Monthly Archives: December 2015

One Punch Man

Type: Japanese Superman

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Synopsis: After doing the insane training regime of 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and jogging 10 miles EVERY SINGLE DAY, Saitama has become the strongest being in creation. Now bored out of his mind, he decides to become a hero for fun.

Pros: One Punch man is amazing. Even it’s inception is amazing. It started out as a nothing web comic, and now it’s one of the most popular franchises in the industry. I’ve personally read almost all the manga. The premise is pretty much what I described. Saitama is a super strong “hero” who beats all his opponents in One-Punch. The joke of the series is that all the super detailed and overly designed villains get decimated by this one simple looking dude. The series is full of monster of the week villains, but also heroes of the week. One Punch Man is full of random heroes that make up the “Hero Association,” a Justice League/Avenger’s style group that monitors that heroes. The main plot actually revolves around the Hero Association, even if Saitama is the guy to ultimately fix everything. This means that most fights involve other heroes, usually Saitama’s sidekick/desciple Genos, getting beat up by a villain. But that’s actually good, because we get to see that the other heroes are actually heroic, as well as padding out the series a bit. The anime does an excellent job at making the fights look amazing. Plus, it adds to the joke that after all this struggle, Saitama just had to anti-climactically punch something to megadeath. (P.S. There’s also a bunch of superhero troupes, like the constant destruction of a city, the random villains, the fact that everything is resolved by punching, etc)

Cons: The story. Not important. If you came for a compelling narrative, you came to the wrong place. That’s not to say that the plot’s bad, its not. It’s just kinda there. The sets up the world, but the Hero Association is not really crucial to your enjoyment. It just felt a little superfluous is what I’m saying. As such, a lot of the “drama” involving dead or dying heroes didn’t really interest me. After all, this is mostly a comedy show. But on that note, I should mention that some of the humor from the manga doesn’t really translate well to the anime. Particularly, the parts where Saitama is deadpan and has those weird shading likes drawn on him. And I’d skip episode 1.

Watch it?: Best Blank Look in the Business (5/5)

MVP: License-Less Rider

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Justice needs no license

Best Episode: Ep.9 “Unyielding Justice” (shut-up, these aren’t tears!)

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Attack on Titan: Junior High

Type: Comedic Spin-Offs!

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Synopsis: OK Haters, here’s the low down. Attack on Titan: Junior High is a reimagining of Attack on Titan set in a modern Junior High. All the human characters are either students or teachers. All the titans are students as well. They don’t eat people, their just jerks that steal the human students’ lunches. Eren, you know, the crazy kid from the original series? Yeah, he’s wants to commit genocide because a titan stole his “chee-burga.” It’s all wonderfully cute and funny. If you can’t deal with your super “serious” anime taking a silly side tour for a while, then that’s kinda on you.

Pros: So I loved this anime. Mostly because I loved the manga. Even though I understand Attack on Titan’s appeal, I didn’t really get into it until the comedy manga was released. If anything, it helped me remember the character names. So I was super excited with an anime was announced! The loosely follows the plot of the manga, with Eren and the gang becoming slice-of-life comedy characters. I wish the anime adhered more to the manga, but eh. Eren keeps most of his hatred for the titans, but now for comedic effect. Mikasa is now the calm girl with a crush. Armin is the cutesy character. Jean is the arrogant jerk. Krista is the pure anime girl. And Sasha, well Sasha is still Sasha. The characters all translated very well into a new genre, which I guess speaks to their characterization in the main series. In a surprising bit, the anime even throws in a few allusions to future story points in Attack on Titan. So one of two pivatol characters in the manga make their first TV appereance in this show!

Cons: About 20% of your enjoyment will depend on your familiarity with Attack on Titan. I mean, this is kinda a given since this is a parody anime. The show throws in a lot of hilarious references to the anime, like Levi’s intro, Hanji’s titans, etc. I’m hesitant to say that fans who hate spoilers should stear clear, only because you’d need to actually know what the spoilers are to spot them. Well, except the one in Ep8, so maybe skip that episode. And like my intro suggested, if your the type of fan that doesn’t like your favorite thing made fun of, then this probably won’t be your jam.

Watch it?: A good break between S1 and S2 (4/5)

MVP: The Easter Eggs

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I understood that reference!

Best Episode: Ep.10 “Recommendation! Titan Junior High School” (school elections!)

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The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan

Type: A Parallel Universe of a Parallel Universe!

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Synopsis: Alien Robot turned Shy Book Girl turned Scatter Brained Gamer Nagato has a crush on Normal Guy turned Normal Guy turned Normal Guy Kyon. Naturally, Nagato can’t just confess her love, and needs the emotion support of her best friend/alternate reality murderer, Ryoko. They go to the beach, visit hot springs, classic anime high school stuff. Haruhi Suzumiya is here too, but with no godly powers she’s just a bossy teenage girl that every has to listen to. Again, classic high school stuff.

Pros: It’s weird to say, the use of Haruhi characters for  a slice-of-life romantic comedy really works. All the characters are on point, and they translate surprisingly well. Aside from Nagato, every other character is essentially the same. Kyon is still a slightly downtrodden straight man and Haruhi is still as energetic as ever. For the show, however, the continuity is based on the movie The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. So Haruhi and Itsuki go to another school, and Asahina isn’t a part of Kyon and Nagato’s club. For story purposes, Nagato has been turned to a more expressive and cutely-shy girl. But the show still finds a way to have them all hang out. It even touches on the possible romance with Haruhi.  It should also be noted that, as the title implies, Nagato is the protagonist. Thus, characters like Ryoko are promoted to regular supporting characters, while Asahina and the like are slightly demonted. But hey, if you liked these characters, comedy in general, and the fact that ALL OF THE ENGLISH VOICE ACTORS RETURNED, then you’ll dig it.

Cons: If your the kind of person that doesn’t like it when a show like Haruhi Suzumiya has a sillier spin-off, then you’re not going to like this. This isn’t a third season of the original series, and it’s ok to be bummed about that if that’s your prerogative. That being said, there is a story arc between Ep.10-13 that might appeal to Haruhi purists.

Watch it?: I approve of this Spin-Off, and would like too see more (4/5)

MVP: The Comedy

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I’m still laughing!

Best Episode: Ep.3 “Haruhi Suzumiya!!” (Even when it’s not her show, Haruhi is great!)

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Snow White with Red Hair

Type: Snow White and Rose Red it is not

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Synopsis: No 7 dwarves. No evil step-mother. No hunstmen. No glass coffin. No magic mirror. Just a girl with red hair that, for some reason, drives all the boys wild. She gets harassed by some rich dude, a handsome(?) prince saves her, and she become his personal pharmacist.

Pros: To be fair, there is a poison apple in the first episode. The anime doesn’t really follow the Snow White legend, or even the Snow White and Rose Red legend. I’m thinking that the title “Snow White” was used more for name recognition. That’s not a negative, because hey, it’s in public domain. But don’t waste your time trying to draw parallels to the Fairy Tale. The anime itself is a medieval slice-of-life romance anime. The main conflict comes from people having problems with Shirayuki being at court, because she’s a commoner.

Cons: Nothing about this anime will wow you. Outside of the “Snow White” name gimmick, it’s kinda on the bland side. Shirayuki is predictably kind, loyal to the prince and dedicated to her craft. The Prince is equally nice, as are his retainers. I didn’t really buy some of the plots involving someone trying to get rid of Shirayuki, mostly because they happened too much. One story would have been enough. The more it happened, the more I asked, “Why are so many people trying to contradict the Prince’s commands?” It seems like the prince didn’t have much respect from anyone outside his close circle. Not a great sign for his leadership potential. The show occasionally goes into the social troubles on the Kingdom, but these aren’t the focus. The focus is Shirayuki and her life in the castle.

Watch it?: Romancy, but forgettable (3/5)

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MVP: Shirayuki

She’s nice, I guess

Best Episode: Ep.1 “Encounter… Changing the Color of Fate” (most interesting than the show)

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Throwback Reviews- MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!

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These special reviews were written a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and were my first attempt at “comedy reviews.” They are written in the voice of a older and disgruntled mother. Continue reading

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Noragami

Type: About a Ghost Boy

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Synopsis: At the start we’re introduced to this girl who becomes part ghost after saving the life of a shrine god, right? But then the show thrown in a cute blonde boy, and, like, the rest of the show is about blondy having teenage mood swings and shop lifting stuff. To be honest, I’m not sure why the girl was there in the first place.

Pros: This show is about getting to know the god Yato and his background. Yato wants to become a rich and famour god, and strives for this goal by graffiti-advertising his divine services all over town. The various menial tasks he undertakes are hilarious. We’re introduced to his world of shrine gods by Hiyori, a recently partially-deceased girl. Being half-dead, Hiyori’s spirit has the unfortunate habit of slipping out of her body, leaving her physical form in random places. This is also hilarious. In addition, Yato and Hiyori’s interactions are equally hilarious, since she views him as a bum who constantly fails to fufill his promise to restore her. Not to mention Yato’s standing with the other gods. What I’m saying is, this thing is pretty funny when it wants to be.

Cons: This show’s first episode is misleading. According to the pilot, the anime will be about this ambitious but down on his luck god working with a teenage girl to make people’s wishes come true, with the occasional monster fight thrown in. But by the second episode, this is quickly set aside in favor of a looong arc involving Yato’s new shinki, Yukine. Yukine is kinda the most whiny character in the existence of forever and I hate his face, and we get to witness his little drama queen skit from EP2 ALL THE WAY TO EP9. It was horrible. I also felt that Hiyori was criminally misused. Again, the pilot introduces her as a fighting fan who kicks a phantom in the face! She should have been Yato’s shinki. But instead, she becomes the standard female emotional support. Lame.

Watch it?: Just google the funny parts (3/5)

MVP: Hiyori

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So much potential

Best Episode: Ep.4 “Where Happiness Lies” (funniest moment in the whole series)

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Blue Exorcist: The Movie

Type: Two demons and a baby

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Synopsis: Possible anti-christ Rin Okumura botches what was supposed to be a simple exorcism and wound up with a kid. Let that be a lesson for you kids, consider the consequences of your demon slaying urges.

Pros: My god, did you see those backgrounds!? They. are. beautiful. Plot wise, the movie hits all the typical anime-based-on-a-manga-anime film points. It starts with a action scene to show off the budget, then partners the main character with a new film-only character. They bond, but then something happens and the protagonist is forced to reaffirm his affection for the new person. Then the new character sacrifices themselves to return the favor, and everything goes back to the status quo. One the plus side, this did give us an excuse to explore more of the city around True Cross Academy, which we don’t get to do in the anime.

Cons: Again, very generic manga-anime film plot. The level of animation is a given, but the actual action is very front loaded, while the middle focuses more on establishing the bond between Rin and the bunny demon Usamaro. Usamaro is cute enough, but he’s the typical anime toddler. So I guess the biggest crime that the Blue Exorcist Movie commits is unoriginality.

Watch it?: The Background kinda make it worth it.

MVP: The Backgrounds

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Seriously, whoever designed them should get more work

Best Moment: When Rin wakes up and we get to see the newly animated city (pretty as hell)

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Blue Exorcist

Type: Damien ain’t go nothin’ on this

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Synopsis: My children, the Devil walks among us! Or should I say, his kid does. His name is Rin. Good guy. His goal in life is to kill Satan and avenge the death of his adoptive dad. Their was a custody battle involving blue flames and such, you know how these things go. But the only way to kill a demon is to become an exorcist, so Rin resolves to become the strongest exorcist alive, believe it!

Pros: In some aspects, the show surprisingly goes against shoen expectations. When your introduced to Rin in the show, you expect him to be an angsty teenager with a chip on his shoulder, like so many half-demon protagonists (Inuyasha, I’m looking at you). But by the third episode, Rin turns out to be a pretty positive and kinda ditzy dude. He’s kinda the male version of Sailor Moon. Not really arrogant, more empathetic than you’d think, and a little dumb. I point out ep.3 because the first two episodes are just Rin’s origin story, while the actual setting and premise are at the True Cross Academy. The world of Blue Exorcist is interesting, and I found the division of exorcist battle styles intriguing. In fact, the school elements where the most enjoyable. I liked Rin’s interactions with his crew of exorcists-in-training, and the instances where they had to work together were often my favorite parts.

Cons: I’d say that the worst parts of the show are when it dips into shoen stereotypes, or when it deviates from the manga. I’ve never read the manga, but you can tell which episodes and plot points are filler. In fact, the entire last section seems like the show was told midway that it wasn’t getting another season, so they decided to make their own ending. I fell that this show should have been 13 episodes, not 25. In terms of stereotypes, you have the big bobbed badass, the one teacher that’s actually a bad guy, mild sibling rivalry, and the love interest that’s all lollipops and rainbows. These aspects of the show really drag it down. I’m also not sure whether I should like or dislike Yukio. He seems like a tool, but I tend to give him a chance because Rin likes him. Same with Mephisto. Is he good? evil? chaotic neutral??

Watch it?: If you really want to know that the show’s about, skip to episode 3 (3/5)

MVP: Rin

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Who new the spawn of evil would be such a cool dude?

Best Episode: Ep.9 “Now a Certain Man Was Sick…” ( a good showcase of characters)

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