FriendlyNeighborhoodAnimeReviews

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren FNAR Review #84:

         Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren, also known as Love, Chuunibyou, & Other Delusions -Heart Throb- which I still think is a pretty bad title continues the story of the lives of our main characters, Yuta Togashi and Rikka Takanashi. This season starts as the beginning of their second year of high school does and after a number of circumstances Yuta and Rikka have ended up living together. Not only does this add to their relationship and provoke the suspicions of their peers but it also means that Rikka’s old apartment above Yuta’s is vacant. It is now free for Yuta’s childhood friend, the chuunibyou that made Yuta into the Dark Flame Master to move in. Her name is Satone Shichimiya and she becomes a major part of the plot in some expected and surprisingly unexpected ways.

          Chuunibyou still stands as an incredibly charming series that is full of some truly wonderful moments and characters. I had a lot of fun with this season but there are a few hiccups. My main complaint is that it felt like not a whole lot was accomplished in terms of the advancement of Yuta and Rikka’s relationship over the course of one whole year. The ending was very disappointing, especially since the whole last episode (arguable the season) was leading up to that one moment and it sort of didn’t happen and I ended up feeling cheated and robbed. While I’ll admit that there was some progress made in their relationship, and while I do understand that Rikka’s chuunibyou is a huge hindrance, I still find it hard to believe that they’re at such a basic level of their relationship after this amount of time. This season was far less episodic that last season’s start and wasn’t quite as story driven as last season’s end. It was built up sort of slowly and didn’t have one definite purpose to the story and the events within other than to bring Yuta and Rikka closer together. One thing that I think this season did just right was in the character department. Not only did they grow and develop all of the existing loveable characters, but Shichimiya was constructed fantastically. She could have screwed the entire pooch and been annoying, pushy, and overall just a plot device to add terrible and cliché drama to the show. But, she broke the mold of other characters that have been in her place and ended up being one of the best and most loveable characters in the entire series. The viewer is able to get sympathetic with her and her feelings and at the end is able to respect her, her decisions, and her independence. She’s a great addition to the cast and was not only a relief, but a high point of the season. Not a whole lot is to be said in the departments of looks and sound because most of it was pretty much the same. The music felt slightly less captivating but was overall fairly good. The animation and overall visuals are virtually identical to the previous season, maybe even a little better, but certainly not worse. Also,  I don’t know if I’ve failed to stress this, but I love the character designs of this show (as well as most KyoAni works). They are adorable and perfect for the content.

           Chuunibyou Ren was a great time. It was less goofy than the previous season but the serious tones that are present are very very enjoyable and the only major let down was the overall lack of progress that is exemplified in the very last disappointing scene of the season. Other than that, everything else was solidly good and fun, although not perfect. I give Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren a 8.75/10. I don’t know if there will be a season 3, but there better be after that ending (which might just be the feeling they were trying to evoke). This season of Chuunibyou is licensed by Sentai Filmworks and is available on Crunchyroll in it’s entirety. So check out season 1 if you haven’t already as well as my review of it (harhar shameless self promotion) and if you have seen season 1, I’m pretty darn sure that Ren will not disappoint you. 

Side Note: I apologise for the lateness of this review, last week I was in a car collision and it kind of set me back a bit. 

Wake Up, Girls! FNAR Review #83:

         Well everyone, it’s time to talk about Wake Up, Girls! and for the record I’ll just be talking about the television series here and not the prequel film for the sole reason that I was completely unable to watch the prequel film. But anyway, the show starts off and we see the seven girls of the small idol group called Wake Up, Girls! gather around their small talent agency, Green Leaves in Sendai, Japan. It’s the day after their first concert that they performed in a local park. The show as you would imagine is about how this little idol group tries to improve and make it big. From what I gathered, the film covers how the group came together and their first concert, from there they are just trying to get out there and make a name for themselves. They have a little bit of a rivalry with the big idol group in the country called I-1 Club of whom Mayu Shimada, the shows unofficial main character was a primary member of. And yes, it does escalate and a story does become present.

          Wake Up, Girls! wasn’t a show I was particularly excited for, it was just that I’d never watched a full on idol show before and I figured it was about time. And one thing I learned from watching this is that you kind of have to be in the mood for it. About halfway through the season I watched episode 1-4 in one shot and caught up. The few weeks after, I didn’t watch it at all and as the season was coming to a close it was only an episode very rarely until I ended up watching the last 5 episodes today. I think that this may be because in the middle there I just had no interest but when I was watching it a lot I was just in such a mood to watch an idol show. And to be honest, this series actually surprised me with how much I actually did end up enjoying it. The story is kind of cliché but it wasn’t overbearingly generic. I liked all the ups and downs of the show and how things progressed. I did feel that there were some gaps in time or instances where the show was paced kind of weird and I had no idea how much time had passed in the show’s world until someone made reference to whatever month or season they were in. The characters were pretty good generally. None of them was particularly amazing but they all had their time in the spotlight with some more than others but I’ll admit it is kind of hard to entirely flesh out that many characters. Plus if they went much further into the types of characters presented it would have gotten kind of monotonous by the end of a particular characters little arc. The girls and side characters were all developed and involved enough for me to care about them jus the right amount for this type of laid back, easy going show. The look and animation of the series did not blow me away by any means. I will admit that I like the art style and that the animation during the singing and dancing sequences are solid. However, throughout most of the show the whole look and feel of everything is sort of plain. There are a lot of nice but not beautiful looking backgrounds that did help a little bit. The music, which is arguable the most important part about a show about a group of girls performing music is…………….okay. Yepp, just okay, I liked the OP, the ED was eh and all the music in between did what it needed to do. 

          So yeah, Wake Up, Girls! was pretty fun and a solid watch if you’re in the mood for something in this vein but I don’t really think it’s a show you need to watch of go out of your way to experience. My biggest regret is that I haven’t seen the film which I do plan on doing at some point. Wake Up, Girls receives a 6.25/10 from this man. If you feel inclined to check out Wake Up, Girls for yourself, which is something I would not steer you away from, it is available in full (minus the film) on Crunchyroll and as far as I know, no one has picked up the license on the series or film yet. So I wish you all good night and a happy day and I’ll talk to you all soon!

Magical Warfare FNAR Review #82:

          In my last review that I mentioned was on a fairly good streak for this season and wondered over the internet whether my good fortune would continue. But, the show I completed today is called Magical Warfare or Mahou Sensou. Takeshi Nanase is an “average high school student” like most main characters are when he one day turns into a magician by being caught in the crossfire of another magician named Mui Aiba and the people she is fighting. Two of Takeshi’s friends show up and also become magicians, their names are Kurumi Isoshima (his “girlfriend”)and Kazumi Ida. They are now magicians and automatically abandon their real lives and enter the world of magicians. They attend a school for magic in this separate world and learn about some factions that were warring a while back in the magical world and how there is still tension there. The only two that matter are Wizard Brace and the Ghost Trailers. But most of the show is them in school trying to achieve these little goals like getting Mui’s brother back and such. Takeshi also seems to have a sort of dark past with his brother, Gekkou that we kind of learn about but gets important later on.

          I’ll get right to the bottom of it. This show was painfully generic. There are so many shows that follow a nearly identical formula to this one, and this one does not stand out from any of them at all. The story was completely flip floppy and poorly constructed. The writing for the plot and the lines that the characters actually say are cringe worthy at times. This show does nothing that hasn’t been done one thousand times before and better. I can’t say I was disappointed because I really wasn’t expecting much but come on. Everybody acted like everything was so important but there was never any genuine feeling that it was. The world is incredibly stock. The magic has nothing inventive or interesting about it and plot points seem to only matter sometimes. The characters were no help to this overwhelming impression of mediocrity. They are utterly basic. There is almost nothing to any of them. They’re not exactly unlikable characters but they really aren’t characters that I’ll ever care about or remember. I don’t think I’ll ever reference this show in casual conversation because I’ll immediately go to a more stand out example. I’ll never say “Oh, that reminds me of this one time in Magical Warfare…” because it’s been done better and more noteworthy elsewhere. The character motivations were total garbage and at times felt completely absent. We are never given a full explanation of a lot of things and not in the Evangelion way but more in more the way that the show ends without even telling you anything about things that are constantly being referenced. The world, story, and characters are bare bones in terms of development, and they are flat out forgettable. People who read my reviews more regularly will know that a few weeks back I reviewed a show called Black Lagoon and commented on its fantastic animation by Studio Madhouse. That show is eight years old and puts Magical Warfare in a dark pathetic corner of shame. Madhouse, why did you even bother making this show? Nothing notably positive can be said for the sound of the anime either. Both the opening and ending are undoubtedly meh and the music throughout the show left zero impression.

          I can almost promise you that this anime is not worth your time. It was stressfully uninspired and horridly subpar. It left me with no feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction and I cannot bring myself to recommend it. I give Magical Warfare a 3.5/10. If you feel the strange need to watch Magical Warfare for some reason, you can watch it on Crunchyroll in its entirety. It is also licensed by Sentai Filmworks if you wanna actually spend your money on this show. And that’s it for today, tomorrow I’ll talk some more shit about my favourite entertainment medium.

Space Dandy FNAR Review #81:

          Yet another important anime just finished airing this past weekend that goes by the name of Space Dandy. And Space Dandy is important because not only did it air on Toonami, but it aired on Toonami in English before it aired in Japan in Japanese. It was only a days difference per episode but nothing of the kind has ever happened before and it’s a real sign of big things happening in the world of anime right now. It’s directed by Shinichiro Watanabe (with the help of others), who you may (and probably should) know from Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Kids on the Slope. The music has a variety of big names attributed to it, including Yoko Kanno. So, this anime is sort of got a lot of things going for it and riding on it. It’s about a man named Dandy, an alien hunter and lover of females and all of their parts. He has a robot companion, QT, and a Beteguesian, called Meow because he looks like a cat. The show is about their adventures of trying to capture unknown aliens in order to make money to engage in their favourite pastimes which mostly include going to a bar chain called Boobies. Uh, you could sort of guess what kind of bar that is. They are constantly being chased (unknowingly) by Dr. Gel and his leader and subordinate of the Gogal Empire, whom constantly get absorbed into the shenanigans of the crew of Dandy’s ship, the Aloha Oe.

          Unfortunately because I don’t have conventional TV, I was unable to watch Space Dandy as it aired in English and therefore have no commentary on the quality of the dub or anything about what that was like. But, I was able to enjoy the normal sub very much. The series was very very self aware of all of the nonsensical things going on and made it a part of the show itself. There was no overarching story, the only goal present in practically every episode was to capture aliens and make it to Boobies before they closed. With this said, it is otherwise very episodic to the point where the events of previous episodes have generally zero affect on the ones that follow. I won’t lie, the whole cast dies in the first episode and then episode two starts and it’s business as usual. As far as episodic shows go, it was really enjoyable and at least most of the misadventures were funny in both premise and execution. The characters on the show were what made it great. They were all extremely quirky with overwhelmingly present odd traits that interacted well with the other members of the cast. Dandy had all these wonderful mannerisms that make him a great central force of the show, plus THAT HAIR MAN. Meow was sort of the otaku type where he loved 2D girls and was very attached personal technology. He worked really well as a sort of sidekick to Dandy and was very entertaining in his own ways. QT was a very charming voice of reason for the more mischievous members of the crew. The animation for Space Dandy was handled by Studio Bones who seems to be in the midst of a triumphant comeback to the glory that they once were (getfuckin’hypedonCaptainEarthson). The show for the most part looks pretty good but it did have some low points and aspects that could’ve been touched up a bit. But in the moments where the animation looks good, it looks really amazing, I just wish they were able to keep that going through every frame of the series. I also have to compliment whoever was in charge of designing everything in this show, from the main characters, to the aliens, to the planets, and space itself. It all looks so cool and I really love the style of it all. Thumbs up to you, fantastic Sir/Madame. The music for Space Dandy took an episode or two for me to really get into but now I can’t get either the opening or ending out of my head. They are both fantastic. The rest of the soundtrack is also really really great. The producers of this show were able to bring a bunch of really talented people together to produce a wonderfully varied and sounding OST that goes from jazz, to rock, to techno, and more. I love it and it gets me pumped. It sets such a great atmosphere to the series and  really showcases some originality, which for someone like me is always welcome.

          Since there is no real story, I’ll have to judge that aspect on fulfilment and execution of premise in which Space Dandy does a pretty great job. But episodic shows are doomed to be limited by that. The episodes that were more serious stood out more and were the best parts of the whole show but there’s really only a few. The characters were a great time and interacted really well in their beautiful environment set to a diverse and well constructed soundtrack. Space Dandy gets a 8.25/10 and I think it’s worth checking out. It’s just a fun series that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort and is rather enjoyable for casual watching. It’s licensed by Madman Entertainment and Funimation which means it’s up for streaming on their site. So go there, check out Space Dandy and have a dandy time. See you all tomorrow with a review for Magical Warfare, let’s see if this good streak I’ve been having keeps up.

Magi: The Kingdom of Magic FNAR Review #80:

    So season 2 of Magi, called Magi: The Kingdom of Magic starts pretty much right after the end of season 1 and our heroes, Aladdin, Alibaba, Morgiana, and also Hakuryuu are leaving Sindria after their victory and heading their own ways with the promise of reuniting in the future. Aladdin is off to the young nation of Magnostadt, a country that is a huge subject of controversy and mystery that is run by magicians. Aladdin is going there to learn more about magic and hopefully get to the bottom of some of the suspicious occurrences surrounding the place. Alibaba is going to the Leam (or Reim) Empire to become a gladiator and master Djinn Equiping and fighting in general. Morgiana’s goal is the Dark Continent to hopefully meet up with some fellow Fanalis. Hakuryuu goes to the Kou Empire with the intentions of overthrowing the current government and taking back what he sees as his. The story follows the results of all of these original intentions and whatever consequences that come with our characters actions.

          This was a seriously fun time for me to watch this season. I waited until about a month before it ended and winded up marathoning the whole show only to end up watching the last four episodes weekly, which was torture. Something about the world of Magi is just so engaging and interesting and it definitely helped that in this season we learn so much more about the world and some more nations in it. I think in a lot of ways, Magi reminds me of Avatar: The Last Airbender just with some of the settings and just the whole adventure theme it has to it. It’s just a really good show to turn on and let your Crunchyroll Queue do the rest of the work. The story in this season was far more enjoyable than the first for a number of reasons. The most notable being that Cassim was only mentioned about twice and wasn’t dwelled upon at all. There was also a lot more going on and a lot of world and character building that was happening. But the fact that a huge chunk of the show wasn’t worried about my least favourite character anymore was a huge relief. The way the arcs progressed with one huge arc being developed sort of behind the scenes worked really well in this instance and when it all concluded felt really satisfying. There’s a lot of room for a continuation, which is what I hope does happen but it wasn’t one of those endings that just cuts you off in the middle of something important so I can live with it. The characters in this season were even more enjoyable than they were in the last because I feel that they grew even closer and grew more as people. Also, all of the new additional characters was not something I’m to complain about because I was rather fond of them all. The stand out new characters being Matal Mogamett, the leader of Magnostadt and Titus Alexius, a rather spoilerific character if talked about in detail that proved to be one of my favourites in the show. Mogamett was interesting because he had two drastic sides to him and while they were a bit extreme you could definitely understand where the guy was coming from and you could sympathise with what the man was trying to say and accomplish. Titus was just awesome for a multitude of reasons but I think why I liked him was for very subjective reasons, but still, a very important and interesting part of the show. A-1 Pictures was responsible for this season of Magi as well as the last and they did not disappoint at all. The use of colour in this show is simply gorgeous to look at and it makes every bit of the characters radiate quality execution and design. The intense scenes were pulled off well and it all looked great. My only complaint about the look of the show was how a lot of the backgrounds, mostly when outside of the cities looked plain and sort of empty. Dull, even. The music for Magi: The Kingdom of Magic was composed my main man, Shiro Sagisu, who is responsible for the composition of every Evangelion OST (at least to my knowledge). While I don’t think this OST holds a candle to the best of that work, Sagisu puts some really good tracks in here, a few of which are worth putting in your library with the exclusion of the OP’s and ED’s which are usually the best tracks. I don’t know why but I really didn’t like any of the openings or endings, I would skip them if I were the type of person to do that. So, unfortunately, the music was actually the weakest part of the series even if it does have a few stand out great tunes.

          My biggest problem with Magi: The Kingdom of Magic is that it’s over. And no, I do not want it to be like the Big 3, but now that it’s over, I just want a season three. This is one of those series that just has a lot of charm and makes you feel warm and like you’re having a straight forward good time when you watch it. It isn’t at all perfect and there are plenty of things that one might just not like or somethings that some one might just not be able to look past. But, I think it is a seriously solid continuation of the series and it has made me a very happy fan. I give this season an 8.25/10. It would be higher but, the soundtrack seriously failed to impress me as a whole. Although, from a pure fun factor this show scores very high. I without a doubt recommend this show to people who have seen and/or liked last season and I urge people unfamiliar with the series to check out the show in general. Both seasons are available on Crunchyroll and this season and the first is licensed by Madman Entertainment, Viz Media Europe, and Aniplex of America. Do with that information what you will and have a fantastic night everyone. Now, it’s time to start the manga. 

Good evening everyone,

Unfortunately my schedule of reviews keeps getting pushed back with the late airing of the finale of Magi: The Kingdom of Magic. My revised schedule on the release of reviews will be as follows.

Tuesday, 4/1/14: Magi: The Kingdom of Magic

Wednesday, 4/2/14: Space Dandy

Thursday, 4/3/14: Magical Warfare

Friday, 4/4/14: Wake Up, Girls!

Saturday,4/5/14: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

Sunday, 4/6/14: Nobunagun

After that I will keep up with the every Thursday schedule although next Thursday might go without since I all of this is pretty much everything I’m watching right now. But yeah, Magi review tomorrow so look forward to it.

Samurai Flamenco FNAR Review #79:

          I believe we can all accept that super heroes are awesome and that a majority of people wished at some point they could be one. Hazama Masayoshi grew up completely in love with the idea of becoming a hero and has worked for many years to finally become the protector of justice known as Samurai Flamenco. He suits up and starts patrolling his city and fighting crime as his enemies get bigger and tougher for him to face. He finds a best friend in the police officer Hidenori Goto and eventually Mr. Flamenco acquires a number a various allies that help him and support him through his many trials fighting evil for the sake of justice!

          The original premise and impression of Samurai Flamenco is nearly identical to the Kick-Ass movies. They both tell the story of what could best be described as amateur superheroes. Originally the only main differences are the characters that aren’t the main one and the setting. However, Samurai Flamenco diverts down a different path, one that has a few moments that are hard to accept. I.E. Guillotine Gorilla. The story starts off pretty simple but then gets kind of weird and at one point goes full on Power Rangers. The end result was good but as it was starting to take the less than realistic route I couldn’t help but think that the show would’ve probably been better if they stuck to the whole amateur superhero thing that I have mentioned before. Unfortunately I can’t make the comparison of which of those directions would actually been pulled off more successfully. But the story that was presented definitely had a lot of high points, most of which were playing on tropes and it was overall a good deal of fun. But, be ready to watch a few face palm worthy moments. How I feel about the characters of Samurai Flamenco is kind of mixed. Because the few that were good were good, but the rest were all terribly underdeveloped and the show still expects viewer to care about them but it’s difficult to say the least. The Power Ranger equivalent called the Flamengers (which is a great name) were a key example. They only had a very short time that they were actually relevant but for some reason they are in a lot important sequences later on but they’re just being civilians at the time and they just all fit into tropes about super sentai colours. The main characters were really fun though even if not all that deep. Hazama himself could be a little ridiculous at times but that was really part of his charm and Goto served as a good “first-mate” if you will. The other character that you could call a main character is Mari Maya who is the head of the idol group Mineral Miracle Muse who are also the Flamenco Girls, whom she also leads. She was probably the most fun out of all of the characters on an individual basis but it would’ve been nice if they made her more of a person and gave her more screen time. The rest of the characters were cool and fun but not all of them were necessary to the plot and it stinks because oops there’s just another character there that we’ll never have more than a vague idea of as a person. The show was put together by Manglobe and I can say that it is pretty obvious in the style of the show. It very much feels like a Manglobe show, if you catch my drift. The animation of the show was pretty good but not revolutionary and for a show about superheroes, I wish they could have taken more of an actiony route with it.  Samurai Flamenco’s soundtrack is sort of underwhelming. I really liked both of the openings and the endings were….nice. But I can’t recall what the background music from the show even sounds like. It was just very under the radar and didn’t stick out much at all.

          Back in September I was really excited for this show and while it wasn’t what I wanted it or expected it to be I still was able to enjoy it quite a bit. I don’t think it’s amazing or even great, but it’s good and a rather rare premise that plays out pretty well. It’s definitely above average enough that I can recommend it and give it a score of 6.75/10. Samurai Flamenco is fully available on Crunchyroll and is also licensed by Aniplex of America and Madman Entertainment which is a convincing factor that anyone wanting to watch this series is better off just streaming it. That’s all for me today but there will be more reviews coming once a day until Friday so yeah that should be fun. *insert Flamenco pun here* Bye!

Kill la Kill FNAR Review #78:

          Kill la Kill is the first major work and the first original work by the relatively new anime studio, Studio Trigger. A studio that is made up of many former members of Gainax and people responsible for Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann and so on. Kill la Kill was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and features music composed by Hiroyuki Sawano who is responsible most notably for the music of Ao no Exorcist, Guilty Crown, and Attack on Titan (a personal favourite OST of mine). So this show has some pretty good things going for it with these facts and more, which may be part of the reason why Kill la Kill was the highest profile show to start airing this past fall. The show is about a transfer student named Ryuko Matoi whose father had recently been killed and sports a huge red single scissor blade as her primary weapon. She comes to Honnouji Academy in search of some answers and eventually revenge. Honnouji is a very militaristic school lead by the Student Council President, Lady Satsuki Kiryuin. She’s a dominating and cold figure ruling over students with different ranks of what are called “Goku Uniforms.” These uniforms grant their wearer’s special powers and make them much stronger then the average human being. While investigating her father’s old house, she encounters a talking, moving, and very powerful sailor school uniform that “forces himself onto her” and calls himself Senketsu. There is a pretty large cast on this show, mainly composed of friends and allies of Ryuko, subordinates of Lady Satsuki, and the Kiryuin family as well as their subordinates. The story kind of gets a bit crazy and difficult to explain while trying to keep a review short, but I can promise that there’s a lot bit more to it all than that but avoiding spoilers is a major goal of mine as well as briefness.

          Kill la Kill is an extremely fun and satisfying show. It’s the most fun I’ve had watching anime in a long time but, I must warn you that some major suspension of disbelief is required. Some things will be absolutely ridiculous but to quote Ryuko Matoi herself, “Not making sense is kinda our thing.” It’s the kind of show that if  (given the assumption you can get on board with it) just gets better and better as it goes on and gets wilder and more ludicrous. The eventual big reveals of the show are just so strange but they make this weird sort of “anime logic” that makes them an incredible amount of fun to watch unfold. Just puns and crazy antics that went along with the general plot was brilliant. The story itself was mainly good because of how completely out of left field it was and how they were still able to pull it off. I would have never guessed that a show be made about clothes the way this show is about clothes. The characters were so crazy and over the top and it was great. It’s refreshing to see an anime that cares so little about adhering to all of the tones, tropes, and themes that we normally see in anime today. The characters were no Marianas Trench of development but they were cool, funny, and an absolute joy even if they didn’t make sense all of the time. Okay, a lot of the time. But I just can’t hate them or even dislike them, they’re just too perfect for what the show is. I even love the villains. They’re just as wild of lunatics as every one else and it’s an absolute pleasure to watch all of the nonsensical monologues and cries of attacks. The only characters that I didn’t enjoy nearly as much as the others were Houka Inumuta and Shiro Iori who just are the type of character I don’t really like that much. The love that a person has for the art and animation of Kill la Kill probably depends on whether or not they like the art style itself. I personally really enjoy it but I could understand why someone would dislike the ‘crudeness’ of it. The animation itself is great, personal enjoyment really hinges one whether the viewer likes the style. The music for Kill la Kill is a real treat. I’ve been wanting to hear more of Hiroyuki Sawano’s work ever since Attack on Titan and while Kill la Kill’s soundtrack isn’t quite as good, it is still VERY awesome. The OST is full of songs that are very easy to like and listen to multiple times as I have myself. The openings and endings are kind of different from the convention in anime because for once the second set was FAR superior to the first, although I liked them both. You can count on Kill la Kill’s soundtrack being one that makes it into my iTunes library.

          If you want an over the top, ridiculous, actiony, comedic, and purely awesome show to watch, you would not be mistaken by trying to find your fix in Kill la Kill. It’s obnoxious and intoxicating and gets better and better as it reaches it’s conclusion save for a small slow part in the beginning/middle. I love this show and am so glad it exists and I was able to watch it. I give Kill la Kill a 9/10  and a definite recommendation to most people. You just have to get past the barrier of turning your mind off. It’s available in full on Crunchyroll so I recommend checking it out there. The series is licensed by Aniplex so that means it could take a while to get a hardcopy North American version and it will be expensive. It’s also licensed by Madman Entertainment so whatever that means to the people who that covers, thumbs up to you for whatever that means! Because I have no experience with Madman at all. But, have killer night everyone, more reviews on the way in the coming days.

Hozuki no Reitetsu FNAR Review #77:

         Coming off of the success of Attack on Titan the recently formed Wit Studio, which is a divergence from Production I.G., had a lot to live up to and a lot of people in the community were looking forward to whatever they did next with hope and cautious optimism. What they came out with was a show called Hozuki no Reitetsu which is pretty much a slice of life about Hell with what can be called goofy dark humour. The series is centred around the daily ins and outs of the second in command of Japanese Hell and the right hand man of the Great King Enma name Hozuki. There’s no over-arching story but rather a series of encounters, almost always involving Hozuki, with a great many mythological and religious figures and creatures of Japan, China, and Western faiths. Hozuki is a very cold and sarcastic guy who takes his work very seriously in a Hell full of for the most part, happy-go-lucky minions.

          I’m going to be serious, if this show wasn’t made by the same studio in charge of the biggest show and one of my favourite shows of the year, I wouldn’t have watched it. But, I’m glad that they are the ones who made it because Hozuki no Reitetsu was a surprisingly enjoyable watch. It’s a premise that would catch my eye going through the chart but I probably wouldn’t normally watch, however, it was quite a fun time and I don’t regret watching it in the slightest. The story was not really a story but the premise was what it was really all about and it was pretty well played out and I think it fulfilled its purpose. The characters were probably the best part from an enjoyment standpoint. They were not complex, or fascinating, and I don’t think they’ll sell too many posters or figures of the people but they were certainly funny and fit the shows tone and mood perfectly. The animation of Hozuki no Reitetus wasn’t particularly impressive but it kind of didn’t have to be for the type of show that it is. One thing I can compliment pretty highly is the art style. I think it’s very original and I loved the designs mixed with wonderful colours and simple but pretty settings. The music was very fitting. And that’s really the best thing I can say about it. It wasn’t dull or boring but you did hear a lot of the same songs a lot and none were very impressive but they fit the show very well. The same goes for the opening. If someone were to ask me what Hozuki no Reitetsu is like, I’d show them the opening because it is a great example what the show is like. Also, it’s catchy as all hell. The ending was a very peculiar one, I didn’t dislike it but…it just wasn’t my kind of thing. 

          Hozuki no Reitetsu was a pleasant surprise in a very underwhelming season of anime and it’s one of the only shows that I followed on a week to week basis. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can call it solid at best. I don’t know if I’d watch it again but I think I would definitely check out a second season. I can give Hozuki no Reitetsu a 7/10 and recommendation from me. It’s currently available on Crunchyroll and licensed by Sentai Filmworks which means that you should probably just stream it because Sentai’s releases are usually…bad. But yes, Hozuki no Reitetsu is a fun show that requires little investment and it’s totally worth a look.

Dead Leaves FNAR Review #76:

          Dead Leaves is “film” directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and produced by Production I.G. That sounds good, yes? The director of such things as  Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, and the currently airing Kill la Kill. The studio that brought us great anime that are too numerous to list. That’s a winning combination pretty much any day, no? Well, how does Dead Leaves stack up? It is about a person(?) with a TV for a head named Retro and a female human(?) named Pandy who is… unique? These two land on Earth somehow and don’t remember who they are or how they got there. And then they go on a rampage, get arrested, go to prison, break out, and fight the “bad guy.”

          Okay, real talk. This movie was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had with any form of media ever. The “story” (if you have the audacity to call it such) was such a cluster fuck of “What the fuck” moments that had no flow or meaning or structure or anything. I must apologise, I did spoil this in the beginning, but yeah that’s the whole story even though watching it is a lot bit more annoying. Speaking of annoying, the shaped representations of people who just happened to be expelling what could be called voices from their mouths which some might call “characters” were flat out fucking terrifyingly irritating. The ring of Retro’s non-stop yelling and screaming is still in my ear. I cannot think of worse characters in my head. Each and every little thing in this little animation that could maybe be considered a character made me want to sell my ears to science. They were audibly irksome and weren’t really characters at all. They were nothing. Flat shapes interacting with each other for the purpose of what seems to be to make me furious. And they were all just so loud and obnoxious. The animation was also truly nauseating. I personally have never done hallucinogens, but I imagine that it would be something like that mixed with a nightmare. It looks like a kick to the balls feels. And for girls, the entire pain of your menstrual cycle concentrated into a 52 minute movie. The story, the characters, the sound, the animation was just a clusterfuck of some of the worst I’ve seen in all categories making this a truly painful movie to watch. After watching this, I had to take a half hour break and some Advil before I could even think about writing this review. Calling this movie a migraine is an insult to migraines. 

           I literally cannot think of a worse experience with any media format. I’d rather watch a marathon of Jar Jar Binks scenes in a room full of crying toddlers whilst being unable to leave to go to the bathroom even though I really have to go. This makes me look back on Dangan Ronpa and Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere with hope and desperation. What simpler times those were. Before Dead Leaves. I’m a changed man. I have seen hell and returned triumphant but scarred. How this was ever greenlit and overseen to become this awful is far beyond my understanding. I hate every nanosecond of this movie from start to finish. Dead Leaves gets a 0.75/10 and is a truly horrible experience on all fronts. I think the only reason I was able to finish it was because I knew it was short and I had nachos. Nachos always helps. Protip: Don’t ever watch Dead Leaves.