12 Days of Christmas 2014 #08 – The Good and Pointless Sequel called Rebellion

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Earlier this year I rewatched Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica for a second time, which just so happens to be one of my favorite anime series. The first time I rewatched it was when it was still airing and the final two episodes were delayed because of the tsunami in Japan. It was still very good.

My second rewatch was in preparation for the third movie titled Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica: Rebellion, a completely new story that would finish of the movie trilogy. As such, I decided to marathon all three movies – the first two recapping the series – in a single day to keep my memory fresh. The result? It was still very good.

Eight months later, however, I am still undecided whether or not Rebellion is actually needed. Continue reading

12 Days of Christmas 2014 #09 – Inou-Battle and the Voice Acting of the Year

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My reaction.

It is rare to see voice acting in anime praised or even mentioned in the first place. At most there will be discussions about the favorite voice actors which is mainly tied to their voice rather than acting. This is not wrong, as everyone cannot be expected to excel in breaking down every aspect of something they enjoy. I, for instance, would not be able to and is the reason I rarely, if ever, touch upon it.

That said, I want to give praise to a scene found in the seventh episode of Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de. Note that this could potentially be seen as light spoilers, as the scene in question is a punch to the gut in how sudden and emotional it is. Continue reading

12 Days of Christmas 2014 #10 – The Pilot’s Love Song and a Sense of Adventure

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If you ever told me Superman would be starring in an anime as a young pilot on a voyage to the edge of the world, then surely I would laugh until being shown The Pilot’s Love Song. Then, I would ask why someone thought naming their protagonist Kal-el was actually a good idea.

Puzzling naming sense aside, The Pilot’s Love Song is a sweet tale about love and adventure. It stars a large cast and an intricate setting, the latter which should be known to those who have seen The Princess and the Pilot as it is set in the same universe. Over the short span of merely 13 episodes – far too few for a story on this scale – it managed to live and breathe a wondrous sense of adventure I haven’t encountered very often in anime. Continue reading

12 Days of Christmas 2014 #11 – Smoke Busters

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Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda is a series about the little kid Kate trying to achieve world domination with a ragtag bunch of people in various silly outfits, however ridiculous that sounds. The third episode starts fairly normal until the gang decides to eat out in a restaurant.

Kate is just about to dig in when a person at a neighboring table asks if it’s okay to smoke, whereupon Kate flips out and holds a grand speech about how smoking sucks until eventually kicking the poor fellow out of the restaurant in a fit. Seconds later the first steps toward world domination are taken: it’s time to wipe out all of the filthy smokers. Continue reading

12 Days of Christmas 2014 #12 – Unfinished Blog Posts

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Today marks the start of another yearly iteration of the “12 Days of Christmas” blogging tradition. This means each of the twelve upcoming days will have an accompanying blog post about something I perhaps found especially noteworthy or fun during this year. As this is an anime blog, this will naturally all be tied to anime in one way or another.

To kick things off, let me start by talking about two blog posts that were essentially completed yet never published. Continue reading

Sword Art Online II is Really Good So Far

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When Sword Art Online aired two years ago it left me disappointed and frustrated. As I’ve written before, the idea of focusing a story around video games and virtual reality is one that has fascinated me for a long time. Instead of using that idea to its strength, it merely seemed like an afterthought in Sword Art Online.

In episode after episode the game rules were smashed into an unrecognizable mess, making it feel less like a game world and more as a self-fulfilling fantasy world where anything could happen if it meant to spur our hero Kirito. Furthermore, the world was never very carefully crafted and the story felt haphazardly put together – jumping from side story to side story with no tangible relation to the overarching plot – along with characters with paper-thin personalities. It felt like the author Kawahara Reki never actually had played video games.

As such, the second season comes a bit of a surprise. After four enjoyable episodes in a row, I must admit that I really like Sword Art Online II at the moment. Continue reading

Anime I Love – Angel Beats!

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Angel Beats! was the first anime I cried to. No, scratch that. It was the first anime that left me utterly emotionally devastated after finishing the final episode. There had been emotional anime before, plenty of them in fact, but none hit home as well as Angel Beats! did. Continue reading

Nisekoi is a Giant Tease of Fun

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Not too long ago an anime called Nisekoi came to an end. Adapted by studio Shaft from the manga sharing the same name, it was a harem anime in the purest of senses. Every episode more or less featured the most common clichés you can find in harem series and the whole premise – a forgotten childhood love – is built to create misunderstandings and hijinks. Not to mention how it throws in a forced fake relationship just for the heck of it.

It may sound like the most unexciting series ever created which is not difficult to understand – after all, there is only so much you can do with the barebones framework Nisekoi sets up – yet I still love every second of it. Continue reading

Nagi no Asukara and Hikari Sakishima’s Amazing Character Development

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This post contains minor spoilers on Hikari’s character development.

Nagi no Asukara has always been an interesting anime from a character perspective. Throughout the two halves of the series they have endured a lot of pain and actually changed as persons. Continue reading