30 Day Anime Challenge! Day Two

Well, I’ve made it to day two, which is already something I’m proud of. I’ve never been ambitious enough to consider posting multiple days in a row. This is going to be different for me.

Today’s prompt is…

Favorite Anime You’ve Watched So Far

Well, that’s quite a tall order. I don’t think any avid anime fan can name a single anime they deem their favorite. And that definitely applies to me. I’ve watched about forty anime now, but I’m in the middle of about ten at the moment, so it’s a bit hard to pick only one.

I think I’ll narrow this down to: what is my favorite current anime I’m watching? And even that’s difficult for me. My top three at the moment are Haikyu!!, March Comes in Like a Lion, and Ancient Magus’ Bride. All very different titles, I know.

I’m deep in the Haikyu fandom at the moment, so I’d want to say it’s that, but I think I’ll have to choose The Ancient Magus’ Bride, just because it surpassed a lot of my expectations. I never read the manga of it, but I’d heard a lot of people gushing about the manga, and I was looking forward to it for the second half of this year. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but whatever it was, this show managed to surprise me.

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Honestly, it’s the visuals. It always comes to the art, I swear. Both other shows have nice art too, but just not as pretty. Okay, I’m not sure if Haikyu can even begin to compete with March Comes in Like a Lion and Ancient Magus’ Bride when it comes to art, I’m sorry.

But also I’ve found myself near tears multiple times already, and I’ve only seen five episodes. I know the subbed is further, but the dubbed version I think is very well done. And I just prefer watching dubbed, but that’s besides the point.

I love The Ancient Magus’ Bride. I think it’s gorgeous, and much deeper than I expected. I thought I would end up hating Elias at first, but I never have. Nothing he’s doing is remotely malicious. And anyway, Chise did have just as much to do with this as he does. I thought things would go much differently, but I’m glad they are this way. I love watching Elias and Chise’s relationship grow, it warms my heart so much.

This rant has gone on long enough, I want to save my gushing for a different post!

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Yesterday’s post: Day One

Tomorrow’s post: Day Three

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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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My Thoughts on RWBY (Vol 1 & 2)

My Thoughts on RWBY (Vol 1 & 2)

For any of you unaware, RWBY is not technically an anime, but is often placed in that category. It’s a web series by the animation studio Rooster Teeth and has been popular for a few years. I’ve been told countless times to watch this show, and about two months ago, I started it.

From the very first episode, I fell in love with it. It’s unique, and the animation in the beginning felt a bit like a video game. I’ve always wanted a show to portray a main cast of women that didn’t sexualize them and wasn’t a slice of life, as I’ve seen plenty of both of those varieties. This show is fantastic, and I recommend every single person to watch it if you haven’t already. No pressure or anything. It has hiccups, as all shows do, but I feel it’s strong in the areas it needs to be.

I have only seen the first two seasons, but I still wanted to discuss it a bit. I’ll be doing a second post about seasons three and four if this one does well, and eventually something on season five when that is released next month.

Let’s discuss a few things the show does beautifully.

For one thing, the sound track is absolutely phenomenal. I never skip the opening or ending, and all of the background music matches with the mood of the scene every time. Even though I would binge this show and hear the opening like five times in one day, I never got sick of it.

The animation they decided to use was a risk. It’s not something you see in most series. It’s more complex, and takes longer to animate. Though, even from the beginning, it was clear they had some idea of what they were doing. The first episode is a bit clunky, but the character designs and background made up for it completely. I have seen a small bit of season three, and let me tell you I gasped when I saw the improvements they’d made. Everything is so smooth by that point, and I’ll probably cry if it gets prettier by season four and five.

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On to characters. I’m very picky about my female characters. All four of the main characters are lovely and unique, and I can’t help but love them. One thing media messes up with “strong female characters” is making them all intimidating and brutish. Why? Why can’t a female be strong and wear a pretty pink dress and lipstick? Those things don’t make women weak, which is what media tends to portray.

What I mean by this is the fact that two of the four wear dresses and heeled boots and are quite feminine, but are still portrayed in a strong way, is exactly what I’m looking for. The other two aren’t as “girly” but they aren’t immediately intimidating or brutish. They all can hold their own.

Now to get into some specifics. The four main characters are Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladona, and Yang Xiao Long. They form the team RWBY, which is an acronym for their first names. They attend Beacon Academy, and are training to become huntresses, who fight off monsters, the Creatures of Grimm. There’s more to the story than just this, but that’s it in its most basic form. There’s a main villain whose name I cannot remember who’s introduced in the first episode, and his accomplices are shown fairly heavily.

The other team the show focuses on is team JNPR (Juniper), which stands for Jean, Nora, Pyrra, and Ren. They are close friends with the members of RWBY and I quite like them as well. I could get into their characters, but I just wanted to state how much I like the fact they were included. The show would be a bit stale without some support characters.

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Personally, my favorite character of everyone is Blake. I was struck by her because of her introverted nature, and her love of escaping in books. She does work together with the others, and comes out of her shell, but something I like is the fact they never try to pull her out of being introverted. They don’t try to prevent her from spending time by herself. But they do let her know that they are there for her no matter what.

I also want to talk a bit about my second favorite, which is Jean. I was a bit surprised by how much I liked him, and when he’s first introduced, I figured he would be a jerk. He’s actually one of the sweetest, dorkiest characters ever and I love him so much due to it. I can’t really put all of my thoughts here, since that could take up an entire post in itself.

So, that’s what I think about RWBY. At least, where I’m at. I know it gets a lot darker and intense after where I’m at, and we’ll explore that in the second part of this. Wish me luck that my heart doesn’t break, and I hope you enjoyed this post! It’s probably one of the shortest posts I’ve ever written.

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Top 10 Anime Openings

Top 10 Anime Openings

I thought this would be a fun post, something I haven’t really thought much about. And let me tell you, narrowing it down to just ten is very difficult. I had thirteen I wanted to include, but that’s a strange number to have for a list, so I had to eliminate three. Like most of my lists, this is not in any particular order, just the one I wrote them down in. I hate playing favorites, and many things I say are my favorite are really just one of many.

Everything on this list I love not only based on the way the song sounds, but also the visuals that are shown when the song is playing. So I’ll show a screencap of each opening and also a link so you can listen to it yourself. And some songs also have English covers I love, all by either Amalee or NateWantsToBattle, so I’ll include those links as well.

So, without further ado, my very favorite anime openings.

Soul Eater: Resonance, Opening 1

soul eater

You all know my love of Soul Eater. Between my user image, my cosplay tutorial, how many times I’ve mentioned it in lists, and my first OWLS post, I’m sure my obsession is clear. And like most people, I prefer the first opening to the second one. I think both songs have lyrics that definitely match the show very well, and in a way I feel that the first one is in Maka’s perspective, talking to Soul. And the reversal for the second opening. But I’ve always been more fond of the first song for its upbeat tempo.

Soul Eater [Resonance]

NWTB English cover

My Hero Academia: The Day, Opening 1

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I really wracked my brain over this one. I knew I had to include a My Hero Academia opening, but I really didn’t know which one to have on this list. Everyone seems to like Opening 2, Peace Sign, but I really think the first one has a special place to me. Though I feel Peace Sign has better lyrics, this one has better music. Every time I hear it I know I’m about to watch an awesome superhero show. It’s so upbeat and I can’t help but bounce in my seat a little.

My Hero Academia [The Day]

NWTB English cover

Prince of Stride: Strider’s High

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I talked about how much I loved this opening in my Prince of Stride review, but I just love this opening so much I need to showcase it again. This show isn’t spoken of often, as it’s not an impactful sports anime, but I still think it’s worth a watch. I’ve never been a huge sports anime fan, but I really enjoyed watching this anime. At least watch the opening and look at the art, it’s just gorgeous. And the song itself is pretty catchy as well.

Prince of Stride [Strider’s High]

NWTB English cover

Yuri!!! On Ice: History Maker

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Oh, big shocker this one’s on the list. I thought about replacing this one with something else, but I just love it too much. I’ve practically memorized every move of the routine, I love it so much. I just think this opening is so unique and though it gets plenty of recognition I just needed to say it again. It blows me away every time I watch it. As soon as I saw the opening, I knew this show was something special. I realize I’ve only made two posts on this show, which isn’t a whole lot, but I have ideas for maybe one or two in the future.

Yuri!!! On Ice [History Maker]

Amalee Cover

Haikyuu!!: Imagination, Opening 1

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I jumped on the Haikyuu!! train, guys and I love it. I really didn’t think I would like it as much as I do. I’m only half way through season one, but I have already fallen in love with this show. Though my rambling about it will be saved for later. I just think the opening just matches the show so well, especially the lyrics if you’ve ever heard or read those. This song was probably what truly convinced me to watch this show.

Haikyuu!! [Imagination]

Amalee English cover

Assassination Classroom: Question, Opening 3

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Ah, Assassination Classroom. Another anime I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions. Though, when choosing which opening to use, I didn’t struggle in the slightest. I’ve always loved the way this opening sounded. I’m not entirely sure why this one specifically, but it just stuck out to me. I love all of the openings for this anime, they always have so much going on and I couldn’t ever skip them because I was trying to notice all of the effects that were going on in the background. And you can tell when it’s an Assassination Classroom opening because parts of the song are sung by different people so it feels like the class is really singing it.

Assassination Classroom [Question]

NWTB English cover

Noragami: Hey Kids!!, Opening 2

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Again, a show I’ve mentioned a lot. And I love the art that they use for the opening specifically. It’s all in black, gray, and white, except for the characters’ eyes, clothing, and the backgrounds. It’s such a unique way to do an opening, making it such a different style than the show. And I chose the second one specifically because of how it sounds, I initially didn’t like it as much as the first opening, but after listening a couple times, I loved this one more.

Noragami [Hey Kids!!]

Amalee English cover

Black Butler: Book of Circus: Enamel

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I’ve recently been having my heart ripped out by the Book of Circus arc of Black Butler. Any of you who have watched this part will understand what I mean by that. But I’m not here to talk about the show itself. This opening is so amazing. The visuals are very eerie and beautiful at the same time, perfect for the show. And the music begins sounding like an old arcade or festival game, and gradually goes into a drumbeat. It’s so perfect I just don’t have enough words to describe it.

Black Butler: Book of Circus [Enamel]

Erased: Re:Re:

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I honestly would forget this show even exists if it weren’t for the opening. This is an anime that I wouldn’t be able to rewatch, due to the element of surprise being so important in enjoying the show. And because of that, it gets lost among the anime I’ve seen and can rewatch if I desire to. But, this is about the opening. I again love the style of it. Some pieces look like they are straight from the show, while other parts are in a completely different style. And though there are a lot of spoilers if you look closely, it’s really just visually appealing.

Erased [Re: Re:]

Amalee English cover

Seraph of the End: X.U, Opening 1

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I’ve expressed how unimpressed I am with this show in my previous post, which I recommend you read. But there’s something about the opening that I really love. The lyrics fit right into the show, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this song was written for the show. My favorite part of the visuals is in the beginning of the opening, when the vampire queen is spinning and the feathers at her feet twirl around. I’ve always loved the way some animes use rose petals, cherry blossoms, or feathers as effects. It’s so pretty to look at.

Seraph of the End [X.U.]

Amalee English cover

Some honorable mentions are: Ouran High School Host Club: Sakura Kiss, Blue Exorcist: In My World, Durarara: Traitorous Sunset, Fullmetal Alchemist: Again, Death Parade: Flyers, Attack on Titan: Shinzou wo Sasageyo

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this fun little list. I figured I would have something easier to prepare for this week since over the weekend I will be out of town again. I’m trying to post on Fridays, and clearly today isn’t Friday. And next week will be my OWLS “Bloodlines” post so be sure to check that out. I’ll put a link here in case you’re reading after it’s published.

Thanks for reading!

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My Thoughts On: Seraph of the End (Ep 1-12)

My Thoughts On: Seraph of the End (Ep 1-12)

I’ll say I was a bit disappointed with this show. I heard about it two years ago from a friend but never made any attempt to watch it. Then a few things happened that made me give in. 1) I recognized a few English voice actors 2) I became a bit obsessed with listening to the English cover of the opening by Amalee 3) I looked at how nice the art was. So here we are.

I’m sure if you’ve been reading my posts for a while you’ve noticed that I’m pretty lenient when it comes to anime. I can count pretty easily the number I’ve dropped. While I wouldn’t say this show was awful by any means, it’s just lacking in some important areas. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Ten Animes With Beautiful Art

Ten Animes With Beautiful Art

I am obsessed with the anime style. That’s the main reason why I watch these shows. It’s not because they’re Japanese, or that’s it’s cool or whatever. It’s because for the most part, the art is good, and they have themes that are for older audiences. If it weren’t for anime I’d be stuck watching Disney movies and cartoons from my childhood and the present. Which most don’t have huge fanbases. I love that these shows have such a huge fanbase that I can be a part of while admiring great art styles.

This started out as a top five list, but I just couldn’t help adding more, and then after that I felt bad I left some others out. There’s really too many to appreciate, and I’d have to say this was the hardest list to compile.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

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When I drew anime fanart I based my style off of this one, and I still love the way they did a lot of the scenery and coloring of the characters. I have a comic artist for a father, so trust me, I watch out for things that make a style stand out. The one thing that I love it that they don’t use black to outline characters. They use a slightly darker shade of the color the outline is touching, which is a technique my dad has used and I absolutely love seeing.

2. Assassination Classroom

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I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to this one, possibly the bright colors in the comedic, lighthearted scenes, and the darker ones in the more serious, sinister scenes. It just suits the content of the show so well, I guess, not much else to say besides I love it.

3. Soul Eater

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The one thing I love about this one is the way it isn’t consistent. You take two random characters, look at their facial expressions, structure, and eyes, and you’ll be sure to not find a match. The only characters that have similarities to each other are related characters, like Maka and Spirit, and Liz and Patty. I think that this is what gives the show that bizarre feel to it that makes it so lovable.

4. Noragami

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The opening is what wins me over with the art for this one. And Yato’s eyes, my gosh, they’re beautiful. Really, the eyes in this show have always been something I’ve noticed, but the rest of the art is well done as well. The fight scenes are great and the monsters are done in a different style from the rest that makes them look more creepy, which I give applause to.

5. Divine Gate

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You’re probably panicking right now, saying I have no taste in anime. Putting this show on a positive list. Well, you can rest easy because this show was absolute garbage. The art style was just really pretty, okay? It was unique and I think it was my only drive to finish the show. If the writing was as good as the art it would’ve been a pretty great show.

6. Yuri!!! On ICE

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PSSHT! You thought I was done talking about the animation in this one, did you? Well, I’ve still got more to say! Some say the animation sucked but I thought it was nicely done, especially with the opening. And the fact that skating is such a fast sport makes it more difficult to animate, with the character zipping and jumping all over the place. They managed to make it still beautiful. Agh, I can’t get enough of this show!

7. Attack on Titan

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This one is truly unique, it’s realistic enough that it’s immersive, but still anime enough to make it not creepy. I think it was a good option for the type of show it is, and again, fighting was well done. I drew Armin once in the art style, and it’s honestly one of my favorite drawings.

8. Baka and Test

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Eh, don’t make fun of me for watching this one. It was a guilty pleasure type of deal. But I watched it twice, which I kind of regret. It has an interesting art style because it labels character’s importance by the level of detail. Main characters had a full face, minor characters had no eyes, and background characters had no expression at all. And each main character had a color, which would appear as their shadow in dots on the ground. It was weird but something memorable.

9. My Hero Academia

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There’s so much spiky hair in this show, but hey, that’s something I like about it. It’s about teenage SUPERHEROES of course it’s going to have spiky hair. But anyway, I love the way expressions are done in this one, and fight scenes are done well too.

10. Death Parade

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Lastly, a show that ripped my heart into pieces. Another style that suited the show very well, It had a shade of dark to it, but it still looked lighthearted at times. The eyes are cool, and they have a purpose as well, as you’d know if you’ve watched it.

Hope you enjoyed this post! I’ve been wanting to make this for a while, and I finally did! I’ve been working on this since before  My Thoughts On: Yuri!!! on ICE Episodes 7-12. It took a while to narrow it down to 10 animes, since so many have such cool artwork. I chose the ones with the most unique and recognizable art, but know that there are so many more I wanted to put on here, such as Angel Beats!, Guilty Crown, and Durarara!

Remember to follow me on Twitter: @letstalkanime1

 

Pictures:

FMA:

Assassination Classroom:

Soul Eater:

Noragami:

Divine Gate:

Yuri!!! On ICE

Attack on Titan:

Baka and Test

My Hero Academia

Death Parade