26 December 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: ReLIFE

Despite taking place mostly in a high school, ReLIFE seems to be designed to appeal to people in their twenties and thirties, following the misadventures of twenty-seven year old Arata Kaizaki. Arata got out of grad school a little later than most, got his first job, and then quit after three months. Being twenty-seven and […]

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19 December 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy – Despair

Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy assumes familiarity with both with the original Danganronpa and Danganronpa 2 video games (the latter of which was never animated). Because of this, this review will also assume familiarity with the franchise. Watching either Danganronpa 3 arc will be very difficult for the uninitiated, even if they’ve […]

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12 December 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy – Future

danganronpa 3 future

Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy assumes familiarity with both with the original Danganronpa and Danganronpa 2 video games (the latter of which was never animated). For the Future Arc this also includes the interquel game Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls.

Because of this, this review will also assume familiarity with the franchise. Watching either Danganronpa 3 arc will be very difficult for the uninitiated, even if they’ve seen the first Danganronpa anime. The animation team knows their target audience and Danganronpa 3 – Future Arc is a murder filled send-off to a much loved cast of characters, as well as wrapping up the Hope’s Peak storyline.

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05 December 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: 91 Days

91 days91 Days is an anime love letter to mafia films. Set in the 1930s when Prohibition is in full effect, its cast is filled with gangsters and bootleggers, led by a protagonist on a single-minded quest for revenge. The haunting opening credits perfectly encapsulate the violent world that Avilio has chosen to inhabit, while showing the psychological toll his charade is costing him.

When I first started the series, I was a little concerned about how much I would like Avilio, born Angelo Lagusa. His father belonged to the Vanetti mob family and was killed along with the rest of his immediate family during a change of power. As a child, Angelo escaped the slaughter and then disappeared for seven years from everyone he knew, only to return at the start of the show because he receives a mysterious letter giving him the names of the men who murdered his family.

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25 November 2016 ~ 1 Comment

Anime Review: Orange

Orange is a romance/high school drama with a speculative twist. Sixteen-year-old Naho Takamiya discovers a letter from herself from ten years into that future that tells her to watch for a new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse, who will become one of her friends. Though happiness has not eluded future Naho, she has many regrets over things that she wishes her younger self had done differently.

As predicted, Kakeru joins her class that same day, and he’s quickly absorbed into Naho’s circle of friends (both male and female). Though she knows from her letter that Kakeru will not live to see the end of the school year, teenage Naho can’t help falling in love with him.

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18 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Fall 2016 Anime First Impressions

Fall 2016 Anime First Impressions

Fall is well under way and the new anime debuted in October. As usual I watched the first episode of each to decide which series I would like to follow this season.

Because of the new streaming partnership between Funimation and Crunchyroll, this fall is unusual in that everything I watch is now on Crunchyroll since I prefer subtitles. Those who prefer dubs can still find those streaming on Funimation, if a dubbed version exists, but neither site has an exclusive on a particular show anymore now that they’re sharing all new simulcast licenses acquired by either company.

bloodivoresI’m still amazed that such a thing as simulcast dubbing exists. Funimation’s schedule runs about 2-3 weeks behind the Japanese broadcast.

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26 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Knights of Sidonia

Anime Catch-Up Review: Knights of Sidonia

knightsofsidonia

Knights of Sidonia is one of the few anime series in recent years that was brought over to the US, but never simulcast. While I heard the series was good, it missed a lot of the seasonal round-ups because no one could watch it during its original airing.

I finally had the opportunity see it and decided to give it a shot, even though I heard that the second half doesn’t hold up to the first.

If you like hard science fiction in your anime though, the first half will entertain you plenty, as a lot of things that go unaccounted for in other series (like the fact a combat pilot in a cockpit needs some way of urinating without ruining his spacesuit) are called out and accounted for.

The sheer grittiness of the characters’ situation calls to mind similarities to 2013’s hit Attack on Titan. Once again we follow the last known bastion of human civilization, fighting a relentless enemy that cannot be communicated or reasoned with. Characters are introduced and wiped out, and tough decisions are made between the lives of a few or the survival of humanity.

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19 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Movie Review: Digimon Adventure tri: Reunion

Anime Movie Review: Digimon Adventure tri: Reunion

digimon tri reunionI did not grow up with Digimon in that I had just graduated college when it started airing, but it was one of the last series I watched as a Saturday morning cartoon. People who haven’t seen it tend to dismiss it as a Pokemon knock-off, for featuring young children with monster buddies, but it did something that Pokemon did not. It allowed its protagonists to mature and grow up.

Digimon had always maintained in-universe that no matter how old you were, even if you became an adult, your partner digimon would always be there for you. Intelligent and able to speak, partner digimon are a pint-sized buddy that can be temporarily supercharged to grow into more powerful versions of themselves. No matter how badly their human screws up (and some of them do), the digimon are loyal for life.

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12 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Ushio and Tora

ushio and toraWhen I first started watching anime I wasn’t too picky, because there wasn’t much available, so I watched a lot of genres that I wouldn’t anymore.

One of those early series was a direct to video supernatural action series called Ushio and Tora. It was fairly violent, but made tolerable by its endearing leads, the titular Ushio and Tora. Only ten episodes were animated, but the popular manga series eventually ran a whopping 33 volumes.

Fast-forward almost twenty years and in mid-2015 a new Ushio and Tora TV series was launched, spanning 39 episodes and covering the entire storyline. Despite being 20 years old, Ushio and Tora quite frankly doesn’t care and runs with with the same cheeky attitude (and wild hair!) that it did in the 90s.

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05 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Joker Game

joker game

Joker Game isn’t the series I thought it would be, but it’s not the series I feared it would be either, and that’s both good and bad.

The story starts in 1937, in the midst of Japan’s invasion of China leading up to WW2. Lieutenant Colonel Yuuki has started up a specially trained spy organization known as D-Agency. The men who have graduated its rigorous training are regarded as both mavericks and monsters for adhering to tactics that the prevailing military thinking at the time regards as cowardly or even sacrilegious.

The opening two-parter is a delicious start, with conventionally trained Lieutenant Sakuma arriving as a military liaison between D-Agency and the Imperial Army. Sakuma quickly gets caught up in a cat and mouse game between D-Agency and his own superior that ends the first episode on a glorious cliffhanger with no obvious way out.

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