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Jan 29, 2019
A powerfully executed story that sacrifices depth and realism for exploitative sympathy-bait. This is a film created with a single goal in mind: to make you cry.

Without spoiling any more than MAL's synopsis, the film's plot is as follows: A bunch of sadistic 11 year-olds bully a deaf girl until she transfers to another school. Ishida - one of the bullies - takes all of the blame which results in him being ostracized by his classmates and his realization of the weight of his actions. Five remorseful years later, a suicidal Ishida bumps into the deaf girl and decides to apologize. She immediately forgives him read more
Oct 8, 2018
A global conspiracy plunging the world into chaos, with the fate of everything hinged on finding the answer to a single question! Unfortunately, 20th Century Boys doesn't seem to have been written with an answer to this question, and so the whole thing feels like an empty promise.

The story is extremely engaging and constructs an elaborate conspiracy rich with intriguing characters and dark secrets. With each mystery solved, a dozen more take its place. The further you read, the less you know, until the situation becomes so desperate that the fate of the entire world is at stake. Through it all, everything comes down read more
Aug 14, 2018
Preliminary
Sad girl stops being sad after people are nice to her for 26 episodes.


The anime is just too long, it's an episodic SoL in disguise. The core story of Chise and Elias' relationship and their growth as individuals doesn't justify more than a few episodes, so it ends up being heavily padded. The bulk of each episode is some inconsequential subplot that contributes little more to the overarching narrative than reaffirming what we already know about Elias and Chise so far. There's very low "content density", where only about 10% of the ~500 minutes of total runtime is dedicated to progressing the plot and read more
Jul 18, 2018
MMO Junkie is one big build-up to a finale which is totally unsatisfying. Right off the bat, an impending “reveal” is set up that will be used as the fuel for all of the dramatic tension of the series. The reveal consists of the main characters realizing that they are actually long-time friends in an online game – which will undoubtedly result in the beginning of a romantic relationship. The problem is that the reveal is held off until so late into the story that there is no time to explore the aftermath, and that it’s dealt with in the most juvenile and unrealistic way read more
Apr 8, 2018
A decent cast with a unique plot that was unfortunately weighed down with pointless pseudo-drama and overstuffed with cuteness. Anyone watching this show expects a cuteness overload and plenty of slice-of-nothing-happens, which is completely fine if done properly. However; A Place Farther than the Universe reaches for something more complex and story-driven, but falls short on delivering any engaging drama.

The story and genre are at odds with each other; it strives to have dramatic tension between characters, but also wants to beat you over the head with cuteness and positivity. The result is a boatload of forced drama caused by characters being too nice to read more
Nov 10, 2017
A complex story with strong, unique characters that suffers immensely from being 80% episodic one-offs.

Outlaw Star starts out strong by introducing a cast of quirky characters each with their own goals and demons, a convoluted plot packed with mysteries and intrigue, and a genuinely unique and fascinating universe with its own governments, power systems, and complicated underworld. And then it proceeds to do almost nothing with any of it, by making episode after episode of plot-irrelevant nothingness.

Now, this doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. Cowboy Bebop balances an overarching narrative with episodic stories extremely well. But Outlaw Star fails this by read more
Sep 4, 2017
Another entry in the "trapped in a videogame" premise with a much more literal and sarcastic take on the trend. Without much plot or world-building, Konosuba lacks a cohesive structure and relies heavily on comedy to stay interesting. A little too much fanservice and not enough writing, each episode can become a slog of obvious and drawn-out jokes that somehow always end up with a female character humiliating herself.

The first two episodes are strong, with lots of unexpected twists and a story build-up that promises a wacky comedy-adventure featuring a cast of quirky, unique characters going on quests and exploring this fantasy world while searching read more
Aug 25, 2017
A show about a bunch of cute girls, who embody stereotypes, hanging out at school? Sounds boring!

But wait, they're all subversions of their own archetypes by being deliberately cliche on the surface, with unique personalities underneath? Oh great, another edgy deconstruction!

Fortunately, Oshiete Galko-chan isn't just another deconstruction of X genre; it plays the gimmick of each character being named after and seeming like one specific character archetype, while actually being deeper than they seem, but they aren't deliberately NOT those things, either. Otako is a shy otaku who reads a bunch of manga, but she's still an interesting person with her own tastes, who doesn't read more
Feb 24, 2017
Baby Steps is sports anime done right. No power ups, final bosses, character gimmicks, overpowered main characters, or formulaic plot.

The shonen battle-arena format is done so thoughtfully that it hardly feels like one at all. While the story ultimately consists of a generic underdog main character training and battling against increasingly stronger opponents, it manages to feel unique and refreshing due to its detailed and compelling portrayal of competitive tennis.

The underdog trope is used to successfully make Maruo's (the main character) foray into competitive tennis at a late age (sixteen) feel intimidating, challenging, and all the more impressive when he nails it. Maruo doesn't catch read more
Jan 13, 2016
Kekkai Sensen is a thrill ride from start to finish, throwing its viewers into a confusing mess of conflicts, monsters, and the awesome heroes trying to keep the city (somewhat) safe. With a sizable cast of eccentric characters and a wide array of conflicts and subplots, there is endless excitement to be had.

Where Kekkai Sensen really shines is its captivating setting and unstructured plot. Incredible effort was put into developing Hellsalem's Lot, the dystopian metropolis that was once New York City before a mysterious portal opened up, connecting our universe to another and allowing monsters to flood the city. Not all of these monsters are read more