A blog for news of anime release dates, annoucements and giveaways to anime and manga enthusiasts

August 2016

2:01:00 PM
Gaming has always been part of my anime life. I think every anime fans could relate to my opening sentence. When you start watching anime, you'll start loving playing games as well because both things gives us escape to reality. Watching anime and playing games are cohesive to each together, you can't put one way. They're bonded forever.

For some, New Game! anime would be just a normal comedy, slice of life genre anime. But for me, nope. The plot maybe very basic to understand but the content inside the story-line gives us a whole new meaning on how we should play our games. From the character design, to the motion, NPC, down to the gameplay, this anime drove us to an education trip on how games are made. We should always be grateful to the game developers, bug fixers and exploiters, character designers and to the community of each gaming company as they build each game with all their heart. Yagami Ko is a big example on this, she even has to sleep under her own desk because she's very dedicated onto create her game. It takes time and a big commitment to the people behind every game to make it a successful one.

Will New Game! have a second season? I don't know..., the manga series is still running but the contents to make a season two are not enough. It will pretty much take some time before it gets a season two. Also a game under its franchise will be released early next year 2017, hopefully it would have great amount of sales to push the possibility for another project.

12:23:00 PM
We will always have that partner in life that whenever we are out of control, they are the one who will take us down. Like when you play left, your partner will play right. When you play the mount, your partner will play the blade. At first you'll have a difficult time syncing with your partner but as times goes by you'll get used to it that you feel like both of you are already one entity. My partner would be my guy bestfriend, he's the one who keeps me out of the trouble but when he's about make trouble I literally kick his but just to shut up or stop his aggression. That's how I think about Ikta Solork and Yatarishino Igsem, a perfect combination of brains and blades. 

Alderamin on the Sky is one of those anime that will wont make you stop from watching it. Some anime gets bored after a couple few episodes because of poor character development but this one is different, the plot develops the history, tactics and strategy of military which made me stick to it. The story also covered how science and instinct itself play a big role on every warfare. 

Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin Season 2? I don't know. I love this anime, I like it to the point that I checked if there are available figures to buy online so I could collect them fully in the future. Sadly, there's none yet. I want the anime adaptation to have a second season but I don't think that there's enough pull and exposure for the series. I'm not saying that the anime is bad, like I said I love the anime I just hope that it has greater appeal to the bigger crowd out there. I mean, the anime population in general.

11:34:00 AM
Our first love is the unforgettable one and it never dies. I can still remember my first love. I did some weird things as well and to be honest I captured pictures as well like Yuki Kurihara but I didn't collect used straw. HAHA! I also always try to bend the polarities of us when we are together and make it both opposite. I mean, I always try to be very close to him and most of the time it ends up in a very awkward way. The thing about first love is that you will always do everything to keep the love alive even with the weirdest method of all. You may even forget what you've been doing or what you did after a day or two because you've been obsessed about your other half. There's no way that that a person struck with high first love wouldn't do anything for everything when it comes down to this first feeling.

The first anime adaptation of Momokuri was an ONA, an original net animation which means that it was introduced first in the internet before it went down to television. As a romantic comedy fan, I find this anime fit to every age bracket out there. It made me giggle on each episode that I watched and I'm pretty sure that my brother would have the same expression as well if ever he starts watching this amazing adaptation.

I wonder if the anime would run for a second season now that it is being broadcast in the TV screens as well. I want it to have a season two and also since it falls under slice of genre as well, I do think that making a spin-off or something new about the story wouldn't be difficult at all.

4:08:00 PM
There will always be that one big guy in every generation that would be so famous but wouldn't want to be exposed publicly, that would be the famous manga author under the pseudonym One. He is the brains behind the successful manga and anime series One-Punch man and also one behind Mob Psycho 100. Yeah, he likes number "one". I don't know why he wants it to be like that but maybe he just want to add spice to everything he writes about. And also, for as long as he stays anonymous to every single fan of him, no one would stalk him and bother him about the latest chapters or spoilers of his masterpieces. I think being a mangaka is like always having a secret that you should never ever tell to anyone. No, not having a secret but maybe always carrying a gossip that you swear not to tell a single person as gossip runs faster than the Flash.

One (author) really loves to write a story that exaggerates to the point that the readers (from the manga) and the viewers (from the anime) would have so much fun spending their time with his masterpiece. His talent focuses more on how he exaggerate things that would make comedy very unique on every fans' eye. After the big hit of One-Punch Man, I already know that Mob Psycho 100 is going to follow its path to glory as well.

A season two for Mob Psycho 100? Yes, there should be a season two but how soon is the real question. I don't know but let's not expect that much when it comes to second season since the One-Punch man sequel in the anime screen is still being talked about. A lot of fans is waiting and a lot of sales has been made from the first masterpiece. I can't compare both when it comes to content, even though the "superpower" genre is what bonds these two work of One (author) together. And yeah, props to Bones studio for making the anime adaptation of Mob Psycho 100 very comic-ish, I think that is what One (author) and his manga artist wanted it to be.

2:23:00 PM
School Idols is not a thing here in our country. I mean, you don't see a high school group that is so popular having so much exposure on billboards, feeds online, local news and stuffs. School idols here are like members of music club, dance club, drama club and such but they're only popular inside the school not outside or known to other school. Also highschoolers here tend to idolize members of student council more than club/varsity members. Well, that is what I observe as a teacher since I can hear gossips left and right from my students and sometimes the gossips goes through me. HAHA!

Love Live! Sunshine!! is the second anime project for this big series. It is also the second project of Sunrise studio for this series. I don't know why Sunrise is the chosen studio to animated the story because Sunrise is well-known for their mecha animating magics not on this music-comedy genre anime. But since the studio is part of Bandai Namcco group of companies and the music label Lantis goes with it as well then I can't argue about this anymore. Sunrise did a very good job on both animation of Love Live franchise though.

Would Love Live! Sunshine have a second season? I don't think that there will be a season two but I'm having a good feeling that it would have a movie as well, same 
with School Idol project. Maybe a game and a light novel adaptation too as a result of successful franchise run. Anime like this often gets an OVA series and a movie to close the series even though there's a lot of things to add from its season ender.

1:12:00 PM
Every year the anime scene becomes bigger and better. The system evolves from left to right including the content that the anime studios reproduce/adapt from an original content or series. Sometimes the content gets tweaked by the anime studio recreating the anime just to pass some guidelines before it gets published but sometimes the studio sticks to the plan which makes the fans happier especially when it comes to fan servicing. Fan service is one of the big reason why anime is getting bigger and better every season.

Speaking of content and fan service, I read a few reviews abot Masou Gakuen HxH that the content on the anime adaptation is getting way overboard. I don't think that it is getting out of controlled. I think that the original material from the light novel Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia has always been light that. I'm not sure to be honest because I am not fan of light novels with very sexy/ecchi content, maybe I should try reading some since I read ecchi manga anyway.

Well, I'm not here to discuss how sexy and awesome the anime adaptation of Masou Gakuen is, I'm blogging because I want the series to have a season two. I don't know how long it would take for the light novel to have another exposure but I am pretty sure that the fans liked how the it was animated and sales would never be a problem when it comes down to budget. I would be very happy if this series continues with a second season, would you like it to have a sequel as well?

11:17:00 AM
That moment when you have a crush but your crush doesn't like you. It melts, right? You will always feel bad and cold to your crush even though your crush doesn't know that you have feelings for him/her. Like you're mocking at your crush while your crush is trying to understand what your real mood is. We humans tend to have that trait that we should be treated equality as well. If we have a crush on someone, we hope our crush would have that same feeling as well. But, it doesn't always happen.

But what if you're stuck with your crush on a school club everyday, getting rejected everyday simply because your crush doesn't like your entity at all. That would be the worst feeling ever. I don't know how Mizuki Usami pulls it off every time but I commend her for being so tough and being able to withstand Subaru Uchimaki's everyday rejection to her. I can't do that. I'll just quit the club and find another one, I think.

This Art Club has a Problem! tickled me on each episode that I watch. I would love to see the anime adaptation to have another season. A season two is what I'm looking for but I do think that fans like me would have to wait as the original manga's magazine is updated on a monthly basis. I would be okay with spin-off for as long as this series keeps on running.

10:48:00 AM

Does age really matters when it comes down to love? 2 years, 3 years, 5 years or even 10 years of gap doesn't matter when Cupid strikes someone with his arrow. Love attacks at our most vulnerable time and always gets us out of control. For some, age does matter when it comes to love but for me, I don't believe in that because I have experienced it. Yeah, I fell in love to a guy 7 years older than me. My brother was against the relationship from first to last simply because it was a long distance relationship and he's 7 years older than me. My relationship with that guy ended up so quick not because of my brother but because of distance we both have to cover each time we have to meet up and stuffs.

Forget about that love story of mine and let's move on to this amazing anime First Love Monster. Coming from an original manga series, Hatsukoi no Monster is kinda new to everyone's list. The manga started 2013 and now have been adapted to an anime series. As usual, Studio Deen did a very good job producing Hatsukoi Monster anime from its original manga story.

Wondering if this anime would have a season two? I'm pretty sure that there will be one, romantic comedy is not the genre that fails the fans to have a sequel but the problem is the materials needed to make one. Like I said, the original manga series is still young with 5 volumes at the moment in a running/ongoing status, fans would have to wait for an official announcement especially that the manga is on a monthly release basis. 

11:13:00 AM
I always want to try something new. Fly around the world to explore new things, experience lifetime events like watching the Olympics, witnessing a space shuttle launch, be part of a game's alpha testing and many more. I want to try a lot of stuffs but for now I am bound to teach highschool students and be part of them as well. There’s always and will always be a part of me that seeks for chills, thrills and adventure, someday I know that I’ll be able to unleash that part of me within.

All-men cheerleading squad? Never heard of that, although I know for a fact that the first ever cheerleader was a guy. Cheer Boys!! Go Breakers is something new and very fresh in my own eyes, I never thought that the novel of it would have an anime adaptation that would go so good. I’ll be honest, I thought that the anime adaptation would be so awkward because of the plot, but nope I was so wrong. The character development and also the part on how they explain cheerleading to the viewers are the assets of this adaptation.

Just like the Breakers, I will also cheer for them. I would vote for a second season of this. The series is still young and full of new adventures. Although the writers of the original novel series is different from the anime adaptation, I wouldn’t think of it as a problem. The real problem for a season two would be the materials a studio would use if ever there would be a second installment.

My favorite character for this anime? That would be Wataru Mizoguchi.

4:17:00 AM
Reading someone’s mind is not my thing but there is an exception when it comes to my brother. I can always read his heart and mind. I know when he’s heartbroken, when he had a fight with a friend or with his girlfriend, when he’s hurt, depressed, blissful  and many more. I can totally read my brother base on his action as well. But sadly, he can’t read me back. Maybe I’m just unpredictable and he’s very easy to read. It is like Seiha Harada is me while Takumi Harada is my brother.

Battery is one of those amazing piece of work that was burried in grave for so long. Battery  is a novel series written way back in ’96. A novel which was adaptated a ton of times but never in the anime scene until recently. It was adapted once as a TV series and once as a Live-action film. I am very glad that this Atsuko Asano’s work  had a chance on the anime screen. With the drama inside a battery, the hopes on every league, and the emotions overflowing in the story made Battery to be adapted a ton of times. There’s no spin-off or anything new added on every adaptation, everything in the story is the same, the plot is intact. This is what I like about the Battery’s story because it is absolute.

After Diamond of Ace, I think Battery is making havoc as well when it comes down for another installment. I don’t think that there will be another season but I do hope that there’s second season. Please do not get me wrong, I want it to have a season two but there are no materials for it to have a second run.  

3:51:00 AM
A job is a big secret. I mean, an actual job description is not that actual job at all. I, for example is a teacher, yes I do teach but that it not what I only do.  It is not about teaching at all, there’s a lot of things that circles behind the scenes like fixing love problems of my students (you know as a love doctor), schedule meetings with parents about their child’s grade, setting up events to treat my students because of their good work and a lot more. What we see on the outside is not what we actually know in the inside. There’s a lot more jobs out there that is super complicated and I’m glad to watch this anime B-Project: Kodou Ambitious as it tackled a lot of things behind the music industry especially the A&R job.

The anime B-Project is not all about Tsubasa Sumisora’s struggle as an A&R, it is also mixed with the three group’s music career path and how steep the climb they need to do to make it to the top.  Following Uta no Prince-Sama, I’m pretty sure that the creators did their best to lift this anime to the scene as well but there’s a long road ahead for B-Project though for a second season.

Materials for a season 2 will never be a problem, I’m sure about that. B-Project: Kodou Ambitious is an original anime series so there’s no need to wait for an update from a manga or a light novel series. The problem is that if there would be enough sales from the first season, would the songs from MooNs, Kitakore, THRIVE and B-Project be enough to push the chance for a second installment? I love this anime, there’s a lot of room to discuss about it. I do hope that it gets another season.

2:50:00 PM
Coming from a new studio, I never thought that Arslan Senki’s second season would be adapted that fast. Fast enough for its two mangas to have more exposure and even more to its original fantasy novel series. Liden films had a very big contribution to Arslan Senki’s anime success. An action, adventure anime like this, is very animation dependent especially when we talk about the big battles on the field. So yeah props to the animators and everyone behind Arslan Senki’s anime adaptation because they did a very good job on making this one straight to anime fans’ heart. Not only the animation but also the sound score is very good, it improved from the first season to its second season.

Next to Kingdom anime, I think the fans of Arslan Senki is building up. The wage and coalition of enemies are starting to build up as well. But I don’t know if there would be enough materials for this great anime to have a third season (following the current anime story). The anime is following Hiromu Arakawa’s manga and as we can see that materials available for a third season is starting to deplete. Maybe an OVA would be a good idea, or a movie to feature the other manga adaptation of Arslan Senki. Maybe, maybe and maybe but the only answer is to wait.

Arslan Senki season 3? I am hoping for that. There’s still more to be built on the story though.  Hiromu Arakawa is the creator of Full Metal Alchemist so my hopes is high on this one. I can wait for as long as she keeps on giving us information about her work load because right now she’s writing 3 mangas at the same time. It is a heavy load now that she’s working on Silver Spoon as well.

1:58:00 PM
My everyday job is not all about standing in front of class, writing at a whiteboard using my marker and slowly torturing my students to learn Math. Being a teacher is not only about teaching, it is about learning as well. Learning and finding better ways for the students to be able to understand the lesson easily and be able to apply it for the next lesson and so on. Also, without proper guidance a student cannot progress at all. No man is a island though, there should be always someone to lead and drive a person to his right way.

For me, Amane Ayashiro kinda symbolizes my job. She’s the alpha-driver, the leader, the motivator and the pusher on her team. Without her, her team would fall into pieces. I think Amane Ayashiro doesn’t just symbolizes my job but also symbolizes me. The alpha-driver is me and the progress are my students and that pretty much tells how I love this anime adaptation even though the original material is from a card game.

I’m hooked to the anime series and I want it to have another season but I don’t think that there would be enough materials to make one. Silver Link studios already made a very good job on the anime adaptation, everything now falls into the hands of the fans to bring sales and eventually hope for a season two. I don’t know I can’t tell but the manga is still young, the card game is young as well. It is good to take a peak on how the card game works though.

Please bear in mind that the game is in Japanese, I know that you would like to play it more if it is in English. We’ll get to see if it gets translated to English if ever the anime gets good amount of sales.

A second season? For me, it is a yes. I would like this anime to have another one BUT I don’t think that it would be very soon as I think that SEGA would like to focus more on the game.

10:33:00 AM
Moving to another place to settle your life there is never easy. Adjusting from morning to evening, having new people to live with, new places to explore and new experiences to treasure. Especially when you have to do it because you have to adapt to the situation. I had the same ran that Futaba Ooki had, I was forced to live a new life after my parents died. It feels bad because I have to leave everything behind especially my friends but I never regret it, to listen to my brother and have live a new life, actually I am so blessed to follow his decision. For me, it was the best journey I ever had and I’m pretty sure that Futaba Ooki never regret and enjoyed her decision as well.

From a 2008 manga, Amanchu! had its first run in the anime scene. I can say that the manga is old already but the touch it had in the anime adaptation is very very great. Studio J.C. Staff did a very good job on recreating the series especially on how Hikari Kohinata is characterized and developed in the anime adaptation.  I don’t think that Amanchu! is just another slice of life anime, it is superbly written by Kozue Amano. If you don’t know her, she’s the writer and the brains behind the successful anime series Aria.  

I don’t have that much word when it comes to a slice of life anime. The story is bound with waters and that is the writer’s specialty. There’s no mystery and such to talk about as well. All I know is that this anime adaptation deserves a second season given the fact that it has enough material to make another one. What do you think? Do you think that Amanchu! deserves a second season?

12:34:00 AM

Handa-kun is a prequel series set 6 years before for the wildly popular Barakamon anime series. Barakamon was the slice of life tale of a narcissistic calligrapher Handa and his exile to the rural Goto islands. The series was hailed as one of the best slice of life to ever be produced with a heartwarming story that taught people to look at the world differently and a great sense of gag comedy. While I for one have thoroughly enjoyed both Handa-kun which I regard as one of the best anime comedies to be released summer 2016 and Barakamon being my definite favorite slice of life , I was naturally hyped for this prequel and it has so far not failed to blow me away each episode. There has been some negative attention with people not liking Handa-kuns development into a full gag anime compared to Barakamon’s slightly more subtle comedy.

Handa Kun is an manga adaptation much like the original Barakamon was with the same author and artists working on it , the adaptation began publishing in 2014 five years after Barakamon started. The spin off manga was picked up by studio Kinema Citrus and produced by Funimation , studio Kinema is responsible for hit series ranging from slice of life series l , Kumamiko to shounen action like Black Bullet.The only changes between series production were between the director and main staff. Which is a understandable if Handa kun was trying to distinguish itself from Barakamon.

Set six years prior to the events of Barakamon, detailing the life of Seishuu Handa as a high school student—and a very interesting life it is.

In Handa-kun, Seishuu Handa is admired by his peers as a calligraphy genius and given the utmost respect, but Handa-kun himself is under the mistaken impression that the deference and attention he receives from the other students is actually bullying. Handa just wants to live a quiet life, but hilarity ensues as one character after another challenges his position as the school idol, and somehow comes away as a fan all while Handa is horrified and clueless.

The story premise at a first glance is extremely simple but the setting and wide range of characters sets up for an incredibly wide range of situations.

The comedy varies wildly from typical high school scenarios that are flipped upside down to hilarious 4th wall breaking segments which clearly address that Handa-Kun is an anime. The gags for which Barakamon is well know are amplified up to a hundred with great animated and visual jokes.
The script is literally packed with jokes and if one scene doesn’t make you laugh then the next probably will.
Despite the comedy is fairly relaxed with easy to get jokes which is a plus for casual watching but also meant that not a lot of them stuck with me after watching.

Despite my initial thoughts previous knowledge of Barakamon isn’t required to enjoy Handa-Kun , since the characters are well explained purely through their actions
.The OP is rivalled only with Mob Psycho 100 for my favorite this season with a great song that doesn’t fail to get me both hyped and laughing each and every week. The visuals are great and the animation stellar. Not only does it perfectly  encapsulate the show  feeling and themes in 1:30 minutes as any great opening should but it’s also jam packed with humour.

The OST is fairly mindless and easy to enjoy but similarly to the humour it's ( asides from the OP ) very unremarkable.

The VA’s have all done a great job portraying their characters with performances that are both over the top to fit the gags but not too outlandish at the same time , a tricky balance to strike.

Handa-kun has a very striking animation style , preferring blank or fully white backgrounds to emphasize the actual animation but also to add a artistic contrast to the black ink that Handa uses for his calligraphy. The movements are swift and fast when gags are required and the art director did a fantastic job with multiple different styles for each kind of scene
The freeze frames used for gags are hilarious each time not to mention incredibly detailing holding on for just enough frames to garner every last laugh out of you.

Handa was not only a fantastic hilarious  character in Barakamon with a  touching story arc to boot, young Handa-kun is on par with that level of quality. His comments ,internal monologue and bleak victimized outlook on the work are utterly fantastic. He’s a complete different character than he was in Barakamon but I think that was a great move in keeping him fresh but it’s also done in such a way that we can realistically see him become who he was in Barakamon 6 years down the line.

The side character roster is incredibly rich and full of hilarious characters , the 4th wall commentary and idolization of the Handas dedicated fan-club is hilarious on its own but also adds a layer of contrast to how Handa see’s himself.

Designs are all of a high quality with a sharp art-style that instantly defines their character and keeps them fresh even if they may just be one-off episode characters.

Handa-kun is a fantastic comedy not only if you’re a fan of the original Barakamon but I’d suggest to anyone look for a light gag anime this season to dive straight into Handa and then check out Barakamon on its own later ( or the other way round who knows ?)
My perspective on a Handa season 2 is that I don’t really see it happening  , sadly. My reasoning is that much like Barakamon Handa can effectively tell it’s character study story in a single run series , an extension to a second cour could happen and for sure some BD/DVD OVA specials but I’d be hesitant on season 2.

Another reason why I think Handa-kuns chances might be hindered is by the very fact that Handa-kun is a prequel which may deceive newer viewers into thinking they’d need to see Barakamon first.

12:32:00 AM
Berserk is an unmistakable name in anime and manga it is the anime dark fantasy which has had an enormous influence  on how fantasy anime is made. It has it all ; an epic and grand story , a rich lore , monsters and gods , magic ,brutal sword fights and of course the staple brutality and violence. It has also been an enormous influence on From software's hit cult classic “ Souls “ series. 

Despite its fame Berserk has always had recently had turbulent history with the production of the manga and anime adaptations with the writer famously prone to going on long hiatuses most famously when the writer took 3 months off to play the moe rhythm game “ Idolmaster “ and with weekly chapter releases jumping from 21-9 chapters a year. The original anime adaptation ran from 1997 through to 1998 covering the first arc then in 2012-2013 three golden age arc films were released to mixed review due to the CGI animation which a majority of fans were hoping wouldn’t be present in the 2016 series.. Berserk 2016 is  continuation of the golden age arcs.
The Berserk manga is written and drawn by Kentaro Miura’ and began publication in 1992. 

Having read all of the manga and having watched the original series and GA films I consider myself quite a big fan of the Berserk series which why I was naturally excited for continuation to the story after 3 year it really fell far from what I was hoping for it to be.

Now branded for death and destined to be hunted by demons until the day he dies, Guts embarks on a journey to defy such a gruesome fate, as waves of beasts relentlessly pursue him. Steeling his resolve, he takes up the monstrous blade Dragonslayer and vows to exact vengeance on the one responsible, hunting down the very man he once looked up to and considered a friend.

Along the way, he encounters some unlikely allies, such as a small elf named Puck, and Isidro, a young thief looking to learn swordsmanship from the former mercenary. As the ragtag group slowly comes together after having decided to join Guts in his quest, they will face incredible danger unlike anything they have ever experienced before

I was pleased with how well the anime followed the original manga script  but the pacing was completely off lagging in some places ( 3 episodes of pure action and 1 episode with character development) and rushed in others. 

Where the show starts to properly fall apart for a lot of people ( myself included ) is the art and animation quality. The Berserk manga has a very unique art style with hundreds of rough black lines on every page and a outstanding amount of detail put into everything from demons to armour and weaponry. To its credit the anime attempts to recreate that art style in a way that the 90s adaptation didn’t with a cell shading put over the CGI to emulate the shading and line work , in freeze frames and select scene i.e the op it can look quite striking. But it’s not enough to counteract the quite frankly terrible CGI which is stiff , cheap looking and looks far worse than the Berserk PS2 game. There was a loud majority of people upset with how the CGI animation looked in the golden arc films and that was with budget of a full length feature ,  with unknown running lenght ( so far ) it’s hard not to wonder how Berserk episode 30 will look when corners are being cut so early on.
The CGI animation is stiff with undetailed textures and odd movements. Lips and general facial features are horribly rubbery and always lag a beat or two behind the sound of the lines being said.
While it was a huge relief to see Berserk uncensored and keeping in all the famous gritty violence the epic and brutal fights are indescribably disappointing. Liquid textures have no personality,weight and don’t seem to be affected by lighting or gravity. Due to the unnatural nature of the character models fight scenes are slow with no weight to any blow struck and horrible choreography that too often boils down to characters just standing in front of each other and waving their swords. 
For some weird reason which I can’t as of yet pin down as an artistic or budgetary constriction the backgrounds and foregrounds have no differentiation and instead all the action seems to take place on the same plane making everything feel static and disconnected.

After some initial concern the writer himself felt it was necessary to re-assure people that the characters would stay the same and so far that seems to be the case. Despite a lag in development at the start it seems to have slowly been ironed out. 
My main and quite large complaint is that the character models look about 13. It’s completely disorientating when Guts a battle hardened mercenary looks fresh out of high school.  

There was a large uproar that I definitely agree with after the first episode aired , within a few hours people were uploading comparison videos between the animation quality of the first episode and how it looked nothing like what was promised in the first PV. The PV itself wasn’t perfect and it received lukewarm reception but it atleast had , detailed models,dynamic lighting and backgrounds and far more compelling action scenes this all led people to lose a lot of trust in the studio and producers.

To put it simply , Berserk (2016) is not a very good anime and in fact if this was any other adaptation/stand alone anime I would have been far harsher in my review of it but it is Berserk and even if it’s not very good it’s simply a series where fans need to embrace ( reluctantly or not ) whatever content comes their way so for that reason if you are a Berserk fan you’ve probably decided whether or not to watch Berserk. If however you only have a passing or non-existent interest in the series then I’d say to leave Berserk (2016 ) and either picking up Berserk (1997) or starting the manga.

12:29:00 AM

Amaama to Inazuma or Sweetness and Lighting is a definite part of my summer 2016 favorites. When I was expecting it to fail and be forgotten it managed to touch me as one of the uniquely charming and most  heartfelt anime I’ve seen in awhile and it served me  as a reminder to what the medium can achieve

So , what is Sweetness and Lighting ? And what is it that makes it so great…
Amaama to Inazuma is a manga adaptation of Amagakure Gigo’s ongoing  seinen slice of life manga that began publication in 2013 and has so far been compiled into 7 tankobon volumes. It was picked up for an anime adaptation this year by the TMS entertainment the studio behind classics like Lupin III and Detective Conan and most recently Bakuon !!! ReLife and Orange, two anime that are airing alongside Amaama all of which are exceptional and defy the usual standard when a studio produces multiple anime in a season. WIth a legendary studio like this behind it Amaama’s quality as an adaptation was pretty certain from the start but that way it broke down all my expectations for it is what the show shine for me.

“ Kouhei Inuzuka is a teacher who has been caring for his little daughter on his own since his wife's death. He's no good at cooking, so he and his daughter Tsumugi have been eating packaged meals from the convenience store. A series of events lead him one evening to a restaurant run by the mother of one of his students, Kotori. Her mother isn't there, but Kotori does her best to feed them both. It turns out Kotori is often alone since her parents are divorced and her mother is frequently not around. The three of them begin to meet and cook tasty food together. “

The story description on its own is nothing thrilling cooking anime has been done before both in a serious tone ( Mister Ajikko ) and a comedic ( Shougeki no Soma ) what really turned my attention was the characters , a widower father didn’t seem like a very relatable character and certainly not a typical one in anime. Though interesting from a critical perspective I felt it was very limiting in terms of the situations the show could have and that could realistically be shown. 
While I wasn’t completing wrong , the stories are very simple and low stake even by slice of life standards. For example one episode centres entirely of making a set of doughnuts that get burnt and then they cook again. But I quickly understood that was the completely wrong view point to take when looking at Amaama. This isn’t a show about cooking as an artform but rather how cooking can bring people together. The relationship between father and daughter could be broadened to just about any relationship. When I started thinking like that it was then that Amaama to Inazuma started hooking me in.

The show is incredibly charming with barely any conflict , while there is some focus on loss and negative emotions it is mainly there to make you feel an inner warmth. It’s far more sweetness than lighting.The daughter character is cute to a level that goes beyond moe but within the realms of realness.

For a slice of life the pacing is exceptional and I think the first episode is a shining example of how to set up your world ,characters and keep a steady story to hook viewers in that every new show could take an example from.

One minor problem I do have is that I strongly feel that Amaama would have worked for better as a full length movie feature , the focus of the show is about human relationships and cooking after the initial introductory episodes the show loses some of its steam and watching week to week there are definitely episodes that start to slip up a bit especially with such low conflict scenarios. As a feature the introductory episodes would have been converted into an effective beginning with a far more focused middle and a more satisfying end. Maybe a movie adaptation was discussed at some point but they’re very rare as it is so it’s mostly just wishful thinking on my end.

The OP ( Harebare Fanfare ) is matching to the shows general aesthetic and is impossible not to bob along to.
The soundtrack in general can be characterized by its lightness and joyfulness but it’s rather forgettable.
All the voice actors do a terrific job at delivering toned down performances of very human characters that still match the animation style and don’t feel dead. Rina Endou’s performance is hard to pin down , while I can see why TMS chose to use a ten year old voice actress for the part of a six year old I feel her performance is too much of an caricature  of how someone that age sounds rather than how they actually sound.

The art-style to match the plot is very quiet with warm homely colours and a nice  distinct line art-style. Character designs are fantastic especially the main pair of Tsumugi and Kouhei.
A lot of attention went to creating backdrops and scenes that you can just imagine being in , a warm kitchen a sterile teachers breakroom.
The relationship between Tsumugi and Kouhei is really quite special and manages to feel completely real if not a little too sweet which really isn’t a complaint. Side characters while interesting have incredibly predictable story arcs which I feel could have been tightened up in a movie adaptation.

In summary Sweetness and Lighting is a fantastic piece of work while not a perfect 10/10 it’s incredibly close to one. With a uncomplicated narrative , great characters and fittingly gentle soundtrack I’d say it’s a must watch for almost everyone.
A second season would be interesting and quite probable with the tremendous reception Amaama has received so far. Seeing a developing and learning Tsumugi over multiple seasons would be an plus for keeping the plot fresh but a move that I doubt TMS would go through with in fear of losing Tsumugis image.

12:27:00 AM

Servamp is the summer anime adaptation of Strike Tanakas  supernatural shojo battle manga by the same name. The manga has run from 2011 and has so far been collected into 9 tankobon volumes. The adaptation is handled by studios Brain’s Base and Platinum Vision and backed by  10 producer companies ( as listed by MAL ). Platinum Vision is a studio who’ve consistently churned out popular shoujo so their involvement in this high selling IP is expected , for Brain’s Base however Servamp is their first ever credited anime and I assume the future of the studio will be riding on the ratings of Servamp.
So is this a show worthy of a double studio involvement and the money of 10 different producers ? Well it’s not an exact split.

“The story revolves around a 16-year-old boy (15 at the beginning of the story) named Mahiru Shirota who likes simple things and dislikes difficult things. One day, he picks up a stray black cat he finds in the middle of the road and gives it the name Kuro (which literally translates into "black"). From this moment on, a contract between the servamp Sleepy Ash and Mahiru is formed, and Mahiru is pulled into the Servamp war between the seven deadly Servamps and their eighth sibling Tsubaki.”

Vampires certainly aren’t a new concept , in hollywood or anime , they’ve been done over and over. But using the tried and trusted isn’t inherently a weakness , Servamp takes this established lore that people are already comfortable and applies its own rules to the world thus differing it from the vastness of vampire media. 

Another thing I think Servamp did well was the scale of the story, in a 12 episode run trying to fit in an ambitious battle between worlds , a la , Attack on Titan ( for example) would have resulted in a mess of conflicts and rushed characters. While I understand this is linked to how the source manga ran and how the author intended the story to go , the studio keeping with a story that can be summed up in one paragraph keeps the viewer focused and Servamp easy to digest allowing for a good handful of villains and fights. 

The pacing is also suited perfectly for the episode span that Servamp has , the story keeps moving continually ahead with very little in the way of detours and hardly an ounce of filler. The first episode itself encapsulates the world , sets up our main characters and villains and also has time for a adrenaline pumping fight-scene. Does that sound like a lot ? Well it is , most medicore anime set all that up with their OP and spend the first five minutes dumping exposition on the viewer before actually starting. Servamp handles all those elements while still giving the viewer time to breathe and think.

This leads into my third point on what Servamps writing and planning teams did to sell me on the show , most supernatural anime open up on a scene of narration that in five minutes beats us over the head with exposition. Servamp spaces out all explanation and lets it occur naturally when the world requires it , allowing for intrigue on how the world works and also providing the necessary answers.

The humour however has been sacrificed to allow for these positivities , it’s hollow and horribly “ anime “ resorting to cliches and coloured panels with little relation to the characters.

As for the story itself ? It’s not horrible the villains and problems encountered are entertaining but it’s also not a literary accomplishment either , it’s rather small scale and allows for all the character arcs it requires. 

The OP is very reminiscent of death notes second op “ What’s Up People “ with a heavy metal/screamo song that breaks the usual J-pop monotony , I take it as a breath of fresh air but I feel it marginalizes the viewers who’ll be able to enjoy it since it’s a rather broad audience show. It’s visually tame but compensates with a interesting blue-red overlay with livens up the imagery.

The OST has no real concrete style and hops from genre to genre but the sound director made the wise choice to keep it out of the way and serve as a backdrop for the action rather than the main focus.  

The backgrounds have a horrible habit of being completely over-saturated and drowned out in cheap sun-light lens flares. Which is a shame since the lighting and shadow are quite good and the geography results in a lot of cool shots. Because of how the lens flaring acts on the environments never completely implement into the scene , outside of fight scenes , and look like paper puppets on a computer drawing.

Talking about fight scenes, they’re the main draw that Servamp had on me , with choreography that constantly moves with the slick camera work and the wide range of angles and shots. Zooming in and out while the characters flip and swerve around each other in elaborate dances. Usually done with heavy stylized backdrops of bold red and black where the high quality particle effects and neon colours can truly shine. 

This sections of high quality animation only last for a few minutes at best before Servamp has to shove in a sub-par chibi comedy segment both in terms of humour and visuals. It’s horribly jarring and the chibi models are some of the least detailed I’ve seen.

The character designs are very anime , their shoujo origin has been some-what muted and they fit comfortably into the category of both shounen and shoujo equally. Nevertheless they’re still very “ anime “ with over the top colours and insane hair colours that don’t really serve to distinguish them from other characters in the same camp. The MC and his pet vampire are both stock characters with one dimensional personalities and the irritating cliche of having a saying they repeat once an episode ( at least ). The side characters also aren’t much to speak off , in truth you’ll find far more enjoyment in the villains who are the correct mix of threatening and completely over the top.

Is Servamp worth a watch ? If you’re a fan of the manga , then yes obviously I think you’ll be satisfied with how the manga has been converted from paper to frame. If you’ve never touched a volume of Servamp before ? It’s not the worse pick of this season , it’s engaging , has good villians and great animation ( in select moments ) and the 12 episode run means you won’t have to invest too many hours of your life into

As for a season 2 ? It’s not a yes or no issue , for me, the anime is good enough on it’s own to guarantee at least a follow up OVA but it all comes back to manga sales and BD sales , personally I’d like to see Servamp move away from the source material and try their hand at an OC arc but since that depends on the manga I feel they might not have the chance to.

12:26:00 AM

Relife is a web-manga adaptation which began it’s run on comico in 2013 ( with a published edition following in 2014 ) in 2015 it was picked up for a TV anime adaptation that piloted on the first of July 2016. The production is in the hands of studio TMS a extremely successful studio that is also managing two other projects alongside ReLife , Orange and Amaama to Inazuma  this season( Summer 2016 )  and so far all of them have been well received. ReLife is no exception it’s a fresh concept with a great sense of comedy and wide array of charming side characters topped off with a relatable and hilarious main character.

“The story follows Kaizaki Arata, a 27-year-old jobless man, who fails at every job interview he had after quitting his last company. His life changes after he met Yoake Ryou of the ReLife Research Institute, who offered him a drug that can change his appearance to 17-years-old and to become a subject in an experiment for one year. Thus, he begins his life as a high school student once more.”

The story is small scale and self contained with a fairly fresh concept in terms of how it’s been done within anime. The rules set up on how the ReLife experiment works  are interesting and the world building while simple is great hinting on a larger story behind the works.
It’s also a relatable idea for many people , since I’m sure a lot of you would be glad for the opportunity to change how your high school experience played out. It’s an anime with the power to make you daydream within its world.

This show is listed as “ high school comedy/slice of life “ by anime networks but it’s unlike any comedy set in a high school I’ve seen so far. It uses the setting in a completely different manner with the MC being a 27 year old and someone who’s lived through high school before the jokes play off of that , him forgetting basic rules , being confused by school politics and bringing his cigarettes into class.  This different direction is aided not only by the genius script-writing which allows our main character to look into the dynamics of modern high school life through the outside but also by the amazing sense of pacing and delivery of punch-lines. Anime humour at it’s most shallow is lightning fast with every feature overtly-exaggerated , ReLife as I see it has the pacing and comedic structure of a typical western comedy with the joke being set up over time and allowing the viewer to guess the punch-line as it comes in the style of Charlie Chaplin. That’s not to say that it lacks speed , when the punch-lines rolls in the animation moves along-side with a breakneck speed and is a superb accompaniment to the written humour.

The OP is fairly standard and visually tame , it sets up the cast and covers the bases that the story will touch on , but that’s about it fairly run-of-the mill stuff. Same goes for the ED.

The sound-design ( something I don’t usually praise since its job is to blend into the background) is very tight with the animation and SFX cuing up at an almost 1:1 timing in a unusual twist I’d have to say the sound engineering of SFX is far superior to the actual OST which is extremely lazy.

The voice actor for Kaizaki ( Kensho Ono ) who some of you might recognize as Slaine from Gen Urobuchi Aldnoah Zero series does a fantastic job breathing life into the character and giving him a wide range of emotion and expression.

The direction features some really interesting cuts and shots to both amplify the humour and to liven up the rather tame setting of a high school. The director Satoru Kosaka hasn’t handled an entire anime series before ReLife focusing on stand-alone movies and single episodes , and you can really see him trying to implement his own style into the animation with unique shots and livening up standard ones that have been used for years.

The art is very clean with a pleasant sharpie-style , it’s fairly muted for the most part but livens up and can be particularly impressive around the comedic segments. Experimenting with different effects and angles.
The colouring is very bold with minimal shading which compliments the line style of drawing and is pleasant to look at giving the show a welcoming feeling.

The MC is one of my favorites these last few season he has a wide range of emotions and characteristics and is extremely believable , he reacts to the world and situations in a relatable manner and his ongoing internal monologue is the highlight of most episodes for me.
The side characters aren’t bad either , they all have distinct and colorful personalities while still remaining interesting. There chemistry between each other and the main character are believable but still they’re all weaker than Kaizaki himself.

Character designs are plain and have clean designs with none of the typical anime traits i.e enormous purple hair , it’s fitting since they’re just meant to be regular high school students. Despite that I fear that only Kaizaki is distinct enough in both design and personality to stand-out and be instantly recognized.

Despite some later bumps in the story-telling ReLife manages to keep a consistent level of good animation, lovable characters, hilarious comedy and a decent amount of intrigue all throughout the 13 episode run time. I’d recommend it almost anyone looking for a great comedy with a small amount of commitment involved.

Despite the show ending on a definite note I think the world is established well enough to allow a second season following a different character in a different setting breaking away from the manga. So far the show has enjoyed enough critical acclaim to see a good possibility of a season 2 being funded , all though as almost always it’s still in the hands of the blu-ray and DVD sales.

12:25:00 AM

Orange is a manga adaptation of Ichigo Tanakos shoujo mystery drama manga that began serialization in 2012 and has so far been collected into 5 paperback volumes as of May 2016. The adaptation anime has been picked up by the studio Telecom Animation Film who have worked on a wide range of different anime since 1991 handling both full series specials and select episodes.

I had no real expectations for this show when I first read the description on Anichart , the story had been done before and has been taken in almost every direction it could be , except ( before Orange ) through the sub-genre of Shoujo, I do not regularly indulge in shoujo anime and manga so this didn’t particularly get me fired up , however I still found it to be a fun exploration of a common theme and a base introduction to the sub-genre.

“One day, Naho Takamiya receives a letter written to herself from ten years in the future. As Naho reads on, the letter recites the exact events of the day, including the transfer of a new student into her class named Kakeru Naruse.

The Naho from ten years later repeatedly states that she has many regrets, and she wants to fix these by making sure the Naho from the past can make the right decisions—especially regarding Kakeru. What's more shocking is that she discovers that ten years later, Kakeru will no longer be with them. Future Naho asks her to watch over him closely.”

As I said before the premise has been done before in almost every stretch of the imagination , Mirai Nikki - action , ReLife - comedy, Steins ; Gate - drama and now Orange can claim the theme for shoujo. Now I’m not saying in anyway that it is in particular a bad theme , communicating with the future and past leads to interesting world building , character development plenty of intrigue and the ability to see the world develop according to the choices our characters have made.
So what sets Orange apart in the way it handles the theme is the way it looks at , while Mirai Nikki relished in high action fight scenes Orange makes it about a far more human element in particular friendship and relationships in the ever-present setting of a high school. All of that sounds well and good but the main problems set in when the show goes full shoujo. The writing is incredibly sappy and every is just shiny and happy and has a bright sunshine smiling over it.Dialogue and character interactions are always just unfiltered happiness filled with quirks and friendship you can see all that from one glance at the poster Besides the fact that it doesn’t appeal to me. From a critical standpoint , the contrast this type of world has when the actual drama kicks in is way to sheer and at times can be comedic. It’s hard to mix a world of BFF’s with suicide , maybe this is standard shoujo practice , again I wouldn’t know , but it seems like a bad handling of tone more than anything else.

My problem with the VA’s and their deliveries isn’t really a problem I have with the VA’s and their delivery it all stems from how sappy and bubbly the dialogue is in a world where people become best friends in a school day it’s hard to convey any emotional weight. I’m sure the cast of Orange are all highly talented , in fact I know that for a fact looking at their prevous roles , but when I listen to them I don’t hear characters I hear anime voice actors. Every line is just too exaggerated and in a way too full of character , in a way that they feel too much like a 2d drawing.

The OP is bouncy and happy with standard visuals and sequences but with nice composition nonetheless.

I can’t fault Orange on the lack of detail in it’s animation since it’s a character driven drama and not a shoujo fight manga I can look past the general absence of movement and excess of screen wipes and freeze frames especially when the freeze frames are all beautifully drawn and coloured and great translations of the manga.

I do have a complaint to bring up with the standard of how the lighting is done. I feel some person in the post effects department just rammed up all the the light saturation to full and left it at that. In some scenes the sunlight is so glaring that it makes the backgrounds seem all fuzzy and bleached out.

The characters are all what you could expect from a shoujo , large lips , exaggerated eyelashes covering dazzling eyes that sparkle at every turn. Whether you enjoy it or not is up to personal preference. Although they are all extremely photogenic and in keeping with style of world there could be a case made for them not being very recognizable.

As I mentioned in my dialogue critique the chemistry between the characters is far too sappy too be believable and I can’t meet any of the attempts at tugging at my heart seriously. Everyone is just a radiant ball of quirky joy until the drama unfolds of course, this is of course entirely objective and you might be able to just sit back and enjoy this type of architecture. Viewed from the category of anime and not shoujo-anime they’re all unbearable , within shoujo well that’s up to preference. 

If you’ve read this article from start to finish then you’ll see that I can’t exactly hand out a yes or no answer , from the standard of a shoujo fan then you’ll have to answer that yourself for someone that wants in on the sub-genre then with it’s above par art quality and comfortable story-line you’ll find Orange to be a perfect choice , if you’re neither of those and don’t have an infatuation with shoujo then I’d say , no , Orange is pure shoujo and for me the bubblegum aesthetic was too much. 
Seeing how the story wrapped itself up neatly with little in the way of loose threads that could be exploited into sequels and the live action adaptation was released years prior I’d say that Orange has little in the way of a future.

12:22:00 AM

91 Days was an anime that intrigued me from the first time I saw the promotional image on the season line-up , it seemed to promise a dark story set in a gritty world with melancholy characters and plenty of criminal intrigue and violence. Reading the description fed that intrigue even more , a mob story, set during the prohibition era ? It ticked all my boxes especially the setting I can count on one hand how many times prohibition and the organized crime that sprung from it has been covered in anime but I’d need a hundred hands to count how many times it’s been done in western and more so in American media. It was an exciting prospect , even more so when I saw it was to be an original show meaning no need to be tied down by a pre set manga story. So how did 91 handle all these promising elements ? Better than I had expected but still not as strong as it had the potential to be.

91 comes from Studio Shuka who so far have been mostly involved with the Durarara!! Series and 91 days is there first series outside of that mould and a pretty ambitious first series at that. It’s also a big step up for director Hiro Kaburaki who has only been in charge of select episodes of a range of series until now.

So with all that riding for it , does 91 manage to live up to the potential it set for itself ?
“During Prohibition, the law held no power and the mafia ruled the town.

The story takes place in Lawless, a town thriving on black market sales of illicitly brewed liquor. Avilio returns to Lawless after some time away, following the murder of his family in a mafia dispute there.

One day, Avilio receives a letter from a mysterious sender, prompting him to return to Lawless for revenge. He then infiltrates the Vanetti family, the ones responsible for his family's murder, and sets about befriending the don's son, Nero, to set his vengeance in motion.

Killing brings more killing, and revenge spawns more revenge. How will the 91-day story of these men guided by a tragic fate end?”

As I said before the prohibition era has not been covered almost at all in the anime medium , that is not to say however that mob stories have not been done especially seeing how Yakuza media accounts for a huge proportion of Japanese entertainment , what has however been done across the scale of almost all fiction since the beginning of time are revenge stories. When I started watching 91 and realized that it was a run of the mill revenge story it made my heart for the series sink. It meant that the writers were going to focus on a small group of characters  and a rather boring narrative rather  than reaching out on a larger scale and trying to bring to life this interesting world and having us explore it through a grander arc. Nonetheless I remained hopeful and while , yes, the plot is filled to the brim with the cliches of a crime story ( betrayal , infiltration , familial death ) there is something about 91 that manages to keep me dragged into every suspense scene with hooks. Even the most standard and predictable of scenes become enthralling and I credit this mainly to the scene writing and direction.

The direction is a shining point of this show , with some shots being so cinematic I swear I was watching a feature film. Each scene has a compelling and natural flow to it that guides the viewer to explore it with minimal cuts, it amplifies suspense and tension by letting scenes linger.

Interior designs in particular are always rich and can convey the emotion and lifestyle of the characters within them from mansions , to run down apartments and sleazy bars. The playing with lights and shadows adds to this and is fantastic in its subtlety and ability to blend into the world.

Actual animation and the movements of characters are fairly basic but it’s made up ten fold with the aforementioned movement and scene setting.

The sound-design , soundtrack and often empty silence are all effective tools for keeping the suspense scenes right with tension and unpredictability. The score is well fitting to the time-period. I also appreciate the bare and sophisticated designs of the OP and ED as they feel as the best fit for the overall tone this series is attempting to convey.
I do have some beef with the sound engineering however. First off the sound effects themselves are often hollow and feel out of sync by a beat or two to the action on scream second and this is real irritation for me , the guns sound completely dull, weak and without personality , it’s a crime anime there’s gun been shot all the time and I can’t stand them being so measly

The costumes are all sophisticated and in keeping with the time period. Even though the character designs feel fairly bare bones at worst.

Despite the characters being mostly complete mob cliches 91 plays off of them and creates some original and not to mention fairly touching interactions and fearsome villains.

Being one of the first crime orientated of this kind 91 days has a lot going for it, enough to warrant you watching it from start to finish. The world is gritty , violent but still has a sophisticated side. The characters are easy to understand and watch. The direction and animation are beautiful and enough to warrant an award on the opening scenes of the first episode. Scenes are so well directed and flow so well that no matter what’s going on , a child's game or a brutal fight , it’ll be sure to drag you in.

Now that the world has been set-up , the basic archetypes for a story established I feel that 91 is in prime time to go ahead and try for a second season with a completely fresh plot-line.


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