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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Anime Impressions: Part 3

My fall anime impressions continue with Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins), Log Horizon 2, Madan no Ou to Vanadis, Magic Kaito 1412, Mushishi Zoku Shou 2, Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji, Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu, Orenchi no Furo Jijou, and Psycho-Pass 2.

Nanatsu no Taizai
Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins), a fantasy shounen series based on the popular manga of the same name. After being accused of overthrowing the king, the warriors, known as, the Seven Deadly Sins are exiled. Years later, Princess Elizabeth goes in search of the Seven Deadly Sins to help reclaim her father’s lost kingdom. After finding the captain of the Seven Deadly Sins, Meliodas, who, despite his appearance of a child, is at least 30, Elizabeth and Meliodas go on a journey to find the other members of the Seven Deadly Sins. With a name like “The Seven Deadly Sins” one might expect a darker anime, and that is not the case, at least three episodes in. In fact, Nanatsu no Taizai seems to fit the standard genre of conventions of the shounen action comedy like Fairy Tail and the many others. Episodes one and two did not do much for me, and while the episodes were not bad, they did not particularly interest me due to the clichés. However, episode three improve upon the previous episodes with the setup for an interesting story going forward with more effective comedy. According to readers of the manga, the series is said to be darker and more serious later in the series, so maybe it will deliver (according to ChibiReviews).
A-1 Pictures’ animation is a bit juvenile for my tastes in terms of style, but episode three improve upon that as well. In terms of fanservice, it is present a medium degree, although readers of the manga say it is toned down later. Hiroyuki Sawano, the composer of Attack on Titan and Kill la Kill’s soundtracks, scores Nanatsu no Taizai, and even though none of the tracks are amazing so far, there are some very good tracks used. Also, the ending song is one of my favorites from the fall. 
Apparently, the series is licensed by Netflix, and since Netflix does not release series until after their completion, viewers must resort to fansubs. Sometimes, fansubs can be perfectly fine, and, unfortunately, the most readily available fansub on KissAnime.com is kind of terrible at times. Even with my limited knowledge of Japanese, I can notice when certain parts are mistranslated, although it is not bad enough to reduce overall enjoy of the anime.
In Japan, Nanatsu no Taizai was voted the most popular anime of the fall by Otaku, and due to its popularity in the anime community, Nanatsu no Taizai is the type of series that I will watch just because of the popularity. With that said, like Akame ga Kill and most other shounen, Nanatsu no Taizai is growing on me, and despite the weak start, Nanatsu no Taizai is shaping up to be at least fun and entertaining, which is what a shounen should be. 
Recommended For: Shounen fans, Action fans, Comedy fans,
*7.2/10*

Plot Summary: "When they were accused of trying to overthrow the monarchy, the feared warriors the Seven Deadly Sins were sent into exile. Princess Elizabeth discovers the truth - the Sins were framed by the king's guard, the Holy Knights - too late to prevent them from assassinating her father and seizing the throne!
 Now the princess is on the run, seeking the Sins to help her reclaim the kingdom. But the first Sin she meets, Meliodas, is a little innkeeper with a talking pig. He doesn't even have a real sword! Have the legends of the Sins' strength been exaggerated?"


Girlfriend (Kari)
Moe girls! Moe girls EVERYWHERE! Girlfriend (Kari), aka Girlfriend (Beta), a series with so much moe that it almost hurts. Girlfriend (Kari) is based on the free-to-play IOS game of the same name that is also one of the most downloaded games in Japan, so it is essentially Japan’ version of Angry Birds. Being in the dating-sim genre, one might expect a central male in a romantic situation, or even a straight-up harem with multiple girls vying for the guy’s affection. However, that is not the case. Girlfriend (Kari) is actually about Kokomi Shiina, a member of the rhythmic gymnastics club, as she does..... well, absolutely nothing. Seriously, almost nothing happens in this anime. Okay... Technically, the first episode is about Kokomi trying to give a picture of another girl’s family back after she drops it, and the second episode is about the Kokomi and the other girls trying to go on a diet. Yeah, so nothing happens, and two episodes in, there is no indication of a plot developing in the future. No romance, no conflict, no nothing. Series like K-ON have succeeded at doing relatively nothing, while still being mildly entertaining, but Girlfriend (Kari) just does not manage to entertain, and I even like moe characters doing moe things. 
One strange issue is that all of the voice actors sound like they are on drugs. All of the characters are speaking in a strangely slow cadence that is almost painful to listen to. I have heard many moe girls, and none sound like this; it takes away all of the usual appeal of moe. However, one strong point of the voice acting is that the French Exchange student character, Chloe Lemaire, actually has a noticeably French accent in Japanese, which is a refreshing change.
Silver Link's animation is a bit generic, yet it still is somewhat visually appealing and fairly consistent, so it is not a big issue.
Overall, Girlfriend (Kari) is not recommendable, although, since the AAA Podcast is going to review the first three episodes, I will watch episode three and then probably drop the series after that.
Recommended For: Extreme moe fans,
*3.8/10*

Plot Summary: "An anime adaptation of the mobile game "Girlfriend (Kari)", a game where the player has a girlfriend."


Log Horizon 2
Log Horizon 2 continues the story of Shiroe and the Log Horizon guild. If you remember from my review of the first season, it is one of my all-time favorite anime, and season two continues the high level of quality. Thus far, season two has done a lot of setup for what is to come in the first three episodes, and in typical Log Horizon fashion, it is entertaining and intriguing. Essentially, watch season one of Log Horizon and start season two. My only complaint is that studio Statelight is not animating the series anymore, with the infamous Studio Deen taking over. Statelight's animation was never exceptional, but the character designs worked. Studio Deen's animation is definitely different, and while jarring at first, it is mostly fine. Surprisingly, the series brings back the opening song "Database," and it is still freaking awesome.
Recommended For: Anyone who watched the first season (obviously), Fantasy fans, Gamers, Sci-Fi fans, 
*9.0/10*

Plot Summary: "Veteran gamer Shiroe and other players have been trapped in the world of the online game Elder Tales for six months. The once chaotic city of Akiba has regained its everyday hustle and bustle following the formation of the self-governing organization Round Table Meeting. The earthlings, who are originally from the game world, have gained the trust of Shiroe by waging a defensive war against the Goblins in Zantleaf Region. This has led Princess Rayneshia of the Cowen family, the highest-ranking Earthling Aristocrats, to live in Akiba.
It's almost winter, and the Adventurers are thinking about what they're going to do and what their goals are in this other world. Will they remain in Akiba or go to the city of the West? Or will they travel to the land of the North or another faraway country? The opinions of the Adventurers begin to diverge. What adventures await the members of the Shiroe team in this second series of Log Horizon?"


Madan no Ou to Vanadis
Madan no Ou to Vanadis (Lord Marksman and Vanadis) is set a Western European high fantasy world with dragons, magic, and the like. In this world, two Kingdoms are at war, and when the battle is nearing the end, the main character, Tigre, an extremely skilled archer, targets Eleonora Viltaria, the leader of the opposing army. After Tigre fails, instead of killing Tigre, Eleonora makes him her prisoner and eventually he joins her side of the war.
Thus far, Madan no Ou to Vanadis is a refreshingly fun throwback to typical high fantasy stories. While the setting is not particularly original, anime has not had many classic high fantasy stories in unique some time, or at least any ones worth mentioning. Madan no Ou to Vanadis has yet to do anything exceptional or mind blowing, but it is serious enough to tell medieval warring factions type story, while not being overly dark. The characters are likable enough, and the action scenes are fun. Apparently, all of the main characters are 16, although they certainly seemed much older, and the series has avoided any of the main tropes like the tsundere or being overly comedic.
Visually, studio Satelight (Log Horizon) is doing a fine job at bringing to life the fantasy world with bright colors and appealing animation. The main flaw with the animation is the overuse of 3D animation during the large scale battle sequences, which is annoying. Unfortunately, Madan no Ou to Vanadis is in the ecchi/harem genre, and thus some of the tropes of the genre are starting to pop up, although to much less degree than other series. Also, the series contains fanservice, and while it is not over-the-top, it is still present. Aside from those issues, Madan no Ou to Vanadis is a fun and entertaining high fantasy war series with all the trappings that makes the fantasy genre so much fun.
Recommended For: Fantasy fans, Ecchi/Harem fans, Action fans,
*7.4/10*

Plot Summary: "Set in Western Europe during times of war, Eleanor "Ellen" Vertalia, one of the Vanadis of Zhcted, leads the battle into Brune. There are, in fact, seven Vanadis, named for having each received a powerful weapon from the dragon to individually reign over seven territories. The power of the Vanadis invokes dread and fear from their enemies. An earl in the service of the country of Brune, a young archer by the name of Tigre, experienced the Vandis's power firsthand after being defeated on the battlefield by Ellen. However, Ellen chose to spare his life after witnessing his skills, but in exchange, he is asked to serve her."

Magic Kaito 1412
Magic Kaito 1412, a series that follows Kaito Kuroba, whose father died under mysterious circumstances when Kaito was a child, and after discovering that his father was not just a famous magician (as in stage magician), but also the infamous phantom thief, Magic Kaito! To discover the identity of his father’s killer, Kuroba takes the mantle of Magic Kaito from his father (more plot summary below). Before watching Magic Kaito 1412, I was skeptical. Apparently, it is based on the manga that is a spinoff of the ridiculously popular Detective Conan franchise. However, thus far, any prior knowledge of Detective Conan seems to be unnecessary, because it is easy to follow for me. Magic Kaito 1412 is a shounen series, and even though it can feel a little dated at times, it is surprisingly fun and entertaining. It is not a particularly complex or dark anime, but watching Kaito outwit the criminals with his slight-of-hand and tricks is just fun. The comedy is quite good, and the fanservice is very mild. A-1 Pictures’ animation is a bit dated in character design, although that is likely due to the manga being more than 20 years old, but the animation itself is fine. Overall, Magic Kaito 1412 is nothing remarkable; however, it succeeds at what it wants to accomplish by creating a fun series.
Recommended For: Shounen fans, Thief genre fans, Detective Conan fans,
*7.0/10*

Plot Summary: "Kaito Kuroba, a normal teenage student whose father is often absent. When his father dies under mysterious circumstances, he is made aware of his father's secret identity; a famous international criminal known as International Criminal 1412: the Phantom Thief, and that he was murdered by a mysterious organization for refusing to aid them in retrieving the "Pandora Gem"; a mystical stone said to shed a "tear" during the passing of a particular comet (often called the 'Volley Comet'), the consumption of which bestows immortality. 
He vows to prevent the organization from gaining immortality, and assumes his father's identity as he begins his quest for the gem. His only clues as to the gem's location are that it glows red under the full moon and that it is a doublet: a gem hidden within a larger gem. Thus, it would have to be a relatively large one with a bizarre history, and always stored in a place that never receives moonlight. He thus researches and steals famous priceless gems with odd histories from incredibly well-defended areas, and always returns them after the very next full moon."


Mushishi Zoku Shou 2
In preparation for this second half to the second season of Mushishi, I watched the first season and the recent first half of Zoku Shou. In short, Mushishi is everything that the critics have laud it for being; a series that nearly perfects the episodic form of storytelling, although my full thoughts warrant a in-depth review. As for Mushishi Zoku Shou 2 itself, the series was the last series of the fall to air, and thus only one episode has aired. Expectedly, Mushishi continues to tell high quality episodic stories in its unique fantasy world. If you ever had any question as to whether or not to watch the original Mushishi, watch it, providing a methodically paced series is something that interests you. My current rating includes the first half of Zoku Shou.
Recommended For: Anyone that watched the previous seasons,
*9.3/10*


Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
When high school girl, Erika Shinohara, lies to her friends that she has a boyfriend, she shows them a picture of a seemingly random guy, whose picture she had taken prior. However, it turns out that the random guy is the school’s “Prince” (popular guy). To prevent from friends from knowing the truth, Erika makes a deal with the guy, Sata, to fake being her boyfriend, except with one catch, she must his dog of sorts and do whatever she says when others are not around. Even though the concept sounds kind of dark, Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji (Wolf Girl and Black Prince) is a fun and funny shoujo romantic comedy. With last season’s Ao Haru Ride being my only other experience with the shoujo romcom genre, I cannot determine how clichéd Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji is; however, thus far, it is a lot of fun! Erika is a somewhat typical shoujo protagonist, and due to her lying, her relationship with Sata produces a lot of humor. Sata himself seems to have a clichéd dark backstory, but if it is not overdone so far. In episodes two and three, the series takes a few unexpected twists in terms of the character progression, which is keeping me interested. The humor continues to a large factor in why the series entertains me. TYO Animations’ animation is strong for a shoujo series, without any notable flaws, and of course being a shoujo, there is no fanservice. Honestly, I am not sure why the shoujo comedy/drama genre is entertaining me right now, maybe because it is something new, but Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji one of funnier series of season.
Recommended For: Shoujo fans, Romcom fans, Romance genre fans, Comedy fans,
*7.7/10*

Plot Summary: "The story centers around Erika Shinohara, a vain 16-year-old girl who tells her friends about her romantic exploits, but she actually has no boyfriend. She claims that a handsome boy in a candid photo is her boyfriend, but it turns out that boy is a schoolmate named Kyouya Sata. She has no choice
 


Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu
Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu (Gonna be the Twin-Tails!!), or, in short, OreTwi, follows Mitsuka Souji, a high school guy who has a deep love of girls with "twintails" hairstyle. When evil aliens that steal human's love of something, in this case girl's love of the twintails hairstyle, come to earth, Mitsuka Souji is given the power to turn into the powerful heroine, TailRed, by a beautiful alien girl, Thuearle. Basically when the guy, Mitsuka Souji, turns into TailRed, he turns into a girl while using the power. So, what we have is a series about the twintail obsessed Mitsuka Souji, trying to stop the invading aliens from stealing humanity’s love of twintails.... *slow clap* Thank you Japan; without you, we would never have such strange and absurd things like OreTwi, because the series itself is one of the most bizarrely entertaining anime of the fall. OreTwi’s absurd concept, fun action, and mostly solid humor is what makes the series so much fun to watch! Production IMS’ animation is mostly strong, albeit not particularly above average, and the voice cast sells the crazy concept effectively. There is some fanservice and Souji’s obsession with twintails can be a bit creepy, but it is undeniably original and entertaining. If you want to watch something unlike anything else, give Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu a try.
Recommended For: Twintail hairstyle fans, Crazy concept fans, Action fans, Comedy fans,
*7.3/10*

Plot Summary: "Mitsuka Souji is a first year high school student who greatly loves the "twintails" hairstyle. One day a beautiful girl, Thuearle, who comes from another world suddenly appeared in front of him and gave him the power to transform into the twintails warrior TailRed. Now Souji, with the help of his childhood friend Tsube Aika who can becomes the twintails warrior TailBlue, must fight in order to protect the peace on earth."

Orenchi no Furo Jijou
A normal high school guy, Tatsumi, finds a merman on the beach, named Wakasa, who he then lets live in his bathtub, and now we have the plot for Orenchi no Furo Jijou (The Circumstances in My Home's Bathtub). Due to the absurd plot, Orenchi no Furo Jijou is a series that I knew I had to at least try. Despite being under full series on Anichart at the beginning of the fall, Orenchi no Furo Jijou is actually a three minute short. As such, there is not a lot of time for plot or character development, but rather quick gags. Of the shorts airing this season, Orenchi no Furo Jijou is one of the weaker ones, but that is not to say that it is bad. So far, it is fun, and due to the short runtime, it is easy to keep up with during the season. My overall impression is that Orenchi no Furo Jijou is worth watching for those interested in the wacky concept.
Recommended For: Shoujo fans, Comedy short fans, Anyone interested in the concept,
*6.1/10*

Plot Summary: "Tatsumi is a high school boy who lives by himself. One day, a devastatingly handsome merman named Wakasa moves into the bathtub in Tatsumi's home. Wakasa is a bit self-centered but cute, while Tatsumi is cool but a busybody."


Psycho-Pass 2
If you remember from my review of Psycho-Pass’ first season, it was one of my favorites from last year, and taking place a few years after the events of season one, Psycho-Pass 2 continues the inventive crime drama’s story. Two episodes in, Psycho-Pass 2 appears to be setting up an intriguing plot, and Production I.G., teamed with Attack on Titan’s Studio Wit, continue to produce high quality animation. The opening song and animation is not quite as amazing as “Out of Control” in the previous season, but the new opening is very good. Even though Gen Urobuchi (Fate/Zero, Madoka Magica) is stepping back from lead writer, the new team appear to be keeping his quality storytelling intact, although we will have to wait and see by the end of the season to determine how well the new season delivers. Basically, if you watched the first season of Psycho-Pass, you should be pleased with season two.
Recommended For: Anyone who watched the first season, Sci-Fi fans, Crime Drama fans,
*8.5/10*

Are you watching any of these anime? What are your favorites from the fall season? Please comment below and let me know. 


If you want to contact us or have any questions please send an e-mail to johnstarslayer@gmail.com.

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like some cool series! :) I really want to see Psycho Pass, so I'm glad to hear that season 2 is going to be good as well :) .

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    1. Psycho-Pass is definitely recommended. Great show! :)

      -James

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  2. I was eyeing on The Seven Deadly Sins, but yeah, that art style is kind of not my type as well. Too juvenile. Aaand, I almost forgot about Psycho-Pass 2. Thanks for making me remember it. I think the only ones I will really get into this season are Parasyte and this one.

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    1. In episode three, The Seven Deadly Sins started to grow on me, but it is still very shounen. Everyone keeps saying it is going to be darker though, so I am not sure yet. Psycho-Pass 2 is setting up what should be an interesting season. I will be interested to hear what you think when you start watching the series.

      -James

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  3. UGH I tried commenting and it got deleted! *crying anime tears* ;)

    ANYWAY. To sum it up quickly--Yay for Log Horizon 2 and Psycho-Pass 2 being good so far! Magic Kaito 1412 looks really neat to me (when I saw the first gif, the first thing I thought was of The Baron from Whisper of the Heart!)

    ~Jamie

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    1. Oh no... :(

      Magic Kaito is really fun. :)

      -James

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