Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Quick Anime Review

Assassination Classroom Season 2 (2016) | Rating: 4.5/5

Assassination Classroom easily became one of my favorite series of 2015 and naturally, I was excited about delving deeper with the second season. Along with watching the show, I've also been reading the manga which is mostly the same thing with a few additional storylines. Overall, they're both equally enjoyable. Of course, the publication release in the U.S. is behind compared to the show and I assume that in Japan, they're done publishing the series, but I could be wrong. Anyway, jumping into this second season and eventually finding out that this would be the final installment meant that I would find out the answer of whether they would find some way to keep Koro-sensei alive or successfully assassinate him and claim the reward money. I came to these conclusions, and mostly leaned toward trying to save him, because these students were becoming more and more attached to Koro-sensei. It was kinda predictable. Fortunately, the actual conclusion wasn't as predictable and disappointing as some would think. Throughout each episode, they managed to keep things exciting while adding a few curve balls here and there. I was very satisfied with the final few episodes and admittedly got a little misty eyed. In short, this was a very successful second season and I'm looking forward reliving and expanding this universe through the manga.

Kiznaiver (2016) | Rating: 3.5/5

Brought to you by the studio who made you crazy about Kill la Kill is the bright and vivid world of Kiznaiver. A few reasons I wanted to check out this show were the visuals, plot, and its association with the hit anime series Kill la Kill, despite me not seeing the show just yet. It is on my to watch list on MAL though. Anyway, this series started off with some promise as we were introduced to each character and exploring their secrets to bring not only the cast together, but the viewers to them as well. Unfortunately, after a couple or so episodes, the plot became a bit...convoluted. Sure, some episodes shined by utilizing these secrets and creating situations for the group to bond, but when the story wanted to focus more on Katsuhira and his blurry past, the story was slowly falling apart. For the most part, I tried to ignore the poorly executed Katsuhira/Noriko history and remember how much I enjoy the rest of the cast and their interactions. While the story wasn't completely terrible, it just did a better job focusing on them being kiznaivers and learning about each other as friends. I guess putting the character with no emotion and barely a personality who's interested in a person with those similar traits was not the best thing to spotlight. Nonetheless, I don't regret watching this show as I did enjoy the varying personalities and the conflict among their quirky differences. Mostly, I just wish it was a little better with handling Katsuhira and the background of the kiznaiver project.

Noblesse: Awakening (2016) | Rating: 3.5/5

After watching Noblesse: The Beginning of Destruction, I was curious to see what was in store for Cadis Etrama di Raizel. After 820 years of sleep, Raizel has to adjust to the present day and reunites with his assistant Frankenstein in an academy. His new human classmates are very welcoming of his arrival and he slowly learns how to live in this new world. I enjoyed watching their interactions and their bond seemed believable. So, when his classmates get into trouble with a group called Unions, Raizel doesn't hesitate to put his life on the line and teach them what it takes to be a true Noblesse. Surprisingly, when I watched this, I expected to be hearing this ONA in Korean like the prequel, but it was in Japanese. At times, it seemed a little strange as I'm not sure if it was originally in Korean or not, but overall I didn't have any problems with this transition. The animation remained gorgeous and the action was very satisfying and exciting. Once again, I wish there was more adventures to be seen with Raizel and Frankenstein and maybe the creator(s) will animate more.

UN-GO (2011) | Rating: 3/5

Since I have this anime rotation that I stick to to get through series, I was looking for a good short mystery to potentially get into. I'm not sure how I came across this title, but all I can think of was a possible wig purchase on eBay for Inga's cool lavender hairstyle. When I first started, I was ready for some fun mystery adventures and what I got wasn't an in your face, super involved show compared to my two favorites Detective Conan and Monster. Instead, what I was given was a supernatural experience with some mysteries to build up the "Defeated Detective" Shinjurou Yuuki's reputation and perhaps confidence in his abilities. While I admit I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to join solving the cases with the main cast, there was another mystery that I was dying to know which is the origins of Inga and his (or her) relationship with Shinjurou. Perhaps I would've enjoyed this show more if I was more familiar with Sakaguchi Ango's novel Meiji Kaika Ango Torimonocho, which is the source material for the show. Once I was done with the show, I checked out the prequel UN-GO: Inga-ron which answers a good portion of my questions about Shinjurou and Inga. In fact, I think I found it a little more interesting than the series. This wasn't a terrible show and I would recommend it, but it'll be difficult to really immerse yourself in the mystery solving, at least it did for me.

Under the Dog (2016) | Rating: 1.5/5

The description provided by MAL of the show sounded very interesting. I was expecting some great visuals and plenty of action to keep me glued to the screen. Unfortunately, the story lacked substance. The synopsis provided more depth and explanation than the actual story and I'm glad I read that before jumping into it. Although, the last time I read it was when I added it before the summer anime season began, so I completely forgot the premise and only remembered my impression of reading it. There's lots of explosions, chase scenes, baddies, and even an intimidating monster. I'm all for evil organizations, terrorist attacks, and protecting the "target", but the show doesn't offer much reason as to why this person is so important, how our main character and her family are involved in this organization, what the organization's purpose is, or any character depth. You're purely guessing on what the heck is going on. By the time the OVA ends and the massive credits appear, you have no idea what you just watched, let alone a reason to care about what happened to these characters. I am very disappointed as there was some potential hidden in this short time length. Perhaps if it was a series, things would be explained better. Obviously, there are better action anime out there in the summer season, so don't waste your time with this one.

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