Sankarea is a manga adaptation originally written by Mitsuru Hattori.
Put until the last two episodes, I was going to put this as silver maybe even a gold if the ending matching up the the beginning, but the ending spoiled this anime to me. Basically the ending was weak. It was not bad romance because just the anticlimactic-ness of it all. If I’m honest, the fact we had two random episodes about minor characters instead of the main plot line was already counting against it. While one explained a bit of the emotions of the one of the main-ish character, the other was just plain filler. As was the last episode. Nothing to the plot, other than an excuse to have fireworks so the main characters could hopefully could reveal their feeling for each other. And fail. As the anime trope goes. Though the final bit was certainly not a normal trope.
This anime is different. The premise being familiar but new in anime form. A human boy falls in love with a zombie girl. Except it more, he falls in love with a girl who then becomes a zombie. What I liked about this anime was that it had a strong beginning. The characters were well introduced, as was the story. A boy obsessed with zombies is trying to work out how to resurrect his dead pet when a beautiful girl stumbles on him. A girl with a dark family life. Who he then promises that if she ever becomes a zombie, he’ll look after her. Not for one moment thinking it will actually happen.
Aka, her father is obsessed with her. Beyond unhealthy levels. Much to her mothers unhappiness. We know at the end of the first episode this girl is destined to return to him as a zombie but it is a few episodes before that occurs. Instead we watch as her father tries to control her while she sneaks out to met with him. When she finally dies, we watch something as she arises from the dead. Not that it stops her fathers obsession at all.
I did like the symbolism in this anime. In Japan there is a strong connection between hydrangeas and death. Beautfiul flowers which have a dark meaning in Japanese culture. That they could bring someone back to life was a cool idea. The idea to make it so they could preserve zombies and let them life longer before turning feral was ok. It makes sense, if they are the key ingredient that a supply of them is needed to remain alive but it seemed to be missing something. Not that the story would have been better if Rea had been fighting the desire to eat flesh.
The thing which really disappointed me about this anime was the ending with the father. This guy is a real sicko. Claiming to be protecting his daughter’s purity. They go though this whole build up of him kidnapping them both and dramatic revelations. And then nothing. Barely a fight, and then he just accepts what they want. This is a guy who paid for people to follow and kidnap his daughter and her friend and he just… lets her stay with him? I don’t know what I expected but something a bit more dramatic/interesting than that!
If someone was the ask me about this anime I’d properly tell them to give it a go. But I’m not likely to recommend it of the tip of my head. It had a really interesting premise and a good if not twisted story built around it but while it passed barely on the romance side, the other aspects failed to satisfy when could have been. This anime could have been so good. But it failed to deliver. So Bronze
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. This 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.
>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.
As stated, this anime is a massive parody of the magical girl anime and not really meant to be taken seriously. As a parody it is very good and makes fun of a lot of the tropes we are so used to in the genre.
But as an anime itself it failed to be much more than average. The jokes, while there and plenty off, all seemed to just miss being good enough to laugh. The themes parodied were good enough to prove a point but not enough to actually hit home with anything brilliant or note worthy. For this reason I give this anime a bronze. Don’t get me wrong its fine. But I didn’t enjoy it as much the majority of the animes I have placed in silver and so I don’t feel I can put it up there.
That being said, it is still worth a watch. If only because of… well. The parody? The art’s pretty enough, plenty of beautiful boys all causing problems. In fact I don’t think we see a single girl in the entirety of the anime. Even the ‘womaniser’ character is only ever seen texting his girlfriends but never actually with them. They go to the beach and discover its a all male beach, etc. There are no girls, just boys.
Some plain, some muscular and some pretty. Not to say some of the characters can’t be replaced with girls but it is a fact of the anime. The main parody I guess is the ‘mascot’ character. Every magical girl team must have a cute animal mascot/sidekick who gives them their missions and grants them that power. Or is just there for comedic value. Even Bleach has Kon. The sidekick for this anime is a pink wombat whose name is impossible to say.
A pink wombat who is carried about by a half dead teacher who is also controlled by him too. A lot of the gags in the serious include Wombat being away from the teacher too long and rigour mortis settles in, or him rotting starting etc. The other gag with the wombat is the fact Yumoto Hakone, the youngest of the group and most excitable, loves to cuddle him. Much to the Wombats displeasure.
The team themselves is a reluctant mix of stereotypes. From the over enthusiastic and childish Yumoto Hakone, to the calm and collected Io Naruko. Most of the boys wanted nothing to do with the pink wombat and saving the world though love but sort of get forced into it. In all the awkwardness to it is part of this animes charm but it just wasn’t quite enough to make me personally enjoy it. It was enjoyable to finish unlike the end but making fun of the cliques doesn’t stop the anime from becoming a clique itself. Nor does it give an excuse for the characters to be so 2D and underdeveloped despite the plot points they choose to give.
My personal opinion: If you are going to make a parody with 2D characters at least make the stories a bit wacky and diverse. Not standard and plastic that you could get off a generator. Especially when the jokes don’t quite hit the target.
Watched 2009 roughly
Air’s a weird anime. Its sweet in its own way and unlike so many anime’s of its genre doesn’t have a thousand girls for the main guy to pick from. Yukito Kunisaki is a man on a mission! That mission is to locate the winged maiden. A story told to him by his mother and one he wants to prove is real. He is basically a hobo who ‘works’ as a travelling puppeteer but fails miserably to actually get any money. Yukito ends up in a small coastal town and meets three girls who all potentially could help him with his quest.
Our main female interest is a high school girl called Misuzu. Misuzu is seemingly your stereotypical blond girl. Clumsy and naive. Yukito ends up working as her babysitter as her adoptive mother is busy doing something. Misuzu and Yukito’s story is a powerful one, filled with ups and downs as Yukito discovered Misuzu’s illness and has to comprehend just how such a girl is so optimistic in the face of so much sadness.
I have to admit, I remember more about the beginning of air than the ending. This is one of those animes I remember enjoying at the time, but little of the plot has remained with me. Other than the ending is one which was very bitter-sweet and didn’t actually answer all the questions the anime brought to life about this sleepy town. I do recall Air is an anime which can be very confusing at times.
Considering his anime was made in 2005, Air is a stunningly beautiful anime. The lines were clear cut and the animation for the scenery was amazing. They really put some time and effort in to making this world come alive.
At first I wasn’t sure what to give this anime, but I think at the end of things I will give it a silver. Its beautiful and the story touching. One day, when I have time, I fully intend to re-watch it.
So she stabs him with a sword made from her own blood. Turns out Mirai Kuriyama is from a demon hunting family which is cursed with the ability to manpilate their blood. Becuase of this everyone in her family was killed and Mirai lives her life isolared from everyone because of the misfortunes which come over her. Mirai, to be blunt, is a bit of a twit. She’s clusmy, rude and doesn’t think before she speaks. She has no friends, and no money either. She then spends her days challenging Akihito to battles in order to improve her skills and eventually Akihito manages to befriend her though a method which has never failed! Feeding her.
This anime is full of issues. No one is entirely happy, either cursed, suffering from family issues or just messed up. But still the pull together to life a happy but atypical high school life. All while waiting for a big evil to appear. Despite being short at 12 episodes, they still manage to waste some with fillers, which do dampen the story a bit. Though the Idol episode was amazing.
Those outfits! And within the plot as well. All in all, I enjoyed this anime. I liked the blossoming romance between Akihito and Mirai. I enjoyed watching as they all slowly grew and worked out their issues and I certainly was not expecting the twist at the end. Akihito feeling towards his friends as well. It was different take, I think, to a commonly used trope. I.e someone’s half demon and theoretically could go berserk but we can’t actually kill them.
The art was very standard but clean. What you would expect from a light novel adaptation really. The magic was very well done, very sparkly and glow-ey. I can’t say I had any real problems with this anime. Even the ‘Onisan/imoto’ fetish was done at reasonable levels and more of a joke than anything else. Akihito mother was inspiring as well, though the fact she’s the human does lead the question about his father and just how he came to be.
Anyway. I give this a silver. Its entertaining and enjoyable. What more could you want from a 12 episode series?
Producers: Diomedea, FUNimation Entertainment, Mainichi Broadcasting,Pony Canyon, DAX Production
Akuma no Riddle is a manga adaptation written by Yun Kōga and drawn by Sunao Minakata
This anime was not bad per-say, I just didn’t really enjoy it. Akuma no Riddle is an anime which is a battle royale type anime. One more in a long line of similar animes which have been popular over the last few years. This one which the twist of having Yuri elements. Oh and no one actually dies in this one. So what is the situation this time?
Met our leading lady, Haru Ichinose. (The girl to the right in the picture below) Haru is a cheerful bubbly girl who is covered in scars. She is also the target. Haru has spent her entire life being targeted by assassins, which has led to the death of her mum, dad and two brothers. Why? Why has she been targeted all her life? We are not told at first, as the anime unravels we slowly learn the truth behind why people are trying to kill her so much. Her wish is to survive the class and be able to live a normal life. Haru starts high school and is placed in the ‘Black’ class. A class which is made up of thirteen assassins and one Haru. All thirteen assassins are trying to kill Haru in order to gain one wish. All of them have their own motivation for joining the class, and their own styles of killing. Except one of the assassins has a change of heart.
Enter Tokaku Akuma. (The girl in the middle) Tokaku is from a legendary class of assassins and is highly trained. Except she has never actually killed anyone more. Entranced by Haru’s cheerfulness, and determination to survive Tokaku decided to try to protect Haru from the rest of their classmates. The result? A fairly standard, school scenary followed by assassination attempt and recuse format anime. The majority of the episodes are guessable and to be honest I only finished this anime because I had nothing else to do. Otherwise I would have quit. I didn’t care about the yuri themes, nor the lame fight scenes. Its just that, despite most having fairly dark and decent background stories, most of the characters were simply quite bland to me.
The only one who develops over more than one episode is Tokaku. TO be fair that is partly because after they have failed, they get kicked out the class. Which sort of puts a downer on the idea of character development. Which is a shame because it meant of the vast majority of the characters we met, we learn there life story and see their assassination attempt in one short episode and don’t see them again until the epilogue. It.It just seems lazy to me. I get the anime is supposed to be Haru x Tokaku centric, but even their interactions are fairly standard and uninteresting until the last few episodes when the truth about the Black class and Haru is revealed.
Its fine. Its nothing special and I personally didn’t enjoy it all that much. The ending was particular bad as well. It just didn’t make sense and the reason was so wishy washy it was terrible. The last few episodes were mildly more interesting and I was hoping for a good ending. Its a sweet happy ending, but make no real sense. So bronze.
A dark and dull coloured anime to suit a dark and cruel story. Afro Samurai is certainly one of the most unique stories I have seen in a long time. Sure the idea of someone avenging their murder father is hardly a new concept. However this anime as whole new levels. The artwork is truly stunning as it the battle scenes. They are full of action and movement. Fluid not stagnant. And lots of blood. Oh this anime has lots of blood, made more prevail due to its dark screen tones.
The Afro Samurai wears the no 2 headband. The no 2 headband is fated to be alone. The only one allowed to challenge the no 1 warrior in the land. And many men will fight hard in order to gain that honour. After all the no 2 is beatable. He is a man. While no 1 is considered a god. The no 1 headband once belonged to Afro’s father and he was forced to watch as a child as his father was defeated. Justice cutting off his fathers head before challenging him to return one day to defeat him too. Afro then dedicates his live to gaining revenge. Even at the cost of those who take him in. Though that story alone is a tragedy.
The fight scene between Afro and Gino really got my heart strings. Once brothers fighting against each other in a blooded rage. Never to be reconciled due to the losses they have faced and the trails they have been though in this cruel world. There are few moments of happiness in this anime, if any. And often quickly soured. There is just blood and harsh realism of the land they live for much of this anime. Where every warrior is aiming for that no 2 headband.
Its dark and gritty. The fight scenes only really broken up by the endless chatter of Afro’s companion Ninja. Ninja who is always making quirks and its never really clear whose side Ninja is on. But he follows Afro to the end of the world regardless. The moment he dies is tragic, especially when you realise who or rather what he is.
And that ending…
To say I enjoyed this anime would be lie. It was hard going but it had me hooked. I could not tear my eyes from the screen. A scene of terror and dread as the story unfolded and we learned more and more about Afro and his past. And his future. I give Afro Samurai platinum because I honestly can’t compare it to any other animes. It is truly a unique anime to me.
Isshuukan Friends (One Week Friends)
This anime is what happens when you combine 50 first dates and Japanese romance concepts. The Japanese, as least currently, view your first love as the most special. You can see this in how many of their romances are set in high school. It is part due to that idea that love at during high school time is the most special. In many ways Isshuukan friends only increases this assumption. It is sweet, and touching. Despite it being technically shounen.
Kaori Fujimiya is a seeming cold but beautiful girl in Yuuki Hase’s class. One day he works up the courage to ask her if she will be his friend. Except he is rejected. The next week he tries again only for her to blank him. Eventually he learns that she is always alone because all of her happy memories, including time spent with her friends, disappear every Monday. Meaning she can never make friends. Still wanting to be friends with her anyway, Yuuki Hase tries to get close to Kaori over the course of every week. Hoping one day she will remember him, all the while falling in love with her.
Yuuki is such a babe. He’s nervous and sweet. He also gets jealous and does some pretty silly things. Yuuki and Kaori don’t talk during class so people don’t know they are friends. But when he can’t met up with her, he stands up and shouts sorry much to the amusement of his classmates who have no idea what he is talking about. He is so determined to be her friend that when she loses her diary, he refuses to go to school and spend the days searching for it. Kaori’s a sweet character too. What caused her amnesia is really sad! But she is such a nice person who just wants friends again.
This anime is gold to me. I recommend it highly. Its very rare to find a love story as innocent as this one is. Both of them get so flustered and embrassed, its adorable! There are some real gems in his anime. Though it still take me a while to warm up to Saki.
Producers: Gonzo, TV Tokyo, Square Enix, Sotsu Agency, Lantis, Pony Canyon
Saki is a manga adaptation originally written Ritz Kobayashi.
I read the manga and really enjoyed it. I was looking forward to the anime. However I really struggled with it. The story is good. Saki Miyanaga is a inverted girl who is very good at Mahjong due to having to play it with her family every year. Her gift is that she can always get 0 on a game. One people learn this, she is dragged into the school club to learn how to use her skill to actually beat other players and win the tournament. Not to mention fulfil her dream of being able to defeat her sister in a game of Mahjong without being punished for it. Along with a cast of mostly girls and a lot of implied Yuri.
Here is the problem for me. I’m fine with Yuri. I’m fine with Yaoi. However these girls look like they are still in junior school to me. The whole thing just sets of paedophilia bells in my mind almost as bad as Kuroshitsuji 2. My main issue is with the pink haired girl Nodoka Haramura. Her boobs are giant. She’s 15/16 but to me the style of the comic makes her look more like 12/13. Now in a manga big boobs are fine, just part of the scenery. In the animation because of how they animate them, its genuinely a little disturbing for me and I just could not watch it any longer. Especially when during a rain scene her top goes see though and well. No.
Saki is a really good story about a group of girls who want to win a mah-jong tournament but to me is ruined by someone’s insane idea to give a 15 year old K cup size boobs and make the other girls grope them. Its basically soft porn at times and its not appreciated by me. Not at all. Stone
Watched 2010 roughly
Spice and wolf is light novel adaptation written by Isuna Hasekura, and drawn by Ayakura Juu.
Spice and wolf is one of those animes that if you would describe it to a friend, they were properly say ‘That sounds boring’ but its not. Spice and Wolf is one of those anime’s which take you an adventure and not one you first expect.
Travelling merchant, Kraft Lawrence is wandering from town to town with just his horse and cart when one night Lawrence finds a wolf goddess asleep in his cart. Horo, who takes the form of a beautiful girl with wolf ears and a tail. Horo was once the local harvest god however with the spread of the church and as time as once on, the villagers have forgotten there agreement with her. Leaving her bonded and weary. They strike up a bargain between the two of them for Horo to lend him the cunning of “Horo the Wisewolf” to increase his profits in exchange for taking her along on his travels.
But having Horo alone for the journey is no easy matter when the church is tightening its power in the region and country is falling into disrepair. This is set in a country where the golden age is over and the world is beginning to change in a way with will make life harder for people like Lawrence and for beings like Horo. The two of them working together to survive and see the world.
The tale is a refreshing on and doesn’t rely on fan-service or beach scenes to make the plot. Instead it is very unique in its take on life and how the world they reside in works. There is no ever lasting goal in this anime, what this is is a simple story about people. Just one of them is a wolf god who loves apples and is very curious about the changes in the world she has last seen it.