The Devil is a Part-Timer Review

Story:
Sadao works part time at a burger joint. He barely makes enough for rent. And he’s the devil king, Satan. Or he was before the hero Emilia trashed his place and forced him to retreat through a portal. Now he plans on conquering the world a different way. One shift at a time.

Violence:
Most of the violence in this show is slap stick, but there are a few more violent bits. Some blood is shown via punching and getting cut. Nothing too bad, but it’s there.

Language:
Yeah, expect a few d-mns, and b-words flung about. This show isn’t aimed at younger ages.

Nudity:
Despite having plenty of innuendo and fanservice moments, actual nudity is rather low in this show. One character is well endowed (isn’t that always the case?) and her chest size is often the butt-end of a joke or two. Also, near the end, one enemy implies he means to rape a girl. He doesn’t get the chance, thankfully.

Theology/Mythology:
This is gonna be weird, but remember: Japan. Okay? Right. So the “devil” in this show is not the one from western culture. Not even close (although at times they try to make it seem as if he is). The story sets him and “the church” in a different dimension. A whole other world. Biblical names and church history bits are used randomly in that world, but it often rings more Catholic in places and then just deteriorates out to whatever the show creators felt like that day. In other words, it tries at times to blend religion and magic and heaven knows what else, but in the end it’s all pure fantasy with characters that have the same names as those found in the Bible and little else. This show is mainly focused on comedy and it doesn’t ever forget that for long.
That said, if the mere idea of these things bother you, skip this one. The symbolism, however weak, is kept throughout. One character even falls in love with the “devil.” It’s not a “theme” that goes away (if you can even call a story element created simply to have characters put in the most awkward positions possible a “theme”).

Personal Impression:
I found this show to be hilarious and looked forward to new episode uploads while it was simul-cast. The characters are mainly stereotypes, but it hardly matters when they’re so bloody hilarious. While every once in awhile a point is almost made about judging others and such, that part is clearly the backseat passenger to the comedy (it’s best not to dig deeply into this show. There’s nothing to see).
The animation is decent and so is the music, although not spectacular in their own right. So long as you don’t take things too seriously, chances are you’ll find this show a fun ride. Just be sure you don’t read into some of the “religious” implications too much. It’s a labyrinth of half-backed research riddled with inconsistency. In fact, you might even say that it was done on purpose to joke on the many western myths and stories that conflict with each other. With a show like this, it’s hard to tell.

Personal Rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Comedy, action
Website: http://www.funimation.com/the-devil-is-a-part-timer
Legal streaming: Hulu
Screen shots:
 photo dpt2_zps6f77558a.jpg photo dpt1_zpsc89a12fc.jpg photo dpt3_zps188c17b7.jpg

Advertisements

Extra: Because I’m a girl?

Amulet_FortuneIf you want to keep Shugo Chara‘s plot (stop laughing) from being spoiled (okay, yeah, start laughing), you might want to skip this post as I’m about to go all feminist on the last few episodes of season two (Doki Doki).

Still here? You poor wearied soul. First off, I’m sorry you had to live through that, but comfort yourself with the idea that maybe Peach-Pit was just trolling. Somehow it feels better when you accept that headcanon. Moving on. Finale of Doki Doki. Let’s do this.

Firstly,  as Ikuto and Tadase fight, Amu asks herself,”is it because I’m a girl?” Obvious answer: “No, not it’s not. It’s because of the past and simple mind control.” Both facts are well known to her, making this entire scene horrendously ill-written. Of course, she had the chance to burst in and stop the fighting, claiming her right to fight for herself. Instead, she just stands there fretting about who will win and how it’s her fault and such tripe as that. In other words, being the most stereotypical damsel in distress I’ve seen in years. It was painful. And this pain was only heightened when she did decide to join in the fight and resorted to the commonplace pacifist attitude (right after declaring she could fight for herself). Why couldn’t she fight? She’s a magical girl, for pete’s sake! But, of course, when two men are fighting, a woman can’t really do much of anything except throw herself against one of them and beg them to stop fighting. Preferably with tears.

Secondly, the wedding dress. After all her different guardian characters and their “possibilities,” only one outcome is pointed to: marriage. Think about it. All her different futures combined and it made a bride of her. Does this mean that no matter what she does, that is her fate? Artist, athlete, baker or singer, she has no choice but to be tied to a man? Now, don’t get me wrong. Marriage itself isn’t bad. But I do find how they brought it about in this show as very bad indeed. Even the name stings: Amulet Fortune. The implication is pretty clear. No matter what occupation one chooses, all woman get married. Or should, anyway.

Of course, there is also the chance that it only refers to the wish to be married, which admittingly most younger girls have. However, again, it’s a shame the show continues down such a predictable and stereotypical road when so many paths are open and waiting for a better turn or two.

Shugo Chara Review

100th postStory:
Amu seems cool and collected on the outside, but inside she yearns to become someone different. Someone who can honestly admit her feelings and cheerfully run at life at full speed. One morning she finds that this wish of hers may actually have been heard and granted! Three eggs lay in her bed. Her guardian characters, images of who she wishes to become one day.

Violence:
As expected from a more kid focused show, the violence in this is extremely low. Aside from some basic cuts and bruises, there’s not much to tell. One character is being controlled at some point and is often seen in some form of pain and another instance we see a dog die. It’s not bloody or violent really (old age in the dog’s case), but those subject matters might be too heavy for all ages.

Language:
This is the weird part. There’s really no bad language. Except one or twice during the full one hundred twenty-seven episodes. And one instance is God d-mn. In broken English. I honestly doubt the Japanese fully understood those words. In any case, these things happen so fast and only twice in over a hundred episodes so it’s not a large concern. Aside for the obvious concern on who on the Japanese staff thought they were needed.

Nudity:
A bit of typical “light” fanservice, mainly in Ikuto (a male character) being shirtless or providing awkward innuendo that younger kids shouldn’t know, but around the show’s target age might be starting to know, but it’s still awkward as heck for the rest of us. Yeah, the repeating deal where Ikuto ends up sleeping next to Amu in her bed for some reason or another is a real gem. Really makes you question your own childhood and how fast the apocalypse will be upon us all. In any case, aside from those instances, some costumes being a bit… risqué (stomachs showing, short skirts, etc) and one character that is a boy, but dresses and acts like a girl, it really is tame.
Compared to the PG14 stuff anyway. Still not really all ages. And I’m really trying not to think too hard on the age difference between two paired characters. Peach-Pit really needs to stop taking cues from Clamp. It’s creepy as heck.

Theology/Mythology:
Alright, so if the magical girl stuff bothers you (girls transforming into superhero characters), right off the bat this show will bug you. That said, the theories for the “why” behind the guardian characters is pretty heavy fantasy fare. You wish to be someone else and BAM! you now have a guardian character. Which only other people with guardian characters can see. Oh, and all children have eggs inside them with their would-be selves, they just don’t always… uh, hatch. Yeah, that never really gets a full explanation. But whatever. It’s all just one big excuse for having super powers and being all moe on your screen. There’s also the typical ghost story episodes and fortune telling junk that Japan is so fascinated with.
Oh! And there are one or two episodes in the final season that joke on Japanese ghost stories and some guardian characters get “possessed” and do weird dances. It’s meant to be a joke only and not serious, but it’s worth mentioning.

Personal Impression:
This show really could have done something amazing. It could have used its setup to encourage kids to truly be unique. But from episodes one, the main character’s wish to be “just like ordinary girls” kills that hope soundly. Amu and all her character transformations are stereotypes with little to no independence and no real aspirations.
That said, I honestly wasn’t surprised it turned out as it did. Although it had the chance to do something shocking, it makes sense that it wouldn’t. Few kid friendly shows do anything big these days.
The only reason I mention this at all is because the very end of season two attempts to do something amazing. They try to make Amu into some kind of strong female empowerment symbol. And they fail. Epically. Honestly, I have no idea why they attempted such a thing. It’s a magical girl show aimed at teenyboppers. Making too big of a wave means you don’t get broadcast during a good time. Meaning less viewing. Meaning less money. We all know what’s going to win out during the plot committee meeting (assuming there ever was one, epically in the case of season three. Which was really just a glorified variety show). The art and music is just as mediocre to boot, so don’t get your hopes up in that sector either.
But if you like traditional monster-of-the-day magical girl fare, this is up your alley (and sometimes it’s truly what one needs after seeing the mind twisting anime that gets featured these days). Just don’t come crying to me when you get to the freaky and meaningless live action parts in the third season. I have no better explanations for that than your run-of-the-mill YouTube troll.

Personal Rating: 10+

Episodes: 127 (this review includes all three seasons)
Languages: Sub
Official rating: PG
Genre(s): Magical girl, adventure, comedy
Website: n/a
Legal streaming: Crunchyroll
Screen shots:
 photo sc1_zpsdd68cd92.jpg photo sc2_zps6359540e.jpg photo sc3_zps87de2cce.jpg

Extra: Grades, grades, grades!

You probably know the type. They’ve got As on their report cards, but it’s not enough. They have to have a perfect 4.0 and heaven save anyone who gets in their way. Heck, you might even be one of them, though in your heart you deny it while idly flipping through some vocabulary cards clipped to your backpack.

Straight A students seem over the top and excessive to many these days. I would know. I’m one of those crazy students. I would often forgo parties and other activities just to have extra study time before a test. Even so, it seems like Japan has far more of an obsession with this stereotype than we do. If you think culture might have something to do with it, give yourself a gold star, my friend, because you’d be right.

In Japan, how well you do at something is not always just on you. It reflects on all your groups, especially on your family. And if that wasn’t enough, going above and beyond in school is sometimes the only way one can move on to higher learning. Universities in Japan are extremely competitive and the entrance exams are so difficult that not everyone passes the first time. And those tests are not given year-round either. Cram classes are peppered throughout Japan to give added assistance to preparing for these entrance exams, with students aiming to get in the first try so they can avoid the embarrassment and hardship of having to wait and study for another full year before getting another chance.

As eccentric as it seems in anime (all things in media are extreme to some extent), grades are very much a big deal in Japan. And although it seems comedic in these shows, the stress it can cause is still serious and is a big contributor to Japan’s high depression and suicide rate.

My Little Monster Review

Story:
Shizuku has only ever cared about studying. Ever. So when she is forced to interact with the school delinquent, Haru, and ends up becoming his only real friend, her once simple world crashes in on itself. Not only must she deal with Haru’s eccentric and occasionally violent behavior, but she also finds that they have become a magnate for other friendless enigmas. Guess she’ll have to kiss her perfect test scores goodbye.

Violence:
Haru is prone to violence. While we never see some of his worst exploits in detail, there is one place on campus where a blood imprint of a body is on the wall. Which is probably the worst violence in the show, though you can expect some bloody noses from punches and such as well.

Language:
Along with fights, come punks with big mouths. It’s not common, but expect the b-words to be swung out a few times. Other than that, it’s the usual d-mn and sh-t fare common in TV14 titles.

Nudity:
This section is pretty much entirely innuendo, aside from one scene where Haru strips in class (seen only from the back for a few seconds). Haru makes more than a few comments that are inappropriate (although not as bad as Problem Children, thankfully). Nothing ever happens and it’s pulled out mainly for comedy and little else. But it’s there, bunking this show to YA for sure.

Theology/Mythology:
Aside from some luck predictions at a New Year’s festival, there’s nothing going on in this section.

Personal Impression:
I fully admit that I enjoyed this show. Yes, technically it’s shoujo, which I’m not usually too fond of. But the comedy in this show more than makes up for it. As do the other relationships going on all around them. In that regard, it felt more like the comedy middle ground between Special A and Ouran.
The main love interest is far more sound than other shoujo series, although Haru’s emotional instability is sure to cause serious issues in the future. But that, in conjunction with his growing relationships with others, only makes the show more interesting. In other words, it doesn’t drive its shoujo side into the ground. In some ways, that element is a side story and most of the show derails itself to look at the friendships all around the characters. And, of course, since the season ends with a wide opening, a second season just might be in the cards.
So if you don’t mind a bit of shoujo in your anime, like plenty of comedy and don’t mind the main male hero to have some instability in the sanity department, this show is a really fun watch. Just don’t expect a complete conclusion. You might need to sit tight for the next season. If we get one.

Personal Rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Comedy, romance, drama
Website: n/a
Legal streaming: Crunchyroll
Screen shots:
 photo mlm2_zps2df2dba8.jpg photo mlm1_zpsb8d344f6.jpg photo mlm3_zps504099db.jpg

Extra: Concerning Bashing

squid of angerI don’t often take out my rants on social media, but on the most recent occasion I did, I was called out on it. Why? Because in my frustration in understanding a particular art form, I bashed it. And considering how common (and easy) bushing is in the anime community, I thought this a worthwhile (though painfully personal) topic to address.

Now, before going any further, let me first define what “bashing” is. You might be surprised. “Bashing” is not just your opinion. It is a harsh attack against something you happen not to like. Having an opinion is fine. In fact, it’s wonderful. But stating that you don’t understand or like a show is not at all the same as saying a show is worthless/dumb/meaningless and that everyone that likes it is a loser. Because that’s not just an opinion. That’s a hateful attack.

There are ways to state your opinion on not liking something in a respectful manor. And though it can be hard to do that when your distaste for something is strong, it’s vital to try.

Why? Simple: words have brought both peace and war. They can love and they can kill. And that is not at all an exaggeration. Cyber bullying is big these days. And it’s not always straight forward. Hateful words spread like a disease and you have no idea how those words typed in a flash of anger can depress and wound someone. Taking the extra time to state your opinion in a logical and respectful manor can not only avoid hurting someone, it can also make your position more clear and professional. Hate spam just isn’t credible. A well thought out post for why a show isn’t your favorite, is.

So, am I still feeling embarrassed that I even participated in a bashing? You bet. But I won’t let my pride stop me from fully learning a good lesson. It’s better to focus on what you love than to bash what you happen to hate. Your day will be brighter for it, trust me.