My Hero Academia Review

[This review covers seasons 1-3]

bnha2Story:
Izuku Midoriya is one of very few children born without a “quirk,” special abilities nearly every human on the planet has. Because of this, his dream of becoming a professional hero is just not in the cards. At least that’s what he fears until running into his idol, pro hero All Might.

Violence:
This is a typical shounen show violence wise. So blood, broken bones and bruises occur a lot. Especially with our lead, who gets into dangerous and harmful scenarios a lot. If Fullmetal Alchemist violence bugs you, this might not be the show for you.

Language:
D-mn is the most common, but a few sh-ts and b-words. Almost all instances come from one ever angry character. I haven’t noticed the dub being worse than the original so it all comes down to how many lines that one character has in the episode. When he doesn’t say much, the language is pretty tame, but in episodes heavily featuring him it can spike a bit.

Nudity:
This really comes down to the costumes primarily. A few female characters have suggestive and very tight hero outfits. One common character has a v cut all the way to her waist. While the show attempts to address the practicality of these outfits (some quirks relay on skin contact, for example) the show does take advantage of these moments for some fanservice shots. They are aren’t very common, considering how many characters have outfits ripe for it, but it does happen now and again. There is also a spa scene in season three where the girls are covered by nothing besides, well, mist. It’s a very quick scene, thankfully.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from ideals about justice and heroism, nothing to note here. Religion has not really come into play at all thus far.

Personal impression:
When I first tried this show out, it was already just starting the third season’s stream. I was shocked with how much I enjoyed it, especially considering the genre it is, which isn’t known to have stable character progression. But not only is there some stable world building, but the characters, from the leads to the supporting cast, have all had amazing arcs and growth over time.
There’s a lot to like about this show, from the brisk pace to the enjoyable characters to the interesting world that seems simple at first but quickly fleshes out to a more complex setting that forces the themes of what it is to be a hero into the spotlight frequently. There are pitfalls in the story, but its one of the tighter shounen shows I’ve seen in a long time. Which makes sense considering studio Bones is behind this title and they have a lot of experience in taking a running manga and both faithfully adapting it to the screen while also cleaning up scenes to flow smoother into the overall narrative.
There’s a bit too much to unpack in only a short overview, but suffice to say that I’m really looking forward to the next season due out this fall.
If you love superhero media, but wish it was fun once again and not just angst for adults (looking at BOTH of you, Marvel and DC), give this show a go!

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 63
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Action
Studio: Bones
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: Crunchyroll and FUNimation

 

 

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Mob Psycho 100 Review

mob-psycho-100-visual-3-24-231x300Story:
Mob is a kid who excels at nothing other children his age strive for. He isn’t athletic, or academic or even artistic. But he does have psychic powers. Sadly, it isn’t very useful to his goals of becoming popular or catching the attentions of his crush… In fact, it tends to catch the attentions of the wrong people…

Violence:
The violence in this title is pretty high. The artistic art style makes it a hint less realistic visually, but the intensity of the art itself also makes it feel a bit.. heavy… at times. Characters seem to be murdered at one point, which is particularly dark. Blood, missing limbs and such occur in this one so if you don’t like violence, I’d avoid this title.

Language:
The b-word is used a bit more frequently in this title than others I’ve seen lately. This is likely due to having more “delinquents” show up here and there. It’s nothing too concerning (I’ve seen worse), but if you’re sensitive, be a bit careful with this one.

Nudity:
We’re pretty safe on this end. Fan service really isn’t a thing in this show, which is nice.

Theology/mythology:
This isn’t a part you can get around. Our lead can see spirits and there are some plots of people getting possessed. In fact, our lead is often hired to exercise spirits. So if these kinds of things bug you, avoid this title.

Personal impression:
I wanted to kick off the new year with a review for a show that got a LOT of good marks from other reviewers. Alas, while this show is unique in style, and the story is ok, overall this series ended up just… bland to me. At first I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized: the side characters in this show make far more progress by the end of this series than the lead. FAR more. We just don’t get much of anything from our lead in the end besides maybe being a biiiit more aware of how his actions affect his brother. That’s it. And considering that the show opens up with Mob being easily duped by a con artist and wanting to be more than his psychic powers, well, I was hoping we’d end somewhere… else. But we kinda end up in the same spot we start off in. Mob is still being taken advantage of by his boss and still has no skill set outside of psychic abilities. He IS making steps to better himself, but it hasn’t gone anywhere yet.
Considering how the series ends, I have no doubt the company hopes to put out a season two in the future, which might solve this little issue. But considering shows like My Hero Academia have ACTUAL development of their lead in shorter amounts of time… I just don’t think that’s a good excuse for this show taking twelve whole episodes to set up Mob’s life story. Because that’s what it felt like. It felt like a very long introduction.
The comedy might have contributed to that odd feeling as well. It’s one of those comedic moods that’s extremely exaggerated, which normally I like when pared with a straight man lead. But the frequency of these jokes is so high that it actually makes it hard to take anything seriously. Because very dark scenes will very suddenly switch to a pun and then, just as suddenly, switch back. It’s a whiplash ride, one I don’t personally enjoy.
Of course, if you like more classic action manga (or some of the more bizarre anime titles floating about), this might just be an answer to your prayers. The amount of both classic and off-the-wall flare this show has truly is impressive.
And it’s not like this show is all around horrid or anything. It’s… fine. Even good in spots as a few relationships the characters have with each other are interesting to watch.
But overall, this title just wasn’t my thing. Still, it’s definitely a unique flavor. And if you need a break from run-of-the-mill action shows, this might be a good retreat. Just don’t take anything too seriously.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, fighting, supernatural, comedy
Studio: Bones/TV Tokyo
Company: Warner Japan
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Chaika – The Coffin Princess – Review

23298af0a3c30f54877fcabaaeaf06481396999865_fullStory:
Toru used to be a saboteur during the war. Now he can hardly hold a job. Until he runs into Chaika, a strange girl carrying a coffin on her back and traveling the kingdom looking for her father’s remains.

Violence:
This is a high one. Think FMA: Brotherhood and Trinity Blood. There’s even an arc where people are tortured and their pain and fear powers a device. It’s not quite WZ level, but it gets close… If violence freaks you out, steer clear of this one.

Language:
Some b-words here and there, but not too frequently. Expect quite a few more sh-ts and d-mns though, especially in fight sequences.

Nudity:
Oddly low considering the set up. But aside from a few costumes that are tight and such, not too bad. The creepy sister-who-isn’t-a-sister-but-still-loves-her-brother arc remains ever creepy, but it’s used purely for comedy and the series never takes it seriously.

Theology/mythology:
Magic is used in this world. By the end it is implied that magic has more to do with creatures that can produce it biologically or futuristic technology, but that aspect is so rushed it hardly matters. Thus if magic is something you hate in shows, this one ain’t for you.

Personal impression:
This was strangely good. And as I’m writing this I’m trying to figure out why I liked this title. The set up itself is… well, ok it’s odd and maybe that’s why I got hooked. But that wasn’t all. We also have two side leads that are super good at what they do, which is something you don’t see much in anime these days. Usually you get the wet-behind-the-ears heroes only. While Chaika herself isn’t the best mage out there, she’s pretty good. And her saboteur hires are even better fighters. So we don’t really have to muddle through a bunch of episodes where the cast have to “learn” how to fight and such. So that was nice. But that wasn’t all. You also had a story that wasn’t afraid to let it’s cast get hit around, injured and put in some pretty extreme danger. I guess I should have seen that coming, considering studio Bones was involved, but still.
Overall, I think it was a bunch of small factors like the above that made this show enjoyable for me. The story itself is a hint odd, but not to any extreme. The characters are actually interesting, though still a bit cliche and the action… ok, the action was actually really good. Well choreographed stuff. So while the art and music were pretty standard, this show was actually good. It never dived into pure fanservice trash, like I feared. It never made me so frustrated with our moe lead that I wanted to gorge out my own eyes, like I feared. It even completed its story instead of having an open ending, like pretty much every other show out there.
Was this a groundbreaking Bones title? No. But was this a good, solid Bones title? Yes. If you’ve been craving a decent action show, this will give you what you want. It’ll even give you a proper ending. Now that’s something we could use more of these days.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 22 (includes seasons 1 & 2)
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, adventure, fantasy
Production: Bones
Company: Kadokawa Pictures/Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Crunchyroll