24 of 24 episodes seen
Blast of Tempest is a show where nothing matters, absolutely nothing. It's simply pretentious BULLSHIT!
It's got all powerful magic trees that pop out of nowhere, uninteresting and hardly developed characters, quotes from Hamlet for no reason, people just standing there for FIVE EPISODES debating about nonsense (Where the villain even helps his enemy, and later the villain and his enemies for NO REASON all of a sudden become friends), absolutely atrocious pacing that goes from way too fast to way too slow, and more things.
I can't even begin to really describe the story because of how much of a mess it is (It's almost as messy as BONES' last awful work, Eureka Seven AO), which is the result of the pacing being ridiculously fast in the beginning, and there being absolutely NO COHESION. The events don't flow well together whatsoever. It starts out with something about Mahiro's sister being murdered, a half-naked mage being left on an island to die, and other stuff that later does not matter much.
It then rushes through everything, and does not even spend time to have you get to know the characters well (And no, the backstory does not count because that backstory did not prove to be relevant enough to the "plot"), or have you get to know the setting. How am I supposed to care about anything in this show if they don't even bother to take the time to build up their characters and setting? You can not even really tell what the hell is going on because of how it jumps from event to event in an atrocious way, with there being no cohesion as I've stated earlier. This is really something that shouldn't be that hard to mess up. One of the most important things in a show is pacing, and placing of events. You need to have a story flow well so the viewer knows what is going on, and is getting a good deal of storytelling.
So come around halfway through the first half of the show, we then have humanity trying to stop a magical tree from destroying the world. All of a sudden the two groups that are fighting each other then engage in a pretentious debate about time travel, the murder, and other crap for no reason. It seems like this stuff matters, but in the end it doesn't because after FIVE EPISODES of this crap with them just standing there, debating, another tree pops up, and saves the world, so their debate DIDN'T EVEN MATTER! Yeah, let's debate and let a tree interrupt our pointless conversation. Oh and apparently that magic tree ends up dictating everything humanity does, stops crime and other stuff, but we never learn one bit about how that's supposed to work.
After that, the show goes under a genre shift, from some "serious" adventure where people are trying to save the world to just your ordinary school setting (Minus the school), and them trying to find some wimpy guy known as the Mage of Exodus, which they later find, but have no clue if he is it when it's clearly obvious he is. Let's not forget how this show wasted time AGAIN with one of the most stupid things I've ever come across in anime. Two full episodes are spent on the character's going "Who's his girlfriend?!!!" when they should have known ALL ALONG! This just goes to show this show doesn't use its time wisely.
In the end, this show is a total failure that trolls its viewers, and the only thing is has going for it are the visuals (And just because a show has pretty visuals DOES NOT mean it's good, what really matters in the end are the story and characters, something this show doesn't have), and the soundtrack. Those that appreciate good characters, story, and shows that actually take the time to make you care about those things (Ex: One Piece, Nodame Cantabile, Eureka Seven, Neon Genesis Evangelion), avoid this at all costs. It is not worth the time. read more
203 of 203 episodes seen
Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is the adaption of Akira Amano's popular manga series of the same name that ran from 2004 to 2012 for a total of eight years. The anime ended prematurely, and it's unknown whether or not it will continue. However it ended in a good spot as a big arc had been just resolved. So if you're worried about it ending on a cliffhanger, you have nothing to worry about.
Anyway, the story. The story starts out with Tsunayoshi Sawada finding out he is to be the 10th boss of the Vongola Mafia, or as they call mafias in the anime, "families", so the Vongola Family. He is also to be tutored by the Vongola hitman Reborn (Hence the title) so he can become a proper mafia boss. Of course, "Loser Tsuna" doesn't want to be one as he's just a middle school student with no interest in the mafia. The premise doesn't sound too interesting, and really the story never is as serious as it sounds, even during its most serious arc that starts in the 70's. You figure this out right away when you first start the show. Speaking of starting...
One of the main issues people have with the show is the first 20 or so episodes. This follows a Daily Life arc, involving characters doing funny and stupid things. You even have a character training by dodging baseballs being shot out of a tank on school grounds. While this sounds good, people will just want to get on with the plot, instead of just the show being very episodic. Many of these episodes are not to be skipped however as they introduce some characters that become much more important later on, and you miss various developments.
This will be an uphill battle for most, but believe me when I say things get much better after you get past these episodes. Things soon start becoming a little more serious, and you really start getting more and more plot and character development. Not to mention they step up with the animation and soundtrack.
The soundtrack at the beginning of the series doesn't have really any special tracks. They fit the mood well during the daily life arc, but you'll be left wanting more. Fortunately the series during the arcs that come after the first one have far more interesting tracks, and it helps the show become more engaging. The soundtrack will fit each mood perfectly.
The animation and artwork isn't that great either at the beginning, but Artland eventually steps things up more come halfway through the show.
Now back to the story, during its first "serious" arc, the Varia arc, it follows some of the typical stuff you find in shounen (Ex: Tournament style fights, various special moves being revealed, opponents going "Impossible! There's no way this can be!"), but where the show starts to shine is the characters. You learn what they've gone through, what they're willing to sacrifice just for their friends' safety and a tomorrow where they can laugh all they want without a care in the world, among other things. While this sounds like all the various shounen you've probably watched in the past, it ends up doing more than most, especially with the relationships of the characters. I have not seen many shows do what this show has done with the relationships of the main characters, and it actually ends up caring a lot about them. It develops all of them, and continues to do so the entire time. You really get just how real and strong their relationship is, and what they'll do to maintain it.
One big problem I have with the story is the issue of time travel. Come halfway through the show, the show has an arc that uses time travel. It ends up unfortunately greatly testing the established theories of this, and even throws parallel universes in there. For this reason, I cannot justify giving the story a higher score, it just ends up being that messy in this area, and brings down what was already established in the previous episodes. Another reason why I can't justify giving it a higher score, the pacing. While the show past episode 20 has all around good pacing, the arc involving time travel is where the series met the same fate as many other long-running shounens, it caught up to the manga, and as a result they had to do something to allow the manga to get farther. Instead of going for filler episodes, Artland decided to just stretch episodes out far longer, and this results in some of the slowest pacing I've ever seen in a shounen for quite a while.
Speaking of filler, eventually they decide to put in filler episodes, and while this sounds bad, it actually was for the better. The show involves two short filler arcs that were actually written by Akira Amano herself, and something rather surprising about them is they actually ADD to the story and characters, and CANNOT be skipped. They actually are filler episodes that are truly worth watching. Even after the arcs are done, the show continues to reference them.
I can only hope more series try to do what Katekyo Hitman Reborn! did when it comes to the characters, and filler episodes. It manages to succeed where others failed.
This is truly a shounen that manages to stand out from the others. read more
366 of 366 episodes seen
Let me start out by saying, this was my gateway anime, and it's what got me actively into anime 4 years ago. Despite its flaws, I still love this series, but not as much as I used to for many reasons which I'll get to in a bit.
Bleach is about a high school student named Ichigo Kurosaki, who can see the spirits of the dead, and later encounters Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper (Or Shinigami as it is in the fansubs) who helps send the deeply departed to the Soul Society, and slays Hallows to do that as well. She later ends up having to give him her powers in order for him to protect his family.
However this is a grave crime in the Soul Society, and Rukia is later taken back where she is waiting execution for her crime. Ichigo and his friends of course then go to save her, and later many in the Soul Society also find corruption, and conspiracies in their system.
This is where Bleach was at its best, the Substitute arc (1-20) and the Soul Society arc (21-63) are what made Bleach so successful in the first place. You had such an action-packed story, with deep elements, and good character development. You could have almost considered the show a masterpiece with what took place in episodes 1-65. Then from there, it went downhill. The first of the filler arcs began, the Bount arc which personally I find to be the best out of all the filler arcs.
Speaking of filler, about half the show is filler. This is all due to Tite Kubo's complete inability to pace, period. Manga readers know full well he doesn't know how to pace. He draws such large of panels, and puts in hardly dialogue (And backgrounds-"Backgrounds in my Bleach?"), it's no wonder why a single episode will cover 3-5 chapters, causing them to catch-up to the manga very often, leading to all that filler.
Now back to where it went wrong, Bleach began to fall apart after the Soul Society arc beginning with the first filler arc, the Bount. The Bount arc did have its fair share of good points (Like going into the extermination of the Bounts, and what they had gone through because of the Soul Society), but it was a letdown at times due to the poor pacing (Yes, even filler had bad pacing, go figure...), plot holes, and the lack of explanations to certain things that need explaining. The other arcs later suffered from these same issues (and from a few Dues Ex Machinas), and the character department began to suffer as well.
The arc that had the most issues was the infamous Hueco Mundo arc which dragged on and on, and is by far the longest arc in Bleach. This is where Bleach's success began to wane. The TV ratings became shit to the point later on it led to the show getting cancelled after the Fullbring arc, people were dropping this series left and right, it lost its "Big 3" status (Note: If you still believe Bleach is "Big 3", you're either ignorant or behind the times) and more.
The characters of Bleach are what the fans love the most about the show. Many have such cheesy personalities, deep backstories, and the usual desire to protect someone. However one character that really stands out as being bad is Orihime. You cannot turn a blind eye to her. After the Soul Society arc, she becomes almost completely useless (The only use she really ends up having aside from that minor support for her friends is healing people), whines a lot (Ex: "Kurosaki-kun!!!!!"-Oh look we ripped off InuYasha, not just YuYu Hakusho (Spirit detective) and Hunter x Hunter (Clan extermination, you being the only one left-Uryu-and wanting revenge against who did it)...) which is the reason why so many people cannot stand her), and has her development go completely backwards as she becomes a damsel in distress, and willingly no less.
The others will suffer from the same issues at times. For example Ichigo changes as he realizes he's not able to really protect what he loves most, but then will go backwards back to where he was at times by being scared of his own power. He'll also keep being the blind idiot that'll charge towards every opponent without ever really thinking things through.
Now's not to say the show doesn't have any good points after it goes downhill. For example, you still have the desire to protect, an intricate plot with Aizen and what he was planning to do with the Hogyoku, what does it mean to be human, and the issues of exterminating something you created. But with Bleach's many issues after the Soul Society arc, it fails to ever be as good as it once was. It's a shell of its former self.
The storytelling issues just leave you scratching your head at times, causing you to not be as deeply involved with the show as you once were, the characters having messy development also causes the same issue, and more. This is where you find yourself not loving it as much as you did.
The art and animation comes from Studio Pierrot, who does not do a very good job with what they do with production values, even today, but this is where they did it that best. The artwork looks rather nice, and it's not the typical art you'd find from your average Shonen. The animation can be awkward at times (Especially during fights, and running scenes), but it can be rather nice.
The sound is just good, the characters have good voice actors (Both sub and dub), and the background music fits in with almost every scene, but some tracks leave much to be desired.
Bleach in the end is a show that started out truly great, but later went downhill, and became a shell of what it once was. It's still very good (Barely, just barely), but not the near-masterpiece it once was. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
Let me start out by saying, the original Eureka Seven is one of my all-time favorite anime series, and it's just sad for me to see what BONES did. They are merely marketing a show purely based off of nostalgia, and putting zero effort into it, less so than those incomplete adaptions used to sell more of the source material.
So first off, what is this show all about? Well originally it was about Ao, Eureka's son as you probably could have guessed from the promo image, joining a group called Pied Piper-actually, just a subsection of Generation Blue-(The E7 AO equivalent of the Gekkostate, not.), and trying to find his mom (Who he calls "Anma!"-Where did this shit come from?). From there, it's total nonsense, especially in the second half. Seriously, I doubt even BONES knows what they're writing in this show. Hell, it's even hard to review this show because it's so messy. So where did it all go wrong?
Part of the problem is how Eureka Seven had a completely closed ending, with no loose ends. So, what the heck were they supposed to do for a story, a sequel story? Set it up in our world, instead of the world of the original E7? Introduce an overpowered villain with no motives, and then come up with something along the way? Put in terminology the viewer is completely unfamiliar with, and explain it midway when all the characters knew everything from the start, and assumed the viewers were the same? Put random things in, and forget about them completely in only a few episodes, making it completely redundant? How about just put in random crap to fill up 24 episodes? Really, these are warning signs the show is going to be a total mess.
There are tons of plot holes everywhere (Especially in the final two episodes which are just one large Deus Ex Machina), and lots of things will not make sense as such. In one instance, it's stated everywhere the Secrets are not the enemy as they merely take an element called Quartz away from the Scub Corals. But then later, Generation Bleu tries to eliminate all the Secrets. Oh and let's not forget how you can travel around the world in only an hour, it doesn't matter where. Seems the earth is way smaller than it really is...
How about the characters? Did the characters turn out good? Hardly, the show makes some of the same mistakes Shakugan no Shana III (Final) made. It introduces a bunch of characters, and then doesn't bother to develop them, or show any backstory, so they're just...there. Many characters will develop in some way, but it'll either make no sense, or it'll be a total character rewrite. We'll also get some good backstory, but the show then tosses it aside and forgets about it. The backstory rarely ends up being relevant to the story.
Lastly, can we forget how they introduced certain elements you never in a million years wanted in E7? An otaku girl? Moe girls everywhere, resulting in a harem practically? Fanservice? And what purpose does this serve? Really, what does it serve for a good story? In this show, it can't co-exist with the story, and character development like does in various shows.
Now the production values, believe it or not, despite being newer, E7 AO visually looks worse than its predecessor, and the animation can be rather messy. The soundtrack, same thing. Not all that much to it.
Really, they should have either made this not a sequel, or took a page from Gonzo from when they made Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam, the sequel to Last Exile which also had a completely closed ending. That show managed to do a much better job at things, from the story, to the characters. It did not rely on purely nostalgia to tell a story, and the result wasn't all that bad.
Eureka Seven AO in the end is a prime example of doing everything wrong in a show, and what happens when a studio uses only nostalgia to tell a story. Take the E7 fanboy glasses off, and you'll immediately notice the many, many problems. One can only hope less of these kinds of shows get made in the future. Nostalgia can be great, but not when you use it to tell a story for a show. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Hiiro no Kakera is an adaption of a bunch of popular otome games that currently remain only in Japan. Adapted by Studio DEEN, who can do plenty wrong, you can guess it's them adapting the games improperly that led to this.
The show starts out with a girl named Tamaki finding out she is to become the Tamayori Princess that takes place after an encounter with a weird creature she can see. However the thing is, the show doesn't bother explaining much about what the Tamayori Princess is, or anything else after this happens, which is where the cracks start to show. Events just happen thanks to this, and seem like complete nonsense.
The show later soon throws in the guardians into the playing field, and they don't bother developing them much either. By episode 2, the entire cast is together (A bunch of guys that remind you of the vampires that were around Yuki from Vampire Knight-also by DEEN), and they make it seem like all the characters have known each other for a very long time, and have been fighting battles to protect the artifacts (Another thing they don't bother explaining) from the Logos for just as long which shows even more cracks. They don't bother explaining what their goal is, or why all this is happening which makes getting engaged in the story to be quite tough.
The character development is quite erratic. Early on in the show, they just throw the characters in, but later on in the show they attempt to develop a few characters (Especially Takuma in the final few episodes) a bit instead of just making them poof out of nowhere. This helps improve things, but the cracks are already so deep, it's completely impossible to fix them.
Another example of erratic character development is one moment in the show Tamaki suggests the characters talk to each and get to know each other to help in their battle with the Logos, but this doesn't come to pass as they skip this much needed development completely, which completely dashes your hopes about this show. It just shows Studio DEEN is relying on soley the pretty guys and artwork to make this a hit with fujoshi (It should be noted, the show has already bombed in Japan). This is already evident when every episode ends with those brief scenes trying to show off the guys of the show after the credits are done.
The artwork and animation are the show's strongest suit, and everything looks beautiful, especially during the battles with Logos where DEEN steps their game up, but the unfortunate thing is they put in more work into the art and animation (Especially on the male characters-again fujoshi-bait) than everything else which spells nothing but trouble. The artwork in the end becomes pretty much one of the only reasons to keep watching.
Accompanied by the art and animation is of course the soundtrack, and it just works. Nothing too special, but it fits the mood, especially the music during the battles. It helps make a show that is already tough to enjoy due to it's many flaws in storytelling and character development enjoyable at times.
Now I haven't played the games, so I can't confirm how good or badly DEEN adapted them, but as I've heard from those that played the games, they got nearly everything wrong, which doesn't surprise me as I've heard DEEN has done a ton of other things wrong, and I've seen many of these things for myself. Going by the poor and erratic storytelling and character development, them adapting the games wrong is probably true. I just can't imagine the original source material having all these facepalming flaws.
All in all, Hiiro no Kakera can be an enjoyable show if you don't take it too seriously, you just want to stare at beautiful art, and you're not expecting something like Vampire Knight. It was a show that had the potential to be great, but it was wasted due Studio DEEN messing up yet again and putting too much work into the character designs, the art, and the animation than the more important stuff such as the character development and story. I can only wonder how bad the second half of the show is going to turn out when it premiers this Fall. read more
3 of 3 episodes seen
Ice is the first and only anime the obscure animation studio PPM ever made. Guess this made them go bankrupt after putting the OVA and summary movie out.
This show had the shocking art style. For a show from 2007, you wouldn`t expect it to have the 90`s artstyle, and look like shows such as The Slayers, Trigun, Outlaw Star, Pokemon, Gundam Wing, etc. without attempting to look modern at the same time. However this show doesn`t have all that much ground to stand on when it comes to the artwork. It doesn`t nearly look as good as what it`s trying to copy (It even doesn`t attempt to look modern and retro at the same time), and isn`t very pleasing to look at, aside from the backgrounds and a few characters.
The animation, not much to it, even during the action scenes. Pretty simple stuff.
The soundtrack has nothing special here except a few soundtracks. Other than that, pretty mediocre soundtrack.
This show had a story? Well, it had an interesting concept, but the execution was done poorly. The story goes in how the last man on Earth has died, so now, the women are the only ones left. Humanity will be on the brink of extinction as no babies can be produced. You got this thing called "The Ice" (Hence the title), but the problem is they make it hard to understand anything beyond how humanity is on the brink of destruction. They just throw random crap in, and hope it makes sense in the end. Other things are thrown in that are completely irrelevant even.
Where the show failed the most is with the characters. They just throw in a bunch of characters in, don`t do anything to make you care about them (i.e. no character development whatsoever), and call it a day. There is nothing redeeming about them, absolutely nothing. They`re just...there. I doubt any show could top this when it comes to atrocious character development.
It`s already a very, very, very obscure anime five years after it finished, and it won`t be remembered. There is no value to this anime.
Truth be told, Ice wasn`t painful for me to watch, but I can`t see how anyone else could enjoy it quite a bit (I probably enjoyed it more than most people), aside from it being laughably bad in certain parts, such as the black and white movie that pops out of nowhere we have near the very end.
It will be an uphill battle for most people, especially those expecting great characters and a great story as they`re not even decent, they`re just really, really bad.
Now would I rewatch this? Possibly, but I`d rewatch it probably only once. The rewatch value just isn`t really there.
Art & Animation: 4/10
Unless you feel like wasting nearly 2 hours of your life, I recommend staying away from this, and go watch something else with a much better story, and has much better characters. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
Oh Shana, how low could you have gotten?
I was a big Shana fan three years ago, and after hearing of the news of when season 3 was going to premier last Summer, I was overjoyed. Boy was I in for a surprise, massive disappointment.
Shakugan no Shana III (Final) is J.C. Staff's third and final adaption of the popular Shakugan no Shana light novel series written by Yashichiro Takahashi. Shakugan no Shana is a hot series for J.C. Staff, with each volume of season 1 and season 2 having sold 10,000+ copies total, and with great reason. Shakugan no Shana was a very entertaining and interesting series with the first two seasons. Season 3 however, is a whole different beast (It's even selling on average 4,000 copies per volume on average, not 10,000+ like the successful first two seasons.).
We start off with how Yuji has disappeared, and whether or not if he truly has had his flame burn out. This was interesting...for a while. One of the biggest issues early on with season 3 is time. They make no effort to explain when season 3 takes place (I.E. How long after the end of season 2.), and it proves to be a problem that just gets worse, confusing the viewer. Not to mention, something always associated with time, pacing. Shana III has an issue of making events either occur way too fast, or way too slow (Like slower than Dragon Ball Z almost at times.). This is very apparent during much of the first half, the war between the Flame Hazes, and the Bal Masque which also happens to be one of the most boring, if not the most boring war I've ever seen in an anime.
Another problem with the series is character development, and lack of explanations as to what's going on. Season 3's biggest issue is adding too many characters at once, and then not even bothering to provide any back-story, thus causing the viewer to hardly care about them. They'll only really be attached to the characters they know and love from the first two seasons, except of course Yuji (I'll get to this later.). As the show goes on, this only gets worse and worse as they try to make you care with touching moments, but due to the lack of proper character development, this does nothing.
The lack of explanations really is one of the biggest issues. It makes the show quite confusing, and leads to the viewer being quite bored. There are also many contradictions thanks to this.
Now, Yuji. The Yuji you knew from seasons 1 and 2 is completely gone. For some, this may be a good thing, but for others, it's quite a bad thing. Basically early on he has The Snake of the Festival take over his body. We have no idea where Yuji was, or where The Snake of the Festival came in which goes back to the issue of the lack of explanations and time. The Snake of the Festival later takes over as leader of the Bal Masque (As he was their former boss before he was sealed away.), and his goal first is to free his old body (Which of course, is a giant snake.), and he has another thing up his sleeve (He reveals this during the war.) which I won't post about due to spoilers.
The sound and art (Well, it's not as good, but it works.) are pretty much on par with the first two seasons, and they're what help hold this show up from being a 3/10 show or lower. It helps make the show still somewhat enjoyable. They're the best things about the show, which is such a shame. The entertainment value is there, but not much. A few episodes I've found have been quite a chore to watch even.
Overall, Shana III is a massive disappointment, and only devoted Shana fans will really have any reason to watch this, the main one being just to finish the story (This is the only reason why I haven't dropped it, I really want to see the end.). I may edit this after I see the end, but I don't expect this show to get much better.
Edit 3/30/2012 after seeing episodes 23 and 24 (The original part of the review was on 1-22):
Episode 23 didn't really help the show (It suffered from the same problems that are very apparent in the series), but episode 24 was worth watching (It's pretty much the only episode really worth watching). We get a decent enough ending which actually resulted in some decent character development. read more