Journey to Agartha (2011) | Rating: 3.5/5
...or Children of Lost Voices was something I picked off the shelf out of curiosity. I had never heard of this title before, but since I enjoyed Patema Inverted without knowing anything, then I figured I might have the same luck with this one. First, I want to point out that the animation is gorgeous and doesn't overwhelm your eyes with CGI effects, because there are a few moments that it is utilized. Second, the story is a bit simple, but the journey and characters really pull the viewer in and gradually involves your emotions when their backstories unfold. There will be times where you're at the edge of your seat or you get frustrated with one of the characters, but I found that a good thing meaning you're really invested in the success of these characters reaching their goals. Check this movie out, especially if you're into movies like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
Gangsta. (2015) | Rating: 4/5
If you haven't seen it, I did do a first impression video for the first volume of the manga and touched a little bit on the anime. I realized after the fact that I should've mentioned this series reminds me Dogs: Bullets and Carnage and Samurai Champloo, which are both very entertaining, action packed, and very enjoyable series. For me, it took me a while to get used to the anime, after reading the first volume of the manga. First was the usual translating what you've already read into animation and making it just as entertaining and second was Nicholas's sign language and a bit of his speech. I've gotten so used to his gestures being translated into text that it took some adjusting to rely on Worick like the other characters. By the time I surpassed what I've read, I became more and more into it. I just hope that someone decides to pick it up for a second season, since Manglobe declared bankruptcy. Please don't let that bit of news discourage you from watching, because it is an exciting adventure with great and diverse characters.
Haikyuu!! (2014) | Rating: 3.5/5
I started with both seasons of Free!, moved onto the high adrenaline triple attack of Kuroko no Basket, and now I'm here with volleyball; a sport I don't have the best of history with. Fortunately, I didn't let my middle school past deter me from watching this comical gem. Unlike Kuroko no Basket, these underdogs don't completely succeed at everything they do. From episode to episode, even counting this current second season, they're still trying to grow stronger as a team and even a couple friendships get tested. It still packs the same excitement and almost the same intensity as Kuroko no Basket. I will admit that the art style and our two main characters' personalities took a bit of adjusting. Of course, with time, I got used to it and I've come to love Nishinoya and Asahi. Spoiler: I'm really enjoying this second season as well as the anime I replaced in its spot, Yowamushi Pedal.
Love Stage!! (2014) | Rating: 3/5
For some reason, I thought I was starting another musical base anime, but ended up with a boy love story between a movie star and an aspiring mangaka. Once again, the art style took some adjusting and there were a couple moments where I wish I wasn't watching it in my office, but it didn't go too far in the sexual territory. Just a little citrus, for those old school yaoi fans that know what I mean. It was an amusing story that had its great meta moments of "I can't be in a boy love story" or "This isn't an anime/manga!". Both characters had to deal with their emotions for each other in their own way and I find that a bit different from the norm, which is usually a one-sided love until it hits the other character later. At times, it did feel predictable, but somehow the story gives a few curveballs through comedic or dramatic twists to keep you moving forward. I won't say this show is for everyone, especially if you're not into boy love or cutesy things, but I had fun watching it and it was nice to watch a slightly more innocent boy love story,
Steins;Gate (2011) | Rating: 4.5/5
As much as I wanted to do a quick review on Chaos;Head, I couldn't find the right words to describe how I felt about it. In short, it took me a few episodes to really get into, but overall I did enjoy it. Naturally, I had to check out the next alternate world, which is this series. Unlike Chaos;Head, this series really focuses on connecting the viewer with its characters and it relies on that connection quite a bit. There are some hard moments to accept and even areas that I was surprised it went such as gender identity, but they handled it with the utmost care. The story is more serious, dramatic, and psychological compared to its predecessor that features more action and a bit of emotional moments. They both hold some cool science fiction elements that could cater to gamers or time travelers. If it wasn't obvious, I enjoyed this a little more than Chaos;Head and I would like to thank the fabulous Japanese duo Zwei for leading me to this series.
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