[7/1 – 7/9] Quick Anime Reviews: Kamisama Dolls, Silver Spoon, Anne-Happy

Silver Spoon: 7/10 [2 Seasons 22 Episodes total]
Hachiken Yuugo fails the entrance exams to get into his choice of High School. So he decides to run away from his overbearing father, by entering a school as far away as possible that requires the students to stay on campus. Thus starts his everyday life in Oezo Agricultural High. And oh my! Does this city boy have a LOT to learn about farm life. If you are the least bit interested in how a farm ‘works’, this is a good intro anime showing a lot of what goes into it. This story is two seasons long for 22 episodes, and I feel I could have watched another 40. There is a lot of story here and I think there could be a lot more story to tell if they wanted to try. And if they do, sign me up to watch! At minimum stream this one. May be worth buying, the animation quality is really high.

Kamisama Dolls: 6/10 [13 Episodes]
The story starts with our main character Kyouhei running away from his past, after giving up all his power and privilege by leaving his village for Tokyo. Aki, our bad guy, is on the run from the same village, obsessed with finding Kyouhei. Why? For revenge or something else? Your past is a hard thing to escape and as the village sends more and more of it’s more powerful members to find Aki, they keep pulling Kyouhei and his new friends into a dangerous game of small village cut-throat politics. If this series had a second season as good as the first one, it would get promoted to 7 out of 10, but I think the (Real Life) Earthquake ruined the animation company and so we’ll only ever get this first season. Pity. With just this I’d say stream it if you find the premise at all interesting.

Anne-Happy: 6/10 [12 Episodes]
Silly little slice of life show about four of the unluckiest girls you’ll probably meet, and one girl who’s bad luck is an ocean compared to the other’s great lakes. Fun and short. Stream it if you want some silly slice of life from some cute girls doing their best in odd/bad situations.

6/26 – 6/30 Quick Anime Reviews: Love Lab, Love Tyrant, Tsugumomo, and Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor

Love Lab: 6/10
Basically a cute little slice of life about highly sheltered middle school girls in a private girls school trying to figure out how to get into a relationship with boys and all the wildly inaccurate ideas they have to do that.
Predictable, but still a bit better than average. Liked that it was mostly just girls and their stories too with very few male characters. Recommend you stream it.

Tsugumomo: 6/10
When objects become beloved enough, they can gain a soul. Kazuya Kagami finds out what that means when his late mother’s Obi becomes a lovely young lady with the ability to ‘project’ material as a weapon or defense, and they’ll need it, as mysterious objects start coming alive almost as if Kazuya is at the center of something. Yeah you can guess where it goes from there but it’s still a bit above average. Recommend you stream it.

Love Tyrant(Renai Boukun): 5/10
Accidentally getting his name written in a ‘Love Note’, (total Death Note joke!) Seiji Aino’s problems are just starting, when he finds himself in a three way relationship with a yandare classmate and a crazy lazy cupid way to into ‘boyslove’. And that’s just the first episode. This is a typical harem, and I’ll grade it totally average. Still I recommend this one be streamed. Worth it for silly fun.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor: 5/10
Lazy, shut in, guy is forced to be an instructor by ultra-powerful, beautiful and influential babe mage. He does the job reluctantly and over the course of the show we find out how bad ass he is and that he suffers from PTSD, from his previous ‘life’ as an assassin for the crown, clearing out ‘evil mages’ wherever they appeared. There’s a lot wrong here. A little right. And basically it boils down to this story isn’t done. If you DO decide to watch this don’t quit till episode 2, because the first episode is pretty trash and you get a better feel for the show in episode 2. Still without a second season, my overall recommendation is skip this one.

As per always I’m trying not to spoil anything in the ‘review’ above, but I’ll gladly delve into them in the comments!

6/18-6/25 Quick Anime Reviews: Glasslip, The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism

Glasslip:4/10
Basically boy meets hometown girl over their final summer break, both see ‘time fragments’, potential romance, potential discovery of powers, then…potential not fulfilled. Ranking it a 4 out of 10 simply because it SEEMED like it was going to have a story worth experiencing but it ultimately didn’t. The animation and music were fine, and the story SEEMED like it was going somewhere, but the ending leaves the impression that nothing notable happened worth telling. Maybe that’s the point they were trying to make, but overall, I feel like I wasted my time. I HATE that, because it really felt like the story was taking us, the audience, somewhere interesting but then…it didn’t. It just ends. Even the cliffhanger involved in the end isn’t well done because you’ll find that you don’t care. The story REALLY needed to give a little more so that at least you’d be left wanting more. As it happens I just don’t care now. It’s like talking to someone that stops half way through a sentence explaining how to get somewhere and then simply walks away. They weren’t a help and all they did was waste your time. Skip this one.

Note: I will re-evaluate if the show gets a second season. I do NOT expect it to get a second thought, much less a second season.

Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism: 5/10
I tried to like this one. It’s…interesting. But it takes the whole “friends after fighting” thing WAY to far. The actual damage people are taking isn’t something you just joke about later. When people are attacking you with freaking SWORDS, that’s not something that you laugh off afterwards. So the central theme of this one just didn’t work for me. The motivation and reaction of the combatants didn’t work for me either. I mean, “I love him, so I gotta try to kill him, so he’ll understand me?” WTF? NO! I guess one of the girls was a yandare as well, and I just don’t like that character type at all. Didn’t like the fanservice either. PASS!

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou: 6/10
I got to episode 20 and just felt totally fatigued. I didn’t want to continue, even though there were only 4 episodes left. Finishing it I can’t complain (other than I wish the MC had picked the other girl) and this slice of life romantic comedy turns out well. I can see why it’s so popular, but I still only rank it slightly better than average. Basically this one is about a group of ‘creatives’ that are going to a high school for artists, that live in Sakura Hall where all the misfits are sent. Sorata, the MC, ends up at Sakura Hall because he refuses to give up all the stray cats he keeps collecting. His need to take care of everyone around him is why he’s the glue holding the show (and the hall) together. Mashiro is the ‘pet girl’ of the title, and is about as talented as a painter can be, but she’s also almost totally autistic and needs help with everyday life. Sorata gets to be on ‘Mashiro duty’ for basically the entire show, trying to keep her safe and out of trouble. It’s cute. It’s funny. It’s wacky. It’s…worth watching.

As per always I’m trying not to spoil anything in the ‘review’ above, but I’ll gladly delve into them in the comments!

6/4-6/18 Quick Anime Reviews: “Monster Musume everyday life with monster girls”, “Recently, My Sister is Unusual”, “Oreshura”, and “Place to Place”(acchi kocchi)

Monster Musume everyday life with monster girls: 4/10
In this world, mythological creatures like centaurs, mermaids and all the rest exits and are entering into exchange student like agreements with humans so both species’ cultures can learn from each other. Which is just another way to set up a harem with girls that are all half-some sort of animal. (Snake, Horse, Spider, Fish, even a spider.) I didn’t find it all that funny or interesting after the first episode. Overall I’d skip this one.

Recently, My Sister is Unusual: 5/10
Stopped and started this one a few times simply because it had an initial ‘ick’ factor. (You’ll know it when you see it.) Once I finally was willing to ‘go with it’, it turned out okay…I guess. Basically a girl has died, but manages to haunt another girl that has just moved in with her new father and brother after her mother’s marriage. The ghost girl wants to engage in all sorts of ‘relationship’ fun with the brother whom she apparently knew before she died. The new sister is shy and reserved and doesn’t want ANY such relationship. Ghost girl ‘engages’ quite aggressively, after she possesses her new host, but the girls tend to fight over their body all the time and it leads to ‘hijinks’. Like I said, it turns out okay, but there is an ick factor and I sill wouldn’t recommend it. Skip.
[Aside: What is it with Japan and sibling relationships? Yech!][Second Aside: In this case they are step siblings but still.]

Oreshura: 6/10
This is a harem show and like many of the genre kind of forgettable, but I actually liked the characters, though the ‘density’ of the male lead is, as always, annoying. No girl is ‘chosen’ in the end of this harem, though I’ll give main character credit, he did try. But for a guy that doesn’t believe in ‘love’, he sure found himself soaking in it. I’d also like to mention that the shows ‘colors’ made it feel ‘washed out’ all the time. Was a bit distracting for me. Still, I’ll give it a stream recommendation.

Place to Place(acchi kocchi): 6/10
Sweet slice of life. Get the feeling it’s from a 4 koma with quick funny skits. More time waster than anything but there were some really funny parts. If you are in a hurry can can find a lot of the ‘funny bits’ on YouTube with the name ‘Acchi Kocchi’. I found myself laughing uncontrollably on episode 10, at the ‘bear suit’ hijinks. Recommend you stream it.

I’ve also parts of these anime: Anti-Magic Academy: The 35 Test Platoon, The Testament of Sister New Devil, Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Denpa Kyoushi, Love, Election and Chocolate, Place to Place, and Glasslip.

As per always I’m trying not to spoil anything in the ‘review’ above, but I’ll gladly delve into them in the comments!

5/26-6/3 Anime Review: Isuca, and Infinite Stratos

TLDR:
Isuca: Stream
Infinite Stratos: Stream

Isuca: 5/10
‘Normal High-School guy’ (they are very rarely NORMAL are they?) Shinichiro Asano lives alone and needs a job. While going home one night a woman flashes him, turns into a centipede, tries to eat him, gets saved when centipede dies from magical arrows. Que tsundere Sakuya Shimazu, who saves the day. This is about as typical a series as you’d expect with the girl’s family of magicians playing as the background for the drama. It’s NOT a harem, (which I require at least 3 girls/boys to classify) but it is about two girls trying to win the boy, with one winning by the end. So you do get a bit of ‘romance’, but mostly it’s just the usual shonen tropes. If you are in the mood for something cliche, but quick, this one works. It’s only 10 episodes, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time with it. I recommend skipping it for the most part, unless you want something right down this ally. In that case it’s worth streaming.

Infinite Stratos: 7/10 (but only if you like fan-service shows)
Okay let me throw out a few descriptors in order of importance: Only one guy, Fan-service, Harem, Super School, Mecha, MORE fan-service.
If those words interest you, then this is a really fun show. I’ll admit I wasn’t much in the mood for this kind of show when I watched the first episode, but it turned out to just be fun for me, and I watched the whole thing. For once I actually ENJOYED the fan-service, and even fell for the ‘best girl’ BS these shows like to have their fans do. (French girl wins! Who will you pick?) Don’t expect the show to make much sense, don’t expect a girl to ‘win’, and you can have a lot of fun out of this series. If you aren’t in it for the fan-service, I’d say skip this one, otherwise this was a really fun fan-service show, and I’d recommend streaming it.

Partials this week: Anti-Magic Academy: The 35 Test Platoon, The Testament of Sister New Devil, Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Denpa Kyoushi, Love, Election and Chocolate.
Test Platoon: short so I should finish it.
Sister New Devil: typical shonen fighting show with a side order of ecchi.
Chivalry: basically THE EXACT SAME SHOW as Asterisk War, so I’m skipping it.
Denpa Kyoushi: The main character doesn’t interest me, so I may skip this one. Can’t find it anywhere but Youtube as well.
Love, Election and Chocolate: I can’t find anywhere but Youtube, so I’ll probably skip it till I can find it streaming somewhere.

As per always I’m trying not to spoil anything in the ‘review’ above, but I’ll gladly delve into them in the comments!

Any suggestions to changes I should make to the style of review let me know as well.

5/22-5/25 Anime Review: “The Fruit of Grisaia”, “The Labyrinth of Grisaia”, and “Engaged to the Unidentified”

TLDR:
The Fruit of Grisaia: Skip
The Labyrinth of Grisaia: Skip
Engaged to the Unidentified: Stream

The week started out with Grisaia and I needed something sweet to cleanse my palate, so I finished with Engaged.

The Fruit of Grisaia: 6/10
This was a very odd series. The show starts with our main character walking over a hundred kilometers, because he doesn’t like trains, to enter an ‘ordinary school and have an ordinary school life’. Yeah, no.
Nothing about the school or the students is ordinary. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a space/fantasy/magic/high-tech show. It’s pretty much set in the ‘normal world’, but it’s populated with total oddities. The main character is basically a 16 year old veteran of the government’s ‘wet works’. You read that right. He’s being giving this ‘ordinary school life’ as a retirement present for service. So, if you can accept that, get ready for the fact that the entire school has a total of 5 students, all girls of course, plus him as the new transfer. He spends the season ‘fixing’ each girls unique (and very strange) situation. I will say that I actually liked the resolution of the youngest girl’s situation, but all of this is just a ‘Gary Stu’ perfect main character going through a wish fulfillment show. I’m giving it a 6 out of 10 simply because it’s animated, and acted well, but the overall story is just a bit too much for me. I’d recommend just skipping this one.

The Labyrinth of Grisaia: 5/10
This is basically Grisaia, the prelude. You get to see a LOT of the main characters back story, and I really don’t think it improves the show. This guy should NOT be a moral, upstanding, confident human being. With everything that has happened to him, he should be a walking basket case or psychopath. There is another season to the Grisaia story after this one, but I’ve decided I don’t want to watch it. It’ll no doubt have the main character taking on the one surviving ‘enemy’ of his childhood, and showing the woman that ‘saved’ him and how she did that. This is a deep enough well of human misery that I’m just going to lie down and avoid it. Skip this one unless you actually liked ‘Fruit’.

Engaged to the Unidentified: 6/10
After the depravity and human misery shown in Grisaia, I needed a palate cleanser and chose this short rom-com. It’s sweet, has tons of tropes and lets the female characters carry it. (No really, the male ‘lead’ might speak 3 sentences a show on average, including nods and grunts.) Basically I liked the interaction of the girls, the youngest one was adorable, while the oldest was suitably ‘wacky’. The story goes for all sorts of tropes but tends to duck them at the same time to kind of wink along with the audience, ‘yeah we knew you were expecting that, but what if we do this instead?’. If you want a romantic comedy that is quick and sweet this will fill the bill. I’d recommend streaming it.

As per always I’m trying not to spoil anything in the ‘review’ above, but I’ll gladly delve into them in the comments!