Place to Place Review

place to placeStory:
Tsumiki and Lo are in love with each other but too shy to admit it. As they spend their high school days with their friends, they slowly grow closer…

Violence:
Slap stick is as serious as it ever gets in this show, this does mean we see some blood from “injuries,” but it is always in a comedic fashion and never taken seriously.

Language:
Nothing worst than a few d-mns and a shit or two. It’s very uncommon though.

Nudity:
We really don’t get much of this thankfully, besides some comedic flashes referencing some cliche romance scenarios. No details are shown.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from the usual shrine visits, we don’t have anything going on in this section.

Personal impression:
Another very cute and wonderfully healthy relationship on screen! This was a series I actually didn’t hear about when it first aired, a shame as it’s cute, sweet and comedic. The music, visuals and characters all work together to keep thing extremely light and sugary.
We even got character growth by the end, though it’s very tame and slow. Then again, that’s perhaps more fitting to the age group than most shows these days. It’s a really nice romance and I wish we got more of these and less of the usual drama one-trick-ponies. Then again, our teeth might rot out of our heads if that were to happen….

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Language: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of life, romance, comedy
Studio: AIC
Company: Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Yahoo View 

 

 

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This Boy is a Professional Wizard Review

thisboyStory:
Chiharu is a wizard who works himself near to death, unable to trust those around him to help and believing he isn’t worth anything without his abilities in magic. When he runs into a traveler named Toyohi at a local bar, he begins to finally smile and even fall in love. If only his insecurity would allow him to trust…

Violence:
Pretty low stuff. We hear about things going wrong off screen, requiring wizards to interfere and save others, but we never see any actual violence occur.

Language:
A bit of negative self-talk and maybe a d-amn, but tame overall.

Nudity:
There is an almost implication of two characters sleeping together, but it turns into nothing and we don’t really see much besides a bit of bare chest. No details.

Theology/mythology:
If the idea of a world where magic exists bugs you, this isn’t a show for you. But if you’re chill with that, there’s really nothing deeper going on in this section.

Personal impression:
This is a wonderful, although sadly short, series. The animation style is very odd, moving more like a visual novel with swirling backgrounds. The story, tone and colors are nice enough to make up for it and it was refreshing to see one more healthy and somewhat natural relationship on screen.
The only downside? This is more of a mini-series, likely meant to promo a manga run. It’s a shame more of this won’t be seen on screen, or in a more fully animated format. Even so, it’s a great little story, sweet, to the point and lovely to look at.

Personal rating: All ages

Episodes: 4
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Romance, fantasy
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Company: CoMix Wave Films
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

How to Keep a Mummy Review

316f66ac53da69f228cdb0ad9ca887cdStory:
Sora lives alone, his father having gone on yet another research trip. And per tradition, Sora soon gets one of his father’s surprise “gifts” in the mail. Terrified it’s another cursed item, especially as it’s in a coffin, he prepares for the worst only to find a tiny little mummy inside! A mummy that very much wants to stay with Sora permanently.

Violence:
In a few flash backs we see one character with slashed arms. Blood is shown though not overly focused on or seen more than a handful of times. There is the threat of some mythical creatures being very dangers to humans, even threatening to kill them. We never see this happen however.

Language:
There are some instances of d-mn and sh-t, but it’s not too common. One instance of the b-word occurs.

Nudity:
Some bath scenes with Sora are seen, but no details are shown and it’s not in a sexual light.

Theology/mythology:
This show contains all manner of both Japanese and western mythologies, with a few from the middle east thrown in (although it’s hilarious to note that the non-Japanese creatures tend to have their backgrounds mixed up quite a lot with various other tales. The mummy comes to Sora in a western style coffin, complete with Christian cross).

Personal impression:
This is defiantly one of those cute for the sake of being cute shows. Think of Hamtaro, but with more of an emphasis on the human characters interacting with the cute creatures than the creatures interacting with each other. It was ok for what it was, there was even some decent character development for a few of the leads, specifically the lead and his childhood friend. That said, there’s really not much substance to this one. And the last few episodes feel like the screenwriter suddenly decided to make their human characters x-men rip offs (one character climbs up a sheer cliff with his bare hands out of no where).
If you want cute fluff, this show will deliver. It even has a small amount of characters facing unspoken fears and growing a bit. Just not a lot.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Supernatural, slice of life
Studio: 8-Bit
Company: TBS
Official streaming: crunchyroll

A Place Further then the Universe Review

89879Story:
Kimari yearns to accomplish something big in her high school years. When she runs into Shirase, a girl dedicated to making it to Antarctica, the last place her mother was before her death, she may have gotten into something bigger than she expected or can handle.

Violence:
One character dies off screen. We never see anything violent in nature, but very young viewers might get scared during some of the flashbacks. It’s a serious concept that never leaves the show and is brought up more than once.

Language:
Sh-t and d-mn are the worst this show gets, though it keeps to the lighter side.

Nudity:
Considering the all female cast, I would have expected the usual unnecessary fanservice, but we are spared any of that, which is awesome.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from a few scenes showing an alter where Shirase’s mother’s photo is, religion really doesn’t come into play here.

Personal impression:
I came back from my hiatus for this show. Because it’s amazing. Really, really amazing and I did NOT see that coming considering what a train wreck the story summery is on Crunchyroll. But here we are, with me pretty much all set to call this show anime of the year for 2018. It might be a bit early, but every other show this year is going to have to work insanely hard to beat this title.
But enough of that. What exactly made this show great? First and foremost is the script. The dialog alone let me know in episode one that this show had some serious promise. It wasn’t stiff or contrived, but conversations flowed in a logical manor. It was dialog that made sense and felt natural at all times, a hard find in anime these days. Then the plot. It was character based, focused on character’s individual motivations for going to Antarctica first rather then just getting there to get there. And their motivations made sense. Again, no forced reasons. Each character comes to their conclusions in a surprisingly reasonable manor and not only are those reasons easy to follow, but they are also easy to sympathize with. Show-don’t-tell is used frequently as well, which means even if a character doesn’t spell something out, you can often read both their personality and motives clearly int heir actions and expressions.
Which brings me to the cinematography, which is breathtaking. From camera angles to how scenes are cut and edited, this show really out does itself. The paring with the soundtrack is nearly seamless as well, punching you in the feels over and over.
And last, but never least: this story has a conclusion. The lead characters grow to where they want and need to be, even if what they needed wasn’t something they thought they wanted at first. It’s an incredibly fulfilling end to such an emotional show and it leaves you with a bright feeling of triumph as well.
There are cons though. Primarily in the strength itself. This show will make you cry. A lot. If you aren’t ready for your heart to be destroyed over and over, this isn’t for you. Granted, it’s a good cry. A healing one. Not sad things for the sake of being sad. Stuff moves forward, characters grow. Still, it’s an emotional roller coaster so it’s something you need to be in the mood for.
In conclusion: this show is one of the best I’ve seen in a very long time and is defiantly the show to beat this year. I look forward to seeing some shows make the attempt. At the very least, I hope more directors learn from how this show used movement and angles to add to the story and solidify it as real, despite the extreme journey the girls were taking on. Because while I love how out-of-the-box anime often is, having a world and characters that feel real goes a long way towards pushing a show from good to great. And when you have a character driven story to boot? It’s pretty much a recipe for perfection.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 13
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Adventure, drama, literary fiction
Studio: Madhouse
Company: Kadokawa Pictures
Official streaming: crunchyroll

Laid-Back Camp Review

1502177953_15df07aab7552ddb50ce83d30b4c7abb_thumbStory:
Nadeshiko had one goal after moving. To see the famous Mount Fuji! On her way to a good sight seeing campsite, she falls asleep and has to seek help from a fellow high schooler who likes to solo camp. The two form an unlikely relationship and Nadeshiko learns to love camping.

Violence:
None.

Language:
Besides a d-mn or two, this show is pretty clean.

Nudity:
There are a few bath scenes and we see a bit of cleavage, but that’s honestly it.

Theology/mythology:
We see some shrines and even a story about one being dedicated to a dog. But it’s done in an almost touristy way. Actual religious discussion doesn’t occur.

Personal impression:
This show was surprisingly good! We don’t really enter the creepy fanservice area and the dialog and gags are actually decently… natural? It’s definitely nothing ground breaking as far as slice of life shows go. The tone and mood are pretty typical really. But the subject matter and characters fit that tone well and there’s no drama either. Plus they really do make camping look fun, which is a feat as I’ve never had good experiences with it myself.
If you need a light hearted and calm show with a few spot on gags, this is a great title to check out. Just don’t come snooping around for any plot. Or more character growth than someone gradually learning how to camp.

Personal rating: All ages

Episodes: 12
Language: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice-of-life, comedy
Studio: C-Station
Company: Furyu
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Warning Zone: The Ancient Magus’ Bride [TV series]

[Click here to see my review of the first OVA and second to third OVAs]

magus-brideThe What:
Hatori Chise has always had the misfortune of seeing youkai and all manner of fae creatures. This has made her life not only extremely dangerous, but also isolating. With relatives thinking she’s a horrid child or walking misfortune, she’s dropped off from place to place until she finally ends up on auction in the underground, not caring what happens to her so long as the pain of her wanderings is done. But the person who buys her isn’t what she expected. For one thing, he isn’t really human….

The Why:
If you read my reviews for the OVA prequels, I had noted that there was a scene of violence that was sudden and a bit shocking, only barely allowing the show to remain in a YA rating from the scene not lasting too long. Sadly that level of violence doesn’t just return in the TV series, it gets significantly worse. Not that we see more blood, parse, but rather the sounds, voice acting and cinematography all make the physiological horror of the violence pretty… well, disturbing. Especially the torture scenes near the end of the series. There is an episode where cats are brutalized for an elixir, arms sliced, eye plucked out… Overall, there were multiple episodes that were really hard for me to stomach. Sure this is a boon to the studio in that those scenes are supposed to be disturbing and the way they are framed does that job seamlessly. But that also means this show has no other place in my blog but the WZ.¬† If you are squeamish at ALL with violence, this show is a hard skip.
And if violence doesn’t scare you? Well… The first part of this show is decent. The writing for the lead is slow, but steady and the show don’t tell is strong, which really keeps the world vibrant. The visuals are great and the world of the fae is both beautiful and extremely dangerous. The music is also quite memorable, which we don’t often enough in anime.
My main issue, aside from the uncomfortable levels of violence, was the ending. The strides the lead made towards independence take some large steps backwards as she once again depends very heavily on her captor/master/teacher/friend (?). I’ve never been fond of the mythological beast falls for mortal shtick and this show didn’t convert me. I will give them credit for mentioning, more than once, that fae are not like mortals and thus can’t even view life and love the same way. But the fact that the male lead is a “half formed,” makes that idea murky enough for the show to walk the gray area of “maybe she can change him.” Which is an angle I hate even more. People changing on their own as they learn and grow is one thing. People changing for the sake of keeping someone else under their control and influence? Noooot my fav.
Overall, this show was poised to take on some heavy topics in a well written fantasy setting. And while it does do a bit of this, perhaps even more than most entire franchises manage, it also had some downs that retract progress made. And I’m pretty certain the reason for this backtrack was simply due to the expectation for this to be a romance. The writers pretty much wrote the lead into a corner and realized they had only two options: keep the story character-based and go in a very different direction from how they originally marketed their product oooooor force the leads together and keep the title going strong despite requiring the entire supporting staff to go out of character for this to take place. Spoiler alert: option A was left in the dust.
I still think the OVA and beginning of the series was strong, but yeah. The ending kinda killed this show for me personally.

 

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