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Mar 9, 2017
In little over an hour, Gundam Thunderbolt accomplishes more than most Gundam titles do in 50 episodes.

The most common theme of the Gundam franchise is that war is hell. This is often overshadowed, however, by flashy mobile suit fights. As such, what we ultimately take away from these series is less "war is bad" and more "robots are cool".

But while Thunderbolt may be visually appealing, it never loses focus of what it's about. Thunderbolt is, start to finish, a sheer emotional gut-punch of an anime. It makes every scene it can into an uncomfortable and harrowing experience. From inexperienced soldiers being mown down to graphic read more
Jan 25, 2017
91 Days (Anime) add (All reviews)
91 Days came so goddamned close to being great. Unfortunately, due to a few significant faults, it's merely good.

It's hard not to admire 91 Days for what it attempted, though. When it began, it immediately drew comparisons to Baccano, another mobster anime set in Prohibition-era America. In spite of this, though, 91 Days and Baccano are very different anime. Baccano was a romp, full of larger-than-life characters, absurd anime tropes, and fantastical plot elements. 91 Days is the exact opposite - it's dark, dry, and incredibly grounded. The only reason 91 Days draws this comparison so much is because it is the only anime that read more
Mar 13, 2016
Whisper of the Heart perfectly captures the anxieties of growing up and finding your place in the world, and the anxieties faced by any creator finding their creative voice, weaving the two into a spectacular coming-of-age story.

It's surprising that this is one of few Ghibli movies to not be directed by either Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata (although Miyazaki was heavily involved with other elements of its production). It possesses both Miyazaki's incredible skill at visual storytelling, and Takahata's subtle mastery of conveying plot through emotion.

It's almost redundant to say this of any Ghibli movie, but the production job here is incredible. The background art read more
Feb 9, 2016
Kaiba (Anime) add (All reviews)
Kaiba is an experimental anime best known as being the brainchild of Yuasa Masaaki, who would later go on to direct The Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong the Animation, two of the greatest works of the current decade of anime thus far. And Kaiba is undeniably in the same vein of brilliance as his later works. However, as impressive as Kaiba is, it's not as good as Tatami or Ping Pong - which is regrettable, because by all accounts it should have been just as exceptional as these two - if not better.

I mean, it was certainly more amibitious than either of them, and those read more
Dec 28, 2015
Jesus christ, calm the fuck down. It's a pretty good anime. It is neither the greatest nor the worst thing to ever be produced, contrary to how most people seem to be treating it.

It's a shame that such a disclaimer is necessary, but there really only seem to be two kinds of people when it comes to One Punch Man - those who consider it a cancer on the anime industry, and those who worship it as though it were the second coming. And while, in all honesty, this would probably not be as hyped as it is if it weren't the only thing coming read more
Dec 9, 2015
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

There's no way to review Sword Art Online that won't piss someone off, so I might as well come out and say it and piss of both the fandom AND the hatedom:

This wasn't as bad as the first one.

Both of the two main arcs of Sword Art Online II (disregarding the mini-arc inbetween the two) actually manage to fix a major problem with their predecessors, creating an overall better experience in the process. Unfortunately, they make new and different mistakes instead.

The series begins with Gun Gale Online. Surprisingly, this was neither as aggressively boring nor as aggressively bad as either previous arc, read more
Jul 24, 2015
I do not use the term "the greatest anime ever made" lightly. There are very few anime that, under scrutiny, could be considered a reasonable candidate for a title such as this. And, true enough, the only titles that stand in competition to Legend of the Galactic Heroes (henceforth LotGH) are able to do so simply because they have nothing in common with it - if it weren't for the fact that they were fighting a different battle altogether, they would lose.

Of course, it would be very easy to give LotGH hollow praise, given its status as "lofty elitist anime that pretentious people use to read more
Jul 7, 2015
While there are some earlier anime that are well-regarded, Ashita no Joe is often considered to be the anime medium's first true work of greatness. In many ways, it does hold up as the benchmark that it is regarded as being - but in many other ways, it requires a "good for its time" disclaimer, as do many of its contemporaries.

From a production standpoint, Ashita no Joe has actually held up exceptionally well compared to many other 70s anime. While it does have animation errors all over the place, the rough, sketchy way in which it is drawn makes it look highly stylized for its read more
Apr 2, 2015
After 5 years, Durarara finally graces our screens again. The results are hit and miss.

The first of three scheduled Durarara series, x2 Shou is divided into two arcs. The first of them is a simple 4-episode story pieced together from multiple perspectives. The story itself isn't all that impressive, but it is improved by its use of multiple perspectives. However, the real point of this arc is to introduce the new characters, and because of the arc's laid-back nature it's extremely fun to just watch the characters intersect and interact.

Durarara's most noteworthy feature has always been its huge cast of memorable characters, and x2 Shou read more
Feb 28, 2015
The original Mobile Suit Gundam - often known as Gundam 0079 to avoid confusion with later installments - is a clearly flawed work. However, it is a highly impressive and progressive work given its age, and we owe a lot of what makes anime great today to its existence.

Of course, being highly influential doesn't excuse its flaws. The most obvious is its terrible animation, which isn't a case of it aging badly - it was made on a shoestring budget, and the animation was very bad even for its time. This is forgivable, as a great story doesn't necessarily need good animation to thrive (although read more