“Sakura Trick” Review

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“If we act cute, they’ll give us treats.”

It’s been a week of firsts for me. First hentai, first actually 300% cliche anime, and now first shoujo-ai series. That’s not to say I’m unfamiliar with the genre. Far from it – I was introduced to yuri type anime way back in the day just like everyone else, but most yuri I’d experienced was fandom-related. I’d never actually seen an anime that puts it right in there.

Just a bit of a warning, this may contain a few spoilers!

I have to say, I like it. Sakura Trick was adorable as can be, and it’s very unlike most romance stories I’ve encountered. Most of the time, the romance is like a big reveal at the end. Yuu and Haruka are already the best of friends, and the quickly realize it might be more than just friendship they want. The big kiss is just about the middle of the first

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“While she’s asleep, I can steal her hair clip!”

episode (as these episodes are sometimes two separate stores in one) and the big reveal at the end is actually (spoilers!) whether or not they love each other.

The entire series is also a kind of slice of life story where Yuu and Haruka are just starting high school and become friends with four other girls. Two of them, Kotone and Shizuku, room together, and it’s revealed early on they also have a thing for each other. They, too, are childhood friends, and they are almost completely opposite. I really love how open they are – they hold hands and snuggle while just walking to school. At first Shizuku is frustrated about the attention, but she comes around to the outgoing Kotone.

Yuu and Haruka, however, feel the need to hide their relationship. At first, they are unsure how others will react, but later on, they hide it from Yuu’s sister Mitsuki. The

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“Did I leave the stove on?!”

problem is, Mitsuki has never actually met Haruka, and the second she does, she falls in love. But she doesn’t realize this until the last episode, because she’s been getting jealous the whole time without realizing it.

This anime is so wonderfully done. It does have a few annoying fan-service bits, but nothing besides a few waggling skirts and bouncy boobs. Sadly, not even these were necessary and kind of detracted from the entire point of the anime. I found myself thinking “I just want to see a cute love story about two girls, not watch a pair of boobs, okay?” It wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the others I have seen, however.

Final Words:

Despite it’s minor flaws, it’s a very good anime. It’s got cute, snuggly, and real life issues high school girls might deal with. Though, it’s a bit sugar-coated, as most of the genre might tend to be. Overall, an excellent presentation with minimal unnecessary fan-service and complex characters.

I would give this anime…8.5/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like Servant x Service, Azumanga Daioh!, Inu x Boku

Pictures from opening of anime, (x), and episode 3

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“Myriad Colors Phantom World” Review

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“My face scares birds! Wow!”

What? Two reviews back-to-back? What’s going on! Well, the truth is, I just really like anime. Can’t you tell?

It’s important to note that going into this anime, I had seen an image on Tumblr that showed the producers(?) of this series in a sort of new headline that read “Myriad Colors Phantom World was just an experiment – producers wanted to see if they could make a bad anime with beautiful animation and still make money.” Now, I’m paraphrasing of course, but whether or not it was an actual article, I can see why it would be fun to see the result.

The story begins right after a strange virus has been released by a mysterious company

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“If only I was an A-cup!”

by accident. The virus is said to have infected the brains of humans in such a way that folk tales and legends become real. So all the youkai (demons) and kami (spirits) in Japan become real. At the same time, teenagers develop strange powers to combat these “phantoms” as they call them to seal them away and stop them from causing trouble.

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“You said this tail wouldn’t be itchy!”

But, sadly, the story is just slightly too unbelievable. It doesn’t really make for a plot where things could possibly work. Even worse, the entire anime is basically what any person that has seen any anime ever. There are huge boobs and lots of strange poses to show off these boobs. There’s also basically every type of anime cliche ever, which made for a pretty predictable story. Yes, it’s amusing to say the least, and of course, the animation is beautiful, but it really just didn’t do it for me in the end.

Final Words:

If there was one word I could use to describe this series it would be “cliched.” The main character is, of course, surrounded by a team of beautiful girls. The characters are pretty flat, even if they are cute. The story is just too unreasonable, and made me say roll my eyes a few times. It’s a neat concept, but with some better writing, it would have done a lot better. There are too many plot-holes to make it satisfying.

I would give “Myriad Colors Phantom World” a… 4/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime you might also like… Heaven’s Lost Property, Sekirei, Blood+

Picture Credits: Episode 3, Series PV, Episode 7

“Boku no Pico” Review

Before I begin this blog post, the obligatory disclaimer:

**The author of this blog does in no way condone illicit actions with a minor. This blog post is no no way an endorsement of said actions as portrayed in the anime “Boku no Pico,” and should be considered for informational purposes only. The following material may not be appropriate for all ages. Viewer/Reader discretion is advised.**

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“I saw what you did last summer.”

Now that that’s over with, I’d like to just remind you that the anime I am about to review is, in fact, a hentai. For those not familiar, basically anime porn. I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but for the simple fact that I will have to write about it anyway for my book, I decided to at least take a look.

The reason I’d decided to originally take a look at this anime was, put simply, the Internet. I’d seen the name used as sort of a trolling suggestion for people or sort of trick suggestion to shock those that might view it. It’s claimed to be the first shotacon (geared toward people that like very young-looking male characters) anime, though that is up for debate.

Like many pornographic movies or shorts made in the west, this anime lacks basically

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“The air is so tasty.”

any sense of continuous plot. But, keep in mind, it was made to be explicit. There are three episodes, each centered around Pico, a feminine boy that likes to sport dresses and skirts. In the first episode, he meets an older boy named Tomatsu who seems to have a crush on him. The second episode shows Pico and a new friend named Chico as they explore what seems like a vacation home. The third shows Pico and Chico visiting Tokyo where they meet another feminine-dressing boy named Coco.

Of course, everything ends as you’d expect, but I’d actually like to focus on the first episode for the most part. There is somewhat of a plot in this episode, but ti’s very rushed, and almost forced. Tomatsu is caught spying on Pico and seemingly instantly falls for him. It seems almost desperate as well, when he actually buys a dress for Pico, though I’m not sure if Tomatsu is playing into his own fantasties or actually understands that Pico likes dresses. Even when Pico asks how Tomatsu feels about him, the older boy hesitates.

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“Then she said we’d never guess where she hid the candy!”

It’s almost as if Pico is just a tool for him and actually means nothing. Thankfully, he’s not in any of the later episodes, which makes me wonder where he went. Did he get arrested or something? Who knows, but Tomatsu is so flat and seems to not really care much about Pico, their first encounter be akin to rape.

That said, I know for a fact there are actually good hentais with plots and actual interesting stuff, so as a critic, I’d for sure have to say this is not at all what I call a decent anime. I mean, if you’re into this kind of stuff, it might be perfect for you, but I’d really not recommend it to anyone at all.

Final Words:

I mean, I don’t really have a huge opinion of this anime either way, because I knew going in it was probably going to be pretty bad plot-wise considering the genre. The animation of pretty basic and not all that pretty. I did think it was entertaining though, the opening themes are all different. The first starts out very innocent saying things like “let’s fall in love,” and they get progressively less subtle with each episode. The third one basically says “take me! take me right now!”

I would give Boku no Pico… 3/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime you might also like…Ouran High School Host Club, Strike Witches, or Daybreak Illusion

“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.

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