Toradora was an Anime that I had way back in my queue list but thanks to Sentai Filmworks, I finally had a proper chance to watch it and now that I’ve finished the show, I can say that Toradora has earned its spot in one of the many selected greatest shows in Anime. I love how the story starts off with many elements of comedy that will eventually develop itself into a drama show with the complimentary of romance. The final two episodes were especially the star episodes of the show. It really shows the struggles that Takasu and Taiga had to faced. A lot of sad realities were unfortunately pointed out such as Takasu’s mother’s situation when she had him while her husband left her. His mother really did a good job raising Takasu to becoming a great character. Some of the minor complaints I had was that some of the story elements and plots were generic and that I’ve experience some plot holes every now and then, but overall the way the story began from the beginning and developed its way to the ending is more than enough to compliment the minor complaints I had.
First of all, I enjoyed all of the characters on this show quite a bit, what I didn’t enjoy was the atrocious pacing of the love interest actually getting together or even acknowledging their feelings for each other. One thing I enjoyed about Golden Time was that the romance was sparked quite early on (under 10 episodes) between Koko and Banji. This didn’t happen til literally the last 3 episodes of Toradora and just when you finally think you’re going to see some together time between the characters, it gets derailed yet again and there’s barely any screen time of them together before the series ends. Episode after episode of them still trying to hook each other up with other love interests got pretty frustrating 15+ episodes in. This is a story about Ryuji and Taiga and their friendship which turns into love and their friends and family problems with many relationship troubles and even a couple cat fight’s. In the beginning of this series it seems no one can figure out who loves who he thinks he loves her she thinks she loves him and so on there are many instances of unrequited love others who admit their feelings just to get shot down there are many different characters and situations that occur throughout the series that I expected to happen their really isn’t anything new or groundbreaking here but I have to admit that I did enjoy the journey and I think this is a good slice of life story that shows that sometimes life isn’t always easy. I really enjoyed most of the characters the series moves along pretty well has some comedy and drama as you would expect from a series like this Taiga is a real fireball and I really liked her.
The animation was well done yet not over done. I don’t think it should be done any better then how it is now. It was really smooth and the facial expressions went from anywhere between mundane to extremely intense. You are not really left guessing how someone is feeling unless it was meant that way. The voices fit the characters. The pitch and elevation of the voices went perfectly with the characters draw expressions and body language. I don’t really have a lot of this. The music for the openings and closings were outstanding. I actually enjoyed sitting threw the openings and closing every time. After watching the series a few times I started skipping ahead but over all I always make sure to catch it all once in a while just because.
Sadly, the ending leaves a little bit to be desired, but to the shows credit, or should I say credits, it wraps it up well enough. The slowest part of the show can be considered the last three episodes, but even so, I still watched them with the same amount of love that I held for the previous twenty so episodes. One of the things that really upsets me with the last few episodes is the seemingly 180 rotation in character that Taiga undergoes. I truly liked her hard exterior that she threw up in front of Ryuji, but during the end, it became very rare. It wasn’t a Taiga that I liked as much as the original, so I didn’t feel as strongly towards her advancing slowly upon her goals. But still in the end, I felt somewhat glad that everyone was, more or less, happy to an extent. Despite the weakness of the last three episodes, it was still an engaging conclusion to a spectacular story about their crazy messed up love triangle. The predictability of the show can be countered by the small twists that occur every couple of episodes, and the characters alone are enough reason to keep coming back, even if the show didn’t constantly push itself gracefully through the story line. I definitely recommend Toradora to everyone, of both genders, and all ages, for one of the most adorable, comedic, and comfortable romance anime’s on the market.
The storyline is rather generic in nature as it is girl finds item finds out it is not what she thought begin story. The characters fit into all of the stereotypes of anime, such as the little girl mold that is the character Katia. The thing that I recognized and would say to fellow anime fans is that just because a show, such as this one, is cliched does not mean that it cannot be enjoyable for what it is. I enjoyed every single episode simply because it was predictable and I could tell what was coming. The one aspect that made this really enjoyable though was that near the end they began to pull slightly at your heart strings. They made you connect with the basic human condition through the usage of the dolls and overall you get that the series is primarily about friendship.
Uzume Uno is an ordinary junior high school student nothing special to mention about school grades or in the field of sports. However, one day, her destiny is significantly changed. She happens to find mysterious cards from which dolls therein with special abilities come out to real life. Uzume becomes the “Card Master” and executes contract with these characteristic dolls. Soon or later, she somehow finds herself in a position to fight not just for her own town, but to save the whole world! The voice actors seem to take their jobs seriously and do a good job at it. The animation is great, and the quality is amazing (which is something to be proud of considering that it’s not animated by Kyoto Animations)! Some of the characters are great, like the protagonist Uzume, who’s really realistic considering the genre of this anime. And Shimeji is pretty good, but then again, I only watched two episodes so I didn’t really see much of her. Also, the concept is really creative, and I think it’s really well executed.
This show is often reminiscent of a number of other magical girl/fighting doll series. Cardcaptor Sakura, Angelic Layer and Corrector Yui just to name a few. But it still manages to bring it’s own unique flavor to both genres. There is a lot of variety in this adorable anime and while I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who’s looking for something packed with action or a deep storyline, for someone who is looking for a cute, sometimes comical anime however I’d recommend Fantasista dolls first and foremost.
We soon learn that these aren’t random challenges the mysterious ‘Mutual Dream Association Group’ is offering to grant any wish to the person who defeats Uzume and takes her cards. When I read the plot synopsis for this film I thought it might just be a device to help sell a card game but now I’ve seen it I don’t think that can be the case; no time is wasted explaining how all the cards work. In many ways this feels more like a magic girl series than one about a game… the dolls certainly act like magic girls. As one would expect from such a series it is really about the development of friendship; both between Uzume and her dolls and between her and other members of the school card club. This isn’t a classic series but it was rather fun; the story is enjoyable and the animation is pretty good. There isn’t anything here to offend; in fact it feels like it has been toned down at times; the dolls are seen undressed at times but their bodies are just white with no real detail. Here is hoping for a second season!
Asuka and her 4 friends attend the secret Hanzo Academy, which trains young women in the martial-art of Ninjutsu. However, the girls find their own skills are inadequate when faced with another group of girls from their rival, Hibi Girls Academy, which trains it’s Ninjas with the opposite moral philosophy. Senran Kagura has no male lead character like you would normally expect in this kind of setting, it’s good that the viewer doesn’t have to see the girls dealing with a dense boy. The show follows the girls during their training and how they gain strength in times of conflict. This anime is quite funny and doesn’t take itself all too seriously most of the time. Yet it knows when to play the serious card that gives insight and backflashes of characters and threir relationships. At first it followed the manga closely, but after the third episode it has more original content that differs quite a bit at some major scenes. In the manga Hibari had a much bigger role and development. I would have really liked a 1:1 adaption, still the anime has a decent storyline that manages to keep the viewer entertained and the energetic characters make up for some flaws.
On the opposing side of the five main character girls are the five antagonists. All of them are well-trained ninjas and clearly stronger than the protagonists at first. Their objective is not clear at first, the only thing we know is that they are fighting for the dark side of the force – I mean, they attend a dark ninja school. Dark ninjas basically do the same thing as not-dark-ninjas only more ruthless and apparently enjoy better education. Dark side for the win! Later we find out that they want the secret ninja scroll, hidden in Hanzou Academy so they can add it to their ninja scroll and rule over the world! (Or something) Sounds a bit… textbook. Luckily the antagonist ninjas also have their backstories and flashbacks over the course of the anime and I personally have to say that I was more interested in them than in the protagonists. I mean, they have a bean sprout addicted blonde called Yomi and a green haired snake like girl who doesn’t give a crap about anything at all called Hikage. Also, the mysterious girl Asuka met on the ship and later on, Homura. They and the other two, Mirai and Haruka, seem way more ballanced out as a group than the protagonists are.
We got to focus on Hibari, the character who needs the most development, as well as the mysterious Dark Shinobi clan. As we are able to see it from Hibari’s eyes, we begin to see that it really isn’t a place dominated by evil intentions like we would expect. I appreciate this break from the usual cliches as well. The Dark Shinobi clan is made to look like a tough place, but only for those who are serious about being a ninja. Likewise, we see that they aren’t really focused on camaraderie as much as the Light Shinobi, but more on getting the missions done at all costs. However, having a leader who is all about money makes things start to feel cliche once again. Let’s hope they can avoid that trap as well.
The finale to Senra Kagura was exactly what I expected it to be, a mess of cliches with some decent action that got cut off far too much. You feel like all the dark ninja girls (well, all the “important” ones) learned something, and became (tsundere-ish) friends with our main cast. Was this a good or bad finale? …Meh. It didn’t do anything fun or risky, but it didn’t really suck either. It just went the usual course these types of series go, and there’s no real shame in that. If it tried to go outside the box with an ending, it likely would have screwed things up a lot more, so I’ll take what I can get. Bye, Senran Kagura! It was generally not terrible having you around.
In another dimension the Devil King Sadao is only one step away from conquering the world when he is beaten by Hero Emilia and forced to drift to the other world: modern-day Tokyo. As “conquering the world” are the only skills the Devil King possesses – and are obviously unnecessary in his new situation – he must work as a freeter to pay for his living expenses. But the anime starts out with some pretty decent action sequences and the backdrop to our story—in the world Ignora, Satan decides to declare war on humans because he wants there to be peace for all devils and demons and evil things (fair enough).
The Devil is a Part-Timer is a series of light novels in Japan, and also has two manga adaptations that might be worth checking out as well. This series is enveloped in the supernatural and uses the plot device of the battle between light and darkness. However, the main focus isn’t necessarily on good vs. evil or angels vs. demons. Instead, the series focuses on a very comedic twist that most wouldn’t see coming. Beyond that, for the most part, the rest of Maou-sama is quite entertaining has it details Satan and Alciel encounters with others from Ente Isla such as the Hero, Emi Yusa (who is also stuck on Earth), and people on Earth such as Satan’s MgRonalds co-worker, Chiho that play their parts in both the realm of pure tomfoolery and action-driven points. Maou-sama is more comedy than it is action, so its comical effect certainly does rely on its characters a great deal; which I feel that it does not utilize as effectively and efficiently as possible, but still manages to get the job done.
But the real fun of this series revolves around the day-to-day living. Mao, working at MgRonalds (yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking), must earn money to pay for food and rent for he and Ashiya, while Ashiya stays at home all day to clean, cook and manage the budget. Meanwhile, Emi is forced to work at a call center to make ends meet while trying to keep tabs on Mao. And with other characters coming over who can’t return to Ente Isla, plus the people they meet in Tokyo, it’s all fun for the audience. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that there will be a second season, considering where the first leaves off and how much more story there is to be told. The Devil is a Part-Timer! may not push the boundaries of anime experimentation with new fight sequences or character design, but it provides a thoroughly fun story with plenty of humor and character growth to keep the audience more than entertained throughout.
A topic that will continue to be debated is whether there is an existence after we die, and more specifically, if there is a God and a Devil. Regardless which way one may view this topic, it is something that will continue to be prominent in society. The world of anime, like any form of storytelling, spins their renditions and takes on the subject, sometimes with drama and deep philosophical views and other with comedy and lightheartedness. FUNimation brings us The Devil is a Part-Timer!, a different approach to the world of the Devil and those that would stand against him. And FUNimation has a real winner here.
Blaxplotation with a modern twist. One of my favorite shows on the Adult Swim Lineup; the series has some of the best animation and hilarious dialog and I am thrilled to sit down and tell you all about this series. I was skeptical that they would be able to capture the hilarious nature of the movie and put it into animated form but I was wrong. They took it to whole new level. The touch on anything and everything and they do it perfectly. Based on 2009′s critically-acclaimed feature film, the Black Dynamite animated series further chronicles the exploits of the central character, Black Dynamite, and his crew. Black Dynamite is a 1970s renaissance man with a kung-fu grip. A lover and a fighter who is not afraid to leap before he looks. His sidekick extraordinaire is Bullhorn, the brains and cunning that complements Black Dynamite’s hard-hittin’, bone-crushin’ style. Providing comic relief on the mean streets is Cream Corn and classing up the place is the gorgeous Honey Bee.
Black Dynamite is pure hilarity. I agree that if you liked the movie, you will love the animated series. It’s well written and beautifully drawn for a captivating and gut busting series. From an artist’s standpoint, the dynamic angles and figures and bold color tones and lines instantly satisfy you visually. The characters are perfect and each fit their roles nicely. A sense of humor is required though. If you’re uptight and can’t laugh in the face of racism, than don’t bother watching the series. Its satire engulfs how foolish stereotypes are and incorporates celebrity guests to add to each episode’s flare.
Episode one, titled Just Beat It or Jackson Five Across Yo’ Eyes, centered on Cream Corn saving young Michael Jackson from an assassination attempt, becoming his new best friend. But as Black Dynamite soon discovers, Michael is far from the cute bundle of talent the world adores: he’s a merciless alien force who leaves his brothers and father Joe in constant fear of a ***** slapping! And when Cream Corn too has finally had enough, Dynamite and crew step in to slap the black off Mike’s face, changing music and Michael forever. It’s premises like these that make my jaw drop but I can’t help but applaud the shows genius. With animation you have the freedom to do anything and the creators use this freedom so well.
The show has a good mix of subtle humor and references, out there comedy, and just random fun. It is a very fun show that isn’t afraid to be bold, and to be controversial. While some people will find it racist at first glance, most will learn that it makes fun of the very idea by stereotyping many different races ,cultures, and popular icons. There are a few times when the jokes feel forceful, mostly the ones referencing the movie, but it is hilarious when it does it’s own thing, like ‘Amazon moon bitches’. The show is just fantastic in it’s humor, art style, animation, and having voice actors from the movie. I’m very excited that the series has been renewed for a second season! Its epic, all of it is epic; Michael Jai White is EPIC! Highly recommended.
Yuzuko, Yui, and Yukari, three girls who just started high school in spring, are always together. After school, the three of them attend their own “Data Processing Club” with two computers and a whiteboard between them, searching for random words on Google and then discussing the results. Don’t come in expecting any humor like of a harem anime or such. Almost everything is purely gag and can really be hit or miss. The quirks of the characters are what make this show! They really standout from themselves and each other and are able to perfectly bring out the best of each other. I liked it despite being set to disregard it the same way I did K-on, Kinmoza and other shows of a similar nature. It’s short, only thirteen episodes long and doesn’t out stay it’s welcome. By the time the end came around I actually kinda wanted more.
The three semi-titular characters are interesting enough and well rounded, and they form a very good comedy trio with some really funny jokes, although one or two of the word-play based ones didn’t translate so well to English. Yukari and Yuzuko initially seemed quite similar to me, but as it went on more of their personalities are revealed and you start to see patterns in the ways they work together to screw around with Yui. A couple of background are there, and they add their own touches of humor to the series without taking the spot light off the main trio. They’re not all remarkable, but they all add something so it’s pretty well rounded overall. My personal favourite was Yui, who was really quite funny and cool despite being the straight man of the group. Speaking of straight men, this show has some serious LGBT undertones, which, funnily enough, only helps me with the nostalgia factor. The occasional homoerotic dialogue and “Are they really flirting with each-other, or just messing around? I can’t tell“, goes a long way (at least for me) towards capturing the way that my friends and I interacted, though in this case the idea of these friends kissing wasn’t unpleasant to consider.
The interactions between the three girls is so wonderful because they end up playing off each other’s jokes and the comedy just doesn’t stop ramping up at that point. It has its little serious moments for some character development but it is, for the most part, a fun, lighthearted show and great for unwinding after a long day (or a feels-heavy marathon of a romcom series). Daily life animes are a great change of pace because they offer elements that the viewers can directly relate to and this is a great example. For some reason watching three young girls go about their day is oddly enjoyable because no matter your age or gender, you have or most likely will, experience situations that are quite close to those that appear in this show. I give this a five because I have high hopes for it just after watching the first episode. I have a feeling this will be the next great K-ON to cross the daily life!
So I, for one, will be giving this time and hoping that the format of girls Googling random stuff and chatting about it actually has the strength to last a season. It might need to increase the size of the ensemble cast somewhat to really run and run, though – and soon enough there will be calls for back-story and character development. Neither of those are essential for this show though so let’s hope it lives up to the pedigree of other shows from the same stable. If it finds its feet quickly then this has the potential to become not just a classic, but also the basis of real-life clubs around the world. Bring on additional seasons!
It’s good–for a game to anime adaptation. But the characters were so insubstantial that it ended up being a let down. I’m the type that’s completely willing to suspend disbelief and tag along for the ride, no matter how outrageous the premise of the show is. However, the characters fail to back up the plot, and the plot fails to bring us much depth. Also “meritocracy” is not defined correctly/properly in the series!! I had to really fight myself to go along with everything they kept saying about it.
Certainly there were some nice messages mixed in there, but they were nothing new. I’m not saying there’s something wrong with cliche themes, but I do think that the storyteller needs to give us a solid delivery, and this one falls short of the mark. What I wanted to do was to run up to the writers, grab them by the lapels, and say, “Meat and potatoes! Meat. And. Potatoes.” The nitty-gritty imperfections and details make up characters and turn your words into a story. Hibiki’s an overpowered Mary Sue type character who just wasn’t strong enough to carry this series for me. He has that “I must protect my friends” thing that is supposed to define most protagonists, but something about him just doesn’t resonate with me as powerfully as it should. He spends a lot of time running around yelling, but rather than come off as noble or inspiring, it sounded more judgmental and shallowly self-righteous. It was fine for him to sound like that for the first few episodes, but it got old fast. Especially since a lot of his angry preachy lines were just reworded complaints he’d made before.
Most of my responses to his outbursts were, “Well, why don’t you come up with a better solution then instead of crying and wasting time?” A lot of times, the anti-hero/semi-antigonist called him naive, and not only did I agree, I also tacked on “childish and annoying.” Any character growth in this series was either rushed or contrived. In short, hard to believe. Daichi should have had more of a spine given the flashback to childhood, but he didn’t. Yet they wait until the last two episodes before miraculously giving him that strength. And no matter how much you think Nitta may have changed, she NEVER STOPS CRYING. Honestly, it was difficult to like the protagonist and these two main characters half as much as Yamato and Alcor.
I usually cry at the smallest hint of sadness, but not a tear was shed for this series. 13 episodes is super short for making a well-developed series, but as a writer, if you know you have limited space, you should make sure you use that space to the best of your abilities. Not everyone can be Sorachi sensei and make a single episode or a four-episode arc into a complete masterpiece, but just watch a few episodes of Gintama, and you will understand why this series disappointed me so much.
The show is essentially about vigilantes killing bad guys, yet the level of violence is suitable for young teens. I prefer more serious stuff, and think this show would have been awesome if they’d kicked up the blood and violence factor haha…but that’s just me. The show mostly revolves around Ogami Rei and Sakurakoji Sakura. Ogami is a Code: Breaker, a guy with special powers who kills bad guys the law can’t get to. Sakura is a popular girl at high school who witnesses Ogami killing a whole bunch of bad dudes and freaks out when she sees him at her school the next day. She makes it her mission to convince Ogami that even bad guys deserve to live and that killing is wrong no matter who is on the receiving end. It’s pretty cool overall, but I just wish it wasn’t so ‘teeny’.
We’re told early on in the series that Sakura has a very important superpower of her own, and that Ogami was assigned to be her bodyguard because she is supposedly being targeted, but we’re never told exactly why her powers are so important, or see her employ them effectively after the introductory sequences. Instead, the story’s focus shifts to the Code:Breakers’ attempts to collar a terrorist who’s one of their own gone bad, and Sakura’s story takes a definite back seat. In fact, the final set of episodes were almost completely focused on the former Code:Breaker Hitomi, his tragic back-story and the efforts of the present Code:Breakers to prevent a massive act of terrorism and bring him down. The terrorist storyline was fairly suspenseful, but by this point, I was feeling a definite sense of bait-and-switch as Sakura had been reduced to little more than a mouthpiece for wildly inappropriate pacifist sentiments, a need to be rescued, and a convenient vehicle for expository lumps. Granted, Hitomi’s story was interesting (even if his actions didn’t make a whole lot of sense in the end), and I would have been interested if the series had been about him, but given the setup, this arc felt like a bit of a left-turn from the original storyline.
We have our grand climactic battle, complete with explosions, shattering glass, double-crosses, and near-death moments, and then the series ends with several unresolved threads…Rei Ogami leaves for his next secret assignment without a farewell, so there’s no closure to the storyline about his slowly-developing friendship with Sakura. And what about that secret government program to intern kids with superpowers and experiment on them? That was a major part of the series’ first half, and it just sort of drops away. And how does the Hitomi’s #2 man and sidekick manage to spend approximately 13 years (if the dates in the flashbacks are to believed) wearing a high school uniform and attending high school without anyone noticing or commenting? Code:Breaker was interesting enough to keep me watching until the end, but I came away with a definite sense of bait-and-switch. If there’s a second season, some of these questions may be answered, but the first season definitely left me frustrated.
The story of Karneval had very little plot, and instead of establishing what was happening, it just threw us into the middle of everything. However, it isn’t to be assumed that the entire problem which arises within the anime has its resolution accomplished by 13 episodes. Whether this series will have a season two or not, depends on the production… and even so, its manga material (which to this point isn’t enough as of yet). That said, the anime unravels a string of events which unfolded quite easily till its last episode. This ain’t a yaoi series. There is in fact no hint of romance within. There is no denial, the art for Karneval receives a 10/10 from me. How beautifully drawn are the characters; its surrounding environment is also beautifully drawn, colored and animated. Karneval is one of those series where color is its standpoint; its alluring brightness and magic-like characters draws the viewer to see more of the series.
The characters are quite lovely as well. Our main character, Nai, is a boy looking for his lost… friend? Yeah, for the sake of my sanity, I’ll go with friend. He is a little bit of a blank slate, but I have no doubt that he will develop well and quickly. Gareki is a sharp-tongued thief whose motives aren’t entirely clear, but he is intended well enough for me to not have a problem with him. However, it is the two Circus members, Hirato and Tsukumo, who really make the first episode so entertaining. Both of them are strong and mysterious individuals and I can’t wait to learn more of their histories and their intentions with Nai.
I had heard that Karneval was pretty but kind of a mess. I didn’t realize how true this was until I had finished it and looked back on it all. A lot of it was plain ridiculous, but fun, and some of it was interesting, but sadly the interesting stuff isn’t really ever explained. I thought the story was well enough contained until the last episode when I realized that there were pretty much no answers and it finished off in such a way that I felt there was a lot more story off in the distance somewhere beyond the horizon… or in the 13 volumes of the ongoing manga.
This series reminded me of Pandora Hearts. There is another story with pretty visuals, intriguing mysteries, and very few answers. Both series are odd in that I didn’t feel like I had wasted my time even though there were no answers in the end (something that is normally very important to me). The journey was entertaining enough that I forgave such a failing. But consider yourself warned.