Due to the description and opining of the first ep my expectations and the reality of the show were completely off.
What I expected
>oh cool magic ninja assassin type show
What I actually got
>fedora tipping lolicon bait
It also had passing problems of most of the story lines feeling really rushed and poorly edited, like they probably needed more ep then they actually had to tell the amount of story they had to get through.
Overall it was pretty meh. Not irredeemable but not good ether.
I knew from the first ep that it was probably going to be shit but somehow I still enjoyed myself so it wasn't a waste of time.
You would think it being so focused on gears and clockwork that it would be more steampunk but it is really just light sci-fi with heavy fantasy elements. Stuff being based on gears doesn't have as much of a effect on the look or function of most things in the anime.
Whatever, it was a meh show that has it's enjoyable moments.
Wasn't this made by same anime studio as the AoT?
I just finished Kemono No Souja Erin. This was one of the best anime I've watched in a long time. The art is good, the characters have depth, the pace isn't frantically rushed. The best thing about it though is the world-building. They build up a world that incorporates fantasy elements yet feels very real. It's top tier escapism with lots of episodes to keep you engaged.
Just finished the second season of Kaiji. This is the rare example of a 26 episode season of anime that would have been better off as 13 episodes instead of the reverse like usual. It was almost tortuous at times. Over half the anime is spent playing a game of pachinko.
Almost done with SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online. Fukaziro is very cute and there are succubi with guns who do crazy smiles, that is 90% of my enjoyment of the series. The other 10% is Eva being a little succubus in real life. That fight between LLENN and Eva was very exciting to watch.
Upset that Fukaziro wasn't in the first six episodes.
I enjoyed the second season of SAO (Gun Gale Online) way more than I expected. I'm cautiously optimistic about SAO Alternative and plan to watch it sometime in the next year.
I just spent the past 3 days or so marathoning all 120 episodes of Doulou Dalu. Felt good man, haven't just done an anime binge like that in a long time. This anime is like Naruto if Naruto were a chinese RPG and instead of being weak and unpopular at the beginning Naruto was just OP from the start. Teenagers have death matches with martial arts and magic and shit. It's 90% training arcs and tournament/fighting arcs. It's not great but I was entertained.
Everything is CGI. The CGI sets are great but the animation of the people was pretty bad. They don't even bother to animate people taking damage for example. There was also gratuitous use of close-ups, shaky camera/jump cuts, and slow-mo during the fights that kind of sucks. Lots of rough cuts throught too.
Despite its flaws I enjoyed this show. It's the first CGI show to really make me excited for the future of the format. Since then I've watched a couple of other chinese CGI shows and some have even better CGI quality despite having other flaws that kept them from being truly good. At the end of one of them they had a behind the scenes look at how it was made and it was literally just a couple of guys in an office room somewhere with dots on their body. I hope this technology becomes cheap and widespread and we get a CGI anime renaissance.
I watched one punch man seasons 1 and 2, first season was funny and very entertaining, I really enjoy this last decade's anime trend of impossibly overpowered main characters nerfing everything in their way to everyone's astonishment, same as Overlord and that anime about re-incarnating as a slime, I don;t know why but it makes me lmao
season 2 was a piece of shit though where they sidelined the MC in his own show to feature a bunch of useless background characters and their boring stories
still can't believe I never heard of this anime until last week
I watched Little Busters (including Refrain, EX/Ecstasy, and the OVA). Here are my thoughts:
Similarly to other Key adaptations, genuinely emotional moments are dispersed within, but you need to be willing to overlook some drawbacks. There are some great impactful scenes but you need to be patient. Like other Key adaptations, the writing/direction/script feels ham-fisted. Underneath this though there are elements with appreciable artistic merit.
I'm actually quite forgiving of VN adaptations because I understand that by their very nature there are limitations on direction quality. My view is that VN adaptations need to be 'watched differently' compared to ordinary anime. The nonlinear and discontinuous nature of the source material must be taken into consideration. Even with this in mind, the direction ranges from poor to okay. Direction is probably this anime's most significant flaw. Sometimes it feels like it 'fumbles the ball' during crucial emotional scenes.
Little Busters seems to lack the rich atmosphere that was so noteworthy in past Key works like Kanon and Air. Although it does have a similar melancholy undertone and a pervasive supernatural theme.
The cast is large but it's handled well; pretty much every character is likable and given a chance to shine. The female cast in particular has some really memorable characters who are very likable and full of personality; some of them felt like real people to me.
There are plenty of comfy SOL scenes/episodes. Healthy mix of drama and comfy SOL. There are some funny scenes but be prepared for some oh-so-hilarious Japanese slapstick humour, particularly in the earlier episodes. Foreshadowing is sometimes implemented well, and sometimes it is used ineffectively or insufficiently. As you might expect, the series becomes more drama-heavy in the later episodes.
The OST is, on average, maybe not quite as amazing as more well-known Key adaptations like Clannad. Nevertheless, it is still great and there are some excellent songs in the catalog if you dig through it. As expected, there are some absolutely breathtaking piano tracks. The OST is still far better than your average anime and is still a major source of enjoyment, don't get me wrong. I found myself rewinding scenes just to hear the music again. I've set aside a choice selection of songs from all the musical content which I'm certain I'll be listening to for many years to come. Also, I liked the voice acting for the entire main cast.
I think the greater length of this adaptation is capitalized upon effectively. A more elaborate story is woven and a larger cast of characters is constructed, as compared to shorter Key adaptations. I think this is an advantage of Little Busters compared to a shorter adaptation, like Air for example. The greater length also ensures that story arcs are neatly tied up, not rushed or incomplete. Not once during the total 48 episodes did I ever feel like the series was a drag or a chore to watch. I always looked forward to watching the next episode. As time went on, I felt myself become more attached to the characters. Once the cast is fleshed out, the show can be a pretty good 'friend group simulator' at times. I should mention that friendship is a fairly significant theme in Little Busters. The stories are (relatively) more platonic compared to other Key works. I'm not the type of person to ever feel loneliness, but there were moments when this anime invoked whispers of that kind of feeling within me. Being with all the Little Busters characters made me feel like I was in my early teenage years again, or something like that.
I often find that a male lead character in anime can be unlikable or bland at best. Key adaptations are unfortunately no exception to this, but Little Busters is unique in this respect. I found Riki to be a really endearing and likable character. He's so cute too! He had by far the most screentime of any character but I never tired of his presence.
Visually, the anime has a bland art style and colour palette, and the animation is unremarkable. Although I did notice an increase in animation quality for the sequels relative to the first season (this is probably a testament to the success of the original series). More detail was added to facial expressions, which was a major plus in my mind. Even though the same bland art style is used, the sequels have better cinematography, and lighting is used more effectively and in greater detail.
Overall I rate Little Busters 9/10.
I liked it a lot and it made me feel a lot of things. It's not perfect but it still has tons of charm. Maybe a different studio could have done a better job. Despite my (perhaps harsh) criticisms, I did cry during the last episode of Refrain. I think that Little Busters will have a place in my heart for a long time to come. Every time I relisten to the OST I start to feel emotional.
Little Busters is a really good 'depression anime,' in my opinion. If you're feeling sad then the melancholic supernatural atmosphere is really complementary. I think this is true for most Key adaptations.
Would I recommend Little Busters? Not broadly. There are aspects of it that I can see a different viewer disliking. Most of the usual issues with Key adaptations apply here. Although I haven't read it, I suspect that the visual novel might be a better (or at least more authentic) way to approach this.
I did not enjoy Refrain as much as the original series overall. Refrain excluded a lot of the best characters, and I did not like the plot as much, although it did build on the plot of the original series and resolved some unanswered questions. The last few episodes were excellent but the journey there was somewhat rocky.
-sort of maybe spoilers below-
There is a romance arc involving Riki and another character that doesn't begin until the latter half of the entire story. Up until this point I had shipped Riki with this character, and them coming together felt natural in theory. The actual romance arc itself though seemed unnatural and forced from my point of view. It was poorly executed and disappointing. Definitely a lot of potential was wasted because this could have been a potent mechanism of emotional engagement. It felt cathartic for me to see them finally realize their affection for each other, but what followed was so poorly directed I almost wish it hadn't happened at all.
Speaking of character relations, I thought the relationship between Riki and Kyouske was a really promising aspect of the story and I wish it was explored more thoroughly. I would have liked to have seen more character development for Kyouske overall, actually. He was used as a plot device moreso than any other character, so maybe this justifies his lack of development. For better or worse, the male characters overall in Little Busters are relatively undeveloped. Given the importance of the male cast to the plot itself, I think I would have found the show more emotionally engaging if they were more richly characterized.
I'll also make some comments that are specific to the EX/Ecstasy episodes:
- These were included as specials with the Refrain release, so they're not essential to the core plot of the show. They include VN routes involving some less-important characters.
- These specials are somewhat less serious and more fanservice-heavy than the TV anime, so the viewer should set their expectations accordingly.
- Romance is a more significant aspect of these specials relative to the TV anime. There are some decent romance scenes.
- I'm very grateful that the Ecstasy routes came with even more musical content, the quality of which is on par with all the other music put out by the franchise. There are some excellent songs in the catalog.
- I liked the voice acting for the newly introduced characters.
- Overall, I did not like these specials as much as the TV anime. There was a little too much pandering for my taste, and I didn't like the stories quite as much. I still enjoyed watching them, but I don't think they have quite the same artistic value as the TV anime.
- I rate these EX/Ecstasy specials 8/10.
A couple other important things:
- god I want Kurugaya to spank my bum and scold me
- Mio is literally me
Note: at the time of writing this I have not yet seen the Kud Wafter movie.
I watched Amanchu (both seasons and the OVA). Here are my thoughts:
For those unaware, this anime's source manga has the same mangaka as the more well-known Aria series.
The anime is (superficially) focused on diving but I feel that the activity is just a suitable allegory for the true character-driven story. Superficially it's a SoL show, but it is steeped heavily in romance. I was not expecting yuri romance going into this but I welcome it with open arms.
Romantic. So romantic. The two main characters have great chemistry. Romance is probably the strongest aspect of this anime. There are so many elegantly crafted romantic scenes.
Very nice character designs, especially the faces. I like the school outfits - they're unique (although apparently an homage to Aria?). Actually all of the outfits in the series are really cute.
Good character animation sometimes. Not consistent but it is good when it counts like during close-up scenes. Some episodes are more sloppy than others in this regard. The cinematography during some scenes can be quite nice.
Nice setting. Nice atmosphere. Very relaxing. Soft and sweet. I can practically smell the salty ocean air as I watch this anime. Setting and atmosphere are definitely strong aspects of this show. Very immersive. The setting is the classic coastal Japan that you've probably seen before, but nevertheless it is executed very well.
The OST is decent, depending on your tastes. It mainly consists of acoustic string instruments. It fits the setting well. All the OP and ED songs are good too. Generally speaking, I liked the voice acting of the two main characters, although sometimes Hikari has some mildly annoying quirks. The script can be surprisingly thoughtful sometimes, particularly during more-emotional scenes.
The two redhead sibling characters are kind of weak and drag down a lot of scenes they're in. They are somewhat unlikable and often used for unfunny humour. I found myself dreading their appearance on screen. These two characters are probably the most significant flaw of the anime. That said, they don't really soak up that much screentime, so this is a fairly minor criticism. Generally speaking, Amanchu is at its best when it is focused exclusively on the two main characters.
Overall the romantic aspects of the anime are terrific but strictly as a SoL it is comparatively weaker (although still good in this respect too). The diving scenes are pretty nice, as are the various activities around town, but many scenes are steeped in some kind of underlying character-related drama, so it often doesn't really function as a typical comfy SoL. This is more than fine with me and I really enjoyed the anime, but it's important for the viewer to set their expectations accordingly.
One 'complaint' I have about the anime is that it introduced a few new characters during the latter half of season 2. These characters seemed really promising to me and it was somewhat disappointing that there wasn't enough time to give them more attention. This is a perennial issue with manga adaptations though. Things are rarely tied up neatly - Amanchu is no exception to this. The introduction of these promising new characters late in season 2 impeded the feeling of finality I might have felt at the end of the anime. On the other hand, this has also amplified my desire to read the manga. This kind of thing comes with the manga-adaptation territory. It would be more of an issue for an anime that is more plot-heavy than Amanchu. It's also worth noting that the ending of season 1 was handled really well and left me feeling very satisfied.
My overall rating: 8/10
Some of the best succubus-succubus romance I've seen in a while, and it's wrapped up in a nice soft and relaxing atmosphere. Very pleasant.
This show seems to be underappreciated/underviewed by fans of shoujo ai. If you like yuri romance then I strongly recommend watching this. On the other hand, someone who doesn't enjoy yuri romance would probably find this anime slightly boring, which might explain the show's lukewarm reception.
I should mention that, at the time of writing this, I have not yet seen or read Aria. I expect that I'd enjoy it though.
I haven't been able to find the specials for this anywhere so unfortunately I have not seen them yet.
was wondering after reading your post because i didn't notice yuri elements while reading the manga a long while ago, they seemed more like good friends to me, then again it depends where you draw the line probably
what i really liked about Aria/Amanchu were the short spooky chapters, not really scary but kind of atmospheric, for example the one where the mc gets on a bus at night, while some old dude is slowly creeping up on her, think that wasn't in the anime
Apparently the anime really played up the shoujo ai and even added some really gay scenes. Conversely, the manga is a lot more hetero than the anime. This fueled a ton of arguments when the anime was airing.
This anime is a good example of why I try to avoid reading other opinions/reviews before watching. That way my experience is pure and I form my own opinions. I usually only read other reviews after I'm done writing down my own thoughts. I didn't realize how different the manga was and now I'm getting a lot of backlash from yuri purists lol
The bus scene you mention wasn't included in the anime, although I did enjoy the other supernatural elements. The dream scenes were quite nice. The supernatural stuff became more significant during season 2. I'm reading now through archives from when the show aired, and it looks like the supernatural stuff had a mixed reception.
I finally watched Monster. If you were putting it off like me, it's top notch give it a shot. It's been a long time since an Anime could keep me in for 70+ episodes.>>33782
Magnetic rose is easily one of my favorite OVA's of all time, just fantastic. Probably watched 10 times by now and I sure haven't watched the other two again.
I watched Kuma Miko (including the OVAs). Here are my thoughts:
The anime takes place in a nice rural-Japan setting, which is complemented by the pleasant organic-looking background art when outdoors. Character designs are unremarkable, however the character animation is sometimes better than I'd expect from this kind of show.
Unlike so many other comedy-heavy SoL shows, this show is actually funny. I laughed out loud during pretty much every episode. There are comedic spins on traditional Japanese culture and folklore, plus a lot of lolruraljapan humour. I often dislike comedy-heavy anime but I really enjoyed this one. The humour is way better than the typical slapstick garbage that you might begrudgingly expect. A common theme in the writing is the clash between modern life and traditional Japan. In terms of plot, the show is mostly episodic.
Okay OST which uses traditional Japanese instruments. Suits the mood and themes of the anime, and sometimes enhances the humour. I liked the voice acting for the main character (Machi) and the bear (Natsu). The script also is sometimes thoughtful and is skillfully used to deliver humour.
My overall rating: 7/10
This is a genuinely funny and creative show that is surprisingly underrated. I'm glad I gave it a chance. It has lots of personality and consistently made me laugh.
As you might have heard already, this show caused some butthurt with a lot of people. There are two reasons for this, the first of which is that the humour is sometimes politically incorrect and perhaps in bad taste. The main female character is also commonly treated poorly just for the sake of some skit; it's always done in a lighthearted joking way, but I can see why some people wouldn't like this kind of comedy. The second reason for common butthurt is the ending of the anime, which a lot of people disliked. There is some truth to this - the last two episodes were probably the weakest of the entire series, in my opinion. That doesn't invalidate my enjoyment of all the other episodes though. Supposedly the anime ending wasn't faithful to the manga, and there was a public feud between the mangaka and anime staff. I don't really know the specifics of the controversy so I'm not going to comment on it. Personally, these things didn't significantly compromise my enjoyment of the anime, but these discussion points are so common that I felt obligated to mention them. It seems like a lot of people complained about how Machi's character arc was handled at the end of the anime. As you can tell from what I've already written, I wasn't watching this anime for the story, so my enjoyment was fairly insensitive to the way that the characters' arcs were concluded. In theory I'm sympathetic to people being upset about an unfaithful adaptation, but since I haven't read this manga it had no effect on my viewing experience. That said, someone interested in this is probably better off reading the manga due to the alleged unfaithfulness of the anime adaptation.
I watched the anime movie Koe no Katachi, also known as A Silent Voice or The Shape of Voice. Here are my thoughts:
This is a ~2 hour movie made by Kyoto Animation. My understanding is that it is known for being drama-heavy and emotionally impactful.
The first ~30 minutes were pretty strong. This timespan was well-directed, and the story showed promise. I felt empathy for the characters during this 'grade school arc'. It's common knowledge that the male lead is the bully character and the female lead is the deaf character who is bullied. I'm telling you this for context - I'll talk more about characters further below.
When I do watch movies, I usually prefer longer runtimes. In the case of Koe no Katachi, I'm happy to say that the pacing overall seemed fine. However, one of my major complaints about this movie's direction is that it doesn't handle emotional climaxes well. Hugely important events happen abruptly and without a commensurate level of emotion or seriousness (LOL tone-deaf).
Visually, the animation is quite fluid, as expected. Art style is fairly unremarkable though. Character designs are basically typical KyoAni, but of course with high-quality character animation. I actually think that the unremarkable art style is a smart decision because too much visual flair could distract from the emotional experience. As for the OST, I wasn't consciously aware of it for most of the movie, so I guess it wasn't that intrusive. I recall there being a lot of piano. The soft piano during some scenes did enhance some emotional moments. Voice acting (insert cruel joke here) was unimpressive, and I didn't really like the male MC's voice work. He has this one-note faint soft way of speaking that I grew tired of hearing (very minor complaint).
By far my biggest issue with Koe no Katachi is with the story and writing itself. The lead female character has inadequate development. This is despite all her screentime and her crucial importance in the story. I wish there wasn't so much focus on the feelings of the male MC (at the expense of everyone else, especially the female lead). The movie is utterly dominated by the thoughts, feelings, and development of the male lead. To the point where the female lead is literally just a prop for the presumed viewer's messiah-complex fantasy. It turns out that the character who I empathized with during those first solid 30 minutes is actually nothing more than a prop for what I found to be shockingly one-sided storytelling. At least a typical LN shameless self-indulgent fantasy story doesn't pretend to be anything more sophisticated than what it is. I see the story of Koe no Katachi as being equally crude. Drama doesn't work well when you only focus on the feelings of a single character.
I also didn't like the ending much at all. Particularly among the supporting cast, a lot of the characters' actions didn't make sense. The female lead basically doesn't have a character arc, so there was nothing to conclude there. Of course the ending revolves around the male MC, but it's unclear how any of his own personal issues have actually been resolved. The entire ending felt nonsensical to me.
My overall rating: 4/10
It has some emotional moments but to me it ultimately feels like a good premise was crudely squandered.
-maybe spoiler below-
During the beginning of this movie, it felt like there were some good ingredients for a decent drama story. Eventually though, a somewhat typical romance arc develops. This should have been foreshadowed more. I kind of expected it eventually just because this is a blockbuster anime movie with a teenage fanbase, but it was introduced very abruptly. It could have been executed much better. I would have welcomed the romance if it was built up slowly, but in this case I barely felt any tension before the reveal. This also relates back to the weak characterization for the lead female character. The helpless disabled succubus with zero characterization. Pretty much the only time the movie ever focuses on her feelings is when she expresses her romantic affection for the male MC. How virtuous. It's never even explained why she becomes attracted to the MC, she just conveniently is, because she's just an object inside of a universe that revolves exclusively around the male MC.
Other minor comments:
This is a matter of personal taste, but I never ever want to hear anglosphere music in anime - ESPECIALLY classic rock. The movie added a song from The Who, a song I have a vast catalog of bad memories to associate with. Don't ever pull that kind of nonsense again, KyoAni. Thankfully this was only done at the start of the movie, so my viewing experience wasn't disrupted too much.
Is it weird that i haven't seen any kumamiko hentai in the fap thread?
Not really くまみこr-18 returns only about 250 results on Pixiv, and the fap thread here seems to be filled with people who tend to stick to their own particular niches and fetishes, so something as tame as Kumamiko wouldn't have much to offer that any other e-rated series would.
Machi is not for lewd.
I watched both seasons of Bubuki Buranki. Here are my thoughts:
My expectations going into this were rock bottom but surprisingly I enjoyed watching it. For those who don't know, this is a mecha-themed action show that is animated entirely in CG. I watched the Blu-rays, which might've been a bit more polished than what was presented to a seasonal viewer.
The plot is kind of a mess and it was sometimes confusing. There were some pacing issues; seemingly trivial things got more screentime than plot-critical events. There were also some questionable decisions, like introducing a bunch of new characters in a short period of time during the latter half of season one. That was probably especially bothersome for those watching the anime as it aired, as opposed to watching both seasons continuously. Another noteworthy thing is that the conflicts/fights rarely have any consequences for the party who loses, which kind of removes any feeling of suspense. The story is somewhat ridiculous at times, and I did not take it seriously. However, the show is sometimes fun to watch and the episodes usually passed quickly. Basically, "just shut your brain off, bro." Admittedly, a lot of loose ends in the plot get tied up during season two. Even beyond the overarching plot, there are a lot of character arcs that the show is constantly juggling. It gets messy at times, especially considering that most episodes spend a significant amount of time on action scenes as well.
The characters were okay, although a few were bland or annoying (looking at you, Kogane). There was adequate character development for the four main supporting characters, but a glaring lack of development for the bland MC. For context, the four supporting characters form the limbs of a mech and the MC is the torso ('heart'). I liked a lot of the antagonist/villain characters actually. There was tons of variety among the antagonist characters and a lot of them were entertaining when on screen. Unfortunately, this is in stark contrast to the zero-personality MC. Overall though, I liked the variety of personalities that were featured in this anime.
Voice acting was decent and there was a lot of variety among the cast. There were a handful of characters (mainly antagonists) who had notably unique voice work. The OST was okay and I liked the OP and ED songs. Felt myself singing along to the first OP. One stand-out aspect was the great sound effects (mainly related to mech function and movement).
Action scenes were pretty fun to watch. Both the human-on-human conflict and the mech fights. I think my favourite aspect of the series was the action scenes. They felt fresh and creative, and the CG allowed a lot of things I wouldn't expect from conventional anime. In addition to motion, the action scenes were very colourful. Aside from the mechs themselves, there were neat weapons and equipment.
Unfortunately, CG is a double-edged sword in that it really inhibits characters' facial expressions, which impairs dialogue-heavy scenes and dramatic moments. One thought I had was that the lack of facial expressions could be compensated for with more-emotional voice acting, but this wasn't discernably employed, in fact many characters are kind of deadpan. It would be interesting though if the use of CG in anime influenced decision making related to voice acting.
This anime has an experimental feel to it. It is surprisingly creative, especially for an action-focused mech show. It is unique from a technical perspective, as well as in terms of the characters and story. With better writing and direction, it could have been a great show. Even so, I don't regret watching it.
Overall rating: 6/10
It was flawed but it had a lot of fun moments and was easy to watch.
For those who like action and mecha shows, you might consider sampling this anime. It has problems but it also has some redeeming qualities. It seems underappreciated.
This is going to be a moreso-than-usual bloggish and self-indulgent post, so apologies in advance.
I tried watching New Game and Stella no Mahou. Here are my unrefined thoughts:
Full disclosure: I really can't stand 'game-making' as a premise. I'm not into video games and I did programming for work for a number of years, which has the effect of ruining my immersion and/or reminding me of the workplace. I know other people love the game-making premise, but it doesn't appeal to me at all. Also every person I've ever encountered in the workplace who had a 'gamedev' background was particularly insufferable in some way, and unfortunately this taints my view of things as well. I'm not judging anyone else for liking the game-making premise, I just really don't like it. I'll probably drop both of these anime due to this, but I'm at least sampling them.
Stella no Mahou:
Somewhat ironically, the production quality is doujin-anime level (read: bad). It's a SoL so this is no big deal, but should be mentioned here regardless.
Really ugly character designs (my opinion, sorry!).
Feels like a formulaic SoL (not necessarily a bad thing).
Finished the first episode and I can tell I simply won't enjoy this much. There's really nothing of note here beyond the premise itself. I'm dropping it with no hard feelings. If you enjoyed it, great, but I know I won't enjoy it enough to justify the time spent. Now I am going to give New Game a chance.
I have a weird interest in Japanese workplace culture, so I will likely watch more of this than I would of another equivalent-enjoyment anime. Also, I see these characters plastered all over the internet so at least this will allow me to develop some emotional association with them, for better or worse.
Wow this is really similar to a real-life workplace. This is just reminding me of work. I don't know how anyone with an office job IRL would find leisurely watching this enjoyable. With episode titles such as "Salary is Just a Loophole in the Law to Lower Wages", how could I not feel relaxed while watching!
Oh Christ they're going out to lunch together on her first day and stuff like that. Wow this really is anxiety-attack material.
Speaking more broadly, this show incorporates the more unpalatable aspects of Japanese work culture. Foremost, incompetent project management and the long work hours. Framed another way, despite the show's typical SoL saccharine atmosphere, it does seem to present a somewhat authentic simulation of Japanese white-collar work, and that could be viewed as a desirable feature. Like a lot of things discussed here, it really does depend on the viewer's expectations and preferences.
Most of the cast ranges from bland to unlikable. Nene is annoying as hell. Hifumi is my favourite character, but the cast as a whole feels shallow and underdeveloped. That said, the content of the show hardly requires well-developed characters. I will also concede that the supporting cast got a bit more character development during season 2.
OST and voice acting are unremarkable, although the ambient sound of the office setting is done well. The OST did frequently use '8-bit'-sounding music, like one would associate with retro video games, which did suit the theme of the show. I don't like the 8-bit music style at all (in any context), and due to this bias I felt apathetic about its use; someone else might find it charming though.
Animation quality is okay. Sometimes the character animations are fairly detailed, moreso than I'd expect from the average SoL series. The character designs are typical Doga Kobo SoL characters - some are pretty cute. Cute outfits too, sometimes. Visually, I like the colour palette. It is filled with bright pastel colours, even moreso than the average Doga Kobo series. Indoor settings like the office or characters' bedrooms look nice with this bright colour palette. Visuals are probably the strongest aspect of this anime, at least from my perspective.
The plot consists mainly of your typical lighthearted episodic SoL stories, but usually with an office work-related spin or context to them. I know I'm bemoaning this point, but the stories are kind of triggering instead of relaxing because they just remind me of past workplace events. Especially when there's a 'light' conflict in the anime, it gets amplified in my mind because I'll randomly just recall a bad somewhat-related event from like literally years ago. Even outside the workplace, for example, there's a scene where the MC has to go get her blood drawn by an inexperienced nurse. WHY ON EARTH WOULD I WANT TO WATCH THAT? STOP REMINDING ME OF SHITTY REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCES.
If I could sum up New Game in one word it would be 'mediocre.' This series doesn't really excel at anything in particular, aside from some visual aspects. Watching New Game felt like I went to a rundown diner and ordered a cheap burger and it arrived cold and soggy, but I still ate it. At the end of the day, I got what I expected. New Game is a typical bread-and-butter SoL show that isn't particularly remarkable aside from the unique premise. Even so, despite the unique premise, New Game felt shallow and formulaic to me. My lack of affection for the cast is also probably a major reason for my lack of enthusiasm for the show.
As you can probably tell already, I am not an impartial judge of this anime, so the reader should pair my opinion with some skepticism. However, I did complete both seasons of New Game (and the OVA), and more generally I am an eager consumer of SoL anime.
My personal rating for New Game: 4/10
I mainly just watched it during meals or immediately before falling asleep.
One outlier was the OVA, which I found fairly comfy. The characters go on a ski trip together. I found it more enjoyable to watch than the office environment, which is probably an indication of my own biases.
Hifumi is literally me.
I'm fully self-aware of how crappy this post is. I just wanted to write my feelings down.
Just finished the WN of mushoku tensei, it's pretty good but don't fall for the muh best isekai meme; all the books are good except the last one, the ending is so bad, it's sudden I though it was gonna go on for a while but it just ended after it started to get good, It was so anti climatic too.
personality : sylphy > god > eris
body: eris > god > slyphy
overall: sylphy > god >> eris
overall I like it would recommend but read the LN not the WN, it's plainly better.
I just watched Ne zha. I don't usually watch movies let alone Chinese ones but I heard this was the second highest grossing film in China ever so I thought I would watch it. It was basically like a Chinese Pixar movie.
GANTZ is a fucking gross and insane (ie based) anime. The only problem I have is that they didn't take things far enough and characters suffer frequent aneurysms that makes them say things like "WE ALL MAKE OUT ALIVE!1!!" and go full pacifist or make horrible calls when attacking aliens and die/get dismembered as a result. These aneurysms are actually so annoying that it nearly made me wanna punch the writers in the face. All the characters are based badasses and I never observed one pass out from blood loss or pain as a result of losing limbs. I would recommend watching it if you are in the anime lategame.
I watched Harukanaru Toki no Naka de. Specifically, the Hachiyou Shou series, associated OVAs and specials (including prequels and sequels), and the Maihitoyo movie. These various anime are related to otome visual novels which have the same title. These media may also be known by the titles Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time, or In a Distant Time. Here are my thoughts on the anime content:
Harukanaru is a reverse harem but don't judge it based solely on this fact. It is a reverse harem but without cheap trashy fanservice. It actually has lots of nice romantic scenes. The show has artistic merit.
Large cast, most of whom are well developed and decently characterized. Unlike so many others, this anime takes advantage of its length by developing its characters. Character development augments romance so well, so in this case it is of particular importance. Similarly, despite the large cast, within the harem there is a diverse variety of personalities; each character is distinctly unique from the others. Takamichi, Yasuaki, and Eisen are my favourite characters. The female MC is a comparatively bland character relative to the male cast, which is regrettable but not surprising since this is a reverse harem series.
Romance, lust, love, envy, teamwork, prejudice, duty and various other themes are explored in an emotionally engaging manner.
Really nice soundtrack which uses traditional Japanese instruments extensively. Although the number of songs in the OST is relatively low, especially when the length of the anime (26 episodes) is taken into account. Consequently, some tracks are repeated quite frequently. The quality of the music is high but I simply wish they produced more of it. Regardless, the OST was enjoyable enough to be placed on my portable music device. The voice acting is decent as well.
Nice traditional japanese outfits. Character designs in general are attractive despite the production year. The animation is serviceable. The character animations are generally crude but they did an okay job at animating facial expressions, which to me is far more important than any action scene (Note: this aired around early 2000s).
The historical setting felt genuine and immersive. After the credits they even have these cute short "guide to traditional japan" segments. Sometimes there are old Japanese poems displayed at the end of episodes as well. Supposedly the story takes place in and around the coetaneous capital city during the Heian period of Japanese history (and the sequels take place progressively further in time).
The pacing is slow but I was fine with it because it allowed for richer characters and setting. That said, much of the actual plot I found kind of dull. Specifically, the demons-versus-guardians plot device felt repetitive and boring after a while. This is my most significant issue with the anime. The show was at its best when it focused on character development and character interaction, instead of the boring unengaging plot.
In terms of direction, again this was most flawed in regard to the plot. Specifically, I was sometimes confused by what was happening and why the characters were doing what they were doing.
My overall rating: 7/10
I think it's worth mentioning that I was forced to suffer the indignity of streaming this because the one torrent I managed to download only had french subs (unbeknownst to me beforehand). Anyway, my point is that this anime has a high probability of being lost in the sands of time (pun intended - see anime title harhar), and for this reason you might want to watch it soon if it sounds appealing.
I'd also like to make some comments that are specific to the 2006 "Maihitoyo" movie:
- the tone/atmosphere was notably darker than the original TV series.
- comparatively better animation, unsurprisingly. Furthermore, a lot more care was put into lighting, cinematography, and artistic detail. Overall visuals were definitely much stronger than the TV show.
- entirely fresh soundtrack which was just as great as the original TV series.
- I liked the demon love interest more in this than in the TV series.
- the focus was mainly on the female MC and her character arc during this movie. However, this comes at the cost of not using the usual male characters for anything more than trivial plot advancement. Which is unfortunate because this series is good at using the males for character-driven story arcs. That said, I actually thought the movie's story was excellent, even though the usual male characters of the TV series weren't used in any meaningful way. In fact I might even rewatch this movie because of how much I liked the story (or perhaps read the VN it's based upon if I can find it).
The sequel OVAs are all kind of bad and my enjoyment of them was at best lukewarm (although the music is quite good). These OVAs were probably meant to be paired with the visual novels, as opposed to the TV anime and Maihitoyo movie, both of which can be enjoyed by a viewer otherwise unacquainted with the franchise. I dropped the second of the animated sequels (Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3), mainly because all of the characters and backstory had presumably been explained in other franchise media, making the viewing experience incomprehensible from my anime-only perspective.
Finally, here's a list of the animated franchise content with my corresponding numerical ratings.
Ajisai Yumegatari: 5/10
Hachiyou Shou: 7/10
Shiroki Ryuu no Miko: 5/10
Kurenai no Tsuki: dropped ~30 minutes in.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
I heard it was pretty bad or stupid but it was standard action fair as far as i saw it.
That said, it was clear it REALLY wanted to be attack on titan but isn't quite as good. It would be more charming if it just focused on being it's own thing.
Overall the writing was super meh but the aesthetics, art, and animation were alright to make up for it.
Will check out the movies to see if they are ok too.
If I was to put a number on it I would give it a 3 out of 5.
Different enough to be memorable but not good enough to stand out.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is an anime series by Wit Studio as with Attack on Titan season 1-3.
The studio was probably trying for a Attack of Titans level of popularity on its success. I like the character design & animation but it needed better writers.
not sure how to even describe it without spoiling. the tags on MAL are "Action, Drama, Historical, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi, Vampire". guy and succubus are immortal lovers. the guy has been chasing after the succubus for like a thousand years so they can finally be together, but various forces wanting to also become immortal stand between them. that's how it seems when you watch it, but it doesn't make much sense until the end. it has a confusing but interesting and unique story, whether that is enough to make it good i'm not sure, but i liked it. the director was involved with tons of other anime i liked. the opening song is cool. it took me 5 years to finish this for some reason
I watched both seasons of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (henceforth referred to as simply Rakugo). Here are my thoughts:
As someone who likes any kind of theater as well as traditional Japanese culture, and often enjoys josei works, I expected that I would enjoy Rakugo.
The show takes place during a transformative time (mid-20th century) in the history of Japanese media. Older, more-traditional forms of entertainment have been overtaken by television and radio. For those who don't know, rakugo is basically a style of traditional Japanese stage performance which involves verbal storytelling. The main focus of the anime is the practice of rakugo, hence the title. Somebody with greater knowledge of rakugo might appreciate the nuances of the show more than I did.
The story of the anime is complex and intelligent. There are many well-developed characters, each of whom has their own motivations and feelings. The dynamics of these characters are woven together to create a rich character-driven story. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, the writing suffers from a serious flaw, in my opinion. Although the characters are complex, they are still boring and very often unlikable. I didn't empathize with any of the characters, nor did I enjoy any of their personalities. In fact I detested some of the most important characters. This is an admittedly subjective but nevertheless serious problem for a highly character-focused show such as this. My distaste for the cast seriously impaired my enjoyment of this anime. There is a buffet of hateable characters in this show to pick from. There were multiple characters for whom I came to loathe their appearance on-screen. This is true for both seasons of the anime. Another thing worth mentioning is that a lot of the plot mechanisms through which drama is derived are cheesy soap-opera material. This isn't an objectively bad thing (I'm fine with cheesy drama), but it does clash starkly with the show's sophisticated reputation.
Much like the practice of rakugo itself, the delivery of a story is as important as its content. At its core, this show has an okay story (regardless of the character issues). However, I think it could have been executed much better. I am fine with slow pacing in anime, as long as the screentime is used in some way that delivers value to the viewer. For example, if I really like a cast of characters then I'm completely fine with the show having zero plot. In fact I usually prefer slow pacing and little plot because it means that the screentime is used for something that I appreciate more. In this anime the pacing is slow, but there's little corresponding upside to this. The show is often very dull and boring. The screentime isn't used effectively. Episodes are often completely mundane but without any of the usual positive characteristics of, for example, a typical SoL show. There is no humour, very little romance, generally unremarkable visuals, etcetera; there's often just nothing of entertainment value. This anime sometimes feels like watching paint dry.
Visually, the show is kind of dull. It's not poorly animated, but it is fairly 'no frills' and doesn't have much discernable artistic flavour. Sometimes there are some nice backgrounds, but these frames are infrequent. To put it another way, the show is visually adequate but certainly there is room for improvement. Occasionally the cinematography is nice, but again this is not the norm. I think there was a general trend of the outdoor scenes appearing higher effort and visually richer, as compared to the duller indoor scenes where most of the show takes place. Also, I didn't like the character designs at first but eventually they grew on me. Another subtle aspect here was character animation. During more-emotive scenes the character animation can be very smooth and detailed (for example, facial expressions during rakugo performances).
Given the importance of oration in the show, I'm thankful that the voice acting is pretty great. In fact, the voice acting was a significant source of enjoyment for me. Most of the main characters have very distinctive and refined voices that match both the time period as well as their own style of stage performance. The script is also sometimes quite thoughtful, as one might expect from a rakugo-focused show. As for the OST, it is nice overall, and the frequent sound of traditional Japanese instruments suits the theme of the anime. There is also a lot of 50s-ish-era music, which frankly I'm not a fan of but it is appropriate for the time period.
The actual rakugo scenes themselves are kind of boring to watch. They are often long and without any accompanying visual flair at all. Watching a character recite a simple short story (that you've often already heard!) for many minutes is not particularly exciting. I'm usually quite patient with this sort of thing. I think more could have been done to make the rakugo scenes entertaining. For contrast, take for example the shogi scenes in Sangatsu no Lion. I quite enjoyed these scenes because I could strongly feel the emotions of the characters, in addition to the creative visuals provided by Shaft. Rakugo could learn some lessons from these shogi scenes. Of course on the other hand, having absolutely no visuals at all is a more authentic depiction of rakugo. I suppose how one feels about the rakugo scenes will depend on how they prefer to balance cultural authenticity and entertainment value.
Is Rakugo a complex and intelligent show? Yes.
Did I enjoy watching it?
My overall rating: 5/10
There are elements of the show worth appreciating, but this doesn't fully compensate for all its other negative attributes.
Lastly, and I only bring this up because I know that some readers will have this on their minds, I'm completely indifferent to the paternity controversy. It did not change my view of the anime and I think that a lot of people overreacted to that aspect of the story. As far as criticisms of the writing go, there is plenty of fruit that hangs lower. I would even say that the paternity subplot was kind of clever, although its execution in the anime was poor. In any case, I wish people would stop obsessing over this and instead discuss the rest of the anime's substance. There is plenty of fertile discussion material.
I watched both Barakamon and Handa-kun(partially). Although it aired ~2 years afterwards, Handa-kun is the prequel to Barakamon. My thoughts on both anime are provided below, beginning with Barakamon.
The comedy is both unfunny and frequent - the worst possible combination. There is a lot of comedy in this anime and my distaste for its flavour is probably a significant reason for my lack of enthusiasm for the show.
Fairly generic SoL characters. Character interaction, particularly for the MC with the rest of the cast, is one thing that the anime does an okay job of. Additionally, the antics of the kids in the show are kind of cute I guess. My favourite characters are Tamako, Miwa, and Naru. Otherwise, the rest of the cast is totally forgettable.
In terms of direction, the tone of the show is all over the place. I feel like I get whiplash sometimes by the way the mood of the show jumps around. Additionally, as I already said, the comedy is excessive and interferes with a lot of potentially emotional or sentimental moments.
Bland art style and unremarkable animation. The OST is similarly unremarkable although the OP and ED songs are okay.
The VA for the young succubus character (Naru) does a good job, aside from this the voice acting is unremarkable. Actually, the MC has a deep and sexy voice but that's probably irrelevant to the anime's artistic value. I find the MC in this strangely attractive.
This anime doesn't really excel at anything and is basically just another mediocre comedy-heavy SoL show. It's watchable but I'm mystified by the praise it so commonly receives.
My overall rating for Barakamon: 5/10
For me, this was basically just a 'filler' show to scratch the SoL itch. I think I would have liked it more if it had less comedy and better characters.
I asked other people what they liked about this anime, and the most common aspects were the characters, the atmosphere, and the personal development of the MC as well as his interaction with the rest of the cast. Unfortunately, none of these things really ever clicked with me. I would say that the thing this anime does best is character interaction, but even in this regard it is still mediocre. If the manga provides richer characterization then I'd imagine it's better than the anime.
Tamako is literally me.
Whether or not I enjoy this will likely depend entirely on how I feel about the flavour of comedy, given that this is a comedy-heavy series (even moreso than Barakamon).
I thought that I might like the comedy in this because it sounded like it involved a lot of situational humour. In reality though it is unfunny and not entertaining, based on the few episodes I watched.
I dropped Handa-kun after completing 2 episodes.
What a coincidence. I picked up Barakamon to practice Jp listening and I'm enjoying it so far, I'm halfway through. I think the tone is pretty consistent so far. It always begins with mc being sad and lost and then shenaningans happens and he ends up learning something from the people around him that gives him hope and allows him to grow as a calligrapher and as person.
I find it to have a good balance between the same old life lessons and the same old comedy, it's not bad but it's not life changing or anything like that. The whole 'pride snobby char learns important life lessons from children and folk' is a little overdone even though I can't quite point a show where that is the primary focus like in here.
This could be better if it actually focused on shodou as it's the most unique thing about this, but meh, it's ok enough as is.
All the ingredients are there for a good story and it wouldn't surprise me if the manga is much better.
As I already mentioned, the comedy was the biggest issue for me. I am super picky when it comes to comedy, especially in japanese media.
I watched Sakamichi no Apollon, also known as Kids on the Slope. Here are my thoughts:
A music-themed josei drama is right up my alley, so I expected that I would enjoy this. Unfortunately, despite my optimism, I was disappointed by this anime.
The anime has pretty good direction. It feels movie-like, both in terms of direction and production quality. Very polished.
Decent character designs for the male characters (can't say the same for the succubi). Although the art style is bland, the animation is fluid and looks nice. The colour palette is quite dull and muted, but admittedly it does suit the retro-Japan time period.
I really like YUKI's vocals, so it's not surprising that I enjoyed the OP song. The ED song grew on me over time as well. The OST itself was unremarkable from my perspective, but jazz fans may feel differently. Voice acting was alright; I thought the VAs for Sentarou and Yurika did a good job.
The characters each have unique personalities but one thing they all have in common is how immature they behave. This immaturity is frustrating, not endearing. Particularly so, given that this is a serious drama show. The main character is about as likable as Holden Caulfield (read: insufferable). In fact, I did not empathize with any of the characters in any way, despite the drama-heavy nature of the story.
Although the story takes place in the 1960s, this has fairly little relevance to the content of the show itself, aside from the prominence of jazz as a popular music genre. Give everyone a cell phone and it would easily pass as a high-school anime set in the modern day. It all felt very generic, regardless of the high production value. Basically just a jazz spin on a typical high-school drama anime. This generic feeling is compounded by the stereotypical mechanisms through which drama is created in the story.
I really dislike 'love at first sight' in fiction. It feels so shallow, forced and lazy on the writer's part. "These two characters just saw each other and never even spoke and now they're arbitrarily in 'love' with one another" ugh. This anime is guilty of doing this multiple times. Groan. Generally speaking, I also dislike love triangles (or n-dimensional polygons, in this case). That kind of writing was stale literally four centuries ago, and it certainly isn't creative now. The love 'geometry' in this anime feels like lazy, uncreative, and eyeroll-inducing writing. If romance is going to be the central focus of a story, then it needs to be implemented better than the fictional equivalent of playing dollhouse and randomly pressing your dollies' heads together and yelling "now kiss!". This kind of thing can be very frustrating to watch. Similarly, the way that characters react when this so-called 'love' is not reciprocated is equally groan-worthy and feels like a chore to watch. Simply put, the characters (specifically, their behaviour and interaction) are written terribly. For this reason, the high production value of the show is just lipstick on a pig, unfortunately.
One thing I will praise is the absence of humour in this anime. I can imagine a different version of this show where unfunny comic relief is laid on heavily. Thankfully this was not the case and the anime kept a consistently serious tone. This is in contrast to, say for example, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, which I recall having dreadfully inappropriate comic relief.
My overall rating: 3/10
Although it is skillfully produced, this anime fundamentally has a very poor story. I often felt frustrated while watching due to the bad writing. Very disappointing. I am quite surprised by how praised this show is. It felt like an anime adaptation of a really bad soap opera.
Although I am capable of enjoying many different kinds of music, I unfortunately have never been able to get into jazz, despite multiple attempts to do so. Someone who likes jazz might enjoy this anime more than I did. In any case though, music is not an important aspect of the show. The majority of the episodes are crammed full of awful fanfic-tier teenage drama which overwhelms any potential for a significant focus on music. Lastly, just for clarification, I have no problem with drama in anime at all, in fact it is one of my favourite genres. Like I've already said, the fundamental problem is the writing, not simply the drama-heavy nature of the show.
Watched the first part but finding trouble finding working links to stream the second part on my phone (been watching it at work)
So far it's ok to meh. If I was to some it up in a sentence I would say "mild Court intrigue mixed with long haired pretty boys".
Also the MC is a Marry Sue in every except combat and her main "flaw" is that she works too hard sometimes.
Probably wouldn't recommend but it helps pass the time.
I watched Norn9: Norn+Nonet, which is an anime adaptation of an otome game. Here are my thoughts:
Cheap animation. Visually, the anime appears low budget and sloppy. Sometimes the background setting looks good, but the character animations themselves are consistently poor. Art style and colour palette are also fairly bland. Character designs are okay. There are occasionally some scenes where the visuals are nice, but the anime is very inconsistent, and on average weak, in this regard.
Fantastic soundtrack. Truly exceptional. I actually started listening to the OST long before I watched the anime itself. I even put it on my portable music device. It has some amazing tracks. The OST is by Kevin Penkin, who more recently made the wonderful Made in Abyss soundtrack. Voice acting is okay - the three lead female characters all do a good job.
Interesting sort-of-steampunk sci-fi setting with sky ships and things of that nature. Very little is explained but it's still lightyears better than your typical school environment.
The main character, for lack of a better phrase, is a complete autist. She is very awkward, shy, naive, and has zero social skills. Some people might find this tiresome but I thought it was kind of endearing. I'm so used to seeing males as the socially unskilled character that it's refreshing to have a female lead character fill that role. Actually there was a general trend within the entire cast of the female characters being introverted or strange in some way, whereas the male characters were comparatively more normal. Otome media typically focus on one main female character, but in Norn9 there were multiple female characters each of whom had their own character arc; I quite liked this aspect of the show, although I think a longer runtime was needed to comfortably accommodate each character arc.
Both the plot as a whole and the scene-by-scene drama felt ham-fisted to me. This is a common quality among VN adaptations. It's not necessarily a bad thing; it can be enjoyable as long as you expect it. That said, from early in the series it felt like a ton of plot strings and individual character arcs were introduced at once, and this made the viewing experience somewhat perplexing, particularly during the earlier episodes. Similarly, although character development is implemented frequently, it's not enough to compensate for such a large cast of characters, most of whom were introduced early in the series. However, character development among the core main characters was handled alright.
Romance is a strong aspect of the show, despite it sometimes being as ham-fisted as everything else. Most episodes have at least one decent romantic scene. There are also multiple romantic pairings that are developed, which is something I enjoy in romance-focused series. The use of multiple different couples among a unique set of characters creates variety in terms of character interaction and the chemistry of the romance itself. This anime really delivered on the romance front, in my opinion. It frequently made me feel warm fuzzies within myself while viewing.
My overall rating: 7/10
I enjoyed watching it, but it would have been much better if it wasn't so unpolished. It was good, however there was still a lot of unrealized potential. Norn9 does romance really well, has an amazing soundtrack and a unique setting. However, it also has serious direction problems.
I really want to rate this higher but I can't ignore the fact that I spent a considerable amount of the viewing time feeling confused about what was happening. I'm not sure if the intended audience for the anime was someone already acquainted with the VN. Apparently the VN is way longer and more elaborate than the content of this adaptation. I have not read the VN and my critique does not apply to the VN. I would like to read it though, and then rewatch this anime with a better understanding of the story. I wish the anime itself was much longer because there is clearly so much more to the story than was included in this single cour. In fact, trying to adapt the VN into a mere 12 episodes is probably a major cause of this anime's problems. Someone truly interested in this franchise is probably better off reading the VN before watching the anime.
I would only recommend watching this to someone who enjoys shoujo-ish romance, or to someone interested in seeing an otome story implemented in a sci-fi setting. However, even if this anime doesn't appeal to you, the soundtrack itself is worth a listen. Kevin Penkin is very talented.
I'd also really like to read the manga associated with this and I'd appreciate it if anyone knows where I could find the raws.
My favourite character was Nanami.
I watched Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online. Just to clarify, this is the single-cour anime which aired during Spring 2018. Here are my thoughts:
This is just a short review strictly addressing the SAO Alternative: GGO anime. Nothing I've written here is targeted towards the rest of the SAO franchise. For the record, I have seen (a few years ago) the second season of SAO where the GGO setting is featured. Again, I'm not going to discuss SAO as a whole, just the SAO Alternative: GGO anime. Some people have really strong opinions about SAO and I'm not looking to start arguments.
SAO Alternative: GGO is unique from the rest of the SAO anime in that it is made by Studio 3Hz, instead of the usual A-1 Pictures. The visuals of this anime could be better, but they weren't bad either. I expected a slightly higher level of visual production quality from an anime bearing the SAO brand. However, there were a lot of action scenes to animate so I can't blame the studio if the budget was a little stretched. Still, I think that improving the animation quality would have enhanced the show considerably, particularly during the battle scenes. Art style was fairly generic.
In case you couldn't tell from the all-pink gun-carrying succubus with a bunny-ear hat in the promo art, this anime is fairly silly. It is not something you should take seriously. This goes without saying, but don't expect realism from this anime (this sentence is directed at all the armchair Navy SEALs out there on the internet). That said, it is a pretty fun show to watch. The battle scenes are fun and entertaining. Although often silly, there is a fair amount of suspense during the battle scenes. I found them engaging.
The main character LLENN is likable and cute. All of her facial expressions, particularly during the battle scenes, enhanced my enjoyment of the show. In fact, her reactions to things in general were enjoyable. I liked her as a main character. However, I didn't like anyone else in the cast. Thankfully LLENN is almost constantly on-screen.
The writing is really bad. Don't expect a good story from this because you won't get it. All I will say is that the writing is ridiculous but in a bad way. If this anime didn't have a firearm-combat theme then it could probably pass as a kids' show (perhaps this is an intentional artistic decision). The story feels like a 14-year-old wrote it (maybe not surprising considering the SAO audience demographics). Fortunately, the story is not very intrusive and can be fairly easily ignored by the viewer. Although the exception to that is the last ~2 episodes, which are very plot-centric because this is when the story climaxes - unsurprisingly these are also probably the worst episodes in the entire anime, in my opinion. Also, the ending of the story is very underwhelming - don't get your hopes up for any kind of satisfying conclusion. I should mention that the writer for the source material (a light novel) of this anime is different than the writer of the original SAO series. Interestingly, the author for SAO Alternative: GGO is the same person who wrote Kino no Tabi.
The sound effects are alright, could have been better. From what I could hear between sounds of gunfire and explosions, the OST was decent. However, they kept plugging this singer into the story under a fictional name, and apparently this singer made her IRL debut using her real name shortly after the anime aired. It seemed like some kind of promotional deal but I don't know the specifics. I'm fine with promoting vocalists in anime since music is a major source of my enjoyment of the medium, but I wish that the promotional arrangements were less transparent than they seemed here. I don't know the full story but it simply irked me a little. As for voice acting, LLENN's VA actually did a great job, but nobody else impressed me.
My overall rating: 7/10
This anime is very easy to watch - I completed the entire thing within three days of watching the first episode. It was really fun (particularly the battle scenes), although the writing is quite bad. In terms of characters, LLENN pretty much carried the entire show.
The simple fact is that watching a succubus dressed in all pink run around and shoot opponents with her P90 submachine gun ("P-chan"), all the while making cute facial expressions and reactions, is entertaining as hell. I would definitely watch a second season, even if the writing were just as awful.
My advice to someone planning to watch this: set your expectations based on the positive and negative attributes identified here. Don't take this anime seriously. Fun things are fun.
Lastly, this anime can be enjoyed by people who haven't seen any other SAO show. However, there are some infrequent references to the second season of SAO, so the optimal time to view this is after watching season two of the original series. It's no big deal either way though.
I did it. I finally finished. The average wizard should not watch this anime. Too much love personally. The MCs are all in love and can't admit to themselves and try to get over it. Jintan, the main male character, is in love with Menma, who is dead. Naruko (nickname Anaru) loves Jintan. Yukiatsu also loves Menma, but wants to date Anaru. Tsuruko loves Yukiatsu but has tried to get over the fact that he'll never love her.
This was a sad anime. A very very sad anime. It had a lot good moments and a lot of cringe moments though. I loved the general meetings of the Super Peace Busters and the cheerful moments. I loved it when the writers were trying to graze the sadder parts instead of trying to go full on sad mode. When the anime goes for full sad mode it ends up with everyone crying. I think right at the end is where the anime shined. All that buildup and then the final scene to top the series off. I really liked the buildup to everything and I felt the tension throughout the episodes where the SPB's are trying to grant Menma's wish so she could go to heaven and reincarnate. Then, right after the fireworks, Menma didn't leave. That allowed for more buildup, the character intentions to finally be brought out (to each other) to why they were doing this for Menma. The final scene was a beautiful scene of saying goodbye but with the kick in the nuts of no real character closure? Poppo, who I now mention as part of the Super Peace Busters, had SEEN Menma floating down the river and had done this for repentance. The final letter to him, as Menma couldn't be seen until the end, was nothing related to that. All the letters were compliments and I was like, "really?". Then, finally Jintan gets his letter and Menma "confesses" she loves Jintan and would have wanted to be his wife. Too bad she had already sad that not but ten minutes earlier. The series had a bunch of ups and downs for its scenes. The ending was like jerking off for the good part of an hour, getting real close and stopping, and then finally, at the last few minutes, you cry. The thing is, it's just like a ruined orgasm. You don't full on cry. I just had tears running down my face. I had to leave the room since my father had come down too. I didn't want him to see me like this.
Overall, I think the characters could have communicated more and the romance could have been toned down so much holy crap. The romance didn't make it better for me. I was so happy though when they all said they loved Menma. It was so sweet and an awesome goodbye. Then it goes to the epilogue and kind of kills the reactions. If it had waited just a little bit then we could see their reactions before cutting to the epilogue. I guess they didn't have time.
Now, on my previous post.
>Yukiatsu is a dick for asking about the MC, Jinta, about dropping out of highschool, and it was obviously to cause some kind of emotional stress, seeing as Tsuruko had scolded him somewhat for it. Not really much of a scolding, which really gave away that she was just as bad. Later, in episode 2, Anaru sees Tsuruko in a WcDonald, and she politely tries to run and give her something she left at the WcDonald, since she just stood up suddenly and marched out of there. She moved out of there in the way where you're done with someone's crap, but she and her friends were just having fun nearby her, so it was really uncalled for and rude, in my opinion. Anaru tried to give her back the thing, Tsuruko says she shouldn't be talking with someone from her highschool, which I believe means Anaru is from a "lower" school. Tsuruko is one of the more prestigious schools, as Yukiatsu had mentioned to the hikkikomori MC who dropped out of school. Obviously, in a dickish way. Also, I believe Tsuruko made a social faux-pas by mentioning Menma so casually / lightly, as Anaru had said before. I believe that's actually really bad, and by then, Tsuruko had just been insulting Anaru for her "character flaws". I don't even believe she had any character flaws, but it could be different in Japan, as Anaru is really emotional and explosive with her emotions. By the end of the conversation, Tsuruko took the item and left, and Anaru was in tears because of the traumatic experience with Menma.
Is Yukiatsu still a dick? Yes. He's a dick who isn't really good at taking other people's emotions into account and is very blunt for a Japanese person. He reacts well to other people's emotions like Anaru's crying to him, 10th episode but is extremely blunt when he says that he went along with all of Jintan's plans because he felt pity for him. Pretty much those exact words. I think he's nicer to succubi (the other classmates) than boys. Still he's very rude to Jintan, sometimes with good reason. He's still the brains of the group and I agreed with him a lot of the times to his skepticism of the existence of Menma. At the end of the anime He's a lot more friendly to Jintan, calls him leader (kinda forced imo), believes Jintan with good reason, and wants to help Menma ASCEND TO THE HEAVENS. Just like everyone though, it's selfish but still it sounded really selfless because he said he wanted Menma to be happy. He disregarded his emotions for Menma's happiness for it to be transformed into "I'm jealous because Jintan gets to see Menma and I don't". It was always like that and he's been open about it. I thought he was really mature for some of his emotions and for some other times he let his emotions get the handle of him. That's why he was a dick. He let his emotions take over and he crossdresses like Menma, attacks Jintan, and insults Jintan. Pretty much only Jintan.
What about Tsuruko? I barely knew her. She's more prominent in the earlier episodes and the later episodes for her motives and emotions. She's pretty much a 6th wheel (or 5th not counting Menma) to the group. She's less noticeable than the emotional Anaru, crazy Jintan, loud and rambunctious Poppo, or dicksh Yukiatsu. I found her more emotionally mature than the others. She had given up on the idea Yukiatsu would date her but was still emotional about it. Not much to say. She's the communicator between us and Yukiatsu and the other characters mostly.
Anaru is still extremely emotional. She does that cute stuttering thing all the weebs love, talks loudly, is a virgin, etc. She's probably just for waifu material mostly. She has good moments like her breakdown at her job when confronting Jintan after he had worked himself so hard. Her friends were dropped to the wayside hard and I was wondering if they still hung out. Uh, she almost got raped. That counts, right? It affects the story, spreads rumors, forces her to leave home to go to the secret base, etc. It doesn't really change her relationship with Poppo, but I can forgive that since the anime is only eleven episodes long. You might not like her emotional behavior. It's seems like an anime cliche to have such an emotional succubus who stutters and looks cute. She's the MC's love interest or she loves the MC. She's not really different.
Poppo is chad. No love interests, good backstory, no drama except for that time he egged Jintan on to relive the day Menma died WHAT THE FUCK. HE SAID MENMA WAS STUPID, RAN OFF AND MENMA DROWNED. THAT'S HORRIFYING. Still, best character overall.
I liked Jintan. He never acted overly crazy like other MC's and was annoying. No annoying romance cliches on his part where he rejects the succubus or anything. He's an okay character that never grated on me. Good for him.
Holy shittu I started watching this anime over one year ago. The year has passed and nothing's changed. This is crazy. September 2019 to November 2020. Where has the time gone?