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Apr 5, 2017
Kyoto Animation has been something of a lost soul, struggling to find its identity in a post-Haruhi and K-ON world. It is through flipping back the dial and returning to their roots that their newest title, Maid Dragon, is able to find its footing. It feels like something that might have been animated once upon a time in 2005, and that is precisely what makes it so special in the modern climate of harem and superpower.

And unlike many of their more recent titles, it knows what it wishes to be and never compromises its vision in a futile attempt to appease everyone and anyone. It read more
Mar 30, 2017
There aren't many anime as uncomfortable as Kuzu no Honkai. It introduces itself as a melancholic tale of unrequited love, and quickly transforms into something far more ugly. The characters are relentlessly trampled upon, until, indeed, as the title might suggest, they are reduced to human trash.

It isn't necessary for a story to make you feel happy. There exist a wealth of fiction that, while depressing, and perhaps never even enjoyable, are still valuable for the message they are trying to make.

Kuzu no Honkai doesn't have that message. It is misery for misery's sake, existing almost exclusively to make you feel like crap. read more
Mar 18, 2017
Sangatsu no Lion's first five minutes contains a scene I might characterise as one of the best in animation. He listlessly wakens, drinking out of necessity, dressing out of obligation, and leaving his sterile apartment out of confusion, an existence so fragile it could perish with the wind. He doesn't say anything. He doesn't tell people about his problems. He just moves on with his life.

At first I did not understand why this scene had such an impact on me. I thought it could have been the beautiful music, or perhaps the captivating artwork so characteristic of Shaft. That wasn't it. What overwhelmed me read more
Mar 15, 2017
Konosuba is pure, unbridled stupidity. Kazuma and crew are so unbelievably lacking in their mental faculties that it is a wonder how they are even capable of putting their own clothes on every day. That they even know how to breathe is surprising in its own right.

Where most other anime in the fantasy genre-- Danmachi, Re:Zero and others of its ilk-- attempt to be absolutely and relentlessly serious at all times, Konosuba does away with the very notion of seriousness. It exists solely to be laughed at. And sometimes it does a pretty OK job at creating said laughs. It never aims to be read more
Mar 8, 2017
If one of your most cherished things in life includes big-breasted anime chicks whose gozongas defy physics and regularly burst out of their bra for no conceivable reason, why, have I got the anime for you.

That Getsuyoubi no Tawawa is also heart-warming and not completely terrible is perhaps just secondary to the visual feast.

I find myself in a conflicting position, as, while I am a healthy, adult male who enjoys healthy-adult-male-things, I am also bothered by media that contain these things without good reason-- or any reason, for that matter. A story about a model - fine. Flat-out pornography - also fine. Contrived read more
Jan 6, 2017
It's been some five years since I last watched Aria. In that large expanse of time, I've had several moments where I wondered if there was something missing in my experience of the series, as while I always thought Aria to be pleasant and enjoyable, it never quite had the same magic that so many others seemingly felt.

And indeed, with the beautiful Euforia playing once more in Avvenire's second episode, I was truly, honestly, starting to become convinced that I was wrong. But as the third episode drew to its close, and I noticed I had not felt much of anything since Euforia left read more
Jan 4, 2017
I had very mixed feelings when I heard Love Live would be starting again with a new cast of characters. Muse had finally gotten to the point where each member had earned their place, and while it made sense for their story to end, I always felt a desire for more. I wanted it to be the beginning rather than the ending.

Love Live Sunshine may not have been the beginning I wanted, but it is hardly a weak addition to the series. It does many of the things that made the original series so special, and more than justifies its own existence. I'm glad read more
Sep 25, 2016
New Game is a joy to watch, medicine for the mind, the perfect cure after a long day of work. It doesn't do anything too notable, but at the same time, never really needed to in the first place.

Where most slice-of-life anime fumble and stumble in an effort to figure out what they want to be, New Game knows from the very start what it is. It is a cutesy tale of the mundane, a cross of sorts between Shirobako's look into the world of production, and K-ON's more fluffy elements. It is heart-warming when it decides to take read more
Sep 19, 2016
Re:Zero truly wanted to be something. It shoots for the stars, it tries new things and throws the characters through so much torture and misery that the fantasy-world they are living in resembles more a hell. They boil in this hell, fuming with anger and regret, any shred of happiness they find fading almost immediately to nothing.

But Re:Zero isn't something. It reaches for its dear, dear life, but remains in the end wholly unremarkable shounen fare interested more in shocking the viewer with gore and theatrics than in telling a genuinely meaningful story. Re:Zero may not be terrible and irredeemable, but it certainly struggles read more
Aug 4, 2016
After nearly a decade of reading and watching Key's works, and now having finished Planetarian's unlikely adaptation, I think I have come to accept that Key does not appeal much to me anymore. I have aged and moved on since those times, as has the anime industry and its community, and no longer feel all too impressed by what their stories had to offer.

At the same time, I recognise that not everybody began watching anime at the same time. Some people have only just gotten into the medium in recent months, and so they may not yet be acquainted with Key's works. For these read more