(Season 1 review. No spoilers.) I appreciate Attack on Titan for being something that felt fresh. The unique premise of titans nearly wiping out humanity captured my interest. The design of the grappling gear, dramatic presentation, grim atmosphere, gruesome deaths, and creepy titan mannerisms give it an unmistakable identity. With the mystery of the titans gradually unveiled as we follow Eren and friends on their turbulent adventure, it's a show I can get invested in. Yet, every exciting moment is hampered by dull direction. Frequent motivational... See full review
Kengan Ashura is not bad for a fighting anime. It has a far-fetched but interesting premise in which corporations use 1v1 fights to resolve disputes. The story itself is not much more than that. All the fighters want to be the strongest, and all the businessmen want to be the head of the Kengan organization that sanctions the fights. They introduce a lot of characters and give at least some backstory for each. It's not much and there are tons of tropes and cliches here, but it's passable since the focus is really on the fighting. They do a good job building up matches. Showing fights... See full review
Baki is not good. It starts out with five criminals escaping and coming after Baki, our main character. After most of a season, Baki hasn't fought anyone without being interrupted midway through. New characters are introduced all the time, so we spend entire episodes building them up. The 5 criminals start going after other people (why?), and there are all these fights between different people I don't care about. Everyone that matters has super-human abilities that are entirely unexplained, so you have no reference point or expectation about how a fight will go. Think about how Dragonball Z has power... See full review
I watched Gundam 00 for the third time recently. It's a bigger mess than I remember. The premise is interesting. The first season overall is okay, but the second season devolves into sloppiness.
There are a lot of characters I don't have much reason to care about,
- Wang Liu Mei and Hong Long are two entirely hollow characters. They make no difference to the story and could have been left out entirely, yet we constantly see scenes with her giving color commentary or whatever.
- Setsuna is such a one dimensional character. He's almost as bad as Heero Yuy (although... See full review
This was my first foray in the Hellsing franchise. I'm not sure what to make of it.
There are three aspects to the story in Hellsing:
1. The Hellsing organization is investigating/battling hordes of "fake" vampires that have appeared. Where are these fakes coming from?
2. Alucard is a powerful vampire employed by the Hellsing organization. Who is he? Why does he serve the Hellsing organization? What is his relationship with the leader, Integra Hellsing?
3. Seras Victoria is turned into vampire by Alucard and recruited into the Hellsing organization. What will happen to her? How... See full review
The typical Gundam series is a space epic, filled with politics, drama, intrigue, tactics, technology, and so forth. There's narration and exposition about the conflict at large (usually between space and earth). The battles are over the top. There's a huge cast of characters, but always with one small group making a big difference, thanks to the idealistic drive of the main character. It's been done so many times that it's formulaic now - the original Gundam, Zeta, SEED, 00, Unicorn are all copies of each other with some variations. 08th MS Team maintains some of these elements but dials everything back... See full review
I'm kind of lukewarm overall in reaction to Katanagatari. There are aspects of it that I actually really like, but I got bored midway through and was slogging through the rest just to see what the ending was like.
The story has zero substance and proves to be the shakiest possible foundation you could have to build two halfway decent characters on top of, with a dose of mediocre action mixed in. The main characters themselves are a trope: a tsundere girl and a dense guy find themselves on a journey together to find twelve legendary swords. There are twelve episodes, twelve enemies, twelve swords ... See full review
Here I am, like 10+ years later, just now discovering Mushishi. If you haven't seen Mushishi, do yourself a favor already. Ignore the descriptions that sound boring ("varied lifeforms known as Mushi surround and affect us...") and kick back and enjoy Mushishi. Mushishi is one of those wonderful shows about nothing. There's no overarching plot, and episodes are only loosely connected because Ginko (our main-ish character) and Mushi (ethereal lifeforms) are involved. But don't misunderstand: Mushishi is not about Ginko or the Mushi. Rather, Mushishi is just about life. It explores people and their... See full review
I've only watched the first few episodes of Psycho-pass, but the story and characters are so predictable so far that I don't want to continue with it.
Episode 1 establishes a one-dimensional mode of categorizing people by their "Psycho-pass", a score derived from a brain/body scan that determines a person's mental state. People with bad Psycho-pass ratings are immediately labeled "latent criminals" and are subject to rehabilitation or execution. This Psycho-pass analysis is performed by a special system (or something) called Sybil. And then you've got a rookie police investigator... See full review
Animation The movie is totally computer animated. There are sharp character designs that seem to have a limited number of moving parts. This means any single frame looks great out of context but you'll notice some awkward, robot-ish motion throughout the movie. Angela's hair floats about behind her like it's made of plastic, and she often has a bit of an awkward gait, as though her body parts were animated independently and then smushed together. It's like the characters were animated with whatever software is used to make visual novels. Nevertheless, the movie is beautiful. Battle effects (robots, laser... See full review
Story Karas has a story that I liked okay. Each city has a demon guardian called Karas that has supernatural powers granted by its demon master, a girl called Yurine. Otoha is an ex-mafia member who turns into one such Karas tasked to guard Shinjuku, however Shinjuku has another Karas, Lord Eko, who wants to destroy the city because humans have forgotten that demons exist (but dude, how can you blame them when demons are normally invisible?). My biggest complaint is that Karas feels very sporadic initially. Karas is an anime that prefers to show rather than tell. There is little dialogue, so viewers... See full review
Gundam Unicorn takes place in the same universe as the original Gundam, I think 20 years or so afterwards. There is a mysterious and unknown thing they call Laplace's Box that is supposed to spell doom for the side faced against it. Nobody knows where this box is, what's inside of it, or if some joker fabricated the whole story. Thus, the series is reduced to this treasure hunt. The grander politics I expected, while still sort of present, are side-stepped because of the focus on this box. Instead of the usual fifty episode anime (totalling about 18 hours of content), Unicorn is told in seven... See full review
Story Gungrave is about two friends, Harry and Brandon, who begin pulling off small jobs and eventually become bona-fide mafia members. It opens in medias res, starting off in the middle of the plot, and then jumping back to start at the beginning. Gungrave then paints us a picture over the course of their lives, showing how the two friends change and how their relationship is tested. Gungrave executes this well with the plot it is given. It manages to be both thrilling and touching, and comes packed with a ton of exaggerated style and some sci-fi elements added in that makes for an entertaining... See full review
Monster is an incredible series. It weighs in at a long 74 episodes told at a slow and steady pace, with an extreme devotion to its characters and its story. Monster is the only anime of its length (that I've seen) that maintains a consistent quality for the duration of the series. There are no filler episodes; every episode is essential, each having its own relevance to the story. The plot maintains its focus and the characters' motivations are consistent from beginning to end. It's really quite a masterpiece. Story The storytelling and dialogue are exceptional. The themes it touches on are an... See full review
Story Claymore has a unique-ish premise. Yoma roam the world, disguising themselves as humans in order to feast on human guts. The "Organization" has developed half-Yoma, half-humans called claymores to find and kill the Yoma. Claymores can use their Yoma energy to gain power, although if they use to much they will "awaken", losing their humanity and turning into a Yoma themselves. The beginning of the story is fairly dull as it introduces the main characters Clare, a claymore, and Raki, who becomes attached to Clare after she saves him from a Yoma attack that killed his family (the... See full review
Redline is an anything-goes race and, by god, anything f*cking goes in this movie. There are aliens, wormholes, space cannons, magic, and absurd cars. Story? Redline has no time for stories. The characters' pasts are mentioned a bit, but I forgot once the bio-weapon activated and that other dude turned into a giant whale-looking monster. Did I mention the racing? There's a lot of racing. This movie's got looks too. Everything is hand-drawn, and it shows. Colors are bold, contrast is high (intense blacks, reminiscent of noir films). It's very distinctive. You could show me any frame of this movie and... See full review
I'm surprised that Summer Wars is so well-received. While enjoyable to watch, the whole movie has such an artificial, romantic-comedy-esque, "we can do it" spirit. I think I might have actually thrown up not ten minutes into it, but I'll try to break down what there is to like about it. (Warning: Spoilers all over the place) STORY: The movie opens with a description of Oz, which is your standard virtual world where you can live a second life, except people use it for important things as well. I was hoping there's more to it, but that's pretty much it. Then break to Natsuki who urgently needs one... See full review