Tag Archives: Anime of the Year

Gamers! [Anime of the Year]

Type: A little like Twelfth Night to be honest.

Synopsis: I understood that reference! (No, but seriously, I burned through this whole show in ONE afternoon. I haven’t done that in years. This show is incredible).

Pros: This anime is about a boy who gets invited to a gamer club by the cutest girl at school, but declines because of it’s competitive nature. This kinda snowballs into the boy becoming entangled in various simultaneous love triangles, with hilarious results. Basically, it’s a love comedy with video games as the backdrop. And. It’s. Amazing. It’s one of the best comedy’s I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It’s strength comes from it’s dynamic direction. Everything from the camera work to the character’s faces screams energy and youth. I made the joking reference to Twelfth Night because the running gag of the show is that all the teenage characters think that their crush is in love with someone else. Their reactions to this very thought perfectly captures the high strung emotions of dating at the age. Not only that, but the cast is really strong, and their various interactions and pairing reminds you that this is an ensemble comedy. My personal favorite paring was our lead Keita and the bubbly Aguri, whose simple but funny lunch talks reminds you that yes, in anime, a boy and girl can be friends without falling in love! I could probably say way more (and you could probably write an essay on each episode individually), but I would only be doing the show a disservice. Go watch it! (p.s. I know I wouldn’t say more, but the English dialogue, romantic misunderstandings, and gamer jokes hit me in my happy place. My favorite anime genre is comedy anime, and this is the best comedy I’ve seen all year).

Cons:…I mean, I feel bad for Chiaki. OK, so in order to explain half the stories in the show, you need to create a map with a lot of arrows and circles. But to save time, Chiaki is kinda the fifth wheel of the cast. She was introduced as a possible love interest for Keita, but then became more interested in Keita’s handsome friend Tasuku, but then falls in love with Keita after he starts officially dating Tendo, the blonde girl that invited Keita into the gamer club to begin with. Like I said, there’s a lot of moving parts. I feel bad for her because, well, she’s nice and she technically is a perfect match for Keita. But so is Tendo. This is one of the handful of shows where both of the main character’s love interests are plausible options that I wouldn’t be mad at. Aside from that, I guess that show doesn’t really do much with the Gamer Club, like anything at all, and ep.13, the “last episode,” is just a fan service filler episodes.

Watch it?: Maybe my favorite show of an already strong 2017. (5/5)

MVP: Keita and Aguri

Their scenes were gold

Best Episode: Ep. 6 “Gamers and Wipeout “Game Over” (maybe the best single comedic episode I’ve ever seen?)

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My Hero Academia [Anime of the Year]

Type: Do Good to Others, and Every Man can be an All Might

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Synopsis: World of Superheroes. Quirkless Boy. Mighty Hero. Plus Ultra.

Pros: My Hero Academia is about a boy named Izuku Midoriya who lives in a world where 80% of the population has super powers, and an established Superhero community. Midoriya’s dream is to become a hero like his idol All Might, but he doesn’t have any powers, or “Quirks.” It seems like he’s hoping against hope until he selflessly risks his life for a friend/bully, impressing All Might enough to bestow upon him his own superpowers. And this is just the first two episodes. The rest of the series is Miyoriya’s life in U.A. High School, a school for gifted youngsters (sister school to the Xavier Institute, I’m sure). The anime does have the name “Academia” in the title. While the school stuff is fun, and an easy way to introduce new characters, the real draw of the show is Midoriya. He has the heart of a hero, despite his twitchy demeanor and tendency for water works. He wins you over almost immediately with his fan boy love of heroes, and keeps your rooting for his through his determination to fulfill his dream, a dream no one believe in because of his handicap. It breaks your heart when he’s told its impossible, and you root for him when he overcomes a new obstacle. And In a simple but effective gimmick, Midoriya’s new quirk is a glass cannon. He can become just as powerful as All Might, but because his body isn’t use to the power output, he becomes incredibly damaged after a single use. So instead of powering through his obstacles, Midoriya has to think his way out of them (fun fact: Most Silver Age Superman stories did the same thing). He also has an in story reason for this, given his obsession of collecting data on heroes. Plus the fact that his quirk has to be passed down was a nice touch, and a good allusion to legacy heroes. As you can plainly see, I loved Midoriya and the show as a whole.

Cons: But that’s not to say that there aren’t bad things about this anime. For one, villains show up in the last few episodes, but they’re underdeveloped. The actual manga, which I devoured after watching this show,  does the same thing, switching between school arcs and villain arcs. The other heroes are also underdeveloped, with All-Might being the only one to get any real character development. The main theme seems to revolve around the term “underdeveloped,” which can all be sourced to the fact that the anime only got 13 episodes. It does have a second season, but a shoen show like this really needs more episodes in a season. But the first season has a cliff hanger ending. Because, as much as I loved it, you do get the feeling that you’ve only scratched the surface of the story in retrospect.

Watch it: Hit my Superhero feels button (4/5)

MVP: Midoriya

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Or, The Great Hero Deku

Best Episode: Ep.1-2, “Izuki Midoriya: Origin” and “What it takes to be a Hero” (The end made me cry. One of my newest favorite moments in all of anime)

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One Punch Man [Anime of the Year]

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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