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Review Collection

This is a collection of all reviews on the LoreBook, which includes some that don’t have dedicated articles.
Reviews are listed alphabetically.

The Reviews

Akame ga Kill!

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What even is episode 24.

Akame ga Kill is a show about a guy named Tatsumi who spends his free time in the company of ‘Night Raid’, a group of assassins who kill ‘evil’ people. The group is associated with revolutionaries, who want to overthrow the emperor.
I thought the premise was interesting, I was under the impression we’d watch the assassins kill people for the revolution. That’s not what ended up happening though. Once the Teigu/Artifacts are introduced the show shows (heh) what it’s actually about - 2 groups of superpowered killers fighting for reasons. I was a little disappointed, but, it remains largely enjoyable.
Until we reach a certain episode, at which point the series goes completely insane. It’s actually impressive how bad it gets in such a short amount of time. The last few episodes do so much wrong it hurts to think about.
I don’t recommend watching this, just read the manga if you feel like it.

Aldnoah.Zero

I thought the first season was pretty good, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The beginning of the story is particularly well-put together, introducing the world and characters quite well. The relationship between the Martians and the Terrans (alongside an introduction to the power-imbalance) is presented to the audience well, allowing the audience to quickly grasp the situation. From the beginning of the war, the Martians come off as an overwhelming force and a terrifying threat to the Terrans. The opening move with their landing castles is so beautiful, it continues to bring me to tears.
Unfortunately, the perceived threat-level of the Martians decreases fast over the course of the series. This mostly stems from the fact the Martians are morons - an obvious and serious writing flaw.
I found the insert songs to be awkwardly inserted and poorly timed.
The second season pretends the end of the first season doesn’t happen by undoing most of it. Surprisingly, I didn’t mind this as much as I expected to at the time, but it irritates me more as time goes on. This is mostly because the ending of the first season is quite daring…and then the second season just undoes it. I’d compare it to Code Geass in this regard, as I believe it achieves the transition from the first season’s cliffhanger ending to the start of the second season better than Aldnoah.Zero. The second season generally fails to make the Martians as threatening as they were at the very beginning of the series. While there is a brief moment where the Martians start regaining their threat level, the series brings back the MC after his little break, and him and his robot eye completely destroy the Martians. I’d say this is a shame, as the series could have been much better in this regard.
I do think I overall still like the series, and I would recommend giving it a watch.

Angel Beats!

Anime

I quite liked the Anime. Sometimes the animation looked iffy, but that’s a minor detail.
The characters and their interactions were handled pretty well and it’s likely one of my favourite parts of the show (along with the gags, both foreground and background).
The worst part of the show is how short it was. We get a bunch of characters who are either:

  1. Introduced, but we don’t learn much about them.
  2. Have unique designs, but they almost never have plot relevance.

I read somewhere that this was because it was originally planned to have twice as many episodes, but some behind-the-scenes stuff reduced it to 12. At least the extended material (including the OVAs) minimize this short length.
I highly recommend the OVAs. They are mostly comedic, but they’re still worth watching. They made me laugh, if that means anything.

Heaven's Door

Chapters 1-70 focus on the first year. Time is then compressed, by a lot. This is the aspect I dislike the most. The time between individual chapters goes from a few days or weeks to several decades. I’m not joking.
Overall, I like the Manga; since we get a deeper look at the characters and the start of the Battlefront.

1st Beat

As I was playing the VN the first few times through, I knew it would become my favourite VN.
It manages to do exactly what I’ve always wanted from both VNs and Games and surpassed my expectations a bit. I’m sad I didn’t try to play it before I did.
Basically, every choice you make affects the game in some way. A seemingly unimportant choice near the beginning can lead to a completely different outcome near the end. The best part? There are hundreds of choices. You can play it hundreds of times and you’ll still end up seeing things you’ve never seen before.
For your first playthrough, I recommend making decisions you would make IRL. Then, play the complete opposite (usually a huge pervert for some reason). You’ll understand immediately what I meant in the previous paragraph.
Also, although this might just be me, the VN is incredibly immersive. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything as immersive as this. Very early in my first playthrough I already felt like I was a part of the world, I didn’t see myself as following Otonsahi’s view… I was the one experiencing everything.
Although it’ll sound strange, I have a tough time separating Otonashi from myself in my mind. He’s just… a part of “me”. (This may have philosophical value, so wait for Soul!)

Route;Iwasawa

This route radically diverges from the Anime.
The Iwasawa route honestly broke me for a while. So much that I still feel bad about it and I wholeheartedly believe I will still feel bad about it for the rest of my life. Thinking about it makes me tear up.
The route is a rollercoaster, going from extremely happy to extremely depressing in the span of a few hours.
Overall though, the ending is bittersweet. I’m not sure if I’ll experience anything like it again.
Takamatsu’s bro status took me by surprise and… it’s just so heartwarming.

Route;Yui

This route is basically just the Anime.
Overall, the Yui route is a lot better than what we see in the Anime. First, it takes place over a longer time frame. Second, you get to learn more about all the characters involved (Yui, Hinata, etc.). We actually get to learn Hinata’s backstory here, his backstory is pretty interesting too.
While I thought I wouldn’t cry (because I didn’t really cry in the Anime for Yui, heartless I know), I was taken by surprise. Something about this just works much better than in the Anime. I actually buy the relationship between Yui and Hinata.
Overall, a pretty good route.

Route;Matsushita

This route doesn’t diverge from the Anime as radically as the Iwasawa route.
Although I hesitate to say so, I think this is the weakest route. That being said, it isn’t bad.
The whole route is basically the bromance between Otonashi and Matsushita, one that is… beautiful, honestly.
This one did make me cry as well, I’ll admit. Though aspects of it did get on my nerves, but I can’t remember what those were.

Cross Ange

As alluded to in the initial summary, the series is split into roughly two parts, which becomes obvious to almost everyone watching. I don’t remember many details of the series, so this review will be general. Once (or rather ‘if’) I re-watch this series I’ll be sure to add more detailed critiques.
The first half is what I’d consider to be a fairly standard mecha seriesA) with added fanservice. The sexy stuff didn’t bother me all that much when I first watched itB), as I believe there are other shows that have way more sexual contentC). This part is mostly focused on the main characters battling dragons every episode and resolving personal drama. There are hints for the second part sprinkled in every now and again.
The second part of the series is what I’d believe most viewers would consider the ‘cool’ part. The focus shifts away from repeated battles against dragons to a story about rebelling against the creator god of the world. I won’t go into further details, because I don’t remember them.
I mentioned before that it’s obvious to viewers that the series is split into two halves, and that’s sort-of the issue. While the two parts do flow together moderately well, it isn’t to the same degree as Koutetsujou no Kabaneri, where I didn’t even notice the transition when I first watched it.
There were a few times I felt some of the characters were off, particularly Jill, although I don’t remember the details exactly. I found the worldbuilding interesting, and I do still occasionally think about that aspectD).
I remember being impressed with the soundtrack of the show, which shouldn’t be surprising when we consider the name of the series.
The final note I have is that the CG is noticeably better than in most anime, although it isn’t good enough for it to not be obvious.

Danganronpa

Unfortunately, I have few specific things to say, because it’s been a while since I’ve played the games, so I’m only going off of what I remember.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

The first of the Danganronpa games is very good, and provides a solid foundation for the rest of the series.
The most significant issue this one has is that some things are repeated excessively. The most infamous example of this would be Mukuro Ikusaba, the 16th student hiding somewhere in this school, the one they call the ‘Ultimate Despair’. This actually somewhat proves my point, since I don’t remember many specifics, having played the games a while ago, but this single sentence is ingrained in my mind due to how often it was repeated.
Along the same lines, the game occasionally goes off on barely-relevant and long tangents seemingly to set-up a red herring. However, the fact these go on for so long makes it fairly obvious that it’ll be a red herring.
On the good side, I found the mysteries in this game (and the series in general) to be very well written and quite compelling; I often find myself using Danganronpa as an example of a well-written mysteryE). I find the gameplay appealing as well, and after I finished the whole series, I was disappointed there weren’t more trials to work through.

Anime

The anime is an accurate adaptation of the first game. I can’t remember off-the-top-of-my-head what changes it made to the story, because I remember it as being almost the same.
The game is obviously more detailed (having more time to work with), and the anime leaves some stuff out. Thankfully, it chose not to repeat some things in the way the game did, but this has the downside of making the anime less meme-able.

Manga

To be clear, I’m talking about the manga - Danganronpa: The AnimationF).
The manga is also an accurate adaptation of the first game, although it’s longer and covers more than the anime. From my own hazy memories, the manga includes more details than the anime
The artwork is also quite impressive, matching the art-style of the game very well.
I don’t have much to say on the manga that wouldn’t just be unfiltered praise. Of the ways to experience the Danganronpa storyline itself, the manga is probably the best. It streamlines the story, but keeps many of the details intact (per my memory). For those who want to just go through the story, then I guess I’d recommend this.

Super Danganronpa 2

This was the first Danganronpa game I actually playedG), and it’s an experience I don’t think I’ll forget…because it was the first time I felt like I was forced to think about what I was doing in regards to the mysteries.
Previously, I had been fairly passive with mystery stories. Most of my experience was from watching TV shows, where I simply waited for the mystery to be revealed. Granted, TV show mysteries are poorly constructed in the first place, but the point is more the passivity. Danganronpa 2 really made me stop and think about the mystery, and I was surprised to find I could do it quite well.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Danganronpa 2 is what awakened the critic within me, as I started to more carefully analyze media after having played it. Now, I should mention I wasn’t exceptional, as I still let the game guide me, so it’s not like I solved the case after sitting down and thinking before starting the class trial.
On the issues side, the second game solves most of the problems of the first (although it manages to make hangman’s gambit much worse!). There isn’t excessive repetition of details, and if there were unnecessarily long side-tangents, then I can’t remember them.
However, a very serious issue shows itself here for the first time, although it’s not clear this is an issue just yet. This is the attempt at topping the reveal of the last game. The first game had a shocking reveal at the endH), and this game attempts to top it. I’ll say it’s debatable whether it succeeds or not, because within Danganronpa 2 itself, it’s executed well. Unfortunately, I believe this became the start of a trend that future installments ended up following to the detriment of their own stories, and the franchise as a whole. I’d argue that there’s very little that could be more shocking than the reveal at the end of the first game - which was effectively the definition of despair - and this game attempts to top it by going at it from a different angle.

Danganronpa 3

This is an anime and serves as an overall ending to the original ‘series’. This anime singlehandedly created a lot of confusion, and will continue to create confusion into the far future.
To be extra clear, this anime serves as a sequel to Danganronpa 2, which itself is a sequel to Danganronpa. This anime is split into two ‘arcs’ - the Despair arc, and the Future arc. It ends with a special episode called the Hope arc. The Future arc is the de-facto sequel, and the Despair arc is a prequel (to Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc).
If this appears simple to you then you should know that it gets more complicated than I’ve laid out here.
The anime is intriguing, and annoying, in that it demands watching the two arcs inter-changeably, starting with the Future arc. I have yet to actually do this, as I didn’t realize it before I started watching. I first watched the Future arc, and then watched the Despair arc.

Despair

It showcases the characters from Danganronpa 2 prior to their turn to Despair. My complaint is that they are portrayed too idealistically. Consequently, they come off as less ‘real’ than characters from the games.
There are additional issues such as:

  • Mukuro Ikusaba is portrayed in a way that doesn’t line up very well with her characterization from Danganronpa and Danganronpa IF. This isn’t noticeable to those who haven’t read IF, or gotten her free time events in Danganronpa, but it’s very noticeable to those who have. This annoys me in particular, because she’s one of my favorites.
  • On occasion, characters act like complete morons. Due to this, it’s understandable now how Junko managed to destroy the world, but this has the effect of making it far less impressive.
  • Some plot details are just nonsensical. Unfortunately, I cannot remember specific examples.
Future

I remember very little about this in particular, except that it has similar issues to Despair. Some things in here are just completely nonsensical, even by the standards of Danganronpa.

New Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

This is a sequel that leaves behind the previous storyline in favor of a new one. While I, and presumably others, expected this would lead to something different yet similar…no, well yes, but no.
The budget for the game is visibly higher than for the others, likely due to the unexpected popularity of the series. V3 is probably the prettiest of the Danganronpa games, which extends to the artwork as well as the 3D backgrounds.
The mysteries in this game are also very well written, as is now custom, just that V3 may have made a mistake in making the first the best and most interesting one.
V3 suffers from the issue that I laid out in Danganronpa 2, which is that it attempts to out-do the other games, which has led it to make a few very serious mistakes.
The biggest of these is the ending, which comes off as insulting to the Danganronpa fanbase, and has the added bonus of making the entire previous storyline come off as pointless. I’d be admiring how impressively bad this ending was if I wasn’t one of the fans disappointed by it. I can’t be specific…because I can’t remember it well at this point.
The minigames are greatly improved over the previous games, although I distinctly remember being disappointed by the lack of a presence of some from the previous games.
There’s an extra mechanic added to the debates that allows you to lie. But outside of using it when it was introduced, I never used it during the game at all. This is one of the missed opportunities of V3, and the lying mechanic comes off as needless.
The bonus board-game mode is surprisingly fun, and it really doesn’t surprise me that it got spun off into its own game…which I’ll definitely end up buying at some point.

The mis-step that is V3 is probably comparable to the Rebuild of Evangelion, due to the increased budget and popularity, and the presumed confidence of the creators. This point of comparison will require more thought, so I’ll leave it there for now.

Spin-off manga (collective)

One of the big surprises of the Danganronpa franchise is that if you count up all the official media together, you find that most of the franchise is comprised of manga. This isn’t all that surprising for a Japanese multi-media franchise, but is surprising if you consider that Danganronpa’s core is comprised of Visual Novel mystery Games - of which there are only 3.
The spin-off manga I’m referring to here specifically is that comprised of all the anthologies, which adds an extra layer of ‘what’ to Danganronpa. I personally can’t think of another franchise that has as much anthology content as Danganronpa.
Off-the-top-of-my-head, here’s how many I can think of:

  • Anthology for the original game.
  • 4コマ anthology for the original game.
  • Anthology for the animation.
  • 4コマ anthology for the animation.
  • Anthology for the second game.
  • 4コマ anthology for the second game
  • Anthology for the first & second games.
  • Anthology for the spin-off game.
  • 4コマ anthology for the spin-off game.
  • Anthology for the third game.
  • 4コマ anthology for the third game.
  • Anthology for the series as a whole.

Those are the ones I can think of, and it’s entirely possible I’ve made a mistake somewhere here by leaving something out or putting something in.
Being manga anthologies, each individual chapter has a different art-style, and different tone. The 4コマ ones are exclusively comedic however.
Having gone through…a lot of them, I can say that they are great supplements to the series as a whole, and quite entertaining. Of course, if you’re not accustomed to Japanese humor, then you likely won’t enjoy yourself as much.

All these anthologies have the effect of confusing me. I’m not sure how these all came to be created. It’s possible that after the second game, it simply became habit, but exactly why the creators thought it was a good idea is a mystery to me. I should be clear that I don’t think it was a bad idea, it simply perplexes me.

Death on the Nile

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I should state first that I watched the Oriental Express adaptation with the same actor before, and I quite liked that one. This film is inferior to that one in almost every way. My disappointment upon watching this film is indescribable. It doesn’t help Gal Gadot’s acting is trash. The film is also boring, which the original was not.
One of the things that bothers me most about this one is how they ruined a character from the Oriental Express: Book. Book was a character I quite liked, but his characterization isn’t consistent with the previous film. It’s like he’s watered-down. This is strange since they didn’t even need to include him in this one because he wasn’t even in the original. Then they fucking kill him. Wasting him as a character.
There’s also something off about the pacing, but I can’t say for sure what it is.

The Final Station

The game is a side-scrolling 2D shooter with the goal of clearing the level so as to move on to the next level. You clear a level by finding a piece of paper with a code on it; you then input the code into a machine that lets you progressI). During the levels, you can pick up food, medkits, ammunition, and money. Medkits are used to heal yourself and passengers and food is used to feed passengers only. Money can be traded for more supplies or weapon upgrades. In-between each level - which are called stations, by the way - you have to maintain the train to make sure it doesn’t explode.
I originally described the gameplay as ‘fun at first, but grows tedious fast’; after replaying the game, I have slightly different thoughts. What the player does for most of the game - exploring each level to find the code and supplies - is, while basic, quite good actually. I found the in-between bits most frustrating. The issue there is a combination of repetitive tasks (maintaining the train) and information overload: you have the backgrounds (and foregrounds…) giving a little information; you have passengers talking amongst themselves and to you; you have messages coming in from co-workers. If the repetitive tasks were removed (which includes having to feed and heal the passengers), and it was purely a way to get story, then it would be fine.
What really elevates the game, however, is the atmosphere. The music and visuals contribute to it especially. You really get the feeling the world is ending.
As far as story is concerned: I think the game has an average story, with the DLC having a better one; the backstory and worldbuilding is quite good. The issue with the main game’s story is that the conductor (who the player controls) doesn’t talk…or, rather, he does talk, but the player doesn’t hear him. This comes off as a half-assed attempt to create a silent protagonist, and leads to a disconnect between the player and the player character. This disconnect is felt most after the conductor decides to leave Metropol, and the player doesn’t know why. The game here is failing to properly communicate important information about the conductor…which is necessary if he’s going to be half-silent. This doesn’t apply to the DLC, where the player character does talk, and the player can hear himJ). The silence of the conductor is probably what makes the story so confusing - the player simply has no idea why they’re going where they’re going at the end of the game, until they get there.
The DLC’s story is extremely simple - the player character is trying to get to a shelter. This is why I say the DLC has a better story…because it’s much simpler than the main game’s, but there’s also far less happening. The DLC also has the bonus of answering a few questions raised during the main game.
I stated that the backstory and worldbuilding is quite good, and I think it’s one of the highlights of the game. Similar to many a soulslike, the backstory is mostly fed to you through disconnected notes and the environment. This encourages exploration, and makes the player think about what exactly’s going on. Besides notes, though, the other main source of information are the passengers…and good luck listening to them while you do everything else on the train! The DLC fixes this one problem by having the in-between bits serve as just a way to craft and listen to the characters speak. Consequently, a player gets more out of each playthrough of the DLC than of the main game - as far as story is concerned.
I have a few more issues with the gameplay, but I’ll note them in the gameplay section instead.

Great Teacher Onizuka

GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka - Manga

The manga can be best described as a masterpiece. Of course, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into specifics.
Onizuka Eikichi, ni-ju-ni-sai, is the centre of the manga… which is obvious, seeing as it’s named after him. Despite being the centre, he isn’t always the protagonist… sometimes he isn’t even at the centre of a particular story arc. However, his influence is felt… everywhere basically. His appearance in an area is enough to drive the plot and can even drive the decision-making of characters.
Most of the story focuses on solving the woes of the various students Onizuka comes into contact with, ending with them becoming his friend, usually. In-between the major arcs are a few smaller, “breather” arcs, which are typically just slice-of-life things. Occasionally, there’s also an arc revolving around a particular teacher in the school. I did notice, however, that later on a lot of the teachers stop being relevant to the story.
Speaking of the teachers… quite a few of the teacher characters come off as… less than noble people. This is obviously done intentionally, to show how hypocritical they are to criticize Onizuka, who, despite appearing like a punk, is a comparatively Great teacher, if a little too honest and laid-back.
The series also seems to criticize the Japanese education system, which is too concerned with test scores and appearances and not enough about the students themselves. I’m not sure if the critique can apply to other school systems, as I went through a largely apathetic system in comparison. Besides this, the series concerns itself with what a teacher should or should not be.
Now to move onto stuff I found… off.
I explain this in the speculah, but I have a feeling Kanzaki goes through the same character arc twice. This confused me and still confuses me, because I didn’t notice anything else like this happen. It’s a bit off, but doesn’t bother me too much… as I believe the arc it was a part of is one of the best in the whole series; it being the climax of the Principal‘s arc, a development in Miyabi‘s arc and has some of the highest tension in the whole series. It’s definitely one of my favourites, but Kanzaki‘s second character arc definitely degrades the quality.
Besides that, I have only one other issue that I care about: Mayu. I never really… got… what his point was? He always felt like a male version of Kanzaki, but not as smart. I assume he drops out of the story after his arc because Fujisawa-sensei didn’t know what to do with him.
I also feared I’d be disappointed by the inciting incident of Class 3-4’s terrorism; fearing it would either be too unrealistic, too contrived or too weak a reason. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to find it was actually handled fairly well (something the adaptations seem to universally fail at). However, it took a bit of thinking before I concluded it was good.

GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka - Anime

The anime is a (mostly) faithful adaptation, I’d have to go through it again to see where it differed from the manga.
There are 3 main issues with it though.
The first is Tomoko and her character arc, which is changed. I suspect this is due to influence from the Drama. At the idol contest, Tomoko doesn’t do improv acting. Instead, she talks to Miyabi through a phone, about how she misses being her friend. I find this to degrade her character and it makes her resulting popularity feel contrived. As I saw the anime before the manga, I didn’t realise what a great girl Tomoko was until I went and read it.
The second is the Teshigawara related stuff, which only includes his first arc and not his second. This isn’t as bad as Tomoko, but it makes his story feel incomplete.
The third issue is the biggest. The ending.
The ending arc takes place over the course of the 3 last episodes. The arc is centred around the reason class 3-4 started their terrorism and focuses (a little) on Miyabi. It isn’t done as well as in the Manga… and the way it was written basically guaranteed no (easy) sequel series. The ending is also fairly obviously rushed.
Besides that, it’s a fine piece of work.

Great Teacher Onizuka 1998 - Drama

I’d say this adaptation changes a lot about GTO, but it still maintains the core of GTO. For a list of changes (I’ve noticed), please look at Adaptations of GTO.
The more risqué aspects of GTO have been toned down. I assume this was done because TV. I consider this a positive and a negative.
On the one hand, it isn’t full GTO, so viewers don’t get a feel for the full experience. On the other, I don’t have to hesitate about recommending it to my more innocent compatriots.
The show’s biggest disadvantage is the length. It is made up of 12 45ish minute episodes. Compare this to the anime, with 43 24 minute episodes. This essentially forced the writers to condense everything as much as possible (that, and they didn’t have as much to work with as the anime). However, the condensing is done… really well. The drama doesn’t suffer from the issues of the anime, because it essentially does its own thing. I assume some decision making went like this: “We only have the first half of Teshigawara’s arc and its clear Fujisawa-sensei plans to do more with him, but this is all we have and not much time. Let’s make some small changes here and there to make the arc complete.”
Unlike the anime, which is pretty faithful, but falters near the end… the drama feels like a complete product. I truly admire the writers here, they really knew what they were doing (most of the time).
There is, however, one rather big contrivance: the reason class 3-4 starts the class terrorism. It doesn’t work very well at all. The anime at least made sense, even if it wasn’t as good as the manga… this one doesn’t make any sense to me. It takes jumping through a few illogical hoops to get it to work. It was written clearly just to keep the story going.
Besides the writing, there are a few additional things I’d like to mention. The show is filmed like a soap opera… or at least that’s the feeling I get from it. The acting, camera work and music all contributes. The romantic tension between Onizuka and Fuyutsuki is toned way up… so much, I heard the actors got married. Bravo! Due to having to condense the storyline, characters tend to get relegated to the background once their arc ends. The fight scenes in this show are ridiculous, being in unnecessary slow-motion and with weird sound effects… later they just cut away instead.

GTO 2012 Drama

This one is a bit of a mixed bag. This one improves many of the aspects of the ‘98 version, like the fight scenes… and it isn’t shot like a soap opera anymore.
This one tries to be more faithful to the manga, avoiding merging characters together. It doesn’t work as well as it thinks however. The writing is built on a quite a few contrivances. I noticed one, in the first episode. Different from the ‘98 version, where I only noticed near the end. The Adaptations of GTO article goes into more detail.
Like the ‘98 version, it also fails to provide a good enough reason for class 3-4 to start the class terrorism. However, I didn’t finish reading the manga before watching this, so I didn’t realise it at the time… but they were trying to be more faithful. Explaining it here a bit: (and note this spoils the manga) In the manga, the class terrorism starts because Miyabi, in a childish fit of jealousy, claims her teacher (who she had feelings for) had raped her/had her raped. One of her classmates, Takumi, took this so seriously he bashed the teacher’s head in, getting expelled in the process. This essentially scared Miyabi into not revealing the truth. The rest of the class, being disgusted by the claim of rape, started the class terrorism. Miyabi then took the lead as a way of running from the truth. What happens in the drama: Mizuki Nanako was a member of class 3-4 who was responsible for collecting and keeping her class’ money for the cultural festival, ends up losing it, through the actions of a burglar. Her teacher accuses her of stealing it for herself and the rest of the class starts doubting her innocence too. This, apparently, is too much for her and she commits suicide in front of her classmates. Miyabi then finds a note from her, explaining she just wanted everyone to trust her. Miyabi, feeling guilty, rewrites it to make it say she wanted the teacher to trust her, kicking off the class terrorism. Miyabi’s part in kicking it off is kept faithful - that being her lying - but the rest of it feels contrived (and her reason for lying is also contrived). It seems like none of the adaptations can get this one quite right. In the original, it was a slightly malicious prank that went out of hand really quick, but here it feels… bad. This isn’t even the only example of this kind of thing happening in the show.
Besides that, a few characters aren’t done well either. I’d say the students are (mostly) fine, but the teachers are completely shafted, with the plot barely focusing on any of them, besides Fuyutsuki. The ‘98 version kept a balance between the teachers and students, with some episodes being about specific teachers. Uchiyamada-sensei is especially done dirty, with him basically having nothing besides a few jokes at his expense. This also leads to contrivances! Since there’s no reason why Uchiyamada and the rest of the teachers would side with Onizuka at the end. This is so bad in fact, that I’m tempted to call it a plot hole.
The show is also shorter than the ‘98 version (admittedly by only one episode) leading to, shockingly, more contrivances. Unlike the ‘98 version, which only had about 6 volumes worth of material, the 2012 version had 20 and the spin-off 「GTO Shonan 14Days」. The writers then tried to fit as much as possible into those 11 45 minute episodes… but it didn’t work… leading to contrivances.
I should end off with a few things I like. Onizuka is still done well (enough) and, unlike the ‘98 version, he actually looks like Onizuka. Saejima is different from his manga counterpart, but since I find him hilarious, I don’t really mind. A lot of the jokes are quite good and they had me laughing… I still giggle to myself when I think of them.
I have yet to watch the specials, the Taiwan specials and the second season. I couldn’t even finish the second season’s first episode, because it was so bad.

GTO Paradise Lost

Something I should note at the start. The series is still being published and I’ve only read up to Volume 16… however, I don’t think I will keep up with it or ever finish reading it.
Now for what I thought on it: I didn’t like it, although this wasn’t obvious to me at first. Overall, I was disappointed while reading, but I needed to do some thinking before I actually concluded it was bad. It’s a serious downgrade from GTO and I feel it ends up degrading the whole series.
First I’ll mention some stuff I liked or found interesting:

  • Onizuka being in prison, with him relaying his experiences to other prisoners.
  • The concept of a class of celebrities.
  • Uchiyamada‘s small arc.

Of those, the last one is the highlight of the series. It’s one of the few redeeming features of it. I won’t write much about it, because I don’t want to spoil it.
That is everything I liked, let’s move on.
The series is a giant continuity error. This is because GTO took place in the late 90s, early 2000s, while Paradise Lost takes place around the mid-to-late 2010s. However, Paradise Lost supposedly only takes place three years after the end of GTO. I don’t think I have to explain how this is a problem. The two end up feeling disconnected as a result. It’s interesting that this isn’t acknowledged at all in-universe, which seems to be an attempt to shrug it off. It not being acknowledged or explained only makes it feel more disconnected.
That’s one of the bigger issues, but the biggest issue in this series lies with the characters: None of them feel distinct.
Class G just feels like a watered-down Class 2-4. This watered-down nature is best exemplified in their class terrorism, which lasts only a few chapters and never reaches the heights of Class 2-4… despite the fact the series makes a big deal out of the terrorism at the start. And, unlike Class 2-4, their presence is barely felt in the series. Characters continually disappear and reappear at random, which is justified as them being celebrities, but then we can’t get to know them properly. When they do appear, they just feel like the one time appearance students from GTO… no distinct personality or appearance. The ones who do appear more often just feel like re-hashes of Class 2-4 characters in personality and appearance. So interesting idea number 2 has failed to connect.
These character issues don’t just apply to Class G, but to most of the other characters as well. Interestingly though, two decent characters show up later, who end up becoming teachers at the school. Unfortunately, they aren’t enough to salvage the series.
Onizuka in prison isn’t even handled all that well either. At first, he tells his tales to other prisoners, but eventually he stops telling them… and the series seems to forget this is how it chose to tell the story. While the shifting from prison to flashback was alright before, once Onizuka stops telling the tales, it starts to feel disconnected.
Finally, I only have a few smaller things to say:

  • “Showbiz” being portrayed as the Yakuza is kind of stupid. I have a hard time taking it seriously.
  • I think the cult(s) are stupid. Although this might be due to the rest of the series being bad.

I believe now it’s obvious why I don’t intend to finish the series. It should have ended with Shonan 14 Days.

Spin-offs

GTO Shonan 14 Days

While it’s called a sequel, I believe it’s more accurate to call it a side-story, seeing as it takes place during GTO.
I didn’t notice any particular issues, I believe I only noticed one potential continuity error; if memory serves right, however, it was an extremely minor one.
There isn’t much to say here, it’s a very Onizuka story.
At worst, I believe Ayame to have been too similar to Fuyutsuki.

Inokashira Gargoyle

Also known as 「Ino-head Gargoyle」.
This spin-off focuses on Saejima (the titular “Gargoyle”) and his 3 adventures. The series essentially sees him transition from a weak crooked cop into a fairly decent cop, with him trying his best to become a good man at the end.
However, it ends rather abruptly, which makes me think Fujisawa-sensei had more planned but was forced to end it soon. There’s essentially a two-chapter ending arc, that leaves at least 3 plot threads unresolved (one of them being a result of this arc heh).
Unfortunately, the lack of a good resolution means it has a rather… depressing after-feel.

GT-R: Great Transporter Ryuji

I haven’t had the time to read it yet.

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

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Musical montage the Anime

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
The background artwork is amazing. The characters and character interaction is really good as well. But the whole series is really slow, it takes forever for anything to happen. The worldbuilding is also lacking, or at least we don’t get enough information about the world. There’s an odd amount of musical montages without dialogue in the show as well, the music is fine but we don’t really get much out of these montages. It gives the show a very relaxing feel. The few action scenes there are are done well. The special (episode 2.5) is probably the most enjoyable part of the show, at least for me.1)
Overall, I don’t consider watching the show to be a waste… but they should have done more and had less montages.

Hisone to Masotan

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This is what the air force is all about.

The series is about a fighter pilot who actually pilots a dragon for the JASDF. It’s an intriguing series… although I’m not sure whether it’s great. I found myself not really looking forward to any of the episodes.
It very much feels like a show for kids, which isn’t a bad thing of course. I don’t know, didn’t really feel it.

Hyouka

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Living a rosy life.


Hyouka is about a guy named Houtarou who spends his time unwillingly solving inconsequential mysteries. He does it at the behest of Chitanda who is very curious.
It’s a fairly standard slice-of-life with mystery elements. Although, it does keep hinting at supernatural happenings… but nothing supernatural happens. This came to annoy me more over time, but never enough to “ruin” the experience for me.
Some thematic elements also annoy me. Such as during the Juumoji arc, which is largely about talent… but since I fundamentally disagree with how they view it… yeah, I’m not the biggest fan.
The mysteries are fairly interesting… although I hesitate to call them “good” because a lot of the evidence is revealed last minute or after it’s solved by Houtarou, making them hard or impossible to solve (an issue I observe with many mystery series).
The emotion, characters and animation all keep it afloat though.
While this review may make it seem like I dislike the series… I do enjoy it a lot and recommend it. I dunno, these things just annoy me.

I, robot

Kaguya-sama: Love is War

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Hate is peace?

The show is a romantic comedy about 2 teens who each try to make the other confess to them. Hilarious situations arise.
Seeing the internal thoughts of our duo is pretty entertaining, especially Miyuki’s “O Kawaii Koto” moments. Eventually you reach a point where you feel like yelling at them to “finally get together damnit” but it never reaches a point where it would degrade your enjoyement. Except when you reach the ending, where the lack of that may actually fill you with sadness.
Otherwise pretty neat, I didn’t notice any animation errors so good yes.

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetei: Tenshi-tachi no Ren'ai Zunousen

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Victory unintentional

I, robot has almost nothing to do with I, robot, nor iRobot. The less you think about how they’re related, the better.
It’s a decent action film and does make you think, just not too much. Don’t think about the story too much, you will discover a few plotholes. For 2004, the CG and special effects are amazing (and they still hold up, a little); I was even convinced it was released in 2008. Nice characters, interesting music.

Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai

Anime

The anime doesn’t adapt the entire manga. This is most obvious at the start of Megami-hen which skips forward from the end of KamiNomi2 to the Goddess arc in the manga.
Besides this, the anime ends at Megami-hen and doesn’t adapt the restK). This, interestingly, leads the anime to having a sad ending.
I’ll elaborate on this a little later.

Comparing the Anime to the Manga: the Manga has better comedic timing, if that even makes sense. Generally, the comedy in the Manga is handled far better - the framing, layout and such all aids it. The exception to this would likely be ‘I am your husband’s illegitimate daughter.’ where the Anime is superior.

Manga

The Manga has a bad and abrupt ending. I may elaborate further, but this is the short of it.

Kämpfer

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Sorry, but I only like girls.

This one’s a guilty pleasure of mine. The show is pretty bad, but I still can’t help but love it. It’s essentially about a guy, named Natsuru, who becomes a girl…but the show is better described as lesbian urban fantasy.
It just feels like it’s completely aware of what it is…and lacks any sort of shame.
The show gets gradually more frustrating, especially Natsuru’s denseness. The manga is a slight improvement (Natsuru is less of a push-over)…but it does have a couple’a plotholes and such.
Oh right, the original series ends on a cliffhanger and the last episode is a bizarre special. There’s an extra two-episode mini-series which extends the ending and has a pure fanservice episode.

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri

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He’ll figure something out.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is about a group of people who live on an armored train called the Iron Fortress.
The world is one of a sengoku/shogunate-era steampunk Japan. There are also zombies, which people just call ‘corpses.'
One day, the Iron Fortress comes to a settlement. The day is fairly peaceful…until another armored train crashes into their settlement’s wall, which lets a bunch of corpses in. The settlement is lost, so the survivors gather and escape on the Iron Fortress. One of the survivors Ikoma almost gets turned into a corpse, but he manages to prevent that. However, it’s soon revealed by another survivor, Mumei (No-name), that he actually became a ‘Kabaneri’ (translated as demicorpse sometimes). These are basically vampires, blood drinking but no sunlight issues.
The first half of the series focuses on the survivors trying to survive in the world. In the second half, the series shifts to a sort of drama series, where the people of the Iron Fortress get caught in a violent power struggle. The shift isn’t too jarring, and it’s possible the survival aspect would have gotten old…hence the shift.
The animation is great for the series, I would frequently find myself practically drooling over the animation.
The setting and general worldbuilding is really interesting to me. The blending of the sengoku/shogunate-era with steampunk works incredibly well, and it reminds me somewhat of the eclectic styles of the Meiji-era.
The villain has a name I find hilarious: Biba.

Labyrinth

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Kick him in the crystal balls!

Labyrinth is a bizarre film about David Bowie acting as someone like David Bowie surrounded by goblins.
I can’t describe how it felt to watch this film. It isn’t bad or good it’s kinda meh. But there’s just so much that’s weird in it you end up feeling… strange. There were a lot of things that make you wonder just what the hell you’re watching. I think the jokes were pretty funny though, one of the few things that works in this film.
David Bowie was an interesting choice for the goblin king. What he did in the film was also pretty intriguing2). His crystal balls were a bit… well weird.
The production value was way higher than it deserved.
Can’t say much except that it was a strange film, give it a watch at least once.

Last Action Hero

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Kung Fury before Kung Fury.

It’s about a kid who really likes action films. Specifically, he enjoys the Jack Slater film series (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger). One day he receives a magic film ticket from his… old friend. While watching Jack Slater IV the ticket activates and he ends up inside the film as his favourite hero’s sidekick.
The film is hard to define. While it’s clear that it’s comedic; whether it’s a satire or parody is unclear (In this film the line is very thin). That isn’t to say it’s bad; just a bit confusing.
I really liked Arnold’s performance in this (along with the kid, don’t know his name) and everyone else is pretty solid. The music was fantastic. The special effects were a bit meh, but seeing as it’s not supposed to be taken seriously I let it slide.
What I didn’t like was how much time was spent in the film within the film, I think it would have benefited more from spending more time in the real world.
Good film. Watch it at least once.

Little Busters!

We follow the hero as he enters the demon king’s castle and prepares to make the final blow, but before he does he listens to what the demon king has to say. The (quite feminine) king tells him how the war between humans and demons should continue because it’s better for both sides. She then tells him her plan to end the war peacefully and make the world a better place. So, he decides to work for her. The show is well made and has good writing, but if does feel a bit boring sometimes. Most of it is just talking about what’s going to happen when we do x and then we kind-of see x being done and the results of that.
The most entertaining parts are near the beginning, a brief period in the middle and then the end. The rest just feels a bit empty.
And as strange as it sounds, I feel like it may have progressed a bit too quickly. Near the beginning-middle we see 3 people getting educated by the demon king in like 2-3 episodes and around the end we see them again, but they feel like different people. It feels like a bit was left out where they undergo character development.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

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Get ready to learn the basics of economics!

Anime

The series is overall great. Nothing really stands out as especially bad, but considering I haven’t played the VN yet, this might change.
What I especially like is the foreshadowing. The foreshadowing is hidden fairly well, which makes rewatching the series somewhat of a treat. Highlights include:
Kyousuke’s many lectures to Riki. Kud after recovering from her faint and, by extension, the brief conversation between Kud and Kyousuke. The Busters actively trying to engage with Riki and Rin might count (I always found it a bit strange and unnatural). Kengo’s reaction to Riki and Rin’s shenanigans during the love sickness bit may also be a form of foreshadowing. ‘Did Kyousuke put you up to this?’.
Unfortunately, I can’t think of much else to say. It might be since this is one of my favorite series, and one of the first anime I watched.

VN

A review of the VN is gonna take a while. The main reason for this is that I accidentally wiped my external hard drive a while ago. This drive also happened to contain my completely legal copy of Little Busters! which erased my saves. So I’ll be re-doing it from the start. Not that I got anywhere before then.

EX 4コマ

I read this before the actual 4コマ because I thought it was shorter.
To my surprise, I found this a very enjoyable experience. To such a degree, I consider this to be semi-canon.
It has a fairly interesting plot, for a 4コマ. The jokes are fairly funny as well, which should be a given for a 4コマ. The characters feel a bit exaggerated, but that’s also standard for a 4コマ.
Unfortunately, the scanlators fell behind so we’ve only got 2 and a half volumes (the series is at 4 volumes I think).

Midori no Hibi

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Is this better than just being single?

Midori no Hibi is a cute and funny show about a highschool delinquent named Sawamura Seiji, who has terrible luck when it comes to girls. Anytime he confesses his feelings to a girl he gets rejected. He off-handedly says to himself that the only girlfriend he’ll ever have is his right hand. The next day, he wakes up finding a cute girl where his hand used to be. The rest of the series is about them dealing with this.
The premise is somewhat stupid, but it is taken seriously to a certain degree. There isn’t anything too deep. It’s a competently written romantic comedy. I recommend it.

Mieruko-chan

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Just ignore them…

Mieruko-chan is a series about a girl named Miko who can see scary spirits. Yūrei and the like. She decides to deal with this… by ignoring the spirits as best she can.
The premise struck me as interesting, but what really hooked me was Miko herself. She is, in my opinion, one of the bravest characters I’ve ever seen and she’s become a personal favorite of mine. I admire her greatly. Despite her incredible fear, she still does her best to ignore the spirits…even if that means getting really close to them. While I like the other characters, I don’t like them as much as Miko.
The show is episodic until the last couple’a episodes, which is a mini-arc. There is a pretty good twist that honestly got me good.
I recommend it.

Music and Lyrics

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“We are bigger than the Beatles”

A rom-com from 2007 about an 80s has-been and a plant waterer who have to write a song together.
The film is actually funny, unlike most rom-coms. I spent most of it laughing my ass off. The music video at the beginning is a perfect depiction of 80s music videos, down to small details. At the end we have a “what happened to them” segment during the credits. The music was actually nice too, a lot of it reminded me of different eras of music (we hear stuff that sounds like it’s from the 80s and the early 2000s).

Pandora

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The comparison to pandora’s box is a bit on the nose.

On the surface it looks like a film that opposes nuclear power, but it doesn’t.
We follow a group of engineers who work at a nuclear plant, the plant is over 30 years old and hasn’t undergone any maintenance. When the man in charge sends a letter to the first lady (intended for the president) the shady politicians have him fired. Then something bad happens, and then something worse happens.
The film critiques bureaucracy and crony capitalism I guess. Everything wrong that happens is the result of greedy business men and politicians.
But anyways, the special effects are marvelous. Especially when the plant finally explodes. Set design and costumes were great.
Although obviously just part of the film, but the way things just kept getting worse felt a bit eh to me. But I guess this is to show how bad it could get if something like this happened.
Overall, if this happened irl it would be the worst nuclear disaster in history.
Pretty good watch.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

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Have I told you about the Umbaka?

I haven’t played the games, so I can’t comment on that aspect.
The film is pretty alright and I don’t understand how people can’t enjoy it. I guess it has something to do with the games, because it’s fine.
Only the ostriches were weird.
Characters were alright, although I wish they fleshed out the relationship between the princess and Dastan a little more.

Sakura Quest

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Just the cold indifference of time’s unending march…

Sakura Quest is an anime about a girl named Yoshino, a model looking for a job in Tokyo. Although she comes from the countryside, she wants to live and work in the city because everything is in the city. After failing to find a job for a while, her agency calls her to say she was specifically requested for a special job in Manoyama, a town in the countryside. Despite her hesitation, she accepts the job. Upon getting there, she learns her job has her act as the ‘Queen’ of a micro-nation for a year. As the Queen, she would help increase tourism to the town. After a brief crisis, she decides to do her best as the Queen. Over time, she gains a number of ‘ministers’ to help her with her duties. Their goals eventually shift from ‘tourism’ to ‘revival.'
The series is built into a collection of 2-parters, and each of these is focused on a particular thing. The first two episodes are focused on Yoshino for example. The particular thing of each 2-parter is typically a character and their issues, with it being tied to the town of Manoyama in some way. As another example, one 2-parter is focused around a small village and their unique culture, while also developing the ‘Minister of IT.'
Sakura Quest initially appealed to me because I could relate to Yoshino. Yoshino comes from the country, but finds life in the country unappealing, wanting to live in the city instead. According to her, ‘everything is in the city.’ I had a very similar attitude in the past.
Besides this, I was surprised to find the ‘philosophy’ in the series closely aligned with my own. The series starts out somewhat depressing - the town has been in decline for decades. Even many of the ‘schemes’ the tourism office comes up with in the first-half of the series fail or don’t end up as good as expected. Despite this, there’s an optimistic attitude, which eventually leads to a revival of the town.
Of the issues present in the series, the music is out-of-place sometimes. I’m also not sure whether some of the music actually fits the series. Besides that, the powered suits and what-not are just ridiculous and I don’t think they should have been present at all. I didn’t notice any significant writing issues, outside of it being incredibly convenient that Sandal-san’s hometown’s mayor happens to be in Japan during the festival and he’s not too far away from Manoyama. This is made worse by the fact he’s needed to do the sister-city thing to preserve Manoyama, which is a significant issue that was revealed a few episodes ago. The solution feels cheap. Perhaps I just haven’t noticed the others.
I would still recommend the series.

Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

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May the light of Zvezda shine throughout this world!

World Conquest: Zvezda Plot! is a show about a guy called Jimon Asuta who finds himself getting recruited into an evil secret organization called Zvezda, lead by a loli. Zvezda’s goal is to conquer the world. However, Zvezda is opposed by the secret organization White Light.
The series is a fun, simple, comedy. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, but I personally really like it. While I didn’t realize it at first, I believe it might be a parody of magical girl anime, following the ‘bad guys.’ The worldbuilding in this series is bizarre and it’s revealed gradually over time…some stuff actually isn’t revealed for a while. Highlights include udo being a source of power and smokers don’t have souls.
The series reminds me of stuff I watched when I was a child, although I can’t point to anything specific, just that the series feels very nostalgic for me. Besides that, I find a lot of the jokes hilarious and the show includes some of my favorite ones.
I think it’s entertaining, and for that reason, I recommend it.

Shin Godzilla

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Those bombs actually worked though

A minor note, other than Godzilla 1999 I have not watched any Godzilla films.
Shin Godzilla is a film about Japanese Politicians trying to deal with Godzilla and failing to do so spectacularly. Shit goes sideways so many times it ends up in the same position.
The CG is really bad in the beginning and it doesn’t really improve all that much, just gets used less. The Godzilla suit actually looks great. The plot is a bit hard to follow and some might say it spends too much time making fun of Japanese politics and not enough with Godzilla. The jokes involving Japanese politicians are all pretty funny, I especially liked how they kept moving from room to room.

Sword Art Online

I will slowly start to work on these reviews (and the rest of the article) as time goes on. I will maintain a set of notes, that I will include here if you wish to read them, before I actually write something proper up. They’ll be placed in spoilers.

Anime

Sword Art Online

My impression of SAO has remained consistent over the years - it’s alright.
The series isn’t a masterpiece, or even that great, but it’s around a 7.5. I think it’s a reasonable enough start to get people into anime, and I don’t think it’s all that bad.
The series does suffer from some pretty serious storytelling issues, but I think it’s fairly telling that SAO’s issues aren’t that significant compared to the godawful storytelling in western film…and SAO is considered one of the worst shows, which reflects well on anime as a whole.
What’s interesting about SAO is that people’s views of SAO have been clouded to a point where a lot of criticism is simply invalid, and can be disproven simply by watching the show and paying attention (a blasphemous concept, I know). I think this is due to the detrimental influence of reddit and anime youtubers.
In fact, after realizing this, I started to realize that my own views on SAO are up in the air as far as being valid or not, which is why I won’t say anything specific until I’ve actually gone back through the series.

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale

This is (currently) the only thing that I will comment on, although still generally.
Ordinal Scale is bad, it’s not well written, although it isn’t awful. There are some interesting ideas in here, but most of them are wasted because the writing isn’t the best.

Manga

Progressive

While Kirito has more of a character, he feels disconnected with the rest of the series (at least from what I’ve currently experienced). This is also true of Asuna. And of their relationship. Kibaou actually feels like a character, rather than an idiot like in the anime.
It’s a shame that the manga appears to have ended early, because it’s probably the best of SAO, as far as the Aincrad portions go.

Toaru

This was initially a small note regarding the entire series, but I eventually added way more. I’ll fix it up at some point. For now, it’s okay like this.
It becomes clear fairly quickly that the science side of this universe is far far more interesting than the magic side (and consequently, science-side stories are more popular). While I can’t put my finger on exactly why, I have a few ideas:

  • The ‘magic system’ of espers is fairly unique when considering magic systems across fiction. Specifically, the mechanics and how the powers are used, alongside the general æsthetic. This is in contrast to the ‘magic magic system’ which is fairly standard.
    • Extending this, the powers are used in unique and fascinating ways…but also in ways that make a lot of sense. This is one of the only franchises I know of that handles teleportation well, for example.
    • A counter to this point is the fact the anime continually fails to explain how magic works. It seems to assume people will be familiar with the LNs, which I’m still in the middle of reading.
      • Something I should note here is that I’ve been reading the LNs and magic is far more interesting than it appears in the anime. I do still believe the science-side is more interesting, but the magic side isn’t as uninteresting as I first thought.
  • The magic side borrows too much from the real world regarding characters (Aleister Crowley), organizations (The Anglican/Catholic churches), and items (The Book of the Law). The science side, however, is (to my knowledge) free of such borrowings.
    • This is a guess and not one I’m very confident in. I find the way a lot of these real-life things are integrated into the world a bit off.
  • Characters relevant to the science side are far more interesting than those relevant to the magic side.
    • The characters have more grounded designs and more fleshed-out characterization. At least from what I can tell. The most popular characters (Misaka, Accelerator, Shokuhou) are all science-side.
  • Academy City is a really really well fleshed-out place, having a perfect blend of familiar and unfamiliar. Exploring the lore regarding the city is fun.
  • The Science side has clearer power levels - it helps they’re literally called ‘Levels.’ You can (mostly) tell how powerful an Esper is based on their Level, and you can even guess an Esper’s Level from what they do. In contrast, it’s much harder to figure this out for the magic side.
    • This also makes comparing Espers easier.
    • At the same time, it acts as a signal to the audience. It acts as a shortcut for introducing characters, especially Level 5s like Accelerator, and adds to how intimidating they are.

A lot of this may be my own bias, since I personally prefer the science side and I’m trying to figure out why.

Anime

These will currently stand as just a few small notes. I’ll write more about it later.

Toaru Majutsu no Index

It’s not the best of the series, but it is fairly good. I consider it the best place to start if you’re new to the franchise (outside of simply reading the LN).

Toaru Majutsu no Index II

It’s better than the first season, at least that’s what I remember.

Toaru Majutsu no Index III

It starts out strong and fizzles out near the middle. The last bit of it is terrible.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun

It’s okay, but is somewhat boring. Not the best place to start off.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S

First half is great, second half is trash. I’d say the second half is the worst of the series.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T

No doubt the best of the anime.

Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator

It’s much better than the manga, which I learned after reading it. This one is about in the same range as the first two index series.
This is the only anime to ever get close to explaining how magic works in the series.

Manga

Astral Buddy

I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator

It’s…not great.

Toaru Idol no Accelerator-sama

This is honestly one of the best pieces of Toaru fiction created.

Toaru Kagaku no Dark Matter

It’s fine.

Tonari no Seki-kun

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I wonder what he’s doing today.

Cute, short, simple series about a girl who observers her tonari Seki-kun and the unusual ways he passes time during class.
It’s episodic and nothing too deep happens. Nice for a relaxing watch.

There's Something in the Sea

There's Something in the Sea! There’s Something in the Sea was an ARG created to promote the release of Bioshock 2. It also happens to be some of the best Bioshock content released and I highly recommend it for fans of the series.
The ‘game’ involves playing as the character of ‘Mark Meltzer’ a journalist who starts investigating the disappearances of little girls. It starts out with a map of the world, with the locations of kidnappings, alongside their dates, marked on it. Additionally, clippings from news articles, notes, and the occasional picture, start getting added to it.
TSitS is strangely captivating, and I found myself practically glued to the archive site…so much, I ended up forgetting to do stuff in life, like eat. The story is relatively simple, but the characters are so well written that they feel like real people, aided quite a bit by the acting. I did, however, at times end up mentally screaming at Mark, but this was not because he was doing anything stupid, but because he wasn’t doing what I would have done in a particular situation.
There is a summary video of it on YouTube, but I’d recommend going through the original, as the video leaves out a lot of details and isn’t nearly as captivating.

Twister

Invalid Link
I thought it was just a metaphor!

We follow a group of scientists who are crazy enough to chase tornadoes. The MC is a guy who stops chasing tornadoes because he wants to become a weathermanL).
The premise is interesting and the execution is alright. The special effects were pretty good except for a few momentsM).
It felt like it went on too long, at least for me. The characters use Dorothy 3 times and the space between each feels too long.
Minor complaints aside, it’s a decent watch.

Unciv

Please no more…
ninjasr 2022-08-01 14:27:05

Unciv is an open-source turn-based strategy game which is a straight up copy of inspired by the Civilization series of games.
I used to occasionally play it in the past, but I stopped once I realized I wasn’t having fun.
I don’t know, nor care, if what I say can/does apply to the Civ series. This is partially because I don’t intend to play any of the Civ games. However, I am convinced the Civ games are of a better quality, from what I know.
Victory in this game lies in only one thing: population. As long as you prioritize growing your population you will win no matter what happens. Population essentially generates all the other resources you need, so once you reach a certain point you’ll start rapidly outpacing everyone else…in everything.
To achieve rapid population growth you should prioritize tech that:

  • Raises population growth (obviously)
  • Raises food growth
  • Gives buildings that provide either

Once you unlock religions it’s even easier, as there’s a god conveniently titled ‘god of fertility’ and, later, you can choose tenets that either increase population growth or food production.
While you could get a bunch of settlers to increase your overall population (and, by extension, increase your production of everything), this isn’t actually all that needed…but I do recommend it.
Of course, this makes the game somewhat boring, since you can simply overpower the AI…or dumb players.
An older version of the game had an exploit where you could trade tech with AI. Within just 4 turns you could become the most technologically advanced civ in the world. You would then proceed to overpower the AI.
Besides this easy exploit(?)4), the combat in this game is painful, especially in the late game. Unless you’re technologically superior to your enemy, fights will take ages. Sieges of cities however, are far worse. Cities have both defense and offense - while this is nice when you’re getting attacked by barbarians, it’s annoying when you’re trying to conquer. In the late-game, due to tech, cities are indestructible fortresses, where you’re forced to shell or bomb them to hell before you send an infantry division to kill themselves to take it. Even then, you will probably lose half your army in conquest. Being technologically superior is the only reasonable way to take this. The only upside to this is that it does force you to build up before you go to war…more realistic.
I don’t like this game, and I won’t be playing it again.

lb/review_collection.txt · Last modified: 2023-12-24 15:06:06 by 114.119.159.40

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