Tag Archives: English Dubbed

Hensuki: Are You Willing to Fall in Love with a Pervert, as Long as She’s a Cutie?

Type:  “If she ain’t blood, be a stud” -Ancient Proverb

Synopsis: Sigh. I was with you until the ending…

Pros: Look, I’m going to need to give me at least a few sentence here. But spoiler, you probably shouldn’t watch this.

Cons: I will say this, I came to this anime with an open mind. I was like, hey, I need something stupid to watch while I exercise. This seemed like an ecchi anime I can trust. The art style and hue of the show tells you everything you need to know. It going to be about a teenage boys and a harem of cute girls that like him for being relatively nice. And that basically is the show. In fact, I would hazard to say that the best, though generic, parts of the show are when the girls say why or how they came to love the protagonist. Those were at least mildly sweet moments. But the gimmick of the show is that every female character has some sort of “perversion” or kink. These kinks run the spectrum, from mild stuff like sub/dom play and fujoshi (boy’s love artist) to some hardcore stuff like voyeurism and exhibitionism. Each of the girls get about 2-3 episodes, with the major plot thread being the mystery of “panty-rella,” a girl that left her panties in the protagonist’s locker in ep. 01. None of this is actually that bad, and the friendship between the voyeur and the protagonist is kinda nice (since she’s the only girl that likes him as a friend). No, what turned me completely off the show was last two episodes, where it turns out that “panty-rella” was really the protagonist’s sister. What follows is a last episode that spends almost it’s entire run time trying to convince the protagonist (and audience) that humping your sister is totally fine, cause love is love. And hey, she’s not blood related, so no mutant babies for you! Goddammit, did that leave a bad taste in my mouth. There’s trash, and then there’s garbage. And that was garbage.

Watch it: No. No. No. At least the dubbing was silly. NO. (2/5)

MVP: The English Dub

At least they got paid.

Best Episode: Ep. 4-7 The Koharu Arc (For a show this bad, it had a pretty good male-female friendship develop here).

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Kemono Michi: Rise Up

Type: A wrestler in an Isekai anime? Stop! I can only get so erect!

Synopsis: Is what I would say, but honestly this anime was left me disappointingly flaccid. From the ads and word of mouth, I was expecting a story about a Brock Lesnar type suplexing his way across an isekai world. That’s all I wanted!! Instead, the anime is about a retired wrestler who opens a pet shop and uses wrestling moves to capture/grope wild monsters. I came for the sport of kings, but I left for the furry bait.

Pros: This show is a very basic anime. As such, it’s characters are one dimensional and so are their jokes. The protagonist, Genzo, is a animal lover, maybe in the biblical sense. His gimmick is getting angry when someone tries to kill monsters, or using his wrestling skills to erotically grapple animals into submission. He has no interest in saving the world, as this comes from the “[job type] gets sent into another world” and “Hero who wants to live a normal live in another world” generation of Isekai stories. His gal friday, Shigure, has my favorite gimmick, where she steals items from the people Genzo beats up and calls it “discovered treasure” (gatta love a greedy girl). Hanako is a half-dragon that likes to eat, and Camilla is her servant who is also a mess of a person. Some of the good running gags are: Genzo continually destroying the adventurer’s guild, Genzo hitting on a housewife/wolf-woman, and Camilla’s pathetic obsession with her master Hanako. That’s about it.

Cons: Holy crap is this a bland anime. Which is weird because it does have elements of a personality. Genzo has a Ant servant for no reason! But after you get past the surface level gimmicks, all you’re left with is a show with some flash, but not substance. Since Genzo doesn’t want to be a hero, the show becomes a slice of life story. Which would be fine, but everyone is so boring! Genzo’s bestiality jokes gets really old really quick. And outside of Shigure and the princess, no other characters really have any reason to hang out with Genzo. They’re just there because the author wanted more interesting characters to play with. It feels like the author thought that making Genzo immediately retire to open a pet show was a clever swerve that would subvert expectations, but quickly realized he limited the scope of his story. There are not stakes in this anime, and Genzo achieves his goal by episode 2. And since Genzo is established as the strongest characters in the show, his goal is never in danger of being taken away from him. The whole thing just feels unimportant, and the characters just aren’t interesting enough to carry everyday plots. That, I think, is this story’s biggest sin. It take a very unique premise manages to make it as milktoast as possible.

Watch it: I’m working myself into shoot here (by which I mean I’m getting angrier the most I think about this) (2/5)

MVP: Shigure

I like that she gradually got more and more disappointed with Genzo as the series went on.

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Wrestler × Summoning” (He suplexes a Princess and molests a wolf-man)

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Coyote Ragtime Show

Type: That Mister sure was a tall drink of…

Synopsis: Hello! I didn’t-I mean I wasn’t-I mean, boobs right? Right??….You know what? Nah. Nah son. It’s time to be loud and proud. Not just for myself, but for future generations. And I will proudly and loudly say that Mister is a top tier Daddy, and were it biologically possible, I would carry his children.

Pros: Coyote Ragtime Show is an anime space western, the best kind of space western in my opinion. The show follows a band of space pirates lead by the charismatic “Mister.” The entire show takes place in the span of about a week, with all the characters chasing after a treasure left behind by the king of the pirates. But this ain’t no One Piece were the treasure is friendship or whatever. This causes three main forces to all converge on the treasure: our lovable protagonists, Madame Marciano and her robot assassin “daughters,” and Detective Angelica Burns with her plucky if dimwitted sidekick. Mister and the crew of the ship “Coyote” play particularly well off each other, reminding you of an Ocean’s 11 esque style ensemble cast. But the emotional core comes from Franca, daughter of the kind of the pirates, and ward of Mister. Their relationship is cute, if a little cliche. The show does really well in handling it’s moving pieces without ever sacrificing pacing. A solid show all around.

Cons: The entire show revolves around all the character’s journey to Graceland, the location of the treasure. So it’s a bit of a shame that the closer we get to Graceland, the less interesting some of the stories become. The first four episodes are really great. They have a prison escape, a noir parenting story, a church shot out, and a high tech robbery. Top notch stuff that establishes the history of these characters. The last eight episodes aren’t as exciting, mostly because the have to focus on the race to Graceland. It also doesn’t help that the robot assassins aren’t allowed to kill the main characters for story reasons, nor the fact that two of the five main characters never get proper backstories. We never really learn where Bishop or Katana are from, or what their motivations are. Ditto with Marciano. She drops hint in her last battle, and Mister speculates, but there was more there that we should have been given.

Watch it: A pleasant surprise (4/5)

MVP: Mister

Our love is true!

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Prison Break” (exactly what it sounds like)

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Back Street Girls

Type: Alright!

Synopsis: Whose your favorite? Personally, I like Aj. I know, me and bad boys. But I think that I could change him, ya know? Anyway, the anime Back Street Girls is about idols or something.

Pros: The gimmick behind Back Street Girls is that three yakuza members are forced to become women by their crazy boss, or Oyabun for you normies. Every subsequent story revolves around the comedic premise of tough yakuza men having to pretend to be teenage japanese idols. This anime is on the edgier side, so a lot of the jokes come from the protagonists having to deal with creepy fans, or bathroom jokes. Although the show is short (10 episodes), there are multiple segments within the shows that help flesh out the stories and characters.

Cons: Production wise, this show seems to have had a tight budgets. Most of the scenes are stills, with slight mouth movements. There is no real story, other than the protagonist having to deal with idol life. A short story arc develops towards the end, but gets resolved without the protagonists even doing anything. The show is also a lot meaner and cruder than your regular anime fare. It’s also not very nice to the idol industry, basically portraying them as a slave market that caters to gross and lonely men (I mean yeah, but still). Finally, the whole premise of “hehe, look at these men in women’s bodies!” is a trite. It’s a little transphobic to be honest.

Watch it?: Only if you want a mean joke (3/5)

MVP: Those surgeons in Thailand.

Apparently, they are at the top of their field.

Best Episode: The Gokudolls Support Group Arc (Around Ep.7-9)

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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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How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?

Type: About 25 Lb.

Synopsis: I go for endurance, not strength. I flirted with 40LB for a while, but then messed my back up real bad after a prolonged combination of inconsistent workouts and bad form. Let that be a lesson, it’s important to do only what your body is able to do. If something is too heavy, then go lighter. Personal fitness is a journey, not a race. And remember, true strength comes from within!

Pros: How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? is a great show for people who want to get into exercise, or like me, trying to rework their workout routine. Every episode explores two different types of workout, from using gym equipment to isometrics to hiking. It’s a great show that lets you explore all the different ways there are to stay physically active. I would categorize this show as “Edutaiment.” It uses anime jokes and mild fan service to teach you about basic exercise. Who knew that the best way to get weebs to the gym is by making it 2D!? But seriously, I actually did use this show when I was trying to reestablish my daily workout routine. It helped me stay consistent while also giving me ideas for different exercises to try out. The show is fairly positive about exercise, and it’s approach really makes staying active look realistic (and even fun!).

Cons: I mean, you could argue that the main character’s desire to go to be gym because she thinks she’s fat is sexist. And it is. But let’s be real, 85% of most people’s desire to start exercising is due to vanity. Sure, sure, society has given men and women, especially women, unrealistic ideals for beauty that no normal person should have to strive for. Yet, I can’t help but be a little proud when I see a little bicep pop out when I bend my arms. The fact that I can lift my garbage bags without losing my breath is also nice. Aside from that, the fan service will probably be the most common barrier of interest. This is, after all, cute anime girls bending and squeezing until fatigue. So expect some tired yet sexy breathing. The show also likes to end it’s “Machio Muscle Lessons of the Day” skits with one of the girls posing in bed, beckoning you to join her in bed. Ya know, like you do. Finally, the show was not designed to be watched in one go. The way it explores the exercise world works better in increments rather than a marathon.

Watch it?: With clever editing, this would make an awesome exercise YouTube playlist. (4/5)

MVP: Mr. Machio

The personal trainer we all need.

Best Episode: “Sensei’s on a Diet, Too?” (I just like using dumbells. But all the episodes are great)

 

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Isekai Quartet

Type: The most ambitious crossover since…

Synopsis:…ya know, Endgame and Marvel did not invent the crossover. These things happen in media all the time. Comics had them since the 40’s. Movies had the Wolfman hanging out with Frankenstein and Abbot/Constello since before we landed on the moon. Hell, all of Smash Brothers is built on crossovers. I understand people want to have fun, but let’s not give more credit to the multibillion dollar company that it’s owed, yeah?

Pros: So Isekai Quartet is a show where the cast of 4 Isekai series crossover. Hence the title. This one has the folks from Konosuba, Overlord, Rezero, and Tanya the Evil. They all get transported into another world, again, only this time the setting is a Japanese style high school. Unsurprisingly, the best parts are having different characters from different shows interact with one another. I personally liked Albetto and Rem’s relationship, along with Ainz and Tanya. Because of course the two most evil characters in the show would get along. The show’s pretty short, and each episode is only about 15 minutes. So it was a pretty good refresher on certain shows, and a pretty good introduction to others. I personally have never seen Rezero, but the cast seem fun to watch. And at the end of the day, it’s that what it’s all about.

Cons: Since the show doesn’t have all the character I want, it’s a piece of ##$%. Ha! Got ya. Don’t get me wrong, I wish the the people from Reincarnated as a Slime and Log Horizon where here. I’m sure everyone has their favorites. That’s the problem with crossovers: everyone has a stake in the game. The only real issue is that because the show has such a big cast, a lot of characters get shortchanged. So if you have a favorite supporting character, they may not get the same spotlight the would get in their own show.

Watch it?: Yes. It’s short, funny, and full of reference. (4/5)

MVP: Tanya

I’m surprised, but Tanya has some of the best interactions with characters.

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “Tension! Introductions” (The Useless Goddess vs. the Lord of Nazaric!)

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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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The Helpful Fox Senko-San

Type: “All anyone wants is a personal assistant that also holds them at night” -ancient proverb on Twitter.

Synopsis: A sweet story about talking care of your partner, or a creepy loli fantasy. In anime, a series can be both! That’s why the medium is magical! In this, an overworked salary man is graced by the gods with a fox spirit to pamper the daily stress out of him.

Pros: This show really does straddle the line between sweet and creepy. Most of it comes down to the fact that Senko, the fox spirit, is drawn like a little girl. But she’s really 800 year old, so it totally legal. I know the show addresses this, but that don’t make it any better. Where the show really excels, however, is in the scenes where Senko takes care of the protagonists, Nakano. Senko’s mission is to help Nakano relax, so she does things like make him dinner, message his shoulders, etc. But most importantly, she speaks softly and emphatically to him, and when Nakano relaxes, it strangely makes you relax too. This transference of feel speaks to these scenes quality. I would actually recommend imitating some of the things Senko does with  your partner (as an anime review online, I am a of course a qualified couples expert). Not necessarily the housecleaning stuff, as that’s a team effort, or the constant meal prep, as you really should be switching cooking nights, or just go on a dinner date. And I’d moderate exactly how much you let them touch your floofy tail, or else they’ll take advantage of the situation. Look, what I’m saying is-maybe one of these days, if the mood is right, take your partner head and gently put it on your lap or chest, maybe stroke their hair, and just hold them. Make them feel safe and loved. Plus, it’s easier than cooking tofu.

Cons: You know, there are some people that really don’t like being criticized about their love of loli characters. Some feel its a censorship issue, or culture insensitivity, or kink-shaming, or whatever. And while I respect all arguments, BROTHER, STOP PERVING ON LITTLE GIRLS. About 50% of this anime is a sweet and calming story about taking care of someone you love. The other 50% is a full grown man having an underage girl baby him. We all know what “floof you tail” means ya weirdos. And the orgasm ears weren’t subtle either. There’s also a bathing scene I wasn’t a fan of. The show does just enough to sexualize Senko and her equally underage friend Shiro to take me out of a lot of scenes.

Watch it?: It’s calming, but skip the loli-bait scenes (3/5)

MVP: Senko

I can’t talk to my cat without calling her a floof ball now.

Best Episode: “I’m Going to Pamper Him to His Heart’s Content!” (a great episode. I wish the entire series was only this).

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Zombie Land Saga

Type: And they say comedy is dead!

Synopsis: Thank you, I’ll show myself out.

Pros: The anime is about a group of zombie girls from different times brought back to life to become Idols for a small Japanese prefecture. Saga is apparently a real place, though I don’t know how hard up they are for tourists. I hear their chicken is pretty good. Anyway, this show is known for being one of the best comedies of 2018. The comedy comes from three sources: The clashes of personalities between the girls, the brash nature of their manager (Kotaro), and the shows love for abrupt jokes. I mean, when the opening joke of a girl getting hit my a truck becomes a meme, I think you know what kind of show your getting into. The show has a strong cast, and I especially liked Sakura’s anxiety, Saki’s rudeness, and Yugiri’s slapping ability. If you want just pure comedy, I would say focus on episodes 1-5, which show the girls getting into idol-related situations as a group. From doing a silly commercial to trying to land a promotion deal, Franchouchou’s hijinks do a lot to sell the ensemble nature of the show. And the show does get very silly. The animators were clearly having fun at some moments. Tae bursting into a room will never be not great.

Cons: First off, this is an idol show. Zombie gimmick aside, a lot of the stories revolved around being an idol. So if you aren’t digging the rise of idol shows in anime, this probably won’t change your mind. This is because two of the show’s main characters, Ai and Junko, have story arcs the specifically revolved around being idols. Being only actual girls with idol experience, the show explores Ai and Junko’s hesitation to join another group. The show actually does a lot of character work, despite having a reputation as a irreverent comedy. Episodes 6-12 gives each of the characters (except Yugiri and Tae) spotlights episodes exploring their pasts in some way. Ai and Junko have a philosophical disagreement over idol-fan interactions. We learn how Lily and Saki died, and the people they left behind. We also get a three-episode exploration of Sakura’s character as the season finale. While all this is great, is does take away from the comedy of the earlier episodes. So from a comedy scale of Adam Sandler to Adam Sandler, I’d give this a Adam Sandler in Click (2006). Solid, but some of the emotional beats don’t quite mesh well with the comedic nature of the story. (p.s. Those 3D performances were also not great!)

Watch it: Better than dying, resurrecting, then becoming a singer (4/5)

MVP: The Rap Battle in Ep. 2

With one season out, will I live to see season 2? The way the anime industry is going, I don’t know….

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “Go Go Neverland SAGA” (Apparently there was some controversy over Lily being trans, but honestly? It’s a very sweet and funny story. Father-daughter stories get me ever time).

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