[Anime Review]: Witchblade

Witchblade.jpg

Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi

Writer: Yosuko Kobayashi

Animation Studios: Gonzo

Version Watched: Subbed

A little while ago a friend of mine suggested I watch Witchblade, an anime inspired by an American comic of the same name. They weren’t prepared to guarantee the quality of the show, so this was a recommendation made from nostalgia and as such I was a little wary going into it. That wariness was well deserved, as initially the show was simply average and I was close to dropping it about half way through. I was encouraged to persevere, however, and sitting here now I’m really glad I did. Despite some confused and poorly fleshed out plotlines, Witchblade has some intense emotion lying in store for its watchers behind heart-warming character relationships. Its faults aren’t easy to ignore but, for me at least, the payoff was worth it.

Masane Amaha lost all of her memories during the Great Tokyo Quake, waking up with only her baby daughter, Rihoko, and maternity book to point to her identity. Years later, the mother-daughter pair return to the city to start a new life together, though Rihoko’s mature, collected nature might have you confuse her for the parent instead of Masane’s scatterbrained hot-headedness. Happiness will be hard to find, however, as the other remnant from the Quake remains firmly attached to Masane’s wrist – the legendary Witchblade. Artificially engineered superweapons, mega-corporations and government agencies are all after the power of this mysterious artefact, while the only thing Masane cares about is providing for her daughter. Continue reading

Posted in Anime Reviews, Reviews | 2 Comments

[Anime Review]: Gankutsuou

Gankutsuou1.jpg

Director: Mahiro Maeda

Writer: Shuichi Kouyama

Animation Studio: Gonzo

Version Watched: Subbed

It’s been a fair while since I first watched The Count of Monte Cristo and despite the viewing having been forced by a high school class I found it to be pretty enjoyable. Gankutsuou is an anime adaptation with a slightly different focus which adds in a little of its own spice to the mix and overall does a great job of bringing both the characters and story to life. It boasts a unique visual style which may or may not appeal to your tastes and the ending goes a little off the rails but neither of those aspects should stop you from giving this series a chance.

Albert de Morcerf is the son of the great General Morcerf, hero of the intergalactic war and leading candidate for France’s presidency. Having been raised in a life of luxury, Albert is visiting the moon (Luna) for its grand festival with his childhood friend Franz when the two encounter the eccentric yet charismatic Count of Monte Cristo. The Count claims to be a nobleman who has travelled to the far reaches of space and back, and after saving Albert’s life from a gang of kidnappers he asks for the boy’s aid in moving to Paris, where the Morcerf family holds great sway. Monte Cristo’s very presence will bring significant change, however, to Paris, France and the world at large, though whether his hidden plans are beneficent or malicious remains to be seen.

Continue reading

Posted in Anime Reviews, Reviews | 3 Comments

[Visual Novel Review]: Cross Channel

 

Cross Channel.jpg

Developer – FlyingShine

Translator – Amaterasu Translations

Length – 10-30 Hours

[I’m going to spoil you here and say that this is a negative review – a very negative review. This was my immediate reaction after finishing Cross Channel and I stand by it. However, there are other visual novel fans who value alternate aspects of Cross Channel, so I’ll post a link to the opinion of one such reader after the review.]

When it comes to writing reviews you can’t just say something is bad, good or anywhere in between without backing up your opinions. Having said that, the only thing stopping me from describing Cross Channel as absolute mind-numbing garbage and leaving it at that (and indeed, the only thing that stopped me from dropping it within the first few hours) is the fact that it sits at rank 20 on VNDB. Considering the number of visual novels out there that’s a pretty prestigious position, so I felt that I needed to experience the story in full to do justice to any review I planned to write. Without giving too much away, Cross Channel is a terrible visual novel for a number of reasons that I’ll try to elaborate on further down the page, and more than for any other production I have [almost] no clue whatsoever why people claim to have enjoyed it.

I cannot justify devoting time to summarising the plot, so this is from VNDB:

“Gunjo Academy is a facility designed to gather and isolate those students who got a high score on an adaptation exam (Scoring high on this exam indicates that the student is less likely to be able to adapt to society) mandated by the government. After a failed summer vacation with other members of the school’s broadcasting club, Kurosu Taichi and some of the other club members return to the city, only to find that the world had completely changed.”

Continue reading

Posted in Reviews, Visual Novel Reviews | 11 Comments

[Visual Novel Review]: World End Economica Episode 3

WEE 31.jpg

Developer – Spicy Tails

Translator – Sekai Project

Length – 2-10 Hours

Episode.01 Review

Episode.02 Review

[A review copy was kindly provided by Sekai Project]

[Sekai Project has had no input into the content of this review]

[This review assumes you have played Episode.01 and .02, or read my reviews of them]

I’ve been waiting a long time to finally play World End Economica, mostly because I’m one of those people that likes to wait until something is finished so I can experience it all at once. The series boasts a scenario written by Hasekura Isuna, the same mind that brought the world Spice and Wolf, which managed to blend economics and interpersonal relationships into something really quite entertaining. I’ve decided to break up my review into three parts corresponding to the three episodes so you can follow my reactions to each instalment in order.

And here we are! Episode.03! The last chapter! The Final Countdown! In this ultimate instalment World End Economica continues to introduce new characters, reintroduces old ones and sweeps others under the carpet. Both translation and technical quality keep on the rise but the real question remains: Is this a suitable conclusion to the story that has been building so far?

Continue reading

Posted in Reviews, Visual Novel Reviews | 5 Comments

[Visual Novel Review]:World End Economica Episode 2

WEE 21.jpg

Developer – Spicy Tails

Translator – Sekai Project

Length – 2-10 Hours

Episode.01 Review

Episode.03 Review

[A review copy was kindly provided by Sekai Project]

[Sekai Project has had no input into the content of this review]

[This review assumes you have played Episode.01, or read my review of it]

I’ve been waiting a long time to finally play World End Economica, mostly because I’m one of those people that likes to wait until something is finished so I can experience it all at once. The series boasts a scenario written by Hasekura Isuna, the same mind that brought the world Spice and Wolf, which managed to blend economics and interpersonal relationships into something really quite entertaining. I’ve decided to break up my review into three parts corresponding to the three episodes so you can follow my reactions to each instalment in order, which means you’ll have to wait for the final verdict!

Episode.02 brings us an entirely new playing field with brand new characters galore and all the changes that naturally come with a four year time-skip. The general quality of translation and art improve, but are no substitute for the relationships of the first novel that are left behind in the second. Still, the expanding setting of the Lunar Surface remains interesting and the newer faces are entertaining enough.

Continue reading

Posted in Reviews, Visual Novel Reviews | Leave a comment

[Visual novel Review]: World End Economica Episode 1

WEE.png

Developer – Spicy Tails

Translator – Sekai Project

Length – 2-10 Hours

Episode.02 Review

Episode.03 Review

[A review copy was kindly provided by Sekai Project]

[Sekai Project has had no input into the content of this review]

I’ve been waiting a long time to finally play World End Economica, mostly because I’m one of those people that likes to wait until something is finished so I can experience it all at once. The series boasts a scenario written by Hasekura Isuna, the same mind that brought the world Spice and Wolf, which managed to blend economics and interpersonal relationships into something really quite entertaining. I’ve decided to break up my review into three parts corresponding to the three episodes so you can follow my reactions to each instalment in order, which means you’ll have to wait for the final verdict!

To start off with, Episode.01 introduces us to the world of the Lunar Surface, which man has colonized and turned into an economic haven for those fortunate enough to have the start-up capital. While it’s obviously the first instalment, with production value ramping up later in the series, it also has the most charm due to its character relationships that span both genres the novel explores.

Continue reading

Posted in Reviews, Visual Novel Reviews | Leave a comment

[Anime Review]: Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (OreGairu)

Oregairu1.jpg

A.K.A: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

Directors: Ai Yoshimura (S1), Kei Oikawa (S2)

Writer of Original Light Novel: Wataru Watari

Animation Studios: Brain’s Base (S1), feel. (S2)

Version Watched: Subbed

It actually took me two attempts to get through Oregairu, as after the first season it didn’t seem to be much more than an average romcom. I’m very glad I gave it another chance, however, as it was much more enjoyable the second time around and the second season blows the first out of the water. There are few productions that manage to achieve characterisation as complex as Oregairu, so if you’re after a character-driven drama with a hint of comedy and a ridiculous amount of subtext then this show is for you.

Hikigaya Hachiman is an outcast in just about every meaning of the word. By his own admission he hasn’t even talked to a girl in years and can count the number of friends he holds dear without any hands at all. His every waking moment would be a struggle, if he actually cared about what anyone else thought. His impressively cynical attitude ends up getting him forced into the newly formed Service Club by a worried teacher, with the only other member being the similarly isolated Yukinoshita Yukino. Naturally, the two can’t stand each other, but as they work together to help others as part of their club duties they find opinions and attitudes of rubbing off on them and, along with the bubbly but conflicted Yuigahama Yui, desperately fight to navigate the complexities of normal high school life.

Continue reading

Posted in Anime Reviews, Reviews | 6 Comments