2 Feb 2016

What I watched, What I expected, What I got

Here's an anime infographic about What I watched, What I expected, and What I got. It's moderately entertaining but more importantly an ideal image to help you find your next anime to watch. I think the Fairy Tail comparison to My little wizard is a little on the nose, but unfortunately the truth of it can't be denied.

The format is relatively easy to understand, 'what I watched' refers to the anime seen, 'what I expected' is what kind of anime you thought it would be, and 'what I got' is generally a funny comparison of the anime to something else.

I'm personally fond of a few of these that are quite true. Beserk is an anime that can easily be compared to Dark Souls, both are brutal. The Spice and Wolf one is pretty funny too.

A humorous infographic representing peoples opinions of various anime

7 May 2013

Chrome Shelled Regios

Here's another anime I was stubborn to watch. Another anime I enjoyed thoroughly. Chrome Shelled Regios is about cities living on gigantic legs to survive away from the infested wasteland below. The earth has been taken over by monstrous beasts, creatures strong enough to survive even the most advanced human technology. So people live in cities on legs. Sure this concept is a little wacky, but it makes enough sense for an anime.

One of the walking cities.

Exceptional humans have learnt to use Military Arts, or Kei to defend themselves. This science is essentially magic, some people have natural talent for it. Although this technology is used to defend from invading polluted monsters, mobile cities also have tournaments between each other as a contest of strength and power.

I think that when the earth is inhabitable due to the pollution and climate, it's a little odd for humanity to be fighting against each other instead of focusing on the hordes of evolving monsters below. However, that's what our kind does, so it's acceptable enough. Besides, the premise behind Chrome Shelled Regios is interesting and original for an anime.

The plot takes place in a particularly unremarkable city (aside from walking on gigantic stilts that is), Zuellni. Zuellni is filled with inexperienced students, a university for academic studies and combat training alike. Layfon Alseif arrives at this city to study, and escape his past. Unfortunately Layfon is forced to interrupt a fight on his first day, leading the principle to force him into the Military Arts class.

Usually the air outside is dangerous to breath in.

The anime revolves around Zuellni and the other walking cities dealing with the post apocalyptic wasteland as best they can. Layfon is one of the strongest fighters in the world, who used to be a holy knight. Many people try to use him to their advantage. His friends and his team often feel weak in comparison and try to catch up in strength. I really enjoyed the fighting scenes, because Layfon often becomes badass and brutal.

It's a pretty solid watch overall, the only thing I didn't really like was the comedy aspects. The animation and sounds were solid, and the voice actors were passable. It also has a small harem element, which wouldn't be missed. It would of been better if Layfon only had one suitor. Overall, I'd definitely consider partaking in Chrome Shelled Regios if you're a fan of post apocalyptic stuff. It's rated pretty high in most reviews, so it seems to have mutual enjoyment by other audiences.

25 Apr 2013

Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail is a rare anime that can compete with the longest running shows and in a lot of cases, win. I read the shit out of this manga and loved every second of it. I couldn't put it down. The anime is equally awesome, despite some questionable changes from the manga. With 175 episodes, you will have to invest a fair amount of time to complete it.

Natsu is an awesome fire magician, not many people can beat him.

Lucy Heartfilia is a young girl whose dream is to become a part of one of the greatest magical guilds in the world. She sets her heart on Fairy Tail, a guild with a rowdy reputation but one of the most powerful. Luckily she meets Natsu Dragneel, a member of Fairy Tail. Lucy and Natsu hit it off because both of their goals align; they want to become strong mages.

Guilds are a group of mages working together, often given tasks by the local community to deal with monsters and various problems. There are hundreds of guilds throughout the land, some prestigious and law abiding, others notorious and dark. Fairy Tail is known by almost everyone, and while they have a lot of allies they have just as many enemies.

The members of the guild Fairy Tail cheering
Fairy Tail, and several of its members.

The plot starts out pretty simple, fighting a new monster every week. However, it quickly develops into something better, with battles between guilds and opposing mages. If you like the initial premise and the idea of lots of magicians with different abilities fighting it out, this anime only increases in quality all the way through. Plus with 175 episodes, there's barely a scent of filler.

Every anime has dull moments, a lull in the plot, badly animated scenes, horrible filler and fanservice. If you watch anime you are guaranteed to be subjected to some of these awful moments that make you question why you're watching it at all. In Fairy Tail, I barely noticed the bad bits at all. It's a fluent anime, that wasn't dragged out longer than necessary. Some of the magic is innovative and pretty interesting.

Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail casting armor change magic
Erza is a badass, she has countless types of armor.

As shounen this show is slightly above the rest. It has plenty of stereotypical moments, cliche, and slapstick. That doesn't make it bad, because it still manages to stand out with a colorful world and some surprising twists. You will recognize many of the voice actors from other popular shows, most of them are well known.

Another interesting feature is the spells and abilities that magicians can use. There are many different types of magic and some pretty cool abilities. For example, Natsu was trained by the great fire dragon Igneel. Thus, his abilities are increased by consuming fire. Erza specializes in Ex-quipping, which is the ability to summon different armor and often magical weapons onto her person. While a lot of the magic in Fairy Tail is your standard Magic Missile stuff, there are some unique and cool spells.

Lucy from Fairy Tail looking serious
Lucy is the main character, but it quickly becomes about the guild instead of just her.

Fairy Tail's strongest selling point is the characters. The guild has many members, all of which have amusing perks and personalities. Take Gray for example, he seems like a perfectly normal mage. Except he has a strong penchant for taking all his clothes off at random. You get to meet the entire guild within the first dozen episodes, and you'll find yourself attached to at least a couple of them.

Initially the animation is lazy for the first 30 episodes, it does get a little better after that. It's a shame though, because the fights had the potential to be amazing. Sadly, the blood is also taken out. What I'm trying to say is; this anime is fun to watch and enjoyable. However, it's not without flaws. Watch Fairy Tail if you feel like you'll enjoy it, or if you like One Piece.

23 Apr 2013


Out of all the anime I have watched, only two have made me laugh. The first one was Great Teacher Onizuka. The second one is Beelzlebub. It's absolutely ridiculous, has almost no depth or plot, and throws slapstick at you every second. Yet I loved every second of it. If you're looking for something stupid and different, Beelzlebub is exactly what you need. Almost every anime principle is twisted and parodied, and while many of the jokes fall completely flat; they are fired so quickly some are bound to hit the mark.

The baby Beelzebub does some amazing stuff.

Beelzebub is about an unruly student at a school of delinquents. Oga Tatsumi is beating his way out of an ambush one day when he spots a gigantic man floating down the river. As the huge man bobs past, he suddenly opens up and deposits a baby next to Oga. The baby clings on to Oga's back and decides to follow him everywhere. The demon maid Hilda turns up soon after, and explains to him that the baby is actually Kaiser de Emperana Beelzebub IV. The child of the great demon lord, destined to wipe humanity from the face of the earth.

Oga quickly decides that he doesn't want to raise a child, especially one that explodes with electricity when it cries. So he tries to pass the baby on to someone else. For Beelzebub to attach himself to another human, they have to be stronger and more evil than Oga. Unfortunately, Oga is the demon Ogre. This anime is about Oga fighting his way through Ishiyama High School with a baby on his back.

The delinquents are characteristically stupid and prone to fight.

Although the anime seems pretty shallow at the beginning, it quickly changes into something more. The characters have great personalities, backed up by brilliant writing. The graphics and animations are nothing special, but up to date because it's a modern anime. Because it's all comedy, the few serious plot points actually have some weight behind them.

Beelzebub really surprised me. For the first 20 episodes there's barely a single step forward in the plot. Oga beats down countless opponents with ease, and he doesn't even break a sweat. Without a shred of development, Beelzebub still manages to be hilarious and captivating. So once the ball starts rolling and the plot moves forward, it goes from amusing to addictive.

Oga doesn't meet anyone to contest his strength until he's stomped almost everyone in his school.

I am particularly choosy when it comes to anime. I don't like shows that are focused on comedy, because I miss out on many jokes that only someone who lives in Japan would understand. Even more jokes are badly translated into English, making it very hard to watch a comedy anime and actually understand the jokes. Thus, I didn't expect much out of Beelzebub when I caught the first episode. I did not expect to find a show that could not only make me laugh, but keep me laughing throughout it.

There's so many reasons to smile while watching Beelzebub it's hard not to. Oga and the baby perform magical feats on a regular basis, such as exploding with electricity or punching someone into a wall. Despite this, everyone remains oblivious to the fact that the naked baby on Oga's back is actually a demon child.

Some of the episodes are basically filler, catching up on the side character. Normally I will skip these episodes, like a lot of people do. However, the writers did such a brilliant job even the filler is watchable. Even the fanservice is subtle, I couldn't notice it at all.

After a while the baby gets in sync with Oga. They make a great team.

My favorite part was the cast of characters. Hilda and Alaindelon are both demons, tasked with protecting the baby. They are both sadistic and hilarious in their own ways. Since the anime begins in a delinquent school, they are all evil bastards. Furuichi is Oga's best friend, instead of being evil he's horrendously perverted. After Oga defeats someone they tend to become his ally, and join his side from there onwards. As you can imagine, a bunch of delinquents from a bad school with a baby makes for countless humorous situations.

Beelzebub is a slapstick anime that doesn't take itself seriously, even during the most intense moments. The premise itself is ridiculous; a baby attaches itself to a students back, and the student decides to go around beating up anyone who can challenge him to get rid of the baby. It's basically all slapstick from the beginning until the end. Good thing I love slapstick comedy. If you're here and reading this, I strongly suggest you watch Beelzebub. I can't imagine anyone hating it.

17 Apr 2013

Accel World

I never managed to finish this Anime, so my article might be slightly inaccurate. Accel World is a typical shounen. Kid gets bullied, he is given power by a mysterious girl that he has to fight for, and suddenly women all over the world are dropping their pants for him. Even though it's easy to shun this anime for playing the stereotype, it's not a bad watch. The action is nothing special, but the story and dialogue is entertaining enough.  If your list of shows to watch is getting short you might want to toss Accel World in there.

Kuroyukihime is adorable, but she uses Arita like a tool.

The setting is 2046, where the world is essentially the same as now; aside from one huge piece of technology. Neuro-linkers have spread throughout the world, a computer that interacts with the brain allowing you to access the virtual world. Neuro-links have all the functions of a mobile phone, MP3 player, computer, or gaming console. In other words, Neuro-links are used for everything. Work and play.

Accel World is about a young student named Arita, who is bullied for being under height and over weight. He spends his time playing games on his Neuro-link, because of his fast reflexes and desire to avoid confrontation. One day, a girl beats his highest scores with ease. She is Kuroyukihime, one of the most popular and attractive students in school. She introduces Brain Burst to Arita, a program that allows you to boost the functions of the brain to temporarily stop time. Brain Burst is not only a great tool for success in the real world, but also a virtual reality game that involves battling other players for points. If your account runs out of points, Brain Burst uninstalls itself from your Neuro-link and disappears forever, so some of the players value it as high as their lives.

Arita feels indebted to Kuroyukihime, so he follows her on the quest to complete Brain Burst, and put the game to an end. However, with an army of people to stop them, that's no easy task. The Six kings of pure color are all determined to stop them, and keep the game running. Luckily, Arita has a rare avatar, the Silver Crow. It's a shame he's hilariously afraid of everything and anything. So the anime consists of Arita, hopping between the real world and the game world. He makes friends and enemies on the journey, and it starts to change his outlook on life for the better.

Arita plays as the Silver Crow when he's on Brain Burst, a special avatar that can fly.

The art is pretty standard for modern anime. Nothing stands out, but the visuals are acceptable. It's common practice for people to use the same frames repeatedly in a cartoon or anime to save time and money. When this effect is used too often, it can ruin an entire fight scene. In Accel World this is definitely an issue. It feels lazy. Especially when there isn't much action going on in the first place. The sounds and music are mediocre at best, but they hold up in court.

I think the biggest letdown of Accel World is the characters. You always get to see the same type in every anime. There's tsundere, yandere, the perveted guy, and many others. Accel World has many generic characters, they don't stand out in any way. They obey the rules of their stereotype, and don't do anything unexpected. It makes most of the plot too predictable. I liked listening to some of the dialogue, it was inspiring. But it wasn't good enough to keep me addicted until the end, like every good anime should.

This is Arita, the protagonist. He's the reason I couldn't finish it.

Personally, I have no attraction to any anime with a short fat kid as the protagonist. Hell, I have no idea what got me to Accel World in the first place. As I said earlier, it's not a bad anime. But I can't quite place it in the good category. As far as shounen goes, there are better shows to watch. Try Gintama or Bleach first. Although Accel World has a more direct storyline, I still enjoyed watching many other shounen more.

Accel World is worth watching if you really love anime. But it shouldn't be on the top of any list. There's a lack of character development, some lazy animation, and lack of real motivation. I don't want to offend anyone, but this anime just feels lazy. Seems like it's trying to ride on the coattails of Sword Art, which wasn't anything special either. To summarize, watch it if you can tell you would like it. If not, just give Accel World a pass.

5 Apr 2013

Ao No Exorcist

After watching so many Anime, I started to put them into two simple categories. Good, and bad. It's not easy to place them as such, because every program has at least a single good trait. Otherwise, they would never get published. However, every now and again an anime is released that just shines in every respect. Ao No Exorcist is one of those great shows. From the moment you begin watching, it's a true pleasure to watch. Definitely a god tier anime.

Rin's sword, the Kurukari controls his powers.

Ao No Exorcist is about teenager Rin Okumura. Rin was raised in a shrine by the perverted priest Fujimoto, alongside his twin brother Yukio. Both children couldn't of turned out more different. Yukio is a responsible and intelligent individual, Rin is foolish and aggressive. Upon coming of age, the shrine comes under attack by Satan himself. His goal is to possess Rin, his son. Satan will kill anyone who stands in his way.

Satan's brutal destruction of the shrine encourages Rin to join True Cross Academy and train to become an exorcist to fight his own kind. This is where the majority of the anime takes place, during Rin's training to fight demons at the Academy. I found it very intriguing and entertaining, watching Rin try to fit into a school where all the students want to kill him.

Yukio is a surprisingly good brother.

Ao No Exorcist has a solid plot all the way through, and even though some of the episodes feel like filler, they are still entertaining to watch. There isn't any fanservice, and you don't even get to see many boobs on display. Take it as a blessing or a curse, it was just refreshing to be away from the annoying fanservice that plagues many shows. The slapstick comedy is brilliantly done at parts, even if the jokes were bad I still laughed. It's rare to burst out laughing when you watch an anime. Yet I did it on several occasions.

There are moments of loss, a lot of brooding and sad events in Ao No Exorcist. Yet it still manages to retain a happy and positive outlook. Even though Rin is the son of the devil himself; he's always so excited. He makes many friends over time, through sheer perseverance. Even though there are a lot of cliche moments and stereotypical dialogue, they don't bring the anime down. I found the way the characters interacted together was exceptionally well done. For example,  Rin and his brother argue constantly. Even though Rin is older, Yukio is far more mature. I found myself smiling at their rapport many times. When you watch an anime for action, but find yourself enjoying the moments between fights; you know you've found something good.

Fujimoto was a great character, I wish he had a bigger role in the anime.

By halfway through the first episode, I knew I couldn't stop until I'd finished them all. The art is spotless, the animation is amazing. The characters all present their own unique personality. It's a very well rounded anime. You will see a lot of stereotypes, but they are all done right. Rin is supposed to be a demon, everyone he meets looks down on him or fears him. However, he always retains a positive and often childish outlook. Although there are many Mangas and Anime that follow a similar plot, Ao No Exorcist (Or the Blue Exorcist) manages to stand out from the rest. It doesn't try to be different from the average demon fighting anime, it quite simply acts out the genre better than the others.

When Rin loses control, the blue flames of Satan take over.

It's rare to find an anime that's good in every respect. Ao No Exorcist is a part of that short list. I found it memorable and easy to watch. There's a great blend of action, comedy, and drama. Watch Ao No Exorcist if you haven't already. Watch it if you've seen hundreds of anime. Watch it if you've never seen an anime before. Just watch it. You won't regret it.