Anime Sunday: Violet Evergarden Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from this winter’s line up. It’s my Violet Evergarden Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Violet is a soldier in the Leidenschaftlich Army who served under Major Gilbert Bougainvillea, who she was utterly devoted to. However, Violet is injured after a mission which resulted in the loss of her arms, requiring them to be replaced with prosthesis. Colonel Hodgins, an old acquaintance of Gilbert, arrives to pick up Violet. He explains to Violet that the war they were fighting has ended and peace has come, though he is unwilling to tell Violet what happened to Gilbert….

Plot: This isn’t a happy series, despite that I’m still deeply interested in watching this series despite how depressing the setting seems to be. I will note that this an adaptation of a completed Light Novel series, so the adaptation should cover the entire story, although I don’t know anything about it myself. I enjoyed this first episode, and I’m curious to see what occurs in later episodes.

Characters: Violet is a very broken young woman, and yet I still found her endearing, if a bit distant.  The rest of the cast is good too, although we don’t have much of their background story yet. Hell we don’t even have much of anyone’s background. Hopefully this is fleshed out sufficiently in subsequent episodes.

Art: This is a Kyoto Animation production, so the quality is quite good. That being said I still find it lacks the fluidity of ufotable’s work, but I wouldn’t use that particular animation studio as my gold standard if it wasn’t as good as it is.

Music: The score is very fitting, with little to no uplifting tones used in this first episode, it fits the somber mood of the episode incredibly well.

Overall: Definitely worth a watch, although I expect this series to be a real tearjerker given the mood of this first episode.

For those who like: Drama, Military Fiction, Broken Main Characters, Excellent Artwork, Fantastic Score.

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

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Sensate Saturday: Mikkakan no Koufuku by Miaki Sugaru

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.

Sensate Saturday: Witch’s Hammer by Miyamarun

This week for Sensate Saturday I’m covering a series I came across recently. It’s Witch’s Hammer by Miyamarun!

Plot Synopsis: The chivalrous thief Chloe spends her days and nights acting on behalf of those in need, resulting in her being seen as the hero of the poor, but Chloe herself feels guilty thinking of how a mere thief like her is regarded so highly. However, meeting the witch named Meifa will change her fate…

Plot: This is a fairly creepy series, and while there are only two chapters out thus far, I was thoroughly hooked. I won’t go too much into detail since that’ll take away the fun of reading the chapters for yourself, but I’ll say that everything is not as it seems.

Characters: The entire cast is pretty interesting, with the Guard Captain being a stickler for the rules even if he does sympathize with the masked woman thief, Chloe. Chloe on the other hand seems fairly shallow thus far, but that will probably be taken care of in future chapters. Meifa is just plain creepy. Monica on the other hand is kind of a bitch, although whether she is right in doing so or not remains to be seen. That is pretty much the entire cast in a nutshell.

Art: The art is great, easily reaching Shueisha level of quality.

Overall: While there aren’t many chapters out as of right now, in the future this should prove to be a very interesting series. Definitely worth a read.

For those who like: Fantasy, Chivalrous Thieves, Great Plot, Amazing Cast of Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

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

Manga Monday: Neo Maou Dante by Go Nagai

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review of a remake to an old series. It’s Neo Maou Dante by Go Nagai!

Plot Synopsis: The story begins with an expanded account of God’s attack on Sodom from the original Maou Dante series. I won’t go into too much detail, but let’s just say that this is a very dark series. Kids absolutely should not read this.

Characters: We get introduced to the main cast, Dante a child prodigy turned weapons developer, his Sister Olga, and Medusa his beautiful and highly intelligent assistant.

Art: The art is incredibly old school, which is probably intention on the Mangaka’s part as this is a remake of a series that was abruptly cancelled in the 1970’s.

Overall: It’s a pretty dark series, but if that’s your cup of tea then Neo Maou Dante will be just for you.

For those who like: Tragedy, Action, Drama, Remakes, Dark Plots, Interesting Cast of Characters, Retro Artwork.

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

TNT: Sevens Volume 01 by Mishima Yomu

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering a series I had the chance to start while I took my trip a couple weeks back. It’s Sevens Volume 01 by Mishima Yomu!

Plot Synopsis: Lyle Walt is a young noble boy and heir looking forward to the day he can inherit his family’s territory. Except around when he was 10 year old, his parents started neglecting him more and more in favour of his little sister, Celes. On his fifteenth birthday, he is challenged to a duel by his sister to see who will inherit the household and horribly loses, being cast out of his family. Afterwards, he gets treated by the family groundskeeper and receives the family heirloom Gem from him that Lyle’s grandfather had entrusted to him…

Plot: This first volume is really quite good, as it gives us a sense of Lyle and his world. It’s a pretty standard Fantasy world, with each person getting a unique Skill to help them in life. It might be something like Reading to quickly memorize any book you’ve read (I’d love this personally) or a more combat oriented skill like increased speed or strength.  I won’t get too far into the plot, because of spoilers but needless to say that I really enjoyed this first volume.

Characters: Lyle is our main character, and he’s actually pretty decent for a main character, if a bit clueless and naive about the world in general. Thankfully the female lead Novem is much more knowledgeable and frankly she’s an awesome lead. There are other characters we get introduced to but of them all, I have to say I enjoy The First the most. If that confuses you, just read the book. In general though the entire cast is amazing.

Overall: A solid first entry in a series that is pretty amazing.

For those who like: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Romance, Drama, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above. Give the series a shot though, you will more than likely be pleasantly surprised.

Manga Monday: Kimetsu no Yaiba by Gotouge Koyoharu

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Kimetsu no Yaiba by Gotouge Koyoharu!

Plot Synopsis: Tanjiro is the oldest son in his family who has lost his father. One day, Tanjiro ventures off to another town to sell charcoal. Instead of going home, he ends up staying the night at someone else’s house due to rumors of a demon nearby in the mountains….

Plot: This is not a happy series, I’ll say that right now. If you want a happy comedic series this is definitely not going to be one of those series. I enjoyed it, although I probably will put it lower in my backlog to read rather than higher up due to the plot.

Characters: Tanjiro is a pretty interesting main character, he’s sensible and a general all around helpful person. I’m interested in seeing how that changes over the course of the series. Nezuko, his younger sister is also pretty interesting, although she doesn’t say a whole bunch in this chapter. The rest of the cast is interesting, but I won’t say who my favorite side character is yet.

Art: As you might expect from a Shueisha publication the artwork is excellent.

Overall: If you can deal with the decidedly not happy plot, this might be just up your alley.

For those who like: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Drama, Action, Adventure, Dark Plot, Good Cast of Characters, Excellent Artwork.

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

Sensate Saturday: You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead by Hiyodori Sachiko

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead by Hiyodori Sachiko!

Plot Synopsis: Kishida Jun is a sickly high school student who can see dead people. One person in particular is following him around: his childhood friend Hayakawa Ryoko…

Plot: The plot is very messed up. If you can’t handle horror don’t read this series, it will probably give you nightmares. I personally won’t be continuing to read the rest of the series after this first chapter, I have enough nightmares to deal with normally and I don’t particularly want to add to them by reading this. If you like Horror though, this will probably be an awesome series for you.

Characters: Jun is an odd main character, I get the feeling that he just sort of goes through life, not really attempting anything. Although being sickly I guess that’s enough of a reason to do so. Ryoko is a silent character the entire time in this first chapter, but still I found her to be interesting. Just not enough to get over my aversion of the Horror genre.

Art: The art fits the series perfectly, tons of shading make the entire chapter feel incredibly dark. No complaints really on a technical side I could see.

Overall: If you like Horror this will probably be amazing, but for those who don’t like it they should stay away.