My fall anime reviews progress with reviews for Celestial Method, A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd, Studio Ghibli's Ronia the Robber's Daughter, and Garo: The Animation.
Sora no Method (Celestial Method)
In Lake Kiriya City, a mysterious blue saucer appears in the sky, yet no one knows where it came from. Seven years later, the saucer is still in the sky, and it has become a tourist attraction for the small city. Nonoka Komiya is a girl that lived in Lake Kiriya City as a child directly before the saucer appeared. After arriving, Nonoka encounters a blue haired girl named Noel, who is somehow connected to the saucer. Later, Nonoka also meets her childhood friends, and not all of them are happy to see her return, and of course, drama ensues!
Celestial Method started out as a very good anime, to which it received a 7.6/10 based on the first four episodes in my impressions post. Unfortunately, after those early episodes, the series took a drive in quality.
Typically, clichéd drama anime like Celestial Method is at least entertaining to a degree, even the heavily criticized Glasslip was enjoyable at times, and unfortunately, Celestial Method became so clichéd and predictable, that it was just not entertaining to watch anymore. The characters and their drama seemed inconsequential and the motivations for certain characters are just petty. Sure, these characters are all very young, but the audience is never given enough reason to care about these characters' problems.
The plot is incredibly derivative of another far superior anime, Anohana. Anohana is simply amazing, and Celestial Method seemed like it was trying to do something like Anohana, it completely failed with poorly written characters and drama. In addition to all this, the series seems as though it should end at episode 11, and yet it uses some kind of unexplained deus ex machina plot twist, which makes little sense in the context of the story, to change everything.
With that said, Celestial Method is not all bad. The blue haired loli, Noel, is the highlight of the series. Without her being adorable and fun to watch, the series would not be worth watching at all. Because of her, episode 11 did produce some effective drama, and if the series ended there, maybe it would have left a slightly better impression overall.
Another positive element of Celestial Method is Studio 3Hz's animation. From the background art to the cute moe character designs, the animation is beautiful! A large part of what made the series watchable is the pretty animation.
As a whole, Celestial Method started out great, and as the series continued, the drama that was hinted at in the earlier episodes turned out to be petty and far from compelling, which, unfortunately threw the entire series off the rails. Despite, Noel and Studio 3Hz's animation, Celestial Method is not something that I can recommend. However, I do have hope for Studio 3Hz's projects in the future. For far superior anime that is similar Celestial Method, watch the aforementioned Anohana.
Watch if you like: Lollies,
Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai (A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd)
Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai (A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd), or Daitoshokan for short, takes place at the prestigious high school Shiomi Academy, as it follows Kyoutarou Kakei, a bibliophile, who prefers the company of a book rather than people. He has always been a loner, yet he can sometimes see the future, and when he sees an oncoming disaster, he saves the life of girl name, Tsugumi Shirasaki. Shirasaki, along with several other girls, join the Library Club, and they have typical slice-of-life comedy adventures. However, what sets Daitoshokan apart from most other similar anime is that there is a mysterious person named the "shepherd," who sends text messages to students that indirectly guide various people's fates.
Trying to accurately explain the series is difficult. It starts out as a typical slice-of-life comedy with harem elements, yet the background story that explains the origins of the "shepherd" is the most interesting aspect, as it is not like anything that I have seen before. With that said, Daitoshokan is not an amazing anime by any means. It features many tropes, some fanservice, and several forgettable characters.
On the other hand, a few of the characters are rather likable and the humor, as clichéd as it is, hits the mark at times. Also, the concept involving the "shepherd" towards the second half of the series is intriguing and surprisingly original. The ending, while not perfect, wraps up the story enough as to not make any need a sequel.
Hoods Entertainment's animation is all around solid. With the exception of a few unique color choices with the outlining of characters, not much is distinctive, but it manages to avoid CGI for the most part, so I commend it for that.
Overall, A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd is an above average high school comedy with unique story elements in the second half and generally fun characters. If the concept seems interesting, give it a watch.
Watch if you like: School comedies, Books,
Sanzoku no Musume Ronja (Ronia the Robber's Daughter)
Studio Ghibli takes their first forte into the medium of the anime series with Sanzoku no Musume Ronja (Ronia the Robber's Daughter).
Miyazaki stated, "Ronia the Robber's Daughter is a story not just about a girl who grows into adulthood, but it is also a story about the love and growth between a parent and a child, and a story about the bonds between friends. My goal is to create a work that everyone, from children to adults, will be able to enjoy."
Unfortunately, Sanzoku no Musume Ronja, or Ronja, fails on all fronts, especially the appeal to the adult audience.
At episode six, which is where I dropped the series, Ronja was a straightforward adaptation of the old children's novel with no sign of improving. Unlike Studio Ghibli's other adaptations of children's novels, Ronja did not have the magic that makes it entertaining for all ages. At times, Ronja showed moments of Ghibli's brilliance, but those moments were few and far between. For the most part, Ronja is decidedly aimed at a younger audience, and as a pure kid's show with nothing for the older audience, it probably succeeds.
Gorō Miyazaki directs the series, and there is nothing special about the direction by any means. Polygon Pictures, the main animation studio, with Studio Ghibli as cooperating production company, does a mediocre job with the jarring and fittingly childish CGI. It is jumpy and generally unpleasant to look at, with the exception of the background art.
Unless you are a hardcore Studio Ghibli fanatic, it is best to skip Sanzoku no Musume Ronja, or at least wait for it to be licensed.
Watch if you like: Studio Ghibli (harecore fans),
Garo: Honoo no Kokuin (Garo: The Animation)
Garo: Honoo no Kokuin (Garo: The Animation) is an adaptation/spinoff of Japan's popular live-action fantasy drama, Garo and its many live-action spinoffs. Garo: The Animation is a dark fantasy series that takes place in the fictitious Valiante Kingdom during the Spanish Inquisition. It is a world of monsters, referred to as "Horrors," and the Horrors kill people and cause them to do terrible things. The only defense against the Horrors is the Makai Knights, Alchemists, and others, who are ridiculed as heretics. The series follows León, a young Makai Knight, his father, Germán, who is also a Makai Knight, and Prince Alfonso.
From the start, Garo is clearly a dark seinen action series, and unfortunately, with the exception of Germán's humorous escapades, Garo is not all that interesting to watch. There is a lot of backstory and exposition, yet very little of it is handled in a way that makes you want to know more. At times the series had a few entertaining side-stories, but the majority was just dull. The characters are generally flat, and the antagonists are as clichéd as they come.
Even Garo's action is boring to watch due to the overuse of CGI, to the point where both characters that are fighting are jarring CGI models. Compared to MAPPA's work on Terror in Resonance and Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Garo shows a significant drop in quality. It is certainly not bad, but with so much CGI, the 2D animation should be amazing, and while good at times, they are not exceptional.
Garo: The Animation is not without its merits. However, I cannot help but feel that there are so many other superior fantasy anime to watch. Unless you are a fan of the live-action Garo franchise, there is not much reason to watch Garo.
After thinking that the series had finished airing with 13 episodes, it turns out that Garo is going to have a full 24 episode run, and since I am already this far into the series, I will have to finish it... However, the first episode of the second cour actually made me interested to see where the series is going next, so maybe Garo can turn it around after all...
Watch if you like: The Garo franchise, Dark fantasy,
Did you watch any of these anime? Are you interested in any series? Please comment below and let me know.
Fall Anime Review: Part 2
The Fruit of Grisaia
In Search of the Lost Future
Rage of Bahamut: Genesis
Wolf Girl and Black Prince
Yuki Yuna is a Hero
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