Kyousougiga Review

You guys are in for it!  I don’t even know if I have the capacity to review this ONA but I’m going to try.  Here is OVA review #2 and it is sure a weird one.  Kyousogiga is a 26-minute long Original Net Animation created by Izumi Todo, which was released in December of last year on Nico Nico Douga.  Todo is known for creating the Pretty Cure series that has 400+ episodes.  Anime powerhouse Toei Animation is behind the animation.  When I first watched this I thought it was only going to be a one shot, but recently Todo announced more episode are coming out eventually.  Okay let’s get to the review and I will see if I can figure out what the hell I just watched!

Plot Summary

Three kids are stuck in a strange city causing massive mayhem through the land. They are searching for an atypical rabbit in order to return home. Koto, the eldest of the three, seems to have some sort of connection to this weird place ruled by a monk, a demon, and a priest.  (AnimeNewsNetwork)

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Lets start with the animation.  Kyousogiga is an ONA so the overall budget wasn’t very high.  The animators did the best they could with what they had and they actually turned out some amazing animation.  The world in Kyousogiga is very colorful and abstract.  The best way I can explain the animation is if Studio Shaft had a love child with FLCL on acid.  That doesn’t make any sense does it? Well the animation and the action sequences are crazy.  The animation is sometimes a little sloppy in a good way (reminiscent of FLCL) and just as fast paced with an abstract twist.  The best way to understand the animation is to just watch it yourself, I guess I just suck at explaining.

9/10

characterso The characters are fine but a little confusing at times.  26 minutes wasn’t long enough for me to get all the characters straight.  Also if you’re not paying extremely close attention you are going to have issues understanding how all of the different character relate to each other.  Koto is the protagonist and she is just an ordinary girl who likes to destroy things.  She is really hyper and the show runs at a fast pace trying to keep up with her.  Without out her the show would probably be boring, she really livens up everything.  Don’t go in expecting a complex cast of characters because there aren’t any.  That being said the characters are a joy to watch and create a very lively atmosphere.

7/10 

audio

The voice actors are all great.  They all play their characters well.  Most have very over-the-top voices because Kyousogiga is an over the top anime.  The background music is barely noticeable and forgettable.  A J-Rock song was picked for the credits, which is also forgettable.

8/10

 

plotoThere are many parallels between Kyousogiga and Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland.  I’m not too familiar with Alice In Wonderland so if you’re interested in how they compare, there are other blogs out there that have tackled this subject.  I’ll just say there is a rabbit and Kyousogiga is set in a fantastical alternate world.  As I said before the show moves at a very fast pace.  With the fast pace mixed in with the crazy abstract world of Kyousogiga I found myself easily lost.  There is so much going on at the same time, I found myself missing parts of the story.  It is really something you need to watch multiple times to really see and understand everything.

8/10

overall

Overall Kyousogiga is a blast of fun energy.  I 100% recommend this but it does have the ability to overwhelm those who are not prepared.  I didn’t delve too much into the overall story because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone but trust me it worth watching.  I am really excited now that more episodes have been announced.  I have no idea when they will come out but I really want to blog them!

Final Score 8/10 

Thanks for reading

-Xana

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July

Children three that nestle near,
eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Ever drifting down a stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?

Taken from “A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky” By Lewis Carroll, as quoted in the beginning of Kyousogiga.

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Humanity Has Declined Review

There is one anime that really stuck out amidst the subpar summer 2012 anime season.  Humanity has Declined stuck out for better or for worse, some may love this series some may hate it.  Humanity Has Declined has been the best anime of this season in my opinion, better than Sword Art Online and better than Kokoro Connect (both of which haven’t finished so I probably should compare them yet).  It was a breath of fresh air, an original anime, unlike any other anime I have watched.

Humanity Had Declined also known as Jinrui wa Suitaishimashita (but that’s much to hard to pronounce) is a 2012 anime based on a series of light novels by the same name written by Romeo Tanaka a pretty well known writer for adult games, but don’t let that turn you off, this show has no fan service and is pg-13.  The animation studio behind it is AIC A.S.T.A and the director is Seiji Kishi whom also directed Persona 4 and Angel Beats!

“Jinrui wa Suitaishimashita is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human civilization has regressed and mankind keeps decreasing in numbers. The story follows an unnamed girl who acts as a mediator between humanity and the “fairies” who are small dwarf-like creatures attracted by sweets and happy things, but also have the habit to cause trouble to her with their powers in their endless search for amusement.” (Wikipedia) 

 

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Lets start off with the animation; Humanity Has Declined has shoujo written all over it.  It is bright, and it is colorful.  One diverse color pallet was used throughout this anime.  I don’t think I have ever seen an anime with that many varieties of green used.  The characters are all crisp and well drawn while the backgrounds are messy blended together colors that make a highlighter look dull in comparison (maybe I am exaggerating a little bit).  Just take a look at a screenshot of the show; you will know what I mean.  The show takes very few shortcuts and the animation is consistent throughout all the episodes.  Everything is very easy on the eye but it is not for people who don’t like bright colors, it might blind them.  

9.1/10

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First off before reading further you need to know that none of the characters have real names.  Our protagonist will be referred to as the heroine; the fairies will be called fairies and so on.  There is really only one character until the last 2 episodes that matters and that is the heroine.  Everything revolves around her and luckily she is great.  The show could have been a disaster if it wasn’t for how well she was written.  Maybe I liked her so much because of her sarcastic comments.  The heroine is a loner and extremely cynical.  She lies, she blackmails, and she acts like a God.  After all that the Heroine is probably the least crazy of the characters, well of the characters that get any development.  I would like to talk about Y, Curly and the other members of the Heroine’s school but that would ruin the last two episodes of the series, and they are by far the best.  The fairies also make the series interesting despite that you never get know much about any one fairy individually.  They may look all cute and cuddly but in fact they have a very blunt outlook on life.  They prefer quantity to quality and they create some situations that are laughable.  Other characters include Grandfather, The Assistant, a pair of robots, and some skinned but alive chickens.  They all have episodes dedicated to them but they are much less important.

9.2/10

 

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I’m not going to get much into the sound of the series but the voice actors are wonderful and go above and beyond to make everything perfect.   The heroine’s voice is so full of triviality for everything that goes around her.  Even by the way she speaks I came to the conclusion that the world is dying around her and she just doesn’t care.  The fairies voices caught me off guard.  They sound so cute but they are indifferent at the same time.  They are so hard for me to explain but their voices and their outlooks are such polar opposites that it is bizarre.  The opening and ending songs are both fine, the later being the better of the two.  I can’t say the background music is particularly memorable and I didn’t notice it much.

9.5/10

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ploto

It is obvious immediately that this series was aired out of order.  I think the proper order to watch is 10,7,8,5,6,1,2,3,4,9,11,12.  You could also watch episode 11 and 12 first because they are technically first chronologically.  The fact that this anime was aired out of order may be annoying to some but personally I thought it worked great.  Humanity has Declined is so bizarre that being aired out of order only adds to the chaotic fun of the show.  Everything makes sense in the end so it works out perfectly.  Some people may find a great disconnect between episodes.  I know that some people will think that the anime is a disconnected string of episodes that have little or nothing to due with each other.  If you know that you hate anime that are structured this way I would drop it immediately off your watch list, I can see you getting frustrated and confused.

8.5/10

It is time to get into this shows theme, which is environmentally based.  I am an Environmental Science major so whenever I come across environmental themes in anime I nerd out; I apologize for this.  I’ll start out by saying Humanity has Declined takes place in the distant future where humanity has declined; a pretty obvious observation on my part.  But how did humanity decline, that is the great question up for grabs here.  The truth is humanity will probably eventually decline.  There are currently 7 billion people in the world, a rate at which one tiny earth cannot sustain.  For people like me who live in Annex 1/Developed nations we are living at an unsustainable rate that takes multiple earths to support.  Humanity has Declined comes up with an interesting reason why they claim humanity has declined.  It is stated that humans pour all their energy into one thing passionately which leads to the neglect of important topics which later leads to the decline of the human race.  The fairies are used as metaphors for people degrading the environment.  This idea will all be apparent in episode 9.  I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into this topic too much but this episode is a symbol for how humanity has acted for ages.  At first humans were nomadic groups living with and off the land.  Eventually there was the agricultural revolution and humans started to stay in one place.  Eventually cities formed and development occurred.  Today half of the world’s population lives in cities.  Humans are living unsuitable lives that depend on fossil fuels for every matter of their life.  The point I think Humanity has Declined is trying to get off is that the human race has lost site in respecting the environment and that is why we will eventually decline until we are at the brink of extinction.  Maybe I am looking too much into an anime that appears silly on the outside but this is the point I feel like the author was trying to give off.

Some episode of Humanity has Declined are better than others.  There are brilliant episodes such as The Fairy Secret Tea Party Part 1 and 2 and then there are episodes such as The Fairies’ Time Management part, 1 and 2, which seemed to drag out to long.  Overall the show was a joy to watch.  I recommend it to everyone although I know a lot of people will not like it.  Humanity has Declined is by far the best anime of Fall 2012 and I will probably buy it when it comes out on DVD in the United States thanks to Sentai Filmswork picking it up.  If I can find them online I want to start reading the light novels that are still ongoing, I liked it that much.

9.1/10      

Overall I give Humanity Has Declined

9/10 

Thank you for reading!

Have a nice day!

-Xana

Heaven’s Memo Pad Review

I haven’t reviewed a full series in forever.  What should I review…let’s go with the last anime I watched.  I just watched the complete Kami-sama no Memo-chō (or Heaven’s Memo Pad as it is referred to I English) anime in the span of 24 hours so I am going to review that.  Basically to sum up the plot, take the NEETS from Eden of the East, the color gangs from Durarara and the detective from Gosick, give her black hair and you have got Heaven’s Memo Pad. The story revolves around Narumi Fujishima, an underachiever who doesn’t even care to learn his classmate’s names. He is forced into participating in his school’s gardening club whose members consist of himself and Ayaka Shinozaki. He also gets dragged in as a member of NEET, an amateur detective agency filled with NEETS who take on and solve cases on their own whims led by Alice, a little girl. The show may seem harmless but it deals with some very heavy topics including, prostitution, suicide, drug abuse and gang violence so let’s get to the review. Also don’t worry this review is spoiler free.

Heaven’s Memo Pad is aired out of order, but you wouldn’t even know without doing some research.  The series flows well despite this.  The hour-long series premier and episodes 10-12 are based on book one while episodes 2-9 consists of book 2, book 4 and several spinoff short stories.  The only problem with this is it causes a character that is not supposed to be in episodes 3 and 4 to be in those episodes…but it is not a big deal, the series flows well, but it might anger some fans of the original novels.  By airing the series out of order, it caused the series to have a powerful dramatic ending, which probably improved the overall quality of the series but by doing this the series was unable to show the aftermath of the events that take place, completely skipping the third book in the series.

J.C. Staff is behind the animation and it is one of their better efforts I have seen.  The character design is fairly unoriginal, with the character of Alice being the only one who really stands out in a moe kind of way.  Despite this every character is well drawn.  The backgrounds are all strong but throughout the series there are a lot of still shots, not that this is a bad thing, they don’t really take a way from anything in the series.  The music throughout is strong.  You can expect to hear everything from light piano to rock and rap.

heaven102324r

Heaven’s Memo Pad revolves around a NEET detective agency so you meet some very interesting characters.  Our protagonist Narumi at first seems like a typical underachiever, not even bothering to learn is own classmates names.  He is quickly swept into the world of the NEET detective agency and he takes on an important role of his own.  He is born to lead others, or maybe that is not the right way to describe him.  People seem to want to follow him despite his “I don’t care” atmosphere he gives off.  He is referred to as someone who could make for a good conman for his ability to make people believe in his causes.   He quickly became a much more interesting character than he seemed at the beginning of the series.  Alice who is the female protagonist may turn you off to the series.  She is a Hikikomori who lives off of Doctor Pepper and ramen broth.  She is probably an early teenager but she looks and has the body of a little girl probably due to malnutrition which the show hints at a couple of times.  She is soft spoken, embarrassed easily, always wears pajamas and is constantly with piles of stuffed animals.  To some this might ruin her credibility as a detective genius.  Three of the more interesting characters in the series are Tetsu, Shosa, and Hiro, three NEETS who “work” under Alice, helping here solve mysteries.  Tetsu never graduated high school, and now spends his days gambling all his money away, but he proves useful because he is friends with police, and gets good information.  Shosa is a military obsessed Otaku who isn’t actually a NEET.  He actually goes to university but rarely goes to class.  He says he will be in college for 8 years before dropping out.  He is an expert for setting up cameras to help spy on people for Alice.  The last of the three NEETS Hiro is though of as a gigolo, for his many girlfriends.  He is popular and knows everybody, always able to get valuable information for Alice.  There are two more important characters that I want to talk about but it is hard to without giving anything away.  There is Ayaka Shinozaki who is a cheerful girl who spends here free time working at a ramen joint, and the school’s garden club, both of which are relevant to events that take place in the series.  The last important character is Yondaime the leader of a young Yakuza group, adding to a lot of the violence throughout this series.  For the most part the characters are a diverse interesting crew and are a real strong point of this series.

tumblr_mc39fqcLQp1qejrr2o1_500

Heavens Memo Pad for the most part consists of 4 separate stories and two filler episodes.  The 4 separate stories are diverse, tackling many heavy subjects; suicide, drug abuse, drug distribution, prostitution, and gang violence.  I am a little surprised that my DVD case for this series only gives it a teen rating.  You see people get beaten to a pulp, and watch drug attics overdose.  Several parts of this series were difficult for me to watch.  The show seems a lot more “PG” than it is for the first 8 episodes and then when I got to the final arc I was caught a little off-guard.  The heavy atmosphere of this series may loose its credibility with Alice’s cutesy image; I find it hard to believe someone like Alice could accomplish what she does when surrounded by violence and drug abuse.  The first half of the series focuses on drama surrounding outside characters while the second half of the series focuses on drama around the core group of characters.  The story gets better when focusing on the core group of characters.

Overall Heaven’s Memo Pad is a short series that is worth watching.  It has a great story and characters, with quality animation.  It covers some heavy topics well but may loose a little credibility due to the way Alice looks and acts.

Characters 8.5/10 

Animation 8.5/10

Music 8.5/10

Story 9/10

Overall 8.6/10

Thank you for reading

-Xana

Spring 2013 Anime First Half Review…Part 2 or something

Look at me following through.  Here is part 2 of my first half review…

Attack on Titan

This seems to be the show of 2013, well so far.  Everyone is raving about how good it is, and it lives up to the hype so far.  7 episodes are out and they all have been exciting and action packed.  It’s nice to see how well developed our characters are just 7 episodes in.  The anime is great at showing how far the characters have come since the events of episode one, but it also shows their short comings, which hurt the ones around them.  The flashbacks within the series are well done, and really add to the flavor of this series.  My biggest worry is what the hell is going to happen after the events of episode 5…it’s been 2 episodes and they have barely addressed it.  How are they going to pull this off??? No manga spoilers please!

Devil Survivor 2

DS2BC-3DS-Announce

This show is alright so far, probably won’t remember it in a year.  It has an okay premise and fairly bland characters.  There is that lovely theme of friendship that is forced in your face over and over…I get it Hibiki Kuze needs his useless friends to defeat the bad guys.  DS2 sometimes just feels too pg.  I just feel like none of the “important characters” are in danger at all.  In the end “good” will triumph and bad will be defeated.  I don’t know anything…but the show still manages to keep my interest.  I have yet to watch today’s episode so maybe the series will prove me wrong.

 Suisei no Gargantia

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I’m not a huge fan of mecha, but every once in a while a show with mechs will impress me like Gargantia.  The first thing I noticed about this show was the animation; it is damn beautiful with very attractive character design. Also I really like how easy the show makes the transitions between languages…if not thought out properly it could have turned into a mess.  A majority of the show so far has been about Ledo getting incorporated into life on the Gargantia.  Some people might get bored by the lack of action, but I expect that will change soon. 

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru

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I watch this show for the character interactions and dialogue.  It’s interesting to see how this show dives into the characters thoughts, feeling and behaviors and how they are influenced imagined or implied.  This leads to many misunderstandings between or protagonists.  I am interested to see where they take these social interactions while some characters try so hard to be unsociable and distant.  The show is worth watching, and every episode has me laughing because of some bizarre situation. 

I wish it would stop raining

Thanks for reading.                  

Spring 2013 Anime First Half Review…Part 1 or something

Sorry for my lack of posting.  My internship has been controlling my life, causing me to work 6 days a week.  I have been living in rural Costa Rica on top of a mountain; internet is not the best up here.  I don’t have wireless, just a plugin in the corner of my cabin.  Despite all this I managed to watch many of the new spring 2013 anime.  Sooo here is what I think about the different shows this season, or something.

 

Red Data Girl

red data

Combining a plot that makes no sense and one of the worst intro songs of the season comes…Red data Girl.  It baffles me why I continue to watch this show but I’m 7 episodes in and I think I may have come up with an answer.  This show makes me sleepy.  I have to get up at 5:30 every morning to go census endangered species in the Costa Rican cloud forest…so I need my sleep.  All I need is one episode of Red Data Girl and I am asleep by 9pm.  The show isn’t all bad, P.A Work’s animation is always great, and I enjoy certain plot points throughout the show, especially when it revolves around the triplets…although they are a little unnecessarily melodramatic at times.  Izumiko Suzuhara is the boring protagonist who is supposed to be guarded and protected for reasons you find out early on in the series.  Then why send her to this dangerous boarding school where there are many students out to get her?  I may not have watched this series close enough to actually understand what is going on.  My recommendation skip this series, there are much better this season.

Hentai Ōji to Warawanai Neko or HenNeko or The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat

henneko

I probably shouldn’t be laughing as hard as I have been at this series.  I originally thought that it was going to be a series full of fan-service and overused plot devices, but I was wrong.  It is more of a romantic comedy with a fantastical twist…a very vulgar romantic comedy.  If you are easily offended, parts of this show might offend you, I will give an example.  Yōto Yokodera and Azusa Azuki are on a date.  The date consists of Yoto taking Azusa to look at wedding dresses for some bizarre reason.  Yoto then says something along the lines of what comes after marriage…and he takes her to the abortion clinic.  I thought it was pretty funny…but it was offensive to many people.  I recommend giving this show an episode, you will know right of the bat if this show is your cup of tea.

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Aku No Hana

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This may be the most frustrating show I have ever watched.  I want to like it, I think I like it but seriously who decided to use rotoscoping for this anime.  It looks cheap and it takes away from one of the most dramatic/heavy anime I have ever watched.  If you can get past the rotoscoping there is something to this show.  Sawa Nakamura makes this series.  She is one of the most unpredictable/unstable characters I have ever come across.  With her pulling the strings I highly doubt this series is going to have a happy ending.  I recommend don’t watch more than one episode of this series at a time…it will drive you crazy.  I have a hard time even watching one episode at a time…it just brings up emotions and it will make you yell at your computer when specific situations occur.  This show has potential and if you can get past the bizarre rotoscoping there is a brilliant anime for you to watch. 

Hataraku Maō-sama

devil part

Studio White Fox has never let me down, and they continue their quality anime with “The Devil Is a Part-Timer.”  If you haven’t watched this series you should start it immediately.  It revolves around Satan working at the equivalent of McDonalds.  He escaped to Tokyo after being defeated by the Hero Emilia.  He tries to live a quiet life working at a fast food restaurant while shenanigans occur.  The first 6 episode of this show were strong…but then in episode 7 they added a third love interest.  I hope this show doesn’t turn into a typical harem series and I hope it doesn’t take a step back from what made this series special in the first place…Ether way try this series out, it has been pretty good so far.

 

Okay so I am going to make a part 2 post, which will present my opinions so far on

Suisei no Gargantia

Devil Survivor 2

Shigeki no Kyojin (Attack of the Titan)

And

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru

Wow come to think of it I can’t believe I am watching 8 anime series this season. Last season I didn’t even complete a whole series…..

Tell me if you have any recommendations of the other series I have yet to watch.

This Boy Can Fight Aliens/Kono Danshi, Uchū-jin to Tatakaemasu Review

Hey what’s up everyone, first off I won’t to apologize for not posting as frequently this season as I used too.  To make up for my lack of posting I’m going to be posting everyday this workweek, a new review, for a total of 5 in all!  They will all be reviews of different OVAs so lets get to the first one, which is about a boy who fights aliens to save the world.  This review will be as spoiler free as possible, so don’t worry!

When aliens suddenly invade the world, Earth seems to be fighting a losing battle until Arikawa, one of the defense command staff discovers a young man lying on a hill.  Tests soon prove the impossible: this one teenager, Kakashi has the power to defeat the attackers.  Kakashi has lost his memory and he has no way of properly using his powers.  Everyday the Aliens send down a new challenger who he must defeat and if he doesn’t the world could end.

This Boy Can Fight Aliens was animated by one woman, by the name of Soubi Yamamoto when she was 21 on her home computer.  It was later produced by CoMix Wave Films who also had the job of getting the voice actors and writing the music for the OVA.  The OVA runs 30 minutes and has been licensed and distributed dubbed in the United States by Sentai Filmswork.

arto

It is apparent that Shoujo Anime influenced Yomamoto heavily.  The three main characters are all male all look very feminine.  Also very typical of Shoujo Anime, the characters have long, lanky builds.  The world that Yomamoto created is very bright; it makes Penguin Drum look dull in comparison. There are only brief moments of action, but what action there is looks great and moves fluently.  The backgrounds are all very detailed but fail to be anywhere as impressive as the other animator known for creating anime by himself at home, Makoto Shinkai.  It is hard to not compare Yomamoto work to those of Shinkai.  They both for the most part do everything by themselves but Shinkai has 15 years more experience.  Maybe Yomamoto in the future will be able to be compared equally to Shinkai, but she needs more time but she does show lots of promise.  There are some moments where the animation is bad.  Yomamoto took many shortcuts.  The easiest to notice is when the characters walk.  There are moments where it is very choppy.  There are also times when the animation looks like cardboard cutouts or comedy is used as an excuse to make the animation look crappy as a shortcut.

8/10

characterso

There are only 3 characters in This Boy Can Fight Aliens, Kakashi, Arakawa, and Shiro.  For a 30-minute OVA the characters are fairly well developed and easy to get an understanding of.  Kakashi our protagonists, is going through an inner struggle.  He has amnesia and is constantly paranoid.  He is afraid that if he remembers his past he will find out that he is alone in the world.  His struggles create an interesting character that is at war with himself, which leads to some rather trippy sequences in the OVA.  Arakawa basically is a very nice person.  He has a special relationship with Kakashi and he cares for him deeply.  He is always encouraging Kakashi and getting him through hard times.  Our last character is Shiro, the rough but caring father figure.  He is the worst developed of the three characters.  Sometimes his actions seem to contradict each other and I was left confused.

7/10

audio

The music throughout the OVA was fairly strong.  There were nice soft piano and violin pieces.  The voice actors chosen also did their jobs well.  I was surprised that there was a dub of this OVA and it was also very good.  I really liked Greg Ayres as Arakawa he was cast perfectly.

8.5/10

 

ploto

 The story is a simple one.  Basically Kakashi fights aliens while fighting an internal battle with himself.  This Boy Can Fight Aliens is a boy’s quest for friendship, and to not be alone in this world.  It is hard to talk about the story without spoiling it because it is only 30 minutes long.  It is obvious from the beginning that there are elements of boy-love throughout the OVA.  They aren’t too prevalent and even if you don’t like the genre of boy-love it shouldn’t bother you unless you’re the CEO of Chic-fil-A.

7.75/10

Final Score, 7.5/10

Overall This Boy Can Fight Aliens is a decent OVA and is worth watching.  I recommend it to anyone, if you don’t like it you only wasted 30 minutes of your life.  Thanks for reading.

-Xana

Rei’s Spring 2012 Season Review

Yo! It’s been a while, I know. I’ve been really busy with my studies and finally it’s the semester break and I could relax for a week. So yeah i’m writing a little review of the Spring season hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it. Spring season, though admittedly fine, does not seem as strong as last season. Last season, I believe, had shows in its top 5 that were all top show-caliber and could’ve easily been number ones in other seasons. I cannot confidently say that for this season. Not to say this season is bad. This season, as with every season, had its fair share of strong shows but it just didn’t feel as awe-inspiring as last season. Ah well, some won’t agree but that’s whatever. Lets get the ball rolling.

Top 5 Shows

5. Space Brothers

    Space Brothers is a show about one man’s dream to become an astronaut. A dream he forgot he once had as a child. Him and his brother, who is an astronaut in the U.S. by way of Japan, had always been fascinated by the night sky, especially the moon, and an even witnessed a UFO. However, somewhere along the line he had forgotten about this and went on to become a gifted car developer while his brother went into the space program. But after getting the sack, his brother rekindled the intense fire burning inside him to become an astronaut and follow his dream of going to the moon. Hiroaki Hirata, the same man who voiced Wild Tiger inTiger and Bunny, voices the main character, Mutta,and he is fantastic in this as well. He voices him phenomenally well with the same light-hearted almost lovable-loser air he brought to Kotetsu which shouldn’t be very surprising as the characters are quite similar. All told, the characters in this show are great and feel very real and fleshed out. The show is written with an appealing dry humor but the real star of the show is the path to becoming an astronaut. It really showcases how intensive the space program’s screening process really is which includes several written exams and a battery of physical and psychological exams that measures one’s physical prowess, memory, and competence under pressure. It’s a show that kind of came out of nowhere and I highly recommend it.

4. Hyouka

This show is about ice cream. It is so because I say it is so. In all fairness, Hyouka does mean ice cream in english, which ends being a somewhat clever pun during the first half of the show and it is in this first half that the show really shines. The show is gorgeously drawn and well-animated with art direction that rivals any of the best shows this season. Its direction really interests me because its style and cinematography during expository sequences is really reminiscent of SHAFT. The crazy artistic sequences it occasionally uses to accompany dialogue are immensely pleasing to the eye and imagination. Also reminiscent of SHAFT, it possesses fantastic writing that is anchored by a surprisingly endearing deadpan snarker of a lead male protagonist and fantastic support characters. Its first story arch is amazingly well done with a well-thought out build up of events and satisfying conclusion that leaves an appropriately bittersweet taste in one’s mouth. This occurs around Episode 6 and this is the high point of the show, unfortunately. Not to say the rest of the show is bad, quite the opposite actually, but after the first arch is concluded the show kind of just spins its wheels where the story is concerned. It appears to move towards the main protagonist breaking out of his self-imposed shell and becoming a social person and to a certain extent this is still true but they seemed to stop well short of this in favor of solving weekly “dilemmas”, if one can really call “a teacher being pissed off over trivial matters” a dilemma. Regardless of this, the show is really well put together and is really a refreshing and immensely enjoyable slice-of-life. The problem is it had the incredible potential to be much more than just that.

3.  Kuroko no Basuke

Its full of action, great soundtrack with brilliant and more importantly suitable voices for the characters. I like how the main character, Kuroko, is more of a shadow that people can easily overlook (often comically) but still let people know he’s the main character without being all ‘in your face’ about it which isnt what you often see. Speaking of the Kuroko, he brings so many light hearted comical scenes into the anime from where he’d just appear out of nowhere or disappear which greatly balances out Kagami’s fiery personality. The key characters of this series, the generation of miracles. Having had read the manga beforehand, im aware of how each of the five are portrayed and I cant fault the series to how they have developed and portrayed them so far. Yes, it does bring into question how a kids around the age of first year high schoolers can be over 6ft tall but that is the beauty of 2D world, anything can happen. If you are one of those who are pedantic about these petty details and decided to make a pass on the series then youre definitely missing out. Every week, you just cant wait to see the next episode to be aired just to get more exhilarating action.  In my opinion, this IS one of the best series to be released and i hope it gets more episodes as it is just pure enjoyment.

2. Sakamichi no Apollon

I tend to hate period anime. Nothing personal, but every period anime I seem to come across either invokes seething disdain or incredible indifference from me. Technically, Sakamichi no Apollon is a period anime as it takes place during 1960s Japan and the weird thing I’ve discovered is that I find this show to be fantastic. I suppose it’s a Period Anime with massive quotation marks but come on now, let this break through be the start of something beautiful and long lasting like Kim Kardashian in cryo-statis. Distancing myself as far from that previous statement as I can, Sakamichi no Apollon is about forging the incredible bonds of friendship through music, specifically jazz. We have a guy who is a classically trained pianist who’s transferring to a new school befriending an apparent ruffian who gets into a lot of fights but finds solace in playing the drums and the glue that holds them together is jamming in the basement of music store owner’s shop as they are also friends with the owner’s daughter. The characters are fantastic and grounded this is one of the few shows can encapsulate true drama and not make it feel overbearing. The art style is great and animation is incredibly fluid, especially during music sequences. The finale episode was especially incredible and the final scene was truly sublime as a lot of raw emotion was communicated but no words were needed, only music. It may very well have been the single greatest scene of any show this season. This show is truly crafted and is damn near a masterpiece but it falls just short because as much as I love this show I can’t shake the feeling that it feels a bit rushed and would’ve greatly benefited from having 24 episodes to work with rather than the 12 it was given. Regardless, this show could very well be in consideration for one of the top shows of the year come December.

1. Fate/Zero

The first season of Fate/Zero left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t like how it ended its first season on a cliffhanger only to come back four months later and attempt to wrap things up. I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Regardless, how it ended its first season did not sit very well with me and this made me dubious in when it returned in April. To its credit, it certainly returned with a bang that shook me a little. I had forgotten how high quality absolutely every aspect of it was. It’s easily the best looking show of the season and an argument could be made that it’s the best looking show of the year. It’s writing remained top-notch, its animation was still the smoothest and most natural of any show this year, and its story and pacing were second to none. Overall, the show is rather incredible. The dynamic between the remaining masters and servants fighting desperately to attain the legendary Holy Grail was exquisite and the delicate twists and turns the plot took were never overbearing but always made sure my attention and interest never wavered (pun unintended). The twist behind the power of the grail especially is reason alone to watch this show and the way it wraps up the Holy Grail War while deftly leading into Fate/Stay Night is simply sublime. If there is one gripe I have about this show is that it doesn’t really have that high an opinion of women. First off, there are no female masters and I suppose a rather weak argument can be made that there is a female servant (servants?). The one thing that grabbed attention though was in the deaths. Almost all of the men who die in this show die honorable deaths in battle and what have you. The women, on the other hand, just get choked to death. Some by the same person. Some more than once. The guys just choke a bitch. That seems rather misogynistic when you really stop to think about it. If that is enough to put you off then by all means don’t watch Fate/Zero. But in doing so you’d be missing out on easily one of the best, if not the best, shows this year.

 

Best Female Character

“Koko Hekmatyar” of Jormungand

Her name is Koko, she is loco, I said “oh, no”. This is an undisputed fact. To most, Koko can look clinically insane. She’s a female weapons dealer that has an almost unbridled passion for her line of work and always has a rather maniacal grin on her face, even when under fire. She can quickly oscillate between coldly gunning someone down during a business transaction gone bad to quickly throwing herself upon Jonah, her child soldier pride and joy, and teasing him and cooing sweet assurances in his ear. However, there is a method to her madness. She always appears to be one step ahead her colleagues, friend and foe alike, and she is shockingly efficient when she happens to be full of bloodlust, inflicting the most damage while taking the least. It is because of this blend of efficiency and girlish glee that her soldiers tremendously respect her. One of the more intriguing things is we really haven’t seen the full side to her character and her backstory is tremendously intriguing. She has an air of mystery. This, above all else, may be what makes her my best character

 

Best Male Character

Sentarō Kawabuchi” of Sakamichi no Apollon

Sentaro seems like a guy who merely seems like a high school delinquent. He gets into a lot of fights and doesn’t really give much of a damn about school and grades. But he finds solace in music. He finds solace in the drums. To him, music is friendship, and friendship is magic…yeah. In all seriousness. Sentaro is a fantastic character. He puts a tremendous amount of importance on family as his father, who was an American in the navy, left him at a young age and because of this he tremendously caring and fiercely protective of his siblings. He puts a lot of stake in his friendships with Kaoru and Ritsuko and feels like they are his family as well. This is especially the case with Kaoru as they are so in tune that can communicate with just music. Words, at times, are just unnecessary. He is really is a great guy. He only gets into fights at school because people make fun of him for his appearance coming from an American father and Japanese mother. He’s honestly one of the best friends a person can have. And the most interesting male character this season.

 

Top 5 Openings

5. “Tsurezure Monochrome” by FUJIFABRIC (Tsuritama)

 

 

4. Feel So Moon” by UNICORN (Space Brothers)

 

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/pv8-vJV3nLw

 

3. “To the Beginning” by Kalafina (Fate/Zero)

 

 

2. ”Yasashisa no Riyuu” by Chouchou (Hyouka)

 

 

1. “Sakamichi no Melody” by YUKI (Sakamichi no Apollon)

 

 

Top 5 Endings

5. ”Start it right away” by Hyadain (Kuroko’s Basketball)

 

 

4. ”Himekuri” by Kaori Sadohara (Upotte)

 

 

3. ”Te o Gyuushite ne” by Rumi Ookubo (Acchi Kocchi)

 

 

2. ”Subarashiki Sekai” by Rake (Space Brothers)

 

 

1. ”Karandorie” by Aki Okui (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia)

 

 

Final Thoughts

The new season is looking good so far and I know i’m really late to join the party. I’ve already watched a few anime and i’m liking most of them so far. Not so sure what kinda of anime i’ll review for the new season but it looks like the good ones has already been taken by my fellow writers. I’ll see what anime I can talk about, it looks like it’s only going to be Rinne no Lagrange and a few last season anime like Space Brothers, and Kuroko no Basuke. Well that is all I guess. Thanks for reading.