They’re the best Anime that 2017 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon, Black Clover, Uchouten Kazoku 2, and more!
10: Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
English: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
MAL Score: 8.00
As Kobayashi sets off for another day at work, she opens her apartment door only to be met by an unusually frightening sight—the head of a dragon, staring at her from across the balcony. The dragon immediately transforms into a cute, busty, and energetic young girl dressed in a maid outfit, introducing herself as Tooru.
It turns out that the stoic programmer had come across the dragon the previous night on a drunken excursion to the mountains, and since the mythical beast had nowhere else to go, she had offered the creature a place to stay in her home. Thus, Tooru had arrived to cash in on the offer, ready to repay her savior’s kindness by working as her personal maidservant. Though deeply regretful of her words and hesitant to follow through on her promise, a mix of guilt and Tooru’s incredible dragon abilities convinces Kobayashi to take the girl in.
Despite being extremely efficient at her job, the maid’s unorthodox methods of housekeeping often end up horrifying Kobayashi and at times bring more trouble than help. Furthermore, the circumstances behind the dragon’s arrival on Earth seem to be much more complicated than at first glance, as Tooru bears some heavy emotions and painful memories. To top it all off, Tooru’s presence ends up attracting several other mythical beings to her new home, bringing in a host of eccentric personalities. Although Kobayashi makes her best effort to handle the crazy situation that she has found herself in, nothing has prepared her for this new life with a dragon maid.
And unlike many of their more recent titles, it knows what it wishes to be and never compromises its vision in a futile attempt to appease everyone and anyone. It doesn’t play around with drama, and it never centres on action and explosions despite its cast of malevolent dragons. It’s silly. It’s relaxing. And it can even be a bit heartwarming when it tries, too. Have I also mentioned that Tohru is cute as all hell?
Some may immediately wince and groan upon reading the series’ synopsis. Maids plus dragons does not make for a very promising setting, nor does it seem like a combination that required much more than two or three seconds of thought. Everything that could possibly exist has, or inevitably will, receive some sort of series with cute girls indiscriminately slapped onto it. Modern anime has trained people to be cynical.
But to treat Maid Dragon as just another silly comedy with moe characters wouldn’t be entirely fair, as there are a number of things it does quite differently. Kobayashi, the show’s title character and languid protagonist, is a working adult rather than the conventional teenager. Whereas most anime of its nature would choose instead to play a teenager as some pseudo-adult (“my parents are conveniently away on a business trip, so, hey, I have this house and this maid lady all to myself”), Maid Dragon chooses instead to portray real adults with real issues. Kobayashi is so bored with the office-lady routine that she will choose to drink herself halfway to death after a long day’s work. Such is life in much of Japan.
By portraying adult characters, the sense of family between Kobayashi, Tohru, and Kamui feels genuine. Kobayashi is the mother of the household, and she will snap back at her dragon friends whenever they do something unreasonable. She is strict, yet also caring, and tries her best to understand their difficulties with getting used to the human world. Even little things such as peeling oranges for the two on their kotatsu makes it clear that she appreciates their company, even if she may not always be clear and forthright about it. Maid Dragon is true slice-of-life.
Kobayashi being female also helps to keep the show away from any unnecessary sexual undertones. If she were male, the show would no doubt be a harem, and it would be all the worse for it. It is hard to care about a cast when the only thing characterising them is accidental breast fondling (yay) and walking in on (and screaming at) each other in the bathroom. Yawn. While Tohru’s feelings for Kobayashi are humorously exaggerated as being romantic, that is not Tohru’s actual intentions, and indeed, her reactions come more from gratitude and a desire to protect her guardian, rather than anything genuinely romantic or sexual. The one exception is that, yes, there is a compulsory beach scene, although I suppose I can’t fault it too much as it was relatively short and harmless (and because Tohru’s body is a lovely sight indeed).
Maid Dragon can occasionally be funny– Tohru visiting Kobayashi’s workplace and repeatedly tripping her crabby boss, or challenging one of the other dragons to a fight in another dimension only to close it on them– but it isn’t an anime that is particularly defined by laughs. It is meant more to be relaxing, and, undoubtedly thanks to Kamui’s presence, cute, at times adorable. I just wish it didn’t have to repeat the same joke about Tohru cooking her tail a million and one times over.
The anime is at its strongest when it focuses on these main three, which makes the scenes with the other three dragons and Kobayashi’s otaku friend, Takiya, significantly less appealing. Takiya’s split personality is so jarring and exaggerated that he is often more obnoxious than anything, and Quetzalcoatl is pretty much a non-character whose only defining traits are that her boobs are large and that she likes to dress in scantily-clad clothing. If they were taken out altogether, I don’t think anyone would find much reason to complain. More time should instead have been spent developing Kobayashi’s cynical worldview, and Tohru’s newfound interest in human society, the show’s two most compelling themes. It would be nice for Kamui to also have something else to her besides simply being cute and snugly, but then I suppose it would be difficult to develop a character who is essentially the equivalent of a six or seven-year-old child. I sure as heck did not have anything else defining me at that age besides a love for candy and temper tantrums.
Kyoto Animation’s artwork is generally excellent, but it certainly stands out in Maid Dragon’s case. While there are few scenes that draw particular attention for their animation, the cute and humorous expressions the characters make (notably Tohru and Kamui) make the anime a ripe for grabbin’ screenshots. Tohru’s eyes are especially detailed, and draw attention to her nature as a dragon while never seeming overtly inhuman. Bright colours and soft edges also do well to enhance the fluffy, relaxing atmosphere the anime strives for. Part of the problem I had with some of KyoAni’s other titles, such as Hibike Euphonium, is that they just looked so bland and dreary all the time. It’s always welcome to see them return to a more traditional style, as traditional, it seems, is the very thing that KyoAni is skilled at.
To label Maid Dragon as something stellar or ground-breaking may be giving it a bit too much credit, but there is little doubt that it is at least a return to form for a studio that has been losing its way for many a year. It is as well a fun time in its own right, an almost nostalgic recollection of what slice-of-life anime used to be, and could, can be once more.
In the Japanese culture there are two really heartwarming greetings that represent the core of the family bonds: ‘Tadaima’ (ただいま) and ‘Okaeri’ (おかえり), respectively meaning ‘I’m home’ and ‘welcome home’. The exchange between these greetings happen when one person arrives home, and there is another one to welcome them back. While not strictly restricted to family members alone, and can be used colloquially between friends and acquaintances, even in workplace and school, these greetings carry a deep and strong meaning behind them, which is no other that ‘this is the place I belong to’.
Although there are many factors that determine the place we could call ‘home’, and some of them may, naturally, not include a physical person, in my personal opinion just because there is someone eagerly waiting for your return, and acknowledges that is only natural for you to come back, because this is your place, is nothing less what I would call ‘the feeling of getting home’.
While it is impossible to chose which family born in, the choice of what to call our ‘home’ is entirely up to us, and that includes, the circle of people that will come to form part of it. Claiming that ‘there are many types of families as there are stars in the sky’ might be quite a silly over exaggeration, however it is not entirely wrong to say there are countless combinations and bonds that shape, what we would later call, ‘our family’.
Moving one step back to the things impossible to chose, and the next one in the list is: Falling in Love. However this might be a completely biased opinion since I am a total, silly, romanticist, but there is a thing I believe we all have to agree: It is a completely unexpected chapter in our lives. After all, while all the other emotions arrives from the front door, this little bastard show itself from the back door while you were standing there like a dumb trying to see if Happiness was also in the group. Falling in love with someone takes you completely by surprise, and so as well, in some cases, is the person fated to mess around your entire existence.
Falling in Love + Different race + same gender = Love problems?
In this particular case, to scramble our protagonist life, is a certain dragon’s unconditional Love. Blind as it is, but really really that blind that gender, age, and even race, represent nothing but just tiny details, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid features a mighty powerful dragon who falls in love with a female human, and although remaining an important lead, the show’s gimmick does not spin entirely around it, to the extent that it would not fall under the Romance category, the show has way more to offer than a simple fairytale love story.
As previously mentioned, the story follows super mighty dragon Tooru, and her time in the human world after becoming Kobayashi’s maid, the person she’s completely infatuated in. Kobayashi is a young office lady leading an existence of the prototypical Japanese salaryman. Work until late hours, almost nonexistent private life, (sometimes forced) drinking parties with the boss, and obviously getting home so tired that just opening the home’s door is the last action before collapsing to the floor, everyday repeat, repeat and repeat. And so the gray and monotonous everyday life of office lady Kobayashi starts to gain, definitely, more color.
Meet the Kobayashi’s household – Residents: 1 human + 2 dragons + ♥ = Family
Being a Slice of Life series as it is, the anime narrates the everyday life of Tooru, self-proclaimed ‘Dragon maid’, the somewhat stoic office lady, Kobayashi, and little dragon, Kanna. What I really liked the most about this show is how the three of them, with the progression of the story, started to develop the bonds of a real adoptive family, satisfying the affective desires of each other, and caring deeply for the wellbeing of the members. These developments can be seen throughout the great writing of the dialogues between the characters, I specially adored the interactions between Tooru and Kobayashi, as they were the ones that contained the themes which I expressed in the very beginning of this review, ‘the place I belong to’.
Tooru’s inner turmoil regarding the human world, and her love for Kobayashi, which contradicts the apparently hate and fear for the humanity, are a constant recurring theme for the entire anime’s progression. The series explores other themes such as the diversity and integration, something entirely affecting the dragons living in the human world, and their feelings regarding it’s inhabitant, because living among them does not necessarily means living with them.
Unknown world + Unknown people + Being different = Trust problems
Going back a bit to the part when I mentioned that all the family members satisfy the affective desires, we can perfectly observe how the relationship wheel spin, and how much these interactions affected the lives of our three main characters. Kobayashi is a really stoic, passive person, and the difficulties she has maintaining a relationship with the other characters are plenty visible to see, specially towards the affection that comes from Tooru, as she has never been close to anyone before, she does not know how to behave. The exchange is bidirectional towards the dragon maid’s inner chaos due to the new life and her love for the female human, that allows her to soon discovering that even though she sees humans as inferiors, she does have indeed desire to understand them. And finally little Kanna, the dragon which embraces the new environment with curiosity and willingness to integrate.
Being realised by Kyoto Animation, we can aspect some really cute designs, fluid quality animation, and bright colors, as per the studio’s standard procedure. Also the Original Soundtrack was very great too, they accompanied the events perfectly, I could not ask for better.
In my personal opinion this is a great Slice of Life, although moving perfectly according to the standard of the genre, bringing nothing original nor unique to the industry, it succeeds wonderfully in developing the main themes the show reached out to us, transmitting the message and the values, that were set as a primary goal for the accomplishment of what I consider, Quality.
Wonderful characters + excellent development + Great rhythms = Must watch
[Español – Traducción con la ayuda de mi querido amigo OnionSoda]
En la cultura japonesa existen dos saludos de verdad reconfortantes los cuales representan el núcleo de los lazos familiares: ‘Tadaima’ (ただいま) y ‘Okaeri’ (おかえり), que significan respectivamente ‘Estoy en casa’ y ‘Bienvenido a casa’. El intercambio entre estos saludos se verifica cuando una persona recién llega a casa, y a su vez, es recibido por la otra persona que se encuentra ya en ella. Si bien no es restrictivo al uso familiar, y puede ser utilizado entre amigos y conocidos, incluso en el lugar de trabajo y escuela, estos saludos cargan el peso de un fuerte significado con ellos, el me gustaría describir como no más que ‘el lugar a donde pertenezco’.
Si bien hayan mucho factores que determinan el lugar que llamaríamos ‘hogar’, y naturalmente, algunos pueden que no incluyan una persona física, en mi opinión personal sólo por el hecho que haya alguien que espere ansiosamente por tu regreso, y reconozca que es normal para ti el hecho de retornar, porque este es tu lugar, es algo que nada más ni nada menos llamaría ‘el genuino regreso al hogar’.
Aún siendo imposible la decisión de escoger en que familia nacer, la elección de lo que decidimos llamar nuestro ‘hogar’ es enteramente al alcance de todos, y con ellos incluye, el círculo de personas que se vendrían a formar alrededor. Exclamar una frase como ‘existen tipos de familia cuanto estrellas en el cielo’ llegaría a ser una tonta exageración, de todos modos no estaríamos en el error al decir que son incontables las combinaciones y lazos que vendrían a formar, lo que llamaríamos luego, ‘nuestra familia’.
Haciendo un paso atrás, a cuando hablábamos de las elecciones imposibles, la próxima en la lista sería: Enamorarse. De todos modos, esto podría ser una opinión parcial ya que soy un completo, tonto, romántico, aún así hay algo en que creo que todos tenemos que acordar: Es un capítulo totalmente inesperado en nuestras vidas. Después de todo, cuando todas las otras emociones pasan por la puerta principal, este pequeño bastardo se presenta por la puerta posterior mientras tú estabas ahí parado como un bobo tratando de ver si Felicidad estaba también en el grupo. Enamorarse de alguien te toma completamente por sorpresa, y lo es inclusive, en algunos casos, la persona destinada a revolver tu total existencia.
Enamorarse + diferente raza + mismo género = Problemas de Amor?
En este caso particular, a desbaratar la vida de nuestra protagonista, es el Amor incondicional de un cierto dragón. Ciego como es, pero realmente ciego que el género, la edad, e inclusive la raza, representan nada más que pequeños detalles, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid se enfoca en un potente y temible dragón que se enamora de una chica humana, y si bien quedándose como un importante desenvuelve, la esencia del anime no gira completamente entorno a ello, al punto que no caería en la categoría Romance, este show tiene más por ofrecer que una simple amorío de un cuento de hadas.
Como mencionado anteriormente, la historia sigue al potente dragón Tooru, y su estadía después de ofrecer, forzadamente, sus servicios como maid a Kobayashi, la chica por la cual perdió la cabeza. Kobayashi es una joven trabajadora cuya existencia sigue los pasos del típico ‘salaryman’ japonés. Se trabaja hasta tarde, casi inexistente vida social, (a veces obligadas) salidas a beber con los jefes, y obviamente el llegar a casa tan destruido que, la última acción antes de desplomarse al suelo, es abrir la puerta de casa. El continuo repetirse de los días, una y otra vez. Es así que con la llegada de los nuevos huéspedes, el gris y monótono día a día de Kobayashi comienza a ganar, seguramente, más color.
Conozcan la residencia de los Kobayashi – ocupantes: 1 humano + 2 dragones + ♥ = Familia.
Siendo una Slice of Life como lo es, el anime narra el día a día de Tooru, autoproclamada ‘Dragon Maid’, la apática joven trabajadora, Kobayashi, y la pequeña dragón, Kanna. Lo que realmente me encanto de esta serie es como las tres, con el desarrollo de la historia, comienzan a establecer los lazos de una verdadera familia adoptiva, que satisfacen las necesidades afectivas de cada uno, preocupándose mutuamente por el bienestar de los miembros. Esta progresión es llevada a cabo gracias a la buena escritura de lo diálogos entre los personajes, especialmente adore las interacciones entre Tooru y Kobayashi, ya que fueron los que contenían los temas con los cuales, anteriormente, decidí abrir esta reseña, ‘el lugar a donde pertenezco’.
La confusión interior de Tooru acerca el mundo humano, y sus sentimientos por Kobayashi, los cuales contradicen su aparente odio y miedo por la humanidad, son temas recurrentes por el entero arco narrativo de la serie. La serie explora temas como la diversidad y la integración, cosas que afectan principalmente los dragones que viven en el mundo humano, y sus sentimientos acerca sus habitantes, porque vivir entre ellos, no necesariamente quiere decir vivir con ellos.
Regresando un poco a la parte donde menciono que todos los miembros de la familia satisfacen sus necesidades afectivas, podemos observar como la rueda de las relaciones gira al rededor de la nueva presencia en sus vidas. Kobayashi es una chica de verdad estoica, y las dificultades que tiene al mantener las relaciones con los otros personajes son fáciles de individuar, especialmente cuando se trata del afecto que le proporciona Tooru, siendo el caso de nunca haber sido tan cercana a alguien antes, no sabe cómo comportarse. El cambio es bidireccional hacia el caos interior que tiene la dragon maid debido a la nueva vida que enfrenta y a los sentimientos que tiene por la chica humana, el cual le permite descubrir que aún reputando los humanos como inferiores, tiene de verdad deseo de entenderlos. Y por último esta Kanna, la única que acepta el nuevo ambiente con curiosidad y empeño a integrarse. Aun teniendo una mentalidad similar a la de Tooru, al ser un infante ella logra ver un mundo bajo una diferente luz, un lugar lleno de cosas que esperan a ser descubiertas.
La serie fue realizada por Kyoto Animation, por lo que podemos esperar diseños bonitos, calidad de animación fluida, y colores brillantes, como suele proceder el estudio normalmente. También el audio fue bastante bueno, se acompaña a la perfección a las escenas y eventos, no podría pedir algo mejor.
En mi opinión personal esta es una gran serie SoL, si bien moviéndose perfectamente de acuerdo al patrón del género, trayendo nada de nuevo o revelador a la industria, logra desarrollar, magníficamente, los temas que se propone, trasmitiendo el mensaje y los valores que fueron puestos como objetivo primario para el resultado de lo que reputo, Calidad.
Personajes geniales + Excelente desarrollo + Muy buen ritmo = No hay que perdérselo
Remember when anime was pure, unadulterated fun? Racing home as if on a quest to save a dying loved one, plopping your giddy ass on the sofa and turning on your favorite after-school cartoon? Nowadays, myself included, people get ignorantly pretentious and critical when it comes to anime… most likely due to the accessibility of other’s opinions on the internet (you’re guilty MAL!). But what happened to the days when you could share a bond with another over some good, old fashioned Chinese cartoons? God forbid you meet some dragon t-shirted, fedora wearing pleb that only cares for mainstream shounen… whilst peddling Magic Cards out of his mom’s basement. Sometimes even I fall into an over-analytical stupor and forget what makes anime so damn entrancing and fun to watch.
The undeniably successful Studio KyoAni’s 2017 release of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a breath of fresh air in a barrage of unoriginality and criticality. It’s endearing, cute, charming and hilarious, and most of all is that it doesn’t rely on “2deep4u” plot lines or edgy characters to become a hit. It’s an anime that breathes nostalgia for me, crafting a diverse, likable cast that has one character for everyone to enjoy and although ramps down, never gets stale. Of course Kobayashi isn’t perfect, but moreso perfectly imperfect. Accompanied by an outstanding script and stunning, extravagant visuals, KyoAni smashes the target of a true feel-good anime, leaving self-proclaimed pundits with little ground left to criticize.
When it comes to story, sometimes simple is best. Nothing in Dragon Maid seems contrived, but moreso plays out like a situational comedy. The story is straightforward:
-A shut-in girl (Kobayashi) gets drunk and accidentally makes a deal with a dragon concealing herself under the masquerade of graciously endowed maid. (Tohru)
-Tohru and Kobayashi take in an adorable loli dragon, Kanna.
-The three of them (and some of Tohru’s mythical adversaries) live out the seasons in an episodic, heartwarming anime that’ll be sure to make you smile.
The writing in Dragon Maid is the pillar of the entire anime. As previously mentioned, the simple structure of everything helps add to the endearing, carefree atmosphere that the show contains. Whether it’s a scene about cooking or a candid beach/Christmas episode, the script is constructed in the most efficient manner possible. There is an array of characters from Tohru’s mysterious homeland deriving from mythology. There’s Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of learning and self-reflection, as well as the Norse referenced Fafnir, who was cursed and turned into a dragon. Seeing these fictional personalities personified and placed into ordinary scenarios like playing video games… most specifically the scene where Fafnir was playing the Dark Souls-esque dungeon crawler.
The comedy is often slapstick or quick-witted, emphasizing the quirky nature of Tohru and her friends. Jokes are subtly slipped into scenes without being corny or abundant, and there more than a few historical and pop culture references thrown in to liven things up as well. It reminds me of a less overblown version of Nichijou (thank you KyoAni!). Above all other aspects of the writing, Dragon Maid has a unique tendency to make me feel just, comfortable. Whether it was the family bond that Kobayashi, Tohru and Kanna emulated or the cozy scenes where they just wanted to sit around and watch tv, I truly felt at home with these “peculiar” characters. I certainly didn’t expect such a simple show to hit my nostalgia buttons.
As with any show, there were some aspects I didn’t care for, or that could’ve been done better. There was a lingering yuri theme present between Kobayashi and Tohru that acrobatically teetered between friendship and something more. I’m not sure if I’m the only one that noticed this, but I can’t say it was entirely necessary. Echoing this opinion was the relationship between Quetzalcoatl and her “master”. Fanservice is one thing, but her intrusive nature and suggestive sexuality was starkly convergent to the atmosphere present in the rest of the show. Lastly, the charm of Dragon Maid can tend to wear off over the length of the show, so I’d recommend watching the anime in stages to prevent this.
Kobayashi is a 9-5’er; a twenty-something introvert who takes out her aggressions from her job over a beer or twelve at night. She’s what most of us in that age bracket don’t care to admit that we are. Tohru is a self-proclaimed servant, attempting to erase her past and start a more peaceful life on Earth. Tohru and Kobayashi both developed significantly throughout the series, and played off each other very well. Most importantly is that the writers did this without making it the focus of the anime. Kanna is truly the cutest thing in existence, and everyone knows it… and Fafnir’s deep hatred for the human race slowly dissolved the more time he spent around them. The slow addition of side characters, and their mythological influence was reminiscent of The Devil is a Part Timer, only done significantly better.
KyoAni nailed it again when it came to animation. Colors are vibrant and lively, with Tohru’s eyes set ablaze with a mix of red and orange hues. Although not “technically” superior to shows like Hyouka, Dragon Maid’s art style takes on a life of its own. The character models are all so original and inviting, and the action scenes were a joy to watch. More similarities were present with Nichijou, especially Kobayashi’s “dead fish” eyes, and the sporadic expressions on various character’s faces. Beautiful work for sure.
The OP is one of the most jolly, alluring OPs I’ve ever come across, both due to the upbeat music and flawless animation. It tells its own story, one of innocent fun and excitement. I definitely put it on my phone already 😛 The ED is just as good, and acts as the punctuation at the end of each episode. I don’t always listen to the ED all the way through, but I made an exception for this anime. I also enjoyed hearing the variety of tracks in the OST… with its overall cheeky tones and beats. The voice acting is superb, especially considering most of the cast is relatively unknown. Some of the better performances coming from Kobayashi and Tohru themselves.
I enjoyed the hell out of this anime. The simplicity, coupled with the characters and overall coziness make a show I won’t soon forget. I prefaced my review with a paragraph discounting criticality for a reason. Go into Dragon Maid to relax and have fun, nothing else. It’s not intellectually stimulating, there’s no abstract symbolism and there’s no unnecessary ecchi moments. Enjoy it for what it is. I’d recommend this to fans of other heartwarming shows like Barakamon or Usagi drop, or fellow KyoAni-ites. They really surprised a lot of people with this show, and I’m certainly happy that I watched it. Thanks for reading!
9: Black Clover
English: Black Clover
MAL Score: 8.05
Asta and Yuno were abandoned at the same church on the same day. Raised together as children, they came to know of the “Wizard King”—a title given to the strongest mage in the kingdom—and promised that they would compete against each other for the position of the next Wizard King. However, as they grew up, the stark difference between them became evident. While Yuno is able to wield magic with amazing power and control, Asta cannot use magic at all and desperately tries to awaken his powers by training physically.
When they reach the age of 15, Yuno is bestowed a spectacular Grimoire with a four-leaf clover, while Asta receives nothing. However, soon after, Yuno is attacked by a person named Lebuty, whose main purpose is to obtain Yuno’s Grimoire. Asta tries to fight Lebuty, but he is outmatched. Though without hope and on the brink of defeat, he finds the strength to continue when he hears Yuno’s voice. Unleashing his inner emotions in a rage, Asta receives a five-leaf clover Grimoire, a “Black Clover” giving him enough power to defeat Lebuty. A few days later, the two friends head out into the world, both seeking the same goal—to become the Wizard King!
Black Clover is a show that is in many ways the literal embodiment of its protagonist’s struggle. Asta goes from being the laughingstock of town to the literal saviour of the kingdom. During that internal journey, we also watched the anime gradually evolve and get better as time went on. Production qualities seemingly increased as the popularity increased as well. Asta’s journey is extremely satisfying and well written. It’s done so well in fact, that it feels like we’ve been on this journey right with Asta. Everyone loves a feel good underdog story. There’s been no bigger underdog than Black Clover.
For me, the mark of a well written series is how well you’re able to immerse yourself and truly feel apart of the story. When I first got into Black Clover a couple of years ago, I was easily able to binge the first 99 episodes which were out up to that point in the span of a few days. Episodes went by in what felt like a breeze. I found myself in awe at the quality of writing and the magical concepts used. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why so many people shit on the series or rated it lowly.
I’ve said numerous times that if Black Clover went seasonal, it would be one of the highest rated Jump Series. The story is better than MHA and JJK. What has unfortunately been the big bump in the road for BC is the inconsistent production quality throughout. At points, Pierrot have literally had to beg on Twitter for people to help out with episodes. Fortunately, the series is going on hiatus due to how close its getting to the manga, and I really hope Pierrot use this opportunity to make it a seasonal show after the movie. The long running anime model is dead, and doesn’t give animation staffs the time they need to make high quality episodes.
If you’re on the fence about watching Black Clover, do it. Yes, it has some inconsistent animation at times, but the story is genuinely the best in shonen. Loveable characters, an immersive world and amazing action sequences make Black Clover one of the only ongoing shonen that I enjoy. Black Clover gets 10 grimoires out of 10.
“If you flip the 10, it becomes a 01!” – Some Jerk a.k.a remember how Black Clover was despised by everyone?
Black Clover is one of the many myriad of Shonen shows that Weekly Shonen Jump has been banking on imitating the success Shueisha once had since the diminishing of the Big 3 (One Piece, Bleach, Naruto), alongside many other WSJ titles that have constantly received headlines for breaking sales and adaptations that make up the modern age of the anime landscape. Unfortunately, at a time when the Big 3 were all but fizzled out of the community’s eyes, there was but one mangaka amongst the many other Shonen authors who were trying to get the attention of Weekly Shonen Jump to have their works publicized…his name is Yuki Tabata. Being a sophomore into the manga industry, his first work of the short-lived and then cancelled 3-volume long Hungry Joker was not received well, and if you know anything about the intense competition of Weekly Shonen Jump: “If your manga doesn’t sell well, we will take it off indefinitely without trial. We have more titles that we are ever ready to sink our time and resources into promoting new material and publicity to the large population who are always ever hungry for more.” OK, shame on you for the first try. But take a look at his second work…and yet it still doesn’t sell when this came out in early 2015 when it was serialized in WSJ. But Shueisha at least had a good idea that while this work started off being blantantly and averagely similar to the Big 3 in terms of the story and plot, and so they released the first volume thereafter in June of the same year. And to say the rest is history is an understatement, because even in the Oricon charts, Yuki Tabata just couldn’t do enough to maintain the growing popularity of his work, only selling within the Top 25 and not even cracking the Top 10, even after the anime adaptation came out (at least for the 1st year running). It’s only through the sheer talent of director Tatsuya Yoshihara and his production team at Studio Pierrot that would propel this “then infamous, now famous” work into the greatest of great oblivion with the passing of time, that Yuki Tabata finally can breathe a heavy sigh and continue developing Black Clover into one of the many modern Shonen juggernauts that we know today, selling from the thousands to the millions.
I’m not gonna say that what Yuki Tabata did here was plentiful, the story plot was rife of a roller-coaster ride of the usual Shonen tropes and cliches that quickly garnered attention as one of the worst series to be published and then through Studio Pierrot’s infamous low-budget visuals, another strike as one of the worst modern Shonen shows that aired back in 2017. Heck, I probably would not want to include what Black Clover is all about, you can refer to the MAL synopsis or even Wikipedia to read it. In a nutshell, think of the Big 3 and the main MC’s aspiration of “I want to be
Overtime, we get to see the extensive character cast of Black Clover, and I’m still going to rely on my gut feelings here: each and everyone of them feels like cardboard cut-outs that are worth surmising to invoke the feelings of just blantantly plagarizing from other Weekly Shonen Jump works, and that’s where Yuki Tabata can be faulted with trying to make do of the cliches and tropes of the Shonen genre that worked well at the time. The problem is with his way of execution of character traits that we’ve seen way too often to try lifting inspirations from one source to another, so much so that it becomes overbearing and full of cringe. Let’s say Asta’s rival Yuno. He’s a skilled Wind Magic user, blessed by the gods to have magnificent power for OP prodigy powers, and as indicated by the magic books known as Grimoires: he’s the four-lead clover magic user. Now tell me if any of those traits are lifted whether in and out of context of similar characters you might have seen throughout your read list of Shonen lookalikes. But as further evidenced, it’s with the passing of time that helps distinguish each and every character to their types and whatnot, giving us the audience enough time to digest about what makes them tick and work, and appreciate them for their presence to the different progressing story arcs of the main series.
You know me, I’m very critical when it comes to studio productions, and Studio Pierrot to me, stands as one of the worst studios to ever exist, even if they adapt works that often lose out on the quality of the source materials that fans so desired to see on the small screen. Black Clover is no different with the stigma that Pierrot productions tend to have, and for 1001 good reasons. But once again, like I’ve said at the beginning, it’s thanks to director Tatsuya Yoshihara for helming this long-running project that has seen its fair shares of highs and lows. Black Clover might’ve started on the wrong foot for being the similar case towards Studio Deen at being decades-old studios with variable quality, for the test of time stands between the production staff team to stand in the gap and make their efforts worth it, and the payoff was certainly worth it in the long-run that was only destined to run for the full length of a year, that subsequently got lengthened and amounted to 3.5 years worth of time that increased the hype with some episodes having the Asta trademark of “I will hit my limits!” that expressively shared the experience of sticking in the long-run. AND BOY, DO THOSE EPISODES DELIVER with at best 9-turned-10/10 ratings that even trended on Twitter. YES, Black Clover IS BIG in both Japan and the West, and with Crunchyroll being the biggest benefactor that this show has garnered the No. 1 top spot in 80+ countries, you can’t certainly lie at where Black Clover is now with the insane popularity. To that I say, great job Pierrot for making me love a show that I now endear as one of the many Shonen long-running series that I can recommend.
Even the music can’t be understated. For as many as 13 sets of OSTs within the 3.5 year long run of Black Clover, we’ve definitely heard some “diamond in the rough” gems that we’ve gotten used to overtime, with many songs that really stick out to be the series’ representatives when it comes to recognizing that it originated from Black Clover. Sound director Hajime Takakuwa certainly did wonders at what he does best, but for this one I have to give props to the many artists that have contributed cult-classic songs, from the OPs: Kankaku Piero’s “Haruka Mirai” to Vickeblanca’s hit songs “Black Rover” and “Black Catcher”, and EDs: Itowokashi’s “Aoi Honoo” to Faky’s “four”. These are just some of my top favourite songs from Black Clover, but there’s just too many to list them, because most of them are bangers in their own right (with some just being decent at best).
Like what @Goober-fish has said: “Whatever the case may be, Black Clover is my ultimate guilty pleasure and I wave that 10 with pride.” And I reverse the words of some jerk that said the sentence at the beginning: “If you flip the 01, it becomes a 10!” Black Clover may have started with being a score of 01, but looking at it now, it’s definitely worthy of the 10 score in every possible way: the story that got better overtime with the characters, the insane Pierrot animation quality and right down to the fantastic OSTs that we are graced with to our pairs of eyes and ears.
Never have I thought that I will return from a hatred of a stigma to loving them for Shonen shows, and even if I or you have never watched the Big 3 before, Black Clover is EASILY the best recommended entry show for anyone wanting to dive into Shonen shows…that’s if you can last all 170 episodes in one go. Thanks Black Clover, now it’s no longer just a guilty pleasure, and I’m an addition to wearing that 10 with pride.
I’ve been following the series since its inception. I’ve read and re-read its source material and, I can say it does improve–for a Black Clover standard, that is. This series received hate, backlash, and terrible reception since the onset of its TV anime. And to nobody’s surprise, it’s the most hated series of modern Shounen–2014 and onwards, right after the era of the big three. If there’s any advice I can give for people interested in watching this series, it is to go into it for pure entertainment. Be open-minded, have low expectations, ignore the hate, and watch it for yourselves.
Black Clover anime started ugly. The pacing, sheer predictability, genericness, and the dreadful usage of Shounen tropes turned off people–understandably so. But for me, I loved it. I loved it not because it was good, but because it was the purest generic anime that was not afraid for what it was. It knows its production was constrained. It knows its plot and characters took “inspiration” from previous works with few tweaks here and there, and most importantly, it knows its target audience. With this, once the show solved its pacing issues, it quickly flew from arc to arc with hype moments after hype moments, and all I did was to turn off my brain and enjoy the shit show.
To provide some examples, after the dungeon expedition arc, Asta, Noelle, Yuno, and some other magic knight squad members were summoned for recognition medals. In that banquet, the show introduced more of its supporting casts. It demonstrated its power system, characters’ abilities, showcased some of its societal structure and prejudices, and then jumped straight to the Clover Kingdom’s invasion.
Throughout this invasion arc, it entertained me by never letting go of its accelerator. All the Magic Knight captains that were introduced previously got their moments to show off. Whether be their magic or personality, it showed all of it. The show then exploits each of its newly introduced characters to the limit by having them interact and fight alongside each other. The dynamics between characters such as Fuegoleon and Nozel, Asta, Yuno, and Noelle, Yami and Jack, provided the fun. It’s cheap, it’s lazy, but it worked so well for a braindead like me.
The other aspect of Black Clover’s storytelling is the seamless transition from an arc to another. If some terrorists brutally wounded a beloved character, the most logical route is for the main casts to go after them. And they do. If the vice-captain of the Golden Dawn is acting out of character, the most logical thinking is to seek out the true identity. And they do.
How do they do it? They do it by the classic shounen way: Tournament arc–my favorite aspect of mindless battle shounen.
But along the way, the show plants some seeds of suspicion–there’s something more sophisticated with the adversaries that the Clover Kingdom were up against. It’s these careful hints here and there that made the grand finale of Black Clover’s first saga a memorable one. And it is in my humble opinion that the first saga of Black Clover is one of the best of modern shounen. The finale wrapped up every plot point presented up to then, it concluded characters’ development until that point, and it answered every question along the way. Not to mention, the final plot twist was a phenomenon to be held.
Yuki Tabata’s writing isn’t anything revolutionary. He takes inspiration and does his own twists. He utilizes whatever skills he has got at his disposal and tells his own story within the Shounen genre’s confinement. And I enjoyed every second of it. I have no regrets.
As I aforementioned, Black Clover’s production was severely constrained. From the start, the anime lacked staffing–specifically, key animators and animation directors–and had an unsustainable schedule. Before the first episode of Black Clover even premiered, the Black Clover anime production team was given only 5 months of pre-production, for a long-running battle shounen. To put it into perspective, a 12 episode regular anime usually takes a year of pre-production. Thus, it’s no surprise that the animation in Black Clover declined significantly soon after it began airing. As that happened, it’s also reported that some of the staff working on the anime had gone through physical and mental exhaustion, which they eventually fell ill.
Now, why does it matter?
Well, it doesn’t–at least from a show’s quality standpoint. But then I don’t want to clown on Black Clover’s animation either because of this information. I know the animation and art are inconsistent; the consensus is that Black Clover’s animation is inconsistent. It can be mindblowing for a single episode, and then for the next 10 to 20 episodes can range from unbearable to mediocracy. I can list every single flaw of Black Clover’s art and animation, but then that would be repetitive since I’m sure those aspects have been talked about over the years. Lastly, I’m fine with it. I’m okay with its inconsistency in art and animation because I love this series. I grew up with it, I enjoyed it, and I’m willing to forgive its flaws.
If you have read this far, I just want to thank you for taking your time.
8: Uchouten Kazoku 2
English: The Eccentric Family 2
MAL Score: 8.12
After uncovering the truth behind their father’s untimely death, life for the four Shimogamo brothers returns to relative peace with each trying to live up to their father’s greatness in their own way. For the eldest, Yaichirou, who aims to become the next Trick Magister and leader of the tanuki society, it starts with reinstating the popular shogi tournament. For Yajirou, it is restoring his former shapeshifting abilities, whilst little Yashirou is content with continuing his work at the family’s factory. But for the third son, Yasaburou, it simply means embracing the “fool’s blood” he inherited from his father and living a carefree but interesting life. This, of course, includes hunting for the mysterious and elusive snake-like creature known as a tsuchinoko, and causing ripples of trouble at every turn.
However, these ripples threaten to turn into waves with the return of Nidaime, the estranged son of the brothers’ tengu teacher, Professor Akadama. Nidaime bears a grudge against not only his father, but his father’s apprentice Benten as well. His loyalties suddenly brought into question, Yasaburou must use his tanuki wit to appease all sides without getting caught in the crossfire, before the delicate balance between human, tengu, and tanuki is overthrown and all hell breaks loose.
The eccentric family is one of those extremely rare anime where the story doesn’t make any effort to spoonfeed it’s audience explanations or justifications for what’s happening. Watching the story unfold in this anime is like watching a river flow, you might not know the in-depth details of every little intricacy of the universe, but the flow of the story is that much better for it. The stories told in this anime are fun, light-hearted, relatable and incredibly genuine.
The art style, like the rest of the elements in this anime, is calming yet also incredibly deep. I would almost use the term therapeutic as it provides great continuity across many different settings where other styles come up short. Overall a great style for mid-air fight depictions or simply to watch the characters sit in a room and have an inspired dialogue.
I usually don’t notice the sound of an anime, or it gets drowned out by the other elements if they are good, but for The Eccentric family, the sound completely introduces another beautiful working element to the whole of the project. It’s not the type of sound one might imagine an anime like this to have, being gritty and calming all at the same time, and it squarely ties everything together for a wonderful sensory experience.
Where The Eccentric Family really shines is its characters. The development of each individual character in the show, even going as far as characters that only have a couple lines the entire show, is second to none. I find that this is due to the element that I mentioned above where characters don’t spoon feed you the motives for what they do, so you’re left as an audience to determine if Yasaburo is constantly thinking of everything or constantly thinking nothing at all being led by his fools blood.
I couldn’t recommend an anime higher than The Eccentric Family Series, and that’s really all I have to say about that.
As for the characters there’s not much to say. Several new characters are introduced into the show, but the show just scratches the surface on them. There’s not much character development since some of the characters went through their character arc last season, and all that’s left is to see it come to fruition which in the end was unrewarding. Everyone else mostly stayed the same, and by this point it had gotten harder to give a damn about these characters.
I’m not really going to delve into the art and sound since not much has really changed since last season, however I did find the show to be lacking in the sound department this time.
Overall the show just felt very monotonous as it took the least interesting bits of the first season, and did them all over again. For a show called eccentric family, eccentric would be the last thing i would call it.
As I said, I wasn’t sure where this show could advance any further with its story, but I had to admit: it was as good (or even better), than that of the first season. The flow of the show stayed similar, following the acts of young Yasaburo, yet somehow still managed to avoid being repetitive. The little side stories added up nicely to the main line, and it all became merry.
It can be felt, how this piece was adapted from a novel, not from an LN or a Manga, the story has a concrete way to flow, with little pieces of foreshadowing making it a lot more interesting.
I might be biased, but I don’t think any studio can compete with P.A. works’ unique artstyle, when it comes to stunning backgrounds, and this show excels even between other works of the same studio. It’s original, and just great to look at, I found myself staring blankly most of the time at the mountains and vegetation, and having to rewind the video, beacuse I didn’t pay attention to the story.
As for the character design, it lacks every bit of fanservice, leaving us with a bit solid westernish look, but all the same likeable style. The design of the tanukis is still bloody cute.
It might not be the best to write this part after finishing the series, as the music grabbed my soul, and took a piece out of it with the final fight scene’s outstanding music and audio.
It satisfies every need one could have towards this facility, the sound effects are just great, mixing traditional japanese sounds, like that of the bamboo water fountain and such, and some modern sounds that could be found in every other anime.
The music is soft, where it needs to be, funky where it needs to be, and serious where it needs to be.
This might be the strongest point of the show, so I feel inclined, to give it a 11 instead of 10.
It’s not that they are overly realistic, or have strong character traits, it’s just that they mix so well with together, and the story. Yasaburo is an incredibly interesting personality, who always gets in trouble, but somehow everytime finds the way out of the mess.
His brothers are just fantastic, it feels like a true and real family, when you add the late father and the caring mother to the mix.
I can’t deny how much I looked forward to the next episode every week, right after finishing the newest one.
The music, the sounds, the art and the characters just blend so well with the whole story and the magical world that is Kyoto, it will leave anyone speechless after finishing this series.
Add a cachy opening and a beautiful ending theme to it, and you get the 10 star enjoyment.
I can’t praise this anime enough, about how good it is in every field other anime fail so miserably.
It’s just put so well together, the characters interact in an unrealistic, yet believable way, the comedy is just first rank, and the overall laid back feel of the show can change into a serious tone in just a matter of seconds.
I would definitely recommend watching this season of the show, even if you didn’t quite like the first one, just like I did.
7: Ballroom e Youkoso
English: Welcome to the Ballroom
MAL Score: 8.20
Tatara Fujita is a shy middle schooler who has no particular plan for the future. He has gotten through life by avoiding any kind of confrontation and blending in with the crowd. But blending in isn’t enough to get out of trouble, as some bullies harass him for money. Luckily, he is saved by a man named Kaname Sengoku.
Kaname invites Tatara to his dance studio. Although he would normally never set foot in such a place, Tatara is captivated by Sengoku’s commanding presence. Granted an opportunity to dance with fellow classmate Shizuku Hanaoka—who often practices at the studio—Tatara realizes there’s something about the idea of being put in the limelight and dancing where people will see him that keeps him coming back. With an earnest, passionate drive to improve, Tatara begins his journey into the world of competitive dance.
At first, you may be a bit skeptical after reading the summaries of this anime, the central theme is a bit unusual, a ballroom anime. Also, you can consider, a dance competition, another anime about some championships or tournaments that could be similar to any other sports anime, but you could be wrong. Ballroom e Youkoso is a fantastic adaptation that combines excellent storytelling with fabulous art design and captivates viewers by making them want more. Sadly, not all is perfect, the use of CGI could be weird and creates an ugly contrast between the characters’ art and the scene background but it isn’t a big issue.
The anime has two main story arcs. The first one, the introduction of Tatara Fujita, the main character. An important fact is the display of Tatara’s problems and insecurity. In addition, this arc presents the secondary characters, such as Kiyoharu, Shizuku, Mako, and Gaju. These characters enhance the narrative, the dynamics of the dance and the tournaments. They create an initial rivalry between Tatara, but the most exciting part is that they are still mates and support each other in their way. In other words, it is a healthy rivalry that is needed to help in the growth of Tatara and does not conceive the effect of a villain or a pompous competitor as we can see in the typical sports adaptations. Simultaneously, this arc reveals the differences that exist between the characters and establishes a challenging atmosphere among all of them.
The second arc presents the other main character, Chinatsu Hiyama, and you can feel the progression of Tatara. Chinatsu is the opposite of Tatara. She has a dazzling personality, is rebellious and very strong. She also has a lot of experience in dance, so on many occasions, she shows her displeasure about the way of leading proposed by Tatara. She can not understand Tatara’s personality. However, their relationship turned up due to Tatara’s personality. For my eyes, Chinatsu is the perfect complement for Tatara.
On the other hand, you can see a new secondary character, Kugimiya Masami. He is a shadowy character who could be Tatara’s antagonist. For several viewers, including me, Kugimiya could fit the description of an odious competitor with some secrets. This figure is very dark and mysterious. He hates Tatara, and even the art portrays him with a faint aura. However, after a closer look, this character has been affected by several “life” problems that could be a reflection of Tatara if he abandoned his passion for dancing and improving. Kugimiya even compared himself to Tatara, and that bothered him more. All those elements created a beautiful story with a good rhythm, excellent narrative and with outstanding characters that can feel real.
To conclude, the standard sports anime could not cope with Ballroom and Youkoso. The series has everything: A story of high quality, with a good pacing, realistic characters, sadness, joy, need, frustration, etc. The anime emphasizes concepts such as trust between couples, their understanding, and conviction. We can observe the constant need to overcome and the hard work required to achieve a change both personally and competitively.
This anime has two scenarios. The first, the interaction of the characters outside the “ballroom.” A rational world where the characters are beings with needs, problems, and feelings. The second world is inside the ballroom. A place with its own sets of rules where the score and the leader-companion relationship matter. This ambiance adds pressure and rivalry to the story, creates a dynamic where feelings of the characters bloom. Maybe my criteria could be biased since I have dance competition experience. However, seeing the relationship between partner and leader brought me many good and bad memories such as the foot pain after an event =D. To rephrase it, Tomo was able to convey those feelings to the audience, and that made me feel very happy because it stands out the realism.
There are still some problems with the story, however. The most visible is the lack of a real ending. Tomo fell ill, so she could not advance in the manga story. The animation exceeds the progress of manga story, so the conclusion of the adaptation could be original compared to the continuation of the manga, and it felt a bit rushed. Therefore, there may be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the date of the second season.
The adaptation has a good number of characters. Perhaps the most relevant is the personality of the couples in competition. For example, the pair of Tatara in the first arc is utterly different if compared to the second arc because the couple has a distinct personality and that reflects the way the couple dance and act. For example, Mako is more delicate and shy compared to Chinatsu, who is more rebellious and strong. I’m sure that Tatara will continue to grow in the manga, and it is likely that a relationship between Chinatsu and Tatara will arise, but we can not rule out a possible attraction between Tatara and Shizuku.
Tatara Fujita. He is a shy and insecure person who cares for everyone and, in particular, for his partner. Tatara was looking for a place to fit in, and the dance was a door of change for him. However, he is in constant development, his features remain constant, but explode during competitions. Maybe this character is a bit complex, but that is what makes it real.
Chinatsu Hiyama. Even if she was added halfway through the entire adaptation, her impact is gigantic. The personality of Chinatsu changed the dynamics of the narrative and directly affected Tatara’s character. She is a rebel, strong, and has a lot of experience in dancing. She does not visualize Tatara as a good leader, sometimes she tries to follow him, but everything ends in constant frustration. However, she gives Tatara a chance to the point that both fight hard and evolve. It is a character with whom I feel connected, and I think there is a lot to see about its complexity.
Kiyoharu Hyoudou: You can say that he is the best dancer in the series. He is very talented and may be Tatara’s main rival in the future of the story. He does not have any opponent that overcomes him. However, he helps and guides Tatara as he considers him as a rival with enormous potential and with a lot of raw skill.
Shizuku Hanaoka: She is the best companion. However, it could be said that she depends on Kiyoharu’s leadership. She finds Tatara’s unusual dance skills to the point that she decides to wait for his evolution and supports him. It is still too early to see if there are sentiments of her towards Tatara.
The remaining characters are essential as well, but I don’t want to prolong any further.
Art and Sound 8
Ballroom e Youkoso is quite impressive regarding sound and illustrations. The art follows the dynamics of dance and is quite clean. The movement and the characters, in general, is real. Usually, the scenes make the eyes focus on the pairs because of the color palette and the details. However, a high level of detail and quality isn’t maintained in the surroundings (CGI use). Besides, if the eyes change from the principal observation point, you will notice some awful disparity between the surroundings and the couples in some scenes, do not let that change your decision towards the anime. Several good animations do not have the budget to fill the whole scene with a high artistic quality; sadly this one is the case.
Lastly, some camera angles can give the impression of disproportion because the postures of the different dancing styles are complicated, but it must be taken into account that they are positions with a high degree of realism. The color palette is very vivid and uses a high contrast of colors where you can see the beauty of the couples, and this marks the details and character traits of the cast.
About the sound, it’s awesome. The series uses a vibrant score. In addition, it is listened to in a very soft way and keeps the rhythm and the action going. This helps the movement of the scenes especially the dances. The OPs and EDs are excellent and enjoyable. In my personal opinion, OP1 and ED2 are the best.
I can not complain about this show; it is very entertaining. The narration is very fluid with an acceptable rhythm, creating the perfect environment for any spectator. The characters are complex and stand out. However, for some anime fans, it is possible that this type of genre is not pleasant or will complain by the lame use of the CGI, but it is not a reason to overlook this fantastic adaptation. I’ll be waiting for a continuation of the manga, and I hope that in the next few years the animation of Ballroom and Youkoso will continue.
Watching Ballroom e Youkoso (Welcome to the Ballroom) feels like taking a journey down memory lane. I’m talking about the type of memory lane where you were once a kid and wanted to prove everyone you had talent in something. Academics, sports, art, acting, singing. Just anything in general that make your friend go “wow, I didn’t know you could do that!” As such, this anime is one that I found remarkably realistic and relatable. The first few episodes doesn’t take long to establish the principle cast along with its intention.
I’ll be honest here. Tatara is a character that won’t be very easy to accept for most people at first glance. He has a meek personality and seems to overestimate himself on certain circumstances. This is shown in the beginning when Tatara expresses to professional dancer Sengoku that he wants to be a pro rather than just to dance. His initial attitude makes him look like a fool as dancing isn’t just something that can perfected like a click of a switch. My impression of Tatara made me realize that while he sets high expectations for himself, he does have potential but needs the right people and time to unlock it. Luckily, Tatara gets the opportunity at the Ogawara Dance Studio where other talented dancers gather to perfect their work. From the studio, Tatara also meets the very talented and beautiful Shizuku. She becomes a source of inspiration for Tatara as he strives to improve and become a pro. Throughout this show, Tatara embraces the art of ballroom dancing and becomes very determined to prove himself. From an amateur to an inspiring ballroom dancer, his character can really grow to people as we see his progress.
The storytelling builds on many fronts although most of it still follows Tatara and his journey. He deals with personal issues, social problems, and also establishes rivalries with certain characters he meets. At the same time, an important part of this show involve him building important relationships with others. Two particular characters stands out the most: Mako Akagi and Chinatsu Hiyama. As dancing partners, Tatara’s relationship with both of these girls vary in attitude. Mako and Tatara has a friendly relationship that is based on trust, respect, and strong spirit. On the other hand, Tatara and Chinatsu’s relationship is more borderline towards competitiveness. Not to mention, Chinatsu already has a dancing background and doesn’t tolerate a weak partner. Throughout the anime, we see how Chinatsu begins to accept him more with their growing trust. In respect, Tatara also develops as a person as he crafts his own dancing style so that it’s not just his partner carrying their dances. Whether he realizes it or not, Tatara even has influence on others. This includes making Mako realize how skilled she really is, restoring Chinatsu’s love for dancing, and even influencing Shizuku to improve herself to be better. In retrospect, this anime steps over the line to make Tatara a more likeable character as time goes on.
Unfortunately, I can’t really say all the main cast gets decent screen time and development. While Shizuku is Tatara’s initial inspiration, she doesn’t get much highlight later on in this show. Don’t expect this anime to focus much on Tatara’s love life either. While it’s obvious that Tatara crushes over Shizuku from the beginning, the show makes it clear that she prefers dancing rather than finding a boyfriend. This also applies to Tatara’s other dancing partners so if romance is something on your mind, then look elsewhere. Also, be aware that this anime focuses a lot on dancing. By a lot, I mean a LOT with all types of dances, music, and style. If you’re not a fan of dancing, it may take some time to enjoy this show. Ballroom dancing is portrayed as a fierce competition on the dance floor with some episodes dedicating their entire time to it. Luckily, this anime is quite a faithful adaptation for what it had to work with. With only some minor differences, it’s an anime that really made me glad it got adapted. However, there are times that I wish the anime picked up the pace with its extensive background storytelling, especially in later episodes.
Adapted by Production I.G., this was really the number one choice. They are known for making other anime that involve competition come to life. (ex. Haikyu, All Out!, Kuroko no Basket) For this particular anime, they leave a memorable impression with the art style and character designs. The biggest selling point is the smooth camera angles and timings. When the competition gets fierce, it really draws out the talents of the dancers with their body movements. Each movement is precisely timed to show their potential with colorful aesthetics. It further amplifies them through clever facial expressions. The dancing outfits in this anime are also memorable for their coloring and hair style, in particular for the female characters. It’s not to be interpreted as fan service but rather a work of art. On the other hand, there are some body parts in this anime that can be distracting. The one most worth mentioning is the overly extensive necks that can make viewers point fingers at.
At the core of its technical feature is the music. It’s what makes the ballroom dancing come to life along with its vivid choreography. The anime mixes in a variety that includes jazz, latin, classic, and among others. Director Yoshimi Itazu really made an impression through his work by allowing the music to do the storytelling on many occasions. Without words, many of the dancing segments feels like a dream and as if time itself stopped to showcase the characters’ talents. The music supplements that with its directing. Voice character mannerism is also well performed with characters like Chinatsu, Hyoudou, and the Akagi siblings. Both the OP and ED theme songs are also worth listening to for their rhythm.
As a show with a fierce competitive energy, this one might seem to be intimidating to watch at first. However, it’s a show that I can recommend to anyone even if its selling points doesn’t hit all the marks. From its character cast to storytelling, Ballroom e Youkoso is a well-adapted manga that focuses on what it intended to without betraying expectations. Sure, some characters are not as well focused compared to the others. There are also times when you wish the story can just move its pace faster. However, it’s still a show that gives competition a powerful meaning.
Welcome to the Ballroom has the sleek character designs, clean art style, and sharp linework of Production IG’s previous standard setter of the sports genre, Haikyuu, but it has not nearly the same quality of animation. What made IG’s manga adaptations as of late so shockingly good despite having their roots in the most banal of shounen/shoujo tropes was the fact the studio bestowed upon them the first class animation fidelity no other studio could ever even dream of coordinating which they’d given to their most ambitious of originals, or at least something close. Be it a dime a dozen shounen sports anime like Haikyuu or Kuroko no Basuke or a dime a dozen shoujo romcom anime like Kimi ni Todoke or Ao Haru Ride, no matter what their producers saddled them with, Production IG didn’t let their name falter. As much as I poke fun at the cartoonish writing of the aforementioned Kuroko no Basuke, I’m still able to acknowledge how the over-the-top animation really made the athletic prowess, personal style, and spunky attitude of the characters pop, or in other words, what made the show itself good and at all worthwhile.
As a terminally inactive, frail nonentity of a failed human being who never leaves their home for leisure, I’ve never liked sports nor those who played them, but the detailed artwork and lavish animation of Haikyuu handily convinced me of and pushed me to respect just how taxing the sport was on the bodies of the players and how hard they had to fight to get as good as they’d gotten. By the intricately apparent strain and pulse of their shoulders and knees, you could tell precisely how exhausted the characters were becoming over the course of their strenuous matches, and not long after I came to see the love and care put into the animation, I gained genuine admiration for the teams and individuals working themselves to the bone for victory on the court which I now appreciate to’ve been a battlefield all along. Welcome to the Ballroom, on the other hand, has—from a consistency standpoint, at least—exactly none of this attention to detail found within the seemingly endless extra frames only studios the likes of IG or Kyoto Animation can deliver on nor the outrageously impressive IG sakuga, because they just weren’t there.
Most of the dance sequences resort to panning over still frames, and the background dancers are invariably CG, with movement cycles so unbelievably clunky and downright ugly, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I’m not so utterly moronic as to think any of this was done in-house, but the fact remains IG produced it, and that fact is deeply disheartening. The driving motivation of our main character, Tatara, was the fact he’d lived his life as a nobody, and seeing professional dancers do their thing made him realize just how much he wanted to be “seen” in the same glamour, himself. While this is a well written and widely sympathetic motivation anyone can invest in, especially given how good the writing in this show is, the fact we, the audience, are being sold on this desire of his by such a lackluster display of animation and out-of-place CGI leaves us thinking the unavoidable thought, “You were really inspired by THAT?” And it’s even sadder, yet, because when you watch either opening animation as well as the limited sakuga done by in-house IG staff from Takashi Mukouda to even Shinji Hashimoto, you can really see what could have been.
Though, what was—finally putting aside the constant reminder of animation quality unbefitting of Production IG—was actually a really, really, really good show filled to the brim with both narrative and directorial inspiration and a lovable, empathetic, vibrant cast of amazing characters. People are equally likable and hatable when they need to be, and the story progresses at a life-like pace which allows you to notice and gives you the time to appreciate the maturation of the characters’ respective dancing styles and moral outlooks on the sport as well as their interpersonal relationships with one another. And speaking of, the character chemistry in this show is usually as charming as can be, and whenever things do turn sour, your experience with each and every actor has you in such deep understanding of wherever they’re coming from, no drama ever feels awkward or manufactured. Even said drama, which is something usually responsible for ruining entire shows in my book, was some seriously compelling stuff and easy to empathize with thanks to all the aforementioned expertise of the script getting me so immersed.
I know turning around and saying I was “immersed” in the show I just spent nine millennia whining about the visuals of, visuals which are inherently required to make the presentation believable and able to be immersed in to begin with, may seem contradictory, but my word choice was accurate nevertheless. Sure, I can bitch and moan all day about IG taking themselves down a few pegs, but does this show looking average as opposed to stunning mean it looks as downright hideous as most anime coming out of most studios? Of course not, and even taking that moment to praise the show’s writing neglected to make mention of how every single aspect of the show’s production with the exception of the base animation was just as stellar as any other proper IG show you can think of. The voice actors and actresses are definitely not getting paid enough, and some of these characters, especially the cute girls like Mako, had me down for their characters on their voice performances alone. Be they delivering jokes, laughs, or tears, there wasn’t a single vocalist whose performance disappointed in the slightest, and their oh my god GORGEOUS character designs only pronounced the strength of personality even more, because despite being an underanimated show, it’s not like Production IG would ever dare to air something with off-model artwork. Rousing music, intricate sound, striking color, and beautiful backgrounds all make it so the more facets of the production I sit back and appreciate having accepted the lackluster animation just leaves me with more and more small things to easily and proudly praise, even if I’d call show as a whole a disappointment in the long run. There’s countless scenes throughout the show which wholeheartedly ingratiate you with the impassioned emotions of the characters and the modest themes of the show which both leave you feeling like you really understand the art of the dance and the craft of its dancers, and while most of these scenes can only come to life via the outstanding scripting as opposed to the raw visual flair with which other Production IG shows would arrest you with, the fact you’re feeling the inspiration stands firm, no matter how it worked its way into your heart. I suppose what I’m getting at here is Welcome to the Ballroom shouldn’t have been compared to likes of Haikyuu or Kuroko no Basuke to begin with, because while their production staff and animation team are the same, their content is not. Those anime and their tropic structures needed to be animated by the gods among men of Production IG to be worthwhile, and this one ultimately didn’t, even if the fact the lavishness in animation which they’ve made themselves famous for would’ve and very well could’ve made it so much more in motion than it was on paper.
Thank you for reading.
6: Naruto: Shippuuden
English: Naruto: Shippuden
Japanese: ナルト- 疾風伝
MAL Score: 8.21
It has been two and a half years since Naruto Uzumaki left Konohagakure, the Hidden Leaf Village, for intense training following events which fueled his desire to be stronger. Now Akatsuki, the mysterious organization of elite rogue ninja, is closing in on their grand plan which may threaten the safety of the entire shinobi world.
Although Naruto is older and sinister events loom on the horizon, he has changed little in personality—still rambunctious and childish—though he is now far more confident and possesses an even greater determination to protect his friends and home. Come whatever may, Naruto will carry on with the fight for what is important to him, even at the expense of his own body, in the continuation of the saga about the boy who wishes to become Hokage.
Naruto Shippuden : Review |
Naruto. The series that sold over 220 million manga copies, winning handful of awards along the way. An anime that ranked as one of the most watched series in Japan that got tarnished by a greedy studio and has received tons of internet backlash throughout the years.
Let me start off by saying Naruto is by no means a flawless anime. It’s the exact opposite. The series had too many fillers. Sometimes the animation quality was below par and pacing can be painfully slow at times. But please bear with me here. I’m going to tell you why it has been the best experience an anime gave me in my entire life and dig into what made the series popular while also explaining its flaws.
Story – 8
The story of Naruto has been a mixed bag. While it’s not bad, it’s certainly no Berserk. But what it is, is beautiful (probably not the word that can be often used to describe a shounen anime), but it really is. It’s unpredictable, it’s thrilling, it plays with your emotions, it’s funny, it’s tragic, it’s sometimes downright frustrating but it is, more than anything, wondrous and fun while being able to take itself seriously when it needs to. It starts off where the first part of Naruto ended and the very first scenes gives us a sneak peak of things to come. The series eases you back into the world of Naruto with a slow paced , almost SOL like first few episodes. And the story then on is presented in a collection of long well constructed story arcs with the bigger picture stories of Sasuke and the Akatsuki being told parallelly till a certain point. Down the line this is series deals with more mature themes and darker tones and manage to execute well on most of those themes if not all. The story is mainly hampered (not ruined) by fillers and pacing issues which I will discuss below.
Let’s start with the filler. The amount of filler in this show is staggering. It counts as 219 total filler episodes which make up 44% of the series as a whole.
The issues that lies within the filler episodes is that they are not allowed to make any significant changes to the story or specifically its characters. This being a mainly character driven plot, this becomes a huge issue because any significant event in fillers could affect the characters so they can’t move ahead the plot line at all. So mostly what we get is poorly written mini-arcs and episodes that don’t affect any of the characters or the world in any significant way. This is worsened by the below par writing for these filler episode as they are not written by the original author Masashi Kishimoto himself.
However, there are exceptions for this. Some of the filler episodes can be genuinely enjoyable but those are few and far between. The fact that filler can’t move the plot along fuels the second big flaw. Which is,
Pacing Issues. Aside from what I’ve said above, even some of the non-filler episodes are very slow paced. This is mainly only an issue at the start of the series. If you’re into characters chilling down and wasting a lot of time, this may sit well with you. But even then some of these episodes might be below par for your taste. Once the series kicks it into high gear around 70th episode, it mostly manages to keep that pace up.
Now that we got the flaws out of the way, let’s talk positives.
The main strength of the series is its characters, who drive the plot (which we will discuss in detail later). After the first 70 episodes, things begin to get lot more interesting really fast. The world of shinobi gets expanded exponentially, and if you’re a fan of deep lore in stories, this will fit right in your wheel house because it begins to explore the roots of the world and its history very deeply.
Another thing that this series does very well is explaining its core concepts to the viewer. The techniques that characters use and how the things in shinobi world works are explained in detail. Also, the concept of Chakra and what a versatile and detailed power system it is compared to other shounen series really stands out.
The amount of themes explored in the series are vast. It explores all the basic themes of a typical shounen and as it goes on it delves into themes such as the nature of humans, self sacrifice, discrimination, manipulation, roots of war and peace, difference of perceptions, the line between good and evil, and alienation. It manages to deal with all these themes without abandoning the shounen type feel or becoming pretentious.
Something that the author, Kishimoto, really excels at is setting up events. For example, during the early episodes of Naruto (the prequel to this show), he has already started setting up major events that happened in the last of episodes of Shippuden. In the beginning, we look over these little details and minor events and have no idea that they are going to have such an impact later in the series, and when it all comes together in the end, you feel so satisfied. Most of the times these events and twists will take you by surprise and maybe you’ll have fun trying to figure out them before they happen as Kishimoto drops clues for you to pick up throughout the entire series. Same thing applies to the moments that tug at your heartstrings , they feel genuine because how the story builds up to those moments.
Being a battle shounen ,of course there are going to be battles, and this is one area that the series really shines.
As I see it , battles can be broken down into three different segments in this anime , The battle of wits , The battle of ideologies , The physical battle. All three come in union to make some memorable and truly great moments. Each characters ideologies and philosophies gets tested time and time again by their opponents and we can see even the main character himself doubt his ideologies towards the end. When we see someone gets broken inside as well as the outside it’s devastating to watch. To put it blatantly, Naruto has the best combat scenes I’ve ever witnessed in an anime. I have to mention that this style of combat is heavily inspired by Hunter x Hunter. Kishimoto does a fantastic job putting emotions into its battle scenes which are backed up by gorgeous animations (at times, we’ll get to that later) and a mesmerizing soundtrack, and with these combined it really sets up fantastic visual storytelling through combat. Kishimoto does an excellent job at setting up the events leading up to the fight to make it feel all the more personal and these battles often comes down to which character outwits the other rather than who can punch harder. This makes characters like Shikamaru Nara who have very little ability make a huge impact in the series.
Variety of the fighting styles is massive, ranging from intimate hand to hand style combats, tactical combats, long range jutsu battles, and most often a mix of all of these!
The last arc of the series has been very controversial as the constant change of antagonists has irritated some of the viewers. But in all honesty, all of the antagonists that presented had different motives that drove them to do what they do and distinctively different from each other which made them very enjoyable. That being said, the final part of the war arc was really disappointing as the final villain of the series is the worst character that the series had to offer as the villain had almost no personality and motives were shaky at best. Without spoiling anything all I can say is that decisions taken during the last war arc felt like it was done to unnecessarily prolong the final battle and messed it up with a poorly written villain and bad story decisions. But the final episodes after the War arc manages to reign it all in and give a proper farewell to the series it so richly deserves.
Throughout the series you will witness friends become foes, foes become friends, unlikely alliances formed and broken, that precious character you loved die, revenge plots, plot twists, characters growing up, politics, romance, and the world itself change. It can be flawed at times but it’s a full package and Kishimoto always seemed to have the ending and everything planned out from the very beginning.
Characters – 10
Now this is the core of the franchise.
Each character in Naruto is very distinctive from each other. Each has a core motive that drives them, a unique personality, and a specialty in different skill sets. And hats-off to Kishimoto for his brilliant character design as he used a very bright color pallet and made each one very distinctive to make each of them stand out.
No matter which kind of characters you prefer, you’re sure to find someone here that you can relate to. What the series really does well is making sure that you’ll be attached to the characters emotionally. And you will cheer them on as they try to achieve their goals , watch their philosophies and ideologies gets tested , watch them break or prevail and break down crying at their deaths.
You will get to see how what’s happening around the characters change them , mold them. Witnessing how tragedies that’s happening around them having an effect on their psyche is one of the strongest points of Naruto Shippuden. It’s fun seeing small character interactions from early episodes grow into full blown relationships.
Now let’s move on to the “Villains”
This series checks all the boxes when it comes to antagonist character archetypes.
*Self-Righteous Villain with a God Complex* [checked] , *Money Hungry Villains* [checked] , *Religious Psychopaths* [checked] , *Villain who is after Revenge* [checked]. I think I’ve made my point there. But what makes this villains so enjoyable is that no one is a villain just for the sake for being a villain. The best kind of villains are the ones you can empathize with, the ones that you feel for and understand them and make you question your own morality, this is something that this series excels at. As same as the main characters, the villains too have core motivation driving them. They have their own beliefs, ideologies and they are willing to fight for what they think is right. You might find yourself cheering on the villains more than the “heroes.” The morality here is blurred.
But coming back to the war arc, its main flaw is the final villain (which I will not spoil here). Compared with the other villainous characters from the series, the final character is very bland and their motivations are not entirely clear or most likely not relatable to any of the viewers. That being said, this character is only in the series for a very small amount of episodes and the others certainly do more than enough to make up for it.
Art and Animation – 7.5
Again we have a mixed bag here.
This show can look stunning when it wants to, and by stunning I meant big budget movie level of quality. But at times the quality can drop way below par.
I think I should specially mention Hiroyuki Yamashita’s work here. He mainly works on battle scenes and this man is a genius when it comes to it. Even though he only worked on a limited number of episodes, his episodes pushes the animation, choreography and stylishness to 11!
Despite this I can’t give it a higher score because this show is wildly inconsistent with its animation.
And as for character designs, we already talked about how Kishimoto made his characters very distinctive and imaginative and how the bright color pallet fuels this.
Sound – 10
This is an another strong point of the series. Yasuharu Takanashi has made a masterpiece of a soundtrack for this series that manages to highlight the intensity, the tragedies, and the sorrow of each moment. The emotions that Kishimoto wants to portray make it through to us so well because of this soundtrack. It connects us with the world of Naruto Shippuden in a special way. I would recommend listening to tracks like Samidare (Early Summer Rain) to get a taste of what the soundtrack is like.
Enjoyment and Overall Experience – 10
Naruto Shippuden is more of an experience that needs to be had than just a mere show. It played with our emotions for over a decade and now it has been concluded. The enjoyment of Naruto Shippuden goes beyond just the series itself. This series has a very big community and fanbase that you could interact with. And its lore is so vast that you would never run out of things to discuss about it. Although it has its share of major flaws, this series is a journey that shouldn’t be missed if you’re fine with the hefty commitment. It’s by no means a flawless anime , but it’s an anime with highs that more than makes up for it’s lows. It reaches for the stars but makes a few tumbles along the way , but the best moments of Naruto are some of the best moments in the medium itself.
And with this, I conclude my review for this series that defined a generation.
Sub or Dub ? : Sub is recommended
| Recommendations for Similar Series |
[Naruto] : Yes, the original series. It’s essential to watch it before the Shippuden series because it contains a lot of character development and build-up for the Shippuden series.
[Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood ] : This series contains most of the things that made Shippuden great such as good character development, good soundtrack, and excellent world building. This series does it in about 70 episodes which is truly a magnificent achievement. If you like Naruto Shippuden, it’s a given that you will like Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood as well.
[Hunter X Hunter (2011)] : A series that greatly inspired Naruto. Both anime feel very similar in style. If the inconsistencies of Naruto bothered you, you’ll find a much more consistent pacing and quality of writing here. Whether the highs of Hunter X Hunter matches up to the highs of Shippuden or FMA Brotherhood is up for debate, but you won’t have to sit through any lows like you have to endure with Naruto or Naruto Shippuden.
[Proofreading – SomeRandomNerd]
The Naruto franchise is one of the most hyped and popular series in the anime world. After 10 years, 500 episodes and a bunch of movies the moneymaker Naruto franchise is finally put to rest.
Naruto was one of my favorite shows as a kid, it was better than anything else on TV and I still remember rushing home from school to catch Naruto on TV, good times. After the original series “Naruto” ended, I was thrilled about the sequel show, “Shippuuden”, that was about to start airing but little did I know what a disappointment it was going to be.
Story: 3/10 (Cannon: 6/10 & Filler: 1/10)
Naruto Shippuuden is a continuation of the original therefore the concept of the story remains unchanged but the execution and pacing are a different situation.
Naruto Shippuuden follows Naruto Uzumaki as he aspires to become Hokage and at the same time tries to bring back his friend, Sasuke, but the story is much more complex than before, now we have Akatsuki hunting down all the Jinchuuriki, Sasuke seeking revenge for his clan , Naruto’s struggle against the Kyuubi, Danzo’s plot to take over Konoha, the 4th great Ninja War, Madara attempting to end the world and so much more. Yeah, the story gets way more complex but not for the better.
Unfortunately what was a simple straight-forward and fairly enjoyable plot, soon got covered with pointless subplots that turned the show into a mess, a complete wreck filled with plot armor and plot conveniences. We still have Naruto aspiring to become Hokage while trying to bring back Sasuke but those story-lines get smothered with useless boring subplots and endless filler episodes (not that the main plot was good). That combination ruined my enjoyment of this show.
On to the next flaw. The pacing of the show is just unbelievably bad, with dragged out scenes that put you to bed, important moments that are rushed and not properly explained, hundreds of filler episodes interrupting important and hyped-up fighting scenes and a lot more is wrong with the pacing/execution.
What bothered me the most, as it did many others, were the filler episodes, particularly the ones during the 4th great ninja war that were inserted in the most intense fighting moments. Naruto going full power against his opponent, what an epic scene…why not insert about 20 filler episodes?
This series has so many twists that you stop caring mid-way. The main antagonist got replaced 3 times because the writers fked up and made them too OP for Naruto to defeat… so the next logical step is to introduce someone twice as powerful. Referring to Obito who was replaced by the stronger Madara who was replaced by the stronger Kaguya, what a mess…
While Naruto Shippuuden is a shonen show that follows the generic path of “get beaten> yell/scream> rise up> win> repeat” and employs cliche themes such as “the power of friendship conquers all”, despite all of that, I never cringed while watching it and these flaws never stopped me from enjoying the show.
Sure, it can get a bit annoying to see Naruto rehabilitate every “evil” guy he meets and turning them into his friends but it ain’t that bad.
To be fair, Naruto Shippuuden does have amazing fight scenes that get you hyped, sad moments that bring tears to your eyes, artistic scenes that inspire the viewer, lighthearted scenes that put a smile on your face… In this area, Naruto did great and exceeded my expectations.
The characters are generic, cliche and many are one-dimensional or have very little development but that doesn’t stop them from being likeable and unique in their own way.
I will talk about the characters I consider important to the series.
Characters worth remembering are: Jiraiya, Tsunade, Kakashi, Madara.
Naruto is a young ninja who had a harsh childhood during which he faced many difficulties and sad moments. The difficulties he experienced as a child traumatized him and made him the way he is, a cheerful and friendly guy who would do anything to protect those he cares for. Naruto’s dream is to become Hokage but he will not be blinded by that dream and even if it means straying away from it, Naruto will offer his help to whomever is in need, he will put everything on the line to save those he considers friends, no matter the circumstances and that is the quintessence of his personality.
Even though it is not evident, throughout the series Naruto’s character slowly changes and matures after facing and overcoming the obstacles in his path.
Sasuke is the “last” of the Uchiha clan after its bloody demise at the hands of his older brother, Itachi. His only goal in life is to avenge the death of his clan and seek revenge on Itachi, not caring about others or the consequences of his actions. Sasuke’s character is stagnant and does not develop until late in the series, he is the “rival” that makes Naruto strive to be better and stronger.
Itachi was arguably one of the greatest shonen villains until the writers reduced him to a generic, plain good guy.
Itachi is the “prodigy” child of the Uchiha clan, a skilled shinobi and a good brother until one dark night when he murders every member in the clan except for his younger brother. His character was intriguing and a great addition to the series but ended in miserable failure as the writers decided to rehabilitate him after his death.
Obito, another victim of the “power of friendship” theme. He has lost everything, his dream of becoming Hokage is gone, his loved one is dead, his friend betrayed him, his body is ruined therefore he decides it is best to destroy the world and yet he is easily turned into a good guy by our great hero, Naruto.
Kurama/Nine-Tails is one of the nine tailed beasts. Centuries of being regarded as a mindless monster and sought after as a tool for war caused Kurama to hate humans. After being sealed into Naruto Uzumaki, Kurama attempts to maintain its negative opinions about the world, but with Naruto’s insistence on treating it with respect, the fox overturns its hatred and willingly strives to use its power for the world’s salvation.
Kurama’s development is quite inspiring and a model we should all follow, with the racism, sexism, homophobism, etc. that is happening in the contemporan society.
The art and animation was originally good, fluent with nice colors but it went downhill and resulted in the overall animation&art being bad.
In order to save money, the studio decided to use lots and lots of flashbacks, entire minutes of already aired scenes from previous episodes, still facial expressions, pointless starring, etc.
Although the show started airing in 2007 and ended 10 years later, not many good changes had been made to the animation.
Most of the opening themes and ending themes are decent and the OST is fairly good. The voice actors did a good job interpreting the characters but not an outstanding end result. I couldn’t find a song I loved but nor could I find a song I hated so I guess the sound department is fine.
I highly enjoyed the canon episodes even some of the filler episodes but the overwhelming number of shit filler episodes and flashbacks ruined my enjoyment of this series. Not much to say about it…
My bias won’t let me rate this below 5…
Naruto Shippuuden had its good moments that made it shine but it was quickly clouded by the huge amount of filler episodes, flashbacks, inapt characters, subplots, etc.
I will certainly remember Naruto for the rest of my life, it is a show I grew up with and it holds a special place in my heart.
As advice to the people who have’t watched it yet: skip some of the fillers, a great experience awaits you!
I’ll start out with some of the cons of this show. As many other reviews have already stated, Naruto is loaded with filler episodes and this can’t be any more true. At times the fillers can be funny and interesting, but most of the time you are just impatiently waiting for the show to get back to the real story line. There were tons of flashbacks and honestly they show the same scenes from the past multiple times. The story can be rushed, and at other times it feels like it’s been the same battle for like 5 episodes. The artwork in the battle scenes can vary from good to not so great. But even with it’s many faults, I still gave this show a 10/10. ( honestly if you hate fillers that much, just skip around)
I don’t know where to start with all the great things that this anime has to offer. I’ll start off with the characters. The character development was great for the main characters and even some of the sides characters. I think that the show did an excellent job in giving each character a unique personality and they really made sure that you knew all the characters and their backgrounds. The development of the characters was so great that I was constantly questioning who my favorite character really was. At the beginning I honestly thought that Naruto was annoying and ignorant, but the growth and development of Naruto really grew on me and he began to become one of my favorites. Okay next is the story line. The plot was pretty interesting, but very long. While it did seem like the story was at a standstill for a while in the show, the writers did a good job at subtly setting everything up. Little things that happened in random episodes sometimes came up later as being important. The plot was like a puzzle at times, where I would try to put the pieces together. I actually really enjoyed how they set it up like that. Like Naruto and his friends grew, the story grew as well. In this sense I mean the vibe and mood of the show. It starts off more as a fun action comedy, but as the story goes on, it gets more dark, emotional, and the maturity level of the anime just increases. I’m not kidding when I say that this show can actually teach you life lessons.
I highly recommend watching this whole anime. Even though it is loaded with fillers, by the time you get to the last few episodes, you’ll start to feel emotional and sad that it’s come to an end. While this isn’t Your Lie in April or Clannad, this show still will definitely hit the feels. The end will have you feeling nostalgic, sad, happy, you’ll honestly be feeling so many different emotions. This anime may be 500 episodes, but it is totally worth it and in the end you won’t regret it.
5: Boku no Hero Academia 2nd Season
English: My Hero Academia 2
MAL Score: 8.22
At UA Academy, not even a violent attack can disrupt their most prestigious event: the school sports festival. Renowned across Japan, this festival is an opportunity for aspiring heroes to showcase their abilities, both to the public and potential recruiters.
However, the path to glory is never easy, especially for Izuku Midoriya—whose quirk possesses great raw power but is also cripplingly inefficient. Pitted against his talented classmates, such as the fire and ice wielding Shouto Todoroki, Izuku must utilize his sharp wits and master his surroundings to achieve victory and prove to the world his worth.
It’s easy to point the finger at Boku No Hero Academia and label it as just one and the same as any other shounen that populates the medium. To make broad statements about the characters themselves being repackaged personalities with only a fresh coat of paint and appearance to their name. Or something to the effect of its story being recycled. And if you were to choose that stance, defendants would be hard-pressed to argue against it. But if you did decide to adopt that approach, that then calls into question the very essence of critiquing a shounen in such restrictive terms, to begin with.
If a shounen isn’t allowed to be about the fundamental fight between good and evil, with said fights being carried out through the proxy of colorfully decorated personalities, then at what point does it cease to make sense for it to even be made at all? Or better yet, why bother to scrutinize it for doing what that genre has been predicated on since its inception? At what point does valid criticism capsize towards the side of pointless nitpicking? You won’t always discredit comedies for having situational humor nor will you shame an action movie for delivering on its promise of cool fights and chase scenes. So why then is that benefit not allotted to shounens for being just that; a shounen? What I’m trying to say, in more words or less, is if a shounen isn’t allowed to be a shounen without being reprimanded, what purpose does it even serve anymore?
With all that being said, couldn’t a shounen that operates within the realm of its genre commonalities be allowed to revel in it, even if it may air on the side of self-indulgence at times? I say it should. Not every shounen could escape its role to become Fullmetal Alchemist nor should it be required to. In the same way, not every action film is expected to be a seminal game-changer in the way The Matrix did for bullet-time effects and stylized violence or Inception for its audiovisual craftsmanship and technical proficiency. Sometimes, being the byproduct to ride the wave of other tentpole entries is just fine. And in that regard, Boku No Hero Academia has proven to be a steady entry in the ever-expanding superhero/shounen canon, and I see no reason to ostracize it because it isn’t overly ambitious.
What can and will be critiqued, however, is the mechanics of its universe and the functionality of all the moving parts—characters and their purpose notwithstanding. No matter the demographic or genre it services, poor writing isn’t autonomous to critique, and in my opinion, that’s the space where a reviewer is needed to occupy. The utilization of literary devices is something all storytelling media shares, and it’s in this truth that we can adequately gauge quality control in a fair manner. We don’t need critics to tell us that “SPOILER ALERT, shounens have very simple themes.” Anyone with a modicum of common sense could do that on their own. But what’s usually beyond the general knowledge of the viewing audience is the inner-workings that drive the content they consume. Basically, how well does the title in question use the tools at its disposal? And with that in mind, Boku no Hero Academia has some kinks it needs to iron out before it occupies any shelf-space alongside the genre’s cherished entries. Thankfully, this 2nd season shows promise of that possibly coming to fruition if they handle the content properly moving forward.
But before we open that can of worms, let’s get everyone up to speed.
Coming off season one’s finale, our group of young heroes finds themselves becoming in-house celebrities on their school’s campus, and for good reason. They fought against real-world villains, a situation that’s already rare enough for students but made all the more alarming given that the face-off took place on school grounds. This places everyone on high alert as they move forward with the calendar year. And as new challenges emerge to face them, this period of their lives will serve as their first jumping-off point into finding out what it truly means to be a hero.
This set of challenges first starts off with a genre staple, the tournament arc. And let’s just be honest here, this 1st arc is only paying lip service to having a plot while the true intent is allowing physical alterations to happen, and that’s fine. Of course, the writers conjure up a reason to justify this event, and wisely, they made sure their pretext reflected in the show’s in-world rationalizing as well, taking the edge off for anyone that may have noticed it for what it was. Since being a superhero is its own profession in this world, many agencies choose this event to scout new talent, which also doubles up as a national sporting competition for regular civilians to enjoy. Which I must add is a far better excuse for this setup than what most people would give it credit for. And while this arc came with all the bells and whistles that make any shounen tournament fun, it was also the weakest part of the 2nd season for the reason that’s pivotal to making the whole thing work.
The thing that plagues this portion of the show’s run was something I praised the 1st installment of getting right the first time around. And no, it has nothing to do with the self-evident cliché of the arc’s existence. As I mentioned earlier, a shounen doing “shounen shit” is not my concern here. You don’t need me telling you how overused tournament arcs are, that point will already be reiterated to death by every pseudo-critic that will see this as an opportunity to attack “low-hanging fruit.” Instead, what I plan to address is the functionality of the show’s premise in this arc. And to address that, what needs to be called into question is something that’s perhaps the easiest for everyday viewers to comprehend: proper buildup and payoff.
The idea is simple, throughout the show, the creators will attempt to build up several things—whether it be story or character-centric—and then proceed to pay off their efforts through the natural metamorphosis of the narrative. That “payoff” can either be the central climax of the story or just the resolution of a subplot within it.
To get a sense of this idea in action, let’s take a look at the following scenario:
Let’s say there’s a superhero introduced who’s explicitly stated to have the power to spawn water cannons from their arms. With the explanation of that character’s ability made clear, it’s reasonable to expect that the buildup will probably revolve around the use of said power or the resolve of the character being tested at a crucial moment. Whether used against someone in specific or an event that calls for their particular ability, as long as that hero accomplishes or fails whatever the writers pit them against, it will serve as the payoff for their prominent introduction and highlighted power.
This doesn’t always mean that there needs to be a payoff right away, but if the story dedicates time away from its central focus to build up something or someone else, it’s usually meant to foreshadow a future event later down the line where that knowledge the audience is given will be reincorporated. Pretty self-explanatory, right? Now, let’s look at an example of that being done correctly in the 1st season of Boku no Hero, most notably with our protagonist Midoriya. He’s shown as an astute kid that studies the anatomy and abilities of other heroes. This has become so synonymous with what defines him as a character that it’s even caught the attention of those around him. The buildup established has constantly been paid off with every physical altercation Midoriya finds himself in, as he’s continuously shown using his opponent’s strengths to his advantage, while also working with the limitations of his own power.
The buildup: his excessive studying.
The payoff: his tactical prowess on the battlefield.
Now, this is where a problem rears its ugly head in this season. Throughout the entirety of the tournament arc, almost every buildup that doesn’t revolve around Midoriya or Todoroki, significant or otherwise, was poorly delivered upon, and in some cases, completely abandoned altogether. And no, this has nothing to do with antiquated terms like Chekhov’s gun, but more so an inability to reconnect with things previously established.
To help you spot this on your own, I will highlight a minor event in season 2 episode 3. Obviously, if you haven’t seen up to this point, there will be light spoilers ahead. Skip these two merged paragraphs if you want to avoid them.
In episode 3 at around the 4-minute mark, characters Kirishima and Tetsutetsu are shown crushed under a gigantic robot, something that both characters ended up walking away from unscathed, thanks to their quirks. One could harden like a rock while the other hardens like steel, a quirk that makes them both the ultimate armor against things that would usually cause harm, or in some cases death, to any other student that found themselves in the same predicament. What’s important here is that the show took time to pause during the tournament arc to specifically highlight this, subconsciously signaling to the audience that it will come into play later on.
Not even a full 7-minutes later into the same episode, at around the 11-minute mark, the show introduces an obstacle for the students to get through. This obstacle is a minefield covered with non-lethal explosive charges, a fact the announcer reinforces. It can harm the students but not to the point of endangering their lives. Now, this is very important to note, because like we already established 7-minutes prior, two students survived what would in any other case be life-threatening injuries to other students without a quirk specifically designed to counteract it. So it stands to reason, this obstacle would be perfect for two students who can quite literally become armor, right? Wrong, because as far as the show is concerned, the only characters that matter, at this point, is the three main ones. And even without zeroing in on those two characters in specific, everyone else, from the likes of Uraraka who’ve been shown to defy gravity to Hatsume who had gadgets made specifically for courses like this, are all left not using their advantages to overcome the obstacle.
And this kind of logic occurs throughout the entire runtime of the tournament arc. Where the 1st season paid extra attention to its characters’ quirks and how they can be utilized in combat, in this arc, these secondary characters are now just used as dick-measuring extras to place the main ones on a pedestal. What I just highlighted was only one of several times this occurred.
With that kind of reasoning, it would be like if the water cannon superhero previously mentioned were to end up finding themselves in front of a burning building, but instead of using their Quirk to put out the fire, they just stood there looking at it instead. If framed in the mindset that Boku no Hero does with its supporting cast, they would do nothing as the building catches ablaze, not out of negligence but out of failed returns on initial investment towards the character’s introduction and buildup.
Thankfully, the 2nd half of this season balances the power mechanics again. Something that’s complemented further with the far more exciting scenario they’re placed in.
What gives intrigue to the 2nd arc of Academia is how it chooses to challenge the notion of justice in a world overpopulated by Quirk users. If 80% of the world has Quirks, how can there be any stability in the superhero job sector? Well as it turns out, the answer to that question has already been pre-written into the show, but it’s only now that the idealism of the classroom environment has been traded out for the reality of the world they live in that we get to see the answer. Just because someone could run doesn’t automatically qualify them to be an Olympic athlete. In the same way, their Quirks, the one thing they thought made them unique, doesn’t matter all that much if its usefulness becomes pigeonholed to limited tasks. So beyond the students being challenged to use their skills in inventive ways in season one during all their physical exams, what the school environment was really prepping them for was adapting to a world that doesn’t always play to their strengths. And this kind of thing can lead to compromise, and sometimes that’s not for the best.
This realization made by those with an advantage could breed vanity, while others that need to compromise may grow resentment towards those at the top. So in that sense, justice in a world full of superheroes like this one could just amount to a rat race to profit and self-benefit. The idea of standing for what’s right could become lost in a world where the bottom dollar might be all that matters for some. A diluted cesspool of what it means to be a “hero” has effectively worked its way into the mix. And in a system where the good guys can become no more distinguishable from a business person thinking with a capitalist mindset, radical ideas of reform can begin to emerge. Ideas that may be voiced by a fanatic but may still contain some semblance of truth behind it. Not all “villains” are birthed from wickedness, some might just be disenfranchised, which is an interesting commentary that could just as easily be applied to everyday life. This is something that seems to be interwoven into the subtext of this 2nd arc while all the hero shenanigans happen on the surface. And perhaps a glimpse of future storylines to come. Either way, what’s important is seeing all the students hone their skills while realizing there’s much more to becoming a hero than what presumptions they may have had prior.
And yeah, a lot of this is based on conjecture, but going off the clues that the show keeps hinting towards, I wouldn’t be surprised if the future installment of this series finds itself tackling the same sociopolitical dilemma that other superhero stories like Concrete Revolutio and Samurai Flamenco attempted to highlight. Either way, the future is looking bright for Academia if it manages to pull it off.
Of course, I don’t have to tell you that the art and animation look greats; it’s Bones, good art, and animation is within their wheelhouse. If you liked the comic book apparel of the 1st season, this season just doubles down on that. I could go on and on about how much fun the fights were or how catchy the soundtrack is but honestly, you don’t need me to tell you that, the work speaks for itself. But what I do want to get across is that this season seems to show the efforts of its prior storylines finally starting to pay off. Where the 1st installment helped set up the world and characters that live in it, here, all that establishment is finally being used to craft something far more interesting than the sum of its parts.
So no, I don’t think Academia is quite at that level to be celebrated just yet, but the groundwork has certainly been laid for future installments to come in and shake things up. But until that time comes, let’s just enjoy a shounen that’s comfortable in just being itself.
One major part of the sequel is that the length is almost twice the duration of the first season. It consists of 25 episodes (including an anime original) as part of its storytelling. Therefore, expect almost twice as much as details. As an avid fan of the manga, I’m also rather impressed by the faithfulness of its adaptation standards. Expecting this show to hit a lot of its marks is no easy task and I had some doubts at first. Still, the sequel does a splendid job at crafting the essence of its story. At its core, the show is about heroes in a fictional world. Protagonist Izuku Midoriya (nicknamed Deku) tries to make a difference in his world by trying to become a hero.
Something that I often found appealing about Boku Hero no Academia is how stylish it establishes itself. It’s a typical shounen series yet is able to spread its themes and knows how to do so. The second season asks a question: what really makes a hero? From the first half, we get a tournament (U.A. Sports Festival Arc) that pits the best of the best between classes. While this may seem like a generic battle tournament you can find in many shounen series, Boku Hero no Academia sets itself to establish characters within its tournament. Prominent characters such as Deku, Ochako, Bakugo, and Todoroki gives the audience their insight on their reasoning for fighting. While some of their principles can be disputed, they sent a clear message that becoming a hero is no easy path. At least for these characters, being a hero is more than just about saving others. The Sports Festival arc also examines the background story of Todoroki, a character that we knew little about from the previous season. It invites moments of sympathy as we see how tragic his past has influenced his character in the present.
Meanwhile, the show still maintains its presence of antagonists. Perhaps the most prominent of these is Hero Killer Stain, a new villain with his own objectives and morals. Again, his character ties with the question of “what makes a hero”. In his mind, there are certain rules that establishes what a “true hero” is from the “fake ones”. Season 2 has psychology that makes antagonists such as Stain feel meaningful as a character. It motivates other heroes to realize what they are and what to fight for. Don’t believe me? Just ask Tenya.
As I watched more and more of season 2, I can’t help but realize that the sequel serves as a way to prepare for the characters/heroes for what’s really ahead. What I mean is that while the second season is rich in content, it still leaves some gaps to fill. Mainly, prominent villains such as Tomura Shigaraki and his right-hand man Kurogiri play very minor roles despite establishing themselves as a dangerous threat from the first season. All Might also plays a lesser role in this season despite still being the main hero. Although his role is still important for Deku’s development, it feels that his character dynamics with the boy is less. As a show loaded with characters, don’t expect everyone to get the same development as the main cast. While most characters gets some time to shine, others are left with less memorable moments or comic relief. (yes, I’m looking at you, Mineta) Finally, season 2’s storytelling can occasionally feel stale at times with the academy setting and themes. Luckily, the comedy gives the fans its entertainment value that’s deceptively fun to watch.
Bones studio (known for their adaptation of other super power and hero theme shows) returns with their animation quality. I must admit, season 2 sets the bar for is stylish animation. Battle scenes from the Festival Arc particular stand out that is simply mesmerizing. The fight between Deku and Todoroki is especially noticeable that captures the stellar choreography as I’d expect from this studio. Camera angles feel smooth with vibrant colors and body movements. However, there are a few scenes that feel stagnant especially during the fight with Stain. Perhaps some of those can be fixed later in BD/DVDs but it’s nothing too distracting. Character designs in this sequel also remains memorable for characters ranging from the barbaric design of the Hero Killer, pro heroes, and our main cast.
When listening to the soundtrack, I can’t help but feel that everything is on point. From character voice mannerisms to the battle OST, it succeeds far more than it fails. I can honestly say that the voice mannerism of the characters really brings out the personalities of the cast. Characters such as Stain, All Might, Bakugo, and Todoroki especially stand out this season whenever they speak with dynamism and purpose. The theme songs offers a classic hero-like tune that’s hard to miss.
If you’re going to watch this second season, just know that it will be a thoughtful experience beyond the colorful battles. Everything has a reason ranging from the story, themes, morals, and even character names. I can’t say this enough but season 2 really bought out what I had expected as an adaptation. It’s faithful on most parts and leaves me hunger for more each episode. That being said, season 2 is still far from resolving the end story. It actually feels more like building up for more as certain characters are foreshadowed and more threats looms in the horizon for the main characters. However, I came into this show with high expectations and left with awe. With season 3 announced, this sequel is nothing short of been a classic.
If you did not watch BNHA S1 then go watch that ASAP.
TL;DR: Hype Hype, Finally a Shounen Anime worth watching Plus Ultra Hype! BNHA S2 is basically Naruto and DBZ’s illegitimate child, Hunter X Hunter’s bastard child raised by the all mighty Bones STUDIO that has stayed true to the manga and doing the show justice it really deserves! Definitely Binge-Worthy!
[Story: 8/10 , Characters: 9/10, Art: 9/10, Sound: 8/10, Enjoyment: 10/10]
“So many to kill, so little time. None of you are worthy. None of you are All Might” – Stain
If there is one genre that can always hype people up time after time, it’s the classic shounen genre in anime. It’s like scrambled eggs. The recipe is very simple yet the execution to get it consistently right day after day is difficult. Luckily, fans of one of the most acclaimed manga, BNHA, can rejoice that studio Bones have done yet another great job in beautifully adapting it their own way without deviating away from the manga to give the viewers total indulgence over a shounen anime people will remember for years to come. If you thought season 1 was good, well this season they just went PLUS ULTRA!
The story is great. The anime being 25 episodes long is able to cover 3 different arcs from the manga. In season 1 we mostly focused on the character development of Deku. However, most of the supporting characters this season underwent major character development, especially characters like Todoroki, Iida and even Bakugo. That being said, the overaching development of Deku is ever present feeding off from the development of others. Really embodying the “All for One” motif as the show goes on. Aside from the characters, the art and animation is bold and vibrant. Nothing short from studio Bones standard. Even the OST and the OP & ED songs are just outright catchy and worth listening to over and over again. It’s really hard to find flaw in such a good anime when even the two filler episodes are done so well that it catered to the fans long-time needs & curiosity! With that being said, let’s dive deeper into the anime to really get a good grasp of what all the hype surrounding the anime is. Keep in mind, some spoilers might be revealed!
*Minimum Spoilers Zone Begins*
“If you wanna stop this, then stand up! Because I’ve just got one thing to say to you! Never forget who you want to become!” – Todoroki
There is no point revisiting the premise of the show. It hasn’t changed since season 1. We know the end goal is Deku learning how to fully use All for One. The real plot is the whole journey to get there. This season had three different arcs. First we have the ever cliche shounen tournament arc; where all of the UA students battle it out from team battles to finally 1v1 battles. Surprisingly, the tournament arc actually ends with someone actually being declared a winner. No major interruptions or surprise villain gank happens. Now that’s a surprise. This arc also features one of the fan favourite episode: Todoroki: The Origin. Next, we have the Stain arc, where Stain, a new villain or anti-villain, that has taken it upon himself to purge the world of fake heroes. It’s a really dark arc and one of fan favourite arcs to be adapted. Lastly, we have the much rushed UA Final Hero Examination Arc, where UA students must fight against their teachers (Heroes) to pass their final exam. It also features the second fan favourite episode: Bakugo the Origin. In between these three arcs we are revealed more about the power of All for One and it’s origins as well as League of Villains intentions and who is really pulling the puppet strings. Needless to say, Bones, with the help of Yoshihiko Umakoshi (Tournament Arc) and Takahiro Komori (Stain Arc + Exam Arc), did a great job adapting them in anime format. The only major issue was how different each directors take on how they adapted the arcs. Viewers will notice significant difference in battle sequences and camera angles from one director to the other.
“Needless to say… I’ll be a hero that even surpasses you (All Might)” – Bakugo
Aside from the plot, the major highlight of this season is the character development. Besides Deku, other characters like Todoroki, Bakugo, Iida, Uraraka and even All Might goes through great lengths of character developments. Just as the two major side characters, Todoroki and Bakugo acts as great foils for Deku, actually all three personify the different attributes of All Might that establishes him as the best superhero of all time that not only saves lives but inspired the next generation to be the hero the nation deserves. Deku wants to save people with a smile. Todoroki wants to be his own person and not a prisoner of his blood. Bakugo wants to be the strongest and win with overwhelming force. This just goes to show you why Endeavor could never be the number one hero. It’s never been about how many villains you beat or how strong you are. To be the number one hero means you have to be the beacon of hope and inspiration for all of Japan. The show’s main running theme of quirk strength vs physical & mental strength is again revisited through this. The reason pros are good is because of their skills and judgment not because of their quirks. Besides the heroes, the most interesting character of the season has to be the villain or anti-villain, Stain. His motives are good because he wants to restore the title of Hero to something more respectable and pure. However, the method he uses to achieve this is similar to of a villain. Because of this, he starts a chain reaction of inspiring villains similar to how All Might inspiring heroes. All the parallels and juxtaposed characters in this series really adds to the depth and complexity of the show.
*Minimum Spoiler Zone Ends*
“Meddling when you don’t need to is the essence of being a hero” – All Might
Beside the linear plot and dynamic characters, the technical aspects of this show really makes it stand out from other shounen animes. The animation quality from studio Bones is just Plus Ultra. The characters, the fight sequences, the background cinematography are all beautifully hand-drawn. The vibrant colour palette gives it a rich warm tone that resonates throughout the anime. If that wasn’t enough, the background OST coupled with the epic OP/ED songs slowly grows on you the more you listen to it. Out of the two OP songs, I think Peace sign is still my favourite. Lastly, the seiyuus of this show does a phenomenal job. There isn’t a single character who did not benefit from having a star-studded seiyuu cast in BNHA. Kudos to them. Everything as a whole, really sets the mood and the hype each episode brings to the table.
Overall, BNHA S2 is probably one of the best shounen animes we’ve been blessed with in the last decade. The shounen anime recipe have been replicated numerous times however it hasn’t been executed to this degree in quite a while. The last great shounen anime of this calibre was FMAB. Oddly enough, it was actually studio Bones who also adapted it. They know that staying true to the manga is the ultimate rewarding experience for both new viewers and manga viewers. Nevertheless, I personally really enjoyed this anime and I can see myself easily binging this show again with my friends. It’s just that type of show. Also Season 3 has been confirmed. Anyways, I recommend this show to all shounen anime fans and new fans wanting to venture into the shounen anime genre. Check it out let me know later how you like it as well as share with me your favourite quote from the anime! Plus Ultra!!!
P.S. Thank you for reading. I hope you found this short and supaishi review helpful!
4: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2
English: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2
Japanese: この素晴らしい世界に祝福を！ 2
MAL Score: 8.29
When Kazuma Satou died, he was given two choices: pass on to heaven or be revived in a fantasy world. After choosing the new world, the goddess Aqua tasked him with defeating the Demon King, and let him choose any weapon to aid him. Unfortunately, Kazuma chose to bring Aqua herself and has regretted the decision ever since then.
Not only is he stuck with a useless deity turned party archpriest, the pair also has to make enough money for living expenses. To add to their problems, their group continued to grow as more problematic adventurers joined their ranks. Their token spellcaster, Megumin, is an explosion magic specialist who can only cast one spell once per day and refuses to learn anything else. There is also their stalwart crusader, Lalatina “Darkness” Dustiness Ford, a helpless masochist who makes Kazuma look pure in comparison.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 continues to follow Kazuma and the rest of his party through countless more adventures as they struggle to earn money and have to deal with one another’s problematic personalities. However, things rarely go as planned, and they are often sidetracked by their own idiotic tendencies.
Where most other anime in the fantasy genre– Danmachi, Re:Zero and others of its ilk– attempt to be absolutely and relentlessly serious at all times, Konosuba does away with the very notion of seriousness. It exists solely to be laughed at. And sometimes it does a pretty OK job at creating said laughs. It never aims to be a ‘good’ anime (least not in the traditional sense), and criticising it for not being such is kind of missing the point.
It just becomes a bit difficult to keep laughing when they repeat the same jokes for the fifth or fiftieth time.
Darkness is a thundering masochist who mentally orgasms and gets foamy-mouthed whenever she is treated poorly. The first season already made this joke several dozen times, so I get it. Kazuma will threaten her by promising to do unspeakable (!) things to her body, and, the deviant that she is, squirms in delight! No, look, I get it already– I really, truly do. Her mind is so perverted that she will twist a friendly conversation into a suggestion of her being sexually assaulted by monsters and— PLEASE, KONOSUBA. I GET IT. I get it, OK?
For as much of a joke as Konosuba’s characters are, there is only so much comedy they can create by repeating the same punch-line until the ends of time. There are other, more interesting things that can be done with Darkness’ character, surely. If this were pornography then maybe, perhaps, her characterisation would get a pass, but comedy requires considerably more effort than “oh gee golly I am like so horny right now.”
Aqua, as tantalising as her mini-skirt is (and I have spent many a moment admiring her womanly curves), falls into much of the same issues, with her two defining traits being that she is a narcissist with an ego the size of Darkness’ breasts, and a crybaby who falls on her knees and wails at the top of her lungs when she doesn’t get her way. Her gags, almost invariably, follow a pattern of these two traits: she uses her status as a goddess to demand favours and respect, and then breaks her character and cries immediately after. A little bit more involved than Darkness’ ‘gag’, sure, but it is still repeated to the point of nausea.
Kazuma is likely the more interesting of the lot, since he at least exists as more than a vehicle for a single joke. He is not developed by any means– lord, no, he is a complete dunce from beginning to end– but his frequent switching from idiot to straight-man does at least provide some variety to the gags. Kazuma is a jerky little twat, incapable of respect and prone to molesting the opposite sex, and his assertive nature does well to set him apart from all the other spineless protagonists of the genre. His over-reactions to all the ridiculous nonsense around him (often the direct result of Aqua’s or Darkness’ actions) are often still amusing, too, even if ‘dude yells at stuff’ may not exactly be the most artful style of humour. You almost feel bad for the little bugger – I would probably want to off myself in his situation, too.
There’s not a whole lot to say about Megumin, considering she is pretty well non-existent for 90% of what happens in the second season. She’s unquestionably the most sane of the four (though that isn’t saying a whole lot…), and the one least susceptible to repeated gags. While the first season pushed it a bit by making her defective explosion magic and chuunibyou nature a recurring theme, the second season has next to none of it. And that’s a good thing. I just wonder if, cute as she is, she might be a bit too normal the second time around.
Konosuba just never capitalises on what made absurd comedy series like Osomatsu-san and Gintama so clever. There is wonderful opportunity here for it, as one of the only non-serious fantasy anime, to take the piss out of other titles in the genre and properly satirise them. Part of the joke is that the Gang of Stupid are woefully incapable of combat, unable to progress as one typically would in an MMO or fantasy world, and are able only to defeat monsters and enemies through luck and by surprising them with their colossal stupidity, provided they don’t just scream and run away altogether. That’s an amusing reversal of the genre’s tropes. But that’s all there is. There’s no actual “satire”, no parody to be found in Konosuba – it is standard manzai comedy, living, and dying, by its own strengths and weaknesses.
That isn’t to say that Konosuba is without merit, or that watching it can’t still be a fun time. If you enjoyed the first season or just want a short, easygoing anime that doesn’t require much thought or focus, then, hey, it does its job just fine, even if it may at times feel more like a greatest hits compilation. Konosuba is a big, dumb show and it knows it. I just don’t think that being dumb is an excuse for laziness.
One of the strongest points of this series is the characters and their interactions, Kazuma is one of the weird cases where I find the protagonist to be the best character of a comedy anime, he’s just such a lovable troll that has to deal with the weirdos around him, the first of them being Aqua, a cute but useless crybaby that has a godlike talent for performing party tricks. However, outside of that she lacks any other abilities despite being an actual goddess. Most of the time she’s a hindrance to the group but damn she’s great. There is also Megumin, a chuunibyou that wants to see the world explode (and she will be the one doing it, one explosion at a time). Last but not least there’s Darkness, a holy crusader that does her best in the front line, blocking the attacks of the enemies in order to defend her allies… well, that and to enjoy the pleasure of being hit, just masochist things.
While the main cast are great, the side characters are certainly capable of stealing the spotlight. For example, there’s Wiz, who is supposedly on the bad side but is probably the nicest person around, and Yunyun, another crimson mage like Megumin that really needs some love and headpats, poor girl.
The characters are very enjoyable to watch and their wacky, random adventures are always hilarious. Their gags stay fresh and funny due to all the different situations the characters are thrown into.
The RPG-like world adds a lot of variety to the comedy via fantasy elements and characters/monsters. Most series that use this type of setting tell a more serious story but KonoSuba uses it for comedic purposes. It’s a great, well-executed parody of the genre. Even the supposed ‘enemies’ are hilarious characters that add a lot of fun moments to this anime.
Excluding the first episode, that for some motive had a derpier look, the art of this sequel was like in the first season, shining in showing the multiple reactions of the characters with comedic faces that add a lot to the humour of this anime. The music is similar to the first season, with a special mention for the new opening “TOMORROW”. It does a great job of showing what the anime is about, a bunch of weird people having lots of random, fun adventures. It’s so easy to get in the mood for an episode once that opening starts playing.
As someone who really enjoyed KonoSuba, this sequel offers the same great comedy while putting the characters into new different hilarious scenarios. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the first season.
There was little to no story. This anime felt more like a slice of life than an adventure type anime.
The art was a big let down compared to the previous season. It seems they just rushed this out to get some profit quickly. People say it fits the anime, but an anime can have good art while having their characters making retarded faces. I feel like detailed retarded faces would be funnier. I honestly think even fan animations on youtube have better quality.
Nothing really caught my ears during the anime, but I never skipped the opening and ending songs at least.
I don’t think I like any characters and that’s in a bad way. In It’s always in Sunny in Philadelphia, they are all assholes to each other, but I like them as characters. But in this anime, they are all assholes and I don’t like their characters. Darkness in any situation is a pervert and is never serious. This really gets annoying and it was never funny in the first place. Aqua reminds me of an annoying version of Shinpachi from Gintama. All she does is scream and complain. She has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Megumin is an alright character though. Besides from the refusal to learn another trick than explosion to help the group, she’s probably the least annoying. Tbh I kinda like Kazuma as a character. He’s interesting and steers away from the usual cliches. He doesn’t take shit from other characters even if they’re a girl and voices his opinions on things. Like equality and such. Most of the characters are presented as is and they don’t seem to have another side to them that we can learn about.
Although this anime overall was disappointing story wise and comedy wise, It still got a few chuckles out of me, just barely. Nothing major really happened. I don’t mind anime with no story or being episodic, but at least be really really funny like Saiki, Gintama, The Daily Lives of Highschool Boys, Nichijou, etc.
I’m not being a hater towards this anime, I just wanted it to go in a different direction. This had the potential to be one of my favorite comedies, but all the jokes were just sex jokes and they explored nothing more than that.
3: Gintama.: Porori-hen
English: Gintama.: Slip Arc
MAL Score: 8.53
Following the grim events of Iga, Kokujou Island, Rakuyou, and multiple fruitless confrontations with the Tenshouin Naraku and Tendoshuu, Gintama.: Porori-hen takes its viewers on a trip down memory lane to when Yorozuya were mostly doing what they did best—odd jobs. The great space hunter Umibouzu has returned to Edo and is livid when he finds out that his daughter Kagura has a boyfriend. He blames Gintoki for being an incompetent guardian, but has the time finally come for him to let go of his daughter?
Back with shameless parodies, risqué humor, and lively camaraderie, Gintoki, Kagura, and Shinpachi are faced with unforeseen situations that manage to be both hilarious and emotionally stirring.
I want a life for Christmas.
Let me first address the minority among you, the ones actually wanting to know whether Gintama is worth watching – the ones looking for a proper review. Everybody knows the type – every time a season begins or concludes, a few of these pop out of the woodwork looking to “get into Gintama” or “catch up with Gintama” or whatever. I’ve had a number of them irl as well.
I understand your confusion. For every 10/10 review claiming Gintama is the best thing since frozen bread, there are probably 5 users with it being dropped, a score of 1/10, and an incredibly helpful tag of “overrated”. Every time you decide to take the plunge, a voice in your head asks you – is it truly going to be worth it? In that 300+ episode runtime, you could be doing something useful (or watching other anime, I don’t really care) – are you going to invest that time on poop jokes?
Truth is, I can’t help you, and I don’t think anyone can.
I will say this – when Gintama peaks, it is going to be one of the best anime you’ve ever seen. It will fully deserve that overblown 9+ score, which ranks it above other hot favorites and makes people salty. It’s when it peaks that causes all the polarization, in my opinion.
Say you don’t like toilet humor. Then for you, the show might peak during its parody bits.
I also know some who consider references to be the lowest form of comedy. Maybe the self-deprecating gags or the ones parodying tropes instead of other media are more your cup of tea.
“I don’t really like anime comedy but I’m checking Gintama out coz of its high score” – the action arcs might be where the show peaks for you. (Seriously though the score doesn’t make it less of a comedy)
These are only a few examples but the point I’m trying to make is Gintama is mixed bag of goodies which aren’t limited to a single style or genre. The more among them you like, the more you are inclined to like the show as a whole, and vice versa.
Consequently, there is no teaser for Gintama – X episodes you can watch that will tell you exactly what the show is. People might say the show gets good after a certain episode – I think that’s more of them finding the first instance where the show peaked for them. I dare say your experience would be different.
This isn’t to say don’t watch Gintama. But barreling through the show expecting 9+ quality right from the start will more often that not turn you away.
One possible way to watch is to get to know the main cast (~10 episodes) then check out some of the top comedy episodes (there probably are a few threads listing them here and there) – if you like them, great, the show has a definite peak for you, and you can decide to keep watching or not. If you don’t, well, 300 episodes is honestly a lot, and most of it is comedy of the same or lower quality.
Onto this season then.
Honestly, this season was just regular Gintama. There were good episodes and bad episodes, similar to the previous seasons. Bad episodes, however, seem much more prominent when the season is 13 episodes, compared to 50 or 200. Variances in quality have been present throughout Gintama’s run, and I don’t necessarily feel this season is weak at least in terms of source material.
The biggest negative for me is the existence of a “Slip Arc” when it could have been adapted in order, with perhaps a break before SA began. I also expected the characters to make a lot more fun of the honestly moronic decision to skip stuff. Whatever. I’ve made my peace with BNP. Getting a complete adaptation is not something very common, and I suppose I should count my blessings.
The lack of budget saving background shots still irks me, though. It probably is fucking weird to want fillers, but the self parody segments were one of the biggest positives of Gintama comedy. The humor itself is great, but the love the staff felt for the show really shines through in the bonus segments, like Gintoki getting sleep paralysis for example. I just don’t get that from any of the BNP seasons, not just this one. The switch from Sunrise to BNP makes me feel like overseeing an employee who went from giving 110% to 100%. I can’t really complain, but I’m still disappointed.
In any case, whatever my feelings about BNP are, with the multi-colored poop segment of the Excalibur arc I can finally say unironically that I lost brain cells while watching Gintama. I appreciate the fact that they were trying to stick to the manga, which didn’t have mosaics. But I can’t believe that no one looked at the final product and went, “hey, this is unbelievably fucking stupid!” Or they did, and the staff just ran with it anyway. Lampshade stupid things, for god’s sake. Make a character say that rainbow poop is shitty, no pun intended. It’s moments like these where BNP refuses to utilize the reputation Gintama has built up over the years which make me hate them. Combine this with the ever-present janky zoomed out scenes – or scenes where the camera focuses on the background instead of the characters – to save budget instead of just airing the fucking static BG, and there’s no love lost between me and BNP.
I don’t mean for this to turn into another rant – I’ve accepted that this is the best we’re going to get. This season is still weak, but for me it’s more due to these small shortcomings that add up instead of the comedy being weaker or stale. I just hope this reduced budget goes to animating the multitude of fights in the SS arc in gloriously high quality. I want Gintama to go out with a bang, not fizzle towards its end.
tl;dr – same Gintama comedy, weaker execution, basically another BNP season 8/10
This arc isn’t like that. It’s the slip arc, which actually takes place before the farewell shinsengumi arc, so you can expect to see old faces here. (I’m talking the Shinsengumi, Otsu, Ikumatsu, Tetsuko from the Benizakura arc…) This season of Gintama is actually more of a return to the original, before everything got serious. Pure silliness for 13 episodes, funny and cringeworthy more often than not, the way it used to be. Good, in a way, but it doesn’t exactly live up to the massive build up from the previous season. Don’t worry though, they’re working on it! They are actually finishing off the final season, but it’s taking a while because, (in the words of Gintama itself) ‘there were some adult issues at play.’ 😉 (look after the ending credits)
Not the best arc I’ve seen, not even close, but still undeniably Gintama. It has the same cast and crew that we’ve all grown to love by now, and the same style of storytelling that is so ridiculous you almost don’t notice that a bunch of deep messages are thrown in there too. So it’s worth seeing in any case. 😊 XD
Gintama… One of the top-rated anime that come out here on this website. At first when I saw Gintama on this website, having 9+/10 ratings on almost every show of it, I persuaded myself to watch all of the seasons even if its really hard due to my schedule. 300+ Episodes? Seriously. I can’t even finish Bleach which is also 300+ episodes. So I recklessly tried Gintama from the beginning last summer and I, in fact, one of those who rated every Gintama a 10/10 with one pure reason. Comedy plus Values. Thats how I summarized Gintama. Now this season, the new Gintama came out and it is the “Slip Arc”.
As stated in the first episode, this arc will present some comedic material throughout the series and after it, will begin the final arc which is the “Silver Soul” arc. Now I don’t have a problems with this thing because more Gintama meaning more laughter that I really need in my life. If I’m going to review the story of Gintama, then you already know it is hard because… Gintama is meant to be random, though it is full of arcs and side stories. On this season of Gintama, we are presented by “Slip Arc”, that also have side stories. For example, the story of Nishi Ikumatsu (Katsura’s crush who makes ramen for him), who we saw how she was longing to see that one person who was keep on coming to her shack. Then comes Gin and Kankou (Umibouzou) father issues with the Titans. And also the scabbards’ romantic story. Those were funny but there is still some value hidden within it. Like the story of Terakado Tsu (Otsu-chan), who was fallen to the streets again but rose up due to the help of her fans (this was a very funny two episodes). Slip Arc presented us variety of laughable side stories with simple values. Though 13 episodes is really not enough. Lack of executions or content is one of the issue of this arc though it is also an advantage to the author to go ahead with the final arc. What I can describe to it accurately is that this Gintama is like the mini-version of the first season of Gintama. Bite-sized. Let me tell you this. Compare a bite-size Oreo (the mini ones) to the original Oreo cookie. What Oreo have the more milk and chocolate? What Oreo have more taste? Obviously, its the original one although, the bite-size one are made for the ones who are lazy? or who wants to eat it like chips. The “Porori-hen” (Slip Arc) offered us what the original Gintama can do although the original have more variety.
Ahh yes.. They are back at it again… First minute of the first episode of this anime showed us already that Gintama is basically the king of all parodies. With the references on top even on the following episodes, its safe to say that all of the characters stick to their attitude and motives since when they appeared in the other seasons. Also, we get to learn more stories about other characters and what can they do like Musashi, Tetsuko (the blacksmith) and Ikumatsu.
Art is simply Gintama and nothing changed. Though I love how the opening gave us so much colors and when it goes to the chorus, it shows the characters running and the background is full of past scenes from past episodes, which gives a good signifance to it.
The opening gives us hype and thats all we need for every Gintama episode. While the ending gives us like good sets of girls dressed up in bride dress. Not to mention, the soundtrack and other sounds (like when Katsura enters and when someone fails) gives us a Gintama element to it.
Overall thoughts and Enjoyment:
This Gintama is one of the highest rated anime that was currently aired and yes it deserves to be one of the highest. Enjoyment was top-notch and it is safe to say that this Gintama is like a taste-test (or bite size lol) to the original Gintama. I, honestly, recommend you to watch it before the final arc of Gintama comes so that we will be having smiles before we end Gintama (even though I dont want it to end).
2: Owarimonogatari 2nd Season
English: Owarimonogatari Second Season
MAL Score: 8.91
Following an encounter with oddity specialist Izuko Gaen, third-year high school student Koyomi Araragi wakes up in a strange, deserted void only to be greeted by a joyfully familiar face in an alarmingly unfamiliar place.
Araragi, with the help of his girlfriend Hitagi Senjougahara, maneuvers through the webs of his past and the perplexities of the present in search of answers. However, fate once again delivers him to the eccentric transfer student Ougi Oshino, who brings forth an unexpected proposal that may unearth the very foundation to which he is anchored. As Araragi peels back the layers of mystery surrounding an apparition, he discovers a truth not meant to be revealed.
Mayoi Hell and Hitagi Rendevous are arcs with essential information that is needed to be build up before reaching the final boss. The final boss known as Ougi has been foreshadowed for some time now. Who is she? Where did she come from? We will have the answers to all our questions in this arc. All the pieces that have been lingering will finally connect.
Mayoi Hell consists of Ararargi going to hell after being intentionally killed by Gaen. If you haven’t watched Koyominonogatari by now you should go back because it is very necessary. As well as obviously watching the rest of the series that has aired beforehand. Visually it is an extremely fun episode and seeing Ararargi and Mayoi banter after all these years is great. We saw them send each other off in the Second Season in a touching moment and in the Final Season, we see the wonderful reunion. The music that accompanies the touching moment towards the end pulls at your heartstrings. Can you call it manipulative? Sure but it sure has hell worked well. The comedic timing can be abrasive and I say this in a positive way. It’s an onslaught of comedy smacking in your face with animation shifting from cartoony back to on model. With sprinkles of deep dialogue, we get a traditional Monogatari script. The most important element of the arc is Ararargi showing his attitude towards life changing but his heart remains the same. He will always want to save people even if he went back and did things again. However, he still shows some regret in the approach he took and how he could have improved on it. Anyone who has been interested in Ararararararagi’s character development will be satisfied seeing him converse with Mayoi. In the second half of the arc, we are met with a character that was first introduced in Tsukimonogatari. To not get spoilers they converse about why Ararargi had to die and come back to life. This arc truly benefitted from the TV Special format because they were a ton of different settings being presented as Mayoi and Ararargi take a journey to meet the man who will bring him back to life. The animation quality was astonishing far better than what we saw in Owarimonogatari season 1.
Hitagi Rendevouz isn’t just a filler date between our main cast and heroine. While Hitagi takes a large chunk of her self-proclaimed arc, Ougi Oshino interrupts to speak about the important implications that were presented in Mayoi Hell. Ougi’s near threatening dialogue and the sound design gives me chills down my spine when hearing her speak to Ararargi. Without having any knowledge of the next arc, Ougi Dark, you feel anxiety throughout. But wait wait wait let’s get back to the date between our main girl and main boy. Hitagi probably looks the most beautiful here than in any other series. While this is obviously a personal feeling I had to put it in the ethersphere. But being beautiful isn’t just about the character design, shaft really kept up with the animation and kept her on model almost throughout. With the obvious exception of comedic animation shifts. The backgrounds are rich and full of life as Hitagi, with her new driving license, takes out Ararargi on a date. The date itself was very charming. The most befitting to a 6 months relationship. To the viewers, it has been 8 years.
Ougi Oshino is Ougi Oshino
What makes this arc very different than most arcs is that it is a bit mature, not as mature as Hanamonogatari was but close. We don’t see much fan service and we see a lot of reflection of the past. Its a somber ending. I am glad we are at the conclusion. But do not fret there are more novels to be adapted which will be. While they might not hit as hard as these arcs in this season it will still be a joy to watch.
Thank you for the best 8 years of my life Nisio and SHAFT.
This review does not contain spoilers. This review is not made by a blind fanatic or a hater who has nothing better to do, this review is made by a person who saw this series for more than 8 years of his life.
I’ll be honest and I’ll go straight to the point. I will not speak with fanaticism in my words, I will write just the truth about these episodes, my truth, nothing more and nothing less. I have no sweet words to these episodes, so if you can’t digest a different opinion than yours I ask you to not continue reading my review.
I want to clarify this before I start, I’m a fan of this series since the day it was released in 2009 and the second season is in my top ten favorite anime of all the time, so you wonder why I did not like this part? and the answer is very simple, I do not like this part because it concentrates everything that is wrong with the last works of the Monogatari series by the acclaimed Japanese animation studio shaft and directed by Akiyuki Shinbou, oh wait a moment is not even him who directed these episodes, that makes so much sense and at the same time so little, Shinbou why do you disappear when the fans of the old times need you more than ever? oh, I see you’re a captain who does not sink with the ship, intelligent move on your part, traidor.
One of the clearest problems is the speed with which the story advances, being so fast does not create a sense of importance in the events that occur in the story, at one point we are with a scene that pretends to be emotional and full of stress and the next moment the protagonist is making jokes about the underwear of a minor and you can tell me that that always happened with the Monogatari series but this time it is in a more clumsy, notorious and completely out of place way.
It is really depressing and insulting for a lifelong fan to see that the mistakes of the past have not been corrected and not only that, but that the problem has been aggravated in such a stupid way that you can not do anything more than pretend that you did not see anything. I was the best accomplice of this series and I did not give importance in the past but I got bored of the same grotesque joke again and again, which leads us to the following problem with these episodes, which is the repetition of the same old material, these episodes only repeats the same jokes and ideas that in previous seasons, these episodes did not innovate at all and you know what is worse than that? is that the people behind this work does not even try or care about the fact that they are just recycling the old stuff over and over again, they are hitting your head over and over again with the same old ideas and jokes until you say enough and I’m a fan who got tired of this deal, it is no longer funny, it is not innovative anymore, it is not even artistically pleasing as it was before. It’s just an endless number of memes that died a long time ago. They pretend to be funny when it’s just a lot of trash that they’re recycling to not create anything new. Why strive to create something new if the old is accepted as something with some value.
These episodes suffer from not giving much explanation to some important events that occur in the life of the characters, how convenient is to not explain anything and just move forward as if this were a race but the production team can take the time to do the same joke again and again, so it is not a problem of time, they simply do not care in the desire of the fans, “give us your money and go away”. Also includes many characters that are only present for a brief and insignificant moment, this is an insult to the characters themselves and fans of these characters, an absolute disgrace. In other occasions the characters act as if they were a stereotype of some very obvious program and they make clear what are their intentions although the series wants to generate an atmosphere of mystery, but is not a mystery if you are telling me everything directly or at least is not a good mystery.
These episodes are the clear sign that studio shaft loves to play safe and just want the easy money of the fans who are hungry for more material, for more empty dialogues and characters pretending to be talking about something deep when it’s just about the panties of a little girl. The fans are many, they will eat whatever it is, they must create something that many will like, easy to eat and bring it to their tables as fast as possible and the result is a hamburger. this is a hamburger that instead of having interesting dialogues full of new ideas is full of the greed of the people who are in the production studio, instead of having witty and provocative comedy has jokes about the tits of a little girl and instead of taking the time to develop the characters and be careful with their emotions has recycled material fresh from the trash.
I firmly refuse to accept this insult to my loyalty for this franchise, I refuse with all my love to accept this mistreatment of my patience and I refuse with all my passion to remain silent, these episodes were the worst I saw in the whole series and it’s sad that everything has ended in this mediocre way. Each movement of the characters was predictable, each word was said in the past and every joke was repeated so many times that it is no longer funny.
Sweet dreams my beautiful monogatari series, you are no longer what you once knew to be. I have admired you for over 8 years, I laughed with your first jokes and I identify with some of your characters but after more than 68 episodes, 3 movies, 2 ovas, you’re not longer what you used to be.
I do not need buzzword like say “masterpiece” every 4 words to describe my feelings, I just let the heart speak and this review was made with heart and passion so I hope you understand that I do not hate this series at all, I just wish everything was better… Every moment, every word, every plot change in the story did not live up to expectation and the name of these series.
Rest in peace.
From a real fan who was waiting for this moment for more than 8 years.
This is the final puzzle piece from the Monogatari series. In this series every little detail from the other series that were left unexplained was revealed to its audience. Another worth praising writing style from the author who knows damn well how to leave intentionally plot holes who are gonna be filled later in his future works. This is why the flaws are what makes Monogatari a great piece from the storytelling medium.
Once again Shaft managed to use the visuals in perfect harmony with the current action of the characters and dialogue lines to emphasis the message for its audience. As an example I will mention the fantastic and beautiful association of each character from monogatari with a star constellation during Ougi’s explications .The dialogue is well used for the characterization and plot helping with the progression of the story.
As we all know the minor characters from Monogatari are so well used for the plot and characterization of the main characters and in this series doesn’t disappoint us at all . Who taught that Tadatsuru a minor character from Tsukimonogatari would had such a impact across the story in Owari 2. Let’s not forget Oshino Meme disappearance after Bake which had a purpose after all and finally Gaen who is the shining star from Owari 2 using again her brilliant mind to solve a problem. Fantastic!
Owari 2 also manages to give screen time to the two main characters from Bake Senjougahara and Araragi. It’s always a pleasure to see Senjougahara verbal abusing Araragi but caring for him deep down in her heart proving once again why her actions are unpredictable and her personality unique. What I am trying to say is that in this series we finally see the choices that those decided to take as a couple for their future after their long fight with their own problems.
One of the main themes that needs to be mentioned is about change, portrayed through the actions and choices Araragi goes through . As for each part from Owari 2 they each have a different plot and message but they are all connected to the main story from Owari 2.Mayoi Hell is the preparation stage for Ougi Dark and Hitagi Rendevouz is the bridge that connects them . In Ougi Dark everything comes together giving a conclusion to the Monogatari series and presenting how the actions and choices the characters made influenced their lives .
Trust me you will not regret any moment by watching Owari 2 , you will experience a lot of emotions through each arc and the conclusion will leave you in tears of joy and sadness.
This series managed to give a conclusion to all of the other series from Monogatari and answer all the left questions.
English: Gintama Season 5
MAL Score: 8.99
After joining the resistance against the bakufu, Gintoki and the gang are in hiding, along with Katsura and his Joui rebels. The Yorozuya is soon approached by Nobume Imai and two members of the Kiheitai, who explain that the Harusame pirates have turned against 7th Division Captain Kamui and their former ally Takasugi. The Kiheitai present Gintoki with a job: find Takasugi, who has been missing since his ship was ambushed in a Harusame raid. Nobume also makes a stunning revelation regarding the Tendoushuu, a secret organization pulling the strings of numerous factions, and their leader Utsuro, the shadowy figure with an uncanny resemblance to Gintoki’s former teacher.
Hitching a ride on Sakamoto’s space ship, the Yorozuya and Katsura set out for Rakuyou, Kagura’s home planet, where the various factions have gathered and tensions are brewing. Long-held grudges, political infighting, and the Tendoushuu’s sinister overarching plan finally culminate into a massive, decisive battle on Rakuyou.
EDIT: If you take the time to read, I’ve explicitly mentioned I’ll be scoring this a 9 like the disgusting fanboy I am. But make no mistake, 6 is what I think it deserves. I say this beforehand, since otherwise you might waste *our* time going directly to my profile on seeing the score and flaming me for ‘fishing’.
I wonder when it became natural for Gintama to have a score of 9 or above.
Every time a new season is announced, a few one-liners of “X being displaced from the top 10”, or some acerbic remarks about how ridiculous one franchise having so many entries in the top list is are made, and then the matter is dropped.
I’m perfectly aware that ratings on this site are dogshit, with trolls and boosters running rampant in equal measure. Still, Erased and Re;Zero received significant backlash on their sudden rise. Gintama was just…ignored.
Maybe it’s due to the non-confrontational fanbase. They just view haters as just being pitiable; more of a “your loss” viewpoint rather than a “fuck you” one. Trolls need triggered people to feed on, after all.
Said fanbase is also loyal as fuck. Fierce doesn’t even begin to cover it. Most of the current reviews are 10/10s claiming Gintama to be the best thing since sliced bread.
And I agree completely. Gintama was my first 10, my only 10, and my absolute no 1 when it comes to anime currently. But the reviews don’t address the elephant in the room, a point which I’m coming to.
This season is shit.
Which is harsh, admittedly. It stands head-and-shoulders above other battle series (shounen isn’t really a genre, nor is it the only one utilizing plot armour). But Gintama’s standard of comparison is itself, and this season pales in comparison to the others.
Shifting tones from comedic to tension-filled is hard for any creator. Period. Forcing an audience to believe that characters surviving comic explosions can die at the hands of random mooks is a massive leap. And it is especially hard in a universe without any flashy techniques to aid the transition, like Negima or KHR.
Hayate (the manga) has gone to shit in its final arc. Konosuba, the current comedy favourite can’t really function without its comedy at all.
And yet Sorachi pulled it off with aplomb. He ratcheted the intensity higher and higher with each chapter, a near-miraculous feat. Until he perhaps took it too far.
See, the SA arc was morbid. Alongside the Shogun, it was the death of Gintama’s comedy, a death more hard-hitting than most characters’. Gintama basically sacrificed a part of itself to set up the drama.
FS was oppressive in its atmosphere. One bleak event after the another, culminating in the introduction of Utsuro, shown to be the strongest antagonist till date.
Rakuyo gave us mid-bosses.
In all fairness, Rakuyo is more a transition to the final arc. Plot threads involving Utsuro’s identity, origin and abilities had to be resolved. Altana (foreshadowed in the Inugami arc) had to be formally introduced.
Gintama was always short on true antagonists, and defeating Utsuro in the penultimate arc would be stupidly anticlimatic (in true Gintama fashion, but that part is dead now rip). So I understand the need to have new villains.
The problem is, they were given the same serious treatment reserved for Takasugi and Utsuro. I know individual fights have a lot of potential in any battle series. Each character can show the results of their training, new special moves, new deus ex machinas (Erza cough cough) etc.
What they don’t have any potential for is tension.
A monkey, a mechanical tentacle monster, and a 1/3 functioning triclops with a wildly inconsistent lightsaber could have been a heap of laughs.
But cheesy dialogues (not that cheesy, to my pleasant surprise, they were fairly unique) were to be had instead. It was more a case of ‘could have been better’ instead of ‘bad’. Even with all concessions made for hype and one-liners and sword fights and whatever, when the bumbling trio blasted off the arc picked up significantly. Gintama is one of the rare SJ series I have read that has the ability to actually impart some tension to its battles, tension that prominently arrived parallel to Utsuro’s arrival.
Forced to be honest, a score of 7.5-8 would have been behind that 10.
Then BNP came and fucked things up.
Where to begin with BNP? They’re my favourite bunch of fuckwits, for starters. They are giving it their all, clearly. Which is why they’re my favourite. But it cannot be denied they are fuckwits and I hate them.
It started with a mild dislike of the new glossy artstyle. Which intensified when I realised the jokes weren’t really as funny as in the manga or in previous seasons (and I wasn’t any less immature–comic timing is a bitch). Skipping chapters was a fine mess slightly alleviated by the execution of the SA and FS arcs.
Maybe I’m just an idiotic hardhead unwilling to adapt to change. But the 2017 season has imbibed a fervent prayer in me wishing Silver Soul is not adapted by BNP.
See, I firmly believe Gintama is a cash cow. And the fact that a well-established cash cow is not being given sufficient budget for 12 decent quality episodes is mind-boggling. It seems the executives are going for profit margins rather than profit. “They’ll buy no matter what I try” is a mentality I despise whole-heartedly in creators, no matter what medium.
I’ll admit that I know nothing about businesses or the anime industry. It is entirely possible I’m barking up the wrong tree. But take one look at the after battle scenes between Gintoki and Sith Lord, note the amount of flashbacks in Gintoki v Kamui and then try to tell me with a straight face that they had enough budget. Scratch enough. It felt like they had the bare minimum amount of capital required to produce 10 episodes which they stretched into 12. The fight scenes seemed surgically pruned in length. While I’m no supporter of 50-episode battles…previous seasons man, previous seasons. Even the fight scenes seem a step down from the 2011-2013 seasons, and it took a heavy toll on enjoyment, something which no other Gintama is lacking in.
Here, I’ll take a minute to question why they did not utilize any static backgrounds or other filler-type shit to conserve budget. Perhaps they felt it wouldn’t fit the mood, but honestly, purely serious Gintama will never ever work after SA. A fact that Sorachi realized, seeing as the SS arc is a bucketload of laughs.
Even then, the Four Devas arc had a filler prior to its first episode which consisted of redubbed OVA footage. Redubbed OVA footage, which was still heavily enjoyable. Gintama is basically shit, the least they could do is use the reputation it has built up over ten years and air some planet backgrounds to ensure better quality. Eh, if they would go so far as to skip material I’m the fool for expecting stuff like that.
All said and done, this will probably be a 9 in my list. Rating is shit anyway, bite me. But for my true, impartial thoughts on the matter, 6 is the most suited.
Tl;dr- I spent a long time writing this, the least you could do is read it. There is no obligation, but plss.
k thx bai
The story is well written and has been nicely executed. No complains about the art in Gintama (mainstream anime mostly have the budget for good animation too). I like both the songs along with the soundtracks used in battles and other scenes. You see a lot of character development in this season of Gintama. Overall it is a 9.5 for me.
I would really appreciate your views on the same. Drop a comment on my wall if you feel like it.
The way this season is structured is very similar to the likes of One piece. The combat is basically the 2 opponents constantly monologuing and then occasionally hitting each other. Then to make it feel more intense they always seem to hit each other evenly so the battles are always drawn out, boring and unimmersive. Then when the combat is over the rest of the episodes is littered with backstory which is yet again drawn out just like One piece. Now you see where i’m getting at, Gintama is basically becoming what it was always joking about: A generic shounen anime with the only redeeming factor is the occasional comedy that is good as always.
Sadly as a big Gintama fan i can’t say i enjoy this season and for everyone that dislikes One Piece, Bleach and Dragon Ball it will probably be the same. Now i have to say that there is still a way to enjoy the end of Gintama, that is by reading the manga. The issues that are in the anime aren’t really that apparent in the manga since the backstory and combat parts aren’t dragged out way to long in there.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Owarimonogatari 2nd Season
3. Gintama.: Porori-hen
4. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2
5. Boku no Hero Academia 2nd Season
6. Naruto: Shippuuden
7. Ballroom e Youkoso
8. Uchouten Kazoku 2
9. Black Clover
10. Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon