Posts Tagged ‘Anime’

So it has been a while since I last posted a review or a blog post here. I decided to take an unannounced break after I completed watching Gurren Lagan which honestly broke me because of how terrible I perceive the ending. I understand it’s meant to be really symbolic and all but it just didn’t cut it for me. I was writing the review for it when I was I just said “No, no more of this, I don’t want to deal with this anime anymore.” I was maybe only 100 words away from actually completing the review but that aside it wasn’t really fun.

I then watched Redline, an amazing film with amazing story and art until the ending which once again just broke the entire film for me, I couldn’t even start writing a review it was that depressing. It was at this stage I decided I needed a break in the world of anime as I wasn’t really in taking anime in a way I found enjoyable.

As you would know I started the living the dream blog posts to document what I had watched and read throughout the week and discuss the near impossible dream of actually being able to watch every anime to have been released since 1917.  The only problem is that the list is so expansive that you don’t know where to start and it can demotivate you. When you look at your list of 100 different anime and 40 days watched and compare it to how many anime there actually are you just think is there an actual way for me to do this and is it worth it if I can’t complete this endless backlog.

After struggling for months to find this answer I decided to dabble in other things with my newly found spare time, these things included live streaming and hearthstone. These are defiantly fun things to do but don’t have the same resonance with me that anime has.

As you can guess I am a big patriot of MAL or MyAnimeList, I use it to organize my library of anime I have viewed. Recently they added in the new feature of seasonal anime, this intrigued me as other sites offer this service but I am never really satisfied. Well as you can guess MAL did it just right, I can go all the way back to 1917 and start watching anime through this method and believe it or not you can actually find a lot of the older anime on YouTube and other websites.

The reason I am so excited by this is because there is 98 years of anime history, 1917-2015, I can track my progress based on the years instead of the number which is a lot lower. I am currently on 1934 meaning I only have 81 years of anime to catch up on. It feels so renewing when you look at it that way and trust me I am really excited for Winter 1963 as we have the iconic Astro Boy to watch.

Now your going to want to ask “Elijah are you still going to write reviews?”
The answer to this is yes and no. I will continue to write reviews when I get to an anime that has story that can be commented upon rather then just saying over and over again, the story was only so-so but that is because anime was still new and the budget for making films expensive so they couldn’t make anything other 10 minutes.

Will I still do manga reviews?
Well even though I like manga I feel like it takes away from the experience on the website and means I can’t put in as much time as I would like into the reviews and watching of anime.

I will still give you weekly updates on what I watch and read at the moment and hopefully the website will be in full force in the near future.

Thanks for reading, Elijah.

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

Synopsis
Aoi is a girl who prefers hobbies and activities that can be done indoors, after an accident she had when she was younger she has become afraid of heights. Her childhood friend loves to climb mountains, as she drags Aoi to do mountain climbing Aoi is scared of what kind of mountains she will be climbing.

Story
Encouragment of Climb is a short series of episodes that are around 3 minutes long, the story tells the viewer of the friendship between Aoi and Hinata, two childhood friends that have very different tastes in hobbies. The story in itself is very simple but in this case the story never needed to be complicated, the pacing of the story was very slow, there would be multiple episodes for one mountain climb where nothing in terms of complications would occur. The main idea of the story isn’t that Aoi is scared of heights or that she is climbing mountains, it’s that she is getting more friends since she started climbing mountains. The story is rather predictable but being a series of shorts and that is to be expected since unlike other shorts this series follows a series of events that link episodes together which is a nice change and something that longer anime series could do better. With Encouragement of Climb being a short series there isn’t any conflict or turn of events that faced the story which made it some what boring to watch. Overall I give the story a total of 6/10.

Characters
The characters in Encouragement of Climb were fairly average, they didn’t really develop besides Aoi who become less of an introvert throughout the series. The characters weren’t a main focus of the anime but that didn’t really matter too much, the characters were already explained at their introductions and the amount of time that actually passes in the anime is too short for any real character development to actually take place. Aoba Kokona is a middle school girl who has an interest in wild life but she shows most of her passion in cooking. She is rather quiet and shy but can also be an airhead as well. Kuraue Hinata is the outgoing childhood friend of Aoi, she loves to climb mountains and is rather blunt when it come to criticizing people especially Aoi. Saitou Kaede doesn’t get too much screen time but it’s obvious that she is a passionate mountain climber. Yukimura Aoi is an introvert who much prefers indoor hobbies such as arts and crafts along with cooking. She then has a re-kindled love for mountain climbing coming back to her even though she is still afraid of heights and will only climb smaller mountains. Overall I give the characters a 5/10.

Art and Animation
The art and animation was the pinnacle of these series of shorts, it’s a way to show off what the company can do so then they can get work for bigger titled anime. This is something I appreciate in a lot of shorts as it just looks brilliant when I watch them and Encouragement of Climb is no different in any way. The art was quite detailed since a lot of the anime is based in mountains and outside it’s only natural to have detailed forests and bush. The scenery was very nice and emphasis on detail made the scenery even more eye catching. The animation was also brilliant to watch, to start the anime off they show a scene where two girls are walking over to Aoi in first person and it was done quite well, there were times where I thought that the quality of the animation was low. Overall I give the art and animation an 8/10.

Sound and Music
The music in Encouragement of Climb wasn’t memorable, I guess with less focus on the music area that is to be expected. When going back to the anime I can’t recall any tracks that I heard, the 3 minutes that the episodes are it’s really hard to notice the music since you aren’t concentrating on that aspect of the anime. The voice acting was accurate though, each voice represented their corresponding character rather well making it a more enjoyable experience to watch. The voice acting wasn’t outstanding but since there wasn’t any conflict there wasn’t any need for a large range of expressions. This leaves the music and sound rather bleak. Overall I give the sound and music a total of 5/10.

Final Thoughts
Would I say that Encouragement of Climb is a must see? No, it isn’t in that realm of anime yet it isn’t in the realm of never touch the anime for your life span. If I was to recommend it, it would be to watch it before you go to bed or when you have a 30 minute gap in your day. The anime is rather anti-climatic so it’s perfect for a bedtime piece and only lasts for 36 minutes total so it can be watched in a short period of time. Overall I give Encouragement of Climb a total of 6/10.

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

Day Anime  Episodes  Total Episodes  Average Length
Monday Bleach 20 366 24 min
Tuesday  Bleach 20 366 24 min
Wednesday Bleach 20 366 24 min
Thursday Bleach 20 366 24 min
Friday Bleach 20 366 24 min
Saturday Bleach 20 366 24 min
Sunday  Bleach
Bodacious Space Pirates
3
17
366
26
24 min
24 min
Day Manga Chapters  Total Chapters
Monday Space Brothers 60 Still Publishing
Tuesday Space Brothers 60 Still Publishing
Wednesday Space Brothers 60 Still Publishing
Thursday Space Brothers
Star Light Woman
Spirit Circle
23
15
22
Still Publishing
15
Still Publishing
Friday  Spirit Circle
Shindo
The Seven Deadly Sins
11
46
3
Still Publishing
46
Still Publishing
Saturday The Seven Deadly Sins 60 Still Publishing
Sunday  The Seven Deadly Sins
The Diary of Ochibi
55
5
Still Publishing
Still Publishing

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.