FriendlyNeighborhoodAnimeReviews

Mekakucity Actors FNAR Review #88:

          To my understanding Mekakucity Actors is based off of some sort of vocaloid thing that I am for the most part unfamiliar with. So keep in mind that I have no prior knowledge of any of the songs or the stories contained within them. Throughout this I will be keeping the anime and only the anime in mind. The story of Mekakucity Actors revolves around a group of teenagers who possess special powers that come to them after they have near death experiences. There is a group of them calling themselves Mekakushi Dan (Blindfold Organisation) and as far as I can tell their purpose is to find the origin of these powers and put a stop to them as they are a negative thing. Most of the show seems to center around adding more people in the group and trying to help each other to become friends. Also it seems that the present and main line of the story takes place over only a few days but there are an abundance of flashbacks and flashes to different events that are happening in the same time. 

          The story of Mekakucity Actors is pretty weak. The plot itself (meaning the thing that the climax is based on in this case) doesn’t even kick in until the latter third of the series. And for most of the show it felt like nearly nothing was getting done and it just seemed to drag. “Oh let’s spend a whole episode explaining the back story of this character only to give them a total of five lines for the rest of the show.” And even though there were these episodes that focused on specific characters the cast as a whole still felt really underdeveloped. There was no specific main character and it was exceedingly difficult to latch on to anybody. The pacing and planning and just the way the show played out seemed to be completely random. It jumped all over the place and nothing was accomplished. It would be in the middle of a scene and cut to show you this other thing for a whole episode only to resume the original scene a few episodes later. This jumping around was another big reason for why it was hard to attach to characters. That, and the fact that there were too many of them that pretty much all got around the same amount of screen time.They ended up just coming off as forced and near the end they were all acting like they cared about each other so much but apart from the prexisting groups a lot of them had only really known each other for less than a week. It just felt really forced and ultimately ridiculous. Another big problem I had was that the lead in for the main storyline or plot point or whatever you wanna call it is at the end of each episode after the ED in a little storytelling animation thingy. And that’s a problem because not only would people who skip endings not know that it was even there but even people who watch it may not pay attention to something that doesn’t seem to have to do with the show. So for these people when the little thing finally becomes relevant they’re going to wonder where in the hell it came from and they will be confused. The look and animation was not exactly a problem but Akiyuki Shinbo’s style is starting to become distracting. All of his cliché little directing methods stand out like a sore thumb and it gets to the point where I’m rolling my eyes and face palming. The guy has done great work in the past and maybe if I haven’t seen pretty much everything he’s done it wouldn’t bother me so much but he’s really deep in a rut and just playing off of the success of his previous work over and over. He’s become a one trick pony and I can no longer defend him. That aside the animation and movements themselves are nothing that impressive. The art itself while sometimes very stylish comes off for the most part as plain and uninspired. The animators didn’t really have many chances to show off their abilities so for the most part I’d say the animation is slightly worse than mediocre. The music is probably the thing that I have the least amount of issues with. While a lot of the insert songs were used a lot, I enjoyed them quite a bit. And all of the “plot driving songs” near the end of each episode were usually good even though I felt that the use of them became overly formulaic and kind of overdone. But yes I get what this is spawned from and I understand that they are trying to sell records. I can’t really weigh in on the voice acting other than the fact that no one really annoyed me.

          In the end I would say that Mekakucity Actors is an unnecessary anime and I would not recommend it. I don’t think it presents anything new or original and I deem it completely skippable even though it’s not particularly awful. It’s just not very good. I give Mekakucity Actors a 4.25/10. I don’t really feel bad about giving this show not that great of a score because I feel that not a whole lot of effort was put into it. Yes, I’m sure that a great many nameless employees at SHAFT worked their butts off but all of the executives and people in charge of the project held back and were kind of lazy. If you feel the need to confirm what I’ve just conveyed to you then you should know that Mekakucity Actors is licensed by Aniplex and available for streaming on Crunchyroll.com. Hopefully I will finish reviews for this season within the next few days and then God willing we’ll be back on a week to week schedule. Until then, take care and I’ll talk to you all soon.

No Game No Life FNAR Review #87:

          By now in the world of anime we’ve seen all types of stories about NEET’s and hikikomoris. Sometimes it’s glorified, sometimes we get a depressing and realistic story. But in the case of No Game No Life, we have Sora who is 18 and his 11 year old step-sister, Shiro. These2 shut themselves inside all hours of every day to play games together. They are entirely inseparable and they come to be a completely unstoppable force online referred to as “Blank.” The duo is pretty much perfect at not only video games but also board games, card games, and even simple bets. The odds are always in their favour as they claim to “win before the game even starts.” One day they are challenged to a game of online chess and after beating the mysterious opponent they are brought into his world. A world called Disboard in which any and all conflicts and arguments of any sort are determined by games. They are welcomed to this world by the god of it, Tet, who they learn was their opponent in chess.The games are all held to the 10 Pledges which are the absolute law of all lands. There are 16 races in the world with Imanity (Humanity) being at the very bottom of the totem pole. Sora and Shiro naturally thrive in this new world among fellow humans in the nation of Elkia and make quick progress towards accomplishing their goal.That goal being to prove the strength of Imanity and to earn the right to challenge Tet for the title of One True God, and obviously to win that title. They are joined soon by Stephanie Dola, the former King of Elkia’s granddaughter and acquire other companions along the way but that would be spoilers if I said who.

          I’ll admit that at first I really wasn’t feeling this show. The story seemed like it wouldn’t really go anywhere and the art style took way longer than usual for me to get used to. But, as the show progressed and after taking a break from it I came back and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was worried in the beginning that it would be very much like Sword Art Online in which the character is infallible and the show takes itself way too seriously. And while Sora and Shiro never really fail, the series doesn’t try to beat you over the head trying to tell you how important it is. The story was more fun than anything. It wasn’t epic or too big for itself, it acted more like the catalyst to show a lot of humorous moments and build the cast. And yes they actually did make progress towards their goal on the way although it was a little bit of a slice of life at times. The characters were mostly good. There was no one that I particularly disliked or wanted to see less of. None of them really blew me away but the cast had a good chemistry that made a fair bit of the humour and the actual progression of the story work out. The overall look of No Game No Life is where I definitely started off with a huge problem. The art style just looks like they sat down, drew it (yes I know it’s digital), coloured it in and oh shit whoops, looks like we dropped the entire show in the world’s largest pitcher of pink lemonade. I don’t have a particular problem with that colour in particular it’s just that everything just seem to have this fog or mist to it that was this blurry pink and yellow. I would’ve disliked it if it were navy blue or green or whatever colour. I came to appreciate it as just part of the atmosphere of the show but it took almost half of the series for me to be okay with it.The animation itself really didn’t have too many chances to shine. Most of the time when it could have, the mist was in the way but I was glad that they toned that down at least a little bit for the last big game that they played because that ended up actually looking pretty good. In general, the look of the show wasn’t awful and some may even love it but I definitely think that some tweaking would have done great deal of good.The sound for No Game No Life was again, sort of under the radar for me. The opening and ending were pretty good though I wouldn’t buy them. And the soundtrack throughout the show never seemed out of place but then again it never really stood out in a positive way either.

          On the whole, I’d say that No Game No Life is good. Not great, not amazing but “Hey, that was decent, I’m down for a continuation.” But I’m no where near, “Oh God give me season 2 right now or I’m gonna die!!!” It was just decent but much better than I originally thought it would be. This means that maybe if you started off liking it and didn’t have the issues I had, you’ll adore it. However, my experience with it is what it is and therefore I will give No Game No Life a 6.75/10. I think it’s worth giving a chance although wouldn’t call it unmissable by a long shot. If you are interested in watching No Game No Life it is licensed by Sentai Filmworks and is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.com and the Anime Network. So, enjoy whatever it is that you do and I will talk to you all about another show very soon.

Chaika - The Coffin Princess FNAR Review #86:

         Five years after a long and devastating war between a nation called the Gaz Empire, lead by Emperor Arthur Gaz, and everyone else, the world is still somewhat in the recovery process. The Emperor who is completely shrouded in mystery is a brilliant wizard who is killed by the Eight Heroes. With the war ended and the Emperor dead, his body parts which are full of potent magical energy are given to each of the heroes to safeguard them from anyone who would misuse the energy. Our main character Toru Acura is a saboteur who runs into Chaika Trabant. After saving her along with the help of his sister, Akari, Toru learns that Chaika is the daughter of Emperor Gaz and possesses her own magic talents. Chaika, who is very childish and innocent explains that she wishes to collect her fathers remains so that she can hold a funeral for him. Toru and Akari agree to help her in her goals and being the honourable saboteurs that they are stand by their employer with the utmost loyalty. They run into all sorts of problems with people trying to stop them in order to prevent Chaika from gaining all of that power and starting another war as well as people also claiming to be Chaika and pursuing that violent goal.

          This is one of those anime that on the surface seems more about the journey than the goal as it mostly follows the encounters which are more often than not unfriendly as they search for the remains of the Emperor. The premise of the story sounds a little bit cliché and to be perfectly honest the execution isn’t a whole lot different. The story may not be exactly like one hundred other things but it’s pretty similar to a lot of them. I didn’t see anything here that I have not seen somewhere else in some way. That said, I don’t think the story or execution are bad, it just fails to do anything that stands out. The characters, while not unlikable are possibly the weakest part of the series. I like what they do and what they could do with the Acura’s weird transformation and all that sort of stuff but the characters themselves were very copy and paste. Like, they’d fit into any story because there’s nothing that really anchors them to this specific world. Note that this is purely in terms of behaviour and character. I mean yeah, I guess you could say Chaika is cute and has a sort of unique quirk with her speech patterns but that doesn’t make her a good character. The animation shines the most in the fight scenes which were surprisingly plentiful and easily the most enjoyable aspect of watching this show. They are no where near extraordinary but they are well thought out and pretty well animated. The music and overall sound of Chaika - The Coffin Princess sort of flew right under my radar. There is nothing about it that stood out or was like “Hey, isn’t this getting you super duper into this super meaningful scene?!” It just doesn’t really have any ups or downs. I just didn’t notice it. Even the Opening and Ending are pretty generic and forgettable even though I wouldn’t say they are bad.

          Chaika - The Coffin Princess is a fairly decent show, I am not sure if I’ll watch season 2 but this season was at least watchable enough for me to be considering it. While it does have a few ups the rest of the show just stayed at a constant level somewhere near the middle. It just suffers mainly from a lack of originality and inspiration. The best I can give Chaika - The Coffin Princess is 5.25/10. As far as I know, it is not yet licensed by anyone. However, the full series is available on Crunchyroll.com which is where this humble super mega ultra humble awesome reviewer watched it. I wouldn’t nay say checking it out, who knows you might just think it’s amazing. Good luck with whatever you decide my friends, that is it for me for today but more reviews will come out in the coming week as shows start to end.

(silent celebrations that my computer is fixed)

Further delays and general struggling.

I hate to have to do this but I must apologise again for my inactivity and the delay that my reviews for this season will have. Just after my Nisekoi review, my computer completely bombed itself and since then I’ve been accumulating enough money between bills to fix it. Hopefully it’ll be mended by the end of this week and you can hear all about how much ass spring 2014 sucks (joking(but not really for some)).

Nisekoi FNAR Review #85:

          Hello everyone, it’s been quite a while but here I am, back in the saddle and ready to inform. On today’s agenda is a seemingly simple romantic comedy anime called Nisekoi or False Love. Raku Ichigo is the heir to a yakuza clan, a brilliant cook, and just about to enter high school. Ten years previous he had met a girl that he has completely forgotten all details about except for the fact that they had made promise to one day be reunited and get married. Raku is given a locket that will only open with the key that the girl possesses. On his way to school he is hit in the face with the knee of a leaping tsundere name Chitoge Kirisaki. After some interaction involving the now lost locket we later find out that she is the heiress to the mob family that has just moved into the area and happens to be feuding with Raku’s family. To end the fighting, their respective fathers come up with the idea to have them date to create a bond between the families. So, Raku and Chitoge who don’t exactly get along are forced to date and engage in a “false love” all while the whole key and locket dilemma is going on. There are some minor characters that are entirely forgettable but some factor in. The major example is Kosaki Onodera, the girl who Raku likes, as well as but to a lesser extent Marika Tachibana, and finally Seishirou Tsumugi who is sort of a member of Chitoge’s crime family and is extremely loyal to her.

          I have a surprising amount to say about this show so buckle in because it may not be so smooth. First of all, the whole “make them date” thing could just have been avoided if the bosses just told all of their men to stop fighting. It’s really that simple. I mean I guess if they did do that we’d be missing a huge portion of the story but I feel like there has to be some better way to make them be forced into a fake relationship especially since the fact that they both belonged to mob families didn’t really add anything amazing to the overall story. The story in general started off with a bit of promise and until about 12 weeks in I was thoroughly enjoying Nisekoi despite some clichés and events that made me impatient to the point of annoyance. These episodes were fun and could have lead to a cute little 13 episode show, and I really wish it had been. But, things became noticeably worse around this time and around the time when Marika was added to the cast, Seishirou already seemed like she didn’t do much past her introduction episode and the little “crush development” episode that followed. But as soon as Marika came into the mix the show felt not only crowded but unfocused. If it wanted to be a harem it should have done that from the start. The love triangle between Raku, Chitoge, and Onodera had it’s clichés but was for the most part very watchable. The show ran for 20 episodes when it really didn’t need to. If they cut it down to 13 and completely removed Seishirou and Marika the show would have been a lot more structured and a lot less all over the place. There were so many little plot arcs going on that by they end they just seemed pretty much irrelevant. It was pretty much all filler. Why in the world it was decided to drag out the plot so much with stuff that ended up being just a distraction is beyond me. They could have told a much more concise and consistent story if they just kept it simpler. Keep the key count down to 2 and for God’s sake just get to the point.

          This procrastination is another big issue I had with the show. They kept building up a lot of tension and anticipation and they let you get a little more each time but it just kept teasing you and then the exact second something was about to happen something gets in the way of it. And yes, other shows do this but I’ve never seen any show that does it as often or as needlessly as this show does. It’s honestly kind of ridiculous and the characters react unrealistically to these interruptions and distractions. Apparently these big build ups happen, they fall through the floor and then the conversation is never concluded. It just doesn’t seem to be how real people would act. It wouldn’t have such a big problem with this if it didn’t happen so many times. The characters themselves weren’t all that bad, even the ones that I said the show could do without. By far the best characters were Chitoge and Kosaki. Personally I think that Chitoge was a little bit better but I wouldn’t say either of them were outstanding. They fit their role well and I actually enjoyed when they were on screen. Raku wasn’t intolerable but he was no where near amazing. He had a lot of generic and cliché traits with some sprinkles but sprinkles can’t make better ice cream if you get what I mean. Marika and Seishirou weren’t awful when they were in the spotlight but they were a huge part of what made the show feel crowded which as I’ve said is a huge problem with the show itself. The only way I could see avoiding this issue is if they told a cute little story in 13 episodes with the main three and then introduced Marika in a second season similar to how Chuunibyou-Ren introduced Shichimiya. 

          As for the visuals of Nisekoi, Shaft did a pretty good job as they usually do. All of the art was bright and colourful without being distracting and it added to the fun aspect of the series. It was nice but not exactly impressive. Where I do have a problem with the look of the show is Akiyuki Shinbou’s directing. While I’ve been a defender and fan of Shinbou in the past, the guy is falling into a rut in which he’s far too comfortable with this style he’s created and refuses to branch out. His head tilts and similar shots have become somewhat of a joke and while it’s not gratuitous here it is starting to become awfully stale. If you were to switch out characters from his previous works with that of characters in certain shots of Nisekoi they would look nearly identical. He really needs to branch out and stop doing the same thing over and over because it’s no longer fresh. The music and sound of Nisekoi is one of the aspects that I have little to no complaints about although it wasn’t strikingly good. They overused some of the insert songs and they switched out a really good opening for a kind of meh one right around the time when the story was noticeably taking a turn for the worse. 

          I could get into more nitpicky things about the story, some inconsistencies, and overall things that happened to bother me. But I’ve covered the major things and as this review is already running much longer than I had thought it would, it’s about time to wrap it up. Nisekoi got off to a surprisingly positive start, but because it became apparent around the half way mark that the story was not well thought out it ended up being overcrowded and messy. The conclusion was not very conclusive and after a relatively strong start Nisekoi as a whole is disappointing. Unfortunately I’m only able to give Nisekoi a 5/10 which is definitely not what I would have guessed I would rate it if you asked me two months ago. While I’ve listed a number of negative things about Nisekoi I wouldn’t write it off completely so if it sounds like this sort of romcom/harem/setup might be YOUR kind of deal, give it a shot and hopefully you can find some enjoyment in it. Nisekoi is licensed by Aniplex and is streaming on Crunchyroll.com, Daisuki.net, and Hulu. So go check it out if this review hasn’t completely turned you away and maybe come back and tell me what you thought. Have a wonderful day and I’ll talk to you next Thursday.

Blog Update:

I know that I haven’t posted anything in quite some time in what you could call a hiatus. And while there are a number of reasons and things that can attribute to my absence, I would rather not bore you or dwell on needlessly negative things. So, this coming Thursday evening my full review of Nisekoi will be posted and from then on FriendlyNeighborhoodAnimeReview is back in full swing and I will post a review every Thursday evening that I can. I finally would like to end this with an apology and a promise that this blog and what I do here will not go away any time soon. It will only grow and progress. Have a wonderful day everyone, see you Thursday.

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.