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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
11 of 22 episodes seen
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso starts off simply - there's a synopsis for the basic story-line, so I'll dwell a bit deeper into the plot. NOTE: Possible minor spoilers ahead.
Part of the reason why I never really could get into it was simply because nothing of it seemed real enough for me. The plot continuously kept expanding, but it felt as if it's simply standing still. No impact, no true movement - rather just the masking of it. That's the first gripe I have with this anime: it takes too long to get to the point and, while doing so, the "getting to the point" part loses its impact. Our main character had stopped playing piano, and the more you learn about the reasons - which take way too long to be shown - the less you care about it because you start understanding how non-nonsensical it really is. The whole point of the first eight episodes or so is to get Arima to start playing piano again, yet, when it finally happens, you're not enthralled, immersed and impressed as you thought you'd be. You keep thinking "Wow, this moment was hyped up so much, it'll probably be epic!" - and, unfortunately, that is not the case. For all the melodramatic nonsense you had to put up with up until that point, the pay off doesn't work. Simply put: the drama itself doesn't work in this anime. While watching, I kept reminding myself that these kids are fourteen years old because the way they act, the way they speak, and the problems they face seem far too incomprehensible for someone their age. For the most part I felt like I was watching college students cope with their "getting over it" problems rather than middle-school kids. I understand that that was probably intentional, but it doesn't work. It feels off on so many levels.
The next big problem I had with this anime was that the majority of problems seem futile, boring and not worth your attention. I really love classical music and I liked listening to some pieces, but when the music stops in this anime, that's when the true pain begins. The moment you start thinking critically, you realize that this anime is taking itself way too seriously. What should have been a light drama romance about chasing your dreams turned into self-search and self-realization of proportions that are NOT fit for fourteen year old kids. The worst part? It's not fit for any age to be honest. The dramatic moments feel bland and leave you wanting so much more and it never truly delivers.
What could be the saving grace of this anime is the art and the sound. While animation is nothing too spectacular, it delivers when needed most, but when it comes to the art style I really liked it. It's crisp, clean and easy on the eyes. Colors, for the most part, are bright and it's obvious that the art always follows the tone of the story which I didn't like. On the other hand, music is really top-notch. Variations of classics and classics themselves didn't seem to fit that well, but they're great to listen nonetheless. Even though oftentimes misplaced, the music for the most part is the highlight of this anime.
Voice acting, on the other hand, varies greatly. There are some great performances, while there are some that just didn't sit with me. That might be my personal preference, but sometimes I felt that the voices just felt out of place and didn't belong with the specific character.
Speaking of characters ... - there is somewhat of a pattern I noticed with these stories - they all have a bland main male character and a shining heroine. While I don't have a problem with that, per say, it's really nothing new or refreshing. I kept finding similarities to the point of the exactness (I'm pretty sure that's not a word, but it should be) with majority of the characters. Our main MC doesn't act like a fourteen year old. Hell, he acts like someone who's been to war, got divorced and had lost a kid during it all. While he does go through development, the process itself feels bland and - and I hate to say this - boring. You don't care enough about him to see him grow. All I really wanted was just to listen to music and skip the dialogues. I wouldn't mind it that much if it was some sort of an action anime, or comedy anime, but it's not - it's drama. And, for drama, it seems to have a lot of problems actually understanding how to play off drama. Comedic moments come out of nowhere, disturbing the tone far too quickly and, while I understand why they did it, the dramatic moments really weren't that intense that they required some sort of a joke to get through.
Our main girl is your classical cheery-girl with some sort of a disease that will eventually become a problem. To be honest, I'm still having a great problem actually remembering her name because she's just too similar to ... well, any other main heroine of the similar anime. Yeah, she's cute and all that, but there's this borderline insane contrast in her character that I just see as impossibility, no matter how many times I've tried to think about it: for the most part she acts like a kid, and rightly so, since she's 14, but then, out of nowhere, she comes up with this ridiculous line that just doesn't fit her - and that can happen multiple times during one episode. It soon becomes excruciating listening to her only to have her go act like a kid ten seconds later.
While the other characters do have their own story and personalities, anime doesn't give them enough time to shine. Or develop. Or do anything of importance really. You have classical childhood friends that just seem to be there to show our main guy isn't actually a loner and that he has someone supporting him. It actually felt sad watching it because their friendship felt plastic. Again, both of them act childish for the most part and then, out of nowhere, they'll come out and say something wise. That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.
I really didn't want to be this rough with the anime, but considering the score of 8.52 I couldn't help it. This is not a masterpiece. This is at best an average Golden Time-like, Toradora-like, Clannad-like, name-any-teenage-drama-anime-ever-like that doesn't know how to pan itself out. While the anime is only halfway through, considering how bland and disappointing first half was, I can't recommend it to anyone but the lovers of the said genre.
To quickly sum it up for those that don't like reading, here are some positives and all the negatives of this anime:
[+] - Anime can at times be really funny
[+] - Classical pieces are amazing to listen
[+] - Art style is really nice and will remind you a lot of Golden Time
[-] - The storyline is bland, uninspiring and oftentimes dry
[-] - A lot of the choices the characters make don't make sense
[-] - Fourteen year old kids DO NOT act this way; never have, never will
[-] - Characters in general are same old shapes you've seen in a lot of anime that don't really bring anything new and refreshing to the formula; they are bearable for the most part
[-] - If you dislike flashback-style of telling the story, I hate to say this but at least 30% of this anime are flashbacks
[-] - You will have a hard time connecting to any of the characters because the problems they face seem surreal and blown way out of proportion when a simple "Grow the f* up" can fix most of them
[-] - There's again cliche "rivalry" put in the for the sake of showing that our MC has rivals
** If you disagree with some of my points, feel free to message me or start a discussion on my wall. Please be civil if doing so. 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
23 of 23 episodes seen
The major fault in Clannad is that it's ... Clannad. It's a laughable comedy, at best, but not even close to some of the actual comedies. Clannad is a story about, I guess, growing up and beating the life ... kind of. Okay, I know there's a sequel, but I'll touch on that later on. The story in Clannad does not exist - no, I don't consider short, mini-arcs about random high school girls that look as if they were just born from an alien but to be stories. It relies on its characters to be the backbone and, that's fine, don't get me wrong, but the characters suck. It's kind of a harem story, but it's not, but also kind of a straightforward romance story, but it's kind of not. See where I am going? If you're coming into Clannad, specifically, for the good story, you won't find one. I'll explain this at the end of the review, where I'll connect it to its sequel.
The art irked me. The art annoyed me probably the most in the entire anime. Just the fact that I had to get accustomed to those big, TOO BIG eyes was bad enough, without having the looks of a eight year old kids, voices which are, at best, superbly annoying, and overall tone of the childish anime. For an anime that sells as a deep, dramatic story of growing up, there sure as hell fucked up with the visual impact. The worst part is this: male characters look more appealing than the female ones. When that's the case, you know you screwed somewhere along the line. I know it's not the fault of the anime, considering the VN has pretty much the same style, and I'm not against moe, but there should be a fine damn line somewhere in-between. Sadly, the best part of this anime is probably the sound. And even that's below average. The voices of the characters, especially female ones, are so dreadful and annoying, that it's impossible to un-hear them once you hear them. Their high-pitched voices will be stuck with you long after, without any redeeming quality. Another major 'dafuq' of the anime is the soundtrack. You can pretty much say when the show wants you to laugh and smile and when it wants you to cry. There's a huge contrast between the tone of the music, that you, literally, say to yourself, when the 'sad tone music starts': "Oh, I'm supposed to feel down here". It's bad enough when the story, clearly, wants you to cry, but to add pain to injury, the soundtrack wants it even more.
The characters are a major train-wreck. Tomoya is probably the only relateable character (relatively) in the entire cast of Clannad (and it's bloody huge). Beside him, you have shitone of side characters that don't really matter and are there just to be another annoying archetype, and you have Nagisa. Nagisa is a specific kind of annoying. I am a fan of strong-willed and strong-minded female characters, and Nagisa is pretty much the opposite. She's never raised her voice the entire damn anime, she never opposed anything, she never as much questioned what others have been doing - she just kind of 'rolled with the flow'. She was there ... to be there. I guess. Something like that. She's a perfect example of an awful character, without any redeeming quality to it. Now, as I've mentioned, there are countless of other characters there (mostly moe girls), and the story tries really, really, really hard to make you care for some of them, but ... I can't care for some unrealistic character I know does not exist in this world. No.
Did I enjoy Clannad? Hell no. It had some funny moments here and there, but that's about it. No, seriously. If I chuckled a few times during the 23 episodes of a show, and kept screaming in my head "WHEN WILL THIS SHIT END?" for the rest of the time, you know something's wrong. It's just ... it's just bad.
Now, to please those that say 'You have to watch AS to fully understand Clannad', here's the further review WHICH DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM THE FIRST SEASON - you've been warned.
I'm currently halfway through the second season of Clannad, and I've stopped at the 13th episode mark for awhile now. From what I've witnessed, it is, actually, CLANNAD. It's completely the same, with only Tomoya and Nagisa dating. And what the hell? Dating? Is that what's considered dating in the Japan? Like, we'll talk once in awhile, maybe touch each other here and there, but subtly, and stare at each other from time to time? Tomoya and Nagisa are like Marshal and Lilly from HIMYM, but without sex (well), kids (well), and all the kissing. They're simply being showed in your face as a perfect couple, when you can clearly see they're not. Nagisa is like a subdued dog, with its intelligence barely enough to support the thought "I shall follow Tomoya everywhere", and Tomoya ... is pretty much the only half-normal human being the series. I also understand that the "real show" (I wonder how many fucking times did I hear this) starts in the second part, but I already kind of spoiled myself and still failed to feel any impact. Should I really care about Nagisa and what happens to her? Why? No ... I simply don't care what happens to either one of these people.
I understand that this anime, I guess, and its sequel changed the lives and perspectives of certain people. Hell, AS is in the top ten anime of all times according to MAL, but I simply failed to see any appeal. Compared to FMA: Brotherhood, for instance, it looks like a pile of dog crap that was digested from human crap. Thanks for reading and the negative feedback. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
That being said, I started watching Chihayafuru solely because of its endless good reviews. I had to reach third/fourth page before I found a review that scored it below 9, and that kind of says something. Unfortunately, I did not see the massive appeal as other reviewers did.
The story of Chihayafuru is simple - far too simple. It's as basic and as standard and as cliche as any sport/competitive manga/anime are nowadays. If you ever watched Boukman or KnB, it's pretty much that - only with karuta instead of drawing manga and playing basketball. It follows the story of trio (mostly duo), Chihaya, your classic tomboy and airhead, Arata, mysterious, brooding-to-develop guy and Taichi, tomboy's standard, jealous childhood friend. The story itself mostly focuses on Chihaya though, especially in the latter episodes, with occasional moments devoted to Tachi and some of the side characters.
It's a story about wanting to be the BEST! What I didn't like about the story is that it used the very same cliches found in any similar anime/manga - pumped up beginning, sudden wall, sudden new revelations about the game, sudden new techniques which improve our main character, rivals he/she encounters that teach her things unwillingly but joyfully, the OP characters our main duo/trio is dying to reach ... you get the point. It has everything any other manga/anime of similar genre has. Nothing new - there are no twists, compelling story or some innate depth. The only times where the story shines are the same as any other - when there's a big match, and everyone's on the edge. Nothing new. Mediocre, at best.
Art and sound, on the other hand, are wonderful. From the very first episode, I was hooked onto the art; although it was quite shoujo-ish, it wasn't filled solely with hot guys and girls (even Arata isn't that hot), and the surroundings were immensely satisfying to look at. Animation was lacking from time to time, with pictures sliding over one another during "unimportant" matches, but it also had its shining moments. Soundtrack had some beautiful compositions, some that were extremely tense and satisfying to listen, and voice actors did a fantastic job on their characters - one of the best I've recently had a chance to witness.
There where everyone told me I'd find a gem, I didn't. Characters ... oh the characters. I didn't mind having them start off as your basic, over-the-top cliche standards (even the side characters). However, the issue is that they never really change, and, if they do, it wasn't that appealing to me.
I'll start with Chihaya first. Although I always had a "thing" for tomboy-ish girls, especially in manga/anime, since they're fun to watch, Chihaya kind of rubbed badly on me. She started getting on my nerves the very first episode, which was never a good sign. I understand a certain level of un-logical events is required for a story to set off, but no one sane would throw away years of friendship for a random stranger. Maybe I'm just thinking too much into it, but that's my opinion. Throughout the episode, we see Chihaya grow - but only in tears of her karuta strength - not in terms of her character. From the very first episode, until the very last, SHE'S EXACTLY THE SAME! And no, there are no facts to prove otherwise. She's still sulking over Arata, is still completely ignorant to Taichi, is still an stupid airhead (beauty in vain), is still shouting and making the same calls she did at the beginning. I understand there's another season, but I'm fairly certain twenty five episodes are quite enough for at least a small amount of character development.
As for Taichi, he was my favorite character since the episode one. Not that he's the best character, far from it, but I was always fond of the characters like him. Ironically, he gets probably the most development throughout the series, both in terms of character and karuta strength. Taichi is your "original" jack of all trades but master of none; he has amazing grades, always at the top of his class (you never see him study though - maybe in 1 or 2 pictures), has a room filled with trophies, is so rich he just has a "small TV" in his bedroom, has a strict mother ... you know the type. However, the growth in his character is noticeable, and, besides Chihaya, he gets the most screen time, often even more than Chihaya. Still, I never liked the cowardice part of him - and I'd like that gone.
There's not much to say about Arata though. He barely gets any screen time until towards the end. He's your typical best-in-business who got struck by a sudden tragedy and needs his friends to pursue him to do the thing he loves the most in his life (?). Plain and uninteresting character.
Did I enjoy Chihayafuru? Relatively so. It has it's moments, especially during the intense karuta matches (Taichi & Porky still the best match). However, besides that, it doesn't have much going for it. It terms of story, it's completely lacking, being as cliche as one could get. With characters, it can be so-so, depending on from which perspective you look at things. However, twenty five episodes seemed far too dragged out without nothing important besides a few growths in rank happening. The good, saving graces are the art and sound, however, I wouldn't recommend it if you're not SOLELY into competitive sports (no matter what it is) and if you didn't like the types of Koruko no Basket, Bakuman etc.
Overall, Chihayafuru, in my humble opinion, is far from deserving its current score. In terms of both, story and characters, which should be the most important aspects in these types of anime (especially the characters), it offers nothing special. It has occasional wry and quirky humor, but even that fades out during the second half. read more
Dec 14, 2013Danganronpa: Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukou... (Anime) add
13 of 13 episodes seen
To put it off my chest, I loved first 4-5 episodes. They really hit the point with me since I love the detective stories. They were well executed, they actually had SOLID pacing (I KNOW!) and weren't as ... well, as bad as the rest of them. As for the rest of them, they suck - flat out suck.
The story of Danganronpa is simple - you have sixteen (fifteen) students stuck in a school and only one of them will graduate. How? By killing others and not being found guilty, of course. The anime instantly opens the question of moral, self-indulgence and various other things concerning oneself in regards to others. We have a large range of characters, and a great setting. The rest is simple: some drama and dialogue, murder, investigation and trial - hence and repeat. No, seriously. The story skyrockets in speed in the last five episodes. You are constantly being fed enormous amount of information and you don't know whether you're supposed to remember or not. And the last two episodes (especially the last) ... oh gosh ... think of it as the entire Sauske/Itachi arc done in one and a half episode. Yep.
All in all, story is half-assed at best. It opens solidly and creates decent foundation, but then is skips through itself so quickly you forget what the hell is actually happening. It has no tools other than constant, constant, CONSTANT, boring dialogue and monologue to resolve all the questions, so yeah.
The saving graces of this anime are probably art and sound, and even they are not great. Art itself is nothing special; animations can sometimes (often) be so stiff you can barely look at them. Not to mention 5 minutes of talking where no one moves a limb. Eyes blinking and mouths opening and closing. Yeah. However, animation somewhat shines during the executions; they're quite well done, all unique in their own ways, flashy and disturbing of course. However, what killed the art for me was that bloody, pinkish blood. I detest the censorship, especially in anime where blood actually matters. Executions seemed as unicorns taking a crap rather than bodies being mutilated and dismembered in the most awful ways. Characters designs are also quite good, I might add. All characters look fresh, unique and distinguishable enough. It's their personalities that make you forget about them. As far as the sound goes, music is your standard tense stuff which is actually not half-bad. The voice actors vary; even in the last episode, I still couldn't stand the MC's voice, but it's just me.
Now, the character department. Considering there are sixteen (fifteen) students, and thirteen episodes, you know it's going to be a train-wreck. Only two characters receive mild development (Kirigiri & Naegi) but not in the true sense. From the very first episode, they all have established personalities and they stick to them (well, Nagei kind of receives a new one by the end). There are two or three interesting character, including the bear (which is probably the most interesting) and the psycho-killer-schizophrenia-amnesic-catastrophe. Kirigiri will be okay for some people, but I found her character ... just plain boring. The characters are not memorable. Let alone their names. Not that you even bother to remember, or need to remember. Just ... bad characters overall.
In the enjoyment department, for the first 5 episodes, I give this anime 10. For the last 6 episodes, I give it 0. And we find in the middle. First two-three cases are relatively fun, but the formula quickly runs out. And then they tip of a twist which just couldn't make any sense unless they pulled out some really weird crap (which they did) but hey, I lived through it. The anime has A LOT of twists. Are they good? Some of them. However, after the number of people clears up a bit, it's rather easy to predict who killed whom, and even that mystery aspect kind of disappears. And then the last two episodes. Complete and utter train wreck.
What I hated the most about Danganronpa are those last five episodes. Up until then, HOPE and DESPAIR were never found in the same sentence and were mentioned once or twice in an episode. But then writers took some acid and decided to go nuts. They invented a new drinking game. Whenever you hear the words HOPE and DESPAIR in the same sentence in the last 5-6 episodes, take a shot. You won't live through one. For some reason, the writers decided to go full-out-pretentious (never go full-out-pretentious) and not in a good way. They constantly kept throwing around the subjects such as despair and hope, and characters (especially MC) kept giving the old same speeches how "... as long as I can hope, I can change the world with my hope ..." (yea, I'm looking at you Naruto) and you just want to close your eyes and forget you're watching it because you're embarrassed.
Do I recommend Danganronpa? Well, unless you're sucker for extremely fast paced anime with so many plot twists that will make your head twist (and not in a good way), go for it. However, it is obvious that this anime needed far more than 13 episodes. Even someone who never played the game realizes that. read more