Category Archives: Reviews

The Naruto Review [Review #13]

Hi I’m Simon and today I decided to exploit the remaining hype around Naruto. I honestly don’t think I have to tell anyone about this franchise so I’ll say some words before I start the actual review. I am not a huge fan of Naruto. I’ll try to be objective, but if you are a Naruto fanatic and don’t like hearing opinions that differ from your own I recommend stopping at this point. I don’t have any particularly good or bad feelings about neither manga nor anime and I’m not gonna be all emotional about it just because Kishimoto had the dignity to end it. I had a good time reading/watching it but in the end I’m ambiguous towards it and that’s gonna show in this review.

Erm– Dattebayo?

PLOT: No, really now? Ok, ok, for the sake of continuity then…ย  Naruto is a little mischievous kid growing up in a world of ninjas. His strong desire to be accepted by his peers makes him wish to become Hokage, the strongest and most trusted ninja in his village and also its governor. Of course, for this to work he has to become strong and fight many more or less terrifying enemies.

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Characters: Neither do I like them nor do I think they’re in any way special. Sasuke alone makes so many 180ยฐ turns just to advance the story it’s outright ridiculous. Despite starting out as a somewhat cool and tragic character, the need for a driving force behind the story makes him develop into an asshole. Additionally, the romance between Sakura (and Ino) and him is laughable. I’m sorry but I just can’t see how a crush on a cool guy at 10 years old develops into a life-long, unconditional love one would die for. Not happening. On that note, even the “friendship” Naruto imagines is only there because the story demands it. But who am I to question friendship in a Shonen. Naruto himself is in no way an intriguing or deep character. As such he doesn’t have any major flaws but it’s only natural that there are no flaws where there is nothing to begin with. He is the typical idiotic, immature but oh so peace-loving protagonist of any shonen manga/anime and he does his job. Now, here’s one thing many people and especially Kishimoto himself don’t seem to get: A tragic background is neither good enough to justify action of any kind, nor to make a character I can feel any kind of emotion towards. Every time any character does something especially evil or is about to die we get a flashback of their childhood, loving memories, past trauma, good comrades or everyone they loved being killed. You know what I’m talking about. Everyone else is not in any way positive or negative, except some being cooler and better liked by the fanbase than others. You know, Kakashi, Itachi, Pain and stuff.

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Story: Bigger but not better. Starting off in an admittedly awesome and intriguing way, after some time all it amounted to was whether it could outdo itself time and time again, resulting in new techniques and powers stronger than everything we saw before being scrapped only a short while after they were even introduced. Sage Mode, people! Another thing is the fact that villains are not beaten or over and done with. They’re not even given a respectable conclusion to their respective storylines. Rather, they just add one after the other, fabricating ridiculous plot twists like Orochimaru being still alive after someone killed him for the fifteenth time. Now, the great ninja war. I mean, seriously? If you’ve read a recent chapter of Bleach you know how ridiculously stupid it is to introduce too many characters at once or close after another. Especially if you make them out to be so frickin strong and with every single one comes a new power or technique and everyone’s shitting their pants, the characters and the audience alike, in anticipation of the battle. And then poof, the character is scrapped and along come 5 new ones. That war was too big for its own good. Rather than being totally awesome because of its scale, the quality suffered a great deal. And along comes Kaguya. A life or death battle with the future of the world riding on it can be oh so grand but if the participants aren’t people I have some kind of bond to it doesn’t do shit for me. I’d rather the last opponent was Obito or even Madara (who was ridiculously strong to the point of being unbeatable already) than some new evil god or whatever that’s just been introduced a few chapters ago. Thanks to that the fight everyone has been really looking forward to, the one between Naruto and Sasuke, felt rushed and paled in comparison. Not saying it would’ve been better as it was without the whole Kaguya thingy beforehand, but had Kishimoto ended the great ninja war arc or whatever it’s supposed to be called at an earlier point, he’d have had more time to develop the conflict between Naruto and Sasuke leading to a final confrontation, rather than Sasuke coming out of nowhere for the hundredth time saying he wants to kill something. Naruto, in this case, once again. This pretty much concludes the issues I have with the story. The story had its perks and drawbacks but I feel as if most of them are personal issues everyone has a different view on.

yeah no, I had to do that
yeah no, I had to do that

Art/Animation: What can I say about the animation? It’s fine. The art is fine too. I personally don’t like it but I don’t see any flaws with it. As so many long running series, it becomes more simplistic as time goes on, but that’s only logical as the artist optimizes his process and sheds unnecessary, troublesome things.

I have to give it to the anime, I’ve never seen such a streak in awesome openings.

My Recommendation: Give it a try if you haven’t already. It’s a shonen, so it’s light entertainment with its epic and funny moments, but don’t expect much more. If you want a good shonen, give Psyren a try, for being one of the best shonen manga out there. Beware though, the end is rather rushed. I suppose if you’re younger you should give the older shonen anime a try. Dragonball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Inu Yasha and the like.

Well, with that I leave you, if you like my content please consider following me or voice your opinion by commenting or sending me a tweet @ nolazyway ๐Ÿ˜€

Thank you and have a nice day ๐Ÿ™‚

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Fate/Zero [Review #12]

Hi I’m Simon and today I have a review of Fate/Zero for you. Originally a Light Novel by Gen Urobuchi, the prequel to Type-Moon’s Fate/Stay Night was adapted into an anime in 2011. The anime had two seasons for a total of 25 episodes, it was produced by ufotable and directed by Ei Aoki.

Dialogue Diarrhea.

PLOT: The holy grail war comes again. Only this time, before the first one. 7 masters and their 7 servant fight in a magical battle in Fuyuki city over who will be the last man standing and consequently receive the holy grail to have his single wish granted. Grand boneheads and grand schemers alike participate in this epic, each for their own reasons and motivations. Who will win?

This sounded more like a teaser trailer then a plot description, sorry for that :/

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Characters: If you know anything at all about the Fate-series, then you know that I can’t possibly go over all the characters here. Rather, I’ll pick out the most interesting ones and the most disappointing ones. Since there is a lack of a main character, I’ll start with the closest thing: Emiya Kiritsugu. He is both interesting and disappointing. He seems torn in every decision he makes but when it comes to executing it he becomes cold as ice. He has a kind of anti-hero characteristic in that what he wants to achieve is pure and noble and stuff, but he doesn’t mind dirtying his hands in the process. Kiristugu is built up to be an extremely complicated and good character and a big part of this are his inner conflicts. Those inner conflicts are apparent throughout the show but only sparsely touched upon. The only parts of his character that are elaborated on are important parts of his past as well as what made him arrive at his rather cruel mindset and stance on saving lives. In the end he is a very good character and his emotional distress is done really well, but with all that could’ve been done with him I can’t help but feel disappointed. So let’s go on to a character that is pure charisma – Rider. Not nearly as complex a character as Kiritsugu or even any other servant, he still steals the spotlight in every scene he is in. He and his master Waver Velvet-kun (hehe)ย are the closest thing we get to comic relief in this series. And that’s desperately needed. Aside from Waver having his little complexes and Rider having a wish they are by no means deep or elaborate characters. But they fit their roles perfectly. As such, both their characters are nearly perfect. That does not mean they are exciting or interesting, but what is there more important for a character to be one with the role he has in the play? I want to at least touch upon one more Master-Servant pair, that being the “inofficial” pairing of Kotomine Kirei and Archer, Gilgamesh. First, Kotomine Kirei. He is, without a doubt, the most cruel and twisted of all characters anywhere. He toys with people in such an elaborate way, shattering their psyche completely and utterly while never once making it apparent to the other characters that he is the cause of it. In short, he’s a dick. But! A good character and probably the one with the most development throughout the series. He is believable in the way he behaves and ultimately arrives at evil overlord. That change is almost completely due to and encouraged by Gilgamesh. His character is, although extremely inconsistent and win-by-default-powerlevel probably the most exciting to watch. I don’t know what more to say about him, you need to experience it by yourself. He ranges from “oh Saber, become my wife!” to “Those puny ants are touching my shit I’ll erase them all from existence!” I think his character is best defined by giving you the reason he even partakes in the holy grail war. Not because he has a wish, no no, he just wants his possession back. Cause he’s sure the holy grail was in his treasury at some point and as the awesome king he is he can’t permit thievery. Well there you have it folks.

Just because you can’t follow the dialogue doesn’t mean it’s good. The same holds true for long as fuck dialogue. Neither the length nor the complexity define it’s quality. Glad I got that out of the way.

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Story: The story is rather straight forward without really going anywhere. The story seems to be focused on the characters and how they will behave rather than actually trying to go towards their goal of obtaining the holy grail, which, if done correctly, is just as entertaining as another kind of story. My biggest problem with how the anime progresses is how everyone seems to try their own strategies and ruses and whatnot, but aside from the one or the other taking the first step when a fight is imminent, they don’t affect the way the story progresses. The main characters and the servants who get more focus stay alive and we see one fight after the other without conclusion, or the underdeveloped, sidecharacter and servant roles are killed off in their first major battle. This becomes apparent at the latest during the climax of the show. What was established all throughout the show, that is only one master-servant pair is alive when the grail shows itself, is thrown completely out of the window. Even in what is supposed to be a grand and epic final battle, only one servant dies and other than his real identity that doesn’t give you more than the shabby bits you already know about him. Although staying interesting and more or less suspenseful to watch, it feels like too much is going on and it doesn’t know where it wants to go and because of that unnecessary dialogue is thrown around at all times. The good news is that despite being a prequel, it is in no way spoiled by knowing how it will end at all.

Boring suspense and some character backgrounds. Yay.

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Animation: This is by far the best about this show. Produced by ufotable, the animation is among the best out there. If you have seen Kara no Kyoukai or the ongoing Fate/Stay Night UBWย  you know what to expect. To be honest, with a normal/mediocre animation I probably wouldn’t have sat through this. But even the dialogues are amazing to watch, and that doesn’t even compare to the fight scenes. In short, you probably won’t find much better animation in any series. You can probably judge by the pictures I put in this post. Those are actual screenshots.

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My Recommendation: You will probably enjoy this one way or another. However, it should not be your first encounter with the Fate-series, because it gives you much more of an experience if you know what some of these characters will become. Also, some minor knowledge is good to have, but not necessary. If you want to get into the series, start with Fate/Stay Night. If you have already seen Fate/Zero and liked it, the obvious recommendations would be the other parts of the series. Other than that i recommend K for an anime series that looks almost equally stunning. Other than that the Bakemonogatari-series for witty dialogue.

With that I leave you, if you like my content please consider following me or share your thoughts in the comments or by sending me a tweet @ nolazyway ๐Ÿ™‚

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Phantom: Requiem [Review #11]

Hi I’m Simon and this is a review of Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom. Originally a Nitroplus Visual Novel, Phantom of the Inferno spawned an OVA, anime and a manga adaption. Produced by studio BeeTrain and directed by Koichi Mashimo in 2009 the anime has 26 episodes.

Meh.

PLOT: The criminal organization Inferno has made it their goal to unify the criminal underworld everywhere on the planet under them. A big role in realizing this ambition is the assassin Ein, also called Phantom, which is the title for the best assassin of Inferno. She is like an emotionless robot created by Scythe Master, a crazy scientist of sorts working under Inferno. But Ein is not enough, so he tries to recreate his success with a young japanese man only called Zwei. Zwei is trained by Ein to become an assassin and so they work as a team until Claudia McCunnen, a member with quite a standing in Inferno, takes an interest in Zwei.

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Characters: I guess I have to huh… well lets start with Zwei. Whoever read my 30-day-anime-challenge post knows that he is my top pick for the most annoying male anime character. His name is Reiji Azuma and he has no personality. Other than the fact that he seems to not care about anything, even as it is made clear how fucked he is gonna be if he doesn’t do anything about it, he has no defining traits at all. He starts out relying on a huge amount of pity from the audience as an excuse for his inability to influence whats happening in any way. His character and actions are extremely reliant on the fact that Scythe Master is established as an evil genius who knows so perfectly how his victims think. And that fact is never even questioned. A big part of what I don’t like about Reiji stems from the character that influences him most in the first few episodes of the series. Scythe Master is made out to be a genius psychologist, sadist and what not, but his character and actions don’t live up to that. He always has a genius plan and an evil smirk that says “exactly as planned” every so often but that only works because noone at all seems to communicate with anyone else. Because if they did his plans would fall apart instantly. This brings me back to Reiji’s mess of a character. His misery is reliant on the fact that Scythe Masters plans are flawless. But they’re not. Which makes it hard to feel pity for him after a few episodes. The best example for this is very early on in the show: Scythe Master leaves Ein and Zwei in some abandoned factory of sorts to do their training. This is a few days after Reiji was forced into being an assassin. He hasn’t killed anyone and he is still pretty reluctant to even do as he’s told. The only handicap is that he doesn’t have any memories. Now, Scythe Masters hypothesis is as follows: He doesn’t have anywhere to go to or anything to do besides continuing his training and becoming an assassin so he won’t even try to run. At some point, Ein leaves for a mission with Scythe Master, leaving Reiji alone for days, with a frickin car. But he doesn’t even seem to consider fleeing. Well, OK. Enough about those two. Let’s go on to some other characters. Not that it’d get any better, by all means. Ein. She is, as mentioned before, the first assassin created by Scythe Master. And probably the best. But she has the same flaws as Reiji, only that she is even more reliant on the existence of a master, that being, of course, Scythe Master. To the point where it gets ridiculous. I won’t spoil anything, but she is impossible to comprehend. Not because of her complexity, but by the sheer stupidity of her character. Fine, then last but not least, Claudia McCunnen. She starts out as a rather interesting character, being a pretty hot woman with brains and cunning who works herself up through the ranks of Inferno. As the show continues though, she falls into the same pattern as all the others, being degraded into sheer stupidity and making faults that could be prevented by sharing her plans with at least her trusted childhood friend and subordinate Lizzie. On top of that, everything we get on her past throughout the whole show is the same flashback again and again. And after all that I can’t even say if the guy who died in the flashback was her brother or her lover. Or something in between.

Overall, the characters in this anime started out pretty promising, but as the show goes on they fall out of character to be able to follow the shows plan and degrade into a big blob of stupidity and facepalm and the characters seemingly actively trying to fail.

Requiem for the Phantom 6

They just won’t die.

Story: A cruel, bloody mess. The story is nothing but twists and turns. Not to say that they are predictable, but if people would die if they are killed, it would be. Seriously though, it seems the anime can’t help but facilitate its plot twists by making you think a character died and then having them escape with their life in totally impossible ways. Ein gets shot through the heart. Not dead. Zwei is shot in the upper back thrice and falls into the water only to be washed ashore somewhere at least half a day later. Not frickin dead. Either they don’t die or they are not killed. Seriously. Reiji alone leaves more chances to kill his enemies unused than I don’t care insert some witty analogy here. The story starts out extremely promising but then proceeds to a whacky climax just to kick Reiji in the balls. And again. And again. Until someone dies. Then, apparently, Reijis mind resets, until he once again has some reason to try and change the status quo, just to get kicked in the balls again. The show goes on like this, until after a major kick in the balls that shouldn’t even be one by any normal person’s standards, an idiotic conflict and therefore climax ensues. After rehashing everything the show has established about morals and faults and whatnot in these last few episodes, the show proceeds to give us a happy ending. Just to deliver another major kick in the balls to the audience. But well, decide for yourself if you want to sit through such a fun and thrilling experience!

I don’t apologize if this kick in the balls analogy ticks someone off.

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Animation: The animation is mediocre at best. The designs itself are pretty well done but there’s mostly just still frames or only the mouth moving. Action scenes look a bit better, although they are short and don’t have much movement on the characters’ side either. It didn’t matter as much in the beginning since there wasn’t much action anyway and the many scenes with conversation are done witty and feature interesting settings and shots. That stops at around episode 10 or so though, so it doesn’t do anything to raise the quality of the anime at all.

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My Recommendation: Don’t let the fact that Gen Urobuchi wrote the story for the Visual Novel mislead you, the time I spent watching this 26 episode ordeal was not worth it at all. If you haven’t already watched it you can pass it up knowing that you won’t regret not having seen this. If you have already seen it and want something similar of better quality to watch, I recommend Black Lagoon for better action, animation and crime setting or Darker than Black for similar masks. Also because it has awesome action and superpowers.

That’s it for this review, if you like my content please consider following me, or tell me your opinion by commenting or sending me a tweet @ nolazyway ๐Ÿ˜€

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Nisekoi [Review #10]

Hi I’m Simon and this here is the fabulous, the excellent, the awesome, 10th review here on nolazyway. And in light of that, in the next few days, I will bring you a special, that being the 30-day-Anime-challenge that’s been going around, in a single post. Cause I don’t have the confidence to keep up 30 days without interruption. Well anyway. Today’s Nisekoi.

Written and drawn by Komi Naoshi since November 2011, having published 148 chapters in 14 volumes up to date in Weekly Shonen Jump and a 20 episodes anime with an announced second season. The anime is produced by Studio Shaft and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo.

Is it a romance? Is it a harem? It’s … yeah, what is it?

PLOT: Raku Ichijo is the heir of a local yakuza group. Rather docile as he is, he strives to become a civil servant, when one day his father sets him up to date the young daughter of the beehive mafia group, Chitoge Kirisaki, that came over from america, to avoid a war between the two groups. Of course the two are reluctant to do as they are told, but it seems there is no choice, but Raku already likes his classmate Kosaki Onodera. Additionally, he has a pendant-shaped lock with the key belonging to his first love, or so he thinks. Together with various other girls and the best friends of Raku and Kosaki, Shuu and Ruri, a fun and romance-ish story unfolds.

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 21.11.05

Characters: Know what? I’ll start with the sidekicks. Shuu and Ruri. Those two are introduced as the sidekick to Raku and Kosaki respectively but it quickly becomes apparent they are characters with their own identity and problems. As the story progresses they are developed on the few occasions they get but in the progress they actually become more than decent characters. Maybe even more so than the main characters. And that’s saying something cause the characters in this manga are really good. Nisekoi is the only manga/anime of the harem-genre where the main character actually deserves the attention by not being a wimp and actually being nice towards the girls and actively helping them with their problems. Rather than just idiotically stumbling into a half-assed solution only affecting the psyche of the girl of the week into thinking “oh he tried to help me i’m content with that until the writers want cheap drama again”. So yeah, as you can see my opinion of the main character Raku Ichijo is pretty high. He still has the ultimate asset any harem-main has to have: complete obliviousness. On to the main girls now. For the sake of keeping this simple and straightforward as well as spoiler free, I’m just gonna concentrate on the first two girls Kosaki Onodera and Chitoge Kirisaki. Chitoge is loud, violent and spoiled but in a loveable way. Well, maybe not at first. As the story goes on, the nickname Gorilla-Woman, given to her by Raku, vanishes. She is a strong character who goes with the head through the wall to get what she wants. Kosaki is the complete opposite, being shy, silent, peace-loving and more on the cute, ditzy side. That’s it for the characters. As I said, I rather like the characters in Nisekoi for being not only the best cast I’ve ever seen in the Harem-genre, but in general as well.

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Story: As you can probably guess, or maybe not, what do I know…This is a harem and as such rather episodic. Though that being as it is, the annoying nature common to members of the harem-genre, the one where the main completely forgets his interactions with the girl of the first week to go on to the second and on and on, is not present in Nisekoi. Although being pretty much episodic, each mini-arc featuring the chosen girl for two or so chapters, it is done in a rather believable way. Neither do Raku or any of the girls really forget their involvement with one another, nor do any fundamental things happen. At least not all the time. Other than that, what is noteworthy are the two major plot-devices of the manga/anime. One being, obviously, the whole yakuza-thing. Not only is Rakus background responsible for him getting to know Chitoge, but also for pressuring him and introducing 3 more girls into the story. While I almost forgot about it in the middle of the manga, it came back in an awesome way. The second being Rakus aforementioned pendant with an integrated lock. Raku firmly believes that his first love has the key to the pendant and he wants nothing more than meet her. The whole thing starts out rather easy, but with ever girl comes along a new option as well as a key, and then the pendant breaks… As of now the pendant is more of a device to keep the story going, mainly by preventing Raku from doing anything with any of the girls, as he wants to get to know the girl he got the pendant from. As you can see the story is pretty messy but it does well in eliminating things that make other harems less enjoyable.

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Art/Animation: The art of the manga is pretty distinctive and fun to look at, but other than than nothing special. It fits the manga well and I like the fact that it’s drawn traditionally with pen and ink. The anime is different. The fact that it is a Shaft/Akiyuki Shinbo production is obvious. If you have seen any part of the Bakemonogatari series you know what I mean. The animation style and especially the backgrounds are beautiful, yet peculiar. It is not as much as in Bakemonogatari but the fact it is made by the same people is blatantly obvious. While it may appeal to many people, it isn’t for everyone. Nonetheless, it looks beautiful and I like it very much.

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My Recommendation: Read it. If you’re more of an anime fan, watch it, Nisekoi is, if anything, funny. If you already know Nisekoi and want something similar, I recommend Kono Kanojo wa Fiction desu or This Girl is a Fiction for cool distinctive art and whacky drawing style and story. Also, anything by Yohikawa Miki.

And with that we’re finished for today, please look forward to my next post containing the 30-day-anime-challenge. if you like my content please follow me or send me a tweet @ nolazyway ๐Ÿ˜€

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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei [Review #9]

Hi I’m Simon and here I am again with a review of the anime (and only the anime) Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, The Irregular at Magic High School. The 13-volume Light novel by Tsutomu Satou has spawned 5 manga adaptations, 2 video games and a 26-episodes anime. Produced by Studio Madhouse and directed by Manabu Ono, it started airing in april 2014.

I can’t imagine a more generic and clichรฉe name for an anime.

PLOT: In a world where magic was achieved as a form of technology, Tatsuya Shiba and his younger sister Miyuki enroll at a High School for magic. While his gifted sister is marked a “Bloom”, Tatsuya himself is branded a “Weed”, which makes him subject to hate and persecution by the “Bloom” students. But soon after entering the school, Tatsuya makes it clear that his low scores in practical application of magic do not disqualify him as a bad magic user. And so he starts by beating his “Bloom” opponent in a heartbeat in a duel. From then on Tatsuya gets more and more amazing, making it all the more clear he is not just a normal student.

Mahouka-Koukou-no-Rettousei-Wallpaper-Tatsuya

Characters: So lets start with the main pair of siblings, Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba. Those two are probably the strongest mages in the entire series up to this point. There’s one guy (who looks like a clone of Suzaku Kururugi) that can kinda compete but not really. Especially Tatsuya is so stupidly overpowered, it makes you wonder how much he can fuck around to make that anime 26 episodes long. Everything he does is so roundabout and concerned not to blow his cover (which he eventually does anyway), he doesn’t seem like a normal student but like an idiot who waltzed into a highschool by chance. And yet everything he does is frickin amazing and mindblowingly cool. His whole personality and behaviour seems to be anchored on the fact that he knows he’s stronger than everyone else, so why doesn’t he do anything? But oh well. So now Miyuki. She’s timid, shy, and oh so in love with her brother. Now, before you scream “Incest! Burn her” or anything like that, read on. As much as I hate to disappoint fans of romance, myself included, nothing happens. Although the show makes Miyuki out to be extremely jealous, freezing her surroundings unconsciously whenever Tatsuya gets along with another girl, nothing happens. Which can get funny at times because Tatsuya develops a harem throughout the show. Also, they’re not really siblings, though, as of yet, we don’t know their exact circumstances. There’s so much hinting at a romance that never happens, it’s outright annoying. The other characters are pretty much exchangeable and barely even needed. Which is sad because there were some interesting ones among them like Saegusa and… that other woman, but ultimately there were so many it was hard to even remember their names. So except for Tatsuya and Miyuki it was pretty mediocre in the character department.

Mahouka-Koukou-no-Rettousei-Wallpaper

Story: The story is a bloody mess. Although it seems like it knows what it does and to go into a specific direction, the direction changes every 5 or so episodes, so all you really get is some 5 episode story arcs. They eventually cumulate and it becomes obvious the perpetrator and main enemy is the same organization for the entirety of the anime, which peaks in a more than disappointing fight. So even though the story is a mess it is still fun to watch, but gets annoying once you realize nothing is gonna happen, because you wait and wait for something more and then the arc resets and a new storyline starts. Just rest assured that Tatsuya and Miyuki will trump themselves over and over, both in stupidity as in epicness.

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This is more fun than it should be.

Animation: The looks and animation is the strongpoint of Mahouka. The colors look beautiful and the action scenes are well choreographed and executed. Even the school uniforms have a unique design. The character designs too are something different, they probably won’t appeal to every one but oh well personal taste is hard to judge. Over all the animation is fluent and the special effects looks stellar. Though Tatsuya always has a really straight line as a mouth which looks kinda weird.

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My Recommendation: For fans of magic and those who like it well explained (kinda) this is the right thing. As is for fans of not just normal action. If you don’t expect more than good looks and action from it, you will have lots of fun. For those who have seen Mahouka and want something similar, I recommend the Fate -franchise for pseudo-explained magic and even better looks with a much better story or Guilty Crown, which, even though it’s not really good, has a very similar feel to it.

So that’s it for today, if you like my content please consider following me or send me a tweet @ nolazyway ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tokyo Ghoul [Review #8]

Hi I’m Simon and I’m back at last with a review of Tokyo Ghoul. Written by Sui Ishida, the manga ran from 2011 to 2014, together with a spin-off, Tokyo Ghoul JACK and a sequel, Tokyo Ghoul:re. Produced by studio Pierrot and directed by Shuhei Morita, the anime has 12 episodes and a second season confirmed to start airing in 2015. Just to clarify, I’ll take a look at the finished, original, Tokyo Ghoul. I won’t go into detail about any part of Tokyo Ghoul:re.

I’ll have a coffee, please.

PLOT: The earth is being plagued by a race that seems to come straight out of a horror-movie, the Ghouls. They eat only human flesh and have superhuman strength, agility and regeneration, along with an innate weapon that is unique to every ghoul. By what seems to be a strange coincidence, Kaneki Ken, a kind of frail bookworm and university student, is drawn into this world. Now he has to cope with his new circumstances, new people and the problem of what to eat.

There is so much awesome fan art for this it's crazy
There is so much awesome fan art for this it’s scary

Characters: There’s many interesting characters to be found here. They often come with equally interesting relationships, sadly, those are, for the most part, in the past, and you only find out about them through expositions and memories. Character relationships don’t develop or change much. That holds true especially in the Ghoul department. The ghoul investigators are a bit better, but there’s not much to be had here either, except for what’s going on between Amon Koutaro and Mado Akira. Those characters both start off as just another Ghoul investigator, but eventually develop into more. They are interesting because they develop in ways that you wouldn’t consider for strict personalities like those. But enough about side-characters, let’s take a look at Kaneki. He goes through many transformations and trials, making you shiver with excitement about what will come next. Ultimately though, he disappoints every single time. He starts off weak, and disappoints with an amazingly weak will. Then, he is broken and recreated as someone who can switch between stone cold killer and his old, nice self, just to disappoint again. And lastly, his mind is completely shattered and he goes nuts, just to run against the same wall over and over again. Many characters, whether they are human or ghoul, seem to, as interesting as they are, just be there as a reminder that no one side is truly evil or truly good, rather, both sides are overwhelmingly dark and cruel. At every new corner, the characters show so much potential, just to waste it and fall back into the grand but boring scheme of Ghouls vs. Humans.

Who's a Ghoul ? Kaneki's a Ghoul !!
Who’s a Ghoul ? Kaneki’s a Ghoul !!

Story: Just like the characters, the story had more potential than any other recent popular manga. It starts off in a crazy rollercoaster of emotion, horror, action and an exceptionally original setting. So much, in fact, that, after reading the first ten chapters or so, I went and bought the first three volumes. I’ve rarely seen an episode or read a chapter as powerful as the one where Kaneki tries to eat all kinds of food and continuing to spit it out and vomits, until he finds the soothing taste of coffee stayed the same. Sadly, the story takes a nosedive after Kaneki is taken in at the Anteiku. The explosive start made you hungry for twisted horror and action scenes, instead it feels like they teach Kaneki how to boil coffee for 50 chapters. After that, a lot of times, the story picks up speed and momentum, but it continues to waste potential, as it’s cut off every time before it can reach any kind of satisfying climax or conclusion, and that continues until it’s over. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable to read and interesting as a really new kind of manga with a plot that I’ve never seen before, but as a satisfying story, it fails in my opinion. The anime falls extremely short in what it contains of the manga. It is nice to look at the characters moving, but ultimately it feels extremely slow.

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An interesting concept poorly executed.

Art/Animation: The manga is unique in how it is drawn, very thick, dark and frayed lines and pictures, this effect only increases in the later chapters, but seems like the artist is getting more comfortable with it, as it gets more clear-cut where it needs to be and becomes better looking. The only real flaw I found are the surprisingly stupid looking short necks. That is something very apparent in the early chapters, which gets better, but never really vanishes. The anime looks simply stunning. It keeps the dark colours and tone of the manga despite not completely adopting the unique style. Rather, it created a similar feeling by being very dark but with beautiful and vibrant colours for eyes and kagune, making it a joy to watch.

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The anime’s opening song is awesome.

My Recommendation: If you like original things, action and interesting questions raised, you don’t mind violence, sadism and crazy fights, this is for you. Despite not being what it could’ve become, Tokyo Ghoul is still an extremely enjoyable manga. If you want something similar, I recommend Attack on Titan, if you haven’t read it already. Also, Ajin, for being equally interesting and original, and Zetman for an equally dark and violent story with superior art.

That ends my review, if you like my content, please consider following me or send me a tweet @ nolazyway ๐Ÿ˜€

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Angel Beats! (Review #7)

Hi I’m Simon and this is a review of Angel Beats!. Originally a light novel by Jun Maeda, it was adapted into multiple manga, games, an OVA and a Television Series in 2010. It was produced by P.A.Works and has 13 episodes.

This is not gonna be fun.

PLOT: Yuzuru Otonashi dies. He then finds himself in a wide space in front of a highschool (yes, a highschool, not, I don’t know, something less antclimactic, like.. Styx). Shortly after waking up there, he is picked up by Yuri, who explains the place he has come to. The highschool is kinda like a limbo, acting as a world for teenagers who died to have the possibility of doing what they didn’t get to do while alive and letting go of any lingering attachment to the world of the living, so they can… well, pass on I guess?

Characters: Urgh. There’s so much wasted potential in Angel Beats (character-wise) it makes me sick. If they had swapped every main with a supporting character the show would be much better. But, I decided to review it (partly because of that) so there’s no way around it. Otonashi is the classical (maybe that’s too optimistic, let’s make it clichรฉ) shonen protagonist. He doesn’t want anyone getting hurt, whether it be friend or foe. The only thing that makes him stand out is the fact that they at least gave him a reason to be like that. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a perfectly understandable reason, but nothing too out there, and it fits well in the melodrama that is the show. But, like with many shonen protagonists, I have the feeling that he just goes along with whatever comes his way and when offered a choice, he chooses. There is nothing resembling initiative on his own. Next is Angel, or Tenshi (I prefer the original name). She is one of these stereotypical, emotionless girls I hate so much. You know, like Rei from NGE, Yuki from Haruhi and Shiina from Sakurasou. But at least those where characters. Tenshi is just flat (no pun intended). She has no reason at all for doing what she does and there is no explanation why she alone can go against an army of people armed with rifles by having some supernatural power. She seems to develop, but it’s the typical development triggered by the main who has a thing for her, for whatever reason. Last is Yuri, the female leader of the Afterlife Battlefront, which fights against Tenshi. What defines her character is, as with most others in the show, her tragic past. At this point, let me clarify something: A tragic past does not make a good character. There is no workaround where, when you have a character without personality, you give them a tragic past and that automatically justifies every action they take. Well, if you still have any questions, that’s her character.

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Story: I have a hard time with this part, because there’s as many holes in the story as in emmenthaler cheese. Also, I think the setup and parts of the story are just so cruel, it’s not even fun to make fun about it. So at this point, this review will contain some semblance of spoilers, not that it matters with this story. The “rule” of the show is, you have something you regret or couldn’t do before you died, so you come tho this limbo-like highschool. Then, when you’re happy, you pass on, which looks for me like frickin dying again. So that one girl passes on after playing a concert, because that’s what she’s always wanted to do. How cruel is it to kill someone off right after becoming happy? So after that, people don’t want to become fullfilled, obviously, because that would mean they’ll be gone. At kinda the same time, Otonashi falls for Tenshi (for whatever reason) so then some shadow-like things surface and devour people, just so they are reborn as NPCs (people in the school like teachers, not human, just doing what they’re supposed to), because some computer is programmed to do that when love is detected, because the highschool isn’t supposed to be a paradise. Which is stupid, because the place is supposed to make people happy, meaning, becoming their personal paradise. And if that’s a different kind of happy, can I pass on when I’m happy about getting a chocolate bar? And what about those people whose happiness would’ve been falling in love? Screw those guys, I guess. Anyway, because of these shadow thingies, they want to make everyone pass on. So they basically talk everyone into dying. Well, they are nice people I guess. And now, be ready for the grand finale. Just before everyone’s gone, Yuri destroys the computer responsible for the shadow-thingies. How cool is that? Now they killed everyone except for, like, five kids off because the shadows were such a threat, and then they destroy the computer, consequently making the place a paradise. Any reason the show gives you that it was necessary to do this is utter bullshit and ultimately only for the sake of creating drama, which is responsible for people actually thinking this show is good. In short, this show is plain stupid, and makes you think it’s good by being full with tearjerking moments. But, compared with other sad shows like Clannad, the scenes feel empty and without backing. I did my best to emphasize with the characters, but I have a hard time feeling sympathy for idiots.

Ok so that was my rant. Let’s continue with the actual review.

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Animation: If I had to say anything good about this show, I would credit it for the animation. It looks gorgeous. Action scenes are fluent and filled to the brim with vibrant colours, and big eyes on little girls will sparkle you to death. Overall, the show has a soft, colourful look which is exceptionally pleasant to look at.

No, I won’t say anything about the music. Piano doesn’t automatically make for a good opening.

My Recommendation: Pass it up, if you haven’t seen it already. If you absolutely must watch it, do it for the animation and the occasional comedy. If you want something similar, I won’t recommend anything to you. However, I’ll point you towards a show that’s actually good (jut because I made it a thing to recommend something at the end of my reviews): Ano Natsu de Matteru.

And with that, I leave you. If you like my content, please consider following me, or send me a tweet @ nolazyway.

Thank you for your time, and have a nice day ๐Ÿ˜€