Anime Sunday: Black Clover Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Fall 2017 Season! It’s my Black Clover Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Asta and Yuno are orphans who were raised together from birth after being abandoned at a church orphanage on the outskirts of the Clover Kingdom at the same time. In a world where everyone has the natural ability to perform a kind of magic, or a Magical Power, Asta is the only person born without any, leading him to train physically as compensation. Conversely, Yuno was born as a prodigy with immense magical power and the talent to control it. When they are 15, Asta and Yuno are granted the ability to become wizards known as Magic Knights by receiving grimoires, with which all magical power is channeled. Yuno is granted a wind-based grimoire held by the kingdom’s first Wizard King, while Asta does not receive one.

Plot: This could be called SCREAMING the Anime. Frankly I got really tired of this really quickly where Asta is constantly screaming. His first words in the show are a scream (and I’m not counting the baby screaming). Frankly it takes the stuff people hate about most Shounen series and makes a story out of it. Unlucky Protagonist? Check. Best Friend who is a super genius? Check. Rivalry between said characters? Check.  I could go on and on, but frankly I’m sick of even writing about this series.

Characters: Asta and Yuno are our two leads, but frankly I hate them both, although Asta gets a much larger portion more of my ire. The rest of the cast is uninteresting as well.

Art: It’s okay, but nothing spectacular and not even close to something on ufotable’s level of quality. The frequent use of CG is also annoying.

Music: Mediocre.

Overall: If you like stereotypes and lots of screaming Black Clover might be for you. Otherwise move on and do something more worthwhile like watch an episode or three of a Fate series.

For those who like: Screaming, Stereotypes, Bland Characters and Plot, Screaming oh wait I already said that.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, particularly the screaming. Is that horse dead enough yet?

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Anime Sunday: Juni Taisen Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Fall 2017 season. It’s my Juni Taisen Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: In a city of half a million people who have all been removed, 12 of the deadliest mercenary warriors with the names and attributes of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals are pitted against each other in the 12th Zodiac Tournament which takes place every 12 years. Each warrior must swallow a poisonous gem, which will begin to kill them after 12 hours. To be granted any one wish of their choosing, the winner must retrieve all the gems from the other competitors before the deadline…

Plot: This is an incredibly violent series, I’ve seen plenty of violent series before, and read and listened to even worse, but this was easily one of the darkest ones I’ve watched yet. The story isn’t for those faint of heart. I won’t spoil the story, but I felt that those warnings were necessary. Personally I’ll probably just find a copy of the original Light Novel that this was adapted from to read instead of watching the entire Anime.

Characters: Our main PoV for this episode is Ino (Boar) who isn’t a simple character. Frankly I don’t particularly like her, but I understand her which I think was the point of this episode. The rest of the cast is fairly interesting, although Usagi (Rabbit) is a very disturbing person…

Art: The art is okay, but like Dies Irae not really even close to ufotable quality.

Music: This part is at least interesting as the main composer is Go Shiina, who used to work for Bandai Namco on the Tales of series including one of my personal favorite entries Zestiria.

Overall: A great series for those who want to watch something incredibly violent, others will probably just want to read the original Light Novel (it is released in English).

For those who like: Action, Drama, Death Games, Ultra Violent Stories, Interesting Cast of Characters, Good Art, Great Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Dies Irae Episode 00 Impressions

Hey all I’m back with a look at one of this latest season’s new series. It’s my Dies Irae Episode 00 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: At the start of the second great war, an important leader in the German security bureau takes on a mission to fight supernatural mutants himself…

Plot: The plot of this first episode really doesn’t make much sense, but I’m going to bet it’s a really important set up for the series. I do want to note that this is an adaptation of a visual novel and that it has an English release, for those who get curious about the series. I myself might look into the source material if I can get a solid grasp on my workload again.

Characters: Reinhard Heydrich seems to be our main character, at least in this first episode, because there was some odd kid that just screams “Main Character” that shows up in the first minute that I don’t really think we see again in this episode.  The rest of the cast was also fairly interesting, although I’m quite creeped out by Karl Kraft.

Art: The art is okay, but not even close to ufotable quality animation.

Music: The music was okay, but not super memorable either.

Overall: A pretty odd start to an adaptation of what is looking to be an interesting Visual Novel. Hopefully it does the source material justice.

For those who like: Historical Fiction, Supernatural, Military Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Action, Drama, Interesting Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

Anime Sunday: Fate/Apocrypha Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another Summer 2017 series. It’s my Fate/Apocrypha Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: The story is set in a parallel world to original Fate/stay night and the Greater Grail was removed from Fuyuki City to Romania after the war. Thus the events of Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero never happened. It focuses on the conflict between the two opposing factions, Red and Black, each summoning seven Servants and the Grail itself summoning a special Ruler-class servant as a mediator of the Holy Grail War. The Red faction members are mages sent by the Clock Tower Mage’s Association, while the Black faction members are part of a Romanian group of magi called Yggdmillennia.

Plot: While this episode starts in medias res with a huge battle going on between both the Black and Red factions, it quickly goes back to the beginning where a man named Sisigou Kairi is asked to come to the Clock Tower in London for a job. Apocrypha obviously a fairly dark series just by watching the first minute and half of the show where countless deaths occur, so if you are hoping for a lighter and more happy Fate series go look else where. Not that there are really any light Fate series, except maybe that weird Mahjong Manga.

Characters: I really enjoy the Fate series because for the most part there aren’t really any clear-cut villains or evil people. Everyone is taking part for mostly selfish reasons and their actions aren’t necessarily wrong. So this first episode which introduces us to a good portion of the cast is quite interesting. Especially all the servants. I won’t say who my favorite character was, because I honestly can’t pick one. There are too many excellent characters.

Art: The art isn’t as high quality as something produced by ufotable, by A-1 Pictures didn’t do a terrible job like Studio Deen did with the original Stay Night Anime adaptation. That said if you were expecting the amazing action sequences and excellent quality seen in the Unlimited Blade Works adaptation you will be disappointed.

Music: The music was amazing, as is usually the case with any Fate series. The opening and ending themes weren’t as amazing as some other ones from past works, but it wasn’t bad at all.

Overall: If you love the Fate series, or hell just love Mythology and History, you’ll absolutely love this newest adaptation in the Fate series.

For those who like: The Fate series, Action, Drama, Battles, Mythology, History, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Good Art, Great Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Touken Ranbu Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m taking a look at another series from the Summer 2017 Season. It’s my Touken Ranbu Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: In the year 1863, Japan is split between the warring pro-shogunate and anti-shogunate factions. Izuminokami Kanesada is a Tōken danshi (刀剣男士, lit. “Sword Warrior”), which is a tsukumogami of a historical Japanese blade brought to life by the Saniwa (審神者). With new recruit Horikawa Kunihiro, they chase after the Jikan sokōgun (時間遡行軍, lit. “Time Retrograde Army”) to prevent history from being changed.

Plot: This first episode is pretty intense on the action which is perfect considering that this is animated by ufotable. There are plenty of questions that aren’t answered, like exactly how Kanesada or Kunihiro are person shaped, but I’m sure that it’ll be answered in later episodes. That being said if you are looking for a deep plot driven series along the lines of the Fate series, you may be disappointed.

Characters: Kanesada and Kunihiro are our two leads, and they are pretty intriguing even if we don’t know a whole lot about their background. There are plenty of things we really don’t know about them, except that Kunihiro is a newbie to this whole preservation of history.

Artwork: As you might expect from a ufotable studio the artwork is excellent. The action sequences are always a joy to watch with ufotable and Touken Ranbu isn’t any different.

Music: The music is pretty decent, not super amazing like something from a Final Fantasy game, but not bad at all.

Overall: If you enjoy amazing action sequences, or just like looking at pretty boys who are actually swords than Touken Ranbu is a perfect fit for you.

For those who like: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Amazing Artwork, Intriguing Plot, Good Music.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Ballroom Episode 01 Impressions

Hey all I’m back with another new series of the Summer 2017 season for this week’s Anime Sunday. It’s my Ballroom Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis:  An aimless Japanese youth named Fujita Tatara, is heading back home after school when he recognizes someone from his school entering a building. While looking at the sign outside he’s accosted by delinquents.. However after a person on a motorcycle comes to his rescue he’s suddenly thrust into the building….

Plot: The plot of this first episode is pretty great. It had enough of a hook for me to watch every available episode at the time back to back (5 at the time). While I won’t say that it’s bad to watch  on weekly basis, I found the enjoyment of the story was better for me if I binged watched the series. Ballroom is a 2-cour series, so it’ll have two seasons of episodes to watch if you want to hold off on watching it till everything is aired.

Characters: Tatara is a pretty typical kid, but I really enjoy him as a main character. Hanaoka Shizuku is one of the female leads, and while she’s the first we encounter I actually don’t like her all that much. She doesn’t really give off much emotion so it’s hard to relate to her. Sengoku, Tatara’s mentor is a pretty hilarious guy, and fairly intense as well. The rest of the cast is good too.

Art: The artwork is pretty awesome, and while it may seem a little off at first, it will quickly grow on you. It’ll make more sense as you continue watching the series.

Music: The score definitely fits perfectly for the series. Even the opening and ending themes quickly grow on you.

Overall: Definitely worth a try and while there are some awkward moments for the most part this series won’t make you cringe.

For those who like: Ballroom Dancing, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Great Artwork, Awesome Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Knights and Magic Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Summer 2017 season. It’s my Knights and Magic Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: In a world where medieval knights use giant robots called Silhouette Knights to fight against demon beasts, magical ravenous animals that devour everything on sight. Tsubasa Kurata, a mecha otaku from Japan who gets killed in a car accident is reincarnated in this new parallel world as Ernesti “Eru” Echavalier, a boy born into a noble family…

Plot: The plot pacing of this series is way too fast for my tastes, which is a pity because they could’ve doubled the number of episodes and the series probably would’ve done fairly well. But we’ll never know now most likely. The pace is half a Light Novel volume per episode, so two episodes equals a Light Novel volume. I’ve stated in the past this is just way too fast for most series, and I stand by that statement still.

We don’t get to see Eru’s rebirth and him getting to actually learn magic and come to serious understanding of it and befriend Addy and Kid. Instead the entire School arc is pretty much skipped over, including probably huge plot points that will be key in later arcs. That being said it wasn’t a bad episode, it just went much too fast when I have my own prior knowledge of the actual source material.

Characters: Eru is a decent main character, but we lack a ton of background on him that was glossed over in this first episode. Addy and Kid are severely lacking in character background, which is a pity as Addy’s relationship with Eru is much more expanded upon and makes her look not nearly as childish in the original source material.

Art: The art isn’t bad, but it’s not ufotable quality at all. It could be better, but so could a lot of things with this series.

Music: The music is okay, but it’s not super amazing either.

Overall: This could’ve been a much better Anime, it’s a pity it got so screwed over with this adaptation. That being said it’s still fun to watch, just don’t read the original source material prior to watching. You’ll hate yourself.

For those who like: Fantasy, Mecha, Magic, Action, Drama, Politics.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or poor pacing.