Kaguya-sama: Love is War Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen
MAL Score: 8.53/10
Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, Psychological, Romance, School, Seinen

Caution — There will be spoilers ahead. 

Enter lead character Kaguya Shinomiya: a wealthy and talented student from Shuchiin Academy. Sheltered her whole life, Shinomiya doesn’t necessarily know how to interact with people and sees them as a tool to be used, not as a person to talk to and get to know. After joining the student council, all that starts to change. Don’t tell anyone — even if it’s pretty obvious — but Shinomiya is head-over-heels in love with Shirogane and the feelings are reciprocated! Though neither of them are daring enough to admit it. And so starts the war between two people — who will admit their undying affection to the other?

Story

The story of Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane is one packed with joy and excitement. Although they may not show it on the outside, we get to see the world through the eyes of each of the characters in shifts. We get to hear every thought that courses through the head of Shinomiya and then, in turn, through Shirogane. Back and forth in one episode they argue about who’s going to eat a piece of cake while in the next they argue about where to go during summer vacation only to realize, once they reach a decision, that they’d rather have it another way.

Characters

The development put into Kaguya Shinomiya is phenomenal. In the first episode, Shinomiya is cold and aloof to a point. Due to being smothered inside her whole life with her studies, she is unable to get close to people and make friends. In one episode, we get to see Shinomiya looking out the window of the limousine that takes her to school every day. There, she stares at the kids having fun with envy. By the end of the series, we have Shinomiya in tears because all she wants to do is watch the fireworks with her friends on the student council.

Enjoyment

Who knew that the war between two lovers could be so comedic? Throughout this anime, I found myself overwhelmed with laughter that was spilling uncontrollably forth. From the “love guru” Chika Fujiwara all the way to the hardworking Miyuki Shirogane, I found myself falling inlove with these characters and the story that unfolds.

My final rating for this series would be an eight out of ten. The way that the characters were portrayed works perfectly with the goal of the show. I’m not usually one for romance but I love psychological anime. Who knew the two would mix so well.

Written by karme.

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Goblin Slayer Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Goblin Slayer
MAL Score: 7.69/10
Episodes: 12
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

There will be minor spoilers for Goblin Slayer ahead

Sparking some controversy after its first episode, Goblin Slayer was a very popular show while it was airing. Even when competing alongside shows like Bunny Girl Senpai or Slime Isekai, it was able to achieve plenty of popularity during the Fall 2018 season. But how does it compare to either of these shows? Is it any good?

Summary

Goblin Slayer is a pretty simple anime. It features our main character, Goblin Slayer, slaying goblins. When Goblin Slayer was a child, his village was raided by goblins, and he had to watch his loved ones die before them. From that day onward, he’s devoted himself to killing any goblin he can find. Luckily for him, he can make a living doing so.

There’s an adventurer’s guild near his village where Goblin Slayer can pick up requests to defeat goblins. While he does get paid, the pay isn’t great, so no other adventurer really goes goblin hunting. To help him with these quests, he is accompanied by a Priestess, and eventually an Elf, Dwarf, and a Lizard. Once this new party is formed, what do they do? Why, they hunt more goblins of course.

Review

Before I started Goblin Slayer, I was interested to see what they would do with a dark fantasy show. As I mentioned before, early on it was controversial due to some graphic imagery shown in the first episode. However, the show felt rather generic at times instead. Despite there being a darker tone and setting being built up, I never felt like there was a genuine sense of danger. Goblins really aren’t that strong of an enemy, and it was pretty obvious all important characters would be just fine.

What further plays up the generic aspect of the show is how Goblin Slayer could have a harem if he wants to. People like him because… he’s cool? He expresses little to no emotion throughout the entire show along with his appearance being hidden, and yet most girls in the show like him.

The animation was filled with awkward CGI at times, and overall felt pretty boring. There’s a lot you can do to make a fantasy setting visually interesting, but I don’t think Goblin Slayer really does any of that. Most of the settings are dull and not pleasing to look at. The soundtrack was fine for the most part but not super memorable either.

Conclusion

At some point it really became a struggle for me to finish Goblin Slayer. It felt like any other uninspired fantasy anime but this time with the edge turned up a ton. The whole time the show was playing, I just wished I was watching or reading Berserk instead. Because of this, I give the show a 4/10.

Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor! Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor
MAL Score: 8.31/10
Episodes: 26
Genres: Game, Psychological, Seinen, Thriller

Potential light spoilers ahead

Do you have a sweet spot for psychological anime? Stories that feature the main character scrapping with others in a battle of wit? If you’re hungry for more mind games from a rivalry akin to Light and L, continue reading. Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor (Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji) is probably what you’re looking for.

Story

Kaiji Itou is a lonely, lazy man that is always in debt. His daily routine consists of drinking beer, gambling, and stealing hubcaps from expensive cars. At first glance he may appear to be nothing more than a useless bum in society, but underneath that rugged exterior, is a man with a hidden gift. Kaiji is a genius with a gift for gambling. A unique ability that might have the potential to rescue him from drowning in his current debt. Desperate and out of options, Kaiji is presented with an opportunity to pay off this debt — by competing in a shady game of chance against other debt enslaved individuals. Unbenownst to Kaiji, this is where he would begin to unravel a world filled with cold-hearted deception.

Art

The unusual art style is easily the first thing you’ll notice. Admittedly, I was initially turned off by Kaiji’s gritty, ugly aesthetic. It’s definitely a style that strays from the norm. Thankfully, the story was gripping enough for me to look past this and continue watching. A few episodes in, I actually started to get attached to the hideous world of Kaiji. The exaggerated facial expressions make the tense situations even more gut wrenching. I quickly realized the gritty, ugly aesthetic is all too fitting for the world of Kaiji.

Sound

Both Kaiji’s intro and ending song do a fantastic job at getting you hyped for our hero’s next mental battle. The voice acting is above average, but where Kaiji really shines is its narration. Tachiki Fumihiko’s dramatic narration explaining each character’s thought process is hilarious and gripping at the same time. This narrator could make any mundane task seem epic. There is a recurring “zawa” sound that represents the characters being in uncomfortable situations. This Fukumoto trademark onomatopoeia paired with tense music has you feeling just as nervous as the characters in the show.

Characters

The list of abnormalities in this anime continue to grow as I reflect on the show’s characters. You won’t find a single female character in this anime. The entire roster is made up of men and Kaiji Itou is the only character with any actual development. Kaiji is heroic to a fault, his trusting nature is often his downfall. Betrayal after betrayal, his cynicism grows throughout the story. Hopeless situation after hopeless situation, he has to get even more bold with his tactics in order to survive. You’ll be rooting for Kaiji all the way as the other characters are impossible to like.

Conclusion

Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor is easily one of the most addictive anime I’ve ever consumed. I effortlessly powered through all 26 episodes of the first season in one day. Despite this, be prepared to watch both seasons as the first season has a slightly unsatisfying ending. Also, there is a certain arc in the second season that goes on a little too long for my liking. These minor flaws hardly put a dent in the anime, consequently, I rate Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor an 8.5/10. If you consider yourself a fan of psychological thrillers, do yourself a favor and watch this immediately.

Written by yxn

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Code Geass: Lelouche of the Rebellion Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch
MAL Score: 8.77/10
Episodes: 25
Genres: Action, Drama, Mecha, Military, School, Sci-Fi, Super Power

Introduction

Code Geass is an adaptation of the original manga, that started airing in 2006. It is knows as one of the best titles with extensive food for thoughts, suprising plot twists and exciting fights, including a great range of unique mechas. Code Geass has a lot of side stories and spin-offs, like, for example, Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito. The world of Code Geass is so diverse, that the whole series has been realised in different versions. You can watch the movies, which are different from original story, and also the upcoming movie with a totally separate storytelling.

The setting

“Code Geass” is based in the alternative progressive world, where there are three superpowers: Chinese Federation, United Republic of Europia and Holy Britannian Empire – the dominant nation from that time. You can easily see the resemblence with the real world, but where is Japan, you might ask? The Holy Britannian Empire once invaded Japan, which concluded in its total domination. Therefore, the Japanese territory becomes the special Area 11 (and the japanese were consequently called “elevens”).

The whole series is about a britannian school boy Lelouch Lamperouge, who wanted to change the Holy Britannian Empire. For that he had only one goal – to grant his little lovely sister the peaceful and safe world. For this he becomes Zero – the symbol of rebellion and revolution for all elevens. He is the one who creates the “Order of the Black Knights” – a terroristic organization, which becomes the greatest dangers for Britannian government. This rapid progression is all due to the special power of persuasion called “Geass” that was granted to Lelouch by the mysterious girl C.C. Only after obtaining this power Lelouch has started taking serious actions towards the changing of the Britannia.

Features of series

Tense mindgames, glorious mechas with impressive technologies, picturesque field and sky battles make “Code Geass” an appropriate action anime.  The environment is always different as much as the atmosphere and always rising bets, meaning a more and more discouraging consequences for the losing side. The political intrigues and the questions of royalty keep the viewer amazed and makes him watch to the end.

Summary

No wonder why almost everyone is waiting for new “Code Geass” movie right now. After all, the successful mix of action, politics and mystery has granted the series its one of the biggest fanbases and high ratings in most charts. Every announcement, every small discovered feature boosts the community, rising the hype for the next 1-2 years. People consider “Code Geass” as one of the best animes of its time and is extremely popular now, due to all the expectations for the upcoming movie.

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The Promised Neverland Anime Review

Media: Anime 
Name: Yakusoku no Neverland
MAL Score: 8.74/10
Episodes: 12
Genres: Sci-fi, Mystery, Horror, Psychological, Thriller

There will be minor spoilers for The Promised Neverland ahead

Immediately becoming one of the more popular anime of the winter season, The Promised Neverland has been hard to ignore. For a Shounen Jump adaptation, its plot is rather unique. But does this mean that the show is good? Let’s find out.

Summary

The Promised Neverland begins by appearing to be a sweet lighthearted show. Several kids in an orphanage, Grace Field House, are introduced as having happy lives. However, something seems off. The orphanage that they’re in is surrounded by walls, and the one rule is to never go to the gate while someone is being “adopted.” One night, two of the main characters, Emma and Norman, decide to go to the gate because a girl had forgotten her toy in the orphanage. To their horror, Emma and Norman discover they aren’t getting shipped off to foster homes, but instead to their death. Of course they have to get out of here, so they share this information with their friend, Ray, and work on a plan to escape. For the rest of the 11 episodes, the three children try to find ways to escape their inevitable deaths.

Review

While the synopsis of the show may sound interesting, the show at times has trouble achieving that. One flaw of setting up an anime in this way is that there’s bound to be a lot of planning going on, where nothing but talking is really happening. This happens in several episodes, making a lot of the early and middle a drag to watch. After about nine episodes I was just hoping for the show to end. Fortunately, because of the episodes spent with the character planning their escape, the last two or three episodes did not disappoint and were highly entertaining. The last two episodes almost made me feel like it was worth sitting through the first nine episodes that I thought were bland.

In terms of the characters, I wouldn’t consider any of them all that special. Emma is a relatively generic shounen protagonist who has the “I want to save everyone” mindset. Her being the main character isn’t really a bad thing, but she just didn’t stand out much to me personally. Norman and Ray both had a little more to them, but I don’t feel as if the writing was strong enough to unlock all their potential. Ray came off as an edgy preteen and Norman often mirrored Emma’s ideas when they both could’ve done more.

The worst character was most likely Sister Crone though, as she wasn’t really essential to the plot. Sister Crone was pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things, despite getting a lot of screen time. In addition to this, the show presents some scenes that make you question what you were supposed to feel about her, if the show wanted you to sympathize with her or not.

In terms of production, the art style was kind of awkward. This style is something that would make more sense for a moe show, not a “Psychological Thriller.” The soundtrack was pretty nice though, and the song that plays during episode 12 helped add a lot of emotions to the scene.

Conclusion

Overall, I thought The Promised Neverland was relatively average until the end. Before the last two episodes I would’ve given the show a 5, but I’ll bring it up to a 6/10 due to the entertainment I got at the end. I don’t regret watching The Promised Neverland, but I’m somewhat disappointed. I think the show could’ve been a lot more with some more polished writing.

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Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
MAL Score: 8.51/10
Episodes: 13
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Supernatural

In the Fall 2018 season of anime, several popular and critically acclaimed shows came out, and standing above them all was Bunny Girl Senpai. While it was airing, it was difficult to avoid the show because of the way it engulfed the community, and I caved in eventually and watched it. Commonly drawing comparisons to both the Monogatari Series and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, it certainly had some big shoes to fill. So could Bunny Girl Senpai live up to these expectations, or did it fall flat?

Summary

Sakuta Azusagawa is an outcast at school, mainly due to rumors of a violent past. The other main character, Mai Sakurajima, is also an outcast at school, but for a far different reason. She’s a celebrity who’s currently on hiatus, so she faces the struggle of people being intimidated by her status. One day, Sakuta sees Mai wondering around in public, wearing of course a bunny girl suit. No one really seems to pay her any mind though, other than Sakuta. It turns out Mai has a disorder known as “Puberty Syndrome,” which makes her invisible to others.

After Mai’s arc, the show keeps introducing more girls who also struggle from “Puberty Syndrome” in different ways. Puberty Syndrome reflects the issues that a character has, and gives them a supernatural ailment. Bunny Girl Senpai takes a Monogatari-like approach, and has the plot afterwards mainly focus on Sakuta helping these girls with their supernatural problems.

Review

If you go into this show expecting something like Monogatari or Haruhi, you will be severely disappointed. It’s best to look at the show as its own entity because of the stark difference in quality. Bunny Girl Senpai doesn’t really have the witty dialogue required to pull off a show like this. It tries to be a comedy while at the same time being an emotional drama, which is difficult to write well. There’s definitely moments of good writing here and there, but overall it’s too inconsistent to be super entertaining.

Along with this, Bunny Girl Senpai attempts to be more than it actually is. By this I mean it introduces unnecessary concepts to make itself seem smart, when it really isn’t. An example of this would be when Mai turns invisible, one character uses Schrödinger’s cat to explain it. But turning invisible isn’t really a confusing concept, so it’s pointless to introduce something else which would only add confusion. Shortly after this, Laplace’s Demon is used as an explanation as well, which again adds confusion to an initially not confusing concept.

In terms of the characters, I didn’t really find any of them super annoying as a whole. They all functioned decently well inside the story, but I don’t think anyone really stood out. The girls all felt like I had seen them somewhere before in a different anime, and Sakuta felt almost like a Kyon reject. In terms of animation and art, the show looks above average overall, but nothing too notable came from this category. The highlight of the show however was the sound track. I find myself continuously going back to listen to the ending theme. The opening, while not my favorite musically, was able to spawn some memes, so that’s something.

Conclusion

With all its flaws and limited upsides, I consider Bunny Girl Senpai to be average overall. I definitely wouldn’t consider it a masterpiece as some do, or call it bad, just an average 5/10. I can understand the enjoyment one can get from this show, but when the aforementioned Monogatari and Haruhi exist, I don’t know if there’s much of a reason to watch this show anymore.

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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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Dr. Stone Review or “How a boy can revive the whole civilization from the start”

Media: Manga, Anime (Summer 2019)
Name: Dr. Stone
MAL Rating: 8.01/10 (N/A for Anime version)

Summer 2019 season is gonna be hot for sure. And not because of the bright sun, but there will be a lot of titles I would recommend for watching. This summer will be special for me, because of one specific title. It has been waiting for a long time for its chance to appear on screens. This is “Dr. Stone” by Riichiro Inagaki (Eyeshield 21) and Boichi (Trigun, Sun-Ken Rock). It is about people overcoming the “second prehistoric era” ( without dinosaurs though). And they live in the wild and dangerous world they once called their home.

After everyone had fallen under strange petrification disease, several thousand years had passed. Numerous cities and villages got covered with vegetation, thus having transformed into the ruins of history. The protagonist of this story is Senkuu – the one young genius, who was busy with multiple scientific projects before the world disaster occured, but became the hope for all humanity. His friend, Taiju, becomes the second man to be revived after Senkuu, and from this point the actual story begins.

The plot is rather simple – survive and find out what happened, but it is filled with a lot of interesting stuff, which makes “Dr. Stone” unique on its own: from discovering different technologies 1000 times faster than the history of humanity can remember, to some serious questions about society and wars. It has a good deal of comedy, which perfectly adds the charm to the title, while it doesn’t forget about the romantic side, that is quite common in those stories.

Summary

Yes, the spring season has only just begun, and there is a lot of time till the summer, but if you like this kind of anime – you would want to include “Dr. Stone” to those “Must see” titles of the next season. And for those, that cannot wait – they can read manga. They will not be disappointed with it, I promise!

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Your Lie in April Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso ( Your Lie In April)
MAL Score: 8.87/10
Episodes: 22
Genres: Drama, Music, Romance, School, Shounen

About the anime

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

Piano prodigy Kōsei Arima dominated various music competitions and has become famous among child musicians, but also controversial. After the death of his mother, he had a mental breakdown at the age of eleven while performing at a piano recital which resulted in him no longer being able to hear the sound of his piano even though his hearing was perfectly fine. 

Four years later, Kōsei hasn’t touched the piano and views the world in monochrome, without any flair or color. He resigns himself to living out his life with his good friends, Tsubaki and Watari, until, one day, he meets a girl who changes everything in his life.

Kaori is later discharged from the hospital. Later on, she invites Kōsei to play at a Gala with her. However, Kaori fails to show up on the day of the Gala, and as her health worsens, and she begins to give up on life. This time, Kōsei is the one who inspires her after playing a duet with Nagi Aiza, the pianist sister of a fellow rival of his named Takeshi Aiza. After shedding tears and listening to it, Kaori opts for a risky surgery that may kill her if it fails.

What happens next, is up to you to find out.

Overall I think the anime was ok, each person has their own taste. If you have anything to say, don’t be scared, feel free to drop it in the comment box.

Written by Laimed.

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