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Mar 12, 2016
The absurdity of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya franchise is without a doubt it's most endearing quality. The use of outlandish and bizarre science-fiction characters to create what an ultimately rather mundane high school comedy has a rather cunning, almost satirical bent to it which has allowed the series to endure far longer than most other work in the genre. But more than just being funny, the set-up also provides the opportunity to explore more philosophical matters from time to time.

In Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu, or "The Disappearance of Yuki Nagato" in English the balance between the mundane and the philosophical is tipped slightly in read more
Feb 6, 2016
It has now been several years since the controversy surrounding School Days have come to pass. The meme has faded into relative obscurity, Yandere characters are now a dime a dozen, and that very nice boat has long sailed off into the sunset. With the controversy behind us we can now begin our analysis to determine whether this cult title is a work of incredible bravery and intellectual substance as some have suggested, or the ludicrous eroge turned soap opera as others have claimed. In order to settle the dispute I have striven to make this evaluation as objective as possible, by detaching read more
Aug 1, 2015
Imagine, if you will, that you've been transported to a fantastical alternative universe. In this world enormous creatures, resembling dinosaurs roam the landscape. Yet there are still people here: foreign looking ones though, and wearing clothes from the sixteenth century. And if all that wasn't depressing enough, your sword is considerably less sharp than you would have anticipated. Welcome to the world of Byston Well, and the exercise in terrible production that is Garzey's Wing!

Anyone who has ever dreamed of creating a work of narrative fiction: be it a film, a novel or an anime, would be well advised to watch Garzey's Wing, because read more
Jul 31, 2015
There are many English idioms about third attempts. Third time lucky, third time's the charm, and I'm sure there's a third one. The first time you try something, you inevitably screw up because you've never done it before. The second time you have a better grasp of what you're doing but perhaps haven't developed the expertise yet. Surely this next time around, you'll be able to get it right?

"Evangelion 2.0: You Can(not) Advance" is the second part of Hideaki Anno's third attempt at cracking his popular magnum opus, and he'd better get it right this time. Particularly since he already managed to get it right read more
Feb 23, 2015
FLCL (Anime) add (All reviews)
Pretentious is a word which is thrown around a lot these days, even though it is a word that almost no-one seems to understand. In order for a creative work to be an example of 'pretentiousness' it needs to present commonplace ideas in an overly elaborate way, and while firmly under the illusion that what it says is deeply profound. It must have a delusion of grandeur, in other words.

There are many out there who say this about FLCL, but there are just as many who will also say, sometimes within the same breath, that it doesn't have any "storyline" or "plot" or that it read more
Feb 4, 2015
It can be quite easy to let your prejudices get the better of you. Opening your arms to something new, only to encounter the same things time and time again. Your expectations become lower and lower, until they become so low they no longer justify the effort of trying anything new in the first place. The reliance on the same old ideas and lack of creativity becomes so frustrating that even reading descriptions of new things annoys you. You have become a cynic.

If there were ever an anime to be cynical about, Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken would be it. The series read more
Dec 14, 2014

Self-parody is perhaps one of the easiest forms of comedy to create. The only real pre-requisite to it is knowledge and understanding of your subject matter. Determine the relevant clichés and the tropes that go along with it, and exaggerate them until you reach the point of mockery. The more niche your chosen medium is, the easier it becomes to create a parody it. When there are more die-hard fans than casual viewers to entertain, familiarity with the tropes or clichés is more widespread, and the scope for references is at its maximum. This can create an environment where outsiders unfamiliar with the medium are read more
Dec 11, 2014

In the year 2014, and presumbaly in those that will follow it, it is now accepted by the vast majority of people that cartoons are not always for children.

Undoubtedly there are some out there who most continue to defend their love of Chinese cartoons from parental scepticism and faced high-school mockery and social isolation, but for those of who have surpassed the need for the approval of others, but not old enough to have children to be disappointd in, it is accepted that drawn pictures are not childish by their very nature.
This was not always so, and the changing tide of popular opinion on read more
Jun 4, 2014

We have all known someone who seems to have everything go their way; Individuals who are intelligent, academically successful, outstanding athletes and despite of all that, remain kind and well-liked people. Those of us who do not possess these seemingly super-human traits can be left gazing up at them in awe, wondering why we ourselves cannot be more like them. But whatever outward appearances may suggest, ultimately these people function the same way we do, and the only difference between us and them (social class and genetics notwithstanding) is a question of motivation. Rather than ask ourselves we do not experience the same results, read more
Mar 28, 2014
If a work of fiction drags its audience into the depths of hell with tragedy, does it retain its artistic merit if the entire experience is nullified by the conclusion?

This is the principal question faced when attempting to reach a verdict on Clannad: After Story, a work of fiction which has a compelling power to manipulate the emotions of its audience: to make them laugh, to bring them to tears, and to leave their hearts warm with joy. Exploring themes such as redemption and heartbreak, it does many of these things wonderfully, but in desperation to end with a certain tone, it destroys everything it read more