Tag Archives: 2018

Overlord II

Type: Lizard men and Bandit killing

Synopsis: We have two main campaigns here. First is the Lizard Men campaign, where our noble heroes have to defeat a united lizard army. Can our heroes’ vast armies and infinite strength stand up to a bunch of reptiles with pointy sticks? You’ll just have to watch to find out! Second is the 8 Fingers campaign, a side-quest for a butler, a damsel in distress, a couple of bumbling swordsman, and one shade throwing maid. Can they ever get along? You’ll just have to watch to find out!

Pros: Overlord season 2 is a protagonist-less story arc. Think the Shikamaru arc in Naruto, or the Doctor-lite episodes in Doctor Who. This means that our mmorpg nerd/underad lord main character, Ainz Ooal Gown, doesn’t really show up this season. He’s more of a supporting character in these stories. The first half of the season involved a group of Lizard Men who have to deal with Ainz’s forces invading their lands. I liked this arc because it was very reminiscent of older fantasy stories involving alliances between warrior tribes, magic swords, and outcasts heroes. The second arc revolved around Sebas, Ainz’s head butler, as he makes gets caught up in fighting an underground crime syndicate after saving a slave from death. This story was way more of a modern fantasy story: you have a young knight, a weary swoardsman, a sly princess, political games, and a gentleman hero who I may or may not have developed a crush on. Overall, a solid season.

Cons: I forgot to mention, but whoever did the English dialogue deserves a raise, because I loved the proper manner that all the character’s spoke in. It really helped convey a lot of their status and upbringing, as well as they’re regard to certain other characters. That being said, the action, while there, isn’t really something to write home about. It’s pretty generic fantasy fighting. A few swords slashes, a magic spell here and there, but nothing amazing. I can also imagine that some people won’t be syked that Ainz takes a back seat this season. I think it works really well, but people do watch this show to see the Overlord, not a bunch of lizards of their butler. In addition, the story doesn’t to a great job transitioning between story arcs. One episodes ends one arc, another begins the next. It’s a little jarring. However, this show does an incredible job of juggling new characters and giving them each a personality you can care about.

Watch it?: It’s would be an afront to the great Ainz Ooal Gown not to! (4/5)

MVP: Sebas

Daddy. (D-Did I do it right?)

Best Episode: Ep. 5 “The Freezing God” & Ep. 8 “A Boy’s Feeling” (one has the best joke’s I’ve seen in a while, and the other makes me want a spin-off)

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Pop Team Epic (Anime of the Year)

Type: Is this a joke?

Synopsis: No really, is this a joke?

Pros: Pop Team Epic is…Pop Team Epic started as…f#$% it. Pop Team Epic is weird as s#$%.

Cons: Whether or not you like Pop Team Epic will depend on what you think is funny. There are 6 main types of skits. First, regular skits based off the manga. Second, Bob Team Epic, which uses disturbing looking animation that will haunt my nightmares until my last breath. Third, a lovely 3D runner in french. Forth, 8-bit bumpers that parody video games. Fifth, puppet shows and songs. Sixth, the rest. Apparently, the show had various animation studios and voice actors work on it throughout production. The show is actually 15 minutes, but it runs for 30, repeating the episode with different voice actors. The next episode preview is actually parodying love comedies that looks surprisingly disconcertingly interesting to me with “Hoshiiro Girldrop,”

Watch it?: Pop Team Epic isn’t a meme anime. It’s a sh#$post entity given life by our collective consciousness. (5/5)

MVP: Alien Cat

GET OUT OF MY HOUSE ALIEN CAT!!

Best Episode: Not ever going to try (too hard. too weird. f##$ you.)

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My Hero Academia (Season 3)

Type: UNITED STATES SMASH

Synopsis: It starts with U.A. High going on a school trip to the woods that ends with several children being injured and one kidnapping. It continues with several U.A. students attempting to interfere with a complicated and sensitive rescue operation. It finally ends with U.A. giving an exam that give minors licenses to get into fights with maniacs. Hogwarts don’t look so bad now, does it?

Pros: My Hero Academia season 3 kinda fixes every problem I had with season 2. Real talk, given all the hype around season 2, I was a little underwhelmed with the second season. I wasn’t really a big fan of Stain, and the tournament arc was just a tournament arc to me. But this season, man, this season was all that, and a bag of chips. This season had a lot of the hallmarks of the superhero genre that I love. Finally getting out of the school setting, this season explored the world more, and gave more context of what it means to be a hero in this world. We finally get to see Deku actually save a person from a super villain using his superpowers. We see the “death” of an important hero at then hands of a truly evil being. We see how the world reacts to this. However, the most important things this season does is explore the concept of how heroes inspire heroism in others. Over and over again, we see how the heroic actions of certain characters influence other characters to act the same. This, I think, is the true purpose of a hero. To inspire others to be heroes. To show others that they can be a better version of themselves. To show us that even in the darkest, most dire hour, there’s still someone who can save you with a smile on their face, even if that someone has to be yourself.

Cons: The season has a weird non-ending. Like, it doesn’t really have a cliffhanger per say, but a “until next season” sort of ending. Not a fan of that. I like bookends. The show also ends of another school related battle royal. Not a fan of that either, but it does set up a killer final battle for the season. This season also got me to catch up on that manga, which I had been meaning to do for a while now. So it’s actually a pretty good season overall.

Watch it: Honestly, I think it’s the best season yet (4/5)

MVP: The animation directors

Dude, the fights were sick this season!

Best Episode: Ep. 10 “One For All” (I mean, how could I not!)

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Attack on Titan (Season 3)

Type: Oh my god! That’s opening!

Synopsis: What the hell was that!?

Pros: We WILL get to that. Believe me. As for season 3 of Attack on Titan: a lot of things happen. Very quickly in fact. This season of Attack on Titan mainly focuses on a power struggle between the Scouts, the Government, and the Royal Family. It’s only about 12 episodes, but well a lot longer. Like season 2, this season focuses less on the main trio of Eren, Mikasa, and Armin, and instead focuses of Krista and Levi. This is the season that expands on Krista and Levi’s backstories, respectively. They’re stories aren’t intertwined (they aren’t long lost twin or anything), but certain characters play important roles in both their pasts. We also get more backstory involving the origins of the titans and the walled city the series takes place in. This season isn’t as action packed as before, but it’s actually a major turning point in the story for various reasons.

Cons: Did you SEE that opening!? What. were. they. thinking. It was one of the most generic, bland, and out of tone openings I’ve ever seen. It’d be like if Evangelion opened to J-pop song. It’s be like if Cowboy Bepop opened to anything that wasn’t jazz. It’s be like if Attack on Titan opened to an uplifting tune about the past and grasping the future. Oh…it did. Huh….man, 2018 was the worst, wasn’t it?

Watch it?: Luckily you can just skip the opening (4/5)

MVP: Krista

Truly a historic performance

Best Episode: Ep. 6-7 “Sin” and “Wish” (We’re in the endgame now)

 

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Aggretsuko (2018)

Type: Working 9 to 5…

Synopsis: An office is a place where dreams come true. Except when you boss is a pig, your supervisor is a snake, and your only real escape is the sweet, sweet release of DEATH….metal.

Pros: Aggretsuko is a pretty great, and pretty short, anime about a young woman working in an office. She faces sexist discrimination from her boss and the daily grind of her work finally gets to her. She decides that the best course of action is to find an alternative. At first she fantasizes about starting her own business with an friend, but then settles on the more traditional, and outdated, plan of getting a husband and becoming a housewife. Despite it’s cutesy demeanor, this is actually a pretty mature show. Not MA mature, but real mature. Aggretsuko has to deal with real world stuff, like a bad boss and feelings of dissatisfaction. She has bills, love problems, and isn’t immediately comfortable with co-workers. I love that we finally get a 25 year old in anime who doesn’t have it all put together. Life isn’t solved at High School graduation, no matter what anime implies. In fact, one of my favorite moments was when two more senior females employees, Gori and Washimi, the goddesses of the company, decide to take Aggrestsuko under their wing a little. For no real reason. They just wanted to get to know her. As someone who’s been fortunate enough to experience the same thing, I loved that they helped get Aggrestsuko out of her shell a little. Every character in this has more layers to their personalities than you first think. Which makes total sense. Despite spending all day with them, do you know what your coworkers are actually like at home? And would your coworkers be surprise that your reading a review about a cartoon made in Japan about animals working in an office? Plus, seeing this cute little red panda go into metal mode was always a delight.  (If you want more, there’s apparently a lot of shorts online)

Cons: No enough metal.

Watch it: YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES (4/5)

MVP: Shin Aggrestuko

Some people have anime, some people have Screamo. We all need a release.

Best Episode: Ep.7 “The Duel”  (Maybe there’s hopes for chauvinists pigs. Then again, maybe not…)

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Devilman Crybaby

Type: A good netflix anime!?

Synopsis: This must be the work of the DEVIL!!! (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Pros: Devilman Crybaby is an adaptation of the 1970’s manga Devilman, which was only like 20 chapters. The anime was released in 2018, and kinda set the tone for what to expect for the year. Ya know, with the apocalypse getting stated and all. But any hoo, the anime is about mild mannered crybaby named Akira whose taken to a sex n’ drug party by his best friend/life partner Ryo. Feeling like the party isn’t living up to his standards, and not wanting Akira to think all drug fueled orgies are lame, Ryo liven things up by going on a murders spree to summon actual demons. Akira ends up merging with one, and the plot kinda goes from there. The main draw for most people will be all the hardcore sex and nudity. And the stellar animation style. I guess. Helmed by Masaaki Yuasa, the anime has a unique and surreal art style that oozes creativity. This is one of those animes that you can just tell the animation crew had enjoyed working on. They really got to flex their talents. Sure, a lot of that went into the sex and gore, but also in the running animations, the family meals, the playful scenes between Akira and Ryo. It’s a visual masterpiece. There’s no getting around that. It’s also a creative showcase. Yuasa and his writers clearly had more freedom on Netflix than with traditional broadcasts. And I’m not just talking about all the breasts and blood. There’s literally a scene where a dud straight up raps for 30 seconds. Speaking of rapping, the show did a good job and modernizing a relatively short mange from the 70’s. Though I suppose since political corruption, public hysteria, and the power of scapegoating haven’t really changed in 50 years, we should really call it a tragedy.

Cons: And Devilman Crybaby is a tragedy. Almost to a predictable degree. By that I mean that Akira/Devilman have to face a new demon of the week every episode. This show also like to add a new story elements to each demon. Which sounds good on paper, but makes the entire story go by really, really, really fast. So some of the emotional punches won’t land depending on your attachment to certain characters. Miki being possessed by a demon is one thing, Akira’s parent’s both dying in the same episode they premiered in is another. Can’t miss someone you barely just met. Some story developments also cross that line from sad to EDGELORD. Aside from Akira’s parents, Miki’s family are also killed. Miki’s little brother turns into a demon that eats his mother. His father, unable to kills his demon boy, is killed by soldiers while trying to protect him. This was a little too much, and I preferred their manga fates more. In the manga, it’s Miki actually dies with her family at the hands of a murderous mob of humans. Not by having a weird running fantasy by the river. In fact, that whole scene worked a lot better in the manga because we don’t actually get to see Miki’s last moments. Like Akira, we only see Miki again when her entire family’s corpses are being paraded on spikes. The shock of that image works a lot better than in ep.9 due to the surprise of it. And out of every episode, I think ep.9 is the only one that suffered due it’s statues as an anime. Because it’s the only episode that feels like a stereotypical anime episode, and Miki is honestly the most anime characters in the series. She’s the typical good at everything. Which is kinda a shame. Not that I wanted her to be like her manga counterpart. That Miki was lame. Literally became Akira’s love lore groupie after his transformation. But I kinda wish they had kept some of her more lascivious qualities. For example, in the early parts of the show Miki is involved with a way older journalist. We don’t know what the nature of their relationship is exactly, though she does feel comfortable enough to shower in his house, but the implications were enough to add a layer of complexity to Miki’s good girl persona. But after that, Miki becomes just “the girl” to be honest…You know, for being one of the best anime of the year, I probably should have talked about things like religious metaphors and the nature of good and evil and all that. But enough people can and have analyzed every episode. SoI’d rather still complain about Ep.9 and Miki’s character. To summarize: The show sometimes goes too fast, some deaths and revelations seem unimportant, ep.9 is generic and dilutes an iconic moment, Miki could have been better, the English voice cast is a little wooden, and there is seriously a LOT of sex and violence in this. I cannot stress this enough. A LOT of sex and violence.

Watch it: I’d like to mention that I preferred Akira and Ryo’s characterization in this. Akira still remained a pretty good guy after becoming a devil man, and Ryo was more analytical (instead of being Mr. and Mr. Tough Cool guy in the manga) (5/5)

MVP: The animation

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS SHOW??

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “I Need You” (A lazy answer, I admit, but if your going to start, you should start here).

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High School DxD Hero

Type: This show is stupid

Synopsis: I loved ever minute of it!

Pros: Just by looking at it, you should know what to expect from High School DxD Hero. It’s a comedy-action show about a pervy high school boy how became a thrall for the buxom student body president whose also a high class demon. Being the fourth season, a lot of things have changed from episode 1. Issei, our protagonist, has gone from an unknown servant to a famous warrior. He’s also now treated as one of the most eligible bachelors in the underground. All the main female characters have gone through their individual arcs, and are in total love with Issei. This is so pronounced, that most of the characters will immediately enter a room and strip in front of Issei. That’s right! The pretenses are over. It’s basically naked boob town every episode. Now, normally, I would decry a show leaning mostly on fan service as lazy at best, and misogamist at worst. But High School DxD has always been very honest about what it is. It’s a fan service show where the protagonist gets powered up by grabbing breasts. That there’s a certain…nobility in it’s honesty. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Cons: That being said, this show is one big a lazy boob joke. Now that all the characters arc have ended with the girls falling in love with Issei, I feel that the fan service has gotten a bit lazy. Akeno isn’t quite the tease anymore. Koneko isn’t as annoyed anymore. Asia isn’t as shy anymore. As one character said, “you see their boob’s every night Issei! Why are you still trying to sneak a peak?”  I mean, real talk, there was a scene were these girls found Issei in a room, started a conversation, stripped naked, and then continued their conversation. It’s pretty much soft core hentai at this point. In addition, besides Issei, no other character gets any character development. The cast is now mostly there for fan service. Story wise, we get two arcs: The Kyoto Arc and the Rating Game Arc. The Kyoto Arc was pretty good, as we got to see Issei in a leadership role, which really reminded you of his growth as a characters. The Rating Game Arc was less interesting, as it was mostly a tournament arc with no real stakes. Issei did get a powerup, but mostly out of pride than anything. However, this arc does get points for developing Issei and Rias’s relationship. (p.s. The animation style changed, but I don’t mind!)

Watch it?: Even though a lot of fun characters didn’t get to do anything, it’s still a fun watch for the English translation alone (3/5)

MVP: Issei

Boobielingual. Yeah. That’s a major plot device this season.

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “A Girl’s Heart is Complicated” (the turning point for the season)

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Top 5 Anime I Reviewed in This Year Awards [ 2018 Christmas Special!]

Preface: Welcome to the first annual Top 5 Anime I Reviewed in 2018 Awards!! To clarify, these awards are for the top 5 anime I reviewed in 2018. These are not for the best anime the premiered in 2018, nor the best anime I necessarily watched in 2018. These are the awards for anime whose review happen to fall in 2018. Did that make sense? Because I don’t think it did. Let’s do it!

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