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Apr 6, 2018
First impressions count for a lot. That's true for a lot of things, but especially in anime. There are so many shows and so little time to watch them all, so being able to grab you right from the outset is, if not an indicator or overall quality, at least a good start in gaining traction and attention.

Kyoukai no Kanata, or Beyond the Boundary, begins with our lead hero trying to talk a girl out of a suicide attempt by saying he finds her sexy, to which she responds by stabbing him through the chest with a blade forged from her own blood.

In other words, read more
Apr 6, 2018
There's a tendency among the anime community today to decry the proliferation of light novel adaptations, and it's far from unjustified. They're often poorly written, lazily produced, and just generally representative of anime's worst habits. But perhaps we should have seen this coming. After all, when a mediocre show is somehow praised and held up as the paragon of imagination and creativity of its time, then its inevitable copycats can only ever be even worse. Which brings me to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the show that arguably started the light novel adaptation boom.

The plot, such as it is, is centered around Kyon, a high read more
Apr 5, 2018
Consider: can the universe be justifiably called infinite?
It may not have a discernible end, but it had a beginning.
And its component parts definitely have a limited cosmological shelf-life.
Splitting hairs or not, if history tells us anything, it's that scientists often make very poor poets.
We’re all just a ship of fools chasing phantoms, heedless of what really underwrites natural law.

So begins Steins;Gate, the show of time-travel twists and turns that took the anime community by storm back in 2011. And if that poetic science-babble (courtesy of the excellent English dub) set to a fuzzy tracking shot of telephone polls interspersed with flashes of a weary cityscape read more
Apr 5, 2018
The Monogatari series, the story of half-vampire high school student Koyomi Arararararagi (sorry, I stuttered) and his sort-of harem of girls with various magical and spiritual afflictions, is a series of ups and down, containing some of my favorite and least favorite moments in all of anime. On the one hand, it's gorgeously animated and directed, taking full advantage of its medium to constantly keep you entertained with creative colors, cuts, and camera angles. On the other, it's remarkably up its own ass, sometimes to its benefit, sometimes to its detriment. On the one hand, it contains my absolute favorite relationship in all of anime. read more
Apr 5, 2018
Part of me wonders if there's even a point to me writing a review for Attack on Titan. I mean, it's been five years since it came out, the third season is coming up this summer, everybody's already seen it and has their own opinion on it, so what could one more internet randie possibly add to the discussion?

Well, I suppose you could consider this more of a personal exercise. Attack on Titan was the first anime I ever saw. Long before I got into anime, long before I even had a conception of what "anime" was, a friend of mine showed me the first read more
Apr 5, 2018
"It's about the journey, not the destination."

This phrase is used to describe a lot of shows, movies, etc. The basic idea is that how the story shakes out in the end isn't important: the experiences gained along the way are what matter.

Violet Evergarden is a tricky show to parse at first, because it's the antithesis of that idea. It relies on a slow build of character, story, and tone that might not grab you and sweep you away right off the bat. It demands the patience to sit down and follow it through to the end, trusting that the time you invest in it will read more
Jan 3, 2018
Lack of expectations can be a wonderful thing.

I went into Angel Beats knowing next to nothing about it. I just knew it was MAL's 5th most popular anime, yet I strangely haven't seen much discussion of it in popular anime circles. Oh, and it had something to do with the afterlife. Thus, I started the first episode with no expectations for what the show would be, or about its quality. I imagined I'd get some fun interactions, some character arcs, and some enjoyable action.

What I didn't expect was to spend the first 2 episodes cackling in laughter and the last 2 episodes drowning in read more
Dec 23, 2017
I'll keep this review short to avoid boring you, esteemed reader. In my opinion, Gurren Lagann is far from a masterpiece. It is, however, an almost perfect recreation of the imagination of a preteen/teen boy, with all the good and bad that entails. I was a teenage boy once (technically, I still am), and Gurren Lagann is exactly the kind of beautiful, over-the-top nonsense I'd dream up in my spare time. Ridiculous action that escalates beyond your wildest imagination? Check. An earnest belief in the power of humanity and one's inner strength as the driving theme? Check. Badass macho posturing so self-assured it'll make you read more