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10 of 13 episodes seen
Like many others I expected this show to constantly string humor onto body switching, but it's a lot more than just that. Kokoro Connect diverges from its supposed premise and focuses exponentially on its title of "connecting hearts". The body switching, magnified desires, age switching, and more aspects to come are essentially there to thicken the plot. Somehow, it works quite well, especially as the aspects of common plot hooks are looked at in depth in respect to the characters.
Unexpected, but nonetheless a much better choice. The comedy-- well, it's sort of an awesome bonus. Main focus here is the characters and (as corny as it sounds) their hearts.
The art is less than superb-- it's nothing special and like many have said before the characters are very K-on-ish, as they're designed by the same person from K-on. Particularly the background characters, like the people passing behind the main characters, are sort of scary, even. They're drawn with facial features, but without expressions, and it's a little distracting. Otherwise the art is okay.
The sound is mediocre too, as no sound pieces really stand out and the opening song is quite forgettable. The endings, by comparison, are a lot better.
As you can tell, what hooked me here was the characters: uncovering their hidden trauma and backstories, and watching them live their now even more complicated lives; growing along the way. (I've got the same logic as Heartseed) Kokoro Connect does this quite well, and for it I'll keep with this show. It's worth a watch. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
It was great.
I'll admit that the first episode was pretty goddamn confusing, and it was especially hard to keep all the names straight in the one-hour first episode. And even though I had a very faint idea of the premise of the Holy Grail war, I was still goddamn confused. For those of you like me, just think of it as a big magic Battle Royale for a miracle.
As I kept watching, Fate/zero just kept getting better. The story was normally paced when introducing characters and starting up; then completely bursts into action, keeping you on edge to make the most out of only 13 episodes. There are plot twists and jaws hitting the floor galore, and it is remarkably entertaining to watch.
The characters are great instruments to the plot. Each is incredibly interesting, from the scrawny Master who'd like to defy the odds, to the twisted, faith-filled psychopath Servant. Above all, they are all noble in their own respect (even Caster for a couple seconds), and the way they are portrayed in Fate/zero truely demonstrates their heroic nature. All Servants have a good sense of respect, even if their Masters do not, and it is very refreshing to watch. The Masters are usually equally as likeable; but of course, they have their underhanded moments. Sometimes it's a moment of badassery; other times it's a coldhearted bitch move. Nevertheless the characters are exceptionally likeable.
I've said this before, but I cannot critique art for my life. All I can say is that the art looks beautiful. It's all very realistic and pretty, especially during the fighting scenes. Well
Yuki Kajiura is an amazing composer and one of my favorites, and it's wonderful to see her working with this series. Each track is perfectly suited to its setting, with spine-tingling movements tailored to climaxes and emotional scenes. The arrangements, with an orchestra feel and coupled with guitar, vocal, and electronic influences, just make a kick-ass OST.
I thoroughly enjoyed Fate/zero and am continuing to look forward to the second half. It is worthy of much praise and I highly recommend it to all fans interested, especially action fans and those in search of a good, gripping plot. It is very hard to give this series anything but a 10. read more
11 of 12 episodes seen
I'll be first to say that the premise of four quasi-bishonen boys is what enticed me to start tsuritama. The statement that this show is about an amazing story of saving the world comes at a close second.
Tsuritama spends part of the show developing characters and relationships and such, like an entertaining extended backstory. It has a very light mood, heavily reminiscent of a slice-of-life comedy, mixed with a little "Growing-Up Protagonists". However, without saying too much, the series then takes a relatively dark turn; and the original hook for the series, the saving-the-world part, is addressed. The development of the characters from the earlier portion of the show further adds to the drama, and it makes a good normal-boys-turned-hero tale. With all this said, it is still not an action or fighting anime. It was never meant to be, but that doesn't mean it lacks suspense and emotion.
Speaking of the characters, they are all very interesting, to begin with. In the main cast, first impressions are as follows: There's the But-Not-Too-Foreign Yuki with his thizz face panic attacks, the adorable alien Haru, Akira, the turban-wearing spy guy, and Natsuki, the tsundere fishing prince. With glasses. That doesn't even begin to cover all of tsuritama's characters. All of the cast is quirky and well-developed and it's truly fun to watch them interact with each other.
I suck at critiquing art, but the art is particularly pretty and fascinating in tsuritama; with vibrant color palettes and seemingly brand new blends of ocean blue. The use of animated cut-out style backgrounds is kind of cool. In no way does the art style look cheap-o whatsoever, and they do great justice to the sea. They don't make water look overly realistic looking, but it is just as well-animated with the occasional cut-outs or lots of pretty blends of blue.
The sound makes good use of whimsical instruments and such, like flutes and recorders, to suit the relatively light mood of the series that takes place by the ocean. When necessary, the sound is able to take the central themes and create multiple semi-orchestral versions to suit the situation, varying from triumph to touching. Darker themes exist too, and they are executed quite well for such an airy series. It is well-suited to the series and fitting, but then again, it is nothing TOO spectacular; and for that it loses some points. I'd also like to pay special attention to the opening sequence, 'cause the song is really freaking catchy. The dancing OP is not as out of place as one would think it'd be, since it is a traditional Japanese dance (at least I think it is); and hey, Haru had the mind control gun. He could totally be controlling the cast to dance. The voice actors, as well, are very suited to their characters, especially Haru's bubbly voice.
I definitely recommend tsuritama: It's a story packed with great characters, humor, and captivating art. read more
10 of 12 episodes seen
In a story set in the days of our parents' youths, a group of friends bond over music, complete with a love triangle sort of set-up, a megane, and a loveable Tough Guy. The main focus of Kids on the Slope is the growth and life-changing experiences of the protagonists. The characters are all particularly likeable in this series, with quirks and hidden hardships alike. Their relationships feel very real and tangible, which is helped along by some character asides or inner thoughts. They do have traits of their respective character archetypes (Tough Guy, Nerdy Glasses Guy, and the more-or-less Every-woman), but they can diverge from these archetypes into one unique character.
There is not really one set story, but it is more an accumulation of the events happening in the characters' lives. At one point the plot may just make you purely angry or sad at the characters' actions, but that is totally what it's supposed to do-- evoke emotion. Seeing these relatively complex and developing characters experience normal aspects of adolescence proves quite interesting.
I'm not one who is able to critique art, but as far as I can tell, everything in the series looks great; with extra attention to the main characters. Who of which are incredibly beautiful and detailed. One big exception, however, is the opening sequence with a bunch of off-model characters; where a running Kaoru doesn't have as much more than two boxes for glasses and a line for a mouth. Still, this can be overlooked compared to the rest of the art in the OP and the anime.
While I don't really know much about art, I MUST talk about the sound-- Oh my goodness. Where can I start? The promise of Yoko Kanno as music composer is what first enticed me to start Kids on the Slope. And when I heard it was music-oriented, I was already in love. I'm a big sucker for great OSTs, and Kids on the Slope has just that. I'm also a sucker for jazz. The sound is exemplary at integrating jazz and swing into the soundtrack without making it sound too foreign or out of place in a Spring 2012 anime.
Not only the OST, but the voice actors were great choices too. Each character's distinct voice suits them perfectly. I'd like to commend the actors' English too-- the CD had pretty good English for the vocal jazz pieces, and most likely a native speaker was hired for one of the more recent episodes.
All in all, Kids on the Slope is a definite favorite of mine for the Spring 2012 season. I deeply recommend this show for everyone; in particular, music junkies like myself, lovers of school drama/slice-of-life, and those just looking for a good show to watch. I look forward to it every week now, and I hope lots of others do too. read more
22 of 22 episodes seen
Guilty Crown had an endless amount of potential. While watching its earlier episodes, I really, really liked the series and fought to support it among the fandom. But then, this happened--
music: I'm amazing.
art: I'm beautiful.
plot: I suck
This pretty much sums it up. Guilty Crown's OST and animation are phenomenal, and no viewer can deny that. However, the plot, in essence, sucked. It seems as if it was made to specifically rely on cliffhangers and events that would excite the audience for a few seconds. You could actually relate the plot to the classic penny dreadfuls.
The plot got very lost among those attempted plot twists, as a few elements of the story were not justified or relative. Or even necessary. Details were left unattended, resulting in this very messy outcome.
Still, I quite enjoyed watching it because I was so interested in what was happening next. I must at least commend GC for executing the plot twists so well. All in all, the ending was fulfilling enough, but the way we got there was less than satisfactory.
The characters were also very weak, as many only held a purpose as walking fanservice. Shu doesn't count, because he is the protagonist who starts out all lame; but a large portion of the females were not strong, admirable characters in respect to their role in the story.
Once again, Guilty Crown had incredible art and music, and greatly lacked a good plot, but did plot twists and cliffhangers well. I wouldn't really recommend this. But I'd recommend listening to the OST by itself.
Note: For you OST junkies like me, the OST is exceptional; with powerful orchestral movements full of energy and triumph, or suspense and a somber mood when necessary. Of course, as this show was placed Twenty Minutes into the Future, there is a large influence of techno and guitar that fit right in place. The vocal tracks had some problems with the German and English pronunciation, but it can be easily overlooked as the backing track is amazing. The multiple reprises of a singular theme also deserve praise, as it is versatile enough to be used as an emotional piece or battle music. read more