Aldnoah.Zero – What was once merely stupid is now even worse


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It’s hard to describe how utterly ridiculous, ludicrous, stupid, and often downright insulting Aldnoah.Zero is. As a series it has a lot of promise, with elements of the narrative, plot, characters, and setting lending themselves to an interesting story that explores themes of envy, social and cultural isolation, and a sense of superiority instilled in a population in order by the ruling elite to maintain their control. Other series such as Aquarion Evol, Yamato 2199, and to a lesser extent Rinne no Lagrange have all dealt with similar themes and they have all been entertaining, with well rounded characters, and a story that doesn’t lurch from one bizarre and unnecessary reveal to another. Read more of this post

Least Interesting Anime of 2014:


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Now that my favourite anime of 2014 are out of the way, its time for a post on the anime I found least interesting this year. Read more of this post

Favourite Anime of 2014:


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Like previous years I wont be putting these series into any particular order, which is probably the hardest thing I can think of doing – partly because I don’t like scores, and also because I don’t really have a particularly favourite anime this year.  Read more of this post

Mahouka Koukou no Reittousei – Weaponising Magic


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The tournament arc of Mahouka was not the most inspiring, or interesting part of the series. It demonstrated what we already knew, one’s magical abilities and the strength of their powers does not automatically make them superior to those with magic considered weaker based on arbitrary, and arguably flawed testing patterns. That Tatsuya and co won the monolith code battle through a combination of their special abilities and a small amount of luck should not be surprising. They were up against skilled, intelligent individuals who were also arrogant, assuming that their genius and power would make a win automatic and without doubt. The Hubris of Ichijou Masaki and Kichijouji Shinkurou is to assume that their abilities mean their victory is certain and nothing, regardless of how strong it may be can stop them. In this respect we see how flimsy the pretext for a Two Tier school system is, with characters like Tatsuya, Yoshida Mikihiko, and Saijou Leonhart ultimately demonstrate how easily powerful magicians can be defeated regardless of how strong their spells and abilities may be. Read more of this post

Aldnoah.Zero – The Politics of Conquering


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The idea of rigging an event, perhaps creating a situation that would allow a country to go to war is hardly new. Both in anime and in real life, situations have been engineered in order to create the desired effect for one particular party, regardless of the consequences or collateral damage to others. The same is true in Aldnoah.Zero, although to anyone familiar with this sort of story, and indeed, the writing style of Urobuchi Gen such an occurrence will come as no great surprise. We are presented with two opposing factions (ala Gundam), the Vers Empire, a clearly evil, nationalistic, militaristic, fascist society that has strong views of its own superiority to those who live on earth, a somewhat weaker, and far more naïve faction that seems doomed to destruction. Read more of this post