ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. Review

accaStory:
Jean works for ACCA, a system made up of thirteen different districts united under one organization for peace and prosperity. Jean’s job is to monitor these districts and ensure everything is running as it should. But soon rumors of a coup d’etat begin to swirl around the nation…

Violence:
Pretty low. That said, at least one or two people get shot at or stabbed in this show, but it’s not focused on at all and the scenes go by quickly.

Language:
Another tame sector. Aside from a few cases of the b-word, we’re pretty clear. Enough to push it just beyond the 10+ age rating for me though…

Nudity:
We get a solid pass on this one. In fact, there’s no nudity at all. It’s pretty awesome.

Theology/mythology:
Don’t have to worry over this one. There’s pretty much no religion or religious items to speak of in this show.

Personal impression:
This is one heck of a slow burn. In fact, it’s the slowest burn I’ve ever seen. That said, unlike other shows with a laid back attitude, I feel like this show actually… did it correctly. The tone fit in perfectly with Jean’s personal style and kept the show amazingly realistic. Even the climax of the show fit the overall tone.
Now, does that mean this was an amazing show? Well, that depends. If you like political drama, this show is pretty much perfect. It handles the idea of peaceful coup d’etats wonderfully, making each sector unique and both their desires for and fear of change realistic.
All that said, the show takes a long time not only letting the audience in on what’s really going on, but also letting the main character in on it. It doesn’t help that our lead is so emotionally distant either. It might have helped if we saw a bit more to humanize our lead early on, making us legit care about why this guy is getting caught up in things. Might have made me worry about it more, upping the tension. As it was, I never felt worried about the characters. Everything felt too… chill for that. Even when assassinates get involved, everything is played out in such a laid back manner that it’s hard to feel true concern. Which ends up being this show’s largest weakness: it’s just too emotionally distant.
Again, if you like political drama, especially the kind that steers clear of violence, this might be for you. It also has some pretty snazzy art and nice music. Just be warned that this show is the anime equivalent of watching embers burn. In fact, I think that was the name for one of the episodes…

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Language: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Drama
Production: Madhouse
Company: Bandai Visual
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Advertisements

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Review

the_girl_who_leapt_through_time_posterStory:
Makoto Konno loves nothing more than playing some baseball with her two guy friends and generally lazing about. One day she has a near death experience with a train and discovers she can jump from one time period to another. At first she uses her new power to do silly things here and there for fun, such as 10 hours of karaoke and going back and forth to days when her family made her favorite meal for dinner. But after awhile she begins to notice that her actions have painful consequences for those around her…

Violence:
While few people get into fist fights or anything, there are quite a few violent scenes. Mainly when our MC falls and rolls down a steep road, breaking her arm and cutting herself badly. It’s disturbing to see and hear, so be warned.

Language:
Usually kept to a few d-mns. Other than that, I didn’t really hear anything too objectionable in this one (I’ve only viewed the subtitled version).

Nudity:
Nothing much in this one. We have one or two bath scenes, but it’s vary covered and we see nothing of note.

Theology/mythology:
If the idea of what appears to be magic, or those who are considered witches, bugs you, go ahead and skip this (though later it is revealed that technology might be more of a cause than actual magic). We also have a shrine and prayer scene, but as usual no doctrine is discussed.

Personal impression:
I rarely get a chance to review anime films, but I was able to watch this one and let me tell you, it was oddly… good. It’s definitely a slow starter, so be warned on that. The art is also a bit sketchy here and there until you get used to it. The background music is totally forgettable, but overall the script makes up for it. The characters are all believable and the dialog is steady (no sudden personality changes for this one’s cast). I did feel as if the plot twist at the end was a bit… forced, but even so this film closes down leaving a strong message about time behind.
So long as a more melancholy ending is your cup of tea, I think you’ll really enjoy this show. Though you’ll have to get it through Netflix or FUNimation seeing as it’s not streaming at the moment.

Personal rating: young adult

Episodes: Movie
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, slice of life, drama
Company: Kadokawa/FUNimation (previously Bandai)
Production: Madhouse
Official streaming: na

Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time Review

Story:
Haruka used to think she was just an average high school girl. Until she got sucked down a well and found out she was the Dragon God’s priestess. Now she’s stuck in another world where war between humans and demons has raged for years with her only defense being eight young men destined to protect her until her role as priestess is complete.

Violence:
Just what you would expect from a typical shoujo: mostly fighting that implies injury more often than showing it. Once or twice you’ll see a character get cut and bleed, but it remains rather tame. There are a few scenes showing bodies covered in cloths, presumably corpses. It’s not graphic, but it is morbid and thus might shock very young viewers.

Language:
Aside from precious few instances of the “illegitimate son” word, this show really doesn’t get ugly in this area. D-mn is the most common curse and even then it doesn’t happen too often.

Nudity:
Another pretty clean break. This show doesn’t really have a nudity issue. Aside from a dancer/enemy who has a bare torso, we don’t see much skin in this series. Heck, we don’t even get bare chested guys. It’s the one cliché this show dodged. Amazing, right?

Theology/mythology:
Alright, we have various creatures as gods, Buddhist monks, youkai, vengeful spirits (aka ghosts) and demons in this show. Now there are implications that the “demons” are just humans with different hair/eye color that are persecuted, but nothing is explained well in this show so it’s hard to say for sure what they were going for. Even the gods and how they work, the powers connected to them and the guardians is left to speculation, which, conveniently enough, allows the writers to pull out whatever trick they need and just “explain it away” later. In other words, there’s a lot of “religious” name dropping going on, but really nothing in terms of indoctrination, or even a basic explanation.
(side note: What was the point of creating a new world with multiple gods and junk when you’re just going to drag Buddha into it anyway? Honestly.)

Personal impression:
I’m not stupid. I know a shoujo title when I see it. Those images they put up for the shows tell all. One chick and a ton of dudes that, to the untrained eye, could possibly be mistaken for women? Yep, that’s a shoujo title. That said, this is by far one of the laziest shoujo shows I’ve come across. Now I don’t use the word “lazy” due to this show falling for every single shoujo cliché out there (aside from lack of shirtlessness in the dudes. Kinda an odd exception for a shoujo title), even when that includes one of the guardians wearing glasses in a society that can’t figure out how to lock a door (who the heck made those things?). Nope, I saw those pitfalls coming. It was the enemies contradicting themselves every couple minutes that made this show a real drag and a half. They say they need x to do y and then proceed to destroy x in the next scene. It’s almost as if the writers were either drunk or half asleep or both. Maybe both. This series has nothing unique to offer, which probably made it a rather boring show to work on. Then again, add some prankster co-workers and a great restaurant nearby the office and it might not have been all that bad.
But back to the show.
….Well, there’s not much more to say. Some of the piano music in the background is nice enough. That’s probably the only highlight though. The opener, ender, and art all taste like every other shoujo piece ever made (the best part animation-wise were the paper fans. Beautiful folding action. Nothing else, really). If this is your first show in this genre it might not seem so dumbed down to you. But if you’ve seen shoujo before, this title not only fails to do anything new, it also fails in making its overly basic script walk straight. It’d be best to seek a fix for a shoujo craving elsewhere. After all, you know nothing will get resolved anyway. And, unlike most shoujo shows that at least imply a proper couple at the end, this show flat out white washes the male interest leaving viewers with no idea what just happened at the end. If you need a fix, this show isn’t the place to look.

(Note: As with many Bandai titles, while the streaming is still supported legally on Hulu, DVD distribution no longer exists in the US)

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 26
Languages: Sub
Official rating: Not rated
Genre(s): Fantasy, romance, drama
Company: Bandai USA
Legal streaming: Hulu
Screenshots:
 photo hbtsot1_zps7024db9e.jpg photo hbtsot3_zpsad452a82.jpg photo hbtsot2_zps5641e2df.jpg