Kill la Kill – an enjoyable, but forgettable experience


Kill la Kill 3

Kill la Kill has been one of those series that I enjoyed watching, but never really found anything remarkable about either the story or characters. It is a series that takes the madness of vintage Gainax anime, turns everything up to eleven, and simply throws it at the audience hoping that something will stick. And unfortunately for me nothing about the series ever made me look at it and think that it was a truly wonderful anime with great story and engaging characters, quite the opposite in fact. Read more of this post

Girls und Panzer – Review


shot0257Girls und Panzer is absolutely brilliant and sits as a perfect example of how even the most innocuous series can be turned into a veritable masterpiece with the right direction, writing and a truly engrossing story that has been created by a group of people who truly love classic war films and all they entail. I, like many others on twitter, was quick to laughingly and quite ironically proclaim this series to be the best of the season and perhaps the year just before it premiered. However, having sat through the gripping action, wonderful character development, and truly superb soundtrack it is safe to say that I can now, entirely un-ironically proclaim it to be a spectacular success. I have never really had any problems with the ‘cute girls doing cute things’ aspect of many anime, finding the ordinary, if rather romanticized portrayal of Japanese school life often charming and entertaining. What we find in Girls und Panzer however is an entirely different take on this well warn aspect of anime, and while it still has cute girls doing cute things, the constant presence of tanks and the important part that they play in life helps to subtly change the way this anime portrays the lives of school girls. Read more of this post

Tari Tari – Singing, Horse Riding and a Big Yellow Dolphin


Tari Tari was an enjoyable series taking a different approach to most high school anime by focussing on a group of students who are about toe graduate, rather than those who have just started. It did immediately draw comparisons with Hanasaku Iroha largely due to P.A. Works being at the helm of both series, along with the similar character design. However, in many respects Tari Tari is the inferior show, lacking in character and story progression at times, and often jumping between sections with out any real flow. However, it is by no means a bad series, with fascinating characters and a setting that demonstrates the importance of following your dreams or wishes. Read more of this post

Accel World – Two Worlds, One Problem


Accel World was a mixed bag, bringing together some brilliant fight sequences, along with exposition heavy episodes that often ended in tedium, and topped off with problematic characters that never quite managed to stay entertaining throughout. Although this is not strictly true, there were numerous characters that were great to watch, providing some interesting insight into a world that at first appears overly simplistic, but soon turns into something that may be too complicated for its own good. However, one of the central, if not the biggest flaw with Accel World is the lack of proper antagonists. As a series it lacked that all-important element, an antagonist that is both entertaining, while also being as evil and nasty as possible. This coupled with the protagonist often dissolving into angst and tears could make various episodes and sections painful to watch. Read more of this post

Natsuyuki Rendezvous – A tale of two halves


Natsuyuki Rendezvous is a tale of two halves, it was an excellent series right up until episode six, at which point things started to go very wrong and it slid down into the pits of mediocrity. This is not to say that the series was not enjoyable, because it was, however, there were some distinct decisions made during this series life that ultimately slightly ruined the whole experience. There are precious few mature romance series, most anime are set in high school or junior high school, with the protagonists often having to deal with other issues such as family circumstances or teenage angst. A romance series that takes place during a work or university environment, or at least have a more mature feel can be incredibly fun to watch and help to provide an alternative view of romance without the teenage angst. Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Paradise Kiss, Ristorante Paradiso and Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma are a few of the small number of such titles. What is so wonderful about these series is how they tell a story about romance, but without the angst, school references and other elements that pepper high school romance stories. There is still drama and elements of angst, but it is being used from a different perspective, and while there are still problems to overcome, they revolve around the needs of the everyday rather than problems with tests and the (apparent) innocence of youth. Read more of this post

Ano Natsu de Matteru – The unforgettable summer


Ano Natsu de Matteru was a series that I had looked forward to since hearing about it, being a romantic comedy, a genre which I am quite fond of. Seeing the people involved, including those behind the Onegai Franchise (writer Kuroda Yousuke, producer Ogura Mitsutoshi), along with the director of AnoHana and Toradora (Nagai Tatsuyuki) gave the impression that this would be a brilliant romance that was worth watching. Of course, as other anime with strong teams behind them have demonstrated (Guilty Crown), this did not mean that it was going to be perfect. Of course, that was not the case, and Ano Natsu de Matteru exceeded my expectations, producing a story that was beautiful to watch, full of emotional depth, great characters and a well-written story. Read more of this post

High School DxD – There is more to it than simple fanservice


I must admit that I was partly looking forward to watching High School DxD – while ecchi series can become tiresome, I have a soft spot for a good bit of ecchi comedy, and High School DxD managed to deliver it in spades. It was a show with some interesting characters, nice fight scenes and some great pieces of comedy. It was a show that came across as a combination of Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou and Sora no Otoshimono – we had the supernatural harem, along with a shamelessly perverted male protagonist who is willing to do anything to acquire his own harem. Read more of this post

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