Seraph of the End Review

73474Story:
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.

Violence:
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.

Language:
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).

Nudity:
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.

Theology/mythology:
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

Wolf Children Review

a13862-791722162-1323905458Story:
Hana is a single mother of two… well, wolf children. After losing her husband in an accident, she must learn how to care for these mythical children of hers all on her own, despite being a normal human herself.

Violence:
There are some scenes showing both death and injury. Blood isn’t avoided. This said, the movie’s point isn’t fighting so it only occurs once or twice and isn’t focused on too much. Still, those scenes would likely scare very young viewers…

Language:
Pretty tame stuff. Only a few sh-ts and whatnot here and there.

Nudity:
We don’t really see much in the way of outright nudity, but we do have one scene where it’s very clear that two adults are going to have sex. Nothing is shown and the scene blacks out, but it’s no mystery what’s going to happen.

Theology/mythology:
This show focuses around a family born from a wolf/human. If the idea of creatures (or humans) shifting forms disturbs you, this movie isn’t for you. Especially as one of the major themes for this show is the differences and similarities between man and beast.

Personal impression: 
This is an amazing animation. From the facial expressions to the dialog, the settings and music… all of it was extremely well handled. There’s good reason why this show has been up for so many awards.
That being said, if I had to nit-pick, there were a few instances that were frustrating to watch as someone who deals with children herself. Japan has very different views on discipline than I tend to and thus it can be irritating to see these kids grow up so… well, selfish. We don’t really see them disciplined at all and it shows by the end.
Even so, the main point of this movie for me was the mother, Hana, and her fight to come to terms with both the world she must live in and the duality of her children.
So long as you aren’t allergic to bittersweet endings (or lack of constant action), this is a wonderful film and I quite recommend it.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 1 (movie)
Languages: sub and dub
Offical rating: PG13
Genres: Fantasy, drama
Production: Madhouse
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: n/a

Tiger and Bunny Review

tiger_bunny_posterStory:
Tiger is getting a bit old and outdated for a superhero. Unlike the younger heroes on Hero TV, he doesn’t seem to pull in crowds. But everything turns around when his company goes under and he’s taken in to be a new hot shot hero’s “partner.” Convincing his new partner to accept him is only half the battle…

Violence:
This is an action show so there’s blood and bones breaking. It could have been much worse, but it’s not tame either. Very much around the level of Black Cat and other typical Jump titles.

Language:
Typical TV14 stuff: expect d-mns, sh-ts and a few b-words. Especially around large battle arcs.

Nudity:
We have one female character (who is only in high school) who poses sexually and has a skimpy hero outfit. She also crushes hard on Tiger who is significantly older than her, which is creepy. Other than that, it’s pretty clear.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from seeing temples around and a few abstract mentions of God, nothing to put here. As is usually the case, religion is left out of this title.

Personal impression:
This was amazingly good. Seriously. I had missed out on this one back when it was first streaming and I regret not getting into it sooner. The characters are just fresh enough to make the show feel different, clearly mimicking American superhero models. But there’s still enough typical anime fair mixed in to give the show a very unique feeling. Some of the scenes are actually pretty hilarious. And while I wish they hadn’t indulged in a few American standards story-wise (the whole “I have to avenge my parents’ murder” thing is very old hat and very boring stuff), overall I really enjoyed the blend.
The music is sadly forgettable overall and the art is lacking here and there, but those things thankfully didn’t distract me too much from the characters themselves, specifically Tiger, who is an oddly likable lead. Usually the bumbling leads aren’t my thing, but Tiger is strangely enjoyable to watch. Likely this is due to his strong ethics on human life, including his insistence on protecting life no matter who it belongs to, including criminals. His arc with his daughter was actually very well handled as well, an aspect I had originally feared would be forgotten by the show.
In the end, this show is a very high recommend from me. Especially as Yahoo View has both sub AND dub available for free right now. I’ve watched bits of both and they are equally well done. In fact, the English cast was really well thought out, as was the dialog.
If you like action of any kind, I think you’ll really enjoy this title. Especially if the usual anime cliches are getting on your nerves.

Personal rating: young adult

Episodes: 25
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Action, fantasy, superhero
Production: Production I. G.
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: Yahoo View