Devilman Crybaby Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Devilman: Crybaby
MAL Score: 7.96/10
Episodes: 10
Genres: Action, Dementia, Demons, Horror, Supernatural

There will be minor spoilers for Devilman Crybaby ahead

The anime that took the world by storm in early 2018, Netflix’s Devilman Crybaby. Reception of this series ranges from being called utter garbage to an absolute masterpiece depending on who you ask, but where does it really fall? How successful was director Masaaki Yuasa in trying to give people another classic?

Summary

Akira Fudou is a kind-hearted and gentle boy. He and his friend Miki Makimura both run on the track team in addition to living together while Akira’s parents are overseas. One day, while walking home with Miki, Akira comes across an old friend, being Ryou Asuka. Ryou takes Akira in his car to tell him of a discovery he’s made: devils.

While studying in South America, Ryou had witnessed one of his colleagues transform into a devil. To further look into these devils, the two boys go a Sabbath, which is an immoral party where devils commonly form. Like anticipated, devils begin possessing the guests of this party, until one eventually possesses Akira. Just when it looks like Akira is done for, he is able to overcome the devil, becoming what he dubs “Devilman”. The once gentle and kind-hearted Akira is now vulgar, rude, and tough. However the one trait he keeps is the sympathy he keeps for other people, crying whenever other people feel sad.

Review

If it wasn’t clear already, Devilman Crybaby isn’t a show for everyone. Its heavy gore and sexual nature can be a big turn-off for many. However, looking at aspects like plot and character, I believe Devilman Crybaby does a great job. The plot, while not being super complex, is great. There were some necessary updates to the original script, like Akira crying and the track and field aspect. These were pretty hit or miss for the most part but it worked in making a 46 year old manga feel fresh.

As characters, Akira and Ryou play off of each other nicely because of their difference in morality. Akira still cares for other people, even after his transformation into Devilman. However, Miki felt like a relatively awkward character in the show. She doesn’t really do much until the later episodes, and even then her character wasn’t the best. I can’t say much more without spoiling though.

Now to get into the shows strong point: the directing. Masaaki Yuasa (Ping Pong the Animation and The Tatami Galaxy) is an extremely well renowned director, and he didn’t disappoint. He brought his unconventional animation style in order to portray devils truly as otherworldly creatures. Unfortunately, Devilman Crybaby isn’t as polished as his other works, having the animation look off at times. In terms of the soundtrack, there’s one very good and memorable song, but there isn’t much past that.

Conclusion

Overall, Devilman Crybaby is a very high quality show. It gives us crazily animated devil fights along with an interesting conflict of morals between Ryou and Akira. Like I said previously, some of the modernization attempts fall flat, especially towards the end, and the animation isn’t always consistent, but that doesn’t take away the good of the show. I would consider Devilman Crybaby to be a very strong 8/10, mostly because of the strength of the main characters and directing.

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Food Wars Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars)
MAL Score: 8.51/10
Episodes: 24
Genres: Ecchi, School, Shounen

Introduction

For some people, the process of food consumption is just a daily task to get yourself some energy, vitamins and etc. Someone consider this as something usual, not even giving a thought about preferring what to eat. But for someone, food is the topic you shouldn’t take lightly. The gourmet world is diverse and you will not find a person that has tasted all the finest meals in the whole world. More and more unique, sophisticated recipes are found all the time. Finding new tastes – that is what Shokugeki no Soma is mostly about.

How it all begins

Yukihira Soma, the protagonist of the story, lives and works with his father in a small family restaurant, serving some nice and simple food for guests. But one day, those peaceful times are over as Soma’s father sends him to Tootsuki Academy – the prestigious cooking school. There he meets a bunch of strong ambitious individuals, each with their own speciality. And from now on, Soma has to adapt his experience, his skills he gained before to an always changing environment to survive and get to the top.

With his experience and impressive creative skills, Soma gradually builds relationships, getting lots of friends and rivals. All of them have their own backgrounds and goals, which are not stupid, but have the actual meaning. The big character palette, formed by all those people, greatly influences main character, making him behave in the most unexpected ways.

Shokugeki – a solution for everything

The core feature of this anime is Shokugeki – a fight between chefs, the result of which is determined by the dishes they prepare. The main condition for this cook-off to happen is the equal compensations from both sides. Like in Fullmetal Alchemist: if you want to get something, you will need to give something of equal price. So basically, if you want to get a higher position, be prepared to lose something as valuable and precious as this. Due to his origin, Soma is getting seriously underestimated , so that is why he has advantage in those cooking matches. He greatly impresses both opponents and judges leaving them fully delighted after tasting his meal. They are getting undressed in their mind, and this provides anime with lots of fanservice.

Summary

Shokugeki no Soma is the food anime, in which you not only get food, that makes you drool intensively. It has greatly designed characters, both main and side ones, a good plot, that keeps you excited all the time. It already got several seasons, which states out the extreme popularity of this title. I would give the personal recommendation: get something to eat for this anime, because you can easily get hungry after you watch it! 🙂

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Run With the Wind Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Run With the Wind
MAL Score: 8.53/10
Episodes: 23
Genres: Sports, Comedy, Drama

There will be minor spoilers for Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteru ahead

When it comes to sports anime, some specific sports are over-saturated. There’s countless numbers of baseball anime and a decent amount of basketball ones too. However, there’s a surprising lack of running or track and field anime out there, despite it being a popular sport. So as a runner myself, I was excited to hear that a running anime was coming in the Fall 2018 season. So did Run With the Wind live up to expectations?

Summary

Run With the Wind, or Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru, features a main cast of 10 college students. These 10 students all live together in the same appartment building together, because of the cheap rent and meals provided. The catch? When they agreed to live there, they unknowingly signed up for the Kansei University Track & Field Team. The issue is that besides from the two protagonists, Kakeru Kurahara and Haiji Kiyose, none of the residents really have running experience. What’s more is that Haiji intends for the team to run at an elite event 10 months away. The event being the Hakone Ekiden. The show then covers the team’s struggles and training to reach the Ekiden.

The show has a relatively diverse cast, and they’re the main driving force of the show. Everyone, other than than Haiji, is initially opposed to joining the team, since they see the goal as completely unrealistic. Furthermore, track and field is a demanding sport, and none of them thinks they have the time. As the show progresses, we watch as the team not only grows to love the sport, but become closer friends with each other.

Review

As I previously stated, I am a runner myself, so I was really hoping to like Run With the Wind. Unfortunately there were some things that stuck out to me which hindered my enjoyment. First of all, some of the character’s times progress way too fast, especially Prince. Even towards the end of the show, his running form is still terrible, and it’s kind of hard to ignore. At first I thought it was a lack of research on the author’s part, but I got the feeling later on that she did know what she was talking about. The time constraint of 10 months just was too short.

It also felt like the show dragged in the earlier episodes a bit, but that’s understandable since they had to introduce several characters immediately. Early on, we don’t get as much of the “sports” part of the show because of this.

After watching 5 or 6 episodes, I was skeptical of the quality, but I really felt that the show improved a lot in the later episodes. The running side of the show was brought up more and the character development began. The running aspect isn’t the most accurate, as I previously stated, but it’s still an enjoyable experience. I think the author was really able to capture the community and culture of running, and the characters all felt pretty realistic within the story. The characters not only grew stronger physically, but also socially and emotionally, and it was overall a pretty inspiring watch.

Conclusion

Looking back, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this show, and I can definitely say it was one of the better shows to come out in 2018. If I were to rate it, I’d give it an 8/10 based off the great character growth and entertaining sports side.

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Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken
MAL Score: 8.26
Episodes: 24
Genres: Fantasy, Shounen

WARNING. Review below can contain minor spoilers.

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken aired between October 2018 to march 2019 by studio 8-Bit, based on light novel with same title, written by Fuse.

Story tell us about Satoru Mikami (37 years old) who is (who would expect?) a salary man, who dies to unfortunate circumstances and reincarnate in new world as….Slime!

As typically for most of Isekai franchise our hero gets brand-new, cheat-like ability, then as mentioned – reincarnates in totally new world.

Same fact that our hero reincarnates as slime makes entire story bit more original than usual isekai title where most characters reincarnates as humans.

Plot

Personally I found Slime story rather average. Rimuru is not hero who suddenly needs save world, fight demon lord or deal with other form of threat. He is more of world exploring/his adventures in it, if we are at world building – in my opinion, reincarnated as slime did it pretty well, with various characters, countries and races. Same plot is also in more relaxed manner; action is served in rather medium/slow manner.

Characters

Tensei Slime have rather interesting bunch of characters, sadly 24 eps felt like not enough to develop and express them properly. Some of them were still noticeable. Let me start from our main hero – Rimuru. What I like within his character is that he is not as usual. He overly naive or “justice Mary sue” white knight who’s main target is to spread justice, equality or similar things. He is rather person who cares about his friends and peoples and don’t hesitate when there is need of eliminate threat, which makes him bit more interesting than usual isekai hero.

Another character who had rather big impact on story was Shizue which is revealed in later stages of story. With her regrets, story, secrets and dreams, what they are? Watch and see for yourself.

There is also bunch of other characters and races (wolves, goblins, dwarfs, elves, demons, orcs, one with rather interesting backstory and development) or even tsundere dragons.

Animation

Most of times tensei slime got very impressive visuals. Especially first episodes were made with great, smooth animation, colors, and great backgrounds. Sometimes some eps were inconsistent had some weird “potato/derp” faces. One thing which I feared – was CGI, widely used in many shows. At least in current times, luckily I admit, animators did very good job with CGI usage and it never felt out of place or just plainly bad. Overall, in terms of art/animation studio 8-bit did great job.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for more original “reincarnated as….in another world” or just “isekai”, in rather calm, chill manner where MC discovers new world and live his daily life in new fantasy world I can recommend this show.

Personal rating

9/10

Written by Shaniss.

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Soul Eater Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Soul Eater
MAL Score: 8.01/10
Episodes: 51
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Comedy, Supernatural, Shounen

Introduction

I can describe this anime in 3 words: witches, madness and weapons. Those three words usually don’t come together, but Soul Eater makes them collaborate just fine. After it started airing in 2008, it became dramatically popular for its unique setting.

While going on with the story, somewhere in the end, you might note to yourself that the story pace has rapidly increased, and you wouldn’t be wrong. The original manga had some sort of small hiatuses, so anime caught up with it pretty fast. To make it so the anime didn’t have to go on hiatus, the decision was made to finish it in its own way. To be honest, I didn’t like the ending due to absurdness of the situation overall. If you want to see the good ending for this story, I suggest you to read the manga, as it is just better than anime itself in terms of plot development.

The actual plot

Soul Eater Evans (Soul for everyone) studies in Death Weapon Meister Academy to become the Death Weapon. During the practice he hunts different monsters that appear in Death City, where most events occur. But he does it in a pair – with the help of his meister, Maka Albarn. So basically they are two protagonists of the whole story. Then need to get 99 souls of regular monsters and a soul of a powerful witch to fill the requirement for becoming the Death Weapon. Of course, something goes wrong… as usual.

The topic of madness – as some important characters are getting affected by it in the story – is the another key point of Soul Eater. Some characters can become quite philosophical while talking about this interesting characteristic of human personality. They try to find out whether it is good or bad, can it be harmless or does it cause only destruction, both mental and physical, and etc. The question of sanity might hook up people that tend to discuss some difficult causes.

Summary

Soul Eater was good on its release and is still great to watch in our time. Due to its unique setting and some interesting and important questions for discussion, it’s become a classic in the anime industry, having shined during its own period, but still appealing to modern community.

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Mawaru Penguindrum Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Mawaru Penguindrum
MAL Score: 8.01
Episodes: 24
Genres: Mystery, Comedy, Dementia, Psychological, Drama

” I hate the word “fate” “.

Mawaru Penguindrum aired in 2011 by studio Brain’s base and directed by Ikuhara, Kunihiko is a story about Takakura’s family – Twin brothers Kanba and Shouma,along with their younger sister Himari.

Story

Entire plot spins around Takakura family and their problems with “fate” and himawari’s incurable disease, to save her, they need to find Penguin drum. Same story was quite interesting, with good pacing, good amount of dramatic along with comedic relief or funny scenes. Everything with big amount of symbolism and metaphors in various scenes, sometimes happy ones, sad, dramatic and bittersweet ones.

Animation

Personally I didn’t see too many flaws in animation or art, rather it was very well made. It was very colorful, with beautiful moments. The same goes for character designs and way they were expressing themselves where every single one was quite unique, with their own special lines and quotes. Animation felt very smooth, with many awesome detailed,colorful backgrounds.

Soundtrack

Personally one of strongest points of this show for me. Starting with opening “Nornir” by Yakushimaru Etsuko, through to other songs like “Fate of the Sons of Flame – Scorpion & Fruti Wheel” “Unmei no kotachi” or “Namida no Umi” and many others. Most of them beautifully emphasized many scenes, making them even more powerful and emotional.

Characters

In my opinion every character got very good, detailed and proper development along with their own past backstory and problems with which they need to deal. Obsession, revenge, forgiveness, grief – and many others, we can see characters in big amount of mental states and how they are dealing with them. Be it the cool, serious and sometimes ruthless Kanba, brave and more innocent Shouma. Then the always cheerful Himari, obsessed with her fate and future Ringo, or mysterious Watase. Yet is rather short and shallow description of characters, where every single one get their time to shine with their expression. Very noticeable background characters are penguins which express mental and physical state of the Takakura family, but also make great amount of less serious and comedic relief which adds even more variety to show.

Overall summary

Mawaru penguindrum was one of most unique shows I have ever seen, with very well-written characters. I also enjoyed the beautiful, smooth animation, great soundtrack and awesome story. I especially enjoyed the very emotional finale, but the many moments which gave us a lot to think about. Certainly recommend, personal rating 9.5/10.

Written by Shaniss.
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Space Dandy Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Space Dandy
MAL Score: 7.89/10
Episodes: 13 + 13
Genres: Space, Sci-fi, Comedy

Warning: Light Spoilers Ahead

With a new anime directed by Shinichiro Watanabe coming this spring, Carole & Tuesday, I thought it’d be a good idea to look at some of his previous works. One of these of course, being Space Dandy.

Summary

Space Dandy, similar to both Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, is mostly episodic story-wise. But unlike these two, there really isn’t an overarching plot that the show follows. We just watch Dandy and his crew of a cat-like alien, Meow, and an outdated robot, QT, as they embark on crazy adventures in their ship, the Aloha-Oe.

Review

From the get-go, it’s obvious that this show cares more about comedy than telling a serious and emotional story. However this really isn’t a bad thing, as the comedy works really well most of the time. Whether it be episode seven with a ridiculous and hilarious race being the focus, or episode one with a crazy sequence of giant space monsters appearing before the crew, it’s almost always a blast to watch the crew of the Aloha-Oe. There are some weaker episodes however, for example I personally didn’t find episode four to be very entertaining. These episodes are few and far in-between though.

This isn’t to say that Space Dandy can’t ever tell a serious story though, as episode five in particular tells a particularly touching story about Dandy and his interactions with an alien he captured.

Comedy isn’t all Dandy has to offer though. Bursts of fantastic animation accompany the wildly fun plot and characters. A few specific scenes still stick in my mind as being masterfully animated, like the aforementioned scene with the monsters in episode one. Accompanied by a decent soundtrack and solid voice acting, it’s safe to say the presentation is pretty well done.

Conclusion

Overall, Space Dandy is a blast to watch, and deserving of an 8/10. It’s not without its flaws, and you probably shouldn’t go into it expecting deep themes and purpose, but it’s a nice change of pace from those types of shows. You don’t have to think about Space Dandy too much, you just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice)
MAL Score: 9.04/10, IMDB Rating: 8.2/10
Movie:1
Genres: Drama, School, Shounen, Romance
About the anime:

Before we start let me warn you, there is going to be quite an amount of spoiled parts from anime

One day in elementary school, in which the main character Shouya Ishida was studying, got a new transfer student named Shouko Nishimiya(deaf student).

After that, she tries to make several friends but in the end, gets bullied which leads her to transfer to another school.

Of course, in the middle of that, there was an incident where the teacher was looking for the bully who destroyed or throw away several hearing devices which resulted in Shouya Ishida getting all the blame on him while his friends denied that they had participated in any of it.

After several years Shouya Ishida meets Shouko Nishimiya again. This time Shouya Ishida have learned sign language and tries to apologize to her but instead, she runs away. Later on, they get over it and get to be really close friends. Of course, several events happen during the movie which leads to some arguments between their friends, but in the end, after the accident, all of them stayed together.

It is hard to review the whole movie, it won’t be fun at all to watch it otherwise… The movie has a pretty deep meaning about the life of several different people from real life. This might change your view on the world’s society. As much as I can say this movie represents a lot of things that only you might understand (I hope you would). I rated this anime really high (as score it is 9 but I might think over this and rate it to 10 maybe). This anime will awake your dead emotions that’s for sure.

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Made In Abyss Anime Review

MediaAnime (Movie)

Name: Made in Abyss

Rating: 9/10

Description 

​Made In Abyss season one takes you on a journey. From a marvelous score to capture each scene and feed into the emotion of the characters to the graphic nature of the animation it is a show you can’t press pause on. With only one season in the books and a second season scheduled in the future the wait is frustrating to say the least. MiA stands out from other anime because of how it told the story in reference to the manga. Not a direct correlation, but it stayed true with the bonus of episode 13 being twice as long. 

MiA did an excellent job in terms of pacing, storytelling and character development. As the show progressed one could draw from each of the characters into their own lives; being underestimated, picked on, a desire to prove yourself, a nigh impossible journey, the love of a parent, having to leave everything you know behind to journey into a world unknown.
The Abyss itself, what a marvelous creation, each level having its own surprises extending down beyond human imagination. I really liked the concept of the Abyss in how it affected people. Similar to a diver who gets the bends after diving and resurfacing, the effects can be life threatening. 
For myself, the most memorable moment would be the episodes spent with Nanachi. How her demeanor changed upon getting to know our main heroines from hostility to friendship and uncovering her story instilled such emotion. MiA is an anime that once begun, can’t be put away. You want to know what happens next and can only look forward at what is to come in season 2.

To those wishing to follow the story without waiting for season 2, there is a manga available with 47 chapters released to date

Written by Fang.

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Wolf Children Anime Review

Media: Anime (Movie)

Name: Wolf Children

Rating: 8/10

Description:

Wolf Children is narrated by daughter Yuki and i would recommend it to those that like a coming of age story. A person who enjoys simple themes centered on life and the challenges one can face. Wolf Children adds it’s own twist to these themes as we find out Hana (mother) meets Wolf Man (father) in college and as they grow close the truth is told that Wolf Man is a werewolf. An incident immediately after the birth of their second child Hana’s husband is killed leaving her alone to try and raise two half-human, half-wolf babies. Daughter Yuki and son Ame experience their own challenges as they grow older, along with mother Hana as she is forced to adapt to a new life in the mountains to limit the risk of their secret coming out. Before either of them are in school, Yuki shows her likeness to wanting to be a wolf, running around the house and off into the mountains seemingly embracing the wolf within. Ame, however, shows distaste at the thought of being a wolf having read a children’s book, thinking wolves are perceived as “the bad guys” and thus not wanting to be something people hate and fear. 

With some pestering from YukiHana allows her to attend school, fitting in at first given her initial wolf behaviors (collecting dead animal bones instead of jewelry) is a hassle, but with a dress made by her mother Yuki is able to adapt and begins to make friends. This all changes after a new transfer student Sohei starts pestering her resulting in the climactic event of her turning partly into her wolf-form and clawing his ear. Yuki takes this incident to heart and vows to never turn into a wolf again.

Ame’s first dislike of being a wolf changes during Yuki’s first year at school. Being a year younger he instead follows his mother to work where he meets a captive wolf and starts to learn about the mountains. Three years pass showing Ame’s difficulties in school. He doesn’t fit in and with his change of character he starts to skip class to instead go explore the mountainside. Here we discover ‘Master’ a fox that teaches Ame all about hunting, tracking, everything needed to become a wolf (or rather a fox). The swap in personalities of Ame and Yuki comes to a climax as the two have a dangerous fight in wolf-form. Ame’s eyes glow red and personally i feared he was being lost to his wolf instincts.

Everything comes to a head with a giant thunderstorm. Yuki is away at school while it happens and parents were called to pick up their children. Hana prepares to leave and calls out to Ame but he is gone, he ran off into the words concerned for Master and presumably any other animals he might come to help. Hana, instead of going to the school begins a desperate search for Ame, scrambling up a weather-torn mountain before falling down a cliff-side into unconsciousness. Yuki, meanwhile is at school awaiting her mother’s arrival. By this point her and Sohei had formed a tentative friendship and with neither of their parents showing up at the school they are left alone after hiding from officials seeking to take them home. A touching scene and Yuki shows her wolf-form to Sohei who takes it extremely well saying that he already knew and planned to keep it a secret.

The movies comes to an end with Ame rescuing his mother from the mountain and bringing her to safety. He gives a final glance before racing up the mountain, clearly choosing his path in life. Yuki goes on to attend middle school, moving into the dorms their, leaving Hana at their mountain home alone. She is seen expressing her love for passed father and husband via the long-kept Identification card present on a headboard, as the scene happens a long-howl is heard (no doubt from Ame). The significance, being a resolute end, proving that both parents dreams of letting their two children grow up to be who they wanted to be whether wolf or human had come true.

Written by Fang.

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