24 of 24 episodes seen
For me, watching Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is like finding a diamond in the rough. The “rough” that I am referring to, would be the dominance of the many crappy ecchi-romance shows in the anime industry. In these shows, the romance is inevitably cheapened by the ecchi aspect of it. Although I am not the biggest fan of the ecchi genre, it’s fine as long as it does not take precedence over the storyline. In addition, the story needs to build up momentum to escalate the romance to its full effect. This show does both, and at a high level. Comedy wise, it was unoriginal and uninspiring after a certain point. The jokes became too reliant on one thing, which was the obliviousness of the female protagonist. Ultimately, this show’s main appeal is the drama and the romance.
The title pretty much sums up this show: translated as “The Pet Girl of Sakurasou”. The main female protagonist, Mashiro Shiina, is that “pet girl”; a beautiful girl with a genius in her. She is a world famous renowned painter and an aspiring manga artist. Nevertheless, conventional wisdom points to the notion that all geniuses are also retarded. In Shiina’s case, she is inept in living a normal life. She needs a caretaker to feed, clean, and dress her, symbolic to a lazy domesticated cat. That is also where most of the ecchi is derived from. A teenage girl who needs assistance in personal hygiene can only lead to one thing. To the author's credit, this is a shrewd implementation of fan service that cannot be overlooked. The male protagonist, Sorata Kanda, is her caretaker. He operates in a different world than Shiina, and fits the expression of Jack of all trades, master of none. He is just a plain and average boy while Shiina is gifted with artistic talent. Can they coexist with each other? The plot screams: DRAMA!
Drama can be good but also bad. It’s bad when it gets overblown. It’s good when it’s realistic. This show falls under the realistic side for the most part. I was intrigued by the prospect of pairing Sorata and Shiina. The character development of both characters comes hand in hand with their relationship. The simple fact that Sorata feels inferior to Shiina creates a lot of hardships, which was well executed throughout the series for the most part. Put yourself in Sorata’s shoes. His feelings are real. His insecurity about himself was magnified by Shiina’s outstanding talents. This often makes Sorata a detestable character because of his random lash outs. The boring characters are always the realistic ones. However, he is a good fit for the main protagonist of this story no matter how much of a sissy you think he is. He is the "balance" to all the crazy characters in this show. Mashiro Shiina is probably the fan favorite, being the clueless, deredere girl she is. Watching her can be highly satisfying and cute, especially when she figures out what love is. She massages the soft spot of many viewers. I am a victim.
The rest of the cast in Sakurasou is good and steady for the most part. The fact that Sorata is not the only important male character automatically deserves credit. My standards are low after being subjected to all the harems that exists in the world of anime. To create more drama, because we can't get enough of it, Aoyama is added to the mix to form a love triangle with Sorata and Shiina. She is more on Sorata’s level in terms of talent and diligence. This makes the love triangle more conflicted, which means more dramatic! What a surprise! There is also the wacky-calm duo in Misaki and Jin to provide a dose of comedy whenever it’s needed. Ryuunosuke completes the group as a shut-in computer nerd that has a phobia for girls. The diversity in these characters makes a good supporting cast.
I have zero complaints over the production done by J.C Staff. Kayano Ai is a perfect match for Shiina’s emotionless personality. There could not have been a better voice actress for her. The coloring scheme for the setting gives off a certain light-heartedness that sits well with me. Other than that, nothing really stood out to my eyes, which is quite a shame since this show is about art.
I didn’t see myself enjoying Sakurasou na Pet no Kanojo initially, especially after the opening scene to this show. “Here we go again” was the thought that popped up in my head, but I didn't cut the knot. You shouldn't either. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
On the surface, Welcome to the NHK! satirizes the likes of NEETs, otakus, and hardcore gamers. While entertaining, the true nature of this show is nothing of this variety. Welcome to the NHK! emits a very realistic perspective on life, despite its use of hyperbole in various scenarios. The one aspect of this show that intrigues me is how it toyed with my emotions. It is hard to explain the feeling, but it reeks of uncertainty and almost depression. Every joyous moment throughout this show was also gloomy, and vice versa. Welcome to the NHK! also maintains a level of seriousness throughout the peaks and valleys of Satou’s life, no matter how ridiculous his life may be. Based on the setting and the mood alone, Satou’s life story is a stroke of genius.
The humor in this show requires you to have some sort of experience or knowledge on certain topics. If you are reading this review, you are most likely familiar with the otaku culture, which includes the fascination behind eroges and visual novels. Welcome to the NHK! explores the idea of poking fun at this, which lead to the forming of Satou’s first bond in a long time: his neighbour Yamazaki. Using the pretext of creating an eroge, the friendship between Yamazaki and Satou was Satou’s first step out of his condition. Their time spent together invested in creating this eroge, was downright entertaining, especially if you are perverted (this encompasses 99% of you). This show also focused on Satou’s newfound love for mmorpgs, after being introduced to the idea of RMT (real money trading). Once again, the humor will only be relevant to you if you know about the online blackmarkets for virtual gold and items. I can totally relate to these jokes because my brother does these types of things, which is why this show is comedic gold for any computer geek out there. Ultimately, Welcome to the NHK! is hilarious for one simple reason: the humor is not forced upon the storyline, it just flows perfectly with the pathetic life of Satou Tatsuhiro.
Another reoccurring theme in Welcome to the NHK! is Satou’s obsession with conspiracies. This show is very psychological because of this, as Satou’s delusions are reflective of his many insecurities. This makes Satou a very interesting character to watch, because there is never a dull moment with him. Misaki Nakahara is the main female protagonist of this story. She acts as Satou’s life counsellor, mired by the fact that she has her own burdens. The relationship between Satou and Misaki is definitely unorthodox and dramatic. Love stories are getting too generic these days, and this is the complete opposite of that.
Welcome to the NHK! is my one of my all-time favorites for all these reasons. And it ain’t a conspiracy either.
13 of 13 episodes seen
The story can be described as all flash, little substance. We, as viewers, are forced to absorb the ongoing shenanigans that goes on in the world of “K”. 13 episodes is clearly not enough to comprehend what truly goes on with the story. The ironic thing is, “K” tries very hard to be deep and clever. The title says it all…”K”… Wow! The ambiguity of a single letter title is so mysterious! Every episode title also starts with the letter “K”! Once again, all flash, little substance.
Certain characters in “K” are extremely flawed. Neko is the centerpiece to the diverse character cast in this show. She appears to be obsolete, as her true purpose is to provide mankind’s two favorite things: kitties and titties (yes, pun intended). There is actually a website designated for these two specific things, so do some googling if you adore Neko. Kuroh, who appeared to be awesome initially, went on a downward spiral due to his association with Neko and Yashiro. Don’t get me wrong. All the characters are incredibly unique, but true character development and backstories are non-existent thus far, and 13 episodes will not compensate for such lacking details.
I feel that a 5 is quite justifiable for this show. I actually put stock on the production qualities when it comes to rating a show. “K” has great animation which cannot be overlooked. The lineup of voice actors are stacked with popular voices, which improves the enjoyment of this show. A 5 by no means, is a bad score, but this show could have been much better with a better story.
13 of 13 episodes seen
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is an amazingly unique love story. Amazingly, the appeal does not depend on the size of one’s breasts. The two main characters, Shizuku and Haru, make up a hilarious dynamic duo. They are both socially awkward, combined with the fact that they have no earthly idea of how a relationship works. This is actually a big positive, simply because the story avoids all the generics in your typical relationship cycle. Skip the “fated encounter”, the “commonalities”, the “date”, the “predicament”, the “make up”, and the “confession”. Haru and Shizuku are simply oblivious to the norm, which allows them to clearly speak their minds. Imagine blurting out everything you think and how ridiculously entertaining that would be. This is one of the primary reasons why the characters in Tonari are so lovable and funny.
Brains Base did a spectacular job in producing this anime. The art is marvelous in all respects. The scenery, the character designs, and the animations makes Tonari quite a relaxing spectacle. The character designs are flawless. My heart often skips a beat when I see the characters blush or smile. It’s so cute and heart-warming. Seriously. Who needs moe? The voice actors, particularly Haruka Tomatsu, did a masterful job in portraying their respective characters. The script also came off incredibly natural. Brains Base did it again!
This review is relatively short because my goal is to spread the word about Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. For those of you who haven't done so, add Tonari to your plan-to-watch list! I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a rom-com to this magnitude. Toradora! and School Rumble comes to mind, and ironically, the stories are awfully similar. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
…but you should wake up and stop fantasizing about these things. A better alternative is to watch Mirai Nikki.
This show took the romance genre and butchered it in a gruesome but amusing way. Gasai Yuno and Amano Yukiteru is not your average couple, because everything about them works in reverse. Yuno (the girl) is actually the man of the relationship, as she does all the stalking, fighting, and harassing. Yuki plays the role of the bitch, living helplessly under the wrath of the Yandere Queen. Ultimately, if you are looking for a light-hearted love story, then you are at the wrong place. Mirai Nikki’s twisted definition of love takes on the characteristics of obsession and chaos.
Mirai Nikki literally translates to “Future Diary”, which is also the driving force behind the storyline. These cellphone devices can predict the future in a multitude of ways, all having their distinct advantages and disadvantages. A God by the name of Deus Ex Machina granted twelve people these Future Diaries, initiating a survival game between them, deeming the winner to be his replacement for the title of God. By now, the entire premise sounds completely unbelievable and nonsensical. While that may hold true in certain scenarios throughout Mirai Nikki, the true motive behind this crazy story is to create high shock value, which it has done to perfection. This show definitely lives up to its proclamation of being a psychological thriller. The sheer unpredictability of each character generates the craziest outcomes. For me, no show can top Mirai Nikki when it comes down to pure entertainment.
The cast in Mirai Nikki is certainly unique to say the very least. Yuno’s yandere tendencies had gotten so popular that a meme came out of it. To put it bluntly, she is a psychopath that makes this show frightening and thrilling. Mirai Nikki also does a great job in terms of involving all of the characters without losing focus on Yuki and Yuno. There is a backstory for every character which is needed for any significant character development.
The two opening themes makes a perfect match for Mirai Nikki. It was so catchy that I watched them over and over again. After a while, I picked up a lot of subliminal messages and barely-noticeable details within them. The first opening actually featured every participant in the survival game through symbolism and implications. The second opening was sung entirely in English (or Engrish). The soundtracks in the anime helps build up suspense and establishes a dark theme.
The “stickiness” of Mirai Nikki makes it an all-time favorite for me. Years from now, I will still remember how this story went down in great detail. There are certain scenes within this show that are just implanted in my brain. Take Yuno’s leering eyes for example. The ending may leave a bitter after taste for some viewers. There is a solution for that, and that is reading the manga for the clear cut ending.
24 of 24 episodes seen
Haruyuki Arita is the biggest loser in school. And the author did a darn good job portraying him to be one. He’s 3 feet tall, morbidly obese, and has a propensity to cry more than your 3-year-old nephew. His character design was too exaggerated; you can still be a loser while having the right body proportions you know?
However, the most popular girl in school, Kuroyukihime, takes an interest in Haru. She got him to install the program: "Brain Burst", which opened the gates to an alternate online universe called Accel World.
“Brain Burst”. This term applies to your own brain as much as it applies to this show. Most of the blame goes out to the highly detestable characters that this show frequently features. They specialize in getting under your skin, appearance and attitude wise. Does that make Accel World a complete bust? Definitely not. The nature of the story gives Accel World an edge over many other shows: it is a game and an anime at the same time. If the game looks appealing, so will the anime.
"Brain Burst" is like a fusion of Pokemon, Mortal Combat, GTA and Halo. If you play any of these games, you would know what comparisons I'm referring to. Natures, typings, weaknesses, and supereffectiveness. The game mechanic in Pokemon is similar to the color typing of Accel World. The game interface during battles is similar to Mortal Combat. The game avatars are Halo-esque. And I threw in GTA because of the legions and the hierarchies pertaining to both games. If I can relate to a show on a personal level, I will most likely enjoy watching it. I get that feeling when I tune in on Accel World.
Accel World also ranks on the top of my list in terms of intrigue. The story is pretty standard, but the futuristic atmosphere makes every episode unpredictable and interesting. It is human nature to be more fascinated with the future rather than the present. In Accel World, no time machine is needed to travel to the future, because the show takes place in the year 2046.
People always refer to the phrase of: "quality over quantity." This phrase is rendered obsolete when it comes down to the characters. Not even Kuroyukihime can withstand the barrage of terrible characters that this show offers. Here are three characters that may ruin your viewing experience:
1. Haruyuki. His flawed character design burns my eyes. He does play out his role like he’s supposed to, but people generally dislike characters that show their invulnerability on a regular basis.
2. Chiyu. I don't understand her character. She’s obsessed with Haru but she’s dating someone else. The implied relationship between Taku and Chiyu simply does not exist.
3. Noumi. Look up the word douchebag in the dictionary. You will see his ugly face plastered on that page. He is the perfect villain that has the ability to draw out anger and hatred for him. He is a classic alpha-male bully that exists for the sole reason of getting on your nerves. Seeing his downfall is something that everyone looks forward to.
Accel World did redeem itself with high quality art and sound, two of the biggest components of why I enjoyed this anime as much as I did. "Burst the Gravity" by ALTIMA pretty much sums up the time that went into sound production. A custom song for a show is always a great indication of effort. The dubstep OST was the first dubstep I had ever heard in an anime, and it's fitting for a show like this.
Overall, Accel World did a lot of good to offset the obvious bad. A second season should clear up any misconstrues with the story line and also improve the development of the characters. read more
13 of 25 episodes seen
Sword Art Online is a show that gets too much attention for all the wrong reasons.
It's partly due to the runaway hype train, or more prevalently, the runaway hate train that exists with this show. In all seriousness, this show is not as abysmal as people claim it to be. Although some of the common criticisms with regard to SAO are justified, watching this show with these guidelines would be best.
1. Do not watch this show with extremely high expectations. You will most likely be disappointed.
2. Do not watch this show with a narrow mind. Nitpicking at every little detail is not very constructive. However, neglecting and refuting all the shortcomings due to personal enjoyment is just stubborn.
Follow these guidelines, and you will come to realize how average this show truly is. Not terrible, not amazing, but average.
First off, it is important to address the number one problem with SAO. In the light novels, side stories were added after the completion of the main story. This was done to compensate for the lack of plot and character development during the two year time-skip. The fact that the main story picks up two years after being trapped into the game will always pose as a detriment to the quality of the story. The anime adaptation decided to add more fuel to the already blazing fire, by airing the episodes in chronological order.
Therefore, the initial episodes are mostly side stories, all of which are separated by enormous time gaps. This is just confusing, especially for the people who are unfamiliar with the light novels.
Nevertheless, SAO can still be very enjoyable to watch because it presents itself with appealing characters in an ideal setting. The "survival game" theme had always been extremely popular (see Kaiji, Fate/Zero, Mirai Nikki, Death Note etc.), and SAO exhibits this theme to a great extent. The fact that in-game death equates to death in real life really builds up suspense for the viewers. With that being said, the anime did start off strong, but hit a wall past episode two. The premise of clearing the game gradually faded, giving us the impression that SAO is episodic, and not plot-driven.
The character designs are incredibly appealing. This show should be renamed to “CGO” which stands for Cute Girls Online, because there are swarms of them in this game. This is quite contradictory to the real gaming environment, but what the heck; complaining about something so trivial is beyond my comprehension. The animations however, can be very inconsistent at times. For example, the characters sometimes stay motionless when they are fighting, using flashing beams as a scapegoat. The sound on the other hand, deserves nothing but praise. The soundtracks suit this show because it provides a much needed medieval feel to a medieval themed MMO. At the end of the day, my words cannot possibly act as your ears and eyes. So this is something that you should experience firsthand.
Most of the characters in SAO are likable and tolerable. It’s comical how almost every girl that runs into Kirito falls for him, including his sister who is not blood-related of course (*facepalm*). I can somewhat understand why, because he has a calm demeanor, and plays hard to get. The problem with Kirito lies with the fact that he has little room for improvement. The two years of off-screen time made him the most powerful player in Sword Art Online. Character development is minimal because of this. But, he gives us a much needed break from those super annoying, weak, and often perverted male protagonists that appears in a lot of anime. His online wife, Asuna, is also popular for similar reasons. When a girl is pretty and not useless, she will be adored by most of the male viewers. Still, the characters are just too perfect for their own good. In my opinion, the author just wanted please his fans.
Ultimately, Sword Art Online is a "sit back and enjoy" anime. The premise is interesting, the characters are fulfilling to their roles, and the art is pleasing to the eye. Just don't over analyze this show. We are not sitting in class reading Shakespeare. read more