Garakowa -Restore the World- Review

GarakowaStory:
In the distant future, the world is maintained by an advanced computer system. It monitors the environment and humanity prospers under its power. Deep within the computer, two AI based anti-virus programs keep the system clear of dangerous bugs bent on destroying valuable backup data of the earth’s history. When a strange rouge program appears with no idea as to its function, besides needing a “flower garden,” the anti-virus programs begin to expand beyond their original purpose, exploring what their creators might be like outside the computer system.

Violence:
Most of the violence in this movie is fantasy based, so little to no blood. Mostly characters just risk their form being burst into pixels or turned into a dark monster thing, which stands in for viruses in their world. It’s not gory, but the fantasy stuff can be a bit disturbing in how it’s drawn, so I wouldn’t suggest this to very young viewers.

Language:
Nothing much here besides a few sh-ts and d-mns.

Nudity:
Besides some skimpy costumes, nothing to note here.

Theology/mythology:
Although the beginning of the film implied human intelligence merging into a computer, that doesn’t really happen. In the end all characters are indeed AI systems and the humans they encounter through the database are simply shadows of the past. So long as the idea of AI doesn’t make your skin crawl, this movie is in the clear.

Personal impression:
This could have been a decent movie. Could have. Like so many shows, this movie made a critical error in wasting my time in a long montage instead of actually letting the characters grow close organically. The strange thing is, that organic growth was actually starting to happen prior to the montage. And after the sappy scenes of smiles and “adventures” ended, they were no closer… It was almost as if the creators were afraid I didn’t get the picture that this new companion was starting to fit in and thus had to force feed me the idea. In the end, it just wasted around five minutes of screen time in an already short film (the whole movie is only an hour).
That said, the music and art are decent. Although the story itself was actually pretty predictable. If you’ve watched/read enough science fiction, anime or otherwise, the tropes and twists are very common and thus this movie really did nothing at all for the genre. It breaks no new ground and the characters never get to bloom into 3D personalities.
Even so, it’s not a horrible watch. The lack of language and nudity was nice, even if the stereotypes were a bore, as usual.
The ideas at the beginning of the movie are good, and the first few minutes, while a bit chaotic, were very interesting. But the execution was too lazy overall, with time being wasted in gambles to force viewers to like the characters when simply letting us see their lives would have achieved such a goal far better.

Personal rating: TV14

Episodes: 1 (movie)
Language: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Action, drama
Company: Pony Canyon Inc
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Nisekoi Review

[this review goes over both the first and second season, which have the same name, but are often separated on streaming sites as Nisekoi and Nisekoi 2]

nStory:
Being the heir to a Yakuza gang isn’t easy for Raku Ichijo. It’s hard to hang with friends and it makes finding the girl he made that promise to when he was little near impossible. But when he comes home one day to find another gang from overseas is declaring war and the only way to stop it is to pretend to be in love with the rival gang leader’s daughter…. well, there are worse ways to get your first girlfriend, right?

Violence:
There are far more “humorous” violence scenes than actual violence. A bit of blood here and there from falls and slap-stick, but nothing too big.

Language:
Another section that isn’t all that bad. A few sh-ts and b-words, but very few overall.

Nudity:
Although there is a face-into-chest cliché here and there, other than that, there’s not much in this section, thank goodness. There is one character that is taken as a boy at first, but is really a girl. Of course the whole thing is exposed by, well, her chest being exposed a bit. Cause there’s no other way to go about these things (I bet my sarcasm was so light you barely felt it). It’s more insulting to my intelligence than anything else.

Theology/mythology:
Besides the typical shrine visit on New Years/ charms at festivals, there’s nothing much to say. As usual, there’s no doctrine being pushed.

Personal impression:
This series was frustrating to me. Not because it was cliché. Many romance driven anime are. But because there would be some bursts of good writing randomly throughout. Juuuust enough to get me to keep watching, but not enough to actually pull this series to where it would need to be to get on any recommendations list. Which is a real shame as the best part of the entire series occurs early on in season two concerning the heroine’s mother. The entire arc is actually touching and I would have signed up for far more episodes like that, looking into the relationships the characters have with their parents and how it affects their other relationships. Unfortunately the story shrivels up right after and we default right back to a borderline harem with some sparse comedy thrown in.
Overall, this anime was fine to play in the background as I did other work, with the exception of a few moments (and the mother episodes) truly catching my eye. But it couldn’t really keep up decent writing for an extended period of time and what potential it had at times it usually stabbed to death by overused anime romance clichés, such as the tsudere character type (which I despise) and the timid, pure girl without a voice trope. If the usual romance stereotypes don’t bother you, this series will probably be a fun watch. But if you tend to be hard on the genre, this series will likely just frustrate you. Especially when it ends having gained nearly no ground at all…

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 33 (includes season 1 and 2)
Language: sub
Official rating: Not rated
Genre(s): Romance, drama, comedy
Company: Aniplex
Official streaming: Hulu

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