12 of 12 episodes seen
1988: Aim for the Top! is released to massive appeal.
1991: Otaku no Video is released, comically cataloging the life and times of the mythical people at Gainax. Also released in this year is Gainax's first TV anime - Nadia: Secret of the Blue Water.
October 1995: Neon Genesis Evangelion is released to commercial and critical success.
2000: FLCL is released as an OVA sparking wonderment in the minds of children everywhere. Especially those with ADD (and it's hyperactive cousin ADHD).
2004: Gainax recreates it's critical success with Melody of Oblivion, reshaping the future of anime in a way that no other company could. Also Gunbuster.
2005: Gainax and Shaft team up for a groundbreaking anime - "He Is My Master", which revolutionized the idea that "no concept is too basic".
2007: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann makes lots of money and also Gainax starts remakes of Evangelion for a lot of money, too.
2010: Hanamaru Kindergarten becomes the perfect deconstruction of the "I just got diabetes" genre.
October 2010: Recreating the level of depth found in Neon Genesis Evangelion fifteen years prior, Gainax blesses planet Earth with a new anime by the name of "Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt".
2011: Dantalian takes a wildly refreshing concept and makes it even better, because it's Gainax.
April 5th, 2012: An anime of pure legend comes to be. Essentially a magnum opus of not only the best company in the industry, but possibly a pinnacle of animation itself. A lovechild between "Baked man gets artsy" creator NisiOisiN and manga artist Shouji Saeki, Medaka Box is hands down the only anime you'll ever need to see.
So you might as well stop watching anime. Here's why:
Medaka Box is the perfect parody of every anime ever. It manages to do this because it is an anime, and all other anime are anime. Therefore just by existing, Medaka Box is parodying all anime ever. If you didn't think that concept was suave, wait until you get a load of the setting. It's a school. That scenario right there perfectly satirizes Neon Genesis Evangelion (which in case you didn't know also had a school setting in it).
So what about the visuals? Let me start off by creating a metaphor. In the beginning, there was the alpha and omega. In 2012, there's Medaka's babycharmers. Capeesh? Let me end this section by creating another metaphor. I'm so hungry I could eat a horse. By horse I mean Medaka's chestnukes.
What does a Medaka Box sound like? It sounds like the opposite of a really wet fart. Unless you like that the best, because then it sounds just like that. It's hard to describe the sound of Medaka Box other than unparalleled. There is indeed an opening and ending. I thought this was a nice touch. If you like music and sound, then you may end up enjoying Medaka Box very much.
How many characters can fit inside of a Medaka Box? Like more than Bleach. Oh my god there's like three new ones an episode. Are they complex human beings constantly developed by the pressure and situations constructed around them by a series of choices that affect the way they live? No. They're just character designs that sometime speak. Easily the best way to handle characters ever. Thank you, Gainax.
+Medaka's rack. Just look at it.
+A lot of characters. If you like characters you can find them in this anime.
+There is an opening and ending song.
+Wacky random crazy zaniness
+There's a second season
-Medaka isn't real
If you care about anime you will watch Medaka Box. If you care about what it means to live you will watch Medaka Box. There will NEVER be another anime this excellent. It is actually impossible to be this systematically perfect, but leave it to Gaianx!
Okay, yeah, you got me, all that was sarcasm.
Medaka Box takes a high seated position on my list for being extremely unmemorable. It's up there with a select few titles for being so dramatically dull that I really wish I didn't watch it. It's generic, which isn't always bad, but it's also mediocre. A level of mediocrity that I have never seen before watching Medaka Box. There's nothing offensive or out of place in Medaka Box. Somehow when you're being dragged along by this show, you are never surprised. Anything could happen, and because of that Medaka Box fails.
It fails as entertainment because there is no punch line. In its comedy genre it can't manage to pull out something truly wild because there are no rules to keep Medaka Box in check. When one character is considered so good at literally everything (I say this because she is written to be literal perfection) it is impossible to wow the audience. There's nothing a character does that isn't overshadowed by Medaka, and everything she does is just a positive extreme. If someone is fighting for a physical concept, she chastises that character and then fights for an abstraction. This can be a great technique in writing. Personifying an idea within a character is great, except Medaka does nothing with it. The talk about justice and righteousness is all just smoke to cover for the inadequate motivation the writers inability caused them to script. So yes, a bunch of crazy and unrealistic things happen in Medaka Box. Sadly, unlike some shows it does nothing with them other than present them to the viewer and move on. There are no timed gags and there are no running gags. There are no gags other than shock humor that really isn't even all that shocking. It's a comedy with no jokes.
Medaka Box, primarily being a shounen, must have some unique set up right? Nope. It's a pure concept copy of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. Apathetic boy doesn't want to do anything with his high school life, yet an eccentric and attractive female convinces him to do otherwise. They join a club together and there they meet many bizarre people. The one slight alteration between the two productions is that where Haruhi would diverge and create subplots and backplots with it's supernatural characters, Medaka Box just wants to make a battle arc. A character will come in with a problem, and then a battle takes place (sometimes over the course of a few episodes). A villain character is always introduced, and his goals are always blatantly evil. Power Rangers has more intricate villains than Medaka Box. I'd even say that the fights in Power Rangers have more suspense, despite knowing that the Red Ranger will use his super weapon or the Mega-Zord at some point to take down the boss and then everyone will go home happy. In Medaka Box, there really is no suspense. At some point, all you know, is that Medaka is going to win. Why? Because she does so every time. She's perfect.
Mary Sue. The impossible insert character or object of desire. In this case, its the desire. She has everything. Power, popularity, smarts, athletic skill, and so on. It is so easy to write this character. It is so hard to like it. There is nothing unpredictable Medaka will ever do in this anime (other than occasionally surprise the viewer with revealing clothing). Her male counterpart whose name I refuse to even look up because he's that stereotypical is no better. He's simply a self-insert. The writers want you to feel like you're on the adventure, and you live through the most logical choice in the anime - the average guy. If you're a guy, you'll immediately be able to resonate with this fellow. He's average at stuff, he's kinda smart in his own ways, and sometimes he gets angry when his friends are at a disadvantage. He's competitive with another guy who is very much like him. That's as far as the characters in this anime go. There's no interaction that's worthwhile or unique. Even the sound is pathetic, with nothing but pop tracks for it's opening and ending and all instrumental upbeat tracks for its main series. It's all paint-by-numbers.
You change the outfit colors, get new scenery, change the supernatural aspects, include a series of anime cliche episodes (pool etc.) and there you have it. A twelve episode series of nothing better than sleeping pills. The animation is clearly looped when present, otherwise it's stiff characters standing around talking. And there's a lot of talking. It's about whose abstractions are superior, semi-Freudian analysis', and whose most powerful attack really is more powerful. Of course everything has a jargon codename too, because having terminology is really "cool". For example Medaka's Forte #4 turns her hair pink and allows her to hit with the force of a dump truck. Really, why not watch Dragon Ball instead?
If you're interested in this series for its ecchi qualities, it's not even passable in that category. If you saw Medaka's cleavage and said "Oh yes! Sign me UP!" I recommend Queen's Blade, Seikon no Qwaser, and Manyuu Hikenchou instead. Even the fanservice is mediocre.
Please don't watch this anime. There is no way I could recommend this anime to anyone. Not to boys and not to girls. Not if you're ten or if you're twenty and up. Even out of irony I couldn't watch this series again. Anime like this doesn't deserve your time. There will always be something better to watch. If you're struggling between this anime and another one, pick the other one. Thank you. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
That's right! The iconic cover to the 2007 double-platinum album sung by rapper Kanye Omari West was designed by Takashi Murakami (also responsible for bringing the current Louis Vuitton branding fashion to the mainstream). The reason this matters is because the video itself is a fleshed out version of the cover art. It follows the depicted bear (Kanye?) on his graduation day in "Universe City."
The visuals are insane. A single image of this looks weird enough, but to bring the art to a constant level is just bizarre. A real flight of fantasy, Good Morning starts on a small scale and the quickly builds up a pace that ends in a nonsensical bang. The contrasting nature of realism in the songs lyrics against the very unreal presentation of the video make for a very fun and smart watch. Notice the small ironies here and there - the bear graduates from "Dropout University" among other things. It's short, wild, nonsensical and yeah it's not J-Pop. So what? It's a three minute romp through the mind of two very different artists.
Even if you don't like rap music I encourage this anime. Kanye's Graduation album is very much unlike the rap music of Eminem and 50 Cent that you may be familiar with - it uses a lot of electronic synthesizers and focuses a lot more on introspective topics than "gettin' down wit da bitches in da club" and "rottin me yellow (yuno what it is)." Good Morning might come as a surprise to you like it did for me, and who can resist modernist Japanese art anyways? There's no way you can lose out on this one. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Haganai was not an enjoyable anime for me. I did not find it funny past a certain point. For the first three episodes the show revolves around the mistaken delinquent and the two "heroines" of the series - Yozora and Sena. These episodes for the most part were quite sharp, and as Sena and Yozora's antics grew and grew, Kodaka's role as the straight man would be stressed further and further.
So it makes sense when dolloping even more characters into the show would have scary consequences. Kodaka's cosplaying sister, a perverse scientist, a ten year old sister of the church who says poop IN EVERY EPISODE THEREAFTER, a cross-dressing maid (whose original gender I can't even remember) - and you know what? There's a line that is drawn eventually where you're just sitting there watching your Mazui subs on your home computer and go "why do I give a shit about any of these characters?"
Your rhetorical question is not easy to answer. It's a bitter reality, but Haganai is just another generic ecchi harem. Kodaka can do nothing to save the show any more. The craziness gets too out of hand for a single straight man, and amidst the chaos you lose the ability to sympathize with any character. Do I root for Sena? She was just so mean in that last scene! But now Yozora's being illogical! Who am I supposed to side with? Thank goodness the nun got naked! That sure helped alleviate tension!
The characters feel too unbelievable for an anime that tries to deal with an actual issue. It's about a group of freaks trying to become friends, except said group is so eccentric that such personalities could never exist. There is no characterization to any cast member as each is treated as a joke. All other reviewers call Rika the "perverted scientist" because that's what she is; nothing more. She has no feelings, she has no emotions, she just has her gags. There is no insight into any of the characters of the show save Yozora and Sena, and the little that is given into them is so cliche and sparse that it's hard to separate Haganai from the thousands of other ecchi comedies.
Haganai just felt like a jumble of too many ideas, too many characters, and not enough depth anywhere. It is a shallow production laden with offensive language and poop jokes. And not the good kind of poop jokes, just repetition of the word "poop." The show struggles with trying to be realistic whilst adding so many unrealistic elements it just became frustrating.
I do not recommend this anime to anyone. It earns 5/10 (average) and has nothing interesting to offer beyond one or two jokes throughout it's 288 minute run-time. read more
2 of 2 episodes seen
What is a nutbladder? A profound question that has shaken both the very foundation of metaphysics and psychoanalysis. After much discourse on the issue, the Japanese Board of Mental Health and Neurology deemed further discussion on the topic "too intense." Many have taken the debate into their own hands, widely spreading the highly controversial topic onto various image boards, with very positive results. Thanks to these anonymous scientists stationed throughout the globe, much development has recently been made in studying the nutbladder. While many of it's properties and purposes remain a mystery, certain things can be discerned about the nutbladder thanks to these kind anonymous submitters.
1. The nutbladder is a state of mind.
2. The nutbladder is very fragile.
3. The nutbladder, when exposed to Hidamari Sketch, is prone to bursting.
A notable aspect of the nutbladder is the fact that a mental state can "burst." It is not currently known why Hidamari Sketch invokes the nutbladder and how a mental state can do such a thing, but a fringe group of scientific minds have surmised that the reason behind this is the constant mix of colors and high-pitched voices. Subjecting the human body to such unbelievably happy images, whilst barraging it with audio par excellence has been noted to directly affect the nutbladder. This in turn provokes further questions. Why does the nutbladder react so extremely to Hidamari Sketch? Is bursting your nutbladder a positive trait? Why is Yuno so adorable?
We hope to continue this investigation further upon the release of Hidamari Sketch 4th Season, but until then we can only theorize conclusions. Thank you for all your help, and please continue researching this phenomenon by watching Hidamari Sketch x SP!
Note: If this review was over your head, go check out Hidamari Sketch and hopefully you'll begin to grasp the concept. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that Emiya
used to make me smile.
And I knew if it had a chance
Fate/Zero could make those haters dance
and maybe, we'd all be happy, for a while...
But Studio DEEN made me shiver
As Blade Works was delivered
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more ep
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about ufo (in all it's pride)
But something touched me deep inside
So bye, bye crappy CGI
Urobuchi writing this stuff (I could really just die)
TYPE-MOON fanboys jerking left and right
Singing this'll be the day that I cry!
This'll be the day that I cry!
Did you read the tale of Bluebeard?
And do you have faith in all that's weird?
(Sakura could tell you so!)
And do you believe in Hassan's code?
Can the grail save your mortal soul?
And... Can you teach me how to lance... r~eal slo~w?
Well I know that Ilya's in love with him,
so's her mom, Saber, and even Rin.
Lancer kicks off his shoes
because he's gruff and cannot choo~se!
Waver's a lonely teenage angsty fuck,
with no parents, no magic, he just sucks
But he knew he was in luck
He started singing
"WHY WHY OH AH WHY
BRING THIS CHARIOT DOWN AH
OH NO WHY
RIDER STOP OR I MIGHT JUST DIE!"
Singing this'll be the day that he dies,
Singing this'll be the day that he dies...
Now for ten years, we've gone back in time
To a prequel that is far well rhymed
But that's not how it used to be
When ufo animated the kings and queens
that everyone thought would get picked up by DEEN
In a way that delighted you and me~
Oh and while the DEEN was looking 'round
For another show they could just drown...
It was just absurd
ufotable had returned!
And while they read a book of Gen
The masters started animatin'
The prequel to a decent shonen
We were singing bye, bye, cheesy old lines
About people getting killed right when they die
And I saw tons of reviews delicately try
To explain why Fate/Zero must be tried!
Explain why Fate/Zero must be tried!
Animation, pacing, my blood is racing
when I think about Saber's graces
10/10 and growing fa~st!
So land right down on your ass!
Go download this show, it's got a ton class!
It's a show that you will be able to love... a~t last!
But there's a halftime, I must quick presume
You know about, I know it too!
But you should all get up and dance,
before you never get the chance!
Cuz by Spring 2012 the show will be revealed
You'll be behind and unable to feel,
I'm telling you now, I always squeal
that Fate/Zero blo~ws
O ALEXANDER, RIDE!
DRIVE YOUR CHARIOT TO THE BATTLE
AND WIN EVERY TIME!
THIS SHOW IS JUST GREAT!
I COULD NOT EXPLAIN WHY
IN ANYTHING BUT RHYME
NO ANYTHING, NOT ANYTHING!
BUT RHYME! read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
The setting is late nineteenth century, France. If you're interested in European art, then I strongly recommend this anime, as the backgrounds and clothing are all very realistic. Many times, I was captured by the scenery and it is a very strong suit Croisée has that many anime simply leave out.
Immediately, the characters are what will jump out at you. There's an old man, a boy in his late teens, and a young girl. Now this set up could have gone horribly wrong and turned into something perverse and offensive, but it did not. The old man, Oscar, was one of my favorite characters in the show. He's an important father figure to both Claude and Yune, and he brings interesting wisdom, making the show worthwhile to think on even after finishing. Claude Claudel is the protagonist of the series alongside the small Japonaise, Yune. The show is about how Yune adapts to her new environment and how Claude adapts to a foreigner living with him in his deceased father's failing sign shop. The characters work off of each other very interestingly, and I felt it was very easy to sympathize with both of them as their problems were more mundane than extreme. This may lead some to think that the show is very melodramatic, but it is in fact the opposite. The execution here is done very well , and all problems are solved in a way that develops the characters in a believable manner.
There are two other characters that are very much the opposite of our protagonists though, Alice and Camille. They are part of one of the richest families in Paris at this time, and they both have unique relationships with Yune and Claude respectively. Alice is very obsessive with the Japanese culture, which at the time, was highly intriguing to the people of Paris. Her relationship with Yune is somewhat one-sided but very interesting and even complex as the show completely unfolds. Camille's relationship with Claude was very interesting as well, but I do not wish to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet.
I digress but I must include this. Alice supplies an anachronism - the only one in the show - and whilst it was unnecessary, I don't think it should soil the reputation of the show. Alice says "moe" despite the show being set more than one-hundred years before the word came into history. This joke is used more as a 4th wall joke in my opinion, so it shouldn't be too heavily stressed upon.
The sound contributes greatly to the setting and I found it adding to an already wonderful experience. Even the opening is an instrumental piece. The show could have abused the setting and sound to create a very pop soundtrack to sell to the masses, but it didn't and I have great respect for that. The one thing I regret this anime did not do, was include more French words into the script. Though that is understandable, as there is a large challenge in overcoming linguistic barriers. Luckily, as a side-effect, choking strange words down the audiences throat is not what happens either.
Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth is a piece resistant to much of the failings that can be found in both historical and slice-of-life anime. There's not an over-abundance of fanservice yet it is still incredibly enjoyable to watch. Yune is not sold as sexual, and unlike many shows focusing around little girls, she has great characterization, as does the rest of the cast.
The show is slow, but if you're willing to try out a new experience then this may be a good place to start. If you're hesitant to pick this anime up, then I hope this review has encouraged you to do so. I was too, hesitant to continue this show beyond it's first episode, but I am glad that I did, as it became a very memorable anime. It is certainly worth watching, especially since it is very short.
If you enjoyed any of these anime, then you might also enjoy Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth: Victorian Romance Emma, Usagi Drop, and Aria the Animation. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
No. You. Can't.
So this is a "hate" review. I find that GOSICK is flawed and weak in every way, and to summon up a commonly used cliche to describe an undesirable mystery,"it's like watching Scooby-Doo."
So my first comparison will be how Scooby-Doo is, in fact, superior to GOSICK in terms of mystery. Scooby-Doo is an episodic mystery show (similar to GOSICK in this regard) in which a cast of bumbling characters winds up with a mysterious case on their hands, that is always solved (similar to GOSICK). Unlike GOSICK though, Scooby-Doo always introduces it's culprits prior to the solution, and presents CLUES as to HOW the mystery is solved along the way. GOSICK has no development in regards to it's mysteries. They are solved *magically* and I mean, without any clues or evidence nearly every time by a TWELVE YEAR OLD GIRL. She can spot who the cuplrit is by the way he or she holds a gun, for example. She knew that the culprit of murder must be blonde because it was sunny out, for another. Or how about the ever so flattering "the culprit is black because it was dark out." Are you kidding!? So in short, Scooby-Doo is a better mystery because GOSICK is not a mystery. GOSICK is a fantasy anime in which little girls can outwit their older brothers who have detective's licenses.
As every review has said, Kujo is a garbage character. Even the reviews attempting to explain how wonderful GOSICK is mention that Kujo was a generic protagonist. The story is that he is a highly intelligent Japanese student who is transferred to an imaginary European country. So we have the Japanese highschool student cliche with legs as our lead. How creative. This cliche would have worked if the setting was Japan in the 1920s. I am not willing to embrace this cliche if the setting is supposed to be in Europe though. Just so the teenage Japanese audience could relate to the story, they forcibly needed to add a poorly written Japanese boy as the lead? Kujo is so pointless as a character and shows so little development that I doubt he was necessary to any point of the story except to add a filter for the audience to see through and to stir some "romantic scenes" with Victorique.
Except GOSICK is not a romance. There's twenty-two episodes of light banter between two archetypal characters, and then two episodes of reversal, and we're supposed to believe GOSICK is a romance? Unless you are easily deceived by crying and enormously blatant drama then you might. This kind of finish can be termed as "wrap up drama," in which the story lacks development for eleven episodes or so and then in the final two or so episodes a dramatic plot is concocted to give the show lasting appeal, a technique commonly used in slice of life anime as a way to finish a show.
My favorite (sarcasm incoming) part of said ending though, was when about half way through the series a "super serious ultra scary dramatic prophecy of great mysteriousness" was directly told (in a supernatural manner, once again GOSICK would've sat far better as a fantasy) to Kujo by an old dude that he and Victorique would travel far apart and that they would face grave misfortune for the rest of their lives. [[[[SPOILER:]]]] Of course, GOSICK has a happy end. There's no point in introducing this concept of great loss and permanent misfortune if it /does not happen/. Adding in uselessly "epic" scenarios and scenes into an anime does not actually make it an epic.
Now a lot of reviews criticize Kujo, but not Victorique. Victorique is a by the book tsundere character. That's about the level of depth she has other than (once again, unrealistically) her incredibly mature voice. The show actually tried to explain her mannerisms in one episode by delving into her "dark and mysterious and emotional and begrudged" past. Oh my goodness, laugh out loud for real. Oh sure, a little girl can change the tone and pitch of her voice as well as the way she acts by being locked in a prison... her whole life. Is that scientific? No. Is that possible? Well without any facts, statistics, charts, studies, or maybe even imaginary facts, statistics, charts, and studies I would have to say, no! There is no logic behind her behavior other than "uh well she was alone for a while and then she completely changed forever." Reasonable logic, I think not.
Beyond that her character is loved by many for doing pointlessly childish things and puffing out her cheeks much like every tsundere. And she isn't even voiced by Rie, so like, what the point is, I don't know. She's just another piece of bait to attract fans.
What GOSICK really attracts people with is though, is it's Victorian setting (well, and having a small blonde girl as it's cover piece). A few anime share a similar setting in a similar time period - Chrno Crusade, Victorian Romance Emma, and Kuroshitsuji to name a few. The mysteries in this series are so convoluted that this setting isn't even necessary. It's definitely not needed for the mystery, because there is nothing Victorique can't solve, essentially making her solutions as inconceivable as having a futuristic computer solve the mysteries. It also isn't needed for the "romance" because it could have been set in any wartime period (or more exact inter-wartime period, or post-wartime period, or whenever more exactly). So what's it needed for? It's needed for an audience is what I draw from this. It's needed so it can be slightly different, but exactly the same. Anime has only scratched the surface of the Victorian setting, and people are highly interested in such a time, so it draws in viewers. I'm not trying to be a cynic here and tell you that it did all this to draw in fanbase but... I actually think that's why GOSICK has the Victorian setting as it's time period because I logically can't think of any other reason.
Now if you're still reading, I must thank you, because I'm about to get into the muckiest part of this piece - the side characters. To begin unfurling this mess, I have to bring out the ditzy teacher. She does nothing except comic relief and drool over the other comic relief guy (whose hair is a drill, ha ha). The second comic relief character, Grevil, Victorique's older brother earlier in the series is portrayed in every episode as an ignoramus. Yet he's the detective and his little sister solves all his mysteries. (What a fantastical fantasy anime this is!) Then in the final arc, much like the two main characters, instead of getting development throughout this 24 episode series, his character suddenly goes grim and serious. This is not character development. This is a re-write. There is no character development in GOSICK, there is only a re-writing of the whole cast in the last few episodes, that is just too unbelievable even for my willing suspension of disbelief to hold. Another character is Avril, a classic dope supplying comic relief (but like the aforementioned two isn't funny either). So the recurring cast are all dopes with the exception of supercomputer Victorique. Single arc characters are the tritest of the bunch though. The antagonists have their flimsy motive or mysterious prophecy (most arcs tend to center more around supernatural beliefs and occurances, despite the mystery tag) and all the side characters are one-dimension at best. Victorique's mom and the Roscoe twins are actually hilarious though, because they create such a crudely dramatic and painfully bad allusion to Alice in Wonderland. I didn't even know that the whole cast was essentially a poor parody until the ending when Kujo was holding a book with a white rabbit and little girl together. So apparently, their obnoxious roles as characters was to simply imply a better work! How classic! GOSICK wishes it could be Heart no kuni no Alice, which is already a fangirl's rendition and (somewhat of an enjoyable butcher) of the original Lewis Caroll staple, forget Alice in Wonderland itself!
Touching on music is almost always subjective in a way, but I just wasn't impressed. There were no tracks that caught my interest, the openings weren't particularly enjoyable, nor were the endings. The voicing as I mentioned earlier felt unbelievable, too, because Victorique has the voice of a forty-year-old woman. So I can't really complain about the sound beyond how average I found it to be.
I'll end with the art and animation. BONES I've seen better from you. The background art was actually pretty nice, but was far too often engulfed by the ridiculous character designs. The animation in my opinion, was rather poor by BONES standards and the awkward positions characters managed to wind up in often amazed me, as well as the messy looking faces of the side characters. I did not find any character enjoyable to look at, and I feel that Bones just had way too much fun with the bold line tool. Also Victorique has a mishapen and malformed Uguu~ face.
So yeah, I didn't like GOSICK. It was a waste of time to anyone who pays attention to detail and/or wants a mystery anime. And yes, I can say that going into GOSICK I expected a mystery and in every way I was let down. Because this is not a mystery anime, it is a fantasy anime, and I am quite upset that the database won't let me fix this misnomer. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
To firmly address some basics, this is a response to claims such as "original story" and "original concept." I do not believe that C - The Money of Soul and Possibility Control (the title itself a string of nonsensical positively charged words) to be any bit of original. Kenji Nakamura, director of Mononoke and Trapeze, two works I adore, has accomplished nothing with this production. noitominA was also behind this anime, which hyped me for it to be the best of the season. It had all the makings of greatness, but suffers from excessive drama, random side stories, and well, lack of a straightforward plot. This show has no destination, and there have been numerous random twists in the series so far that have completely changed and re-changed what the show was even about.
To address the original story, I must first note a few productions that have existed before C. The main two I want to talk about are "Digimon Tamers" and "Chobits." Digimon Tamers (or Season 3) is about a group of children whose world merges with the digital world, and they gain control over monsters (in case you didn't know). Towards the end of the fifty-two episode series, a monster from the digital world tries to break into the "real world" and begins destroying buildings and erasing humans. This exact same concept is being toted by C, for what purpose I have no clue.
But let me back up.
C starts off with a boy named Yoga, who is taking some sort of economics course at his most likely community college (his friends only talk about keggers, so my guess is that it's a community college - or Harvard). He has a cute friend who tells him he doesn't need to "do everything by himself." Of course, he is a total loner - a real 2D badass in the worst sense. His whole life, he claims, he has done everything for himself. Then suddenly, he is visited by the overly-creepy pink-haired pseudo-mascot with a Chesire-esque smile who offers him infinite monies in exchange for his soul. That's cool and all, but souls are never even mentioned again in the rest of the series so, I think he was lying. So the kid who is really good at yoga says sure thing and then he gets lots of money and starts running around the Financial District (Code word for Digital World) in search of BATTLES. That's right! To get money you have to fight other people and take their star chip- monies! Losing in the Financial District also causes your real self to lose as well (it's not always money, but seeing as there's really no logic that connects how losing money correlates to losing family and friends like some characters in the show do, this aspect really doesn't add anything interesting). He also gets granted, in order to fight, a super desu kawaii persacom! Yeah, here's where the Chobits comes in. He gets a computer girlfriend essentially, and after about two episodes with yoga master she goes from tsundere to dere~dere~love and keeps trying to seduce our professional yoga lead. Spoilers: it is totally unnecessary.
His parents are also missing inside the Financial District, there's disgustingly bad ENGRISH, there's a giant death clock, enormous tentacle monsters appear out of nowhere, people eat money, John Lennon is in a Hawaiian shirt, unnecessarily complex (more so complex by disguise) guild systems exist and much much more useless, pointless, trite, and frustrating material.
There are a lot of "epic" things in this show. I put that word in quotations because they are not epic, they merely lampshade cliches and the inability to weave a coherent and original story with elements of "epicness." The fact his parents are probably dead is used to make the audience feel pity, the end of the world is near is used to give the show some sort of half-assed direction, and the romance between the Asset (persacom thing) and our king of the yoga is used to make the audience feel endeared. This production shouldn't have all of these things going on at once. It's confused as to what it should be doing, so it keeps throwing random things on screen. If you start to discuss the relevance to any of the side characters, it shouldn't surprise that they're confusing too. Most are on screen briefly, die, and C leaves it at that. I'm not sure why, but it happens a lot. Out of say, ten characters introduced from the Financial District in the first five episodes, about four of them are alive. Killing off people doesn't make a show more meaningful! Multitasking is dangerous, especially while driving, and that is where I think C went wrong. Striving to fool the audience with a masked purpose, stripped to it's bare, the story is not original at all.
As for the visuals, I really wish they used this style a little better than for monster fights in a money world. I love this art, but I loved it much more in Trapeze and Mononoke where it was used artistically. In C, the animation is used for monster battles. The CGI is atrociously awkward, and the fight scenes between the large computer generated monsters are boring and pointless. Yoga-brotha loses numerous battles but loses nothing important, so even animating these fight scenes so far has done nil. The opening visuals are fantastic, but not new. The same style was used for Eden of the East, and to be perfectly blunt, I think it was better there. The art is not original either.
A good thing about the sound is that school food punishment does the ending theme. The opening is fine too, but I really have no opinion on that. The voice-acting for Mysu (pesrsacom) and Masakaki (chesire guy) are fine, and I rather like them (as chesire was Irabu from Trapeze, I have a nostalgic enjoyment listening to him). I must say though, any respect for voice acting in this show is lost when I mention Jennifer Satou (who is she? let me tell you). The buxom blonde American secret service agent working for the IMF (I think) has one of the most ANNOYING and EAR RAPE voices I have EVER HEARD. You thought Kuroko from Index was bad?! Wait until you hear this chick voiced with a lollipop in her mouth. The awful stereotypical pseudo-American voice speaks volumes for how little this staff actually knew about American speech manner. (It also doesn't help that her character is literally always eating and that her food of choice is often hamburgers.) Then let's address the bad English. Eden of the East used English wonderfully, racial tones even mixed in correctly (African-Americans from DC sounded like such). In C, you have old white businessmen with thick black accents and women who look like Hilary Clinton sound like 21-year-old Asian girls speaking bad English. Actually scratch the "like," portion, they sound exactly the same because the voice acting is simply bad in this regard. The voice acting wouldn't necessarily be bad or frustrating to hear (the English that is) if it actually had a purpose though. The bad voices lead me to the conclusion that the studio did a poor job in their spare time because they wanted to add elements that made the show look more important than it is.
Which boils right back down to the bad characters. Aside from the previously addressed protagonist who happens to be good at yoga and pointlessly creepy pink-haired guy (Masakaki) there are a huge amount of characters.
[not so spoiler] That all die. [/not so spoiler]
We still have the psychotic John Lennon character who works under the fabulous rich guy who somehow took a liking to our jerk of a protagonist. The rich guy does a bunch of needless dramatic things like launch giant tentacle monsters at "world markets" and wears his fabulous scarf and pimps out a bunch of ASSets (one is named Q. Wicked edgy). John Lennon just runs around and acts eccentric, and his friend with the gold teeth runs around and takes pictures. So there's a lot of eccentricity and running going on in the show, but there once again, is no destination.
So don't let the idea of a show dealing with money fool you. This show has very little to do with money and it has very little to do with actual economics, financing, and business. What it is stripped bare is a shonen quest to save the world, and there's just a bunch of melodrama introduced along the way. C is not a new concept, it is a re-hash and re-buff of kids shows in a "dark and gritty" manner. Nakamura, I thought you of all people could do better than this, but I feel you've fallen for the preteen marketing trap, trying to make a work edgier than it really is.
Thus, I've come to the conclusion that C stands for "Corny."
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13 of 51 episodes seen
I was skeptical as hell for the return of the Gintama anime. To be honest, I went into this anime wanting to slam it as hard as possible, especially upon seeing it's overbearingly high-score. But I won't, because to be frank, I can't.
I don't really think a lot of reviews, complex and heavily-illustrated need to be written about this anime to get a feel for what it's about so let me get straight to the point: It's ridiculous over-the-top comedy, plain and simple. Of course you can't forget the awesome stories built from these insane gags, too.
The scripting, the scenario, specifically the way that the anime envelops you inside - making you a returning character as well, are all ingeniously meshed together.
And of course, after five years... brought to you in 16:9 format.
...With even better songs than ever (hard to believe, I know).
If you haven't seen Gintama before, I recommend checking it out, and I know 201 episodes sounds like a grueling task, but after seeing the pilot episode for the second series, I was left more than satisfied. This episode is reason alone to watch the over two-hundred preceding it.
Even if you're familiar with Gintama and think you're ready for Gintama', let me be the first to tell you; you aren't.
Note: I don't believe this review needs to be edited every week, as most episodes are either episodic or self-contained within an arc. If you've braved the first 201 episodes, don't miss season two. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
SHAFT is my body, and drugs are my blood.
I have created over a thousand seizures.
Unknown to DVD sales.
Nor known to stream on time.
Have withstood food to create many anime.
Yet, those hands will never hold money.
So as I pray, “UNLIMITED SHAFT WORKS”
-a rewrite inspired by those thousand freaking awesome muskets shooting at moustachioed dandelions during the end sequence of the first episode.
You have just stumbled upon the ultimate Mahou Shoujo, one that doesn't care if it's morally ambiguous or not, one with no stock footage, and one where the magic used substitutes candy for bloodbaths.
Story: Magical Girl overtones combined with the trance-like aesthetics of SHAFT and the glorious character designs by a small green man who lives on top of an all-girls Japanese high schools dormitory (see Hidamari Sketch). The script is written by Urobuchi Gen, known for his work on Fate/Zero (hence the poem) and the highly-acclaimed (and crazy good) visual novel Saya no Uta. He's also noted for making me rub out to a pile of sludge. I really like Mr. Urobuchi.
The story is a dark Mahou Shoujo. Not like Nanoha at all. Nanoha had some seinen elements in it, but Madoka is a seinen. It takes all the elements of Mahou Shoujo, chucks them in the trash, and completely rewrites the genre. I should note that I have watched a fair amount of anime tagged Horror here on MAL, and not a single one has actually instilled fear in me like Madoka has. This is the only Mahou Shoujo I have come across that actually covers events like suicide, murder, and death in a serious manner and keeps them believable. There is a heavy amount of psychological elements in this anime, too, I should warn. In congruence, I want to laud how the characters mental states and characterization pushes the plot forward unlike many productions. The psychological aspect is so crucial to the story, that without it, the story would be nonexistent.
A slight digression on becoming a magical girl: (minimal spoilers)
Even after a couple of episodes Madoka does not become a Mahou Shoujo. I've heard a lot of complaints that "she isn't even a magical girl yet, this is stupid" etc. If you're part of this group, please enlighten yourself with this knowledge; Madoka takes a spin on many magical girl aspects. Thus, gaining magical powers, which usually occurs in the first or second episodes of most magical girl series is an event that is pushed farther off in Madoka. Don't get me wrong, the anime doesn't just do this to be nonconformist. Madoka utilizes the obtainment of power as a driving part of the story and character development. What Madoka factors into it's execution that other magical girl anime don't is the risk of death, and how gaining powers makes you even more susceptible to it. That is why I believe the anime didn't just give the girls powers very early in the series, and I hope this short blurb clears up this little misunderstanding.
Art: SHAFT WAS HERE (insert every other company name here) IS A LOSER
The dreamscapes in this anime are stupendous and the frightening nightmarish worlds that appear are undeniably scary. The expansive frontier that the cast is thrown into really delivers the sense of isolation that I believe the staff wanted to present. As for the normal world, SHAFT works it's magic on the buildings and rooms - applying an almost futuristic setting while still within the boundaries of reason. The skyline shots and the pans over wide areas are notably beautiful and quite reminiscent of Ef - a tale of memories (another SHAFT work). There has been some complaint about the character designs, but I would say that they're used in this anime the same way Higurashi used theirs. With the lure of a peaceful and happy scenario, fleshed out with a goofy looking set of characters, the anime seems so innocent. That is until you watch a little of it. Don't create a predisposition on this anime by it's naive appearance, this is one scary anime.
I would also like to praise the transformation scenes. They are never extensively erotic, as that aspect tends to be abused in anime such as Moetan or Nurse Witch Komugi, and they are always different. The second time a transformation scene happened I double took the scene and watched it again to make sure that my eyes weren't deceiving me (so I guess I ended up watching the animation twice anyways, but regardless). That's right, a magical girl transformation sequence that is different every time and isn't overused to consume air time.
Sound: The opening is like this fabulously intense orchestration that just makes you feel LARGE. The opening animation accompanying the sound definitely contributes to the song and I find it very fitting. One thing to note about the OP is that there's a larger portion of crying than there is of laughter, which should be hint enough to prepare you for an experience that doesn't want to make friends. The ending preformed by Kalafina (Kara no Kyoukai, Sora no Woto) is eargasmic. It has a brutal and rough distorted sound, and isn't full shown until the ending of the third episode. It's stark contrast with the opening really works. The animation set to the ending is a bit spooky if anything, and the hard angry vocals of Kalafina make it all the more intense. The sound track throws in some "acid music" (there's not a word for what SHAFT has done here) so just watch out for that music. Word on the street is that side effects include chronic arousal and aviator application. I can personally vouch though, that the soundtrack is varied and creative, and that it's hard to remove your sick shades for more than a few seconds while watching.
Character: Madoka Kaname is the average personality-less protagonist who is best described (by herself) as "kinda dumb" and "has no special skills." She leads an average life with a loving family. Her friends are a tomboy and aradere that at first prospect have no impressive qualities. Then Madoka learns about Mahou Shoujo who fight in secret to defend society. They fight entities called "Witches" that spread distress and anxiety. If you're expecting a happy-bubbly slice-of-life, you couldn't be anywhere further away from the mark. Mahou Shoujo Magica Madoka is a very dark anime. It quickly shifts from drinking tea to suicide's with unsettling skill. The characters are a whole lot more complex than the average Mahou Shoujo - where the characters often don't develop at all, within the first few episodes so much development occurs that you might be wondering if you're watching the same anime (and the development is presented incredibly believable). With Urobuchi Gen on staff mind shattering moments are abundant. Gen has even come out straight and said this is an anime that can be understood even better re-watched. The characters are a lot more in depth than you would expect from a Mahou Shoujo, and are surprisingly realistic. If you want moe~moe~ magical girls, then please refrain from watching Mahou Shoujo Magika Madoka, because Madoka deals a lot more with relationships and human issues than it does try to be cute and funny. Yoshinoya-Sensei also plays a cameo (but she's wearing a wig so watch carefully).
Enjoyment: This is your brain on drugs. Cue Freezepop's song Brainpower.
Overall: Madoka has an uncanny knack for going from quaint to disturbing incredibly fast. It also has the ability to BLOW YOUR MIND. So go watch it, okay?
After the final episodes have aired, I can say with confidence, if you're willing to brave through the first three episodes that totter between "cliche Magic Girl anime" and "mysteriously dark" then you'll be pleasantly surprised that the latter is what you'll receive throughout. Madoka ranks with very few anime. It is one that start with a whimper and ends with a whimper, but is packed with bangs throughout.
The following are notes I added after each episode aired between January 7th, 2011 and April 22nd, 2011:
PS: I WISH MY MOM GAVE HI FIVES LIKE MADOKAS DOES
WHAT AN EXECUTIVE
PS2: GIGA MUSKETTT BUREEAKKKKERRRRRRRR... and imma sip some tea now.
PS3: Needs a hardware update.
PS4: I cry out of fear watching this.
PS5: fat chicks yum
PS6: DON'T PLAY WITH MY EMOTIONS LIKE THAT HOMG
PS7: I can see Kyouko being all like "GIMME ALL YO FOOD, OR I WILL EAT YOU"
PS8: Fried Kyubey on a Stick - A southern American delicacy
PS9: I think I'm watching a Darren Aronofsky production
PS10: I liked this episode because they explained Homura's hair.
PS11: Battler would approve of this end read more