More Anime Reviews

Here’s some reviews from passed anime series I’ve watched.  Some are pretty recent while others are a few years old.

Arpeggio of Blue Steel:  2 out of 5 Stars  Rated: MA

The story hits the ground running for the first five episodes and then completely derails into an explosive train wreck.  It deals with the young commander of an alien submarine fighting to evade and destroy an alien naval force called the Fleet of Fog. Communication between the continents has been disabled by the aliens who trap everyone on land.  Why are they here?  Where are the from?  If you want answers to those and several other questions you won’t find them here.  After episode 5 they really turn up the fan service and the plot falls to pieces which all ends up in a rushed and unsatisfying ending.  It’s almost like the original writer quit after episode 5 and they hired someone that didn’t read any of the script to finish it.    If you’re bored though there is plenty of action and naval battles, just don’t worry too much about “why?” and you’ll be ok.

Blue Drop:  3 1/2 out of 5 Stars  Rated: MA

This is loosely based prequel to the manga series of the same name.  In my opinion though it’s much more enjoyable.  The animation is excellent while the plot and character development take a few episodes to get going.  This isn’t really much of a sci-fi invasion story as much as coming of age story built around high school girls, one of them just happens to be a high ranking alien commander clearing the way for an Earth invasion! It ranges from light hearted and fun all the way to sad and tragic.  It’s a real shame they have no plans to make a sequel directly connected to this story line because unlike the manga it doesn’t rely on heavy doses of fan service to move the story along.

Dance in the Vampire Bund:  3 1/2 out of 5 Stars  Rated:  MA

This is based on the widely popular manga series of the same name.  A bit of warning though, it does deal heavily with lolita based fan service/nudity so it’s not for everyone.  The animation ranges from solid to quite good, but does make generous use of stills on a regular basis.  The plot follows the manga series story and moves along at a nice pace.  Most of the season is spent filling in the back story of Mena Tempes, the leader of all the vampires in the world, trying to set up a safe haven for those vampires that have removed their fangs and want to live as ordinary humans.  It also deals with her body guard that went on a special mission in the past and lost most of his memories in the process.  The whole series is full of vampires, werewolves, and humans most of which don’t get along all that well.  This is a very deep story and if you like the anime you should also pick up the manga.

Blue Exorcist:  3 out of 5 Stars  Rated:  MA

This started out as a generic demon magic anime, but once it got going after the 5th episode it really took off.  The animation is very good while the plot and character development take some time to get going.  If you stick with it though you won’t be disappointed.  The ending is very satisfying and gives solid answers to the most important questions while still letting you know there’s plenty more story left to be told.  I don’t know if there’s going to be another season or not, but it’s based on a manga series so you should be able to follow the story further if you’d like.

Another:  4 out of 5 Stars  Rated: MA

I’ve always been a fan of murder mysteries and whodunnit’s and on those counts this show really delivers.  It’s the best supernatural/horror/mystery series since Ghost Hunt (also 4 out of 5 stars).  It takes a few episodes for the plot to get going, but you’ll want to pay close attention because everything happens for a reason. This show also thoughtfully address subjects such as bullying and trusting those around you whether you have a choice or not.  The plot and character development are excellent and the animation is also top notch.  It keeps you guessing right up until the end and the expected plot twist satisfying and fair to the fans.  I really hope that they are able to continue this series and find a permanent solution to the curse.

Girls Und Panzer:  3 1/2 out of 5 Stars   Rated:  PG-13

This is the type of show that really got me hooked on anime in the first place!  It’s a bit absurd and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but damn is it a lot of fun!  A group of girls from a small school restart the long defunct tank club.  They cobble together whatever remaining tanks and parts they can find and go head to head with tank clubs from other schools.  The tanks and weapons are all classic World War II armaments that have been modified only to disable other tanks, not to kill.  If you want hard hitting drama and fan service you’ll have to look elsewhere, but if you want lighthearted action and a ton of fun don’t miss it!

Attack on Titan:  4 1/2 out of 5 Stars  Rated: MA

If you’re looking for an intense show this is it!  The world is ending and the last remaining humans are hiding behind large walls to protect them from human like giants that exist only to eat humans.  As you might have guessed one day the walls quit working and folks start getting eaten in rapid fashion.  This series isn’t for the faint of heart as it is full of blood and gore and many, many intense situations.

The plot and character development are excellent and the animation, especially of the giants and their stupid grins, is wonderful.  It should easily be the best anime of 2013 and should also make everyone’s top 10 anime to watch.

Beyond the Boundary:  3 out of 5 Stars   Rated:  MA

I really liked this show right up until the end.  I can’t say it was the worst way to end an anime series, but it was very unsatisfying.  It does contain some fan service and the two main male leads are both Otaku, but the episode where everyone dresses up as idols and sing a full routine in order to capture a dark spirit still makes me laugh so hard tears run down my face.  Overall the characters and plot are well developed and the pace moves along nicely.  The animation is also quite good although some episodes do make a lot of use of stills.  I’m not holding my breath, but I would like see another season as long as it explains what the hell happened during and after the last episode.

Sword Art Online Season 2:  3 out of 5 Stars  Rated: PG-13

This picks up right where the 1st season left off.  Kirito is back trying to save his girlfriend from the first series. The MMOG is different and most of the characters from the first season only make cameo appearances.  Also, the death penalty from the 1st season is gone so if you get killed in the game you just respawn with no damage done in the real world.  The overall plot is solid but more conventional which is it’s down fall.  It quickly turns into a typical damsel in distress plot, which isn’t all bad, but it does lead to the real world happenings taking center stage and the MMOG being more or less a means to an end.  However, its still enjoyable and fans of the 1st season won’t be disappointed.

Sword Art Online: 4 out of 5 Stars  Rated: PG-13

What happens when you and a few thousand other online MMO gamers get sucked into a virtual world where if you die your brain will be destroyed in the real world?  Well, quite a bit happens as you might imagine.  The story revolves around Kirito, a SAO beta tester and veteran MMO gamer trying to reach the top level of the game and defeat the final boss so everyone can return to the real world.  The animation is top notch and the character development and pacing are spot on.  The only really hiccup (or glitch) is that the plot has some holes large enough to drive a truck through. This seems to be especially true in the middle episodes. However in spite of some obvious plot flaws this is a very entertaining series that brings a new twist to the MMO Anime genre.

 

Bakemonogatare  4 out of 5 Stars  Rated: MA

A teenager that used to be a vamire teams up with a beautiful girl that had a curse placed on her.  Together they go around helping other rid themselves of their curse.  The series contains a lot of wry humor, some mild fan service, and plenty of strange happenings.  If you want some quirky weirdness blended with romance and supernatural beings this one’s for you!

Hell Girl 1,2 & 3    4 out of 5 Stars  Rated:  MA

I really like all three series of Hell Girl, but it’s not for everyone.  This is a dark show that speaks about the consequences of revenge and gives a pretty good insight into the pettiness of humands. Ai Enma is Hell Girl and if you contact her at the stroke of midnight she’ll show up and take care of your grudge for you…..for a cost.  You’ll want to watch them all in order from the beginning to really understand what’s going on in the last series.  It does have some bad language, violence, and adult themes.