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Dec 8, 2018
Overpowered characters.

From invincible action heroes to divinely powered chosen ones,
from arbitrary powerup masters to "willpower over logic" crusaders,
from technobabble technicians to omniscient pseudo-strategists,
from plot-powered self-inserts to absurdly popular harem leads.

Perfect in every conceivable way... except in terms of actually being well-written or compelling. And therein lies the problem with so many of them. Being overpowered is one thing, but they suffer from something far worse: being boring. They simply come across as bland and generic.

And I am not referring to the fact that they crush their opponents with ease. What I am saying is that their personality, motivations and dialogue tend to be read more
May 2, 2018
"Why aren't you standing?"
"This is a free country. We have the freedom to not stand if we don't want to. I'm only exercising that freedom."
"Then why don't you want to stand?"
"I exercise my freedom to withhold my answer."
‒ Yang Wen-li, in the audience at a government speech

Does this sound familiar to anyone? You find yourself in a "free" country where you have the freedom to agree with the political leadership or a masked group will come break your windows in the name of patriotism. The Free Planets Alliance even has "free" in its name. See how much it helps.

Throw your beret in the air! Legend read more
Dec 17, 2016
The year is 1939 and as always the Germanian Empire is wreaking havoc all over Europe. (What else would you do in 1939, especially if your country is called Germania?) But when they invade the small alpine nation of Liecht ‒ I mean Eylstadt ‒ the opposition has a plan: to defeat them with... magic. And by magic, I mean the titular witch Izetta, flying on rifles and destroying tanks by launching swords and so on.

So let me ask a question here: is anyone actually interested in Nazis as the antagonists? (Oh, I'm sorry, not Nazis. I mean imperial Germans who happen to yell "Sieg read more
Sep 22, 2016
Imagine getting suddenly thrown into a fantasy world. Would you be:
A) shocked about the whole thing and desperately trying to survive and then find a way home,
B) cheerfully helping random girls and running into mortal danger like an action hero without any care?

If you answered B), then congrats, you just might be the protagonist of Re: Zero. Who would act like that, really? No actual human being. As a result, this guy is impossible to relate to. Whenever they try to make him seem more human, he always quickly reverts to his waifu-chasing heroics. Just listen to him:
"One good deed a day."
"My main heroine read more
Mar 25, 2016
In my review of season 1, I suggested saluting the Japanese flag. Well, it looks like the writers decided to give me a hand because the ending now contains a Japanese flag flying gloriously. Plus fantasy girls in military gear in various military activities, having tons of fun. In fact, the military is portrayed as so fun we should all join. Play around in the bath and get the complimentary harem. Sounds legit to me.

...Anyway, season 2 picks up where the last one left off. Beyond the titular gate is a fantasy land with elves, dragons, catgirls and whatnot. The place has been annexed by read more
Mar 25, 2016
Boku dake ga Inai Machi (also known as Erased) is a show with all sorts of drama: murdering people for no real reason, generic child abuse by evil parents, and divorce over the alleged theft of a chocolate bar. Sounds engaging, doesn't it?

But it also has a comedic side, such as romcom blushing, by a guy in his twenties at a ten-year-old no less. And the running gag of "I said that out loud!" in every other episode. There is also debate on the merits of secret bases and their inherent manliness.

And let's not forget about the murder mystery. There's a killer out there and read more
Jan 11, 2016
One Punch Man is a highly accurate parody of the shonen and superhero genres. It mimics them with stunning precision.

Overpowered protagonist? Check.
Like Superman on steroids. One! Punch!

No plot worth mentioning? Check.
The overall plot is uneventful to say the least, and the show is mostly episodic. Even within each episode there is little meaningful moral conflict or development. It's good vs evil for the blandest reasons, and none of it matters in the long run. There are plenty of fight scenes though.

Bland throwaway characters? Check.
Most of the cast is a collection of one-shot nobodies with barely any screentime. The villains are a revolving read more
Oct 7, 2015
A gate to a medieval fantasy land opens up in Japan, and this can only mean one thing: sword-wielding troops get mowed down by the glorious Japanese military in their attack copters with Wagner playing. And I mean that in-universe; the soldiers are literally playing a CD of Wagner in their copters.

Why, you ask? Because Japan needs more technology and minerals and such because nationalism says so. Oh, and some humanitarian reasons, but those aren't as important.

The plot kicks off when out of nowhere a gate appears and from it come a bunch of orcs and medieval troops that indiscriminately kill civilians, wreck the read more
Apr 8, 2015
It is time to review a story that never should have taken place. By any measure of realism and sensible writing, the show would have ended after their escape from SAO, the technology would have been banned in the wake of the public outrage, and there would be no need for further walls of snarky reviews at MAL.

But there was more money to be made, and what are realism and sensible writing compared to that? So here we are then.

When reviewing season 1, I implied that the second arc was a cashcow, and I feel the same applies here. It is a thinly veiled attempt read more
Nov 18, 2014
Are you tired of Good Republic vs Evil Empire? Are you tired of archaic honor and pointless martyrdom? Are you tired of war dramas with runaway nationalism and selfless sacrifice to secure the government's next election victory?

Well, look no further because Legend of the Galactic Heroes is tired of those tropes too. This is a show that takes political philosophy seriously and debates about it in a pretty analytical and argumentative way and at great length. Which is superior: a corrupt democracy or a virtuous autocracy? What good is having an election if the majority tramples on the rights of the minority? Does the legitimacy read more