Category Archives: Anime

This category is for Anime we’ve watched and reviewed or Animethat we have written about and reviewed and is now archived here. The titles we’ve reviewed are also listed in chronological order, and can be found using the search bar at the top of the screen.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our reviews, be sure to message us on our contact page or email the author and we’ll be more than happy to discuss our viewpoints.

 

It should also be pointed out that this area doubles as an archive, so reviews may go back quite a bit.

Otaku Review: Fate/ Stay Unlimited Blade Works

Fate/ Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works

I am the bone of my sword
Steel is my body and fire is my blood
I have created over a thousand blades
Unknown to Death, Nor known to Life
Have withstood pain to create many weapons
Yet, those hands will never hold anything
So as I pray, unlimited blade works.

One of my all time favorite anime series. It got plot, characters and is beautifully animated. The anime is an adaptation of a visual novel with unlock-able sex scenes. Unfortunately I can’t stand the insane walls of boring text and repeating names. This is a thing that makes a good anime adaption a gods end. The Fate universe is a complex one with a ton of plot lines and spin-offs. Infinite blade works is the second adaptation, which focus on a different plot line and point of view than Fate/ Stay night. Ultimately it’s the same characters only being used differently. To be honest the naming convention is way to convoluted and confusing. Generally it’s easier to just refer to it all as the Nasuverse. Naturally some die hard fans will disagree with me, proclaiming that the visual novels are superior. If you can get hold of a good translation that is.

Unlimited blade works, follows the path of the sorceress Rin and her summoned servant known as archer. Which both partake in a conflict know as the holy grail war. Where several stuck up and questionable mage families compete for the ultimate price. Which will grant the winner his ultimate wish. Naturally the families participating does their best to summon the strongest and most vicious heroic spirits possible. Essentially when well known heroes of legends die, they will become a part of the Holy grail. Waiting to be summoned by whomever participates in the Grail war.

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The story mainly focuses on Rin whom is a young magician, whose father groomed into becoming a part of the grail war. She is quite skilled and very headstrong, with a soft and sensible side as well. Every now and then she also cracks a joke. This alone makes her leagues above the cookie cutter stereotypes most series cram down our throats these days.
Meanwhile her servant Archer is quite fantastic as well and actually look like a seasoned and buff warrior. With a snarky attitude and an infinite amount of swords to throw around.
Lastly there is Saber; A blond knight, that is so serious that and no nonsense as you can get her and yet have a somewhat compelling personality.

Lastly there is Shirou, whom starts off as interesting as a wash cloth with a traumatic past. Whom eventually he becomes more than a pushover handy man. The kind that has to be stabbed a lot, before he learns his lesson. Which happens a lot, as most of the players in the grail war does not play around much; Nor do they play fair. Even if the characters are fleshed out and very interesting. They still have the nasty habit of beating everyone over the head with a blunt encyclopedia of exposition. Followed by long periods of little action and some shocking plot twists.

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The music score is fairly decent and the voice actors does a splendid job for the most part. Can’t say much about the dubbing. I have no good reason to watch the English version at all. Meanwhile the art style is quite moody with a gradient filter to all. It even makes the odd facial structure of the characters looks good. The backgrounds are not much to write home about. Since it takes place in Japan, there is the generic school, temples and a lot of streets with no names. The animation quality is very good despite many slow and moody moments.

Unlimited Blade Works comes highly recommended and  is quite addictive, leaving the viewer either frustrated, or just craving more.

Njål H Sand

Otaku Review: Knights of Sidonia

Knights of Sidonia

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A Netflix original, mostly 3d animated, manga adaption by the same name. The master mind and author behind this series is Tsutomu Nihei. Whom is well known for emotional scenes, striking vistas and insanely huge and complicated environments. His previous work Blame! Took place in a huge ever expanding mega structure. This time around it’s a science fiction epic that takes place in a generation ship. A asteroid made into a humongous spaceship that has been traveling for generations though unknown space. On the run from some very, very creepy and clearly organic beings. sid4These monstrosities looks like something out of a Lovecraftian nightmare and will shred you to pieces with razor sharp appendages. Meanwhile try very hard to fight them with rocket propelled mecha. Which uses lances among other things as weapon. There is a reason why it’s called Knights of Sidonia, Naturally the students also use them to joust during combat training. By now you should know that this series is in no way affiliated with the Knights of Cydonia song from the band Muse.  Interestingly enough this puts it somewhat on the hard side of the science fiction reality scale,  Though the Guano as the thing they is know as, is anything but real.

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The main protagonist Nagate Tanikaze is a fairly decent one and is just shy of being a spike haired loud mouth. Tough he has his moments. Since he is from outside the system he’s the odd one out and slowly but surely he gains the respect of his peers. However this is a seinen  series, which gives the characters a lot more emotional flexibility, which also make then infinity more expandable. I will not go into more details, as few people like spoilers. Almost everyone with a name can die and probably will die.  At least this holds true for the first half of the series. Nagate, is a bit of an oddity that emerged from the under belly of Sidonia in order to raid the rice storage. Naturally a chase scene ensues, he got heavily injured and eventually got conscripted. By the way, have I mentioned that anyone can die? I just had to be sure. For reasons unknown to me there is also a female baker bear in the series as well.

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Mi biggest complain would be that I feel that there is something seriously wrong with the framerate. The animations have a nasty habit of getting choppy. There are plotting and visual differences between the manga and anime, but it’s mostly faithful. There are also cases of naked breast in the comic. sid6

All in all a fairly enjoyable show, based on a very decently drawn and made manga. Though at times I wish that Knights of Sidonia was drawn instead. But you know what they say; taste is a butt, split in half and the middle is shit. One thing that also stands out is the overuse of the color white, as everyone seems to parade around in their uniform all the time. Keep in mind this is not a child friendly series, there are a lot of violence, blood and people dying in gruesome ways.

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Njål H Sand

Otaku Review: Detective Conan/ Case Closed

Conan as a kid

Take a genius crime-solving teenager. Put him in the body of a six-year-old child, give him a tranquilizer dart, a shooting clock and some other high tech tools that would make Q jealous. Sprinkle it with 800 plus episodes and 20 movies riddled with crime and corpses and there you have it. Detective Conan (aka: Case Closed) is the longest running detective series in the world…and also one of the most violent series imaginable. In virtually every episode someone dies in a gruesome and mysterious way.

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A corpse has been found!

Kundo Shinchi was tailing some men in black who knocked him out and fed him an experimental drug that shrunk his body. Since this would put some real strain on his hobby of solving crimes, he came up with a brilliant ploy. He got his friend, Dr. Agasa to make him a bunch of gadgets to compensate for his size and age. Conan then moved in with his friend and potential love interest: Ran.

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Conan and the kids from his class

 

Incidentally, his childhood friend has a father who is a drunken womanizing gumshoe who jumps to conclusions and sucks at solving cases. Fortunately this turned out to be easily rectified, as Conan drugs the poor sod and proceeds to imitate his voice every time a suspect is about to be exposed. This gave the man the nickname Sleeping Kogoro, and a lot of fame (which in turn attracted even more cases). Naturally Conan has to keep it hidden from everyone else, lest the men in black who shrunk him in the first place find out he’s alive, and the proceed to kill everyone he loves and cares about.

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SCIENCE!

Mind you, he’s quite capable of getting them almost killed himself due to the abnormally high crime rate in Japan. I can assure you that when he and his friends are about and at it, corpses will fall from the sky in a flat, featureless desert.

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Kogoro, random stranger, Rans friend, Ran and the kids
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I want those spy glasses!
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Suspension of disbelief, Ran is a black belt.
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Rule of awesome beats reality!

Every now and then he is also joined by his fellow classmates and Heiji, who is also a detective, and Ai, who was part of the organization. She too, shrunk herself into a child with the mysterious drug. It should by now be worth mentioning that the first episode of Detective Conan starts with a couple getting decapitated in a roller-coaster, which means that the series can get quite bloody and absurd at times. Most of the time however, it’s quite down to earth (if you ignore the absurd number of explosives that show up in the movies and his inflatable soccer ball dispenser).Some suspension of disbelief is needed, since the whole reason Detective Conan keeps up the masquerade from his friends does become quite arbitrary. It’s not that hard to deduce that this kid is too smart for his own good. But then again time does not seem to move much in the series, even when the technology is updated. The author has clearly done his research, and for the most part it’s accurate and wears its inspiration on its sleeve.

Watch it on Crunchyroll
http://www.crunchyroll.com/case-closed

Njål Sand