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anime review: Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower

December 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Here’s are some quick thoughts on the movie I saw last Thursday. (Also for the sake of keeping this blog updated.)

Good:

  • Visuals. Absolutely gorgeous art. The action scenes are very well animated. It’s what you expect from a studio reputable as ufotable. My favorite fights have to be Saber vs Berserker and Lancer vs Assassin. This is probably the best non-Shinkai animated film I’ve seen.
  • Sound effects. This made the scenes so much more immersive. I don’t know who did the sound design, but the action scenes were amplified by the incredible sound effects. This can only be experienced when watching it on the big screen.
  • Darkest route of Fate Stay Night yet. This is right on par with Fate Zero with its dark overtones. The violence however maybe worse here.
  • Quite lengthy for an anime film. Felt like more than 2 hours. This could either be a good or a bad thing depending on the pacing.
  • Next movie preview after the end credits.

 

Bad:

  • Awful pacing in the beginning. The intro spent too much time showing the school life, and that’s from point A to point B which lasted like 30 min. The intro credits come immediately rushing point B to point D within a min which is a detrimental part of the story. During the intro credits, it was a short montage of Shiro getting attacked and summoning his servant not giving the audience enough time to process what happened, recycled footage straight from Unlimited Blade Works. Not cool ufotable, for a quality animation studio like them, this is straight up lazy.
  • Not friendly to viewers who aren’t familiar with the franchise. Because of the weird direction in the beginning, first timers won’t understand the catalyst behind the conflict.
  • Shiro is still annoying and Fuji sensei is as unbearable as ever. Sakura’s constant notion of saying “senpai” throughout gets annoying. Is it that hard to say his name after all those years?
  • Very little of Archer.

 

Thankfully, this movie of Heaven’s Feel route is the first part of the trilogy, otherwise I would totally rip it apart for its abrupt ending. This flick alone is better than the original Fate Stay Night series. So it’s a start.

 

Rating: 7/10

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Best Anime From Summer Season

October 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Made in Abyss

What I expected from this show judging by the promo art came out to be something unexpected. At first, I thought this was gonna be some kiddy fantasy adventure anime. However, as the show gets through half way point, it becomes shockingly disturbing. Honestly, it was really unsettling watching the last few episodes due to some certain scenes which I won’t mention here. The disturbance factor was like an appetizer to Berserk. Aside from that, what drew me in the show was the mystery surrounding the depths of the abyss. The further you go in, the more unexpected dangers you encounter. Our 2 main leads, Riko and Reg, goes on a journey in search of Riko’s missing mom knowing she might be at the bottom of the abyss. No one on the surface has ventured passed the first several layers of the abyss because of the negative effects it will have on the human body. Another mystery is Reg. He’s a half robot half human who doesn’t even know his own origins. Made in Abyss ends with a very good season conclusion, but the overall plot has yet to be concluded. I strongly recommend this show if you’re itching for fantasy adventure. It’ll shock you and emotionally wreck you and leave you wanting more. Will there be a season 2? Who knows. I guess that depends on the reception of the show or the increase sales in the manga.

 

Princess Principal

Now here’s an interesting one where it’s moe steam punk Victorian age spy thriller anime. What I love about Princess Principal is the well written individual episodes and some of the twist & turns in the overall arching story. Most of the episodes aren’t in chronological order, so you’ll have to pay attention to the case# if you’re really bent on that. Basic plot is a group girls doing espionage things such as assassinations and infiltrations. By the way, don’t be fooled by the moe character designs because this show pulls no punches. There are plenty of nicely choreographed action scenes from car chases and sword fights. Music is by Yuki Kajiura who does a fantastic job here. The best episode to me is 6. It reminds me of an Outlaw Star episode where Jim Hawking is unknowingly fighting his love interest but ends up killing her without ever finding out the truth. My biggest complaint here is the rushed final episode. Many plot threads are left hanging, and it’s practically begging for season 2. Unfortunately, nothing is announced. So like Made in Abyss, it depends on the reception. Except in this case, Princess Principal is an anime original.

The Unforgettable Episode of Scum’s Wish

May 24, 2017 Leave a comment

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A little more than a season ago, there was an anime that caught my interest despite the fact it took place in one of my most hated settings, school. That show was none other than Scum’s Wish (Kuzu no Honkai). Prior to its anime adaptation announcement, I’ve read some of the manga out of boredom. What got my attention was the mature content that was very unexpected, then again, after seeing Yosuga no Sora and School Days many years back, I shouldn’t really be surprised. But it was quite rare and refreshing to see those in contrast to the typical cliche school genre anime.

I’m not gonna talk about the synopsis here since you can read that here instead. What I really want to write about is the penultimate episode that redeemed the whole show for me. In the first couple episodes, Scum’s Wish was pretty decent. As episodes went by, the show became very frustrating to watch thanks to unlikeable characters and internal exposition nonsense. Then episode 11 happened. Here’s the brief tale of it. Narumi, knowing Akane’s a complete slut (and a scumbag), accepts her for who she is. Because of his unconditional love for her, she’s completely awestruck never having experience this kind of love and bursts into tears finally knowing someone who truly cares for someone like her despite of what she’s done.

Why this episode stood out to me, you might ask? Thematically, it felt very biblical to me. This type of love story reminded me of the Book of Hosea from the Old Testament of the bible. The first 3 chapters of that book, God commands the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomar and have children with her. This may seem odd from a reputable and social status standpoint but there’s a symbolic reason for this. So after Gomar conceives 3 children, she leaves Hosea to return to her adulterous life. While she was out there cheating on Hosea, God commands him to go after her and show his love to her. During this moment, you can speculate Gomar was either in a large amount of debt or she enjoys the profession as a prostitute. You can imagine the customers talking amongst themselves when prophet like Hosea being a customer himself wanting a woman like this. He buys her back and redeems her. I’m sure someone who couldn’t comprehend the situation would asked Hosea, “For a holy man such as yourself, how could love an adulterous woman?” And Hosea would most likely respond by saying, “Let me ask you this, how can a holy God like that can still love an adulterous nation like ours?” That’s the symbolic theme. I found this story to be so compelling that I think the book of Hosea is one of the greatest expression of God’s love for mankind. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, he accepts you unconditionally.

So back to Scum’s Wish. Narumi’s reason for his unconditional love is as he described “difficult to explain” and he goes by saying “I just want the person I care about to love a happy life.” It’s an acceptable reason from a secular standpoint. But one thing that matters, Akane has changed for sure and her whoring days are over. She accepted Narumi’s marriage proposal and began her journey in this new life she’s come to embrace. This is the character who went from someone I completely despised to someone who got redeemed. Scum’s Wish isn’t an easy title to recommend since it’s a tough watch, but for this episode, I think the show is worth the consideration.

Acen 2017 Guest Expectations

May 3, 2017 Leave a comment

A short little rundown of my thoughts on the listed Anime Central guests.

GACHARIC SPIN

Who the heck are these gals? According to acen, they done a song for Dragonball Kai which I never heard. Not sure if I going to attend to their concert. Maybe I’ll look up a few songs on youtube to see if they’re worthy.

IMERUAT

Never heard of them, then I saw a name, Masashi Hamauzu. So that caught my interest cuz this guy was the composer for Final Fantasy 13 series. I’m in.

MAY’N

A must see for me. She’s the singer of the Macross Frontier character, Sheryl Nome. I really hope she sings Yousei. It’s my favorite Macross song ever. I’d be utterly let down if she didn’t.

TORU FURUYA

As a Gundam fan, this is a nice surprise. This guy is the one and only voice actor for Amuro Ray. I gotta bring my Gundam bluray/DVDs for him sign.

My body is ready!

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Anime I’m Currently Watching

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Chain Chronicle: The Light of Haecceitas – This show needs to be an actual video game asap! The potential is so strong in this one. The show had its entertaining value but it had some fundamental flaws. First off, it’s 12 eps total. A show with a huge cast of named characters, how can 12 eps cover all that? 2nd, it starts in the MIDDLE of the story.  What we end up is a rushed product. Good animation though. The world setting is quite ambitious but too little to fully digest. I guess my final criticism is Phoena. She’s the most useless female character ever presented. If you take her out of the story, literally nothing would change. I’m a sucker for fantasy genre anime so it’s such a shame this show didn’t get the treatment it deserves.

GRANBLUE FANTASY The Animation – Another fantasy anime I have high hopes for but I should expect less just so that I won’t end be being disappointed. The high notes on this show is without a doubt, the visuals. The art has this unique hand drawn style that’s got the 90s feel to it. The story though is as generic as it gets. A peaceful village gets involved in an evil empire’s conflict where someone (most likely a female character) within defects and runs away only to encounter someone from that village (your main hero). This is literally in the most basic J-RPG stories in terms of setup. Other than that, I can’t wait for the actual show to start airing in April.

Scum’s Wish – A mature take on high school romance that took me by surprise when the anime adaptation was announced. It’s nice when anime can be this daring such as this. It starts off pretty interesting, then it kinda goes downhill for me as you learn more about the characters. Most of them are unlikeable. Hopefully that’ll soon change.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season – Where the show is currently at, I don’t know who to root for. Seeing Mcgillis’ past in its full form was quite a reveal. With him rising against Gallahorn, Tekkadan is kinda the third wheel of things. I honestly don’t know whether they’ll stay with Mcgillis or go on their own. One thing that annoyed me in the most recent ep is Mcgillis’ character writing. He went from smart and cunning to a fool. I guess that lust for power went over his head.

Seiren – This is a very safe type of innocent romance, ecchi anime. I’m not sure why I’m watching it, but it does reek of Amagami SS. Every 4 eps is a different girl route. It has its  moments. Nothing amazing or bad, just simply entertaining to lighten your day.

Tales of Zestiria The Cross Second Season – Okay, I’m at a loss with this one. It seems that this adaptation is taking on original material contrary to the game. The game however explores certain parts of the story the anime completely glosses over. The two adaptations can’t live on its own. That animation though. Wow!

 

UPDATE:

Holy how did I forget this show?

Konosuba S2 – Anime of the season. One of the best fantasy comedies anime I’ve seen in nearly a year or two. Highly recommended!

Categories: Anime

Anime I’m Currently Watching

December 13, 2016 Leave a comment

Only two I’m keeping up with aside from Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans S2.

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Girlish Number – This show is amusing and quite depressing in some ways. The one thing that really attracted me to this anime is that it shits on the corrupt anime industry that’s going on today. More specifically, I enjoyed the knock down on light novel writers by stereotyping them as super shy, unsociable otakus. Burn. But the main focus is on voice actors. Your main character, Chitose, is a girl who’s a rookie in voice acting career. Although arrogant, she’s quite entertaining and it’s fun seeing her facial expressions whenever tables get flipped against her. If you liked Shirobako, definitely pick this up.

Drifters – I love the concept of taking historical figures and putting them in a world where they team up and fight against each other. The humor though is kinda hit or miss at times. Same thing happened with Hellsing Ultimate considering it was by the same author. It’s balls to the wall bloody gory fun. I wish the antagonist side had more compelling characters. So far, we only got emphasis on Joan of Arc. With 10 eps in, I’m guessing it’ll most likely have a season 2 since the story is nowhere near finished.

 

This has been the weakest season as far as shows I’ve kept up with.

 

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Anime Season Roundup

October 8, 2016 Leave a comment

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91 Days – 12 years ago (wow so much time has passed), I declared Gungrave as my all time favorite anime and nothing could ever stand on par with it since. This time, a show competent enough has stepped into the same level of Gungrave quality. Every episode has been stellar. Like Gungrave, it’s a mafia revenge story minus the sci-fi twists. This show is anime storytelling at its finest, a Shakespearean, how to write a good plot 101. Only spanning at 12 episodes total, you have no excuse to not watch this. It’s a must. Rating: 10/10

Mob Psycho 100 – Very entertaining and humorous throughout. By the same creator as One Punch Man. The sketchy animation style is quite unique leaving no animated shortcuts making it feel refreshing. If the studio decided to not continue with a 2nd season or sequel, I’d be completely fine with that. Rating: 9/10

Macross Delta – I really enjoyed the show and wanted to love it, but that last episode was basically a big FU from Shoji Kawamori. It was rushed, half assed, mostly unresolved, and just an unsatisfying conclusion. The finale doesn’t need to be Macross Frontier levels of action packed, but just give us a proper closure. After all that tease, we still don’t know who Lady M is. Although the love triangle was resolved, it was done so predictably because only one of the girls got enough emphasis in the relationship. I have no issues with Freyja being picked but Mirage was shafted so hard that it was hardly a love triangle to begin with. The villain’s motive was essentially the same as Grace from Macross Frontier trying to connect with everyone’s mind. So what’s gonna happen to Windemere now after they retreated? Just call it quits after that temporary alliance? The series needs an extra 10 eps or a sequel. IF they decide to do multi-part movies by alternate retelling the story, they better tell us who Lady M is at least. Rating: 8/10

Berserk – Not the adaptation we deserve, but the one we need. I thought the reception was so bad it wouldn’t merit a season 2 but apparently it did. Despite of the ugly visuals, I didn’t hate this show. It was about time to see Berserk that’s not the Golden Age arc. Overall, above average at best. I’ll watch season 2 but not excited for it. Rating: 6/10

Tales of Zestiria the X – Why can’t ufotable adapt Berserk instead of this trash? It’s funny how this show really pushes Alisha to be part of the main cast even though she plays small roles in the game. Also, what the hell were they thinking shoving Tales of Berseria in the middle? Sure I get they want to promote the game but not like this. I had absolutely no idea what Berseria had anything to do with Zestiria until I had to google it. Having two plots in a single show will only result in a mess. That Berseria insert should’ve been DVD only eps. The animation was godly but undeserved. Rating: 5/10