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May 10, 2010
Preliminary
Is Aria a good series? Probably. Does it deserve to be held up as a masterpiece? I doubt it.

Aria tends to be hyped up as *the* epitome of slice-of-life, so I expected an anime with all the strong points of the genre, including fleshed-out, relatable characters. Aria fails in that respect, and that compromises the amount of enjoyment I can derive from this series as a slice-of-life fan who has no specific interest in cute girls doing cute things.

What I object to isn't the fact that the cast is female-dominated, though more gender balance would have been nice. [The first half of Haibane Renmei, read more
Apr 13, 2010
Vandread is a poor excuse for an anime.

I think the least an anime series should do is have some reason for existing. Vandread doesn't. It doesn't try to be an intelligent sci-fi series; it doesn't try to be a heartwarming, iyashikei slice-of-life one; it's even too weak to be considered a harem romance anime. All you get with Vandread is episode after episode of pointlessness.

(And if you're wondering, I only watched it because it was being screened at an anime society. Oh, hours of my life that I'll never get back.)

Story [2/10]
The men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus premise, while cheesy, could have gone somewhere. In theory. In practice it read more
Apr 12, 2010
Don't be fooled by the summary: The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese doesn't follow your usual coercion -> love plotline. What distinguishes this manga from many others in the genre is that it takes the usual BL tropes and adds realism. Coercion isn't romantic. Lust is lust. Straight men don't magically turn gay after one homosexual encounter. The characters in the series are flawed, complex, and very human.

(Admittedly, Imagase is a bit of a weak point - I couldn't warm to him at all, even though he does rise above the usual stalker character archetype. A bit.)

From the synopsis alone, The Cornered Mouse Dreams of read more
Mar 28, 2010
Clannad (Anime) add (All reviews)
Here's the central problem with Clannad: it wants to tug your heartstrings, so it doesn't think about anything else. Unfortunately for this show, this means that it ends up being utterly contrived, unrealistic, and outright stupid.

This show expects us to believe that teenage girls act like five-year-olds. It expects us to care about these infantile, one-dimensional characters. It expects us to have genuine emotional reactions to the 'blossoming relationships' between our bland protagonist and these excuses for characters.

Is this too harsh? Let's look at the individual components that MAL expects us to rate anime by.

STORY: To be fair, the anime didn't have much to work read more