arguments in the Umineko VN a lot. Also it seems it will get the same music composers again.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That airs on July 22.
Anonymous2394727
were is attack on titan 3???
SuperMario
I'll still write a post once the first impressions' over, along with my general thoughts on this season.
SuperMario
Meanwhile, we already decided which shows to blog for this season. The coverage is as follows:
Aidan: Grand Blue, Planet With, Satsuriku no Tenshi
Mario: Chio-chan, Shoujo Kageki, Hanebado
Lenlo: Steins;Gate 0, Banana Fish
SuperMario
Just an update to you, dear readers. We're working on finishing these 1st impressions posts and try to finish it in few days time (3 more posts).
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Harry not Eddie
**Gundam F91
Kaiser-Eoghan
Have the blurays of 08th ms team downloading now to re-watch. Never seen Gundam F91 one . Really looking forward to the final origin ova and whenever more of Thunderbolt is coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eddie was a bit crap though, especially when you stand him up against other Char-esque characters and some of the other characters aren't quite as compelling. Loved the old American style setting though, crazypants main baddy was fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I finally finished/rewatched Turn A Gundam lately. It delivers strongly on its spectacle Heim and Soleil were great and my favourite gundam girls , the artstyle grows on you and because of that art style, it gets away with being one of the weirder phase gundamns, where G Gundam wasn't so lucky in that regard.
Amagi
Highscore Girl is way more annoying than I exptected it to be.
Amagi
Haven't played it (yet) but AFAIK they stay there and only move from floor to floor, I guess it's why they shortly mentioned these murders on the different floors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Does the entirety of satsuriku no tenshi stay in the building? I could seen the sense of claustropohbia for the audience disappearing if they left it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back on that comment, I should say, I have not read grand blues manga, so its entirely possible why the animes presentation made me laugh a bit because I've no comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, that blonde muscular guy in Grand blue made me laugh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like how we have very little idea of the buildings layout in satsuriku no tenshi.
Amagi
Not really looking forward to Gridman as I see the typical warning signs I noticed for Kiznaiver and Franxx as well here. The only positive thing is that the series seems to have an actual villain for once. The lack of that was one of the problems that bothered me with Franxx (not counting literal faceless aliens as "actual villain").
Amagi
I hope next actual Imaishi anime will be a good Trigger again. Honestly didn't really like any of their series done by other directors, Promare would be the first series done by the TTGL team again after KlK and Luluco. My only fear is that it might be a TTGL clone but it's too early to for that.
AidanAK47
I am gunning for Kyohime Lancer and Mordred Rider. Thankfully I don't really care about the five starts so my odds are not quite as bad.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes I am happy I got her with just one ticket since I am saving for the upcoming rate ups as well, especially Summer. Hell I need Martha.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Had a few moments like that which were not related to Fate go. Anyhoo I didn't bother rolling Da Vinchi as I got no real interest in him/her(Hard to decide when their reason for genderbending has more to do with beauty rather than gender.) Instead saving my Quartz for either the summer servants for the Knights of the round.
Amagi
Not lying but I had I dream yesterday about getting FGO's Da Vinci with one ticket, woke up, spent one ticket and got her (Yes. "Her"). I am so far into that anime stuff guess I am now developing esp powers just for that.
Amagi
Finally new Sirius subs I hope they are tolerable.
Amagi
Chio-chan is relatable
SuperMario
She's one of the actress I'm really fond of. But of course given how big a status she is
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If voices could be married I'd marry hers =P
SuperMario
Other 2 shows are Cells at Work and Phantom in the Twilight
SuperMario
Kana Hanazawa's extremely busy this season. She's also voicing for 2 other shows. Give me a minute so I can check up these other shows
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent I've heard Kana Hanazawa's voice was in 3-gatsu no lion where she voiced Hina, hearing her voice psychochick from happy sugar life makes it all the eerier =P Also watching this feels like less of a slog than reading the early chapters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scanners/photocopier machines however are the greater satan.
Amagi
What kind of cosmic rule forbids printers to ever work properly?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that satsuriku no tenshi's manga adaptation apparently is paced better and more effective at immersing the reader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my time with shichisei subaru stops here, the cliffhangers just feel liked bad bait and while I hate jumping to buzzwords, this was just really generic and hamfisted. Its like I'm watching a crap adaptation of a bad moe datesim visual novel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah this is also a pretty stilted translation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I ended up watching it with mediocre subtitles also.
Amagi
Wait is Sirius subbed? Nonmeme subs I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Banana fish succeeds in making itself work as an action series all the more stronger, because it allows itself to have a good emotional backing. I'd forgotten how much of prick that one cop was in that scene in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If you want a reasonably quick boredom killer thats gorier than some modern anime allows you could probably do worse than Sirius.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, regarding Happy sugar lifes manga, Late volume 6-volume 8, we're kind of getting somewhere, especially with one particular flashback relating to Shio.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I too am not even impervious to cute and huggable things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*mikocchi
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do plan on watch sorayori, konohana kitan and hakumei no mocchi someday.
SuperMario
*Asobi Asobase
SuperMario
So far, I enjoy Asobi Asobasa and Chio-chan so much that I watched them twice. Guess I do have a thing for cute girls comedy shows after all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hataraku Saibou, wouldn't be the first edutainment thing in anime , kemono souja and Moyashimon aswell.
Lenlo
Nope, not this week. One week hold since we are sorta between/starting a new season
Kaiser-Eoghan
No steins gate episode this week?
Masky
Hue hue, seems like around time of first impressions I don't need to do my usual isekai complaining because it gets done by someone else instead :D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Someone ha uploaded 7 volumes of angels of deaths manga adaptation.
Amagi
I liked the first episode but no idea what kind of story it will have
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Should have watched the pianist, the piano or the piano teacher instead =P
SuperMario
Piano no Mori is a huge disappointment for me. still haven't watched the last episode thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been backlogging Piano no mori for years.
Amagi
damn I totally forgot this exists
Anonymous2353882
That Piano no Mori ending episode... oh boy!!!
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you can probably just take my thoughts on planet with as being symptomatic of how shounen battlely stories almost never work for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Planet withs first episode felt disorganized to me and I didn't like the main characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See, I think the problem regards planet with for me is that I watched it too close to the flcls ending, I know why its being compared but in flcl the disjointedness/messiness feels like something I can just let wash over me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As I said it was a good premier, that despite my positivity I need more before I can see if it keeps up (angels of death).
Amagi
Man Hanebado looks really great animationwise. Now moving to the two comedies I expect to be above average. Get me another 1-2 good upcoming series and I can accept this season
SuperMario
Banana Fish is just above everything else so far
SuperMario
I'm not too sold on Angels of Death. You can read my feeling about it when the next post's out.
Amagi
Angels of Death and Banana Fish are clearly my favorites so far too. Planet With's last scene was interesting but I can already guess it won't have much of an impact on the progression of the story and the MCs are pretty annoying.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So far for me its Angels of death and Bananna fish , considering giving shichisei the 3 episode rule, instant drop for planet with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah, planet with, again, this is far from something I'm capable of sitting through a single episode of.
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Featured Posts

Hanebado! – 02/03 [Meat’s the Best After a Workout!/ She Was Perfect]

When people thinks about Hanebado, they tend to regard the excellent animation as its strongest point. While I partly agree on that, for me it’s the small character acting that makes this show sticks out for me. I do have a KyoAni vibe watching those relationships play out, especially in second episode with the recurring […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 02 [Bloody Butterfly Effect / Manana and Ootoro and I / Bump of Slave]

The misadventures of Chio-chan on her way to school continues with some extra flavour. As of now, Chio-chan splits its segments neatly in two halves, the first deals with Chio encounters the absurd events on her way to school, and the latter details her relationship with her friends. One highlights the adventure spirits of this […]

Planet With – 02[Nebula Soldiers]

“So they managed to defeat Torai huh. Well he was the weakest of us.” “Actually he was the strongest.” “Wait! Huh?” Now that’s part of why I love you Satoshi, you lay out a shounen cliche and subvert the hell out of it. Even having Torai in the room about to leave the group only […]

Banana Fish – 2 [In Another Country]

This? Banana Fish? This right here? This is what 91 Days could have been. An intriguing crime drama, with interesting characters all around and the willingness to go all-in on its story. Lets jump in! Banana Fish did a much better job of holding my attention compared to last week. With all the characters established, […]

Satsuriku no Tenshi – 02[Your grave is not here]

This is a very strange show. I may regret choosing to blog this but with the second episode I still find it quite fascinating and I really want to see just where this leads. I will however say that it isn’t because of excellence that this show has caught my attention for at the moment […]

Darling in the Franxx – 24[Never Let Me Go]

And it’s time for Darling in the sorry I just can’t bring myself to care anymore Franxx. Well once again my previous assertions of what this episode was to be turned out half true and half false. For one they actually did show the final confrontation against VIRM and it was just as disappointing as […]

Hisone to Masotan – 12 [We Are Unstoppable]

And we come to a close of this Dragon Pilot show and I’m still indifferent on how this anime wraps up. It’s not a bad ending per se, it has a good emotional payoff and it does somewhat wrap up the story. The more it gets into the conclusion, however,  the more I see inconsistencies […]

Darling in the Franxx – 23[DARLING in the FRANXX]

The longer this series goes on, the faster my goodwill disappears as this episode was terrible on many fronts. At this point I think we can admit that this series has been on a downward spiral since episode 19 and has only worsened with each subsequent episode. Part of the problem was 19 spilling all […]

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory – 10[Onward, Onward]

Oh no. Well I suppose this was coming with all the news of this series troubles but it is disheartening to see it come to worst case scenario with the quality of this episode. This is the episode that announces without a doubt that this team is at the breaking point. Characters go off model […]

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Darling in the Franxx Anime Review – 57/100

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and […]

Hisone to Masotan (2018 Spring) Review – 73/100

Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let […]

Megalo Box – 86/100

Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and […]

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This is a remake of a series made way back when which is one of the most highly acclaimed anime in the medium. It is of legendary status but you would be hard pressed to recommend it as to many the barrier of entry is too high to consider. A 110 episode OVA with dated […]

Hinamatsuri (2018 Spring) Review – 79/100

Comedy anime doesn’t always yell out confidence, so imagine our hype when there’s one that been on everyone’s lips since the manga come out, Hinamatsuri. The show starts with simple premise: a girl with supernatural power unexpectedly drops into the house of a yakuza, hilarity ensues. This concept sums up very well the source humors […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – I Prestige Flower Anime Review – 90/100

We have seen an influx of Fate adaptations over the last year and sadly each has proven to be disappointing except for a cooking slice of life short series which is weirdly better than it has any right to be. This movie was the last of the Fate adaptations that I needed to see but […]

Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]

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I suppose that most of us, even the perministic ones, enter After the Rain (Ameagari) with some reservations. After all, the premise about a crush from an 18-year-old girl to the store manager who is nearly 30 years senior raises a lot of red flags here. Yet the show handles this tricky premise with deep […]