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12 of 12 episodes seen
What Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii has is not a story - it's rather an abomination, shrouded in overlapping layers of discomfort, insanity and terrible writing. Story is crippled by its inability to stay consistent, subtle or thought-provoking in any kind of a manner. By the time the torture was finally over, I could do nothing but laugh at how terrible it was. You can go as far as calling it a disgrace to the world of literature if you will ... and you wouldn't be far off. So, what's wrong with it, you wonder?
The premise in itself is not bad, and the first episode does, somewhat, provide a hook onto the show. However, it already began showcasing the major problems the story has - the writer had absolutely zero idea what the hell he/she wanted to do with it. Plot-hole galore is already present by the time you've watched half of the anime, and you can't help but wonder did anyone even have a grasp of what was supposed to be happening within the world created. If you're looking for a political warfare - forget it. If you're looking for economic discussion of kingdoms - forget it. If you're looking for wars - forget it. If you're looking for struggle to reign over kingdom - forget it. If you're looking for romance - forget it. This story doesn't offer any of those in the slightest measure of what should be considered acceptable. Ranging from the actions of characters that are just completely random, to the drama that's so forced you just cringe, to the sob-filled flashbacks that only add more confusion to what already is "why and how and what" type of a show. I won't go into much detail, but here's one: in the first episode, it's showcased that Nike is unable to use her powers while hungry. While it was done in a comical way, it still set a standard of rule within the world. Suffice to say, you can forget it. Furthermore, she made a big fuss about making rain, but each time she summons it, she's singing THE EXACT SAME SONG. The rules this world sets are ignored on every single corner. Furthermore, in the later episodes, the guards / soldiers / servants / king / everyone, let the princess partake in an event that could potentially lead to her death. No. Just, no.
Then, we get the introduction of "villains". It even pains me to call them so. Their motives and reasoning are pathetic, and even more insulting is that they give up on them so quickly it feels as if it was pointless to have them to begin with. For instance, bad guy number one, was against the marriage because he felt the rain to be bad omen to the Kingdom of Sun. He even went as far as to try and assassinate the princess. Minutes come and go, rain, viola, refreshing, I approve. I won't go into more details for fear of spoiling it (to be honest, there isn't much to spoil so ... ah, well), but, rest assured, that if you're looking for a story, stay as far away as possibly can.
Some may argue that this wasn't supposed to be a story-driven series, and that characters carry it (I'll come to them), but if you bother trying to put a front of the story, at least make sure that front doesn't fall apart before story even begins. The author clearly abandons the rules he/she set, and uses things on convenience of the characters, essentially nullifying any possible conflict that would arise, rendering it pointless in a nutshell.
As I mentioned beforehand, the only thing worth a damn in this show is the production. I enjoyed character designs, the way they did rain on certain occasions, as well as more than a few background shots. Animation, on the other hand, is ... average at best. It does its job, but the factor of excitement is nowhere to be found, since nothing about animation excited me in this show. From the information I've gathered, another thing that's simply worth of another "what?" is that Nike is 17 years old while the King is 15 years old. Why is there such a difference in height between the two of them I cannot answer. This also ties in to the story - is someone who's 17 really that much more of an "adult" than someone who's 15?
On the sound side, there were more than a few pieces I enjoyed, but I really hated the repetitive "call down the rain" song - it wasn't even that good to begin with. You'll be skipping both OP and ED one episode in, so don't even bother.
Now, as far as the characters go, they aren't as terrible as the story, but they're still quite dreadful. The biggest complaint I've got is the inconsistency and the backtrack of development, or rather the sudden development. Nike is referred to as a tomboy, but as far as I'm concerned, she's a bad example of one. She's rash, at times brainless and flat out ignorant, and, while you may say it's part of her charm, I'll say it's part of why she's a terrible character. She hauls the same mistakes over and over again, seemingly, again, abandoning the principle of "follow what you set, goddamnit". For a breakdown: in one of the scenes, she wakes up next to the King, and she isn't embarrassed at all. Same thing happens the next time, she is. She gets pettily jealous when someone showcases affection for the King, but is a complete, brainless moron when it's the other way around. The fact that this show even mustered courage to say that she had charmed the Kingdom into her liking is just impossible. To begin with, I have no idea how she even charmed the King.
Speaking of the King, his name is Livius, or Livi for short. He's introduced as heartless and lacking in compassion - by that introduction, he should have had Nike beheaded in the very first episode. But that's just a nitpick. His character takes turns in every episode, round and round, like an never-ending roller-coaster. He first lacks love, then he doesn't, then he suddenly does again, and so on and so forth. Honestly, with the way he is, the idea of him "conquering the world" is not just unfathomable - it's impossible. I'd rather live alone in the desert than have him act as my king. You can attribute that to the age, sure, but how was he able to conquer the world then? No, he wasn't. He acts more like a spoiled prince rather than the King, even before Nike "changed him". I won't dwell into much detail (for fear of spoiling, again, I guess ...), but rest assured that neither the characters nor the story can salvage somewhat above average production.
The only other character that's worth a damn in this show is the butler, but he's mostly just a comedic relief. Other characters are there when it's convenient or when the "conflict" is required. The only and only way this "story" progresses is when a random character, unheard of before, is introduced and our heroes must find a way to overcome the obstacle. The. Only. Way. Think about it for a moment.
Did I enjoy SSwU? Nope. Aside from a few funny moments, this one's nothing but the soup whose main ingredient, the characters, are terrible, coupled with even worse story, and a decent production to cheat you off the foul taste. The "resolutions" of "conflicts" aren't satisfactory, the "conflicts" themselves are just nonsensical and boring, the writing is often so over-the-top it crosses the "cringe-worthy" barricade, and a few laughs that you can get from it won't satisfy you in the tiniest bit.
Do I recommend it? If you can stuff through 12 episodes of terrible writing, just to get the predictable ending you saw coming first episode in, sure. IF you can stuff through 12 episodes of nothing but random conflicts (and I mean, NOTHING else), that somehow "develop" our characters, be my guest. If you can do all those things and more, and after finishing it can still say "Yeah, I enjoyed that", I commend you. You are bigger man than I am. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Noragami was one strange ride. Riddled with kind of a bad story, coupled with some great characters, accompanied by decent art and solid sound, it's really hard not to like for what it is. It kind of sucks you in, despite its flaws, and ultimately you end up feeling as if the time spent watching it was a good waste - but waste nonetheless. So ... why such a high score? Let's dwell into it.
The story is ... ah, the story is bad. I want to say otherwise, but can't. Events pop out of nowhere, alongside the characters, and cheap sub-plots suddenly appear just to keep the anime moving. Instead of going with the premise - Yato building his name as an unknown deity, that part of the story is quickly disregarded for some other stuff that don't exactly ... go well. I'll try not to spoil anything, but be warned: some minor spoilers are possible.
It is not the lack of story that draws back this anime, it's the fact that there's too much of it. Too many sub-plots are thrown into it, so much in fact that it starts feeling like a mash-up of a very bad meatball that nobody really wanted. While there are some bright points - especially through the mid-part, most of it is riddled with bad decision making on the part of the writer, and a terrible focus on the story overall. It jumps from one event to another in a matter of minutes, without proper pace or explanation, and things that supposedly mattered are soon thrown into sidelines to appear maybe 5 episodes later as a reminder to the audience that they exist. This is extremely apparent in the later parts of the anime, where the "main antagonist" (I'm playing heavily with the word "main" here) appears. It comes literally out of nowhere - with 0 foreshadowing, 0 reason or logic, and it thrusts you into a story that no one could have expected even if they tried. From what I've heard, the ending deviates from that of manga, but that's besides the point really. The jumps all over the story, with plots that, either standalone or as the part of the wholesome setting, make no sense and are quite terrible, it's really just a mess. Why 4 then? As I said beforehand, there are SOME bright spots. Yato's past is quite intriguing, yet we get to see little to none of it, as well as some parts with Yuki (although it's mostly bad). Other than that, there really isn't much to tell about the overall story. Just a bad mess.
On the production side, though, it feels like a completely different spectrum. Art is beautiful - it's colorful, it's crisp, animations are, for the most part, fluid and fights are animated well. Character designs, while not super-unique or anything, do bear their own charm. Even as a guy, you'll definitely think that Yuki is just terribly, unrealistically cute in a true sense of the word, while the main girl, Hiyori, is just run-of-the-mill average girl. What I really did like is the way they did eyes, especially Yato's and, at some parts, Yuki's. I really wish more anime would take the same approach.
On the sound department, there really isn't much to complain about. Opening and ending are slightly above average, but you'll most-likely skip them after a few viewings. One song kind of sticks out above the rest - but it's mostly because it's used for each and every fight. Regardless, it's actually pretty good so I didn't mind it as much as I thought I would. Voice acting, while not phenomenal, really delivers. While side characters do stumble occasionally, the main trio (those who occupy the screen for the most part) are acted well enough, some even above average.
What really saved this show, at least for me, are the characters. Are they unique? Uhm ... kind of? But that fact doesn't really stop them from being extremely enjoyable and interesting to watch. If not for some especially annoying moments, presented mostly by Yuki and Hiyori, I would have gladly given 10 in this department. Still, the drawbacks of those two characters are somewhat understandable once you grasp who they are, their age, and how they've been thrown into this random world full of surprises.
I'll start with Yato - to be honest, I was really close to just flat-out adding him to my favorite characters collection. From his random moments, quirky jokes, attempts at being serious as well as being serious, to some of the flashbacks and information we get about him - they make one amazing character. He's rarely (if at all) annoying, and extremely likable. One flaw, possibly, is that he sometimes gets overzealous and that we seriously lack information about who the hell is this guy. By the end of the season, you'll know some bits and pieces about his past, but beyond that - nothing. When was he born? How old is he? How was he born? How does he know all these other gods? That's quite possibly his biggest drawback as the character. (note that I'm not taking into account the announced 2nd season; even with it, the lack of info about him is just way too big of a problem).
I'll put Hiyori and Yuki together because they're quite similar. They're both around the same age and, while they do face different dilemmas, their characters do flow well together. Yuki is a teenager full of angst, envy and resentment and, while it is understandable, the show kind of beats you over the head with it far too many times for my liking. His age, at times, does not excuse his actions, but, after a certain episode, he'll really grown onto you. Hiyori, on the other hand, deals with this world a little bit better. I really think that her character is the weakest of the main trio - all we know about her really is that she likes wrestling, that she's somewhat rich, that she likes taking care of Yuki and one more thing I don't really want to spoil. She feels like somewhat of a generic human character in these types of stories - as somewhat of a "moral plug" for our main character so he doesn't go astray. While not as annoying as most of the characters that fall into that category, she really does like some decent development.
As for other characters, we meet them far too little to know anything more than basic info about them. Another drawback of this anime is that very fact - the lack of characters. Not really characters, but more the lack of gods. Throughout the show we meet less than dozen of gods although it's mentioned that there are a lot of them out there. Those few that we introduce feel mostly generic and not too fleshed out (two of them are basically just comic relief and a plot device). I do hope second season fixes this.
That really about sums it up. For better or worse, I enjoyed Noragami. The lack of any decent story was filled up with great production and good characters. The comedy is funny, action is great, and pace is kind of decent, I guess. The show would have gotten a whole lot of a worse score if I'm not accounting characters for the majority of my score in my reviews. For others, who don't really value good characters as highly as me, this will probably waver around 6 or so. The lack of good focus and storytelling really draws this anime back from potentially being a good gem. Irregardless, I felt that the time spent with this show was a good waste. But waste nonetheless.
Do I recommend it? Surely. It should be a good view if you're looking for something not too serious and quick, to get you in-between the weeks of waiting for your favorite show's next episode.
Feedback is appreciated. read more
45 of ? chapters read
Hibi is like Kimi no Todoke. Only a tad bit faster. At first, it will give you that "warm and fuzzy" feeling about young and innocent love, but the further you progress in manga, you'll just keep skipping pages because literally nothing of interest and importance occurs. For an example, you can skip 39-44 chapters, and you'll be easily good to go.
Let's talk story briefly: it's cliche. It's a standard shoujo premise and, while that's not bad as long as it's executed well, or has its own spin onto it, Hibi's story is just kind of boring to be blunt. The story is progressing at a snail pace, two to three chapters are spent covering something absolutely worthless and boring and so on. While I will admit that its pace is faster than the "classical" shoujo, with so many examples out there of stories that progress far and well within a short span of time, it simply gets to be far too boring at some point.
45 chapters in, and they didn't even hug. The most they did was hold hands.
I understand that it's an innocent take on the story, but that doesn't mean it should take ages for something remotely interesting to happen. While we're at it, the story RARELY focuses on the side-characters so it really has no excuse as to why it takes so long for the characters to do anything. Some will refute that with "well, they're shy, blah, blah, blah" but I'll get to that.
One point where this manga is really good is the art. It's crisp, it's clean, it's well drawn, and, to be honest, aside from the few chapters, I couldn't ask for anything better than that. It has plethora of pretty girls, some good-looking studs, and it has that "cutesy" look majority of shoujo manga have, with the exception of looking better than the most.
As far as the characters are concerned, I'm honestly disappointed. At first, you'll think that Suiren is cute. You'll like her. The same goes with Kouha. You'll think that their shyness and awkwardness is innocent, cute and whatever comes with those emotions. However, as the story "progresses", you'll be getting more and more tired of their lack of ... well ... anything. Misunderstandings pile up just because they're unable to talk properly, random "oddly-said" words make our characters go balls-to-the-walls for no reason, and so on and so forth. Suiren quickly becomes cute and annoying. Although, at times, she can be decisive, for the most part she just shuts up and expect everything to go merry way. When compared to Kouha, though, she acts like a damn playboy. Kouha is a specific kind of annoying. His indecisiveness can only be described as mental illness to be honest. It takes him ages to do anything and, when he does it, he does it small. As for the other characters? Nothing. Zero. Bleh. They're the generic sub-cast put there just because it's high school and our heroes need friends. (Main girl's friend who's there to protect her, energetic girl interested in love, generic main guy's best friend, generic rival who comes along for literally 0 reason other than to "drama-it-up a notch", and so on)
Did I enjoy this manga? Meh, kind of. For the first twenty chapters or so, I really did kind of like it. It wasn't new or fresh, but it seemed as if mangaka had something on his/hers mind when it came to this manga. But, after that, the sheer lack of progress in anything - their relationship primarily - is just a huge put-off. It lacks impact, consequences (well, for consequences to exist, there must be action, so I'm kind of contradicting myself right here), and it's basically just a slightly faster paced Kimi no Todoke with the exception that main girl isn't scary, but rather beautiful (inapproachable all the same though).
I recommend it only to die-hard shoujo fans and those who are looking for a chill manga where they don't expect a lot of progress within the first 50 chapters.
No, seriously, it takes them like 20 chapters to realize they even like each other. Twenty more to go on a second date (well, technically first since their first date lasted like 5 minutes), and the most romantic thing the two of them did was sort-of confessed to each other.
[review ends] read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
In my honest opinion, sports genre in anime, especially shounen related, has gone way too stale over the past few years. They're all driving the same formula, and, while it is fun and games, it's also extremely predictable and at times flat out boring and unwatchable. Unfortunately, Haikyuu!! suffers from same problems most of these sports anime do - it takes every play in the book and drives it home without stopping. The one spin, though, is that the initial "rivals" become teammates, but that's about it. You'll probably see me comparing this anime to a few others during this review, but I think that it's best to do that since they're so similar.
The story of Haikyuu!! follows Hinata and Tobio as they battle their way through the pains of high school volleyball. If this anime fails anywhere, it's probably here - as I said, it's a complete and all-through textbook drive of cliches and predictability. Think KnB, think DnA, think Eyeshield - it's exactly that. A group of people gathers with one unified goal, they have some kind of a special talent(s), but they quickly learn those talents aren't enough so they have to keep training harder to beat their "rivals". You'd think that's a spoiler, but it seems that it's pretty much given in today's sport genre in anime. The story follows the code and it never lets it go, drilling it to max until the very end. Short version? Extremely disappointing. The lack of progress is not as obvious, since there are quite a few matches through the game, but you quickly learn that the story is nothing special. By the time you reach episode 10, you'll know how this anime will end and lead off into the second season. I'll give credit that matches are exciting, but that's far less of a credit to the story than it is to the animation. Other than that, nothing really to talk about.
Production department, as with any anime, had its ups and downs. Outside of volleyball part, animation is just terrible. Stiff movement, or rather no movement at all, is just painful to watch after some really exciting sequences during the matches. Speaking of matches, for the most part they're animated quite well. "Special moves" have their punch, action is fast and fluid, and ... well, as I said, it is really like volleyball version of KnB. Literally - albeit a tad bit more realistic. I did like the color pallet since it was quite bright, and facial expressions, may it be comedy or something else, were done rather well. On the sound department, there are a few noticeable songs that will be repeated to hell throughout the anime, but they're quite well done so you won't mind them as much. There will be some voices that will annoy you, but even that for the most part is good.
Characters are the best part of this anime - but, to be honest, they always are. In order for a sport anime to succeed, it needs to have good characters - and Haikyuu!! delivers there. Fun and outgoing, over-thinker and loner, kind giant, loud-mouth kid-looking guy, cute girl manager, surface-calm, beneath-demon kind of a guy ... you get it. Outside of maybe our two MC's, characters, for the most part, remain exactly the same, but they're fun to watch. They deliver some flat out funny moments, and with them on-board it doesn't feel like much of a pain to sit through this anime. Honestly, though, you've seen these characters all before. The only saving grace is that they are executed well and that's it. Nothing original or outside the norm.
As much as I've complained about Haikyuu!!, I did enjoy the anime. It has exciting matches, funny characters and fluid animation. It succeeds where any popular sports anime succeeds and fails where any popular sports anime succeeds. For instance, matches are more exciting than Diamond no Ace's, special moves are not as exciting as in KnB or Eyeshield, animation is more fluid than in Eyeshield, characters are better than in KnB, etc., so they kind of balance themselves out.
Overall - I do recommend it, even if you're not a sports fan. It's an easy watch and, unless you watched either one of the anime I've mentioned before and flat-out hated it, I don't see a reason why you won't enjoy this anime as well. read more
11 of 11 chapters read
Gekkou isn't really that different - expect a lot of dialogue between the characters and, while there are some detailed descriptions, most of what's written is either monologue or dialogue. But, despite all that, I didn't mind.
Gekkou is rather short - so short I read it whole in one go. The main reason being, obviously, that it was quite an interesting read. It follows the story of Nonomiya and his everyday adventures. The story starts off slow, with a decent amount of built up and, while it ties up all too perfectly (in the vein of a lot of mystery stories, to be honest), right up until the ending it had me tied down, thinking about the possible outcomes. There's a decent amount of twists and surprises and, while none of them will truly drop your jaw, they are tasteful enough to keep your attention. However, the ending did not pay off the build up, at least for me. As I said beforehand, it tied up way too perfectly to the point where I had to suspend my belief in order to actually believe it. Other than that though, I really can't complain.
The story in itself is completely carried by the characters. There's not all too many of them, but I'd rather not describe them because the fun-factor about them comes from discovering their personalities. I will mention that Nonomiya, the MC of the story, is an interesting characters and, while not many will be able to relate to him, his perspective and point of view is really interesting, albeit kind of annoying at some parts. All in all, cast, while not that diverse and numerous, carries the story on their backs with their quirky and not-so-seen personalities. The 'perfection factor' also plays a part in their characters as well, but it didn't bother me that much really.
All in all, Gekkou was a very good read, as my grade suggests. For all the fans of mystery it should be a welcome distraction from the everyday life and for all those that are yet to venture into the genre, it can be a good entry. I'd like to point out that it's extremely easy to read because, as I said in the beginning, it mostly consists of monologue and dialogue. While, at times, it does sound a bit over-the-top, it's nothing you can't swallow. The writing style doesn't differ that much from the western young-adult novels, so if you like that kind, it should be right up there in your alley.
Recommended. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
The story is really simple and there isn't much to it: the girl joins high school, wants to make friends, lies to them about having a boyfriend, turns out that her made-up boyfriend goes to same school with her and is quite popular, he for some reason agrees to go along with her charade and then their adventures begin. I can't say much for the story because there isn't any really. As a mainly character-driven series, the story is put-off into the sidelines and has trouble pacing itself over the episodes. At times, the episodes skip months worth of content they could show, and, for some reason, literally nothing seemed to have changed. I won't detail it out because it might be a spoiler, but you'll understand, trust me. The reason I gave the story such a low score is that even what's there isn't that good. It's predictable and filled with cliches and doesn't really work as a whole on any level.
Production of the show is its strongest part, alongside the comedy, and is quite eye-catchy. Especially for girl viewers. Even though there are some cute girls, most of them are not really THAT cute, while most of the guys that are important are made out to be quite hot - hence, extremely impossible to relate to just off the basis of the art. Animation hinges on the simplicity of movement and not much else and the series as a whole doesn't really have any heavy scenes when it comes to either art or sound. Speaking of sound, I had a really hard time hearing any music during this anime. For some reason, nothing stuck out and for the most part I didn't even bother looking for it. Voice actors did their jobs decently, but nothing really spectacular there either.
Now, I expect you have looked up what I asked you to, so I can continue with my depiction of the characters in this show. We have Erika, our main girl, who desperately wants to fit in into high school and lies through her teeth to do so. I can relate to that and, probably, most people who've gone through high school can. What differs us, normal humans, from her is simply how far she's willing to push her lie. It goes bounds and leaps beyond what any sane human, who isn't riddle with any mental illness, would do. While the show puts it all on "extreme masochism", it's not. It can't be. You can't give such a vague attribute to your character and expect all her actions to make sense. Regardless of what Sato did to her, she came running back. Regardless of how much he'd hurt her, she came running back. It's not masochism - not even a form of it. It can be only explained as a complete and utter mental illness and, to be honest, show should have been about her going to the shrink and fixing it. Aside from that trait, she's not that interesting to watch. She's kind of likable, I guess, and is shown to be a pathological liar although I'm pretty sure that whoever wrote this story really shouldn't attribute any mental illnesses to his/hers characters ever again because they have no basic idea what they are.
Next up we have Sata, extreme version of male-tsundere. I'm going to say it upfront: nobody will ever relate to this character. And if you do, you are a horrible human being and you should know it. He lacks any likable traits, and I'd be fine with that if those unlikable traits were realistic. He's also showcased as sadist, but, again, I'm pretty sure that whoever wrote this doesn't understand what that means. He often says that he doesn't do it because he likes to, but still does it, which kind of contradicts the entire premise of the sadist. Instead, 90% of the things he says are intended to hurt the other party, and not in a sarcastic and funny way. Calling someone a dog over and over and over again, shunning the other people's emotions, dragging them along, doing things that go far beyond simple bullying - that's the kind of character Sata is.
There's a certain scene midway through the anime where Erika and Sata are sitting alone in a coffee shop and she asks him what he thinks of her. He then proceeds to tell her how much he likes her and turns it over by the end. Her reaction is okay, I guess, but what's the point of this is that it really showcased just how shallow, uninteresting and borderline insane character Sata is.
[/MINOR SPOILER END]
This goes for the majority of the characters: all of them (aside from 1 or 2 maybe) seem to be suffering from some sort of a pathological illness, or they're just really, really, really stupid. I won't describe any more because they aren't really worth the page.
Did I enjoy the anime? Relatively, to be honest, hence this high of a score for all the bashing. Humor, for the most part, was well done and the show did make me laugh out loud a couple of times, but that was about it. Romance is shallow, insane and simply unrealistic, and the 'drama' moments are worth less than those of Clannad.
All in all, unless you just want to fill your list with rom-coms, I'd stay away from this. Especially if you're looking for likable and relate-able characters. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
When I first found out about the show, I, as many probably have, instantly thought "Oh look, carbon copy of SAO. *sigh*". Still, as I scrolled through some opinions, a lot of people have said that Log Horizon plays out as SAO should have. I'll leave that to your own decisions and instead will focus on Log Horizon as an separate entity in the anime world.
LH follows Shioru, our main protagonist who suddenly finds himself locked in a world of "Elder Tale", massively popular MMORPG with over twenty million people worldwide. He soon forms a party of three, with Akatskui, honorable shinobi who shall always follow her lord and knee the pervert, Naotsugu. Fortunately, that is not where the cast ends and we are soon introduced to heavy array of characters, ranging from veterans to beginners, each given enough time so we can learn something about them. Unfortunately, not all of them are that interesting.
The story of LH works as a cohesive unit, but what really struck me was the world building. It really did feel as if the author invested a lot of time into making a specific world which does resemble that of MMORPGs - oftentimes, before the OP, we're given some information about the world and its rules which serves its purpose of introducing us, or rather helping us dig further in as to what kind of a world Elder Tale forms. Without spoiling too much, the story of LH is somewhat divided into short arcs, each one way or the other connected to the overall plot which comes into focus later on. Each separate entity is enough fun for itself and the mysteries introduced, especially the characters, are enough to keep your attention on. Overall, story was well above decent, albeit nothing too masterful. It did its job and it did it well.
When it comes to production department, I'd call it the weakest part of the anime. Visuals are often stiff, animation often lacks impact and even battles, albeit exciting, aren't as good as in other similar shows. Even though character designs vary, it does feel as if too many characters are similar and/or act in similar fashion which is oftentimes just a sore. Another gripe I have with the show is the sound and all its merits. Some VA did a fine job representing their characters while I wouldn't be so certain when it comes to rest. There are, sometimes, weird pauses during their speeches which don't fit their character. The soundtrack itself was sorely lacking though; there is maybe 1 or 2 memorable themes while others are barely noticeable at best. I do feel that the soundtrack and the sound overall could have been given more time, especially because of the settings. Some spells, for instance, Astral Howl, do have that visual and sound impact while others ... well, don't. They're too generic.
The characters of LH are ... well, some are decent, some are rather good and some are just plain unnecessary. Shirou, our main character, is a good spin on the "all powerful MC". Although anime, or rather characters within anime world, try to sell him as this almighty entity, we soon realize that he's just an above-average intelligent student with enough capacity to work with the information he gets. It's a nice spin and I did like his character overall. The other duo, faithful shinobi and open pervert did their job as a good support and humorous pair. Sometimes they'll get at your nerves, but more so than not they're quite likable. When it comes to the rest of the cast, I'll be honest: it's not that great. Especially the children, or the beginners as they call them. They're oftentimes annoying and given too much space and time which they simply seem to misuse to irritate the viewer even more. While there are some interesting characters, you'll simply feel as if the anime would have been better either without them or with them having less screen time.
Other characters do have somewhat defined personalities, and are sometimes joy to watch (Crusty and princess come to mind), but even then they don't feel developed enough. Overall, though, given the number of characters with names, faces and personalities, I think they did a fine job representing them.
I would lie if I said I didn't enjoy Log Horizon. Was it mind-blowing? No, not really. Was it this epic adventure you'll remember forever? Erm ... no. But it was a fun ride that lasted 25 episodes and I am looking forward to the sequel (mostly because I'm interested about one girl from Shirou's flashbacks. She seems fun). Battles were smart and weren't "oh, I'm this massive dude and my powaaah is bigger than yours" but instead they focused on teamwork of parties, which I found quite intriguing. The touch on politics and economics might put some viewers off but I personally enjoyed them and saw them as another layer of depth to an already established world. So yeah. Me like me some LH. (sorry Star Wars fans :()
If you do feel like SAO was lacking something or if you're simply looking for a decent anime, you can't go awry with Log Horizon. It isn't epic, it isn't mind blowing, it won't send you to places that will make you think about your life, but it will provide temporary enjoyment and it won't bore you to death.
TL;DR: recommended. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
Shinsekai Yori tells a story that spans over the fourteen years in total, with two time-shifts in its entirety. Both time-shifts occur after some meaningful events so to keep this review spoiler-less I'll try avoiding the talk about them. The story is told from the perspective of Saki, a young girl with friends and family like any other. It basically starts with their little group having a camping trip and learning something they should have not - as well for us to being exposed to acts of foreplay between two twelve year old kids. Oh well. In essence, if they had never learned what they did that day, they would have never really been caught up into story THAT much - we'd still have some conflicts which had affected the world, but the story this way is quite personal.
Since the story in itself has numerous twists I cannot go into detail, so I'll try and go roundabout. In a sense it's a fantastical story but extremely realistic at the same time. It's put a thousand years into the future of today, with humans living seemingly peaceful lives full of love and care. The story consists of several twists and turns - some expected, others not as much - with some certain "hey, what about that? That's not the way you said it was!" moments. These moments, albeit rare, do somewhat take away from that episode - but not from the entire series. It is a story more turned towards mature than kid side, having several twists which are extremely thought-provoking all through to the end and beyond. It starts as extremely slow-paced establishment and basically nothing happens until episode 10 or so - only world building. For some, like me, who really appreciate world building this has come as a breath of fresh air. Before the story essentially kicks off, you're pretty much familiar with world - its origin and its present, which helps a lot when trying to accumulate thoughts as to why certain things are happening. Extremely well done and crafted story - that's all I've got to say.
The first thing you'll most-likely notice is imaginative art. While it may not be spectacular and ever-evolving, it is certainly different. It's extremely well done and oftentimes it shifts as the mood of the scene changes - gradient hues take over, coloring the world green/purple or any other dimming color. It has it's bright moments of course, but most of the major events occur in dark spaces. Another thing I must praise this show for are the backgrounds - they are absolutely breathtaking. I'd take a bet that in each episode you can extract at least 4-5 beautiful, completely different wallpapers for your desktop. While animation may be lacking sometimes, some scenes are extremely well done (like Saki falling through the sky, or Saki and Satoru running through the tunnels etc.) and worth a praise. Characters are all unique when it comes to art department, each having its own distinguishing trait but also quite some symbolism in the very character department - Saki, throughout the entire series, remains as one character (out of main ones, to be precise) who is most-likely to be present in real life. For instance Maria has extremely long, red hair and blue eyes, Shun and Satoru have hard-to-make hairstyles as well as that kid no one really remembers. In that sense it helps us to relate to Saki from whose perspective this story is told.
On the other side of production team we have sound. I've got to say - if the soundtrack of "The Fountain" is my all-time favorite movie OST, this Shinsekai Yori wins in anime department. "Kage no Denshouka Dainibu" to list one of many is simply shiver-worth soundtrack which befits each scene it's placed into. It's quite grappling and, even when listened outside the context of series, is extremely beautiful - to an extent where I'd put it among my favorite themes ever (probably just after "Death is the Road to Awe" from Clint Mansel). Voice actors (and actresses) put up an virtuous effort in delivering their characters. I especially must give credit to Namikawa Daisuke, a man who gave a voice to the character of Squealer - probably the most amazing performance among amazing performances. So yeah ... production ... much wow.
Now we come to the character department. It's really hard to label these characters - not because they're not developed or anything but because they're just simply ... humans. All of them (oops). They all deal with certain issues in their own ways, each tackling a certain problem the best way they see fit. That's what makes each of them unique and fun to observe and even relate to. For instance, Saki has qualms about dealing with at-the-moment perilous situation, but she has easier way of moving on. Satoru on the other hand handles the present situation which requires quick answer easily but has a harder time of moving on. And so on and so forth. All these things make each character you see in the series developed and ... relate-able. Regardless of whether you like them or not, when their story comes to fruit, you can feel for them all the same. That's one of the greatest strengths of Shinsekai Yori - characters are not badass stereotypes who go round spouting badass one-liners. They're all humans - they can act though, but that's all there is to it - an act.
This has been my longest review since ... well, ever. The reason being is that I tried to deliver Shinsekai Yori to those who hadn't watched it the best way possible without spoiling anything - which is actually extremely difficult. All the juice of Shinsekai Yori lies in the spoilers. But oh well. I managed to slip one or two in there. I'm a monster.
I quickly understood that Shinsekai Yori won't be for everyone. Aside from two frame yaoi and yuri moments we have in the 8th episode (man did a lot of people drop the show because of it. Why? Beats me.), Shinsekai Yori starts extremely slowly. And the pace never really goes over-the-top-full-of-action. It always takes its time to establish things and characters, without simply rushing head-on to the conclusion (well, aside from first 4 minutes of last episode ... BADASS MOMENT!) . At times it has weird art-style and the story is simply sometimes hard to follow. It's quite thought-provoking and I can see why some people would simply get bored of it. All I'm asking of you is to give it a chance. Watch an episode per day if you find it boring and if you keep tackling the issues the show is, I promise you you'll have a great time.
Now, do I recommend Shinsekai Yori? Well ... isn't that kind of obvious? I do. I may still seem biased (probably because I am?) but that does not take away anything from the show - if anything, it should help you decide whether to pick it up or not. Pick it up. It actually just might surprise you. read more
9 of 13 episodes seen
The very first true sentence in the show goes "If you don't want to die Rintarou, survive." Now, here already, I knew this was going to be one hell of a ride.
Black Bullet bears a whole lot resemblance to "Shingeki no Kyojin", a whole lot more popular counterpart. First and foremost, the main characters are practically identical, both having suffered a terrible tragedy of losing parents, and having one female sidekick by their side, all the time. The reason why this doesn't work as well in Black Bullet is because we literally get 5 seconds montage of how they met, and ... well, that's about it. Secondly, their relationship might be disturbing. Remember - Enju is ten years old and she oftentimes says incredibly obvious sexual remarks as well as constantly hit on our main character. But let's stick to the story for now.
You have the main plot in the synopsis, so I'll dwell a bit deeper. The story is composed of short arcs, each having a new enemy our main duo (trio, quadro ---?) must face. One thing you must know about the story is that it's EXTREMELY predictable. It quite literally goes by textbook when it comes to "twists" and the story itself. There's this one episode early on where our main character witnesses injustice in his world, where Cursed Children (little girls who embody the wide-spread virus but contain it under 50% ...) are thrown aside as thrash, despite their importance in securing peace within contained area. Then after that there's short, unnecessary scene after which comes the meeting of our Bad Guy 1 and our MC, where the Bad Guy 1 asks him: "Did you ever witness things you would change in this world?" (paraphrasing). And this isn't just one time. This keeps on happening over and over and over again until eventually you literally know what's going to happen next. And not next episode, next scene. Also, the story as odd shifts in the tone. It's as if the creators weren't quite sure whether they'd go "true dark" or "true light" so they kind of met it in the middle and ... well, it didn't work out well. These shifts feel weird, unnatural, even forced (which they are). The story itself is far from being spectacular: you've probably seen it in dozens of other anime. Main guy and his sidekick are world's only hope of salvation. Even though the "power-ups", or rather ranking increases, our MC gets are completely unjustified seeing as he's exactly the same as he was in the first episode. Oh well, I guess everyone else suddenly just got weaker.
Two redeeming parts of this show though are Art and Sound. Art is quite crisp and can be extremely detailed from time to time (CGI is unappreciated though) and I especially liked the ED's first 10-15 seconds. First OP is quite good while the second one is just far too generic to care. The soundtrack can be badass in the badass moments but it's oftentimes too generic for you to even notice. Voice actors wage from the most annoying pieces of voice on Earth to okayish. Props to the production team.
Characters are ... all over the place. Our main character, Satomi Rentarou, is probably the most generic loud-mouth of shounen genre. He's like every other. He's the embodiment of them all. You'll often hear lines such as: "I WILL SAVE THE WORLD BY MYSELF!" (caps lock intended) or "ENJU IS AS MUCH OF A HUMAN AS YOU AND I ARE! WE ARE ALL HUMANS!" or "STOP SCREWING WITH ME!" or "DON'T WORRY, I'LL PROTECT YOU."
Yeah, our MC yells a lot. And I mean A LOT. So, if you're into that, good for you but I, personally, find it extremely annoying that every second line character spits out is a scream of sorts.
Our other MC, Enju, is ten year old girl with constant thoughts about male-female relationships, weird ideas about how to interact with far older dude and, quite frankly, disturbing remarks about sex. For heaven's sake, she's TEN YEARS OLD. I'd understand if you made her look ten, but she looks ten and IS ten. She's your classic hyperactive loli who's in service of the main dude because he cooks well (no, I swear. According to flashbacks, that's the reason). Then we have a lot of other characters (majority of which appeared only in the like last 4 episodes or so). We have Tina, blonde, erm ... clumsy? loli who's lost in all sense of that word. Then we have Kisara, our MC's love interest. And of course all the cockblockers (gotta have those).
All in all, even though cast seems varied and huge and interesting ... it's too generic. There's no unique spin to the characters, and while you may like some of them due to their quirkiness or humor, they won't stick to you so much that you'd cry if they die. (I crid evri tajm)
Black Bullet is a mixed bag. In one hand, you've got pretty decent visuals, fights and animation overall, and the other hand you've got ... well ... mess. It's like "Guilty Crown" but with far less production value. A lot of characters are annoying, for other you don't really care. and even if you find one or two that are likable, chances are they'll die or be destroyed.
So my final verdict: Flashy flashy, BUT NO MUSTASHY! Only watch if bored. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
So, where do I even begin? It's quite hard seeing as I'm still kind of thinking about the anime. I'll just begin by saying this: do not let title or the synopsis drive you off. If you think that this anime is filled with cute girls (it kind of is) doing cutesy things (it kind of is) and that's all it is, then you're wrong. Not blaming you though, I only decided to watch this after seeing a short, hilarious clip on YouTube. So yeah ...
The story is surprisingly good. Where majority of anime comedies fail, Love Lab managed to go up a notch. Almost nothing in the anime happens just so "you can have a couple of laughs". Somewhere, somehow, it all kind of ties up to the end of the story and the conclusion. It starts in a light tone which continues all throughout. Yeah, there's some drama, but it's not over the top. It doesn't try to shove tears into viewers eyes or anything. It's simply there to give more depth to already great characters.
The story follows Riko and Mika, two seemingly total opposites when it comes to ... well, everything. Mika is a perfect girl, nicknamed even "Princess", while Riko is a tomboy, nicknamed "The Wild One". They're both admired by other girls in the school but for all the different reason. Fate (and by fate I mean teacher) has its hands in them meeting one another and then the adventure begins. Along the way they're joined with some other (equally hilarious) characters and you're bound to like at least one of them, if not all. To be quite frank, the story is not deep, but it's extremely well executed. It's a story about friendships and how lies sometimes make it hard. Nonetheless, everything that happens is a part of the story. It's not just a sidetrack business trying to make you laugh.
Another impressive part of Love Lab are the characters. There are five main characters (seven if you include guys), and they're all enough unique to have their own charms and likeness to them. Mika is a delusional perfectionist who does everything on her own and wants desperately to have a boyfriend. Riko is her straight counter-part, who's "Master of love", and never fails to make you laugh with her comments. She's not as smart as Mika, but you admire her for what she is. Then you have Suzune, shy and timid but equally enthusiastic about their quest to learn how to seduce boys. There's also another duo of hilarity, Sayori and Yuiko; Sayori being composed, seemingly cold and detached person with quirky remarks and affinity for money, and Yuiko being not-so-annoying tsundere. All of them have distinct personalities and they all bring something to the table when it comes to comedy.
You see them grow closer and closer as friends, and you actually believe in their friendship and you feel worried when it feels as if it's going to collapse. There are some over the top moments, but most of the time it's down to earth funny.
When it comes to the production department, it's nothing amazing but it's good enough looking to the eyes. Anime-only-comedy was done extremely well, and I really loved most of the expressions of the characters. They were cute when they were meant to be cute, and they were extremely ugly when they were meant to be ugly. Backgrounds were lacking but that's to be expected from character-focused anime so no complains there. Soundtrack was lacking as well but, from what was there, it fit solidly.
Overall, Love Lab was extremely well done, definitely above average and on sub-par with some other hilarious comedies. Its drama wasn't there to suddenly shift the tone to dark and try to appear more mature, but to give more depth to already established characters. I really do recommend Love Lab if for nothing else but its hilarity. read more