|Synopsis in one sentence: The story surrounds the mystery that is Tsukasa: a young boy who wakes up to find he is trapped in a virtual reality fantasy world.
I could feel the desperation this show had to be some mind blowing thriller, but I just could not get on board. Several episodes in I was already prepared to quit and leave behind the bland characters and unexciting world, but, after reading hints that the show had some neat twists, I decided to stick it out.
Recommended for: Fantasy, mystery and adventure fans.
When I stopped: I got to episode 18 before I could not handle anymore because I was bored out of my mind.
Will I go back? Begrudgingly. The future seasons look a little better, so if I return it will be for them.
|[C]: Control - The Money of Soul and Possibility
||Synopsis in one sentence: Average guy Kimimaro is sucked into the Financial District, where he is forced to battle against other people in order to earn money and protect his future.
C has an interesting concept, but I think it took itself too seriously. I get turned off by shows the over complicate themselves by adding layer upon layer of deception or evil or corruption etc. Eventually there are too many players to keep track of and I've forgotten what the show was actually about. This is what happened in C. I got lost and by the time the final came up, I didn't even know what they were fighting for or why the bad guy was bad, when I thought he was good. It was an interesting idea, but it was overrun with convoluted villainy, which was a shame. On the plus side, the character design was great, as was the world surrounding the MC.
Recommended for: Fans of... finance? I'm not quite sure what genre this fits into. Fantasy, maybe? Politics?
Best aspect: I liked everything outside of the financial district. Kimimaro's friends I found interesting, and I wished there had been more about his day to day life.
Worst aspect: The relationship between Kimimaro and Msyu. SPOILER ALERT One episode he was going on about how he wanted her to be his daughter and the next he was making out with her. What the what? SPOILER OVER
Favourite character: The guy with the crepe cart. I forgot his name
||Synopsis in one sentence: After his family is killed in a mafia hit, Angelo Lagusa takes on a disguise and seeks out revenge against the family responsible for their deaths.
An exciting premise, but poor execution. I got the feeling through direction and music use that this show thought it was telling a much more exciting story than it was, cause what were framed as "epic moments" really struggled to hold my interest. The problem was that I really didn't care about any of the characters. Most of the cast were so like bad caricatures that any attempts to make them scary or relatable or likeable fell flat. This especially rang true for Angelo, who was so boring and angst overload to me that I couldn't care less whether he got his revenge or not. And when that is the story that's running this whole show, that's a problem.
Recommended for: Gangster film fans?
Best aspect: The ending wrapped things up nicely.
Worst aspect: I watched this dubbed and the performances were AWFUL. Every character has a weird Boston accent that made me cringe every time a character opened their mouths. So freaking bad.
Favourite character: Nero. The only character with a proper arc
|A Certain Magical Index
||Synopsis in one sentence: In a city where superpowers are commonplace, student Toma, who has the ability to counter anybody else's power, suddenly finds himself in charge of a young nun with exceptional power.
In theory, Index has all the right parts for making a great anime. There are seedy organisations, magic, a dash of harem, and a clueless hero in the middle – what could go wrong? Well, with all those interesting plot devices in hand, I was pretty disappointed that Index never really knew what to do with them. I feel like none of the story set up throughout the series was used properly. Mysterious, robotical twins? Let's knock out their story in a couple episodes. Ooo, an anti-hero trained to be the biggest warrior in the world? Let's build him up then wipe him out in a half assed attempt at giving him a heart of gold. Oh, and let's completely ignore the nun who holds the information of a thousand worlds in her head. Oh, she's a main character? Welp, then let's just pack her full of catchphrases and pull her out whenever we need someone to be annoying. I mean, what the hell happened here? The first 10 (give or take) episodes were so interesting! Different relationships were being set up, important plot points were being outlined, hinting to some sort of explosive ending to a twisty series. But no, instead we get stories about pretending to be someone's boyfriend or Index being hungry. Argh, it's not that I didn't like this series; I'm just super disappointed by it. There's so much potential and none of it goes anywhere! Anyway, the reason I'll keep on with this series is because I have hope that someone will buck up and start making things happen. If the next season is just as anti-climactic, I'm done. >_<
Recommended for: Hmmm, this is a tricky one. It's a standard action/sci-fi/fantasy blend, so you might like it, you might hate it, I dunno. Maybe if you have some spare time, check it out.
Best aspect: The cast was really interesting in both personality and power.
Worst aspect: So much wasted plot.
Favourite character: Kaori. Mostly because she looks awesome. ^^
|A Certain Scientific Railgun
||Synopsis in one sentence: Set before the events of the first season, Railgun introduces the daily life of electric warrior Misaka.
As you might remember from my review of A Certain Magical Index, I was looking forward to seeing how the story would develop and progress from where things left off.... needless to say, I was pretty bummed when I realised Index and Toma wouldn't be making a big splash anytime soon. In fact, I didn't really enjoy the first several episodes of the Railgun because I was looking for the dramatic plot which just wasn't coming through. But, once I got over that, I started to enjoy Railgun for what it was: a weird, supernatural, action based slice of life. Without the heavy focus on an underlying disturbance, Railgun is able to put the humour and good feelings present in its predecessor at the forefront, which is what the show does best. Although there's a small core cast of four, each girl is given her own time to shine in a way that highlights how brilliantly the protagonists play off each other. There's lots of comedy and fun, which quickly put Railgun leagues ahead of Index in my book. Although the climatic battles weren't as large as they are in Index, I think the stories were kept simple, which made the more dramatic plots much more effective. I also enjoyed the little nods to A Certain Magical Index, which explained some of the goings on of the first season. I found it much easier to love A Certain Magical Railgun, and although it's not the season 2 follow up I was hoping for, it still kept the series running strong.
Recommended for: Fans of the first series, although I think you could watch Railgun before Index without ruining much. If you liked the action of Index, Railgun might be a little flat for you.
Best aspect: Comedy definitely.
Worst aspect: Shirai got on my nerves a lot.
Favourite character: Uiharu. She was the anchor of the group whenever things got tough and I found her incredibly sweet.
A Certain Magical Index II
|Synopsis in one sentence: There's a church fight... or something to that effect.
I didn't enjoy A Certain Magical Index, but I really enjoyed A Certain Magical Railgun, so I wasn't sure what to expect for Index II. Obviously, I did not enjoy it. In musing over why this is, I think I have come to a conclusion: serious tones do not suit this anime. You see, when I was watching Index 1, I found it boring. There were fun characters and comedy, but the anime was intent on focusing on shadowy villains and I felt like what I really wanted to focus on (the interesting characters) was ignored. In Railgun, however, they focused on characters first, and story second and I enjoyed it so much more! So, when A Certain Magical Whatever focuses on character, I enjoy it much more! But when it tries to be mysterious and brutal, it fails. Like, you're tryna set up a big dramatic fight in a series where one of the main characters is a child in an overflowing robe who bites people? Yeah, that's not gonna work. Also, the more I see Index, the less I like her.
Recommended for: Fans of the first season and anyone who doesn't mind subs.
When I stopped: Episode 15.
Will I go back? I would love to continue on with Railgun, but it looks like I have to watch this season first, so I'll have to say goodbye to that as well. :(
|Ah! My Goddess!
||Synopsis in one sentence: The angel Belldandy has to live with human boy Keichi and craziness ensues.
This anime was very cute and harem at its fullest. The characters were all wonderfully designed and I enjoyed the introduction of different levels of power from heaven. Watching the characters develop was very interesting and I particularly liked how bratty Skuld evolved, especially in the final episode, where she matured remarkably. It could get a bit repetitive in parts, which lowered the score, but it was pretty good overall.
Recommended for: Anyone in the mood for a light anime. You'll especially like it if you like lovey dovey stories.
Best aspect: Probably the outfit designs.
Worst aspect: The painstakingly slow development of Belldandy and Keichi's relationship.
Favourite character: Urd. Her snarky attitude was a nice contrast to the always nice Belldandy.
|Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy
||Synopsis in one sentence: The angel Belldandy has to live with human boy Keichi and craziness ensues... again.
I think after watching the first series, I had sort of gotten the overall idea of Ah! My Goddess and where it was going. In all honesty, this season bored me. The same stuff that happened in the first season pretty much repeated itself, but with different crisis's etc. I did like that some of the supporting characters became more involved with the storyline, which sort of made things more interesting... not by much, though.
Recommended for: Big fans of Ah! My Goddess.
Best aspect: The struggle Urd has with her mysterious origins...
Worst aspect: Repetitive and drawn out.
Favourite character: Urd. Gotta love that girl and her ridiculous potions. >>
|Ai Yori Aoshi
||Synopsis in one sentence: A girl named Aoi locates a guy who she promised her hand in marriage to when she was child, only to find that he has forgotten her over the years.
This anime is actually quite similar to Ah! My Goddess (see above), minus all the magic and with added character development. The twisted family of Aoi was a good underlying threat to the two lovers and the supporting characters were all easily likeable. But, like most harem, this anime did have its limits and the stories could seem to move a bit slowly at points.
Recommended for: Harem watchers. You also might like it if you like a sort of Romeo and Juliet feel to your animes.
Best aspect: The range of characters. From the traditionally Japanese Aoi, to the over the top American Tina, this anime had a great variety!
Worst aspect: I never understood why Kaoru agreed to be with Aoi. Actually, he never really agreed; she pretty much just told him they were together. Strange.
Favourite character: Taeko. So adorable!
|Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi
||Synopsis in one sentence: The group returns to do pretty much the same thing they did in the first season.
Hmmm, since the last time I saw this program, things seem to have progressed quite a bit. For example, Kaoru is pretty much betrothed to Aoi. Which makes it weirder when everyone hits on him, because they all know he's there for Aoi. Isn't there some sort of friend code about hitting on another friend's boyfriend? Plus a lot of his admirers are really awkward. I mean, Chika's a child! She shouldn't have a love story with him! The one relationship I do find interesting though is Tina's crush on the ever perfect Kaoru. I feel like that storyline had so much potential, but it didn't develop much. :( In fact, pretty much nothing developed this season. Even the big climax at the end sounded really intense. I was actually really surprised that Ai Yori Aoshi was going to explore something so serious, but then it was concluded with a simple "Haha, it's actually not a big deal and now it's over". Yay.
Recommended for: Fans of the first series. It's on the exact same level as the first season (not any better, nor any worse) so if you enjoyed the first part, you'll like this series.
Best aspect: At least the main couple actually progressed in their love, as opposed to other series where they spend multiple episodes wondering whether they're ready to hold hands or not.
Worst aspect: What the heck happened to Taeko?
Favourite character: Tina. She really grew on me this season.
||Synopsis in one sentence: In a world where space travel is run of the mill, a group of teen pop stars are humanity's only hope to save the world from sadness.
Okay, so for those of you unfamiliar, AKB0048 is a series that revolves around a sci-fi version of the popular J-pop group AKB48. If you follow that group, I have the feeling that you'll love this show. There're special songs sung by the girls, the girls fighting bad guys, lots of cute anime dancing and if you watched this show subbed you'll get to hear some of the AKB48 members voice the actual characters! I, however, am not a fan of AKB48, so my view on this show was a little different. To start with, the weird processed idol idea of AKB48 wierds me out a little. The way each member has to act and look a certain way or they run the risk of expulsion from the group is so bizarre and incredibly creepy to me. So when this show takes that concept and wraps it in a "only AKB can save the world, look how perfect they are!" ribbon, it feels a little... well, it feels like propaganda. There are even scenes where the girls fight, only to have it wiped away with "oh, we fight because we love each other, hahaha!", because, again, look how amazing and perfect the girls are, hooray! I just got the feeling that every member of staff on this show did their work with a record label executive breathing heavily over their shoulder to make sure that nothing even remotely less than goddess-like was ever said about the girls. On that note, expect that this show is a total cheese fest. The solution to pretty much every problem is friendship, or something equally as nauseating. My other problem with the show is that nothing was really explained that well. For instance, the whole point of AKB0048 is to perform on different planets, to fight against the ban of entertainment. But why is entertainment banned? And why has no one just found the AKB0048 dorms and blown the crap out of them? I was also thoroughly confused by the group's system. There was an episode where they went to meet a family of girls who train from birth to be copies of one of the groups members. What? Are they clones now? And from that point on all anyone talked about was "I want to be the successor of blahblahblah!/My soul is the same as blahblahblah!". What are they on about? Are the other members dead and you get to posses their old body or something? There are other lacks of explanation, including failure to really introduce new characters, which meant that by the end of the series I pretty much called them all "Singer Girl". I hope this show was made as a gift to the fans, because if it was, then that goal has clearly been reached. I suspect fans will have no problem understanding how the group system works, and the story is jam packed full of moments where fans can squeal because their favourite member just did something awesome/cute. However, if this show's goal was to expand the AKB0048 brand, then I don't think it'll do too well. I was dropped in the deep end of the AKB48 world without anything to help me out, which turned me off both the next season of the show and the AKB brand.
Recommended for: AKB48 fans, or those that like girls with guns, or girls that sing.
Best aspect: The dancing was pretty good.
Worst aspect: Cringe inducing sugary-ness.
Favourite character: Chieri. She was pretty much the only one I could distinguish.
||Synopsis in one sentence: High schooler Setsuna's life is turned upside down when he's approached by a group of mysterious people that claim he is a powerful angel trapped inside a human's body.
My lord.... Okay, I just... I just... *Runs to LA's review page* This this and this. Okay, I'll try to keep a level head through this review. *Takes a deep breath in* So this is my first proper confrontation with the sibling love storyline, and let me just say that I find the whole concept messed up. Who was it that was watching some anime and just randomly thought "Yano, there is just not enough incest in this!"? WHY??? So the main character is pretty into his sister and the whole thing is just weird beyond weird. My creepiness levels have been maxed out. And yano, I tried, I really did. I thought "Well, he's sort of another person in a human body, so I guess they're not really related", but NO. Every few seconds they would bring up the fact that they were siblings in full, not even giving me a chance to get past it. And I could maybe get past the romance side of it, but to actually show them hooking up and striking home runs? *Shudders* Anyway, outside of that mess of a love story, there's some interesting ideas in the plot, especially in the different characters that support the lead. The lead is pretty crappy, but his friends have some good backstory and motivations for their actions. The OVA series isn't afraid to shed blood, which is a good way to keep tension, because I wasn't sure how far the characters might go. So there were some good elements that could've been strung together to form a nice, intense fantasy drama, but instead it was overrun with a icky and pretty sappy romance line that only made the main character seem pathetic and weak. Wasted potential, really.
Recommended for: You've gotta be open-minded, if you hadn't already guessed that from my mini-rant. :P It's an older series, so if you don't like retro, this aint for you. The genre is sort of action fantasy drama, so if you like that then go for Angel Sanctuary.
Best aspect: I liked the general gist of the plot.
Worst aspect: Apart from the obvious, the voice acting was terrible, probably the worst I've ever heard. Not a single voice was tolerable. Then again, it was the early 2000s, so maybe that was the standard back then?
Favourite character: Whatever the main guy's angel friend's name was.
||Synopsis in one sentence: Koichi is enrolled at a new class that is haunted by a tale of a dead student from the past, and he is sucked into the strange phenomena that now surrounds him.
One thing you should know about me is that I hate horror films. HATE them. Being aware of this fact myself, I'm not quite sure what made me decide to watch a horror anime, which is pretty much a horror movie that last 4 times as long. Bad move on my part. >_> The point is, the smallest things give me the creeps, so I'm probably more overwhelmed by this anime than a horror movie buff would be. Yeah, this series gave me a major case of the heebie jeebies, but I don't think it's really that scary. Gory? Yes. Eerie? Yes. Scary? No. But, because I wouldn't be able to sit through a crazy scary show, I don't mind that softness of the story too much. ;) Moving on, the story of Another is great. There were some parts, especially in the early stages of the program, where there were some pacing issues, but once things got going, they REALLY got going. The driving force behind each episode was definitely the mystery aspect, as I couldn't wait to find out more and try to put the pieces together. Some parts of the story were a bit predictable, but even then they were smoothed over with a little twist that sweetened the viewing. The big reveal in the final episode is a great example of this, because although I had big suspicions about the culprit, I didn't expect the secret behind their identity, which made it a much more dramatic finish. The little hints through the dialogue and background were also well done, because when a new clue is explained, all those things come together and it was fun to think back on. There were a couple problems with the show, though. First, the wrap up was a bit lacklustre. It was following a huge scene of action, sadness, anger and trauma and it just did not work well after all of those events. The gritty darkness of the show was completely washed out, making the final scene extremely boring and bland in comparison. The other problem was the character development/personalities. Koichi, the main character, has some of the worst judgement I've ever seen in an anime. He knows something weird is going on, but pretty much ignores it, or isn't even bothered. Even when he finds out one of class members is an imposter, he just shrugs his shoulders and moves on. Why on earth would you not try to figure out who that person was? Even during the most dangerous part of the story, he turns to his friends and suggests they all split up. Um, what? There's a fire licking at your heels and a murderer running around and you decide to split up? What is wrong with you??? The other lead, Mei, had a lot of potential to be a much more dynamic character, but she never progresses past emo mystery pal. She's got so many great backstories to her, yet none of them are really utilised in an interesting way. Finally, the side characters aren't managed that well. For the first couple episodes, relationships are set up and personalities and even backstories are subtly woven into the background. During these episodes, the threat of death is much more interesting, as you're attached to who you like or don't like, or you want certain characters to do certain things. However, in the second half of the show, it's like they got bored and decided to start showing random faces once so they had people to kill off. The last scene would've been way more amazing if I'd known who any of the leftover kids actually were. Overall, I did enjoy this anime, because the mystery side of things was great. There was a much bigger opportunity that came with this anime, and I didn't feel like that was taken advantage of, but all the basic points are present, so I am satisfied.
Recommended for: Horror fans. If you are squeamish, walk away now. And if you like horror dark and terrible, then you'll probably be disappointed by Another as well.
Best aspect: It did keep me on my toes. There were quite a few twists and turns.
Worst aspect: Bad character integration.
Favourite character: Naoya! Although he got a little... reckless towards the end.
|Aria the Scarlet Ammo
||Synopsis in one sentence: Kinji, a student at Butei High which is a training school for future members of a special ops force, is approached by an exceptional fighter called Aria who demands that Kinji becomes her official team partner.
The first couple episodes of Aria the Scarlett Ammo follow Kinji and Aria as they are targeted by the mysterious serial killer that has been dubbed the Butei Killer, after his penchant for killing Butei. This story introduces the bare basics of the show and man what an introduction it is. Both the leads and the support cast are a mix of interesting personalities and the mystery behind the Butei killer is an exhilarating one that ends with a big twist. It's because of this great opening that I was pretty let down by the rest of the 13 episode series. After the Butei killer arc the characters become a drab clump of your stereotypical anime guys and gals. All the fierce strong girls from the first couple episodes become whiny harem fodder. Then the other guys are just pushed to the realm of nothingness altogether. The follow up plots become almost embarrassingly predictable and every time some new threat is dealt to they return to become friends with the protagonists. Yeah, because that makes total sense. Then there's Aria. *Sigh* Oh Aria. Introduced as the deceptively small top fighter of the academy with the pretty cool family background, by the end of the show Aria has entered into a league of anime annoyingness she created all on her own. She's rude, forceful, insecure and kind of stupid. By the end I didn't even care what her overall goal was, because I disliked her so much that her wellbeing meant nothing to me. I found it a real shame that a show I really enjoyed at the start became such a mess. I don't know what the makers of Aria were doing, but they took a wrong turn somewhere. Such a shame, really.
Recommended for: People that like harems with a dash of action.
Best aspect: The first few episodes had a great plot.
Worst aspect: Aria.
Favourite character: Shirayuki.
||Synopsis in one sentence: A class of misfits kids is given the task of assassinating an alien that is threatening to destroy the world... while said alien poses as their teacher.
I know, the concept of this is bizarre. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But worry not, because this anime is fabulous! For such an out there concept, this show really is rooted in character development and relationship exploration, which makes for a touching, interesting, action packed, and constantly hilarious story. The characters are fantastic, and everyone, from the goofy alien teacher to the background characters to the bullies, is given time to shine. I mean, it's not hard to see why I love this show. Character backstory and development, realistic relationships, and ample attention paid to the side characters? Yeah, that's right up my alley. I binged this show very quickly, which I loved, because it's been a while since I watched an anime I enjoyed enough to binge. The first season is packed full of set-up, with each episode adding new characters and pushing the narrative forward, but I won't be able to comment on the overall story until I finish the second season. For now, I'll leave Assassination Classroom with an A+!
Recommended for: Comedy, character development, and strategy fans.
Best aspect: I loved all the little plans that the series played out, from assassination attempts to Koro-Sensei's plays at making the students better people. I love me some strategy and mind play!
Worst aspect: Towards the end, a computer program character was added that I just wasn't feeling. The characters, to me, do a good job of standing outside stereotypes and the usual anime tropes, but this girl was a plain old moe fodder that I don't think adds to the story.
Favourite character: Ah, because of the equal focus on all characters, it's hard to just choose one. So I'll go for the orchestrator of this series, Koro Sensei!
|Assassination Classroom: Season 2
||Synopsis in one sentence: The class continues on their mission, as new foes hide in the shadows and the students begin to struggle with their futures.
Assassination Classroom continues with more fantastic character development and a lot of very intriguing stories. Unfortunately, I think humour took a bit of a nosedive in this season, and a rise in the "cheese factor" followed. For a few episodes, I was a bit disappointed by the mediocrity of the script, as I've come to expect the unexpected from AC, and when it dips into the slice of life corniness pool, it stands out. What I did appreciate, however, was the very clear direction of the show; the character arcs are some of the strongest I've seen in any anime, and while I was hoping for a different ending, the ending I was given made sense and, in a way, was satisfying. All in all, Assassination Classroom is a fantastic series that I am very glad to have watched.
Recommended for: Fans of the show that want to see how the Class E journey ends.
Best aspect: The finale. Feelings all around!
Worst aspect: The dullness near the middle.
Favourite character: Koro Sensei, of course.
|Attack on Titan
||Synopsis in one sentence: In a world ravaged by giant creatures known as Titans, a young boy named Eren trains to destroy the menacing monsters.
I don't think I can explain how much I loved this show. Twist after twist after twist! And everything is soooooo brutal! I never knew what to expect! Now, Attack on Titan is not for the faint of heart. You shouldn't get attached to anyone, because they're probably gonna die... or turn out to suck... or both. That's how unpredictable this show is. And, in this case, unpredictable definitely equals fun. There's very little I can say against this show, but if I had to say one thing, I might complain that the characters were a little too... shouty, I guess. But that's only if I had to say something negative. I wish they'd given away more answers, but I suppose some cards have to be hidden so people (like me) can't wait to dive into season 2.
Recommended for: Action, medieval and fantasy fans. There's lots of blood and gore + some triggering themes, so be wary.
Best aspect: Lots of mystery.
Worst aspect: Eren doesn't have an inside voice.
Favourite character: The blonde one. I want to look up his name, but I'm too afraid of spoilers. :S
|Attack on Titan: Junior High
||Synopsis in one sentence: The cast of Attack on Titan attend a high school alongside the titans.
My past reviews have kind of hinted at this, but I don't really enjoy anime comedy. I find it cheap and often childish. So this show was really not for me. The jokes, to me, are cringey. It also doesn't help that I really like Attack on Titan, so a show where everything special about AoT is stripped to give way to run-of-the-mill jokes annoyed me even more. Nothing much else to say, really.
Recommended for: Slice of Life and Attack on Titan fans.
Best aspect: The drawing style was pretty cute.
Worst aspect: Lame jokes. I also feel like a lot of the senior characters were really unlikable.
Favourite character: Sasha.
|Avatar: The Legend of Aang
||Synopsis in one sentence: Two siblings discover a long thought dead master of the elements, trapped in an iceburg.
Avatar is split up into four different arcs, but I'm going to review them all together as this is how I watched the series. Anyways, this series was mostly a surprise because it's a nickelodeon cartoon, so I did not have high hopes for it ( sorry if I offend any fans of that network). However, the use of the four elements, mixed with awesome characters and lots of comedy... AMAZING!! The story was long, but totally worth it, because the end battle was... wowza. Really great show, for both kids and adults – highly recommended!
Recommended for: If you want something full of fantasy action. Not recommended if you like more mature, serious animes.
Best aspect: The bending fights.
Worst aspect: Could be a little cheesy at times, but only by a small bit.
Favourite character: Ooo, tough choice. Toph. I mean, c'mon – she's awesome.
|Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 1: Air
||Synopsis in one sentence: The series picks up after the death of Avatar Aang and follows his successor, Korra, as she travels to Republic City to learn how to air bend.
I was so excited when I heard Avatar was getting another series, but was heartbroken to find it was not going to star Aang and his group. How on earth could it possibly be any good? Well, the first book of the series certainly put all my fears to rest! It was action packed, scary, sad and funny. Very funny. The creators did a FANTASTIC job at working as a new series, while also paying great respect to the original. Incorporating the original cast was great, but made me miss them more! Anyway, this is a really good continuation and I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen next!
Recommended for: If you loved the legend of Aang, you will like this. However, if you REALLY loved the legend of Aang, you might miss those characters. :D
Best aspect: Comedy! There were some really great moments and characters.... I'm chuckling just thinking about it. ^^
Worst aspect: The romance wasn't as polished as it was with Aang. Sometimes it was predictable or confusing.
Favourite character: Bolin. He had some of the best lines. XD
|Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 2: Spirits
||Synopsis in one sentence: Korra decides Avatar training is a little stale, so she jumps ship to the Water Tribe to begin learning about spirits from her perfect uncle.
The first book of the Korra series was s rough intro into a world without the comedic antics of Aang, and although I found it a bit bittersweet at first, I grew to love how much grittier The Legend of Korra was than the first series. The story was giant in its limits and each episode packed some sort of heart wrenching punch ranging from intense to nostalgic. For its second season, Korra decides to skip the darker twist on things and instead turn its attention to fuzzy creatures and drama the likes of any high school drama series. The first pulling point for book 2 was finally getting to learn more about Korra's origins. What is her family like? How has living in the big city changed her? Unfortunately, instead of delving into Korra's character, the sporadic trips to the Water tribe only introduce a pretty predictable plot, some background character level family members, and a bunch of annoying voice acting. The second pulling point for this series was the promise of meeting the offspring of some Avatar greats in the form of Aang and Katara's other two children. Sadly, following in the footsteps of the wise Tenzin is no easy feat, as both soldier Bumi and water bender Kya were written as petty annoyances that seemed to have missed out on the charisma and strength that both their parents possessed. The great group dynamics of the Fire Ferrets + Asami was thrown out the window; Korra pretty much did her own thing, Bolin was doing some fun, yet pointless movie work, and the other two had some abysmally tame love story crap. All the intrigue installed in the first season was removed, making Book 2 a really low level follow up. I want the big stories and the almost immortal bad guys! I want the smart cameos from people we know, or people we want to know! Where is all the charm that originally warmed me up to the new Avatar gang? *Sigh* All I can be thankful for is the fact that this show has now been extended, because if this was going to be my last taste of Korra, it definitely would've been a sour one.
Best aspect: The origin of the Avatar. And by Avatar I don't mean Korra, I mean THE avatar. The entire idea of there being an Avatar. It reveals where the Avatar power comes from! Yeah, they went there. O^O
Worst aspect: Almost all of the characters became incessantly annoying.
Favourite character: Bolin. The only one who stayed as his normal idiotic self.
|Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 3: Change
||Synopsis in one sentence: Korra finds herself in the throes of a world inhabited by troublesome spirits and as her popularity drops things only get harder when a new Air Nation appears and a group of dangerous criminals escape to try and kill her.
This season was such a big step up for the Legend of Korra that I'm super glad they got to make another season. The story was intense, new characters were compelling and introduced more fun into the Avatar family and the villains were awesome! The character development was also in tip top shape, with everyone from Korra to the bad guys being treated to great stories. I especially loved the evolution of Jinora, who really stood out this season as a representative of the Air Nation. I wish there had been a bigger focus on the central four friends (Korra, Bolin, Asami and Mako) because nothing really changed amongst them since last season. There were hints at Asami and Korra becoming closer, but that wasn't explored as much as I'd like it to be. The same goes for Mako's insecurities/stress. What really made this season so fantastic though, was the incredible fight scenes. I couldn't tear myself away from the screen and the introduction of new ways to bend only made fights that much more amazing! This was a great season that more than redeemed The Legend of Korra for the lackluster previous seasons. Here's hoping that the closing book is just as much fun!
Recommended for: Fans of previous seasons. If you were undecided on whether to return to the series or not, definitely give this book a chance before making your final decision.
Best aspect: The fight scenes, hands down.
Worst aspect: I wasn't a fan of Lin creating drama.
Favourite character: Tough choice. I think I'll go with Korra because a) she didn't have any lame romance drama and b) she was awesome in the last episode.
| Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Book 4: Balance
||Synopsis in one sentence: Korra's got some recovering to do as a new rebellion starts to rise to power.
Ugh, I can't believe I forgot to review the final Avatar book! So this book pretty much continues on the fantastic upslope of the Korra story, with the best villain so far, some AWESOME character development, and fair screentime for everyone. It pretty much hit every nail on the head and I don't have much to criticise. SPOILER WARNING: If there's one thing that I was sort of meh about, it was the Korrasami ship setting sail, and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person that had a problem with it. I just feel like they should've spent more time developing that relationship, because the random "officialisation" at the end of the show (although I wouldn't really call holding hands and then the creators confirming the love in interviews that brave) felt like the writers were just tryna get fandom points. Would it have been that hard to grow the relationship properly over the series instead of randomly chucking it in at the end? I like my end games to get proper treatment, please. SPOILERS OVER Final note: The fighting was amazing. I can't think of a show that does fight scenes as beautiful as Avatar does. Despite a rocky start, I'm really happy that the Legend of Korra ends with A+++ quality.
Recommended for: Fans of the Legend of Korra.
Best aspect: Fighting!
Worst aspect: I might've liked it if some of the new characters had given some of their screentime over to the main cast. I feel like some characters (Tenzin, Mako etc) got shafted, storywise.
Favourite character: Bolin. I liked seeing him branch out this season.
||Synopsis in one sentence: A group of criminals are somehow connected to each other, but they don't know it...
The first thing to note about this anime is that is does take a while to get into the story. At first it seems like a nonsensical entanglement of storylines, but hang in there and it gets epic! Great twists, lots of action and amazing characters, this anime was great! The slow start does drag it down a bit, but I would recommend this anime.
Recommended for: Action lovers, or those who like a bit of mystery...
Best aspect: Definitely the way that everything comes together in the end. The end theme does come in a close second, though!
Worst aspect: The slow start almost got me to abandon the series. Glad I hung in there, though!
Favourite character: Isaac and Miria! The comic relief of the anime, and so great I can't choose just one!
|Baka and Test
||Synopsis in one sentence: Follows the lowest ranking class of Fumizuki Academy as they try to defeat their superiors in order to gain better learning equipment.
It took me a while to figure out how to start this review because I couldn’t figure out what opening sentence could express how much I enjoyed Baka and Test. This show is just... funny. Really, there's not an episode that went by that didn't make me laugh out loud! But of course, comedy is just the icing on the already enticing cake that is Baka and Test. At Fumizuki Academy, students have an overall score from their various test results. These scores are translated to little avatar versions of the students; the higher the score, the stronger the avatar. Classes at the school are assigned classroom equipment according to their rank, but students can challenge classes higher than their own in order to gain better equipment. The students fight using their avatars and the winners trade for the better equipment. Obviously, that is an enticing reward for the students of Class F; their scores are so low they sit at cardboard boxes. Over the course of the first season, Class F launches two big campaigns against top class A, which is where Baka and Test becomes something much more than just a laugh. Because serious strategy is involved here, yano. F is led by strategic mastermind Yuuji, who continuously crafts amazing plans to boost his class to the top, despite their embarrassingly low scores. Each battle is incredibly exciting, and I became so engrossed in them I felt like I was watching a RL sporting event! Plus Class F is lucky enough to have their secret weapon Mizuki, a genius fit for Class A who's only in class F because she fainted during the placement test and wasn’t able to finish. Then there's the lead of the show Akihisa, who's, well, an idiot. A REAL idiot. Such an idiot that he's the lowest of rank in the entire school, so his avatar is the only one that can take corporeal form for the sole purpose of working for the teachers ( an ability Yuuji obviously uses to class F's advantage). Akihisa is such an idiot in fact, that the show is named for him (baka means idiot in Japanese for those who didn’t know)! And that brings me to the third thing I love about Baka and Test; the characters. The writers went to great lengths to create a loveable cast that brings the entire story together. Sure, each character could easily be placed into a certain anime character archetype at first glance, but it doesn’t take long to notice that Baka and Test's leads have a little something more. For example, Akihisa is easily the boring-rock-at-the-center-of-a-harem of the group, but he's no flustered shy guy. He's a flustered pervert. And two of the members of his harem are boys. And one of those boys has no interest in him romantically. It's complicated. Buxom beauty Mizuki is the other standard presence, because everyone is familiar with the kind hearted and humble goddess that any good harem needs. But Mizuki is no cookie cutter character for the main character (in this case, Akihisa) to fuss over! Mizuki's romantic advancements are often voided, especially when Akihisa is convinced she is in love with Yuuji. And although Mizuki can memorise an entire test in seconds, her cooking is so terrible it has the ability to kill people. Yeah. My point is, Baka and Test is a slightly simple concept, but it's full of lots of little details that pack it full of fun surprises! I am hard pressed to criticise it because I enjoyed it so much, so I highly recommend you give it a chance if you haven't already!
Recommended for: Comedy fans, or anyone who likes wacky characters and so-stupid-it's-funny scenarios.
Best aspect: Humour, duh.
Worst aspect: SPOILER: I wanted Class F to upgrade at least once!
Favourite character: It's gotta be Akihisa.
|Baka and Test Ni!
||Synopsis in one sentence: Classes are back in session!
I struggled with this season in the same way that I'm struggling with The World God Only Knows right now. I loved the first season so much because it took something we've all seen before (school romance) and turned it into something fresh! But now the second season has rolled around, all the originality has been lost. You know what I haven't seen a lot of? Idiot high school boys strategizing to battle other classes using avatars that gain power based on their test scores. You know what I've seen a million times? Two to three girls fawning over an idiot high school boy while simultaneously hating everything he does. And that's all the second season is. Even the battles are few in number and the ones that do happen are simple and possess none of the table turning that the first season battles did. So yeah, I'm disappointed in this season. More battles, less harem and I would've been a happy chappy!
Recommended for: Fans of the first season.
Best aspect: There were still some comedy highlights, thank goodness.
Worst aspect: The intelligent female cast being reduced to insipid bumbling fools.
Favourite character: Sakamoto. He was nice and consistent.
||Synopsis in one sentence: High schooler Koyomi helps a bunch of girls afflicted with strange supernatural oddities.
Bakemonogatari, the first installment in the Monogatari series, was a bit of a confusing ride for me. The first episodes are set up as a creepy supernatural story, spliced together between random cuts of text and pictures to create an artsy mystery. The lead character was a draw, as I found his realistic attitude quite refreshing in a show that was heavily harem focused. I like the interesting afflictions the girls were suffering from (the first character, Senjougahara is cursed to defy the laws of physics by weighing nothing), I liked the slightly estranged interactions between characters and I liked the jerky animation that popped in a way similar to superhero comics. But as the episodes moved forward, the focus switched to a slice of life. The supernatural elements were pushed to the side in favour of romance and daily chores. The rest of the series awkwardly jumped between the darker undertones of the mysteries and the sickening harem junk. And that's why I felt confused. I was enticed by the creepy aura of the first few episodes and when that was taken away, I felt cheated. But if one enters hoping for harem and comedy, then I think the blood splattering horror might be a bit off putting. After concluding the season, I'm just unsure of what the show was actually trying to do. Was it edgy or corny? Was it about harsh realities or pastel painted romance? I have no idea, and that is a bit of a problem for me.
Recommended for: Fans of mystery... with romance? There's a bit of gore, so it might be tough for the squeamish. The atmosphere is also very eerie, so maybe skip this if you don't like creepy. :P Finally, this show is currently not available dubbed.
Best aspect: The oddities were very interesting and original.
Worst aspect: The harem was so unnecessary.
Favourite character: Koyomi
Bakugan Battle Brawlers
|Synopsis in one sentence: Pokemon on a smaller scale.
This anime was quite interesting at first, mainly because I was intrigued by the battle mechanics of the brawls. After that though, I got a bit bored.
Recommended for: People who enjoy duelling animes or those aimed at a younger audience.
When I stopped: Episode 34.
Will I go back? Yes, but only to kill some time.
||Synopsis in one sentence: An ink artist moves into a country side home to grab some alone time and rediscover his artistic flair.
Pretty good anime, though the story is quite simple. The characters are great, as is their interaction with each other. I quite enjoyed how each of the villagers, in acting only as themselves, helped the main character, Handa, grow as both a person and an artist. A shining point of the show was the adorable Naru, whose energetic, brash personality worked wonders beside Handa's anxiety ridden persona. What set this show back at bit for me was the lack of complexity. The stories are pretty light hearted, and although that lends to an enjoyable story and sense of community, it prevents the series from really standing out.
Recommended for: Slice of life and comedy fans. As of writing, this show is not yet dubbed.
Best aspect: The humour was pretty good.
Worst aspect: Simple storylines.
Favourite character: Naru
||Synopsis in one sentence: Two duelling ninja clans are ordered to pit their best fighters against each other, in an effort to end their feud once and for all.
A really great action anime, infused with romance and lots of fantastic characters. This anime had a lot of interesting ninjas, each with an equally interesting power, as well as memorable characters, each with a backstory that made you feel sympathy for them. It was exciting from beginning to end, although the selling point of Basilisk was the forbidden love between the Kouga clan's Gennosuke and the Iga clan's Oboro. What can I say? I'm a sucker for romance. ;D
Recommended for: Action fans, Romeo and Juliet fans or anyone in the mood for some good old ninja battles.
Best aspect: The different specialties of each ninja. Things like controlling reptiles, or using your hair to fight were original ideas that you don't really see in animes much.
Worst aspect: I didn't really like the over complicated politics of the whole thing; it was a bit much for me.
Favourite character: Hmmm, tough to choose. I'd maybe go with Oboro, just because of the ending...
||Synopsis in one sentence: A legendary warrior remembers his past as a noble mercenary.
Hmm, this anime was a bit confusing at times, and sometimes things just happened but weren't really explained. However, the devastating end really made up a lot of the anime, and in the end I am glad I gave it a chance. Unfortunately, the anime didn't cover the full story of the manga (which is still on-going), so the overall tale was left a bit open ended.
Recommended for: Action/fantasy fans.
Best aspect: The way the end sort of explained the bits that had left me a bit confused at the beginning. It was a big 'OH!' moment. XP
Worst aspect: Lots of overdramatic scenes.
Favourite character: Judaeu, because of his end. :(
||Synopsis in one sentence: A continuation of the 90's anime, following Guts on his quest for revenge.
Ugh. That kind of summarises my feelings on this series. I really liked the original series, I really liked the recent film remakes, I was really excited to finally see what happens next in Gus' tale and then... this. It's basically 12 episodes of torture porn in some of the worst animation I have ever seen. A dull, frenetic story is one thing, but layer that on top of a total eyesore and you have a big nope from me.
Recommended for: Those familiar with either the original series or the film series. This picks up right up after the first arc, so it will be impossible to watch without that context. Oh, and trigger warnings abound.
Best aspect: The hope of the story's continuation.
Worst aspect: Animation. Coming in a close second is the fact that if a woman is introduced, she WILL end up naked and/or sexually assaulted within an episode or two.
Favourite character: Guts, because none of the new characters clicked for me.
|Black Blood Brothers
||Synopsis in one sentence: In a world where vampires exist freely, a legendary vampire warrior tries to escort his younger brother to the sacred safe zone, which he'll only be able to do if he fights off the threat of an old enemy.
Black Blood Brothers is a great blend of comedy and action, sealed with an interesting mythos. The world building was great, unfolding the complex hierarchies and rules over the course of the series so it's easy to keep up. The characters were interesting and driven by good motive and personality. There's an old mystery that is peeked into through the flashbacks, which adds more intrigue to the way some characters behave as well as raising questions about why certain plans are being put into motion. Unfortunately the series ended without a proper conclusion, so the series left me very unsatisfied.
Recommended for: Shonen/Vampire fans.
Best aspect: I liked the design of the vampire council.
Worst aspect: Everybody else's design. Why does the main guy dress like a bad cosplay wizard?
Favourite character: Kotaro
||Synopsis in one sentence: A young earl uses the talents of his strange butler to solve supernatural mysteries.
Awesome show made of awesomeness, that is how I would describe Black Butler. :D At first the show was a little slow, with a generic mystery set, solved, fight, and then all the characters talk about what they've learnt etc formula, but once the plot fully embraced its supernatural themes, it quickly became one of my favourite animes on my weekly rotation. The overall mystery became deeper and more complex and the character development was simply amazing! I think the first big episode arc was one that introduced a certain cross-dressing maniac that has a penchant for red. That mini arc really gave the idea that Black Butler was an anime with much darker undertones than originally thought. From there, things became more and more exciting, with crazy fights, conspiracies and lots of secret motives. Even when I thought I was starting to wrap my head around this show, it blew me away once again with the servant's origin episode. Again, I say it was awesome. The ending was bittersweet, as it was how things were meant to end, but still terribly sad nonetheless. I can't wait to get into the next season! Oh, and before I forget... *DING!*
Recommended for: Supernatural fans or anyone who likes their animes with a dark streak. Sometimes the stories do deal with very dark themes (murder, rape, murder, prostitution, murder... oh, and MURDER), so if you don't like that sort of stuff, stay away. It's not as bad as I might make be making it seem though...
Best aspect: The animation was very crisp and beautifully designed! I give major props to the person who was in charge of clothing design.
Worst aspect: The accents were TERRIBLE! They really got under my skin. >> Also, the whole Indian mini arc was a bit ridiculous. Just because you have an Indian character you make the whole story about curry? Really guys? REALLY?
Favourite character: Eeep, too hard! Um, um, um... *Explodes*
|Black Butler II
||Synopsis in one sentence: Ciel returns with his memories erased, and as he blindly continues on in his search for vengeance, a dangerous new frenemy appears.
Okay, I wanna start by saying that I started watching this with very low expectations as I had read a certain unfavourable review, so I had tried to prepare myself for disappointment. However, I think that might be the reason that I really enjoyed the second season of Black Butler. At first, I was a little confused at what was going on and I felt they rushed into the story a bit too fast. I didn't like the way Ciel had lost his memories since it felt like they just tried to wipe the slate clean so they could rake some more money in with a new season. A little more cohesion between the seasons would've been nice, yano? As the season went on, though, things got really intense, fast and I loved it! Once again I found myself screaming at the TV about all of the heart wrenching moments. I wanted to jump into the screen and slap some of the characters while screaming "WHY? OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING!!!" Claude was the main reason for the yelling, since he was just so... evil! I really liked Alois and he just toyed with him! Why? The ending was totally perfect and sad and intense and infuriating and... every other emotion that makes up an awesome anime ending. I'm super sad that Black Butler is coming to an end, but at least I now have 6 OVAs to get through!
Recommended for: Fans of the first season. Things also get A LOT darker this season, so if the first season was a bit much, then maybe you should steer clear.
Best aspect: The conclusion was great. Sad, but great. Annoying, but great. Maddening but... well, you get the point.
Worst aspect: There wasn't enough of the side characters. If they had shown a bit of the supporting cast a bit more and injected a tinsy bit more humour things might've been more relaxed and less overwhelming.
Favourite character: Hannah. Her story was so.... Ah, you've gotta see it!
|Black Butler III: Book of Circus
||Synopsis in one sentence: Ciel is tasked by the queen to investigate a circus and the mysterious disappearances of children that surround it.
I'm very excited to see this anime continued and this first instalment in the Black Butler III series sucked me right back into the world of Ciel and his one hell of a butler. The mystery for this season paved the way for a very intriguing cabal of new characters and the investigation of the children's disappearances was really enjoyable to watch. Unfortunately, this did not carry through the entire season, as the final few episodes and conclusion of the mystery felt very rushed. There was a lot of build-up surrounding the circus and then it felt like everyone went "eh, we're done with this" and everything was over in a matter of scenes. It was quite a disappointing conclusion, especially regarding all the time that was put into developing new characters that didn't really matter in the long haul. Still, I consider it a fine continuation of the Black Butler story and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Recommended for: Fans of the series.
Best aspect: That Phantomhive Manor battle was amazing.
Worst aspect: The ending was dissatisfying.
Favourite character: Joker
|Synopsis in one sentence: Follows the mysterious assassin Black Cat as he starts to question the cutthroat reputation he had earned for himself thanks to the introduction of other, less serious assassins.
The problem I had with this anime is that Black Cat was the least interesting character, but he's the one we're stuck with. If the show focused on comedy bait Sven I would've been much more interested; I liked his attitude, his story and the way he dealt with villains. Because Black Cat, who's just another moody killer type, was the focus, I couldn't get into the show. So on the back burner this show goes!
Recommended for: Action fans.
When I stopped: Episode 6.
Will I go back? Probably.
||Synopsis in one sentence: Run of the mill pencil pusher Rock finds himself caught up with a group of international thugs for hire.
Black Lagoon stands out from the crowd within its first few minutes. Immediately it sets itself up as the hip hop of the anime genre; chocful of sex, drugs and violence, as well as foul language by the bucket loads. Thrown into the middle of that is Rock, who's set up to serve as the viewer's guide through the gang run world of Black Lagoon. Unfortunately, a few episodes into the series the guidance of Rock is pretty much thrown into the wind, and what follows is a haphazard mashup led by a concept-means-more-than-story delusion. Sure, gun toting nuns are a great idea... but after they feature in half a dozen episodes, with no development outside of the fact that they swear a lot, things get dull. The rest of the interest piques in the show pretty much run the same way: a great intro, followed by a bunch of novelty cameos until they get boring. It doesn't help that any great villain that is introduced is killed off pretty quickly. The other problem is that there's virtually no development of any sort between episode 1 and episode 26. We don't know anything new about the group at the show's center, nor have their personalities developed in any way. There's no resolution to the never ending conflicts of the show, and nobody gets better at any of the skills they were developing in the early episodes. Black Lagoon is basically an anime that goes nowhere, which I suppose can be a good thing if you like violence. Although the brash tone of Black Lagoon can seem inciting, make sure you lower your expectations before you give it a go.
Recommended for: Action fans. This anime comes with a pretty heavy M (or even R) rating, as it features a lot of cussing, violence, sexual themes, alcohol and pretty much all the taboo topics you can think of.
Best aspect: Some of the minor characters were really interesting.
Worst aspect: Two seasons and an OVA and still there's no back info on any members of the Lagoon Company?
Favourite character: Roberta before the OVA.
|Black Rock Shooter
||Synopsis in one sentence: An intense battle rages in an unknown location, while in another world, Mato Kuroi becomes a Junior High student and makes a new friend.
After watching the original OVA that launched this series I had certain expectations for this series. Would it retain the beauty of the OVA? Would it expand on the story? How much would the characters differ from the original? All my worries were for nought, since Black Rock Shooter was totally awesome from start to finish! The fight scenes were just... gah. That is all I can say to explain their epicness. The characters were both wonderful and terrible (as in their personality, not the design or writing) and made the story much more intriguing. Speaking of story, Black Rock Shooter was nail-biting from start to finish. I can always tell I like a series if it makes me yell a lot and I spent A LOT of time barking at my TV screen. XD The end plot twist totally came out of nowhere and I loved the way it stayed true to the original plot, yet it developed everything further and turned the series up by 10 points. Overall, Black Rock Shooter was totally amazing and I really reeaally recommend it, even more so since it's only 8 episodes long!!
Recommended for: Fans of the OVA for sure. You'll also like it if you like fantasy/action types and the thought provoking plots. Finally, it really reminds me of Puella MMM, so if you like that show, you'll like this one as well.
Best aspect: Just like Puella MMM, I adored the visuals. The alternate reality action scenes were breath taking.
Worst aspect: Some of the characters got on my nerves. And by some, I mean the blondie and glasses chick (Why can't I remember names??? ^O^). Blondie was rude/crazy and Glasses was so overdramatic. I know it was because of their burdens, or whatever, but it still annoyed me.
Favourite character: Yuu. The, um, human girl. Argh, I'm trying to avoid spoilers!
|Bleach: The Substitute Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: A teenager who can see ghosts, Ichigo Kurasaki, becomes a Soul Reaper after being appointed by another Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki.
A really great anime that captured my attention immediately. A bit of mystery, added with a bit of monsters and stirred together with lots of fighting! The introduction of the other Soul Society members was a nice twist in the story, although the end sort of left me feeling a bit unfulfilled. Basically, this arc serves as a little introduction to the rest of the epic Bleach arcs.
Recommended for: I think this anime can appeal to a lot of people, actually. Maybe just give it a try and decide whether it's good by yourself.
Best aspect: Learning about the way the Soul Reaper world works. Pretty interesting stuff. :)
Worst aspect: Hard to think of any. I suppose in some parts the story can get a little slow...
Favourite character: Chad. He's so kick ass.
|Bleach: The Entry Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: Ichigo travels into the Soul Society with his friends, to try and retrieve Rukia.
This arc really catapulted Bleach into the 'Super Awesome' zone. Meeting all the squads was amazing, and learning all their individual abilities was really interesting. The fights were bigger, the characters louder and this arc was so much more epic!
Recommended for: Anyone who watched the first arc. I think it might be a bit tough to jump into this arc without having seen its predecessor, though.
Best aspect: So many new characters = so many more reasons to like this series
Worst aspect: Fillers. I think they were alright, but it was annoying to have to wait for the action till the next episode.
Favourite character: Renji. His backstory... so sad!
|Bleach: The Rescue Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: The battle continues! Ichigo and co. battle their way through the Soul Society, continuing to try to rescue Rukia.
More fighting!!! The epicness of the Soul Society continues, bringing more characters, new character development and lots more speeches about feelings and stuff. Ichigo's rise to power was super cool and I especially enjoyed learning more about the Soul Society's ranks etc. Another great arc!
Recommended for: Anyone who enjoyed the last arc!
Best aspect: Big twist ending. 'Nuff said.
Worst aspect: A lot of time spent on characters reflecting on things... not a fan.
Favourite character: Aaah, so hard to choose!! Maybe Yoruichi, cause who knew cats were so good at fighting?
|Bleach: The Bount Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: A new threat emerges to take on the Soul Reapers that we all know and love.
Hmmm, an alright arc. The new threat is pretty interesting and their individual powers are exciting to discover. The return of some of the awesome Soul Reapers is a great way to keep them in the series. I'm really glad they are keeping Ganju, cause I think he is really awesome and such an underrated character! However, introducing him (along with Hanataro) was pretty pointless apart from a few comedy scenes. I think this arc starts off with a bang but then loses it a bit as it focuses too much on fighting and not on story. There's so much going on it's pretty easy to get confused. >> Oh, and although I really like Noba, Kurodo and Lirin are ridiculously annoying. Also, why don't the mod souls change into their gigai's more often? It seems that it would much more convenient if they were able to fight instead of just riding on someone's shoulder...
Recommended for: Bleach lovers. If you're just wanting a taste of the series, don't start here, or you will probably be disappointed.
Best aspect: The first few fights were pretty intense. Like the who's stealing our friends part, or the big water fight in the hospital.
Worst aspect: Eh, it doesn't live up to the standards of the first couple arcs.
Favourite character: Noba. A smaller, more compact Chad? Yes please!
|Bleach: Bount Assualt on Soul Society Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: Now that the Bounts have been let loose on the Soul Society, they are ready to start wreaking havoc.
Okay, now this arc has lost me. Every time I thought the story was gonna pick up it dropped the ball again! The first problem was the mod souls. I'm sorry, but if you're gonna bring them to the Soul Society why the hell wouldn't you take them out of the dolls? Plus Lirin turned from a smart alec tough girl to a whiny loser? WTH? And finally, why no Kon love?? He's the original mod, yano!!! My next problem came with the fighting strategy? Everytime a captain went up against a Bount they beat them in a matter of minutes. So why didn't they just dispatch all the captains straight off the bat and stop all the casualties? The next annoying part came with the predictability. For a while I thought that Uryu would step up and be the hero of this arc... but then of course Ichigo has to turn up... and stop the bad guy... again. And once again all the side characters get shoved to the side, not to be seen again until the ending (Why did they even bother bringing Chad and Orihime if they weren't gonna use them?). *Sigh* Someone needs to shake it up eventually! My last problem came with the ending. I sat through this arc quietly, expecting that all the lacklustre story would be redeemed in the final battle. But what happens? A big flash and then apparently it's all over? Whaaaa? That's it?? So so disappointing. The next arc better restore my confidence in one of my fav animes!!!
Recommended for: If you wanna finish the Bount arc.
Best aspect: Yay for Soul Reaper awesomeness!
Worst aspect: I mentioned most of my issues in the overall review, so I'm gonna touch on another one here. Rukia sucks. What happened to the bad ass fighter who never gave up? Now she just mopes around waiting for someone to save her before passing out. >_<
Favourite character: The Kenny/Yachiru combo team. Gotta love 'em. XP
|Bleach: The Arrancar Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: Aizen makes his first move against the Soul Society, promoting lots of training and fillers.
First I wanna say that this arc was awesome purely because I got to see all the Soul Reapers go back to their original personas. None of that cry baby Rukia junk, no overpowered, invincible Ichigo, just normal Soul Reapers in the world of the living, reaping souls. It was totally refreshing to be reminded of what Bleach was originally about, yano? Even better was the way that the characters were sort of brought to the same playing ground, instead of having different levels of power (aka Ichigo does all the cool fights and the rest do nothing). They FINALLY gave some attention to Chad, and they better keep it up because I am still hanging out for a super awesome Chad boss fight! Make it happen! Sadly, what this arc did not accomplish was any big plot development. Yeah, they reintroduced the evil Reapers, and added in the other good Arrancars (or at least I think they're good), but I felt like they could've added that in a more full arc, instead of dedicating an entire storyline to it. It made the whole thing feel like it's just going on forever. And now... now... there's a whole lot of lame filler stories to get through. *FR starts to snore*
Recommended for: Bleach fans.
Best aspect: The side characters actually doing stuff. Apart from Uryu... where did he go in this arc? O_O
Worst aspect: So much pointless recaps and filler speeches.
Favourite character: Baldie had some pretty wicked moments.
| Bleach: The Hueco Mundo Sneak Entry Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: Operation Rescue Orihime is in full effect! Go go go!!!
Yano, after all those annoying Ichigo focused episodes, it's nice to see Bleach get back to its roots. Even better was having the supporting characters back in the spotlight! Yay for Chad! Yay for Uryuu! Yay for Renji! Yay for everybody! There was heaps of supernatural folk lore added in this arc, especially in regards to the Arrancars. What was super cool was the special "lessons" at the end of the episodes that made things a bit easier to understand. Plus they were super entertaining. The Arrancars were a pretty interesting bunch. Gin in particular was a bit confusing, cause I completely hated him the last time I saw him, but since he reappeared on the scene he's been really... funny. I want to hate him but I'm struggling! Don't mess with my head, Bleach! Finally, the addition of Nel and her "family" is just amazing. She's so adorable! And her brothers are such idiots! And they have the power of Arrancars, but they're good! How cool is that? In summary, this arc reminded me of why I love Bleach. Comedy, fighting, equal screen time for everyone: 'bout time things started getting good again!
Recommended for: Bleach fans. If you've been doubting Bleach after the last couple arcs, give this one a go at least.
Best aspect: Nel. Adorable and hilarious, every moment she was on screen I was happy.
Worst aspect: This arc starts out with a whole bunch of LAME fillers. Like, even worse than normal fillers. Entire episodes about making cakes, or playing soccer. Yeah.
Favourite character: See Best Aspect.
|Bleach: The Arrancar 2: The Fierce Fight Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: Fight, fight, fight!
I find it really weird that this is a separate season, because it continues straight on from the last arc, with pretty much no difference in story. It’s pretty basic stuff really; the group continues on and meet bad guys and fight them, with lots of dialogue and dramatic crying and flashbacks to things that happened only moments ago. It’s far from a bad arc, it’s just I don’t know what to say that I didn’t say in the last arc review. Sadly this arc goes back to the old "Ichigo is the best at everything" story, which is getting really old. Please switch things up soon, Bleach!
Recommended for: Bleach fans.
Best aspect: The fighting was pretty intense.
Worst aspect: There wasn’t much story development, just fighting.
Favourite character: I adore Nell, I really do. She’s so ridiculously adorable!!!
|Bleach: New Captain Shusuke Amagai Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: A new captain is stepping in to take over Squad 3, while Ichigo meets a bratty girl with a secret...
The Bount Arc was the first anime only arc written for Bleach and this arc is the second. Now, the Bount arc wasn't as good as previous arcs, but I don't think it deserves all the flack it receives. This arc, however, was crap. Crappity crap crap. The first strike came with its timing: the Captain Shusuke arc is placed smack bam in the middle of the Arrancar fight. So we finally get to see them reach Orihime and then you change to something completely different? In what world is that a good idea? The next strike came with the name: New Captain Shusuke Amagai Arc. Not only is it hard to say, but it sounds stupid. Then came the reality shifting: Orihime is fine, everyone's attending school and the other soul reapers that have just moved to the human world are nowhere to be seen. So, not only is this arc interrupting a pretty epic arc, but it's also non-canon? So there's absolutely no point in watching it? What. The. Fudge. On top of that came the completely stupid ending. I got used to the idea of Shusuke hanging around and was wondering how he was gonna be incorporated when the real story came back, but then they just give him a really lame, common and unexciting backstory and motive and get rid of him like that? SPOILER ALERT Why on earth do the Soul Reapers let him kill himself? Since when have they thought that was fine? SPOILER OVER Then there's all that crap where Ichigo was a fugitive. How stupid does everyone have to be to think Ichigo is evil? There's just so much wrong with this arc and I'm annoyed that someone thought they should add it to the anime. I was just remembering why I liked Bleach so much and this arc has completely made me question whether Bleach is even worth my time. You're skating on thin ice!!!
Recommended for: Big fans of Bleach. Here's my tip for the day: Unless you're an anime fanatic and want to see every little piece of a series, you can skip this arc altogether and it won't change a thing. Go on, do it! You know you want to...
Best aspect: God, this is making me think. Oh, the few seconds of happy Orihime at the beginning were good! It's been a while since I've seen her back to her old self.
Worst aspect: Why? Just WHY?
Favourite character: I liked the big bodyguard until he opened his mouth. And I liked Shusuke until he got his crappy ending. So I supposed I'll vote for the other bodyguard guy. Or maybe the Prince.
|Bleach: The Arrancar 3: Arrancar vs Shinigami Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: Return to the fight and things finally get back to being not crap.
WOW. I can't even explain how amazing this arc was. Everything I could've ever hoped for happened. There was gut wrenching back story, guest appearances from favourite characters and heaps of Nell screen time! Ever since the Arrancar mega-fight started there's been a certain arrancar that I've wanted to square off against Mayuri and then voila! It happened! And it was AWESOME. There was just so much going on and none of it was disappointing in the least. The only downside is that the whole point of Orihime being there has been forgotten. When are they gonna reveal why she's needed??? Anyway, the strongest point of this arc is that it puts the Captain Whatever arc to shame. Please, I beg you Bleach, just stick to the manga story line. PLEASE!!!!
Recommended for: Bleach fans.
Best aspect: BACKSTORY!!!!
Worst aspect: The random two filler episodes that appeared in the middle of a fight. To make it even worse, the filler was related to the last lame arc. >_>
Favourite character: I'm not sure I'll ever find a Bleach character I heart as much as Nell. ^_^
|Bleach: The Past Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: Flashbacks reveal the origins of the Arrancars, the Visors and even Mr. Urahara and his shop.
BLEW. MY. MIND. I would never have guessed that the history of the Bleach characters was this complicated. Although it was only a few episodes long, this arc just completely redefined the series. At first, I was kind of disappointed because it started off the same way as the Captain Amagai arc did, by interrupting a tense Arrancar battle. The big plan was revealed, everyone was on board for the butt kicking party... and then we're randomly taken back through time and I don't get to find out what happens. However, where things were different from the Amagai arc is that the story was totally worth interrupting for. Secrets I had never even suspected were revealed, rivalries were established that are going to make the next arc ridiculously more epic and friendships were made that completely change my view of A LOT of characters. I just can't rave about this arc enough!
Recommended for: Bleach fans.
Best aspect: A whole arc dedicated to backstory!!! It's like all my anime dreams came true!
Worst aspect: Uhh.... I don't know if I can come up with one. How about Aizen? I hate that guy.
Favourite character: Urahara!
|Bleach: Arrancar 4: Battle in Karakura Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: It's finally time for a Soul Reaper V Arrancar showdown!
Could it be? Is Bleach finally going to get to the crazy fights that we've been waiting for? Well, sort of… Things get straight to the point as the intense showdown revs up… and things get awesome, fast. Everybody chips in, from Lieutenant to Head Captain. More Arrancars are introduced, each one with a stronger personality and cooler ability than the last. As with any Bleach battle, there's enough banter to fill a dump truck and then some… almost to the point where it gets annoying. Things are getting pretty serious here; does anyone really think they have time to sit around and match wits? No, I didn't think so. Stop talking, and start throwing punches. >_> The great thing about all the action is that this is probably the first time we've got to see how the Soul Society Squads work together. It's great to learn how Captains organise their members, or who's able to prove their worth to their superiors. The interactions are great, with a particular character relationship strength lying in the interactions between Suì-Fēng and her lieutenant, Ōmaeda. The characters outside of the titular battle aren't forgotten, as those still travelling through Heuco Mundo get some screen time as well. Although their story doesn't move as quickly as I'd like, I love that those characters aren't forgotten, more so because I'm familiar with Bleach's habit of losing track of its full cast. Of course, there can't be all positives, as the arc ends in another one of those random interludes to some past time (aka a filler arc). I'm hoping that this more-than-unwelcome interruption will build up to some great backstory a la the Past Arc, but I suppose I'll just have to wait and see… *Sigh* What does this show have against linear timelines?
Recommended for: Anyone that has followed Bleach this far.
Best aspect: Explosions overload!!!!
Worst aspect: I feel like each episode is 50% new material, 50% repeated scenes. Do the producers of Bleach think all their viewers have short term memory loss or something?
Favourite character: Head Captain Yamamoto! It's about time he shows why he's head honcho.
|Bleach: Zanpakuto: The Alternate Tale Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: Thanks to a mysterious invader all the Zanpakuto in the Seireitei suddenly gain human form and begin attacking their masters.
While I watched this new filler arc I came to a realisation. I don't care about anything that happens fillers. Why? Because I realised that when anything interesting happens, none of it matters. So a Soul Reaper gains an amazing new power? It doesn't matter because none of this is canon so when it gets back to the main storyline that power will not exist. Oh no, a Soul Reaper is about to die? No they're not because none of these fights are real. See what I mean? Why would I care about some make believe story some writer decided to have animated? I don't care, that's the point. And knowing none of the fillers matter sucks when it comes to a filler arc like this that is actually well thought out. It's pretty interesting to see the Zanpakuto come to life, and the mystery side of things is pretty intriguing. For once I was interested in seeing how everything would turn out, which isn't something I could say for the last couple filler arcs. But of course the good could never last as the conclusion was rushed and anti-climactic. And then came the fillers. That's right folks, Bleach has taken things to the next level; fillers within fillers. Closing the arc are several painstakingly boring episodes about the the Zanpakuto's feelings or some crap. So this arc is definitely one of the stronger ones, but, like I said, does that matter in the slightest? The last 10 or so episodes are just as week as any other filler arc, so I suppose this whole story is middle of the road. If the real story doesn't move along soon, I think I could end up walking away from Bleach altogether.
Recommended for: Intense Bleach fans. Or Bleach fans who love the Zanpakuto. Or Bleach fanfic writers looking for more pairings to use. If you're over the Bleach fillers and just want to get back to the Arrancars, skip straight to episode 266.
Best aspect: Zanpakuto character designs.
Worst aspect: The fillers within fillers. Know when to end a story, people.
Favourite character: Senbonzakura.
|Bleach: Arrancar 5: Fall of the Arrancar Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: It's the battle everyone has been waiting for as the Arrancars begin to beat the crap out of everyone.
WOW. This arc was just... amazeballs. Finally all the stupid filler crap gets pushed to the back and I once again get to see why I liked Bleach so much in the first place. This arc is basically all my favourite things; awesome battles, cameos from awesome new allies and backstory zooming all over the place. After a couple hundred episodes this conclusion is really satisfactory, although it does come with a bittersweet twist. My only complaint would be that the ending left a lot of unanswered questions about what happened to the survivors of the battle. The show switches instantly to fillers, with no real explanation of what the fallout of the destruction was, other than everything is apparently fine and everyone is back to normal now. That sort of dulled some of the great moments of the arc because one character would appear and do something great then disappear for the rest of the episodes. Other than that, everything was awesome!!! Not a single moment was without excitement and, to top it all off, even the fillers at the end of the season were fun! Applause all around!
Recommended for: Bleach fans.
Best aspect: The battles were soooooo exhilarating!
Worst aspect: Side characters disappeared at random intervals without explanation.
Favourite character: Oh man, I don't think I can choose. How about all of the Soul Reapers and the Visored?
|Bleach: Squad 13 Incursion Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: A guy with green hair is making copies of everyone.
<Insert speech about how fillers suck, as stated in pretty much every Bleach filler arc I've done> The Captain Amagai arc was the worst in terms of story, but I think this arc is my least favourite. Why? Because of it's position in the series. Following after the amazingly amazing conclusion of the Arrancar arc, and just before the final season ever, we have this. This ball of stupid, achingly dull, crud. To get an idea of how dull this is, I'll tell you this: Kon is promoted as the hero. Have you ever watched Bleach and said to yourself "Wow, I wish Kon got to fight!"? No? That's because no one has! So why he's pushed to the forefront in this arc is beyond me. >:( And the main villain looks like a weird pope who dipped his head in a swamp. It's bad. Really bad. But mostly it makes me angry because this arc detracts from the greatness of the season before it. Imagine (as it is in the manga) Ichigo defeated the arrancars, but only in the knowledge that he had lost his powers in the name of victory. So bittersweet... Well, thanks to this arc, we instead get Ichigo losing his powers in one heart wrenching scene... only to come back just in time to battles some guy with a doll fetish. I refuse this arc. You hear that arc? You have been officially refused!
Recommended for: Intense Bleach fans. If you want to skip it, go to episode 343. What am I saying "if"? Skip it. That's not a suggestion, it's an order.
Best aspect: God, I sat and thought about this for two full minutes and I got nothing.
Worst aspect: I sat and thought about this for three full minutes and couldn't decide which piece of crap I hated the most.
Favourite character: Everybody was boring in this arc.
|Bleach: Lost Agent Arc
||Synopsis in one sentence: Just as Ichigo is getting used to life without his abilities, he is approached by a mysterious group that offers to get his powers back.
And so we come to the end. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this arc. On one hand, we get to end with the ass kicking Ichigo we all know and love. There's hope at the end of this arc, in the knowledge that the world of Soul Reapers is still flourishing. On the other hand, we're not given much to do with that hope. We don't have a clear idea of what Ichigo's life will be, nor what any of the support cast are up to. I also found it a little odd that for a final season, most of the fan favourites were missing. Even those that were around for most of the episodes (such as Orihime and Chad) got to do very little. It was a good arc, but an odd place for the show to end. I think a conclusion was much better suited at the end of the Arrancar Arc. If the show had ended there, we would have had the impression that Ichigo's life would return to normal, which would have left far less loose threads than the Lost Agent arc.
Recommended for: Bleach fans.
Best aspect: The new characters were pretty cool.
Worst aspect: Lack of Soul Reapers.
Favourite character: Ichigo was the only one that got to shine.
||Synopsis in one sentence: A girl named Saya discovers that she is the only one who can rid the world of vampiric monsters called chiropterans.
Blood+ is split into 4 seasons, but because I'm feeling super lazy at the moment, I'm going to condense them into one for this single review. An anime series based around the same world of Blood: The Last Vampire, Blood+ introduces a new Saya fighting against new demons. The difference between this series and the film that inspired it (apart from the story changes) is that in Blood+ the action plays second fiddle to the character relationships. Saya struggles as she is thrown into the world of a killer and told to abandon the human family she was raised with. As if that isn't complicated enough, we also get to know the family she left behind, which results in some really heart wrenching exchanges. The action was brilliantly paced, with lots of character development for easy padding. I was waiting for things to get predictable and fall into a trope spiral, but that never happened! It just got more and more thrilling! The villains were also brilliantly crafted and were easy to both love and hate. Each season raised the stakes and the writers weren't afraid to get brutal with their cast. This was a great show with some of my favourite character arcs in any anime. An exhilarating watch through and through.
Recommended for: Horror, supernatural and action fans. I know this show heavily implies it's got a lot to do with vampires, but I feel like the monsters in Blood+ are very loosely based on those famous creatures and the "vampire theme" is not the main focus of this show. If you're watching for vamps, you might be disappointed. There's also a lot of violence and some sexual themes.
Best aspect: That the Saya/Kai relationship didn't get incredibly predictable.
Worst aspect: The "Saya trying to resist her nature" thing got a bit repetitive.
Favourite character: Kai
||Synopsis in one sentence: There's a new Saya and this one is super bubbly and lives in an ancient shrine.
This is probably my least favourite of the Saya incarnations because it's the most unimaginative. Saya's got the personality of any naïve magical girl, her friends all revolve around her, the bad guys are oh so obvious... it's pretty boring. The conclusion came out of nowhere and left me a little confused. It was as if the writers had to come up with a conclusion in one day, so they threw together whatever they could. On the positive, this show's imagining of the vampires (called Furukimono in this series) were the best so far! Each monster had a unique design, which meant each fight presented new challenges and, therefore, each was full of suspense. Oh, and the gore was pretty awesome as well. If Blood-C's creature design and Blood+'s story were merged into one show, I think there'd be very little to improve upon.
Recommended for: Fans of the Blood series. This series has a very different direction to the past versions of Saya, so don't go in expecting more +. This is also a more "average" genre, so if you wanted to get into Blood but were turned off by it's slightly unique tone, you might enjoy Blood-C.
Best aspect: The creature design.
Worst aspect: I was so disappointed in how lame Saya was.
Favourite character: Itsuki.
|Blood Blockade Battlefront
||Synopsis in one sentence: After a catastrophic event, a hole between dimensions is born and the human and demon worlds have to learn to live side by side.
I think the problem I had with this series was length. It just was not given enough time to blossom. Or maybe it was given enough time, and it just did not utilise it well. Whatever the case, I was underwhelmed by Blood Blockade Battlefront. We see the plot through the view of young Leonardo Watch, a boy who has gained the ability to see demons, but at the cost of his sister's life. He's funny, smart, and his motivation to find his sister, who sacrificed herself to save him, is a compelling one. He's then swept up by a secret organisation, which is filled with endearing, powerful, and curious characters that aim to monitor dangerous supernatural activity. Things only get more interesting when Leonard meets a sickly girl called White, and, later, her strange brother Black. In the first few episodes, the story slowly unfolds, revealing both characters and the world they live in, which was great. But halfway through, the show does what I notice a lot of new shows are doing: it diverts into pointless filler comedy episodes. Why are so many shows doing this? Why drop the story that pulls the audience in halfway through? Why can't you have comedy and plot running alongside each other? It's infuriating! Of course, that leaves the latter half of the show to do another common pitfall: cram the conclusion of the main plot into a few episodes in a way that is neither interesting not satisfying. As you might tell, I was disappointed in another strong premise falling by the wayside. The ending was meh, not much of a climax, in my opinion, because the villain build-up was too sudden. There were some stand out episodes, though, and the characters were very strong, and I don't think any of them were underutilised, so that's good. I would be interested in another season of this show, but only if they upped the ante and kept the story going full steam ahead.
Recommended for: Supernatural fans. This show gave me a Tokyo Ghoul/Blue Exorcist feel, so I'd recommend it to any who enjoyed those shows.
Best aspect: There were some really interesting ideas with the demons. I especially enjoyed the episode with a demon who can alter memory. I won't give the story away, but I thought that episode was the perfect kind of bittersweet.
Worst aspect: The bad guys were the least interesting part of the show.
Favourite character: Leonardo. It was nice to have a main character who isn't a ball of angst.
|Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-Chan
||Synopsis in one sentence: Student Sakura is stalked by an angel named Dokuro who makes his life a living hell.
Alright, this anime is something else. If you look at pictures of it, it looks all cutesy and like a mini harem. BUT DON'T BE FOOLED!!! There are more sexual innuendos and disgustingly gory scenes than you could shake a stick at. At least there is if you're the type of person who goes around shaking sticks at things. O-o Anyway, the gore in Dokuro Chan makes me queasy. Even just thinking about it now makes me gag. It's got blood, guts and the whole enchilada. On the other side of things, there are so many awkward "mature" themes, if you know what I mean. *Waggles eyebrows* It's made even more awkward cause the girls look like they're ten yrs old. The story itself was pretty much inexistent, 'cause the focus was on the gags and the gags only. The characters are just terrible. There is nothing likeable about anyone, at all. Especially Dokuro. At the end there's a big "you're my best friend, I need you" thing which makes no sense at all. Dokuro is selfish, rude, whiny and kills Sakura on a regular basis; Why on earth would he want Dokuro to stick around? She had no good qualities at all. What does save this series is that it's only 6 episodes long, so what's the harm in taking a little break from longer animes for some ridiculously ludicrous Bludgeoning Angel?
Recommended for: If you like black comedy, this is definitely right up your alley. It's gotta little harem vibe as well, so if you're bored of the typical harem genre, maybe take a look at this.
Best aspect: I loved Dokuro's little song when she wanted to bring Sakura back to life. Pipiru piru piru pipiru pi!
Worst aspect: Dokuro is probably one of the worst characters in an anime I've ever seen.
Favourite character: I liked that punky looking guy, Yeah, I dunno his name, but he was really weird and funny.
|Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-Chan 2
||Synopsis in one sentence: Dokuro is still hanging around, doing pretty much nothing at all.
Okay, I understood why they wanted to make another season of this. The first season has the makings of an anime version of a cult classic, what with its love it or hate it vibe. What I don't understand though, is why they decided to make this 'season' 2 episodes long. Yeah, 2 episodes. What is the point in that? It's like an OVA, but made longer and then abandoned halfway through. There is absolutely no story at all and I have no idea what was the point of anything that happened in this season. Plus the "mature" *Waggles eyebrows again* themes are so ridiculous now that they're actually pretty disturbing. Pretty inappropriate, actually. On a similar note, all the angels are under 12 years old, right? Okay, then why are all their chests so big??? Especially Dokuro's sister! She's only 9 yrs old and you're supposed to be perving at her? Ew. The whole story is about preventing Sakura from becoming a lolicon perve, but unfortunately, I think it might be too late for the creator of this series. :(
Recommended for: Fans of the first series, or those with dirty minds.
Best aspect: Ummm.... Ah..... I got this, hang on....
Worst aspect: It's a completely pointless watch
Favourite character: I don't even know...
||Synopsis in one sentence: Rin Okumura discovers that he and his twin brother are actually the spawn of satan, so he enrolls in a special school to train to become an exorcist who can get rid of Satan once and for all.
At first it might seem like a typical supernatural action series, but in its one season Blue Exorcist wraps itself in so many layers of emotion and plot twists that by the end of the series its at a whole new level. It's an amazing balance of comedy, really dark ideas and all the typical angst that comes with any show where the core cast are a bunch of teenagers. If I have one complaint it is that the side characters could've been developed a bit more, but they do all get a back story episode and some maturing, so it's not something I'm too cut up about. Blue Exorcist is a great show and one that I would recommend to anyone who hasn't seen it.
Recommended for: Fans of the I-just-found-out-I-have-superpowers anime and those that like paranormal high schools.
Best aspect: That the main character wasn't front and center all the time, and often shared the spotlight with his friends.
Worst aspect: The side cast had back story introduced, but it wasn't explored much.
Favourite character: Yukio.
||Synopsis in one sentence: A group of middle schoolers are tricked into piloting a robot that fights other robots that are trying to destroy earth.
Oof, what a devastating show. It starts off with an already intense concept and then every episode just ups the emotional drama from there. Each episode focuses on a different member of the group, which means that the show does a great job of juggling such a large cast and getting you invested in each one. I did think it was a shame that they didn't save a more interesting/likable child for the finale, which made it a little less impactive than it should have been. In fact, the whole finale was a bit hit and miss for me, as it was kind of abrupt and left me with a lot of questions. If you're looking for a traditionally happy ending, Bokurano is not giving you one. All in all, this show had me constantly on the edge of my seat. It's very riveting but terribly grim, which can make the overall story seem a little dissatisfying—it's not unusual to want a little bit of hope, is it?
Recommended for: Fans of dark mysteries. This is also a bit of a subversion of the gundam genre, so watch if you're looking for a twist on the robots v robots tale. There is also violence and sexual abuse, so be prepared for some rough concepts.
Best aspect: Seeing all the different stories of the children.
Worst aspect: No answers for some of the questions. It's even more disappointing, because I don't think the show even needed to bring up said questions; there was a real problem with dead end subplots.
Favourite character: Daiichi
||Synopsis in one sentence: 5 years after a mysterious light appeared in the sky, some people are starting to gain strange and sometimes dangerous powers.
This is a very eerie anime, where the story flips through different points in time and follows a collection of both related and unrelated characters. The stories can be a bit hard to follow and the lack of character differentiation made it hard for me to figure our who was who, but the stories were quite interesting. It's sort of like a Twilight Zone type of thing, but all the stories are kind of depressing. The conclusions were a bit hit and miss, with some really grabbing my attention (the police conversation and the murdering brother) while others I didn't really care for. The first half of the show focuses on a single story, with the next episode focusing on a different story that fills in some of the gaps from the previous episodes, which I enjoyed, because I love overlapping plots like that. The second half of the show shifted into a singular plot, which is when I started to lose interest because I found the storytelling muddled and the leads dull. The conclusion to the series wasn't that satisfying, but Boogiepop Phantom did have its moments, so it wasn't a total drag.
Recommended for: Thriller and mystery fans. Like I said, this series also has a bit of a Twilight Zone feeling to it, so check it out if you like those kinds of stories. This series is also full of mature themes, so watch at your own risk.
Best aspect: When twists went right.
Worst aspect: I was very disappointed in the story of the butterfly girl, because I was interested in her the most.
Favourite character: I didn't really have one, since the characters shuffled around a lot.
||Synopsis in one sentence: Video game addict Ryota finds himself stranded on an island in the real life version of the bomb heavy game he spends all his time playing.
With only 12 episodes to play with, Btooom! wastes no time in setting the scene. The start is explosive and fast paced, and within just a few episodes we've been introduced to multiple characters, heard about their horrid backstories and seen them struggle to fight for their lives. Btooom! is an action series as heavily laced with strategy as it is mystery, that follows the survival of Ryota as he makes allies (and enemies) and eventually falls for the buxom Himiko. Does that sound like Sword Art Online to you? Well, it's not hard to make comparisons. But if SAO was just not gruesome enough for you, then have no fear, Btooom! is here! This short series is gritty, gritty, gritty. You name a taboo topic, Btooom! features it somewhere. This is a no holds barred video game, where the romance plays out right alongside the acidic gases and man eating lizards. All in all, Btooom! is a thrilling adventure, packed with people equally as awful as they are wonderful. If you like your stories hard to swallow, then this just might be the story for you.
Recommended for: Action and video game fans. This will also be enjoyable for those who like strategic anime. Like I mentioned earlier, this anime is very brutal, so steer clear if you don't like blood, torture (mental and physical) or sexual abuse.
Best aspect: The backstories were great. Well, not great, because most of them were horrible, but interesting. Yeah, the backstories were interesting.
Worst aspect: The unresolved end! Also, the size of Himiko's chest. That girl's back pain would be too overwhelming to allow her to run through those forests so aptly.
Favourite character: I'm not sure. The ones I did like I liked because they were so horrible I couldn't wait for them to die. :P
||Synopsis in one sentence: After killing a god, Kusanagi Godou earns himself the title of a Campione, as well as all the trouble that comes with that new moniker.
Campione is a fun action anime, with some pretty intense battles. I wasn't that into the characters because they were a little cliché to me... plus the girls that I did like never reached their full potential because everything they did had to relate to Kusanagi in some way. I was totally hooked by the first couple episodes, but over time the harem started to sneak in and by the end I felt that the show was just a format for fan service. On the plus side, I have to commend the creators for at least attempting to give a rational explanation for the forming of a harem, even if that idea did get a bit ridiculous after a while. As a final thought, I say this: What the heck was with that scene near the final where.... god, I don't think I could describe it while still keeping within the wiki's PG theme. Just, basically, the whole Erica giving her power to Kusanagi... via physical interactions and... My mind is frazzled just thinking about it. That scene might be the the most awkward thing I have ever seen in an anime. Ever.
Recommended for: Supernatural harem fans.
Best aspect: The different gods.
Worst aspect: Can't Kusanagi just have a sword training montage to get his power, like all the normal anime boys?
Favourite character: Mariya.
|Chaika -The Coffin Princess
||Synopsis in one sentence: A strange girl employs a team of mercenaries to help her find the remains of her legendary, evil sorcerer father.
I wasn't quite sure what this show was going for at first. The first couple episodes were fantasy fueled. Then it seemed like the show was trying to set up a harem. Then a romance. It's safe to say that the first half of this show was a little confusing and, frankly, boring. The characters were predictable, the dialogue cheesy, the action uninspired. But boy did that change in the final arc of the season. Things were kicked into HIGH GEAR. And once I understood that Chaika was aiming for a dark action epic, a la FMA, I appreciated the show anew. The final few episodes crammed so much into them that I'm excited to see how the next season goes.
Recommended for: Fantasy action fans.
Best aspect: The frank brutality of the last few episodes.
Worst aspect: The harem/romance stuff.
Favourite character: Akari
|Chaika -The Coffin Princess: Avenging Battle
||Synopsis in one sentence: Chaika's journey continues as a dangerous new enemy is revealed.
I quite enjoyed this ending to the series. Granted, there was nothing that really pushed the boundaries, but it was a satisfying little story overall. It's always easy to enjoy a show that wraps up all its odd and ends. The villain of this season was also interesting, and each character got a fair bit of storyline. The action kept up, the plot was sound, and I don't really have any complaints.
Recommended for: Fans of the first season. This season is not currently dubbed.
Best aspect: That everything was solved. I was worried that some threads would be left unfinished, but the show pulled through in the end.
Worst aspect: The romance was pretty predictable.
Favourite character: Akari
||Synopsis in one sentence: A high school student named Takumi Nishijou stumbles upon a gruesome murder scene, which triggers a series of strange events.
The first in 5pb and Nitroplus' science adventure series, Chaos;Head is definitely an ambitious project. Compared to the other two titles, this story had a much more elaborate plot, packed with more mystery and suspense. I was kept guessing throughout the entire story. The characters were pretty good, but the stand out was the lead, Takumi. He was a great example of an average person: plagued with paranoia and insecurities and all that inconvenient stuff that makes us human. He was easy to support and kept the series anchored well. I think things unraveled towards the end and I didn't feel like the dramatic storylines really paid off. Still, it was an action packed show that I enjoyed watching.
Recommended for: Mystery and magic fans. This will also appeal to fans of other the science adventure series Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes.
Best aspect: The story's set up.
Worst aspect: The ending was meh.
Favourite character: Takumi
||Synopsis in one sentence: A vampire who produces blood instead of feeding on it is overwhelmed by the presence of a new boy in her class.
Chibi Vampire had a promising story, but got really gimmicky, fast. At first I thought I had the whole "un-vampire" thing down, but then I got really confused. If Karin has too much blood, why does she drink it? Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of getting rid of the blood in the first place? And if being an un-vampire means that she can go out in the sunlight, why is she always around when her family is awake at night? They sleep during the day, so shouldn’t she sleep during the night? Does she get any sleep at all? I found the whole thing really weird. The same thing goes for the introduction of Usui. Why do they immediately decide he has to join their little gang, or whatever? He doesn’t even do anything! The ending was surprisingly interesting, though. It got much more serious, and it felt like something was finally happening with Karin’s background story. Overall, a typical romance/supernatural anime where the focus is on a painstakingly slow relationship and no attention is paid to the story aspect that made me want to watch the show in the first place.
Recommended for: Shojo fans.
Best aspect: The unexpectedly dramatic ending.
Worst aspect: Karin’s voice is terrible. TERRIBLE.
Favourite character: There were quite a few likeable characters and I’m finding it hard to choose. My top three are Winner, Ren and Anju (in no particular order).
||Synopsis in one sentence: Follows an outgoing girl as she gathers a group of friends to join her in the competitive world of karuta (a Japanese card game).
I decided to give this show a try after reading a couple reviews that pretty much said the same thing: the premise sounds super boring, but this show is so intense. Now I'm here to tell you the same thing. I know a show about a card game (let alone a card game most of us are probably not familiar with) sounds crazy dull, but... just watch this show. Even without fully understanding the rules, watching the karuta matches of Chihayafuru is so exhilarating. The main reason for that is the incredibly strong cast. The lead character, Chihaya, is the heart of the show, driven to become a good enough karuta player to again meet the childhood friend who taught her how to play. She's supported by another childhood friend (who gets dealt the harsh card of unrequited love) and together the two form a karuta club. As I've said many times before, I love good character development above all else, and that is what this show is full of. Each new character is given the time to grow, to share their ambitions and fears... this show is such an emotional rollercoaster. Basically, this show is awesome, I highly recommend it, and that's all there is to it.
Recommended for: Character development fans and anyone who loves competition or strategy based stories. This show is not yet dubbed.
Best aspect: Characters!
Worst aspect: I would've liked the first season to be a completed story (it just leads straight into the second season, with no resolutions).
Favourite character: I have a soft spot for all the characters, but I guess Chihaya shines the most.
||Synopsis in one sentence: New members are added and together the club takes on the championship once more.
This show is my obsession. Keeping straight after the end of the last series, season two follows the club as they put their training to the test and take on the single and team championships. A couple more characters are introduced and, per the Chihayafuru tradition, they are given ample time to grow and be accepted by the viewer as workable members of the cast. Every episode I was amazed by how they wove the stories of so many people into less than 30 minutes. It's such a glowing recommendation of karuta, to include so many interesting characters and show how they can be brought together by one game. Makes me wanna learn how to play. :P One wish I did have was for a proper ending to the anime. Like its predecessor, Chihayafuru 2 ends with the group onto the next phase of their journey, but if there's no Season 3, then it sucks that the story (for those of us who don’t read the manga) will be over. I would've appreciated a conclusion of some sort, in case renewal does not occur. But the tension was still there, the side stories of friendship still riveting, and the entire season was incredible.
Recommended for: Fans of the first season. This series has not yet been dubbed.
Best aspect: The matches always had me on the edge of my seat.
Worst aspect: Why no ending?
Favourite character: I'm always pro-Chihaya
||Synopsis in one sentence: In a futuristic world, young student Hideki discovers an abandoned Persocom, which is a computer designed to look like a human.
Another romantic comedy, but with a bit more storyline than what usually exists in these types of anime. The underlying mystery that was slowly unravelled over the course of the series was very interesting and the ending was a great way to round up the anime. I did not like the overly neurotic protagonist, and found him to be really annoying most of the time. However, all the rest of the characters were good enough to even the anime out and keep me from going insane (seriously, Hideki screams at basically everything).
Recommended for: Romance fans and possibly those who want a little soft science fiction.
Best aspect: The 'City With No People' stories. Very eerie, yet beautiful.
Worst aspect: A lot of stuff about sex. And I mean A LOT. Kind of ruined the innocence of the story.
Favourite character: Sumomo!! Annoying, yet adorable!
||Synopsis in one sentence: Follows Sister Rosette and her demon partner Chrono as they battle demons in search of Rosette's missing brother.
To be honest, I wasn't that sold on Chrono Crusade at first. I found Rosette a bit grating and Chrono was kind of bland. But, gradually, their backstory is laid out and you get to understand why these two are the way they are. Their relationship becomes something sweet, and I started to invest in the two lead characters. Halfway through the season things were thrown into high gear. Baddies started making their moves and suddenly Rosette and Chrono were warriors. And man did I root for those two! The ending was very surprising, as all bittersweet endings are. A bit of a slow starter, Chrono Crusade really turned itself around and impressed me.
Recommended for: Supernatural fans.
Best aspect: The ending was great.
Worst aspect: The beginning episodes were a bit cheesy.
Favourite character: Rosette
||Synopsis in one sentence: About a half demon named Clare who fights against full demons that plague human cities.
Ah, my first anime love. I really cannot recommend this anime enough. It does take a little while to get the hang of what's going on, but the wait is worth it. Great twists in pretty much every episode and non-stop action. Every episode keeps you guessing on what's gonna happen next and the wide range of characters is sure to provide you with someone to root for. A++
Recommended for: Action and fantasy lovers. There is a bit of gore though, so stay clear if you get queasy easily. XD
Best aspect: The episodes that reveal Clare's past. C'mon, by now you should know that I love a good backstory!
Worst aspect: The only thing that keeps this anime from getting a perfect 10. All of the manga was not fully adapted, as it is a still on-going series, so there was a few loose ends when the anime drew to a close.
Favourite character: Teresa. Watch the backstory episodes and you'll probably feel the same.
|Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
||Synopsis in one sentence: An ill-fated son of royalty gains the power to control people, so he decides to use his new ability to lead a rebellion against the rulers of his country in the name of his mother and sister.
Wow, what a great show! Something about this show just made it stand out right from the start... it just captivated me. All the episodes flowed so excellently into each other and all the characters!! Amazing! Action, romance and so much tragedy... perfect. Really recommend this series! Now, onto season 2!!!
Recommended for: Action lovers all the way! Plus, if you like stories to keep you on your toes, check this out!
Best aspect: Tragedy! You just didn't know what was gonna happen next, it was so exciting!
Worst aspect: It was hard to choose who to root for. That also made the series much more thrilling, but sometimes I wish things were a bit more black and white. ^_^
Favourite character: I don't think I can choose one. All the characters were awesome in their own way.... There was no one I could choose over the others, nor any that I disliked.
|Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
||Synopsis in one sentence: Lelouch continues on his quest to destroy the corrupt nation of Britannia.
Throughout this second series, I was a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, this season was great, but I felt that it lacked some of the sparkle of the first season. I was expecting this to be a simple review, talking about how the continuation was action packed and full of twists, while also feeling a bit rushed and then.... BAM! The final episode. It was just... wow. Iｔ totally threw everything I had thought about the season out the window. Everything fell into place and... just wow, is the only thing I can say. A wicked way to round up the series of Code Geass and a fitting end for each character. Loved this show from beginning to end (ESPECIALLY the end) and I really think everyone should give it a shot!
Recommended for: If you liked the first series, you must watch this. If you were a bit unsure about the first season, you might want to skip this, as it does take a while for things to really heat up.
Best aspect: That ending. So shocking and unexpected!
Worst aspect: Sometimes I think the theatrics of magic became a bit OTT. There was Geass power everywhere, plus the addition of Marianne... it got a bit messy and complicated sometimes.
Favourite character: Once again, hard to choose. I... I can't really pick one out from among the others. Each character had their role to play, and they all had great personalities, backstories and motives.
|Corpse Princess Aka
||Synopsis in one sentence: Average kid Ouri accidentally stumbles across a girl named Makina who turns out to be a corpse (Shikabane Hime) resurrected to defeat bad corpses (Shikabane).
I liked the idea behind this show, but was a little bummed that it turned out to be one of those "cool story ruined by a boring, predictable, nuisance of a main character" shows. As I feel with most of these romance/action series, Corpse Princess was pretty predictable and I didn't find many of the characters endearing. The show did get quite dark in a few instances which was when things got good, but these spots of intrigue were often ruined by the old "love solves all" crud. Maybe I'm being a little harsh. It's not a bad show, I'm just so over great premises that wrap themselves in the most basic tropes and then call it a day.
Recommended for: Supernatural, action, magical girl and romance fans. There's a bit of gore, but not too much that I think it would turn people off.
Best aspect: I liked the dependency of the Hime on their handlers. It was like a pretty idea that the lore of this world turned into something scary and dangerous.
Worst aspect: Cliches up the wazoo.
Favourite character: Keisei.
|Corpse Princess Kuro
||Synopsis in one sentence: Ouri steps into the reigns of his brother, just in time for a new crowd of Shikabane to turn up.
The first couple episodes focus on character development and they are great. I liked seeing the effects of grief treated properly, as opposed to the "quickly move on" nature of most anime. The two leads come together in their pain, and in leaning on each other some great relationship growth happens. With this clever writing going on, the dramatics of the season sort of fall flat. A bunch of lore and villainy is introduced, but I didn't really care about that. When the action became the full focus of the show, it was predictable and boring. I almost wonder if this show would be better suited as a slice of life with a twist than a shonen. To watch a boy and his zombie struggle to find normalcy is something I'd totally be up for. As Corpse Princess is actually presented, I was a bit disappointed.
Recommended for: Fans of the first season.
Best aspect: Like I said, I loved when things were all about Ouri and Hoshimura coping with sadness.
Worst aspect: The "big" story was pretty standard and failed to surprise me.
Favourite character: Crying Ouri.
||Synopsis in one sentence: Two bounty hunters follow their various prey through space, picking up a few strays (and enemies) along the way.
Cowboy Bebop is character development at its finest. First we're introduced to laidback Spike and his no nonsense manager of sorts, Jet Black. The two as a pair are great screen fodder, teaching the viewer about the Cowboy Bebop world via rough living and quick quips. When the sneaky, self-sufficient con artist Faye intrudes, the dynamic shifts and we're introduced to a friendly side of the two guys we already know. But it's not until playful child genius Ed hop aboard to join up with their corgi Ein that the show really picks up. With the full cast assembled, there's plenty of room for unpredictable adventure of both the light hearted and menacing kind. Gradually, in a manner so subtle you almost don’t notice it, the characters are shown in different lights. You learn about what makes them tick, how they handle certain situations and, most importantly, how they work as a team. My favourite episodes were the ones that gave small peeks at the Bebop cast before they joined the bounty hunter team. You never get the full picture of how these characters came to be, but that's the beauty of it; you don't need to know who they were because all that matters is who they are. The subtle character build is so intriguing that the episodes that focus purely on fun action stand out like sore thumbs, and can be quite jarring in the season's flow. The ending of the show is a bit rushed, but ends in a way that, in its sadness, perfectly represents the "deal with the good, deal with the bad" attitude that Cowboy Bebop has adopted. Still, I'm sure I'm not the only one that's crossed my fingers for a future continuation.
Recommended for: Action and space western fans. If you're familiar with and fond of the works of Shinichirō Watanabe, this is a must see.
Best aspect: All that yummy character development.
Worst aspect: That there's no more episodes. I mean,,, you can't just end it there!
Favourite character: They all had their moments, but I suppose I have a soft spot for Ed.
||Synopsis in one sentence: Nine superhumans band together to try and defeat an evil organisation.
Another old anime, but this one was not as likeable as Berserk. It involved a lot of fights, much more long heroic speeches and then a bit of romance... I think. This one was a bit confusing. Overall, not really one I'd write home about. >_<
Recommended for: Lovers of old school anime, or cheesy action shows.
Best aspect: I liked the Cyborg Gods and the way their design worked with the greek gods. That was quite interesting.
Worst aspect: Kind of never caught my interest. I'm actually surprised I made it all the way to the end.
Favourite character: Artemis. I like tragic endings.