Mob Psycho 100 Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Mob Psycho 100
MAL Score: 8.52/10
Episodes: 12 + 13
Genres: Action, Slice of Life, Comedy, Supernatural

There will be minor spoilers for Mob Psycho 100 ahead

From the creator of the super popular One Punch Man comes another anime, being Mob Psycho 100. After a pretty popular season one in 2016, Mob received a second season which began airing in 2019. Immediately, the second season garnered a ton of praise, soaring to the top of the MyAnimeList charts. When rated this high, it becomes harder for shows to live up to the hype. Can mob take on this task?

Summary

Mob Psycho 100 is a story which revolves around our main character, Kageyama Shigeo, or Mob. In a world that has espers, Mob has extremely powerful psychic powers. However, that’s really all he has going for him. He comes across as boring, unathletic, unattractive, and average in most other categories. Opposite of Mob is his brother, Kageyama Ritsu. Ritsu is everything Mob isn’t; he’s attractive, athletic, smart, outgoing, but he doesn’t have psychic powers. We also have Reigan Arataka, Mob’s mentor. Reigan claims to be a psychic himself, but he’s really just a con-artist. However, Reigan really does seem to care for Mob, teaching him not to use his power on other people regardless of the circumstances.

The story mostly focuses on Mob and Reigan exorcising different spirits they hear about until a more central enemy is brought up. At that point, Mob Psycho 100 becomes more serious and drops a lot of the comedy shown earlier on in both seasons.

Review

A lot of Mob Psycho’s success comes from its characters. Reigan in particular is a fantastic character. The first season mainly focuses on how important Reigan is to Mob, but a lot of their past is unexplored. This gets resolved in the second season, where their past is explained and its shown that Mob is just as important to Reigan. Even if Mob himself is a little boring as a character, Reigan’s eccentric personality and the bond he shares with Mob is enough to carry the show.

The plot isn’t super complex, but that’s mostly because the show relies on the characters for the entertainment value. The plot boils down to an outcast at school trying to help people using his powers with the aid of his master. This isn’t to say the plot is boring though, as there are several parts which I believe are very well written. The plot consistently sets up moments where the characters and animation can shine.

Speaking of animation, that’s perhaps the most notable feature of Mob. Its simplistic art allows for the animation to be extremely fluid and make use of vibrant colors to really depict psychic powers as something, well, magic. There are very few times when I feel like the animation for Mob Psycho 100 isn’t superb.

Conclusion

I really do believe that this series deserves the praise that it gets. The characters and how they interact are fantastic, and its paired with gorgeous animation. As for the score I give it, the first season would be an 8/10 and the second season a 9/10, due to the increase in complexity of some of the characters.

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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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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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Kaguya-sama: Love is War Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen
MAL Score: 8.49/10
Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, Psychological, School, Romance

Chances are that if you’ve been around the anime community within the past month, you’ve seen The Chika Dance at some point. This clip has led to Kaguya becoming one of the more popular shows of the Winter 2019 season, but how does it stack up against the rest? Can it live up to the infamy of Chika and her dance?

Summary

The story of Kaguya-sama follows the student council of Shuchiin Academy, which includes 4 members. The however the plot mainly revolves around the president, Miyuki Shirogane, and vice-president, Kaguya Shinomiya. Chika Fujiwara, the secretary, and Yu Ishigami, the treasurer, are more-so there for comedic relief.

The premise is this: Miyuki and Kaguya are in love with each other, and acknowledge that the other probably feels the same way, but neither of them want to confess. This is because neither of them wants to be seen as weaker in the relationship, so they try to get the other to confess. However, they’re both extremely smart, meaning instead of regular romantic talk, we get mental battles between the two. So through all these battles, the comedy ensues.

Review

So enough summary, how good is it? Well, the answer is similar to most comedies. It depends on your sense of humor. Personally, I felt that the show got off to a strong start, and began to get repetitive around episode 7. There’s only so many places you can take a concept to form humor of it, and it didn’t feel as creative later on. I also felt that it ended on a poor note, but I can’t get into that without spoiling. This isn’t to say Kaguya is unenjoyable though. There’s definitely scenes and entire episodes I found pretty funny, with clever jokes written in.

In terms of animation and sound design, Kaguya was decent, but not super memorable in either. Animation wise, it had some cool visual presentation, with all the cuts and angles shown during Miyuki and Kaguya facing off. This helps with the set and outfit design, which felt relatively bland. No music really stood out in the OST to me, but none felt out of place either. I also felt that the voice actors all gave pretty solid performances.

Conclusion

Overall, I would give Kaguya a strong 6 to a light seven 7 out of 10. The upsides are definitely there, with some funny episodes and scenes, but it’s not super consistent in getting laughs from me. I would recommend everyone to watch the first one or two episodes and judge it yourself however, since humor is subjective. If you find any enjoyment from those first two episodes, then you’ll probably enjoy most of it. If not, then you probably won’t enjoy any of it. But either way, it doesn’t matter too much as long as the show gave us the Chika dance.

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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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