They’re the best Anime that 2018 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Lupin III: Part 5, Hinamatsuri (TV), Yuru Camp△, and more!
10: Lupin III: Part 5
English: Lupin the Third Part 5
Japanese: ルパン三世 PART5
MAL Score: 8.16
Genius thief Arsene Lupin III—along with the usual crew of Goemon Ishikawa XIII, Fujiko Mine, and Daisuke Jigen—finds himself in modern-day France, where he encounters both new and old adversaries, with Inspector Kouichi Zenigata still hot on his trail. As they steal from darker, more sinister entities, they will also have to find a way to deal with the newest technology in their escapades, as well as face the ghosts of their pasts. However, this time, Lupin’s choices begin to catch up with him as his pursuers use every tool at their disposal to take him down once and for all.
We got Lupin as he adjusts to a modern age of thievery, having to deal with modern technology as it’s used to thwart him at every turn.
The main episodes are truly brilliant, balancing humour, action and violence around amazing stories.
The side episodes have the obligatory Goemon & Jigen one off episodes, and odes to former parts with episodes based on Lupin’s past, shown by his change in jackets. All of which are truly brilliant, honestly there isn’t a single episode I don’t love.
The main cast are delightful as always, especially when showing the relationship and humorous interactions between Lupin & Jigen, and Lupin & Zenigata. The relationship between Fujiko and Lupin is also explored, which shows there really is more to them, other than flirting and trying to get one over on each other, plus might I add ‘pervy moment warning’ damn does Fujiko look especially good this season. The final arc also does an amazing job of examining the complicated relationship between Lupin & Goemon. The series also introduces a new brilliant young hacker called Ami, who is an amazing addition to the cast.
Overall Part V of Lupin III really is a brilliant series, that has taken all the best parts of Lupin and made something truly magnificent.
It’s great…watch it.
For everyone else:
There’s this tendency among Lupin enthusiasts to praise every iteration, giving it special treatment, regardless of it’s faults.
I’m one of those enthusiasts so forgive my sense of bias.
What makes a Lupin III series fun is in capturing the magic of watching the titular character and his crew of thieves do whatever the hell they want and getting away with it.
Parts 1-3 as well as the specials and movies used this in episodic adventures about kinetic fast paced heists and rescuing princesses and saving/destroying countries.
Part 4 is where that format changes and I’d say for the better with an overarching plot.
And don’t get it twisted, those episodic adventures are fun, but each episode feels like a slightly different Lupin depending on what his goal for the standalone adventure might be and who’s the writer and episode director staffed to work that day. Remember how episode 4 and episode 21 of Lupin Part 1 are BOTH green jacket series Lupin entries?
The overarching plot allows us to finally spend more in continuity time with Lupin, less about the cathartic payoff of watching hundreds of scores and plans come together, but witnessing the struggle in accomplishing a grand heist.
Part 4 also started the trend of introducing characters that act as recurring foils/sidekicks in order to create new situations for our criminal mastermind.
Part 5 is like Part 4, except instead of watching the struggles of a quasi married Lupin, we watch the struggles of a quasi internet famous Lupin.
And it’s amazing.
The series smartly has Lupin be quite handy with cyber security and the modernities of stealing valuable items in the age on the brink of a technological singularity. However, he’s not adept enough to beat hackers better than him. Ami is one such hacker and is the recurring side character/foil that succeeded Lupin’s ex-wife Rebecca Rosallini.
We witness him truly struggle against the eyes of social media, his attention we thought he craved since he loves sending those calling cards, has become weaponized against him. It’s a genius conflict to have and we watch him slowly have the rug get pulled from under him as he has to learn to adapt to his newfound paparazzi like celebrity. Never leaving the hideout without a disguise on after a certain point.
This is explored between 2 cours first in the form of a death game, and next as a supercomputer that can predict his every move.
The series also has fun in exploring these concepts and it’s fun watching Lupin and the gang get the much needed extra time they deserve to flesh out their characterization. They all act like who they usually are, but the times have worn on them a little. There’s always this hint of nostalgia you catch on the characters’ faces and you can tell they’re reminiscing about the more simpler times and it’s compelling character writing to add a ironically fresh perspective on characters who realize they’re not as fresh as they used to be.
The fact the series is broken into 2 cours with 2 separate (to an extent) plots allows the series to move at a brisk pace. even having room for side stories that don’t necessarily connect to the main narrative but are still welcomed nonetheless.
And as far as the sound is concerned? It’s Yuji Ohno…so…it’s nothing short of amazing…. The opening is nostalgic with a playful Parisian twist that gets you excited for every episode and the ending is sung by Miyuki Sawashiro (Fujiko Mine’s voice actress) and uses footage of Lupin and Fujiko during an unexplored time in their relationship. What could have just been a simple ED is made all the more intimate as it ends up being more of a bittersweet love song about Fujiko and Lupin’s breakup. Something that plays a key point in the plot and is used as a recurrent source of tension between the two. It’s strange how most series don’t incorporate music into their plot like this series does.
In the last episode they even cued the famous Samba Temperado from past adventures at the climax and I wanted to tear up at how the series ties up everything about the best parts of this series’ history so well.
The character designs are sleek and Blue is definitely a great color for Lupin. Jigen and Goemon look great too. Fujiko Mine looks even sexier than before, and might be my favorite version of her character design since she got her own spin off a while back.
You’d think background designs would end up suffering from the fact that this is a show about globe trotting super thieves, and the studio would try to cut corners.
NOPE EVERY SET PIECE IS DETAILED AND BEAUTIFUL AS ALL FUDGE
And these guys animate great too, so as not to make the iconic trio of Zantesuken, .357 Magnum and Walther P-38 not act like simple props. The action has weight and reads easy on screen. Sure there are alot of uses of cut reverse cut here and there. But there’s also a crap ton of shots were everyone is in the wide and you just watch people duke it out.
Shootouts, car chases and hand to hand combat are stylized and beautiful to watch and with the number of series using CGI in excess it’s great to see series use what modern technology can offer anime in less jarring fashion to create some fluid and aesthetically pleasing animation.
So if you can’t tell, I love this series. Part 5’s strongest element is the fact that it knows what made watching these characters fun over the years and instead of trying to change everything out of a need to keep things fresh, or changing nothing in order not to anger the fans, it instead acts like the cast of the show and did whatever they want and had fun doing it.
I can’t wait for future movies featuring Blue Jacket Lupin, as parts 4&5 have dropped enough cool unused plot threads and explored such new territory with the gang as to leave me clueless for what will happen next. Like that plot twist at the end that makes you question everything about Lupin…you know the one if you’ve seen it.
Seriously it’s a 10/10.
Go watch it if you haven’t already. I know this was just an enthusiast gushing like a schoolgirl at a Bieber concert but that’s what Lupin III is to me… it’s like being a schoolgirl at a Bieber concert. A subjectively phenomenal experience for Lupin fans, and a solid way to get into the franchise as a whole. I’d recommend starting with Part 4 before this one but I’m sure that those just wanting to get in to the newest iteration won’t get lost.
In Part 5, Lupin and his gang are having adventures in France, the home country of Lupin’s famous grandfather. Technology and especially social media play a big part this time. While Lupin has always adapted to the technology available, this is the first time that it’s getting such a focus. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this at first since I like Lupin because of the sleek, classic feel of the franchise, but the social media aspect was actually used in a clever way that felt natural. The Lupin Game that was introduced in the first story arc was especially fun.
I’ll start by listing everything that I think the series did well. From a technical standpoint, the series is amazing. The backgrounds bring the locations to life, especially all the little back alleys in French towns and quiet countryside with its fields and villages. I don’t think the world of Lupin’s adventures has ever looked this good, even in movies. The animation and character designs are also impressive and retain a high quality all through the series. While certain scenes or episodes are better animated than others, there weren’t any moments where I noticed a clear drop in quality. Combine the visuals with a great soundtrack by Yuji Ohno and the Lupin experience is nearly perfect.
Another thing that I think made Part 5 stand out positively is the group of new side characters. Ami is the young hacker girl with a tragic past who becomes involved in Lupin’s adventures and brings some fresh perspective to the group. Out of the new characters, she plays the most important part in the overall plot, and it’s lovely to see her grow and find herself as the series progresses. There are some details in her story that some viewers might find tiresome and trite, but the series never takes this far enough to make it truly tasteless. Another new character is Albert d’Andrésy, a mysterious man who knows Lupin’s past. I can’t really say much more without spoiling the story arc in which he plays a major part, but he was entertaining, particularly well voiced, and brought some interesting elements to the franchise since we very rarely get any backstory for Lupin. The third new character, Zenigata’s new partner Yata, is a welcome addition and fun to watch because of his reactions to everything, but I wish he’d gotten to play a bigger part.
Finally, I think Part 5 had a lot of cool, fresh ideas that it brought to the table. Part 4 already changed the formula somewhat by introducing an on-going plot rather than featuring just self-contained episodes. Part 5 takes it further with tightly plotted story arcs that slowly push the main story onwards. The stakes are higher than in any other Lupin TV series and watching Part 5 is an exciting experience that makes you feel absolutely anything could happen to the characters.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the series ever really fulfilled that promise. After a while it became clear to me that even though the series liked to introduce new ideas and tease the possibility that it’d reveal something revolutionary about the characters and push them beyond the usual limits, it never had the guts to deliver. The series raises interesting questions but never answers them, instead burying them as soon as the story arc is over. For example, the second story arc hints at things in Lupin’s past and the Lupin bloodline that could shake the foundation of the franchise, but the series never touches on these ideas again after casually dropping them in dialogue.
One of the central themes is Lupin’s relationship with the rest of his gang, particularly Fujiko, and this is where the biggest disappointment for me lies. Those expecting Fujiko to be part of the gang’s adventures and play a big role in the series, lower your expectations right now. She’s absent for most of the series, and there are frequent hints that something happened between her and Lupin that drove them apart. You don’t get the answer to this question until the very end, and I didn’t find it satisfying, especially when keeping in mind that the price to pay was not seeing Fujiko in action except for a couple of episodes around the middle of the series. Lupin and Fujiko spend most of their scenes together exchanging wistful dialogue that is clearly meant to be deep but just comes across as too try-hard.
I think the story arcs drop in quality one after another. The first one is easily the best because it delivers a coherent story and ends at a point that feels natural and deserved for all the characters. It’s the only one that gets five episodes rather than four, and that gives it more time to develop its story and characters. I enjoyed the second one a great deal when I first watched it, but the series never returned to the elements and potential it introduced there, making the second arc feel like it doesn’t belong among the others. I didn’t enjoy the third one much because I feel it was the spot where the series should have resolved its Lupin and Fujiko plotline, but instead it prolonged it by pushing her aside for no good reason just to keep the questions unanswered until the end. I know others loved the action, political themes and Ami’s character growth, though, so there might still be something in the third arc for you. The only arc I’d describe as a total failure is the last one because there is simply way too much material to be covered in just four episodes. The arc rushes through a lot of elements that I think needed more time to be effective and instead chooses to focus on random cameos by old characters, badass action scenes, and meta about who Lupin is, and eventually reaches an ending that I feel is a lazy cop-out in every way. It’s similar to the ending of The Woman Called Fujiko Mine in the way that it gets you invested in the questions it raises about the characters and then tells you that actually, none of this matters enough to be resolved because we’re all just in for a fun ride, right? So whether you like the ending of Part 5 will probably depend on whether you liked the ending of the Fujiko series.
One element that I didn’t enjoy at all (but which a lot of other fans loved) was the number of random cameos by old characters and the clear attempt to build continuity between Part 5 and all other entries in the franchise. Personally, I have always chosen to see most Lupin titles as their own thing with no connection to the others. The way Part 5 tries to tell me that its Lupin is the same one from The Castle of Cagliostro, all the other TV series and a few random TV specials breaks the world in my eyes because Lupin comes in many different flavours and they aren’t all consistent with each other. At the same time, the series never goes full meta like Green vs. Red, so I’m not sure what the creative team was trying to do here.
The story arcs are separated by one-off episodes that play homage to earlier versions of Lupin. Some of these episodes are great, some not. Personally, I would have rather seen these episodes spent on deepening the plot and characters of the main story, but I can’t deny that there were some gems among them. In particular, I liked the silly Pink Jacket episode and the sniper battle episode with Jigen.
So, all in all, I don’t think Part 5 is without merit and it’s certainly a complete pleasure to look at and listen to. The plot and character themes were interesting in theory, but the way they were handled left me completely disappointed. I really miss the fun adventure feel that a lot of earlier entries in the franchise offer. I’m not opposed to taking a bleaker look at the gang’s dynamics, but Part 5 spends too much time telling you that it’s exploring those themes without actually doing it. I think the movie The Secret of Mamo is a much better example of how to shake the core dynamics of the group.
Despite all this, I hope we will return to this continuity and characters in the future. I think there’s still lots of potential to be explored and the series made me care about its new characters. But knowing how the franchise operates, it could very well be that we never hear from them again, at least outside cameos.
9: Hinamatsuri (TV)
MAL Score: 8.18
While reveling in the successful clinching of a prized vase for his collection, Yoshifumi Nitta, a yakuza member, is rudely interrupted when a large, peculiar capsule suddenly materializes and falls on his head. He opens the capsule to reveal a young, blue-haired girl, who doesn’t divulge anything about herself but her name—Hina—and the fact that she possesses immense powers. As if things couldn’t get any worse, she loses control and unleashes an explosion if her powers remain unused. Faced with no other choice, Nitta finds himself becoming her caregiver.
To let her use her powers freely, Nitta asks Hina to help out with a construction deal, which goes smoothly. But while this is happening, a rival yakuza group covertly attacks his boss. To Nitta’s shock, his colleagues later pin the blame on him! Tasked with attacking the rival group in retaliation, Nitta steels himself and arrives at their hideout. But suddenly, Hina unexpectedly steps in and helps him wipe out the entire group. As it turns out, Hina might just become a valuable asset to Nitta and his yakuza business, provided she does not use her powers on him first! And so the strange life of this unusual duo begins.
As a fan of the manga, delightful is just one of many words that came to mind when I heard about the adaptation. The manga contains over 70+ chapters of memorable content and to fully deliver that value isn’t an easy task. Luckly, Hinamatsuri does something that I noticed many shows doesn’t do these days and that’s being aware of itself. On first viewing, it felt like a challenge to realize what this series is all about. The premise itself can make some people’s eyes roll while the character cast consists of a variety of colorful personalities. To me, Hinamatsuri is like diving into a world of absurdity but coming out of it brings me nothing but a smile and the realization of being entertained.
From watching the show, I can tell that the director wanted to for entertain the audience. The most evident is the selling of the comedic character reactions. Main characters Hina and Nitta does this the best as they come from very different backgrounds. On the surface level, the two are nothing alike but through interacting with one another, they form a strange bond that makes them almost inseparable. The anime does a phenomenal job at capturing the character expressions with well-timed body language. It creates the sensation of wanting for more every episode and see what characters will do under certain situations. Each episode consists of segments of everyday life activities although there are abnormal events happening from time to time involving psychic powers. Beyond just selling the comedy, this show also does contain some interesting emotional elements too.
One particular episode showcasing Anzu depicts the realism of homelessness. It’s one of those episodes that you would least expect to see from this particular anime. What attracts me about this show is how it ties in a lot of ideas together. The thematic storytelling may feel random at first but overall has a connection together. Every main or supporting character also delivers moments that are hard to forget. This also includes Hina’s classmates such as Hitomi as she works discreetly at a bar that few knows. It’s also noticeable that the show doesn’t just take place at school or the city either. In a big change in mood, an episode focusing on Mao shows what life is like in isolation. By experimenting ideas like this, it feels like this show constantly evolves and has something for fans to talk about.
I’ve already mentioned some of the characters but a big question is if the show puts enough value to make the audience care about them. While some characters may not stand out much as the others, I can definitely say with confidence that the main cast is worth watching for their roles. It would have been easy to just let the characters do the talking but instead, the series remarkably showcase their personalities in the most humorous ways possible. A general sense of fatalism can also be felt as some characters are destined to meet or events fated to happen. While some storytelling elements can be predictable in later episodes, it doesn’t hold back with how characters connect with each other.
Now, there’s an elephant in the room. Once you’ve seen a good amount of episodes, it’s not hard to say that the anime portrays characters in some inappropriate ways. Fan service is present in some episodes and there may be some uncomfortable scenes thrown in by the creators. While this is true on the surface, it should be realized that the anime isn’t presented as a shock value. At its core, Hinamatsuri serves to entertain its audience through creative comedy. The fan service adds more fuel to the fire that way.
Adapted by studio feel, the anime has production quality that I can say works quite well. The character reactions are the big selling factor animated with extreme style. Somehow, it remains faithful to the overall tone of the show without ever going off-track. It also impresses me that we get to see emotional moments bought to life. It’s very human and despite how silly the anime can be, the show contains episodes that are tearjerking. Character designs looks sharp with the vibrant outlines that makes them stand out too.
While not being a powerhouse in the music department, Hinamatsuri does boasts a great voicing cast. Nitta, Hina, Anzu, and Hitomi are the primary examples that perfectly fits with their personalities. Every now and then, they can say lines with a straight face under certain circumstances that can’t help but make me laugh. It’s a comedy show and definitely never forgets its intentions. The music also makes certain scenes and montages feel more meaningful.
Ah, if only Hinamatsuri had more than 12 episodes. The manga contains more material that I would love to see animated on TV. However, it did adapt the series to the extent that made a great impression to me. From character chemistry to the peculiar storytelling, every episode left me with something to talk about. This is a dark horse of the year that I hope people won’t overlook. Crafting comedy isn’t easy these days but I feel that Hinamatsuri accomplished that so well. I am entertained.
For starters, Hinamatsuri is a fresh take among the many comedy anime we see nowadays. It’s not a school romance comedy and thanks to that it pushes out a huge cliche (there are exceptions) right out of the window, add to that it’s supernatural nature mixed with clever comedy and you’ve got a fresh anime that people not only laugh with, but cherish for the coming seasons because you won’t see such an anime so common, not every season, not every year either. Hinamatsuri uses tons of elements and jokes in it’s run and it was very hard for me to find recycled jokes among them, it was all new and innovative and that says a lot about it’s quality as a comedy anime. Oh and by saying it’s supernatural you might think it relies too much on supernatural stupidity to tickle your funny bone? No, the best part is that Hinamatsuri can stand even on normal comedy and make everyday situations so hilarious despite having a huge arsenal of supernatural jokes at its disposal but Hinamatsuri uses both of them very wisely with the end result being us viewers holding down our stomachs while we laugh.
A huge reason why Hinamatsuri is so incredibly amazing is because it’s got various approaches to the comedy, and it almost always nailed them, first off it has a buildup of jokes, the situation starts getting crazier and crazier and you’re left laughing at every second. This is common in comedy anime since you can put up over the top situations and make people laugh as well, but Hinamatsuri unlike many others not only looks at that but it also looks at the premise where it’s using it in, something surprisingly uncommon in other anime. What am I talking about? Many times we see anime attempt at comedy but use the wrong approach at the wrong time, thus even though the joke was actually funny, the wrong approach didn’t give the writers the result they wanted and this anime thankfully crosses that hurdle.
Another approach it has to it’s comedy is somewhat of the opposite, it sets your expectations low on purpose before hitting you with the punchline, this also has a largely positive effect since if the joke is successful, it can almost equal the hilarity of the previous take and on the other hand serve as an element of surprise to its viewers which as well plays a huge part in making it so funny since Hinamatsuri rarely failed at this as well. Yet another approach Hinamatsuri took was to use the “straight man” principle to effectively. What is the straight man principle you may ask? It’s when the characters do something stupid and another character takes the “straight man” role and points out the stupidity in shock and while on paper this may seem unfunny, in reality it’s very successful if implemented properly, two of the best and most famous examples of characters using the straight man principle excellently in anime are namely Saiki Kusuo (Saiki Kusuo no PSI Nan) and Shimura Shinpachi (Gintama). Instead of attributing this principle to only one character, Hinamatsuri gives the role to multiple characters depending on the situation and thankfully does it well.
Why did I list these and explain the different approaches to comedy? It’s because few anime use so many approaches and few of them are successful in doing so as well, and the good news is that Hinamatsuri can use those very well, reason being it keeps them fresh with the comedy and helps keep things varied.
Note: The following is a comparison of Hinamatsuri, Saiki and Gintama, if you haven’t watched the latter two completely, please skip the next paragraph as you may not understand the references talked about.
***COMPARISON BEGIN: Since comedy shows get compared a lot, why not compare Hinamatsuri with an anime it shares a lot in common with arguably the giant of comedy anime, Gintama along with a relatively recent anime that’s also been doing fabulous, Saiki Kusuo, note that I used these both as examples as well above for the straight man principle. First off with Gintama, Hinamatsuri shares the nature of smile+tears, meaning that both anime make you laugh with it’s jokes, but it also has it’s sad arcs that give you the feels and usually make many cry. Apart from this, both are supernatural anime (along with Saiki of course) that use their premise very smartly and have varied approaches to comedy, not just one. For Saiki, both feature modern-day Earth but retain the supernatural nature along with the occasional school comedy (but good) thrown in. COMPARISON END***
All three feature this element and excellently use their numerous weapons at their disposal wisely along with using one of the best comedy methods as well, unpredictability. You never know what comes next and when it does, you’re left laughing your ass out. What does this entail? This entails that Hinamatsuri is an anime comparable to such greats and can stand on its own as well without having to mooch off anything else. Much like the other two, Hinamatsuri also at times jumped straight to the comedy itself without any caution (although this wasn’t used much) and served as possibly the best form of surprise it could muster. Moving away from the comparing and looking at the points that set Hinamatsuri apart from the others is that Hinamatsuri uses an outsmarting “lazy approach”, such that when you’re watching Hinamatsuri, much like Hina, it looks sluggish and slow and lazy as well but the moment you think that this is how the whole episode will be, it lands in a sudden joke and you’re left flabbergasted in laughter (can people be flabbergasted in laughter? Maybe :P) so you’d be dumb to write Hinamatsuri off if you think it’s a bit slow at first because there’s a huge punch coming really soon as well.
Now let’s step aside from the comedy for a bit since that’s not exactly everything Hinamatsuri offers, we also have the occasional sad arcs. These were usually of Anzu (primarily) and at times a few other characters realising the importance of friendship or a life lesson as well. The reason why people loved Anzu to the point that people very soon ranked her higher than Hina for the best girl of the anime was because her arcs were so damn powerful. Poverty, learning to live as a homeless person, the community you make with them, and many other things beyond that I can’t cover since they’re spoilers, her arcs have a lot of thought and emotion into them and no person with a heart could not at least get a lump in their throat when they see the way she works hard to do her best for her friends who she treats like family as the feeling is mutual, this is really what should make us smile and laugh, the happiness of a human being doesn’t come from being rich, but from enjoying what’s next to us, what we have, not what we want, and this serious message was shown through her in these arcs. Getting why the anime is so amazing?
On the other side of the spectrum we have the duo who we started with, Nitta and Hina, these two are like father and daughter, despite one being a Yakuza and the other having dangerous superpowers, they went like bread and butter, and for the opposite reasons. If you took them individually, Hina wouldn’t be as funny by herself and Nitta could only be used as a straight man if he’s not with Hina. The anime is such that not only can Hina and Nitta not live without each other, but their comedy as well can’t live without each other, and this is a testament to the genius mangaka behind this. As such, this erases most doubts about people possibly thinking of possibly axing one of the two, but much like Nana and Popo in the Ice Climbers (I s’pose no one will get that NES reference), they both need each other not only to live, but to make us laugh. Needless to say, Hina and Nitta’s sketches leave their mark clearly.
Let’s move to arguably the most powerful character of the show, Hitomi. Why did I call her so? It’s because she highly influences both Hina and Anzu. Anyway, Hitomi is fantastic as a character since she’s very relatable thanks to her being given the straight man (or woman if you may) role by handling the BS that her daily life gives her and her arcs as well were hilarious as well as cute. She suddenly gets forced to work as a bartender and surprisingly becomes adept at her job and this is used as a baseline for many of the jokes at her. She also as mentioned played the straight woman for the crap that she has to deal with Hina and sometimes Anzu and her work. The best part is that she’s amazing since she’s so ordinary in the midst of idiots around her that it’s hilarious in its own right and I seriously can’t complain when even this is used well for it’s jokes. Pretty reflective of the anime itself.
The thing is that Hinamatsuri has its own share of flaws as well. Even though it’s comedy is almost always on point, if the jokes DO fail, the episode can fall apart pretty quick if nothing is done, and although this did happen once or twice, it pretty much saved itself in the next joke and went on, but this issue does exist and could be done better. And one issue that many point out is that since the anime is named Hinamatsuri, it still doesn’t focus much on Hina in the first place. Although Hinamatsuri’s purpose is to follow and balance screen time for all characters, many times Hina felt off the mark either because she wasn’t given too many lines or she wasn’t the person making the joke at that time. This is also a problem since based on Hina’s character, it’s hard to bring in new stuff for a lazy brat since a lazy brat doesn’t do much in the first place. This shows that you can’t do much with the character as you would with others so Hinamatsuri’s comedy gets held back at times when Hina doesn’t do much.
Overall, Hinamatsuri is an anime that does a lot, and a lot of that is different from the usual. Apart from being able to stand on its own legs for support, it is comparable to the legends in its genre and can hold its own to a respectable level. It’s truly an all round comedy in part because it makes you cry then laugh in just a span of a minute. Why is that you may ask? It’s because comedy isn’t just laughing at stupidity, comedy is also trying to find the funny in tragedy and the sad times, that’s what Hinamatsuri is all about. And that’s what comedy should be all about isn’t it?
P.S: This season has a multitude of amazing last episodes demonstrating the best of the show’s offerings overall and Hinamatsuri was no exception. The last episode excellently showed us everything that made the show so amazing. A combination of feels, slapstick comedy and recent nostalgia made for an epic end to an epic anime (despite that minor cliffhanger?), and as a fan, I couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s a fan’s dream come true. Here’s hoping we see a season 2 anytime soon!
These are all ways to make a comedy anime better. However, unlike my 3D Kanojo real girl and Love is hard for an Okatu reviews where I compared them with each to see which one was overall better (spoilers Wotaku Love is hard for an otaku won) but instead I just want to talk about I believe that Hinamatsru or Hina Festival is by far one of the best comedy/slice anime to ever come out. Am not saying that its competitor Comic Girls was bad or anything, in fact, Comic Girls was a good comedy/slice of life anime that made me laugh a couple of times. However, it still wouldn’t have a chance against Hinamatsuri
So what made Hinamatsuri so great?
How did it end up dominating the Spring 18 season?
You will find out soon enough.
One night, a strange object falls on the head of Nitta, a member of the yakuza. Inside the box is a strange young girl named Hina. She has tremendous supernatural powers, and Nitta finds himself reluctantly taking her in. Her powers can come in handy for his yakuza business, but he also runs the risk of her using them on him! Not to mention, if she doesn’t use her powers, she will eventually go berserk and destroy everything around her. Nitta and Hina’s strange life together is just beginning.
The story is brilliant and very well crafted.
For starters, the show does a nice job at building its own world where the anime perfectly showcases every social group in the city from the middle school students, the Yakusa, workers from the shopping district to even the homeless people. The show also does a fantastic job of displaying character interaction based on different social groups.
For example in Hitomi’s character arc where she was forced to work as a bartender, we see that many social groups like the Yakusha’s seeing the fact that a middle school girl was working in a bar. Like with Hitomi classmates where they thought that Hitomi is working in a bar as a bartender as well doing naughty things with adults and Yakusa. However as soon they enter the bar that there was no naughty activity going on as Hitomi is just severing the adult’s beer meaning the people in the ear are not paedophiles as they just want a drink.
Despite Hitomi, the character arc is the most comedic of the bunch her rise to fame was handled very well.
The comedy in Hinamatsuri is brilliant to the core. The comedy and jokes are really funny as they are all timed and most importunity that are not repetitive. What makes the comedy more brilliant is how the characters react to the comedic situations that go on in this series.
The one thing that I really adored about Hinamatsuri is doing a great job at tackling the serious topic and themes such as homeless, humanity, running way, acceptance, family, gambling, and money and does a great job at exploring them in full depth as well treating the themes and topics with respect.
The thing that sold me about this series the most is despite being heavily a comedy/slice of life show character actually gets development. You see most comedy anime would often return to the status quo meaning once these characters had they spotlight by the next episode they return to they usually self’s removing all of the character development in the process. This never happens in Hinamatsuri as the characters and even the world itself change and evolves as the series goes.
The best example of this was in Anzu character arc where she started off as this tough girl who came to earth to take Hina home as well stealing food and drinks from the local shopping district however all of this changes when she cannot return back of where she came from and because of that she became homeless as a result. Eventually, Anzu lives with a bunch of homeless people and while she’s was living with them she learns about the value of money and the power of community and friendship.
Unfortunately at a certain point of the series, she would have to leave the homeless community so she can be live with a couple that owns a restaurant. After that point we the audience see how her time in the homeless community has affected her both psychically and mentally to a point where she is seen trying to adapt to her new surroundings and things that she can now do such as having a bath to learning the value and importance of money.
These are things that I want to see in anime more often because the anime medium itself has the potential to present life lessons and serious topics to the viewer and I glad Hina Festival did a great job at handling its serious topics and themes.
The characters in Hinamatsuri were all brilliant and very likeable in their own ways. The one thing that I praise about this show is despite being a comedy slice of life show characters actually have characters development. A lot of comedy anime such as Konosuba, School Rumble and a few others are afraid of leaving its comedic ways. I know some of them are padorys where they are perfectly happy of being comedic but the problem was especially for Konosuba where at many times the show cock teases the audience about being more than a comedy where characters get developed but instead of doing that and taking risks that show decided to be the same comedic show from episode 1 however in the progress the show completely lost its charm to a point where it became unfunny and repetitive.
Hinamatsuri completely avoids all the pitfalls and traps that caught other comedy were not only the characters were likeable but the actually get development plus they are still actually funny and they don’t repeat the same jokes/gags to the audience.
Nitta is a great character that I really liked. Sure may appear as your generic Yakusa member in the beginning but he honestly has a softer side to him that makes him an interesting character to watch. I also loved his father and daughter relationship with Hina as it well-executed and was intriguing to watch.
Hina is, unfortunately, my least favorite character in the series. Don’t me wrong she’s not a character by any means as she is a good character in her own right. The problem is that if you compare to the other girls in the series especially Anzu who has the most character development she didn’t really stand out. Yes she’s has a good character arc with Nitta where they learn the importance of a father and daughter relationship but honestly, I thought Nitta learned a lot more than Hina did. Yes, she can be interesting characters at times but I thought she was nowhere as interesting as Anzu, Nitta, and Hitomi. Overall Hina is a good character but she gets overshadowed compare to the other girls in the series.
If I had to pick my favorite character in this show I would pick Hitomi. As a character, Hitomi was an absolute joy too because she went from being a typical middle school girl who is timed to a general hard-worker who is very skilled at the things that she does to a point where became a key member in several businesses. I also really adored her character interactions and arcs.
While Hitomi is my personal favorite character in the series Anzu is by far the best character in the show in terms of writing and character development. Compare to the other girls in the series she’s probably the most flawed and human character in the series despite being superman with powers. Not to mention her character arc was well written to the core.
Mao who comes in late in the series is an interesting character.
She an esper girl who has been stuck on the island who is trying to find her fellow espers. Despite having way less screen time in the due to her coming in the series very late she’s still managed to be an intriguing character that I really liked. More than Hina who had way more screen time than Mao.
The supporting characters are great in their own ways as they all memorable and intriguing to watch from start to finish.
Visually Hinamatsuri is pretty great.
Studio feel did a great job at sticking with the rough style of its source material with its jagged, textured linear and Gratuitous Overlays. The show also has great use of lovely and modern colour palettes which gives the show it’s own visual flare
I really adored the facial character expressions that series has to offer as it’s more tension to both the comedic and serious situations that go one in the series.
My favorite characters expression in the series was defiantly Hitomi because the way she opens her month sticks her tongue out whenever she thinks that she going to get caught by someone important because after all, she is working as a bartender at a young age.
The animation is pretty good for what it was so I have no complaints whatsoever.
The soundtrack in Hinamatsuri is great as it perfectly represents the daily life of Ashigawa.
The opening theme Distance by Rie Murakawa is easily the best opening from this spring 18 anime season as it’s very catchy and perfectly captures the setting and tone of the series.
The ending theme Sake to Ikura to 893 sung by Nitta’s Seiyuu actor was a masterpiece.
Before we get to the sub vs dub section of the review I just want to praise the fact that both the opening and ending evolving as the show goes along and this was perfectly shown by a character named Utako where if you keep on watching the opening each episode you will start to see how less important the character actually became and for this case was Utako where only appears once in the opening in episode 10 while she’s never present in the ending at all in episode 10. Another thing I really like is how it the ending theme features evolving supporting characters where I honestly hope more do theses evolving opening/ending themes in the future because one it really makes them unique and two instead of pointless recap episodes we the viewers actually see visually of how did the series progressed.
The sub is very good overall and I have no complaints about it however what really surprised me about Hinamatsuriwas the dub. The dub for Hinamatsuri is brilliant and well-acted.
Overall I adored Hinamatsuri Now I can safely say that not only Hinamatsuri single-handily dominated the Spring 18 season but it’s also one of the best slice of life/comedy series period.
The story was amazing and well created. The characters were wonderful and interesting. The production values were great and the soundtrack is awesome.
It truly feels like the creators for this anime put a lot of care and effort when making this anime and am glad.
Hopefully, this show gets a second season sometime in the future as well Blu Ray release by Funimation in the US and UK.
If you looking for a slice of life/comedy anime that is very funny and has great character development than I recommend Hinamatsuri.
8: Yuru Camp△
English: Laid-Back Camp
MAL Score: 8.27
While the perfect getaway for most girls her age might be a fancy vacation with their loved ones, Rin Shima’s ideal way of spending her days off is camping alone at the base of Mount Fuji. From pitching her tent to gathering firewood, she has always done everything by herself, and has no plans of leaving her little solitary world.
However, what starts off as one of Rin’s usual camping sessions somehow ends up as a surprise get-together for two when the lost Nadeshiko Kagamihara is forced to take refuge at her campsite. Originally intending to see the picturesque view of Mount Fuji for herself, Nadeshiko’s plans are disrupted when she ends up falling asleep partway to her destination. Alone and with no other choice, she seeks help from the only other person nearby. Despite their hasty introductions, the two girls nevertheless enjoy the chilly night together, eating ramen and conversing while the campfire keeps them warm. And even after Nadeshiko’s sister finally picks her up later that night, both girls silently ponder the possibility of another camping trip together.
Yuru Camp is one of the gems from the season. Who could have guessed a camping series would be fun, refreshing, and very entertaining? Also, no matter how you are feeling, after each episode you will end with a big smile on your face. Yuru Camp isn’t about cute girls doing cute things. It is about how to enjoy simpler situations and how to maintain the proper mood and be happy under any circumstance. More important, the series irradiates that sensation to all the spectators. These girls give us a funny and delightful gem and will stay in our memories for a long time.
The story is straightforward and easy to follow, it is fun, fresh and entertaining to watch. It focuses on camping. Yes, I envision the same thing you’re thinking: camping, are you kidding me? How can you have a plotline about camping? It must be a fiasco. However, Yuri Camp is not dull, from a common event like camping, the authors create an amusing narration where all the characters take pleasure in camping. Keep in mind that maybe you want to go camping with your friends after the series because the characters’ commitment is plausible, delightful and absorbing. The message given to the audience through the story’s simplicity is enjoying the moments of life.
As a starting point, the pacing is perfect, and the way how all the characters are involved is pretty clever. It is remarkable seeing the correlation and the chemistry between them, no matter if they appear in the scene for few seconds, their actions complement the setting, and you don’t feel them wasted. Every character has a different personality that boosts the dynamic through the storyline and embodies the meaning of friendship. Another notable aspect, the trust. Would you camp with someone you do not trust? The series enrich the plot with those values and propels them in each episode. For example, Rin likes camping alone, but she starts enjoying her time with Nadeshiko and considers her as a friend. Since they are a group of “buddies,” they share their tastes (food, hobbies, fun). Also, the story maintains the realism and gives tips about camping. This small world is full of comical events and funny jokes executed at the perfect moment ingeniously. Look Nadeshiko, she may seem to be childish, yet she is very energetic, and she uses that side of her personality to be humorous. Just with her behavior, the characters seem flashy and feel happy. All this is possible because the authors care about the pacing and the story.
On the other hand, some spectators believe the series doesn’t have a plot, so they consider the show boring. The simplicity of the narrative can be measured in the course of action and the mood while camping. How many of us have at least camping once in our lives? If it was a gratifying experience then this show will bring memories and forgotten desires, perhaps you could end remembering some of your old friends. This series demonstrates that every action, no matter how insignificant is, it would make our existence happier and enjoyable. For me, seeing how these characters admire a landscape, it is very remarkable. Maybe it is a cliché, but that easiness is what we call having a good time. Lastly, I have not found any negative aspect of the show. Nothing is perfect, yet the anime covers some basic ideas such as friendship, trust, passion, joy, and boosts them in a very entertaining way. Yuri Camp’s beauty lies in its simplicity.
We have five characters in the story. The most noticeable Is Nadeshiko because she is the one that which gathers the rest of the cast together, and she is the central point for most of the jokes. Nadeshiko is very energetic and blissful. She loves eating, and we can consider her a thrilled girl. The other main character, Rin. In the beginning, she enjoys camping alone, but Nadeshiko’s influence may change her. Rin has more camping experience than the others.
The remaining characters add fluency to the story. Aoi and Chiaki, they are the members of the Outdoor Activities Club. Thanks to Nadeshiko the club continues with the activities and start to plan camping meetings. Lastly Ena, she always mocks Rin. Something I notice is the lack of a detailed background, but the plot works very well without it. You only need to know they like camping and the rest will come from their personalities.
The art and sound are good. One exciting part is how they care about the landscapes. It is a plus because most of the scenes are outside. The camera angles and the camera movement focus on the main characters. Also, the color palette is very vivid and catch the attention of your eyes. However, the character’s design is standard compared with other series; it goes well with the simplicity of the plot. Regarding the sound, the score fills the moments and the jokes. It isn’t bad. Although, sometimes you don’t notice it because it is standard.
The OP and ED are great. I love those two songs. The lyrics and the rhythm work very well and are very catchy. Honestly, I hummed the OP for a whole day. I am getting crazy. =(
Finally, the combination between a simple and a fluid narrative, good characters, attractive art design, right sound, creates a delightful story called Yuru Camp. I like the show, I want a second season but maybe isn’t going to happen, yet it was a hilarious ride. You must give this anime an opportunity.
So what is Yuru Camp△? (Yes, you have to have the little tent). In English, the title is “Laid Back” Camp, and that honestly couldn’t be more appropriate. It’s about a group of girls that form a camping club at their school, and spend their breaks doing just that; camping. There’s relaxing atmosphere, friendly humor, and tranquility.
So, being that it’s this kind of Slice of Life, the story certainly means to be casually presented. It’s a ripe candidate for those days where you do nothing but sit back, eat snacks, and refuse to care about anything else for at least 24 minutes of runtime (288 if you just watch the whole thing in one go, which is acceptable to me, being only a 12 episode show).
That’s not to say the show is bad, I really don’t think that—but if you wanted something profound, look elsewhere. Yuru Camp△ is a show for the people who appreciate calm, happy presentations of friendship, hobby exploration, and overall contentment. There’s nothing but smiles to be had, but it does it in a way that is neither over the top nor painful. We can find joy in how smoothly the anime incorporates naturalistic imagery alongside comfortable music and some pretty adorable characters.
Despite that, the characters in the show are completely defined by their love of camping and their girlish charm. Again, I just cannot stress enough that this story is not trying to be anything more. They don’t need to be deeply complex for this type of thing; they serve the experience well enough with just having well-defined archetypes. Still, while I wouldn’t call this a detractor, it’s scoring no points—it breaks even. The story has little going for it other than the demeanor with which it’s shown… they camp. That’s honestly, really all it is.
The animation is honestly wonderful, though. The colors are defined and the motion flows so much better than a lot of other shows that you’d be entirely forgiven for coming to Yuru Camp△ for how it looks and the way it makes you feel. You definitely won’t find much else.
– Consistently relaxing atmosphere.
– Camping tips and knowledge are pretty prevalent throughout, to the point where I learned a few things I didn’t know before, and was appreciative that they had been taught to me through a decently entertaining show.
– I can’t honestly say it’s really boring, parts of the show did make me chuckle at times and I appreciated the camaraderie amongst the characters.
– WOW that opening. And ending. The music in this show is phenomenal, as is the animation.
– It does nothing new, yet does nothing wrong. It loses no money, yet makes no money. In business we call this “breaking even.”
– Hardly more emotions to be found other than pure joy and quiet peace. Also, some silliness here and there.
– It’s pretty much unspoilable. You can take this in two ways – one, that the show has no story; or two, the show presents a “unique” type of story. Both are acceptable descriptors.
– This is yet another one of those shows where cute girls do cute things, and it seems like they only exist for the explicit reason of camping every week. There’s no depth to be seen, and while I didn’t hate them, being archetypes is nothing to celebrate.
– Sometimes the series watches like an advertisement for various products and campsites around Japan, and honestly, I expect that this is exactly what it is.
Upon writing this review, I discovered that this anime is based on a manga, and I couldn’t be less surprised. According to my Japanese friends, who I’ve spoken to about anime and manga quite extensively, manga is pretty damn popular in Japan, and there are manga for virtually everything and everyone. So it comes to me as no surprise that there’s a manga exclusively about real camping locations, ways to camp there, and little else other than cute girls—it would be something that a bunch of kids pick up at the market on the way to their OWN camping trip to read before they snooze off or right after dinner. Simple, inoffensive, and quite adorable at times.
But is it any more?
I don’t think so.
Story: Yuru Camp focuses on a theme: camping. We follow the daily life of Shima Rin (nicknamed Shimarin) who goes camping regularly on her days off. She meets the happy Nadeshiko who knows nothing about camping. After a little conversation and a delicious dinner in front of the incredible Mount Fuji, Nadeshiko develops a taste for camping.
Those two girls attend the same high school. Nadeshiko also meets Aoi and Chiaki, two girls who formed the camping club. The latter is not so successful and has little budget. As for Shimarin, she prefers to go camping alone.
This is how the girls of the club will progressively be prepared for their adventure. Buy the equipment, the food necessary to spend a night in the mountains. Since we are in a cold period of the year, they also make sure they have the means to warm up. This is not always easy since the club doesn’t have a lot of budget and must be satisfied with their tent costing 980 yen.
It’s fun to see what means they will use to do their first camping. The anime does a great job explaining in detail the different types of existing materials and the tasty dishes to cook when we go camping. it is really trying to convey to us the passion of its characters for camping. I honestly understand why Nadeshiko and her friends are so motivated.
Shimarin travels alone (over hundreds of kilometers) to discover the sublime landscapes and peaceful places in the prefecture. The girls will make a lot of use of the instant messaging system. Each of them will send a photo to show her the places she visited or banalities. This is how the relationship between characters will progress (especially between Shimarin and Nadeshiko) and finally allow them to go together all together, later in the series.
The relationship is essentially based on the unsaid. We feel that Shimarin is someone who is used to being alone, whether in high school or camping. Her chance meeting with Nadeshiko will change things and allow her to share her passion with other friends of the same age.
Sometimes she doesn’t seem disinterested enough (except when she sees dogs) but in her heart, she really wants to have a good time with her new friends. For example, when Aoi will propose to go camping together. She refuses at first even if we can perceive a touch of regret in her words. Shimarin is usually mature, calm and resourceful.
At the exact opposite, Nadeshiko behaves like a child (although she uses some old expressions) but she is sociable and always ready to go on an adventure with her friends.
On the technical aspects, the landscapes are absolutely sublime, really. They would be ideal for wallpapers. These different places impressed me and I was fascinated by their realistic appearance. C-station studio isn’t known to me but I will remember that excellent work. We can notice the use of CGI when Shimarin drives his moped.
The vocal performances perfectly transpose the personality of our characters. Nadeshiko has an often playful voice, while Shimarin has a duller voice. The opening theme “Shiny Days” is catchy and the ending matches the relaxed atmosphere of the series.
The soundtrack is one of the highlights of the series. It is reminiscent of Celtic folk music. Tateyama Akiyuki has really captured this peaceful atmosphere with his OST. Honestly, it’s a delight, and I can’t wait to listen to them in a flac version.
Ultimately, the series has clearly exceeded my expectations. It is an excellent iyashikei with a relaxing autumn/winter atmosphere in Yamanashi that will make you smile regularly. The friendship between our cute characters is touching. Laid-back Camp is a success.
7: Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
English: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
MAL Score: 8.31
The rare and inexplicable Puberty Syndrome is thought of as a myth. It is a rare disease which only affects teenagers, and its symptoms are so supernatural that hardly anyone recognizes it as a legitimate occurrence. However, high school student Sakuta Azusagawa knows from personal experience that it is very much real, and happens to be quite prevalent in his school.
Mai Sakurajima is a third-year high school student who gained fame in her youth as a child actress, but recently halted her promising career for reasons unknown to the public. With an air of unapproachability, she is well known throughout the school, but none dare interact with her—that is until Sakuta sees her wandering the library in a bunny girl costume. Despite the getup, no one seems to notice her, and after confronting her, he realizes that she is another victim of Puberty Syndrome. As Sakuta tries to help Mai through her predicament, his actions bring him into contact with more girls afflicted with the elusive disease.
Bunny Girl Senpai is full of the same issues commonly criticized in most light novel adaptations, so why does it get a free pass? Harem tropes, waifu bait, incest teasing, thin characterization, vague pseudoscience, and an asshole deadpan protagonist who solves a bunch of girls’ problems for them. Most of all, the art and sound are incredibly mediocre excluding the many moments when CloverWorks chooses to bend over and spray shit in our eyes with its abundance of hideous CGI crowds.
First and foremost, I hate the writing in Bunny Girl Senpai. Consider the ‘4’ points I rated the show overall to be a generous acknowledgment of its basic features. It was painful to watch, but not irredeemable. The story follows Sakuta, a second year in high school, as he tries to help girls afflicted by a supernatural phenomenon known as Adolescence Syndrome. If that sounds like a psychological disorder concocted by a pretentious teenage boy trying to sound smart, that’s because it is. If a character suddenly becomes invisible or if everyone is trapped in a three-day long time loop, then the author will call it Adolescence Syndrome and leave the rest up to our imaginations. In other words, it’s the author’s way of masking a cheap plot device. Rather than giving us a coherent explanation for the syndrome, the author just handwaves it with common quantum mechanics like Schrodinger’s Cat and Laplace’s Demon. It’s loosely defined as a supernatural affliction that manifests in people who are going through severe stress, whether it be cyberbullying causing physical cuts, or going invisible because you’re sick of attention. To the show’s credit, as a plot device, it is used to craft some empathetic struggles within the characters and even a little bit of relatability. However, these conflicts aren’t executed nearly as well as they could be. The story is told through five parts, each with a new girl for Sakuta to help and flirt with. This standard harem setup is so unbearable to watch play out because Sakuta is just an awful protagonist.
Sakuta is the average deadpan, cynical, uncaring protagonist, except he’s also an unlikable asshole. His one single tone of voice is monotonous boredom, and he almost never wavers from it for the entire series. Keep in mind, this show is FULL of dialogue, but it has no goddamn clue how to make any of it seem interesting. Sakuta’s dialogue isn’t witty or clever like you would expect from a deadpan character, it’s just vulgar, gross, and obnoxious. Deceptively, treats everyone like crap and hides behind irony so that people don’t think he’s that bad of a guy. However, everything he says is actually unironic, there’s no nuance, no punchline, he’s just a bad person. He is never punished for being an asshole, sometimes girls might comment on his behavior if he says something especially inappropriate to them, but right away they move on and act like he’s Jesus-kun again. For example, when a girl says something rude to him he fires back with:
“Are you on your period or something?”
Did a twelve-year-old write this script? Sakuta’s shallow quips are always like this, juvenile and crass, and the rest of his dialogue is completely deadpan. He is rarely emotionally impacted by anything; very little makes him impressed or concerned. Viewing a story from the perspective of an uncaring asshole like Sakuta makes it impossible to get invested in anything, or even enjoy it. If the show had actually confronted him about his behavior and acknowledged how bad he was to his friends, then it could have been a character flaw and something to develop upon. But from what we saw adapted, his character development is satisfied with being permanently stagnant. He continues to hide his ugly personality behind a thick layer of snark and quips. Sakuta is just the rotten core of this story, surrounding him is the main attraction, all of the ladies who are strangely drawn to him.
Our first heroine for Sakuta to assist is Mai Sakurajima, the titular bunny girl. Somehow she makes the dialogue even worse, she is equally as dry and cynical as Sakuta. Throughout the series, the script parallels standard rom-com dialogue, except it is written to be as pretentious as possible with the pace cranked down to molasses. Rather than a simple sentence lasting a few seconds, it’s needlessly wrapped into a messy jumble of sophistry and weird unfunny jokes. Why can’t these kids just talk like normal human beings? That would sure as hell make them more engaging to watch, and you know, relatable. Mai is the typical tsundere archetype, with the intruiging bunny girl costume appearing the most in episode one, then rarely appearing for the rest of the series. The whole ‘Bunny Girl’ hook in the title is contrived for what amounts to little more than big budget clickbait.
There is one area which Bunny Girl Senpai is deserving of praise, its themes. At least from a conceptual standpoint, they add some nuance and relatability to cast. The execution of these themes, like the rest of the show, leaves much to be desired. Where we see the most intruiging themes on display is in Futaba’s arc; she is introduced early in the show as more or less an exposition dumper with the sole purpose of lampshading plot conveniences. The relevant themes of insecurity and social anxiety addressed in her arc are muddled by the terrible hackneyed script. She is a scientist girl for the sole purpose of spouting tropey quantum theory pseudo-science to explain away everything that’s happening. It’s always painfully apparent that the author just read a brief summary about the theories he uses in his story in an attempt to seem intelligent, but it’s so clear he didn’t bother to fully research them so instead it makes him look stupider. These overlong, cringe-inducing, self-congratulatory ‘science’ scenes occur almost every episode.
Nothing in Bunny Girl Senpai feels real, it’s all plastic. Mai and the rest of the girls don’t feel like fully realized characters either. They all experience some kind of turmoil yet this rarely shows through in their personalities. They are all plastic prepackaged moe archetypes, unaffected by anything they go through. Even if a character is visibly changed by their conflict after it’s resolved, it is usually undermined by the show’s terrible writing. For example one girl is affected by Adolescence Syndrome because she is so insecure with her body from how people have treated her, then after her affliction is resolved Sakuta interjects with another one of his crude sex jokes that objectifies her body and undermines everything the arc was building towards. Another issue is the lack of lasting effects to each arc. They are paced too poorly for us to see how characters are impacted, rather than a satisfying conclusion the story just moves on. When the author decides he’s bored of a girl he simply ends the arc, in favor of a new case of Adolescence Syndrome. Of course, with another stock standard girl taken off the shelves at A-1 Pictures’ waifu warehouse to become the show’s new main appeal for a few weeks, until she is inevitably relegated to the supporting cast in favor of a new poster girl.
It makes the author seem like an impatient teenage boy who just wants to shove as many beautiful girls into the arms of the cool guy bland protagonist. He pairs a girl with the protagonist and lets them flirt a little bit, and before he has to commit and actually develop said girl he gets bored of her. And writing a nuanced character is such hard work for him. So instead he just solves the issue by tossing aside the old girl in favor of a fresh new waifu to fawn all over his self-insert. This is, of course, a fundamental issue of most harem anime, a revolving door of waifus and a self insert protagonist. Being a light novel adaptation, Bunny Girl Senpai bears many structural similarities to a harem anime. Generally this is the reason why I avoid the genre, that and obnoxious fanservice which this series is thankfully frugal with. Eventually, it leaves off on a non-ending because this is an adaptation of an ongoing light novel. The show tries to wrap up the story as neatly as possible at the end of the last girl’s arc, but it crashes and burns in its finale. The climax is a filled with overwrought crying, forced drama, and the cheesiest and most cringe-inducing writing in the whole show.
In a better series, this barren wasteland of a script could be saved by a larger budget, or a more experienced director. However, this show’s decidedly unimaginative directing style leaves much to be desired. The art is mediocre, it’s in no way vivid to look at, the directing fails to make the long stretches of dialogue remotely interesting. Aside from the abhorrent CGI crowds, it isn’t a visual disaster, it could be worse, but it could be so much better. Other dialogue heavy anime like the Monogatari Series utilize unique directing techniques and plenty of visual storytelling to engage the viewer in lengthy conversations between two characters. Strangely, Bunny Girl Senpai desires to be watched as a thoughtful supernatural character drama, but it plays out like a generic light novel romantic comedy, taking the worst aspects of each and failing to craft an original or worthwhile series.
[Final Score: 4/10]
Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai presents intruiging themes of how people treat and mistreat one another during adolescence. However, it fails to execute its best ideas successfully or in a compelling way due to terrible pacing, narrative structural issues, needlessly convoluted dialogue, mediocre presentation, and a thoroughly unlikable main character. If the author possessed half of the self-awareness he seems to think he has, this may not have been an overrated, cringy, bore-fest.
Raskal Does Not Dream of Copyright Infringement
There is going to be a lot of mentions of Monogatari series in the review, because you need to understand that this series is not just similar, or inspired, or derivative. No – it’s an unbelievably blatant plagiarism, it steals everything from Monogatari, and I mean EVERYTHING, except for a couple of elements stolen from Oregairu and Haruhi instead. Comparing it to the famous cases of literary plagiarism ruled by court (Like Harry Potter’s rip-off called Tanya Grotter), it would 100% be ruled a copyright infringement if Nisio Isin/Kodansha ever bothered to sue (and it baffles me that they didn’t). If you’ve seen Monogatari before, you might get a kick out of spotting entire scenes and minute-long dialogues meticulously copypasted word-for-word (don’t make it a drinking game, you’ll die) but there really isn’t much point in doing that over an actual rewatch, because production values are not as good as Studio SHAFT.
Well, one might ask, wouldn’t a carbon copy of a good series also be good? No, because there is another element in play – the author is a talentless hack. Something called “stupidity” manifests in multiple aspects of this story making it impossible to enjoy. Here are some examples:
1. Primitive surface-level copying results in nonsense. The best example is the show’s title – it’s terrible for marketing purposes because it made many people believe this is going to be some ecchi harem. Well, the title comes from the female lead wearing a bunny-girl suit …for approximately 15 seconds that basically amount to nothing plot-wise. You see, in Monogatari heroines have animal leitmotifs, and that got copypasted – except the writer couldn’t think of any actual reason for this inside the story, so it’s just an awkward non sequitur, sitting there, doing nothing except making the title stupid – and there are many other examples like that.
2. Insufferable protagonist. There is a certain trope familiar to most anime watchers – “badass loner”, aka “Gary Stu”, aka “Self-insert Jesus-kun”, aka “literally me”. Araragi from Monogatari looks like one – until he isn’t, because writing anime cliches as complex real people is what that series does. Hachiman from Oregairu is another take – he is also real, i. e. an awkward teenager who has trouble socializing. Being a talentless hack he is, the writer of Aobuta couldn’t do anything but write this trope completely straight. The MC is supposedly antisocial pariah, but he has social skills and confidence of a god. When some dumb females give him shit he just says “begone thot!” and they run away in shame, defeated by his awesomeness. He beats a jock twice his size in a fist fight by “outsmarting” him, nevermind a gang of jock’s friends standing there doing nothing. It’s just so cringy to watch. Kirito from SAO is a better protagonist, at least that guy farmed levels or something.
3. Idiotic non-logic. Monogatari has supernatural phenomena explained with ghosts. Aobuta has supernatural phenomena explained with quantum mechanics. That is, dumb and cringy “is math related to science?” level of quantum mechanics understanding. That’s not my point, pseudo-science is just a particular case of a bigger problem of nothing making sense. This is also better explained with an example. Spoiler ahead:
**Spoiler begins here**
Here is a conversation between two characters:
Person A: “I’m trapped in a day-long time loop.”
Person B: “That means there is another person also trapped in the same loop.”
Nonsense, right? Well the conversation is slightly longer but boils down to exactly that. Here is a full version with my play-by-play:
Person A: “I’m trapped in a day-long time loop.”
Person B: “What if you’re not trapped, but instead perfectly predict the future, and experience it as an advanced form of jamais vu?” //How could this possibly be a first idea in reaction to the time loop? How does that work? Why is it a time loop that repeats multiple times instead of just being clairvoyant? You what?
Person A: “How so?”
Person B: “Laplace’s demon. A theoretical intelligence that can perfectly calculate position and behaviour of every particle in the universe, therefore, can predict the future.” //But why would it make a repeating loop instead of just being clairvoyant??? Why would Laplace’s demon be your first idea if it doesn’t actually fit the nature of the situation?
Person A: “But I’m not a Laplace’s demon, I’m a normal human”
Person B: “That means some other person is Laplace’s demon and they do the calculations. You’re quantum entangled with that person so you experience their time loop.” //Again, how could this possibly be your first idea? Other person being Laplace’s demon doesn’t actually answer any of the questions posed. Also, quantum entanglement… a) Is an actual physical phenomena, not a theoretical construct, and it doesn’t fit the situation at all, so it wouldn’t be a thing that comes to mind here; b) Doesn’t have anything to do with Laplace’s demon, so it wouldn’t come to mind based on that; c) DOESN’T EXPLAIN WHY THE TIME IS REPEATING IN A LOOP, INSTEAD OF TWO PEOPLE BEING CLAIRVOYANT.
**Spoiler ends here**
Notice the pattern? Wrong physics aside, none of the conclusions of Person B logically follow from the previously reached conclusions, it’s a bunch of random lines arranged one after another. Either the author is a moron and “lines arranged one after another” is his understanding of how logic works, or he thinks the audience are morons and he can scam them with this garbage if he talks fast and sounds confident. Incidentally, if someone tries “but that’s just Person B’s theory, it doesn’t have to be true” on you – spit them in the face because the characters act on those assumptions and they are proven to be 100% correct.
2/10 because this series provides nothing of value and has no reason to exist, except to give an answer to a weird thought experiment – what if some acclaimed series was the same, but written by an author 50 IQ points lower.
If you thought this show was about literal BUNNY GIRLS, boi should you be prepared to be bamboozled by the most misleading title that you mightve ever come across. I was watching the first few minutes of the first episode expecting something probably as ecchi as it seems on the cover art, but hot damn did I got hooked by the quirky characters, mainly the interactions between our main protagonists. This show within the first episode reminded me of Bakemonogatari, which till this date I still think has one of the best monologues and dialogues, and now at the end of it, I think we have a great contester to dethrone the monogatari series, and here I present you, Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai.
Story / Character -10-
Revolving around the idea of ‘Puberty Syndrome’, this story mainly focuses on how our male protagonist, Sakuta settles this problem for the ones undergoing this syndrome. Albeit totally supernatural, there are sufficient backstory and explanations relating to quantum physics and what not (if you can understand that is), in which I think is always a great touch to the story to not let the audience sit in confusion. Puberty Syndrome is where you might find random bruises or cuts throughout your body, or having a juxtapose of yourself that takes your rightful place etc. However, because the setting of this story is actually in high school, it can be very relatable to some due to the fact that the problems usually are involved with gossiping, bad mouthing or simply falling in love. Consequences of not properly solving Puberty Syndrome can lead to severe problems, just like in real life, one wrong move and it might cause you the win or lose.
Now moving on to our protagonist, ladies first, and it is our best girl Sakurajima Mai senpai. Humorous, bold, outgoing, what more can one ask for, it’s an all in one package here for your service. Sakuta, again humorous, kind, and mostly perverted. With the encounter of Makinohara Shouko, Sakuta starts to treat others kinder and is the core of why Sakuta helps (perpetually) everyone out throughout the story, because he wants to be kind. As of the side characters, imouto, kouhai, thicc af girl IN LAB COAT, theyre all really great and likeable characters, with each of them having their own unique personalities. They also contribute a lot to the story, making this entire show a very wholesome one. Catchy settings and directing is what makes this anime stand at the top against the others this season, maybe even the year of 2018, you get so invested into the characters by the first episode it is hard to just not love this anime.
Cloverworks ( A-1 Pictures) nailed the crap out of it this time. The art style is really smooth to the eyes, and looks a lot like Oregairu (which is definitely an extra point), animations are fluid and some compositions are seriously on point. Subtle emotions are well laid out on the characters and they really add up to the feelings and they convey well to the audience.
Another big part that contributes to the wholesomeness of this show is the voice acting and the OSTs. The opening which at this point everyone probably knows how to sing, is hella catchy, and is like a blackhole sucking you in, once you heard it, theres no turning back. Same goes for the ending, every character had their own uniquely designed ending, just like how the monogatari series has the VA sing the OP for their respective arcs (in which case is the same here). Voice acting is top notch, whats better than having a quirky conversation? A lively and energetic one. And its all here in this show, cocaine for your ears my buddy.
Definitely my top pick of this season (year as well), if you haven’t watch it, please do so already, you really don’t want to miss out this show, even if the cover art turns you off (or the otherwise ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) You want some fun time watching some slice of life-y anime? Check! You want some home hitting feelings or tear jerking moments? Check! Having doubted this anime at first was my single worst mistake Ive ever made, because this series has proven itself worthy of being one of the best animes possibly out there. With an movie adaptation for another arc in the future, I can safely say that everyone should be looking forward for that, just like how Sakuta looks forward getting teased by Mai everyday.
6: Grand Blue
English: Grand Blue Dreaming
MAL Score: 8.42
Iori Kitahara moves to the coastal town of Izu for his freshman year at its university, taking residence above Grand Blue, his uncle’s scuba diving shop. Iori has high hopes and dreams about having the ideal college experience, but when he enters the shop he is sucked into the alcoholic activities of the carefree members of the Diving Club who frequent the place. Persuaded by upperclassmen Shinji Tokita and Ryuujirou Kotobuki, Iori reluctantly joins their bizarre party. His cousin Chisa Kotegawa later walks in and catches him in the act, earning Iori her utter disdain.
Based on Kenji Inoue and Kimitake Yoshioka’s popular comedy manga, Grand Blue follows Iori’s misadventures with his eccentric new friends as he strives to realize his ideal college dream, while also learning how to scuba dive.
Based on the manga written by Kenji Inoue, Grand Blue stands out more as a modern slice of life that adheres to a young adult cultural society. Here, we meet a guy named Iori Kithara who starts his new life as a college student on the Izu Peninsula. His place of residence happens to be a diving shop known as “Grand Blue” and thus where daily life adventure begins. Now, I should say right off the bat that a show like this relies on stereotypical humor with plenty of jokes in between. If you’re not ready for that, just turn back now.
Grand Blue’s storytelling mainly chronicles the daily life adventures of Iori although plenty of other characters are featured aside him. The main cast consists of diving club, also known as the “Peek-a-Boo”. He meets others including his cousin Chisa, Nanaka, Kouhei, Azusa, Toshio, and Kotobuki. Among this group, the male cast seems more like they are in love with drinking more than diving. The first episode immediately sets off the humor with the nakedness and adult jokes from the very start as we meet the core members. That is to say, Iori himself also lacks common sense when he attends his first day at college while being half naked. Judging from just this impression, it should be easy to recognize that the show love to make fun of its characters. It uses stereotypes that makes fun of college life such as young adults drinking and partying. Then, there’s meta-humor that plays on jokes with the nudity. It’s also self-aware being that it never attempts to disguise its humor. Certain characters are very aware of their actions regardless of consequences and this often sets off the wrath of others such as Chisa.
For the main female cast, it consists of a colorful group with a diverse range of personalities. The most level-headed person in the show is Chisa who takes many things in life seriously. She also loves diving and geniuely enjoys the feelings of being in the azure ocean. She’s like the anti-Peek-a-boo member in the show as she can’t tolerate being embarrassed. Because of this, there’s often a clash between her and Iori as the two gets into compromising positions. The end result is often Iori taking the blow and Chisa face palming herself. However, it’s also noticeable that she does care about Iori especially during brief flashbacks before them. Often times, I guess you could say that she misses her childhood with him and reliving those moments brings a peace in her mind. Then, we have Nanaka who seems to play the role of an older sister type for the main cast although at the same time, she also has an unhealthy infatuation towards Chisa. It’s the type of humor that makes fun of siblings but in a sarcastic way. Azusa is the senior student who behaves much more like the guys in the show. Her bisexuality is hinted at many times and often makes sexual jokes at others, especially Iori. Last but not least is Aina, a freshman who is much shyer compared to the others. She does go by another persona early in the series so watching her sometimes may remind you just how different her two personalities are.
Between the guys, a main selling point in the show is the character chemistry. Regardless whether you like it or not, there’s an abundance amount of humor when the guys interact with each other and it often comes off as absurd humor. The most prominent is between Iori and Kouhei. They are often observant but says things that may be interpreted in the wrong way. They often get into trouble with the women in the show too given their actions that disregards common sense. The two also gets into many bickering moments. Early in the series, the series also makes fun of the guys with porn jokes. And let’s not forget about the drinking. Pretty every male character in the series loves to drink whether it’s alcohol, beer, vodka, wine, or whiskey. As you may expect from action that results in consequences, the guys behave like drunks while stripping naked and causing questionable scenes. The series pokes fun at this type of adult humor by covering their private body parts with black censored circles. It’s the type of self-aware humor that you’ll witness quite often.
So now what? Is this series just a giant ball of meaningless humor? Or is it something more deceptive that people misunderstands? To me, Grand Blue stands out as a show that deals with adult gimmicks and stereotypes but makes it into a humorous flick. It seems like a popcorn entertainment and you’re not wrong if it feels like the story went nowhere in the end. However, the shows knows how it operates and inserts every joke with a clear intention. The guys in the series acts bold and behaves in ways that wild college students do. The girls are slightly mild but it doesn’t detract them from getting into the party on occasions. There’s a lot of running gags with the drinking jokes, nakedness, and misunderstandings. It’s what the series uses to sell its humor. If you’re in it for actual diving, there are some moments too with info dumps. Don’t expect this like a relaxing slice of life as it’s far too hyperactive to be considered as such though. Watch this for the pure entertainment and forget common logic. That way, you’ll grow to love Grand Blue.
Zero-G has honestly been an unimpressive studio. Their lineup consists of shows that I hardly see anyone talks about these days (Battery, Dorei-kun the Animation, Dive!!). Their production quality is hardly stellar either. Thankfully, they managed to step up to the plate and capture the magic for this show. It deserved a glorious quality and got treated such way with the beach setting, aquatic ocean, and sunny atmosphere. Character designs also feels real with the cast looking like they are college students (although Aina sometimes makes me question this) Fan service is literally in every episode but they take the extreme during party scenes and drinking segments. Finally, I love the way characters reacts that pushes the envelope to the extreme. Iori and Kouhei are prime examples of this while others such as Chisa and Nanaka also have their own moments. Expressions of shock, anger, and confusion is shown right to your face in ridiculous ways. Thanks to the talented voice cast, it brings the best out of those moments. The OP song also adapts a playful feel to showcase the themes of the show. The ED theme song makes fun of pop culture such as karaoke that’s so fun to sing along with.
As a fan of the manga, I think Grand Blue established itself as a self-aware humorous showstopper. Taking the risk of glorifying its humor made this show look like a joke at first glance. However, once you get sucked into Grand Blue’s themes, you’ll find love with this show. From the adult humor to the numerous character gags, it’s an anime that plays with itself. It’s a Summer sensation.
Newsflash: This ain’t it chief.
To be honest, this season as a whole has been remarkably unremarkable given the obvious trends that take place in the anime community. Although it may not be so surprising given that the season prior was coined by many as ‘The Greatest Season of Anime’, even the most popular shows airing currently have made little more than a murmur throughout their runtime. Attack on Titan, Overlord, the “final” season of Gintama, all well-known series that have all fallen silent amongst the public. But when it comes to new series airing, Grand Blue had to have been a main attraction; based on one of the most popular manga serialized today that features Shinji Takamatsu as director – the same director for successful comedies School Rumble and Daily Lives of High School Boys. Yet… something’s seriously off about this show, and since it seems to have slapped the tactfulness out of me, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: This show fucking blows.
I was planning to say something along the lines of “Let’s dive into this”, but whilst being the most cliché cringe-inducing pun I could have possibly made, there’s not very much at all to “dive” into here. Grand Blue follows 20-year-old Iori Kitahara who has moved to his uncle’s seaside town for college, where he is almost immediately roped into joining a male-dominated diving club. But if you thought this show was about diving, it’s a trap! Instead the club activities more or less revolve around drinking, stripping and getting hammered. Essentially, it is a comedy anime focused on the college life so a basic plot such as this is harmless so long as the comedy hits its mark. However, that simply is not the case. Instead Grand Blue comes off as an American frat house flick turned into a gag anime, except with nearly all the effort sucked out.
Now I understand that comedy in general is heavily subjective so what personally may not land well with me could very well come off as a massive hit to someone else. Nevertheless, I have so many issues with how the show handles humour. One of the first instances of this come from the running joke where every other character tries tricking Iori into getting drunk. Conceptually, this does not strike me as humorous, but the ridiculous ways this is tried alongside dysmorphic character faces utilized certainly add to the punchline and made me laugh the first few times. But a cardinal problem with Grand Blue is that a joke which becomes par runs the risk of growing dull, and while using different scenarios can keep things fresh, Grand Blue instead decides to drive them into the ground as fast as possible. Sure, the joke earned a few chuckles the first couple times, but then they use it once more, and again, and again… and again. Numerous times the overabundance of these quips was akin to beating a dead horse, and if at that point it does not feel overdone then I just do not know what to say. Clearly Grand Blue is a comedy show that lends itself to multiple running gags throughout the 12 episodes, but the way they are used is what inevitably ceases the series to deliver the same results each time on viewers like myself.
Another issue with the comedy presented here more often than not is the timing. Timing is obviously a key factor for basically any form of comedy, especially with the kind of jokes Grand Blue exploits that rely heavily on the punchline. Yet here poor timing is so apparent that it comes off almost amateurish by the staff. Maybe this is a limitation when adapting the source material. I have not read the manga, but due to anime being… animated, it limits the way one can interpret a scene compared to a series of still pictures; the anime ends up much more restricting on the imagination. The punchlines themselves are also somewhat confusing at first if you had high expectations of Grand Blue without having read the manga. The series seems to treat comedy at a fairly lowbrow level where majority of the time punchlines were aimed between the more innocent characters being coerced or embarrassed by other club members. Sure, lowbrow humour can be funny and even I find it hilarious sometimes, but considering this is also a light-hearted comedy, makes Grand Blue’s task of making someone like myself laugh incredulously difficult. What also works in their disfavour are the more heartfelt moments mainly centred around Iori gaining appreciation for diving as a whole. These moments COULD have been useful as far as getting better invested in his character, except there is one serious problem: he has no character. You should not expect much in the way of development or characterization presented as there are only a handful of character worth remembering just to remember the plot meanwhile everyone else, despite their own “plot” are flat as a pancake. Again, due to Grand Blue being primarily comedy, there is barely any expectations as far as the narrative or characters go, yet the show continues to spread itself thin that I, as a viewer, am left with barely anything to truly grasp onto. Maybe I’m just an old fag.
Perhaps the key problem I have with Grand Blue is not with the comedy or even the characters, but the subject matter. There has been an increasing amount of anime set in higher education as of late, each with their own take on a core aspect of college life. But before Grand Blue I had never been exposed to one that focuses primarily on the parts where the main characters get blasted off one’s face, and after watching this, it really does makes sense why. As a student myself I can tell you with assurance that there is not much fun getting shit-faced and even then, it does not last long. To those reading this that have experienced a hangover probably understand this most and, perhaps more importantly, the after-effects. Headaches, drowsiness, poor concentration and nausea are just a mere few of the symptoms that coincidentally are also felt when watching these moments every week. One of the most common appraisals about Grand Blue is how relatable the show is. I’m sorry but the main aspects that are relatable to real life here are not things that I would be celebrating as much and like those who have had poor hangovers, is something I would rather forget about. Although when it comes to alcohol in Grand Blue, there is nothing more depressing than seeing each episode open with a disclaimer about legal alcohol usage. Now, they were probably necessary to even have the series airing in the first place but way to present the exact opposite of comedy at the beginning of each episode. Of course nothing is mentioned about the nudity seemingly ever-present here; I see Japan has their priorities straight here.
Speaking of; yes, I am a straight cis-male. I’m not ashamed. I have no interest in the male nudity displayed in Grand Blue, but holy hell do they have the least creative way of censoring dicks. As aforementioned I have not read the manga, so I do not know how scenes were drawn but it is such a lazy way of going about it, though it does match the effort that arguably went to the overall visuals of Grand Blue. It looks absolutely lacklustre. Below average animation for practically every scene. Poor designs, even for the male supporting cast (no homo). This is not a series to watch for its technical appeal, because there practically is none. However, I find this fact to somehow work in its favour as far as the entertainment goes. Seeing comedic scenes with laughable animation effects certainly has a charm to it; perhaps a “so bad it’s good” quality, but not enough to warrant slogging through it all. Even fanservice for the male demographic was at a minimum. As far as the sound, both the soundtrack and voice acting are very forgettable. The opening and endings, whilst memorable, I personally found cringeworthy. Never will I not skip either if they ever happen to come up on a playlist. Just listen to these lyrics:
♫♫ Be passionate my friend
Shine bright with the sun
Dive into the blue sky
And let summer take it all ♫♫
And that is all there is to say about Grand Blue. It’s clear that not many people will agree with my statements as it appears to be a strong fan-favourite of whatever is left of the community still interested in seasonal anime. If you like it then I’m glad you enjoyed it, but there’s probably better comedies this season. Watch them; I thought this sucked. Grand Blue was the equivalent of a grand disaster in my eyes and stands a reminder that “in every age, in every place, the taste of weeaboos remain the same.” I guess I’m just not a fan of watching something akin to what the Fairy Tail guild would be like when knocked off their rocker. Anyways thank you to everyone who read my review. Be sure to leave a helpful if you liked-hell even if you disliked I’ll still take a helpful! Leave a comment for what I should review next. 99% unlikely to actually do it but who knows. Au revoir.
Hello everyone , this is my review of funniest show of this season and one of the best gag comedy i had ever seen in anime ..
so Lets begin
Imagine what you expect when you going to college, we develop a lot of preconceptions about what it would be like i mean New places, new friends, maybe a new girlfriend. Go to some parties, maybe find somewhere I felt like I could really fit in and all that wonderful dreamy thought. Well our main protagonist Imagination is no different than an average student who just entering the college.
After graduating high school, Iori moves to Izu, on the coast, to go to college for mechanical engineering. “I’ll put all my effort into having the best college life possible!” he vows. “I’m going to meet cute girls, fall in love, and enjoy the pinnacle of youth with good friends!”
He moves in with his uncle and, more importantly, his two beautiful cousins: motherly, long-haired Nanaka and tomboyish, short-haired Chisa. All of them work at the uncle’s dive shop, the Grand Blue; unfortunately, so do Tokita and Kotobuki, macho dive bums who pressure Iori into joining the diving club even though he can’t swim. Alas, Iori soon finds himself roped into their social circle, partying with a bunch of goofy jocks who just want to get naked and play all-male drinking games. Will Iori get to enjoy a cool campus life? Will he find love? Will the diving club ever actually get in the water?
Well thats for the introduction part which sounds like an average college based anime
or IS IT!, so let examine in our further review.
Most of the time we see gag anime fail to deliver a proper story line and mostly involved in delivering some random funny events and scenes.
Well Grand Blue is kind of done a decent job in constructing a story line. Sure we can say that its not a story based anime .However, Grand Blue does deserve credit in the sense that it doesn’t completely devolve into comedy, as most events take place in a ocean setting, staying true to the foundation that it lay down. The Episodes are also loosely tied together, meaning that there is some degree of continuation. But in all we can say that its main purpose is to make audience laugh.
Art, Animation and sound:(9/10)
Art is beautiful considering how they have utilize the beauty of locations including underwater and seasore and present it in a beautiful and artistic way. Animation is great, studio done a decent job in adapting manga considering manga artstyle is already top class we sure expect in the hands of a decent studio anime is pleasant to watch.
There are some part i like to focus on which Grand Blue done a tremendous job that is adapting face expression with the scenes. Grand Blue Dreaming is a stunning treasure trove of reaction faces. With influences from hot-blooded fighting anime, horror movie framing, and direct references to other franchises, like this Great Teacher Onizuka and that Evil sarcastic Face which taken from Attack on Titans.
OP and ending is pleasant and beautiful as well as some underwater scenes are eyecatching.
It also done a great job in sound department including beautiful opening and ending sound. There are no characters who unnecessarily shouting everywhere and trying to make audience laugh .Voice actors done excellent job in providing tone which goes exceptionally well with the scene
Characters are unique and excellent and each have there own funnier side perfectly well fitted for such gags Anime.
We can see from absolute scumbags to a hot and weird otaku , from a shy tomboyish waifu material girl who has its own sadist side to a lewd Onee san including Airheads and some trouble some senpais.
Grand Blue has all to offer what is necessary for a gag anime, characters range from lovable bastards like club senpai Tokki and Bukki to absolute scumbags, with Iori somewhere in the middle. He has a veneer of respectability that gets shattered the moment he takes a sip of beer. Also our fellow dorks like good-looking but skeevy anime fan Kohei (“Why isn’t there a club full of beautiful high school girls to be my harem?”)
The female character are more kind of average than you might expect from this particular strain of comedy, with the exception of Nanaka, who is pretty one note with the unpredictable and Lewd Azusa. Chisa and Aina for me is kind of okay serving as a balance in between all these crazy characters.
So Whats Lacking:
Well if you see the Manga, its clearly one of the best comedy manga ever made. For anime i feel it kind of fail to adapt the proper pacing of the Anime and how to give Focus on some particular scene. We can see same kind of thing with some famous anime like Food Wars (after 1st season) and Tokyo Ghoul. On some scenes and some part of the story it feel bit rushed which makes viewers who already familiar with manga kind of disappointed. Other than that i dont find anything which are lacklustre in the Anime.
The other element that might not work for everyone is all the nudity and fanservice. The most explicit nudity actually comes from the boys in the club, who tend to strip when they get drunk.
The women, however, in their skintight wetsuits, bikinis, or the occasional glimpse of underwear, are clearly supposed to be titillating.
Well i can say that its not for everyone who dont feel comfortable in such thing like nudity and drinkin
Grand Blue is fundamentally a frat house farce in the vein of something like American Pie or The Hangover in anime version. Its comedy definitely has lot of consistency when it comes to make people laugh. If you want a show who you can watch with your friends with enjoyment and laugh this show deliver all the things you needed.
Funny events timing is impeccable, making great use of situations, and even manages to make repeating the same punchline funnier the second time.
Overall its pretty good and satisfying show and definitely one of the best gag anime ever made also the funniest one but again you’ll have to really love booze jokes, funny faces, and gags about guys being caught naked with little censorship marks obscuring their junk.
5: Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru
English: Run with the Wind
MAL Score: 8.42
Former ace runner of Sendai Josei High School, Kakeru Kurahara is chased away from a convenience store for shoplifting. Shaking off his pursuer, he runs into Haiji Kiyose, another student from his university. Haiji is impressed by Kakeru’s agility and persuades him to live in Chikusei-sou, the run-down apartment where Haiji resides along with eight other students. Having lost his entire apartment deposit at a mahjong parlor, Kakeru accepts the offer reluctantly.
However, Haiji reveals a secret during Kakeru’s welcoming party: the apartment is actually the dormitory of the Kansei University Track Club. He unveils his ultimate goal of participating in the Hakone Ekiden—one of the most prominent university marathon relay races in Japan. Unfortunately, all the residents apart from Haiji and Kakeru are complete running novices. Worse still, none of the inhabitants are even remotely interested in being involved with Haiji’s ridiculous plan! With only months before the deadline, will the fourth-year student be able to convince them otherwise and realize his elusive dream of running in the Hakone Ekiden?
Run with the Wind boasts such a splendidly rich animation production, it really reminds you just how impressive, how downright humbling this division of the studio is at its best of times. The character designs are as clean, sharp, and all-around attractive as those of Haikyuu and Welcome to the Ballroom, fit with a level of orate detail which was incessantly impressive to see in such fluid movement. The design-work of the main cast in particular, as well as the voice actors chosen to play them, clearly had a lot of thought put behind them, as you can see exactly why they dress the way they dress, walk the way they walk, accessorize the way they accessorize, and how such distinct appearances representing such well-realized personalities can really benefit the immersion of the work as a whole. And as the show progresses and you come to understand the characters more intimately, you’ll slowly start noticing more and more of those little details that had been there the entire time. It’s as brilliant as it is beautiful, and the background art never slacks either, as expected of the committed craftsmen and women of IG who would never sacrifice one facet of production on behalf of another’s quality—they just make it ALL that good. The astounding level of hand-drawn details, expertly mixed manual and digital shading, color variation and gradients, and well-researched setting references all work in tandem to build this gorgeous aesthetic of naturalistic beauty balanced with realistic subtlety.
On top of the impeccable visuals, the sound design is so nuanced and ever-present, when I noticed it I would become so absorbed and distracted as to miss entire lines of dialogue and have to rewind. And I can say without hesitation the soundtrack is an easy nine out of ten, as the composer was the same talent behind the monumentally epic, blood pumping score for Haikyuu, the emotionally gripping yet hyper-stylized Studio Trigger tracklist for Kiznaiver, and the music for Death Parade, which reached the heights of contemplative character dramaturgy and exciting psychological thrillers both. I simply cannot praise the production of Run with the Wind any more without it coming across as hyperbole, and as for the narrative which gave the beauty its heart and the solid writing which firmly held it all together, it was pretty damn good itself, even if not as breathtakingly perfect as the production values were. The main characters made up one of the most grounded ensemble casts in all of anime, easily competing with and outclassing legitimately good shows like Durarara, Hajime no Ippo, or Assassination Classroom, who’re all known for their ability to deftly juggle enormous casts whilst developing those within them. Unlike those aforementioned and most others which aren’t even half as good, Run with the Wind managed to not merely manage the large cast, but to actually mete out character development in a down-to-earth manner which didn’t challenge the realism of the story’s structure.
At no point in this show is there anything that could be described as an “arc.” Never does the narrative take a break for drama, nor does it ever feel like one character in particular is being too overbearing or stealing the spotlight, with any necessary character building sneaking its way into the narrative subtly. Such sensible pacing works wonders for any conflict too, since all confrontations are built up to naturally. Nothing ever comes out of nowhere and is usually born from within the main character, Kakeru, who you get to know well enough to both sympathize and empathize with the anxieties of. While it’s not hard for me to image someone having a problem with the blunt spright-man bringing all the conflict to the table being the main character himself, his deep-seated motivations are so well-written and intrinsic to his character which we’ve come to understand, I totally got where he was coming from whenever he blew his top. That said, this brand of discord is by no means unique to Kakeru. All the characters have insecurities and hangups which feel truly genuine. Most anime will have characters ranting and raving about a bunch of out-of-this-world garbage the viewer has no reason to care about, but Run with the Wind does nothing of the sort. The character Nico-chan (a play on the word “nicotine”) has difficulty running for his addiction to smoking and his unhealthy BMI. The character King has trouble being committed to the team because he has to find work to pay for college. The character Shindo has doubts about his involvement with the team because his girlfriend dumped him after feeling he had neglected her. All the characters are real, with real scripts, with real problems. It’s a seriously wonderful cast who brings the relatively straightforward story to life, and there were a number of times I had tears in my eyes watching them cross the finish line.
The final point I wanted to discuss before concluding is the villain, Sakaki. Sports anime, simply put, NEVER commit to real villains. They always pussyfoot around the issue with mutually understood competition wherein the opponents are never genuinely malicious and are only causing conflict for the sake of sportsmanship. The only time truly antagonist villains appear in sports anime is like Jabberwock from Kuroko no Basuke, or Bryan Hawk from Hajime no Ippo, or the Blue Mars from One Outs, or any other one-dimensional villains out there who are just evil assholes for the sake of being so. Out of all four thousand anime I’ve seen, I’ve yet to see a wholesale ill natured antagonists who truly wants to beat the protagonists solely out of hatred. Sakaki, the main villain in Run with the Wind, is the first character I’ve seen in a sports anime who truly earned the title of “villain.” His history with Kakeru makes for a heavy motivation for conflict, and his vindictive attitude comes across as being deserved, even if you take Kakeru’s side. Again, Kakeru may not always be righteous, so the idea he has some skeletons in his closet isn’t all that far fetched. As you learn more about their pasts, and you get both sides of the story, you’re naturally invested. It’s just another really, really good aspect of the show which I wanted to make a point wasn’t under-appreciated at all in my review since Run with the Wind is a fantastic show I highly recommend for what I hope are now obvious reasons, and that’s not even mentioning the fact this point is what begins to illuminate the refreshingly unexpected psychological core behind it all. As I’ve said no shortage of times, the main character Kakeru is a really flawed person. He’s impulsive, irritable, and outright violent, and it’s not even anyone’s fault, it’s just who he is. So, he runs. He literally and metaphorically runs away from his problems and is constantly accused of doing so by many characters in the show. As said problems continue to pile up despite his speed, he realizes the problems are within and running simply won’t escape them. When he finally stops and turns around to see all the people he’s hurt along the way, all the mistakes he’s made and regrets he has, and all the people still trying to support him in spite of all he’s done, he sits down and confronts reality in a poignantly human fashion, and it’s this emotional courage that frees his spirt, so to speak, so he can truly move forward and run with the wind.
Thank you for reading.
To check off the bucket list, you should probably ask yourself if you enjoy a story driven by drama with sports elements. Because make no mistake, this anime contains a great deal of realism while selling drama at every chance it gets. It will try to evoke emotions out of the viewers and between the storytelling, you’ll experience a story with its insightful character cast.
Meet Kakeru Kurahara, the 1st year former elite runner at Kansei University. The first episode shows his daredevil actions as he is caught stealing. Thankfully, he is saved by 4th year student Haiji Kiyose who has an ambitious dream of competing in the Hakone Ekiden. The Hakone Ekiden is considered an important relay race taking place btween Tokyo and Hakone in Japan. Kakeru seems like a perfect candidate to be on the team. Upon being invited to the Kanse University Dorm, he quickly discovers it’s a place for the Track and Field team. The show sets up for huge amount of story and character development as we quickly realize how weak their team actually is.
Now I’ll say right off the bat that I am a sucker for an underdog story. It has potential to develop characters on many levels. The problem here is that Kakeru isn’t a noob compared to the rest of the team. He already has experience in running but lacks the enthusiasm. This is explained through some very complicated and dark background storytelling. Apparently, an incident from his former Track & Field team caused him to doubt himself. Nonetheless, I believe Kakeru’s personality to be one that people can understand after seeing what he’s been through. This is a sharp contrast to Haiji, who is always enthusiastic about the team and his dream. The main problem is that the team requires a lot of training and commitment to compete at the Hakone Ekiden level. Still, I appreciate the character bond of the team. As the show progresses, Kakeru begins to realize that he’s not running alone and that he has friends to run with. A main selling point about Kakeru’s own journey is how he conquers his personal demon and move beyond his past.
You better get used to seeing a lot of Kakeru and Haiji’s character bonding in this story. Interestingly, the rest of the cast get their spotlights too as they reinforce the show’s themes. Characters such as Takashi and Akane (aka Prince) are inspirational for their dedication and realization to succeed. Remember, most of the guys in Haiji’s team aren’t experienced or very athletic. It takes a strong will, determination, and attitude to become succesful. The show carries character development as its team members strives to be the best they can be. It’s a relatable concept that can be applied to real life with goals being accomplished through hard work. I personally find the show’s attitude to be very inspirational with many of its character cast conquering their fears and running toward their dreams.
As dramatic as the show can be, do also expect a decent amount of lighthearted moments and comedy. The Jo twins are a prime example of this with their playful personalities. The man service also adds in some cheek humor when the team have bonding moments while discussing about their goals. When the drama picks up though, definitely be prepare to experience the real deal. Teams such as the Rikudo University is no pushover for their reputation. Haiji’s push to get his team to succeed also comes at an immense amount of effort considering the requirements for this dream race. It’s revealed in the show that the team must rank into the top 10 teams and meet personal records. So by all means, it comes to no surprise the amount of pressure the team can feel while training. This is where the main amount of drama drops in with characters feeling how difficult is to reach their goals. Nonetheless, I confess to say that a show like this meets the satisfaction of “the journey is more important than the destination”. People may have hard this phrase many times before but as a driving force in the show, it suits for it perfectly. The amount of character development is expanded to most of the main character cast that you can easily recall their names and some of their memorable moments. No one is truly left out in favor of the main cast even as they seem featured more prominently at times.
As a Production I.G. show, this definitely reminds me a bit of their other sports projects. Haikyu especially comes to mind for its similar character designs and competitive atmosphere. More importantly, I felt the great deal of realism for its character designs. Throughout the show, the characters evolve physically and mentally. Their character expressions and reactions carries an emotional weight that can easily be felt throughout the show. It’s the type of feeling when you finally earn a sense of pride and accomplishment after all the hard work. And don’t forget, the team is consisted of cool guys so the man service can be a treat for the ladies.
With 23 episodes, I confess to say that it’s the perfect amount for this particular anime. Why? That’s because it managed to develop its character cast while staying consistent with the storytelling. The amount of realism made me realize how inspirational this show can be. With every episode, I felt compelled to see just how much the characters can succeed for their future. Honestly, we need more literature adaptations these days.
It should be warned already on the title page that every factor from story progression, seiyuu choices, male casting and slice of life-like approach yells out one thing loud and clear: homo undertones. While great many sports series have chosen this approach (Haikyuu, Kuroko, Wind Up, Free — just to name a few), Kaze ga has very little charm outside its naked ecchi boys / manservice factors. Just to specify to what extent this exist and why it is a problem: there are 4 scenes of our young boys being naked already shown in the first episode before we even know their names. I don’t mind male ecchi or bros bathing together washing each others dicks when it is manly and #no_homo, but when it becomes the first thing that stands out in a sports series that was told be filled with drama and comedy, and executed with cute boys who don’t, in any way, act like genuine humans, we are off to a terrible start.
The selling point of sports series tends to be their cast for their stories can never truly work if the person(s) going thru the story are not worth of being followed. Kaze ga’s cast and approach I’d like to describe with a short meme: y Tho? Our “club” of 10 boys are, outside few expectations, the exact same people. They have nearly invisible personalities, all they have are things that are common between all of them for there aren’t such things that would separate them from each others — outside their outlooks. And even this isn’t entirely true since there are even twins among them. As a whole, the cast is fake and empty to a point that I wonder if this is what feminists see when watching CGDCT or ecchi anime. The cast doesn’t have much appeal to me. I couldn’t find any way to care about any of them. They have nothing that would make relate to them, they offer no entertaining personality traits, their behavior is dull and mainly reminds me of cardboard. None of them have any interesting past stories or current stories. None of them even says anything mildly interesting at any point during the run. The more they talked the more I came to go meh over them. How awfully boring must ones life be to hang out with any of them? A question I found myself asking several times.
Outside episode 16, the sports side is an absolute joke. Even tho I don’t like running myself, I have seen series that focus on running and track&field and which I have liked. Kaze ga’s take on this torture method is exactly as dull as the sports itself. Nothing stands out, nothing feels meaningful, there aren’t even any fitting/atmospheric or agro songs used that could make these scenes better. Instead, same few songs are repeated over and over and none of them is very fitting. So often, there plays some supposedly emotional song whilst our cast members run and sweat, followed, for example, by a scene where they get scolded for being too slow. What the series is trying to deliver here never reached my end. And typically, these running scenes are very short and made in the exact same manner, only thing that differs is the aftermath. Watching the execution here feels like repeatedly hitting ones head in the wall with a force so light that you barely even feel the effect, but still know it is happening. There are even sports series centering around baseball and fighting sports which field work (AKA running) is more noteworthy than anything Kaze ga achieved. The best characters here are these one-dimensional ‘evil’ buttholes who just come around to mock our sports team for being a disgrace towards track’n field. Why? Because their phrases are truthful remarks. Especially towards the end, the melodrama Kaze ga mixes together with sports is nothing less than a disgrace towards all athletes.
In terms of actual story, one of the driving motions here are our boys interest to girls.. Literally “lets run for the are girls.. on the other side of the road.” I am not sure who the writer is trying to fool with this since they only introduce one slightly relevant female cast member and she is more obviously filler than any other character. Also, she falls under the trope “every food she prepares turns poison” because apparently it is funny when women can’t cook. She is totally adorable regardless. Yet it feels so unnecessary to insert such things here yet not deal with them accordingly. The outcome is just idiotic. The events itself are rather formulaic. Male x male interactions in fujobait manner, bathing together naked, and running. Some pseudo-psychological things going on since, apparently, running (for our mc) is the same as running away from problems, and the main dude seems to have some. Even so, there is no clear reason for the series to exist, story-wise. It’s clear from early on that the mc’s “insecurities” are just bullshit used as an excuse to work as some sort of ongoing cliffhanger to make people interested in what type of “mysterious” reasons he has for being such an angsty loner. Other sides of the “drama” are practically sitcom-tier since the cast acts like a bunch of drama queens instead of there being any “real” drama going on. Sometimes randomly asspulled and beyond fake event occurs, such as one character suddenly losing a consciousness at the end of an episode just to create a cliffhanger worth of 3 pennies. To talk more about these cliffhangers, they are used to some extent and every time they match the definition of “horse shit”. False tension and not much more.
The production, outside the incredibly bland character models (their bodies look like spaghetti and have even weirder necks than people in Ballroom e (not exaggerating — same studio, also) — and worth-of-nothing sports scenes, is one more thing that is not making this thing any better. The naked men bathing -scenes seem to be the ones that have gone thru the most planning. Comedy moments are over-simplified to a point that it looks just cheap and it is practically the exact same execution every single time. Dude’s doing 2 frame shaking when being cornered. Otherwise the series screams it is made by Production I.G with their modern standards (which have been going down and down rather consistently for years if someone hasn’t noticed). The pacing is simply too slow during any part that is not related to running and too fast with anything that is. Obviously, because they wanted to save money when animating running masses. CGI is being used during track events and it’s like 3fps when out zoomed. Often, people who run look like they are floating over the track rather than touching the ground with their feet. Looks so incredibly lame. Not that it couldn’t be forgiven if there were some actually good things going on. Pros that out weighted the cons. To me, even the smallest of problems stood out for I couldn’t achieve any level of immersion with the series, rather saw it as nothing but a soulless product.
All the criticism aside, I did quite enjoy moments around Akane “Prince” Kashiwazaki, who is the polar opposite of everyone else. Seems to hate running and is in really bad shape. His running form is so awkward and wrong that I managed to laugh at it few times, mainly reminding me of zombie movements from Resident Evil games. Even his posture while standing is advanced scoliosis, so I guess kudos for creating a dude like him. Other thing I have to drop here is the ending of episode 19 which was simply hilarious. If only there had been other good things I could praise than the rare few.
4: Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2
English: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. 2
Japanese: 斉木楠雄のΨ難 2
MAL Score: 8.44
The disastrous life of the gifted psychic Kusuo Saiki continues, despite his utmost effort to live an ordinary life. Although he has certainly grown accustomed to dealing with his troublesome friends—who are his biggest hurdle to achieving a peaceful life—he still has a long way to go. Also joining the usual oddballs are a few new faces whose shenanigans add to Saiki’s misery, making his dreams of a hassle-free life a distant fantasy.
The adventures of Saiki continue with an epic start where he watched the anime “Gintama” from tv and wonders what type of shitty excuse for a comedy that series is. My man. In all honesty, the beginning of this season was not the greatest thing. The series felt more or less like S01 with the same content, but now missing the fresh and new feel the series had. This got quickly fixed (in episode 6) by the author who started introducing new characters (such as the officially best girl) but also started strengthening the already existing cast members. Instead of expanding our series with side tracking plots and new comedy elements, mr. author keeps giving us details and adding substance to his characters, not only developing their humor but also creating depth to the comedy. And this way, mr. author gave us a sequel which was better than its prequel. If decisions as good as this were always made, I would never have to write negative reviews.
My favorite part of this series is how brotherly and manly Saiki is from its humor to its characters. Aibro (Riki) is the perfect comedic delinquent and a total badass. I am not even sure what makes his character so great. Is it how many fucks he gives (forgetting how to get to school every day despite living right next to it) or how awe-inspiring and cool he is in any and every situation. Shining Kokomi, on the other hand, corners Saiki the hardest. Scenes where she gets like 500 people (including the FBI) search for Saiki are both written and executed with such brilliance that you won’t never find this sort of unique comedy anywhere else. Overall the cast is just incredibly strong and unique. There are in total of 10 characters (other than Saiki) who have their important role in the series when it comes to Saiki’s life and the comedy. Everyone of them is memorable and adds to the series. Not a single one of them is annoying. Rather, I personally welcome comedy moments surrounding any of them — which is beyond rare for myself.
Like all comedies, Saiki is exactly as fun as the viewer who is watching it. The comedy is very direct and executed in 3 different ways: character-centric personality tweaks which deliver the more you are into the characters (the amount of detail and characteristics that add to the comedy is insane), visual in forms of silly animation (such as simplistic character introduction scene where one bro starts rolling in the scene like he is just drawn on a piece of paper – which he obviously was), and most of all in the forms of sitcom where the series corners itself with some sort of problems that are presented as a situation comedy. The comedy is original, but also parodying great many things from other anime series to common cliches. The best part of the comedy is how random it often starts and how unpredictable it ends up being, but at the same time uses the same elements that are already familiar to all its viewers and unique to Saiki the anime. Still, remaining subtle and never, not even once pushed in your face. This is the type of comedy that constantly rewards its viewers and respects the audience. For example, during one TV channel surfing scene, Saiki himself comes across people who we see in his daily life all the time. His parents are giving an interview, some dude stuck in other channel’s background image, and Aibro taking part to the Japanese version of the TV show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (without even knowing what the show is about because he just doesn’t give a fuck, just like he never does). Every single thing from the 3 different TV programs to Saiki’s live reaction to it all, are pure brilliance.
Overall. Saiki relies on badass comedy and bro situations which automatically mean that the series is highly appealing to myself. On top of that, Saiki’s cast is among the most strong and memorable I have seen in any comedy anime. The only comedy series which I can say has achieved more in terms of characters is ‘Cromartie’, but it was also too short to be perfect. The author of Saiki is incredibly self-aware and has a clear vision of what this series should be about. As a conclusion: This season will not please all viewers, but it has done perfect job being exactly as good as it could realistically ever be. Season 03 when.
This second season adds more spice to the comedy with the introduction of new characters, that as expected from the series are really fun to watch, likeable, and lead to new character interactions that never fail to make the viewer laugh, this can easily be seen in shorts where Saiki is mostly just hiding around and one still loses it by seeing the others be the way they are.
The art took an upgrade that makes the series better looking, and it’s used nicely with some priceless reaction faces from the characters and is overall more visually pleasing. The music is pretty much the same, but the new set of openings and endings from the series are fantastic, especially during the second cour where sometimes I spent more time looping them than watching the episode itself.
Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan is no longer just a hidden gem, to me this season confirmed it as a must watch anime for any fan of the comedy genre and a fantastic option for anyone who isn’t to find a series that might change their mind. I really can’t recommend it enough.
If you did not watch S1 then go watch it ASAP or don’t.
TL;DR: Having psychic power was never easy but laughing at the misfortune of Saiki is definitely GGEZ.
Bigger cast, more budget, same humour but now more fan service… For guys & girls. Don’t think just watch.
[Story: 7/10 , Characters: 9/10, Art: 6/10, Sound: 7/10, Enjoyment: 9/10]
“It’s true there are no anger or sadness, but that also means no joy or fun. That’s my life.” – Saiki Kusuo
What do you get if you throw in the humour style of OPM, MP 100 and Sakamoto Desu Ka in a pot then simmer it with the same recipe Gintama used to gain popularity in the comedy genre arena of anime? You get Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan Part 2 of course. There was no doubt this anime short was a success in their inaugural first season but to live up to the expectation in their second season was hard but they made it look super easy. How? They just didn’t stray from their recipe that made them successful. By having good clean albeit raunchy slap stick quid pro quo comedy, often times with relevant memes to crush other wannabe anime shorts’ dreams, helped solidify their standing as the best comedy anime short this year.
The story picks up from where it left off last season but realistically this anime doesn’t really have a linear story to follow. Each episode is composed of 4 mini shorts of 5 minutes that follows a linear story line. Sometimes they are related, often times they are not. But who cares. You are here to hear comedy not pull your hair chasing hares in story inconsistency. So just shut up, grab your buddies and engage in a good laugh. Heck you could even watch it alone and you would still be rolling on the floor laughing while doing the helicopter. Needless to say, the story always moves forward and that’s all you need to know. Some of the shorts were a bit weak & forced but given the material at hand, you can only do so much. Be happy that this will be a complete manga adaptation as the manga also ended.
“My grades, appearance… Everything about me is average. I was born average and I will die average. That’s my life” – Sawakita
The best part about Ψ-nan, aside from their comedy, is the gregarious melting pot of their giant cast. Aside from the main 4, Saiki, Kaidou, Nendou & Teruhashi, this season we were introduced to an even greater range of cast. Luckily, each of these characters managed to stand out from one another with their unique character design and outlandish personality. Heck even the most average character in this anime managed to be above average in their character development. This is what makes this show so great to watch. Their character development for supporting cast does so much in 5 minutes that other shows can’t even do in 4 bloody long hours. It was always fun seeing them return in various shorts and you started to develop attachment to these characters. The dialogues as well as the seiyuus that voiced these characters went above and beyond in each episode to really drive home their greatness. Who knew the voice of shitty Shinji would actually be this awesome. Great job all around.
“Life is in very easy mode. This is all because I am gorgeous. ” – Teruhashi Kokomi
Aside from their dynamic linear plot and outlandish characters, this show puts in their due diligence when it comes to animation. It’s a comedy anime short, not some Ufotable level Battle Royale. At least no pans and zooms and the panels are hand drawn for better animation quality. The studio put in effort and they were rewarded with a huge fandom. Plenty of fanservice was weaved into each episode but it didn’t derail the anime from it’s roots, it only propelled it. Beside their animation quality, the background score went really well with the anime. A good comedy show really needs to get their music timing on point and this show did just that. Although the OP and ED songs weren’t as appealing to me personally but others might think otherwise. I preferred the season 1 OP and ED songs more than this season’s.
“Fortune telling is just an illusion created by a bunch of people who pretend to be prophets” – Kaidou Shun
Overall, Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2 is a satirical school comedy anime short that parodies the known anime tropes that’s overused in our anime industry atm. Their main purpose is to provide comedy and with great effort from their staff, they are able to establish just that with their outlandish cast of misfit characters. If you are in need of a laugh, I would recommend starting from first season. If you are lazy and want to watch this season, you can do that. If you are still in doubt, just pick a random episode out of the hat and watch one. What do you have to lose but your funny bone, am I right? I would not recommend the Live TV adaptation because some things are just better in their animated format. Also, this is the last season. Very rarely do we get full manga adaptation and it is truly a gift to cherish. I know I will miss watching this anime. Hopefully some OVAs come out for the chapters that didn’t get animated. Anyways, check it out & let me know later how you like it as well as share with me your favourite quote from the anime! Ciao.
P.S. Thank you for reading. I hope you found this short and supaishi review helpful!
3: Sora yori mo Tooi Basho
English: A Place Further Than The Universe
MAL Score: 8.55
Filled with an overwhelming sense of wonder for the world around her, Mari Tamaki has always dreamt of what lies beyond the reaches of the universe. However, despite harboring such large aspirations on the inside, her fear of the unknown and anxiety over her own possible limitations have always held her back from chasing them. But now, in her second year of high school, Mari is more determined than ever to not let any more of her youth go to waste. Still, her fear continues to prevent her from taking that ambitious step forward—that is, until she has a chance encounter with a girl who has grand dreams of her own.
Spurred by her mother’s disappearance, Shirase Kobuchizawa has been working hard to fund her trip to Antarctica. Despite facing doubt and ridicule from virtually everyone, Shirase is determined to embark on this expedition to search for her mother in a place further than the universe itself. Inspired by Shirase’s resolve, Mari jumps at the chance to join her. Soon, their efforts attract the attention of the bubbly Hinata Miyake, who is eager to stand out, and Yuzuki Shiraishi, a polite girl from a high class background. Together, they set sail toward the frozen south.
Sora yori mo Tooi Basho follows the captivating journey of four spirited girls, all in search of something great.
The problem that I have with this season that many of the shows are nothing more style over substance meme feasts.
A1+ Trigger mecha show Darling in the Franxx is the worst example of this because not only in my opinion bad at storytelling it also allowed the memes and reference to older shows to take over the actual story to a point where you’re literally only watching it for the memes instead of a story and characters. However out of all the anime from the Winter 18 season, A Place Further than the Universe quietly became a big hit and unlike any other new show from this season, it was actually good.
So good to a point where every other anime from winter 18 that is not a squeal or a leftover look mediocre by comparison.
Okay, there was Yuru Camp (Which I haven’t seen yet) and cleverly cute Skilled Teaser Takagi San which are great shows on their own right but they pale in comparison to this.
Anyway, what made this show so special?
How did this show become so great that it outclassed ever other anime from the season?
Let’s find out.
The story of A Place Further than the Universe follows a high school student name Mari Tamaki who want to make the most of her youth, but she is afraid to do it. One day she encounters a girl named Shirase Kobuchizawa who has been saving up, so she can travel to Antarctica to find her missing mother. Together with two other girls Hinata and Yuzuki, they join an expedition headed towards the Antarctic.
On the surface, A Place Further than the Universe looks like your typical cute girl doing cute things type of show but as the show progresses the show becomes so much more to a point where it deviated from the whole cute girls doing cute things route where it becomes more complex. Add to the fact the pacing the show was brilliant throughout its own as well having great writing, worldbuilding and great themes exploration and got one hell of an amazing series.
One thing that I love about the show is how adventurous it is. Seriously every time you watch an episode of this show you always feel like your actually going on an adventure with the four main girls.
The characters in A Place Further than the Universe were fantastic.
The main girls are very well written as well as having complex backstories that were believable and well told to the viewer.
The character interactions for the four main girls were outstanding as each girl delivers great and charming interactions with each other plus the way the four main girls react to comedic and emotional moments were outstanding to a point where they actually felt like real high school girls.
I honestly have nothing more to say about the characters here since they are all awesome and well written in their own ways.
Honestly, do I really need to say it? It’s freaking Madhouse, and they are known for making anime with amazing production and this show is no different.
The character designs were well drawn as being very adorable to look at on-screen.
The one thing that I adore about the anime is the visual directing, in fact. The visual directing is good it overwhelms the great writing of the story that is honestly very impressive.
For example in the first couple of minutes of episode 1, the show establishes the main character Mari who is an adventurous girl even though she never went for an adventure herself in her whole life however as she finally decided to take the first step towards her adventure of we get some use existent swelling music, however, the train leaves the station and we see Mari standing there. If this was a regular anime, the music would have ended here, however, the music kept playing which was the more emotionally effective choice.
It doesn’t stop there in the couple of scenes we see Mari still being adventurous even though she can’t act it out.
The next shot showcases Mari shoes being wet and that shot alone perfectly symbolize the real world the reality of leaving the school and going on this adventure was being actually more complex then she thought at first. There are more great symbolism and visuals in this but this was one of the best examples of this show amazing visual directing.
Overall visuals in A Place Further than the Universe are a masterpiece of art thanks to great directing and stunning visuals.
The soundtrack is honestly beautiful. It is filled with life, adventure as well-being very emotional.
Yoshiaki Fujisawa did a great job with the soundtrack adding more emotional impact to the series.
The opening theme Alright by Saya is a great opening theme that captures the adventurous tone of the series. It’s also very catchy.
The ending theme Koko kara, Koko kara sung by the voice actors for the 4 main girls is an awesome ending theme that I adore to no end. Even more than the opening theme.
As off now A Place Further than the Universe hasn’t got an English which is honestly sad because I really wanted Funimation to do a simuldub with this hidden gem but no we cannot always have nice things because Funimation rather simuldub a broken show like Hakyu Hoshin Engi.
Oh well least with got the Japanese audio which was amazing as every Seiyuu did a great job with the roles especially with the four main girls.
What an amazing emotional and fun ride this was.
This show was honestly a blessing to the winter 18 anime season from mediocrity hell.
The story was amazing filled with great writing, world-building, themes, and pacing. The characters were wonderful and developed, the visuals were brilliant, and the soundtrack and voice acting were great.
I honestly never expected this show to dominate the whole winter 18 season and am glad it did because the show is a perfect example of how to make a good modern anime.
I hope this show gets an English dub someday as well getting licensed by an anime distribution company so we can get a Blu-Ray release for this hidden gem show.
If you want to watch a great slice of life/adventure show then I strongly recommend checking out A Place Further than the Universe.
You won’t regret it.
//I just wanted to say that this is my first ever review on MAL and I really felt the urge to discuss the greatness of this Anime.//
//Spoiler Free (As much as possible)//
Never judge a book by its cover. It’s something I’m trying to get over because this happens most of the time, we judge everything based on first impressions. My initial judgment of the cover was my greatest downfall because it just looked like a Moe/Slice of Life anime, which was a genre I never understood/appreciated up until now. I judged it, so much so that I didn’t even read the title, “A Place Further Than The Universe”, which certainly does sound like an interesting adventure anime title. Oh was I wrong! Well, not entirely because this WAS a fun Slice of Life Anime with high school girls doing EXTREMELY fun things. Like going to Antarctica.
The story starts off with four high school girls who are total strangers and have problems that are related to one another. In the first few episodes, these problems were presented and used to connect these characters together, to build a friendship based on related problems, and to have an end goal of going to Antarctica, which satisfied all of their problems in the end. I won’t be diving into these problems in the story aspect of Yorimoi but rather, the characters aspect. During the journey of preparing and going to Antarctica, they’re faced with many problems in between that are usually resolved within each episode, but in the end, it creates the atmosphere of resolution and serves to strengthen their friendship. When the girls finally arrive in Antarctica, they were able to experience “A Place Further Than The Universe”, an entirely new experience, the things they’ve learned for the first time, seeing the distinctive scenery, creating and experiencing friendship throughout a journey. You feel like you’re experiencing the journey and feeling their emotions with them.
Overall, the story is very unique, emotional, and adventurous to the max! I feel that adventure animes are either being buried by shonen animes or we just don’t see enough adventure animes that can make you feel some type of way, the way this anime makes me feel, relatable and connected to the characters.
Honestly, nothing too much to say about the visuals except that it is phenomenal. I mean, it’s Studio Madhouse. They never cease to amaze me with the direction of their animes, including their art and music, which were always perfectly timed for an epic experience. Most of my, and probably a lot others’, favorite anime are produced by Studio Madhouse. After finishing the series, I saw in some forums and comments that the Syowa Station was actually a real thing and was linked to google maps, where I was able to view a 3D image of Showa Station and their ship, Icebreaker Shirase, in real life and they were strikingly similar. The visuals of Antarctica was definitely something new for us anime viewers since we don’t see a lot of animes take place in Antarctica. Overall, beautiful.
Although the soundtrack wasn’t anything special, I believe the direction of the OST was what made the sound as impactful as it was throughout Yorimoi. At first, I didn’t find the opening, “The Girls Are Alright”, to be anything special. As time went on though, I found it ‘Alright’ then started to find it catchy and by the end, I felt something every time this OP played. Now every time I listen to this OP, I feel happy and remember the great experience I had with Yorimoi, it’s very connecting. The ED was always emotional for me and I feel it is largely due to the fact it is sung by the four main characters. Also, each, if not most, episodes end with a happy, resolved ending and when the ED comes up, it just hits you hard in the feels. As for the OST, the great timing of the legendary OST at the right time—Legendary. Every time an emotional scene comes up, the sad music makes it way more emotional. When they’re enjoying their time with each other or a problem is resolved, the happy and inspirational OST kicks in. Every time this happened, I was on the brink of shedding so many tears. Actually, many tears were shedded ;_;. Overall, I think the soundtrack and the timing were extremely essential to my Yorimoi experience.
Characters (10/10): //Might be spoiler-ish//
I’m going to start off by saying that all four of the main characters are very relatable. Their problems are of what regular people would have. The first girl that shows first screen time was Tamaki Mari. She’s a typical high school student who has a typical problem: wanting to make the most of her youth but doesn’t act upon their wants. She feels as if she hasn’t done anything impactful in her life and now that she is in high school, Mari feels must do something before its too late but she is indecisive. Relatable. Kobuchizawa Shirase. Shirase was initially the one to want to travel to Antarctica, in hopes to find her Mother and say “In your faces!” to all the haters who told her it was impossible for a high school girl to travel to Antarctica. All in all, she is the type that doesn’t like to give up, stubborn but is very passionate. Miyake Hinata, the third girl, caught wind of Mari and Shirase’s trip to Antarctica and asked if she could join their journey. Out of all of the characters, she was the most confusing for me, I’m not sure why. However, her problem was that she was essentially thrown under the bus by her friends at school so she quit school, wanting to be alone, and started working at a convenient store. The last girl, Shiraishi Yuzuki, is an idol who doesn’t have real friends, due to the overload of work as an idol, leading her to not understand friendship. They all first come together with a similar problem: Antarctica. Yuzu is being forced to go but Mari, Shirase, and Hinata, who wants to go, cannot. The girls find a way that satisfies their problems and end up going together on this beautiful journey. As the story goes on, each of their problems is slowly being resolved and their friendship becoming stronger as they help each other through tough situations. Overall, the characters are loveable and quite relatable. They all have different problems that they work out in the end. Beautiful.
Yorimoi was such a great adventure and had such a blast experiencing their journey to Antarctica. It showed how the characters had many problems when experiencing something new, something totally different, and how they learned from it and overcome the many problems they experience throughout the process. But in the end, after all these problems, these hardships, they build friendship. They have fun, they experience something new, something memorable that they can look back to just like how we would look back to Yorimoi and think: “Wow, I would love to have my own adventure with people I enjoy being with”. This taught me, through Mari’s eyes, that if you want to do something, if you want to make the most of your youth, act now. Do something extreme. Something you don’t do, either from fear, laziness, or time. Like adventuring. Like Antarctica.
Overall, 9.6. Such a great anime that I wanted to write my first review on. I hope you enjoyed reading this review and are going to watch it right now if you haven’t already. Like RIGHT NOW! I look forward to doing more reviews on great animes like Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho!!
A Place Further Than the Universe was a show I almost skipped out on. I was just starting to get into seasonal anime for the first time. As I perused through the Winter 2018 anime list, I noticed this show. At first, I was going to pass on it, as like most others, it just seemed like an average cute girls slice of life show. But I noticed a little something about it that intrigued me to no end, the promise of an adventure to Antarctica. So I went with my gut, and gave it a shot. This gut feeling turned into total joy at this amazing sleeper hit I had found.
A Place Further Than the Universe (Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho), or Yorimoi, as I will now be calling it, is about 4 girls who decide to go on a nice little trip. And where else would a couple of high school girls rather go than the icy, unforgiving continent of Antarctica? It sounds out of nowhere and downright crazy, doesn’t it? Well, the show soon establishes why each girl wants to go to Antarctica and goes out of its way to show people that it isn’t an impossible dream. I’m going to be honest here, this is absolutely my favorite story told in a slice of life series. The sense of adventure is unlike any series I have ever seen besides the likes of One Piece. It adds so much charm to the narrative, which you can’t find in a lot of series. Not to mention, Yorimoi perfectly balances comedy and emotional moments. The jokes can end up hitting so well, I’m left crying of laughter at the show. But the same goes for the emotional moments, where when they hit, I’m left feeling hopeless and stunned. The show provides us a masterfully interwoven plot, and one I will be praising for years to come.
Madhouse knocked this one out of the park. Yorimoi is absolutely gorgeous. So many amazing directing decisions went into play here. The utterly beautiful, detailed backgrounds, the interesting and varied shots, and the subtleties and fluidity of the animation all make this a treat for the eyes. One of the most visually stunning shows I’ve laid my eyes on. Atsuko Ishizuka (the director of Yorimoi) went all out on this and it really shows in the final product.
The weakest area of Yorimoi but it is by no means bad. The OP “The Girls are Alright!” and ED “Koko Kara” are very memorable (partially due to the visuals). The insert songs, especially “One Step” are quite nice as well. The OST is fine, its nice and peppy, but really nothing to write home about. One may also argue the insert songs are intrusive to the show after a while. I disagree with this statement, as I believe it added to the emotion of the scenes, but if said person got tired of the songs, I could see it having a negative affect. The voice acting on the other hand, is great, with each performance fitting the characters to a tee (my favorite being Kana Hanazawa’s performance of Shirase. Overall, pretty good on the sound department, but not too much to write home about.
One of the main draws to Yorimoi, its fantastic characters. While I don’t think its cast is as godlike as something like K-On, it still has one of the best casts I’ve seen in anime. They all work off each other fantastically. This is mainly because they feel real. Their conversations are the same things that you could easily see real high school girls having. They laugh together and they cry together, but never are their unique and distinct personalities compromised throughout this. Let’s go over each one of the 4 main girls:
Mari Tamaki: The (debatable) protagonist of Yorimoi. Mari (or Kimari, as she’s called) is very vibrant and energetic. Yet, she finds herself feel like she’s wasting her high school years away, doing nothing special with her life. This is why she sets out to go to Antarctica with Shirase after they have their chance encounter. I find Kimari’s reasoning to be the most relatable, as I personally don’t want to go throughout my life doing nothing interesting. Overall, Kimari is a very likable protagonist, but probably the least interesting of the 4 main girls.
Shirase Kobuchizawa: My favorite character in Yorimoi and currently sits comfortably as my 8th favorite character in all of anime/manga. Shirase is quite shy around others, but when with friends, she shows her true colors and opens up as a fun-loving, wild person. She is the one who sets the story into motion, as she is the first of the girls who decides to go to Antarctica. This all stems from her mother, Takako who leaves for Antarctica when she is young, only to disappear and never return. Shirase is determined to go see what drew her mother to Antarctica, and experience what she experienced for herself. Shirase is my favorite as she easily has the most depth of the four. She’s unpredictable, crazy and funny, but also quiet and emotional and that’s what makes her so damn enjoyable to watch.
Hinata Miyake: Between Hinata and Shirase, its hard to pick favorites, but I think I prefer Shirase ever so slightly. This is not to discredit Hinata though, she is still fantastic. She’s vibrant, peppy and acts as the comedic relief for the most part. She joins on this Antarctica expedition on a spur, just because it’d seem fun to her. You think she’d just be the funny character, with little to no depth to her. I thought this for a little while too, but slowly, we learn more about her and her past, and see how many layers there really are to her. We see her struggle with her loneliness from getting outcasted from school. We feel the pain she is going through. We understand her, and that’s ultimately what made her character succeed for me Hinata is definitely the character who grows the most throughout this journey, and for this unexpected depth, I will forever appreciate her character.
Yuzuki Shiraishi: Yuzuki is the most introverted of the gang. She is very shy and it takes a while for her to open up to the other 3. She journeys to Antarctica out of the desire to make real friends and forge real relationships for the first time in her life. Since she was young, Yuzuki has been a celebrity, making her a very busy person. This led to her not having the time to making friends, and even when she did, she never had the time to hang out with any of them, slowly killing thew few relationships she had. Her story really hits home, despite it not being relatable to me personally. I ended up really feeling for her. She got the happy ending she deserved.
That does it for the main characters, but the side cast is also pretty great too. Megumi (Megu) is a longtime friend to our main character, Kimari. She starts out as this boring, uninteresting character, but over time, her true intentions are revealed and you end up sympathizing with her. She just wanted someone to keep by their side and grow up with together, and that’s not really such a bad thing is it? Gin Todo is one of the people who was on the Antarctica expedition where Takako (Shirase’s mother) disappeared. Due to this, she has fantastic interactions with Shirase, and they slowly develop a bond, despite everything in the past that had happened. This is on top of all the fantastic backstory she adds to the show.
Overall, this cast is brilliant, with god-tier interactions, both comedically and emotionally, and is probably the best part of Yorimoi.
I enjoyed this series from Episode 1 all the way to the finale. It never failed to surprise me every episode at its sheer quality and ability to consistently improve each time, whether it be through its wonderful characters, fantastic direction or breathtaking art. Captivating just begins to describe it.
A Place Further Than the Universe is an anime for anyone. Anyone can appreciate its complex characters. Anyone can acknowledge the beautiful animation and direction in it. Anyone can see the love and care put into this. Yorimoi is an inpsiring tale, that has helped to convince me that no dream is impossible (within the plausibility of reality). If you want to do something in your life, GO FOR IT. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from reaching your goals. This is a story I won’t forget for the rest of my life, I’m sure of it.
2: Gintama.: Shirogane no Tamashii-hen
English: Gintama.: Silver Soul Arc
Japanese: 銀魂. 銀ノ魂篇
MAL Score: 8.82
After the fierce battle on Rakuyou, the untold past and true goal of the immortal Naraku leader, Utsuro, are finally revealed. By corrupting the Altana reserves of several planets, Utsuro has successfully triggered the intervention of the Tendoshuu’s greatest enemy: the Altana Liberation Army. With Earth as the main battleground in this interplanetary war, Utsuro’s master plan to destroy the planet—and himself—is nearly complete.
An attack on the O-Edo Central Terminal marks the beginning of the final battle to take back the land of the samurai. With the Yorozuya nowhere in sight, the bakufu all but collapsed, and the Shogun missing, the people are left completely helpless as the Liberation Army begins pillaging Edo in the name of freeing them from the Tendoshuu’s rule.
Caught in the crossfire between two equally imposing forces, can Gintoki, Kagura, Shinpachi, and the former students of Shouyou Yoshida put aside their differences and unite their allies to protect what they hold dear?
Gintama.: Shirogane no Tamashii-hen adapts the first part of the Silver Soul arc, the end game of Gintama. So if you haven’t watched anything related to Gintama yet, this season will not be for you.
Silver Soul continues the story after the Rakuyou’s Decisive Battle Arc (Gintama.).
All the build-up done in the past it’s now coming to it’s climax, we see a lot of early plot elements and characters come back, and becoming relevant once again.
This arc has a lot of action, sad and fun moments blended together without altering the pacing or the story itself. It’s great.
The art has been mostly consisent, but there are some still frames that doesn’t look so good. Nevertheless, the backgrounds and characters design look good.
The animation is good, but not amazing. It’s understandable though, since this arc is realy action-heavy.
There are some new tracks, but it mostly uses the good ol’ soundtrack from past seasons, which is good.
The opening ‘Katte ni MY SOUL’ and ending ‘Hana Ichi Monme’ are catchy, and blend well with the current mood of the series.
Remember how I said the build-up was coming to it’s climax in regard of the story?
The characters are the best thing in the series, in Silver Soul, this is no exception. This arc features a lot of characters from past arcs and it’s done in a really well and realistic way.
All characters have their moment to shine, and this is incredibile rewarding for everyone that watched the series since the very beginning.
Silver Soul continues using the formula of past seasons. There are new gags, while some older ones return.
While sometimes the comedy may be a little “too japanized”, it’s still understandable.
This is arc is the most ‘Gintamesque’ arc of the series, and while it’s not finished yet, the first part of Silver Soul is amazing for every fan that has watched the past seasons, and this is why I love it so damn much. I feel rewarded for watching the series since the beginning.
Thanks for reading my review!
Silver Soul is Gintama arc. The representation that what Gintama is. This seasons shows your goal since the first episode: The blend of comedy and action that represents Gintama. And this is the strong point of this season!
This arc follow Utsuro plot, adding some facts extras that make a more complex development of the events of the war. Enshou wants to destroy the earth because your fury. Utsuro want to destroy he and all, because he is sick of living, but at the same time is sick of human existence. And our protagonists want protect what they love, those they love and the place they love.
Better than last two seasons, this seasons animation has some problems, but this doesn’t change the fact that most of the time the animation is good. The art is more consistent and fights was very good.
Nothing to complain about. This season has the same OST of past seasons. Great.
Several old characters return in this season, this fact creates a nostalgic feeling. Many characters has a great development, as Hata, Elizabeth, Gintoki, Tama, Kintoki, Nobume and mainly NobuNobu, that is becoming increasingly a better character.
Exciting, funny, epic. Simply great!
Gintama is my favorite show. This anime always shows that because is loved for several. Was a very funny season with great characters, good action and story. I hope the same in the Part 2.
Since the end of Gintama: Enchousen, every season of Gintama that has been released has had less quality than the previous one; reaching a point where It has lost its former essence and gets painful to keep watching.
The reasons of why this season is the worst and kills the anime, are these:
1 – Almost all the characters that have appeared in the series (even side characters from 2 or 4 episodes of 350) make cameos and participate in the action, and everyone says a motivational speech a couple of times while fighting. It happened the same in the arc of Shogun’s death, every character gives a speech with sentimental background music; it ruins the mood and gets annoying.
2 – Everyone is overpowerd for the sake of plot twists.
3 – There are a lot of flashbacks, some last half an episode.
4 – Gintoki lost his personality somewhere in the series, and now he is just a guy who yells at people, vomits at people, and tramples hordes of enemies.
He was a young adult with financial problems, drinking problems, gambling problems, diabetes, who cared more for sugar or taking a nap than getting involved with women. Now he has become someone who goes around doing barely nothing.
In my opinion Gintama should have stayed as a full comedy series with ocasional half comedy half serious arcs, and have an open ending; this is just a bad shonen.
In conclusion, I give this series a 6; but I recommend you to watch this. Why?, because you are going to watch it anyway; and is a good way of learning how to kill a good show.
1: Gintama.: Shirogane no Tamashii-hen – Kouhan-sen
English: Gintama.: Silver Soul Arc – Second Half War
Japanese: 銀魂. 銀ノ魂篇 後半戦
MAL Score: 8.88
Second Season of the final arc of Gintama.
Other factors: 9/10
Many Gintama watchers may notice something from the beginning of the story, something many end up disliking. That is the fact that “Gintama has no plot”. The thing is that it doesn’t…. But it does…. But doesn’t. Without spoiling anything, Gintama is a mostly comedic series, only driven by the characters’ actions and development. People will often refer to that as the story itself, which I disagree with. The plot is actually existent within the series, but we can say it happens “off screen”, since the main cast is often not involved with it. The author does however throw out certain plot points and foreshadowing here and there, which later turn into an actual plot. Fans will often refer to the series’ “serious arcs” as the plot, which is valid, since they do tie in with the plot itself. But shortly said: Even though Gintama has almost no plot, watchers still stay for the rest of the content, until the plot actually begins at (surprise, surprise) not episode 1. They way Gintama does it, is brilliant, since even though the plot is to be looked forward to, there is so much else before it that is both appealing and worth watching. Something the plot alone will never justify.
The characters of this series are clearly the strongest points of the series’ quality. Not because the rest is bad (look at my rating), but because they are just so well established. I’ve heard many fans state that “Gintama’s cast will be the most lovable cast of characters you will experience”, and even though many may argue with that, I agree with the statement, since it does make a point. Gintama has a huge cast, with maybe 20+ cast members that you will often see throughout the series, including the three protagonists: Gintoki, Shinpachi and Kagura. Aside from them, you will experience that almost all of the characters will get their own depth and quality, which make them unique and memorable characters. Almost everyone has their own quirks and problems, as well as backstories, experiences and later development. You will often watch them as you laugh at them and with them, as well as cry with them. Each one of them is lovable in their own way, not because you are guaranteed to relate to them, but because how much the author respects and loves them to write them the way they are. I could sit here and ramble on how deep and lovable the main character Gintoki is for instance, and how much his past experiences and present connect to each other to make a good character, but nothing I say any more, can do the characters’ quality justice. If you feel like you don’t like even one of the characters, then I do not know how to defend myself.
This is finally something to complain a little about. The animation in this series has never been particularly good, nor has it ever been horrible. A very episodic series like this has no need for extraordinary or consistently stunning animation like the Fate-series or Violet Evergarden. In comedic and “calm” episodes, the animation is not the main point, since it is the comedy and the short-term storytelling that matters. You can say that intense scenes like battles, duels or chases require good animation for better experience, and that is exactly what Gintama has. Whenever a fight or an intense scene occurs, the animation will always step up (a lot) to make the scene great, but you cannot expect all of the 350+ episodes to have animation like that. Why I did not give the animation higher than 8/10, is because it would be to generous, but I do not complain too much either, since I do not require better animation than I need. If this is a problem to you, I will excuse myself, since this paragraph may have been useless in that case.
I will try to make my points shorter here, so that the paragraph won’t be super long. MUSIC is an important part in a story, but for Gintama, it is not exceptionally good (but not bad at all). The “beautiful” soundtracks do not match with for instance Naruto’s, and the motivational/intense tracks do not match with One Piece’s. However, what Gintama does great, is creating few tracks that are associated with a certain scene or a character. There are a few songs you will hear maybe 2-3 times in the whole series, which you will associate with one powerful scene, which will make a good experience.
THE COLLECTION OF GENRES, is also an important factor that makes Gintama, in my opinion fantastic. It is mostly known for being a comedy series (which it excels in of course), but there is much more to it. You will see many other genres or elements from other genres all the time, since it can go from lung-paining comedy, to touching and calm Slice of Life, to (sometimes) deep and emotional romance, bombastic and exciting action and, not least: Tear jerking and painful drama. All these genres get switched between all the time, and it is made in a way that is not absolutely messy or not understandable, but instead very structured and well-made. That is something many pieces of fiction have a hard time with.
Since Gintama is very episodic, we are bound to enjoy some arcs and episodes more than others. Even though there has never been an episode or arc that I really hated, some episodes end up being a little weaker in both quality and enjoyment. Another complaint is that since the cast is so large, some characters will be a little less developed and more flat. And as said before, as there are characters you will most likely relate to, there are some you will not care about so much, and that is difficult to avoid. But these complaints compared to the rest of the praise do not push the series to a 9/10 for me at all, so the series is still pretty much perfect in my eyes (sorry for being a little biased there).
If you want to start/continue with Gintama, there are things you must remember. This series requires patience, so do not expect it to become a masterpiece right away, but please know that as you go on, you will be rewarded with better and better stuff along the journey. When you finally reach the end, you may think “This series was long, but it was absolutely worth the time”. But to be more straight forward, think of it like this:
The first serious/plot heavy arc (around 5 eps long) arrives somewhere between episode 50 and 60, where many watchers learn what Gintama can be and WILL be except just comedy. But if you still hate the show after episode 87, then I do not know how to defend myself lol. You will se more arcs like these of course, especially in the last 50 episodes. One more thing: since most of the comedy is based around parodies and references from other anime, it will be better if the watcher has some experience with anime and manga beforehand. Having watched between 5 and 10 animes is enough, I feel, so the comedy will become better. If this review helped, I greatly recommend this series, as it is the best anime (in quality) I have ever seen. I wish you a happy journey, and I hope you will enjoy this greatness of a series.
Let’s start with the comedy because that’s the main reason Gintama is so horrible. Gintama is often called “a comedy series without any comedy”, and that’s very accurate. The “comedy” in Gintama consists of colorful bunch of jokes… at least if our color vision is limited to two as practically every joke is either a) a penis joke or b) IT’S a PRank BrO. Be it a gorilla mistaking someone’s dick for a banana or 7 feet long sword ending up inside someone’s anal cavity, Gintama has it all. But don’t worry. It’s all made with self-awareness and 4th wall breaking so it’s very funneh even after 700 chapters and 360 episodes. The parody side is really either a) an excuse to write something absolutely terrible and then claim it was made as a joke, or b) references that are so inaccurate and irrelevant that they could be used in E3’s pressconference. The banter on the other hand is almost as hideous as seen in the movie Deadpool 2, but thank God not as meta. The comedy is so bad and badly timed that even during the more serious and decent moments, it comes there and completely ruins everything the series accomplishes by inserting some dude there who farts or does something equally lame.
The characters are something that could be decent — to be frank, if the characters were a separate entity, they could all be said to be of respectable quality — but the author practically never uses their personalities for their benefit. Almost every single reaction they show is ridiculously, even absurdly overreacted because the author doesn’t trust that his characters’ personalities alone could carry the content and the jokes he presents. The work is filled with moments where characters just yell some nonsense to each others because apparently, acting like overdramatic clowns is much better than actually creating comedy based to their characteristics. The sentence “it’s so damn anime” is pretty much the perfect way to describe how Gintama’s cast works. The only character who gets dealt with the respect they deserve, is Zura, and that’s not enough.
The art is very clever. At least if we consider edgy 10 year old kids who are vandalizing the town by drawing pictures of genitals on every damn thing they see, clever. When it comes to Gintama, I don’t think I have ever seen anyone put so much effort into making every goddamn background object resemble the shape of a penis. Perhaps my favorite part of the art is how often it focuses on puking and blood and assholes and dicks, yet every time these are censored and pixelated so its readers/viewers won’t form a trauma because let’s face it, most of them are also like 10 years old. It’s beyond me how the main content is penis, farts and in generally, dirty jokes, yet they are presented pseudo and aimed for little kids. At least series like South Park went all out with their content and remained loyal to the idea to the very end. Gintama is just censorship aimed for people whose sense of humor was formed in elementary school toilets but never developed it more mature and over the top direction. Gintama is like a person who ages, but never grows up or matures.
As a conclusion: I laughed something like ~50 times during the entire run. Gintama is not a good series. It’s characters are pretty much always used as comedy elements, the jokes get old in 50 episodes (starting from 80 because the first 80 don’t even have any jokes), the writing is often ruined by stupid “gags” to a point that the good things become less good. Every cringe and downright awful piece of writing is justified by it being a parody. “So you’re denying all the good things the show accomplished.” Not really, I am just saying that even the worst of things have good sides in them and just like that, I won’t be praising Gintama for its achievements.
When someone who doesn’t know Gintama asks me to tell the synopsis, I can’t explain it. I’m sure you can’t either.
But on the other hand I can describe my different states: one second I start laughing and crying, the next I cling to my chair, the next I hold my breath, the next second I scream, the next I applaud, the next I want to cry so much because the emotion is so intense. In short, Gintama is a manga that does not leave anyone indifferent.
If Gintama has not lost her sense of humour, this season is barely letting us breathe. When you think Gintama can’t do better, a new twist appears!
The arc where everything makes sense!
Let’s talk about this new arc. For me, it is the arc where everything makes sense. In 15 years, Hideaki Sorachi has introduced us to characters who are all more atypical and marginal than each other. This arc is an opportunity to see all of them again: the ones we love and the others we love a little less and where we always wondered what they could bring to the story (Prince Hata for example).
A new approach to the main character.
In a typical shōnen, we are used to the character being the one who fights the most fearsome antagonist of each arc. And yet! Gintoki may be charismatic and badass, but he will not solve every situation on his own. This arc is a good example of this as he faces the strongest antagonist of Gintama. EVERY character has a role to play and it is together with their strengths and weaknesses that they will succeed in overcoming the challenges. Friendship, common purpose, teamwork are the key words of this season.
Verdict after 15 years:
Gintama has proven over and over again that it belongs among the greatest mangas shōnen. The mangaka masters the art of intensity with sometimes short, very short arcs (less than 10 episodes). So I was afraid when I saw the manga lasted so many years (700 chapters) and embarked on much longer arches. Well, I have to say, I’m speechless. So many plot twists and all of this without pretension with a dose of humour that makes Gintama a unique shōnen.
Bonus: an opening 21 full of emotion…
I invite you to look at it.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Gintama.: Shirogane no Tamashii-hen – Kouhan-sen
2. Gintama.: Shirogane no Tamashii-hen
3. Sora yori mo Tooi Basho
4. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2
5. Grand Blue
6. Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru
7. Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
8. Yuru Camp△
9. Hinamatsuri (TV)
10. Lupin III: Part 5