“God Eater” Review

God-Eater-Anime-Episode-6-Delayed-Extra-02-Airs-InsteadWith the availability of new animation technologies, more and more producers and artists are experimenting with them. This can be seen in newer titles like Knights of Sidonia and of course today’s review, God Eater.

Basically, the story is set sometime in the distant future where strange creatures called Aragami (no, not Origami) have drivin humanity to the brink of extinction. There is one place where they are safe from them, and to get in, you must be compatible with a special type of weapon called a God Arc. Only certain people are compatible with them, as they sort of bond to a human.

The main character, named Lenka, grew up outside the safe area, as do many humans. He was found to be compatible with a “New Type,” which is a God Arc that can turn into a short or long range weapon and doesn’t require ammo. Most God Arcs are either long or short ranged, do not change, and the long range ones require a special kind of ammo. The story follows Lenka as he grows into the new lifestyle he’s not accustomed to and becomes a powerful God Eater.

Better animation doesn’t always mean a better story. And this is actually what has me considering a multi-tiered rating system, where I rate different parts of a series for an average score. The reason for this is while the animation is beautiful, as you can see from the pictures on this post, the story is presented in such a bland manner that I didn’t even find myself coming to like the characters at all. In addition, there’s a lot of u necessary fanservice, as apparently in this world bras do not exist (as boobs invisibly support themselves) and all women sleep naked.

I’m actually quite dissappointed in how this anime turned out. The story is interesting at least, but the cliches are rampant, and Lenka shows almost no emotion except his one-track-minded drive to “kill all Aragami everywhere.” Charaters were very two-dimensional, and not a lot of reasons were given for anyone’s actions.

Final Words:

I’d give a nice big “You Tried” star to this anime. It felt bland, despite it being wrapped up in a bow of beautiful art. It felt like they focused way too much on that aspect and ignored the basic rules of story-telling, falling back on a huge list of cliches they could have just as easily avoided. Looking into the series itself, it seems it actually started as a video game franchise, which could account for the disappointment the anime turned out to be.

I would give God Eater… 5/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like: Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin), Phi Brain, or Persona 4 – The Animation.

Picture credits: http://www.otakutale.com/

(I would have had more pictures, but for some reason, every time I tried to put another picture in this post, my entire computer froze and started overheating.)

“gdgd fairies” Review

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“It’s ‘levi-OH-sah,’ not ‘levio-SAH!'”

As far as anime goes, it’s obvious that “gdgd fairies” is adorable. Three chibi fairies named shrshr (shiru-shiru), pkpk (piku-piku) and krkr (koro-koro) have tea parties and practice magic while being silly and cute. But, that might be all it is.

Pronounced “gu-dah gu-dah” (yes like the cheese), the title is not really explained much, except as a motif for fairy names. There is not plot, save for a few things referenced in later episodes. Each episode consists of a tea party with a topic, mostly ending in silly banter, a visit to the Room of Spirit and Time (which ironically looks kind of like the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from Dragonball Z) to practice magic, and then a

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That’s up for debate.

visit to the Dubbing Lake, where the voice actors ad-lib scenes. The animation seems to be somewhat motion capture, especially in the Dubbing Lake scenes, so it’s relatively nice and fluid.

This anime could be described using one word: silly. It seems to be a show thrown together by people that might have been working on bigger projects and just wanted to do something fun and cute to decompress from other things. It is still an adorable anime, and if you just want a giggle, I’d recommend checking it out.

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The next new independent musicians.

It seems to be geared toward young girls in elementary school, planting it firmly in the kodomomuke genre. I think my favorite part was actually the Dubbing Lake, since it’s almost completely ad-lib, and the fourth wall is broken a few times by the voice actors, which I think is completely adorable. They also accidentally create a few characters during these sessions that come back later on (my favorite was pk-chan’s dad).

Final Words

If you like plot-heavy anime, this is not going to be one of your favorites. However, if you’re looking for just something cute to pass the time, I’d highly recommend it.

I would give “gdgd fairies”… 6.5/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like: Lovely Muuuuuuuco!, Tengami Bachi (Letter Bee), Girls und Panzer

“Assassination Classroom” Review

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“Hand over the lollipops!”

School can be boring sometimes; everyone knows that. But, if you have an alien monster for a teacher, it couldn’t be all that bad. At least that’s what the members of class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High might have thought.

As part of the deconstruction genre, this anime is what a lot of people would call “weird.” If you’re unfamiliar, a deconstruction anime generally looks at anime themes and how real people might react to them, as opposed to traditional characters that would normally just accept the tropes and circumstances (a good example of this genre is Puella Magi Madoka Magica). The anime starts out simple: the bottom rung class of the academy has been assigned this weird alien teacher and must kill him before the deadline or the

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“If we let him keep painting, he won’t be cranky later.”

world might blow up. If they do make it though, they get a huge bounty reward.

However, as the anime continues, it reveals what an excellent and skilled teacher this alien monster actually is. He helps them turn into the best class in the academy, which pisses off a lot of the other students who are used to being number one, and ruins the educational tactics of the principal. There’s also a few dark twists and secrets revealed that really explain quite a few things including why the classroom was created as an assassination classroom instead of letting the government just take care of the threat.

I was surprised how deep the story went. It revealed quite a lot about the students and even taught them things that no school would traditionally teach them with the intent to pass these lessons onto the viewer. As the students worked to kill their teacher, they learned more about themselves and the world, turning somewhat into a traditional school or slice of life genre at a few points. There are war games, missions, and even threats the entire class has to take on together, with the help of their super-powered teacher of course.

Final Words

As with most deconstruction animes, it takes a very dark turn, but that doesn’t take away from the quality of the story. It does get a little slow at times, but those times actually are used to reveal surprising aspects of the characters. It shows how a real person might react when faced with a world-ending threat, and how that can bring out the best in someone. I also found it amusing how much fun their mission seemed to be, despite the seriousness of it. The message within it is clear: your circumstances don’t define you.

I would give “Assassination Classroom … 9/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like: Kill la Kill, Psychopass, Azumanga Daioh!

Picture Credit: http://ansatsukyoshitsu.wikia.com/wiki/Assassination_Classroom_Wiki,

The “Yu-gi-oh!” Experience

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“And this is the card I sleep with every night!”

As a middle-schooler I was obsessed with Yu-gi-oh!, just like I was with Pokemon. I didn’t think about it at the time, but there’s a lot of key features within the actual show that may or may not have defined the “Card Game” genre, which eventually expanded to other things including spinning tops and bead battler toys. As an anime itself, it was a little unbelievable, looking back on it now.

 

The anime itself, before the multiple spin-offs (which included Yu-gi-oh! GX, Yu-go-oh! 5Ds, and Yu-gi-oh! Zexel), came in about five seasons. It started off with a group of middle-schoolers (of which, only the main character Yugi looked the appropriate age) that liked to play a game called Duel Monsters. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically the classic card game War with a few extra things.

The Japanese version is actually quite a bit different, including a complete removal of the true episode one, but that’s a whole other can of worms we won’t go into (stupid 4Kids). Anyway, the entire anime is basically a series of Duel Monsters tournaments in different locations, and an episode usually consists of an entire card game or sometimes even a small part of a card game. If I recall correctly, at least twice, a game extends four to five C_l2hNLXUAAbddiepisodes.

While I’m sure this is an excellent marketing tactic for the company that owns Yu-gi-oh!, going back and watching it now, as an adult, has made me realize how rediculous the show actually is. First, the main character has some kind of ancient spirit within him, thanks to his super cool necklace called The Millenium Puzzle, but he apparently doesn’t realize this until midway through season one. The irony being that he magically transforms into this spirit before every duel, which does nothing to him except make him look more serious, about a foot and a half taller, and have a much deeper voice.

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“This is how we get all the chicks!”

Also, the games apparently require the use of holographics to make them super cool and playable, so the characters use special arenas to make their monsters come to life. But, sometimes the monsters actually hurt the people. Like, losing actually causes physical pain sometimes, according to a few episodes, and as the series goes on, the monsters seem to get more and more real. I constantly found myself asking “Do they realize this is just a card game?” Apparently not, because the bratty Seto Kaiba decides to throw a tournament just to defeat Yugi, and when he loses, blows up a whole island.

While this genre is mostly aimed at young boys in middle school, it does sometimes draw older people, especially if they grew up in the Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh! era. For me, however, it’s just background noise while I update any various social media sites I have or play videogames.

“Girls und Panzer” Review

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“Does she know that’s a real gun?”

Girls and giant war tanks – what could be better? That seems to be the underlying reason this anime was made. If you’re notaware, Japan is and has been really obsessed with western culture basically since it was introduced to them during the 1800s. This means, there are still people that love western war-related things, and of course, who doesn’t like cute girls? So, with this in mind, it’s safe to say this anime is very much a moe (moh-eh) anime.

Now, the anime itself is very adorable, but it’s also shows just how tough girls can be. Within this universe, there are large barges (like we’re talking massive city-sized ones) that contain a school and surrounding community. They are called “Academy Ships,” and were supposedly designed to nurture practical as well as academic learning. Also in this universe, a sport called tankery exists, which is basically war games with actual tanks driven by teams.

The main character, Miho, has transferred to this new Academy Ship to escape her sister, who is a tankery champion. She had a traumatic experience with the sport and tries to avoid it, but when the student council finds out, she’s dragged back in. Thankfully, she learns that there’s more to tankery than

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“Stop standing there and help me with this flag, idiots!”

always winning, and her new friends support her much more than she expects. But she and her team soon find out that in order to keep their ship up and running, they just might have to win nationals.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started watching it. I thought it was going to be fan-service for 13 episodes, but there’s actually nothing but adorable girls, teamwork, and giant army tanks. Despite it’s rediculous name, it’s quite a good anime with excellent character development.

Final Words

I think it needed to be a little bit more realistic and less unbelievable of a concept. Who in their right mind would let middle school girls use live ammunition? It just seems a bit rediculous. This is a solid title, however: it’s cute, there’s lots of action, and  the main character grows quite a bit through even the short series. If a season two does become available, it’d be right on my list of “to watch.”

I would give “Girls und Panzer” … 7.5/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like: Princess Jellyfish, Rosario + Vampire, Assassination Classroom.

Picture credit: https://wall.alphacoders.com/by_sub_category.php?id=194904
and a screenshot from final episode via Crunchyroll.com

“Hiiro no Kakera” Review

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“No, I won’t pet your shoulder fox.”

If there is just one thing to say about Hiiro no Kakera, it is that it’s a textbook bishoujo. Literally, if you looked up the definition of bishoujo, this anime would probably be the picture example. It is full of romantic tension, and a heroine that is clueless and helpless for about eight episodes. Now, that’s not to say it’s a bad anime. Hang on, I’ll get there.

The first thing I noticed about this anime is how Dawson’s Creek-y the opening is. If you were a fan of teen dramas like Dawson’s Creek, Charmed, Gilmore Girls (basically anything on “The CW”), you’d instantly recognize the style even if you can’t understand a single word of it. The second opening is slightly better, and actually feels like an anime opening, which was somewhat a relief after ten episodes of wanting to rip my ears off every new episode.

I know what you’re thinking. “Why am I still reading this review if you hate it so much?” Patience. I’m getting there. Now, while this anime starts off very frustrating with a protagonist that has no idea what going on and seems helpless, her positive attitude tends to help her improve her situation.

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“I got this, bro-san.”

Basically, she is tasked with taking over the position of “Tamayori Princess” who is supposed to make sure something called the “Onikirimaru” (what a mouthful), which you don’t find out exactly what it is until probably episode seven of eight. Turns out (spoilers) it’s a sword. Apparently, there’s lots of oni (demons) and youkai (evil ghosts) that are drawn to this power.

Here’s the kicker – she’s protected by five super cute anime boys. They are supposed to protect her until she has realized her powers as the Tamayori princess so she can keep the Onikirimaru sealed. But, there’s another group called Logos that want to unseal it and use its powers. There’s quite a few plot twists, so I think I’ve spoiled enough for you.

To be honest, I was annoyed at how cliche it was, especially in the beginning. But the second season (ep 11-20) actually redeemed the series somewhat. Tamaki, the protagonist, does grow quite a bit, having been thrown into a situation she doesn’t like at all, and of course, there’s romance (basically a requirement in bishoujo).

Final Words

I would have to say that this was a pretty good anime. Though, it’s not my favorite genre, there are many people that would enjoy it. It’s well put together and has a cool setting, as well as excellent animation quality.

I would give “Hiiro no Kakera” – 7/10 (scale)

This anime would be great for…fans of teen dramas like “Degrassi,” or fans of romantic movies or TV shows. Seeing as it’s geared toward teenage girls, this would also be an ideal audience. Also, as this anime has a supernatural element, this might also appeal to fans of fantasy settings.

If you like this anime, you might also like: “Natsume’s Book of Friends” (Natsume Yuujincho), The Eccentric Family, and Wolf Children Ame and Yumi.

Picture Credit: http://www.anime-planet.com/
https://errantprincess.files.wordpress.com/

“Hayate the Combat Butler” Review

So, as you might have noticed, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve used this blog. Since

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“How very dare you!”

then, I’ve changed the name to go along with my new book-in-progress. Besides, I’d rather write anime reviews than have a set schedule of writing stuff. So, this blog won’t necessarily be a weekly thing, rather I will be posting as I watch series, with occasional character profiles sprinkled in. Feel free to browse the other posts, as I’ve removed all non-anime and non-Japanese posts.

Anyway, enough dawdling! Having finished Hayate the Combat Butler about a week ago, I had been throwing the idea back and forth of even writing a review since it’s not as fresh in my min as I’d like it to be. But, I figured it would be a nice place to start reviewing again. Either way, the first series (noted as “seasons 1&2” on Crunchyroll) is very lighthearted and funny. It’s designed as a comedy with slice of life elements.

Nagi Sanzenin is an extremely rich girl who is the product of a trust fund, and to top it off, she’s actually very smart, though headstrong. She lives in a gigantic mansion with her maid Maria, her pet tiger Tama, and her old semi-retired butler Klaus. On the other hand, Hayate is an unfortunate high-schooler with absent parents who’ve places him in a huge, unbearable debt of 150 million yen (1,325,991 USD according to Google). Of course, a 16-year-old has  no way of paying this back, even though he’s been lying about his age since he was 8 to get some kind of job.

The story starts when Hayate runs into Nagi (who has run away again) at the park and plots to kidnap her for the money. Nagi misunderstands and takes it as a confession (it also doesn’t help that Hayate is too nice to actually do it), but then she actually does get kidnapped by real criminals. Hayate saves her, of course, in the most rediculous way possible, and she sort of adopts him as her new personal butler. The irony being that he’s had so many physical jobs, he literally makes the perfect butler.

So begins the story, where Nagi is always getting into trouble, skipping school, and trying to constantly hint that she loves Hayate. He’s completely clueless, of course, and along with tons of pop culture references, the entirely female cast of characters (save Tama and Klaus) begin to fall for Hayate who is still completely clueless.

It’s actually a very entertaining anime, filled with rediculous situations. The third series “Cuties” is not nearly as well done, and they even hired a new animator, so I don’t necessarily recommend that one. However, I’d have to give this anime a 7.5 out of 10 on my ratings scale, and encourage you to check it out at least once.

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