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 Guilty Crown, To LOVE-Ru Darkness, Persona 4 the Animation, and more!
10: Guilty Crown
English: Guilty Crown
MAL Score: 7.47
Japan, 2039. Ten years after the outbreak of the “Apocalypse Virus,” an event solemnly regarded as “Lost Christmas,” the once proud nation has fallen under the rule of the GHQ, an independent military force dedicated to restoring order. Funeral Parlor, a guerilla group led by the infamous Gai Tsutsugami, act as freedom fighters, offering the only resistance to GHQ’s cruel despotism.
Inori Yuzuriha, a key member of Funeral Parlor, runs into the weak and unsociable Shuu Ouma during a crucial operation, which results in him obtaining the “Power of Kings”—an ability which allows the wielder to draw out the manifestations of an individual’s personality, or “voids.” Now an unwilling participant in the struggle against GHQ, Shuu must learn to control his newfound power if he is to help take back Japan once and for all.
Guilty Crown follows the action-packed story of a young high school student who is dragged into a war, possessing an ability that will help him uncover the secrets of the GHQ, Funeral Parlor, and Lost Christmas. However, he will soon learn that the truth comes at a far greater price than he could have ever imagined.
The sad fact is that while it’s okay to find inspiration from other sources, the industry has become so used to the adaptation that studios and writers find it difficult to produce work that could be considered “original”. Instead, what passes for a unique story tends to be nothing more than a collection of concepts and ideas from other tales that are thrown together in the vain hope that people will rush to buy the end product because … well, because someone tells them to.
But rather than dwelling on such things, let’s take a look at Guilty Crown.
Set in Tokyo in the year 2039, a decade has passed since a mysterious outbreak known as the “Apocalypse Virus” killed thousands of people and brought Japan to its knees – a disaster that would later be called “Lost Christmas”. Since that time Japan has lost its independence, and has become a martial state governed by an international organisation known as GHQ. The story opens with a pink-haired girl and a small robot escaping from a futuristic-looking facility, but security forces injure and corner her until she falls off a bridge. The next morning is just like any other day for highschool student Ouma Shu, an awkward young man who is a fan of the pop-group Egoist, whose lead singer just happens to be a waif-like girl with pink hair.
And then everything gets … weird.
Guilty Crown is a bit of an odd duck as it attempts to blend several disparate themes, but doesn’t quite manage to finish the job. The plot has clearly been influenced by several popular franchises – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the execution is where the writers have let themselves down. The narrative is often disjointed, and many events in the storyline appear to have no logic behind them other than to put Shu through an emotional wringer. In addition to this, the writers appear to have taken a rather nonchalant approach to reasoning and rationale, one example of which is how GHQ’s repeated massacres are never covered by any sort of media outlet. This seemingly lackadaisical attitude is apparent in several areas of the plot – which is littered with “coincidences” – and these cause the narrative to have a mechanical feeling. In many ways it’s almost as if the story was nothing more than a collection of bits that would apparently appeal to the largest number of people.
Aside from the inclusion of numerous well-known aspects that have clearly been transplanted from other popular stories and the “plot-by-numbers” approach, Guilty Crown also suffers from the rather obvious idea that most adults are evil and only kids are able to save the world. That said, the series does have some good points, in particular the way it attempts to recreate a situation similar to that found in “Lord of the Flies” by putting all of the students in one place and imposing self-rule. There are other, similarly dark influences that add a veneer of maturity to proceedings, but sadly these aren’t enough to support the inherent weaknesses in the narrative – the main one being the decision to make yet another school-based anime.
In terms of production quality, Guilty Crown is arguably up there with some of the better shows of recent years, but the sometimes stunning visuals and effects are tempered by a few issues that may initially appear to minor, but in actuality are representative of the mentality of the show’s creators. It’s obvious that a great deal of thought has gone into the background artwork and set designs, but the same isn’t true of the characters. For the most part they look good, but the decision to feature highschool students places an immediate limitation that becomes obvious when one considers the variety of features and body shapes found amongst the adults.
The problem lies in the fact that the design of the younger roles includes an element of stereotype in order to impart a degree of familiarity – thereby making the show more accessible to people. It’s an old marketing trick that has become a staple of the anime industry over the years, and while Guilty Crown has tried to be a little bit more subtle than most in its usage, one does have to question the logic behind Tsugumi. A cat-eared tsundere loli wearing what is effectively a plug suit (and a maid costume later on), only serves to highlight the thought processes of the show’s creators.
Thankfully Production I.G. maintain their standards when it comes to the animation, and the series is littered with flowing, well choreographed action scenes. The characters are well-balanced in their movements, and a degree of care has been taken with those that are injured, disabled, or suffer from an affliction.
Like many anime that run for over twenty episodes, Guilty Crown features two opening and ending sequences – each with an original track written by Supercell. The first OP is a rather dizzying blend of effects, character montages and action scenes while the song “My Dearest” – a suitably fast paced and dramatic pop song performed by Koeda – sets the tone for the series. “The Everlasting Guilty Crown” performed by the fictional band Egoist is the track of choice for the second opening sequence, but while the artwork and design ethic have clearly shifted to promote a bittersweet atmosphere, the actual content is much the same as that of the first OP. Egoist also perform the melancholy ballad “Departures ~Anata ni Okuru Ai no Uta~” for the first ending sequence, which features Ouma Shu and Yuzuriha Inori walking away from each other against a backdrop of character art and effects. The second ED contains a mixture of video footage of landscape speeding by, scenes from the series and a few still images of the school environs that are “projected” onto a screen behind Inori and Shu as they decide to run – all while Koeda performs the rather upbeat rock song “Kokuhaku”
Which brings up one small issue.
Although it’s true that some thought has gone into the composition of the opening sequences and that they are very well choreographed, both also feature overt plot spoilers. Now this does happen in other anime, but in general there are efforts to avoid such things occurring – which doesn’t appear to be the case with Guilty Crown.
Aside from that minor niggle, the high production standards are also reflected in the quality of the music and audio effects. Sawano Hiroyuki has taken care to ensure that the background pieces are varied and suitably dramatic where necessary. The wide range of sounds and noises are clear and distinct, and the audio/visual choreography shows just how much effort has been made to produce a show that looks and sounds great.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the actual dialogue.
Now while it’s true that Guilty Crown features a range of characters and personality types, for some reason the decision was made to revert to old anime stereotypes and then write justifications into the storyline. The script is littered with monologues, diatribes, conversations and arguments that would grace any show where the “hero” has to lead his people to salvation whilst fighting against the enemy and his inner demons, forming a pseudo-harem along the way, and showing the world just how much of a tragic-yet-heroic figure he is. Thankfully the actors are more than capable, but no matter how good their skills are, prosaic and formulaic dialogue will always be just that.
As for the characters themselves, Ouma Shu is the kind of leading man who can be found in a number of other titles – quiet, reserved, doesn’t have many friends, and a bit of a loser – and therein lies the problem. The writers have taken great pains to try to show him as a “human” more than anything else, but in their efforts to promote Shu as the tragic hero, they’ve ignored one of the most basic rules of characterisation.
In other words, Shu has no personality whatsoever – even at the end of the series when all his “suffering” is over.
It’s this apparent inability to develop the characters in any meaningful way that makes them appear as nothing more than inane, and the lack of any real growth means that everyone pretty much ends the series having learned very little (aside from maybe Daryl). In addition to this there’s an element of ridiculousness to the choice of characters, the prime example being Yuzuriha Inori (although Tsugumi does come a close second). One has to wonder what chemically induced delusion could have persuaded the show’s creators that having the lead singer of a hugely popular band stealing from the enemy in the opening scenes while wearing her stage outfit was a good idea.
Apparently students can recognise her even though she’s wearing a school uniform, but soldiers and officers of the military forces controlling Japan have no idea who she is since pink-haired girls wearing fluttery costumes are a dime a dozen in Japan.
Guilty Crown is one of those anime that can only truly be enjoyed if you have never watched any of the titles that it takes its inspirations from – and that becomes a problem if one has watched, and enjoyed, most of them. The main issue is that there are several character types and plot elements that are better used in their original anime, so their inclusion here makes them stand out in less than flattering ways.
The real problem with Guilty Crown though, is the element of arrogance that is prevalent throughout the series, and this comes solely from the show’s creators. The basic premise of Guilty Crown is perfectly fine, but everyone from the director and series composers to the producers have assumed that the “anime-by-numbers” approach that they have so clearly used here is enough to make a hit franchise. There appears to have been a major assumption that the audience will swallow the whole thing without automatically referencing other shows that they may have watched, and that’s where everything begins to fall apart.
Storytelling is, after all, an art form, and a good writer can captivate their audience without overtly referencing where there inspiration came from. Unfortunately the folks behind Guilty Crown appear to have forgotten this simple fact, and it leaves one with the sad realisation that this anime had the potential to be so much more than it is.
= Story (3) =
If you have been watching Guilty Crown or have seen some of the rantings on the forums, you would know that the story is filled with cliché’s and awful execution (for the most part anyway), So I won’t go that in-depth to the story, basically just think of it as a mecha-action-supernatural-apocalyptic-drama-comedy-Sci Fi-romance-school-fan service super show.
In other words, Shu (Shuu), your average 16-year-old guy living in a future version of Tokyo get’s himself wrapped up in the activities of terrorist group defying the government called Funeral Parlour, he meets the leader Gai, find’s out his favourite singer is a member of the group and that the government is corrupt blah blah blah
= Art (10) =
If there’s one thing that no one can complain about, I’d say it’s the art. Every episode looks of cinematic quality and the character designs are well down as you’d expect from Production I.G and Redjuice (supercell). If there is one thing to fault about the art, I believe it’s the design of the apocalypse virus, It just doesn’t look like some deadly disease that someone would be afraid of, though that doesn’t really matter.
= Sound (9) =
Sound is also a great part of Guilty Crown, the insert music and the OST is brilliant, the first OP ‘Euterpe’ was only used in the first episode which was disappointing since the second OP which lasted for 11 episodes wasn’t hardly as good. The best OP in my opinion and one of my favourite anime openings is the third and last one ‘The Everlasting Guilty Crown’, It seriously made the other two seem like crap in comparison.
= Character (7.5) =
7.5? That’s not even an score according to MAL is what you might say though that’s really the only score I can give it, The characters and their developments weren’t very good though they weren’t just good either, sort of in-between.
The problem with the characters is that they introduced too many too fast, there wasn’t really any-time to grow attached to them or even remember some of them at all. You didn’t know which ones were supposed to be Minor or Main characters or just background ones in most of the first half.
Another problem was the likeability of the main characters in most of the FIRST HALF, Shu just sit’s around most of the time, being a indecisive, annoying loser. Gai was just emotionless (for the most part) and all Inori could do was use the power of singing(?), provide fan-service and dodge (she might of shot a gun once) but that’s it.
Though, (without spoiling anything) In the second half, the main characters had great development.
= Enjoyment (7) =
Enjoyment levels really depend on how serious you take Guilty Crown, don’t go into the series expecting a masterpiece because you will most definitely be disappointed and hating on it. Though if you are a simple person (no offence) and just like your anime with ton’s of great looking action scenes and a little bit of everything rolled in one (even if the result is total mess) then you will obviously enjoy the series a lot more.
= Overall (7) =
Overall, Guilty Crown is definitely not a masterpiece, though it does NOT deserve the crap reputation it gets, sure the story becomes screwed up beyond repair with the can of cliché’s they sprung at you each episode and the character development doesn’t really start until halfway through the series, what really matters at the end of the day is how much the viewer enjoys the anime, people will hate, like or love GC and that’s their opinion just as this review gives my opinion, I don’t really care about the ‘helpful’ or ‘not helpful’ clicks, as long as my review isn’t buried so deep that it can’t be of at least some help to the many users who are looking for a new anime to enjoy, and that’s the whole point of reviews, to help people decide whether a anime would be to their liking or not.
…What the hell did I just watch? Th-This can’t be right. There is absolutely no way that the stinking pile of garbage I just somehow managed to sit through can be the ultra-hyped, widely beloved anime I’ve been hearing about. Guilty Crown has single handedly made me lose my faith in the anime community’s ability to know what is good and what isn’t. To say that this series is overrated would be a massive understatement. The only thing I could do while watching it was scratch my head and wonder why the hell this show is so popular. Sure the animation is fluent and the soundtrack is great, but that is NO excuse for the absolutely, disgracefully, humiliatingly bad writing that takes place in this anime. I’ve never seen a show with such an uncountable amount of plotholes and such worthless, pathetic, uninteresting characters. If you fed your dog some spoiled Mexican food and waited about an hour, the resulting pile of repulsive excrement would be reminiscent of Guilty Crown’s script, and no amount of production value can change that fact.
Synopsis: In the year 2029, a virus known as the apocalypse virus outbreaks on a day that became known as “Lost Christmas” (Don’t ask me why it’s called the “apocalypse” virus, because the world clearly did not end. In fact, it seems to have barely effected society at all, but I digress…). The story takes place in the year 2039, ten years later, and stars a self-loathing little crybaby named Shu, but more on him later. Through coincidence, Shu gains the ability to pull “voids” out of other people. I won’t explain what voids are, but basically its the story of a high school student who gets special powers. Shu then becomes involved with terrorist group called Funeral Parlor who are plotting to bring down the government.
This might be the worst plot in any TV show I’ve ever seen. Not just anime, but ANY TV show. That’s how terrible it is. It had an intriguing (yet unoriginal) premise, but you know what doomed it? Plotholes. Plotholes plotholes plotholes plotholes plotholes plotholes plotholes. Guilty Crown’s plot has more holes then a damn Swiss cheese factory, and it UNBEARABLE to watch! They just throw shit at the wall to see what sticks (Hint: Nothing sticks)! They contradict themselves on numerous occasions, rely on ridiculously and unacceptably over-convenient plot elements, and they never explain key plot events that are essential to grasping the story-line! I can’t elaborate without spoilers, but if you are a competent human being with a functioning brain, overlooking these gaping plotholes is unfathomable, and it’s all capped off with the absolute WORST written romance I’ve ever had the misfortune of sitting though. More on that later.
Oh, and I haven’t mentioned the abysmal pacing yet, have I? The first half of the anime is the same thing every single damn episode; Shu and his terrorist group go on a mission, Shu uses his super-special powers, Shu has romantic troubles, Shu feels sorry for himself, rinse and repeat. Nothing happens. The second half is the opposite: a shit-ton of ridiculousness is all crammed into a few episodes with out ever slowing down or taking to time to explain what the hell is going on. Sure, they explain some of the things that happened in the first half, but nothing about what is currently happening! The pacing is just another aspect of the horrible writing of the show.
Guilty Crown has great, fluent animation, but doesn’t live up to it’s full potential. The action scenes are all very generic and refuse to even attempt to do something new or different, which is a disappointment. Still, great animation.
Definitely the highlight of the anime; in fact, this is one of my all time favorite soundtracks in anime history. Good thing too, because I might have gone insane otherwise. The first opening kicks ass and I was pissed when they subbed it out for a 2nd opening that wasn’t half as good midway through, but the 1st opening is really the only thing that kept me watching the anime through the boring and repetitive first half of the show. The endings and OSTs are also absolutely killer.
There is not a single consistent character to be found in Guilty Crown. Every major character is a jumbled mess of traits and emotions that don’t even go together. They are all completely incoherent.
If you took every stereotype of a main character and tried to combine all of them into one, the disaster that would result would be named Shu; the protagonist of Guilty Crown. Where do I even begin with him? The entire first half of this anime consists of Shu crying like a little bitch about absolutely nothing. Seriously, there is nothing wrong with this guy’s life. He gets special powers, an attractive girl starts living with him to protect him, and a group of rebels fighting for a noble cause takes him in and make him one of their own. But WAHHHHHH, wittle baby Shu can’t get Inori to suck his dick after the first month that they’ve known each other, and WAHHHHHH, wittle Shu wishes he had even more friends than he does already! He is a self-loathing little wimp who cries about EVERYTHING for a solid 14 episodes, but then he undergoes a sudden change with no buildup whatsoever at that point. Suddenly, for the most stupid and overly convenient reasons imaginable, Shu is now a completely different character. Now, this is the part that just made me laugh uncontrollably: They try to turn Shu into a badass. They go way over the top and act like Shu is now the scariest, badest mother-fucker in the whole damn world, and it fails more miserably then you can imagine. The show tries to convince you that Shu is a selfless individual who has never cared about himself throughout the entire show; only others….. WHAT??? Remember the first half of the anime?? All he cared about was himself! He was the exact opposite of selfless! And now we have Inori falling in love with him because of how selfless he has been! Absolutely pathetic!
Oh, and that brings us to Inori; the love interest. Ohhhh boy. FUCK Inori. Besides the fact that they drop a huge bombshell about her toward the end that makes Shu and Inori’s relationship COMPLETELY fucked up, that’s not even mentioning how inept and inexcusable the execution of her character is. Inori has about as much personality as a ham sandwich. She is so insufferably boring that to say I never got emotionally invested in her is an understatement; I was rooting for her to die just so she would stop wasting so much damn screen time. But, occasionally, for no reason what so ever, she will take on traits that are convenient for the plot to advance. She’s like a Ditto from Pokemon; she can can morph into whatever the hell you want her to. Inori is considered the postergirl of this series and fans of the show absolutely adore her. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why! She might as well have been pair of singing, floating boobs, because this is one of the worst characters in anime history. Guilty Crown, I fucking hate you SO much for creating this monstrosity. Burn in anime hell for what you’ve done.
If ever there was a physical embodiment of everything wrong with the modern anime industry, including the willingness of its fans to eat up lazy and uninspired pieces of dog shit that are objectively terrible, Guilty Crown is that embodiment. Why the HELL do people like this show? Only the most naive children with 1-second long attention spans could possibly consider this to be a good plot with good characters. Everything about this anime that is unrelated to music and animation is a complete joke. I cannot recommend watching Guilty Crown to anyone; it is not worth your time. In fact, take away the music and I would rather watch a 22 episode version of Mars of Destruction. Yes: it really is THAT bad. It’s not the worst anime I’ve ever seen, but it might be my least favorite.
9: To LOVE-Ru Darkness
English: To LOVE Ru Darkness
Japanese: To LOVEる -とらぶる- ダークネス
MAL Score: 7.47
As close encounters of the twisted kind between the residents of the planet Develuke (represented primarily by the female members of the royal family) and the inhabitants of Earth (represented mainly by one very exhausted Rito Yuki) continue to escalate, the situation spirals even further out of control. When junior princesses Nana and Momo transferred into Earth School where big sister LaLa can (theoretically) keep an eye on them, things SHOULD be smooth sailing. But when Momo decides she’d like to “supplement” Rito’s relationship with LaLa with a little “sisterly love,” you know LaLa’s not going to waste any time splitting harems. Unfortunately, it’s just about that point that Yami, the Golden Darkness, enters the scene with all the subtleness of a supernova, along with an army of possessed high school students! All of which is certain to make Rito’s life suck more than a black hole at the family picnic. Unless, of course, a certain semi-demonic princess can apply a little of her Develukean Whoop Ass to exactly that portion of certain other heavenly bodies!
(Source: Sentai Filmworks)
This show is NOT for people who hate fanservice and/or harems. This show IS for people who love tons of ecchi, harems, and more ecchi. To top it off, To LOVE-Ru Darkness actually has… wait for it… a plot. *Gasp* Really?! Yes, it does. It’s not just mindless fanservice (although that’s cool too). You should definitely watch this show if ecchi is your thing.
…But you all probably knew that since this is the third season of the To LOVE-Ru series and you’ve seen the first two seasons (To LOVE-Ru and Motto To LOVE-Ru, respectively). If you haven’t, then there really is no point in reading this review! Go check out the first two seasons!
Now, there are a few things I want to go over about this show:
1) Story – 7/10
You claim all ecchi shows have no plot? Think again! At first glance, the To LOVE-Ru series might seem that way, but in reality it has many arcs that keeps pointing in one direction. Sure, it’s not going to be some mindblowing masterpiece like Death Note, but how can you even compare TLRD to something so different?! We have to realize that the main goal of the show is to make us go crazy over which heroine the male protagonist will choose in the end. So far, it has done that well.
However, like I’ve said before this show does have a bit of a story. I mean, there are two girls from outerspace trying to accomplish different things with the male protagonist. Conflicting things, if I might add. Then you get to see many girls on earth who show interest in the male protagonist. Well, it doesn’t stop there because in TLRD there are even more girls from outerspace trying to accomplish things with…you guessed it: the male protagonist.
Of course, if you are Momo Bella Deviluke such troublesome things look more like a great opportunity. So for an ecchi-harem, To Love-Ru should please many (in more ways than one ;)).
Don’t get me wrong — Yeah it does have a story but it’s still considerably weak. It isn’t anything compelling but there are moments where it leaves you wanting more. It’s enjoyable nonetheless. I’ll leave it at that.
2) Art – 10/10
The To LOVE-Ru series has come a long way in terms of artwork. In the first season, the visuals were great for its time. But damn, the second season and third season turned it up a level or two. The scenery, the characters, even the small background objects look amazing. However, I remember reading forum posts and reviews criticizing the second and third season’s artwork. You see… when the studio colored the characters, they added this shiny gloss to them to give the illusion of rounded body parts (i.e. the chin, elbows, knees). Not a lot of people liked it but personally I loved it. I think the studio made a good decision keeping the artwork for TLRD the same as the second season.
So overall, I think the show has beautiful art.
3) Sound – 8/10
Since it has been a year or two since the last season finished airing, To LOVE-Ru Darkness may come as a surprise to you in the sound department. Beginning with the OP song, I found it to be very good. It’s called “RAKUEN PROJECT” by Ray. It’s sort of a mix of electronic/dance music with rock. It threw me off a bit because the first few seconds sounded like the last few seconds of an ED song. I literally said “Damnit, this isn’t the real version of the episode!” However a few seconds later you get to the “actual” part of the song. It’s a really good song. Kinda stuck in my head now…
About the voice actors – You may find that you dislike the chosen voice actors for some of the characters in the show. I remember when I watched the first episode… I was wondering why the girls sounded so much younger than they looked. I thought for a second maybe they changed voice actors since the last season because I didn’t remember them sounding like this. So I did a little research but found out they used the same voice actors as last season. I shrugged and decided to just watch through the first episode and hope that the voices grew on me. Well what do you know? By the end of the episode I wasn’t thinking twice about having someone else voice the characters. You might appreciate the voices even more when you get to the “naughty” scenes ;).
The background music was very good too. Subtle, but good. There is usually a ballad playing when it gets to storytelling time and an upbeat soundtrack during the rare intense scenes (fighting, heated dialogues with enememies, etc.). There aren’t many sound effects besides the occassional boob/ass grab. Even I found that hilariously good.
I’m not particularly fond with the ED song. It’s called “Foul Play ni Kurari” by Kanon Wakeshima. It is a fast-tempo song with a string orchestra. A good song, don’t get me wrong but for an ending it’s a bit too ‘cutesy’. I would have preferred a rock song with a bit of a ballad-edge to it but this song is good, too.
4) Characters – 9/10
One of the first things you will realize in To LOVE-Ru Darkness is the lack of Lala Satalin Deviluke. In the first two seasons, she was the main heroine but she has since dwindled into just another heroine subject to equal competition. Actually, she doesn’t even get as much screentime now. I really miss her and I find myself happy just being able to see her even for a second.
Sadly, because of all the new characters the show has pretty much changed from being a harem that ends with a relationship between just two people into a harem that strictly aims to create a harem ending. I have mixed feelings about the change. On the one hand, I want Lala to win but on the other hand I’m starting to see myself change opinions because of the numerous interactions the other characters have with Rito.
Let us begin with the male protagonist. Yuuki Rito. He’s a pretty typical character. He’s clumsy, thick-headed sometimes, but a good person inside. Many girls like that about him. What makes him stand out though is the fact he’s notorious for getting into situations that end with him being on top or under a girl. Sometimes he’s naked. Sometimes the girl is naked. Sometimes they’re BOTH naked! Top that off with just plain dirty and awkward hand positions like breasts/butt-groping, face-in-crotch/butt/breasts and you have one lucky bastard (minus the fact he usually gets punished for it after).
Then we have Yami the Golden Darkness. Yami for short. Yami is a quiet kuudere/dandere whose mission is to kill Yuuki Rito – although she doesn’t really seem to want to do it. In the first two seasons, we didn’t get much of her. She was just another character in the story for the most part. However, in this season it focuses on Yami and uncovering her past. This goes back to me saying that this show has a story!
Mea Kurosaki will be the first new character you’ll be introduced to in this season. She is an assassin who was sent to earth by a master to monitor Yami’s actions. By the way, Yami and Mea are sisters. They both have the ability to transform their hair into weapons and such. Although she appears to be nice (and sometimes curiously perverted) on the outside, she has a dark heart just like Yami. She’s like the second best character in the show IMO. I really like her dirty schemes haha. You get to see more of that later on.
Now…Momo Bella Deviluke. Oh my goodness…she is AMAZING.To me, she’s the best character in TLRD. I even dare say she is one of the best female characters of 2012. Not many will agree simply because they don’t know about the show but those who have watched To LOVE-Ru Darkness will agree. They have to! I mean, c’mon she’s what fuels the fire in the season. The perverted tactician would be a suitable title for her. We mostly see the story from her perspective. Her main goal is to be with Yuuki Rito, but she’s okay with Yuuki Rito ending up with every girl. Wait. She isn’t just okay with it – she WANTS it to happen. She ACTIVELY pursues that goal! That’s why she is so entertaining to watch. And just wait until you see her extremely perverted delusions. It’s hilarious!
I’d talk about the other characters but there isn’t much to say. That is not to say they don’t have any character development because they do. Run/Ren Elsie Jewelria is one good example of a character with good development. There are a few more characters that have yet to be introduced but I don’t want to spoil it and say what happens so just watch the show!
5) Enjoyment – 10/10
Let me keep it brief: I enjoy this series so much. It is definitely the best ecchi/harem series I have watched in the past two years of my anime life. This show is so damn hilarious and entertaining to watch. I even end up watching it as soon as it comes out despite not having subs! All because I’m impatient and want to watch the show as soon as it comes out.
It’s not that bad for me to watch it raw though because I’m up to date with the manga and know a bit of Japanese so I know what’s going on. But anyways, 10/10!
6) Overall – 8/10
Overall, I find To LOVE-Ru Darkness to be refreshing. Even though the show does an extremely good job at it, ecchi is not the main reason why this show is good. The main reason why this show is good is because of the story, artwork, and characters. Without those three, the ecchi would lack a lot of substance. I know it’s weird saying that because people think those who watch ecchi are pleased with just boobs and butts but NO. We want more! And where do we find it? In To LOVE-Ru!
So go ahead and watch To LOVE-Ru Darkness. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good ecchi show. Perhaps even those who don’t watch ecchi that much but have an open-mind. Try it out and see.
Thanks for reading my review. Thank you even more if you read everything I wrote and not just skim through it. Yes, I consider them two different situations. You know it’s true. 🙂
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“That’s perfectly natural behavior for a living creature,” says Mea Kurosaki. This quote itself, in which the word “that” is supposed to signify sexual thoughts, is what encapsulates the entirety of To Love Ru Darkness’s charm as a whole. It tells us how we should view Darkness as nothing more but a fun joy ride through joyous comedy and beautiful girls through sexual feelings, but we shouldn’t be ashamed by this mere fact alone. That is one of the main selling points of the show, in that it lives off of making us feel excited through hilarious incidents of girls in suggestive situations without making it feel demeaning or deliberate to either of the sexes. This aspect alone that To Love Ru Darkness expresses should be an example that all Ecchi shows should follow in the near future, which sadly isn’t always the case.
Now to express how all the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph work unlike in most shows in what Darkness follows, the one thing that absolutely works is how every character all carry the show with their likability despite their very cliched nature. Cliched in the sense that you have Yui Kotegawa who is the stereotypical tsundere who wants order in the classroom, Nana who’s another tsundere, Mikan the younger half-sister who loves him, Yami the Dandere psychopath, and Haruna who the protagonist has feelings for yet she so happens to be in love with him as well. Despite how many would view cliches as a negative term, however, the way how Darkness handles them is through sheer charm and personality that make them feel energetic and alive. You even feel contempt for them whenever drama happens between the characters even with their stereotypical archetypes. However if there is one character that must have one full paragraph alone to analyze would be the one and only Momo Deviluke.
Because of the fact that she is the new heroine of the series, replacing Lala, Momo is what makes Darkness so special and wonderful to experience. Thanks to the glorious voice of Aki Toyosaki, Momo’s sarcastic and devious personality makes her such a delight to see on-screen when she is having one of her humorous fantasies and her clever schemes to make the girls fall more in love with Rito. With these things in mind, you might think that Momo’s personality only give off this one-sided aspect of it, which is mostly being a devious pervert throughout the entire show. I would like to describe a scene that happens in the last episode involving her and Rito in a gym closet room. Momo is on top of Rito seducing him as usual until we suddenly see Rito finally give into his instincts and do the same things to her and then we suddenly see Momo in a very vulnerable state. It isn’t until later that we find out it was just another fantasy that Momo was imagining while on top of him. This fantasy she envisioned took her by surprise, something of which we never see her go through before. It wasn’t until Rito finally tries to stop her by putting his hand on her arm which suddenly surprises her and jumps away from him quickly in fear and respite with her constant breathing and blushing face. We now see Momo in a completely different light than we are used to seeing her before. It is this scene alone that makes Momo a three-dimensional character by not through general exposition, but through character interaction.
Something that has changed from previous installments of the series is the art direction. While all of the characters still look the same, everything is now colored in very bright overtones. While many can argue that Motto To Love Ru art looked more better in terms of how the characters looked, that should not disregard that Darkness’s art still looks great in keeping the traditional manga art in context with the show. One thing that I’ve always admired the series and more so in Darkness is how they’ve always drew the girls and their figures that actually look very gorgeous without overemphasizing anything on their body like many other ecchi shows tend to do. Thanks to this, the girls actually look like High School aged girls who have just hit their period of going through many changes in their body and not the other way around.
To Love Ru has not been widely known for having an impacting story to show forth underneath its charming fan-service; it wasn’t until Darkness where we actually do have one that fills this very gap. Generally most people will think that the writers wouldn’t bother with writing a competent story being the fact that it is an ecchi series and those typically don’t go so well. While Darkness doesn’t break any new ground in this aspect, it does have an interesting twist in the harem genre where the heroine is actually the one doing all the work to help our protagonist get all the girls. Like I mentioned with Momo’s schemes, her intentions on doing these are very well-handled in how it balances sweet romantic moments and pure fun comedy. There isn’t a sudden tonal shift between drama and comedy in an effort to make it edgy, thankfully. The plot might not be a deep one to experience, it doesn’t really try to be one in the first place and sticks with it which is very well appreciated.
Rito himself as a protagonist, I would say, can be grating at times in how slow they build him up to be a harem leader after years of seeing him constantly getting flustered over women falling over him. In Darkness, it still portrays Rito as if he hasn’t experienced a girl falling on him in a questionable position before even though we’ve seen him in the past in these types of position countless times before. You’d think he would get used to it by now and not be phased by it after all these months but nope. For what he’s worth, he still has some moments where he comes across as caring and likable to everyone he meets so there’s never really a moment where you think to yourself, “Why would any girl fall in love with this boy in the first place?”
Onto the comedy itself, needless to say there will not be one person who is into suggestive comedies to be disappointed with Darkness at all. Almost every situation is handled with great comedic timing, whether it be a scene involving Rito and a girl bump into each other and, in true ecchi fashion, be in a very awkward position to the public to see or a scene that’s in a constant pace in showing jokes that involves hilarious dialogue between characters; a great example would be between Nana and Mea or Momo, or vice versa. Not all jokes hit the right notes throughout the entirety of the show’s duration but for what it’s worth, it will nevertheless entertain the masses who, like myself, love to engage in hilarious perverted comedy.
Not only do the characters themselves make the show enjoyable to watch, but the voice acting is what gives them their absolutely endearing personality through the sheer talent that Darkness brings to the table. I’ve already mentioned Aki Toyosaki previously, but she’s not the only great Seiyuu in the casting. Kana Hanazawa plays wonderfully as an upstanding little sister for Rito and giving Mikan a clear voice that feels perfect for her. Nana and Momo prove to be one of the best sister duos in anime thanks to the great chemistry between Itou Kanae and Aki Toyosaki, who have previously worked together in a somewhat similar situation in Railgun. Only this time it’s Aki who plays the devious one instead of Kanae and it definitely shows that Aki’s voice really does fit with that archetype more than Kanae. Finally we have Kaori Nazuka as Yui Kotegawa, probably one of the best tsundere roles we have had in a long time. Her authoritative voice, combined with childlike embarrassment will surely make any man’s, no matter what age, heart burst with joy and pure ecstasy.
What it all comes down to is that Darkness won’t win any new fans that aren’t into something like To Love Ru, but even with that said it is something that you should still at least try to see once to see if it pulls you in. Anyone who is in fact a fan will feel right at home with this new installment that has so much to offer for ecchi fans and people who are fans of the series for more than the fan-service. It will be funny and sometimes heartwarming in its romantic undertones for everyone who has followed the franchise since the beginning. That will ultimately lead to us hunger for more and for now with the OVAs coming out here and there to continue it. For now, Darkness is more than enough for us to enjoy while we wait for the next big anime installment for To Love Ru.
Those of you who do not like Ecchi/fanservice anime might want to stop reading here. This anime focuses mainly on these two things and will most likely not be for you. Now for those who are in to Ecchi/fanservice, I will tell you why i think To LOVE-Ru Darkness is so great.
To LOVE-Ru Darkness is a sequel to the original To LOVE-Ru series. I highly suggest watching To LOVE-Ru, Motto To LOVE-Ru, and all the OVA’s before you watch Darkness. For those who have watched and are familiar with the To LOVE-Ru series, To LOVE-Ru Darkness continues straight off from where Motto To LOVE-Ru leaves off. It – believe it or not- actually has a plot to it that extends for more than one episode.
The story this time mostly focuses on the alien princess Momo and her harem plan for her beloved Yuuki Rito. We also get a some back story about Yami, who was a side character for most of the To LOVE-Ru series. The plot is nothing special, but it is still pretty good. We get random nonsensical episodes here and there, then we would be thrown back into the actual story. There is a good balance of serious scenes and comedic scenes that makes the series quite enjoyable even if you do not like Ecchi that much.
An important thing to remember is not to focus too much on the plot though. Like the other To LOVE-Ru series, the story should not be taken too seriously. The issues do not even get resolved by the last episode, so yes it is a cliff hanger ending. What truly carries this series is it’s very appealing fanservice.
That brings us to the artwork. The backgrounds are extremely bright and colorful. The characters are beautifully drawn and very hot. If you are looking for an anime with a cast of very sexy girls doing borderline hentai stuff, then this is what you are looking for. The only problem is the bright lights of censorship, but those will be taken away in the blu-ray releases.
The characters are really nothing special though. Yes, they are all pretty, but their personalities are as generic as you can get in anime. The way i see it, you can split the characters in to two groups. One side has all of the girls who want the main character, Yuuki Rito , and will be all over him when ever they get screen time. The other side also likes Rito, but they are too shy to express their feelings. Pretty normal for a harem anime.
Does this mean that they are not fun to watch? Hell no. Watching their hilarious and erotic interactions with Rito has been great a experience. Many of these scenes are very risque, so it would be best to turn down the volumes and lock your bedroom doors. This is probably the best part of To LOVE-Ru Darkness. Some of the scenes might seem a bit cliche- like the classic falling over and groping a girl’s chest scene- but it can still be very amusing. Enjoy To LOVE-Ru for the Ecchi/fanservice because that is where this show excels the most.
So what is my overall opinion of this anime? It’s a great show, but definitely not perfect. Its ability to only attract a specific audience- the Ecchi/fanservice lovers- severely lowers it’s potential. For those of us who do favor fanservice heavy shows, then this is like a treasure among treasures. Definitely give this a shot because you’ll like what you see.
8: Persona 4 the Animation
English: Persona 4 the Animation
MAL Score: 7.51
Yuu Narukami moves to Inaba, a seemingly quiet and ordinary town, where he quickly befriends the clumsy transfer student Yousuke Hanamura, the energetic Chie Satonaka, and the beautiful heiress Yukiko Amagi. Shortly after Yuu’s arrival, a chain of mysterious killings begin to occur on foggy days. At the same time, rumors about a strange television channel—dubbed the “Midnight Channel”—spread like wildfire; when staring into their TV screen at midnight, a person may see their soul mate.
After witnessing the most recent murder victim on the Midnight Channel, Yuu attempts to watch it again, only to realize that he can traverse into the TV and reach another world overrun with “Shadows,” evil creatures of the dark. Realizing the link behind the hidden dimension and the murders, Yuu and his friends attempt to crack the cases by exploring the diabolical world of the Midnight Channel using their “Personas,” awakened manifestations of their “true selves.”
The story is pretty typical for what you would find in most JRPGs these days, but one of the unique things about the Persona franchise has been the blend between the dating-sim styled day-to-day activities and the RPG combat. Most of the action takes place in a world hidden by all but a few lucky people granted the power of a Persona, the manifestation of the person’s psyche which is used to fight shadows inside of the TV world. While it’s fairly generic and comes with its fair share of clichés, it works well because the story is self-aware and does not try to take itself too seriously. It’s a fairly light-hearted story even in the midst of all the murders, kidnappings, and crazy things going on.
There isn’t any inherent problem with the story here because it’s simply being taken from an already well-written series. The story was fine in the game, and for the most part it’s fine here too. What there IS a problem with, however, is the pacing.
The pacing can be likened to teleportation. It’s a disorganized mess of scenes abruptly changing from one to another with a calendar flashing for a few moments. No, the people behind the adaptation don’t care about pacing– instead they use the calendar as a lazy excuse to not deal with coherent pacing. You might have the main character sitting at a table talking with the group for all of around 30 seconds and then the calendar will simply flash on screen, skipping past several days and taking you into a completely different scene with almost no link or correlation with what just happened. Sometimes the days flash by so fast that you don’t even know what the hell is happening any more. Sometimes you will have a dungeon given three entire episodes dedicated to it, and another dungeon will have less than half an episode. It makes no sense.
The calendar system and the day-to-day activities worked fine in the game, but this is not the game. It does not work here and it does not fit. This is an anime, not a video game, and the people behind the anime should at least try and make sure it translates properly into a condensed, strictly visual form. You can’t simply take the game and then slap it into an anime. You need to make adjustments, you need to make changes, and you need to make sure it fits the medium that you are adapting it to. The staff behind the Persona 4 adaptation don’t understand this important philosophy. It instead feels like they’re awkwardly trying to recreate the feel of the game, but failing pretty miserably at it. I felt like I was getting a headache at times trying to follow the constant warping of the characters.
So, if you haven’t played the games, don’t expect to understand much of what is going on. You will probably be lost and confused amidst the pacing, especially when important plot points and characterization is skipped upon and barely explained. There really needed to be two seasons of anime here because it’s clear as day how rushed it is.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only problem here. Both the animation and the art style are also poorly done. There is a strange lack of color throughout the entire show, which is odd given how colorful and vibrant the game was. Each character is drawn poorly and colored in with ugly looking gradients, something that you would expect from a high school computer animation class, not a commercial product created for thousands of people. It’s all very bland and amateurish. There’s also a startling lack of animation here. One character will have their mouth flap while everybody else in the background is static and motionless, often complete with disproportional faces and odd expressions, looking stupefied. For a lack of a better term, it’s very ‘derp’. Even when there is a decent amount of animation happening on screen it’s usually done poorly with glaring mistakes in between movements, usually body parts morphing into strange shapes. Either they were lacking budget or something went horribly wrong in the production of the anime… either way, it has some of the worst art and animation I’ve seen in a mainstream anime. For all the years it took for the series to get a ‘proper’ anime adaptation, when it looks as poorly as this, well… was it really worth it?
On the plus side, the music is very nice and the remixed and new tracks are greatly appreciated. It helps to spice things up a little bit from the game, though there are problems even here since the background songs will abruptly switch from one to another with complete dissonance and shifts in tone. The music itself is good, but the application of the music is not. Instead of awkwardly switching between music all the time, the staff could have opted to just use silence or ambient noise from time to time instead, and save the music only for the scenes where it truly fits in. It should feel natural, and here it just stands out in a really unpleasant way.
Sadly, there just isn’t much good I can say for the anime. There’s a few brief moments of hilarity scattered here and there, and while it’s nice to see all the characters fully animated, the entire time I was watching it just made me want to go replay the game instead. A good adaptation wouldn’t make you want to do that. The anime is nothing more than fanservice for people who have played and enjoyed the games, and even as fanservice it fails in some pretty major areas.
Maybe other people will enjoy it more than me, but Persona 4 deserved so much more than this.
Persona 4 is one of the best video games that I have had the chance to play. Despite being highly acclaimed by critics both in Japan and in the West, Persona 4 remains somewhat of a niche title and this more or less transfers to the anime adaptation too. As a result, those who have played the game are the ones best-placed to be able to fully appreciate the anime series, but new fans will also find a very good anime thanks to Aniplex doing a commendable job with the existing game material.
The opening episodes set the story up quite well with mysterious deaths, the TV world, shadows and personas. The main character, along with another high school student, get involved through various circumstances and then strive to solve the murder cases, meanwhile gaining new friends and abilities. However, it does take a while before huge plot developments start to occur, and these are spread out unevenly over the course of the series. As a result, the pacing is off throughout certain episodes and some important revelations are only lightly touched upon. Social links are a crucial feature in Persona 4; these are several side stories which detail the interactions and bonds that form between the main character and supporting characters. Certain social links are arguably more enjoyable to watch in the anime rather than play in the game, as there’s original material which fleshes them out better. Others, however, feel rather rushed.
The game features several short anime-styled cut scenes, and the anime series is similar in terms of artwork and animation. Character designs, which have been copied from the game, are simple and sharp. This means it’s decent, but compared to certain other anime it’s probably not as visually striking. In some episodes the animation is quite inconsistent; for example, facial expressions are usually good but sometimes become lifeless. Nevertheless, the battle scenes featuring personas and shadows are mostly excellent and full of action, appropriate BGM and variation. It’s also amusing that the anime retains the look and feel of a video game; the main character’s stats appearing halfway through each episode, as well as the calendar being displayed when each day passes are just a couple of examples.
The sound, in my opinion, is the best aspect of this anime. Poor music alone can’t make-or-break a series, but that is irrelevant anyway when it comes to Persona 4 The Animation. The background music is composed by Shoji Meguro, who also composed the music for the game, and it doesn’t disappoint, especially during battle scenes. A lot of the music has been recycled from the game and rightly so; why change something that’s already superb? The OP and ED themes are new, but they’re done in the same style as the OP: sung in English but still sounding incredible. The Japanese VAs have done a good job (which is expected as they also voiced the characters in the game, and therefore have previous experience), and more often than not they suit the roles well.
There are several characters in P4, and most seem to have made the transition from game to anime. The main character, Yu Narukami, was previously a silent protagonist but now has a voice and his own personality. The latter is initially quite bland but develops as his stats and social links develop; after a few episodes he becomes central to a fair few hilarious quips and situations. The rest of the main cast are a varied but likeable bunch, and each viewer will probably have their own favourites. This anime series has an interesting method of introducing the main characters and molding their personalities, by which I mean that it’s incorporated into the Midnight Channel, one of the major plot points. Aside from Yu Narukami, some members of the main cast start out as plain high school students, but their backgrounds and insecurities are revealed as the anime progresses. As mentioned, the battles are entertaining but rather than just having persona-users as mere spectators, they feel pain when their personas are attacked, which raises the stakes and makes them more involved. Finally, the appearance of two mysterious characters (Igor and Margaret) at the beginning of each episode help to summarize which social links or bonds of friendship were developed by Yu in the previous episode.
Now, I’ll assume that the majority of Persona 4 veterans will agree that it was a brilliant, or at the very least good, game for the Playstation 2. Therefore, it has two important challenges: to satisfy those who’ve played the game, and to appeal to those who haven’t but are looking to watch a good anime series. The anime is a faithful adaptation, so anyone who liked the game can now enjoy watching it as a TV series. It’s vastly entertaining and contains mystery, action and adventure in a high school/small town setting. Admittedly, the story does take a while to get going for those unfamiliar to P4, due to questionable pacing and an initial monster-of-the-week feeling to episodes. However, get past this and you’ll find a decent series that’s slightly different to others in its genre.
If the quality found in P4 The Animation becomes the usual standard for anime adapted from games, I’d definitely watch more of them. It complements the game adequately and while it remains quite faithful the anime also includes a lot of new stuff, as well as a heavier use of comedy. These changes allow Persona 4 The Animation to be watched as a standalone series, but at the end of the day existing P4 fans should enjoy the anime more because seeing how it handles the familiar characters and story from the game is great fun; newcomers will probably score the series a bit lower. Video gamers can look forward to more of Persona 4 in future: an updated port of the original game on Playstation Vita, and a spin-off fighting game on PS3/Xbox360.
Note: An unaired episode that adapts the video game’s True Ending is scheduled to be released in August 2012.
There seems to be misconception that if an adaption is faithful enough to the source material, than it’s garanteed to be good-so long as the source material was good in the first place. This is incorrect because when a story is written for certain medium, it tends to work best in that medium because that’s what the story was designed for. Persona 4 fundamentally works best as a video-game, because that’s what it was written for. You could still make a good television series out of it, but in order for that to happen you have to actually change stuff and play around with it.
The first of these problems is the pacing. Persona 4 is a game where you live out the player-protagonist’s highschool life day by day, with trips to the TV world every few weeks. It takes about 60-80 hours to beat, and features a very slow pacing. For a 25 episode television series, they of course would need to compress the overall story.
For example, it’s not until a whole hour into the game until the player-protagonist actually gets to fight some Shadows. Since fighting Shadows is apart of the show’s premise, you of course need to include that in the pilot. Therefor, the writers had to rush through the first hour of the game and compress into a 20-minute episode, which results in an overtly fast pacing.
Secondly is the formulaic structure that comprises the majority of the plot. It roughly goes something like this: “Episode A: The heroes find out who’s on the Midnight Channel, and try to gather information on them so that they can save them from the TV world –> Episode B: The heroes go into the TV world, and rescues the victim. The victim then joins their party and helps out in the next story arc–> Episode C: Filler episode –> Repeat.”
The formula was no problem in the game, since the slow pacing made it so you barely even noticed the formula in the first place. However, since the formula goes through a mere three episodes of the anime, the quicker pacing makes it seem more repetitive.
Lastly, there’s Yu’s ability to summon multiple Persona’s, and acquire ”Social Links.” In the video-game, these are only briefly explained, but it’s no problem because it makes sense in the context of a video-game. But with The Animation, they still don’t bother to give an in-depth explanation, and it no longer makes any sense because it doesn’t have the context of a game to back it up. In the game it makes complete sense from a game play mechanic, but in The Animation it serves absolutely no purpose other than to occasionally show off some of the obtainable demons.
This is one of those shows where it starts out rather nicely; even though the first few episodes suffered from such overtly-fast pacing, they were otherwise rather enjoyable and of decent quality. After episode 4 however, the series started to steep deeper and deeper into mediocracry, and it wasn’t until episode 21 (near the end of the series) that it finally started to be of exceptional quality. This is partially due to how the series quickly starts to focus less on the mystery aspects of the plot, and more on the formulaic nature of rescuing people from the TV world and forming Social Links. In other words, barely anything interesting actually happened for a large part of the series.
When each character is introduced in their respective story-arcs, they are indeed compelling characters with a good amount of depth to them. However, as soon as they face their inner selves and are rescued from the TV world, they quickly degrade into flat one-dimensional characters. They’re all still likable to a certain extent, but not enough to make slice-of-life episodes (i.e. the filler episodes) worth watching.
The fight scenes were also underwhelming, usually feeling rushed. They barely have any tension to them, and usually ended far sooner than you would have liked them to. A few times they tried to mix up the fights by adding in some zany element, such as the male characters turning into old men, or the a hot liquid appearing on the floor that impaired the characters movements. Sometimes it worked, but other times it was just added a bit of stupid and unnecessary comedy.
If there’s anything that saves this show from being terribly mediocre, it’s the final four episodes that manage to pull a few plot twists and make the whole mystery plot actually interesting.
Overall Rating: 6/10.
For the most part this is a mediocre series, but it had enough saving qualities for me to rate this as “above average.” For a short while each character was compelling and complex, and the last four episodes were of exceptional quality.
But even so, I highly recommend you avoid this series, and just play the original video-game. I wouldn’t call the game a masterpiece or anything, but it’s certainly better than The Animation is virtually every way.
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.
MAL Score: 7.69
Saving the world… by fishing?
Yuki Sanada has always felt like a fish out of water. Socially awkward and anxious, he struggles to fit in with his surroundings and moves from town to town with his grandma. As he and his grandma settle into the charming seaside town of Enoshima, Yuki hopes for a fresh start. However, his reputation at school is jeopardized by the arrival of fellow transfer student Haru. The eccentric Haru immediately makes a splash, wildly claiming to be an alien and declaring that Yuki is his friend. Pairing the reluctant Yuki with their classmate and fishing talent, Natsuki Usami, he tasks both of them with the absurd mission of saving the world from a mysterious threat in the ocean. Mischief and hijinks ensue, as these three embark on a whimsical adventure filled with laughs, heart, and self-discovery!
The story is set in the quaint town of Enoshima. There, the show’s protagonists—Yuki, Haru, Natsuki, Akira, and Tapioca (*quack quack*)—all come together to share in a singular pastime: fishing.
It is through the characters’ forced participation to undertake in this hobby that we are able to truly understand each and every one of their personal anxieties and motivations. We are imbued with a real sense of fulfilment, as through their fishing we are not only a witness to their own personal growth, but also to the most important theme of the show—friendship.
There can be no doubt that by the end of the last episode, you will find yourself truly invested in the characters. You will feel like you have walked through the streets of Enoshima yourself, and you will feel like you could just as easily cast off, and spend the afternoon winding down to a spot of fishing—it can be that immersive at times.
A big part of why is due to the art and the sound, which are both thoroughly quirky. The art in particular, opts for a unique style that colours the setting of Enoshima and its occupants, in a vivid, refreshing palette. It does a fantastic job of symbolising and emphasising certain parts, which at times can also make it feel rather reminiscent of a work by Shaft.
The use of sound is also well thought out. The OP and ED are incredibly catchy, and ease you into the feel of the show, whilst the soundtrack never feels repetitive, or out of place.
It should go without saying that there are obvious limitations. Notably, Haru, who you will turn out to either love or despise. There are also personal niggles of mine, which include how certain objects do not benefit from the art style, and how there is practically no development for the character Erika, but these are subjective.
Tsuritama, overall, feels like it offers exactly what it set out to do. It is silly, imaginative, and charming, never once complicating its wacky, yet simple plot with unnecessary information. It is a true feel good show that I can thoroughly recommend trying.
Beyond its excellent slice of life portion, the show also features a very bizarre plot. I often call these things silly, but it is done with some remarkable charm that I can’t help but love it. Ranging from Tapioca to the D.U.C.K organization, the show mixes its ‘serious’ side with some very hilarious scenes, resulting in a great experience. The actual plot is pretty well done as well, resulting in a satisfying ending that perfectly concludes the series.
As yet another excellent entry into the slice of life genre, Tsuritama mixes the supernatural with strong characterization to create a hilarious and heart-warming work that can surely resonate with most.
if you’re looking for a amazing anime to watch, than this is the one for you. it has everything you would want, awesome story, hilarious characters and one epic goal to bring them together.
the story does start of kind of slow, but for a good reason, the characters needs to develop the necessary skills in order to accomplish their goals, the real story actually starts around episode 5 than it really picks up, it picks up so much that i couldnt stop from episode 7-12, each episode keeps me wanting for more and more, and to me, i havent had an anime make me want to do that for a LONG time.
and also, one of my favorite hobbies is fishing, so this actually taught me a couple things, and thats always a bonus =)
give this anime a shot, you will be very surprised on how awesome it is
5: Shinsekai yori
English: From the New World
MAL Score: 8.32
In the town of Kamisu 66, 12-year-old Saki Watanabe has just awakened to her psychic powers and is relieved to rejoin her friends—the mischievous Satoru Asahina, the shy Mamoru Itou, the cheerful Maria Akizuki, and Shun Aonuma, a mysterious boy whom Saki admires—at Sage Academy, a special school for psychics. However, unease looms as Saki begins to question the fate of those unable to awaken to their powers, and the children begin to get involved with secretive matters such as the rumored Tainted Cats said to abduct children.
Shinsekai yori tells the unique coming-of-age story of Saki and her friends as they journey to grow into their roles in the supposed utopia. Accepting these roles, however, might not come easy when faced with the dark and shocking truths of society, and the impending havoc born from the new world.
The story takes place in Japan a thousand years from the present in a utopia where a portion of the population retain a special power called psychokinesis. From the beginning we follow a group of five children as they grow up in the anime and see how they develop within a community bounded by strict rules, and deal with the decisions they make that alter the course of their lives and the entire society they live in. The plot of the show flows very nicely from episode to episode and just as we approach the climax, there’s a plot twist and the storyline from that point just flips upside down in a way you would never expect it to.
The characters in this anime are just something else, with Saki as it’s shining star. The main characters start off as children and by the end of the anime they are adults, with proper illustration of character development. There are a couple of anime who have attempted this children to adulthood metamorphosis motif within one season but they do not pull it off as well as Shinsekai Yori. With an anime that has twenty-five episodes, you would think it would not be enough time for proper character development from children to adults. However, Shinsekai Yori pulls this off very smoothly, which is evidently seen with Saki and Satoru, which even applies to the supporting characters as well. You will not see one character behaving as such and then the next episode they are being the polar opposite, everything is explained and shown very well.
The sound is one of the areas this anime excels in. Every sound that you would not even care for is implemented in every episode and added in the appropriate places, at the appropriate times; the echoing of the voices in a dim room, the rippling of water flowing from a stream. Not to mention soundtrack produced in this amine, which is amazing. Just youtube the battle theme, even if you have not watched the anime yet, it will entice your interests in this anime.
The quality of the art and the animation is what you would expect of any anime standards that are out there today: clear, crisp and pleasing to the eye. The characters and the environment in each of the scenes are drawn to a level of detail, not too simple, yet not to far in detail as well, just in the middle. The quality of art really makes you focus on the message the anime is trying to radiate to the viewer; more than focusing of the wow factor on how amazing the art is.
In terms of the enjoyment, this is not an anime that starts off on a high note and continues as such from there. The first two or three episodes really butters you up, but once you hit the fourth or fifth episode, I promise you, you will be hooked and you will just watch one episode after another. Even if you are more into romance, comedy, action or any genre that is not related to Shinsekai Yori, this anime is definitely worth watching and will probably open the doors to other anime series you never bothered to watch.
Overall I really enjoyed this anime, people should give it a try (unexpectedly, it even became one of my favourites). It did not look appealing to me at first, hence “diamond in the ruff”, but once I started and things picked up, I just wrapped myself in a blanket and marathon’d the whole show. Just looking back at the anime, I will say that one of the highlights of this show is it’s ability to take the morals and values of the world we live in and put it into perspective from watching what the characters do to each other and the outcomes that blossom from their decisions. Give Shinsekai Yori a try and you will see what I mean!
I hope you enjoyed my seemingly short review, I would not mind any feedback and if you enjoyed this series or feel enticed to watch it after reading this, feel free to leave a comment !
What distinguishes Shinsekai Yori from its counterparts is the sheer unorthodoxy of its universe. It is one where the modern society as we know it has not been replaced by a technologically advanced civilisation but that of a small picturesque town characterised by a community whose lifestyles have regressed into that of villagers. It is within these bounds that we follow our protagonists from the ages of 12 to 26 in this insidiously deceptive world. Throughout the series, Shinsekai Yori’s universe is constantly developed with fascinating conceptions such as the Karma Demons, Cantus and the Queerats (an entirely different yet intelligent species) that all bring into question many of our humanity’s morals and beliefs. Each concept is thoroughly explored and reinforce each other to create a powerful and fascinating dystopia whose elements successfully examines and challenges the philosophies we take for granted.
Despite its complexity, it does not lazily “narrate” the ideologies that we question. You won’t be sitting through monologues of lecture-like philosophy or psychology. You see society being critiqued through the journey and consequences of the actions of our protagonists. This is what I find to be the most impressive aspect of the show because Shinsekai Yori fully takes advantage of anime as a medium – a feat that I feel is rare in this genre. The characters’ dialogue exist to explore their mind whilst it is their actions and interactions with this post-apocalyptic world that we explore humanity. In order to truly appreciate Shinsekai Yori, it has to be completed as only then will the experience be complete as the show’s construction of its world is careful to convey certain messages and hidden meanings throughout the show allowing viewers to formulate and reformulate key ideas and questions without ever stooping to overbearing narration.
The characters in Shinsekai Yori all play crucial elements to our story and the range of our cast fully captures the countless perspectives that people in such a world can hold. They are all effectively portrayed via their interactions which unravels how multi-dimensional they are. These interactions are genuine and there is an excellent balance between dialogue, silence and narration from our female lead Saki whose voice actor must be praised for such an alluring performance. Despite the show’s timespan ranging from our protagonists’ youth to their adulthood, the pacing is impeccable as it changes from a slower pace to accommodate the universe-building to a faster pace needed to match the gravity of the conflicts that occur.
For an immense dystopia, it only makes sense for it to be accompanied with diverse artwork. As we observe their world throughout the seasons and its numerous settings – oceans, mountains, villages both desolate and populated, they are portrayed with their own unique environment and colour choices. This is all contrasted with the use of experimental visuals and cinematography during the more dream-like and ethereal scenes which do not exist to simply invoke awe but contribute to subtly send hints across to the viewer on certain mysteries and foreshadowing certain events. Complementing the visuals is a soundtrack which encapsulates the essence of the show with each track strengthening the visuals and enhancing the overall experience. The soundtrack demonstrates how effectively music can make emotions across the human spectrum more compelling whilst respecting its role of being a supplement to the show and thus maintains our focus on the story the series presents – one which no extent of audiovisuals is required to make its ideas any more resounding than they already are.
All in all, Shinsekai Yori is a series that delivers in every single aspect it aims to explore. It displays enough to connect all the ideas examined together into a singular full dystopia but leaves enough for viewers to intellectually ponder and elaborate for themselves. It is profound yet not pretentious and examines humanity without falling into a safety net of tropes that may suffice the viewer but do not inspire. Unlike many of its counterparts, Shinsekai Yori is not a dystopia that relies on a singular premise but a whole host of powerful conceptions that coalesce to create, not just a society, but an entire universe. It achieves this with excellence and elegantly provides us with the most wholesome and meticulously crafted package of dystopian fiction I have ever seen and I unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone who seeks the same.
Shinsekai Yori was that show where I could sit in awe watching the director roll out things one after the other making it look so very effortless. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t bat an eye if the writer actually happens to be from the future because his description of the ‘New World’ is not only persuasive but also connected.
The story is set in the future [1000 years from now] where mankind has created themselves an utopia, though the events are restricted to only Japan. It follows the students of a certain batch in a certain school that helps the students master their PK[Psychokinesis] ability aka Cantus. In this period, PK users[humans] are the dominant species and Queerats are their sub-ordinates or slaves and often address the former as Kami-sama[literally translating as ‘God’]. We follow Watanabe Saki and her friends through the sufferings and pain they endure as they try to unravel the origin and possibly vile past of their present society.
The synopsis and the first episode speaks a little to nothing about what the anime truly aims to deliver but the intro of 1 minute[First episode] was enough to keep me reeled in. Fourth episode was bewildering, I had to watch it twice to get most of what was being explained. There was also a portion that temporarily lost my attention and then there was the conclusion that meticulously sealed off the deal on this beautiful creation.
Fantasy toned genres never piqued much of my interest but the whole future setting here was surprisingly compelling. Even the plot holes get over shadowed by an unbelievably smooth story transition. One could almost relate our world with the ugly facade put up by the otherwise apparent dystopia. I am deliberately refraining from describing the story but I assure you it’s a staggering watch indeed. Whenever I thought- this is it, this is the writer’s limit of imagination, the show would prove me wrong. This is not purely SF or Fantasy, bring in a darker theme, an ingenious screenplay and Shinsekai Yori is born.
Shinsekai Yori does contain violence/blood and profanity saturated at some parts of the show. The happenings and revelations in this series can be depressing hence should not be mistaken as a light watch. Shinsekai Yori impressively manages to portray the discriminatory nature in us humans in a completely unorthodox thought provoking manner. Story becomes pretty linear after 6th or 7th episode, but that doesn’t stop it from keeping you at the edge of your seat especially near the end. I still can’t commend the writer enough for the conclusion he’s given to this work. Best possible ending, as far as it concerns me.
As for the Homosexual sequences[very little amount of Shounen Ai and perhaps a little Shoujo Ai/Yuri, 1-2 Episodes tops], it saddens me deeply to see people dropping Shinsekai Yori because of the same. I believe they play a tiny yet essential part in describing the re-casted lives of humans of their time and do not qualify enough for a reason to drop this series.
The character designs can be hard to get used to for many, but I’ve come to realize how much it suits the whole ‘Shinsekai’ module of the show. A1 pictures out stood themselves again in the Backgrounds Dept. The backgrounds are extremely gorgeous to look at; effects and animation are well above mediocre. Just wow to all the creatures we encounter other than humans and queerats. The color selection fit perfectly and beautifully brings the New World concept to life. Indubitably deserves to be watched in 720p or more.
The characters in their entirety do a great job in painting the manufactured mentality and traits native to the people 1000 years from now. You’ll doubt their authenticity, their feelings, pity their helpless state and still be able to relate to a degree, for they are at core still humans like us. Again, this is something that the viewers should see for themselves. [ Queerats : If you’re familiar with Harry Potter franchise, Queerats look similar to Dobby, but more disfigured and fat with further diversities as well. Squealer is one of those queerats and plays a significant role in the later half yet main plot of Shinsekai Yori by assuming the personification of ‘Resistance’ against the atrocities of the Powerful. ]
Sound- Bravo! It blends so well into the setting and environment that I couldn’t help being mesmerized by it. The BGMs & OSTs were captivating and spot on almost entirely. A custom version of ‘Going Home’ [adapted from the second movement of Symphony No. 9 (Dvořák)] featured earlier in Mawaru Penguindrum was used in Shinsekai Yori, and for me it worked magic in the latter. I remember watching the first episode again and again just to hear that and the first ED ‘Wareta Ringo’. Voice actors did an incredible job, I don’t know how but Hanazawa Kana-san’s voice always gets me.
I personally enjoyed Shinsekai Yori way more than I’d initially expected. The entire run had a consistent dark atmosphere, which contributed in keeping the tension. I haven’t been this satisfied with an ending in a long time. This is unquestionably a rare gem among the current trend in Japanese animation industry and is not something one should overlook. Sure there are downfalls like the slow pace in initial episodes, few dry episodes in the middle, minuscule amount of homosexual themes that can irrationally put some viewers off, perhaps some sloppy facial animation now and then, but in the bigger picture Shinsekai Yori more than makes up for the flaws and to me it’s no less than something close to masterpiece.
That being said, Shinsekai Yori is not a show for everyone but do try it and decide for yourself.
Overall Score: 8.5/10.
Thank you for reading the entire heap. Feedback greatly appreciated.
MAL Score: 8.36
Justice, and the enforcement of it, has changed. In the 22nd century, Japan enforces the Sibyl System, an objective means of determining the threat level of each citizen by examining their mental state for signs of criminal intent, known as their Psycho-Pass. Inspectors uphold the law by subjugating, often with lethal force, anyone harboring the slightest ill-will; alongside them are Enforcers, jaded Inspectors that have become latent criminals, granted relative freedom in exchange for carrying out the Inspectors’ dirty work.
Into this world steps Akane Tsunemori, a young woman with an honest desire to uphold justice. However, as she works alongside veteran Enforcer Shinya Kougami, she soon learns that the Sibyl System’s judgments are not as perfect as her fellow Inspectors assume. With everything she has known turned on its head, Akane wrestles with the question of what justice truly is, and whether it can be upheld through the use of a system that may already be corrupt.
The series is set in the near future in which it is possible to instantaneously quantify a person’s state of mind, personality, and probability of committing a crime, all recorded on an individual’s “Psycho-Pass”. When their “Crime Coefficient” index becomes too high, they are pursued and apprehended by police officers known as Inspectors, and their ‘hunting dogs’ the Enforcers; in this way, order is maintained. Unit One of the Public Safety Bureau’s division of criminal investigation, navigate the system to uphold justice in their seemingly Utopian society.
Before anything else, let’s address some reasons the show received heavy criticism early on, and was subsequently written off because of it.
Inspector Tsunemori Akane: As a frequenter of tumblr, I saw so many people dismiss the protagonist of the series immediately after episode 1, and to that I say shame on you. She got a lot of flack for being naive and idealistic, but that was the whole point of her character development. Even more egregious was how much hate she got because of her design, and again, shame on you. Both the director and the writer explicitly stated that “moe” would be completely omitted from Psycho-Pass; there’s a lot of back and forth between whether Akane is or isn’t moe (though the pink jellyfish comes close), but you don’t hate on a character because of their haircut. And personally, I think she’s cute.
Too slow: I understand, the series does take it’s time in the beginning. Psycho-Pass doesn’t really reach the heart of its story until about episode 10. However, everything before this is time spent establishing the cyberpunk setting, the relationships between the characters, and setting up for an unbelievable payoff later. Every reveal in the series speaks to something that was established earlier (yes, even the HyperOats) because the writer is a master at foreshadowing and bringing his stories full circle. It is well worth wading through the cases in the beginning to reach the core of the story later.
Psycho-Pass is a ripoff of Minority Report: a 2002 film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise based off a short story of the same name written by legendary science fiction author, Philip K. Dick. And honestly, to this I have to say… so what? Having only seen the trailer, I could just as easily say that Pacific Rim is a rip off of Evangelion, but that doesn’t say anything about its merit on any level. So even if the series is derivative (and what material isn’t these days?), the two focus on different themes and tell totally separate stories; Minority Report is a commentary on human free will and choice where Psycho-Pass is a revenge story at its core and an examination of justice, taking place in the same kind of setting.
And the joke is on you, because Philip K. Dick’s work is actually mentioned in the series. It’s obvious, to the point of near literary pretentiousness, how the series pays homage to the themes and philosophies found in great written works. I can see how consistently name dropping George Orwell or Jonathan Swift might be annoying, but as a total classic literature nerd, it made me excited to pick up what they were alluding to in the books I have read, and inspired to hunt down the rest so I could understand the series even better (hard copies— because e-books lack character). Besides, an image of Heart of Darkness conveys just as much as a long-winded discourse about the descent into darkness and the true nature of humanity would. It isn’t always subtle, but it is challenging and elevates the show to more than just another crime thriller anime.
Before I continue lauding it, let me clarify: Psycho-Pass is bloody, violent, and disturbing, and not for the weak-hearted. This anime has cruel scenes, both physically and mentally, and the director joked that he wanted the kids in the audience to sustain trauma for life after watching. O_O But that is not why your heart will be ripped out.
Your heart will be ripped out because Urobuchi Gen helmed this.
Urobuchi-san (Fate/Zero & Puella Magi Madoka Magica) is known for writing dark, nihilistic themes and tragic plot twists into his stories, earning him the affectionate nickname “The Uro-BUTCHER”. Back when I wrote my original Madoka review, I had no idea who this man was or what he would do to my emotions. Lobotomizing yourself with a spoon would be less painful. If only I had known then…
The reason Urobuchi-san is capable of writing compelling stories is not because he’s heavy handed with the nihilism or because he shies away from current trends in the anime industry. There are two very good reasons.
1. He knows how to write people— realistic, human characters with attributes and flaws and personal motivations and incredible development (see: Ginoza Nobuchika). The audience doesn’t suffer because tragic events happen, but because they happen to these characters, whom you have grown to know and love and sympathize with (see: Ginoza Nobuchika).
2. He never writes standard black and white conflicts. The system in place which monitors people’s mental states for the sake of safety arguably takes way their free will, but without it the society plunges into chaos. The Enforcer seeks to bring down the main antagonist for personal revenge, not for the sake of justice; and yet if the anarchist wins, in theory, people’s wills are restored as long as they survive the crumbling of the system. As you watch his series, you might not know who you want to win, or whether they should, and it makes for deeply thought provoking entertainment. (The “Psycho-Scan” aspect of the series alone is provocative when you put it into the context of how mental health is approached in Japan.)
There’s a lot of commentary on human nature, the natures of societies, law and governance, good and evil. There’s tons of brain-candy to chew on here; Psycho-Pass is not a series to watch if you travel into anime to escape or like to keep your mind turned off. Although it shares similar themes and story telling elements as something like Madoka Magica, the complexity, the science fiction crime mystery genre, and integration of philosophy and literature makes it less universal in appeal, but all the more appealing for someone like me.
Knowing Urobuchi’s previous work had me worried. Hearing that the entire staff cried over the final episode had me very worried. But even with his bloody reputation preceding him, Psycho-Pass has proved that Urobuchi-san is master storyteller capable of being twisted and incredibly emotional, as well as demonstrating diversity and restraint. His name is one I’m sure to be following from now on.
Oh, and it also looked great. And sounded great. Production I.G.’s work here is wonderful, and they’re generally a top notch studio. Production knew when to hold back, so they could really deliver where it mattered later (the dog hunting scene was very dark and difficult to see, but “The Gates of Judgement”? that three something minute fight scene was unbelievable). The backgrounds were incredibly detailed and the series has a great look, managing to be extremely colorful and yet very dark. The integration of CG was also very impressive, and I’m glad to see they pulled it off so successfully since technology is a major motif in this 22nd century world. I might just be drawn to the style, but all of Amano Akira’s character designs look great (yes, even Akane-chan’s).
*jumps onto the soapbox* Episode 18, “Promises Written in Water”, came out totally derpy-looking because of scheduling issues. Even the director apologized, saying that in order to get the episode out on time, it would air incomplete. This is not just an acceptable drop in animation quality like we typically see from Gainax or Gonzo, just an honest to goodness time issue. Production on the episode will be finished in time for the home media releases and it will be just as quality as the rest of the series. *hops off the soapbox*
The score was varied, very synthy and they played around with different types of sounds to add in, but fitting with the futuristic setting and dark tone of the anime. There are some standout pieces on the OST, I’m rather fond of the main theme and a very pretty and somber piano piece reserved for the quieter moments. Psycho-Pass is guilty of playing Bach, stealing a leaf out of Evangelion’s book, but at least the high-brow pretentiousness makes more sense here. All the OPs and EDs were similarly successful, sporting beautiful animation (and a bit of foreshadowing), not to mention that many of the songs were written for the specific characters. “abnormalize” speaks to Kogami’s character, where “Namae no nai Kaibutsu” should be listened to with Makishima in mind. Also, I don’t think the fanbase will ever get tired of “cause I feeeeeeeellll” or “your never walk alonee” and neither will I.
In general, I struggle watching shows week to week because I prefer marathoning my anime and when I really get into it, I am incapable of doing anything else while waiting in between episodes (should have seen me after Ep. 19, it was baad). And I haven’t done this with any other anime of 2012, so it speaks to how stellar Psycho-Pass really was when I say it was the highlight of my week, every week, until the end. I’m going to go out and buy Proust right now. What an incredible ride.
Story – 7/10
The setting of Psycho Pass is a futuristic one in modern Japan, where people who have a high and cloudy Psycho Pass are either adjudged criminals or potent criminals. The ones who have a Psycho Pass of above a certain rating are criminals who’re judged dangerous and have no hope but the potent criminals can work as Enforcers with the police in order to catch the other criminals.
The reason I gave a 6 in story is because the first few episodes were pretty useless with no real relevance to the plot. The episodes in itself aren’t irrelevant, its rather the amount of episodes they wasted in doing so. But the story starts getting good around the 8 episode in the show and continues to be a good one till the 16 episode or so. Around that time, we have a confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonist. The show should have ended there with a few prior things explained before that 16-17 episode mark. The next 6-7 episodes are just stretched out and completely based on plot devices. I think I have spoiled enough for you.
Art – 6/10
The art of Psycho Pass is okay; it’s nothing special really. It isn’t overly good for an anime released in 2012. Compared to some of the other anime of that time, the art is not up to the mark by a long way. It gets really choppy at times and makes you wonder if this is an anime released after 2010.
Sound – 5/10
There isn’t really any memorable soundtrack in this anime. I’ve watched the anime just a few days ago and I can’t remember even one theme of the series. At best, there may have been a couple of decent soundtrack, but that was it. If there was one thing good about the sound of Psycho Pass, it would be the voice acting which was pretty good.
Characters – 5/10
The characters except for the villain, Makishima Shougo were shallow and the character that I hated most, the female MC, Akane Sunamori was just a walking and talking plot device who got a sudden personality change in the last few episodes. She got a perfect opportunity to overthrow the Sibyl System but she doesnt do anything. She gets the chance to kill the antagonist 3 times and she’s just too weak to do it. It was just plot manipulation to me. People say that she got a lot of development but she didn’t She had a stale, weak personality throughout the entire series and suddenly becomes all brave and decisive in the last few episodes.
The male lead, Shinya Kougami is a smart guy who does what he wants for most of the series except some occasions where Akane tells her not to. At all such instances, he sighs and does what she says even though he knows that the opposite should be done. He doesnt listen to anyone and somehow listens to Akane from the beginning. (He doesnt have feeling for the girl either so that’s not why he listens to her).
The antagonist is a good character but he is a Gary Stu. He is intelligent, thin but yet somehow manages to overpower Shinya multiple times even though Shinya works out and has a really good build. He also has surprisingly great endurance, healing really quickly without any supernatural powers. But compared to others, he’s the best character and you’re questioned whether his actions are good or evil.
Enjoyment – 6/10
Overall, I enjoyed the middle episodes of Psycho Pass the most. The start was okay but the ending was just ridiculous. The middle episodes were really good though, with some exciting scenes. The first few episodes were slow, boring, mostly irrelevant to the plot and completely illogical. The same with the ending. As I mentioned a few times earlier, this show should’ve been around a 14 episode show. It never really needed 20+ episodes because it was dragged on too much in the end, leading to a nonsensical ending and the episodes which preceded the conclusion to the show didn’t have anything to write home about either.
Overall – 6/10
The show could have been really a lot better if there weren’t so many plot devices involved and if they would’ve finished the anime around that episode 16-18 mark where both the males were brought to near death. Also, Akane really started to annoy me when her personality suddenly changed. I like character development and she didn’t get any. Her character just took a huge jump in one episode from being a weak, scared officer who can’t even use a real gun to shoot the enemy to a brave girl who’s strong enough to make her own grave decisions.
The premise of the show poses an interesting scenario: what if we lived in a world where it was possible to determine the potential of a person through a simple cymatic scan, and judge/assign that person accordingly? You would be told your aptitude for certain jobs, the extent of your latent abilities, and the likelihood of mental instability and the capacity to commit crimes. This is the world that Psycho Pass is set in. The show follows the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division and the various cases that are assigned to them. Through their work solving crimes, we delve into conflicts of morality, the battle between the righteous and injustice, and the clash between different ideologies about the Sibyl System that made this whole lifestyle possible.
The strongest selling point of Psycho Pass is its cast of well developed and intricate characters. We have Tsunemori Akane, a new Investigator of the Criminal Investigation Division, and her beliefs are what is most commonly defined as “righteous”. She is the representation of the ideal yet naive mindset that justice is absolute and criminals must be punished. She holds the law close to her heart, and while very young and inexperienced, she is an intelligent person and attempts to see the good in people. Through her exposure to the more sinister side of society, we observe if she is able to withstand the challenges to her beliefs and how she changes as an individual.
Helping her solve crimes and doing most of the “dirty work” is one of the Enforcers under her, Kogami Shinya. As one that is familiar with the darker side of society and has accumulated a plethora of experience in dealing with criminal minds, he is calculating, intelligent, and physically adept. His outlook on justice and the nature of other people differs from Akane’s, and this difference serves as a driving force for the show. While he is normally collected and logical, his emotions do cause him to act irrationally and puts him in precarious situations. His resolve and detective skills are put to the test and we are shown the lengths in which he will go through to reinforce his beliefs.
In addition to these two, we have Ginoza, a veteran Inspector with some very firm and rigid beliefs on criminals and potential and Masaoka, an experienced Enforcer who was a detective but was deemed a latent criminal and is a bit old fashioned. We also are introduced to Kagari, a easygoing Enforcer who was marked as a criminal at the age of five and has been an Enforcer ever since and doesn’t think too highly of the Sibyl System and Yayoi, a former guitarist turned Enforcer trying to prevent others from ending up as criminals similar to how someone dear to her did. Rounding out our Unit One, we have Shion, the Bureau’s analyst that aids the unit in solving crimes, and Joshu, the enigmatic Chief of the Bureau. The fact that none of these characters are insignificant or unimpactful enough to dismiss is quite a feat, but Psycho Pass gives each and every character depth and relevance to the main plot.
A debate that has stood the test of time is the question: are humans innately good or evil? Do we strive to side by justice because it is in our nature, our personalities, our entire being, or do we do so in order to simply create the facade of appearing as a righteous person? Are our actions a culmination of self interest, in that we do everything for personal gain? Forging relationships, creating bonds; are they simply methods to reach the end goal of personal satisfaction and happiness? Psycho Pass portrays and addresses this issue through excellent storytelling, proficient pacing, and a cast of realistic characters. From watching Akane attempting to defend latent criminals and trying to give them a chance to prove their innocence, to Shinya’s drive based on personal revenge and his definition of justice, Psycho Pass keeps its audience consistently alert and interested, with plot twists and shifts that are unpredictable and wholeheartedly intriguing.
The art is bold and catches the eye’s attention. From the casual conversation scenes to the dynamic and high tension fight scenes, everything is animated with a finesse that is incredible. While some may dislike some of the characters design, that is ultimately personal preference. The sound is appropriate for a sci-fi show. The OP and EDs are upbeat and catchy and will stick with you even after the conclusion of the show. They serve to build suspense and set the mood, and everything fits into the whole picture to deliver a well coordinated show.
Psycho Pass, I believe, can be considered a masterpiece. With thought-provoking dialogue and plot, an amount of drama and tension that is neither excessive nor underwhelming, and a group of characters that are just as complex as many of us, Psycho Pass delivers an action sci-fi show unlike one we’ve seen before.
3: Uchuu Kyoudai
English: Space Brothers
MAL Score: 8.51
On a fateful summer night in 2006, Mutta Nanba and his younger brother Hibito witness what they believe to be a UFO flying toward the Moon. This impressing and unusual phenomenon leads both siblings vowing to become astronauts, with Hibito aiming for the Moon and Mutta, convinced that the eldest brother has to be one step ahead, for Mars.
Now an adult, life hasn’t turned out how Mutta had pictured it: he is diligently working in an automotive company, whereas Hibito is on his way to be the very first Japanese man to step on the Moon. However, after losing his job, Mutta is presented with an unexpected opportunity to catch up to his younger brother when the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, commonly known as JAXA, accepts his application to participate in the next astronaut selection. Despite self-doubts about his prospects, Mutta is unwilling to waste this chance of a lifetime, and thus embarks on an ambitious journey to fulfill the promise made 19 years ago.
Space Brothers cleverly depicts the pursuits of Mutta and Hibito, converging their storylines at some times and following them separately at others. This structure is beneficial to the flow and progression, and earns top marks from me. It also uses an intriguing method of linking the past to the present, showing the audience how the brothers’ upbringing helps them with the challenges on the path toward fulfilling their dreams.
This leads me to the most notable aspect of Space Brothers – its insanely realistic plot. The amount of research that author Koyama Chuuya had to have done is mind-boggling. In fact, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) actually helped out on it, which is noticeable throughout. Plainly stated, you just can’t make some of this stuff up! Which brings me to an important question potential viewers always ask: why is it so long?? It takes a lot of time and effort to become an astronaut, and it is quite clearly portrayed in this anime. To condense any of what is shown would be an insult to real astronauts. As a rare “long seinen,” I approve.
Additionally, it’s difficult to NOT be impressed with immense detail that the mangaka put into the setting. For instance, whenever the main characters travel to the United States, American fans are simply blown away by the accuracy of the places illustrated, such as the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Texas. Though I’ve never been to either of these locations, it almost feels like I’ve been on a virtual tour, just by watching an anime.
This leaves me with the literary brilliance of its themes. As is evident from the title, family plays an important role, and not just the Nanba family; though it is crucial to note that “family” is not limited by blood. Although this is a comedy [and it can be pretty funny at times], it is well balanced by its serious moments. Furthermore, this is an anime about going to space.. which is a very scary place where the consequences of failure are colossal. This anxiety gives the experience an even keener flavor. Of course it deals with moral issues and other difficulties in life as well. Sacrifice and the test of friendship is a prevalent theme as the journey to the top requires leaving many behind – not everyone can be a winner. The anime also tackles psychological and neurological hardships, in addition to exposing the stress put on the families of the astronauts. However, the theme that Space Brothers always comes back to is that hard work and guts [and a lot of luck] will always pay off, even if the immediate results appear unfavorable.
Though there isn’t very much “action” in this anime, A-1 pictures does a great job in the animation department. Movements are fluid and expressions are believable, to say the least. In terms of art style, Space Brothers uses an interesting blend of intrinsic “anime-ness” along with the natural proportions and appearances of.. well.. real life. Something that caught my eye was the attention to heredity. Characters of the same family tended to look like each other and/or their parents, which is an uncommon trait in anime. It’s a nice addition to the realism this seinen provides. Hair is also quite interesting. Each character’s hair style/color stays within the bounds of reality while still remaining unique from other shows. Bonus points to Serika’s hair for somehow making me smile every time she’s on screen.
Now, I feel this is the weakest part of the show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good, just less so in comparison to its strengths. The music is used to enforce and empower the displayed emotions and elicit the intended feels from the viewer, but the anime reuses the same songs… over and over. I actually made it a game to see how many episodes it could go without playing the same “feel this now” song. I guess you get used to it after a while, but it is worth mentioning. The last third of the anime gets better at diversifying its music. The OPs and EDs are pretty good though, my favorite being ED5, “BEYOND” by Miho Fukuhara [yea, the same Fukuhara that did Brotherhood ED2].
My favorite part of this anime is the incredible characterization! Practically every character is memorable due to the depth in which each is described. Their motivations and actions logically follow the person that they’ve become. You can easily fall in love with any number of them, and palpably feel heartbroken if things don’t go their way. Viewers with weaker hearts be wary, though I never cried myself, I acknowledge that much of the anime can bring you to tears. There are several instances in which a character’s reactions and facial expressions deliver far more emotion than any amount of words could. This attribute alone makes Space Brothers stand out from other anime. Simply put, the entire cast is a rainbow of personality. I don’t really want to go much further into detail.. that would ruin the magic!
This is a great show, easily one of my favorites. Whenever I found myself in an anime rut, I just sat back and watched a couple episodes. Another thing that’s worth noting is that the anime is very inspirational. Seeing Mutta go through so many tribulations gave me hope for my future, and that my efforts in the present will yield fruit down the road. Maybe that’s just me though.
Space Brothers is an excellently constructed anime that combines a heartwarming story with delightful comedy, using realistic characters to show the audience just how difficult it is to become an astronaut.
Oh yea, we can end that handshake now.
Lately, i haven’t found any good anime to watch.. then i meet Uchuu Kyoudai/Space Brother, at the first i was like oh just an average anime which have sci-fi and bla bla bla. since i didnt have any anime to watch, i thought i could try it for just one episode. and then seems like i had learned my lesson.
“Dont ever judge anime by its cover, genre, or anything else before you watched it” – Me, after watching this.
The story was simple, its about Nanba Mutta as the older brother who had promised with his younger brother, Nanba Hibito. to become an Astronaut together. But, then the life changes them. Now, Nanba Hibito is on training for becoming an astronaut and as for the older brother, he is just being fired from his company. And until then Mutta as the older brother have a motto that older brother must take a step ahead against his younger brother, luckily, there was an audition for becoming an astronaut. and so Mutta without hestitate sign for the audition.
Simple? yeah… its kinda remembering me about Bakuman. and so, whats make this so special?
first of all, is the story itself. like bakuman does, the story was father kinda in slow paced. we’re not just gonna see the Nanba Mutta struggle for being an astronaut, but we’re gonna see too the flashback about him and her younger brother, boring? I dont think so, since all that flashback was really touching. You cant help to shed your tears (that was what i feel). Well, its not all about melancholic situation, Uchuu Kyodai have great jokes too. Usually when Nanba Mutta mumbling or speak with himself, he always comments on what he feel or what he see. It just feels so natural, you cant help to not to laugh when he does that.
and not just that, the detail of the way they tells us about space, NASA, and the outer things was really perfect. when i watching this anime, i cant help myself to google some of the fact in this anime, like “did you know that Moon’s sand was so sharp as a shard of glass?” and not just that, the details about space and NASA is really increasing our knowledge about it.
Second, the character. what makes appeal me a lot was all of the character in space brother. i am not exaggerating. because in this anime, there isnt any bad guys with a weird reason to do something bad. they’re just people like us, who do something for some reason, behind every act they made, they have a reason. I think thats the good point, since as far as i have seen, rarely any anime made this thing (act) so naturally. They’re just doing by what they’re believe.
And what surprise me a lot was the each character have a scene to develop. either by flashback or by their experience. and its kinda lame to said that the story was so slow (because of the flashback), YES its slow but the slow itself because they want to the viewer knows “what kind of character it is?” and surely, to make us, being attracted by the character.
Third, the art. i am not gonna said to much on this section. but, if you see it carefully, you will see why this anime was so appealing, like how many anime that have a male lead which have an afro hair? then, the draws for the character was well made, yet is so slice of life anime. Not excessive on the background coloring neither the character does. When usually some anime use so many gradient or shading in coloring to make more appealing but not in space brother, they make it simple but yet its charming. Its really the style of Sentai Filmworks
The Last, Sound. honestly, when i heard the opening songs (especially the first OP, “Feel so Moon”) i am really attached to it, not just attached it, i realize that the OP was really fit with the anime, its about outer space. not just the first OP, the other OP was really – really well made. Even i had to replay the OP, just for hear the song. The background song or BGM is also perfectly fit with every scenes that appears. Like when there was something amazing happen, “Sora e No Michi” songs plays and its really hyping up the atmosphere and makes the scenes twice more epic!
Not just the OP and BGM, the seiyuu voice was really deserves an award. They really fits with each character that being voiced. especially when Nanba Mutta talking to himself or when he sighing about his life, its like they (the seiyuu) really put their feelings into it. Of course not just seiyuu for Nanba Mutta, but all the character.
When everyone focus and talk about Shingeki no Kyojin or any anime that airing in that season, They forgot to bring this anime as topic to be discussed. Oh, poor you Space Brother. But well, honestly i am happy that not many people to know this anime. I can be a hipster! lol Anyway, this anime was still airing. until i write this review, the anime had just airing their 63 episodes but it has been on my top 5 anime,Yeah, so why i had to risk on my top anime place for this airing anime? as for me, its too early for judging anime if you havent watched the whole episodes, but who cares? this anime was awesome. and its enough reason for me to put this on my top anime.
if you’re looking for a motivational , then you might try this anime… and one message for me, CATCH YOUR DREAM!
*Thanks for reading my review! If you found this review was not helpful or doesnt good enough,please message me. I really appreciate any feedbacks*
My first thought after reading the synopsis was why the hell are 99 episodes dedicated to these random siblings trying to go to space. Not to mention the fact that one of them has an afro. Is this entire series a joke? The sci-fi genre with “space” in it is so commonplace that we often associate it with aliens, laser beams blasting out of gigantic humanoid robots, or imperial planetary empires attempting to take over galaxies; we often forget that astronauts/cosmonauts in reality are one of the most dangerous and strenuous professions in the world. As a requirement, all astronauts must be genetically and physically healthy all around, have to dedicate their minds to proficiency levels of engineers, and have to work long hours to maintain the fitness ability of athletes. Even then, only the very few with exceptional abilities are the ones that are accepted as those that are able to go to space. Forget the ridiculous afro for now. This is a truly inspirational journey about the challenges that the siblings overcome to fulfilling a persistent passion (mostly just about the guy with the afro though).
It’s always very challenging to express characters realistically in anime but this one has particularly done an outstanding job. The depth of the characters continued to grow and develop throughout the series. The background stories of every character along with the inflections of tones and conversations entwines into their personalities and career pursuits as astronauts or engineers. The mini-stories also added gravity to each character’s dedication.
La di la di la. Amazing classical music when needed 🙂
Some pretty good comedy alongside the inspiring story of our friendly afro dude.
The scenes and color are framed well and appropriately montaged, giving decent mis-en-scene. Symbolic coloring and framing or artistically beautiful shots are not the highlight of this show. I would say this has a lot more going for it in the story and character development than anything else. The style of art is “meh” but that is largely subjective.
10/10 Overall a hidden masterpiece.
2: Gintama’: Enchousen
English: Gintama: Enchousen
Japanese: 銀魂’ 延長戦
MAL Score: 9.04
While Gintoki Sakata was away, the Yorozuya found themselves a new leader: Kintoki, Gintoki’s golden-haired doppelganger. In order to regain his former position, Gintoki will need the help of those around him, a troubling feat when no one can remember him! Between Kintoki and Gintoki, who will claim the throne as the main character?
In addition, Yorozuya make a trip back down to red-light district of Yoshiwara to aid an elderly courtesan in her search for her long-lost lover. Although the district is no longer in chains beneath the earth’s surface, the trio soon learn of the tragic backstories of Yoshiwara’s inhabitants that still haunt them. With flashback after flashback, this quest has Yorozuya witnessing everlasting love and protecting it as best they can with their hearts and souls.
Gintama’: Enchousen includes moments of action-packed intensity along with their usual lighthearted, slapstick humor for Gintoki and his friends.
Comedy isn’t that strong in series as of late, even in most of the series airing the comedy was either pretty bad or they started out great, but than ended up as failures from becoming great. Knowing when to be funny in a show is essential to making a series great. If you just half-ass your way it won’t become funny anymore, instead it will just be a generic show trying too hard. From the Fall and Winter seasons numerous shows tried doing this and they just burnt out near the end. Some recovered themselves near the end, barely.
However, Gintama is able to keep its comedy approach, knowing when to do it at the right time and not forcing itself too much. This gives the show a strong appeal to the fans that look for laughs.
We can’t just talk about the comedy of Gintama though, the action and emotional part of the show is able to perform so well that its surprising. It makes you think, “How can a show be so funny, yet so great in so many vast amount of genres?” It really is speechless to say, at least from my standing and maybe you’ll be able to question this yourself sometime too.
When it comes to Odd Jobs, also known as Yorozuya in its Romanized name, great hardships befall them. This ranges from running out of money due to the lack of jobs—to putting themselves into greater danger more so than the Shinsengumi, also known as the “Special Police Force.” By going to such great acts of danger they’re able to overcome and help the people they hold dear as friends.
Another great thing about Gintama is its characters. Gintoki, Shinpach, Kagura, and don’t forget about Sadaharu, their pet dog; If it can even be classified as a “dog,” have if not the best and unique characters in Anime. Despite Gintoki being the leader his personality takes a 180 turn from being serious, to trolling the viewers by picking his nose and always reading manga. Like Gintoki, Shinpachi and Kagura have pretty much the same type of personalities of Gin but show it in a different way.
The general theme of Gintama has no boundaries, right? Right. It’s able to clash from fighting Aliens known as the Amanto that harm their beloved country to fighting corrupted Shoguns that only seek power. This also relates to its artwork by going into an Olden historical setting and even space.
In the soundtrack department, Audio Highs who’s worked on all of the previous seasons and this one also shows how she/he is able to compose and arrange the music in the correct places throughout the series. While Amoyamo who played the first opening song, “Let’s Go Out” of Gintama Enchousen and SPYAIR who performed the second opening song, “Sakura Mitsu Tsuki” as well as many other songs from the previous seasons is able to show a calm but catchy beat in all of their songs. The ending song is rather catchy as well, performed by PAGE – “Expect.”
In the end Gintama lives up to being a great classic to the viewers. A show that can bring comedy, emotion, action and an historical type setting all into one, while keeping strong to its general based theme is Gintama. Odd Jobs will never be forgotten, they shall return one day and when that day comes, prepare yourself.
First off we get the episode with Kintoki as they promised from the last episode of Gintama’, it was mostly for the lols but it also focused on Gintoki’s bond with his companions and friends, it showed how close they actually are to each other, especially to Kagura, Shinpachi, Otae, Tama and Sadaharu. The second arc of Gintama’:Enchousen revealed a little more of Gin-san’s past to us and gave Shigeshige shogun an important role to play in, and it shows that Kagura is still friends with the Shogun’s sister, the princess that ran out of the castle in the early episodes. The third arc focused on the Shimura siblings’ past&the dojo, they also show us how Shinpachi has grown stonger and that he’s not just some character that only plays the straightman role, it also shows Tae’s kind of lovable side too. We also get to see a different side of Gin-san and what kind of relationship the Shinsengumi and Yagyuu clan have with Sakata Gintoki.
Everything looks amazing in HD, Gintoki&Kagura picking their nose, Sadaharu’s urine, Shinpachi’s main body, Mayonnaise, epic Gintoki’s battles, Shogun’s pantsu and more. The animation and art in the openings& endings are very relaxing to watch.
The openings are awesome, my favorite one has to be “Sakura Mitsutsuki”, it really suits the arc that it’s in and very pleasant to my ears, also very beautiful for both the art and the song. “Let’s go out” also sounds great. The endings are beautiful, especially “Expect” which was very cute.
Alot of character development, most are from Sakata Gintoki, Shimura Shinpachi&Tae. Alot of Gintoki’s past were revealed, Shinpachi grew up and Otae is actually able to talk nicely to Kondo Isao. (Spoiler:In the first arc, Tsukuyo, Sarutobi, Kyubei, Katsura and Hasegawa were able to remember Gintoki, even after they got hypnotized again, it didn’t work, this shows how close they actually are to Gintoki, Otae was also the first person to remember Gintoki along with Kagura and Shinpachi, this shows that their bonds are very close to each other)
We got alot of actions from Gintoki and the gang, alot of feels from Gintoki and the gang, very good soundtrack and we also got to see Shogun play a very important role. It still keeps the comedy part of the show too.
Overall:10( I wanna do 100 cant we have 100 instead of 10?)
Very good story that links to other episodes, very nice animation&art, beautiful soundtracks, lots of character development, very enjoyable, Gintama DOES NOT DISAPPOINT.
P.S. Dont finish all the episodes too fast or else you wont find anything to fill the void after you finish Gintama as a whole.
Overall, it is an excellent season. Gintama lives up to the viewers expectations.
English: Gintama Season 2
MAL Score: 9.06
After a one-year hiatus, Shinpachi Shimura returns to Edo, only to stumble upon a shocking surprise: Gintoki and Kagura, his fellow Yorozuya members, have become completely different characters! Fleeing from the Yorozuya headquarters in confusion, Shinpachi finds that all the denizens of Edo have undergone impossibly extreme changes, in both appearance and personality. Most unbelievably, his sister Otae has married the Shinsengumi chief and shameless stalker Isao Kondou and is pregnant with their first child.
Bewildered, Shinpachi agrees to join the Shinsengumi at Otae and Kondou’s request and finds even more startling transformations afoot both in and out of the ranks of the the organization. However, discovering that Vice Chief Toushirou Hijikata has remained unchanged, Shinpachi and his unlikely Shinsengumi ally set out to return the city of Edo to how they remember it.
With even more dirty jokes, tongue-in-cheek parodies, and shameless references, Gintama’ follows the Yorozuya team through more of their misadventures in the vibrant, alien-filled world of Edo.
That’s right. The #1 show is back – and I am damn excite, son.
To any of you who haven’t watched the first season, please do. but if you wouldn’t want to commit yourself to a 201 episode show, feel free to just skip ahead to season two and try an episode or two. The storyline’s arranged in inconsistent arcs, meaning you can pick it up from any arc – as long as you get an explanation on the origins of the different characters.
I assume all of you know the general setting – a Samurai who lives in a modern era in which aliens are a part of our (humans) daily lives. There’s an ongoing ban on swords, so being a Samurai is obviously forbidden by law.
Though there’s no rule against a wooden sword, is there?
In the last year, our friendly studio Sunrise had enough time to stack up material for a long-lasting second season, while our beloved mangaka had time to improve and write arcs which without a doubt – have the Gintama effect. Holding tears in your throat, and two minutes later laughing like a maniac – only to be in tears again a few minutes later. The long touchy speeches are back, the unexpected plot turns are back, everything we longed for in this Gintama-less year, is back.
It might be important to specify the fact that Gintama is now well funded, and is in HD. Can you imagine seeing Gintoki pick his nose in 720p?! Insane!!!
The first arc is the comeback we all wished for, every character you knew is making an appearance, though you should ready yourself for a surprise – they’ve all changed.
I promise this – starting at the first 15 seconds up to the end of the 24 minutes of awesome, you’ll be smiling, laughing, perhaps even crying if you’re touchy. Enjoy.
I was skeptical as hell for the return of the Gintama anime. To be honest, I went into this anime wanting to slam it as hard as possible, especially upon seeing it’s overbearingly high-score. But I won’t, because to be frank, I can’t.
I don’t really think a lot of reviews, complex and heavily-illustrated need to be written about this anime to get a feel for what it’s about so let me get straight to the point: It’s ridiculous over-the-top comedy, plain and simple. Of course you can’t forget the awesome stories built from these insane gags, too.
The scripting, the scenario, specifically the way that the anime envelops you inside – making you a returning character as well, are all ingeniously meshed together.
And of course, after five years… brought to you in 16:9 format.
…With even better songs than ever (hard to believe, I know).
If you haven’t seen Gintama before, I recommend checking it out, and I know 201 episodes sounds like a grueling task, but after seeing the pilot episode for the second series, I was left more than satisfied. This episode is reason alone to watch the over two-hundred preceding it.
Even if you’re familiar with Gintama and think you’re ready for Gintama’, let me be the first to tell you; you aren’t.
Note: I don’t believe this review needs to be edited every week, as most episodes are either episodic or self-contained within an arc. If you’ve braved the first 201 episodes, don’t miss season two.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
2. Gintama’: Enchousen
3. Uchuu Kyoudai
5. Shinsekai yori
7. Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II
8. Persona 4 the Animation
9. Guilty Crown
10. To LOVE-Ru Darkness