Monday, 8 August 2011


I should really be finishing off the animes I already started watching but temptation got the best of me and I went ahead and checked out Bakuman. An anime about drawing manga. It was initially a manga about drawing manga but an anime version serialised late last year and I just got around to watching it. Obviously it's not actually about how to draw manga as that would be really boring but the story revolves around the life of Moritaka Mashiro, a junior high student aspiring to be a mangaka (one that draws manga if you don't know).

The idea was quite unique and I wasn't sure how it was going to be done without becoming a yawn-fest. I supposed they would have to twist it around romance or something if they were heading for realism and indeed they did. So it was basically going to be a story about Mashiro's road to being a good mangaka while his relationship with Miho Azuki is being thrown around in there somewhere. Needless to say, like all other main love interest for the protagonist, Azuki is boring, bland and has little to no character features other then wanting to be a voice actor herself. The typical average girl persona. No tsundere, no yandere, nothing. Fine, they could still work with that if they had more side plots to spice things up but nope. Just "journey to mangaka" and "relationship with love interest."

Something's fishy about that hair shading...
The art deserves some credit, it's a lot better than many animes I've seen, they've made an attempt to create unique hairstyles and it's consistent, what else can I say? It's nothing to drool over but there are still some inconsistencies that I see jumping around.

I wasn't planning on dedicating an entire paragraph on the correlation between Akito and Light from Death Note but they even had to make a reference of the god damn anime in the first episode. Akito is shown as an intelligent character with the highest grades in the school but still dreams of being the author of a manga however he was never a gifted artist, that's why he wants Mashiro to work with him.

The author tried to shove everything driving the plot forward into his character and that has turned out to be rather wacky as he's supposed to be an intelligent character. On the side he serves somewhat as a comedy relief while being the guy that pushes Mashiro around to actually doing something about his life.

Or is it?
Not only does he confront Mashiro about wanting to be the author of Mashiro's manga but he also gets him to go to Azuki's house and tell her that they are planning to work together as author and artist for no reason whatsoever. In real life, it would result in a terribly awkward situation but here we go...

Oh boy, it was so corny it was almost painful to watch. I mean what do you expect when two boys come to your house in the middle of the night just to tell you they're planning to draw a manga together. Well that was initially Akito's plan but luckily Mashiro sneaked in and told her that maybe she could become the voice actor of the heroine or something "when they were done AND serialised". They haven't even started yet and they just went to her house randomly bubbling about all this unrelated awkward nonsense. The scriptwriters deserve a good slap on the face for this one.

Mother of all randomness
At this point forward I wasn't sure whether Azuki was actually going to scream yes in a mindless melodramatic tone before jumping into Mashiro's arms engaging in a passionate kiss but luckily some common sense hit home and Azuki races back into her house to hide from the psycho sex maniac. This scene is actually one of my favourites as the characters realised the total nonsense they had been spewing out up to this time.

I know the plot of being a mangaka is hard to deliver as it's such a boring subject for animes but I have to be honest and say that I wasn't impressed especially when the author was the same guy that did Death Note. I did quite like the OST but the voice acting was nothing special. If you're going to choose such a boring subject to turn into an anime at least have a side plot or interesting characters to go along with it. And yes, as Michael Westside mentioned this is supposed to be one of those light-hearted "slice of life" animes. Too bad they're missing the interesting characters.

Rating: 5/10

Friday, 5 August 2011

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit

Ikigami is a manga about an alternate present in Japan where an act has been passed resulting in random deaths to occur to individuals in the age 18-24 bracket. The general gist is that this law would raise economic growth with civilians living their lives to the fullest as they do not know when they may die. The story revolves around Kengo who is a government agent that hands down "ikigamis" which are basically death notices 24 hours prior to it actually happening.

The National Prosperity Preservation Act
Art is fairly realistic compared to modern anime designs (well this manga is actually 5 years old) and it's obviously directed at an older audience with some serious concepts/analogy trying to squeeze in. The theme is rather dark with glimpses of human generosity and moral lessons on life being thrown around but most characters that are shown usually have an unhappy ending.

I liked the concept and all but they didn't play it out too well with the deaths occurring through a mandatory injection during elementary school...? Sounds very shaky and just not very controllable. There really isn't much character development involved in this manga as it jumps from Kengo the ikigami deliverer, to the ones who received the ikigami with nothing connecting the two so you only get to see Kengo again after the guys are dead.

Rating: 3/10

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Nyan Koi!

I've had this anime on my hard drive for a while now but I've never really worked up the motivation to watch it until today. Nyan Koi was originally a manga but was serialized as an anime in late 2009. I know I'm a bit late to be reviewing this but my blog intention was never to be reviewing all the latest anime and manga. I just put up animes I watch and see what you guys have to say. Or you could recommend me a anime/manga to review. 

The plot isn't very original and again there are cats involved (oh lawd). The general gist is that the main protagonist Junpei, has a severe allergy of cats and as a result despises them. However one day, he accidentally breaks the local cat statute representing a spiritual guardian of some sort, and he gains the ability to understand and communicate to cats. He soon learns that he was placed under a curse to grant 100 wishes to cats and shall he fail, he himself would be transformed into a cat.

I don't adore or dislike animals but I never understood the obsession with them, the idea just seemed so hypocritical because it tends to only be directed at a specific type. Usually the obsession is caused by media perception and a belief in a deeper bond. Let me tell you now, that pigs have been scientifically proven to be smarter than dogs and are ranked 4th in a scale of intelligence, humans being the first then apes and dolphins. Dogs were only chosen to be a domestic pet because of a combination of luck and appearance. In an alternate reality, we could just as well have pigs as dogs.

Not that I hate dogs or anything, but if I do choose to like one it'll be because of it's independent personality or character trait. I believe dogs, like humans also have individual personalities. Just because you like one dog doesn't mean you like all dogs. It's like saying that because you liked Fred the Caucasian, you instantly assume you like every Caucasian in the world.

But let's not talk about animals and get back to the anime. The story begins with a scene from a dream (again?!) and it's a confession between the protagonist and his romantic interest. If you're not already shaking your head at this point then let me help with this picture.

Yes, that is a hair sticking to his nose

I have no idea where to begin. Can a show really be executed this badly and with such a major turnoff? Well, here you have it. They say a picture tells a thousand words and although I was never one to turn over to silly meaningless quotes for comfort, there really is no other way to explain.



The animation is decent although some things about the character designs irk me. I enjoyed the voice acting of the female protagonist Mizuno, but most if not all the voice acting done for the cats really got on my nerve. Perhaps the idea of cats talking just doesn't sit right in my head.

Anyway, Nyan Koi is your typical light-hearted school romance delivered with an irrelevant side plot just to make the whole experience seem less typical and boring in general. Not the worst anime I've seen for it's genre but there are countless other animes in the same genre that I can list that are better than this one.


Seems like the only thing driving this anime forward (this genre actually) is a heavy reliance on creating the perfect anime girl with the most unrealistic personality possible in a pathetic attempt to reel in sex deprived otaku virgins living in the basement of their mother's va- house. In case you don't know, otaku is a Japanese term for people with an obsession for anime and/or manga... why are you looking at me like that?! I'm not an otaku!... Ok, maybe I am. But unfortunately this tactic has been overused to the point of irritation that it only served as another aspect to direct my contempt towards.

Another thing that bothered me were the differences in sizes of the character's pupils. The guy's eyes are like dots in a vast ocean of nothingness while the girl's eyes are god damn HUUGGEE. Some scenes are drawn so poorly that it just looks completely out of the ordinary.

cats and "stuff"
Why does the cat have a "M" on it's forehead?

To sum it up, I didn't laugh much, smiled at a few scenes but this was very poor for an anime that is supposed to be part "comedy". Most of the jokes were bland and predictable, nothing I haven't seen before.

Nyan Koi, be happy with a borderline 4/10. This is pretty much my average rating for animes. And as always, I will review again once I'm finished with the series to see if it gets any better.

Rating: 4/10

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

First of all, I was never interested in underaged magical school girls prancing around in some colourful parade of girly-ness. Ahem, Sailor Moon.

I only decided to check out this anime after constant urging by other anime-obsessed friends who persistently claim that it's not at all about how friendship is the best thing ever and lovey dovey.

So basically it's about an average school girl called Madoka (she's 14 mind you) that one day sees a strange dream about a black-haired girl fighting some sort of monster. She goes to school the next day to find out that the girl transfered to her school! Surprise! (not really...)

After a series of events, Madoka is then given a choice to become a Puella Magi which literally translate to girl of the sorcerer (or as I like to call it, magic girl), in exchange for any wish in the world! Yep anything! However she soon realises that there's a lot more to being a Puella Magi.

The first episode begins with a scene from a dream (how cliche) about some girl running through what appears to be a mess of weird meaningless symbols and other random objects.

What on earth is going on?!
Where are the colours?!

If you can't see, there's a little school girl running through the checkered floor. I've seen this technique used in other animes where there are just a bunch of circles to represent some sort of "other dimension", perhaps? I've never really understood the concept of random explosions of circles to represent another dimension but quite frankly I don't care.

There's some good soundtrack going on in this anime I've got to admit, but I have no idea what is going on at all. In the next scene she appears to be at a battlescene where some other girl is getting hammered by... uh...

Is that a flying castle?!

And if you can't see, there's a black-haired girl flying towards the castle. She then engages in a battle with said castle and there's just a lot of flying projectiles being thrown at her. Okay, I've got to hand some credit to the animation team, the fighting scene was pretty well done, lots of movements, camera shots, etc. But why a talking cat?!

Captain Obvious to the rescue

Oh god. I'm not going to spoil anything in case some of you guys like to watch animes about underaged magical school girls and talking cat-like creatures but don't expect logic in this anime. Maybe the producer was high while he was working on Puella Magi Madoka Magica but I can't stand animes with a crappy first episode. The first episode is supposed to pull the viewer in for more! Not make them pull their hair out in frustration. =_=

Madoka, our protagonist! Isn't she cute? =3=
Japanese designs... Why can't our houses be like that?

All in all, good voice actors, fitting soundtracks and an impressive display of animation but where these aspects excel, the plot fails. There's a lot of cliche going on in this anime, I mean seriously... a talking cat? That's already been done by Card Captors for god's sakes!

Oh wait, it's a flying teddy bear...

The opening is pretty cool, check it out! Although I have no idea why someone would upload it mirrored.

I would give Puella Magi Madoka Magica a 4/10. I will be reviewing this anime again after I finish the whole series (first episodes are always usually quite deceptive). Tell me what you guys think!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Yandere and Tsundere

I've seen many different types of anime girls but the two prominent ones that have stuck to my memory are yandere and tsundere girls. Now everytime I think about a normal relationship, the image of a boring and cliche girl comes up. I just can't stand normal girls in an anime! Haruna from To Love-Ru for example.

Yandere is a behaviour (not limited to girls) in a romantic relationship where the guy or girl loves the partner so much that obsessed would a more suitable term.

Tsundere is when the guy/girl's behaviour in a relationship consistently alternates between cold and shy/warm. You can see an example of this in Zero No Tsukaima.

Sometimes I wonder if anime and manga has affected my real life preferences for girls.

Here's a picture I dug up from google images to help your understanding.


Apart from watching anime, playing video games and lifting, I also write literature in my spare time! If you enjoy a good read and love anime, check out my story on fictionpress. It's written from the first perspective of a guy who asked a girl out, only to realise that she hides a dark past and in addition to that she's a psychotic yandere! Tell me what you think.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Subs vs Dubs

So guys when you're watching an anime, do you prefer subs or dubs (assuming both are available)? And if you don't know, subs mean English subtitles while dubs is when they replace the Japanese voices with English ones.

I've always been a subs person myself as I find it a lot more pleasant on the ears to hear the original voice actors and some of the tones seem to only sound right in Japanese. However I know a lot of people that only watch animes if they have dubs, if not they don't even bother to check it out.

I guess it just depends on which one you were first introduced to, sort of like the pepsi vs coke debate.