First Impressions: Charlotte

It’s new anime time! Spring has finished and with the coming of the new season comes a lot of new shows.

Possibly the most highly anticipated of the summers shows is Charlotte. Written Jun Maeda and produced by Key Studios, we’re seeing, for the first time, the same combination that created Angel Beats!. No wonder people are excited.

So the main characters have super powers. Sounds good.
So the main characters have super powers. Sounds good.

Charlotte takes place in a largely normal world where are very small amount of teenagers have supernatural powers. One such person is the main character, Yuu Otasaka, who has the power to take over the consciousness of others around him. For much of the first episode, he uses his power to cheat in tests to get into a top school and then to impress the girl he likes – it makes him come across as pretty dislikable kind of guy. That said this episode sets the show up as a good comedy.

Continue reading First Impressions: Charlotte

Advertisements

Review: Plastic Memories

I’m 20 and male and am not ashamed to say that every so often it’s nice to sit down and watch something that doesn’t have guns, swords, dragons, bad guys or a cataclysmic event. An example of such a show is Plastic Memories, with the simple point of the show being romance – sure things happen but the main reason for the show is it’s love story.

What you see is what you get with Plastic Memories.
What you see is what you get with Plastic Memories.

Background and plot

Somewhere in the not too distant future the world is populated by humans and Giftias, fully intelligent androids who are completely integrated into the world. The story focuses on the retrieval service of the SAI corporation, the organisation that is responsible for recovering Giftias at the end of their lives. Tsukasa, a young man who has recently finished college but failed because of illness gets a job in the Retrieval Service.  Enter Isla, a giftia who also works at the retrieval service and becomes Tsukasa’s partner.

Continue reading Review: Plastic Memories

5 shows to get you started in the anime world

So you’ve stumbled across this blog knowing nothing about anime or you’re just looking for some recommendations for shows to start with. Lucky you, because I’m going to share my top 5 shows that every anime newbie should watch. These aren’t necessarily the best shows, but they do cover well liked and accessible areas that will help you decide what other shows you might like in the future.

5. Sword Art Online

Not everyone likes Sword Art Online, in fact the ‘serious’ anime community (whoever they are), actively dislikes it. That said it’s actually very popular, and for good reason. Think swords, fairies and dragons – plus it’s based within a game. The themes of the show open it up to pretty much anyone and it’s a good example of great anime artwork.

swordartonline_1

Continue reading 5 shows to get you started in the anime world

Seraph of the End, episode 11: Reunion of Childhood Friends

At the end of the last episode the inevitable happened, Yu and Mika met each other again. Perhaps unconventionally so in as much as Yu stabs a cursed gear through Mika’s chest. That left us all waiting eagerly to the resolution in this weeks episode.

Touching, shame they realised after Yu stabbed Mika.
Touching, shame they realised after Yu stabbed Mika.

What becomes clear from this episode are two things: firstly, Mika sees his relationship with Yu as somewhere on a fine line between brothers and lovers and, potentially more importantly, Yu has something else to worry about that may be even worse than his own demon, Ashuramru.

This is another high intensity episode as the vampires led by Ferid and Crawley continue the fight against the human army.

Continue reading Seraph of the End, episode 11: Reunion of Childhood Friends

Review: Absolute Duo

As you might have seen a couple of weeks ago I posted my first First Impressions article. Looking over the internet, it seems to be a pretty widely used format for overviewing the first few episodes of a show. However, the most important form of reviewing, in my mind at least, will be always be the season review – such as this one. Why? Because the start of a show can misleading, it’s often the case that a show with a bad beginning can improve in the latter episodes, or, as is the case with Absolute Duo, a promising show can make a turn for the worse.

Background and Plot

The premise is as follows: a group of selected school kids have been given the power to materialise the essence of their souls as weapons, called blazes. At the school, the students, known as exceeds, work together as duos, living and training together. The story focuses on a boy called Toore Kokonoe and his duo partner Julie (u-lee-a) Sigtuna as they navigate the beginning of their school lives.

Toore and one member of the harem.
Toore and one member of the harem.

The point of the story seems to be the development of Toore and his relationship with Julie. We get a problem with the plot after episode 3 when events are completely ignored in favour of starting new plot lines which only seem to bring more girls into Toore’s life for no other reason than this is harem show and it needs the main character to be loved by girls. The truth is I don’t mind a good harem based show, but Absolute Duo wasted what was looking like a deep and serious plot.

Continue reading Review: Absolute Duo

Review: Steins;Gate

In the past few weeks amongst the new and intriguing anime I’ve decided to watch I’ve been watching some of the most hyped and best rated anime out there. The amount of shows rated 10 on my My Anime List profile has increased by 200% (that is to say there are two more), since the start of May. Carrying on the trend of watching these supposedly incredible shows, I watched Steins;Gate. Is it as good as it’s #2 ranking on MAL would suggest, or was I about to be tragically let down?

Background and Plot

The show focuses on ‘mad scientist’ Rintarou Okabe (aka. Hououin Kyouma)  and his friends/lab members in their attempts to discover time travel and the subsequent consequences it has on their lives. The show begins when Okabe and his childhood friend Mayuri visit a conference on time travel only for Okabe to discover a young scientist, Makise Kurisu dead. After sending a text telling another of his friends, Daru of the death, he miraculously finds Kurisu alive.

She's dead. Well at least she is for the moment.
She’s dead. Well at least she is for the moment.

You can pretty much split the show into two halves, the first being the group’s attempt to find out how to time travel, the second being dealing with the consequences of messing with time.

In terms of genre, Steins;Gate, is all over the place. Principally it is a Sci-Fi comedy. That doesn’t really cover everything though, at times it’s dramatic and it can’t help but lean towards a harem at times. The scientific happenings can surely be described as supernatural with the affects of time travel being very psychological. Jack of all trades or what?

Continue reading Review: Steins;Gate

Sword Art Online II, Episode 9: Death Gun

Things are really starting to hit crisis point in Sword Art Online II in episode 9. Death Gun has made an appearance in BoB, killing one player before disappearing.

One of the noticeable things about this episode is that, for a supposedly high action episode, there is a lot of talking and not all that much action. The episode quickly become about finding and stopping Death Gun before he kills anyone else. However, getting from the bridge to the city in which Death Gun is located takes the whole episode- what’s the problem with that you ask? Well in amongst this travelling is some talking amongst Kirito’s SAO friends about how bad Death Gun probably is, Sinon having a bit of break down about the possibility of dying and Kirito himself becoming so ridiculously OP in what comes across as showing off in front of Sinon.

Temporary truce between Kirito and Sinon. Because no one saw that coming.
Temporary truce between Kirito and Sinon. Because no one saw that coming.

That isn’t to say this isn’t an enjoyable Sword Art Online episode. The artwork and animation is as crisp as usual, and that over powered sword fighting I mentioned from Kirito, it is pretty cool. Sinon’s ongoing fear of the incident in her childhood is managed reasonably well and works really well with the cliffhanger at the end of the episode.

Continue reading Sword Art Online II, Episode 9: Death Gun

Seraph of the End, Episode 3: The Demon in Your Heart

After watching the first two episodes of Seraph of the End last week I was very much looking forward to the the next episode in what is looking like a very promising show. After being accepted into the Moon Demon Company at the end of last week’s episode, today’s (or yesterday’s depending on where you are) episode saw Yu doing his utmost to get a weapon.

I’d hazard a guess that Seraph of the End isn’t going to go down as a writers masterpiece, and I say that here because of the opening of episode 3. After receiving a love letter from a fellow class mate, Yu is lectured on the benefits of developing relationships and ‘illicit sexual relations’ by Shinoa, before he demands a fight to take her Cursed Gear (the weapon used to kill vampires).

I like Shinoa already, keep putting the over confident hero in his place!
I like Shinoa already, keep putting the over confident hero in his place!

The 2 or 3 minutes these events take range from awkward to vaguely amusing and does show off Yu’s desire for revenge, however, it all seems like it’s been stuck together in a funny way. For the most part I’ve got good things to say about the episode, but the start didn’t quite work for me.

Continue reading Seraph of the End, Episode 3: The Demon in Your Heart

Absolute Duo Episode 11: Killing Game

I wanted to write a review of the latest episode of Absolute Duo, as I’ve been trying to catch up to Funimation’s Broadcast Dub (which as a concept, is a fantastic idea by the way). Putting myself in that position however has left me disappointed, as this isn’t an episode that nails the combination of decent plot and ecchi charm as earlier episodes of the show did. But here I am, so what can I do.

As the penultimate episode of the show we are getting down to the crux point of plot this time around. Miyabi has reappeared having accepted a demonising type power from the Rebels. Unfortunately for our group the trade off is that she wants to kill them all- including Tooru, who she claims to love. After losing the extra guards for the conference, our heroes are forced to fend her off before being sent away by Tomoe, who insists she can get through to her because of their duo connection. Ringing out the clichés for all they’re worth at this stage it seems.

She's not looking particularly friendly right now.
She’s not looking particularly friendly right now.

Tooru and Julie go on to fight K. Fitting with the main motivation of the show up to this point the battle sees Tooru ending up in distress because Julie is hurt in the fight. Using the serum he received in the previous episode, he levels up his blaze to level 4 becoming a seemingly indestructible human shield before defeating K with his mighty fist. What was that I was saying about clichés?

Continue reading Absolute Duo Episode 11: Killing Game

Review: Amnesia

Often when you decide to watch a show that you haven’t heard of before or has mixed reviews, things work out really well. In my case, I’m not particularly hard to please so I find most shows like that pretty enjoyable. Every so often though, things don’t quite go the way you hope they will and you come across a bit of a mess. That, unfortunately, is the case with Amnesia.

Background

Amnesia is a show that has a good premise. Based on a visual novel, a nameless girl has lost her memories before August 1st. The story is told through her relieving the days following August 1st in relationships with 4 of her male friends (plus 1 other guy, but he doesn’t really count).

Toma seems to be the most normal of the guys, or that's what I thought to start with anyway.
Toma seems to be the most normal of the guys, or that’s what I thought to start with anyway.

Plot

The problem arises when we actually look past the premise and actually at what each episode does to further the plot and character development. The answer to that for the first 10 episodes? Not all that much. Each of the arcs for the four love interests have their quirks (*cough* locked in a cage *cough*), but on the whole they ultimately fail to move the story forward towards any kind of end. It wasn’t until episode 11 when the fifth man arrives that I could actually begin to guess what was causing the travelling back in time and loss of memories, and even then, within 10 minutes of having that opportunity, the cat was let out of the bag anyway.

Continue reading Review: Amnesia

Thoughts and ramblings on anime, manga and visual novels