Category Archives: Reviews

Dr. Rintaro: Episodes 3-5

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Dr. Rintaro hasn’t exactly been subtle about the topic of loneliness, practically shouting from the rooftops, “You’re never really alone!” every episode, but with Rintaro and Yumeno becoming closer, it finally learns how to show not tell. Continue reading Dr. Rintaro: Episodes 3-5

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Anime Spotlight #11: Aldnoah.ZERO

Aldnoah.ZERO1 Name: Aldnoah.ZERO

Year: 2014-2015

Studio: A-1 Pictures (Anohana, Shin Sekai Yori), TROYCA

Director: Ei Aoki (Fate/ZERO, Kara no Kyoukai)

I am not a big fan of the mecha genre. There have been some exceptions, but in general, politics plus giant fighting robots just isn’t that exciting for me. However, I was pretty addicted to last year’s Aldnoah.ZERO which dumbed down your normal mecha tropes and still managed to be entertaining. Was it actually good? Yeah, well, I’ll get to that.
Continue reading Anime Spotlight #11: Aldnoah.ZERO

Review: Mondai no Aru Restaurant

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In spite of my less than stellar first impression of Mondai no Aru Restaurant, it was a show I found myself going back to every week, mostly out of curiosity, but eventually out of genuine excitement. From its food to its characters, Mondai no Aru Restaurant managed to worm its way into my heart over its ten episode run and while I think Sakamoto Yuji can (and has) done better dramas, that didn’t make this one any less enjoyable.

Continue reading Review: Mondai no Aru Restaurant

Review: High School Drive

High School Drive

I didn’t know what I was going to get going into High School Drive, the 2012 mobile drama by BeeTV, but it turned out to be a lot more charming than I expected. Low-key and atmospheric, High School Drive takes a stab at portraying the ups and downs of youth by following the lives of Souta (Horii Arata) and Kana (Shimizu Kurumi).

Continue reading Review: High School Drive

Anime Spotlight #10: Space Dandy

Space Dandy

Name: Space Dandy

Year: 2014

Episodes: 26

Studio: Bones (Soul Eater, Fullmetal Alchemist)

I wouldn’t say there was a lot of hype around Space Dandy as much as there was curiosity. First off, Shinichiro Watanabe’s attached and every time this guy does something the anime fandom collectively loses its mind because we are always looking for a second Cowboy Bebop. It wasn’t too far fetched to compare Space Dandy to Cowboy Bebop. Dandy is a slick hero that has space adventures while looking for rare aliens with his crew, Spike was a slick hero that had space adventures with his crew while nabbing criminals, but other than that, the shows are two totally different animals. Besides, Watanabe was pretty hands off with this show, only working on a few episodes, presumably because he was busy with Zankyou no Terror.

Secondly, Space Dandy aired in the US first on Adult Swim’s Toonami block in English before airing in Japan. Simuldubs aren’t unheard of, but they rarely happen, even for shows everyone knows will do well, so naturally fans were wondering how good Space Dandy would be. I mean, it must be some pretty mind-blowing stuff to be dubbed already without knowing how the English-speaking audience will receive it right? Right?

Continue reading Anime Spotlight #10: Space Dandy

Looking Back: K-Dramas of 2014

2014 was a very odd year for k-dramas. The general sentiment among the international community is that there was nothing on. One only needs to look at the ratings to see how the domestic audience felt; forget cracking 20%, a drama was lucky if it managed 10%. Still, I don’t think this year was too bad. Sure there were more duds than usual, but there were quite a few standouts as well. Continue reading Looking Back: K-Dramas of 2014

Check-In: Gomen ne Seishun!

Maybe it’s because I had really, really low expectations for Gomen ne Seishun!, but it’s become my favorite drama this season. It’s not perfect as there’s really no clear-cut narrative so it feels like it’s meandering sometimes, especially the middle episodes, but something about Gomen ne Seishun! has me completely hooked.

Continue reading Check-In: Gomen ne Seishun!

Anime Spotlight#9: Madoka Magica the Movie 3: Rebellion

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Name: Madoka Magica the Movie 3: Rebellion (Hangyaku no Monogatari)

Year: 2013

Studio: Shaft (Monogatari series, Nisekoi, Madoka Magica)

Director: Akiyuki Shinbo (Nisekoi, Monogatari series, Madoka Magica)

In my review of Madoka Magica, I mentioned that I was worried about the movie sequel. Gripping from beginning to end, Madoka Magica had a clear, well constructed narrative with an ending that tied up all of its loose ends in a satisfying manner. Creating not one, but three movies looked like nothing more than a cash grab to feed the rabid fans’ desire for more. Skimming through the initial reviews of the movie after it was released, there was no doubt in my mind that story wise, Rebellion had nothing to offer to Madoka Magica and I didn’t need to watch it. Well, curiosity is a hard thing to resist. Continue reading Anime Spotlight#9: Madoka Magica the Movie 3: Rebellion

Anime Spotlight #8: WataMote

tomoko kuroki

Name: WataMote ~No Matter How I Look at It, It’s Your Guys’ Fault I’m not Popular (Watashi ga Motenai no wa do Kangaetemo Omarera ga Warui)

Year: 2013

Episodes: 12

Studio: Silver Link (Fate/kaleid liner Prismer Illya, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia)

Writer: Nico Tanigawa (original manga)

Director: Shin Oonuma (Ef: A Tale of Memories)

WataMote, short for the ridiculously long Watashi ga Motenai no wa do Kangaetemo Omarera ga Warui, defies my expectations by being a surprisingly poignant, though sometimes uncomfortable, comedy. Continue reading Anime Spotlight #8: WataMote

Anime Spotlight #7: Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana)

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Name: Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana)

Year: 2013

Episodes: 13

Studio: Zexcs ( My-HiME, Speed Grapher)

Writer: Shuzo Oshimi (original manga)

Director: Hiroshi Nagahama (Mushishi)

I don’t think there was any other anime last year that was as polarizing as Flowers of Evil. People that loved it called it a wonderfully crafted masterpiece while those that hated it saw it as an overindulgent tale of teen angst. A dark psychological tale examining the turbulence of youth, Flowers of Evil is an ambitious work that tried to set itself apart from other school-centered shows that usually overrun the anime scene. Unfortunately, all that ambition almost killed its potential.

Continue reading Anime Spotlight #7: Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana)