“The Devil is a Part-Timer!” Season 1 – At Times the Comedy and Drama Clash But Overall Consistent Tone and Theme

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     It has been a while since I reviewed an anime, and “The Devil is a Part-Timer!” was one I had already gotten halfway through so I decided it was time to finish it, to see how it held up against the other animes I enjoy. This was a solid anime but has some of the common tropes I found annoying in that the Devil has a harem making it a harem anime (though thankfully he doesn’t hook up with anyone) and there is a contrast between the drama and the comedy that is jarring at times. To the shows credit on both counts it manages to offset some of it, which I’ll get into deeper into the review.

    The anime was based off a light novel of the same name written by Satoshi Wagahara with the anime being produced by White Fox and directed by Naoto Hosoda.

    The story involves the Demon Lord Satan and his general Alciel escaping their world of Enta Isla is the war they are losing against the Church, into Tokyo. Here they find themselves powered down leading Satan to take up a job at the local MacRonalds so they can afford to live in this realm. The hero Emilia who is hunting them crosses over too and takes up a job at an office as others from their realm pull them into what they behind as they find themselves changed by our world.

The Pros: The Premise – The premise is really cool! A powerful being from a fantasy realm forced to live as human and take a mundane job…there is room for so much drama there that sometimes the show does a good job exploring.

The Action – The fight scenes are a lot of fun and pretty epic in their own way as we see powerful angelic and demonic being tear apart the town in their standoffs.

The Characters – The characters are the main reason to watch this show, besides the the premise itself being draw enough. They are fascinating and most of them have arcs.

Chiho – Chiho is a high school student who has a crush on Satan, even after learning who she is. She is the heart of the anime as it is her appeals to goodness that change some characters back as she sees the most how Satan was not who he was before.

Lucifer – Lucifer is the villain in the first part of the anime but ends up being part of the good guys after he is depowered. Though he still manages to cause a lot of trouble when he does a ton of online shopping. His moment of great is when he punches the corrupt Church leader Olba during the final fight and shows that he isn’t about power and likes being human.

Suzuno – Suzuno is an inquisitor sent to kill Satan who changes over the course of the anime as she learns how to feel and sees that Satan is good and that she hates the fact that the Church and Archangel are using her and doing the evil they claimed Satan was. She helps Satan in the final fight after trying to kill him and is one of the core group.

Ashiya – Ashiya is the comedic relief as he is the domestic at the apartment. He is a good character as we see his devotion is what defines him, though he does long for more just not from Enta Isla.

Emilia – Emi is the hero sent back to defeat Satan as Satan’s forced killed her family in Enta Isla. She is obsessed with stopping him until she sees the Church is the one hurting people and forms an alliance with him the process. Their friendship is very combative and reminded me a lot of Ron and Hermione. Sadly she doesn’t get to take part in the final fight though she saves the Demons in the last episode from a scam. I wish they’d done more with her character as she is really cool.

Satan – Satan is the King of Demons and is very human after passing over as he is happy with his job at the MacRonalds and just wants to help people and have a life. In this way he doesn’t change at all and we never get how he changed from the Demon Lord of before. He is a great character though who could do with more exploration as his personalities between the two different worlds are very different.

Okay: The Comedy – The comedy is all over the place, the MacRondalds stuff tends to be funny since Satan is serious about his job but a lot of the humor tied to the girls who like Satan is really hit and miss.

The Ending – Satan stays to be a MacRonalds manager and is friends with the hero and the other friends he made as they stop a con man in town. It feels like a day in the life episode and was a waste as it did nothing to tie to Enta Isla or how they’d all changed. They still felt like the same characters from past changes.

The Cons: Tonal Shifts – The show wants to be a comedy and a drama but doesn’t pull it off nearly as well as “Voltron.” This largely due to having comedy in scenes that should be dramatic and vise versa. It is hard to know when to take anything seriously and that took me out of it. It is somewhat consistent in this in that the shift is happening all the time but I hate that in any kind of show.

The Villains – The villains are a corrupt Church official, Lucifer at one point who becomes a lazy computer guy and a pervy archangel who is just turned into a pervy human. I was really disappointed in the villains in this show.

The Enta Isla Plot – We get really cool glimpses of Enta Isla…from the Inquisition, to Emi’s backstory, etc. But it doesn’t amount to anything. In the end every character who crosses over just becomes part of our world and none of them go back. This was missed opportunity given Enta Isla sounded like a place that needed a lot of help.

     The premise is really cool but the show really feels unfinished at the end, and some of it’s worst tendencies were on display, such as fanservicing the female characters and having everything be about Satan in regards to saving the day, when Emilia was as much a part of the story on fighting corrupt folks tied to the Church as he was. This isn’t a great anime but if you are looking for a quick escape, the season is only 13 episodes long and the characters are great even if the tone can sometimes be all over the place.

Final Score: 7 / 10

One-Punch Man – Season 1 Retrospect – A Satire and Celebration of Superheroes

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     “One-Punch Man” is an anime that has been recommended to me by quite a few friends. It was as good as they said. This is a series that satires superheroes as well as celebrating them and gives us some wonderfully well rounded characters, of which I’ll get into more detail about in the review.

   The series was created by a manga author who goes under the pseudonym “One,” Madhouse is the one who produces the anime that I watched.

    The story involves the superhero Saitama who can defeat any enemy in one punch but is never recognized by anyone for what he does. This leads to him joining the Hero Association in order to join recognition after he saves Genos, a cyborg who then becomes his disciple.

The Pros: The World – The world is awesome! You have Superheroes, aliens, monsters and villains and all of them are colorful in personality. Sadly many of them die before there is the chance to know them better since the nature of the show is that Saitama is overpowered.

The Comedy – The comedy and satire are fantastic! Heroes that are larger than life are critiqued in their egos and even overall culture is critiqued in how Saitama saves the world but is never given credit or noticed because his personality leads people to believe it wasn’t him who did it. Genos’s over sincerity and devotion is funny at times too as Saitama really just wanted to be left alone.

The Action – The fights are great, even if the ones with “One-Punch Man” are very short. The introductions and lead up tend to be amazing.

Saitama – Saitama is fun, his Pilot episode starts out with him dreaming of past victories and becoming bored because no one can beat him. In the end he finds that he does it because he loves it though and when Genos introduces him to the world of Heroes that become noticed and famous he joins them too as his desire for more is contrasted with his non-assuming nature.

Genos – Genos is great in that the only way to kill him would be destroy his head and even though he is all robotic he still wants to be the best. He is a character who is driven by his loss of his body and his devotion to Saitama, which is contrasted with his desire to be Saitama’s better and to be accepted, just like what Saitama wants. They really make a great duo.

The Hero Association – The Hero Association is fantastic! You have the lower level S heroes who are ones from a guy riding a bike to how people perceive One-Punch Man. The big heroes are fascinating too as they are celebrities and that has only fed many of their egos making them larger than life.

The Cons: Lack of Great Main Villain – This is a major issue, Saitama is “One-Punch Man” so there is no one who can defeat him. His only challenges really involve his ego or Genos’s struggles and those are great, but why continue the show if that’s all there is to it? A great villain or foil can drive the plot and create great conflict.

   This is a great show that only promise with where it can go. It satirezes heroes wonderfully in how comical they are and in their attitude and costume and also treats them with respect too, This is a world that feels lived in and has consequences for our characters…consequences that in many have yet to be fully explored such as Genos and the influence of the higher ups in the Association.

Final Score: 9.5 / 10 Solidly great anime that just needed a better ovearching baddie…a Lex Luthor to Saitama’s Superman.

“Voltron: Legendary Defender” Season 1 – An Amazing Space Fantasy Full of Humor and Drama

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   “Voltron: Legendary Defender,” is one of the best animated shows I have seen. It is one of those like “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” that manages to have both innocent humor and a deeper message beyond the simple fantasy that the story entails. There is philosophy worth exploring in this story and it makes me want to see the original (Beast King GoLion and Voltron: Defender of the Universe) that inspired this new take on it.

    The series is a Korean-American animated show that was produced by Dreamworks with Netflix.

    The premise involves our main characters discovering the Lions that are made to form Voltron and the Castle where Princess Allura and Coran have in hibernation. Their leader is Shiro who escaped from the Galra Empire as together the five soldiers create Voltron to liberate the Galaxy from the evil Galra Empire.

This review contains SPOILERS, so be warned.

The Pros: The World – The world it takes place in is wonderful! The Galra Empire has created civilizations of refugees (Coran and Princess Allura) and even those who aren’t refugees are civilizations that are caught in the crossfire or enslaved to their power. This gives a powerful reason for Voltron that the story uses to full degree.

The Soundtrack – Brad Breeck created an amazing electronic 80′ style soundtrack that is able to capture tension and the wonder of Voltron magically. I seriously can’t wait to play games to this soundtrack.

The Animation – Studio Mir did an amazing job on their animation! It reminds me of old 80’s anime mixed with the much clearer colors and lines of modern anime making it very much something that has no comparison.

The Comedy – The comedy is innocent and wonderful…Hunk is used for comedic relief but there is also great stuff done with Coran’s larger than life personality and the rivalry between Keith and Lance.

The Civilizations – The civilizations are great! They have unique ways of speaking and looks and history that you really have to see for yourself. They aren’t just aliens of the week, they are people in their own right.

The Characters –  The characters are the strongest part, they are simple archetypes given depth and made memorable in the process.

Commander Sendak – Sendak is one of the greatest commanders of Emperor Zarkon and we see why when he nearly captures the Castle and manages to drive Shiro into a trauma filled rage. What happened to him is still up in the air but I’d like to see him again. His robotic arm is pretty amazing too and I like his bat-like design.

Coran – Coran is the comedic relief for a lot of it but we see that he is a good mentor too as he helps the soldiers grow up and we see that what keeps him going is his love for Allura and following her and guiding the main crew. He is a character who in lesser hands would have only remained comedic relief but rose beyond it.

Princess Allura – Allura is amazing! She is a healer (she heals an entire planet) a warrior (She rescues Shiro) and a well rounded character who mourns her family and her father but has to let them go in order to save them all. She is probably my favorite character in this series. She is an amazing space elf (look at her design and her place within this universe, her and her people are space elves).

Witch Haggar – Haggar is a better vilain than Zarkon…her creatures cause the most damage on planets and she is the one who destroys Allura’s wormhole that leads to the crew getting separated at the end of the season.

Emperor Zarkon – Zarkon was once the Black Paladin (Shiro’s role) which makes sense why he wants to claim Voltron. This fact alone gives him so much depth, he is Sargeras, Morgoth and every other fallen Paladin in fiction and he’s been winning for a while. At this point our heroes have only liberated 2 world and injured his capital. He’s fine and a great threat for future seasons.

Pidge – Pidge lost her father in the war against the Galra (he was captured) and her story is a girl going undercover to become a soldier to find and rescue her dad. She is amazing and it the tech and hacker whose arc is realizing that others have lost their dad’s too and dedicating herself fully to the Paladin Cause.

Hunk – Hunk is the comedic relief who is a coward until he discovers why they fight when helps liberate a world, from here we seee him become a leader and find his confidence. He is still the Bolan/Sokka of the group but he grows up.

Lance – Lance is the guy who thinks he is everything and his arc is being knocked down pegs and finding humility. He was explored the least this season, so I’m curious where his arc goes. What arc he does have is getting over his hatred of Keith.

Keith – Keith is amazing! He takes on Emperor Zarkon on his own which gives Shiro time to free Allura and get back into his lion. His arc is getting over his rivalry with Keith and learning when to fight as he is the angriest of the group and always ready to fight.

Shiro – Shiro is the leader whose arc is facing his trauma and helping the rest come to believe in the cause. He is the oldest and has a mech arm from experiments that were done by the Druids. He is pretty amazing and his arc is still going to be taking control of the Galra tech as it has been used against him a few times now.

Voltron – Five multi-colored Lions that care about the Paladins in them and become a giant mecha-Knight. This creature is amazing and I can see why they give time to have the sequence where it is created, cause it is really cool.

Facing Trauma – Another theme is the facing of trauma, whether it is Allura facing the death of her father and people and letting go, Shiro healing from his torture and the crew facing the fact that they are soldiers unprepared for the war. This theme of trauma is faced on a individual and civilizational level.

Justice – The theme of justice is one that pervades the film. Pidge decides to stay rather than look for her dad, Hunk discovers courage and Allura faces the loss of her family…in all cases the need for justice against the Galra Empire helps our characters to grow.

Okay: The Ending – The ending leaves things open for future seasons, which at this point I don’t like as much due to “Firefly.” Unless you know that you are going to get another season don’t have a cliffhanger ending. Assuming that nothing bad will happen and we get a Season 2, I liked the fact that the Lions and crew are now all separated throughout the galaxy.

  This is a show I’d highly recommend. Netflix has been putting out gold and chances are you will see me reviewing many of Netflix shows. This was a show that had solid base and managed to give depth to a simple premise and characters and in the process create a memorable story that I can’t wait to see unfold. Whether you like animated shows or animes or don’t…this is a show that is worth checking out.

Final Score: 9.3 / 10

Voltron Legendary Defender

Gintama – Episode 25 – “The Hot-Pot is a Microcosm of Life” – Satirizing The Shonin Anime Mind Fights

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   “Gintama” is a hilarious anime that satires most Shonin-anime, while still managing to create interesting characters who exist as characters who are more than just types. It’s a series that two friends have shown me now and one I recommend, even if it’s just to catch the ones that people recommend as it is hilarious and I plan on reviewing more of the show in the future.

     The episode I’ll be reviewing this time is “The Hot-Pot is a Microcosm of Life.”

The Pros: The Satire of “Deathnote” – Throughout the episode more people arrive to eat at the table and share in the hot pot forcing each to try and outmaneuver the other to be the first. In each of their minds we get to hear them voice strategy or feel the pain or thrill of victory with each mood, as we get with Light in “Deathnote.”

The Name Gag – There is a character whose name is always messed up. His actual named is Katsura but Sakata continues to call him Zura, and in this episode he hears when Sakata is even thinking that name and corrects him.

The Rivalry – This episode is all about rivalry, largely between the two leads as each wants to be the best and in doing so fail.

Catherine – Catherine is the alien girl who doesn’t care about the rivalry and ends up eating both pots that are served showing how “face” and obsession with it can ruin everything and that it’s important to remember why you are at an occasion in the first place.

Satirizing “Face” – In all cases the winner and the only one who eats is Catherine and she is the alien who doesn’t care about manners or “face” and in doing so shows them why they were there in the first place by eating the meal that all were choosing not to eat.

    The jokes all work in the episode I really like how it over-dramatized the idea of winning face and being the first to eat from the hot pot. The writing is tight and throughout it all it never stops being funny. It is good comedy and also manages to be good action as well. This is an episode I’d highly recommend.

Final Score: 9.7 / 10

Sword Art Online – An Uneven Series That Destroys a Good Story in Part 2

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     “Sword Art Online” had a good first half that was nearly completely ruined in the second half when it proceeded to ruin one of the strongest and best characters in the series. This is only part of the bad anime tropes that raise their head in the second half, which is a shame as the first half actually has some really great moments. You can find my individual episode reviews here on the blog but I’ve been waiting a while before doing the overall summary because of how loud the clash was between Parts 1 and 2. It’s almost like watching two different series even though they are still the same show and have most of the same characters.

     The series was produced by Aniplex and animated by A-1 Pictures and based off the light novel series by Reki Kawahara.

       The story involves characters who are strapped in an virtual mmo called “Sword Art Online” and the mystery that unfolds as they seek to beat the game in order to get out. Part 2 deals with the fallout from this and brings us to ALfheim Online where the character arcs are completed.

The Pros: The Premise – The premise of being stuck in a videogame is really cool, as it gives the chance of how one perceives oneself (through our Avatars and character choices) and gives a chance to explore some really cool sci. fi. or fantasy ideas depending on the game. As well as the nature of A.I. and sentience too. The first half of the series does a great job exploring this as well. Sadly the second part has to ruin it all.

The Animation – A-1 Productions created a beautifully animated world here and the animation is easily one of the strongest parts of the show.

The Characters – The main characters are pretty strong, though the character assassination that Yui and Ausna go through in Part 2 is pretty bad, and the villain in Part 2 is a wasted character.

Agil – Agil is the wise and older character in the game who ends up teaming up at the end when our heroes are trying to advance further and the big bad of part 1 reveals himself. After we see Agil owns a bar (and in game he gives discounts on his weapons and helps new characters). He is an awesome character who we honestly don’t see enough of.

Klein – Klein is another forgotten character as he is a bit socially awkward and a womanizer but is never creepy. He is a stand up guy who has Kirito’s back and he helps Kirito in both parts and is the first real friend Kirito the outcast has in the game.

Kirigaya – Kirigaya plays the character Leafa in ALfheim online and is Kirito’s adopted sister and cousin. She has a strange arc where she has to deal with her attraction to him, but she gets good exploration in her motivations and we see a protector who protected Kirito from his parents and became the best at everything. She was one of the few good things about Part 2.

Kayaba – Kayaba created “Sword Art Online” and is the big bad. He first appears as a God before entering the game as a player to help the players advance so that they could eventually challenge him at the end. Kirito figures out who he is early and beats him in a duel. In the end we meet a man who was lost in the game as he talks to Kirito about the fact he’d forgotten his motivation beyond power as he’d become so pulled in. He was a fascinating bad guy and I wish he could have been explored more. He gives Kirito the seed to create more mmos.

Kirito – Kirito is our hero character who fights and plays solo. He goes from a character who stays mostly alone to having a bunch of friends at the end who have his back. His arc is building that community and finding reason to be outside of himself.

Waking Up – The ending of Part 1 ends with Kirito waking up and we see a long haired, weak boy trying to walk saying Asuna’s name (who as far as we know died in the game). It’s tragic and powerful and should have ended here.

A.I. and Sentience  – At one point Yui, a program in the game develops sentience and adopts Kirito and Asuna as parents. It’s cool how this is explored as we see the game going active made other A.I. make choices outside their programming too. More could have been done with this.

Okay: Yui – Yui develops sentience and protects Kirito from a big bad boss at one point in the game. Sadly she is neutralized and we never see her reach the power she had before ever again. In the end she becomes a concept and child for Asuna and Kirito and nothing more sadly.

Asuna – Asuna is my favorite character in part 1, that is all ruined in part 2 where she exists to be sexually exploited by King Oberon and some giant slugs and no actions she take mean anything. She goes from Katniss to Princess Peach and from a character who wants to be the best to a person who only lives for her boyfriend. What a fracking waste of a character.

The Cons: The ALfheim Arc – ALfheim arc has a cool idea of different species that are all fighting for control of the world (that never goes anywhere) and is just Kirito and Leafa trying to rescue Asuna. The arc doesn’t go anywhere as we have a villain who is just a creep and nothing more and “save the princess” as the arc. It’s a waste of television.

Suguo/King Oberon – This guy rapes Asuna at one point and before that has her trapped in a cage and is molesting her all the time. He works for Asuna’s father and created the game from “Sword Art Online” and made himself King. Guy is one of the worst villains as he has no motivation or reason for being except to get revenge against.

The Sexploitation of Asuna – The is the entire ALfheim arc and where the anime forgot what made this character a character in the first place. She goes from a fighter to an object and the object is victimized continuously. She never gets to get back at Suguo for anything that happened to her either.

Twisted Fanservice – There are a lot of but and boob shots in Part 2 and none directed at guys. Equal fanservice I’d be okay with, but this was just part of the problem as it was shown at the height in any scene involving Asuna.

Missed Potential of ALfheim – Different factions of faeries are fighting for control of a world…go somewhere with that! Have factions unite and take on Oberon together….but nope, got to make Asuna a damsel and make this story all about Kirito. What a waste.

   This was a series that could have been solidly good, but blew it all in the second part. As you can see from the analysis, the first part actually had a really cool ending with Kirito waking up and facing the full consequence of having been asleep in a hospital for so long and faced with the real word versus the other reality he was once a part of. All of that is lost when Asuna gets damsled up and becomes a tool used for sexplotation. Nothing she does in Part 2 means anything or goes anywhere and over the course of the arc she goes from a great to okay character as her character is lost and she becomes the trophey at the end that Kirito has to avenge. It’s disgusting and ruins the great story of part 1. If you want to see this series, just watch the first part, everything you need about the fascinating idea of being stuck in a videogame is explored well there. After that it is some of the worst writing to come out of any anime.

Final Score: 4 / 10. Reason it isn’t rated lower is due to the strength in the first part of the show.

“RWBY” Season 1 – Unique Animation and a Story That Shows Promise

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   “RWBY” is a show that I ended up enjoying. It was made by Rooster Teeth, which is the same production company that created “Red vs. Blue” and you tell that they put a lot of passion into this. The story does have issues, that I’ll get into later, but as a base concept it looked like they were trying to create an epic cell-shaded anime and they succeeded mostly.

     The show was created by Monty Oum, who was one of the directors and writers as well. Kerry Shawcross was the other writer and director and Miles Luna was the last writer.

    The story takes on the world of Renmant in a battle between the darkness and light. There is a school that trains warriors to becomes Hunters and Huntresses to fight the darkness and protect Dust (which powers magic and weapons) and  fight the creatures of Grimm and we follow Ruby, the younger trainee at Beacon Academy and others must stand against them as the plot of the darkness unfolds.

The Pros: The Animation – The cell shaded animation is really neat. I haven’t seen anything like this outside of “Windwaker” and they handle the diverse array of characters and technology really well. It can be a little slow at times, but they make up for it in how flowy so many of the fights are.

The Soundtrack – Jeff Williams and Casey Lee Williams did a great job on this soundtrack. It gives an epic final fantasy feel to the series, which works as that seems to be where it got a lot of it’s inspiration from.

The World – The World of Renmant is cool as it has a deep mythology of taking on the Darkness and Grimm, which it implies will always be around and uses people and changes things around it. It’s a lot like The Dark Side in “Star Wars.”

The Creatures of Grimm – The creatures look pretty awesome as they are black, hairy and have crystal protrusions. They look like mutated animals too, which works for what the Darkness is supposed to do.

The Characters – There are a few characters I didn’t like or were forgettable but the characters who work, really work and I enjoyed seeing them in action.

Professor Ozpin – Ozpin is the guy who brings Ruby to the school and set up the challenge that lead to the different teams. We see he is manipulative and is hiding something and seems to be quite passive. Curious to see what he’s hiding and what his long game is.

Pyrrha – Pyrrha is probably my favorite character on the show. She’s a master of magnetism (we learn at the end) and should really be the leader of her team, not Juane Arc who is incompetent and a coward. She likes him though (which is annoying). The only reason he has any wins at all is because of her talent and leadership.

Glynda – Glynda is the serious teacher who takes on the big bad at the beginning and does a great job of it. She is much more aware of the students and their flaws and takes a lot to impress. Curious to see her in action down the line and learn more about why she became a Huntress.

Yang – Yang is Ruby’s older sister and is high energy and popular. She is a lot of fun too and sticks up for Ruby to Weiss and on many other occasions. She should have been in charge of Team Ruby in my opinion as she is a commander and easily the strongest of all the people on the team.

Blake – Blake is a Faunus and was once part of an organization fighting for their rights. She hides the fact that she’s a faunus and calls out Weiss for her racism. She’s a pretty cool character too and very much the outsider of the group. Where this will go in the future remains to be seen now the Darkness is using the organization she used to be a part of.

Ruby – Ruby is the youngest student at the Academy and her arc is learning to be a leader and take responsibility. She is a huge help to everyone around her and her greatest weakness is just wanting to be liked. She still hasn’t got to the point of letting go of what others think of her, which I think will play a part later.

The Antagonists – The main antagonists are Cinder and Roman and both are interesting. I can’t wait to see how they are explored next season.

Roman Torchwick – This guy looks like he’s straight out of “A Clockwork Orange,” from the eyeliner, the white suit and the cane and general love of causing chaos. The character is a lot of fun and as a normal human being he does a good job holding his own against all the people with special weapons and powers. He hasn’t been caught yet.

Cinder – Cinder is who seems to be the big bad so far as she saves her servant Torchwick who is stealing Dust and she manages to take on Glynda and Ruby and come out of it fine. She’s really powerful and the Season ends with her coming to Torchwick for the next part of their plans.

The Cons: Anime Tropes – In the beginning there were some major tonal clashes, which they stopped doing as the series progressed but some of the tropes I hate were complete animation change for excitement and fetishising the characters. By the end this wasn’t going on as strong, so the writers and animators must have learned.

Jaune Arc – Juane Arc is the awkward nerd who is made leader of his team in the school for some reason, which he quickly fails at when he lets a bully blackmail him as he wants to be tough. The guy is a joke, though he does have a moment of awesome at the end whe he manages to take on a creature of Grimm.

Weiss – Weiss is an entitled brat who is also racist. When one of her friends is part animal and used to be part of an organization fight for their freedom she just dismisses her and bullies her. This doesn’t even include all her needless cruelty throughout Season 1. Seriously, she’s intolerable and a terrible human being.

    The first Season gives us a very promising start as we see the different factions that make up this world and how they relate to one another. I’m curious to see what the forces of Darkness and Grimm have in store and what they will use the Dust for and I want to see our main characters continue to grow. The show got better about having less of the anime tropes after the first few episodes and it was stronger because of it. It is okay to take inspiration from something, but so much of what makes something great is is it finding it’s own beat and not being wholly derivative. By the end of Season 1 I felt that “RWBY” had found that uniqueness within itself. I look forward to the future Seasons.

Final Score: 8.6 / 10. Solidly really good.

Ranma 1/2 – Season 1, Episode 2 – “School is no Place for Horsing Around” – Akane Rocks

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   “School is no Place for Horsing Around” is mostly setup. It introduces us to the cool character of Dr. Tofu and the drama king Kuno as well as establishing ways in which Akane and Ranma are similar…if it had just been this it would be great, but it ending on a cliffhanger brings it down to simply good.

     The episode involves Tendo’s girls going to school and Renma’s first time as well since he’s going to be in the area for a while. Once they get to school a group of males attack Akane to claim her love and our easily beaten until Kuno arrives and Ranma realizes that he may have found someone as good as him at fighting.

The Pros: Dr. Tofu – He is the school doctor and a pretty chill guy. He also is super quiet and experienced at martial arts as he sneaks up on Renma and Renma can’t sense him. He is a bit of a mentor to Akane and her possible crush.

Kuno – This guy is dramatic about everything and in charge of the Kendo Club. He is a dick and thinks he’s entitled to Akane, which she has none of as she has defeated him countless times and kept his challenge to be with her open. The episode ends with him and Ranma falling into a pool in their search for a place to duel after getting kicked out of class.

Ranma – Ranma shows that he can be a good guy in this episode as we see him respecting Akane’s space and every time anyone asks about them he only says he is a guest. It isn’t until one of Akane’s sister mentions their engagement that people react and even than he is fighting that rumor since he doesn’t know if wants it or Akane wants it.

Akane – This is Akane’s episode and we see why she is so hard as she had to fight off suitors for a long time in High School. She’s a great martial artist and we see her softer side in this when she opens up to Ranma about Dr. Tofu inspiring her and also Kuno’s sick challenge, which hardened her even more. The episode ends with her being worried about Ranma.

  This was good but not great. It could have been better if we had more character moments. The comedy is good though as well as the fact that Ranma and Genma are always fighting and knocking each other into water. Kuno is the arrogant prick so seeing being brought down is always a lot of fun.

Final Score: 8.3 / 10

Ranma 1/2 Pilot – Season 1, Episode 1 – “Here’s Ranma” – Establishing the Relationships and the Crazy

Here's Ranma Ranma S 1 E 1

     “Ranma 1/2” is going to be insane, and I think I’m probably going to like it. The relationships are never what they seem and all the characters are unhinged and the relationships are complicated. It’s a nice change of pace from what I usually watch in regards to anime where there are usually clear antagonists. This was a show that quite a few friends recommended to me, so it feels good finally getting started on it.

     The episode involves Soun Tendo setting up his daughters so that one of them will be the fiance of the famous martial artist Renma. Instead of Renma showing up as himself a red haired woman arrives with a Panda. After chaos and hot water it is soon discovered the red haired woman is Renma and that she changes back into he when hot water is poured on her and cold is when the Panda turns back into his father Genma.

The Pros: Soun Tendo – He’s a well meaning father just trying to save his Dojo and I never felt he didn’t care about his daughters. He actually faints when the red haired girl says she’s Renma as he feels betrayed by Genma. In the end it is established and he’s cool with them and the only cool head in the room.

Genma – Genma is Renma’s dad and is violent but never in a harmful way. He’s playful with Renma and always pushing him to be better and is very much a child as he is constantly trolling him.

Akane – Akane is the youngest of Soun’s daughters and the one uninterested in having a relationship. She actually makes friends with Renma when Renma is a she but feels betrayed after the hot water turns Renma back and comes to hate him because of it. She is openly violent and knocks Renma out after Renma insults how she looks and that she looks better as a she than Akane.

Renma – Renma has a huge ego and most of his/her problems are on him/her. Renma is always fighting and trolling and like Akane doesn’t want to be in a relationship since he’s been in so many already that he just doesn’t care anymore. Renma does grow to at least have an inkling of something for Akane though, I think it’s cause Akane can fight and Renma respects that.

The Cons: The Other Daughters – Kasumi and Nabiki are ciphers and don’t really have any personality. I hope they are made to be distinct later, if not there isn’t any point to having them around in the show.

   This was a good start to the series. It establishes that it is a relationship show and that all the characters are crazy in different ways…creating conflict right out the door. I’m curious to see how the relationships develop though, especially between Akane and Renma and I really like how Renma is comfortable being both a man and a woman. It makes Renma a great character.

Final Score: 8 / 10. Solid start to the series.

Ranma 1/2 – Upcoming Anime Reviews

Ranma_½_DVD_season_1

   “Ranma 1/2” is one of the animes I’ve had recommended to me a few times so I’ve decided to that I will be reviewing the show! I’ll be doing it episodically with Season reviews and also taking my time on it too, that way there can still be a variety of other shows and films being reviewed as well.

     The story was created by Rumiko Takahashi and Fuji TV was who aired the show.

   “Ranma 1/2” ran for 7 seasons and is more of a romantic type anime though it does have fighting as the main character is a martial artist Ranma who has to deal with the curse where he changes into a girl while dealing with the threats from rivals and fiances who his con man father had tried to set him up with.

    So without further ado, “Ranma 1/2” will be the next anime reviewed!

Sword Art Online – Episode 25 – “The World Seed” – The Real World and the End

SAO Ep 25

    If the show had been more like the finale episode of the series in it’s second half, this show could have been great. Rather than focusing on creepy rapist and the victimization of one of our heroines why couldn’t we have dealt with Kayaba’s dream and the survivors of “SAO” doing that dream rather than the Mario and Daisy mission to save Peach…so much missed potential and this episode showed what could have been for the second part of the series…

    The story picks up with everyone waking and Nobuyuki trying to kill Kazuto but being defeated and brought in by the police as the survivors of SAO go to school together and work on the Seed and making their own MMOs.

The Pros: The Seed – Kayaba in his dying moments or his echo gave Kirito a World Seed so that all people could create MMOs…basically he created an open source system that Kirito made free. Why couldn’t we have seen this guy in the first half? Still, that was good ending.

Kazuto and Asuna – Seeing these two fall in love again is great as well as how they are both awkward to those around them as they are trying to get used to knew things, the affection and love is still there though and it is adorable.

Kirito and Leafa – These two become siblings again and Leafa dances with Kirito after her dealing with being an outsider to some degree to the SAO community.

SAO Reunion – The reunion is great! All the usual suspects are there such as Agil, Rika, Keiko, Klein and others. It is great seeing them party and celebrate the beating of the game…which could have happened in the first half of the season if they hadn’t fridged Asuna.

The Return of SAO – The final bit is SAO returns and Leafa and all the old squad go to beat the game that is back.

  I’ll do a write-up on the show as a whole later but if it had ended on the first arc with Asuna free we could have a favorite anime, sadly the second arc came around and proceeded to ruin all of the good will built up as it ruined one of the best characters in the series…I’ll write about other arcs they could have done for part 2 in the assessment of the show, for now here is my score for this episode.

Final Score: 9 / 10