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Mar 29, 2019
There's a very specific kind of enjoyment which you can get from Reincarnated as a Slime, and the best comparison I can make - which might explain that enjoyment - is to time-loop movies. Movies like The Edge of Tomorrow or Source Code focus on an initially-incompetent protagonist being repeatedly put through the same sequence of events in the same place and trying to achieve some kind of goal.

At the beginning, the protagonist repeatedly fails or dies because they don't know what's coming next. But eventually, they begin to map out the possibilities and anticipate the events in their reality, and figures out the read more
Feb 2, 2017
The Garden of Words is the most aesthetically beautiful anime I've ever seen. The combination of minute detail and the modelling of reflected and refracted light in sun and rain creates something which has beauty in every frame, which makes you constantly pause it to appreciate frames as still images.

Much as its visual beauty comes from a careful, slightly glossy depiction of the real world, the film seems to have aimed to bring out the same poetry-of-the-ordinary concept in its story and its characters. Two lonely, somewhat lost and unsure people meet coincidentally because they both like to skive off their responsibilities when it read more
Jan 30, 2017
FLCL (Anime) add (All reviews)
One of the most relatable, keenly-observed, and emotionally realistic depictions in anime of a boy's coming of age is also a story about how a space pirate who steals star systems is set free from interdimensional jail to stop giant irons from flattening the creases in planet Earth. This is not a contradiction.

FLCL is a lot of things. It's hilarious, running the gamut of humour from the opening slapstick of Haruko ramming into Naota with her moped, to the chaotic character-based humour of normal people trapped in absurd situations (Naota) and abnormally perverted people (Naota's dad and granddad) lapsing into gibberish as their overheated brains read more
Jan 25, 2017
The first time I watched Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, I turned it off ten minutes into the double-size first episode. It seemed dry and unengaging. Other anime from the same season had, in the best attention-deficit traditions, included some big dramatic hook or reveal early in their opening episode to grab the viewer. Set against them, Rakugo felt tedious. But I dropped almost every other anime from that season, and I picked this one back up, finishing it in two days.

What I realised was that Rakugo is unique among anime, in that it's a novel. Its strengths lie in the naturalistic rendering of human read more
Jan 22, 2017
There are two standards against which it's fair to measure Psycho-Pass.

One is the standard of the genre piece - it's a very Western show, a police procedural in a sci-fi setting partly lifted from the film Minority Report, with familiar UK/US TV hallmarks like serial killers linked behind the scenes to a mastermind who facilitates their crimes (see: Sherlock, Hannibal), brooding and obsessive detectives who are in danger of getting "in too deep", terrorists who want to make statements against society, etc. How exciting is it? How visceral is the action? How complex and/or surprising is the plotting?

The other is the standard of read more
Jan 15, 2017
Two things set Hirunaka no Ryuusei apart from other conventional shojo mangas.

One is the art: it's clean, very well-formed, with appealing character designs and an unusual amount of variation in facial features and hairstyles which helps distinguish the cast - most shojo mangas can't do as well.

The second, and by far the more important, is that the characters show a great deal of maturity and introspection in resolving their feelings and trying to act in a way that's true to themselves without hurting others. They don't always succeed, and neither does this straightforwardness and maturity stop Hirunaka from going down a fairly predictable path read more
Jan 14, 2017
KonoSuba takes the standard premise of a regular japanese NEET being sent into a fantasy world to quest and adds a twist - he was given the option of taking any single thing or person with him by the goddess of the afterlife, but the goddess was so insensitive to his plight that he decided to spite her by bringing her along. It's a smart idea, and the predictable jokes that result, focusing on how the goddess is actually fairly incompetent and unhelpful, are pulled off well, but it doesn't live up to the comic potential of its premise.

Most of the comedy in KonoSuba comes read more
Jan 6, 2017
"If I hadn't become a manager, I wouldn't have been able to watch today's matches, wouldn't have been so excited and flustered or been so happy when you won, and my heart wouldn't have felt so warm. It's all because I watched each of you work so hard to do something that you couldn't do before... If I hadn't been here, I would have never had that experience. So, thank you."

Haikyuu!! began as an impressively solid and well-rounded anime, with strong characterisation and development, but it had some flaws. Shoyo was too often far less interesting than everyone around him. The team's manager, read more
Jan 1, 2017
Haikyuu manages to strike a happy medium between the conventional shonen sports anime and something more realistic, which leaves out the hyperbolic special techniques of manga like Eyeshield 21 or overt melodrama. It is, above all else, solid and and a competent piece of work.

As with most sports animes, the plot isn't particularly unusual or exciting - the genre is limited to a pretty standard formula of introduction, practice matches, training, a tournament arc, and repeating the process. The characters are also largely drawn from the typical mould - a cool, highly talented loner, a solid and experienced captain, a kind senpai with wisdom read more
Oct 7, 2015
This review contains spoilers.

This manga started out seeming quite spare and brutal - full of imminent, creeping death out in the wilderness, lone and expendable warriors either dying brutally in battle or succumbing to monstrosity, and sometimes being sent to their deaths by an organisation which didn't care about them in the slightest. It was dark, depressing, and the action was a lot of fun.

It ended in an orgy of wish-fulfillment, with almost everyone I liked surviving, a beloved character returning from the dead just to be awesome and totally destroy the series antagonist in a final fight with no tension whatsoever, and everyone departing read more