Strike the Blood Review

strike-the-blood-5563Story:
Akatsuki Kojo seems like the last guy on earth to be a vampire. But not only is he undead, he’s also one of the most powerful of his kind. Even so, the young girl who is sent to observe him isn’t easily convinced that Kojo isn’t a threat to others despite his lack of motivation for anything besides living day to day…

Violence:
Pretty high. People are stabbed and limps are sliced off pretty often. Most creatures can regenerate and/or survive so actual death doesn’t occur too much. Still, if blood isn’t your thing, probably best to stay away from this. Or really any vampire show, come to think of it.

Language:
Not too bad considering how many fight scenes there are. We have d-mn being the most common. With a b-word sprinkled here or there. Nothing too repetitive or frequent though. Standard TV14 fare.

Nudity:
This section is just as gratuitous as the violence. Yes, this is a harem show and yes, that should tell you everything you need to know. To elaborate, we have more than a few scenes using the ol’ light flare from no where hiding X rated stuff so they can still show this anime in a prime time slot and get more ad revenue in Japan/not tick off too many of their sponsors -thing.
Hey, I said I’d be more fair and give nudity the same passes I sometimes give violence, but still. The amount of “fanservice” in this show is beyond ridiculous. It’s enraging.

Theology/mythology:
Vampires are a thing. Demons are a thing. Even angels and God are used as plot points. Do they at all resemble their western or middle eastern versions? Nope. Religion has nothing to do with this show other than to give another name to some new super powered creature. That’s it. Even when one character goes on and on about being “close to God,” it’s less religion than it is a show trying desperately to make a point while having its head shoved so fair up the female leads’ skirts as to not matter in the slightest.

Personal impression:
If you couldn’t already tell: I hated this show. Deeply. But I fully realize some people like shows like this. I can’t tell you why any more than I can explain why some people enjoy reading Catcher in the Rye, which I also hated with a passion. Some people just like characters without growth? Plots that might have gone somewhere if the point wasn’t just getting a huge group of girls naked every couple minutes? I don’t know. I really don’t.
If you like fanservice and character arcs make you gag, go for it. You’ll probably like this. Otherwise you’ll likely be in the same boat as me and see this show as a slow moving tug boat full of garbage. It’s moving and someone is paying for it to run, but its sole purpose in life is to move trash from point A to point B. It has no other purpose.

Oh yeah and the animation is consistent though typical and the music is forgettable.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 24
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, action
Studio: Silver Link, Connect
Company: Showgate
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

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Knight’s & Magic Review

main-4-450x320Story:
Ernesti used to be a robot otaku shut in. Until he suddenly dies and ends up reborn in a world where magic and robots are common place. Eager to build and pilot his own, he joins the academy and quickly begins making waves with his wild new mech designs.

Violence:
The only thing that kept this show for a gentler rating was this section. It’s not too bad, but some characters get injured and we do see them bleeding. The screen doesn’t fixate on it, but I wouldn’t recommend this for super young ages.

Language:
We’re pretty clear here. We get a few d-mns and sh-ts, but not too often.

Nudity:
I was surprised to see the only issue here was one big chested character who’s top is a bit small. Some shots show quite a lot of cleavage. But interestingly, the camera rarely takes advantage of this. In fact, fanservice is by and large not a thing for this show. Which I am 100% on board for.

Theology/mythology:
Even though a character is reborn, we never get a discussion on this or God(s) or anything about the afterlife. The lead (and a few others) exaggerate about mechs being “life itself” and such, but it’s nothing serious. Reincarnation is just used in this story as an excuse for dropping an otaku into a fantasy world. That’s about it.

Personal impression:
The fights scenes in this show really are great. As someone who was raised watching giant robots clobbering each other (Robot Wars, anyone?), I can really appreciate how much love went into these shots. Not only are some of the maneuvers unusual and well done, but the different mech designs make for some interesting fights (unlike so many mech shows where it doesn’t seem to change much half the time *cough*Gundam*cough*).
Buuuut I can also safely say this show doesn’t have anything else going for it. The characters are pretty standard (well, aside from the lead who really does like mechs and nothing else. Odd as usually these characters are still pervs but this one 100% doesn’t care unless it’s a robot) and the conflicts in the story are pretty lame and too easily overcome to give any weight to the story. Or provide a lick of character growth. In fact, the only character that changes at all is a side character. And he changes so early on that… I’m not sure how much that counts…
Overall, this show isn’t the worst mech title I’ve seen. In fact, it’s one of the better ones as of late. But that tells you far more about the state of this genre of anime than it does about the show itself…

(ps – who do I blame for the title being a mess? Crunchyroll or Japan? Just saying….)

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 13
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Mech, action, fantasy
Company: Showgate
Studio: 8-bit
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Flip Flappers Review

6f23cba5886611b854a147890757cdfa1475754586_largeStory:
Cocona is a straight laced student, dedicated and always on time. Until she bumps into a strange girl named Papika who drags her down into a strange alternate world called Pure Illusion where they must find magical crystals that supposedly have wish granting abilities. So much for perfect attendance.

Violence:
At first it seemed blood violence would be low in this, but around midway it jolts up and by the end it’s decently high. Bullet wounds, monsters cut in half and spewing blood… Think between Black Cat and FMA levels.

Language:
The isn’t too bad. A rare b-word in a few spots, but mostly just sh-ts and d-mns.

Nudity:
Ok, here’s where it gets strange. This series is obviously trying to address some queer questions, but unfortunately they stumble into sexulizing it here and there. Like both characters suddenly in lingerie with one implying they should “have some fun together.” Nothing actually happens, but it’s awkward to say the least. We also have a villain early on who has a bunch of other female “creatures” (?) in bondage poses. It’s really brief, but undeniably inappropriate.

Theology/mythology:
Super powers that create other dimensions, a cult that surrounds these special people, if any of that bugs you, this isn’t for you.

Personal impression:
My thoughts on this one are… complex. On one hand I liked a few of the questions that were brought up for the lead. I felt her musings on her emotions were actually realistic and came about pretty naturally despite the strange chaotic set up. But that was one of my main issues with this title. The choatic nature of it all. The first few episodes are kinda all over the map, as if the creators had some characters and a vague story idea, but no clue how to execute it. Eventually they got into a better rhythm, but it was still rough enough to leave me lost here and there, wondering if I missed a scene and backing up to make sure. And the decent fight scenes about midway through were lost pretty fast as well, the animation getting shotty at the drop of a hat. While we’re spared the horrid fate of still scenes with dialog only (a sure sign that production fell WAY behind), the separate realities don’t really keep in line symbolically with what the characters are going through at the end and more than a few cliches kept the climax from feeling all that, well, climatic. In the end I simply found myself relieved it was over. A shame as a few scenes here and there showed promise. If they had a tighter vision and team, this might have been a better show.
Of course, staying away from sexulizing scenes that contained queer exploration would have been nice. In fact, staying away from the sleazy scenes period would have been nice, but whatever.
In the end, if you’re cool with trippy visuals and moe and conveluted plotlines, you might like this one. It’s not horrid. It just… could have been better.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Language: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Fantasy, adventure
Production: Studio 3Hz
Company: Showgate
Official streaming: Crunchyroll and Yahoo View