Review: No. 6

Review: No. 6

I’m not entirely sure where to start on this one. I guess I’ll begin with how I came to hear of this show. A few different things convinced me to check it out. I have a few mangas that advertised it, so there was that. Then I saw some fanart I’d mistaken for Noragami fanart floating around, so I was a bit curious. Then I heard some people get annoyed with the popularity of Yuri on Ice competing with this for a reason I will soon explain.

The immediate win that this anime had was its animation studio: BONES. I love BONES. And you probably do too, as they’ve created such classics as Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, and Ouran High School Host Club, and the overly popular, My Hero Academia.  Hence, they have created a large selection of beautifully animated anime, and this one was no exception. It’s visually very appealing: crisp and colorful. Though it can be dark at times.

The concept was nothing special: government splits up society into walled cities to “protect” their citizens, when in reality the government may not be as innocent as the civilians suspect. A virus is brewing, and will be released full-force on a designated day. Interesting enough, but not anything I haven’t seen before. Though it was more intriguing to me than Guilty Crown, which I honestly forget I ever watched. I apologize to those who enjoyed Guilty Crown. I have my reasons, but now is not the time to explain them.

The characters were engaging enough, though I felt a bit of a lack of development, which I will get into further later. The actual main character was Shion, and the secondary main was Nezumi. (though the subtitles simply say “rat” as that’s what his name translates to. I’m saying “Nezumi” because it’s honestly strange to call a person a rat) As stated before, I will get into the characters later, but I want to address something else first.

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Shion is on the left and Nezumi is on the right

Why I heard of this really: the whole Yuri on Ice thing. The Internet has deemed Yuri on Ice the first non BL or yaoi anime with a gay relationship. According to people who have watched No. 6, this was not the case. So I decided to check it out. I wanted to see if they were telling the truth. While yes, there is a portrayal of an underlying romantic relationship between two guys, I don’t know if it’s on the same level as Yuri on Ice. But I will give it the “first” title at the very least. Only if it’s true, since I’m very new to watching and reading things involving LGBT+ characters. Though in this show, there is no real confirmation of what Nezumi and Shion consider their relationship, there are enough indicators that it was beyond friendship.

At first, when I was writing this, I was very angry about the results of Nezumi and Shion’s relationship, but then I scrolled through Google images and remembered a lot of well-done scenes, and I rewrote what was three paragraphs into that paragraph above. I think I was just focusing on two scenes, and forgot about a few others that were very pivotal and sweet.

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It was mainly because of the ending scene, which I will probably never get over. I could make an entire post just on that, and it would be just as long as this one, in all honesty. Any of you who’ve seen this know exactly why, but I don’t want to explain what it is for those of you who haven’t seen it.

I’m so off track. I need to get back to the real topic.

The characters were the main focus of driving the plot. The first episode takes place years before the actual show. Shion is a student in middle school, and one stormy day, he finds Nezumi seeking for shelter while running away. It’s not explained where he was running from exactly, but it’s stated that Shion should not be helping the likes of him. No. 6 is against people like him. But he takes Shion inside anyway, providing warm food and clothing for him, hiding him away from Shion’s mother.

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They’re both 12 here, the main story takes place four years later

After this, we’re brought to the present, where Shion works for No. 6 in surveillance, and discovers a man who died of a mysterious cause. From here, he watches a coworker die of the same cause: the virus I mentioned previously. Shion’s supervisors find him in the room with the coworker, and they assume he murdered him, which leads him to flee. Nezumi finds Shion while he’s running, and helps him with his escape from No. 6. They end up living in a hideout together in an uncivilized area, where the investigate the true meaning behind No. 6’s strict rules.

I found both Shion and Nezumi to be interesting, though Nezumi’s past was much more complex and mysterious than Shion’s. If I were to choose which one to learn more about, Nezumi would be the one I’d choose. Mostly because I’m always partial to the “mysterious dark-haired guy” in almost everything I watch and read.

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A still from the ending credits

The animation was gorgeous, as I stated earlier, but the soundtrack was, ah, sorta awful. The ending was pretty, but the opening was, to me, screechy and all over the place. The background music wasn’t anything to remark about, so that disappointed me as well. I think music is a very vital piece of an anime.


All in all, this show is probably a solid 8/10. I generally don’t add a rating at the end of reviews like this, though I probably should start doing that.

I did enjoy this show, though I think to truly understand everything that’s happening, I’ll need to rewatch it or read either the mangas or light novel series. If you’ve read either of those, tell me if it’s worth spending money on. I want some opinions before I decide one way or the other.

Hope you enjoyed this!

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Tsukigakirei Review

Tsukigakirei Review

I’ve never done a review on a romance anime, but here we are now.

This show’s title translates into “As the moon, so beautiful” which I didn’t quite understand at first. I get it now, and it reminds me of a certain scene from my favorite manga of all time. So this show won me over just with the title.

Going into it, I thought it would be a generic, cliche-filled slice-of-life romance. But, I feel there’s something about it that makes it stand out. The animation was definitely not what won me over, like most shows. The main animation is fine, and the style is unique, but for some strange reason the animators decided it was a good idea to animate the background characters with CGI. It was a horrible decision. But still, the content of the show makes up for the awkward robot background characters.

 

I think my favorite part about this show is that both main characters get to pursue their passions separately. The male lead, Koutarou Azumi, is a writer and participates in a drumming club that performs at festivals. He reads avidly, but has average grades. The female lead, Akane Mizuno, runs track and has excellent grades.

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They are clearly very different people, and do not meet in a club, as most animes show. It was a chance meeting. They both knew of each other, and coincidentally, their families both decided to eat at the same restaurant one night. They try avoiding each other, but somehow their families both realize that they know each other.

Eventually they end up exchanging LINE IDs and text fairly regularly.

I have a rule when it comes to pairings. I feel it’s fair, but maybe this is just because of my lack of dating knowledge. I will never pair two people together if they are not somewhat close friends first. Though, if I’m a fandom that has a million pairings and some like barely interact at all but people still pair them together, I’ll still respect it. Please tell me if this rule is fair, because I may just be oblivious. I’ve been flirted with, and let me tell you, it makes me incredibly uncomfortable if I’ve never met the person before. I just don’t get it.

Alright, sorry for that tangent.

The two characters were friends before plunging into the dating zone. So, we’re already off to a good start.

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The interactions between Koutarou and Akane are very stiff and awkward for quite some time. It’s only near the end of the series that they become entirely comfortable with each other. I think that’s pretty understandable and realistic, correct me if I’m wrong. They aren’t always touching, in fact it’s a rare thing for them to be physically affectionate until the last few episodes. I’ve seen this in a few other romance based anime, though I’ve seen overly affectionate more than anything. I actually prefer it when a couple is portrayed as less physical, because every interaction seems more meaningful.

As for the actual plot of the show, which I probably should have started with, there really isn’t a set goal. Both characters have dreams, but majority of the show is just their relationship gradually growing.

As I’d said earlier, Koutarou is a writer. He’s shown frequently typing away at his laptop, and actually gets to talk to a publisher. He’s very passionate about his writing, but is embarrassed to show anyone what he’s written. He wants to make it perfect before it’s out anywhere. Being a writer aside from this blog myself, I can understand this mindset. I used to put all of my writings on Wattpad, but recently, I’ve been keeping them to myself. I want to be able edit them and get them to the best they can be before even a friend reads them. I want to be able make a little bit of money off them at some point, considering how many hours I put into them. So, I understand this part of Koutarou.

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Another thing I really like about his character is that he will add little quotes from an author in his narration of the show, which always relate to the topic of the episode. Generally, this would seem a bit cheesy and unnecessary, but all of the quotes are a bit obscure, and take a little bit to understand why they were said. It added a layer to the show that I really liked.

On to Akane. She’s really into track, and is very focused on it. She’s also quite intelligent and does very well in school. Honestly, anybody who can balance a sport and schoolwork is amazing to me. Even as a fictional character, she impresses me. Another thing that instantly made me love the show. Akane seems very put together and organized, but has some sort of anxiety. She keeps a little toy to fidget with when she’s nervous, and worries about things constantly. There is a scene where she explains this to Koutarou, and though it somewhat annoyed me, I also really liked that they included it.

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The things I didn’t like about the show:

There were shorts after the ending song, which I didn’t realize until about episode six, but they didn’t really add anything to the main story. Why did they exist? I have no idea. I said earlier I thought it would be cliche, and yes there are definitely cliche things in this show. Both main characters have a secondary character crushing on them. Of course. Have to make things more complicated than they already are. Akane’s best friend likes Koutarou, and a boy that’s been on the track team for years likes Akane. Okay, whatever. I absolutely hate this trope. But something that gets me going even more is how often adults would say things like “Oh, good job on getting a girlfriend” to Koutarou. I hate this. It sounds as if he just won something. No, because that’s not the point of relationships. It’s a mutual understanding between two people and take a good amount of work to maintain. Can we please destroy this cliche? It makes me so angry. Why don’t we say like “Oh, both of you are cute, you seem happy” or something like that?

But anyway, those are my only problems. It’s really not that bad.

Overall, I feel this was honestly one of the best romance shows I’ve ever seen. I didn’t think I was going to love it as much as I did when I started it, but the ending is what really got me. Of course, I can’t say much about it, but just know the ending was much more satisfying than expected. So, if you enjoy watching romance shows, I’d highly recommend this one. It’s cute, and awkward, and more realistic than a lot of romance shows I’ve seen.

 

Hope you enjoyed this review!

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

Review: The Royal Tutor

Review: The Royal Tutor

Right off the bat: this show surprised me, as it did many other people as well. I figured it would just be another show I’d watch on the side, nothing I really cared too much about. But I found myself anticipating the next episode every week. The music is great, the art is beautiful, the characters are lovable. Not much to dislike here. Oh, and it’s set in a kingdom, with princes as some of the main characters, which is my one weakness.

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Prince of Stride: Alternative Review

Prince of Stride: Alternative Review

I’ve never been much of a sports anime fan, due to my lack of interest in sports. I grew up never watching any sports, unlike most people living in the United States. So, when introduced to the genre of sports anime, I had a hard time finding ones I liked. The first one I watched was Free! and I thought it was alright, but I never got into it much. Next my friend showed me Kuroko no Basuke, but I only got through six episodes. Next came Yuri on Ice, which like everyone else, I loved. So, I decided to give sports anime another chance. I found Prince of Stride when scrolling through Twitter, since I follow Funimation’s page, and they were advertising the BluRay of it. I thought the art looked nice, and I recognized some voice actors in it, so I gave it a go.

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Black Butler Season One: Review

Black Butler Season One: Review

I’m a little late on this anime, I know. I just finished it a bit ago, and overall, I enjoyed it. I only began watching it because I had met Sebastian’s English voice actor at Youmacon last November. For some reason, I felt obligated to watch the show he is most known for, and I don’t regret my choice. In fact, I just got the DVD of season one in the mail a couple weeks ago. And I got to see Book of the Atlantic last week which was super weird and awesome.

It’s unique, definitely. It’s such a strange concept, and I honestly didn’t think I would like it. I’ve known of the show for years, but I’d always thought it was not for me. I got the first manga for Christmas and enjoyed reading it, so I continued to the show.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the show, it’s been quite popular for a while. But, I guess if you’re not aware of the concept, I’ll give a brief summary.

The main protagonist is Ciel Phantomhive, a twelve-year-old earl to the Phantomhive family and owner of the Funtum toy company. This is due to a tragedy that happened roughly two years before the beginning of the show. Someone set fire to his family’s estate, purposefully killing his parents. He is then tortured by a strange group of hooded people, forcing him to become vengeful and furious. He wishes to kill the people who killed his parents, but the problem is he’s only a child, and he needs extra help for this task. He forms a pact with a demon, whom he calls Sebastian. Sebastian becomes his butler, and will do anything Ciel commands him to do. When the people guilty of killing his parents is dead, Sebastian may have Ciel’s soul.

6Though this show seems dark and violent, it’s very lighthearted for the majority of the show. Nearing the end it becomes much darker and serious.

I’m not really sure what part of the show I enjoyed the most. I enjoy the comedy, historical setting, supernatural creatures, and action that it offers. There are many aspects of this show that are unique to itself, and that’s what makes it stand out so much. I can say for sure this is the only anime I’ve watched set in Victorian England, and has the youngest main character from what I can recall. The fight scenes are very interesting, due to the unconventional techniques Sebastian uses when fighting. It’s quite something to watch a butler throw butter knives into people’s heads.

The premise is weird, I will admit. There are also a slew of bizarre characters. Obviously, we have the revenge-driven twelve-year-old who runs an entire company, and a demon acting as a butler. But the other characters that work for the Phantomhive manor are Mey-Rin, a clumsy maid with terrible eyesight, Finnigan, a gardener with superhuman 1strength, Baldroy, a chef who burns anything he touches, and Tanaka, a butler who doesn’t do much but sit and drink tea. I think these characters are what keeps the show from being too much of a downer. Sebastian constantly has to pay close attention to their antics, and often must fix anything they fail at, which is almost every task they are assigned.

Other characters are Elizabeth, Ciel’s fiancee, Grell, a flamboyant reaper, The Undertaker, a not-so-serious grim reaper, Pluto, a werewolf (sort of), and yet many more. I wouldn’t say this show is heavy on character development, since for the most part, they all remain static throughout the show. Though, there are some themes that are thought-provoking.

Considering the entire end goal is revenge, there are a lot of branches of this topic that can be explored. If Ciel were to change his mind about avenging his parents, he would still be stuck due to the pact he made. It’s clear that this is not the best solution for his grief, but he is still a child, and to him, that was his only option. Throughout the show he is told that this may not be a good idea. He knows that going through with it will lead to his death, and he’s told he will be missed, but he doesn’t think he will be. He feels he won’t be happy living without his parents, or with the person responsible for their deaths to be living. He often says, “I forgot how to smile,” which is a strange thing for a child to say. He thinks he will never feel happiness again. It makes me feel bad for him until I realize how much of a jerk he is.

This brings me to my next point about the show: it’s hard to tell who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy. Yes, Ciel and Sebastian are the main characters, but when you look at their characters, they’re kind of terrible. Obviously, Sebastian is a demon, which automatically puts him on the bad side, and though Ciel seems like an innocent child, 4he’s far from it. He could be nice if he wanted to be, but instead, he chooses to boss those who work for him around more than he should. Practically to the point where he doesn’t end up lifting a finger. Yes, they agreed to work for him, but he doesn’t hardly give anyone a break. He’s constantly unhappy with their work, no matter how hard they try. He never seems to give a thank you or a chance for them to relax. I don’t exactly hate Ciel, since all people and characters have their flaws, but I do wish he was a bit more lenient. And, due to his past and age, it makes sense he would take advantage of them.

On to Sebastian. He’s a pretty cool dude, I’ll have to say, but this would be due to his immortality and demon powers. He is shown to be able to do practically anything, and when he gets hurt, he heals almost immediately. He has an extreme amount of patience 2for what Ciel makes him put up with. This is most likely due to being a demon, but it’s still somewhat impressive. Ciel is a nightmare to handle, along with the other servants of the Phantomhive manor. He basically has to run the place himself at some times. I ended up feeling sympathy for him, though he’s a demon.

One thing I want to say about Book of the Atlantic (don’t worry it’s not that much of a spoiler): at the end, after everything that had happened and Sebastian had saved the day (as he always does), Ciel tells him to take a break. Which is probably the most kind thing he’s ever said to Sebastian. I was honestly shocked when I heard it. This never happens in the show. Actually, Ciel is a lot more kind in the movie now that I think about it. I won’t say much more than that for those of you wanting to watch it in the future.

And, something about this fandom as well: I know a ton of people ship Ciel and Sebastian, but even if I completely ignore the wrongness of it, I still can’t understand 5where that makes sense. I feel they have an understanding of each other, but there’s nothing intimate about it. This doesn’t make me angry with the people who do ship them, but I just don’t understand it.

In all, I entirely enjoy this show in all of its silliness and uniqueness. I do suggest it to others, though I would say it’s not for everyone. And, it’s not my absolute favorite but it’s definitely near the top of my list. There’s just something charming about its quirkiness.

I hope you enjoyed this review, and again I’m sorry for not posting more, but for sure there will be a post on Friday, which will be my very first tour post with OWLS! If you don’t know what OWLS is, it’s a group of anime loving, kind people who accept everyone for who they are, what they believe, and what they like. There’s a blog tour every month focused around a theme and bloggers can participate in when they are part of the group. This month’s is TEAM in honor of June being Pride/LGBT+ month and I will be participating this month, along with next month, so look out for those!

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Review: Orange

Review: Orange

I’ve seen some mixed emotions about this show, but personally I thought it was very good. I felt that the themes were well executed, though the time travel aspect may not have been focused on as much as I would have liked, and the ending left me with some questions still.

The basic concept is that Naho Takamiya, a high school student, received a letter telling her about a tragedy that would be taking place that school year. It had been sent from herself ten years in the future, warning her of the decisions that could be the cause of the tragedy taking place.

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(left to right) Hagita, Azusa, Naho, Kakeru, Suwa, Takako

The letters gave her the specific events that would occur that she needs to change, and although she didn’t always do as the letter told her, she made an effort to listen and change the future.

 

Personally, I liked all of the main characters. I thought that their wide range of personalities fit with the way the show was paced. Like most shows, each character had their own defining trait, Naho being shy, Kakeru being reserved, Suwa being athletic and confident, Hagita being intelligent, Takako being polite, and Azusa being outgoing. The dynamics worked well enough.

One main complaint about this show I’ve seen is the dialogue and the impracticality of the way the characters reacted to situations. I will agree the dialogue sometimes got a little cheesy, and some moments, you wanted to pick the character up, put them where they need to be, and tell them exactly what to say. But I feel there are a lot of shows I truly enjoyed and still enjoy that had some of these flaws.

You ready to hear my true problem with this show? After this will be only positives, so get ready for my negative.

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Future Naho, Hagita, Takako, and Azusa

The way the “time travel” was explained. Honestly, it wasn’t. You see throughout the course of the show, their teacher explaining the theory of multiple universes with different outcomes (It reminds me of Steins; Gate with that one), but nothing more than that. We the viewers just need to accept that this is the theory that is reality in the world of this anime, and that the letters sent to the characters was done through this thought in mind. The future versions of our main group somehow remembered this lesson from ten years ago, and went with it. The letters were sent, and I feel I can say this without it being too much of a spoiler. There really aren’t many ways to send a letter in the past. They somehow found a black hole in their normal Japan, and stuck them in. Don’t ask me how, this was literally the only explanation.

Okay, I’m done with that. The only other thing bothering me is the lips of the art. But that’s minor, I got used to it.

Positives! It was an emotional ride. I sometimes like it when a show brings me to tears, because it tells me just how much I care about these characters. It honestly isn’t a bad thing in my eyes. Some shows not even meant to be sad have made me cry. But anyway, there were plenty of feel-good moments, and plenty that made you want to curl up in a ball and cry, like I did.

The relationships within the show were pretty developed for how many main characters there were and how short the show was. By the end of the show, all of them grew closer together because of what they went through together to stop the tragedy from happening.

And, of course, there was a romantic tension between the two main characters: Naho andnaho and kakeru Kakeru. Of course, they have some cute moments, I’m not going to lie. They really never move further than being close friends, which honestly is for the better. The show would have lost sight of the end goal if they began focusing on their romances.

The letters had told them about something that was going to happen to Kakeru, and they contained some of the events that occurred that could have led to this happening. Naho manages to change most of the events, and in turn, hopefully changing the future. She isn’t perfect though, and becomes too nervous to fulfill the duty she was given in the letter. Some say this was a flaw in the anime, that she didn’t do what the letter blatantly told her to do, but in my personal experience, I would have done the same thing as her in some situations. I don’t consider myself to be a social butterfly, in fact, I’d be the total opposite. I too have thought I could do something, but when the time came, chickened out or couldn’t manage to open my mouth to say the words I wanted to say. I’m on Naho’s side with most of GROUP HUGher decisions.

Something I love about this show is that they made depression and anxiety a major theme throughout. This is something I personally suffer from, so it was a bit refreshing to see it heavily influencing the plot in a show. Kakeru has been inflicted with a serious form of depression even in the beginning of the show, and he has a difficult time dealing with it. Naho seems to have a sort of anxiety, due to her fear of saying something wrong, so she says nothing at all. The other members of the group can see that they are dealing with some serious problems, and try their hardest to support them.

Overall, I thought this show was strong with its characters and themes, though some of the specifics were lacking. I definitely feel you should experience it, even if just for the talk of serious mental problems many people suffer from. I appreciate that a show like this exists.

Thank you for reading my review! I haven’t posted in a while, sorry about that. I’ll try to be more consistent from now on.

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

Pictures:

Feature Image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/a4/e8/40/a4e840e972da9aae37ed02ae602d0448.jpg

Group: http://img1.ak.crunchyroll.com/i/spire1/b50b5dd2471ce61e9bf57012d708f7121470859514_full.png

Future them: http://www.anime-now.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/maxresdefault-10.jpg

Naho and Kakeru: http://www.beneaththetangles.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/orange-anime-1-3.png

Group hug: http://i.imgur.com/G4Rlzeg.jpg?1

FMA: Original vs. Brotherhood

FMA: Original vs. Brotherhood

For those of you who have not watched all of either of these, I will leave the beginning portion spoiler-free.  I will warn you on any major spoilers, so I am not held accountable for your frustration.  Now that we have that covered, I will explain myself.

Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that I enjoyed both of these shows.  But, I do have a favorite, after a year of contemplating it.  You probably have a good guess of which one it is, but I’ll explain why I like each one before getting to that.

Let’s start with the  beginning of the 2003 version.

This one starts the same as the Brotherhood version, but veers off in different directions pretty quickly.  I enjoyed the “filler” episodes that were in the beginning, because it let me get to know the characters before they dove into anything too serious.  By the time things really start to happen, I have a good idea as to how they’ll react.  I could understand the characters feelings and I knew them more personally than the beginning of Brotherhood.

Things don’t start to really kick off until around episode 20, and we all know the devastating loss around episode 25.  It was this time that it became different from Brotherhood.  Although Brotherhood splits off at about episode 11.  The original gave more time for explanation and added some adventure to the beginning, where Brotherhood wasted no time getting to the problem.

I’m not saying that Brotherhood did anything poorly as for the beginning, but I just appreciate the time the creators put into adding character development in the beginning, since there isn’t nearly as much as in Brotherhood.

Now, we know the main goal the two brothers have is returning their bodies back to normal by means of Philosopher’s Stone, but in both versions, there is another goal in mind as well.  In the 2003 version, Scar and Dante were huge villains and the two were after them for most of the second half of the show.  In Brotherhood, the homunculi and the Father were the main villains.  Although the original DOES focus on the homunculi a lot, it just isn’t as much as Brotherhood.

Alright from here on, there WILL be spoilers for both shows.  So exit out if you aren’t to the end of both.

 

 

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