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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.


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.


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.

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Music in anime: a defining factor

If you saw my review of Guilty Crown earlier in the week you know I think very highly of the show. You’ll also know that one of the best parts of it in my mind is it’s soundtrack. Largely speaking the soundtrack for Guilty Crown is a work an immense work of art that would be equally (if not more) impressive than it is in conjunction with the show.

With that in mind then, what do soundtracks bring to a show as one of many components. I mean, at first glance every anime TV series, film or OVA is dependent far more on character development, plot and handling of themes than it might be on as something as seemingly trivial as the music. Largely, you might be right in making that assumption, but I’m tempted to disagree so I’m going to try and make the case that the music is equally as important as any other factor in defining an anime, using some pretty great examples to do so.

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Plastic Memories Episode 8

Along with Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon? I’ve been watching Plastic Memories as the first two shows I’ve ever simulcast. This week it was episode 8 of the latter, and dear god, the feels train is only getting faster and faster.

After last weeks episode we saw Tsukasa and Isla go on a date at the amusement park. Along with the revelation that Isla’s retrieval date is in a months time, episode 8 is Tsukasa trying to find some hope that after that, Isla’s memories might be restored.

Once their lifespan expires, all Giftia's need to retrieved and their memories wiped.
Once their lifespan expires, all Giftias need to retrieved and their memories wiped.

After going on an assignment where an older lady asks Tsukasa for her Giftia’s body to be renewed with a new OS, Tsukasa starts asking the team if it’s possible for a Gifita’s memories to be restored. The resounding answer? No. Michiru is most absolute as she alludes to feeling the same in regards to her own father before he was retrieved. Another opportunity for Tsukasa to find out some information arises when one of Eru’s old friends (also a Giftia), arrives from Section 3 for a job, but with a new OS, meaning she doesn’t recognise Eru.

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My 1000th episode of Anime: DanMachi, Episode 7: Aiz Wallenstein

gSo today, according to MyAnimeList I watched my 1000th episode of anime. Practically for writing this blog post I was hoping it wouldn’t be an episode of Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon? just because it turns the title into a bit of mammoth. That aside, I think it’s a pretty important milestone, despite almost a quarter of those episodes (224) being the original Yu-Gi-Oh series. Naturally it doesn’t include all the odd episodes of Pokémon I’ve watched through my life or anything like that, but let’s just roll with it, okay?

Yesterday I was watching a review of Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon? and the reviewer made the point that the title gives off bad vibes which doesn’t do the show much good even before you’ve start watching it, which now that I think about it, is completely true. Dungeons and girls? It does have harem written all over it, and actually that’s what it looks like it’s going to be, however, by episode 7 it’s not looking like a huge failure. I won’t go into the whole of the show in this article in the interest of keeping things on topic for episode 7!

Bell's chosen love interest and a chronic napper.
Bell’s chosen love interest and a chronic napper.

Episode 7 sees our hero Bell finally get to talk to his saviour and now inspiration, Aiz Wallenstein. After being introduced and reclaiming his arm guard from Aiz, she offers to teach Bell how to fight with both ‘skill and strategy’ which as she points out, he is lacking. Turns out from this point on, loving a girl lots just isn’t enough to make you a hero.

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First Impressions: Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End)

Last night I started watching the dub of Seraph of the End. Another post-apocalyptic show where the human race has been all but wiped out by a virus released by vampires, with only those under the age of 13 and around 10% of the adult population surviving.

The main character, Yuichiro, is, to put it nicely, a bit of social introvert who doesn’t really do the whole making friends thing particularly well. That said he does live with a group of orphans and has done for at least 4 years, even if refuses to call them his family.

Yu had a family, even if he never admitted it himself.
Yu had a family, even if he never admitted it himself.

So far I’ve seen the first two episodes and a lot of time has been covered. Yuichiro, and his friends who survived the virus were taken away by the vampires to underground city as test subjects/dinner for vampires. Four years later, we find them at stage where they live an uneasy life together amongst the vampires. The first episode details an attempted escape by the group- without going into too much detail, lets say that only Yu escapes, with a bit of grudge to hold against the vampires thereafter.

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Review: Another

I’m not a big horror fan, whether that be live action, anime, novels or anything else, it’s just never been my thing. Suspense more than anything, blood and gore, happy days, dolls (as it turns out), not so much. Another is definitely a horror show: no matter how you swing it, it’s a horror show, there’s creepy music, messy deaths and as you might have guessed from the last sentence, pale, wide eyed dolls.


There’s this story, that in class 3 of the 9th grade at Yomiyama High School is cursed. This curse began following an incident 26 years ago where a student died, but the class and the rest of the school, including the teachers, decided that he was still alive- they even set a place out for him at graduation. Now they say the class is closer to death and every year people from that class die routinely every month, because there is always an extra person in the class who is, unknown to everyone else, dead. If you watch the first 15 seconds of Another they’ll tell you that. The main focus of the story is Kōichi, a boy who lost his mother at birth and moved to Yomiyama from Tokyo as his Dad is away on a long term business trip. Due to an illness he missed the start of school in hospital. In hospital he meets a girl wearing an eye patch, who is very quiet and is holding a doll, going down to the very bottom floor. After he starts school the next month, the rest of school can’t seem to see this girl, who also happens to be in his class- oh and did I mention, that would be class 3 of the 9th grade.

Who likes dolls like that? And to think it's saved on my computer now, I won't sleep tonight...
Who likes dolls like that? And to think it’s saved on my computer now, I won’t sleep tonight…


Another is an excellent story, probably due largely to the fact that it’s based on the novel of the same name, so doesn’t suffer from the same inconsistencies many anime do. Given what I said above (so it might not really apply to everyone) I found the first two episodes really difficult to watch. In terms of plot you’re being pulled along very slowly without much happening, but all the while it is very tense; Kōichi gets to know the girl who no one can see, Mei, largely in the doll shop which is beneath her house. Which is odd, because for most of the show, the dolls are pretty well ignored.

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Thoughts and ramblings on anime, manga and visual novels