Gabriel Dropout Review

dropoutStory:
Gabriel is a perfect straight A student in heaven. Until she goes to earth for her studies on humans and discovers gaming.

Violence:
Slapstick stuff only in here. Some comedic nosebleeds is as graphic as it gets.

Language:
Pretty tame for TV14. Sh-t is the most common, often said by the lead or her “rival.” Can’t recall it getting much worse.

Nudity: 
Considering episode one opened with a joke about our lead’s underwear transporting to class without her (and all the boys praying to it), I expected this show to be far more of a fanservice mess than it actually ended up being. Actually, the worse pantyshots and such occur in the first few episodes. After that it tappers off and… it stops. Which I’m grateful for, but just goes to show that they probably didn’t need it in the first place.
Ah, there is one episode in which one of the big breasted of the cast goes through her day terrified her bra will snap because she’s outgrown it (dear men: we usually know something is getting tight far before it reaches this point, just sayin’). Nothing is shown, but it makes her chest a focus for much of the episode.

Theology/mythology:
Considering the setup, religion is definitely an unavoidable aspect of this show. There are “angels” and “demons” and zero commentary on actual religion. The closest you get to any kind of discourse on such things in a Christmas episode where jokes are made towards the demons about celebrating the birth of Christ and it is countered with “Christmas is more of a commercial holiday in Japan.” Which is funny because it kinda is in the US at this point too. Anyway, that’s as “serious” as it ever gets. Don’t expect any religious realism here. This setup exists for the laughs and not for any other purpose.

Personal impression:
This is one of take it or leave it shows for me. It had a few chuckle-worthy moments, but not enough for me to say it was actually funny. But it was cute and upbeat and had the best coffee shop owner ever, so I’ll give it a pass for how dull it ended up being overall. In fact, some of this show’s run-on gags were the best gags (see coffee shop owner), unlike other comedies this last season *cough*DragonMaid*cough*.
The art and music match the overall result of the show: nothing insulting nor compelling to report. All in all, this show was more of a filler for me to watch between other things. Though, again, it was nice to get that break from hardcore fanservice, given the moe cast and all.
Clearly directed and made by men though, as evidenced by a big breasted girl going through gym in a normal bra versus a sports bra. Seriously guys, we don’t do that. Unless it’s laundry day/we completely forgot. But we typically don’t forget those things. We just don’t.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, comedy
Production: Doga Kobo
Company: Kadokawa Pictures
Official streaming: Crunchyroll 

Saga of Tanya the Evil Review

youjo-senki-saga-of-tanya-the-evilStory:
Tanya didn’t used to be a girl. She used to be a salaryman in modern day Japan in line for a promotion. Until he (she?) died and challenged God. Now she’s fighting for her life in a reborn body, in another world torn by war.

Violence:
High. This is another show with a lot of bullet wounds, knife gashes and blood everywhere. A near tip over into an M rating, but just barely avoiding it. If you are even a little squeamish about violence, this isn’t for you.

Language:
Quite a few b-words, sh-ts and such. Like the violence, this show isn’t shy about fully using its TV14 rating.

Nudity:
We’re pretty much spared this one entirely. Considering the set up, I was expecting some pervy stuff. Thankfully our lead is committed entirely to moving up the ranks and no time is given to fanservice in any normal sense of the word. There are one or two innuendo cracks by the other solders, but not much.

Theology/mythology:
Reincarnation, God and morals are constant topics in this show. The lead is an atheist to the extreme and even calls God “Being X” for much of the series. However, the conclusion of this show doesn’t really give a clear “this is truth, this is not” message, leaving such things up to the audience. While you could say that the show implies God is cruel and malicious, there’s plenty of evidence for humans being far worse. This is one of those shows that, while containing religious topics at its core, isn’t pushing any agendas towards its audience.

Personal impression:
This is suuuuch a strange show. When it was first announced as part of the winter/spring line up for this year, I was worried as it was being handled by a new studio. But if this show is any indication, we might have a decent production company here. The art and music are consistent, even good, and the story… ok, the story is odd. Very. As is the lead, who is neither a hero nor a villain, but some grey area in between. “Being X” is even more strange, especially as we only “see” that character through Tanya’s very bias eyes. So if the typical school girls fight monsters story lines are boring you, rejoice. Also, the action is pretty high and well choreographed, which keeps the episodes from getting too bogged down by all the war and strategy talk scenes with political leaders.
The biggest issue for this show is in not having a clearcut message by the end or even much of a conclusion. Tanya continues on as she was at the start, which makes everything that happens throughout the show seem…. pointless? My end thoughts were: interesting ride, but the destination looks pretty close to where we started.
Overall, this is a very unique title. We don’t get these much in anime these days. I’ll give this new studio props for that. But they need a clear destination for the story. All that action only works if we get somewhere by the end. Unless, of course, you just like watching fight scenes for the sake of the fighting alone, in which case you’ll probably enjoy this just fine.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action
Production: NUT
Company: Kadokawa Pictures
Official streaming: crunchyroll

 

Prince of Stride: Alternative Review

pos_coverStory:
Nana and Takeru really want to reboot their school’s stride club, a sport for running complex relays. But first they have to convince one more schoolmate to join and he’s not keen on joining anything.

Violence:
We get a few falls that end in broken bones and such, but we’re spared any blood baths. Which is amazing considering how dangerous this stride thing is. Just sayin’.

Language:
D-mns and sh-ts are pretty much the extent on this one. It’s not super common, so I feel like this show can afford a gentler rating. A nice change.

Nudity:
Besides some shirtless scenes for the guys and one of the teammates having a thing for feeling up people’s legs (to see if they would be good runners), nothing to put in here.

Theology/mythology:
Besides the usual temples here and there in the background as well as some philosophical stuff about emotions and connecting to each other through sports, this section is clear as well.

Personal impression:
This show is pretty… flatlined? It kinda reminded me of Flying Witch. Not that it’s slow. It’s really not. There’s the running and some jokes and lots of dialog and whatnot. Stuff is going on constantly. It’s just not all that… gripping. I did have moments of this series that were quite enjoyable (the growing friendships some of the team has with competing teams was refreshing), I never felt like I needed to see the next episode when one ended. It just… was there. I probably would have dropped this show all together if not for Crunchyroll having so many technical issues that I’ve had to go elsewhere (including the new Yahoo View) to watch anime, thus having less selection than usual (good news: CR is working on and off again so I am still getting into this season’s stream. It’s just slow moving).
The music is forgettable and the art is barely passing. Which is also what I feel towards this… “sport.” But the characters are overall pleasant and we get to avoid any romance angles, which is a nice enough break for a show with a single female lead. If you need something to pass time or need a break from more intense shows, this is a good one. It’s not slow. It’s just not.. spellbinding. Which isn’t the worst criticism I’ve given out.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: PG
Genre: Drama, sports, slice of life
Company: Kadokawa/FUNimation
Production: Madhouse
Official streaming: Yahoo View