Saturday, June 25, 2016

Quick Anime Review

Psycho-Pass 2 (2014) | Rating: 3/5

I wasn't quite enamored as a lot of fans of the first season, but I knew eventually I would try out the second season to see if it would change my mind and pull me onto the bandwagon. Well, I felt about the same as the first season. I enjoyed the cat and mouse chase and the action and character development kept me hooked, but it did not excite me enough to join the diehard fanbase. On the surface and a little below that, the story seems very similar to the first season, except Akane Tsunemori becomes more of the headstrong motivator of the team and the brainstormer. It was nice seeing Akane's growth without her season one partner Shinya Kougami. I also thought their opponent presented quite the challenge for our characters. One compliant I have is the controversy over the Sybil System still exists and it feels like everything Akane accomplished in the previous season didn't change anything in this season. It's a little frustrating for me, but maybe there's more detail about that in the movie or something.

Ajin (2016) | Rating: 4/5

I briefly mentioned the anime in my first impressions of the manga and anticipated it, along with the movie and boy, there were some complaints. The complaints had nothing to do with the characters or the story but the choice of animation style. It was an interesting choice of CG, but after a few minutes, my eyes weren't too put off by it and thought it fit the tone of the story. I will admit that there were a few small moments where the animation did look a little odd. As for the success of adapting such an intriguing manga, I thought it was successful. I'm still currently reading the series and I got further in the story through the anime and I'm looking forward to delving further into the series and eventually start the first movie. Fortunately, it does seem like viewers did enjoy the story and either adjusted to the visuals or tolerated them for the character development and unpredictable turns in the narration, which leads to a greenlight for the rest of the movies and a second season for the series!

Yowamushi Pedal (2013) | Rating: 4/5

Alright! So, I've watched swimming, basketball, fishing, and waiting for the third season of volleyball. Now, here we are with competitive cycling! I guess I really am getting involved with all these sports anime series and so far they have been very enjoyable. So, did this sports anime break the cycle? (pun intended) Nope. While it did take a bit of time for me to get comfy with our home team, but it didn't take long for me to feel very acquainted with the first years to be. The training was a long, grueling process, but worth the blood, sweat, and tears of each member. They worked very hard to get to Inter-High. Of course, their journey to victory does not slack up on the intensity and stress of this entertaining series of cycling. I'm currently watching the second season and the tension is still there.

Mayoiga (2016) | Rating: 2/5

This is one of the series I watched in the Spring 2016 releases that I wanted to check out. It sounded and looked like an interesting horror trip and I was looking forward to jumping on the bus with our characters. Upon the first episode, I didn't realize we would be keeping up with so many characters and at first, I was a little concerned, but I went with it. I'm used to keeping up with a lot of characters from The Walking Dead to Battle Royale (novel, manga, and movie). The one thing that those stories had that this series didn't was an interesting and entertaining story. It had a strong beginning as our characters looked forward to starting a new life on this abandoned island, but once the mysterious "monster" and trust issues began, the story slowly went off the tracks. With one note characters cluttering up the flow and a weak haunted tale, disappointment gradually loomed its ugly head and a sigh of mourning for potential passed my lips on the final couple of episodes.

Kagewani (2015) | Rating: 4/5

On the eve of finishing High School of the Dead, I was ready to jump into Kagewani: Shou, but I realized that it was the second season. Clearly you can't start the second season without the first. Before I started the series, I noticed that each episode was about 7-8 minutes long; very easy to binge watch. So, it took me a couple days or so to get through 13 episodes and I had a mix of emotions, none of them were negative though. I had no idea what was happening before my eyes, but I couldn't stop watching the horror unfold on these unsuspecting people. These monsters were attracted to fear and despair and no one knew how to stop them. Sousuke Banba wanted to help the people and understand the monsters and Masaki Kimura wanted to control them to his will and gain power. We've seen it many times when the government wants to weaponize something uncontrollable and unknown; it never works. Not only was the story intriguing, but the unique cut out, watercolor art style that I'm still not sure what to call it really kept my eyes busy. I'm currently watching the second season and it's just amazing how a 7-8 minute show feels like a full length episode. It's very engaging, action pack, and has some very interesting characters. Definitely a different kind of horror I've never experienced in the anime medium.

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