Sunday, July 31, 2016

Quick Anime Review

High School of the Dead (2010) | Rating: 3.5/5

After completing both Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate, it was time to replace it with another horror type anime in my rotation. I've heard of this show before and have seen the popular "matrix boobs" gif of it on Tumblr, so I knew what I was getting myself into. The show doesn't hold back on its zombie epidemic and gets right into the action. I enjoyed the variety of characters we're given, even though it's practically a harem kinda vibe going on for our two male leads. The story has some good pacing and even splits up our group of characters temporarily. They face many trials that seem unwinnable, but they manage to get out like badasses. As much as I enjoyed this series, I do have a couple complaints. While I was aware of the fanservice existing in this series, it seemed to increase over time with gratuitous upskirts, unrealistic boob physics, and...pretty much any kind of shameless eye candy for the fanboys (or girls). This fanservice can be distracting to the awesome female cast that actually have some redeemable qualities that make me want to be part of their gang. [See BlipMasta5's rant] Fortunately, it does calm down a little toward the end. Also, I wish there was a more human threat to our cast of high schoolers, like they build up one of the teachers Koichi Shidou as this creepy teacher that would throw off anything and when they run into him toward the climax of the show, nothing big really happens between him and the group. It's just a bit of a let down in that area. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this thrill ride of zombies and destruction, despite the gratuitous fanservice. Hopefully, that second season actually happens in the near future.

Super Lovers (2016) | Rating: 3.5/5

I am no stranger to shounen ai (boy love) and yaoi and I believe I've mentioned that here. If you're just finding out and you're surprised, then now you know. Going into this show, it sounded like it would be cute, but I was kinda surprised by the shounen ai least how it's presented. It shouldn't come to any shock to me that this was a brother x brother kind of story. It's not as "traumatizing" as shotacon Boku no Pico, but more like Papa to Kiss in the Dark. Yes, I've watched both of these. Don't judge me! In other words, it's fluff and really they do play with the brother aspects as far as trying to domesticate and culturally teach Ren in Japan. He learns how to trust people as well as the meaning of love and family, even if it's unconventional. Getting into this story, I thought it was cute. This little boy is adopted into a new family and most of his time is spent with their pet wolves. He believes he is one of them, until his new older brother comes to visit in the summer and tames his wildlife ways, then he makes a promise to show him around Japan where he lives. When Ren surprises Haru by moving in, that's when I became confused and somewhat surprised by their more than brotherly love. It took me some time to accept that that's where the story was going and now...I'm looking forward to the second season. Obviously, this series isn't for everyone, but this pseudo-incest didn't cross too much of a taboo line for me.

Anne Happy♪ (2016) | Rating: 4/5

Lately, I've been going through MAL's convenient list of seasonal series, which also include specials, OVAs, and movies, and adding series that sound interesting. Upon watching the first episode of this series, I had no idea why I added it to the list as it was extremely cutesy and girly, but...I did not regret it. In fact, I got Ophelia into this fun little series of friends dealing with their bad luck. It's a slice of life comedy that puts these girls into the Happiness Class to turn their luck around. They are ranked by who has the worst luck too, which at first I thought was silly, but it happens to bring them together and cause a stronger bond. Our cast of characters use their strengths and weaknesses to overcome each task in their own way, whether they actually pass or fail the test. I can understand if some people thought the show was silly and that our main character Hibari doesn't quite fit in with her misfit friends, but I enjoyed it and it made me excited and happy to watch each episode every week, especially when Ophelia got into it. It also kinda reminded me of Aiura. Sidenote: I would love to have my own Timothy.

Bungou Stray Dogs (2016) | Rating: 3.5/5

This is another new series from the Spring 2016 season and the premise sounded pretty interesting. When I first jumped into the show, I felt a little uncertain whether I would enjoy this or not, because the plot seemed a bit unclear in places. From the first episode, I figured we would be following Atsushi as he figures out his powers and runs away from whatever is chasing him, but by the second episode it shifted slightly to something else. Yes, we do get to watch Atsushi discover himself and find his place in the ranks of Osamu Dazai, his partner Doppo Kunikida, and the rest of the supernatural detectives in their special agency, but it isn't your typical crime of the week kind of mystery series. Sure, they solve a few cases, but it's more of a supernatural action series more than anything with an interesting brand of comedy, which is supposedly apparent in the manga. I was unaware that these characters were based on Japanese novelist if it wasn't for TheAnimeMan, which would explain Dazai's comical suicide fascination, but if you were just as unaware as I was, you will still find it humorous due to well thought out execution and timing. While the plot seems kinda loose and tends to wander off, I still managed to find myself very entertained by our super powered detectives and figuring out the somewhat overarching mystery of the port mafia. Despite the flaws in the story, I really think it was the characters that kept me hooked and their interactions with each other. Fortunately, I get to rejoin them again in the second season and hope that the story gets a tighter grasp on its goal.

Kagewani: Shou (2016) | Rating: 4.5/5

The action and thrills continue in this second season. Much like the first season, the show continued to be addicting and very much fulfilling in each 8 minute episode. Banba becomes the hunted this time around and his journey becomes increasingly more difficult compared to the first season. Now that he has a kagewani inside of him, he must constantly keep a balance on his newfound powers and humanity. In this season, he not only has to continue to fight and understand the origins of kagewani, but he has deal with more human threats and possibly being arrested for something he didn't do. I continued to have a lot of fun with Banba and company and the final couple episodes did not disappoint. I'm hoping that this series will receive a third season as I really don't want this journey to end just yet.

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