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Anime Reviews posted by Optic

    Great high octane thriller similar to Tokyo Ghoul

    A high octane thriller since the first Ajin season. The idea of having other humans called Ajin that cannot die and having them slowly chastised as villains by the government and general population was thrilling!

    Satou I felt was also a great badass Ajin villain. The showdown with Satou and Nagai and co. was brilliant too. Although the animation felt jerky at first I quickly got used to it.

    In many ways this reminded me of Tokyo Ghoul, different settings but Ajin felt more thrilling - I cared more for the characters, even the Ajin..

    The Good
    - Satou was a great villain, keeping everyone on their toes
    - Great action scenes from gunfire to melee ghost to ghost combat
    - Good character development of both Ajin and human characters

    The Bad
    Other than the deliberate jerky animation, it's difficult to fault!

    Enjoyable Fate series title - Mash is best kouhai

    This is a one hour special. Although we have been spoilt by ufotable with their previous Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works and Fate/Zero releases, I found Fate Grand/Order: First Order to be quite quite enjoyable. Animation quality is quite bland but still is an enjoyable watch.

    FGO focuses on security organisation Chaldea, where they aim to fix a time singularity during a holy grail war from Fate Stay Night in 2004. Lancer, Archer and Saber were OK, though the main star is definitely Mash with her Shielder servant form during the singularity.

    Clearly this was made to market the Fate/Grand Order mobile game, and it worked on me as I downloaded it our of curiosity on my iPhone device! Overall a fun watch and nice anime adaptation to add to the Fate series.

    The ending hints at more singularities, would be nice to see the story continued more to see the other classes and worlds with Mash and Fujimara Ritsuka.

    The Good 
    - Fun time jumping concept with the singularities
    - Mash Kyrielight (Shielder) is kind, adorable and very cute!

    The Bad 
    - Bland animated character models
    - Fujimaru Ritsuka (Commoner 48) is also rather bland as a protagonist

    An interesting alternative take of WW2 with magic

    Germania invades Elystadt, WW2 style.

    All seems to be lost until childhood friend Izetta shows up with her awe-inspiring magical witch powers to turn the tide of the war. Overall I found this to be an interesting setting, and Izetta is quite cute and adorable. She and Princess Fine of Elystadt had some nice chemistry.

    However... the side plots of espionage were lacking impact. Around this point, Izetta is pretty much overpowering everything for most of the series until near the end when she finally gets in a pinch. But by then, the series is pretty much over.

    I would have liked to see this be a longer series, and more consistent tone - make it more ditzy and cute with Izetta or make it more serious.

    The Good 
    - Izetta's battles are quite well done
    - Strong opening with Izetta's introduction and first appearance

    The Bad 
    - Jarring tone with mixed scenes of brutal executions, cute ditzy Izetta moments and rampaging armies
    - Lazy time lapse for key battle moments

    Nice character designs, but cared little for the girls

    Magical Girl Raising Project is a battle royal between 16 magical girls. The girls become magical girls after they win a smartphone social game.

    At first they earn candies by helping those in need but then the rules of the game change by the host, Pon Pon - the persona that appears on each magical girl's terminal. And so eventually the girls face off against each other, some choosing to ally with each other and so on...

    I felt this title had potential, I was really yearning for a darker magical girl title after having been really happy with Nanoha, Madoka and Symphogear. Unfortunately I truly didn't care much for any of the characters except Snow White. The reason is their stories are really lacking depth - and this is inevitable when you try to cram 16 characters in just 12 episodes. 

    There just wasn't enough time to showcase all the girls, and the ending.

    The Good 
    - Snow White's charming and positive attitude!
    - Nice character designs

    The Bad 
    - Almost every magical girl except Snow White lacked depth in their background stories...
    - ...and by the time their stories were told the battle was over
    - Gory violence felt out of place
    - Pon Pon and the Magical Institution left unexplained in the ending??

    μ's / muse on steroids (not in a good way)

    In this new Love Live title, new group Aquors takes μ's / muse to a whole new level, but not in a good way.

    Two things that really bothered me with Sunshine:

    1. A lot of time was spent by Aquors comparing themselves to μ's. Their posters, videos and past performances are everywhere! They're mentioned almost EVERY episode. And by the time they (Chika) decide to finally stop comparing themselves to μ's, the season is almost over.

    2. The dialogue was jarring and makes you wonder if Aquors are on a 24/7 sugar rush. Each episode we see Yoshiko (chunibyo) blurting her random occult phrases, Mari mixing English and Japanese to EXTREME levels, and Hanamura suffixing every sentence with zura.

    As for the actual idol performances, they are really well done whe compared to its predecessor Love Live School Idol Project. Much less ""robotic"" movements which is a great improvement.

    At the end of the day, Sunshine is disappointing. But still has some nice moments, with immersive idol performances.

    The Good 
    - Idol performances very well animated!
    - It's still a fun story, aspiring to save their school ... (again)

    The Bad 
    - Forced scenes with background music in almost EVERY scene
    - Jarring, random hyperactive dialogue that could've been replaced with meaningful bonding or idol practice scenes
    - TOO MANY references to ?'s / muse!!!

    Breathtaking visuals but only scratches the surface

    Ufotable's breathtaking and epic visuals really brings a cinematic feel to the world that is brought to us in: Tales of Zestiria the X.

    This is a nice journey of Sorey - the birth of a new Shepherd, and him helping to unite the Seraphim's powers through his companions: Mikleo, Lailah and Edna. The combat scenes of Sorey having to purify the helions tainted by malevolence were outstanding and really immersive. 

    My only critique with this title is the character relationships are quite shallow. Although you can really feel Sorey's urge to help others as a Shepherd and princess Alisha's strong conviction with a heart of gold, it feels these characters don't open up to each other enough. Or if they try to, they suddenly get interrupted!!

    Overall this is a great fantasy title that has piqued my interest in the Tales of Zestiria franchise! If that was their objective with this adaptation, then it certainly worked on me. Really looking forward to a confirmed Season 2 of this title.

    The Good 
    - Breathtaking awesome visuals in a beautiful and immersive world
    - Combat scenes really immersive
    - Outstanding cinematic soundtrack
    - Alisha Diphda is cute and elegant!

    The Bad 
    - Presumably due to being a game adaption, there is some odd pacing between exposition and action scenes
    - Overall pacing feels rushed

    Outstanding Symphogear sequel

    Symphogear G more or less blows Symphogear out of the water. The battle scenes are beautifully animated whilst also bumping the plot and pacing several notches up!

    After the Fine incident, things were thought to be peaceful until these new mysterious Symphogear users appear. Among other things, mysterious coordinated Noise attacks appear. It's a decent plot because getting Hibiki, Tsubasa and Chris fighting against other Symphogear users adds a new dynamic both in their Symphogear outfits and normal lives.

    Hibiki continues to be my favourite character in this one - and this time she is affected early by Shirabe's words, stating that she is a hypocrite. Those words are enough to cause her to hesitate many times and invoke some deep self-reflection. There is also another development that relates to Hibiki's Symphogear which had a very eye-watering moment involving Miku which I absolutely adored, but won't spoil here.

    Overall this is a awesome improvement over the first series. The only thing I disliked in Symphogear G was the Noise. In the first series they were terrifying and there were many close calls. But here they just seem so weak which is perhaps understandable given the huge power gains Hibiki and the group have gained.

    The Good 
    - Significant improvement to animation quality!
    - Great soundtrack and Symphogear songs
    - Mind blowing OP
    - Much better plot and pacing, good cliffhangers

    The Bad 
    - The plot is still absurd but that's OK
    - The Noise are just cannon fodder in this one
    - With so many characters now, less screen time is on Hibiki and co.

    Ludicrous, but good music!

    Symphogear is a mecha musume style title in the form of magical girl transformations. Here's the bizarre twist - our warriors get their strength from the power of singing!

    Combine that with a supernatural threat and you can see where this is going. Whilst the characters are a little bland and not overly memorable - the music is just full of energy. Lots of beats, and never a dull electronic music moment. Combat scenes are quite well done and the Symphogear outfits look great.

    Despite the campy, laid-back feel and ludicrous pacing of the plot due to its overly simplistic villains and biazrre twists... I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed Symphogear not only because of the soundtrack but also because of Hibiki. I've always had a strong liking for the ""genki"" girl that aspires to help others despite all odds (even if they're a little naive) and Hibiki does that role nicely.

    This does set the stage for Symphogear G (second series) and Symphogear GX (third series) which are even better as they further develop Hibiki..

    The Good 
    - Awesome electronic soundtrack that's just full of energy!
    - Great theme songs for each "Symphogear"
    - Genki Hibiki!

    The Bad 
    - Lame, unmemorable villains

    Solid philosophical mecha title

    This anime movie title is by Gen Urobuchi, who also brought us ALDNOAH.ZERO, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and PSYCHO-PASS. If you've watched those titles before then you probably can guess the type of atmosphere Urobuchi likes to bring to the table.

    Although there are some philosophical moments here, it's pretty standard if you've seen enough post-apocalyptic themes regarding humanity. In this sense, it's not all that bad as not all of humanity is wiped out. There is still some people on Earth, but it still paints a bleak picture when compared to DEVA's orbiting space station utopia. 

    Rakuen Tsuiho turns a standard search and apprehend mission (i.e. the DEVA hacker) into a reflection of the future of humanity's direction regarding space exploration and DEVA.

    There are some outstanding tense action mecha moments with Angela's badass Arhan mecha unit, but truthfully the best moments are between Angela and ""Dingo"" as he teaches Angela the way things are done on Earth. Angela's reactions are priceless due to her being so used to DEVA's digital lifestyle. I'm a sucker for tsunderes though, and Angela fits that role perfectly.

    The Good 
    - Touching character scenes between Angela and ""Dingo"" during her time on Earth.
    - Interesting philosophical ideas on humanity.
    - DEVA uniforms are amazing. >_<

    The Bad 
    Action scenes whilst were really GOOD, felt a bit superficial and forced.

    Surreal fantasy combat merged with slice of life

    It's pretty cool to learn when someone's Pixiv original fan art drawing inspires Supercell to create a Hatsune Miku Vocaloid song, which then turns into an OVA and in turn brings us this 8 episode anime TV series.

    I loved this series for the fluid combat scenes. The personas themselves, all they do is fight (at first). But they can react dangerously depending on their real life counterparts - which is where the slice of life comes in.

    My only complaint is I wish this was longer for the characters to develop more. And more explanation behind what exactly the parallel world is, as there are some pacing issues when we switch between the two. 

    In the end you get some outstanding combat scenes coupled with a fairly average slice of life story - but the tension makes up for it. Would highly recommend.

    The Good 
    - Beautifully animated combat scenes
    - Vivid environments

    The Bad 
    - A few pacing issues between the real and parallel world
    - Character development suffers due to the short length

    A feel good anime

    Little Busters is essentially about a group of students trying to expand their baseball team. Funnily enough, the emphasis is not on baseball but on the characters themselves. Riki is the star of the group, bringing enlightenment to the members under Kyousuke's leadership. There are many serious arcs mixed with lighthearted acts in between. This actually works out well for the pacing as we see both the silly side of each character and their background.

    Overall I found this to be a very heartwarming anime title to watch with characters that you can't help but being a smile to your face. 🙂

    Now of course there is actually a much bigger purpose of the Little Busters team which is explained in the sequel, Little Busters Refrain...

    The Good 
    Heartwarming characters, with interesting back-stories for the Little Busters group members.

    The Bad 
    Cafeteria battles and baseball games felt like filler.

    Lost momentum at the end

    Mankind is in a war against menacing monsters called the Gastrea. Their only hope is with the help of the Cursed Children who are lolis that are combat enhanced due to being infected with the Gastrea virus themselves. They're paired up with a partner called an Initator.

    The battles themselves are really entertaining. The problem is, it felt very rushed. 

    I have never read the light novel series but this series reminded me of Shakugan no Shana due the anime also being based off the light novel series, along with also having a wide scope of characters, lots of backstory and final showdown towards the enemy. The thing is, Shana had three 24 episode seasons... whereas Black Bullet only had 13 episodes to cover its backstory.

    This unfortunately results in undeveloped characters and some very unmemorable character events. I want to stress though that what was presented was well done, it just felt rushed and really needed more episodes to tell its story.

    The Good
    Awesome action scenes., many funny scenes involving the adorable Enju!

    The Bad
    Felt really rushed. Unmemorable ending.

    Not your typical magical girl anime

    This may appear to be a magical girl anime title with the costumes and action scenes BUT with a twist - it has psychological thriller elements in it. Without wanting to spoil too much, you can expect a lot of weight of the world on your shoulder type of stuff.

    Even if you hate magical girl titles, there's a good chance you'll like this one just for the characters and story alone. Highly recommended. 🙂

    The Good 
    Great character personalities. Excellent pacing with the story unraveled bit by bit. Outstanding symphonic soundtrack.

    The Bad 
    Maybe just a little too short.

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