12 of 12 episodes seen
Despite saying that, the story isn't very appealing or great by itself, It is when the spectacular art direction comes in, the story's full potential is realized.
= Story (8) =
As mentioned earlier, the story features a lot of genres not usually seen accompanying one another, but it still works out great. The problem doesn't lie there, though rather with the stories appeal and entertainment value. You see the old 'character with amnesia' and 'ghost and human forbidden love' plot points have been used quite a number of times, spanning across books, movie 's and TV series and makes the story feel quite clichéd.
However, with character back-stories, the intriguing setting, numerous slice-of-life type sub-plots and the presence of some very unusual plot devices cancel out that clichéd feeling and makes the story seem rather unique.
= Art (9) & Art Direction (10) =
Art is very well done, the studio has managed to capture the right sort of tone and look for the series. Character designs aren't anything special but they don't have to be.
Art Direction is something that people don't really look for in a series, usually since there's nothing special about it compared with all the other thousands of anime series out there. Though, the direction in this series is extremely noticeable and rather incredible. The way the director uses lighting is especially brilliant and very artistic, he manages to manipulate the tone of the story with ease. The director (Shin Ōnuma btw) also uses a number of screen effects to make the series more compelling, such as using manga type composition. Another interesting trick the director uses is the 'blacking out' of all background characters, which I think adds a little something to the series.
One other thing I'd like to add is that first-person effect episodes were excellently crafted and very memorable.
= Character (8) =
The small amount of characters in this anime were all interesting, especially Yukko's character which I found very compelling. It's a shame however that the other three main characters were shunned a bit and more development could've easily been made, especially Okonogi, who we really know hardly anything about and significance in the main story is hardly felt.
= Sound (8) =
I didn't have any problem with the seiyuu's chosen for their respective parts and I think all performances were done rather good. The OST fitted nicely though nothing memorable, The OP and ED weren't really to my taste though resonated with the story nicely.
= Enjoyment (9) =
The series is very enjoyable from start to finish, you'll be laughing, scared sh*tless and maybe even crying throughout the twelve episodes and probably even wanting more once you finish the series.
= Overall (8.5) =
Overall, Dusk Maiden or Tasogare x Otome is a great series, It's very unique for it's blending of genres, It's intriguing story, the splendid art and art direction which is simply a masterpiece, It's alright sound, the characters, even though there could've been more development for them and the series enjoyment levels. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
The first season of Bakuman was great, the story, the characters, the atmosphere fitted perfectly, though It did suffer from pacing problems and could of been adapted better. This time however, J.C Staff has stepped up their game, managing to fix those problems and make Bakuman 2 one hell of a enjoyable anime and probably the best slice-of-life series I've seen yet.
= Story  =
Bakuman starts exactly where it left off from the first season and gets right into the story. I won't say much to avoid spoiling it for people who happen to see this review before watching the first season but this season has a lot more drama and romance, which make for some very intense scenes and memorable moments.
Something, that is unique to the story of Bakuman is how realistic it is. The two main characters aren't always successful and positive like you find in most shonen series and there isn't any shock twists which would be impossible to find in a real life situation, well maybe one.
= Art  =
I never get tired of the art in this series, It's amazing how J.C Staff can make the manga illustrations look so realistic and the amount of detail and effort they put into the backgrounds.
The character designs are nothing special but they don't really need to be, If anything, the only character design I can fault is Shuujin's/Takagi's, It's just that he looked a lot different and a lot better in the manga, though I don't really mind the change.
= Sound  =
I have to admit, I didn't like any of the first seasons OP and ED's that much, though Bakuman 2 has some great ones which really suit the story-lines in this season. The OST remains nearly entirely the same in this season, which is a good thing since it doesn't feel overused yet and suits the anime perfectly.
All of the VA's do a great job reprising their roles and the newcomers fit their parts perfectly in my opinion.
= Character  =
There's a lot more Character development this time around, which is welcomed especially for the minor characters such as Aoki and Nakai, who really annoyed me at first, but then actually became likeable.
The romance side of Bakuman shines through a lot more this time around, which also helped character development a lot, though some of the relationships became a bit boring and repetitive during the the second half of the story.
Bakuman 2 is one addicting ride, the story and the characters really draw you in and makes you want to finish the whole series in one go, which not just any anime can emulate.
If you're a fan of first season, you'll love this sequel, all the spirit and fun of the manga and prequel are maintained in Bakuman's second anime outing, which leaves us eagerly awaiting the third season.
Overall, Bakuman 2 outdoes it's predecessor in every aspect, with faster pacing, a more 'tighter' and entertaining story, great character development with art and sound to top it off. If it wasn't for a slow down during the the latter episodes with the story and characters, I would've considered Bakuman 2 a masterpiece. read more
23 of 25 episodes seen
The way the story is presented, the way the characters interact with each other, the way the atmosphere feels, It's very real and very unique.
= Story (10) =
The story is one of the most interesting parts of the anime. I won't describe too much or really anything because if I did it would probably spoil a lot of things. What I will say is that the first couple of episodes, Chihayafuru sets it self in the present and the past, interchanging in various lengths, this unique way of starting off the story is incredibly good at letting the viewer get to know the three main characters, Chihaya, Taichi and Arata, It also allows you to see the way they change over time.
= Character (10) =
What really makes Chihayafuru special are the characters, they're all very likeable and you can at least relate to one. The way you see them develop from little kids into somewhat mature teenagers makes you grow attached to them. The dialogue and the way the characters interact with each other is incredible, just like how people interact in real life.
= Art (9) =
The art is very nice. The character designs are great, especially the one's for Chihaya, Taichi, Arata and Nishida since you can see the resemblance between the child and teenage versions of themselves. A great part of Chihayafuru is the art direction, the scenes where they're playing Karuta look amazing.
= Sound (9) =
For a 25 episode series, Chihayafuru uncommonly uses only one opening theme and one ending theme, which is okay since both songs are really great to listen to. The OST can be repetitive at times, though that doesn't really matter.
The voice acting is fantastic, each seiyuu (voice actor) really suits their part. Especially Yoshimasa Hosoya who voices older Arata.
= Enjoyment (10) =
When I first started Chihayafuru, I didn't know what to expect and I was amazed by how much I enjoyed every minute of it, It's amazing how watching two people playing a card game can be so thrilling, the way you can't wait to see what happens next. Not many anime series can do that week in and week out.
= Overall (10) =
Overall, Chihayafuru is a masterpiece in it's own right, a series which actually has heart, as corny as that may sound. The characters all have had struggles which are very realistic and relatable, the story is original, something hard to come by in recent anime, the art and sound match the series near-perfectly and the enjoyability of this series is unexpectedly great.
Chihayafuru is a must-watch and in my opinion the best anime of Fall 2011. read more
22 of 22 episodes seen
= Story (3) =
If you have been watching Guilty Crown or have seen some of the rantings on the forums, you would know that the story is filled with cliché's and awful execution (for the most part anyway), So I won't go that in-depth to the story, basically just think of it as a mecha-action-supernatural-apocalyptic-drama-comedy-Sci Fi-romance-school-fan service super show.
In other words, Shu (Shuu), your average 16-year-old guy living in a future version of Tokyo get's himself wrapped up in the activities of terrorist group defying the government called Funeral Parlour, he meets the leader Gai, find's out his favourite singer is a member of the group and that the government is corrupt blah blah blah
= Art (10) =
If there's one thing that no one can complain about, I'd say it's the art. Every episode looks of cinematic quality and the character designs are well down as you'd expect from Production I.G and Redjuice (supercell). If there is one thing to fault about the art, I believe it's the design of the apocalypse virus, It just doesn't look like some deadly disease that someone would be afraid of, though that doesn't really matter.
= Sound (9) =
Sound is also a great part of Guilty Crown, the insert music and the OST is brilliant, the first OP 'Euterpe' was only used in the first episode which was disappointing since the second OP which lasted for 11 episodes wasn't hardly as good. The best OP in my opinion and one of my favourite anime openings is the third and last one 'The Everlasting Guilty Crown', It seriously made the other two seem like crap in comparison.
= Character (7.5) =
7.5? That's not even an score according to MAL is what you might say though that's really the only score I can give it, The characters and their developments weren't very good though they weren't just good either, sort of in-between.
The problem with the characters is that they introduced too many too fast, there wasn't really any-time to grow attached to them or even remember some of them at all. You didn't know which ones were supposed to be Minor or Main characters or just background ones in most of the first half.
Another problem was the likeability of the main characters in most of the FIRST HALF, Shu just sit's around most of the time, being a indecisive, annoying loser. Gai was just emotionless (for the most part) and all Inori could do was use the power of singing(?), provide fan-service and dodge (she might of shot a gun once) but that's it.
Though, (without spoiling anything) In the second half, the main characters had great development.
= Enjoyment (7) =
Enjoyment levels really depend on how serious you take Guilty Crown, don't go into the series expecting a masterpiece because you will most definitely be disappointed and hating on it. Though if you are a simple person (no offence) and just like your anime with ton's of great looking action scenes and a little bit of everything rolled in one (even if the result is total mess) then you will obviously enjoy the series a lot more.
= Overall (7) =
Overall, Guilty Crown is definitely not a masterpiece, though it does NOT deserve the crap reputation it gets, sure the story becomes screwed up beyond repair with the can of cliché's they sprung at you each episode and the character development doesn't really start until halfway through the series, what really matters at the end of the day is how much the viewer enjoys the anime, people will hate, like or love GC and that's their opinion just as this review gives my opinion, I don't really care about the 'helpful' or 'not helpful' clicks, as long as my review isn't buried so deep that it can't be of at least some help to the many users who are looking for a new anime to enjoy, and that's the whole point of reviews, to help people decide whether a anime would be to their liking or not. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
If you were to ask me what I though about Un-Go after watching the first few episodes I probably would've said "boring, horrible character development, terrible pacing and lack of a plot. If you were to ask me now after seeing all the episodes I would say "brilliant, unique storytelling and interesting characters".
Un-Go starts off from the generic 'future Japan' setting, using guess work you try to make sense of the plot and characters which is difficult and leaves you feeling like it's taking off from a prequel series. Though the backstory shines through little by little each episode and you can piece it together (which fits into the detective mystery genre nicely).
The main issue i had with the early episodes of Un-Go was pacing. It felt as if they were cramming in two-parters into one episode which left a long path of plot holes along the way. At the end of the episode, you'd be thinking "what just happened" "is that the ending?" "Why don't I just drop this crap" but thankfully this issue is resolved later on.
I first thought the characters were really boring and bland, probably because the character development was nearly non-existent among the confusing plots and side characters in the first few episodes. Though you soon get attached to them, well most of them anyway.
The art style is interesting and the character designs aren't too bad, though I really hated the design for 'that woman' (call her this to avoid spoilers). She looked like some out of proportion alien thing.
I liked the OP and the ED wasn't that bad. The voice acting is average.
Overall, Un-Go has it's flaws through features the 'detective/mystery' genre at it's best. It starts off as a terrible anime, filled with poor character development, plot holes and pacing issues though finishes off with a nicely polished interesting series which leaves you wanting more. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
This episode-sized special doesn't really bring anything new to the table and theres no more backstory info on Kuro which I was expecting given the whole episode was foucused on him. Though, the short but sweet appearences from the many charcters in the main story and the simple plot makes this special very enjoyable (in special/OVA standards).
The best part of Kuro no Iede is that it has the same amount of comedy and drama which Ao no Exorcist had until the last 4-5 episodes where it became an over-the-top overdramatic mess (just saying).
The voice acting and the OP and ED were great as usual and the animation was up to typical 2011 standard (btw is a good thing).
To sum it up, this short but sweet special is quite enjoyable and a treat for all Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist fans. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
With a clichéd and predictable story, I think that only a Yu-Gi-Oh fan could truly enjoy and appreciate this. Bonds Beyond Time could of easily featured appearances by Kaiba, Joey, Téa, Tristian etc. but only manages to squeeze in the main characters, which was disappointing.
All of the original English voice actors retain their roles (I think) and for a 4Kids! Dub, it was well pulled off. I really liked the bonds between Yugi, Jaden and Yusei and the nice thank you message at the end credits as well as a mix of the three series theme songs.
38 of 73 episodes seen
Just when everyone thought the Yugioh anime franchise was over, Kazuki Takahashi did it again. Creating another anime and manga series, proving audiences will never get tired of people playing with cards over and over again.
Despite having used Duel Monsters as a plot device in every episodes of every Yu-Gi-Oh series, Zexal still manages to be entertaining, set in a colorful futuristic city (unlike 5d's) called 'Heatland', likeable and somewhat relate-able characters, great art and okay voice acting and a decent attempt at creating a story which anyone can get into.
Basically, the story follows an happy-go-lucky energetic boy with very bad duelling skills who comes across an 'alien' named Astral, who's memories have been transformed into 99 'number cards', which possess numerous minor characters. Astral then helps Yuma defeat these people in order to obtain the number card and another piece of his memory.
The characters are likeable though are pretty generic. you've got the hero of he story, his sidekick and future love interest?, hero's trusty best friends, a nerd, a girl who thinks she's a cat and so on. What Zexal is lacking is a good villain, Kaito is just a attempt at cloning Seto Kaiba, the characters are pretty much the same, though Kaito just doesn't fit into the villain role.
=Art  and Sound =
The art upgrade is very nice, the backgrounds are really impressive and the colour's used are very bright (to appeal to children I guess). The character designs are nothing special though.
The voice acting is good, again nothing special. The first OP and ED were alright, though the second OP and ED were awesome, though it's a shame they were wasted on a anime like this, where mostly the only fans they could get would be 8-12 year olds.
The enjoyment level isn't too high for this one, don't go in expecting it to be as good as the originals because it isn't. There's a lot of cliches and the story is very repeatable and predictable.
Overall, Zexal isn't very good, it's more of a step down compared to the other three series. Though, Yu-Gi-Oh is Yu-Gi-Oh and collectable card games are collectable card games, things which will always have an audience no matter how boring they become. read more