They’re the best Anime that 2016 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Flip Flappers, Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin, D.Gray-man Hallow, and more!
10: Flip Flappers
English: Flip Flappers
MAL Score: 7.67
Cocona is an average middle schooler living with her grandmother. And she who has yet to decide a goal to strive for, soon met a strange girl named Papika who invites her to an organization called Flip Flap.
Dragged along by the energetic stranger, Cocona finds herself in the world of Pure Illusion—a bizarre alternate dimension—helping Papika look for crystal shards. Upon completing their mission, Papika and Cocona are sent to yet another world in Pure Illusion. As a dangerous creature besets them, the girls use their crystals to transform into magical girls: Cocona into Pure Blade, and Papika into Pure Barrier. But as they try to defeat the creature before them, three others with powers from a rival organization enter the fray and slay the creature, taking with them a fragment left behind from its body. Afterward, the girls realize that to stand a chance against their rivals and the creatures in Pure Illusion, they must learn to work together and synchronize their feelings in order to transform more effectively.
So what is Flip Flappers about? Why should you be watching it? Can you eat it? Only two of the three questions above will be answered.
Flip Flappers’ story is interesting in many ways. We follow the lives two cute girls, there’s intense action, amazing visuals, a yuri undertone lurking. What more could you want— other than nudity, perv.
The Story can be hit or miss depending on your preferences. If you’re into simple story-telling and plot developments then Flip flappers most likely won’t be on your watch list. The plot, the real plot, not fan-service is very confusing at times. It is so bad to the point where I found myself questioning “what the hell going on?” in certain episodes. You see, Flip Flappers method of storytelling is hard to follow…
There are often times too many distractions, mostly imagery, that if you miss a single detail then you will be momentarily confused as to what is happening in the story. This is extremely prevalent when there are scenes filled to the brim with dialogue and monologues. Personally, I found myself getting lost in the vibrant imagery or special effects while characters were talking. Now as far as the story telling goes, the “direction” I have to say that I strongly believe that both the narrative was straight forward as to be expected. Flip Flappers method of storytelling is “the hero’s journey.” For example, think of movies like Harry potter or Lord of the rings.
For those who are unfamiliar with the scenario, something bad or out of the ordinary happens. This causes the girls to go on an adventure to solve the problem; they receive supernatural aid, and get just a bit of character development. As their adventure progresses, they run into the antagonist whom they proceed to do battle with. At this point, “death & rebirth” kicks in. The girls lose, but suddenly realize that this battle is important, plot armor kicks in, and they both gain some sort of supernatural ability that helps them defeat the antagonist. After the grueling battle rests, a predictable outcome, the heroes succeed and head back home where everything is nice and happy.
Now with “the journey “that the girls go on. It is not incredible but it sure is unique. During the span of the entire series Papika and Cocnoa are involved in some type of journey that teaches them both lessons. For example they both need each other. They’re friends! Most of the problems the two have to fix during the series, I perceived them as stepping blocks for the two to continue building their budding relationship.
There’s never a dull moment in the Flip Flappers’ story I feel like it provided more than enough entertainment.
At first glance, depending on if you have a good eye or are just really experienced with watching anime. One would assume Gainax worked this title with its unique choices in art. However, they didn’t (as far as my knowledge goes) do much in the animation department. The credits in episode 11 say that they were used for outsourcing. This is common in the anime industry. Personally I believe that their unique art style was used as inspiration for 3hz.
Backgrounds are beautiful despite lacking detail and high quality at times. Character designs are unique, cute which is most important. On the other hand, the animation wasn’t as impressive. I felt like there could’ve been improvements to the aesthetics and quality to make the show look more modern. HOWEVER! And Honestly, I think everything worked out. I enjoyed the beauty the show had to offer. It has a sort of “dreamscape” fantasy design to it. This choice fits with the theme of the show. Lastly, the colors are rich and the special effects are fluid.
The soundtrack does an excellent job setting the mood for certain situations. I felt that the composer did a wonderful job of creating songs that fit theme of the show. Happy, jaunty, tunes, the bells are of course the most important part. Voice acting was good to say the least. I didn’t feel like the actors were anything special. The opening and ending song… Scratch the opening song. The ending song perfectly describes what the show is about! the sound director deserves to be acknowledge for their contributions to the show.
Enjoyment & Overall: Flip flappers deserves some notoriety for its great efforts and contributions to the fall 2016 season. I felt that this title was incredibly fun to watch! The characters, art, soundtrack and story. There was so many things that I liked in the show that made it enjoyable. I had to give Flip Flappers a solid 9/10 because of how great I felt watching everything unfold.
The story follows two girls who meet each other by coincidence: the extremely energetic and cheerful Papika, and the much more level-headed and all-round normal Cocona. The somewhat futuristic world which Flip Flappers plays out in does not only contain hoverboards and advanced robotics, but also a fair amount of less explainable things. Supposedly there exists a second, overlapping dimension called Pure Illusion which Papika and Cocona end up stumbling upon by literally falling down a hole into it. This other world is largely responsible for what makes Flip Flappers so different, because in Pure Illusion pretty much anything seems possible. It reminds me of Fantasia a bit with its magical, colourful landscapes, mythical beasts and other strange creatures, doors functioning as teleports, and just a ton of magic in general. Sometimes however it can be sci-fi-esque rather than fantasy-esque, with digital Tron-like cyberspace environments, mechas and more.
Papika and Cocona work for the Flip Flap organization, which tasks them with searching for so-called “amorphous” fragments within the world of Pure Illusion, which are supposedly capable of granting wishes. These fragments can be found in different kinds of environments within Pure Illusion, which is largely what causes them to end up in such blatantly different surroundings in almost every episode. In their adventures however they end up finding out that Flip Flap is not the only organization on the hunt for amorphous fragments, as they encounter a second group who seemingly wants them for their own ulterior motives. And thus we end up with a lot of fighting in-between the two sides throughout the anime as they keep trying to beat each other to the punch for every fragment.
Flip Flappers utilizes the strange world of Pure Illusion in order to tell unusual stories on a mostly episodic basis out of chronological order, and on top of providing interesting adventures it also has a plethora of symbolism underneath the surface. Pretty much everything in this show has a meaning. However, not the entire anime is on an episodic basis. Towards the end, everything starts to connect, and an overarching storyline you might not have even realized was ever there suddenly starts to become visible. Ultimately, it all culminates into a quite grandiose and conclusive ending.
But what really makes Flip Flappers a success to me is that it manages to deliver its deeper messages without it really hampering the fun factor of the anime itself. A common problem I have with more philosophical anime is that they often end up feeling like nothing more than lectures and either turn out to be quite boring (like Mushishi) or just plain cringey (like Yuri Kuma Arashi). But Flip Flappers is actually a ton of sheer light-hearted fun on top of its subtle themes, like a child’s imagination come to life with its execution, and even though there is generally way more to each scene than meets the eye, it is still very entertaining to watch. And as a result it actually made me interested enough in the show as a whole to motivate me to pay attention to the details as well, so in a way the fun factor actually made the deeper themes better too. It is the same reason you usually learn more from a class you actually enjoy than one that makes you literally fall asleep.
The characters are overall quite likable but also very symbolic. Papika’s bubbly personality is like a representation of childhood innocence, whereas another girl called Yayaka rather seems to symbolize adulthood, with Cocona stuck somewhere in-between the two extremes, unsure what she really wants to do. It’s a nice way of combining character diversity with contrasting deeper themes.
The production value is also quite surprising. Studio 3Hz do not have much in their repertoire other than Dimension W and Sora no Method prior to this, but even so they still definitely delivered here. The art style looks incredibly hand-drawn, like something you would normally see in a Studio Ghibli film rather than something you would expect to see airing on TV. But it fits really well with the Fantasia-like setting of Pure Illusion, further enhancing the experience of magic and wonder of it all. And on top of that, Flip Flappers boasts with not just having one of the best opening themes of the entire season, but also quite frankly one of the best ending themes I’ve ever heard in anime.
Overall, what you have is an anime which honestly does not feel like it has any clear weaknesses in my eyes. The unorthodox setting and story, the way all the dots suddenly connect towards the end, the diverse and symbolic characters, the gorgeous art and the enjoyable theme songs, it is all really good. Just… not utterly amazing either. I guess the biggest downside would be that at times the story will undoubtedly come across as rather confusing, even if you really try to pay attention. Granted, this is all intentional, but that does not really help much in practicality. However, as mentioned earlier, even if you will not understand literally every message that Flip Flappers is trying to convey, I think you should still be able to enjoy it quite a lot. When it all comes down to it, that is probably its greatest strength.
I’ll add that it’s also “diverse, unique, immersive, and, most importantly, it’s (*cough*cough* mostly *cough*) coherent!”
Flip Flappers is pretty underrated and will take you on a relatively unpredictable journey with two middle school girls named Papika and Cocona as they travel to another dimension called “Pure Illusion”. The story begins mysteriously as it follows the warm and simple-minded Papika as she escapes from what looks like a lab and flies off into the night sky on her hoverboard. It then switches to the perspective of the visibly depressed or kuudere Cocona and briefly gives insight into her struggles to figure who she wants to be and what career path to choose. At this point, no one could have guessed the incredibly diverse future that was in store for these two protagonists.
TL;DR at the end
I strongly believe that Flip Flappers is one of the most original and imaginative anime ever made. It should get more attention because it definitely has all of the necessary ingredients to become one of the treasured gems of the anime genre. I highly recommend that you check this out if you enjoy diversity, unpredictability, action, and beauty. I usually like to contemplate anime, but this series was so unpredictable and silly that I had to turn my brain off for most of it, haha!
The concept of other dimensions gave this anime the ability to explore unlimited possibilities. Mechas, ghosts, sci-fi, action, comedy, horror— you name it and it was probably in Flip Flappers. The overarching plot showcases the growing friendship of Papika and Cocona as they journey to “Pure Illusion” to collect rock-like-things that grant a wish once collected (kind of like finding the dragon balls). They eventually come to face opposition from another group that’s also trying to collect them. However, ~PLOT TWIST~ things aren’t really as they seem… What real-world consequences will their actions in Pure Illusion have? Do the rocks really grant wishes? Who, exactly, is Papika? In fact, who is Dr. Salt? In fact… who… are you…? Just kidding, but these are some of the major questions that you might wonder throughout this anime. Overall, I did think it was a bit random (mostly in a good way) and sometimes the randomness strayed from the coherence of the plot. However, the pacing was, nonetheless, great and the stories/sub-stories were all interesting as well.
Although the art was mostly simple, it was beautifully simple. The art was deliberately made to look simple and is one of the most colorful anime that I’ve seen. It was truly a work of art! The motion was a bit choppy at times, but you could really FEEL the action. Pure illusion (alternate dimension) was absolutely stunning with rich and vibrant colors, and its artwork was enough to make me feel fully immersed in this series. The art wasn’t good because of its detail, but instead because of its creativity. They did a great job on setting the moods of the diverse settings in Flip Flappers. Sometimes it goes from a fun and light-hearted mood to a sci-fi mood, and then to more darker moods. Although the art was really good, I never once thought “Oh… My… Fuck… BRILLIANCE! MASTERPIECE!” like I did for Unlimited budgetworks (unlimited bladeworks) or Kizumoneygatari (Kizumonogatari) so I couldn’t give it a 10 (Visit Kill la Kill or Katanagatari [10/10 Art]) for how to be flambuoyant, but still fluid in animation)
Every character’s voice matched the character, battle sounds were great, and background noises were normal. The background OSTs were primarily cinematic and didn’t have a memorable central theme like in Fairy tail, Kill la Kill, Guilty Crown, SAO, Madoka Magica, or Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles but it was nonetheless great background music. The opening was pretty good, but the ending was perfect for this anime. The ending was lighthearted, had an Alice-in-Wonderland-like feeling to it, and the artwork really matched the music perfectly. The sound was great overall.
I personally think the characters were the weakest part of this anime. All of the characters were cliche tropes that weren’t complex at all. The story was diverse enough that it didn’t matter much, but none of the characters were particularly unique in any way. It’s fine because I’m not sure how they could’ve developed more complex characters with its diverse settings in a matter of only 12 episodes. Their simplicity didn’t really take much away from the anime, but you probably won’t be getting any new favorites from it.
I really enjoyed this anime. It was pretty unique, so I think I’ll remember it for a long time. I enjoyed it enough to watch it again someday! That doesn’t happen to me often (I’ve only really re-watched like 2 series). There was just something special about this anime that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
It was very unique, the story was pretty good, and it was interesting overall, but it could have been better. The story was also extremely diverse but consequently had some very minor inconsistencies. The artwork was creative, but a bit choppy. The sound was great and well-suited to this anime, but not amazing.
Should you watch this anime? Well, I totally recommend it personally but:
If you value anime for its uniqueness, then definitely!
If you like artistic anime, then yeah!
If you like girl action anime, then yep!
If you like sci-fi anime, then ehhh you might want to give it a shot…
If you found the story or concept to be intriguing, then you should probably try it for about three episodes…
If you dislike simple anime and tropes, then no because this anime is very simple and trope heavy.
If you dislike “friendship power”, then nah this anime “Fairy Tail”ed at times.
Hope this helps you make your decision! If it did, let me know by clicking helpful~ If it didn’t, let me know what you disagree with so I can learn from my mistakes!
9: Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin
English: Alderamin on the Sky
Japanese: ねじ巻き精霊戦記 天鏡のアルデラミン
MAL Score: 7.69
Ikta Solork is a carefree young man who only wants two things in life: a woman on his arm and a place to nap. Unfortunately, his peaceful life is destroyed when war breaks out between the Katjvarna Empire and the neighboring Republic of Kioka. Ikta and his childhood friend, Yatorishino Igsem, join the army as military officers, where they meet the infantryman Matthew Tetojirichi, the sniper Torway Remion, and the medic Haroma Becker on a boat heading for the military exam site.
However, after a rogue storm sinks their vessel, the five of them end up in enemy territory near a military outpost. There, they discover that the heir to the Katjvarnan throne, Princess Chamille Kitora Katjvanmaninik, has been taken hostage. The five are able to rescue her, and as a reward, each one of them is granted the title of Imperial Knight—one of the highest honors a soldier can receive. It seems that Ikta will have to put his dream of tranquility on hold, as he must now become the hero he never wanted to be.
The anime is essentially composed of a few sections, which each section tidying up neatly, while still being open to the next section. This allows the anime to flow nicely, though unfortunately, also leaves the series with a somewhat open ending; though the arc is tidies up, the viewer is left knowing that much is to follow along with foreshadowing, and it just isn’t covered. Granted, anime based off of light novels serve not just to gather and entertain viewers, but to serve as an advertisement of sorts for the novel series, so this is to be expected.
As for the specifics, while the whole premise isn’t made entirely clear, enough information is given to where the viewer won’t dwell on the lack of information; also keep in mind, it’s common for lots of details to miss making it from the novel series to the anime, so for minimal omission to seem apparent is pretty good on the anime’s part. The setting seems to be perhaps a fantasy enlightenment period, with the main contrast being the female military uniforms, which have leggings and school skirts (since how could any anime girl not wear a pleated skirt as part of her main outfit?). Though the fantasy element is light, involving only the use of spirits (which some scenes may have you wondering whether they are fantasy or more sci-fi), the implementation of the spirits in the series adds to the fantasy feel.
What can I say? It’s not terrific, nor experimental, but it’s clear and crisp. Nothing to wow over, but nothing to complain over either.
The voices suited the characters well I feel. The opening and closing also fit the series. The series does a good job overall with using music in scenes, though there were a couple times where it bordered annoying for me.
While the main characters fall into stereotypes, they were portrayed well, to where they helped the story. A few of the characters remained rather static, while a few of the others grew over the course of the anime, which fit into the character types. The series also does a good job in reminding us that the characters are in a war.
This series had a mix of my favorite genre, favorites character types, and was based of a novel series so I started watching it expecting to highly enjoy it; thankfully, for me at least, it met my expectations.
Overall, I give this series a 9. I can see someone who’s into “typical” shounen anime finding this series slow and boring, so if fast-paced action is what you’re looking for, this series may not be for you. While this is a fantasy military anime, this is of a totally different strain than, say, the Gundam series. If you enjoy seeing what happens behind the action in war scenes, with action scenes involving character’s planning counter-actions as much as actual action, this series is one you’ll likely enjoy. If a semi-open ending is something that will bug you, you’ll have to personally decide whether it’s worth watching; if you enjoy this series, by the end you’ll be wishing the light novels were being published by Yen Press. Hope this helped!
The plot isn’t original, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Alderamin is mainly focused on the war between two neighboring empires Katjvarna and the Republic of Kioka, and the struggles of Ikta and his comrades fighting in the war. Besides the ongoing warfare between the two countries, there are also tension within the empire and other battles with various clans. The usage of strategies are pretty good and the battles are meaningful. Unfortunately, early on, Alderamin suffers from a slow start, taking around three episodes to really get going and not really explaining too much during that time. However, after a couple of episodes, Alderamin quickly grew on me. The first real battle scene they showed brought a lot of promise, and it brought a much needed darker tone to the story. One thing I would’ve liked explained earlier though, was this little things called spirits who help fight in battle. They are there, but aren’t exposed enough until late in the show. To be really honest, I feel like the show could’ve done just fine without these little creatures.
These problems could’ve been fixed had there been more episodes. I always feel like 13 episodes or 1 cour isn’t enough for many, especially action/war based anime to really accomplish their full potential in terms of storytelling, characters, and the overall depth. Most of the times, the story will be rushed, and in Alderamin’s case, since it started of very slow, the anime suffered from pacing and development issues.
The animation is the standout point of the series for me. Although a bit inconsistent in pacing at times, Madhouse still impressed me in the end. The efforts they put in each episode in terms of the action is refreshing to see. In an anime like this, awesome battles need to make you feel excitement and hyped, and madhouse delivers just that. The battles are brutal and bloody. The character designs are pretty good and the animation as a whole was crisp.
The op and ed are great, but a part of me wishes that the soundtracks were more memorable. It is good for what it is; doesn’t feel out of place or anything, but it could have been better and more impactful. The voice acting is pretty good for each characters and personalities. We could’ve used a little bit more emotion in their voice though.
One of my favorite aspects of the series is definitely the MC, Ikta Solork. He isn’t like all those generic, hardworking MCs like other series. In fact he is lazy and doesn’t hide his love for women. However, beneath that layer, you really get to know that he is very intelligent and caring for his comrades. He isn’t afraid to take risks in battles and forming strategies. He manages to somehow be badass while having a lazy personality. Although he isn’t the greatest character, he is a breath of fresh air from the overdone MC cliches. In a way he could be compared to Itami from the Gate series. Both are lazy and aren’t exactly that “hero” type but their other personality shines in battles.
Although the other main cast is on the generic side, one other character that deserves a mention is the main heroine Yatori. Although she herself could be classified as a generic female MC of any battle anime, it is her relationship with Ikta that makes her likable. Although she is the stronger fighter, you can tell that she still looks up to Ikta’s talents and believes in him during when others might doubt his strategies. She isn’t annoying nor thinks she is supreme to the MC in any way, which was refreshing to see at times.
Besides the two MCs, the other characters, besides Chamille are a bit underdeveloped. The unfortunate thing about this is that normally, if the characters were entertaining enough, I wouldn’t have minded if the development happened later on in the series, but for Alderamin, the other characters aren’t just interesting enough. One thing I did like is that the main cast all had a purpose for fighting in the war, whereas in many other anime, the purpose can be buried away without explanation. Also they are actually helpful. However, they certainly could’ve been written a bit better.
Overall, Alderamin on the Sky is an good show, but nothing outstanding. It starts slow but once the pace picks up, it becomes an entertaining show for what it is. The plot could have been better, the characters could have certainly be explored more, and it indeed stayed on the generic side of things at times, but the intense battle scenes and the fun personality of the MC kept me wanting for more. With the story not yet being finished, we are left with an open ending. Alderamin on the Sky is definitely a worthwhile show to pick up.
This anime was actually quite the surprise where it was presented at first as a typical battle harem anime, but instead brought us an anime about tactical warfare and two rather unique main characters.
The plot of Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin is more focused on it’s war themes as well as their religious elements that enforces the war themes and puts them in conjunction with it’s interesting characters.
Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin’s chaarcter like Ikta Solork voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto and Yatorishino Igsem voiced by Risa Taneda are some very interesting characters, Ikta is forced to be in the army after an incident where he wanted to have a more relaxing life and commonly disobeys the the higher ups (or be smarter than them in general), he is by all accounts a genius tactician but wants to use the easiest or the most peaceful way to resolve things…sure he’s a womanizer typical of the battle harem anime, but this really isn’t a battle harem anime. As for Yatorishino, she is more or less the main heroine of this anime and is the “OP class character”, but she develops as to why she has her deadpanned and loyal behavior to both the Empire and Ikta. As for the other cast members like Chamille Kitora Katjvanmaninik voiced by Inori Minase, the third princess of the Katjvarna Empire, Haroma Becker voiced by Haruka Chisuga a medic, Torway Remion voiced by Ryousuke Kanemoto a sniper and Matthew Tetojirichi voiced by Junji Majima the second lieutenant in the main cast group although some do get their small character arcs like Torway and Chamille, the plot tends to focus more on Ikta and Yatorishino as well as it’s more serious war storyline than anything else. But for LA’s favourite character in the anime it easily goes to the badass Yatorishino…because she’s a BADASS, not to mention her relationship with Ikta is a rather unique one from “typical battle harem fair”. Which brings up a good point, as much as Yatorishino is LA’s favourite character and an utter badass, it’s Ikta that steals the show with his genius level intellect and tactical cunning on the battlefield.
Really the “typical harem fair” isn’t a bad thing as it hardly IS a battle harem, instead it’s more of a tactical warfare anime and brings up it’s themes of war as a template, quite easily it tells us about how “tradition” although makes the foundation can’t withhold without the passing of time as such Ikta is showing us that things need to change for the “tradition” to stay and “evolve”, tradition being in place of the Empire’s military regime and it’s evolution in Ikta and his strategies and evolution in military power and really even the themes of this anime can hold the anime on it’s own as it is profound in how they execute it. On a grander scale, it also shows the corruption of the “side” Ikta is in and how he with his different outlook and genius intellect on the battlefield can change the tide of the WHOLE Empire and raze the corruption with his beliefs of protecting those closest to him and NOT for “winning” the praise of the corrupt Empire he’s serving under forceful pretenses.
As later down to line, the plot changes to two “genius commanders” going at it a la L and Light just under a warfare setting and really it really exposes how Ikta is on the OTHER side of the “great battles that whittle down or outright decimate the opposition”, it also once again develops Ikta by going into detail what kind of mental gymnastics he’s trying to think up trying to both protect his army and defeat the opposing warring army (by the way it’s these kinds of tactical warfare LA really gets invested in). On the supporting side it also shows that Yatrisino will always have Ikta’s back even in DEATH really cementing this dynamic of commander and soldier. Because of this kind of focus on Ikta and Yatorishino as well as the “other genius-equal to Ikta”, the focus really kicks Torway, Matthew and Haroma into minor character status and are really turned into pawns for Ikta in the process. The least developed character all round actually goes to Chamille the Princess as she is essentially in the sidelines as Ikta and his army is trying to defend against this new warring army.
The plot twists really comes in once Ikta has an equal fighting against him from the later storyline and just seeing the “game of chess” these two play and how they outwit each other makes the “warfare plot twists” all the more intriguing. Outside from that storyline, it is expected Ikta to survive along with his group and yes for the most part he does, but when other minor characters get into the mix and Ikta WANTS to protect them, that is where the plot twist deaths comes in and some are really unpredictable at times which again hones in in Ikta’s belief to protect everyone but even if he has the intellect to do so but doesn’t have the power to also comes in. Because of this, Ikta really is a fleshed out character from his beliefs to his intellect to his focus on the plot itself.
In terms of animation, the animation done by Madhouse, well it’s expected of Madhouse to put this much detail in everything and they succeeded once again, from the tactical battles, to the medieval-ish anachronistic weaponry to the polished character designs make the animation look very nice to watch and as for the battles, well some of the best battles and gorn goes to Yatorishino’s battles, but the more widespread out tactical warfare has it’s animation moments as well.
In terms of voice acting, well across the board, the voice acting was amazing, though LA’s favourite voice actor HAS to go to Risa Taneda as Yatorishino, her “himedere” vocals were always great to hear. Not much to talk with voice acting section other than it was amazing and expected LA was gonna go for Risa Taneda.
Ohh boy the ending…guess Madhouse has ANOTHER sequel LA wants outta shows they made and Nejimaki is no exception. Yes the ending left at a really great point in the story and focuses in Princess Chamille and Ikta about the Empire itself and because of what Chamille wants Ikta to do and “complicated” notion of doing such a thing has gotten LA intriguing and wanting more which was why yes, it left in a “read the manga” ending. Before that the previous “arc” between Ikta and Jean (the other genius commander) was left though anti-climactically, once again the tactics Ikta used was GREAT in making the climax of the battle of attrition Ikta and Jean went through all the more worth it no matter how anti-climactic it was.
Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin by all means has it’s problems and strengths as typical for any kind of media but for LA, Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin shined when talking about the tactical warfare element as well as Ikta and Yatorishino’s relationship as well as in the animation, it’s flaws came in that the supporting cast members were nothing but that and some people might see that Ikta as the source of the problem as he is your “win all OP protagonist under the “genius” character”. But with this LA can say that Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin has been more of a hidden gem of Summer 2016, seeing a fictional land give realistic terms of warfare and it’s implications it has before and after the battle has been done and the dynamic between Ikta, Chamille and Yatorishino shows it in the form of the Empire’s corruption, ideals and hierarchy.
8: D.Gray-man Hallow
English: D.Gray-man HALLOW
Japanese: ディー グレイマン ハロー
MAL Score: 7.73
Despite the recent Akuma attack, the members of the Black Order are in high spirits as they set about moving to a new base. Immediately upon his arrival, however, Allen Walker is suddenly called by the Central Agency and has his arm forcefully sealed by the Order. He is then led to a surprising meeting with his master, General Cross Marian, who reveals staggering secrets surrounding the enigmatic 14th Noah.
A phantom thief incident, the arrival of a mysterious group of Exorcists, the death of an important comrade, and an all-out battle against the Noah Family—just what does this mean for Allen, Yuu Kanda, and the rest of the Order? This is but the beginning of a series of strange, seemingly unconnected events that lead to something far greater.
8 years later since D.Gray Man finished and we have FINALLY gotten a continuation to one of LA’s most nostalgic anime, so did Hallow live up to the original or did the sequel curse fall upon it???
The plot say the least have some major problems with it’s pacing, mainly it being inconsistent, however it can easily be compensated for it’s tightly woven character development to some of our main characters, Hallow especially focuses on Yu Kanda, Allen Walker, the Millennium Earl as well as some newer characters like Alma Karma and the short arc with Timothy. Nonetheless with all these characters moving around along with the MANY new villains’ plans and motivation can rather make this anime’s plot feel rushed but do take it’s time when trying to unravel character development to these characters and take it’s time in doing so. Hallow also seemed to skip a certain portion of the anime so it can quickly move to the Timothy arc, what LA think about this, well LA didn’t read the manga til that point so LA really didn’t know until a character handwaved the missed plot…ehhh if it was the get to the better plotlines or wasn’t as crucial that TMS Entertainment did leave it out for a reason, LA didn’t mind. What Hallow also comes into light is the Order isn’t what it seems as the good two shoes organization trying to eliminate the Akuma as it really isn’t the entirety of the Order who are at fault, but more like two certain members *cough* Lveille you bastard hypocrite *cough* and the Alma Karma arc not only develops what evil deeds the Order did and how magnificently it backfires on them with the Third Exorcist Project but simultaneously gives Alma Karma and Kanda the development they needed (Kanda especially as he really didn’t get much development more or less hints in the original). Finally Allen goes into the crossfire of ALL of this plot and becomes a rather unique case of a main protagonist, sure it brings into light that both the Order and the Millennium Earl might as well be both evil and yet in brings up “who is the TRUE evil” and this statement goes straight back to Allen as a character. Yeah the plot has pacing problems to say the least and takes more of a focus to certain characters and the rest becomes either plot devices or supporting characters, but if it character development and world building (TRUE world building) you want Hallow gives it to you.
Well since the plot is interwoven by it’s characters…LA already talked about the characters. Well there’s one thing LA missed. LA’s favourite character?..it has always been Lenalee Lee and always will be and she was the MAIN reason LA came to love the series in the first place, sure it doesn’t become Lenalee Lee’s story in Hallow, but just seeing her again was so nostalgic (new hairstyle and all…as for the new voice actor…well that a bit later).
The soundtrack felt like a blast to the past, keeping the original soundtrack for the most part just under a lighter, softer tone remix. Nonetheless, having this soundtrack with that slight remix gave LA a quick approval to this soundtrack. Call it nostalgia blindness…but LA loved the soundtrack even if is a remix.
In terms of voice acting, well there is actually alot to talk about this as Hallow gave us a entirely new voice cast. Allen’s, Miranda and Kanda’s voice actor (Ayumu Murase, Ami Koshimizu and Takuya Satou respectively) fit in to both the characters and their original counterparts, LA didn’t really have a problem with Lavi’s new voice actor Natsuki Hanae (though LA thought he’s missing something), however LA had something that irked on Lenalee Lee’s new voice actor Ai Kakuma (now LA will say that LA could actually see Ai Kakuma voicing Lenalee, heck for LA it made sense as LA thought that Ai Kakuma would be something like a spiritual successor to Shizuka Ito, however Ai Kakuma had something of a higher pitched voice but that wasn’t LA’s problem with Ai, it was that Lenalee lost her “ojou-dereness”, however LA quickly grew with Ai Kakuma’s voice acting for Lenalee, though LA just kept thinking Shizuka Ito voice her better and why Lenalee was LA’s favourite character in the series in the first place. If there was anything Ai Kakuma could have done to properly fit into Lenalee Lee, she could have projected a bit of Isuzu Sento from Amagi Brilliant Park (for her maturity and her deadpanned ojouness) and less Hanabi Ayase from 12-sai.: Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki, Ai Kakuma thankfully got better…by the final episode, but still, SHE GOT BETTER. LA will emphasis this for the voice cast, for the most part, the new cast fit it quite well in some regards, as for Lenalee Lee’s new voice actor, LA doesn’t hate Ai Kakuma voicing her, she just had to adjust from being a squeaker kind-hearted character to an ojou-kind hearted character. Now onto some better news, LA quite enjoyed Millennium Earl’s new voice actor Yutaka Aoyama who replaced Junpei Takiguchi and thought that Yutaka’s replacement was ok in LA’s books. Now for the best voice actor in Hallow however goes to Yui Kondou for LA, where Yui voiced Road Kamelot who replaced Ai Shimizu, same psychotic yandere and anti-villain charm she had in the original and the change of voices didn’t change it. Wow LA talked ALOT about the voice actor section..moving on…
In terms of animation, done once again by TMS Entertainment to say the best it feels really polished from the original (to be expected), the characters are alot shinier in design and the battles move more smoothly than before, also the eldritch abominations that appear in this anime (and no not JUST the Akuma), it’s amazing what detail they put into it. The comedic moments also bring up the typical anime emoji what little comedic moments it has considering the VERY serious tone it starts and ends with. Overall, Hallow had some very decent animation across the board and LA can overlook the few rare times of animation errors.
LA won’t tell much about the ending as it still has lots of plot threads left and it just feels like that Hallow has only just touched the tip of how D.Gray Man could have turned into. There is SOO much more left and LA obviously wants another season.
D.Gray Man is such a nostalgic shounen anime which LA wished and begged for another season and LA wished has been fulfilled, yeah Hallow has several flaws that it can easily be subjected to sequelitis, but for an anime sequel LA has been waiting ALMOST HALF A DECADE for, LA can overlook these flaws and see why it even exists. LA is soo happy to even see a sequel to D.Gray Man and call this nostalgia blindness (similar to LA view on the soundtrack) but LA doesn’t care. Hallow you have your problems from it’s controversial new voice cast to it’s inconsistent pacing in it’s plot but LA doesn’t care. Come on just seeing a sequel to such a nostalgic popular shounen anime that took 8 YEARS to get made again as well as an anime that was HUGELY influential to LA as an anime fan even now is amazing to see again, nostalgia is a high factor for LA especially from D.Gray Man and is essentially what drove LA into still liking Hallow.
D.Gray-man is a Master-Piece for me whether it was the manga or the 1st season anime and I was SOOO HAPPY and Overjoyed about the announcement of the 2nd season after so long. So if you’re not a Hardrcore fan of them like me then this review is not for you cause you’ll think that I’m Overreacting.
It picks up from where it left in the previous season leaving some chapters but sticking closely to the manga which is the only good thing about this show beside promoting the manga.
#Sound & Characters
I convinced myself to accept the change of the Seiyuus and give a chance for the new ones since I like most of them in other works but I was SOOOO DISAPPOINTED. There was a killing SHALLOWNESS in their voices and not even 1/10th of the characters’s feelings and emotions that you feel in this important turning point of the manga (or what we felt from the previous Seiyuus) presented, and so the characters personalities and characteristics were all gone, which is SOOO VEXING and SAD and basically RUINED the whole show. T~T
(Oh, But I liked the old music background they put, It gave me a nostalgic feeling.)
#Art & Enjoyment
The art and animation were average overall to poor at some points and jokes and funny interactions between the characters were dead even though their amount was small in this point of the original work but their presentation was bad.
For their defense MAYBE the short limit of the 13 episodes which had to cover this arc was the reason of such POOR Performance, STILL its disappointing and heart breaking for me no matter the reason . Even with all this I still have no heart to give it less than 8/10 honoring This Master-Piece of a manga.
D.Gray Man picks up where it left off at the end of the last series while also skipping the zombie arc from the manga. The new arcs in this season are very interesting but are poorly skimmed through to meet 13 episodes which I thought was poorly done as the studio did add in new scenes. However the overall story is still good and does remain true to the manga which I thought was very good.
Art in this season has been changed from the previous to match the authors art, it’s good but too inconsistent with the animations some episodes seemed poorly done and others felt outstanding, there really was no overall standard in art and animation in this as the animation in some scenes were just poorly done and kinda ruined the experience for me.
OP is amazing and catchy but also quite generic.
Overall the voice acting does take some adjusting to if you loved the original like me, however I did get used to them all, Miranda’s new art and voice acting is pure shit and I think they screwed up here trying to match the last VAs voice acting rather than doing their own thing.
I really love the characters in D gray man and hallow, the reason that this isn’t a 10 is simply because some of the old characters that we know and love are unessesaryly involved in this series where as in the manga they were not important at all, yet every episode we’ll see Lavi and Lenalee but they’re really not important at all and I think that’s where the anime also screws up because this season was meant to be about Allen and Kanda.
I really did enjoy this but I also had hype for the series return and unfortunately I was disappointed in some areas and the studio really didn’t seem like they were putting in their 100%, I’ve seen much worse anime but they at least had consistent decent animation throughout the entire cour
7: Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri 2nd Season
Japanese: GATE（ゲート）自衛隊 彼の地にて、斯く戦えり 第2クール
MAL Score: 7.74
Several months have passed since the infamous Ginza Incident, with tensions between the Empire and JSDF escalating in the vast and mysterious “Special Region” over peace negotiations. The greed and curiosity of the global powers have also begun to grow, as reports about the technological limitations of the magical realm’s archaic civilizations come to light.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Youji Itami and his merry band of female admirers struggle to navigate the complex political intrigue that plagues the Empire’s court. Despite her best efforts, Princess Pi?a Co Lada faces difficulties attempting to convince her father that the JSDF has no intention of conquering their kingdom. Pressured from both sides of the Gate, Itami must consider even more drastic measures to fulfill his mission.
…Anyway, season 2 picks up where the last one left off. Beyond the titular gate is a fantasy land with elves, dragons, catgirls and whatnot. The place has been annexed by Japan and with much creativity and sensitivity named the Special Region. Now the virtuous Japanese Self-Defence Force (SDF) proceeds to help the local population against tyranny and oppression. And they carry it out honorably despite being hindered by incompetent politicians, propaganda-spewing journalists, and other countries such as the US who like to mess with Japan’s business.
What? The Japanese constitution forbids using the SDF abroad? Don’t be silly. If you annex the place, it counts as part of Japan, duh. Or maybe since the gate is inside Japan, they decided all its contents are too. If they have a team of lawyers, I’d like to hire them too.
Plus they loot, err I mean procure, whatever natural resources there are in the area. That’s right; Japan strikes oil. Get rekt, Middle East. The local lords had no idea oil is even valuable when they signed the mining deal. Suckers.
As you might expect, the SDF wrecks the natives with ease. Again. Which is not really surprising because the local royalty and feudal lords have not learned much in the ways of warfare or diplomacy. Actually, forget the guns; they can’t even match the SDF in a fistfight. And when the SDF isn’t overpowered enough, the otaku protagonist’s harem of mages and demigod lolis swoops in and wins in a few seconds. There is also a CGI dragon that is thankfully at least a bit more challenging, and that is probably the reason why it exists in the plot to begin with.
Also, the best cure for psychological trauma is apparently revenge, best achieved by having a traumatized person operate a bazooka. What could possibly go wrong?
The timing of the comedy and drama is brilliant, with random fanservice right next to slavery and war crimes (not committed by the SDF, don’t worry). Just the way I like it. Romance is also handled with subtlety: near the end we even get a montage of all the latest crack pairings.
So if you are looking for lots of fanservice, explosions and nationalistic right-wing sentiment, this is the anime for you. Season 3 hype?
Returning for a second season, GATE focuses on two major arcs. A few things first though. The series has already build a lot with the first season as we were introduced to Itami Youji, a lieutenant from the Ground Self-Defense Force. Also known for his otaku characteristics, Itami’s encounter on the other side of the world (beyond the GATE as I’d like to call it) leads to extraordinary discoveries. Elves, mages, dragons, and even demi-gods. These are just a few of the otherworldly that Itami encounters. Of course, between the two worlds, there’s also a lot of conflict.
The conflict continues into GATE Season 2. The first few episodes also sets up for quite a bit of events for the reminder course of the story. Characters such as Zorzal El Caesar (first prince of the Empire) and Tyuule (ruler of the warrior bunnies) are just a few that causes controversy. The emperor of the Empire also seems to be planning for big things while Pina still tries to maintain a state of peace between the two worlds. Then, there’s also characters like Sherry Tyueli, a young girl who has a surprisingly crafty mind. GATE Season 2 introduces a variety of characters to instill the purpose of role diversity. It also goes to show that characters of any age, gender, or race can potentially influence a great deal in the story.
Of course, Itami is still the main guy along with the three girls that we fondly adores from the first season. Furthermore, Itami’s relationship in particular with Tuka seems to have grown much deeper in one of the later episodes. Lelei development as a mage is also evident as we witness her skills against even an almighty dragon during the Red Dragon Arc. And who can forget about Rory? The ever so cunning demi-god also develops a special connection with Itami as she gets involved with an old rival. In essence, every main girl shines in their way while Itami still plays the role of being the leader of the squad. In the meantime, there’s a lot of political tension building up that really makes the second season darker than it seems.
These include attempted assassinations, human slavery, and a plot to overthrow the empire within its own forces. If you remember Pina, she also becomes entrenched with controversial affairs that takes unexpected dark turns. It goes to say that GATE still maintains what it tries to do – developing story episode by episode while feeding a lot of its ideas towards a climax. It works out quite well once we realize the purpose of its intent. And while it’s at it, GATE isn’t afraid to show death and make it into a reality. War exists – both in the fantasy and real world with GATE still developing on that throughout the season. Also, don’t forget that the show has a lot of military themes and we can easily see how Japan adapts its propaganda fueled by its technological arsenal. Also, it’s noticeable that GATE continuously maintain a high level of world building. It’s easily recognized and has always been one of the show’s stronger points.
Unlike the first season, the sequel has less comedy and much more on plot emphasis. By the third or fourth episode, I think it’s easy to adapt with the style as the show has already introduced enough concepts. But like most adaptations, the show does omit some material although nothing too crucial. Some of the more controversial content like sexual slavery and abuse is subtly hinted at while there’s less gore. In addition, pacing becomes somewhat rushed in a few episodes. With the story that introduces new characters, it’s not always easy to like them. Zorzal is likely to become one of the most hated characters for his cruel actions. In addition, some of the content such as sex may be uncomfortable to sink into your mind.
The art style of GATE generally remains the same. As I mentioned before, the world building is one of the strongest aspects of the show and we get a good amount of quality of the fantasy world. From powerful looking dragons to artistically decorated structures, the show knows where to go for when it comes to fantasy content. This also extends to character designs that really shows their distinctive appearances. From bunny warriors to apostles, you can expect a lot of unique ways the show does to make characters look different. Similar to the first season, there’s also some realistic content like with Japan’s military. From impressive fighter jets to heavy duty mortars, the show demonstrates what military is really capable of. Supplementing its impressive technical features, the soundtrack of season 2 retains its style that fans are used to. The OP song has a familiar tune while the majority of the action choreography is nicely performed with its stellar OST. Character voice mannerism is also noticeable with Zorzal’s egoistic nature, Tyueli’s manipulative personality, or Noriko’s innocence.
Well, I can’t say that season 2 of GATE is miles better than what the first season offered. However, what it does have is concrete storytelling that builds more and more. It makes viewers anticipate what’s to happen next while skillfully adapt with some of its controversial content. I am a bit disappointed that it does omit certain content though. (read the LN and manga for more details) And to add on to the fire, GATE still has characters that can make people pull their hairs out. That aside, GATE Season 2 maintains a nice balance of storytelling and characters. With less comedy and more serious business picking up, it’s a show that just keeps on giving.
^^ is honestly a fitting title for this show.
Why? ‘Cuz there’s more JSDF propaganda in this season. However, that doesn’t mean I love this .
Also, when I say JSDF propaganda, I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s Japan’s show so they can do whatever the hell they want with it. People who criticize this show for having “too much JSDF Propaganda” are a bunch of hypocrites anyways because I can bet you, they’re the same people who watches American films that contains a ton of “F*ck Yea! America!”.
(There will be some SPOILERS in my review)
Ever since first season of GATE wrapped up, I became a big fan of this show and despite the issues that the first season had, I still ended up loving it.
When they decided to split the show into 2 cour, I patiently waited for the 2nd Season every single day for 2-3 months before it aired. I was like one of those fanboys screaming like a girl…I was just so excited. Now that the series has finished airing, is it better than the first season and did my hype die down? You’ll find out soon enough.
The 2nd Season of GATE continues right from where the 1st Season left off and is picked up from there. The show is separated into two arcs and adapts the “Fire Dragon” arc and the “Douran” arc. Let’s focus on my most anticipated “Fire Dragon” arc.
I was really hyped for this arc ever since they teased it during the last season. Mostly because I wanted to see how Itami, his harem and his platoon will handle the Fire Dragon. However, the 2nd Season didn’t really start off with the “Fire Dragon” arc just yet. It starts off with the Japanese Senators and the JSDF holding a peace talks with the Empire. This part of the show was a bit slow but also appreciated because it shows us how the JSDF aren’t just there to cause mayhem and destruction. They’re also there to help out the mysterious world’s citizens. Their first step was to try and improve the lives of the civilians by setting up a Healthcare System. After the setup, this is where the actual arc begins.
Ahh, the “Fire Dragon” arc..So what did I think about this arc? For the most part, I enjoyed it but I don’t think it was great. In the previous season, Tuka’s father died and we all knew that except her. When a certain someone decided to open Tuka’s eyes and forced her to face the reality, she entered into a horrible state of PTSD. This is actually the first time this show made me feel sympathetic for someone else. Let alone, a female character who I thought was just some member of Itami’s harem and nothing more. He then decided to do the unthinkable so she doesn’t have to face the reality which is a horrible way of dealing with someone’s PTSD. I gotta give props to Itami though for being a badass but sooner or later, people need to face the reality so I’m going to have to side with Yao on this one. I think he kind of did the right thing. Here’s the part that I don’t like. I didn’t really like the way they handled Itami’s past to try and relate to Tuka losing her father. Appearantly, something similar happened to Itami’s parents and that’s the whole reason why Itami helped Tuka kill the Fire Dragon. It felt like it was shoehorned in and it was done really poorly. Itami’s backstory wasn’t properly explored, it wasn’t expanded and they only spent a short amount of time on it which made his backstory seem like an asspull. The arc got a nice payoff though so I can sort-of let it slide. How the arc ended is what I always wanted to see from this show and I got it. The JASDF (Japanese Air Self Defence Force) raining down democracy and freedom and the JGSDF (Japanese Ground Self Defence Force) going there and showing us what happens if you mess with the JSDF
The next arc is the “Douran” arc. I was actually surprised that they adapted this arc. I mean, when they advertised the second season, they only showed the Fire Dragon arc on the trailers so I thought it the entire season was just the FD arc. Anyways, this arc focuses on two events. The first event is Itami accompanying Lelei to a town that looks so futuristic but it’s not. To be more specific, it’s an Academy City that trains mages. The second event is a coup inside the Empire in an attempt to destroy the peace between the Empire and Japan. Honestly, this arc is slightly better than the first arc because a lot more things happened here than the Fire Dragon arc and also a lot of politics are involved in this arc, which plays a huge role in everything that’s been going on so far. For example, we get to see why the JSDF wasn’t deployed earlier to save the Japanese Senators and why they didn’t liberate the Empire sooner.
I talked about the pacing issues in my first season’s review and I want to talk about the pacing issues in this review again. Just like the first season, this season’s first arc was rushed and the 2nd half was still somewhat rushed but not by much. They shouldn’t have rushed the 1st half because that’s the whole reason why I didn’t like the Fire Dragon arc that much, despite its nice payoff at the end. Instead of rushing the arc, they should have spend more time on Tuka’s PTSD and Itami’s backstory which would have made a huge impact at the end of the FD arc if those 2 aspects weren’t so rushed through. I have no issues with the 2nd half’s pacing because it was mostly politics and Itami’s journey to a mage town and what he and the girls did in that town.
I’m sure you noticed this when you watched the first episode but Gate Season 2’s atmosphere is a lot darker than the previous season. I actually never expected this show to touch on subjects like Rape, Abuse, and etc. They’re obviously censored but they’re still somewhat disturbing as shit.
So my first issue with this season was the pacing and now, to the second issue that I have with this season. The side characters DON’T getting enough screentime and by side characters, I mean the soldiers in Itami’s platoon. I really liked their character interactions and their personalities from the first season but in this season, their screentime was gutted in half in favour of developing Tuka and Lelei’s character…which wouldn’t have been a big issue if the main characters’ development weren’t so rushed either. The final issue that I have is with the ending. It was cheesy as hell and it made it look like an ad saying “Join the JSDF and you’ll get a waifu for your war efforts”. I have no problem with JSDF Propaganda but that scene was really cringey as f*ck.
The 2nd Season’s art and visuals looks exactly the same as the first season and no surprise there, as the show was originally intended to be 24 episodes. So because of that, my rating for this section will be the same. I don’t know if this is just me though but the background looks a bit weird. Remember when you used to colour those colouring books and no matter how hard you colour, there’s always a few remaining white small dots? That’s what the background looked like which made it seem like A-1 Pictures’ budget was running dry or they ran out of time.
Just like the Animation, every soundtrack was re-used from the first season. Although, I don’t have any complaints with the soundtrack since they weren’t bad to begin with. In fact, I preferred they kept the soundtrack because they’re goddamn amazing and it gives me goosebumps all the time. Especially that soundtrack that plays when the JSDF shows up and gives those Empire bastards and the Fire Dragons a sweet taste of democracy and freedom that we all take for granted. Now the OP and ED theme song(s)
The OP theme song is “GATE II: Sekai wo Koete “ by the Akeboshi Rockets. Ok, I gotta give the Akeboshi Rockets some credit for changing how their latest song plays out. There’s still the usual drumbeats at the beginning but at least it didn’t sound the same as HOTD’s first 5 sec of the OP. Overall, I liked this song and I thought it was good but I want to talk about the OP Animation. 90% of the scenes were re-used scenes from the first season, 5% were ripped off from the opening of one of their shows called “The Asterisk War”, and the last 5% are a bunch of character’s face shots. Talk about being lazy…
The ED theme song is “Itsu Datte Communication” by Lelei, Tuka and Rory. I really love Gate’s 2nd ED theme song. It sounds so much better than that funky 1st ED theme song. It’s not like I hated the 1st ED theme song. In fact, I loved it but I prefer the 2nd ED. I just love it when the main heroines of a show sings the ED of a show. Hell, I wouldn’t mind if they form an idol group. Now, in terms of the ED Animation. Hands down, their best ED Animation yet. In the 1st ED, it’s just a simple Humvee riding through a tunnel with glowing lights. In here, the ED Animation is simple, yet hilarious. Call it a propaganda shots or whatever the hell you want but I really don’t care what you think.
In the previous season, a new character was introduced almost at the end of the first season. All we knew about her is that she ventured out in search of the “Green People” (She was talking about the JSDF) in order to ask them for help killing the Fire Dragon. In here, we get to know more about her personality during the Fire Dragon arc like how she’s an asshole and how she doesn’t have sympathy towards another person’s feeling. It seems like she does but the way she’s handling it makes her look like a bitchy, selfish, insensitive person by telling Tuka the whole truth about the fate of his father. This, however, makes Itami look like a badass by pretending to be Tuka’s father. Even though he “puts his hobby over work any day”, he did his duty as a JSDF soldier to help out Tuka. Itami felt empathy towards Tuka because he knows what it feels like to lose a parent. Like I said earlier though, Itami’s backstory about his parents seems like an asspull and for that reason, Itami’s empathy towards Tuka didn’t leave that much of an impact for me….Just a little bit, actually xD
While Tuka got much of a spotlight in the Fire Dragon arc, the show also focused on Lelei during the “Douran” arc. We learned that Lelei has a sister who fails at everything in every conceivable way. Though, I kinda understand now why Lelei’s teacher (from S1, Ep. 3) would rather “mount a curvy woman like her”. She has the hots but she’s one of those typical dumb blondes.
I still enjoyed the 2nd Season of Gate but compared to the first season, not by much. Just like the previous season though, I did enjoy the military aspect of the show because military in anime are portrayed as an incompetent unit who can’t stand for themselves whereas in Gate, it’s vice versa. I’m also a big military enthusiast so I have a bit of bias towards this show.
“Gate: And So the Special Defence Force Fought There – Season 2” is an enjoyable-but flawed sequel that finally concludes the story of Gate. I am aware that the Light Novel still has some stories to be told like “The Civil War” arc but I’m satisfied with how the anime version ended. I’m also happy that they finally explained how the “Gate” works which I thought would never happen. If you watched the 1st Season of Gate and you enjoyed it then I can still recommend that you watch this season. Don’t expect it to be better than the first season though.
+Show’s atmosphere is darker than the previous season
+Good story, despite some flaws
+A-1 Pictures kept the amazing soundtrack
+Tuka and Lelei’s much-needed character development
+Just like the last season, portrayal of JSDF and their weaponry/military vehicles are almost realistic.
+They finally explained how the “Gate” works
-Itami’s backstory seemed like an asspull
-Side characters didn’t get enough screentime
6: Magi: Sinbad no Bouken (TV)
English: Magi: Adventure of Sinbad
Japanese: マギ シンドバッドの冒険
MAL Score: 7.87
In the small, impoverished Tison Village of the Parthevia Empire, a boy, Sinbad, is born to the jaded ex-soldier Badr and his kind-hearted wife Esra. His birth creates a radiant surge throughout the rukh, a declaration of a singularity to those who stand at the pinnacle of magical might: the “Child of Destiny” is here. Despite his country being plagued by economic instability and the repercussions of war, Sinbad leads a cheerful life—until a stranger’s arrival shatters his peaceful world, and tragedy soon befalls him.
Years later, mysterious edifices called “dungeons” have been erected all over the world. Rumored to contain great power and treasures, these dungeons piqued the interest of adventurers and armies alike; though to this day, none have returned therefrom. Sinbad, now 14, has grown into a charming and talented young boy. Inspired by the shocking events of his childhood and by his father’s words, he yearns to begin exploring the world beyond his village. As though orchestrated by fate, Sinbad meets an enigmatic traveler named Yunan. Stirred by Sinbad’s story and ambitions, Yunan directs him to a dungeon which he claims holds the power Sinbad needs to achieve his goals—the “power of a king.”
Magi: Sinbad no Bouken tells the epic saga of Sinbad’s early life as he travels the world, honing his skill and influence, while gathering allies and power to become the High King of the Seven Seas.
Fair warning, if you haven’t watched Magi, you really won’t get the same satisfaction from watching this. I suggest watching the Magi series first before watching this.
It begins with Sinbad’s birth. Showing the background story of how Sinbad ends up becoming the swashbuckling man he is in the Magi series. These episodes drew me in right away. If you’re a fan of the Magi series you will really enjoy this part. I loved being able to see a baby Sinbad interact with his family and grow into this heroic, lovable teenager. You get to see him conquer his first dungeon and decide that he wants to create his own country and change the world. It leaves you feeling satisfied.
However after the first few episodes it becomes less about Sinbad’s character and more about the characters that will end up joining him on his journey.
Don’t get me wrong I love the nostalgic feeling of seeing the characters from the Magi series pop up in this series. However, it cuts the character development of Sinbad short. It becomes more focused on the character development of his comrades and how each of them has come to make their decision to join him in his efforts to change the world. The most touching story was Ja’far’s. His story and character development really provides those with prior knowledge about his character in the Magi series some interesting insight to when and how his unwavering loyalty began to blossom.
As for the development of Sinbad’s character, it continues to stay the same after the beginning episodes for the most part. I understand maybe the creators wanted to keep the image of Sinbad as this all powerful character untarnished, but we didn’t even get to see how he discovers the true power of his Djinn.
All we see after the first few episodes is how great Sinbad is and how wonderful he is at everything. I’m ready for his world to be shaken a little. To see him transform into the complex character that he is in the Magi series. Riding the waves between good and evil. Taking the path less travelled on.
Only in the very last episode do we see a small glimpse at an obsessive but mostly motivated look on the face of Sinbad as he contemplates his future. His curiosity about Magis grows intensely in this episode, and you can see in his face he is hungry for more knowledge. It foreshadows a possible adventure where he goes in search of a magi. This leaves a pretty good set up for the next season, which I expect to be a much more exciting season for Sinbad. I foresee some actual character changes and I’ll remain hopeful for that.
Even if the focus wasn’t really on Sinbad so much as the people joining him on his journey I still enjoyed watching this. Seeing more of the unique world that Magi is set in, and getting to see the origin stories of Sinbad’s party has been really great. It’s an upbeat adventure and at times you’ll find yourself smiling at the silly comedy. All that it is lacking is a bit of depth.
The story is brilliant. Depicting the life of probably the strongest living character in Magi. This is a prequel series that shows us the life of Sinbad and his journey to change the world. Such as the struggles that he experiences and the people that he meets to get stronger. The pacing seems rather okay at times, sometimes it does feel a bit rushed, but apart from that I find it easy to get into the mood. I have found the story filled with adventure and comedic aspects that have honestly grabbed me, and have cracked me up.
I enjoyed the art. Not much I can say about it. The characters are drawn rather well. Animation is great.
Having that amazing soundtrack present is what makes me engaged in Sinbad’s story. Those opening and ending songs really grab you and make you want to join up with Sinbad as well.
They have managed to grab the same voice actors from the OVA and from the anime adaption, so I would deem this impressive. The characters in this anime feel like they are being voiced according to how they behave. They have such fitting voice actors for their respective characters.
Lets just say that if you want to know more about the characters that Sinbad has worked with then go with the manga as well. You have Sinbad, Yunan, Ja’far, Dragul, Serendine, Badr (Sinbad’s father), Esra (Sinbad’s Mother), Barbarossa, Mystras, Spartos, Baal, Hinahoho, Pisti, Piprika, Zamil, Tabi etc. All these characters will be expanded on or introduced, the anime has gone through a few and helped set up the cast that Sinbad will be travelling with. Some of that cast has already been shown in the Magi Season 1 and 2 anime adaptions as well. So it would feel rather nostalgic.
I am a major Magi fan. More Magi is never a bad thing. After waiting 2 or so years after the OVA(longer after Season 2), then you can realize how much of an amazing feel this is. This contains probably one of the most interesting characters throughout Magi. Finding out about his adventures and how he became the man that he is now is worth the adventure of watching this series. So, even though I didn’t get a certain Fanalis or Magician I can say that I enjoyed the cast that we had and I found them rather hilarious.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. It does seem a bit funny at times, but just wait it will get so much better. Has always the manga is a preferred option, but this adaption is pretty good. The history of Sinbad, Sinbad’s friends, family and so on. If you are here to witness who he was as a child, why he became who he is right now and what caused him to become great, then this is the anime for you.
Let us all hope for that Season 2 everyone!
I loved Sinbad since the Magi series and he easily became one of my favorite characters.It felt so good to be able to witness his journey to become king and to create Syndria.I loved the pacing and all his adventures that came,how he matured and captured all the dungeons.It was a series full of surprises as well because of the turns it took such as his quickly mastering the djinn equip and his courage to face everyone with an open mind.The story I enjoyed the most was his adventure in the Imuchakk kingdom as part of Valefor arc.Also to see elements such as amazons and legendary warriors assimilated into the lore of the series was great.I hope that we will get a season 2 because what is to come is even better.
I loved Magi’s series art and to see it back it was a complete delight given the fact it was by the same author.
There were very few occasions when I felt that the sound was out of the place but usually the songs chosen made the situation justice.
Sinbad is a young man born into a war-torn world that needed desperately a hero and with his ambition,intelligence and ability to make the others follow him he ended up being a great leader as well as being really handsome.Hinahoho was transformed through Sinbad into a fierce warrior able to have a family and responsible enough to be a father.Jafar was a soul full of darkness and the moment when Sinbad hugged his dark and his pure self-was heartwarming because he gave him a purpose to live for.Hinahoho’s father,the king of Imuchakk,the knight king of Sasan and the queen of Artemyre were all characters who despite the problems each had in their country and the traits each one exposed:fierce warrior,religious zealot and a lonely queen who rules by the law of iron were brought to a point where they needed to expose their qualities in order to face and join Sinbad’s company.The Djin we saw are various and each I think was given time to shine individually and my favorite was Valefor.
I sincerely enjoyed this series far more than Magi,each episode made me hunger for more and each time I wanted it to deliver it did,sometimes more than expected.
I loved the ending because I interpret it as a preview of a possible season 2 that can’t come faster.
5: Lupin III (2015)
English: Lupin the Third
MAL Score: 7.92
Lupin is the main character in this series which takes place in Italy and San Marino.
Reflecting its setting, the anime debuted in Italy before it aired in Japan. Lupin III fans will note that the titular thief now dons a blue coat, following his earlier appearances in green (first series and some OVAs), red (the second series as well as most films and television specials) and pink (third series).
The anime jumps from its one episode driven story to its overarching italian dream story. I enjoyed every single solo episode, thrilling, exciting, and overall masterpieces for style and the audacity Lupin brings to the table. When Lupin wasn’t present, the characters still shined with their own unique personalities. Each episode had a small storyline or mystery to solve, and Lupin pretty much owned the stage every episode he was in. The dream story was rather confusing, and takes away from the other episodes, but it still allowed Lupin to shine through with his character so it only brought the score down to a 9.
The womens’ hair, oh my god, the colors are amazing. The animation was smooth. Every character had their own distinct art and distinct identity with the art.
Everything was on point. The soundtrack was classy and reminiscent of Italy. This 4th blue jacket nailed it.
Although sometimes the characters were bound to a certain emotion. Jigen with fear/nervousness, Goemon for his honor, etc… Those emotions were done spectacularly and when they had episodes centered around them. And Lupin himself brought the whole show together, his entire aura was great for the series as a whole.
You will be laughing or thinking deeply every moment. I loved probably every second of the anime, and sometimes the clever plot twists made you smile at the end of the day.
Even if you have not watched the previous 100+ Lupin episodes, this Italian arc is a masterpiece on its own.
It’s truly like a miracle. The show takes place in the refreshing country of Italy and San Marino. Behind the beautiful mountainous landscapes lies a deeply cultured world ready to be explored. The main protagonist is the titular character, Lupin. Anyone who is familiar with the franchise will recognize him easily although Lupin now has a blue coat to make him look him even more fabulous. Known for his mischievous and lascivious personality, viewers will easily be able to see some of his intentions throughout the show. Of course, there are others that joins him on his adventures such Jigen, Goemon, Fujiko, and the new girl Rebecca. While some of these characters will be like a walk down memory lane, Rebecca is a new character that is a tricky pony to get used to.
The first episode establishes a bizarre relationship as Lupin and Rebecca is bounded by marriage. This may come as a bit peculiar as we hardly know anything about Rebecca. Until of course, we learn some of her true intentions. From there, we can dive into Lupin III like an episodic adventure. The structure of the show chronicles Lupin’s life style as he attempts to make daring getaways with his usual thieving habits, attempts to woo Fujiko, or otherwise occasionally helping out others. The show also establishes Lupin as a very crafty individual. What makes him fun to watch is that even though he is a mastermind of innovative stealth tactics, he sometimes lets his own personal agendas and weakness (such as women) get in the way of his goals. This often translates into a twisty scenario that gets much more complicated than it should be. But hey, that’s just the nature of Lupin and what makes him such a fun character to watch.
Despite Lupin’s thieving habits, he is a humble person and does not tolerate injustice. During his adventures, we see that he seeks to punish violent criminals or individuals who truly wishes to inflict harm to society. This makes him somewhat more of a hero but most people in the world sees him as the reputable #1 thief. His relationship with others has a wide range of diversity. The most complicated may be Fujiko as Lupin often finds himself trying to woo her yet she puts him into undesirable circumstances. On the other hand, we got Daisuke Jigen, a man who is loyal to Lupin. Unlike Fujiko, he helps Lupin and often times when he needs it the most. The two shares a bonding relationship while on the road and his skills of driving is invaluable to their missions. Goemen is also an interesting character with his silent presence yet packs a deadly arsenal of techniques with his sword.
Obviously, a show about a thief also has people hunting for them. The most significant character is Zenigata. His obsession to capture Lupin is very entertaining as the two are sometimes locked in a cat-and-mouse game. Think of it like Tom and Jerry but with a lot of more twists. The adventurous structure of the show sometimes pits them together in unlikely circumstances as well that really shows their relationship. I have to admit though, Rebecca is a character that I find hard to adapt with at first. Most people are probably more familiar with Fujiko so introducing Rebecca is somewhat of a risk. Plus, she has a spoiled personality and often hard to please. As time went on, I find more appreciation for Rebecca especially in the later episodes when we see a deeper side of her character. In a way, she is also like Fujiko with her crafty mind and ability to manipulate events in her favor.
A frequent question for fans is whether you can watch this show without any experience of the predecessors. It’s sort of a two-way sort of scenario. On one hand, you can watch it to enjoy this series as a standalone with the Italian adventures. Most episodes are standalone and easy to understand even with some of the background storytelling. On the other hand, you’ll probably get a better experience if you understand the characters better from the previous series. Honestly though, this show can sometimes be so entertaining that you’ll often forget about the story. It’s just that damn fun.
In terms of technical visuals, the show may seem lackluster at first. Don’t let it fool you. The show isn’t designed to look like a Makoto Shinkai-level type of blockbuster. Rather, it retains the classic feel and that’s what Lupin is about. It’s stylistic and very well done. Plus, the characters are designed in ways that feels nostalgic. They still retain what fans may be used to such as Fujiko’s seductive fashion, Goemon’s trademark samurai clothes, or Zenigata’s professionalism. The background and design of Italy is also filled with culture that really gives the adventurous feel. It’s spellbinding just seeing some of the architectural designs that almost makes you feel like you’re there yourself. Add that with the neat action and this show really is something to take home.
Did I mention classic already in this review? Let me mention it again then. The soundtrack is classic. No, not the type of classic like it’s remixed. Rather, it’s refreshing with how this show is done. From the theme songs to the jazz-beat music, this show can easily be put on repeat every episode with the music. Character voice mannerism is also stellar that matches with their performances. I’d often find myself laughing at the humor just because of Lupin’s role and his voice matches perfectly as a thief. That same goes for Fujiko, a woman that defines what manipulation is all about.
The waiting is definitely worth it. Even though the original series debuted many years ago, Lupin III still reminds us why adventure can be so much fun. From the thrilling action to the marvelous character performances, it’s a show that anyone can easily dive into. Rebecca can be a character that some may find irritating at first. However, I’d give it more time as she does get a decent amount of characterization later. While on the way, you’ll see just how bizarre Lupin’s adventure can really get in a world like no other.
Honestly just give this show a try. It grows on you and you’ll love all the characters and their unique personalities.
4: Ushio to Tora (TV) 2nd Season
English: Ushio & Tora
MAL Score: 7.92
Continuation of Ushio to Tora TV series.
STORY 10; the story continues after season one and it just keeps on developping. It is not rushed and everything fits just right to conclude the story.
ART 8; the art was well done, at first I had to adjust to the style, as it is a bit “ruff”. Afterwards I think the couldn’t have done a better job fitting this art with the story and the characters.
SOUND 8; battles, sad , touching and happy moments where accompanied with great music throught out this series. It’s just, personally, great music if it keeps stuck in my mind and this time it did so. I do have to say that the music fits perfectly and thanks to that I shed some tears alright…
CHARACTER 10; I loved the characters from the beginning. Ushio and Tora go so well together and thanks to this continuation of season 1 they got more dept. You see some unexpected reactions from the characters, but what I apprciated the most was that everyone fullfilled their roll excactly right in my eyes.
ENJOYMENT 9; i enjoyed it very much, There where moments I cried, I laughed so hard I would start to cry, I even got chocked sometimes of something unexpected. I certainly wasn’t bored while watching this and the first season.
OVERALL 9; i loved the character development the most and the story allong with it. I really enjoyed all episodes which where all epic on their own and amazing together You certwainly need to watch this show as a conclusion to season 1. And just for the epicness.
So I decided I’d write my review for this show on this entry rather than the first season entry.
Ushio and Tora is a fun show that tries to evoke that 90’s goofy edginess and fun that many shows had back in the day. While it largely succeeds, there are few arcs that go on too long and parts that are a little bit boring. There were one too many monster of the week episodes, and the HAMMR arc and Kirio arc had some cool moments, but there were a lot of dull episodes.
My biggest problem with this show is Ushio himself. Tora is a great character that we see grow over the course of the series and who we finally get a huge backstory on, and his character arc concludes beautifully. Many of the side characters also grow over the series and even get their arcs neatly resolved. Ushio, however, is the definition of a one-note protagonist. He’s perseverant just because, can one-shot most of the villains just because, and every character in the show seemingly praises him for all the blessings in the world. I knew going in that I was going to be watching a hot blooded 90s emulation and didn’t expect the deepest characters, but I feel that Ushio could have been made just a tad more complex. It’s based on a 90s shonen, however- characters being badass just because is par for the course.
What about the good? The soundtrack is great, the animation looks straight out of the 90s, and the last 4th of the series is top-shelf stuff. The main villain, Hakumen no Mono, is literally the embodiment of fear and evil. The incarnations it takes and it’s sheer power is on Lovecraftian levels, and I loved that.
I’m also a big fan of yokai and Japanese mythology, and I thought that the way they wove a lot of references to classic yokai was awesome.
Definitely worth a watch if you’ve been on a depressing anime kick and want something that makes you feel like you’re watching Toonami in the late 90s.
Story begins with a good pace leading right to the final battle. There are no more side arcs dealing Ushio with youkais\humans.
The whole story of Ushio to Tora is quite simple. There were some points in the story which were sort of surprising. However, speaking in general, from the very begining to the end it’s just one shounen trope after another. Definetely not HxH level. If I were to describe it in few words, I’d say “evil stuff vs good stuff”. Also some techiques of storytelling are pretty outdated.
Well, there’s quite good reason for that. The source had been finished airing before I was born…
Still, the story remains beautiful. If feels Japanese.
Art is something to make me “oh”. It’s great. Oldschool style. I just loved it. Battles are admirably animated here. To the point I had to screenshot almost every frame of battles. I’m not exaggerating here. The style of art is perfectly fitting the story.
Sound’s good. They’ve done decent job here. Nothing to complain about. Actually, some OST-s made my spine chilling. Especially, reaching the final episode. I’d even listen to them separately.
OP-s deserve special attention. They were that type of OP-s which you never skip. I’d recommend to check it out even if you’re not gonna watch the series.
Characters… The only annoying one is Ushio. He’s a dumbass with “a true heart” who goes screaming when it’s appropriate and when it’s not. Well, relax, he’s not only one main hero, how you could already know. I liked Tora more than any other character in the show. I’m sure once you’ve known his backstory you’ll come to like him as much as I do.
Side characters are not that remarkable save few ones(I mean Hyou, Hagare eg. ). There’s a lot of girls surrounding Ushio. I like Asako the most. You know, there’s something charming in girls of such old stories.
I’ve enjoyed the series more than I initially thought. But keep in mind there’re lot of overused shounen tropes here. You should expect to comprehend the series based, well… on feelings.
I’d recommend you Ushio To Tora, if you are searching for some heart-warming and epic oldschool thing.
MAL Score: 7.92
At the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Toyohisa Shimazu is the rearguard for his retreating troops, and is critically wounded when he suddenly finds himself in a modern, gleaming white hallway. Faced with only a stoic man named Murasaki and hundreds of doors on both sides, Toyohisa is pulled into the nearest door and into a world completely unlike his own.
The strange land is populated by all manner of fantastical creatures, as well as warriors from different eras of Toyohisa’s world who were thought to be dead. Quickly befriending the infamous warlord Nobunaga Oda and the ancient archer Yoichi Suketaka Nasu, Toyohisa learns of the political unrest tearing through the continent. Furthermore, they have been summoned as “Drifters” to fight against the “Ends,” people who are responsible for the creation of the Orte Empire and are trying to annihilate the Drifters. As the Ends grow more powerful, so does the Empire’s persecution of elves and other demihumans. It is up to Toyohisa and his group of unconventional heroes to battle in a brand-new world war to help the Empire’s subjects, while protecting the land to claim for themselves and challenging the Ends.
Adapted from the manga of the same name, Drifters initially will leave the impression of a dark fantasy tale. The first few episodes easily establishes its premise as we meet the Drifters, the main protagonists of the show. They are based on historical figures who are based from their timeline. Still, throughout the series, you’ll probably designate them more as anti-heroes by their actions. The primary cast composes of Shimazu Toyohisa, Oda Nobunaga, and Nasu Suketaka Yoichi. Thanks to a mysterious man named Murasaki, they are bought together to stand against evil. Against them are the Ends, characters who ironically weren’t evil during their timeline. At the same time, Drifters are aided by a mysterious group of magicians known as the Octobrists. Get the idea now? Drifters is essentially a dark fantasy war that brings together history’s most infamous figures into one big oddball package.
From the first few episodes, the show will test a viewer’s patience. This is because even though the show has a dark and grim atmosphere, it also tries to sell its comedy and humor. That’s right, the show adapts humor to spice up the entertainment. This can be seen as a throwback as people may not take the show seriously. However, if you can get with the momentum, then Drifters will be a pleasant surprise. Understanding the show’s lore will also enhance your enjoyment of this show. To be honest, what really can draw an audience’s interest is about the characters. Each of them possesses a rather intriguing personality and their roles in the story often spark curiosity.
Shimazu is the main protagonist and also leader of the Drifters. Shimazu is pretty much a natural leader as he is courageous with no fear. His charisma is also a characteristic that inspires others (such as elves) to follow up during the war. We can easily see that he is driven by determination by putting himself above others. The elves and dwarves respects him not just as a Drifter but also a friend. On the other hand, we have Oda Nobunaga. As a strategist, it’s no surprise that he has a brilliant mind. However, he is also a character to be wary of even by his own allies. His sarcastic personality becomes a big joke throughout the show as he brings in the most comedy. As part of the group, Yoichi can be mistaken for a trap because of his feminine appearance. However, he is a guy to be feared when facing against his bow. Later on, we also meet others that joins in their quest as the war turns into a chaotic pandemonium.
The main antagonists are the End. Perhaps the most mysterious and also recognizable would be the Black King. His ultimate goal is to destroy humanity and replace it with a new race in his vision. As leader of the Ends, we don’t find out too much about him. This is perhaps where characterization in the show suffers a bit. We get this all mighty character that operates from the shadows yet not much is known about him, even his past. Luckily, the other Ends brings in more interest such as Easy, a young woman with odds against Murasaki. Anastasia Romanov and Joan of Arc are also ironically the villains in this show, as people may recognize them as heroines from other lores. The one noticeable trait that separates the Ends and the Drifters though is power. Ends seems to possess supernatural abilities, something that the Drifters lack. While Drifters rely on their own natural talent, weapons, and technology, Ends can perform superhuman feats. For instance, Anastasia is able to freeze others while Gilles de Rais can use inhuman strength and durability. As you may guess, the show pits them in battles between the Drifters and Ends like fate. The war itself has a purpose although everyone has their own reasons for fighting. However, it’s up to the audience to decide if those are meaningful or not.
As I mentioned before, the show has a lot of comedy. Whether these may be character interactions or historical in-jokes, it’s always there. One thing that does hold the storytelling back at times is the pacing. It seems at times, the show emphasizes a bit too much on the humor at the expense of other elements. While Oda Nobuanga is a big example of this, others such as Count Saint-Germi from the Orte Empire adds more. The buildup of the story between some episodes can also feel lacking depending on preferences. And because the series is created by Kouta Hirano, you can expect some Nazi references to be introduced as well. That’s right, if you’re thinking Hitler then you’re correct. The show even has a bit of fantasy racism! On the other hand, do take in for granted when the action picks up. This show is no joke when it comes to making a spectacle of battles. When the pacing picks up, it’s where the series really shines and will make you feel that all the buildup worth the wait.
Adapted by Hoods Entertainment, the show is pretty accurate with its manga art style. This is what impresses me a lot when I first watched this series as it’s on spot, almost frame by frame for the character designs. Not to mention, both the Drifters and Ends are characterized with their badass look ranging from Shimazu’s weapons to Yoichi’s sharp eyes. Speaking of that, the show has a distinctive style of adapting its character features. This is especially recognized by the intimidating looks of Ends as they look convincingly menacing. The setting of the battles is also decorated with a dark fantasy look with ruins, ancient castles, etc. Add ultraviolence and minimal censorship and you get Drifters at its finest.
Soundtrack is also pretty noticeable throughout the show ranging from especially the theme songs. It’s stylistic and filled with creativity. While some people may call it silly, I see it more as a expressing the show’s humor and almost feels satirical. The OST and soundtrack has a hardcore instrumental tone during the battle scenes that is highly entertaining. Character voice mannerism throughout show is also noticeable even at times when the dialogues gets overly silly. Perhaps the most noticeable are those of Oda Nobunaga mainly for his commanding voice.
By the time I finished watching Drifters, I was not only impressed by the overall content but also for its ability to entertain. If you have a sense of humor, then this will definitely be worth every minute of time. If you take it too seriously though, then Drifters will probably feel more like a chore to watch. I would definitely recommend Drifters even if you’re not a fan of the author’s works. I can’t say this enough but Hirano’s ability to express his ideas are just too damn entertaining to evade.
*SPOILERS FOR DRIFTERS*
War is hell. We know this to be true by now. This also applies to the fact about there being a lot of “sent to another world” anime adaptations. You really need to do something really unique to stand out if you’re one of these shows, and while I’d like to say that SAO and Re:Zero conditioned me to think otherwise, its obvious that their additions to the concept alone (bloodthirsty video game world and reset after death respectively) were what made them stand out, even if the actual concept, for most part does the exact opposite. With this show, they decided to make it have a full-fledged war, with loads of carnage peppered throughout. The concept is very interesting, especially since the war consists of famous people from many different eras of different countries. It’s sort of like the Fate/ series, except that this time, all of the combatants were based on real people instead of sprinkling mythological people into the mix. So, was this a true breath of fresh air for the genre? Did it manage to do that while being a genuinely great war story? Well, let’s find out, shall we?
So, there is some kind of conflict between Easy and Murasaki (which doesn’t get explained or fleshed out) that caused them to start sending people to this unidentified new world in which there are two main factions at war: Drifters (deceased war heroes), and Ends (once noble beings who have gone bad for their own reasons tying into their demise, but not all of them have their backstory shown to us). There are also humans who enslave two kinds of demi-humans: elves, and dwarves. Drifters are fighting to bring down the human governments of this world via conquest, and destroy the Ends, while the Ends are fighting to destroy the world and all inhabitants (despite the fact that their leader just wants the demi-humans to be the main inhabitants). So, what the hell happened here?
Ultimately, the first few episodes were rough. Not only were there some minor plot holes, but there is one gigantic issue that really damages this series: the tone shifts. You can have a moment in which villagers all horrifyingly stab a man to death in brutal fashion, and then seconds later, they show cracks a random joke. They do this so often, and sometimes, in the most inopportune of times, ruining some of the darker and heavier moments of the show. Sure, this means that, inevitably, a few of these end up being funny, but, for most part, they end up harming more than helping.
The series does pick up, but a few new issues really hamper this show. Every time one of the Ends is about to die or be defeated, we suddenly get their backstory in order to make the story sad, and that just doesn’t work. In order for that to work, we need the characters to be more than just one-dimensional baddies before-hand, and they pull this stunt three times! Also, the finale just…ends, without any major resolution. Just, a battle ends, and here is one image of where each Drifter is at the moment, in an obvious, and quite frankly, rushed sequel-hook, particularly because some of the characters, like Scipio and Butch Cassidy, have been left by the wayside, especially Scipio with the fact that he has been left in the jungle but suddenly he’s in a navy ship with a character that has only been seen for one brief moment. Hell, there are other moments that required some time to explain, like how the Drifters suddenly got human armor when their last battle (which was two episodes prior) didn’t have nearly as many people killed to remotely equal the amount of armor and weapons present. Shame too, since if this concept was explored more and the story were tightened up, this would’ve definitely been a good first season to what looks to be an otherworldly war epic.
It’s really hard to tolerate these “Drifters” early on. I mean, they were all a bunch of quarreling assholes without anything interesting about their character, and by the end of it, some of the more minor additions (like Hannibal and Scipio) were still like that. Luckily, our main trio grew. Toyo is a crazed warrior who loves decapitating enemy warriors, as long as they are male. His culture and all Japanese war cultures at the time do not like the thought of women engaged in combat. He ends up also being a bot more chivalrous towards females and children than his cohorts while understanding people more than he probably should (reminding me a lot of Ragna the Bloodedge, from the Blazblue game series) and I’ll touch on that in a bit. Nobunaga is a much more brutal tactician as well as being a hardier individual than his allies. His violent streak, as a result of his culture and his multiple times being betrayed, makes for some of the best usages of military tactics I’ve seen in a war anime in quite some time. Yoichi ends up being more in between when it comes to his companions’ traits, but with more of a tragic war past, which is shallowly explored via his commander, who ends up chatting with him once, and that’s it. He’s probably the least interesting of the trio, but at least, he ends up being the crux of some of the better comedy moments of the first 3 episodes.
Butch Cassidy and the other Drifters are infinitely less interesting, but he is easily the most tolerable of them (along with The Sundance Kid for how little he shows up), with him actually doing some cool stuff. Sure, Naoshi takes down some dragons in a WWII plane, but he’s just there to provide some refreshing amounts of swearing, which ends up becoming excessive. There is also Count Saint-Germi (the son of Hitler) with his coup d’etat scheme, and his annoying posse (Alester and Flemi), but they are mostly there to be annoying and provide bad comedy until the count himself starts that plan with the Drifters to overthrow the human government.
The Octobrists are overall very uninteresting, except for Olmine, who is constantly made fun of for her voluptuous breasts, but has some genuinely great interactions with Toyo, as he shows her some good chivalry and allows her to use her spells to great effect in the latter half of the series. She is literally the only remotely interesting Octobrist. As for the Ends, with exception of The Black King, all of them are as plain as they come (with the slight exception of Anastasia, who is barely in this show). Then, they (except for Anestasia and Rasputin) get their backstories to explain why they are so evil and a bit about how that ties in with their powers (Only Joan of Arc does. Gilles de Rais and Hijikata doesn’t get anything relating to his powers, and nobody gets their power origins outright explained) in a poor attempt at making these lame characters come off as tragic, which is really horrible given their real-life counterparts.
The Black King is an interesting figure, wanting better civilization for the demi-humans, and being able to create food as well as grow cells (to regenerate, but also to harm, as shown with the Bronze Dragon in episode 10), but even with his somewhat interesting motivations and enigmatic figure, he can’t really make up for how bland his subordinates are. Easy is the one who sends the bad guys in, is moody, and that’s about it aside from having a cutesy and girly room to herself. Murasaki is even more bland, though. Overall, despite a few characters that grew to be legitimately interesting and compelling, the cast is stupidly bland at best, and irritating at worst.
Hoods Drifters Studio (not to get confused with Hoods Entertainment, though they may or may not be affiliated) is brand new to this game, and they did a really good job with their first series, which is, of course, this. As if to make up for the writing quality, the action is refreshingly brutal, with loads of decapitation and blood, and no censorship anywhere. It’s pretty fun seeing how much of a chaotic gore-fest the action scenes are, and they detail some of the bullet moments and impacts very well. The character models, while looking similar to Kouta Hirano’s most popular work, Hellsing Ultimate, they also feel realistic and sorta unique. The only problem I have isn’t with the art-stye change during most of the comedy moments, but rather with the usage of CGI for the dragons and some of the soldiers. They try to cover it up and make it work with everything, but it doesn’t really help much, as it looks awkward. Luckily, that problem is barely present in the second half. Some moments in the earlier episodes are a bit off though. Still, I really hope to see this studio grow since they did such an impressive job with their first project.
I don’t have such high praises for the music, sadly. Gospel of the Throttle (by Minutes ‘Til Midnight), the OP of the series, doesn’t fit the show as well as I wish. On its own, it’s a slick piece, but I don’t feel it works here. Luckily, the ED, Vermillion (by Maon Kurosaki) is a very good song, with a more epic and buildup heavy feel to it that really fits with how gruesome and heavy the show can be. The rest of the OST isn’t memorable or worthwhile at all, save for one ok piece. The dub is pretty alright. No major hiccups here, but nothing spectacular in terms of performances. It’s a relatively solid dub so far.
Honestly, despite how cool and refreshing the action scenes were, this show kinda left me feeling bored and annoyed every now and then, especially in the first half. I admit, the action is fun, and some moments were definitely bleak, the horrible tone-shifts really leave me dazed and confused, and completely taken out of the experience, which is horrible given that one of these moments take place immediately after the darkest moment of the show! If not for the cool action, this wouldn’t have engaged me at all, especially since the first 3 episodes left me with the feeling of darkness-induced apathy. I nearly dropped it during those first 3 episodes and even then, outside of fight scenes, this show is still very boring at times. Plus, not a lot of the gags make me laugh, but at least some of them do.
Unfortunately, while this is a very gruesome action show and some of the gags get a laugh here and there, this show is a tonal mess that’s hard to care about on any level that isn’t related to primal, epic bloodbaths. At the very least, I hope that this series ends up bringing some notoriety for Hoods Drifters Studio. Still, this show is a bit of a disappointment. With all that said, I bid you adieu.
Drifters: Battle in a Brand-new World War, Drifters, orドリフターズ, is a fantasy, alternate history Japanese manga written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. The manga started serialization in Shounen Gahosha magazine, Young King Ours, on April 30, 2009. It received an anime adaptation, which was announced in May, 2015 and aired between October 7, 2016 and December 23, 2016. A second season has also been announced.
Toyohisa of the Shimazu clan is in the heat of the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, which signaled the start of the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan; the only thing he thinks about is how to behead the enemy commander and he is ready to achieve this goal by all means. Having fatally injured the enemy commander, Toyohisa is also about to die. Suddenly he finds himself in a white corridor, facing a man in strange clothes sitting at a desk in a white corridor. A moment later he is sent to a new land, where some unknown historical figures treat his wounds. Shortly after that he finds out that he, as well as his new companions, are Drifters. Why were Drifters sent to this world? Find out the answer now!
The story-line of Drifters is worthy. There are still; however, some things that should be explained, but I would not call it a problem, since a second season was announced a day, or two ago. Drifters is violent; all history anime should be like Drifters. However, I have one major complaint and I am sure that you will not like it either: humor. Being a fan of Hellsing, I was expecting a portion of Hellsingish humor, but Drifters clearly overused it: it is not funny and outdated. I mean, come on, boob jokes? Really? Why not spend more time on characters and story-line? Is it that difficult? Anyways, it is not a big problem and you will still enjoy Drifters. To be precise, that is the only problem of Drifters.
The art and music are very similar to Hellsing, so if you have already seen Hellsing Ultimate, you will recognize it immediately and will not have any problems with it. If you have not seen Hellsing Ultimate yet, it will not be a problem, either. The art style is amazing, every single detail of all characters is just beautiful. And, yes, that Japanese themed Alucard is just badass. The music, however, did not leave a huge impression on me. Of course, the voice actors did one hell of a job, but I was hoping to see something close to what was in Hellsing Ultimate. Anyway, the music used in Drifters is a mix of traditional Japanese music, jazzy beats, and rock.
The characters are very entertaining. As I have already mentioned, some of them did not receive enough development, but they will surely receive enough development in the new season. With that being said, we spend a lot time with the Japanese warriors: Shimazu Toyohisa, Oda Nobunaga, and Nasu Yoichi Suketaka. Their trio is very interesting, because they all are different. Shimazu is a warrior that only wants to behead his enemy; however, at the same time, he is also a true warrior, who will never harm a woman. Nasu is a young archer, who does not have any leader qualities; yet, he is also a fearless warrior. Oda is the most dangerous person in this group, because he is a true leader, he does not care where he is, because he is a true genius that will capture any town even with a bunch of amateurs.
Anyways, the characters are very interesting to follow. As the story-line progresses, Drifters shows us more about its characters’ background. And while some of Drifters do have regrets, they are still ready to go on and it is very exciting. However, there is also one problem I would like to mention, the comedy part. Jesus Christ, it is simply awful. I do agree that the comedy part is needed even in some gruesome anime, but it should not be overused. The problem is that you are watching a serious episode and you are trying to understand the problem; however, Drifters shows you these comedy moments disturbing you. It is simply impossible to concentrate and it is very annoying.
As for enjoyment, this anime is very enjoyable and if you are a fan of Hellsing Ultimate, you will not have any problems with it. If you have not seen Hellsing Ultimate yet, I would highly recommend you to watch it first, but it is up to you, of course. It is not a must do.
All in all, Drifters is not flawless, the comedy part ruined this masterpiece, in my opinion. Yes, it is very annoying, but you should not ignore this anime because of it, please do not do it, it is still awesome. On top of that, the most important thing is that it will receive a continuation, so you will not have to wait years predicting if it will, or will not receive a new season. Drifters is an anime I would highly recommend to every single anime fan; however, if you are a big hater of Hellsing Ultimate, I would highly recommend you to think twice before watching Drifters.
2: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!
English: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!
MAL Score: 8.14
After dying a laughable and pathetic death on his way back from buying a game, high school student and recluse Kazuma Satou finds himself sitting before a beautiful but obnoxious goddess named Aqua. She provides the NEET with two options: continue on to heaven or reincarnate in every gamer’s dream—a real fantasy world! Choosing to start a new life, Kazuma is quickly tasked with defeating a Demon King who is terrorizing villages. But before he goes, he can choose one item of any kind to aid him in his quest, and the future hero selects Aqua. But Kazuma has made a grave mistake—Aqua is completely useless!
Unfortunately, their troubles don’t end here; it turns out that living in such a world is far different from how it plays out in a game. Instead of going on a thrilling adventure, the duo must first work to pay for their living expenses. Indeed, their misfortunes have only just begun!
This review will be rigged with League of Legends references. If you don’t get it, you obviously need to start playing the game right now. And no there’s no spoiler.
Konosuba > DotA 2 *Grabs boobs*.
At a quick glance, Konosuba might be as average as any other RPG harem where the MC is Faker playing against a bunch of Crowns and Kuros, where all he has to do is perform a barrel roll on stage then proceed to win Worlds. Three times.
WRONG. It’s far from that yet it was so good that I would consider this anime to be THE anime of the season. How? (MF support duh)
After 10 episodes directed by Mr. Michael Bay, our party of Bronze V garbage feeders still hasn’t managed to get out of the ghetto ass town made for noobs and losers, let alone destroying the enemy Nexus. Basically, the plot moved SLOWER THAN THE FUCKING CLOCK WHEN I’M AT WORK. At the very least, they did manage to slay a super fed Mordekaiser (but he did nothing wrong ;_;), farm that clueless Tahm Kench over and over and survive a debacle of One-for-all Renekton gank.
30 SECONDS UNTIL MAIN CHARACTERS SPAWN
The art was bright and colorful, reflecting the overall mellow mood. the background and water art were especially beautiful that they gave me eyegasm. The skin, textures and animation is fairly good, but at times they were sloppy like a bunch of chimpanzees were substituted in to take charge of production.
The soundtracks and OP/ED songs were okay, fairly relaxing, mellow which captured the overall silly and light-hearted nature of the series but not that impressive (to me at least). It would’ve been better if the troll music from Random LoL Moments on Youtube were used. On the other hand, the voice acting was superb which greatly contributed to the comedy and overall enjoyment of the series. Kazuma’s “Hai, Kazuma desu”, Aqua’s cries and rants were so hilarious I can’t even.
What made Konosuba highly enjoyable was the team of 5 totally dysfunctional, insufferable trash players and the comedy that resulted from their inability to cooperate, which led to their flaming one another and getting utterly raped by whatever’s going on around them. Konosuba makes fun of the RPG genre and its cliches in general instead of following them, leaving a stronger impression on me, the viewer who’s obviously tired of SAO, Log Horizons and such. Furthermore, no anime would be complete without this most fundamental rule: Cute girls. Konosuba’s cast of girls (and Kazuma) were cute, yes, they’re even highly distinctive and did not fall into apparent tropes that are so overused nowadays, making them relatively fresh.
“Baa…….kaaaa Ta…taaa……taric-kun, it’s not like I wanted to go bot lane with you or anything… Don’t misunderstand” – Tsundere Ezreal.
“I’m sorry Lux-chan, I, Taric, Ezreal-tan’s eternal lover will be the only one allowed to go bot lane with him” *Swings hammer* – *Rainbow splatters* – Yandere Taric
No, no, we don’t need any of that, get outta here.
MAIN CHARACTERS HAVE SPAWNED
– The adc: Satou Kazuma, leader, our hella weak dickwad of an adc compared to Jesus-kun of the RPG world Kirito, but he’s got the brain and he actually fights smart despite his auto-flaming. His cynical and realist attitude separated him from our usual never-give-up nakama-powered MCs, which might as well make him the best MC of the season. He’s the only adc to not dive into the middle of the enemy team, as rare as it sounds. He’s surrounded by idiots and the way he deals with them is uber hilarious, reminds me of how I deal with my own League party. You did not realize that the adc is a melee, and you’re not going to question it. Move on
– The Mid Laner, One Explosion Girl a.k.a Michael Bay’s waifu: She’s basically Ziggs but with only the Ult, thus she’s literally useless after using it, requiring someone to carry her (literally and figuratively) else she’ll feed the enemy team’s Tahm Kench and Mordekaiser. She is, of course, flamed by Kazuma throughout the series. She’s cute, yeah, but she’s not like your average moeblob. She’s got explosive personalities, explosive ambitions and explosive love for explosions. Hue
ENEMY DOUBLE KILL
– The Top Laner, a.k.a MasoLeona: What’s better than a tank? A MASOCHISTIC TANK!!!!!!! She’s tankier than Rammus, Malphite, and Alistar w/ full tank build combined but her aim is worse than mine in the morning trying to piss while blinded by the Satan God Teemo (he’s the real Demon King they have to kill). Needlessly to say, she joyously took all the aggro and flaming like a real M. Scenes where she verbally “abused” the honorable Dullahan were priceless. Poor Dully. If only she could aim her E properly… Who even plays Leona top nowadays? This is like fucking Dyrus trolling every game when he’s streaming after having retired from TSM.
ENEMY TRIPLE KILL
– The Support, Best Girl (sorry Michael Bay fans): Basically your toxic feeder Nami with legs building ap instead of support items while going around trash talking to people and fucking shit up with wataah. She’s super derp, always trying to ragequit, feeds Tahm Kench furiously and is constantly flamed by Kazuma but that’s where the fun comes from. She just needs a hug and I wanna give her a big hug so badly because she was forced to play support by Kazuma, it’s not her fault guys!!!
ENEMY QUADRA KILL
– The Jungler, Wizzlestick (because ap jungler w/ drain, but then again it’s a contradiction because she is… well… thick, while Fiddlestick is… well… a stick): The one who is super fed but only came to gank like twice during the entire anime but who cares? She’s kind and cute af, and she destroys the enemy when it matters most. Unfortunately the support absolutely hates her guts because she’s not playing a meta champ, but this is the only time when not everyone blamed the jungler for their misery. If only she ganked lane more often, she’d be a best girl contender. Let’s be honest that she’s only here because I don’t want to have a team of 4 when implementing League of Legends in my review.
Everyone is 1/10 fed and 9/10 feeder, however due to the circumstances they have to stick together because 4 is always better than 1 (5 if the Jungler actually showed up). This is where Konosuba is most different and in a good way, the characters slowly get stronger, better at teamwork, more sympathetic and understanding of one another over, (still weak in the end), not shitting out powers and eternal bonds of friendship all of a sudden. Nobody gets ult from Level 1 guys…
OUR TURRET HAS BEEN DESTROYED
I could relate to Kazuma so well, being a decent League player who prefers to stick to a group of average feeders and make them better, rather than joining a bunch of diamonds because then victory doesn’t feels like a true accomplishment, and there’s no fun curb-stomping the enemy team all the time. Believe me, I raged hard the night I wrote this review because we played like retards lol.
OUR INHIBITOR HAS BEEN DESTROYED
After successfully defending the base from Super Siege Minion spawned by Warlord’s Banner of Command, our gang must head into the counteroffensive to be brought by season 2. But until then, let’s just say that season 1 was exhilarating to watch. I especially appreciated the silly comedy, the anti-harem and anti-OP MC themes from the series.
Michael Bay would be so proud of Megumin and Konosuba, someone needs to show him this series please.
DEFEAT…. barely avoided.
I’m pretty sure everybody has said this already, but, it really is true. After the extreme success of Sword Art Online the reality to game genre has become an insanely overused trope. Konosuba does have one thing going for it though… Instead of choosing to become ridiculously powerful like almost every other protagonist, this protagonist decides to take the wish granter with him to the ‘subarashi sekai’. I can tell you, I wasn’t expecting that!
The art itself in Konosuba… is bad. Really bad. As in, it looks way too old for 2016 quality. It could have been worse, MUCH worse, but it is by no means impressive. What is impressive however, is the animation, especially in episode 10, with all those explosion scenes. Radiant colors flaring everywhere, shapes of all different sizes, but most importantly, in the episodes with the succibi and in the mansion….. HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE THOSE JIGGLE PHYSICS?!
Ugh… well, here goes. Konosuba’s sound factor. The opening theme is very catchy. But not the kind of way that makes you want to sing it all the time, the kind that makes you regret ever haring it because you can’t stop singing it. The ending theme as well, is just plain and not something anyone will remember. I did like how some characters got themes to match their personalities, but even then the music was mediocre at best. The voice acting is done decently, but is nothing special. The sound effects were also average.
I’m actually scared to be writing this right now, because the amount of butthurt fanboys is going to be insane. But, here goes… I’ll start off with character design. Unrecognizable. Every. Single. One of ’em. They have the traditional ‘fantasy world’ clothing and design, through and through. As for their personalities: Kazuma is a funny lead that tries to defy the harem cliches. Aqua is funny as well, and memorable for sure, but she is outshined by Darkness, a masochist. Yep. You heard me. A masochist. Hilarious! And of couuuurse, how could I forget fan favorite Megumin! Super cute and always unleashing explosions, what is NOT to love about these characters?!……. They aren’t funny anymore. Usually unique characters being fit into a 10 episode anime like this are praised and loved by all, because there isn’t enough time to realize the flaws in the character. (I’m guilty of this also). That’s not the case with Konosuba. I think it was around episode 7 when I stopped laughing because I had heard the same jokes over and over again. By episode 10, they were straight up annoying.
Konosuba… ok, I’m not even going to say it had potential, because it didn’t. It was doomed to fail from the start. If you consider this anime funny it is definitely something to try, but if not, don’t bother. I would only recommend it to extreme fans of the reality to game genre, and…. well… that’s it. If you enjoy it, good for you! As for me, Konosuba was not my cup of tea.
KonoSuba spews out pure joys and rainbows. With other shows telling great stories or exploring philosophy and other themes, Konosuba ignores all that and focuses on pure entertainment! With genuinely hilarious albeit niche comedy, any flaws this series has are just parodied to still become enjoyable. There’s very little to criticize about this show, because I’m not even sure whether or not all of these “flaws” it has are there on purpose or not.
KonoSuba is the obligatory goofball of its season. It’s so over the top, but it manages to execute its quirkiness in a way that’s super hilarious and lighthearted. Instead of pursuing a serious story, it focuses on slice of life shenanigans that make fun of stereotypes, like character tropes and MMO characteristics. KonoSuba is an amazing anime to just sit down and relax to. Other shows getting on your nerves with their turtle or cheetah pacing? Pop an episode of KonoSuba. Feeling down because you just finished an amazing show, and you have fallen into a showhole? KonoSuba will cheer you up with its refreshing comedy, and it will get you back into an anime watching mood in no time!
– Cast of characters are funny and resemble other awesome characters.
– Parody references of MMO mechanics are creative, funny, and now that you think about it, MMOs make no sense at all!
– For a silly series, the animation and art is gorgeous and the soundtrack is awesome too! The ED especially has a Fairy Tail feel.
– Just pure joy comes out of watching this.
– MY CABBAGES!!!!
– The show is so cliche that it’s anti-cliche.
– There is very little relevant plot.
– Only 10 episodes. Really? Are you kidding?
– Has promises of going somewhere yet never does.
– Since characters are parodies, they don’t have much character of their own and aren’t very unique.
Despite the fact that there is almost no actual story, and that it’s more like a slice of life of a stereotypical MMORPG world, the little events that happen are creative and enjoyable, especially to you hardcore MMORPG gamers out there. Konosuba’s first episode is actually one of the better first episodes in the medium, as it tells you exactly what you’re getting yourself into. The show parodies the mechanics of MMO games to the point of boner inducing laughs, such as highlighting the outrageousness of what MMO skills can do, as well as the randomness and weirdness of MMO events and quests. It also parodies anime by using subtle 4th wall breaks in reaction to what the characters say or do. The show is a parody and the characters know it. Konosuba has this quirk of doing something so stupidly outrageous that you can’t even get mad at it. This show is incredibly self aware of its silliness, and as a result, takes it even higher.
Konosuba has this thing it likes to do, and that’s bring everything full circle for the laughs. And when I say full circle, I mean literally full circle, as in by the end of all the outrageous things happening, the story hasn’t progressed a single step. Even so, there is a sense of a growing bond, perhaps an unhealthy bond but a bond for sure, between the characters, and this is definitely something that progresses throughout the series. Unfortunately, this developing bond leaves the story in the dust. Konosuba is like parkour: it takes the most insane and outrageous route to get to where it wants to go, except it doesn’t go anywhere.
Even silly anime have high budget art and animation, and KonoSuba is proof of that. The animation is actually really gorgeous (for example, the animation of the DNA strands are actually pretty cool!) The characters look like shit but for all the right reasons, Aqua’s design highlights her adorableness and cynical nature. The other characters also have fitting designs for their characteristics, and have some little resemblances to other characters that they could possibly be based off of. However, this is Deen we are talking about, so it never keeps this quality of animation, and it lowers in quality constantly. KonoSuba is one of those shows that actually benefits from its shitty art at times, and the really poorly drawn faces make me laugh that much harder. In fact, I was under the impression that Deen was making fun of their own shitty animation with this series.
The OP is catchy and the ED is amazing. The OST is pretty good, but the main highlight is the Voice Acting. The seiyuus match their characters amazingly, each line being executed with passion and energy. I wouldn’t know for sure, but it sounded like the seiyuus were having a blast. The execution of the punch lines hit home every time. This show is a very loud show, characters are constantly screaming at each other and laughing in distorted ways, and I’m sure it’s tough for the seiyuus’ voices. When it comes to comedy, the jokes are only as funny as how funny it is told, and in this case, it was told well.
This cast is so outrageous, they essentially make the show. Each character parodies a stereotype, and they do it very well. The MC, Kazuma, is the smart but talentless trope who is the only sane one around, and whenever his mindset matches the viewer, which happened a decent amount with me, it made the situations comedy gold. Aqua parodies the dumb but full of potential clumsy character, Megumin is the chuunibyou trope (except not really cause her powers are real) and has a lot of confidence. And of course, Darkness is the obligatory perverted masochist! They take their tropes as far as they can go, and it makes this show that much funnier.
However, gimmicks like these can only go so far. The real value behind these characters are their interactions. These days, character interactions are the base of comedy anime and if the interactions seem unnatural or forced, the jokes can only be so funny. In Konosuba, not only are the interactions very natural and flow well, but they are so god damn unpredictable. Despite the apparently clear cut tropes these characters follow, the interactions end up being stuff you wouldn’t expect. Timing and predictability play as important of a role as the quality of the joke itself, and the cast of Konosuba goes out of their way to execute jokes perfectly.
This show is incredibly refreshing and, most importantly, holds a lot of rewatch value! It’s a good example of a show that is good and feels good.
This show is so fun to watch. If you want a show were you don’t have to think about anything and you can just sit and enjoy whatever is thrown at you, this show’s gotchu! Of course, many watch anime expecting a plot that actually goes somewhere, and Konosuba is definitely not going anywhere, but I implore that you at least give it a shot.
TL;DR: Take out all the flaws of SAO and replace it with comedy, and you get this show!
HERE IS TO A GLORIOUS AND OUTRAGEOUS SEASON 2!!!
1: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 4: Diamond wa Kudakenai
English: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
Japanese: ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 ダイヤモンドは砕けない
MAL Score: 8.50
The year is 1999. Morioh, a normally quiet and peaceful town, has recently become a hotbed of strange activity. Joutarou Kuujou, now a marine biologist, heads to the mysterious town to meet Jousuke Higashikata. While the two may seem like strangers at first, Jousuke is actually the illegitimate child of Joutarou’s grandfather, Joseph Joestar. When they meet, Joutarou realizes that he may have more in common with Jousuke than just a blood relation.
Along with the mild-mannered Kouichi Hirose and the boisterous Okuyasu Nijimura, the group dedicates themselves to investigating recent disappearances and other suspicious occurrences within Morioh. Aided by the power of Stands, the four men will encounter danger at every street corner, as it is up to them to unravel the town’s secrets, before another occurs.
I understand this TV series stays pretty true to the manga, but I feel that the writer Hirohiko Araki simply ran out of ideas after the EPIC Stardust Crusader arc and made this filler arc (for the money) about nothing significant, creating characters that were hard to appreciate because they were whiny, talkative, immature, stupid, and simply lucky, in some sense, when defeating these super random unmemorable opponents with vaguely-defined abilities. I understand the characters are supposed to be young and immature, but I got tired of constantly seeing the characters suddenly act immature over and over in the middle of life-and-death situations.
I really enjoyed the JoJo series as a whole because of amazing powers and the characters having to be clever and creative in order to win, but this arc barely tries. Or perhaps the characters are so unlikable I don’t care if the main characters actually lost/died.
The series brings back the main characters from the past storylines, Joseph Joestar and Jotaro Kujo, but Joseph is completely useless in this series and the reasons change from him barely having any memory and barely able to walk to being able to walk and think but having to take care of a pointless baby. I assume the baby becomes a major character in a future arc, but it’s super lame how they introduced the baby and how Jonathan was completely out of commission.
If you are a hardcore fan of the series like I am, watch it just to get it over with. If you are new to the series, I highly recommend checking out the first 3 arcs over this one.
A new enemy Stand makes its entrance; veins protruding through swollen biceps; wrinkled brow plaster the expression of a robust figure; eyes fixated on the opposition; pompadour takes aim, a tangerine sky hanging above; onomatopoeias floods the screen—BAM! MENACING! RUMBLE!—with wall-to-wall color dancing around on the border of psychedelia and pop art. Head titled, shoulders rolled back, chest puffed out; an epic pose is struck. A feeble old geezer hunched over in the background, hands clasping his cheek, lets out a compulsory “Oh my Gawd!” in Engrish. A powerful aura exudes from the frame of the young Joestar. A muscle-bound, apparition clad in lavender emerges from within him, as he lets out a herculean roar: “CRAZY DIAMOND!!!”…, Gritted teeth, fist wound up, body arched back—fades to black…, trumpets blare, cue intro, welcome to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable!
Since 2012, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has been spearheading a campaign to bring GAR and all things manly back to the limelight; introducing newcomers to an anime staple that’s been underrepresented in the 2000s, while also shamelessly serving as a form of fanservice for veteran viewers who self-indulge in all things retro. For those people that miss the blockbuster era of beefy action heroes that were deep-rooted in the product of 80s Americana. With a dedicated following that only grows bigger year after year, Jojo’s crusade for “manly ass men doing manly ass things” has proven to be a successful one. A fact that’s made all the more surprising when accounting for the current cultural shift in anime that favors infectiously cute shows or those garishly showered in 2edgy4u content. Jojo stands firm, pressing forward to the beat of its own drum while giving sensitivity the middle finger as it flexes its biceps in the name of awesome.
But perhaps the strongest aspect of Jojo isn’t this flippant disregard towards popular trends, but the way it goes about expressing itself within it.
There are a few cardinal rules that most writers try their best to abide by, one of which is maintaining some semblance of plausibility within the realm of the written work being presented. Whether the story in question is grounded in reality or contains plenty of fantastical elements, maintaining some level of plausible “cause and effect” is what helps the audience experience immersion. Even in a fictional universe that contains many otherworldly themes, there are still constants that are expected to be maintained. In the same way, the theoretical law in our universe remains consistent no matter the time or location; the same is also expected with works of fiction. Anything that doesn’t uphold established in-world laws tends to be perceived as poorly constructed or just outright “bad writing.” We may not always identify it up front, but somewhere in our subconscious, the “bullshit” meter is going off.
And yet, even with this unspoken rule in mind, there are some stories that purposefully leave common sense at the front door. They’re shows that are propelled by nonsensical conclusions, improbable physics, and pure absurdity. But somehow, despite this, or perhaps because of it, they have been adored the world over. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is that kind of show. A show driven forward by madness, adrenaline, and a gratuitous amount of machismo. It embraces the “Bizarre” in its namesake to the utmost extent, doing whatever it pleases with total conviction and never looking back at the body count trailing behind it.
And like the hyperactive installments before it, Part 4 continues to keep the ball rolling, following the lineage of the Joestar family and all the inherent problems that come with the blood-line. This brings us to the next Joestar tasked with carrying on the legacy, the ever-fabulous Jousuke Higashikata; a man of few words, unless the words addressed to him are insults directed at his ultra sleek Greece Lightening hairdo. Unlike the hard-boiled demeanor of Joutarou, Jousuke actions are driven by hot-tempered impulses, choosing to punch first and ask questions later. He wears his heart on his sleeve, an attribute that would usually be perceived as weak in the testosterone-filled world of Jojo, except for the fact that Jousuke kicks all kinds of ass with his Stand, Crazy Diamond. A Stand that grants him the ability to restore any damage inflicted to something back to its original state or alter it to its base elements. Pairing that with his hair-trigger personality makes for a formidable combo, something that many enemy Stands find out the hard way.
As the aftermath surrounding Dio Brando begins to settle down, remnants of his misdeeds are still spreading when the Bow and Arrow—the weapon used to create Stands—ends up in the wrong hands. Because of this, Joutarou finds himself traveling to the town of Moriah where his illegitimate nephew Jousuke calls home. And as the Joestars team up to rid the town of Stand users hellbent on causing harm to the citizens, they find themselves encountering greater threats along the way.
With a narrative that solely exists to have as many physical encounters as possible, Part 4 manages the impossible task of circumventing the trappings of episodic content while using that exact structure to create bottle episodes filled with high-octane battles. Whether it’s pounding the snot out of an enemy Stand or simply going to a restaurant to eat, Part 4 is continuously pressing down on the gas peddle. For those that don’t like stagnation, this sequel is a Godsend.
There’s no calm moment of clarity to reflect on the situation at hand, all that’s left on display is brittle logical leaps followed up by gonzo wall-texts flying in with a flurry of saturated color. It’s vivid, it’s spastic, it’s a mural hacked up on PCP. And while this commitment to never slowing down may seem like a detriment for any other show, for Jojo—a show that’s as straightforward as the content being displayed—there couldn’t have been a better marriage of purposeful storytelling.
Jojo’s brilliance is in its simplicity. It isn’t a show that’s out to have an intricate story-line filled with multifaceted themes, nor does it try to craft layered personalities that appear 3-dimensional. Jojo personifies the mindset of a neanderthal, where problems are solved with fists and beating enemies into submission. Loyalty is proven with actions and not half-baked words. And motivations that’s as explicit as the expository dialogue being used to express them. The only thought process being taken is assuring that they properly utilize their Stand abilities to defeat their enemy with optimal results. These muscle-bound brutes painted up like Easter eggs leave no room for interpretation, what you see is what you get.
This isn’t to say there’s no thought placed into Jojo’s production. The show is littered with inventive encounters that overlap Stand abilities to create a chess game of wits, seeing both sides constantly fighting for the upper hand over one another. Matches that eventually dissolve into pissing contests to see who would cave in first. Each Stand ability is accounted for, creating interesting back and forths between the combatants. And with there being countless possible Stand abilities that could manifest in someone, the end result is no two fights being the same. The battlefield is forever morphing, with something as simple as the changes in partnership or location altering the very course of a how a match can turn out.
It’s this very ingenuity that demonstrates that behind the burly men clashing fists, there’s still a thought process keeping the madness together. This also includes the more straightforward parts of Jojo’s production, such as the naming of the characters and the reasoning for its brightly-colored world.
If you’ve made it all the way to Part 4, then this should come as no surprise to you that Hirohiko Araki, the creator of the Jojo manga, has consciously decided to name characters after musicians and songs, mostly from western pop culture. It’s an inconsequential bit of trivia that doesn’t do much for the long-haul but despite that, adds to the overall appeal of his work. And with French post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin being cited as an influential person in his approach to color theory, there’s always a sense that Jojo was much more than just a whim being held up by simple admiration for a particular era. If you’ve ever felt like the colors used was oddly at home despite the constant clash of sassy meet gusto, that’s because of this conscious effort on Araki’s part to blend the two. This well-cultured sensibility is what gives Jojo such a distinct personality from its counterparts. It’s an entity birthed outside of typical circular influence, having a unique appeal while winning the admiration of a broader market in the process.
But let’s not mistake all this appraisal of Jojo as the show being a flawless creation, it does suffer from its fair share of issues. For one, because of its straightforward approach, there’s never any questions posed at the actions being taken. And as such, this is an anime that only works because of the universe pre-established before it. Had we not seen the impossible happen time and time again, Jojo would have never worked. Its absurdity disallows genuine immersion in the circumstances taking place. You’re entertained but never for a second buy into the ridiculousness of it all. It’s a show where you laugh at the nonsense and take enjoyment out of how committed it is to seeing it through, despite the apparent shortcomings of said actions making close to little sense. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is always entertaining but never something to be held up as proper literature. It’s the show’s greatest strength but sadly its greatest weakness as well.
This issue also means that all of the characters are usually dwindled down to becoming internet memes or lovable caricatures. No one is looking onto Jojo for enriched characterization. All that’s expected out of it is hyperactive personalities with cool abilities trading blow for blow in an environment that allow these occurrences to go on undisturbed. This is usually the trade-off for dumb-fun entertainment. Finding a balance between the absurd and tightly written is a rarity that escapes Jojo. But what it still has is an unshakable commitment to do everything at 110%, so even when you question the logic of a scenario, it doesn’t take long before you accept it for what it is to continue seeing the Joestars pummel enemies into submission.
And if this fact can be accepted for what it is, then Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable should be nothing short of an entertaining ride for most fans of this bizarre adventure. With more epic poses, more stands, more cool ass character designs, and too much awesome shit to know what to do with, Jojo Part 4 has been one hell of a ride. And with this being another successful adaptation by David Production, here’s hoping it’s an adventure with many more iterations to come.
-Sepia bathe the screen, title card cropped in an arrow: To Be Continued-
JoJo Part 4 tells the story of Josuke Higashikata, Joesephs illegitimate son. In Josuke’s home town Morioh someone used a magical bow and arrow to transform normal people into Stand users. This time we get to know a little bit more about the origin of the Stand abilities, which has something to do with these arrows. Of course, Josuke and his friends have to stop them.
Most of the time they just encounter random enemies, but later they try to find out the identity of a certain someone with an especially dangerous Stand who is living in Morioh, who is the main focus of the second half of this story arc. This person is commiting gruesome murders for several years, but was never caught, so it’s up to JoJo and his pals to stop him.
The reason why this plot works so much better than Part 3’s, is because it feels much more natural. In Stardust Crusader, the plot felt very video game-ish, but in Part 4 fighting Stand users is more of a daily routine and not part of a journey to save the world or something. Araki succesfully mixed Part 3’s semi-episodic structure with some slice of life elements. Since they never leave their home town, there is also a lot of attention to the city Morioh itself, almost like the city is it’s own character. I wouldn’t go so far and call it “world building”, but all these little things about Morioh + the recurring places definitely gives this arc it’s own flavor and identity compared to the rest of JJBA.
Most enemies they fight turn into friends later on or are at least somewhat relevant for the plot later. This causes the team of allies to be very large, almost twice the size of Part 3’s.However the last third of the show has very simmiliar issues as Stardust Crusaders (TOO obvious monster of the week) and some episodes are obviously more exiting than others, but in the end Part 4 feels much more tightly written than it’s predecessor.
The characters are great in Diamond is unbreakable! Almost all of them are interesting and their interactions are super entertaining. Of the 4 JoJos that are introduced at this point, Part 4’s main character Josuke is probably the most interestig. He is introduced as a polite delinquent, but he gets series when it comes to his hair: when someones insults it, the person get’s his ass kicked! This is pretty much Josuke’s thing. Joseph had his predicting thing, Jotaro his “yare yare daze” and Josuke has his hair thing.There is even a little flashback about why he is so sensitive about his hair in the first place. He doesn’t use it as much as Joseph and Jotaro though and his tick is pretty much dropped later on and his flashback never received any further explanation, but it was still a nice touch.
The main villain of Part 4, Yoshikage Kira, is also great. He is not as “EPIC” as Dio, but he is very memorable in his own way. Unlike Dio, who was more of a cartoon villain (wants to take over the world etc) Kira just wants to commit murders without being disturbed by other people. He doesn’t want world domination or anything like that, just a quite and peaceful life. Unlike Dio or Kars, Kira feels like a person who could actually exist in real life, which makes him legimately scary. The final battle against him was a little messy and the way he died was pretty anticlimatic, but I guess that made sense in this context and steting, since Kira is a more of a realistic villain. The fight was still exiting nontheless and the way they used their Stands was pretty creative.
As you would expect from JoJo, the fights are awesome. The Stands are much more creative than in the previous story arc and they are used in very creative ways. You can really tell how much Araki improved the fighting mechanic in this arc. This is probably the most bizarre aspect of Part 4: melting bodies together, turning people into books or trapping people in a time loop; these are just a few examples for the crazy abilities. There were even new types of Stands introduced: automatic Stands and Stands that evolve into a more powerful form over time.
Sadly DiU is much less “GAR” and manly that the previous parts. The characters are also not nearly as buff anymore. This was around the time when the mangaka started to change up his art style. David Production chose to make the whole arc look more like the second half the DiU manga, insteadt of having this (admittedly awkward) transition from bulky to skinny.
Similar to the earlier seasons of JoJo, the animation looks very low budget at times. However David Production makes up for that with an unique artstyle, great use of color and lots of crazy effects. In the end it’s very nice looking anime, despite some derpy faces and low quality character models here and there (they’ll be probably fixing these things until the Bluy Ray release anyway).
The soundtrack however was a bit less memorable than in previous parts, but I guess that’s a matter of preference. I like how they remixed Jotaro’s theme from Part 3 and the way they mixed up the opening theme in the last couple episodes was really creative.
In conclusion, Part 4 has all the bizarre action, manly tears and likeable characters that would you would expect from this series and it even improves quite a bit on some of the flaws in Stardust Crusaders. How do I say this…? It’s a bit crude, but…hehe…I got a boner!
General production value: 7,5/10
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 4: Diamond wa Kudakenai
2. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!
3. Lupin III (2015)
4. Ushio to Tora (TV) 2nd Season
6. Magi: Sinbad no Bouken (TV)
7. Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri 2nd Season
8. D.Gray-man Hallow
9. Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin
10. Flip Flappers