The Ancient Magus’ Bride Review

magus-brideStory:
Hatori has nothing. Still in her teens and with nowhere to go, she is bought by an inhuman sorcerer who intends for her to train in magic and eventually marry him. Coming to terms with her new life, Hatori begins her studies and finds comfort in an old picture book from her past.

Violence:
Pretty nonexistent. That said, there are some very scary youkai in this first episode and while no actual violence occurs, the heroine does fear for her life and the chase sequence is pretty scary.

Language:
Nonexistent.

Nudity:
Nothing to report… technically. On the theoretical side, the fact that a young girl, still in high school, is set to someday marry a beast who is likely hundreds of years old… well, that’s kinda creepy. Just sayin’.

Theology/mythology:
Here’s where you make a choice about this one. The are youkai. Also, the, er, creature? Mythological beast? looking after Hatori is a sorcerer. He’s also probably older than dirt. There’s also spells and fairy things and whatnot. If you aren’t chill with any of that, skip this one. There’s no getting around these elements.

Personal impression:
Fair warning right here! This show is actually a prequel to a manga and thus is only set to have three or so episodes total. Released six MONTHS apart. As this is a unique situation, I shall endeavor to create mini reviews for future episodes as they are released, linking back here for the content evaluations (which shall also be updated as needed).
With that out of the way, this is a charming start. Well directed and with solid art, this is one of those titles that’s perfectly content to show versus tell, something I personally appreciate quite a bit these days. Characters come and go naturally and the world feels pretty expensive considering how little of it we get to actually see.
That said, this show also doesn’t seem to be going anywhere as it’s just a warm up for a manga, so plot and character-wise, I’m sad to say that there’s just nothing going on. I can see how they’re setting up for a future story. And if I had the time to go into something like that, perhaps I would. But at the end of this single episode (episode 2 isn’t due out till next year), I just found myself wishing they would spring for a real series rather than yearn for the manga. And I doubt that was their intent.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 1 (as of posting, stay tuned for future mini reviews for any continuing episodes)
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, romance
Company: Production I.G.
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

I’ve Always Liked You Review

screen-shot-2015-07-14-at-15-58-59Story:
Natsuki Enomoto has a huge crush on her childhood friend, Yu Setoguchi. When she manages to confess her feelings towards him, she chickens out halfway through, claiming the whole thing was just “practice” so she’d be ready to confess to the one she really loves later. Believing her, Yu keeps his own feeling for her hidden as day after day she continues to “practice” confessing her love.

Violence:
Pretty non-existent besides some characters staring each other down (dem angry gazes tho).

Language:
Super light. Besides a few d-mns, it’s not really there.

Nudity:
Aside from a few shower/bath scenes where no details are shown at all, nothing here to report either, which is nice.

Theology/mythology:
The usual shrines and charms for good luck are here and there, but no discourse on religion or theology take place.

Personal impression:
This whole mini-movie has no point or substance to it beyond getting two characters together. And maybe seeing her friends get together too. That’s… really it. Nothing else is going on. There are no points being made outside of that. Now, if you’re chill with that, you might like this one. It does a good job of portraying friendship and early love which is really the whole goal of this title so there’s nothing really to gripe about. I suppose if you like more comedy alongside your romance, this might not do it for ya, but other than that, there’s little to fault this show for.
Even the music and art are… fine. Not great, not bad, just fine. Which is overall how I feel about this whole production. It wasn’t something that blew me away or made me super happy to watch (like Kimi ni Todoke or My LOVE story!), but it didn’t made me angry and want to slit my wrists (like Say “I love you” or Wolf Girl). So if all you want is a sweet romance that doesn’t try to be or do anything else, give this one a go. I think you’ll find nothing too objectionable in it (besides perhaps finding the leads to be a bit less interesting than the side characters).

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 1 (movie)
Languages: sub
Official rating: TVPG
Genres: Romance, slice of life
Company: Aniplex
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Noblesse: Awakening Review

noblesse_manhwa_coverStory:
After 820 years of sleeping, Cadis Etrama di Raizel wakes up to find a world where creatures of the night are working behind the scenes to obtain absolute power.

Violence:
This is pretty much a vampire vs other supernatural creatures kinda story, so the violence is high. It nearly surpassed my limit, but if Trinity Blood scoots by, so does this. But be warned that there is a great deal of blood, bone crunching and threats of death.

Language:
The usual d-mns, sh-ts and b-stards. Nothing over the top, but definitely there.

Nudity:
Not much for this besides some skimpy outfits for the female villain.

Theology/mythology:
If vampires and such bug you, skip this OVA.

Personal impression:
This is probably one of the weirdest OVAs I’ve watched, not because of the content itself but because it’s essentially a promo for a webcomic. I know this can’t be the only OVA like this out there, but this is definitely the first one I’ve come across. And the fact that it’s a promo very much affected the whole experience. For one thing, the enemy in this episode had to be established and wrapped up all in 31 minutes (yeah, it’s a tad longer than a regular episode). So you can imagine how rushed this felt, including the set up of the MC getting attached to his human classmates. Considering how little time they had, I think they actually did a decent job. I felt that the MC really did care for his new friends and it made the fight at the end not only valid, but a bit exciting.
All that said, this definitely has a bunch of holes and the enemy pulling the strings is, of course, not taken care of. After all, you’re supposed to go to their website and read the comic to continue this story. And I was tempted to do so, although I have not done so simply due to not having the time for it. But, hey, the promo works. It made me want to read a comic, which was the whole point. Sooo…. Maybe you’d like this? If you like vampire series that, while not really unique in terms of ideas, are well written for what they are, this OVA might be a good start for your webcomic addiction.
But if you’re not a huge webcomic fan, this will seem more than a little rushed.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 1 (OVA)
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Action, supernatural
Company: LINE webtoons
Official streaming: Crunchyroll