Devilish Musical Anime. Dance with Devils Anime Review

♪A dance with devils, Sure they are evil, But at least there are some musical upheaval♪

Dance with Devils looks like like your typical reverse harem, yet with some flair and some cliches utilized well, Dance with Devils isn’t your typical reverse harem anime and here’s why.

Dance with Devils’ flourishes with it’s “musical numbers” in every episode and this was the element that got LA intrigued by this anime in the first place and even the aesthetics of this anime make it out like it’s a theater play and theater plays being VERY popular in Japan, the fusion of anime and musical was inevitable to say the least. The musical numbers in all aspects helps with the characters in this regard, you know your “I want” song to motivation songs especially from the harem in question. But yeah the musical numbers were a neat gimmick that helped with it’s aesthetics.

Dance with Devils still holds true to it’s cliches of the reverse harem genre, mainly the helpless main heroine to the douchebag, jerkass harem, BUT the characters aren’t just like that especially Ritsuka Tachibana voiced by Himika Akaneya the main heroine who wants to find her abducted mother and find the “forbidden grimoire” in order to do so and Rem Kaginuki voiced by Some Saitou the student council president, a devil and is ALSO after the forbidden grimoire, so you can see why Ritsuka and Rem meet.

♪As for the rest of the harem, they are mostly venom, but LA can bear some.♪

Much like Mage Nanashiro voiced by Subaru Kimura is the power hungry jerk, but is deep down a TSUNDERE, but the “venom” for LA that LA couldn’t care less were Shiki Natsumezaka voiced bu Daisuke Hirakawa, the masochistic creep stereotype and Urie Sugami voiced by Takashi Kondou the ojou narcissist the stereotype. Ohh and add Lindo Tachibana voiced by Wataru Hatano, Ritsuka’s older brother…yeah he’s in the harem but it’s uhh complicated and he has a MAJOR siscon complex with “some” depth to him and some backstory but yeah…”kinda incest but not really”.

Rem is the ONLY one of worth in the plot, as his motivations and goals clash with one another and quite easily as stoic of a demeanor he has, he shows some obvious feelings for Ritsuka and not be an absolute jerk about it, so yeah quite honestly LA rooted for Ritsuka and Rem, but that’s kinda expected when the anime itself pushes this too.

♪Dance with Devils has many mysteries but ain’t filled with stupidities♪

As there is one central mystery that of the grimoire, but there are little smaller ones concerning Ritsuka and Lindo and their backstories that link back to the grimoire as a result and once the bigger picture arises, the stakes does gradually rises to the point of war AND the rest of the world.

LA does have some flaws towards Dance with Devils however, with as much of “decent” praise LA gave Dance with Devils, the anime does tend to get predictable to a certain extent, the signs are easily there (not exactly helped with the musical numbers) but to defend this flaw, LA WILL say for a reverse harem, this anime brings in a decent level of consequences that can’t be changed, redone by the harem, it happens and thus the stakes does indeed get higher as a result. Shiki, Urie and Mage ultimately were a waste of time unless you like them and by the end of it they became satellite characters to Rem.

Ritsuka was probably the most interesting character in this anime and for being the main heroine of a reverse harem, that does make a step up from the likes of Diabolik Lovers (obviously), as she’s motivated and driven, has a personality because of that and she at the end is NO pushover BUT in comes the last problem LA had with the anime and that is she goes through the typical damsel in distress scenarios ALOT, she does get better as she becomes the arbiter of her own fate instead of the harem forcing her too (which never happens) but nonetheless Ritsuka as a main heroine of a reverse harem, she’s very similar to Yuu Kusanagi from Kamigami no Asobi but had some of the typical trappings of the reverse harem genre.

♪Production values, ain’t shallow♪

The animation done by Brains Base is VERY aesthetically pleasing to say the least, atmospherically great especially with the musical numbers, LA did like the character designs especially from Ritsuka and her costumes but the rest of the character designs were polished and decently animation with no derps in this respect. Brains Base actually did a decent job in it’s animation and another of the great elements of this anime.

Voice acting and well singing wise, the voice cast were pretty great all round. Himika Akaneya as Ritsuka was great and though she doesn’t sing that much she did get to sing a bit to show off her range and does have a decent amount of range. The harem have most of the singing duties and they were pretty good, especially with their syncing and theatrical cadence at that, from Souma Saitou, Wataru Hatano, Daisuke Hirakawa, Subaru Kimura, Tatsuhisa Suzuki and Takashi Kondou. Yeah to say that the entire cast have to go through double duty of voice acting AND singing, LA will give them props for that, though one small little nitpick (not flaw) was that the singing did tend to be…you know “talk singing” than singing in some musical numbers that weirdly pushed LA out of the anime, but that was just LA and rare at that.

The finale was great in all respect as Ritsuka deals with the “big bad” of the anime as it were once again showing that she has control over her own fate and decisions as well as finality towards Ritsuka and Rem and add in a dash of Lindo development. The ending was sad in a ways but still a great ending overall.

Dance with Devils is an interesting brand of reverse harem especially with those musical numbers, yes they have some of the trappings and cliches of it, from a harem that mostly is useless and being jerks about it, the main heroine stuck in damsel in distress moments and being predictable, but utilized some of these cliches to do something not only new and refreshing but playing against the genre that SHOULD be the norm, the BEST and most well liked element being that the main heroine isn’t a pushover and she drives the plot at that.

♪Diabolik Lovers this ain’t, but it was quite quaint, Kamigami no Asobi it can relate♪


Ambitious Pet Project or Disaster? Fractale Anime Review

The anime that killed Yamakan’s career…until he started directing again…the freaking liar.

Fractale was something of pet project for Yamakan and it really does show in some aspect of this anime and say what you will for Yamakan as a person (mainly his obnoxiousness and director meddling causing scandals left right and center), but his directing skills does have merit, Yamakan does a good job in fleshing out his worlds and bringing in the stakes of the plot. Buuuut…

See Fractale is one of those animes where LA sees a solid concept and plot, but several things bogs down the anime to mediocre status.

The world building of Fractale is one of it’s strongest aspects of the anime, as we look at a technologically advanced world, but where the insurgence *ahem* resistance compels them to look away from technology and be “more human”. In a sense this anime ahead of it’s time, hell if it was released NOW when LA writes this review, the impact would had been there to a certain extent (besides the obvious humans are relying too much on technology).

But in comes one of the problems towards this anime, that of it’s juvenile humor that it’s characters are inflected with, not to mention the character themselves ALSO being problems in their won right. The juvenile humor and there’s like ONE running gag that gets extremely annoying, that of the main protagonist Clain voiced by Yuu Kobayashi constantly being called a pervert, you know THAT old chestnut and yes he gets into wacky shenanigans with that gag.

So the characters, they all have some redeemed qualities about them, but the only three that really matter are, Clain, Nessa voiced by Kana Hanazawa and Phyrne voiced by Minami Tsuda, but all of them have something that irked LA to the point of not wanting to care about them, personally, plot wise, Clain, Nessa and Phyrne drives the plot or get themselves into situations that matter to them, but in terms character well, Clain is the dense main male protagonist and is ignorant of the situation he got himself in for the majority of the anime but he gets better and again his running gag being his only comedic stint doesn’t really help his character, Nessa is the genki character through and through and usually LA likes these archetypes…but her genkiness did get a bit much at times and on the other side of the fence is Phyrne is the typical tsundere, LA WANTED to like her to be LA’s favourite but her behaviour to almost everyone got irritating at times. The minor cast are no different to be honest, like Enri Granitz voiced by Yuka Iguchi, one of the resistance members and she gains a small crush on Clain but for the majority of the anime, she sticks to her “pervert Clain” persona, Sunda voiced by Shintaro Asanuma likes being an asshole to Clain but warms up to him and finally Barrot voiced by Misuru Miyamoto being one of the villains of this anime…is a complete monster and LA wished he die in a fire.

The animation done by A1-Pictures and Ordet was…ok to a certain level, like the character designs weren’t that bad though the animation quality tend to dip whether be it intentionally or not. But the animation lied in it’s background and action work and to be honest it did a pretty good job on that front. To this end, LA WOULD have seen the animation quality similar to the anime poster given and the obvious animation quality dips accounts for that want, but nonetheless character designs and derps aside…an ok animation production.

Voice work, well at least LA will say as annoying as the nearly the entire cast of characters were, their voice actor counterparts at least felt like they gave it their all. From Minami Tsuda as Phyrne, Kana Hanazawa as Nessa, Yuka Iguchi as Enri and heck LA will give Yuu kobayashi as Clain some slack as Yuu did a good cross dressing role as Clain.

The plot twist towards this anime was actually great as well, like LA said, the plot and concept was well intertwined and developed alongside the plot twists that were to come and the plot twists mainly does concern Nessa and Phyrne, but even Clain gradually experiencing his whole world has been shattered as well as his world beliefs on technology being tested constantly that kickstarted the anime was decent build up to the plot twists ahead, heck even the smaller details this anime gives were charming in it’s execution in many ways.

As action packed, plot twisted (that made sense) as the final few episodes gave us, the end result was…..kinda anti-climactic as the finale was all culminating to the final decision that could change Clain’s entire world if it could, as LA said Yamakan can build suspense and raise the stakes in his plot well and this was one of them…too bad the finale for LA at least anti-climactic. LA was more interested on one snippet of information that might give off a meta-sense, almost like the anime was saying it was in a computer itself by what it was going at, but too bad the ending dashed all that away and gave us a VERY safe finale.

Fractale is an interesting anime, with a solid concept and plot, it’s too bad it’s lackluster and sometimes annoying cast of characters, derpy animation, it’s anti-climactic finale and it’s juvenile humor crippled LA’s experience, but that’s still not to say LA enjoyed the anime as LA did, but man LA was expecting ALOT more considering the buildup this anime gave was going places but felt like it gave up near the finale.

Yamakan may be one hell of a controversial anime director, but LA will say that his directorial skills does have some level of polish and it DOES certainly show in Fractale it’s too bad however that Fractale can be summed up in two words…


One kick leading into a relationship. Sukitte Ii na yo. Anime Review

Mei Tachibana voiced by Ai Kayano is a very shy, anti social stoic girl, having the belief that having friend will lead them to betraying to later on, it’ not until her chance encounter…well more like kick to Yamato Kurosawa voiced by Takahiro Sakurai where she one, develops a growing relationship with Yamato and two, open herself up to not only Yamato but everyone else as well.

For this kind of premise, it’s in similarities to Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Kaichou wa Maid-sama and even Toradora with the dynamic of Yamato and Mei in a ways and was LA’s early thoughts on the primary relationship in question, where the main protagonist changes her.his ways when coming across his/her counterpart both in personality and changes the both of them for the better.

For many, if not ALL romance animes, there are trials and tribulations in which the relationship goes through much like Yamato and Mei’s comes across, many of which seems in favour of Mei more than Yamato and LA isn’t saying this in a good way. Mei goes through ALOT in this anime, sure the character and belief change about having friend sis one of the main goals for this anime by having Mei and Yamato in being together but man, does Mei goes through LOTS of rivals in order to do so, let’s see we have, Aiko Mutou voiced by Yumi Uchiyama, a sorta ex of Yamato, Yamato’s own sister Nagisa voiced by Mariyse Ise and the biggest obstacle Megumi Kitagawa voiced by Minako Kotobuki, while Yamato only needs to deal with Kakeru Hayakawa voiced by Yuki Kaji who rattles Yamato being the playboy but is only a focal point in one episode and his biggest obstacle, Kai Takemura voiced by Tomoaki Maeno who gains a crush to Mei after a heart to heart.

No point scoring or anything but many of Yamato and Mei’s rivals defrost over time and become supports towards Yamato and Mei’s relationship or moved on, as such Aiko, Megumi and Kai for instance being the best examples, so this is a good direction to place Mei and Yamato’s rivals in, they aren’t just rivals just to cause drama and then never be seen again. Megumi is actually an interesting case as her development contrast easily with Mei, as Mei gains new friends, Megumi starts to lose friends from Mei’s circle and that causes her to lose it and goes almost into narcissistic territory but also regresses to pre-Mei before meeting Yamato and starts closing herself off from everyone thinking they will betray her. Yes Megumi did HORRIBLE things to mot only Mei but everyone around her when she lost it, but her development and contrast to Mei makes for a good rival, so at least the rivals were utilized quite well as abundantly in favour of Yamato it is.

But what about Yamato?, he “may” seem like the perfect boyfriend material but we learn more about him and he’s not that perfect at all giving dimension Mei and their relationship. Yamato’s always the caring one to anyone even before meeting Mei and that comes into play due to his backstory of him to able to save or help someone in his childhood, because he was a spectator, he now helps anyone so that he’ll never see anyone sad anymore, so typical white knighting but this also comes into play towards the fact he’s always willing to help someone, comes into their and Mei’s relationship and how he really never been in a proper relationship so even he makes mistakes time to time be it neglect, misunderstandings or just communicating to Mei. In all, we have a main relationship where both of them are flawed in their own way and they learn form each other and that bond only got LA to be invested in both of them AND their relationship, Mei for opening up to people, while Yamato was about communicating properly to Mei. Barely anything progresses if the couple is “perfect”.

The beta couples aren’t that bad either and this includes some of the rival’s and friends as well. So LA WILL say that in the character and drama department was actually done very decently and LA rooted for the main couple of the anime ALL THE WAY THROUGH so that’s a good sign, not to mention that Mei and Yamato themselves also developed outside of the relationship as fleshed out character themselves.

With all that being said, Mei was quite obviously LA’s favourite character, not only in reliability but LA rooted for her the most, not to mention all the crap she went through while still keeping her head up the majority of the time might also been a part of it.

The animation done by Zexcs was done decently in all regard, decent and character designs and the consistency towards the entirety of the anime was pretty solid. Sukitte Ii na yo. did rarely have some chibi moments but those were limited towards the comedic moments. Overall it was “decent” from Zexcs.

Voice acting, well LA actually has ALOT more to say in this department, from Ai Kayano doing a pretty decent stoic, shy and quasi-tsundere cadence as Mei and quit honesty for LA, the MVP of this anime, but also Yumi Uchiyama and Minako Kotobuki did quite well as Aiko and Megumi respectively, mainly in the dramatic department but also for their range much like Ai’s. Others like Takahiro Sakurai and Tomoaki Maeno as Yamato and Kai did great in their roles as well and add Risa Taneda as Asami Oikawa. With a stellar and well known cast, LA kinda HAD to gush about this voice cast.

If there were any more flaws LA could pinpoint to Sukitte Ii na yo. well if LA did, then LA would also have defending points towards them but here goes, the melodrama at the start of the anime was a bit underhanded in all regards and all targeted towards Mei at that but like LA said about the many rivals Mei went through they actually became friends with Mei and supported their relationship latter on, they weren’t “just rivals”, next would be as much as Sukitte Ii na yo. employs the typical romance cliche, Sukitte Ii na yo. managed to make it use to it’s advantage, yes some things are gonna be coincidental but to further Mei and Yamato’s relationship?, well it works…to a certain degree. Lastly would be the open ended and lackluster finale, well spoilers but not really but their relationship was pretty solid even after all the rivals and trials and tribulations about themselves they went through, yes the ending gives a “read the manga” ending, but IF you root for this relationship, it’s a no brainer that their relationship is solid and will continue as much as we can’t see it in anime form for a proper conclusion but it’s there.

Sukitte Ii na yo. was a very well done romance anime, sure the romance littered with rivals mostly targeting Mei in many aspects, but in this regards, Sukitte Ii na yo. still gives a very well done romance with a main flawed couple you want to root for, flawed main characters with backstory and fleshed out characters outside of their relationship, a rocky but overall decent supporting cast and sincerely, a decent melodrama that works in favour of the main couple or character’s development.

Because, hey if you root of the main couple to be together, then your doing something right for a romance.

Fukou da To aru Majutsu no Index III…Fukou da… To aru Majustu no Index III Anime Review

LA loves the Index/Railgun franchise, with all it’s flaws and strengths and this third season is no different…buuuut

Toaru Majutsu no Index III comes about 7 years from the second season and LA was clamoring for another season with the lukewarm movie and specials to keep LA vested in the franchise, in which LA thought oddly enough the Railgun series, a “spinoff” series featuring Misaka was in a ways superior to the Index series. Anyways LA heard lots about the “World War III arc” and how great that was so without a doubt LA was hyped by the third season’s announcement.

Ok, so enough brass tax and let’s see whether this third season tops any installment of it’s previous seasons or Railgun by that matter.

Progression is the name of the game and man how RUSHED do they pace this anime, without a doubt one of the biggest issues with Toaru Majutsu no Index III is it’s erratically rushed pacing throughout the anime. But on the upsides the To aru Universe grows with the progression of ALOT of plotlines , new and old woven together into this complex tapestry that leads into the World War III arc.

Touma deals with the remaining Four Seats of God members (from the second season) and well things escalate quickly to say the least, from the Four Seats of God attack towards Academy City, from Touma being whisked away to Italy and with the help of Itsuwa, help defeat Terra of the Left then moving along with the Amakusa Church along with Kanzaki helping to subdue Acqua the Back, to Touma going to England to help the Queen of England get the original Curtana back which leads into his confrontation of Fiamma the right which triggers the World War III and Touma going to Russia to save Index and defeat the “final boss” Fiamma the Right. To say that Touma gets into a whole lot of trouble is an understatement but yes Touma’s arcs deal ALOT with the rushed pacing LA aforementioned.

Accelerator gets his progression as the “anti-villain” in all this as he’s become a mercenary for Academy City and his “call” to World War III is what else, Last order being comatosed and Awaki saying that Fiamma & Russia has the means of stopping Last Order’s coma and fix her. Accelerator in this season, his sense of “villainous intent” is questioned, as he still thinks he’s a “villain” or “has to be a villain” in order for him to do what he needs to do and this easily is seen when he interacts with anyone cept Last Order, like Accelerator “wants” to be seen as a hero especially towards Last Order, but he just hates the concept of it and rather be the villain, but “villains” can only destroy. Much like Touma getting a harem along the way, Accelerator DEFINITELY does this season, smaller than Touma’s of course but the parallels to his harem is noticeable, as Accelerator already has an “index” in the form of Last order, but Misaka comes into the mix and well, this “Misaka”…is ohh soo WORST in a good way that his chemistry with her is actually quite amusing. But yeah, once again, the rushed pacing of his progression though not as harsh as Touma still lingers, but his progression as a character was a vast improvement, what with season essentially making this a redemption arc for him and seeing the error of his beliefs as a “villain”

Rounding out the trio of main protagonist, we are introduced to Hamazura Shiage a Level 0 much like Touma and a member of ITEM along with Mugino and her co. and Hamazura at first was directly opposite Accelerator due to Hamazura being in the bottom of the totem pole of the Dark Side of Academy City. Once again, the Touma harem parallels are seeping through with him and Hamazura’s Index comes into form as Takitsubo Rikou, the AIM Stalker user and when Mugino goes utterly rogue, it utterly tears ITEM apart and both Takitsubo and Hamazura has to fend for themselves while both Mugino and GROUP are after them, to say that Hamazura is ALSO unlucky is a freakin’ understatement, but like Touma, he is EXTREMELY lucky at the same time with all the situations he gets himself into. Yes, Mugino is the Misaka of Hamazura harem…no seriously. Like Accelerator, Hamazura wants to save Takitsubo after a defect occurs with Takitsubo and thus takes them to Russia where Fiamma the right is.

So with all three main protagonists heading to Russia and Fiamma the Right, incomes World War III and it’s………

Ok, not amazing or anything but what this climax leads to with the revelation of each of the protagonists and some major fights leading itself it was just fine, LA could see it being MUCH MUCH better but what LA got, it “mildly satisfied” LA. Well at least the climax to all this each of the main protagonists goes through tons of development about themselves as well as the relationships and villains that form around them. Accelerator and Hamazura goes through some of the same thing, just in the opposite spectrum alot of the time and some similarities of them wanting to protect those close to them and showing a bit more about themselves, Accelerator of again the aforementioned “villain dilemma” and that just doing the right thing is proof enough at times, while Hamazura gets out his inferiority complex and not only wants to protect Takitsubo but everyone (much like Touma). Touma is the only one in LA’s eyes that gets any intense development what with Touma being somewhat integral to Fiamma the Right, both in ideology and powers, see Fiamma the Right has a “right hand” that can create miracles and destroy evil, so in a ways like Touma’s right hand and Fiamma “wants to save humanity” with his plan, but Touma is also tested with what Fiamma’s idealogy of why when Touma always tells someone to there is always another way besides violence and whatnot and Touma’s entire ideology of white knighting those he protects are questioned, but strengthened when confronted with Accelerator and his final fight against Fiamma as a result. LA liked the ideological clash and questioning Touma’s beliefs in justice to say the least in World War III arc along with what Accelerator and Hamazura’s involvement in all this, it felt like a climax to the majority of the threads, even from the first season to get some major payoff in this arc, without a doubt.

What the problem however and say it with LA, the rushed pacing and the long expositions drag this season down and LA thinks it’s even worse from the second season. Look exposition is necessary, but having entire episode dedicating itself to some much detail just bogs the plot down and slows it down and as a result latter on rushes the arc to finish the quota and quite obviously it leads into confusion at times with how erratically paced it is and it’s not just World War III arc, it’s the ENTIRETY of this third season and quite easily this installment is the biggest victim of rushed pacing.

The animation done by JC Staff, well LA KNOWS alot of people utterly hated the animation, but to be honest, it was actually decent, flip flopped alot but still decent. See though the animation dips ALOT, JC Staff seemed to have dedicated it’s animation to World War III arc the most as it has some decent quality control put into it, making it as much of a climax as possible. Yes even the World War III arc does dip in the animation at times, but JC Staff did the best they could in LA’s eyes and was the probably the most consistent during the World War III arc, but nonetheless some arcs from this third season still had the quality LA was expected from Index, just erratic in places. In all and without ANY bias to JC Staff, the animation was erratic as hell, bottom line.

Voice acting at least was great, from Nobuhiko Okamoto’s screechy Accelerator back at it again, Atsushi Abe as Touma, Rina Satou as Misaka, Satonshi Hiro as Hamazura and Yuuki Takada as Lessar. Toshiyuki Morikawa (wait…YOSHIKAGE KIRA!) as Fiamma the Right was just oozing villany to heck Kei Shidou as Carissa was impressive as well. Seriously LA would be here all day if LA noted everyone that even caught LA’s interest, so to that the majority of the cast fit the bill, new and returning ones of course and to say that LA was impressed with this voice cast of this magnitude is an understatement…what with how large of an ensemble cast of revolving characters comes along.

So, yes To aru Majustu no Index III has a MAJOR MAJOR pacing problem that does utterly cripple this season to no end, LA still sees Railgun as the better series to this front, and towards the Index series, it’s…unfortunately the worst installment of the franchise, even though it’s suppose to be the climax to all the plot threads that leads itself into a huge evolution of the majority of the characters, it’s kinda a damn shame as if it had much better direction and kept consistent animation World War III arc would had been bloody amazing.

-sigh- at least there still will be Railgun III and Accelerator spinoff that might carry the mantle of “best installment of To aru”, but for now that title stays with Railgun II (yeah LA said it).

Fukou da To aru Majutsu no Index III…Fukou da…

LA was only here for Liese and Lilith……TOTALLY WORTH IT. Trinity Seven Movie 2: Tenkuu Toshokan to Shinku no Maou Anime Movie Review

Trinity Seven Movie 2: Tenkuu Toshokan to Shinku no Maou drags us right into another mess with Arata and Co. by showing us the villain immediately, Arata gets beaten, needs to be even more powerful and defeat this new villain again.

The thing is the previous movie villain felt like a non sequitur villain , but for this movie’s villain, he has actual links to BOTH Arata and Lilith that makes this much more than a magic-measuring contest to see who’s more powerful. That of the new movie villain being the FATHER of Lilith, so we get backstory on Lilith and her entire reasoning of encountering Arata in the first place. THIS was something LA wanted but didn’t realize, as we really didn’t know much about Lilith, her being the most faovurable to win in the harem and all, but her actually getting a lion-share of development in this movie was a good narrative direction.

What’s more is that Akio and Liese gets some development in this movie, like Lilith, we get some backstory on Akio and why Akio was needed in the mission that kickstarted the movie in the first place, her backstory is mainly with her childhood and what caused her hometown to essentially be wiped out and ohh what do you, Lilith’s father is the culprit. As for Liese, well we get the payoff from the anime series and her participating in several of the events in this movie such as unlocking Arata’s power as well as the final battle of the movie and *ahem* Liese being LA’s favorite character in the series and her screentime lengthened ALOT, THANK YOU movie. *cough*

So, Trinity Seven Movie 2: Tenkuu Toshokan to Shinku no Maou has it’s fair share of fanservice, as in ALOT and really it’s Trinity Seven it’s kinda a thing with this anime series and *ahem* with the major culprits to this fanservice being Lilith, Liese and Lugh, well yeah…*ahem* omega good job movie *cough*, though the movie tends to make the fanservice to “near” annoying standards, but again..LA can ummm ignore that. *ahem* LA really needs to stop coughing…

The animation was to standard, though for a “movie”, the animation did tend to dip at times though rarely to say the least. The fight scenes were decent and the character models were on point, it was 95% of the time consistent in all regards. Seven Arcs Pictures did ok, but that 5% of dip in quality out of nowhere was a bit annoying.

The voice acting, well since we have the entire cast back, the voice cast was great as per always and since Liese and Lilith gets a good deal of screentime, yeah, LA will easily give the MVP’s to Yumi Hara and Nao Touyama respectively as a result.

Trinity Seven Movie 2: Tenkuu Toshokan to Shinku no Maou does have it’s share of flaws, some LA couldn’t overlook, one being the abrupt introduction to the movie itself, it just “starts” and expects us to know what is going on and to that they could had at least 10 minutes worth to make the intro and bit like a “movie” instead of the typical episode form the anime series. The second is that due to Akio, Liese, Lilith and Arata getting the majority of the screentime, the rest fo the harem rarely gets screentime besides being “support” and the occasional banter here and there, LA gets it, they want to focus on it’s plot driven characters more, but to those who like the harem members like Levi and Mira…gets the short end of the stick in this movie. Finally would be Arata’s power level, more specifically plot armour, well though LA will defend this movie in that Arata isn’t invincible when he goes up against Lilith’s father at the start, but once he powers up and faces him again, well the cliche of “friendship is my power” (thus plot armour) kicks in and it’s….well yeah cliche in the result of it al, another words, LA gets what Arata’s beliefs are what with Lilith’s development and everything but the culmination was rather lackluster.

Trinity Seven Movie 2: Tenkuu Toshokan to Shinku no Maou is a MUCH better movie than the previous one, but it still has old and new failings that keeps making these movies a decent enough watch, but could had been MUCH better, be it a longer screentime, more screentime for the rest of the cast and a better resolution to it’s finale, but nonetheless LA was mostly satisfied with this movie as it’s strengths BARELY surpassed it’s ailing weaknesses.

Liese best girl, but Lilith is gonna win…

The Bloodhound lusts for revenge… Black Lagoon: Roberta Blood Trail Anime OVA Review

We’re back with the Black Lagoon and Roberta has literally gone feral for bloodlust and shakes up Ronanpur to the point of the Russian, Columbian’s & Hong Kong Triad and the Americans get mixed up in all this.

Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail by all accounts documents Roberta’s “Blood Trails” aka. killing list for the revenge of his Master’s father and though this OVA is dedicated to Roberta’s rampage through Ronanpur, other players like LA aforementioned comes into the mix and plays a little game.

See after the incident in Tokyo, Rock has been in a rather deep stump as it were, unable to let that incident go, but with this new incoming hurricane shaking up Ronanpur, Rock gets into the actions, for more reasons than to stop Roberta’s rampage, this is also due to the other players, Mr Chang and Balaliaka being the prime examples of all this. Mr Chang wanting to kill Roberta as it’s his turf Roberta is playing with while Balalaika has stakes due to Roberta shaking up the Americans and thus in turn Balalaika ALSO wanting revenge against the Americans, so yeah to say that Roberta’s rampage kicked the hornets nest that is Ronanpur is a frickin understatement that really just kicks this entire plot into gear.

Rock’s development with all this is quite the odd but to be fair reasonable one, as he sinks into the dark underbelly of Ronanpur and tries to outwit Mr Chang, Balalaika and the Americans for Rock to win for once and he’ll use ANYONE to get it, if there was a power spectrum change, then quite honestly it’s Rock, switching it to HIM with the power while this time Revy becomes the spectator with the events that unfolds, also Revy and rock’s relationship once again is rough to say the least with some of the banter that goes on, from the power struggle, perspective and one dragging the other or vice versa.

Roberta’s development is more like a regression to say the least but in her motives alone though due to her aimless, bloodlustful focus on revenge, but she gets PLENTY of backstory about her both in motivations and her personal beliefs of her constant cleansing of her sins, though ironic since her rampage causes MANY deaths in the process, a sin she desperately wants to remove, to say that Roberta is not in the right of mind speaks volumes to how slipshod LA’s explanations of Roberta is, but expected form a bloodhound out for base revenge.

With Roberta, her master Garcia as well as Fabiola gets some decent screentime as Garcia is probably the ONLY one to stop Roberta’s rampage and with that Garcia goes through hell and back with the urban and gurrellia warfare battlefields he traverses to find and stop Roberta and he develops alongside Fabiola to see what a hellhole Ronanpur is but to see Rock’s descent into it and Garcia growing as a Master as a result. Fabiola may seem like a satellite character and one of the newer characters form this OVA but she seems like a contrast to Revy with the interactions with her and she got the Black Lagoon out of some spots at times as well so she’s not exactly a throwaway character either.

The animation once again done by MADHOUSE, well it’s Black Lagoon’s aesthetic all right with all the crazy gunfighting and the like we’ve seen but amped up in a ways, almost like a theatrical movie a la Rambo with how fluid and fast paced the action is. Character designs are of course up to standard as well as the backgrounding,. Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail being an OVA was actually the best thing due to how gory the animation does get and they don’t do no censors here so if you get squeamish, well Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail goes there with that but to be honest it only enhances how batshit insane and visceral the action becomes in Black Lagoon. Madhouse did it again really.

Voice acting, well we have the entire cast back and that is just awesome, with the one new character worth a mention of Fabiola voiced by Satsuki Yukino was nonetheless blended well with the other voice cast really, major MVP’s goes to Daisuke Namikawa as Rock and Michie Tomizawa as Roberta.

Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail is another great installment to the Black Lagoon series, fleshing out almost EVERYONE in the process, drastically upping the stakes for everyone if they win or not and this under the premise of one batshit insane bloodhound maid out for revenge and going even more insane in the process of it all and LA was invested and loved every moment of it.

Ronanpur does things to your head…

No Tatsuki makes Kemono Friends a dull boy, No Tat- Kemono Friends 2 Anime Review

Kemono Friends didn’t die….it was murde- it turned into a franchise zombie.

Kemono Friends was a juggernaut sleeper hit in Japan mostly done by Tatsuki, however with some executive meddling from Kadokawa, Tatsuki was unfairly fired and Kemono Friends went on with a seocnd season without Tatsuki, the visionary and lifeblood of the series itself gone. The second season to say that it felt underwhelming was an understatement but not to the point of botchery, just half assed.

So Kemono Friends 2 starts off with a new character who doesn’t know where she is and wants to find her home with a sketchbook, she finds many various Friends along the way and find out more about Japari Park and the Ceruleans and Beasts that they happen to find. On the basis the new character Kyururu voiced by Yui Ishikawa is an even watered down Kaban from the first season but she is also accompanied by Serval from the first season and Caracal voiced by Riko Koike who’s keeps Serval in check.

Now the first season’s mysteries made the anime and the audience question Japari Park and it’s guests and to be more precise humans and what happened to them, why Ceruleans roam and how they even exist in the first place, it was subtle in it’s mystery and utilized well with it’s first season to portray something deeper than it was initially, The second season on the other hand has some lackluster and blatant mysteries thrown in without a hint of subtlety and it seemed that the second season cared more about it’s slice of life comedy aspect than the mystery which was the buildup of the first season, the second season doesn’t have ANY of that and yes there are small mysteries in this second season but they give out such blatant hints and questions answered as quickly the next episode that the mystery is barely there let alone what it was in the first season. YES Kemono Friends IS a slice of life comedy, but it was also a mystery, a GOOD mystery hidden away and dive bombed when it hit it’s climax about the revelations, the second season just got the barebones of it, used it’s nostalgic callbacks and points of interest and rarely delved into what it was trying to do and when it did, it “tried” but without the hint of solidarity to itself, it felt scattershot as if it was trying to tick off a checklist.

Now as much as LA is harping on the second season and it’s major flaws, the second season still has some merit to it as the second season DOES in some form like it’s world building and developing it’s new and old characters (no not just Serval) and what mysteries are given to us, the biggest and ONLY one being a Beast following Kyururu and co. is the ONLY point of interest as it’s never told outright what and HOW Beasts were created.

The animation emulates Yaoyorozu to an ok degree as it’s now done by Tomason though some of the character designs did felt a bit nonchalantly done, the animation was just “ok”, but felt like a downgrade weirdly enough, Yaoyorozu had a small budget and they managed to pull it off, Tomason’s animation just looked like it was aping from Yaoyorozu’s low animation as an excuse to keep it low quality jank (maybe as a form of consistency towards the first season, but come on), but what Tomason did…it wasn’t horrible, as LA said, it’s to keep with the consistency towards Yaoyorozu and to that LA wouldn’t outright say the animation was the biggest flaw, ohhh no, the plot was the main culprit for that one.

The voice cast is decent enough though LA didn’t expect Kyururu to be voiced by Yui Ishikawa of all voice actors, not saying she’s horrible for the role, just that LA didn’t expect her to. LA will be here all day if LA pointed out all voice actors, so the only notable ones are Yuka Ozaki reprising her role as Serval and she did well considering the material given anyways. Either way, decent voice cast.

Kemono Friends 2 for LA kinda lost itself with Tatsuki gone, but through watching the anime, it tried, especially with the director Ryuuchi Kimura trying to show a different side of Kemono Friends, that of the slice of life aspect of it and good on him for trying to show it in his own way let alone all the backlash that he really doesn’t deserve (that belongs towards Kadokawa), but Kemono Friends was just ALOT more than that and it doesn’t show here unfortunately.

People might not have never wanted to see another Kemono Friends after the debacle with Kadokawa and Tatsuki and to the people who do, you STILL have the first season and for the people who sees Kemono Friends 2 as something new and different, that’s fine to. But the one lingering thought that Kemono Friends 2 kept giving LA constantly was if the first season was ANY good to begin with and this sequel definitely gave off that vibe time and again, now LA isn’t saying this sequel dirtied the franchise but “worrying” to say the least.

Ultimately for all the sides that either hate or praise this second season, LA is more or less on the side of the former, but not to the degree of hate you’d expect as LA did see some potential from all this, but it just didn’t have the true spirit of Kemono Friends to keep LA interested like it did the first season and felt more aimless, lackluster and clamoring onto it’s nostalgia of the first season more than anything but the second season being sullened?…no…scattershot…yes.

YOUR LIFE IS YOUR OWN Mob Psycho 100 II Anime Review

Doubt, friendship, media outrage, adolescences, growth, world domination and RAGE are all pouring out of this second season and man does Mob Psycho 100 outdid itself for this second season to the point of it surpassing ONE’s One Punch Man.

Mob Psycho 100 once again brings it’s subtle messages about adolescences, usage of power while simultaneously developing it’s characters through it’s build up and culmination of certain character actions, the two most developed and evolved being Mob and Reigen this season.

The first half of the anime focuses on Mob and Reigen, especially Mob, some incidents that also might tear Reigen and Mob’s relationship as master and student are tested as well, both through personal and third party gives them some trouble with their friendship as a result. As such, Mob and Reigen’s work got them mildly famous and as a result they get more work around the city and when Mob he encounters a family of ghosts that do no harm, it gives Mob a moral dilemma, “kill” some friendly family of ghosts or not?, Reigen gets some development as he gets a bit too much for his bridges as he gains media fame, only for him to be outed as a fake psychic and that’s where the media outrage sets in and this mini arc for Reigen not only grows Reigen as a character, but solidifies Mob’s master and student by the end.

Now with a second season, there are MUCH more powerful espers Mob has to deal with and he does it in spectacular fashion that also reflects what WOULD have had happened if Mob used his powers recklessly and both times he encounters them, we gets some existentialism towards Mob and his powers, a bit of world building and lore building with the esper world in a ways. Now LA does have some flaws towards the “villains” of this second season but their strengths (not in power but for the plot) helps mitigate that. So the first major villain of this second season was actually VERY well done, as for the second half villain, see he wants “world domination” because he just “can”, again putting in what would had happen if Mob turned to the dark side and used his powers decisively, but his entire reasoning is that he just “can” and he prolongs his arc by flinging minions at Mob and co. but what the arc gave for Mob and his powers was beneficial as well as developing the new and old villains and their flaws as an esper in the process, so it wasn’t “that” bad. So in a ways the first major villain arc focuses on Mob’s personal dilemma about his usage of his powers, while the second arc’s villain focusing on what Mob could have done with the outside world with his powers if he could.

Mob Psycho 100’s second season theme seemed to have grown from the experiences of adolescences to growing out of it and utilizing your own strengths to your advantage in life in this second season, if Mob, Reigen as well the villains are anything to go by, with Mob being the manifesting of infinite growth in a person to the point of Mob trying to go beyond without his use of powers..for the simplest things like a marathon, where his villains abuse their powers and thinks that that the only way it makes them powerful. On Reigen’s side of things is more personal as it shows that having friends and the bonds Mob have made only strengthens everyone, heck some of the previous season’s villains comes back as allies and brings in this statement well and heck Reigen even handled the fallout of him being outed better than anyone else. Reigen is truly a master.

Bones once again takes the helm for this second season and ohh boy is the animation in excellent quality and consistency, yes the aesthetics towards it being “Mob” is still there but in return, the “fights” are some of the best speculate set pieces LA has seen since One Punch Man, maybe even better with how batshit insane the animation is. Character designs are the same as the first season as well as the background work was nicely done for the aesthetics of it all. Seriously, Bones outdid themselves here, ESPECIALLY with EVERY fight scene and rage filled emotion done to crazy proportions.

Voice acting is as great as ever with some huge props to Takahiro Sakurai as Reigen and Setsuo Itou as Mob. Other standouts are Akio Ootsuka as Ekubo and Miyu Irino as Ritsu. Same old cast, expected goofy and wacky cadence all round but even some of the new additions were interesting to say the least. Ohh and the Opening was a frickin’ banger.

Mob Psycho 100’s second season just HAS to be LA’s favorite sequel anime of Winter 2019, without a doubt, this second season was delicately woven, as it not only developed but evolved Mob and Reigen as characters, drastically moved the plot into new territory and as a bonus gave us theme to work with that doesn’t beat you in the head with it, but subtlety adds touches to it, multiple times in this second season and gives us a new outlook on Mob, Reigen and “uber powerful espers” in a new light, one which only Mob can stop. LA was FLOORED with this second season with how it well it executed everything LA stated above, that it was the obvious choice for LA to pick Mob Psycho 100’s second season as the best sequel anime of Winter 2019 and one of the best animes of Winter 2019.

“Could you feel your satisfaction?”…heck yea 100% and beyond to be honest.

JET FIGHTERS ARE GO! Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai Anime Review

Winter 2019 gave us two VERY different cute girl plane animes, one where the girls are the actually jet fighters that is Girly Air Force, the other, Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai and well…

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai for LA felt like it fell under the radar in a ways due to all the popular sequels and slammer of an anime that was released at the same time but if anything Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai seems like a diamond in the rough if see can find it.

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai is about the daily lives of the Kotobuki Corps, a band of girls piloting plane fighters as bodyguards for hire and though the anime is mostly an episodic anime looking at the various characters within the Kotobuki Co, the anime subtlety adds in world building and a bigger threat that is ALL connected to the missions Kotobuki Corps gets wrangled into fighting in the process.

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai also has a way of subtlety adding in little details about both the minor and main characters and they “show don’t tell”, this especially when the dogfighting ensues and they allow the great executed 3DCGI use on the planes to used in full effect. As a side effect to both the show don’t tell as well as less exposition overall, the anime does seem a bit aimless at first let alone the sense of a lull as the episodes goes along as we continue to see the Kotobuki Co. helping with missions, be it if they wanted to or not.

As for the characters, well due to the majority of the main character focus mostly going to Kirie voiced by Sayumi Suzuhiro, Reona voiced by Asami Seto, Zara voiced by Hibiku Yamamura and Kate voiced by Sayaka Nakaya, the rest of the characters slightly get afflicted with being satellite characters, for the characters that do get heavy development, we see all sorts of strife coming from their character developments with Kirie getting the most out of it end the end when all the episodes threads converge. Kirie gets backstory as to why she wanted to fly planes has a stake in the bigger narrative and grows as a character of not being so cocky and her naivete getting the best of her, Reona gets a more personal development as well as her judgment as leader of the Corps even when her boss and client does what Reona doesn’t want to do. Kate gets development thanks to her brother as her brother is integral to the bigger plot at hand and Kate obviously cares for him due to him being wheelchair bound from an incident. LA’s favorite character is actually Kate as her calm, stoic demeanor, cracking deadpan jokes and having a stake in the plot helps as well. Lastly Zara get an episode to herself where it’s pretty much “don’t judge by appearance” situation and she’s a badass on land AND air. The only two main cast members that gets shafted in terms of development are Emma and Chika, both have butt monkey status to them but Emma especially while Chika is the genki but also gets into trouble for running her mouth as well type.

The minor cast have great amount of screentime, showing that the plot cares about the main cast as much as the minor cast moves the plot forward and there are some mysteries within some of the minor characters, like a mysterious plane that bugs Kirie, a councilor always seeking the Kotobuki’s help, a nerve-wrecked and indecisive mayor and a trickster magician going into politics who’s also renowned as a fighter pilot.

LA is going into spoilers, but with the world building given to this anime and the revelations of the “hole” sucking up the OCEAN thus the barren wasteland that Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai resides in and later on when we find out that the Yufang are actually Japanese, if the hints are lining up to something and this is just LA’s speculation so hear LA out, so what with the entire oceans sucked up and planes being sent into Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai world….are Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai and Girls und Panzer linked in a ways?, LA says this as Girls und Panzer’s world is FILLED with oceans and the means of transportation of their main cast are carriers, so like alternative world theory?, heck we can add in the fact that Tsutomu Mizushima was both the director for this anime AND Girls und Panzer so he might be making a foundation for something bigger later?. LA is throwing speculations out there so take it with a grain of salt.

With that being said, the animation done by WAO World and GEMBA did actually a great job integrating the 3D CGI to fit in with the CGI planes, as well the character designs are entirely 3DCGI besides some traditional animation here and there. This works as the planes are completely CGI and the stunts the planes goes through as well as the dogfighting that ensues in this anime, this anime really feels like Arpeggio of Blue Steel but with planes!, heck the dogfighting in Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai was much more engaging, intense and impressive than Girly Air Force from the same season and that is saying something. One of the few rare 3D CGI animes where the 3DCGI use was utilized and executed extremely well to be perfectly honest.

Voice acting wise, the voice cast had ALOT of chemistry with one another, especially Sayumi Suzuhiro and Miyu Tomita as Kirie and Chika respectively. Asami Seto was typecasted but still did a great job and both Sayaka Nakaya and Hibiku Yamamura did great as well. There are LOTS of minor characters but LA is speculating and by chance did Nao Touyama voice the waitress in the bar?…just LA?. Nonetheless decent cast with some great chemistry, great considering the anime has lots of talking making the camaraderie between the girls that much better from their banters.

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai may seem like a “3DCGI anime with planes” but it is soo much more than that once the bigger plot arises and it full blown turns into a air warfare for superiority over a tyrannical and somewhat crazy leader out for something of the unknown…….witty writing and direction and subtle character development from the half the cast at that and brilliant world building as well. Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai is to be honest, LA’s dark horse of Winter 2019 and aher diamond in the rough in terms of 3DCGI animes.

“You thought you’d see a new IP from Production GoHands, but no it was me HAND SHAKERS THIS ENTIRE TIME!”. W’z Anime Review

No seriously this is a SEQUEL to Hand Shakers and LA was a baffled and as anxious when LA came to realization about W’z.

Ok but LA will have to get some things out of the way first.

W’z has a new set of characters but the returning cast also gets some limelight as GoHands tries to ACTUALLY develop the anime as it was suppose to in Hand Shakers and to a decent degree in this regard. GoHands seems to try and right their wrongs from Hand Shakers by developing it’s returning cast and giving them something like depth and development to them, the most surprising ones of all being of Reijirou & Yukine Araki…you know “Chain & Bind” duo from the first episode of Hand Shakers.

The new cast also learned a bit from Hand Shakers as it isn’t the same tournament style format Hand Shakers was. Yukiya Araki voiced by Katsumi Fukuhara is a DJ and an abnormal Hand Shakers able to freely bring other people and things into the Ziggurat and because of a video that circulated, every Hand Shaker goes after him. He does have a childhood friend by the name of Haruka Tosabori voiced by Akane Fujita who has an obvious crush on him and has a running gag personality of trying to be positive about everything. The newer Hand Shakers that becomes adversaries towards Yukiya have some development to their friendship and why they want to win and grant a wish and we see a great deal of screentime from both sets of Hand Shakers that is a marked improvement from Hand Shaker’s one episode then toss the characters away mentality it had before (not to mention reducing the amount of rivals Yukiya compared to Tazuna had to go through is a factor as well).

W’z does have a proper villain in W’z and it’s……disappointing to say the least, LA won’t name names but the point of this villain is trying to utilize Yukiya’s ability and able to infinitely produce resources for the real world using the Ziggurat and Yukiya for his plans and he’ll do ANYTHING for this…so he’s something of an environmentalist in a ways and well in perspective, he’s a MUCH worse villain outright than the final villain of Hand Shakers all down to his motives being small potatoes, like yes an interesting plan but through the bigger do we even need this major villain?.

The animation done once again by GoHands, well in some respects they toned down their bizarrely hyperbloomed and rapidfire special effect show every second aka. the background is chewing itself and actually gave some or the majority of the anime some time to breathe but the markings of GoHands is still there and they still tried to add in some of their “flair” into the mix, especially when they go into the Ziggurat and the fight scenes. W’z’s animation is nowhere close to Hand Shaker’s level of vomit inducing rollercoaster ride but it seemed that GoHands both learned but couldn’t help themselves with the animation at times.

Voice cast was “ok”, LA did have a few annoyances here and there, from Inori Minase as Senri Toyoshima and at times Akane Fujita did annoy LA with her hyper genki “positive attitude” (Hey at least Akane Fujita had more range than Inori Minase did in W’z), but still the voice cast if anything did try with the material they had especially Katsumi Fukuhara, the aforementioned Akane Fujita, the returning Sumire Morohoshi as Koyori, Yoko Hikasa as Yukine and even Sumire Uesaka as Chizuru was toned down considerably well. If anything the returning voice cast was a welcomed improvement if only because of the material not being sooo stereotypical and bareboned this time round.

W’z still had some gripes LA had to contend with, mainly because of the more developed characters and the build up and non-pay off W’z delivered, there is for one, ALOT more talking and less action(though that’s for the better) to it’s main cast, returning and new, ALOT of lull episodes almost making it filler and the anti-climaxes it gave out near the ending of the anime…well it’s Hand Shakers…what did you expect?

So we essentially have a sequel to Hand Shakers trying to both learn from it’s mistakes yet trying desperately to cling to it’s failures. On one hand, LA applauds Hiromitsu Kanazawa and Shingo Suzuki that they can do proper character development and them trying to expand their Hand Shaker universe to make this a thing, while on the other hand, the animation is only marginally better but became a much slower slog to get through with it’s much more relaxed tone and it’s “major” villain being even worse than before AND to top it off having such a typical anti-climax towards the end.

LA thinks the only statement LA really needs to say about W’z overall and perfectly sums up LA’s thoughts on it is: “three steps forward, two steps back”