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33339 No. 33339 [Edit]
Let's post reviews of anime when we finish watching them!

It doesn't have to be from this season; any anime is fine!

I'll post the first review ITT
379 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 35989 [Edit]
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I watched Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta, also known as "Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart." Here are my thoughts:

This is just a 6-episode anime, so I'll try to be brief. Although you can watch this show on its own with ease, it is sort of a sequel. There is a sorta-prequel movie with the same cast, but the MCs from this anime are minor supporting characters instead (and vice versa for this anime – the movie MCs are supporting characters). The sorta-prequel movie I'm referring to is Zutto Mae Kara Suki Deshita; I didn't particularly like it (for pretty much the same reasons as this anime) and rated it 4/10 when I watched it 2 years ago. Anyway, moving along from this preamble...

As you might guess, this is a typical highschool romance show. I found it quite mediocre. There are a few decent scenes, but it doesn't compensate for all the other lackluster content. My average level of enjoyment while watching was low. There were flickers of emotionally engaging romance (ex. the fireworks scene), but they were infrequent.

The story in general is weak, and the second half of the series is filled with forced drama. Sometimes the actions of the characters don't make any sense.

The characters are, at best, generic. In fact they are borderline unlikable, particularly the male MC. The supporting cast is totally generic and might as well be cardboard-cutout props.

The visuals are adequate but unremarkable, as is the audio in general (both music and voice acting). The character designs are totally generic, although Miou's brown hair/eyes do look nice. I will say that sometimes the facial expressions are well done, but these moments are infrequent.

My overall rating: 4/10
This is a totally generic mediocre highschool romance show with no particularly noteworthy qualities. There were a few decent scenes, but they were not nearly plentiful enough to satisfy me. There is a lot of forced drama, and the characters range from generic (at best) to unlikable.

There is a music group by the name of Honeyworks that has been strongly associated with this franchise. I attentively listened to a bunch of their albums (about 75 songs) and found ~10 songs I liked enough to set aside for future listening. So, although there was stuff I kinda liked, the signal-to-noise ratio was high.

There isn't much of value in this franchise. I recommend avoiding it entirely unless you are obsessed with highschool romance. I tried to like this franchise and gave it many chances, but every single thing I tried was mediocre at best. Your time is better spent elsewhere.
>> No. 35996 [Edit]
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I watched Hanasaku Iroha. Here are my thoughts:

I really wanted to like this anime; at first glance, it seemed like something I would really enjoy. Unfortunately however, my viewing experience was mixed at best and certainly didn't meet my optimistic expectations.

During approximately the first third of the show, my optimism persisted but began to wane, and in retrospect the earlier episodes were the best part of the series. As the story and characters continued to develop, my opinion of it soured, and by the time I was halfway through the TV series I knew I was watching something mediocre.

At its core, Hanasaku Iroha is a character-driven drama much moreso than a typical slice-of-life show. Generally speaking, I like character-driven dramas. Unfortunately, this one has a very weak set of characters as well as quite generic and cliche writing. All the conflicts were things I've seen before in fiction. All the characters were tropes I'd seen before. All the character arcs were, at best, tropey and cliche. The writing felt like a generic character-driven drama that happened to be set in a ryokan. The mediocrity of the writing is a major flaw, especially considering this is a 26-episode(+movie) character-driven drama. The writing of the latter half of the show in particular was very weak and had plenty of forced artificial-feeling drama. The movie-making arc, for example, was absolutely dreadful.

I really want to emphasize my lack of enthusiasm for the characters themselves. Literally the entire core cast is unlikable and/or annoying. It's actually impressive that they managed to create such a consistently off-putting set of characters. By the time I completed this show, I can confidently say that I disliked every single significant character (and there are a lot of them). It really is astonishing how such a character-driven show has such a lackluster cast of characters. Despite it being a drama, I never connected emotionally with any of the characters. Some of the most important cast members felt like exaggerated caricatures – particularly the older characters; the younger staff felt more realistic, although still irritating in their own unique special ways. I think maybe I would have empathized more with the characters if they actually evolved as people and overcame their problems/flaws, but there is barely any character evolution during the 26-episode runtime! Saying that there are character arcs in this show is a misnomer – nobody overcomes anything, nobody achieves any goal, and certainly nobody improves their personality or grows as a person.

The comedy was also consistently unfunny. The consultant woman character was annoying as hell; she was clearly supposed to be used primarily for comedic relief, but she was incredibly annoying and groan-inducing. I dreaded her appearing on-screen.

Alright, up until here I know I have been ripping into this show, but I do want to give credit where credit is due: the ryokan setting of this anime feels very authentic and I appreciated that a lot. In fact I specifically sought out this anime because it was about ryokan employees. The ryokan feels very real and there is lots of attention to detail paid to the setting. This is further enhanced by the surprisingly great production quality. For a 26-episode SoL-ish TV anime in a real-world setting, without any action or anything to justify a large visual budget, that aired in 2011, the visuals of Hanasaku Iroha are rock solid and very well done. Although there isn't much artistic flair, there is not a single blemish to be found. It easily could have passed as a modestly budgeted movie. The setting often looks quite nice; lots of detail is used in backgrounds and the like.
The visual style was simplistic but natural and organic-looking and felt remarkably similar to a live-action show. Despite the mundane events of the anime, the character animation is well done. The attention to detail and high production value really enhanced the ryokan setting and made it immersive. I appreciated this aspect of the show.

As for audio, I must say that the voice acting has a ton of variety and nearly every core character has unique distinctive voice work. I liked the voice work for Minko and Nako. Ohana does some good work during some of the more-dramatic scenes. The OST is okay, although a little more variety would have been nice for such a long runtime. The OP/ED songs are good, in my opinion (to those of you wondering: yes, I do like nano.RIPE's vocals but I can understand the perspective of those who don't).

My overall rating: 5/10
I wanted a ryokan-employee simulator and I got a ryokan-employee simulator. However, it unfortunately came with some undesirable features. Although the ryokan setting is very authentic and immersive, and executed with flawless visual production quality, its inhabitants are annoying and unlikable. Furthermore, the writing is as cliche and lackluster as the characters themselves.

Sakura Quest had its flaws too but I enjoyed it more than this; it certainly had way better characters. I haven't seen Shirobako yet but hope to watch it soon.

Here are my comments on the Home Sweet Home movie:
- I should mention that I watched this immediately after finishing the TV anime, and was already feeling pretty burnt out on the series after 26 episodes. It's possible I might have enjoyed it more if I let the TV anime digest in me for longer, although honestly I doubt it.
- Visually, the show was the same but with slightly better production quality. The TV anime already had solid visuals, so there wasn't much room for improvement here anyway.
- I liked the focus on teenage Satsuki. I actually think they did a good job depicting her and her youthful struggles, especially with the limited runtime. I think I would have much preferred her as the MC in the TV series.
- There was not much of an overarching plot and the movie basically just consists of an assortment of mostly SoL-style scenes. I was fine with this; it would have been a mistake to try to cram a serious plot into this short runtime.
- Aside from the scenes that depicted teenage Satsuki, this movie felt just like another TV episode (including the usual flaws).
- My rating for the movie: 5/10

Hanasaku Iroha has kind of a 'live action' feel to it, in the sense that I could easily imagine it being played out with real-life actors. People who typically prefer live-action TV dramas might like this anime.
>> No. 35997 [Edit]
I think I tried to watch this a few years back but dropped it because the grandma (or whoever the ryokan owner was, I don't remember if she was related to the MC) was a fucking dick, bordering on emotional abuse. The exact opposite of what I want to be reminded of when watching SoL.

Edit: I'm aware that this was probably done for the clichéd "don't judge a book by its cover" trope, but this isn't the type of thing I really care for.

Post edited on 20th Feb 2022, 8:49pm
>> No. 35999 [Edit]
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The grandmother was an insufferable abusive bitch throughout the entire show. This was one of the many things that made it unpleasant to watch.

What's worse is that they try to portray her as wise, when in reality she was just as much of a psycho volatile bitch as Minko.
>> No. 36000 [Edit]
Glad to see at least one other person thought so too. I feel like I'm being gaslit by all the glowing positive reviews this show has.
>> No. 36001 [Edit]
I didn't care for this show either (although I never felt gaslit for other people liking something I don't). But why are you guys calling it a slice of life? It's fairly obviously a drama. It sounds like your experiences was negatively soured in part due to mistaken expectations. Which may be fair going into the first episode, since e.g. Wikipedia has slice of life as a descriptor, but should be adjusted by at least a few episodes in.
>> No. 36002 [Edit]
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Did you not read what I wrote? I was very clear that I saw it as a drama.

I feel like it was more unique back in 2011 when it aired. I doubt it would receive as warm of a reception if it aired this year.
>> No. 36003 [Edit]
Drama and SoL are not necessarily orthogonal. In fact I personally don't consider SoL to be a definitive genre tag unto itself but more of a "genre modifier" that tells you the medium by which the story will unfold. The common traits I'd associate with an SoL are a commonplace setting (i.e. exact opposite of isekai), where the thrust of the story is built gradually from character-character interactions instead of some grand narrative, where the source of conflict (if any) is similarly human-centered in nature, and where there is a clear attempt to showcase the emotional bonds between the characters (and extend this bond to between the viewer and the characters as well).

Unfortunately I've never been able to think of a good definition that would pin down what exactly SoL means, because for every definition I can think of there are numerous shows that escape that mould, so the above set of broadly shared traits is what I've settled on. (The first trait is kind of iffy though since there are still many shows set in a fantasy or supernatural realm that I'd consider to be SoL).

It doesn't help that SoL is a necessary condition for having a CGDCT-type show (which I characterize as going further by minimizing all elements of drama altogether – there might be some superficial conflicts but these never detract from every episode being essentially a spotlight for the character's friendships), so the two have become invariably linked.
>> No. 36004 [Edit]
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>I personally don't consider SoL to be a definitive genre tag unto itself but more of a "genre modifier" that tells you the medium by which the story will unfold.
I'd have to disagree. A while ago, I wrote this >>33037

While drama and SoL may not be orthogonal, I'd say SoL diminishes the effectiveness of drama among other genres. So, if SoL is a "genre modifier", it modifies most of them in a negative way(to me at least). Comedy is different.

Hyoukou's genres are listed on MAL as "Mystery, Slice of Life". As a mystery story, I can assure you, it utterly fails. Haruhi is also listed as a mystery, and I'd say the same for it.

Post edited on 21st Feb 2022, 5:03pm
>> No. 36005 [Edit]
That is a fair point, and I too think slice of life isn't the best way to go about doing a drama. That said, the pairing does exist even though more often than not the attempt falls flat in executio (I'd love to point to an example of drama + SoL done right, but I generally don't watch drama in the first place so maybe someone else can chime in).

That being said I'm not sure how your post on Haruhi relates here? I'd categorize Haruhi as SoL + sci-fi, with any mystery aspect more "meta" in nature.
>> No. 36006 [Edit]
>I'd love to point to an example of drama + SoL done right, but I generally don't watch drama in the first place so maybe someone else can chime in
Would >>33340 qualify according to >>36003's definition? It has character development and multiple story arcs revolving around various characters, but it didn't feel like it has a grand narrative or overarching plot.
>> No. 36007 [Edit]
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'Slice of life' means different things to different people. I have found that defining the term is a recurring issue when attempting to discuss anime with others.

I'm the one who wrote that (admittedly low-effort) Sangatsu no Lion review and personally I see SoL and drama as somewhat mutually exclusive genre classifications. I would only classify Sangatsu no Lion as both because over its long runtime there are some SoL-heavy episodes. It's still primarily a drama by a wide margin though in my eyes.

I've often seen people invoke the SoL term when what they really mean is lifelike drama, from my perspective.

I am very drunk; sorry for grammar errors.
>> No. 36012 [Edit]
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I watched Net-juu no Susume, also known as Recovery of an MMO Junkie or Recommendation of the Wonderful Virtual Life. Here are my thoughts:

In terms of the writing, the characters are a strong point – they are likable and often relatable, particularly the MC (Moriko). However, the plot is cliche and predictable. I don't want to be too harsh on the plot though because it set up a ton of situational comedy and was a fertile source of humour in general. Regardless of the story, the script itself is overall well done; I thought they totally nailed it during some scenes, and it was further enhanced by the voice acting. The dialogue was often funny too. I enjoyed the humour in this a lot, and the script and its delivery was a major component of that. I laughed out loud at every episode.

The voice acting in this is surprisingly good, especially for the female MC. Her voice work definitely enhanced the humour for me in many instances, and she also handled emotional moments well. In fact all the lead characters do a good job. Lily's in-game voicework is great, as is Lilac's. Hayashi does a good job too. The voice acting in this was a significant contributor to my enjoyment. Conversely, the OST seemed like it lacked variety (even for the short runtime) and felt low budget and unremarkable. There is one nice piano melody that is used frequently though.

As for the romance aspect, there are certainly some cute moments but I wouldn't say it's the main appeal of the show. This is more of a romcom (which I know is an off-putting term for many people, myself included). It doesn't play it straight and serious like a typical romance; comedic relief is frequent, including during romance-heavy scenes. Ordinarily I would take issue with this, but I really enjoyed the comedy of this anime and thought it was skillfully implemented. The mixture of sweet and funny feelings made for a really enjoyable viewing experience. It's very rare for me to feel this way about comedic relief, which I think is a testament to how well it's executed in this instance. Overall this is a surprisingly well-directed show.

The visuals are pretty basic and lackluster. Although I will give credit to the fact that the character animation is consistently on-model, which is not something I take for granted (especially with the presumably low budget of this anime). Even so, the visuals are adequate at best and there is definitely room for improvement in this dimension.

My overall rating: 8/10
I was either smiling or laughing while watching this. This show is funny and relatable. The MC is quite likable. The script is usually well written and delivered surprisingly well by the VAs. Although the plot is cliche and predictable, it created a lot of hilarious situational humour. Regardless of its lackluster production quality, this is a surprisingly well-directed show; I was consistently engaged by it and always looked forward to the next episode. This is a really fun anime and I'm glad I watched it.

I would definitely recommend this to people who spend a lot of time in internet communities, or have a significant component of their social life online.

This anime is 10 episodes plus one full-length special sequel episode. Just warning you, that 11th episode is one of the weaker ones IMO, so don't get your hopes up too much. You should treat the 10th episode as the finale.
>> No. 36013 [Edit]
The author behind this manga had to give up on continuing the series due to some undisclosed illness. She still posts illustrations sometimes on twitter.

Post edited on 26th Feb 2022, 1:24pm
>> No. 36014 [Edit]
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It struck me as a little odd that an anime got funded when the source material has been on hiatus since 2015.

Apparently there was some controversy with the director, not sure about the specifics there.
>> No. 36015 [Edit]
Nothing to add (I too thought it was basically a middle of the road romcom), but I thought the protrayal of being a neet here (as a mindset) here was a bit romanticized compared to the reality. From what I remember she basically voluntarily quit her job to escape from reality by playing videogames, and then slowly got to a point where she couldn't just go back to being a ria-juu at the snap of a finger due to being too entrenched in her net-juu lifestyle.

I guess by definition that is NEET, but as I mentioned it was a very superficial one, with not too much emphasis on the emotional/mental toll taken. Probably to be expected from a romcom, but still struck me as unrealistic and led to a character that wasn't fully fleshed out. The two other shows that come to mind here are Watamote and Welcome to the NHK. Both had their problems and I'm not a particular fan of either, but I think Watamote at least succeeded a bit more in expressing that feeling of empty pain to the viewer. And since this is the anime review thread, I'll end with a quote from some other anon that basically summarizes by viewpoint on Welcome to the NHK, which I personally thought was a worse portrayal than even Netjuu:

>Satou is not a hikikomori past the first episode. He goes out every day, in broad daylight, in public, often socializing with a close circle of friends (Yamazaki, Misaki, Senpai) or others. He talks on the phone all the time. His anxiety is moderate and not debilitating at all. Satou isn't a social butterfly by any means, but he's socially competent enough to function in society, have a relationship, have a job when he can get around to applying for one, etc. Satou's biggest problem is that he's not very intelligent and he fucks up the opportunities that are handed to him on a silver platter. If he wasn't comically inept at managing his life, he could have gotten a job and gotten into a relationship with Misaki, who was obviously interested in him from the start.

>Satou's case was agoraphobia, not depression. He shut himself in because he physically couldn't be in places with lots of people (like school, workplace, or the way there), not because some sort of philosophical disdain for society or world. He literally got panic attacks in such places, and any kind of depression he had was the result of this agoraphobic condition of his. Satou is a failed normalfag who had his potentially normal life fucked up by a somewhat rare psychological condition, and that's the gist of the story.

Post edited on 26th Feb 2022, 4:28pm
>> No. 36016 [Edit]
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I think a serious psychological deconstruction of NEETlife would be out of place in this show. It was primarily a lightheaded comedy, and it did that well.

I recall during the 10th episode they did briefly give some focus to the MC's self-esteem issues, but the topic was never really revisited or resolved.

I personally (unfortunately) have never been a long-term NEET in my life, so it's not an emotionally sensitive subject for me at all. Now that I think of it though, some of the themes in Net-juu no Susume might hit a bit too close to home for some people and alter their perception of it. Or at least they would want the NEET-related aspects of the show to be addressed more thoroughly.

For me personally, this was foremost a fun lighthearted comedy, and I was fine with the serious psychological stuff not being very prominent.
>> No. 36019 [Edit]
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I watched Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, also known as Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World. I watched both seasons (including both parts of season 2), as well as the two movies. Here are my thoughts:

I should mention that I watched the director's cut for the first season, which supposedly had slightly more content than the original TV series. The first-season director's cut consists of 13 ~50-minute episodes, instead of the 25 TV episodes that composed the original version. For this reason my viewing experience might have been slightly different than others', although I've heard anecdotally that there's not much difference between the director's cut and the TV version.

The setting of Re:Zero is a fairly typical classic-fantasy world, but with a few unusual mechanics thrown in. There are a few cool things (like the flying magical whale), but overall it is pretty standard-fare fantasy stuff.

I'm really not fond of the character designs. Seriously, every single character in this is an eye sore, in my opinion. I just personally don't like the character art style at all. I also found the character animation during season 1 to be sloppy, however that did improve during season 2. Conversely, the setting and backgrounds in the show are sometimes animated well (moreso during season 1). The clash between the detailed backgrounds and poor character animation was impossible to ignore. It is quite stark and there are countless frames that look absurd because of it (again, this is a much more prominent issue in season 1).

I don't particularly like any of the characters, especially the MC. The story is told entirely through the perspective of the MC, and he is pretty much constantly on-screen, so my distaste for his personality was a major issue that seriously impeded my enjoyment of this series. My dislike for the characters (especially the MC) also prevented me from feeling empathy for them, which in turn inhibited my overall emotional engagement with the anime. The MC's behaviour and motivations were often stupid or even incomprehensible, and I frequently felt frustrated by his actions. Simply put, I would have enjoyed this anime more if the MC wasn't constantly behaving like a childish imbecile. His personality really is intolerable. Furthermore, even by isekai standards, the MC comes across as very 'self-inserty.' The rest of the cast is also fairly bland, and most supporting cast members just exist to facilitate aspects of the plot. The story really does revolve entirely around the MC (with the exception of some portions of S2P2).

During some portions of this anime I thought there was way too much unfunny tone-breaking comedy that would totally ruin the tension and emotion in a scene; this issue was most prominent during the first half of season 1, but never really went away entirely. It's really just a symptom of a broader issue, which is that the scriptwriting in this is garbage, at least from my perspective. Everything is overly spelled out so explicitly, the characters might as well be narrators. There is no nuance at all. It sounds like the VAs are reading from a rough draft. Scenes that have the potential to be emotionally impactful are often crippled by clunky unnatural dialogue and/or inappropriate comedy. Another ever-present issue is that the character interaction in this consistently feels unnatural and forced. These issues might be related to the seemingly juvenile target audience (more on that further below). The overly literal and explicit dialogue might be an intentional decision so that a younger viewer won't have trouble understanding anything. Sometimes the dialogue felt cheesy too, although that is just another manifestation of it being overly literal and explicit.

I didn't like the voice acting for Subaru (the MC) or Emilia. This is particularly unfortunate because the MC is near-constantly speaking, either to others or internally monologuing (I will concede that the VAs for both Subaru and Emilia got better during season 2, or maybe I perceived it that way due to the reduction in comedic relief). However, I did like the voice work for the two maid sisters (Rem and Ram), and Garf (introduced in S2) does a remarkable job as well.

The plot is sometimes good, and pretty much the only reason I stuck with this anime. The plot can be entertaining and sometimes the series does a good job of creating suspense. It's fairly easy to watch and the episodes pass quickly (during season 1 at least). If you want a somewhat interesting and complex plot, then this anime might be worth watching for you. It's also noteworthy that the plot is usually fairly coherent and laid out clearly, despite its complexity. There also aren't any major pacing issues (at least not in season 1). Plot execution is done well — and that very easily could have not been the case, so this is praiseworthy.

The OST felt a little generic sometimes although with fantastic production quality. There's a lot of orchestral music – some of it is actually quite excellent. I liked the season 2 OST more than season 1, despite the composer being the same. The composer's style eventually came to grow on me, but it took a while (I listened to the OST numerous times in isolation – not having to hear Subaru's awful voice concurrently likely helped). Regardless of your personal tastes, the OST is far better produced than your average anime soundtrack. Also, all of the OP and ED songs are good, and their respective albums are worth sampling. Music is a strong aspect of this anime, overall.

The first season of Re Zero had a pretty weak start. I think a major reason for this is because Emilia occupies more screentime. This is bad not only because Emilia has the personality of cardboard, but more importantly because Subaru and Emilia have terrible chemistry together. Their whole relationship feels unnatural and forced by the writer (actually, this is the case for all of Subaru's romantic pairings). So, as more characters are introduced as season 1 progresses, Emilia's character presence becomes diluted, and the show becomes more tolerable. Another significant reason that my enjoyment of season 1 increased in its latter half is because the show becomes much more serious, and there is a corresponding reduction in the awful comedy I addressed previously. However, conversely, I found that the feeling of suspense was strongest during the first half of season one. The latter half of the season also contained more action scenes, which I personally didn't find particularly entertaining.

As for the second season, the cast of characters is just as awful. However, season 2 does excel at developing mystery elements. Although there wasn't much linear plot progression, I enjoyed the way new dimensions of the story were gradually revealed during each of Subaru's reincarnations (during part 1 at least). All of my other criticisms continued to apply though, and the overall character of the show wasn't much different from season 1. The second part of season 2 had a weaker story in my opinion. There were also a lot of flashbacks, which I found boring. The supporting cast who received more attention were somehow not any more compelling than Subaru and Emilia, which really is revealing of the author's lack of skill. I found part 2 of season 2 to be the weakest portion of the entire series, and getting through those ~30-minute episodes was sometimes a struggle.

Overall this anime feels targeted towards a relatively young audience, particularly for a (supposedly) psychological thriller show. The self-insert pandering is very transparent — almost obnoxiously so. In fact sometimes the self-insert pandering is so shamelessly excessive that it feels like a parody. Even if you try to buy into the self-insert bait, it's pretty difficult to imagine being as imbecilic as Subaru, unless you have a crippling self-esteem problem. For context, this is coming from somebody who usually isn't bothered by self-insert baiting. Many of the themes in the writing and character motivations are juvenile as well. There's nothing objectively wrong with this, but I feel it's an important observation that this show is likely to appeal more to a teenage male audience.

My ratings are as follows:
Season 1(Director's Cut): 5/10
Season 2 Part 1: 5/10
Season 2 Part 2: 4/10
Re:Zero has a ton of flaws but, regardless, the plot was interesting enough to hold my attention. Furthermore, it is directed competently, at least in terms of plot execution. By anime standards, it's praiseworthy that a plot this complex is presented so coherently. Also, the OST is exceptionally well produced. Season 2 in particular has a very skillfully crafted soundtrack. Aside from the plot and music, nearly every other aspect of this anime is bad; but despite my negativity, I still watched over 4 cours of content, and would consider hatewatching future sequels.

Due to the arguably juvenile nature of the show and its characters, a teenage audience is more likely to enjoy this.

Also here are my ratings for the two OVAs/"movies":
OVA1(Memory Snow): 3/10
OVA2(Hyouketsu no Kizuna): 4/10
I suggest skipping both these OVAs (especially Memory Snow) unless you really care about the franchise. They aren't necessary to understand the TV anime.

The second OVA is focused on Emilia's backstory and does an okay job of humanizing her (in stark contrast to the TV series itself). I wish I had watched it earlier in my viewing sequence (ideally halfway through season 1, certainly before season 2). Also Emilia's VA puts on a surprisingly decent performance in this OVA. Why the low rating for the second OVA then? Because it didn't have the complex interesting plot of the TV series, which is by far the primary reason I've stuck with this anime at all.

I think that Re Zero will not age well and will eventually be recognized as one of the most overrated works from this time period.
>> No. 36030 [Edit]
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I watched Juuni Taisen, also known as Zodiac War. Here are my thoughts:

So basically, as you might have guessed, there are 12 warriors, each of whom are vaguely based on a zodiac animal. They all fight each other to the death simultaneously in an abandoned city because of a battle royale-style competition. It was interesting to see how the various warrior abilities competed against each other (and worked together in some cases). I'm a huge sucker for battle royale-style conflicts such as this.

The actual battle royale plot is easy to watch and makes for suitable binge-watch material. If you just feel like burning through an entire season in one day, this show would be an okay candidate for that, despite its flaws. This is kind of a junk-food show and shouldn't be taken seriously.

This show would be much better if they just entirely cut out the time-consuming character backstories and kept the screentime exclusively focused on the battle royale plot. Instead, literally entire episodes are wasted on inconsequential exposition for characters nobody cares about. None of these characters are compelling or interesting in any way. They easily could have filled an entire cour with a 12-fighter battle royale conflict; I have no idea why they threw away that opportunity to instead waste half the runtime on generic uncreative character backstories that would be better off in an OVA or auxiliary literature. This really was a terrible decision. By far the most boring part of this anime were all these pointless backstories. They spent way WAY too much screentime on this. Nobody cares about the exposition for some one-dimensional character in a huge cast who gets killed off one episode later. I am not watching this anime for character development (although I usually value it in other shows); this is not the situation for it and this show does not benefit from it at all. I don't care about your cliche tragic backstory or that Grug likes opera and long walks on the beach when he's not crushing skulls. I am just here to watch people with cool abilities plot against each other and fight; stop wasting my time with anything that isn't that. Just as an example to illustrate my point: they waste an ENTIRE EPISODE on the utterly generic boring backstory of a character who was killed off SEVEN EPISODES AGO. Right during what should be the pinnacle of the story they pivot to this nonsense – it was utterly ridiculous and totally stunted the show's momentum.

The character designs are overly comical to the point it almost made the show difficult to take seriously. I would have preferred them less pants-on-head retarded. Most characters in this look like they were designed by an edgy 12-year-old boy shortly after he learned about Chinese New Year. This show can be a little over-the-top edgy in general, sometimes to the point of it backfiring and being comical.

Overall the visuals are adequate but definitely not a selling point. The character animation employs this effect that blurs the linework, maybe to make it more organic-looking. I think I would have preferred that these blurred linework effects not be present, but it's not a big deal either way. The character animation was consistently adequate, so I probably shouldn't complain. Overall this show is animated competently but it doesn't excel beyond that. There isn't much of an art style, which is a missed opportunity but also not a flaw. CGI is used during some action scenes, FYI. The fight scenes were quite underwhelming and unimpressive overall. The fight scenes are also usually so shortlived that I hesitate to call this an action show at all; this is not necessarily a bad thing – I would prefer it over the tedious drawn-out fight scenes that plague some other anime. If you go into this show excited for fight scenes, you will be disappointed. The strategy aspect of the battle royale competition was far more entertaining, from my perspective at least.

The OST is generic and unimpressive, and never enhanced my enjoyment of the show (although I did like the ED song). Voice acting was similarly unremarkable, despite the ample opportunity for unique voices. I guess the VA for the necromancer did an okay job. Also I gotta acknowledge the VA (Yuuichirou Umehara) for the ox fighter – that guy has a great voice and I've enjoyed him in other roles.

Often the show plays a character's internal dialogue while they or somebody else is speaking, resulting in the viewer needing to pay attention to both lines of dialogue. I found the frequency of this a little irritating but I suppose it is an effective time-saving technique in terms of getting through dialogue quickly. It's also true that the contrast between what the characters say and think can be quite significant, but maybe it could have been demonstrated better. Having to follow two people speaking at once is cumbersome and I wish this anime didn't force it so often.

One very petty criticism I have: the city they fight in supposedly had a population of 500,000; I gotta say, a city with that population would not have infrastructure as dense as what is depicted in the show, not even in Japan. It looks like a city with a population at least double that (I know this is a silly thing to fixate on).

Yet another example of this anime's appalling waste of screentime is that the final episode consists mostly of the competition winner deliberating over what their 'wish' (the competition prize) should be. This mental deliberation of course takes place over the backdrop of some very dull screenplay, resulting in a viewing experience that is simply not entertaining. It was a very underwhelming season finale.

My overall rating: 4/10
My rating for this would be higher if the absurdly excessive and out-of-place pointless character backstories were removed from the show, or at least their duration were reduced enormously. It's mindboggling how much time got wasted on this. I try not to focus on one single issue when critiquing an anime, but it really is that straightforward in this case. When the show actually focused on the battle royale conflict, it was entertaining and easy to watch. Unfortunately, the screentime of this show was utterly squandered and the cool battle royale plot was heavily diluted by very low-quality content.

Seriously, just skip the flashback scenes. They aren't necessary to understand the plot of the show, and the anime as a whole would be much more entertaining if they were removed. Ordinarily I would be mortified by the thought of skipping content, but the banality of these character backstories is especially egregious and they add nothing of value to the show at all. This is a junk-food show and should be treated as such.

Despite my criticisms, this is still adequate binge-watch material. If you just want something to entertain you for ~5 hours straight, this isn't a terrible choice – you could do worse.

Lastly, I want to be very clear so that nobody misinterprets me: character development is usually a good thing and I have praised it in other shows (or criticized its absence). The difference is that a 12-character 12-episode battle royale action show is not at all suited for it – particularly the sheer amount of time that was devoted to it in this case.

Vague spoiler: the rat warrior's ability is really cool. It's a shame it didn't get more focus. It would have been interesting to see it deployed more from his perspective.
>> No. 36031 [Edit]
I watched it as it aired and thought it had some neat ideas, but yeah the flashbacks really were pretty annoying. It's a really lazy way of giving characters backstories.
>> No. 36042 [Edit]
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I watched Dive!!. Here are my thoughts:

So, as you might have guessed, this is a fairly typical sports show that is focused on diving. Much of the show revolves around the preparation, and selection, of athletes for the Olympics. Going to the (Tokyo) Olympics is certainly relevant to recent world events at the time of my writing this. Overall this show has a pretty amateurish feeling and seems low budget.

Considerable attention is paid to the technical aspects of diving, certainly moreso than I expected. This is a very unique feature of this anime and one of the main reasons I stuck with it. It was interesting to learn about the sport of diving through this medium. In fact I would have liked to have seen even more focus on the details of the sport (maybe I should've just watched a documentary, haha).

Although it was a little melodramatic, I was grateful for the absence of comedy in the show. I could consistently feel the tension in the show and the pressure the athletes were under. There was a pervasive feeling of anticipation of upcoming competitions. I much prefer this over a comedy-heavy show. So although people complain about melodrama, I just want to point out that the alternative scenario could have been much worse.

Overall the characters were fairly weak and a little underdeveloped. However, I did like the female coach (Kayoko) and the ocean-cliff diver guy (Shibuki). Shibuki was one of the reasons I stuck with this show; he was a cool character. Kayoko was also cool and I enjoyed her presence. Unfortunately the MC was a pretty lackluster character; he didn't have much of a personality and added little to the show. A better MC could have gone a long way to improving this show, or at least somehow making him more sympathetic and likable would. I found the coaching staff more intriguing characters than the divers themselves (there is a fair bit of drama revolving around the diving organization and its members). There is also a lot of focus on the athletes' state of mind – I appreciated this, even though it could have been done better, and would have been augmented by better characters.

The visuals are serviceable but certainly nothing special. There wasn't any discernable art style. Although there were no major visual flaws, the animation is basic and lackluster, and definitely not a selling point for the show. Which is kind of unfortunate because this anime could really benefit from a high animation budget; there was tons of (squandered) opportunity for visual flair. I try not to place too much emphasis on visuals, but there was definitely a lot of wasted potential here in that regard. This anime could have looked awesome if only it had the budget. Also I can't end this paragraph without mentioning those hot muscular slender diver bodies – they are indeed tight and sexy, and there is a lot of fanservice, albeit with lackluster animation. One thing I will say about the fanservice is that there was never ever screentime devoted strictly to it – it was always just incidental and never particularly intrusive. I say this in contrast to so many other shows that basically put a neon sign up saying "THIS IS THE FANSERVICE SCENE" (I'm being hyperbolic) and proceed to jiggle breasts in front of you for the next minute straight with nothing else of entertainment value on-screen; the fanservice in Dive was way more tasteful and nondisruptive than this, which is certainly preferable to the alternative. Also it's just unavoidable that a show focused on male diving athletics is going to have a lot of naked lean muscular men on-screen.

The audio is underwhelming; the OST is not bad but fairly generic, and the voice acting as a whole is quite mediocre. At least the ED song is nice and soothing.

Even though it was amateurish, there was nothing about this anime that was particularly awful. On the other hand, there was nothing about it that significantly impressed me. It is a fairly typical sports show, just focused on diving and maybe with a bit more voyeuristic flavour than usual. A bit more melodrama as well, but I still much prefer that over excessive comedic relief. On the other hand, I wished they focused even more on the sport and experience of competitive diving itself, rather than all the melodrama regarding the Olympic team and its support staff. The last few episodes definitely had some forced drama laid on heavy.

My overall rating: 5/10
It wasn't THAT bad. Although amateurish, it doesn't have any major flaws. It's a little heavy on the melodrama but personally I still prefer that over excessive comedy; I appreciated this anime maintaining a consistently serious mood. This anime doesn't make any major unforced errors, but also isn't particularly ambitious. Although the characters are forgettable, it was an adequate sports show. I was adequately entertained and would watch a second season.

People who like sports anime should consider giving this a chance. It's a shame about the budget – I really think this anime could have benefited from better production quality, moreso than other shows. This definitely doesn't deserve to be one of the lowest-rated shows on MAL.

For the record, at the time of writing this, I have not yet seen the Free! anime (it is often compared to Dive).

I remember a long time ago when I was a child, multiple times I attended a summer camp hosted at a university with an Olympic-style pool. I swam in this giant pool frequently, and I still vividly remember the diving platforms. It was set up exactly like in this anime. It brought back some memories. I've had recurring dreams over the years about being back in that pool. It's a prominent memory in my mind. I remember jumping off those concrete diving platforms. As a kid it was really cool. I still vividly remember the feeling of those concrete diving platforms beneath my bare feet, and the feeling of jumping off them.

SPOILER COMMENT: nobody actually goes to the Olympics...during the show. The last episode takes place before the Olympics, during a preliminary competition from which the Olympic team is determined. Personally I tend not to fixate on plot milestones like this, but I know this will bother other people. The ending isn't entirely unsatisfying though. An Olympics arc would have been nice to see, but I suppose the Tokyo Olympics were still years in the future when this anime aired. As I've already alluded, most of the show's drama revolves around the preparation for the Olympics, not the actual event. So, be aware of that and set your expectations accordingly.
>> No. 36071 [Edit]
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I watched Tsuki ga Kirei, also known as The Moon is Beautiful or NyQuil PM. Here are my thoughts:

I tried. I swear I tried. I tried my very best to like this show. I dropped it TWICE – once shortly after it aired, and once again when I gave it a second chance around 2019. I picked it up a third time in 2022 in a desperate effort to see what the hype was all about, yet still I was disappointed, although did finish it. I did my very best to like this show, and watched it in a variety of states of mind only to be met by unwavering disappointment.

For those unaware, this is a pure romance show focused on characters in late Japanese middle school (around 14 years in age I think).

The male lead and his female love interest are both ridiculously boring characters. They both have the personality of a three-day-old bowl of gruel. They have terrible chemistry and their interactions are mindnumbingly boring. I never felt the slightest spark of romance between them, or any emotion at all for that matter (besides boredom and frustration). Their entire relationship feels unnatural and artificial.

The dialogue is painfully boring and tedious, way WAY beyond the point of endearing shyness. This is not the cute reluctant youthful romance I was lead to expect. The two leads are absurdly deadpan – their affect is so flat I thought they were on enough antipsychotics to put a schizophrenic elephant into a coma (and if that doesn't work they should just broadcast this anime in the beast's habitat – this show is so forgettable it could invalidate prior studies on elephant memory). Furthermore, a huge portion of their interaction takes place via phone messages, which maybe is a blessing in disguise because the character animation is so bad. Which leads me to my next point...

The visuals of this anime are poor. The character CGI is awful, and I'm usually willing to overlook this. Seriously, those scenes of the school campus with the CGI-animated students were so poorly done. Besides the rare background frame, this show has poor visual production quality. Also worth mentioning is that I did not like the character designs – those sameface characters with the beady eyes were consistently unpleasant to look at. This is compounded by the bland school outfits and totally boring colour palette. Even outside of the CGI scenes, the character animation is crude and often off-model. Like, I can excuse poor animation if the show makes an effort at some kind of art style, but this show has neither! The colour palette and character designs are ugly and the animation quality is messy. I will concede that there were sometimes nice background frames (the ep.8 festival date is a good example), but that certainly does not excuse the appalling character animation. A lot of the visuals in this look like they took a real-life photo, passed it through an anime-style visual filter, and then added some hideous CGI-animated characters. The visual contrast between the characters and their environment is often quite stark. Even in scenes that take place on the street, the CGI-animated cars look like they belong in a console game released in 2002. Infrequently the focus of a frame is well targeted to create a nice cinematic effect – unsurprisingly these moments don't have any characters in the shot. Also I would be remiss if I did not mention that the ridiculous amount of phone messages in this show resulted in some consistently boring and tedious screenplay. Seriously, when phone screencaps are a central focus of the ED sequence, you can't deny something has seriously gone wrong with this so-called 'romance' anime (and that's not even mentioning the unfunny 'comedy' skits they add after the ED).

The commercial success of this anime is a total mystery to me, but clearly the return on investment must have been great since the animation budget was planned in Zimbabwean dollars (perhaps the elephants really were running the show, with autocratic rule too).

As I already alluded, the voice acting for the two leads is totally catatonic, and because they dominate the screentime and script, the rest of the cast is largely irrelevant. Regardless, none of the supporting cast VAs impressed me. As for music, I remember there being at least one okay insert vocal song, but otherwise the OST seemed fairly unremarkable.

Storywise, the sources of conflict are quite cliche. It was a pretty generic school romance in this regard too. There was nothing in the writing that I found praiseworthy, and the story overall feels formulaic.

Later in the series, competing potential love interests are introduced for both the male and female MC. Ordinarily, I would not enjoy this, but the two leads have such awful chemistry that I actually enjoyed (relatively) the presence of these other potential suitors. Seriously, both the alternative love interests had better chemistry with their respective targets. I think in both cases this was largely due to the pairing of an outgoing extroverted character with a shy soft-spoken romantic target. This is in stark contrast to the original couple, who are both quite introverted and reserved (and boring!). On a similar train of thought, I gotta say that I liked the amusement park episode way more than the others, perhaps mainly for the reasons just outlined. Or maybe because everyone in that episode communicates in-person instead of relying on those awful tedious text messages. In any case, episode 7 when they go to the amusement park, that was probably my favourite episode of the entire series (which isn't saying much).

It's worth noting there is little comedy in this, which is certainly not something I can say about other romance shows. Regardless of all my criticisms, I will always praise the absence of inappropriate comedic relief, particularly here because it's so common in romance shows like this. Similarly, I appreciated how wholesome and pure this show was. There was pretty much zero sexualization at all or so-called 'fanservice'. This anime was consistently innocent and sweet, regardless of all its flaws; it consistently had a 'puppy love' feeling to it. I think this is one of the main reasons it was so well received, but that also illustrates the scale of unmet demand for this kind of thing – I'm sure a show with the same premise as Tsuki ga Kirei but competently executed could be very successful.

My overall rating: 3/10
Tsuki ga Kirei is one of the worst romance shows I have ever seen. I'm mystified by what people see in this show. From my perspective, it brings nothing to the table; I see nothing of artistic worth here. There are some brief romantic moments but they're not nearly enough to compensate for the time invested. The two leads are unbelievably weak characters, and more importantly, they have zero romantic chemistry whatsoever. Additionally, both the screenplay and dialogue are incredibly dull, and the character animation is jarringly dreadful.

What words would I use to describe my Tsuki ga Kirei viewing experience? Exasperating, frustrating, BORING, irritating, unemotional, tedious...

I feel like most of the people praising this anime are just projecting their own memories onto it. Since the show and its characters have zero personality whatsoever, it is certainly a good projection medium (perhaps this is a positive feature for some viewers). I also imagine that this show would be potent self-insert material for some people. Maybe I am the wrong audience for this kind of thing.

Just warning anyone reading: expect a lot of negative reviews over the next few months. I have a lot of garbage in my pipeline and, with some exceptions, I am mainly scraping the bottom of the barrel of 2017 right now. I'll probably be more positive once I wrap up my evaluation of 2017.
>> No. 36072 [Edit]
I dropped this half-way through for many of the reasons you stated, though I disagree with you on the fanservice, or the absence thereof. Nonetheless, I think you made a good point with regards to its projection potential, since many praised the anime for its "realism," and I can only assume such an assessment was made with one's memories heavily influencing it.
Also, it was my understanding that this anime was only popular in the West. Or at least I hope.
>> No. 36073 [Edit]
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>it was my understanding that this anime was only popular in the West.
Now that you mention it, it wouldn't surprise me if that was the case. I just assumed it was universally successful, but it would make sense for this to outperform among the western mainstream MAL crowd.
>> No. 36074 [Edit]
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Koi Kaze is the only romance anime I've ever finished and enjoyed. Unless School Days counts as a romance.
>> No. 36075 [Edit]
Not even Toradora?
>> No. 36076 [Edit]
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I tried watching it years ago and got bored around the tenth episode.
>> No. 36077 [Edit]
If you're interested, there's a (translated) VN:
>> No. 36131 [Edit]
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I watched Kimi no Koe wo Todoketai, also known as I Want To Deliver Your Voice. Here are my thoughts:

This is just a ~90-minute movie, so I'll try to be brief.

It should be noted that I'm a huge sucker for anything relating to DJing, or radio, or talk shows, or just anything that involves sharing audio with others really. For this reason I thought I might like this movie, and was cautiously optimistic about it.

The plot of this feels kind of unfocused, and most of the movie consists of the various teenage girl characters messing around in this radio cafe place. There is some petty drama among the teenage girls. Throughout its runtime this movie alters between SoL-like scenes (that often involve radio), and various kinds of drama. This movie felt pretty 'family friendly', in the sense that I could imagine both a child and adult enjoying it. There was nothing inappropriate in here for a child audience (well, maybe aside from one character being in a preexisting long-term coma, and a bitchy slap in one scene during an argument among the girls).

The main premise of this movie is cool and promising. Much of the story revolves around the existence of 'kotodama', which are basically word spirits. The idea is that spoken word has the power to influence reality via these word spirits. I thought this was a great idea for a story, but unfortunately the execution in this case is very mediocre. I also wish they spent more time in general developing this aspect of the story. Although there are some good ideas, the actual scene-by-scene storyline of this anime is pretty uninteresting.

This movie feels amateurish as well as low budget, which is kinda surprising since it came out of Madhouse. I really do not like the character designs – they are ugly and overly simplistic. Furthermore, the character animation is lackluster and the facial expressions lack detail. The setting sometimes looks decent, but definitely not above average for a modern anime movie. Overall the visuals are lacking.

Ironically (recall title), the voice acting in this is pretty bad, overall. The MC in particular has really amateurish-sounding voice work, which is unfortunate, especially considering the importance of voice in this movie. Most of the music they play is well-known classical that you've likely heard before; it was pretty underwhelming. It felt like they played it overly safe by sticking to classical music. Also, teenage girls knowing and liking Vivaldi definitely required some suspension of disbelief. I think it was a poor decision to use classical music for this. There is a song near the end of the movie that the girls sing together; their singing actually sounds surprisingly good, especially in chorus. Nice lyrics too. I would have enjoyed this movie more if they included more scenes like that. The vocals in the ED song were surprisingly good as well.

It's worth mentioning that, despite the short runtime, this movie is well paced and the ending is neat and tidy. They didn't bite off more than they could chew. I also want to mention that there is zero romance (or any sexualization at all) in this, which I was grateful for. All the main characters in this are female, and males are barely relevant beyond facilitating the plot.

My overall rating: 4/10
Although its premise has a lot of potential, and there are some good ideas in the writing, the execution of this movie is unmistakably mediocre.

As far as anime movies go, this wouldn't be a bad choice to watch with a kid or young teenager; I think that's one aspect of this that could be a selling point. There aren't many anime movies I could say that about, so I think it's noteworthy. In particular, I can imagine a young girl (like, about age 8-12) really enjoying this due to all the early-teens female social dynamics it contains, and this movie overall has kind of a girly Disney-like vibe to it. In fact the more I think about it, the more I'm realizing that this anime was made with a young female audience in mind. This movie seems like something a mother and daughter could enjoy together.

I've seen multiple people liken this movie to Kimi no Na wa and Koe no Katachi – this assertion of similarity is utterly moronic and not based in reality. Aside from being a drama with a similar title, this has very little in common with those two other movies. Anybody saying this is "the Madhouse response to [KnNw/KnK]..." has meme brainworms and isn't analyzing things objectively. I don't know the reasoning behind this movie's title choice, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a marketing gimmick designed to catch attention and spark discussion due to its similarity to the aforementioned well-known titles. Maybe there's a story to be told regarding that.
>> No. 36139 [Edit]
koi kaze is well written, but hard to watch. it's a good show, i'm glad i watched it, but i will never watch it again.
>> No. 36140 [Edit]
Did you watch it on my recommendation? If so, I'm glad you liked it. There isn't much rewatch value, but that's okay.
>> No. 36141 [Edit]
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I watched ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka. Also known as ACCA: 13th Territory Inspection Department. Here are my thoughts:

I'd describe the world this takes place in as a fascist monarchy. Culturally, it felt like a mix of France and Germany but not overtly Nazi-inspired (aside from the uniforms). It also felt like a mid-20th-century time period but with some modern technology added like cell phones and desktop computers. It was peculiar. Sometimes a random piece of technology would appear in a scene and it would seem very unusual and break my immersion for a moment.

This anime is about a political conspiracy that unfolds painfully slowly over the course of the show. Most of the characters are government officials in the ACCA department and/or belong to the ruling monarchy in some way. There is inadequate exposition, particularly during the early episodes. This anime tries to be 'show don't tell', but this is not the right setup for a subtle conspiratorial political plotline. This is definitely a show that requires world building and background information, and its deficiency in this regard is a major issue. I often felt like I was watching a promo trailer or something because it frequently seemed like I was just randomly dropped into a scene with zero context or ability to comprehend the significance of the dialogue. I wasn't given a reason to care about anything or anyone in this show. Literally, putting a 1-minute exposition blurb by a narrator with visual aids in every few episodes would enhance this show tremendously. There is no broader context to what is happening in the show and it almost just feels like a nonsensical fever dream, particularly during the earlier episodes. The story feels totally aimless for much of the runtime.

Pretty much the entire cast is unlikeable or at least lacking personality. The little sister character is annoying and airheaded. The MC (Jean) is a memorably awful character. He has zero personality at all and resembles a chainsmoking beached fish. He is such an incredibly dull character, and what's even weirder is how he's adored everywhere he goes. There's also Niino, who is chairman of the Jean fan club and is his stalker BF (not quite literally). Other characters include a large number of ACCA organization members, nearly all of whom are underdeveloped. Many of the ACCA members could have been removed from the cast and the story would have worked fine without them; it seems the author needed some extras to use up the remaining silly hairstyles they had sitting around.

The scriptwriting in this is shockingly awful. Mundane comments about smoking tobacco are relentlessly included in the script for seemingly no reason at all (literally the MC's entire personality, aside from being borderline narcoleptic, is that he's a smoker). Also, whoever wrote this show clearly loved sweets and baked goods, because they are constantly inserted into the script AD NAUSEAM. The dialogue in general is incredibly dull and mindnumbing. Everything in the script is so banal and pointless. I really can't stress enough how unbelievably dull and monotonous the dialogue in this show is. It's almost hard to believe it was even meant to be entertainment. It's astonishing this anime even got greenlit, especially with such a seemingly high budget. This script is so torturously monotonous they should have broadcasted it on repeat at Waco (perhaps they will relate to the fascist themes in the story!); even if the Branch Davidians are burning alive, the real torment will come from having to hear another goddamn conversation about smoking.

Throughout the show the MC visits different districts of the kingdom, each of which have different cultures, climate, and are subject to their own unique set of regulations. In theory this sounds very interesting, but the actual product is so lackluster. Usually little of each district is shown during the visits, and not much detail in general is provided. It doesn't take long for the conversations during these travels to devolve into "dude cigarettes lmao." These trips were great opportunities for exposition and world building, but their potential was not capitalized upon at all. It's just shocking because people are constantly talking during these trips, yet the conversations contain so little information! The level of wasted potential is truly staggering. The world building in general for this anime is done very poorly.

Despite this supposedly being a mystery show, it seems like there was zero effort whatsoever put into creating suspense.
Midway through the season, there is a hugely important reveal (I won't spoil it, or specify which episode), but the way it is dropped is so nonchalant and flat. This could have been a dramatic moment but instead it was just randomly inserted into the script as casually as the MC talks about goddamn pastries. It was unbelievably strange. I was so bewildered I had to rewind the scene because I thought I misinterpreted the dialogue.

There are eventually some major plot developments during the final few episodes, some of which were inadequately foreshadowed IMO. Despite the seriousness of these developments, I was still left with a feeling of inadequate payoff in terms of that being the climax. It was dissatisfying and underwhelming, especially after enduring the long dull journey to get there. Much of this is in the execution of these scenes and the overall poor direction of the show. There is zero suspense whatsoever, and there is no feeling of catharthis at all when things are resolved, despite the ridiculously drawn-out build up. The climax of the story, including the final episode, is incredibly underwhelming and you definitely should not get your hopes up for it. Please don't justify to yourself continuing to watch this show because you're expecting some big reveal at the end – trust me it's not worth it.

I would describe the art style as being like retro anime but with a modern polish while also retaining its organic feeling. It was crisp and refined but also somewhat dull and lacking creativity. Although the character designs are unique, I think I disliked more of them than I liked. The droopy fish-like eyes of the MC being one ever-present example. Also having most of the cast wear similar bland government uniforms made for a dull visual experience; they could have had way more fun with the outfits and put more creativity and variety into them. Instead, nearly everyone in the cast wears the exact same uniform most of the time, which just reinforces the relentlessly monotonous feeling of this anime. However, the setting did look decent overall. It appeared fairly realistic but, similarly to the outfits, with not much personality or variety. It would have been nice to have something more interesting and with more artistic flair to look at while listening to the droning dialogue of this show. It is still crisp and polished though, don't get me wrong. There is not a single blemish to be found really. However, even though the production quality is solid, this anime still feels half-baked (and I don't mean the goddamn pastries) due to how poorly executed the story is.

I would say the cinematography was above average overall, although inconsistent. Shot composition often did a good job of featuring the setting. Variable focus effects are sometimes used to give the visuals more depth. That said, the animation in this is not dynamic at all. Stills appear very frequently and it felt like the bare minimum of character movement was used.

The voice for Niino (the MC's stalker BF) is unique and suits his role well. Conversely, I found the voice acting of the MC (Jean) as underwhelming as his personality. Everyone else had unremarkable voice work. As for music, I personally don't like jazz, and there is a lot of it in the OST. It seems well produced but it just isn't my cup of tea. There are a few alright piano tracks though.

Lastly, I want to mention that the consistently low-key calm atmosphere of this show made it suitable for when I was tired or just didn't want to watch anything too high energy – this anime was reliably chill and nobody ever yelled in my ear. I suppose this is a positive aspect – it is the main reason I was even able to watch this show to completion.

My overall rating: 2/10
This anime is literally just videogame-NPC dialogue played over a low-tempo jazz soundtrack. I'm not exaggerating, that's literally what this show is. The dialogue is so dull it's bewildering. Despite this apparently being a mystery show, it fails to induce any feeling of suspense or tension whatsoever, and is overall incredibly boring to watch. The lack of exposition is also crippling, particularly during the first half of the show where there is zero context at all for the events (or lack thereof) taking place. Throughout all this the MC has the personality of a beached fish and pretty much the entire cast is unlikable. Furthermore, although the production quality is high, both the art style and screenplay leave much to be desired. The visuals being quite polished doesn't change the fact that they are boring and dull. This anime doesn't even feel like entertainment.

Regardless of all this, it was reliably chill. There is basically zero high-tempo music and nobody ever yells. So, if you're looking for a show to fall asleep to, this would be an excellent choice for that. Plus, you won't miss anything if you pass out halfway through, I promise!

There is a 47-min sequel OVA which I masochistically hatewatched.
The setting looked nice and the visuals in general were a notch above the TV anime. However, all of the flaws I addressed above persisted. This OVA was just as astonishingly dull as the TV series.

I did not watch the special shorts but I bet they're awful. I did watch the Blurays though for the record.
>> No. 36143 [Edit]
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Ichigo Mashimaro follows the daily lives of Itou sisters Nobue and Chika and their friends, Miu, Matsuri and Ana. It's SOL and CGDCT with a rather unique timing to it, but more of that later. Nobue is 20, Chika and Miu 12, Matsuri and Ana 11, making the show mostly about childhood and how those kids' personalities clash for humorous effect. As one might expect for a show of this genre, the atmosphere and mood are quite soothing and the plots are all trying to be lighthearted and endearing and it hits the mark most days.

The timing for this particular SOL is rather unique. The pacing is slower than most I think, not the plot itself but how the dialogue works and the way the comedy is delivered. This is not a bad thing and it works particularly well if you want something to shut your brain off for 20 minutes which is what I was looking for. This is also hinted at in the color palette for the show. A small range of mostly meek and calming colors. Right away you know what you're getting yourself to.

As far as the characters go, they're all quite nice and it's comforting to watch them playing around and being mostly silly. Miu is the chaotic element of this crew and as a result most of the comedy revolves around the rest of the girls having to deal with the crazy stuff she pulls off all the time. Ana is English but has lived in Japan for most of her life. She's very keen about Japanese culture and is very eager to make friends. Matsuri is a very shy, meek and introverted girl whose only weapon is her natural ability to inspire her friends to immediately stand up for her whenever needed. You'll understand why when you watch it. Chika is described by her older sister as "a girl whose main trait is not having any particular traits" but that's not true. She's the mature one of the group, many times acting more like an adult than Nobue herself.

Then you have Nobue. Being almost a decade older than the other characters and with no parents in sight, she ends up being a parental sort of figure, but without the pressure of being a real parent. All the other kids think she's super cool, except her sister who knows her a little better than that. She's a real mystery. Sometimes it felt like she had her own life going and having to take care of her sister and her friends is a nuisance to her. Other times it feels like all she has going on in her life is her sister and her friends and outside of that she's a recluse. It's obvious she dislikes school and doesn't care about it. Her room is pretty bare and the only passion she seems to have is smoking.

Sometimes she does a very excellent job at being an adult and treating those kids well and fairly, sometimes she fails miserably. Her relationship with Miu is particularly interesting because Miu obviously admires Nobue a lot and wants to be the girl Nobue likes the most. This is where Nobue is pretty hit-or-miss on her behavior. She seems to forget sometimes that she's dealing with kids, other times she goes out of her way for them. I suppose that makes her a rather realistic character in this. She was the most interesting character in the show for sure and watching her dealing with the children is very entertaining.

To finish this little rumbling here I would like to talk about the differences between the anime and the manga. It's been a while since I watched an adaptation so well put together. They read the original material and managed to change a thing here and there to great effect. First, changing Nobue's age from 16 to 20. Obviously this makes things easier with her smoking and drinking. Also, putting more age between her and the other girls reinforces her role as an adult watching children growing up, something she does a lot. A teenager would probably be too involved in their own crap to be around as much as she is in those kids' lives, so it makes her a little more grounded and interesting I think. Another change is having Ana there right from the start. In the manga she's only introduced on the second volume. Also making her enjoy Japanese things from the start instead of finding things weird really made her a lot more sweet. It also changed the way her elegance is presented, going for something less related to pride to something more agreeable. Lots of situations from the manga show up in the anime but the order, motivation and interaction between the characters are a little different. Ironically, I think the way the anime presented those characters actually revealed their personalities better than the first few volumes of the manga. Of course, they had the chance to read all the original material first and then decide how to proceed, while the manga was an original work in progress and that entails mistakes.

All in all, I really enjoyed this series. I wish the author would publish more volumes, as it stands, the story doesn't seem to be over yet, but it's on an indefinite hiatus for now. Let's hope we'll be seeing more of Ichigo Mashimaro soon.
>> No. 36145 [Edit]
Nice review. Although I personally disagree with the atmosphere being "quite soothing" since 3/4 of the episodes involve Miu being a dick. There's a fine line between playing the role of boke and being annoying, and Miu's behavior often overshoots the former and goes to the latter; considering she barely even seems to show remorse for her actions (many of which have non-trivial consequences), I wonder how she still has any friends. The one show I always hold up as the canonical example of how to do Boke/Tsukkomi correctly is Yuyushiki, and indeed in watching the episodes one can see that despite all the clowning around Yuzuko does (and all the times she tries to poke fun at Yui), she is acutely aware of how her actions are being perceived and remains careful to avoid _actually_ annoying Yui. That consideration is what solidifies and exemplifies their friendship, and is in my opinion the vital element that distinguishes great CGDCT shows over mediocre ones (Kirara shows usually excel at this, see e.g. this season's Machikado Mazoku).

So to me, Ichigo Marshmallow would have been decent if only they had dialed down the Miu-ness.
>> No. 36146 [Edit]
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I think Miu is what makes the show great.
She's hilarious, like a master comedian in the body of a little girl.
>> No. 36147 [Edit]
You should keep in mind that Miu is an elementary school kid, while Yuzuko is in high school.
>> No. 36148 [Edit]
Some scenes are definitely great, while others – such as the one where she gets Nobue fired from her baito at the restaurant – are intolerable. I watched this some time back so it's quite possible that the latter are actually pretty rare, but I also weight those higher.

It's a fair point, I suppose children just behave in that manner and the show captures that faithfully.
>> No. 36149 [Edit]
Thanks for reading my review. I agree the episodes can get chaotic, I should've said that episodes end on a soothing note, more than being soothing all the way through. Miu obviously is dying for attention all the time, so she can get desperate. I don't see her as being a dick, I mean, her behavior doesn't upset me, I just see it as a child that doesn't quite know how to express her need for attention very well. I noticed I tend to excuse children where perhaps I shouldn't, so..

Good thing you brought this particular scene btw. The way I see it, that was pretty much Nobue's fault. Imagine losing it so bad to the point of getting into a food fight with a silly brat inside a restaurant that also happens to be your workplace. Sure, Miu have a way to get under her skin but that's because she is just eager to be loved and noticed by Nobue in the first place. I don't know if it's excusable or not for Miu to act the way she does, I just see her motivation and end up pitying her more than anything. The fact the other characters will often ignore her as a form of punishment made me a little upset, specially when Nobue does it. She should know this is probably just making Miu's behavior worse.
>> No. 36164 [Edit]
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Mitsuboshi Colors is about a group of three elementary school girls; Yui, Sacchan and Kotoha. They made a pact to protect and keep the peace of their town, more specifically Ueno park and its surroundings. And so they run amok causing all sorts of adventures upon themselves; from fighting trees and flowers so they stop causing people to sneeze to handing tissues near the subway entrance and selling strawberries to strangers in the park. To them, everything can become a call to adventure and a chance to explore their environment.

One of the people particularly interested in making their day interesting is Daigorou. He owns some sort of second-hand goods store and loves to come up with all sorts of mysteries to keep the trio occupied. One much less enthusiastic about the girls is the police officer Satou, who has to put up with their antics pretty much on a daily basis. He seems to be the most antagonistic character here, but this is an Iyashikei show, so that means he just tries to shoo away the kids from time to time. Another "quest giver" here is Sacchan's mother, Kise, who sometimes will ask the girls to run some errands for her.

Other people they deal with on a daily basis are the sisters Nonoka and Momoka; they own a bakery soon to be turned into an onigiri store and that's pretty much the cast. Yui is the leader, being probably the most serious and alert of the group. Sacchan is a ball of energy. Charismatic and always looking for something to do. Kotoha is a gamer with a lot of odd and funny theories about the world.

Watching this show was an interesting experience. It felt like it took me every minute out all of the 12 episodes for me to start to care about the characters. When I finally reached the point I felt like I could enjoy the show, it was over. I think there are two main reasons for this. First, the stories feel too scattered and catch-as-catch-can. I'm not talking about an overall sense of progress, this is not what this show is about, but how thin some of those episodes felt. It wasn't soothing, it wasn't funny, it wasn't endearing… it was just there. Felt like the whole script was written as a last minute thing. Some are interesting, for example when they follow their pet cat to figure out what it is doing during the day, or when Yui has to take part in a parade. Others feel like busy work, really, like sending the girls to hand some tissues to get some tickets for a lottery, just so they get more tissues as prizes.

The other issue for me was the lack of interesting supporting characters and a lack of a contrast between the main characters. Yui, Sacchan and Kotoha are just too similar to each other. Their friendship feels consumed by uniformity, there's very little for the viewer to follow in the characters themselves. Supporting characters could be interesting but ultimately they suffer from lack of screen time. I think Nono and Momoka would be great, if they had more development. In fact their relationship as sisters seemed a lot more interesting than the characters the show follows.

Also, watching this after watching Ichigo Mashimaro makes it very difficult not to draw comparisons. The characters here are way less interesting visually and feel superficial when you compare them with the girls in Ichigo. I'm still interested enough that I'll read the manga. We'll see how it goes.
>> No. 36277 [Edit]
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If you have been watching anime for a long time and are willing to explore several genres, Lovely Complex will end up crossing your path sooner or later. It's one of the big shoujo romantic comedies out there and a staple of its kind. It doesn't try to do anything new, instead it focuses on being a safe show that manages to pull all the regular tropes in a very entertaining manner. The story follows the highschool years of Risa and Ootani as their relationship evolves from friendship to romance.

Risa is the main character and it's mainly through her eyes we'll be following the story. She's way taller than her love interest Ootani and that's one of the main elements for the comedy part to happen, usually slapstick and hilarious facial expressions. Their height difference is a source of insecurity from both parties and a hindrance they have to overcome to be together. It also makes them a very memorable couple and part why people still remember this show fondly after all these years.

Their road to romance is what you would expect of a shoujo romantic comedy. Filled with misunderstandings, melodramatic moments and all sorts of badly handled emotions by Ootani and Risa that makes them getting together a lot more tempestuous and difficult than it should be, but that's a romcom anime for you. I feel like this is a very good show for people interested in having a clear picture of how a romantic comedy is put together. Being upfront about the tropes really works in this show's favor.

Expect them all: a dense character that can't take a hint. Characters witnessing an innocent scene and assuming it's something else, characters being dropped in the plot only as a hindrance for the pairing of the main couple to happen, characters not expressing their feelings or expressing them in confusing ways, etc.

Now, Lovely Complex does get repetitive here and there and if you're just watching to see the couple getting together in the end it might bother you it's taking so long, but if you're interested in how the author reworks the same tropes in different flavors and how the story progresses using the same basic conflict, then you'll have a lot of fun. It's a one-on-one romcom after all. I feel like Lovely Complex is a very good standard to the genre and after you watch it you'll have a good idea of the elements you don't like and the stuff you do want to see more of it.

Post edited on 6th Jun 2022, 10:34am
>> No. 36279 [Edit]
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The second season is a lot better than the first. We're finally past the focus on the paradisiacal and gimmicky otaku life of Umaru and her dual personality. The focus now is the development of the characters' friendship and their daily life together. A lot more time is dedicated to the other girls and their problems and concerns, which actually makes Umaru more relevant and interesting as a character since this time around she can be more than something for her older brother to bear and clean up after it. We get a chance to see her more of her behavior as a friend and how she tries to improve the lives of the people around her… except her brother's life that is, she is still a toy hoarder and can't clean up after herself.

Now that Umaru, Kirie, Tachibana and Ebina is officially a group of friends, that's where the series goes; There's a getting together for christmas episode, getting together to go to the poll episode, going to the amusement park together, getting together to see some fireworks, going to the beach together, the works. The interactions are more varied and have a better pace, but don't expect too much. It's a very episodic anime. Like before, all problems the characters have are superficial, it’s either there for a joke or to be easily overcome. Everyone has a kind heart and everything works out in the end. It's good escapism and it doesn't want to be anything else.

I watched this while suffering from a high fever and somehow that actually improved the experience. It feels a little silly to write reviews for these shows everybody already watched years ago but I'm fairly confident pretty much no one outside Japan bothered to actually go through the anime I'm watching now despite its immense popularity there. I'll post a review when I finish it.
>> No. 36281 [Edit]
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>I'll post a review when I finish it.

This is the one I was talking about dear anons. Kaidan Restaurant is based on a series of horror short story books collection for children that ran from the mid 90s to 2010, when the last book got released, reaching 50 volumes. MAL says it's picture books but it's actually short story collections, each story goes for about 10 to 12 pages and every other story has an illustration to go along with it. I've personally read about 10 or so of these books and I feel like the anime does a very good job translating the material to animation.

The books and the anime are actually a sort of modern take on several classic horror, folktale stories and more modern urban legends. Most have Japanese sources but there are a good number of European stories as well. If you have any interest in Japanese literature, especially related to the weird, folk tales and horror, then you'll recognize a lot of these. Some of the stories are based on sources as old as the Konjaku Monogatarishu and Ugetsu Monogatari compilations. Some are based on very modern urban legends related to technology, like being able to talk to the dead through a cell phone, creatures from the Beyond being able to use TV signals to cross dimensions, etc.

Although it's a show written for children, you would be surprised how it doesn't shun away from a lot of things a show like this in the West would do. Children actually die in tragic ways here. This is not a spoiler, just a warning. It's also very well written, setting a good precedent; it's not because it's for children that it needs to be lazy, uninteresting and avoid exploring themes like death, loss, pain, tragedy and the like. Just remember, it is a show for kids first, so it won't wallow in depressing themes, but it uses well to tell the stories it wants to tell. It explores all these things very well and in a very Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai-ish way. That's how it usually starts; the 3 main characters, Shou, Ako and Reiko get together, usually after seeing something weird. Shou remembers a story relating to that event and tells it to the other characters. Sometimes the characters themselves go investigate whatever weird thing that happened in their town or in their school. Most episodes are divided into 3 stories, sometimes 2 and a couple of episodes have a single story.

This show was extremely popular in Japan in its demographic and it's easy to see why. For adults however, it might require a little bit of persistence. Some stories are rather mild and an episode here and there can be a little dull, but if you keep going, there are very good tales to go through, some quite tragic and emotionally charged. Each story is self contained so you can skip the ones you don't like, just make sure to watch the last episode. It's a very nice one and it gives some development to one of the main characters.

Each episode gets a little intro by Garcon, the ghost who runs the Kaidan Restaurant. In the books he serves the same purpose, welcoming the main character of each story as he or she enters the restaurant to tell or be told a horror story. Here however, he just introduces the stories with the help of other supernatural creatures, but they happen in other places. He's also played by Mr. Hirata Hiroaki, one of the most charming male voices in the industry today.

Going with this show's premise of introducing each story as dishes, I think this anime is a good palate cleanser. If you watched something very somber or depressing, or if you just watched something too cute and excessively sweet or silly, then I think you'll enjoy going through this, especially if you're into horror. There's also a movie out there but what this really deserves is a second season. All in all, it's a very satisfying show to go through.
>> No. 36282 [Edit]
you had me a bit confused there. I thought you were saying no one outside of Japan watched Umaru, which seemed bizarre since it seemed extremely popular here in the US. The anime glorifies a dare I say toxic life style and personality that the main character is oh so very proud of while facing little to no repercussions for it.

But yeah, stuff like Kaidan Restaurant with a focus on Japanese folk lore and stories, is almost guaranteed to bomb outside of japan if it doesn't at least have some higher than average animation to give it some universal appeal.
>> No. 36283 [Edit]
Sorry, yeah, I meant almost no one outside Japan watched Kaidan Restaurant. Umaru like you said is pretty famous in the West.
>> No. 36285 [Edit]
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It's possible you might have talked to someone like Ms. Eguchi before. A person who has two or three very specific interests and is very knowledgeable about them. You might know a thing or two about those things as well, but not at all like that person. You end up doing all the listening. She goes on talking about the things she likes and it might be a little hermetic at first, you might even consider coming up with an excuse to leave, but soon you get caught up in her web and things get so interesting you end up completely immersed in it. Then, when you realize it, hours have passed and you were having a great time listening to that person, even though you didn't think much of it at first.

That's how I feel about Ms. Eguchi's title, Hoozuki no Reitetsu. She has a fascination for ink wash and traditional Chinese and Japanese painting, especially landscapes. But that's just the beginning, because she also knows a lot about Chinese and Japanese mythology and folklore, particularly things related to the other worlds. Hells and Heavens. Naturally she knows her Buddhism as well. When talking about these fantastic matters, she organizes everything around the type of men she likes. You can see this is going to get very interesting. Ms. Eguchi is a fascinating person, but you have to give her time to really enjoy where she's going.

Enter her main character, Hoozuki. He's a demon working in Hell for none other than Great King Enma, the ruler and supreme judge of the underworld. Hoozuki is handsome, quiet, self-contained, strong, level-headed, master of several arts, from gardening to cooking and medicine. He's reliant, chaste, organized, focused and can hold his liquor. Ms. Eguchi loves to talk about how cool he is and of course we agree, Hoozuki is a pretty amazing demon, he's awesome.

Ms. Eguchi is also very interested in language and her characters talk in a very literary manner. They don't talk in an old style, in fact their dialogues are very modern, contemporary business-like style, but they tend to use literary words, usually with very clear Chinese roots that nobody else uses. She'll make lots of jokes about it, too, so you'll have to watch it more than once… maybe thrice to really get them all.

She loves to think about folklore heroes and mythological creatures as entities who screwed up at some point and she loves to see their ugly side. It's hard to tell if she likes to drag those characters through the mud for its own sake, or if she does it so Hoozuki can fix them up, making him ever cooler and more attractive in the process. Probably a little bit of both. I'm not complaining, it's actually quite entertaining.

As you can imagine by what I've said so far, Ms. Eguchi's humor is rather peculiar and it doesn't always work outside her own head, but the atmosphere and the world where the jokes happen are so interesting you don't even mind. Also, her characters' designs are adorable when it needs to be and grotesque when it needs to be, everything works very well. They look good, endearing and cute. Not many people can draw traditional clothing like she does. Quick but elegant. Her art really stands out, though the anime may not convey it at all times.

Hoozuki no Reitetsu is a fascinating work and I'm really happy to find out she still has lots of ideas she wants to express. Soon after finishing Hoozuki, she began another title, Dekin no Mogura. Let's hope it's as good as this one.
>> No. 36286 [Edit]
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I watched Imouto sae Ireba Ii, also known as A Sister is All You Need. Here are my thoughts:

Wow this is complete trash. It was a mistake to feel the slightest flicker of optimism for anything created by the same guy who wrote Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. Despite being about the manga/LN industry and having characters who are slightly older and 'more adult' than your average anime, this show is surprisingly juvenile. The author really channeled their inner 14-year-old boy into this.

There is a ton of sexual humour in this and most of it is utterly moronic, even by anime standards. Furthermore, the amount of time that gets spent on it is ridiculous; it's not just a line or two here and there – they spend entire scenes just for some idiotic gradeschool-tier sexual joke that makes me feel like I'm being lobotomized. The comedy is unfunny in general, but all the sexual jokes are especially atrocious and just so excessive and ever-present. This show often feels like a 14-year-old boy with an awful sense of humour wrote it with his dick in his hand. I'm not even prude or anything, it's just the constant sexual humour was absolutely eyeroll-inducing and none of it was clever at all. Literally it feels like most of this show's script was written by a dumb hormonal teenage boy. The 'siscon' schtick (recall the title of the anime) also wore out its welcome very fast, and the ways it was used were surprisingly uncreative, especially considering how frequently it was invoked.

The MC was such an annoying little pervy worm; I wanted to beat him up, steal his lunch money, and hang his sneakers from the power lines. He was an insufferable little dweeb with zero redeeming qualities. What an awful MC – probably made to resemble the mouthbreather mental-teenager author himself. In fact I disliked the entire cast; all of the primary characters were annoying in some way. For a show clearly made to appeal to young men, the two female leads both had surprisingly off-putting personalities.

Later in the series there is some character drama involving the main members of the cast in some kind of convoluted love-polygon situation, with a cup of jealousy and inferiority complex thrown in. This drama felt even more juvenile than all the sexual humour. It was really stupid and just unpleasant and groan-inducing to watch.

I must admit, the skits with the accountant were actually funny. Same goes for the tabletop RPG episode – that one was sorta funny and relatable too (although still plagued by excessive unfunny sexual humour).

As far as the publishing industry theme of this show goes, they did make some effort to demonstrate the emotional experiences of authors. However, although the concept is promising, I was still disappointed by this aspect of the show – I thought it could have been handled better but also that it deserved greater focus. The screentime of this anime is dominated by all the sexual comedy, and this promising aspect of the show is neglected as a result. Also, the childishness of the writing and characters themselves neutered a lot of the potential this dimension of the show had. It's hard to relate to this awful cast of characters, even if some of their experiences resemble those that real-life writers commonly encounter.

I thought the OST was bad. If I have to hear one more generic saxophone-heavy 'lewd atmosphere' track I am going to flip a table. Of course this kind of music plays frequently due to the prominence of sexual comedy in this show, and it does not enhance the humour at all. Even outside these scenes, the OST never once enhanced my enjoyment of the show. The voice acting for the entire cast was mediocre as well, with the exception of Nayuta – her VA did a good job and sounded cute, although I disliked her character.

As for visuals, they were adequate but mediocre. I didn't like the bolt-on-torpedo-tits character designs of the females, and all the males looked dweebish and unattractive. There is no discernable art style and the visuals were never a source of enjoyment for me. Also they could have had way more fun with the character outfits, considering they're all adults in an informal creative industry, but instead the outfits are boring, uncreative, and rarely change.

I appreciated the craft beer 'food fanservice' in the show. Delicious craft beer doesn't get nearly enough culinary attention in anime, haha.

My overall rating: 3/10
This anime in one sentence: a bunch of unlikable characters (mostly LN authors) hang out together and there is a lot of excessive unfunny sexual humour, and then during the later episodes there's some eyeroll-inducing crummy immature character drama about people you don't care about. The end.

This show is quite juvenile and a teenage boy would likely enjoy it far more than I did. Anybody who wants to enjoy this needs to put themselves in a juvenile state of mind and get in touch with their inner teenage boy. If you, like me, tend to dislike sexual humour (especially in excess) then I would suggest avoiding this anime. Were it not for the (underexplored) publishing industry theme, I would have dropped this very quickly.

I've been meaning to check this out for a long time now.

This sounds pretty interesting.
>> No. 36288 [Edit]
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Only have vague recollections, but I remember it being fun and featuring root beer.
>> No. 36289 [Edit]
That review almost hurt to read as much as the Flip Flappers one, since I consider Imosae to be one of my favorite shows. I said I'd scribble up some counterpoints, and I guess here's my attempt at doing so:

The show is unique in being one of the few SoLs with an older college-aged group. Whereas CGDCTs depicting middle-school/high-school usually shine a spotlight on the innocence and purity of youth (usually through close-knit friendships) or the bittersweetness of the transition from high-school to college (usually paired with a heavy dose of "mono no aware", usually in the last few episodes of shows), ImoSae focuses more on the endpoint of that transition: the difficulties one might experience as you try to come to grips with the fact that life is no longer lived on "autopilot" and try to find a place for yourself in the world. Each of the characters in the show captures these difficulties and insecurities: felings of unworthiness/inferiority, existential ennui/pruposelessness, or the pressure (from yourself or your environment) to "succeed".

The real beauty of this show is how it's able to explore this by weaving a rich tapestry of relationships between the characters, so that this story is told without explicit exposition but unfolds naturally as you learn more about the characters in their interactions with one another. The aforementioned themes are explored through the lens of being an author, so the story that ends up being told is one about the struggles of making an "impact" in the world – both through your creations and you yourself as a person.

There was this great comment I stumbled across and saved some time back which I'm going to quote verbatim (I've been waiting for an opportunity to dig it up)

>One thing about Imouto sae Ireba ii that is pretty interesting is beneath all of the lewding and fanservice and references is a conscious self-awareness of the efforts and realities of "creating" something. This is in part because the main cast are largely novelists (and Miyako being the audience "stand in" amongst the cast) and in part because the story doesn't seek to only glorify an idealistic portrayal of writing or being an author.

>The idea that even if only one person enjoys something you worked on (and even if that one person is yourself), then that effort really didn't go to waste even if the final product was pretty unremarkable, is a valuable perspective. And even if you don't like it at all, there's surely someone who does.

Much like Urahara, the meta point here should be clear enough to be left unstated.

Yes if you cannot tolerate lewd humor then the show may not appeal to you but despite the lewdness it never felt forced or repetitive. Where else would you get a scene of two mangaka duking it out while wearing pantsu on their head? The comedy here is used as a foil for the more serious themes - without this frosting, watching them struggle and encounter challenges would be quite weary. And neither would it be realistic, because life isn't always a slog (this is more true for the pictureesque 2D utopic ideal, but it holds semblance of truth in the 3D world also: at least for the scarce 20 minutes that you're immersed in a show, you can set aside your own anxieties, laugh with the characters, and form emotional bonds with them).

Which goes back to the main point about how the show excels in depicting a tapestry of relations between the characters: none of the characters feel like "background characters" that exist only to prop up the MC – they become fully fleshed out in their own right, with their own goals, desires, wants, and insecurities. Even in cases like the tax account where it seems like the character exists only for comedic relief, if you read the LN (*) you see that there's more going on there than what appears.

(*) Disclosure that I have only read the summaries of the LNs, because I've never derived any enjoyment from reading fiction, so as much as I love ImoSae reading the LNs would be no different than watching paint dry. That said, reading the summaries was enough to get an impression for how the tapestry continued.

It's sad that Haganai didn't end up being anywhere close to ImoSae - I was quite disappointed that having watched imosae the jokes in haganai didn't seem to have any payoff, nor did they serve as comedic relief for any side plots.
>> No. 36290 [Edit]
>If you, like me, tend to dislike sexual humour (especially in excess) then I would suggest avoiding this anime.
So, what did you think of Mitsudomoe? >:)
>> No. 36298 [Edit]
File 165627871654.png - (2.88MB , 1920x1080 , [Coalgirls]_Boku_wa_Tomodachi_ga_Sukunai_NEXT_10_(.png )
Apologies for slow response (I am insanely busy lately, unfortunately). I appreciate your thoughtful post.

I understand your point about the life circumstances that are explored in the show, but I think you are overstating how much focus this actually got throughout the runtime.

It sounds like you really empathized with some of the aspects of the writing you mentioned, and that this is a primary cause for your enthusiasm. That's understandable and I've had similar feelings about other shows/stories.

>The real beauty of this show is how it's able to explore this by weaving a rich tapestry of relationships between the characters, so that this story is told without explicit exposition but unfolds naturally as you learn more about the characters in their interactions with one another.
I think this is a good point. Subtle character development like that can be hard to pull off.

>It's sad that Haganai didn't end up being anywhere close to ImoSae
Although I didn't like Haganai much either (my review of it is further up ITT), it had some genuinely funny moments and I personally enjoyed the comedy more overall relative to ImoSae. Also, Yozora and Sena were better characters than anyone in the ImoSae cast, IMO.

Never seen it but expect I wouldn't like it. I didn't like Mitsuboshi Colours either, which seemed similar in spirit. I'm really picky when it comes to comedy.
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