Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Review

dragonmaidStory: 
Kobayashi has a grueling day job mashing out code for a big company. One day a dragon appears insisting to be her personal maid.

Violence:
Most of the show is pretty slice of life so often we only have slapstick stuff going on. But there are a few combat scenes (often with a comedy punchline) where some characters get beat up. It’s not excessive though.

Language:
Nothing too bad in this sector. A few d-mns. Pretty clear overall.

Nudity:
This is where the YA rating comes in from me. In addition to the usual gratuitous boob shots and jokes (which couldn’t be more painfully lame if they tried), we also have uncomfortable moments such as our maid lead being stripped by a drunk Kobayashi and a dragon girl with unholy chest girth pressing into a kid who keep screaming “stop.” These scenes are cringe fests at best. At worst they made me a bit sick. Especially that last one as it’s treated like a running gag. Definitely the least appealing and most problematic aspect of this show.

Theology/mythology:
There are dragons (and other creatures) from another world. They can shapeshift. Some can do magic. This aspect of the show is near impossible to ignore, so move on if it’s not for you.

Personal impression:
I was really hoping this show would let the less appealing aspects of itself go after watching episode one. And I’m glad it did on occasion. When this show was focused on its characters slowly becoming a family and understanding and respecting one another despite their differences, it was actually pretty good. Unfortunately, the creators just couldn’t let the constant boob gags go and for that reason alone, I feel this show just couldn’t move towards my recommendation list.
Not that this show was horrible or anything. It wasn’t. It was fine. But it could have been better. It might have even been great. But the constant fanservice, some of it extremely uncomfortable for me personally, kept that from happening. At least for me.
If you’ve been yearning for some anime that can give you happy family-comes-together-feels without worrying about unnecessary drama, this is a good show. Really. The art and music are clean and consistent too. But if you’re at your wits end with Japan’s obsession with boob jokes, this series will make your eyes twitch now and then, often maiming what comedy this series attempts.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Comedy, slice of life
Production: Kyoto Animation
Company: ABC Asahi
Official streaming: crunchyroll

B-Project Review

b-projectStory:
Tsubasa is a new hire at Gandala music. Before she can adjust to going from working retail to being inside the music industry itself, she’s assigned as the new A&R for a large boy band called B-Project.

Violence:
Aside from some scrapes and one character being sick enough to cough blood once or twice, there’s not much here.

Language:
Some sh-ts, but other than that we’re clear.

Nudity:
Shirtless scenes with the boys is as bad as it gets.

Theology/mythology:
For most of the show, seeing shrines in the background is it for this section. However, one episode decided to have one of the boys sensitive to spirits and to have a good ol’ “careful, that sword can posses people” arc. It’s only for one episode, but it’s there, for reasons I couldn’t explain even when drunk.

Personal impression:
This show is horrid. I mean, it wasn’t the worst of the season, but it got pretty close. Now, to be clear, I didn’t go into this show with any real hope for it being super good. I knew the best it could manage would be mediocre.
But it couldn’t even manage that. Know why? Because the creators realized, having only three episodes left, that they needed a dark evil mastermind enemy, complete with a “your father killed my entire family” back story. So they pulled one out of thin air, destroyed everything and, in the last five minutes of the last episode, brought everyone together again for rainbows and sunshine and fireworks.
I’m not even kidding, there were fireworks. Or the MC imagined there were. It was really hard to figure out if what was happening was real or not at the end, what with plane doors being jettisoned and people flying onto a stage in an empty auditorium on ropes…. To call this show a mess would be an understatement. Which is so weird because for almost the entire run, this series was plain-Jane. Nothing bad, but nothing good. It’s almost as if the creators had a spazz attack and it bled right into their work. Maybe that’s what happened.
In any case, the art, music and everything else besides the last three episodes or so are stereotypical to a fault. If you like pretty boys in your shows, but want the romance stuff to take a hike for a bit (surprisingly, romance plays almost no role in this show), this one is ok.
Until, ya know, those last few episodes. Then you’ll wonder if the whole damn show was one giant prank.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TVPG
Genres: Drama, slice of life
Company: ABC Asahi
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

KIZNAIVER Review

KIZNAIVERStory:
Agata is unable to feel any pain at all. But soon he won’t have much of a choice as he and many other classmates from his school are kidnapped and forced to take part of a strange experiment that connects everyone together through their pain…

Violence:
Due to the situation, violence is rather a given for this show. It never gets past FMA levels, with only battered bodies, bloody cuts and such being the worst. Honestly the mere idea of children being exposed to these kinds of “experiments” is more gruesome than anything actually shown on screen.

Language:
The usual TV14 fare, sh-ts, d-mns and b-words on occasion.

Nudity:
We get some uncomfortable situations where girls and guys get too chummy with others who do not wish to be chummy, but other than that and some guys being shirtless, we’re in the clear.

Theology/mythology:
Religion doesn’t really come up in this show.

Personal impression:
This series was a see-saw for me. There were times I rather enjoyed it and times I felt bored. Largely I think this had to do with the writing and how much screen time the long winded anti-hero/villainess Sonozaki had. Pompous speeches are always on thin ice with me in anime. If they strike the right cord, I simply find them funny and move on. If they don’t, I get annoyed and bored. You can guess which one this series often fell into. When Sonozzzzzz-chan wasn’t going round and round in circles in a speech, I rather enjoyed myself. The main cast play off one another rather well, even if they’re over-the-top to the max. Watching them become true friends was also oddly satisfying. I probably would have liked this show as much as Shirobako if not for the above mentioned tripe speeches and the obsession in the show with this really dumb bird-like mascot creature. I had flashbacks to Penguindrum. Not good ones. Perhaps some might find them to be a welcome break in an otherwise rather dark show, but I just found them to be too distracting and they pulled me out of the flow of the series too frequently.
All that said, the action is strong in this title, as is the art, which is quite lovely, if a bit angular. The music is decent, matching the action and sorrowful scenes well. And the main cast is largely entertaining. As far as action titles for this last season goes, this one won for me. That said, some of the philosophical drivel spouted out here and there can get a bit annoying, so be warned.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, fantasy, drama
Company:ABC Asahi
Official streaming: Crunchyroll