DRAMAtical Murder Review

Aoba isn’t into the virtual reality game Rhyme that so many street gangs are into in his town. At least he didn’t think he was. But when he gets sucked into a battle against his will, he finds out that he may have more experience with both the game and its origins than he first believed…

I’m guessing this is where the M rating for this came from, although I found the actual violence levels to be either on par or lower than most TV14 action shows. FMA certainly has more graphic images than this. But perhaps the rating was given due to the occasionally disturbing imagery in the dream/mental battles. They play out like nightmares, but they don’t last long and usually there’s still not enough blood to rate it M. Disturbing? Yes. Graphic? Not that much. There is a decent amount of blood, however, so if violence sets you off I still think this is one to skip.

Sh-t is the most common occurrence. I didn’t find it excessive, but it did make an appearance here and there.

Besides bare chests and a male character kissing another without permission, not much here.

Besides the idea of robots possibly having souls/a heart and people being genetically crafted from birth with special abilities, nothing much to put here.

Personal impression:
This show has such a misleading title. And a misleading rating. This show is just straight up misleading all around. With “murder” in the title I mistakenly thought there would, ya know, be a murder that needed to be solved. Nope. Never happened. And any drama that occurred kinda worked itself out by the lead saying “I’ll be your friend.” Every time.
Don’t get me wrong. Friendship is great and all, but this show tried to sell itself as drama and possibly a murder mystery and was neither. Honestly I didn’t feel like this show was much of anything. It even tried to be yaoi here and there and couldn’t even pull that off. It’s possibly the most wishy-washy show I’ve ever seen. Which is honestly a shame as occasionally the dialog between characters sounded unusually smooth. So at least one of their writers was trying. Too bad he was washed out by others or was too rushed to be consistent.
Overall this is a pretty boring show. A boring show that has a lot of potential for more but never really… tried. It wasn’t so much potential lost to anger me as much as some other shows have. I just ended up disappointed and bored in the end.
All that said, there’s nothing super objectionable in this show (besides the side plot that the lead apparently killed someone years ago by accident? It’s glazed over and never brought up again which is… off putting….) sooooo if you like attractive guys being weird and/or buddy buddy with one another on screen, maaaybe? Otherwise, you might wanna skip this (which might be convenient as the last few episodes are scheduled to be taken off Yahoo in a few days from posting…)

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: M
Genres: Drama (didn’t see that coming did ya?), action
Production: NAZ
Company: Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Yahoo View


Voices of a Distant Star Review

Mikako is only fifteen years old when she joins the UN’s attempts to keep a new alien species from invading and annihilating the solar system. She tries to keep her childhood friend, whom she loves, updated on her progress through the galaxy, but with each warp deeper into space, the time between when she sends her messages to him and he receives them get longer and longer. Years pass for him, but it is only a matter of hours for her…

The alien creatures bleed red and we see this when they are shot and killed by the human robots. It’s not something that lingers on screen for long and because the aliens are giant glob things, it’s not as graphic as it sounds… I will still tag this for YA, to be on the safe side, however.

Nothing to report here!

Aside from some shots where Mikako’s skirt is rather short, nothing to report here either.

Aliens are the only things to speak of here and I really don’t think that fully counts…

Personal impression:
I had actually seen this short film years ago, but catching it again on Crunchyroll, I decided it would be a good idea to re-watch it and review it. It was just as powerful the second time.
I’ll be honest here, the art in this is VERY rough. But when you realize every scene was handled by a single guy on his computer, the show becomes outright amazing. Shinkai pretty much single handedly crafted every aspect of this science fiction drama, from the tears floating in zero gravity to the slow, but powerful change in scenes between our lead’s fight against the alien invaders and her old classmate’s ageing life back on earth. This is definitely one of those rare cases where I believe the story is so strong that it’s worth bearing with the odd and very off artwork.
If you’re looking for a watertight science fiction, this won’t be it. But if you want some feels alongside your space fantasy work? This has it in spades. And, yes, this guy got hired after making this and, yes, his other films improved. This one is still worth the time to watch it, however, and I do recommend it for anyone who loves science fiction.

Personal raring: Young adult

Episodes: 1 (25 min)
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Drama, action, science fiction
Company: CoMix Wave Films
Production: Makoto Shinkai
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Seraph of the End Review

Yuichiro Hyakuya wanted more than his life of pain as livestock for the vampires who ran the ruined world. But his escape from their grasp held a high price tag and now, years later, he must fight alongside what’s left of earth’s resistance to reach his goal of vengeance.

High. We have a lot of blood being lost, through limbs being torn off to the obvious blood sucking scenes common in vampire flicks. If blood freaks you out, skip this title. Because there’s really no way around it. This is definitely a show the pushes the boundaries of a TV14 rating for this sector alone.

Decently high as well. We have at least two or three characters that like using the b-wards or dumb-ss to insult one another. Expect foul language every episode (this exists in both sub and dub form).

We thankfully don’t have to worry about much on this end. Aside from one scene where two girls are taking a shower, nothing to note. And the mist and camera angles in the shower keep any details from being seen, by the way.

Ok, here we go. Aside from the blood suckers, this show also deals with angels and demons. Our “heroic” group uses demon possessed weapons to fight vampires and if they aren’t in perfect control over themselves, they will be possessed and go mad. Random monsters in this show are often given Biblical like names and the trumpets of the apocalypse are also seen and referenced multiple times. God is rarely, if ever, mentioned and thus all the “religious” things seen in this anime are more like “inspired bys” than actually taken from any specific set of beliefs. Kinda like how Thor in the Marvel universe is a very liberal “inspired by” of Norse mythology. So expect an unholy (haha pun intended!) amount of liberty taken with this stuff.

Personal impression:
This was actually oddly entertaining for me. I usually don’t like these end-of-the-world kinda shows, but the cast really got me on this one. If you’ve ever seen the original Star Trek and loved the snappy dialog between Spock and McCoy or the snap backs between Edward and Roy from Fullmetal Alchmist, you’ll probably really enjoy Yuichiro’s relationship with his superior officer, which make for some pretty hilarious scenes. The supporting cast don’t disappoint either. Not only do they keep the dialog fresh with slap backs of their own, but the female and male cast members actually get equal screen time and background work. That’s pretty rare for action flicks these days. The amazing action, art and music just add to the surprisingly fresh chemistry between characters on screen.
But I’ve said too many good things. You knew it would come to this. The issues. The big, glaring, mammoth being the 24 episode run. Which ends on a cliff hanger and has zero chance of ever getting resolved. The original books aren’t done either and word on the street is they’re just as dead as the anime is. If you’ve read my thoughts on the 2013 Rozen Maiden show, you’ll know what my feelings are on unresolved stories. It’s not nice.
Now, if you can get past that, which granted is kinda  big thing to overlook, this is a really great action anime. But if you need closure of any kind… well… this really isn’t for you…

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 24
Language: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, fantasy, drama
Production: Wit Studio
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: Yahoo View