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Jose Cruz Reviews Anime Titles. Latest: Made in Abyss


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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1456
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:20 am Reply with quote
Himegoto (2014)



Looking out for some crude comedy I decided to watch it and considering the length of each episode I watched the whole thing in a sitting as it runs under an hour in length. It's pretty standard stuff with the main exception that it depicts crossdressing though the crossdressers here look more like flat chested girls (though the main character was said to be very girly look like. The jokes would be absolutely standard if not for this factor so it was amusing for that reason. I found it more amusing than YuyuShiki for example, as this is very f*ed up stuff, to use a slang term that describes the show perfectly. My rating is 6/10.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1456
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:20 pm Reply with quote
Aldnoah.Zero (2014)



Having finished watching almost everything Urobuchi was involved in terms of animation I found Aldoah.Zero very interesting but also quite short series essentially about war and it's impact on people. The show's writing is really great and really manages to drive the narrative with great skill*. Though I didn't enjoy this one as much as his other titles.

I am not a big fan of mecha and I think that the excessive emphasis on battles featuring mechas with silly abilities and silly transformation sequences weakened a little bit the experience for me. The show spent a bit tad too much time on the mecha battles which were essentially puzzles where the main character found weaknesses on the enemy's technologically superior mechas.

The art and animation are top notch though. Vastly superior to the 2008 title I had just watched, Blassreiter. Direction is conservative and not different from other anime series. Still it was a nice experience, the parts that interested me were the character development and the themes of war and the motivations of each and it was very brutal in it's conclusion.

My rating is 7/10.

*sorry for my lack of reviewing abilities but this is kinda of training[/spoiler]


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:10 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Akane the Catgirl



Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1058
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:15 am Reply with quote
I haven't seen any of them, but I would like to correct some factual errors you made; Gen Urobuchi did not write Gargantia, Aldnoah.Zero, or Psycho-Pass 2. True, from what I have researched, he did write the first few episodes of Aldnoah.Zero and the first and last episodes of Gargantia. However, most of the aforementioned as well as all of Psycho-Pass 2 were handled by different writers. Please don't attribute those works to him. They may have his name on it, but he actually had very little to do with all of those anime I mentioned.

(And all it took was one twelve-episode magical girl anime to make me love Gen Urobuchi...huh.)

EDIT: Upon further research, I discovered that Urobuchi, in fact, did not write any of the scripts of Aldnoah.Zero. Katsuhiko Takayama is the person you should be crediting in said review. All Urobuchi did was provide the ideas for the story. Sorry to burst your bubble.
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1225
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:46 pm Reply with quote
I got half way through Blassreiter and had to stop. The drama was too much. Not that I'm opposed to drama, but the show didn't have anything worth me sticking around .
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1456
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:50 am Reply with quote
@akane, I will correct these mistakes in my posts. Indeed I should be more careful with claiming authorship for someone who only provided the concept. These series are collaborative works and so don't have a single author.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1456
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:20 pm Reply with quote
Space Dandy (2014)



Watched this at Christmas as it appears to be one of the most well regarded series of this year. From the same director as the famous Cowboy Bebop and very similar in many ways but much more daring but a bit less consistent than the famous classic. In terms of overall quality I would still rate it slightly lower but it's hard to rate as high as Cowboy Bebop (I rate it as 9/10) and about the same level as Samurai Champloo (8/10).

It's like the above series in being superficially a comedy (this time more aggressively sexual as well) but also conveying thoughts on serious themes. Similarly to other Watanabe stuff and if one loved his previous works one will like this one which is more extreme/daring in terms of narrative: spoiler[he kills the whole main cast several times over the 13 episodes.] and visually can get quite experimental as well such as in the episode about sentient plants which reminds me of Kaiba.

My rating is 8/10.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1456
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:09 pm Reply with quote
Psycho Pass 2 (2014)



Sequel to the excellent Psycho Pass (2012-13), this series continues with the themes of the previous series. As one of those adult crime cyberpunk titles (like the old classic, Ghost in the Shell), it's a welcome addition in this sea of mediocre harem/slice of life shows (which I like to watch from time to time, but not that much).

Interestingly is the Asian take on cyberpunk sci fi themes, with sentences (paraphrasing) such as "individuals who live virtuous lifes make a virtuous society ", which appear to come out of the texts of an ancient Chinese philosopher. In this sequel the concept of the sibyl system is not new anymore as it's real nature, instead of going the easy way and focusing on how other people might learn the true nature of the system the series focus on another possibility: how does the sibyl system can adapt to a case where the agents discover a individual where the sibyl system cannot recognize such individual as a living entity. And the severe problems that flaw in the system cause to that highly controlled society.

I love the high detail art and the animation is decent enough, though the excessive use of CGI reduce the visual quality of the series IMO. I love the dark color palette as well, to look very "darky", clear influence of that grandaddy of the genre, Blade Runner. Consistently entertaining, I rate it as 7/10.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Psycho 101
Moderator


Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 13175
Location: Chora's Den
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:51 pm Reply with quote
You might be one of the few people who seemed to actually like season 2. Most people I've seen talk about it found it mediocre at best, and disappointing more than anything. Still have to see it myself.
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1225
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:11 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:
You might be one of the few people who seemed to actually like season 2. Most people I've seen talk about it found it mediocre at best, and disappointing more than anything. Still have to see it myself.


I still haven't seen it myself. As much as I loved the first season, I really don't have a desire to the second after hearing about how awful it is.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1456
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:07 am Reply with quote
My rating was a bit higher than I would have given in retrospect because it was definitely weaker than the first season but not bad, I was very entertained by it during it's duration.
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ScumbagYoshi



Joined: 30 Apr 2013
Posts: 140
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:07 pm Reply with quote
Hey again Jose Cruz! Keep up the reviews. If anything they're short, concise, and easy to understand where you're coming from, which I like in reviewers.
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CoreSignal



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
Posts: 715
Location: California, USA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:50 pm Reply with quote
Hey Jose Cruz, good Psycho Pass 2 review. I'm one of the people who loved the 1st season but didn't like the 2nd season. Here's something I posted in another forum from a couple months ago:

Some of my problems with PP2:

Sybil was never thought of as a perfect system in season 1 so I have no idea why Ubukata decided questioning its perfection should be a central plot point again.

One big gripe with PP2 is the complete waste of the returning cast. Yayoi, Ginoza, and Shion were pretty much a waste. After episode 5, all three characters probably had a total of 20 lines of dialogue combined and even less screen time. Heck, even the new enforcer, Hinakawa, barely has anything to his character.

My other big gripe, all the detective/procedural elements are essentially gone. The first season was never a super realistic portrayal of detective work, but at least you saw Akane and co. doing some actual stuff like asking witnesses, examining crime scenes, following leads, etc. This season, most of the inspectors/enforcers run to the crime scene with guns blazing (see episode 4) with little detective work.
--------------------------------------------------------

As you said in your review, I also thought the individual vs entity theme was interesting, but I didn't feel the writer did a good job of exploring it. Also, I think having only 11 episodes hurt the story and character development. Otherwise I agree, Psycho Pass 2 is still entertaining to watch. And you actually wrote a review for Himegoto Smile a show that many people wouldn't touch.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1456
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:11 pm Reply with quote
ScumbagYoshi wrote:
Hey again Jose Cruz! Keep up the reviews. If anything they're short, concise, and easy to understand where you're coming from, which I like in reviewers.


I will when I finish watching what I am watching right now. Psycho Pass 2 was the last series I finished watching.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1456
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:13 pm Reply with quote
CoreSignal wrote:
As you said in your review, I also thought the individual vs entity theme was interesting, but I didn't feel the writer did a good job of exploring it. Also, I think having only 11 episodes hurt the story and character development.


Yes, it felt a bit rushed compared to the original. Your criticism is mostly derived from that fact since all the depth and subtle elements of the original are gone.

Quote:
Otherwise I agree, Psycho Pass 2 is still entertaining to watch. And you actually wrote a review for Himegoto Smile a show that many people wouldn't touch.


It's not very good but I was entertained by it. I am attracted to weird things so what most people wouldn't touch I am curious about, this applies to anime in general: most people wouldn't touch any anime.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1456
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:15 am Reply with quote
Legend of Galactic Heroes: A Hundred Billion Stars ad Hundred Billion Lights (1999-2000)



This is a prequel to the 110-episode epic OVA of Legend of Galactic Heroes detailing the process in which Reinhard von Musel became an admiral which set the stage for his spectacular feats of LoGH. Showing his rise from a recently graduated officer (first in class in academy, of course) to a rear admiral and his change in name to a more prestigious family name in the archaic aristocratic society of the Galactic Empire.

He is a character clearly modeled on Alexander the Great, perhaps even more arrogant than the original though we don't know how Alexander the Great though about himself when he was young. Reinhard (or as Kircheis says "RRaeiharrdo-sama") knows he is better/more talented than everybody else, in fact, is perfectly sure of his superhuman status, he regards all other people as just dumb-animals to be manipulated. One thing that bugs me is the also incredibly exagerated way which Kirchieis idolatizes him, and here, in 27 episodes exclusively dedicated to Kircheis and Reinhard, it became a bit more artificial than in the original series. Their relationship is similar in the way the apostles idolized Jesus, however, Kircheis has ulterior motives as well, such as Reinhard's big sister. Too bad he dies in the first quarter of the original series a couple of years after the ending of this OVA.

One thing that I also find problematic in LoGH is the relatively unimpressive medical technology: an admiral of 76 is considered decrepit. I would think that in a vast interstellar civilization whose industrial capabilities are enough to build space stations of 60 trillion tons (I noticed that they did quite realistic weigh calculations, considering that it implies in Iserlohn had a density of 750 kg per cubic meter, similar density to modern naval vessels), and fleets with millions of men move at thousands of times the speed of light, their medical technology overall appears to be not greatly superior to our own and inferior in some respects as well. I would expect to have "cured" aging at that point or at least make 76 year olds more vigorous. Overall though it's a more realistic Sci-Fi than most others in their portrayal of the scale of battles: fleets of tens of thousands of ships of 1 kilometer in length would be expected from such massive interstellar civilization.

Overall, though it's a series for those who like over the top characters and gigantic space battles. The art and animation are quite sub-par if compared to modern series though I like the space ship designs and the explosions at some scenes are really well made.

My rating for this OVA is 8/10.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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