All posts filed under: Humble Anime Opinions

Infinity on High – Demon Slayer: Mugen Train Movie – Humble Opinions

It goes without saying that Demon Slayer has proven to be quite the phenomenon, both in Japan and around the world. The fact that a Shonen Jump adaptation film wound up being the highest grossing Japanese film of all time, surpassing the likes of such cinematic greats as Your Name and Spirited Away, is an impressive feat to say the very least. So, does the film live up to the ridiculous level of hype that has surrounded it? Yes. Yes it does. A big part of what sets Demon Slayer: Mugen Train apart from other Shonen Jump anime films is that it actually adapts source material and is canon to the ongoing story of Demon Slayer. Often these anime film takes on anime series either go the abridged format, adapting a popular story from the anime in abbreviated form, or they go for a completely original story that takes place outside of the canon of the main series. Perhaps the crucial element that led to the success of this film is that it is compulsory …

Grandfather Problems – Lupin III: The First – Humble Opinions

The legend of Arsene Lupin is not one to be understated. The classic gentlemen thief has long been a public domain character, so there has been countless takes on Lupin, but perhaps none have proven to transcend the original more than Monkey Punch’s iconic Lupin III. The purported grandson of Maurice Leblanc’s Arsene Lupin, Lupin III is likewise a master of disguise and an expert thief who—along with his frequent collaborators Jigen, Goemon, and Fujiko—travels across the globe seeking his next great heist. The fully CG animated film Lupin III: The First explores the relationship between Lupin and his grandfather in a way the Lupin the Third anime series and manga never has. The film parallels Lupin’s own journey in the footsteps of his legendary grandfather with the emotional discovery of the character of Laetitia. The film’s title, The First, is of course in reference to the original Arsene Lupin, who our hero Lupin III has stylised his life and career as a thief around. We have never seen the impact his grandfather had had …

Trouble at the Tournament – Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac (Galaxian Wars Arc) – Humble Opinions

For the first time ever, the complete original run of the Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac anime series has been released in full English dub—thanks to Netflix. That’s right, all 114 original episodes—which aired from 1986 to 1989—are now available to English language audiences completely uncut and with restored visuals and audio. The series has previously seen release in heavily edited formats, such as the ADV Films dub which retitled the series as Knights of the Zodiac and commissioned punk band Bowling for Soup to cover A Flock of Seagull’s 80s hit “I Ran (So Far Away)” for the theme song. The dub was widely criticised for being almost unrecognisable from the original series—with its plentiful alterations and censorship. Having no legal manner in which to watch the series, many English speaking fans had to resort to fansubs; not anymore. As a long-time fan of the Saint Seiya series and franchise, I decided to give the Netflix dub a spin and found myself amazed at its production quality and incredible dubbing effort. As such, …

Two For All – My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising – Humble Opinions

What can be said about My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising without spoiling the plot in its entirety? Nothing, so buckle up for a slew of words that detail every single thing I found to be cool in this second film outing for the series I love oh so much. Fair warning, I am just going to write this as it pours out of my head; so, literacy be damned, this is about fun…and cool…and cool fun…and punching things really, really hard…with a film budget. As is apparently the case, My Hero loves throwing Class 1-A onto islands when it needs a film set piece. I don’t know why. Maybe so they can wreck shop and not impact mainland Japan? You could argue that it’s so Pro Heroes aren’t as readily available, but that only applies to this film, since the first took place on an island that had literally just called a bunch of extra Heroes to it. Regardless, Class 1-A is on an island, helping out the locals as part of their training. With …

Like Someone Possessed – Occultic;Nine (Volume Two) – Humble Opinions

When appreciating a truly enormous jigsaw puzzle, one must take strides in reverse, backing far enough away until the immeasurable mesh of squiggly little pieces makes some semblance of sense. Of course, distance does not change the composition, merely the understanding. Those pieces are still weirdly shaped and were frustrating as hell to put together, barring the ever helpful corners, but the proper perspective does wonders for seeing the picture of which they are a part. That being said, the bigger picture itself may also be a confusing mess that doesn’t exactly mesh with your aesthetic; but hey, you’re the one who decided to put time into building a jigsaw puzzle. Unless you were forced by some third party…blink twice if you need help. So, halfway through and Occultic;Nine is still the epitome of rapid-fire narrative. Characters continue to blather on at a speed beyond human comprehension and treat their ramblings as if they weren’t quoting an anime that doesn’t exist in-universe; also, low blow bringing up “I failed” and Steins;Gate, real low blow. Anywhen, …

The Devil You Know – Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga (Volume Two) – Humble Opinions

If there were ever a being to carry completely justifiable daddy issues, it would be the child of Satan. I doubt he would turn up to any of his child’s important life moments and he also helms a realm of eternal torment and damnation. And that’s terrible. In the specific case of Rin, Satan is also rather determined to utilise his son as a weapon for destroying the entire mortal realm and gaining even more power than he already possesses as the Head Demon in Charge. Totally a selfish move, but what else would you expect from, you know, the Devil himself? When last we left our hero, he was locked in a prison cell and just discovering the extent to which his adoptive father was awesome. We already new Shiro was enough of a badass to hold Satan at bay for years with willpower alone, but now we are also aware of how simply he can heal an entire temple of a deadly demonic disease, befriend the sceptical leader-to-be of said temple and receive …

The Sky’s No Limit – Haikyu!! (Complete Season Two) – Humble Opinions

We all know that practice makes perfect…or, well, better and Haikyu!! Season Two strongly supports this way of thinking. Starting with a training camp and finishing off with the Spring Tournament, Haikyu!! comes back strong by driving home the concept of working hard, making you feel for the characters along the way. Though it’s a bit difficult to not care about somebody who puts so much effort into what they love. After having proved themselves a worthy, or at least interesting, team, Karasuno is invited to attend a training camp involving a number of other schools. Beginning in Tokyo and then proceeding to Saitama, Karasuno is given a golden opportunity to practice their skills and learn about the types of opponents they will face in the future. And even though their matches are for training purposes, we are reminded that passion defies logic, with each practice match featuring the same energy effort that we have seen in official matches past…even if the end result isn’t always what our crows hope for. Just like the energy …

Sins of the Fathers – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Volume Two) – Humble Opinions

In the impossible to fathom scope of existence, there exists every possibility ever conceived. Within every possibility ever conceived, there lies infinite potential. Within infinite potential, there lies countless paths with which all who exist can progress. Down these countless paths, all will discover something unknown and, in doing so, will push reality one step closer to its end. Maybe. I don’t know, I’m just making stuff up here. But it sure did sound poetic, didn’t it? See, that’s what happens when one person spits rhetoric into the void: nothing. Maybe a few others build upon it, maybe nobody does, but words without meaning are pointless. Conviction is required to build a message and only then will those listening find a foundation to build upon. This is the kind of stuff that runs through one’s mind as this series reaches its end. Having spiralled further and further beyond the tale of two brothers, the saga of Amestris becomes one of impossible scope and tremendous impact. Luckily, everything is handled in such a way that it …

Great Sacrifices – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Volume One) – Humble Opinions

Whenever a human being is told that they must absolutely not do something, an primal piece of their soul interprets such a statement as more challenge than warning. A hubristic section that refuses to acknowledge personal weakness and believes that they are the exception to the rule, that all those that all who failed before them were simply weaker. In extremely rare cases, such manner of thought is correct and paves the way for impossible discoveries; however, more often than not, it simply results in tragedy. Now, I honestly don’t think I can find an anime fan out there who hasn’t at least heard the name Fullmetal Alchemist. Heck, even if you haven’t heard it I’m sure you’ve seen the characters floating out there in the world of merchandise and cosplay. For this reason, I’m not going to pretend that I’m viewing this series through brand new eyes. It would be disingenuous to say the least. So, we shall begin our journey with knowledge of what is to come and trek through a world once …

As Per Paranormal – Occultic;Nine (Volume One) – Humble Opinions

The world is a truly mysterious place. Though we have come to understand it more and more across the decades, there remains a multitude of unanswered questions. I’m not merely talking of undiscovered sub-species or which types of food keep your body in tip-top shape; no, I’m talking of grander things, of more powerful things…creepy things. I speak of what lies beyond, of what lies hidden in the realm of spiritualism and magic, of ghosts and demons. You know, all that fun stuff that makes for a quick scare and everlasting debate regarding the permanence of the soul and the continuation of self after death. Real keep-you-up-at-night kind of stuff. Who would believe in the occult? Seriously, it’s a bunch of childish nonsense that simpler folk use to explain what they do not understand. Such is the opinion of Yuta Gamon, the ironic creator of an occult focused blog known as Kiri Kiri Basara. To debunk those who relish in the supernatural, to tear their arguments apart with science and fact, that is the aim. …

The Devil’s Own – Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga (Volume One) – Humble Opinions

The devil is a bad guy; I don’t think I”m stepping on any toes with that statement. Since time when-somebody-wrote-stuff-down, this beacon of all things evil has plagued the good folk of the world and tempted them with sin. Now, whether you believe such things are literal or metaphorical, they make for some damn fine fiction. One particularly intriguing tale born of this symbolic evil focuses on the age old clash of nature and nurture. More simply put: Is one’s parentage a deciding factor in who they will grow to be? Also, do devil powers make you cool? Welcome back to the realm of exorcists and demons, of cleanse or be killed. It’s been a while since the last animated jaunt through the averagely hellish streets of this particular Japan and no time is wasted jumping back into things. For clarification, watchers of the first anime series may notice a slight clash of plot with what is presented, in which you would be correct. It’s one of those we-changed-the-ending-of-the-story-so-we-could-wrap-everything-up-in-our-initial-run-and-weren’t-sure-if-we-would-get-a-second-season-to-follow-along-with-the-manga-plot situations, so don’t stress over it …

Marriage Made In-Game – And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online? (Complete Series) – Humble Opinions

As general society, and perhaps personal experience, may tell you, the online world can truly be a wretched hive of scum and villainy. However, much like a certain space port in a place far from here, within may exist a diamond in the rough, one which makes the risk worth while. Of course, rarely anybody strikes oil on there first dig and it can take time to find those golden bonds desired by all. And thus, with metaphors as technically-plausible-but-confusing-sounding-nonetheless as the title of this series, I present to you an exercise in personal growth and pwning scrublords who suck it hardcore. Yeah, that’s right, I’m down with the lingo. Proud of his interest in gaming and willing to stick to his guns even when a popular girl calls him a dork, Hideki Nishimura stands as our surprisingly mature protagonist in this trek through the Japanese schooling system. With three friends who make as much impact as a dry napkin drifting to the floor, he is content to live through an ordinary school day and …

Lost in Thoughts – Flip Flappers (Complete Series) – Humble Opinions

In a world just beyond the borders of our own, mired in mystery and born of fantasy, the power of imagination resides. Illusions, pure as the driven snow, enticing the innocent and not, drawing them ever deeper into a realm that cannot possibly exist. Except it does and it’s totally off the walls bonkers. Like, the kind of bonkers that makes you worry for the mental health of those who imagined it in the first place. Especially that part with the creepy-friendly schoolgirls and that robot that has a brain in it. That was weird. If there exists any hope to fathom the ridiculous series laid out before you, it lies within one’s ability to suspend their disbelief so far up there that they forget it even existed in the first place. What may also help is the foreknowledge that only roughly one quarter of the entire series is relegated to actually moving the plot forward, with the bulk being devoted to disconnected events that simply look cool. Okay, perhaps that’s a little grim, but it really isn’t …

Soror Ex Machina – Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars (Complete Series) – Humble Opinions

With anime running the gamut from here to someplace far enough away to implicate scope, it can often be hard to pin down the type of series you want to watch. Are you in the mood for a charming slice-of-life number that will warm the cockles of your heart, despite you not knowing what cockles are? Or are you maybe in the mood for some rough-and-tumble mecha action that will send that adrenaline needle into the red? Perhaps, just a shot in the dark, you might be interested in a more political tale, one that deals with the trials and tribulations of maintaining a happy citizenry? Well, what if you could have all three at once? Would you combine your interests into one big visual gumbo? And would you be happy to stomach the result? In the world of content/sombre looking anime girls, Rena Asteria is…unique. In addition to looking roughly seven in age despite being the older sibling of her family, she also happens to be the sister of Yuinshiel Asteria, the Empress of …

Release the Dragon – Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry – Humble Opinions

For the simple fact that apparently nobody has caught on yet, let it be stated thusly: Ancient artefacts are bad news. If they’re not the direct source of some all-consuming evil, then they appear in response to it. Also, if the known history of an object involves the beginnings of a genocide and the crystallisation of the abstract concepts of fear and rage, you should run as far and fast as physically possible in the opposite direction. On a similar note, maybe attempting to harness said calcified emotions for the purpose of a revenge only made necessary because you are a terrible person in every sense of the word; not the greatest plan. As is so often the case in adventures featuring the mages of Fairy Tail, the world is on the precipice of total annihilation. As is also so often the case in adventures featuring the imminent destruction of the world, or a large portion thereof, only the mages of Fairy Tail are up to the task of averting it. This time around, the …

Once Upon A Time – Fairy Tail Zero (Complete Series) – Humble Opinions

Just as every tale has its end, so too do they have a beginning. A simple statement, but one that can lead into many an adventure unforeseen. Far before a certain blazing wizard took the stage, long before a girl would wield keys to a dimension beyond, in a time wen magical flying cats were merely a dream, a young girl believed in a dream. An innocent, charming dream that would give rise to one of the most powerful forces in her world. For just as dreams may be realised, so too do they have consequences. For any remotely familiar with the mythos of Fairy Tail, Zero is a somewhat in-depth glimpse into the origins of that oh so titular guild. For those unfamiliar, might I recommend watching a few of the episodes set in the fictional present. Realistically, one could simply jump into Zero and enjoy the story on offer, however it lacks a certain emotional resonance, born of knowing where the story ends. Zero is also technically the final twelve episodes of the …

The More Things Change – Attack on Titan (Complete Season Two) – Humble Opinions

It has been said, more times than anyone can hope to count, that the calm comes before the storm. What fewer proclaim, however, is what comes after. Not to sound too depressing, but it usually isn’t good. In fact, it’s generally horrible, though, if you’re really unlucky, it’s specifically horrible. Such is the perpetual fate of anyone who dwells within Walls Maria, Rose and Sina. And spoiler alert, that specificity relates directly to the secret of the Titans. Having taken their former comrade down in a blaze of glory, rage and veins made of fire, the 104th is experiencing an understandable dip in morale and motivation. This is not aided by the overall suspicion that surrounds our protagonistic group, what with two of their members being Titan Shifters and all. Still, even such frightening doubts are washed away by that oh so haunting face that has been staring into our souls since the credits ran on the first season. The Wall Titan, herald of bad news and a glaring reminder that the world isn’t as …

Pallid Days – Tanaka-kun is Always Listless (Complete Series) – Humble Opinions

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless. Man, it sure is easy to write about a series when it lays it all out in the title. Honestly, what more do you need to know? There’s a kid named Tanaka and he is always, not frequently, in the mindset of laziness. So notoriously tired is Tanaka, that nobody bats an eye when his best friend and enabler, Ohta, carries him between classes. It’s oddly impressive. Still, perpetual drowsiness does not for a robust series make, which is where the surprisingly jam-packed periphery of Tanaka’s life comes in…whether he wants it to or not. Immediately decrying the sheer effort it must take to be a protagonist, Tanaka pretty succinctly establishes the vibe of this series from the outset. Not bothered by the burning light of youth others tout, he simply wishes to coast through life in the most listless manner possible. For that very reason, Tanaka is willing to his unique manner of best. Though he may allow himself to succumb to the pangs of hunger one day, due to …

Fight for Flight – Haikyu!! (Complete Season One) – Humble Opinions

What do only the best anime consist of? Easy. High school, teenage boys and the wonderful world of sport. Now I can’t lie to you, I’m a sucker for these anime, because who isn’t? I cannot resist twenty minutes of straight pretty boys. I mean…I don’t mean they’re straight, as I myself fell victim to the world of ships and OTPs. Without getting off track (Tsuki and Kuroo is best ship), I’ve seen them all. Prince of Stride, Kuroko’s Basketball and the like. Nothing comes close though to Haikyu!! Haikyu!! is about none other than the popular Japanese sport: Volleyball. Much like other sports anime that follow the pretty boys, Haikyu!! is also quite devoted the the sport itself. The anime focuses more on the matches and the actual games than fan service. Haikyu!! depicts the volleyball games accurately and is just as intense as watching a match in real life. Haikyu!! follows Shoyo Hinata, a boy with a great amount of passion that doesn’t exactly match his height. Though volleyball is a height dominated sport, …

Why Are You Taller than a Fifth Grader? – First Love Monster (Complete Series) – Humble Opinions

Tall, handsome, caring and fun. Are they on your list of your dream man? Well, if so, you’re in luck. Kanade Takahashi is an owner of all of those attributes, but I do have to warn you…he’s a fifth grader. Now, that may make you cross him off your list, but that wasn’t the case for Kaho Nikaido. As a rich and sheltered girl, Kaho decided to move to Tokyo for high school and had her life saved by Kanade. That’s where our story begins. Full of childish humour, interesting moments and a lot, a lot of mention of weiners is none other than ‘First Love Monster’. Following Kaho’s big move to Tokyo, you get to meet all the tenants she lives with. You’ve got many fun characters to follow like shy-boy poet Kota, pervert-for-pretty girl-boys Arashi, underwear sniffing Mafuyu (only of the man she loves of course), probable sadist Taga, Arashi’s often annoyed girlfriend Chiaki and Shuugo, the landlord and Kanade’s dad. Kanade also isn’t the only tall fifth grader, as he has his friends …

More Harem Than Good – Maken-Ki! (Complete Season One & Two) – Humble Opinions

High school is a time of learning, of growth, of coming to understand the beginnings of life beyond the educational realm. Additionally, it is the place where all guys are perverts, all girls possess the power to slap somebody to the moon and all teachers are oblivious, if not in on the shenanigans themselves. At least, that’s what literally hundreds of anime has taught me. Tenbi Academy: A place where students from across Japan gather to train their bodies and master Element and Maken. Now, as for what Element and Maken are, your guess is as good as the explanation given. Element appears to be a natural force, perhaps relating to the traditional explanation of elements, or simply vague life force energy. Maken are slightly easier to understand, being weapons that a wielder is capable of summoning whenever they so desire. Still, the fact that Maken range from swords to reality altering pencils and are shown to both be specially manufactured by a teacher and pre-existing enough for a database to be present, definitely muddies …

Familial Bondage – The Testament of Sister New Devil (Complete Season One) – Humble Opinions

Family can be a weird classifying unit, a fact that none may understand more clearly than the humble anime protagonist. Partly because more extreme examples  make for more engaging narratives and partly because anime is a medium in which family can be anything from a group of friends you hold truly dear, to a demon girl with whom you accidentally enslaved through a combination of good intentions and a succubus…this is an example of the latter. Despite the bevy of scars that litter his flesh, Basara Tojo seems like your standard fare slice-of-life anime protagonist. He’s a guy and in high school…and I’m pretty sure that’s all you really need to claim a series in this genre. No, wait, I forgot one more thing: An ungodly ability to attract every female within a 10km radius. Maybe it’s a pheromone thing, that’d explain why it can be hard for an audience to understand why exactly a generic character can slowly but surely amass a harem that somehow never reaches a point wherein the enamoured take a …

The Children Are Revolting – Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans (Complete Season One) – Humble Opinions

Childhood is a wondrous time of life. Far beyond the realm of work and responsibility, before the weight of the adult world becomes evident. Or at least it’s supposed to be. Some are not lucky enough to live their formative years free of strife and must mature beyond even the kin of those supposed to protect them. They struggle and fight in battle not meant for them, pondering concepts they should never have to. Granted, not every child under these dire circumstances enacts a coup against a corrupt corporation and embarks on a journey across space to destabilise a military superpower, but not every child doesn’t either. Enter the Iron Blooded Orphans, never actually called that in-universe, but representatives of the ideal all the same. Born into poverty, or sold by parents who were, the young employees of CGS live lives of hardship. As far as the specifics of what they actually do are concerned, the series is a little vague on the details, but you’d better believe their lives are awful…because it tells you …

Syntax Terror – Project Itoh: Genocidal Organ – Humble Opinions

Language is an intriguing concept. Be it the divergence at Babel, or the allowance of internet slang into the dictionary, there is always something to talk about. Yet, irony aside, language is more often than not a means to a different end. To discuss a myriad of topics unrelated and yet only pursuable by the existence of language. It need not even be a complex issue, some moron could prattle on and wax pseudo-philosophical about an animated feature film. Language would even allow said fool to reference themselves in a confusing self-referential tangent that will most certainly end abruptly and in an unfulfilling way. What it means to be human is an incredibly complex and nigh indecipherable question that has plagued society since they first came up with the words to convey it, perhaps even earlier. To this day, intellectuals debate the nature (and even existence) of human morality and the confines in which people live their day-to-day lives. Now, I don’t claim to be one of these intellectuals, but I have noticed a distinct …

A Young Girl’s Heart – Mary and the Witch’s Flower – Humble Opinions

Magic is, for lack of a better word, magical. A five letter excuse for people to forget the limitations of the world and let their imaginations run free. No longer confined by the rules of physics, a single being can fly freely through the air and dance flames across their hands. Of course, the human imagination can only stretch so far, inevitably resulting in the misuse of magic, in the creation of an antagonist. But hey, what’s an adventure without a bad guy to clock in the jaw? Which may or may not be a literal statement…because magic. Unless you have been living under a proverbial, or painfully literal, rock for the past few decades, Studio Ghibli is a pair of words you know. Lauded by many as the pinnacle of animation, their film catalogue has a prominent place in many a fan’s collection and in many a fan’s hearts. But, Studio Ghibli did not make MAry and the Witch’s Flower, so why do I remind you of them? Well, Studio Ponoc is a fresh …

*Bleep* This – Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist – Humble Opinions

Imagine a world where you couldn’t say &*@$. Where some council of !&$#* decided that rude words weren’t fun and that less-than-clean jokes were damaging the minds of children. What a load of bull—-. Seriously, like talking about     and [REDACTED] could really be that harmful. Like that one about the woman who —— a —- — —- and — —— —– — —— for ——-. That’s a good one. Enter (then exit and re-enter until both parties are satisfied) the country of Japan, the pinnacle of cleanliness and mental health. Gone are the days of smut, long put to bed (hehe) by police raids and good old fashioned incineration. Even the internet is not safe, locked down tighter than a character from 50 Shades of Grey. Unable to access the materials to which people bumped in the night, the populace of this restricted country have entered a period of peace, whose only side effect is grown men and women using the term “naughty bits” (which is in itself a crime). At least, that’s …

Prison School: Complete Series – Review

While things like ghouls, goblins, creatures, and critters tormented me and my heightened imagination as a child, it is the thought of being locked in a high security penitentiary that does a wonderful job scaring me into submission as an adult. While I’ve done no such punishable crimes up until this point in my life, and I have no plans to commit any going forward, I’ve seen too many television series about being locked behind bars…and it scares the living daylights out of me. I suppose, when looked at in this particular light, it’s clear to see why a system like the penal works so well, arguably, because it keeps frightened citizens like myself from doing anything less than legal. Now, if you were to tell me that the institution that would host my incarceration was one akin to that featured in the recent hit Anime series Prison School, well…the rate of crime in my area would multiply tenfold. You see, although I don’t consider myself a felon of any kind, I do understand that …

Overlord – Review

There are some videogames that you can just lose yourself in, aren’t there? You sit down, you play for a while and before you know it, it’s 4am and you have no idea where the time went. It’s like it’s own fun form of time travel…but what if it were space travel as well? What if, one day, you sat down to play that favourite game of yours and found yourself a part of it? What would you do then? Would you act as yourself, frightened and conscious of consequence? Or would you act as your character and do everything you could to win? Such is the case for Momonga, a player of YGGDRASIL, a DMMORPG in the year 2138 or so. You see, the D in the genre stands for dive, as the future is a place of fully immersive Virtual Reality that has seen gaming evolve exponentially…possibly. You see, not too much is known about Momonga’s world of origin (even his name is inconsequential), as our story begins when he is transported to another …

Your Name – Review

We live in a society that is always looking ahead, constantly looking for the next big thing to become ‘hyped’ about. We are all looking for the next thing to fill our lives with a bit of excitement however fleeting that feeling may be. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year, there is one anime film that has been on the end of anime fans lips around the world, that is Makoto Shinkai’s latest film, Your Name. By the time the film had finally been released it was hard to decipher what all this hype truly meant. It is on track to becoming the highest grossing anime film of all time and even a potential Oscar win. But is it really worth the hype, could all the hubbub be for naught or did Shinkai really create the magnum opus masterpiece his career has been barreling towards with each and every film he has produced? By the time the credits had rolled I knew one thing for certain; there was no …

Blood Blockade Battlefront – Review

The world can be a scary place. Nothing new there, nothing wrong there either. For one person to find their way in a society of others trying to find their way, it is an inherently shared and unique experience. Oxymoronic, but true. Of course, that isn’t taking into account external factors, such as if the world were to be suddenly and intrinsically linked to another dimension chock full of beings beyond human imagination…well, not really, because a human did imagine them, but you know what I mean. Add on top of that the simple fact that every dimension and species holds its own heroes and villains and you’ve got yourself a recipe for chaos in a cookbook of insanity. But then, you have to ask yourself, is that the kind of book you would willingly read? New York City, a bustling mecca of countless people who have gathered from across the globe…is gone. The whole thing exploded into another dimension or somesuch. Sad…and also catastrophic. However, in its place now stands Hellsalem’s Lot, the one …

Assassination Classroom (Part Two) – Review

As media the world over remind us, school is a time of growth and learning, a place where children come to understand themselves a little better and discover where their interests lie. Reality of course tones it down a little and the overall number of revelatory experiences and life defining moments are slightly less pronounced. But, if people wanted reality, they wouldn’t watch fiction. So come and witness a particular world wherein school is the be all and end all…literally. Like there was some kind of specific reason that one particular class of focus held the fate of the planet in their hands. That’d certainly speed up the whole growth concept now, wouldn’t it? With the introductory period behind them and more than half a year before them, the Assassination Classroom is finding their stride when it comes to attempting to murder their teacher. With origin stories wrapped up as they were, the faces that populate the background of this series are a little less bland and a little more important…a little. Despite the series’ …

Log Horizon Season Two: Part Two – Review

Achievement breeds complacency, and complacency breeds comfort. Comfort in one’s self, comfort in one’s environment, comfort in one’s situation. Is there anything wrong with justified contentment? Not at all…unless that sense of security forces you to entirely lose sight of what’s most important. In personal lives, what’s most important is only that to the individual, and so bursts of rest, respite, relaxing, and serenity are only small breaks in the road to ultimate accomplishment, but when the lives of many rely on your ability to stay on path, divergence or delay simply isn’t an option. It has been some three years since Shiroe and company were “teleported” to the hybrid world that is partially like their own but mostly like an in-universe MMORPG titled “Elder Tale“. For a majority of our time with the series, we have followed as the character cast developed a society wherein which they could exist relatively care-free so as to, one day, have the opportunity to focus on escaping this new reality wholeheartedly. After years of struggle, it looks as though the pseudo-civilisation they …

One Piece Film: Gold – Review

For as long as there has been an event with multiple outcomes, you can bet your sweet straw hat the someone has been there, currency in hand, ready to test their luck. Combining the possibility of victory with the thrill of the unknown, countless characters to this day spin wheels, roll dice and flip cards in the hope of leaving with more than they came with. However, beyond all of the glitz and glamour, the bright lights and loud noises, lies a discernibly darker side to this practice; losing. Though far from a concealed side effect, many are taken aback by this aspect of gambling and wind up losing far more than they ever bet in the first place. Given the path that One Piece has been following, it was inevitable that the Straw Hat Crew would find themselves on a casino ship that was the size of a medium island and considered by the World Government to be its own independent country. Thus, it is not too jarring when exactly that happens and we …

Berserk: Complete Series (Limited Edition) – Review

Time, being an unforgiving element of existence, eventually swallows all. This is a strange yet indisputable law that goes unspoken yet is known to all. Human kind can retain knowledge of the past in various forms, but eventually time comes to take it all. In one way or another the past will be devoured, forgotten to many, altered to some, helplessly held onto by all. Thus is one burden of life, a component of reality that cannot be overcome, and so we learn to live alongside it. Kentaro Miura’s Berserk tells a story that, for all intents and purposes, should have been taken by the passage of time long ago, lost to modern minds, left only in the memories of those that once experienced it…but the tale woven throughout the cult-classic is one that defies what it is I’ve just detailed: Some things, though very much of this Earthly realm, remain even against the ruinous nature of time. While some memories fade, scars do not, and when the brand you bear is a constant reminder of the …

Naruto Spin-Off: Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals – Review

In what may very well be the most bizarre entry into the iconic ninja series, Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals takes the world of Naruto and rings out every bit of humour it can from the legendary series. While it proves to be a hilarious romp and gives some of Naruto’s lesser known characters a chance in the spotlight, it is decidedly a series for Naruto fans by Naruto fans. Following Rock Lee, Naruto’s true forgotten hero, the series goes from one comedy skit to the next. Through the eyes of Rock Lee and his team mates Tenten and Neji we see a side of the Naruto world that the main series rarely explores, the trivialities of day to day life in the wild world of ninjas. Be it failed romantic conquests, dealing with trivial missions, trying to outdo Naruto or even just hanging out with friends, the series relishes finding the funny in Naruto in a way that the original series never could. It plays with tropes of the original series all the …

Psychic School Wars – Review

If you were to have one super power, which would you choose? This question, I feel, is one that continues to be asked long into our lives. It, like many other ice breakers, is a great way to loosen tension between strangers, and learn a little more about the person to which the question is directed. I, personally, have answered this question more times than I care to remember, and my answer is always the same; I would love to be a Psychic. Since a young age, I’ve always had this strange love affair with Psychic Abilities. There’s just something about the possibility of lifting something with nothing but your mind, or being able to control fire with your thoughts, or being able to understand another persons mentality without any verbal interaction that just deeply interests me. It’s my longing for this that draws me to certain things. Often, I am unable to control my action when it comes to the opportunity to experience something related to Extrasensory Perception, almost as if I am the …

The Heroic Legend of Arslan – Review

There are few anime that come packaged with such a ridiculous pedigree as The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Not only is it based upon the iconic fantasy novel series of the same name which is damn near paperback royalty in Japan, this anime series is based upon the fantastic manga adaptation by acclaimed author of Fullmetal Alchemist and Silver Spoon, Hiromu Arakawa. It is hard to get any more of a pedigree than that. That said it is a mighty reputation to live up to and fortunately for the anime adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan it does just that. Following titular hero Arslan, The Heroic Legend of Arslan is a fantasy epic ala Berserk albeit significantly less gory. Arslan is the crown prince who must become the savior of his people after a skirmish gone wrong leaves the Kingdom of Pars overtaken by the cult-like fanatics of the Lusitanian army. With his father King Androgoras III held captive and his mother in the clutches of the mad leader of Lusitania, Arslan must gather …

Nanana’s Buried Treasure Complete Series – Review

Nanana’s Buried Treasure is a lot of things, but it isn’t predictable. This short 11 episode anime takes you into an utopian paradise of an island where people can live up to their potential and follow their dreams. On this island, a young person can get a new lease on life… but at the same time this lease must always be paid. Nanana’s Buried Treasure is an odd couple drama, an Indiana Jones style adventure, and even a murder mystery, all wrapped up into an interesting and unpredictable journey where the moment you feel like you’re about to get some answers, the questions suddenly change. In Nanana’s Buried Treasure the titular character is already dead… but her spirit lives on (not to mention, trapped) inside the room of a student accommodation where she plays video games all day and night, and is also somehow able to consume pudding. Now that’s an afterlife we can all hope for right? The SEGA fan in me just has to mention the fact that Nanana is shown playing real video games …

Log Horizon Season Two: Part One – Review

There is little difference between that of a good storyline and that of a bad storyline, but it’s success lies within it’s delivery and just how believable it can be whilst still managing to pique audience interest and flare the imagination. Whilst Log Horizon is a series, like many others, that has characters teleported into the world of their favorite video game, having to survive the perils of constant hoard combat and quest completion, it is unlike those that came before it in the way that it is heavily deep-rooted in the realm of reality. Intellectual, mature, and yet light-heartedly fun-loving, Log Horizon is, arguably, the pinnacle of it’s sub-genre…though many will choose an alternative like Sword Art Online instead of it. Madman Entertainment have just released the next for of the two season series, this time bringing the first part of season two to retailer shelves across Australia and New Zealand. I must extend a special thanks to Madman Entertainment for their continuous support and, once again, the opportunity to review the latest release of …

Psycho-Pass The Movie – Review

Psycho-Pass The Movie hit theatres across Japan in the January of 2015 to what can only be described as a resoundingly positive reception. Fans of the original series flooded the cinemas in droves to catch the film that was hyped to be the series’ resurrection, especially after the mythos-crushing events of the Anime’s second season. Gen Urobuchi, once again, returns as this film’s head writer to reclaim the series that many critics consider to be his best and, without giving too much away…I think he’s done exactly that. Funimation Entertainment acquired the wholehearted rights to the film some time ago but, due to mostly mysterious reasons, it was delayed for quite some time…though now it’s here, and it is solid proof that, sometimes, things truly are better experienced late than never at all. A special “Thank You“, as always, must be extended to Madman Entertainment for allowing us the opportunity to review one of modern day Anime’s most anticipated feature films. Psycho-Pass The Movie is set in a futuristic Japan. The Sibyl System is charged with …

Tokyo Ghoul √A – Review

In the catalogue of adjectives that swirl amidst existence, perhaps the most commonly affixed to life itself is “unpredictable”. Left turns, right turns, zigging when it should be zagging, this most ephemeral of concepts is truly a fickle one. This, of course, is only compounded should ones particular iteration of life involve flesh eating monsters, near-superhuman police officers and an overall vibe of malice and terror. However, through these circumstances, the term unpredictable bends and buckles, it pivots and shifts until it no longer resembles its initial definition, taking on instead a more malicious meaning and a seemingly more purposeful darkness. For despite the apparent impartialness of a concept, life can more often be cruel than kind. So…season one ended pretty harshly didn’t it? Now, to save us all a little time, I’ll go ahead and answer this for all of us; yes. Tortured in a way that made us all rethink wanting that regeneration superpower, poor old Kaneki is no longer the kid who we met in the first episode. Twisted by his experiences, …

Berserk: The Golden Age Arc Movie Collection – Review

Thinking back on this series, I have discovered that my relationship with Berserk is one filled with interest, fear, and contradiction. The stigma that surrounds this dark-fantasy story is one that delights me as a “Gore Whore“, as a dear friend of mine so eloquently put it, but one that frightens me in odd but overtly real ways. Dealing with themes of brutal death, decaying allegiances, and sexual domination, Berserk’s tale is not one for all viewers, but one that I find to be incredibly intriguing. Confusing in it’s layout, the Berserk: The Golden Age Arc Movie Collection is a compilation of three full-length feature films that details, as the title suggests, The Golden Age Arc of the series, which is the second arc of the long-running Manga but one that also serves as a prequel to the events of the most recent Anime adaptation. I must thank Madman Entertainment for offering us the opportunity to review this movie collection; something I simply could not pass up. Studying their on-site release schedule and glancing over …

Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis – Season One – Review

If past experiences have taught me anything at all, it’s that worthwhile Anime adaptations of video games are few and far between. This “phenomenon“, if you will, is very much similar to that of live-action adaptations of popular Anime or Manga series’; often, they’re not worth glancing twice at, but, on occasion, one will come along that exceeds expectations and blows audience’s minds. The unfortunate truth behind this is that, most of the time, what audiences are delivered is nothing more than money-making drivel. Why watch the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Anime series when you could just play the wonderfully-fulfilling video game? Now, what’s harder than adapting a video game with a pre-existing story and characters to fill it? How about a mobile game with, arguably, an infinite amount of creatures and enough detailed lore to put Lord Of The Rings to shame? Some would say this makes an adaptation far easier, but if it’s me you’re asking; I feel as though it makes it much harder. Not only are you having to pay tribute …

Assassination Classroom (Part One) – Review

If you’ve ever been in a class, in a school, somewhere in the world, you’ve probably encountered a class clown. You know the one, that student who loves to cause chaos for the sake of comedy, to place themselves in the sights of everyone for the benefit of a joke. Of course, it isn’t too often that said clown happens to be your teacher. It’s probably even less frequently that it is your government mandated task to keep an eye on said teacher…because you have to kill them. Of course I can’t generalise too much, though I will admit that if this situation sounds at all familiar to you, you attended a very strange school…and might also be an anime person. Assassination Classroom…the title says it all really. It’s a classroom…and assassination is involved. Slightly more specifically, this particular class deals with the eradication of a global threat, a being of such immeasurable power that there is no doubt they could tear the Earth asunder with minimal effort, a villain who is so devious, so …

Re:_Hamatora – Review

Though not nearly as dangerous as the name implies, cliffhangers are something that have existed in the world of fiction since time immemorial. Designed to hook in an audience, draw out their interest and leave them itching for more, these little beauties will forever proliferate finales the world over. However, there are some case wherein the recovery from this precarious dangle, this threat of uncertainty that are far less than what is wanted and, occasionally, far more than needs to be written. Hamatora is not a great series. I know that’s a little blunt of an introduction, but at least you know what angle I’ll be tackling this from. Now, that isn’t to say that it is devoid of redeeming qualities (as I will discuss later on), simply that they are far from enough to cover for its numerous shortcomings. The biggest offender in this regard is the atmosphere. Although the soundness of the analogy escapes me, Hamatora is a series that wishes to have its cake and eat it too. Half dark melodrama, half wacky …

Eureka Seven AO – Review

When you try to follow up one of the most innovative and ground breaking anime series of this century you will always struggle to replicate that kind of quality. Such is the case with Eureka Seven AO, a series tasked with following up the painfully underrated masterpiece that was Eureka Seven. In all honesty, Eureka Seven was never a series crying out for a sequel or follow up considering its truly conclusive finale, however that doesn’t seem to stop Eureka Seven AO disregarding that almost completely in favour of creating continuity contradictions and dispensing of the original’s environmentalism message and themes for schlocky action and a fluff filled plot lacking a modicum of the original’s creativity. What an unfortunate mess this series is, it is a classic example of a cheap cash in sequel that really has no right or reason to really exist. Even as a stand alone piece Eureka Seven AO ties itself too firmly to the original series to ever escape comparison or connection. The series follows Ao, a young boy who …

Sailor Moon R (Season Two) Part Two – Review

Like Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, and Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon is a series that was enjoyed by many back in the later years of the 1990s. Driven by pure nostalgia, it is a series that, to this day, still retains the same fans it once had all those years ago, and for what reason? Well, there’s no denying that it is a groundbreaking series the likes of which changed both the Anime and Manga landscape, allowing for more contemporary series’ like it to blossom in the gardens it tirelessly developed, but it’s now 2016 and those same flourishing series’ are now Sailor Moon’s main competitors, so what has kept it afloat for so long, and what is it that will keep it high above the rest for years to come? As someone who uses nostalgia to fan the fires of past passions constantly, I very much understand that it is a power source unlike any other…but is it enough to drive an entire fandom years after a series’ peak? The answer is; yes, but does …

No-Rin – Review

In the world of anime there is seldom anything more important, more dangerous, than schoolyard dating. Seriously, it’s perilous. With all the tsunderes, yanderes, childhood friends, transfer students, ice queens, genki girls, tomboys, well to do princesses and startlingly inappropriate teachers, it’s a wonder anyone makes it out alive. I mean sure, a selection of lovely ladies all pining after one remarkably average guy, it sounds great (if you’re the guy). However, chances are remarkably high that such a situation will turn from sweet to sour with the speed of a cheetah with rockets that also happens to be made of light…which is to say very, very fast. But this is fantasy right? Emotions take second chair as long as you throw out a ton of boob jokes…right? Short answer; kind of. Welcome to the wonderful world of No-Rin, a lovely country dynamic centered on the wholesome Tamo Agriculture School. Within these walls, we find Kosaku Hata, our leading man and a die hard fan of a pop singer known as Yuka. Long story short, Kosaku’s …

Blade Dance of the Elementalers – Review

You know the story. Boy meets girl,  girl meets boy, girl just so happens to be bathing in a lake, boy averts gaze stating that he had no intention of peeping, girl flies into murderous rage and destroys a large tree, boy saves girl from being crushed by said tree, girl flies into second murderous rage and ensnares boy in magical fire whip, boy eventually escapes said fire whip, girl begins tireless search for boy, boy enrolls as only male student in the history of all girls college, girl finds boy and declares him her eternal slave. It’s a classic…probably. So yeah, that’s basically the first episode. This series doesn’t even pretend to open with a plot, it just jumps straight to the ill timed mid-bath meet cute. You don’t even know the character’s names when it happens, hell, there’s a few more tsundere outbursts before that information is revealed. Eventually however, we discover that our protagonist is a boy named Kamito Kazehaya and the brash little spitfire known as Claire Rouge will be joining …

Dai Shogun Complete Series – Review

Dai Shogun is a harem/ecchi/mecha anime taking place during the Edo period of Japan except there’s mechs powered by mythical energy. Protagonist Keiichiro is an all round tough dude who loves to fight, and works at a bathhouse owned by his grandma. Yes, just the bathhouse alone guarantees nudity in nearly all of the 12 episodes in some shape or form. Hell, the main mecha in the anime, Susanoo, has to launch from an area that is conveniently located next to the women’s bath area. I’m getting ahead of myself here, the point I’m trying to make here is that Dai Shogun is a case of a neat idea that does every possible thing wrong in its execution. I’m the last person to find ecchi offensive, in fact I celebrate it when it’s done with finesse like in Woman Named Mine Fujiko but then that’s an unfair standard to compare any anime with. Dai Shogun is ecchi overdrive, ecchi overkill… ecchi to the point of suffocation. With ecchi, honestly less is more, and Dai Shogun does …

Hanayamata Complete Series – Review

It’s good for what it is. That’s the safest thing a reviewer can say when they’re reviewing something that they have absolutely no interest in, and probably didn’t even enjoy, but have to say it because they need to be able to respect the genre and the fanbase. I did this when I reviewed that very interesting AKB48 anime a while back. Hanayamata falls in the same category as one of those school club anime like K-On!, and when I read the premise that’s exactly what it reminded me of. I did not like K-On!, not even in the slightest…. I mean an anime about a bunch of kids that start a band and succeed with ease, it’s hard to find that kind of optimism endearing, but I suppose that style of anime has its place when you just want to watch something light that portrays the absolute bare minimum of first world problems. I was expecting Hanayamata to be exactly that, where bunch of rich school kids start a little music/dance club and nothing but …

Psycho-Pass II: Complete Season Two – Review

Perhaps one of the most beloved science-fiction stories of our generation, Gen Urobuchi’s Psycho-Pass devastated audiences with it’s bleak vision of a technologically-flooded future ruled by a system that can determine the possibility of individuals committing crimes by reading their invisible brain waves. These individuals, be they criminally-minded or otherwise, are impartially judged by the Sibyl System, not focusing on age, race, background, or any of the issues we have found in modern times to sway the assessment of law enforcers in regard to individuals in their respective communities. It is a story, much like George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, that revolves around the issues which arise when a system of this kind is placed in a position to monitor masses of people on an individual basis. With realistic character development, and a mass of story layers to keep audiences interested, Psycho-Pass has been deemed an “instant classic“, being placed upon the same metaphorical shelf as films like Akira, and Anime series’ like Cowboy Bebop, and Fullmetal Alchemist as gateways into the medium. Unfortunately, for anything as …

Akame Ga Kill! (Part One) – Review

Assassination. A term most commonly used for the clinical application of murder, for when a very specific target meets a very nondescript end. However, as illegal as this particular form of employment is, there exists an inherent allure in its mystery. Not to imply that anyone out their wishes to partake in said activity, merely that there are many fictional stories out there that delve into the darkness, that explain and attempt to understand it. After all, as evil as the world can be, each individual has a reason for what they do, a unique code that they follow to a personally logical conclusion. Thus, once said dogmas are known, we must all ask ourselves a question that has plagued morality since time immemorial; Can two wrongs make a right? Especially if said second wrong involves cursed swords, bestial transformations and a wicked set of armour. Welcome to the Capital, party people, centre of society and the most wonderful, amazing…hive of scum and villainy you’ve ever seen in your life. Okay, so mathematically speaking, a rather small …

Tokyo ESP: Complete Series – Review

The human brain is something unlike anything else in this world. Compared to that of a super computer but far more powerful, the cluster of flesh and cells we call the “Brain” has the ornate ability to control ever facet of the human body, large or small. From the feeling at your fingertips, to the beating of your heart, the brain is in charge of it all. It is single-handedly the most important feature of the body, and it has allowed us the opportunity to grow and evolve as the centuries have passed. It is also, still to this day, the subject of much investigation thanks solely to that of it’s mystery. For as much as we do know about the brain, there’s also much that we have yet to discover, and considering that it is the organ that has authority over the entire body, it both scares and excites those in charge of it’s exploration. For those of us out there, like myself, who enjoy indulging in the more whimsical side of reality; the …

Samurai Flamenco Part 1 – Review

In the last few years there has been a rise in anime and manga based around the idea of heroes and villains. Be it series like Tiger and Bunny or recent examples such as My Hero Academia and One Punch Man, the popularity of superhero anime has definitely seen a resurgence. One series that has definitely made some strides as part of that resurgence but ultimately fell under the radar was Samurai Flamenco, a deconstruction of the superhero genre that while wildly engaging, simply doesn’t know when it has gone too far. Samurai Flamenco may very well be one of the most interesting takes on the superhero genre in some time but it also features one of the worst series derailing plot twists in modern anime. Following Hazama Matayoshi, the titular hero Samurai Flamenco, a rookie idol on the verge of breaking out into the big time. At night he partakes in the extra curricular activity of being the super hero Samurai Flamenco. He takes on petty crimes such as littering and umbrella theft, vowing …

Sailor Moon R (Season Two) Part One – Review

When a series gains critical mass and becomes unimaginably popular with viewers the world over, chances are that it’s going to continue indefinitely regardless of story limitations or anything else that would, in any other case, cease it’s production. We’ve seen this countless times before with Shonen Jump series’ like Dragon Ball, Naruto, and Bleach, but it is not an issue that only effects series’ directed at young boys. Psycho-Pass was treated to this unfortunate elongating treatment, as well as Durarara!!, and many others. While the series’ continuation past the point of worthwhile storytelling does not take away from one’s enjoyment of it’s original run, it does do wonders in sullying the name what was originally seen as something great. Though, it depends on who you are, as many things do. For someone like myself, I enjoy to see something end on a high, rather than it continue only to fall into an odd mediocre obscurity, but others simply enjoy the idea that their favorite Anime, Manga, or Video Game is continuing. Sailor Moon is one …

Sword Art Online 2: Part Four – Review

If you’ve followed this site since the beginning, and as a result of that my reviews of Sword Art Online, you’d know that I’m not the biggest fan of this series. As much as I try to make these reviews more about the product than simply my not-so-hidden agenda, it has proven difficult to go through with a write-up and not mention my deepest, darkest hatred for most of what this series has to offer. People often ask me, as they would, why I dislike the series so much, and my answer is usually something to the tune of “It’s just terrible“, which isn’t the greatest response to a question of that kind, I’ll be the first one to admit it. Recently we at SnapThirty have received a review copy, from Madman Entertainment, of the latest Sword Art Online Blu-Ray release; Sword Art Online 2: Part Four, which contains within it the final episodes of the “Mother’s Rosario” arc. Unlike most of my Sword Art Online reviews that begin with nothing but negativity, I feel …

Gundam Reconguista in G (Part Two) – Review

Resolution. A simple term laid out at the end of a long and winding path. For everything that moves forward, this is both a goal and a destination, a way in which the journey itself may come to make sense. For what is a beginning without an end? A book with no final page? A greeting without a farewell? The lack of either lessens the impact of the other and thus one must know both to understand something completely. But what of that which lacks resolution? Which wanders aimlessly forward with no clear intention? No method? And seemingly no true purpose? Well my friends, it is therein we find ourselves currently, within a realm of uncertainty, a realm of disappointment and, most of all, a realm of unequivocal confusion. Well, here we are again, back in the clumsy arms of Reconguista in G, the series that scored my lowest review score ever. Now I don’t usually like getting this meta within my reviews, but I feel as if you should know from the start where I stand …

Riddle Story of Devil – Review

What is your greatest wish? A simple enough question in theory, but we all know that theory is often the plaything of a little concept known as reality. Still, it’s nice to wonder. Were there no restrictions tying you down, no repercussions from external sources, what is it you would ask for? Would it be wealth? Power? Fame? Or none of these? Are your heart’s desire simpler? Perhaps more complex? Selfish? Selfless? Impossible? Impractical? Questions, questions, questions, nothing but questions and we’re still in the realm of the hypothetical. but what if we weren’t? What if you were given the chance to answer your heart’s unhindered call? Would your answer change? Would it stay the same? However, despite all of these nagging issues that tap tap tap upon your soul, one question yet remains; What would you do to have your wish fulfilled? Have you ever had that one classmate? You know the one. The one who just kinda rubs you the wrong way, who you would be quite happy to not see again. It doesn’t have …

Terror In Resonance: The Complete Series – Review

It’s somewhat hard to write a review about a series based on the concept of nation-wide terrorism, simply because this is not a thing of fiction. In contemporary times terrorism is a harsh reality, and it’s effects are more horrific than they ever have been before. I suppose this is what makes a series like Shinichiro Watanabe’s Terror In Resonance so relatable, because we as human beings living in this time do not have to suspend disbelief for the sake of the story. That, in and of itself, is such a frightening truth. What makes a series, for me, so enjoyable is that it takes me away from this particularly harsh reality, to a realm I will never experience, but can appreciate through certain mediums. Though, as people, there are times when we need to explore a fictional world that is somewhat close to our own. This, I believe, is a way for us to be grounded, so as to not escape into an unobtainable reality forever. These stories also help us come to terms with …

Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo – Review

Some of us tend to go about life thinking that on our shoulders lies the weight of the world. Confusion, doubt, anxiety; these are key factors to the mental downfall of every single human being, and those of us that believe the path of existence can be altered as a cause of our menial daily decisions tend to succumb to their influences in a drastically accelerated way. Now it’s obvious that I’m speaking metaphorically, but the power of the mind is immense and practically uncontrollable, so it isn’t too odd to imagine that some folks truly do feel as though they bare the weight of the world. There is an Anime character synonymous with that of which I’ve just detailed, but this character is also infamous for being quite the “brat“. The exaggerated difference between him and those of us that feel the effects of depression, anti-socialism, and everything that comes along with soul-crushing anxiety is that, well…the foundation of existence itself is shaped by the ill-informed decisions of this mentally-inept fourteen year old, and …

Golden Time – Review

Toradora is considered by many anime fans to be one of the greatest romantic comedy anime series of all time. It is a sweet and funny series filled with memorable characters and scenarios that like its leading lady had a truly warm heart beneath its surface. Toradora is cherished, loved by fans across the globe, so it was only expected that fans would tune in to see what series’ creator Yuyuko Takemiya had in store next with a series by the name of Golden Time. What is so remarkably startling about Golden Time is how unlike Toradora it is. Grounded in its high school setting and dealing with home life issues that many viewers could find themselves relating to, Golden Time focuses on bizarre supernatural concepts such as spectral personality separation and see its cast accidentally joining a cult in a particularly absurd story arc. If Toradora is the benchmark for romantic comedy anime, Golden Time doesn’t even try to measure up, instead opting to venture into one insane story direction after the next in …

Gundam Reconguista in G (Part One) – Review

For as long as words have graced the ears of those intelligent enough to understand them, so too have stories. Those yarns spun of fiction and facts that teach all lifelong lessons or simply grant a respite of joy. From this incalculable run, it is also quite easy to believe that form has been honed and that certain stories have come to be known far beyond their point of origin. However, complacency is tantamount to sin in the eyes of some and so tales never told continue to be born from the foundations created by those who came before. Yet, despite the twisting of form and alteration of lessons, there is one law that should always remain standing; in its own way, a story should make sense. For a story to break this unspoken rule comes at its own detriment. After all, what point is there to lesson that none can learn? To a message that cannot be understood? The short answer is none. The long answer is the same, with an example. Oh boy, …

Dragonar Academy – Review

As contradictory as it may sound, the abnormal is pretty standard fare whenever you venture into the world of fiction. Be it far flung societies from the depths of space, the lost legacies of cities fallen to time’s ravage, or tales of champions from worlds unknown, all is possible. With all of this known, there are a few stories that have been told time and time again, their figures becoming varied as their interpretations became ever varied. One particularly recognisable visage is that of the dragon, winged creatures known for both their terrifying might and, in those less horrific accounts, their intense loyalty to those who would tame them. This is a story of the latter, of a world where dragons and humans coexist, their bonds strengthening each other and fostering understanding between the two species. For the most part at least. Ansarivan Dragonar Academy, a prestigious  alma matter that teaches young dragon tamers (officially referred to as breeders) all they will need to know to best bond with their Pals and utilise their abilities to …

Infinite Stratos 2 – Review

To be the object of everyone’s desire, that, as most anime characters will attest, is the dream. But, like most dreams, when put through the filter of reality this comes across as a touch shallow and a whole heaping handful of stupid. However this isn’t reality, it’s an anime, so why don’t we just hang our disbelief up in the closet, right next to that shirt you never wear, and just enjoy ourselves. After all, what is fiction if not escapism? This is especially the case regarding those that deal in concepts of love, what with not having to explicitly rely on things like plausibility or any form of emotional awareness? Of course, this particular double edge sword often has a way of striking twice and those that do not find the balance between fiction and non often don’t get back up. Welcome once more to the world of Infinite Stratos (IS), that one harem series that stopped and though, “You know what this genre needs? Mech-suits.” Naturally everyone thought this was a marvelous idea …

Danganronpa the Animation – Review

Ever had one of those days? You know the one, when nothing goes your way, when the seconds slowly tic toc away all of your energy and you just wish for that timely pal night to roll around. Everyone has had at least one twenty four hour block like that. But then there are those other days, the ones that bleed into each other and cause your bad day to become a bad week, then a bad month, then further and further up the temporal scale until the bitter end. Be they forces external or in, the ends most assuredly outweigh the means. But don’t get to glib on me friendos, because as cliche as despair is within the collective psyche of the world, so too is hope, the older brother of negativity who turns up to whip people back into a forward stride. Sure he might not be on time and sure he could use a little work in the tact department, the fact remains that hope still turns up eventually. Of course fiction …

Aquarion EVOL Complete Series – Review

Aquarion EVOL is set 12,000 years after the events of the original Aquarion anime, and with such a huge time gap there’s not really a direct connection between the two series, but rather a strong spiritual connection. You could very easily watch Aquarion EVOL without watching the prequel, and that’s not to suggest that the original Aquarion was not a good anime, in fact Aquarion was a really solid series that succeeds for the most part at offering something new in the mecha anime genre, with a strong fixation on characters and their relationships, and using human emotions as a driving force for all the mecha action. Aquarion EVOL is consistent with that original vision, but this time the execution is so much better. Aquarion EVOL feels like a maturity of Aquarion’s vision, and is a much better show in every way in terms of the characters, pacing, visuals, music, and overall story delivery. While Aquarion can be considered to be good, Aquarion EVOL on the other hand can be considered to be something special. It …

Aquarion Complete Series – Review

Mecha anime has a few legends that nearly everyone knows about and nearly every anime creator tries to emulate. Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion are timeless classics and every time you try to watch some other mecha anime, you can’t help but feel like they try too hard to capture their magic instead of trying something new. Of course that’s a generalisation, there’s been some cool standout series like Gurren Lagann but not every mecha anime dares to be so unique and daring. Aquarion was a fairly ambitious project to create something that would become a legend in its own right, and while the sands of time haven’t been as kind to Aquarion as they have been to Gundam and Neon Genesis, Aquarion still manages to deliver a mecha anime that stands out in its execution. Gundam was all about overarching politics and technology, Neon Genesis was very much character driven and placed the onus on the mental condition of its cast. Aquarion feels like a mix of the two, as there is a self aware world …

Sailor Moon (Season One) Part Two – Review

Usagi Tsukino has only just been reminded of her true identity, that she is Princess Serenity; heiress to the Moon Kingdom, and she’s discovered that, while there’s no rabbit pounding rice cakes on the Earth’s moon…there once was a prosperous kingdom lead by the kind-hearted Queen Serenity, who sacrificed her own life for the safety of her people. In the second part of Sailor Moon season one, it looks as though things are beginning to shift in huge ways: Usagi and the Sailor Scout gang are no longer just super-powered teenagers, they’re something much more than that…they’re galactic royalty! Madman Entertainment’s Australian release of Sailor Moon (Season One) Part Two sets the series on a straight and narrow path towards it’s end, and despite it’s continued “monster of the week” style episode layout, the ending of season one truly does go off with a bang: One the likes of which has stayed in the hearts of fans for many years, and will continue to remain there for many years to come. Thank you, once again, …

The Boy and The Beast – Review

For decades, when it came to discussing anime film, there was no bigger name than Hayao Miyazaki. That was until a visionary by the name of Mamoru Hosoda stepped onto the scene and changed the landscape of feature length anime forever. Whether it be The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Wolf Children, Summer Wars or Our War Game, Mamoru Hosoda has brought heart and soul to anime cinema in this modern day in a way that is unique and poignant. With that all in consideration I approached his latest work The Boy and The Beast with eager eyes keen to see what was next for the famed director. Now here I am having just finished viewing the film and I am pleased to say that The Boy and The Beast is another hit from Hosoda and arguably his finest work to date. Telling the tale of a young boy named Ren who runs away from home following the death of his mother and living day to day homeless on the streets of Shibuya, The Boy and The Beast …

Sword Art Online 2: Part Three – Review

And thus…it continues. Sword Art Online is THE series that will simply never end. It’s so incredibly popular, A-1 Pictures and those in charge of promotion would be silly to turn to the producers of the series and say; “Yeah, that may be enough”. It’s a guaranteed money maker, and it seems as though those behind the writing of the series can, more or less, throw Kirigaya Kazuto and the gang into any given situation, and make what people perceive to be a worth-while addition to the already extensive series. Often Anime and Manga hit a point of critical mass wherein which they attain platinum status. Sword Art Online is one of them. It has countless fans, it makes buckets of money, and there’s simply no end to it in sight. Now, while there is a seemingly limitless number of fans for this series…there are just as many people out there who absolutely detest it, yet despite that, Sword Art Online currently remains one of the most beloved Anime series’ of all time. Go figure. …

So I Can’t Play H! – Review

I’m normally a big fan of the harem genre, with quite a few over the past few years really standing out in our massive bag of anime goodness and setting the path for other franchises of their kind to follow. I’m talking about the shows like Grisaia and Nisekoi, Henneko and OniAi, and of course DxD and Monster Musume, with them either having great comedy, interesting backstories and/or just enough fan service to satisfy our otherworldly desires. With the good comes the bad however, big examples being IS, Testament of Sister New Devil and the infamous School Days, where you ponder big questions like “Why am I even watching this?” and/or “What was the creator of this even thinking!?” because the story is going nowhere, the characters are bland and boring and the shows, especially in the last two shows listed, are borderline hentai. In which case, you’ll probably have more fun watching hentai seriously then watching shows that are just continuous teasers just to try and rake in a quick buck. So out of …

Blue Exorcist: Complete Series – Review

It’s no lie that Aniplex likes to stretch out their Anime releases for as long as possible. That’s why, unlike many other publishers, series’ like Blue Exorcist, despite having only 25 episode, are released across six different discs. With release situations like that, it’s sometimes hard to follow on with your favorite series, but every once in a while a collection of aforementioned discs comes around that compiles the entire series into one neat package. Madman Entertainment have gone ahead and done that with A-1 Pictures’ 2011 Anime Blue Exorcist and, as a fan of the Manga, I couldn’t help but put my hand up to tackle the review. Exciting! Blue Exorcist follows the story of one Rin Okumura and his brother Yukio; twins living almost entirely different lives. Though both exorcists teaching/learning at the True Cross Academy, one of them (Rin) happens to play host to demon powers passed on by their demonic father…Satan. While Rin is the one bestowed with the burden of his father’s legacy, Yukio is training to, one-day, be rid …

Sunday Without God Complete Series – Review

It’s admirable when an anime tries to go above and beyond with its setting and storytelling. It’s nice to see creators dare to create something really special, and go into the depths of certain tried and tested themes in order to get something really unique out of them. However, sometimes such ambitions tend to go a little overboard, leaving you with something that doesn’t quite feel defined or complete. There’s many cases of anime trying to overachieve, and perhaps the most beloved example of this is Neon Genesis Evangelion, and as acclaimed as it is, you can’t help accept that the original series blew up in its face. In fact, they had to rewrite the canon several times to repair the damage. Sunday Without God is unique for sure, but almost too unique for its own good. If anything, Sunday Without God tries so hard to set itself apart from everything that it ends up not really figuring out just what it wants to accomplish. A haunting and theologically grandeur world serves as the setting, populated …

Hamatora: The Animation (Season One) – Review

Super powers, the great fictitious unequaliser. Wherever there is one possessive of skills beyond the norm, society combines into that overwhelming force that screams opinions ’til the cows come home. But we know this. We’ve known this since authors bestowed inhuman abilities on their creations decades ago. Thus we find ourselves in an interesting time for those imagined, long gone are the days when powers equaled superhero status, yet the era of heroes remains. Enjoy, if you will, the stories of those who make a choice regarding the person they wish to be, empowered or otherwise. Some rise to protect, whilst others turn to harm. Still classic in its form, just with a little more introspection and societal woe thrown in. Yet the main creation of this moral grey zone are those that exist within the middle, those whose abilities have no effect on their concepts of championing. The above average average, the impartial gifted…the ones without capes. Then there are the bad guys… Hamatora, where do I begin with this one? Joining a bevy …

Space Dandy Part Two – Review

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a great space epic was unfolding. Heroes, villains, battles fought for the very survival of galactic peace and prosperity. Slightly to the left of that, a few eons in the future (I think), we fin yet another tale of heroes, villains and battles fought for the very survival of galactic peace and prosperity…not that anyone really cares about that. Taking all the wonder and majesty of the universe and cramming it in the path of the universes most notorious drifter, who not many people know, the saga of Space Dandy is one of…confusion. With every conceivable creature, planet and event a mere warp away, our champion of the stars throws reason to the ever expanding corners of the universe, spending countless hour pining after the fairer sex, yet somehow still planting his quaffed visage squarely in the path of oncoming adventure. It’s ludicrous, it’s nonsensical, but at the end of the universe all that really matters is that it’s dandy, baby. Picking up where they left …

The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat – Review

Sometimes a title can serve as a draw to a series and other times it can give off the entirely wrong impression as to what the series is exactly about. What’s in a name? Well a lot actually, it can be the thing that catches your eye and it can prove to be a iconic title that lasts in the minds of those who experience the series it lends itself too. It can also prove to be a destructive force that can hurt a series deterring viewers away from an otherwise good series who think it is something other than what it truly is (see: SKET Dance, Bobobo-bo-bobobo bobo-bo bo, Oreimo: My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute). The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat falls under this category as well because the title really is misleading. At first glance you’d come to expect it to be yet another low brow harem with nothing to say other than: “Boobs and panties are pretty fantastic right?” But that isn’t what this series is about and while it …

Gurren Lagann (Pierce the Heavens Collection) – Review

Life is complex. From the day to day doldrums, to the once in a lifetime events, the ol’ flow of time is never shy about throwing curveballs in amidst the pitches. Of course, whilst some of these moments are notably exciting, shaping personalities and searing themselves into the minds of the masses as key points in history, the vast majority of life just kind of floats on by under the radar. Enter fiction, that great bastion of the soul, the world of infinite possibilities wherein all may take refuge from stress and monotony in order to reinvigorate that voice in their mind that screams joy about the world. Why the introspection and broad scoped quizzicality you ask? Well my curious companions, that’s because I am about to talk about a series that condenses the struggles of life into a handy dandy physical form and then cathartically punches it in its smug face. Why? Because that’s how Gurren Lagann rolls, ’nuff said. Gurren Lagann, the series that takes all the action and excitement of anime, crashes it into …

Sailor Moon (Season One) Part One – Review

Okay, I think this is better to get out of the way early: I, Frank Anthony Inglese, have never seen the hit Magical Girl Anime series Sailor Moon…until now. Yes, I know, it’s incredibly irregular that an Anime fan such as myself has not seen the series that breathed new life into the sub-genre that it is now known for almost single-handedly defining. What makes this piece of information all the more peculiar is that I co-run a website dedicated to the love of all things Japanese pop culture, of which Sailor Moon is undoubtedly at the forefront even after all these years. As the team sat down to discuss which of Madman Entertainment’s products we would be interested in reviewing, this thought came to me, and I felt as though it is my duty to experience this much-loved series once and for all. It doesn’t help that my partner happens to be a die-hard fan of the series who, on an almost daily basis up until that point, had been pressuring me into experiencing …

Nobunaga The Fool: Part Two – Review

It’s often hard reviewing two part Anime series’. Why? Well, the perfect example is this here review: Nobunaga The Fool: Part One was, let’s say, lacklustre at best. It’s now been months since I reviewed it, and my overall view of the series is that it has the potential to grow and change between releases, but the reality of the situation is that, well…it really doesn’t. Some Anime will take you by surprise with a second season, but with releases like this that split one season into two parts; chances are, if there was something wrong with the first than there’ll be something wrong with the second. That’s simply the way it goes. Bar some amazing story development, Anime like this don’t usually get much better, but in saying that, for the sake of this review, I’ve tried to keep my mind open to the possibility of this series’ second half blowing me away. Thanks to Madman Entertainment who’ve released both parts one and two down here in the great land of Australia, I’ve been …

Tokyo Ghoul Season One Collection (Uncut) – Review

Humanity is a fickle thing, especially when seen through the lenses of media, both factual and fictitious alike. Mired in a sense of arrogance for having broken the hold of nature, humankind is often shown as a force bent on betterment, no matter the cost. But then you get series like this, series that decide to mix up the tentative balance of the world as it stands and posit a rather complex question; What would happen if humanity fell a link in the food chain? As so many anime do, Tokyo Ghoul begins with the average daily exploits of a high school boy, who in this instance is named Kaneki. Unlike most anime however, we open with our protagonist actively making plans to ask out the girl of his youthful dreams. Now, whilst this doesn’t sound too major in text, anime fans will realise that this mindset is but a sign that romance will be the last thing this series will focus on, lest it wishes to be ten minutes long. Lo and behold, not ten …

Sword Art Online 2: Part Two – Review

The old saying goes; “never bring a knife to a gunfight“, but for Kirigaya Kazuto those words are nothing but empty letter jumbles. Kagemitsu G4 in hand, Kirito takes on each and every single gunslinger in the Bullet Of Bullets tournament with the hope of finding Death Gun; the renegade player killer and former member of the Laughing Coffin guild, stopping his murderous spree once and for all. Part two of Sword Art Online II takes place entirely in the Bullet Of Bullets events as players slowly get whittled away, and the true identity of Death Gun is inevitably revealed. If you’re in need of a quick refresh regarding part one of Sword Art Online II, I suggest taking a read of my review, which you can get to by Clicking Here. It’s worth taking the time, seeing as there will be some direct references to the comments I made in the review of the first volume scattered throughout this here review of volume two. This will be my second time watching through Sword Art Online …

Library Wars: The Last Mission – Review

Ask certain people and they’ll tell you that war is a necessary element of existence. Laurell K. Hamilton in her novel Incubus Dreams writes: “They say there is no light without dark, no good without evil, no male without female, no right without wrong. That nothing can exist if it’s direct opposite does not also exist“. This, in and of itself, is an interesting theory, but when used in reference to war as a whole, well…it just becomes even more intriguing. Let’s say that, for the sake of this review, war is indeed a necessity. That maybe without it, the world could truly never be at peace; the direct opposite. Than what is worth fighting for? Some fight for love, others fight for what they believe is justice. Countries battle over land, oil, religious beliefs, and everything in between, but has a modern war ever been fought over…books? Library Wars: The Last Mission is the second in two films based on the Light Novels of the same name. These Light Novels, caused by overwhelming popularity, …

Inari Kon Kon – Review

What if you could be someone else? Would you live life in someone else’s shoes? Would it be better if you weren’t you? These are some of the intriguing questions that Inari Kon Kon explores in its shape shifting love story that is just about as off kilter as anime romantic comedies can get. In spite of that, the series strays from ever achieving truly great heights that its core concept promises, choosing instead to play things safe, but even safe can be quite interesting in its own way. Inari Kon Kon follows a girl named Inari Fushimi who shares her name with the famous shrine of the same name. She had grown up around the shrine and as such felt a powerful connection to the holy grounds. She is your typical shojo protagonist – clumsy, hapless and harboring a mad crush on one of the boys at school. While she does gain the power to transform into other people, what really sets Inari apart is her innate self awareness. She knows that she has …

Haikyu!! Part Two – Review

If you possess even an ancillary knowledge of sports, then you know one thing; it’s not over until the clock ticks zero. Even when that happens, another game lies in the future, and another after that, such is the path of a player, and such is the path of Haikyu!! Having had their share of victories and losses in the past, the Karasuno Volleyball Club has no intention of slowing down. With preliminary matches, practice matches, and whatever other kind of matches occur in volleyball looming beyond the horizon, the characters of Haikyu!! all possess that never say die attitude that keeps a series going. Jumping off right where we left off (because that’s what happens when  a series is split in half by physical release), we meet the Karasuno team amped as ever to play some volleyball. Of course that’s not all that surprising, but it is the vast majority of this series, at least when they’re not actually playing volleyball. That being said, this is a series that manages to throw in a …

Hozuki’s Coolheadedness: Complete Series (Subtitled Edition) – Review

Hell is, like, the worst. If years of Catholic education have taught me anything, it’s that we have to fear the scary, red, goat man, and that if we do bad things he’ll take us to this place deep down below existence wherein which we will be tortured the rest of eternity…which is a really long time. We all know that, right? Most, if not all, religious beliefs teach about the terrifying fire pit we’ve come to know as Hell. If it’s not called Hell, it’ll be under some other different but oddly similar name, so don’t get fooled! Chances are, no matter what belief system you subscribe to, doing BAD things will land you in that BAD place. Thus you spend your life being a good person in the hopes that you indeed steer clear of eternal damnation. Madman Entertainment have just released a new Anime across Australia and New Zealand…well, new in terms of it has just gotten a home video release, but if we’re splitting hairs here; this series aired in Japan …

The Case of Hana & Alice – Review

The Case of Hana & Alice is the kind of film that instantly gains cult appeal because of how convincingly it captures the essence and experience of teenage life at that point in time. Some of the most nostalgic and timeless television series and films are able to stand the test of time not because of how relatable they were to viewers at the time of release, but also how convincingly they serve as a time capsule of sorts, something that is representative of that era. There’s nothing like watching the ordinary lives of young people as they make their transition through difficult and troubling changes that come with growing up. The self indulgent nature of young people can be a blessing sometimes, because of how the small community they live in is pretty much the full extent of the universe in their minds. Which is why their seemingly inconsequential lives and moments turn out to be such compelling adventures and experiences. I suppose the magic of teenage years isn’t so much about the ordinary …

Miss Hokusai – Review

Miss Hokusai is based on the life and times of an artist who went by Tetsuzo Hokusai during the twilight of the Edo era in Japan. The film is set during the 18th century, right before Japan transitioned into the Meiji era. Miss Hokusai doesn’t quite deliver a biographical account of the eccentric artist, but rather places the spotlight on his daughter O-Ei, hence the title of the film. Tetsuzo was particularly known for his erotic illustrations, and this aspect often comes up during the course of the film in amusing ways. However, for the film to focus on the daughter as the protagonist, instead of the famed artist himself, might seem a little strange at first, but that’s exactly what draws the viewer in. History may remember Tesuko more, but this film champions the unsung hero that is his daughter. If Tetsuzo had a rock and anchor that allowed him to accomplish the things he needed, then his daughter O-Ei was surely it. Obviously, the film takes several creative liberties with the historical source material, but it’s all done …

Boruto: Naruto The Movie – Review

When it comes to a long-running series like Naruto, most reviews would begin with a brief history lesson; detailing it’s expansive lineage starting from 1999, but seeing as this movie marks the end of the series that started me on my personal journey to becoming what I am today and, hopefully, what I will be in the near future…I feel as though it deserves more than just a basic history lesson. Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto is the series that singlehandedly inspired me to want to both write comics and write about Japanese culture as a whole. It was the very first Manga I ever read, it was the first Anime I ever watched (knowing that it was indeed Anime), and it was the first piece of fiction to make me understand that we each live different lives that lead us in different directions, all of which are guided by our own choices. In the series, this was referred to as a “Ninja Way“, and I think that, without it, I would have never been able to …

Soul Eater Not! Review

Stories are about heroes, plain and simple. The champion protagonists who, more often than not, risk it all for the safety and betterment of whatever world they happen to reside in. But what about the other guys? The ones who reside in said worlds all the same. The ones who are protected. Their lives aren’t irrelevant, just often unseen. So what if the viewpoint shifted for once and the audience saw what constitutes an average person? An average person in a not-so-average world. Welcome back to Death City, Meisters and Weapons alike. Yes it’s that wacky town found somewhere in Nevada that teaches the heroes of tomorrow, today. The last time we visited this Halloweenesque city (in Soul Eater), we followed the exploits of Maka and company as they sliced, diced and shot their wat through a surprising amount of mad villains; such as clowns, witches and insanity incarnate. Busy days to be sure. However, as you surely would’ve noticed if you’ve seen said series, the core crew of characters where students at DWMA. Now, …

BlazBlue: Alter Memory (Series Collection) Review

BlazBlue: Alter Memory is based on the popular 2D fighting franchise of the same name. BlazBlue was one of the most important new IPs that emerged in the previous console generation. It shook up the quality and presentation of 2D sprites to bring the fighting experience as close to an anime production as possible. The visual ecstasy was wonderfully complemented by the silky smooth fighting system that made every fight a joy to behold and experience. One of the great things about the BlazBlue series is its emphasis on single player content and a heavily fleshed out premise, something that is becoming increasingly less apparent in the fighting genre. BlazBlue has spared no expense in providing players with an incredibly deep and lengthy story mode, an experience that is part fighting game but mostly a choice-based visual novel experience with a ton of text and dialogue to sit through. Import a copy of BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend (we’re still waiting for that official PAL release, by the way) and you’ll be greeted with the entirety of BlazBlue’s …

Ping Pong Review

There has been an anime series on just about every sport there is, be it the world game of football, America’s hard hitting grid-iron, professional cycling, sexy swimming, slam dunking basketball, aces of the diamond that is baseball or even the Japanese native pass time of karuta. Sports anime are all about passion and the drive that pushes us to pursue sporting. While some sports fit the mold perfectly, some seem like they would have a harder time fitting into the form and remaining interesting. I never thought in a million years that an anime about table tennis could be so utterly engaging as Ping Pong is but Tatsunoko Productions have made just that. The story follows two ping pong prodigies nicknames Peco and Smile. Peco is plucky and confident until he meets his match in the champion from China aptly nicknamed ‘China’. Smile on the other hand is the silent type and long time friend of Peco, he is completely counteractive to just about everything that Peco is and has some deeper psychological issues …

Noragami Review

Gods are everywhere. Wherever humanity is found, there exists a mythos, a belief in a higher power. Be it one supreme deity or a pantheon of specifically minded beings, the belief exists. Arguably however, in these polytheistic interpretations, not all Gods are created equal, with some residing over more specific, unpleasant tasks. So what happens when one of these Gods decides they’ve had enough? When they decide to mix things up little? They get a new job of course. Set in Japan, as most anime are, we meet a young girl named Hiyori, representing your standard student type. However, through happenstance, luck and a little misfortune, she comes to meet a less-than-dignified God named Yato. Marketing himself as somewhat a jack-of-all-trades deity, Yato charges the barest of pittance with the promise of helping with whatever issue bedevil someone. Be it find their lost cat, clean their bathroom or help discover a way to prevent the sporadic separation of soul and body…ok, so that last one is a little more intense and, not-so-surprisingly, it is also the …

Michiko & Hatchin Review

Imagine, if you will, two loveable characters making their way across an exotic country, with nothing but a dream between them. Meeting colourful locals in each location, these characters form a bond that can never be broken, as proved by the numerous bond breaking situations they find themselves in. It is a kindly story, an inspiring story, a story about one escaped prisoner and the orphan she kidnapped…did I not mention that? I probably should’ve mentioned that. Yes folks get ready to have your heartstrings tugged by a brash, loudmouth by the name of Michiko Molandro and the far more reserved Hana “Hatchin” Morenos. Not exactly a heavyhanded series, if my previous statement implied, you will nonetheless have a few emotional moments as these two trapse and trek through a number of less-than-idyllic situations. Having lived as an abused child, adopted by one of the most hate inspiring priests in anime, Hana is one day saved by Michiko, who drives her bike onto the breakfast table of said jerkbag priest (and family), before whisking her …

Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation Review

Imagine if you will, a world centered around the very concept of video games. A world wherein companies are personified as heroines who fight the good fight for you, me and every other NPC that populates the similarly themed countries of said world. Of course, I ask you to imagine this as a way to draw you into the revelation that this fiction is reality (the fictional kind) vis-a-vis Hyperdimension Neptunia. This time however, the meta game franchise has made the transition to the format of anime, which is ironic in its own kind of way…if you care to think about it that much. But, for those who do not wish to do that, enjoy watching the adventures of your favourite CPUs in a 2D form that doesn’t require any additional controllers or peripherals…except for like, a TV…and a DVD player. Building upon the not-so-hypothetical introductory paragraph that lies just above these current words, Hyperdimension presents us with the magical land of Gamindustri (pronounced just as obviously as it references), which itself is divided into …

Haikyu!! Part 1 Review

Imagine, if you will, a sport. Team based in nature and just brimming with hopeful up and comers, scorned long timers and the innately gifted. Now imagine that this sport is animated, let’s say in the style of Japanese animation, we’ll call it anime (pending a proper designation). Now you may be thinking to yourself, “But guy who is writing this oddly vague introductory paragraph, that could explain any number of sports.” My immediate response to such a question is, “Of course, but I speak of but one sport this day. Of a sport oft excluded from the forefront of your and my smart brain parts. I speak, my friends, of volleyball.” Now that that discussion is out of the way, and we’re all better friends for it, let us mosey on over to the review proper ( or the nearest facsimile to proper I am capable). Shoyo Hinata is your classic, upbeat protagonist. Measuring nearer 5ft high than further, he nevertheless burns with a passion for the aforementioned sport of volleyball. Unfortunately, during his …

Wanna Be The Strongest In The World – Series Collection Review

What is Shoot Wrestling? Well, for one, it’s not the type of wrestling you’ll see in a standard WWE bout. Shoot Wrestling is a full-contact style of the professional sport that hit it big in Japan in the 70s which allowed wrestlers to partake in matches not as heavily scripted than what we see in the Western circuit today. Fighters hit each other hard with not a single punch being pulled, and what went on throughout the match was not as predictable. There are certain things in life, this being one of them, that are perfect appropriation material for an exciting Anime. The last time we saw a worthwhile series about full-contact wrestling was with Ultimate Muscle (Kinnikuman) which made it’s debut back around the same time as Shoot Wrestling itself…and I feel like that hasn’t changed, even with the release of Wanna Be The Strongest In The World. The eye-popping world of women’s professional wrestling is sweaty, sadistic, and savagely sexy. Famous Japanese pop idol Sakura Hagiwara is better suited for the dance floor …

Sword Art Online 2: Part One – Review

Sword Art Online is, in case some of you out there don’t know, one of history’s most popular Anime series. Now even though my words may seem a touch on the exaggerated side, go to any single pop culture-related event and you’ll see that what I’m saying is entirely accurate. In fact, if you have access to a time machine, how about you head back to each and every pop culture convention from 2012 onwards, only then will you truly understand the might of the Sword Art Online fandom. The Anime adaptation, released in 2012, breathed new life into the light novels that preceded it, with hardcore fans going back and actually reading over the same events of which they’ve just watched. Alongside it’s very own manga series and a bunch of new light novel continuations of the story, the series gave birth to a handful of video game titles that attempted to recreate the world of an MMORPG, much like in the series…without making the games MMORPGs. I’m having quite a hard time writing …