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6 of 26 episodes seen
One-liner: Good slice-of-life / drama series. Ok plot with a certain feeling of incoherence. Excellent animation. Will literally leave you wanting for more at the end. Characters can be annoying.
(Updated to fix a few spelling mistakes and make things clearer)
-- [ Story: 7 / 10 ] --
Hanasaku Iroha, which I'll abbreviate to just Hanasaku, is about the main female character, Ohana, being forced to go to live at her grandmother's inn because her mother ran away with her boyfriend who had debts. Uh... ok. The problem is that the grandma is very strict and says Ohana has to earn her living by working as a waitress at the inn. Rest assured, there is nothing ecchi in that.
Just a basic slice-of-life plot. The story in itself is not very interesting and quite slow going at times. A few of the episodes are fairly useless and do not contribute to the underlying plot which involves Ohana's evolution towards a person that relies only on herself to someone who learns how to trust others. There is also the issue of Ohana's romance being unresolved with Koichi.
The most interesting part of the story is the comedy parts which are well executed and provide quite good laughs. Ohana always does unpredictable and weird things, which often chains with the supporting characters doing other weird things.
I also liked the slow pacing of the story. It has its good points: it's an anime you can watch and feel relaxed afterwards. Although, I'll admit sometimes the story feels a bit slow and it's as if the characters are taking too long to resolve their issues, but I guess that's subjective.
Two things I didn't like were a certain lack of coherence between the various arcs in the anime. It's as if the anime is centered around groups of episodes and the result at the end of the group does not matter in subsequent groups. There is also a particularly dramatic event that occurs towards the end of the series and I felt as if the characters did not react enough to it.
So, overall, an average plot but good comedy.
-- [ Art: 9 / 10 ] --
Some anime today have really good animation, highly detailed and fluid movements coupled with very detailed backgrounds, all rendered in eye-pleasing colors. Hanasaku is one of those anime.
The art, attention to detail, fluidity of movements are just great. The same can be said about camera angles, especially when panning backgrounds.
I particularly liked the scenery shots, where you can see the inn from a distance, often with the sun behind. Those scenes are awesome in terms of lights and colors. I liked the traditional look of the inn and the waitresses' uniforms, portrayed in great detail.
The characters themselves were very varied and quite distinct from those in other anime. Good designs, overall.
If you like art, you will like Hanasaku Iroha.
-- [ Sound: 8 / 10 ] --
As usual, am not one that usually pays attention to sound in anime.
However, I found the music used in Hanasaku to be well-chosen, a good blend of dramatic, fast-pacing and slow/relaxing music. I preferred the second opening to the first, but that's just down to musical tastes.
Voice acting was ok, no complaints there, although one or two of the characters' voices kind of annoyed me. Am looking at you, Takako. It does get better at the end though, with less stress on the voice etc.
-- [ Character: 7 / 10 ]--
Character development was acceptable, but not excellent. While the characters themselves were fairly likable, the lack of character development prevents me from giving a higher score.
Background stories are not explored as such. Granted, this is a slice-of-life anime, but still, I'd have appreciated a bit more of background on the characters. Even the main character does not get enough history. Like, there are hardly any mentions of Ohana's early childhood or her dad.
There is nothing said about the secondary female characters, such as Minko. Even the stern grandmother, Sui, has no story except that she has an inn.
However, the characters and their interactions themselves in the present were quite nicely done. Ohana often does unpredictable and funny stuff, which causes chain reactions in the other characters' behaviors.
I do have to point out that at some times, some characters become borderline annoying, especially the grandmother with her "the customer always comes first" attitude, Takako's abuse of English phrases and Minko's "Ohana wants to steal my crush" frenzies, and turns out to be a rather unlikable tsundere. Overall, ok characters but nothing great other than the main character, who I particularly liked.
Interestingly, a few of the supporting characters are more fun than the main ones. Ohana's mother is always a delight when she's on screen.
Another good point is character evolution. For example, the main character Ohana is very different at the end of the series than at the beginning, showing more maturity and ready to face her issues. This evolution is apparent over the series and seeing this was an enjoyable trip. Ohana starts from a girl that is undecided about her life, not knowing what she wants to do, to someone more assertive, ready to take decisions. From trusting no one, relying only on herself, she accepts strangers (who then become friends) as family who can be relied on.
The other characters also experience evolution, in varying degrees. Nako goes from a shy, introverted girl to one more outgoing. Minko... uh, accepts her feelings... in some way? The grandmother becomes less stern and strict and more motherly.
-- [ Enjoyment - 8 / 10 ] --
What I liked was the comedy in the series and Ohana's unpredictability. I also liked character interactions and how situations get resolved in somewhat strange ways.
The plot, while not brilliant, was acceptable and enjoyable to me. At the end, I was especially looking forward to the ending to see how the series will end.
I also appreciated the discreet fan-service. The characters were pleasing to look at and the series did a good job at allowing you to do precisely that, while maintaining decency and leaving a lot to your imagination. There is no nudity as such, except a few "glancing" shots with convenient censoring, all done very tastefully.
The romance was also well done. It's not just "should I confess?" but more, "if I confess, what happens? Do I want that? Or do I like the status quo?" and questions like that. The anime assumes its viewers are intelligent in resolving a few plot details on their own. Nicely done.
I will admit that I was kind of let down by the ending, with a feeling of wanting for more. There is supposed to be either a season 2 or an OVA or "something" as announced by the committee responsible for development. I'll look forward to that.
-- [ Conclusion - 8 / 10 ] --
I give Hanasaku Iroha a 8 because it was just fun for me. I was always looking forward for more episodes to watch because I was always curious about how the story would evolve. There is no plot as such but it was still fun.
The characters themselves, how they changed over the series etc also kept my attention so that's a plus.
What I didn't like were a few of the scenes were the characters grew annoying, a few plot lines taking too long to resolve and the feeling of wanting for more from the ending.
Regarding the last point, if ever there is another season or OVA or something, Hanasaku Iroha should really earn 8.5 / 10 then. But if there is no such sequel, it'd be a bit disappointing as the series certainly shows promise and would deserve a sequel.
Overall, an enjoyable anime if you like good art, likable characters, good comedy and nice pacing. Not so much if you're expecting an awesome plot that will keep you on edge. But then, it's a slice-of-life and drama series! What kind of plot do you expect? read more
12 of 9001 episodes seen
One-liner: If you want an anime with amazing art, great character development, good romance and an ending which you cannot predict from episode 1, Katanagatari is for you.
[ Introduction ]
Katanagatari, or Sword Story, is about the Strategian Togame and her "sword", Yasuri Shichika. The story is about their journey to collect 12 legendary deviant swords made by master swordsmith Shikizaki Kiki.
[ Story = 9 ]
When I see animes about a journey to collect swords, I generally think: "Sword fights to be expected. Blood and gore. Severed limbs. Magical sword. Ooooh... Duh!". Katanagatari is about swords, of course, but not your run-of-the-mill sword anime.
So what will you find: sword fights! Duh no. Not many sword fights! But... but! It's a sword anime! Yes, but not so many sword fights. Interesting huh? Romance. Was kind of expected. Lots of lovey-dovey kissing? Nope. It's more of a... weird kind of... love. Comedy. Yes, fair share of good laughs. Plot twist. On the menu too. Main character gets beaten, levels up, gets beaten, levels up. NO! NO! No level up! AT ALL! So awesome.
I found the pacing a bit slow sometimes, with a bit too much dialogue between the characters. A few particular scenes were stretched the limits of my patience. However, one can argue that the slow-ish pace is used to build character. One would be right. Still feels a tad slow at the start.
Otherwise, the story is unpredictable. There are no cliff hangers! No cliff hangers! In a modern anime, can you imagine? All episodes are basically stand-alone except the last two. I really liked the story. It's simple, really. But it's so well narrated that it doesn't feel simple at all.
The story is unpredictable, but each episode follows a certain pattern. Tip: There are 12 Deviant Blades. There are 12 episodes. See a pattern?
[ Art = 9 ]
9.5 really. The art is not your classic anime art. It's hard to describe... Don't expect big anime eyes. Don't expect anime expressions. Ok maybe a few. Don't expect anime faded colors.
What you should expect are vibrant colors that look like pastel, well-designed character models and excellent backgrounds. It's one of the animes you can watch just for the characters and art. Definitely worth checking out.
The animation is smooth, well detailed - even fight scenes. Costume design is especially great. I liked how Katanagatari shifted from "known and tried" art to something interesting and beautiful.
For some people, the art and animation can feel slow and simplistic. Almost un-moving. For me, that's what makes the beauty of Katanagatari. Remember, it's a sword anime. It's supposed to have fast animation! Explosions! Clash! Not a relaxed animation!
[ Sound = 9 ]
Uhh.. if you read my reviews, you'd know am not really good at rating sound. For Katanagatari, I'd say the music really fits the situation, and the episode intro music (very Samurai-ish) was really nice and mood-setting. Haha... Sorry. Not very satisfying huh?
The anime is a bit wordy. I didn't mind. The background music helped with that.
[ Character = 9 ]
Ahhh the major attraction in Katanagatari: characters. It's one of the animes I've watched where I truly liked the character development. It's slow, methodical and done in great timing. Nothing is revealed too early. Some things are not revealed at all. No plot holes, I think.
Katanagatari is only 12 episodes, but it has a ton of characters. Thankfully, the two main characters: Togame and Shichika are explored in depth, their relationship getting major screen-time. Their journey together and interaction gets much attention.
The side characters are all unique, and I can't say I've found their similars in other animes. Like, Katanagatari features ninjas. You'd think, yeah, black-outfitted ladies and dudes with masks. HAH! Think colorful animal-themed clothes instead! Also, they all have their own stories and it's not just insignificant stories; sometimes their stories do play a major role in the episodes. They're all likable, even the bad guys.
The most interesting part? There are no bad guys! None of the characters are portrayed as "bad" or evil. There is no arch-enemy. Even the character you think are bad guys are only trying to get their share of the action. They have their own reasons and their own troubles. As another reviewer mentions, you may even come to like the "bad" guys...
Sadly, there is not enough character development. Some of the characters' stories are not explained at great length. The episodes are 50 minutes each but you'd still feel like the side characters are not explored in enough depth. Example? The Maniwa Corps. The background story of their members are hardly explored. Same for Shichika's sister. Shichika's mother is not mentioned at all. Togame's background story is breezed on, and I still don't completely get it.
Overall, good main character development, interesting character relationships, good character background-stories, likable and memorable characters but unfortunately, not enough in-depth exploration of each character's story.
[ Enjoyment = 9.5 ]
I really liked Katanagatari. It even made it to my Favourite Animes! So what did I enjoy?
- The art. I really liked the pastel-like colors, the feeling like everything is drawn on paper. Really changes from the "normal" animes out there with big sparkly eyes etc.
- The story is not what I'd expected. There are a few plot twists and "wtf" moments which spice up the plot. Good pacing. It never feels too rushed. Except maybe last episode which I think should have been a bit longer, say 20-25 minutes more than the other episodes to completely wrap up the story.
- The characters: A very nice, likable set of characters. I also enjoyed how each had an elaborate background-story.
- The relationship between the main characters. Not what I'd expect in an anime like that. It's just fun! I.e. the non-fighting parts of the anime didn't bore me. Also, I did say there are not that many extended fight scenes overall.
What I DIDN'T enjoy:
- Not much I should say. Am quite satisfied.
- I wanted some characters to be developed in greater depth. E.g. Shichika's sister who is just... unimaginable!
- The anime is a bit wordy. LOTS of talking. I didn't mind that, but you may so am listing it here since people complain about it.
[ Overall = 9.5 ]
Good anime. Very, very easy to overlook. One hell of a lost opportunity if you do miss it. If you are on the lookout for an anime with distinctive art, good character development, an interesting story, a good bit of romance and an ending which, in my opinion, fits the anime, then check Katanagatari.
Oh and... CHEERIO! read more
1 of 5 chapters read
One Liner: It tells the story of a computer that continues its mission, long after humanity has gone extinct. If you ever have to read a single one-shot and that's it, Hotel wins my vote. No questions asked.
-- [ Story - 8.5 ] --
The story is one of the most creative and realistic I've come by. There are too many shounen lately, and something that is realistic feels nice.
Hotel narrates the fate of mankind: Extinction. Apparently, we have gone too far with the planet. After abusing fossil fuels, humanity has caused a massive greenhouse effect that effectively eradicates all life on Earth. Before this happens, humans go for a last resort effort to preserve DNA. They build a computer whose job it will be to preserve those strands of life. Hotel tells us about the story of this computer.
As you can see, it's really simple. It should be simple. Right? WRONG! I've rarely read a story so poignant. Something that I will remember for quite some time. But it's so simple at the same time. The story is well-detailed. It's almost a recollection, memoirs instead of a real story.
Since Hotel is a one-shot, I can't really describe how great the story without spoiling. But the way the story unfolds, you get to really feel what it means to be lonely, alone, abandoned or even deserted. The emotion in there is amazing. Hotel really gives food for thought. It packs a lot of meaning and lesson, this one-shot.
Is that really what will happen if we abuse the planet any more? Is it already happening? Seas are already rising. Cataclysms are more frequent. Heat waves are almost common now. It's scary. Hotel tells us just how scary it will be. And how powerless we are.
I give it 8.5 because of a loophole at the end that I didn't really understand. Otherwise, it's 9. Not 10 because I'd so want to know more. Also, as noted in another review, there is some symbolism at the end. While not offensive, some might not like it. Also, too bad it's a one-shot. :(
-- [ Art - 8 ] --
Again, simplicity prevails. This is to be expected in post-apocalyptic manga. However, the art does a great job at picturing the desolate landscape of Earth, long after we humans messed it up bad.
Everything is well detailed, but not too much. It's futuristic, but old at the same time. The art portrays the effects of time in a very effective way.
As illustration, can you imagine a machine with just a circle as eye having emotion? The art allows this. It's that good.
-- [ Character - 9 ] --
That one is tough. Why? Because there are mainly 3 characters in the story. Two will leave soon. Only one will remain till the very end. And that one is difficult to describe.
Hotel is a one-shot, so no elaborate background story to expect. Again WRONG! Almost half of Hotel elaborates on that one character. So you will get to know the how, why and what of that character and its entourage. The greatest thing about Hotel is how the emotions are shown. How the character deals with life alone, trying to do its job to the best of its efforts. How it manages to survive. And how being alone is awful.
The descriptions have a smooth flow, from start to end. No details skipped. No wrong or strange decisions. It's just well made. And at the end, you almost feel sad for the character.
Bear in mind, we are talking about a computer here. For once, a manga deals with something other than humans, monsters or whatever. And for once, in a sc-fi story, humans are not unreasonably advanced. In fact, we seem to have 2010-level technology. No teleportation or whatnot.
-- [ Enjoyment - 9 ] --
There's not much to enjoy in a manga that portrays the extinction of our race. But I enjoyed how everything is portrayed and how realistic the story seems to be. It's quite rare to see an environment-sc-fi story.
It definitely deserves a re-read. Just to see again, just what will happen to us if we mess with the planet too much.
-- [ Overall - 9.5 ] --
Hotel is one of the most awesome one-shots I've ever read. Generally, the quality of one-shots is already high, but Hotel establishes new heights. It really, I mean, REALLY deserves a read. read more
28 of ? chapters read
One liner: "Amazing artwork. Great narration and impressive story. Unfortunately, there is not much character development yet. A manwha that's definitely worth checking out"
- [ Story - 8 ] -
Witch Hunter revolves around witches that suddenly declared war on humans, and Witch Hunters, agents that are suppress witches. Witches are normally women that can use magic spells and invoke creatures known as Supporters in battle. The main character is Tasha Godspell and he (surprisingly) has a Supporter, Halloween.
From the line above, you could tell me: "Hey, it's just another shounen! Good hero battles evil bad guys!". You would be right. However, it is not like most other shounens in that the main character is not extremely strong from the start itself. In fact, in the first 10-15 chapters itself, this fact is clearly demonstrated. As opposed to a manga like Bleach where the good guy gets beaten, immediately discovers a superpower and pwns the evil guy, Tasha uses no super powers. He just uses a gun. His Supporter too, despite being powerful, is not overly powerful, and can get beaten down pretty badly too.
All this to say, the power balance in WH is well established and well-balanced. There are no immediate power-ups and no "good guys always win" kind of scenarios. This is something I particularly like. I've seen it in Berserk, and now I see it in WH.
Another point to note is that the story's narration is different from other manga/manhwa I've read. It uses flash-forwards and flashbacks. You may start a chapter with a battle scene and your characters down, and ask yourself, "did I just skip chapters?". But no, it's just that you've not yet saw the flashback that comes later in the chapter. This style of narration is interesting in my opinion. It's like getting spoilers at the start of a chapter, then going back to how the story actually progressed to where it currently is.
Overall, the story is interesting. Somewhat shounen-like in that "good guys battle bad guys" but it's much better balanced than your generic shounen.
P.s. I extremely appreciated that the story does not involve a "high-school girl" or a "high-school guy" as tons of manga seem to be about these days.
- [ Art - 9 ] -
AWESOME! I cannot say just how much I love the art in WH. It's detailed both detailed and clear at the same time. The witches are pretty and their clothes are well detailed. There has been effort dedicated to make pretty backgrounds, specially for interior scenes. The characters themselves are very detailed. Just see the clothes on Tasha or the Witches. All that must take a lot of time to draw. There is no sacrificing art quality in WH.
I cannot say the art is as good as the class-leader Berserk (imho), but it definitely beats most other manga and manhwa I have read. The art is comparable to Soul Eater, but being more "serious-looking" than Soul Eater.
Overall, great art. If you like artwork, do check out WH.
- [ Characters - 7 ] -
That's one of the dark points of WH. While reading this section, keep in mind that I've read only around 28 chapters at the time of reading.
My major complaint is the lack of character development. After 28 chapters, we still don't know a lot about the main character. Where is he from? How did he become a WH? Where did he train? Who was his mentor? OK, we know who his mentor was, but not much is said about that person. The same can be said for witches. Where did they come from? Why did they declare war? What are they? How do they have powers? You get the idea.
The same applies to the other Witch Hunters. We know virtually nothing about them. In the recent chapters, we have discovered a lot about a side character. We know where he is from, what caused him to adopt his fight style, etc... So there is hope for character development in the future.
I can only say, "let's wait and see".
- [ Enjoyment - 8 ] -
Personally, I like WH. I find it light and entertaining. The action is good. The story is interesting. The art is amazing. What more can I ask of. I like the pace too, neither too slow, neither too fast. There are sections which are really light in the manhwa with lots of jokes, humor and the like. The fight scenes are numerous and well made too. There is some violence, so it's not made for the younger readers but mainly older teenagers and above.
Another thing I like is that you don't really know what to expect with WH. You can be in the middle of a fight, and the next chapter starts with the characters all laughing on their way to HQ. Then in the middle of the chapter you understand what happened. Sometimes, it is in the next chapter that the fight concludes. Moreover, you cannot know in advance what will happen. For example, in One Piece, you could say, "Ah Luffy is going there next, and will do that". But you cannot do the same for WH. I enjoy this unpredictability.
- [ Overall - 8 ] -
If you want a good manhwa to read, check out WH. It has an intelligent, well-balanced plot-line as compared to all those "just fighting" shounens out there. I'm looking at you, Veritas. It has interesting characters, humor and above all great artwork.
I recommend checking out WH and add it to your reading schedule. You will not be displeased. read more
10 of 185 chapters read
Note that Cage of Eden is a new manga, and only a few chapters are out. The review is based solely on those chapters, up to the latest (10 at the time of writing). If there are updates, I will change this review accordingly. Also, Cage of Eden is very new, and there is not much to say yet. Consider this review as a preview instead.
One-liner: For a starter, this manga looks promising overall. Nice art style. Interesting storyline. Average-y characters till now.
Total Rating: 7 / 10
Quick Synopsis: A plane full of students crashes on a mysterious island, and there are survivors. The island at first seems deserted, but strange things happen there. You are thinkling Lost, right? That's correct. Cage of Eden is Lost with weird animals and fan-service!
- - [ Story: 7/10 ] - -
Can't really say much about story when only 10 chapters are out. For now, I can say that the story resembles that of the TV series, Lost. Survivors on a seemingly deserted island, where strange things occur. Whereas in Lost, there are strange occurrences, in Cage of Eden, there are strange animals. Well, for now. I don't know what will come later in the series. Up to the current point in the story, the characters are still trying to get to know the island, and try their best to survive. There is also some fan-service such as lots of panty-shots, but not much apart from that. The story has a good enough flow, and at some points you do feel the sense of urgency and danger, but still not very heart-thumping. But that's only 10 chapters. I believe that the story will progress nicely if allowed, and offer some nice twists. Cage of Eden does make a nice read if you like survival-mystery type.
The part about the animals is good too, and there can be lots of development here. I'd just like to see them discovering some friendly animal, instead of just meat-eating angry ones that only want to harm or eat them.
- - [ Art: 9/10 ] - -
The art in Cage of Eden is alright. You have good enough details in the backgrounds that represent the trees and plants of the island, the characters are well made and pleasing to the eye. There are not much to say about Art for now, considering the small number of chapters and scenes already seen, but it's good enough. There are better arts out there, like in Berserk, but Cage of Eden manages to hold its own against others, and is certainly better than other manga. The characters look realistic enough, as manga characters of course. The animals depicted are well drawn, considering their nature. (I cannot tell you more without spoiling.). Overall, nothing to complain about here.
- - [ Character: 7/10 ] - -
We haven't seen many characters yet. If I were to compare it with Lost, I'd say that you have the Jack, Kate and Locke equivalents at this point. For those not familiar with Lost, you have the main male lead which acts as a leader, the main female character - I think she'll be the main female, not sure, and the other guy/geek that seems to have an idea about what's happening around. I liked the fact that not all the survivors were seen immediately at first, and that we are getting to know the characters better at a good enough pace. There is not much background story given yet, so I cannot comment on character progression just yet. Unfortunately, till now, they don't seem to have particularly interesting backgrounds. They look like normal students to me, so maybe their whole stories will develop on the island. There are, after all, just school children. There are some (one, till now) adult character in the cast, but they are mostly just following around the kid-leader which is a bit weird.
One thing I don't like is that only one character is getting the airtime, while the others are just having secondary roles. It's as if everything revolves around the main male lead. The female lead seems to be just a scared little girl that needs protection at every turn. She's not been of much use lately, except when considering her panty-shots and chest-shots. I don't like it when the female characters are just there for show and fan-service. Too bad. I hope this changes soon.
- - [ Enjoyment: 7/10 ] - -
I like series about mysteries and strange happenings, so I am enjoying Cage of Eden. I also appreciate good art styles in Manga, and Cage does provide me satisfaction here too. Not much to say about the characters yet. Cage of Eden makes a good read, in between the normal releases.
- - [ Overall: 7/10 ] - -
The series has potential to grow into a good mystery series. The art is certainly there to back it. There is also ecchiness to fill in the void in the boring parts, but not much till now to cause concern. Character development is still limited but that's ok considering the recency of the series. Overall, I can say that Cage of Eden makes a nice read and will be worth your time everything goes as it should. It's a typical shounen, including the usual fan-service, big-chested girls and panty-shots, but it does offer interesting mysteries and good action scenes. For now, let's wait and see what happens.
Thank you for reading! :P read more
48 of 51 episodes seen
One liner: "One wacky anime you really got to see, just for the non-confirmism in it"
UPDATE: I have brought down the rating of this anime. Why? Because the ending was simply pathetic and did not follow the manga, which is still very good.
UPDATE2: A user mentioned on my profile that I shouldn't bring down the score of the anime just because I didn't like the ending as compared to the manga. He/she is right. Am sorry for that. But I still don't want to raise the score up, because this review represents my opinion and I stand by it. You can say I am biased. So read this review with this in mind...
I would advise checking out the manga, but the anime has been a rushed let-down at the end.
- [ Story - 6 ] -
Soul Eater revolves about the Weapon named Soul Eater and his (yes, it's a guy) technician called Maka. Weapons usually have a human form, and transform into the weapon form when required. Soul Eater is in fact a scythe. The point of the anime is that Technicians use Weapons to hunt down evil souls called Eggs of Kishins. These evil souls are then absorbed by the weapons. After 99 souls + 1 witch's soul is consumed, the weapon turns into a Death Scythe which is more powerful. The Technicians and Weapons are students of Shibusen Academy, headed by the grim reaper, Shinigami-Sama.
As you will see, there are some resemblences to Bleach. Zanpakutou, Shinigami, Hollows are replaced by Weapons, Technicians and Kishin.
However, in my opinion, Soul Eater is much better than Bleach. There is much more humor, and the pace of the story is slower and better. In Bleach for example, fights can last for episodes on end. Not in Soul Eater. There is also less seriousness and the fights are a bit toned down. The blood is still there though.
The good points is that Soul Eater contains its fair share of action, suspence and fun. Also the plot is not very linear, and not always fights-focussed. I appreciated the breaks, eg. the Excalibur episodes really makes you laugh. Each episode contains a bit of everything, even echiness. Overall, Soul Eater is a well balanced series I should say.
There is also some innovation like human-form weapons, the concept of witches, Shibusen and some other things that you haven't probably seen in animes before. So it's worth checking out Soul Eater.
Apart from those, the story is a bit generic, Bleach-like "people with weapons chase souls". Nothing overly special. There are also some plot holes, which I hope will be filled as the series goes on.
- [ Animation - 9 ] -
That's where the nonconformity begins. The style is anime all-right, but not your general kind of anime. It seems more comical in fact. The weapons are less frightening. The characters, backgrounds and everything else looks a bit cartoonish. Goofy you might say. Not grotesquely toons, but there is some similarities.
Take for example, the sun with a big smile on its face, or the moon with a grin, with what looks like blood dripping from its mouth. Even the Shibusen building has a funny look with candles popping out of Shinigami's masks!
Due to this style, you can't really expect highly detailed backgrounds full of tiny elements. I'd say the backgrounds are full of creativity.
I liked the non-conformism in the animation style. The way the characters were illustrated is good too, and makes a nice change from your general run-of-the-mill anime. In fact, this style accentuates the light-heartedness of the anime, and makes things better. Come'on, a laughing sun is fun! Thumbs up to the artist!
- [ Characters - 8 ] -
This is the strongest point of Soul Eater according to me. Its cast of characters is totally awesome! Each and every one of them has a very unique personality, and are totally unpredictable. Take for example Kidd. He looks formal, polite and outright classy. Just show him something not symmetric and watch the reaction! These people are awesome. I never liked a cast of characters as I liked those of Soul Eater. They are all so lively and varied that it's a real pleasure to discover them all.
Shinigami, the oh-so-powerful shinigami has a pleasant and easy-going personality. Maka's father, Death Scythe, is overly protective, and his actions (and reactions) will give you laughing fits!
Those characters have rather unique properties too. Many of them allude to legends and stories. Like Gorgon Medusa. Or Jack the Ripper in the 1st episode. The best part is the attacks. Kidd uses revolvers in reverse position, firing with his pinky finger! That's un-conformism for you!
That's something I truly liked about Soul Eater. It doesn't copy what other animes before it did. It does things that no anime before it did, and does these magnificently.
Why 8 then? Because there are some elements about the character's background that should have been cleared. What are weapons actually? Where do they come from? What about the Technicians? Are they normal people? Who is Shinigami? These are some questions that should have been answered by now. Or at least some hints give. Soul Eater lacks some character development, so I decreased the rating by 1 from an otherwise 9.
- [ Enjoyment - 6 ] -
UPDATE: Brought down the score down to 6 due to rushed ending in anime. Most elements were still there, but after reading the manga, I did not enjoy how the anime was completed.
Straight 10! Soul Eater is one of the rare animes that really makes me laugh, or at least gives me a smile. The action is great. The humor is ever-present. The art is a delight for the eyes. The story has a good flow, not too fast, not too slow. There is no time-wasting a-la-Naruto-Shippuuden. It's your perfect anime, if you want to watch something and really feel good after it ends, and eager for the next episode to air next week.
The action is really catching, but really funny at the same time. In the middle of a fights, some totally unpredictable and wacky things can happen after a relatively long pause, and really get you laughing uncontrollably. Nothing is really predictable, and this makes the real beauty of Soul Eater. A perfect blend of everything you'd want in an ideal anime.
- [ Sound - 8 ] -
Not much to say here, except that I love the opening and closing scenes. The music there is superb, coupled with a good animation and presentation style. It even gives you snippets about what will happen later. The music is good. The music just fits in well and augment the scenes appropriately, and the voice actors are ok. 7 is ok, but 8 for the great opening which I like! 8 too for the catchy music tracks here and there in Soul Eater, which makes nice hearing.
- [ Conclusions ] -
UPDATE: Ahem!! Go read the manga. The anime started well, but ended in an awful manner (if you compare it to the manga). The start is still enjoyable.
You absolutely need to see Soul Eater. The characters and animation deserve your view! And I guarantee that you will laugh at least once (minimum!) per episode. Seeing the trend of Soul Eater, overall I give an 8.5 for now, though it might fluctuate to 7 or 9 depending how the series goes.
As you know, Soul Eater is still airing, so if there are changes, or if the series unexpectedly starts turning bad, I will edit my review. For now, it's totally worth it. read more
One line: "Highly detailed scenes. Very impressive and complex plot. Lively and varied characters. Berserk rules!"
- [ Story - 10 ] -
Berserk is about Guts, an exceptionally skilled swordsman and his adventures with The Band of the Hawk, along with its leader, Griffith, and other characters like Caska. After a betrayal, Guts is branded as a sacrifice by the God Hand and loses all his friends and his love, set to be killed during The Eclipse. He fights like an insane, becoming an Eclipse survivor. Following this, he is cursed and always attracts evil spirits and violence around him. He now devotes himself to fighting God Hand, his betrayer and all evil accumulating around him, even at the cost of whatever he came to cherish in life, accumulating scars after scars, and risking the lost of everything, including his life. All for revenge.
Berserk is a dark, violent series, definitely targetted to an adult audience. It also contains significant amount of nudity and sex, even rape. Ok. now you are warned.
The plotline is extremely detailed and complex, going from the present, to Guts' background story extensively, before returning to the present and moving on. This is makes very good chracter development and background story elaboration. You are told about most of the characters, how they are related, and why they behave as they do in the present. I felt that no detail lacked. Very very well made!
The story is very captivating too. There is no humor, since it's almost a tragic story, about real suffering at the lost of loved ones and dear friends, because of the betrayal of somebody held in high-esteem. A superb plotline, which views the classic "man fights demons" from a very different angle, as if you were inside the story. The problem is that there is no "good side" to balance the evil powers, so Guts is all alone in his fight for revenge, with no help at all. Berserk takes another look at religion and its concepts, at god and the foundation of faith, at friendship, love and betrayal. Overall, Berserk packs an incredibly complex plot, which is definitely worth discovering.
- [ Art - 10 ] -
The first volumes have quite poor art, with simplistic toning as shading. Even the characters are sometimes weirdly drawn, with wrongly positioned facial features and some other things.
The artist, Kentaro Miura, shows his true skills as the story goes. As the volumes go on, the level of detail, the quality of the drawings and shading increases exponentially, making Berserk a true piece of art. It's definitely one of the best illustrated manga I've seen till now. The characters and specially environments are magnificently detailed. You will see pages dedicated to picturing the environment, on which you will maintain your stare!
Just give a glance to the armor of Griffith or even Guts. It's extremely detailed, down to the nearest mail. Plain impressive. The art is sometimes "heavy" with shading, but this weakness is compensated with detail and intricate shading.
Miura excells in depicting complex fight scenes, with Guts surrounded by enemies, and in great, gory details. Those spread pages are a real pleasure for the eyes. Specially when you get to see the environment too. Miura is definitely the details-man!
- [ Characters - 9 ] -
This manga takes character development to a whole new level. You are given every small detail about all the major characters, and how they are related to all the other characters. The development is made at a great pace, not too fast, not too slow. You will be given details just when they are required. You won't be complaining about lack of details about characters in Berserk.
There is nothing very extraordinary about the characters. In fact, they all seem normal! Guts looks kind of evil and loveless at first glance, and Griffith, seems to be kind-hearted. That's just at first glance though, because the characters have incredible depth. So much that the reader can almost feel the emotions of the characters. You will even pity Guts at time, telling yourself "poor guy...".
The characters are driven by their emotions and ambitions. Guts wants revenge, and channels all his anger and frustration in his fights, even hurting those he cares about in the process, literally becoming berserk. Griffith has ambition and will stop at nothing to reach his goals. The God Hand is pure evil, despite the word god often associated with good in their name. Such a lively and varied cast of characters makes Berserk great.
Interesting enough, Berserk is one of the few series where the main character is not always present and hogging all the action. Sometimes, Guts is not even doing anything great, save for some talking. This gives other characters some role, which makes Berserk even more interesting, since you get to discover side characters. An example would be the Farnese/Serpico arc.
Then why 9 and not 10? Because in my opinion, Griffith gets too much attention. It's just my opinion though! :P
- [ Enjoyment - 9 ] -
Berserk is not something you are going to enjoy, considering the violence and dark theme. You are going to appreciate it, if I may say. That, I did!
The detailed art, the non-lacking story line, the varied cast of characters and the plot twists make Berserk totally great, unsurpassed in its genre in my opinion. You will get to admire, hate or even support the characters as Berserk progresses. As I said earlier, you will become part of Berserk.
Why 9 for enjoyment? Because I didn't like Guts getting trashed incessantly for nearly 25 volumes by overwhelming force and not getting any powerups! It was plain unfair, specially considering all odds are against the guy.
- [ Overall - 9 ] -
If you can handle the violence, gore, fighting and sex, you will want to see Berserk, simply because there is nothing better than Berserk when it comes to those themes! :D
I am not convinced about the re-read value yet. I find it difficult to go over all those dark plots again. It's going to be a once-off-love-it series I guess. For me at least. read more
329 of 329 chapters read
One line: "Good art. Good story. Ok characters. What more to ask?"
Flame of Recca (FoR) is one manga where you will see the evolution of a mangaka's style clearly. It has a good plot, interesting characters, and a good bit of ecchiness. It definitely makes a good read.
- [ Art - 9/10 ] -
In the first volumes, the art was no good. The eyes were exaggerated, as well as the various body parts. It was plain old-style manga drawings. However, as the volumes move on, you see the style of the mangaka changing. The drawings, toning, shading and everything else becomes better. The level of detail increases from almost nothing to extremely detailed scenes. Nobuyuki Anzai's style is now among my favs. Even at the end, it's still exaggerated (hairstyles!), but the drawings are just great, specially in detail-level.
- [ Story - 8/10 ] -
FoR has a good plot, and a good flow. The story is about a boy named Recca who has the ability to produce flame from his arm. He is a ninja in a modern world, and has sworn to protect Yanagi, his "hime" (princess). There is also Recca's friends and rivals in fights, Domon and Fuuko.
At the other end, we have Kurei and his Uruha band of bad guys, led by Mori Kouran, the head of the bad-guys.
As you might expect, there will be a clash between the two groups, centered around weapons named Madogou which have special powers each. Like there is a wind-controlling madogou.
The flow is great, with almost no plot-holes. The details are conveniently explained to the reader, so there is not much mind-work to do. There are also some unexpected twists, and revelations that really make you like the characters and want you to read on and on.
Some complaints now. Sometimes, we are not well told the reasons why the fights are actually taking place. Next, we are not told the backgrounds of some of the characters at all. This is understandable, considering the sheer number of characters, but just 1-2 bubbles would have been enough. Example? Fuuko's background is never mentioned.
The story is divided in 2 parts: the ura butou satsujin tournament and the "Recca saves the world" part. The themes from one arc tends to get repeated in the other arc. Even in the world-saving arc, there is a semblence of a tournament going on. Definite deja-vu, earning story 8 from me, instead of 9.
- [ Characters - 8/10 ] -
The characters are definitely likeable, and really funny at times, even making you laugh. The character development is slowly, but well made. I did notice the lack of elaboration for some of the characters, specially the main ones. We readers could have used some more details, particularly about Domon, Fuko, Mikagami and even some of the bad guys. Unfortunately, it's not there. Not enough, at least.
Each character has its own individuality and behavior, which makes discovering each of them interesting. From the muscular toughie to the cute tomboy, from the pretty boy to the anti-hero, they are all there. Also, each has a definite role to play over the course of the plot and the value of none of them is to be under-estimated.
The Flame Dragons which appear later on are even more interesting, specially their back stories. Or even Kurei's story is impressively detailed.
The problem is that the bad guys are a bit generic, and tend to get defeated by the same ways. It's a bit repetitive after a while. Also, the presence of recurrent minor characters is sometimes annoying.
- [ Enjoyment - 9/10 ] -
If I had to name one thing I enjoyed most, it was the exaggerated expressions, and the unexpected humour. In the middle of a fight, you might see some exaggerated expressions, like bulging eyes and jaw-dropping. BIG jaw-droppings. Or teeth pictured as very sharp. I liked that exaggeration, specially with Joker (character).
The art in the later volumes is great too, and I enjoyed that. I tend to liked detailed scenes. Recca cannot beat Berserk's level of detail, but it's great nevertheless.
The fights were well illustrated, but a bit too short sometimes.
- [ Conclusions ] -
FoR makes a good read, with well-made art and a good cast of characters. You might want to check it out if you want an adventure/epic/fighting genre. It's old, but still holds some value. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
In one line: "Awesome graphics, very Appleseed-like. Nice OST. Unimpressive characters in a very much cliché'd story."
Overall rating: 8/10
The story revolves around a hardened military girl named Vexille who is a member of S.W.O.R.D, which is some kind of high-tech military force. According to the plot, it has been 10 years that Japan has withdrawn from the U.N and became a loner, completely sealing off its frontiers, using high-end technological wizardry to filter incoming and outgoing transmission. It literally vanished off the world map. Then, the S.W.O.R.D is assigned a mission to infiltrate Japan and see what's going on there. When they reach, they find a land devoid of all humanity.
- [ Animation - 9/10 ] -
Animation and graphics is definitely Vexille's strongest point. The graphics, à-la Appleseed, is pure CGI and cel-shading. It really matches Appleseed's quality and fluidity. The level of detail is simply outstanding. I thought Appleseed was the sole ruler, but now it has a rival! A real feast for the eyes by all means.
I must say that the Animation is so "perfect" that the characters look too artificial. Like painted dolls. I attribute this to the sometimes excessive shading and lighting effect. Not too noticeable, but still it's there.
- [ Sound - 9/10 ] -
Sound really got my attention in Vexille. The OST is really good, with pumping music that really brings renewed vigor to the action scenes. Really gets your heart pumping at some moments. I also appreciated the Orient-sounding instruments, which brings a nice touch to the general sounds. Overall, I liked the choice of music. It really befits Vexille.
Nothing to complain about the voice actors too. They performed resonably well. Nothing too special, but it works.
- [ Characters - 6/10 ] -
The characters are unimpressive. This is because there has been no extensive character development in Vexille. They are just plain generic Military personnel. They are not particularly likeable, and you will definitely not be identifying yourself with any of them! "Emotionless." That's the word that describes the characters best according to me. I'm sure that in a week's time, I'll forget all of them. None of their backgrounds are overly interesting or touching, nor are their actions during the course of Vexille. Just plain automatons.
To illustrate my point: if one character dies, you are not going to be missing them, since they are not very likeable. Most plots have you totally like a character, then when they dies, you feel sad. This sadness is nowhere in Vexille. Remember Kamina from Tengen Toppa? Nothing like him in Vexille.
Another flaw. Only 2 or 3 characters get most of the screen-time. Vexille, Maria and some others. There is almost no male lead in Vexille. The main male character, Leon, vanishes from the screen at the start, and appears at the end, with almost no role to play in the plot! That's bad use of characters in my opinion.
- [ Story - 7/10 ] -
First the good points. Vexille's plot brings a number of new elements to the Sc-fi genre. I liked the way they showed a completely new Tokyo. We usually know Tokyo as a tech city. Not in Vexille. I won't spoil, so go see yourself. There are also the Jags which are an essential part of the plot. I liked the change from plain "bad cyborgs, good humans" stories. The story also has its points of suspence, which really keeps you stuck to your screen. There are not many of them, but they are evenly scattered, so it's satisfactory. You'd probably not believe, but the story will also give you some things to ponder on, about humanity and immortality. Unexpected by all means!
Briefly, expect to see cyborgs, humans and some weird things like Jags. At the start, and ending parts, you will get some fast-paced action scenes which accelerates your heart-beat. Not bad actually.
The bad? The second part of Vexille and the ending are totally cliché. I'd go as far as saying that it was rushed! Basically? Rebels vs the bad guys. Lost love, then re-found. Loss of friends. You get the idea. That's what you will see in the second part of Vexille. You can actually predict what is going to happen after a while. Forget suspence, there is hardly any in that second part.
The plot-line actually held some potential if it was correctly exploited, but it was rushed, not paying enough attention to details. There are some plot-holes like what Jags actually are. Instead we are just told "failed experiments", nothing more. Another example? There is nothing mentioned about the Japan government. Everything is about Daiwa industries. What is lacking is the detail elaboration, making the story somewhat mediocre.
- [ Enjoyment & Rewatch - 7/10 ] -
Here, I'll be biased. I'm a CGI-animation lover, so I really liked Vexille. Just for the high-quality CGI and the good OST, but not for the characters and the story. The story is not that bad in fact, but the characters are no good.
If you like good quality CGI animation, see Vexille. If you want character development and story, keep off Vexille, and go see Appleseed or similar.
- [ Conclusions ] -
Vexille is a good CGI animation movie, comparable to Appleseed in terms of animation, detail-level and quality. The music is good too.
The bad part is that it severely lacks in character development and a good, non-generic ending. It's again the plain "good guys win flat out" kind of ending, so nothing special here.
Again, if you want to see a well-made CGI animation, see Vexille, but don't expect too much from the story and characters. read more
27 of 9001 episodes seen
In one line: "A fun trip with a fabulous crew, from start to end, and back to the start for another go! Nia is cute!! ~Nyaaaa!"
Overall rating: 9/10
Briefly, the story is about Simon, a driller. Pretty boring till now. It's also about Kamina, Simon's brother, and a lot of other people. The story is also about Spirals, Beastmen and the Anti-Spirals. A story about hippopotamus made of grapes. About mecha battles. About love. About tragedy. About courage in the face of adversity. About unfaltering determination against all odds. And specially, about huge mega powerups that make Dragon Ball characters seem sooo weak. Well, basically, it's ONE anime which you will really enjoy if you watch. Definitely recommended! Pardon me for the long review. :P
-[ Animation - 8/10 ]-
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (TTGL) has one of the weirdest animation types I've ever seen. At the same time, it's also one of the most interesting I've got to watch. The characters are very well drawn, and the action scenes are always depicted with clarity, and are made to give you the feeling that everything is going very fast. There's also some shots which depict the characters as in manga drawing types. This adds to originality, since the only other anime I've seen that was in FLCL (Furi Kuri). The mechas are also well made, but they have kind of funny shapes. Like a starfish mecha? A worm mecha? A foot mecha? A hand mecha? You get the idea. They are more comical than realistic, but they are fun to watch. The mechas are almost living things. It's difficult to describe here, but it's not your generic artificial mecha type. There are not many landscape or cityscape scenes, but if they appear in TTGL, they were well detailed. The space shots later in the anime are particularly well made, with galaxies and stars being represented. It was... colourful!
- [ Sound - 8.5/10 ] -
I don't pay much attention to music in anime most of the time. I focus on the story, characters and action. TTGL does not disappoint in terms of music. The ones used in action scenes are fast and add the necessary punch to the action. The sound effects, particularly explosions, are not very realistic but they do the job. Characters are appropriately voiced, but for some of them, it does not reflect their characters very well. Like Kamina deserved a more powerful voice maybe. It's no major problem. Overall, the sound is ok, and works as it should.
- [ Characters - 9/10] -
Frankly, I've never seen such an interesting crew of characters since Eureka Seven. Each character plays a major role in the story. There are NO superfluous characters. Even the mole-pig has a role to play!! Each of the characters has a detailed background story, and each get an appropriate conclusion. The stories unfold at a very good pace, showing you the characters little by little, with some unexpected turns. Like the unfolding of Simon as Kamina's shadow, to Simon the universal leader. They also have very distinct personalities, that make a very good blend when added together to make TTGL. The mood-swings are there too!
All the main characters fit in very nicely in the story, and all the secondary characters add up to make a wonderful show out of TTGL. Even the villains are likable! I enjoyed going through the story with the crew, of that I'm sure. And well, Nia must surely be the cutest character ever shown in anime! :P
- [ Story - 7/10] -
The story is a very good one. There are only very few plotholes, or parts that were not much elaborated on. It also has a good flow, and there are no fillers, except for a recap episode. You will get a fair share of action, tragedy, romance and suspence (unfortunately, these 2 don't last very long). The series is basically divided in 2. I call the first part, the Beastmen arc, and the second arc is the Anti-Spirals arc, following a time jump of 7 years. Each arc is well structured and well developed. Another feature which I liked is fore-shadowing. You will always get to see a tiny bit of what will happen in the future. Just like a spiral, it starts small, and ends up really big. Without spoiling, you will see somewhere that population level is being controlled in a village, and in the end, it's the whole universe population level that is controlled. That's the spiralling I was talking about. Starts small, ends up big! Reeeaaall big! Basically, it was a satisfying story.
But why the 7? Well, because the story is a bit too exaggerated. The main character always seem to output more power than a nuclear reactor. Saiyen 4 is nothing in comparison to Simon! They always seem to win, whatever happens. There is usage of some weird science concepts that would make the likes of Einstein and Hawking faint. Like somebody being converted into Spiral Energy to form a drill by quantum explosion?? Space jump just by thinking about your destination (here, a loved one)? W..T..F, it just can't be!
The series is a bit weird at the end, just like Eureka Seven. Use of weird concepts. Very weird happenings and similar events. Also the fights are sometimes just too unrealistic! Come'on, a million opponents, and you seem to kill them en-mass? Hell, there's even a mecha that resists the energy blast of the big bang, and another that releases that kind of energy!! It becomes real difficult to understand what's happening after episode 25. The concepts used are just too... strange! Like messing with probabilities, and so random shots actually hit all enemies. Can somebody explain how that happens? >.<
That's just not realistic. 3 points lost to lack of realism, over-boosted good guys and because there is not enough long-lasting romance in the anime. It starts well, ends up real fast. Too fast. This series needs some more romance among main characters. However, the story is not too complex, not too technical, so you can just kick back and watch leisurely.
- [ Enjoyment & Rewatch - 8/10] -
The series was definitely enjoyable. The plot was non-linear and full of unexpected twists. Like a villain not being a villain? This makes things enjoyable. The action scenes are worth re-watching, as well as the character development. I personally enjoyed the anime, since I found a good blend of humour, lightness, ecchiness, tragedy, romance and action in it. I would say the anime has a rewatch value, probably to better understand the story, and the characters. 2 points lost because during the rewatch, you will still get that "OMG! This is just overkill!" feeling. It's just too exaggerated, trust me.
- [ Conclusions ] -
It was a great trip through TTGL. TTGL really got me stuck to my chair from the start to the end. The story was good. The characters were interesting and almost lovable. The action and plotlines were consistent. I've got nothing much to criticize about TTGL. So if you want an anime that has loads of action, huge character power-ups and is light at the same time, go for TTGL! Definitely worth it, and no regrets! :P read more