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Seen all Rating Comment
5 Centimeters Per Second (movie)
Abnormal Physiology Seminar (OAV) Not really good
Ai-Mai-Mi (TV) Decent Of all the three minute shows I've seen, this might've been the strangest I've seen yet (as of late September 2014), even stranger than Strange+. Sadly, it was also a bit louder, uglier, and even more nonsensical, yielding more than its fair share of confused laughter. There is little consistency in it, aside from the fact that it stars three girls who are in the manga club but are too distracted by their own imaginations and exaggerated circumstances to get any manga actually done. A silly decent show that probably wasn't wise to more or less marathon, really.
Ai-Mai-Mi Mōsō Catastrophe (TV) Decent The Sequel to Ai Mai Mi. It seemed to hit some funny notes a bit better than the original series, but overall felt very much like that one anyway. Not really the best 3-5 minute comedy anime series I've seen in 2014.
Akira (movie) Good
Aldnoah.Zero (TV) Good This was a series directed well by Ei Aoki (Fate/Zero, Garden of sinners) and originally conceived by Uobuchi. It should be a winning combination, right? Well, it certainly could've been more of one had Urobuchi scripted beyond the first three episodes. The technical merits are pretty impeccable-- the character designs are distinctive, artistry and animation are consistently good, the CG mechas and the battles they fight are creatively conceived and choreographed, and the OP/ED/overall OST (brought to you by the same guy who did Kill La Kill's OST) is pretty great. The three primary characters generally start from a good place, too-- the cool and collected Inaho, the well-meaning if naive Princess of Mars (Asseylum), and the emotional Slaine, a Terran in Mars' employ. However, as the series goes along, the lack of Urobuchi or a similarly-qualified writer seems to get more apparent. Slaine continues to be compelling throughout, but Inaho never develops as much of an actual and compelling character, unless you call an inhuman hyper-competency that only seems to increase compelling. This 1st cour of the series had a pretty crazy ending, though, definitely creating some hype for the ensuing season.
Aldnoah.Zero (TV 2) Good
(The) Ancient Magus' Bride (TV) Masterpiece
And you thought there is never a girl online? (TV) Decent
Angel's Egg (movie)
Animation Runner Kuromi (OAV)
Animation Runner Kuromi 2 (OAV)
(The) Animatrix (OAV) Good
Anime-Gataris (TV) Good
anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (TV) Very good
Another (TV) Very good Another proved to be a great horror mystery-thriller that kept me gripped over the course of the two days that I watched it. It had beautiful aesthetics, as well as a number of memorable death scenes that happened at irregular enough intervals to be morbidly interesting to watch. Sadly, there felt to be a little too much build-up in some places (especially early on in the series), all the doll imagery didn't seem to mean all too much of anything at the end, and it didn't feel like I got to know some of the characters as much as I should've.
Appleseed (movie)
Appleseed: Ex Machina (movie)
Aquatic Language (special) Good Also known as Mizu no Kotoba, this was an early short anime created by Yasuhiro Yoshiura, who would go on to create the excellent "Time of Eve." You can definitely tell where ToE took some of its elements from. Still, it is rather short, somewhat obtuse, and can look a bit ugly in some places (like the CG or character designs).
Are You Lost? (TV) Decent
Armitage III (OAV) Very good
Armitage III: Poly-Matrix (movie)
Armitage: Dual-Matrix (movie) Very good
Astra Lost in Space (TV) Excellent A great Summer 2019 anime series that inspired me to pick up the 5 volume manga it was adapted from. A good hearted adventure series filled with both humor and drama; a sincerely riveting and compassionate tale about found families and growing up.
Attack on Titan (TV) Excellent An intense shonen-action-thriller that became *the* mega-hit anime property of 2013. While unevenly paced and prone to being as subtle as a sledgehammer, it has atmosphere and action in spades, thanks to cool spiderman-like cinematography and one of the best and most bombastic anime OSTs of 2013. There is also plenty of drama and mystery as well involving an admittedly interesting-to-follow cast of characters alongside our 3 primary ones of Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. What is the *real* identity of so-and-so? What *are* the Titans? Who is going to die next? What's in that darn basement? There are still plenty such questions up in the air after the conclusion of its 26th episode, questions whose answers will surely be answered in the inevitable episodes to come.
Attack on Titan (TV 2/2017) Excellent
Attack on Titan (TV 3/2018) Very good
Attack on Titan (TV 4/2019) Excellent
Attack on Titan The Final Season (TV) Excellent
Attack on Titan The Final Season Part 2 (TV) Very good
Baccano! (TV)
Bakemonogatari (TV) Excellent
Bakuon!! (TV) Good A Spring 2016 anime that is a very fun, if rather cheaply animated (and kinda cheap looking too) K-ON-ish comedy about a girl motorbike/motorcycle school club. It's a comedy that revels in its absurdities, not least of which includes a Harley-driving Jesus. It has some fan service (notably in the form of the well endowed Suzuki-loving Suzuki), but is thankfully propelled by the relative strength of the characters themselves.
BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (TV) Excellent
Big Order (TV) Not really good A fairly dumb, EDGE-driven and more-self-serious-than-not 10-episode Spring Anime 2016 series. (Though when it knowingly wasn't very self-serious, it would sometimes be very funny, like how one character would get 'pregnant' if you pulled on her bunny ear ribbon.) From the creator of Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary), which might say enough about this series.
Birdy the Mighty Decode:02 (TV) Very good
Birdy the Mighty: Decode (TV) Very good
Black Bullet (TV) So-so It had some pretty cool visual direction, nice music (the Attack-on-Titan-esque OP and ED), and animation. Still, this was really quite a mess of a series. There were lots of plot holes; it had pacing all over the place where things developed too fast or just wasted its time, and there wasn't what anyone would call particularly nuanced or even sensible character development, when there was any in the first place. Childhood friend with the bouncy breasts- er, Tendou Kisara-- in particular demonstrated stuff in the final episode that didn't have much buildup at all, and whatever "conclusion" her character seemed to be reached (something like fighting evil with overwhelming evil instead of "justice") was dumb. At least the main protagonist, Rentaro Satomi, was pretty likable enough, and the super-powered little girls, like Kisara Renju and Tina Sprout, were kind of fun to watch, as obviously market-driven as their designs were.
Black Lagoon (TV)
Black Rock Shooter (OAV)
Blade & Soul (TV) Decent
Blood Blockade Battlefront (TV) Very good
Blood+ (TV) Very good
Blood: The Last Vampire (movie)
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan (TV) Good
Blue Exorcist (TV) Good
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (TV) Decent
Boogiepop and Others (TV 2019) Very good
Boogiepop Phantom (TV) Excellent This ended up becoming a much more involved and complex series than I thought as I started watching. I adored it from a very literary standpoint-- the symbolism and metaphor put into here is very noteworthy, especially in regards to the Pied Piper, and the themes that include childhood's death and transitioning into adulthood add up to some great commentary (surely a critique on Japanese society) that can sometimes be particularly poignant. The visuals are favorably distinctive, as is the whole sound design. I only kinda wish that this was able to stand even better on its own (though it seems to mostly do), looking at all the media that's out related to it. Highly recommended, and definitely worthy of one more re-watch, if not more.
Call of the Night (TV) Excellent
CANAAN (TV) Very good
Cannon Fodder (movie) Good
Carnival Phantasm (OAV) Excellent For fans or anyone that's familiar with Type-Moon's works (primarily Fate/Stay Night and/or Tsukihime): this is for YOU. As one that consumed all of the Fate/Stay Night VN and read the Tsukihime manga before Starting this OVA collection, I thought it was an excellent way to see fun poked at characters and situations that are otherwise primarily serious. For the extended collection of inside jokes that it basically is, Carnival Phantasm is the best that I've ever seen. But, if you HAVEN'T seen anything in Type Moon: well, what are you doing thinking about this anime? The more that you know about F/SN and Tsukihime (and maybe even their spin-offs), the more that you'll get out of this show... so read up on those other Type-Moon works!
Castle in the Sky (movie) Excellent
Cat Planet Cuties (TV) Good
Cat Shit One: The Animated Series (ONA) Good
Cat Soup (OAV) Good
Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious (TV) Good Isekai Comedy of Fall 2010 with some very choice Faces and performances by the goddess/heroine that supports the eponymous hero in question.
Cells at Work! (TV) Very good
Chaika - The Coffin Princess (TV) Very good How much can I judge this separately from it's sequel season, The Avenging Battle? Anyway, I though this to be ay great starting half for an overall good strong series. It works rather cleverly with the Chase-after-the-MacGuffin conceit in fantasy story-telling, setting up a story where there are actually multiple girls named "Chaika" chasing after a set of objects. Each of these girls claim with the greatest sincerity (at least initially) that they are the Real Chaika and were given the prerogative to collect the remains of their "father," the fearsome Forbidden Emperor Gaz, who was a purportedly immortal mage king killed by Eight Heroes. Naturally, we're given a "main" Chaika (or White Chaika) to get behind, whom BONES does a great job of selling. With her sweet combination of naiveté + faces + eyebrows + monosyllabic speech patterns, BONES & co. make her among the most charming protagonists in adventure shonen I have seen in quite some time. Her cohorts, Tooru and his "sister"Akari-- young and loyal mercenaries known as "Saboteurs," who are now kind of relics from the previous nations' war with Gaz -- provide for a likable crew, with Tooru being the most pragmatic and quick-witted of the trio while Akari is like a shonen-fantasy Hitagi Senjougahara. The group chemistry shines even more when a certain "girl" (dragoon) named Fredrika joins them later on. Among this group's opposition is another Chaika group ("Red Chaika") and the right-hearted Gilette Corps of the Post-War Reconstruction Agency, who also prove themselves to be generally endearing if more limited in their development. The show progresses in clear and distinct arcs, which is helpful if you want to complete the show in small chunks. Fun and cool stuff right here.
Chaika - The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle (TV) Very good
Claymore (TV) Very good
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (TV)
Comedy (OAV) Good
(The) Comic Artist and His Assistants (TV) Decent Also known as Manga-san to Assistant-san, this was a Spring 2014 one-cour series, though with 10 minutes instead the usual 20 minutes of original content per episode. Coming into the series expecting a dumb ecchi comedy, and with an idea of what Carl Kimlinger's review of the anime said about it, I was pleasantly surprised to find… a somewhat-enjoyably dumb, ecchi-workplace comedy. There actually wasn't nearly as much explicit fan service as I'd have thought of-- but what might be just as much of a turn-off, if not more, was the regular sexual harassment that Aito-sensei (the manga artist) would demonstrate towards his female assistants and editor. Fortunately(?) Aito's perversion seems tilted towards the girls' undergarments more so than their bodies, though that's not to say they're ignored; Aito still comments on bust sizes and would obviously want to peek if he could. Now obviously not all are receptive to this behavior-- the busty, cheerful ditz Rinna is between tolerant and encouraging of it; editor/high school friend Mihari and chid-like Sena lash against it somewhat tsundere-like; and Ashisu, Aito's longest-standing and 'main' assistant, largely tries to ignore or have saint-like patience until push comes to shove (or hand comes to grope, more rather). But at the end of the day, they still all ultimately tolerate him for vague and possibly-romantic reasons, continuing to assist him on a pantsu-inclined manga that actually seems rather mediocre. If the show is blessed with anything, it's the energy that its characters and their actors seem to be infused with, which helped me appreciate them all the more. Well, maybe except for the editor in chief that's a legal loli for no real reason at all, but she doesn't get much screen time either. While the characters deviate very little from your first impressions of them, doing little to get outside their cliche-bubbles, they are still fun and entertaining to watch. Most impressive of all is Yoshitusugu Matsuouka's performance as the protagonist, who surely had some fun as Aito-sensei in expressing his various situational vocal pitches (like the nasally 'cute' voice he put on when trying to 'innocently' speak of his perverted intentions) and over-dramatic responses to his hardships. It also helps, again, that it did make me laugh a fair amount. I'd say this anime is one of the better 'Decent' anime in the list I have compiled here.
Comical Psychosomatic Medicine (ONA) Decent A 20 episode ONA series (mostly 3 min/episode the first cour; 5 min/episode the second cour) in 2015. It may be best summed up as the Seitokai Yakuindomo of ONAs, with each episode cramming in innuendo and double entendres while addressing a particular psychological condition. The humor's especially repetitious if marathoned, but it works fine enough in 3-5 minute bursts. (Some recurring quirks make it more amusing, such as the repeated cameos by Ladybeard!) At least the episodes are somewhat educational, perhaps helpful, even if the conditions examined don't seem to be addressed with the greatest sensitivity, and the jokes are too heavily aimed at the percy seinen crowd.
Cop Craft (TV) Decent A Summer 2019 buddy-cop comic-drama from the same writer of Fullmetal panic & Amagi Brilliant Park. A somewhat fun and offbeat show with great one-liners, but saddled with abysmal visual direction and animation QUALITY, generally from episode 3 on.
Cowboy Bebop (TV) A true anime classic. I watched the entirety of this series on DVD spread across 16 days, the vast majority of the episodes (including the two-parter ending) for the very first time, and it was so wonderful. I probably didn't fully realize until the very end how much the characters with al their experiences grew on me and until those last few episodes. Upon further examination of and listening to the final ED "Blue," I truly cried. Other than the main "plot" episodes like "Ballad for Fallen Angels" & "The Real Folk Blues," some notable episodes for me in particular were "Speak Like a Child," "Mushroom Samba" and "Hard Luck Woman."
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Excellent
Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! (TV) Good What would Shinesmen look like if it was a full-cour series (not just an OVA) and a mahou shoujo/sentai parody involving magical high school boys? Well, you might get something like this! Though there's not particularly great depth to the personalities of these characters, t's a fun and very self-aware little show that pits two groups of high school boys against each other through what are largely zany monster-of-the-week battles-- one group being the Earth Defense Club, brought together by a pink alien Wombat as "Battle Lovers", and the other group being the "evil" Student Council (of course!), brought together by a green hedgehog alien named Zundar. This manages to have a really great 'twist' finale that ties together everything up pretty nicely.
Dallos (OAV) Good
Danchigai (TV) So-so Eh. It's a 2015 summery comedy, one of those series of 5 mins. shorts based off a 4koma strip. It was OKish, but nothing particularly special.
DARLING in the FRANXX (TV) Very good
Deadman Wonderland (TV) Decent
Dear Brother (TV) Masterpiece
Death Note (TV) Very good
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (TV) Very good
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - The Movie: Mugen Train Very good
Detroit Metal City (OAV)
DEVILMAN crybaby (ONA) Very good
(The) Diary of Tortov Roddle (ONA)
Dimension W (TV) Decent
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? (TV) Decent A silly 2019 Summer show about a son and his mom isekai'd into a game world meant to facilitate mom/son bonding. Kinda fun and light.
Dororo (TV 2019) Very good
Dusk maiden of Amnesia (TV) Very good This series had some alright-to-good comedy at the start, but then it became a vessel for some surprisingly great drama and suspense entering into the second half of the series. Top this off with a truly superb visual direction (discounting the "okay" character designs), and this was a certainly memorable series for 2012. A bit of a mixed feeling on the ending-- some may feel it's a "cop-out"-- but there's still plenty of inherent value in the emotional finale, as long as you interpret it in a certain light.
Eden of the East (TV)
Elfen Lied (TV) Very good
Elfen Lied (OAV)
(The) Empire of Corpses (movie) Good
ERASED (TV) Excellent
Escaflowne: The Movie
Eureka Seven (TV) Excellent
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (movie)
Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (movie)
Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (movie) Excellent
Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time (movie) Masterpiece
Fate/Apocrypha (TV) Very good
Fate/Extra Last Encore (TV) Very good
Fate/Extra Last Encore: Illustrias Tendōsetsu (special) Very good
Fate/Grand Carnival (OAV) Good
Fate/Grand Order -Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia- (TV) Very good
Fate/Grand Order Final Singularity - Grand Temple of Time: Solomon (movie) Very good
Fate/Grand Order The Movie Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot Very good
Fate/Grand Order: First Order (special) Good
Fate/Grand Order: Moonlight/Lostroom (special) Good
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya (TV) Good
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei Herz! (TV) Decent The third season of Prisma Illya. Eh, This really wasn't that good. After the relatively exciting and consistently action-packed first two cours, this edition occupies most of its run with SOL & yuri-tastic shenanigans. Antics that, frankly, felt mediocre and largely pointless. Thankfully it picks things back up in its second half through some fun fights and decent drama, building up hype for its inevitable 4th series.
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei! (TV) Good
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei!! (TV) Good Airing in Spring 2016, this fourth season of Prisma Illya (or third installment, considering 2wei and 2wei Hertz are kind of together) is supposedly the part where Prisma Illya gets real good. Or at least, according to its manga fans. Anyway, yes, this may well be the most exciting story and action-wise Prisma Illya's ever gotten, with frequent fights and story cameos/callbacks that should excite many Type-Moon fans. (Shirou's fight and the introduction of Prillya's version of Dark Sakura in particular excited me. Angelica basically being a gender bent Gilgamesh is also kind of dun.) Still, the overall plot is fairly conventional-- here Illya becomes the dashing prince to Miyu's captured princess, who's locked away in a tower of the Ainsworth Family as her parallel world's Holy Grail. The fights are a-plenty, but due to the sheer density of them compared with earlier seasons, Silver Link's animation team seems to have some trouble keeping up. Rather disappointingly, the ending is pretty anticlimactic for all the big action through the last few episodes, though I guess it's mainly because it's not at all over yet-- there is a movie coming up. The film ought to be quite interesting, as it should go over this alternate world's Shirou's history, which (judging by the appearance of a Berserker Lancelot-installed Sakura) may be Prillya's version of Heaven's Feel.
Fate/stay night (TV) Good A 2006 adaptation of the then-only-two-year-old VN, primarily focused on the "Fate" route. This turned out to be better than I thought it would! Sure, the early episodes may not convince prospective viewers, especially if one is coming off ufotable's Fate/Zero and Unlimited blade Works. This 2006 DEEN-produced anime doesn't come off looking or animating particularly good overall, though it seems to pick up in some of the more important scenes. Even the OST can be distractingly good, easily outshining the other aesthetics a bit much. And story/writing-wise, it takes a while to find solid footing; the early exposition's handled clumsily and you learn much more technical aspects at the start than any of the characters. But then around halfway through the first cour, things started improving and the anime becomes more comfortable with its identity as a Fate route adaptation. (Well, save for maybe the Caster-and-Sakura arc; that became a little weird.) The music feels more appropriately matched to its scenes. In the end, particularly with its final acts, #DEENStayNight communicated the strengths of the Fate route fairly well. I can definitely offer some degree of recommendation to those interested in Saber's (and to a lesser extent, Kirei's) perspectives post-Fate/Zero. -------------- [P.S.: Special mention should be made of Kenji Kawai's OST. The music really is *gorgeous,* an aspect that's seemingly evidenced all the more in the series' 2nd half.]
Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower (movie) Excellent
Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel II. lost butterfly (movie) Excellent
Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel III. spring song (movie) Masterpiece
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (movie) Good
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) Excellent
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV 2) Excellent
Fate/Zero (TV) Excellent The somewhat weaker half of the two cours that comprise the Urobuchi-written prequel to Type/Moon's Fate/stay night, Fate/zero introduces viewers to the cast and circumstances of the Fourth Holy Grail War. There are boatloads of exposition here, which were surely done to be both faithful to the novel and bring some non-Type Moon fans up to speed. As one that had already avidly read the FSN novel (hadn't seen the anime adaptation, probably for the best), I'm not too sure how effective it really is, but even so, it's probably a little too talky for its own good. I also feel that a bit too much time was given to Caster and his equally crazy master-- it took away some time from other more interesting characters, and the aesthetics of his noble phantasm and the battle its used in aren't as impressive as they could've been. Maybe there is less purple pea-soup fog in the BD release?
Fate/Zero (TV 2) Excellent The more diverse and stronger season of the greater two-cour Fate/Zero anime-- and what a season it was! After finally dispensing of a Servant that might have overstayed his welcome, the pacing ramps up to create an even more exciting, if even more emotional, story of betrayals and tragic circumstances. Character development and motivations become necessarily clearer and further developed, particularly in the case of Kiritsugu and Irisviel. Continuing from their enjoyable and scene-stealing partnership of the first season, Waver and Rider become an even stronger team, helping to give Waver a good character arc as one of the greater protagonists of Fate/Zero. In the end, not only does Fate/Zero serve as a wonderful prequel for Fate/Stay Night, it is grand piece of fiction in its own right.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (movie)
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (US CG movie)
(The) Final Flight of the Osiris (OAV)
First Squad - The Moment Of Truth (OAV)
Flip Flappers (TV) Very good Sleeper hit of the Fall 2016 season. Neat show with aesthetic sensibilities reminiscent of Penguindrum.
Flowers of Evil (TV) Excellent
Flying Witch (TV) Very good An SOL Spring 2016 anime that covers the fairly easygoing and everyday life of a professional witch-in-training, 15 year-old Makoto, as she lives in the house of her non-magical relatives in Aomori. Not only is it Makoto's story of being a new girl in town (Makoto came from Yokohama), it is also the story of the friends and family she meets here who react to this unfamiliar supernatural presence in their lives. It's not like Makoto is the only strange presence either; vagabond and drunken oner-san Akane pops in to bring her own fun, and fortune teller and fellow-witch Inukai is, well, cursed with turning into a cute furry during the day. Surprisingly, they are all rather chill about it, aside from initial bemusement; it all makes for a rather pleasant and drama-free show, if not almost kind of ridiculous. The artists and music is all quite nice, too.
From the New World (TV) Excellent Perhaps better known by its Japanese title of "Shin Sekai Yori", this 25 episode anime series is based on a 1000 page novel of the same name, written by Yusuke Kishi. It was probably the very first anime (or at least the first in a very long time) that my sister showed to me, and thankfully it was pretty rad. It's a show set a 1000 years into the future, in a theoretically utopian Japanese society on an Earth whose population is a tiny fraction of what it once. All 'civilized' humans in this relatively pastoral setting are psychokinetic users-- of whom Saki, Satoru, Shun, Maria, and Mamoru are our focus, in what I'd consider to be descending order of importance-- with the only 'abnormal' aspect of their environs being the existence of Monster Rat societies, whose members end up playing a key role in the events of Shin Sekai Yori (particularly Squealer and the noble Kinomaru, who are very interesting in of themselves). Eerie and suspenseful, yet intellectually engaging and what I'd consider melancholically-intoned (which is beautifully accentuated by Dvorak's New World Symphony's "Going Home," which is occasionally played over the towns speakers), it was an altogether superb series to watch. Watch your heart rate as you go through the show's second half, though! ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ EXTRA: ENDING THOUGHTS: Among the 'messages' that could be learned here, I thought there was a strong message of entrusting the future to our children with hope, not fear-- or, to perhaps put it more eloquently, nurture our children so there is HOPE, not FEAR in our future. Some of the finale's symbolism & dialogue obviously get at this, but this is a message carefully built up to through the series: particularly with these potential 'problem children' who 'require' elimination by Impure Cats, & then the appearance of a being who was only 'nurtured' to hate + kill that could only be defeated by the 'humanity' she rejected.
Fruits Basket (TV 1/2001) Excellent
Fruits Basket (TV 2/2019) Excellent
Fruits Basket 2nd Season (TV) Excellent
Fruits Basket the Final (TV) Masterpiece
Fullmetal Alchemist (TV) Excellent
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (TV) Excellent
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa
Gamers! (TV) Good
Ganbare Dōki-chan (ONA) Good
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (TV) Masterpiece
(The) Garden of Sinners (movie series) Excellent Kara no Kyoukai is essentially a 7-part film series that totals to about 9 hours. First seen in its original, and thus predominantly non-chronological, order of release, it is indeed a difficult series to understand, at least at first. The Nasu-originated dialogue consistently sounded more dense and somewhat awkward than it probably should've been. Even so, as I came to more fully understand what was going on with each successive film, my appreciation became ever sweeter in regards to this story: one of of the quiet girl named Shiki Ryougi, who attempts to come to terms with her multi-faceted identity as she intimately gets swept up in several series of murder, along with the mild-mannered Mikiya Kokutou and sorceress/puppet-maker Touko Aozaki who investigate them. It becomes more and more involving--perhaps reaching the greatest general climax in the 5th film called "Paradox Spiral--as the viewer questions with greater interest what Shiki's exact nature is and what the deal was with those weird murders she *apparently* committed in 1995. "The themes presented here-- relating to uniqueness, identity, happiness, protecting said happiness, the sin and burden of murder (perhaps best evidenced in film 7), and Yin & Yang-- may be somewhat obfuscated, but still more or less resonated with me. The aesthetics greatly enhanced the films, as the art and animation are consistently clean and top-notch, and Yuki Kaijura's music is appropriately haunting and beautifully evocative. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Note: There is also an (effective!) 60 minute recap called Gate of Seventh Heaven and 30 minute epilogue that probably gives the fullest answer to Shiki's true nature-- an identity comprised of Shiki, the 'male' SHIKI, and the Shiki Ryogi that is representative of the primordial 'body,' 'The Void' .
(The) Garden of Sinners/recalled out summer (movie) Very good
(The) Garden of Words (movie) Excellent
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (TV) Very good
Gatchaman Crowds (TV) Excellent An ingenius little show that, while I may have not been mega-invested in it the first time around emotionally, proved to be wonderfully entertaining and intellectually meaningful. Its protagonist, the hyper-energetic yet reliable Hajime, is essentially the anti-Batman. Though she finds the Joker-like force of Katze and the chaos he represents in the role of the antagonist, she takes measures quite different from those of the (personally beloved) Dark Knight. She is in harmony with the good natured civil servants that serve their city, thrusts her and her team's identity out into the open, and, to the very end, relies on others (like the GALAX-founder Rui) and encourages everyone to be a hero that betters the world around them. Could one call it a "deconstruction" of the superhero? Possibly. Let CROWDS uplift you and take you on for a wild and relevant ride-- maybe you, too, will be able to spread your wings and no longer act as a caged bird!
Gatchaman Crowds insight (TV) Excellent Obviously the second season of CROWDS, which premiered during the summer 2015 season. If the first season was in part about exploring the positives of giving 'power to the people' (to put it in rough and loose terms) and community harmonization, this new one seemed to trend in an opposing direction. Much ado is made about about 'uniting' people, something that the new Alien character (Gel Sadra) soon comes to strive for as he arrives on Earth at the series' start, thanks to his reluctance to see any kind of conflict occur. But as it becomes apparent to viewers and eventually all of the Gatchaman, this conflict-free "atmosphere" that is further propagated by Gel Sadra only spells doom for individuality and independent thought. Ultimately, the theme of "coexistence" still matters here (as it very much did so in CROWDS!), but appears to dial back some of the first season's idealism, highlighting that conflict and independence holds value as well.
GATE (TV) Good
GATE (TV 2) Very good
Genshiken (TV)
Ghost in the Shell (movie)
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (movie)
Ghost in the Shell: Arise (OAV) Very good
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (TV) Excellent
Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie Very good
(The) Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún (OAV 2) Excellent
(The) Girl Who Leapt Through Time (movie)
Golden Boy (OAV) Very good
Golden Kamuy (TV 1) Very good
Golden Kamuy (TV 2) Very good
Golden Time (TV) Good At it's heart, Golden Time is a "very good" story-- certainly a highly relatable one, in how down-to-earth it feels and how it 'gels' with my own recent college experiences, making me nostalgic for those days sooner than I wanted. Most of the characters themselves felt down to earth, relatable and even likable. (Linda & 2D-kun were among my favorites.) However, this seems to be a case where content was underserved by those working with J.C. staff. As likable as the character designs generally were, the production & animation overall felt very stiff and cheap. Thanks to the show's direction and writing, it sometimes felt like people were much too blunt with their feelings and some drama too contrived or quick-to-happen, all showcased with little artfulness. For much of the time it aired, I was never loco for Koko, or sold on her being such a great fit for Banri when compared to Banri's would-be-girlfriend Linda.... which made it all the more aggravating when Koko and Banri were the only characters to ever feature in the OP/EDs. (Surely it wasn't like this with the light novels?) And then, there's the awkwardly-executed drama involving the pre-amnesia "Ghost Banri" and his relationship with the current Banri .
Good Luck Girl! (TV) Very good
Gosick (TV) Excellent A period setting, art nouveau aesthetics and character designs under the supervision of Toshihiro Kawamoto (Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain), and a showcase of the range of Aoi Yuuki (Madoka Kaname in PMMM)…. what's *not* to love about this show by Studio BONES? Granted, much of this was noticeable from the first episodes alone, but I really thought they'd not be enough to carry the show nor would there be much to it. Was happy to be shown that I was wrong about this light novel adaptation. What might've been a hum-drum episodic mystery series with too many leaps in logic for viewers to get behind became a high-stakes character drama/pulp-adventure that spelled serious consequences for the world that Vicotrique and her 'Dr. Watson' sidekick, the kindhearted Kazuya Kujo, inhabited. (There is a reason this alternate-yet-discernibly-European backdrop was set in 1924, b/w the two World Wars after all!) It would've been really nice if the series was longer, as it definitely did feel rushed some towards the end from all that cramming in of endgame light novel material. Nevertheless, Gosick eventually culminated in one of the sweetest, most endearing anime endings I saw in recent memory when I semi-marathoned it in August 2014. Hope the novels are somehow able to find an American release once more….
Granbelm (TV) Excellent
Grimgar, Ashes and Illusions (TV)
Gugure! Kokkuri-san (TV) Very good A short little comedy series featuring supernatural animal spirits (stating with the titular fox-spirit Kokkuri-san) making friends with a girl that seems to live by herself in an abandoned house. Features an entertaining tanuki voiced by Jouji Nakata.
Gungrave (TV) Very good
Gurren Lagann (TV)
.hack//Legend of the Twilight (TV) Not really good
.hack//SIGN (TV)
Haibane Renmei (TV)
Harlock: Space Pirate (movie) Good
Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto (TV) Very good A Spring 2016 anime also known as "Sakamoto Desuga" (and which I personally identify as just "Sakamoto-kun.") It follows the primarily classroom-based adventures of a stylish teenage man-god (to borrow reviewer Amy McNulty's phrasing) as he performs perfect almost-inhuman feats in front of his peers, making the most of the mundane in a student's day-to-day life. While impressing and gaining many doting followers, he engages a lot of wannabe rivals set to unseat him from his pedestal of perfection.. who still largely go on to become doting followers (and even friends!) of his anyway, thanks to Sakamoto always demonstrating his perfect aptitude at stylishly getting out of sticky situations and playing a role of peacemaker. (A Cooler! Coolish! Coolest! individual indeed.) It's a concept whose inherent limits easily could've made the show overstay its welcome, but thankfully it always had something clever up its sleeve that made for some rather fine comedy.
Hello!! KINMOZA (TV) Good
Hellsing Ultimate (OAV) Very good
High School Fleet (TV) Very good A Spring 2016 anime series. Think "Moe girls x Naval Warships" when considering this show. I suppose this is a fun naval take on Girls Und Panzer (also known as Garupan), though I haven't seen that show by this point in writing. It features a lot of cutely designed girls, being sure to give most of them an identifiable quirk or two while spotlighting some more than others, that engage (while aboard the Harekaze) with several berserking fellow students' ships over its fairly simple search-and-rescue plotline. These nicely animated naval battles are often exciting, giving a lot of its girls clear roles to play aboard the Harekaze while effectively mixing CG and 2d effects animation well. The plot could've been more exciting if the reason for the berserking ships didn't rest with rats ridden with some hokey virus, though.
High School of the Dead (TV) Good
Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU (TV) Good
Himouto! Umaru-chan (TV) Good A cute, quirky, and kinda funny comedy from Summer 2015 that I wouldn't mind seeing a second season of. Like characters constantly turning into mini SD-form to reflect their true character? Like seeing girls wear silly clothing and obsess over silly nerd stuff like a spoiled child but still manage to be entertaining? Yeah, that's this show.
Hitori Bocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu (TV) Very good Very cute 2019 spring anime about a mile school girl's working through her social anxiety to make friends.
Howl's Moving Castle (movie)
I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying (TV) Very good Basically, a twelve episode series of 3 1/2 minute-shorts starring a young married couple-- a NEET(?) otaku & his pretty but fairly normal woman. In spite of what the title might suggest, it is actually a functional and stable relationship, albeit a bit of an "ordinary" one with a good combination of sweetness and relative realism. A rather heartwarming series, with a smattering of otaku references (what'd one expect for a show with an otaku husband!) and bits of slice-of-life struggles that young married couples certainly go through today. (It didn't really need that very-trap-ish otoko no ko for the otaku's brother, though.)
I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying: 2nd Thread (TV 2) Very good
If Her Flag Breaks (TV) Decent Also known as "Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara," this was a show that explored the protagonist's ability to see "flags" above other people's heads that pinpoint key crossroads in their lives-- rather comparable to "event flags," which are conditions in game design (like visual novels) that causes variables to change. With that ability of premonition, he is able to affect fate. Naturally, this leads him into a harem-like setup where he's surrounded by girls who are most defined by the archetypes they represent, from classic tsundere and tomboy to the "big sister" and "little sister characters." There's even a trap character whose gender or gender "identity" seems fairly ambiguous. Perhaps the most comparable anime to this is "Noucome," which too was a harem anime that looked at a protagonist's hand in 'guiding fate' through a format that isn't so far removed from a visual novel. While Noucome was all comedy that had much fan service and lacked a whole lot of depth or overarching story to the protagonist's ability, Kanojo ga Flag has a 'cleaner' flair to it and seems to be more seriously concerned with its main character's trouble. There even come to be interesting science fiction elements in play for the overall narrative, and developments ramp up seriously and suitably for the last few episodes, though it's all a bit confusing-- understandable, I guess, considering that it was adapted from a then-ongoing visual novel. It's too bad that the characters besides mains Souta and Nanami didn't really become or feel more real than they did at first glance, though. (Some character voices were also way too high-pitched!)
In/Spectre (TV) Good
INTERSTELLA 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (movie) Very good
InuYasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass
Is the order a rabbit? (TV) Good Also known as "Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka?," or Gochiusa for short, this is a slice of life adapted from a 4-koma seinen manga (much like Kiniro Mosaic) produced By Studio White Fox, which has already had experience in the SOL genre with Super Sonico. It is a very pleasant watch and, save for occasional male gaze angles at a female figure or two that just does''t go with the faces (like Riza and Chiya), rather innocent. Since SOL anime often comes down to Cute Girls doing Cute Things, they can benefit from having distinctive quirks to set them apart from others in the genre, and such is the case with this. Gochiusa has a distinctive setting, taking place in a picturesque setting with good European vibes (Holland?) and lots of bunnies roaming around. In fact, it takes the bunny motif fairly far to humorous effect-- the show's main cafe's original owner is stuck in the form of an Angoran rabbit fluff ball, characters may don bunny-ears or clothing like a bunnies, films and books will involve bunnies, board games and puzzles will be bunny-based, even cold medicine will be bunny-branded. This is already on top of a good base of character humor as exhibited through the relationships and interactions between the five main girls, who may not be cliche'-shattering but are healthily distinctive and have their own nice quirks all the same. The 'central' three of the five are those who work at the Rabbit House Cafe-- they are Cocoa, who is the energetic new girl in town that desires lot be looked up to as a good Onee-chan by her younger peers; Chino, the middle school granddaughter of the owner-turned-bunny, is like a matured yet more precocious and shy Renge-chon; and Rize, the elder cafe part-timer who comes from a high-class background and is a big military otaku (she was even trained in CQC by her Father!) who tries to be, and sometimes is, more feminine. The other two of the five work at different places but are still around often-- there's Chiya, the sweet-natured proper lady (and classmate of Cocoa) who helps run a tea cafe but isn't shy about messing around with others; and there's Sharo, the blonde with a sempai-crush on Rize at their elite school, albeit an expensive school she only succeeded at gaining a big scholarship for with her hard work and smarts alone, so she is very self-conscientious about her relative-poverty. That most-all of all the shenanigans in this SOL take place outside of school, mostly in the Rabbit House cafe, is definitely a good change of pace from what I consider 'the norm.' I hope that there will be a second season of this!
Is the order a rabbit?? (TV 2) Good
Is This a Zombie? (TV) Very good
Izetta: The Last Witch (TV) Good
Jin-Roh - The Wolf Brigade (movie)
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (TV) Very good
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable (TV) Excellent Best Jojo season? Best Jojo season. (Ended in 2016)
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (TV) Excellent
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Battle in Egypt Arc (TV) Excellent
Joker Game (TV) Good A Spring 2016 anime that is a very handsomely produced by Production IG. A historical fiction piece set in 1937, "Joker Game" follows the spies of the clandestine "D Agency" as they accomplish various espionage (both external and internal) in the lead to World War 2. Sadly, I'm not too sure where the show was trying to go in the end, being rather episodic as a whole, and I'm not going to remember these characters very well, aside from maybe Agency lead and Lieutenant Colonel Yuki.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War (TV) Excellent
Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- (TV) Excellent
Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2 (TV) Excellent rated episode 11
Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (TV) Good
Keijo!!!!!!!! (TV) Very good A funnier (and stupid in a smart way?) T&A comedy that is literally about girls participating in a watersport where they do battle with their T&A. Good, not terribly exploitative fun; a somewhat guilty pleasure.
Kemono Michi: Rise Up (TV) Good A silly Fall 2019 isekai comedy about a professional wrestler who just ultimately wants to open up a pet shop. From the same creator as Konosuba.
Kids on the Slope (TV) Excellent A thoroughly enjoyable and emotional roller coaster through the eyes of a few Japanese teenagers living through their jazz and friendship and (jazzy friendship?) in the mid-to-late 1960s. Though some pacing issues became definitely noticeable in the last few episodes, it was still altogether sweet and wonderful, especially given the episode count Watanabe & co. had to work with.
Kiki's Delivery Service (movie) Excellent
Kill la Kill (TV) Excellent This is probably the best of the two-cour shows to finish out in Winter 2014. What a wild and immensely fun ride it's been, and all thanks to Studio Trigger! Off the bat we see a very distinct aesthetic that brings to mind Gurren Lagann and bits of Panty and Stocking (particularly in the animation department, where movement is just as much implied as it is actually done). This is understandable, since it's head creators were heavily involved with those two shows at Gainax. The epic and loud story and characters fondly evoke those found in Gurren Lagann, though to a personally more memorable degree. (KLK is probably home to my first one-true-pairing, or OTP, that might as well be canon at this point: Mako and a certain big guy whose name starts with G....) It's also quite cool that the drama itself works on a fairly deep level, making some meaningful statements (feminist or otherwise) through a rejection of being enslaved by clothing and by extension societal/marriage norm. (To amusingly great effect, this translates into our main characters duking it out in skimpy clothes and the existence of a guerilla group called "Nudist Beach.") And of course, the music deserves some mention-- it's suitably on-note with all the action and drama, making for some very strong compositions and pretty rad OPs/EDs.
Killing Bites (TV) Good
King of Thorn (movie) Good
Kinmoza! Kiniro + Mosaic (TV) Very good
Kite (OAV) Decent
Kite Liberator (OAV) Decent
Kiznaiver (TV) Excellent A Spring 2016 show that was a Studio Trigger x Mari Okada collaboration, and thus displays the wondrous eccentricities of both. Comment-pending, as this is a show that i definitely want to re-watch at a less busy time. Meanwhile, here's the synopsis.: "The fictional Japanese city named Sugomori City is built on reclaimed land. But as the years go by, the city's population is decreasing. One day, Sonosaki tells her classmate Katsuhira: "You have been selected to be a Kiznaiver." The Kizuna System, which allows Katsuhira to share his wounds, connects him to the classmates whose lives and personalities completely differ from his. The Kizuna System is an incomplete system for the implementation of world peace that connects people through wounds. All those who are connected to this system are called Kiznaivers. When one Kiznaiver is wounded, the system divides and transmits the wound among the other Kiznaivers."
Knights of Sidonia (TV) Very good A beautifully animated and directed CG science fiction series that Netflix decided to choose as their entry waypoint into the market. Found myself to be pleasantly surprised by it-- despite the initially unsettling CG-fication of the just about everything in the show, it soon came to be a very natural fit for all the enthralling action that entailed between the human-piloted mechs and the shape-shifting, organically gooey Gauna, which are so fluidly animated and well-choreographed that it's difficult to imagine a 2d TV anime of the same budget reaching the same levels of competency. Fortunately, these high-octane sequences aren't all flash, as they're supported by a unique setting and great foundation of solid plot and character developments. The "gardes" that are piloted are thankfully given minimal "characterization" (with their being the more-functional-than-flashy tools of war one would expect them to be in a more 'realistic' science-fiction setting and all) and there aren't many overly-complicated fictional politics involved either, making it all the more easier to focus more on the generally distinctive characters and their relationships to each other-- such as the one-sided rivalry the white-haired Kunato has with MC Nagate Tanikaze, Nagate's infatuations with Shizuka Hoshijiro (and her visage), or the "third-gendered" Izana's great like for Nagate. (And who can forget Lala Hayama, the dorm mother that looks like some bear for some yet unexplained reason?) NOTE: This is only the first season of Knights of Sidonia, which first premiered overseas in Spring and I only got around to finishing in November 2014, so things may happen to affect my overall appreciation of the series. For now, though, I am very content with what we have here-- so I look forward to seeing season 2 start up next year!
Koe de Oshigoto! (OAV) Not really good
Komori-san Can't Decline (TV) Decent A Fall 2015 anime of twelve, two-minute shorts from the same creator as "I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying.: Focuses on a tall girl with big boobs who can't decline helping others. She and her friends provide some amusement.
Kurenai (TV) Excellent
Last Exile (TV)
Level E (TV) Very good This series from the same creator of Yu Yu Hakusho & Hunter X Hunter is a hilarious collection of science fiction-y vignettes involving a Master Troll of a prince aptly called Prince Baka. As loosely tied as the individual arcs may be, the majority of them are very entertaining and unique-- where else would one find an anime that involved a mermaid, super sentai and RPG parodies, and a somewhat poignant tale of a transgendered girl? To my surprise, as the show's last arc proves, there is a greater (if fairly simple) point to all the wacky events that have occurred since Baka has landed on Earth, paving the way for an actual conclusion of sorts. I imagine the dub starring Vic Mignogna will be supremely entertaining as well.
Little Witch Academia (movie) Very good
Log Horizon (TV) Very good The first 26 episode cour of the "Log Horizon" IP, LH soon built itself up into becoming my favorite gaming-based anime ever. (Though this might not be saying much, with .hack//SIGN being the only other one I've seen. And yes, that means I haven't seen all of Sword Art Online as of this writing, though I doubt it'll be better.) Log Horizon really stands out in how it deals with the life changes and consequences of people being forcibly brought into an MMO-based world from the real one. It doesn't concern itself with having the characters fight to survive to get out of the world, lest they die in the game and thus in real life-- it soon resolves that question and says no, people will revive largely as if it was still a game. Rather, LH concerns itself with how all these gamers (Shiroe and his growing team in Akihabara in particular) cope with an actual cultural transplantation of these people from the familiar "real world" to the "game world" of Elder Tale, and how they actually *live their lives* in such a world. Living a life in this world becomes only more necessary when it becomes clear that Elder Tale is not the same place Shiroe and company knew as gamers, but one with its own distinct cultures and wholly sentient NPCs (People of the Land), along with rules culled from both the "real world" and the place Elder Tale was as a game. It's a great and interesting premise, with a lot of room for dense world-building-- as expected of the author who wrote MAOYU, another story that had a lot of strong world-building that the anime seemed to mostly scratch at. And of course, beyond the premise, the plot and characters provide a lot of fun and meaningful engagement for the viewer. The execution is generally good, though the art and animation are generally average, and it can get a bit too verbally dense for its own good.
Log Horizon (TV 2) Very good
Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace note (TV) Very good
(The) Lost Village (TV) Very good One of the two Mari Okada series to air during Spring 2016, which was apparently crowd-funded. A rather campy and genre-savvy take on the horror-thriller genre, where a couple dozen characters exiling themselves from the 'real world' to a remote village to try and start a new life for themselves. Fun & snappy writing is demonstrated throughout this largely unserious series, as its quirky characters find themselves unable to actually escape from their old reality, encountering manifestations of their guilt & regret known as "Nanaki."
Love After World Domination (TV) Good
Love is Like a Cocktail (TV) Good Also known as Osake wa Fūfu ni Natte kara. Aired in Fall of 2017. Cute and comfy fun with genuinely interesting cocktail recipes (as a complete cocktail noob).
Love Live! School idol project (TV) Very good The first animated entry into the Love Live multimedia project (which I've never heard of before this anime FYI), this is a Sunrise-produced anime that follows a group of high school girls who become singing idols to attract new prospective students and keep their school from shutting down. Though already being a bit of an established franchise, it responsibly decides to start its story from the beginning, when the girls are finding out if they can even become a legitimate school idol group in the first place. The hyper sophomore Honoka comes up with the idea after seeing the success that actual school idol groups have enjoyed (such as "A-RISE"), and so she soon excitedly brings her two friends Kotori-chan and Umi-chan in tow. Much of the twelve-episode series follows Honoka’s steady recruitment of other girls in Otonokizaka Academy to her cause and the idol performances and training regimens that entail. Through this process, the trio becomes acquainted with distinctive characters neither crushingly chained to clichés nor dictated by them. Eventually nine unique members in all form up to complete μ's (pronounced muse) , though not without having their own relational and personal struggles before and after said-formation. There’s admittedly the feeling of an afterschool special to it all, including the dramatic and admittedly exciting final episodes and the season’s ultimate resolution, but there’s enough cheery earnestness to Love Live that makes it shine in a sea of anime with decidedly less innocent-and-good-natured outlooks. Of course it helps that the girls themselves look ‘quite cute’ and their songs are upbeat and catchy yet neither devoid of meaning nor depth.
Love Live! School idol project (TV 2/2014) Very good The sequel season to Love Live!, quite obviously. This time, it is about the girls actually trying to make it all the way to the top of the Love Live! school idol competition, not merely to become idols and save their school from closing. (That last bit, by the way, seems to have largely been taken care of by the end of the first season.) And now that we've settled into our core group of characters, with no need for extra character introductions, we're able to get to know all of them a fair bit more, and the series is better and more fun for it. (Such as the introduction to Nico's family-- how adorable!) It's a bit of a shame, then, that its last three episodes are almost overwrought dramatically. For much of the duration of the last quarter/third the girls are so dying-of-cancer sad about how this will be the last time all 9 are together as µ's, only for an "Emergency" message to pop into Hanako's phone and presumably lead into the Love Live! film. Oh well.
Love Live! Sunshine!! (TV) Very good
A Lull in the Sea (TV) Excellent "This is probably the best of the two-cour shows to finish out in Winter 2014." Oh wait, I said that about Kill La Kill! Seriously, though, this anime-original work penned by Mari Okada looks to be one of 2013/2014's best anime already. It's definitely a quite gorgeous and polished anime, with animation and artistry maintaining a sophisticated degree of consistency courtesy of P.A. Works. Music is also of phenomenal quality, with all the OPs & EDs deserving of regular listening. The setting that's established with the premise, where there are land people and sea people that largely live and remain within their respective town/village, make it very unique. Though it may appear that these more unique elements (which include the conflicts that arise between the people of the land and sea, the world seeming to reach an end, etc.) get pushed to the background by the relationship drama between the main cast, it really isn't. As the show proves to the very end of the series, these unique elements-- the sea, the sea god, the sea village and their stories-- serve as meaningful vehicles for its powerful and in-depth exploration of what Love truly is. With a conclusion providing more beauty and resolution than I thought Mari Okada would allow, Nagi no Asukara is certainly a journey worth seeing through.
Lunar Legend Tsukihime (TV) So-so So.... that sure was an anime-- an obviously early digipaint anime with an obviously limited budget, no less. Though I haven't (yet) read the visual novel, I have read the manga, and that adaptation was much more superior. Not only did the characters prove more interesting there, its story was denser with more details & relevant plotting and conveyed more kinetic energy through its fights than the anime itself did. That being said, the romance between Shiki and Arcueid appeared to be developed more nicely than not, and the soundtrack proved to be good as well, with a memorable OP to boot (though at least one track seemed to be overused).
Lupin III: Crisis in Tokyo (special)
Lupin III: Dead or Alive (movie)
Lupin III: Farewell to Nostradamus (movie)
Lupin III: Island of Assassins (special) Very good
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (movie)
Lupin III: The Columbus Files (special)
Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (TV) Excellent
Lycoris Recoil (TV) Very good
M.D. Geist (OAV) Bad
M.D. Geist II - Death Force (OAV) Bad
Macross Plus (OAV) Excellent
Made in Abyss (TV) Masterpiece
Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul (movie) Excellent
Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun (TV 2) Masterpiece
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic (TV) Very good Technically a second season, this is an impressive followup to the what I had already considered to be a great foundation in "The Labyrinth of Magic." It reminds me a lot of 'shonen' shows I used to follow and enjoy, but with much better pacing, more consistent excitement, and even deeper commentary (like the classism and discrimination that had been shown between magicians and magoi alike). After this, I definitely look forward to a third season of Magi.
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (TV) Very good
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story (TV 2) Very good
Magical Girl Ore (TV) Decent
Magical Girl Raising Project (TV) Decent Fall 2016 probably-Madoka-inspired dark-n-edgy magical girl series adapted from a light novel. It was alright, but its large cast within the 12-episode count inevitably meant character development could only go so deep. Some girls' ends and stories were too short-lived and seemingly senselessly cruel. Perhaps it could've ended in a better fashion, though it was overall interesting enough that *maybe* I would watch a possible sequel season...
Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka (TV) Decent
Magical Sempai (TV) Not really good A dumb 2019 summer (short series) comedy from the creator of Dagashi Kashi; not nearly as interested in magic as it is with the magic-loving sempai's busty figure.
Magical Somera-chan (TV) Decent From the same creator of "Ai Mai Mi." Another silly, rather absurd 3-minute short series. Very crazy.
Magical Witch Punie-chan (OAV)
Magnetic Rose (movie) Excellent
Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara. (TV) Decent A 12-episode 4 minute short series that aired in Winter 2016. Explores the complications of a girl who has to transform into a swimsuit whenever she becomes a magical girl. Not much of a plot or arc of anything to speak of. Yeah. Cute OP though.
(La) Maison en Petits Cubes (movie) Masterpiece
Maquia - When the Promised Flower Blooms (movie) Masterpiece
Mardock Scramble: The First Compression (movie) Very good What an unexpected treat. Was thinking it'd be awfully hard-edge and "cool" but emotionally cold film, coming into this Sci-Fi "Psychosexual Thriller." While definitely hard-edge, it was more appropriate than not for the setting, and Balot and Oeufcocque were pretty good characters within the sixty minute time frame. Also, props for a cathartic arrangement of Newton's "Amazing Grace" in the end credits.... can't wait for the rest of this trilogy.
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV)
Memories (movie)
Mieruko-chan (TV) Good
Millennium Actress (movie) Masterpiece
Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (TV) Very good Cute and sweet, if somewhat fanservicey (Lucoa/Quetzalcoatl *especially* say hi) Winter 2017 SOL series about a dragon anthropomorphized as a cuter girl maid living with an IT salary-woman. Nice animation courtesy of Kyoto Animation.
Miss Monochrome (TV)
Miss Monochrome - The Animation- 2 (TV)
Miss Monochrome - The Animation- 3 (TV)
Momokyun Sword (TV) So-so Eh, it caught my attention primarily for its Japanese folklore setting and my vague memory what the Story of Momotaro, but it didn't really do much that couldn't have been accomplished in any other time with its chasing-the-MacGuffin plot line. It was a fairly simple show, with largely simple characters, and with an animation budget whose limits became all too apparent in the last two episodes, especially in the fight between Oni king Jagiou and Momoko in episode 11. (Acting, music and writing did seem to ramp up some at least in the concluding arc.) As stupid as most of the series was, its fan service and accompanying boobage did prove entertaining sometimes, and when it entered into its ~serious~ story arc to tie up the series in the last four episodes, it definitely hit some good notes. (Onihime, Momoko's rival, really became a well-developed character for this series).
Monogatari Series Second Season (TV) Excellent The Sequel Series to Nisemonogatari, which was preceded by Bakemonogatari. "Second Season" is definitely my favorite of the three Monogatari series, reaching dramatic and even emotional depths that Bake- & Nise- do not in their (admittedly important) foundation-building.
Monster (TV) Masterpiece
Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls (TV) Good Summer 2015 anime; also known as "Everyday Life with Monster Girls." A very ecchi, but also rather creative, iteration and send-up of the harem comedy sub genre. Instead of having a harem full of normal girls, the main character (known as Darling, or Kimimihito, which may literally mean "self-insert") is surrounded by monster girls! It's indeed a pretty diverse array of characters, most of whom are noticeably buxom but, thanks to their monster nature, retain very distinct designs. In the harem alone we have Miaa the Lamia, Centarea the Caentaur, Papi the Harpy, Mero the Mermaid, Suu the Slime Girl, Rachnera the Arachnee, and Lala the Dullahan, with perhaps more on their way. (Fun characters exist outside this harem, particularly the members of the M.O.N. Squad-- Zombina the Zombie, Doppel the Doppelgänger, Tionishia the Ogre, and Manako the Cyclops-- led by the human Ms. Smith). While the character personalities of Kimihito's ever growing harem may adhere to clear archetypes, the humor that stems from the girls inhumanness is quite fun and dirty, though definitely not the sort to be watched in, uh, normal company.
Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit (TV) Excellent
Mr. Osomatsu (TV) Excellent Osomatsu-san was a hilarious 25 episode series that aired between Fall 2015 and Winter 2016, one that I very much hope will get a new season. Directed by the same guy who did Gintama (which is apparently a Good and Encouraging Thing), it's a new iteration of a property that first got its start in the 1960s... and then seems to do its own thing? It features the same characters as earlier osomatsu-san anime, aged by 1-2 decades, but forms a unique enough identity to not have any familiarity with earlier shows. For a show starring the Matsuno sextuplets, it works pretty hard and proves succesful at establishing and cultivating their identities. Among them-- and I'm sorry, but it'll be quicker to borrow their descriptions from MAL-- are: Osomatsu himself, "the oldest and leader of the sextuplets, as well as the best fighter in the group"; Karamatsu, who "likes to play tough and cool, but so far he really isn't doing a good job"; Choromatsu, the third-oldest brother that usually plays the straight man/tsukkomi role; Ichimatsu, the fourth brother who's "cynical and generally disinterested in things, but has a soft spot for cats"; Jyushimatsu, the zaniest and most hyperactive fifth brother who always has a smile on his face; and Todomatsu ("Totty!"), the youngest, most-spoiled brother. Whew! And of course, there are other characters besides like these, like the scheming buck-toothed Iyami-san and narcissistic Totoko-chan. There's too much cleverness and silliness to this anime than I could ever hope to summarize in this ANN comment, so I'll just say-- if you comedy that's varied, full of sight gags, and fairly black with genuine moments of heart, the new Osomatsu-san is just for you.
Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku (OAV) Very good
Muromi-san (TV) Very good
Mushi-Shi (TV) Masterpiece
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (TV 1) Very good
My Dress-Up Darling (TV) Very good
My First Girlfriend is a Gal (TV) So-so
My Hero Academia (TV)
My Little Monster (TV) Excellent
My mental choices are completely interfering with my school romantic comedy (TV) Decent Also known as "Noucome", or the booru-friendly title of "ore_no_nounai_sentakushi_ga_gakuen_love-comedy_wo_senryoku_de_jama_shiteru," this was a pretty stupid and somewhat fun anime. An anime ostensibly about its MC being faced with random options (set forth by a deep-voiced Absolute Choice) as if he was a visual novel protagonist, the premise's stupidity eventually outdoes whatever cleverness comes with it in the execution. The choices (which are predominantly binary) and the results themselves tend to go for the cheaper laughs, though still laughs. Kanade, the MC, plays the straight man to (and often victimized by) the zaniness that surrounds him, and does his job well, making him entertaining to watch. It seems very self-aware of the many archetypes it employs-- the genki girls, tsundere girl, the imouto, the dominatrix, the loli, the Student Council President-- and put their quirky spin on them. There's how the huge breasts of Ayame, the dominatrix type, are actually silicone implants; the imouto/childhood friend of the MC tries to make all other characters her Onii-san or Onee-san; how genre-savvy the SCP is; how the loli is actually the bitter and deeper-voiced homeroom teacher, who also suffered Absolute Choice). Still, some voice performances largely hew too close to the archetypes so as to almost grate, and the aesthetics feel rather cheap, though not particularly bad at the technical level. --------------------------------------------------------------- 'Episode 11,' the OVA bundled with one of its light novels, is more stupid fun, literally placing Kanade inside the world of a favorite gal game of his and having to complete it, all the while facing the lewd randomness of Absolute Choice and having his harem's 3 main girls serve as the base for the gal game's girls. It is a bit clever, though, when Kanade realizes that the eroge's actual MC is clueless of all the girls' one-sided-love while *he himself* is such an MC in relation to his little harem IRL.
My Wife is the Student Council President (TV) Decent The title kinda says it all for this ~10 minute length anime that aired during Summer 2015. It's an erotic comedy that has the distinction of simulcasting in both censored and uncensored formats via Crunchyroll, and it delivers on that front, for better and/or for worse. It's kinda cute, but also kinda dumb and definitely full of eyeroll-worthy T&A situations.
My Wife is the Student Council President+! (TV) Decent
Myriad Colors Phantom World (TV) Decent A 2016 Winter Anime Series by Kyoto Animation. Having the benefit(?) of not having seen many KyoAni shows as of this writing, I saw a pretty, and definitely colorful little series. The OP even has the most anime OP I've ever seen to ANIME in a while! It's a shame then that the storytelling is kind of pedestrian. Not possessing much of an overall plot to speak of, save for one that (surprise! not really) kinda kicks in and seemingly gets resolved within the final two episodes, it largely limits itself to a mixed bag of self-contained vignettes. Some are genuinely touching, specifically the episodes that actually develop these characters (like episode 10, which explored Haruhiko and the busty one's- er, Mai Kawakami's motherly side), while others are silly and make little impact aside from some slight fanservice. (Episode 1 with Mai's magical boob physics is ~special~ in this regard.)
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (movie)
Nekomonogatari (Black) (TV) Excellent
Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV) Excellent
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (movie)
New Game! (TV) Good
Night on the Galactic Railroad (movie) Excellent
Nisemonogatari (TV) Very good It would be nice if this series was tighter, even though some of the extended comedy scenes that filled up time were quite funny. Some of the scenes got a little too long awkward as well, like the Sengoku bathing scenes and the infamous force toothbrushing of Karen. Still-- again, the humor worked very well most of the time, the characters were fun to watch, and both arcs came to pretty nice conclusions.
No Game, No Life (TV) Very good This was definitely a light novel show! Though a discernibly clever one, with oftentimes logical and fun mechanics. Sora and Shiro are the (NEET) protagonists, gamers collectively known as "Blank." At the series' start they're challenged to a game by the "God" of the fantasyland "Disboard," come to lose even though they're supposed to be the Best Gamers Ever, and then are teleported to Disboard to put their 1337 gamer skillz to the test and show how awesome they are in a world where all conflicts are settled by games rather than warfare or open human conflict. (Goodness this sounds more wish-fulfillment-y than I thought before writing!) They're joined by a colorful cadre of supporting characters like Steph (the sweet but dispossessed Princess of the Elkia Kingdom; has big boobs; butt of most jokes), Jibril (youngest of the ancient Old-Deus-created-warrior race known as the Flugel; has bigger boobs; warms up to "Imanity"), and-- somewhat tangentially-- the Kurami/Fiel pair (a human/elf 'team,' the latter of whom might have the biggest boobs!). Yes, it has its fair share of fan service and crudeness with what's essentially an expanding harem-setup, but the characters are lightly endearing and the service is kind of funny. Perhaps the biggest stars here, though, are the hyper-competency of "Blank" and the interesting games its put to use in, which makes "Nogenora" a very clever (if labyrinthine in all its logic and hyper competency) anime that is very fun to watch. The vibrant Madhouse production, with all its colors and shading that might clash and hurt people's eyes a bit, helps accentuate this as well. Looking forward to Season 2-- just hope I'll be able to follow along with the show quicker!
Noblesse: Awakening (OAV) Good Not a bad half-hour OVA seen on Crunchyroll in early 2016. Adaptation of a Korean manhwa having to do with vampires. Good action courtesy of Production IG & others.
Non Non Biyori (TV) Very good
Non Non Biyori Repeat (TV 2) Very good A Summer 2015 continuation of a sorta precious SOL anime, a continuation that I think surpasses the original (if only for the lack of strange yuri-flavored feelings b/w 5th grader Hotaru and her 8th grader-sempai Komari). Unique for a "continuation," it actually takes place over the course of the same year as the first season; it's just that it largely follows different happenings in the kids' everyday life, giving the show an almost timeless flavor. Like its predecessor, it's full of serene, beautifully illustrated scenes of the Japanese countryside that really makes me think about visiting about rural settings whenever I may go to Japan myself. NNB still has its share of moments that I think could be relatable to anyone who's experienced a childhood that was no stranger to the outdoors, sometimes poignant and even worthy of some meditation. And of course, the girls and their interactions (particularly those involving kindergartener Renge-chon) are cute and genuinely fun to watch.
Noragami (TV) Excellent
Now and Then, Here and There (TV) Excellent
Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! (TV) Good A very dumb-fun series that's definitely worth more than the sum of its parts; it's been a while since a series has made me chuckle or laugh as constantly as this did. And even better, I am now even more intrigued by H.P. Lovecraft's universe...
Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! (TV 2) So-so A disappointing followup to the original series, Nyarko: Another Crawling Chaos. The cast of characters pretty much stayed the same with the exception of a certain older sister, but not much seemed to be added to the character dynamics . There seemed to be fewer things of interest to this Lovecraft novice, instead playing up the harem angle more than needed, and the references seemed to reference the same things as the last season (or didn't seem as inspired). There is still some shallow, dumb fun to be had here, but not close at all to making the impression the first series did.
Occult Academy (TV) Very good
Occultic;Nine (TV) Very good
Ojisan to Marshmallow (TV) Good A 12-episode, 4 minute-each short series. A fairly simple and gentle, but effective, comedy featuring a large, early-middle-aged man who loves marshmallows and a co-worker infatuated with him.
Oneechan ga Kita (TV) Decent Alo translated as "my Big Sister Arrived." A cute and appropriately brief show, with twelve 4-min episodes that plays an admittedly light-hearted, incest-romance-but-it-isn't-really angle. The sister having a cute triangle mouth much like Renge of Non non Biyori definitely helped.
Only Yesterday (movie)
Outbreak Company (TV) Very good With no fantastic expectations going into this work, originally written by the same guy that did Scrapped, I came out rather surprised and pleased during much of its 12 episodes. It was definitely an otaku comedy with harem aspects, which served up its own conventional if banal fun-- like a beach episode where characters know it's a beach episode, a tourist-in-Wacky-Japan episode involving the hal-elf maid Myucel, or a make-an-otaku-targeted-movie episode. There are a couple other more great standalone but less conventional episodes, like a soccer match episode between the elves and dwarves or one where Princess Petralka was educated on being a Hikikomori for a day. (I have a feeling that latter episode's message isn't so unlike what "Welcome to the NHK" may tell.) However, it also ended up being a somewhat insightful and entertaining commentary on 'Cool Japan' and cultural imperialism as enforced through otaku culture, particularly the first four episodes and the last two. (Episode 11 is a highlight.) It helps that the production values remain solid enough overall, and the cast of characters consistently prove themselves entertaining if cute and pandering. I hope to be there when a second season ends up happening.
Ōya-san wa Shishunki! (TV) Good A rather fast-paced, 12 episode 2 minute short series that aired in Winter 2016. Follows a bit of the life of a middle-school-aged landlord. Cute in a non-creepy way and packed with some bouncy moments of animation.
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (TV) Good
Paprika (movie) Excellent
Patlabor 2: The Movie (movie 2)
Patlabor: The Movie (movie 1)
Penguindrum (TV) Masterpiece
Perfect Blue (movie)
Persona 4: The Animation (TV) Very good
Persona 5 the Animation -The Day Breakers- (special) Good Cool 20+ minute teaser for Persona 5 covering one of the in-game side missions for the Phantom Thieves. Watched shortly after completing Persona 5 (the game).
Pet Shop of Horrors (TV) Good
Ping Pong (TV) Masterpiece Probably the most pleasant anime related surprise I've come across all year. Having a nearly-dosheartening unfamiliarity with Masaaki Yuasa, only being aware of his credits in The Tatami Galaxy and Kick-Heart, I came in for the radical free-form visuals, but not really anything else. I didn't appreciate them fully at first, but they definitely grew on me, thanks to how confident the show was in its aesthetics and beautifully storyboarded it all was. Little did I think I'd stay on for a story full of great humanity and depth, one that celebrated human passion and friendship rather than the conceit of simply *having* to win at everything. The heartfelt bonds between Yutaka Hoshino ("Peco") and Makoto Tsukimoto (the barely smiling "Smile") may lie at the heart of this story-- and very much deservedly so, for they tie things up so well thematically-- but Ping Pong wouldn't quite be Ping Pong without it's strong supporting cast. There's Ryuichi Kazama, for example, who might even be a deconstruction of that character that *has* to win all the time, whatever the toll on his heart may be. And then Manabu Sakuma ("Akuma"), who develops from having a nasty-eyed rivalry with Smile to becoming accepting of his own limitations and "moves on." Of course, no one can forget Peco and Smile's respective coaches, the latter of whom is the most pleasant Engrish-speaking (and perhaps kawaii?) old man you may ever see in an anime. If one can only have room for one sports anime in their life, let that anime be "Ping Pong: The Animation."
(The) Place Promised in Our Early Days (movie)
Please tell me! Galko-chan (TV) Very good A 2016 Winter Anime Short Series (albeit one of the longer ones, with episodes 8 minutes each.) "Oshiete! Galko-Chan" is kinda like that anime "Girl's High" (or maybe even Daily Lives of High School Boys, though I haven't seen that yet) in that it explores what may be "naughty" or "taboo" subjects relating to human biology and sexuality. These subjects are in reality things that high-school kids *do* talk about (probably), but still a bit eye-popping in a humorous way for me. It helps that the friendship between Galko, Okako and Ojo-- a gyaru, otaku, and proper lady, respectively-- is endearing and crosses over the confines of their stereotypical cliques.
Pokémon 2000 - The Movie (movie 2)
Pokémon 3 - The Movie (movie 3)
Pokémon Origins (special) Good A gloriously faithful-yet-terribly-condensed 4-part anime adaptation of the storyline of the original Pokemon Red and Blue games. It's hard to imagine someone that played and liked the gameboy games to *not* get a kick out of it; it is certainly a crowd-pleaser for older fans that don't mind nostalgia trips. The characters themselves are quite charming, and just so damn earnest and passionate in a world where nothing but a pure, candid spirit, the strength of one's Pokemon, and FRIENDSHIP are all you need to get by. Kudos to making Red the awesome Pokemon trainer/power fantasy we always wanted Ash Ketchum. I also give this major props for dedicating one of the four episodes to Mr. Fuji and the going-ons of Lavender. At the end, particularly the final scenes involving the new XY generation mega-evolutions, it may have still been an advertisement, but nonetheless an animated treat worth seeing.
Pokémon: The First Movie (movie 1)
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (movie)
Porco Rosso (movie)
(Le) Portrait de Petite Cossette (OAV)
Princess Mononoke (movie)
Princess Tutu (TV)
Promare (movie) Excellent
(The) Promised Neverland (TV) Excellent
Psycho-Pass (TV) Excellent
Psycho-Pass (movie) Very good
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (TV) Masterpiece
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1: Beginnings Masterpiece
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 2: Eternal Masterpiece
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part 3: Rebellion Masterpiece
Pupa (TV) Not really good
Queen's Blade 2: The Evil Eye (TV) Good This was definitely a more valuable viewing experience than I could've imagined, coming into the second season that I thought would be roughly be the same exact cheesecake experience as the first. The characters and the story became much more developed-- enough so to actually get attached to and invested in a few of them! By comparison, whatever fan-service there was felt more arbitrary than not and whatever nudity there was was noticed much less.
Queen's Blade Rebellion Premium Visual Book (OAV)
Queen's Blade: Beautiful Warriors (OAV)
Queen's Blade: The Exiled Virgin (TV) Decent
(The) Quintessential Quintuplets (TV) Very good
Rage of Bahamut: Genesis (TV) Excellent Fall 2014 series I watched with my sister in spring/summer 2017, just ahead of the summer/fall 2017 "Virgin Soul" sequel. Super fun show reminiscent of great action adventure movies like the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, and then some.
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul (TV) Good
RahXephon (TV)
Rail Wars! (TV) So-so
Ranking of Kings (TV) Excellent
Re:CREATORS (TV) Masterpiece
Read or Die (OAV) Very good
Recently, my sister is unusual. (TV) Decent I think "Key" Theron Martin's review on this gives a pretty good perspective on this series. Basically, it's a show that, despite its absurd and unfunny premise, actually showed promise in some notable areas-- areas that don't even have anything to do with fanservice (which it largely lacked outside a couple episodes)-- but didn't really go all the way in them. There's some sense of merit to how the step-siblings's awkward relationship has some realism, resembling my image of how a relationship b/w sudden step-siblings would work in real life (sans a perverted ghost that tries to hook the sister with the brother). But...... eh. Many aspects really didn't go anywhere. At the very least, though, it had a funny and awesome reference to Metal Gear Solid in a post-credits scene in episode 6.
Record of Lodoss War (OAV) Very good
(The) Red Spectacles (live-action movie) Good
Redline (movie) Excellent
Revolutionary Girl Utena (TV) Masterpiece A timeless story with a beautiful ending.... a one-of-a-kind series, for sure. So much spectacle, so much absurd humor, and yes, so much artistic and literary substance that make me sure I'll want to revisit this series again and again.
Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie Excellent
RIN - Daughters of Mnemosyne (TV) Very good
Ringing Bell (movie)
Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers (TV) Very good A Summer 2015 fantasy anime from the writer of Book of Bantorra. It was an interesting series that seemed to start in a typical fantasy action-adventure mold (albeit with continuously inspired art direction) but then, before long, became a sort of 'locked room' mystery of identifying a traitor. Perhaps I should have seen it coming, considering it's called "Braves of the *Six* Flowers" while the primary cast of "Braves" is comprised of *seven* members. It might be better on a re-watch not spaced out over the course of weeks, since the revelation of the odd-one-out really surprised me, but not in a particularly satisfactory fashion. It's a shame that as well directed and generally fine the story is, the animation really struggles to keep up with the content, with a lot of off-model workmanship. It's also a shame that it covered only one arc (it was based off just one book after all) and likely won't receive an animated continuation, if the sales data are something to go by.
Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection (OAV)
Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal (OAV) Masterpiece
Samurai Flamenco (TV) Very good What a show. What a show! This might be the most deconstruction-y deconstruction in all deconstruction this side of 2013. Just when you think it'll be a semi-realistic satire about real-life vigilantes a la "Kick-Ass," then something happens (Guillotine Gorilla!) that lets it suddenly become some satire on super sentai shows. But it doesn't settle down and become too comfortable with some numbing monster-of-the-week format-- before long, enemies progressively escalate in size and scope, literally and figuratively, while taking the super sentai trappings farther and farther. And after encounters with the likes of politicians and aliens, we suddenly get a 3-episode plot that brings to mind The Dark Knight and its duality b/w Batman & The Joker! One might think that such a show would become an utter trainwreck, but luckily for us, it is just a train that employs some MULTI-TRACK DRIFTIN. Basically, it's a show that never crashes off the rails because a)the writers had a direction(s) in mind for it after all & b)there are some great and entertaining characters, like Masayoshi, his police officer-buddy Goto, and Samurai Flamenco's more brutal female counterpart, Mari (or Flamenco Girl). Too bad there's an awful lot of QUALITY in the anime's art & animation, though, at least in the broadcast run.
Sarazanmai (TV) Excellent
School-Live! (TV) Excellent "What if you had Madoka, but literally with Zombies?" School-Live!, or Gakkou Gurashi, might be the end result of such a crossing. A summer 2015 adaptation of a Nitro+ manga, this is a show featuring cute girls (Yuki, Kurumi, Yuri, and Miki) doing.... cute post apocalyptic things while trying to survive a zombie apocalypse through a makeshift school-living club. Before long, Gakkou Gurashi settles into some real drama that really makes the best of the grim genre it decided to submerge itself in, much of it related to Yuki's denial and the club's adviser Megumi Sakura (or "Megu-nee"). Definitely a gem of 2015.
Seitokai Yakuindomo (TV) Good
Sekkō Boys (TV) Very good A one-cour series of 7 episodes featuring the exploits of a pop-idol group that's actually just made up of anthropomorphized statue busts-- those of St. Giorgio, Medici, Hermes, and Mars. For a show that literally uses photographic cut-outs for the busts, the cast is very expressive! Funnier than it had any right to be (probably).
Serial Experiments Lain (TV)
Shadows House (TV) Very good
Shadows House (TV 2) Very good
Shakugan no Shana (movie)
Shaman King (TV 2001) Good
Shamanic Princess (OAV)
She and Her Cat (OAV)
She and Her Cat -Everything Flows- (TV) Excellent A beautiful 4-episode series (also known as Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko, or #kanoneko) based on the early short film by Makoto Shinkai. Features an old black cat that very much reminds me of Furby. Also made me cry.
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie (TV) Very good
Shinesman (OAV)
Shirobako (TV) Masterpiece
Short Peace (movie) Very good
A Silent Voice (movie) Masterpiece
Silver Spoon (TV) Excellent
Sin Strange Plus (TV) Good
(The) Sky Crawlers (movie) Very good
SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation (TV) Good An unexpected surprise of the season-- for an anime that stemmed from the popularity of the titular Nitro+ mascot, it was pleasant slice-of-life fun doused with various eccentricities and somewhat tame fanservice throughout. Naturally(?), Sonico is never seen without her headphones, and no one ever questions it. Her manager always has some flame-headed demon mask on. Practically everyone is inexplicably nice to her! Many of the episodes are very distinct from each other, from zombie and mystery-spoof episodes to supporting character-centric episodes that can actually be touching! (The episode focusing on a disgruntled editor and her picking back up her dreams of authoring is a personal highlight.) A nice little show indeed.
Space Patrol Luluco (TV) Good A Spring 2016 short series. Perhaps the most Trigger show that Trigger ever Triggered, featuring the same designs as those found in Panty & Stocking. It's a bit of a shame that it kinda felt like a condensed greatest hits of the Trigger Aesthetic, though.
Spirited Away (movie)
Squid Girl (TV) Excellent
Starship Troopers: Invasion (movie) Good
Stink Bomb (movie)
Strait Jacket (OAV)
Strange+ (TV) Good A funny, fast, slapstick-oriented anime that works well in short bursts... making it a rather natural fit for its 5 minute-and-under timespan! Jun Fukuyama as the Detective Agency's head-- a blue-haired boy that's all too comfortable with cross dressing-- is a highlight here.
Stray Dog (live-action movie)
Summer Wars (movie) Excellent
Superflat Monogram (movie)
Survival Game Club! (TV) Very good Primarily known (to me anyway) as Sabagebu, this is a summer 2014 anime I saw in mid-late Janaury 2015 (in tandem with my catch-up on Kokkuri-san). This was an immensely enjoyable rabid-fire gag comedy that thrives on the absurd, and perhaps because it was originally written by a woman for a shojou magazine, it lacks what might've other-wise been inclination towards 'moe' caricatures, because *boy* this small girls' high school survival club is a crazy bunch. And as if the club's original members-- the over-excited/rich/popular president Miyou, masochistic lesbian (and gou-dere?) Urara, cosplayer aficionado/otaku Goutouji, the semi-airheaded gravure model Maya, and recurring mascot Platy the yellow platypus-- don't set it apart enough, the show's ostensible main girl, Momoka, distinguishes herself as one of the most self-interested and "rotten" characters I've seen in ages! It could've gotten particularly nasty, but thankfully this show takes few breaks in not taking itself seriously, with sight gags, overactive imagination and utterly absurd humor dominating the show. The format helps alot-- though twelve episodes long, there are usually about 2-3 different vignettes per episode, so jokes or joke story lines usually don't overstay their welcome.
Sword of the Stranger (movie)
(The) Tale of the Princess Kaguya (movie) Masterpiece
Tales of Symphonia the Animation (OAV)
Tanaka-kun is Always Listless (TV) Very good A Spring 2016 Series. One of the most soothing slice-of-life series of its season, if not in recent memory. It has a very pleasant cast of characters all around, whether it is the two lead bros (the listless Tanaka & his personal carrier Ohta), the shy & secretive class president Shiraishi, Tanaka's self-declared 'student' Mino-chan, or yankee-like Echizen. Whatever drama there is is pretty low-key, but that's all this sort of show needs. Wonderfully atmospheric visual design (the open-air school itself is a sort of character) & OP/EDs really help sell it.
Tawawa on Monday (ONA) Decent
Tawawa on Monday Two (ONA) Decent
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legend of the Supermutants (OAV)
Three Leaves, Three Colors (TV) Very good
Tiger & Bunny (TV) Very good
Time of Eve (ONA) Excellent This was a pretty but too short series that makes me empathize more with android characters than those in most anything else that I have seen in visual media. Provocative and charming, it beautifully dramatizes relationships between humans and androids (or even androids and androids) in a future in which robots appear to acquire and develop a "soul" of their own. It would be great to see a second season come out of this property.
Today's Menu for Emiya Family (ONA) Excellent
Towanoquon (movie series) Very good
Trigun (TV)
Trigun: Badlands Rumble (movie) Good
Trinity Blood (TV) Good
Tsuredure Children (TV) Very good A very cute 12 minute x 12 Summer 2017 anime series about relationships among high school students. Very expressive and funny and down to earth about adolescent romantic feelings.
Uma Musume Pretty Derby (TV) Decent
Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid (TV) Not really good
Vampire Hunter D (OAV) Decent
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (movie) Very good
(The) Vision of Escaflowne (TV) Excellent
Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song- (TV) Excellent
Voices of a Distant Star (OAV)
WATAMOTE (TV) Very good This is a show that has at times been both hilarious and melancholic during its run-- an odd sort of combination that I wouldn't have dreamt of seeing in anything except black humor. (I'm not sure if 'black humor' is a really apt term for this show, though.) The music is largely appropriate, with changing EDs and an at-times-ear-stinging rock opening, and there are a lot of neat and occasionally obscure otaku references intwined with some of the art and animation. From a personal standpoint, I found watching this quite therapeutic, and even helpful in recalling my own social anxiety and behavior: Having been a big introvert myself, I've felt sympathy and even some compassion as Tomoko tries, and almost always fails, to make her 'high school debut' through these twelve episodes. Mileage will definitely vary, as some of it proves awfully hard and sad to watch, and there is no steady rate of progress in Tomoko's development. By the end, she appears to finally have made some semblance of headway in getting a little bit outside of her shell-- though certainly not enough so to discount more wacky Watamote material. :)
Weathering With You (movie) Masterpiece
Welcome to the NHK (TV) Excellent This is a truly meaningful, if not super-wonderful show that speaks to me in a way not unlike Watamote. In fact, as it focuses on a college-age (& college drop-out) NEET with some severe social anxiety and his concerns about his future, it might speak to me even more! Sure, there's comedy here in his initial situation, as well as the situations he gets himself into with his ero-game creator-wannabe and the girl who wants to 'save' him (among others). But it's definitely not an otaku-soothing, light-hearted 'romp'-- far from it! The characters, most of whom are college-age-or-older young adults, are carefully written and end up feeling very real and sympathetic. While the animation might not do anything noteworthy, its musical score really helps to accentuate the show's content, especially the OP and both EDs (themes which you really ought to read the English subtitles for!). It's rare for me to consume entertainment that makes me reconsider just how meaningful my current anime-and-game-obsessed life really is, but that's what Welcome to the NHK does. And I strongly commend it for that-- for its provision of such valuable medicine-- and the altogether great execution of it through its characters and story.
When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace (TV) Very good This is Studio Trigger's first work post-Kill La Kill, a light-novel adaptation of a work also known as "When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace." By such a title, and by the premise of a five kids in a high school literature club (one of whom is actually a visiting elementary school girl) randomly get super powers, one might indeed expect a lot of showmanship of super-powers for this show. However, that's not really what this show is about. Even from the start, Inou Battle is pretty carefree about them having these powers at all. For one, the most 'chuunibyou' and self-deluded of the Literature Club's students, Jurai Andou, has the most apparently useless power, the ability to emit a black flame he dramatically calls "Dark and Dark." And then, despite all the other club's kids having pretty awesome powers-- child-hood friend Hatoko with her elemental powers, elementary schooler Chifuyu with her powers of creation, 'main girl' Tomoyo and her time-manipulation, refined and big-bosomed Sayumi and her 'power of origin-- they really don't have any reason to practice them outside an imagined practice arena, so life goes on more or less like it has already for them. That is rather key here-- 'life goes on more or less like it has already for them." ***There are indeed battles that occur in their everyday life, but they need not be the supernatural; there's enough conflict between people and their ideas to be had!*** Not that there aren't some plot-development related to these powers-- several among many other power-users become somewhat involved, and there's talk of an "Faery War" that seems to just set-up beetles between the power-users for the sake of amusement-- but more than anything, the anime's concerned with the club member's intrinsic qualities and relationships between them-- primarily Ju-kun and his relations with his "harem." This results in some great highlights and ideas, like its delving into "chuunibyou" and Hatoko's related breakdown/rant on not understanding Jurai because of that (episode 7!), but there isn't a whole lot of proper follow-through. The girls establish themselves as clear an distinct characters-- who are easy to relate to in some ways, like Tomoyo's yearning to write or Sayumi's perfectionism-- but they're mostly developed in relation to Jurai, which is a bit of a shame. It makes for a bit of an uneven but overall fun show, one that has its hand in a lot of places but may not really be the best at any one thing. Maybe it can really be thought of an anthology of battles that do indeed occur in everyday life-- but one that covers battles and conflicts between characters and ordinary circumstances, others, and ideas, not 'merely' the supernatural!
When They Cry - Higurashi (TV) Very good
(The) Wind Rises (movie) Masterpiece
Witch Craft Works (TV) Very good A very charming, quirky and super colorful modern fantasy series. Not particularly deep, with Honoka and the distinctly taller Kagari being free of a lot of development (the latter, stoic and dark-harked bishoujo more-so), but fun, especially with the 'Team Rocket' crew of Tanpopo and her Tower Witch pals involved. Thomas Zoth (@ABCBTom) put it pretty well in the conclusion to his review of Episode 12 on Fandom Post: "The first episode seemed to hint that we’d be looking at a gender-reversed otome anime, but the show never really followed up on the gender politics in any significant way. What I did get was a wonderfully inventive, charming show that always managed to be more fun and surprising than I expected. It managed a fun balance of slice of life antics and life-or-death supernatural action, switching back and forth between the two at moment’s notice, destabilizing both narrative threads in hilarious and often thoughtful ways. There were no deep messages, just one of the best silly shows I’ve seen in a long while."
Witchblade (TV) Very good
Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil (TV) Decent What a.... show? It was definitely interesting, in a rough, chaotic, and kinda stupid way. The virtual slideshow that was episode 11 aside, it had some appealing production values courtesy of Studio Arms, as demonstrated by some cool action set-pieces and distinctive (though sillily-designed) character designs by Umetsu. The familiars were definitely highlights, even if the Frog familiar (voiced amusingly by Norio Wakamoto) became too creepy and perverted at times, and someof the story concepts were sort of neat, like a Lw & Order show about wizards. Still, there was too little logic going on in many of the show's proceedings, making it too hard to treat its court system (as canonically biased against wizards as it is) with any seriousness or hold personal investment in some of its characters. Also, there were some mysteries that really weren't handled well or satisfactorily resolved, like how there's the implication that a supporting character was a demon/Satan but little was done with it.
Wolf's Rain (TV) Masterpiece
Wolf's Rain (OAV) Masterpiece
World Conquest Zvezda Plot (TV) Very good
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku (TV) Very good
your name. (movie) Masterpiece
Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files (TV) Very good
Yu-Gi-Oh! (TV 2/2000)
Yuki Yuna Is a Hero (TV) Excellent This is a magical girl (mahou shoujo) series that aired in the Fall Season of 2014, but only had the (great pleasure!) of seeing within the first 2-3 weeks of January. If one were to sum up YukiYuna-- hashtag #yuyuyu-- it could be as "What you'd get if Madoka Magica had a lot more slice-of-life elements leading into it's drama, as actually meaningful character-building pieces, and had an even more life-affirming ending." Really, it seems to have borrowed a lot from Madoka Magica, especially in the successive drama of the last few episodes, down to one of Biggest Truths of This World being revealed in Episode 10 (kinda like Homura's flashback episode in Madoka!). But if it must learn and even borrow to tell its story, it's awesome that it does so from the very best in its genre. It's also nice, perhaps more so in retrospect, that it goes out of its way to really establish the girls as friends. The relationships between the girls-- the titular and genki girl, Yuki Yuna; her best friend and wheelchair-bound paraplegic, Tougou; the Sempai-Kohai sisters, Fuu and Itsuki; and eventually the reluctant transfer student-turned-friend, Karin-- are facilitated sweetly by their middle-school's volunteer-based "Hero Club," which Fuu-sempai set up to strengthen the bond between the prospective magical girls. It is through the club's activities, and other similar slice-of-life moments that occupy most of the space between their magical girl activities, that does great job as selling them as friends. It is unfortunate that some aspects don't hold up to the qua lity of Madoka-- it's not as deliberately paced or written, nor is it as artistically driven or cinematic. Yuki Yuna also plays up its fan service angles more, an inclination encapsulated not in just a (relatively mild) beach episode but also the size and emphasis on Tougou's breasts when she's not in her uniform; they're too large for a 13-4 year old girl, I'd think. Overall, though, it's definitely a worthy series to stick with to the end. Think that it may be one of the best anime of 2014.
Yuri!!! on Ice (TV) Very good
Yurikuma Arashi (TV) Very good
Zombie Land Saga (TV) Very good