This revived version of Fruits Basket has been a long time coming – the original series came out while the manga was ongoing, and skewed more towards comedy rather than drama, and some of the core themes of the series ended up getting pushed to the side (along with some instances of mischaracterization). At long last, though, we come to the conclusion of the far more faithful adaptation of the manga, and the question becomes whether or not this can stick the landing.
Continue reading “Fruits Basket The Final: Anime Review”
To be upfront – The World Ends With You is a game that I had no familiarity with going in. I never got around to picking up the DS version of the game, and I’d held off of picking up the Switch version mainly because I’d heard disappointing things about that particular port. So, when I learned that the game was getting an anime adaptation (just in time for a new game in the series to come out), I decided to give the show a watch.
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It’s been a long time since the last Log Horizon series came out. That series ended with several mysteries still in play, and several new plot hooks set up, like Krusty having been teleported to the Chinese server, and the introduction of Geniuses – more powerful monsters with their own weird, metagame logic sent by whoever on the moon server had brought them to this world in the first place. This season doesn’t resolve those issues particularly, but it does push some plot developments forward in that regard, particularly related to the characters’ plot development.
Continue reading “Log Horizon: The Destruction of the Round Table: Anime Review”
Studio Trigger’s more recent fare is interesting from a critical standpoint because it’s very clear that they are a studio that does not shy away from being political and generally attempting to be progressive. They’re also a studio who, rather than directly addressing Japanese politics, tends to address their narratives through the lens of American politics, often through the X-Men books, which means that due to their distance from American politics, they can stumble into some rakes that are otherwise avoidable, and BNA: Brave New Animal is a great example of this.
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I’ve generally avoided a lot of the more OP Isekai Anime series – no wish fulfillment shows with characters that have a superpowered cheat ability getting ported into a fantasy world modeled on a MMORPG in my watched list. Oh, there are Isekai shows on there, and even ones with people who have abilities that are somewhat overpowered (Log Horizon comes to mind). However, all of those are ones that are cases where an existing power from the game’s world is applied differently. Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear is the first show with this concept that I’ve ended up watching, and it’s probably the best place to jump in on this idea.
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Iwa-kakeru kind of got a bad break. This year was the year where we were supposed to get the Tokyo Summer Olympics and with it, as one of the new events, Bouldering – or Sport Climbing. So, Iwa-kakeru would have been placed to perfectly strike when the iron was hot, adapting a manga about this brand new Olympic sport, to rise off of the heat of that Olympic fever. And then COVID-19 happened and the Summer Olympics were pushed back at least one year. So, the question becomes whether Iwa-kakeru can hold up without that boost of Olympic excitement.
Continue reading “Iwa-kakeru: Sport Climbing Girls: Anime Review”
I’ve reviewed most of the anime adaptations of Hayate: The Combat Butler, and reviewed much of the manga that’s been officially released in English to date (in spite of the official US release being several years behind the Japanese release – which has since ended). When I learned that author Kenjiro Hata’s latest manga, Tonikawa, was getting an anime adaptation, that show quickly ended up on the list of shows on my watchlist for that season, and I was not disappointed.
Continue reading “Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You: Anime Review”
This week I’m reviewing a short anime film made as a tribute to Kaiju movies from the ’60 and ’70s.
Continue reading “Negadon The Monster From Mars: Anime Review”
It’s been a while since I did a review of a show that just finished airing, so it’s time to give my thoughts on Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken.
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By all rights, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen, at least this year’s show, should not exist. It’s an adaptation of a heroic fantasy light novel that not only isn’t an isekai, but is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary. That said, I’m glad it does.
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Anime, often, cribs from works of western science fiction – particularly films. Star Wars, Star Trek, the Starship Troopers novel, and Lensmen have all been borrowed from or in some cases adapted outright. However, there are some instances where the level of cribbing doesn’t quite pan out, and Odin: Starlight Mutiny is one of those.
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Special 7 is the last of the big anime series I’d watched in the Fall 2019 season that finished that season – Azur Lane was delayed, Blade of the Immortal, Fate/Grand Order, and My Hero Academia were two-cour series, and I dropped Babylon. It’s an interesting anime series that takes the concept of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and applies it in an urban fantasy context, but doesn’t quite have as much to say.
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The first season of We Never Learn ended with an announcement for a second season. With the manga being based around college preparation and studying for that, I did definitely have a sense that whether or not the manga was actually done at this point, whatever the second season ended on was going to have some degree of finality – with how the anime was paced, I couldn’t really see a way to wrap here without getting into graduation. Without too many spoilers before the cut, it does get to graduation, and in hindsight, I think the ending kind of works well.
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2019 wrapped up with an anime series that put itself on my list of anime to recommend to non-anime fans. That anime was Vinland Saga – and even better, it was on Amazon Prime, a streaming service that generally a lot of non-anime fans subscribe to.
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Sports Anime is something of a blind spot in my viewing habits. A lot of the top shows of the past few years (Kuroko’s Basketball, Haikyu, Yowamushi Petal) are on my to-watch list, and a few other shows (Giant Killing, Free, Princess Nine) I’ve never gotten around to finishing. So on a recommendation I decided to sit down and watch Scorching Ping-Pong Girls, on the one hand I found it an enjoyable and brisk watch – but on the other, it left me hanging.
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This past year or so we had a fair number of anime series paying tribute to classic Tokusatsu series from Tsuburya Productions. The most high profile of these was S.S.S.S. Gridman, with Netflix’s Ultraman Season 1 (adapting the manga) coming out earlier, and flying under the radar. There are a few reasons for that – Gridman had Trigger’s rep going for it, instead of being a totally CG anime series, and was released in English in a more conventional manner instead of the Netflix binge model. As far as how much each of those contributed – well, I can’t get into specifics without delving into Steiner Math (which I flunked in college). That said, the show is still fun, and worth your time.
Continue reading “Ultraman Season 1: Anime Review”
There are some anime with a strong first half, and then which utterly shits the bed in the second half of the show. Yu-No, an anime series based off of an Eroge (and which had an earlier hentai adaptation back in the ’90s) is one of those shows.
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I’m a sucker for anime series that are intended to be somewhat educational. So, when How Heavy Are the Dumbells That You Lift came up on the seasonal anime charts, it ended up on my to-watch list. While there is some debate about how healthy this show is, I’m glad it exists.
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A while back, when I had started my fanzine with the intent of getting established science fiction fans, in particular, those who read fanzines (a demographic that is generally more likely to vote and nominate in the Hugos), to watch and nominate speculative fiction anime – I started with a list. I gave a list of anime series that had come out since the turn of the millennium which I thought literary speculative fiction fans would enjoy. Among them was Bodacious Space Pirates, a science fiction anime which I felt took the sense of adventure and wonder that was a fixture of ‘50s and ’60s YA Space Adventure science fiction, kept that, and dropped the obsolete political and social views that fill so many works of that period. Astra: Lost in Space is the next anime that tries this and pulls it off spectacularly.
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This week I’m starting my September Anime block with a very chill anime about camping in the off season – Laid Back Camp.
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This past year, as part of my weekend anime viewings with my parents, we watched all of My Hero Academia over the course of a few months. As I watched the show, something struck me. Deku and his struggles with mastering One For All are a really good metaphor for my experiences with Autism.
Continue reading “My Hero Academia: A Neurodiverse Reading”
If you’d read my review of Area 88, you may recall that I gushed over the gorgeously depicted dogfights in that show. Since then I’ve been looking for something that scratched that itch. Not necessarily with the amount of grit that Area 88 did – but still, something that had exciting, tense fighter dogfights. The Winter 2018 anime season brought me the thing that I’d been waiting for. Specifically, it brought me The Magnificent Kotobuki, from the writer and director of Shirobako and Girls Und Panzer. Now, the series had some difficulty taking off for some fans because of the stylistic choices the director made. However, once it got airborne, in my view The Magnificent Kotobuki became a fantastic action anime.
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In my review last week of the first Boogiepop Omnibus, I talked about this year’s Boogiepop anime series. Since I recorded that episode, I’ve finished watching the series, and have some thoughts of the show.
Continue reading “Anime Review: Boogiepop and Others (2019)”
It feels like an unnecessary point to say, but it bears mentioning nonetheless – Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel II. Lost Butterfly is very much the middle installment of a trilogy. While the first film in this route, Presage Flower, had a very dark ending, this film manages to go into darker places and ends in a dire place. While the first two routes had a degree of brightness to their endings, and I have no doubt that the Heaven’s Feel route will be no exception, it’s important to go in knowing that.
It also bears mentioning going in, and I’m mentioning this before the cut for those who don’t want to read further before seeing the film – even though I’m going to minimize spoilers, that I would give this film a content advisory for sexual assault and suicide. Neither is depicted explicitly on screen (sort of), but it comes up, so it’s important to know going in.
Continue reading “Anime Review: Fate/stay night – Heaven’s Feel II. Lost Butterfly”