They’re the best Anime that 2012 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Sword Art Online, Suite Precure?, Zero no Tsukaima F, and more!
10: Sword Art Online
English: Sword Art Online
Japanese: ソードアート オンライン
MAL Score: 7.21
In the year 2022, virtual reality has progressed by leaps and bounds, and a massive online role-playing game called Sword Art Online (SAO) is launched. With the aid of “NerveGear” technology, players can control their avatars within the game using nothing but their own thoughts.
Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed “Kirito,” is among the lucky few enthusiasts who get their hands on the first shipment of the game. He logs in to find himself, with ten-thousand others, in the scenic and elaborate world of Aincrad, one full of fantastic medieval weapons and gruesome monsters. However, in a cruel turn of events, the players soon realize they cannot log out; the game’s creator has trapped them in his new world until they complete all one hundred levels of the game.
In order to escape Aincrad, Kirito will now have to interact and cooperate with his fellow players. Some are allies, while others are foes, like Asuna Yuuki, who commands the leading group attempting to escape from the ruthless game. To make matters worse, Sword Art Online is not all fun and games: if they die in Aincrad, they die in real life. Kirito must adapt to his new reality, fight for his survival, and hopefully break free from his virtual hell.
Since I’ve seen a plethora of scores of 10 for this show, I thought I’d write what I feel is a more realistic review for this show. Sword Art Online is more or less the equivalent of a fanfiction in it’s writing and quality. Whether people want to overlook it or not is up to the individual, but I believe it fails at the fundamentals for writing a good story. This review will go into details as to my opinions on why I feel this way.
1) Story – This is first major problem is the show. Let’s start from the beginning shall we. The first arc consists of 14 episodes. The first 2 episodes are honestly pretty good and set up the plot of the show that should follow. You’re introduced to the main characters and it shows mmo style of play. I mean with 2 episodes that are amazing, surely what follows will be more of the adventures of the main characters and these mmo boss fights…right? Wrong. What follows are 5 completely irrelevant side character episodes and unnecessary terrible time skips that ruin any sense of a story the first 2 episodes set up. So due to some illogical reason, we’re now down to 7 episodes to tell the rest of this story. Still doable right? RIGHT? Wrong again. The series wastes another 2 1/2 episodes on pointless filler garbage. So there you have it over half of first part of the story has nothing to do with the overall plot. Well what about the other episodes you ask? The remaining “plot” episodes are filled with deus ex machina in its purest form. Even the finale of the first season makes absolutely no sense. This isn’t a fantasy world, it’s a freaking video game, you can’t have miracles here. So that concludes my issues with season 1, which the majority of SAO fans consider to be the best part….Yeh you heard me, the 2nd part is even worse.
Without going into spoilers, the 2nd part of the series takes place in a different setting, with a mostly new cast aside from our main hero. This part of the series probably deserves the award for most unnecessary story in the history of anime. This arc is pretty much a mario game. Our hero must save the princess in the castle. Not really much to say about it. Oh yeh deus ex machina finale here too…oh and there’s an incest subplot…for some reason. This concludes the plot section. I think I’m being pretty generous with a 4 here.
2) Art – The art is fantastic. Colorful characters, bosses (the few we see), and settings are all here. It’s easily worth an 8.
3) Sound – Again fantastic. Nothing wrong with it at all. 8.
4)Characters – Here we go…This is easily the worst part of the series. I’ll separate the main characters and lump together the not so main characters.
Kirito/Kazuto – The main character of this show is the epitome of the current definition of a “Gary Stu”. He has no personality whatsoever. He is good at everything he tries for no reason. He’s an amazing player, an super sleuth, a ladies man, and a master hacker. You name it, he can do it. There’s no reason given for this other than he’s just that good. Girls all love him, guys want to be him, and villains are jealous of him. He also solos MMO boss fights…yeh wrap your head around that one. Side note – I often see people claim they love this show because they’re hardcore gamers. I have to say as an avid gamer myself I find this show to be insulting. Unless you’ve hacked or cheated , I don’t understand why you’re content with a character who does. Side note over.
Asuna – The main female lead/most blatant waifu character ever. Asuna is introduced as a strong player who can stand on her own with Kirito, that is for the first couple episodes. Once she reappears she barely does anything other than cook for Kirito. That’s right, her ass stays in the kitchen, while Kirito does all the important stuff. In part 2 she does absolutely nothing…seriously. She again has no original personality…textbook Tsundere.
Yui – This character is terrible in all senses of the word. She’s walking deus ex machina, nothing more. This character should be hated by any gamer, since she’s a cheat device, who adds nothing to the story.
Villains (minor spoilers) – There are 2 major villains in this series and they’re both terrible. The first one forgets his motives for doing everything in part 1 and the part 2 one is so comically evil he can’t even be taken seriously.
Other Characters/ Who the hell cares – The female characters all want to have sex with Kirito and have no personality past this. The male characters don’t get to do anything because Kirito hogs the show from everyone. That’s really all there is to say about that.
Suguha – This is Kirito’s sister. She honestly has layers and was a plus to the show in my opinion. I don’t know why she’s in this show, she doesn’t belong in it…
So yeh, Gary Stu and Waifu – these characters are pathetic (1).
5) Enjoyment – Needless to say I didn’t enjoy it. Poor show (3)
6) Overall – This show has so many fans, and I really don’t know why. Its plot is rushed and terrible. Its characters so flat, it’s almost funny…almost. Its romance is highly misogynistic and terribly developed. I felt insulted watching this, and don’t understand how any could like this show. Even Gamers.
Yes it’s a popular anime, yes it has flaws, no it’s not perfect, but at the very least in my opinion it is enjoyable. The pacing is off, the beginning particularly feels rushed, there were moments where I thought I skipped an episode because of the time skips which made it difficult to really connect with any of the characters in the beginning, and there were some less than stellar instances where it felt like the anime was trying to make me care but failing hard.
Some characters felt to be completely forgotten throughout most of this series too. For example in the beginning we are introduced to a character named Klein who is quickly pushed aside after the first episode and barely seen again and doesn’t really make much of an impact at all on the story later on. This seems to happen a lot throughout this series where there might be some emotional moments where a character dies, or something dramatic happens but there is really no emotional impact from it, and the main character seems to not really care that much about it or it doesn’t really effect anything significantly.
I really felt this series shined from around episodes 4-13 and I wish they would have kept with that pace instead of rushing an ending midway and throwing something new at us. The second half just felt completely unnecessary and forced.
Pushing the negative aside, I found the overall theme and atmosphere of the series to be great, and being an avid lover the MMORPG genre obviously a lot of things in this series appealed to me. I really enjoyed the idea of being stuck in a game that was impossible to escape from without winning and having real consequences, it really made everything much more dramatic and meaningful in the story. Sadly this quickly goes away midway through the plot.
If I had to pick two of the best things this anime did well for me it would probably be the animation and soundtrack. They both were really well done, and honestly without them being as good as they were this series would have gotten a much lower score from me, and when I say I really enjoyed the soundtrack I mean that I loved it, it was superb.
I think what it really comes down was just the fact that I enjoyed watching it. I can look at the flaws and pick the anime apart pretty easily, but those flaws never really stopped me from enjoying this anime.I really do feel though that it had a lot of potential to be a top tier series, it just made far too many mistakes. Looking at it objectively I simply cannot give this anime higher than a 7. It was good because I found it to be enjoyable, but it wasn’t great or amazing.
At the end of the day I watch anime because I want something that will entertain me and keep me interested, and I feel that Sword Art Online did a good job at accomplishing that.
Yes, it’s time for Sword Art Online, the origin of many angry rants.
The premise doesn’t sound too bad. Ten thousand players of a virtual MMO are trapped in the game and forced to complete it to escape, except that death in the game leads to death in real life. Just think about it: this could be a tragic story of struggle where death is behind every corner. A story of sacrifice and despair. A story of alliances and betrayal. A story of the struggle to retain humanity in front of impossible conditions.
…But why have any of that when you can have romance and harem?
That’s right; the survival game is just for show. Don’t expect deep interpersonal or political conflict. Don’t expect psychology or moral dilemmas. Don’t expect tactics or mind games. Actually, don’t expect witty dialogue of any kind.
And that is the biggest problem with this show. It is bankrupt in substance. It’s mostly just uninspired romance and harem, with a bit of action here and there. There isn’t much thinking involved. A few plot holes I could forgive, but if the show isn’t about anything worthwhile, there isn’t much to do. What makes this problem all the more apparent is that the premise promises something entirely different than what it delivers. The show has thrown its hands up in the air and said, “We don’t care.” So why should the viewer?
It doesn’t help that the show has grown infamous for glorifying its protagonist, who in the eyes of many has become the epitome of a Gary Stu. He can defeat anything, he can solve any problem, and he gets all the girls. It’s almost like this show was meant to be a propaganda piece in his favor.
The first two episodes are decent, building up the premise. We are introduced to the protagonist Kirito and the concept of the death game. Soon enough, we are told that a month has passed and two thousand players have died offscreen. …Wait, not even a short montage or anything? Apparently not. Anyway, these two episodes are pretty much the only decent ones, so savor them while you can.
The third episode begins to show more serious problems. We are supposed to form an emotional bond to new characters in a few minutes, and we have to go through over-the-top angst over irrational actions. But there is also optimism in the air; of course we can revive someone whose brain has been fried, right?
What follows is an abrupt leap to harem and romance antics. The next few episodes are about various girls suddenly falling for Kirito, often the same day they met him. This typically involves uncontrollable blushing, fanservice, and people acting Tsundere. You probably get the picture. It doesn’t help that many of these episodes have a very filler-esque feel to them. The main plot ‒ if you can call it such at this point ‒ takes a backseat in favor of these random new girls.
The girl called Asuna, who quickly becomes the token love interest for Kirito, has at least met him before, but there is still very little buildup to their relationship. Unless it took place offscreen. You see, another thing that becomes very noticeable is the pacing. There have been timeskips of months between episodes. This wouldn’t be a problem if these snapshots contained all the events that were critical to the story, but it’s obvious that the author has picked rather boring events out of all the possibilities. Why is it that thousands of people dying is covered in a few lines, while we have to sit through hours and hours of romance and harem? I hate to be beating a dead horse here, but it’s unavoidable because it comes up again in just about every episode.
By now, it has also become obvious to the viewer that Kirito is invincible to the point of tedium. He has a level higher than anyone, the best equipment, and a seemingly endless pool of abilities, but most importantly he always wins. There is sometimes false tension, sure, but you know he will survive anyway. You can only stomach so many clutch survivals before you start rolling your eyes.
The rest of the story arc involves Kirito and Asuna hanging out in the countryside to spend their honeymoon. They even adopt a daughter to portray a typical happy family. The problem is that their relationship is really not that interesting. But “dem feels”! Nah, sorry. I have a heart of stone.
This is followed by a sudden confrontation with the main villain, which Kirito wins because the power of love conquers all. And by that I mean the power of love conquers the programming of the game. Well, okay, maybe there was some “power of love” clause in the code somewhere. It wouldn’t surprise me at this point.
Predictably enough, melodrama ensues. Tears, promises of love, etc. You can probably imagine. At least now we’re done with this show, right?
No, think again, that was only the good part. There are actually 11 more episodes left, and the journey takes us further downhill. We enter another game, this time without the death aspect. Before we get to the plot itself, even at a glance this idea brings up a few problems.
The harsh reality hits you faster than you can say “cashcow.” This second arc feels completely unnecessary. It has been tied into the original story with an overly convenient plot device for no apparent purpose other than stretching it further. At least know to quit while you’re ahead. But no, they just had to drag this show through the mud to rip apart any shred of dignity it had left.
It doesn’t help that there is no death anymore. While this makes the slice-of-life content more fitting, it also removes the established selling point of the show. The change is too abrupt, and the difference in tone is too jarring. If you want to make a slice-of-life of ordinary MMO players, do it from the start.
Now, for the plot itself, and it isn’t pretty. We go straight to a Mario game, by which I mean saving a damsel in distress trapped in a cage. And that isn’t a metaphor; she is quite literally trapped in a cage. Add tentacles and incest to the plot, and you have a winning combination. The incest aspect is provided by Kirito’s sister Suguha, who also provides additional fanservice.
At least now the pacing is less erratic and there is seemingly less development taking place offscreen. It’s just too bad that there is also very little meaningful taking place onscreen. There are some new characters and even an ingame war going on, but it’s all so irrelevant to the main story that it’s hard to maintain interest.
Long story short, Kirito beats the second villain with the help of more deus ex machinas. There are also more tears, promises of love, etc.
So now we’re done, right? For now, yes, but there’s still season 2 to look forward to.
This is technically part of the story category, but I really think it deserves its own section here. You see, the very foundations of the setting make no sense. People in Sword Art Online are too often acting like they are in a normal game, not in a life-and-death scenario.
For instance, why is there so much resentment towards beta testers who have greater knowledge of the game? This isn’t a competition; the faster someone beats the game, the faster everyone gets out. And, similarly, why are beta testers reluctant to share information? Are they so worried about other people using their newfound abilities to kill them for no reason? Look, you can’t have both a casual slice-of-life of MMO players and a grim death game at the same time. Pick one.
This casual attitude becomes more pronounced later on when it becomes obvious people are wasting tons of time with unproductive quests, romance, and just hanging around. Kirito himself spends time on seemingly useless sidequests, and Asuna spends time cooking for him. Come to think of it, why has Asuna wasted points on a useless skill like cooking in the first place? Are these people even trying?
And why are so many players dying when towns are safe zones? Are they stupidly rushing into high-level dungeons? I suppose so. You see, for a grim death game it sure is hard to die in SAO. Bosses won’t respawn, so everyone can advance forward, even weak players. Going from town to town is also easy enough with teleport crystals. Well, okay, there is that problem of challenging people to a duel while asleep, but that can’t take out so many.
There is no lack of critical resources because you can hang out in the safety of towns indefinitely. Sure, exp and money are limited because the regeneration of monsters is limited, which is strange game design itself, but they aren’t necessary if you stay in town. At least, the show never implies that they are necessary. Oh, and for the record, I’m treating the show as self-contained and ignoring the source material.
So why do they die? I’d put my money on rushing stupidly into dungeons because we get to see one notable example.
Let’s imagine you found yourself in the following situation. Before you and your guild are about to enter a high-level dungeon, you learn that one of them lied about his level. Knowing this, you realize you are underleveled and likely to end up dead, while avoiding death and warning the others would be as simple as staying in town.
What would you do? Would you
a) Record a message in advance, knowing that you wouldn’t last long, or
b) Stay in town so that you wouldn’t get killed in the first place?
A tricky one, I admit.
We are also introduced to groups of player killers. Sounds good until you realize this isn’t a normal game. At least, I thought it wasn’t, but it looks like some people didn’t get the memo. In a situation like SAO, there should be no reason for these killings. This isn’t Danganronpa, where the main point of the premise is that you can only escape by killing someone. This is a game where it makes the most sense to team up and beat the game. There is no prisoner’s dilemma; cooperation is the best plan and any sensible person would go for it.
If you kill someone here, you only get some money and equipment. While it may help you beat the game a little faster, odds are that it will only hurt your chances of survival overall. Just off the top of my head, a few reasons:
1) If people start killing each other, it obviously increases the risk of dying yourself, both in retaliation and spontaneously.
2) Killing people reduces manpower needed for beating the game, and the distrust that follows will make it even slower. You could only kill useless low-level players, but they probably don’t have much money or good equipment to begin with.
3) There is the chance that you will land murder charges if you escape from the game and officials find out.
Actually, does the equipment even help that much? Kirito seemingly uses the same equipment for long periods of time, yet he is practically invincible. On the other hand, he does say that equipment can be worth many levels, so did he get the best stuff for himself so fast? Is it strange game design or cheat codes? It’s anyone’s guess.
Of course, if you have little interest in beating the game, killing other players makes more sense, if only a little. I suppose getting more money can help you obtain some luxury items, but is it worth the risk? The implied reason is that they are killing people for laughs, but why did so many murderous psychopaths decide to log into this MMO on its opening day? Is this some kind of stab at gamers, saying that they are unable to distinguish between real violence and fake violence? Maybe, or the author forgot that this isn’t a normal MMO. Again.
So is it a legit plan to stay in the virtual world for the rest of your life and give up on getting back to the real world? If so, it would explain a lot. While the range of pastimes in there is smaller than in the real world, maybe there is enough for some people.
The choice between staying in relative happiness in a virtual world and risking your life returning to the real world could have been an interesting one. Unfortunately, their bodies are deteriorating in real life, which makes the choice very one-sided. For some reason, Asuna has to point this out to Kirito because apparently the state of his real-world body had never occurred to him over the course of two years. Yeah, good job, Kirito, you sure were fast on the uptake. Lying down on the grass and having a carefree nap doesn’t sound so smart anymore, eh?
Finally, why are virtual MMOs still legal after the SAO incident? Sure, the new hardware is supposedly safer, but the previous death trap must have equally passed through “strict” government examination, so who in their right mind would trust them? And even if we assume it is safe, since when has people’s hysteria hinged on facts? People fear new technology even when it’s harmless, let alone when a massive incident like this happens. There would be mass protests in the streets in favor of banning them.
You may have noticed that I have only mentioned three characters by name so far. For some other show, this might be because the cast is so vast that there is no time to go through them all, but here it’s rather that there are very few characters worth mentioning. Kirito, and by extension Asuna and Suguha who are defined by Kirito’s character, hog practically all of the screentime.
Everyone else gets thrown under the bus. Girls only exist to fall in love with Kirito, and males only exist to be inferior to him. The villains in particular only exist as fodder to the guy.
I have barely touched on Kirito’s personality. Well, blame the show, not me; it should at least be willing to meet me halfway. We know very little about him, other than being invincible and inexplicably good with the ladies. Essentially, he is the manliest man on the planet.
That’s pretty much all he is. Even his dialogue ends up pretty bland. There are no witty insights, no clever jokes, no skillful word games. Much of his dialogue consists of saying that the world is a virtual one, explaining game mechanics, wishing to save everyone, or loving someone forever. The sort of stuff you’d expect from a cardboard cutout hero in a situation like this.
It can be a facepalm-worthy experience to witness girl after girl falling for Kirito like nothing, often the same day they met him. The show endlessly drills into the viewer that he is the sexiest man alive… for some reason. I get that rescuing people can give you points in their eyes, but come on now. I can only assume there is a hidden manliness stat and his black jacket comes with a +999 boost.
As far as his invincibility goes, the win streak by itself isn’t the biggest problem. The problem is that he always wins through brute strength. That is to say, his character skills and stats. There are no tactics worth mentioning, no psychology, no politics, no thinking whatsoever. He will just go out there and pull off his generic action hero stunts. Sure, developing those skills and stats may have required some tactical thinking. Maybe he has optimized his skill tree or has amazing grinding strats. In theory. We see no hints of it. It all happened offscreen and offscreen doesn’t count. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t.
To add insult to injury, some of Kirito’s abilities are completely forgotten later on. I’m sure that health recovery thing would have come in handy any number of times. And when even his skills and stats aren’t enough, he is saved by plot armor at the last second.
It’s also a mockery of MMOs in the sense that Kirito is able to solo raid bosses. And he is able to attain a level higher than anyone despite playing solo, supposedly because he doesn’t have to split the exp. His most unique ability is revealed to be… *drumroll* dual-wielding, which nobody else is allowed to do in this game. This doesn’t sound like any MMO I know of, or was the idea to portray a player with god-mode cheats on?
I’m seriously thinking that the show would have been a lot more tolerable if Kirito alone had been replaced by one of the side characters. It still wouldn’t have been a masterpiece or anything, but at least the Gary Stu accusations could have been avoided.
She is about as bland in personality as Kirito. She is also portrayed as fairly powerful for no substantial reason but of course nothing compared to him. As time passes, her most notable trait becomes being a textbook Tsundere.
…Well, that was fast. Moving on.
As mentioned earlier, her main role is providing fanservice and a tacked-on incest subplot. It’s simply another element thrown into the plot for cheap shock value, if anyone is still shocked by incest in anime nowadays.
The first villain barely appears, and his motivation for trapping the players is vague, to say the least. He basically did it out of personal interest. He wanted to create a virtual world where death has meaning like in the real one, but as for why he was interested in the idea, he forgot. Err, alright then. Moving on.
The second villain is pathetic and a disgrace to antagonists everywhere, coming across as a cartoon villain who does evil things for the sake of being evil. The conflict here is portrayed as completely black-and-white, just in case someone had sympathy for the guy, as unlikely as that is.
His main focus is essentially raping a comatose girl. And that is over obtaining tons of cash, presumably in the millions. If he had left the girl alone, he probably would have got away with it, so for all intents and purposes, he chose raping a girl over millions in cash. Talk about priorities.
Come to think of it, it’s already ridiculous that the family of the comatose girl is planning to have her marry the guy. I mean, she is in a coma. As in unconscious, unable to state her own intentions, etc. Where are child protective services when you need them? Thankfully, the law disagrees, so they can’t apply for an official marriage. Instead, he’ll be adopted by her family as their son in spirit… Wait, what?
Furthermore, his sheer incompetence is mindboggling. He openly explains his evil plans and his security is practically at Dr. Evil level, up to entering a secret keycode in plain sight so that the prisoner can see. Thankfully the government and his company are equally incompetent and are not monitoring his research group closely despite its reliance on infamous technology used in SAO. Are these the same people who deemed the new tech safe? If so, I’d like a second opinion. I wouldn’t trust these people to operate Angry Birds, let alone a virtual MMO with potential health risks.
So this is where the money went. The backgrounds look nice but cheap fanservice scenes not so much.
Not too bad either. The soundtrack and opening and ending songs work pretty decently, and the voices are also alright.
Funnier than I was expecting but for the wrong reasons. There is something earnest about how the show is trying to portray escapism and human relationships, but it falls just short enough to create a dissonance.
Watch it to witness the writing yourself. But more importantly, by watching the show you can better understand the reviews or, better yet, write one yourself.
9: Suite Precure
Japanese: スイート プリキュア
MAL Score: 7.27
Major Land is a colorful world of music where instruments and notes come to life. During an annual concert event, Hummy, the cat songstress of Major Land, prepares to sing the “Melody of Happiness,” capable of spreading happiness to worlds beyond. However, Mephisto, the king of Minor Land, interrupts the event and rewrites the score into the “Melody of Sorrow”—a dissonant composition that would instead cause despair when performed. In order to prevent this from happening, Hummy is tasked with finding the Precure, renowned warriors with an unmatched passion for music, and recreating the Melody of Happiness.
Hummy arrives in Kanon Town, home of musically-inclined athlete Hibiki Houjou and studious baker Kanade Minamino. Engaging only in endless bickers, Hibiki and Kanade were formerly best friends and have since fallen out of touch. Their activities are stopped short by an unwelcome guest—the songstress of Minor Land, Siren.
When Siren turns an important record into a gigantic monster, the girls’ hearts resonate with the desire to protect what they hold dear and the two transform into the Suite Precure! As legendary warriors, Hibiki and Kanade will have to put their personal squabbles aside if they wish to protect the happiness of the world.
I, for one, can certainly say it’s not.
Those who are familiar with the Precure franchises know that the plot definitely reused to an extent. Bad guy from another world gets sealed up, servants of said bad guy attempt to revive them by stealing emotions from the real world, and the legendary warriors Precure are called upon to protect these two worlds and eventually defeat the evil entity. Essentially, Suite follows this formula for it’s main plot, but that’s not the only thing that happens in this story.
Suite actually has a very strong arc, which thankfully, is the very first one that occurs in the series. The Siren arc, which is similar to Setsuna’s villain redemption arc in Fresh is definitely the highest point in the series in terms of plot. The internal and external conflict with Siren and her own emotions is very intriguing and well-done. This also gives the show a stronger foot to work off of seeing as the beginning can be a turn-off for some people. (which I’ll get to in a bit) The music theme in the show is also very well-played, and hell, even relatable. The messages that music has the ability to give people strength and make them stronger is definitely not an exaggeration. All throughout the show, that theme is very prevalent and never wasted, another big plus.
Although, a big flaw with the wonderful Siren arc is the fact that the other arcs seem to pale a bit in comparison to Siren’s. For example, while the Cure Muse arc is shrouded around mystery, the interactions with Muse along with her development and acceptance with the other girls feels quite a bit rushed and not nearly as well written. The ending also seems to spin a bit around in circles in terms of trying to defeat the big-bad. Though I still see the ending as a very strong way to send off the series. Seeing the girls fight the bad guy and letting out their own past feelings and experiences, talking about and remembering how they were before and how happy they feel now that they’ve found each other was a very strong and powerful moment. The ending is able to get across its feelings of inner strength and happiness without resorting to melodrama or crying, just by speaking out their true feelings. And boy, does it work well.
If plot isn’t Suite’s biggest strength, than what is? Well, that’s an easy answer — the characters, their interactions, and most notably their development. I believe Suite had some of the best character development and growth in terms of Kanade and Hibiki. The two girls start off on bad terms after a (very silly and avoidable) misunderstanding a few years back. Due to their constant bickering after becoming Precure together, it’s very easy to get aggravated and annoyed by all the fighting that goes on. Thankfully though, Suite does a marvelous job of putting in subtle development as these two girls learn and grow with each other.
As the episodes go on, you can see it. You can see Hibiki not doubting Kanade as much when she’s being tricked by the villains to lose faith in her friend. You can see them beginning to understand each other more and start to help each other becoming better warriors and friends as opposed to bickering all the time. Watching the two girls learn from their past mistakes and becoming even closer than they were before is simply amazing, and something I heavily applaud Suite for. It definitely handles its two main girls well.
Though the great characters don’t stop there. Siren’s redemption is a very intriguing thing to watch. Seeing her own internal conflicts, even after becoming a Precure with the other girls just felt very realistic and was concluded in a beautiful way. While Cure Muse may not have as strong character development as the other girls, she too had a sympathetic and nicely played out arc, even if it was rushed and concluded in a very hasty way. Her own willpower and strength to get back what she lost is an admirable thing, especially for the young girls watching this.
Being a music themed season, the show definitely excels in its OST. The OP theme is especially refreshing since it has more of a rock feeling as opposed to the more J-Poppy feelings of the other seasons. The soundtracks played are well-fitting for both the slice of life moments in the show and the intense emotional battles that occur. The ED themes are a bit more generic and not as memorable, though aside from that the soundtrack and overall music in the show is solid. Artstyle and animation wise, to put it bluntly, looks gorgeous. The girls’ designs are appealing to people who aren’t a fan of the large round eyes that Precure is infamous for, and oh god, those transformation sequences. While not as dynamic as some may prefer, the backgrounds in them and the music that plays during them is simply breathtaking. Suite’s transformations are the ones that you really dont’ want to skip on, no matter how long they are. Fight scenes are pretty nice to watch too. Not too amazing but not that underwhelming (usually) either.
While I wouldn’t call Suite the best Precure season, it definitely feels as they did put nearly as much effort in this one as they did in other well-received seasons such as Heartcatch or Fresh. It’s hard NOT to come to that conclusion when you see all the time put into the characters and their personalities and development throughout the run of the show. While Suite definitely isn’t without its flaws, like the reused plotlines, silly reason for conflict between the two main girls, and weaker arcs that occur after the first, its safe to say that its positives outweigh the negatives that it has.
“Suite Precure” is definitely one of the seasons that I would recommend to people who want to get into Precure, and overall is a very heartwarming and nicely written show for both the younger and older audience alike. Don’t always listen to what the fanbases have to say. I know if I did, I would’ve missed out on a lovely and well-put together season, one that I definitely don’t regret watching.
For me, Suite Precure was the most promising Precure season up their time. I really liked the chemistry between the two main girls and I liked how the visuals felt more Precure than the previous season. Not only that, but the girls to me felt that they had more personality than most of the previous Precure’s.
However, the last 12 episodes ruined what was being a very enjoyable show to me. When the final precure’s identity was revealed, it broke the dynamic of Suite Precure as a season. The anime created a perfect oportunity to have the climax of the story but instead decided to backtrack and drag itself for 12 more episodes. Even the final showdown with the “last boss” (using videogame language here) took twice as long of what it should have. I also disliked the way it ended.
A few extras I would like to mention is how this was the 1st Precure season where I felt the casting should’ve been better for some characters and there’s plenty of inconsistencies in regular human behaviour when they witness talking cats. Sometimes they freak out, other times they don’t care.
All things considered, it’s a painful 6/10 for me because of the wasted potential.
The plot of Suite Precure is simple, but, again, it’s a show for children. You can’t really expect anything incredibly complex in a children’s show. Basically, Hibiki and Kanade need to learn to trust each other and get along so they can fulfill their roles as Precure, and so they can collect all of the notes to complete the melody of happiness. Simple and straightforward. They have numerous run-ins with the bad guys (Trio the Minor and Seiren), who try to trick the girls and turn them against each other. In a lot of these situations, I wanted to say, “Come on, just talk about it!” but, while it seemed obvious to me that the solution was to talk about why they were upset, it probably doesn’t seem as obvious to the younger viewers. It also wouldn’t be as interesting to the target audience if the girls just talked about their problems and moved on.
I can understand why other people seem to have a problem with the whole “sad music vs. good music” theme in the show. Happy music isn’t the only music that is good, and sad music can be just as enjoyable as happy music. However, do you really expect kids to get something like that? I’m sure older kids can understand that, but for the target audience, something like “happy vs. sad” is easiest to understand. As the children get older and listen to a wider variety of music, they’ll come to that realization on their own, that happy music is not the only kind of music that people can enjoy.
I think the music is great, but I’d certainly expect an excellent soundtrack from a show that uses music as its main focus. There is a variety of background music that fits the scenes well, and the instrumentation is varied. The transformation music is really upbeat and catchy, and the background music for the attacks is great as well. I’ll admit that I’m not experienced in critiquing music, but I’ve really been enjoying the music in Suite.
I really like Hibiki’s and Kanade’s characters. Hibiki is the tomboyish, sporty type, while Kanade is more studious and enjoys baking. Hibiki is goofy and silly at times, but serious when needed, and Kanade can be quite stubborn and assertive, especially when Hibiki is being particularly dense. The way they interact really reveals a lot about how close they are, even early on when they spend a lot of their time arguing with each other. As the story progresses, they argue less and are able to spend more time together as true friends. I’ve really enjoyed seeing them interact, from the time when they argued all the time to now, when they’re getting along well. There have been many moments that have just made me go, “Awww! :D”
Hummy is dense. There’s just no arguing that. I think she can be a bit annoying at times, but I think that has more to do with her ultra mega high-pitched voice than her actual character. I think she was purposely made extra dense in order to contrast with Seiren’s calmer, more calculating personality. Hummy and Seiren play off of each other quite well; sometimes it almost feels like I’m watching a comedy routine. The mini-arc about their past together in Major Land, how they became friends, and how Seiren turned against Hummy, was rather well done, in my opinion.
Trio the Minor is basically your group of evil underlings who are actually just a bunch of derps. They’re goofy, they sing when it’s not really necessary, and their plans always fail. They make me laugh. Mephisto does too, as he’s also goofy. I’ve read complaints from people, saying that they don’t like Mephisto because he’s not threatening at all, but I think that’s the point. Considering what’s happened in the past few episodes (29+), I don’t think he’s the “ultimate evil”, so to speak. There’s someone, or something, above him, and THAT’s what’s going to be truly threatening…or, as threatening as something can be in a children’s show, anyway. I could be wrong, but that’s just what I think.
I’d say my main problem is that I feel like the “mystery” of Cure Muse has gone on for long enough. Who is she? I don’t know, just tell us already! I feel like they’ve already made her true identity very clear, but I’m saying that as an adult who can draw conclusions more quickly than the average child can. The younger viewers are probably still completely puzzled, and eagarly awaiting the moment when Cure Muse’s true identity is officially revealed.
I like the bright, vibrant art style in Suite. Everything is colorful and eye-grabbing, even the bad guys. The transformation scenes are pretty, and, for those who are concerned that they’re “too long”, they do get cut down eventually. The attack scenes are also very impressive, visually. The animation generally feels smooth, and I haven’t noticed too many “lol quality” scenes. The ending themes are really cool, too, with their 3D/CG animated dance sequences. I actually watch the ending each time, instead of just skipping past it like I usually do with most other series! It’s definitely an interesting and different approach. (I know Suite wasn’t the first Precure season to use 3D/CG animated endings, though.)
My overall enjoyment of Suite Precure is very high. Maybe I’m biased because this is the first Precure season I watched, but I love it, flaws and all. It’s light-hearted and it makes me laugh. I really look forward to watching each week’s episode. Suite may be unpopular with the general Precure fanbase, but I think it’s great.
8: Zero no Tsukaima F
English: The Familiar of Zero F
MAL Score: 7.48
Saito Hiraga and Louise Fran?oise Le Blanc de La Vallière go on the offensive after the events of Zero no Tsukaima: Princesses no Rondo. Together, they face off against King Joseph in the Holy City of Romalia with the help of two others who control the power of the “void.” But in the midst of the many conflicts ahead of them, an ancient evil begins to stir in the shadows.
Will their close bonds blossom into something more or will they be shattered through the ever increasing difficulty of the tasks that they must undertake? Zero no Tsukaima F follows the story of Louise and Saito as they face their final challenges together.
I’ve scored the three previous season to 7, mainly because it was repetitive, and there was not this thing that embraces your mind and take you to an other world.
And then, I’ve watched this season, the final one. And it is perfect. Louise is becoming more and more mature, even if she keeps her tsundere style which is still funny (although it annoyed me a lot of times, but hey, it’s who she is after all). For Saito, it’s approximatively the same, he’s growing too, and we really see their relationship evolving…
About the scenes, there is a lot more romantic scenes than before, which is wonderful because their kind of different from the previous season, there is something that makes you feel good, and you’re happy for them too in some way.
Since I was also obsessed by the magic scenes with void magic and all that, you should know that there’s also a LOT more of these scenes, and I found that they were much more impressive.
I’m also noticing the OST which is just full of epicness (special note for the song “Passion” which I’m listening right now).
I think they did a really good work, this season embraces the whole series, and every episode makes you feel wonderful and the two final episodes are just so much awesome that you can’t accept it is already over, and then you see how it was just a nicely dream in which you will go back someday…
So about the story.. heh. If you have seen the previous seasons, you’ll have a pretty good idea what happens. Some stuff happens, maybe some random fanservice here and there, filler episodes randomly thrown in out of nowhere, a problem occurs and is solved with usually an unrealistic solution that probably has some plot holes. And by plot holes, I don’t mean “look very deep into the anime” ones, I mean “wtf how did they just do that it didn’t make any sense at all” kind of plot holes. It takes the fantasy genre to a whole new level and again, not in a good way (SPOILER example: Saito stealing a fighter jet from a military base in 2 seconds). Some of it can be attributed to the fact that the majority of the season was rushed but all in all, they really did not need some of the fillers; it was just a waste of time. If you’re one of those people that like to have an intricate plot with plenty of BAM moments, this is not the anime for you. The plot is lackluster and very predictable. The ending was a perfect example of this. Personally, I thought the ending was very predictable but it fits the anime. Having said that though, ZnT is NOT about the story. If you have been watching this for the story, then I got news for you, choose something else to watch. The story here is just there to have at least some “meaning” between each episode, nothing special.
Al-right, the characters. The characters are again, nothing special. An abusive tsundere, some boobs, some more boobs, and a loli. This anime throughout the seasons has shown no character development, Louise and Saito were supposedly married at the end of season two but Saito is still an indecisive guy and Louise still blows him up. Usually this would lower the score as dynamic characters are always good but the thing is, it’s what the anime is known for. This is why most people have continued to watch though the seasons. Sure, Saito will piss you off every time he ogles some girls breast because he completely lacks self-control or some other stuff that ticks you off. The non-changing character foils that have been constant throughout all four seasons is the selling point of this anime. You don’t watch this to see some well thought out strategy like Death Note or the plain awesomeness of Steins;Gate, you watch this too see Saito getting blown up by explosions and the tsundere Louise being her usual self and the relationship between them. I will have to say that it will probably get tiring if you watch this in one go.
The sound doesn’t really do much considering most of the BGM is just reused from the previous seasons. In some cases, it certainly does help set the mood and I loved how they reused one of the openings during one of the final episodes. The energetic OP also adds towards the enjoyment of the anime; it fits the mood. Though the EP isn’t bad, the usage of it is certainly questionable in some cases. Something some by Rie Kugimiya doesn’t really fit certain situations if you know what I mean.
The art wasn’t really exceptional and doesn’t take away from the anime itself. Not much to comment on this as it doesn’t feature any special art style. The battle scenes were too short in my opinion.
I’m a Louise fan so this is probably biased but I really enjoyed the series overall. If I was to use by biased score, this would be a 10/10 just because I’m a huge Louise fan. That’s kind of the thing with this anime, either you’ll hate the characters (I don’t think many people expected much out of the story anyways) or come to love em. The story was really annoying at certain points because of the number of episodes that were just pointless. They could have easily just spent a couple of minutes or not even included certain parts (really didn’t need a episode dedicated towards the crowning of a queen) of the anime. The ending however, was probably the saving grace for this anime. I personally value a conclusive ending opposed to some random harem ending. Overall, I think that this season manages to set up the end of the series only leaving some minor plot holes. Watch this with a grain of salt in mind.
Feedback is appreciated as this was my first review.
On this season, there’s just two stories to follow, the mission that the queen Henrietta gave both to see what the Pope wants from them and the other story is the finally growing relationship between Louise and Saito, finally there’s not hate-love between them, but more love, more romantic and that was good after a step back in season three.
Art & Animation
The art and animations really improved, it was colorful and brighter, and smooth, it was the best of the four seasons, the overall was very good.
The sound was the same, with little changes but still was good.
Finally they developed Louise and Saito, and it was a big improvement, the other characters weren’t behind on improvement neither, finally we get to know more a lot of their background, overall it was very good.
The only season that i enjoyed a lot and wanted every season to be like this, because i felt like they restarted and improved everything on a good way, the ending left me wanting more, because they finally are together and trusth eachother and i liked how Louise changed from being the kind of tsundere that i hate to a calm tsundere like Taiga when she was with Ryuuji.
7: Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II
English: Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II
MAL Score: 7.52
Taking advantage of the opportunity that the Mikawa Conflict provides, Tori and his comrades attempt to rescue Horizon from the Testament Union. But even as the Floating City Musashi speeds towards its next destination, the Floating Island England, Tres Espa?a is preparing its own armada for war against the British Islanders. Now, as the quest of Horizon’s emotions builds to its climax, Tori’s new battle is about to begin in the land ruled by the Fairy Queen! The reenactment of the history described in the mysterious Testament continues as the secret of the Armor of Deadly Sins is unleashed in the spectacular second season of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere!
(Source: Sentai Filmworks)
Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere is an adaptation of a light novel of the same name. The premise is that Musashi (the main ship or the protagonists of our story), is trying to recover the emotions of P-01s, aka Horizon Ariadust, as they were taken from her to create WMDs. However, Musashi is not considered a world player in this setting, because they’re simply exiles from Japan, who are being watched by the Testament Union, who “guides” the world by making sure that history is reenacted.
This premise sounds pretty confusing, and admittedly it is, due to the insane depth of universe. There are a LOT of terms and truthfully, a language system (it’s Japanese, with a few quirks), that you have to get used to. The result of this though, is a sci-fi / fantasy epic that I don’t think even Kinoko Nasu could hold a candle to.
The show (in my opinion) is heavily dialogue driven (remember, this is a show about historical reenactment, but reenactment comes through interpretation). There will be some pretty intense dialogue scenes as a result, since the premise of the show pretty much requires some sort of politics.
However, the action (e.g., fights) are not skimped on at all (ever seen a city-ship do a backflip?) The characters are all interesting, with their own quirks, and even seemingly minor characters are explored and play a role in the story. The animation is excellent, with an amazing soundtrack to boot (it’s great in season 1, and just awesome in season 2).
Admittedly Horizon isn’t a show for everyone, but if you’re willing to get through a little exposition (about 5-6 episodes of season 1), you’re in a for a real treat, (what I believe to be the best action show in years).
Looking forward to season 3 and beyond!
Yay, my first review!
Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II, an interesting anime to say the least. After watching the first season, I came into Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II with average expectations, and in the end was rather pleased with the second season.
As with the first season, the story of Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II can be very confusing at times. It has a futuristic setting, yet at the same time mixing in historic and fantasy elements, and the shows on story can be pretty convoluted in itself at times, leaving people a bit conflicted on it at times. Not to say its bad though, far from it. Once you understand (or for some people, look past) most of the plot and back-round, you have a unique and different story the likes of which I (personally at least) have not seen before.
Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II also does very good in the romance department, not just for the main protagonist but for quite a few of the supporting cast as well, which is something I really enjoyed. Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II also, like its predecessor, brings some interesting elements I haven’t seen much in other anime to the table, such as the political negotiations. Some people wont enjoy those moment, but others like myself will find it quite interesting.
The humor in Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II is also a high point, and it usually pulls it off rather well. Some people wont like it as a lot of is humor tends to be ecchi based, but usually it isnt too heavy and knows its place (although there are some exceptions) The humor can also be quite random (especially concerning the main protagonist) which a lot of people don’t like, but others will enjoy.
In the end I’d say the whole Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon series kind of a hit or miss, and it hit for me.
Now I’m no artist, so I wont have too much to say here. The art was very well done, with fluid action scene’s that didn’t seem to cut to many corners. Character design is varied, and the use of what I believe to be CG during the air ship battle’s is well done. (not sure if it really is CG, so don’t quote me on that) In the end I was very satisfied by the artwork and found it better than a lot of the other stuff out there.
A high point for the series. Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II has some great tracks and really knows how to set the mood. The soundtrack really riles you up and draws you into the action, and can also wind down for soft, emotional scene’s. I enjoyed the OP and ED, but it’s nothing spectacular. There is one thing I have to give special attention to though, that being Horizons singing. It is BEAUTIFUL, and I loved listening to it every time. They know when to have her sing, and when she does its amazing.
This is another high point of the series. The Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon series features a wide array of varied cast members, and the second season does not fail in that aspect. The show gives time to develop or focus on different characters, and sometimes even introduce and add more cast members. For a large part of the second season Tori and Horizon actually stepped out from the spotlight to make room for other members of the cast. For instance although more of a backround character in the first season, Tenzou plays a much bigger role in the second season which I really enjoyed. Other times characters come into the limelight for a few episode’s before swapping places with others, and some are just there for the random hilarity. (such as nenji the slime or that random curry guy)
As stated before, romance plays a pretty big part in this series, and is even one of its main driving forces as with Horizon and Tori. The whole Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon series knows how to do romance well, and I was never really disappointed with it. It even shows you the romantic situations with supporting caste members such as Gin and Muneshige, Tenzou and Mary, and the two witches (although sometimes they kind of weird me out, not gona lie) And lets not forget those two students and the ghost kid, their just too cute! xD
One thing needs to be mentioned though, that being the main protagonist Tori. Many people find him obnoxious, and I myself have to agree at times. He literally never stops smiling, which isn’t really a bad thing per se, but he could have been a better protagonist if he took things more seriously sometimes. I mean, he can be serious, but not frequently enough. I’m not going to start hating him as a character, I mean the show wouldn’t be what it is without him, but he could have been done better. On the other hand, maybe this is all building up to some epic climax where he DOES get serious, that would actually be pretty awesome.
In the end I enjoy Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon series for what it is, a convoluted plot with a wide variety of cast members with well done romance and whacky humor. The style of the fighting really hit my sweet spot and the the end I find myself really enjoying this series and cant wait for future seasons.
Overall I think I’ll give Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II an 8. It hit a sweet spot for me with the action, frequent and well done romance, and a well done sountrack. In the end I find myself comparing this series to Gurren Lagann. It can be whacky at times, but it has a lovable cast with action and a soundtrack that really grabs you and takes you on a ride if you can get into it. Others, unfortunately, will be left behind, unable to either understand or look past the convoluted story line, randomness, and its lack of seriousness at time’s. I myself, cant wait for more seasons, and at this speed this series is going I expect 2 or 3 more.
All in all this whole series is rather hit or miss. Those who dont wont be able to look past its randomness and whackyness, or maybe wont be able to look past or understand its convoluted plot. If you CAN, however, I believe you will thoroughly enjoy yourself with this anime, finding an unique plot, a wide variety of lovable characters, a good soundtrack that really gets you engaged, awesome battle scenes, and very well done romance.
I hope this review helped whoever is curious about this anime.
Like season 1, this sequel takes place in a fantasy world, a world of politics, war, and excitement. The cast is still there with Tori who plays the usual fool. He’s the guy who is naked nearly the entire series but finds himself at ease especially with his friends and the person he cares about the most, Horizon. But let’s not forget the other characters in the series. Take for example, Tenzou Crossunite, the guy with the strange hat of a personality. Tenzou has a perverted personality but a heart of gold as he puts his life at risk for the well being of others. He gets a ton of screen time in this sequel and for a big breasted woman that he falls in love with. It’s the greatest romance story ever told. Well, that’s an exaggeration but it does have its flavors.
At any rate, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II (also known as Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II) is the direct sequel of the original series. If you never seen the prequel, then you might get a lot of WTF moments and I mean that literally.
Right from the beginning, there is a battle between the main ship’s crew and a bunch of baseball player wannabees. The main cast returns to battle against many of these enemies particularly four elites who executes their powers in their own rights. Many characters participates in the thrilling action that results in a dramatic yet entertaining fight. It doesn’t really make much sense at times especially with some of the most egoistic speeches coming from some of the cast characters. Yet, I find it entertaining because Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere does what it does best: delivering entertainment.
Despite all the humor going around (more than just Tori’s nakedness), there is some emotions as well. Tenzou struggles throughout the latter half of the series not only physically but mentally as he attempts to save a woman that he loves. The romance is very peculiar as it’s not the usual shoujo type or the “love at first sight” but rather based on mutual respect, affection, and a sprout that bloomed into love.
The other characters that are part of the cast seems to be everywhere. Some of them doing the battles, others finding time to regroup, while a certain individual questions about the meaning of “sex”. Speaking of which, the female characters retain their appealing designs with those melon-sized boobs and mechanical structures. The unusual designs of the maid costumes, military uniforms, and some of the nakedness are presented throughout the series. In fact, Tori is naked nearly every episode except some final moments when he realizes that the show is about to end.
The artwork of the series still retains its generic design. It looks like more of the modern computer generated graphics than hand drawn but otherwise looks just so-so. There isn’t much to say on the art itself since everything remains the same from the prequel. The science fiction aura that it gives off is there with its architectures, space vehicles, and mecha warfare. The backgrounds still has its natural feeling of the futuristic style courtesy of Horizon.
On the other hand, music is what made this series epic. By epic, I mean it’s like sound vibrations having sex with your ears. Well, that’s a bit exaggerating but it gets the point through. The soundtrack of the prequel and this sequel, Horizon II, presents a catchy score that mixes in techno, emotional, and those action ost you can only listen to in this series. The OP song, “ZONE//ALONE” is executed well that shows many of the montages of the cast of characters and their excitement of lusting for battles. Minori Chihara (Horizon of the Middle of Nowhere I, Busou Shinki, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu) performs the opening song once again that presents some thrilling sound vibes.
All in all, Horizon II is one of the strangest series I’ve ever seen such like the original. It gave me more of those “wtf” moments than nearly every show that I’ve watched so far this year. And by “what the fuck”, there is no question mark to it because the reaction is exciting. The flaw I do see in Horizon and this sequel is that perhaps the story is a bit too blend, nonexistent, and just thrown into pieces scattered across…everywhere. The story is naked (blend) like Tori and still “in the middle of nowhere” that has a weak exposition. If you can ignore that part though, this sequel is an exciting watch especially those looking for an action packed adventure.
6: Shakugan no Shana III (Final)
English: Shakugan no Shana: Season III
Japanese: 灼眼のシャナIII –Final–
MAL Score: 7.53
Yuji disappeared the fateful night he was supposed to choose between a life combating evil by Shana’s side or as a normal teenager. He returns from near-death to lead the Crimson Denizens in a dubious plot to bring peace to the universe, but Shana isn’t fooled. In an explosive reunion, the fiery warrior faces her unlikeliest of foes while Flame Hazes from across the world join forces to ignite a war that will determine the fate of all supernatural kind.
Oh Shana, how low could you have gotten?
I was a big Shana fan three years ago, and after hearing of the news of when season 3 was going to premier last Summer, I was overjoyed. Boy was I in for a surprise, massive disappointment.
Shakugan no Shana III (Final) is J.C. Staff’s third and final adaption of the popular Shakugan no Shana light novel series written by Yashichiro Takahashi. Shakugan no Shana is a hot series for J.C. Staff, with each volume of season 1 and season 2 having sold 10,000+ copies total, and with great reason. Shakugan no Shana was a very entertaining and interesting series with the first two seasons. Season 3 however, is a whole different beast (It’s even selling on average 4,000 copies per volume on average, not 10,000+ like the successful first two seasons.).
We start off with how Yuji has disappeared, and whether or not if he truly has had his flame burn out. This was interesting…for a while. One of the biggest issues early on with season 3 is time. They make no effort to explain when season 3 takes place (I.E. How long after the end of season 2.), and it proves to be a problem that just gets worse, confusing the viewer. Not to mention, something always associated with time, pacing. Shana III has an issue of making events either occur way too fast, or way too slow (Like slower than Dragon Ball Z almost at times.). This is very apparent during much of the first half, the war between the Flame Hazes, and the Bal Masque which also happens to be one of the most boring, if not the most boring war I’ve ever seen in an anime.
Another problem with the series is character development, and lack of explanations as to what’s going on. Season 3’s biggest issue is adding too many characters at once, and then not even bothering to provide any back-story, thus causing the viewer to hardly care about them. They’ll only really be attached to the characters they know and love from the first two seasons, except of course Yuji (I’ll get to this later.). As the show goes on, this only gets worse and worse as they try to make you care with touching moments, but due to the lack of proper character development, this does nothing.
The lack of explanations really is one of the biggest issues. It makes the show quite confusing, and leads to the viewer being quite bored. There are also many contradictions thanks to this.
Now, Yuji. The Yuji you knew from seasons 1 and 2 is completely gone. For some, this may be a good thing, but for others, it’s quite a bad thing. Basically early on he has The Snake of the Festival take over his body. We have no idea where Yuji was, or where The Snake of the Festival came in which goes back to the issue of the lack of explanations and time. The Snake of the Festival later takes over as leader of the Bal Masque (As he was their former boss before he was sealed away.), and his goal first is to free his old body (Which of course, is a giant snake.), and he has another thing up his sleeve (He reveals this during the war.) which I won’t post about due to spoilers.
The sound and art (Well, it’s not as good, but it works.) are pretty much on par with the first two seasons, and they’re what help hold this show up from being a 3/10 show or lower. It helps make the show still somewhat enjoyable. They’re the best things about the show, which is such a shame. The entertainment value is there, but not much. A few episodes I’ve found have been quite a chore to watch even.
Overall, Shana III is a massive disappointment, and only devoted Shana fans will really have any reason to watch this, the main one being just to finish the story (This is the only reason why I haven’t dropped it, I really want to see the end.). I may edit this after I see the end, but I don’t expect this show to get much better.
Edit 3/30/2012 after seeing episodes 23 and 24 (The original part of the review was on 1-22):
Episode 23 didn’t really help the show (It suffered from the same problems that are very apparent in the series), but episode 24 was worth watching (It’s pretty much the only episode really worth watching). We get a decent enough ending which actually resulted in some decent character development.
just to be honest! Shakugan no Shana III is the true adaptation of novel… this is the true Shana without fanservice or filler episode…
We’re having a huge changes of plot since previous seasons and we face a faster pacing in this season… but somehow, J.C. Staff managed to pull it out and make it lots better than any anime they ever made before…
just same like previous seasons… this art is already good enough for Light Novel adaptation anime (please don’t compare the art with Visual Novel adaptation)
the battle’s art is very good
I can’t say anything anymore…. Mami Kawada, Kotoko, and Altima totally owned this season! Serment, I’ll Believe, and ONE is really good and enjoyable… not to mention the BGM and some songs from Mami Kawada as BGM (Akai Namida, u/n, etc)
awesome! Shana and Yuji’s character developments are very well-pictured by J.C.Staff. Not only two main characters but also Yoshida Kazumi, Eita, Keisaku Satou, Margery Daw, and Wilhelmina…
totally enjoyed it… that’s all… I don’t know what to say anymore
10/10 is maybe too high.. but for me, I consider Shakugan no Shana III as one of the best anime I ever watched
sorry if my review is bad…. this is my first time… xD
The third season of Shana – the long-awaited project from J.C.Staff, which was expected not only to fans of the most Shana, but also people who love any art of this studio.
Since I myself am a fan of Shana, I can say that the ending was totally justified. This anime made me remember all the seasons of Shana and this is good news, since not every studio can do it.
In fact, in the third season added a lot of sharp turns of the plot, which is good simple viewiers. (Story – 9)
New Shana a lot of interesting creatures and transformations, that is good news. New monsters, interesting buildings and various specifically can fully appreciate the scale and scope of this anime. (Art – 8)
The music is just great! Since the release of the anime, and to this day, I listen openings and endings. (Sound – 8)
Characters not really changed since the second season, of course added new ones, but they are not particularly interesting. An exception can be called Sakai Yuji. (Character – 7)
Unfortunately when watching the third season of Shana sometimes there is a desire to switch off and do not watch it, because so much is not clear, but razbratsya in all of this is very difficult, but it’s still interesting to know how it ends, and how the story will turn into reality. (Enjoyment – 7)
In conclusion I would like to add that all the seasons of Shakugan no Shana made a huge impression on me, and so I want to thank J.C.Staff for taking the job. They were able to do Shakugan no Shana for what it is, and a happy ending to it – it’s entirely their merit. I’m glad it ended so Shakugan no Shana!
5: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
English: Humanity Has Declined
MAL Score: 7.76
Because of the constantly declining birth rates over many decades, human civilization is all but extinct. With only a few humans remaining, they survive in this post-apocalyptic world with what was left behind by the previous generations. Earth is now dominated by fairies, tiny creatures with extremely advanced technology, an obsession with candy, and a complete disregard for human safety.
A young girl who has just finished her studies returns to her hometown and is designated as an official United Nations arbitrator. Her duty is to serve as a link between mankind and fairies, reassuring each side that both races can live together peacefully. She imagines this task will be easy enough, but controlling the disasters created by the oblivious fairies in their pursuit of candy will require a lot more effort than she initially believes.
For Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, this is answered through a colorful world where humanity is on the verge of extinction, succeeded by a race of silly, mass-producing fairies bearing a constant grin. Adorable and amusing as they are, these little creatures are anything but auspicious. Repeating tragedy in situations of utter insanity, the fairies exist as a personification of humanity’s follies, neatly told through a clever story of satire and cynicism.
Ah, our poor protagonist, as interacting with these frightening creatures serves as her occupation. For the nameless “Watashi”, being pulled into their world of games and magic is little more than a daily occurrence. Time loops, loaves of bread committing suicide by ripping themselves in half, skinned birds raining in on a church, and faceless chickens smoking cigars while quacking in the language of nonsense— all are something to be passed off with a sigh and a dry remark by the protagonist. In this world, there is no such thing as strange. Such words ring true time and time again.
But make no mistake, this is not an anime that is strange simply for the sake of being strange. All of this gives way for plenty of witty humor between the madness that occurs. Rather than being a traditional comedy and telling the jokes through the characters’ interaction with each other, much of this comes instead from the situations and the setting. It’s not about a character screaming your ears to death or bopping the other over the head when they say something stupid, but about the allusions to society and the absurdity of the situation. Far too few comedy anime attempt to break from the mold of Manzai and puns, which makes Jinrui all the more refreshing of an experience.
As a satire, it’s no surprise that Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita focuses itself as a social-commentary of sorts. There’s a surprising amount of depth here when one really pays attention. It’s cynical in tone and content, though it never feels like the viewer is being preached to and lectured. An episode may focus on consumerism, another on humanity’s overconsumption of resources, the manga industry or sociocultural evolution. Moreover, the viewer can simply choose to disregard this and enjoy it for the comedy value alone if they prefer. It can be a surreal comedy, a cynical social critique, or some amalgamation of the two. Therein lies the beauty of Jinrui’s subtle depth.
A comedy wouldn’t be much entertaining without a clever character dynamic, though, and Jinrui does not disappoint in this regard. Watashi is easily one of the most unique protagonists we have had in an anime for quite some time. Nowhere is she defined by cute, idealized traits, by fanservice or through tropes and archetypes. She is her own character; her own person. Her internal thoughts and dry, cynical dialogue with the other characters are an important force in the social critique and comedy, which often contrast and amplify the ridiculousness of the situation. It is deadpan humor at its finest.
Several other colorful and eccentric characters also mark the cast of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. Watashi’s grandfather, often referred to simply as “Doc”, serves as the authority figure of the series and plays an important role in Watashi’s past and beginnings as a Mediator. The silent “Assistant”, armed with his camera, also tags along with Watashi for the first half of the series.
And then, of course, are the fairies.
It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that the fairies are the most exciting character in the series, if one would define them as a single entity. Seeing the fairies do inconceivable things out of the blue is nothing short of hilarious, and their attempts to behave as humans do and mimic their mistakes also makes them just as much endearing as they are unpredictable. One episode involves a handful of fairies and Watashi stranded on an island, with the fairies near-instantly multiplying themselves and building from sticks to a candy kingdom with Watashi revered as some sort of god. You never really know what the heck to expect from them.
There isn’t much in the way of characterization until the later episodes, though, which incidentally is also when the story takes off and develops. Each episode typically goes back further in time, with the last two episodes highlighting Watashi’s experiences during her elementary school days. There’s a very clear distinctness in this short story arc, notably resulting from the comedy being pushed aside and serious themes such as isolation and bullying playing a principal role. Rather than a bizarre environment typical of the series, the viewer is presented with something more realistic, albeit with a slightly macabre twist (mostly resulting from the insanity of her yandere roommate). These final two episodes succeed not only in detailing Watashi’s past, but also in fleshing out her personality through her experiences in a different environment. It’s not often that you find a main character in a comedy anime that has development and substance, but then Jinrui has never really been a series that’s satisfied with mere uniformity.
Speaking of uniformity, though, it’s a little unfortunate that the quality of the anime isn’t always consistent. A few of the episodes, while still decent, are much weaker than the rest and vastly oversimplify the topic or theme that they are trying to comment on. It occasionally bites off a bit more than it can chew, which is disappointing given that most of the episodes have already demonstrated that it’s fully capable. The last two episodes are also incredibly incongruous with the tone and theme of the anime, and though it fleshes out Watashi’s character considerably, one can’t help but wonder if it was all that necessary. Considering that her presence in the previous episodes was as a reactionary element to the bizarre situations, making the change into an empathetic and developed character seems very odd. No doubt she could have been developed instead through the quirky dialogue rather than a superfluous flashback.
The visuals also aren’t going to leave anybody in awe, but they deserve a special mention for the vibrant art style and colorful palette. It’s rare for an anime to deviate from conventions and focus on their visual appeal (aside from perhaps the cuteness of the characters), but here is a case where Jinrui again succeeds in doing something to stand out from the crowd. It’s unique and pleasant to look at, notably accentuating the surreal world and creating a contrast between the playful appearance and cynical tone.
Jinrui is certainly one of the most refreshing and unique series that anime has seen in quite some time. In a year that hasn’t seen much originality or hard-hitting series, the bizarre world of Jinrui is a very appealing experience. This is not an anime to simply be enjoyed and forgotten over the months, but is something that will no doubt linger in the minds of most for quite some time. Not necessarily for the insanity that occurs (though that is certainly a part of it), but for providing a genuinely witty comedy that brilliantly satirizes human society in an intelligent manner. It has more substance and depth than many of the more serious titles out there, though carefully remaining subtle with its themes. For a comedy anime, this is an admirable feat indeed.
Then again, I guess not everybody is going to enjoy the refined art of birds raining from the sky and mobster chickens cursing about fornication.
Humanity Has Declined is sure an interesting title for an anime, I bet it happened before, you know, suddenly our creativity starts to run to it’s fullest in order to guess what’s the anime’s storyline, the possibilities are infinite, after all, imagination has no borders, it’s like being under a spell which allows us to imagine complete different scenarios where we’re able to push our ideals, characters personalities, story developments, plot twists, in few words, everything we’d like to see, but the spell isn’t eternal, everything cease when we’re forced to open our eyes, yes, we wake up in that precise moment when we’ve obtained freedom from ignorance, guys… we’ve just watched the first episode, our once infinite possibilities are drastically reduced, prepare to say goodbye to our ideals, Reality knocked at our door, now we’ve to choose between two remaining scenarios ahead us: “pleased” or “disappointed”, the spell is broken.
In my case, still under the effect of such spell, I did imagine a lot of possibilities for this anime, I swear, it turned to be completely different from any possible scenario I could come up with and once the spell was broken, the result was unbelievable and unexpected, I was “pleased” unexpectedly wonderfully and gladly pleased I must add!, I just couldn’t believe this anime turned out to be one of the most refreshing, hilarious and, above all, original piece of animation I’ve seen. Presenting with bizarre tunes a mature theme such as “the end of humankind” and adding those spicy ingredients that only intelligent shows can handle, Satire and Irony, it manages to develop an incredible and unique flow of events succeeding completely in the difficult task of entertaining the viewer using a brilliant comedy whiteout recurring to obscenity, vulgarity, clichés or fanservice.
As the title suggests, this anime is set in a post-apocalyptic world, after a millenarian history, humans has lost it’s primacy, sadly we meet a bad end, and small creatures called ‘Fairies’ have taken over. In this new world where humans and fairies coexist, the story follows a nameless girl from one of the few human village remaining, she acts as one of the many ‘mediator’ and her job is to deeper into the crazy and bizarre fairy ecosystem in order to get in contact with them. “A simple and easy task” you may say… Oh hell it isn’t! dealing with these fairies is anything but easy, in a job when even the smallest development turns out into a flow of bizarre events, where chickens can talk, plan to take over the world, everything while smoking cigars.. ah don’t forget that your hair turns out to be alive and ‘his’ favorite weapon is a knife, in a situation like that I bet everyone would feel, at least, a bit uneasy, or to quit immediately… but our protagonist is a quite particular girl, and the scenarios we get when this girl and the fairies are together are abnormally hilarious.
The reality shown in this anime isn’t exactly a mirror of our reality, even so it’s meant in a way we can see a reflection of our own, naturally, always in bizarre tones and that’s thanks to our protagonist, she’s a pool of satirical comments and criticism, nothing is able to escape her “rage” (if we could call it so), it’s directed towards everything, the society she lives, human behavior, fairies, historical development and, sometimes, even herself. So through a spiral of comments, a critical and satirical view of the world is available to the viewers, one of the anime’s main characteristics, and it’s best feature. The story telling isn’t presented as the typical linear setting, it neither follow a certain plot; we have different arcs, composed of 1 or 2 episodes each, following a certain case involving the mediator and the fairies
A large cast of characters isn’t between the features, but that’s not a problem. Our main heroine is truly one-girl show, and we also have the fairies, which we can categorize as a single entity so we don’t need really anyone else, they alone are capable of developing a whole anime by themselves, truly impressive don’t you think?. I dare to say if there were another protagonist, he/she would be completely overshadowed by our mediator, however there is a really interesting group of minor characters appearing in each arc worth to remember and appreciate.
Let’s go to meet them:
From one hand we have a human girl, a mediator between humans and fairies, our protagonist. A first impression of her would be that of a nice and kind girl but she isn’t really what appears, don’t let her fool you!, actually she’s the type of person we could call “a fox disguised as a sheep”, and I’ll tell you why: selfish, plotter, cynical and sarcastic are the best adjectives to describe her. She finds literally a pain in the ass her job as a mediator, specially when she discovers that being a “politician” isn’t less difficult than the jobs there’re nowadays, farming/hunting jobs, anyway while she always complains about her situation she manages to do her job quite efficiently, even if she would rather have zero contact with fairies as possible, and that’s not because she dislikes them, but it’s just that each time they’re involved, the situation escalates quickly into a bizarre mess she needs to deal by herself. She has a very pessimistic view of the world, and I wouldn’t blame her neither, this leads her sarcastic and cynical comments about the events and the series development. Somehow each episode lead us to find another “dark side” of her personality, which usually shows up when she’s in a pinch. Oh.. contrary to her personality, she loves to make sweets, specially to manipulate the fairies or order to seek for some of their help in cases.
From the other hand we have the fairies, the new “humans”, they’re presented as little small dwarf like creatures, which supposedly, are possessors of an incredible knowledge and intelligence, and we could completely find a confirm of this from the gadgets they produce, which are actually fantasy borderline rather than futuristic, but their behavior could lead us to think otherwise, actually…shock turn!, they’re easily manipulated by the mediator with only the help of sweets, they’ve such a sweet tooth which leads them to do anything in order to get some. Usually it’s the fairies fault of each problem that surface in the series and that the mediator needs to deal with, they usually have an easy-going and shiny personality but this can quickly change to a down earth mood when they aren’t having fun, showing a quite pessimistic view of life which leads them to express dark and edgy comments, comparable to our protagonist’s ones. When I said that we can categorize them as a single entity I meant that there’s no really an embodiment of individual personality for each fairy, sometimes they don’t even have names, aside from the ones the girl keep as pets in her house and even she eventually forgets.
Other characters worth mentioning are Doc, the protagonist’s grandpa, one of the village’s leaders, he has a really easy-going personality but it’s also strict when the girl is goofing around whiteout doing her job. Assistant-kun, a boy who rarely speaks but surprisingly the mediator understands him only by looking at his face, he also express himself by sketching things in his block notes when looking at him isn’t enough. Y, yes.. her name is a letter, or at least that’s how she presents herself, she’s an old school friend, responsible of bringing to life again the Yaoi genre in this post-apocalyptic world… damn. There’re some more but I won’t mention, you’ll have to meet them by yourselves my dear readers, it’s a whole experience, however even if they’re really minor characters their appearance add a unique aura to the show, honorary mention should be dedicated to Bleeding Loaf, a character appeared in episode 01, after seeing that I knew this show was going to be great, believe me when I say this… it’s hilarious.
Already thought this show couldn’t get weirder?, let me tell you a pair of things more about it, hope you won’t mind. The whole atmosphere is filled by a really colorful pastel landscape and art, there’re present some particulars that add a really unique touch to the entire scenery, such as the lack of technology that can be seen in the village, the surreal buildings architecture by the fairies, people’s costumes, the logic behind the fairies gadgets, a result that’s quite pleasant to admire, things that I appreciated very much. The animation was very consistent through the series, even those lively “action” scenes were done quite nice, super eye candy animation isn’t one of its strong points, it doesn’t fit with the design anyway. OSTs aren’t that spectacular neither, but they didn’t feel off scene never, rather forgettable actually, but this show doesn’t rely too much on the background musics, but If we really have to say, there’s one that could be crafted into our minds, maybe forever, it’s the Ave Maria of the flying chickens, that scene is almost unforgettable (Episode 02), I swear, it’ll crafted into your mind.
Also there’s a particular odd characteristic, this anime doesn’t present a chronological storyline. I watched it the first time in the broadcasting and a second time in chronological order, overall the experience is the same, there’s a two episodes arc that features our mediator when she was in school, if we watch that arc as our beginning or as a flash back, it doesn’t change very much the experience, the anime’s crazy and bizarre aura allows us that. People could find it amusing and interesting, something that add an extra uniqueness to the show, but there are also people who enjoy more a chronological order, so I’ll leave the chronological order here, hoping that maybe someone find this handful, watch it as wherever you feel to.
Episodes 11 & 12 >> Episode 10 >> Episodes 07 & 08 >> Episode 09 >> Episodes 05 & 06 >> Episodes 01 & 02 >> Episode 03 & 04.
This was a truly amazing ride, I enjoyed every episode of it, the series strong point is surely its protagonist, in my personal opinion the best female character I’ve met, she’s still my 1st in my Top and I doubt someone will steal her place. Just try to visualize everything said in this review and let run your imagination to it’s fullest, because that would be the closest thing that you’ll be experiencing in this anime and, probably, won’t be enough to anticipate the events on going through the series, I guarantee it.
Humanity Has Declined es sin duda un título interesante para un anime, apuesto que ha sucedido antes, seguramente sabes, al improviso nuestra creatividad toma vuelo libremente para intentar adivinar de que se tratará la historia, las posibilidades son infinitas, después de todo, la imaginación no conoce límites, es como sí estuviéramos bajo un hechizo el cual nos permite imaginar escenarios completamente distintos dentro los cuales somos capaces de empujar nuestros ideales, la personalidades de los personajes, el desarrollo de la trama, los plot twists, en pocas palabras, todo lo que nos gustaría ver, aún así el hechizo no es eterno, todo termina cuando somos obligados a abrir los ojos, sí, despertamos en ese preciso momento cuando nos liberamos de la ignorancia, chicos… acabamos de ver el primer episodio, lo que eran una vez nuestras infinitas posibilidades se redujeron drásticamente, prepárense a decirle adiós a nuestros ideales, la Realidad nos tocó la puerta, ahora tenemos que escoger entre los dos escenarios que quedan adelante nuestro: “satisfecho” o “decepcionado”, el hechizo se ha roto.
En mi caso, estando todavía bajo el efecto de tal hechizo, pude imaginar una infinidad de posibilidades para este anime, lo puedo jurar, esto se reveló ser algo completamente diferente a los escenarios que había llegado a concluir, al romperse el hechizo, increíble e inesperado fue el resultado, estuve “satisfecho”, inesperadamente magníficamente satisfecho tengo que agregar!, este anime resultó ser una de las más refrescantes, geniales y sobretodo, originales piezas de animación que he visto. Presentando con tonos bizarros un tema maduro como lo es “la fin de la humanidad”, es capaz de dar vida a una serie única de eventos, imposibles siquiera de imaginar, y al mismo tiempo agregando aquellos ingredientes que sólo las series inteligentes pueden manejar, Sátira e Ironía, realizando la difícil misión de entretener al espectador con una brillante comedia sin recurrir a la vulgaridad, clichés o fanservice.
Como el título sugiere, este anime está ambientado en un mundo post-apocalíptico, después de una milenaria historia, los humanos perdieron su primacía, tristemente nos encontramos con un mal final, y así fue que pequeñas criaturas llamadas “Hadas” tomaron el control de la sociedad. En este nuevo mundo donde humanos y hadas coexisten, protagonista de la historia es una chica, cuyo nombre nunca viene revelado, proveniente da uno de los pocos pueblos qué quedan, ella actúa como uno de los tantos “mediadores” y su trabajo consiste en adentrarse en el loco y bizarro ecosistema de la hadas y así encontrar un modo de entrar en contacto con ellos. “Una simple y fácil tarea” podrías decir… pero joder no!, tratar con estas hadas es cualquier cosa menos fácil, en un trabajo donde hasta el más pequeño desarrollo puede desbordar en una serie de bizarros eventos, donde los pollos pueden hablar, tratar de conquistar el mundo, todo mientras fuman cigarros.. ah sin olvidar que tu cabello cobre vida y ‘su’ arma favorita es un cuchillo, apuesto al tratar con una situación así, todos al menos se sentirían un poco incómodos, o renunciarían inmediatamente… pero nuestra protagonista es una chica bastante particular, y los escenarios que se obtienen cuando esta chica y las hadas están juntos son anormalmente hilarantes.
La realidad presentada es este anime no es exactamente el espejo de la nuestra, aún así está hecha en un modo en que podamos verle el reflejo, naturalmente, siempre bajo tonos bizarros y eso es gracias a nuestra protagonista, ella es una piscina de comentarios satíricos y criticismo, nada ni nadie puede escapar de su “Ira” (si así la podríamos llamar), está dirigida hacia todo en general, la sociedad donde vive, el comportamiento humano, las hadas, los desarrollos históricos y, a veces, hasta ella misma. Así que a través de está espiral de comentarios, una visión crítica y satírica es accesible al espectador, una de las características de este anime, la mejor de todas. La narración no presenta el típico estilo linear, no sigue siquiera un hilo de trama, la serie está dividida en arcos, compuestos de 1 o 2 episodios, cada vez presentando un caso que envuelven al mediador y a las hadas.
Un largo cast de personajes no es uno de sus puntos fuertes, pero no es tampoco un problema. Nuestra chica es toda una “one-girl show”, también tenemos las hadas, las cuales podríamos catalogar como una única entidad, y de verdad no necesitamos de alguien más, ellos solos son capaces de desarrollar un anime entero, de verdad impresionante ¿no crees?. Al haber habido otro protagonista, estoy dispuesto a decir que este estaría constantemente bajo la sombra de la mediadora, de todos modos hay una grupo de personajes menores en cada arco que valen la pena recordar y apreciar.
¡Vamos a conocerlos!
De una mano tenemos a una chica humana, una mediadora entre humanos y hadas, nuestra protagonista. Bajo una primera impresión podría dar la imagen de ser una chica gentil y bondadosa pero de verdad no es lo que aparenta, ¡no dejes que te engañe!, en realidad podríamos calificar a esta chica como un lobo disfrazado de oveja, y les diré porque: egoísta, manipuladora, cínica y sarcástica son los mejores adjetivos para describirla. Ella encuentra su vocación como mediador algo fastidioso, especialmente cuando descubre que ser un diplomático no es menos fatiga comparándolo con otros trabajos que se encuentran actualmente, agricultura & caza, aún lamentándose siempre de su situación logra siempre hacer su trabajo de manera bastante eficiente, pero en lo posible, no quisiera tener muchos encuentros con las hadas, y esto no es porque las desprecie, sólo que cada vez están que involucradas en algo la situación degenera en un caos total que le toca resolver. Poseedora de una visión bastante pesimista del mundo, y yo no la culparía tampoco, la guía a expresar sus comentarios cínicos y sarcásticos sobre los eventos y el desarrollo de la serie. De algún modo cada episodio nos deja ver un lado oscuro de su personalidad, el cual usualmente se manifiesta cuando se encuentra en problemas. Ah.. en modo opuesto a su personalidad, ella adora hacer dulces, especialmente para conseguir la ayuda de las hadas en los varios casos que se presentan.
En la otra mano tenemos a las hadas, los nuevos humanos, criaturas del aspecto de mini duendes, las cuales, supuestamente, son posesores de un inmensa Inteligencia y Conocimiento, hecho que podríamos encontrar confirma viendo los objetos que producen, que rozan la Ciencia Ficción en vez de Futurístico, pero la forma de comportarse nos deja una primera impresión bastante diferente.. ¡giro inesperado de eventos! las hadas son fácilmente manipulables si hay dulces de por medio, son tan golosas que harían de todo por obtenerlos. Por lo general, todo problema que surge a lo largo de la serie, y que la mediadora tiene que lidiar, es culpa de las hadas, que usualmente tienen una personalidad buena onda y alegre, cosa que puede cambiar repentinamente de forma drástica si no se están divirtiendo, pasando a tener un humor sombrío, el cual las lleva a tener una visión bastante pesimista de la Vida, con tendencias a expresar comentarios edgy y macabros, comparables a los de la Protagonista. Cuando dije que podríamos considerarlos como una única entidad me refería a que no hay una personificación individual definida por cada hada, no tienen siquiera nombres, a excepción de los que la mediadora mantiene en su casa y que ella eventualmente olvida. (también los hace dormir en una caja a compartimientos separados para que no se reproduzcan, el uso del agua no tiene nada que ver).
Entre los otros personajes que valen la pena mencionar están: Doc, el abuelo de la protagonista, uno de los jefes del pueblo, tiene una personalidad bastante buena onda que, pero cambia rápidamente cuando se da cuenta que la chica está vagueando sin hacer su trabajo. Asistente-kun, un chico que a malas penas emite un sonido para hablar, la cosa no le crea algún problema de comunicación pues el hecho sorprendente es que la mediadora es capaz de entenderlo casi telepáticamente, y cuando ese no es el caso, lleva consigo un cuaderno, en el cual dibuja para hacerse entender mejor. Y, sí.. su nombre es una letra, o al menos es así como se presenta, ella es una vieja amiga, responsable de revivir el género del Yaoi en este mundo postapocalíptico.. joder. Se encuentran más personajes pero no los incluiré, tienen que conocerlos ustedes mismos mis queridos lectores, es toda una experiencia, de todos modos, aunque sí son personajes menores, sus apariencias le dan un aire místico al show, una mención honorífica debería ser dedicada a la Hogaza de Pan Sangrienta, un personaje del Episodio 01, después de ver eso supe que este anime iba a ser genial, créanme cuando digo esto… es hilarante.
¿Pensaste ya que esto no se podía meter más raro?, deja que te diga un par de cosas más sobre esta serie, espero no te importe. La entera atmósfera está llena de muy coloridos paisajes de tonalidad pastel, son presentes algunos particulares que agregan un toque de verdad único al entero escenario, cómo la falta de tecnología que se pueden ver en el pueblo, la arquitectura surrealista de los bizarros edificios de las hadas, el vestuario de las personas, la lógica detrás de los objetos marca “Hada”, todo esto da un resultado de verdad placentero, cosas que pude apreciar bastante. La Animación es muy consistente a lo largo de la serie, aún pasando por las escenas de “acción”, estuvieron bien hechas, animación súper “eye candy” no es uno de sus puntos fuertes, no pega siquiera con el estilo de la serie de todos modos. Las OSTs tampoco son tan espectaculares, nunca se sintieron fuera de lugar, eso sí, pero podemos decir que este anime no se apoya mucho en la música de fondo, pero algo memorable hubo.. y eso fue el Ave María de los pollos voladores, es casi inolvidable esa escena (Episodio 02), lo juro, se queda impregnada en nuestras mentes.
Está también un pequeño particular, este anime no presenta una trama de forma cronológica. Yo lo vi la primera vez en el orden de emisión y la segunda en orden cronológico, teniendo todo en cuenta, la experiencia no cambia, hay dos episodios que se enfocan en nuestra mediadora en su periodo estudiantil, si fuéramos a ver ese arco como nuestro comienzo o como un flash back, la verdad no cambia mucho, la extraña y bizarra aura del anime nos permite eso. Hay gente que puede encontrarlo interesante, algo que le da un extra de originalidad a la serie, hay también gente que disfruta mejor de un orden cronológico, es por eso que dejaré el orden cronológico aquí, esperando que le pueda servir a alguien, véanlo como más les plazca.
Episodios 11 & 12 >> Episodios 10 >> Episodios 07 & 08 >> Episodio 09 >> Episodios 05 & 06 >> Episodios 01 & 02 >> Episodios 03 & 04.
Esto fue de verdad un viaje estupendo, disfrute cada episodio, ¿el punto fuerte de la serie? seguramente su protagonista, en mi opinión personal se trata del mejor personaje femenino que he encontrado, esta en 1era posición en mi Top y dudo que alguien le robe el puesto. Traten de visualizar todo lo que se ha dicho en esta reseña y dejen correr a full motor vuestra imaginación, será lo más cercano que experimentarán en este anime, y probablemente no es suficiente para anticipar los eventos que se desarrollan a lo largo de la serie, se los puedo garantizar.
The show has some interesting atmosphere for a comedy, and it sometimes give the feeling of something more dramatic but it’s not funny enough as a comedy and not nearly interesting enough as a drama.
Character and story development is almost non existent. The main character is being slightly examined throughout the show but the characters around her are so wacky there’s hardly one relationship that is interesting to inspect. The story is episodic and episodes are separated from one another almost as being stand alone stories, which adds to the show’s undeveloped nature.
Perhaps the show wanted to examine ideas instead of a story in the common term but the episodes range from boring to bizarre. Some of the allegories I did not understand, some I found too tedious to even try and the rest I just not relate to.
I find very little reason to watch this show. Again, I praise the art and animation which are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in anime and also some BGM tracks were catchy and likable to me, but I do not recommend this unless you are looking for a very unique and not so successful dark comedy.
4: Zetsuen no Tempest
English: Blast of Tempest
MAL Score: 7.96
Yoshino Takigawa, an ordinary teenager, is secretly dating his best friend Mahiro’s younger sister. But when his girlfriend Aika mysteriously dies, Mahiro disappears, vowing to find the one responsible and make them pay for murdering his beloved sister. Yoshino continues his life as usual and has not heard from Mahiro in a month—until he is confronted by a strange girl who holds him at gunpoint, and his best friend arrives in the nick of time to save him.
Yoshino learns that Mahiro has enlisted the help of a witch named Hakaze Kusaribe to find Aika’s killer and of the existence of an entity known as the “Tree of Exodus.” The witch’s brother selfishly desires to make use of its power, in spite of the impending peril to the world. However, Hakaze is banished to a deserted island, and it is now up to Yoshino and Mahiro to help her save the world, while inching ever closer to the truth behind Aika’s death.
Nothing could say more about Blast of Tempest than Shakespeare’s The Tempest which is heavily referenced throughout the series. Blast of Tempest is a story about overcoming entrapment in the past, both figuratively and literally.
One thing that can be said about Blast of Tempest is that it follows a logical premise that manages to feel legitimately inspired despite its fair share of twists. Even though the story involves magic, the series defines a strong logical framework that both empowers and entraps its characters.
Above all, our character’s personal history is a major factor in the series. It drives Mahiro on a vengeful path to determine who killed his sister and weighs down Yoshino to the point of near-detachment. It is only when these characters are able to accept fate and focus that they are able to allow a tragic event to become the means to a better end (saving the world). Moreover, past as a general influence is extremely well-realized. Events in the past, including Hakaze’s imprisonment, Aika’s death, and even further back to the formation of the Tree of Exodus as a means to end the Tree of Genesis’s purpose in resetting humanity are central to the plot.
Furthermore, the notion of order and chaos is thematically prevalent in the series. Even though the Tree of Genesis represents order, it is only with the chaos represented by the Tree of Exodus that humanity can thrive and even exist. Despite the resurgence of crime and inequality after the dissolution of the Tree of Genesis, it is easy to understand the necessity in the action and why the order imposed by the Tree of Genesis would eventually deem all of humanity unrighteous.
The only major flaw to Blast of Tempest‘s story is that it tends to use its characters as if they are actors in a play (perhaps intentionally). Each character plays his part, often without question. This is extremely noticeable in Aika’s casual acceptance of her fate despite what clearly would have been a difficult decision – but this may actually speak more to her character than to the show’s tendency to have its actors fill a role.
Character development is very important in Blast of Tempest – and all of its main characters, Hakaze, Yoshino, Mahiro and Aika, are a strong basis to the show’s central themes despite their differing personas. What enforces their strength is their intelligence – even in Mahiro’s case – the characters carefully and cleverly plan their actions.
Hakaze is a strong female lead that is open and direct, while sometimes being too upfront and occasionally becoming distracted by desire. What defines Hakaze the most is that, despite her attunement to the Tree of Genesis, she is far from unquestioning. Her actions are often fueled by her desire to seek her own path, even with opposition or without knowing the consequences. It makes her into a character nearly embracing chaos despite the order surrounding her – which accentuates her foil in Aika.
Aika, though appearing frail, is strong to a fault. Her character embraces the ideology of Exodus far too unconditionally which is but testament to her acceptance with being an actress in a play. She often quotes Hamlet and The Tempest because she feels that her only goals have already been previously scripted and she must play to those ideals.
Mahiro, on the other hand, represents another extreme of chaos with his absolute path of vengeance. His early ambitions are simply to avenge the death of Aika, but this actually drives him to greatness because of her involvement in much more crucial matters. When he is freed from this path, his goal has actually become to enact a plan to save the world. Mahiro is a renegade without being overly reckless and ambitious to a point where he is not clouded.
Yoshino, for a large majority of the show, is very detached. Aika’s death had an opposing effect on him in that he nearly lost desire to function after her passing. Even though he is tied down by her loss, he thinks clearly and keeps Mahiro in check when he is pushing himself too far. It’s important to note that Yoshino is the last character to resolve his past as a lesson in history, because he is too entrapped by it. Hakaze’s confessions to him cause him to break because he is not ready to continue his life until all others’ problems have been resolved.
Blast of Tempest is breathtaking visually and its usage of classical pieces in its soundtrack is excellently done. By now, this is what we expect from BONES, so it isn’t too unbelievable that this show lives up to BONES’s capability to generate quality in its production value. Particularly of note are the show’s excellent action scenes that accentuate brilliant animation along with well-utilized classical music.
While Blast of Tempest occasionally falls short of absolute excellence in its willingness to allow its characters to fill roles, it presents a story of past entanglements that is very well-realized and non-contradictory with a cast that synergizes their differing viewpoints.
And it’s a shame because Zetsuen no Tempest had so much potential, but it falls flat on its face instead. But let’s talk about the good of this show first. The art and animation are top notch. Studio Bones pulled no punches when it came to the gorgeous animation and character designs. The battles are fast, fluid, and intense, going hand in hand with the spectacular and vivid wheel of colors that enhance the magical effects. The character designs are stylish and unique, with no two characters looking too much alike. Another small little detail that was well done was the character’s clothing. Each character’s various clothing looks like something straight out of a teen fashion magazine; very funky and stylish. Small artistic details are also added in the character’s hair and accessories. If I were rating this anime solely based on its art and animation, it would easily score a nine at the very least. Unfortunately, I did not, and I won’t.
Now on to the not-so-good of Zetsuen no Tempest, which is basically everything else. Perhaps the weakest aspect of the show is its story. The story starts out with Hakaze Kusaribe, the princess of a clan of mages, contacting Fuwa Mahiro to help her extinguish an uprising instigated by her followers. Left stranded on an island by said followers, they can only communicate through magic. Hakaze promises to help Mahiro find his sister’s killer in exchange for his help. Mahiro’s friend, Takigawa Yoshino comes along for the ride, and together the three aim to prevent the Kusaribe clan from awakening the tree of Exodus, which would subsequently bring destruction to the entire world.
The entire story pays homage to Shakespeare’s works, namely The Tempest and Hamlet. For some reason, the story feels it needs to remind you of this quite frequently, as it seems every few minutes someone is throwing out a Shakespeare quote. There’s no subtlety in its delivery, and the quotes have little meaning to the plot or the characters. It seems they simply threw in several quotes in order to make the script seemed more grand and classy. Instead, it ended up making the entire anime sound incredibly pretentious. It could be argued that the two differing plays were being quoted to signal that this anime could either have a happy or tragic ending, leaving the viewer to wonder in anticipation. But not only is that grasping at straws, it gives the writers more credit than they probably deserve.
Now to be fair, the first half of the series was pretty good. It was standing on shaky ground but it was still quite good. It may have been standard shonen anime fare “save the world with magical powers, stop the bad guys” but it had an interesting enough twist to keep it afloat. The characters were interesting; they had clear cut motivations that at least made some sense. The plot moved about at a comfortable pace with just enough action and character development shimmied into each episode. The rules of the universe made sense. All that was completely ruined by its mess of a second half.
The plot begins to contradict the rules it established in its first half. It makes no effort to even make sense of Hakaze’s ability to time travel for a second and third time. It presents a ridiculous plot twist that makes even less sense and gives a sort of barbaric edge to Aika’s character that the other characters don’t even bat an eye at. And worst of all, romance is shoehorned in for the sake of throwing in some aspects of a corny school love comedy. Hakaze even alludes to this in a hilarious 4th wall breaking internal monologue.
Perhaps one of the most disappointing aspects of the show is the degradation of its characters. Yes that’s right, the very characters that made the show go backwards as it drags on. Perhaps the character that does it the most is Hakaze Kusaribe. She is initially presented as a strong heroine, with an arrogant edge that is backed up by her standing as the most powerful mage in the clan. She is cunning and unflinching, yet kind and caring when she needs to be. But of course that is all negated when she falls in love.
Yes, LOVE! She becomes clumsy, indecisive, and silly at the first hints of love. Her initial goal was to prevent the destruction of the world and take control of her clan once again. But when she falls in love, she leaves the fate of her clan in the hands of the guy who betrayed her and sent her to an island to die. All so she could travel freely with her love interest. Later, she wants to save the world simply for her love. To say anything else about her silly love driven mindset would mean spoilers, so to be vague, pay attention to what she says when she travels across time a second time. It is so unbelievably silly, bordering on completely idiotic. She goes from a strong heroine to someone whose sole reason for existing and acting is for her love.
Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad it we had some substantial buildup to the relationship, coupled with proof of an established and long-lasting bond that could never be broken. That, and if her feelings were actually reciprocated. Then it would be quite romantic and heroic that Hakaze would do anything for her love. But instead, her actions are based on a silly schoolgirl crush (that quite literally springs out of nowhere) and nothing more, making her actions and motivations seem incredibly idiotic.
Fuwa Mahiro and Takigawa Yoshino are perfect foils, making for a very interesting relationship between the two heroes. They get a significant amount of development in the first half of the show through a series of flashbacks, some of which involve Aika. Brash and arrogant Mahiro is the brawn of their duo, while the manipulative and analytical Yoshino is the brains. Their relationship is one of the most interesting ones of the series. How two young men who are so different from each other could end up cooperating so willingly and becoming the best of friends is a real mystery. But their actions in the second half become a bit odd to say the least. Not only that, but they show little emotion when finding out the truth behind Aika’s death, despite the fact that they are the most important people to her. In fact, their lack of emotion is prevalent even in the first half. They are just normal high school boys, not hardened soldiers. Yet their reactions to the destruction of their home certainly don’t give any hints to that.
Then there is Fuwa Aika, one of the most confusing characters. She’s already dead by the beginning of the series, yet still plays an important role in the story. She’s the motivation for Yoshino and Mahiro’s actions and appears in numerous flashbacks. Her character is described in the anime as having a “horrible personality.” That’s not even the half of it. Her development at the tail end of the series hints at a facet of her personality that is far more barbaric, border lining on psychotic. The rest of the side characters are mostly just there for decoration. They are lively personalities to either spice things up or be used as a convenient plot device to move the story along.
Now don’t get me wrong, Zetsuen no Tempest is not wholly unwatchable. There is plenty of enjoyment to be had watching this series, especially during the first half. It’s just too bad that Bones screwed up the story and characters so hard during the second half that it irredeemably sours the entire series. The character’s motivations during the second half make little to no sense. And trying to piece together why the characters are doing what they’re doing gives way to the realization that these characters are acting like total idiots. The plot twist during the second half was also ridiculous, giving the viewer little justification for WHY things had to be this way. Not to mention the implausibility of the situation based purely on the rules set by the anime.
Zetsuen no Tempest is a great watch if you turn off your brain and just enjoy it for what it is: Your “only very slightly above average until the second half of the show” shonen anime. Anybody looking for anything more won’t get much enjoyment out of this anime.
Let me go into detail…
Story: The story was put together in a great yet questionable way. There were many parts of the anime that could be related to the famous works of Shakespeare. With plot twists that would leave you confused, the story was never boring. The twisted tale of love, hate, revenge and a touch of magic was most definitely satisfying especially how the ending wrapped up the entire story. I sincerely wish that they would make a sequel.
Art: The art was satisfying, it clearly showed details in the magic shields and barriers. They point that stood out the most for me were the eyes. The characters eyes showed their emotions so clearly that they sent shivers down my spine, how they would dull or brighten depending on the emotions being conveyed.
Sound: The music chosen for this anime was…. Fabulous. The violin solos with the varying volumes matched the pace of the show and the suspense in the best fashion. The opening and endings weren’t boring and they definitely didn’t reveal a lot about the story. The upbeat openings shows the action and the more aggressive emotions in the show whereas the slower themes in the endings portrays the more negative and deeper feelings.
Character: Gosh, all of the characters were so perfect. They each played a huge role in the story but I think I should be more specific. Takigawa Yoshino is my favorite character, he is so mysterious and he definitely is a major character. He is referred as Horatio in some parts of the anime. His tale of not being able to grieve for the one he loves is heart breaking, how he shows great deduction skills and how he seems so innocent is so twisted and yet it fits the story perfectly. Fuwa Mahiro is the rich and feared character. His feelings played a large role, I find his motives very amusing throughout the plot. Yoshino and Mahiro are very… different characters compared to the cliches that show up nowadays. When you expect them to do something, they do the complete opposite. But what scares and surprises me the most is the lack of response from the two of them, no matter what they can always appear calm.
Overall, I ranked this anime a 9/10. Although I would say that it’s closer to a 9.5/10. XD
This is my first review, so I hope I did well…
3: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
English: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Japanese: マギ The labyrinth of magic
MAL Score: 8.04
Dispersed around the world, there are several bizarre labyrinths hiding incredible treasures within them. These mysterious places, known as “Dungeons,” are said to be the work of Magi, a class of rare magicians, who also help people build their empires by guiding them to a dungeon. Djinns, supernatural beings that rule over the labyrinths, grant successful conquerors access to their immense power and choose them as potential king candidates to rule the world.
Having spent life in isolation, Aladdin, a kind and young magician, is eager to explore the world upon finally leaving his home behind. He begins his journey only accompanied by his mentor Ugo—a djinn that Aladdin can summon with his flute. However, Aladdin soon becomes friends with the courageous Alibaba Saluja after causing the destruction of a local merchant’s supply cart. In order to pay for the damages, Alibaba suggests that they attempt to conquer the nearest dungeon, taking the first step in an epic adventure that will decide the fate of the world itself.
Thankfully, Magi does this.
Story: (9/10) With a setting based on Arabian Nights, you can expect (or at least hope for), a gripping narrative. Thankfully, Magi is structured so that the focus on the two main protagonists (Alibaba and Aladdin) is well orchestrated, and has a unique vibe to it. Through this, the story can become very dark and gripping, while not losing the narrative. What differentiates this from other shounen is the political aspect. As a king, you must reign. But how will you do it? Through this question the different nations and factions can interact in a believable environment, without it ever feeling like the author is asking you to pretend they would do that.
Art: (8/10) Most shounens typically fall under long broadcasting widths. While this allows for a developed story, the art tends to suffer long-term. Thankfully the animators have cut the show into a one season arc, while providing room to adapt more chapters if need be. For this reason, the art is well developed. Backgrounds are detailed and varied, with character models being round and developed. There are few jagged edges apparent, which helps realism. The battle scenes don’t suffer with still shots (too much), and motion does not degrade the animation. It stays fluid throughout, with the exception of the comedy scenes. Through these, the show takes a different animation style. While humorous in a way, it detracts from the overall value. I don’t see the joke through their expressions, but rather, through the goofy way they’re drawn.
Sound: (9/10) One of Magi’s strong points. Both openings provide a gateway into Arabia, with a melody and vocalist that resemble the middle eastern style. It opens the door to the show, making the transition to background music worthwhile. With this, you experience a variety of festival soundtracks, battle hymns, and adventure tunes. The depth and well execution of sound makes for a more enjoyable watch. This is followed by the endings which slightly devalue the soundtrack. While not bad, they don’t carry the show to the end. Had they been chosen better, the desire to continue watching would have been more apparent.
Characters: (10/10) The characters in a show must be well rounded for the plot to work. No matter how great a set piece, it won’t work without strong protagonists. And Magi delivers. Alibabba is a naive individual with to much idealism. This pushes the plot forward. Aladdin is a childish yet strangely deep character. His character shifts add emotion to the story. Morgiana is the strong, shackled female who can offer great moments through her actions. This trio has a well-blended bond that works. Their conversations kept me through the show, eager to see how they will handle future situations. The background characters, of which there are to many to name, are stunning. They have unique personalities, and offer believable lines that push the narrative further. Each new individual can hold their own as a main character, and you can care for each one of them. They’re so developed you almost want to root for the bad guy.
Enjoyment (9/10) I spent a week watching this show to prepare for the second season. After finishing, I was impatient waiting for season 2. This show was well worth the time put in, and will absolutely have a lasting effect on your view of how a shounen should be.
Overall: (9/10) Magi is a show that should be watched, for it offers a well developed plot that’s backed by great sound, art, and characters. For those into shounen, this’ll be a guaranteed favorite. For those wanting to get into the genre, it’s a good starting point. And for those opposed of the genre, you’re missing out.
Magi (also known as Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic as its full title) is a manga written by Shinobu Ohtaka. The series takes place in an universe that has has desert artwork scattered all around. As such, its theme relates to the classical One Thousand and One Nights and its collections. It feels like a classic honestly with its settings and atmosphere. From the beginning, we quickly meet all three of the main protagonists in the series. It doesn’t take long for the action and drama to pick up its pace as in the first few episodes already explores some of the cruelty (such as slavery), the dungeons, and monstrosity that exists in the Magi universe.
The series is packed with both a lighthearted and action style mood as the episodes progresses. One of the things that we see is the interesting and bro-like relationship between the two main characters – Aladdin and Alibaba. Although not related, they have a close bond and a brotherly relationship in which the two often looks out after one another. The two travels together in their quests and adventures . It’s a fantasy adventure that gives off that old school like feeling as they explore the world of Magi.
Although not one-hundred percent compatible, the duo has similar personalities. Both Aladdin and Alibaba shares a personality of wanting to explore the world as well as having an initiative to help others in need. They put others above themselves and always constantly looks after each others’ well being. The relationship between the two is very fun to watch given their lighthearted interactions and how they conquer obstacles along the way. Additionally, the duo are very loyal and seeks ways to form bonds with others whether through words or their actions.
However, this doesn’t always last.
For some reason, the series breaks off its trials for a bit later on. The two goes off of their directions and seemingly begins their own tales. From there on, the duo seems to become independent of their own journeys as they explore their own worlds. It seems to be more character focused rather than a story by this point and things start to slow down. Additionally, what continues on seems to have little influence on the duo’s journey and adventures. That and the fact in which their adventures gets off its tracks with no intertwined effect on one another seems to make a few frown on some die hard fans’ faces.
Luckily, there’s still another character that brings on entertainment to Magi. Her name is Morgania and she’s one tough girl with an even tougher childhood.
Joining the duo later on, Morgania (Mor) is a young 14 years old girl who always had a tough childhood. Forced into slavery and with little freedom, we see her struggles in the world of Magi. Prior to her liberation, her personality exists opposite of the dynamic duo that we are already familiar with. Her cold personality reflects on the cruelty of what she already been through. It makes us feel sorry for her as a child and how she came to be. Yet, later on, we do see more of her caring side. In fact, Morgania even begins risking her own life to protect others in need and putting herself above others. It’s proven that Morgania has forged a strong friendship with Alibaba and Aladdin and they are possibly the most important people in her life.
Other characters in the series also has a way of setting themselves from the others. Most of their names (including the main protagonists) are based off One Thousand and One Nights along with some of its settings and themes. There are the many tribes with their leaders and prominent members such as Sinbad and Judal. They play their roles and given their status and power are considered respected as well as feared throughout the Magi world.
The magic part of the series also takes in every episode of course. The magic theme of the series involves the power of the djinns that comes along from the users’ metal vessels. Other terms related to magic include rukh, magoi, dungeon capturer, and magi itself. It’s hard to say that these themes all tie together well by they do go hand in hand. In fact, most of Magi has a desert like setting unlike our modern civilization with fancy cars, technology, and architecture. As a matter of fact, it’s portrayed in that fantasy like setting with its old school like backgrounds.
As magi is considered the title, it is also considered a respectful term known by its name. We clearly know and see that Aladdin is a magi with his powers of being able to summon Ugo, a blue muscular like familiar that fights on his behalf. Yet at the same time, it seems that Aladdin also lacks the precise knowledge of how to perfect his skills especially later on against an antagonist. It is by this time we know that there is so much mystery that meets the eye of being what a magi is all about. Yet, with the help of his dear friends, Aladdin may unlock those mysteries.
The series’ action is portrayed as being part of the shounen style. It involves the characters powering up, making speeches in the middle of fights, and trying to show off what they can do. To be honest, it is quite generic and some of the same cliched action scenes are forced in many ways. For example, the battle between Aladdin and another fellow magi later on starts one-sided. Yet later on, it turns around the tide and has our main protagonist Aladdin do “what is right and stop him”. The action also seems to be forced as well such as the powering up and dynamic entrances from some of the characters. Whether entering in or exiting out, it seems to be forced and lacks true action.
The artwork design of the series is natural and sophisticated. Because it is based off One Thousand and One Nights and some of its themes, we can expect the desert like settings and their sequences employed further with the usage of magic. Most if not all of the characters are dressed in ways that are old fashioned and suited to the Sahara like backgrounds. The forest, desert, and architecture adapts an old school style that is natural and straight to the point. It doesn’t try to stand out above the others in the artwork development. In fact, its visuals are focused and fluid that fits with each other.
In terms of soundtrack, Hiromi Kikuta (Black Rock Shooter, Scrapped Princess) employs his skills in orchestrating the OST. Some of the soundtracks has that classic Arabian rhythms while other times pulls its course together with its full throttle pacing. This is especially true during scenes involving based chased at night time or when there are crucial moments of conflict. Shiro Sagisu does a similar job with his music as well with its appealing scores. The opening song, “V.I.P” by SID catches the viewers’ attention with the way it is orchestrated by presenting the montage of its characters as well as some of the action going on. Oh and let’s not forget about the all-star cast coming together. Although generic, it is appealing and classic.
All in all, Magi is a classic. It is a fantasy adventure that brings back the old school feeling with its cast of characters, its themes, style, story telling, and visual artworks. The division of the duo in later episodes may catch viewers off balance but it can still be appealing when we see more of the character backgrounds of our heroes. The trio in fact becomes a pivotal point in the series as they explore the world they never thought would come across. With magic, they can do almost anything but with friends and what they believe in, they become the next big thing. Whether Magi is the next big thing is hard to say but the adventure of Alibaba, Aladdin, and Morgania has come a long way.
Story/Setting/Combat depth – Ok, so i´m not only reviewing the story and world here but the combat depth too, because i think that it´s an important part on any battle anime.
The story is set in an alternate recreation of the ancient Old World with several regions and nations having some resemblances with real-life counterparts from that time. In this world, all living beings possess an essence known as Rukh and when they die, this essence returns to the huge flow (also known as “guidance”) of Rukh that gives life to all subsequent beings in an eternal cycle of rebirth called “Fate”. Once a person is overcome with sadness, anger and hopelessness, their Rukh turns into a corrupted, unstable, black-colored Rukh that deviates from the main guidance in a process known as “Fall into Depravity”.
There are also several magic castles full of treasures and traps known as “Dungeons” and each of them is the lair of a powerful magic being, a Djinn. Individuals that manage to overcome the trials of a Dungeon and earn the allegiance of its Djinn are known as Dungeon Capturers, gaining the ability to use its powers infused in a personal item of them known as “Metal Vessel” and create less potent “Household Vessels” for their companions as well.
People can use the Rukh in their bodies to create an energy known as Magoi ( kinda like chakra in naruto ) to power their magical weapons and abilities. This energy must be used with care, as despite the fact that an individual’s magoi can be restored with feeding and rest, once fully exhausted it provokes their death. Among those that can perform magic with their own Magoi there is a rare class of magicians known as Magi, that can also use Magoi from the Rukh around them, greatly increasing their capabilities. A Magi usually chooses Dungeon Capturers to offer guidance and protection making of them their King Vessels. There are several nations in history that were founded or improved by the rule of such individuals.
So the story of magi starts out really simple but as the anime progresses it keeps evolving and adding important and nice stuff. This is the story about a young boy by the name of Aladdin and his adventures around the world of magi. Like many other series he becomes friends with many people, 2 of them are Alibaba and Morgiana, and so the 3 of them become the main characters.
The story is mostly about war between empires/countries. Where Aladdin enters in all this is that he is a magi, a beeing that acording to legends chooses his king to control the world. Throughout the story we learn that there is more than 1 magi and that they are not on the same side so that only means 1 thing, war. There is a dark organization too called the Al Thamen that are trying to screw up the world and that side up with the empire aladdin and his friends are fighting.
Easily the thing i like the most about magi, there is enough depth here to the point you have to google some definitions.
Most of the fodders use normal weapons without any special abilities, but the main weapon of all people here is Magoi, it works out like chakra from naruto, each person has their own reserve and only magi can use the magoi from the rukh around them.
There is the dungeon capturers too, people that successfully pass a dungeon can keep in their control the djinn of that dungeon. The djinn enters into a metal and the capturer can use that djinn´s power. For example, if a djinn´s ability is fire, that person can attack with fire. But that´s not only it, thats the basic. As time passes and you became better with your metal vessal you can use an ability called Djinn Equip, by using that your metal vessal turns into the djinn´s weapon and your ability ( fire in this case ) becomes even better. Djinn equip has diferent levels, at first you can only use the djinn´s weapon but later on you can even cover your whole body with armours and stuff. You can only maintain this ability as long as your magoi reserves let you. Oh and one more thing, if the Djinn capturer is a magi he can summon the djinn in battle ( this is exclusive of magis ).
Household Vessels are objects (weapons, jewelry, accessories, etc) that hold importance to the Household Members of a Dungeon Capturer. Like for example, if my djinn type is fire my household member will have an ability connected with fire. ( Household vessels are not as strong as the djinn equip ( exclusive to dungeon capturers)).
There is magicians too that can manipulate their rukh and create a type of magic ( healing, heat, water, gravity etc ), with that they can create many abilities.
Im only 25 episodes in ( 1st season ) and there is a ton of combat depth, im sure there is many many more things 🙂
Very colourful, there isn´t much to be said here.
Go to youtube and see for yourself.
Not good enough to deserve a better score, like always the japanese voices are great but there is a lack of better osts.
Aladdin – Like i said above, a young magi boy that is traveling the world and making many friends ( sorta like luffy ) he is your typical shounen protagonist which in my opinion is a bit to mainstream but whatever.
Alibaba – Aladdin´s friend and main character, he is a really great character and his personality develops really well and you learn about his backstory.
Morgiana – Aladdin´s friend and main character, she, like alibaba in terms of personality develops a lot too. She belongs to a tribe called Fanalis, Fanalis are a really strong type of tribe with power that can crush rocks.
All the other characters are really good in design but as not very much developed ( maybe because its only 25 episodes, i dont know ).
I can´t really say much more without spoiling it, it´s better if you watch.
2: Kamisama Hajimemashita
English: Kamisama Kiss
MAL Score: 8.06
High schooler Nanami Momozono has quite a few problems of late, beginning with her absentee father being in such extreme debt that they lose everything. Downtrodden and homeless, she runs into a man being harassed by a dog. After helping him, she explains her situation, and to her surprise, he offers her his home in gratitude. But when she discovers that said home is a rundown shrine, she tries to leave; however, she is caught by two shrine spirits and a fox familiar named Tomoe. They mistake her for the man Nanami rescued—the land god of the shrine, Mikage. Realizing that Mikage must have sent her there as a replacement god, Tomoe leaves abruptly, refusing to serve a human.
Rather than going back to being homeless, Nanami immerses herself in her divine duties. But if she must keep things running smoothly, she will need the help of a certain hot-headed fox. In her fumbling attempt to seek out Tomoe, she lands in trouble and ends up sealing a contract with him. Now the two must traverse the path of godhood together as god and familiar; but it will not be easy, for new threats arise in the form of a youkai who wants to devour the girl, a snake that wants to marry her, and Nanami’s own unexpected feelings for her new familiar.
Ah kamisama, where are you when I need you the most?
Ah kamisama, why can’t the world be perfect?
In a nutshell, Kamisama Hajimemashita (also known as Kamisama Kiss) is based on the manga of the same name written by Julietta Suzuki. She is known for several other lighthearted shoujo manga that involves supernatural elements such as Karakuri Odette. The series debuted in Fall of 2012 along with many other shuojo titles.
The series tells the story of a young girl named Nanami Momozono, who is alone..abandoned, and helpless. The innocent little lamp makes an interesting encounter with a strange man (Mikagi) and from there, her life changes forever. But wait, it doesn’t stop there. She also encounters the big bad wolf (or rather familiar) Tomoe. Along with him comes the package of two other spirits (Onikiri and Kotetsu). After a contract sealed by a kiss, the two forms as peculiar relationship. This series details their relationship and what’s to come from it because the world is never fair. It’s not perfect.
Furthermore, this series is quite a strange one if you look on the surface. We have a normal human with no experience of the supernatural in a strange relationship with strange being with strange ears and a strange personality. Did I mention strange?
The relationship between Nanami and Tomoe is one of the most strange, amusing, and interesting part of the series. A human and a familiar relationship has trouble written all over it especially the gap of difference between the two. Nanami is a normal human girl who has normal skills in life with normal friends attending a normal school. On the other hand, Tomoe is a supernatural being with supernatural abilities and able to accomplish feats with supernatural degrees.
This is like trying to get a cobra and mongoose to be best friends…
From the beginning, Tomoe is very frustrated at Nanami’s lack of progress in what she’s trying to become and adjusting with her new life. He becomes increasingly annoyed at home, at school, and almost whenever he’s around with Nanami, or precisely whenever he feels nothing is getting done. This example can be seen early in the series as result of Nanami’s lack of progress with her new responsibilities. Yet at various times, there are sweet and tender moments where Tomoe feels empathy, care, and even jealousy for her. Wait a minute..is that a male tsundere I see in Tomoe??
Being a shoujo series adapted from a shoujo manga, expect shoujo themes and elements. That typically transits in to the romance part of Kamisama Kiss. Even from the second word of the title and the pilot episode, one can expect romance in it. It’s not one of those love at first sights though or a helpless crush but rather a strange one to say the least. To add to the mix, there are other characters such as the highly popular idol at school Shinjirou Kuram. He’s the narcasstic type who causes trouble and tension between the duo but at the same time can be a fun guy to get to know with. There are other characters who occasionally adds in their own spotlights to the series as well such as the snake familiar Mizuki, Nanami’s friend Mei, and later on a more dramatic entry of Ryuuou.
This series is overall quite lighthearted. There is virtually no fan-service except “maybe” the beach episode in the latter half. It’s more of a series where its comedy outshines its romance aspects especially the strange relationship between Nanami and Tomoe. Other characters adds in the comedy even during scenes where action is presented. So, if you’re looking for some serious mindfuck, ecchi fan-service, or a dynamic story exploring serious themes, then you might be disappointed. Still though, the romance part does begin to blossom later on in the series especially after a pleasant date (maybe not entirely for Tomoe) and some tender moments.
The artwork of the series is lighthearted as well. The art seems to be a bit pale and plain at most times that reflects the nature of this shoujo series. Most of Julietta Suzuki’s artwork balances between romance and comedy and that is presented in Kamisama Kiss as well. The series focuses more on the characters rather than anything else with its artwork thus it’s just ordinary; nothing too special to be honest.
Soundtrack and music applies here as well of being lighthearted. There is no intense or techno music rhythm even during some of the more dramatic and action scenes. Kurama’s entry is often accompanied by his own soundtrack theme that brings out the inner fan girls at school so in some ways, it can be considered a little rock on added to the mix. The OP and ED songs are also lighthearted with one half of the title “Kamisama” being echoed for the latter. Once again, it seems to just be in the background with a pleasant melody rather than anything special.
Overall, I found Kamisama Kiss to be a charming little gem but nothing too special. It doesn’t shine much as the series is shoujo with lighthearted themes. It’s not mainstream compared to a few of the other shoujo series in the industry today (especially this Fall Season of 2012). But what it does have is a relaxing way of presenting romance mixed with comedy especially with the strange duo of Nanami and Tomoe. It’s one of those series where you can sit down, watch it, and then tell yourself “well, that was cute”. And of course, cute is another word to describe Kamisama Kiss especially with the supernatural elements mixed in. Some of the episodes does seem a bit dry with a lack of flavor but it can still be a fun watch especially if you enjoy its shoujo themes.
Well, like normal romance, she is taken in by someone and falls in love with the person even if he is not of this world. It would be fine if this was a normal romance with the man being a human but in this case, we have a fox spirit who has a really bad temper at times. At first glance, I guess you could consider Tomoe a muli-personalitied demon. He will fix Nanami dinner after telling her he despises being her familiar; call her a idiot when he is trying to save her; and things similar of that nature. With all the whining he seems to do about her, you would think he would just up and quit when he got a chance, right? Well, that’s what I thought when he was free of his duties at one part but then he reinstates his position as her familiar again. That is not a real spoiler as it happens really early in the show but it’s a good example of just how split this guy is.
The opening is a bit, I don’t know. It’s just a bit confusing. It’s all images of her with a song about being a girl and just starting to be a girl? I’m confused as to what the opening was supposed to do as they don’t really do anything but show this young girl. It didn’t fit the show at all making me want to skip it every time. Other then that, the animation and everything reminds me of a lot of other shows out there with a supernatural spoof. It’s dark in a colorful atmosphere. It’s hard to explain as the darkness is just the addition of dark purples and blues but then the brightness of those colors pop. In artist terms, the supernatural part of the show is dark hues and the brighter everyday parts are more of lighter shades of pastels and such.
Now let’s talk about the voices. I love the how comical the narrator is and she helps bring a bit more life to the story. She doesn’t pop up at any old time, only when it seems like it’s supposed to be a comical part of even when some sort of hardship is happening like in the beginning. Sadly, every once in a while, she does come in at a wrong time when talking about what happen in the last show. Nanami talks way too much. She seems to want to be as good a narrator as the narrator is. When she first wakes up from her dream, she talks on and on about what she thought was a dream. This happens a lot it seems. Her voice is a bit annoying as she still seems rather stuck up, a very good contrast though to the rather gentle voice of Tomoe. Well, gentle might not be the right word for him as he is rather stuck up and rude to Nanami but he is voiced by one of my favorite voice actors J. Michael Tatum, the same voice as Sebastian from Black Butler. It’s a very calming voice and it is fun to see him sort of freak out at some parts because of Nanami’s mistakes or his own. I think that’s what sets Tomoe apart from the others that Tatum has voiced before.
I really thought it was a cute show although a bit to short. The ending was a ok ending but there is so much more that could of happened both before and after that I feel it falls a bit flat. I really did love watching it non the less.
The anime has lovely artwork and a pleasant soundtrack (including the opening and ending theme which are gorgeous!) I find the characters appealing and engaging, also the comedy is rather light hearted and bearable in comparison to many slap-stick alternatives.
I find it hard to not get into this anime considering that it combines comedy, a bit of action, supernatural and romance all in one. Best part is that it’s quick to watch and more importantly has a rather satisfying ending.
My only complaint is that it probably would have been more interesting to have more episodes and extended the development in that duration considering that the characters and story hold so much potential.
1: Fate/Zero 2nd Season
English: Fate/Zero Season 2
Japanese: フェイト/ゼロ 2ndシーズン
MAL Score: 8.58
As the Fourth Holy Grail War rages on with no clear victor in sight, the remaining Servants and their Masters are called upon by Church supervisor Risei Kotomine, in order to band together and confront an impending threat that could unravel the Grail War and bring about the destruction of Fuyuki City. The uneasy truce soon collapses as Masters demonstrate that they will do anything in their power, no matter how despicable, to win.
Seeds of doubt are sown between Kiritsugu Emiya and Saber, his Servant, as their conflicting ideologies on heroism and chivalry clash. Meanwhile, an ominous bond forms between Kirei Kotomine, who still seeks to find his purpose in life, and one of the remaining Servants. As the countdown to the end of the war reaches zero, the cost of winning begins to blur the line between victory and defeat.
There are many types of power – financial, military, political, religious, etc – and at one time or another each has been used to further the goals of individuals, organisations, and even nations. The odd thing though, is that even though it has been referenced for thousands of years in everything from legends and myths to folktales and history, magic has rarely been placed in the same category. The problem is that people don’t really believe in magic any more, and the subject has been relegated to the realms of fiction and fantasy – even though it was often said that practitioners had the ability to wield primal forces, command spirits, and shake the foundations of heaven.
Everything has a price though, and in order to achieve or seize power of any sort you have to be willing to give up certain … things. So the question is, what would you sacrifice for the chance to be a god?
The continuation of Fate/Zero opens with two F-15 jets that have been dispatched by the Japanese Air Force with orders to investigate the situation on the Mion River. Archer/Gilgamesh watches with disdain from on high as Sabre, Rider and Lancer continue their temporary alliance, and the pitched battle with the giant creature summoned by Caster/Gille de Rais rages on.
Little do they know that a new player is about to enter the field …
One of the most noticeable differences between the first and second halves of Fate/Zero is the shift from preparation and planning to all-out action – something that is rather eloquently symbolized by the battle on the Mion River. With much of the preamble over, the storyline is able to place the kid-gloves to one side and ramp-up the tension between the combatants. This is most often achieved by drawing on the conflicting ideologies of each of the characters – with some thoroughly unscrupulous tactics thrown in to drive home the fact that the participants are involved in a war. The plot remains as focused as ever, but there’s a palpable change in the atmosphere of the series, and many episodes have a less forgiving, more brutal air about them.
This shift in “attitude” has been handled extremely well by series director Aoki Ei and his writers, and a great deal of attention has been paid to the impact the numerous action scenes have on the characters – something that’s becoming a rarity in modern anime. It’s an interesting and effective usage of screentime that is markedly different from the patient build-up of the first half of the story, but crafted with the same care and attention to detail that have become a hallmark of Type-Moon/Ufotable collaborations. This prevents the show devolving into a legendary free-for-all, and allows for some very interesting confrontations – several of which have their roots in the layers of subtext that were added during previous series.
With the focus on action instead of intrigue, one might have expected there to be some differences in the visuals. Thankfully there are almost no major alterations present throughout the series – aside from a few cosmetic differences in clothing and apparel. The high production standards have been maintained and character movements are as sharp and crisp as ever. There are a few relatively minor issues with the blending of CG and standard animation, but these are pretty easy to ignore. What does stand out are the rather dazzling visual effects, many of which are bigger and bolder due to the shift from preparation to action. The choreography and timing of these – together with the quality of the character animation – make for some truly stunning combat sequences.
Composer Kajiura Yuki’s all-female band Kalafina – the long-time muses of Type-Moon/Ufotable collaborations – open the second season with the operatic rock ballad “To the Beginning”, while the main participants in the Holy Grail war are re-introduced in a well-choreographed montage that contains a few hints of things to come. On the other hand the closing sequence is a rather simple yet moving account – told through a series of still images – of the relationship between Emiya Kiritsugu and Irisviel von Einzbern – with Luna Haruna’s pop ballad “Sora wa Takaku Kaze wa Utau” adding an uplifting and slightly bittersweet tone. Kalafina also return with the martially themed operatic ballad “Manten” as a special closing track for episodes 18 and 19.
The first season of Fate/Zero featured a very high standard of audio production, and it’s nice to see that sound director Iwanami Yoshikazu hasn’t allowed anyone to rest on their laurels. The background music is as diverse and atmospheric as ever, and while there are a few tracks that may sound a little off-kilter, this appears to be a purposeful move in order to heighten the mood of certain scenes. That said, there are two areas where this series is arguably superior to its predecessor – both of which have been pushed to the fore by the move to action.
The audio effects are as sharp and clear as ever, but the increase in combat means that the production standards need to be pushed even higher and more diversity needs to be added. In addition to this the quality of the audio/visual choreography – which was already excellent in the previous series – often went unnoticed because of the focus on preparation and planning. Thankfully Iwanami is arguably one of the most experienced sound directors working in the industry, and his skills – developed over many years working on a variety of different anime – really make the difference. The superb effects and remarkable choreography really set the second series of Fate/Zero apart from other shows released this year, and mark it as a front-runner for any potential awards in this department.
Unlike many other anime, the move to an action footing hasn’t caused the script to devolve into random shouts, grunts and screams, and the writers have done well to retain the maturity and intelligence of the first season. There is a bit of a change in the delivery though, as with the goal in sight, some of the actors appear to have been encouraged to add more emotion to their roles. This works surprisingly well with characters who were cold or aloof in the first series – Sabre and Archer for example – and the differences in their feelings becomes more pronounced as the story progresses and the battles take their mental toll.
One of the biggest criticisms of Fate/Zero is that it has tried to weave a coherent narrative from too many character and plot threads without relying on a lead role. Now this may seem like an anathema to those who prefer their development to follow a distinct linear progression, but those tales often suffer from an age-old problem in storytelling – every good protagonist needs an equally good antagonist. It’s an issue that has affected anime for many years as – contrary to popular belief – creating and developing a good opposite (the antagonist doesn’t have to be a villain after all), to a hero/heroine is not an easy task.
Thankfully Fate/Zero takes its cues from shows like Baccano!, and the lack of a lead role is actually a boon to the series as it allows multiple perspectives to come to the fore. Each of the participants in the war for the Holy Grail is effectively the antagonist of one or more of the other combatants, and all of the players bounce around the plot like peas on a drum – colliding into each other and changing their directions, alliances and enemies in the blink of an eye. It’s a rarely used and fascinating approach to character development that highlights in particular the ever-changing nature of the battlefield. One big plus is that while the first season was rather staid in its portrayal of the heroes, the second half of the story pulls very few punches – showing clearly the lengths to which several of the combatants will go in order to win, opening the scars of old wounds, and ensuring that the viewer knows exactly what everyone has put on the line for the ultimate prize.
Over the years there have been many anime that have changed focus and tone from one season to the next, but rarely does it happen in the space of one series. The reason for this is because it’s often extremely difficult to reconcile what may eventually turn out to be conflicting portrayals of the story and characters – and therein lies the greatest achievement of Type-Moon, Ufotable, and author Urobuchi Gen. The successful blending of two different perspectives has created a remarkable story that isn’t afraid to show off its intelligence or maturity, and the second half of Fate/Zero successfully builds upon the carefully laid foundations of the first season – even with the increase in action and combat.
Prequels are often tricky to deal with as they are very easy to get wrong, which is one of the reasons why this series is a little bit special. In addition to shedding new light on the events that occur in Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero is also a singular example of just how good seinen action tales can be, and a testament to the quality that can be achieved through long-term studio collaborations.
The Grail War has been done before, but never like this. The same rules apply. Seven masters, seven servants, all fighting in a fierce battle royal in order to determine the rightful owner of the Holy Grail. However in contrast to Fate/Stay Nights cast of children struggling to accept the responsibility so prematurely forced upon them we have a plethora of adult men ready to sacrifice anything to achieve their goals. By Juxtaposing the series and its prequel it becomes evident that Fate/Zero is a darker story focusing on the ideals of each characters along with the suffering these ideals bring forth. The plot is essentially a catalyst that lets the characters tragically develop as they spiral closer and closer into despair.
But through its greatness Fate/Zero suffers from its link to Fate/Stay Night. As a prequel, its freedom was constrained by the eventual conclusion that loomed just beyond the horizon. But even as a predecessor limited to one conclusion Fate/Zero succeeded in producing a story that left you on the edge of your seat.
In addition to Fate/Zero Ufotable is also the studio responsible for the Kara no Kyoukai series; a powerhouse in the visual arts department. No corners were cut in producing Fate/Zero, either. Ferocious battles, twisted emotions, and familiar yet exotic settings are illustrated beautifully with the use of hair-raising choreography, movie quality animation and god tier CG. Now, CG is a turn off for most viewers, me usually included. However the CG in this series is so stunningly well done that I can’t imagine it would be animated half as well any other way. In addition to CG, Ufotable has once again incorporated a beautiful contrast between neon colors as seen in Kara no Kyoukai. The warm orange glow of a streetlamp beating down on the lifeless world bathed in the hue of moonlight really gives the show a sharp look that is pleasing on the eyes. Fate/Zero also houses THE most amazing fight in anime I’ve seen to date, I won’t spoil which fight it is, but those who have already seen the anime will know.
A beautiful orchestrated soundtrack is the icing on the cake. The music accompanying the series is a kaleidoscope of melodies invoking emotional responses when needed; happiness, despair, tragedy, splendor, evil, conflict, etc. The opening and ending songs both intertwine with the story effectively as well. The opening has an emotional feel to it as compared with the upbeat actiony sequence present in season one. It adequately inspires a sense of foreboding in the viewer. Now onto the ending. It serves to flesh out our protagonist Kerry by presenting us with how he and Iri came to be a couple and have their child. Teasing us with Kerry’s past and how happy the two lovers were during the short time they spent together only serves to harden the impact of the finale.
These are what makes this show shine so brilliantly. There are no exceptions; every single character is quirkily unique, each one sheltering an array of conflicting emotions, and impossible ideals. Labeling any character as an antagonist, protagonist, side character, or otherwise would be insulting as almost every person is artistically created with personalities astonishingly fleshed out and consistent. Gilgamesh for example was once the ruler of pretty much everything on earth. By standing above everyone else figuratively and literally for his entire life, he has fostered an incredible superiority complex. Infinite weapons fill his treasury, and he only expends four on an enemy that is about to destroy the entire city before retreating saying that he “Does not wish for the weapons to be returned because they touched that filthy creature”. That is beautiful characterization right there.
I enjoyed the shit out of this. There’s nothing more to be said.
One episode was filler, some others were rushed because of it, and a certain track wasn’t included in the score, but this does not stop Fate/Zero from being one of the best anime in a long time. With a bravura of directing, animation, plot, character development, sound, choreography, and dialogue, Fate/Zero exceeded all my expectations and got better every single episode. Fanboyish as the review may seem, a wonderful story is a wonderful story, no matter which way you cut it.
“Glory lies beyond the horizon. Challenge it because it is unreachable. Speak of conquest and demonstrate it.” – Rider
The Holy Grail—an omnipotent wish granting device which grants the owner any one wish of their deepest desire. For generations, the Holy Grail Wars were held every 60 years to decide who would be worthy to yield an item of such immense power; seven Masters coupled with seven Servants duke it out in a battle royale to the death, but only one Master and Servant can be victorious.
Fate/Zero is a thrilling, engaging, intellectual and mature anime with jaw-dropping visuals.
Fate/Zero is about the 4th Holy Grail War, which takes place 10 years before the events of the Fifth Holy Grail war, and is set in Fuyuki City. Seven magi are chosen by the Grail as Masters, and by the power of the Grail, they have the ability to summon Heroic Spirits brought forth as familiars to come and fight by their side, which are their Servants. Each Servant that’s summoned is put into one of the following classes, which include: Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin and Berserker; each with their own skills and benefits.
The Story is masterfully done and kept me engaged throughout the entire series. You never know what’s going to happen next or what plot twist is going to take place. Watching it is almost as reading a masterfully crafted literature epic; it’s that good.
This anime is heavily focused around dialogue, and for that reason there aren’t many battles, but when a battle arrives it’s just so amazing that it’ll keep you at the edge of your seat. This isn’t to say that the dialogue isn’t entertaining though, as I personally enjoyed every last bit of it, even if it does sometimes drag on for awhile. The dialogue also tells a lot about some of the characters backstories.
Throughout there are some comedic scenes here and there, most of which pertaining to Rider and Waver, though for the most part it mainly stays in a serious and dark atmosphere.
The production quality for this anime is just amazing—it really shows how great Type-Moon’s productions are, and when they’re mixed with ufotable, EXPECT GREATNESS! The art and animation in this anime are done SO well it’s just breathtaking, to say the least. Every image is animated so well, there were very few animation errors, and everything was just so smooth. And the art was just beautiful! It was so good that in some scenes my jaw was literally dropped for 1-2 minutes. I also really liked the character designs; all of them were just awesome. The art and animation is just masterfully done, not much more I can say about it. Go check it out for yourself if you don’t take my word for it.
One of my favorite aspects of this show has got to be how it portrayed the characters. I’m not sure if it’s not entirely focusing on one main protagonist and rather showing all the characters and how their stories eventually unfold, or if it’s the masterful way Gen Urubuchi conveyed how each character thought and why they took the actions that they took, but I loved it. Character development is also very good; you mainly notice it with Kiritsugu Emiya, as there are even 2 whole episodes about his back story in season 2. But my favorite character, like many others, is definitely Rider. Some of the feels you get when he gives his speeches. I also love his attitude and how he acts, one of my favorite characters of recent times.
The soundtrack for both seasons was done by Yuki Kaijura, and if you’ve ever heard any of her other awesome soundtracks (most notably SAO and Madoka Magica), you should have a pretty good idea that this one is just as great. Most of the pieces have heavy orchestra and are very powerful; this track also contains some very emotional pieces, like my personal favorite from it, Tragedy and Fate.
I absolutely adored the first opening Oath Sign by LiSa, and I doubted the second one would be better than the first… But oh boy was I wrong about that (for my tastes). “To the Beginning” By Kalafina (Yuki Kaijura’s all-female band) quickly become my favorite OP of ALL time. Strong vocals accompanied by a strong orchestra make this piece a pleasure to the ears. I really liked the EDs. Sora wa Takaku Kaze wa Utau by Luna Haruna really set the mood for the end of each episode, and it also quickly became one of my favorite EDs.
I watched the dubbed version and it was just great–leagues above many other dubs I’ve heard. I don’t think they could’ve even picked a better voice actor for Kiritsugu Emiya than Matthew Mercer, and Freeman Crispin (also Alucard from Hellsing), as always, did an amazing job. His deep tone really suited Kirei Kotomine.
What can I say? I absolutely love this anime. It will keep you thrilled, engaged, and satisfied by the ending. It has really high production quality, and a great soundtrack. My highest recommendation for you to watch this truly exceptional anime.
One thing I also admire about it how mature it is—it doesn’t need fan service or overused/unoriginal comedy to be successful (not that that’s always a bad thing, though). It is truly an original as well as unique anime, and in my opinion, a must watch for fans of the Fate series.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Fate/Zero 2nd Season
2. Kamisama Hajimemashita
3. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
4. Zetsuen no Tempest
5. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
6. Shakugan no Shana III (Final)
7. Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II
8. Zero no Tsukaima F
9. Suite Precure
10. Sword Art Online