Anime Review: “One Punch Man”

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“That’s the last time you make fun of my chosen hairstyle.”

I’ve been a passive fan of the anime for a while, but I just never got around to seeing it. That is, until now.

I recieved a copy of the first volume of the manga from my LootCrate Anime a while back, and it explained that it used to be a web comic. I thought that was awesome, considering I have been working on my own web comic for a while. I already had a bit of the plot in mind going into this series. I knew it was a parody and it was supposedly hilarious.

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“Okay, I killed it. What now?”

That information was 300% accurate. This anime is a complete riot. It starts out with a man named Saitama living in a city that apparently is infested with really bad villains – there’s a man that turned into Lobster Man because he ate too much lobster – and he finds himself facing this exact villain on the way home from a job interview. He’s so depressed and jaded he didn’t get the job that he doesn’t care if the lobster guy kills him. But, as soon as he sees the creature heading towards a child, he jumps into action and fights him.

From that day on, he decided to become as strong as possible. He trains every day, so much that his hair falls out, and now he’s so strong that he can defeat any foe in one punch. But, now that he’s really strong, he’s easily bored and goes around one-punching all the bad guys.

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“Okay, now put the egg right on my palm and it will cook in precisely 3.49 seconds.”

One day, though, he meets a robot-man named Genos. This cyborg is so impressed with Saitama’s powers that he asks to become his disciple. While Saitama isn’t one to really want a student, he accepts anyway, not really knowing what to teach the boy. Soon the pair gets words of a special organization that registers and rates heroes in the city. They go to join just for the heck of it and Genos gets S rank, while Saitama (who smashes all the physical records) only gets a C rank.

These ranks are very important, though. Higher ranks get more donations and poularity, so of course Saitama is pissed. He knows he’s strong, and proves it over and over again, but people think he’s a cheat because he’s only rank C. This only expands on the hilarity of the series, with Saitama actually trying to help people, but ending up scaring them instead.

The key to a great parody anime is to have as little exposition as possible, while still making sure the audience knows what’s going on. I saw it in “Neo Yokio,” and I saw it once more in “One Punch Man.” It leaves the door open for much more ridiculous things to happen. In fact, this anime actually makes fun of excessively long expositions by Genos backstory expanding about thirty seconds of one episode.

Final Words:

Having just finished a really nice parody anime, this was another gem in my belt. I’m a big fan of this style, having seen so many animes over the years. It just pokes fun at all of the fighting ones, namely “Dragonball Z.” The character development is top notch, too, where Saitama goes from basically a NEET to genuinely caring about people, and his new friend, despite the boy’s misplaced enthusiasm.

I would give this anime…8.75/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like: Blue Exorcist, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Excel Saga

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“K” Review

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“Did you eat my last tamagomaki?”

I actually saw this anime subbed last year, I believe, but I watched it again dubbed with my best friend and roommate last week. It’s definitely a different experience, and I’m pretty sure Funimation specializes in added a pound and a half of sass whenever they dub something. But this is for sure a somewhat complex anime, and I suppose I didn’t fully understand it the first time I saw it, so a rewatch was kind of nice.

The setting is that of a somewhat futuristic Japan, with advanced technology and a sort of clan system that mimics something of the warring states period (or feudalistic Japan, if you’re familiar). There are seven clans, each with an assigned color, though only two are featured, and the four others only touched on. The red clan, also called HOMRA, appears as a sort of gang with fiercely loyal members, and the blue clan, also called Scepter 4, appears as a police force and more connected to the government.

Each king has a special power, which he is able to give to his clansmen when they join

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“You told him to wear that?”

the clan. The red clan can create and manipulate fire, while the blue clan can freeze and destroy matter. The king of each clan is the most powerful, however, there is a limit. Their power is represented by a giant Sword of Damocles, which appears in the sky when a king begins to fight.

If the king uses too much power, the sword falls and causes physical destruction. This is shown in the prologue, as it has happened before. In the first episode, the leader of the red clan, known as Mikoto Suoh (or the Red King), is captured by the blue clan leader (Reisi Munakata) and put in a special jail. He actually remains there for a majority of the anime in order to prevent him from causing another incident with his sword.

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“I swear I don’t know where her nipples went!”

Now, besides all of this, there is a boy named Yashiro Isana who appears to be a normal high school student. He seems forgetful, as he is known for forgetting his lunch, and often runs around during lunch hour asking for donations, which people gladly give him. He doesn’t seem to care about school, and almost never has his PDA, which is required to enter the school grounds.

However, one day, he’s making his way into town for some errands for the school festival, and a strange man chases him and calls him “The Colorless King.” The man, Kuroh Yotogami, says Yashiro has murdered someone, and he must die. Kuroh’s master, who was the previous Colorless King, instructed him to kill the new Colorless King if that new king is evil. He seems very loyal to his late master, even carrying a recording device with his master words saved on it.

Yashiro insists he has no idea what Kuroh is talking about, and is innocent. With a bit of

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“Alright, slowly, slowly…and drop the giant cake…now!”

trickery, the boy manages to escape, but Kuroh catches up with him, only to be stopped by a strange girl, nude mind you, that apparently was disguised all this time as Yashiro’s pet cat Neko. With a bit of convincing, Kuroh decides to let Yashiro try and prove his innocence. But there’s a bit more to Neko than meets the eye. In fact, there’s more to Yashiro than meets the eye.

In the world of “K,” there are people that possess powers, but are not part of a clan. As it turns out, Neko is one of these – known as a Strain – and she can manipulate peoples senses, and even create false memories. Without revealing too much, we soon find out that Yashiro might not be who he says he is after all, and the Colorless King is not who he says he is either.

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They seem to be overcompensating.

Despite it being quite a complicated setting, “K” manages to pull together an interesting story of friendship, sacrifice, and loyalty. While I feel Neko was a bit of a token character in the beginning, it turns out she simply wants to protect Yashiro and make sure he’s happy. I really enjoyed Kuroh as a character, being a very loyal person myself, and the twist ending I’d forgotten about had me hooked. I also liked the unabashed sass that Yashiro displays early on, even blushing fiercely when Kuroh carries him to safety a few times.

The members of HOMRA were also very endearing. Yata and his fierce loyalty and youth, jumping at the chance to defend his kings honor with a baseball bat or a skateboard was just as attractive as Kamamoto’s dorkiness and short attention span. The characters were very real, even if you only got a short glimpse of them, like the total of twenty minutes the Mikoto gets. There’s also a member of the Scepter 4 that was once part of HOMRA, and this is even explained in somewhat detail.

Final Words:

Man, I really didn’t realize how convoluted this setting was until I started writing this review, but don’t let it scare you off. Despite being somewhat confusing, it’s very well done, with close attention to characters and their interactions. It’s beautifully animated with each battle scene animated as if a wide angle camera was used. A lot of animes avoid long extended scenes because they cost more and require much more work, but “K” spares no expense. You can see it from episode one how much care went into each part. This is probably very close to a perfect anime as one might get. The only thing that brought it down was how confusing the plot was in some parts. But everything does come together in the end.

I would give this anime…9/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like: Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji), Magi, Tokyo Ravens

 

“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

“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

“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,

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