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Archaeon

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  • Joined Jun 6, 2007
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Fate/Zero 2

Nov 3, 2012

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" - Lord John Dalberg-Acton, 1837.

There are many types of power - financial, military, political, religious, etc - and at one time or another each has been used to further the goals of individuals, organisations, and even nations. The odd thing though, is that even though it has been referenced for thousands of years in everything from legends and myths to folktales and history, magic has rarely been placed in the same category. The problem is that people don't really believe in magic any more, and the subject has been... See full review

9/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall

Shining Hearts

Nov 3, 2012

"Quod Subigo Farinam" - Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay, 1996) Once upon a time Sega were a powerhouse of the videogames world, but these days they appear to have lost much of their former glory - mainly because their most visible releases are little more than revisions of Sonic the Hedgehog. Fortunately the blue rodent isn't the only weapon in Sega's arsenal, and the company have a plethora of titles just waiting to be rereleased or resurrected (Phantasy Star, Rolling Thunder, Kid Chameleon, Strider, Afterburner, Space Harrier, Daytona, Panzer Dragoon, Sakura Taisen, Wonder Boy, Alex Kidd, and... See full review

5/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
4/10 characters
5/10 overall

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos

Jun 24, 2012

Dairy farming isn't something that one would normally associate with anime and manga, especially as there's nothing really entertaining about looking after or milking cows. There is, however, a rather improbable connection between these seemingly disparate industries, and nowhere is this more apparent than when dealing with popular franchises - like Full Metal Alchemist. With a successful manga, two anime adaptations, two movies, six light novels, two series of drama CD's, around a dozen video games across several formats, and a mountain of merchandise ranging from art books to key chains, Arakawa... See full review

5/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Guilty Crown

May 19, 2012

Many people are aware of the financial problems faced by the anime industry, and one of the methods that studios have adopted over recent years to try to shore up their crumbling foundations is to adapt popular manga, games, and more recently, Western comics. This approach has become a tried and tested moneymaking endeavour for the majority of studios, but in many cases this is simply due the fact that the source material caters to the lowest common denominator - which usually means fanservice. Unfortunately, the relative success of these shows have allowed them to become the norm rather than the exception... See full review

6/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Tiger & Bunny

Mar 17, 2012

Superheroes have long been a staple of popular culture, especially in the West, and over the years characters like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and even The Hulk have become household names. With their popularity at an all-time high thanks to video game tie-ins and movie adaptations, it's only natural that pretenders to the thrones that Marvel and DC sit upon should crawl out of the woodwork. The most obvious attempts to capitalise on the success of these comic-book creations have come from television and cinema, but while shows like "Heroes", "Chronicle" and "Misfits" have... See full review

8/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall

Ben-To

Jan 27, 2012

Times are hard, and in these days of global economic crisis and recession more and more people have joined the hunt to find the best bargains. As with anything in life though, experience is what counts, and veterans in the ways of saving money will usually have the upper hand in the war of the aisles. While there are a few young hotshots who have a natural talent for finding a store's bargain products, the truth is that wherever there are discounted groceries, there will undoubtedly be kings and queens who rule over them. Now it may sound as though that whole paragraph is nothing more than a flowery... See full review

5/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Fate/Zero

Jan 14, 2012

Type-Moon have made a habit of finding success with their dark blend of magic and supernatural elements in modern day settings, but with the release of the Fate/Stay Night visual novel on the PC in 2004, the developer seemed to have found its flagship title. Unfortunately things never really work out the way people expect, and while Studio Deen's 2006 anime adaptation of the "Fate" storyline was well received by fans, many who were unfamiliar with the source material found it all a bit ... juvenile.

At the end of 2006 the developer began collaborating with Nitroplus in order to create a... See full review

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall

Children Who Chase Lost Voices

Dec 11, 2011

Stories about the dead coming back to life are a dime a dozen these days, mainly because of the current fascination with zombies and vampires, but rarely do we see a tale that's more akin to the legends of old, where mighty heroes brave the perils of the underworld to be reunited with their lost love. Sorry, that should be a 12 year old girl. Let's try this again ... Stories about children having adventures in other worlds are a dime a dozen these days, but rarely do we see a tale that's more akin to the stories of old, where brave youths traversed other realms on a journey that would teach them ... lots... See full review

7/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
6/10 characters
7/10 overall

Kamisama Dolls

Dec 2, 2011

Since time immemorial the worship of higher powers has been a cornerstone of human civilization, but as mankind's understanding of the universe grew, so did his technology, and many ancient beliefs were gradually replaced or discarded by one means or another. Not all of them fell by the wayside though, and while some religions adapted their rituals and practices in order to survive in the ever-changing world, others were carefully hidden to keep the old ways alive, or to protect their secrets from being misused by humanity. Originally a manga by Yamamura Hajime, Kamisama Dolls begins with a rather... See full review

6/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
7/10 overall

Blue Exorcist

Nov 27, 2011

"Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!" - Anton LaVey
One of the constants of many religions is the idea that sin and evil stem from a higher power. In some cases this means another deity that works in opposition to all things good, but for Christianity, Islam and Judaism such things are viewed as the domain of Satan (or "Lucifer, Fallen Angel, Prince of Darkness, Bringer of Light, Ruler of Hell, Lord of the Flies, Father of Lies, Apostate Supreme, Tempter of Mankind, Bringer of the Apocalypse, Old Serpent, Prince of this... See full review

6/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian

Nov 19, 2011

These days we take the written word for granted, but for the majority of human history this has not been the case. Over the millennia, those with the ability to communicate using these strange markings have been viewed with awe and suspicion in almost equal measure, and many believed that anything written was magical in some way. It's only logical then, that people would begin to think that certain works were  holy writ handed down by a deity, held the secrets to immense power, or contained forbidden knowledge that would bring misfortune and death upon anyone who read them. Eventually certain books... See full review

6/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Sacred Seven

Nov 6, 2011

"Haste makes waste."

Entertainment is a cut throat industry, and while every studio and publisher scrabbles around in a desperate search for the next big thing, they must continue to make ends meet in some way. When it comes to anime this is usually achieved by creating a one season adaptation of an existing manga, game or light novel, and the aim of these shows isn't simply to generate revenue, but also to test the market for potential franchises. There are other methods though, one of which is to string together several well known base concepts, add something resembling a story, and... See full review

5/10 story
6/10 animation
7/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Heaven's Memo Pad

Oct 28, 2011

One of the most annoying things about the anime industry is the seemingly ingrained belief that bandwagons, when jumped upon, have the mystical ability to carry studios into money. It's a sad fact that every season will undoubtedly see the release of one or more shows that clearly attempt to piggyback on the success of something that has gone before. Thankfully following trends isn't necessarily a bad thing, and every so often a series comes along that can be considered a superior example of its genre. Unfortunately that also means that the majority of titles that do jump on the bandwagon are... See full review

6/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Hanasaku Iroha

Oct 20, 2011

"Like father, like son. Like mother, like daughter" There's an age old belief that certain traits are passed down from parents to children, and like most ancient convictions, there's an element of truth to this one. It's a well known fact that much of a person's future behaviour is learned during their formative years, and while it's true that children will instinctively copy the mannerisms and behaviours of the role models closest to them (which in most cases means their parents), even trained professionals and researchers can't fully explain the "inheritance" of less tangible... See full review

6/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
7/10 overall

Bunny Drop

Sep 28, 2011

Raising a child isn't easy, and every parent or guardian knows just how taxing all of the daily tasks can be, the sacrifices that need to be made in terms of work and social life, and the almost constant stream of considerations and worries. The truth is that looking after children is one of the biggest causes of stress and grey hairs (or hair loss), amongst adults, but given that the majority of people in the world are (or will be), parents, it's a little odd that such a major topic is still a rarity in anime. The again, who wants to watch a show about the trials and tribulations of raising... See full review

9/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall

Steins;Gate

Sep 14, 2011

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbley ... timey wimey ... stuff" - The Doctor When it comes to entertainment, one of the easiest things to get wrong is the concept of time travel. Part of the reason for this is because our scientific understanding of "reality" is still in its infancy, and this means that the writers for shows like Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, even Star Trek, must apply their imagination and creativity in order to resolve some of the... See full review

8/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall

Bleach Movie 4: Hell Verse

Aug 28, 2011

Brains versus brawn. Brawn versus brains. Round and around and around they go ... The most puzzling thing about shounen anime and manga is the distinct lack of heroes with both strength and intelligence, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in the long running franchises. All too often it's the villains who possess this combination of traits, while the hero is nothing more than a super powered idiot with a tendency to rely on guts and brute strength. Risk evaluation, cause and effect, strategy, and other concepts that have more than one syllable seem to be beyond the ken of the typical shounen... See full review

6/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Deadman Wonderland

Aug 6, 2011

Strange things can happen to a person when they're in prison so the general rules of thumb are to keep a low profile, stay out of the way of other people, and avoid dropping the soap in the shower. For the inmates of Japan's only privately owned prison (which for some reason is run as a theme park and is built on Ground Zero of the Great Tokyo Earthquake), the ablutive antics of their fellow "guests" are the least of their worries, especially when the warden takes the term "punishment game" to a whole new level. The stage is set. The "Running Man" style collars are... See full review

5/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall

Gosick

Jul 7, 2011

Detective stories never go out of fashion, but finding a way to make them interesting is another matter entirely. Some leave things open to interpretation, whilst others rely on convoluted mysteries that are more difficult to follow than a city street map. There are also whole bodies of work dedicated to the exploits of well known sleuths like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and more. So what was the great innovation brought forth by the anime industry? Why loli detectives of course! Originally a light novel series by Sakuraba Kazuki, Gosick (which may be a play on the... See full review

7/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
7/10 overall

Tentai Senshi Sunred

Jul 5, 2011

Do you want to watch a series that features heroic heroes, villainous villains and mind boggling fight scenes where every punch, kick or special move is lovingly crafted and animated? Are you looking for a show that has a gripping storyline where every twist and turn of the plot will leave you on the edge of your seat? Do you crave excitement, adventure, and a hero who can kick more arse than the combined might of Kenshiro, Goku, Ichigo, Naruto, and whoever else you'd care to name? If so, then Tentai Senshi Sunred is NOT the show for you. On the other hand, if you want a lighthearted series that... See full review

9/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

Jun 24, 2011

Dealing with the death of a friend or loved one isn't easy, no matter how old you are, and everyone comes to terms with their loss in different ways. Adults can drink themselves into a stupor in an effort to dull the pain, take off on a journey of self discovery, bury themselves in their work, or find some other coping mechanism. Unfortunately the same isn't true for children, and all too often they are unable to truly deal with the emotional turmoil that occurs. Now it may seem a bit odd to talk about death, grief, and learning to deal with the loss of someone close, but essentially that's what... See full review

8/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
8/10 overall

The Garden of Sinners: Epilogue

Jun 8, 2011

    Kara no Kyoukai review Part 9

Finding a way to end a story can be a little tricky if the tale in question has no "natural" conclusion, and in cases like those there is a tendency towards overemphasizing key events in the plot or particular moments of character development through the use of flashbacks or the ubiquitous clip show before the big finale. There is a problem with this method though, as while it can be effective in the right sort of setting, it also has the potential to ruin a perfectly good narrative. That said, the last hurrah of the Kara no Kyoukai... See full review

7/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall

The Garden of Sinners Movie 7: ......Not Nothing Heart. (Murder Speculation Part B)

Jun 8, 2011

    Kara no Kyoukai review Part 8

There's an old aphorism about saving the best till last, and Kara no Kyoukai ~The Garden of Sinners~ has done just that.

The seventh and final movie in the franchise doesn't simply follow the events of the second movie, but utilises threads from several previous stories to weave an interesting and sometimes disturbing tale of obsession. Part two of Satsujin Kousatsu (Murder Speculation), takes place in February 1999, one month after Oblivion Recording, and more than three years after the events in part one.<!--more-->

This... See full review

8/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall

The Garden of Sinners Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven

Jun 8, 2011

    Kara no Kyoukai Review Part 7

What is fanservice?

To many fans of anime and manga the term is used to denote content that in many other media would be considered "questionable", and a number of studios have begun using ecchi or near pornographic tactics in an effort to bolster the sales of DVDs, BluRays and associated merchandise. Unfortunately the average viewer continues to fall for what is effectively nothing more than a marketing tool (sex sells after all), without ever thinking that they could have more than stripes and jiggling. The resulting marginal... See full review

7/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall

Is this a Zombie?

May 21, 2011

Is everything really better with zombies? Given the recent surge in stories involving the shambling undead it's pretty obvious that there are people out there who believe that they can improve any form of entertainment, so much so that at times it seems as though the world is already in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Tales of creatures that wander aimlessly, groan a lot, and have the annoying habit of eating people while they're still alive are rife in movies and games (although I tend to class Resident Evil as more of a playable soap opera with added undead), but that's only the tip of the... See full review

5/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Dream Eater Merry

May 18, 2011

They say that variety is the spice of life, but if that's true, then why is there such a lack of it in anime and manga? Part of the problem stems from the fact that there seems to be a certain number of themes that can be considered the "bread and butter" of the industry, but the subject of dreams is surprisingly not one of them. This is more than a little odd as Eastern folklore is littered with stories about dreams, and one has to wonder why such a rich and varied theme tends to be ignored. So what is a dream? There are those who believe they are nothing more than one's subconscious... See full review

7/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
6/10 characters
7/10 overall

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Apr 30, 2011

It's long been the case that specific genres of anime are often intensely focused on certain genders and age groups, and this fact is most apparent when one considers the mahou shoujo category. From Sailor Moon and Tokyo Mew Mew to Pretty Cure and Shugo Chara, the titles on offer that feature the exploits of one or more magical girls all seem to have several things in common - cute characters, cute outfits, cute sidekicks, "cute" costume changes, twinkly/sparkly/sugary atmospheres, and a penchant for appealing to the sensibilities of 7 to 14 year old girls. Then there are the anomalous... See full review

8/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall

Level E

Apr 15, 2011

Why are aliens so attracted to Earth? It's a question that many fans of science fiction have pondered at one time or another, and there have been a number of different answers - vacations, natural resources, food and water, building a hyperspace by-pass, enslaving the population, experiments and general curiosity (to name a few). Of all the possible explanations though, boredom and baseball are two that probably wouldn't spring to mind. Togashi Yoshihiro is a name that fans of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter will recognise, and as popular as those two franchises are, like every mangaka he has a few... See full review

8/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall

Star Driver

Apr 5, 2011

Adaptations are becoming a bit of a thorny issue in anime these days, which is a bit odd considering how many are produced every year. The constant conversion of stories from other media is a pretty lucrative business as there's already an established market for the end product and its merchandise, regardless of how good the show actually is. Like anything in life though, there's a price to pay, and there are increasing concerns about the impact adaptations are having on original works. The resulting negative effect on script and screen writers is beginning to be felt throughout the industry as... See full review

6/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Infinite Stratos

Apr 1, 2011

One of the problems with the anime industry is the tendency to overuse stereotypes and themes, and many of the studios in Japan continue to operate under the idea that the shows they create will generate a profit in some manner (regardless of the content), through DVD sales or merchandise. The sad fact is that many producers barely break even from one season to the next, which then prompts arguments of piracy, licensing, pricing, distribution costs, etc, all of which seems more than a little strange as while it may appear that the studios have some perfectly valid arguments, they've neglected to... See full review

5/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall