They’re the best Anime that 2012 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Kamisama Hajimemashita, Kuroko no Basket, Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo, and more!
10: Kamisama Hajimemashita
English: Kamisama Kiss
MAL Score: 8.06
High schooler Nanami Momozono has quite a few problems of late, beginning with her absentee father being in such extreme debt that they lose everything. Downtrodden and homeless, she runs into a man being harassed by a dog. After helping him, she explains her situation, and to her surprise, he offers her his home in gratitude. But when she discovers that said home is a rundown shrine, she tries to leave; however, she is caught by two shrine spirits and a fox familiar named Tomoe. They mistake her for the man Nanami rescued—the land god of the shrine, Mikage. Realizing that Mikage must have sent her there as a replacement god, Tomoe leaves abruptly, refusing to serve a human.
Rather than going back to being homeless, Nanami immerses herself in her divine duties. But if she must keep things running smoothly, she will need the help of a certain hot-headed fox. In her fumbling attempt to seek out Tomoe, she lands in trouble and ends up sealing a contract with him. Now the two must traverse the path of godhood together as god and familiar; but it will not be easy, for new threats arise in the form of a youkai who wants to devour the girl, a snake that wants to marry her, and Nanami’s own unexpected feelings for her new familiar.
Ah kamisama, where are you when I need you the most?
Ah kamisama, why can’t the world be perfect?
In a nutshell, Kamisama Hajimemashita (also known as Kamisama Kiss) is based on the manga of the same name written by Julietta Suzuki. She is known for several other lighthearted shoujo manga that involves supernatural elements such as Karakuri Odette. The series debuted in Fall of 2012 along with many other shuojo titles.
The series tells the story of a young girl named Nanami Momozono, who is alone..abandoned, and helpless. The innocent little lamp makes an interesting encounter with a strange man (Mikagi) and from there, her life changes forever. But wait, it doesn’t stop there. She also encounters the big bad wolf (or rather familiar) Tomoe. Along with him comes the package of two other spirits (Onikiri and Kotetsu). After a contract sealed by a kiss, the two forms as peculiar relationship. This series details their relationship and what’s to come from it because the world is never fair. It’s not perfect.
Furthermore, this series is quite a strange one if you look on the surface. We have a normal human with no experience of the supernatural in a strange relationship with strange being with strange ears and a strange personality. Did I mention strange?
The relationship between Nanami and Tomoe is one of the most strange, amusing, and interesting part of the series. A human and a familiar relationship has trouble written all over it especially the gap of difference between the two. Nanami is a normal human girl who has normal skills in life with normal friends attending a normal school. On the other hand, Tomoe is a supernatural being with supernatural abilities and able to accomplish feats with supernatural degrees.
This is like trying to get a cobra and mongoose to be best friends…
From the beginning, Tomoe is very frustrated at Nanami’s lack of progress in what she’s trying to become and adjusting with her new life. He becomes increasingly annoyed at home, at school, and almost whenever he’s around with Nanami, or precisely whenever he feels nothing is getting done. This example can be seen early in the series as result of Nanami’s lack of progress with her new responsibilities. Yet at various times, there are sweet and tender moments where Tomoe feels empathy, care, and even jealousy for her. Wait a minute..is that a male tsundere I see in Tomoe??
Being a shoujo series adapted from a shoujo manga, expect shoujo themes and elements. That typically transits in to the romance part of Kamisama Kiss. Even from the second word of the title and the pilot episode, one can expect romance in it. It’s not one of those love at first sights though or a helpless crush but rather a strange one to say the least. To add to the mix, there are other characters such as the highly popular idol at school Shinjirou Kuram. He’s the narcasstic type who causes trouble and tension between the duo but at the same time can be a fun guy to get to know with. There are other characters who occasionally adds in their own spotlights to the series as well such as the snake familiar Mizuki, Nanami’s friend Mei, and later on a more dramatic entry of Ryuuou.
This series is overall quite lighthearted. There is virtually no fan-service except “maybe” the beach episode in the latter half. It’s more of a series where its comedy outshines its romance aspects especially the strange relationship between Nanami and Tomoe. Other characters adds in the comedy even during scenes where action is presented. So, if you’re looking for some serious mindfuck, ecchi fan-service, or a dynamic story exploring serious themes, then you might be disappointed. Still though, the romance part does begin to blossom later on in the series especially after a pleasant date (maybe not entirely for Tomoe) and some tender moments.
The artwork of the series is lighthearted as well. The art seems to be a bit pale and plain at most times that reflects the nature of this shoujo series. Most of Julietta Suzuki’s artwork balances between romance and comedy and that is presented in Kamisama Kiss as well. The series focuses more on the characters rather than anything else with its artwork thus it’s just ordinary; nothing too special to be honest.
Soundtrack and music applies here as well of being lighthearted. There is no intense or techno music rhythm even during some of the more dramatic and action scenes. Kurama’s entry is often accompanied by his own soundtrack theme that brings out the inner fan girls at school so in some ways, it can be considered a little rock on added to the mix. The OP and ED songs are also lighthearted with one half of the title “Kamisama” being echoed for the latter. Once again, it seems to just be in the background with a pleasant melody rather than anything special.
Overall, I found Kamisama Kiss to be a charming little gem but nothing too special. It doesn’t shine much as the series is shoujo with lighthearted themes. It’s not mainstream compared to a few of the other shoujo series in the industry today (especially this Fall Season of 2012). But what it does have is a relaxing way of presenting romance mixed with comedy especially with the strange duo of Nanami and Tomoe. It’s one of those series where you can sit down, watch it, and then tell yourself “well, that was cute”. And of course, cute is another word to describe Kamisama Kiss especially with the supernatural elements mixed in. Some of the episodes does seem a bit dry with a lack of flavor but it can still be a fun watch especially if you enjoy its shoujo themes.
Well, like normal romance, she is taken in by someone and falls in love with the person even if he is not of this world. It would be fine if this was a normal romance with the man being a human but in this case, we have a fox spirit who has a really bad temper at times. At first glance, I guess you could consider Tomoe a muli-personalitied demon. He will fix Nanami dinner after telling her he despises being her familiar; call her a idiot when he is trying to save her; and things similar of that nature. With all the whining he seems to do about her, you would think he would just up and quit when he got a chance, right? Well, that’s what I thought when he was free of his duties at one part but then he reinstates his position as her familiar again. That is not a real spoiler as it happens really early in the show but it’s a good example of just how split this guy is.
The opening is a bit, I don’t know. It’s just a bit confusing. It’s all images of her with a song about being a girl and just starting to be a girl? I’m confused as to what the opening was supposed to do as they don’t really do anything but show this young girl. It didn’t fit the show at all making me want to skip it every time. Other then that, the animation and everything reminds me of a lot of other shows out there with a supernatural spoof. It’s dark in a colorful atmosphere. It’s hard to explain as the darkness is just the addition of dark purples and blues but then the brightness of those colors pop. In artist terms, the supernatural part of the show is dark hues and the brighter everyday parts are more of lighter shades of pastels and such.
Now let’s talk about the voices. I love the how comical the narrator is and she helps bring a bit more life to the story. She doesn’t pop up at any old time, only when it seems like it’s supposed to be a comical part of even when some sort of hardship is happening like in the beginning. Sadly, every once in a while, she does come in at a wrong time when talking about what happen in the last show. Nanami talks way too much. She seems to want to be as good a narrator as the narrator is. When she first wakes up from her dream, she talks on and on about what she thought was a dream. This happens a lot it seems. Her voice is a bit annoying as she still seems rather stuck up, a very good contrast though to the rather gentle voice of Tomoe. Well, gentle might not be the right word for him as he is rather stuck up and rude to Nanami but he is voiced by one of my favorite voice actors J. Michael Tatum, the same voice as Sebastian from Black Butler. It’s a very calming voice and it is fun to see him sort of freak out at some parts because of Nanami’s mistakes or his own. I think that’s what sets Tomoe apart from the others that Tatum has voiced before.
I really thought it was a cute show although a bit to short. The ending was a ok ending but there is so much more that could of happened both before and after that I feel it falls a bit flat. I really did love watching it non the less.
The anime has lovely artwork and a pleasant soundtrack (including the opening and ending theme which are gorgeous!) I find the characters appealing and engaging, also the comedy is rather light hearted and bearable in comparison to many slap-stick alternatives.
I find it hard to not get into this anime considering that it combines comedy, a bit of action, supernatural and romance all in one. Best part is that it’s quick to watch and more importantly has a rather satisfying ending.
My only complaint is that it probably would have been more interesting to have more episodes and extended the development in that duration considering that the characters and story hold so much potential.
9: Kuroko no Basket
English: Kuroko’s Basketball
MAL Score: 8.10
Teikou Junior High School’s basketball team is crowned champion three years in a row thanks to five outstanding players who, with their breathtaking and unique skills, leave opponents in despair and fans in admiration. However, after graduating, these teammates, known as “The Generation of Miracles”, go their separate ways and now consider each other as rivals.
At Seirin High School, two newly recruited freshmen prove that they are not ordinary basketball players: Taiga Kagami, a promising player returning from the US, and Tetsuya Kuroko, a seemingly ordinary student whose lack of presence allows him to move around unnoticed. Although Kuroko is neither athletic nor able to score any points, he was a member of Teikou’s basketball team, where he played as the “Phantom Sixth Man,” who easily passed the ball and assisted his teammates.
Kuroko no Basket follows the journey of Seirin’s players as they attempt to become the best Japanese high school team by winning the Interhigh Championship. To reach their goal, they have to cross pathways with several powerful teams, some of which have one of the five players with godlike abilities, whom Kuroko and Taiga make a pact to defeat.
That being said, I am completely ok with this. Why? Because it makes it interesting. Think about it. As a basketball fan, it’d be great to see the teams run plays like the triangle or pick and roll, but you can’t expect the average viewer to understand what’s going on. Plus, trying to explain this and other technical terms would eat up screen time and bore a lot of viewers.
This is first and foremost entertainment. Kuroko no Basket is great to watch BECAUSE of these elements. Watching Kagami slam the ball down or Kuruko go ninja and make an amazing pass is far more exciting than watching a player hit an open jumpshot from good ball movement. It’s the same reason why many people label the Spurs in the NBA as “boring” despite their well-oiled offense. If you really wanted realistic basketball, you’d watch an actual game. What Kuroko no Basket excels at doing is showing how exciting basketball can be to a mainstream audience. I have yet to be disappointed by any of the episodes, as they have all left me with a big, goofy grin on my face from the thrilling games or cliffhangers at the end of each episode. Look around and you’ll see that many viewers are not basketball fans, but love this anime. This is great because it’s garnering interest in basketball in people that would have never noticed the sport were it not for this anime. This is especially true in Japan, where basketball is nowhere near as popular as sports such as baseball or football (soccer).
As for the anime itself, it captures your attention with epic scenes, likeable characters, and funny comedy. Kuroko’s sudden appearances that startle every character out there is a running gag, opponents with names like “Papa” and Kagami’s Engrish “THIS IS JAPANESE LUNCH TIME RUSH!” keeps things interesting. The story is your classic sports anime, with the Seiren basketball team aiming for the top. However, if you were expecting some athletic, hot-headed knucklehead who excels in the sport…well, that’s the deuteragonist Kagami. Kuroko is the protagonist here, and he’s an unconventional lead for a sports anime. He’s terrible at almost every aspect of basketball except passing and stealing. Together, he and Kagami form a exciting duo to watch reminiscent of real-world duos such as Stockton and Malone. The other characters aren’t explored too much initially and I was afraid the other Seiren members would just become useless bodies, but slowly we’ve been introduced to their own unique skills. The only other characters that the anime really delves into are the members of the Generation of Miracles, who are all distinguished by their special powers and…colorful hair, Kuroko included. Here is where the shounen aspect of the show is most visible, with the members displaying everything from behind the backboard shots to full court shooting range (though I have to admit that’s really pushing it). They are the equivalent of the boss characters you see in other shounen anime, as Kuroko, Kagami, and the Seiren team must find a way to overcome them.
The art and animation are solid, however, animation isn’t as consistently fluid as I would’ve liked. The movement of players shooting or passing the ball feels too rigid or unnatural at times, as if they didn’t draw enough frames (with the exception of Aomine’s ridiculous handle). It compensates for this by having a lot of slow motion and close up shots of dunks, blocks, and steals which really help excite the viewer and make this anime so thrilling. It is definitely one of the better looking sports anime out there, which is part of what makes it so appealing to a wider audience. For the most part, the music consists of guitar-heavy tracks that come in whenever something notable happens, such as opponents being surprised by one of Kuroko’s passes. The opening and ending feature rock songs that keep the same adrenaline pumping feel the anime has. The one thing that really bugs me though is how each episode starts off with a narrator introducing the Generation of Miracles story. It’s understandable in the first few episodes, but past that there’s no point in it, since viewers would already be familiar with the backstory (EDIT: They finally stopped this nearly HALFWAY through the season).
In short, Kuroko no Basket is an entertaining anime to watch, even if you don’t like basketball. The thrilling games will capture your interest and many can relate to the story of going for the top and exceeding expectations, as the underdog Seiren team does time and again. Don’t go into Kuroko no Basket expecting expertly executed plays like in real basketball. Don’t go into it thinking you’ll see a mirror image of a real game in anime form. Go into it expecting a thrilling game of dunks, blocks, and crazy passes, a lot of O.O faces from the characters, and competitive trash talking. Watch it for the determined characters, comedy, and overcoming special powers we’ve come to love in shounen anime. It doesn’t portray basketball too realistically, but realism in this case would only drag a fun anime like this down.
I’ve seen many sports anime after it, and none were good enough to create the impact that Captain Tsubasa caused on me, there were a few that I loved such as Miracle Giants Dome-Kun! and Ganbare! Kickers, but Captain Tsubasa would always have a special place in my heart.
To all the sports anime fans that grew up with this style of Shounen, the anime with the potential to dethrone the generally accepted king is finally here. The story is just what you expect from a sports anime, it’s unrealistic? It’s an anime. How many anime about sports are realistic? hell, other than slice of life how many anime about anything are realistic? and is that really what you are looking for when you’re watching anime? realism? the answer is obviously no.
Despite all that, whoever wrote the anime and drawn the moves definitely knows his basketball since some of the plays are copy/paste from some of the greatest dunks, three-pointers or behind the hoop shots in real life, they know their technical therms, they know how basket works, and they made a damn good anime about it.
The generation of miracles is exactly what they said it is, miracles, players that usually are born in the united states, once every other decade, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James… except these were born in Japan, all at the same time, and now, they’re all rivals. You will love them all.
The main character is not some overpowered monster that destroys everyone, no, he’s very simple, you barely notice him, but you know he creates the biggest hype, and you can barely wait to see what he will be capable of in the future, but he faces hardships, real hardships, he’s the underdog you like to root for. Right at the beginning of season 2, his potential will scare you.
His rivals are not only his rivals, they’re his friends, you will get to know them, their traits, you will appreciate the anime as much for its school and story characteristics as much as you will do for the sports component. The character development is ridiculously good, and you will get acquainted with all players from the top teams in about 25 episodes, games last 2 or 3 episodes, which is just the right amount of time, it’s packed with action, it’s packed with story, it has just the right amount of each!
It keeps topping itself, over, and over, and over, and you get more and more excited, and not only for basketball or sports fans! No! You can like fighting anime such as Fairy Tail, Zetsuen no Tempest, Bleach, Naruto, and you won’t be let down by the action of Kuroko no Basket, I guarantee it.
No one would ever thought an anime about basketball could be so interesting, so filled with adrenaline and action packed, no one would ever think it could have such an amazing story, but Kuroko no Basket will prove you wrong, your heart will race, you will laugh, you will get excited, you will root for your favorite characters, and you will watch another, and another, and another, until you inevitably surrender to the awesomeness of Kuroko no Basket.
As a sports anime, it gets a 10. As an overall anime, it still gets a 10 because it is that awesome!
Kagami Taiga (Kuroko no Basket)
So, as I have nothing to waste, I will bring to you a review of the immensely praised show that is Kuroko no Basket. Even though it is not a very popular show (not even in the top 100), most people that have watched it are immensely positive about it, and it made me wonder why. After being encouraged to watch the show several times, I figured it was the time to do so – and I can say it delivered. I soon became one of the people “enchanted” by the show.
Once upon a time, there was a basketball team that demolished each and every competition they came across: the all-star team of Teiko Junior High. The team consisted of 5 basketball players with each an astonishing amount of talent, and their own unique speciality: the Generation of Miracles After junior high school ended, the team naturally broke up – the prodigies all joined different high schools with great basketball teams. However, fairly unknown is that there was actually a 6th player which played in the all-star team of Teiko Junior High: Kuroko Tetsuya. This so called “phantom” player joined a new school, with an unknown basketball team, unlike the other prodigies. At this school, Seirin High, Kuroko meets Kagami Taiga, a natural basketball talent who has just returned from America (where he had lived for some years). Together, they are aiming to beat the generation of miracles, and become the strongest in Japan.
Overall it’s just a very solid storyline, which is able to keep the viewer interested over the course of episodes, but it’s not stunning either. It isn’t a very complex storyline which leaves the viewer thinking, but rather a very simple storyline which is enjoyable to watch. The show does not have much filler, yet is not too serious either – this was a huge plus to me. It was a very refreshing watch; a show I could really enjoy without putting too much thought into it. The pace is very good, as I found myself blowing through episodes one after another. However, I was a little disappointed at the predictability of some (or maybe most) of the matches, and the story as a whole. But that does not take away the fact that the story is very enjoyable. Most people that dislike KnB do so because of its unrealism – but I don’t agree on that. It’s the unique abilities and unrealistic shots that keep the viewer thrilled. I think the majority of the people would not like watching very plain basketball games as seen in real life. In short, Kuroko no Basket features a simple, yet very enjoyable story.
Nothing astonishing here, nothing bad either. It is not a visual masterpiece, but some episodes really had a nice atmosphere to them due to the excellent animation in them. The drawing style is nothing to complain about either. Overall, I’d say that given the budget, they did a great job on the art: it is more than decent.
Sound is one of the aspects in which KnB really shines. The openings and endings are very good (and fitting), but even more impressive is the soundtrack during the episodes. They really manage to enhance the atmosphere of the matches and make episodes more thrilling than they already are. The sound acting is very well done as well – the sound as a whole is just excellent.
As for the characters, logically, the biggest focus is on Kuroko and Kagami. They are thoroughly described, and made to be very likeable: they both have characterising traits which perfectly fit their basketball abilities. The 5 “Prodigies” are very well done too – as far as the ones we get to know in season 1. Furthermore, we get to know a variety of characters in the high school basketball scene. While they weren’t all given the necessary description (for example, I think the other players in Seirin could have gotten more of a backstory), they were still decent enough to fulfil their roles.
I honestly enjoyed Kuroko no Basket as much as I was told I would. While the show definitely has some flaws and is not nearly as enthralling or well thought out as others (I’m looking at you, Fate/Zero, Steins;Gate), it still turned out to be a great source of enjoyment. The matches actually did manage to keep me on the edge of my seat, and managed to get me to play basketball myself! It made me want to try those fascinating shots in real life, and got me to look up more about basketball as well. In short, if you are looking for a refreshing (perhaps simple) anime, or just really like sports shows, then you should certainly give this show a watch – because that’s what Kuroko no Basket has to offer.
8: Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo
English: The Pet Girl of Sakurasou
MAL Score: 8.14
When abandoned kittens and his good conscience force second year Sorata Kanda to move into Suimei High School’s infamous Sakura Hall, the satellite dorm and its eccentric, misfit residents turn his life upside down. The decidedly average Sorata finds it difficult to fit in with the bizarre collection of dorm residents like Misaki, an energetic animator; Jin, a playwright playboy; Ryuunosuke, a reclusive programmer; and Chihiro, the dorm manager, art teacher, and party girl.
Sorata’s friend Nanami, a second year student and aspiring voice actress, pushes him to find new owners for the many cats so that he can quickly move back into the regular dorms. However, his desire to escape Sakura Hall wavers when the pet-like and infantile second year Mashiro Shiina, a world-class artistic savant looking to become a mangaka, transfers in during the spring trimester and quickly latches onto him.
Supported by each other’s quirks, Sorata and Mashiro come out of their shells and trigger change in the lives of those around them. Based on the light novel series of the same name, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo explores the fine threads connecting talent, hard work, romance, and friendship with its ensemble cast.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is a rom-com slice of life anime, so it’s a good watch by default, right? Well, not quite. This genre has a shtick for being oversaturated, particularly with many poor productions. Why should you watch Sakurasou in particular, over the many other rom-com slice of life’s? Well, read on to find out.
Sakurasou does one thing especially well that makes it stand out among its competitors, and that is its character dynamics. That is an aspect of it that is simply fantastic. As such, this review contains a fairly lengthy discussion of the plot, which I will highlight with spoiler tags.
The main characters of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo are Kanda Sorata, Kamiigusa Misaki, Shiina Mashiro, Aoyama Nanami and Mitaka Jin. Already, Sakurasou can be seen as a highly unique anime. With 5 characters that are all equally important to the story, the audience gets five times the character development than most rom-coms. However, the story technically follows the adventures of Kanda Sorata, who has been banished to Sakurasou (“Sakura Hall”) due to the regular school dorms not allowing the keeping of cats. As he cares deeply for his cats, Kanda ends up biting the bullet and chooses to live at Sakurasou. There at Sakurasou, he lives with other would-be delinquents. And so, the relationships between the five characters at Sakurasou would serve as the backbone of this anime’s story.
Presumably, this should already be heaven for any rom-com slice of life lover; after all, there are five main characters and 24 episodes. The real thing that does it for Sakurasou, however, is the romance aspect of the anime. And by “doing it”, I mean doing a disservice. The romance in this anime is quite horrid, honestly. This is especially hard for me to say as I thoroughly enjoyed literally every single aspect of Sakurasou, except for its romance.
I’m going to be discussing the story in mild detail, so if you don’t want to be spoiled at all, skip to the [endspoiler] tag.
My first problem is Misaki’s relationship with Jin. Due to the nature of the anime and the nature of Misaki’s personality itself, her quest for love was simply a joke; I never really took it seriously. Whenever she cried after her numerous failures, I did not feel sympathy for her, nor did I feel emotional as a viewer. Misaki’s love struggles never really had any weight to them, and they even got resolved fairly quickly (as if to further undermine them).
The other problem: Aoyama and Kanda’s relationship. Oh boy. This relationship single-handedly “ruined” Sakurasou for me (not really ruined, but it basically kicked my pairing hopes in the nutsack). I personally rooted for Aoyama and Kanda to get together throughout the series, but man was THAT wishful thinking. Before watching this series, I read many posts touting Sakurasou as being “the bad kind of predictable”. And I certainly see why now. Right from the first episode, you could already see Shiina x Kanda being established. Them getting all touchy-feely so early on, the sexual innuendos, the peeping moments… it was all meant to be from the very beginning. So why then, did the writers decide to create a second relationship branch in Aoyama x Kanda? It makes zero sense to me, and Sakurasou’s execution of the pairing itself made just about the same amount of sense. The entire time, Kanda is as blunt as a block while Aoyama is as pitiful as a bug. It was just painful for me to watch Aoyama each time she tried to confess to Kanda. Her constant failures were just really disgusting, and especially so since I’m one of the viewers who prefer Aoyama over Shiina. Not by much, because I do love Shiina as a character, but some preference nonetheless. Aoyama’s unrealized love was truly cringe-worthy; two especially disgusting moments were when she confesses her love, only to play it off as “good acting”, and when she gave a half-ass confession to Kanda after her audition. Seriously, it’s like the producers were purposely getting my hopes up simply to laugh at me afterwards. Two times, we were supposed to get Aoyama to finally confess to Kanda, and for Kanda to (more than likely) go out with her or reject her. But, we get the worse-case scenario; Aoyama’s love is never realized! As I have said before, the chemistry between Aoyama and Kanda really pissed me off not only due to how poorly it was coordinated but also by how unnecessary it was. The producers did NOT need to include a second girl for Kanda; this isn’t a harem anime. Shiina would have been good enough, and the story could have simply focused on Kanda x Shiina being realized. However, just as this anime put the final nail in the coffin when it came to pissing me off with Aoyama x Kanda, episode 23 came about: the graduation episode. And boy, let me tell you. This was one of the greatest episodes in anime history; I’m just going to say it now. The emotion displayed in this episode by all the characters (students, school staff members, Sakurasou residents included) was simply unreal. This scene does not necessarily make you want to cry. However, you can sense the genuineness within each characters’ sadness, their speeches, and their feelings for each other. Instead of being a giant cheesefest, the producers of Sakurasou actually managed to make the graduation episode an honest-to-goodness emotional episode. And I felt it. However, I found myself asking: “Why wasn’t this the final episode?”
The last episode (24) made it seem as if there was still plenty more for Sakurasou to cover. It introduced two new characters, and it was the start of a new year; everything was fresh. We were going to see Kanda and Shiina being isolated from the other main characters for the first time, and maybe even having their relationship furthered. We even got a glimpse of the two new members of Sakurasou, and they are not bad characters in the slightest. All in all, the producers had quite a lot of quality material to work with if they wanted to create another season. So why didn’t they? After I finished watching all 24 episodes of Sakurasou, I was left wanting more. The series didn’t really “end” at all; why start a new chapter if you’re just going to cut it off right away? The ending makes no sense to me. You could say that this is a sign that the producers are thinking of a second season, but there hasn’t really been any news yet. It’s just wishful thinking as of now.
In every other department, however, Sakurasou excels.
Story [9/10]: Probably the most important aspect of an anime, Sakurasou has an exceptional story. While its romance is admittedly weak, as previously discussed, it doesn’t take much away from the story. There were quite a lot of aspects of Sakurasou that I had a critique for, and yet I found myself excitedly watching every episode regardless. I constantly wanted to find out what would happen next, and I was definitely held in suspense during many moments throughout the anime. The moments of drama, in particular, gave Sakurasou such great depth.
Art [10/10]: One of the absolute KILLER aspects of Sakurasou! The art implements a fairly unique style, using mainly warm and bright colors. Most animes have art that uses colors and shades from a generic palette, which causes them to look to look very similar to each other; Sakurasou strays away from this. All of the characters are drawn nicely, along with all of the minute details in the animations being perfectly executed. However, if there was one thing to really set Sakurasou apart, it’s the art used to portray Shiina Mashiro’s artistic virtuosity. As the viewer, I was able to completely comprehend the extent of Shiina’s skill due to Sakurasou’s magnificent art. Not to mention, whoever drew Shiina’s drawings was quite talented themselves.
Sound [10/10]: The only proof I need to verify the greatness of Sakurasou’s soundtrack is the fact that its OPs/EDs are among my top-played songs on my iPod. Initially, I wasn’t really feeling the first opening; it sounded somewhat generic. However, after listening to it multiple times by virtue of watching the anime, I fell in love with it. The openings completely portray the mood of the entire anime (and the openings very cleverly display the fantastic art style, too). The second ending in particular went very nicely with the characters dynamics at that point in the story.
Character [10/10]: Sakurasou’s characters truly give it that extra dimension. For a rom-com, all five main characters are surprisingly deep. Throughout the story, we get to learn of all of their backgrounds. What makes them so amazing is the fact that despite vastly contrasting upbringings, all of the Sakurasou residents are accepting of each other. There is never any sense of dislike or resentment among them, and they are all genuine friends. That chemistry between them is what makes them so special to watch.
I thought long and hard about my final rating. Admittedly, there are quite a few problems with Sakurasou, such as its romance. However, for an anime that has left such a huge impact on me, Sakurasou deserves nothing less than a perfect score. Along with other viewers, I have been left wanting more. Few other animes have managed to make me feel this way. And while I was watching it, Sakurasou provided countless laughs and a fair share of quality drama. Never was I bored at any moment while watching the series. The greatest thing about Sakurasou, however, is the fact that it manages to meet and then exceed the standard expectations of a romantic comedy slice-of-life anime; it truly is a fantastic production. Rarely can anyone recommend an anime of this genre as a must-watch for anime enthusiasts of all kinds, but that is exactly what I’m doing with Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo.
The very first line in the anime coming from the protagonist himself. Frankly, I felt exactly the same after watching the first dozen episodes of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. J.C. Staff, a studio which animated numerous titles such as Toradora, Zero no Tsukaima, Toaru Majutsu no Index, now it’s Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo or in English, ‘The Pet Girl of Sakurasou’.
Story? Kanda Sorata was told to move to a place called Sakurasou, a dorm where the problem students dwell in. One day, Shiina Mashiro, a genius, moves to the Dorm. And so, Sorata’s dorm mates given him the task to take care of Mashiro. So there ya go. You can probably predict the outcome of the show before you even watched it.
Sakurasou is a somewhat-more-than-generic romance/comedy anime. So, what are the common features of rom coms? Generic protagonist lives alone, story set in high school, extraordinary female protagonists, transfer students, probability of the transfer student living next door, childhood friends, imoutos having brother complex, beach episodes, protagonist is a chick magnet and lots of other distinctive features. It’s those shows where you watch simply because you’re too bored. Sakurasou is no exception.
However, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is slightly more different than the usual. While it does have most of the features mentioned, but this time the protagonist lives in a dorm, filled with problem students and Sakurasou have a slightly better plot…and I guess that’s pretty much it.
Since it’s a romance/comedy anime then you’re expecting some humor. Regrettably, the “comedy” part is appalling. Sakurasou provides the viewer with lots of humor throughout the series, but none of them were hilarious. All in all, Sakurasou fails to be entertaining in terms of humor.
In most cases, ecchi scenes and fanservice in these kind of anime are tolerable, as long as there are few but if too many, it affects the quality of the show. Indeed, I knew there were going to be ecchi in the series, but Sakurasou has more than expected.
Finally, it’s the story. Sakurasou starts off as boring, tiresome, especially the beginning and it may also be the biggest flaw of the anime. Brace yourselves, because boredom strikes very early. The starting episodes may give a bad first impression to the viewer and some may even stop watching the series solely because of that. Sakurasou is one of the few anime I’ve watched that left a terrible first impression.
However, once you’ve covered the dull early episodes, at one point Sakurasou eventually starts becoming more intriguing later on(if it ever does for you). Personal point of view: I might have enjoyed Sakurasou more if it only had 12 or 13 episodes, not with 24 episodes. Why? for me, it starts becoming more interesting roughly at episode twelve. Some of the characters’ past were interesting to watch such as Shiina Mashiro’s however the enjoyment only lasted for couple of minutes. Sakurasou did have some memorable moments; both happy and sorrowful, but most of them were in the middle or near the end of the series. Luckily, the ending was pretty decent. Not the best ending I’ve seen, but still it’s ok.
Character? I’ll show you in a list.
These are the characters who dwell in Sakurasou Dorm.
Scores are out of 5. Lowest(1) being Hated. Highest(5) being Loved.
Kanda Sorata:(1/5) Boring male protagonist; essential in most rom coms. Now, only more irritating.
Shiina Mashiro*:(3/5) Female protagonist. Neutral.
Aoyama Nanami:(3/5) The common tsundere type. I feel sorry for her at the end of the series.
Mitaki Jin:(3/5) Looks like he lost his virginity years ago.
Kamiigusa Misaki:(2/5) Energetic, noisy type.
Akasaka Ryuunosuke:(3/5) A Hikikomori.
Chihiro Sengoku:(3/5) Dorm teacher of Sakurasou.
A couple of supporting characters.
Kanda Yuuko:(1/5) She has brother complex. I’m not surprised. Most of the imoutos nowadays have brother complex anyway.
Rita Ainsworth:(3/5) Kawashima Ami…is that you?
From the list above, any scores below 3 means they’re disliked. None of the characters were interesting. Of course, all of the scores above are just my opinion. Though, it’s nice to see character development going on.
*In some of the scenes, Shiina Mashiro really reminded me of Akemi Homura, a character which I really love in Madoka Magica. Perhaps the last two episodes of Madoka Magica are simply too memorable…
Art/Visuals? Overall, it’s great. Colors are bright and artstyle is gorgeous. Backgrounds are nice and Shiina Mashiro’s artwork are incredible.
Sound? Voice acting is pretty good(Sorata yelling almost every time is rather aggravating). OP and ED are all J-Pop themed songs and I’ve only bothered to listen to them once. I do like J-pop songs, but only selected ones. There’s some very beautiful background music being played during the sad scenes.
Conclusion? Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo isn’t the worst rom com I’ve watched and its far from being the best. To sum up, it’s pretty average, despite the number of flaws it has. Unfortunately, Sakurasou just didn’t live up to my expectations. Not even close.
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou. When I first read the little summary of it on MAL I got the horrible feeling in my stomach it would be very sexually forward with a lot of fan service and very little plot/char. development. I thank God today that I’m terrible at guessing plots to anime, and I will take this second to simply say “I apologize” to the writer for having low expectations. Because I could not have possibly been more wrong.
This story is about a group of what I can only describe as misfit geniuses. These are the rejects of the school, and at the same time some of the most artistically gifted students at Sui High. For various reasons, be it financial or social, they each have ended up in the cheapest and fairly rundown Co-Ed dorm at the school, Sakurasou. Kouhai (The main male protagonist) was forced to move into the dorm after he tried to take care of a stray cat he found, however dorm regulations forbid him to keep it unless he moved. So of course, he decided to move until he could “find another owner for it”. However, by the time the show opens up on the present at the start of out story, rather than him making any progress, he has actually taken in like… 10 more cats. As I said, so at the open of the show Chihiro sensei (runs the dorm) asks Kouhai to go pick up a transfer student who will be moving into Sakurasou. That transfer student is none other than the beautiful, quiet, legendary artist Mashiro. He comes to find out she is essentially incapable of taking care of herself on her own, so in the same nature as his cats, he takes on the responsibility of being on “Mashiro duty”.
The misfits have many little adventures and antics and overcome many trials during their time at Sakurasou. As time passes friendships form and grow, bonds grow stronger, fights, love, tears, all come into play among the six friends of Sakurasou.
Now Ill do that thing where you separate it into sections
Actually, even though I’m not big on being able to tell huge differences and intricate details between different anime, this show’s art really stood out. It felt smooth, clean, and beautiful. I daresay it was made to look so as to reflect the fact that they are all artistic students in their various fields, to match the level of beauty they themselves can create. The only other anime I know of with animation better than this would be Nagi no Asakura. So that’s pretty darn good. I appreciated the high quality.
Not a pro on music, I can basically tell you whether I
1. Liked the OP and ED. (I really did)
2. thought the music distracted me from the show or helped to amplify it. (It blended well and I liked it just fine. Nothing to report back negative on.
Story Quality/ Why I Enjoyed It
This has to be one of the best stories of friendship and love I’ve ever seen. Now when I say love I mean it in a universal way. Not JUST romantic love, although there is plenty of that. I mean also the love between friends. Best friends. Think of a friend of yours who is the absolute most important friend you don’t want to have to be without. Now take six of y’all and go live in a dorm together. That’s in essence what you have here. The plot was paced very well, nothing happened too quick or too slow. The pain and struggles each character went through had me feeling like I was right there struggling with them. Is that not a powerful thing? When a story can draw you in so much that when something big happens, whatever it may be, it has the power to make you FEEL emotion. And no I’m not talking about “man I’m so pissed the plot went in this direction”. No… I’m talking about when you see a character get their heart broken, you feel for them, you cry with them. It’s really not easy for an anime to do that. But for me, this did.
I’m telling you, Misaki’s graduation speech TORE ME UP (that means it made me cry).
I highly recommend this show to anyone who loves a good story about the bond between friends. And young love. This show is as funny as it is sad, as it is heartwarming as it is beautiful.
Hats off to Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo.
MAL Score: 8.16
Surviving a vampire attack, meeting several girls plagued by supernatural entities, and just trying to get through life are some of the things high school student Koyomi Araragi has had to deal with lately. On top of all this, he wakes up one morning to find himself kidnapped and tied up by his girlfriend Hitagi Senjougahara. Having run afoul of Deishuu Kaiki, a swindler who conned Senjougahara’s family, she has taken it upon herself to imprison Araragi to keep him safe from the con man. But when Araragi gets a frantic message from his sister Karen, he learns that the fraud has set his sights on her.
Along with Karen’s troubles, his other sister, Tsukihi, is having issues of her own. And when two mysterious women who seem to know more than they should about Araragi and his special group of friends step into their lives, not even he could anticipate their true goals, nor the catastrophic truths soon to be revealed.
The first thing that should be recognized before watching Nisemonogatari is this very change and shift in focus. It wouldn’t be much an exaggeration to say that at times it can feel like a different series, and certainly not all fans are going to approve of the change in tone and theme.
Despite this though, things are not all that unlike either.
Being that this is the sequel to one of SHAFT’s most successful anime, it would be incomprehensible for them to suddenly remove the unique style and flavor that the series became so known for in the first place. Head tilts are still prominent, the scenery is highly stylized, the characters will frequently engage in a playful diatribe and critique of Araragi, and surrealism remains a pervasive aspect in the presentation and overall experience. This is Bakemonogatari in much of its glory, but with the story itself becoming something of less importance than the characters and their interaction with each other.
Probably the largest addition to Nisemonogatari is the new role of Araragi’s two younger sisters, Karen and Tsukihi. Both of them form a group known as the ‘Fire Sisters’, and together they create the main focus of the entire show. Tsukihi is a sharply sarcastic and disapproving sister while Karen, voiced by the beloved Kitamura Eri, behaves as a bit of a tomboy and energetic character who strives to fight for justice and what she feels is the right thing.
These ideals of justice create an interesting problem for Karen as she comes into contact with the antagonist, Kaiki, a con artist exploiting teenage girls out of their money which quickly escalates into a conflict between the two, with Karen focusing on protecting the innocent and Kaiki on using them for his own avaricious goals. Kaiki as a character is quite unique and interesting as he never falls into a generic and stereotyped ‘bad guy’ persona, instead adopting a very grey morality where neither good nor bad exists. He cares for little else than money, and money is something he aims to attain regardless of who loses out for it. Surprisingly, he doesn’t antagonize the main characters very much outside of their first few encounters with each other. As long as they don’t complicate matters for him, he generally has no issue. The way his departure is handled is also very surprising and refreshing when compared to the usual conventions in storytelling. It’s just disappointing that he loses his role as a main character in the second half and falls much to the side, since his scenes are without a doubt the most memorable and engaging in the entire show. Being a character that stands out so much in a series full of unique characters is a very hard feat to achieve but Kaiki managed to pull it off.
Of course, Nisemonogatari wouldn’t be the same without the cast from the previous season playing a prominent role in the story. All of the main characters from Bakemonogatari retain a large role in Nisemonogatari each with their own unique scenes, though unfortunately most of them don’t appear anywhere near as much as they did in Bakemonogatari. Senjougahara in particular is largely missing from the first half of the series until becoming a large focus of the story again, which may be a bit disappointing at first for fans of her character. Thankfully, the episodes before that focus on an excellent blend of new and old characters and concepts, bringing just enough to the table to make the series fresh again while maintaining enough of the old that fans will still feel mostly at home when watching.
Focusing on the aforementioned Kaiki as the antagonist, the story itself is largely about his exploits and the characters’ resulting intervention for the first half of the story. It picks up further towards the end into a galvanizing climax and battle between Araragi and the two new antagonists, one of which being a character from the previous season. Fans of Bakemonogatari will find something enjoyable in that respect once things start to pick up, but the story itself is not so much the focus of Nisemonogatari as it is what gives a way for the audience to see the characters interact in a variety of new and different situations.
This brings us to the main problem — fanservice.
Do you like fanservice? Do you want fanservice? If not, you probably won’t enjoy Nisemonogatari too much. It’s not nearly as oppressive or prominent as some screenshots would lead to believe but it’s very easily a defining and inherent part of the experience. Characters will frequently try to seduce Araragi which leads to some amusing scenes with him on the verge of cheating on his beloved girlfriend and paying dearly for it. There’s also fanservice for the female viewers, with long shots gawking deeply at Araragi’s chest. Nude scenes are not too uncommon and the series often plays more with sexual feelings than it does with its witty dialogue and stylized presentation. Though these common elements still do remain a large part of the experience, all one needs to do is take a look at the infamous toothbrush scene to have a good understanding of how Nisemonogatari is often presented.
Whether or not the viewer will approve of these changes comes down to personal taste and what they primarily enjoy the series for. It would be a lie to say that I didn’t enjoy the frequent fanservice and sexual themes at least somewhat, but it’s just that, perhaps, Nisio Isin and SHAFT went slightly overboard and forgot a little bit about what made the series so highly respected in the first place. It’s enjoyable in smaller and occasional doses but being that it’s the forefront of the entire experience, it sometimes detract from what is an otherwise very engaging and unique story. Subtle or even suggestive fanservice would have been preferable to the ubiquitous butt-shots and nude scenes.
It doesn’t help matters much when the pacing of the anime is negatively impacted by the fanservice as well. As a result of much of the screentime being spent on trying to make the viewer erect, it often feels like the main conflict surrounding Kaiki and the later two antagonists is a bit rushed. Certainly, more time could have been spent developing those characters and the main plotline. Things often shift haphazardly between fanservice and important story events and it feels a bit unwieldy and awkward for that reason. It’s hard to appreciate the fanservice much when there’s a serious and interesting story going on in the background, and conversely it’s also hard to fully appreciate the story when the next scene will transition into more of the fanservice and silly interaction. Had SHAFT and Nisio Isin focused primarily on the story instead of these sexual themes, the main story could easily have been something equal to or even greater than Bakemonogatari. Which is a real shame.
Fortunately, thanks to the success of Bakemonogatari from a few years earlier, a large budget increase is very evident with the quality of animation. This really is one of the best-looking TV anime on the market and the fluidity in each frame is something truly stunning at times. The way the characters move and jump around so freely is something unique to the series when compared to the previous season which relied primarily on transitions and stills. While some complained about the lack of animation and movement in Bakemonogatari — often comparisons to a slideshow — this is definitely not the case with Nisemonogatari. This is just as much a visual presentation as it is a verbal one
Nisemonogatari can often verge on the surreal with its artwork. SHAFT loves to play with their scenery in highly creative and interesting ways which serves to immerse the viewer and give personality to the artwork and the area that the characters live and interact in. It wouldn’t be strange to see a colorless cityscape with a bright blue-green sky looming above, a room filled with mountains upon mountains of same-colored books, a sudden letterbox effect in the image, a home bathroom with stained-glass windows reminiscent of a medieval church, or a gloomy thicket dyed beneath a red sunset. It’s this stylized presentation which creates much of the atmosphere of Nisemonogatari and what makes the viewer feel like they’re in a very different place. There’s really nothing out there that looks or feels the same way.
And with more effort spent on the series, positive improvement comes to the music and soundtrack as well. The usage of songs and music is a perfect fit for the scenes they are used in, especially those involving Kaiki. They may not all be songs that will stick in your mind and be reminisced for long after, but when used in the anime itself they are an excellent fit. And much like Bakemonogatari, a variety of unique opening sequences are performed by the seiyuu and each styled with their own unique theme. While there’s nothing quite on the same level as ‘Renai Circulation’ here, all three of the openings are very catchy and memorable. In particular, the second opening ‘Marshmallow Justice’ was something that I felt perfectly represented the series as a whole and its theme. Disregarding my own love towards Kitamura Eri as a seiyuu, it’s quite a pleasant song that mixes the quirkiness of the series with the energy of the characters.
In the end it becomes very easy to see where the complaints and negativity surrounding Nisemonogatari come from. While there is truth to be found in the complaints of there being too much fanservice, it’s also evident that some are focusing too much on this one aspect instead of fully seeing what it accomplished and did well. It’s not quite as good as its predecessor, but Nisemonogatari still manages to be a solid entry to the series and one that paints its own unique character as well. It’s certainly different, and different in a way that will be either a bad or a good thing depending on the feelings and tastes of the individual.
Hopefully, with the next animated installment of the Monogatari series these fanservice elements will be toned down a bit. We (well, some of us) have had our fun, and now it’s time for the series to go back to its roots. Small change can often be beneficial but in cases like these it’s best to know when to leave well enough alone.
Now, the main sticking point with Nisemonogatari has been the storyline, which was quite slow in its progression; if you’ve recently read about the ‘fast-paced, clever storyline’, and are quite surprised by this assertion, then I shall elaborate; the first three episodes reintroduced characters from the first series, and while the Karen Bee arc was supposedly seven episodes long, it really did drag at points. In addition to that, the resolutions of each arc felt way too easy, and while we’re on it, the almost-complete absence of Tsukihi from the first two episodes of her own arc was bizarre. Although it initially wasn’t promising, the story did become more interesting as the series went on, although I believe there will be further episode releases post-broadcast, because not everything came to a conclusion within the eleven episodes (and the Japanese equivalent of ‘to be continued’ seen at the end of the final episode is a confirmation that we’ll be getting more Monogatari one way or another). I think the best way to see Nisemonogatari is as the bridging point which sets everything up nicely for a third series (and if the director is to believed, several more series after that), and in terms of introducing characters who will probably play a part in these later series, it does a pretty good job. Contrary to the impression I might have made, I did enjoy watching this, but I do think it could have been better.
The art style is extremely effective. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it before (except in Bakemonogatari, to state the obvious for the resident pedants here). The background art is most striking, with the use of colour co-ordinated objects and scenery to create scenes which immediately grab the viewer’s attention. The much-debated black and red scenes seem to have been cut down on since Bakemonogatari, now only making a couple of appearances per episode, but the use of talking heads is still common. The background sets the atmosphere much more effectively than a show which is constrained by realism; just watch Kaiki Deishuu’s first screen appearance, and the shadows of the trees stretching out towards Koyomi, and you will realise the brilliance of this art style. And now, the fanservice; how do they handle it? Well, what’s happening on screen and the progression of the storyline are almost completely separate from one another, for starters. It’s nothing compared to an actual ecchi series, and the characters are wearing clothes (cough… most of the time), it’s just the choice of shot and where it focuses on the character’s body that makes it fanservice. And when there are no clothes present, any details are obscured by the production team, preventing the need for masking or other censorship. That was incredibly awkward to write. Moving on…
The sound hasn’t changed drastically from the first series; the episodes start with a blast of heavily distorted electric guitar, and a catchy pop-song opening, which is reminiscent of Staple Stable, to say the least. The lack of background music in Nisemonogatari compared to other series is noticeable, with only the occasional piano melody from the opening or ending slipped in at appropriate moments, but with the amount of dialogue that it has, this is actually a good thing; it would be pointless including any more soundtrack, as it would just either pass completely over our heads or make it incredibly difficult to listen to. The ending is a pop-rock four-chord number which will probably get stuck in your head on an endless loop at some stage, and no amount of purging your memory with your own music collection will dislodge it. If you liked Bakemonogatari’s Staple Stable and Renai Circulation, then this is definitely worth a listen.
The characters from the first series remain as they are for the most part, with the exception of Hanekawa Tsubasa, who is now short-haired. Hitagi Senjougahara, self-diagnosed tsundere of the highest order, seems to have been relegated to a supporting role in Nisemonogatari, having only made three or so appearances in seven episodes; however, Araragi’s sisters, Karen and Tsukihi, step into the breach, so we have a net gain of characters. Connoisseur of Hawaiian t-shirts and supernatural phenomena Oshino Meme has disappeared, and the role of ‘sole adult in the series’ has gone to the much more evil, scheming Deishuu Kaiki, who looks like one of the creepier film incarnations of Dracula. It’s interesting that they’ve gone for a central villain, rather than having different problems which are unrelated in cause, as per Bakemonogatari. It must be mentioned that in this series, the characters do not merely lean on the fourth wall, they’ve practically installed a revolving door in it for their convenience. Even the creation of the anime was slipped a thinly veiled reference in one of the characters’ metaphors. I quite like it, but you will need to know at least a little bit about the Monogatari franchise to get some of it.
It should probably be mentioned that Nisemonogatari will make some of its audience feel uncomfortable at certain points. Aside from the various Lolita characters, there are incestuous overtones involving Araragi and his sisters, including the now-infamous ‘toothbrush scene’. And I know that people will say “Oh, it’s only here in the West that we’ve got a problem with it, but in Japan, those scenes are seen as the funniest part of the show.” Aside from not wishing to read anything into these peoples’ apparent attempts to justify having relationships with underage girls or members of their own family, they might have a point; our moral values here don’t let us see the funny side. If we look at the source of all this trouble, Vladimir Nabokov’s now-infamous novel, half the time he is mocking us and our values; are SHAFT doing the same thing? Quite possibly. Just be prepared to ignore the screams of moral outrage you might occasionally feel welling up inside you while you’re watching this show, make sure your parents/partner/siblings/friends aren’t going to walk in at an awkward moment and then spend the next three weeks not talking to you, and you should be able to cope.
So, Nisemonogatari does indeed have all the elements that Bakemonogatari was praised for, and at the same time features fanservice, which Bakemonogatari, if I remember correctly, did also have a certain amount of. I don’t think it is possible that it has ruined the series, as some people claim; these claims probably would have been made regardless of the actual nature of the series, and were sparked by its mere existence. Unfortunately for those claims and the people making them, Akiyuki Shinbo, the animation director, has apparently stated his intention to animate every single Monogatari novel, of which there are (or will be, to be entirely accurate) twelve. Now, if the first one came out in 2009, and the second in 2012, I think we can safely say that this series will continue for a while. For my part, I’m looking forward to it, and I hope that it may continue to be as innovative and interesting as it has been up to this point!
I am sure people will accuse me of being excessively harsh when I say Nise’s story… is one of the five worst things I have ever seen. Maybe that’s because there isn’t any story to speak of. What this series promised us was a story about Araragi’s younger sisters and their encounter with the black swindler. It also promised some fill in the blanks of some of some of the other story arcs from Bakemono. I was particularly interested in seeing more on how Senjougahara ended up cursed. What we got instead is what I would consider to be a full length DVD extra putting the various girls in the cast in compromising situations and in assorted states of undress. The anime plods along aimlessly, taking us nowhere substantive. When they do finally get around to something other than panties or erotic tooth brushing, it is crammed in to an episode and a half and then quickly buried to get back to what’s really important. What’s too bad is that when they do bother to tell some story I do find myself interested in it. But also I was pissed off that it was all I got. To be honest the entire “story” could have been more productively told with a 2 episode OVA than an entire TV season. (cough: money grab)
Now I am not going to sit here and rail against service in anime, what’s the point? I am not even offended by it and I find it pretty amusing most of the time. Bakemono certainly had its pervy undertones but it didn’t revolve around them or beat you over the head with them either. Nise seems to have just taken those elements and decided to make an anime around them. Frankly what offends me the most about the way the service is presented is that it takes itself way to seriously. It’s like somebody at Shaft just discovered you can put this kind of thing in anime and just completely lost their heads. Then have the nerve to act like it’s somehow smarter than anything we have ever seen before. Just because you inserted some witty dialogue and clever puns in between the breast fondling and skirt flipping doesn’t turn it into high art.
Second only to the horrible story is what they did to the series cast of characters. Say what you will about Araragi’s but for a harem lead (yes fanboys, Bakemono was a harem anime. Deal with it. It’s not a bad word), he managed to be a pretty interesting and compelling character. Well you can throw all of that out the window after viewing this series. He is a shell of his former self as he has been relegated to an immature perverted lolicon and pedophile who would be a registered sex offender in every developed nation in the world. His world view is that of a 10 year old boy, not a high school senior who is a borderline adult. People might try to say he is being ironic or sarcastic or maybe he’s just a bully or a clown. But seriously who in high school, particularly a senior still goes around flipping the skirts of elementary school girls?
The rest of the cast fairs no better. The girls get little in the way of character development and are only treated as objects and tools for service. While you may initially feel some nostalgia as the previous cast is reintroduced and it feels like reacquainting yourself with old friends. However, if you went into this show like I did, wanting to see and learn more about Araragi’s two sisters Karen and Tsukihi, then you’re in for a rude awakening. (Unless that is you wanted to learn more about their bust size and figures) For a series that was supposedly based around the two of them they have shockingly little actual screen time.
Well it’s not all bad. As expected from Shaft, the shows artwork and animation is absolutely fabulous. As is customary of their productions the screen is full visual overload of information with innumerable references and puns if you’re able to catch or comprehend them. The styling of the show is very much like its predecessor and has a very unique original feeling about the entire production. Even though the artwork is undeniably stunning, I did not always care for it. Another annoyance would be why they decided to cut the hair of every girl in the show. By the end of the series everyone looks the same. I mean… why? If they had changed their hair colors I wouldn’t have even known who some of them were. But if you’re just a general fan of art and animation there is a whole lot to love about this show.
The music and voice acting is also equally brilliant. I honestly think this is the one thing Shaft almost never fails at, is picking appropriate music and animation to open and close their anime titles. Like Bakemono, Nise uses the voice cast to sing the various OP songs but it was the show’s ED song which stands out the most. ClariS’ “Naisho no Hanashi” is by far the duo’s best single to date. Maybe I enjoyed it so much because it meant the episode was over?
Overall only the most ardent Bakemono and Shaft fanboys need apply when it comes to watching this show. Though if you were truly a fan of Bakemono I don’t know how you could not end up being disappointed. The lack of any kind of coherent story mars any sensory satisfaction you may get out of the shows artwork and audio track. You can pour and entire bottle of perfume on a pile of crap but in the end its still, crap.
6: Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou
English: Daily Lives of High School Boys
MAL Score: 8.26
Roaming the halls of the all-boys Sanada North High School are three close comrades: the eccentric ringleader with a hyperactive imagination Hidenori, the passionate Yoshitake, and the rational and prudent Tadakuni. Their lives are filled with giant robots, true love, and intense drama… in their colorful imaginations, at least. In reality, they are just an everyday trio of ordinary guys trying to pass the time, but who said everyday life couldn’t be interesting? Whether it’s an intricate RPG reenactment or an unexpected romantic encounter on the riverbank at sunset, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou is rife with bizarre yet hilariously relatable situations that are anything but mundane.
Oh youth and the epic journey called growing up. Most people tend to, in a way or another, be deeply defined by their teenage years. High school is a fond memory to some and a painful one to others, but I think everyone can agree that it is a unique and special period of our lives, one that has no equal. Most people quickly relate the words High School with friendship, as the friends you make in that period of time seem to leave a permanent mark in your memories and so does the time you spend with them, most of which is filled talking about something random or even stupid, laughing at simple and normal things, sharing mutual interests and hobbies, talking about the opposite gender in a playful or perverted way and worrying about the weirdest things. Yes, those years you spend in High School are special in a simple and silly way and it is that way that Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (DKN) tries and successfully manages to recreate in a hilarious manner.
[Story] – 8 – Daily Lives of High School Boys. That’s basically it. It is a standard slice of life type of story, but one that works amazingly well. The episodes are divided into segments and focus on a big number of characters, each of them with his own peculiarities, as he endures daily tasks. To portray something so simple in an amusing way is not easy at all and I think most animes that actually try this end up filled up with dull boring moments that just kill the mood. DKN avoids that in almost every single scene which is quite amazing and even in its worse episode you’ll still laugh out loud quite some times. Most segments are short which gives the comedic tone light, random and fast paced giving it a tremendous enjoyability. To sum things up, it isn’t an amazing and complex storyline since it is a slice of life, but the setting and the execution of the comedy match and fit each other so well that you just can’t care about how simple the story is.
[Art] – 8 – Not much to point out here. The art was acceptably good. It didn’t need to be better anyway. The character design was adequate with a pretty good worn on some characters’ expressions.
The animation was good enough for it. It didn’t particularly shine, but I never felt like it needed to be better, so I guess they did a good job with it.
[Sound] – 9 – Alright, so I had to give the 9 here for two specific reasons. First of all the soundtrack was very fitting and comedic. The Literature Girl Song cracked me up every single time, it was absolutely perfect for those moments and just hearing the song alone will make you laugh so that’s a great job there. Then the second reason lies in the voice actors. Since I’m not an experiences anime reviewer I wasn’t sure about where I should talk about this, so I’m just including it within the sound for obvious reasons. Yeah I have to admit I’m a Gintama Fan, so having Sugita (probably my favorite voice actor) and Suzumura playing two of the main characters made the anime that much better. Sugita’s voice fit Hidenori too well and his natural ability of making everything he says funny was perfect here. Other than them I also have to positively mention other very fitting voices like Motoharu’s (Daisuke Namikawa), Ringo’s (Aoi Yuuki) and Yanagi’s (Yuu Kobayashi). Indeed a great selection of voice actors.
[Characters] – 9 – Probably one of its strongest points, since most times the punchlines rely completely on the characters as the humor is very character-driven on most scenes. Something very good about this series is the fact that the main character doesn’t monopolize every scene, in fact it’s just the opposite – he doesn’t even show up in two or three episodes at all. The secondary characters are hilarious, each of them playing right into a character stereotype but adding a sort of twist to it. Motoharu, the delinquent who’s supposedly badass and mature, but still get’s manipulated by older girls and is strangely deep and introspective, also having an above the average sensitivity and fragile spirit. Literature Girl, the mysterious silent girl who stands by the riverside staring into the horizon lost in thought, but she’s actually just a naive wannabe novel author looking for an ideal encounter with a guy by the riverside. Among many others.
[Enjoyment] – 9.5 – Maybe I’m exaggerating here but I feel that the 10 is appropriate. Most episodes went by extremely fast and I laughed like a mad man at most scenes from beginning to end. If a comedy that achieves that doesn’t deserve the 10 in enjoyment then few animes do. I really enjoyed this very much and agree with people that relate its sense of humor to Gintama and Nichijou – which I also liked quite a lot. It really surprised me, since I didn’t watch any trailers. I just saw a new anime called Daily Lives of High School Boys and thought “well I have 20 minutes free so why not? It’ll probably be filled with female-targetted fanservice though…”. Then the first episode blew me away. It’s actually very easy to tell if you’ll like this series or not – just watch the first episode. If you dislike the first episode you don’t need to see more as you most likely won’t like it at all.
[Overall] – 9 – Overall a solid comedy anime that any comedy fan should check out. Get some friends together one afternoon and watch a couple of episodes, it’ll probably feel even better!
I hope you decide to give it a shot and thank you for reading!
The title of this anime literally describes what this show is all about; the daily lives of high school boys. No it’s not about cute boys do cute things, but it’s about a group of school boys do what they do best, such as slacking off in a friend’s house, pranking on people, talking about girls, telling random stories and any other things in exaggeration manners. Nichibro is a gag based anime much like Nichijou– its girls counterpart. The format is also similar; every episode of this series is composed of several random short skits which usually are not connected to each other. Each skit focuses on a slapstick humor with a punchline at the end. I personally found most of them hit the mark while others are predictable. It’s like getting a present on a Christmas morning; sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you are unsure and sometimes it’s an ugly sweater. In other words, some people may find one or two skits boring and unfunny, and some other may not. After all, I believe comedy is very subjective, you can’t really argue what’s funny or not, it’s a matter of taste– what’s funny to one person will not always to another.
As for the art, Nichibro is quite decent but it’s not amazing either. Although the background is simple but it’s pretty detailed especially the buildings which is fine for this kind of show. The characters are well drawn and they look natural, like how the male characters aren’t wearing their uniform properly. That’s how the high school boys dressed. They leave their ties undone, some characters even don’t bother to wear ties at all, their shirt are un-tucked, even Karasawa is wearing a hat all the time. The funny expressions or the faces they make is enough to make me burst out in laughter. The characters are also well animated, I notice some characters look alive and vibrant. There is one thing I’m complaining about its design, they (the studio) probably decided to cut corners by drawing some characters with no eyes or it was simply lazy, I have no idea. Still, one can say it’s on purpose to show which ones are the main characters. Overall it doesn’t ruin the show thou.
Another strong point of this show is the characters. First of all, Nichibro doesn’t have much character development. I believe character development isn’t always necessary especially in a pure comedy show like this one, as long as they are there to make you laugh, that will do. Now let’s check out our main characters, the first is Tadakuni, he is the straight man in the group and probably the most ordinary among the trio, but surprisingly, he’s someone you can easy relate to. He’s usually needed to pull off the jokes. Hidenori, he’s the one who usually comes up with crazy schemes. The last is my favourite, Yoshitake, the blond guy. He usually plays along when Hidenori comes up with anything stupid. Their exaggerated attitudes, expressions and randomness are really amusing to watch. In the midst of the series, in fact, they don’t “eat” all the screen time. In other words, if one is too “normal” being a student, he won’t have much screen time. This when the supporting characters rise. I find the supporting roles are very interesting as well, complete with their own unique personalities. One thing I mind is how violence the girls are to the boys. In my opinion, it’s a bit overusing for a slapstick joke anime like this.
I can’t say much about the sound. The opening song is rather typical but I find the ending sequence is really something. They put a skit on the ending which is very interesting. The upbeat and catchy music while the casts are performing a play in cultural festival is hilarious. The randomness on it is epic. I have no complaints for the voice acting. The voice actors fits the characters, especially Hidenori who’s voiced by Sugita (he also has done voice for Gintoki). The way when he talks to himself or when he’s overthinking something really makes me laugh.
My personal note; Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou is a solid comedy show. If you’re looking for good laughs, I’d like to suggest you to give it a shot. In my experience, in every episode I’ve watched I always find at least one or two skits that are funny and memorable. Moreover, I’m sure you can somehow relate them to your highschool life, although it won’t be as extreme and funny as in this series. This is the first time I’ve watched an anime that is divided into several skits each episode and I like it. I would gladly recommend this to everyone. Overall, This show is thoroughly entertaining and worthy my time.
As a stressed out college student, I constantly find myself looking back at my high school years and remembering the fun old times. My all boys school meant that we could rein in free chaos without the worry of having to act proper around girls, so my class and I did all sorts of pranks and whatnot. From playing football in the hallway, to accidentally taking down a security camera, to taking down the school flag and wearing it as a cape, lighting up fireworks in class, all those things. Truth be told, high school was boring, but my classmates made it so much fun during our free time. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou is about.
A comedy anime like no other, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (or Daily Life of High School Boys if you prefer) had me laughing just as much (and probably more) as any comedic work out there. I found myself wiping tears from my eyes constantly and enjoying every single second of it. At twelve episodes in length, Danshi Koukousei promises that you will enjoy every single moment.
First off, Danshi Koukousei has no overarching story. There is no typical high school plot in here as you would imagine from most generic slice of life animes. In fact, the show is presented in what most people would refer to as a ‘skit’ format. An episode of the anime will generally contain in average eight skits, each of them representing wildly different aspects of the free time that high school boys face on a day to day basis and what they do to liven up their boring lives.
Of course, most of these are exaggerated at some points, but there isn’t anything wrong with that. In fact, it adds more to the realism of the show and how high school boys tend to exaggerate normal situations in their mind. Add that to the fact this anime is a HUGE parody of anime as a whole, taking in various anime tropes and destroying them before your very eyes. Oh you were expecting this to happen? Well haha, FUCK YOU PREDICTABILITY!
On the subject of characters, there is no better way to describe the main cast as extremely human. Each character has his own little quirk that makes him instantly relatable to someone. I found myself constantly laughing and thinking along the lines of: “Oh my God that is so my friend from senior year!”
The main cast is comprised of the trio of destiny: Tadakuni (whose last name is never revealed and in fact parodied by the show itself), Hidenori, and Yoshitake. Tadakuni is your straight man, the guy who is dragged into the crazy and manic antics that his two best friends get themselves in to. Hidenori is the bespectacled one, the playboy of the group and generally the inner monologue heavy guy who analyzes situations over and over again in a very comedic fashion. And finally, we have Yoshitake, the blonde dyed member of the group who is usually the idiot and goes along with whatever the situation around him dictates.
Aside from those three, the anime introduces many many characters throughout the course of its run, giving us a well varied and excellently written cast. However, due to the sheer amount of characters, it’s kind of hard to remember the names of all of them. But, this is beautifully averted when the anime itself tells you that, while it knows its introducing many characters late into the show, it’s not important to remember all their names.
It is also important to acknowledge the main female characters from this extensive male cast. At the end of every episode, there is an extra skit titled “High School Girls Are Funky!” which features three girls (Yanagi, Habara and Ikushima) who are basically the female counterparts of the main trio. While their skits are not as funny as the male ones, they are still the parts of the series where backstory is heavy handed and offers some insight into the past of some of the characters which, at least in my book, is a step in the right direction.
On the topic of animation, the studio responsible for animating this is Sunrise Inc., famous for shows such as The Visions of Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, Tiger and Bunny, among others. In itself, the animation is very simplistic and it actually works in favor of the show’s theme. Add that to the fact that most of the characters sport some weirdly exaggerated faces to go along with some of the jokes makes said jokes all the better. A curious thing to note about the animation is the decision to shadow the eyes of the majority of the small female cast. This, I found out much later, was surprisingly parodied by the show as well in one of the later skits.
The voice cast does a beautiful job with the characters as well. Most of the voices are blown out of proportion for some of the jokes, which makes the delivery of them all the better. You might find some of the voices rather familiar, particularly with Hidenori’s seiyuu Tomokazu Sugita, famous for lending his voice to Gintama, another comedy anime. Miyu Irino is present here as the voice of Tadakuni, showcasing his amazing talent, and Kenichi Suzumaru is here as well, giving his voice to the bumbling idiot that is Yoshitake. Add to those three Daisuke Namikawa as the voice of everyone’s favorite delinquent Motoharu, and you have one of the best voiced casts in recent anime history (at least that’s how I see it).
Aside from that, the music is also very well executed. Audio Highs, known for their previous work in Bakuman and Gintama, are responsible for the masterfully well-crafted music that is present in this show. The anime sports one opening and one ending, with the opening being “Shiny tale” by Mix Speakers, Inc. while the ending theme is “O-hi-sama” by Amesaki Annainin. Both are very good, with the first one really pumping you up for a high school anime while the ending is… well, stupid. It simply fits with the whole theme of the show in its own, unique, way.
Now that I’ve covered everything there is, it’s time to go down to the final verdict.
This show means a lot to me. Not just because it made me laugh, but because some of the skits that the show has are actually situations that occurred to me during my daily life while in high school. The days I spent laughing with my friends, worrying about a friend’s little sister (well, actually it was his cousin) and whatnot really brought me memories that had long passed. It made me look back in life and smile at how beautiful everything was with my old friends and how much I miss them. It’s an anime I hold very near and dear to my heart simply because of the feelings it evoked in me while watching it and, truth be told, for being the funniest anime I have seen in my entire life.
Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou gets a very well deserved 9/10. It would be a 10, but the short length left me wanting for more. But, just like everything else, even the short length is parodied by the show. Aside from that, a couple of jokes fell flat on their faces, but this didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the show.
Much thanks to Mel, for proofreading this (I love you my little internet daughter), Erika, for providing her helpful insight, and my good friend Wendy, who should write some reviews of her own because she is a FREAKING GENIUS.
There will be more to come, so expect more from me in the following months. AND AS ALWAYS, ANY FEEDBACK WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED.
This is Team Dai-Squirtle, to the stars and back!
5: Bakuman. 2nd Season
MAL Score: 8.37
With the serialization of their new manga, “Detective Trap,” the writer-artist team, Akito Takagi and Moritaka Mashiro, better known by their pseudonym Muto Ashirogi, are one step closer to becoming world-renowned mangaka. For Mashiro, however, serialization is just the first step. Having promised to marry his childhood sweetheart and aspiring voice actress, Azuki Miho, once his manga gets an anime adaptation, Mashiro must continue his to popularize Ashirogi’s work. A tremendously competitive cast of ambitious mangaka—including the wild genius, Eiji Niizuma; the elegant student, Yuriko Aoki, and her older admirer and partner, Takurou Nakai; the lazy prodigy, Kazuya Hiramaru; and the abrasive artist, Shinta Fukuda—both support and compete against Muto Ashirogi in creating the next big hit.
As they adjust to their young and seemingly untested new editor, the dynamic duo struggle to maintain their current serialization, secure the top stop in Shounen Jack, and ultimately, achieve an anime adaptation of their manga. With new rivals and friends, Bakuman. 2nd Season continues Takagi and Mashiro’s inspiring story of hard work and young love.
The first season of Bakuman was great, the story, the characters, the atmosphere fitted perfectly, though It did suffer from pacing problems and could of been adapted better. This time however, J.C Staff has stepped up their game, managing to fix those problems and make Bakuman 2 one hell of a enjoyable anime and probably the best slice-of-life series I’ve seen yet.
= Story  =
Bakuman starts exactly where it left off from the first season and gets right into the story. I won’t say much to avoid spoiling it for people who happen to see this review before watching the first season but this season has a lot more drama and romance, which make for some very intense scenes and memorable moments.
Something, that is unique to the story of Bakuman is how realistic it is. The two main characters aren’t always successful and positive like you find in most shonen series and there isn’t any shock twists which would be impossible to find in a real life situation, well maybe one.
= Art  =
I never get tired of the art in this series, It’s amazing how J.C Staff can make the manga illustrations look so realistic and the amount of detail and effort they put into the backgrounds.
The character designs are nothing special but they don’t really need to be, If anything, the only character design I can fault is Shuujin’s/Takagi’s, It’s just that he looked a lot different and a lot better in the manga, though I don’t really mind the change.
= Sound  =
I have to admit, I didn’t like any of the first seasons OP and ED’s that much, though Bakuman 2 has some great ones which really suit the story-lines in this season. The OST remains nearly entirely the same in this season, which is a good thing since it doesn’t feel overused yet and suits the anime perfectly.
All of the VA’s do a great job reprising their roles and the newcomers fit their parts perfectly in my opinion.
= Character  =
There’s a lot more Character development this time around, which is welcomed especially for the minor characters such as Aoki and Nakai, who really annoyed me at first, but then actually became likeable.
The romance side of Bakuman shines through a lot more this time around, which also helped character development a lot, though some of the relationships became a bit boring and repetitive during the the second half of the story.
Bakuman 2 is one addicting ride, the story and the characters really draw you in and makes you want to finish the whole series in one go, which not just any anime can emulate.
If you’re a fan of first season, you’ll love this sequel, all the spirit and fun of the manga and prequel are maintained in Bakuman’s second anime outing, which leaves us eagerly awaiting the third season.
Overall, Bakuman 2 outdoes it’s predecessor in every aspect, with faster pacing, a more ‘tighter’ and entertaining story, great character development with art and sound to top it off. If it wasn’t for a slow down during the the latter episodes with the story and characters, I would’ve considered Bakuman 2 a masterpiece.
Now I know why I decided not to stick to watching the second season. Even as I’m typing this, I still can’t grasp the stark difference between my thoughts on the show vs the majority’s opinion. I felt betrayed by the score, so I thought I’ll throw in a different perspective regarding the anime.
The first season felt like an inoffensive story that was just okay to watch (from what little I remember), but this second season was a trudge to go through. I had to force myself to watch another episode with the idea that it’d get better eventually, but unfortunately it got worse. The entire season could be skipped, and nothing would change except a few set pieces.
Near the end, I decided not to continue on with the third season since I realized that I lost my interest.
Now the characters. The way I’d describe the majority of them would be: Obnoxious. They barely have any redeeming qualities. They are one dimensional and only serve as convenient devices to keep the story moving along. Romances are thrown in out of completely nowhere and only feel as though they are introduced and used for motivation.
Character development consists of complete 180 degree changes in personality and character thought processes are indescribable.
The story consists of a popularity contest between manga authors of the same publisher. It starts with them calling each other rivals, telling each other that they’ll beat each other next time. Then, they come up with ideas haphazardly and start working on them, hoping it’ll get NUMBER ONE IN THE RANKINGS!…. then if they get a good ranking they congratulate each other, if they don’t then they say they’ll beat each other next time.
There are some stakes thrown in to each of these repetitions because the makers know if they don’t include those in, then there would be nothing left of interest. But then the stakes are pummeled as soon as push comes to shove, and you start wondering why they were included in the first place.
Artwork is okay, nothing special but it’s decent. Actually, it was nice to see different manga authors with different drawing styles.
Sound was okay too, serviceable enough for the show.
It’s difficult for me not to spoil stuff while talking about my experience watching this anime, so I feel that right here would be a good place for people to stop reading. But for those who’ve watched the show or don’t care about spoilers, please continue…
I mentioned the characters being obnoxious. So let me expand on that…
The main characters Mashiro and Takagi aka Ashirogi Muto stand true on that statement the most. They are childish, whiny, arrogant and stuck up, with these inflated but fragile egos. They are constantly bitching about being popular and getting the best rankings and would change their entire story they worked on to get ranked better. They feel like they only want to be manga authors for the sake of becoming famous, getting anime adaptations, and striking it big. Mashiro is especially guilty of this to the point where almost every word spoken out of his mouth made me go “oh just shut up” in my head.
Mashiro’s art is very good and never needs any polish. Takagi is just this genius who can think of a good story on the spot, but is otherwise really bland. Ah who am I kidding, everybody in this show is bland. But still they crapshoot everywhere because the season needs to stretch to 25 episodes and the makers need some form of progression throughout the series.
Of course, every “rival” has this behavioural pattern as well, although not to the same degree. They’re all different flavours of “I’ll work hard and beat you next time!” and “I wont lose to you!”.
Niizuma Eiji is shown as this super genius with an eccentric personality, and serves as the main rival to Ashirogi Muto. Both as manga authors and being super annoying to look at. Sheesh, his screams still ring in my head. He has no “I’ll work hard and beat you next time!” but he does have “I wont lose to you!”.
Fukuda is this angry man that rages at everything and is a hardass with a caring heart. He is the angry version of “I’ll work hard and beat you next time!” and “I wont lose to you!”.
Hiramaru was a character that I found decent. His dynamic with his editor was predictable but okay to watch. His shtick is that he is forced to draw manga while he wants to do other stuff. He is the unwilling version of “I’ll work hard and beat you next time!” and “I wont lose to you!”.
Nakai is just a plain creep with fragile self esteem.
Iwase is an arrogant woman with too much time on her hands. A vindictive and narrow minded individual with the weirdest motivation. She is the vengeful version of “I’ll work hard and beat you next time!” and “I wont lose to you!”.
Aoki is a manipulative, heartless and proper woman who does a 180 degree personality change into become a blank slate. She is the female version of “I’ll work hard and beat you next time!” and “I wont lose to you!”.
Moving on with other characters,
Azuki is Mashiro’s girlfriend and nothing would change if she was replaced by cardboard. Their relationship makes no sense and makes you wonder how the hell they fell in love and decided to marry each other in the first place.
Miyoshi is a convenience.
Miura is just this loudmouthed, boisterous man who actually achieves nothing. NOTHING. His purpose is solely to act as an obstacle and he comes in to achieve only that, then to leave after he has been overcome. To me, it felt like he is the only reason the second season occurred. If you take out the portion of the anime from the point where Miura is introduced as Ashirogi’s editor to where Miura is exchanged back to Hattori, then apart from Nakai leaving the picture and the serialization manga names changing, nothing happens.
Oh I guess Takagi and Miyoshi get married? I don’t even know how or why they decided to do that. Felt like it was just convenient to throw in because they’re both best friends of the show’s main romance.
Hattori is a decent character. He’s the only one that made me laugh once in a scene in the entire season, but still he seemed like a genuinely likeable and competent editor. Don’t get me wrong though, still a bit bland.
The chief editor is shown as this very competent and serious dude, but to me he seemed like a really indecisive prick. First, he says he’ll put Ashirogi on hiatus for a whole year since Mashiro got sick due to overworking and for some reason was sick and needed to get surgery, so he needs rest to recover. But then he’s like “naah jk”.
Second, he tells his editors to vote for Ashirogi’s manga serialization to see if it can compete with Niizuma Eiji’s work, since they’re all incompetent and can’t judge their own publications. The condition is that if it can’t compete, then Ashirogi’s contract would be terminated. The editors vote 4 to 3, saying that Ashirogi can’t beat Eiji with this at the end of the episode. BUT NOOOOOOOO, since this show can’t have that happen, just at the fucking start of the next episode, they editors are like “But sir! Ashirogi’s career is at stake! Let’s leave it in the hands of the readers to decide!” so the vote changes to 7-0 in favour of Ashirogi’s serialization.
Are you fucking kidding me?! Are you telling me that all that time spent into coming to these dilemmas was for nothing? Why can I see these predictable outcomes from a mile away! Things like these make for a very frustrating viewing experience and you’re left thinking “What was the point?”.
Near the end, a conversation gets shoehorned in about manga authors focusing on story vs popularity and this is where I realize why there is such an obsession with rankings. Mashiro basically declares that he writes manga only for popularity’s sake, and to me personally (even though I do not read manga) that was indication to not watch the third season.
Actually, now that I think about it. This show unintentionally, through it’s own dialogue, the way it’s story is written, the way it’s characters interact and behave, tells me a lot about how some manga authors think and go about creating a manga. That is really interesting and odd since none of the actual content depicts any semblance of realism.
The thought processes and dialogue of characters really commentate on the thoughts of the makers themselves as they were making the show, and how shallow the whole thing is.
Making a weekly publish in a manga while coming up with what happens next every week will not make up a good story or an interesting read unless the whole thing’s planned from the beginning. Shounen mangas have this problem the most, and this show magnifies this by showing us the actual time and thought put into them.
These works are done purely for the purpose of running a business, and authors’ ideas are reworked and washed down to make them more mainstream at the cost of originality. Overworking their authors by giving them breakneck deadlines while manipulating their want for becoming popular as fuel for encouragement for working hard.
This makes me understand why I never liked shows like One Piece, Naruto or Bleach. I always felt like the stories in them were made up on the spot and pieced together, dragging on for no reason other than maintaining viewership, popularity and fanbase.
Bakuman is one of these shows but with no battle scenes or action.
* * * S T O R Y * * *
It’s rather original and is likely to draw in anyone with an interest in anime/manga. It has some pretty good drama and whatever in it.
* * * A R T * * *
I’d say the “typical anime faces” (such as oAo) they sometimes have kinda lowers the quality of this series. I like that they have some more original types of gag faces, though. The art and animation looks quite nice overall.
Some of the parts where they showed storyboards/”names” were poorly drawn and dull to look at. I think they should’ve at least had more panels/actions shown so we could see the story, not just hear a narration. Manga is all about the visuals, after all. There were some good moments with the more elaborate manuscripts, though.
* * * S O U N D * * *
I think Mashiro sounds a little too wimpy. The music didn’t stand out to me whatsoever. Their relaxed, “everyday” country-ish music is just pretty boring. They live in a city, so why the country bumpkin music? There’s other music more appropriately fitting the anime, but none of it is memorable.
* * * C H A R A C T E R S * * *
Yes, yes, people hate Miura. I think Miura was another good display of what the world of manga can be like. He also developed into a decent editor after realizing his flaws. As an obstacle, he created more entertaining points in the series and made the end result all the more satisfying.
Mashiro and Takagi are always developing and learning to see manga from different perspectives. They change in other ways, too, making unexpected decisions as the story progresses.
Other characters develop, other characters stay the same. That’s the way life is, including when it comes to a manga artist’s aspirations (or lack of).
* * * E N J O Y M E N T * * *
Compared to the Bakuman manga, they cut out a lot of the more technical aspects of planning and writing manga. They kept the “Tanto arc” short and sweet, really. It also feels like they balanced things out so that Azuki would seem like she has more involvement in the series. I know people complained about how small her role was in the manga, so I think this is a good change. It was pretty easy to neglect and forget about her in the manga, but I think it’s important to maintain this romantic aspect based on true love.
One thing I didn’t like is how they made it sound like panty shots are not only normal, but necessary in the world of manga. Honestly, things like that cause people to label all manga as bad. I think panty shots should’ve been treated as a cheap way to get votes from perverts, not something a female manga artist should strive to achieve. It’s sad to think people would be unable to appreciate a good story unless it had softcore porn in every chapter.
* * * O V E R A L L * * *
Good story, nothing really disappointing (other than the panty thing), satisfying ending. I didn’t find this too addicting, but maybe that’s just because I read the manga already. This is some quality anime.
4: Uchuu Kyoudai
English: Space Brothers
MAL Score: 8.51
On a fateful summer night in 2006, Mutta Nanba and his younger brother Hibito witness what they believe to be a UFO flying toward the Moon. This impressing and unusual phenomenon leads both siblings vowing to become astronauts, with Hibito aiming for the Moon and Mutta, convinced that the eldest brother has to be one step ahead, for Mars.
Now an adult, life hasn’t turned out how Mutta had pictured it: he is diligently working in an automotive company, whereas Hibito is on his way to be the very first Japanese man to step on the Moon. However, after losing his job, Mutta is presented with an unexpected opportunity to catch up to his younger brother when the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, commonly known as JAXA, accepts his application to participate in the next astronaut selection. Despite self-doubts about his prospects, Mutta is unwilling to waste this chance of a lifetime, and thus embarks on an ambitious journey to fulfill the promise made 19 years ago.
Space Brothers cleverly depicts the pursuits of Mutta and Hibito, converging their storylines at some times and following them separately at others. This structure is beneficial to the flow and progression, and earns top marks from me. It also uses an intriguing method of linking the past to the present, showing the audience how the brothers’ upbringing helps them with the challenges on the path toward fulfilling their dreams.
This leads me to the most notable aspect of Space Brothers – its insanely realistic plot. The amount of research that author Koyama Chuuya had to have done is mind-boggling. In fact, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) actually helped out on it, which is noticeable throughout. Plainly stated, you just can’t make some of this stuff up! Which brings me to an important question potential viewers always ask: why is it so long?? It takes a lot of time and effort to become an astronaut, and it is quite clearly portrayed in this anime. To condense any of what is shown would be an insult to real astronauts. As a rare “long seinen,” I approve.
Additionally, it’s difficult to NOT be impressed with immense detail that the mangaka put into the setting. For instance, whenever the main characters travel to the United States, American fans are simply blown away by the accuracy of the places illustrated, such as the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Texas. Though I’ve never been to either of these locations, it almost feels like I’ve been on a virtual tour, just by watching an anime.
This leaves me with the literary brilliance of its themes. As is evident from the title, family plays an important role, and not just the Nanba family; though it is crucial to note that “family” is not limited by blood. Although this is a comedy [and it can be pretty funny at times], it is well balanced by its serious moments. Furthermore, this is an anime about going to space.. which is a very scary place where the consequences of failure are colossal. This anxiety gives the experience an even keener flavor. Of course it deals with moral issues and other difficulties in life as well. Sacrifice and the test of friendship is a prevalent theme as the journey to the top requires leaving many behind – not everyone can be a winner. The anime also tackles psychological and neurological hardships, in addition to exposing the stress put on the families of the astronauts. However, the theme that Space Brothers always comes back to is that hard work and guts [and a lot of luck] will always pay off, even if the immediate results appear unfavorable.
Though there isn’t very much “action” in this anime, A-1 pictures does a great job in the animation department. Movements are fluid and expressions are believable, to say the least. In terms of art style, Space Brothers uses an interesting blend of intrinsic “anime-ness” along with the natural proportions and appearances of.. well.. real life. Something that caught my eye was the attention to heredity. Characters of the same family tended to look like each other and/or their parents, which is an uncommon trait in anime. It’s a nice addition to the realism this seinen provides. Hair is also quite interesting. Each character’s hair style/color stays within the bounds of reality while still remaining unique from other shows. Bonus points to Serika’s hair for somehow making me smile every time she’s on screen.
Now, I feel this is the weakest part of the show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good, just less so in comparison to its strengths. The music is used to enforce and empower the displayed emotions and elicit the intended feels from the viewer, but the anime reuses the same songs… over and over. I actually made it a game to see how many episodes it could go without playing the same “feel this now” song. I guess you get used to it after a while, but it is worth mentioning. The last third of the anime gets better at diversifying its music. The OPs and EDs are pretty good though, my favorite being ED5, “BEYOND” by Miho Fukuhara [yea, the same Fukuhara that did Brotherhood ED2].
My favorite part of this anime is the incredible characterization! Practically every character is memorable due to the depth in which each is described. Their motivations and actions logically follow the person that they’ve become. You can easily fall in love with any number of them, and palpably feel heartbroken if things don’t go their way. Viewers with weaker hearts be wary, though I never cried myself, I acknowledge that much of the anime can bring you to tears. There are several instances in which a character’s reactions and facial expressions deliver far more emotion than any amount of words could. This attribute alone makes Space Brothers stand out from other anime. Simply put, the entire cast is a rainbow of personality. I don’t really want to go much further into detail.. that would ruin the magic!
This is a great show, easily one of my favorites. Whenever I found myself in an anime rut, I just sat back and watched a couple episodes. Another thing that’s worth noting is that the anime is very inspirational. Seeing Mutta go through so many tribulations gave me hope for my future, and that my efforts in the present will yield fruit down the road. Maybe that’s just me though.
Space Brothers is an excellently constructed anime that combines a heartwarming story with delightful comedy, using realistic characters to show the audience just how difficult it is to become an astronaut.
Oh yea, we can end that handshake now.
Lately, i haven’t found any good anime to watch.. then i meet Uchuu Kyoudai/Space Brother, at the first i was like oh just an average anime which have sci-fi and bla bla bla. since i didnt have any anime to watch, i thought i could try it for just one episode. and then seems like i had learned my lesson.
“Dont ever judge anime by its cover, genre, or anything else before you watched it” – Me, after watching this.
The story was simple, its about Nanba Mutta as the older brother who had promised with his younger brother, Nanba Hibito. to become an Astronaut together. But, then the life changes them. Now, Nanba Hibito is on training for becoming an astronaut and as for the older brother, he is just being fired from his company. And until then Mutta as the older brother have a motto that older brother must take a step ahead against his younger brother, luckily, there was an audition for becoming an astronaut. and so Mutta without hestitate sign for the audition.
Simple? yeah… its kinda remembering me about Bakuman. and so, whats make this so special?
first of all, is the story itself. like bakuman does, the story was father kinda in slow paced. we’re not just gonna see the Nanba Mutta struggle for being an astronaut, but we’re gonna see too the flashback about him and her younger brother, boring? I dont think so, since all that flashback was really touching. You cant help to shed your tears (that was what i feel). Well, its not all about melancholic situation, Uchuu Kyodai have great jokes too. Usually when Nanba Mutta mumbling or speak with himself, he always comments on what he feel or what he see. It just feels so natural, you cant help to not to laugh when he does that.
and not just that, the detail of the way they tells us about space, NASA, and the outer things was really perfect. when i watching this anime, i cant help myself to google some of the fact in this anime, like “did you know that Moon’s sand was so sharp as a shard of glass?” and not just that, the details about space and NASA is really increasing our knowledge about it.
Second, the character. what makes appeal me a lot was all of the character in space brother. i am not exaggerating. because in this anime, there isnt any bad guys with a weird reason to do something bad. they’re just people like us, who do something for some reason, behind every act they made, they have a reason. I think thats the good point, since as far as i have seen, rarely any anime made this thing (act) so naturally. They’re just doing by what they’re believe.
And what surprise me a lot was the each character have a scene to develop. either by flashback or by their experience. and its kinda lame to said that the story was so slow (because of the flashback), YES its slow but the slow itself because they want to the viewer knows “what kind of character it is?” and surely, to make us, being attracted by the character.
Third, the art. i am not gonna said to much on this section. but, if you see it carefully, you will see why this anime was so appealing, like how many anime that have a male lead which have an afro hair? then, the draws for the character was well made, yet is so slice of life anime. Not excessive on the background coloring neither the character does. When usually some anime use so many gradient or shading in coloring to make more appealing but not in space brother, they make it simple but yet its charming. Its really the style of Sentai Filmworks
The Last, Sound. honestly, when i heard the opening songs (especially the first OP, “Feel so Moon”) i am really attached to it, not just attached it, i realize that the OP was really fit with the anime, its about outer space. not just the first OP, the other OP was really – really well made. Even i had to replay the OP, just for hear the song. The background song or BGM is also perfectly fit with every scenes that appears. Like when there was something amazing happen, “Sora e No Michi” songs plays and its really hyping up the atmosphere and makes the scenes twice more epic!
Not just the OP and BGM, the seiyuu voice was really deserves an award. They really fits with each character that being voiced. especially when Nanba Mutta talking to himself or when he sighing about his life, its like they (the seiyuu) really put their feelings into it. Of course not just seiyuu for Nanba Mutta, but all the character.
When everyone focus and talk about Shingeki no Kyojin or any anime that airing in that season, They forgot to bring this anime as topic to be discussed. Oh, poor you Space Brother. But well, honestly i am happy that not many people to know this anime. I can be a hipster! lol Anyway, this anime was still airing. until i write this review, the anime had just airing their 63 episodes but it has been on my top 5 anime,Yeah, so why i had to risk on my top anime place for this airing anime? as for me, its too early for judging anime if you havent watched the whole episodes, but who cares? this anime was awesome. and its enough reason for me to put this on my top anime.
if you’re looking for a motivational , then you might try this anime… and one message for me, CATCH YOUR DREAM!
*Thanks for reading my review! If you found this review was not helpful or doesnt good enough,please message me. I really appreciate any feedbacks*
My first thought after reading the synopsis was why the hell are 99 episodes dedicated to these random siblings trying to go to space. Not to mention the fact that one of them has an afro. Is this entire series a joke? The sci-fi genre with “space” in it is so commonplace that we often associate it with aliens, laser beams blasting out of gigantic humanoid robots, or imperial planetary empires attempting to take over galaxies; we often forget that astronauts/cosmonauts in reality are one of the most dangerous and strenuous professions in the world. As a requirement, all astronauts must be genetically and physically healthy all around, have to dedicate their minds to proficiency levels of engineers, and have to work long hours to maintain the fitness ability of athletes. Even then, only the very few with exceptional abilities are the ones that are accepted as those that are able to go to space. Forget the ridiculous afro for now. This is a truly inspirational journey about the challenges that the siblings overcome to fulfilling a persistent passion (mostly just about the guy with the afro though).
It’s always very challenging to express characters realistically in anime but this one has particularly done an outstanding job. The depth of the characters continued to grow and develop throughout the series. The background stories of every character along with the inflections of tones and conversations entwines into their personalities and career pursuits as astronauts or engineers. The mini-stories also added gravity to each character’s dedication.
La di la di la. Amazing classical music when needed 🙂
Some pretty good comedy alongside the inspiring story of our friendly afro dude.
The scenes and color are framed well and appropriately montaged, giving decent mis-en-scene. Symbolic coloring and framing or artistically beautiful shots are not the highlight of this show. I would say this has a lot more going for it in the story and character development than anything else. The style of art is “meh” but that is largely subjective.
10/10 Overall a hidden masterpiece.
3: Bakuman. 3rd Season
MAL Score: 8.56
Onto their third serialization, manga duo Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi—also known by their pen name, Muto Ashirogi—are ever closer to their dream of an anime adaption. However, the real challenge is only just beginning: if they are unable to compete with the artist Eiji Niizuma in the rankings within the span of six months, they will be canceled. To top it off, numerous rivals are close behind and declaring war. They don’t even have enough time to spare thinking about an anime!
In Bakuman. 3rd Season, Muto Ashirogi must find a way to stay atop the colossal mountain known as the Shounen Jack rankings. With new problems and new assistants, the pair continue to strive for their dream.
The story is still great with the usual pacing style of the previous seasons. There’s just something very addicting in the pacing of the story, it feels like no second is wasted at every episode. Each one brings something new to the story, good news and more hurdles at the end of the episode. The cliffhangers really get you excited to watch the next episode too. The plot twists are still the same as ever, they seem pretty petty and weak for an anime but they’re realistic and you can really relate to them because they fit the slice-of-life genre very well.
Art is still the same, it’s different but it’s neither bad nor good. It doesn’t stand out and that’s actually what makes it fit for it’s genre. Bakuman isn’t about flashy art, dramatic music and all that glitter. It’s good as it is. Though the quality drops at times, it doesn’t really affect the viewing enjoyment.
The sound is like the art, it’s the same.. not bad and not good. The OP is decent and the singer’s voice is kinda weird but it doesn’t really bother me. The EP is good, nothing to say about that. No objections about the sound really.
Characterization is the same and still good. Same goes for character development, in fac there’s actually a little bit of character development as soon as the first episode.
Bakuman is still addicting as ever, that’s all I need to say.
Overall, the quality didn’t drop one bit. It’s basically an extended Season 2, which was already perfect in my point of view. It’s as interesting as ever and I don’t think it needs any improvements at all. Any plans to change some things up ‘for the better’ would’ve backfired on them. Bakuman 2 and 3 is one of the best Animes I’ve seen.
Ahh, Bakuman once again returns as the third installation of this trilogy, known as Bakuman 3. It’s amazing how this show can still keep it together after several years. The series is written and illustrated by Tsugami Ohba, who is known for his famous work Death Note. In contrast though, the series does not give off psychological impressions but rather follows a slice-of-life style of presenting its story. The series has achieved universal success with its manga predecessor and likewise, I find that the third and final installation manage to keep it together once again.
The series follows two best friends, Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi. Collectively known by their pen name, Muto Ashirogi, the duo hopes to make a name for themselves by getting serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump. With a little hard work, motivation, determination, and luck, they might just be able to do just that.
Like its previous predecessors, Bakuman 3 presents itself as a slice-of-life style series. Dreams are hard to make into a reality but we can clearly see that Muto Ashirogi hopes to do so. It follows their youth lives in a natural way as opposed to normal teens. Most teens often think about their future and dream jobs later on in life but at only 9th grade, the duo Muto Ashirogi has already began to climb that ladder to success. It’s not easy though as becoming a manga artist is a very stressful way of life. In fact, Moritaka already knows this with the unfortunate circumstances of one of his family relatives. It even strived him away from thinking about the dream in the beginning. Furthermore, there is competition. Becoming a manga artist is a lot harder said than done. In fact, it can be compared to climbing the world’s tallest mountain, winning an Olympics gold medal, or achieving a world record in the Guiness Book. Okay, I’m probably exaggerating a bit here but you get the idea. It is not easy.
Surprisingly, Bakuman 3 incorporates many ideas from the art of manga creation itself. It presents to viewers how manga is made with the ideas, how to get the material published, and how the industry works directly with many of its episodes. It looks hard and definitely requires a lot of effort. Yet at the same time, watching this series makes the career seem fun and exciting. In fact, it’s that much exciting when Muto Ashirogi gets recognized for their work at various circumstances. In a way, Bakuman adapts its series of manga-in-manga but in a way that makes it look like a lifestyle.
The slice-of-life continues to exist just like its previous predecessors. It follows the duo in their every day live mixed in with comedy, drama, and romance. The drama part comes from Nakai who continues to linger his ways of going after Aoki despite their previous encounters. It doesn’t stop there though as a love triangle ensures between him, Aoki, and Hiramaru. It’s two guys and one girl in a triple threat. As silly as it sounds, the love triangle plays more of a progressing role for Aoki as she makes her stand and point known.
With the dramatic romance part aside, the technical part of Bakuman 3 also comes into play with some controversial events. In fact, Ashirogi Muto gets some unprecedented media attention after some unfortunate events. The duo wanted to make a name for themselves but not in the way that they see it this time. It gets a bit complex and even causes stress to the duo for their dreams. Forget dreams, it’s more like a nightmare now after such an event. It should be no surprising though as the author of the series wants to visualize what manga artists needs to deal with in the real life. It’s realistic in many senses from this case as becoming a manga artist is never easy. There are challenges every day whether it’s competition, scandals, overworking to meet due times, and bringing out ideas to audiences in its finest form. The imaginations that manga artists comes often requires extensive thoughts and planning as well. I personally found that the ideas used by Ashirogi Muto is a bit repetitive and even borrowed from themes used by the real artist/illustrator of Bakuman. In other words, although the series’ manga ideas are fun to read, they often lack a bit of uniqueness or set themselves differently from others. It’s often hard to present ideas when so many others exists beforehand but overall, I only considered the ideas that Ashirogi Muto came up to be….average.
Fortunately, I find Ashirogi Muto and their way of working to be quite interactive and fun. Often when working together, the duo seems to have more fun than expected with their ideas. It’s not in a workaholic way in which the duo tries to be the very best or earn cash but rather to do what they enjoy in while hoping to achieve success. Even when the duo are arguing, the dialogue is presented in an entertaining way. The words spoken by the characters are colorful and often or not, becomes an inspriation for their ideas. These ideas are transformed into their product for the world to see. Of course, success isn’t easy to come by especially with competition. Major supporting characters as Eiji are obstacles for Ashirogi Muto and they must overcome him to achieve that success.
On the more dramatic side, Bakuman 3 also introduces what some fans may see as a real antagonist in the form of Toru Nanamine. He represents the antithesis of Ashirogi Muto. On the surface, he looks like a fun and outgoing guy with a chill personality. However, deep down he is seen as a hot-tempered, manipulative, and an individual who is willing to do absolutely anything to achieve success. The construction of his character makes him an antagonist by the way he compete against Ashirogi Muto because he even relies on underhanded tactics to ensure his assumed victories. To him, making manga is about winning and being the best in contrast of Ashirogi Muto who wishes to achieve their dreams.
Bakuman 3 does seem to continuously adapt a slow pace. Furthermore, the many dialogues used between the characters often gets dull, lacks flavor, and dragged. The seemingly antagonist Nanamine is also easy to predict by viewers as the villain by the way of his actions. It’s not hard to see him as a two-faced individual who wishes to become the best even relying on iniquitous tactics. These tactics of course doesn’t always go the way he wants to.
The artwork of the series remains intact compared to its previous seasons. J.C. Staff adapts the anime based off of the manga and does a fit job in making its artwork intact. And of course, because this is an anime series based on making manga, the artwork created by the various artists themselves also are presented artistically well. The artwork in fact is edgy but gives off that realistic look at the series from the outside. In the inside, the manga and characters’ designs gives off a natural sort of look. It looks realistic and doesn’t look too flashy, not that it needs to be anyways. There is no fan service and fans shouldn’t be surprised at this considering it’s NHK network known for airing lighthearted series.
For the soundtrack department, everything seems to remain the same. Both the OP/ED song for the first and second half depicts on a montage of the main characters. Some of the soundtrack does to be repetitive but still retains its natural vibrations. It balances it out with the general lighthearted outlook of the series.
Overall, Bakuman 3 is a pleasant series for me and I think for fans, especially those who’ve watched the previous predecessors. Even if you don’t like the idea of making manga, the series makes it interactive with its extensive dialogues, competitions, and characters’ interactions. And of course, some of the manga ideas themselves can be entertaining. It’s not easy making dreams come true but Ashirogi Muto sure has great hopes. They’re climbing that ladder of success and opening doors to imaginations.
Story is a 9.
As with the previous season, it hasn’t lost it’s edge on story telling and pacing. It’s easy to follow and easy to understand. My only issues are some arcs are a bit uninteresting and unfulfilling, like the Nanamine arc.
Art is 10.
Great art as always. Proper visual effects, no awkward animations or anything etc. Pleasing to watch, I should say.
Sound is 9.
Good soundtrack and proper voice acting. OP/ED were not really anything special though,
would prefer Bakuman. 2’s OP.
Character is 10.
The character development was great and I really like how they interact witth each other. Eiji is definitely the standout as I appreciate how his eccentric behavior hasn’t changed at all. Kazuya Hiramaru also improved also, not only in the comedic sense.
Enjoyment is 10.
Every episode makes me either laugh or feel emotional. The scenes will always put a smile in your face because they are just so great.
Overall is 10.
It deserves the title of masterpiece because it isn’t just enjoyable but also it has been considered a piece of art. This is an anime you can watch over and over and still end up not being bored.
2: Gintama’: Enchousen
English: Gintama: Enchousen
Japanese: 銀魂’ 延長戦
MAL Score: 9.04
While Gintoki Sakata was away, the Yorozuya found themselves a new leader: Kintoki, Gintoki’s golden-haired doppelganger. In order to regain his former position, Gintoki will need the help of those around him, a troubling feat when no one can remember him! Between Kintoki and Gintoki, who will claim the throne as the main character?
In addition, Yorozuya make a trip back down to red-light district of Yoshiwara to aid an elderly courtesan in her search for her long-lost lover. Although the district is no longer in chains beneath the earth’s surface, the trio soon learn of the tragic backstories of Yoshiwara’s inhabitants that still haunt them. With flashback after flashback, this quest has Yorozuya witnessing everlasting love and protecting it as best they can with their hearts and souls.
Gintama’: Enchousen includes moments of action-packed intensity along with their usual lighthearted, slapstick humor for Gintoki and his friends.
Comedy isn’t that strong in series as of late, even in most of the series airing the comedy was either pretty bad or they started out great, but than ended up as failures from becoming great. Knowing when to be funny in a show is essential to making a series great. If you just half-ass your way it won’t become funny anymore, instead it will just be a generic show trying too hard. From the Fall and Winter seasons numerous shows tried doing this and they just burnt out near the end. Some recovered themselves near the end, barely.
However, Gintama is able to keep its comedy approach, knowing when to do it at the right time and not forcing itself too much. This gives the show a strong appeal to the fans that look for laughs.
We can’t just talk about the comedy of Gintama though, the action and emotional part of the show is able to perform so well that its surprising. It makes you think, “How can a show be so funny, yet so great in so many vast amount of genres?” It really is speechless to say, at least from my standing and maybe you’ll be able to question this yourself sometime too.
When it comes to Odd Jobs, also known as Yorozuya in its Romanized name, great hardships befall them. This ranges from running out of money due to the lack of jobs—to putting themselves into greater danger more so than the Shinsengumi, also known as the “Special Police Force.” By going to such great acts of danger they’re able to overcome and help the people they hold dear as friends.
Another great thing about Gintama is its characters. Gintoki, Shinpach, Kagura, and don’t forget about Sadaharu, their pet dog; If it can even be classified as a “dog,” have if not the best and unique characters in Anime. Despite Gintoki being the leader his personality takes a 180 turn from being serious, to trolling the viewers by picking his nose and always reading manga. Like Gintoki, Shinpachi and Kagura have pretty much the same type of personalities of Gin but show it in a different way.
The general theme of Gintama has no boundaries, right? Right. It’s able to clash from fighting Aliens known as the Amanto that harm their beloved country to fighting corrupted Shoguns that only seek power. This also relates to its artwork by going into an Olden historical setting and even space.
In the soundtrack department, Audio Highs who’s worked on all of the previous seasons and this one also shows how she/he is able to compose and arrange the music in the correct places throughout the series. While Amoyamo who played the first opening song, “Let’s Go Out” of Gintama Enchousen and SPYAIR who performed the second opening song, “Sakura Mitsu Tsuki” as well as many other songs from the previous seasons is able to show a calm but catchy beat in all of their songs. The ending song is rather catchy as well, performed by PAGE – “Expect.”
In the end Gintama lives up to being a great classic to the viewers. A show that can bring comedy, emotion, action and an historical type setting all into one, while keeping strong to its general based theme is Gintama. Odd Jobs will never be forgotten, they shall return one day and when that day comes, prepare yourself.
First off we get the episode with Kintoki as they promised from the last episode of Gintama’, it was mostly for the lols but it also focused on Gintoki’s bond with his companions and friends, it showed how close they actually are to each other, especially to Kagura, Shinpachi, Otae, Tama and Sadaharu. The second arc of Gintama’:Enchousen revealed a little more of Gin-san’s past to us and gave Shigeshige shogun an important role to play in, and it shows that Kagura is still friends with the Shogun’s sister, the princess that ran out of the castle in the early episodes. The third arc focused on the Shimura siblings’ past&the dojo, they also show us how Shinpachi has grown stonger and that he’s not just some character that only plays the straightman role, it also shows Tae’s kind of lovable side too. We also get to see a different side of Gin-san and what kind of relationship the Shinsengumi and Yagyuu clan have with Sakata Gintoki.
Everything looks amazing in HD, Gintoki&Kagura picking their nose, Sadaharu’s urine, Shinpachi’s main body, Mayonnaise, epic Gintoki’s battles, Shogun’s pantsu and more. The animation and art in the openings& endings are very relaxing to watch.
The openings are awesome, my favorite one has to be “Sakura Mitsutsuki”, it really suits the arc that it’s in and very pleasant to my ears, also very beautiful for both the art and the song. “Let’s go out” also sounds great. The endings are beautiful, especially “Expect” which was very cute.
Alot of character development, most are from Sakata Gintoki, Shimura Shinpachi&Tae. Alot of Gintoki’s past were revealed, Shinpachi grew up and Otae is actually able to talk nicely to Kondo Isao. (Spoiler:In the first arc, Tsukuyo, Sarutobi, Kyubei, Katsura and Hasegawa were able to remember Gintoki, even after they got hypnotized again, it didn’t work, this shows how close they actually are to Gintoki, Otae was also the first person to remember Gintoki along with Kagura and Shinpachi, this shows that their bonds are very close to each other)
We got alot of actions from Gintoki and the gang, alot of feels from Gintoki and the gang, very good soundtrack and we also got to see Shogun play a very important role. It still keeps the comedy part of the show too.
Overall:10( I wanna do 100 cant we have 100 instead of 10?)
Very good story that links to other episodes, very nice animation&art, beautiful soundtracks, lots of character development, very enjoyable, Gintama DOES NOT DISAPPOINT.
P.S. Dont finish all the episodes too fast or else you wont find anything to fill the void after you finish Gintama as a whole.
Overall, it is an excellent season. Gintama lives up to the viewers expectations.
English: Gintama Season 2
MAL Score: 9.06
After a one-year hiatus, Shinpachi Shimura returns to Edo, only to stumble upon a shocking surprise: Gintoki and Kagura, his fellow Yorozuya members, have become completely different characters! Fleeing from the Yorozuya headquarters in confusion, Shinpachi finds that all the denizens of Edo have undergone impossibly extreme changes, in both appearance and personality. Most unbelievably, his sister Otae has married the Shinsengumi chief and shameless stalker Isao Kondou and is pregnant with their first child.
Bewildered, Shinpachi agrees to join the Shinsengumi at Otae and Kondou’s request and finds even more startling transformations afoot both in and out of the ranks of the the organization. However, discovering that Vice Chief Toushirou Hijikata has remained unchanged, Shinpachi and his unlikely Shinsengumi ally set out to return the city of Edo to how they remember it.
With even more dirty jokes, tongue-in-cheek parodies, and shameless references, Gintama’ follows the Yorozuya team through more of their misadventures in the vibrant, alien-filled world of Edo.
That’s right. The #1 show is back – and I am damn excite, son.
To any of you who haven’t watched the first season, please do. but if you wouldn’t want to commit yourself to a 201 episode show, feel free to just skip ahead to season two and try an episode or two. The storyline’s arranged in inconsistent arcs, meaning you can pick it up from any arc – as long as you get an explanation on the origins of the different characters.
I assume all of you know the general setting – a Samurai who lives in a modern era in which aliens are a part of our (humans) daily lives. There’s an ongoing ban on swords, so being a Samurai is obviously forbidden by law.
Though there’s no rule against a wooden sword, is there?
In the last year, our friendly studio Sunrise had enough time to stack up material for a long-lasting second season, while our beloved mangaka had time to improve and write arcs which without a doubt – have the Gintama effect. Holding tears in your throat, and two minutes later laughing like a maniac – only to be in tears again a few minutes later. The long touchy speeches are back, the unexpected plot turns are back, everything we longed for in this Gintama-less year, is back.
It might be important to specify the fact that Gintama is now well funded, and is in HD. Can you imagine seeing Gintoki pick his nose in 720p?! Insane!!!
The first arc is the comeback we all wished for, every character you knew is making an appearance, though you should ready yourself for a surprise – they’ve all changed.
I promise this – starting at the first 15 seconds up to the end of the 24 minutes of awesome, you’ll be smiling, laughing, perhaps even crying if you’re touchy. Enjoy.
I was skeptical as hell for the return of the Gintama anime. To be honest, I went into this anime wanting to slam it as hard as possible, especially upon seeing it’s overbearingly high-score. But I won’t, because to be frank, I can’t.
I don’t really think a lot of reviews, complex and heavily-illustrated need to be written about this anime to get a feel for what it’s about so let me get straight to the point: It’s ridiculous over-the-top comedy, plain and simple. Of course you can’t forget the awesome stories built from these insane gags, too.
The scripting, the scenario, specifically the way that the anime envelops you inside – making you a returning character as well, are all ingeniously meshed together.
And of course, after five years… brought to you in 16:9 format.
…With even better songs than ever (hard to believe, I know).
If you haven’t seen Gintama before, I recommend checking it out, and I know 201 episodes sounds like a grueling task, but after seeing the pilot episode for the second series, I was left more than satisfied. This episode is reason alone to watch the over two-hundred preceding it.
Even if you’re familiar with Gintama and think you’re ready for Gintama’, let me be the first to tell you; you aren’t.
Note: I don’t believe this review needs to be edited every week, as most episodes are either episodic or self-contained within an arc. If you’ve braved the first 201 episodes, don’t miss season two.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Gintama’: Enchousen
3. Bakuman. 3rd Season
4. Uchuu Kyoudai
5. Bakuman. 2nd Season
6. Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou
8. Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo
9. Kuroko no Basket
10. Kamisama Hajimemashita