I might as well skip the plot synopsis of Sword Art Online, because odds are you already know it. Sword Art Online has utterly exploded. It is all over the place. It is that one show the EVERYONE is watching, whether it be through genuine interest or sheer bile fascination. And amidst this, it has split the anime fandom enormously between those who utterly love it and those who absolutely hate it. As you no doubt checked what I scored this before anything else, you can probably tell I'm in the latter camp.
In the event that you've been living under a rock these past 6 months, Sword Art Online... See full review
Detroit Metal City strikes a bizarre balance of the cringeworthily unfunny and the gut-bustingly hilarious.
This short, 12-episode OVA which will henceforth be abbreviated to "DMC" for convenience's sake, revolves around Negishi Souchi, an aspiring musician fresh out of college who has moved to Tokyo with a love of catchy, lighthearted European pop music. However, due to a misreading of his lyrics, he has accidentally ended up as the lead singer of death metal band Detroit Metal City, who are the antithesis of everything he stands for, using the alter-ego of Johannes Krauser II, a... See full review
Well, it tried, I'll give it that.
Hyouka, also known as "Hyou-ka: You Can't Escape" (a title that basically means nothing) is the latest series by acclaimed studio Kyoto Animation, who, despite their huge fanbase, generally produce work of more style than substance. Hyouka unfortunately follows this trend, though superficially it doesn't fit in with the rest of KyoAni's back catalogue very much. Hyouka is generally very dry in tone... which pairs up somewhat poorly with KyoAni's signature over-the-top style.
Hyouka is a mystery series, revolving around four high school students in... See full review
Vision of Escaflowne has something of a name for itself in anime history for being an an attempt to appeal to both shonen and shoujo demographics at the same time. Featuring mechas, swordfights, explosions, stuff burning etc. alongside bishonen male protagonists in a love triangle with the regular everyday girl from another world seems to be a lot of its selling point, and as a result, it's often fondly remembered as a true anime classic of the 90s.
Escaflowne revolves around a teenage girl named Hitomi Kanzaki, an everyday ordinary girl who happens to like reading tarot cards. Or so that was the... See full review
Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror/Samurai Horror Tales is a horror anthology of three unrelated stories: Yotsuya Kaidan, Tenshu Monogatari, and Bakeneko, the third of which received a far more successful spinoff in the form of Mononoke. Each arc was done by a different, and then-unknown director, though the director of the third, Kenji Nakamura, went on to make the critically acclaimed series "Mononoke" and "Trapeze" (He also made [C], though that fails to fall into the previous category). This review will mostly be split up into the three arcs. (NOTE: The R1 release of this series... See full review
Revolutionary Girl Utena is routinely described as Neon Genesis Evangelion for girls, and not without good reason.
At the very start of the series, we are given a vague explanation of some of the events that lead to Utena becoming who she is today. When her parents died when she was only a child, she fell into a serious depression. In the midst of this, a strange, prince-like man approached her, presenting her with a rose-crested ring, and telling her the ring will lead her back to him one day. So far, so generic shoujo. But normally, the female protagonist would simply be wooed by... See full review
Negima, also known as Mahou Sensei Negima, Negima Magister Magi Negi and numerous other titles, is based on a long-running manga by Ken Akamatsu, best known for the archetype-setting harem series Love Hina. Love Hina was adapted by Xebec, and subjected to a not-particularly-great adaptation. Negima is almost the same in that respect, except that rather than a not-particularly-great adaptation, here we are presented with an appalling one.
For starters, this series came out several years sooner than it should have done. The manga is, to this day, still running, and promises to be around 40-50... See full review
Shiki, or Corpse Demon, is effectively the story of a village in the middle of nowhere being subjected to a mysterious string of unexplainable deaths. If you want to watch this anime and go into it 100% spoiler-free, even though this is not much of a spoiler at all, look away now.
The deaths are, of course, being caused by vampires. While they take their sweet time coming out and saying it, it's pretty obvious from a really early stage. But don't tell any of the characters that, because they don't half take their sweet time working it out. Over half the story is dedicated to watching the cast... See full review
Highschool of the Dead is a show that knows a very, very base demographic and knows exactly how to pander to it. It aims to please simple-minded, uniformly male teenagers with base level action and lots and lots of large, jiggling breasts. Highschool of the Dead has quickly entered into the ranks of shows extremely popular, not for being well-written or emotive, but simply for being a barrel of big, dumb fun.
The problem is... it's not very good at it.
As the name would suggest, Highschool of the Dead involves a highschool and dead things. More specifically, the series begins in a... See full review
Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (or The Tatami Galaxy) is an anime about a university student stuck in a Groundhog Day-esque time loop. In the span of each episode, our nameless main character (he is referred to as Watashi, basically meaning "myself") goes over the same two years of university, unaware of the loop, each time joining a different club, in search of a "rose-coloured campus life".
Yojouhan is a rare example of a series with time loops where the loops themselves are actually played with. Throughout the 11 episodes, there are several different stories, but many of the episodes... See full review
As Yahtzee Croshaw once said, "A good sequel is one that uses the original as a jumping-off point for a brand new story, while a bad sequel simply wallows in the original like a hippo in a vat of liquidized children". Seeing as how the original Full Metal Panic was fairly mediocre, with only a particularly impressive antagonist pulling it through its inconsistency, poor characterization and bad pacing, it would have been very regrettable if The Second Raid had simply taken the latter route and rehashed the first series in an inferior format. So what a shock we're in for, as Full Metal Panic... See full review
Ookami Kakushi was written by Ryukishi07, best known for Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni. That should pretty much tell you what to expect, since Ookami Kakushi is an obvious, shameless clone of its considerably superior ancestor. The premise goes as follows. Hiroshi Kuzumi, an unlikeable shota with no personality or spine, moves to a town known as Jouga with his occult fanatic father and annoying Tsundere sister, who is in a wheelchair for reasons that are never given passing explanation in the series. As they are moving in, Hiroshi meets the love interest, Isuzu Tsumuhana, who is supposed to be this series'... See full review
Makoto Shinkai is a fairly big name in the industry of anime films. The mind responsible for Voices Of A Distant Star and The Place Promised In Our Early Days among others, he has made his name for creating absolutely stunning landscapes, coupled with beautiful animation, set to simple stories of romance. And amongst his movies, 5 Cm Per Second is often hyped up to be the best. Now, let me get this out of the way now: The visuals in 5 Cm Per Second are nothing short of amazing. Shinkai creates some of the most brilliant landscapes I have ever seen. He emphasises the seasons with absolute... See full review
Seeing as how I am a fanboy of the original series of Neon Genesis Evangelion, you will have to take everything I say with a grain of salt. That said, it is pretty much inevitable that everyone watching this is already a fan of Evangelion anyway. So let's begin by making this clear: This is not Evangelion. It may look like Evangelion, it may claim to be Evangelion, but it isn't. The movie covers episodes 1 through 6, beginning in much the same way as the series did, and ending with the 5th Angel's attack. We see much of the scenes faithfully recreated, up until Misato comes to pick up Shinji, and... See full review
From the very get-go, even from the opening title sequence, you can easily notice one thing about Durarara, and that is that it was made by Ryohgo Narita, creator of Baccano. Everything about this show besides the setting is very reminiscent of Baccano, so inevitably, it will be compared to it. So, how does DRRR hold up compared to Narita's previous work? Well, let's just get this out of the way now: No, it isn't as good as Baccano. But is it still good in it's own right? Yes. If you're a Baccano fan, Durarara is definitely worth watching. Even if you aren't a Baccano fan,Durarara is probably worth... See full review
Full Metal Panic is a series that tries to please two kinds of viewer, and as a result, succeeds at neither. The problem with it, in general, is that Full Metal Panic is both a serious militaristic action series and a high school comedy at the same time. Now, I've seen quite a few things over my years that should not go together, but do anyway. This, however, is not one of them. The two of them are essentially a massive clash, rather than a well-mixed combination. The premise of Full Metal Panic is this: Kaname Chidori is one of the "Whispered", a group of people whohave the power to... See full review
Paranoia Agent is Satoshi Kon's only TV series, a curveball from his usual M.O. of doing films. Like several of his other works, it strives to confuse between reality and fantasy, often doing so by showing the world as perceived by the characters. Paranoia Agent is, in whole, a story of escapism, how society is falling further into it, and the negative consequences that will follow. The plot begins as Tsukiko Sagi, a woman responsible for designing the well-known plush toy dog Maromi, is being pushed to create a new design, and is rapidly succumbing to stress. On the way home, in desperate need of... See full review
Saraiya Goyou, or House of Five Leaves, is the latest work by cult studio Manglobe. Now, while it isn't generally a good idea for a critic to speak personally, it bears mention that this is the first time I have ever seen anything by Manglobe, so I can't really comment on how it compares to their previous works. However, the fact that Manglobe already have a cult following in spite of only having four previous works to their name (Samurai Champloo, Ergo Proxy, Michiko to Hatchin and Seiken no Blacksmith) says quite a lot about this studio. Now, I don't know if Saraiya Goyou is in the vein of their... See full review
Hakuouki is an anime made by Studio DEEN, who have, in recent years, gained infamy for putting their names to a variety of very poor shows in recent years, as well as making a horribly butchered adaptation of Umineko. So, does Hakuouki enter the ranks of awful DEEN series, or does it redeem the studio? Well, put simply, it is terrible. It is a perfect example of why DEEN are a bad studio. There isn't a single good thing about it. But before I get into the details about why Hakuouki is horrible, let's just sum up what Hakuouki is about for those not familiar with the series. The series is introduced... See full review
One day, in 2011, a Japanese university student by the name of Saki Morimi is visiting America. When she throws something into the Whitehouse courtyard, the security guards quickly start questioning her... but she is quickly granted a distraction by our protagonist, Akira Takizawa, who has appeared outside the Whitehouse completely naked, with a phone in one hand and a gun in the other, and absolutely no recollection of who he is or how he got there. Saki lends him her coat, but quickly comes to realise that she left her passport in there, causing her to chase after him. Meanwhile, Akira finds a large... See full review
As of late, Kuroshitsuji is essentially the poster-boy for thinly-veiled fangirl bait. Kuroshitsuji (or Black Butler, whatever floats your boat) has tons of yaoi tropes, and has the word bishie plastered all over it, so you may think that being somebody who does not like these things, that I hate it because of that. So let's make this clear now: No. That has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of legitimate reasons not to like Kuroshitsuji besides that, so before you reach for the Not Helpful button, please think for a second: are you doing that because my review is badly written, or just because... See full review
If you've heard of Monster, then odds are you've probably heard of the incredible hype surrounding it. For a while, Monster has been the absolute critic's darling of anime, being the poster-boy for lofty intellectual types. Because of this, it can be very easy to imagine Monster as being overhyped. But Monster lives up to every word of the praise it gets. The story of Monster begins fairly simply. A skilled Neurosurgeon named Kenzo Tenma is due to perform an operation on a patient, but is called away to operate on a popular singer instead. The singer's life is saved, but his original patient dies... See full review
Paprika is actually the only thing Satoshi Kon has directed that is adapted from another medium, but in true Kon fashion he makes it no less his then any of his works. The story, adapted from the novel of the same name, is essentially just a vehicle for a bizarre vision of Kon's, inspired by the music of Susumu Hirasawa (who, unsurprisingly, wrote the soundtrack for Paprika), to create a bizarre audiovisual experience akin to that of Yellow Submarine. Of course, Paprika is far from a feature length music video, which is hardly surprising given its origins as a novel. The plot revolves around a... See full review