They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Go! Go! 575, I★Chu: Halfway Through the Idol, Release the Spyce, and more!
7: Go! Go! 575
MAL Score: 5.65
Go! Go! 575 adapts the Project 575 games for PlayStation Vita and iOS, which allow anyone to create songs using the traditional Japanese 5-7-5-syllable meter found in haiku and tanka poems.
Not much more than being cute
Of form and yet no function
A casual show
There are two cute girls
And they do very cute things
A third girl joins them
Five seven five on
The pattern that they go by
It doesn’t translate
Syllables aren’t on
But they’re the closest we have
To make these poems work
We don’t count mora
When we make English haiku
But maybe we should
This is for a game
Made by Sega for their tool
To create haiku
Games will make bad shows
This is just a short advert
Not much going on
What story is there?
They decide to make haiku
A third girl ships them
They don’t get too far
It could be interesting
But it’s twelve minutes
It’s not enough time
A decent story needs more
At least it’s something
The art is quite cute
But it is still generic
The backgrounds are dull
Characters look nice
Not much variety, though
They look similar
Wouldn’t expect much
It is a short moe show
Better than Mangirl
The voices are cute
So are the seiyuu they’re from
All the Japanese
Must be lost in translation
It is poetry
There wasn’t much, though
Still would make more sense to them
No longer the same
Main is genki girl
Other is fed up with her
What a great friendship
They’re still fun to be around
Yuri’s a nice touch
A fun little show
It won’t waste much of your time
Even if it sucks
If you like lolis
Talking and just being cute
Then you might like this
Otherwise don’t watch
The moe is the main part
There isn’t much plot
Not too bad a show
But still not that good either
A five out of ten
“Go! Go! 575” tells the story about 2 girls (later joined by a third) who want to sing songs based on haiku poems, and share them with the world. And that’s it, really. After all, there’s not much you can tell in 12 minutes worth of screentime.
The main characters, Matcha and Azuki, are what you could refer to as “your typical high school characters”. Matcha is the focused and composed type, whereas Azuki’s the over-energetic childish type. Having characters like them together is like a yin-yang combination, meaning a nice balance while keeping the anime fresh. The third character, Yuzu, can be considered as even more average than the two, but there really isn’t enough footage to define her.
The art, even for a short anime like this one, was good. It wasn’t anything special, but it was nice to look at, and didn’t feel lacking in the slightest. The music, namely the OP and song in the last episode, were good as well, along with the background music. It was everything you’d expect to hear in a regular anime, except of course that it wasn’t in a regular anime.
To go back on the downside I stated earlier: This anime could’ve been something. The plot, simple as it is, could’ve been built on to produce a decent music (idol-like) anime. The characters were fun and quite enjoyable, and memorable if they had more screentime to work with. Heck, even the third character would’ve been far more fun to see, as she reminds me of Chizuru from Yuru Yuri in terms of personality. Even the artstyle and music were pretty great, even if the entire anime was only meant to promote the game.
If you have 12 minutes to spend, go and give it a shot, and see if you share the same view as me. As a SoL comedy fan, I would’ve loved a full-fledged version of this anime. But alas, it was not meant to be. If only this project had gotten more attention, this would’ve been a nice addition to the winter season. If only.
Art: The art is unique. The animation’s creative, and the eyes are vastly detailed and pretty. That’s Go! Go! 575’s art in just a few words because to be honest, I’m bad at explaining things.
OST – There isn’t really much of an OST in this anime, so I’ll leave this blank.
Opening – The opening was quite a catchy song indeed. 30 seconds is less than enough.
Ending – This is one of the only anime where it doesn’t have an ending song, so I’ll also leave this blank.
Voice Acting – You don’t want unnecessarily high voices where they sound like 10-year-olds on helium? Well, this is the anime for you. It had great voice acting. Each character sounded different towards each other and each voice matched their personality. The voice actors were perfect for this anime.
Character: Matcha is a calm woman who’s just there to please Azuki. Azuki is a happy-go-lucky person who is afraid of kites. And Yuzu? She’s a Yuri fangirl! She ships Mazuki! (Matcha X Azuki) She won’t stop thinking of Mazuki and whenever Azuki/Matcha asks her what’s going on, she just says “It’s nothing”.
Enjoyment: Although you can finish this anime in less than an hour, I still like it none the less. I think it’s an anime that can be enjoyable for everyone.
Overall: I give this anime an 8/10, which means: That was super awesome!
6: I★Chu: Halfway Through the Idol
Japanese: アイ★チュウ HALFWAY THROUGH THE IDOL
MAL Score: 6.56
School begins at étoile Vio School, where idol-hopeful students known as “I-Chu” will undergo training to become full-fledged idols. However, things are off to a strange start when the new students are given a speech from their bear principal?! The I-Chu work steadily toward their goals and ask, “What is an idol?” Each boy will learn to shine as they struggle to find their answer.
(Source: MAL News)
The I-Chu academy is a prestigious idol school that ‘s known to deliver some of the most promising boy group idols that (apparently) the world has ever seen. Here we’re introduced to the newest groups of I-chu, one of which being Fire Fenyx, a group of three hopefuls who hope to stake their claim in the idol world. But what stands in their way is not only about 20 or so rivals that all form about 6-7 different groups, but also the principal who stuffed himself in a giant teddy bear suit for the lols and tortures all of them with potential expulsion if they don’t meet the requirements. So just like how real idols work; glad this show’s got some real world parallels here.
Given this show’s origin as a mobile rhythm game, I wasn’t surprised at all with how the story of this show ended up. The story has pretty much only two different kinds of plot threads. Either we have a small overarching thread where all of the characters have to collectively pass over the hurdle, or we have individual episodes which focus on a small handful of the characters in an episodic romp that basically has no lasting consequence over the rest of the series. I’m sure this anime was made specifically just to advertise the franchise and sell the cute anime boys to the audience, but even on that front, I feel like they did the absolute bare minimum in order to try and convince the audience to try and delve further into the series. This is mostly because as a result of the story direction chosen, the show feels painfully generic and fabricated to the point that some episodes feel like there really wasn’t a point for them to exist in the first place. Often times while watching I just kind of zoned out because there really wasn’t anything on the screen that interested me, and the bloat of the cast really didn’t do the series any favors as a result. Of course this is nothing new to I-chu, as many mobile game adaptations have suffered similar problems, but I’d argue that it’s worse here since there came a point where I feel like the fabricated stakes meant nothing, and character moments just kinda got glossed over like they were just functioning off of a script.
And at the end of the day, there really isn’t much I can actually say about the story. The story is really just the framework that’s meant to give the characters the anime’s trying to sell you on a platform to stand on. Kind of like a fancy display box that moves. Now, could they have really put in the effort to deliver a good enough story to make this idol game better? Yes, but of course it’s not the story the show is trying to sell us on now is it?
The boys and all of their quirks both in their group and as individuals are pretty much the reason to watch the show/play their game. And I cannot remember many if any of their names. Cast bloat is a major problem I have with mobile game adaptations because they attempt to shove in as many characters as they possible can in order to showcase the wide array of different tropes that they have. I-chu offers a wide array of characters from spunky boys, to moody boys, child-like boys, cool distant boys, and basically traps. But because they’re all so one-note, all of them are hardly characters in their own right, with even fewer of them getting dedicated episodes in order to try an expand them. Which mostly just end up being reassurances that their only character trait is ok or some kind of other artificial reconciliation for something I didn’t think was even a problem, but hey, gotta fill up the time somehow. This problem extends further as more and more characters end up being put into the fold, thus homogenizing the cast into a variety of different faces that all end up serving the same role because barely anyone has any form of individuality that’s worth noting.
The other two characters worth any kind of mention are the Producer and the Principal, characters who’re really only there to help explain the plot to the audience and create the bastardized situations that the boys have to deal with. Sure the principal is eccentric given his speech pattern and willingness to torture the boys for the sake of ‘helping’ them, somehow, but I’d argue that’s not really much of a character, but rather the series’ conflict given form.
Lay-duce’s art for this series is probably one of the better aspects of the show if only for how colorful everything is and how nice the boys look. On a design level, all of the boys have a distinct look from one another which sure, while I don’t remember their names, at least gives everyone a distinct look reminiscent of the trope that each of them represents. Something that becomes more prominent when you look into the overall group dynamic of each idol group that the 30+ boys are put into. I’d argue this is a byproduct of the cast originating from a mobile game, but at the very least Lay-duce’s art for the characters and the look of the series on the whole is nice to look at. That being said, the amount of shine in these characters’ eyes are staggering. Everyone has like 4-5 white circles inside their pupil, and it’s actually kinda scary because it makes it seem like these characters have blindingly bright futures ahead of them despite being idols.
But of course since this is an idol show, the music plays a big part of the the series too. Which is what I would be saying if the show put in any effort to the music. All of the music in this show is representative of pop idol culture with the OP and ED each being sung by a myriad of seiyuus that voice this show.
Likewise all of the groups each have one single that they sing throughout the show. Meaning at no point in the series will one group sing anything else except the song that the first sung when they were introduced. Which is a little disappointing for a number of reasons. One because after a while it gets really boring to hear the exact same thing over and over again when idols should in theory have an entire playlist to pick from. And two because the plot often tries to have someone from one group demonize a member of a different group for not being ‘up to snuff’. Which leads to a mini character arc for the demonized character to better themselves. Only for them to later show the person or group that demonized them how much better they got by singing the exact same song again using most likely the exact same recording. Making it seem like there’s significant change when really it doesn’t sound like it at all. Leading to further artificiality with how the show presents itself. It’s all a bit disappointing at the end of the day because while I do think the songs are honestly not that bad, the enjoyment of hearing them starts to wear thin when this becomes the ninth time I’ve unwillingly heard “Jewelry Dust”, and Fire Fenyx has only sang “Jewelry Dust” throughout the entire series.
I wanted to try something new this season, maybe go out of my comfort zone a little bit by throwing caution to the wind and watch an idol show for no reason other than I can and I will. Was this a rewarding experience? Not really. While I was dead set on making fun of the show for one reason or another because of either the massive cast bloat, the fact that I had to take a giant stuffed bear as a school principal seriously, or the “power of friendship” trope through the power of song, over time I lost interest in even trying to have fun with the show because I-chu didn’t feel like it was trying itself.
I-chu is just so painfully bland and uninteresting from all angles that episodes could probably be summed up in one or two sentences with little to no loss on what was going on. The show also doesn’t have a lot of consistency about it since we practically jump from one group to another in a form of whiplash that I just kind of got used to because I didn’t remember anyone’s names in the first place, so it didn’t really matter if we went from the spunky shonen kid to the chuunis in the span of 15 minutes. Over time the cast actually got larger with about 3-4 new groups being introduced over the course of the series which feels pretty excessive considering by the time the show tried to solidify who or what we already had, we just got more idols.
All of this combined with the fact that the music side of all things felt like they put in the absolute bare minimum in order to make it seem like these guys were actually idols leads me to put this series in the bucket of ‘failed advertisement anime’, since I’m certain the only reason why this show exists was either as fanservice or as a way to potentially attract new people to play or try out the game. While I’m certain that I am nowhere near the correct demographic for this kind of show or genre, I can almost say for certain that if fans of this series wanted an anime adaptation, they should get something better than this. Cause more than anything, this show feels unmemorable. And that I think is a worse fate than just being a ‘bad show’.
Being a Liber Entertainment game adaptation, the one series that I can immediately infer to is the A3! series with all of its seasonal troupes and what-nots. Though I★Chu came first before A3!, I’d infer that the latter proves to be more popular (as per the Studio 3Hz x P.A. Works anime adaptation) and more grounded, and I can see why that there’s a clear reason to market the former as the first one rolled out under the Liber Entertainment list of IPs.
Sadly, as “best” as idol shows like this can go, I★Chu scrapes the bottom of the barrel with its story and plot tied to the franchise with the rhythm game (that ceased in 2019) and the follow-up (which is Étoile Stage, released in 2020) that this show is based upon, with the same mediocre generic settings and such, though I’ll give props that the marketing is on-point for hardcore fans that are loyal to the franchise. You got your usual case of newbie Bishounen idol groups trying to make a mark in the idol scene, and that’s usually the sub-standard when it comes to idol shows and its many groups that are deemed the 3-month, 12-episode time to gloss through what makes them tick and unique, OK fine.
The one constant issue I have is the music department, because idol shows will try to capitalize on getting as much from the music labels sold, but I★Chu being as it is, follows the Étoile Stage treatment of only having 1 song per idol group that honest to god, you hear it the first time, and subsequent features make you immediately want to forget about it. Like I said, the anime suffers from the on-point marketing direction, and I’d not blame you if you’ve dropped off from the very beginning.
Other than that, I did not foresee Lay-Duce to help produce an idol show, but I’d guess that’s also fine for showing some good Bishounen character visuals for the fans, pretty good for the most part…maybe TOO good to make it stylish for it to stand out.
To fans of I★Chu, you’re in luck for this show replicating everything you wanted with your expectations, but for everyone else, you’re better off watching any other idol show instead that is leaps and bounds better.
Somehow I decided to stick with this one. Look, its super mediocre, and it’s really not that great. But still, I give it props for keeping me watching.
The characters were so so so normal. I mean, I still didn’t know their names and couldn’t even tell most of them apart even at the end, except for the main 3.
The only interesting group was Kokoro’s, and THAT’s because she was a cross-dresser. They were all either ridiculously sunshiny or over passion-driven (the I-will-sing-till-I-die-kind, you now what I mean).
I guess the only thing that kept me watching was the “competition” of sorts that they had, but even that fazed ut by the end. Although that confrontation with Seiya and Tsubaki was legit though, and I liked the message.
I started out thinking it was kinda different, but it ended up being pretty standard. the music was actually ok though, and was one of the good things about it. My favourite was the Fire Fenyx track!
If you’re specifically looking for a mediocre male idol anime, you got it. Otherwise, there’s better stuff out there.
5: Release the Spyce
English: Release the Spyce
Japanese: RELEASE THE SPYCE
MAL Score: 6.96
Momo Minamoto is a shy teenager who simply wants to do good in the world. Her dream is to follow in her police officer father’s footsteps and support law and order. And just like him, she has a very unique ability: her senses are much more refined than those of any average person. A simple lick will enable her to determine what someone is feeling.
One night, as she admires the landscape, Momo sees suspicious shades moving in the distance. After learning that those shades were spies, she is recruited by their captain Yuki Hanzoumon, a senior at her school. The members of their secret agency, called the Tsukikage, also have the power to gain strength after ingesting spices.
Release the Spyce is an action-packed spy series about the Tsukikage’s missions as they fight in the shadows to protect the city from crime while keeping up with their high school life.
On the other hand, the series at the beginning has a cartoonish behavior. For example, the heroines defeat the bad guys with some easy tasks, gadgets, skills gained from the spice, and they are ready for the next mission like the American toons. Lucky for all, the story revealed a very significant twist, and the outcome improved the whole show.
The story is too easy to follow. A group of heroines (Tsukikage) has a unique goal of protecting their beloved city (Sorasaki) from any criminal, including the organization called Moryo. One day, a Momo high student is involved in a Tsukikage operation and is recruited. This group has the Master and apprentice scheme. Momo is assigned a Master (Yuki) who trains her in martial and sword arts. There are other members of the group, for example, Mei and her student Fuu. Each pair had different skills, techniques and combined they are robust against criminals. These spies are young girls who use their student status as a cover. When duty demands, they become an active group with one unique goal. The city of Sorasaki is the center where the plot is developed, but some actions outside it affect the plot directly.
One of the issues found, in the middle of the show the plot could be seen as too fantastic, cartoonish and focused on children where the good guy always wins. For example, I am the good spy, I throw a kick, and all the villains fall into the ground, easy, right?. This kind of outcome could be annoying for a more mature spectator seeking for some entertainment. However, as the plot advances, the mysteries are more prominent, and there is a breaking point that surprised several of the spectators, it creates a mysterious and dark atmosphere that you will love.
Lastly, the pacing is acceptable. The plot advances constantly. Some details will hook the spectators even more. However, in certain parts, I think they beat some villains very easily. No idea if it is because they needed to rush the plot, but it was too easy and leaves you the impression that the show lacks something but is not a big issue. Overall, Release the Spyce is one of the best shows that I have seen in 2018.
The story has heroines and villains. The Tsukikage group are the heroes and has six members:
Momo aka the noob aka tongue. She is the main character. In the beginning, she is insecure, weak, coward. She wanted to protect the city because her father was a police, but she does not have the courage. After she was recruited, her character evolved and thanks to Yuki, she surpassed her fears. She has a unique ability that is helpful under some circumstances.
Yuki aka badass with a sword. She is strict, hard worker, intelligent, and very skilled with a sword and martial arts. She trains Momo, and for me, she is the leader of Tsukikage. However, there is something weird in episode 10, but I cannot give details.
Mei aka cheerful. She is my favorite character. I love her personality. She is positive, very vivid enjoys life and …. never mind. She is the most agile member and is skilled in knives, espionage, etc.
Fuu aka mask. A master in disguise, I consider her like a ninja. She is like Mei, well she is her Mentee, but I think she is obsessed to be accepted.
Hatsume aka brain. She is the brain of the group. Hatsume is very calm, friendly, recursive, very skilled with gadgets and with a spear. However, she thinks that even the villains can become her friends and she tries to change them during the series.
Goe aka muscle. She is Hatsume disciple. She is a powerful girl that in the deep could fear her strength but tries to be calm and loves her Master deeply.
The other characters are the villains, I cannot give details because I could spoil the plot.
–Art and Sound—
The animation quality is good. I wasn’t expecting a good animation from this show but it is acceptable, and the battles are good and pleasant to the eye. There is a combination between action and sound that fulfills the scene. The camera angles help to maintain the visual in the crucial elements. The show uses a combination of a bright and dark color palette. This technique helps to contrasts the slice of the life and the action events.
The sound is acceptable. It does the job and helps to boost the sequences. The OP and ED are good. The OP has a lovely rhythm, catching, and you could end hearing it a few times.
I liked the show, but there are some “childish” parts as I already explained. The anime can be improved, it can be a bit darker, but the outcome is acceptable. There are some boring episodes but it is not a reason to bury the show. Lastly, you should give it a try at least you can be entertained for a few hours.
PS: Now I need to wait for the game in 2019.
If you wanted to see a worthy spiritual successor to Madoka, this is what this is. Not because it actively tries to be one, like an entire sub-genre of “dark magical girls Madoka-wannabe” series, but because it’s a show with similar themes that succeeds in the similar ways, while being its own thing and telling a different kind of story.
Like Madoka, this is a show with moe aesthetic, dark tone, yet optimistic message centered around cute girls. Also like Madoka, amusingly enough, in its very first scene it openly sets up a very dark tone, yet some people somehow miss it and get surprised when the heads start rolling.
Like Madoka, it reaps all benefits of being an original anime story, not constrained by the arc/plot structure of the source material. Meaning, it’s a single well-constructed, well-paced storyline that starts in the first episode, ends in the last, and every episode in between has a purpose in advancing this story.
Finally, the style of writing is very reminiscent of signature Gen Urobuchi’s writing – gadgetry/weaponry/fighting scenes that are both impossibly cool and feel very realistic and intelligent at the same time; healthy nihilism; complex narrative threads that pay off in a long run. Supposedly, it should be similar to Akame ga Kill and YuYuYu – other series written by the actual show’s writer, but I’m not familiar with those.
Now, about what Release the Spyce does different and why it deserves attention:
First, the selling point of this show is suspense mystery. A single mystery. In the first episode, we are introduced to a cast of cute girl spies, oh, and by the way, one of them is a traitor and works for the enemy, enjoy your CGDCT. Over the course of the series, all of them are built up to be cinnamon rolls that you simply don’t want to suspect. Scarce clues and red herrings are dropped here and there, making you pull your hair out, trying to figure who it is. The final reveal absolutely does not disappoint, and no amount of genre awareness, trope knowledge, or even twist/cop-out expectations can prepare you for how it plays out.
Camp. This is a contentious point, because not everyone enjoys camp sensibility, and this show is very, very campy. When a character is shot point-blank ten times, spends five seconds in a hospital with a bandage over their head and then is completely fine – do you think the writer does not understand how bullets work, or do you think it’s funny? Your enjoyment of this series will depend greatly on your answer. If you do love camp, prepare for a wonderful parade of middle-aged women biker gangs, contract-killing preschoolers and okinawan vikings.
Yuri bait. Deserves a separate paragraph because this is a yuri bait that will yuri bait the heaven. To quote someone else’s words, it’s like the series is playing gay chicken – it tries to make things as gay as possible before turning away and saying “no homo.” All part of the same camp sensibility, and it’s hilarious.
9.5/10 because it’s highly enjoyable, thought-provoking and unique series.
When we think of a franchise about espionage, the most famous one that comes to mind is James Bond 007. That franchise is not an anime but pretty much anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows who James Bond is. When I began watching Release the Spyce, it made me curious if this show had what it takes to capture the thrill of a spy-espionage. Granted, the first few episodes establishes the show’s core concepts as we are introduced the action girls consisting of a group known as the “Tsukikage”. They use a substance known as “Spyce” to enhance their fighting abilities and hence, we get cool girls doing cool things.
The main storyline details of their conflict with the Moryo, a mysterious corporation with their own dark agendas. You should probably guess that with these expected concepts, this show can get quite complex. But not really. If we just examine the show on the surface, it actually feels like a slice of life at times when detailing the characters’ everyday lives. Momo Minamoto is a typical high school girl with nothing out of the ordinary and until the day she meets Tsukikage, she’s a rather normal person. In fact, Momo is so normal that a lot of the things she is introduced to often makes causes her to react in hilarious ways. But for the most part, there’s nothing out of the ordinary at first glance until you realize what this show is about.
Once we are introduced to the other main characters, it’s pretty easy to say the series capitalizes on its storytelling and character chemistry. To be honest, the plot’s pacing feels just perfect as the first half consists of getting the viewers familiar with the creators’ ideas. The remainder half consists of episodes that builds into the climax with plot twists and revelations. Most prominently, character chemistry is something that really shines throughout the series that begins from the very first episode to the end. Momo’s character relationship with Yuki plays a big role and motivator for her to succeed. Throughout the series, she sees her as a role model and may even have developed a sense of romance towards her. It’s not really yuri or even shoujo-ai but the show does drop in subtle romance hints from time to time. This extends to other members of Tsukikage such as with Mei and Fuu. Character relationships stands out not just for their connection but how each influences each other. It’s especially important in later episodes as we see the length certain characters goes through to prove themselves. At some point, I even find the character relationships to be emotional; not in the tearjerking way but more of a meaningful way.
On the other side is the mysterious Moryo. Much less is known about them although it’s clear that their intentions are malevolent. However, I would say that their characters are far less intriguing compared to the main cast. Characters like Kurara and Byakko are not fleshed out well enough to make fans care about them. Their existence seems to serve only as adversaries against Tsukikage. Even characters like Theresia Ray isn’t too well established with her relationship involving Hatsume Aoba. In respect, Moryo is more known for their actions rather than themselves. But hey, maybe you’ll be caught by surprise by a certain plot twist later on.
Watch now, later, or never touch? To me, this show is best to watch when you’ve decided the first three episodes are ready for you. While the show’s story may get more complex later on, the first half doesn’t do too much to make itself distinctive. It can actually feel deceptive at times with the character designs. Let’s face it, these girls hardly look like spies. It’s also no surprise that their look resembles characters from Yuru Yuri considering some of the names attached to this project. But on most parts, I think the look and feel of this show is faithful to what it advertised. It’s essentially an action girl series with spies that stays closely to its premise throughout the course of its run. The action is also thrilling with vibrant chereography and style. It even adds elements of disguise and stealth to make the role of spies look more credible for some episodes. Yet, it also has time for lighthearted moments to make humor with some of the characters’ exaggerated expressions. Thanks a lot, Momo.
While Release the Spyce doesn’t have much risks, I would say that it definitely had some with the voice acting. Given the premise, it may feel hard to take seriously at some of the character voice mannerisms. Momo stands out in particular since she sounds far too much like a stereotypical schoolgirl. But as the show evolves, you can see that she matures more and become a stronger person. Other characters all define their own personalities thanks to their voices. I could also say that a certain character from Tsukikage really manages to play her role deceptively to the point where it’s almost unbelievable. Oh and before I forget, who can forget that energetic OP theme song performed by the voice actresses themselves? It’s fabulous.
Spa pa pa parapa 🎶
Spapapapaparapa Spa pa pa parapa 🎶
Release the Spyce is a show that may have turned some people’s heads away at first glance. Hell, this looked like Yuru Yuri but with action girls on the surface until you realize what’s really about. I have doubts this anime will be a big talk of the year but it definitely managed to capture the magic of how a spy espionage anime should be. It sets the example of badass action girls doing cool things, something that I need more of. Emphasis on the badass.
MAL Score: 7.01
In Martian colony Fourth Tokyo lies a classroom of Kirishina Corporation’s brightest minds spearheading aerospace development: A-TEC, led by genius engineer Kaito Sera, eagerly anticipating the arrival of their newest member. It soon becomes clear, however, that the transfer student is hardly ordinary—Nagisa Kiryuu, newly appointed chief of A-TEC and the younger brother of the corporation’s CEO, is sent to shut the program down. To keep the classroom alive, Kaito and his students desperately work to develop a successor to their most powerful rocket, the X-2; meanwhile, Nagisa climbs the corporate ladder in pursuit of his own mission. In spite of this, their separate battles soon reveal that much more is going on in Kirishina Corporation than meets the eye.
Classroom☆Crisis follows Kaito and Nagisa, as well as Kaito’s younger sister Mizuki and A-TEC’s test pilot Iris Shirasaki, in a story of intrigue, political warfare, and, against all odds, romance. As Nagisa and A-TEC are dragged further and further into Kirishina Corporation’s conspiracies, friendships grow and pasts are unveiled as they fight to avert their classroom crisis.
There were just a few hiccups for me:
The romance was contrived and devalued some of the characters, though perhaps it’s just personal preference.
The story could have been more detailed overall; perhaps more worldbuilding, character backgrounds and development, and more explanation for each of the happenings. It may have made the romance worthwhile.
Wish it had a mature feeling, but at least you get the feeling that the young adults/children are young adults/children.
THIS SHOW IS WORTH WATCHING. YES IT STARTS SLOW, DEAL WITH IT. GIVE IT A FAIR CHANCE.
DO NOT JUDGE THE SHOW UNTIL YOU’VE FINISHED IT. Seriously, so many people dropped it early and missed out on arguably one of the better shows of the 2015 Fall season.
STORY (9): It starts off slow and kinda generic. You’ve seen it before, the big bad greedy corporation wants to cut funding for the hardworking dedicated student team finishes their big project. Corporate representative is sent to be evil and shut them down. Snore.
Except that’s now what the story is about. The classroom is just a single plot point to carry the show onto the next event, as it starts to pull the camera back to show what’s going on with the behind the scenes. It evolves into a corporate and political drama where alliances are formed behind closed doors and plans are carefully laid to move everyone into positions. The story may be about kids building rocketships, but the show is a much more grand scale.
Then you get gut punched by the intense moments, when the trap cards are activated or the action kicks off. It’s just at the right level that you stay intrigued during the “slower” parts.
Art/Sound (8): It looks and sounds good. I’m not really going to go in depth on it because I don’t know what else to say. The animation is smooth, the art is well done, the backgrounds are gorgeous, and the effects are nice. There aren’t any out of place sounds and the OP/ED are nice.
Character (8): This is where a lot of people get confused. “Why are there so many characters, who’s the main character, why aren’t these people getting more attention?” Whoa there speedy, calm yourself down. There isn’t what I consider a single “main” character, it’s more like two primary characters, two secondary, and the supporting characters.
Kaito is the MC of the classroom side, while Nagisa is the MC of the corporate side. Both are important, and there’s a solid overlap between them to where it never feels like one is taking the spotlight from the other. Iris and Mizuki both get good development and fill their rolls nicely. I’ll warn that if you hate amnesiac characters with a burning passion it might take a little away, but it’s not a critical plot point to the overall story. The other students do what they need to and don’t get in the way.
Romance is implied (and shown) but not plot critical, just enough to get you intrigued but not so much that it detracts from the story.
Enjoyment (9): Honestly, it’s one of the better shows this season. Once the plot got underway I was addicted. The pacing was excellent, the excitement was real, and it ends almost perfectly. All important plot points are wrapped up nicely, though there’s just enough hooks that a second season can latch on to.
Overall (9): I’ll admit I’m rating it a point higher than it probably deserves, but I really wanted to counter all the negative reviews. Classroom Crisis is a very well done original work that absolutely needs more attention that it got. The slow start really hurt viewership and I feel it’s unfair considering just how good the show ended up being. Seriously, you won’t regret it, I promise.
So I guess in a way, there is some merit in Classroom Crisis portraying that part of my life. Doesn’t change the fact that the show can go fuck itself though. You wouldn’t defend the more boring iterations of the Assassin’s Creed series solely based on how much effort was put into accurately portraying the time periods said games take place in. And it doesn’t help that the show’s actual handling of business politics is about as insightful as a Captain Planet episode – although I’m pretty sure Sly Sludge had more smarts than anyone in this mess.
Classroom Crisis is once again another show following the trend started by Jun Maeda in that it’s written by a sort-of-established visual novel writer who had the same stupid “how hard can it be?” thought all of his predecessors had before proceeding to spontaneously combust himself due to his inability to escape the trappings of his preferred medium, ironically at the same time as Maeda’s own second combustion. But say what you like about Charlotte – I certainly have – at least stuff happens in it! Guy finds he has power, proceeds to abuse it, gets punished, is roped into a strange place, finds out he’s part of something bigger, deals with tragedies, reverses a few only to run into something irreversible, sacrifices himself, and ultimately grows as a result even if his brain is too damaged to remember said growth. On the other hand, after three anime, Fumiaki Maruto still hasn’t seemed to grasp the definition of the word “story” at all. And with this show he seems to have forgotten the definition of the word “character” as well.
Maruto’s last anime, Saekano: How To Be A Boring Heroine, shot itself in the foot before it left the starting gate with its intentions to focus on “character” at the expense of “story”, but at least the characters had identity. This time around, ninety percent of the cast don’t even get so much as a description worthy of a gaming instruction manual. They’re just a bunch of faceless gimmicky extras, led by a teacher who couldn’t be any more obnoxious unless he suddenly turned into a racoon who’d give you rabies every time you answered a question wrong. Actually I don’t recall the teacher doing anything in the show at all – let alone teach – unless you thinking talking big counts as doing something (it doesn’t). The ratio of things that happen to him as opposed to things that happen by him is so one-sided I don’t think there’s a scale big enough to represent the number on the former side.
The only character who actually has some semblance of characterization that doesn’t make me want to blow my brains out is the transfer student and arrogant rich boy, Nagisa Kiryuu. And I’m being very generous here, because his characterization is pretty much Chazz Princeton’s from Yu-Gi-Oh GX without the unintentional humor in that he’s a brat from a respected family who gets beaten down by his older brothers because being rich equals being a Lex Luthor wannabe who doesn’t get that the guy was articulate in his evilness. Oh, and he eventually becomes nicer after being forced to work alongside the idiots surrounding him and discovering they’re not all that bad. Fan-fucking-tastic character writing. Next we’ll be showering critical accolades on a character story about a young boy who has his innocence shattered when he discovers that people die in war.
There’s this girl named Iris aka Rei Clone #4395714, and the show beats you over the head that she knew Nagisa in the past so ham-handedly that it might as well have had a neon sign pointing that shit out over her head every time she so much as appeared. But apart from that, she has absolutely no identity whatsoever and barely interacts with Nagisa or do really anything of significant importance whenever said neon sign isn’t turned on. She’s less of a character and more of “plot mcguffin with tits”. Not that being an emotional girl is any better, as Mizuki (had to look up her name because she’s that forgettable and unimportant to anything going on) discovered the hard way with her “I’m nice and maybe have a crush on this bad boy” routine. Maybe if you didn’t devote large sections of your show to explaining a bunch of political business stuff that I couldn’t give two shits for, I’d actually see these characters as someone worth giving a damn to get invested in.
So the characters are boring with no relatable or interesting flaws whatsoever, but that doesn’t mean…well actually yes it does mean your show is doomed from the start, especially when your story leans so heavily on them. But even if you had gotten the cast of The Breakfast Club to star in this thing, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen such an awful case of “story driving characters” rather than “characters driving story”. Again, like Saekano – and White Album 2 to a lesser extent – there doesn’t seem to be much of a driving element to Classroom Crisis’s plot at all. As such, I don’t know what I’m supposed to care about or even who’s supposed to be the main hero that holds everything together.
After the anime starts with the world’s most boring and throwaway terrorist scenario, Nagisa informs A-Tec upon his rescue that their group is dissolving and they’ll have to go their separate ways, but that’s literally all there is. Why should I care if they dissolve? Will they lose their homes if they do so? What dreams do they want to accomplish by being in A-Tec? What is the importance of building these machines? Well we never know, because the situation is resolved due to some legal loopholes without much of a struggle on the characters’ end and there’s still two-thirds of the anime to go. It’s like watching an episodic family sitcom scenario except stretched to four times the length and without any laughs in it.
We then spend the next third having the characters live their lives. No seriously, that’s it. They just live their lives with the only central mechanic being Nagisa warming up to them – which as I’ve stated earlier doesn’t count as a story at all and certainly doesn’t have anything challenging about it – whilst dealing with their projects in the most saccharine way possible. They spend graduation by going to a beach, Nagisa has to pass a test, the characters resolve another random hostage situation that to be fair is better executed than the first one, the characters attend a school festival, and all I can think about whilst watching that shit was “wow, I am really bored. Hey, wasn’t there a plot point about the company stealing money for their own personal reasons? Are we ever going to get back to that? I feel like I’m watching Dragon Age: Origins’ ‘epic elements with no central narrative’ plot if it was channeling Dragon Age II’s ‘daily life of some random jackass without making anything actually happen’ snorefest”.
What is up with visual novel writers and wanting to assemble all the pieces first before putting them altogether at once anyways? Not only do I not see why you can’t just put them together as you introduce said pieces, but you can still make mistakes when going all in at once when said assembly is complete. This becomes particularly true when Nagisa is forced to make a sacrifice in order to save his friends by involving himself into the company’s inner-workings in the final third of the show, putting him in a position of betrayals and internal danger. Sure it makes no sense why he couldn’t explain his plan to the others or why it took so long to get to some conflict that actually might go somewhere, but I’ll take it if it means we can finally have some actual driving tension to what’s going on.
Unfortunately, even that is badly handled, because the show still won’t install any sense of importance to the proceedings to the point that everything feels padded. We have to sit through long long long scenes where Nagisa has to talk about business politics with characters we don’t know, and they barely affect the plot or involve the characters he’s supposed to be saving, making them incredibly tedious. The only part that resembles an actual driving conflict where stuff actually happens comes right near the end when the show reveals why A-Tec’s money has been withheld from them, along with some more plot twists that were sort of hinted at earlier on involving characters that barely contributed anything before now. Not going to spoil them, but let’s just say I didn’t throw out that Captain Planet reference in the beginning of this review lightly.
So you want to know what said conflict leads to? What actual character struggles result from their new discoveries? What these sudden plot developments actually lend to the narrative? So the fuck would I. Because Classroom Crisis thinks the best way to conclude itself would be to get sidetracked again with a kidnapping scheme caused by a boring asshole that exists solely to have a convenient excuse to have the characters utilize their individual skills for an agonizingly bad happy ending that was as soulless and token as they come. Mild spoilers: there’s literally nothing to that ending but the good guys triumphing over the bad guys with no meaningful sacrifice or journey whatsoever, the shallowly naive message that dreams beat corporate, tons of loose ends that never added to anything, an incredibly tensionless rescue scene capped off with a nauseating and crowbarred-in love triangle element that made me want to hurl vomit all over my computer screen (seriously, what is up with Maruto and his fetish for love triangles?), and LOTS. OF. TALKING. The show literally just assembled the pieces, let them do the work, and then went off to have a milkshake without realizing that the autopilot navigation system has been faulty for months.
That’s got to be the most anticlimactic way to pay off on all your buildup since that godawful Robotics;Notes anime! And speaking of R;N, this show sure seems to take an awful lot from that anime in addition to how it ends, doesn’t it? Like the character types, poor pacing, sci-fi setting, saccharine humor, large sections of the plot, and even being written by a visual novel writer who’s gone completely downhill after his breakout hit. As the 40-year old virgin’s friends said in regards to the only date he’s ever had in his life, “fuck that”.
I don’t usually spend this long on a review talking about the story, but it’s absolute dreadfulness kind of overshadows everything else. But that doesn’t mean everything else gets a free pass. The animation is really terrible, like something from a bad 90s OVA bar the OreImo designs. And the music is bland across the board, from the opening credits to the actual OST. Out of curiosity, I went to Wikipedia to find out what amateur composed this anime’s piece of air and found it to be none other than…the guy who did the triumphant bombast of Haikyuu and Gundam Build Fighter’s soundtracks? As well as Death Parade’s? I soon saw he also did Robotics;Notes’ blandness and it all made sense. Obviously, this is a guy who realized the same thing I did in that there’s no future for anime written by VN writers and vowed to bring that across in his compositions. And if the music guy thinks your anime is shit, who are you to argue?
We should really start listening to these semi-major anime industry guys more, less we end up with more cartoons like this fucking atrocity.
3: Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo.
English: O Maidens in Your Savage Season
MAL Score: 7.42
When they were little kids laughing and playing together, Izumi Norimoto and Kazusa Onodera were like siblings. But as their bodies matured into middle school, Kazusa began seeing him as something different; unfortunately for her, so did the other girls. Ostracized, Kazusa had no choice but to distance herself from him going into high school. After joining the literature club, however, she finds friends that keep her mind occupied. Known throughout the school for reading aloud sex scenes in literature novels, the club’s reputation has kept all teachers from accepting the task of being their adviser.
During a discussion about what they would put on their bucket list, one of the girls says one thing: sex. This single word sends ripples throughout the five girls, as the thought of sex begins taking over their daily lives. And, after walking in on Izumi during a very private moment, Kazusa is sent into a spiral of emotion that forces her to face her true feelings for him. Now, with their hearts racing and the literature club facing immediate disbandment, the five girls must work hard to keep both their sanities and their club alive.
Melodrama is what Mari Okada is known for, Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo is no different. Anything she writes that isn’t edited heavily by a director will surely be overflowing with melodrama. She’s an ambitious writer, however, she stuffed far too many ideas into this show. Sex, love, jealousy, homosexuality, social commentary, pedophilia, netorare, the list goes on and on. As someone who loves analyzing themes and the author’s intent, after watching Araburu I have no clue what the hell she was going for. There’s one thing I can say for certain, someone really needed to tell Okada when to stop.
Half of me hates Maidens of the Savage Season, and the other half loves it. So few rom-com anime are written over-the-top to the point where it’s hilarious. If you came here expecting a subtle drama with in-depth writing, you will be disappointed. Anyone who says this show is realistic is a liar! Sure it’s relatable at times, but it’s so intentionally unrealistic to be as enjoyable and shocking as possible. It will gut punch you immediately with the main point: sex, love, and growing up. Prepare to be beaten over the head with embarrassment until you cringe. After it grabs you by the collar and gets your attention, it slaps you in the face with endless sex metaphors. Trains going through tunnels, stimulating bowling balls, mushroom innuendos. Once it has your attention, the roller coaster is already moving and it’s too late to jump off. You’re stuck on it for every tight turn and 200-foot drop. It’s a thrilling ride, I loved it at first.
Then the roller coaster came to a screeching halt. The writing worked, I wouldn’t call it good writing, but it worked. Eventually, it stopped being a cheesy coming-of-age romance about love and confronting adulthood. Instead, it was about jealousy, love triangles, cuckolding, homosexuality, teen pregnancy, and childhood trauma. It stopped being relatable. Rather than cringe-inducing, it was frustrating, uncomfortable, and creepy. Everything I liked about Araburu was still there, but it felt like an afterthought. When you try to force a cheesy romance to be serious, you get terrible NTR moments like this: Person A and Person B are in love, suddenly Person C inexplicably develops feelings for B. Rather than confessing their feelings, C forces B to grab their ass, cuckolding Person A. Romantic tension like this can work in a story with the proper character writing, and like I’ve said before this show does not spend time on that. We know who the characters are solely based on their personalities, which is fine for a comedy/melodrama. The moment the characters were shoved into a drama that actually wants to be taken seriously, the whole thing collapses. All of the characters are simplistic people.
The story follows five distinct heroines, in the same “savage season” of their lives but moving in different directions. Kazusa, the most prominent of the five has it rough. Imagine walking in on your crush beating their meat before ever being exposed to sex, it’s maddening; that’s the kind of laughable nonsense Kazusa has to go through. Her encounters are always contrived, which made them all the more entertaining. For instance, when Kazusa drops off the food at Izumi’s house, rather than calling his name or his phone, she just opens the door and walks up to his room. Something was bound to happen. Ignoring how predictable the scene is, the direction is so heavy-handed it’s comical—and it’s so good. The fear in Kazusa’s expression, the slow opening of the door, Izumi’s house shrouded in darkness, the distant rock music with a vertical slice of light shining down the long staircase. The anticipation is overwhelming. Unfortunately, the entire narrative falls apart by the end, Kazusa’s story included.
The cracks started to appear midway through the series, motivations for a few of the heroines were still unclear. Kazusa and Sonozaki were the best out of the five because it was plain and simple what they wanted: to figure out their relationships in spite of anxiety and a desire to remain pure. Momo had no clue what was happening; it’s so obvious from the first episode that she’s a lesbian and unfortunately that’s a defining character trait. She supports her friends, always with a smile, yet her scenes are underwhelming because she’s too busy being oblivious of her sexuality. If you’re totally uninterested in dudes, but tear up at the thought of a girl not liking you, then you’re probably gay—just saying. Her personality is so underdeveloped that her actions make no sense later in the show, making her seem like she’s bipolar. This is a huge issue past the halfway point in this series, at the drop of a hat as if half the cast suddenly becomes bipolar.
On the other hand, Hongou wanted to grow up faster and gain knowledge about sex. Hongou is a more subdued character, not quite standing out in the group aside from a few crude comments. She’s an aspiring erotica writer, regularly sexting with guys online to make her writing more authentic. Her motivations are clear, I liked her scenes, at first. Soon she finds out fabricating sexual experience is much different than the real thing. Her perspective focuses on the problematic pseudo-relationship with her teacher. Their encounter is totally unbelievable. Out of thousands of people on illicit chatrooms, they somehow meet each other. Later they decide to meet in real life, lo and behold they’re student/teacher. It’s absurd, but I wouldn’t expect any less of Maidens. Even his username is Miro, one letter off from his actual name Milo; you would think a teacher would try to hide his identity while sexting a random person online. Seeing her blackmail Milo and push around him is hilarious, at first. Eventually, the writers forgot Hongou was trying to become a more experienced writer, and she starts trying to get with Milo. There is very strange sexual tension between them; I won’t go into spoilers, all I’ll say is that the teacher also engages (don’t forget she’s underage). I came into Araburu expecting to cringe, laugh, and enjoy the emotional roller coaster, not to be frustrated and unsettled. There were points when it was uncomfortable to watch, however, nothing came close to the most disturbing parts of Nina’s story.
Conversely, the dark horse of the cast, Nina is by far the most flawed heroine. She’s messed up from childhood trauma (it’s not graphic, but enough to cause a warped perception of sexuality). As we all know, a flawed character doesn’t equal a bad character. However, when handled poorly they can be the worst members of the cast. Unsurprisingly Nina is the most hated character. The things she does are objectively wrong; however, you can explain most of her actions with development abuse. I wish that I didn’t need to assume ‘because trauma she is a bad person’. The absent nuances to Nina’s personality seem less like a creative decision, rather it feels like Okada was ignorant about the psychological effects of trauma. Rather than connecting Nina’s trauma and insecurities to her actions in the present, the show just gives us more of Nina’s obnoxious self-loathing thoughts. The pedo’s actions are always condemned. It’s pointless shock value—though I will admit the directing of these scenes conveys fear exceptionally well. While I can’t ignore Okada’s talents as a director, these themes shouldn’t have been in Araburu. Barely anything that occurs throughout the show matters at the end. Given this is a complete adaptation of the manga, it left me feeling robbed. At least the characters face consequences for their actions, Nina included. Due to the nature of melodrama, morality is rather black or white in Araburu: you do good, you get good. If you treat people badly, you will get bad in return. For example; the kids that bully Sonezaki are portrayed as sex-crazed sluts who get ‘what they deserve’ in the end because they picked on the nice main characters. Dramas are meant to pull in the reader gradually so you can identify with the characters, to believe they could be real people, this is not a drama.
There’s not much to say about the art. A washed-out palette plus a strange foggy filter makes it feel like your watching everything through a cloud. On top of that, the animation is very lackluster. From a distance, all the characters look off-model. Backgrounds often look hideous even up close. There were a few instances when the art style was changed for laughs, and they worked, but I wish there was more. The CGI cars look ugly and completely out of place. Personally, I liked the character designs however they look much better in the manga; there is plenty of well-timed visual gags thanks to the director, however, the animation only serves to weigh it down.
Maidens of the Savage Season was a roller coaster ride. Exciting at first, then it rapidly spiraled downwards—out of control. I loved it for its flaws because it knew what they were and played them for laughs. Over time, it lost that self-awareness and it unironically became everything it mocked. It took itself far too seriously, then it became a jumbled mess of unclear themes, empty character motivations, and no playoffs whatsoever. My favorite character, Kazusa, was done a disservice with such a rushed ending. She deserved better than the cliched bullcrap she got. This is what happens when you have something great and ruin it by trying to unnecessarily add more ideas. No one told Mari Okada enough is enough. At some point, an author needs to know when to stop.
While watching this series each episode felt like a roller coaster. During one moment im laughing my ass off or cringing from how I felt like this before to then being in awe of what would happen next. I was felt with great joy while watching these girls try their best to understand their emotions and how to properly express them, which is something most people of all ages find difficult to do.
Now I feel like I have seen many different series and a great number of them at that, not just with anime but all medium in general, and there has been very few times were I can say I really did not know which direction the series or Movie will take and how it will end. I can say that this is one of the few series series were I had no idea how things would turn out. Almost everything that happen was a shock to me and in a great way. Especially with the last 2 episodes. Can I just say wow, those last two episodes had me glued to the screen not being knowing what was gonna happen and it was such a refreshing experience. They were filled with emotion and warmth, it was a feeling I haven’t felt in a long time, and even more for the ending which is one of the most satisfying ending I have ever seen.
I absolutely love this series and is something I can see myself coming back to over and over again and each time while watching having the same feelings I am having right now. As someone who did not like this series at the start I would like for people to give this a chance and maybe you will like it to. I hope for the people who have already watched it and the people who will watch this in the future will be able to enjoy it as much as I have.
Maidens in your savage seasons is one of those easily overlooked gems. At first glance this anime looks a lot one of those basic Ecchi shows that just focuses on lewd dialogue, sex jokes, and random sexual shots of girls and boys inadvertently walking in on each other undressed. However, this show differs in that it does all of this with exceptional dialogue and execution, it is the difference between some basic otaku pandering Ecchi show and highbrow erotic art.
The characters in this show all are young high schoolers who are sexually repressed, as they are youth, in what is a fairly sexually conservative society. As the story unfolds each girl has their own backstory given to us through their interactions with the cast and some flash backs. Kazusa has a childhood friend who they realize they are in love with when they inadvertently walk in on them pleasuring themselves. Hongou is an aspiring writer and tries to “seduce” a teacher in order to learn more about romance and improve her writing. Momoko is likely gay but is having a hard time coming to terms with it. Rika is an uptight reserved girl who actually is just jealous that she is missing out on sex and romance, so she copes by looking down on people with fulfilling love lives. Finally, Niina has had a fairly fucked up view on romance as she was mentored by an obvious lolicon for most of her childhood but developed some weird sort of Stockholm syndrome for him and is actually mad that he did not molest her. These girls are all crafted wonderfully with lots of nuance through interactions with other characters, foreshadowing, and their internal monologues which greatly humanized them and made them very likable.
While the plot execution does take a wild turn in the last few episodes, it actually is preferable to similar shows where cast falls apart due to backstabbing and fighting over each other’s boyfriend. The writing is very good, far more than one would ever expect from a show with this premise. Short comments by side characters, lines from the novels the girls were reading, and dialogue early in the show foreshadowed most of what happened in the story, but it isn’t obvious until the viewer finishes the show. This show is definitely worth a watch not just once but twice, one time to see it unfold and a second time to see everything that was overlooked and carefully foreshadowed the first time.
Another aspect about this show that was great were the production values. Visual directing is hard to master for action shows, let alone a rom com coming of age anime. The show has great framing and cinematography, excellent effects, and clean animation when it counts, these things are normally lacking in most low brow Ecchi shows. The sound is also quite impressive, although the opening does pale in comparison to the fire fighting anime, the sound and animation still place it in the top 3 for me this season, the background music and effective change in pace during confessions were also quite exquisite.
Finally, and most importantly, the overall message of this show is delivered perfectly. Love is a complex thing, most of our media revolves around it, most people in our society seek it, and it is something that is hard to define. This anime encapsulates love and carnal desire from the point of view of teenage girls in a serious manner, something most anime will tend to shy away from doing. It tells people that girls are sexual beings just like men and they have to come to terms with their sexuality, while understanding that everyone is an individual who may have a different approach to coming to terms with themselves.
2: Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta.
English: Our love has always been 10 centimeters apart.
MAL Score: 7.49
Miou Aida and Haruki Serizawa might seem like polar opposites to those around them, but as the two third-years prepare to end their high school experience, they couldn’t have been been closer. While Miou is a shy and reserved member of the school art club that prefers to stay out of the limelight, Haruki is the boisterous and confident ace of the movie club, already winning awards for his directing prowess. However, after a previous chance encounter during their school entrance ceremony, they quickly become friends despite their stark differences in personality. But although their closeness might be growing, they’ve never become anything more than just that, much to the bewilderment of their friends.
As their time in high school draws to a close, Miou and Haruki, along with their friends in the art and movie clubs, have just one year left to face their hidden feelings and the daunting task of deciding their future careers. The two might always be only an arm’s reach away, but as Haruki chases his dream of becoming a professional movie director and Miou struggles with choosing a path for herself, they’ll learn just how hard it is to get past those last 10 centimeters.
Here’s the titles of the 2 movies
Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai
Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan wo.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai
10 cm. Such as short distance. And yet it is too much to close this gap between these 2 people. No matter what you try, distance in love is not something easily explained. Although the person you love may be right next to you, you somehow feel that he/she is out of reach, almost impossible to ever meet to get closer. And when that person is on the other side of the world, you feel like you could reach him/her no matter what, holding on to your feelings. This is what ‘Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta.’ explores, the distance between people both literally and metaphorically. It is probably the best part about this anime.
The anime is pretty good in my opinion, unless you don’t want something a bit cliched. But even if it is, there are some anime series which do better on other things than just uniqueness. This is one of them, I think.
First of all, I wouldn’t say the story is the best part about this work. I think it was a bit too simplistic. A boy and girl seem to have a good relationship together. A few obstacles appear and this affects their friendship. They try their best to fix things up. That’s it. Nothing new about the story, this kind of story has already been explored in many other shows. If I was to pick something unique out of this, it’s probably the male lead’s hobby, which is film-making. Therefore I gave a 7.
In terms of characters, this series focuses on 1 main couple. They’re a very cute couple, whom I strongly wished to get more screen-time when I watched the other 2 movies. Other than the main couple there are other 2 pairs and we see some of their development too (and of course you would see them as well in the other 2 movies).
Miou is a good character, she is very honest and kind (too kind at times). The scenes when she’s shy were the ones that made me really like her, it’s a cute part of her personality. However her lack of confidence has been a slight problem. Miou was a bit too sensitive to the news about Haruki’s brother, blaming herself for the problem. Going a bit overboard there. It felt as if her weakness in perceiving certain things was deliberately made to be an obstacle in her relationship with Haruki, So I lowered the character score to 7.
Haruki is a very likeable character who is presented as someone who enjoys film making a lot, and is friendly to everyone in his club. I really liked the part where he doubted himself, people can always have a time when they’re not at their best and start to question their decisions. Maybe he’s a bit too good at film-making…
The art is really good, way above average I’d say. Very bright colors are used to create a joyful atmosphere throughout. 10/10. However I was a bit disappointed by the movements, sometimes it really looked forced and repetitive. Of course the sound is good thanks to Honeyworks, both the OP and ED are great. 10.
The merry atmosphere in the anime is something I must go over on. It’s the best aspect of this anime, and I’ve always seen ever since I watched the other movies. Whenever one or two of the characters are down, there is always someone who cheers them up or helps them out. It’s a simple yet essential part of the anime, forming a good development and only strengthening their friendship.
Overall, a 9 would be suitable. I’m the type who gives higher scores than most people so…
This is an excellent example of a romance anime done right and was definitely one of my favourite animes of fall 2017.
Our love has always been 10 centimeters apart is a good example of a normal high school romance with no extraordinary characteristics or tropes you normally see in these sorts of anime and it still managed to keep me engaged with the characters and their stories.
The art style and music is fantastic perfectly syncing to the scenes and made them all the more powerful. I began looking forward to watching the opening each week.
Characters were lovable and funny to watch making me wanting to support them and bridge that 10cm gap between them. The series keeps referring to that gap which is a nice touch.
The series is sadly only six episodes but is much better than most full series and was a great send off for 2017. If you want a quick watch masterpiece this is the series for you.
To be frank, I’d rate this anime for at least 3.5, given that the art and sound is kinda cool but story and characterization plays a lot on enjoyment, so you can see where exactly this story’s fall down is.
When I’ve actually watched the movie, Zutto Mae Kara Suki Deshita, I’ve given it an average score because out of the three couples it presented (which already gave way that there will probably be less development and progress within both characters and story line), I’ve actually liked Haruki and Miou the most. LIKED. This series burned that little respect I had away.
There are a lot of things I found awfully wrong in the anime like: (1) Why are they all friends (like I understand at least why the guys were but the girls were kinda meh), (2) How the f did those two even fall in love with each other? (the two main leads who are completely incompatible), (3) How can they be so effin unrelatable? and honestly so much more but I’m not writing a manuscript so I’ll stick with my major problem with this anime- Miou Aida.
Miou Aida is a shy, caring, tender, and loving female lead who has captivated the attention of popular aspiring film director Haruki (our main lead) because apparently, standing under cherry blossoms makes you all the more interesting. Look, I can’t even begin to explain why I don’t like this character. I know the intention of Miou’s character and all, but the way she was executed absolutely made me HATE her. Reading manga and watching anime for a while has made me numerously witness a writer’s attempt to make a female lead lovable, which is usually done by introducing it as shy and kind and completely unassuming. Let me explain: I mean, no one likes arrogant characters, right? Writers usually attempt to make their main leads humble to make them more lovable but that doesn’t always end up as the case as some writers overdo it, which results to dull and questionable characters like Miou.
Honestly, I don’t even get why a lot of people like her character. I personally prefer the purple-haired girl, she was, what I would like to say, the perfect female lead (I really wished she was). She was understanding, confident, and has a complete stand. Look, I get that some people have their insecurities and cannot be confident but it wouldn’t hurt for the girl to grow a backbone and actually own up to the compliments. How do I explain this exactly- imagine telling a model: “Wow, you’re so pretty” and getting “Oh no, I’m not pretty, no.” Makes you want to kick the model’s face, huh? That is just one of my problems with Miou.
The friendship was okay, but it wasn’t really that believable. I mean, if a friend of mine started jerking around with me and acted all cold with me and then even when I confront him/her says I’m better off not talking to him/her then SCREW HIM/HER. That’s kind of a jerk move, don’t you think? And yet Miou is somehow blessed with this great people who babies her even if she’s acting like a spoiled princess!
I also didn’t like how they butchered Haruki’s character. The boy was already fine as an ambitious aspiring film director but NO. Because Miou is going through drama after drama, somehow the writers thought that Haruki should too. I mean, the dream stuff at least was valid compared to my problem with the FL so I guess his character is a little developed than Miou? I don’t know. Either way, they weren’t really developed. But I’ll give props to the writers for at least making the ML a little decent. OMG, imagine if both of them were overly dramatic! Grrrr-
The art and sounds were really good, especially the music. It is Honeyworks after all.
To quip, I actually expected a lot from this series because they were my favorite couple from the first movie but I guess now, I’m questioning why the heck are they even still together? Like seriously, Haruki could do SO much better. I know I’m being a little harsh but I’ll take an arrogant tsundere over an insecure and completely boring FL. Like seriously, at least the former is a little empathetic than the latter.
Anyways, the story in my opinion was really dreadful compared to the two movies (which falls on average). Story and characters often falls in line and it would’ve been great at least to get some character development but instead we get drama, drama, drama. It would’ve been nice if they were at least relatable but to be honest, the only thing I found at least relatable was the dream conflict with Haruki, but even that was just a downgrade of his character but oh well. Judging from the first two movies, I probably shouldn’t have expected a decent story out of this. How I even finished this anime is beyond me.
PS. I also dislike how the major conflict (this went for like majority of the episodes) is Miou running away from Haruki because his (deceased) brother saved her? Like dude, she even got advise from that sensei that it was alright and it was not her fault (which was completely correct) and that she should live happily now knowing this and what does she do? Shut Haruki out completely (making him question what he’s done wrong and completely putting a lot of stress on his already stressed shoulders) and sulk about everything. Like if that isn’t being self-centered I don’t know what is.
Don’t get me wrong, I know survivor’s guilt and all but dude, AKI (HARUKI’S OLDER BRO) DIED BECAUSE OF AN EFFING DISEASE AND NOT BECAUSE HE SAVED MIOU OR WHATEVER. It really made me want to throw my phone whenever she monologues that it was all her fault and owns up the problem or whatever. I just find it so wrong and so unnecessary and a waste of time. That thinking was actually just toxic, TBH.
[END OF SPOILER]
PSS.I should know because I actually got to experience being friends with a Miou somewhere in my horrible life and let me tell you, it was a scarring experience. If you ever meet a Miou, run away screaming 😛
1: Magi: Sinbad no Bouken (TV)
English: Magi: Adventure of Sinbad
Japanese: マギ シンドバッドの冒険
MAL Score: 7.87
In the small, impoverished Tison Village of the Parthevia Empire, a boy, Sinbad, is born to the jaded ex-soldier Badr and his kind-hearted wife Esra. His birth creates a radiant surge throughout the rukh, a declaration of a singularity to those who stand at the pinnacle of magical might: the “Child of Destiny” is here. Despite his country being plagued by economic instability and the repercussions of war, Sinbad leads a cheerful life—until a stranger’s arrival shatters his peaceful world, and tragedy soon befalls him.
Years later, mysterious edifices called “dungeons” have been erected all over the world. Rumored to contain great power and treasures, these dungeons piqued the interest of adventurers and armies alike; though to this day, none have returned therefrom. Sinbad, now 14, has grown into a charming and talented young boy. Inspired by the shocking events of his childhood and by his father’s words, he yearns to begin exploring the world beyond his village. As though orchestrated by fate, Sinbad meets an enigmatic traveler named Yunan. Stirred by Sinbad’s story and ambitions, Yunan directs him to a dungeon which he claims holds the power Sinbad needs to achieve his goals—the “power of a king.”
Magi: Sinbad no Bouken tells the epic saga of Sinbad’s early life as he travels the world, honing his skill and influence, while gathering allies and power to become the High King of the Seven Seas.
Fair warning, if you haven’t watched Magi, you really won’t get the same satisfaction from watching this. I suggest watching the Magi series first before watching this.
It begins with Sinbad’s birth. Showing the background story of how Sinbad ends up becoming the swashbuckling man he is in the Magi series. These episodes drew me in right away. If you’re a fan of the Magi series you will really enjoy this part. I loved being able to see a baby Sinbad interact with his family and grow into this heroic, lovable teenager. You get to see him conquer his first dungeon and decide that he wants to create his own country and change the world. It leaves you feeling satisfied.
However after the first few episodes it becomes less about Sinbad’s character and more about the characters that will end up joining him on his journey.
Don’t get me wrong I love the nostalgic feeling of seeing the characters from the Magi series pop up in this series. However, it cuts the character development of Sinbad short. It becomes more focused on the character development of his comrades and how each of them has come to make their decision to join him in his efforts to change the world. The most touching story was Ja’far’s. His story and character development really provides those with prior knowledge about his character in the Magi series some interesting insight to when and how his unwavering loyalty began to blossom.
As for the development of Sinbad’s character, it continues to stay the same after the beginning episodes for the most part. I understand maybe the creators wanted to keep the image of Sinbad as this all powerful character untarnished, but we didn’t even get to see how he discovers the true power of his Djinn.
All we see after the first few episodes is how great Sinbad is and how wonderful he is at everything. I’m ready for his world to be shaken a little. To see him transform into the complex character that he is in the Magi series. Riding the waves between good and evil. Taking the path less travelled on.
Only in the very last episode do we see a small glimpse at an obsessive but mostly motivated look on the face of Sinbad as he contemplates his future. His curiosity about Magis grows intensely in this episode, and you can see in his face he is hungry for more knowledge. It foreshadows a possible adventure where he goes in search of a magi. This leaves a pretty good set up for the next season, which I expect to be a much more exciting season for Sinbad. I foresee some actual character changes and I’ll remain hopeful for that.
Even if the focus wasn’t really on Sinbad so much as the people joining him on his journey I still enjoyed watching this. Seeing more of the unique world that Magi is set in, and getting to see the origin stories of Sinbad’s party has been really great. It’s an upbeat adventure and at times you’ll find yourself smiling at the silly comedy. All that it is lacking is a bit of depth.
The story is brilliant. Depicting the life of probably the strongest living character in Magi. This is a prequel series that shows us the life of Sinbad and his journey to change the world. Such as the struggles that he experiences and the people that he meets to get stronger. The pacing seems rather okay at times, sometimes it does feel a bit rushed, but apart from that I find it easy to get into the mood. I have found the story filled with adventure and comedic aspects that have honestly grabbed me, and have cracked me up.
I enjoyed the art. Not much I can say about it. The characters are drawn rather well. Animation is great.
Having that amazing soundtrack present is what makes me engaged in Sinbad’s story. Those opening and ending songs really grab you and make you want to join up with Sinbad as well.
They have managed to grab the same voice actors from the OVA and from the anime adaption, so I would deem this impressive. The characters in this anime feel like they are being voiced according to how they behave. They have such fitting voice actors for their respective characters.
Lets just say that if you want to know more about the characters that Sinbad has worked with then go with the manga as well. You have Sinbad, Yunan, Ja’far, Dragul, Serendine, Badr (Sinbad’s father), Esra (Sinbad’s Mother), Barbarossa, Mystras, Spartos, Baal, Hinahoho, Pisti, Piprika, Zamil, Tabi etc. All these characters will be expanded on or introduced, the anime has gone through a few and helped set up the cast that Sinbad will be travelling with. Some of that cast has already been shown in the Magi Season 1 and 2 anime adaptions as well. So it would feel rather nostalgic.
I am a major Magi fan. More Magi is never a bad thing. After waiting 2 or so years after the OVA(longer after Season 2), then you can realize how much of an amazing feel this is. This contains probably one of the most interesting characters throughout Magi. Finding out about his adventures and how he became the man that he is now is worth the adventure of watching this series. So, even though I didn’t get a certain Fanalis or Magician I can say that I enjoyed the cast that we had and I found them rather hilarious.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. It does seem a bit funny at times, but just wait it will get so much better. Has always the manga is a preferred option, but this adaption is pretty good. The history of Sinbad, Sinbad’s friends, family and so on. If you are here to witness who he was as a child, why he became who he is right now and what caused him to become great, then this is the anime for you.
Let us all hope for that Season 2 everyone!
I loved Sinbad since the Magi series and he easily became one of my favorite characters.It felt so good to be able to witness his journey to become king and to create Syndria.I loved the pacing and all his adventures that came,how he matured and captured all the dungeons.It was a series full of surprises as well because of the turns it took such as his quickly mastering the djinn equip and his courage to face everyone with an open mind.The story I enjoyed the most was his adventure in the Imuchakk kingdom as part of Valefor arc.Also to see elements such as amazons and legendary warriors assimilated into the lore of the series was great.I hope that we will get a season 2 because what is to come is even better.
I loved Magi’s series art and to see it back it was a complete delight given the fact it was by the same author.
There were very few occasions when I felt that the sound was out of the place but usually the songs chosen made the situation justice.
Sinbad is a young man born into a war-torn world that needed desperately a hero and with his ambition,intelligence and ability to make the others follow him he ended up being a great leader as well as being really handsome.Hinahoho was transformed through Sinbad into a fierce warrior able to have a family and responsible enough to be a father.Jafar was a soul full of darkness and the moment when Sinbad hugged his dark and his pure self-was heartwarming because he gave him a purpose to live for.Hinahoho’s father,the king of Imuchakk,the knight king of Sasan and the queen of Artemyre were all characters who despite the problems each had in their country and the traits each one exposed:fierce warrior,religious zealot and a lonely queen who rules by the law of iron were brought to a point where they needed to expose their qualities in order to face and join Sinbad’s company.The Djin we saw are various and each I think was given time to shine individually and my favorite was Valefor.
I sincerely enjoyed this series far more than Magi,each episode made me hunger for more and each time I wanted it to deliver it did,sometimes more than expected.
I loved the ending because I interpret it as a preview of a possible season 2 that can’t come faster.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Magi: Sinbad no Bouken (TV)
2. Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta.
3. Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo.
5. Release the Spyce
6. I★Chu: Halfway Through the Idol
7. Go! Go! 575