Sakura Quest Anime Review

This anime appears to be participating in a trend which I have noticed throughout the past few seasons, which is a heavy dose of realism. In this case an unlikely situation within an ultra-down to earth setting. This is perhaps a natural bounce-back from the former oversaturation of tropey, out of this world anime. An idea inspired by Gigguk in his video “Isekai: the genre that took over anime” (Linked Below).

This new trend towards realism and realistic themes is not generally something I’ve seen a lot of up until recently outside of the Slice of life genre. Although I would certainly say that many other series from recent seasons do it better and have more interesting ideas behind them.

In terms of atmosphere, there is an overwhelming air of positivity and life that builds up slowly throughout the series, making it an uplifting and cheering experience. Of course it is not the best of the bunch in this respect but it does a fairly suitable job.

Unlike many shows today, Sakura Quest seems to have a sense of subtlety in its directing and pace.

 

I was a little surprised to find out how old these characters were, because most of the main female characters do not appear to be designed to look older than young teens (with the exception of Sanae), and yet are rather more mature than your average anime cast. Altogether I find it refreshing to see an anime focusing on the lives of adults, however I would find it a little more absorbing if they looked the part.

Sakura Quest in particular excels at character development, slowly building characters up, so that the viewer suddenly has a greater understanding of who they are. With a lot of realistic themes to do with growing older and living in a changing world, there is a charm to this snapshot of life in Manoyama.

At the same time, I feel that there is not much merit to this series being animated, and that it would be no different at all if it as just another live action show. Most animated series use the medium to their advantage to tell a unique story, which this show does not do. However this also means that this is one of the few anime that could have a live action adaptation that was not forced.

This show may be unusual within its genre, but this is not enough to give it any real legs amongst the many other shows available. Although I do still recommend it, because despite everything, it’s still a touching story that will resonate with many people. Honestly it grew on me heavily as I continued to watch it, and I would recommend that this is one you do not miss.

 

 

 

Here I’ve linked the video that I referenced above, all about the spread of the Isekai genre.

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One Week Friends Anime Review


Yuuki has always wanted to befriend a particular girl in his class, but she doesn’t seem to make friends with anybody. Little does he know that it’s the result of great misfortune on her part, and that if he tries it will open up both of their worlds.
Kaori forgets her friends at the conclusion of each school week, so she has been afraid to make friends for a long time. When Yuuki asks to be her friend however, she can’t seem to turn him down like the others, after some persistence on his part.
This is quite a sweet and cute show, however it doesn’t contain many themes besides the everyday life and romance themes. I am glad there wasn’t too much drama, the whole plot seemed like a drama magnet (and I’m personally not much of a drama fan).

Image courtesy of Right Stuf Anime

The characters were fairly stereotypical and a little bland for my liking, a large quantity of their personalities also seemed to hinge on their relation to other main cast members.
The storyline and base idea are, once again, pretty stereotypical. It isn’t too much of a bother in this kind of series, though.
This isn’t a show that will really make you think, but it is still a fairly nice little feel good show and in my opinion a well done romance series.
If you want a simple romance, this is the anime to watch.

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Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Anime Review

This show is really just fan service galore. Fan service of every kind. If that’s your thing I’d recommend Dragon Maid because at least it does it well. Dragon Maid is a comedic series with elements of fantasy and romance, but mainly just serves as a really kooky slice of life. It is bringing fantasy creatures down to a human level in a similar way to Restaurant to Another World. I think that Restaurant to Another World did this better, but had a very different types of atmosphere and fan service.

Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid was fun to watch. There is nothing remotely intellectual or intriguing about it, but it doesn’t need to be that. It’s very upfront with what it gives the audience, which is laughs and eye candy. So I would recommend it to those who want a light watch with little to overthink.

Rather than a concise story the show seems to take various snippets from the everyday lives of each of the characters to give a more general view of the characters and world. This worked rather well and fit pleasantly with the casual atmosphere. It also has many surprising references to the life of an otaku, as a fun self-referential element thrown into the mix.

Image courtesy of Steam

The characters aren’t particularly special, but they stand out because they are taken to the extremes of their own respective tropes. It fits surprisingly well with the crazy world that’s been set up around them.  Despite this each viewer will likely find a character that they particularly enjoy watching or that resonates with them in some way.

I can see why this series has been so popular, despite having little depth. It is because it goes out of its way to connect with viewers by showcasing a wide variety of extreme personalities and ludicrous events in order to create a story that is still in the end quite charming and down to earth.

I would highly recommend watching this series with subtitles, because the dubbing for this show happens to be rather unfaithful to the source material. Although on its own not the worst dub out there, the changes made from the source material sours the experience tremendously.

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Recovery of an MMO Junkie First Impressions

These are my first impressions after watching the first episode of Recovery of an MMO Junkie.

I expected something generic and overdone from this show, but I never would have expected it to be so boring! There was no excitement in this show for me. At least sword art online in all its poorly written mush had some exciting fight scenes and energetic music. I just found nothing appealing about this show. As a slice of life it fails to capture my attention and as an exploration of an MMO world it’s just as dull. Most of the time the characters were just sitting around looking at scenery! Do people really do that in MMO’s? They may as well be browsing google images while on a webchat!

The characters are also far too idiotic. The protagonist can’t even grasp the basic logic of the tutorial! She just runs straight to the boss and dies over and over until she gets help. It’s like the Cuphead video all over again*.

So far we are given no reason at all to feel anything for any of the characters, making them bland and boring to watch.

The only reason I would consider continuing to watch would be to see more of Yuuta Sakurai/Lily. This is because I thought that he was the only interesting part of the show and I want to learn more about his motives, backstory and life.

I most likely will not continue watching this show unless I hear news about anything interesting happening in it. I was honestly a little shocked that this show was produced by a large studio with a decent budget. This is because apart from clean, crisp, standard level art the show feels amateurish and thrown together.

 

*when I refer to the Cuphead video I’m talking about a humourous incident where a video game journalist can’t even get past an obvious tutorial stage in the game Cuphead. Links below. (I did not create and do not own these videos.)


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The Saga of Tanya the Evil Anime Review

The Saga of Tanya the Evil is an anime that I wasn’t expecting to be anything special. It seemed fairly generic at first glance, however by the time the premise reveals itself I can promise that it most certainly has one of the most intriguing stories of any anime I have seen. This story is most unique, and something that I’m glad and amazed to see explored in this manner.

The character development is not amazing, the fight scenes are nothing special, however the story is something you will not forget for a long time and I urge all my readers to give it a try.

Thematically the show is very deep, with meaning and symbolism strewn throughout every scene. Generally it’s an exciting ride, albeit with some predictability.

Technically this may be an “in another world” story, however I would not class this in the same category as others. This is more of a simulation in which to test out an interesting philosophical concept. Once again, this is not your average light novel.

The militaristic elements were a little dry, however I became invested enough in the story and Tanya’s character to see it through to the end.

The other characters were not very memorable or interesting, even the most important characters felt very much like cannon fodder. However this may have been an intentional effect.

Image courtesy of Funimation.

The fantasy world contained within this anime is bizarre and hard to get a proper feel of, this is perhaps the greatest flaw within the show.

I must on this occasion particularly commend the art for fitting the atmosphere of the show uniquely and brilliantly, capturing some of the more twisted elements of the show with ease.

To sum it up, I hope more people give this show a shot and I can’t wait for season 2.

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The Royal Tutor Anime Review

The royal tutor is a fun show, but I would say that it’s missing some substance.

Opening with what I’m certain is a reference to Ouran High School Host Club, It definitely left a good first impression. It had some fairly interesting characters, all of the princes had their own unique and worthwhile character traits. The tutor Heine was amusing to watch, although rather gimmicky.

The Royal Tutor took it’s time developing these characters to make the audience connect with them and root for them. This was done in a way that both covered their weaknesses and bolstered their strengths. It was enjoyable to watch the unpleasant facades they originally created for themselves, melt away over the course of the show. Heine himself was the only main character that saw little development, and ended up becoming one of the shallowest characters in his own show.

Image courtesy of Funimation

I think more effort could still have been put into the characterizations of the princes, as a story solely about their development as people would certainly be worthwhile. Especially as they were the highlight of the show.

The story was rather weak, perhaps because so much time was spent developing the princes as characters that no real effort was given to the story. An interesting concept was introduced, but which fell flat in a mere few episodes. Perhaps if it had been developed slowly rather than wrapped up in twelve episodes, it could have been a fascinating and nuanced story. Pertaining to the dangers facing these developing princes as they grow closer to the throne. It was however as cliché as they come towards the end. Several loose ends were unsolved and the ending was unsatisfying. Revealing Heine’s past took all of the mystery out of the situation and left the story bland.

The Royal Tutor is a bit of fun, but missed its chance to build a really interesting story and instead settled for an ending full of boring tropes. It seems to continuously fall into mundanity, a disappointing state for a show dripping with potential.

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Restaurant to Another World Anime Review

Restaurant to Another World has managed to capture a charming everyday feel within a most abnormal setting. Boiling the fantastical genre down to simple interactions between people. (Or mystical creatures) It has a charming atmosphere but I can imagine it becoming dull if given a longer run, if not for the ingenious and creative writing that’s been used to keep the story fresh at every moment so far.

With the recent growth of “food porn” shows it’s not at all surprising to see another one pop up, however it isn’t the food that makes Restaurant to Another World special. It is appealing as a celebration of the simple and mundane. It’s quite a beautiful concept.

When it comes to the food itself I can appreciate good cooking but the way this show presents it is not really my cup of tea, and honestly I sometimes find the customer’s inner monologues of the food to be drawn out and ridiculous.

It is quite relaxing to watch, but perhaps not ideal to marathon given the slow pace and lack of action or overarching plot. It’s more of a collection of short stories with a shared theme rather than an ongoing story. The juxtaposition of fantastical characters taking so much pleasure in everyday things is what really makes it so charming.

This image comes from the Funimation website.

The characters are surprisingly well fleshed out in a gradual but masterful way. It’s easy to feel for them, after hearing their backstories and listening to them argue with each other over simple things. Restaurant to Another World presents a clear message that food can bring people together, and there is something wonderfully sentimental about that.

So far this anime has done an amazing job with world building, and has created a fantasy world so broad and yet so distinctive that given more time it could really come into its own.

I think that this anime is superbly written, but may be destined for a small niche audience when it deserves to be more widely known.

I would recommend Restaurant to Another World to anyone who is happy to watch an anime with a slower story and a little less action, and hope to see a second season soon.

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Zaion I Wish You Were Here – Anime Review

Average 1

This show starts out in a world where an alien virus is transforming people into ferocious, mindless beasts. Soldiers under the employ of a certain organization have been supplied with sub dermal nanomachines which will form armour around them when necessary, and these soldiers fight the beasts. This is a fairly stereotypical setup so far. It’s nothing really new.

There is also a girl being kept in a lab by the same organization in question. She is forced to live her life in almost complete isolation because of her ability to nullify the virus.

One of the soldiers stumbles across her, one day in the courtyard, and they begin to grow close.

 

The plot isn’t something too unique. It also seemed quite centred on the lives of those within this organization, failing to give a clear picture of the state of the world otherwise. Without any world building it becomes hard to grasp the true consequences of failure. Which makes it harder to care about what they are doing. This could be partially excused by the limited timeframe they had to work with.

It tried to explore a theme within the show, “is it right to keep someone captive to save a multitude of lives.” to which it gave a clear answer. It was done simply, but at least with this the story wasn’t completely aimless.

Image courtesy of http://www.world-art.ru/animation/animation.php?id=2070

I do like the fact that this is a soppy romantic story, set in this particular environment. I felt it unusual and quirky, and they pulled it off quite well towards the end of the show. Their romance was much too sudden, but considering they only had four episodes to work with it’s a forgivable flaw. I loved the dynamic between those two characters.

I wasn’t a fan of the way they displayed her powers, I thought it not only overused but also found that it crossed the line in terms of suspending disbelief. It was just a little too strange for the setup. I feel like it’s a trope from a whole other genre.

I thought that they had far too many other soldier characters, and they actually gave too much character development and focus to them. These other soldiers didn’t add much to the story, so they should have kept the focus on the main characters, especially in such a short series.

 

Many people seem to be overly critical of this short show in their reviews. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but I don’t think it was completely awful either. I think in general it’s likeable, flaws and all.

The setting of this show actually reminds me quite a bit of Generator Rex, although I think Generator Rex did a far better job of presenting it.

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Higurashi When They Cry Anime Review

Scaredy cat

This is only a review of season 1.

I actually had to start skipping the opening song every episode, because it was too catchy. I ended up losing sleep because I couldn’t get it out of my head and it made me remember all the scary bits in the show it was from. I’m such a scaredy cat.

Higurashi is a show with a really unique format, because it consists of relatively short story arcs that each occur during the exact same point in time. With different events happening in each arc. I think that this was the best way a visual novel adaptation could be approached, especially in the horror genre, simply because it contributes so well to the eerie atmosphere.

All of the main characters in Higurashi become extremely well developed throughout the progression of this series, which makes it all the more brutal in the end. Disregarding genre, developing these characters so well also creates a richer story, which always improves the experience of watching any show. The fact that they were able to do this with so many main characters is truly amazing.

Most secondary characters were given almost no development, but as something adapted from a visual novel it makes perfect sense for most secondary characters to be rudimentary. It is also possible that they are given more depth in the second season.

Another element that makes this show so well done is that you see so much more than the horror elements. Without the slice of life type beginning to each arc this show would be quite mediocre, because it’s the change in the tone and not the tone by itself that makes it a good horror.

Image courtesy of http://www.planetminecraft.com/member/zaasianboi/

Changes in perspective, as were also seen throughout different arcs, contributed more to the mystery within the show. Giving you small clues that eventually build up, providing a chance to see what’s really going on.

Within season 1, much of the plot is explained and wrapped up, leaving only a few questions which I’ve heard are answered in the second season. The way the story appears scattered at the beginning and converges towards the end is masterful.

I believe that any fan of anime probably should watch this show at some point, because it really is a unique and brilliantly made show. Although it is horror so if you’re a scaredy cat like me, feel free to skip it.

 

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