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Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki (OAV 3/2003) Awful I have nothing to say about this. It is just plain horrible.
Girls Bravo (TV) Bad Not sure there was really a story here. It seemed like for awhile it was supposed to focus on the main character and his "condition" more or less being cured with the help of his love interest. But all of a sudden there's a villain that appears from no where in like..the last 3 episodes. Overall, this show is worth a watch based on the comedy alone. Though there is one super pervert who is the source of most of the comedy, it doesn't get stale like Heavens Lost Property. They keep it fresh and don't rely on the same joke as often.
RIN - Daughters of Mnemosyne (TV) Bad Truthfully, this show is such a mess that I don't think I can honestly recommend it to anyone based on quality. What it DOES have, is a slew of envelope pushing scenes. The story is uninteresting (to me anyways) while the characters I felt just were not done in a complete manner. However, there were so many incredibly graphic and just twisted scenes in this show, that I have to applaud it based solely on them. I've never seen anything quite like it and truthfully, I probably don't want to ever again.
Kanokon: The Girl Who Cried Fox (TV) Weak The dubbing in this is bad, but it is still more tolerable than Naruto or Pilot Candidate. That being said, the character designs are boring with absolutely no development. Is there a story? Nope. Truthfully, this show felt like it should have just been a porno. There were some comedic parts, but the majority of what I found funny, was really more disbelief with what was occurring. An example.. the main character licking the females ass and it being called "eating cake". On one hand, it wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish watching the series.. But on the other, it'll be a cold day in hell before I buy or rewatch this series.
Samurai Girls (TV) Not really good Boy, where to start...I wasn't a fan of the music in this show, at all. Not that it's a deal breaker if a show has bad music, but MOST shows have SOMETHING I enjoy. This one had none. The concept of this show was interesting, but the endgame didn't really make sense to me. The ending in general, was somewhat abrupt and inconclusive. The characters were all average, no one was really that interesting. The main character was somewhat badass the first two episodes. But he became nothing more than a piece of meat the rest of the season. (It sort of reminded me of Sekirei) The action was also very bland, with an annoying gimmick of ink splotches being dropped on the screen. All in all, this show wasn't bad by any means, but it wasn't very good either.
Inuyasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass So-so
Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time So-so
Noir (TV) So-so First off the action, which is one of the main points of this show, is utterly boring. The first episode shows one of the main characters do some sweet stuff, then it gets old. EVERY shootout the two main characters get into, is handled with their 9mm's. I'm sorry but, there were SO many different situations and hits that these two "assassins" should have had better equipment for, yet they never did. There is one character introduced later on that uses knives, she always had the best scenes. The music was amazing. From the intro and end credits, to the background music, all of it was great. However. there is one theme that serves as a plot device that gets overused in the first half. Honestly, the first like 6 episodes play this theme about 4 - 5 times a piece. The series does let up on it later on and uses it more sparingly, but even still..by then the damage is done. The plot is just barely interesting, the pacing is horrid. Again, up until about half way, it drags on forever. Even then, the story/plot really doesn't unfold until the last 4 episodes. It's like the first 21 episodes are just based off different targets, with a bit of the story sprinkled on top. There are also times where it's just incredibly over dramatic and other times that are totally under dramatic. Again, the majority of the plot wraps up in the last 4 episodes or so, which is an incredible roller coaster of emotions. With out ruining anything, things go from happy, to mad, back to happy. It doesn't roll with a situation long enough to be believable. Though they throw one twist in towards the end, I considered it's possibility towards the beginning of the series, however I thought it was so incredibly stupid that there was no way the creators would use it. I was wrong and as a result I just had to laugh. When it's all said and done, the original question (pointed out almost immediately in the first episode "I have no memory, why are they gone") is NEVER answered. The secret of the characters past is, but never the reason for the memory loss. It ends in an open sort of way, which is surprisingly good, though somewhat controversial with the last two sounds. With out ruining it, all I can say is that they are two DIFFERENT sounds, which..well..when you see it you'll understand. In the end, this show was incredibly boring to me, up until they introduced the knife character. She was awesome.
Pilot Candidate (TV) So-so This show was almost unbearable up until half way through. Around episode 6 is when it finally got to be somewhat enjoyable. The ending left it open for continuation, but as far as I can tell...that wont happen. The manga may go farther, but as for the anime..its about 13 years old. That being said, the dub was utterly horrific. Which is curious, because there are two parts where one of the female characters sings and shes very good. But otherwise the dub is just horrid. The sub is probably far superior. Not sure that this should rank high on anyone's list to see.
Samurai Harem (TV) So-so Some shows are an adventure, others are just a ride. With most harem type animes, they're just rides. This show is no exception. There was no real story arc to speak of until the last few episodes. The action was very bland and uninteresting while the comedy suffered from overusing the over reaction formula. The main character was likable enough, with a back story that actually made sense of his some what clueless-ness. As for the females, the youngest sister was more or less only needed for the very end. The middle two sisters were both decent enough while the oldest suffered from the "goddess syndrome". Some of the other characters were alright too, but nothing too terribly special. Overall, this was more of a trip than an adventure, and an average one at that.
Zero no Tsukaima: Princess no Rondo (TV) So-so We are at the third installment of the series and there is still not an acceptable outro song. The intro is still ok, though not as good as the second seasons. Music aside, this season over all was a step down in quality. Right off the bat there is a problem that arises, one that would make for an excellent story arc. Except that they solve it with in two episodes. In fact, there is another problem that arises much later in the season that would also serve as an excellent arc. But it gets solved immediately. Pacing and story aside, all the main characters are pretty much established with a few new ones introduced. So everyone from the first, who disappeared in the second are now back for the third. There seemed to be more fan service in this season than the previous two as well. The love triangle is laughable at this point. There is no validity to it aside from it being an easy comedic relief. Though I find Louise's inability to trust Saito to have gone from funny to incredibly irritating. While the first season had the best ending, the second suffered from wrapping everything up too quickly in order to have a happy ending. This ending, without spoiling it, was forced. There were absolutely no consequences for the actions that had taken place the previous four episodes. Though there is still one last season, of the first three..this is by far the worst. It has some redeeming factors, but those are eclipsed by all of the downfalls present.
Afro Samurai: Resurrection (movie) Decent I'm just going to get this out of the way now, the plot is stupid. 100% nonsense. The laughable enemy and her laughable plan, were used solely to milk out a reason for Afro to start slaughtering people again. That being said, the action is pretty good. My one complaint regarding the action, is actually the fact that the opening bridge scene, is the best. It's the best in terms of action and music. The rest of the movies fights are only good, not excellent. Voice acting is superb and Ninja Ninja delivers on some pretty good comedic relief. Over all an alright watch, but probably best to have playing in the background, as it doesn't really require your full attention.
Angel Beats! (TV) Decent I think this show is overrated, it has an ok story with a more or less bittersweet ending. Music wise it's pretty solid. There is a minor focus on a rock band that leads to some fairly good music. As for the intro and outro music, the opening piano is absolutely amazing, while the outro is forgettable. Character wise, there are too many introduced throughout the show and none of them are fleshed out except for about 4 total characters. There's like..10 they have running around at the same time and portray as being important. The action felt like an illusion because...there was never going to be any results. No casualties or real repercussions..so they felt added on for the sake of having them. However, after watching the series again I was able to appreciate it in a different sense. I felt that the subtext of "Do something with your life, you can help others" was far more impressive than any of the other mechanics. Perhaps that is what all the fans are basing its quality off of, in any case I recommend watching it at least once.
Another (TV) Decent
Aria the Scarlet Ammo (TV) Decent This show is a hot mess. There are some incredibly funny parts, but I can count on my hand just how many. Most of the comedy is, mediocre while the action is entertaining enough. The story however, is spread way too thin. There are three major points that are brought up in the series and not a single one of them is elaborated on. If another season is to be made, it would be best if it were to focus on one of those three plots and just barely touch on another, while ignoring the third all together. At the end of this season, that's the best a second season is going to be able to do to salvage it. Unless of course it is green lit for more than the standard 13 episodes. In any case, this show is a good rainy day watch but it's weaknesses can actually be somewhat devastating as this series could be so much more.
B Gata H Kei - Yamada’s First Time (TV) Decent The opening and ending themes were boring, in terms of both animation and music. Though I came into this expecting just a slew of sexual jokes and nothing else. I sort of got it. The lead female is a mega pervert, but when it comes down to actually doing things, she chickens out. As the show goes on, she does get more and more bold, eventually doing things, but it really dragged on. This is irritating because the whole point is that Yamada want's to have sex, yet things hardly progress. Her resolve is so astounding that her results are incredibly unbelievable and somewhat insulting. The guy she targets really doesn't help this either. He is the most painfully average male character I have ever seen. This of course is the point, though his level of obliviousness is far too irritating. The progress of their relationship is painfully slow. Though, this isn't directly the male characters fault, Yamada can be a mega cunt at the worst times. She's a weird strain of Tsundere, a character type I greatly dislike. While the characters and story are very mediocre, some of the jokes are exceptionally good (note I said SOME). While I like the idea of a perverted female character, I don't believe this show executed the model properly. In the end, you have a frustrating show with a decent dub and a handful of solid jokes.
Blood-C: The Last Dark (movie) Decent
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan (TV) Decent
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Add On Disc (OAV) Decent The crew pretty much write a Frankenstein story. Each person writes about a page long of content and then the next person continues it. For the most part it was funny, except it got a bit out of hand. I have a fairly strong stomach and can handle a lot of things, but I really dislike rape in any form of media. I agree that it can be a powerful driving force/role in a character's history or whatever, but I still dislike it. Now, I wouldn't say that there is a tasteful rape, but like I stated before I can see how it can be constructively used. In this episode one character writes in the story that another character gets raped in the street. There really isn't anything else to it. I found that extremely distasteful and not even remotely funny. Aside from that single aspect, this OAV was decent enough.
Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan Second (OAV) Decent
Btooom! (TV) Decent I wasn't really impressed with any of the music in this show. Opening or ending as well as the animations that go with them. The dub was standard, so there are no real complaints from me on it. This anime is another attempt at the “death game” scenario that seems to be fairly popular. I have not currently seen “Deadman Wonderland” so I can't speak on how it compares to that, but I did find myself comparing it to “Eden of the East” (though the game is slightly different) and “Future Diary”. One easy complaint right off the bat is that unlike these other two anime, “Btooom” doesn't actually end. Perhaps another season will be made, but it kind of just stops in the middle of the game. Something that really surprised me with “Btooom” was the lack of gore. The game involves different types of bombs, so I was expecting to see some pretty off the wall stuff. Unfortunately, there was nothing of that sort which is just one thing “Future Diary” does better. While the characters in “Btooom” are probably overall better than anyone in “Future Diary” (with the exception of Yuno), I found a lot of them to be cookie cutter. The great main character, the helpless but loveable old timer, the incredibly cool and awesome rival, the sadistic kid, and the female who doesn't trust anyone but is emotionally rescued by the main character. I can't bag on the cast too much, because while the female is for sure a rinse and repeat, they actually do a pretty good job as to justifying her mental and emotional state. As for the strategy that you would expect to take place in a game like this, it's kind of hit or miss really. There are times where I was super pulled in by it, but other times that I was trying not to laugh at it. While “Eden of the East” may be the least similar of the three, it did the best when it comes to strategy and screwing over the other players (Primarily in the “Paradise Lost” movie). Currently I would suggest this to someone who is really bored, but that could change if a second season is made.
CANAAN (TV) Decent Intro and outro were mediocre as well as the animations that go with them. In fact the music in general was very mediocre. The dub was ok, nothing too special with only a few annoying parts. This may be a first for me, but I really think that the two main characters were far superior than what this anime deserved. The main good guy and main bad guy were both outstanding. The fightscenes were incredibly well done too, however thats about all this anime had going for it. The story is pretty throw away. Once you strip away all the nonsense that was added to try and make it unique, it's really just about two girls that were trained by the same guy. One girl walked one path, while the other walked another path. Really, that's all it should have been. The whole idea about a village that was experimented on, or being able to see people's aura, it was all just sloppy. Even the supporting cast was terribly boring, bordering very closely to being straight up bad. I absolutely can not recommend watching this to anyone, atleast not the entire thing. The action scenes are worth atleast one viewing, with the ending fight being the high point of this entire anime.
Cat Planet Cuties (TV) Decent This show is dumb. However, Cat Planet Cuties doesn't ever really take itself too serious. The intro and outro music is forgettable while the ending animation is kind of neat. It's different for pretty much each episode. The dub is somewhat a mixed bag, it's not really bad..but more just..different. The lead male sounds so incredibly laid back that it just adds to the level of ridiculousness. The characters are nothing special, pretty much just a cast of character archetypes from a “how to write a harem” instruction book. The premise of cat and dog aliens is kind of different, but it doesn't really play much of a factor other than just being used for fanservice. I can't say that I recommend this anime, but I can't say you should avoid it. To prevent any confusion, while I often say that there is a “brain off” type of anime, which is an anime that isn't necessarily bad but it's best not to think too hard while watching it, I would say that the category of just “dumb fun” is something where a show is totally dumb yet still enjoyable. I'd say Cat Planet Cuties falls in the “dumb fun” category.
Cat Planet Cuties (OAV) Decent
Cromartie High School (TV) Decent I don't know what to say. It attempted to be an overly manly show, but it also cut corners on that formula. There are some hilarious parts but I feel it could have been so much greater. An interesting watch and with only about 11 minutes per episode, it's worth your time to check it out.
Desert Punk (TV) Decent This anime had some pretty impressive potential. Opening and ending were both throw away to me, however the opening animation..isn't quite an animation. Anyways, the dub is decent with no real complaints in any particular department. Animation was fine as well and everything looked ok to me. The problem I really had with “Desert Punk” is that it went from being a better “Trigun” to a desert version of “Heaven's Lost Property”. The sexual jokes and crude humor were present for the first half of the anime, but they weren't really a main focus. But then out of no where it switches gears and essentially becomes one perverted joke/instance to after another and tosses the action aspect to the side. I found it to be funny sure, but it did get old. The change is direction was jarring enough for me to not really recommend “Desert Punk”.
Dragon Ball Z Movie 1: Dead Zone Decent Before all the super saiyan crap got way out of hand. Goku and Piccolo teaming up for some fighting. Gohan is a little whiny bitch in this, but well..he always pretty much was. An ok movie, better than most of the series but...you should probably be a fan of Dragon Ball before watching this.
Dragon Ball Z Movie 3: The Tree of Might Decent No super saiyan, so this takes place before the down fall of the DBZ universe. An ok movie, decent action.
Eden of the East (TV) Decent A conspiracy type story with some pretty good animation. I really liked the character design of the two main characters. The female wasn't outlandish with huge breast or crazy hair, but she was still cute enough. The action wasn't so much action as it was more suspense. SOME comedy to break it up, but it was placed in perfect spots..it never felt out of place. All in all, the story was very interesting. Ending was ok, but the last episode had a better ending than the series as a whole.
Eden of the East: The King of Eden (movie) Decent Not too sure what the point of this movie really was. It sort of answers some questions but it seems like it was kind of made to drag the series along. The worst part is that once things start to go down, the credits roll. This serves more as a bridge from the last episode to the Paradise Lost movie.
(The) Familiar of Zero (TV) Decent There are a total of four seasons for this series, so it should be expected that most problems I had with this season, should be handled in the others. That being said, this season/show is entertaining. The episodes went by fairly quick for me, which I chalk up to decent pacing. The dubbing however, is kind of weak. It's not horrible, but it isnt very good either. In fact, the main female character, is a huge bitch and her voice just grates on my ears. At least half of her lines are her screaming and it just gets old quick. I was always relieved when she wasn't in a scene. The intro and end credit music, is lame. I didn't like either, however there is one song that plays a few times in the background during some episodes. THAT song, is really good. The main male character has a pretty refreshing design. It's somewhat, casual which I find to be rare. His fights however, are very underwhelming and end way too quick. There is also no mention of his back story. However, when this season ended it actually felt more like the end of a chapter than just..an end. Which, with 3 more seasons makes sense, however I don't typically get the same feeling from other multi-season animes. So I approve very much so. All around I would say this was a pretty decent start to a series.
(The) Familiar of Zero: Knight of the Twin Moons (TV) Decent Season 2 right off the bat fixes an issue I had with the previous. The intro song is pretty good. However, the ending song is still weak. This was subbed, so as for voice acting, the Japanese are almost always better. So unfortunately I can't speak on how the dub is, since it isn't available. Saito is finally treated with SOME respect, however he still is punished almost regularly for more or less being a male. Most of the cast from the first season only make an appearance for a total of like..4 episodes. So there are almost all new characters introduced. However, the teacher from the first season turns out to be a major badass, while the principle turns out to be worthless and even disappears during a crisis. Louise is a lot more tolerable up until the last few episodes, where the idea of honor and reputation gets way out of hand. Though, she uses void magic in one of the first few episodes, she never uses it again. Also, almost all the fights were sub par. However, Saito decides to put his big boy pants on in the last episode and goes absolutely nuts. His final fight was glorious. Though the series is still far from over, this chapter felt more or less like a season 1.5 instead of a 2. So, on to the next season we go..
Haganai (TV) Decent
Haganai NEXT (TV) Decent I screwed up by marathoning this series. For one, this season is far superior to the first in terms of enjoyment. Two, I can't remember anything that happens in the first season that is noteworthy enough to write a review about. That being said, I did find this season to have a weaker opening and closing theme than the first season. Other than that, all of the technical aspects were the same as the first season, making the comedy/situations the only thing that was different. Even though I say this season is far superior, there really are only about three instances I found to be really that good. One is the fabled roller coaster ride, the second is when a character tries her hand at being a Tsundere maid, and the third was actually just a brief interaction with a new side character. These three instances I found to be pretty funny, leaving the rest of the show to be average. One thing I have to give “Haganai” credit for in general, is there are a few instances where they break the formula. When the main character accidentally walks in on another character in the nude, she doesn't just beat the shit out of him. He freaks out, leaves and apologizes. She essentially says “it's cool, I doubt you really meant to do that”. This was such a breath of fresh air I had to applaud the scene. Sadly though, this season ends on a shitty note. It isn't really a cliff hanger, but it ends on something that would seem to be the start of a new story arc.
Heaven's Lost Property (TV) Decent This show was somewhat disappointing. It started out with some great comedy and even somewhat of a mystery. I actually did care about Ikarus and where she came from and what not...but the majority of the season is one perverted hijink after another. Which, don't get me wrong..is good for awhile but it gets stale towards the end.
Heaven's Lost Property Forte (TV) Decent A little more focus on the story..but the keyword here is LITTLE. This season seemed to focus a bit more on character development with just a tad of the story thrown in. Otherwise, it was about 13 episodes of just pummeling the same humor and jokes into the ground. My real complaint comes from actually growing fond of Ikarus and wanting to see her story play out and truthfully, hoping for some happy ending/closure for her. But she pretty much gets crapped on through the entire season.
Heaven's Lost Property: Project Pink (OAV) Decent A typical bikini episode. It's about as standard as the rest of the episodes in the series.
Highschool of the Dead: Drifters of the Dead (OAV) Decent I love this series, but this episode felt forced. The comedy felt forced, there was no action to speak of and even the fan service was a bit...odd. Even though this was probably the worst thing to come from this series, I'll forgive it since we all have those mornings where we look over and think "Jesus, what have I done?"
Is This a Zombie? (TV) Decent
Is This a Zombie? (OAV) Decent
Is This a Zombie? of the Dead (TV) Decent
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (TV) Decent The only Gundam spin off I could stand. I wasn't a big fan of most of the main characters, but I really liked their mobile suits. Most of the battles are literally the same scenes, just set against a different back drop. There are however some impressive fights between the main characters/villains. Wouldn't suggest watching this unless you're very bored.
Naruto (TV) Decent Cant speak on the second series that spawned, but this one is very mediocre. This is the only series I've ever seen that I can not stand the english actors. I typically watch all anime in english, but this was just horrid. Some of the action is very good, where as only a handful of characters are worth a damn. (Usefulness and development wise). I hate to say it, but this is one anime that you really should skip and read the manga instead. If you're hell bent on watching it, watch the subbed version
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (movie) Decent
Rosario + Vampire (TV) Decent A somewhat different approach to the "special school" settings that so many anime use. It's an interesting concept with a few major issues with common lore. Biggest one being, once bitten by a vampire..you turn into one. Not the case in this universe. (Also, that happens with in like..5 minutes of the first episode, so no that doesn't ruin anything) The action in this show is a rinse and repeat up until the last showdown. It almost gets a tad annoying how predictable the fights are. However, the comedy is far superior to most harems. As far as story is concerned, there are two main arcs. One in the middle and one towards the end (shortly after the middle one). They're decent enough, but again..this show is much more comedy than anything.
Ruin Explorers - Fam & Ihrie (OAV) Decent
Sailor Moon R Movie: Promise of the Rose Decent Sailor Moon may have been one of the first anime I watched as a kid, so there is SOME nostalgia there. You really should be a fan of the series before watching this, because it is very "meh". If you haven't seen the show or really don't like the show, Id recommend staying away. But if you used to watch the series and want a trip down memory lane, this movie isn't too shabby.
Sekirei (TV) Decent An interesting concept with a handful of good characters. The action is somewhat lack luster but entertaining enough. The comedy was ok, but the fan service was over the top. It was to the point where, if a female character tripped and fell, her breast would rip out of her clothes. Despite the almost, over barring amount of fan service I enjoyed the show, however I felt this was more of a set up season for the next. There was even one twist at the end that I never saw coming.
Shigurui: Death Frenzy (TV) Decent
Soul Eater (TV) Decent Typically I mention the opening and closing of an anime for nothing more than formailities. I find that they can add in some cases (such as getting you pumped to watch an episode), but I never find bad ones to negatively affect an anime. Case in point is Soul Eater. The first intro is awesome in terms of music and animation, yet all of the closers and the second opening suck balls. While the first intro took place, it got me excited to watch the show. The rest left me feeling “meh”. The main duo, Maka and Soul, I found to be the most boring of all the Weapon-Meister teams. Not that they were bad, but there was nothing too special about them. While Black Star was the strong/ninja character type, he was incredibly annoying with his only redeeming factor being he had the best weapon partner. Tsubaki, in my opinion, was the best character in the entire anime. She herself had little spotlight or even real importance, but everything about her was awesome. Kid and the Thompson sisters seemed to be more comedic relief as Kid was incredibly disappointing. Considering his role as well as his strength, he failed on so many fronts to be as good/useful as he really should have been. Story wise is kind of a toss. It had solid potential but seemed to disregard important facts or events. A good chunk of the series spends time with this “inner struggle” only to forsake the negative impact that was constantly hinted at. The other issue is the ending, which came out of no where and may be one of the biggest disappointments I've had in any anime. (At the time of this writing I've begun reading the manga, which goes further and is supposedly better). Music during the fight scenes is very good, while the fight scenes themselves are also very good. The only real complaint I have in terms of the fights (which can probably be explained by this being a Shounen) is that kills were never confirmed. Enemies reappeared despite being thought defeated. The idea of bravery/friendship somehow defeating strong opponents is also silly to me. Overall though, considering this is a Shounen, it's probably one of the better ones I've seen.
Spice and Wolf (TV) Decent
Strike Witches (TV) Decent It's not very often I feel like a pervert for watching an anime. (You can look at my list and see that I've watched some raunchy stuff) But Strike Witches makes me think I should find a lawyer. The entire cast is, what appears to be young girls. I believe the age range is 15-20 years old. They fly around and shoot these alien things out of the sky in a alternate WW2 universe. They do this with absolutely no pants. Go ahead and re-read what I just said. While this isn't really THAT bad, there are plenty of camel toe shots. Action and music are both very meh, while the dub is not too bad, but not too great. The entire show has a feel of "GO FRIEND POWER! YAY!". Which, if you're into that then I'm sure you'll love this show.
Strike Witches 2 (TV) Decent Pretty much just running off the fumes from the previous season. This one brings up the fact that witches can lose their power, which in turn affects the squad. Same formula as the previous, pretty much a new enemy every episode and then it gets defeated. (Though this season DOES break from that formula a bit). There is a single scene in an episode this season, that totally shocked me. I've never seen a character, in any anime, crush a bug with her ass. If that gets you interested, then go for it. This season is actually better than the first, though it's still nothing too special.
Sword Art Online (TV) Decent The first opening to this anime is pretty excellent, while both closing and the second opening animation/songs were meh. I also found the dub to be average most of the time, with a few instances being kind of bad. With that out of the way I must say that despite the score I ended up giving SAO, I did really enjoy it. There are two very vocal camps when it comes to this anime. Those that hate it and stomp on it every chance they get, and those that praise it. However, with this anime the group that praises it, really only praises the first half. For good reason as the second half is pretty horrid. The fight scenes and music through out the show (which both are pretty top notch in all honesty), stay completely consistent. So why is the second half so bad? Because it was forced to be told in too short of time. While the second arc may be good in its own right, having seven episodes or so for something that should have taken about 13, kind of really hurt it. The amount of time put aside, the second arc also pretty much removes all of the challenges/consequences of the first. While yes there is a reason that death is still horrible in this game, it doesn't hold the same weight as it did in the first arc. So yes, the second arc played heavily into my rating. However, anyone that has played an mmo and seen this, will likely have a hard time believing this story takes place inside of one. There are a few aspects that try to convince you this is a game, but really this show could almost be confused for “The Familiar of Zero”, minus the incredibly annoying lead female. This also affected the score, with the final issue being how the whole “brother complex” is handled in the second half. To be totally honest, Sword Art Online is not a bad show by any means and truthfully doesn't deserve half the hate it gets. But, it isn't exactly the greatest thing either. You'll be far better going into this one with low expectations on the game front, and just watching for the awesome fights and glorious music.
Trigun (TV) Decent Part of the "Three Shooters", along side with Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star. This series is considered by many to be the first runner up to Bebop and is often present on many fans "Top 5 anime that must be seen". I couldn't disagree more. The opening theme is actually pretty good, while the ending theme is disappointing. It's ok, better than many even, but overall just not that great. The animation that accompanies the opening is also far superior to the one that is at the end. The characters are a bit of an overall let down as well. One of the best characters ends up making an exit, while two of the supporting characters don't ever really evolve. Vash falls so very short of the likes of Spike Spiegel and Gene Starwind. His ability to be a bad ass is very prominent, though his strict no killing policy really takes away from the feel of the anime overall. The plot is pretty episodic for the majority of the series, with it really only getting interesting around episode 20 or so. At that point, it does give background on Vash and his reasoning behind his no killing policy, but with only 6 episodes or so to go, it cheats itself by waiting so long. While the show overall is enjoyable, with some solid comedy and decent action, it is in my opinion one of the most overrated anime I've seen. It came out around the same time as Bebop and Outlaw, so it of course is compared to those two. However, Outlaw Star simply crushes Trigun in every aspect possible. Trigun should indeed be seen, but it isn't "top 5 anime that should be seen" material that many suggest it to be.
Afro Samurai (TV) Good Story is nothing special, nor are the characters. What really makes this show is the carnage mixed with instrumentals by the Rza (of the Wutang Clan). It has a certain magical feel to it. However, if you don't appreciate either of those things, you wont like this show at all.
Akira (movie) Good
Black Lagoon (TV) Good I've seen a lot of CowboyBebop vs Black Lagoon discussions and I don't truthfully understand them. People don't seem to understand that Black Lagoon to action, is Baka and Test to comedy. Its main goal is to entertain in that specific field. That being said, the action is awesome as hell. Sometimes a bit over the top, but over all incredibly good. The characters are all stereotypical to this type of setting. There really isn't a lot of growth or development to speak of, nor is there really any story arch/plot. Each episode more or less deals with a different job. The dialogue is one of the best I've heard in awhile. Yes its profanity laced, but to me it feels more authentic than a lot of other anime. This is easily a must see for the action junkies and a "highly suggested" watch for the rest.
Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (TV) Good Dialogue and action are exactly the same quality as the previous season. So very good. The intro is also the same as the first, which is also very good. The main difference is that this entire season seems to focus on one of the organizations in the world of Black Lagoon. There are two main story arcs and a couple random two episode situations. The first story arc is incredibly disturbing, while the second arc is about 7 or 8 episodes long. Which makes up for most of this season. The action in this arc is very low, until the end, but they add what seems to be some character growth. However, just as it seems Rock has changed his view/feelings and Revvy is more warmhearted towards him, it ends. Despite this, I still think the series as a whole should be in any action fans library.
Clannad (TV) Good Since this show is based off a visual novel, you have to understand that some parts will be left out. Despite how important these parts may be, it is invetible. That doesn't really come in to play for this part of the series though. Music wise I was not impressed or disappointed, so I guess that can be taken as a good thing. The voice acting was actually fairly good, with a story such as the one presented in Clannad, you typically have a handful of characters who are just annoying as balls. I didn't really get that vibe from anyone, even with Greg Ayres, who I'm finding myself to dislike more and more. The biggest surprise I had from this anime, was the amount of comedy. It was actually really funny. Yes the story is a love story and there are some debateable sad scenes, but there was a consistent level of humour. One complaint I had (aside from the art direction), is the characters themselves. The cast is almost too big for what is going on. While that is contributed to the visual novel aspect and even some ground work for After Story, there are still atleast three characters that have little to no importance. These characters sort of distracted from the story and had they been removed, the story itself could have added more details from the visual novel. Another thing worth mentioning is one particular tennis scene. It is absolutely ridiculous and not in the good way. While I would say Clannad was surprisingly good, it's worth is really doubled by After Story. As a standalone, I wouldn't say this was too great of an anime otherwise.
Clannad After Story (TV) Good The number one complaint I have is the ending. The opening song to this was actually really good, and the ending sequence (while I wasn't impressed with the song) actually has a link to one of the later episodes, I found that clever. The brilliance of After Story, is actually the fact that it had an entire season devoted to laying down the plot and characters. This lets this season essentially go balls to the wall with growth and moving on with the characters adult lives. Except it doesn't take full advantage of it. The first 8 episodes or so felt more like Clannad 1.5, the episodes focused on characters that didn't really have any importance in the first place. However, once that hurdle is out of the way, After Story starts to shine. How the season focuses on different aspects of the main characters lives (something not many anime seem to do), is done very well. I did find some of the cheap attempts at pulling your emotional strings to be..well cheap. Most of the “sad” moments you could see coming a mile a way, with the exception of possibly one towards the end. Speaking of the end, the show would have been better if it ended around episode 18, the last few episodes cheapened the experience in my opinion. While I initially thought the ending was a total ass-pull, I did my own research and found that it was obviously handled better in the visual novel. Not only that, but a movie which was made before the first season actually adds to the overall anime. Though, I won't explain how here as it is spoiler material. Clannad is a pretty good series overall, but both seasons are totally dependent on each other.
Claymore (TV) Good The intro and outro I found boring and I thought the music for the most part was incredibly inappropriate. There were times where an intense fight is going on and the music that plays is some weird ass..like..fucking old shitty music. Which is even worse when compared to the moments that amazing adrenaline pumping music plays. It made me scratch my head. Anyways, the story has an anime only ending and it's pretty bad (Not as bad as “Soul Eater”, but close). You can actually tell where the anime starts making shit up in “Claymore” as apposed to some other adaptations that go their own way. However, aside from those two issues I frigging loved “Claymore”. It's dark as shit, violent as fuck and has strong female characters (something anime typically lacks). The character designs themselves are questionable, I wasn't exactly impressed but I'm not that big of a stickler about that stuff. The story takes a bit to actually become clear, a good chunk of the show (probably like..9 or 10 episodes) is spent kind of just going with the flow. About episode 3 or 4 it all of a sudden switched focus on another character for about 5 episodes. It isn't until almost all the way through these episodes, that it becomes clear that this batch was a flashback/back story set. Once these are done, the main purpose of Claire and her mission becomes a focus. I rather enjoyed the cast..aside from one character, Raki. He isn't present for the entire show thank God, but when he is, it's pretty annoying. I also really liked how nothing was really off limits. Characters were killed off in battles, like..semi-important characters which normally have plot armor. I really appreciate this kind of story telling. While far from perfect, “Claymore” has a unique setting and cast and has enough blood shed to keep anyone’s interest.
Crest of the Stars (TV) Good
Date A Live (TV) Good The intro theme and animation is actually pretty neat, while the ending is meh. The story mechanics are a weird combination of a like..dating sim, mixed with a harem, sprinkled with some mech-like fighting, baked with a loose over arching story line, and cooled with some really good comedy. It's really kind of a Frankenstein in retrospect, but damn does it work well. Sadly, the fight scenes themselves are a little underwhelming, with a whole group of characters being next to worthless (including my favorite character). In addition, it isn't until the last handful of episodes where a bigger picture story line comes in to play. This of course means that it ends with out really wrapping anything up and more or less leaves you thirsting for the next season. Regardless, “Date A Live” is seriously fun. The comedy is very good, though it falls just a tad short of “High school DxD” and thus comes nowhere near as funny as “Baka and Test”. In either case, the dub is solid and the cast in general is actually very good. There wasn't a single character that I disliked, which is very rare. Despite the OVA however, the ending is very unsatisfying. Though it should be noted that the OVA is exceptionally funny, it serves more as a comedy episode than a continuation of the end. That being said, I'm quite excited for season 2.
Demon King Daimao (TV) Good This little gem is a real piece of work. Everything about it is fantastic up until episode six. From there, I originally thought it went way of "FLCL" and turned to nothing but random, fast paced action. It took me three watches before I finally began to understand it. Understanding the second half has made the series a much stronger anime overall. I'm still a tad hazy on all the details, but all in all this is a very good watch.
(The) Devil is a Part-Timer! (TV) Good The opening animation is average, but the very beginning of the music itself is super cool. Then it turns out to be kind of lame. However, the second closing animation and theme is pretty solid. I didn't really have an issue with any of the characters here, which is likely due to the stories premise. The devil gets transported to the current era and becomes a part time worker at a Mc. Donalds knock off. There is the hero that followed him to kill him, there is the devils left hand man that handles the finances and there is eventually another demon character that is a sort of shut in. The characters themselves, the events that take place, and even to a degree the dialogue is funny. But there is indeed something missing that prevented this show from being even greater. While the inconclusive ending didn't really help it, it comes down to the actual script. I'm not in this business, so I feel like my opinions on dubbing or music really holds little to no weight. However, I will say that as a fan, my opinions probably will help other fans in deciding if they want to watch something. That being said, the script in “The Devil is a Part Timer” held it back from achieving greater heights. There are a lot of moments that are in general pretty funny AND have some solid dialogue. For an example, the hero is trying to convince this girl not to like the devil (she doesn't know he is the devil). “Let me tell you why this guy sucks” is her opening statement. I find that humorous. However, there are many times where this type of dialogue occurs and really should have been more mature (or maybe less mature?) in the sense of using more vulgar insults or words. I don't expect every anime to resemble “Black Lagoon”, but you're lying to yourself if you say that you don't appreciate that kind of language from time to time. “The Devil is a Part Timer” is one of those anime that could have been a lot better, just by using dirtier language. Sad but true.
Eden of the East: Paradise Lost (movie) Good The final chapter in the series. This movie answers a lot of questions that were left open from the season and the first movie. Though, it still leaves some questions open as well. The two biggest gripes I have are that..1) the movie switched to the Eden of the East group too often. It didn't need to switch from the main character nearly as often as they did. 2) the ending was some what bitter sweet..it implied a specific ending HOWEVER...ALL the way PAST the credits, there is a scene that pretty much flips that upside down. That scene implies something totally different...overall though, this movie ended the series on a more definitive note than the final episode.
Elfen Lied (TV) Good This show starts with an amazing opening theme. Lillium is simply beautiful, while the scenes that accompany it are also most impressive. The same can not be said for the ending theme, which sounds incredibly out of place. Another slight issue as far as the music goes, is that Lillium actually serves as a plot device. This actually causes it to be used more often than it really should and risks becoming annoying. Luckily there are different variations that are used, this includes a music box (an instrumental), and a monk/choir version, as well as a brief humming of the melody by one of the main characters. In terms of story it's pretty sad, though I believe the undertone message is far more powerful than the story/conclusion of Lucy and Kota. That being said there are certainly a fair share of plot holes and inconsistencies, though none of them were major enough to affect my enjoyment level. In regards to the dub, its pretty weak and is sitting just on the border of bad. Most of the support characters are fairly good, but Lucy and Nana are pretty rough. Nyu also sits on the border of annoying, though when her dialogue opens up more, shes kind of cute. Kota starts out as a weak act as well, though he does come together towards the end. The action is crazy graphic. Limbs get chopped off, bodies get split in half, gallons of blood sprays everywhere. The show looks pretty dang good, except for the “Vectors”. These are invisible hands that the Diclonious use to butcher anyone they choose. These started out invisible to the viewer, which I thought really added to the mystery and allowed for more of a viewer/character relation. You could literally feel the same fear due to having no idea what was happening or how it happened. Then they decided to animate them, with a cgi type of style, for the viewers to see and it not only robs you of that feeling, but also really makes the animation of the show as a whole, a tad weaker. While I can't rate this show a “Masterpiece”, as it has a fair share of flaws and a barely tolerable dub, it does sit on a pedestal as one of my top 5 favorite anime.
Elfen Lied (OAV) Good
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (movie) Good This movie covers the first like, ten episodes or so of the anime. Everything has been more or less updated visually, so it looks pretty damn good. Most (if not all) of the original cast is back and sound pretty good to me. Being this is a movie and not in episode format, some stuff has been cut out. Though the Rebuild movies have been called “An alternate telling of the story”, which is something the fans can't seem to wrap their fucking heads around. This movie in particular is pretty much a copy and paste of the original story, so this one doesn't get as much shit as the other movies. Personally I enjoy the Rebuilds and while this one isn't the most impressive, it is pretty good.
(The) Familiar of Zero F (TV) Good The final chapter of our story. This season has a mediocre intro song and I simply did not like the ending song. So, there you have it, four seasons deep and not one good closing song. This season actually dedicates more than just one or two episodes to a problem, unlike the previous seasons. That being said, there are still plenty of quick wrap ups that hurt more than help the story. The last few episodes focus on an enemy that was never mentioned before, but is some how more powerful than the previous enemies (which one particular enemy from season one is STILL never brought up again). After the battle, the series ends on a high note, which unlike the previous two seasons, did not feel forced. It came off naturally, which is most likely due to how the events that took place before hand, were handled. Ending aside, this season brings up a handful of, well..relatively important actions/situations/circumstances, all which are ignored immediately after being brought up. As long as you don't go in expecting above average writing, and are able to overlook the many moments of complete disregard the story brings forth, you should enjoy this show.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (movie) Good The only solid continuation of FF7 that I have experienced (aside from the Crisis Core prequel). The story is somewhat, out of left field. They also really butchered Cloud's personality in this. Tifa's voice actor just doesn't fit the part either. If you watch it, watch the bluray version with the extra scenes. They actually help clean up and explain the story a bit better.
Full Metal Panic! (TV) Good First off, the lead female character may just be my favorite female character design. She didn't have outlandish boobs or crazy hair styles (despite the odd color) but she was fairly attractive and seemed..normal for anime standards. This series also had some pretty good action. I don't typically like mecha series too much, due to usually boring action sequences. This however mixed both mecha and human action pretty well. As for character backstory, it doesn't really touch on most of the characters. Hell, it doesn't even really explain where the main villain came from. It also doesn't really give you a clear cut goal. The first half of the series focuses on a protection mission, where as the second half kind of drifts off. That being said, the story (though somewhat simplistic and even cliche) is still enjoyable. There is comedy in this as well, though I find it to be somewhat frustrating at times but then hilarious at others. The main character, being a mercenary, has no real experiences out side of combat. This makes everyday interactions totally foreign to him, which can make for some funny moments. It can also be incredibly irritating, like..just use common sense. I say common sense because as a mercenary he certainly must have observed social interactions, thus he couldn't have been totally oblivious to them. All in all, this was a solid watch.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TV) Good This entry to the series did just about everything right, it even fixed some issues I had with the first season. First thing, the action..damn is it good. It is much darker and brutal than the other two seasons, which I personally like. Comedy, some what of a step down. It may contain even less humor than the first season, there's still some present..but not a whole lot. Which doesn't bother me too much because the story vamps up the drama and character development. One of the main characters squad mates actually gets some of her back story touched on, while the main female character still has no past apparently. Either way, there are some new characters introduced that are pretty much just used as plot devices. The main villain is so whacked out it's kind of impressive. I actually really enjoyed him, though I thought the end game for him was weak. This entry is something you really need to see the first season in order to enjoy. It goes over some of the characters from that season, that didn't get much explanation previously. The ending was some what weak, as was the lack of growth between the two main characters..(there is SOME relationship development, but the triangle that's present is just kind of silly)..Another gripe and really..the biggest gripe..is the length. At 13 episodes, it does so much more than its predecessor, which had 24 episodes. Yet, it felt like it really needed just as many. There is a whole section that is just ignored, that really shouldn't have been. Overall, this is a damn good show and the series itself is pretty solid.
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (TV) Good This set actually has nothing to do with the main story. Each episode is more or less a mini story/adventure that shows off the everyday hijinks of our main characters. Comedy is much higher in these episodes than in the 1st season. Though, because of this the action/drama are also much lower. There is still action in this, just nothing as intense as the first season. Regardless, there are some absolutely hilarious scenes and this season almost made it to the "very good" ranking. My biggest gripe is actually different than with the previous season. The lead characters military awkwardness is taken to much higher levels, which is what achieves some of the funniest scenes I've watched in awhile. However, the lead female seems to be much more of a bitch. They still have some moments of relationship development, but its very far and in between.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (OAV) Good A few episodes covering the back stories of a couple characters. Entertaining enough, though I don't believe any of them are really that necessary or vital to the series.
(The) Future Diary (TV) Good Reviewing this anime has proven to be a bit harder than many others. This series has two openers and two closers. The first opener is awesome with great music and animation. The second opener falls flat in both categories. The first closer was pretty decent as well with some solid animation. The second closer though, sweet lord. The theme used in the second closer is absolutely amazing, it's possibly one of my favorite. Animation wise it's acceptable, not as good as the first opener, but nothing too terrible. The music through out the series is actually very good. I don't typically speak on such a subject as I find it typically irrelevant, but it should be noted here. The music really added to the suspense of some scenes. The story is somewhat of a mess. It starts out interesting enough and as the show progresses, it becomes more and more entangling. Sadly, towards the end the show decides to essentially throw out what it had going for it and go in a totally different direction. Granted, doing this did in fact drop some massive bombshells that I didn't expect. This however ended up hurting the series overall, as the story became kind of silly, with an ending more or less weak as fuck. Granted the OVA does somewhat fix this issue, but overall it still falls short. The characters in the show are more or less limited to Yuki and Yuno, with some support characters, and a “monster of the week” type of enemies. With the exception of one or two (and I use that second one very loosely) diary users, the majority just don't get a lot of growth or as much detail as the main characters. This could easily have been remedied by lowering the amount of users (I believe this will be referred to as the Angel Beat syndrome). Yuki's character was pretty annoying. While he eventually grew up and found his resolve, he loses it almost immediately. Also, I must absolutely stress the open mindedness needed for Yuno. Many people paint her solely as the over-the-top-physco-stalker, when it turns out to be much more deep than just that. Also, there were little shorts at the end of each episode that started off good. They explained how each user got their diary, though it evolved in to nothing more than comedic relief towards the end. The dub was pretty decent, I had no real complaints in that department. Animation/action is a mixed bag on this one. There are times where the animation does look pretty good, but then times where it looks very average/on the border of bad. The action is very often incorrectly identified. Many claim it becomes a circus act of eventually trying to one up itself with graphic violence. This is wrong. While there were some parts I had to question the need for, by in large part it stayed pretty consistent. The action vamped up towards the end, but it also became somewhat silly as the plot changed. Very few anime really grab me to the point of making me marathon an entire 26+1 OVA series. I enjoyed myself quite a bit and recommend watching this. It's just a shame the plot decided to take a turn for the worst, while the ending (even with the OVA) wasn't the most satisfying
Ga-Rei-Zero (TV) Good I wish I could come up with my own clever way of summing this series up, but I can't. I pretty much have to agree that the best way to describe “Ga-Rei-Zero” is “not what you expect”. I rather enjoyed the closing theme and was indifferent on the opening. Now, this series took a huge risk in my opinion. Normally I try to obey the “3 episode minimum” before dropping an anime, but the first episode here was so bad I was hesitant to continue. I'm likely the only person that thinks this, but everything about the first episode was horrendous. The characters and action were incredibly sub-par while the setting was average at best. Luckily, I stuck it out and things took a 90 degree turn and eventually did the full 180. I find myself to be a fan of the Quentin Tarantino style of story telling. So when the end is the beginning, the beginning is the end and everything else is cross stitched, I find myself fairly giddy. This immediately made this a much more enjoyable experience. While the “real” cast is only slightly more interesting than those in the first episode, the quality comes from the two main characters. Kagura and Yomi, who are circumstantial sisters have the most dynamic relationships and interactions with the rest of the cast. While the story is more or less about these two individuals, I found it to be an incredibly good example of an individual losing everything. The ending is not happy, nor do you really find yourself feeling like any of the characters accomplished something good. The fight scenes are average at best and the “villain” is extremely throw away. The dub was solid, with Alexis Tipton playing a role I don't believe I've ever seen her in. It was a nice change of pace honestly. Since this anime is a prequel to the manga, I can't say how the series as a whole is. However the anime is slightly above average in my opinion. The crowning accomplishment of the anime is that it is simply not a happy story. Even with the end, trying to put a bitter sweet spin on it, you know it wont end happily (unless the manga has some sort of ass-pull).
(The) Garden of Words (movie) Good If I had to give a simple description of this movie, I'd probably go with "Visual Intercourse". It really does look absolutely amazing. Unfortunately that is really the only positive thing I have to say about this movie. It's not bad, but it isn't very good either. Granted, it only runs about 30 minutes, so it's more like an episode of an anime than an actual movie. I found one particular scene to be slightly over dramatic, though in a sense I felt bad for the main character. The issue he runs into could have been prevented by the lead female, but she lets things go on and well..what happens in this movie is what would happen and does happen in real life. The music sets the tone for the entire film, and the dub is pretty solid (it felt natural, not like some bum off the street was trying his hand at voice acting). For as long as this movie is and how fucking amazing it looks, it is worth at least one viewing.
Ghost in the Shell (movie) Good I sat down and re-watched this movie in its 2.0 form. It had been so long since I saw the original that I needed a refresher. First off, I wont go too into detail about the comparison of the 2.0 to the original. I only did a minor quick comparison, but the two changes that really stuck out were the cgi scene of the Major jumping off the building in the beginning, and the sound of a gunshot shortly after this scene. Obviously the sound was much improved in the 2.0. However, the cgi rendering of that scene (as well as another later in the movie) just looked way out of place. I really disliked it. In regards to the movie itself, it's pretty dang good. The voice acting is, for the most part, pretty dang solid. The plot on the other hand, is kind of loosely kept together. While the plot line is...well, sort of explained. The undertone/main message comes at you more as a "what makes you human?" type thing. When I first saw this movie, I was young so a lot of that went way over my head, but now that I'm older I was able to grasp it a bit better. A lot of valid points are made through out the movie, so I guess it would really come down to personal opinion/beliefs. On the action side, it's kind of impressive really. It isn't too "in your face" but each scene incorporates some fairly crazy stuff. Best example is a guy with an smg, firing what appeared to be .50 cal rounds. On the music side, it's acceptable. I wasn't wow'd by anything, but I never felt it was ever inappropriate or out of place. While I believe this movie is excellent and it's more or less universally accepted as a classic, I don't know that a lot of new comers will appreciate it quite as much. Even with the 2.0, parts are still outdated, SOME clunky va, a mediocre plot that's really only used to push a deeper question, and some incredibly odd choice in CG scenes.
(The) Girl Who Leapt Through Time (movie) Good There were many times I thought I was watching a Hayao Miyazaki film, but there were also times I was reminded I wasn't. This may sound like it's bad, but it really is a good thing. First off, the musical score is top notch. It isn't anything that stands out, but it fits the movie perfectly. The three main characters were all really well done, where the side characters more or less felt like they were just situational tools/elements. So I guess, that means they were done well too. You can read the plot online so I wont go over it being creative or whatever, but it was interesting enough to keep my attention. There is comedy mixed in with drama, but it's done exceptionally well. Two complaints, first is that there are two different scenes that go on for much longer than they needed to. They're towards the end and I guess the idea was to really establish the scope/severity of the situation that was occurring. But they over did it on both those scenes. While the second complaint is actually about the ending. Though I understand it/the message behind it..I disliked it and wish it ended differently. All in all, this is a really solid movie...I enjoyed it so much so, that I place it higher than "Kiki's Delivery Service", which is one of my favorite Ghibli movies.
Girls und Panzer (TV) Good When consulting my most trusted anime adviser, I was told that “Girls und Panzer” was exceptionally good for no reason other than it is exactly what it should be. To explain that better, “Black Lagoon” is another anime that is exactly what it should be. It is violent, vulgar, and filled with bad-assness. “Girls und Panzer” is full of girls duking it out in tanks. This means it's light hearted, sort of cute, and has some impressive battle scenes. I would consider the opening and ending themes and animations to be totally throw away, but that doesn't affect this anime in the slightest. As for the dub, while it isn't “Funimation” quality, it isn't horrible. Though “Sentai” does seem to either hit or miss most of their dubs, I'd say this one was in the middle. Certain characters were pretty poorly voiced, while others were just fine. One thing I was slightly disappointed in, was the fact that while each of the school teams represent a country, really the only two that had an accent to represent this, was the U.S and England schools. The Russian school had two characters that went back and forth on this, they would sound Russian for one moment, then they sounded just like every other character the next moment. This is one area where I have to say “Infinite Stratos” absolutely shined. Speaking of the characters, The five main characters were all decent enough. No back stories were given so to speak, though it worked out for the best in this anime. Had they tried to include such a thing, it really would have destroyed the pacing. To give a quick run down, you have the big hearted/shy commander who's sister is a top tank commander, you have the delicate flower girl who gets inspired by manning the cannon, there's the cock chaser who has never had a boyfriend but mans the radio, there's the monotone smart-ass who happens to be a literal genius as well as the driver, and then there's the socially awkward girl who has a huge lady boner for all tank related things and performs the recon missions. If you read that list, and then pick the anime up starting at like..episode 7, you wont be lost on who's who. The tank battle scenes are quite fun and even have a few neat moments of a first person view, though I wish this had been used a bit more. Also, while realistic limitations and such are obviously not present, I did find two things incredibly annoying. The first is that many of the schools the girls verse out number them by at least 2-1. Why this is fair is absolutely beyond me (which, knowing that, why these teams just didn't throw their extra units right at them is also beyond me). The second thing, towards the final match the girls round up two extra tanks but are still totally outnumbered. Before they even consider finding these two extra tanks, they're stressing out about how outnumbered they are. However, at no point does anyone think to ask any of the other schools (who the main character has befriended), to borrow a few of their tanks. This to me is also worthy of face palming. Aside from these two issues, I really did enjoy “Girls und Panzer” and would consider it worth anyone's time. If nothing else, put it on in the background.
Grave of the Fireflies (movie) Good
Gunslinger Girl (TV) Good I disliked the opening theme but really liked the ending theme. As for the animations for each, I could take or leave them. They were nothing too special, but not horrible either. There is no overarching story line here, it's just 13 episodes or so, each dealing with one of the girls. There are about 5 girls, each gets about two episodes with the last few episodes having them all work together. While the action in this anime is actually some of the best "girls with guns" I've seen, it's somewhat far and in between. The primary focus is really on the moral dilemma the handlers face when training their girls. One thing I have to state is that Luci Christian may be one of my favorite female voice actors. She plays Rico (who turned out to be one of my favorite characters in this anime), however the character is such a drastic change from what she normally plays that I was actually really surprised how good she sounded. I recommend this show, but you have to go in expecting it to be a bit depressing and more drama than action (but when the action rolls, it's pretty sweet).
Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino (TV) Good
Howl's Moving Castle (movie) Good
Infinite Stratos (TV) Good The special schools that so many animes take place in, get to be a bit old. The main difference with this one, is there is only one guy in it. There is some surprisingly good action scenes in this series as well as some solid humor. Two very large issues, which hopefully will be addressed in the new season.. The main characters "childhood friend" is like..every other harems "child hood friend"..except on roids. I can't say for sure, but she may be the biggest bitch I've seen in an anime. The 2nd issue, the season ends right as it takes off. The ending literally left me feeling used and ashamed.
Infinite Stratos Encore: Koi ni Kogareru Rokujūsō (OAV) Good An alright episode, it eases the pain that is the ending of the season. But only barely.
InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler Good Far better than any of the other movies. Why? Because Sesshomaru plays a large role in it.
Jormungand (TV) Good The opening and ending animations were decent enough, with the music also being solid. The dub was nothing too special but that could be seen as a good thing. The action on the other hand is a bit of a mixed bag. For the most part, it plays as a more believable “Black Lagoon”, as in the action isn't all special flips and hollywood-ish. However, it does throw some of these things in and tries making them still fit with the feel of the universe. Pretty much what I'm saying is after the first episode of “Black Lagoon” you know what to expect and it never deviates or tries to be something else. “Jormungand” on the other hand, plays pretty much by the rules up until it decides that the realism isn't what it really wants to focus on, so hey lets have a guy in the back of a car pull up, lean out the window and instant kill another sniper. Despite these instances, “Jormungand” is pretty fun. Koko is indeed crazy as fuck, but she is incredibly entertaining. While each of the members more or less get their own episode going over who they are and their past, none of them really stand out to me as special. I did find myself enjoying the fact that the one female soldier in Koko's crew, wasnt a slim little flower. She has some serious muscles and I found it refreshing that there wasn't just some 90 pound chick running around kicking all these big dudes in the ass. While the dialogue in “Jormungand” is pretty good, it doesn't match “Black Lagoon”. The only reason I continue to make the comparison is because they have more similarities than other shooters, and even have a cross over manga chapter. I do have to say that “Jormungand” is a pretty entertaining and solid watch.
Kill la Kill (TV) Good The opening and closing themes were ok, as were the animations. I found the second opening animation to be pretty neat but otherwise nothing too noteworthy. There was a massive amount of hype surrounding KLK when it first came out (and there still seems to be a decent amount even now). Many were calling it the “savior of anime” which, I wasn't aware anime needed saving. I have yet to watch “Gurren Lagann”, but many have compared KLK to both “Fooly Cooly” and “Gurren Lagann”. I would say that KLK is for sure as off the wall as “Fooly Cooly”, though which anime is better..well that is all a matter of opinion. At the time of my viewing the dub was not available, so whether that turns out to be good or not is anyone's guess. Music wise the soundtrack is pretty dang good, I enjoyed it quite a bit. In terms of comparison to the music in “Fooly Cooly” however, it falls short. Action is incredibly off the wall, I found it incredibly entertaining. It reminded me of “DragonBall Z” in a sense, all of the power ups and the complete destruction of the surrounding enviroment. However, I cant say the action was animated well in the sense that while it was fun to watch, the fights from something like “Sword of the Stranger” are far superior looking and feeling. The cast was decent, but the supporting cast is where KLK really shined. I think what it really comes down to is this question, “Is Kill la Kill good?”. The answer? “Sort of..” It does so many things that more or less show or remind you why anime can be fun or great, or both even. The craziness that only works in anime. From the plot to characters, outfits and so on. It does everything well, but nothing exceptional. In a sense, KLK is like a montage of aspects that make anime..well anime. While I didn't focus on the same criteria that I do in other reviews, I feel that KLK should be watched at least once if for no other reason just to see so many different aspects executed in one show.
King of Thorn (movie) Good
Kokoro Connect (TV) Good There's something to be said about a dub where Greg Ayres sounds the best. Something along the lines of “it's bad”. I'm no purest, but I dislike having my ears bleed when watching an anime. Along side the bad dub is a mediocre intro, outro, and average music. So with little going for it in the “detail” section, you would assume that the creators must have focused a lot into the characters/story. Well, kind of. Each character has some sort of emotional issue/damage that is eventually addressed. These issues are fairly well thought out, though are nothing too terribly impressive. I will say that they are far more impressive/convincing than any of the character issues in Evangelion. So with a somewhat decent character cast, the story is the last real aspect to shine. It doesn't. It could have and honestly should have, however it doesn't reach its potential. I would chalk this up to the low amount of episodes, though..I don't really know how many episodes more would be needed to have made this anime better. The whole paranormal issues that happen are pretty neat and get handled really well. Though what the show totally ignores, is the who, why and how of these occurrences. Who is heart seed? Why is he doing this? What is this organization? None of these questions are answered. I didn't lose my time watching “Kokoro Connect” and there were some funny moments. The most shocking involving masturbation. Unfortunately due to fairly bad dub, the lack of addressing important questions in regard to the story, and a unsatisfying end I don't recommend this being a high priority to anyone.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV) Good While Evangelion is often considered to be one of the “Top 5 Legendary Anime”, I have to disagree with the reasoning it is always listed. The opening theme is indeed very good, while I didn't care for the ending theme. Animation is very wonky and that isn't limited to the opening or closing. The entire anime suffers from mediocre animation. There is of course a reason behind that, the entire budget being spent on the mech scenes and all. Though, that fact doesn't just eliminate the existince of the poor animation and incredibly long stills. The characters are often praised as they “have great depth and large physcological issues”. The second part of that is true, while the depth part is really a stretch. Part of the experience of Evangelion is learning about the characters issues, so I wont spoil them here. However, it comes down to Asuka being the only one who I can believe to be scarred. Shinji, really comes down to self pity. While the other characters also have their own issues, the main cast comes down to Asuka, Shinji, and Rei. None of which I found myself liking too much. The action scenes are very good, especially for the time the anime came out. It is also often said that the last two episodes are a mind fuck. This is only true if you accept the End of Evangelion movie, to be the intended end (which is highly debateable when considering why the movie was made in the first place). Overall, I agree that the anime in general was ahead of its time, which I feel gives it a valid seat on the “Five Legendary Anime”. Though I don't agree with the circle-jerk of praise it gets based on individual qualities.
Ninja Nonsense (TV) Good The opening theme is really cheery. Not in a j-pop sense, but almost like a theme to a kids show. I really wasn't a fan. The ending theme however, also had a cheery spin to it though it was kind of catchy. The art style is somewhat strange. I'm not sure if its due to the age of the show, or if its just the style in general. The fact that the main girls looked like they were about 10 when they were around 16 or so, is kind of odd. There are a lot of sexual jokes with the girls at the butt of the jokes, which with that art style made me think multiple times that I may need a lawyer. On the topic of the sexual jokes, this is one of the first shows I've seen with a lesbian love interest. The feelings are one way, but it was actually kind of refreshing to see something different. One of the best lines in the entire show is “She's my more than friends but less than lover”. Multiple times through out my viewing I found myself comparing this to “Baka and Test”, which to me is one of the greatest comedies out. While Ninja Nonsense falls short on many fronts, it does have excellent humor. There is no plot to speak of, though there are a handful of witty twists and commentaries through out the show, especially at the end, that actually address plot and animation issues. The voice acting wasn't too bad either for the most part. I found Shinobu to be a bit annoying, with an ultra cheery naïve sound, but otherwise I had no real complaints. I do have some real praise for this show and I highly recommend it, though it doesn't have enough qualities to warrant a higher score. In terms of comedy, it may be the closest thing to “Baka and Test” that I've currently seen, in terms of making me laugh. Though the lack of a story, somewhat weak opening theme, and a questionable art style didn't help it.
Ninja Scroll (movie) Good
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (TV) Good Sometimes I say an anime should use foul language more, but this is the first time I've seen anything where I actually became annoyed by it. I've seen “Black Lagoon” and love it, but “Panty and Stocking” makes “Black Lagoon” look like an episode of “Sesame Street”. The opening song and animation is totally throw away to me, while the ending is the exact opposite. I could take or leave the ending animation, but the song is so good it found its way onto my iPod. In fact, MOST of the music in this anime is so excellent, I found myself downloading multiple songs from the show. The animation on the other hand is like a shitty LSD trip. It's pretty piss poor and crappy looking, though that is more or less the point. I'm fairly certain the whole point of this anime was to be marketed towards the “South Park” fan base. Not only does the art direction somewhat resemble “South Park”, but the level of profanity not only competes, it out right destroys anything I've ever seen in an episode of the Comedy Central flagship. The problem with this is that it completely cushions the impact some of the funnier insults have, because you've heard just about 80% of it in the last ten seconds. The characters were mostly done in a tongue in cheek fashion. The blonde super skank angel, the red head nerd that turns out to be hot, the black priest that happens to like bondage and kids. The only one that didn't make much sense was Stocking, a goth loli that liked candy. I may just have missed that joke but, it was the only one I thought didn't fit. The entire thing, up until the last two episodes, is episodic as hell. The scenarios are all crazy as shit and everything is primarily fast paced. I have a hard time recommending “Panty and Stocking” because it's so exhausting to watch. There are indeed some really funny lines and the music is incredibly top notch, but it's more or less “South Park” on a mixture of drugs and cranked up to 11.
Problem children are coming from another world, aren't they? (TV) Good A breath of fresh air. The male lead in this was arguably over powered (though the series never really goes over his "gift") but I find that refreshing. Most male leads are either bitches, or average, or have a deep power that only gets tapped in extreme situations. Not this guy, he doesn't play games. The story seems very familiar and could be an adaptation from another series, I just can't put my finger on it though. Despite that, it is a decent enough story with average animation/character designs. (I really disliked the main guys headphones) The music isn't anything special either, but this show mixes comedy with action very well. With 10 episodes it doesn't go too in depth with back stories or anything, which is possibly the biggest down fall. Sadly, it doesn't appear as though a season 2 is even being considered which is very unfortunate. Still, this show was entertaining enough.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (TV) Good I'm going to skip over mentioning any of the technical aspects of this show to focus on the real issue. If you really want to know what I thought of all the little things, I'd say they were overall average at best. Now, the main focus of this review is to try and escape the giant circle jerk that surrounds this anime. While I rated it "GOOD", with the scoring system I use "Madoka Magica" just barely made that ranking. The characters are not anything special, which may in fact be part of why people seem to worship this show. The term "deconstruction of the magical genre" is a statement people like to throw around when justifying their unhealthy love for this anime. While I agree, in this regard it IS actually pretty good. However that is the only aspect it excels in. While the characters are young (like 8th grade I'd say) the level of stupidity and naivety that they display is infuriating. It's reasonable to expect some of their behavior and thinking due to their age, however the CONSTANT disregard for warnings not to become a magical girl, DESPITE LEARNING OF THE UGLY TRUTH AND SEEING THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE, two of the main characters STILL play with the notion. It is absolutely infuriating and I honestly can not believe in good faith that any 8th grade girl would follow this portrayal. On the other side of the coin, two other girls form a plan to defeat a strong enemy, but something happens that requires their immediate attention. At this point, they have the ability to solve this issue with no damage or negative consequences in the grand scheme. THEY DON'T DO IT. Instead they essentially piss away their plan/alliance, one that is made out to be important due to the fact that this enemy they're facing is so powerful. Of course you can guess what happens, the issue they don't handle comes back and fucks everything up. Essentially making the final situation out to be more dire than it could/should have been. This then brings me to the next statement I see thrown around a lot, "amazing writing". Again, no. If the character writing/development is "amazing writing", I can't imagine what is considered "bad writing". Also there is the issue of how the climax is handled. I once heard someone say "Good writing doesn't require handicaps to make a strong conflict". I feel as though the final battle was intentionally hampered to make it seem more impossible than it really should have been. However, I would say the mechanic of what a magical girl really is and what they're used for, isn't necessarily bad or even poor. It's just that one aspect of a show can't constitute "amazing writing". Hell "Steins;Gate" and "Pyscho-Pass" are the only two anime I've seen where the writing is on a level comparable to the term "phenomenal". "Madoka Magica" is simply no where near as intricate or overall as well done. This brings me to my final thought, "Madoka Magica" is one of those anime that has a rabid and infuriating circle jerk of a following. The anime itself isn't bad, but it is absolutely no where near as good as so many people try to say it is. If I had to really guess as to why so many people like it or claim to, it would be because it's a dark/mature themed magical girl story. The witches labyrinth looks like a bad acid trip, the witches themselves look like something a drunk preschooler might make in art class, and with the exception of the very last fight scene none of them were impressive. I'm not sorry to say this, "Madoka Magica" is not some masterpiece or brilliant work of art. The cold truth is that it's just barely good, bordering on mediocrity. I think I would recommend passing this one up, unless you're afraid of being ridiculed by the atrocious fanbase for not watching it.
Rosario + Vampire Capu2 (TV) Good Much like the first season, the action is a bit lack luster. The final arc is caused for an absolutely aggravating reason, by an absolutely aggravating side character (with some help from an absolutely aggravating, new main character). Despite that, this season is a lot funnier. Which is saying a lot because the first season is pretty humorous. This season also has some damn good music. The intro song/animation is top notch, while there is an episode where two characters sing. The actresses that did the english voices, were actually pretty damn good. Usually you either get actresses that cant sing, or they don't even attempt to dub it. All in all, this season is better than the first one, but is appreciated more when accompanied by the first season.
Samurai Champloo (TV) Good A tamer yet more complete version of the "Afro Samurai" build. This series has solid characters and a decent story, mixed with action as well as a hiphop soundtrack. Doesn't contain even a third of the gore Afro does, but does everything else better.
Sekirei: Pure Engagement (TV) Good Much better than the first season. Most of the cast has been established in season 1, which allowed this season to focus on development of characters and story. The cliff ender..ending, implies a 3rd season. Hopefully they make it
Spice and Wolf II (TV) Good
Tenchi in Tokyo (TV) Good The black sheep of the "Tenchi Family" (well...before OAV 3 and all those spin offs came out). Totally different character backgrounds, plot and even new love interest. In its own regard, it's an alright show. Action in this happens to be the most modest and truthfully boring of the three, but I can think of much worse shows.
Tenchi Muyo Movie 1: Tenchi in Love Good Takes place after the events of "Tenchi Universe". The movie really feels like an adventure, something I don't often find in series based movies. The comedy is typical Tenchi and the gang style, so it's pretty good. Action doesn't really take place till the end. I believe there is also one short action scene towards the middle. (This of course isn't including any Ryoko vs Ayeka battles). The movie does shed some light on Tenchi's mother, as well as his father in the younger days. All in all a good watch.
Tenchi Muyo Movie 2: Daughter of Darkness Good This movie blends elements from different universes. Mihoshi's partner, Kiyone, is in this along with Tenchi being able to use the Light Hawk Sword. Needless to say it isn't canon to any of the series. Yet, it remains true to the formula. It plays out more or less like an extra long episode. Action doesn't really take place till the end, aside from some of the girls going toe to toe over Tenchi. It's just as funny and enjoyable as all of the other series. This movie even has a moment for the TenchiXRyoko people.
+Tic Elder Sister (ONA) Good The opening theme to this mini-series was mediocre at best, but the animation that went with it was pretty funny. That opening animation really sets the pace for this mini-series as a whole. The ending theme on the other hand is completely forgettable. The art style was actually pretty decent, switching between SD form and standard with, what I thought to be, pretty decent character designs. There's no dub (to my knowledge) and with the speed of pacing, you better be a fast reader. The show is broken up into about twelve "episodes" about 3 minutes long, so don't expect any sort of story telling or character growth. This mini-series is strictly comedy and it does a pretty decent job at it. I wasn't ever brought to my knees from the humor, like in Baka and Test, but it had some extremely funny parts. Had this mini-series been able to include more of these parts, it could very well have made it to the ranks of Baka and Test. Though overall, 30 minutes to see the whole thing is a drop in the bucket for most anime fans. That being said, this little gem should for sure be watched at least once.
Trigun: Badlands Rumble (movie) Good I'm not the biggest fan of the Trigun series. I found it to be funny and somewhat entertaining, but nothing too terribly special. The same holds true for this movie. It really just plays out like a longer episode which honestly could be seen as a good thing. The art/animation is a massive improvement over the original series, so it looks quite nice. The dub was acceptable and everything in general was pretty much the same. While fans of the series will certainly like this, the fact that it really doesn't do anything different hurt it for me. The whole Vash not killing anyone (which in turn causes easily avoidable issues to occur), is really the biggest issue I have with this movie, and “Trigun” in general. Different strokes for different folks, so if you enjoyed the series then this will be right up your alley. It really is just a prettier, longer, and slightly funnier episode.
WATAMOTE (TV) Good The opening theme and animation is pretty damn good. The ending animation is also kind of neat, but the song wasn't anything I liked. Essentially this story is about an incredibly socially stunted and shy girl who wants to become popular. This type of plot demands there to be some cringe worthy moments and by god is “Watamote” filled with them. One undeniable fact about this anime is that a very large chunk of anime fans, find “Watamote” to hit home on a few or even a lot of different things. Seriously, go check discussion boards or anything mentioning “Watamote”. It's these instances that make you feel really bad for Tomoko, almost like you just want to give her a hug. Sure, she has an incredibly optimistic view of being able to change herself, but there are times where she breaks down and faces the cold reality. It kind of pulls on the heart strings. That being said, there are plenty of funny moments, mostly at the expense of Tomoko. There are however, a few parts where Tomoko has an inner monologue/dialogue in regards to a character or characters, and they are so ridiculous that I almost choked on my drink while watching. They are funny as hell and probably my favorite parts of “Watamote”. Sadly there are only a few of these moments which I think was intentional in the sense that this anime is probably meant to strike a nerve with anime fans, rather than be a flat out comedy. The dub for the most part is decent, Tomoko is actually pretty good while her brother is actually horrible. It was really hard for me to get through the first few episodes he was in because he honestly is just that bad. While the ending doesn't really give any closure, it isn't completely dissatisfying either. I didn't lose my time watching this and up until the last two or three episodes it never felt like the show was dragging on. In any case, I think “Watamote” is a solid watch if not for the comedy, then for how it will undoubtedly hit close to home at least to some degree.
Wolf and the Amber-colored Melancholy (OAV) Good Sort of a bridge from season 1 to season 2. Sort of summarizes the first season. Entertaining enough though.
Baccano! (TV) Very good Neither the opening nor the ending theme were really anything I was impressed with. The animation to go with the opener though, was quite clever. It listed off the characters as well as little mini shorts of them. The ending animation though, kind of boring as hell. The story in this anime is confusing at first. The way it is told can lose viewers very easily. It essentially is three different stories being told by multiple viewpoints, that all intertwine in some way. At first this is incredibly confusing, but it turns out to be a brilliant move. You have to go into this series expecting it to make sense at the end. This mindset prevents you from going “this is all random shit, what the hell is this?” and possibly dropping it. The cast of characters is fairly large, too large to list here. This originally worried me, I expected to encounter the “Angel Beats Syndrome” but it never came. The reason being that with in 16 episodes, even with a larger cast, the writers were able to give an ample amount of attention and detail to each character. Aside from well fleshed out characters, there is even character growth and some romance present. This anime damn near does it all. The animation is solid, I never was distracted by poor design or clunky movements at all. The action is also very nicely done, while more graphic than I had originally expected, it was entertaining as hell. I'm disappointed that it seems as if only about ten people have seen or even heard of Baccano!. This is a true crime as this anime is incredibly entertaining and well executed. If you haven't seen this, go watch it now.
Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail (OAV) Very good The return of excellent voice acting, as well as a solid intro song, already made this a pleasant experience. These five episodes serve as an arc focused on Roberta the maid and her quest for revenge. Though, that is the meat of these episodes, the potato's are the focus on Rock's development. At the end, it seems as though he has come to accept the mentality of "embrace the darkness, to further the light". Character development, voice acting and music all aside, the action in this is top notch. There are parts that are kind of silly, but it never fails to impress. This may very well be my favorite piece of the series.
Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (movie) Very good Now this movie right here? Is pretty god damn awesome. It follows the original anime to a degree, but it does start to deviate from the original story. A new pilot is introduced (though many consider her a cash grab, I find her to be the best). If you've seen the anime first, you will be able to immediately tell some of the differences that take place, which I personally don't have a problem with. I don't feel the changes that took place change anything for the worse. Dub is just as good as the first movie, while the ending song is also the same (which is a song I like quite a bit). I find the ending battle to be one of the most entertaining battles I've seen. While it is similar to the one in the anime, things are slightly different and Shinji goes ape shit. While you can argue things get to the point that they do because of Shinji, when he snaps..he fucking snaps. I found this movie to be better than the first and while I haven't seen the third yet, I'm going to make an assumption that this one will end up competing with the final movie for being the best of the Rebuilds.
FLCL (OAV) Very good If you were to smoke weed, take a bunch of acid and wash it down with vodka..you would get this show. Simply put, it's crazy. The story is very mediocre, but it's buried so deep in with the quirks that you most likely will need to watch the series a few times before you get it. Despite that, it has a lot of humor and gets a pass on that alone.
Freezing (TV) Very good I really enjoyed the concept of this series. The action is great, though I feel it was a bit too frequent. For the setting this series takes place, I dont understand how the "law of the universe" would allow so much fighting. In any case, I found the main female character to be much more interesting than any of the others. She got some decent development, but I think her design was far superior to any of the others. For sure worth a watch, though the sheer amount of tit cloth being removed is rivaled only by the Sekirei series..take that how you want.
Heaven’s Lost Property the Movie: The Angeloid of Clockwork Very good I think one of the best possible ways to measure a movies worth is just how often do you find yourself re-watching it. This movie right here? In terms of re-watch-ability, is extremely high. The first two seasons are recapped in the first half of the movie, so you can pretty much skip the series all together and just watch this movie. Honestly, I would almost recommend doing just that. In my reviews for the other two seasons, I state how stale the comedy gets. That's an issue that doesn't really occur in the movie. Sure in the recap it shows mostly the best scenes (with the exception of maybe one or two) but it also cuts down on those scenes. Some of them are longer in the original showing, but that also leads to the comedy getting stale. So it's a bit of a double edged sword here. Regardless, the movie does an excellent job of keeping it fresh and doesn't beat the same joke into your head repeatedly. It also introduced a new character, one that was more of a background character in the first two seasons. So in a sense, she isn't just some made up character, which I find to be overall a smart move. In addition, she is probably the best character overall. The interesting story of the Synapse is also touched on more, which is something I don't understand why it never got more attention. The only thing I really didn't like was the ending. While after the credits it hints at something else, I'm really not a fan of "heavily implied" or "up to your imagination" endings. Overall I have to say that this movie is very solid. It got me interested in the series as a whole (after the first two seasons essentially killed that interest), and is something I find myself putting on in the background while I do other things. For sure it's worth at least one watch from you.
High School DxD (TV) Very good I originally saw this anime subbed as there was no dub for it, which initially led to a lower score. I was convinced later by a fellow anime connoisseur that the dub made the anime pretty funny. He was correct. Now, the story itself is something I found to be unique and rather enjoyable. The opening and ending themes I could take or leave, I don't find them to be anything too terribly special but they aren't horrible either. The chess mechanic is, to me, incredible. I found it incredibly interesting and the rating game itself was the highlight of the series. However, when I initially saw it subbed I didn't find it too terribly funny. It was humorous sure, but nothing amazing. The dub changes that drastically. A few jokes have been changed (which one towards the end I'm not so sure I agree with being changed), but the voice inflictions are what really make the dub so great. It's hard to explain, but much like “Black Lagoon” there is no question that the dubbed version of “High School DxD” is far superior to the subbed.
High School DxD New (TV) Very good
High School of the Dead (TV) Very good This show seems to catch a lot of crap for being what it is...a stimulant for young males. This show truthfully, has boring characters with a played out story. Some people don't like the over abundance of fan service, dialogue or the action sequences. Well, I do. This show does all of those correctly, where I find many shows struggle to achieve these results.
Jormungand Perfect Order (TV) Very good I'm somewhat surprised this was made into its own season and wasn't just considered to be episodes 13-24 or whatever it comes out to actually be. The opening was a bit weaker than the first seasons opener, as was the ending, both in terms of animation and music. Aside from this there isn't much I can complain about. There is a more coherent over arching story to these episodes, though I can't say I was too terribly impressed with it. The action, dialog, music, and all of that jazz is on the same level as the previous season. Aside from the back seat plot, there are only two major factors here that influenced my scoring. At first, my favorite character Chiquita (who is a bodyguard for Koko's brother) has more screen time. This immediately boosted “Perfect Order” to a higher score than the previous season. However, the ending counter balanced that boost. While the ending isn't necessarily bad, it pretty much disregards the whole “I hate weapons because they killed my family” thing. This point is brought up quite often through out the show, and while it was always more or less a “deal with it because its necessary” the ending never really gives you a reason as to why what happens..happens. You can argue forgiveness or again, necessity, but it's left up to you to decide. In any case, “Perfect Order” is just as good as the first season and in some ways it is even better. If you watched or plan on watching the first season, you might as well watch this one too.
Kiki's Delivery Service (movie) Very good Studio Ghibli has been compared to Pixar and vice versa. The reality is that Ghibli shits all over Pixar. The stories as well as animation are in a whole different league. This movie is a coming of age story, so you can read the summary and get the plot..but have to watch it to feel the magic. The character designs are outstanding. They are not outlandish like many anime characters, but have enough charm to make them stand apart. The music is decent enough to set the tone. All in all, this is one of my favorite Ghibli movies and is just another notch under their belt.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (movie) Very good There are two statements that can be made to sum this movie up. First, "The supposed true ending". Second, "Asuka goes fucking ape shit". While I am not in the Titanic sized boat that believes the last two episodes of the anime are a total mind fuck, I will say with regards to the anime overall this movie presents a better ending. You have to watch the original series before seeing this, otherwise you're not going to have any idea what the fuck is going on (not that most fans of the anime are any better though). All of the psychological aspects of the anime that fans have a boner for, are indeed solid in this movie as well. However, this movie is mostly action which is provided by Asuka. She kicks a solid amount of ass, enough to the point where I disliked her in the anime but kinda thought she was cool in this movie. Dub is mostly good in my opinion, alot of the original actors are back. Though there are a few characters that got recasted and they are GOD awful. Overall though this movie is pretty solid and should for sure be seen by anyone who has seen the anime.
Outlaw Star (TV) Very good Part of the "Three Shooters", along with Trigun and Cowboy Bebop. Outlaw tends to be forgotten and often times left out of "shooter anime" debates. The opening theme is pretty catchy, with a solid animation. The ending theme(s) are both decent, sort of calming in a sense. These are accompanied by artwork that resembles sketches. Truthfully I'm not a big fan of the ending animations. Character wise we have a decent sized cast, which doesn't really get established until close to half way. The main characters (the core of the group) are done pretty well. Character growth is spotty at best, a few of the cast members receive some attention, but most is focused on Gene Starwind. Action is great, not amazing like its older brother Bebop, but far superior to its little sister Trigun. In regards to todays standards, I truthfully have to say that it is easily out shined by the likes of Black Lagoon. The story sets itself up immediately, which is excellent and I wish more anime did this. A few side stories take place, but for the most part they all have to do and intertwine with the core plot. This series is one of a handful that actually feels like an adventure, something I really miss in a lot of current anime. With regards to the "Three Shooters", Bebop easily is the best of the three, but Outlaw Star is an excellent second place. I believe that Trigun only receives as much praise and attention as it does, simply because people must have missed out on Outlaw Star. That is a true crime.
Psycho-Pass (TV) Very good Very rarely am I ever infuriated by a series not reaching my level of expectations. I try to be open minded with every anime because I know nothing is ever perfect. Psycho-pass falls just short of being a masterpiece. It's so incredibly close that it's truly scary. I went in with zero expectations, halfway through the show built those up to a terrific height..and it almost reached it too. The opening and ending animations are nothing I was too impressed with, same with the songs. Though, the first opening theme is pretty good in my opinion. However, many episodes would continue to play out, while the credits and song were still playing. This to me was an incredible use of time and allowed for the story to progress much smoother. The dub was pretty standard, though I only really take a dub into consideration if it's either incredibly bad or incredibly spectacular. The characters were all pretty solid, though the depth of each was somewhat uneven. The two main characters obviously get a good amount of attention while the rest well.. One character gets an entire episode dedicated to her, while another only mentions in a conversation his backstory (which really only takes about two minutes), two others also reveal their history through multiple conversations through out the show. The story itself is actually kind of indepth so you have to pay attention, but that doesnt really start taking place until about episode 8 or so. For the most part, Psycho-pass plays out like a cop drama with some incredibly twisted crimes. Action is somewhat inconsistent but when it shows up, it's pretty graphic and pretty good. There certainly are some questionable things present in the story, I found myself facepalming at a few things, but for the most part..it's pretty solid. I cant say that the story is as well written as “Steins; Gate” but then again, not many are. The main reason I cant label this a masterpiece, is due to the inconsistencies in quality. When Psycho-pass is good, it's simply spectacular. But this only really occurs about 4 times through out the entire show, taking about two or so episodes a run. That pretty much means that half of the show is “amazing as fuck” and the other half of the show is “good”. Despite this, I highly recommend watching Psycho-pass, with season 2 coming up I hate to say it, but I have high expectations.
Read or Die (OAV) Very good This OAV seems to often be mistaken for a movie. It is in fact, three episodes about 30 minutes long. Though, I can't help but think that had this been a movie, it would have been better. The intro song is very..mediocre. It more or less sounds like something from a cheesy spy movie, which is actually fitting. Even still, I wasn't a fan. The ending song is even worse. Despite this, the OAV is incredible. The story moves at a decent pace, has some fantastic action scenes and even has a decent amount of comedy. The story itself, is refreshingly different though contains a fair share of plot holes. I won't go over those here, as they are all more or less spoilers. Though this is primarily where I believe the movie format vs the 3 episodes would have been better. Even with only say, an additional 15 minutes (which would put the total run time around an hour and 45 mins or so), they could have smoothed out a few of the issues. While I know the choice of format wasn't really something the creator had much control over, I find myself hoping at some point this is picked up, remastered and extended into a movie format. The characters are all decent enough, with the two main females being the primary focus and most interesting. Though, not much time is spent on growth or any type of back story. Despite this and the lack of any information on..well..any of the groups/organizations, this OAV is a real thrill. It's far from a masterpiece and even though it isn't a movie, it sure is one of the best 90 minute video experiences you can get.
Redline (movie) Very good
Spirited Away (movie) Very good
Sword of the Stranger (movie) Very good The music was fitting for this type of story. So there isn't much to rave about in that department. Character growth is also fairly minimal, with the only major change being a pivotal plot point towards the end. Regardless, this movie is pretty dang good. It does feel like it drags on a bit, but it makes up for it with its action. This movie isn't pure action like I originally expected to be, which is actually kind of disappointing. Because if it was, I would be much more forgiving on the lack of character development, and the very vague back story of the main characters. Despite some of these down falls, the very last fight scene may be one of the best fights I've ever seen in an anime. All in all a pretty good watch.
Tenchi Muyo Movie 3: Tenchi Forever Very good The darkest of all the movies. By dark I mean more mature/story driven. It focuses on a different girl stealing Tenchi away. So Tenchi, this girl, Ryoko and Ayeka are really the only characters in this movie. Washu and Yosho have some screen time...but that's about it. The movie takes place after Tenchi In Love, so it's the Tenchi Universe "universe". In the end it pretty much implies that Tenchi makes a decision on the woman he wants. In my opinion, the right one too. A really good way to end the series.
Tenchi Muyo! (OAV 1/1992) Very good I have a very special place in my heart for Tenchi Muyo! as it was probably my first anime I really enjoyed. Even to this day I consider it to be one of my favorite series (Muyo, Tokyo, and Universe. None of those other spinoffs). I found the characters to be diverse enough while also not relying on sexuality/fan-service to make the series good. As far as harems go, Tenchi is incredibly tame yet it is better than the majority that are currently out. Solid action, good humor, nice character diversity, and decent stories. However, Tenchi Muyo! ends at episode 12/13, the hell spawn that is considered the 3rd OAV does not exist in my mind.
Tenchi Universe (TV) Very good Despite being inferior to the original OAV. This is my favorite of the Tenchi series. Main reason? It has closure. Tenchi the movie 1 and 3 take place after the series and thus serve as a "wrap up" for the gang. Some what different character backgrounds than in the OAV, but they stay more true to the original than "Tokyo" does. Has action, comedy and longevity.
Wolf Children (movie) Very good
Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts (TV) Excellent This series is strictly comedy, but damn is it funny. The story/goal actually gets broken up. It disappears a few episodes in and then reappears towards the end. It has a really neat concept, classes battling for each others gear. Being able to summon avatars, whose strength is based off your gpa. They could have done so much more with that concept, but they didn't. Characters are ok, no back stories (but it's a comedy so I'm not surprised). Overall, this show is so off the wall that it could never be taken serious. Which is good, because it isn't meant to be. Truthfully, this may be one of the funniest series I've watched in awhile.
Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts 2 (TV) Excellent As far as comedy is concerned, this may be one of the best anime out there. Very rarely do I find myself laughing almost non stop through an episode of, well, anything. This series is one of a handful that accomplishes just that. The one big thing I noticed with this season versus the first, is that there are a handful of character background episodes. These were all slightly less humorous, but gave substance to the characters. Towards the end, it felt like the creators were getting ready for some sort of substantial story arch or conclusion . There wasn't any and it kind of felt like the last episode was setting up for a direct sequel. In any case, this is an absolute must see series.
Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts OVA Excellent A bridge from season one to season two. These two episodes are just as hilarious as the rest of the series.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (TV) Excellent This is a lengthy series. Surprisingly enough, despite the fact that there were about four or five different opening and closings, I didn't find myself liking a single one of them. The music just seemed off, while the animations themselves were just fine. This is however, pretty much the only issue I had with the entire series. The dub was perfectly fine with not even a single annoyance coming to mind, which would probably set this dub to a “Good” instead of “Standard”. The cast here is fairly lengthy, too long for me to go over every person but I will say that every character introduced, had some sort of substantial role. Hell even the first “bad guy” in the very first episode turns out to have a fairly important role. I can't say that I've ever seen any other anime that utilizes its cast so incredibly well. In addition to the excellent use of the cast, there really is no filler to speak of. The plot stays focused on one overall goal and eventually evolves into something much bigger. Another thing that “Brotherhood” does incredibly well is change tones. It can go from dark/depressing, to funny, to up lifting all in the matter of one five minute scene. “Brotherhood” really is a roller coaster of emotions but never really loses the fun factor. Hell, it even has a solid ending, something I find most anime to be lacking. Though this is far from a “Masterpiece” and that really only boils down to five specific points in the anime. Two of them have to do with multiple episodes taking place in certain locations. One is a spoiler so I will skip it, the other is when Ed and Al go to the north. These points are incredibly boring and seem to drag out. The third issue is the fact that Al himself, while not a bad character, is incredibly worthless in most fights. He gets shown up by even the side characters. The fourth is a specific character that should be killed by another, but instead of this happening the character “repents” and kills himself. Incredibly stupid in my opinion and really undermines the entire set up of this specific battle. The final issue is that one character is allowed to live at the very end. An evil character that is defeated but never finished off. It makes no sense for that character to have lived. Aside from these issues, “Brotherhood” is incredibly entertaining and one of the few anime I approve of the hype. It really is outstanding.
Steins;Gate (TV) Excellent The opening theme here is one of the many “creeper themes”. By creeper I mean that the first few times you hear it, you hate it. It eventually does wear you down to the point where you will find yourself enjoying it. The animation that goes with it starts out really neat, with all kinds of algorithms and formulas springing out of the title. Then it goes into the setting and characters and it just kind of loses it's coolness. Ending theme is a mixed bag. The instrumental is chilling while the vocals rob it of a powerful impression. Animation here is nothing too terribly special, had the vocals not been included, it would have only added to the impact. Sadly, the vocals ruined the animation as well leaving it to be nothing more than sub par. The plot is incredibly well thought out, to the point of being one of the best I've seen. The subject matter demands that some made up stuff will be present, but the writers did an excellent job of making it at least plausible and as realistic as possible. The dub is pretty solid, with no real notable mentions on either side of the spectrum. Nothing outlandishly bad, while nothing amazingly good. The overall cast is a decent size with the primary focus on about five characters. The main character, Rintaro Okabe, is easily the best. He not only has the most growth and arguably the most depth, but he is the central source of comedy in this anime. While the only other character to really have any growth is Kurisu Makise. The rest of the characters play their roles as support. Though as far as support characters go, this cast is pretty solid overall. When an anime is almost universally praised, I often find myself very skeptical to the actual quality. While the complaints about Steins; Gate starting slow, is somewhat accurate (though exaggerated), I have to agree with the community on this one. Steins; Gate is extremely good.
Summer Wars (movie) Excellent When comparing a movie to a series, there is a slight difference in the way I rate certain sections. For instance there is more time in 13, 30 minute episodes for a character to grow or relationship to develop than say a 90 minute movie. While those time statistics are not precise, the point remains. That being said, this movie does everything..perfectly. The music sets the tone, which is about all I can ask for from a movie. As for the rest? Action is done very well, the hand to hand combat that takes place is pretty awesome. Comedy, doesn't beat a dead horse like some anime do. It uses different types and places it throughout the movie. Suspense and drama are both used at excellent times and held for just about the right amount of time. A romantic relationship even buds, though not a whole lot of focus is put on this, it paces itself a tad slow and kind of comes off as tacked on, but is satisfying none the less. Overall, this movie did pretty much everything with such proficiency, that I have to say it is far superior to any anime film I have seen (at this time). The two complaints I have, first it seemed to drag on just a tad bit longer than needed. The set up they used to continue the movie instead of wrapping it up, was some what irritating too. While secondly the main female lead was somewhat weak. I think she could have used more screen time and perhaps more growth, as she more or less served as a tool for the lead male character. But even still, those two complaints amount to nothing more than a small blemish on an otherwise incredible film. This simply is a must see.
Appleseed (movie)
Appleseed: Ex Machina (movie)
Black Cat (TV)
Cowboy Bebop (TV)
Deadman Wonderland (TV)
Deadman Wonderland (OAV)
Serial Experiments Lain (TV) Mind. Fuck. I honestly don't know what I would rate this anime as the story itself is so..unique. The animation is a bit odd, while the character designs are also kind of strange. The age of the anime is partially the cause for something so different, but even other older anime don't look quite as odd as "Lain". The opening theme is amazing, but the animation with it is also just..strange. The dub is not the best, though it isn't necessarily bad either. Ending theme and animation I could do with out, it was fairly lame in comparison to the opening. I found "Serial Experiments Lain" to be fairly hard to get through. The pacing was pretty slow and I found myself bored most of the time, the rest of the time I was trying to make sense of everything. Do I recommend this anime? Honestly I don't know. I will rewrite a review as well as actually give "Lain" a score when I watch the series a second time. Though that may not be for awhile.