13 of 13 episodes seen
However, as it's rather easy to forget, everyone's problems top the charts in their own lives, as it's simply basic human nature, and we see ReLIFE play off of that rather well. Whether it's using one of its rather interesting characters or the rather depressing notion of "whatever I do for the next year quite literally doesn't matter because nobody will remember me", the anime manages to shift itself away from the run-of-the-mill high school stories that are entirely focused on the main couple battling through twelve episodes of awkwardness to finally be able to properly communicate their feelings (well, you know, mostly at least).
As it's the case with most slice-of-life romances set in high school, story's its weakest part, but not that terrible actually. The premise plays off of many people's fantasies, as our lives most-likely turned out to be far different than what we'd imagined in high school, so we often think about what'd we do different if we had a chance to do it again. It shows that fantasy, in a rather detailed way, and as such prompts us to think what would WE do different if we were put in Arata's shoes. It's rather simple method, but quite effective nonetheless, to engage your audiences. Other than that though, it's just everyday presentation of high school life, as seen in nearly all shows of similar nature. Pick a character, find out their inner instability, go through the painful process of "fixing it", and move on to the next. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the formula, but most of the anime I've watched that followed it fell flat because they hung on to a single story for far too long. Although, to a certain extent at least, ReLIFE does the same, it manages to avoid the trap by having quite short, sporadic moments of drama that liven up the show, making sure they never overstay their welcome.
It's a success, really, when I don't skip a single scene in your anime, despite having watched several of these problems be presented in other series, so props. Still, however much praise I can give, it really is just another high school romance-like story. There's absolutely nothing different outside of the main character actually being an adult. But, even if you're tired of them, give ReLIFE a shot if that's your problem with the series. It might surprise you.
Production is what'd you'd expect from high school romances. Colorful, modern and crisp, with oftentimes dull animations due to budget. Comedic scenes were animated well, and the usage of chibi faces didn't really break the immersion that much, as they don't stay for too long. Character designs were directly copied from the comic, so if you liked them there, you'll like them here too.
Soundtrack, albeit a little dull, didn't hold the show back. It wasn't mind-blowing by any means, but it did well enough to support the scenes it was accompanying it, never dragging the scene down or completely taking over it.
Although most characters start off as cliches, I'm happy to report that ReLIFe actually has development. One of the greatest issues I have with high school romances in anime is how one dimensional characters are, from start to finish. They oftentimes display a single trait, and that trait alone is what defines them. ReLIFE's characters grow alongside the show. Ones that have built defensive walls slowly start letting people in, dense f***ers we've grown to hate in these shows actually undense themselves (I'm applying 'undense' to be accepted as a valid word - it has to be), but there's one single issue I have with this show: Arata. Although he's basically just meant to be someone we can project onto and put our shoes in (I nearly wrote d*ck there, the hell's wrong with me), for a supposed main character he doesn't get developed that much, really. It's not all bad, because he actually DOES get development (this might've been the thing that surprised me the most about the show), and I suspect if there's 2nd season, he'll actually finally become the main character in all meanings of that word.
Aside from him, nearly all characters have something interesting to bring to the table, smiles accompanied by their own issues that they're trying to sort, their own ideas and dreams, and it's ... well, nice, actually. It's nice to finally see a show where the author recognizes that even single-trait-defined characters can have their own opinions and thoughts. Refreshing even.
Overall, ReLIFE definitely has its problems - mostly from the genre it's tackling and the fact that, again, the story's set in high school, making most of the problems these kids are dealing with kind of moot (well, outside of two characters, which kind of makes up for it) - but it's a show can I still recommend. It's really an easy watch, as it doesn't have overdrawn melodramatic scenes that try to take a shot at your heart with all their might not realizing they never earned that right (call me the wickedest MC, 'cause I can't afford to buy VC), and it really did have me laughing more than a few times.
Its greatest strength, though, is definitely that it plays off of our fantasy of youth, of the simple question: "What could have been?". It has us looking back at the decisions we made, friends we've hurt, loves we didn't act upon, and all the things we'd do differently now that we know more about ourselves, others and the world itself.
Recommend: yes - just don't expect to have your mind blown, because it's not that type of a show (today I'm just a strap-on, but tomorrow I'll rap-on; ok, I'll stop. Bye. Sorry) read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
On the flip side, Baby Steps definitely is amusing. To be honest, it's really kind of like a shounen battle manga translated into sports, with a dash of well-done romance (if you'd believe it, I consider it to be the most realistic aspect of this manga). Rivals come and go, stronger ones appear, random new-moves MC thinks up on a spot work, and he often wins battles that seem far out of his reach. It's not a bad anime, just calling it realistic is quite a stretch.
Story is slow paced. And I mean slow paced. It may not seem so at the beginning, but the longer you keep watching it, the more you realize that not many things are happening. Sure, it's not the slowest paced sports anime out there, but it's not the fastest either. This takes a huge, huge spike if you get into manga where 1 match can drag on for 20+ chapters which mostly consist of monologue - and the same case is with the anime itself.
During matches, audience is being fed exposition like no tomorrow. Main character literally explains everything that's going on as if everyone in the audience is a machine incapable of grasping a simple concept of "oh, he's trained for his whole life that's why he's better". Anime tries to shrug it off on his personality, as Eichiro is a rather anal person, but it's a large stretch and I often found myself skipping scenes as they literally recap what happened 2 minutes ago. This alone stagnates the story in a large way, and slows it down too much. Some people call it realism, but, what it actually is, is just dragging the shit out. Another weird part is that anime will sometimes have huge time skips (for three months as an example) so it makes me wonder why not just balance the pace. Such large contrasts in storytelling only serve to bring the overall quality down, and were the first signs, at least to me, that this won't be as fun of a ride as I had hoped.
Another point that I need to drill on is monologue: it's insane. If you think that Your Lie In April has a lot of monologues, you haven't seen a damn thing. Monologues usually go this way:
1. Ei-chan is in trouble and/or is being completely ran over by his opponent
2. He initiates a severe dose of monologue waging his options and the success rate of each
3. His chosen option flat out works or he says something along the lines of "well, I didn't score the point but that move shook my opponent so it was worth it".
It. Never. Changes. Absolutely never. Yes, problems and options may differ, and sometimes the outcome itself is unexpected, but that doesn't change the fact that the pattern is noticeable the moment you start thinking about it. It's not rare for writers to fall into a trap of explaining things in the same manner, but this is just literally acing it home.
Within the story you'll find your standard sports drama; unfortunately, this is not a good thing. Why? Because it's the same shit you've seen everywhere. Zero-to-hero stories can be done well, but if you follow every aspect of it, you simply make it predictable. I never had any trouble figuring out whether Ei-chan will win or not. As the matter of fact, I predicted every single match in 2nd season with 100% accuracy, something that hasn't happened even in Diamond no Ace, the epitome of cliche sports anime. This trend continued on in the manga, basically nullifying a large portion of what makes sports drama exciting: being unable to predict the outcome.
Story is by far the weakest aspect of this anime (and manga as well) and drags it down by quite a large margin, just making you think "what could have been".
On the flip note, production values are higher. Art itself is colorful and crisp and, while it isn't really spectacular by any means, it's more than enough to hold the show itself on a higher note. Animation can be hit and miss; oftentimes, you'll simply see stills of shots rather than the animation itself, but it has some decent moments. Don't expect nothing on the level of KnB or DnA because, remember, this sport story is realistic.
Music itself is passable. Opening song is catch and good though, simply showcasing just how bland the soundtrack is. Voice acting is fairly decent and there's a huge cast so you'll probably find a performance or two you'll like more than others. Overall, nothing spectacular, but definitely on-par with today's standards.
Now we come to the characters, the thing that makes this anime realistic supposedly. Nope. Again, I'll repeat myself: no matter how talented he is, he should NOT be able to compete on national level after mere 2 years of training. Not only is the tennis one of the hardest sports to pick up as you get older, but he actually doesn't even have innate talent from it. They shrug it off on "working his body beyond its capacity", but if that's all it took in real life, everyone could be a great athlete. Don't get me wrong though: Ei-chan is a good character outside of tennis, but I have a feeling this manga would have been far better if it focused on a sport that's solely about thinking, as this would be far more realistic.
With side characters ... as expected of sport stories, there's a bucket load of them. From the ones that get forgotten to the ones that stay all the way through. You have Nat-chan, probably one of the best female leads I've seen in a while. There's nothing exceptional about her character, but it was executed so well that you can't help but somehow feel entranced by her. She's "go with the flow" type of a person and, even though I usually have a hard time connecting to people like that, I found myself drawn to her far more than any other character in the entire series. The romance between the two MC's is definitely slow (as in, real slow) but as it's just a side thing, it was actually a breath of refreshing air whenever it came up, and it didn't drag on for as long as I thought it would. Props for that.
I won't discuss any others because then it would take me 10 pages to cover them all. Just know that there's a huge cast of diverse characters and even though sometimes you'll be thinking "ugh, freaking backstory; I don't care, just go back to the fucking match already, Jesus", I found myself liking more characters than I disliked, so that's a good thing.
Overall, if you're into sports anime, you will enjoy Baby Steps. It's a relatively easy going watch but, again, if you're expecting true realism, you won't find it here. You'll realize this rather quickly, but it shouldn't really deter your enjoyment of the series too much.
13 of 13 episodes seen
What do you call occurrence whereas every single one of your side characters is more interesting than your main girl? It's called having shit taste so kill her off and focus on more interesting stuff you wanker.
That about sums up my initial thoughts after finishing Working!!. And now, let's go in deep, because stating the obvious is never enough.
This anime is 100% episodic without any underlying plot whatsoever - unless you mean to tell me that their "attempts" to "cure" Inami's "illness" can be considered underlying plot - meaning that there is no story. Every episode deals with different issues or whatever, some introducing new characters, butchering existing ones and so on. So I won't rant about the story mainly because there's literally nothing to rant about. Meh.
Art and sound were fair - not exceptional, just fair. There are some animation issues here and there but for the most part it was consistent in being above average. One that really stuck with me though happens in the last episode, near the beginning, when Inami is preparing for a "date". The mirror shot of her is so godawful I have a feeling 13y old intern animated it.
Sound is a tad bit worse than art overall, but it wasn't half-bad. Music is meh, opening and ending weren't particularly catching either, but voice actors held up their part so it's all fine and good.
Now that we moved from the shit I don't really care about, let's talk some characters. Mmm. Tasty.
First off we have Inami. I'm not one of the people who find abusive comedy funny, or abusive characters funny or interesting, so you can already tell this bitch didn't really sit well with me. I figured she would be the first girl to receive and arc, it would take like 3 episodes or something to resolve her issues, but god fucking no it had to take up the entire god fucking season. I mean, holy crap what the flying fuck? Her character is flat out not interesting, nor are her problems. First off, they're not represented in a serious matter so that you are given a chance to actually explore mentality of people with this illness, and when it comes to comedy it's just the same fucking joke over and over and over again. How many times can you find a guy getting punched in the face funny? Just how many fucking times?
She's literally my primary reason for disliking this show. Strip away her fucking illness and she's your everyday fucking wall. Instead of having thrown her into the background after resolving her "issues" within first 4 episodes, we're strung along for 13 episodes of this mayhem-bringing bitch that most people actually find TOLERABLE, FUNNY and INTERESTING. Why? Because she supposedly likes our MC or because she can't help but hit guys? What kind of a shitty ass excuse is that? I literally put more effort into my high school math than she did into "curing" her "illness". For 13 whole fucking episodes there is NO progress. No. Fucking. Progress. Watching her punch our MC, either due to her "illness" or "shyness" over and over again isn't fucking funny. It's just annoying, unnecessary and irrelevant. Instead of focusing onto the far superior side characters, who are better in virtually every aspect you can think of, this bitch takes so much screen time you begin to realize that there's no way that the writer isn't a heavy M. Take any, and I mean ANY side character who's gotten more than 30 seconds of screen time, and there would have been far more interesting to explore. Starting with other employees to MC's fucking sisters. Fuck. This. Type. Of. A. Character.
If you're gonna pretend like her problems are fucking serious, don't use her problems as fucking comedic relief moments in your shitty excuse of a story. And no, 9th episode did abso-fucking-loutely nothing for me. Yes, her father was a cunt, so what? In any sane world she wouldn't be working part-time in a fucking FAMILY restaurant - she'd be locked up in a fucking asylum because that's where she fucking belongs.
Now, most people will obviously rant about the side characters. Why? Because they're underdeveloped. And why are they underdeveloped? Because that bitch takes about every inch of screen time she can fucking take. Every single side characters they introduced fell right with me and, episode after fucking episode, I kept hoping they'd expand more on them, but why the fuck would they do that when they can focus their attention to the psychotic excuse of a fucking character.
As much as I ranted on about the show, I actually had a fun time with Working!!. As I said, my primary source of disdain is the main girl and each time when the show would focus on the interactions of side characters I had a blast. The reason, though, that I was never really able to get into them is because they virtually get 0 development and focus. The most you'll find here is a dude confessing to girl, which is then completely, and I mean COMPLETELY disregarded as the focus moves back onto our favorite psychotic failed-abortion.
If you love shows with abusive MC, kind of like Louise in ZnT, you'll have cum stains all over your monitor after you've finished watching this. If, on other hand, you'd at least want some kind of fucking development and seriousness regarding the "issue", you'll have lost all your hope halfway through.
ktxbai. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
As manly as you may think you are, you can never be man enough - not until you've bled your brains out through your dick, because getting a boner from Boku no Pico is no easy task. Unless, of course, you're aforementioned middle-aged pedo-- khm, I mean gentleman. To get it up, not only will your imagination be at its 9001% work force, but the entirety of your sexual preferences need be discarded and processed somewhere in the shadow of your shame. Bleed -- I mean cry -- I mean jack off for whole 20 minutes of pixelated manifestation of penis gods as they ejaculate so much semen they could kickstart life on the Moon, and still have some leftovers for their slumber party.
Never before has an anime given so much story in a single episode, and for that, Enter Pico deserves all the praise it gets. I feel ... enlightened. I feel ... alive. That's what the story of Enter Pico: A Lot has given me. I may have not manned up enough and had my way with my own pico, but that doesn't mean I haven't changed as a human being. Unlike before, now I can never even trust myself; am I a man? Or am I a Pico?
Your screen will be flooded, mainly by blood --- totally from all the massive nosebleeds --- and you'll have changed your pants at least three times, up to six if you're the true embodiment of manhood. It takes no critic to realize that Enter Pico: A Lot Of Wasted Semen is not only a masterpiece, but the thing that shall redefine how we see traps from now on. They're not traps anymore; they're all manifestations of pico, and they all deserve their own Enter Pico: A Lot Of Wasted Semen Which Clogged A Car OVA. Boku no Pico will not only change you --- because you'll have lost about 10kg within 20min due to all the blood loss --- but make you cry because, at one point or another, you'll realize that someone drew this and then dedicated the time of their lives to animate 20 minutes of it, only so we, the consumers, the greedy and de-picoed can satisfy our grueling needs for some weird shit.
Enter Pico: A Lot Of Wasted Semen Which Clogged A Car And Then Flooded The City is an anime everyone needs to see. It needs to be played in all the theaters, on all the TV channels and should never be called hentai again - for it is not. It is an anime that dares ask the most difficult question for every man out there: are you a gay pedo---gentleman, or are you a pico?
Enter Pico: A Lot Of Wasted Semen Which Clogged A car And Then Flooded The City Ultimately Wiping Out Humanity Forever is given 10/10 for the sheer amount of cum present here.
I mean, I'm sexually healthy and all, but I think these two literally came a life-stock of my sperm. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is an odd specimen of anime - mainly because it's rather average in both the story and characters, yet it still somehow captivates you. By all means, it's nothing special, but it still somehow etches itself in your mind and makes you think of it, at least a little.
+ Simple story
+ Beautiful art design and scenery
+ Good voice acting
+ Relatively interesting side characters
+ Quite enjoyable as the whole
+ Large room to grow
- Underwhelming main duo
- Lack of interesting plots within the story
- First half is quite episodic and most things from it are never mentioned again
- Too goody-goody for me
The story on Akagami is no feat of any kind; it's your standard common girl meets a prince and problems ensue, and it isn't even executed that well. As such ordinary story, it has your standard set of disapproving characters to whom our main girl needs to prove her worth, a set of characters that don't think too highly of royalty etc., you get the point. First half of Akagami is purely of episodic nature, as our main girl, Shirayuki, faces ordeals that come with being close with a prince and having an unexpectedly distinct hair. The best thing I can say about the story is that its simplicity is good for this anime - it's straightforward and you know what to expect, but still somewhat charming enough for you not to go down on it too hard.
Unfortunately, there isn't much of the story here - aside from our main girl 'proving' to everyone around her how she's unique and special enough, despite being a commoner, to stand by prince's side. Sadly, none of those moments are really striking enough to be memorable, and it all falls into sideways by the time next episode/mini-arc rolls around. It's relaxing enough, though, as it doesn't have melodramatic feeling to it, and the problems are never truly exaggerated so it's something to be appreciative of when it comes to this type of anime.
Another decent point of it is the dialogue; although, at times, it tries way too hard to be abstract and artistic, for the most part it keeps itself cool, calm and collected. Aside from a few scenes, there were never really times when I had a hard time believing that someone would utter such sentence, so props for that.
Production values, on the other hand, are right high. Art design is beautiful, and more than a few scenes have etched themselves in my mind and I'll probably have a hard time forgetting them, if at all. Designs of characters, while not a standout, are well presented and each character has its own uniqueness - mainly related to the color of hair, unfortunately. There's a whole spectrum of colors here - red, blue, white, blonde, brown, black, but most are done well enough in a rather realistic matter, if you'd believe it.
Scenery though is definitely the high point, as it boasts some breathtaking pieces in nearly all episodes. Gardens, sunsets, ocean - the high driving force of art department, and it's apparent that a lot of work has been put into those scenes.
On the sound department there isn't really much to say. All voice actors did their job well enough and are deserving of praise, and even the music was quite solid, despite me never truly 'feeling it'. Ambiance sounds to hold the scenery back a little bit, but not by a large margin.
When it comes to characters though, it's more of a hit and miss. Our main duo, Shirayuki and Zed, were far too goody-goody for me. They don't seem to hold grudges and, even if they do, they don't last for very long. This is especially the case with Shirayuki.
Her character doesn't have the appeal of someone who'd bewitch half the guys in the kingdom, princes included. Aside from her hair, there's nothing truly special about her character; yes, she's hardworking and honest, but those aren't the traits she should be praised for. On the other hand, her rather humane nature is quite refreshing, since she really doesn't go balls-to-the-walls when unexpected things happen and deals with them rationally. Despite that, though, I feel like her character could have used a little bit more refinement, and she should have been given some sort of a edge to go along her honest personality. As it stands, she's far too dull in my opinion to hold the show, and the affection of so many people, on her own.
Most of what I said about Shirayuki applies to Zen as well; I feel that, as a prince who knows how people work and function, he's far too goody-goody for me to look at him and believe it. Although, at times, we do see the other side of him, or rather the side that should be dominant, there weren't too many moments where he acted like an actual prince for me to consider him a well written character. Definitely better than Shirayuki, but not by a large margin.
When it comes to the rest of the cast, only two really stand out: Obi, and the first prince. Obi's a rather intriguing character and there really isn't a dull moment with him on the screen. He has the offbeat personality and often pokes fun at things I would poke fun at. He's laid back, yet still manages to be helpful. In my opinion, Zen should have had his personality as it would have been far more fun to watch him. Nonetheless, definitely the high point of the cast, and I wish he'd have gotten far more screen time.
The other one is the First Prince. His character starts off as your everyday pompous asshole prince, but it does't take too long to realize that he's just really acting like any person of royalty would. Of all the cast, despite receiving rather low amount of screen time, he seems to be the most complex character and one I wish they'd explore more in the second season.
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime was a rather relaxing and enjoyable watch. Although nothing extraordinary, and a first few episodes were rather dull, it was still something I consider worth my while. With the 2nd season out, I'm hoping for more dynamic between main duo as well as more of the story. As it stands though, on its own, Akagami is good enough to be viewed by anyone interested in a rather relaxing anime with cute romance and decent side characters. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
TL;DR - pros/cons
+ Amazing production values
+ Huge cast of diverse characters
+ Interesting main cast (for the most part)
+ Well set-up world
+ Diversity in powers gives space for huge opportunities
+ A whole lot of space to expand (other Kingdoms, worlds etc.)
- Very badly executed story
- Ending is terrible
- Main villain is neither interesting nor intimidating
- Fuckton of asspulls
- Most of the side characters are pointless and go nowhere
- Very little is know about majority of main cast
- More than a few dull moments before the final arc
Story in NnT follows Princess Elizabeth on her quest to reunite Seven Deadly Sins, Kingdom's strongest Holy Knights who are believed to have betrayed the Kingdom ten years ago. Initial setup works well, as it presents clear goal and a path of adventure. Its initial characters spark up the charm, and the mystery behind each of the Seven keeps you going. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, it turns into a ... mess. You know, that generic plotline of "dude wishes for power so he combines with gods or whatever". That can work if executed well, but here, however, it was executed quite poorly. Story suffers massively from its own incapability to cope with its rules within universe, and relies upon random asspulls to salvage the concurrent plot. The vision is there, and is clearly present at the start, yet it is lost somewhere along the way.
I'll explain my first sentence in a little bit of a detail here, as the story suffers the most from it (possible minor spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk): the author seemed to think that by making it shounen, he couldn't pull out actual heartbreaking moments and instead gives us unsatisfying endings all over the place, overdrawn subplots that end abruptly, and a whole fuckton of asspulls, especially towards the end. If you want an example, think of a climax of Berserk's Golden Age Arc, but instead of playing out as it did, imagine if nobody died - that's NnT in a nutshell. Forming deep bonds that are tempered by death is nigh impossible here because you know no one within the main cast will die.
Another bad point of the story is the final arc - which in itself drew my initial score of the anime from 7 to 6. It's absurd on so many levels I don't know where to being. As I previously said, aside from the generic villain plotline, a bunch of new random shit is introduced out of nowhere without any prior mention, and even things that were mentioned previously were mentioned maybe 1 episode before that very thing miraculously spawned within the world. Ultimately, what this anime turns into towards the end is literally asspull galore, as a bunch of new and random powers and connections are introduced out of nowhere, numbing down my enjoyment greatly. I can't go into detail because I don't want to spoil it, but it gets cringe-worthy by the last episode, and that's not a feeling your story should invoke.
Ultimately, though, I stand by my initial statement: that the anime was ruined simply because of the demographic it was aimed at. It would have served it far better if it held deep and mature story with realistic stakes, fleshed out rules of the world, removing its pointless asspulls completely. I feel that most of the things that were actually resolved via asspulls could have been handled so much better, and that's only using things that were already present in the story.
On the other hand, anime looks and sounds gorgeous. It's colorful and there's rarely a dull moment in colors. Action varies from good to amazing, and there's enough diversity within the powers of Holy Knights to always showcase something new and amazing. Movements feel fluid and natural, and I was particularly impressed by fist fights in this anime, as they really were able to get my adrenaline going. The designs of the characters, creatures as well as the world are exceptional. They're varied enough for you not to get bored, but you'll still find yourself finding similarities between them. The whole anime is colorful and it never really dulls its own color pallet for the sake of "artistry", and that's something I appreciate.
It's been awhile since I've heard some good soundtrack in anime - surprisingly. The score of NnT is amazing, and definitely one of the high points of the whole thing. Openings and endings were done well, especially the first one, and the whole ambiance within each different zone really captures the feel. When it comes to voice acting, it can be a hit or miss, but for the most part it holds itself up. Another impressive feat here is the array of special effects for each special and not-so-special attack, as they really do vary it up. Sadly, production really is the peak of this anime, so props to A-1 on this one.
With the huge cast of characters that NnT boasts, it's obvious there's going to be good ones, bad ones and ... well, ugly ones. Elizabeth is your everyday cookie-cutter sheltered princess who goes on a journey and develops "strength" to fight for her friends. She seems more like a fodder than an actual character, as very little is actually done with her. In a nutshell, she's your lovely airhead princess with big boobs.
Out of the Seven Deadly Sins (well, Six), I actually enjoyed majority of them - some more than others, Ban probably being the highlight. Unfortunately, aside from Ban, King, Diane and, to a very small extent, Mel, we know very little of who the hell are these people. This is what holds the characters back immensely and it's mainly because the anime focuses far too much on its generic villain subplot and overall theme of "Holy Knights are actually evil, kyaaaah!" rather than developing its characters properly. My least favorite of Six is probably Mel, followed closely by Diane. Although Mel really is a badass character when it comes to fighting, he's your masked shounen lead. Sure, he has his moments, but there were far too many times I've wanted to punch him in the head for those moments to overshadow it.
Aside from them, there's, as I said, a whole fuckton of side characters, most of which you really don't care for. Quite a large number of them are used mainly as drama fodder and plot devices, so you shouldn't really get your hopes up.
Villain of the series is bad - not as he's bad in the sense of evil, he's just boring. Up until the very end, you have no idea what his motives are - yeah, there are hints "the start of the Holy War, release this, I gotta drink it to match them etc.", but they're just boring excuses. He's not charming, he's not interesting, he's even dull looking, and, quite frankly, he's not even badass as the ultimate enemy. His mega move is making some purple shit snow and then gathering it in one spot for like 30 seconds while everyone else around him sits and drools in awe. Good job ye Holy Knights.
I'd lie if I said I didn't enjoy Nanatsu no Taizai. However, I'd also lie if I said I was never bothered by its lackluster story and overabundance of pointless characters that go nowhere. If you exclude last 3-4 episodes, this show would definitely get 7, even bordering 8, however its ending is really, really good example of why you need to have an idea of your ending before you write it, because you can't use asspulls to save your story over and over again.
It's a fun watch, and if you're not a nitpicker like me, you'll probably get far more out of NnT than I did - and even I got plenty. read more
49 of 65 chapters read
(meh, it's shoujo, if you've read one, you've read them all so whatever)
This manga reminded me of my high school and college days. Actually, no, it didn't. Because if it did, I'd have killed myself long ago.
TL;DR - good/bad/the ugly
- Art is nice too look at, making it relatively easy read on the eyes
- It's not the worst thing ever
- 1 relatively good character
- Drama (oh the "drama")
- Full of generic cliches (dense MC? check! arbitrary love rivals? check! supportive, cheerful friend? check! takes about 3881123 years for feelings to be realized? check! generic girl somehow makes 2 hot guys lose their heads over her? check! and so on ...)
- Aside from its premise it offers literally no unique concept
- Gets repetitive too fast (misunderstanding - one of the characters is really upset about it - resolved through some random BS that doesn't make any sense)
- Story (6 chapters worth of content stretched to 49+)
- Main duo (I hope they die young and unhappy)
- Absolute chore to read after 10th chapter
(as to why I read all 49 chapters, it's because I had 2 hours to kill, and skipping pages is easy enough)
Last Game is someone's version of "cute" and "innocent" romance. In reality, it's wishful bullshit made for lonely shitfaced crazies who have no clue what "dating" is. If you can truck through 49 chapters like me, and still have it in your heart to rate this thing 10, there must be something wrong with you. Seeing as, literally, all 4 reviews on the front page rated this 10, I absolutely had to write a review even though I had no intention of doing so, for it would have reminded me of what a shitty read it was. Nonetheless, here we are, so let's do it.
I don't consider this thing to have a story. Rather, imagine a piece of gum - and then imagine stretching it from America, all the way through Europe, to China. That's what the story of this thing is. If any remotely normal people were involved in the story, all 49 chapters would have been done in about 6. So, imagine a 6 chapter story being stretched to 40+. Do you know what that entails? It entails plenty unnecessary bullshit, overabundance of mentally fucked "drama", and truckload of 3 things being repeated over and over and over and over and over and over again. What are those 3 things you wonder?
1. MC - Why doesn't Kanjou see me as a man?
2. MC - Why is she so comfortable with that other dude?
3. Girl MC - Why are guys around me angry?
All 49 chapters are overloaded with such bullshit that, if it turned into actual bull shit, it'd have filled the whole Pacific Ocean. Twice. You can stretch a story to a certain degree, hell, you can even make it work, but this doesn't. It's obvious to anyone with a speck of brain that all 49 chapters could have been condensed into 6. How? Here's how:
1st chapter: Same as now
2nd chapter: Same as now
3rd chapter: He actually tells her how he feels instead of going roundabout route like a pussy
4th chapter: she rejects him, but quickly realizes that her life isn't the same without him
5th chapter: after some though, she realizes she also loves him
6th chapter: they're together
Label me normal, but I don't do well with characters that are as human as is my dog. No love story would ever play out this way. And, no, I don't consider this good escapism - mainly because it's annoying, boring and flat out insulting. Story of this thing is godawful and it really showcases just how gullible people are if they can buy this as a "genuine and pure love story". This isn't a love story. This bears no resemblance to love story. It's just overburdened crap without any redeeming features.
The only good point of this manga is the art. It's crisp, clean, comedy-drawn panels work and there are some nice shots here and there. There's a bunch of cute girls, bishounens, so if you're looking for that you won't go wrong. Definitely above average.
What isn't above average, though, are the characters. Ya-whatever dude has got to be the biggest pussy-wanker in manga ever. This guy doesn't deserve a woman in his life. He should be left alone and forgotten like a piece of trash he is. If you love someone for 10 years and do little to nothing about it, just kill yourself. It goes to show just how weak people are if they consider his character "nice", "pure" and "lovely". But it's no wonder, I guess, because THIS is the guy that gets "friendzoned" 100% of the time in real life, hence why people can relate to him. He's the representation of everything that's wrong with "nice" guys who "always" get "friendzoned". If you don't want to be "friendzoned", do literally opposite of what he's doing. Good job. Now you have a girlfriend.
Our other MC, Ka-whatever chick is the type of a girl no one sane would ever like. She's that girl in high school you'd just stay away from because keeping the conversation up with her felt like climbing a mountain, bare-handed. Not only is she dense (I mean, describing her as dense is an insult to actually dense people), but she's just not ... interesting. For 49 chapters, not once did I think "oh, I finally get it why the dudes love her". No, not a single fucking time. I was never able to get why are all these good looking guys falling in love with her. She never does a single thing that warrants it. Literally the reason is "she doesn't judge people by the way they look or what their parents have done". There you go, her characterization is now complete. She wouldn't even work as a side character, let alone the main interest. Nothing about her is interesting. She's just an insane bore.
Rest of the cast is whatever. MC girl's best friend is kind of interesting and probably the highlight of the entire damn thing. There are a few other fun characters, but most of them are just background fodder. Oh, there are also two arbitrary rivals that appear, for which (no, I won't even refer to them as human beings, because they are not) you couldn't flip a single fuck. I used to be fat, but now I'm thin - that's my character development. I used to be judgmental but now I'm not - that's my character development.
If you're a lover of stupid, generic, long overdue for ending, stretched to hell and back shoujo bullshit, you'll consider this manga to be your God. On the other hand, if you appreciate normal story without random BS being thrown in every goddamn chapter, making the whole thing make less and less sense while amplifying annoyance levels by nine thousand, you'll do well to stay away from this. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
I'm tired with this trend where more and more of anime/movies/TV shows antagonize humanity in a distasteful way, pushing us to think about our "humanity" and to sympathize with the human's enemies within said world. Very, VERY, few shows manage to do that, and it's as clear as day that OnS is nowhere near to being one of them. It bothers me, really, because making humans to be true monsters is so easy it's despicable just how many shows tend to fail at it. OnS falls straight into that category.
TL;DR - pros/cons
+ Decent animation during fight sequences
+ Relatively easy watch
+ A few interesting characters
+ Decent room to grow
- Too much pointless drama
- Lackluster story
- Generic characters
- Inconsistent both in animation, story and characters
- Ending's just a bait for 2nd season, so no satisfying conclusion on its own
Surprisingly enough, there's a lot of story here - yet, nearly all of it is wish-washy bullshit you've seen in about 50 shows even if you've only watched 55. Nearly all plotlines are generic, boring, dull and uninspiring, and follow all the tropes you can think of. Anger, revenge, calmness, disobedience, willpower, you name it - OnS has it. By the time episode 12 rolls about you can fill up a checklist of generic shounen traps every mediocre writer falls into. Inconsistencies within the story are abundant, overshadowed only by the terrible cast of characters. There's never a clear-cut line of who's stronger than whom, and most battles you'll see depict Vampires to be the strong ones in the beginning, yet always wind up with humans coming out on top. Fallacies in through storytelling are plenty, but I'll only mention a few, since I don't feel like analyzing this generic trash.
Apparently, there's a huge difference between "normal" and "noble" Vampires, so much so that our main cast can easily fend off 15+ normal Vampires yet struggle to defeat even 1 noble. Yet, when the story calls for it, they'll struggle against the "normal" Vampires and dash around the "noble" ones like it's nothing. No reason, no logic, merely a convince on the writer's part.
In addition, there's the subplot of childhood friends torn apart by different spices and goals, that we get yet another generic "I'll save you" plotline which, with my whole heart, I recommend you skip completely. Not only is it generic, boring and cringe worthy, it also begs the question of just how stupid and inconsistent our characters are. On the other hand, if you loved Naruto/Sasuke bullshit, you'll probably love this one too.
Another low point of this show is the dialogue - since it's the embodiment of generic shounen. You'll find yourself (at least I did) skipping a bucketload of "character development" moments because they're the exact replica of things you've seen in every shounen ever. Things they say roll through their lips but don't make any sense, and each time the "character development" moment rolls around, you'll be rolling your eyes in disbelief as to how can characters say those lines with a straight face.
All in all, story is a generic mess, and while it does expand upon itself in the 2nd season, you shouldn't get your hopes up. It's not the worst thing in the world though, so kudos for that.
Production values are hit or miss; at times, animation borders amazing, while at others it looks so amateurish you need to look away. Character design and world design don't fit with one another because characters look like those you'd find in high school SoL rather than in the post-apocalyptic survival story. In addition, even designs clash, since characters are drawn with clear-cut lines and detailed to hell, while the world around is too edgy, so with each sequence it feels like they just don't belong on the screen; it has the "green screen" effect of sorts like in the movies, whereas you simply have a hard time believing in what's happening in front of you.
Animation is on par with today's standards - at least for the most part. Majority of battles are animated well, and are pleasing to the eyes, yet it's clear that nearly whole budget went into them, because the moment you step away from the battlefield, the quality of animation plummets. I didn't mind it too much though, since there's a high chance you'll be watching this for fights alone.
On the sound department, it's decent enough not to care too much about it. The high point are probably special effects, while the low point is the score, as it's really forgettable and, again, quite generic. Voice actors did their job fine, with a few notable performances, but, again, you can't really be at your best with dialogue like the one of OnS.
Speaking of characters, they're not the worst - mainly because of 2-3 side characters. Most of our main cast is generic throw-up and a spitting image of things you've seen in Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, One Piece, AoT etc. etc.
Main character, Yu, is your everyday shounen lead and he stays as such. He's boring, at times even annoying, and, most of all, uninteresting and unable to hold the show on his own as a character. I'm really surprised sometimes that writers expect characters like him to hold the shows as a MC, yet it appears I'm in minority.
Aside from him, you have your generic cast of tsundere, rival, childhood friend/Sasuke, pussified weakling, and the only interesting, yet at times bordering "just go away, you're annoying" character with the name of Shinoa. Her playfulness was at times the only reason I didn't skip a scene, and, in truth, she should have been the main character (as in, the MAIN character). Aside from her, there are a few other interesting characters but nothing to spark your interest too much.
For what it was, OnS was relatively enjoyable. I never thought to myself "fuck this, I'm stopping", and that's always a plus in my book. Although it has its fair share of stupid, cringe worthy and plain insulting moments, OnS holds its enjoyment factor at a relatively steady pace. Mind you, you'll still be quite bored at times, but at least you'll never feel like skipping an episode.
In the end, OnS is a completely average shounen. It has decent production values, but its core is, at best, sub-par. Production is what really holds it from being generic trash, but if you're into generic shounen, you'll love this show. Recommended only if you're bored/love shounen/love vampires. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
TL;DR - pros/cons
+ Some great action scenes
+ Good sound effects
+ Not the worst thing ever
- Plotholes galore
Dog Days opened up as a chill, action-packed light adventure with colorful cast of characters and endless possibilities within its world, only to end up as an over-bloated mess that's so full of itself it makes most of the things you've seen seem coherent. Maddeningly, the idea of such descent is taken to the high ground here, and pummeled through like a wench in a brothel, day in and night out. Let's dive right into it.
Story of Dog Days is not only an incoherent mess, but it dares take itself seriously with the premise of wars where literally no one dies, and people are fighting just for fun. The moment you set up your story and world in such a way, you have lost any possibility of tension so - please - just take the idea and run with it. Half of the anime is about bubbly fun and laughter, while the other half tries to get you pumped with random events that someone's ass shot straight out, pretty much destroying itself in the process. Not only is the story full of plotholes and deus-ex-machina (for anyone still wondering what those two terms mean, watch this show and then try to put all pieces together), but it also makes unnecessary tonal shifts in the process that demean its entire purpose. It turns from a light-hearted adventure into a painful mess, and it does so with pride. Unfortunately so, because this could have been so much better if it had simply stuck to its premise, and showed us some cool stuff instead of trying to evoke "the feels".
Dialogue is another thing in this anime that is absolute garbage. Times like this I wish MAL would implement a separate category for dialogue alone, because here it's by far the worst thing. "Even though I may not be able to hold onto my memories, I'll never forget you." - in which seamless hell does this sentence make any sense, I do not know, but Dog Days is full of them. And it's not like they can just slip your eyes - they're usually those climax moments, and they stick with you, damaging your brain beyond repair. If any two humans talk in the ways characters within this anime do, I fear for humanity.
When I first said that the anime should have stuck with its premise, I meant it - because in the terms of art and sound, it really is above average. It has some great, and I actually mean great, action scenes here and there, and it looks visually pleasing despite the designs of the characters. While it may be stiff at times, and certain things (like first concert) obviously lack any detail, I was positively surprised at how well the action scenes played out - from special effects, choreography, angles and even rhythm of battles. Definitely a high point of the anime and, if you're someone who enjoys good action and doesn't mind everything else being shit, you'll love Dog Days.
Sound, on the other hand, is more of a hit-and-miss; I never managed to get used to the voice of the main character, and a few others, and yet some gave superb performance. There are very few memorable songs, but one will stick with you. In addition, sound effects were another surprise, because for the most part they fit near perfectly; it's obvious studio put a lot of effort into production, and it shows, so it's a shame the source material had to be dog shit.
From high to low, we come to the characters - while not as bad as the story, there are about 2 characters that I even barely enjoyed through. Our main character, Hero-kun, is your every shounen lead ever, spouting one liners about "protecting", "saving", and god-knows what not. Although he does have a few cool moments (most during the fighting sequences though), he's about as interesting as me - meaning not at all.
Anime boasts a huge, HUGE, cast of supporting characters, none of which are really that impressive. The main drive for the entire story was a supposed smart leader, Leo-sama, trusting the "foretold future" while it's established within the universe of the anime that it's far from reliable. Other than that, you can find just about any stereotype you can think of here - cute, innocent princess, hotheaded mini-tsundere, cute super-hyper loli, etc. etc. While the characters weren't horrible, they're things you've seen many-a-times before, and unfortunately, because of the size of the cast, we learn jack-shit about any of them. We learn more about a character that appeared halfway through the anime than the MC's 2nd love interest. Talk about priorities.
All in all, Dog Days is pretty much dog shit, neatly packed with cool animation. But, soak shit into gold, at the end of the day it's still shit. I'll probably pummel through the rest of the seasons, if for nothing but those cool action scenes and some decent humor here and there, but unless you're really dried out, you have no reason to pick up Dog Days. If you're hoping for romance, there isn't any; at least there isn't anything I consider to be romance. There's a confession at the end, but like the rest, it's shit, poorly executed and it makes no sense.
Hmm ... that describes it perfectly actually: Dog Days makes no bloody sense. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
If there's one thing I've learned throughout the viewing of Nodame, it's that everyone would hate me within the orchestra. But then again, most people hate me as I am, so it isn't really a surprise.
Contrary to my score, I loved the series. I binge watched it within 2 days, and didn't regret it one bit. Yet, unfortunately, I felt a massive drop in quality during the 3rd season that relates to three major problems: story, character(s) and ending. I gave first season 9 without flinching, and will probably re-watch it again soon, but when I compare the finale to the 1st season, it all kind of falls apart. Why? Let's dive in.
Story continues right where Paris Hen ended and we're, once again, thrown into the ensemble of beautiful music and diverging paths our characters take. What drew me into this anime, personally, were the orchestral pieces, and occasional solo pieces by Nodame. Third season, however, shifts this about and focuses almost exclusively on personal competitions of side characters and the progress of Nodame, both as person and as a musician. I would be fine with that, but it was poorly executed. Unlike previous two seasons, pacing is all over the place; first 2-3 episodes seem to setting up the whole thing nicely, then suddenly it slows down and picks up in last two episodes where it ends abruptly, without major cause. It kind of felt spread thin and a lot of time was spent covering same subjects multiple times.
Cantabile's story was never its strong suite - far from it. It didn't really have that much depth or complexity, but that's where its charm lay. Due to its simplicity and ease of following, it allowed its other aspects to shine brightly. It was used as somewhat of a background supporting character, and it fit perfectly into the whole thing. The entire structure of the first season, and majority of second, felt natural and it had its flow. Yet, Finale brings forth a set of unnecessary plot pieces and overused tropes, and it soon turns into somewhat of a convoluted mess, and even ends in such. Several characters are used as plot devices, some are given way too much screen time, some way too little. As an example, we have Shinichi's original sensei, who was introduced to us as pivotal point in Shinichi's life, because he's the reason Shinichi wanted to conduct. Yet, he has about 2 minutes of screen time throughout the entire thing, and for the most part is in the background/used as a cheap plot device. That's just an example of bad storytelling at its finest. I have absolutely no idea who this guy is or his importance within the world of classical music or how he helps Shinichi once they reunite.
Overall though, there are still some parts of the story that worked well. and as a finale it did its job ... kind of. Before the end, there were some parts that really did bring out emotion, and did show the progress of story and I liked that. However, I absolutely need to rant about the ending for a moment: it's bad. It's really, really, bad. What's worse is that the events leading up to it are also bad. All in all, ending leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth, and it really forces you to look back at the series and think 'Wait, wait. That's ... it?' - ending is not only abrupt but it makes no sense. A lot of things are left hanging in the air, bunch of questions still unanswered, and it seemingly ends in the middle of telling the actual ending. Unfortunately, it's definitely the low-point of the entire series, and that's not the way you wish to end your series. Not in a long shot.
All in all, story is definitely above average, but you wouldn't go wrong in rating it anywhere from 4-6, depending on your personal taste. It fits into each part for a number of reasons, and that's quite unfortunate.
Next up with have production: animation is definitely the best its ever been, and there are far less stiff shots accompanied by awesome music from first season. It's still not that great though, and the "age" kind of shows, but it does what it's set out to do well enough. Art is still crisp and colorful, comedic expressions are done well, and there are some vibrant scenes (mostly involving reflections on water) here and there that I still remember. Easy on the eyes, but nothing spectacular.
As for the sound, I really have no need to touch on this: music is still here, in all its glory. Absolute 10 without a doubt. Could give even more if I could - definitely the high point of the entire show, the way it was meant to be.
The reason I wanted to skip through production is because it's the thing that works in this anime - and I want to discuss things that don't, because I'm anal like that. Characters. Ugh. Looking back at season 1, I really should have expected this, but it still hurts.
I have this love-hate relationship with airheads if I'm being honest - I always end up being their fan at the beginning, but end up hating them by the end. Why? Because, most of the time, that's who they stay as. At first it's cute and funny, but if you drag it over 40 episodes, than it's annoying and distracting and, honestly, plain insulting. Nodame starts out as a great character - your typical, talented, overly-cheerful airhead. And through the first season she mostly remains the same, with a few changes here and there, but that was fine because the focus wasn't really on her. However, they drag out her natural klutz personality to hell and back, and drive it through and through for forever. Another trait of hers was a lack of motivation and indecisiveness - which comes into play this season, and holy hell does it overstay its welcome. It's used as nothing but a plot device, and it's as obvious as well. It's used to create drama. At one point, here actions just stop making sense, and, just the same, you stop caring. She becomes a walking bore and annoyance, and I really didn't want it to end up this way - but I should have figured out it would. You can make your audience laugh because your character is an unaware airhead only so many times, after all ...
The set of supporting characters from Paris Hen returns this time around as well, and are given ... way too much space, if you ask me. I understand the need to flesh out your side-characters, but we already knew that they were never supposed to be the focus because writer literally abandoned everyone from season 1 aside from Oldy-Pervy. Yet, their problems and struggles come into focus here and take way too much time to resolve, sidelining main story and the progress of main characters. Yes, there are some nice moments here and there, it felt nice knowing more about who these people are, but ultimately they're still just a fodder. They barely interact with the main story - I'd go so far as to say that they have no actual impact on it. And this was supposed to be a finale - thing that wraps up the entire series - not a season that sets up your side-characters. This also ties in to the pacing problems I talked about before, and overall leaves a bitter taste. A few more pairings bear fruition, and there's an introduction of a random Japanese girl midway through that had even less point that the original sensei. I have absolutely no idea what was that girl doing there, and I'm happy she stayed only for about 10 minutes.
Overall, Shinichi is still the best character in my opinion. Unfortunately, he's given less and less focus as the series progresses. He's often thrown into random journeys across Europe just to get him out of the picture for a while, so that we can focus on Nodame. For me, it backfired, as he was always the one leading the show, and Nodame was the one following. They reversed the roles and it didn't work. Too bad.
It'd be a lie if I said I didn't enjoy Nodame Cantabile as whole, because I did. I love this series, and will probably re-watch it more than once. However, if I compare my enjoyment from 1st season to Finale, they're worlds apart. Here, instead of enjoying things, I spent far more time questioning motives, actions, characters and story, and trying to understand what the hell was with that ending.
I still wholeheartedly recommend Nodame Cantabile - it's definitely the best anime about music that I've seen to date, and whether you're a fan of classical music or not, it has some outstanding pieces. From the familiar Bach and Mozart tunes, to some that your average Joe would have never heard of. First season was definitely its high point, but the entire 3 are worth watching without a doubt.
*If you wish to discuss the review, feel free to leave me a comment. Thanks for reading. read more