Review: Autumn 2018 anime (Part 3)

Radiant

Sorcerers are people who have survived the lethal touch of the Nemesis which gives them the power of Fantasia. Seth, the young apprentice of Alma, aspires to become a great sorcerer one day.

The first episode opens with an exposition dump about how the world works (which is never a good sign). We are then introduced to Seth and we’re shown his dedication to becoming a better sorcerer.

Tommy, Seth’s friend, is constantly being told to stay away from him by his parents and the townspeople. This interaction shows us just how much the townspeople discriminate against sorcerers.

Radiant appears to focus on mankind’s inherent fear of the unknown, and how they cope with being constantly exposed to it. This idea does make me curious, but I don’t think this show is for me.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this anime’s popularity booms soon. It has everything you would expect from an anime of this nature.

But that’s exactly the problem I have with it. It doesn’t have anything unique about it. The first episode alone is full of clichés and just generally doesn’t present anything new.

One thing I will give the show is it’s great character designs. I love it when I can tell so much about a character just from how they look. It’s sad to see that many anime don’t take full advantage of their character design.

5/10

Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san

What comes to your mind when you think of bookstore staff? Whatever your answer is, you probably wouldn’t think of this guy:

Visitors from all over the world come to this bookstore, which creates some interesting scenarios. Like he says himself, most of the excitement comes from eccentric customers.

There’s not much to it but I enjoyed it anyway. The episodes are about 11 minutes long so I’ll probably squeeze this in between all the other shows I’m watching now.

6/10

Release the Spyce

Basically the whole show

To be honest, I’m in love with this anime. From the awesome visuals to the chemistry between the characters, everything feels amazing.

But what really got me hooked was the premise. There aren’t many spy anime these days, and much less ones with cute girls in the main cast.

Now, I wouldn’t exactly call this show outstanding but it’s piqued my interest enough for me to consider it one of the best of this season.

8/10

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Love, in five minutes

Calling it beautiful doesn’t encapsulate the emotions felt when watching Kanamewo. In just five short minutes it does what many TV anime can’t achieve.

Lacking in dialogue, Kanamewo conveys it’s message through its appropriate music and stunning animation.

I discovered this masterpiece through a video by Zeria in which she speaks about the talented Rapparu who singlehandedly animated this entire short.

Kanamewo is the story of a goddess whose shrine was destroyed and whose existence slowly withers with it. That is, until she is discovered by a girl who finds her in her weak state and starts to take care of her during her final days.

We witness the love these two find in each other. We see the impact they have on the lives of each other.

Until unfortunately, we see one bury the other, signifying the end of their intimate relationship. The next scene feels empty, which shows just how much her life was affected.

And in the final few seconds, we see her smile. A smile which cherishes the memories but isn’t afraid to move on.

Review: Autumn 2018 anime (Part 2)

School just decided to start and ruin some things for me but I’ll be back on my irregular schedule soon.

Here’s the sequel to me judging entire anime based on the first episode:

1. Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

Due to Adolescent Syndrome (apparently it’s also called Puberty Syndrome), Mai Sakurajima frequently becomes invisible to people around her. However, Sakuta Azusagawa is somehow able to see her and becomes interested in her.

This anime’s strength lies in its characters. Which makes sense, given that most of the scenes are just dialogue.

My first impression of Mai was that she is just a typical tsundere girl. She turns out to act contrary to what is typical of the trope. In one scene she even acknowledges this herself.

When I watched Classroom of the Elite I had mixed feelings about the anime itself, but I loved the main character. Sakuta has everything that I liked about him done even better.

Hopefully the following episodes will continue to explore new ideas and develop the characters further.

8/10

2. Jingai-san no Yome

Out of the blue, Hinowa Tomari is told that he has to marry this creature:

Being only three minutes long (and the ED taking up about half of that time), not much really happens in one episode.

I can’t really see the appeal of this anime, and a lot of people seem to agree based on the MAL rating.

It is only a short, so I didn’t expect much from it in the first place but I still think it could have been done better.

3/10

3. Himote House

After graduating, Tae moves in with her best friend Kokoro Himote. Tae calls it the Himote House because Kokoro lives there with her sisters and her other friend, Minamo.

I found the use of 3D animation to be unique. It’s as if it’s a blend between 3D and 2D animation. While the fluidity is sacrificed in some places, for the most part it was executed well.

I really hope that more studios are willing to experiment with different styles like this in the future. It’s interesting to see what new ideas can come of it. While it’s not a completely new idea, it’s still nice to see.

Aside from that I enjoyed the story as well and I plan on watching this one till the end.

7/10

Review: Autumn 2018 anime (Part 1)

Well it’s actually Spring for me but it’s just easier this way.

For the next few weeks I’m going to endure watch a bunch of this season’s anime and review them to see whether or not I’ll continue watching each one.

1. Bakumatsu

Studio: Studio Deen

Genre: Action/Historical

Current MAL rating: 5.82

Two guys invade a ship to obtain a legendary treasure which “grants riches, manipulates time, and allows one to rule the world.” They then lose this treasure to a mysterious woman. Later they are transported to a different version of the Japan they were previously in. While trying to figure out what had happened, they get into a fight with the new leader of the city.

The two main charters consist of the energetic Takasugi contrasted by his serious partner, Katsura. I would have called this anime a rip-off Samurai Champloo if the plot hadn’t been so different.

After finishing the episode, I had already forgotten all of the characters names and 90% of the plot along with it. I think the biggest problem so far is that you need to remember everything that’s said to understand what’s happening (or maybe I just have a bad memory).

All that aside, I actually am interested enough to continue watching the rest of the series.

6/10

2. Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san

Studios: Studio Gokumi/AXsiZ

Genre: Slice of life/Comedy/Supernatural

Current MAL rating: 7.03

Following a rumor, Amano Akari searches for a doll-like girl who lives in the woods. This girl turns out to be a vampire named Sophie Twilight. After a while of inviting herself into Sophie’s house, Akari makes the sudden decision to move in with her.

The characters are adorable, so if you’re a fan of the “cute girls doing cute things” genre you’ll probably enjoy this.
There’s not really much else to say. It’s a cute girl living with a cute vampire (and another vampire will be introduced judging from the into).

I’m probably going to finish this anime because I’m loving the main characters so far.

7/10

3. Hinomaruzumou

Studio: Gonzo

Genre: Shounen/Sports

Current MAL rating: 7.42

Ushio Hinomaru gets lost while looking for his new school and ends up at Odachi high school. There he finds Ozeki, a fellow sumo fanatic, and joins him to practice. Being the sole sumo club member, Ozeki gets bullied a lot by the other students. Ushio then gets in a fight with one of the most feared students in the school over the club’s dojo.

The main character, Ushio, really made this show unenjoyable for me. First of all, he’s in middle school and looks like this:

Later in the episode, he gets punched repeatedly for 15 minutes and doesn’t get hurt at all. It seems like he can win anything, which removes the suspense from the fights.

I might check out the second episode just in case I end up changing my mind but that’s pretty unlikely.

4/10

What makes Prison School hilarious?

I went into this show unarmed. I didn’t know anything about it except for what I could see on the cover. I thought it would just be a high school comedy with some dirty jokes here and there, similar to Shimoneta. But it seems I was wrong.

This anime became one of the funniest I’ve seen in a while. Naturally I started to wonder why that is.

The premise interested me: former all-girls high school starts accepting boys. The first episode shows that all five of them were caught peeking into the girls’ dressing room. The underground student council then sentences them to in-school prison wherein they spend the rest of the series.

The way suspense is created is amazing. It really does have you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next.

One reason this happens is that you feel so connected to the characters. With there being only five guys it creates a theme of friendship between them (their friendship is questionable in the beginning but later becomes apparent).

The abundance of sexual scenes repulses some people who pass it off as pointless fanservice. However I believe that just increases the effectiveness of the humour. More tits equals higher enjoyment.[citation needed]

We also have a reason to root for the characters. We want to see Koyoshi go on his date with Chiyo, so whenever his plans get interrupted we wonder how they’ll pull through.

Another contributing factor is that our expectations are constantly being subverted. For example, when Koyoshi defends his friends by standing up to the vice President, only to find out that they actually enjoy being abused by her.

The main thing that kept me watching would have to be the characters. They all have their own unique quirks ranging from the psychopathic student council member to the ass-obsessed chairman.

Another thing is that since it has an amazing dub, you can use it as a gateway drug to anime addiction for your friends who don’t watch anime.

Trying to explain my top 10

First of all, I haven’t seen much anime. Well, it might be a lot to some but for the most part it’s less than how much other people have seen.

I don’t doubt that if I watch more anime my list will change but for now, it goes like this:

1. Space Dandy

“What?! Space Dandy is better than [insert anime here]? What’s wrong with you?”
I don’t exactly think it’s better than other anime, even some on this list, but I like it more. A lot of people haven’t seen this show and some who have complain about a lack of or nonsensical plot. But the thing is, that’s the whole point.
It stays at the top of my list for that very reason. At the end of the episode, nothing really matters, and it conveys that in a humorous way.

2. Cowboy Bebop

This one is rather popular and is on many people’s top 10. It’s for a good reason. You can talk all day about the “complexity” and “depth” of the show but it’s really just the random events of bounty hunters, in space. I like it as well for it’s nihilistic theme but unlike Space Dandy, that theme is explored in a more dramatic way.

3. FLCL

This 6 episode OVA takes third place because of the unbelievable amount of thought put into each scene. The unique character design and animation style surpasses most recent anime. This show is generally just fun to watch, even if you have no clue what’s happening.

4. Mob Psycho 100

I love this anime mostly because it was what got me into anime in the first place. This show, for me, represented anime as a whole from the day my brother promised “just watch it, you’re gonna love it!”
Other than that though it is a genuinely funny show with an interesting plot.

5. Kill la Kill

The erratic nature of this show reminds me a lot of FLCL. The animation is often criticized but I think it serves its purpose in creating the desired mood. The designs of the characters and background are stunning. The directing makes you feel as if you’re there, experiencing the same situation the characters are.

6. Mushishi

This also makes an appearance on many top 10s because of how memorable it is. While also having a mostly episodic structure (I’m starting to see a pattern here) it maintains a consistent, dramatic story with each episode.

7. My teen romantic comedy SNAFU

Otherwise known by its absurdly long Japanese title or simply “Oregairu”. This is another romance/slice of life/drama anime that I ended up watching. There were a few things that didn’t quite resonate with me. However, in a sea of shitty light novel adaptations, this anime stands out above the rest.

8. Baccano!

Made by the same studio behind Oregairu, Baccano is another example of a light novel adaptation done right. It has the best cast of characters I’ve seen in an anime. This makes the reveals, twists and overall suspense much better. Having different story lines told in different time periods was a bold move. It all pays off when you see how each one related to the other and everything falls perfectly in place.

9. Steins;Gate

It really doesn’t need an introduction. It is rank 4 on MAL with a score of 9.14. This series does everything right: relatable characters, fitting setting, engaging plot. Which is why it finds itself on many top 10 lists. I started watching it because of the main character, who became one of my favourites. But I stayed for the plot; to see how it all turned out.

10. Konosuba

To top it off is another one of the few genuinely hilarious comedy series. Going into it I thought it would be another isekai with an overpowered main character and some bad jokes scattered here and there. I was surprised but relieved when I realised that it was actually just a comedy. A well written one at that.

Honourable Mentions (next 5):

– Death Note
– One Punch Man
– Kiznaiver
– Assassination Classroom
– Re

And that concludes my list. I’m sure that one day I’ll look back at this and wonder what the fuck I was thinking. But for now this list seems alright.

Remembering FLCL

When I first watched FLCL I had felt a sensational feeling that very few anime can achieve. Although only 6 episodes long it left a lasting impact on me for a while after I had finished it.

FLCL, also known as Fooly Cooly or Furi Kuri, follows a young Naota growing up in a boring town. His brother had left the country and he often finds himself longing for meaning in an ordinary town along with his brother’s ex-girlfriend, Mamimi.

His quiet life is disrupted when Haruhara Haruko enters his life and drags him into a battle he didn’t sign up for.

When watching for the first time, you’ll probably have no idea what’s going on. I didn’t either. Nonetheless there is still a feeling of awe and excitement when seeing the well-crafted fight scenes coupled with outstanding directing.

The all-over-the-place way this show was written is a turn-off for some people. But I guess it just depends on your tastes and preferences.

This is the type of anime that gets better with every rewatch. I would definitely consider this a classic.

Besides the story, the audio and visuals are spectacular. It has one of the best EDs I’ve seen in an anime. The creativity of some of the scenes never ceases to amaze me. Here’s a scene from episode 1 which was made in the style of a manga:

As of right now there is also a sequel by the name of FLCL: Progressive which centers around a whole different cast. There’s also FLCL: Alternative which is currently airing, but these are topics for another post.

For me, the wildly eccentric characters would have to be the best part of the anime. Mamimi is one of my favourite characters across all anime.

One undeniable fact though, is that this show is unique. That alone can make some people watch it, but it’s the rest that makes them stay.