20 Aug 2011

Full Metal Panic

As someone who doesn't particularly like anything with Mecha, I couldn't get enough of this relatively short anime. Full Metal Panic (FMP) is one of those top tier programs developed from a great manga that deserves to be way up there along with stuff like Bleach and Naruto.

A fair amount of Japanese humour evades me due to lack of culture knowledge. Sometimes a slapstick joke is deployed in an anime and I don't even understand it, or it just doesn't appeal to a westerner like me. Due to this, I am skeptical about any anime or manga within the comedy genre. However, Full Metal Panic managed to make me laugh and smile throughout, even during some of the crude fanservice that you always have to put up with when commiting yourself to a new anime.

The biggest flaw I can point out is how boring the antagonist is. He has no personality, no background, and is capable of less than a few facial expressions. Other than that, I really can't find much to bitch about. The tension builds nicely and is divided neatly by comedy and romance. Although a little confusing at first, the storyline quickly picks up and you feel like you know the alternate world and the characters within.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, you need to be able to put up with or enjoy romance, and be able to watch some mediocre mecha fights. The love-hate relationship between Chidori and Sagara can also be a bit smothering at times, but it's very sweet really. If you want to give it a go, I suggest you watch at least 3 episodes, get a feel for the action and then you'll have an idea of whether you want to finish them all.

After the first two seasons which are mostly serious and run in one long arc, you can treat yourself to the bonus series, FUMOFFU. While it's very episodic and more about comedy than anything else, a vast majority of fans love it and prefer it over the other series. I myself liked all of it and have no preference, but if you've seen this anime or read the manga and have thoughts, please share them with a comment!

11 Aug 2011


I just watched utawarerumono for the first time recently. I found it as a similar recommendation for Code Geass.

Skeptical, I forced my way through the first couple of episodes and found it bearable and fairly addictive. The characters are engaging and have their own backstories (although a little lacklustre), the world is very interesting, and the art and visuals are nothing special but the average anime blend. Sure, that description isn't exactly positive, but I genuinely enjoyed it once having found myself settled in.

Even though I feel a few plot details were unexplained and unnecessary, I believe they may be covered in the manga, which I didn't read. Presume it's better than the anime, since it pretty much always is.

Anyway, the story goes a little something like this: Man wakes up from serious injury with no recollection of previous events. After helping the town who saved him from destruction, he is named Hakuoro. Lord Hakuoro, now followed by many and hailed as a kind and generous lord sets off collecting allies and warriors to aid the uphill battle. The war continues on an increasing scale with further consequences each victory.

Overall, I wouldn't say this anime was anything special. However, do give it a watch, especially if you liked Code Geass or stuff that involves war strategy.

3 Aug 2011

One Piece

The first thing you need to know about this program is it has a stupid amount of episodes (500+), and there is still a load more to come. If you are looking for an anime similar to the Dragon Ball franchise or Rurouni Kenshin, One Piece is probably the closest you're going to get.

Although the start is slow and also a little boring, once ironically heroic pirate Monkey D Luffy collects his crew the rapport is excellent and hilarious. The more time you invest into this anime the more satisfaction you will get from it.

When I think about the plot of One Piece, all I can say is it's very shonen. Don't let that deter you though, I mean it in a good way. Some people may find it a little repetitive, but that doesn't mean the series isn't entitled to the enormous following it has gathered since the initial release of the manga in 1997.

The art is fairly well animated albeit not in the traditional style that I like (the eyes). As the characters develop some of the battles are well drawn and great to watch. Overall, the whole feeling is very lighthearted. Don't try to take the One Piece plotline seriously, because it will let you down. Do watch a dozen episodes if you have the time, you could be a fanboy in no time.