Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Yuru Yuri ♪♪ (season 2)" episode 1 thoughts

Ahhh Yuru Yuri...the show that last year although I didn't want to admit, was one of my favorites of all time. As the name implies the show draws heavily on Yuri type content (pretty much girls love) which to some people can be pretty weird to endure. I find myself one of these people but I still enjoyed the show last season. The pretty animation, great voice actors, funny comedic scenes, and interesting characters made me hold though all the way to the end. This summer marks the return of Yuru Yuri and so far it is all the same (which is a good thing). All the characters (from what I can tell in the opening) are back and will play a major role in the second season. The first episode showcased Akari Akaza in her own wonderland while the girls ride on a train to a spa. Pretty much the rest of the episodes retained the odd but fun scenes that makes Yuru Yuri stand out from the other slice of life shows. An example of these scenes is when Akari accidentally hits a ping pong ball into Chinatsu's hair and moments later it gets engulfed by the hair. The reactions of the characters are priceless and make the show really funny. Yes there is Yuri content but to be honest it isn't to the point where I just cannot watch the show. Nothing is shown; everything is just suggestive themes. The first episode really brought back some great memories of the first season and I cannot wait to watch the episodes as they release.

"Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!" initial thoughts

Ahhhh it's Summer and you know what that means? New anime that may or may not live up to what you hoped for. When I first heard Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! was going to have an anime adaptation, I had no clue what the hell it was in the first place...Apparently it is a very popular novel series that features a harem that may or may not include sister action...-__- I wanted to just come out and say that the first two episodes are just boring, generic, crap but I don't know why...but I am actually liking it...A LOT. Each character's model, voice, and personality are actually very well done. The show does a decent enough job in the first episode defining what is going to happen, why things are going to happen, and what the main character Shougo Mikadono must accomplish. With the whole, "You must find a mate before you graduate high school" and "Oh and you might encounter your sister that no one knows about and may or may not want your ____" actually works and provides comedy and a small amount of tension. I normally stay away from shows that are airing (I get very impatient -__-) but I am going to stick with this one till the end.


Stay tuned for my thoughts on each episode as they air.

"Oh! Edo Rocket" Anime Review

***This is a spoiler free review***
Over the past few months, I have had my free time occupied by things other than anime such as school, music, and The Old Republic. I at first thought that there just wasn’t any interesting anime left out there to be found. This opinion finally changed when two weeks ago my Netflix decided to recommend Oh! Edo Rocket for me to watch instantly. At first I was very nervous due to the fact that I tend to stay away from English dubbed anime (the exception being Dragon Ball Z and Ouran Host Club) but I was whiling to give the show a chance. Once I finished both seasons, I was very, very happy that I gave myself the initial push to watch the show.

Story: 7/10
Initially, the show took its time to reveal the entire cast and what the whole plot was going to be revolved around. To sum up the plot, a fireworks maker finds himself head of a very ambitious project to help a friend and with the help of the entire neighborhood, they intend on making the best firework the world has ever seen. What makes the story so interesting is that the show gradually adds characters and plot twists where needed. I only found myself getting a little bored in the final stages of the show. The show can be split into the first major story arc, two or three filerish episodes, then the final couple episodes to finish it off. Overall, the plot is interesting and the characters never get boring.

Animation: 8/10
Another very strong point for the show is its animation. A lot of the character models are very well done and are nice to see every episode. Some of the cast are poorly drawn and have excessive exaggerations to their models on purpose and it doesn’t conflict with the overall look of the show. The color scheme is very appealing as there is an overall emphasis on bright, almost neon colors for the fireworks. Sora, the main character is stunning to look at and this quality never lets up throughout all twenty six episodes. It is a very appealing show to watch.

Sound: 8.3/10
In the past, English dubs have really ruined the overall experience of some anime for me. Funimation however have really put together some great English dubs including this one. The voice acting is superb and I am almost whiling to say is better than the original Jap. audio. You are not getting any generic sounding lines from these guys; each line is done very well. The music is also very good as it fits in with the show fairly well although I am not a fan of the opening theme which consists of some J-popnonsense.

Characters: 8.5/10
What makes or breaks a show for me is always the cast and how well their interactions play out for my tastes. The animation can be flawless and the musical score can be the best the world has ever heard but if I cannot feel for the characters and what is going on in their lives, the show is a flop in my opinion. The cast here get along very well and you actually feel for each and every one when something good or bad happens. The main character Seikichi can be pretty whiny in some situations but he has goals he wants to accomplish and he won’t let anyone get in his way. The main villain, Akai, really gets beneath your skin and you hate his guts from the moment you meet him. Overall, the cast actually feels like a family and when they are struggling, you want them to succeed.

Overall: 8/10
This show was simply like a present you find behind the Christmas tree that you didn’t notice at first. For the first time I can actually thank Netflix for recommending me a show to watch. Its very well written backed by an amazing cast, great music, great English dub, awesome artwork, and a well flowing story. After leaving this show, I have faith that I can once again take a plunge into an anime without the feeling that I will be let down by a half hazard attempt to throw something together. If you like comedies with a very small hint of romance, then this is the show for you.


A really good anime that for some reason gets overlooked and swept under the rug..people do not know what they are missing out on...

"Nisemonogatari" Anime Review

***This is a spoiler free review***
Oh boy reviewing Nisemonogatari is a difficult task because it varies so far away in tone and execution compared to the first season Bakemonogatari. What this season lacks (IMHO the sense of tension and excitement) compared to Bakemonogatari, it makes up for in visuals and overall casual enjoyment.

Story: 5/10
Now re-read my last sentence up there ^^^^. Note that I stated "casual" enjoyment; this refers to how drastically different this show feels compared to Bakemonogatari. While Bakemonogatari was witty, full of tension, and loaded with brilliant character development, Nisemonogatari takes an entire 180 degree turn. Nisemonogatari comes off as a bunch of comedic and ecchi scenes that while executed very well will disappoint most people who enjoyed Bakemonogatari. The easiest way to understand the differences is to think of Bakemonogatari as a $500 bottle of wine and Nisemonogatari a can of your favorite beer. There is nothing wrong with beer (actually not my fav) but its target audience is much different than those who enjoy wine. This is why most of the episodes in this season feel very fillerish. The overall seriousness of the first season is replaced by laidback and comedic scenes with a fairly large emphasis of ecchi content (episode 8....). The recurring themes that seem present are Koyomi’s bonding with his sisters (who we did not get to know very well in the first season) and his will to remain loyal to his girlfriend. Koyomi’s sisters are for the most part the main focus of this entire season. As for the other characters, they are introduced every now and then but overall their screen time is very limited. The whole season is spilt into two main arcs, each focusing on one of his sisters. This leads into something that I feel that has improved from the first season, the comedy and character development. In the last season the only character I really felt developed during the season was Hitagi. In this season, we see Koyomi’s sisters personality and physical appearance change throughout the season. There are some insanely funny parts as well as some very serious ones that had me laughing throughout all the episodes. Overall the story was very enjoyable but unlike in Bakemonogatari, I felt like this season was mostly a filler and not completely necessary.

Animation: 10/10
I didn’t think I would ever consider something “perfect”, that was until I saw the animation in this show. The animation in this anime is very well done. It’s not only the quality of each scene but also the angle of the shots, the transitions between text to shot, the lighting, everything is just so well done it’s very hard to understand how well the animation studio did. Each scene is drawn and produced so well that if seen from across the room you might think it was on par with a budget of a movie rather than an ongoing show. Each character is very appealing to watch and even the very action orientated scenes flow smoothly. This is by far one of the best looking anime’s I have ever experienced.

Sound: 9.3/10

This anime is about talking (some of the conversations literally last 15 minutes) so you're going to want to enjoy what you are listening to right? Good thing Nisemonogatari has your back. The opening and closing themes are all very enjoyable to listen to as it ranges from j-pop to jazzy songs (I especially liked Tsukihi's opening). The voice acting is also very well done as all the characters had corresponding voices that seemed to fit correctly with the main star being Koyomi's voice actor. He once again brings out Koyomi's every emotion flawlessly without it coming off as fake or forced. For a show that relies so much on just character interaction, the voice acting really helped these long conversations shine. Overall the sound for this anime was well above par.

Characters: 8/10
The recurring characters personalities are just as enjoyable as they were in the previous season. In this season, we are introduced to Koyomi’s sisters and get to know the vampire Shinobu much more in-deph. Koyomi’s sisters range from an athletic tomboy who fights for what’s right to a very clever and masochist girl. I especially loved Karen as the minute we were introduced to her I knew I was going to love her character. Each gets a plethora amount of character development time to fully develop. The vampire Shinobu plays a much bigger role in this season. She also has a masochist like personality that likes to play tricks on Koyomi. The new characters introduced this season are very well written and a joy to watch interact with Koyomi. If only the returning characters played a bigger roll in the plot; oh well hopefully in the upcoming movie we can get the best of both worlds.

Overall: 8.1/10
While Bakemonogatari will remain one of my all-time favorites, Nisemonogatari will remind me that something so different can be just as good. It just goes to show that even if the plot is dragging the show down, great characters, amazing sound, and beautiful animation can help it shine. The easy going nature and almost harem storytelling of this season to some may seem unnecessary and unwanted but to me was very enjoyable and a blast to watch. Unlike the previoius season where you watched the show for the tension and well written dialogue, this season is just a kick back and relax kind of watch. With the characters written so well, animation being perfect, and voice acting exceeding my expectations, this is an anime you do not want to miss out on. I do however strongly encourage watching Bakemonogatari first as you might be very lost not doing so when starting Nisemonogatari.

Nisemonogatari was so different than Bakemonogatari yet I still liked it...weird...

"Amagami SS+" Anime Review

***This is a spoiler free review***

Some words of advice, if you decide this is an anime you wish to watch, I STRONGLY encourage you watch its first season, Amagami SS first as it will add to the overall enjoyment of this season.
Amagami SS+ is the continuation of last season’s Amagami SS. It is a direct sequel and follows roughly the same episodic format of its predecessor. Each female lead is given a two episode arc that once completed, goes back to the beginning of the timeline and focuses on another female lead. These episodes are meant to provide closure for last season’s episodes as not every female was given a canon ending.

Story: 7/10
Amagami SS+ tries very hard to provide appropriate closure to each character’s romance, but some come off too forced due to the restricted two episodes per character. An example is from the ending of Haruka’s arc where Junichi makes a very bold confession that I believe no human would ever attempt. I also found myself reverting to my old preferences of character choice from last season as I still found Haruka way out of Junichi’s league and Sae was still a pill to listen to. There are however some really great moments such as Ai’s ending and Rihoko finally manning (err womaning) up to confess to Junichi. The season does have arcs that outshine others but overall it’s enjoyable across the board.

Animation: 8.5/10
The animation is a step up from last season as the production values have been very kind to the overall visuals of the show. Each character seems more defined and much more attractive to see. Backgrounds are drawn very well and each setting is very detailed.
Sound: 7.5/10
Once again the voice acting is very well done by the Jap cast. Each female lead is voiced by the same actor as before and retains their individual quirks that made them lovable in the previous season. My gripes still remain with Sae as she is just a pill to listen to for over 40 minutes. The opening song is very catchy and well done. Music during the episodes fit well and provide adequate atmosphere.

Characters: 9/10
There is not much I can say that has changed in the character department from last season. I still loved all the characters and they act the same as the previous season. I have newfound respect for Rihoko, returning ughness for Sae, and a liking for Haruka’s outgoing personality. Each character’s personality is unique and a joy to watch fold out. The male lead Junichi is also more likeable in this season as he seems more approachable this time around.

Overall: 8/10
Even though I ended up scoring this season with a score lower than a 9.0, I still found myself really enjoying the closure provided for the entire cast. Every arc was fun and enjoyable to watch and I cannot wait to go back and re-watch the first and second season in the future.


This season really kept me interested and I am glad that all the characters finally received an appropriate ending. I really wish they would make more anime in this format from old VN games...

"Amagami SS" Anime Review

***This is a spoiler free review***
Story: 9/10
One of my favorite genera for any form of entertainment is romance and when romance is done right, it can be a beautiful thing to encounter. There are however discrepancies between romance anime as some borrow too much from each other and thus become 'generic' or 'stale'. What Amagami SS has done may be too direct of an adaptation from a video game but I beleive that something amazing has been done. Amagami SS takes our male lead Jun'ichi on a trail to relieve his broken heart with many different females to chose from. Where this anime sets off on a different path than others is instead of choosing one female and leaving out the others or in quite the opposite form a harem, the story will reset itself after one successful life has concluded for Jun'ichi. It is quite literally like a dating game in the aspect that you are resetting and starting over. This might be a turn off to some people as each arc covers 4 episodes, resets and starts again but for me it worked very effectively. You might be thinking, "Well that's awesome and everything but wouldn't this fail if the characters were not interesting?" The characters will make or break the show for some people as it is entirely up to them to make the show interesting to the audience. I found myself liking all but one of the female leads so in mathematical terms, I liked 5/6th of the show. Each arc is much different in the way the story is approached. One of the arcs had the narrator and the main character conversing together while another arc had a more serious tone. You can quite literally just watch the arc of your favorite character and end the show there.

Animation: 7/10
The animation is about average but stays constant throughout the entire show. Although night scenes seem to stand out more, every arc has the same amount of detail as the one before or after. There are moments however that really shine when they need to such as the moment when Jun'ichi conquers his fear of heights with Kaoru on an observation tower. When the scene continues, it begins to snow and the artwork is stunning. These momentary moments however great do not make up for the sub-par animation the rest of the show presents. The character models are quite good as each female lead has a distinctive look and style that is not repeated for any other characters.

Sound: 6.8/10

The sound is not amazing but gets the job done. Each part of the city is matched with the correct sounding background music that sets the tone for the scenes. The voice acting (Jap. Dubbed) is fairly good with each actor matching the characters well. There is one character however that I just could not stand and thus ruined that particular arc for me.

Characters: 9/10
What romance feeds off of are the characters and how well the audience feels the characters worked with each other. Since each character arc only lasts four episodes, there is a very limited amount of time to set up a back story for each female and make it believable. Every lead in this show seemed like they would actually fall for Jun'ichi and did not seem 'fake' at all. Each character also had their own unique personality which for the most part I loved. Haruka is the school idol and beauty, Kaoru is the childhood friend that has a kinky attitude, Sae is the typical super shy girl that talks with a very soft voice (the character I could not stand), Ai who is the Moe swimmer, Rihoko who is also Jun'ichi's childhood friend has a happy and aloof outlook on life, and Tsukasa who I cannot talk a lot about without spoiling anything. Each character offered something different than the rest.

Overall: 8/10

It's a romance anime biased off of a PlayStation 2 dating sim that in my opinion was done very well. The characters were designed and voiced just right and offered six different high school romances that I loved. It is very hard for me to choose which arc I liked the most which makes it very good overall. To be able to distinguish which part of an anime you like the most is not necessarily a good thing in my opinion. To have an entire show be interesting from start to finish is a pretty hard thing to come by and thus is why Amagami SS receives a 9/10 from me. I strongly recommend this anime to all romance geeks out there. The whole time warp thing that happens at the end of each arc might turn off some watchers but I think if you stick with the show you will not be disappointed. The show is super accessible to anyone as you have a choice of what romance to watch.

Not my favorite anime of all time but I really did like how they went about splitting up the time given to each character. Glad they didn't mess with the source material and make it some harem messy crap thingy...


So I'm not really Ringo Starr but apparently I look like him so lets just stick with that. I've been wanting to share my thoughts on a lot of anime related topics so best way to do that apparently in today's society is to blog about it. I will be posting some stuff from my animeplanet profile as well as some more recent ideas. Hope you enjoy my blogs in the future!