Posted in Anime, Anime Review, 2017

Noragami (2014) anime review

77809Yato is a stray deity who calls himself a ‘delivery god’ and who has recently found himself without a regalia, the weapons of the gods. Hiyori Iki is a normal highschool girl who is a big fan of martial arts and who finds herself slipping out of her body randomly after she gets hit by a bus when ‘saving’ Yato. Yukine is a stray spirit who becomes Yato’s regalia and who is finding it difficult to adjust to his new life as the servant of a homeless god. The entire first season is about the relationships between these three character and how they change over time.

Screenshot (104)At first glance this anime looks like your typical shounen anime with quirky characters and battle scenes. The characters look flat and a lot of the drama appears to be stupid. However the thing that makes this anime so great is not the drama, the characters, or the humour but rather the relationships between the characters. In fact one of the biggest themes of the series is related to friendly relationships. These relationships change a lot throughout the course of the first season and are the cause of many of the major plot points and twists. There is a second season in Noragami Aragoto where the relationships between side characters and between them and the main three characters are explored.

Screenshot (106).pngThat being said. The humour in this series is actually funny mainly because no one but Hiyori can see Yato. He is able to get away with a lot of things that no one else can get away with and he is often seen in strange places. The humour makes the emotional scenes that much better because the series can go from hilarious to sad within a matter of seconds.

Screenshot (113).pngI recommend that you watch this series if you enjoy shounen anime. It is a good series that is not haunted by a need to create filler arcs to have a year round release schedule. There are currently two seasons. Only the first one is on CrunchyRoll so if you want to watch it watch it there.

Final Rating – 45/50

Posted in 2017, Anime, Anime Review

Gabriel DropOut (2017) anime review

82590.jpgGabriel White Tenma goes down to Earth from Heaven to study among humans in order to complete her training and become a full fledged angel. In Heaven she was always the top of her class and she believes it is her mission to be a great angel and bring happiness to mankind. However after her first day of being on Earth she discovers online gaming and becomes a fallen, or as she puts it ‘faillen angel’. Along with Raphiel Ainsworth Shiraha, fellow angel and her former classmate; and the two demons Vignette April Tsukinose and Satanichia McDowell Kurumizawa, she attends human high school where neither the angels nor the demons act as they should.

Screenshot (93).pngIt is never explained how Gabriel gets introduced to video games. She hears a voice coming from her laptop and sees that it is someone crying out for help in the game but in order for that to be possible she would need to have the game open, and the game would need to support text-to-speech. Neither of the demons left it there because they are both incompetent at being demons, and no one else would have even known her identity except for her fellow angels. This is something I hope will be explained in a future season if this series ever gets one of those.

Screenshot (102).pngEach of the characters is based on an anime cliche. Gabriel is an otaku, Satanichia is an individual with eighth-grade syndrome, and so on.  Not only this but many of the events of this series are also based around cliches. There is little to no plot other than Gabriel discovering video games and falling, as well as a few other things. Most of the episodes are made up of the characters doing cute things or setting each other up for jokes which are often repeated. The thing is this is a comedy anime. There doesn’t need to be a whole lot of plot, and if the jokes are funny I’m okay if they’re repeated as long as they are not overdone.

As a comedy anime this series is well done. Rarely does it become unbelievable and the way each of the four main characters has a quirk which plays off the quirks of other characters. I did laugh at a few of the jokes. However some jokes took a little to much time/dialogue in the set up for some of the jokes which made me bored until the actual joke came.

Screenshot (100).pngThis is an interesting series with a lot of flaws. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a decent comedy series, but not to anyone who absolutely hates anything having to do with cliches. This is the type of series you watch to entertain yourself when you’re bored, but you don’t expect to actually get much out of watching it.

Final Rating – 43/50

Posted in 2017, Anime, Anime Review

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (2017) anime review

85434One night, after getting very drunk Kobayashi finds a dragon with a sword sticking out of its side. She removes the sword and in return, after turning into a human form the dragon offers to do anything for Kobayashi. Kobayashi drunkenly requests that the become her maid. The next morning as she sets out to work she opens the door and sees the dragon. The dragon turns into her human form and is wearing a maid outfit. She introduces herself as Tohru and after convincing Kobayashi to let her stay she becomes a maid. Thus begins the odd relationship between Kobayashi, Tohru, and several other dragons.

Screenshot (67)The designs of the characters, especially the dragons is great. A lot of thought went into the dragon designs because each one is based off of a different myth found in different parts of the world. The best part of these designs is the stark contrast between the mundane programmer Kobayashi and the fantastical dragon Tohru. Kobayashi keeps the series grounded in realism while Tohru allows for a lot of crazy things to happen which adds the majority of the humour to the series along with Kobayashi’s reactions to these crazy things.

Screenshot (68)There many different dragons in this series, each one with a tragic backstory related to family and the way society treats them. These backstories also help connect these characters to their real life mythical inspirations. This aids the development of the main themes related to both family and society which will be explored throughout each episode until the very end. These themes create a few scenes that caused me to cry a little so be ready for them if you ever watch this series.

Screenshot (63)This is a fantastic series despite a few strange moments involving young characters and a couple minor hiccups in the animation. I recommend you watch Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid if you enjoy watching any fantasy, slice of life, or comedy anime, as well as if you just so happen to love dragons like me. A season two may be coming in the future, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Final Rating – 48/50

Posted in 2017, Anime, Fiction, Ruminated Scrawling

Yaha-kui zaShunina and the Anisotropic – Kado: The Right Answer

Kado: The Right Answer is one of the best anime series from this season as well as the smartest. It uses philosophy and scientific theory in an interesting way and presents those watching with subtle philosophical questions related to morality among other things. Yaha-kui zaShunina is a being with floaty hands who came to Earth in a giant cube he calls Kado and he claims he has come from a place called the anisotropic which he claims is outside of the universe. He claims that he is there to help advance humanity and this seems true at first but after the last episode (Nanomis-hein) it is clear that he is different than he seems and has motivations beyond what he has claimed as his sole reason for introducing himself to humankind.

Before Yaha-kui zaShunina exited Kado with the Japanese negotiator Kojiro Shindo and presented the Wam to the world the media was focused on why there was a giant cube that landed on an airstrip and swallowed up/crushed a plane full of people and the Japanese SDF tried to get inside/destroy the giant cube that was obstructing the runway of a major airport. This is because that is the natural response if something like this were to happen in real life. After the anisotropic being presented the Wam to the Japanese government everyone just seemed to trust him and it even looked as though he was trying to make those who didn’t trust him yet to as well.

There have been several protesters shown throughout the series. None of them were protesting the apparent trust their government was giving to a being they knew next to nothing about. The first protesters were protesting about the fact that the Prime Minister of Japan nearly started a war with the United Nations. The second group of protesters was protesting about how there was a giant cube blocking the sun which helped them dry wet clothes, and allowed plants to flourish. While I’m sure that there must be people in this world who were protesting this misplaced trust, they were never shown. This allowed people watching the series to not doubt Yaha-kui zaShunina until Saraka Tsukai asked Shindo to help her make the anisotropic being leave the universe.

Now one of the first questions I asked myself while watching Kado: The Right Answer was what exactly is the anisotropic. That question was answered during last episode. Before I assumed that it was a parallel dimension to Earth similarly to how Narnia exists parallely to our world. I thought this because it made more sense to me, but after this last episode I was proven wrong. The anisotropic is actually in a higher dimension than Earth.

You get the first dimension when you extend a point along a plane forming a line. You get the second dimension when you extend that line in the other direction forming a square. You get the third dimension which is where we are by extending that square in yet another direction forming a cube. You can get the fourth dimension by extending that cube in another direction forming a shape known as a tesseract. You can keep doing this an infinite amount of times. We can only see a part of the dimension directly above us. According to the anime the anisotropic is the thirty-sixth dimension. Another interesting thing I found was the fact that the word anisotropic refers to a directionally dependent property of a material. Another term used outside of the subtitles which I found on MyAnimeList was Novo which is “new” in latin and I think it has something to do with the latin phrase “de Novo” which means from the beginning.

Both those terms have something to do with the world. Anisotropic refers to the fact that people can only see this dimension if they look in a certain direction which they cannot possibly look without help. This is why Yaha-kui zaShunina has to convert himself to the third dimension in the second episode (technically the third) and why all the anisotropic devices he gives to the people take such a long time to make because he has to convert them to the third dimension as well.

Novo refers to the story which he tells Shindo during this past episode. If this story is correct in the world of the anime it means that the anisotropic has been there since the beginning, way before even Earth.

This is what I found out when researching the theoretical science and the language used in Kado: The Right Answer. I just found it so interesting. I would love to go into some of the philosophical aspects of the series but if I do I know I’ll end up going places I do not want to go on this blog. The writers as well as the translators at CrunchyRoll of this series did their research when writing the series/translating the subtitles. I can’t wait to see what happens during tomorrow’s episode after what happened last episode. I just know it will still be one of the best anime’s of the season.

Posted in 2017, Anime, Anime Review

Masamune-kun’s Revenge (2017) anime review

83709When Masamune Makabe was a child he was bullied by a wealthy and beautiful girl and given the name Pig’s Foot because of his chubby appearance. Years later, after working hard to improve himself he encounters that same girl, Aki Adagaki. He has come up with the perfect plan to get revenge on Aki and this involves making her fall in love with him before he dumps her in a spectacular fashion. He is helped by Aki’s maid, Yoshino Koiwai who claims that she wants to teach her boss a lesson but gives no specifics as to what that lesson is. This anime is a romantic comedy involving two equally vain and damaged individuals.

Screenshot (58)At first I hated all the characters. Masamune was impossible to like because the first time you see him in the anime he is posing in front of the mirror without a shirt on after a shower in his room. He refuses to eat the food his mother made him for breakfast because it contains too many calories. Aki is no different because she is standing on the school roof revealing all the embarrassing secrets of a boy who asked her out for the entire school to hear. After I finished watching this series I only slightly disliked these two characters. There are also some characters who fit into anime archetypal characters which I find slightly annoying.

Screenshot (59)There are a couple interesting plot points which was the only reasons why I continued watching this series other than the fact that I hoped both Masamune and Aki would change after they discovered the truth about each other. Of course the final major plot point is resolved by the end of the second to last episode. I don’t like how the last episode seems so much like filler or how nothing is different between the beginning and ending of the series in terms of Masamune’s and Aki’s relationship. Both this and the unlikable characters are major flaws in Masamune-kun’s Revenge.

Screenshot (61)But even so, I enjoyed watching this series. It is an interesting romantic comedy and I’ll be sure to watch season two if it ever comes out. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys romantic comedy. I do not however recommend this series to anyone who is looking for actual likable characters because you will not find them in this series, at least not in the main cast.

Final Rating – 42/50

Posted in 2017, Anime, Anime Review

The Future Diary (2011-2012) anime review

Mirai Nikki posterYukiteru Amano is a lonely high school student who thinks of himself as an observer. He writes down everything he observes around him in the diary on his phone. He has two “imaginary” friends, Deus Ex Machina the god of space and time, and his servant Murmur. One day he learns that his friends are not imaginary but rather the real deal and Deus gives Yukiteru the Indiscriminate Diary which tells him everything he’s going to observe in the future. He is then forced to participate in a death game with 11 other people with their own future diaries. Whoever wins gets to be the new god of time and space. Yukiteru is aided by his obsessive stalker Yuno Gasai who also has a diary as he tries to survive.

Screenshot (53)The Future Diary (also known as Mirai Nikki) is a very dark show filled with many eccentric characters with tragic backstories. While some of the characters are very annoying and bizarre, all the characters add something to the series. The main two character’s, Yukiteru and Yuno especially go through serious things throughout the course of the plot and even before the beginning. These characters are definitely not likable characters, but what they are is interesting.

Screenshot (52)The psychological thriller part of The Future Diary for at least part of the series. There were times when I felt I needed to watch the next episode as soon as possible because I wanted to know if a character was alright. Looking back that may have been because of the presence of cliffhangers. Of course there were other times where I got bored and I left the series for a little bit to watch something else. This is expected in a survival game type story with multiple threats that come after the main characters one after another rather than all at once. I feel more could have been done to keep viewers interesting, though of course no anime series is made for binge watching.

Screenshot (56)I enjoyed watching this series. I recommend that you watch The Future Diary, however keep in mind that the version on Crunchyroll is not censored meaning that all the scenes containing nudity and extreme violence have been unaltered. There are a lot of these scenes as to be expected. However there is one episode not on Crunchyroll which gives a lot of insight into the confusing ending. I recommend that you try to find a way to watch that episode on another site.

Final Rating – 43/50

Posted in 2017, Anime, Fiction, Ruminated Scrawling, Writing

The Corrupted Hero System in My Hero Academia – Fiction Talk

 

In this series about 90% of the population of Earth has some form of special power known as a quirk. A quirk can literally be anything and throughout the series there are both highly creative quirks such as being able to eject tape out of your arms to less creative quirks such as power over fire and ice. In this world heroes are people who protect civilians from villains because there will always be people who use their power for evil, as well as from natural disasters and other forms of physical harm. People who take heroism as their profession are known as Pro Heroes.

However Pro Heroes are not just superpowered police officers. That is how it should be because then everyone can get along and the only thing that matters is helping people out and maybe gaining a tiny bit of power by rising up in the ranks, But instead there is a hero ranking system and Pro Heroes are treated the same way as famous pop singers and athletes. The fact that there even is a number one hero in this world is extremely flawed.

Also not everyone can become a Pro Hero because of the vast variety of quirks in this world. The people with quirks more suited to combat and taking criminals down are the most likely to become Pro Heroes, while everyone else can only dream. From some dialogue in the first episode of season 1 it is clear that heroes look down on ordinary police officers, but wouldn’t it make more sense if police officers and Pro Heroes were a part of the same force. I know that the police officers in the series do help the heroes, but I feel like all the heroes do for the police officers is get in the way of investigations and ignore common criminals in order to go after the less common quirked criminals.

Now I feel like this is going to need to change in the future of this world. I think that’s what Deku’s story is all about. He is in school to become a Pro Hero not for money or fame or to fulfill some other selfish desire, but rather to help people with a smile on his face just like his biggest role model, All Might. He wants to become the number one hero simply because he wants to get better, but he is also helping those around him to become better people.

Last episode when Deku helps Todoroki come to terms with the full extent of his power and overcome some things that happened in his past, he didn’t do it to become the best. He gave up winning the tournament to do this plus he was severely injured before the match was forcefully ended. I believe the world is going to change because of Deku in some way, I just hope that this change fixes some of the problems of the Pro Hero system.