26 of 26 episodes seen
Smith: Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Yes? No? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself, although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can't win. It's pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?
Neo: Because I choose to.
Personally I enjoyed the series. Why do I like it so much in contrast to the harsh opinions of my peers?
One thing is for sure, people lose sight that the most important thing about being human is that we choose to be human, we choose to be stubborn, irrational, and ignorant despite the fact the truth is right in front of us. Human tenacity is simply amazing, how we constantly fight on and on. Despite the odds despite the fact we may be wrong, we can choose to fight and persist in what we believe in and this is precisely the case with Battler, who constantly denies the existence of magic throughout the series despite the fact it's right in front of him. You're probably thinking, "This reviewer is a complete idiot." People make the mistake tenacity is always the bad ignorance that exists in this world. At times they are the same thing, but we cannot forget that it is the same tenacity that led to the exploration of ideas and creation of inventions we use every day. Before the space travel was possible, people believed anyone who dreamed of traveling to the moon as mentally unbalanced or just plain stupid. Those scientists who had the drive to make space travel possible constantly ignored the harassment and ridicule of their peers through their own tenacity and perseverance to make their own dreams come true. As a result those same people that were called "loony" are the most respected people in our society and they've bestowed upon us technologies, such as cell phones and silicon computer parts, for our everyday use that we usually take for granted. I liked Battler's constant endurance throughout the series, he never gives in despite the odds. Call him stupid, but just like us, he never knew what was going to happen in the end. He fights not because he's denying magic, but because he refuses to accept such a fate as a mysterious and brutal death. Battler fights for what he believes in despite what others may think and this catches on with all the other characters toward the end of the series. Jessica, George, and many others begin to fight fate rather than accept it, because it's fate that denies them their dreams and hopes of the future. Sometimes we don't realize this, but fate can be changed. Despite the fact the world comes down around us, we can make the best of it and change the current environment into something positive in order to bring about a better tomorrow. We can criticize their character and actions since we have hindsight of the entire series, but, everyone's, especially Battler's, tenacity, sense of justice, and value for life is something to be admired until the end of the series.
On the flip side, Beatrice we can all the "sum of all fears." She in the beginning, is the epiphany of cruelty, sadism, and blindness. She is what I see as the people who harass and ridicule those who believe in something that they truly put their hearts in. However, I've learned, especially in the recent months, that people aren't cruel on purpose. I've began talking with peers at my school who have harassed and constantly put me down. I discovered that while some of them acted out in blind ignorance due to their superior status as the Valedictorian or star athlete without any past consideration for feelings (much like Beatrice), a lot of them have personal problems, problems that really dwarf my own problems. Most of both parties forget that I'm a human too, not just that little quiet person in the classroom and, as a result, cause a lot of unnecessary tension and anger. Of course when people begin to understand each other, that's when they can put aside differences and work together toward common goals. You can always simplify Beatrice being a tsundere character, but I always like to find deeper meaning in any anime I watch rather than criticize it for some bad faults. We should always keep in mind the there are messages that the author sometimes wants to get across and uses the cover "entertainment" to keep that message hidden. Why? Well if the message was so obvious then we wouldn't be able to appreciate it more would we?
However, everyone is blind to the one invisible magic that brings about happiness in the world. That magic is love. Without love we wouldn't have actions such as forgiveness or kindness. We would fuel ourselves with hate and anger and lead very self-destructive lives in the process. There's also the magic of choice, because we choose to do something that we do it. Battler fights against magic not necessarily because he hates it, but because he refuses to acknowledge defeat that would forever leave the fate of his family a mystery, and a cruel fate that would be.
The actual game is something very interesting because of its unstable and volatile nature. So many lopsided rules and its very tricky. For the most part, I was able to keep up with non-magic conjectures and I came out with a few of my own that could have worked out. The text colors were the really difficult parts because they can slash out a ton of conjectures that were once viable and now null. I thought it was fun, though I was looking forward to the use of the purple text from the original sound novel. It's disproving that a murder was caused my magic. Despite the fact it is perceived that it was caused by magic, there's always Schrödinger's cat: Battler wasn't there during the incidents, neither were we. Although the witch presents it to us as magic, it could have been done by human hands. Who knows? Maybe the Beatrice never needed the sacrifices, she was just playing God the entire time using magic. Maybe Beatrice is Battler's near-death experience, Battler fighting himself to live for the sake of his family. Maybe Beatrice is completely real and all that magic is presented to us as complete truth. We can never be certain. Just as there's no way we can prove that even our reality is corporeal or illusion, we cannot prove if the visible "magic" presented to us it physically real or false.
Onward with the review:
Story (8): We can all the story a game. A game that tests our wits and creativity. A game the really tests us to see whether we can find plausible solutions to an increasingly difficult dilemma. It's almost like an advanced science, where deeper and deeper research into more vague and difficult problems become close to impossible. It's a gamble, you never know what's going to happen. But we know the more risk we take, the less we would succeed. However, the payoff is much greater, therefore at times it's worth the risk. It applies to us in real life. In science, the more difficult problems scientists tackle, the less likely they'll come up with solutions to those problems. However, if they do come with solutions then they've contributed a lot more to society and built a new bridge into larger, unknown territory of study than if they took small problems and solved them easily. Battler faces an ever daunting battle with Beatrice that tests his resolve, wits, and risk. He takes a huge risk facing all odds for the sake of living, for the sake of avenging his family for such misfortune and sadness, for the sake of love. He might lose over and over again for taking such an enormous risk, but if he wins in the end, it will payoff substantially. I liked the game a lot, therefore I gave the game or the "story" it's high rating.
Art (6): Victorian-styled, wealthy class art was smooth and clean. The background and setting were all done really well. Character design was simple, but got across their personality really well. The one thing that really turned me off was the obvious fan-service done to most of the female characters. I mean if you're planning to do a serious series of wit and thinking, then at least make the characters serious. I mean yes breasts would be pretty obvious with the Victorian dresses they wear that tightly holds their waist and show off their busts, but the size of those breasts are enormous. On top of that, they add bunny homunculi halfway through the series, bloody bunny homunculi! If I knew any better this series would have been a blasted hentai game in disguise. It's a mystery-psychological series. If they made the breast sizes of most of the female characters more natural and regular, as well as keep to the wealthy, Victorian style of art, then it would have contributed to the overall serious mood of the series.
Sound (9): I loved the OP. In one word, it was epic. The overall music and voice acting was done really well, none of the voices stood out of place and the background music contributed to the overall mood of the series quite nicely. In fact, the voices of the characters were done extremely well. I really was disgusted by characters such as Eva and Rosa whose voices contributed so well to their overall despicable characters.
Character (4): Despite the fact I loved heroes such as Battler and Ange, as well as antagonists, like Eva and Rosa, I really hated the lack of character development for most of the characters. Yes we know it's a psychological-mystery thriller and you're supposed to include a lot of characters for red herring purposes to keep us busy, but none of those characters can be used as red herrings, or even culprits, because the lack a defining characteristic or fact that helps describe their alibis. I've read a a good number of mystery novels, and each one always gives at least a defining detail of character that may have helped us solve the mystery or drove us into the completely wrong direction with the red herring. Heck they might have left even a small quirky hint that would allow us to make conjectures to certain characters we read about in the mystery. Unfortunately Umineko doesn't accomplish this in the slightest bit and just puts out characters in this story just as lambs for the slaughter, serving no purpose other than to be killed rather than to lead us off and trick us.
Enjoyment (9): It was fun playing the game. One thing is for sure. If you're looking for a mystery that resolves itself at the end, then Umineko is not the series for you. If you're looking for something that constantly makes you brainstorm, use your wits, and makes you ponder quite a bit, then Umineko is something youwould enjoy.
Overall (7): Basically speaking, the series is good if you like to think quite a bit and can find a lot of positives and reflections in the series. If you're looking for straight out entertainment or emotion, this is not the series for you. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
Most slice-of-life high-school comedies I have seen so far were only comedies and were really light on the plot and lacked sustenance. The one thing I really liked about Toradora! is that it did have a solid plot and good character development. More accurately put, Toradora! is a high-school comedy romance that involves two characters who develop and unlikely relationship to pursue their romantic interests. Ryuuji and Taiga first encounter each other in the most unusual (if not hilarious) circumstances and both create an alliance to help each other get with the others' romantic interest (which is coincidentally enough their best friends). As the series develops the two undoubtedly develop revelations that they were never aware of before. Facing inner demons of the past or battling with ambivalent feelings in the present, the two go through an adventure that all of us can relate to in one way or another.
The one aspect of high school attraction is that it's puppy love, most of the time we're just attracted to them for no reason at all. Most of us like someone during high school on a whim, despite the fact one person likes another, the two people could be in completely different worlds and have nothing in common. I know when I liked someone it wasn't because of their looks or their personality, I just liked them. Toradora! shows this characteristic through both Taiga and Ryuuji. Both protagonists like a certain someone not necessarily because deep personality or similarities with interests, but because of the raging hormones that cause random attraction. However, as the story progresses the two begin to realize there is more to actual love than simple attraction.
In short the series was excellent, it kept the laughs and could evoke some tears, but it was sweet all the way through.
Now for the review:
Story (8): Since this is my first romantic comedy, my impression of the series was highly positive, mainly because I'm used to watching plotless high-school series that just induce random laughs. The story itself was well executed. There were outcomes that were extremely predictable. Yet, within those outcomes were surprises I would have never expected. They story was cute and very fun to watch. Lots of heartwarming scenes as well as sad scenes that really could make a few people cry.
Art (7): Simple, clean, and vigorous. Toradora! has enough detail to attract possible viewers with just aesthetics, but the art is simple enough so that certain emotions and feelings could be exaggerated throughout the series. The colors are bright and keep you awake throughout the series.
Sound (7): The OP and ED of the first half is upbeat and positive to emphasize the comedy part of Toradora! The BGM for those parts were good and served to aid in the overall delivery of the laughs attributed to the comedy scenes. However, what really impressed my is the more deep BGM's that really set the mood for the more serious scenes of Toradora! On top of this is the change in the OP and ED during the second half of the series. Although the songs are upbeat, they contrast to the first two songs used in that the second half OP & ED were slower and clean and had more meaning to the lyrics. I have high praise for the music as well as the seiyuu's who really did a great job in their roles. Taiga's cute, "dere" voice was so adorable in contrast to her sarcastic and angry one! Props to Rie on a job well done.
Character (9): The character development within the series was something predictable, yet I always like to see the development because sometimes I'm able to learn a thing or two by watching the characters develop and face problems that I might have. I was able to relate to the characters so much in terms of relationships, yet I must say that the impulsiveness that comes out of those relationships is apparent, and strike a sense of unrealistic setting since most things don't work out the way we want them to. I liked the characters. From the scary-faced, yet kind-hearted Ryuuji, to the fiesty, yet sensitive Taiga. One character that I really liked was Ami. She was almost like a self-aware foil to all the characters. Ami picks up on even the slightest details which reveal something about another character that that character doesn't even realize. I think the creator of Toradora! was a genius for putting Ami in because it gave us an "adult" perspective of what was going on in the story when there was no proper "adult" in the story who knew the other characters intimately well. Ami reminds me of my parents, who are able to pick up on certain actions and speech patterns I have that give away something I don't even realize. Yet, they do actively help me in the background rather than simply hinting at the issue like Ami does. Ah, I'm getting off topic! Simply put, I loved that cast of Toradora!
Enjoyment (8): Not much more to say about enjoyment. Characters are well developed and their interactions are fairly human. The music and seiyuu's were both very desirable. Art was clean yet simple. The story is just an awesome romantic comedy! If I said anything more I would be a broken record!
Overall (8): Toradora! is a fresh series that any new or veteran anime fan would enjoy. It has an enjoyable plot and a colorful cast that everyone could relate to. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy themselves in the simple, yet cute story of high school teens and love. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
Simply put, if you the enjoy slice-of-life and enjoyed A-Channel then you should go ahead and watch +A-Channel, they're pretty funny! If you despise this genre, why are you even looking at this bonus in the first place? read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Was it amazing?
I'm going to be honest, it was a run-of-the-mill moe slice-of-life anime series that is supposed to entertain through hilarious incidents of normal day-today activities. Everyone is right when they criticize A-Channel. It lacks substance and is a subpar, repetitive slice-of-life anime with beach trips, summer festivals, school life and hang outs. It didn't make me laugh as hard as Yuru Yuri or Lucky Star. It didn't make me go "Awww!" for the cute touching scenes like in K-On! You possibly can't compare it to slice-of-life beasts like Lucky Star when it comes to uniqueness. Hey, at least the A-Channel girls did not have a club like the K-On! cast!
So why did I like A-Channel?
One of the main things people forget nowadays is the appreciation for the little things and learning certain lessons form a variety of experiences. Of course A-Channel is not a Clannad in terms of an emotional roller-coaster, but when in real life will your spouse come back because of a wish that turned time back and fixed the death? What I'm trying to get across here is that different anime can teach a variety of different lessons that we can apply in our lives. I've learned many deeper life lessons from Clannad about family and from Ano Hana about moving on, but I've also learned some general lessons about daily life. This is especially true after seeing Tooru progress through the series. Although development for Tooru is rather flat and lacks dynamic, she did remind me of myself at many times. Her cold attitude and distrust toward everyone in the beginning is pretty much how I am toward new people or just people in general. I share her same work ethic, get things done efficiently, respect older people, and help people where ever you can. Seeing Tooru all over Run definitely hit a soft spot for me. Why? Like Tooru, I only trust people who've I've known for a long time and learned to trust. It's hard for me to make new friends because of distrust of people that bullies instilled in me during my middle school life. Learning to make new friends and making new experiences is a vital part of living. It is something I always forget to do, yet Tooru's journey in this short series reminded me about that throughout life, you need friends, you need to have a lot of friends to live a happy life. Every time she learns some sort of lesson, I have this feeling of warmth inside. Even Run taught me a lesson. Despite the fact someone may be a bit torpid or even mean, there sometimes may be some goodness inside of that person. At many times I want smack people like Run upside the head at times, but in the end those people can be the most warmhearted people you can ever meet. Lessons like these, I know, remind me to do something trifle, yet so important to the actual living of my life. I liked the series not because it was entertaining, but I was able to take something from it and make that lesson mine.
I can't say I would recommend this to people who are familiar with the slice of life genre because it isn't amazingly funny or entertaining when compared to K-On! or Lucky Star. It will be repetitive to those who have seen many slice of life high school series. I can say though, if you try A-Channel out, you might learn a thing or two like I did. On the same token, you can say it's boring and move on to the next series: one that actually will entertain you.
Onward with the review:
Story (6): Most slice-of-life anime series have no plot. Just a simple get together and do something episodes that give a few laughs and may make you say feel fuzzy inside at the end. Again this is my standard for these types of moe slice-of-life anime series. This is not the judgement of entertainment I had from the series!
Art (10): What really blew me away here was the amount of detail put into this slice-of-life series. Most of these types of series are cheaply made and quickly released as a means to keep the audience's attention on the moe moe kawaii characters in the series. The amount of detail in A-Channel really added to the depth of connection I had with the protagonist. I know I'm exaggerating here, but I felt as though I was really in and feeling the setting. The details, especially depth perception and movement, were sharp and smooth. This was probably one of the most important factors in my actual learning from and enjoyment of the series.
Sound (9): This was the second aspect that really took me home. I really loved the background music, OP, ED, and Character Songs that were played during A-Channel. It really did add on to the mood of the series. I can't say the soundtrack was compelling here like in the soundtrack of Clannad, but the music was a major contributor to the emotional connections I was able to make throughout the series. In terms of character voicing and SFX, they were the same to me as every other slice-of-life anime series. Nothing special, just following the mold of slice-of-life high school comedy.
Character (7): "Wait! I thought you were able to learn lessons from these characters!?"
Yes I did say that. I also said I thought one of the above said characters was flat (no pun intended) and was not dynamic or interesting in any way. These characters fill in certain slice-of-life archetypes like Yuuko being the Mary Sue of the series and Run, the nice girl who is unfortunately the oblivious airhead. This is much like Mio and Yui respectively from K-On! Not that I have with said archetypes, sometimes it can get a bit repetitive. Yes, it's true. Girls do bicker and talk about the most trifle of things such as body weight, homework, or cute things, but I see and hear that already in real life. Yes, when exaggerated in anime form it can be very humorous, but this still doesn't dismiss the fact that I have heard these petty conversations that can get old and boring in a heartbeat. A-Channel pulls the character interactions and archetypes well, just like every other moe slice-of-life blob I have seen. There is no complex character development. Even Tooru, who goes through the most change, doesn't really go through THAT much change. Simply put, the characters were good, but not amazing or spectacular.
Enjoyment (7): While the comedy was humorous and managed to steal a laugh from me here and there I wasn't laughing hysterically like I did with Yuru Yuri or Lucky Star. The main selling point for me was the warm and fuzzy scenes in each episode. I was able to make a lot of connections and learned a few things from A-Channel. The entertainment level as a comedy was pretty low since I've seen many slice-of-life moe series already, but the everyday lessons learned from this series is something unique that I seldom get from most anime series.
Overall (8): No point in beating the dead horse. In short, if you like slice-of-life moe series despite the lack of depth the series presents, then by all means watch it. Maybe you'll take something from it like I have. If you're here find nonstop fits of laughter, this is not the anime for you. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Quite honestly I was questioning myself for a while whether I should watch this series or not. After reading the title and understanding the literal translation of the title, "Slow Yuri", my first impression was less than favorable. I'm not a huge fan or ecchi or yuri, in fact I tend to shy away from these anime genres that I usually perceive as taboo. I decided to give this series a go and watch it parallel with A-Channel (which is also a very good series in my opinion). What does this have to do with anything? I was actually able to appreciate this anime a lot more while watching this anime with A-Channel.
It seems like the mold for Slice-of-Life lately is four girls hanging out together doing random things while hilarity ensues. Actually this isn't always the case. While watching Yuru Yuri, I was laughing hysterically from the beginning to the end of every episode in contrast to my feeling of warmth and content after watching a channel of A-Channel. What I'm trying to get across here is that each slice of life anime has a different style and evokes a different type of emotion that makes you feel good in the end. This is important because I see many reviews and critics giving critical comments against a certain series because it "doesn't compare to anime giants like K-On!" I dislike this immensely because they don't appreciate the series for what it's worth. For Yuru Yuri, the series is supposed to make you laugh until your stomach hurts. I mean, a bunch of moe girls with questionable sexual orientations attempting normal tasks in the most ludicrous ways is absolutely hilarious. Of course you begin to question your status of pedophilia after realizing you're watching a bunch of moe middle schoolers, but hey! They can make you smile on the worst of days. In the beginning I thought I would be disgusted, but in the end I absolutely loved the series and have no regrets watching this series.
Before I go into the review, I want to point out that this is a Slice-of-Life anime. If you're not entertained by characters doing everyday things or cute character designs then avoid this. You should also avoid this if you are revolted by even the slightest bit of yuri or ecchi content, because about 70% of the series is driven by yuri or ecchi comedy.
Onward with the review:
Story (6): Let me clarify this. This is not a gauge of how much I enjoyed this series. It's the actual story itself. Slice-of-Life anime are notorious for having little or no plot that drives the series, just comedy or that warm fuzzy feeling inside after watching to friends make up after a fight. Slice-of-Life comedies always focus on multiple subplots that only serve as a means to bring about laughter from its viewers. At times there might be a sense of reflection, even deep reflection from one or two of the characters, but these are not necessarily the plot drivers you see in series like Madoka Magica. In Yuru Yuri, the story focuses on fours girls who are part of the "amusement club" that seeks to entertain its members by doing fun things. This isn't really a plot, but more a setting of both what the characters are like and what they will do in terms of their actions. Of course, this is not story, just setting. So I gave the series the fair rating like I do with all the other Slice-of-Life anime I've seen come up lately, because it's all the same setup.
Art (7): This and character can really affect the actual popularity of Slice-of-Life series. Okay, so the artist can put together a bunch of girls in the usual after school club doing hilarious things. However, the questions about defining the series begin to appear: Can the artist make the characters and art stand out? Can the artist compliment the characters with appropriate settings and background that can help bring out the character's colors and design? There is no doubt about those facts here. Pony Canyon did an excellent job here animating these adorably kawaii girls together. The backdrop and general setting of when and where this series takes place is simple. This keeps the lighthearted and comedic mood of the series. It never hurt my eyes, and I was always smiling with the cute designs of the moe characters in Yuru Yuri.
Sound (7): I must say I really enjoyed the music of the series, especially the Character Songs, the OP song. and the ED song. All of the songs were upbeat and happy. It was like reliving the Caramell Dansen period of my life. I really enjoyed the songs here a lot. The sound effects and background music during the actually show were the same to me as any other Slice-of-Life anime. It's not bad at all, in fact it compliments the scene and action that the characters are in. However, that same statement can be applied to a lot of other anime so again I'm going to say sound effects and background music are good, but don't amazingly stand out.
Character (10): I really liked the characters here. I find it similar to the characters in Lucky Star where characters fill in some sort of niche role in order to satirize the otaku community. We all know Yuru Yuri isn't a satire, but the writer of the series made a colorful cast of characters and uses them in amazingly hilarious ways.
We have Toshinou Kyouko, the Genki Girl, who likes to go about doing her own things selfishly and blantantly who of course is stopped by the Bokukko, Funami Yui who serves as the voice of reason.
We have the Yandere, Yoshikawa Chinatsu who is completely obsessed with Yui-senpai and despises everyone else.
The Ikeda twins, the Meganekkos who are also perverts as well, revealing their fantasies at critical moments creating anti-climax or creating a lot of chaos in their wake.
Sugiura Ayano, the glorious student council VP and tsundere about Kyouko (both whom Chitose always yuri fantasizes about).
The tsundere pair of Furutani Himawari and Ohmuro Sakurako who fill the roles of dekapai and pettanko respectively and play the role of the humorous takahashi couple.
There's more to the characters here than what I've described, but with these details and more character depth, this motley crew of characters will have hilarity following after them like a dog chasing after a squirrel.
I feel like I'm forgetting something. Oh well time to move on with the rest of the review! xD
Enjoyment (9): Again the sense of comedy is just awesome. Putting the most generic characters of anime together as moe middle school girls in an ecchi and yuri comedy is simply genius. I frowned at it before, but now I find myself entertained and generally lighthearted after watching the series.
Overall (8): Pretty much everything I said above in a nutshell. I liked this series a lot because of the comedy and laughter brought about by the cute, yet refreshing cast of characters in the series. The jokes and gags are satisfyingly devious and can make you smile any day. If you're looking for some quick, cute, and devious comedy, Yuru Yuri is definitely your best bet.
13 of 13 episodes seen
Morita-san wa Mukuchi is based on the 4koma, actually, IS the literal adaptation from the 4koma. With this in mind the purpose of these shorts are basically the same as the 4koma in newspapers: drop a quick funny or give a humorously warm ending. This is the point people are missing and it's understandable since we're used to watching anime like K-On!, Lucky Star, A-Channel, etc. in this genre. We're not used to this short short approach to anime, but once we do, we should keep this in mind in our reviews as it is what we ARE reviewing. Comparing this anime to said above slice-of-life giants is like comparing Robot Chicken to Family Guy or an orange to an apple. Morita-san wa Mukuchi and Lucky Star may be in the same genre, but are completely different in their goal in pleasing the audience. Where Lucky Star develops a "plot" around satirizing Japanese otaku culture, Morita-san wa Mukuchi focuses on quick humor, much like you see in newspaper comics in your local bagel shop. In this sense, Morita-san wa Mukuchi's plot IS the quick humor it induces on its audience. Anyway enough of my babbling and onward toward the review.
Story & Enjoyment (9): Again, Morita-san wa Mukuchi's plot IS the quick humor it induces on its audience. There are small events and occurrences that happen in the shorts that lead to a quick laugh. When I watch anime on the go, I've always had the problem of getting interrupted by errands and tasks at hand, which of course ruin the episode altogether. I liked the short length because I can get a laugh and brighten my day in a pinch before I have to attend to work. I watched this throughout the week when I during hallway time or free time before my classes, sports, and clubs. Afterward, I've always been in a better mood.
Art & Character (8): Simple, yet clever. Backdrops and setting is all simple, getting straight to the point of location and type of situation. Character art falls under the same praise as well. Morita's blank eyes that clearly express her level of deep thought. Miki's short hair and pink hair clips the radiate her energetic and cheerful persona. Hana's curly hair and wide eyes that give her this shy and self-conscience look. Basically character designs reflect their actual personalities. Along with the art, the characters were cleverly made. Deceptively simple, each character individually commanded no attention or any serious merit. However, when these simple characters are all put together, they created some extremely humorous scenes I enjoyed a lot.
Sound (7): No complaints. Upbeat intro to bring you prep you for the humor about to be induced. Simple background sound and music that compliment the situation and humor. The characters' had voices that fit, which is key to making any type of slice-of-life anime funny.
Overall (8): Again, since this is a series or short shorts that are meant to induce a bit of humor. Morita-san wa Mukuchi are for those busy anime fans who enjoy slice-of-life comedy, and want to feed their anime addiction throughout a busy work day. This is my primary reason why I enjoyed it: I could enjoy and laugh at anime at school without ruining anime with real life interruptions! read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
Basically this is an omake for Azmaria fans as well as an educational series about what goes on about the plot. It gives a lot of background of the time period, Catholic mysteries, and fictional elements associated with these series.
I find this useful, not because I didn't know about the information present, but I was able to show my fellow viewers this guide so that they could understand better. Since I'm obsessed with pre-WWII history and I go to a Catholic school, I know what was going on throughout the series, but I know many people who watch anime may not understand the context in which the series takes place or the mysteries surrounding the series. This guide is useful for the above specified reason.
Watch this only if you're an Azmaria fan or if you are curious about certain details within Chrno Crusade. read more
3 of 3 episodes seen
Interlude, by Merriam-Webster's definition, is an intervening or interruptive period, space, or event. How this can be applied to this OVA is moot. We can conclude that the most likely meaning of the Interlude in this anime is the world of memory, in which all of our characters live their lives in this "intervening pause" of the apocalypse. The tautology of the word can clearly be seen in every intro where one of the heroines gives a monologue (or even a soliloquy) about an abstract idea concerning despair in regard to personal ambition, the point of life, or obliviousness to the world around us. I may mention the motifs and symbolism I see throughout the series, which may be full of praise, but this does not reflect my actual review of the OVA as a PRODUCT.
Now the review:
(5) Story: There is no true plot. Just an abstract outline of the apocalypse in parallel with a dream world that was formed to preserve the lives and sanity of a number of humans left in the world. Now the beauty of this lack of plot is that the director gives us a piece of his work, his art and we're supposed to see what is truly being expressed throughout his work. There are questions imposed here that make you really think. Just to name a few:
"Is sacrifice really worth it if a person you're sacrificing for is oblivious to your efforts?"
"Could you live with yourself if everyone else died but you?"
"Does the power of love juxtapose with the shame of regret in times of extreme trauma or does the power of love triumph over the shame of regret in those moments?"
"When and where does morality end and begin?"
I mean you could go on for hours trying to see the symbolism within this short OVA and determine what the author was trying to get across. However, many of my fellow anime fans know that anime is used as a direct means to express a certain emotion, thought, or outlook on an aspect of life or human values. However, making this OVA abstract detracted heavily from actually making this OVA enjoyable for most viewers.
(9) Animation: This is one aspect which the producers clearly did not fail in. The art in this work was very smooth, clean, and crisp within the memory world. The apocalyptic world is portrayed in a fuzzy, surreal manner, giving way to the feeling of shock; how the world became what it was never supposed to be. I can't say the detail was simply amazing, but they way the artists pulled it off did contribute to the sense of illusion and loss of reality within the OVA.
(7) Sound: Again no complaints. Just as with the art, the producers did not neglect on the sound effects, voice acting, or music of the series. However, I can clearly see that they did not go out of their way to use sound as a tool to further convey the feelings and emotions of confusion and dark self-reflection in regard to the main character's interaction with his surroundings, which is why I gave it a positive, but not an outstanding rating.
(6) Character: Again, in relation to to my story rating, I believe the characters are used as a kind of foil, not just to the main character, but to ourselves. The characters were not very well developed because the I believe the director made it his intention to keep his story abstract. The only person whom I believed was really was developed was Mutsuki Saegusa who sacrificed everything for a step-brother whom she truly cared for. I can look into the characters and begin to delve into the realm of philosophy asking questions about myself, humanity, and the surreal. However, this is an anime review so I'm avoiding any digressions when I can! ;)
(9) Enjoyment: I can go forever about this one. Let's keep it short.
I'm a very deep thinker. This OVA presents questions and innuendos that really made me think about values, morality, humanity, etc. Because of this, I enjoyed the anime a lot because it made me reflect on a lot of ethics we follow today.
(6) Overall: Again this OVA is not for people looking for amazing action or getting blown apart in terms of psychological thinking, like with Inception (I know it's not anime but it's a good example). It's supposed to stimulate reflection and provoke some sort of response in terms of what symbols you can pull out of the anime and discuss with other viewers. I enjoyed it as provoker of deep meditation. As an OVA, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they are into finding deep, hidden themes and meanings within the shows. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Senkou no Night Raid is about the Sakurai Agency, a fictional organizations that leads covert missions with superhuman agents to carry out the interests of Imperial Japan.
Now why did I give this anime such a high rating? My reason is because I love Asian history and know a lot about it especially the late 1800 to the early 1900 era. With this in mind, I had a pretty good idea of what was going on in the story. It sounds smug and biased, but this anime does require a bit of background knowledge to fully appreciate it. Let's got down to the actual rating.
(7)Art: I also liked the fact it was historical fiction, ACCURATE historical fiction in which the creators of the anime and story did their best to portray the setting and people during the turmoil of East Asia of the 1930's. The settings portrayed in the anime of China really reflect the changing times of the 1930's, a clash between traditional and Western can clearly be seen and the producers of the anime have done a very good job producing the backdrop and the ensemble.
(9) Character: I really liked how the characters expressed the changing attitudes of the times in parallel to the setting in which their action takes place in. Kazura showing his conflicted between upholding his loyalty to Japan as an agent or taking a revolutionary stand in his romantic, utopian belief in "Asia for Asians" (which was a real philosophy back that Japan used to justify their colonization of East Asia), Aoi showing the new, relaxed European attitudes toward living in contrast to the traditional, rigid Asian customs that defined Asia at the time, and Natsume with his understanding and empathy towards the plight and exploitation of the peasant class during the rapid expansion of Imperial Japan (which was horrible: anyone poor or traditional was considered "filthy" in Japan and were expelled to countries, like Korea and China [who were considered even dirtier and did not deserve any human rights], to farm for Japan from land seized from the natives). Yukina is the only character, I believe, that sticks to the usual anime mold rather than the historical one set here, (which is a bit of a disappointment, but not a turnoff). Again I really liked the character representations, but they were indeed stiff and seemed a bit like robots at different times. Overall I give character good rating because of excessive symbolism that only a nerdy historian (me :P!) could really pick up on and enjoy.
(8) Sound: I enjoyed the sound track, especially the emotional pieces on violin and piano. I'm not an anime music aficionado (not yet at least), so I cannot give a critical review like I did with the other two sections, but I can say I did like it and it did not detract from my enjoyment of the series.
(6) Story: The story itself was not very well constructed. I don't think there was necessarily a structured plot that drove the entire series, but rather the development of character and the stress on the changing attitudes of the new world. Again, knowing the history will allow you to enjoy this anime a lot more than if you were to watch it without prior knowledge.
(9) Enjoyment: The Manchu Incident, the Chinese Civil War, the Opium Wars, all of these events during the 1930's era that were included in the anime really give it a realistic aspect that I can really sink my teeth into. It's obvious that the producers are skirting around the pond, they are avoiding heavy issues, such as the Nanking Massacre, that would spur on controversy and arguments between Japan and its neighbors and would have dirtied the name of this anime. I applaud the producers to take such daring steps (even if those steps are baby steps) to create anime that takes place in one of the most hotly debated eras in East Asia of all time. Using the "fiction" naming ploy, I believe the producers have cleverly avoided confrontation with political entities while at the same time, piquing viewers interest in Asian history.
(7) Overall: Again, to fully appreciate this anime, you should know your history. The anime is enjoyable on its own, but having the background knowledge of what's going on can enhance the entire experience of the anime being watched. I would recommend it to people who have a keen interest of the history of this era.