12 of 12 episodes seen
I already thought the characters were pretty weak, coming into the second season. What you should expect in the second season is for the characters to remain nearly the same. Or rather, you will see a series of episodes that each trick you into thinking that there will be character progression, that then revert back to the exact same dynamic. It is unbelievably frustrating to watch.
There is one moment in particular, which I can't talk about because spoilers, that happens in the second half of the series. It got me excited. Finally, some desperately needed character self-reflection that doesn't come off as immature and nearly disfunctional (Sorry guys, not a Rikka fan). But the creators of this show had the audacity to think they can write this conflict off with no reason at all. It completely destroyed the idea of any plot. I would love to hear why they thought that was a good idea.
I'm usually pretty forgiving of anime with little plot. But when it gets as little as "none," it really becomes slice of nothing rather than slice of life. Enjoy your nothing pie everyone; it goes without saying that it could use some flavoring. read more
11 of 12 episodes seen
Ore no Imouto takes a cliche school / slice of life anime setup and sets it at a new angle. Sure, some of the character designs are stereotypical, but they're all created that way to convey a certain feeling to the audience. That feeling, at least in the anime (because I highly suspect the original was romantic love) is actually sibling or familial love. To break it down for those of you who still think Ore no Imouto is cliche: I don't know of any other anime that really discusses sibling love in a more mature light than this one.
People complain about Kyousuke being a wimp, and for the most part, he definitely appears to seem like one. However, consider his father, who is actually portrayed somewhat realistically. As a sibling myself, I can clearly see how the iron fist of a father's control over something that is your favorite hobby could really lead the siblings to come together and make amends for their past.
Another argument people have against Ore no Imouto is the "girl who loves eroge" cliche/catering to otakus. While it could be seen in this light, I saw it as the stereotypical anime exaggeration that we see everywhere, in order to make an important point. We see Kyousuke fighting for his sister's rights to appreciate and enjoy her own hobby at her own leisure without being judged by others around her. It's a wonderful message to send across, despite it being moved by the eroge factor. However, it's the very fact that Kirino's hobby is eroge that shows if Kyousuke can justify this hobby to those around him, any hobby can be justified, and in general, any action that does not harm anyone else.
It sends a message to those radically in opposition of hobbies that others have, and a general message of acceptance. Kirino, by the end of the series, seems to be hated by many viewers for what she has done to Kyousuke. Part of that appears to be intentional, as it leaves the audience wondering "How can Kyousuke put up with all of the crap Kirino does to him?"
It's true, it seems unbelievable, and is highly unlikely in today's world. But since when has anime ever tried to accurately portray reality? Most of us watch anime because it glorifies simple personalities and relationships between people, transforming them into something wonderful. We watch it because it gives us an escape into a world that we enjoy watching, or may even want to live in, because it is so radically emotionally different than our world.
It seems that some people are forgetting the magic of anime that led all of us to watch it in the first place. Ore no Imouto is, quite secretively, one of the more poignant animes of Fall 2010, and was a true joy to watch. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
At first I wasn't expecting much. An anime about otaku? I'm not an otaku, this can't be about me! My friend had highly suggested it to me however, so for his sake I decided to give it a try.
The story involves, as explained earlier, a group of college kids who are part of Genshiken, an abbreviation for a much longer name that seems to involve their justification of club legitimacy. It's members? Your ordinary set of otakus.
Yet the fact that all of these members are surprisingly ordinary is, in itself, Genshiken's uniqueness.
Genshiken somehow manages to make ordinary otakus fun to watch.
When you are first introduced to the main cast, you will find yourself sort of disgusted at the ways they act; maybe you'll even think "I would never be their friends!"
Halfway through even the first season, you feel like they ARE your friends. In just a few episodes, these ordinary people's quirks will arise from their otaku exterior, and by the time these different characters graduate, you will be sad to see them go.
Genshiken does not keep time eternal, like most anime do. Instead, it brings characters through this wacky club that have their own quirks, and just when you are (almost) comfortable seeing these characters interact, they graduate and move on with their lives. For those of you who have moved, or graduated from high school, Genshiken may bring you back to those times, where you didn't appreciate what you had around you as much as you did after you left. Amazingly, Genshiken manages to duplicate this feeling, and you truly miss the characters that leave. It is hard to believe that an anime about otaku is the thing teaching this lesson, but lessons can come from strange places, and it makes Genshiken all the better.
Genshiken's ability to get the audience loving the characters is the most sought-after technique for all anime. No one can create a compelling anime if the characters are flat and ordinary. While the characters in Genshiken appear ordinary at first, their lovable quirks are what bring you to realize that these quirky people are just that. People. Not some lead role in a shounen or your average tsundere.
The way that Genshiken makes its characters realistic and at the same time lovable is a great refresher from the standard cookie-cutter formula for anime today, and is definitely a must-watch. Genshiken is entertaining throughout, and its realness only adds to the fun and beauty of its characters. If you have the time, I urge you to pick this anime up if you are at all into anime (why would you be reading this if you weren't...) So many of the jokes hit the nail on the head, and you will surely feel like a member of Genshiken yourself by the time it ends. read more
11 of 12 episodes seen
A somewhat difficult anime to review.
Despite its shortcomings as an obviously stereotypical ecchi love-comedy jam-packed with your staple assortment of embarrassing, should-be-censored scenes, Kampfer surprisingly hit me with something I wasn't expecting: A cast of characters that are somewhat unique, but most of all, lovable in some way, and a very over-the-top sense of humor.
If you have seen a lot of different love comedies, you will still most likely enjoy this anime, but personally having seen a variety of these types of shows, the humor in Kampfer sometimes literally made me laugh out loud, which is something I do not do so often when watching anime alone.
Please note that although I found Kampfer immensely entertaining, its plot hardly differs from that of your average harem: NONEXISTANT. As I was not looking for or expecting a plot in particular, I found no incredible lacks in this department. While there is fanservice, increasingly so over the series, the beginning actually does not have too much, which I found to be refreshing and made the humor the focus as the story wound up.
Which leads me to conclude that although Kampfer is indeed shallow and without a plot, the fact that it offers a humor that makes fun of other ecchi love comedies (maybe not intentionally) is a great added bonus. Also, the harem "mob" of girls is not so mindless that they follow the man for no reason. They each have their own reasons for liking him, and while it may seem shallow at first, some character's love seems to go deeper than your average ecchi love-comedy, which is also nice, seeing as I didn't expect that either :D
It seems I am getting to the conclusion first... Let's jump into the categories, shall we?
A boy named Senou Natsuru one day becomes a Kampfer, which is essentially a battle girl. Everyone must transform to go into their "Kampfer mode" but because Natsuru is a male, he must switch genders when he transforms into his Kampfer form. This creates all sorts of nonsense, as you can imagine. More and more Kampfer show up, and I will be sure to not spoil the rest of this "intricate" plotline.
As I mentioned earlier, the story line is not one of Kampfer's strong assets. If you do end up watching this show, keep very low expectations as far as the story goes. You may end up enjoying the show as much as I did.
By the way, I choose to ignore the ending fight. It really is one of the strangest "wtf" moments I've seen in an anime. You won't like it, I can almost guarantee it.
This is one thing that I think particularly shines about Kampfer. If you know me, I am very picky on eye styles. Once I saw them, I couldn't get my eyes off them (har dee har har).
All lame jokes aside, I really do love the way everything is animated in this show. The main characters are very well done and never look like they were lazily drawn. There is one exception to this: At times, character's eyes or fingers might look incredibly lopsided or crooked. While this is a shame and looks fairly weird, I found it somewhat rare and passable under the rest of the art, which I very much liked.
Nothing particularly memorable in this department. The OP and ED were OK, just your standard ecchi love comedy themes. Music during the anime flowed well, but again, was not as memorable as something like that from Clannad. That is a very high standard of comparison, but I did not find Kampfers music bad either. The songs fit the emotions, and did not stick out awkwardly in any place I can remember.
This is where Kampfer elevates itself over other ecchi love-comedies. Most animes with obvious levels of sexual bombardment ignore the character development part of the roadmap. Kampfer manages to delve into the characters more than most ecchi love-comedies, and I found this to be a great change. While it is not much more, it is noticable when compared to other ecchi anime. Please note that the 9/10 rating is in comparison to other character development in the same genre.
Aaand what I just said was partially a lie. The characters are also very lovable. There's a character for everyone to love, and the art combined with the character's personalities makes for a charming anime in this respect.
Yes, I shamelessly enjoyed every second of this anime. The ecchi, the characters, the corny not-so-well-thought-out battle scenes, the awkwardness with the "bishoujo" element of this anime, the over-the-top humor... It was all great. And I don't regret a single second of it.
Again, this anime will just differ completely depending on who looks at it. With virtually no story, this anime is fairly flat and predictable in its dimensions. If you aren't looking for a good story and just something you can veg out to, this is a great watch. I suggest watching the first 2 episodes, and if you don't like it by then, quit. If you're interested in the genre though, I highly suggest you give it a try.
24 of 24 episodes seen
Then there is Clannad After Story, which seams together these two extremely emotional qualities flawlessly and presents us with something truly unique and amazing. It is a very real story, beautiful in its simplicity yet powerful with its bold emotions. It will send chills down your spine in the way it is able to show the biggest wonders within the smallest events. Clannad After Story is truly a treat, one that you will never forget.
I do not want to spoil a moment of this compelling story for you, but essentially this is the story of the beginnings and life of a family. So simple, yet the slow and emotional way in which it is presented is truly amazing to watch. The characters and music combine with the story and make its presentation even more astounding and emotional.
I absolutely love this art style. The animators will take their time to highlight specific things in a scene, perhaps the wind carrying sakura petals or the gaze of a robot lost in a desolate world. I am big on eye styles if you know me well, and Clannad does not fail to deliver. The eyes are unique and refreshing, yet they completely work for the characters.
I will say that the Clannad team does tend to "recycle" their clips a lot, and they re-use many scenes that have already been used. It was never a problem for me however, and I never seemed to notice during each episode. Each clip of animation has a visible amount of dedication put into it, and it pays off.
I would say this is where Clannad truly shines, but to be honest, it shines everywhere, and the soundtrack is no exception. Honestly, this is one of the most amazing anime soundtracks I have ever heard. Shinji Orito and gang have created a moving soundtrack to match the emotions of the anime perfectly. Without these songs, the anime would only be half as good as I believe it is. I urge you to listen to the songs carefully and let yourself be absorbed into the emotions of the anime, and listening to these songs later will immediately bring to mind these emotions that our characters were feeling at the time. Fabulous, fabulous job to the music team.
Another 10, yes, but I am sure you will agree with me on this one. There is Tomoya, the main character, who changes dramatically over the course of After Story. There is Nagisa, Tomoya's wife, who is kind, gentle, and sometimes a bit incapable of handling things herself. There is Kyou (yay Kyou fanboy here), the aggresive tsundere of the group who is outgoing, kind, and well... intolerable of stupidity. There is Tomoyo, very similar to Kyou but with ambitions and a steady path she sees for herself.
These and many other characters make this story a must-see. There is a character for everyone to love and be attached to; in fact I find myself loving every single character. (Except Fuuko, who I must add, was put in this anime a bit too much.) Overall, amazing cast, and voice acting is also very solid.
I always hate to give a review all 10's, because it seriously looks like I'm a fanboy of Clannad. But thinking back on the series, it deserves nothing less. All the elements that make up an anime mesh perfectly for Clannad After Story, and it is truly a treat to watch. I enjoyed every second of this anime, and came close to crying (which I have never done watching an anime).
I knew then that Clannad After Story was something special, something that draws the emotion from everyone's hearts and connects you to the story in one way or another. This is something you cannot miss. read more
11 of 24 episodes seen
I am pleased to say that it says a lot. Casshern Sins is what looks like the most original anime of the Spring 2008 lineup, and while it may be sad, it is truly amazing to watch. (This review will update as the series goes on, if all goes well ;D)
Casshern does not know if he is a man, robot, or neither. In a world of destruction, where humans are rarely found and the last of the robots rust, Casshern wanders, trying to discover his true self. If you exclude the amnesia cliche, the story is very original and engaging. You feel Casshern's emotions, you feel that somehow he has changed throughout his unknown ordeal, and you feel his sadness and frustration at his inability to control his primal instincts. As he wanders, he encounters many new things, all of which get him closer to discovering the truth of his world. The pace is somewhat slow in the beginning, but it gets quicker and stays generally understandable.
This is where Casshern Sins truly shines. The animation is amazing to watch, it's fluid, smooth, and elegant. The battle scenes are works of art, and it seems like the animation staff is always excited to draw new panels instead of reusing the old ones again and again. The landscapes look fabulous, and draw the viewer deeper into the sadness and depression in Casshern. Everything is drawn and animated beautifully; this series is almost a must see just for the animation. The best part is that 11 episodes into the anime, the animation crew still has not cut any slack on this wonderful series.
The theme song is pretty good, the ending is also above average. Nothing super superb here, but the music is engaging enough to draw you into the anime and feel the emotions of the characters. The ED is a "hopeful" song, one that leaves you with the right emotion instead of destroying the ending mood with a happy go lucky ero ero ending... just what we don't need. Luckily Casshern Sins doesn't do this, and the background music is above average as well. Nothing super special here, but its definitely not bad.
Casshern is somewhat cliche in his amnesia-but-wanting-to-do-good act, but it definitely works well for this anime. The characers around him are very unique as well, and all of them have some sadness that they share with Casshern and different ambitions. The way the characters interact is very realistic, and there's not so many characters that you start getting confused. Casshern Sins does a good job of introducing the characters and letting you get to know them well.
Promising series from what I have seen so far. I definitely reccomend checking Casshern Sins out if you're looking for something unique. It is a somewhat depressing anime at times, but it is meant to be saddening, so make sure that you watch something lighthearted afterwards. Unless you absolutely love the plot and characters, in which case I've done my job well :) I suggest you give this one a shot; you may find something you really like. read more
23 of 23 episodes seen
Okazaki Tomoya is an average "delinquent" - too lazy to study or do anything worthwhile. He spends all day hanging out with his friend Sunohara, and they basically waste their time doing nothing. However, all of this changes when Tomoya meets Nagisa, a girl a year older than him that had to return to high school due to her missing a year. From here, it takes off fairly quickly, and its the unexplained wonders of the story that make it such an amazing anime to watch. These moments wouldnt be complete without the great music, however.
I really like the eye styles in Clannad and how the characters are drawn. Other than that the art is just your average school-anime art with your average school-anime backdrops, except when it, at times, goes into 3-D (which looks fantastic but doesnt happen too often). That said, I don't have any beefs with the art, it's all about how they draw the characters, which was done very well.
The OP and the ED were never very good, in fact I pretty much didnt like the opening at all and I forgot what the ED was. I just have to give this section a 10 because the background music is just SO amazing. It captures perfectly the emotions of the characters and the mystical scenes that take place every once and a while. Without this music, the anime would have half the emotion that it does now, so kudos to the music writers, I can never get some of those songs out of my head now...
I docked one point cause some of the characters are pretty stereotypical. Passive agressive friend character. Tsundere (hint hint my avatar) girl with a sister who is basically the shyest person ever created ever. Aaaand of course all the filler characters who don't matter. But there are plenty of unique characters in this anime, and even the cliche characters never got on my nerves (well... pretty much never, fuko...). In any case, as Clannad went on I found myself getting more and more attached to these characters, who end up being very well fleshed out. There's always one character that you will connect with in any good anime, and this anime is no exception.
What more is there to say about this anime. Truly fantastic and a joy to watch. It may start out a bit slow, but please bear with it for the first few episodes. I found the slow pace to be relaxing, since I live in the U.S. where every day is about rushing to do something important. Clannad has been my source of relaxation on those hurried days, its just an anime about love, life, and life's mysteries. With all the fast paced shows of today, Clannad is a sigh of relief and a must watch. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
The story is very unique, as far as I can tell. Louise can't use any magic, but on the day where all 2nd year students summon a familiar to help them, Louise summons a teenage boy from Japan, which is obviously another world from the magical world. From there it just kind of flows, and the fillers are very entertaining too (If they can even be called fillers).
I really like the eye styles in Zero, cause im big on those. Everything else is great as well, I didn't see too many cliches in terms of art (see character for the cliches)
To be honest, it wasn't anything special. I thought the theme songs were OK, and the music in the anime was good as well. Overall, it was just good. Nothing memorable or anything.
I am actually surprised that I am giving this an 8/10. In fact, this anime probably has all the cliche characters of every anime combined. The tsundere girl, the quiet girl, the playboy, the... uhhh.... slut. Yeah, and there's even more where that came from. But there's always a character for everyone to relate to, even though they aren't that deep. Maybe it's not worth an 8 here, but I guess this cliche cast really got to me.
Obviously since Zero is a romance comedy shounen-ish anime, the enjoyment value is going to shoot the technical values in the face. The way the story is executed is very fun to watch, and the "I want to confess but I can't" moments are perfectly spread and executed. It's hard to get that kind of a story right, especially with all the animes out there that have flopped and given this stereotypical plotline a bad name. The comedy is great as well, I found myself laughing out loud at some moments and laughing when I knew what was coming (trust me, you will also.)
What more can I say? If you're into the romance comedy genre, I highly suggest you pick this up. One of my main concerns in the beginning was how childish it looked, but then I figured out the characters are supposed to be 16 (they look way younger... ?_?). Anyway, I would say if you don't like this anime within the first 3 episodes, this isn't for you. But please, just give it a try. read more
24 of 26 episodes seen
This is not to say that the anime is a complete train wreck. In fact, the first two episodes are fantastic in my opinion. They had it all down pat: The engaging story, the hilarious, embarrassing, over the top ecchiness, the art quality. Twas fantastic.
Then came the filler onslaught. I thought by grabbing hard onto the pages of the manga that the storm of pointless stories may not pulverize me, but it seems it was hopeless. Every episode I would say to myself, "now, this has GOT to be the last filler," and then WHADDYAKNOW? another one shows up. Man, I wish I could punch TV shows.
The thing that always bugged me about To Love-Ru was that the manga had all this great material up for grabs, and the first 6 episodes of the anime were very loyal to the manga. Then for the next 18 episodes, I would say about 3 were based off of actual manga chapters. Why? I certainly wouldn't know, but apparently the producers thought lame fillers would satisfy us.
Maybe the manga was so much better than the anime that I found myself looking down on this TV show. Maybe I'm wrong. A lot of people like this anime, and I enjoy it as well. It just bugs me how the show had so much potential, and then let us down as viewers. First 6 episodes I given an absolute 10, and the fillers about 5. If you have time, then watch this, but there are better harem animes. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
For those of you who know Death Note, you can consider Code Geass the same except less based around tactics and more based around character development. Also, Code Geass has a much brighter, lighter feel to it, wheras Death Note feels very dark most of the time. That said, I'll break this down for ya:
Basically, Lelouch the main character is a 17 year old boy who has always disliked the Brittanian empire that conquered Japan long ago, naming it "Area 11". As such, native Japanese people were nicknamed "Elevens" by the Brittanians, who discriminated and continue to oppress the Japanese. Lelouch finally gets what he needs to get started, and begins to rebel against Brittania.
Not horribly inventive, but still engaging. What I love about the story personally is that it seems like no character was forced to do something to steer the plot in the desired directions. Every character does what he/she feels, and the plot develops itself. Very natural feeling. Also no fillers (w00t!)
The art is great; love the eye styles (I'm big on eyestyles, in case you didn't know) and the character designs are unique and refresing. There is a bit of recycled panoramas, but I usually dont have a problem with that; it doesnt really negatively affect the anime.
The OPs/EDs are fantastic, with songs by Access and FLOW (my favs) and they REALLY made me love the music. As for the in-anime sound effects, nothing really struck me as astounding, but the sound in general is very good (Very good is an 8/10... oh well, the OPs and EDs are too good)
The reason I have a 10 in this section is because there is a character (or more) for everyone to love. Like Death Note, Code Geass becomes a battle of morals, and every character has a different opinion on what should happen. Unique designs, great voice acting, very memorable characters.
The plot always keeps you engaged. I love the fact that you dont always know what is going to happen next, so it keeps you on the edge of your seat. No huge flashback episodes either (which I personally hate; wasting a whole episode for a flashback is like a filler to me...). You'll root for certain characters, laugh, maybe cry? Who knows, its a whole different experience for me.
All of these elements slapped together make a very memorable anime that I will remember for a while. The sequel to this season is great as well, be sure to check that out. Hard for me to say anymore; go give this one a watch! read more