Tag Archives: 3/5 Stars

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou review

Summery: Akuto wanted to be an ordinary student and hopefully someday help society by doing something great in the world. When it came time for the fantasy school’s aptitude test, his future career came up as ‘Demon Lord’. From that point, his life would never be the same, as he fights to prevents this happening, and many try to take him out to prevent the world from being overtaken by evil.

Why I Picked It Up: Rabbitpoets review of the first episode got me interested in checking out this series.

Why I Finished It: Ichiban is strange. It’s anime that’s nothing special, and instead of trying to pretend it is, the anime goes, ‘Let’s have the most fun we can.’. The result is that Ichiban is indeed incredibly enjoyable, with all these silly outrageous antics that happen within the plot. The story makes use of the fantasy setting to help entertain, using it to help set up the many crazy events that happen. The plot for the most part makes no sense, as not enough time is spent to explain what’s happen, and it’s just easier to go along with what happens. The main weakness with Ichiban is eerily similar to another complaint I had with another Artland show, Earl and Fairy. Earl and Fairy had an interesting story, but they spent too much time on the shoujo elements, and too little time on the actual story. Replace shoujo with fanservice, and there’s the main problem with Ichiban.

I’m not sure what to say about the fanservice in Ichiban. Some of it was really great. There was also a portion of, “Did you really have to go there?”.

The characters, despite their cliché nature, are surprising charming, especially the character of the Kotone, best summarized as a perverted green haired Yuki. Most of the main characters are somewhat fleshed out, although not fully, and a lot of gaps were left. There were too many characters to fit into the 12 episode story.

I think what disappoints me the most is that the ending of Ichiban, while somewhat confusing, is incredibly awesome, especially with the amount of well-done fighting. In the end, especially with the rushed pacing, I wished they’d scaled back on the fanservice a little to add more story. Still, I enjoy what I saw. An anime needs to entertain. Ichiban Ushiro no Daimou does just that.

Who Would I Recommend This: Fans of fantasy (dragons and magic and whatnot) still waiting for a real awesome fantasy anime to come out. This will please you while you sit and wait with me.

My rating: 3/5

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Filed under Comedy, Fantasy, Harem, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou

B Gata H Kei Review

Summery: Yamada is a sex obsessed high school girl who wishes to have one hundred fuck buddies. Problem is, she’s a virgin. When she sets her eyes on who she believes will be conquest number one, Kosuda, she finds a relationship growing between them.

Episode Count: 12

Why I Picked It Up: The first episode was hilarious, and I honestly liked the premise it.

Why I Finished It: I honestly really enjoyed this show. Rarely does anything in the media honestly acknowledge the sex drive of women, so having a girl obsessed with sex being the main focus of the show was a nice change of pace. Add this to the character of Yamada, a character who dreams big, but is completely inept at successfully executing, well, anything in the realm of dating. Put her next to Kosuda, a kind but clueless young man, that while he is indeed attracted to Yamada, he doesn’t want go too far and offend. This leads to an interesting combo. Using these guys, the producers add twists on the usual slice of life clichés, giving them a rather unusual twist. The end result is a 12 episode long with a romantic comedy.

This romantic comedy comes with a cute relationship developing between Kosuda and Yamada. While this anime does indeed fall into the pitfalls of not fully developing their relationship like most anime, it develops it further then most anime, and well, it’s adorable.

Not that the anime is perfect. The production values are lacking. Aside from Yamada and Kosuda, the rest of the cast while quirky (I liked Misato), is paper thin. The side characters of Angel Beats had more depth. It dragged a little in the middle.

In the end, this anime it just pure dirty fun, even though with the use of many censor images a lot is left to the imagination, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn’t perfect, but I doubt I’ll see enough romantic comedy anime that’ll make me laugh this much in a long time. Sorry, even Arakawa Under the Bridge, also airing this season, didn’t make me laugh as much as this.

Who Would I Recommend This To: I actually made my boyfriend watch this.

My rating: 3/5-I liked it.

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My Summer of Love review

Summery: Tamsin, riding on horseback, encounters Mona. Mona, wishing to escape her born again brother brother, opts to hang out with Tamsin. A relationship starts between the two that begins as friendship, but blossoms into something more.

Why I Picked It Up: This is kinda random. I saw a trailer for this five or six years ago, and have wanted to watch it ever since. It took awhile, as I didn’t know the title of the movie.

Why I Finished It: My Summer of Love is a well-paced movie that tells the bittersweet story between Mona and Tamsin. The characters aren’t exactly likable with their selfish tendencies, but they feel extremely real. They’re teenagers who think their problems are the center of the universe, and a lot of teenagers go through that stage where they think that way. In the end, I like what another reviewer said; it’s not a movie about coming of age, but rather, being of age. When we watch the two, even though we know what the two are doing are wrong (I’m not referring to their homosexual relationship, but rather some of the things they get up to) but it’s still very exciting to watch, and I couldn’t help but cheer them on.

But: It’s not the most exciting movie. For me, this didn’t bother me, but it does some people. I think in the end the major but is there’s nothing wrong with the movie, it’s a rather nice film, but I’ve seen the same idea executed better in other films.

Who Would I Recommend This To: Teenagers convinced it sucks to be them, and anyone looking for a lesbian love story.

Final Review: 3/5 I liked it.

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Bonk Review

Summery: Author Mary Roach looks on the scientific answers on various questions about sex, a quest that will lead her into many interesting places, to meet many interesting people, and to end up in many awkward positions. Roach doesn’t argue a point, but rather takes a topic, and explores differing opinions and positions on it from various people in the field of sexology.

Why I Picked It Up: It’s about sex. I like sex. I mean, the science of sex.

Why I Finished It: It was interesting. It’s not just about the science, although it’s hard for sex to be boring. It’s the people that Roach meets from a Taiwanese doctor that loves his job of fixing dysfunctional penises to an Egyptian scientist that conducted an experiment on rats involving their sex lives when they wore pants. She also writes with a strong sense of humor that not only makes her writing amusing, but makes the reader feel at ease despite the fact the book is about an awkward. Also accenting the book is the use of…tasteful pictures throughout the book.

Thanks to this book, I also have a bunch of great conversation ice breakers.

But: The book starts off with the history of sexology which is frankly, a little boring. It is hard to get into it at first, and tempting to just give up on it.

Who Would I Recommend This To: Anyone brave enough and interested in learning about sexology. Enjoy~

Rating: 3/5

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Bad Apple Review

It was one day at the museum. One day. Tola, a lonely student with an interest in art, bumped into her art teacher at a museum. Unfortunately, another student saw. Now, she’s living in the aftermath of allegations that she had an affair.

Why I Picked This Up: I’m a sucker for teen drama stories.

Why I Finished This: The storytelling skill of the author of this book was amazing. This isn’t just a story about a student/teacher relationships. It’s a story about cyber-bullying, and the way it can destroy lives. It’s the story about a mother trying to do what she thinks is the best thing despite the resistance put up by her daughter. It about a girl being a part of a broken family, a family where not only she, but everyone else develops, and while they don’t heal perfectly, they start to heal. It also is a quick read. I started it Friday night, and finished it Saturday morning.

However, the subject of teacher/student’s relationship is a very interesting one, especially in the high school setting where age gaps can be so small, and high schoolers are so close to being adults. Boundaries are there for good reasons, and teacher/student friendships are frowned on, as are relationships…but it’s a complicated situation. Many teachers  don’t want to lose their jobs, or end up in a scandal, but at the same time, they want to be supportive of their students. I feel like the book explored this very well.

But: The ending is a bit of a jumbled mess. That’s the biggest problem in teen literature it seems, being able to bring stories to close and able to tie everything up. I think they try too hard and force a happy ending, even if it doesn’t always fit, or isn’t ready for the happy ending yet.

Who would I recommend this to: My teen librarian that loves quality teen novels just like I do.

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Filed under Books, Drama, Middle/High School

Baka to Test To Shokanju Season 1 Review

The surprise hit of the season. The popularity of this show is astounding, especially for a show that done as a first time show by an unknown company. At this point, like it or hate it, most anime fans have heard of it. Mostly because of a certain trap…

Summery: The school Akihisa attends is an unusual one. In it, students are placed in classes based on their grades on the placement exam. Class A is the highest, Class F is the lowest. Also, everyone has the ability to summon little beings to battle other students based on their grades, and throughout the school year, they can engage other classes in ESB battles. Akihisa is in Class F. However, with the help of the charismatic representative Yuuji, they prepare to take on Class A in battle.

Episode Count: 13

Why I Picked It Up: For Winter Season, due to the lacking nature of it, my boyfriend and I decided to watch something together that looked like it may or may not be good. On three, everyone say awww…

Why I finished it: I thought it was funny. Baka to Test to Shokanju makes fun of every cliché within the typical high school genre as well as clichés in other genres, and is funny when doing so. The characters, why not deep, were fleshed out enough to be interesting, and had some great quirks. For example, the character Voyager was your typical perv, but his perviness went to outrageous levels that would make Happapo proud. On top of that, I enjoyed the fanservice. I won’t lie. I like fanservice.

But: Some of the jokes weren’t funny, and the show had a tendency to recycle jokes. Some jokes that started out funny turned un-funny. When the show tried actual drama, while it worked once in a while, for the most part it was its weaker element. The middle of the season has the weakest episodes.

Who Would I Recommend This To: I have no idea. It’s hard to predict who will like this show, and who won’t. While popular among the masses, I’m sure this show is going to be to be cited as an example of how anime is going downhill by the anime snobs, having a place besides Haruhi in the respect. For some people, they don’t find it funny right off the bat. Some only find it funny for the first half. And some enjoy it all the way through.

Final Rating: 3/5-I liked it.

MAL rating: 7

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Hanamaru Kindergarten Review

Tsuchi starts his job as a first year teacher at a kindergarten. He falls in love with a teacher, and also has one of his charges fall for him.

Why I Picked It Up: Gainax doing a show about kindergarteners? Such a strange combo, I had to see it.

Why I Finished It: Hanamaru Kindergarten is a very solid show. It never turns into something amazing, but manages to be pretty entertaining and a nice show to unwind to week after week. Given that each episode has two stories, for the most part, even if one fell flat, there was another chance to make it up. The characters weren’t that complex, but most of them worked. Especially the kindergarteners, which are too darn cute. The show did get weak in the middle with the annoying little sister, but it comes back up to the typical strength of the show, being that while it wasn’t amazing, it was solid.

But: With so many characters, they didn’t get too terribly much screentime. I would have loved to see Hinajinku more, but it didn’t happen. Also, Tsuchi has a really annoying little sister that makes for two episodes in the middle almost unbearable. The romance in the show does not deliver, and ends on a disappointing point, with a lack of conclusion. It doesn’t help that Yamamoto is a weak character who density is beyond even plausible.

Who would I recommend this to: Anyone looking for a simple show they can just relax and enjoy that doesn’t mind a whole lot of cute.

Final rating: 3/5-I liked it.

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Sora no Woto review

Sora no Woto is a story set in an alternative Earth. It follows the day to day lives of five  young platoon members in the quiet town of Seize.

Why I picked this up: As a fan of K-On, it was hard not to be intrigued by the picture of a bunch of girls that looked like the K-On characters, and the description of them being involved in a war.

Why I finished it: This story was nothing like K-On beyond having slice-of-life elements. It was much darker, and an extremely compelling story. Characters that started off as flat eventually became much more complex.  The interactions and development of not only the main characters, but the people of Seize were well done. There was the presentation of young girls attempting to be soldiers that stays with you even when the show was over. Most noteworthy was that of Kureha, while the most serious of the bunch about her job, she’s also the most immature, and really gives off the feel of just being a child. The story was an original story of living in a war torn world, where in anime, originality is rare. However, what stood about above all was the setting of Seize, a city marked by war, and trying to move on, trying to take on a lifestyle of normalcy in a world where it may not be possible. There’s a lot of mystery going on in this setting, in the making of this world, and parts of it, and while it answers some, it doesn’t answer everything. The most fun I had with fellow bloggers while watching it were the possibilities of the world.

But: While great in the first 2/3, the story fell flat in the end. Too much tried to happen in too little time, and it came off feeling like a jumbled mess that didn’t make as much sense as it should. It worked, but it really could have used more episodes to better build up to these things rather then stuff it in at once. It’s like all these great ingredients were thrown in for a cake, but near the end, too much was thrown in, and it never rose properly.

Who Would I Give This To: Bliss Stage fans. So Bliss Stage buddies, if you’re reading this…

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Filed under Alternative History, Slice of life, Sora no Woto, War

Shall We Dance? Review

Our main character is married with a wife and family, and his life should be everything he wants. However, he’s somehow unsatisfied with his life. That is, until he ends up in a class for ballroom dancing where he discovers a passion he never realized he had. However, he has to hide it from those around him, reasons differ depending on country. This movie has two versions, a Japanese subtitled version, and an American remake. I first watched the American, and then the Japanese. If you were to watch one, I’d pick the Japanese, but having watched both, this talks about both collectively.

Why I picked this up: I can’t dance worth crap, but I love watching it. My sister wanted to see the Japanese version.

Why I finished this: Freaking gorgeous, interesting characters, a nice slice of life.

Who would I give this to: Fans of dancing or aesthetically pleasing films. In the Japanese version, it does a great job of portraying every day Japanese life.

Any complaints: It’s slow to start and a little boring in parts. While it depends on the person, I personally don’t like slow films.

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Umineko no Naku Koro Ni final impressions

I think the best way to really form a final impression of Umineko no Naku Koro Ni is to look at each arch and evaluate it from there.

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