Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Synopsis
20 years after the nuclear meltdown in Tokyo, the once capital city has become a ghost town due to the high levels of radiation. After a distress signal being sent the self defense forces dispatched three girls who are part of the Coppelion unit.

Story
Coppelion is a fascinating story to say in the least, with a similar setting to Deadman Wonderland in terms of an earthquake being the cause of the current problem. One thing that Coppelion establishes quickly is the fact that each arc is long and forces the reader to care about the survivors and the Coppelion. Being a story where the characters themselves aren’t too sure of whats going on behind closed doors they mainly focus on evacuating the survivors left in Tokyo. The arcs at times do feel like they drag on a little bit but in the long run you end up appreciating the story even more becuase it went that extra bit further to explain things. You can almost look at each arc as the story of evacuating the different groups of survivors, there is always a story behind the reason why they stayed behind or why they don’t want to go back to the world of the living. Coppelion really emphasizes the idea that in the face of death or in the face of salvation past actions will always make the final decision. This makes the characters face themselves and ask the question of is what they are doing the right thing? For a story that somewhat focuses on the psychological aspect of the nature of humans they don’t exactly do a great job at it, I often found that the answer that a character would choose was quite predictable and didn’t exactly make the characters question themselves as much as I had hoped. The biggest downside to the story would have to be the fact that for a lot of the problems that the Coppelion would face at the most crucial point in evacuating survivors it could always be solved by sending Haruto to the rescue. Overall I give the story an 8/10.

Characters
The Characters in Coppelion are detailed and intricate, a lot of characters have a deep back story that gives them more depth. Surprisingly after 186 chapters not every character has a deep back story to have been told. Characters like Taeko you really don’t know what they went through, while others like Ibara have hinted back stories. Each survivor has their own stories of the past that shapes the very reason why they stay in the city of death that is Tokyo. Unfortunately Coppelion does suffer from having a main character who doesn’t really do a lot. This character is Taeko, sure she has done things in the past that are crucial but other than those she really doesn’t play a major role. Aoi is also another character that doesn’t play a major role despite being a main until the shelter 109 story arc. Ibara is an unwavering main, for the most part but when she does waver in her goal it is for a good reason, often ignoring what people say in order to save survivors that are still in the city of death. She is also already prepared to either save anyone and everyone or to trust other Coppelion. Aoi is the air head who loves her food, having no powers unlike the other Coppelion she often sees herself as a hindrance on the team, despite this she makes sure to cheer everybody up and keep the mood positive. Taeko is a more quite character compared to Aoi and Ibara but she is also well versed in medical knowledge and procedures. Effectively being the surgeon of the group she also has great eye sight that allows her to be the scout of the team. Overall I give the characters a 7/10

Art
The art in Coppelion is interesting, there are times where the scenery is ignored completely but only to suit the tone of the panel in the action that is with in it. I really enjoyed the art though, the scenery was actually one of the biggest positives in the anime, since there is so much that is explored the scenery had to be kept at a higher quality and it worked out wonderfully. The character designs were nice, they reminded me of Bakuman characters mainly in the way the hair and expressions are drawn. The art helps the pace of the manga and really depicts the flow of movement quite nicely. Overall I give the art a 7/10.

Final Thoughts
Coppelion is a manga that takes time to read but once you have taken that time it is worth it. My only real problem is that I can’t find where to read Volume 20 so then I don’t skip any of the story. Either way I recommend Coppelion to those who like long stories and a lot of action. Overall I give Coppelion a total of 7.33.

Synopsis
After winning the medly relay in elementary school Haruka and his two team mates don’t see their friend Rin for many years as he moved to Australia to a swimming school. After time passed the three boys find Rin who immediately challenges Haruka to a race.

Story
Free! is an interesting story when it comes to sports anime, generally sports anime put a lot of focus on the sport that is featured. Free! is different in this case, since the sport focused in Free! is swimming it is easier for characters to be developed more as they don’t have to go through the process of explaining the rules or anything of that since most people grow up learning how to swim and knowing what events swimming has. What I found to be a bit disappointing is that the main character Haruka cares not for the sport but just for the act of swimming. So if he loses a race he is as emotionless as ever, this really stops the story from being able to become more than just good. The story more or less focuses on the bonds between characters and how they grow throughout the anime. At first the anime was fairly suspenseful, the idea of winning and losing having an importance was something that was suggested but was not delivered. One of the things that sports anime has going for it is the psychological side effects of winning and losing, sure everyone loves to see a victory but the most interesting part is generally the mentality of someone who has just lost in an important moment. Free! doesn’t have this, the only character who has this mentality is Rin and he is technically the antagonist of the series so the whole effect is more or less lost on him. Free! also focuses on the idea of being free, the idea of anything being possible when doing something you love, looking for the beauty in life. Through past events Rin is no longer free but instead trapped in an infinite cycle until he beats Haruka. For him Haruka is the obstacle that stops him from obtaining freedom in swimming. The pacing of the anime is rather odd, one moment they are fixing the school pool so it’s ready to be swam in and then there will be a time skip to a summer break where they train for the qualifiers, this in itself isn’t really the problem but the actual pace that the story goes at. It gives a feeling of being rather fast and you forget on what really is going on and what is really important, the actual competition or the journey. Overall I give the Story a 7/10.

Characters
For an anime that focuses on the building of relations between characters and the development of characters I have to say that there is definitely a lack of focus on crucial characters in these areas. Haruka who is the protagonist of the show has no emotion, normally this isn’t something that bothers me, in fact characters like Inaho from Aldnoah.Zero I really enjoy as they do have something to compensate for it like the ability to analyze the situation and adapt. Haruka on the other hand has nothing going for him, he appears rather air headed and is more or less a comedic relief character. Whenever he does show emotion which is only twice from my recollection it feels rather shallow, I can’t help but feel like he only really cares about a situation until another character says “it’s all right.” Rin who is the antagonist of the anime feels like he is the best example of what the standard for the characters was supposed to be, he has a back story that is relevant to his current disposition and shows all the psychological traits that you would expect the protagonist to have but instead Rin has it. At times it seems like Rin is who the story should be centered around as he would be a much more interesting character to follow than Haruka and his friends. RIn displays a vast range of emotions and can go from 0-60 in a matter of seconds when it comes to the result of a race which makes him an ideal character for a sports anime. Yet there isn’t exactly a lot of screen time for Rin to show what more he can do, his potential was cut short in my opinion. Nagisa is a decent character but lacks the importance to feel like he belongs as a main characters, with no back story provided for him all the viewer knows of him is what they see and at the start of the anime and he really isn’t that impressive, once again being a character that doesn’t care for the result of the race but wants to swim as a team as it is more enjoyable. Overall I give the Characters a 4/10.

Art and Animation
The artwork in Free! is pretty good, it is definitely one of the stronger points in the anime the character designs aren’t your average designs which gives Free! more of a fresh feel to it. The scenery is well detailed and complimented the characters and the animation nicely. At times it feels like the scenery is very much forgotten in the experience as the anime tends to focus on the characters but early episodes placed a good importance on the scenery which was nice to see. The animation was also another strong point of the anime, if there is one thing about the animation that impressed me it was the motion of the water. There is something about water that I enjoy in anime and Free! lives up to that expectation. The motion of the water moving wasn’t the only thing that I was impressed by, there was a fair share of first person scenes that looked stunning when seeing them, they also looked accurate based on the fact that I know what it is like to swim freestyle. The anime also focuses on the beauty that can be portrayed through sports which isn’t something you see a lot and I appreciated that in Free! Overall I give the art and animation an 8/10.

Sound and Music
The sound effects were surprisingly good, the splashing of water actually sounded like splashing water which is also a positive for sound effects. The voice acting was a bit questionable, in particular the voice actor for Haruka. Shimazaki, Nobunaga did an alright job but knowing that he also voices Furuya from Diamond no Ace made me disapointed with Haruka, he definitely gives off the right moods and emotions but something was missing with Haruka. It didn’t help that Haruka’s personality did change after the first few episodes. Other than that the voice acting for the rest of the characters was pretty good. The sound track was nice to listen to and there where a few tracks that actually impressed me, such as the track used at the end of the first episode. The reason I was impressed was the fact that there was dub step used, I thought this was mind blowing considering that most sound tracks are fairly standard when it comes to the selection of instruments. The sound track was able to highlight the tone of each scene quite well and didn’t cause any problems in terms of clashes. Overall I give the Sound and Music a 6/10.

Final Thoughts
Free! is a bit of a let down to what I was hoping for, it’s a good anime for someone who is new to anime or just wants to look at pretty pictures. The characters are fairly flawed and don’t really have a lot of depth to them. I wouldn’t say that you should stray away from Free! I would just say that it shouldn’t be high on your list of anime to watch. Overall I give Free! a total of 6.25

So through out the day I tend to think to myself “Am I watching enough anime/ reading enough manga?” Well if I wasn’t running this website I wouldn’t be that’s for sure but since I have been writing reviews I find myself watching less and less anime and reading less manga. I think to myself that my goal will never be obtainable at this pace but on the other hand it makes me happy cause I get to share my opinions on different anime and manga and it makes it some what worth the sacrifice. Even though I am constantly thinking of ways to read and watch more my life is at peace currently.

For anime this week I have started Encouragement of Climb season 1 and from what I have seen the animation is splendid and I’m in love with it already, Day Break Illusion was really too lack luster for my tastes so this feels like the medicine I needed to make sure I don’t overload on sub par anime.

Manga is an interesting story, since I didn’t have the time to read Coppelion last week there wasn’t a review so this week I want to try and read both Coppelion and Death Note and release both of them as reviews to make up for last week, Coppelion is actually really interesting and Death Note as always is fun to read so I look forward to writing reviews for them.

Click here to read our review on Day Break Illusion

Synopsis
With a passionate love of Tarot cards Akari tries to learn everything that she can about tarot cards and learning how to be a great reader. One day through the occurrence of strange events Akari learns that she has special powers that relate back to tarot cards.

Story
Day Break Illusion is an interesting anime, the idea of tarot cards already interested me but to have a completely different world that is invisible to the human world. The story doesn’t introduce anything that makes the story exciting at all, the story is fairly consistent with its telling of the story but it was rather average, no plot twists or exciting turns of events that grabs the viewer into the story. The story was easy to follow and didn’t try to hide any information from the viewer, the anime is fairly predictable but you don’t really focus on whats going to happen next as most episodes end on a note where it finishes off that small story. Day Break Illusion doesn’t focus on story arcs but instead has episodic episodes that fill in the overall story. The story does explain all of the necessary details that the viewer wants and needs to know, in terms of satisfaction in the plot, Day Break Illusion really doesn’t make the viewer satisfied for watching it, if anything it will make the viewer unhappy as it is doesn’t leave you with a definate feeling of either liking or hating the anime, it just sort of sits there in the realm of not really leaving an impact with you. The ending was pretty anti-climatic and didn’t live up to the expectations of an anime that had a battle  theme around it. Overall I give the story a 5/10.

Characters
The characters in Day Break Illusion like the story don’t really live up to the expectation that is set before them, the viewer expects deep and meaningful relations and back stories yet it was really disappointing when we learn the motives of a character, no real effort was put into it, when it came to learning the story behind Hoshikawa Seira it was just a story, it was the sad turning point in her life that it should have been, it felt more like “oh, so that happened.” The back story behind Tsukuyomi Luna had been teased throughout the entire anime yet they never really discussed it, sure it was obvious that she came from a wealthy family and the fight for the will was prevalent but it was never explained what her family did or why they are from money. Hoshikawa Seira is the calm minded and cold hearted girl in the team, she often carries out her tasks with an unwavering will. Shirokane Ginka is the indecisive member of the team, often not knowing where she stands on a point she quickly changes her view based on what some one will say. Taiyou Akari is the cheery Tarot card loving girl who is often described as being as bright as the sun. Tsukuyomi Luna is the shy and quite member who sees her lost twin sister in Akari making her naturally try and be near Akari. Overall I give the Characters a 6/10

Art and Animation
The art is actually nice in Day Break Illusion, the scenery was well detailed and that was a nice change to see compared to other anime which really don’t focus on the scenery. I do admit that there are some scenes that throw the idea of scenery out the door like when they are in the Astralux there isn’t any detail put into scenery but it’s the astralux, it’s meant to be a world that doesn’t have a lot of features in it. The animation in the beginning of Day Break Illusion was actually pretty good but as time went on the animation become worse and worse, the disapointing thing was at the start they had a heavy emphasis on movement and first person movement but as the anime went on the animation quality dropped a lot. The panning shots were always choppy yet that could have been my browser not working properly as it seemed a bit strange. Overall I give the Art and Animation a 7/10.

Sound and Music
The sound track for Day Break Illusion was pretty decent, it fit the tones very nicely, it did remind me a bit of amnesia the way they had the same track to end of the episode but that didn’t bother me as the track was good and didn’t matter how much it was repeated, there were other tracks that were used repeatably for the one purpose but once again I didn’t mind this as it made the anime feel like there was more consistency to it. The voice acting on the other hand was a bit questionable, the emotions never really came across as the voices didn’t fit some of the characters, Akari was too soft to be the cheery and sunny character that she was, the voice made her sound as if she should be Luna since it was a voice that sounded intimidated a lot of the time. Overall I give the Sound and Music a 6/10.

Final Thoughts
Day Break Illusion for once isn’t an anime that I recommend you watch, the anime leaves you feeling that you wasted you time as you don’t have a firm opinion on the anime, it kinda just sits there in limbo and that is what makes it frustrating. Overall I give Day Break Illusion a total of 6/10.

When asked for anime recommendations the one thing I hate being told is that they prefer this genre or only a certain art style. What this says to me is that the person isn’t willing to actually branch out into different anime, that they aren’t willing to give new genres a chance. One thing they all say is that I’m running out of things to watch, well really you can’t run out of anime to watch because according to MAL there are 30, 177 anime that have been released or going to be released. Another thing about this is when people say I prefer to watch in English. Ok I understand wanting to watch in English only but that’s one of the reasons you are running out of anime to watch. It’s a fact there are a lot more anime in Japanese then in English and that is one of the reasons I prefer watching in Japanese. I prefer the voice acting but it also allows me to watch a lot more anime. In summary just reduce your standards or criteria and you will realize that there is a lot of anime to watch.

So far in the past week I have watched Beelzebub, as I said in my review I actually really enjoyed watching it. I have started watching Argevollen which is a mech anime series set during a war. It’s interesting that’s all I’m going to say and I’ll leave all my thoughts and opinions until tomorrow. I ended up spending Sunday catching up on the anime I had been neglecting to catch up on such as Diamond no Ace and Naruto Shippuuden yet I still haven’t caught up to everything yet. I still have to watch the latest episodes of One Piece, Aikatsu, finish watching Akami ga Kill Theater and Pokemon the Johto league. That’s a lot to catch up on.

In terms of Manga I caught up to Kamisama no Iutoori Ni which is the best manga I have read easily. I really enjoyed Death Note but this I just like more. So far I haven’t chosen a manga to review this week. Maybe it will be Death Note, who will know? One thing for sure is that I need to step up my manga game so then I don’t look like a filthy casual.

Any way thank you for reading today make sure you come back tomorrow for my review of Argevollen and check out my reviews from last week. Beelzebub and Kamisama no Iutoori Ni.
Elijah.

Synopsis
Set at the same time as the original Kamisama no Iutoori Akashi Yasuto decides to skip school on the faithful day, at night he gets taken by a second along with all the students who skipped school that day to take place in the games in an isolated cube that no one knows about.

Story
Kamisama no Iutoori Ni, cool a second series set at the same time as the first, this is totally going to be different. At first I thought that this was going to just be a repeat of the original but after getting into it Kamisama no Iutoori Ni is leaps and bounds superior to the original. The story telling is so much nicer, the pacing is smooth and nothing happens no where near as quickly as the original. The solving of puzzles were no longer coincidental, there was a plan of action that allowed for them to survive as long as they can. Obviously the end goal is the same, to survive until the end. Unlike the original the winner doesn’t become a God but instead fights the winner of the students who were at school to obtain the powers of a God. With the trials and tribulations that are presented in front of them it really feels like a do or die situation and at times it really does seem like there’s no way out. Romances between characters and deaths hit you hard as you say to yourself ” no, no this can’t be happening.” The chapters aren’t predictable, there are points where they give you hints of whats going to happen and then it hits you at the moment before it happens and it just wrecks you hard. Kamisama no Iutoori Ni has everything I like to see in a story. Overall I give the story an 8/10.

Characters
The characters in Kamisama no Iutoori are a lot more relatable, each character gets their own back story for why they are how their like in the present situation, a lot of the characters skipped school because they felt unwanted or unneeded and suffered from depression and used the situation to play into the puzzles willing to die at any moment. Its really interesting, Kyioshirou Ushimitsu is a character that at first you dislike and think he is no where near as good of a psycho character unlike Takeru Amaya from the original, that’s until you learn his back story and at that instant you attitude towards him changes and you begin to like him just as much if not more. The character designs were average yet when it comes to school students you don’t have a lot of room to work with to make them interesting. The personalities of the characters differ a lot as time progresses, you could say that a lot of the personalities are just modified variations of one personality but that’s a very bad way of looking at it, when you look at the larger picture you can see that the personalities differ quite a lot. The development of characters happens a lot as the games and puzzles go on in time, you see the characters change in attitude by either becoming more scared and paranoid or taking a role of leadership even if it means they lose their sense of self worth and original personality. With the large quantity of characters that either die or become less important as time goes on your idea of who is reliable as a team member drops as you no longer have as much contact with them while other characters become better because they do have more face time. Overall I give the characters a 7/10.

Art
Kamisama no Iutoori Ni potentially has better artwork than the original, I phrase it this way as the backgrounds don’t really go up in standard yet its the emotions, the expressions and the actions that get better. There are panels where you are just awing at them as the characters expression is just so beautiful and brilliant to look at. Once again this is the strongest point of the art. The emotions are no different, the art really displays a sense of peril or fear in the faces of the characters when they find themselves in unfavorable situations, when you see important characters die to see the expression before their death and the ones who mourn for them it just makes you stop and take a real good look before you go to the next page. Motion is captured really well and you truly have a sense of motion, whether everything is going fast or time is going slow. Overall I give the art an 8/10.

Final Thoughts
Normally with sequels reading the original is a mandatory thing that has to be done in order to understand the story yet Kamisama no Iutoori Ni is different in that sense. Since the story starts in the same time period as the original it’s not like you are really missing on a lot yet I still recommend that you read the original so then you have an understanding of what is really at stake in the early games. Overall I give Kamisama no Iutoori Ni a 7.6/10 and I recommend you read it if you enjoy the slaughter of a lot of characters, smart strategies and planning and a psychological aspect thrown in.

Synopsis
As Tatsumi Oga was beating delinquents up and having them grovel at his feet he saw a man floating downstream the river next to him. He threw the man out of the water and split him in half, what emerged from the man was a baby who just happen to be the son of the demon king. As Oga finds himself raising the demon king’s son he also finds himself in a new arrange of situations.

Story
Beelzebub is a comedy, action anime that has a very interesting story line, they took the cliche teenager raising a child story and added the demon world and the demon king to the mix making it into a somewhat original story, going into the anime you learn that Oga is a delinquent that is very strong when it comes to fighting. The story at first is rather slow paced as Oga has to defeat each member of the TKKH in order to find a person who is more suitable as a parent than what he is in terms of strength. This arc in itself is rather long and there are a few filler episodes but I didn’t really mind this as it fit the tone of the anime. One issue I had was that Oga just had it too easy. I understand that he is unreasonably strong but he is taking out third year students left, right and center like it’s nothing. Fortunately this doesn’t last forever and he does need to train to get stronger. The humor in Beelzebub is quite good, I often found myself laughing at the jokes and situations that they would wind themselves up in. Beelzebub doesn’t force the jokes either unlike Seitokai Yakuindomo where the jokes are told left, right and center. Later on in the story the pacing picks up and it seems that the pacing goes too fast at times, yet once again I didn’t really mind this as the story wasn’t hard to follow and everything made sense. Overall I give the story an 8/10.

Characters
The Characters in Beelzebub are very average, the personalities don’t really vary between characters and the designs are average as well, in saying that Kanzaki and Himekawa probably have the best designs in Beelzebub. The development of the characters is good to see. Oga, as the anime progresses becomes more mature and more accepting of his fate with baby Beel and surprisingly Oga isn’t the only one that has development in the anime, Hildegard also gets some development in the anime as well, she turns from a character that only cares for her master to becoming someone who learns to sympathize with the humans. The interactions between characters are very enjoyable to watch, its smooth and believable. One problem I have is that even though some characters seem like enemies they are willing to band together to defeat the enemy way to easily. There are a lot of characters that actually play some sort of important role through out the anime’s life. Oga Tatsumi is your run of the mill delinquent that loves to fight and is dimwitted, he tries to find someone to take Baby beel from him. Hildegard is the demon maid servant of Baby Beel, she is dark, brutal and heartless to anyone other than Baby Beel, well at first she is. Furuichi Takayuki is the strategist, well he claims to be anyway. Furuichi is the only main character that isn’t a fighter, he is often wanting to avoid trouble yet being around Oga makes it hard to avoid it. Normally characters like him I feel sorry for since they normally don’t have the choice to be in their current situation yet Furuichi chose to be freinds with Oga. Alaindelon the Trans-dimensional demon, he has the ability to transport both people and objects from place to place. He is a main source of comedy in the show often cross dressing and giving the vibe that he is in love with Furuichi. Overall i give the characters a 5/10.

Art and Animation
The art in Beelzebub is pretty average, nothing in the anime made me go wow. With the scenery also being average the art isn’t the strong point of the anime. The animation is smooth and interacts well with the scenery. The strong point in the anime is the choreography of the action. The fight scenes in the first half of Beelzebub is mediocre where it really was just one hit knock outs but just seeing how bad-ass Oga actually is has to be the best part about those fights. Sure it’s a bit lack luster but seeing all these guys put all their strength into beating Oga only for them to be knocked out in one hit is what defined Oga in the story. As the story progresses Oga is no longer this strong force as he was before as the opponents become stronger themselves, the most memorable fights would definitely have to be the fights between Oga and Tojo. In saying this the fights Hildegard is involved in against the other demon maid servants is pretty awesome to watch as well. Overall I give the Art and Animation a 6/10

Music and Sound
The music in Beelzebub does do its job in filling the mood yet my problem with it is not that the music doesn’t really suit the tones its the fact that I just didn’t like some of the pieces, these were mainly the songs meant for the scenes where jokes were told. Aside from these pieces the rest of the sound track was fine, the pieces meant for the fights and any scene where things were heating up were actually really good. The sound effects were good as well nothing did sound out of place in terms of effects. The voice acting I especially enjoyed as it really was believable in terms of expressions. Voices such as Oga’s were really good especially when it came to his “demonic” voice, that’s just what I call it but it’s a good fit. overall I give the Music and Sound a 7/10.

Final Thoughts
Beelzebub may not be the best anime that I’ve watched but it’s an anime I recommend highly, with a story that isn’t complicated and jokes that are actually funny its a good anime to show those who are new to anime. Beelzebub does all the basics correct and proves that time and time again through out the 60 episodes it has. Overall I give Beelzebub a 6.5/10. If you enjoy a story full of bare fist fights with a few magical components thrown in then Beelzebub is a good choice for you.