They’re the best Anime that 2017 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul, Kemono Friends, Shoukoku no Altair, and more!
10: Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul
English: Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Japanese: 神撃のバハムート VIRGIN SOUL
MAL Score: 7.44
A decade ago, humans, gods, and demons joined forces to stand against the threat of the colossal dragon, Bahamut.
Now, in the present, humans living in the capital city of Anatae have been enjoying lavish and prosperous lives. Their progress is largely due to the administration of the newly appointed king, Charioce XVII, who has stolen a power from the gods and allowed for the abuse and slavery of the demon race in the capital. As humans continue to immorally exploit demons, a sense of hostility against humans begins to build up within demon communities, threatening a revolt. Meanwhile, an atmosphere of uneasiness is spreading among the gods, as they scramble to regain their lost power.
Amidst it all, Nina Drango, a cheerful young bounty hunter, has arrived at the Royal Capital with hopes of settling down and earning a living. However, her peaceful life in the capital is quickly thrown into chaos when she crosses paths with the ominous Rag Demon who is determined to seek revenge against humans, and Kaisar Lidfard, a noble knight battling an internal moral conflict.
Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul continues the tale of the social and moral conflict between humans, gods, and demons, and their struggle for survival and dominance.
So, Shingeki no Bahmut: Virgin Soul. The much anticipated sequel to the 2014 anime (in my opinion) Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis finally aired it’s 24th and final episode and boy was it a major let down. Let me get straight into it.
The story picks up 10 years after our heroes have saved the planet from a certain destruction. And what did they get for their selfless sacrifice? Favaro is MIA for half the season and Kaiser in stuck in stagnation as the commander of a dying-out military force. Some nobody is out of the blue named King and is following closely in the footsteps of an all-to-familiar 1939-1945 dictator from west Europe. Janne is exiled for reasons beyond my understanding. Demons are discriminated and considered as trash, angels are being massacred left and right for no reason and humans are just kind-of there. A NEW character is introduced, without any background or foreshadowing, without any character development or contribution and we’re somehow supposed to jump aboard.
Skip a few episodes (23 to be precise) and we come to the conclusion where, SURPRISINGLY all the bad guys turn out to be ACTUALLY good guys, some people die, get forgotten and the BAD guys, who turned GOOD guys get to live happily ever after as heroes. Sound like LeLouche? Well, it’s LeLouce only without him dying but instead getting everything he wanted and more.
(those of you, who actually sit through this 24 episode of time-waste will understand)
Just like the prequel, the art in this sequel is top-notch. It’s not on the level of Unlimited CashWorks but it will leave you satisfied if visual effects are all you’re looking for.
Let’s get this straight – the bad-ass opening from season 1 is gone and it’s not coming back. The OP and ED in this sequel are not worth mentioning and the soundtrack in the actual anime is almost forgettable.
Bland villains, bland main character, little to no character development, lots and LOTS of plot armor for the important characters. NO plot armor for the side characters. Not really the strong point of this anime (much like the story). Bad guys turning good – cliche as cliches get. The true bad guy defeated, but not really, so that a 3rd season cash-grab can be made – check! If you’re into mindless action and shallow storytelling, with little to no character presence, then this anime is PERFECT for you.
The first half of the anime had potential. The second half ruined it all with it’s horrendous storytelling, cliche characters and predictable plot. Not to mention the sacrifice of key characters without their contribution to the story being fully told.
I wish I could give it a lower score but the average from the above 5 categories prevents me from doing so.
To summarize: if you are into a shallow story, with bland characters, no development, lots of minutes (potentially hours) wasted in idle chatter, some battles and some moral discussions, all leading to a predictable ending (with a few sad but overall overlooked deaths here and there) then this anime is definitely for you (poor soul).
I do hope we NEVER see a third sequel, as that will most certainly butcher an already massacred anime.
If that wasn’t descriptive enough, then read on. Below, I will attempt to explain exactly what went wrong with Virgin Soul. Do expect some minor spoilers with regard to the initial few episodes.
The story of Virgin Soul starts 10 years after the events of Genesis, and the world is quite different from how we remember it. Humanity has extended its reaches, as far as to bring demon-kind to its knees, while achieving great power along the way. These changes bring with them quite some intrigue, and world-building progresses at an optimal pace. Then, they introduce the new protagonist, Nina Drango. Even ignoring her endless libido and her shoujo manga-esque encounters with pretty much any young man, the story seems to be progressing somewhere. The themes of morality and sociology were quite strong in the initial few episodes, especially from the likes of returning characters such as Kaisar and Azazel. So far so good…
Then, somewhere along the way, the series started on a downward spiral that never really stopped. The intelligent conversations and ideas just slowly faded out into the background, and the focus moved on to a romance which would make the likes of Twilight look half decent. I can state without doubt that the romance in Virgin Soul is the worst I have ever witnessed on screen. One could hope that at least this subplot may help develop the characters in question… well, in this case, it outright broke the character of the male participant, making his personality impossible to salvage.
The rest of the story can’t exactly be called intelligent, with multiple contradictory or even outright stupid reveals and ‘plot twists’. Worst thing is, every single thing just somehow leads back to the central romance, which just sucks the life out of the series. Honestly, if this were advertised as a shoujo anime which was unrelated to Shingeki no Bahamut, it may not have felt like such an insult, but the way it went, it simply became a detriment to its ‘prequel’.
The artwork and animation are quite reminiscent of Genesis, and are quite pleasing to look at. The only real gripe I have is how they use some outright atrocious crowd CGI in some scenes, which seem completely out of place.
Above average, but nothing really special. The openings and endings are all decent, yet forgetful. All the Engrish in the songs didn’t exactly help that. Even the soundtracks weren’t anything to write home about.
The greatest failure of Virgin Soul was certainly the depiction of the characters and their interactions. I’ll be analysing this in two parts: New characters and Returning characters.
When talking about the New characters, the first and foremost would be Nina Drango. The best way to describe her would be a female version of Hyoudou Issei. She spends most of her time drooling over any good-looking guy (which, for some reason, seems to be the norm for men in this show), and the rest of her time utterly wrecking the sho…. Umm… Causing trouble for others. Other than her, we have Charioce and Mugaro. Charioce had some great potential, and his views were quite intriguing to begin with… but of course, they decided that he was better off as a pretty-boy version of Hitler. As for Mugaro…. He was literally a walking plot device from beginning to end.
As for the Returning characters, we have Favaro, Kaisar and Azazel (well, there was Jeanne, Bacchus, Hamsa and Rita, but they’re not really worth mentioning at this point). We start off with quite a bit about Kaisar and his views. This was interesting while it lasted, but he started to become more and more insufferable as the series went on. Near the end of it, you’d be left wondering if it’s even the same character anymore. As for Favaro, I had great hopes for him. He flourished in the leading role of Genesis, and I was hoping that he would breathe some life into the show… sadly, all he got was a minor supporting role as Nina’s father-figure. The one good character that we got out of this series was Azazel. His development was exceptional. He portrays a loner, in the truest sense of the word – he fights alone, and takes the full brunt of the responsibilities for himself, including the failures.
One strange thing I noticed is how the characters were never particularly consistent, and their behaviour varied quite wildly from episode to episode. The character interactions ranged from decent to horrendous, depending on the characters in question and the mood of the writer at that time.
Extremely difficult to watch. My tolerance for bullshit is generally pretty high, but this one made me absolutely lose it. There were some moments in the latter half of the show that made me scream abuse and point rude gestures at the screen, simply because of how frustrating and annoying it was. Watching this show made me question the writer’s intelligence (or the lack thereof), at multiple occasions. I had to force myself to watch the last few episodes, just for the sake of finishing this review.
Overall (4.4 ~ 4/10):
With this, it is quite clear that the anime was a disaster, and that the new writer was a mistake. In fact, I’d be glad if she never touches anime ever again. So to speak, avoid this anime – there’s absolutely nothing good waiting for you in this one. With this, I conclude.
Virgin Soul takes place approximately 10 years after the events of the original. At this point the human realm is the dominant force in the world, lead under the ruthless King Charioce XVII. He has managed to effectively steal the powers of the gods and used them in order to turn the demon residents in the capital area into slaves. Both Heaven and Hell have rebellious thoughts on their minds due to the oppression they’re suffering, but they have a hard time doing much against the overwhelming power which Charioce possesses. It is here we find our new protagonist Nina Drango: a young and energetic bounty hunter who arrives at the capital seeking her fortune. As a tiny little catch, Nina has the ability to transform herself into a dragon, but only spontaneously, involuntarily and uncontrollably.
As the story goes on, many more characters are introduced, including both new ones and returning ones from Genesis. And what I really like about them is that they’re not only extremely well characterized, but you get so many different perspectives about the conflict in place in Virgin Soul. It’s not just that many of the characters are quite likable on a personal level, but the agendas of Heaven, Hell and the human realm respectively are all very logically depicted. It’s a very balanced cast both in terms of differentiating back stories but also in terms of personalities. Nina herself may be extremely naïve and overly optimistic, but that’s also part of her charm and her personality is frequently played around with as a means to drive the story forward in certain directions. And on the opposite side of things, I also have to say that Charioce is one of the more interesting villains I’ve seen in quite some time. There’s so much mystery regarding his true intentions and motives that pretty much up until the very last few episodes of the anime, you still don’t know for sure if he’s really good or evil, or why he’s doing any of the things he is. Yet at the same time he’s extremely charismatic, and the peculiar Romeo & Juliet-esque relationship he forms with Nina throughout the story is very unorthodox in nature.
The world-building in Virgin Soul is also excellent. It truly feels like a living and breathing fantasy world in its own right, and it helps magnifying the importance of the consequences of any major event that takes place. And there truly are a lot of major events in it, with its large scale storyline and grandiose vocal + instrumental soundtrack. It just feels epic in general, but without being excessively overdramatized. But unfortunately, for some reason the story just can’t keep up all the way to the end. I can’t really go into detail without spoiling some of the biggest plot points, but basically there are several plot twists towards the end of the anime which quite frankly don’t make any sense. They undermine the credibility of large portions of the anime’s storyline leading up to that point, and as a result it leaves you with a bad taste in the mouth by the time you actually finish the show. Of course this is only a small part of the anime as a whole, but the ending is pretty important for a story like this, so seeing them slip up at the end like this is a bit frustrating. Especially considering that it’s the second time in a row it has happened for the franchise.
That being said, for the most part Virgin Soul is still a very good fantasy adventure anime in my opinion, even more so than its predecessor, and while it certainly left a lot more to be desired in the end, ultimately the level of the journey leading up that point is enough to make up for it. I also firmly believe this is an anime which most people will enjoy regardless of what your usual genre preferences may be. Honestly I generally dislike action anime and typical battle shounen adventures even more so, but I like this anime quite a bit. Virgin Soul just feels more believable than most series of this genre. No one feels unreasonably overpowered in this story, it’s not too predictable and other than the disappointing plot twists towards the end, the various motives for its rather diverse character cast are quite logical. Even when it does go into action scenes, every move feels perfectly plausible based on the characters’ own writing, and you don’t see any forced turnarounds as a result of plot-convenient power-ups or dumb luck. It all feels relatively fair.
Virgin Soul is a solid continuation to an already good anime, making great use of its world-building and characterization to deliver a very enjoyable final product. Yes, the ending kind of sucks (again) but don’t let that discredit the quality of the show leading up to that point. Overall it’s still one of the better adventure anime in the last few years.
9: Kemono Friends
MAL Score: 7.55
Japari Park is an untamed paradise where many humanoid animals, known as “Friends,” live their everyday lives in all corners of the natural environmental park.
One lazy afternoon in the savannah area, the energetic Serval encounters a peculiar new Friend. Curious, she swiftly takes down the Friend, named Kaban, to try and discover what species she is. To Serval’s disappointment, not even Kaban herself knows the answer.
The two become friends and set out on a grand adventure through the many habitats, landmarks, and attractions of Japari Park. Their destination is the park library, where they hope to shed some light on Kaban’s identity. Along the way, they meet many other Friends, looking into their lives and helping them out. However, they soon begin to uncover the sinister reality behind the park and their own existence.
First, I’ll get a few things out of the way. The animation and art style are lacking in massive ways. I don’t think anyone will try to argue with that. The voice acting is also pretty shoddy in a few places. However, there is so much more to Kemono Friends than just that.
The biggest draw of the show is that it has some of the best world-building I have ever seen in anime. Kemono Friends truly understands “show, don’t tell.” As the series goes on, viewers start to learn more and more about the weird and mysterious world this seemingly simple story takes place in. If you’re reading this review, it’s probably too late for you now, but the theory-crafting and discussions had around Kemono Friends in Japan and the western world were so much fun. By drip-feeding us information about the world, fans were able to come together week to week to discuss their new ideas and knowledge. The mystery of the park might make this one of the best mystery anime too!
The story seems simple at first; a lost girl and an animal girl wander around a park filled with animal girls trying to find out what the lost girl is. Every week, they meet other animal friends and help them with their problems as they progress towards their own goals. But the aforementioned world-building is what draws this all together. In the background of each episode, new things are added to the viewer’s knowledge-bank about this unique and interesting world. As your interest in the world grows, so does your love for these relatively simplistic, but fun characters. You grow to love watching them simply have fun, as the dark past of the world unfolds.
It may sound pretentious, but Kemono Friends is not a show that you’ll get the full enjoyment of just by watching and forgetting it. Kemono Friends was a show that I spent HOURS thinking about and talking about, because it was simply so amazing that I couldn’t get it out of my head. I watch a lot of anime, so usually I’ll watch an episode and immediately forget about it, even if it’s something I love. I simply couldn’t do that with Kemono Friends. It’s one of the first shows of the over 300 that I watched that I wanted to discuss in-depth and engage with on all levels. And I know for a fact that it wasn’t just me that felt this way, because it has truly become one of the most popular anime in Japan.
I honestly cannot predict how enjoyable this show will be outside of the special environment that existed while it was airing. Thousands of fans, albeit mostly Japanese (luckily, I understand Japanese!), came together week after week to theorize and enjoy the wonderful world of Japari Park. You might not be able to get over the art or voice acting and that’s fair. But watching Kemono Friends is the most special experiences I have ever had in my life-long anime career. I don’t know if anything will ever be able to replicate this feeling, but I hope that future creators take notes from Kemono Friends.
Give this show a shot, at least until episode 4. If you watch to that point and still can’t get into it, it might not be for you. I 110% advise you to make your own theories about the show and THINK about it as you watch, taking breaks when possible. Go back and read the episode discussion threads on Reddit to get a sense of what people thought at different points in the show. Enjoy the wonderful fanart and other creative pieces that the huge, dedicated fanbase of Kemono Friends have made. I hope that this show gains more traction in the west, because it is so disappointing that so many western fans missed out on the magic. If anything, push through it to get ready for the inevitable (considering those sales) season 2 and prepare for a new round of magic!
Welcome to Japari Park!
Kemono doesn’t really start until you sit through the credits of the second episode, until which the true nature of the show finally starts revealing itself to you. It’s slow it’s subtle, but it doesn’t bog you down with exposition dumps every five minutes (*cough*LittleWitchAcademia*cough*). Which is even moreso impressive considering this was meant to be a low budget collab for a failed mobage that’s so bad it makes Kancolle look competent. However, unlike Kancolle, which seems like soulless corporate drivel designed to pander to as many people as possible, there’s a real heart to Kemono Friends and a real passion behind its team.
So yes, the animation is pretty crap and the anime gets pretty cringy at times, but keep in mind the target audience for this is for really young kids and the fact that adults can get a kick from the surprisingly deep lore hidden in the subtext or enjoy the show for what it is proves the strengths of this anime. And all in all, the charm of Kemono Friends is simply impeccable.
It ain’t perfect, but watching this genuinely made me happy, it reminded me of simpler times and simpler shows for babies. Perhaps that’s the secret after all. An enjoyable piece that relaxes the mind and puts it to ease without being condescending as most media aimed at a younger audience do.
For what it’s worth, it’s worth checking out.
Mind you this was back at a different time. Before anyone knew that Kemono Friends was going to be good, or be as popular as it was. Actually, it was on the day it came out. Me and my PV and studio ignoring self looked at the summary and I liked it. Kemono Friends was actually one of the shows I looked forward to this season. Before we started my friend said he had a bad feeling about it. I told him not to jinx it, but he did. So I thought…
Kemono Friends is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t drop shows. Or at least you should give shows more of a chance. I was close to dropping it myself but I didn’t, and I think it was all the better for that. For each week that I watched the show, the more attached to it that I got, and the more it became to grow on me. The animation was bad but the rest was so great and so enjoyable to watch. The first episode may have been terrible but each one after that only got better and better.
Under the crappy animation and lackluster art there is a really good show here. What the show is able to do is build up this impressive lore and backstory while also exposing the viewer to the comfy times of the friends that live on the island. This gives it the feel of a children’s show but it has much more to it. The comfiness on its own is nice but it’s the mixture of both the darker undertones and that comfiness that really allows this show to shine. Because the two are pitting against each other in a way it creates a unique atmosphere that the show surrounds itself.
Even more impressive the show was able to foreshadow the events that would happen later as well as slowly leak out information relating to it. They are experts at doing this I would say and many things that you may pick up on early may be important later down the line. In Kemono Friends things aren’t throw in haphazardly, they are there for a reason. Their ability to do this hints towards Kemono Friend’s wonderful storytelling and narrative abilities.
All of the characters on Kemono Friends are likeable. They aren’t the deepest but they do develop and grow over time (or for most characters over their episode). While I’d love for more depth what Kemono Friends has worked well for itself and what it’s going for.
As bad as the art is it’d be expected the sound would be too. However, I really like not just the OP and the ED but also the OST. It may not be much but they do a geat job of picking the right songs to fit the right moods. Their chilling music is quite chilling and I like the use of dubstep for the cerulean moments. The playful sounds that they have during the happier moment all match the mood as well. The OST works so well together I even really like Serval’s voice as well.
It may look like a bad show but Kemono Friends is anything but. It’s able to provide both high moments of hype and soft moments of comfy. The balance between the lore and the comfy is just stunning. Kemono Friends took some of the best aspects of children’s shows and worldbuilding lore shows and shoved them together. And the result was something well worth watching.
8: Shoukoku no Altair
English: Altair: A Record of Battles
MAL Score: 7.55
Tughril Mahmut is a young pasha serving on the Divan of the Türkiye Stratocracy. The clouds of war are gathering over his country due to the threat of an aggressive Empire. With the Divan split between warmongers and the pacifists, Mahmut begins his quest to keep the peace at any cost. As he finds himself deeper and deeper in the politics of the ancient world, new enemies and allies surface. Who will prevail? What will Mahmut do if war proves to be inevitable?
Shoukoku no Altair takes a different approach on the hystorical battle/war anime and portrays what happens behind the stage (battle). It focuses on evidentiating the gains, merits ,profits and interests that each participating side will gain from the war. It also shows the preparations and different strategies used that at first glance don’t seem big but have bigger influence later in deciding the winner and loser.
This show takes things like economics and trading to a whole new level and display their meaning and influence on the war stage.
The characters are great and manage to shine on the war stage with their cunning strategies and good decisions .Their development is fantastic across this anime , they know how to use their own strenght as a weapon and grow after each battle learning from their defeats and wins. They also don’t mind taking risks and thus making this show more exiciting to watch.Keep in mind that most of them use their mind more than their brute force but still manage to create something captivating.
Although the main focus are not the battles I gotta say that the tactics used in each one of them gave me a bump of adrenaline . The clash of ideals , ambitions and wits together with their innovative and creative strategies made this show unique and enjoyable. Choosing your right words for your speech can motivate or demoralize an army but can also give you benefits in forming an alliance and influence the course of the war.
This show in conclusion displays a brilliant presentation of what happens behind the stage of war , the profits and interest gained by each country and also how the character’s decisions and strategies influence the course of war thus the hystory itself. Fantastic! A gem that is hidden behind an low overall mal score which deserves more attention and love!
I thought the story for Shoukoku no Altair was outstanding. The premise is similar to some shows that have come before it but the way everything was executed, was interesting. I especially liked how the politics of the show was handled and how it connected well with the war aspect, whether it be with the two major powers or the many smaller nations/empires involved.
The art and animation were nice and clean. It was nothing spectacular but at the same time it was above average. The soundtrack for Shoukoku no Altair was great and I thought it fit really well with the tone as well as the general setting of the show.
The characters of the show is probably it’s weakest point. It’s fun to see the dichotomy of Mahmut Tuğrul’s character. A pacifist that often has to lead the frontlines of battle and has to take responsibility for the lives of many. The supporting cast around Mahmut as well as the antagonists are good in their own right, it’s just that there isn’t any deep characterization to be found from them in my opinion.
Shoukoku no Altair was enjoyable from the first episode to the last through its various arcs. It took some things that I like from its genre and went a bit deeper with it and I think the show was well done overall. I highly recommend you give this an anime a watch.
Well this is the most underrated anime of 2017.Yes the hidden gem.Mostly people forget about this anime/drop this anime after watching 1 or 2 episodes coz start was little weak but now after this , this series start to grow much much better.
And as you can see at start the ratting of this anime was 6 point something but now this series is over you can see its ratting starts to grow.You can say those who continue to watch this must got something from this anime and this anime make me it fan.
You have lots of action , strategies that will impress you so much.And MC (Mahmut) is not a losser type of.He is a badass like a boss type character who is trying to achieve his goals as to stop war at all costs.Cool economical stratigies difenatly will make you say its awesome.
(First of all Before you decided to drop this series after watching 1 or 2 episodes i personally recommend you that you should watch atleast 5 or 6 episodes.Thats the advice you need.
Dont give a look at score like i told at up that its a underrated anime.)
And those who are only ecchi anime fans i would say this review is not for them.
This series is like Arslan senki but not that much.
And please ignore that dancer Shahra , she maybe makes you hate this anime but ignore , she will be in start only , hehe.
Our MC is a pashs (Pasha = an army rank of that country).Little Spoiler below
We have a cool MC who is pasha when he was a kid his village got burned into ashes because of war and he was the sole survival in his village.He got adopted by another pasha. The MC made his goal to stop something like that in future so he become a pasha of his nation , the youngest pasha.But sadly he got demoted when the empire attack a province of torkiye and he did not give value to his job and stop the enemy without considering his job.So another pasha add him into his spy network and thus his journey begin to find more knowledge and more about people and nations.Their he find other spies and journey keeps going on.I can tell much becoz further will coz spoilers.But i tell you his companion Abriga is so badass.
I enjoyed while watching this anime.The anime is full with action and strategies.And MC is full with action and strategies that will impress you.First arc is 8/10 and the secound arc is masterpiece 10/10.
i enjoyed this alot and its keep getting batter after each episode.
I will say you should give a try and its worth.If you are too much religious then this review cant be helpful.But as an otaku its worth.Hope you liked it.
Sorry for bad english.
7: Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World – The Animated Series
English: Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World- the Animated Series
Japanese: キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- the Animated Series
MAL Score: 7.60
When 15-year-old Kino is feeling weighed down by heavy thoughts, one thing always manages to cheer her up: traveling. Nothing fills her heart with joy like exploring the beautiful, wonderful world around her and the fascinating ways people find to live. However, Kino is not as helpless as her cute appearance and courteous demeanor suggest. Armed with “Cannon” and “Woodsman,” her trusted handguns, Kino isn’t afraid to kill anyone who would dare to get in her way. Always by her side is her best friend and loyal companion Hermes, a sentient motorcycle, who supports Kino through the sorrows and hardships of their journey. Together, they travel the vast countryside with the shared goal of always moving forward, and a single rule: never stay in one country for more than three days.
As Kino and Hermes encounter new people and learn the rules of their civilizations, they grow and find out more about their own values and virtues. But as Kino slowly discovers the world around her, she also finds herself facing dangers that linger within the vast unknown.
The premise of the series is that it follows the Journey of a traveller named Kino and their talking Motorrad Hermes through their travels across a world made up of small countries which each encompass their own unique ideologies, cultures, and traditions. From this, Sigsawa uses the perspective of Kino, a traveller with no ties to a particular culture of their own and a maintained neutral outlook on the morally grey activities which they often come across, to look at multiple facets of philosophy and the human condition. This results in a very interesting and thought provoking episodic series, whatever its incarnation.
While this will be a positive review overall, as I did find more to enjoy about this adaptation than I didn’t, I will start this review off discussing the negatives of the series first, as they are perhaps the more glaring issue with this adaptation, and the one which may turn potential viewers (be they familiar with the source material or not) off.
The biggest issue with the adaptation is without a doubt the stories that were adapted for this versions. For those of you who didn’t know, the stories from the LN selected for this adaptation were picked from a poll in which fans of the LN were asked to vote for their favourite stories from the series. While this may sound like a good idea on paper, as it means we get to see what the fans themselves picked as the highlights, sort of like making the series a Band’s Greatest Hits compilation which can in turn help to entice new viewers, the issue comes about when the stories placed near each other cause the series to feel extremely uneven.
What I mean by this is that in the original source material, these stories would have been written in the order they were for a reason. That becomes apparent when we see how tonally conflicting the series can be, as the episodes can often be radically different in terms of tone so that one week we witness a deep and quite dark study of the way that humans take their lives for granted but then next week get a silly, action packed episode. This often extreme tonal dissonance which occurs between the stories can often feel jarring, and lead to the feeling that the series suffers a severe identity crisis in which it doesn’t quite know what it’s trying to be as a series.
It doesn’t help also that some of the stories in the series perhaps aren’t what I would have selected as being among my favourites. The worst offender perhaps being an episode which is itself a compilation of short stories which each feel insufferably self parodying and painful to watch (this is episode 9 in case I’ve convinced you to skip this episode when you watch).
Another major problem with the series is the direction it takes. Lerche are a studio whose work I’m only familiar with from this year, and from what I can gather, the popular consensus seems to be that they’re an extremely uneven studio, and that certainly reflects in this adaptation, which additionally serves as a showcase for both the studio’s strengths and weaknesses. They certainly aren’t a studio known for subtlety for one thing, and when the series does try to showcase its more philosophical side by showcasing the actions of people within the societies that exist in this world, their emotions and negative reactions to things which dilute their customs can sometimes feel a bit overblown, not helping is some really overacting VA work for those characters. This can unfortunately cause the side characters to feel a bit like caricatures, and the way such scenes are so sporadically directed to have some sort of dynamic breakdown suddenly occur can often lead to it looking a tad more silly than it was possibly intended.
Additionally, the studio’s trademark heavily saturated lighting can sometimes cause the colour pallet to feel overblown and processed, and this becomes an issue when it subtracts from any atmosphere the story in question is trying to convey, and for those with more sensitive eyes can perhaps look a bit ugly when it is done wrong. That said, this lighting effect when done right can actually help to enhance the atmosphere in some episodes, and make some genuinely lovely background art which brings the world of the series to life, looking appropriately Beautiful as the title implies.
Now, with these admittedly very large issues of inconsistent story quality and sometimes harmful directorial choices, I will say that the series is actually good overall, when it manages to overcome these issues. More specifically, when the strength of the source material is able to shine through in the stronger episodes. For me, these would include episodes 1, 4, 5, 6 & 10. Each of these episodes appeal to the main strength of the series, a frank look at philosophy and the human condition, sometimes told through a surprisingly dark and chilling lens which invites the viewer to reflect and think about the morality of what just transpired.
On the side of characters, Kino and Hermes are of course the main characters of the series, travelling across the world with a neutral stance towards the (often terrifying) events they encounter which in turn helps us the audience to view them with a similar lens. Unfortunately, there’s pretty much nothing in terms of development for the main character as a slight result of that aforementioned episode order, with the possible exception of episode 10.
Adding fuel to the fire is the addition of episodes which don’t feature Kino as the main character, as we also see stories told primarily through the perspectives of other travellers who Kino met on their journey, such as their mentor, and Shizu; the former prince of a dead kingdom who travels with a talking dog, and later a unique child. These characters are likeable enough on their own, and does provide a counterbalance by looking through the different perspectives of characters who lack Kino’s neutral ideology and solve situations differently from how they would, but it does become a problem in the second half of the series when their episodes dominate and cause Kino to feel almost insignificant in their own series.
On the technical side of things, I already discussed the advantages and disadvantages of Lerche’s heavily saturated lighting. The animation looks fine for the most part, though it does look fairly safe, there’s nothing much unique about it. Some people criticised this change in artistic style from the 2003 adaptation, but this ignores the fact that Sigsawa’s own illustrations for the series have changed through the years he has been working on the series. The 2003 version reflected the designs he used at that time, while this version reflects his current artstyle, so it isn’t really “betraying the source material” as many said.
The OST isn’t particularly grabbing, while some of the side characters do overact a bit, the voice acting is generally fine for the most part, with Aoi Yuuki being typically lovely as the voice of the main character, and Inori Minase providing an appropriate mix of nervousness and calm to her one-off character. The OP and ED are both quite lovely (and evidently where most of the animation resources were allocated above all else) capturing the more calm and tranquil aspects of the series, as well as its serene sense of beauty.
Perhaps the most frustrating conclusion I have come to in this review is that I still don’t quite know who I’d recommend this series to. I suppose if you consider yourself a “Super fan” of the source material you should at least try it, outside of that it becomes a bit trickier, as I’ve seen from the community mixed responses to the series, some newcomers feeling unmotivated by it, others enjoying it, and similarly mixed opinions from fans of the 2003 adaptation. I will say that if you’re a newcomer, the 2003 adaptation is probably a better bet to go on, as it has a much more consistent tone and represents the strengths of the source material in a much more solid way by ignoring some of the sillier storylines that pop up in this version. And check out this adaptation after that if you feel you can tolerate it.
As I said before, despite this adaptation’s glaring faults, its uneven quality, I still found it to be a fairly faithful adaptation of the source material. Especially in those stronger episodes that I highlighted. And it does reveal many of its cracks, especially in the second half of the series, but for what it was, and for those episodes I liked, I do give it credit.
Kino is an episodic SOL anime with a dark tone which isn’t really everyone’s cup of tea but it sure as hell is mine, you start with Kino and Hermes (The mottorad) traveling to a new country with every episode being a unique and great well-thought out story, you get to see all different kinds of people with different culture and ways of thinking which is the very basis of this anime, i mean it is called Kino no tabi the beautiful journey for a reason, the reason people don’t like this is that they try to logic out every thing based on how they feel or how they think but even in real life there are places with a fucked-up way of thinking that they consider normal and the same way around so just deal with what is present to you and you would surely enjoy this much much more.
The characters are great from the main cast to all other side characters with each of them being unique with great characteristics and not just repetition or flat characters like in most SOL being produced now.
The voice actors were great and even though i liked the old voice of kino, the new one still does a phenomenal job of portraying kino’s feelings.
The art is great and that was one of the things i was worried about since almost all anime uses CGI horribly and the art seems inconsistent so i’m happy to say (aside from some parts in episode 12) the art is very consistent and beautiful.
When they announced a new season i was worried that it was going to turn into some moe-shit anime like most sol anime now so i’m happy to see this remake being as good as the original with it’s new added stories.
There was a hint at a new season at the end which is very nice to see tbh.
Overall a solid 10/10.
Would recommend to even Non-anime fans.
First of all this is not a sequel for the old Kino it’s a remake with some changes for the art style , plot and story which i will mention them in this review.So let’s go on a journey then….
The first 2 episodes despite being bland their purpose is to get the viewer used to the plot, story and characters and captivate your attention with the improved animation and scenery(landscape). After those 2 episodes things get better and some episodes will leave a good impression after finishing this series.The story is simple and relaxing following Kino on his motorrad through his journey from a country to another meeting different people and learning about each country’s customs and culture during his 3 days stay. A variety of themes are explored and morals to learn from them at the end of each episode.
The characters are better explored in this series especially the side characters who get a spotlight in some episodes (the focus is not only on Kino like in the old series) which is a strong point and brings a lot of diversity to the story and plot. The visuals are gorgeous and the scenery is very captivating and this is an essential factor for the main concept of this show.An interesting fact from this show is how they portrayed the bond between motorrads&travelers and presented both of their perspectives about the meaning of a journey.
One big problem this show has are some episodes who lack substance and don’t manage to get the viewer attached to the characters and story.For example they should explored more about the characters backgrounds and how they end up in that situation instead the presentation is rushed and it leaves a dry taste in your mouth after finishing an episode. Although the old Kino did a better job at that the remake has some remarkable episodes that will surely become your favorites.
The scenery, ost and animation are superior and for those who enjoy those stuff from an anime if the old Kino didn’t seem appealing to you this remake will surely captivate you , especially the opening song animation having a rich visual vocabulary and innovative concepts. So my advice is to give it a try and don’t binge it you need to take your time with this show and enjoy each minute from it.
6: Little Witch Academia (TV)
English: Little Witch Academia
MAL Score: 7.85
“A believing heart is your magic!”—these were the words that Atsuko “Akko” Kagari’s idol, the renowned witch Shiny Chariot, said to her during a magic performance years ago. Since then, Akko has lived by these words and aspired to be a witch just like Shiny Chariot, one that can make people smile. Hence, even her non-magical background does not stop her from enrolling in Luna Nova Magical Academy.
However, when an excited Akko finally sets off to her new school, the trip there is anything but smooth. After her perilous journey, she befriends the shy Lotte Yansson and the sarcastic Sucy Manbavaran. To her utmost delight, she also discovers Chariot’s wand, the Shiny Rod, which she takes as her own. Unfortunately, her time at Luna Nova will prove to more challenging than Akko could ever believe. She absolutely refuses to stay inferior to the rest of her peers, especially to her self-proclaimed rival, the beautiful and gifted Diana Cavendish, so she relies on her determination to compensate for her reckless behavior and ineptitude in magic.
In a time when wizardry is on the decline, Little Witch Academia follows the magical escapades of Akko and her friends as they learn the true meaning of being a witch.
Akko Kagari Little Witch Academia (TV) 2017 (Episode 5)
Out of all anime that came out in winter 2017, Little Witch Academia (TV) caught my interest and it’s the only show from that season that had to potential to great not counting squeals.
I have previously seen the short movies for Little Witch Academia and I really liked a lot. However, I won’t be mentioning or comparing the TVs with the short movies because I want to review the TV series by its own identity.
Now after all that is show worth watching or it’s just an another lame seasonal anime.
Hellow everyone this is Shawn aka PhantomKurata and I will be reviewing Little Witch Academia (TV) and with that out the way let’s begin.
The story of Little Witch Academia follows Akko Kagari who aspires to be a great witch like her idol Shiny Chariot even tough she has no witch blood in her. Akko sets off to go to Luna Nova Magical Academia where she can to achieve her dream. Along the way her during to Luna Nova Magical Academy she befriends two other witches Sucy and Lotte. Now they magical adventures in Luna Nova Magical Academy begins as Akko tries to achieve her dream by being a witch like Shiny Chariot.
I found the story of Little Witch Academia to be pretty great.
It’s very similar to Harry Potter in terms of concept and setting but unlike Harry Potter where it centers around Harry growth as so one day, Harry can defeat his antagonist. Little Witch Academia is mostly episodic as most episodes are very different from one another.
If you’re looking for a magical academy drama like Harry Potter then you won’t enjoy this anime.
While mostly being episodic Little Witch Academia deals with great themes of achieving your dream, appreciating others, determination, change, and friendship.
The worldbuilding for Little Witch Academia is great as it gives relevant names for every location in the show. We get certification of how some witches can only use magic in certain places than others, We get information about the history of magic, how the students in Luna Nova Academy must obey the rules such as not leaving campus without permission to no allowing them to go to locations that Luna Nova that is off limits for students.
I could go on about how great the worldbuilding is but it will end up spoiling the show and I don’t want anyone to get spoiled.
I also really like how it references a lot of other Gainax/Trigger anime as well as humor and jokes in this anime.
The last thing that I want to mention is the second half has a more serious tone and it’s more plot driven and to be honest I really liked the second half more than the mostly episodic first half.
Little Witch Academia (TV) is a very engaging/well-written series that will never bore you and it will keep you smiling from start to finish.
Overall the story for Little Witch Academia (TV) to be pretty awesome and it’s very refreshing when compared to most anime that are coming out nowadays.
The characters in Little Witch Academia is honestly amazing and very likable in they own ways. Not to mention they have great character chemistry to one and another.
Akko is a great female lead.
She’s a very energetic and determined girl who wants to achieve her dream despite her shortcomings by being an ordinary girl with no witch blood.
Some people may find her annoying in the beginning but in my opinion, she’s the perfect type of annoying you can relate to from start to finish.
Not mention he she has great and believable character development especially in the second half. Plus she’s very relatable.
She’s one of my favorite female protagonist in recent memory.
Sucy is the aloof, sarcastic and sadistic character of the show who likes to use Akko as a text subject for her experiments. I can’t say anything more about this but all I say is she a fun and likable character overall but I wish she had more screen time in the second half of the show as well as having a bit of character development in my opinion.
Lotte is a rather patient and studious character of the group. She also a supportive character who likes help her friends mainly Akko.
Like Sucy she’s a fun and likable character. Also like Sucy I wish she had more screen time in the second half as well a bit character development because I found her to very interesting and likable.
Diana is a serious esteemed witch from a long line of witches who is the top student in knowledge and magic.
She’s honestly my favorite character in this show.
I personally like her personality as well her development as the series progresses on. Not to mention like Akko she very relatable.
Overall Diana is an awesome that I adored from start to finish
The rest of the characters are also great.
They are very likable, enjoyable to watch from start to finish and they brought more life to the show
Overall besides the lack of screen time for Sucy and Lottte in the second half, this character cast was great from start to finish.
Visually Little Witch Academia looks good for the most part
The background scenery is defined by thin lines and washed out colors. They are very well detailed and well drawn but they are mostly static.
The characters designs minus Sucy have very similar size and body types. However, the characters faces and movement are very different for each character and it gives them a personality of they own. Immediately by watching the show, you will see that Akko is an energic, Sucy is an old sarcastic girl or Diana is a hotty top student.
In terms of actual animation, the character movement is easy to follow. Things like the motions of clothing hair, ribbon caps, magical effects or broomsticks are what gives the visuals a lot of their flare. Plus it’s very well animated.
Overall the visuals are great but can be a bit repetitive at times in terms of size and body types
The soundtrack is almost entirely orchestral pieces and consists of a handful of themes with lots of variations and rearrangements of each.
These orchestral pieces are amazing, very enjoyable to listen and have a purpose for each scene.
Michiru Oshima did an amazing job with this soundtrack as it makes each scene more impactful.
The sound effects used in this show is great.
The opening and endings themes are really good.
From the happy adventurous of the first opening Shiny Ray to the more slightly serious opening that some foreshadowing towards the end of the opening,
Both ending themes are really
The voice acting is simply top notch.
All of the seiyuu’s did a great job for voicing each character.
I cannot about the dub because it hasn’t been released yet but the dub of the TV series will be available on Netflix soon.
Overall the soundtrack was amazing the openings and ending themes were great and the voice acting was wonderful and well acted.
Little Witch Academia (TV) is a breath of fresh air when compared to most anime that are coming out nowadays. Cough *Eromanga Sensei*
The story was great and very enjoyable, has great worldbuilding, great theme exploration, a strong likable cast from start to finish, great visuals and animation.
The soundtrack is amazing as well as the opening and endings and voice acting is wonderful.
It has some minor hiccups such as lack of screen time for certain characters in the second half as well mostly repeating the size and body types for the character designs but these minor hiccups are easily ignored due how great the story and characters were.
This is easily one of the best anime to ever come out in the last two years.
Unlike Eromanga Sensei that represents everything that is wrong about modern anime and it’s also one of the worst anime I have ever seen in my life. Little Witch Academia (TV) represent everything that is great about modern anime and for that reason, I give the show as well as the director You Yoshinari full respect.
It may not be the perfect anime but compared to most anime that I have seen over the years this show almost represents everything that I love about this entire anime medium.
This show will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you smile with joy and determination.
Thank you to all the creators for making this wonderful anime and I hope this gets a Blu-Ray/DVD release in the future.
I give Little Witch Academia (TV) a 9.5/10.
Anyway this was Shawn aka KurataTrigger and I will see you guys next time.
Little Witch Academia is Yoh Yoshinari’s precious child, who is one of the most important and iconic animators this industry has. It’s at the same time, a love letter to it, with clear intent, wanting to be a message of hope to everyone looking to be part of it eventually. Unfortunately, he is an animator, not a writer (though he most likely wasn’t alone in this), and said intentions are not backed up by the execution of the piece once examined under the cold eye of the monocle-wearing critic who thinks too highly of themself despite of their own contradiction-riddled writing, yet far from a complete dreck. This “love letter” has fundamental problems with its setting, plot, pace, characters, and a strangely ambiguous thematic simplicity that I can only attribute to the core idea Yoshinari tried to bring forward getting in the way of the show’s story, and that’s without touching details like the amounts of redundancy in the dialogue or some poorly paced scenes that end with no momentum. Little Witch Academia is an anime that always finds a way to squander its potential, and I’ll proceed to explain myself.
First, lets talk about anime and animators. How is this related to our little witches? The show acts like a metaphor to the journey of the young animator in the industry, an ideal represented by Kagari Atsuko (Akko), where the magic world symbolizes anime and its institutions. Many animators are inspired from a very young age by one piece of animation that resonates with them, which leads them to choose said profession. The world of animation (and anime) is alive as long as there is new people that wants to work in it, and it’s also necessary that veterans are able to train them for that.
Besides the obvious Nine Old Men (google it) reference within the show’s lore through the Nine Old Witches, there are more nods to this metaphor. The show alludes to3DCG animation with Croix and her technology entering the scene, and the end of the series calls back to the cycle that perpetuates the existance of magic/anime in this world. During the spectacle that the outcome of the final showdown against Croix’s mad missile generates, we see people being enchanted again by magic, and then we cut to a close shot of a little girl being amazed by it, symbolizing that Akko has inspired a generation younger than her to pursue the road of magic, same as how Chariot inspired her, in the same way this series and its climatic ending may inspire those who see it. This is why the show is a love letter to anime.
At the same time, Little Witch Academia is without a doubt the most consistently high quality production Trigger has made (Kiznaiver exists, but this is also two cours), with a similar artstyle to western cartoons, mixed with limited animation techniques here and there like heavy use of smearing, and intense focused “sakuga” moments that manage to impress on a technical level. All of this coupled with a brilliant OST composed by Michiru Oshima, that adds in a fantastic way to the tone the series has both in its heavier and lighter moments.
Poetic, isn’t it? But the praise stops here.
About pacing, Little Witch Academia starts with Akko finding the broken underexplained McGuffin known as Shiny Rod in her road to Luna Nova, which is followed by a series of western inspired episodic adventures of little importance that will either reveal some detail about the world or a quirk about the characters. We don’t get exposition regarding the words plot up until episode 11, and the main antagonist is only introduced by episode 14. What follows during the second half is a weird alternance of proper plot related episodes and episodic content similar to most of the show’s first half, making for some jarring contrast between episode and episode. Even then, the show finds its focus again around episode 21, and rushes to the conclusion. It’s uneven, and tries to tie things up way too fast, with too little to keep itself interesting in the first half, and too much to cram in the end without forcing it.
There is no inherent problem with an episodic structure, many magical girl anime like Princess Tutu, Full Moon wo Sagashite and Shoujo Kakumei Utena got it right. The problem with Little Witch Academia is that most of these episodes are bland, employ cliché plots, are cheap excuses to force screentime for irrelevant characters, and overall give way too little substance (or have little value) besides spectacle, which again wouldn’t be a problem if the series wasn’t trying to get you invested in anything else than that. At the same time, the series has a strong tendency to forcefully validate Akko’s disruptive and intrusive behaviours, usually through the implementation of some plot device that achieves this (often the Rod) and often resolves the conflict. Then, one other time the show rewrote a character from the opposing side to reach a resolution, during Diana’s arc, where after showing her aunt as this one dimensional snake lady, it’s revealed that she actually cares about the family’s legacy, and will try to keep it up while she follows her dream in Luna Nova. This makes the resolutions idealized and convenient. Little times a conflict is solved by the agency of our characters or an instance of personal growth, and while the series often returns to the status quo, these rare ocasions end up being the best episodes because there’s real catharsis to be found in them. These exceptions are episodes 11, 13, 14, and from episode 21 onwards where the show focus on what matters, exploring Akko’s relationship with Chariot, the past of the latter, and finally resolving who Akko wants to be. Even then, it takes 21 episodes of justifying everything with passion and simple motivations until something more interesting happens with her character. Finally, this ends up making Akko a character favoured by the plot, result given by the rather low stakes situations the show puts her in, which are resolved with no real growth from her part (see the exceptions). The series hides in Akko, whose story is about maturing and personal growth, someone with a Mary Sue treatment. Akko is rewarded for who she is and what she represents, not for the person she grows to be during her journey, in the same fashion as Hajime from Gatchaman Crowds (but Crowds doesn’t pretend that there is a journey for Hajime, who is a stand-in for most of her show’s ideas).
Other of the problems Little Witch Academia has is its handling of the setting. We see some places and factions, but they are vaguely explored or barely important, like witches from other places who appear on one episode and are never brought back again, meaning that there is little to no expansive worldbuilding outside what’s relevant inmediately to the story. We learn that the witches had a 1500+ years old debt with a dragon because no one took responsibility to learn/recover dragon language in order to read or translate the damn contract, but then Diana comes with her teenage wisdom to save the day and put the drake on his place, since she DID study/learn dragon language apparently. The “adults are useless” trope is implemented to push this idea of the incomeptence veterans have for training the new generations, drawing a parallel with the anime industry metaphor. In doing so, said execution generates a tonal clash regarding a situation about the world that should be taken more seriously, compared to how the series treats other similar moments, and it’s one of the elements that leads the series to validate otherwise questionable developments, for how it makes impossible to take the old witches in charge seriously (and end up being fairly irrelevant to the plot… as expected anime, you can’t have people that make sense solving your plots, can you?). For example, there’s no ambiguety when Ursula defends Akko from being expelled/suspended from Luna Nova after clearly breaking the rules (Akko avoiding being expelled for Ursula’s intervention and instead being suspended would make for a nice moment of self-reflection, that still rewards her efforts in some way, adding complexity to both her character and the outcome of her actions), or that never in the second half the authorities of Luna Nova question or check what Croix is doing in her suspicious omious tower (which is in reality a minor contrivance).
Then there’s the faction of british gentlemen, which includes Andrew. It’s implied that they finance Croix, but it’s never explored why, and out of them “hating witches” (which is also not explored) they don’t have an interesting dynamic with the world. Andrew himself is sidelined, and his role in the climax is very small (Gentlemen: -Shut down the cameras! Andrew:-No! I believe in these witches! Gentlemen: -Ok.) but he is more important as an ear to Akko, as well as someone who she inspires the capacity of trusting witches, eventually. He also gives Akko the idea of being herself, by herself, rather than by Chariot.
The rest of the side cast (Diana, Chariot, and Croix are mains) have personalities defined by only one trait or superficial quirk. Jasminka eats a lot, Constanze does tech stuff and doesn’t talk, Sucy is sadistic and experiments with mushrooms, Lotte is shy, likes Nightfall and has fairy magic, Diana’s minions are just that, and Amanda is a tomboy archetype with nothing else. All of these are characters you can define in half a sentence, that exist to represent how Akko through her forceful behaivour managed to have friends who act later as an emotional cushion for her. It’s incredibly basic and boring seeing how Akko instead of building most of these relationships through mutual understanding, she’s forced into being accepted by external plot elements. The exception to this is her relationship with Diana, which has its problems, but nontheless it has conflicts, a dynamic, and only when Akko helps her to face her family and understand her problems is when they really become friends, and it make sense that it’s Diana the one that puts Akko back on her feet in episode 23 after the twist of episode 22. Which leads us to the next point.
The story between Chariot and Croix, once revealed, destroys Akko emotionally, who eventually gets back on her feet once Diana conforts her. The problem is that besides using a lot of contrived friendships as a reinforcement (note also how little Lotte and Sucy appear during the second half of the show), this makes Diana’s character being limited as an emotional support to Akko, and the show in its intent to portray its metaphor, ends up giving more value to her passion above Diana’s ethic towards hard work, which she upheld all her childhood (or even more important than Akko’s own resolve to work hard and not take shortcuts, since it’s never brought up in their exchange!). This leaves a mixed message, almost on some wish-fulfilling tone, extremely simplified and idealistic. Luckily the series doesn’t intend to depreciate hard work (scenes like Akko meeting Woodward and Diana’s arc suggest this), yet ends up doing it because of its execution.
The revelations themselves during episode 22 (extended to 23) give new meaning to the series in many layers, and make it interesting again in a moment where it was feeling empty. Even then, the series limits its potential again by making Chariot ultimately a victim of Croix’s deception, which goes back to a simplistic characterization that doesn’t innovate nor is particularly interesting, if not for her burden and regret regarding her negligency (and projection of her wishes on Akko) towards her student. Meanwhile, the show makes its best to paint Croix as a mustache twirling villain (who does unquestionably bad things) to redeem her at the last second when everything goes wrong, without implying that her actions in the end have been punished, since she had “good intentions”. But that’s probably sadism on my part. The true villain of the series is Woodward and the garbage tier guidance they offered to the girls (Chariot and Croix) which is never genuinely addressed even if it’s where Croix’s character and misguided actions come from.
The conflict during the last act is based on the antagonist accentuating negative emotions in the population with a fishy football game acting as a cathalyst, to then gather said emotions as magic energy and destroy the seal of Grand Triskellion. Finally, the climax goes from a final boss battle where she finds out that the power she sought wasn’t what she thought it was, to said boss (Croix) losing control of her technology, (in the same way Chariot lost control of her magic collection technique) unintentionally releasing a mass destruction missile built by the uncontrolled rage of the mob. With the conflict now not being focused on Croix, everyone is now a good person, and all that’s left is convincing the world that magic is cool, which happens. The thing is that this outcome is forced, since Chariot and Croix are suddenly able to livestream and comment the event from thin air (an event that occurs in the stratosphere(!)) which enables people to see it and do the 180° turn from almost starting a war to cheer and give them energy (don’t ask how, Grand Triskellion does the trick) so that Diana and Akko can defeat the missile. This is, again, as it’s an habit of the series, idealistic and forced plotting because magic is wonderful. Friendship is magic, and passion is what’s most important. The major credit I can give to the finale is that it’s extremely climatic, features the best bits of animation in the whole show, it’s somewhat possible to just take what it presents at face value for that, and closes the meta-text the series has been building with its analogy regarding the anime industry in a clever, subtle way, even if the communicated message is ambiguous without this interpretation.
In summary, Little Witch Academia had good intentions, but not the chops to carry them forward. In its ambition, it leaves blurry many details of its execution, which falls apart analyzing it bit by bit or as a whole, with an extra of mixed, unclear morals. Its intent enters in conflict with what it did, but it at least looked and sounded good. I begin to wonder if this could’ve been tighter if it was 13 episodes long.
Little Witch Academia is set in a world in which the use of magic is being used less as a viable means in everyday life, but, despite that, there are still a plethora of witches who wish to learn and study magic for themselves, keeping the world of magic alive. One such girl happens to be our main protagonist, Atsuko Kagari, or simply Akko, who, after seeing a live magic show by a witch named Shiny Chariot, inspires her to take up magic herself, with the ultimate goal of meeting her idol one day, and learning how to use magic in order to put smiles on people’s faces and help them forget about their troubles and grief. However, there is only one problem. Akko is totally inept when it comes to magic, having come from a family with no lineage of witches, and performing terribly in her classes at school when it comes to magic participation. She can’t ride a broom while everyone else can, finds basic spells difficult while messing up everything she attempts to do while dragging everyone else into her mishaps and incidents. While we do learn the reason why Akko is so incompetent when it comes to magic in the twenty seconded episode, resulting in a great emotional plot twist, Akko’s lack of ability and lack of knowledge for the magical world, in general, helps make her more relatable for an audience watching. She assumes the underdog role for this tale, and there is a general sense of cathartic pay off seeing her succeed in her magic studies and spells when others doubt her or assume she will never succeed, yet still proves them wrong. Much like how the audience doesn’t know anything about this world, nor does Akko, and this allows the audience to experience the world through her eyes. As Akko learns and grows in this world, the audience does too, which helps the audience grow more attached to Akko as a person. It’s the same emotions evoked in watching someone try their hardest and then eventually succeeding after hard work that makes the series incredibly addictive to watch, at least for me anyway.
Anyway, back to the plot, as Akko attempts to get to Luna Nova for her first day of school, she finds it impossible to get there since a broom is needed to go through a magical road, but she meets a girl called Lotte, who becomes a good friend of Akko, who then gives her a ride to the school. However, whilst travelling in this magical road, they are thrown off course and are transported into another area, where they meet up with Sucy, whom will become another friend of Akko’s. They’re attacked by strange creatures, Akko finds Chariot’s Shiny Rod, saves the day by enchanting a magic word, and makes it to the school just in time. The next few episodes sees Akko and her friends attending school will many different magical problems ensue, but the series begins to introduce a more central and focused narrative with Akko attempting to find seven magic words that she believes will bring her closer to Shiny Chariot, which will also activate the Grand Triskelion. A powerful magic that has the power of reconstruction, but, for the most part, the series is fairly episodic, which can be used as a critique against the show. However, each episode has enough energy and charisma, as well as variety to keep things fun and never felt boring and repetitive. From a race on broomsticks to reviving a skeleton, to building a giant ship that turns into a giant robot reminiscent of Gurren Laggen, the entire series uses its magical world in neat and creative ways, making the show an absolute blast to watch. Since anything is possible in a world full of magic, the show remains incredibly addicting to watch since we never know what the show may bring to the table next and each scenario the characters find themselves in is fun as all hell, and the character interactions never fail to put a smile on my face. The world of Little Witch Academia feels alive and vibrant, with so many things to discover and find intrigue in. One thing in particular that I always found interesting was Akko’s journey to find the words needed to meet Shiny Chariot. As she searched for each one, she always ran into interesting witches of the past and discovered several past secrets about the world of magic. There is a lot of care put into its world-building elements and each one feels extremely memorable. Each event and scenario is tangential to this main idea of Akko growing, not only as a witch in regards to her improving her magical abilities, but also as a person too, and each one of the words, and their meanings parallels this growth as well.
As the show moves into a more central narrative and introduces a villain for the show, the story is filled with much more emotional depth and is genuinely heartwarming in a lot of places too. One of the most interesting themes the show presents is the idea of old customs, such as magic, slowly being less needed in the world as it becomes more developed and technologically advanced. This theme of technology versus magic is integrated well, as if it was an issue in our very own world, and is explored in interesting ways to aid character development, especially in regards to Diana’s characters, in which one of her arcs as a character is focused on her wanting to continue the proud lineage of her family, which is becoming increasingly difficult to do in this ever-changing world. Another example where this element is done especially well is the relationship that builds between Andrew and Akko after Akko sneaks into his party, where many upper-class witches and people gathered. Andrew, being incredibly sceptical of the world and potentials of magic, and Akko, being the loud person that she is when projecting her love for magic, initially clash upon their first meeting, but as the show goes along, Andrew warms up to Akko, and, in turn, the world of magic as well, and begins to slowly appreciate its potential use in society. This also results in some of my favourite movements in the show, seeing Akko and Andrew working together and their chemistry is genuinely great as well. Each episode is devoted to fleshing out a character or giving some them some time to shine, through the use of magic in creative ways. The comedy and character interactions feel organic and the show has such a wonderful charm about it that I found myself smiling a plethora of times, especially seeing Akko grow as a person. As the show goes along, Akko learns shapeshifting magic, allowing her to change into various different animals, all of which are fun and are used in smart ways, while also looking absolutely adorable, especially the mouse transformation. This is perhaps best integrated in the twenty-first episode when Akko is rapidly changing between different animals whilst fighting against a large python.
While I have praised the story of Little Witch Academia a lot, it’s still without its problems. For starters, the plot can feel a little too convenient at times, such as in the very first episode where Akko just so happens to come across Shiny Chariot’s rod while in a forest and some of the moments can feel too silly or contrived for my liking, such as when Akko comes across a super fast broom that is legendary in the world of magic, in a simple magic shop rather than in a museum, or, better yet, in Nuva Lova itself. However, while there are a few of these issues, I never found it ever to be too intrusive on my immersion or enjoyment of the series nor is it necessarily a game breaker either. The episodic plot lines may be annoying to some people wanting an overarching story all the way through, but, as I said, I believe each episode to be fun and creative enough to stand by itself, so I had no problem in regards to this area. One plot line can feel a little too predictable if you ask me, but, again, is something that doesn’t really take all too much away from the overall experience or narrative.
The characters are also pretty great too, with each one having a very distinct personality that bounces off each other very well, especially in regards to the main trio, Akko, Sucy and Lotte. Akko is a character I’ve already talked about in detail, but her development and her character arc presented in episode twenty-two after learning something that changes her perception of her world are easily the best parts of the show, and seeing her grow into a more rounded person proves to be highly satisfying. She is a good lead for a show of this nature, taking into account her inquisitive nature, and she is often used for comedic, slapstick effect as well. While she can sometimes be a little too annoying in the early parts of the series, and some of her lines and dialogue and lines about dreams and passion can come across a little too corny as well, Akko’s character is one that I wanted to see succeed; I became invested enough in her character to do so. Not only that, but she has a clearly defined goal in the series, which helps with plot progression as well as direction.
Lotte and Sucy are two of Akko’s personal close friends who share one room together, and, as the series progresses, begin to bond closer to one another too. Lotte is much simpler than the other characters, both in design and personality, as she is perhaps the most down to Earth and calmest of the bunch. She plays the typical nerdy sort of character, and while she does receive some development, she is kind of pushed out from the forefront in favour of Akko. She has her moments but is far from being one of my favourite characters. Sucy, on the other hand, is the best girl of all times. Her appearance alone can convey everything about her character, and her voice actress does an amazing job at enhancing it too. She is essentially a pessimistic mushroom magic user, who finds enjoyment in using Akko as an experimental guinea pig while laughing maniacally about it. However, in the eighth episode of the series, and one of the best in my eyes, Akko has to dive into Sucy’s subconscious, and there she meets hundreds of different versions of Sucy, all of which have different personalities to that of the original, representing Sucy’s repressed emotions. While in this world, Akko watches a bunch of movies, that are Sucy’s memories, and we learn that one of Sucy’s best moments comes from her first meeting with Akko, and the various adventures they had up to that point. It’s a sweet moment and gives us more indication that Sucy does care about her deep down, than what we were lead to believe from the start.
Diana’s character also goes through a lot of development, as she begins to respect and grow fond of Akko more and more in response to Akko’s improved magical abilities such as in episode thirteen, when Akko proves her magical capabilities in front of a massive audience while taking on, and even helping, a large, cursed creature. While Diana, in the early parts of the series is stuck-up and pretty bitchy, she becomes more bearable and likeable as the episodes come along, especially over the course of her own respective story arc in the nineteenth and twentieth episodes, which I touched on briefly before, but also in episode twenty-three when she is talking to Akko in a cafe and opens up her own childhood love of Shiny Chariot as well. It explains why her character acts and behaves the way she does and also adds deeper insight and depth to her as a person too. Andrew’s character too, as I’ve touched upon too, also develops in the scene that he comes to understand and appreciate the world of magic a bit more, but his character is also a gateway to understanding the rest of the world’s stance of how magic is used in the modern era, and, I’ve said, I really liked the relationship formed him and Akko. While it is nothing romantic, there are slight hints of it here and there, but it never comes to any surface level or feels too intrusive on the more interesting aspects of the show.
Undoubtedly, the crux of the show and its narrative weight is the relationship between Akko and Ursula-sensei, and while I won’t get too much into the specifics why and what this entails, since I want to avoid spoilers as much as possible in this review, just note that this is the one that forms the backbone for the series to rest upon. The other members of the cast are also very fun to watch as well, whether that be the various teachers with their odd eccentricities, such as professor Lukic, a mad potions teacher who lines never failed to make me laugh. One of my favourites of the side characters was Constanze, who doesn’t even utter a single word yet we can understand what she is thinking just from her body language and facial expressions alone. We don’t really learn or understand why she doesn’t speak in the series, but she allows us to understand that the world of magic is not all about wands, but also machinery, as she seems to merge both technology and magic together, adding onto the theme I was talking about earlier. She also has my favourite episode in the show in which she builds a giant ship that transforms into a robot, which is an obvious homage to Gurren Laggan, typical of Studio Trigger. Also, that little smile that Constanze delivers the end of the episode after being thanked by Akko is wonderfully adorable.
In terms of animation, this is probably the best (and most consistent) show that Trigger has made thus far. The animation is very bouncy, with lots of energy and pull and stretch for that cartoon-y esque feel. It genuinely feels that, while not as polished, it could be a show that someone like Disney would create, in regards to how colourful, creative and fun everything is. It’s character designs are great and can tell you everything about the character’s personality just from a glance and it can sometimes showcase some absolutely fantastic animation. However, there are some art issues here and there, but, for the most part, the animation is so bouncy that it doesn’t really affect the show all too much. The music is also pretty damn good with two amazing opening tracks, “Shiny Ray” and “MIND CONDUCTOR”. I especially love the opening animation to MIND CONDUCTOR too, and the music used in the show itself is also great, especially the main theme. It is catchy, memorable and damn well composed, adding onto the more heartfelt and emotional moments the anime attempts to convey.
If you can’t yet tell from my relentless praise, I love this show. It is a wonderful reminder of why I love animation as a whole and the entire show has such an innocent, child-like wonder about it as well. From its wonderful characters, great narrative and creative world, this show ticks all the boxes for me personally in terms of what a show should have, and I do highly recommend this anime, as well as the two movies that came before it as well. Little Witch Academia has the luxury of being an original show, and thus also has one of the most satisfying conclusions I’ve seen in a long time, which only further cemented this anime as one of my favourites of all time. Everything about this show has a genuine sense of, well, genuineness about it, and it feels like the team behind it put their all into making it, and had a blast while doing so, which is all I can really ask for at the end of the day. With that, I thank you for reading my review, and I wish you all a great day!
5: Mahoujin Guruguru (2017)
English: Magical Circle
MAL Score: 7.85
Nike was a simple boy from Boering Village, and the last thing he ever wanted was to become a hero. But when a sign appears from the king of Ainshent Castle Town recruiting heroes to slay the Demon Lord Giri, Nike’s father enthusiastically forces him out the door. Along with Kukuri, a member of the Migu Migu Clan, Nike sets out on an adventure to become the legendary hero that the world needs.
As Nike and Kukuri travel across different continents, they attempt to learn the secrets of Guru Guru Magic, a strange but powerful type of magic used to seal Demon Lord Giri’s power. While reluctantly taking on their assigned quest, the duo does not fail to acquire new comrades and have fun along the way.
First of all it is important to note that Guruguru is a goofy but clever, frenetic and never-stopping comedy. It’s a story based on a classic quest to save the world, adorned with constant RPG game references and tropes, which main purpose is making fun of itself. It’s probably the only type of narrative that can manage to move faster than what it used to, and yet only take advantage from it.
When it comes to the main protagonists, they benefit from the fact that they’re both as important and relevant to the whole picture. They also care for each other in an organic and noticeable way, which is rare for this type of shows where the characters tend to be quite flat besides their counted quirks (in plain terms, they’re one of the CUTEST couple/duo in anime as a whole).
In regard to the art, Mahoujin depicts an overly colorful world with an updated but faithful approach to its original character designs. These are peculiar in the sense people appear to be quite short and young, which might be appealing by itself after a while, but also help to transmit emotion and gesticulation in a more fluid manner. Really well animated to keep up with the inherent rhythm of the series, it does take some extra liberties like momentarily portraying the characters and world in a pixellated 2D version, as if they were part of an early 90s Final Fantasy game.
Most anime of this kind has a major inconvenient: it gets boring fast. Gags repeating over and over, hit-or-miss episodic approaches, annoying secondary characters one always wants to ignore but can’t… Surprisingly, Guruguru is seemingly free of all these issues, affording the viewer a nice variety of lovely side characters and even villains that work nicely with the main duo, as well as a storyline that both for obligation and determination, moves in the hastiest of paces.
Who knows if bringing back gems like these is an attempt to capture nostalgic people, or simply to make old works available for the newer generations. What is clear is that, if all results were to be like this, nothing left to say but welcome!
Note: Even though this remake adapts the whole original manga and story, since 2012 a sequel manga has been publishing. Considering what the series hinted at the end, there is a possibility we get to see this in the future.
Thanks for reading.
What I expected, as the synopsis suggested, was a cute and somewhat fun show about video game tropes. However, what I got was a show that was far less focused of video game tropes or being cute and much more on comedy…good comedy. This show is absolutely hilarious! In the beginning of the show the parents of MC tell him to become a hero and, when the boy refuses, shoot him of with a giant slingshot! Who thinks of this stuff? This show is comedic gold! And it isn’t just a good joke occasionally; this show is funny constantly. This anime is a remake of a 45 episode show from the 90’s and a 38 episode show from 2000, but this one is only 24 episodes, so they could skim all the fat and as a result this show is dense. There are constantly jokes flying left and right and you’ll find yourself constantly entertained.
The show mostly advertises itself as a show about RPG-tropes, but you don’t actually need to have any interest in this subject. Sure, being into old jRPGs helps, but the meat of the story is the personality driven comedy. Old RPGs aren’t the subject matter, but the theme. It can be fully enjoyed as a comedy show or even a fantasy show, without caring about RPGs.
The two main characters are a young boy and a young girl around his age (They’re 12 at the start of the story). The boy is lazy and easily seduced, but seems to at least have the heart of the traditional hero. The girl is a typical girl of around her age who is very concerned with her image and who is infatuated with the boy in a very endearing manner. The two are absolutely adorable together. Also, a lot of the comedy around these characters is based on the contrast between them being normal teenagers and the fact that it is expected of them to be capable warriors, ready to take on the big bad and any of his henchmen (which they are not).
One of the first things you’ll notice about the show is the art style. The character designs look very young, which will turn a lot of people off, but if you take the time to look at it you will realize they are actually very nice to look at and incredibly cute. Also, a lot of work is put into their outfits. Half of the time they’ll be walking around in their usual clothes, but whenever they go on an adventure they put on cute outfits that look adorable and have a lot of work put into them. And also, because the designs are very simple, they are permitted to constantly be moving and often in interesting ways. The show is constantly animated and oozes style. Besides that, the backgrounds are fantastic and especially the landscapes are incredibly nice to look at. It’s a very visually pleasing show.
Despite all that, the show is still a comedy show and the main appeal of the show is this comedy. If you watch one episode of the show and you didn’t like the comedy you’ll probably not like the show at all. If you do find it funny, then you’ll love the show as it just gets funnier and it stays funny throughout.
Now I am here talking about Mahoujin Guru Guru (2017).
Now I was originally going to avoid this show altogether because since I didn’t like Konosuba 2 all that much and I thought this show would just be a repeat of that. However, some of my friends have recommended this show to me because they said its really great comedy/parody series that is really funny and it doesn’t have problems of other comedy series such as Konosuba and School Rumble.
Since my friends have told me great things about I decided to take the bait and watched it and after watching al 24 episodes of Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) all I can say is its one of the better comedy animes out that I have seen but at the same time it does have some problems which I will explain throughout this review
Now with that hello everyone this is Shawn aka KurataLordStage and welcome to of Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) and with that out of the way let’s get started.
The story follows a young boy named Nike who gets sent along to a quest against his own will to defeat the newly revived devil king. He soon meets a magical old woman where he gets entrusted with caring for a young girl called Kukuri, who still doesn’t know how to control her mysterious Guru Guru magic. From there Niki and Kukuri head off for an adventure together.
The story of Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) is not that special in fact it’s pretty generic. However, while the story is generic it makes up its comedy, gags, and RPG (Role-Playing Game) references which for the most part this show does a good job.
The best part of Mahoujin Guruguru is the RPG references that this show does. From the word, items are “acquired” instead of Nike has picked up a bunch of items.
As for the comedy itself its pretty good for the most part.
Now unlike most comedy anime ever made this show, for the most part, knows to times its jokes and gags. Because of the jokes and gags being almost well timed the show can be really hilarious at times.
However, the show has some problems.
For starters, the show is not always consistent with its pacing as the show sometimes the show goes way too fast for its own good and it makes the average viewer feel confused about what is happening on screen. I also find that ironic because the original series had the slow pacing and not to mention filler.
Another problem that I had with the show that shares with other comedy animes such as School Rumble and Konosuba 2 is some of the gags/comedy start to get repetitive over time such as the Kita Kita dance gag which got annoying as the series went on and that gag alone made me heavily dislike certain charter in this show which I will get in a bit.
Overall the story while being generic was still pretty funny thanks to its comedy, gags and RPG references.
When it comes to the characters I thought they were pretty great overall minus a certain character which I will mention in a bit
First, we have Nike. I liked him as a character. Yes, he’s just your typical male fantasy protagonist but what makes him so enjoyable to watch is he’s gags, reaction to situations and character interactions with other characters especially with Kukuri.
Next, we have Kukuri.
She is easily the best character mainly due to her character development which was great. Yes, Nike gets a bit of character development as well but Kukuri character development was more impactful.
As for the rest of the characters, they were range cool to annoying.
Udberg Eldol is easily the most annoying in this anime. His gags were funny for the first couple of times but after the 6th time, it got really annoying to point where I cringe every time he appeared on screen doing that god-damn Kita-Kita dance. Not only has the Kita Kita decent that it general became unfunny and repetitive had hell. The only redeeming thing about this character is some of his references that he does throughout the show. Other than that this character is an annoying piece of shit who actually ruined my enjoyment of the show quite a lot and every time I hear the Kita Kita I just close my ears. Because of that he’s easily one of my least favourite characters from 2017 period.
Juju and Raid are funny characters overall that being a lot of good comedy. I just wish Raid and especially Juji had more screen time in this show over a certain character that I really dislike throughout the series.
Overall besides from Eldol the characters were funny, likable and enjoyable to watch.
Visually this show looks good but at the same time, a bit disappointing.
The backgrounds were great and they have that nice flat retro color feel to it that perfectly represents the classic JRPG games from the 90s but in an HD format.
I also loved the 8-bit style of the show as it reminds of the fantasy games from the NES library like the legend of Zelda to Final Fantasy.
As for animation is pretty basic and it fits well with the show however I wish they did more with it.
Now the things that I don’t like about the visuals.
For starters, if you compare to other anime from Production I.G such as Haikyuu, Guilty Crown and even to Ghost in the Shell stand-alone complex from 2002 you find out the animation is kind limited especially for Production I.G standards which are known for they great productions values. Am not trying to say the animation of Guru Guru was bad or anything. In fact, I would it has unique animation, however, I still have to say it’s one of Production I.G weaker animes in terms of production values.
Another problem that I had with the art-style constancy. I have no issues with the many art styles of the show as it fits with the show, however, the show like to change its art style way too often.
Overall the visuals were good for what they were but it could a lot better if it was more consistent.
The soundtrack is good for what it is but ultimately is not that memorable.
However, the sound effects in this anime are amazing and well executed. It feels like you’re playing a real JRPG game with these sound effects.
The openings are pretty great overall.
Opening 1 Trip Trip is a great catchy theme that fits well with the adventure tone perfectly.
Opening 2 Ryuusei Dance is good but I prefer opening 1 more.
As for the ending themes. Both of them were fine but they were not that memorable.
The voice acting is great overall as each of the seiyuu did a great job with the roles that they were giving. My favorite performance of the show was Konomi Kohara as Kukuri. She did a wonderful job voicing this character.
Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) is a pretty good series overall.
The show has a lot of good things in it but at the same time, it has its fair share of problems. The pacing of the show could have been a lot better, the comedy/gags were not always great as some of them got repetitive as the series went on, Some of the characters became annoying over-time and while the art style itself was unique as it represents an RPG world it actual animation was pretty lacking for a production I.G as well its art style constancy where the show likes to change its art-style way too much. Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad as the show had pretty good comedy overall that when it was done right it made me laugh quite a lot as well having great JRPG references and great characters like Nike, Kukuri, and Juju.
If you a fan of pure comedy anime then you will definitely like this show.
Final Score 7/10
4: Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou
English: Girls’ Last Tour
MAL Score: 8.19
Amid the desolate remains of a once-thriving city, only the rumbling of a motorbike breaks the cold winter silence. Its riders, Chito and Yuuri, are the last survivors in the war-torn city. Scavenging old military sites for food and parts, the two girls explore the wastelands and speculate about the old world to pass the time. Chito and Yuuri each occasionally struggle with the looming solitude, but when they have each other, sharing the weight of being two of the last humans becomes a bit more bearable. Between Yuuri’s clumsy excitement and Chito’s calm composure, their dark days get a little brighter with shooting practice, new books, and snowball fights on the frozen battlefield.
Among a scenery of barren landscapes and deserted buildings, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou tells the uplifting tale of two girls and their quest to find hope in a bleak and dying world.
Few future settings display the thoughtfulness present in Girl’s Last Tour: war has, multiple times, left its mark on Earth and humanity. The numerous layers of the forsaken and metallic city tell tales of many civilizations long gone; their technology gradually grows more sophisticated and the cityscape more complex by the layer. Their different religious beliefs, or lack thereof, as well as their different perceptions of beauty are ingrained in them: some show idealistic symmetry spread evenly throughout, others are dominated by religious symbols resembling a progressed Christianity. However, their god seems more like an alien creature possibly playing a central role in mankind’s long history of war…
The themes and background of the show allow for contemplation and its war-ridden lands give ground for cynical criticism of war, but Girl’s Last Tour is not at all about nihilism, the cruelty of war or the dangers of technological advancement. With overpowering optimism and gratitude for life, it avoids dwelling on many of its philosophically potent and open-ended questions through the sheer simplicity of its appreciation for the here and now; there is solace in solitude and beauty in company.
It’s hard not to get swept up in the show’s pensive mood, but it is near impossible not to fall in love with the protagonists’ fun antics: Yuuri and Chito have amazing chemistry and partaking in their intimacy is a truly soothing experience. The two share a heartwarming bond of love and trust and remind one of simpler days; to take the role of an onlooker is to embrace a heartwarming nostalgia.
Chito is the duo’s brain: she is literate and reliable. Over the years, she has learned to work around Yuuri’s shortcomings and deal with her eccentricities. At times, her diplomatic mindset clashes with Yuuri’s air-headedness. However, she has no issue striking back should it get overbearing, for she knows it’s the only way to get through to her dense companion.
In comparison, Yuuri might at first seem like an unpleasant person. She is a glutton, unreliable and at parts overbearingly annoying – but actually a very caring individual. She keeps looking out for Chito and ensures her safety, she is sorry when Chito is hurt and does her best to express her guilt. It is not only her shortcomings that need to be worked around: her partner has serious fear and submits to panic at the blink of an eye. Fortunately, Yuuri always stays supportive of her.
Rusty pipe systems, snow-clad plains filled with weapons of war and desolate temples – the show’s landscape is empty and its designs range from simple to highly complex. The dark, barely saturized, grey color palette only changes during dreams and revelations. Unlike one might initially assume, the empty and wistful world radiates a romantic feeling. While it may be devoid of nature and has no ecosystem to speak of, the countless tales told by the cityscape itself more than make up for it. The bubbly moe character designs help alleviate the central juxtaposition of the cold world and the comforting company of the two protagonists (and whomever they might meet along the way).
Such sparse environment rarely allows for much movement to take place, but through dosated usage of CG the show enables engaging camerawork and alleviates the overall experience. The CG itself does unfortunately not hold up to the gorgeous and detailed look of the hand-drawn backgrounds but it in turn allows the explosive scenes to benefit from the momentum achievable through animation – and they look great!
The show’s solid visuals are accompanied by both upbeat and melancholic music. In insert songs, the vocalist creates a great feeling of departure encompassing an euphoric mood and a grieving goodbye. On the other hand, the Opening and Ending songs excel through their sheer musical simplicity. They embrace modern electronic music and pop culture (the moonwalk and even dabbing), depicting and enhancing the fun shenanigans of the two girls and their endless journey.
Due to its metallic landscape, the soundscape of the show mostly consists of industrial sounds: petrol engines, gunfire and cold, metallic echoes dominate, and their prevalence is only trumped by the two girls’ dialogue.
Girls’ Last Tour is lighthearted and emotionally poignant; it excels through simplicity and thoughtfulness, but never dwells on the latter. The juxtaposition of its thematically dense but desolate cityscape and the intimacy of the main duo create a melancholically wholesome experience and make it one of the best shows of the year.
Also, this is my first review in the site and i’m not a native english speaker, so sorry if the structure of this review seems garbage to you.
Firstly, i want to say that i was very excited to see this show when it came in the seasonal chart, i didn’t know how it whould be, but even if it was just a generic slice of life show, it would be interesting just by the premise, bonus it was made by White Fox, that is one of my favorite studios.
What i got was really dissapointing: a show about literelly nothing, most of the show is just these two girls walking and visiting some unisteressing place, and that is it, i wouldn’t have a problem with that if the show had something interssing that could haddle it to be entertaining, but… what this show have of entertaining?
Story? None of it, most of the show is episodic and there is barely any worldbuilding. Good comedy? Nah, there is barely any comedy at all and the few jokes are just Chito punching Yuu. Cute girls suffering shit? Meh, the girls act like the fact that they are the last two humans in the entire earth are just normal business. Some philosophic and 2deep4u shit? Nope, none of the stories have any meaning at all.
Not saying that a anime MUST do some of these things to be good, these are just some ideas of things that Shuumatsu could do to be at least enterteining, but shuumatsu does none of it and does nothing that i didn’t say too, it’s just two girls living, nothing is fun, must of the stories barelly have a conflict, nothing has any purpose at all, everything is just a great piece of nothing.
And bonus, this show is slow as hell, it drags a in a lot of things just to fill that 23 minutes mark, like bake a loaf for entire 2 minutes or take 3 minutes with a montage that is pure filler, and all those facts combined result in to the most boring show in this entire year, i think i could not watch it all if i didn’t watch it weekly, cause must of the time i was just waiting for the episode end so i could do something better.
Another thing that could have saved this show would have good characters to handle the boredom, but that brings in another problem that is the characters are more bland then a piece of paper, they’re uncharismatic, boring and do not stand out, and this wouldn’t be a problem in a normal show, but this are the ONLY 2 characters in the entire show, you can’t just be this lazy and expect the viewer to give a shit about then in this way.
I could also talk why this ending is forced and totally garbage, but spoilers are agains’t the Review Guidelines, so if you want to know, ask in my comments.
In conclusion, this show is just a waste of premise and it’s a shame that such talented people did work in this, i hope WF give us a better work next time.
I don’t know how many of you have been in this type of situation before but watching Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou brings a similar feeling. The idea of being lost in an unknown place evokes a sort of uneasiness. The constant fear of danger, feeling restless, and hoping to survive is what really attracted me to this show. To me, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou (Girls’ Last Tour) is much more than just a world-end journey. It’s a show that combines slice of life with post-apocalyptic themes for the sake of survival. Do they need a reason beyond that? Not really. Yet, it doesn’t really need more to sell its masterful storytelling.
To be clear, this anime takes place in the aftermath of a vague apocalyptic event. What do I mean by vague? It basically means that the anime doesn’t fully explain the details of what happened in the past. It only leaves behind details with places, objects, and symbols that characters will discover. In the meantime, this anime does a solid job at world building. Essentially, their world is dead. It’s devoid of almost all life. What’s interesting to note is that the structures, gadgets, and weapons looks realistic enough to relate to our world. These range from food factories, libraries, tall towers, and among others. Even some of the weapons that appears in the show looks realistic such as the guns and iconic tank that the two characters operate. Throughout this anime, we can only interpret the various mysteries of their world. To be honest, that’s what makes it intriguing. The anime doesn’t give true answers and leaves the viewers to theorize with their own imaginations. “What happened to this world?” is a big question mark I’m sure most viewers will formulate throughout the show.
If you’re invested into a linear storytelling of complexity, turn back now. This show isn’t to please a certain demographic but instead relies on its creativity to do the storytelling. Every episode is an adventure of its own as Chito and Yuuri makes new discoveries during their journey. At times, it almost feels like playing an open world game like Assassin’s Creed Origins or Fallout. The vast open world of unknown leaves behind so much to explore and honestly, it’s what bought the most interest for me. From cultural symbols to mysterious ruins, it’s a show that carries itself without a plot doing the talking. Our two heroines, Chito and Yuuri walk the earth without an end goal and it’s dazzling at how much interest they bring in.
Of course, Chito and Yuuri are the main characters that ultimately connects the show together. Without these two, there wouldn’t be a journey. Watching Chito and Yuuri together really shows that the two has a unique relationship. Chito’s calm composure balances out Yuuri’s easygoing personality and two makes a dynamic approach to their survival. For instance, Chito has the skill to drive Kettenkrad (their spider-like tank). She’s the one usually making decisions thanks to her literate skills. On the other hand, Yuuri has the knowledge to operate firearms, a skill essentially for their survival. The two make an interesting team in that although they don’t always agree, they’re able to collaborate to survive. However, a big part that attracted me about the duo is their character chemistry. There really isn’t many characters in this show so watching these two connect really brings the best out of each other. There are episodes that show their imaginative creativity and make the most of their situation. Despite their current condition, Chito and Yuuri enjoys each other’s company and even has fun when the opportunities present itself. Their small talk is also meaningful that even includes some philosophical dialogues from time to time. Still, this show does introduce a few characters although they only make sparse appearances. Kanazawa and Ishii are human beings that our main duo will encounter. Their encounter with them brings an interesting side and provokes a question such as “are there others like them out there?” Their role in the show is also interesting to note as they help each other to survive while accomplishing their own goals. Later on in the show, there’s also another character introduced although it swings into the otherworldly category.
You would think a show like this is about despair and sadness. No. If you take notice, you can easily discover that Chito and Yuuri lives their daily lives happily. Their journey takes them to ruined cities as they scavenge for supplies. They even hope to make memories from this journey with the help of a camera. Additionally, there are episodes that puts these two into ludicrous positions such as being drunk. I can also honestly confess that the show is emotionally appealing on different levels. Chito and Yuuri’s relationship give the impression that no matter how desolate a world can be, there’s hope and joy. Adapting a show like this really takes skill and I am very impressed by the craft the creators applied. As a manga reader, I’m also glad that the anime captured the mood of the show throughout each episode. It’s mostly faithful and really does a solid job at selling its ideas.
White Fox has been experimenting with a variety of genres recently. To make this anime really needed effort as adapting a desolate world is no easy task. Thankfully, I can say that they did a stellar job at adapting the visual quality of the show. The atmospheric feel really hits the marks with designs of the city ruins, cultural objects, and even weapons. Kettenkrad is a tank that people can relate to our modern world while the weapons such as rifles are visually realistic. The most interesting part is perhaps the character designs of Chito and Yuuri. The two look like characters from a cartoon. Some viewers might not be too keen on accepting them but it should be recognized that they are more complex than they appear. This is expressed through their character expressions. There’s no succinct way to put it but the two really draws a line between abnormal and normalcy. Their expressions evoke emotions from laughter, sadness, and curiosity. To note, there’s also some fan service but viewers should overlook that as those parts stand as a foil to the despair of this desolate world. You’d think these girls would be dressed like they are child soldiers read to go to war but in reality, they just live life.
I can’t say this enough but the soundtrack is stunningly beautiful. Music composer Kenichiro Suehiro shows his craft through the simplistic yet very convincing OST for this show. The melancholic tone with the eerie vibe every episode gives off matches perfect with the setting. Not to mention, I’m also impressed by the avant-garde style of the theme songs. It’s unique with a catchy tone that’s hard to miss. Finally, praise should be given to the two main heroines. It only took one episode to convince myself that Chito and Yuuri’s voices matches perfectly with their personalities.
I’ve watched this show several times during its duration and it still feels like I only scratched the surface. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou is a rare anime that took on a peculiar premise and turned it into a near masterpiece. It has the ability to get viewers invested without an overlaying plot. The characters are deceptively complex. With a world setting filled with mystery, it’s no wonder you can find yourself lost. Don’t worry though. It won’t be like one of those trekking trips where you get drenched in fear. No, it’s a show that breathes life into such a post-apocalyptic world.
3: Naruto: Shippuuden
English: Naruto: Shippuden
Japanese: ナルト- 疾風伝
MAL Score: 8.21
It has been two and a half years since Naruto Uzumaki left Konohagakure, the Hidden Leaf Village, for intense training following events which fueled his desire to be stronger. Now Akatsuki, the mysterious organization of elite rogue ninja, is closing in on their grand plan which may threaten the safety of the entire shinobi world.
Although Naruto is older and sinister events loom on the horizon, he has changed little in personality—still rambunctious and childish—though he is now far more confident and possesses an even greater determination to protect his friends and home. Come whatever may, Naruto will carry on with the fight for what is important to him, even at the expense of his own body, in the continuation of the saga about the boy who wishes to become Hokage.
Naruto Shippuden : Review |
Naruto. The series that sold over 220 million manga copies, winning handful of awards along the way. An anime that ranked as one of the most watched series in Japan that got tarnished by a greedy studio and has received tons of internet backlash throughout the years.
Let me start off by saying Naruto is by no means a flawless anime. It’s the exact opposite. The series had too many fillers. Sometimes the animation quality was below par and pacing can be painfully slow at times. But please bear with me here. I’m going to tell you why it has been the best experience an anime gave me in my entire life and dig into what made the series popular while also explaining its flaws.
Story – 8
The story of Naruto has been a mixed bag. While it’s not bad, it’s certainly no Berserk. But what it is, is beautiful (probably not the word that can be often used to describe a shounen anime), but it really is. It’s unpredictable, it’s thrilling, it plays with your emotions, it’s funny, it’s tragic, it’s sometimes downright frustrating but it is, more than anything, wondrous and fun while being able to take itself seriously when it needs to. It starts off where the first part of Naruto ended and the very first scenes gives us a sneak peak of things to come. The series eases you back into the world of Naruto with a slow paced , almost SOL like first few episodes. And the story then on is presented in a collection of long well constructed story arcs with the bigger picture stories of Sasuke and the Akatsuki being told parallelly till a certain point. Down the line this is series deals with more mature themes and darker tones and manage to execute well on most of those themes if not all. The story is mainly hampered (not ruined) by fillers and pacing issues which I will discuss below.
Let’s start with the filler. The amount of filler in this show is staggering. It counts as 219 total filler episodes which make up 44% of the series as a whole.
The issues that lies within the filler episodes is that they are not allowed to make any significant changes to the story or specifically its characters. This being a mainly character driven plot, this becomes a huge issue because any significant event in fillers could affect the characters so they can’t move ahead the plot line at all. So mostly what we get is poorly written mini-arcs and episodes that don’t affect any of the characters or the world in any significant way. This is worsened by the below par writing for these filler episode as they are not written by the original author Masashi Kishimoto himself.
However, there are exceptions for this. Some of the filler episodes can be genuinely enjoyable but those are few and far between. The fact that filler can’t move the plot along fuels the second big flaw. Which is,
Pacing Issues. Aside from what I’ve said above, even some of the non-filler episodes are very slow paced. This is mainly only an issue at the start of the series. If you’re into characters chilling down and wasting a lot of time, this may sit well with you. But even then some of these episodes might be below par for your taste. Once the series kicks it into high gear around 70th episode, it mostly manages to keep that pace up.
Now that we got the flaws out of the way, let’s talk positives.
The main strength of the series is its characters, who drive the plot (which we will discuss in detail later). After the first 70 episodes, things begin to get lot more interesting really fast. The world of shinobi gets expanded exponentially, and if you’re a fan of deep lore in stories, this will fit right in your wheel house because it begins to explore the roots of the world and its history very deeply.
Another thing that this series does very well is explaining its core concepts to the viewer. The techniques that characters use and how the things in shinobi world works are explained in detail. Also, the concept of Chakra and what a versatile and detailed power system it is compared to other shounen series really stands out.
The amount of themes explored in the series are vast. It explores all the basic themes of a typical shounen and as it goes on it delves into themes such as the nature of humans, self sacrifice, discrimination, manipulation, roots of war and peace, difference of perceptions, the line between good and evil, and alienation. It manages to deal with all these themes without abandoning the shounen type feel or becoming pretentious.
Something that the author, Kishimoto, really excels at is setting up events. For example, during the early episodes of Naruto (the prequel to this show), he has already started setting up major events that happened in the last of episodes of Shippuden. In the beginning, we look over these little details and minor events and have no idea that they are going to have such an impact later in the series, and when it all comes together in the end, you feel so satisfied. Most of the times these events and twists will take you by surprise and maybe you’ll have fun trying to figure out them before they happen as Kishimoto drops clues for you to pick up throughout the entire series. Same thing applies to the moments that tug at your heartstrings , they feel genuine because how the story builds up to those moments.
Being a battle shounen ,of course there are going to be battles, and this is one area that the series really shines.
As I see it , battles can be broken down into three different segments in this anime , The battle of wits , The battle of ideologies , The physical battle. All three come in union to make some memorable and truly great moments. Each characters ideologies and philosophies gets tested time and time again by their opponents and we can see even the main character himself doubt his ideologies towards the end. When we see someone gets broken inside as well as the outside it’s devastating to watch. To put it blatantly, Naruto has the best combat scenes I’ve ever witnessed in an anime. I have to mention that this style of combat is heavily inspired by Hunter x Hunter. Kishimoto does a fantastic job putting emotions into its battle scenes which are backed up by gorgeous animations (at times, we’ll get to that later) and a mesmerizing soundtrack, and with these combined it really sets up fantastic visual storytelling through combat. Kishimoto does an excellent job at setting up the events leading up to the fight to make it feel all the more personal and these battles often comes down to which character outwits the other rather than who can punch harder. This makes characters like Shikamaru Nara who have very little ability make a huge impact in the series.
Variety of the fighting styles is massive, ranging from intimate hand to hand style combats, tactical combats, long range jutsu battles, and most often a mix of all of these!
The last arc of the series has been very controversial as the constant change of antagonists has irritated some of the viewers. But in all honesty, all of the antagonists that presented had different motives that drove them to do what they do and distinctively different from each other which made them very enjoyable. That being said, the final part of the war arc was really disappointing as the final villain of the series is the worst character that the series had to offer as the villain had almost no personality and motives were shaky at best. Without spoiling anything all I can say is that decisions taken during the last war arc felt like it was done to unnecessarily prolong the final battle and messed it up with a poorly written villain and bad story decisions. But the final episodes after the War arc manages to reign it all in and give a proper farewell to the series it so richly deserves.
Throughout the series you will witness friends become foes, foes become friends, unlikely alliances formed and broken, that precious character you loved die, revenge plots, plot twists, characters growing up, politics, romance, and the world itself change. It can be flawed at times but it’s a full package and Kishimoto always seemed to have the ending and everything planned out from the very beginning.
Characters – 10
Now this is the core of the franchise.
Each character in Naruto is very distinctive from each other. Each has a core motive that drives them, a unique personality, and a specialty in different skill sets. And hats-off to Kishimoto for his brilliant character design as he used a very bright color pallet and made each one very distinctive to make each of them stand out.
No matter which kind of characters you prefer, you’re sure to find someone here that you can relate to. What the series really does well is making sure that you’ll be attached to the characters emotionally. And you will cheer them on as they try to achieve their goals , watch their philosophies and ideologies gets tested , watch them break or prevail and break down crying at their deaths.
You will get to see how what’s happening around the characters change them , mold them. Witnessing how tragedies that’s happening around them having an effect on their psyche is one of the strongest points of Naruto Shippuden. It’s fun seeing small character interactions from early episodes grow into full blown relationships.
Now let’s move on to the “Villains”
This series checks all the boxes when it comes to antagonist character archetypes.
*Self-Righteous Villain with a God Complex* [checked] , *Money Hungry Villains* [checked] , *Religious Psychopaths* [checked] , *Villain who is after Revenge* [checked]. I think I’ve made my point there. But what makes this villains so enjoyable is that no one is a villain just for the sake for being a villain. The best kind of villains are the ones you can empathize with, the ones that you feel for and understand them and make you question your own morality, this is something that this series excels at. As same as the main characters, the villains too have core motivation driving them. They have their own beliefs, ideologies and they are willing to fight for what they think is right. You might find yourself cheering on the villains more than the “heroes.” The morality here is blurred.
But coming back to the war arc, its main flaw is the final villain (which I will not spoil here). Compared with the other villainous characters from the series, the final character is very bland and their motivations are not entirely clear or most likely not relatable to any of the viewers. That being said, this character is only in the series for a very small amount of episodes and the others certainly do more than enough to make up for it.
Art and Animation – 7.5
Again we have a mixed bag here.
This show can look stunning when it wants to, and by stunning I meant big budget movie level of quality. But at times the quality can drop way below par.
I think I should specially mention Hiroyuki Yamashita’s work here. He mainly works on battle scenes and this man is a genius when it comes to it. Even though he only worked on a limited number of episodes, his episodes pushes the animation, choreography and stylishness to 11!
Despite this I can’t give it a higher score because this show is wildly inconsistent with its animation.
And as for character designs, we already talked about how Kishimoto made his characters very distinctive and imaginative and how the bright color pallet fuels this.
Sound – 10
This is an another strong point of the series. Yasuharu Takanashi has made a masterpiece of a soundtrack for this series that manages to highlight the intensity, the tragedies, and the sorrow of each moment. The emotions that Kishimoto wants to portray make it through to us so well because of this soundtrack. It connects us with the world of Naruto Shippuden in a special way. I would recommend listening to tracks like Samidare (Early Summer Rain) to get a taste of what the soundtrack is like.
Enjoyment and Overall Experience – 10
Naruto Shippuden is more of an experience that needs to be had than just a mere show. It played with our emotions for over a decade and now it has been concluded. The enjoyment of Naruto Shippuden goes beyond just the series itself. This series has a very big community and fanbase that you could interact with. And its lore is so vast that you would never run out of things to discuss about it. Although it has its share of major flaws, this series is a journey that shouldn’t be missed if you’re fine with the hefty commitment. It’s by no means a flawless anime , but it’s an anime with highs that more than makes up for it’s lows. It reaches for the stars but makes a few tumbles along the way , but the best moments of Naruto are some of the best moments in the medium itself.
And with this, I conclude my review for this series that defined a generation.
Sub or Dub ? : Sub is recommended
| Recommendations for Similar Series |
[Naruto] : Yes, the original series. It’s essential to watch it before the Shippuden series because it contains a lot of character development and build-up for the Shippuden series.
[Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood ] : This series contains most of the things that made Shippuden great such as good character development, good soundtrack, and excellent world building. This series does it in about 70 episodes which is truly a magnificent achievement. If you like Naruto Shippuden, it’s a given that you will like Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood as well.
[Hunter X Hunter (2011)] : A series that greatly inspired Naruto. Both anime feel very similar in style. If the inconsistencies of Naruto bothered you, you’ll find a much more consistent pacing and quality of writing here. Whether the highs of Hunter X Hunter matches up to the highs of Shippuden or FMA Brotherhood is up for debate, but you won’t have to sit through any lows like you have to endure with Naruto or Naruto Shippuden.
[Proofreading – SomeRandomNerd]
The Naruto franchise is one of the most hyped and popular series in the anime world. After 10 years, 500 episodes and a bunch of movies the moneymaker Naruto franchise is finally put to rest.
Naruto was one of my favorite shows as a kid, it was better than anything else on TV and I still remember rushing home from school to catch Naruto on TV, good times. After the original series “Naruto” ended, I was thrilled about the sequel show, “Shippuuden”, that was about to start airing but little did I know what a disappointment it was going to be.
Story: 3/10 (Cannon: 6/10 & Filler: 1/10)
Naruto Shippuuden is a continuation of the original therefore the concept of the story remains unchanged but the execution and pacing are a different situation.
Naruto Shippuuden follows Naruto Uzumaki as he aspires to become Hokage and at the same time tries to bring back his friend, Sasuke, but the story is much more complex than before, now we have Akatsuki hunting down all the Jinchuuriki, Sasuke seeking revenge for his clan , Naruto’s struggle against the Kyuubi, Danzo’s plot to take over Konoha, the 4th great Ninja War, Madara attempting to end the world and so much more. Yeah, the story gets way more complex but not for the better.
Unfortunately what was a simple straight-forward and fairly enjoyable plot, soon got covered with pointless subplots that turned the show into a mess, a complete wreck filled with plot armor and plot conveniences. We still have Naruto aspiring to become Hokage while trying to bring back Sasuke but those story-lines get smothered with useless boring subplots and endless filler episodes (not that the main plot was good). That combination ruined my enjoyment of this show.
On to the next flaw. The pacing of the show is just unbelievably bad, with dragged out scenes that put you to bed, important moments that are rushed and not properly explained, hundreds of filler episodes interrupting important and hyped-up fighting scenes and a lot more is wrong with the pacing/execution.
What bothered me the most, as it did many others, were the filler episodes, particularly the ones during the 4th great ninja war that were inserted in the most intense fighting moments. Naruto going full power against his opponent, what an epic scene…why not insert about 20 filler episodes?
This series has so many twists that you stop caring mid-way. The main antagonist got replaced 3 times because the writers fked up and made them too OP for Naruto to defeat… so the next logical step is to introduce someone twice as powerful. Referring to Obito who was replaced by the stronger Madara who was replaced by the stronger Kaguya, what a mess…
While Naruto Shippuuden is a shonen show that follows the generic path of “get beaten> yell/scream> rise up> win> repeat” and employs cliche themes such as “the power of friendship conquers all”, despite all of that, I never cringed while watching it and these flaws never stopped me from enjoying the show.
Sure, it can get a bit annoying to see Naruto rehabilitate every “evil” guy he meets and turning them into his friends but it ain’t that bad.
To be fair, Naruto Shippuuden does have amazing fight scenes that get you hyped, sad moments that bring tears to your eyes, artistic scenes that inspire the viewer, lighthearted scenes that put a smile on your face… In this area, Naruto did great and exceeded my expectations.
The characters are generic, cliche and many are one-dimensional or have very little development but that doesn’t stop them from being likeable and unique in their own way.
I will talk about the characters I consider important to the series.
Characters worth remembering are: Jiraiya, Tsunade, Kakashi, Madara.
Naruto is a young ninja who had a harsh childhood during which he faced many difficulties and sad moments. The difficulties he experienced as a child traumatized him and made him the way he is, a cheerful and friendly guy who would do anything to protect those he cares for. Naruto’s dream is to become Hokage but he will not be blinded by that dream and even if it means straying away from it, Naruto will offer his help to whomever is in need, he will put everything on the line to save those he considers friends, no matter the circumstances and that is the quintessence of his personality.
Even though it is not evident, throughout the series Naruto’s character slowly changes and matures after facing and overcoming the obstacles in his path.
Sasuke is the “last” of the Uchiha clan after its bloody demise at the hands of his older brother, Itachi. His only goal in life is to avenge the death of his clan and seek revenge on Itachi, not caring about others or the consequences of his actions. Sasuke’s character is stagnant and does not develop until late in the series, he is the “rival” that makes Naruto strive to be better and stronger.
Itachi was arguably one of the greatest shonen villains until the writers reduced him to a generic, plain good guy.
Itachi is the “prodigy” child of the Uchiha clan, a skilled shinobi and a good brother until one dark night when he murders every member in the clan except for his younger brother. His character was intriguing and a great addition to the series but ended in miserable failure as the writers decided to rehabilitate him after his death.
Obito, another victim of the “power of friendship” theme. He has lost everything, his dream of becoming Hokage is gone, his loved one is dead, his friend betrayed him, his body is ruined therefore he decides it is best to destroy the world and yet he is easily turned into a good guy by our great hero, Naruto.
Kurama/Nine-Tails is one of the nine tailed beasts. Centuries of being regarded as a mindless monster and sought after as a tool for war caused Kurama to hate humans. After being sealed into Naruto Uzumaki, Kurama attempts to maintain its negative opinions about the world, but with Naruto’s insistence on treating it with respect, the fox overturns its hatred and willingly strives to use its power for the world’s salvation.
Kurama’s development is quite inspiring and a model we should all follow, with the racism, sexism, homophobism, etc. that is happening in the contemporan society.
The art and animation was originally good, fluent with nice colors but it went downhill and resulted in the overall animation&art being bad.
In order to save money, the studio decided to use lots and lots of flashbacks, entire minutes of already aired scenes from previous episodes, still facial expressions, pointless starring, etc.
Although the show started airing in 2007 and ended 10 years later, not many good changes had been made to the animation.
Most of the opening themes and ending themes are decent and the OST is fairly good. The voice actors did a good job interpreting the characters but not an outstanding end result. I couldn’t find a song I loved but nor could I find a song I hated so I guess the sound department is fine.
I highly enjoyed the canon episodes even some of the filler episodes but the overwhelming number of shit filler episodes and flashbacks ruined my enjoyment of this series. Not much to say about it…
My bias won’t let me rate this below 5…
Naruto Shippuuden had its good moments that made it shine but it was quickly clouded by the huge amount of filler episodes, flashbacks, inapt characters, subplots, etc.
I will certainly remember Naruto for the rest of my life, it is a show I grew up with and it holds a special place in my heart.
As advice to the people who have’t watched it yet: skip some of the fillers, a great experience awaits you!
I’ll start out with some of the cons of this show. As many other reviews have already stated, Naruto is loaded with filler episodes and this can’t be any more true. At times the fillers can be funny and interesting, but most of the time you are just impatiently waiting for the show to get back to the real story line. There were tons of flashbacks and honestly they show the same scenes from the past multiple times. The story can be rushed, and at other times it feels like it’s been the same battle for like 5 episodes. The artwork in the battle scenes can vary from good to not so great. But even with it’s many faults, I still gave this show a 10/10. ( honestly if you hate fillers that much, just skip around)
I don’t know where to start with all the great things that this anime has to offer. I’ll start off with the characters. The character development was great for the main characters and even some of the sides characters. I think that the show did an excellent job in giving each character a unique personality and they really made sure that you knew all the characters and their backgrounds. The development of the characters was so great that I was constantly questioning who my favorite character really was. At the beginning I honestly thought that Naruto was annoying and ignorant, but the growth and development of Naruto really grew on me and he began to become one of my favorites. Okay next is the story line. The plot was pretty interesting, but very long. While it did seem like the story was at a standstill for a while in the show, the writers did a good job at subtly setting everything up. Little things that happened in random episodes sometimes came up later as being important. The plot was like a puzzle at times, where I would try to put the pieces together. I actually really enjoyed how they set it up like that. Like Naruto and his friends grew, the story grew as well. In this sense I mean the vibe and mood of the show. It starts off more as a fun action comedy, but as the story goes on, it gets more dark, emotional, and the maturity level of the anime just increases. I’m not kidding when I say that this show can actually teach you life lessons.
I highly recommend watching this whole anime. Even though it is loaded with fillers, by the time you get to the last few episodes, you’ll start to feel emotional and sad that it’s come to an end. While this isn’t Your Lie in April or Clannad, this show still will definitely hit the feels. The end will have you feeling nostalgic, sad, happy, you’ll honestly be feeling so many different emotions. This anime may be 500 episodes, but it is totally worth it and in the end you won’t regret it.
2: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2
English: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2
Japanese: この素晴らしい世界に祝福を！ 2
MAL Score: 8.29
When Kazuma Satou died, he was given two choices: pass on to heaven or be revived in a fantasy world. After choosing the new world, the goddess Aqua tasked him with defeating the Demon King, and let him choose any weapon to aid him. Unfortunately, Kazuma chose to bring Aqua herself and has regretted the decision ever since then.
Not only is he stuck with a useless deity turned party archpriest, the pair also has to make enough money for living expenses. To add to their problems, their group continued to grow as more problematic adventurers joined their ranks. Their token spellcaster, Megumin, is an explosion magic specialist who can only cast one spell once per day and refuses to learn anything else. There is also their stalwart crusader, Lalatina “Darkness” Dustiness Ford, a helpless masochist who makes Kazuma look pure in comparison.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 continues to follow Kazuma and the rest of his party through countless more adventures as they struggle to earn money and have to deal with one another’s problematic personalities. However, things rarely go as planned, and they are often sidetracked by their own idiotic tendencies.
Where most other anime in the fantasy genre– Danmachi, Re:Zero and others of its ilk– attempt to be absolutely and relentlessly serious at all times, Konosuba does away with the very notion of seriousness. It exists solely to be laughed at. And sometimes it does a pretty OK job at creating said laughs. It never aims to be a ‘good’ anime (least not in the traditional sense), and criticising it for not being such is kind of missing the point.
It just becomes a bit difficult to keep laughing when they repeat the same jokes for the fifth or fiftieth time.
Darkness is a thundering masochist who mentally orgasms and gets foamy-mouthed whenever she is treated poorly. The first season already made this joke several dozen times, so I get it. Kazuma will threaten her by promising to do unspeakable (!) things to her body, and, the deviant that she is, squirms in delight! No, look, I get it already– I really, truly do. Her mind is so perverted that she will twist a friendly conversation into a suggestion of her being sexually assaulted by monsters and— PLEASE, KONOSUBA. I GET IT. I get it, OK?
For as much of a joke as Konosuba’s characters are, there is only so much comedy they can create by repeating the same punch-line until the ends of time. There are other, more interesting things that can be done with Darkness’ character, surely. If this were pornography then maybe, perhaps, her characterisation would get a pass, but comedy requires considerably more effort than “oh gee golly I am like so horny right now.”
Aqua, as tantalising as her mini-skirt is (and I have spent many a moment admiring her womanly curves), falls into much of the same issues, with her two defining traits being that she is a narcissist with an ego the size of Darkness’ breasts, and a crybaby who falls on her knees and wails at the top of her lungs when she doesn’t get her way. Her gags, almost invariably, follow a pattern of these two traits: she uses her status as a goddess to demand favours and respect, and then breaks her character and cries immediately after. A little bit more involved than Darkness’ ‘gag’, sure, but it is still repeated to the point of nausea.
Kazuma is likely the more interesting of the lot, since he at least exists as more than a vehicle for a single joke. He is not developed by any means– lord, no, he is a complete dunce from beginning to end– but his frequent switching from idiot to straight-man does at least provide some variety to the gags. Kazuma is a jerky little twat, incapable of respect and prone to molesting the opposite sex, and his assertive nature does well to set him apart from all the other spineless protagonists of the genre. His over-reactions to all the ridiculous nonsense around him (often the direct result of Aqua’s or Darkness’ actions) are often still amusing, too, even if ‘dude yells at stuff’ may not exactly be the most artful style of humour. You almost feel bad for the little bugger – I would probably want to off myself in his situation, too.
There’s not a whole lot to say about Megumin, considering she is pretty well non-existent for 90% of what happens in the second season. She’s unquestionably the most sane of the four (though that isn’t saying a whole lot…), and the one least susceptible to repeated gags. While the first season pushed it a bit by making her defective explosion magic and chuunibyou nature a recurring theme, the second season has next to none of it. And that’s a good thing. I just wonder if, cute as she is, she might be a bit too normal the second time around.
Konosuba just never capitalises on what made absurd comedy series like Osomatsu-san and Gintama so clever. There is wonderful opportunity here for it, as one of the only non-serious fantasy anime, to take the piss out of other titles in the genre and properly satirise them. Part of the joke is that the Gang of Stupid are woefully incapable of combat, unable to progress as one typically would in an MMO or fantasy world, and are able only to defeat monsters and enemies through luck and by surprising them with their colossal stupidity, provided they don’t just scream and run away altogether. That’s an amusing reversal of the genre’s tropes. But that’s all there is. There’s no actual “satire”, no parody to be found in Konosuba – it is standard manzai comedy, living, and dying, by its own strengths and weaknesses.
That isn’t to say that Konosuba is without merit, or that watching it can’t still be a fun time. If you enjoyed the first season or just want a short, easygoing anime that doesn’t require much thought or focus, then, hey, it does its job just fine, even if it may at times feel more like a greatest hits compilation. Konosuba is a big, dumb show and it knows it. I just don’t think that being dumb is an excuse for laziness.
One of the strongest points of this series is the characters and their interactions, Kazuma is one of the weird cases where I find the protagonist to be the best character of a comedy anime, he’s just such a lovable troll that has to deal with the weirdos around him, the first of them being Aqua, a cute but useless crybaby that has a godlike talent for performing party tricks. However, outside of that she lacks any other abilities despite being an actual goddess. Most of the time she’s a hindrance to the group but damn she’s great. There is also Megumin, a chuunibyou that wants to see the world explode (and she will be the one doing it, one explosion at a time). Last but not least there’s Darkness, a holy crusader that does her best in the front line, blocking the attacks of the enemies in order to defend her allies… well, that and to enjoy the pleasure of being hit, just masochist things.
While the main cast are great, the side characters are certainly capable of stealing the spotlight. For example, there’s Wiz, who is supposedly on the bad side but is probably the nicest person around, and Yunyun, another crimson mage like Megumin that really needs some love and headpats, poor girl.
The characters are very enjoyable to watch and their wacky, random adventures are always hilarious. Their gags stay fresh and funny due to all the different situations the characters are thrown into.
The RPG-like world adds a lot of variety to the comedy via fantasy elements and characters/monsters. Most series that use this type of setting tell a more serious story but KonoSuba uses it for comedic purposes. It’s a great, well-executed parody of the genre. Even the supposed ‘enemies’ are hilarious characters that add a lot of fun moments to this anime.
Excluding the first episode, that for some motive had a derpier look, the art of this sequel was like in the first season, shining in showing the multiple reactions of the characters with comedic faces that add a lot to the humour of this anime. The music is similar to the first season, with a special mention for the new opening “TOMORROW”. It does a great job of showing what the anime is about, a bunch of weird people having lots of random, fun adventures. It’s so easy to get in the mood for an episode once that opening starts playing.
As someone who really enjoyed KonoSuba, this sequel offers the same great comedy while putting the characters into new different hilarious scenarios. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the first season.
There was little to no story. This anime felt more like a slice of life than an adventure type anime.
The art was a big let down compared to the previous season. It seems they just rushed this out to get some profit quickly. People say it fits the anime, but an anime can have good art while having their characters making retarded faces. I feel like detailed retarded faces would be funnier. I honestly think even fan animations on youtube have better quality.
Nothing really caught my ears during the anime, but I never skipped the opening and ending songs at least.
I don’t think I like any characters and that’s in a bad way. In It’s always in Sunny in Philadelphia, they are all assholes to each other, but I like them as characters. But in this anime, they are all assholes and I don’t like their characters. Darkness in any situation is a pervert and is never serious. This really gets annoying and it was never funny in the first place. Aqua reminds me of an annoying version of Shinpachi from Gintama. All she does is scream and complain. She has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Megumin is an alright character though. Besides from the refusal to learn another trick than explosion to help the group, she’s probably the least annoying. Tbh I kinda like Kazuma as a character. He’s interesting and steers away from the usual cliches. He doesn’t take shit from other characters even if they’re a girl and voices his opinions on things. Like equality and such. Most of the characters are presented as is and they don’t seem to have another side to them that we can learn about.
Although this anime overall was disappointing story wise and comedy wise, It still got a few chuckles out of me, just barely. Nothing major really happened. I don’t mind anime with no story or being episodic, but at least be really really funny like Saiki, Gintama, The Daily Lives of Highschool Boys, Nichijou, etc.
I’m not being a hater towards this anime, I just wanted it to go in a different direction. This had the potential to be one of my favorite comedies, but all the jokes were just sex jokes and they explored nothing more than that.
1: Made in Abyss
English: Made in Abyss
MAL Score: 8.70
The Abyss—a gaping chasm stretching down into the depths of the earth, filled with mysterious creatures and relics from a time long past. How did it come to be? What lies at the bottom? Countless brave individuals, known as Divers, have sought to solve these mysteries of the Abyss, fearlessly descending into its darkest realms. The best and bravest of the Divers, the White Whistles, are hailed as legends by those who remain on the surface.
Riko, daughter of the missing White Whistle Lyza the Annihilator, aspires to become like her mother and explore the furthest reaches of the Abyss. However, just a novice Red Whistle herself, she is only permitted to roam its most upper layer. Even so, Riko has a chance encounter with a mysterious robot with the appearance of an ordinary young boy. She comes to name him Reg, and he has no recollection of the events preceding his discovery. Certain that the technology to create Reg must come from deep within the Abyss, the two decide to venture forth into the chasm to recover his memories and see the bottom of the great pit with their own eyes. However, they know not of the harsh reality that is the true existence of the Abyss.
Are you looking for a wonderful, sci-fi thriller? This has its thrilling moments.
Are you looking for wonderful chemistry between the characters? This presents that.
Do you want an anime with well-animated fight scenes? This gives us that.
Are you looking for an anime that has a wonderful staff backing it up, always checking to make sure they bring out the anime’s fullest potential, based from its manga source, faithfully adapting it? They both have, and do that.
Made in Abyss is an anime that can abide to almost anyone’s taste in anime. I personally believe that Made in Abyss is an anime and manga that will ring throughout time as one of the best classics to come out in recent years.
Why? I’ll tell you.
As said before, Made in Abyss has a staff of people running it that always checks to make sure that every episode is doing great, always trying their hardest into their works. A wonderful story, great character chemistry, a harmonious soundtrack, effects, and voice actors, and beautiful, fluid animation. All of that came onto the screen because of such a wonderful staff (except story, for the most part. Credit to the author, Akihito Tsukushi!). Everything about the series was able to grab me and pulled me in like a roped hostage on a train or bank scandal. While that may sound rough, what is truly meant is that, just from the first episode, I could tell that Made in Abyss was going to be great.
In the first episode, it panels off immediately into a beautiful waterfall within the first layer of the Abyss and then into an abundance of flowers, trying to make you feel as if you’re standing right next to the lead in their journey into the abyss. The staff did that to have world build for the viewers, but it was a lot more than that. With the waterfall and pacing through the first episode, the waterfall and what happens after foreshadows what is to come later in the story. EVERYTHING that happens in the first episode is foreshadowing the story within the Abyss. But let me get back to what happens shortly after the waterfall and flower clip. We are introduced to the lighthearted driver of the story and her friend, Riko and Nat. They walk down a path where they see a gondola, foreshadowing that Riko will be going down into the abyss. Then she goes on an excavation to find relics, only to find a dead body in prayer.
And then.. The craziest part of the episode that foreshadows the darkness of the story.
A child, an inch away from death, from being eaten by the monster with the most peculiar characteristics that will have importance in the show. The monster can be compared to that of a Manta Ray, a slug and a snake.
Of course, because Riko is the main character, she cannot just standby and watch it all happen. So, she tries to attract the monster away from the child by blowing her whistle, and she runs away as hard as she can, and she gets hurt. Just when it seems everything is hopeless, A robotic child, or maybe I should say a knight in shining armor, saves Riko with a blast of light, and is found unconscious shortly after. Riko can’t just leave him, being the main character. So, she brings him. That robot’s name is Reg.
Thus, starts the wonderful character chemistry between the characters.
With the first episode, whenever the characters interact with each other, it always brings great joy for how well they work together. It might be that the leads are kids (no, not lolis, they range from ages 10-12, and Kiwi is, like, 4), but because they are kids, it makes me feel as if I, myself, am a kid again. Just watching them do what they do across the screen, pulls my heart even more into the story. It truly feels as though I’m standing next to them during their interactions. Due to the leads being kids, they give off the light-hearted sense of adventure. Living joyously, actively, and having fun. This is just between Nat, Riko, Reg, and Sigy. Don’t even get me started on the interactions with Lyza, Ouzen and Nanachi. Their interactions are some of the biggest reasons why this anime is great, along with the fight scenes. Lyza being the narrator, Ouzen being the badass grandmother, and Nanachi (My favorite!) breaking your average anime tropes. If you want to know how great they are, just watch the anime. After the encounter with Ouzen, the story shows that, not even the main characters have plot armor. The definition of humanity treads onto many uncomfortable grounds for its viewers to display dark desires from within.
Another great attachment to the anime is the sound.
The soundtrack is beautiful. In an instant, from hearing the insert song from the first episode, I pre-ordered the soundtrack. The soundtrack sounds as if it came straight out of a game, and really has an adventurous beat to it. Thank you, Kevin Penkin. However, if I were to compare the soundtrack to the sound effects, the sound effects are some of the best sounds I have heard out of anime, especially when Reg shoots his arms or laser. What I can describe those sound effect as, is organic. With the voice actors, the kids sound like kids, and the old adults sound like old adults. But, when the intensity rises, comedically and dramatically, or narration within the anime, say, the fight scenes and Maaya Sakamoto (Her narration is wonderful to hear), the voice acting is great. It rounds about the sense of adventure, just like everything else the anime provides. With the voice acting, one can tell that there is passion going on behind the scenes.
One more thing to talk about that the anime provides is the animation.
I have not seen many anime with such fluid flowing animation besides those of Ghibli films. Speaking of which, the background animator of Made in Abyss comes from the Ghibli films! Will that motivate you to watch and finish Made in Abyss? …No? Okay, then I’ll provide more than that to motivate you. Time frame 19:57 to 20:10 in the first episode. That should be enough to talk about the animation, because animation like that is all the anime will provide, making eye candy for the viewer. From the grainy wood, to the cavities on rock walls, and the sun coming over the horizon are wonderful details added by the animators.
Overall/TL;DR | Enjoyment: 10/10.
Made in Abyss is quite original in handling the fantasy setting, and I have to say that I’m glad something like Made in Abyss was able to come by. How the author was able to build a culture around an enormous crater is quite plausible. Made in Abyss provides variety and satisfaction, and it even provides the knowledge of the author, such as medical assistance and ecological terminology. Made in Abyss is an anime I can universally recommend. A great story that compels the viewer to finish from the start, active and lively characters that can be described even more as such through their interactions, the wonderful music from the soundtrack, sound effects, voice actors, and the Ghibli-comparable animation. I utterly, truly, from the bottom of the abyss within my heart, recommend this anime to anyone who seeks a great story. Made in Abyss provides just that.
Sincerely, a great fan.
Many anime give off the facade of maturity: gratuitous gore, sadistic and loony villains, self-serving themes ripped from entry-level philosophers such as Nietzsche – features that make a story palatable to rebellious teenagers, rather than the adults they so desperately wish to be.
But Made in Abyss doesn’t fall into these trappings. It contains graphic, violent scenes, occasionally even outright disturbing, but never is there a moment where it feels unnecessary. It is a story of adventure, of survival, and of finding life within death.
Made in Abyss has one of the most interesting settings in anime. A city built around a giant pit, gaping downwards for tens of thousands of metres, its nature unknown, treasure and terrifying beasts awaiting any who wish to test their luck. What’s at the very bottom of the pit? How deep can one truly go before death is an inevitability? In many ways, the pit is reminiscent of Hell: for each layer they reach, they encounter something more ghastly than the last, the stench of death progressively growing stronger. But Riko and Reg press onward, determined to find Riko’s mother, no matter if they succumb to the dangers and find themselves a permanent resident of the abyss.
While there exists ample world-building, the story instead puts the focus on the duo rather than the world at large, preferring instead to carefully reveal the details of the world through their eyes and ears, evolving the viewer from mere spectator to active participant. You don’t know much about the pit’s third and fourth layers until they reach that part themselves, and the fifth and beyond remain a complete mystery because nobody has ever actually survived to tell the tale. It’s an elegant way to keep the viewer interested: I don’t want to be told what to expect – I want to see for myself what monsters and contamination and other awfulness await the further they fall, and so I find myself with the next episode playing as soon as the credits hit roll.
It can be difficult for some (myself included) to empathise with child characters in anime, but Made in Abyss does an excellent job of making the viewer concerned about and emotionally invested in the survival of Riko and Reg. Their friendship with one another is deeply heart-warming, as they have, much like real children, no ulterior motives, and genuinely enjoy their time together. They rely on one another, their abilities complimenting the other’s: intellect and cooking in Riko’s case, and combat and acrobatics in Reg’s. There is no journey without the other— it is either two or it is zero. And so it is difficult not to have a visceral emotional response when one of the two is desperately, miserably trying to save the other’s life.
Some caution should be taken when watching Made in Abyss, as it is by no means a happy adventure. With every episode, there is fear that one of them may die, that they may be betrayed, that they may become permanently disfigured or forced to kill or commit some other horrid act. This is seldom a concern for most anime, as the protagonists will always survive and reach some sort of happy ending to their story. But not Made in Abyss. It makes very clear that bad things are inevitable, which, given the setting, is perhaps only appropriate. Corpses, vomit, grossly deformed wounds, blood bleeding from and seeping into the eyeballs— Made in Abyss is by no means something that should ever be viewed by children, and even adults would do well to prepare themselves if they are not accustomed to these sorts of horrors. The abyss is not a wonderful land of treasure, but an awful place where awful things happen.
There are still some minor issues with the story, however. Most prominent is the fact that there is as of yet no actual ending, something I did not realise until the final episode when I looked at the source material and found out that, oh, the manga was still ongoing. This ceases to be a problem in the event of future seasons and adaptations, but will there be any? Will this be where the anime ends, in the middle of their journey? “Hey, this is the end of the anime, so go and read the manga” is not quite what you want to hear when you are emotionally invested in an anime. But, I suppose, a faithful, if potentially incomplete adaptation is still preferable to the dreadful anime-only endings that plague many unfortunate adaptations. The story is too grand in scale, too personal for it to end after only thirteen episodes.
The story could have also done without the more sexual situations— the references to penises, and one ungraceful moment where Reg returns from trying to save someone’s life, only to blush and freak out immediately after when he sees Riko being undressed. With how serious the mood was at that point in the story, it effectively killed all the tension that had been building for the entire episode. That’s not to imply this scene existed to create sexual arousal in the audience— Made in Abyss has more integrity than that— as she was being undressed solely for health reasons, but certainly it was not a scene that felt in any way necessary. There’s a time and place in the story for comedic relief, and that was not the time.
Made in Abyss is fairly impressive in terms of its sound and artwork. The background music starts adventurous and gradually becomes more ominous as the story progresses, even if the ending theme remains almost hilariously light-hearted and incongruently so— its lyrics being more appropriate to Barney & Friends than a graphic life-or-death struggle. While the artstyle may not be to everyone’s taste, it at least remains detailed and consistent throughout the series (the map after the ending sequence being a nice addition), although there are perhaps two or three odd moments during the action sequences where the animation will suddenly become sketchy, for reasons that are mystery to me.
In one of the weakest seasons for anime, where interesting series may well be nonexistent, Made in the Abyss is a genuine surprise. While I might reserve claims such as it being the best anime of the year (Sangatsu no Lion takes that one for me), it is a truly special anime, one which had me worried and invested in the characters’ fate in a way that very few anime ever have.
I want to see a future where Riko and Reg return to a happy life on the surface. But, much like them, I am determined to see their journey to its end, no matter the result.
An anime with a good story. It has everything, mystery, emotion, sadness, love, action, tears and much more. The story could be straightforward and conceptually very simple, several details are added as the story progresses. The show highlights concepts such as friendship, trust, why the abyss became important to the locals and the curse that surrounds it without being too complicated for the viewer to understand. Also, we can observe the constant need to find the truth and the need to resolve the abyss’ mysteries. Besides, the story blended very well with the art and soundtrack to produce a beautiful animation.
The abyss is an incredibly creative world. For me, it has its own set of laws where all the characters converge. The story never contradicts the abyss but uses it to propel the mysteries and characters. The plot is very attractive, and the details are revealed at the right pace to keep you hooked to the end. Also, some details are never shared, we can try to guess about them.
Lowering the abyss is a dangerous task. However, it is gratifying to see the consistency between hazards and depth. Perhaps the only negative point I have is that the story is not going to be finished as the manga is still going on. In addition, it was only adapted to chapter 26 of the manga. I’m sure we’ll have to wait a while for an ending.
The main characters are Riko and Regu. I consider Nanachi and Ouzen as secondary characters but those two added important details to the story.
Riko radiates great enthusiasm. She wants to explore and to understand the abyss. Besides, she is anxious to go deeper because she wants to see her mom. She suffers, cries, worries, but always tries to be active no matter how weak she is. She is brilliant, but her body is not that strong. She trusts Regu unconditionally.
Regu. Is it a machine? Is it a hybrid? This character has a mystery that maybe will not be explained. He is powerful but lacks thoughtful analysis. For that reason, he is the best partner for Riko because she is the rational one and they trust each other.
Ouzen (Ozen): She is a human being but could be a monster. She does not care if you’re weak or strong. She will show you the reality and if necessary will put you in your place.
Nanachi is more a survivor of the abyss curse. She (I’m assuming she’s a girl) is very intelligent and has suffered a lot. However, there may be an error in her age. She might look young as Riko, but is she so young? I think she’s older than Riko and Regu.
The characters look good together because their traits are very different. The show portrayed them very well. However, I would consider the characters as the weakest link in the series. Do not get me wrong, they are good, but they were not explored enough to explain some parts of the story. At times I felt that we just touched the surface of these characters. There are some background questions, and I’m sure we will get the answers in the future.
The best of the season. They pay attention to details. For example, in episode one at the end, we can see the talent of this group when they combined the shadows and the lighting at dawn and created a perfect movement. The precise colors and design created an impressive effect that for the spectator’s eyes could be one of the best of the year. That quality remained throughout the series. In addition, the choice of colors and a smart move adjusted within the scenes helps you to focus on what matters, not forgetting or letting go of the details if you choose to focus on other parts of the scene.
The action sequences have an excellent design and do not lose quality. They also combine very well with the sound mixing.
With one word I want to praise this “exceptional” sound.
The OST has several scores that help the storytelling. For example, a mixed composition such as “Underground River” (Ep1, Disc1), “Hanazeve Caradhina” (Ep1), “Swings and Roundabouts” combined with an intelligent sequence, an impressive story and a witty artistic direction created the perfect environment to catch any viewer and make them anxious for more. We can find another example in the score “The first layer.” This score helps to add to the plot the feeling of the unknown and the expectation for the future.
The music runs in the best time possible. It creates excitement, drama, conveys feelings to viewers and makes the plot and characters shine.
The songs Deep in Abyss (OP) and Tabi no Hidarite, Saihate no Migite (ED) are the perfect complement to this anime. These songs are very catchy and have a great rhythm.
Finally the VO. I’m not used to talking about it, but in this case, the voices helped to portray the characters. For example, Ouzen’s voice. That voice adds excitement to the scenes and creates a great twisted mystery to the character.
I really liked this anime. It does not matter if the characters were not explored in detail, no matter the lack of answers about some characters or if the story did not end. The show brings a lot of excitement to any viewer. The story is solid, well structured and consistent almost all the time. The pace is good and the details never hurried. Another good point is that they followed the manga so none could complain. The art and sound led the narration out of the chart.
I was tempted to give a 10 to this anime, but the questions about the characters and the unfinished story lowered the score. Unfortunately for us, we do not know if we will get a continuation of the anime in the future, but it does not matter. I recommend this anime, the art, the adaptation are exceptional with a unique soundtrack. It was the best of the season so skipping it will be a mistake. In the end, I became a fan of this story and I don’t regret it.
PS: Yes! Another messy review by Pipe and I didn’t proofread again, sorry.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Made in Abyss
2. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2
3. Naruto: Shippuuden
4. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou
5. Little Witch Academia (TV)
6. Mahoujin Guruguru (2017)
7. Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World – The Animated Series
8. Kemono Friends
9. Shoukoku no Altair
10. Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul