This week for Anime Sunday I’ve got a look at another of the Spring 2018 Anime series. It’s my Caligula Episode 01 Impressions!
Plot Synopsis: Shikishima is a psychology buff and between talking about the Johari Window and examining his friends’ behavior, he shows his knowledge of psychological jargon well. However, one thing he can’t explain is why, one day, people go crazy and start fighting this guy named Satake Shogo…
Plot: This series is really confusing. And the fact that it only got a little less so at the very end of the first episode isn’t a good thing. Something really strange is going in this series, and frankly all the psychology jargon and analysis is incredibly off putting. It’s not that I don’t understand the concepts talked about, but the fact that it seems to be the main focus of the first episode is really disappointing. I don’t mind if stuff is less action packed, but the constant self analysis by the main character is really boring.
Characters: Shikishima is probably one of the worst main characters I’ve ever seen, he’s brainy which is something I tend to appreciate, but the constant self analysis and over enthusiastic delving into psychology is really off putting. The rest of the cast is no better, with barely any depth given to anyone, even Shikishima is odd.
Art: The art is okay, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of a coherent plot direction.
Music: The musical score is okay, but not that amazing either.
Overall: Unless this gets significantly better in later episodes this is a series you’ll very likely want to skip.
For those who like: Psychology, Convoluted Plots.
Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above.
This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Mikkakan no Koufuku, or Three Days of Happiness in English, by Miaki Sugaru!
Plot Synopsis:A twenty-year-old with little hope for the future discovers a shop that buys lifespan, time, and health. This is a story dealing with the ensuing consequences.
Plot: I’m not really a fan of this, it’s the typical “Deal with the Devil” stereotype and frankly I don’t think these stories really ever end happily. Plus if you’re going to sell your lifespan you’d do it for more than $1000 per year sold right?
Characters: Our main character, whose name I’ve completely forgotten since I read this first chapter ten minutes ago (Gimme a break, I’m still sick), isn’t really all that likeable. In fact I pretty much hate this kind of person. I’ve got a pretty depressing life myself, so when someone else just throws theirs away without really trying it sickens me. It’s the same sort of thing I hated about Unbound Deathlords for those who read my Wednesday columns.
Art: The art is okay, but frankly wasn’t enough to keep me reading this story.
Overall: If you can stomach these kinds of stories, I guess this might be interesting, but personally I just find them depressing and enraging.
For those who like: “Deals with the Devil” Plots, Romance (Or so the genre tags told me).
Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above, or just depressing stories in general.
This week I’m back with another Quick Review for Sensate Saturday. It’s Fremd Torturchen by Ayasato Keishi!
Plot Synopsis: After dying a tragic and horrible death, Sena Kaito was reborn in another world and confronted with a peerless beauty, Elisabeth, who had appeared before his eyes. Introducing herself as “Torturchen,” she commanded Kaito to become her servant….
Plot: This first chapter’s plot was pretty messed up, and while it definitely caught my attention I’ll probably put this on my wait to be read shelf. This isn’t due to anything wrong with the series, it’s just that it looks to be a fairly depressing series on the whole, so I’m going to wait to read it until I’m not so personally stressed out. I should also mention that this is an adaptation from a Light Novel.
Characters: Kaito is a pretty pathetic protagonist, but that is more due to his circumstances than his own faults. I’m sure he has some, but we really didn’t get to see much of those in this first chapter. Elizabeth on the other hand seems to be a little odd, and while she’s obviously not a nice and cheerful woman it’s clear that she has her own issues from her past. We didn’t really get introduced to anyone else in this chapter.
Art: The art is pretty good, while it’s not super amazing it isn’t terrible either.
Overall: If you can deal with the obvious depressing nature of the series, it might just be a good read.
For those who like: Tragedy, Horror, Drama, Intense Plot, Interesting Cast of Characters, Good Artwork.
This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Hitogatana by Onigunsou!
Plot Synopsis: Crimes commited using manned combat-androids dubbed “Katana” run rampant. In an effort to maintain order, the government has organized the AKCD – “Anti Katana Crime Division.” Togusa of the 8th squad of the AKCD, continually casts himself into battle while holding existential doubts….
Plot: The plot of this first chapter was pretty interesting, and while I will be adding it to my huge backlog it’s not going to be high on the list. One thing I do want to note is that this first chapter had no massive amounts blood, but this is just the first chapter. There may very well be more later on in the series and given that it’s a Seinen series, that probability isn’t small.
Characters: Togusa is a pretty interesting male lead, but there is a bit too much mystery to his character for my tastes in this first chapter. While there are some curtains drawn back, there aren’t nearly enough to really grab my attention. Just a one or two more would’ve been great, but it just didn’t hit that sweet spot for plot hooks. Yachiyo his sister, I think it’s his sister at least, is a laid back and pretty carefree person for the most part. She is a drunk though.
Art: The art is pretty good, but it’s very much focused on characters and not at all on backgrounds, if there is any in any of the panels at all. So while the movement is great, the lack of backgrounds in most of the panels is a bit disappointing. That being said it was sort of refreshing to have little to no background in panels. Take that as you will.
Overall: Hitogatana is looking to be one of the dark brooding series that seems to be popular with older teens, but personally I found it to be more than a bit lacking in plot hooks. While I’ll be getting around to reading it, it won’t be any time soon.
For those who like: Sci-Fi, Action, Drama, Androids, Good Artwork.
This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review of a series that I’ve heard only good things about. It’s Billy Bat by Naoki Urasawa!
Plot Synopsis: The story begins in 1949 and follows Japanese-American comic book artist Kevin Yamagata as he draws the popular detective series “Billy Bat”. However his world is turned upside down one day when a pair of police officers barge into his workplace as part of an investigation….
Plot: I’m not going to spoil anything, other than to mention the fact that I read the first two chapters instead of the usual one. Mainly because what happens in Chapter One isn’t very clear. These first two chapters are an amazing hook, and while I really wish I could be covering the entire series right now, I don’t have the time to read the series. It required me to go back and forth between pages to understand sometimes what was going on, and even then I was still confused after getting a few more chapters in. As is common with any of Urasawa’s works you often don’t know anything about what is going at all, and you end up as confused as the characters or worse. I do have to admit that I will be reading the entirety of the series eventually, I think the final few chapters are being published in the very near future if it’s not already been done.
Characters: Kevin is a great main character and even though we may be as clueless as to what the heck is going on as much as he is, I still enjoy him. The rest of the cast of these first two chapters are good, but I have the feeling we won’t be seeing many of them often, with the exception of Billy perhaps. Billy by the way is a great character.
Art: As is standard with any Urasawa work, the artwork is fantastic.
Overall: A definite must read, although even I will need to take my time with it.
For those who like: Mysteries, Action, Adventure?, Drama, Psychological Thrillers, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Amazing Artwork.