Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Anime Review

Media: Anime
Name: Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Fullmetal Alchemist
MAL Score: 9.24/10
Episodes: 64
Genres: Action, Military, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Fantasy, Shounen

Introduction

“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” is an alternative retelling of Hiromu Orakawa’s manga, but comparing to the original anime series, it covers the whole story and has a more reasonable ending. This anime has easily taken its top place in all rankings due to its thrilling story, spectacular fights, rich world lore and etc.

Law of Equivalent Exchange

“In order for something to be obtained, something of equal value must be lost”. This is the core, on which alchemy is based. Alchemy is everything in the world of “Fullmetal Alchemist”. It is a local type of magic, that allows to create something out of something. But of course, there are different consequences and there are some restrictions for using it. For example, creating a person or a chimera (mix of different species, abomination) is forbidden, as it is dangerous and it hasn’t been successful before.

The setting

The story is about two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who lost their mother, when they were kids, and who decided to revive her using the alchemy. As expected, it was a complete failure and both brothers lost a lot: Edward now uses the prothesis for his right hand and leg and Alphonse only’s got his soul attached to armor. Now they seek the Philosopher’s Stone, which can overcome the Law of Equivalent Exchange, to return Alphonse’s body. But slowly and steadily, they face the political repressions in the country and they find out the murky history of their country’s government, so their initial task comes on the second place.

“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” is rich in interesting characters, who are unique to each other. Edward, while serving the military as the state alchemist, meets a lot of different people and creatures, that behave and live solely on their principles. For example, there are Seven Deadly Sins, who serve their creator, or Colonel Roy Mustang, who is seemingly harsh and cold to his colleagues, but he is really a caring and fair person.

Conclusion

Overall, it is understandable and pretty clear, why
the whole anime community treasures this anime . It consists of everything, that makes the anime really interesting and worth watching (and then rewatching multiple times). Furthermore, there have been several movies and specials, which boosted its popularity. The world of “Fullmetal Alchemist” has a lot of potential for development in novels, other series. Unfortunately, the story is told, and doubt we are getting something else from this universe. The only thing we can do is just rewatching the series – the classics never become outdated.

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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: 8.53/10
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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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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Dragon Ball Z: Goku Character Analysis

Goku’s Flat Character Arc

Goku essentially is a character that does not change as situations around him change and times change. He has what is called a “Flat Character Arc”, which means “the character starts out already in possession of the Truth—and then uses that Truth to bring positive change to the world around him. As such, the Flat-Arc protagonist is a person who, on the specific level of the Truth, has things figured out.” Goku in that sense is an archetype, representing the epitome of that character style. Goku in his 50s isn’t very different from the Goku that we meet when he begins this journey as a 10 year old, and that’s after he reaches an incredible amount of physical strength and dealing with some of the most insurmountable enemies in the series.

Before we discuss the subtleties of his character I think its best we dispel some myths about the man himself. He is in no way the strongest character in the series for most part of the story line, he has never actually beaten Vegeta in a duel. The reason Vegeta is always on the edge about beating him is not something that’s ingrained in his nature, its just the way his fights with Goku has always turned out to be. In their first fight Vegeta almost killed him after transforming into his Great Ape form. That fight was interrupted by other Z fighters and Goku was more or less defenseless and almost certainly would have lost and most probably died because of it, had it taken its natural course. In their second duel Vegeta in his Majin form wiped the floor with him and left him lying on the floor it was more or less his own fault that, that this particular fight ended in that outcome, he concealed his ability to transform into a Super Saiyin 3, which ultimately let Vegeta to exploit it.

Personality

His naivety has led him to make some decisions which ordinarily in the right state of mind you wouldn’t want to make, like giving Cell a senju bean. To add to this Vegeta is stronger than Goku on multiple instances for example, when he emerges from the Hyperbolic Time chamber to challenge Cell. This explains the rougher edges in the personality of Vegeta more than anything else, because for the good part of the series the outcomes usually indicate that Goku is the strongest Z fighter and possibly the strongest in arc however Vegeta’s essentially higher win rate and his own mental outlook on Goku’s strength stand to contradict this judgement on everyone else’s part. 

His professional record as a fighter only reinforces the belief that he does not always cares about winning in these tournaments, fights or coming off as the strongest fighter of them all. He has won only 1 tournament even though he participated in 9 of them. He has lost to Jacki Chun, Tien. He forfeited in the Cell games, and in the Other World’s tournament was a disqualification. His fights with Vegeta are known to be brutal and not in his favour both times. The only person he has ever defeated in a tournament Finale is Piccolo.

Having said all this, there were times when he was left in a state where he could have died had his bouts continued, the only two times he has ever died are because of self-sacrifice on his part. Both when he first held his brother Raditz so Piccolo can kill him and when he contained Cell.

Characterisation

Goku seems to have attained some sort of metaphorical enlightenment in this series, he does falters sometimes like when he snapped in his ssj3 form when his plan didn’t go as he expected it to, but at for a good part of anime he seems to have some sort of other worldly confidence in his own self and the universe. Many times he showed he was above the entire progression of story line itself for example when he was ready to give up earth in one of the arcs which truly represents Flat Character Arc at its finest. It doesn’t means he is careless or too dumb to actually understand whats going on. It just shows the character is complete without the arc.

This is also one of the trappings of such character. A lot of people would use this as an accuse to bash DBZ and one of its chief protagonist, saying things like “This anime is same as it was in Ep1.”, “Oh he is just going to rely on another power up to solve every crisis…”, “Well it gets really boring because all arcs are so similar”, all this just represents ignorance on the part of the watchers because they fail to notice the emotional and mental maturity Goku goes through as the story line progresses. Yes certain things like his core character is not going to change, but that’s what make him so unique, that doesn’t means he is not going to gain anything as the anime progresses. That’s just false assumptions based on one observation that the character seems way ahead of the arc and confident that all is going to turn out well most of the time.

Yes the 10 year old Goku is very similar to the Goku that appears in the DB Super, but they are both on entirely different planes of emotional maturity. Remember Goku did sacrifice himself on two occasions since the beginning of the series.

This article attempts to draw out some fine points with regards to Goku’s Flat Character Archetype. Such characters are truly rare in anime. In fact Goku can be used as a yard stick for perfect Flat Character Archetypes. We hope you enjoyed the DBZ experience with him if you watched DBZ in past, feel free to come by and discuss about Goku and other characters from any other anime on our anime discord AnimeSoul (WLA).

Written by Suzaku.

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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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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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Deadman Wonderland Anime Review

Media: Anime

Name: Deadman Wonderland

MAL Rating: 7.40/10

Description:

Warning: contains some spoilers!

Deadman Wonderland is a shonen based in Tokyo after a large earthquake wipes out the entire city. From its ashes a prison called Deadman Wonderland is born. In it are some of the worlds hardest criminals that are then housed within the prison that seconds as an amusement park. Visitors came come from all over the world to watch the criminals fight to the death in a series of games and competitions.

After the earthquake, a number of people exposed to red, crystal like shards find themselves with new-found powers. Deadman Wonderland follows the story of a young boy named Ganta Igarashi who also finds himself with the mysterious power to manipulate his blood. His school is attacked and Ganta is blamed for the death of his entire class and then sent to horrendous amusement park prison to pay for his crimes. Little did he know that there was much more afoot than a simple frame job. Ganta must stay alive and prove his innocence while surrounded by psychotic and dangerous individuals.

Thing is… the inmates aren’t even the worst. The guards and warden are just as hardened as the criminals, in fact worse. A system is set in place to ensure the cooperation of the inmates, a device around the neck that can kill on command but also poisons the inmates every three days. Without the antidote, a specialized piece of candy, which can be earned through the events or stolen from others, encourages the inmates to kill and claw their way.

Deadman Wonderland did not receive its deserved attention in Japan upon its release. It only became popular with its US debut but is still one of the highly recommended horror shonen.​

Written by Eos.

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