Thursday, May 28, 2015

Anime Pet Peeves

Anime Pet Peeves

Warning: The following post may contain spoilers from the shows I may mention in this post. If you wish not to know some events that take place, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in these series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

Also, the pictures for my special posts are chosen at random. I'm all ready with Pinkie Pie to let some of my rage out.

Are you guys ready? Okay, let's roll:

Though I enjoy anime for what it is, and have really liked the majority of the series I have watched, there have been some duds. Mainly, these series either suffer from my waning interest in them, or they have some problems that are too hard to ignore. I've mentioned in the past problems that I've encountered in anime, but in this special, it's time to elaborate on some that are worth mentioning.

So, let's start off with my major problem in all of anime:


*sighs* Oh dear lord, they are EVERYWHERE! Even in animes that I do like, they have little cameos. However, there are some in shows I don't like that manage to exploit themselves in the worst possible ways, This mainly gets happens in the ever popular shonen genre.

I tend to not watch long running shonen shows, but I have seen Fairy Tail and Bleach, and those aren't bad by any means. Of course I have problems with them, (Bleach's near awful animation, Fairy Tail's we'll talk about in a minute, as that's a cliche I'm annoyed with) but they still offer some great entertainment.

Let's start off with our main lead characters. Now, normally with these types of characters, they have something "special" about them. And by that, I mean special powers that no one else has, This goes for harem series too, but not reverse harems. We'll talk about those too. Anyways, back to what I was saying earlier.

The problem is that these characters aren't really original. They're just mainly recycled over and over again for no greater purpose. Every single time you see one, you have to do a double take, because I feel like: Man, ANOTHER ONE OF THESE?! *sighs* Whatever.

Recent examples in shows I've seen of this are Tor from Absolute Duo, who wields a shield-like Blaze, because, we need a special snowflake that's bland as toilet paper. Ichigo is definitely one of the better shonen characters I've seen, but the amount of powers he is able to become capable of is enough to make my head spin. Arata is the most annoying character in this category for harems, He is the Demon Lord candidate, and that means a magical power that no one else can master. And with recent twists in Fairy Tail, we have Natsu Dragneel probably being the most powerful person in that world.

I do want to point out that I am currently watching Kuroko no Basuke Season 1. And while that show manages to suffer a bit from the occasional stereotype once or twice, it's doing a fairly good job to break them, and will break the biggest one of all: the "good" side always wins.

Now, the reason why this annoys me is the way that it can get handled. Kuroko no Basuke and Bleach handle this pretty well, while sometimes it can be butchered so badly that it becomes laughable.

Take Fairy Tail for example. We had that Zodiac arc air late last year to this Winter. I haven't really seen it, nor do I care, but this is a prominent example of one recently. Not only does this filler arc sound like a rip-off from a filler arc of Bleach's from what I read, but the fight between Natsu and Dark Leo is total LOL worthy. I read what happens in the fight. It's a perfect example of deus ex machina on how to defeat our bad guy.

It's also happened multiple times before, with the vomit-inducing speeches about, "We do this for our bonds, our family, nakama." that are honestly painful to sit through, and one of the main reasons why I couldn't really care to watch Fairy Tail. This is also along with the ridiculous plot twists that are going on right now, plus the recent English dubbed episodes.

I've ranted on shonen cliches long enough, let's move on to my harem ones. One of the things that bugs me, and others, the most in harems is our generic main male character archetype. 

Good god.

I've lost track on how many times I've seen this in anime, or have read about it. There can be good examples on authors or creators who try to break away from this, but they still have traits about them. Our main hero is a special snowflake, is extremely overpowered, gets the ladies horny and is oblivious to it, and is just so boring and bland. 

Tenchi does manage to have a lot of qualities in this category, but look at this: HE HAS A PERSONALITY! Universe Tenchi has more though than OVA Tenchi, who is a little more annoying, but he's not bad by all means. Arata's pretty poor, Issei at least has his pervert qualities to keep him afloat, though his upgrades go from interesting into deus ex machina territory really quick. Shido and Ichika are the worst I've come across though. Shido due to his blandness, and Ichika because he is oblivious to everything that's going on.

And though Is It Wrong to Pick Girls In a Dungeon? isn't necessarily a harem, Bell does manage to have qualities of this lovely specimen. Mainly, this has to do with him being a bit overpowered. Oh well, he's charming.

And the plot lines for reverse harem and harem technically have similar formulas. Mainly, it's how about the main girl or guy get into these situations where they're surrounded by members of the opposite sex. This became noticeable for me after taking in several shows, but sometimes it's not as bad.

Now onto another big pet peeve of mine.

Dense Reverse Harem Leads

Yeah, I managed to watch the first 2 episodes of Amnesia at my school's Anime Club this year. And though it wasn't as bad as the first 2 episodes of One Piece (Cliche City everyone!), and Umineko (BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even the killings at the end of Episode 2 didn't interest me), it still was passable at best. I might watch the series, but there's one thing that's stopping me from doing so: Heroine! 

 The main problem that I have with Heroine is that she trips. But not just once, but a lot of times in the first 2 episodes! Let me sum it up for you:

On stairs, she trips. On the curb, she trips, On grass, she trips. On f**king air, she trips. And yes, that may sound a little over dramatic, as I can only fully remember 2, but I'm worried about what's to come. That, and how incredibly dense she is even with amnesia.

Since Haruka and Yui have the exact same personality, I'm probably going to be less harsh on Haruka. Why? Since she's voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro, one of my favorite seiyuus, and she actually has a talent. Yui, on the other hand:

Not to mention when they do things that are stupid, Sheldon. Don't forget those!

Okay, onto the next bit.

Fanservice in Wrong Situations

I honestly don't care for fanservice. If it's in an anime slightly, I don't mind it. However, when it gets to a point where fanservice is all that's going for a series and is just distracting, sorry, but:

Good news is that most shows I watch don't try and do this. Though Highschool DXD New managed to put in more useless fanservice than I would have liked when it was released on DVD, but whatever. You can't change the past.

Then, of course you have Asia getting objectified as well, and I've already talked about that too much to count thank you. Because the next time I see this:

I'm going to go into a rage. Now, let's just move on to fanservice in scenes. Once again, it works like it would with series. As long as it's not completely distracting, it's fine. I'm one that would prefer a more subtle scene rather than an all-out one. 

But when this isn't a fanservice show, and apparently you have an excuse to go all out on making the guys perverted, and shoving the girls into a hot spring or whatever, it's not going to work. That gives me more eye-rolls than anything else. 

I do like bath and hot spring scenes, because sometimes they can be quite entertaining for sure. They also can be good for showing off what you need to show off ;), but there is a limit. Don't purposely try to spoon feed as many muscles and boobs as you can, please and thank you.

I'm personally one who does like fanservice directed towards the female demographic, and I'm fine with the other way around too. But the main motto is don't let it get to a point where we have to slap 18+ on the tin.

Speaking on the downside, I do have a weakness for these types of scenes. Especially if it's males I like from any particular show in the shower. It doesn't happen often, but it gets me in those moods to swoon.

But that talk will go on for another day. Next topic coming in 3, 2, 1:


Yes, this can actually impact an anime for me. When an anime doesn't really have a lot of interesting material to work with, or when many scenes of an anime start to bore me to death, it definatley makes a difference. 

In the first season of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, I just felt that majority of the season was a little too flat for my tastes. There were exciting events, sure, and my favorite moment of all time from that show was Hachiman telling Minami off, but as I mentioned before, this series didn't fully grasp me (one of the factors could've also been the animation). The 2nd season does look very interesting (and very pretty, dat opening doe), if I'm not mistaken by Nick Creamer's reviews for it on ANN, but I'm worried that it won't pull me in as much.

And then those lovely moments in Jormungand: Perfect Order. Yeah, let's talk about those conversations. We had such lovely times, you and I. What with boring me to death, and that 5 minute exposition almost putting me to sleep. And let's not forget how fascinating each of these dialogue moments were! Just WOW!

Boredom is never a good thing, whether it's with books or anime. The good news is that a anime hasn't bored me so much that I have to drop it. And let's hope that doesn't happen any time soon.

Next one coming right up:

 Confusing or Uncreative Stories

One of my favorite parts of anime are the stories. The majority of anime I've watched manage to have some pretty unique stories. But then again, we do have those exceptions to series who either pile on so many details that it gets confusing to follow, so some that seem borrowed or have been done better.

For example, Sengoku Musou. It's one of those shows that's a spin on past Japanese samurai culture. And in the first 1 and a half episodes, we haven't even gotten a whiff of the main story yet. Along with that, events were stockpiled in these episodes alone/ Backstories, missions, a apparent rebellion, meetings. It was incredibly hard to keep track of, as well as hard to care about any of it.

As for the uncreative side of things, we have the LN or manga (let's count Trinity Seven into this) adaptations we get around every season, and what I mean are those stories with the similar concepts. AKA, slap harem, magical powers, fanservice, and school into a tin, and CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE A BEST-SELLING SHOW! 

The majority of the things I've read about these types of shows aren't the best per say. Each time a show like this pops up, I worry about it, but maybe down the line, I decide to give it a try, because let's be honest, we can't just judge shows based on the synopsis. In my eyes for example, Bladedance of the Elemantalers was a pretty good series, but not for some. But I think the more I watch them, the more they seem to aggravate me. These shows include Absolute Duo, Testament of Sister New Devil, and Trinity Seven, 

Onto my last big pet peeve:

Poor English Dubs

I'm not one of those people who have a bias towards one language or the other. I'm a big fan of both Japanese and English, but it's mainly up to my personal preference. But one of my biggest pet peeves is watching a series in Japanese, and than hearing it in English, and it sounds average, bad, or horrible.

This has happened for shows such as Infinite Stratos, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Nyan Koi, and Bleach in the past year. The more poorer ones being lumped with Sentai of course, as Bleach's dub is just okay. It mainly has the problems with Gin and Rangiku's name pronunciations (though I've only heard 1 person who's said them. Anyone want to guess?), and just with some line delivery. It does improve later on though, though there are still some stumbles.

Sentai's dubs mainly suffer from a couple of problems. They often go under poor quality, weird casting choices, awkward line delivery, and the occasional mouth flaps not fitting. Some of the dubs they produce are better than some of the worse shows, but I still get worried whenever a Sentai show gets a dub. Especially in the case of No Game No Life, which will be coming out in July. I'm planning on watching the first few dubbed episodes when they come out, and I hope the dub manages to be just as good as the Japanese. But if it's way worse, I'm not going to be happy.

Now, let's go into my minor pet peeves of anime that don't damage a show per say, but can falter in my overall enjoyment.

Open Endings

No Game No Life and The Ambition of Oda Nobuna mainly suffered a little from this, more for Nobuna though. This happens when shows end off on a part that promises for more conflict, but as of now, a second season hasn't been confirmed. No Game No Life I'm pretty sure was popular as it aired, but I'm not so sure how well it sold in Japan. And for Nobuna, I have no clue, but I'm not so sure it sold well.

This agitates me slightly because the series seem to be popular, either in anime or source material form, and they have stuff to adapt. So, if we have to wait a couple of years for another season, it does kind of bug me. I'm pretty sure this was killer for the Code Geass fans after Season 1 aired in Japan. Because dat cliffhanger doe!

Oh, and let's not forget Ikki Tousen: Extravaganza Epoch. That opening ending impacted the entire OVA, since we haven't even finished the story! Uh-oh!

Forgettable Scores

Let's be honest here. How many of you love anime scores? Good, good. Thought so. I freaking love them.

I love OST's because sometimes, you have those moments where you're trying to pay attention to what's going on the screen, but you're just bopping your head because OMG THIS PIECE IS SO BOSS! Also, you can just look them up online to listen to them later.

There are those occurrences where you can barely remember what pieces played, or ones that you like. There's also times where a score is completely drawing blanks in your mind, and that can irritate me. A anime's music can be a pretty memorable part of a series, and it's sad when it's not.

Underdeveloped Side Characters

This can go with a huge cast of characters that are hard to keep track of, such as Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, or for a show that has a interesting character that doesn't get as much development as you like. Let's go with Blood Lad for that example.

Let's be honest, we all get anime character crushes, and it's sad to see it when your favorite character so far in the show ends up in that pile. Hopefully with shows like these, the creators of a anime adaption know how to work with this better.

Repeated Plot Points

Sometimes, repeated plot points and character background can be quite funny. For example:

But it all depends on how much you repeat it. And for some shows, they just LOVE to drill information in your head over and over so that you know it. And of course, it can piss off the most patient of people.

The most recent case I've encountered with this is Devils and Realist. The Elector plot point is brought lord how many times in the show, and a lot of it is mainly in the show's second half. But still, when you mentioned that certain plot point a lot, you know what's bound to come by. Irritation, and at some stages, getting pissed off.

And so, that ends my list of my main anime pet peeves, along with some minor ones that could escalate in some anime. What do you guys think? What are some of your anime pet peeves? 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere Review

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the first season of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere was a show that stood out for me when I first saw it on Amazon. The show looked colorful and interesting, but it wasn't in my top priorities to finish a year ago. After watching the first episode, I left this show in the dust.

But then a year later, a friend of mine got this as an interlibrary loan. And since he knew I've been wanting to see this show for a while, he asked me to watch it with him. And since I can never refuse an anime watching session with him, I said yes. So, how was it?

I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but for what it was, I still find most aspects highly enjoyable. Sure, the story was a bit cluttered, and there were some issues with its character cast, but I found the comedy and final episodes to be great. And despite the show's problems, I still am excited to watch the second season.

Let's begin with the show's story:


The main background of this story is all dumped at the end of the 1st episode, which isn't the most flattering event that could happen in an anime's storytelling. But anyways, moving on. 

In our near future, humans abandoned Earth due to its mass devastation, and set off for a home in space. However, since we are able to travel to space, we decide to go back to Earth, which is completely inhabitable except for Japan. In order to hold all of the human population, Japan was divided into pocket dimensions. Until humans could find a way to travel up to space, it was time to reenact events in human history! 

Eventually, the pocket dimensions invaded Japan and conquered it, forcing the original inhabitants of the country out. It is 1648 in the Testament Era, and all of the past inhabitants of Japan live on the ship Musashi, while being watched by the Testament Union, our baddies of the show, and who control the reenactment of history. However, due to the Union not revealing what will happen after this year, wars and rumors of an apocalypse have been spreading. Along with this, and reasons related to an automated doll, Tori Aoi, the head of Musashi Ariadust Academy's Supreme Federation, as well as being the head of the student council, decides to lead his classmates in victory in order to regain their lost homeland.

So overall, the story for this anime is very cluttered. Unlike other anime I've seen, this anime doesn't do as good of a job of mixing the more serious events of the story, because it can get extremely confusing at times. It doesn't help that the events in this anime take place within 2 days, which at some times feels a little unrealistic and a bit too quick.

At some times, the episodes can get a bit boring, and that includes the exposition. However, there are a lot of moments that kept me interested, such as a debate between 2 characters, and some background history. Most of the time, however, the story is this show's main downfall. Some exposition is disregarded, and the anime can get a bit messy with all the elements it contains. 

The conclusion in the last few minutes of this season ends on a bad note, as we're currently in the middle of an invasion that will continue next season. Viewers who are only planning to watch this season, be aware of that, as this conclusion isn't necessarily complete.

Character time now:


Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere has a large character cast. This is mostly made up of classmates from the Academy, and other various side characters. However, it feels that some of the more uninteresting classmates can be shoved into the corner, which is fine. But some of the more interesting ones aren't given that much development as I would have liked. But there are the main characters, plus a duo that I liked the most from the show, so we must talk about them:

Let's start off with one of my favorite characters from the show, Tori:

Tori Aoi is the head of Musashi Ariadust Academy's Supreme Federation, and is also the president of the student council as mentioned before hand. He is quite cheerful all of the time that he appears on screen, despite a few moments in his childhood and in Episode 5. Beyond that though, he is literally a ball full of sunshine. The only time that he has ever cried was when his childhood friend Horizon died, 

Besides being happy 24/7, he's also perverted. He will always have some sort of chance to try and grope a girl's breasts at least 2 times in the series, and often plays eroge when he's alone. His perverted streak doesn't always stay though, and it will be lost when he gets serious, especially about the one he loves. He is given the nickname Impossible, however he actually does have a pretty useful power. His power helps get access to energy reserves, and he is able to pass the power he gains from those to others. However, he must not get sad when he uses this though, because he will die. He is also quite skilled in debating.

Though Tori's perverted streak will get perhaps annoying in some viewers' eyes, I wasn't annoyed with it at all. In fact, I'm excited for his recurring gag in Season 2, where he shows up in most situations naked. He's quite funny, charming, a great main character, and he put me in a good mood. I really liked his dedication to Horizon, and how he wants to save her when she gets captured. I just really don't have any negatives to say about him.

Horizon's turn:

Otherwise know as P-01s, she is an android who is employed at the bakery Blue Thunder, a place very popular among the Musashi students. After randomly appearing a year prior to the events in the story, the owner of the establishment took her in. She is also the reason why Tori has come back into the bakery more often, as she resembles Horizon, his childhood friend and love interest who died in a carriage accident 10 years prior.

In episode 5, where info-dumps reign supreme, not only does the Lord of Mikawa confirm the audience's suspicions of the android actually being Horizon, she also has the mysterious 9th Armor of Deadly Sins inside of her, that being of envy. After being captured by the Testament Union, she is sentenced for execution, and the Pope President resides all blame on the destruction of Mikawa after the city implodes. It is now the Academy's mission to rescue Horizon from the Testament Union, but how will they do this? You'll find out for yourself,

Horizon is a very interesting character, even by android standards. Most people expect these characters to be dead, talk in a robotic fashion, and just...well, fit the stereotype. But she doesn't really. She does have a few twists in her character to make her interesting, and her personality can work in her favor at most times. Her character twists I liked, even though they were revealed at the drop of a hat, but at least I managed to hold on to them as I would reminders.

Masazumi's next:

Masazumi is the Academy's vice president, who is very serious, quite skilled in debate, and aspires to be a politician. She did have a major event go down in her past though. In order for her to continue in the line of her family name, she went under gender reassignment surgery, but had to stop due to certain circumstances. She has no breasts because of this, and normally wears the male school uniform. However, at the end of the season, has now switched into the female uniform. 

Her actual identity is unknown to the majority of the public, as they are unaware of the unfinished surgery. However, it is revealed in Episode 8 during a debate with the Pope President. Tori is interested in proving it, so he pulls down her pants to prove it. And thus, her actual gender is revealed! Yeah, it is a little weird, but at least it was the most effective way!

Masazumi is an interesting character. Not only is she the first character that we see interact with Horizon, but she seems to be well-mannered and confident. Sometimes, her confidence falters a bit, but she still knows some characters' weak points, and is just a nice character to see on screen.

Honorable mention time! I would like to talk about Margot and Malga:

Margot and Malga are both Special Duty officers. Besides being witches with magical powers and what not, they are also lesbians, which makes them in open rebellion against the church. Though they are a part of the side character group that doesn't talk as much, or is developed upon, they get their moment in Episode 10. In the fight against the Testament Union, they defeat a God of War. Here, we get a little backstory into thier pasts, how Musashi has made them feel welcome, and a kiss.

Other characters include other classmates of the Academy, highlights being Tori's older sister, the student council secretary, a knight, and a blind girl who's SUPER ADORABLE AND ALL OF MY CUTENESS POINTS GO TO HER! We have their teacher, a automaton, Blue Thunder's owner, the Lord of Mikawa, fighters from Tres Espana (anti-heroes), our K. P. A. Italia/Testament Union baddies, and some other characters that don't really make their impact on the plot.


The animation for this series was produced by Sunrise, who are also known for their contributions to the Gundam franchise, as well as working on Code Geass and Cowboy Bebop.

Overall, the animation for this series isn't anything amazing. It does look nice at most moments, but I'm not sure it has a lot of drive and intrigue that I see in most shows. The most polished animation comes in during the fight scenes, and scenes where there is a lot of action.

There are some pretty hair and character designs though. I wouldn't say they're as good as Code Geass per say, but it's still nice enough.


The score for this anime was composed by Tatsuya Kato, who is also known for his efforts to Free: Iwatobi Swim Club, Future Diary, and Medaka Box.

One word to describe the score is similar to the story: all over the place. But that's not a bad thing with a show that has this many elements rolled into one. I do wish it wasn't as jam-packed as it was, but I still enjoyed it for the most part. Whether it's light, moving, electronic inspired, or battle music, this show has it all!

Some of my favorite pieces from this show include:

Now onto audio wise. I personally prefer Japanese for this show, since Sentai dubs can never be trusted. And while Horizon isn't as bad as some of their other dubs, it still is pretty average at best. The main problem is the script, and how it's an almost direct copy of the subtitles. There are mouth flap issues. The original Japanese is much more tolerable, and the voices are way stronger. I also watched it full in this too, like many other shows Sentai releases here dubbed in the US, so trust me on this one.

Highlights in the original Japanese include Jun Fukuyama, Minori Chihara, Miyuki Sawashiro, Yu Kobayashi, Mutsumi Tamura, Kaori Nazuka, Daisuke Ono, Nao Toyama, Marina Inoue, Chiwa Saito, Kei Shindo, Ami Koshimizu, Aoi Yuki, Minoru Shirashi, Ryoko Shirashi, Eiji Miyashita, Sho Hayami, and Tomokazu Suigta.


Even though this show was a bit messy at parts, and the characters could have been a bit stronger, this series still is pretty good. I wouldn't say it's great, but I find it to be alright for people who are looking for some entertainment.

If you want a story with a consistent story, you might want to look elsewhere. But beyond that, this was a nice season, and I am looking forward to the next.

Score: 8/10


Interesting story.

Great main characters.

Some nice comedy moments.

Good animation.

Score, though jumbled, is still pretty.


Story gets messy.

Not all characters are developed.

Leaves off on a weird note.

Pacing of episodes take 2 days, which may throw some people off.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Ambition of Oda Nobuna Review

The Ambition of Oda Nobuna Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

As I've mentioned before, some shows I just step into without seeing the synopsis or knowing the characters. This is one of those situations. The Ambition of Oda Nobuna is one of those shows that I didn't even know existed until Sentai Filmworks licensed it in the US, and then planned to release it in December. I was very curious as to what the show would hold, and hoped it wasn't stereotypical or boring.

In the end, however, this is one of those rare surprises in these past few months. The series was actually pretty good, and I wasn't expecting it to be that good per say. I was invested on what was going to happen, the characters were great, the show didn't try to force a harem onto us, and I was looking forward to what was going to come next in the journey.

Of course, the series isn't one of the best I've watched. There are a few problems that didn't make it as good as it would have been. Though for the most part, this show was quite fun and entertaining, and I'm glad I watched it.

Let's move on to the story, shall we?


The main element of this series isn't going to win any gold stars for originality. This takes place in a re-imagining of the Sengoku period in early Japan. However, we add a high school student to the mix, who's named Yoshiharu Sagara. After being randomly transported to the Sengoku period, Yoshiharu struggles through a battlefield, and gets saved from a fatal shot by the man who would become Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who dies from his wounds. So, we've already altered history!

Trying to make things right, Yoshiharu soon meets a girl who's fighting on the battlefield. Though in this version of the Sengoku period, Nobunaga Oda does not exist. This girl, known as Nobuna Oda, had replaced him, who still holds the Daimyo position. She takes Yoshiharu under her wing with her other comrades, giving him the nickname monkey, since Saru is Japanese for it, and starts to fall in love with him sooner or later. Yoshiharu learns that the events in the world are actually different than some of the happenings in one of his favorite video games, Nobunaga's Ambition. Now stuck in this world, Yoshiharu tries to correct some events in history, as well as try to find his way back home.

Overall, this is a pretty interesting set-up. Though re-imaginings for the Sengoku period have happened before, along with others, but this one decides to do something a bit different by throwing in a human from our world who lives in  modern day. Not only does this sound interesting, but the anime makes it work. Some of the events that happen are actually pretty interesting, though some aren't as good. But all of them provide intrigue and suspense.

Of course, there's some issues with the story's pacing. Though the finale has the final battle between the main villain of that arc and Nobuna, and that was epic, there were 2 main things that bugged me. One was that a character named Yoshikage said he was going to make Nobuna his, and mentioned how he was going to fight her. However, this doesn't happen in the final episode, and I was hoping for that because it would have been really interesting to see what would have happened. I searched up his character, and it says he committed suicide, but the anime never really mentions what happened to him, or if he's alive or not.

Also, this series has an open ending. In the last few seconds of Episode 12, there's promise of a new villain of the horizon, and more threats. As of May 2015 however, there are been no confirmations of a new season, or OVA's for that matter. One can read the light novels, but they're not available in the US yet. Because of this, the ending is a bit of a let down.

As a whole though, we had a great story here, and it managed to impress and deliver. And that's a good thing, because I was worried about it in the beginning.

Character time!


There are quite a few characters in this series, and a lot of them are fairly interesting. So, it's was hard to narrow it down to 4. However, we have our 2 leads, and 2 other characters that were my favorite out of the Oda Faction, so I say that's fair enough. :)

Why don't we start off with our Monkey, Yoshiharu?

Besides coming from modern day Japan, Yoshiharu is also now replacing the role for Hideyoshi Toyotomi. After Toyotomi saved his life. Yoshiharu now swears to make his dream of becoming a feudal lord true, along with being popular with the ladies. He also uses his own knowledge from the video game Nobunaga's Ambition.

Though Yoshiharu doesn't have a lot of background information surrounding him, he still is a likable character. And yes, he also has the habit of falling in the stereotypical harem range as well, but I don't really see him as one. At least he's kind, does try to be a great help, mainly has feeling for only Nobuna, and is just pretty funny to watch as he communicates with several characters, and members of the Oda Faction.

Now onto the great Nobuna herself:

Nobuna is the Daimyo of Owari who is very ambitious. She wishes to unite Japan so that it will be stand on equal ground with European nations. Besides wishing to conquer Japan, she is also an admirer of foreign culture and items. Besides having a tsundere archetype that is blatantly obvious throughout the series, she also has issues with being a leader in the series at various moments. She isn't the biggest fan of violence, and is more of a peace maker. However, there are some times where decisions have to be a little more drastic.

Besides giving Yoshiharu the nickname Monkey in the first place, she later starts to develop feelings for him, but can't find herself to admit them. They are obvious by the time the latter half of the series starts, and they almost kiss in Episode 12. Almost.

Overall, I think I liked Nobuna mainly for her charisma. Yes, she is a full on tsundere, and the anime will show that side to her more often, but unlike some tsundere characters I've seen, she has feelings for her peers. She doesn't want to be left alone, and she cares for the main set of Oda Faction members we see in the show. At some aspects, her personality seems like someone you've seen before, but that does change.

Now, we're stepping out of the main character territory, and into the favorite one. First off, Nagahide:

Naghide is the Oda faction tactician, which is someone who can easily plan tactics to use in battle. Though we don't get development on her a lot, one of the highlights of her character is that she uses a point value to show her approval or disapproval of an idea. This is shown to be from battle strategies and jokes mainly in the series.

As I mentioned earlier, we don't get a lot of development wise on the members in the Oda faction, which does make some of them less interesting. But I like the quirks some of them have. Also, Nagehide is one of the more memorable characters from the show alone due to her point value system.

Now onto my other favorite character from the series, Goemon:

Goemon is a young ninja who has issues with speaking for long periods of time. She may run out of breath at certain moments, or run her words together. For example:

Aside from that, she mainly serves under Yoshiharu, as she swore to her old master that she would find a new lord and get promoted with him. So 2 for 1 deal! She is the leader of a task force, and is willing to risk her life for others, almost dying once in the series. Though little is known about her past, she rarely talks about it anyway.

Also, because of her height, she is able to sneak into prisons and spy without any major trouble. I don't remember a lot of her spying, but I do think we saw it at least once.

But overall, another good character. What made Goemon entertaining for me was when she struggled with talking in long sentences. These were pretty entertaining, especially when she and Yoshiharu first meet in Episode 1.

Other characters include various members in the Oda faction including a general, a spear wielder, a strategist, and one of the villains in the 2nd arc who goes over to Nobona's side, and is a Daimyo. We also have the Daimyo of Mino, various other main faction members we meet along the way, though I will be mentioning one in particular in the Sound section.

And last but not least, we have Nobuna's younger brother, members of the Christan Faction, And we finally have our main villains of the 2nd arc, which includes one of the Miyoshi Three leaders, and the Daimyo of Echizen.


The animation for this series was produced by both Madhouse and Studio Gokumi. Madhouse is most known for Highschool of the Dead, Cardcaptor Sakura, and No Game no Life, and Studio Gokumi has done animation for the series A Channel, Kin-iro Mosiac, and The Severing Crime Edge.

I've already told you how much I enjoy various animation in anime series, and how I love most of them. This series is no exception, and the animation is just SO FREAKING PRETTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOOK AT THE PRETTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never saw the animation drop at least once throughout the show. It was always consistent, colorful, great to look at, and just freaking incredible. It's definitely one of my favorite shows animated wise in the recent months. And though that's pretty much all of the anime I watch anyways, this one will have something extra special since it's a mainly unknown series.


The score for this series was composed by Yasuharu Takanashi, who has also done the scores for series such as Fairy Tail, Ikki Tousen (starting with Dragon Destiny), and Sailor Moon Crystal.

It's no secret that Yasuharu Takanashi is one of my favorite composers in anime that I've heard, along with Shiro Sagisu. Both of them put a lot of energy into the pieces I've heard from them so far, minus Testament of Sister New Devil based on Episode 1 for Yasuharu. 

Though this score is a bit forgettable compared to Fairy Tail and Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians, I still found a lot of moments had some great pieces. The dramatic music, like his other scores, manages to stand out the most, though light-hearted ones still have their own presence. My favorite, much like DRAMAtical Murder and Death Parade, is the next episode preview song that is used in the show a few times. Though I also like this one:

Overall, the original Japanese of this show is highly enjoyable, and we have a lot of great performances from some seiyuus who manage to always impress me. It was a surprise to find out this show was getting a English dub from Sentai Filmworks when they announced their December release schedule for last year, because from what I know, I don't think this show was really popular when it first aired. Also, considering that this is Sentai Filmworks, and that the majority of their dubs are either okay or horrible, I wasn't looking forward to it.

Though I've only watched a couple of minutes from the 1st episode, it's definitely one of Sentai's better dubs. There's less awkward pauses, and most of the cast members sound confident in their delivery and performance. Though there's one cast choice that I'd like to bring up, and that is of Nagamasa Asai.

Nagamasa Asai is the Daimyo of Omi, and is first introduced as a male in Episode 3. "He" initially offered an alliance to Nobuna in exchange for marriage, or the Asai clan would ally with the Oda Faction's enemies. Though later, since "he" couldn't return to "his" homeland without receiving a bride, Nobuna's crew tricks Nobuna's younger brother into being the bride. So basically, opposite genders for ya!

The main reason why Nagamasa hides her actual gender is because her father disapproves of a girl becoming a Daimyo. Now, we have cast clashing here. In Japanese, Nagamasa is voiced by Mitsuki Saiga, who has been known to voice more masculine roles in the past, and is one of the better seiyuus at doing so. However, in English, we get Blake Shepard, one of the male actors at Sentai Filmworks who does do well with the majority of stuff that he works on. Now, I'm not so sure if Christopher Ayres knew that this character was a girl from the get-go, and cast Blake Shepard because he wanted a risk. Or, Chris wasn't familiar with the show before he worked it, and just went for Blake instead of exploring the character? Either way, it brings up a lot of questions.

Highlights in the original Japanese are Takuya Eguchi, Kanae Ito, Hitomi Nabatame, Rei Matsuzaki, Sayuri Yahagi, Masumi Asano, Tomoko Kaneda, Yui Ogura, Suzuko Mimori, Mamiko Noto, Mitsuki Saiga, Emiri Kato, Rumi Okubo, Rina Sato, Seiro Ogino, Ryohei Kimura, and Sumire Morohoshi.


This show was such a surprise for me. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did, but this show was definitely worth my time. Though I do wish this had a more conclusive ending, I still would prefer this show over Sengoku Musou any day.

Score: 9/10


Interesting story.

Great main characters.

Beautiful animation.

Good score.

Very eventful 2nd half.

Surprisingly good show.


Some characters not as fleshed out as I would have liked.

Show has an open ending.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Jormungand: Perfect Order Review

Jormungand: Perfect Order Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the second season of Jormungand. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

One of the most action packed series that I've seen is Jormungand. With its fantastic moments of comedy, suspense, action, and overall enjoyment, I was looking forward to the second and final season of a great first one.

Despite having a couple of second seasons fall flat on their faces, there was still hope. After all, we had a great 2nd season of Kamisama Kiss, so it could be like that. Right? Right?

Well, not exactly. Though it wasn't as bad as Highschool DXD New and Date A Live 2 in that department, I'm still disappointed in this season. It wasn't horrible per say, but there were some moments where I was either frustrated as hell with many expositions, to almost nodding off at some moments. While Jormungand is a great show overall, Season 2 managed to hit a few bumps in the road before pulling off a somewhat satisfying ending, though with wistful hope that the season could have been handled so much better.

Let's talk about my major problem with the show overall:


In the first season, the story was very interesting. Not only was the pacing great, but the writers had enough time to meld comedy and the serious action pretty well. Sure, the villains weren't that interesting besides Chen, but at least they were engaging enough.

And here we have Perfect Order. The only episode that I loved was Episode 10. The best arc in this show is the New World arc that covers Episodes 8-10. And that's in the latter half of the second season. Besides that, let's just say this with the first half:


Both of the first 2 arcs in the show aren't as horrible as other shows I've seen, but they still leave a bad taste in your mouth. It mainly has to do with the explanation of certain things we're apparently supposed to know already, and other stuff. This includes a nearly 5 minute exposition on a SR unit. No, seriously. It's almost 5 minutes. I don't know the exact time, but it still was super boring.

In fact, I was really looking forward to the first arc. I saw Hex before I watched the show, and I thought her arc was going to be better than some of the other ones back in its first season. Perhaps she would be connected to Koko, and we would find out why they hate each others' guts.

Well, they are connected. But they never explain why they've hated each other for so long. The main problem that digs this arc into the grave was Operation Undershaft. GAH! But before we go into it, let's first talk about the people behind it.

George Black (also knows by his nickname Bookman, and a CIA agent) doesn't do s**t throughout the series. He's supposed to be the creator of the operation and a big shot, but I found his role in the arc to be very minimal. At the end of season 1, where he makes a cameo, I thought he was going to have a much bigger impact on the show. Yeah, like that ever happens!

We also find out that R is working for the CIA, and is a spy that infiltrated into Koko's crew. So yay for development on one of the most least interesting characters of the show! But that wasn't my main issue. Actually, we should get back to that.

In Episode 1, during a conversation between Bookman and R, they talk about Operation Undershaft. If you're looking for specific details, you won't get any. You only learn about the operation itself, and that it's targeting Koko. At first I was like, "What the hell is Operation Undershaft?" because it feels like the show expects you to know right off the bat before you watch it. I'm not so sure if they mentioned it a little bit at the end of season 1, but still, this is so sloppy, and not a good way to reintroduce me into the show.

Besides that fact that it's targeting Koko, pretty much nothing else is explained about it. Everyone's worried about Koko becoming a "monster" and what not, but never explaining why she'll become that, so answers come up empty. They do mention how Jonah is her "anchor" and some dumb s**t like that, but that never goes anywhere. I wanted to know more about why Operation Undershaft was created, what it's all about, the main reason why they're trying to target Koko, but where those ever answered? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Also, we also find out that Hex was responsible for hiring the hit men in the last arc of season 1. It's never explained why, so it's just shrugged off as a coincidence. Don't get me wrong, Hex is a interesting villain, and perhaps my favorite one out of the show, but having her be the main one in a arc this poor just wastes her potential.

The second arc isn't really any better. It starts off when Kasper and Koko begrudgingly agree to work together on a mission against Yousuke Hinoki, a top spy who was also the founder of a SR unit, which was the group that Tojo used to work for. Besides episode 4 having Kasper and company killing people, half of the episode is comprised with flashbacks. Look, I don't care about them, but having half of the episode be overtaken by these is pretty annoying.

Don't get me started on how the first half of the series has a s**t ton of recaps at the beginnings of the episodes that annoyed the hell out of me. Yeah, it's nice to review what went down, but I think we're cutting out a little bit of time where something that was brought up before can be explained now. I don't want to end up in Confusion City anymore!

The end of the arc is also just a middle finger. Hinoki's henchmen are killed by Chequita (which became a entertaining scene) and Tojo respectively, Hinoki says that his agents might have gone a little too far with the order he gave them. Oh wait, but didn't you give that order? So, it's actually your fault?

The 7th episode is a return to Jormungand's original form. Wiley's back story is actually quite interesting, as it takes us back to 1991 in the army. Wiley blows up stuff, and that was actually pretty entertaining. In present day, Koko's crew are on a mission in Iraq. The reason why it's a return is that this feels like a normal episode. Trouble ensures, stuff is blown up, interactions between characters are nice, and it feels well paced. 

So basically:

The next 2 episodes aren't horrible, but they're not as good as Episode 7. They do manage to be interesting, but Bookman returns, and I don't give a s**t about him.

Episode 10 though: YAS!

Not only is there an epic kidnapping mission to retrieve a top hacker from Guantanamo Bay, but there's pretty fun stuff that Koko does, which includes sending a top unit in the wrong direction by hacking their night vision googles with the wrong map. Koko also finally explains her plan that she has been developing with Minami (Dr. Miami) titled Jormungand. This part is super engrossing, and probably one of the best parts of the show. However, Jonah disagrees with her plan, especially on the line of killing 700,000 people from around the world who are in the air.

So, it wasn't because of #TheKiss. When my friend watched this series last year, he was shocked about it for about 5 minutes. Me, on the other hand, wasn't as lucky. You know those moments where you think you're seeing something you're not, but then it hits you about 5 seconds later? I was somewhat in denial. I recovered by watching Bratz, so good times! It still appeared in my sleep though.

Episode 11 is more WTF? territory. It mainly has to do with something that Koko does to Bookman that's so odd. After calling Bookman to meet her in North Africa, he gets ambushed by a local extremist group who believes him to be bad news. He is then saved by marines who hear about someone being kidnapped, and rescue him in the nick of time. Of course you know who's behind this. Koko! Reason being is that she wanted Bookman to see her true power, and what she can do. She also makes an arrest on another character of this alleged assassination attempt.

And if you're like this right now;

You're not alone. Expect watching these events fold down to be very confusing. I was like, "Umm, what's going on? How the hell does this work? Why is this even possible? Umm, what?"

Episode 12 does manage to wrap up the series nicely, though I wanted a bit more from the finale. It was nice how it ended, all complete with a 2 year time skip between Episodes 11 and 12.

The story, in the end, falls short on what it could be. The first 2 arcs in this series are underwhelming and boring, but then the show picks up a little bit of momentum. At the end, though I was sad that the series was finished, I was also happy that this season had finished, and that can be considered both a good and bad thing.

My favorite fight in the anime would have to be from Episode 3. I'll talk about a certain part of this when I discuss the English dub:

Also, this is my favorite part of the entire arc, and not just because R dies.

Let's step up to the character plate:


In the first season review, I talked about how some of Koko's crew members often faded into the background, and weren't given that much development. Only Koko herself, Jonah, and Valmet managed to get the most out of it. I mentioned in my review how I thought some of them wouldn't get development at all, or they would be pushed into the background once again.

Well, DING DING DING DING! I WAS CORRECT! SOME OF THE CREW MEMBERS GOT ABSOLUTELY NO DEVELOPMENT AT ALL! Some of them even get pushed off to the side even more, and are forgotten until some talk about halfway into the show. Valmet, my favorite of the members, suffered a bit from this, but hers was the least, because she still had her "OMG! KOKO IS SO AMAZING!" moments that made me giggle.

R, Tojo, and Wiley are the characters that get development this season. Of course Wiley's was the one I liked the most, since I gave a crap about it and what not. It was also really interesting to see some aspects that I didn't know about him.

Koko also manages to get more development, and we see the more psychotic side of her. She's not much of a "monster" as some of the characters fear she'll become, but she is a little demented.

I already talked about the majority of the character interactions in the first half, and how:

But let's talk about 2 characters that stood out from the pack. 1 being a villain, and 1 being the co-developer of Jormungand.

Hex (as in Witch) shall be up first:

Hex is originally from America, and is a little, erm, how should I put this, insane? Yeah, that ought to do it. She is a CIA Special Activities Divison operative, She was originally in an all woman army until it was purposely shut down. She was then stationed in Afghanistan after her fiancee was killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But after being discharged for her radical methods, she was recruited by Bookman to track down arms dealers. 

While operating under Operation Undershaft, she goes against Bookman's orders and targets Koko multiple times, which leads to the epic showdown in Episode 3. After retreating with her squad into the deep mountainous region of Iraq, Koko sends B-52's after her. Did she die when they landed, or did she kill herself in that split second? Watch this clip in order to decide for yourself:

So overall, Hex was a good character. I do think she could have been a lot better, but she was still nice overall. Her motives were interesting, and she had some great screen time.

Next, I want to elaborate on a character who first appeared in Season 1. Minami Amada, otherwise known as Dr. Miami.

Aww, look at precious she looks in her youth. SOOO PRECIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I got too into my Randall Randall side. XD My bad.

Anyways, Dr. Miami is one of Koko's closest friends, and probably the one she shares her secrets with. I mean, they both are working together on Jormungand, so just a hunch. She is obsessed with butterflies among other things, and will often go on butterfly hunting trips without notifying Koko first if they are scheduled to have a conference. She is also a Japanese expert of robotics, and her inventions mostly end up in some shape or form in weapons.

Dr. Miami is probably one of the more entertaining characters of the series. Not only is she kind of wacky, but she does have a good heart. I can see why her and Koko are close friends.

Besides the majority of our forgettable crew members and returning characters, we also have some new ones, such as the former head of the SR unit (Hinoki), some of Kasper's bodyguards (named after Edgar Allen Poe), subordinates to Hinoki, his daughter, a Russian doctor who only speaks once, a famous hacker, and someone who works in Washington who Koko sabotages in the kidnapping mission.


White Fox once again animated the series, and they are also known for producing the animation for Steins Gate, Akame ga Kill, and Is The Order a Rabbit?

The animation is still on fleek for the most part. The action scenes still look fantastic, and close ups look great as well. However, this season, we had more struggles with shots from a further distance. Sometimes arms decrease and increase in size, and facial expressions often appear without detail. There's 1 particular moment in episode 5 that made me burst out laughing. During a conversation between Jonah and Tojo, Jonah's arms at one moment appear very bloated, and it looks very odd.

The short moments of fanservice return in Season 2 with a little more frequency. There's one example of censorship I'd like to talk about from Episode 10. It happens after the kidnapping operation of Rabbitsfoot, and it's a bath scene involving Koko and Jonah. Besides seeing snippets of the scene in Japanese, I watched the whole series in its English dub, and comparing the two overall from TV to DVD is a little odd.

My friend helped out with some pictures from my laptop and from his phone, so here's a comparison between Koko on the original aired version compared to the final one of DVD:

The version on the DVD is censored by me because this is a safe environment. And it's in the only way I know best. XD 


Oh, don't worry manservice fans. I'm not going to leave you on a rack to dry. Here's some Jonah screenshots my friend also got:

This is going to be a little perverted, but pay close attention to the steam around the bottom half. Don't worry, no privates! Just look:

See? I told you it wasn't going to be too bad. I just censored out the thigh. 


#sorrynotsorry #mancandy

I do have to admit that Jonah's stomach looks different than from Episode 9 in the first season. Maybe it's because he's sitting, or a different animation director worked on this episode. I wouldn't know though, I'm too embarrassed to watch the beginning of Episode 9 again.

Regardless though, the animation for the most part is still on par with Season 1's, though with a couple of slip-ups.


Taku Iwasaki returns for composing in Season 2. He has also done the scores for Black Butler, Black Cat, and Heaven's Memo Pad.

Once again, the music is pretty epic for this series. Besides hearing some pieces that I loved, I got some new favorites, mainly 1 though. This would be Hard Drive Music. Here's a link of it from Youtube so you can listen to it:

I haven't seen too much of the second season in Japanese, as I again watched it mainly in English. And much like Highschool DXD New, it takes a dip in overall quality. But unlike that show, this dub actually still manages to do consistently good. Of course there were some horrible additional voices, and Micah's voice pitch for Jonah changes between episodes, but it's not too bad. I wouldn't say it's as good as Season 1 though.

Also, we had a script writer change. Considering that the 3 in charge of script writing also worked on Psycho Pass, another show licensed by FUNimation that came out in March of last year in the US, we can assume that they were recorded around the same time. Though it lacks Bonny's humor, it's still a nice script, despite the fact that the writers change between names for Koko's unit. Though crew returns and is used less frequently than in Season 1, we also have squad and team. Others are there too, and it depends between script writers what gets written. It's quite inconsistent.

Onto that really bad dub moment I was talking about in that fight with Hex earlier in the review. It's when R tells Koko that he is a spy. In Japanese, which I watched the day after from that clip, I could sense some emotion behind it. In English, it's so dry that it literally becomes comical. Up to the point of:

Seriously, I was laughing hysterically in my head. This is never a good sign. There was also a painful moment in Episode 6 that made me cringe. Oh, what good times indeed!

But beside that, I didn't really have any issues. My favorite new additions into the vocal cast were Jaime Marchi with her performance as Hex, as she manages to sound calm and sexy without sounding old. Martha Harms does a relatively entertaining Rabbitsfoot, complete with an accent. Leah Clark manages to use more of her range as Kuroka, Brandon Potter sounds young and enthusiastic in his guest appearance as a character. Finally to wrap things off, Blake Hackler does a fantastic job in Episode 7 as the translator, (Shame it's his only credited role. The accent was pulled off REALLY well) and Stephanie Sheh as an additional voice in Episode 9.


Best way to sum up this review would be:

The story is easily the biggest problem of the second season. The first half feels like a slap in the face compared to what Jormungand is fully capable of. Though the second half manages to improve in some ways, I still think this season was just overall weaker than the first. 

Though with its issues overall, Jormungand is still a great show through it all. I just wish that the second season was better. Oh well, at least we had some great moments.

Score: 7/10


Unique elements of story still there.

Better second half.

Animation is still great.

Score is awesome.

Valmet, Koko, Jonah, and Hex.

Episode 10 has magic of 1st season.


First half.

Some things either not explained, or seemingly left unknown so viewers have to pick up the pieces.

Some of Koko's crew continues to get pushed to the side.


English dub is slightly weaker.

Koko's plan towards Bookman in Episode 11 is lofty and unrealistic.