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Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Fate/stay night hasn’t been impressing me as much as I had hoped. There’s something just so flat about this show, and I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m bored half the time watching it. Never mind the ongoing story involving the grail which is fine, but the day-to-day, down time dialogue just seems so forced and disconnected. I don’t really know, and it doesn’t help I’m not a big fan of Enimya and Tohsaka. Enimya’s righteous hero theme has been done so many times before, and Tosahaka is nothing more than you typical tsundere. The forced humor from this show has me so disengaged, it just comes off sounding so unnatural. Fate/stay night has a long way to go to improve to anywhere near Fate/zero levels, and already knowing the reveal in regard to the UBW storyline really doesn’t help. Flashy action sequences does not make a top-notch anime, characters do, and so far Fate/stay night sadly doesn’t have it.

Rating: 7/10

Death Parade

Death Parade

Death Parade is a good show, there’s no question, but I usually left it last on my list to watch on a weekly basis because some episodes are harder to watch than others. If the mechanic of a person’s organ being inflicted with pain during each game kept occurring after the first episode, I would have stopped watching Death Parade in an instant. I couldn’t stomach it any longer than the first episode. Luckily that’s not the case and each individual judgment onward is rather unique, insightful, and powerful. With great writing with each scenario Death Parade keeps you on your toes as to whom gets reincarnated or cast off into the void.

Rating: 8/10

Kill la Kill

Kill la Kill

Kill la Kills over the top craziness is its greatest strength and weakness at the same time. To enjoy the show more than I do now, I needed Kill La Kill to take itself a tad more seriously so I could grasp onto something more tangible. Sadly as the story kept expanding literally to exponential levels, I was just forced to accept whatever the episodes were going to throw my way. With thoughts of “Yeah this is pretty damn cool,” thrown in with “Sure, why not” with each episode, I was only enjoying the show on a superficial level.

That in itself isn’t really bad, but in its over the top action scenes, crazy characters, fanservice, and etc., I saw that the show could have been much more than what it ultimately came to be. I guess what I’m trying to say is, tone it the hell down! Ryuuko, Satsuki, and Mako, all great characters, but get caught up in the show’s latter half of absolute pure nonsense. It’s in this latter half that all development ceases to exist and the story follows in a quite boring “This Isn’t Even My Final Form” type of storytelling to its ultimate conclusion.

Kill La Kill definitely had something in those initial episodes, but as with anything Gainax influenced, the kitchen sink, no, the entire universe was thrown at it.

Rating: 7/10

Toaru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku

Toaru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku

A refreshing breath of air. Straightforward and to the point, its simple plot leaves a lot of the screen time for some good old-fashioned character development between Charles and Juana. Their relationship as they progress through the movie felt very natural and sincere. Sure the scenarios that the two are placed in are quite predictable, but their chemistry together felt good nonetheless. Its only fault would be the ending, well depending on your views on how these things should play out.

Rating: 9/10

White Album 2

White Album 2

Wow, what a roller coaster of feelings. It’s been a long time since I found one like White Album 2. I’m happy the correct girl was chosen, but man I’d go insane if I immediately didn’t read the visual novel endings and had to make due with what the anime cut off with. Otherwise for an early ending, a great romance anime, realistic and genuine. I really didn’t expect such a crazy amount of emotions from this anime, but it’s very good at what it does. Though the whole which girl is the correct choice is kind of rigged from the anime perspective, I mean she got two entire episodes dedicated to her, how could you swing it any other way!

Rating: 9/10

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Your Lie in April is the very definition of a roller coaster ride. The emotional lows and highs throughout the episodes are both off-putting and captivating. The heart wrenching cliff hangers in the latter half of the series were emotionally draining, to the point clicking the play button difficult the following week to go through such emotions again. But alas, what a wonderful anime Your Lie in April turned out to be. A show that came out of nowhere in a sea of shitty ecchi shows that seemed to have surrounded it. Visually and audibly arresting at some points, Your Lie in April’s use of color and music were nothing short of outstanding. While the classical performances were great, in the end it’s the characters that kept me coming back every week.

Rating: 9/10

Zankyou no Terror

Zankyou no Terror

I was hooked with what I thought was going to be a Death Note-esque cat and mouse chase with intriguing characters, instead what I got was Five butting her way in and ruining this promising show.

Rating: 7/10

Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo

Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo

Tuned in for the trashy fan service, stayed for the story. Out of all the shows that were airing with Cross Ange, it was a long shot to believe I wouldn’t have dropped it early based on first impressions alone. Alas 25 episodes later I’m pleasantly surprised by the turn around that happened here. Ange manages to command her character, becoming a strong female lead despite the odds against her and the general fan service comedy of the show.

The fact that Cross Ange actually has a fully developed story and characters out of nowhere is really what is surprising about this show. I can’t stress how off-putting the first episode really is. I’m pretty sure many stopped watching based on the first episode alone. But the world building here is done quite well, slowly unveiling what’s making everyone and everything tick episode by episode. I am still impressed by the level of thought on the whole back story regarding the dragons. My expectations were very low but were more than met.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, when we have characters singing pop songs at each other, let’s bring our level of expectation down to reality shall we?

Rating: 8/10

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

My childhood memories of playing with my own toys with my imagination running wild, the scenarios and superpowers of action figures playing out in my head. It’s this childhood imagination that Chunibyo captures so well that make it so immediately likable. I was grinning during the first set of episodes on how stupid and how far the show would take its role-playing. I was almost dying when Dekomori turned on a set of star-shaped LEDs that became the set piece for a summoning circle.

“Dark Flame Master” Yuuta makes a great main character. Through him we live out that cringe factor in each episode as he interacts and gets to know Rikka better. Rikka’s mystical powers and set ups were cute. I loved how she was able to role-play anything around her such as her umbrella, the Schwarz Sechs Prototype MkII, as her main imaginary weapon. Rikka’s “servant” Dekomori helps keep the insanity going.

The rest of the cast seems a bit tacked on though to make it look like Yuuta, Rikka, and Dekomori aren’t too crazy by themselves by inserting normal friends into the mix. Nibutani played as a love interest for almost one episode, Isshiki is that annoying friend, and Kumin … well … she just naps a lot for some sort of cute factor.

I did appreciate Chunibyo’s serious undertones in the latter half as it rounds out the show and gives it heart. I think it handles the serious bit as best it could, and resolves things nicely with Rikka.

Rating: 9/10

Akame ga Kill!

Akame ga Kill!

It’s a miracle I got through all of this. In the end Akame ga Kill! amounted to nothing more than an average fighting anime that really didn’t do anything with its story or characters. Tatsumi was just awfully flat and accomplished much of nothing besides standing in the sidelines for much of the show spouting ideals and other bullshit hero of justice type of lines that got him nowhere on the power scale. Akame ga Kill! used up its trump card of killing off characters to the extent it lost all its effect and did nothing more than hurt its potential story by literally killing it off.

Rating: 6/10

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