Dance With Devils (2015) | Rating: 3.5/5
A very good friend of mine brought this series to my attention when it was hot and fresh in 2015. I want to say last year was the beginning of me trying to keep up with a handful of new series on the side of my usual anime rotation. The way she described this series sounded absolutely amusing and a bit silly and once I watched the first couple episodes, those descriptions were quite accurate. This isn't your typical reverse harem of pretty boys. The thing that makes it different from other reverse harems is that the main character Ritsuka isn't wrapped up in these pretty boys fighting for her affection. Her main focus is getting her mother back from vampires! Even though I don't watch too many reverse harems, comparing this series with say Amnesia was quite refreshing to have a female lead defend herself and try to handle the situation alone. Another unique element presented in this series is that majority of the fights between the demons and vampires are through musical numbers. That's pretty much the amusing and silly part of the show. Silly being a good thing for once. These musical numbers also come up when the demons are trying to seduce Ritsuka as well. I know not everyone is a fan of musicals and can get easily annoyed by them, so if you enjoy reverse harems, but don't care for musicals, you'll be very agitated. But if you like pretty boys, chanting pomeranians, and the supernatural, then you'll enjoy this!
Dogs: Bullets and Carnage (2009) | Rating: 3.5/5
When I started reading the manga, I instantly got into the storyline and the entertaining characters. At that time, I was ecstatic to find an OVA for the series...well, more realistically, just happy. It is just an OVA, not a full series. Anyway, I believe it was in 2012 when I first started watching it and...I didn't care for it too much for some reason. I tried and tried to remember what those reasons were, but all I have are a bunch of guesses. Maybe it was the voice acting, the art style, or just seeing something I haven't read adapted into animation? I seriously don't remember. Picking up where I left off with the manga, specifically volume 4, I got hyped again the more I read, especially with my pending Badou Nails cosplay for the year. I stared at MyAnimeList's dropped entry of the OVA and decided to give it another try. Obviously, I made it through all 4 episodes and enjoyed it a lot more than I did initially. Owning the prequel manga (volume 0) helps a lot with understanding the contents of this OVA. It is a prequel adaptation and each episode dedicates itself in telling the backstory (to some extent) of our main cast: Badou Nails, Haine Rammsteiner, Naoto Fuyumine, and Mihai Mihaeroff. It was great seeing the prequel in action and it desperately made me wish there was a full length series for the manga. Someone should really get on that, especially with the success of Gangsta!
Hacka Doll The Animation (2015) | Rating: 4/5
Similar to Miss Monochrome and Aiura, this title popped up in the new upload feed as I watched new series last year. It's also a short series that you could easily watch in one sitting as each episode is about 7 minutes long, if you watch the opening and endings. It was a very interesting series that reminded me a little of a small gem from my past called DiGi Charat. The show follows a trio part of an app that helps improve or upgrade its users. Despite each episode being 5-7 minutes, it feels like a full fledged 20+ minute episode. The characters are fun and interesting to watch from episode to episode; they even return to one or two of the customers to see if their life has gotten better since their first visit. The final episode does take a slight turn and parodies shot for shot of Dragon Ball (Z). [totally not well verse in the difference between regular Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, sorry] If you want something fun and short with some fast paced comedy and a sprinkle of cuteness, this is a good series to easily breeze through. Side note: #3 is my favorite. You'll see why in the glitch episode.
Robotics;Notes (2012) | Rating: 3/5
Starting with the sci-fi action packed Chaos;Head and the time traveling, emotional rollercoaster of Steins;Gate, it was finally time to get to the series that Zwei's Ayumu did music for. Similar to Chaos;Head, it did take me some time to really invest in the story and characters. Something didn't instantly connect with me, but the previous two alternate universes both took me some time to become immersed in the atmosphere. While I did enjoy watching these kids work together to create a functional robot the size of a mecha essentially, I didn't feel that anticipation consistently to watch the next episode like I did with Steins;Gate, but there were a few episodes where my jaw dropped or I was shocked at what happened in front of my eyes. I did enjoy the characters quite a bit, at least enough that certain events did make me feel something emotionally. It wasn't as devastating as Steins;Gate, but I definitely felt a lot more of the characters' struggles compared to Chaos;Head. I want to say that this series is one you really have to pay attention to like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex as there is some intricate details that can easily be missed with all the subtle science and sci-fi elements and dialogue presented in the show. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to watching sequels and another alternate universe from the creator.
Tsuritama (2012) | Rating: 3.5/5
As I continue my sports anime journey, I quickly realized how this series isn't quite a sports anime. The show is more of a comical slice of life with fishing and supernatural elements laced through it, which isn't a bad thing. It took me a while to fully immerse myself in this colorful world with the art style and the story, but eventually, I couldn't help but smile every time I saw these characters come together to learn about fishing or taking down an alien invader with a simple little tune. It's a very strange show, but it is quite entertaining and has some charming comedic characters. In all honesty, it reminds me a lot of another odd, comedic slice of life, series by the name of Azumanga Daioh, especially with its slightly childish soundtrack. I'm not sure if it's a show I can confidently recommend as even I had difficulty slipping into this world with its vivid and quirky art style and almost off the wall story presentation, but if you're looking for something to make you happy and want to take an out of this world adventure with your friends, then this show will make you feel warm and fuzzy.
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