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DeathscytheX

Random Anime Reviews from Random Binging.

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As the simuldub season comes to a close and there are days where nothing comes out, the lull between this and next season had me watching some random series. I was in the mood for some more lighthearted fun. I thought I'd put out some random reviews of series. I get a kick out of the reviews for some of these slice of life romantic comedy type shows, as the reviewers seem to know nothing about anime outside of action series. They review it from a western culture and politically correct point of view... and little extreme at that. I'm here to present it as an actual anime fan and watcher. Unlike the Simuldub reviews, I won't be giving these scores, I'll just be posting what they are about, and my random feelings on each series. You can expect minor spoilers at times, because let's face it.. most of these genres always end the same. I'm not reviewing game changing, pinnacle series that will be remembered 15 years from now. :P

Classroom of the Elite

I actually just finished this one yesterday in one sitting. The premise is a government run school hand picks its student body based on potential to be future leaders. The high school boasts a 100% university acceptance and employment after graduation rate. The story revolves around Kiyotaka Ayanokouj, a mysterious unmotivated student that seems to have boundless potential from smarts to psychical abilities, and Suzune Horikita a typical trope ice queen that's out to prove her older brother (who is student council president) that she isn't a disgrace to the family name. Each class room is ranked A-D, and can swap places based on test scores. Test scores for each class serve as the monetary system of the school. The better each class does, the more points allotted to each student within. The focus is to teach these students how to deal with the unpredictability of adult life. Test scores don't seem the be the main focal point of gaining points, as social merits like behavior and being responsible also factor in to gaining points. Ayanokouj and Horikita try to ascend their lowly class D to the top with C-A scheming to keep them down along with their own aspirations of moving up or keeping everyone else down.

Overall I thought the series was enjoyable.  It was very cut throat, and the way they went about plot resolutions was fairly cerebral even if it was predictable at times. The fanservice was light, and the comedy was limited and dry at times... but most of the high school tropes were there or attempted.  Ayanokouj was your typical aloof closet prodigy. Although it was a nice twist where they have you thinking deep down he is a kind soul trying to help Horikita and anyone else, only to eventually hint that hes just a douche using everyone. For the main protagonist, this is quite different. The season ended on that note. Most of it was class D trying to stay afloat, then they pull a major upset. But they never really ascend to be class C. Ayanokouj and Horikita resort to underhanded methods to get there way in unconventional corrupt ways by realistic school standards as they learn the rules and how different this campus was compared to a traditional one. I could see people finding none of these characters likeable. But its a nice dog eat dog story.

Masamune-kun's Revenge

This one is a slice of life romantic comedy where Masamune Makabe is haunted by his past of being fat, and ultimately rejected by his crush Aki Adagaki when they were just kids. Makabe becomes a health nut and work out junky to be skinny and fit. He does this with the goal to make Aki fall for him just to dump her in the most brutal way possible. Coincidentally, Makabe years later transfers to the school that Aki just so happens to attend. She has become known as the Cruel Princess for turning down every guy that asks her out in savage fashion, branding them with nicknames that stick. This is one of the series that got a terrible review because apparently all the girls are portrayed as cruel and the boys as the victim. I actually find this stupid because there are series that are actually like that, and others that flip the genders. But in this one, everyone is a schemer.. I mean Makabe's whole plan is douchey.

From the start you can tell there is something more going on with this backstory. I really enjoyed this one. I go into all of these expecting the cliche tropes, this one didn't disappoint. It has all your love triangle, walking in during undressing, blush face, almost kissed mishaps. They do a good job of building the tension throughout the series between Aki and Makabe. Aki doesn't know Makabe is her childhood friend, who she thinks abandoned her one day back then. That is the twist in the story as they both have separate accounts of events. About half way through its easy to tell what really happened, but they even throw in another wrench that makes little sense at present time. I had a good amount of laugh out loud moments. They really do a nice job of sprinkling in Makabe's health nut life style when it comes to junk food, as everyone is always trying to tempt him with it. Unfortunately the series ends with a lot of loose ends. Since I pretty much figured how it ends, in typical fashion with Aki and Makabe eventually getting together. I read the spoilers and confirmed it. I'll still watch season 2 when it comes out next year.

The Testament of Sister New Devil

Oh boy, where to begin. This one revolves around Basara Tojo, and expelled member of a hero clan that saves the world from demons. His dad is the most powerful fighter ever known and the demon lord himself fears him. Basara caused himself and his dad to get banned from the hero clan because of his uncontrollable power that killed many in an incident where he took on a powerful demon. One day two girls become apart of his family through marriage, but in actuality it was a ruse as Mio Naruse, daughter of a past demon king and her succubus accomplice Maria Naruse attempt to use the Tojo house as a staging ground to hide from the hero clan that deems her dangerous. Mio is a target of both the hero clan and the demons for her sleeping power handed down from her father. Thinking they deceived Basara and his father, they learn that they were dealing with former hero clan warriors, who knew all along and were instead going to protect them from both sides. 

I spent way to much time on describing the plot. This is a full blown hentai without insertion. Like WTF? XD If you took out all the lewd titty sucking and fondling you might have a decent anime, but good lord... I use Highschool DxD as my benchmark for lewd fan service anime, but its tame compared to this. They don't go for innuendo, they just do it. Stay away from this one.

My First Girlfriend is a Gal

I won't spend as much time on this plot. Basically it's a high school harem drama comedy. Typical loser Junichi Hashiba asks out super hottie Yakana Yame when he is inadvertently forced to through his scheming perv friends. She says yes, and he deals with the typical shenanigans with other girls trying to get him to be unfaithful, and Yakana's overly protective childhood friend always giving him a hard time because she is also in love with her secretly. Although Yakana dresses provocatively, shes deep down a really conservative girl when it comes to sexuality. 

Ok this one is more of the traditional fan service I'm use too. hair covering nips, and what not. The dub was kind of tarnished by Yakana's valley girl accent voice acting. But on a whole the story was actually quite charming. They could have done without the excessive day dream fantasy sequences Junichi would have that never would come to fruition, but hey, thats the genre I guess. I got a ton of laughs out of it so it worked for me. I guess I can relate to this anime because I reminds me of a somewhat similar situation I went through in my younger years. XD

RE:ZERO -Staring Life in Another World-

I guess this has become its own genre since SAO. This one is an interesting take on it. Subaru Natsuki leaves a convenient store, when he blinks he's all of the sudden in a strange new world. When he dies, he returns to a checkpoint like in a game and has to start over. He befriends Emilia who is a powerful spirit magic wielder and also an heir to a empty throne along with 4 other candidates. As he gains the trust of her household, he dies many times trying to uncover a potential plot against her.

I found this to be enjoyable, even if Subaru is pretty annoying. The animation is really nice, and the action is good. The dying aspect is used often, reminding me of the repeat scenarios of the first season of Westworld. He dies brutally, and even though he knows he'll just resapwn he definitely never wants it to happen to the point it almost drives him mad. Each time he must learn from the last and avoid being killed by someone or by a mistake. He did reset purposefully once. The series ends on a bombshell cliffhanger, and although I'd like to see another season or two, I can see the dying and redoing getting redundant after a while. Sometimes when they do it, it's really disheartening when you think he is making some progress towards his side goals, only to have it taken away. They do a decent job of skipping through all the daily events if he has to do the same scenarios more than once.


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Recommendation of the Wonderful Virtual Life/Recovery of an MMO Junkie

Clearly this title was just renamed, I guess for length purpose as the first is what it translates too, and the later is what the English title for the show is. The show is about the main character Moriko Morioka living the recluse life, quitting her corporate job just to play an MMO all day. She plays as male character and eventually befriends a female character who is a male, Yuta Sakurai, that has a respectable job. The show is full of impossible coincidences as Sakurai and Morioka were unknowingly good friends in a different MMO back when she was working and he was graduating college. By chance they run into each other on a side walk literally and the story takes off. Also insert Sakurai's friend Homare Koiwai who just so happened to have worked with Morioka at her previous job.

This show is precious. I really loved it. For once its nice to have an anime about adults, especially in this genre. It also doesn't stick to the cliche antics romantic comedies normally have, and its completely void of fan service. Morioka, Sakurai, and Koiwai are such great characters with great chemistry. The story actually spends more time outside of the game than in, which is nice. Morioka and Sakurai are both socially awkward and shy. Koiwai is outgoing and is always trying to help Sakurai even if its in a teasing way.  It provides plenty of laughs, and fun moments. I recommend this to anyone looking for a lighthearted watch.


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Recovery of an MMO Junkie (and yes the original title is literally the translation, that's what its called in Japan) is a pure gem, I watched it as it aired and instantly fell in love with it. Probably my favorite show for that season (I still haven't watched Ancient Magus's Bride or Black Clover yet (which started during that season)). It's was nice to finally have an MMO related anime title that didin't deal with being stuck in a game and focused more on the players and what went in their actual lives. Not only that Morioka is such an adorable character it's hard not to love her (plus I admire her commitment to quiting her job just to play video games, something I wish I could do (damn debt and not ever having any money >.<)). I'm with DX, definitely worth a watch if you're looking for a lighthearted show with good comedy and a good story.


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7 hours ago, Strider Hiryu said:

Recovery of an MMO Junkie (and yes the original title is literally the translation, that's what its called in Japan) is a pure gem, I watched it as it aired and instantly fell in love with it. Probably my favorite show for that season (I still haven't watched Ancient Magus's Bride or Black Clover yet (which started during that season)). It's was nice to finally have an MMO related anime title that didin't deal with being stuck in a game and focused more on the players and what went in their actual lives. Not only that Morioka is such an adorable character it's hard not to love her (plus I admire her commitment to quiting her job just to play video games, something I wish I could do (damn debt and not ever having any money >.<)). I'm with DX, definitely worth a watch if you're looking for a lighthearted show with good comedy and a good story.

Ancient Magus Bride is amazing. Omg watch it!


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SWORDGAI

I already stated before after the first season that this was mediocre at best I believe. A lot of reused animation for transformations and what not. I just finished Season 2 a few days ago, and while they upped their game with getting rid of the transformation sequences, and made the story more interesting kinda sorta. It still fell flat. It feels like a poor man's GARO, which is far superior in every way... except for the Crimson Moon season which I never finished. I'd say skip this and go watch GARO and GARO - Vanishing Line instead.

Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans

I watched this soley because Funi never gets Gundam, but somehow got their hands on this one. The dub was quite excellent with the variety of voices they picked for it. After the first season I would have said it was an ok watch but I wouldn't have recommended it to anyone. Season 2 changed all of that. They are almost like day and night with tone. Season one it felt like nothing could stop Tekkadan, either because they had strong willpower to make it through, or they'd always catch the lucky break. Season 2 takes all of that away. Its a brutal watch with some awesome battle scenes. There was seriously maybe 1 ep where shit wasn't going down in season 2. 

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

I guess I'm late to the party on this one. I came across this from a random Mother's Basement ep on YouTube. So I checked it out and I adore this anime with all its wackiness. Its an all around Folly of Kyon's everyday life. I love the character chemistry between bat shit hyper Haruhi, and cynical realist Kyon. What seems to be just an average slice of life school anime, turns into something thats just all around nuts and a good time. Somehow it manages to stay grounded though without really going out there like Bobobo or Space Dandy. Although Space Dandy is probably my all time favorite comedy anime next to Fumoffu. Thats a whole other story though

 


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Was this both seasons of Haruhi or just the first you watched? Not entirely sure what is currently up for streaming in English considering I watched both season as they aired (and I own the first season). It's a very good show if not downright confusing sometimes (especially since the original order the episodes aired in was not in order (for the first season)) and the relationship between Haruhi and Kyon is the major selling point for me (though I do love his interactions with Yuki). I still need to watch the movie (I've had in downloaded for years, just haven't had time to watch it).


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I have a few eps left to go, but it seems to be the reboardcasted version. Funi has 26 eps. The Wiki says there is 28 but only lists 24 of them ending with Suzumiya part V. I can't imagine what the original only 14 was like. reading about it is pretty confusing in itself how Season 2 was basically more eps mixed into season one in the correct order. XD


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What was more confusing was re-watching the first season when I bought the DVD's. I didn't know they corrected the order so when I was watching it I was so fucking confused because I was used the order that it aired in (and the order my fansubs were in). I was like "WTH, this isn't the first episode. Where's the Adventures of Mikuru Asahina and that corny ass theme song?". Then I went back to the DVD menu and figured it out (thankfully they did have the option to watch it in its original broadcast order).

Yeah S2 is a trip due to that reason. You're watching it expecting it to be taking place after S1 only to find out it's filling in the blanks for S1 (then again it's not the only second season of a show to do this (I'm looking at you Non Non Biyori S2 (while I adored every episode I still wanted a continuation))).


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