Anime Sunday: Winners of 2018

 

This week for Anime Sunday I’m back with a post that is very overdue. It’s my Winners of 2018 post.

TenSura: I loved the original Web Novel of this series, and seeing it animated on screen was a real treat. It had awesome pacing, excellent voice acting, awesome animation although not quite at ufotable level of quality, and an excellent plot. If you haven’t given TenSura a try yet you really ought to give at least the first few episodes a chance. You’ll most likely be very pleasantly surprised.

Emiya-san: I’m always a sucker for Fate adaptations, but the fact that this is a non action oriented series that had some of my favorite characters of all time just eating good food and that it’s animated by my gold standard studio ufotable were what put Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family on this list.

SeiButa: I found this series to be rather interesting, with just enough supernatural to pique my interest and keep it. The fact that the romance doesn’t stray into the dreaded typical Japanese Harem with a dense MC scenario (like Nisekoi, Love Hina, or any of a number of other series) was just icing on the cake.

That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday, and I’m sorry this post has been so overdue.

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Anime Sunday: Winners of Winter 2018

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering my favorites from the last season. It’s my Winners of Winter 2018!

Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family: I really enjoyed this slice of life set in an alternate universe of the Fate/SN series. The fact it focuses on just food and some minor character interaction was refreshing from all the battles that occur in the Fate series. It being animated by ufotable might also have a big part in why this is one of my favorites.  Who am I kidding, it being animated by ufotable has a huge part in it.

Ryuo: I actually enjoyed this series quite a bit. While Sangatsu is a great series about Shogi it is also emotional wearing, so a more light hearted series was appreciated. The fact that Yaichi is a dense harem lead though is fairly disappointing.

Honorable Mentions:

Last Encore: I was pretty skeptical of this series after it diverged so greatly from the original storyline. It was interesting, but honestly it just makes me want to play the original game more. It also didn’t feature Tamamo, who is a much more interesting Servant than Nero in my opinion.

Hitori no Shita: I hated the first season of this show, it was terribly animated and the plot was sub-par. The plot isn’t any better, but the animation is much improved and thus get’s an honorable mention from me.

That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday.

Movie Monday: Kara no Kyoukai Murder Speculation Part 01

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with the second chapter in the story of Ryougi Shiki. It’s Kara no Kyoukai: Murder Speculation Part 01!

Plot Synopsis: January 1995, Kokutou Mikiya meets Ryougi Shiki for the first time while she’s in a white kimono during a snowing day. Later that year, at the high school freshmen ceremony, Mikiya sees Shiki in the crowd and chases after her, introducing himself to her. That night, Shiki stumbles onto a fresh corpse of someone killed in a traffic accident, the blood still flowing…

Plot: This is not at all like the first movie, Overlooking View, and is much closer to a traditional Murder Mystery series that you’d see on TV. That isn’t to say it’s bad, because it absolutely isn’t and this is a really important part of Shiki’s story, but the backwards leap in the timeline is going to cause some jarring at first. But if you want a bunch of supernatural stuff to go on in this entry of the series, you may be disappointed.

Characters: We get to see Mikiya and Shiki’s first meeting, as well as their first introduction to each other as they both enter high school. We also get to meet Mikiya’s friend Gakuto and his cousin Daisuke. That being said Shiki and Mikiya are the focus of this chapter.

Art: The art is as always excellent given that it’s animated by my favorite and most respected studio ufotable.

Music: Again like the artwork the musical score is excellent given that it’s done by the almost legendary Kajiura Yuki.

Overall: A solid entry in this series. Well worth watching if you enjoyed Overlooking View.

Movie Monday: Kara no Kyoukai Overlooking View

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering the first in a seven part series of movies covering one of the Nasuverse’s greatest stories. It’s Kara no Kyoukai, or the Garden of Sinners, Overlooking View!

Plot Synopsis: September 1998, Mikiya Kokutō brings over some ice cream while visiting Shiki, but Shiki is not happy to see him and says that she does not like ice cream so she decides not to eat it. Later at Garan no Dou, Shiki and Touko discuss the recent spate of unusual suicide incidents where several high school girls fell to their death, but left no suicide note and had apparently no reason to commit suicide. Tōko concludes that the girls did not intend to die. At night, Shiki visits the deserted part of town containing the Fujō buildings which have now fallen into disrepair and are about to be demolished, and while there stumbles upon the body of newest victim….

Plot: This is the first in a series of movies that are an adaptation of a novel by Kinoko Nasu. That being said if you get confused at first, just keep watching. It’ll make sense in the end.

Characters: Shiki is probably one of my favorite female characters of all time, and not just because she’s a badass. However my particular reason is pretty spoilerific and I’ll leave that for you to figure out. Though those who know me might be able guess after watching all the movies. However the entire cast is great, although fairly small for this first movie.

Artwork: This was animated by ufotable, so you should expect amazing visuals. Overlooking View doesn’t disappoint at all in that regard.

Music: The music is also pretty damn amazing, being done by Kajiura Yuki who is a legend in the Anime business.

Overall: Definitely a must watch for those who enjoy any type of mystery series. That being said, it’s not for kids at all.

For those who like: Mystery, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Nasuverse, Action, Drama, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Masterwork Animation, Excellent Musical Scores.

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

Anime Sunday: Last Encore Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m back with a look at what is probably my most anticipated series of the season. It’s my Fate/Extra: Last Encore Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Waking up in a strange academy with no recollection of the past, Kishinami Hakuno finds themselves forced to fight for survival in a war they do not understand for a prize beyond value; the opportunity to have one’s wish granted.

Plot: You see that synopsis above? Yea? Toss it out, that’s the story of the original Fate/Extra. What occurs in Last Encore is completely off track. As of writing this post I have only watched the 2 already released episodes and I’m still confused. Now given what Kinoko Nasu has said about Last Encore that is completely intended so I’m absolutely not alone in this.

Characters: We get to meet Hakuno in this episode as well as Leo, Sakura and Shinji. However stuff is odd, and while Fate/Extra is already confusing, Last Encore is so off track that I’m stumped as to whether I enjoyed the interactions between all the characters.

Artwork: The art is excellent, but while Shaft is an amazing studio I just can’t help but think that ufotable could’ve done a better job. It’s probably me just projecting my preferences though, and there is no significant issue with Shaft’s animation in particular.

Music: The music is good, although it lacks the same feeling as the original soundtrack from the game.

Overall: I’m really stuck whether I enjoy this series or not, so I plan on binge watching the entire thing in a couple days once it’s complete. You may or may not want to do something similar. It’ll probably help out a ton with understanding what the heck is going on though.

For those who like: The Fate series, Studio Shaft, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mind Benders, Fate/Extra, Great Artwork, Good Music.

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.