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Sep 30, 2021
Whenever you browse a seasonal chart, it’s inevitable the majority of shows will be adaptations. Manga, light novel, visual novel, video game, music CDs, etc. It’s just less of a hassle for studios to tackle media proven successful elsewhere, and these works often provide a very clear path to follow as far as where their stories are headed or what key moments should be highlighted for the maximum oomph. Anime originals don’t have that same expected trajectory. They’re closer to western cartoons, in that they mainly get made because their creator attained clout within the industry and then was given the space by a studio read more
Sep 16, 2021
To call the anime adaptation of Peach Boy Riverside a mess would actually be an understatement. A “mess” is usually caused by accident, trying to do something well and then tripping for some reason or the other. No, the fate of this anime was sealed before an episode even aired.

The staff decided to take a fairly logical flow of events from the manga, and then shuffle them around, just so the final episode could end on some sort of action climax. This butchers the show right out of the gate. It makes you wonder why certain characters are even in certain places at certain times read more
Mar 26, 2021
The thing about trends that a lot of people take for granted is that the more overstuffed a particular set of ideas are, the more likely it is to see either flipped on its head (see Shrek for fairy tale musicals) or given more offbeat renditions (see Joker or Into the Spider-Verse for superhero blockbusters). Genres being overstuffed, if anything, should encourage more experimentation and refinement.

Over the years the Shonen genre has gone through a number of these phases. From past its formative years with Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, you’ve gotten shows using the mold for massive tapestries (One Piece), those attempting to read more
Dec 26, 2020
If there’s any one anime, any one popular anime in particular, I could say is feasibly written by an AI scrolling the algorithm, it would be The Irregular at Magic High School. Why so?

Because the show does not have a spec of human emotion in it.

Ignorance is the word of the day here folks. It was fairly apparent in the first season of Mahouka, and somehow even moreso here. Every aspect in this season, from the narrative, to the soundtrack, to the characterization, to the tension, to the worldbuilding is divorced from what’s commonly viewed as respectable. It’s not quite as insultingly awful as Season read more
Dec 25, 2020
“And they’re ‘rhymes wack, you hear’?” a mess. A massive, massive mess. The dialogue is stilted, the tone bafflingly serious despite the premise, the lighting weakly considered, characterization inconsistent with numerous unearned turns, animation mediocre at best and empathetic context missing.

Yet, somehow, it manages to be a really funny time.

“So Bad It’s Good” is hard to truly quantify, since it depends on what can crack the spectrum to any particular person beyond average, everyday badness. However, most of the time, when applied to anime, it’s used to refer to something that tries to be dark and miserable but comes out as comedic instead; Assassin’s Pride, read more
Dec 24, 2020
When you’ve been in the anime community for long enough, you’ve likely noted the recurrent presence of “edgy anime.” Taking advantage of anime having less restrictions than western animation, there are a couple givens with these shows; a focus on dark lighting with the color red, loads of gratuitous sex/violence, characters constantly mugging the camera for their craziest face, trying desperately to suggest characters have depth by adding a surplus of angst and for bonus points, massive tonal swerves from gritty violent action to happy wacky comedy. All with a lack of tact and putting this shock value before the characters and the message. You’ve read more
Sep 19, 2020
(Note: This review covers both seasons of SAO War of Underworld, and also contains spoilers for Samurai Jack Season 5)
The end of the nine volume “epic” Alicization, the end of SAO’s original web novel, and the last of the cringe phase origin. While SAO rants have been done to death on the problematic issues, including from me, I want to structure this review in a slightly different way. War of the Underworld positions itself as the end all be all of everything the series has culminated towards for nearly a decade, and it has the presentation to potentially make it an impressive achievement, but not read more
Mar 28, 2020
In/Spectre is the type of series that tests the notion “how far are you willing to stretch a good idea?”

Conceptually, this is a brilliant idea for a story and overall, I think the execution is at least good. While so many mystery stories, anime or otherwise, tend to focus on purely the truth, characters getting to the bottom of how events actually happened, never have I seen creating a convincing LIE to factor into that. A lot of ins and outs are explored in the show’s attempt to qualify this point, so it keeps a unique source of engagement in a way unlike many read more
Mar 28, 2020
An underappreciated factor when looking at any individual anime series is the nature of its source material, provided it has one. Original anime (like the original Madoka series) are practically guaranteed to have a beginning, middle and end, but when based on a source, there’s certain elements that become byproduct by the source’s nature.

When anime are produced based on ongoing manga, one can exact lingering focus on iconic shots and a tendency to go on and on as long as it takes. Light Novel adaptations tend to feature basic protagonists bereft of the thought focused complexity their written works offer. Videogame based anime often have read more
Sep 18, 2019
Astra Lost in Space is the perfect example of a series with earnest intentions that cannot help but undermine itself at every turn. It claims to take its story seriously but plasters it with candy-coated visuals and drawn out comedy. It wants us to buy into the survival of these kids, but refuses to give them hardship. It wants to be cinematic, but never warrants it. It wants to have cliffhangers, but fails to generate tension. It wants to develop its characters, but instead fabricates their plots out of thin air only to still drop or homogenize their stories despite that. It works passably as read more