Classroom of the Elite – 20 Question Anime Review (Mild Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Classroom of the Elite.

What’s the show? Classroom of the Elite (2017).

And what’s it about? Imagine a high school with the best facilities, self contained from the outside, government run and funded designed to cultivate youngsters to become the next generation of leaders both in business and politics.

Sounds kind of strict. You’d think so except the school lets the students have absolute free-reign over their own appearance (save for the uniform) gives them a bundle of ‘points’ each month which can be spent on the plethora of stores and services located on campus and basically let’s them do whatever they want as long as they don’t break any of the school ‘rules’.

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Interesting! So what are the rules? Yeah! Like the school is going to tell them that!

There’s always a catch… of course. So how do they find out the rules? The hard way, break enough of the unwritten rules of the school and you’ll find yourself with no ‘points’ for the next month, or worse face expulsion.

Well that escalated quickly… Such is life.

So who are our protagonists? Kiyotaka Ayanokouji is the male protagonist, he likes to fly under the radar a bit, seemingly content to be middle of the pact. He’s well, to be perfectly honest, exceedingly bland as a protagonist but not all is as it seems…

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Sounds mysterious. This show is at it’s best when it keeps you guessing so consider this as much a spoiler free review as I can manage.

So it’s a mystery? In part, bit of drama, bit of intrigue, bit of romance, bit of comedy. It does it all pretty well.

So back to the characters, who are our female leads? Well, Suzune Horikita is our trademark tsundere with the sharp tongue. Kikyou Kushida is the bubbly popular girl with a hidden agenda. And Airi Sakura is the shy and quiet one with a secret of her own. They all have complicated relationships with Kiyotaka, our protagonist that slowly develop and entwine as the show goes on.

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It’s not a harem is it? Hmm, no I don’t think so…

Why so uncertain? Well, remember how I said its genre was a bit of everything? Well that extends beyond plot genres and into specific anime genres, yes it’s still a drama at the end of the day but it has elements of harem, slice of life and ecchi but never enough that you could call it one or the other absolutely, and never enough that it leans into the associated tropes. It’s very much it’s own beast, and all the better for it.

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It’s not perfect though? No of course not. It paints itself as some larger than life drama with all kinds of high stakes but at the end of the day these are just high school students, in a ridiculously wealthy government funded high school, so it’s not until very late in the season do things even begin to feel like they’ll have consequences and even then it’s all a matter of suspension of disbelief in the situation they’ve been put in.

How do you mean? It’s like… it’s like an episode of ‘Survivor’, it’s all fake, it’s all carefully produced and monitored and controlled, but if you buy into it and get attached to the characters and their relationships and dynamics even fake stakes can still be interesting and entertaining and even tension filled.

Wait, how do you know what ‘Survivor’ is, you never watch anything but anime? I had a gap year in the early 2000’s where all I watched was shitty reality shows… I’m… I’m not proud of it, okay?

Heh. Guess you are human after all. Ugh, don’t remind me.

Anything else I should know before watching the show? There’s a lot of characters, like at least twenty with speaking roles and probably double appearing on screen.

Wow, that sounds like it could get confusing. You’d be surprised, the characterisation and character design is distinct enough that only occasionally do you go ‘who’s that again? Oh right that one’.

Oh jeez, I almost forgot. Best girl? Sakura! Fake glasses and all.

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Cool. Final verdict? Classroom of the Elite is great, but if you’re not sold by the first or maybe second episode chances are you’re not going to fall for its charms. So readily it flits between genres that it could almost be seen as being indecisive but the writer in me appreciates its fluid nature and tonal dissonance. It’s an easy binge watch for accepting minds and is filled with interesting characters and riveting scenarios. Entertainment worthy of A Class, 85 out of 100.

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Komori-San Can’t Decline – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Komori-San Can’t Decline.

What’s the show? Komori-San Can’t Decline!

What’s it about? Guess how old this girl is?

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Straight in there with the boob gifs huh, wow. No seriously guess.

Urgh, well I don’t really feel comfortable about this, but uh… eighteen I suppose? Nope! 14!

F**k off. I do not tell a lie. In the original manga she’s 14 (in the show she’s 15 but that’s probably just a typo with the subtitles or something).

What is going on? I just… this review got out of control so quickly… There’s 12 episodes of this show, guess how long each episode is?

What are you doing? We’re playing a fun game, just guess, will you?

Fine, err, I don’t know, whatever a normal anime episode length is? 25 minutes? Each episode is TWO MINUTES LONG.

What?! I didn’t even know they came that short? I’ll avoid the obvious penis joke and continue, yes two minutes, 1 minute 35 seconds if you exclude the closing credits!

I’m so confused. Is it even good? Can you even get to know characters or plot or anything at that length? Yes. Succinctly introduced characters with very different personalities and physical appearances. It’s a slice of life so it’s just ‘school days’ and yes. In that order.

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I feel like there’s more your not telling me, I mean we’ve suddenly gone from relatively ‘normal’ anime to suddenly reviewing two-minute anime which I assume is just an in-between filler show that goes in between two full length shows? Why are we reviewing this? Cool-kyō Shinja, the original manga author is a personal favourite of mine, even if his tastes are… interesting to say the least.

Dare I even ask? He’s into oppai loli and shota love interests, at least if his doujin and the recurring themes in his manga and anime are anything to go by.

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I’ve done cursory Google searches on enough of those terms to know I need to change the subject and quickly. Are we suddenly running a family friendly, PG rated blog?

Well no, it’s just… well this isn’t exactly approachable content we’re discussing, aren’t you afraid of alienating your readers? Pfft, they are all anime otaku, which means they’re all at least partially perverts.

Okay then, so 15 questions in to this 20 question anime review we’re finally going to start talking about the plot of this show, yes? Sure, the titular (pun intended) Komori-san can literally not say no to anything that’s asked of her.

Oh god. Ah, seems like you too are a pervert! But guess what, you’re wrong, aside from her ample bust this show is pretty much as wholesome as it gets.

Really? Yes, really. She and her two best friends are just going through their everyday school lives, with Komori-san helping people out even if it ends up making her life slightly more difficult. Because she loves to help people, she loves to be needed, because being needed means people trust and respect her.

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But the show’s only 2 minutes long… You’d think that’d mean it’s hard to grow attached to and yes, I do wish the show was longer but it still works, it’s hurried but it’s still elicits the occasional chuckle, it’s kind-hearted and enjoyable to watch. You just have to get your mindset out of regular anime pacing and accept it for its ‘bite sized’ form.

I can’t believe we got through a full-length review for a show that in total amounts to less than a single normal anime episode. Ain’t nothing wrong with being abnormal.

Final verdict? It’s hard to recommend something that’s so fleeting, because it’s brevity is a serious detriment to its potential. It’s kind of easier to just watch it and see if you like it, heck you probably could’ve watched half the season in the time it took you to read this review. It’s cute, it’s got an impossibly busty 15-year-old protagonist, it’s silly, it’s short and it’s sweet. You could do far worse, than to decline Komori-san and her cohorts. 75 out of 100.

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Food Wars! – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Food Wars!

What’s the show? Food Wars! (2015)

And what’s it about? Food!

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I could have probably guessed that much, go into detail please. Well it’s about Soma Yukihira and his exploits as he traverses the ranks of elite culinary school Totsuki Academy in pursuit of his dream of surpassing his father at cooking. It’s a cooking school unlike any other where less than 1% of students graduate due to the rigorous process of ‘shokugeki’s’ (Food Wars), which dominate the academic landscape, weeding out the wannabes from the true professionals.

Why do I feel like I’ve just turned on a cooking channel? Yeah it can kinda get like that, but as long as you watch it in Japanese with English subtitles there shouldn’t be any issues. 

So there’s an English dub then? NEVER MENTION THE ENGLISH DUB OF THIS SHOW AROUND ME!

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O…kay then… Um, so what’s good about the show? Only everything! It’s a comedy only there’s a kind of genuine emotional relevance connected to every character. It’s practically a sports anime with the kind of detail they go into when it comes to the preparation and serving of a dish, never has a show made me so hungry before. The stakes genuinely feel high every time a shokugeki is issued and because of the character development it only feels higher. And then there’s the fan service…

Fan service? Excuse me? Sometimes the food is just so good that those tasting it are so overcome with adulation that their clothes rip off! Of course not literally, it’s all visual metaphor, but it simultaneously fulfils the shallow need for fan service in this kind of anime and offer a visual representation to externally gauge how good a dish is.

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Feels like your just making excuses for seeing anime tiddies. First of all, I thought we agreed you’d never use that phrase again around me. Secondly, it’s not just woman whose clothes disintegrate upon tasting an impeccable dish, men are just as likely to appear naked and aroused upon putting food in their mouth in this show.

This show is sounding kind of perverse. But it’s totally not, I know it’s hard but you should trust me on this. It’s like the anime equivalent of Masterchef except everyone isn’t a self-entitled douche with some thirty-second sob story or one-dimensional persona.

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Well that’s good! Anything else I should know? You know this review really should be titled ‘Shokugeki No Soma’, not ‘Food Wars!’

Huh? Well I mean that’s its proper Japanese title, ‘Food Wars!’ is just an annoyingly simplified translation meant to grab people’s attention. Probably because whoever got the rights for the show in the west was afraid a food-based anime wouldn’t be ‘shiny’ enough to make money!

Are you going to make this into a thing? He’s totally going to make this into a thing… I mean why stop there! Why not call ‘Haikyu!!’ ‘Volleyball Show!!’ instead! Or ‘Keijo!’ ‘This Is Totally A Sports Anime, Why Are You Looking At Me Like That, No This It’s Just A Banana In My Pocket.’ Or ‘Yuru Camp’ ‘Laid Back Camp’!

You know I think they did call ‘Yuru Camp’ ‘Laid Back Camp’. ARGH!

Calm down! Umm… oh god I need something to bring him back on topic, I can’t let this end up as another rant review… um? Oh of course! Ah… so does this show have any cute girls I should know about? Of course! Some of the best in fact!

Wow that was easy, uh, great! So tell me about them? Well of course there’s the snobby rich girl who’s something of an antagonist to Soma, her name’s Erina and she’s nicknamed the ‘god tongue’ because her palate is so impossibly refined. Then there’s Ikumi, who loves cooking with meat, she’s got a brash exterior but she’s actually a bit of a sweet heart when you get to know her! And then… daww, its best girl Megumi! She’s a quietly spoken country girl who’s just too precious for words!

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I almost prefer the angry you than this you… Don’t hate just because I’ve found my happiness!

Oh I wouldn’t dare dream it. Okay, so I’m almost sold, so now in just three words convince me why I need to see this show. Peanut-butter tentacle porn.

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I said convince me to watch it not convince me to never talk to you again. Admit it, you’re curious now.

I will never! Besides you cheated, that was four words. It was hyphenated!

Let’s wrap this up, shall we? As far as an entry point into anime of the ecchi variety, Food Wars is not only tastefully presented (pun intended) but almost all of it makes sense within the show’s plot and aesthetic, and it’s about as equal as you’re likely to find in terms of male/female fan-service. But aside from that it’s a genuinely entertaining, at times hilarious and often touching show with a cast of wonderful, eclectic characters. Premium 5 star Michelin grade anime, 93 out of 100.

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Love Live! School Idol Project – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Love Live! School Idol Project.

What’s the show? Love Live! School Idol Project.

And what’s it about? Making as much money as possible for the producers of this anime.

Wow, savage af. Not holding back anymore after that One-Punch Man review are we? Don’t get me wrong, Love Live isn’t a bad show, in fact the first time I watched it I really liked it, but well, you ever watch something that you think is pretty good but then find people obsessing over it so much that you wonder maybe did you miss something? And then the more and more you keep hearing about how amazing the show is, the more and more your opinion on it declines?

So it’s not fault of the show in this instance but the fans? I wouldn’t be so harsh as to criticise someone for something that they love, because I’d hate if someone did that to me. But I guess I have to chalk this one up to me just not getting the appeal aside from the surface value.

So what’s it really about? It’s about nine high school girls who decide to make an idol group to compete against other idol groups from other high schools.

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Filthy normie that I am, care to explain what an ‘idol group’ is? Well it’s a group of idols, I thought that much would be obvious…

Okay smart-ass, what’s an ‘idol’? Well it’s like what people in the West would call a pop star.

Oh so like the Spice Girls? I don’t know what that is.

Right, I sometimes forget you subsist solely on a diet of Japanese everything. Um, okay so the Spice Girls were five UK popstars from the late 90’s, they all had different personas, like one was called Baby spice because she was ‘cute’, one was called Sporty Spice because she dressed like she was going to kick someone’s head in, one was called Posh Spice because the 1% need something to jerk it to too, one was called Scary Spice because she had an afro and wore leopard print (and probably because she was black, but let’s not get into that here) and one was called Ginger Spice because she was… well a ginger. Sounds kind of stupid now that I put it on paper but they were a big deal. Hmm, okay, well I guess idols are kind of like that except without any discernible personalities.

Wow… Are you deliberately trying to burn down your blog? Got a light?

I think you need to rein it in and come at this a bit more positively, okay? That’s easy, I could have just told you how I felt about this show when I first watched it. It’s fun and entertaining and the characters are all really cute and each have something likable about them.

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But now? All that still applies except it exists under a cold and calculated veneer of capitalism and marketing and oversaturation, it’d be like looking at a really cute anime pinup online only it’s surrounded by pop-ups trying to sell you things and then when you try to minimise it to look at something else, it stays there in a small window in the corner, pestering you to come back.

But should you judge the merits of a show just because it’s got a high marketing budget and a lot of people bought into the hype that was generated in turn? But a rabid fan base and persistent almost suffocating marketing presence only seeks to highlight the issues in the show. If you watch a show that’s pretty good, maybe even very good and then that’s all you hear about it, your brain goes “sure, makes sense” but if you watch a show that is pretty good, maybe even very good and everyone around is frothing over it and it’s on billboards and the sides of buses, and the music is being played from trucks roaming the streets, it makes you wonder “how do all you people not see all that’s wrong with this show?!”

I get what you’re saying, I really do, but I still don’t think you’re being fair and impartial to the show. I don’t recall signing anything that said my reviews were going to be ‘fair and impartial’, they’re just opinions at the end of the day.

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Fair enough, I’m not trying to tell you how to review, just trying to keep this from turning into another rant (although I think the ship has sailed on that!) I’m sorry if it seems like I’m ranting, I’ll try and be a bit more professional with my criticism and focus on the show rather than external influences.

Good, so that said, you’ve already asserted it’s a good / almost very good show, praised the characters and entertainment value. What’s not so good about it then? The plot is very safe and predictable, to the point where I was calling out story beats episodes before they even happened. The characters are interesting when they’re talking, but as soon as they get on stage it might as well be nine identical clones with slightly tweaked hairstyles; with the exception of Nico they have zero personality on stage. That and the songs are pretty ordinary and unmemorable, and I usually love Japanese pop music.

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Nico? Nico Nico Ni! (I fully accept the online consequences of picking Nico Yazawa as best girl).

Is that a meme or something? Pretty much.

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Right, we’re running long so it’s about time we wrap this up. We have a time limit?

No, it’s just if we don’t stop now this whole place will burn down. Final verdict? For the sake of this final score I’m going to pretend like everything outside the show itself doesn’t exist and thus won’t influence my final opinion. It’s a fun show, with characters that make you wish there was a more well developed and interesting show around them, the idol sections fall mostly flat but it’s still pretty to look at. 72 out of 100.

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Yamada’s First Time: B Gata H Kei – 20 Question Anime Review (Moderate Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Yamada’s First Time: B Gata H Kei.

What’s the show? Yamada’s First Time: B Gata H Kei (2010).

B-gata what now? Are you trying to signal for help or something? Don’t worry about it; I don’t have time to explain.

What, why not? We just started the review. Well you see I’ve got to sleep with 100 guys before graduation.

I… wha… huh?! Aha! Fooled you, that’s just the plot of the anime we’re reviewing, I’m not actually in high school.

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Meaning you do have to sleep with 100 guys?! Aha! Fooled you again!

Are you just stalling to get the question count up? Maaaaybeee…

Well stop it! It’s very unprofessional! So what’s the show actually about? Well there’s a high school girl called Yamada and she wants to sleep with 100 guys before graduation.

Wait so that part wasn’t a joke? I already said it wasn’t, now who’s stalling, huh?

Fine, so why does Yamada want to sleep with 100 guys and what’s stopping her? Well she’s a virgin and so she’s kind of all talk, no action when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex, so she decides to find herself a “cherry boy” to ease into the whole 100 guys things and that’s where Takashi comes in (no pun intended). She’s very keen to do the deed only she’s also terrified because the more time she spends ‘wooing’ him, the more complicated her feelings for him get.

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Okay, sounds interesting. So she’s not just a sex-crazed high-school girl to be the thing of masturbatory fodder for the male audience. Indeed, in fact as the series progresses she begins to realise that the idea of sex and actually going about the deed is a lot less straightforward than she thought, not just physically but emotionally too. She’s a surprisingly well-written character and despite her lascivious goals and preoccupations she is by no means a one-dimensional girl, and even though she’s confident about her looks she still has relatable insecurities. Obviously this review could very easily go into heavy spoilers, but it’s probably best to leave it this vague for those who want to watch the show because it is worth watching.

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So it comes recommended. Any significant issues worth addressing then? There are some obvious tropes of the genre that you see coming from a mile away. Seeing that this is a romantic comedy there’s obviously another love interest to complicate things here specifically in the form of Mayu, the adorable childhood friend of the male protagonist who’s been pining for him since they were kids.

Your best girl? Probably. She is totes adorbz.

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Please don’t. So these ‘tropes’ do they harm the enjoyment of the show considerably? If you’ve watched a lot of these shows then it might feel lazy and predictable, but the story between Yamada and Takashi is fresh enough to warrant a watch by itself.

So now we’re almost done with the review you want to explain what B-gata H-kei means? Pfft, just Google it, man.

Don’t be lazy! Fine! The B stands for Bousou which means ‘Rampage’ and the H stands for ‘Hentai’. The gata means ‘type’ and kei means ‘style’, so all together it means ‘Rampage Style, Hentai Type’.

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Oh I see… um… and what does ‘hentai’ mean? …you can leave now.

What? How is it my fault I don’t know what hentai means? I’m not well versed in all these Japanese terms you throw around so freely. And I learnt my lesson from the OreImo review to not Google these terms anymore; I still sweat a little every time I hear a police siren… Fine, in this specific instance it means ‘pervert’.

Ah… okay that makes sense. Hey! Does this mean I should’ve been calling you a ‘hentai’ all these times? Hehe, hentai! Hentai! Ugh, it’s like teaching a parent what memes are.

Final score if you please, Mr. Hentai. Yamada’s First Time is a coming of age story that’s more about the female perspective on teenage sexuality than most shows even bother to touch on, and it’s refreshing to have a lead who’s so frank about her desires, even if they don’t always manifest in reality. With a plot synopsis that reads more like a porn film a casual glance at the show might suggest something that’s cheap, tacky and perverted but the truth is significantly otherwise. It’s an amusing show with well-written characters and just enough heart to carry it through. Like a lot of first times, it’s not perfect, it’s a little messy and plenty embarrassing but it’s memorable and worthwhile all the same. It’s the first time but it won’t be the last time, 82 out of 100.

Thank you Hentai-senpai. Shut up!

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Monster Musume – 20 Question Anime Review (Mild Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Monster Musume.

What’s the show? Monster Musume: Everyday Life With Monster Girls.

Right. And what’s it about? Body positivity.

Ah, okay. Cool, what else? Sexy sexy monster ladies.

That’s what I assumed you would have said first, so harem anime then? Indeed!

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So who are these characters? Miia, is a Lamia (snake girl) and the first of protagonist Kimihito’s burgeoning harem, taking part in an interspecies cultural exchange and thus living under his roof, much to his conflicted feelings. Later joins Papi the Harpy (bird girl), Centorea the Centaur (horse girl), Suu the Slime (the blue one), Mero the Mermaid (duh) and Rachnera the Arachne (yikes a spider!) They all end up living under the one roof, vying for “darling’s” affections while trying to get along with each other and dealing with a world that’s only recently become aware of the existence of Liminals (monster girls).

Right, talk about a full house *cues Full House intro music* I don’t know what that is, but cool reference bro?

Shuddup. So, I have an awkward question, and I feel like I’m going to offend someone by saying this but I have to since it’s my job and all but… well, monster girls + harem, are these characters supposed to be sexy? Because I’m not really feeling it… OH. MY. GOD. I can’t believe you just said that! How racist do you want to be?

They aren’t real races so it’s not racist; I was just asking the question… No, stop! Don’t you dare say another bad word about my monster waifus!

So I take it that some people do find them attractive then? Yeah mate and you’re talking to one, want to fight about it?!

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Sorry, I’m not here to judge you for what you find attractive, different stokes and all that… [Crude joke about ‘stroking something’, deemed too obscene for wordpress.com].

Okay then… so let’s get back on topic. What’s the show about besides ogling monster girls? A lot actually! Well, not really with regard to plot, but when it comes to character development this show delivers! Every one of the girls has their various likes and dislikes and dissonant personalities that either clash or compliment with other girls and that of Kimihito. For some girls he almost ends up feeling more like a father figure or big brother, whereas other girls are exceedingly attracted to him because of his boundless compassion towards monster girls no matter what they look like!

I said I was sorry! I’ll forgive you once you pick one of them to be your ‘best girl’.

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What? No, I don’t do that, I’m not into anime like you are. DO IT! Or I’ll turn this blog around and no one is going to Disneyland!

Fine! Uh… ah, I mean, I guess… the mermaid? BOO! No one likes Mero, you fail, you only picked her because you’ve been preconditioned by the Disney corporation!

What’s with all these Disney references? I DON’T KNOW.

And all the shouting? I don’t know…

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Fine then, who is your best girl? Probably Papi, I mean she is a bit of a birdbrain but she has the best booty and you know I’m all about the booty. But then there’s Rachnera, yes she’s a spider, which is like a totally bad time for an arachnophobe like me, but she’s absolutely the kinkiest of the bunch into BDSM and all that. But then there’s Suu, and well yeah she’s a slime and almost kills ‘darling’ on more than a few occasions by nearly drowning him in her cleavage but being able to change her cup size on the fly has to make for some good variety. But then there’s Centorea, she’s just so noble and pure and devoted and did somebody say I-cup, yowza! Oh but then there’s Miia, she’s been there since the beginning and well if there’s anyone who is DTF amongst the monster girls it’s her!

Jesus! You didn’t even put this much thought into your entire Steins;Gate review, and that was about as something as complicated as time travel! What can I say; I take the business of ‘best girl’ very seriously.

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More like you’re a serious pervert… Hey! What did I say about kink shaming? None of that here thank you very much!

Fine, final verdict? I could talk all day about this show, and not just because I’m into monster girls, what I’m into is well rounded characters with flaws and hang ups and genuine emotions as they deal with a world that’s often less accepting of the parts of them that makes them different from other stereotypical beautiful girls out there. As a protagonist and centre of a harem anime, Kimihito is admittedly kind of bland but he’s also unfailing kind, accommodating and understanding of every monster girl he comes into contact with, not just those who live with him. It’s something that’s not only admirable but also endearing and should make whatever reservations you have about this kind of show (harem/ecchi/fan-service, etc.) feel minor. Yes he’s attracted to these girls, but he also treats and acknowledges them all as unique individuals and seeks to make each of their lives better no matter the cost to himself. A monstrous 89 out of 100.

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Attack on Titan – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Attack on Titan.

What’s the show? Attack on Titan (2013).

And what’s it about? Well… it’s a dark and violent anime set in a world where all of humanity has to live behind a giant walled city because outside are massive humanoid like creatures called ‘titans’ that straight up eat people. Some of them are like 10 feet high whereas others can be up to 200 feet high, its seriously scary and seriously messed up! The story follows three teenage aged friends who have their world turned upside down by a titan attack and end up joining the military to fight the titans to help save what’s left of their downtrodden civilization.

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Wow. That sounds cool! Nah, it sucks.

Wait, what? But you made it sound so good! Shhh! Listen… I can’t actually admit to liking Attack on Titan, I can’t risk that kind of hit to my rep.

Huh? What are you talking about? If people hear that I actually like this show then they’ll think I’m just latching onto what is “popular” amongst the “casual” anime fans. And I can’t do that! I’ve only just gotten into Bakemonogatari fan-circles, if they find out I like stuff like this I’m done for!

Heh, I never thought you were this shallow. I’m not. It’s the opposite in fact, only jocks and white people watch AoT, I’m way too indie for that. In fact that reminds me I’ve got to check in with the Paranoia Agent original DVD owner subreddit I set up, but I suppose you’ve never even heard of that anime… huehuehue.

So you’re an anime hipster who secretly is into all the stuff that everyday anime fans are into? Well let’s not go crazy, it’s Attack on Titan we’re talking about, it’s not like I’m suddenly going to DBZ meet ups!

So why is Attack on Titan a taboo among anime aficionados? Normies man, f***ing normies…

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Right. Well let’s pretend that you’re not into AoT. I’m totally not!

Indeed, so that said, what are some things you just hate about it? Just hate *wink*. Ah… oh! I get you, heh. Right, so I just hate how the main characters of Eren, Mikasa and Armin have so much intertwining backstory and that they care so much for each other. Like you’d think Eren seeing his mother be brutally devoured by a titan would harden him up but instead he’s being all vulnerable and troubled by the memories of it. Pfft, as if you’d be a three-dimensional character, totally lame!

Ah, yeah, right! Lame! Umm, so what else? Well the action is just like… so… totally…

Yes? I mean, the action it’s just…

Err, it’s totally lame right, go on and tell me about how lame it is. Yeah? Argh! I can’t! I can’t keep this flawlessly brilliant and convincing ruse up! I really like Attack on Titan, I do! Damned be to all those reckless haters, conjuring up bile for a series just because it’s popular! So what if it is? Sometimes popular things are also good, popularity isn’t always mutually exclusive of quality, this isn’t high school, this is anime!

And the action, then? The action is fantastic, the fluidity of the animation as the characters fly about with their Omni Directional Mobility gear and begin slicing at the Titan’s with their swords and then invariably some oft forgotten side character gets blindsided and you watch as they become TitanChowTM before your very eyes, and it’s all so visceral and impactful and dramatic.

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Well you don’t need to sell it to me anymore I’m already so sold it’s being giftwrapped! Baka Gaijin…

I beg your pardon? Sorry, it’s a gut reaction, I’m sure it’ll pass in time.

Mmm, right. So anything else you want to add? Attack on Titan did nothing wrong. I mean not literally, I was just doing a meme right there. It’s not perfect, there are some serious pacing abnormalities throughout, but that’s more to do with it being such a faithful adaptation of the manga. And it’s depressing too, which I wouldn’t expect anything less but just be wary of it, especially if your go to anime usually involves ‘cute girls doing cute things’.

So no cute girls here then? Mikasa’s a BAMF, and also dayum…

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Geez, I thought I’d like you reviewing something mainstream but somehow your more insufferable than when you’re reviewing niche weirdness and obsessing over ‘cute girls’. Just be thankful I’m not reviewing Fairy Tail any time soon.

I can’t even begin to think what that means. So, final score? Forget whatever presumptions you have about the super popular Attack on Titan, whether you’re an anime connoisseur or completely new to anime entirely, AoT is a dramatic and violent but wholly satisfying and tense place to start. A colossal and hard fought, 92 out of 100.

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Shimoneta – 20 Question Anime Review (Moderate Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Shimoneta: A Boring World Where The Concept Of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist.

What’s the show? Shimoneta: A Boring World Where The Concept Of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist (2015).

A title and a plot synopsis in one, huh? Well, makes my job easier. ‘Tis but one in a plethora of Japanese anime with exceedingly long titles… speaking of exceedingly long…

Oh no, is this review going to devolve into 20 Dirty Jokes instead, I don’t need my job to be any harder than it already is. You’re making this too easy…

Fine, I’ll admit that one was my mistake, but let’s at least try and be professional about this? Fine, I can do this.

Okay, so what is the show about aside from being set in a world where dirty jokes don’t exist? Well it’s set in a sort of alternate reality Japan where everyone is enforced to wear devices called ‘Peace Makers’ which analyse and monitor every thing people say and even their gestures to make sure nobody is doing anything that the government considers ‘lewd’ or ‘immoral’.

Wow, sounds kind of dark. I thought it was a comedy from that title? It is! And a very funny one at that!

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Explain? Okay, so let’s start off with the three main characters, there’s Tanukichi, a typical teenage boy who’s torn between living a law abiding life and following in his father’s footsteps as an outlaw erotic novelist. Then there’s the object of his unreturned affection student council president Anna who is very by the books and all about the rule of the law. And then there’s Ayame, vice president of the student council who in her spare time is secretly an erotic terrorist named ‘blue snow’!

Stop. What’s an ‘erotic terrorist’? Well she runs around the streets wearing nothing but a bed sheet and a pair of panties on her head while dispensing lewd pictures to shocked bystanders and shouting dirty jokes.

Interesting angle. But how does she do it? Doesn’t everybody have that monitoring thing that tracks what they are doing and saying? Good, your listening. She has a device on her phone that blocks the signal of the ‘Peace Makers’ for 3 minutes per day, in which time she can lewd up a storm!

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And what’s her goal in all this? Is she just an anarchist who gets off on being able to say and do things in public that other people can’t? Well that’s probably a part of it, but her main goal and it’s a lofty one, is to eventually overturn the laws, which have turned Japan into a country so afraid of sexuality that even students in school don’t know what reproductive sex is or how it happens.

So it’s a story about the ills of mass censorship? Broadly, yes. It’s also a show about saying ‘dick’ a lot and talking about bodily fluids. Lot of bodily fluids in this show.

I’m almost afraid to ask. Well not to go into too much spoiler territory because it does take a couple of episodes for it to come about, but perfect student council president Anna, through various ways discovers what lust is and confuses/rationalises it as love and persists in trying to get Tanukichi to drink her “love nectar”.

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So she’s a pervert? But that’s what makes her character so interesting and complex, is that because of the society she’s grown up in, one that disavows any kind of healthy sexual exploration she doesn’t even realise that what she’s doing is so far removed from ‘normal’ because what is normal is never a part of the curriculum or even taught by parents because of the laws of the country. Also, fair trigger warning because it is something worth mentioning, Anna does attempt to rape him.

Oh boy. It goes there? The show treats it in a semi-serious way, the way it’s animated and the tone of the scene it doesn’t play it for laughs, which is good. I personally didn’t have a problem with the way it was handled but I can understand why some people might feel uncomfortable about it.

Fair enough! Well, this review went to some unexpected places. Well you wanted to me to be professional, didn’t you?

Yes, and I’m very proud of you, well done. Thank you oni-chan!

I’m sorry what did you call me? Nothing!

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Why do I get the feeling you’re being lewd? I don’t know why you’re always so hard on me; it’s not my fault if my words are coming off rude to you, maybe you should have a long look at yourself in the mirror and see why you spout off at the most innocent of comments.

Are you quite done yet? Penis.

Right. Final score and recommendation? Shimoneta is proof that even in a show filled with dirty jokes and rude words there can be a genuine and well-developed discussion about censorship and the implications it has on developing minds and society at large. It also helps that it’s a very funny show at times, as long as you’re prepared for a lot of immature gags. 83 out of 100.

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Steins;Gate – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review of Steins;Gate.

What’s the show? Steins;Gate (2011).

And what’s with the semi;colon? I don’t know; ask the author(s) 5pb and NitroPlus, all of their science-y shows use that to separate the two-word titles.

Science, eh? So not lolicon or siscon or whatever strange perversion you’re usually inundating me with these question suggestions? For the record, those aren’t my perversions, they just happen to be a recurring theme in the anime I enjoy… but yes this is a sci-fi, with an emphasis on the science.

So what’s it all about? Well. It’s pretty complicated, but our protagonist Rintaro Okabe is a kind of DIY mad scientist and he inadvertently discovers time travel! And so SERN (thinly veiled CERN analogue) gets involved and people close to him die, except they don’t because time travel and it’s all very dramatic and tense and emotional and genuinely one of the most unique, thought provoking and all round exciting anime experiences out there. To go into any more plot details would be a disservice to this thrilling ride!

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Wow, I’m actually interested in this for once. I’m waiting for the ‘but’ to ruin it all for me though, so please continue. No but’s, no coconuts, with the exception that the anime takes place in otaku central, Akihabara and one of the characters works at a maid cafe, it’s about as ‘casual friendly’ as anime comes, provided you’re into science fiction and the associated plot convolutions.

Well, this seems like it’s going to be a truncated blog, this is only question six and I’m already wondering what we’re going to talk about for the next fourteen questions?! It’s not flawless.

What? Well, it’s excellent, it’s a show I’d recommend above almost every other show out there, but it’s not perfect.

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So what’s wrong with it, in your estimation? The pacing of the first dozen episodes is all over the place, to the point where the show feels like it isn’t really going anywhere. It’s a doozy of a first obstacle, but once it’s cleared its pretty much smooth sailing from there on out. And…

And there’s more isn’t there? No, I mean, actually never mind… there’s nothing else wrong with it… just watch it, okay?

Hey, what’s wrong? You’re suddenly so down? It’s nothing, don’t worry yourself about it…

No, something is obviously wrong, just tell me? It’s just, I… I saw your death.

I’m sorry, what? I’ve seen the future, and I’ve seen your death, I’m sorry to tell it to you like this, but I’ve seen you die and it happens soon and there’s nothing I can do to stop it!

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Wait? What? No, you have to help me? I can’t die; I have so much more anime to experience second hand through you. I can’t help you, I’ve tried… so many times, I’ve replayed the same events over and over and every time you die and every time I’m too late to stop it! It’s useless… I’m so sorry.

No… it can’t end like this… okay, tell me when at least? So maybe I’ve got a chance to stop it myself. I can’t.

Why not?! Time fluctuations. Or paradoxes? Wibbly wobbly timey wimey…

Ugh, then at least tell me how? How do I die so I can avoid a situation like it? Well… you’re walking down a street; I don’t know what street, when monkeys appear… bloody thousands of them, and then…

And then? And then they start to throw their… excrement at you, it just keeps coming and coming and their aim is just so on point that they never don’t miss your mouth until you’re just so full of shit that you just die!

I die… because I’m full… of shit? Yeah… *slowly dabs handkerchief at eye* It’s truly tragic.

Screw you! I was actually worried about myself for a second. So you should be! It’s not normal for a human being to be that full of shit!

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Yeah, yeah, I get it. Up yours, final score or whatever, I’m out of here. Time travel is a powerfully problematic plot device, science fiction shows, movies and books of the past have made no stranger about this fact, what Steins;Gate does is find a flawless balance between the science and technology and the human element that’s oh so important in these kinds of stories. Hold my beer because I’m going back in time so I can experience this excellent anime again for the first time, 95 out of 100.

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