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Oct 11, 2016
Sometimes writing reviews is easy. You finish watching, check your notes & before you know it the words are flowing onto the page. No guarantee they'll be any good, of course, but at least there was no trouble finding something to say. For Active Raid's second season, it's a struggle to say anything.

After the events of the first season (Winter 2016), Unit 8 has seen some changes. Asami has found herself shunted off to lead the newly formed Unit 9, letting her have the power trip she's always wanted while getting her out of the way of serious police work. Sena, meanwhile, has left Unit read more
Oct 7, 2016
TL;DR – As good as any entry point into the sprawling Lupin franchise, the fourth TV series should appeal to old fans & new audiences alike. It's not without flaws, but is a lot of fun.

Few characters from what some consider the golden period of children's TV anime (1960s – 1980s) have maintained a presence in pop-culture like Lupin III. Despite this being the first full TV series in over thirty years, a steady stream of films, specials, crossovers & marketing tie-ins have helped keep the world's greatest master thief in the popular conscience.

But while many may know of Lupin & his gang, this latest read more
Oct 5, 2016
TL;DR – A refreshing take on the special snowflake teenager who wants a normal life style of power fantasy, but it is held back from being something special by a few weak episodes in the third act, when it becomes hobbled by the very tropes & clichés it seemed such a welcome break from.

The power fantasy has been a staple of anime since kids tuned in to watch a wide eyed robot boy fight villains by shooting bullets out of his arse. Indeed, it's one of the purposes of fiction to take any sentence that begins with “I wish I...” & answer what it read more
Sep 23, 2016
TL;DR: New Game; Old Hat.

Relaxing. Uplifting. Familiar. Pleasant. If a few words could sum up Cute Girl shows, these four would surely be included. Rather than wanting to see true to life struggles, the audience seeks the comfot of watching an ensemble of high school girls, in a class or club, as they endeavour to make friends, create lasting memories & generally try to get through the “best years of their lives” with determination, cheerful enthusiasm &, if we're lucky, maybe something insightful.

New Game takes the Cute Girl formula & transplants it with barely an alteration into a workplace setting. Aoba, newly graduated & debating read more
Aug 24, 2016
Depending on your point of view, the mid 80s through to the mid 90s is either a golden period of violent anime schlock, or a nadir of low budget, exploitative rubbish. At a time when Japanese animators seem to have been enamored with American genre movies (& Mad Max), video nasties & FIst of the North Star, Japan's OVA boom saw a plethora of violent exploitation shows that can often be summed up as “muscly man walks around, kills people & has sex with women.”

Kumo ni Noru is instantly recognisable as a product of its time. A violent, incoherent hero's journey, it tells the read more
Jul 17, 2016
Crane Game Girls (CGG), like a number of the anime shorts Crunchyroll have taken to scooping up in the last couple of years, is one of those shows that you both question the point of licensing, but are also kind of glad they did. It's story is simple enough. Our idol trio: Asuka (the serious one); Mirai (the dumb one) & Kyoko (the other one) are sent to work at a game arcade by their gorilla boss (more on him later). With the guidance of their supervisor Sayo, they strive to become the best idols they can while also unknowingly saving the world, both of read more
Jul 7, 2016
ReLIFE (Anime) add (All reviews)
Tl;dr – ReLIFE is escapism at its most shallow. It presents a 27 year old, whose life isn't going anywhere fast, an opportunity to repeat his last year of high school & doesn't even think to ask why he might say yes.

It seems one can turn on the TV on any given day, in any given country, & have a reasonable chance of hearing how bad young people have it in today's economy. Mass unemployment, poor quality jobs for those that have them, no access to housing & the list goes on. Many questions have been asked of why, across the world, young people read more
Jun 15, 2016
Tl;dr: Whether because it's a kids show from 1981, or because it happens to also be a rather entertaining school comedy, Miss Machiko manages to somewhat charm you past it's rather more sexploitative & misogynist elements. Might only be one for those interested in the history of anime, but it's also worth watching rather than just reading about.

On paper, Miss Machiko sounds like something that time had a good reason to forget. A children's comedy that is also considered one of the early ecchi anime, Miss Machiko follows the titular, newly graduated teacher as she struggles to impart the wonders of education to her read more
Apr 3, 2016
After six years & sixty episodes (not including specials), Ketsu sees Narita Ryohgo's Durarara (DRRR) adaptation finally come to an end. Director Takahiro Omori's apparently masochistic determination to finish the job with DRRR like he couldn't with Baccano has disappointed many, with interest in DRRR having been deeply eroded by the passage of time & the production & story problems that have dogged X2 from the start. But whether or not there are many people left who wanted it, we finally got an ending: one that we could only hope was better than the wet fart the first series ended on so long ago.

As has read more
Jan 21, 2016
Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note is a series about a group of middle schoolers who solve mysteries in their spare time...That's all I've got for an introduction.

Firstly, credit where it's due. In an era of anime where every other show seems to be about high school kids with magic-science-demon powers saving the world, it's refreshing to find a story where the stakes seem appropriate to the setting. Tales of earth shattering events, evil conspiracies & alien invasions so often found in anime can sometimes feel like a lazy way for the writer to up the stakes in a story that they are otherwise unable read more