Anime Review: Demi-chan wa Kataritai

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This series is set in a world where a small percentage of humanity are born as “demi-humans” and live peacefully with humanity. The main character (if you can call him that), Tetsuo Takahashi, is a biology teacher who is interested in studying these demi-humans and finds that there are three students and a fellow teacher in the school that happen to be demi-humans, a vampire, a dullahan, a snow woman, and a succubus. The show mainly follows his interactions with these demi-humans and tries to understand their unique situations (that’s all your getting in terms of story).

Overall, I thought this show was interesting because of how it tried to examine the mythologies behind demi-humans. Everything generally seemed grounded despite the supernatural nature of the discussion. It also focused a lot on each character’s individual struggles dealing with their unique, demi-human-related traits. In that regard, I’ve seen the show described as a message about people with disabilities and I think that’s a pretty good way to put it. But I guess more importantly, there’s a message about looking at things from the perspective of someone else and thinking about why they act the way they do (this is where I think Hikari in particular excels as a character).

I read the manga version of this series before it aired as an anime. Normally, this wouldn’t make much of a difference, but this series really impressed me with how much the anime added on to the presentation in the manga. I really liked a lot of the comedic effects it used with scene transitions as they made the scenes a lot funnier than they appeared in the manga. And music-wise, the series was pretty solid. There were a few particularly memorable songs in the soundtrack and I thought the ending song was pretty good. Using crayons in the animation to match to the piano notes being played was also a nice touch.

Overall Score: 8/10

Anime Review: 3-gatsu no Lion

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I want to try to be better about reviewing the series I don’t cover in a season (since I watch so many), and this series happens to be the first one to finish that I haven’t really written about previously. Glad there’s a second season announced for this series. I’m definitely looking forward to it!

The story follows Rei Kiriyama, a shogi player who qualified as a professional in middle school, which is a rare accomplishment that earns him the attention of the shogi world. Unable to deal with the pressure, Rei isolates himself from the people around him, leaving his foster family to live on his own supported by his shogi career. The story pretty much starts with a lot of introduction for Rei and some of the major characters, such that the shogi aspect of the show is sometimes not even in an episode.

But it does eventually reach a point where Rei’s interactions with the professional shogi scene are brought into focus. And I’m not sure how many share this opinion, but I personally think the shogi parts of the show are the best parts. Even though the series doesn’t have the same tone, it brings me back to when I was watching Hikaru no Go. I also didn’t personally find the technical aspect of the shogi conversations to be overbearing.

The characters in this show are probably my favorite part. I found Rei to be very relatable, and I sympathized specifically with his inability to define his own passions in life. I know at around that age, I was having similar troubles figuring out what I really wanted to do and feeling the pressures of other people pushing me in certain directions that I didn’t necessarily know if I liked. And I would hazard a guess that most people have felt a similar feeling of being lost in the world, unsure of where to head. But aside from Rei, I thought pretty much every character was memorable. They each have their own motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, and I never got the sense that any particular character was useless. I think the only exception for me was the cats…really couldn’t stand those two.

Music is always a big selling point for me and this series really delivers on it. The first pair of themes are both done by Bump of Chicken, a band I’ve really liked since playing Tales of the Abyss. I’m less of a fan of the second opening song, but I really like the second ending song as well. But even if you ignore the themes, the soundtrack for this series is also incredible. It’s hard to describes, but the songs gave me a sense of longing as I listen that really fit the show.

Overall Score: 9/10

Anime Review: Brave 10

Brave 10

So, another show from the Sengoku era. Unlike Sengoku Basara, this show has Yukimura depicted as a lord, rather than a simple soldier. The story follows Saizo Kirigakure, an assassin who is recruited by Yukimura, who is attempting to gather ten warriors to fight for him. Unfortunately, most of the story ends up just being about finding the ten people. It’s not really until like episode 9 or 10 that you find out exactly why Yukimura is doing it. When stuff actually starts happening, it happens pretty quick. It’s really the kind of plot you’d expect from a show like this. Still, there’s a lot of good action and fighting in these episodes. Maybe it’s a curse of shorter shows like this that pacing is such an issue. The ending is also too abrupt…no real warning. They also kill the main antagonist in a pretty cheap way…especially when he was beating all over Saizou in every other episode.

Story: Score 66/100

The characters were decent, I guess. Each of the 10 heroes embodies a different element, which becomes pretty obvious in their personality. Character development is only really seen in Saizou, and maybe Isanami. The other characters remain fairly static, and you only get background from a couple of them. I don’t even know if that wind person was a guy or not…so confusing. As for Saizou, his character development is pretty straightforward…nothing surprising. He starts off as the cocky and standoffish guy who slowly softens as the show goes on. Isanami isn’t that much better. She’s introduced as a fairly carefree and cheerful girl that houses some deep dark secret that she eventually is forced to accept with Saizou’s help. Also…she’s pretty annoying >.> Date Masamune makes some appearances in the show, but he really isn’t a central antagonist like you would expect for a show with Sanada Yukimura.

Characters: Score 65/100

Animation in this show good. I didn’t really notice anything weird, and the fights looked okay. Pretty much what you’d expect from a battle anime…decent fights and random names for attacks. Characters designs seemed okay to me…I guess my reaction to it was “indifferent.” Music seemed pretty suited for the era and for the fighting. It worked for the show. The opening theme is a bit strange…I’m okay with listening to it, but it just seems off for some reason. The ending theme was pretty good, though…I liked it. Yeah, the voices sound distorted, but it just sounded cool to me.

Animation: Score 80/100

Music: Score 83/100

In the end, this is a show I’d show only to people who really liked mainstream or something. Although, that may be a bit much…not even sure if Bleach fans would like this show excessively (I have a test subject, though…I’ll let you know of the results). I also have a friend who says he really likes Sengoku era shows, so I guess this might be for him too. I’d say that you could watch this show if you’re just looking for some battles without having to think too much. Otherwise, there are probably plenty of other Sengoku shows that you could check out.

Final Score: 72/100

Anime Review: Inu x Boku SS

Inu x Boku SS

This is one of those shows that I wasn’t initially planning on watching because the SS made me think it was some sort of second season or something. I’m really glad I watched it, though, because I enjoyed it a lot. It tells the story of Ayakashi Kan, a mansion with a very special kind of tenant, each assigned their own Secret Service agent as a bodyguard. One such tenant is Ririchiyo Shirakiin, a girl who has a problem of insulting people due to her inexperience with other people. Ririchiyo is against the idea of having an SS agent, but she meets Soushi Miketsukami, who insists on protecting her and serving her, claiming that she once saved him.

The show really continues on being a simple slice of life as Ririchiyo meets new people in Ayakashi Kan and becomes more comfortable with other people, but there is also a romance building in the background. Having read the manga, I realize that there were a bunch of episodes with extra stuff thrown in, but I really like how they eventually end the show. Also, the random antics in the other episodes are incredibly entertaining. I probably laughed every episode. I was worried that they weren’t really using the demon thing very much, but it ended up working out nicely.

Story: Score 90/100

The characters in this show were all pretty good. First off, we have Ririchiyo Shirakiin, characterized as tsunshun rather than tsundere because she gets depressed instead of becoming more nice. Her character development ends up being pretty nice, and she makes things entertaining by trying to be so serious and cool around everyone. Soushi Miketsukami is a bit of a strange character. At times, his overzealous devotion to Ririchiyo can be a bit excessive, but he ends up having a really interesting character background. Adding to that, we have Ririchiyo’s classmates Banri Watanuki and Karuta Roromiya. Banri’s mostly there for the comedy, a self-proclaimed delinquent constantly trying to proof his strength. Karuta, I’d say, is there for the fans…she’s just so cute. She acts like an airhead, but ends up being pretty perceptive at times.

Then, we have Nobara Yukinokouji, the perverted woman that adds the comedy, Renshou Sorinozuka, who adds in a bit of nonchalance, and Zange Natsume, who’s just a little bit nuts. Finally, we have Kagerou Shoukiin, the charismatic masked man who is probably the most entertaining of them all. The show focuses mostly on Ririchiyo, so you don’t really see much development from the other characters…still, I don’t think I had a problem with any of them. I liked all of the characters, although maybe the side characters a tad bit more than the main characters.

Characters: Score 92/100

The animation in this show was pretty good. They switch between the more typical anime depictions of the characters and the more gag-style depictions very nice for comedic effect. There are even a couple of action scenes that looked pretty nice. The music in this show was was pretty impressive. The background music seemed to work out okay, and I have no real complaints. But the real story was in the themes. The opening theme, which looking a bit strange, sounded amazing. Also, each character gets their own ending theme, so the ending changes nearly every episode, and they were all good songs. Some of them, like Karuta’s, were particularly great. I can’t wait for the character albums to come out.

Animation: Score 90/100

Music: Score 93/100

In the end, I really enjoyed watching this show. I’m pretty sure it was because the show was good and not because it came out on the same day as Guilty Crown and I was already in a bad mood when I watched it, but I can never be sure. I probably wouldn’t mind recommending this show to most of my friends…it was a good laugh with every episode. The manga is still going on, so I’d love to see a second season…but we’ll just have to see. There doesn’t seem to be any indications yet.

Final Score: 91/100

Anime Review: Another


This is a show that I’ve enjoyed following as it aired. Basically, Sakakibara Kouichi transfers into a class that seems strange for some reason. There’s a story in this class about a class years ago where a student named Misaki died. However, the class chose to pretend that Misaki was still alive, even up to graduation. Kouichi meets a girl named Misaki Mei, and starts to take an interest in her. The story follows him as he tries to solve the mystery behind his classmates and their strange behavior. When he finds out, he is thrust into a race to solve everything to prevent the deaths of his classmates.

This show presents itself as a horror series, and it certainly tries to uphold that with the death and ridiculous amounts of blood. However, I saw this show more to be a mystery, giving out hints and clues for the viewers to solve it with the characters. I had a ton of fun coming up with theories every single week. Still, there are cliffhangers galore, which can be a bit frustrating when following an airing show, but definitely effective in keeping interest. Also, I have to give props to the show in the end. While it’s true that they get a little excessive with the killing to the point of being a bit comic, I have to say that their decision to use mob psychology was very well done and incredibly interesting to watch. Also, the ending that they use is very appropriate. I thought it was well done.

Story: Score 92/100

The characters in this show tend to be fairly bland. Kouichi isn’t that stellar of a protagonist, but he gets things moving. Mei was a pretty cool character, mysterious and quiet. Akazawa Izumi, the tsundere, was a nice character too, but doesn’t really make all too many appearances early on. Teshigawara Naoya takes the role of comedic support (which is awkward in a horror story, but it wasn’t that bad). Mochizuka Yuuya, the frail art kid, finishes up the really major characters. There are plenty of supporting characters in the class, but most of them are really just there to die. Sometimes, they made it pretty obvious who was going to be killed when they throw in random background characters in an important scene.

Characters: Score 86/100

The animation in this show didn’t really stand out to me in any way, but it wasn’t exactly bad. Everything had an eerie look to it, but the random scenes of dolls may have been a bit much. The music was a bit disappointing for me. The main theme is super mysterious and sets a great mood for a horror story. However, they try to alter that main theme to sound lighter in the more cheerful scenes, and it doesn’t really work out that well. It just seemed very out of place to me. The opening theme wasn’t too impressive…sounded like a normal song from ALI PROJECT if you like their music. The ending theme was a lighter song…a bit better, but still not that impressive.

Animation: 85/100

Music: 80/100

If you think you can handle the blood and gore, I thought this was a very nice mystery-esque show to keep you guessing. It’s easy to get spoiled, though, so be careful (I learned that the hard way). I could have spent hours talking about my theories for the show…there were tiny clues everywhere. Eventually, it came down to process of elimination with so few characters remaining. Not the strongest show in the world, but I found it pretty entertaining. I don’t usually watch horror shows, but I didn’t mind this one so much…maybe because I classify it as mystery and the deaths didn’t really bother me. Man am I glad the cliffhangers are over…they were bad for my heart.

Final Score: 85/100

Marth’s Unofficial Guide to Writing Anime Reviews

I’ve been writing a lot of reviews lately, so I came up with this idea. There’s no correct way to write a review, so this isn’t really a guide. It’s more of an attempt by me to walk through the process I use to write each of my reviews. Naturally, this process has changed a lot since I started, but these days, I have a sort of rhythm to them so that they don’t seem like a hassle. For my examples, I’ll be using Code Geass to make things easy. Usually, I take a few days (probably around half a week to a week) to write a review and this is important. When I finish a show, I’m super excited and ready to talk about it. It’s important that this doesn’t blind side me, so I give it a few days to die down.

Step 1: The first thing I always do is research. Look at other blogs or look on sites like MyAnimeList or AnimeDB. Find out what everyone else is saying about this show. This step has two aims. The first is to come up with ideas or to remember things that I have missed. Make sure I have all of the data. The second is more psychological. I find that my views coincide with others or something to give myself the confidence to put forth my opinion. Of course, I’d never copy another person’s review…this is purely inspirational.

Step 2: The next part is simple. Write everything down. I don’t like to just start typing up a review cold turkey. Instead, I create a note list where I put down all of the points I want to make sure I cover. This keeps me organized and helps with not forgetting something I want to say. This step usually spans a few days. I’ll keep the note list active and write down a point the second it comes to me. It doesn’t matter how it’s organized. Just write every thought down so you don’t forget. I’ll probably come up with more stuff while I’m writing, but I have to make sure I don’t miss certain things.

Step 3: Now that I have some content, the next step is to create a template. By this, I mean making a post on my blog (a draft) with just the skeleton of the review. This step is usually done in bulk for multiple shows. When I’m trying to write a lot of reviews, I don’t want to get bogged down with the mundane parts like making the post, selecting categories, adding tags, and formatting. I want all of this done so that I can just focus on the show itself. So when I have free time, I create a bunch of posts to save myself some time in case I have to review in a pinch or if I’m on a roll reviewing a lot of shows.

Also in this step, if I have notes already or when I start taking notes, I try to organize them into the appropriate parts of the post. Look at the example to see what I mean by that. Plot points going into the story part, stuff about specific characters only go into the character part, stuff about animation and music go into the animation/music part, and anything that doesn’t really fit anywhere else goes into the last part.

Step 4: This is the simplest part. Write the review. I sit down, think about each section and just write. In the story part, I start off by thinking about how I’d tell someone who had never seen the show what it was about. So I try to say it in a way to get them interested in the show without giving anything away. Then, I try to talk about pacing and the ending because those are pretty important to me. Then, just comment on what I liked and what I didn’t like. In the characters portion, I try to name as many characters as I can without having too long of a list of names. Then, I come up with some sort descriptions for the more prominent characters. I try to point out favorites and talk about character developments.

Animation gets a bit tough for me. I can’t really see the flubs in animation that others seem to catch. I do what I can, though, commenting on battles and trying to say if there was anything specific I found that wasn’t up to snuff. Music is where I can go nuts, though. I love to talk about music, so I try to mention how well the music melded with the show. I also talk about the openings and endings, pointing out any particularly good ones. After I’m done writing, I add some screenshots…if I already have some from following the show, then great! But if not, I have to load up some episodes and find some good scenes.

Step 5: This is the last part. When I finish writing, I don’t immediately publish or forget about it. I give the review a “pending” status and give myself at least a day to think it over. Then, I come back and read the entire review again to see what I think of it. I try to catch any mistakes or just points I missed. Also, I proofread and look for spelling/grammar errors. When that’s done, I send the review off and get ready for the next one.


I really hope this post has been helpful or entertaining (I don’t care which one it was!). If nothing else, I sure hope you enjoyed this tiny insight to the inner workings of this blog and my own mind!

Anime Review: Nisemonogatari

The anticipated sequel to Bakemonogatari, one of my favorite shows. If you’re unfamiliar with how Bakemonogatari was, this show is basically more of the same. We follow Koyomi Araragi as he goes around solving the supernatural problems of the girls in his life. While Bakemonogatari looked more at girls that Koyomi knew from school and such, Nisemonogatari focuses on Karen and Tsukihi, Koyomi’s younger sisters. The story is split up into two arcs, one for each sister.

While the story was pretty interesting, it was bit tough to find. There were a lot of episodes with Koyomi just randomly talking with one of the girls from the last season or just talking in general. While it was a bit annoying, I think it was nice that they didn’t really let the girls just fall into the background like they did in Bakemonogatari. A lot of the time, it didn’t seem to be related to the story at all and just there to take up time. I felt like the story culminated to about 4 episodes. The season was already short, being only 11 episodes, and to have so much talking time seemed weird to me. Also, the fanservice takes up a lot of time too (*cough* toothbrush scene)

Story: Score 80/100

All of your favorite characters are back from Bakemonogatari. Tsubasa Hanekawa, the knowledgeable one with a new hairstyle, Nadeko Sengoku, with a bit more maturity (?), Suruga Kanbaru, just the same as always, Mayoi Hachikuji, the loli with the huge backpack, and of course, Hitagi Senjougahara, our favorite tsundere with a stapler. I’m not really sure I liked how they changed up Sengoku’s character, but what are you gonna do? Along with the girls from the first season, we get a closer look at Tsukihi and Karen Araragi as we explore their individual stories.

The big addition to the show is Shinobu, the vampire living in Koyomi’s shadow, who takes on a completely different role in Nisemonogatari. She’s arguably the best character in the show. As for the main character, Koyomi Araragi, they really seemed to make him more….lewd? in this second season. I dunno…I found it a bit annoying. Yeah, I get that screwing around with Hachikuji is funny, but it’s still weird to see. I thought he was more interesting as a character in the first season…maybe true of most of the characters.

Characters: Score 85/100

The animation style is pretty similar to Bakemonogatari. I didn’t really notice many changes. It’s an interesting look to thing, and I still liked it. Good music as well. Background music was okay, but the theme songs are where the show really shines. An ending theme by ClariS that sounds great, and opening themes that seem almost like continuations of themes from the first season. My favorite has to be Platinum Disco, Tsukihi’s opening and a possible continuation of Renai Circulation. While the song itself probably wouldn’t have been too impressive, the combination of the song and the opening animation really hooked me.

Animation: Score 90/100

Music: Score 92/100

It was nice to see a second season for Bakemonogatari. But without the love story of the first season, this season didn’t really have as much of an impact on me. It really ended up being too much fanservice and not as much action. Actually, most of it was probably comedy, rather than romance. Still, Shinobu replacing Oshino was pretty cool, and Kaiki ends up being a very intriguing bad guy. Strong visuals and great music. If you haven’t seen Bakemonogatari, go watch it now…either that or read my review of it…then watch it. Then you can come back and watch Nisemonogatari if you want to see your favorite characters again.

Final Score: 85/100

Anime Review: Bakemonogatari


I think I planned to review this show before, but got interrupted by a starting anime season or something. Basically, this series follows Koyomi Araragi, who one day catches a falling girl (I’m not kidding) only to find that she is as light as a feather. This girl, Hitagi Senjougahara, has had her weight stolen from her, and Koyomi recruits the aid of his friend Meme Oshino to help her with her problem. But that’s not the end of the story. Koyomi starts to run into more girls with supernatural problems, and continues to help them solve them.

The story is split up into arcs for each of the girls, each arc being about 2 or 3 episodes. I thought it was a pretty nice, especially as these arcs seem to work to drive the love story that’s going on in the background. I was definitely surprised when the first arc was resolved so early in the show…I didn’t even realize that was how it was being formatted. Also, Koyomi’s a pseudo-vampire, meaning that he has accelerated regenerative properties. What does this mean for the story? Well, there ends up being a decent amount of action in the form of Koyomi getting the crap beaten out of him (he really is as strong as he looks).

Story: Score 92/100

Characters in this show were pretty well done. The main character Koyomi Araragi is pretty entertaining in that he tries to play the normal guy, desperately trying to keep his cool despite the paranormal events that seem to revolve around him. Despite his best efforts, the show is always bringing out the panicked or even perverted sides within him, but I enjoyed his range of behaviors…almost like Katsuragi Keima, but not quite as entertaining. Joining him, we have the self-proclaimed tsundere, Hitagi Senjougahara, who does a great job of complimenting him (I mean in a literary sense, not actual praise). I definitely liked her character a lot…she was always entertaining doing crazy and exaggerated things with a straight face.

With them, we have a few other major female leads, Suruga Kabaru, the eccentric underclassman, Tsubasa Hanekawa, the knowledgeable class president, Mayoi Hachikuji, the spirited loli, and Nadeko Sengoku, the shy friend of the family. I didn’t really have any problems with any of them. Meme Oshino probably ends up being one my favorite characters in this show, though. He’s got a general nonchalance that I always find entertaining, and he always knows what’s going on, always has the answers. Definitely entertaining.

Characters: Score 90/100

The animation in this show is…different. The character designs are definitely unique and they threw me off when I first watched it. Still, everything looked good…although, I’d be prepared for some random blank scenes. But I dunno…I thought it was cool that the scenes were dynamic and not just staring at two people talking. They sorta flash around with camera angles, focusing on other parts of the room, or just the blank scenes. The music is pretty consistent for the most part…nothing really out of place. I thought it all went along well. The opening themes change for each arc, and I like each of them. Staple Stable probably ends up being my favorite, with either Sugar Sweet Nightmare or Renai Circulation following it. Staple Stable just has that calm atmosphere to it. I’m also a big fan of the ending theme…but that could just be because supercell is awesome.

Animation: Score 90/100

Music: Score 90/100

All in all, it was a pretty entertaining experience. Not exactly the most action-packed series ever, but it’s still there. There’s definitely a ton of dialogue, though…that’s basically how the show is. Something I have to point out, though. I understand how they decided to organize the arcs, but it would have been nice to see a bit more interaction between the girls outside of their own arcs. Maybe I’m not looking at it the right way, but I guess I was starting to feel like each arc was its own separate show. Suppose that has something to do with the adaptation from the light novels. Either way, this show still has probably the best love scene I’ve ever seen (not the confession part…episode 12). I’d definitely recommend this series…unless they just really hate SHAFT.

Final Score: 90/100

Anime Reviews with [spoiler]Spoilers[/spoiler]?

Recently, I re-did my reviews page and I realized that I’ve actually done a decent number of reviews. So I wanted to pose a question about the format of my reviews. Up until now, I’ve been trying my best to avoid any form of spoilers when I write reviews, assuming that the reader has no knowledge of the show, and I wonder if that is a good approach. I still consider myself relatively novice at reviewing, so I’m curious to hear the opinions of others on the matter.

I’ve always seen my reviews as a way for people who dropped a show or don’t know a show to find out more about that show, or at least my own opinion of it. That’s why I try to avoid giving anything away. Still, when I look for reviews, it’s usually after I’ve already finished the show, so I’d almost prefer that the reviewer talk about certain points of the show and how they reacted to it. I’m almost getting an impression (may be true or false) that people reading my reviews are like that as well.

Of course, while it’s true that my approach to reading reviews is such, I have to step back and really think about it. I wonder if I avoid reading reviews before I finish a show because I know that there are people that use spoilers in their reviews and I want to be careful not to see them. If everyone was spoiler-free, I feel like I might be more inclined to read reviews to find out more about a show.

Let’s use an example. Last season, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon was a show that I started watching with basically no clue of its premise and plot. Because of that, the first few episodes ended up being pretty confusing, as I couldn’t tell the direction. I start to wonder how my impression would have changed if I had read a review beforehand with a foundation of the plot or something. But reading a review with a spoiler might not have made it so fun.

Still, spoiler-free reviews run into a lot of problems. I know that when I write reviews, I’m leaving some things or some people out to keep everything hidden, like if it contradicts an event in the first episode. For example, in the Code Geass review, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to mention C.C. because of what it would give away if I emphasized her.

So what do you think? Does my current style work? Should I make a switch and re-write all of my reviews? Should I burn myself out by writing two reviews for each show, one of each type? This would also be the place to list any other gripes you have with my reviews. I take feedback very seriously, so let it rip (be gentle >.>). I’ll write more soon, I promise!