Tag Archives: Fantasy

Patalliro Saiyuki Review

3887Watched 11/2016

Type: TV
Episodes: 26
Aired: Jun 2005 to Nov 2005
Producers: Magic Bus
Studios:Magic Bus

Patalliro Saiyuki is a spin-off of a manga by Mineo Maya.

Silver

This is basically one of the many manga retellings of the traditional Chinese story Journey to the West. With more comedy and a dose of shounen ai for good measure. Not that I mind that at all. The story is basically about a monk travelling to obtain Buddhist sacred texts in order to learn more of Buddha’s teaching. Along the way, he faces man trails and demons and ends up with a demon bodyguard who is a monkey. The monk is too divine and the bodyguard is too demon and during this journey they learn to respect each other.

In this version as well as a monkey demon we have a cat demon who seduces the monk and normal crowd which appears in this tale. The episodes are only 10 mins long as well.

patalliro-saiyuki

This anime was actually really fun. It wasn’t brilliant but it was certainly fun to watch and a lot easier to watch than some anime’s I’ve been watching recently. The plot was well done and very funny while mostly keeping to the originals plot ideas.

The animation could be better. It not actually bad but the manga was started in 1978 and so the character designs are extremely old. This gives the show a dated look which makes it worse than it actually is. The music is pretty good but there are little to no effects. It’s clearly animated in a traditional style too. Not an anime to watch for art style for sure.

Patalliro Saiyuki 3.png

One thing I quite enjoyed about the story was the narrator. He was an amusing addition to the story to explain the things that weren’t necessarily obvious or known in the story.

Beautiful or not I do think this anime is worth a look at and for that I give it a silver.

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Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry Review

76493lCompleted 10/2016

Chivalry of a Failed Knight

Type: TV
Episodes: 12/12
Aired: Oct 2015 to Dec 2015
Producers: flying DOG
Studios: Silver Link, Nexus

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry is a light novel adaption originally by Riku Misora.

Bronze

So while this is part of my weekly challenge, it was made in conjunction with Nexus. This would have had a higher grading if the little sister, Shizuku, didn’t have a brother complex. Those annoy me. Plus that ending.

This story started strong for me. It’s fairly typical in plot type and the characters are also nothing special. A guy, Ikki, who technically classified as ‘weak’ is actually quite strong and a girl, Stella, who is known for being powerful is defeated by him and falls in love because of it. Both of the MCs are likeable and entertaining to watch. Love or not, they make good friends and cheer each other on against the various hurdles they face.

Plus there is a trans girl who is called Alice. The characters barely register this to be fair, though there is some misgendering at first. It was interesting to have such a character who wasn’t introduced as a cross dresser. If anything Alice is still very much seen as a boy by most people. This was something I was interested in watching develop to see how the author/studio treated this character.

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(Ok, I said I rated down because of the older brother complex but it was actually kind of amusing at times.)

The basic story is they are at a school for magicians and there is a competition to decides who is to represent the school in some kind of tournament. Ikki has a low level of magic but is good at fighting with swords and as such can keep up. In order to graduate because of his low magic, he needs to win and be selected as a representative. Skill can beat power is the message here and not necessarily a bad one. The fight scenes are extremely well done, as are the effects.

The budget on this one feel considerably higher than other silver link productions and the quality is higher as a result. That being said the character designs are still pretty standards, but the weapons that appear when they are fighting were pretty cool.

Calvalry 3.png

What made this anime pretty special was despite the harem theme (it’s not officially harem but with Alice identifying as a girl, Ikki is the only real male character which makes it harem to me), really there was only one real love pairing. The others had crushes on him, but Ikki starts going out with Stella with like ep 4? Part of the troubles they face include normal relationship issues which is nice compared to the normal ‘how can I get his attention?’ issues which normally appear in this genre.

Then the ending. The last episode was good. I like it, it suited the show. I didn’t like the episode before it. It basically came out of nowhere and then rushed to the finale in a way which personally ruined the series for me. The amount the forced into it was ridiculous. I can only assume they thought they were getting a second season and when that didn’t appear, rushed to make an finale. It was so bad! The rest of the story was easily a silver or possible a gold but this! This knocked it way down for me. Which was a shame really because I had really enjoyed it up until then.

Munto TV Review

Munto14012l

Also known as – Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai (The World Reflected in the Eyes of a Girl Looking Up at the Heavens)

Completed 2015

Type: TV
Episodes: 9/9
Aired: Jan, 2009 to Mar, 2009
Producers: Kyoto Animation

Munto Tv is the continuation of a two part original OVA which was released by Kyoto Animation in 2003 and 2005.

I was watching this feeling like something was missing and it many ways it was. Music. Its there occasionally, but I can not help but feel this anime would have been better with a better soundtrack and more actually used. Take ep 3, there is music during the magic scenes, but none during the dramatic river crossing. Making a what should have been a dramatic and heart warming scene, rather than dull and disinteresting. They should not have limited the music to just the magic scenes. munto 1

Munto was cool. Yumemi was sweet in her own way. She seemed like she was going to be pathetic but then stood up and proved me wrong. She fought. And I have admiration for that. Yumemi is still very much your shoujo girl. She’s pretty and falls in love easily. People also fall to her charm easily as well. But she’ll do what it takes to protect her friends.

I guess the main problem for this anime to me was that the ‘normal world’ was portrayed very dully, despite one of the main characters living there. The magical world got all the cool music and effects. Plus the bright colours. I get its to make a contrast, but it does make the magical world a lot more interesting than the normal world. It also makes the normal world slightly more boring to watch.

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The relationships are interesting in this anime. Yumemi and Ichiko’s relationship especially. Verging on Yuri, Ichiko is very protective of her friend. Wishing she could see what Yumemi can see, and doing her best to support her. Begging her not to go because she couldn’t protect her. There are lots of different relationships in this anime which are different to normal animes. Its a shame really we don’t get to learn more about some of the side characters. We learn a lot about Yumemi and her friends, also about Munto but not much about the characters in the magic kingdom.

All in all, a silver. The story is entertaining despite it’s weaker points and the side characters are amusing and interesting as the main characters.

Futakoi Alternative Review

Futakoi Alternative (Twin Love Alternative)16733l

completed 2015

Type: TV
Episodes: 13
Aired: Apr, 2005 to Jun, 2005
Producers: ufotable, Feel, Studio Flag, Lantis

Futakoi Alternative is a kind of spin of to Futakoi, using the same characters but in a different location and universe. Having not watched Futakoi, there is not a lot I can say about the comparisons but Alternative is fun to watch.

To describe this anime in one word. Weird. Its a fun ride though. Its surprisingly hard to label this anime with a genre as it has aspects of all, varying from one episodes to the next as to which it wants to be. At its centre, its a romance. A story of twins and the man they have fallen for. Unlike its original Futakoi, its not a harem of twins all jumping for his attention. But there is the weird love triangle between the three of the main characters. Rentaro, Soujyu and Sara. All who work as a detective agency.

futakoi alternativeI can’t say I have any issues with this anime. The story is entertaining and while has a lot of cliques it is well done. Its does give off a feeling of not really knowing what it is. As the anime progresses it gets more serious and serious. Decisions making important factors as the two girls progress though life. All until their 16th birthday when something must happen. Something rather cruel but in many ways a fact of life. Sara is the more independent of the twins and very strong. Going out of her way to protect her sister and do her best for the detective agency.

Its a good anime, I’d give it a silver. Its entertaining, unique and has a lot of comedy as well. The characters are well done and while there were moments of sadness, there were moments of happiness as well.

Yuri Kuma Arashi Review

Yuri Kuma Arashi69203l

completed 2015

Type: TV
Episodes: 12/12
Aired: Jan, 2015 to Mar, 2015
Producers: Frontier Works, FUNimation Entertainment, Media Factory, Mainichi Broadcasting, Movic, Gentosha Comics
Studios: Silver Link

Yuri Kuma Arashi was an original anime project written by  Kunihiko Ikuhara, though the manga written for it was published before the anime was released.

In the beginning we hated you so

In the beginning we must have loved you to

And so we wanted to become true friends with you. To cross the wall

I’m not really sure how I am meant to feel about this anime. I guess a silver? I’m not likely to forget the plot and I think I enjoyed it. It’s very surreal. Like a strange cross between xxxholic and utena. With added Yuri, cannibalism and less guys.  This is a story is about the love and bonds we share and how the world likes to destroy those bounds. I called it cannibalism however its bears eating humans, admittedly disguised as humans but still the same.kuma 3

We don’t really see any blood, but this anime is definitely NSFW. Containing a lot of suggestive scenes. Even in the opening there are a few moments of ummmm. Toe biting? Yuri in genre is not a genre I enjoy, and it was only because of my weekly challenge that I watched this. That and the artwork is not moe and has decent proportions. Unlike most things Silver link makes – thank god! I do have a limit with ecchi stuff and the appearance of the characters. Not to stay the artwork is pretty. Its very shoujo, almost CLAMP like. Big round eyes and long legs and bodies. kuma 2The story is one with twists and deep symbolic meanings. This story is laced with symbolism and if you think this anime is as simple of bears wanting to eat humans, you would be wrong. If anything the idea of an ‘invisible storm’ is proof of this. Those who don’t fit in and conform to society’s ideas are excluded from the herd and left to be eaten by the bears. Not literally from the school, but rather from the herd’s events etc. Sound familiar? Just think of your own friends who are LGBT or simply not the standard model, how much they have to face from people. Society is not forgiving to those who stick out.

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Love is more times than not in anime over sexualised. It’s refreshing to see any anime about love being more true and honest. Kureha is in love with Sumika. Even after she dies, she is determined to not spoilt that love, or friendship. Declaring for a while afterwards that she doesn’t want to make any more friends. Sumika is her only friend. Not that it doesn’t stop the others from trying. The storm taking more than one form once someone has been removed.

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The bears, for reason of their own, wish to protect Kureha. Because one loves her due to the kindness showed to her once she was young. Refusing to give up on love. Eating girls who become a threat to Kureha, Jealousy. Love. Determination. Also lost chances. This anime covers the complexness which is love while keeping it sweet and innocent. For the most. But not only love itself but the fight people have to face against society’s view of their love. How people choose to get in the way of love. Because they don’t agree with it, or because they want it themselves.

Basically, this anime is deep. Very deep. With hidden means and a fantastic story line. Don’t be put off my the fact it is yuri or the fact it is surreal. It is a gem in the dust which likely deserved more attention that it got.

‘Is your love true?”

“Will you eat humans, or will you become invisible?”

So many deep references I’m not going to even begin because you could write papers on this anime!

For people who enjoyed this, I would recommend Utena. I did some researching and it turns out they are both directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara which explains the similar feelings between the two.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya Review

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya52603l

Completed 2015

Type: TV
Episodes: 10/10
Aired: Jun, 2013 to Sep, 2013
Producers: Lantis, Kadokawa Shoten, AT-X, Silver Link, Sentai Filmworks
Studios: Silver Link

Prisma Illya is a spin-off series from the Fate/Stay Night verse. A parody on magical girls with Illya staring the main protagonist and the rest of the cast appearing as various roles. Let me stay now, I have never watched any of the Fate series, and it something on my list of animes to watch at some point. So while I did do some background checking, most of what I watched was free of the implicit meanings. The spin-off was created by  Hiroshi Hiroyama, also known as KALMIA.

Parody’s, in general, either hit the mark or fail miserably. This anime is interesting in that it is a parody but stands pretty well on its own as its own story. Yes it is a spin-off, but it is a different timeline, making it easy to take this as it’s own story. References are made to the original series. References I don’t normally get due to my lack of watching the original series but they are there. Illya’s older brother is Shiro from the main series and is adopted the same as for example. Maybe I will rewatch this after watching the original series and see how many references I can spot because I am sure there will be a lot more than I can see. This anime was a gold to me, incredibly entertaining both as a story and as a parody. Unlike Binan which just missed all the marks, this one hit them square on.

fate illya 1This anime has action, has drama, and has some excellent effects. To me, it is an extremely well-made anime and no money was wasted on this anime. The music is stunning and on point. Especially in the battle scenes. The art is beautiful. It is obviously styled from the original but the colouring technique really brings out the magical girl vibe.

Ruby and Sapphire are the names of the magic girl sticks and are elementals trapped within them. They are sassy and don’t like the two bickering women they have been assigned too. So they leave them and form contracts with others. Meaning the two girls have to work together to collect the hero cards. Which is done by defeating the berserk hero spirits in mirror realms.

fate illya 2

Illya starts as being pretty powerless, only to grow into being almost too powerful. Magic is based on the image in the caster’s mind.

“You can fly?”

“Can’t all magical girls?”

“What a useful image to have!”

The problem is that when she is in a tough situation she reacts instinctively and creates an almost devastating power. Which is where the drama comes in. Her counterpart Miyu is excellent in everything she does and always in control. The two vast different character types leaving the two girls in a strange comradeship for much of the series. Friends and yet envious of each other. Which causes some real issues. But in typical magical girl fashion, it gets solved through the power of friendship and there is a happy ending with lots of sparkles and happy feels.

So gold. It’s pretty has great music and a good plot.

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World Destruction: Sekai Bokumetsu no Rokunin

World Destruction: Sekai Bokumetsu no Rokunin (Sands of Destruction)30347l

watched 2010

Type: TV
Completed Episodes: 13/13
Aired: Jul, 2008 to Sep, 2008
Producers: Production I.G, FUNimation Entertainment, Sega
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy

This anime is a spin off from a video game.

I loved this anime. Its funny and has an excellent story. The world as three types of people. Human, Animal and Hybrid. The three races fighting for supremacy over the others. In various parts of the world, different people are in power and we see a lot of themes around slavery and people’s rights as we go though the show. As our travel from country to country and see the extremes of how people live. For the most, the beastmen have control over the humans. With some places where the human’s have rebelled.

From this a woman stand out amongst the rest. A woman who is travelling, hoping to find the secret to the destruct code. A device which will destroy the world and recreate it a new. She doesn’t want to change the world, she wants to end it and let it start again. An interesting premise and one which the other two in her party have mixed feeling about but go along with her anyway. Because if nothing else, its an adventure.

38349lDon’t get me wrong, most of this anime is your stand action plot. But I really liked the characters and how they interacted with each other. Including the minor characters. The travelling salesman is brilliant and I love him. Everything it at a price, though he isn’t cruel about how you can pay him.

A few people have commented that the first 2/3 of the anime is a bit slow and doesn’t do much for the plot, but it does show you the world they live in and show the bonds they are beginning to form. Something which is important given the twist at the end. After all the destruction code isn’t as far away as the characters first believe. 

So Gold from me for entertainment value though I’m not sure how many people will agree.

Hataraku Maou-sama! Review

Hataraku Maou-sama! (The Devil is a Part Timer)50177l

watched 2015

Type: TV
Completed Episodes: 13/13
Aired: Apr, 2013 to Jun, 2013
Producers: FUNimation Entertainment, Lantis, Pony Canyon, Magic Capsule,White Fox

Hataraku Maou Sama is a light novel adaptation written by Satoshi Wagahara.

I really enjoyed this anime. The art is pretty and the magic well animated. The character designs aren’t that unique or original and pretty much the standard model for a light novel adaptation. Which is a shame, because the story to this anime is really top notch. Sounds clique, is clique, works brilliantly. I definitely recommend this anime. Its hilarious and I love all the characters. All of them, including the minor characters.

We start our story in a magical world where demons are invading. The hero, and half angel, Emilia fights against Satan in order to save the world. Satan and his top general,  end up falling into a magic portal and sent to earth. It becomes clear pretty quickly that magic doesn’t work as well in Tokyo, and the two of them find a place to live and part time jobs before trying to find out more about the world they are in. Satan ends up working at a fictional version of McDonalds (McRonalds) and quickly becomes shift manager as he is very dedicated to his job. Much to the surprise of Emilia,now Yusa, who followed him only to suffer a similar fate of losing her magic and now works at a call centre. Hatagaya Maou San 4This series is fantastic. One of the main issues is that Satan isn’t really very evil. He’s actually quite caring and kind, and often uses the powers in gains from fear to help people or repair the damage done in battles. He’s work working, dedicated and a good friend. Which confuses the hell out of Emilia who has been taught he is evil and will use every excuse to cause pain and suffering. Heck even in their first meeting in the human world (Satan’s demon form is different due to the loss in magic), he gives her an umbrella because of the rain. They strike up a strange friendship, which revolves around her stalking him to make sure he stays good and him being kind to her. And yes they fall in love. But as I stated, this anime is very clique and it works.

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>What I also love about this series is that the big boobed girl, in this case Satan’s work colleague who has a massive crush, isn’t just there for ecchi purposes or fan service. She is an actual part of the story, either as a watcher to the events or as a damsel in distress. But she has a part to play and not the one her character type is normally given. All the characters are well portrayed in this and well developed. We even have Lucifer as a Hikikomori! Yes, i know technically Satan and Lucifer are the same according to Christian lore, but hey, its an anime. You have to take things with a pinch of salt.

Another thing to note is that the ‘church’ in this anime is corrupt and slightly in the grey as to how good or bad it is. There are signs of both as some of the higher ups are very corrupt. It would be interesting for a second season to learn about the world they came from and just how much of Satan’s reputation is the church covering things up. I may invest in the light novels if they have been translated into English. Or maybe in Japanese if I am brave enough.

I give this anime a gold. Maybe a little high for what its worth but personally I really enjoyed this.

Zero No Tsukaima Review

Zero No Tsukaima (The Familiar of Zero)20680l

Watched 2008

Type: TV
Season 1
Completed Episodes: 13/13
Aired: Jul, 2006 to Sep, 2006
Season 2
Completed Episodes 12/12
Aired Jul, 2007 to Sep, 2007
Producers: J.C.Staff, Genco,FUNimation Entertainment, Media Factory, Shochiku, Sentai Filmworks, Happinet Pictures
I watched this anime while I was still pretty green to the whole ecchi/harem genre layout. So we have a ‘beautiful’ noble, Lady Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière, who can’t use her magic properly and summons a human from another world to world as a familiar. Aka something to channel her power though. As a side note, she is well known for not being able to use her magic well and was nicknamed “Louise the Zero” by his classmates because of this. Lousie is a spoilt girl who honestly is still high up on my ‘Anime girls I would love to slap’ list. This lady is queen of being a tsudere. I don’t care that her type is tsudere, she’s a bitch who needs taking down a few notches.
As for the poor guy who gets summoned, Saito Hiraga he ends up with an abusive woman for a ‘master’. Because he is a familiar, the proof being the runes on his hand, he is basically treated like an animal by Louise. And like a pervert because he occasionally looks at women’s boobs. You know that thing all young single men do when its practically shoved in front of them. Lousie beats him often and its not always funny. Heck, the only reason he can talk and understand them all is because Lousie miscast a silencing spell, giving him the ability to understand them.
Whats more, turns out it actually a pretty good familiar. The runes on his hand means he some kind of super solider able to use any weapon given to him with a high level of skill.  Including a Jet fighter plane which fell though to that world once. But does he try to stop Lousie beating him? No! Does he fall in love with her? Yes!
Wait what? I have some serious issues with this. When did they fall in love? Saito has opinions over that Louise. I swear its some like of Stockholm syndrome and if it was the other way round this anime would be getting a lot more hate. Why is it suddenly sexy/funny for a flat chest little girl to beat the hell out of some poor bloke who has no chance of getting away? At least most tsudere character’s signant other wasn’t forced into a relationship. (Yes he fell in love, but he had to live with her and such for the series). At the end of season 2, they get married. I didn’t bother going back for season 3.
Now, all being said, I do remember sort of enjoying the anime. Its very beautiful and the characters were cool. I just hate the main girl is all. So Bronze.

Shoujo Kakumei Utena Review

Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena)  300full 

Watched 2010 roughly

Type: TV
Completed Episodes: 39/39
Aired: Apr, 1997 to Dec, 1997
Producers: J.C.Staff, TV Tokyo, Right Stuf, Central Park Media
Shoujo Kakumei Utena is a manga adaptation originally by a Chiho Saito.

Shoujo Kakumei Utena is a likely one of the earliest examples of a fandom Yuri pairing which was almost canon because of how often it was hinted at.

Shoujo Kakumei Utena was an very unique anime. Even now with its dated animation techniques, Utena is a beautiful work of art. Everything about it unique and different. The colours are bright and the backgrounds well designed. Plus this anime is not all about looks either. It contained some pretty deep theme. Including many topics which are seeming now taboo in anime outside of their genres.

Utena-1-_(2)

Notably gender. While never specially said, it could be argued that our leading lady is gender-fluid. Taking the ‘male role’ of the series and having a relationship with the ‘female’ lead. Unlike say Akuma no Riddle where the ‘male’ lead as short hair and very tomboyish vibe, Utena still retains her long pink hair and their are times where she is undeniably female.

So what has lead Utena to play the male role? Utena was once a young girl (princess) who was saved by a handsome prince. The prince that save her, gave her a ring in promises that he may one day return. An engagement ring perhaps? Most girls would eagerly await the return of their prince. Utena on the other hand was so taken by the prince, she wished to become a prince herself.

We met the adult Utena as she is arguing with his second about the school rules towards uniform. To be exact, there is no rule saying a girl can not wear the boys uniform. And so she wears it proudly. Excellent at sports too, all the girls love her and call her the prince of the school.

[large][AnimePaper]scans_Shoujo-Kakumei-Utena_nat(0_78)__THISRES__251775One day Utena protects girl from being bullied and somehow ends up in a duel over the right to control the girl. She has stumbled into a game where the player, all with some very serious issues and problems, duel over the hand of the Rose Bride. The duelest fight with swords drawn from their own hearts, or in the case of the current owner, the Rose Bride’s heart. To do this, and to show you are participating in the game, the player wear rose rings. Remember that ring the Prince gave Utena? That is one of the rings. The winner of the game will have the power to revolutionize the world. A phrase repeated often in the anime but even by the end the full understanding of the term is vague at best. Certainly the Rose Bride’s power can cause a drastic change.

The Rose bride herself is Anthy Himemiya. A girl who has very much a ‘doormat’ nature. She almost never stand up for herself. Her entire purpose in life and this anime is to be a pawn. Once Utena wins the rights to her, Utena protects her from people who would otherwise abuse or insult her. Those people use abuse her partly because they don’t think she as the ability to care about how people are treating her? Messed up but considering how obedient she is to other people and how she lets people treat her as a servant, especially her current Victor, whose every wishes she must cater to according to herself, its not surprising people have given up on treating her like human. A problem Utena tries to fix, and indeed Anthy is considerably warmer to Utena than other people due to this.

As previously stated there are some pretty dark and deep themes in this anime. Utena fights against a lot of prejudice and just plain wrong ideology in order to free Anthy from her curse.  His animes unusual because it takes a typical shoujo trait and encourages girls to think for themselves and become who they want to be, not what is expected of them.

So this platinum for me as I’ve never watched another anime just quite like it.

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