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

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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

Shirobako Review

ShirobakoStory:
Five girls in a high school animation club make a promise at graduation to get into the anime business and make their high school project a full blown show. Fast forward and all five are steadily working to realize their dream despite all the trials to come with the industry.

Violence:
The only time violence is an issue is when we are shown clips of the show the characters are working on. In one instance a character is very badly injured in a cockpit and blood is shown all over her. Honestly, that’s the only clear example besides the run-of-the-mill slap stick.

Language:
Another common one, a few d-mns and sh-ts.

Nudity:
Aside from getting an occasional glimpse of a failed animation from yesteryear called “Jiggly Jiggly Heaven” where girls are in bikinis for… well, look at that title… Yeah, besides that, nothing much to say here. Pretty clean.

Theology/mythology:
Nothing to report on this one…

Personal impression:
I was afraid this season would be a bust for me, but I actually heavily enjoyed this series. At first I was worried I wouldn’t as episode one begins with a stereotypical high school setting. But five minutes or so in and they graduate, jumping the story months into the future as the girls are trying to get into their chosen industry. In other words, FINALLY we have a realistic (for anime, anyway) show about young adults entering the workforce.
To say this change in pace is refreshing would be an understatement. No one becomes instantly proficient at their art or gets where they wanna go right after graduation. And many graduates are still finding out what they want to do with their lives too. The fact that this show focuses on all those points was amazing.
In addition, we also get to see smooth character development alongside steady art and music.
Overall, although I found the comedy didn’t pull as strongly as the drama, it was a very well crafted show and rather educational to boot (I’m glad to now know what all the departments do in animation. I was fuzzy on just what each does prior to this show). I cared not only for the characters but also for the projects they were working on. So far this show has definitely been my top pick this season and if you want to learn more about the making-of process of anime, this is a fun way to go about learning the basics.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 24
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of life, comedy, drama
Company: Showgate
Official streaming: Crunchyroll