Tag Archives: review

Guilty Crown: why it was a pain yet entertaining watch

ANIME, DISCUSSION – If you have been following the ramblings I have on Twitter, I am pretty much mixed when it comes to watching and talking about the anime series, Guilty Crown. It’s one of those shows wherein I just say it’s good and all, then say otherwise after a few episodes. All of my opinions about it are mixed and for good reason.

This will probably end up as a rant, so fair warning. Also I think this counts as a review (ish).

Continue reading Guilty Crown: why it was a pain yet entertaining watch

Review – Eromanga-sensei

ANIME, REVIEW – There are some shows that people would highly regard as the most morally wrong settings but get entertained by it. You can call these shows everyone’s “guilty pleasure” – they know that the show is complete garbage and yet can’t help but get entertained.

Ladies and gentlemen, one of those shows is Eromanga-sensei.

Continue reading Review – Eromanga-sensei

Review – Attack on Titan Season 2

ANIME, REVIEW – Ever since the last episode aired on Saturday, Attack on Titan has been receiving mixed opinions whether or not it had a great run. From the sudden change from action-packed to character-heavy writing, Attack on Titan has improved drastically from its previous season.

Spoiler-alert.

Continue reading Review – Attack on Titan Season 2

Tsuki ga Kirei – Episode 1

FIRST LOOK – When I first started out watching anime, I was rather fond of the slice-of-life genre because of the way it interprets stories as it would play out in real life. It doesn’t go into the extremes and tries to keep itself real. Tsuki ga Kirei is one of those anime series.

Tsuki ga Kirei focuses on the characters Akane Mizuno and Kotarou Azumi, two third-year middle school students who become classmates the first time. It will depict how the characters will grow and connect with each other and to the people around them.

What I love about this first episode is that it doesn’t try to rush everything, the story runs at a right pace. It starts at the opening of a new school year and the meeting of the two main characters, Akane and Kotarou. The two are involved in the equipment team of a school event which will be the catalyst of their romance, the bread and butter of this anime series.

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Akane is a very shy and timid girl. She has a plushie which she uses to calm herself down when she is nervous (adorable). I am really not sure whether the one with the romantic feelings is Akane or the male lead, Kotarou – but other than that, there is a romantic air around these two characters.

Kotarou is, from what I’m seeing, an aspiring writer. There is a scene in the first episode where he drops a brown envelope perhaps containing his novel’s manuscript. He is a very normal guy with his own set of friends

The thing about this series is that the scenarios and characters feel very real. We got a shy girl and a guy who tries to be a writer and is somewhat of a bookworm. They are in middle-school and are part of their own separate clubs. The two of them are part of a committee for a school event. It is just the perfect slice-of-life, romance format one could ask for.

The charm of this anime is from its realism. Every one and every thing feels so real and this series does not try too hard to accomplish that.

One example of this a scene where Akane’s family goes out to a cafe restaurant for their dinner. While ordering, Akane notices that Kotarou is there with his family as well. So it starts the usual “holy sh*t, there’s someone here that knows me – I gotta be careful on what I do” kind-of scenario.

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And to my pleasure, a similar scenario does erupt. Akane’s older sister notices Akane being aloof and all that jazz, tips off their mother into probably “hey, she likes that guy on the other table” and then good ol’ mom just goes and interacts with the other family going all like: “I’m her mother, ain’t she pretty?” and starts to “sell” her daughter’s charm points to Kotarou’s parents.

Now that is something you’ll probably encounter or have encountered some time in your life and that would be highly embarrassing.

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It is these moments that make Tsuki ga Kirei real and thus, entertaining.

The soundtrack, including the opening and ending themes, is soothing and syncs well with the spring atmosphere that the anime series is set in.

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feel. has improved quite a lot from Oregairu with the incredible usage of the cherry blossom petals and vivid color palettes. The animation style fits the tone of the series very well. I still have to point out that the 3D CGI is not that bad and they will have to use them when animating crowds of people because other than that, 3D CGI will look really off with the whole animation style this series is pulling off.

I am quite excited for the second episode and how this series will develop the romance of the two main characters. The usual “boy-meets-girl” scenario is always a good one, depending on how it is executed. A classic, I might say.

Tsuki ga Kirei is showing off as a good slice-of-life series and I hope it continues to do so. If high school and romance is your cup of tea, then you are going to love Tsuki ga Kirei.

as the moon, so beautiful.

First Look: SAGRADA RESET – Episode 1

FIRST LOOK – Sagrada Reset is an anime series set in the seaside town named “Sakurada” where people with special abilities live. However here’s the catch: most of these powers are basically useless, and you lose your powers once you leave the town.

The series centers around two high school students: Kei Asai, who has the ability to remember every thing that has happened to him with his five senses, and Misora Haruki, who has the power to reconstruct every thing to their previous states (at least three days).

Sumire Sona sets them up to meet and intends to have them acquainted with each other for some unknown reason. It could be so that she can use the “reset” ability that Haruki has and use it to her advantage. Despite the complications, Kei Asai still goes through with the his intentions of gaining Haruki’s trust and friendship.

This episode was very much set up to explain every thing there is to know about each character, in regards to their special abilities. The characters seemed too dull as they show little to none humane characteristic. They are all very mysterious which is probably where this series grabbed me.

Most people would not enjoy this anime series. If I were to compare how it feels to watch this series, it would be similar to watching the Endless Eight arc in the anime series “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.” It is very mysterious but it gets you thinking.

The thing that I like about this episode is that it prefers to go for deeper levels of communication using metaphors and short stories to relate the current situation to the viewers – which, to a normal and casual viewer, it would be really boring.

It is true that the characters are not all that appealing and show little to no humanity in them at all but come on, this is not the first anime series to have done that with its first episode.

This anime series’ way of pacing itself may not sell to everyone but it does to me. You may not like this series but you will remember it, at least, for its interesting setting and premise.

Judging from the previews for the second episode, we might expect some escalation from the first episode.

Overall, this anime series’ first episode was very dull and it was mostly information-heavy which does not really help selling it to new viewers. However, I am optimistic for the second episode.

At the moment, I am torn whether this will be a good series or not – but hell, I do love an anime series that’s pretty wordy.

If you’ll watch it, don’t set your expectations too high – you’ll be disappointed. Not every anime series appeals to everyone.

I love this anime, is that wrong?

 

Post-review: Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon – Episode 13

REVIEW – This is one of those rare occurrences where a writer has just acted upon wrong information.

I was led to believe that Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon was ending on its twelfth episode but it seems as I was wrong. A few hours before writing this article, I saw that Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon had updated their list of episodes to include a thirteenth – which caught me by surprise.

This is pretty awkward but I want to give out my thoughts on this episode since the review article I had for Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon was using the thoughts I had for episodes one to twelve.

Here goes…

The thirteenth episode starts around the doubts that Tohru has in staying with Kobayashi – being that she and Kobayshi have different lifespans, thus would cause her great grief if Kobayashi were to die.

As Tohru ponders upon these thoughts, her father arrives and gets her home – much to Kobayashi and everyone’s surprise and grief.

We get to see how Kobayashi deals with the current situation – she has to do housework, taking care of Kanna and maintaining a job all by herself. It is not a light task.

I am also quite content on how Kobayashi reacted initially to this since she did not do the usual anime tropes where “we will find our friend to the ends of the earth because she is our friend.”

She took it maturely by reasoning that it is Tohru’s family matter and she had no right to interfere.

A few months (or probably years), Tohru returns to Kobayashi without her father’s permission does incurring his wrath and a confrontation happens.

I thought it was so great for a character to realize how underpowered she is and still, with head held up high, be a force to be reckoned with.

Kobayashi defended the wants of Tohru and did so knowing that she may or may not die. A dragon versus a lowly female human – armed only by her wits and logic.

It was a great resolution I might say – Kobayashi trying to work out a compromise but got to talk down Tohru’s father instead by saying “have faith in your daughter for once.” It was a great sight to see how this “couple” had started to develop over the course of twelve episodes (I am looking at you, Asuna and Kirito – no timeskips here).

Overall, it was a wonderful conclusion to a cute and somewhat serious anime series.

It showed how despite this series being labeled as a comedy, slice-of-life – it can still function in serious conditions and still give out entertainment to their viewers.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is probably one of the best anime series to have come out from the winter season of this year and it is, definitely, worth your time.

Are you having a bad day? Watch Kobayashi – you will not regret it.

(writer’s note: also the previous article was a grave mistake from me and i hope i wont do this again)

Reaction: Re:ZERO – Episode 2

REACTION – The first episode was a roller-coaster of emotions for me. The main characters have died, it appears that the male lead is in a time-loop and a lot more of that jazz.

Re:ZERO’s first episode came down upon me with some shock, fear, and questions. I am not particularly good when it comes to dark stories that involves blood and gore so taking this anime series into my watch list was quite a bold move for me.

In this second episode, Subaru continues to unravel bit-by-bit of the situation he is currently in and I am not a fan of how he goes about it.

As I mentioned in my first look article, Subaru’s character annoys me a lot. He does not think about the things he’s about to do and doesn’t do anything about it. He is very much aware of his faults but just blatantly ignores it.

The same situation unfolds in this episode – only that Subaru may have somewhat broken the time-loop by altering some parts of the timeline. Instead of the killer, we are instead greeted with Satella as she knocks on the loot house door. It gives a bit of edge in the future as they expect to meet the killer lady who’s out for Satella’s insignia.

I am still quite stressed out by this series. There’s too much frustrations building up and I’m afraid of two things: will this be a consistent thing in the series? Or will it just be shoved aside?

Tension and dark elements are good, if done right. But sometimes, it is just down-right stupid and annoying without proper execution.

I will still be watching the third episode (much to my displeasure) to know more about how Subaru got himself in this precarious situation of life and death and the reasons why.

Overall, great episode. I hope the anime series continues to be consistent throughout its episodic cour.

First Look: Re:ZERO – Episode 1

FIRST LOOK – Re:ZERO was a popular anime series in the year 2016. Although I may have been late to the party, it’s better than never as I may put it.

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The first episode centers around the hikikomori, Natsuki Subaru, as he is suddenly transported to a medieval-aged world filled with magic and fantasy. He meets a silver-haired girl who introduces herself as “Satella” and a spirit named “Puck” after they save him from a group of thugs.

He offers his help to this girl in finding her stolen insignia which leads them to the slums of the city. It all goes wrong when Subaru discovers that the building they believed to be the whereabouts of the insignia was, in fact, a murder scene – and they were going to be killed as well.

Subaru, as a character, is surprisingly perceptive and just outright dumb at some times. He displays this by using the system of bartering as means of re-acquiring the stolen insignia which was going to be sold by some black market shop. However, he is very tactless about what he says.

Being a person who has suddenly been transported into an alternate fantasy world set in the medieval era, you should’ve developed the mindset that “not all you know will apply in this place and you should be extra-careful about what you do.”

But no, not our boy, Natsuki Subaru.

I would’ve loved this series if only Subaru got his act straight and got self-aware but no, he doesn’t. The only thing that’s piqued my interest in this anime series is the: how’s, where’s, and why’s?

Why is Subaru here? How? Where is ‘here‘ exactly?

I, honestly, am annoyed of Subaru’s character as a whole – reminds me of Kirito except that he is very much aware that he’s a dumb piece of meat.

Re:ZERO can easily be described as a deconstruction of the whole “trapped in an alternative world” scenario with some dark elements shoved into it. This episode ended with the death of a main male and female lead but somehow doesn’t matter since the main male character has the ability to go back in a specific point in time – kind of like a spawn point.

This anime series has definitely hooked me in at the end with more questions: why was Subaru transported into this world? Why can he revert time? What is so significant with Satella? Who is this female murderer? And other more questions.

I will finish this series as soon as I can (if I survive). It was quite a bummer why I didn’t watched and followed along this series as it aired but it’s better than not ever watching it.

Also I don’t like gore. Never have I liked gore. I almost dropped Attack on Titan when it first came out as I saw Eren’s mom being devoured slowly by a creepy-looking titan. That does not sit well with me.

I’ve already been spoiled about some points of this series so it’s okay to spoil but it’ll ruin my viewing experience though (wherever your conscience lies, dear reader).

Review: Attack on Titan 2 – Episode 1

REVIEW – Shingeki no Kyojin, or more famously known as Attack on Titan, just released the first episode of the series’ second season. Every fan has waited for a very long time to watch this anime series once more.

Although some people in the community were very displeased to hear that the second season would have a twelve-episode cour, the first episode’s release was met with excitement.

As for this writer, it was a much more… meh kind-of episode.

The second season’s first episode recalled to the events after that whole fist-fight between Annie and Eren, as well as what happened to the rest of the Survey Corps twelve hours prior that time.

The first episode focused on the 104th Survey Corps as they were defending against the titans who broke through Wall Rose twelve hours prior the events caused by the whole Annie and Eren carnage.

The Survey Corps split into four compass groups to warn the near villages as their Squad Leader, Mike (second to Levi), was buying them time and holding off the titans advance. Died, of course, quite horribly.

I find the whole interaction between the newly-introduced Beast Titan and Mike quite entertaining. It captures the whole emotion of fear around Mike as he grasps the situation: “Holy sh*t, this titan can speak Japanese?”

It also appears that the Beast Titan has the capability to control and order around the lesser and unintelligible titans. Quite similar to how Annie Leonhardt does it as the female titan but in a much more direct sense – literally telling them to do this and that.

The episode ends off with the big guys: Eren, Mikasa, Erwin, Levi and friends responding to the whole attack.

For me, this whole episode was showing nothing new other than the existence of the Beast Titan. It felt more like a recap of the previous season’s events and how it will lead to the events next episode.

Overall, it was a pretty disappointing episode for me. I was expecting some sort of thrill and excitement but it came out as a slow paced episode.

I hope the next episodes will pick up faster than this one.

Review: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

REVIEW – Kyoto Animation has always known for it’s “moe” trademark and there’s almost no KyoAni work without a “moe” vibe in it. The only thing special about Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is that it is not a KyoAni original work. This was adapted from a manga series of the same name by the writer and illustrator, Coolkyoushinja.

The anime series’ plot is as follows:

One morning, as office worker Kobayashi gets ready for another day at work, she is greeted by a terrifying sight—the head of a large dragon staring into her eyes from across the balcony. The dragon immediately transforms into a cute, busty and energetic young girl in a maid outfit, who introduces herself as Tohru.

It turns out that during a drunken excursion to the mountains many weeks ago, this typically stoic office worker encountered the dragon who claims to have come from another world. With no place to stay, Kobayashi decides to keep the dragon in her home. In a perfect example of how good deeds are rewarded, Tohru decides to repay her kindness by working as her personal maid. Despite being reluctant and deeply regretful over what she did, a mix of guilt and Tohru’s dragon abilities convinces Kobayashi to accept her.

However, despite being extremely efficient at housework, Tohru’s unorthodox methods of housekeeping often end up scaring Kobayashi and bringing more trouble than help. Moreover, the reason behind the dragon’s arrival on Earth may be more complicated than it seems, as Tohru shares a troubled past. To add it all up, Tohru’s presence ends up attracting other mythical beings to her new home, bringing in a new host of eccentric personalities. Although Kobayashi is trying her level best to adjust to the crazy situation that is unfolding, nothing has prepared her for this new life with a dragon maid.

So first, I will be discussing about this series’ plot. It is quite light-hearted and nothing too serious as it tries to be at times. A struggling office worker finds herself acquainted with a female dragon whilst under the influence of alcohol because “hey, we do crazy sh*t sometimes.”

The first few episodes of the anime series isn’t really that much but picks up in the middle and later parts of the show. Every episode has some sort of joke in it – a punchline, if you will. Tohru, the dragon, has to fulfill her role as Kobayashi’s maid and blend into human society – in numerous, hilarious ways. That is the charm of the show. It is somewhat similar to Nichijou in a sense of episode structures – problem, characters solve the problems in any hilarious way they can, they somehow solve it in the hilarious way possible.

Although, there are specific moments in the show where we get to see some backstories and serious moments – all of which were rather unnecessary for the plot (since there was no escalation and was useless) but added some sort of charm to the characters. It made me, as a viewer, relate to each character on a somewhat personal level.

The characters are pretty straightforward with their attitudes and such. Then again, the backstories (as mentioned), give them a certain charm and makes the viewer understand the reasons of his/her actions.

For example, we are introduced to a character named “Lucoa” or her dragon name “Quetzalcoatl.”

In some interpretations of Aztec mythology, Quetzalcoatl is a serpent/dragon-like goddess who lost her divinity after getting drunk and causing some sort of scandal with her younger sister. The show makes references to that with jokes like this:

Lucoa: *sips an alcohol of some sorts* This tastes familiar.
Tohru: Is it because you got drunk with–
Lucoa: SHUT UP!

It is with these kinds of references and jokes to their real life counterparts that make these characters charming, in a way.

Also, the dragon characters and their misinterpretations with modern human society and comparing them with medieval human societies are also hilarious and charming in a way.

The ending, however, was a unnecessary cliffhanger or not. It’s suggesting a second season but I have yet to hear some news regarding about this.

Now, animation-wise, it is without a doubt that Kyoto Animation has maintained its quality. The wonderful transition of intricate and beautiful to a comical animation style is something to take note of. Kyoto Animation uses this transition well and at the most important, appropriate times.

Talking about music, the opening and ending themes were some of the most catchiest songs I’ve heard so far. The fast-pace and upbeat music paired with wild and funny animations was well done.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is an anime series that shines in its comedic moments with a fair share of background that makes each character relatable and charming in their own special way.

If you are someone who’s having a really bad and stressful time, you’re gonna need this anime series to lift up your spirits.