Combatants Will Be Dispatched: Anime Review

I will admit, I’m not as familiar with Konosuba as I’d like to be. I’ve watched some of the show in advance of my first Anime Appendix N video, but I haven’t read any of the novels (though I’m planning to rectify some of that). However, the show was very much a success, so it’s not surprising that a different series of novels from the same author – Combatants Will Be Dispatched – has also received an anime adaptation.

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S.S.S.S. Dynazenon: Anime Review

The previous Gridman anime, from Trigger, hid the true meaning of those 4 S’s for that series until the last episode – “Special Signature to Save a Soul.” Dynazenon puts its meaning for those initials right up front – “Scarred Souls Shine like Stars.” The theme of this show is very much self-evident – this is a series about characters learning to cope with trauma and work through trauma, but also acknowledging that trauma is something that sticks around and doesn’t necessarily go away. And the show presents those themes through the framework of high school students working together to fight Kaiju.

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Back Arrow: Anime Review

Of the past two cours’ mecha anime, Back Arrow is probably the oddest of the bunch. Like Real Robot anime, it has warring factions with what are, effectively, mass production mecha, with ace customs for more prominent named characters. Like Super Robot anime, no fucks are given as to the mechanics of how this works, to the point of the mechs effectively running on Gurren Lagann-style Hot-Blooded Gumption (fitting since Kazuki Nakashima, who wrote Gurren Lagann, wrote this) And, like Space Runaway Ideon, there are some mysteries about the source of this technology that lean towards the sinister.

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Sorcerous Stabber Orphen: Battle of Kimluck: Anime Review

Orphen’s second season is, arguably, a lot more focused than its first. That, unfortunately, doesn’t stop the show from tripping over its own feet when it comes to the world-building of the setting. In particular, it’s where the mythology of the setting is concerned, especially related to the organization known as the “Kimluck Church.”

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Juzo from "No Guns Life"

No Guns Life Season 1: Anime Review

It’s kind of been a while since we got a major cyberpunk anime that was outside of the general orbit of Masamune Shirow. Season 2 of SAO, from the description of the arc, was something that I might describe as cyberpunk adjacent – but otherwise, I generally didn’t see much that didn’t have a connection to Shirow or one of the series he created in the listings. So, when No Guns Life came up in the Anime Chart, I figured it was worth checking out.

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Key Art banner for season one of "What the Hell Are You Doing Here, Teacher?"

What the Hell Are You Doing Here, Teacher?: Anime Review

When it comes to concepts related to fanservice in anime, there are some that are very hard to do well. One of them, probably the biggest one of them, is what I call “Sexual Slapstick.” It’s someone walking into a room and seeing someone undressing, or tripping and falling and copping a feel (or seeing something they shouldn’t. They’re all based around acts that are gross, which means it can be hard to make funny. Season one of We Never Learn did it and What the Hell Are You Doing Here, Teacher? also manages to actually pull it off.

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Laid Back Camp: Vol. 1 – Manga Review

I enjoyed Laid Back Camp a lot. Between its informative depictions of going camping in Japan, it’s interesting travelogue sequences, and it’s generally chill tone, it ended up being one of my favorite anime, and one where I was kind of sad to see it end, and glad to see the show get a second season. After hearing that the manga had been getting an English release, I decided to check out the first volume of the manga.

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From Left, Hachi and Robby.

RobiHachi: Anime Review

RobiHachi is a very different show than most of the anime series I’ve seen – particularly those about travel. Most anime series that are about travel and tourism that I’ve seen tend to be chill slice of life comedies, like Laid Back Camp. RobiHachi, on the other hand, is a very silly, wacky, over-the-top comedy – though one with some thematic elements in common with those other series.

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The three female leads of We Never Learn

We Never Learn: Anime Review

A lot of fanservice anime tends to be gross. Maybe it’s because the fanservice comes through sexual slapstick of the “Whoops I fell and groped you or looked up your skirt” variety. Or it comes through battle damage of the “Female character gets their top shredded in combat and now their boobs are hanging out” variety. Or it’s of the “Male lead openly sexually harasses female characters variety.” Perhaps that’s why the fanservice that comes up in We Never Learn feels like a breath of fresh air.

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20th Century Boys: Manga Review

If I was going to describe 20th Century Boys in a high concept manner to someone in an elevator, I’d describe it as It meets The Stand. It’s a story that takes place over a vast scope of time, almost 30-40 years, with multiple time skips, and an apocalypse in-between, with a fundamental premise of a group of childhood friends being forced to face a great evil as adults. The difference is, the evil in It is a clearly supernatural, unearthly evil. The evil in 20th Century Boys is very, very human.

There are some spoilers below the cut.

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Gameplay of Tamamo no Mai from Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star

Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star – Video Game Review

One of my guilty pleasures is the Dynasty Warriors games. They’re fun, engaging, somewhat mindless hack-and-slash games. However, they are not without their faults. There comes a point where you’ve put the Yellow Turban Rebellion down enough times that you just can’t play through it anymore. Thus the appeal of the other takes on the concept from within Koei and without. Such is the case with Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star.

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Anime Review: Fate/Stay Night (2005)

Adaptations of visual novels to anime are something of a mixed bag. Sometimes, like with Clannad and Comic Party, the adaptation is a hit. Other times, it doesn’t work quite so much. Fate/Stay Night falls into the former case, though there are times where the work stumbles in its execution, primarily on the animation front, though there are some narrative issues. Continue reading “Anime Review: Fate/Stay Night (2005)”