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Nov 17, 2017
Having seen Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Presage Flower serves as a functional sequel to Zero and an engaging tonal and narrative contrast from Unlimited Blade Works. However, while knowledge of its predecessor and alternate storyline are essential to gain anything from it, Presage Flower is so fundamentally different on a thematic and storytelling level that its worth recommending even to those who were not fond of the two aforementioned titles.

While Fate/Zero tackled themes of utilitarianism, nihilism and heroism and Unlimited Blade Works addressed (in a somewhat flawed manner) martyrdom and pathological altruism, Heaven’s Feel explores the impacts of childhood trauma and domestic read more
Dec 20, 2015
One Punch Man serves as suitable entertainment on the shallowest of levels, though its repetitive comedy and presentation prevent it from standing out on many other levels.

One Punch Man starts out on a moderate note, with the joke of Saitama’s overpowered physicality growing old before the end of the first episode. From the start, this is a problem, as even less acclaimed comedic series like Baka and Test and The Devil is a Part Timer have fast and furious first episodes, where comedies usually try to reel in their audience by establishing character dynamics, introducing multiple avenues of comedy (ranging from misunderstandings to ill pre-conceived read more
Oct 10, 2015
Maria the Virgin Witch is a competently handled, historically astute and thematically rich anime that stands among the best titles to have aired in 2015.

The story of Maria, which starts when she begins her valiant crusade to end all war between France and England, is a relatively fast paced story that isn’t bogged down by unimaginative exposition or flashbacks, instead respecting the audience’s intelligence enough to allow them to determine character motivations and attitudes through engrossing dialogue. In the earlier parts of the story, which are devoted heavily to establishing the world and characters, the story may seem slightly meandering, with conversations about intentions and read more
Sep 10, 2015
Chuunibyou is a heart-warming, deceptively tightly paced narrative that succeeds both as a comedy and a drama within a believable context.

The story of Chuunibyou is centred on Yuuta Togashi, a high school student who has started out at a new school with a fresh opportunity to make friends. In the past, he had few, due to his Chuunibyou (eighth grade syndrome) which left him absorbed in his fantasy world while others laughed at him. However, Rika, his fellow student and fellow resident of his apartment complex, is still suffering from Chuunibyou, leaving Togashi feeling threatened that his past may come crashing down on him. Initially, read more
Aug 6, 2015
The first half of Fate/Zero is a tour de force of character building, technicality and the portrayal of ideologies and conflict, while also serving as a strong foundation for Ufotable’s ever expanding Type-Moon animated universe. In spite of occasionally awkward structure, unclear character motivations and questionable directorial decisions, Fate/Zero succeeds on so many levels that these flaws may almost be forgiven.

The story of Fate/Zero begins with the introduction of the seven masters, who have been selected to fight in the Holy Grail war, and their respective servants. During this time, the focus is given to their motives, beliefs and nature, allowing the characters to (with read more
Jul 24, 2015
Death Parade is an inventive and experimental anime that deserves praise for creativity alone, but its inability to function as an effective psychological thriller and minimalistic world building and flow prevent it from being much more than a passable series. This review may contain minor spoilers.

The story of Death Parade takes place in a bar called the “Quindecim”, in which an intimidating white-haired man named Decim and his associate, the mysterious “dark haired woman”, determine the fates of the deceased, in groups of two, who arrive at the bar simultaneously. The series alternates between focussing on a progressive overlaying plot involving those who work at read more
Jul 16, 2015
Rurouni Kenshin is a well-paced, high quality shounen series with a plethora of interesting themes and organically developed characters that stands among the best of its demographic.

The story of Rurouni Kenshin, set in Japan at the beginning of the Meiji period towards that end of the 1800s, begins following a rurouni named Kenshin and his time at the dojo of Kaoru, a female instructor whom he assisted. Initially, the story is engaging but episodic, with the focus being on the slowly expanding cast and their small-scale battles against individual threats to their safety. Though the more relaxed first quarter of the story doesn’t quite have read more
Jul 15, 2015
Hibike! Euphonium is a curios production that in narrative, visuals and music has moments where it truly shines, but sadly they are diluted by mediocre plot points, unnecessary characters and unusual story structure, taking what could have been a strong and emotionally resonant series down to a pleasant, but ultimately scarcely memorable watch.

The story, centered around Kumiko Oumae and her music class companions as they try to get to the nationals, is very inconsistent in terms of emotional intensity, pacing and enjoyment. Throughout the early episodes, the story is focussed on introducing Kumiko and her friends, Midori and Hazuki, to the audience, however this is read more
Jun 26, 2015
The manga series named Bokurano is a highly controversial and divisive narrative that, at its core, is a tale about human desire, nature and value. The story of Bokurano starts when a group of 15 children inadvertently sign a contract to save their world by piloting a giant mech, “Zearth”, and battling other, more dubious mechs. The start is rather slow, with the true nature of the series’ tone being initially elusive, but it quickly becomes apparent that neither the reader nor the characters were aware of the severity of their situation, which they are no longer able to escape. Once their predicament has been read more
Jun 20, 2015
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency is an appropriately bombastic, artistically successful action series with engaging characters that falls just short of excellence.

The story of Battle Tendency starts 50 years after Phantom Blood in pre-World War II New York. It involves Joseph Joestar, the grandson of Jonathan, and his battles against the creators of the stone masks, ancient vampires named ACDC, Wham and Cars (yes, they are actually called this). One of the most appealing aspects about Battle Tendency’s story is that it spans across several different countries, involves many new and exciting characters and several creative set-pieces. The story is appropriately tense and fast paced read more