25 of 50 episodes seen
The story isn't much, it's pretty much a collection of short stories about the 3 main characters (Polar Bear, Panda, and Penguin) and the events that happen to them (as they tell them to the others inside the cafe). Polar Bear pretty much runs the cafe while the other 2 come in nearly every day. DO NOT be turned away by the anthropomorphic animals...just don't because you'll regret it. Trust me, I hesitated to watch this show at first, but gave in, watched a couple episodes, and fell in love with it. The show is by-far funnier than anyone would ever expect it to be. Polar Bear is usually the sensible-yet-silly one who likes to troll the others and usually uses a lot of wordplay gags. Panda is kind of the lazy douchebag of the group; He's a narcissistic, self-absorbed person/animal who only cares about himself for the most part. Penguin is the Tsukkomi of the group (whereas Polar Bear and Panda would be the Bokes)...in other words, he's always the straight man. I usually like to refer to penguin as the "group punching bag"...why? You'll have to watch to find out. While each character might not be interesting enough to hold up the show on their own, when all 3 get together, chaos and hilarity usually ensues. And we also throw in the cute-but-realistic Sasako-san (a human girl who works as a waitress at the cafe) and Panda's zookeeper Handa-san (who is a chubby normal guy) in the mix, and you have complete insanity and comedy so unexpected.
It really helps to know a lot about animals considering many jokes have to do with different animal species. While it helps, it's certainly not necessary, because they usually explain it in the show. Some of those jokes revolve around the problems with animals, or how boring they are (like Sloth). Fear not, most the jokes have nothing to do with animals, and are definitely funny on their own to make even the most uninformed person (on animals) laugh out loud. It helps that these animals act just like humans, so the jokes aren't hard to relate to at all.
I'd say get through the first 5-10 episodes, and you'll be hooked. The personalities are all hilarious, and adding a bunch of different animals such as tortoises, sloths, baboons, and llamas, makes it crazy. Every animal has a completely different personality. It's definitely the characters and the jokes that sell the series. It's somewhat a mature comedy, in other words, there's no teenagers in this show. Even so, no matter what age, I believe that Shirokuma Cafe has an appeal to everyone out there.
The art is very simple in regards to other anime, but it fits perfectly. This is not an anime that should be animated by the best animation company possible. The daily-life tone of the show makes the simple art and animation perfect for the show, and I believe adds to the experience. Nothing fancy, but it sure fits what the show is aiming for.
I didn't really notice too much of the music during the episodes. Most are light-hearted, happy tunes that, once again, fit the show just fine. Nothing dramatic or action-y happens, so the light-hearted music is perfect.
So overall, if you've ever watched Animal Planet when you were younger (or still do) this is a must-watch. If you're an animal lover, this is definitely a must-watch. If you're not an animal-lover, you should still check it out. I'm only 25 episodes in, and I have laughed on nearly every episode.
I was totally expecting something different when I watched it at first, and planned to drop it before I even started...now it's one of my favorite shows out there. All I can say is: If you're EVER in a bad mood, watch one episode of Shirokuma Cafe and you'll be smiling as if nothing bad ever happened. For an example, I thought I got a speeding ticket (seeing if they mail it to me or not), and was super pissed that night. I watched a couple episodes of Shirokuma Cafe, and all my anger evaporated, I kid you not. It is just an easy-going comedy that will get you out of even the worst moods.
This is why it gets 8's for the technical stuff but a 10 for the overall enjoyment...it's a simple delight and a wonderful show. Some of the comedy is top-notch and on-par with my other favorite comedy Gintama. Anyways, I suggest everyone give it a watch just once, because I think anyone and everyone can find something to love about it.
50 of 50 episodes seen
Our story begins with the Main character, 14 year old Renton Thurston, son of the world's Hero, Adroc Thurston who died in an event that saved the world (and his sister disappeared on him as well). Renton is pretty much a stereotypical brat in his rebellious phase. There is this activity called "Lifting" in which people literally surf on air (technically they surf on these energy waves called Trapars). He enjoys lifting and wants to become a pro, but his grandfather who is his current guardian, is set against it and preaches to him to become a mechanic just like him. As such, Renton looks up to one of the best lifters in the world, named Holland. Holland operates a mercenary group called Gekkostate. One day, a giant robot crashes onto Renton's house and who comes out of the cockpit? None other than the girl named Eureka. Eureka offers to take him into Gekkostate as a member. Through conversation and contemplating, Renton decides that he wants to do something with his life besides becoming a mechanic, and joins.
Long story short, it's about Renton's time on the Gekko (the aircraft they fly named for its green underbelly). The story gets much much deeper than daily-life stories, and goes far beyond what I can say without spoiling any of it.
So let's start off with the art. For being produced and animated in 2005, the animation (done by BONES) is spectacular. I was fairly astonished that animation of that caliber aired in 2005. The sequences are smooth and the camera angles really make the battles engaging. I was very impressed, thus giving it a 10.
For sound, If we're talking about the OST, I absolutely love it! It's a mix of military-style music (marching bands, drummers, etc) and blasting techno music. The techno music really gets my blood going for a battle! You'll start to recognize when the music sounds, what kind of scene it will be, whether it be an action scene or not. While a fair portion of the music is techno, there is also quite a bit of ballads, J-pop, and soft music. When the music sounds, it does so at the perfect times and you will know what's coming up (like a kickass action sequence or a personal/emotional moment). One of my favorite OST's by far. The sound of the Mechas are really well-done as well.
The characters were all very unique. If you expected a character to be a certain way at first, they most likely change throughout the series. Eureka 7 has some of the most unique character designs I've seen in some time. You can tell, just from the style, that these characters are from Eureka 7. Most of the costumes combine an edgy element, combined with modern styles, mixed with sci-fi garments. Every character has completely different personalities and you'll know who's who by episode 5 (that's really fast). Some of the characters (specifically Holland) have dark pasts and many secrets. Surely Renton and Eureka are the main characters, but Holland and Talho (the female opposite of Holland and the pilot of the ship) also have very deep stories. Personally Holland was my favorite just because he's the one who changes the most in my opinion. He fights enemies while he also constantly fights with his past. He starts out as a man who seems like a drunkard, non-caring, abusive boss...but he changes so much due to many events. Eureka and Renton...let me just say that I dislike both of them halfway through the series. though after certain events take place, they really start becoming strong personalities and completely different people (which is awesome!). Eureka was selfish, and made trouble for everyone while Renton was a spoiled brat; though after certain events take place, they really start becoming stronger and completely different people (which is great thing to watch).. The only characters I honestly dislike are the kids Maeter, Link and Maurice. Not only are they an annoyance, but they seem forced to do certain things to progress or regress Renton and Eureka's relationship. I personally hated them for the most part, but I can't deny that they had an important role to play in the plot and the character development. Trust me when I say YOU WILL CARE FOR THESE CHARACTERS!! I swear, you will love some aspect of every character (besides the kids) and you will root for them every time; You won't want any of them to die at all. Some of the most colorful group of people I've seen in quite a long time.
The animation was beautiful, the mech battles were awesome and unique (considering that the mechs also battle while lifting as well). All the characters are likeable in some way, and the story is a very deep and engaging one. It really is not hard to find enjoyment in this show. Even if you don't like mechs, even if you don't like spoiled-brat characters, even if you don't like air battles, whatever you don't like about it will easily be overshadowed the the parts you DO like about it. All I can say is, don't judge a book by its cover. I did that at first, watched it, and found it amazingly great.
The story can get a little confusing at times, but as long as you see the big picture, everything should be fine. You'll also have to bear with Eureka and Renton in the first half which gets pretty annoying the way they get (if you've seen it, you'll know what I'm talking about). But after a certain event happens, everything changes and it goes from being good, to being amazing.
I think Eureka 7 is equal parts mecha battles and character development/relationships. As much time is spent on the crazy aerial battles, it is also spent on the characters contemplating about themselves and others. The rest of the cast who have no deep story, give a gigantic push for Eureka and Renton's relationship and have a huge hand in their development, because on their own, they wouldn't change much.
It's got action, romance, comedy, and all of the above. I highly recommend anyone and everyone to watch it. The ending was one of the best ones I've seen in any anime, and leaves you with tears of sadness and joy.
I think the underlying message of the show is: Love transcends borders (and you'll have to watch to know what I'm talking about)...and to me, that's simply beautiful. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Now, the actual review. I thought the show did a decent job. It obviously doesn't win any points on originality, but the method of using bombs/ BIMs to kill your opponent and nothing else makes it different in comparison to Battle Royale or The Hunger Games. Ryouta himself can often get annoying and frustrating at times to watch. He's supposed to be the best player in Japan, and yet he never fully applies that knowledge to this game (he does so a few times, but that's it). The voice actor they chose for Ryouta, who can go from being confident to downright whiny (mostly the latter), felt as if he was forcing himself to act meek and whiny. He's one of those 'goody too shoes' characters that wants to get back to normal life without harming anyone (which is a near-impossible task). He seems to be more focused on idealism than reality. Me personally, I hate main characters who constantly preach to enemies to join them and become "good"...so Ryouta personally got on my nerves quite a few times. He barely has any confidence, and he only uses his game knowledge very rarely. I think my one pet-peeve about him is, He's WAY too gullible. He trusts everyone who he meets as if he's known them for a long time...and when you're playing a survival game, I find it unrealistic that someone could blindly trust every stranger they meet. So a major down-draw to this show would have to be the main character's personality.
Flipping sides, the plot itself is actually quite interesting. While not revealing an ounce of Why they're playing a death game, they reveal small hints in many of the episodes. It was really interesting when I found out the reason why those people were chosen to play. It was something unexpected. But I'd have to give a thumbs up to the plot for taking an unoriginal trend and putting its own spin on it.
As much as this show is about battling enemies, it's just as much a psychological game (if not moreso). Most of the time it shows the characters thinking to themselves, and you find out their true colors. Some are deceitful while others are trustworthy...and you usually find that out by their inner-monologues. Most of the time is spent thinking: "Do I trust him/he?r, can I trust him/her?, etc". I can only recall a few battles that can actually be considered 'battles'. They were often short and lopsided, but sometimes turned out interesting results. I won't go into detail, but there are a couple characters whom pique my interest (and aren't explained this season), and the battles Ryouta had with them, were too short and should have been extended because they were good.
The art style is very well-done. Madhouse did a really good job. It's not bright or shiny, but dark and dull as it should be. The dark tones set the scene for such a dark death game. It's nothing spectacular, but it certainly fits the show very well.
I think the biggest drawback for the show is the lack of character development. None of these characters change much throughout. Whenever it seems that Ryouta or Himiko have developed stronger personalities, they falter and repress back to their old annoying selves. I understand that they're trying to be realistic, but you can only be so gullible (and nearly get killed for it) before you have to rethink your strategies. Anyways, that's the biggest negative for me.
I also gotta admit at how cheesy this show is. It has some of the cheesiest moments that you'd never expect. Sometimes things are overdramatized, and other times they give in to hopeless cliches that make me chuckle. There was one moment during episode 11 where I literally could not stop laughing because of how cheesy and misplaced the scene was...damn lol. But yeah, sometimes it brings out the cheez-wiz can to spray all over.
And then there's Himiko (sigh), one of the most useless characters in any anime I've seen. She's the female main character of the show whereas Ryouta is the main male character. I'd say for half the season (6 episodes) she's a punching bag. She nearly gets raped, she gets pushed around, she's the complete opposite of Ryouta in which she trusts no one (which is actually quite frustrating). She's practically eye-candy throughout most of the show, and rarely battles. She had a lot of potential, but it seems they wasted it. She mainly just watches Ryouta battle and screams his name.
So overall, I gave it an 8 because it still has potential. It really depends on whether it gets another season (because the first season cut off when they were still in the game), or if they pull a Deadman Wonderland and lead me to read the manga...because this show is nowhere near finished, and I have reason to believe that Ryouta and Himiko would finally grow some spines/strong personalities and the real battle begins (that's just my assumption). I often found myself forgetting about it until I looked it up lol. I always said "Let's see, I have this, this, and that to watch...and Oh, Btooom!"...not saying it's bad, but just forgettable. It's worth a watch if you have nothing much better, and hopefully a season 2 comes out which will feel more complete and exciting.
60 of 61 chapters read
Hetakoi wasn't particularly revolutionary in any aspect, but once I started reading, I literally could not stop. Before I knew it I was already 20 chapters in. So if you're looking for something that'll entertain you ( not wow you) then give Hetakoi a shot. If a shoujo manga can keep me interested, I'm sure it can keep many people interested too. read more