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Mar 30, 2017
Preliminary (4/13 eps)
My first instinct was to call Maidragon "offensively bad", but it's much more of a "mindnumbingly bad"-type of anime. There's nothing there. Watching it is no different than staring at a blank screen for twenty minutes; you get the same boring effect and feeling that you've wasted some, if not all, of your time.

Let me set aside all of my moral issues with the show, because if they haven't bugged you already, you likely don't care. I also don't wish to offend fans of the show when I say that I simply don't get it. Even after giving it a shot, I have no ...
Sep 24, 2016
Mixed Feelings
MariWaka is not i.) a dark, unsettling anime produced exclusively for Fuji's infamous Noitamina block, ii.) a story about emotionally unstable teenagers, iii.) something relying on the emotional buoyancy of tragedy to keep its story afloat, and/or iv.) a work with outstanding animation, so it will ultimately be forgotten.

And that much is not fair.

It's not that any of the above traits are bad qualities for an anime to have, but MariWaka is at a disadvantage for being itself and nothing more; being an edutainment anime that is primarily geared towards children and their parents. For the same sick and twisted reason, it is also ...
Mar 31, 2016
Aikatsu! (Anime) add
There aren't many idol anime with over a hundred episodes, and there are even fewer idol anime that have the ability to hook and surprise you for such a long period of time. Coming in at just under two hundred episodes, Aikatsu is a series that manages to do both, and there are so many ways to describe it; energetic, revitalising, and optimistic, to name a few. But the best thing about Aikatsu is that it's able to toss its target audience aside and create something able to entertain people of all ages. Unlike Hollywood family movies or shows like Friendship is Magic, there isn't ...
Dec 22, 2015
Mixed Feelings
Love it, hate it, indifferent to it, or once-loved-then-hated-now-extremely indifferent to it, Owarimonogatari (literally 'end story', though the series doesn't conclude here) will most likely meet your expectations of the long-running light novel adaptation. For me, that means occasionally witty dialogue shoehorned with ecchi, traces of pedophilia, and genuinely interesting ideas muffled by execution. And yup, it's got all three. NisiOisiN really knows how to keep his writing consistent!

See, the joke there was that Monogatari is as inconsistent as can be, and widely varies in quality from arc to arc. Got it? No? I'll wait.

…OK? Let's move on.

While technically a four-arc series, there are ...
Sep 23, 2015
Most of the humour and appeal of Himouto! Umaru-chan comes from the protagonist being strikingly similar to its target audience; a lazy, entitled otaku teenager who always gets what they want. You're meant to identify with this cola-obsessed girl to the point of empathizing with her every move, and that obviously worked. Within days of the first episode airing, the show became a meme. It was (and at the time of writing, still is) hard to enter an anime discussion without catching a stray gif or picture showing Umaru in her chibi form, because people loved that they saw themselves or their behaviour in this ...
Aug 27, 2015
Chihayafuru 2 (Anime) add
Mixed Feelings
Hyakunin Isshu (literally 'hundred people, one poem') is a Japanese card game typically played with a collection of two hundred cards. Each poem in this collection is by a different poet, and split into two halves: the first half for reading, the second for grabbing. In a match, the reading halves are then called out, and pairs of players must race to grabbing the corresponding second half of the poem. Chihayafuru excels by making this game of stratagem into something too human to ignore. It has no regard for how silly or strange a passion for the game may be, because the only thing it's ...
Aug 5, 2015
Preliminary (18/24 eps)
There's a lot of innocence that comes with the experience of a first love, especially that which is between teenagers. Despite knowing next to nothing about the world, you're often head over heels for one another, bouncing around any idealistic hopes or plans for the future in the process. It's both adorable and sickening, and for its first few episodes, Ore Monogatari does a great job capturing that confusing mix of feelings. Then it tries to be a little bit more than that.

The most common praise of the show seems to be that isn't your typical shoujo, but I disagree—it kicks off as the ...
Jul 21, 2015
Mixed Feelings
Between the blood-soaked walls and barren deserts of Ima, Soku no Iro Boku, it's easy to lose sight of any sensitivity that lies beyond its limitless cruelty. Some may find that there's far more mercy to be found here than it lets on—be it through its vocal political message or themes of friendship, every instance of violence contributes to the narrative enough to be considered far from senselessly grim.

Most interestingly, a great deal of this could be attributed to its setting of Hellywood, a water-fuelled airship towering over a dried out Earth. The protagonist, Shu, is dragged into this time by a girl with the ...
Jun 30, 2015
Kyoto Animation's success with K-On gave a new face to the genre of music anime—a face that focused on the activities of cute girls in a group, and to a lesser extent, their relationships. Hibike Euphonium is more or less the same formula, but on a much larger scale; a school band of boys and girls alike. Said school band is aiming for a mere shot at the nationals with the help of an instructor much stricter than they'd prefer. It's by no means an original concept, but it would be acceptable if it showcased the trials a band faces in an admirable fashion; instead, ...
May 16, 2015
Mixed Feelings
This is a story of amends and of redemption. It is a tribute to the age-old aphorism, "Maturity comes with experience, not age." But most importantly, Asatte no Houkou shows that you can craft an alright drama with any trope, even the most tired or comedic.

Such are the main merits of an anime with a ridiculous premise. In this case, our protagonist, Karada, is a 12 year old girl who is insecure about her young age. Tiny and always feeling left out, she makes a wish in frustration to a local altar—a wish to become an adult. To her dismay, this rash wish is ...