May 30, 2013
25 of 25 episodes seen
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Sword Art Online- this anime has been getting insane amounts of attention from Japan and many other countries. If you've never watched it, you've most likely heard of it. After a while of thinking, I've finally decided to do a review on this.
Just warning you; if you're a Sword Art Online fan, you may find this review offensive- and that is because I am not a fan of Sword Art Online, although I am far from a hater of it, too.
A teenage boy who's a "Hikikomori" (Japanese for a shut in) named Kirigaya Kazuto buys the new video game called "Sword Art Online", an
MMORPG. It is not just a regular MMORPG, though- you have to buy another program called the "Nervegear", which allows you to be in the game itself. Our main character, Kirigaya, goes into the game of Sword Art Online.
Just as he's starting to have fun, though, he realizes there is no log out button and assumes it's a glitch. It actually isn't, though- the creator of the game informs them that it is there on purpose, and they cannot get back to real life now. They are stuck in Sword Art Online forever- that is, until someone beats the 100 floors/levels which are all increasingly difficult. Also, the players will take damage in not only the game but in real life, and can die in the game. If someone unplugs their "Nervegear", they die immediately.
So, there is basically no escape.
Sounds interesting, right? I thought it was at first too- actually, I still do think it is. But that's the problem with this anime- the idea of it is cool, which is why the first 3 episodes of the anime were fantastic, but that's about it.
Which is sad to say, because when the first few episodes came out I had great hope for this anime- hell, even after the first arc was over I still held a bit of a torch for it.
As soon as it's done being introduced, the anime starts gradually going downhill. The plot is bland and predictable with no interesting turns or twists; They had great potential with the idea of this anime, but used it in a cliched, boring fashion.
The first arc of this series was alright, although a bit boring- but the second arc was what really made it deserve a four. The overuse of fanservice to keep you "glued to the seat"; the "damsel in distress" plot used once more; it was honestly very disheartening.
The only thing about the plot I can commend is the battle scenes- they were very well written and kept me entertained. But, otherwise, the writing seemed very immature and uninteresting. I felt as though romance was the main thing that kept this anime going, which is odd because it has the label "shounen" and is an action anime.
There were also plenty of plot holes and questionable moments; for example, in the last episode when Kirito uses this "super power" type of fighting that he never had before. There was even a moment where he was SPOILER: dead but came back to life for no reason?
One of the key reasons that Sword Art Online is popular is it's artwork- the animation was really fantastic and breath taking at times, and the characters had great, interesting designs. The art style was average, but still very pretty and eye-catching.
If it weren't for this and the sound, I would've given Sword Art Online a lower score. But, if I can say one thing great about this anime it would be definitely about the animation. This is definitely in my top ten list of best animation from anime in 2012. The only problem is that art and sound are not what makes an anime good.
Like the artwork, the sound was flawless most of the time. The voices were great for the characters, the background music was surprisingly noticeable (unlike most anime) and the openings and endings were very catchy.
What I found even worse than the plot was the characters. Their designs are very eye-catching, but their personalities were very bland, cliched, and "Mary Sue"-like. For example, the main character, who mainly goes by his username "Kirito", is portrayed as a shut-in. Most people would look down in him in disgust, and most shut-ins have major problems. But not Kirito- all the girls around him at one point fall in love with him, and the only personality traits he has are brave and "bad ass". Along with this, he has ridiculous power in fighting for no reason. He has absolutely no flaws and never fails. Very boring.
Also, one girl named "Asuna" is shown as mysterious, cool and "bad ass" at first, but ends up being a stereotypical tsundere with no other personality trait except for brave.
All the characters have strikingly similar personalities, which makes none of them really stand out.
The only times I really enjoyed the anime was the first arc's battle scenes- those were beautifully illustrated and acted out, and were heart-racing. But, other wise, I felt as if the series dragged on and on with nothing interesting going on, especially in the second arc.
The second arc, you couldn't even watch a battle scene without boobs 24/7- it was really ridiculous. I'm sure even some guys got sick of seeing one character's pair of boobs every 2 minutes. I felt as if the only thing that kept the series going was actually the fanservice. In one part, they even added tenticals- and aired this on tv...
This anime is good if you're looking for a timewaster- but if you're looking for something with great plot, I really suggest not watching it.
The only really good part of this anime was arc 1, and the only really good part of it was the beginning. Afterwards, it gets very aggravating and I actually had to force myself to watch the second arc, and when it was over I felt great relief- not at the ending, but just because it was over.
Apr 7, 2013
13 of 13 episodes seen
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Ookiku Furikabutte. For some odd reason, the first season of this show was like a crack addiction. I couldn't stop watching it and searching for pictures. So, when I found out there was a second season, I was really stoked! If you haven't watched the first season, Ookiku Furikabutte, you really need to to understand this anime. This is my first review ever, so I hope you all take that into mind when you read this! I also agree that you do not need to be a baseball lover at all to watch this series. I was always bored to death at my brother's baseball
games before this series, and now I'm actually more interested in them.
The reason I had been so interested in this series from the start was because of the story. I have never really been interested in sports anime before, but this one caught my eye. What I liked about it was the fact that not ever character was a power house. Nishiura did have some great players but not all of them were good, and even the best ones did have flaws.
The story seems to not have changed too much from the first season, except for the fact that you meet some new side characters (like the parents). I gave the story an 8 mainly because of how realistic it was. I liked the fact that they didn't win every game: they lost some, too. And the way they dealt with their losses was very realistic, too. They bawled like little babies. It wasn't the best story, but was decently written to say the most.
The art has really improved from the first season! While the eyes still creep me out a bit here and there, I find it more as an interesting touch. The animation is much more smoother in the second season and the drawings look far more crisp. While it's not the most fantastic I've ever seen, Ookiku Furikabutte's artwork is very expressive as well. For example, the eyes. The eye contact this anime has is very realistic and well done. I specifically remember a moment where Abe is thinking and looks into Mihashi's eyes, and when Mihashi realizes and looks back into his he immediately puts on more of a "grumpy" stare. Over all, I enjoyed the art work a lot.
While the seiyuus are really good and the new opening and ending songs were definitely an improvement, the background music still irked me. Mainly it was because of the fact that the crowds were always cheering to the same exact music played by the band for about 5 or more episodes, but that was really it. Each voice actor played their part well, especially Mihashi's. That'd be a really tough role to play if I had to voice act as Mihashi!
The characters in this series don't seem like much until you really dig through. At first, Mihashi Ren seems extremely annoying and completely lacking in self-confidence. Abe at first just seems to be, excuse my language, but a controlling prick.
I had to really think to understand why I became to love such odd and annoying characters such as these two, and when I did I was surprised at the depth in them. Mihashi's main reason as to why he's so nervous, annoying and self-conscious is because of Mihoshi. Most people may find him annoying still, wondering why he's so "stupid" and "aggravating", but I was also badly ignored at my other school so I really sympathize with Mihashi. Also from being ignored I have become self-conscious and extremely nervous. Maybe not to his degree, but somewhere around there.
Mihashi is definitely not as sharp as the average crayon, I'll tell you. You can pick up on that from his logic. "If I trust Abe, I'll be the best ace!". But it's not just his horrible logic that's making him think that way. It's because he lost all hope in pitching while he was in Mihoshi, and now he has to find someone or something to pitch for. He's allowed himself to become brainwashed in thinking that by following Abe's lead, he'll become a better pitcher.
Abe is also a character I'd normally hate, but I actually really adore. Why? At first, he does indeed seem like a controlling prick. And while he is controlling, if you pay attention he's very nice. He cares a lot about Mihashi and wants to help him gain self confidence and become the great pitcher he wants to be, but is also too controlling of him. He is also controlling of Mihashi, telling him to only pitch what he says, because of his hurt ego from his past pitcher, Haruna.
If you pay attention, it seems as though Abe is trying as hard as he can not to get hurt again. He also seems to never have understood how to show affection in the right way. On the outside, he appears very cold, calculating, negative and just... angry. On the inside, he's just a bit hurt, kind (although he'd probably never admit it), easily angered and desperately searching for someone to control to make himself feel better.
The pitcher and the catcher in this series seem to be searching for someone who understands each other and emphasizes them. And, despite what they noticed, in the end they do find that once they open up more to each other.
The character change in this anime is overwhelming around the end. Abe tells Mihashi to shake his head to his pitches after getting his knee badly hurt. This may seem like nothing, but Abe is actually loosening the chain on Mihashi and trying to help him further become a better pitcher. This shows he isn't as rude as you may think in the beginning. If he were he wouldn't care if Mihashi was getting hurt or not, but because he finally realized he was Abe decided to go and help him.
Meanwhile, Mihashi is learning a bit more how to open up to others and is learning to rely on himself as a person and a pitcher, too. In the end it shows he is loosening up on his nervousness and he actually smiles. Abe is startled at this, noticing how different Mihashi appears when he is at ease.
While I'm not a sports fan I found this anime to be quite interesting and a good watch. I even got excited while watching the games, which surprised me. Unfortunately, though, I was mainly watching for the character development, which didn't occur as often as the baseball games did.
I did find myself enjoying the show while watching it, but one thing that annoyed me was how the game would stretch into episodes and episodes...
But, otherwise, it wasn't too bad at all.
While I hold this anime close to my heart, I do admit that it has some flaws. So while I'd give it a 10 because it's one of my favorites, I'm going with an 8. The characters were definitely interesting, the story was decent and the art was odd. But, if you're looking for an interesting show, you should definitely watch this second season. It wraps up the show very nicely.