Tag Archives: anime

Anime Review: Masamune-kun no Revenge

Masamune-kun no Revenge is the kind of anime that would inevitably come out every season. It is, in essence, a harem, high school life, comedy, light romance show. It is the kind of show that would appeal to younger anime fans, especially those with less experience in knowing the tropes and cliches in the industry.

TRM82X7

Don’t get me wrong. Just because an anime roots itself in a genre that can easily be seen as cliched does not mean it has to be so. My subjective opinions aside, there are definitely some good shows that I’ve seen in the past in this genre that have some unique aspects to them. However, Masamune is definitely not one of them. It does have a premise that has potential. As it turns out, though, the plot is more or less filled with tropes from the standard drama shows, of which plot development depends on. The eye-catching premise of “revenge for childhood rejection” is just another excuse to make the main romantic pairing, without going very deep.

One of the things that this show suffers from is that it tries to adapt the entire source material so far in 12 episodes. While even the source story is not complex, adapting the whole thing in one season turned out to be not so great. The show starts off fine, but rushes through character relationship with other main heroines during the middle, only to abruptly sweep them aside as “side characters” to make way for the main heroine in the end. While this seems to be the standard adaptation practice for harem shows nowadays, it is still very bad for the story.

What else is there to say? If you’ve seen a dozen shows in this genre you can predict how the story is going to go. The artwork is vibrant and character design is quite nice, but there is no “wow” factor to be found in visuals. BGM and theme songs are typical JPOP. If you enjoy it, you would like the music. Obviously, songs vocalized by upstart seiyuus are nowhere near the levels of “professional music”, as you would expect. I would not call the main characters flat, but their depth are quite far from being intricate. In fact, the main girl is the amalgam of two tropes: ojousama and tsundere. The protagonist is just… another male harem lead.

All in all, Masamune-kun no Revenge is an above average harem show, but still deeply entrenched in cliches and tropes of the genre without its own quirks. Most people who enjoyed watching this show would probably not going to remember its title after a while.

My very subjective score: 5.5/10


Cross Medium Recommendations (1)

Hi, been a while since I last posted on this blog. I’ve been planning this post for a while, and hopefully it will be interesting. Today, I will bring you guys several recommendation across ACGL (anime, comics, galgame, and light novels) spectrum.

It is usually easy to seek recommendation in the same medium. For example, for anime rec, you can just pop into myanimelist’s recommendation forum and ask for rec according to your criteria. The same goes for manga, light novel, or visual novel; you just have to ask in the relevant forum. However, one thing that I’ve rarely seen is recommendation from one medium to the other. To give an example, if I liked Code Geass, can I find similar stories in VN or light novel…?

I am going to tell you, yes, absolutely.

Moreover, all recommendation that I am going to enumerate here are considered classics in their own respective fields. Even if you have never experienced a particular medium before (probably visual novel/galgame or light novel), this is a good place to start.

1. Gintama & Futurama

Gintama (anime/manga)

Futurama (cartoon)

So despite what I said, I decided to start off my first recommendation with a Japanese anime and an American cartoon. Well, anything goes, right?

Gintama started as a manga in 2003, and was since adapted into anime in several seasons starting from 2006. Futurama debuted on TV way back in 1999, and came to an temporary halt in 2001 after just 4 seasons. The series is revived on TV, however, in 2007, and aired 3 more seasons until its finale in 2013. At first sight, one can immediately observe that both shows have 2 main male characters, with 1 main female character, in their posters. Of course, the similarity doesn’t just stop there. Both are episodic comedy parody series that follow one principal and one principal only: anything goes.

The setup allows for such flexibility in story-telling. In Futurama, the protagonist, Fry, is a 20th century man who was frozen and essentially time-traveled into the 31st century. He had no choice but to work in a universal delivery company, exploring the most dangerous part of universe on an everyday basis. In Gintama, the protagonist, Gin, is an Edo Samurai whose entire country has been invaded and occupied by Amanto, or space aliens. As he has lost his job as samurai, he opened a yorozoya house, where he and his team do all kind of odd jobs upon request. Already, both shows have such broad and crazy setup. Literally anything can happen, so you’d never know what to expect, ranging from popularity contest, space conquering, holiday gathering, to sudden, emotional flashbacks. Normally, I don’t like to watch episodic series in that they lack a coherent main story line, but pure comedy parody series with such crazy setup are an exception.

Parallels in how characters are presented also draws affinity between the two series. The protagonists, at first, seem to possess all kinds of negative qualities that a human being could have, spending their days lazing around the neighborhood. Unlike the deluge of Mary-Sue protagonist that seem to encompass all positive qualities in shows nowadays, Fry and Gin are usually lazy, sometimes dumb, indulging in bizarre habits, occasionally revels in others’ misery, and always draw the short end of the stick in life. However, this is only on the surface. As the shows progress, audience will discover that, actually, there are a lot of good points about the protagonists and their entourage. This stark contrast is always done in powerful ways, making the characters real humans instead of characters endowed with many good attributes.

Finally, both series share the element of trying to make fun of everything that is waiting to be ridiculed, from our everyday habits, customs, culture, to just ways of how humans interact with each other, in a non-aggressive, fun way. Of course, Futurama mostly makes fun of American culture, while Gintama do Japanese, so it is sometimes hard to catch the humor if you are not familiar with the particular culture. Still, the key point is that there is so much comedy in both that you’d at least be able to catch some, and it would still be very funny. Ultimately, through their ridiculing of human nature, we could perhaps learn something about ourselves, and change for the better. I am very serious when I say this.

2. Code Geass & G-senjou no Maou

Code Geass (anime)

G-senjou no Maou, or Devil on the G-string (visual novel)

If you are an anime fan who is still active in recent years, you’d probably already watched an original anime called Code Geass, or at the very least, heard about it somewhere. Now, if you really absolutely loved Code Geass, right after you finished the anime you’d probably feel a big void in your heart. Where else can one finds such an entertaining and gripping tale of revenge, fraught with tension and theatrics? Some would, rightly so, suggest the anime Death Note. Of course, it doesn’t take a detective to see the similarities between them. Still others would recommend the anime Guilty Crown, written by the same script writer. In this case, one would disappointingly find that the similarities remain limited, if not only on the surface, with setup such as the king’s power, big robots action, blah blah blah. Today, I am going to take you guys on a different path. If you broaden your horizon, you will find that there is this one popular visual novel called G-senjou no Maou (Devil on the G-string) that will definitely satisfy your thirst for Code Geass.

What makes Code Geass so endearing is definitely not the mecha action. It is the drama, the theatrics, the high amount of tension, how characters pull ridiculously impossible yet brilliant moves against their opponents, and of course, Lelouch. Unfortunately, Lelouch is not in this visual novel, but we get the next best thing: a charismatic, mysterious criminal mastermind, self-styled Maou, or Devil, whose identity is shrouded in mystery even from the audience.

Instead of royal offspring acting as commanders trying to outwit one another in the battlefield as in Code Geass, we dig deep into the world of terrorist and yakuza in G-senjou. As the adopted son of a mafia boss, the protagonist, Kyousuke, obey his father’s every bidding. His peaceful day as an yakuza-in-training is disrupted when two individuals suddenly showed up in the city, a beautiful girl named Haru and an internationally powerful mafia known only as “Maou”. And so, along with Haru, Kyousuke begins an deadly cat-and-mouse game with maou, in an epic game of wits.

Without going into more details, I am going to assure you that the two stories are most similar in that they have the same “feels”. The suspense is there. A lot of mystery needed to be uncovered. Characters engage in deadly games of wits against each other, with high stakes. They pull off huge stunts when one least expect it. Some comic relief here and there, and then bang, plot twist again. Although the story is prone to some minor plot holes with careful inspection, just like Code Geass, the story overall is very well written and executed in a good pace. The conclusion ends in the most dramatic fashion possible.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that the voice actor for both Lelouch and Maou is Furukawa Jun?

For more info, refer to this post https://bunny1ov3r.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/first-experience-with-visual-novel-an-attempt-at-g-senjou-no-maou-review/

PS: I really meant to include a couple more recommendation in this post, but I got really lazy and still wanted to publish it today. I’ll call this post part I. Hopefully the next part will come soon with more interesting recommendation across mediums. 


Spring 2014 funny pics

These are just some of the screen shots I took while following some of the anime series in this season.

Black Bullet 8 Japanimation

[Black Bullet] The birth of a new term for anime: Japanimation

 

chess = tictactoe NGNL eps 3

[No Game No Life] Chess = Tic-tac-toe

 

Cross-dressing Shidou Date A Live II eps 5

[Date A Live II] Every successful harem mc has a cross-dressing fetish!

 

Date A Live II eps 9 Touka is #1 in my harem!

[Date A Live II] The moment you realize that Touka is indeed the #1 girl in the harem

 

Mahouka eps 10 big brother is badass

[Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei] As if Shiba is not already badass enough, the director actually feels the need to directly tell us that…

 

nisekoi ecchi

[Nisekoi] Are you sure this is not some hentai anime?

 

No Game No Life 8 pic 1 cat ear girl

No Game No Life 8 pic 2 cat ear girl

[No Game No Life] Be. Worried.

 

SHAFT Elevator Nisekoi 15

[Nisekoi] SHAFT made so much money now that it is making elevators!

 


International Saimoe League

This is the International Saimoe League’s 2014 regular season promotion video.

 

http://internationalsaimoe.com/

 

For those who don’t know, International Saimoe League is site where anime fans can vote for the cutest girls in various rounds throughout the year. It holds numerous voting rounds annually, and follow a sophisticated procedure.

*Fans don’t need to register to vote.


Anime Characters Awards #1

Today, I present the anime characters awards series. There will be a series of titles awarded to various anime characters.

@Most Annoying Third-Wheeler

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Shirai Kuroko (from A Certain Scientific Railgun)

Trust me, your romantic life would be in ruins if you have a roommate like her.

@Chuunibyou Award

Takanashi.Rikka.full.1292393

Rikka Takanashi (from Love, Chuunibyou & Other Delusions)

Rikka comes out on top for this criteria no matter how I many times I tried..

@Harem King

twgok__katsuragi_keima_22_by_makiri-d40hl6y

Keima Katsuragi (from The World Where Only God Knows)

Even though the concept of harem king runs rampant among many anime, Keima Katsuragi remains the god of harem, in 2D and 3D.

@Most Hated Male Character

Makoto_1

Makoto Itou (from School Days)

Had he existed in real life, thousands of feminists would line up to stab him again and again, just in case he doesn’t go to hell.

@Tsundere

bakemonogatari-crab-hitagi-senjougaharaHitagi Senjougahara (from Monogatari Series)

While most other people would nominate characters voiced by Rie Kugimiya (such as Taiga, Louisa, etc), I personally prefer more sarcastic and biting tsundere.

@Escapist

oregairu-hikigaya-hachiman

Hikigaya Hachiman (from My Teen Romantic Comedy Romance SNAFU)

My role model … enough said.

@Yandere

YunoYandereFace

Yuno Gasai (from Future Dairy)

Only Yuuki can “handle” someone like her.

@Cutest Imouto

Kobato-Hasegawa-boku-wa-tomodachi-ga-sukunai-30624208-720-609

Kobato Hasegawa (from I don’t have many friends)

No. I am not picking a character from an incest show…

@Sword-master

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Kagura Tsuchimiya (from Ga-rei: Zero)

The other nominee is Ryougi Shiki, but then she doesn’t quite qualify because she uses a knife rather than a sword.

@Kamisama (god)

Madoka.Kaname.562403

Madoka Kaname (from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)

Gods have never been cuter.

@Artificial Intelligence Supporter

Chamber.(Suisei.no.Gargantia).full.1535770

Chamber (from Suisei no Gargantia)

The coolest AI… ever.


Anime&Manga Pairing Countdown #20 – #16

#16 Yuuta Togashi x Rikka Takanashi in Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! (Anime)

Rikka x Makoto

Rikka x Yuuta

The cutesy teenage couple brought to us by the wonderful Kyoto Animation, and I promise you, it won’t be the last on this countdown. If I am forced to explain why this pairing is great, I can only repeat the title of the anime in English, “Regardless of My Adolescent Delusions, I still want to Love!”. Indeed, everyone is entitled to experience love, not even the most deeply-entrenched otaku can avoid it. 

#17 Simon x Nia Teppelin in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Anime)

simon x nia
simon x nia

For an anime that isn’t even categorized as romance, I myself am surprised that this couple is even on the list. It’s probably because how tragic both of their past and how far they’ve come along together had been something that really touched me. Most of all, their love is one that in the end cannot be. Despite knowing this, both of them still decide to love and do it without regrets, even enjoying their last moments together with cheerful smiles on their faces.

#18 Guen Soo Min x So Ri Jeon in Can’t See Can’t Hear But Love (webtoon manhwa)

Guen Soo x So Ri
Guen Soo x So Ri

Created by Nasty Cat (manhwaga of Trace), a webtoon deity who can make the most emotional stories ever (manga or manhwa), but somehow sucks at drawing. The only reason why this couple is so far down the list is … the last few chapters is not translated!!! At this point, I am almost begging, please finish translate this masterpiece! Anyways, it tells a love story of an artist who lost his sight and a pure-hearted girl who was deaf as well as mute since her birth, and the only thing that connect them is the inspirational manhwa that the artist used to draw when his eyes were still good.

This is a beautiful love story that teaches us again and again that love is never easy, but it is something that we should not abandon. Indeed, true love is sometimes the least feasible option, but with resolve and determination, one can overcome all obstacles, be it inability to communicate, terminal illness, or financial problems.

#19 Hitoshi Aoshima x Wagatsuma Ai in Wagatsuma-san wa Ore no Yome (manga)

wagatsuma x aoshima
wagatsuma x aoshima

Put yourself in the male lead’s shoes. If you on the off chance time-traveled 10 years into the future and discovered that your wife is none other than the most popular, beautiful, and ideal girl in your high school, would you do everything in your power to try to make her fall for you when you return to the present? To add to that, you are not popular, bad at studying, and hang out with a bunch of people who hate “normalfags”. At this point, you would be pretty desperate to win your “future wife” ‘s hand, right?

True, it’s nothing impressive that Aoshima decided to pursue her. What is impressive, though, is that when the future is somehow changed, and your wife becomes an equally impressive European hotty (who is a lot easier to approach), he still does not lose sight of whom he loves the most, and continues to pursue that relationship despite obvious contradictions in the future. Now that is something to be praised for. Good luck, Aoshima, may you be successful!

#20 Kazuto Kirigaya x Asuna Yuuki in Sword Art Online (anime, manga, and light novel)

Kirito x Azuna
Kirito x Azuna

After listing so many rules about this and that, guess what, I’ve put Kirito x Azuna on this list. Lame, I know. It is pretty easy to see though that these two does make a good couple together, probably one of the biggest reasons for which SAO is so popular, even though, you know … Kirito is more often than not flirting with other girls. One of his “harem” members just has to be the recently-grown big-busted sister-turned-cousin Suguha-Leafa. Of course, let’s not forget the would-be future partner aka. blue-haired angry gun chick Sinon. Don’t worry, though, if Kirito has an iota of common sense, he will remain faithful to his one and only Azuna, right? … Someone please agree with me …

Eagerly awaiting for the completion of second season!


Anime & Manga Pairing Countdown Foreword

Yes. A new project from bunny, and a more interesting (and subjective) one for that matter.

This will be a top 20 countdown of best couples from all manga and anime that I’ve seen, following several criteria.

1. The couple will “end up” with each other. If the story ends in tragedy, they must “emotionally end up” with each other.

*This eliminates a lot of harems

2. In a lot of action series where romance is not the main focus, it wouldn’t be on the countdown unless the reasons for fighting (so to speak) is entirely for the purposes of romance.

*eliminates Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece, etc. Please don’t complain.

3. Stories that only hint at the romance between main characters will not be included generally.

*eliminate a lot of slice-of-life anime

4. Minor pairings will not be included.

5. One couple per series.


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