24 of 24 episodes seen
A misleading title is one of my only qualms with this series. Far from being some sort of ecchi comedy, xxxHolic was one of the most thought provoking, moving, and beautiful animes I've had the pleasure of viewing.
The roots of the show are set deep in the grounds of Japanese folklore. Fans of the animated movie Spirited Away or of animes like Natsume Yuujinchou are sure to love the world of spirits and mysteries crafted in xxxHolic.
The story is mostly episodic with numerous different stories taking palce over 1 or 2 episodes each. While I usually prefer serial animes with longer arcs, xxxHolic succeeds in connecting many of its episodes together. Instead of 20+ independant, stand-alone stories, we instead get what are more like snapshots of the characters life. Each 'picture' is different, yet all are connected and make up a larger story. Not only is this an excellent way to present a series, but each of the 20+ stories are masterpieces in and of themselves. Story earns a 9/10
The art in xxxHolic is, in my experience, unique. I personally found the original style to be completely beautiful, but not all will agree. Many find the slightly off human proprtions to be odd, and some find fault with over the top character movements. However most can agree that many of the backrounds, stories, and characters in xxxHolic are simply breathtaking. Scenic landscapes, a lantern parade of 1000 spirits, and an ever mysterious fortune teller's shop are just a handful of the many original and gorgeous scenes crafted by the show's masterful artwork. A deserved 10/10 for art in my most humble opinion.
Sound was also impressive. I, like most, don't often notice a soundtrack unless I'm listening for it. Yet the oftentimes powerful, and beautiful music of xxxHolic perfectly meshed with the art and story to create some truely moving moments. Character voicing was superb, from the exasperated voice of the protagonist to the lofty, confident tone of a fortune teller, the actors of the show did a fabulous job bringing the characters to life. And lastly, a catchy opener, and two decent endings left me smiling. Sound earns a 9/10
Many characters in xxxHolic are familiar arcetypes. Yet even though I'd seen every character's personality and mannerisms before, I hadn't always seen depth in those characters. Specifically the protagonist who, albeit slowly and more towards the end of the series, reveals himself as a person. Meanwhile a relationship forms seamlessly with his mysterious employer, a relationship that by the end of the series becomes a real, and believable bond between the two. Characters are by no means perfect however. A few cross the line from being 'familiar' to full blown cliche, and at times, the main character can be somewhat of a brat. Overall however the cast in xxxHolic carry the story well. An 8/10 for character.
I loved the series from start to finish. The beautiful stories, the sporadic, but no less enjoyable humor, and the overall depth of the show were simply incredible, and a joy to watch. Enjoyment earns a solid 10/10
Overall xxxHolic earns a 9/10 and my eager reccomendation. Beautiful art and stories that range from scary, to hilarious, to proverbial combined with solid characters and sound make this an anime well worth looking into. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
This really begs the question, who is this show for exactly? The only answer I can come up with is bitter lesbians. yes. By the end of this series you too will walk away with such a hatred men everywhere that with a pair of loose fitting jeans and a short haircut, you might just pass for a lesbian yourself. Even if you're a man.
Without giving away too many spoilers, the story begins like any ecchi harem would. Dimwitted guy has several girls falling for him, and darnit! He dosn't know what to do! But this is where we leave harem world and things get real. At this point the asshole protagonist decides to get with ALL the girls, which might work out well in To LOVE Ru, but in real life it makes you a two timing (or six timing) douchebag. Thats once thing the story does all too well. By the end of School Days the male lead Itou beat out Light Yagami the mass murderer for my #1 most hated protagonist. Easily. Apart from that however the story relies on cliche, coincidence, nonsensical events to tell an unrealistic tale of an idiot getting his just desserts. Story gets a 6/10 and thats being generous.
No complaints with art to speak of, decent enough throughout. Sound was decent, voice acting was par, but the happy-go-lucky opening theme got old in a hurry, and ruined the tragic depressing mood on more than one occasion. Art 8/10. Sound 7/10.
School Days deserves one honor. It has, hands down, the worst cast of characters I've ever seen. I hated literally every character that appeared on screen. I'm having trouble coming up with adjectives, because idiot, asshole, and pervert don't do the main character justice. He isn't a lovable idiot, he's not a wisecracking asshole, and hes not a lovable pervert. He is just...terrible. The supporting cast is equally abysmal, from nearly every girl who inexplicable falls for, and clings to this asshole protagonist, to the protagonist's equally annoying male friend, to the manipulative skank female lead, I. Hated. Everyone. And you will too. Characters 3/10, and again, I'm being generous.
This show is not enjoyable. Every episode is specifically designed to make you hate the protagonist more and more untill the inevitable, blissful end. And what an ending it was. People joke that for a tragedy, School Days has one of the happiest endings of all time, and I must agree. School Days was literally 6 hours of head pounding, forehead slapping, swearing, and daydreaming of creative ways the protagonist might die. School Days was not, however, enjoyable. Only because of the ending does this series get a 4/10 for enjoyment, instead of a 0
Overall School Days earns a 5/10, I'm sure far worse shows have been, and will be made, and ultimately, I DO reccomend the show for those 16 and up. If for no other reason than because it is 'unique' and because its a legend in the anime community. Albeit a horrible legend that we all want to forget. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
As I watched the first episode of Chuunibyou, I remember saying to myself "great...another Haruhi Suzumiya clone" and while there are distinct similarities between the two animes, I'm thrilled that I kept watching and gave Chuunibyou the chance it deserved.
There isnt much of a story or plot for much of the show, episodes usually introduce new characters or develop existing ones by way of crazy slice of life situations. That is untill the second half of the series, when much of the shows stellar humor is traded for an impressive romance, and all star character development. While I found myself missing the side splitting humor that got me hooked in the first place, I couldn't complain because of the touching, and impressive story that was woven in the later half of the show.
The art for most of the show is above average, but in several situations the creators must have milked the budget to create some truely epic scenes I never wouldve expected from a slice of life anime.
Sound was also above average, no glaring issues or complaints to speak of
As I mentioned, I groaned when I caught my first glances of the characters in Chuunbyou. At first glance the female lead seems like a shamless Haruhi clone, and the male lead a bland John Doe. Side characters were familiar archtypes, the airhead, the popular girl, etc. While nearly all the characters were hilarious, none were particularly original or different. At first. As the show progresses Rikka, the female lead begins to distinguish herself as a relatively unique character, and as the story progresses even further shes fleshed out as a complete human being in an extemely touching and effective way. While the male lead isnt fleshed out quite as much, he quickly develops some unique characteristics, and his relationships develop at a believable and satisfying pace. Side characters remain, well, side characters, with some, but not much developments. Overall the relationships and personalities really shine in the second half of the show, which is where they earn their 9/10.
Enjoyment of the show was a perfect 10. This may well be the funniest anime I've seen since Gintama. The countless anime refrences include parodies of yu yu hakusho, code geass, death note, and countless more I missed or cant recall. The character interactions and truely unique situations that arise are simply hilarious, but where the shows humor really shines is its shameless exaggeration of everyday events. In the mind of the female lead even sneaking out and being caught by her sister becomes an epic battle of good and evil, and everything from unlocking a door to getting on a train ends up as a hilarious, over-the-top joke, reference, or parody. In short, the shows humor is all-star, oscar worthy, and downright side splitting.
Overall, thanks to a hilarious, if at times cliche cast, touching romance, character development, and over the top hilarious humor, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! earns a solid 9/10 as well as my eager reccomendation. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
Sword Art Online is not the greatest anime ever made, as some 13 year old girls will tell you, neither is it a worthless ripoff of the .hack// series as others would say. But it is, in my most humble opinion, the best anime I've seen this season, and one I'll remember for years to come.
The story, as you may have heard, involves the characters being stuck in a virtual reality MMO, this concept is not wholly original, as mentioned the .hack// and a few other shows have taken this route before. However no other show in this 'genre' has ever immersed me in the world as much as SAO, and thats worth mentioning. The story itself plays out interestingly, after entering the game and becoming trapped, the protagonist Kirito, a loner by nature, ventures off by himself to gain an advantage while other players remain confused. From this point the story takes on a "Wandering Swordsman" style of show, where every episode is in a different setting, usually with a significant amount of elapsed time since the previous episode, and Kirito uses his incredible skills to help someone new. While some people hated this, claiming the episodes were pointless fillers, I felt differently. Not only are some major characters introduced in these episodes, but it also reveales and develops Kirito's character. Eventually the sporadic episodes line up more and the series reaches a climax halfway through the 25 episodes, from here, the second half of the show wasn't quite as awe inspiring, or riveting, but it wasnt terrible either. The story, averaged across 25 episodes, was a solid 8.
SAO's art is fantastic, from breathtaking landscapes, to character animations, to epic fight scenes, the show is beautiful from start to finish.
Sound is impressive as well, a solid soundtrack (and impressive opening theme, always a bonus) left me with no complaints, and character voice and sound effects were equally good.
The characters in SAO left a little to be desired. While I feel the lead Kirito was the only truely three dimensional character (and some would argue even that) other characters still had a degree of depth. Asuna and Sugu, the love interests and female leads, both had fascinating relationships that developed with Kirito, and you learned alot about them through those interactions. However those moments came along with other scenes that left me wondering "why is she doing that?" or "this feels kind of forced and cliche..." Other characters are charming, sweet, funny, and sometimes lame, but their archetypes are ones you've seen before. Overall characters in SAO are an 8/10
As I mentioned earlier, SAO dosn't earn a 10 or even a 9 in story or characters, and in most cases, good art and sound dont make up for a lame story. And SAO isnt an exception, but SAO gets a 9 for enjoyment because of the vast, incredible world it builds. Being trapped in a video game with your life on the line sounds like a nightmare, but as the story progresses the viewer (like the characters) begin to realize the beauty of the world theyre living in. But I have to reveal my bias, as a casual MMO gamer, the setting and world did appeal to me more than it might to others. To put it another way, the game itself: Sword Art Online, would be a gamer's fantasy. From how the game operated, to the bosses, to the virtual reality, to everything else, SAO is what gamers hope we'll have in another 20 years, and seeing that in an anime was INCREDIBLY fun to watch, and would be for anyone like myself.
Overall SAO is a solid 9/10. An above average story and characters, a sweet, if at times cliche romance, amazing action coupled with stellar art and sound, and a world that'll have you wishing, like countless others, that you could be 'trapped' in that game too, these are the things you can expect from SAO. If that sounds like your kind of show, watch, enjoy, and thank me later. read more
14 of 14 episodes seen
I cannot, in any sense, justify the endless eight's existense, and it shows in my score/review of this season. Despite a small number of other reviewer's attempts at excusing these episodes: "theyre all a little different!" "its so you really get the tired feeling of the characters!", please believe me when I say that these episodes are completely unnecessary and better off skipped.
Im not implying that the creators did this to save money, or out of laziness. On the contrary I think it WAS their intent to give off a sense of endlessness and repetitiveness. But regardless of their intent, these eight episodes, over HALF of the entire season, were a miserable experience to most everyone who watched them. As a result, I cant give this season of Haruhi any more than a 5.
Now then, MINUS the endless eight, this season was more of what I'd come to expect of the show, great art, lots of laughs, but a subpar plot and cast of characters. Without a doubt an enjoyable show, but certainly not a masterpiece as some would say.
In short, if you enjoyed season one, skip the endless eight and youll enjoy what remains of this season of Haruhi no Yuutsu read more
14 of 14 episodes seen
If I had to compare this show to one other, it would be like watching only the happy, carefree moments of Higurashi(if you havnt seen this show I highly reccomend it btw, a 10/10 if ever there was one). And the mysterious plots and supernatural themes further link those two animes. However where Higurashi delves into much darker areas in between its lighthearted moments, bringing forth character development and a fascinating plot, Haruhi no Yuutsu simply felt "shallow" for lack of a better word throughout the series.
The characters are not original, despite what anyone else may say, "The cute ditsy girl", "The apathetic, emotionless girl" "The nice guy" and the two leads: "The spunky girl" and "The straight man"
Though none of these characters are particularly original(save for the main protagonists, who 'slightly' deviate from their molds on rare occasion), I DID find myself enjoying the entire cast despite myself, just because youve seen it before dosnt mean it aint funny(for myself in any case)
Art and sound were impressive, if you enjoy high quality animation Haruhi no Yuutsu wont dissapoint.
Which brings us to story...Well, its "original" I'll give it that much. I personally found the plot to be severely lacking, it was more like an excuse for the gang to get into crazy, non-connected situations. And on top of everything it made little to no sense.
HOWEVER despite poor character and plot, I still found myself enjoying this anime. Much more than I wouldve thought in fact. The groups crazy activities, the funny, if unoriginal cast, and the great animation made up for any shortcomings IMHO. In short, if youve got nothing better to watch, Haruhi no Yuutsu is worth a try. read more