Anime Review: Sekai Seifuku Bouryaku no Zvezda

Conquering the world is something that has been dreamed of by more than just a few people! The roman empire even before Christ, where some of the first to try and while they and many others did well at the beginning, there was a point where everyone failed. The Anime covered today is a story about someone that succeeded. Someone that was so unlikely to succeed in the first place and did it anyway! Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you back to this blog, my name is Kori and  today we talk about Sekai Seifuku, Bouryaku no Zvezda.

Sekai Seifuku focuses around Jimon Asuta, a boy that just ran away from home and doesn’t have anywhere to go since he just left his home. Thus he wanders down the roads, while the martial law alarm is ringing and encounters a 8 year girl called Hoshimiya Kate. Kate is planning to conquer the world together with her secret organization Zvezda and is currently looking for her doll Galaktika. Thinking this is all just a game the girl is playing, Asuta goes along with it and accidentally gets recruited by the Zvezda organization from where on the entire story begins.

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The setting of Sekai Seifuku is a rather odd one I admit, but for me personally that is exactly what drew me in.
The story in itself is separated into two parts. The first half of the show is mostly dedicated to comedy and the introduction of the rather big cast of characters, while the second part is mostly dedicated to background of the characters and story progression. Of course I have to say here that comedy is always the most subjective part about an Anime like this, but personally I found the comedy in Sekai Seifuku to be absolutely spot-on! It was rare for one of the earlier episodes to not make me laugh out loud several times and even in the later, more serious episodes, the humor blended in really well, never killing the mood or feeling out of place. It’s a very in your face type of humor, that is mostly based around the most ridiculous things happening and our main character reacting to them, which is something that is usually rather hit or miss for me, but with Sekai Seifuku it worked perfectly. This is mostly thanks to the fact that Sekai Seifuku refuses to take itself seriously at the start of the show, making it the perfect playing field for well done comedy.
tumblr_n1fn84659P1qzd219o1_500The show does however decide to throw in some  more heavy tones later on in the series and gets a lot more serious than it was at the beginning. As mentioned before, the second half of the series is mostly dedicated to adding background and depth to most of the characters as well as plot progression and while that does already happen in the first half, it is not as prominent as in the second. The story itself is much like the  first half pretty ridiculous. This is mostly due to the fact that Sekai Seifuku never really bothers to introduce it’s world any further than “this is where we are! Strange things are happening” and to be honest, I think this works quite well with the series. Of course this requires suspension of disbelief from the viewer, but that is rather easy to bring along, considering how random the first half of the show turned out. As such not much of what is happening in the second half really gets explained very well and while I was still wondering at points, why these guys were fighting these guys and why these guys where gone now etc, I found myself enjoying the entire thing nonetheless and that was mostly due to the shows greatest strength.

tumblr_mz8x2hLYbm1sq9yswo1_500Sekai Seifuku’s characters are simply fantastic! The show has a wide array of characters, that are at the beginning for the most part seem somewhat familiar, but all with enough quirks surrounding them to make them feel refreshing. We have the nudist genius, the robot that can switch personalities, the bossy loli that wants to conquer the world. The character types themselves are all things we’ve seen before many times, but the way they are presented both make them hilarious and simply not feel overdone. Not only that, but they’re all really well developed and have a surprising amount of depth to them. Every single main character of the show gets his own moments, where they can shine and develop. Our main protagonist Asuta is overall not the most original or interesting character of the entire show, but that doesn’t really mean much considering how interesting most of the other characters are. He’s your typical protagonist for these kinds of shows, showing over the top reactions to whatever is happening and seemingly disliking what everyone is doing while gradually developing into liking everything happening around him more and more. It’s the most cliche you can probably get in this setting where everything else seems to be madness, but it is probably what makes the entire show as much fun as it is. Asuta reacting to whatever is happening is incredibly funny, as he basically represents the viewer, considering he has absolutely no idea of what this world that Zvezda is based around is even supposed to be and him going “WHAAAAAAAAAA” about 70% of the show, represents the viewers really well. He’s an incredibly likable character as well, meaning that once the show does actually get serious, it is very easy to get behind and cheer for him.
Every single other member of Zvezda is more than interesting and incredibly fun to watch. As stated above thtumblr_mzmestK9IR1su62kao1_500ey are all incredibly unique in some way, while also staying an exaggeration of a certain stereotype in another. There’s the over the top Tsundere, the out of place typical schoolgirl etc etc. These characters are executed so damn well that it just becomes so much fun to watch. This is mostly thanks to the fact, that the characters aren’t simply these characters, but because there’s so much more behind them. Everyone gets proper back stories and character development, which is something I personally didn’t expect to happen at all.

The Animation for Sekai Seifuku has been done by A1-Pictures, a studio that I’ve come to not expect the average more than anything from. Despite some great Animation in shows such as Sword Art Online, the studio itself is rather hit or miss and Sekai Seifuku is not really any different. The show doesn’t really look bad per say, but it doesn’t look good either. There is no point where I was in awe of how good the animation was and as long as there was no CGI used, I was never surprised how bad it was either. When CGI came into play though, which it fortunately rarely does, it looks terrible. The integration into the 2D-Animation doesn’t work whatsoever and makes for a jarring experience. In total the animation itself was barely above average and really didn’t impress much. Good thing the show has something to make up for it. The designs within the show looked incredible, especially the ones of every Zvezda leaders. While the designs themselves already were pretty good and fit the characters they were attached to, the transformations were probably one of the best things about the show. They were incredibly unique and every single one was fitting the character, making for one of the coolest to look outfits I’ve seen in quite some time! Zvezda’s opponents, White Light, looked just as good and while being more standard than Zvezda’s and not being as diverse, they still were really cool to look at.

Sekai Seifuku’s Soundtrack was composed by Tatsuya Katou, also known for Soundtracks like Sora no Method and Buddy Complex. The Soundtrack fit the show very well, making for some damn exciting scenes and even helping out with the comedy quite a bit at times, however the problem with the Soundtrack doesn’t necessarily lie in the fact that the it’s necessarily bad, but it feels very repetitive and while it’s not as noticeable within the show since the soundtrack itself is not necessarily standing out much, there are many tracks that sound very similar and while its not as much the case as with other Katou Soundtracks its still very obvious that the Soundtrack simply lacks variety, although that in general is just a criticism for listening to it outside of the show, as it does work rather well in the scenes themselves. (my personal favorites are as always linked in the post itself)

In total, Sekai Seifuku was…..different, but it’s a show that knows exactly what it is and acts that way. It doesn’t try too hard to be serious and have everything make sense, as it knows that it won’t be able to pull it off, but tries just hard enough to make us care about it. It’s a fun nonsense show, that makes for an incredibly entertaining watch, thanks to it’s damn likeable character cast and it’s sheer over the top ridiculousness. I would definitely recommend checking out the show if you are into rather random comedies or the such or just want to watch a simple show for your entertainment.

Anime Review: Isshuukan Friends

Friends are what many consider to be one of the most important parts of life. They are there to have fun with you when you’re in a good mood and there to build you up again when you’re feeling down, but what if you don’t know anything about your friends anymore? What will cheer you up? What will get you to have fun? Ladies and Gentlemen! Today’s topic deals with exactly this scenario! Today’s topic shall be Isshuukan Friends!

Story:
Isshuukan Friends follows Hase Yuuki, a rather average middle school student, that really doesn’t have anything special about himself. After seeing one girl in his class, Fujimiya Kaori, being constantly alone, he makes the decision to try to be friends with her. He follows her around and tries to approach her several times, but keeps getting rejected until one time she explains to him, that her memories of all friends she made vanish after only one week. From there on Hase tries every week again and again to be friends with Fujimiya Kaori.
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The main concept behind Isshuukan Friends certainly is something worth getting hyped for! It may not be the most original of settings and certainly is something that has been done in a very similar way, but it had the potential to be something really moving and the first episodes definitely reached that goal! From the Soundtrack to the introduction of the characters, to the way the setting itself got introduced, everything felt really well crafted and honestly got me really emotional during the last few minutes of both episodes and while a lot of things were still left undeveloped and unexplained, they did have enough time to get that right within the following episodes. Something they unfortunately did not do. From a certain point on, the story started getting really repetitive. The episodes were built exactly the same way again and again, leading to them becoming predictable and in the end even straight up boring and sometimes even annoying. The show didn’t even seem to try to build upon the already existing potential it had, but instead seemed to be thinking the setting itself was enough to keep it’s viewers engaged. It comes to a point where every bit of Drama that is created feels incredibly forced and artificial, making it really hard to care for anything that is currently happening! That said however, I do not hate the show for that. It had enough moments that I thought to be incredibly cute and what kept me hoping the show would move on to a point where the Drama would actually work in it’s favor, but it was not enough to get me to forget how bored I was during some parts of the episodes.  The show does break away from this repetitive episodic concept later on in the series, but at a point, where it is already too late to just forget that boredom existed and where it moves towards really is not the best they could have chosen either. The Drama is still just as badly executed for the most part and while the repetitive structure of the middle part is gone, so are most of the incredibly cute scenes that I thought made the show worth continuing to watch. There are of course still points, where the show is enjoyable and the Drama is actually somewhat well done, mostly because they don’t have one thing it did before almost every time….both main characters on the screen….

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Characters:
It’s two main characters were probably the worst part about Isshuukan Friends. While at first, like the rest of the show, looking like something that had the potential to be outstanding, it quickly crystallized that they were way too static to really go anywhere.
We have our main character Hase. A middle school student that really is nothing out of the ordinary. He is your typical slice of life protagonist at the beginning, slowly working towards a goal (being friends with his classmate Fujimiya Kaori) and that’s completely fine for the first few episodes, as the potential for more character depth and development to be added is there for the rest of the show, but as soon as we get to know a little more of the character, the show seems to stop caring about the character in itself. He gets no more attention, meaning no more additional depth or development. His character is completely static for the whole latter half of the series, which is made even worse by the fact that what he seems to be stuck at is incredibly frustrating to watch. He gets jealous really easily, making him the center of almost every bit of Drama. Something I really wouldn’t mind, if the show didn’t use it every 5 minutes to create new Drama, that only feels just as forced as the previous one. This jealousy he shows also makes him the most annoying and unlikeable character of the series. It is really hard to care for him, which makes it even harder to care for the Drama that keeps getting built up around him, suddenly making the show a lot less enjoyable.
Our other main character Fujimiya Kaori isn’t even close as frustrating to watch as Hase, but still has her own fair deal of flaws. For a character that gets her memories reset every week it is actually quite surprising how much the character of Fujimiya develops. However the development and depth are this time not the problem I have with the character, but the way she is used. Just as her counterpart Hase, she often enough gets used solely for the purpose of creating Drama, which is something main characters really shouldn’t be used for. Still, she is a likeable enough character in itself and can be really cute from time to time, but the show fails again and again to really use that in the right way and except for the rather lighthearted episodes, this is one of the many factors that made the show rather disappointing to me.
Of course not everything about the characters was terrible, in fact I completely fell in love with the side characters. Both Kiryuu and Saki, who both get a lot more important as the show progresses. Kiryuu is the seemingly coldhearted but actually really helpful best friend and is easily the best written character of the show! He’s a lot of fun to watch whenever he is on screen and he made the show a whole lot entertaining just by purely being there and not even having that big of a role. The other side character is Saki. She gets introduced later on in the series and probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen….(well maybe not ever but I swear to god she comes close!). She is the cute airhead character that, ironically, keeps forgetting everything. Her interactions with mostly Kiryuu and Fujimiya made for some of the most entertaining scenes in the Anime, mostly because of how cute she is.

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Art:
The Art style for Isshuukan Friends is rather simple. The backgrounds aren’t to detailed, but they really don’t need to be for this kind of show. The character designs are cute and  a perfect fit for Isshuukan Friends. They transmit the emotions they are supposed to transmit perfectly fine. They really aren’t very detailed, but as with the backgrounds they really don’t need to be. The Animation itself is decent,  but much like the rest of the Art is nothing special. It gets it’s job done while not looking jarring and not a lot more than that.

(If the link doesn’t work properly, what I mean is the song at 37 minuts and 37 seconds!)

Sound:
The Soundtrack for Isshuukan Friends was composed by debutant Irone Toda. Even though not having worked on any other Anime before, he did a pretty good job for this particular OST. It’s very calm and nothing too special, but complements the scenes it’s used in very well. Especially the rather dramatic bits of the OST, mostly used in the second half of the series, stood out to me as particularly memorable. It is a type of Soundtrack that you can even listen to when outside of the anime. It is nice and calming and works really well as a background for working on something. Back to the original topic though. The Opening for Isshuukan Friends was ok. It was a rather typical one, but nothing that really stood out. While the Visuals did look quite nice, I didn’t particularly enjoy the song. The ending however, serves for a great closure after every episode. It’s a really nice song and while the animation is nothing special, the song makes more than up that. It fits the atmosphere of the show really well and makes for a great end to every episode.

In total Isshuukan Friends was a disappointment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a terrible show! While there certainly were a lot of parts that felt incredibly forced, I don’t think the show was unbelievably bad, but just could’ve done a lot more with what it had as it’s original concept and that unfortunately also shows in the enjoyment. While I did certainly enjoy the more relaxing and cute parts of it, it was the really dramatic parts that I sometimes even found to be cringe worthy I did unfortunately enjoy the show a lot less due to the rather high expectations I had. It was extremely frustrating for me to see a show I wanted to succeed so badly, just ended up failing at exactly that I thought was gonna be it’s strongest side, regardless of how relaxing and cute some other parts were.

In the end I would recommend Isshuukan Friends to people who are really interested in it or are looking for something cute just to relax after a hard day but I would not recommend it on it’s own! The forced drama is just overwhelming and doesn’t feel natural at all, with even the characters sometimes acting out of character just to create more of it! Of course it’s not all bad and there certainly was quite a good chunk of it I did really enjoy but it was not enough to make me recommend it to more people than just a few.

Anime Review: Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer

This Review is part of the Random Button Review Project on Hummingbird.me!
If you are interested in the Project itself click the following link: http://forums.hummingbird.me/t/welcome-to-the-rbrp-the-random-button-review-project/9440
For a full list of all the Reviews that are part of this click the following link: http://forums.hummingbird.me/t/rbrp-archives-random-button-review-project-find-obscure-anime/9932

Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer is a 1997 3 episode OVA, that later got made into a whole movie. It was produced by J.C. Staff and directed by Obari Masami, who really doesn’t have any major work besides this and quite a good amount of Hentai!

Story:

THIS MAKES NO GODDAMN SENSE!

THIS MAKES NO GODDAMN SENSE!

The basic premise of Gowcaizer is about Isato, an ordinary highschool student that one day receives something called a Caizer stone from one of his classmates with whom he now has to fight the evil power called Omni Exist who basically represents all bad emotions of humanity and threatens to destroy earth. This already showed through several catastrophes that point out that apocalypse is about to happen.
This setting already is where the first huge flaws are to be found! Why you ask? Because the viewer basically doesn’t have any idea about it! The movie does a terrible job at explaining itself and the viewer is basically left alone to find out what the heck is going on, which is almost impossible by watching the movie in itself! Personally, I went into the movie without having read the Synopsis and if I wouldn’t have read it half way through it, I probably still wouldn’t have any idea what it is about! However, even if the viewer does know what the movie is about, it really doesn’t help a lot in understanding what is going on! The pacing for the movie is absolutely horrible in every way! It often seems to be dragging on for ages and if it doesn’t, it feels rushed to the point where it’s hard to determine what exactly is happening! Every plotpoint feels completely out of context and none of them get any explanation at all! They’re simply left as they are and as it stands make absolutely no sense! And that pretty much summarizes the whole plot: Nonsense! There’s not a single thing in the show that seems to make any sense, ranging from the physics, to the random Mahou Shounen transformation scenes, to the character interactions! What’s left and actually understandable is absolutely generic! Any plotpoint that actually doea get somewhat clear is part of the typical Genre cliches! From the Shounen Power-ups, to the pseudo-philosophical themes of how humanity are the ones being evil, that get touched once and never again, to the character archetypes used! There’s absolutely nothing that we haven’t seen before and gets boring incredibly fast! Of course the movie is from 1997 and as such from a time where all that may not have been all that overused, but for today’s standards, there’s nothing original about it!

Characters:

Dat ass tho

Dat ass tho

The characters suffer from exactly the same problems as the story! They often enough act incredibly illogical and it at times is really hard to follow their thoughts. Not only that but every single one of them is extremely one-dimensional and have nothing to them but a single character trait! There’s the typical Shounen Main Character that actually doesn’t want to kill anyone, but occasionally does grow a backbone and ends up doing so, the typical clumsy moe love interest that in this specific case actually is able to fight and isn’t all too moe…the antihero kind of character that seems to be evil at the beginning but in the end turns out to actually be the good guy and so on and so on, you get the idea! In general I really don’t have a problem with Anime archetypes as long as they are used well, but in this case they just really aren’t! The character interactions are painfully bad and there’s not a single case of dialogue that is somewhat well written or interesting! This only gets worse through how out of character some of the characters act at times! They suddenly say something that doesn’t fit the character at all only for the sake of advancing the plot and at times they don’t even do it for that, but just to have that one certain moment that every Shounen needs to have! The character development feels the same way! It is incredibly rushed and there is nothing slow development but characters just take a 180 turn from one second to the other, making them feel like a plot device and impossible to follow! This leads to them getting even more boring as they originally were already thanks to the stereotypes they all fulfill and don’t step away from. I do give the show credit for at least trying to develope the characters, which a lot of shows don’t even attempt to do, but it just doesn’t work having them be completely different this suddenly! Another point that makes this shows characters just absolutely awful is just how unsignificant they seem to be! Some of the characters literally don’t seem to have any purpose and only exist for the purpose of showing their skin and crotch and bouncing their boobs!

Sound:
The Sound for Gowcaizer may or may not be the only redeemable thing about the show! While both the Opening and Ending is a rather standard for the  90s the Soundtrack is surprisingly enough not all that bad! Some of the tracks even wouldn’t sound all that bad if listened to outside of the show and often enough they fit the scenes really well! However often enough, kind of isn’t enough! The show has places where it horribly misuses tracks in parts where they really shouldn’t be used! One of the character entrances uses a harmonica right within one of the most intense fights of the show and completely destroys the mood of the scene! Often enough, the show doesn’t use any track at all, when it clearly should! While the OST itself isn’t even half bad, it’s the placement that ruined it in total!

Gowcaizer Character Designs

Those character designs actually hurt my eyes….

Animation:
The Animation for Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer was done by J.C. Staff and let’s say it that way….it isn’t all too glorious! The OVA was rather Low-Budget and for that and considering it is from the late 90s, it doesn’t look all too bad, but it really isn’t good either! There are a ton of scenes in the show where the animation itself isn’t fluent at all and while the fight-scenes are actually animated somewhat decent, the rest is filled with still-screens and so on and it really doesn’t contribute to the quality of the show overall! In fact if that actually were possible it’d make the show even worse! However something else takes that job over already! The character designs: OH GOD ARE THEY AWFUL! I have to be completely honest here and say I have rarely seen character designs that looks worse than this! They are often enough absolutely irritating and honestly probably were one of the worst parts of the show! Art style usually doesn’t concern me too much…I mean I sat through the entirety of Aku no Hana and ended up enjoying that BUT THIS? NO THANKS! The chins are way too long, the eyes either incredibly huge or horribly misplaced, sometimes even both! The other part that made the show even worse was the fanservice! Looking at the Opening I already got to see what I was getting into, giving me more boob bounces, crotch, ass and panty shots than all of Highschool of the Dead. Throughout the whole OVA, women in skin tight clothes were walking around hitting people while sneaking in more panty, crotch, ass and boob shots. It’s incredibly irritating to see all that fanservice shoved into your face like they didn’t even try to make it an actual good thing, but just a silly excuse to get some quick money for giving some guys a good time and that’s what it ended up being!

In the end Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer is a bad excuse for an OVA and has nothing going for it at all! The plot is nonsensical and generic at the same time, a combination of bad things that I didn’t even know was possible but the amazingness of this show has apparently proven it is very much possible to do it! There is no connection between any of the plot points and the pacing is absolutely awful! The same is for the characters they fall completely flat (Altho the characters certainly aren’t flat at all if you know what I mean) due to generic sterotypes and some of the most sudden and nonsensical development in all of Anime history! There is nothing good about this OVA series and as long as you are not a masochist that feels like experiencing 90 minutes of pure pain I definitely would not recommend this to anyone! It’s an abomination and I really don’t see anyone liking this….STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM IT!

Anime Review: Samurai Flamenco

You can either watch this Review as a Video on my Channel, or read it as text on this Blog! Which one you want to chose is up to you!

Once in a while, the Anime industry produces something so different or unique that it is bound to stand out from the masses of shows we get each season. Popular examples of that kind of show being Fooly Cooly, known for it’s ridiculously fast paced storyline, or the unique direction style of Akiyuki Shinbo he uses in shows such as the Monogatari series or the currently airing Mekaku city Actors. Of course those kind of shows don’t always go right and often enough backfire hard! The Anime that is today’s topic is a prime example for exactly this kind of show and while it doesn’t completely fail per say, the factor of it’s weirdness certainly.plays a huge role in how many people do like it. Today’s topic shall be the Super Sentai Tribute Samurai Flamenco!

Story:

While the show is incredibly realistic at first...

While the show is incredibly realistic at first…

The Story of Samurai Flamenco basically is an homage to every single Super Sentai or Superhero show that has ever aired! It follows Hazama Masayoshi, a rather normal but uprising model, that has an unusual obsession with Superheroes! He has basically watched any Superhero-show that seems to have existed and owns tons of figures. However, it does not end at him simply being a rather passionate fan, but he wants to be a superhero himself and because of that he often leaves his house at night dressed in a cosplay-like outfit, to help society to become a better üöace and help people in danger! Of course though, it is not as easy as that and he has a lot of problems in finding work as a superhero, so he mostly ends up getting angry over incredibly small crimes that have no meaning at all. The Anime shows his struggle as he tries to become more and more of a superhero and be accepted by society while at the same time keeping his identity hidden. A realistic interpretation of the Super Hero genre…sounds interesting doesn’t it?
Due to the shows nature, I will not be able to keep the following part of this Review completely Spoilerfree! However I will try to be as vague as possible so even if you still plan to watch the show, you should be able to go on without skipping!

...it throws that out of the window rather fast!

…it throws that out of the window rather fast!

Samurai Flamenco’s story is a weird one to say the least. It starts out pretty nicely, portraying a Superhero in a rather realistic setting and that is exactly the charm of it. The story is not too eventful at first and even though it does have some rather nice twists, it is this sense of realism and the well written characters that make it enjoyable! However SamFlam does something that noone would’ve ever expected it to…it completely solves every conflict that has ever been within this show and then proceeds to throw every single concept that had been going for it out of the window. The realism that had been the base of the show so far completely vanishes and the show quickly develops into a huge rollercoaster of Plot Twists.I usually would say that a show having a lot of plot twists is a good thing, but in the case Samflam, that just is not true! This show pulls it’s Twists out of thin air and there is no way to say what exactly is going to happen next and in this case that is nothing in favor of it! The Plot Twists for the most part make absolutely no sense at all  and even the explanation to everything that happened feels more like desperate try to finally get this show over with than an actual explanation that is supposed to be taken seriously. It gets more and more ridiculous every time to the point, where it even seems to escalate to Gurenn Lagann level and it happened several times while watching that I found myself questioning the minds of the writers of this show. In the end though, I also have to admit that the amount of ridiculous Plot Twists in this show ended up being it’s biggest fun factor and while I was really irritated by a majority of them, the level of escalation that it has did make it fun after all.  The show did go from it’s realism being one of it’s biggest charms to it’s escalation being one of it’s biggest charm. However this escalation factor wasn’t always big enough to carry the show on it’s own and only really is when it gets close to the end. It happens so, that the show falls flat on his face a lot and mostly after the biggest and most ridiculous Plottwists happen.
For a long time the show is not sure whether it wants to be taken seriously or as a mere joke. While some of the scenes and character interactions do seem very serious about the Superhero-theme, the fight scenes and monsters seem to have been written while the author was high. This leads to a rather large part of the show dragging on a lot and to it needing something else to carry it, good thing it has one more aspect it is good at!

Characters:

Gotta love this show :3

Gotta love this show :3

The character cast has exactly that kind of thing, that the story lacks for the most part! Realism…at least mostly! The characters for Samurai Flamenco do feel really inconsistent at a lot of points! While they are really well and realistically written for the most part, there are parts in the middle of the show where neither is really true!
Just as with the story, the characters start out as for this type of show unusually realistic and while some of the decisions taken by the main characters are questionable, the characters do get really well characterized and I did really enjoy basically every single one that was important! However just as the story, the characters do take the same turn and the character department developes into another part, where the show just doesn’t know what to do! Especially Masayoshi keeps going from extremely realistic to incredibly irrational several times and that’s mainly what I mean when I talk about the characters being inconsistent! The other characters however do often make up for that! While some of them feel a lot like Plot Devices and not all of them seem to be necessary, the majority of the characters are incredibly likeable and for a  long time were the driving force of the Anime and the thing that kept it alive! Most notably Goto! Goto is Masayoshi’s best friend and keeps helping him out, using his position as a police officer, even though he has a huge share of problems himself that get unraveled later on in the show! He is by far the most likeable character of the show and incredibly well written. Another noteworthy character is Mari. Mari is a rather popular Idol of the Idol Group MMM by day and a super hero trying to help Samurai Flamenco at night! She doesn’t do it out of love for Masayoshi though, but rather because she is a pretty self centered person and basically is addicted to attention. While not necessarily likeable, Mari is an extremely well written character and when the show puts serious attention at her, it happens more than once, that SamFlam suddenly has one of it’s most realistic points overall. She even is responsible for the darkest and one of my favorite episodes in the show. In total, SamFlam’s characters, while being inconsistent at points, are by far the best part of the show and what saved the middle part of the show from being absolutely horrible!

Sound:
The Soundtrack for Samurai Flamenco was composed by Kenji Tamai, who never really did anything besides this show and that certainly is recognisable! The OST doesn’t stand out in any way and even though it fits the tone of the show, it really is nothing special! In contrast to the actual OST though, the Openings for SamFlam are amazing, as they fit the show perfectly and are really good at getting you hyped for what is to come in the episode, even though the episode itself might be rather boring to watch, which is the case for most episodes in the middle of the show! They are rather fastpaced rock songs and as such are a perfect fit for the show itself and sounds really good as well! The Animation for the Openings however is not always the best, even though the first Opening and the second version of the second Opening do look okay in style and direction, I’ll have to talk about the first Version of Opening two! The Opening itself, seems like an extreme budget cut and has almost no new animation in it! Instead, they use already aired scenes from the previous episodes and throw in something that resembles a little bit of a slide show! Fortunately, they fix that a few episodes after it’s first time coming up, but it’s annoying, considering how the second Opening music wise is the better one! The endings of the show are the complete opposite of the Openings, as they are rather calming and usually serve as a nice outro to an episode that featured another extremely weird plot twist or some more incredibly ridiculous monsters. I wouldn’t say they are on the same level as the Openings but still are rather good!

Animation:
The Animation for Samurai Flamenco was produced by Studio Manglobe, known for their works on Ergo Proxy, Deadman Wonderland and Watanabe’s Samurai Champloo! While they do have some shows that are rather popular, SamFlam’s Animation honestly is pretty hit or miss! Some episodes can be pretty well animated, while others seem to be complete crap! The shows animation is pretty inconsistent, but that never really actively bothered me! Of course, I am not an expert in the field of animation and I surely am not the best person to judge it, but the when the animation needed to be fluent it was fluent enough to show us something to enjoy and when it didn’t necessarily need to, the show slowed it down! While in total the animation was not a lot better than average, it certainly did do it’s job and was good enough to sustain the series!

In total, Samurai Flamenco is one of the most memorable Anime to come out within the last year and even though it certainly is not for everyone, it is enjoyable enough for me personally to recommend it! If nothing else, Samurai Flamenco is an experience that has to be experienced by every person on it’s own, as there is nop objective way to say if one is going to like it or not! However, if you do enjoy Super Sentai or Superhero shows or Movies,  I would definitely recommend to check this one out! And even if you don’t, I still would definitely say it is worth giving a shot though, if nothing else at least to experience the sheer ridiculousness that is it’s plot!

With that, I hope you enjoyed this Review of Samurai Flamenco and I do hope it helped you! As always, if you did enjoy, remember to subscribe to my Blog or follow me on Twitter, for further updates! Also check out my Youtube channel for more content, such as Spring Seasonal Previews and further uploads! Thank you for watching and until the next time!

Anime Review: Tokyo Ravens

Expectations are horrifying…They can greatly influence someone’s opinion on a show! If going into it with really high expectations, it can end up being way more disappointing! If you go into it with really low expectations, you might even end up enjoying it! I personally always try to watch with an open mind and try to not get hyped for a show too much so I can still enjoy it! For this particular show though, it is the exact opposite of my example earlier! This show did not end up being way worse than I had expected but the other way around! Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s topic shall be the Underdog of the Spring and Fall Season, Tokyo Ravens!

Story:
The story of Tokyo Ravens takes place in an alternate universe, that is rather similar to ours, except for the fact that there exist spirits and familiars. In this world there also exist Exorcists, who learn how to handle those spirits. They learn to summon them, exorcise them and even how to fight using them, for the sake of preventing a spiritual disaster. The main character is Tsuchimikado Harutora, a teenage boy that is part of the branch family of one of the most popular Onmiyou-Exorcist families in Japan. However, other than most others in his families, Harutora is not able to see Spiritual Power and thus can’t become an Onmiyou-Exorcist like most others he knows. That’s why he has lived a rather quite life up until now, simply hanging out with his friends Hokuto and Touji. That is, until he meets his old childhood friend from the main family, Tsuchimikado Natsume!

The Slice of Life Scenes were by far the most enjoyable part of the first half!

The Slice of Life Scenes were by far the most enjoyable part of the first half!

The Setting for Tokyo Ravens is rather interesting and even though this kind of supernatural thing is not really uncommon anymore, I do really enjoy those kind of shows! What Tokyo Ravens does really well is taking what it is given and turning it into something good! The show is really good at world building! Almost too good I would like to say…While the world is really well explained and it’s potential is used really well, that has a certain price attached to it! The show takes way too much time fleshing out the world, that it could have spent on it’s characters or bringing it’s story forward. Of course this is not necessarily a bad thing, as this makes the second half even more enjoyable due to the really well explained world, but the first half falls flat due to this! The characters are uninteresting, the pacing is all over the place while it is still enjoyable, the first half of the show is mediocre at best. However the show does pick up quite nicely around half of the show! With the first really big fight starting, the show finally shows it’s scale and just how badass it can be! From there on it seems as if I was watching a completely different show, as basically all the pacing problems get solved, the viewer is finally able to really get attached to the characters and the plot twists have a lot more impact that they used to have! Tokyo Ravens second half was one of the most surprising things that happened to me in this winter season and it even included one of the best episodes of this entire season! It got me surprisingly emotional, something that I wouldn’t have expected from this show as well! However there is one thing that I am not completely content with and that would be the ending! The ending for Tokyo Ravens itself was rather good and did leave a lasting impression, however it did not quite end the way I wanted it to end! The ending doesn’t really give any sense of closure and since there is only 10 Light Novels as of now, of which 9 got adapted in this TV Anime, there probably won’t be any more too soon! However hope dies last and maybe we will end up having a second season at some point in time…

Characters:

Tokyo Ravens Review CGI

Unfortunately the CGI doesn’t really fit in…

The Characters for Tokyo Ravens mostly suffer from the same problem that I mentioned in the story, the first half! The characters I would argue, while still being the best part of the first half, aren’t really well fleshed out! While the interactions are quite well written and I have to say that the more quite Slice of Life moments of the show definitely were my favourite parts of the beginning episodes, the characters don’t seem to develop at all! It kind of plays out like Index, just not as bad!

Tokyo Ravens Kon

Kon is the cutest thing ever :3

Harutora at first is your generic Light Novel Main protagonist, that stands up for his friends and doesn’t have much of a personality except that, but just as the story, Harutora’s character gets a lot better halfway through the series. While I can’t really reveal too much about that, due to spoilers, all I can say is that his character got a lot more conflicted later on. The second character to talk about is Tsuchimikado Natsume. She is the daughter of the Tsuchimikado Main family and as such has to go to the Onmiyouji-Acadamy in Tokyo, meaning she lives far away from her home. She also happens to be Harutora’s Childhood friend and also due to the family’s tradition has to go to school pretending to be male. She is a rather quite character at first, but soon turns out to be pretty strong herself as she is really good at judging a situation and acting in the appropriate way. If I were to go over the rest of the characters in detail now, this Review would probably just take way too long, so let me just say really quick, that most of the characters are rather interesting to watch. They may neither be the most original characters of all time, nor the most well written, but the show certainly has a good enough cast to be enjoyable! The only other thing that kind of bothers me, is that while the Slice of Life character interactions seem to be really interesting at first, they get a little more generic later on. That may be caused by the show not really having that many Slice of Life moments anymore, but it still is something that bothers me. The longer you watch the Anime the easier it is to get attached to everyone. The Anime also has a huge cast of Side characters, that are all somewhat interesting and that I would love to see more about. However the Size of the cast itself prohibits the Anime from digging deeper into them. All in all the characters are flawed but likeable. It doesn’t make the show a lot worse, but they don’t really do a lot to make it better either.

Sound:

With the OST being done by Maiko Iuchi, the same person that did the Soundtrack to shows like Railgun, the OST was sure to be somewhat good. While it was not a masterpiece and nothing I would listen to outside of the show, it perfectly fit the show it was attached to. It mostly consists of quiet Piano and Violin pieces, mixed with some rather intense fighting themes. My personal favourite at this point is the track “Dairenji Suzuka”, which plays every time Suzuka gets on screen in the early stages of the show, as the music makes her entrance really badass and fits her attitude perfectly!

For the Openings, both are rather good. Same as with the OST, they are not absolutely amazing and unskippable, but they set the tone for the show quiet nicely. While most people like the first Opening better, I personally do enjoy the second one just as much and honestly couldn’t decide which one of the two were better. However, the animation for Opening Number 1 is a lot more interesting and the Direction does look a lot better! That said, the second one by no means looks bad, the first one just looks better! For the endings it basically is the same, while I did not like the first ending as much, the second ending ended up being my favourite song of the show!

Animation:

Tokyo Ravens has been produced by 8bit, the same company that also did Infinite Stratos and Aquarion Evol and has been directed by Takaoki Kamasaki, the director of “Is this a Zombie?”. The Animation for the show is average at best. It’s not really fluent and doesn’t really have anything eyecatching about it. It is not abysmal, but it certainly is not good! I feel like the bad animation kind of makes the show a little less badass than it should have been and it really does not do a good job at complimenting the show! Another huge fault with the Animation of this show, is the CGI. It looks really out of place and honestly is some of the worst I have seen in quite a while. It is mostly used for some of the familiars and it really is painfully obvious.

Tokyo Ravens has been the Underdog of the season and by far the most surprising one to me in a while! The show has a good amount of action, likeable characters and a well paced story. In the second half that is! The show has huge problems at the beginning, but does solve them halfway through it’s run. It may start off as a rather boring show, but the later parts are definitely worth standing through the first episodes! I would definitely recommend it to basically anyone that is into Supernatural and Fantasy Anime.

As always if you liked this Review, don’t forget to follow me for more content, meaning First Impressions that are coming up soon!
You can also get in contact with me in the coments, on twitter (@korigaming) and on Hummingbird (Kori)! I hope you enjoyed reading this Review and I’ll see you on my next post, which should be my first impressions that are coming within the next few days!

Anime Review: Kyoukai no Kanata

Kyoto Animation is a Production Studio that recently has been very well known for it’s cute Animation style and very moe influenced shows. They are hated by some people for founding the moe-blob genre and basically being the sole company to make it as popular as it is. But they are also loved for exactly the same reason, as there are many people (such as myself), that simply fell in love with shows such as K-On and Lucky Star. There are several reasons to why Kyoto Animation rose to popularity, most of them being discussed badly, but there is one undeniable thing about the Animation Studio itself and that is it’s unbelievably high production standards! Although there are almost no recent Anime by Kyoto Animation, that included fights or anything similar, the Animation always was incredibly fluent and amazingly detailed! Now imagine…An Anime with these production Standards, based around a fantasy fighting premise, with just as much moe as we are used to from KyoAni! Ladies and Gentlemen, todays topic is the Anime that combines all of that, Kyoukai no Kanata!

Kyoukai no Kanata Review Youmu 1

Some of the Youmu look really cool…

Story:
The story of Kyoukai  no Kanata is set in a world similar to ours, except that there exist beings called Youmu, which basically are demons that can have any shape or form, ranging from humans, over cats to something along the line of a fruit…There also are those who make their living off fighting exactly these Youmu, by killing them and selling the stones they got out of it. They are called Spirit Warriors and for the most part have some kind of ability as well. Also they are all part of an organization that one knows almost nothing about called the Spirit Warrior Organization. The plot itself is about Akihito Kanbara an ordinary high school boy that goes to school like every other person…except for one little twist: he is a half youmu…One day he stumbles upon a girl that seems to be wanting to jump from the roof of the school he goes to. As fast as he can he runs up the stairs to confront the girl and after telling her in an epic speech, just how much he loves glasses, she proceeds to stab him, only to find out that he is immortal. The girl, Mirai is a Spirit Warrior and her goal from now on is to kill the immortal Half-Youmu that is Akihito and basically uses him as a punching bag to get better at hunting.

Kyoukai no Kanata Youmu 2

…and some look really damn stupid…

Now I guess you can imagine that this is not all the story has to tell, but that there is a lot more behind it than this! However I am not going to give away anymore than this, as I am a little afraid to spoil anything for you! The story for Kyoukai no Kanata is weird to review…it honestly is nothing too impressive. It starts out strong with an interesting premise that certainly has a lot of potential, but soon takes a little bit of a nosedive! The show forgets to focus on the plot itself. but rather goes in the direction of doing some Slice of Life stuff that we are so used to seeing from KyoAni. Those episodes for the most part were good for developing the characters and their interactions, but sometimes not necessary, being proven best by the example of episode 6, where they take an entire episode only to kill a single Youmu, using idols…now don’t get me wrong I absolutely adored the episode itself, I just think it absolutely wouldn’t have been necessary and they should have rather made that to be an OVA. Anyway, back to topic. The story picks near the end of the show up again and even proceeds to get some feels out of the viewer. The ending of the show is worth noting as well, as it was one of the most satisfying endings that I have seen in a while and while it left a bitter aftertaste for what the characters had to go through, it ends the show in a perfect way and left me personally very satisfied! However the show has one more fatal flaw and that is the setting itself. The world on it’s own is really interesting, but unfortunately it’s potential is not fully used! I might be nitpicking at this point, but I feel like Kyoukai no Kanata is a show that didn’t use all of what it could have. It has a lot more potential than what it used, as it didn’t explain all of what happened in the world. What exactly are Youkai? Why do the Spirit warriors exist? None of these questions get addressed and I do hope that KyoAni at some point in time decides to actually clear up all those questions and make a second season for exactly that sake! I would be happy about it at least…

Kyoukai no Kanata Youmu 3

…but there is no cuter one than her!

Now for the most part, the show’s story really isn’t the strongest and it really is not what makes this Anime as enjoyable as it is, but it is it’s storytelling. The way the story is told, never fails at keeping the viewer interested and always makes him come back for the next episode, even though nothing too interesting happened! It is that, what makes the Anime really enjoyable and way better than it should have been! It makes the show a lot more fun to watch and with an ending such as the one Kyoukai no Kanata presented, it certainly concludes as a rather average plot line, that has excellent execution.
7.4/10

I love these Idols waaaay too much…

Kyoukai no Kanata Review fetish

Gotta love dem fetishes…

Characters:
For the Characters of Kyoukai no Kanata, it basically is the same as for the story. Most characters are only a variation of stereotypes and none of them are really original! Our main protagonist Kanbara Akihito at first is one of the blandest main characters that I have seen so far. He starts off as your generic Light Novel main characters, as he seems to only exist for the purpose of helping people. He doesn’t really have any further motives other than “I want to help you” at first. However, it is not until a short time into the show that this changes. We get to know more about him and we can get attached to him. He even does develop a little bit and even though the development by far is not the best one and not the biggest one that I have seen so far, I can safely say that it was enough to keep me interested in him and I didn’t see any need to develop him more than he was. Some people might only see him as the Glasses-loving douche bag, but honestly, I thought he was a lot more than that!

kyoukai-no-kanata Review Mirai cute :3

She’s so damn cute :3

The second main character is Kuriyama Mirai. She is the character that fits the best in KyoAni’s concepts, as she is the moe induced, glasses wearing moe, clumsy moe stereotype and fills that role surprisingly well. Just as for Akihito, she is rather generic to begin with and at first doesn’t really have too much of a character but more of a stereotype attached to her. But we get to know her over the course of several episodes dedicated to her and her relationship with others. She starts to develop as well and becomes just as Akihito a memorable character that can stand on it’s own, without being a mere moe stereotype
The side characters for Kyoukai no Kanata all are rather interesting, the most notable being the two siblings Hiroomi and Mitsuki, which both do get a fair bit of focus but not nearly as much development. The two of them are  a lot of fun to watch whenever they are on screen, with Hiroomi having a little sister fetish and not being hesitant about showing that. The other side characters all get a little focus but nothing too important and while they all have their stereotypical roles, again, that is totally fine, as they all are fun to watch!
Kyoukai no Kanata in total does not have a single ground-breaking characters. None of them are too innovative, but all are stereotypes that have been used pretty often before. However, the show is completely fine that way! In the same way as the storytelling is executed in such a good way, that the story suddenly got a lot better, the characters get a lot better through how well everything around them is written. What KyoAni is by far best at is writing character interactions. One can argue against K-On or Haruhi however much he wants, it is undeniable, that the interactions of the characters are either hilarious or at least well written. Even in Kyoukai no Kanata, KyoAni doesn’t fail at that point, but makes the characters really likeable by letting them interact with each other. I think that without his Mirai, Akihito might have been the bluntest character of all time and that without Akihito Mitsuki would have been the most generic Tsundere ever. A character cannot shine if it doesn’t interact and that is what KyoAni is able to pull off again and again. They understand how to recycle a stereotype that they have been using for ages and make it feel fresh over and over again. People can see that it in K-On, Kyoukai no Kanata and heck, even free to some extent uses the same stereotypes only in a male field. The characters don’t need to be completely original as long as they feel that way. That is the secret of the character cast behind Kyoukai no Kanata.
8.4/10

Animation:
As I already mentioned several times, Kyoukai no Kanata has been done by Kyoto Animation, a production studio that is well known for it’s extremely high production standards and as it was to be expected, Kyoukai no Kanata looks damn amazing! The fight scenes are some of the most fluent I have ever seen and even while only in Slice of Life mode, the show looks beautiful. The backgrounds are stunning and the animation is detailed to an extent that lets your jaw drop several times. It is one of the best looking shows I have seen so far and is almost at the point where it would be good enough to receive a 10/10. The only problem I have with it, is that it sometimes while fast paced scenes, relies on still frames. There are a few stylistic still screens, that I can forgive, but even sometimes during a fight and that is nothing I do like too much.
9.7/10

look at this beauty…

Sound:
The OST for Kyoukai no Kanata has been scored by Hikaru Nanase, who was also responsible for shows like Scrapped Princess and Phantom, Requiem for the Phantom. The Soundtrack is a mix of happy slice of life tracks and darker Drama tracks. While the SoL tracks are rather generic and would fit into almost every Happy go lucky slice of Life show, the Drama bits certainly do suit the show really well! They are well composed and part of an OST that in total really compliments the show it is attached to. It might not be as good as let’s say Attack on Titan’s OST, but it certainly stands it’s ground against many other shows. The Opening for the show sounds rather good being sung by the same artist who did the Gargantia Opening and I did like it, but the Ending song definitely was a lot better! I am a huge fan of KyoAni Endings, ever since I saw Chuunibyou, as they often have a surreal feeling to it, that often even fits the show. For Kyoukai no kanata that feeling returns and it doesn’t disappoint. Coupled with the gorgeous animation from KyoAni, both the Opening and Ending were brilliant.
8.1/10

Kyoukai no Kanata has been a fairly enjoyable from the beginning of the show on. It had it’s downfalls but always has been rather interesting for me. With the cool premise, the amazing animation and the for the most part really likeable character cast, I think that it really did a good job of delivering an enjoyable anime. It might not be perfect and it might not even be amazing at most things, but the way it presents itself is it’s biggest strength. The plot really is not too good, the characters are all stereotypical, but it has a charm that not every Anime has and that is what I love about it, but that could just as well be me simply fanboying over my by far favorite Animation Studio of all time!

Now as I calculated all the scores for Kyoukai no Kanata (being Story, Characters, Animation, Sound and my personal enjoyment), I got to an average score of 8.4/10. It is a show that might have it’s flaws but certainly does a good job of getting across what it wants to get across. It might not have the best story but succeeds in presenting it. The show at this point in time has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks, but has not been released yet, as it still is fairly new.
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Hummingbird Version: http://hummingbird.me/anime/kyoukai-no-kanata/reviews/5119

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Anime Review: To Aru Kakgaku no Railgun +S

“With great Power comes great Responsibility!”  – Stan Lee
Power is something that every human being has dreamt of having at least once, being it the power of money, strength or simple influence. It is something that helps people change things around them and makes it possible for life to be a lot easier. However, Power does not come without a certain price tag, sticking onto it. With whatever power you obtain, you get the chance to not only change your life but that of others as well. A huge responsibility lies upon the shoulders of those ruling and having the powers that others long for and there are several ways to handle this responsibility and for everyone there are good examples for it. You can simply abuse your power, oppressing everyone that is weaker. You can simply ignore everyone around you and don’t care about anyone but yourself. Society though in this age, sees it as the duty of anyone having power to help the ones that have less and speak up for them. Ladies and Gentlemen, todays Anime deals with the issue of obtaining power and having power. Today’s topic shall be Index’ first Spin-Off To Aru Kagaku no Railgun!

As this is a Review of both Seasons of Railgun, I am going to give two scores for every category! (One for the original and one for Railgun S)

Railgun Review Misaka Badass

And now…tell me again, why she is not badass!

Story:

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun’s setting is almost exactly the same as Index’. The Anime takes place in Academic City, a fictional town, that dedicated itself to the advance of science. It has amazing technology and almost 80% of the people living there are students. Most of these,didn’t come here for the science aspect though, but for the second big objective that the city was found because of. The training of Espers. Espers, to those who don’t know, are people that mysteriously obtained power that they now can use for all kind of things, but for the most time for the sake of fighting. They are split into Levels ranging from 0, which indicates that you have no ability at all, to 5. There are only 7 Level 5 Espers and those are counted as the 7 strongest ones in the whole world. In that city, lives our main character Misaka Mikoto. She is pretty popular Esper, since she is known to be the third strongest Level 5, also known as the “Railgun”. One day, she gets to know her roommate Kuroko’s, a Level 4 Teleporter, acquaintance from her work at Judgment, an organization that focuses on keeping Academic City safe. The acquaintance Uiharu, a Level 1, has always been a huge fan of Misaka and brought her best friend Saten, who doesn’t have any powers at all and is of the opinion that probably all Level 5 Espers are arrogant and annoying people. As they meet the “Railgun”, a friendship quickly develops and the four of them hang out together more and more often. But at the same time, strange incidents start happening everywhere in the city and even though the four at first seem to have nothing to do with it, they get sucked into it faster than they thought they would…
The Story of Railgun starts of rather weak, presenting a lot of Slice of Life episode to begin with and only a few episodes that really go into the Setting itself. Not to say, that these are bad or anything, it’s just not what is to be expected out of a setting that looks this way. After quite some while though, the pacing starts to get faster and more and more incidents start happening. Meanwhile, the show decides to bring in an actual plot. That is to it’s better, as the story for Railgun’s first season might not be as good as for Index, but it certainly is well done and while there always are a few filler episodes between different arcs, they get back to the actual plot fairly quickly. The strength of the arcs is just as with Index, it’s climaxing. When Railgun wants to set it’s climax, it gets amazing. Using epic fights great speeches and really well done villains for the sake of ending everything with a big blast.
The first season’s story is while certainly not being bad not as good as Index, the second season blows everything out of the water. Entering the second season, we get to see the sisters arc, a part of the Index show that only had 3 episodes over there, from Misaka’s point of view. In Index it was a fairly decent part of the show, but now in Railgun, it gets extended to more than a half of the season and a lot of things get shown that people who watched Index didn’t know about. It suddenly shifts into a part that is really dark compared to everything Index has ever done and is what I loved about it. That said the first season did something similar but not to the extent that Railgun S did!
Railgun: 7.7/10
Railgun S: 8.7/10

Railgun Review Kuroko

Kuroko in Action…

Characters:
Even though getting amazing at points, the story of Railgun is not what drives the Anime. The strongest point that the Spin-Off has is in it’s characters. Other than it’s predecessor, this show uses it’s characters a lot more and is working towards their development. While Index often only used them as a plot device, Railgun rather uses both parts to bring each other further. The story advances the characters and the characters advance the story. We have our main protagonist Misaka Mikoto, aka the “Railgun”. She is a pretty popular Esper, as she is listed as the third strongest Level 5 in the world. Still, she stays really levelheaded and often doesn’t really think that her powers are anything to show off with, but rather sees them as a practical tool. That’s what makes her friendship with the other three characters possible. Nonetheless, she is a really strong woman in total while caring for everyone around her. Caring this much for people, often makes her vulnerable though, since she never wants anyone around her to get involved into things happening around her. The next character is Misaka’s roommate Shirai Kuroko. Kuroko is a Level 4 Teleporter that is (at least it gets strongly hinted) sexually attracted to Misaka. She has a rather bold personality and is the one that the most comedy relief comes from, mostly using her tries to get close to her roommate. She can get really serious at times, though most of the time being when it is about her work at Judgment, an organization that keeps the streets of Academic City in order. Next up is her Judgment Colleague Uiharu Kazaro. Uiharu is a really quite and kind girl. She is Kuroko’s team partner in Judgment, but she normally only sits at their base though, as she is really good with computers. The last one is Saten Ruiko. She is an energetic girl, that has a unique fascination for urban rumors and is Uiharu’s best friend. She is a Level 0, meaning that she has no power at all.

Railgun Review dark scenes

Some of the Arcs in Railgun can get really dark and emotional! Most of the time that is connected to the characters!

The side characters in Railgun are pretty much the same as for Index. While all being fairly interesting to watch, they often lack a little depth and character development. They are all given background and motivation, but they don’t seem to stand out as much as they used to in the first instance of the franchise. That is not due to them being bad though, but due to us now having strong lead characters. For Index, the main characters were really generic and didn’t have any interesting characteristics. This made the characters shine, since they were a lot better written than Touma and Index themselves. For Railgun, this is not the case. In Railgun, the main characters are really well done, making the side characters only remain in their shadows and not seem as amazing as they were in Index. They still are quite good though.
The characters in Railgun are a lot better as in Index, as Railgun focuses a lot more on them than it’s parent story does. It is able to let them grow on you really fast and manages to capture their mentalities really well! This can be seen best, whenever the show enters a darker part of the story, such as middle parts of the Level-Upper incident and the Sisters Arc. They are in no way one-dimensional and everyone has a believable and likeable side to him. Heck, even the villains in the end often turn out to either be pretty cool or just amazingly well written for the most part. There aren’t quite as many side characters in Railgun as there were in Index, but the amount of them still is pretty high compared to other shows. They all are well written though and almost none of them is boring.
Railgun: 8.5/10

Railgun S: 9.1/10

Railgun Review lighting

The Lighting at times is pretty good (also Misaka looks so good when not in school uniform :3)

Art:
The Art in Railgun’s first season is pretty good. As expected from J.C. Staff, the animation is pretty well done, while not being outstanding. It is detailed and fluent during the action scenes, but is kept to a rather standard level in the Slice of Life parts. The use of CG-Animation is quite obvious though, as it does stand out quite a bit and does not look good! This gets really annoying, when they start doing the background purely based on CGI. For the second season, the standards of Animation rises quite a bit, as there were several years of a gap between the production of the two shows. The Animation does get more fluent and even though it doesn’t get any more detailed it doesn’t need to. However compared to other shows of it’s time, both are only above average and could’ve been better. One plus point for Railgun S though is, that they use a lot less CGI than any other Raildex show. The character designs don’t look too original, but are nothing to complain about, since they for the most part are bound to the original show. However the ones that are new aren’t too original either.
Railgun: 7.5/10
Railgun S: 7.7/10

Sound:
Railgun’s Soundtrack was done by Maiko Iuchi, who is part of the company “I’ve”, that did the OST for Index. He also did the Soundtrack for Ano Natsu de Matteru. The Music in Railgun is really good, having a great variety of tracks, ranging from energetic electronic music for the fight scenes, light hearted tracks for the Slice of Life parts and quite piano OSTs for the sad scenes. It suits the show really well and is really good to get you either hyped up or breaking to the ground. Of course it is not something that a Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan, Guilty Crown) would have created, but it does it’s job. Even outside the Anime, the OST still has an impact, as it is a lot of fun to listen to even while not watching the show. That is an attribute, that makes an amazing OST. The only part that I don’t like about it are just as in Index the light hearted tracks, that often annoy the hell out of me. They are fine when not being noticed or really quite, but they don’t really sound good to me. The Openings on the other hand are amazing. All four of them capture the show really well and are able to get you hyped for the show itself. The songs are amazing and I’ve been listening to them on my phone all day long. As for now, there is no dub available and the Japanese voice acting is as always really good (I can’t judge too much though since my Japanese is not good enough).
Railgun: 7,9/10
Railgun S: 7,8/10

Railgun Review Beach Episode

Of course the obligatory beach episode may not be missing!

Despite being part of the same franchise and even being set in the same city as Index, the themes presented in the two Raildex instances are entirely different. While the parent story focuses more on the war between church and science, the church doesn’t play any roll in the spin-off. Instead, Railgun is more about Power, how to obtain it and what to do with it. It deals with the lack of power and how the wish of having it can effect people and it deals with the responsibility of having a lot of power and how it can effect people’s life. It does so amazingly well, presenting it in the characters in a great way and never disappoints in good and flashy action. The story and setting both are really interesting and both seasons of it are great.
Now as I calculated the scores I gave to To Aru Kagaku no Railgun and To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S (being Story, Characters, Art, Sound and my personal enjoyment) I got to a score of 8.02/10 for Railgun and a score of 8.58/10 for Railgun S. The first season already is good mostly for it’s characters, but the second season then proceeds to get lengths better and is simply amazing. As it stands now, both Seasons are currently unlicensed and is available for legal streaming on Crunchyroll.
And with that, I hoped you enjoyed this Review and until the next post!

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