Back to WithMyCigs's Profile WithMyCigs's Profile

Oct 2, 2017
(Note: this review contains minor spoilers)

“If you stay in a place like this… you might not be able to connect.”

Serial Experiments Lain, despite its complexity and silent thematic exposition, is a very personal story about loneliness. The meaningless, cloying, and forgettable evenings shared between drunken comrades contrast with the cold, silent suppers at Lain’s dining room table. The Wired offers a solution to such inconsolable isolation. Slowly abandoning the envelopment of her hooded teddy bear sleeper, Lain delves deeper into this cyber world in which there are no limitations.

Mysterious, immersive, and sometimes terrifying, SEL tells its story in a way as detached as its characters read more
Sep 22, 2017
“Carry me. Past that mountain.”

Shuzo Oshimi dedicated this work to “all the boys and girls who have ever suffered the torments of puberty.” But the “torment” Kasuga experiences is not due to the blackmail of a sadistic girl who witnessed his moment’s indiscretion in swiping his crush’s gym uniform. It’s in the blossom of that flower that no one hears, the desperate cry from within that no one understands – the flower of evil.

Aku no Hana’s first 6 volumes relate a chain of twisted events as the reckless decisions of three young teenagers lead to one outrageous happening after another. Desperate to find what is read more
Sep 22, 2017
Mirai Nikki is about Yuno. Regardless of any other plotlines that seem to be in the forefront, it is her circumstances that are in the center of what the series is about. The show focuses on the desperation that led to her destructive need for someone else to satisfy her desire for security, the mindless willingness to kill that resulted from the collapse of her mental stability, and the fragments of sanity that return to her periodically and at the last with the possibility of what she could have been, had she held on to her reason for just a bit longer.

While Yuno’s condition leads read more
Sep 22, 2017
(Note: this review contains minor spoilers)

The Garden of Words is about two people who are both, in a manner of speaking, learning to walk. Both feel isolated and apathetic for very different reasons. Takao has just begun to take his first steps toward pursuing his goals, only to be greeted with mockery and doubt from those he wants most to impress. Yukino cannot bring herself to face her demons, and allows the trauma she has experienced to drive her to a dreary and unhealthy seclusion. Both of these characters develop a sort of dependence on each other in attempting to rise to their feet. Unlike read more
Sep 22, 2017
Aria is a calm, cheerful series that seeks to find simple meaning in ordinary things. However, what meaning is found is usually of a trite nature, such as the love of one’s art being the most important thing in said art. Not only are such messages common and forgettable, but they even occasionally range close to the absurd. Several of the episodes don’t even have applicable morals, and these merely depict the characters enjoying their everyday lives and appreciating simple pleasures. The series seems more preoccupied with wondering at the workings of a nonexistent city than anything else.

What meaning is meant to be derived from read more
Sep 22, 2017
Kaleido Star’s acrobatic performances are pure exhilaration as the characters spin and fly through the air with special effects that are often a little too real and stakes a little too high. The most significant parts of these productions are often kept hidden from the viewer until performance day, with the only hints of their content given through maneuvers that the performers must master in practice, which makes for some very exciting buildup. The characters often have yet to perform a stunt perfectly multiple times or even once before performance day, and while it stretches belief that they would even be permitted on stage at read more
Sep 21, 2017
Shiki (Anime) add (All reviews)
A little girl stumbles through the woods, her path lit by encroaching flames, her merciless pursuers intending to serve as both judge and executioner. She is fully aware of her own guilt but she runs just the same. The temple offers no divine intervention to atone for her sins, nor sanctuary from impending judgment. The very walls themselves are not safe from the inferno.

Shiki is the story of the inhabitants of a small town struggling to withstand ruin, both of body and soul. It does not portray an idyllic village only shattered by the arrival of the shiki (more commonly known as vampires), but a read more
Sep 21, 2017
Elfen Lied is a polarizing anime. The shock of graphic violence and nudity coupled with the annoyance of moe harem elements is enough to turn many away. It seems to make a weak attempt at innovation with its refusal to censor any gore, its excessively tragic backstories, and its grand-scale plot elements of the possible genetic mutation of the entire human race. But nestled within this seemingly ostentatious presentation is the personal story of a girl who, despite her horns, is very much human.

While Elfen Lied can’t seem to decide exactly what genre it wants to be, what harem elements exist in the series are read more
Sep 20, 2017
(Note: this review contains minor spoilers)

School Days seems to offer something that is different from the typical romance, harem, and high school anime; at the very least, it has an unusual protagonist in that he is selfish, takes any opportunity for sex, and doesn't have any concern for the feelings of others or take any responsibility for his own actions. However, the originality mostly stops there. The girls are mostly archetypes of this genre: the energetic friend, the sweet and quiet girl, the seemingly emotionless, distant observer (who also happens to look half her age), and the childhood friend. Where they differ from these clichés read more
Sep 20, 2017
“Do you have the courage to face the truth?”

Too often, artists promote their own inexperienced and narrow-minded agendas in their stories, shamelessly condemning the actions and decisions of those living in circumstances they couldn’t possibly imagine accurately. Hiromu Arakawa, thankfully, is not one of those artists. Where her ignorance would have left holes in her story, she did research and conducted interviews. When opportunities came during the story in which she could pronounce judgment on one type of people or belief, she refrained from making naïve and arrogant assumptions. As her characters experience the sorrows and joys that come with facing the truth, that crouching read more