Category Archives: Action

Goku Midnight Eye

Type: Goku Furinji and his Cybernetic Eye

Synopsis: “Midnight Eye.” Get it? Like private eye, but in the future!

Pros: This anime is divided into two OVA stories. The first story is an origin story/80’s action movie. In it, Goku’s a rebellious private detective who takes the law into his own hands when the system fails. It has all the classic 80’s cliches: an evil business man, a sexy female partner, gratuitous violence, cyborg strippers that double as motorcycles. It’s like Paul Verhoeven directed it himself! The story is fairly passable, as Goku has to solve a string of murders loosely connected to him. Though they never really explain why Goku got his cybernetic eye, or why he wears no shirt but still insists on a tie. I have a theory that he moonlights as a Chippendale’s dancer to cover expenses. The second story completely forgets about all the previous characters except for Goku.  It deals with Goku being hired by a dame with legs for days searching for her brother, who is a cross between a super solider and a terminator. Both stories pretty much have the same structure: Goku is given a case, he’s actively attacked by the antagonist’s cronies, he and the female lead have sex, female lead dies somehow, the antagonists dies, and Goku feels kinda bad about himself. The end.

Cons: Being an anime from the later 80s/early 90s, you can expect a lot of violence, nudity, and sexuality. Blood, guts, and naked ladies. These aren’t the negatives, but get really for a really grimy feel when watching it. You also shouldn’t expect any real female character development here. Their main function in this story seem to be: sex object, nude enemy, or thing to protect/regret not being able to protect. And while were on the topic of characters, I have to say that Goku is pretty one dimensional. We never really get a sense for who he is other than the “cool detective” that the anime wants him to be. But we all KNOW that there’s a story behind that no-shirt/necktie combo. Animation wise, it’s pretty cheap. The images are well done, the coloring is well done, the shadowing is well done, but the actual movement is clunky. (P.S. For some reason, this story seems to have a real problem with the Chinese).

Watch it?:….not really, no. Unless you want to, I guess.

MVP: Goku’s eye

(But it really does to that motorcycle chick. I just can’t put a picture cause she is always naked)

Best Moment: Goku never actually fighting the evil business man in the first OVA (really subverted expectations, ya know?)

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How Not To Summon a Demon Lord

Type: Helpful PSA or Lewd Cartoon?

Synopsis: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Pros:  How Not To Summon a Demon Lord is about a shut-in computer nerd that gets sucked into a facsimile of his favorite video game. He was accidentally “summoned” by two cute anime girls that double as his personal slaves and grow to love him both emotionally and sexually. The narrative is all too familiar and does nothing to dispel the stigma of Isekai anime as male power fantasy. In our story, the protagonist is the strongest character in the game, he is basically invincible, and everything he says is re-translated into something intimidating/heroic. But the biggest issue is the anime’s portrayal of women.

The story both infatilizes and sexualizes each female character almost to the point of absurdity. Rem, who by all accounts should be the second most powerful character as she houses a demon lord within her, is literally an svelte cat girl who is obviously meant to invoke someone much younger. Not only does she look young, but she has no way to access her powers, and must rely on the protagonist to remove her power through tactile sexual penetration. Putting aside fiction’s general problem with women with power, Rem has no agency in this story. Her biggest decision was summoning the protagonist. The story also revels in scenes where Rem is in pain, which reveals a lot about the author’s sadomasochistic tastes. Then there’s Shera. Shera is the story’s main source of fan service. Where Rem is underdeveloped, Shera is overdeveloped. She is an adolescents, or immature man’s, ideal woman. Bubbly, large breasted, scantly clad, and abundantly amorous. Shera is the story’s biggest missed opportunity. Her entire story arc centered on her decision to break off the the shackles of her culture’s expectations of her to forge her own path. Although she struggles, oftentimes comically, her desire to become an adventurer instead of becoming a queen to bear hears was admirable. Or, at least it would be, if her actions weren’t negated by the story. Because after Shera shares her convictions with the cast and audience, she is immediately brainwashed and kidnapped by her finance, who is also her brother, who tries to break her by having a monster sexually assault her. She only escapes because the protagonist rescues her, and the story even has the gall to make Shera cry for her brother/rapist.

Is How Not to Summon a Demon Lord a sexist show? Yes. This story demonstrates a very problematic view of male and female roles and dynamics. It shows women as weak, childish, sexy, and often times all three. The ultimate example is Klem. THE most powerful being in the story. The ruler of all demons. Who is really a prepubescent girl who loves cookies, yet still wears next to nothing. Her demon form even has large breast in the design, and the protagonist could still hold her off single highhandedly! I know that here is a tendency to give anime the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the sexualization of women. But the excuses of “it’s a different culture,” or “westerners are too prudish,” were trite a decade ago, and cannot detract from what this show truly is: a power fantasy with clearly unequal social hierarchies and unrealistic and problematic sexual relationships.

Cons: [Exhale]…So yeah.

Watch it?: I mean, it was really easy to watch. It binged it in two days. And the show never pretends to be something else. You know upfront what your getting. But the more I thought about it, the creepier it got. (2/5)

MVP: The voice actors

The stuff they had to act through. God bless ’em.

Best Episode: “The Demon Lord Act” (cat ears).

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Record of Lodoss War

Type: Parn!

Synopsis: Parn! Are you there!! Parn!!! Paaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrnnnnnn!!!!!

Pros: Record of Lodoss War is a good ol’ fashion sword and sorcery anime based on DnD and Sword World RPG rules. Now, I don’t know anything about anything, but from what I can gather, this series is based on Japanese “replays.” These “replays” are transcripts of table-top RPG sessions. These transcripts eventually evolved into the Lodoss franchise. Which explains why so many of the characters in this anime seem straight out of a fantasy RPG. You got your hot-blooded knight, beautiful high-elf, prickly dwarf, sleezy thief, pious priest, and calm magic caster. I particularly liked Parn and Deedlit’s relationship, as well as Ghim’s backstory. They gave these characters a much needed extra dimension. I should also give a shout out to the Grey Witch, who I wish had stuck around for the entire story. The franchise’s origins helps give the series a very high fantasy feel. Since a lot of today’s anime fantasy stories are so intrinsically linked with Isekai stories, this series was a nice change of pace. I also have to admit a certain level of bias regarding older anime animation (I just think it looks more distinct). All in all, the series was a nice trip back in time when fantasy was about knights fighting evil kings and giant dragons.

Cons: Your enjoyment of this story can be measured by your tolerance for fantasy about knights fighting evil kings and giant dragons. Sometimes, another word for classic is generic. And this story is very generic. The story is about Parn, the son of disgraced knight looking to restored his family’s honor and make a name for himself. He’s brave but reckless. In fact, Parn might be the MOST generic protagonist I’ve ever encountered. Maybe even moreso than black-haired, average nice guy harem protagonist. At least they have comedic foils to play off. But Parn? He’s as exciting as avocado on white bread.  You also have the elf, dwarf, priest, thief, and caster who are so archetypal that I forget their actual names. One of the reasons these characters are so forgettable is because the series has to get the entire Lodoss saga completed in 13 episodes. So the pacing is very rushed. For example,  halfway through the anime the story transitions from the Valis-Marmo war to the War of Heroes. Which sucks because the Grey Witch and Emperor Beld made for much more interesting villains. Far better than some generic dragon and wizard. Yet the directors still found time to give Deedlit her ultra-detailed minute long close ups. Things move so fast that a lot of characters don’t get proper character development. The only characters you spend a lot of time with are Parn and Deelit, who are sadly have very static development. Aside from Ghim, all the other side characters are just that, side characters that don’t really change all the much. You know who actually changes the most in this story? The antagonists. The Grey Witch,  Ashram, Pirotess’s , and Wagnar each end the story is a very different position than where they started. You can’t really say that for any of the protagonists, as even Parn’s ascension into Knighthood is more superficial than anything. Finally, being an old anime, be prepared for a lot of still images and light-based special effects. Back in the day you either got detailed character design or fluid animation, but you ain’t getting both!

Watch it?: For fans of elf and wizards not contracted to a 7 person harem (3/5)

MVP: Karla, the Grey Witch

The more I think about her, the more I like her.

Best Episode: Ep. 05 “The Desert King” (Look Parn, we all have a Daddy fetish, but don’t string along a poor elf-girl when she dressed up special for your date, OK?)

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Goblin Slayer

Type: Basically anime Batman

Synopsis: Now hold your horses. I know what your thinking. Your thinking “But Genetleman Otoku, Batmans good! He’s not an edgelord that focuses on controversy!” To which I point you to: The Dark Night Strikes Again, Joker, The Killing Joke, All-Star Batman, Hush, etc. Now your thinking “Yeah, whatever, but Batman works with other heroes to protect Gotham.” To which I remind you that Goblin Slayer consistently works with a Priestess, a Ranger, a Dwarf, and a Lizard Man. Now your thinking “*%&$ you! At least Batman’s not a sh%#% harem show!” To which I also remind you of: Catwoman, Talia Al-Ghaul, Vickie Vale, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn (sometimes), etc. Face it, if you like Batman, you also like Goblin Slayer. May god have mercy on your deviant soul.

Pros: OK, aside from the fact that I know way too much about Batman despite not really resonating with the character, the stand by my analogy. Goblin Slayer really did remind me of Batman (with some Punisher thrown in there). The protagonist is a overly driven tactician/warrior who specifically focuses on goblins due to a mixture of trauma and pragmatism. He experienced a goblin raid, lost his sister, and now has a genocidal urge to kill every single Goblin in existence. Replace goblins with criminals, sister with parents, and kill with beat-up, and you have the caped crusader. Heck, one of the main throughlines of the show is Goblin Slayer learning to open up to others despite his loner nature. Like Batman, Goblin Slayer’s single mindedness and preparedness are what make his fun to watch. Also like Batman, it’s funny to see Goblin Slayer totally ignore world ending plots, like an apparent Demon King uprising, because local issues are more important to him. His relationships with the other characters are also key in softening his image, as this story could have gotten very old, very fast, if it was literally just killing goblins.

Cons: The show’s biggest problem is in its use of rape. The rape depicted in this show cannot be ignored. Nor should it. In the story, goblins are rapists, and this plot fact is used to make killing the goblins acceptable and ever gratifying. This series got into trouble when it’s first episode depicted the rape of one of it’s characters. The show never goes that far again, so don’t expect this to be another Elfen Lied or Kite. However, rape is still an underlying theme of the show. Every time the goblins appear, the show reminds us that they are rapist, usually with still images of them ripping the clothes off terrified women. Several characters are also affected by this. Goblin Slayer developed a hatred towards goblins because his sister was raped in front of him. The Elf ranger is barely survives an attempted assault by goblins, leading her to develop similar hatred. The priestess also witnessed a goblin assault first hand. And the Shield Maiden manipulated the Goblin Slayer and his party into killing a nest of goblins due to a previous goblin attack that she survived.  The thing is, this character trait for the goblins was not necessary. Them just being murderers would have been enough. Killer goblins would have sold the world of Goblin Slayer as a dangerous one just as well. But making them rapists just makes the show harder to watch. It wasn’t a necessary plot point, and therefore a mistake to use.

Watch it?: It depends on what kind of viewer you are (3/5)

MPV: My Batman comparison

Yes sister, I shall become an edgelord.

Best Episode: Ep. 05 “Adventures and Daily Life” (No goblins slaying, just a nice time in town).

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Fire Force (Season 1)

Type: This girl is on fiiiire!

Synopsis: But seriously, how great is Alicia Keys? One of our best all around singers. Anyway, this is an anime about magic firefighters.

Pros: Fire Force, or BLAZING FIREFIGHTING CORPS, is a shonen anime from Atsushi Okubo (the creator of Soul Eater) and David Productions. So right off the bat you’ll notice the unique character designs and stellar animation effects. Since this story’s power system involves creating and manipulating fire, a lot of the actions scenes are very flashy. In fact, I would say that the show’s animation effects team are the real MVP’s of this season. Each of the characters fighting styles were  pulled off well in animation, and were always fun to watch. This is definitely a youtube clip worthy show. Story wise, this is a basic shonen, but it manages to have the most important aspect of a shonen story: an interesting a likable cast. The main group is Special Fire Force Company 8, who are  the Fire Force’s internal affairs department. I liked all of Company 8, but my favorites were Captain Obi and Maki Oze. Captain Obi because he plays the “normal guy” character in a world full of super powered weirdos while also being a role model and leader to Company 8 (he’s also best boy and I love him). Maki because she’s strong and competent and feminine and feels like a legit sempai for the main characters (she’s also best girl and I love her). I like most of the scenes between Company 8, and the show does a good job making them feel like a tight knit team who would trust each other during an emergency. Ya know, like an actual company of firefighters.

Cons: Let’s talk about Tamaki. Tamaki is the youngest member of Company 8 (technically a temporary trasfer) after being rescued in the second arc of the series. Tamaki is often used for fan service jokes, a lot. Like in every scene she’s in. It’s kind of her main characteristic. Her “Lucky Lewd Syndrome” is incredibly sexist and creepy given her age. It a big glaring negative on an otherwise fun shonen story. And, it’s like, it wouldn’t be so bad if this just happened once or twice. But the writers keep using the same joke in almost every scene she’s in. Even her big emotional rescue has the main character Shinra motorboat her breasts. It was also weird because based on Soul Eater, Atsushi Okubo seems to know how to portray female characters, at least more or less. I don’t know if this is editor mandated, or if the anime writers took some liberty, or if Okubo is just getting old and pervy, but this was amateur hour fan service. All it did was detract from Tamaki’s character. A great example of this is in Episode 19, where the female members of Company 8 have to face off against White-Clad members, the main antagonists of the series. This episode kinda showcases how Maki and Tamaki are treated as characters. Against a group of White-Clad, Maki admonishes them for attacking Shinra and Arthur in an earlier episode, and takes them out single-handily. She struggles a little against the main boss, but manages to use her powers tactically to get a win. In this scene, Maki was underestimated for being alone and a woman, but uses the element of surprise and her experience to win. Contrast that with Tamaki in the same episode, who is also underestimated for being along and a woman. She even has a flashback where Shinra makes fun of her for having to be rescued. Normally, this would be the scene where Tamaki proves to herself that she deserves to be a fire soldier by beating up the bad guy. However, she instead lunges at her opponent and land her breasts on his hand. And while the bad guy cops a feel, another person bashes his head in with a pipe. So Tamaki’s big moment of self-realization ends with a grope and a joke. The entire series has a weird spectrum of how it handles female characters, from Lisa’s sexualized torture to Hibanan’s iron grip over Company 5. It all felt very dated, which I think is my feelings overall for Fire Force. Overall, the entire story had stereotypical troupes. A main character who’s secretly the strongest character, a rival who’s also his brother, as secret organization of villains, friendly/antagonistic clicks, a central mystery, etc. The only unique thing about it, besides the flashy fights, it that a lot of story beats happen a lot earlier than expected. We meet the strongest fire force fighter in the second arc, Shinra’s missing brother is revealed in the third arc, the White-Clad’s main hideout is invaded at the end of the season, and Shinra fights his brother and unlocks a crazy power-up in the last fight (Episode 22). It feels a little rushed, and kind sacrifices world building. Also, for a show about fire fighters, there is very little actual fire fighting. The show gives up on the premise right away to focus on the White-Clad conspiracy. Which again, a lot of shonen stories do that. In the main story, Naruto doesn’t actually go on Ninja missions and Ichigo doesn’t actually patrol for Hollows. Personally, I do wish that we got to see more Fire Force stuff, as I really liked the premise of super powered fire fighters. Though I suppose the premise is a little limited…which I guess is why Fire Fighters don’t get a lot of TV shows centered around them. I mean, Rescue Me sure, but even that got lost and mostly rambled at the end, just like this thought….

Watch it?: It’s hit or miss at times, but it’s a good looking shonen (3/5)

MVP: Obi and Maki

I love them, but also want to be them.

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “The Heart of a Fire Soldier” (I could have chosen the brother’s fight, but this is the only episodes where the fire fighters do actual fire fighting).

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Mob Psycho 100 (Season 2) [Anime of the Year]

Type: From the creators of Mob Psycho 100 (season 1)!

Synopsis: Still trying to become better at social interactions, in case he accidentally walks into a dinner party, our main character Shigeo Kageyama continues to try to lead a normal life. And happily, he’s gotten a little better at it. He’s may not be running 10k marathons every week, but he’s a gotten more confident, made a few new friends, and has started to realize what kind of person he is. Dare I say it, but I think our little walking embodiment of unknowable power is starting to grow up.

Pros: Season 2 of Mob Psycho 100 is a much a continuation of season one as it is an organic evolution of that season. The season is slit into two main story arcs. The first arc deals with Mob’s everyday life at school and work. While this half may seem a little show at first, it’s actually a great way to showcase Mob’s personal growth. These episodes show that Mob is not a timid as he use to me, as his experiences allow him to become his own person. This is showcased the most in his relationship with Regan, his mentor, which is explored in Episodes 6 and 7, the best episodes in terms of character work. But don’t worry action fans! This season is still chock full of gloriously directed and animated actions scenes. There’s an amazing scene in Episode 5, or you can just go to Episodes 8-13, the second half of the show. This part of the show has Mob confront the mastermind behind the villainous CLAW organization. The second half of the show is where you want to go to if you want to see over the top psychic battles created by masters of the genre.

Cons: There are no cons. Instead, I’d like to use this section to talk more about Mob. What I realized throughout watching this show is that Mob may be one of the best anime protagonists in modern times. The character of Mob works because the ONE the author and the anime writers were able to convey Mob’s inner strength very effectively. It’s a slow burn, as we see Mob go from a shy and quiet boy to an empathetic and self-confident young man. In a great twist, Mob grows as a person in spite of his powers. In a lot of anime, we see some sort of “hidden power” be the avenue through which a character gains self-confidence. But Mob does not rest on the laurels of innate talent, and instead choose to develop in areas the he considers important. In fact, the show actively portrays those that rely solely on their natural talent as the villains. What sets Mob apart is that he put in a lot of effort to become physically stronger, he puts in a lot of effort to understand people, and this effort pays off in the form of personal growth and social recognition. Notice that in this season, Mob defeats two of the most powerful espers in the series not by overwhelming them with power, but by touching their spirits. His inner strength is is greatest asset. Mob joins the pantheon of great heroes not because he’s an all powerful warrior, but because he’s a good man.

Watch it: One of the best anime of the decade (5/5)

MVP: Shigeo Kageyama

98, 99, 100,…??????

Best Episode: Ep.6-7 The Reagan Arc (maybe not a flashy, but damn effective)

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The Rising of the Shield Hero

Type: *Happy racoon noises*

Synopsis: A boy gets isekai’d into a magical fantasy land. That’s good. He gets stuck with the shield weapon, which is supposedly low tier. That’s bad. But he gets to form a party with a beautiful princess. That’s good. Then the princess falsely accuses him of rape and he gets shunned by the kingdom. That’s bad. And problematic. And inductive of a larger social issue that interprets sexual assault way too much from a male perspective.

Pros: He also gets a cute racoon girl to fight for him. That’s good. But she’s a slave….that’s bad. Anyway, The Rising of the Shield Hero is a 25 episode anime about Naofumi Iwatani, a early 20-something that gets stuck in another world. What sets this anime apart, at least briefly, from other isekai stories is that Naofumi is treated very badly throughout the series, forcing him to face more adversity than other protagonists. When Naofumi is shunned by the kingdom, he and the story develop a cynical personality, allowing the darker side of this fantasy world to be explored. The show deals with the imperfection of this world through the plight of the demi-humans, human/animal hybrids that are marginalized and even enslaved by the humans. Naofumi himself even participates, buying the young female demi-human Raphtalia so he can mold her into his personal weapon. Of course, this being anime, Naofumi is never cruel to his ward, and she soon develops a strong devotion/affection for him. Raphtalia actually provides Naofumi with his first genuine relationship, possibly ever, which teaches him to trust people again. Their scenes together during the duel with the Spear Hero is possibly the best scene in the entire series. Ironically, Naofumi’s exile actually benefits his reputation and that of the Shield Hero’s. Freed from royal edicts, Naofumi and his party are allowed to roam the country side, learning different skills out of necessity, building connections, and helping others. Throughout his journey, Naofumi questions his own bonds with others, but it is precisely these bonds that allow his legend to grow. He becomes what he was always meant to be, a shield to protect others.

Cons: The series has a very decisive first episode. It’s length and subject matter are you main barrier for entry. In the west, the show’s main controversies are in its use of a false rape accusation, and the use of slavery. In a world were claims of sexual assault are severely undermined in every culture, having a female characters use rape as a means to discredit a man does not help. At all. Some of the hate Myne got from the fandom was a bit telling is you look at it from a distance. The show also contradicts itself in it’s use of slavery. The character Raphtalia was sold into slavery and tortured, and the show even dedicates an episode to her horrible experience as a slave. But Raphtalia never speaks out against the system of slavery. She doesn’t seem to have an issue with the slave trader character, nor does anyone in the kingdom. If the Queen knows about it, she lets it slide, as do the other Cardinal Heroes. Aside from this, the show has your basic iseakai issues. Even though Naofumi is shunned in the series, he is always portrayed as being right. He knows exactly what to do in every situation, and if only people listened to him, everything would go right. This portrayal makes some scenes read like a passive aggressive passage from some teenager’s journal. Being an iseaki protagonists, Naofumi is also a natural chick magnet, forming a party of cute young girls. Like really young. Except for Raphtalia, who may have the mind of a 10 year old. but has the body of a woman. Big difference. It was also a bit disjointing that after the main story arc’s natural conclusion in episode 21, the story continues for 4 more episode. It almost felt like the studio was simply ordered to make 25 episodes.

Watch it?: It can be generic, but also enthralling (4/5)

MVP: Naofumi the Shield Hero

Yeah, he’s an avatar for wish fulfillment. But you gatta love that coat.

Best Episode: “The Raphtalia Arc” Ep. 1-4 (if you don’t want to watch all of it, these episodes are the best showcase for the entire show).

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That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime

Type: It was awful I tell’s ya!

Synopsis: Unlike this anime, which is actually delightful. Its kinda like an RPG where your goal is to create alliances with different factions. There’s goblins and orcs and ogres and all sorts of magical creatures. This is the point were I’d make a “joke” about fan service, power fantasy, or a reference to a 1970’s tv show. But to be honest, it’s a really nice show.

Pros: Watching this show made me realize that I really like Isekai that focuses on factions and town management. The other anime that I like in this subgenre are  Overlord and Log Horizon. Overlord, however, is more like a faction RPG with the player taking a “renegade” or “evil” route, while Log Horizon focus a lot more on town management. That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime is a happy compromise between the two. It takes Overlords premise, but deals with it through Log Horizon’s outlook. In the anime, the protagonist Rimuru helps each faction out of a sense of general politeness. He’s basically neutral good bordering on lawful good: he helps when he can, but isn’t out to save the world (as opposed to overlord, who is neutral evil bordering on lawful evil). The best part of the show is seeing how Rimuru and his growing cast of allies interact with new factions, and how their initial conflicts transform into beneficial partnerships. It’s a great show.

Cons: Being an Isekai with a light-hearted tone, you know that the stakes aren’t going to be very high. Despite being a slime, Rimuru is set-up to be an ultra powerful character from episode one. Thus, he won’t really face a challenge he can’t handle. You never really see him worry or stress unless its for comedic effect. His supporting cast might have a hard time, but Rimuru is always there to save the day at the end. Therefore, if you like stories with cliffhanger endings that leave you at the edge of your seat, maybe go watch something else. However, I personally liked this show because if the fact that its stakes were so low. Sometimes you just need a story where the good guy always wins, ya know? Plus, a lot of the emotional highs come from character interactions, not battle resolutions. Speaking of personal tastes, one last little nitpick I have concerns the series’ poster girl, Shizue, or “Shizu.” In the story, Shizu is basically Rimuru’s Uncle Ben or Gwen Stacy. She’s an incredibly influential character whose legacy influences a lot of the story arcs. She also dies very early on. I liked Shizu, but I didn’t like that she was plastered in the show’s OP, ED, and most promotional material. It get the feeling that this was only done because marketing really wanted a Japanese woman as the cover girl (even though the show doesn’t really get started until after she dies! (for obvious reasons)). P.s. I didn’t like that the show was split up into two segments mid season for no real reason.

Watch it?: It’s not a bad slime show! (4/5)

MVP: Shion

I really like her in the manga as Rimuru’s girl friday.

Best Episode: Ep. 09-14 The Orc Lord Saga (I’m actually thinking about reading the rest of the light novels to get caught up. I like the story that much.)

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Castlevania (2017)

Type: Is this really an anime?

Synopsis: I mean really? It’s written by an American and partly produced by American animation studios. It’s also paced and shot like a typical western fantasy. But I guess that since it kinda looks like an anime, we’ll count it. Worked for Avatar.

Pros: The Castlevania “anime” is based on the Castlevania video game. Mostly Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. I’ve never played it since Castlevania starts at Symphony of the Night (YEAH, I SAID IT), but the stories pretty good. Dracula gets mad when the church kills his wife, so he unleashed literal hell on humanity. Trevor Belmont, a disillusioned monster hunter, decides to help after a cute girl and even cuter boy talk him into it. The anime touches upon the troupe of hypocritical faith. The church in this show, despite proclaiming the virtues of God, are corrupt and power hungry. Trevor and his crew, meanwhile, are heretics who try to help other people. Not that they don’t have their own ulterior  motives, but they don’t try to hid them behind a mask of benevolence as much as the church does. Being only 4 episodes, the show comes off as more of a cut up movie. Something you would see on Amazon as direct to video. Still, it’s a short fun introduction to the Castlevania mythos.

Cons: For an anime where Dracula unleashes his grief on a country, the scale of the film feels really small. The story is mostly located entirely in a enclosed city. And even then, a lot of the story happens in a specific hut or church. For a show based on a game that revolutionized exploration, there isn’t much movement here. And the ending is a cliffhanger. This show anime is more of a prequel to the original game. There is some fan service, like Alucard and Trevor’s weapons. It also kinda bothers me that Dracula and the priest that killed his wife never had a face to face. But I guess he blamed humanity more than the church. But unless your into the game, or medieval supernatural stories, its may come off as generic or even slow.

Watch it?: It’s only 4 episodes, so give it the 4 episode test. (4/5)

MVP: Dracula

He’s really, really, really angry.

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Witchbottle” (Dracula could have just killed the priest. But no, he had to be a drama queen about it).

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Overlord III

Type: “The Isekai where the protagonist is playing as a renegade” –Digibro

Synopsis: I wish I could come up with original material, but it’s 2019.

Pros: But really folks, this quote manages to perfectly summarize why Overlord is different from other Isekai anime. It’s an anime where the main character is playing as the bad guy. Is Ainz’s a bad buy himself? Kinda. Neutral Evil to be honest. This season does an excellent job at demonstrating exactly what kind of campaign Ainz is playing. For example, we return to Carne Village, the first village Ainz visited and defended when he entered the New Word. We get to see how these villagers view Ainz as a benevolent master. On the other hand, we also get a story where Ainz brutally dispatches a group of adventurers after we get a whole episode getting to know. Not to mention his political manipulation of an entire empire to further his own ends. It was in this season that I finally realized that Ainz still sees his current reality as a game, which explains his coldness towards some characters, but warmth towards others. That’s why he’s Neutral Evil. He will destroy anyone to further his own ends (just like a player will kill a character to advance the story), but he still holds some respect and admiration for others.

Cons: If I was going to say anything about this season, its that it goes by very quickly. But I’m not sure that’s really a negative. Season 3 fixes Season 2’s problem by having a coherent narrative all the way through. It’s doesn’t break up the story flow, and each mini-arc goes into the other very well. This season is maybe a little light on action, but I really liked the stuff in Carne Village and the scenes in the Empire. The one real downside, and I do mean downside, is that this season cannot work for you unless you’ve watched Season 1 and 2. It simply has too many characters and storylines that you need to be familiar with to fully enjoy it.

Watch it: A great end to Act 1 of Overlord. (4/5)

MVP: Enri

Hail General Enri!

Best Episode: Ep. 6-8 The Worker Arc (I enjoyed every arc, but this one reminds you what characters we’re really dealing with)

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