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Mar 14, 2020
It's all too easy to make fun of an anime christened with an unfortunate name like "Wind: A Breath of Heart" (try saying the title fast) ... but that would just be immature of me.

"Wind: A Breath of Fart" is one of those patchy anime that feels like it got stitched together from three different shows. Starting off with some horribly crappy first scenes, it improves into a borefest with the occasional amusing moment, then magics in a dramatic story towards the end.

When I first watched "Wind: A Breath of Fart", I found its mix of highschool hijinks with a dash of magic rather read more
Nov 30, 2019
"Witch Hunter Robin" is one of those anime which grabbed me from the get go. The engrossing atmosphere drew me in, and the realistic art style is just the kind that I favour. But as the show progressed, it became obvious that it simply isn't as great as it first appeared, and I became less and less enamoured with it.

"Witch Hunter Robin" takes place in a modern world where magic is a thing and an organisation called STN hunts down magic-wielding witches, often with the help of magic-wielding "craft users". The show focuses on the Japan branch of STN, where a young craft user named read more
Oct 19, 2019
Have you ever wondered who's the toughest waitress around, and wished there exists a martial arts tournament that can help you answer this intriguing question?

Well, me neither.

But apparently, someone had, as this is the premise for a fighting anime called "Variable Geo", which features said tournament of the same name.

I only picked up "Variable Geo" because I'd played the original SNES game before (a fiendishly hard game by the way - I couldn't even get to the boss on the easiest mode), and since the anime comprises only three episodes, I thought: why not?

I'd braced myself for a bad anime, but the shittiness of "Variable read more
Sep 7, 2019
I first began writing a "Legend of the Galactic Heroes" review many years ago and couldn't finish. Now I come back and find my opening paragraph on how democracy is overrated and not a magic bullet that solves everything has aged rather too well to remain impactful. In the intervening years, quite a few political earthquakes have shaken people's faith in the system, highlighting weaknesses that they seemed blind to before.

At the time I started my reviewing attempt though, "Legend of the Galactic Heroes", or LoGH for short, provided a refreshingly nuanced commentary on different political systems that stood out amongst the monotonous chorus read more
Aug 24, 2019
"Why the fuck does a 12 episode series need a recap?!" was my initial reaction to "Girls und Panzer: Introductions!".

"WTF? There are TWO of these?!?!" was my next.

The first half of the first episode seems to confirm my worst fears: its opening salvo serves as a crucial reminder for the mountain of material contained in the previous ... five episodes. Following this, we're "treated" to an introduction of the many moeblobs littered around the show, giving us the full information shower on their unique moe quirks, including such juicy tidbits as what flowers they like, their favourite classes, and maybe what coloured buttons they prefer read more
Jul 20, 2019
Are you into moeblobs? Are you a military otaku? Then this is the show for you!!

"Girls und Panzer", or "Moeblobs und Tanks" as I like to call it, came into existence back in the heady days when moe was the new black, and anime studios bolted it onto everything that went out of their doors in the belief that it's the magic ingredient that will make their work explode in popularity. After watching an episode and finding it about as bad as expected, I originally dismissed "Moeblobs und Tanks" as a tank-themed K-On clone. I was therefore surprised to see the show garner critical acclaim read more
Jun 29, 2019
Pop quiz time! What Alphaville song best describes the Gundam franchise? The answer is, of course, "Big in Japan"! And over the years, many people have tried many times to make it "Big in the West" as well, but it never really gained much traction. The small amount of success it did find mostly traces back to "Gundam Wing", which made a decent sized splash on American TV around the turn of the millennium.

And that's rather unfortunate. Because although I've only seen a handful of Gundam series, "Gundam Wing" ranks among the worst ones in my book.

"Gundam Wing", with its cast of characters starring mostly read more
May 18, 2019
There are two things you should know about "Flavors of Youth":

1. It's a great anime.
2. You probably won't think it's a great anime. 

"Flavors of Youth" strikes me as an inaccessible anime - particularly to western audiences - and not just because of its meandering, introspective nature that would put a lot of people to sleep. I would describe it as a cultural piece that, to fully appreciate, you not only need to know about Chinese culture, you must have been submerged in it at some point in your life. On top of that, the anime homes in on a very specific Chinese generation: the generation who read more
Apr 11, 2019
The original "Vampire Hunter D" OVA from 1985 can best be described as mediocre. In 2000, Madhouse demonstrated how it should be done with "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust", a movie gleaming with polish and brimming with gothic beauty.

And that's the main strength of the movie - it's a beautiful one, filled with striking artwork, smooth animation and a unique sense of style. I found much of the designs "Bloodlust" breath taking, especially the architecture of the gothic castle. The characters designs are also distinctive, coupling delicate, porcelain features with an almost elven elegance.

Curiously, the sense of beauty found in such abundance elsewhere in the artwork read more
Mar 27, 2019
As I get older, I find myself often seeking out novelty when it comes to entertainment. Like with games, I still enjoy epic RPG and RTS games, but these days I'm mostly drawn to ones with unusual concepts like taking on the role of a shop keeper or a passport stamper rather than a world-saving hero.

Anime is no exception, so when I came across one about a slime - that most humble of monsters residing on the bottom rung of the RPG food chain - my immediate reaction was "sign me up, Scotty!"

Novelty concepts can only get you so far though; a lot hinges on read more