Tag Archives: 2014

Your Lie In April

Type: Oh man, get ready for the emotions!

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Synopsis: Love means never having to say your sorry. Wait! Wrong thing. Also, a very bad saying. If your in love, then you should never be afraid to say your sorry. Like, “sorry I got home late without calling,” or “sorry I ate the last pizza slice,” or “sorry that your life dedicated to music has brought you nothing but pain and misery, but hey, at least the blonde one likes you.” Feeling safe enough in your relationship to apologize sincerely is the sign of good communication and a healthy couple.

Pros: In complete honesty, I have been avoiding Your Lie in April for a while. Because its a anime famous for making its audience cry, and I don’t like crying. My eyes get red, I start losing precious liquids, certain existential questions start popping up, its a whole thing. But I finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. Surprisingly, the anime has a lot more humor than I though it would, and never veers into drab and dreary territory. It’s more of a happy tragedy. Sad stuff happens, but the message is ultimately about moving forward. I didn’t actually end up crying, but most probably will. The story is about a former pianist named Kosei Arima, and how his life changes upon meeting a free spirited violinist named Kaori. A lot of the plot involves getting Kosei to play the piano again by getting him to overcome the psychological trauma he endured by the life and death of his mother. While most shows would deal with this in two-three episodes, this anime makes it the central story for half the series, which I appreciated. There are actually four subplots in the series. Kosei’s grief is one of them. The other is Tsubaki’s crush on Kosei. And while there is a love triangle between Kosei, Kaori, and Tsubaki, it’s never overdone. Tsubaki never jealously confront Kaori, and in fact goes out with someone else for a while. Imagine that, anime characters trying not obsessing over one person and actually dating around. Huh. The next subplot involves Kosei’s rivals, but they really only reinforce Kosei’s story than anything else. And the final subplot, and main story for the latter half of the series, involves Kaori. Every story in every episode had a weight, like it meant something. Oh, and the music is obviously fantastic. I’m no classical music expert, but I do love the piano and violin, and I loved what I heard.

Cons: This thing is very predictable. By the first episode, you know exactly what’s going to happen. You can tell just by the character troupes. Kosei is the sullen protagonist, Tsubaki is the energetic childhood friend, and Kaori is the manic pixie girl sent to fix all of Kosei’s with her wacky personality. The only character that subverts expectations is Watari, as the surprisingly wise best friend, and he gets the least screen time than anyone. Which is why I don’t really consider the Kosei-Kaori-Watari love triangle a thing. It was mostly in Kosei’s head. The love triangles in this are very courteous. I would say that the character are even a little too considerate of each other’s feelings for one another. Kosei doesn’t want to interfere with Kaori-Watari, Kaori doesn’t want to interfere with Tsunaki-Kosei, and Wateri doesn’t want to interfere with Kaori-Kosei. Which works very well in this story, but don’t go looking for dramatic love confessions. Except for Tsunaki, whose whole story arc is dealing with her love for Kosei. Notably, Tsubaki is also the only non-musician with narration (which doesn’t always translate well). And Kosei’s inner monologues about Kaori do straddle the line between poetic and silly from time to time (“your existence means freedom,” what!?). Speaking of Kosei, man, his mom was a pretty shit mom. I know she was dying or whatever, but damn, I can’t help but feel happy that Saki’s dead. In fact, if I could change one thing about this story, I would dial back on the portrayal of Saki’s abuse of Kosei. At least, the physical abuse. I feel that having her be a emotionally strict mother was enough to get the point across, but having her beat Kosei regularly makes it impossible to sympathize with her. On that note, Saki’s motivation for giving Kosei years of therapy bills was to make sure that Kosei was able to look after himself, but Kosei does have a father. A father that’s never home and allows his wife to beat their child, but a father none the less. Its not like he was going to be orphaned or living on the street. I guess her life was pretty pointless. Oh well! Aside from that, I would actually keep all my criticisms as is. Which is a weird thing to say, but I feel that the anime is almost perfectly balanced, and changing anything else would ruin it.

Watch it: A bit troupy here and there, but damn, it’s good (5/5)

MVP: Tsubaki

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Why do the childhood friends always have to do the heavy lifting?

Best Episode: Ep.13 Love Sorrows (I don’t feel sorry for Saki, but it was important that Kosei forgave her)

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Yuki Yuna is a Hero

Type: Medoka Magica’s more upbeat little sister

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Synopsis: In the future, the Japanese government asks young girls, around the age of 12-15, to fight monsters from a different dimension in order to protect the magic tree that is protecting humanity. They mainly recruit these girls using phone apps, because kids and their phones these days. The app says you can be a hero, and it even gives you cute fairies as sidekicks for free! Of course, once you get nice and addicted, it ramps up the difficulty of the monsters and that’s when you finally notice the in-app store purchases and start thinking….man, I could really use that power upgrade, and the use of my legs isn’t that big of a price.

Pros: Yuki Yuna is a magical girl anime. Specifically, the subgenre of dark-magical girl anime. This means that the big reveal is the price the characters have to pay for being magical girls. Without spoiling it too much, I’ll just say that I liked the “price” being paid, because it was drastic enough to be meaningful, but not too big to be forgotten. The girls don’t have to give up their lives or anything, and the in some ways, the price is optional. It gave the characters a lot for agency in their decision to use their powers and ultimately made them seem like the “heroes” they aspired to be. This differs from Medoka Magica, the current dark-magical girl measuring stick, because there the price was pretty much an ultimatum done for selfish reasons. Yuki Yuna differs from Medoka in that it’s pretty positive. Yuki Yuna stays pretty light until Ep.8, with everything up till then being pretty typical female slice-of-life stories with good humor, like the new girl becoming friends with everyone, the young girl learning to be more confident, gossiping about love only to discover that none of them have any juicy stories because their in middle school. This is mixed with stellar actions scenes, so you never get bored. Compare this to Medoka, which gets dark at Ep.2. After Yuki Yuna’s Ep.8, things start to spiral, as the truth of the girl’s powers are revealed. What I liked about the reveal is that is was dark, but it didn’t overdo it. It didn’t come off as malicious, and there’s no “evil” organization controlling everything. The girl’s sacrifices are honored and rewarded. If anything, it’s a system whose tragedy lies in it’s necessity.

Cons: For as show called Yuki Yuna is a Hero, the title character is not really present all that much. There is a character named Yuki Yuna, but she isn’t really the protagonist, and she doesn’t act as a audience surrogate. Her only role is being the most “optimal” hero. In fact, Fu Inibozaki is a more likely candidate for main character. But the show really is more of an ensemble story. Speaking of the story, while watching it, I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. Ya know? I knew that this was a dark-magical girl show, so every episode I asked myself, “is this the one where it all goes to hell?” But since this happened so late in the show, fans of this kind of dark twist may be annoyed at the time it takes to get there. Don’t watch this show looking for a tragedy like Medoka, because you won’t find any. This anime strictly adheres to the happy ending troupe. No one dies, no one’s feelings are hurt, and the girl’s sacrifices are even mitigated by the end of the show. I’ll admit, that last part was regrettable as it lessened the impact of the girl’s decisions. I do wonder, however, how people who watch it blind may react to the show. Now let’s talk spoilers: In the show, the girl’s have to sacrifice something to unleash their full power. The people in charge of recruiting don’t tell the girls this because ignorance is bliss or whatever. But, as the show suggest, this leaves tremendous psychological scars on the chosen girls. Worse yet, because the sacrifice is required for an optional second transformation, a power boost if you will, there really is no reason not to tell the girls. A little “hey, you have this secret weapon, but only use it as a last resort because it will cost you something precious. ;)” text would have been sufficient.

Watch it: More upbeat than Medoka (4/5)

MVP: Fu Inubozaki

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Girl Power!

Best Episode: Ep9. “Those Who Know Grief” (that breakdown really got to me)

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The Seven Deadly Sins

Type: “A Netflix Original”

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Synopsis: Giant! Fairies! Fan service! This is a tale set in a time before the worlds of human and magic were rend asunder, when Netflix was trying to get into the anime business. Crappy for normals trying to watch anime dubs in one convenient place (cough Funimation cough), but great for corporate petiness. That is the greatest sin!

Pros: Now this is an adventure anime! None of that unwanted preachy message that bogs down some other anime whose name shall not be mentioned (its Magi guys, I’m complaining about Magi). In this charmingly funny anime, a princess is on the run from Holy Knights that have taken over her Kingdom. Her only hope is to find the 7 Deadly Sins. Now, this isn’t a tale of a young woman’s spiral into hedonism (sorry pervs). The title “7 Deadly Sins” refers to 7 legendary warriors who were used as scapegoats by the Knights to take over the Kingdom. We get about 6 of the 7 sins, and the show does the smart thing of not giving them a real challenge until the second half of the season, emphasizing their skills and power. It also states that they aren’t even fighting at full strength due to missing their “sacred relics,” which allows these OP characters the possibility to lose. Th second half gives the Sins more of a challenge, and you get to see the sins fight more as a unit. I loved the whole “get the band back together” vibe of the show, and the writing was good enough that you got a sense of the personal dynamics between the group. And believe it or not, but an anime based on a manga actually ties up its story at the end!

Cons: While I loved the Sins and their fighting scenes, their powers sure do fluctuate for the sake of story convenience! One minute their beating the unbeatable enemy with no sweat, the next minute their near death against some jobber. On the topic of the Sins, the anime does the anime/manga things where the Sins aren’t actually guilty of their “sins.” The only thing they’re guilty of is feeling guilty about what their friends did. But being super cool guys, they take the punishment anyway. In fact, the worst thing they’re guilty of collectively is petty theft. And the show also does that thing where 99% of the bad guys aren’t bad guys at the end, despite killing a bunch of people (and it only really pulls it off for one of them). On a spoiler note: the show also did the thing where none of the good of bad guys died. So while I’d would argue that Magi tried a little too hard to be edgy, this anime tried a little too hard to have a happy ending. (oh! I forgot: quiet a but of groping here. At least at the start).

Watch it: I’d rather watch this on Netflix than that other thing (4/5)

MVP: Diane

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The Friendly Giant

Best Episode: Ep.13 “Apostle of Destruction” (Giant Hammer!)

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Sailor Moon Crystal (Season 1 & 2)

Type: Dark Kingdom and Black Moon

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Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a land of Beastmasters and Fresh Princes, there lived 5 Sailor Guardians who fought for love and justice. Together with their English cat, best friends from Brooklyn, and Surfer boyfriends, the Guardians thought a generation of boys and girls the importance of friendship, believing in yourself, and sometimes remembering to eat a balanced breakfast under the mantra “Sailor Moon says, tee-hee.” 20 years later, the legend of brought back to life, and its a hell of a lot more melodramatic than I remember.

Pros: So for various reasons, mostly the podcast “Sailor Business,” I have been slowly getting into the whole Sailor Moon franchise thingy. I watched the first season of the 90’s anime a while back, and now I caught up to the reboot. In all honesty, I liked the campy fun of the original, but this has some strong points. The best thing it does is emphasize the fairy tale aspect of the story, which works really well considering the nostalgia value this show has. Just look at the opening: five figures standing tall underneath the full moon. That shit is mythical imagery man. It also has gorgeous interstitials. Simply amazing. Crystal is suppose to be the show that follows the original manga, the Brotherhood treatment as it were. I can’t speak for the manga, but the anime is much more melodramatic than the 90’s show, making me think that the manga was meant for young teenage girls, not children. That’s not to say that it’s a bad thing. I loved the story of the tragic fall of the Moon Kingdom, which again, felt like it was straight out of a fairy tale. I mean, come one! The Princess of the Moon and the Prince of Earth fall in love, only to die in each other’s arms as their Kingdoms go to war? (I also had not idea that Usagi killed herself in that story. Way more hardcore than I thought would happen in a show were character yell “Make-Up!” to transform). I also really liked Sailor Pluto, which is interesting, because I didn’t think I would actually like any of the outer senshi. But her story’s so sad, and she has time travel and I’m a sucker for sad time travelers.

Cons: A common complaint that Crystal’s often given is that it doesn’t have the same charm as the 90’s anime, and isn’t quiet as engrossing as the manga. I myself found the show a bit dull at times. It’s definitely more subdued that the original show. The characters also looked weird to me, but you get use to it. Something you also have to understand is that this is Sailor Moon’s story. So while the other Sailor Scouts get intro episodes, there characters do not get explored much. They’re mostly Usagi’s support system. Literally, being her royal guard and all. I watched this in English, and let me tell you something, those voice actresses shreiked to high heaven during their transformation sequences. Which really takes out of some of the more dramatic scenes. Speaking of transformation, these iconic scenes are now in 3D, which I was not a fan of. Now…lets get to the elephant in the room: Chibi Moon. This was my first exposure to Chibi Moon. I was, ah, not prepared for what I got. I’m not going to waste your time talking about annoying child characters, or the holes in time travel stories–all I’m going to point out is that Chibi Moon is legitimately in romantic love with her father, is 900 years old, and threatened to shoot her mother in the face to steal her power. But she liked Sailor Pluto, and she automatically ran to her Earth grandparents when she saw them, so she gets a pass.

Watch it?: I prefer the silly original, but this is an interesting interpretation. (4/5)

MVP: Sailor Pluto

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I am the watcher on the wall.

Best Episode: Ep.10 “Moon” (They were like Romeo and Juliet, but ended up in tragedy)

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The Last: Naruto the Movie [Naruto Movie Month]

Type: Years in the Making

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Synopsis: Mission 10- Save the World, Fall in Love, Live Happily Ever After

Pros: Hmm….ah, excuse me. I have to wipe away these tears of joy I have here. This movie is so…cathartic. It’s the perfect emotional endpoint for the Naruto franchise. The Last focuses on the relationship between Naruto and Hinata, finally affirming their status as a couple. You see, in the actual manga, Naruto and Hinata’s romance is not a main plot. It’s not even a subplot. It’s a sup plot twice removed. It’s such a slow burn that you almost can’t believe it finally paid off. But it’s also something you can only pull off if your series has lasted consistently for this long. In the film, Naruto FINALLY realizes that Hinata loves him, and he realizes that he loves her. Because Hinata was the first person to ever believe in Naruto. He inspired her, which eventually evolved into love. The film was actually a good showcase of Hinata’s overall character arc, from being riddled with self-doubt to standing tall in the face of overwhelming danger. That’s one of the reason’s why Hinata is my favorite Naruto character (sorry Lee!), because her personal anxieties weigh on her the most. She struggles, she falls, but she keeps on trying and becomes a lot stronger as a result. She also rips a man’s eyes out of their sockets, which was pretty bad ass. Now, if you’re not as invested in the Naruto/Hinata story as I am (you monsters), the movie was also a pretty cool way to see the progression of the main characters. Every character was aged up to about 19-20 years old, so they all got really neat redesigns. And taking place after the series ended, you get to see Naruto be really popular and  fight at his strongest, throwing wind-rasengans left and right. Plus, you get to see Kakashi as Hokage, which was cool, and all this growth was fun to observe because Naruto has been around for soo long. In some ways, it’s like we’ve seen actors grow up before our eyes.

Cons: While I stand by my assertion that this was the best story to end the Naruto story on, the plot if pretty cookie cutter. One person has a crush on the other, they bond, something dramatic happens, the other tries to reciprocate but is “rejected,” the girl is “kidnapped” or somehow removed, the boy wallows in self pity for a little but is roused by his friends to save the girl, rescue occurs and romantic kiss ends it. This has literally happened at the end of so many romantic anime that I’ve lost count (it even happend in Ouran Host Club). To top it off, the villain is even that douche anime character that thinks the girl likes him just because he says so.  Yuck. And it took Naruto a magic memory pool to realize Hinata likes him, the knucklehead! While the plot can make the film a little too romantically generic at times, the movie as a whole does tie up two crucial loose ends. First, the Hinata-Naruto story, and second, the Other Sage of the Six Paths. In the Naruto story, the creator of the Ninja arts had a brother, but the manga never really says what happened to him. Turn out, he went off to live on he moon! Who knew? It was also cool to state that Hinata’s Byakugan is tied to the Sages, just like the Sharingan. (P.s. In the movie, the moon is falling, which leads to everyone deciding to destroy the moon because some crazy guy is trying to kill all Ninja. Stop trying to destroy the moon anime characters! That’s an incredibly bad idea on several levels!!)

Best Naruto Movie: YES

Villain: Toneri

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Forgettable Villain #10

Best Moment: The Post Credit Scene (Naruto and his Family…ah, here come those tears again:))

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Mobile Suit Gundam-San

Type: Will this horribly cute war never end!?

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Synopsis: Gundam is about the horrible ramifications of was on the human spirit…but it can also be about a moron’s escapades in space!

Pros: Mobile Suit Gundam-San is a parody anime. It makes fun of the original Gundam series in small 4 minute segments. Great for Gundam fans with busy schedules. There’s plenty of fan service, juvenile jokes, and a weird subplot involving a bird dressed like Char.

Cons: It’s pretty stupid [I mean, I loved it, but lets be real]. You also really need to have seen the original Mobile Suit Gundam series to get any of the jokes.

Watch it: It’s only 4 minutes a piece. It’ll take about 30 minutes to get through. (4/5)

MVP: Char

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Is he really the red comet?

Best Episode: All of it (its really short)

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Monthly Girls Nozaki-Kun

Type: Right up my alley

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Synopsis: Do you remember what it was like telling the person you liked that you liked them. The amount of courage that took. The Hulk-sized butterflies in your stomach as you approached them? Then, when you finally get the nerved to talk to them face to face you blurt out the wrong thing and end up getting their autograph. No? Well, it happened to Chiyo Sakura. Instead of getting a date with talk, dark, and handsome, she winds up helping him draw his published manga.

Pros: So this is the kind of anime I gravitate towards. It’s a funny romantic comedy with zero melodrama or mush. Chiyo likes Nozaki, Nozaki has no idea, hilarity ensues. Don’t get me wrong, I like melodrama and mush to a point, big ups to My Love Story!, but I also like goofy romance. And this anime is pretty goofy! Basically, Nozaki is a shojo author who takes any opportunity to think up new stories and characters. His friends help him finish his manga. Chiyo is our protagonist, and she becomes Nozaki’s assistant in the first episode in her heroic quest to win his incredibly dense heart. We also have Mikorin, the wanna-be playboy whose actually really shy and helps with the flowery background you see in shojo. Hori, the exhaspurated president of the drama club whose helps with background. Then there’s Seo, Chiyo’s rude best friend, Kashima, the school’s “prince,” despite being a girl and the bane of Hori’s existance. And finally Wakamatsu, who plays basketball. Its a good group. Oh, there also an editor obsessed with tanuki and another editor who Nozaki worships despite the feeling not being mutual.

Cons: I wish it was longer. That could be a con. I found Hori’s design weird. The blue shirt and tie made him look a lot older than the rest of the cast. And with all this talk of a shojo manga, I wish there had been an ova depicted what Let’s Fall in Love was like. There’s also no real ending, but the ending that is is place is adequate. And as you read above, I didn’t find Wakamatsu all that interesting. But overall, a pretty solid series.

Watch it?: Wish I watched it sooner. (4/5)

MVP: Chiyo

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I just love her Minnie-Mouse bows!

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “Let’s Rice” (umbrellas are hard, man)

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I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

Type: To be fair, not all husbands quote anime that much (just the cool ones)

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Synopsis: Kaoru’s a straight laced woman. Hajime is an eccentric otoku man. What happens when these two kookie kids get married? Nothing much really. Their a cute couple who do married stuff.

Pros: For one, its short. Every episode is 3 minutes long. You can watch the entire series in a little over an hour. It’s also very funny, since the show packs in a lot of sketches within every 3 minute episode. The source of the humor is the seemingly oddball paring of Kaoru and Hajime. They’re a fully realized couple with individual quirks and worries that work very well as a unit. Kaoru is more of the “normal” one, but also someone who never imagined herself getting married until it happened. Hajime is a comedic otoku, but fully realizes that some of his kirks may be odd to Kaoru. I loved their interactions, as well as the more introspective moments each character had. The show really captured those moments when you think “this, this is the person I’m with?” and those moments when you think “I’m so glad I get to be with this person.”

Cons: The more I think about it, the more I feel that the supporting cast is superfluous. They do allow the characters, mainly Kaoru, the voice her feelings, but this could have been done though a voice over. With 3 minute shows, the show could have easily just focused on Kaoru and Hajime. I’m saying this because the show doesn’t really take advantage of having 2 other couples to explore. I also found it odd that in the second season, the show chooses to ignore a big plot point until the very end. I almost thought the show was simply ignoring it.

Watch it?: A great love-comedy (4/5)

MPV: Kaoru and Hajime

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I also love them in the manga!

Best Episode: The First Season (though the Second Season is also very good)

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No Game No Life

Type: No comma, no grammar

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Synopsis: Two nerds who are really good at playing games and totally not blood related guys! are unexpectedly sucked into a world that revolves around games. All games. Board Games, Gambling Games, Video Games, Mind Games and Athletic Games, I assume. I mean, that makes sense right? As long as no one gets physically hurt, all games are allowed. So what if Sora and Shiro accidentally accept to participate in a race? Or a Javelin throw? I mean, they have the habit of accepting games before actually knowing the rules, and I doubt that their shut-in lifestyle allowed for much exercise.

Pros: The animation just attacks you with its color pallet. The world that Sora and Shiro are sucked into, “Disboard,” has a lot of blues, purples, pinks, yellows, etc. I loved this aspect of the show, as it made the alternate world of Disboard even more abnormal. Not only is it a whole other word, a magical world, but a world with a unique set of rules. 10 rules in fact, designated by the Gaming-God Ted after an ancient war between the 16 races. The rules basically say that not one can physically hurt each other, and all conflicts can be settled with a game or contest, as long as both players agree and no one is caught cheating. Key word being “caught.” Throughout the series, almost every player Sora and Shiro play cheats. So Sora’s and Shiro’s goal isn’t to beat the game, it’s to beat the player. Luckily, both characters are really, really, really smart (almost too smart). Sora is the strategist, usually taking the lead in dealing with an opponent, while Shiro is more logical, taking care of calculations in the game itself. Together, they are unstoppable, which allows them to quickly rise through the ranks of their new world. Their interactions with other opponents and friends were always fun to watch, as they can range from sheet arrogance to panic attacks.  You get the sense that they’re playing the long game. And that’s the thing about this anime. I had fun watching it. I was never bored, and am very curious about the larger world.

Cons: Predictably, the relationship between Sora and the 11 year old Shiro verges on creepy to being full on creepy. That’s because Shiro has the habit of sitting on Sora’s lap and is very soft spoken, often coming off as more of a doll than a human. And of course, we gatta get those underage panty shoots in there. The show does have fan service, which isn’t too overdone, except when dealing with Shiro. Moving along, Sora’s motivation for helping Humanity (Imanity) came out of nowhere. He doesn’t really like people, and hes agoraphobic, so why is he so willing to be Humanity’s champion? I mean, outside of some vague personal philosophy. Both Sora and Shiro suffer from “Overpowered Hero” syndrome. They’re the best at gaming, which makes some of the results from their contest come off as narratively convenient. But since their overall tactic is manipulating their opponents and long term planning, the show kind of has an excuse. And, in all honestly, I love how fast they go from strangers in a strange land to world power who plan on challenging GOD.

Watch it: I burned thought this show, and hope there’s more (4/5)

MVP: Sora and Shiro

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Incest aside (I can’t believe I said that), they are a great team

Best Episode: Ep9 “Sky Walk” (showcase of humor, emotion, and audacity)

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Agami Brilliant Park

Type: Walt Disney meets P.T. Barnum meets Kanye West

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Synopsis: A run down amusement part is so desperate for money that they hire a former child actor to be their manager. They need 500,000 visitors by the end of the Summer, or they’ll be closed FOREVER. Not 500,000 ticket sales mind you, just visitors. I’m beginning to understand why their business model was failing them.

Pros: Right off the bat, the intro song screams at you. I love that. One of my favorite parts of the show was putting an episode on and getting “LOOK AT THE SKY, ITS MAGIC HOUR!!” It got me pumped for show. I wonder why more shows don’t have musical hooks like that? Like the intro suggests, this anime is about the inner workings of a amusement park. It’s not as dry as it sounds, as the its a humorous take on the industry, right down to the 3 comic relief mascots. Out of Moffle (totally a Bunta-Kun rip-off), Macaron, and Timari, I enjoyed Macaron’s brand of cowardice the most. So what you have is the main character, Seiya Kanie, dealing with a cast of eccentrics as he tries any ploy to get more people into Agami Brilliant Park. Every episode is almost a stand alone story, dealing with things like maintenance, hiring new staff, crazy promotions, but again, all done in a comedic, almost gag strip way. The jokes and situations are all very well thought out, and you can tell that real effort and thought where put into the story. The subplot of the Agami Brilliant Park actually being populated by magical creatures also helped justify some of the zanier moments. By the end I was invested in the characters and the park itself, and found magic in a self described “not a fairy tale” setting. I wish I had seen it sooner.

Cons: Saiya never wears his cool jacket. In the intro, you see Saiya in a blue military-esque coat, giving he impression of a showman. But he never has that jacket in the show, which sucks. It would have sold his “narcissist” gimmick more. Because I liked the idea that Saiya was basically faking his way through his job, but that his outward confidence helped boost morale. This wasn’t really the case, as Saiya was actually very competent and firm, but still. For once, I don’t actually mind the large cast of characters, as the Amusement Park setting helped justify the amount of people, and why some weren’t as fleshed out as others. Some plot points did feel tacked on though. Isuzu’s crush on Saiya sorta came out of nowhere (ep. 6), with no real set up. I also felt that the idea that Latifah (the princess of the park) would die if the park closed was superfluous, mostly because the park closing was stakes enough. Latifah’s supposed death takes the tension away from the ending, because the audience knows theirs not way they’re going to kill the lady-like small princess. I did however, enjoy the “Latifah’s curse,” which states that she will lose her memory every year. We get to see this happen in the last episode, and it was tragic enough to make my eyes water, but did not affect the overall outcome of the story. On that note, I forgot to mention that magic is a thing in this show. All the mascots are magical creatures. Latifah is a straight up magical princess. The show even suggests that all amusement parks are outposts for different magical dimensions. Which I loved, and does explain a lot, but the show tended to forget that it had magic. Whenever Saiya turned on his magical powers, I was liked “oh yeah, he can do that.”

Watch it: A great, great show. (4/5)

MVP: Muffle

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I can see though his punches!

Best Episode: Ep.6 “Not Enough People!” (Hmm, should we hire another Luchador?)

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