Anime Review: Kara no Kyoukai

Kara no Kyoukai

So, how do I begin? This is a show I basically knew nothing about when I was going in, but it still managed to impress me in the end. Let’s get started with the story. It follows Shiki Ryougi, who basically solves mysteries of a supernatural nature. It’s an adaptation of a TYPE-MOON light novel series, so the setting is the familiar magical beings and magi and whatnot. What I thought was really cool about the story was that it didn’t follow any sort of linear trajectory. I mean that in the sense that it jumps around through time telling you bits and pieces of the story, leaving it up to you to piece it all together. It’s easy to get confused, but I think that overall, it was a nice effect. When you’re watching it, it starts to look like each movie is just Shiki going around beating a new enemy. However, as you go on, you find out that each battle had a specific purpose and there’s actually something bigger going on in the background. I definitely thought that was pretty cool.

Story: Score 93/100

I understand that it was a bit intentional, but the cast in this show ends up being a bit sparse. We have our main character Shiki Ryougi, who runs around slicing stuff up and the like, and we have Mikiya Kokutou, who basically plays the normal guy who tries to get close to her. Joining them, we have Touko Aozaki, a magus as well and Shiki and Mikiya’s employer, and Azaka Kokutou, Mikiya’s sister who has a crush on him. Other than that, the show basically introduces a new character in each movie to act as an enemy. I like the main cast a lot, every single one of them, but in the end, they’re really all we get. And in the end, they really don’t explore too many character backgrounds other than Shiki’s. They mention something with Touko’s sister, but never revisit it.

Characters: Score 87/100

The animation in this show was impressive, even to someone like me who doesn’t normally notice these things. It’s TYPE-MOON and ufotable, so the character designs are very familiar and much of the style of the animation is reminiscent of Fate/Zero. Still, what really stood out were the battles. Each one of them looked spectacular…if only there weren’t just one or two such scenes in each movie.

As for the music, I think they did a great job of fitting the music to the scenes. The strings make everything sound so dramatic, and the main theme is a nice tune. There were a lot of points where there really isn’t any music playing, and I get that this is intentional, but it really bugged me at couple points. Still, the overall effect is that it really slows down the show at the important parts when music isn’t playing in the background, so it works out.

Animation: Score 96/100

Music: 90/100

This show is actually longer than it looks. At first glance, it’s just seven movies, but it actually turns out to be close to nine hours of content. Still, I’d say it was well worth it. Just a warning…this show is not for the faint of heart. Lots of blood…with relation to Another, I’d say maybe…comparable? I dunno…I still think the battles make up for it. If you think you can handle it, I’d definitely say give it a shot. This show is now making me consider watching Tsukihime to finish off the TYPE-MOON works.

Final Score: 92/100

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Chihayafuru Episode 24

So this week’s episode starts off with Chihaya going to Taichi’s house to watch the Master and Queen matches, joined soon by the rest of the karuta club. Despite winning the first game of the best of three, Shinobu’s game has become less sharp. However, in the second game, she starts to regain her normal speed and defeats Yumi soundly.

It looks like they’re going to close the show out with the Master/Queen matches. I’m not sure if I liked how they approached Shinobu’s match, but it seemed to work. The real interesting part was the Master, Suo Hisashi, who was apparently toying not only with his opponent, but also Shinobu throughout the match. I guess the show aims to end with this sort of transition period in Chihaya’s game where she realizes where she really stands and what she really needs to work on. I was hoping for something a bit more unexpected in the ending, but I can live with this. It probably opens the way for more seasons in the near future. Anyway, next week ends it…should be fun.

Ano Natsu de Matteru Episode 11

So this week’s episode starts off with Ichika’s sister introducing herself as Emika and preparing to take Ichika home to protect her from being arrested for breaking galactic law.  Ichika runs off, but again gets yelled at by Kanna. Later, Ichika tries to leave Kaito behind, but Mio, Tetsuro, and Kanna arrive to stop her.

Remon then arrives to propose a solution, finding the place from Ichika’s memories, as it may give Earth a high enough status of technology to allow Ichika to stay. They manage to find it, but the search party arrives for Ichika. They try to teleport, but are blocked. However, Remon has foreseen this and secured a vehicle.

REMON!!! GREATEST CHARACTER EVER!! That aside…most of the stuff in this was predicted. Tetsuro and Mio end up together. The final arc is an attempt to keep Ichika from being forced to leave. I’m not sure if I understood the thing with Ichika’s memories correctly. I get that it was imprinted on her DNA, but I’m not sure whether they’re going there to hide or going there for the technology that cloaks it. Heck…maybe Remon’s involved with this technology somehow. Personally, I think it’s more interesting if she’s a normal human, but she just seems so suspicious. Anyways, next episode will end it. At the end of the day, I still question the extraterrestrial aspect of this show…how necessary was it, really?

Phi Brain – Kami no Puzzle Episode 24

That face is so scary.....
After Rook’s panic attack last week, the POG is in turmoil as footage of it was leaked. Later, Kaito gets a phone call from Rook and goes to meet him the next day. Strangely, Rook has reverted to a behavior similar to Kaito’s memory of him. The two spend the day together, ending with Rook reverting again and challenging Kaito. Rook also reveals that he has the Divine Revelations, as Pythagoras solved the Divine Puzzle with his battle against Jin. He threatens to unleash them on the world unless Kaito battles him.

In normal protagonist style, Kaito abandons his friends to go face Rook alone (this is MY FIGHT!!). However, it seems that even the POG will not allow this to happen, so his friends are naturally gonna be there to watch. Maybe he’ll even have an epiphany moment where he needs his friends to win or something. Anyways, the final battle is set up, so it should be interesting. I’m still curious about Rook’s background…it’s possible they touch on it next week, but maybe they count this week as enough. We’ll see. Also, I guess a second season would involve probably the principal taking over as head of POG or something and then maybe Kaito would be called to defend the Divine Revelations against some new foe. But like I said before, they can’t possibly have that engaging back story like Rook…wonder how they plan on doing all of this.

Another Episode 11

So Teshigawara pushed Kazami off a balcony thinking that he was the dead student, but soon finds out that he was wrong. Koiuchi, Mei, and Teshigawara go to see if Kazami is still alive, but Kouichi is interrupted by a stabbed Maejima. Kouichi finds the dining hall ablaze and the manager dead. Yuuya reveals that Kazami is alive, and everyone goes around to find him as well as evacuate everyone. Yuuya and Teshigawara try to find Mikami, but instead find the manager’s wife with a cleaver.

Takako also attacks Mei, but Kouichi saves her. However, Takako then plays the tape on the intercom and identifies Mei as the dead student. The students try to kill Mei, but Mikami takes the hit. Kouichi tries to help Mei escape, and several students die in their attempt to kill Mei. The episode ends with Mei running off to kill the extra and stop the deaths.

A witch hunt for Mei. I think this is a good direction for the show for several reasons. First off, it calls into play the sort of desperate mass hysteria that is intrinsic to humans. And not only that, each time a student dies trying to kill Mei, she looks more and more suspicious, as the curse is almost seeming to protect her. Also, it used Mei’s sister for suspicion…I thought that was pretty interesting. When Mei said that thing about killing the dead person to stop the other deaths, I was almost afraid that she would stab herself, but it doesn’t look like it will happen.

At this point, our list of suspects has basically been exhausted. It can’t be Akazawa, as she was right in front of Mei when she had her revelation. It can’t be Teshigawara because I can’t feel it being him after he tried to kill Kazami. Also can’t be Kazami since he’s been basically AWOL the entire series. Next week, it looks like Kouichi will maybe try to defend the true culprit from Mei. I’m guessing some conflict of morals and whatnot will take place. At the moment, I don’t foresee either Mei or Kouichi dying…or maybe that’s just a desperate hope?

Rinne no Lagrange Episode 11

Continuing from last week, Vox Aura starts to activate, also transmitting Madoka’s thoughts to Lan and Muginami. The two start to fight as Madoka reaches Pharos. Muginami faces off against Villagiulio while Lan faces off against a mass of Ovids. A group also splits off to attack Pharos. Meanwhile, Yoko tells Asteria that while the humans who left Earth saw Vox as a demon, those that stayed on Earth had no such belief.

She manages to convince Asteria to allow Madoka to fight. The enemy fires their giant laser at the town, but they are protected by the three brothers, who have chosen to fight with Asteria. One of the enemy Ovids crashes on the school ground, injuring Yoko, which causes Madoka to lose it as the episode ends.

Focusing everything on Lan? So cruel! Still, most of what happened this episode was predictable. As expected, the evil interpretation of the Vox weapons is a discrepancy in historical interpretation. Also, the brothers have joined the good guys as we all knew would happen. I’d say the battle scenes were kinda underwhelming in the beginning, but Vox Aura’s fighting was pretty cool. Also Muginami vs. Villagiulio was decent, I guess. I’m curious to see how things end up next week…we might actually find out what this Rinne thing is. It’s also the last episode, so hopefully the series ends strong.

Persona 4 Episode 23

After Nanako’s death last week, everyone goes to see Namatame, and find that he is appearing on the Midnight Channel. The group starts to split into those who want vengeance and those against them. Yu tries to throw Namatame into the TV, but is stopped by a memory of Nanako, choosing instead to find the truth. Strangely, Kuma goes missing, but everyone else re-examines the case.

They realize that the letter Yu received could not have come from Namatame, as he believed he was saving people. They go to hear Namatame’s story, and he reveals that the first two deaths were not his doing. Meanwhile, Kuma disappears into the fog, which somehow brings Nanako back to life. The episode ends with Naoto re-evaluating the case, and Yu finally realizing who the culprit is.

Margaret’s social link is so random…what the heck? Yu goes to sleep…Congratulations! You got my Arcana! O.o Anyways, woohoo…Nanako’s alive. Crisis averted. I like how Yu’s character was handled in this episode. He manages to put on the facade of calm with Namatame, despite breaking down when everyone leaves. Yosuke also comes back to comfort him. Unfortunately, this scene tells me that Yu will have an undecided ending, love-wise. If Yosuke’s there being a bro, then Yu’s not gonna choose a girl…that’s so disappointing, but a kinda expected. If you want to choose a girl, I guess you should just play the game.

Let’s talk ending. I have to say, I’m getting more and more anxious about it. I saw that there are 25 episodes slated, so that leaves two more. Does that mean true route will be resolved in one episode? Or will the battle next week only take half the episode. I really hope they don’t rush the ending too much…it might end up hurting the series a lot. I definitely look forward to the end, but I hope it works out. I really hope they don’t just end it with this arc and save true route as some unreleased episodes later down the line or something.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear Episode 11

Picking up from last week, Miku is trying to evacuate everyone from the school during the Noise attack. Ogawa tries to tell Genjurou the true identity of Kadingir, but Fine arrives to interrupt him. Ogawa reveals that the elevator shaft to the base is the actual Kadingir, and the only one who could create it is Ryouko/Fine.

Genjurou arrives to face off against Ryouko, beating the crap out of her, but she is able to stab him by acting innocent for a second. Hibiki, Tsubasa, and Chris arrive to face Ryouko as she activates Kadingir, planning to shoot the Moon. Chris uses a missile to launch herself above the cannon, then uses her swan song to block the shot so that only part of the Moon is damaged.

So…if Chris dies, this show is uncool. I may actually rage. Still, I can sorta understand why they did it. With two episodes left, they need something to happen. And I assume that her sacrifice will cause Hibiki to fly into a rage and go feral again…maybe even force everyone to fight her, leading to her eventual death as predicted in the first episode. On another note, I figured there was more to Ryouko than simply being evil. Although Ryouko was evil during the course of the series, she was taken over by Fine, not evil all along. Also, I never noticed it until all three of the girls sang, but their songs sound like continuations of each other. I dunno whether that’s intentional, but it’s still cool. Let’s see how my predictions hold up next week.

Nisemonogatari Final Episode

So apparently, Tsukihi is a Dying Bird, some kind of cuckoo that plants itself into a human womb to be reborn. Koyomi goes to talk with Tsukihi, confirming to himself that she is his sister. He then leaves Tsukihi with Karen and goes to face Kagenui and Ononoki. He also allows Shinobu to drink his blood and regain some of her powers.

Before Koyomi fights with Kagenui, she reveals that she, Oshino, and Kaiki were former classmates and that Kaiki told her about Tsukihi. Koyomi gets beaten up by Kagenui, but Ononoki gets beaten easily by Shinobu. Koyomi refuses to give up, though. He starts to argue morals with Kagenui, and she admits defeat.

Well, the ending was kinda random, but I can live with it. Apparently, Hitagi’s haircut only shows up to end everything…I’d forgotten about that. Koyomi’s evil laugh at the beginning of the episode when he kissed Tsukihi was kinda O.o. Kaiki’s influence returns in this arc…I knew he couldn’t just disappear. He had to be involved somehow. Most of the stuff in this episode was predictable (exceptions include kissing his sister, etc.). The battle scene may have been a bit excessively violent. And by that, I mean too much mutilation of Koyomi…oh well, maybe it’s karma for all the incest undertones in the series. I would have been angry if Shinobu hadn’t beaten Ononoki easily. Interestingly, Kagenui mentions a fourth person in their university group…I wonder if that person will become important in a sequel series or something. It’s been fun to blog on this show, and I will review it as a whole eventually. Definitely a hilarious show…maybe it bit too much at times.

Black Rock Shooter Episode 7

After the events of last week, Saya can no longer interface with Black Gold Saw. Yuu decides to go into the other world herself to talk with Mato. Yuu tries to get Mato to free herself by rejecting Black Rock Shooter as herself. Before Yuu can convince Mato, Strength starts to talk, revealing that she is the true Yuu and Strength is the one in the real world.

Meanwhile, Mato is revealed to be missing at school, and Yomi finds herself running to find her. Strength tells Mato the story of her and Yuu, how Yuu’s pain was so much that she gave Strength the ability to feel emotion. Yuu started to believe that the other world was an easier life, so she switched with Strength. Meanwhile, Yomi completely remembers Mato and Dead Master starts to come back to life in the other world.

Interesting. It’s almost looking like Yomi might be the one that has to help Mato or something. Like overcoming the memory loss to save her…something to that effect. Who knows? Maybe Kagari will even join in. I’d say stuff is starting to make more sense and the show seems to be getting better. I was afraid Mato might yell out “You’re not me” and Black Rock Shooter would change into a Shadow or something, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I was definitely curious what they would do about the other girls when their memories went away. It would have been stupid to just resolve their arc and let them be normal girls that didn’t affect the rest of the story. Good to see they brought them back. Especially with how important Yomi was in the OVA…would have been weird for her to just be “another girl with problems.” Anyways, next week is the big finish, so let’s hope it goes out with a bang.