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12 of 19 people found this review helpful
 
The thought of video game adaptations in film or anime usually leads one to imagine the more frequently popularized aspects of video games: Stylish violence and sensuality, high-velocity, no-holds-barred plotlines with worlds that need saving, and iconic, stone-faced heroes and heroines. Atelier Escha & Logy, an adaptation of one installment in a series of well-received roleplaying games, is about as far removed from that generalization as possible—its heroes and heroines are not particularly adept, and its focus drifts towards some of the more humble aspects of gaming, such as navigating the environment, gathering resources, communicating with other characters, and gradually honing skills. The idea is read more
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Jul 8, 2014
Sakasama no Patema (Anime) add
19 of 36 people found this review helpful
 
Every day, in discussions about any subject: “I don't see how they can believe that.” “I don't know why they think like that.” Perspectives that don't mesh with our own are often cast aside, and some choose to build a comfortable nest of their own ideas without realizing that other viewpoints could be equally valid. Entire lives are lived in this fashion. And, yet, the ability to see through the eyes of another is dear to us as human beings, intellectually and emotionally invaluable. Case in point: Age finds Patema clinging to a length of wire, her feet pointed up towards the sky, utterly upside read more
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64 of 134 people found this review helpful
 
In the year 2039, the combined naval forces of humanity suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of a military force with weapons technology that far surpasses their own. The fearsome assailants? A group of heavy warships, termed “The Fleet of Fog,” who are commanded by “mental models,” robot-like representations of the minds of the battleships that take the physical form of little girls dressed in frilly clothing. Fast-forward seventeen years, and one of these mental models, named Iona, approaches a human naval cadet named Gunzou out of the blue, offering herself (and, by extension, the advanced Fog submarine she represents) to Gunzou to command. read more
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Dec 7, 2013
Kimera (Anime) add
18 of 23 people found this review helpful
 
Selected scene from Kimera, 1996: An Air Force official maintains a roadblock on a rural mountain path. He is armed, and there are numerous uniformed soldiers clearly visible in the background, as well as the flaming wreckage of an overturned army-green transport. As a bystander approaches to, y'know, see what all the fuss is about, the official levels his assault rifle, its muzzle six inches from the man's head, and says “you can't be here, it's dangerous, run!” The bystander does the absolute last thing that any thinking human being would do: Pushes the barrel of the gun aside with his hand and demands to read more
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Oct 16, 2013
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Anime) add
27 of 63 people found this review helpful
 
Seikyou Academy is a school whose history is steeped in myth and folktales, so much so that it even has a club dedicated to the investigation of the paranormal. Its members include Teiichi, a humble and unassuming boy; Kirie, a curt tomboy; Momoe, a ditsy and childish girl; and Yuuko, a flirtatious young woman. Oh, and Yuuko is actually a ghost who died in the basement of the school fifty years ago and the entire club is just a front put in place by Teiichi so that he can investigate the circumstances surrounding Yuuko's mysterious death. Yep. Anime.

In pure technicalities, Dusk Maiden is a pretty read more
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Sep 8, 2013
Red Garden (Anime) add
29 of 36 people found this review helpful
 
Red Garden is a show full of weird little quirks, but there's nothing particularly quirky about its premise: four girls are forced to fight supernatural forces. Each evening, at any time before midnight, a team of female students from a prestigious school in New York may be summoned by a mysterious woman named Lula to engage in a deathmatch against fast, vicious, zombie-like monsters. Surrender and nonparticipation are not valid options. The girls know nothing about why they've been chosen or who they're really working for, but they hope to find out before it's too late.

Studio Gonzo's artistic work here is wholly different from the read more
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20 of 34 people found this review helpful
 
People with suddenly awakening superhuman powers? Check. A shadowy organization, run by a circular table of cryptic old men, that hunts these newly awakened superhumans? Check. A small alliance of superhumans hiding in plain sight, fighting against persecution by rescuing the awakened ones before they're caught, lead by an experienced veteran (named Quon) with a colorful past? Check, check, check. To be blunt, there's hardly an ounce of originality in the entire series of Towa no Quon films. It whips out numerous ideas from past tales of heroes and villains, and doesn't even have the decency to arrange them in a unique manner. It's worth read more
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Jul 20, 2013
Mushishi (Anime) add
159 of 209 people found this review helpful
 
In spirit, at least, each episode of Mushishi strongly reminds me of one thing: A cave painting. A depiction of man and the outside world, brief and primal but perfectly expressive, radiating mysticism, perhaps possessed of more meaning than it initially appears to have.

From minute one, Mushishi's representation of a vast world grabs the eye and doesn't let go. Lush forests with dew dripping from every leaf; barren winter mountains peppered with stubborn snow-covered trees; an innocuous pond with lilies on the surface of the still water. The series roams from setting to setting, and all are presented with a lifelike attention to detail. The read more
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Jun 26, 2013
Mugen no Ryvius (Anime) add
37 of 59 people found this review helpful
 
The artistic presentation is definitely not the selling point of Infinite Ryvius. I'll state one of my major complaints with the show right off the bat: It is permeated by numerous elements that feel tenuously connected to the setting and the plot, and while the character designs aren't the worst offenders, they're a good visual representation of the problem. I can get behind the generic-but-acceptable “everyday kid” look of some cast members, and the spiffy flight uniforms worn by the group of elite pilots look halfway believable, but that's about as far as these designs could take me. It's hard to feel any sort of read more
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Jun 5, 2013
NieA Under 7 (Anime) add
16 of 26 people found this review helpful
 
Representing about a 60:40 ratio of contemplative slice-of-life to lighthearted comedy, all blended and dropped into a slightly sci-fi setting, my first thought about NieA Under 7 was this: It is one tough show to classify.

It's evident that, from an artistic standpoint, this is a pretty bare-bones production. Expect relatively flat backgrounds, lacking any real depth or detail. Movement is regularly stiff and unnatural looking. The character designs bear the obvious stamp of the esteemed Yoshitoshi ABe, and they're just as distinctive as anything else that he's made, but their quality fluctuates, sometimes becoming more blocky and rough-looking on a scene-to-scene basis. The closest, read more
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