RElife Review

relife_coverStory:
Arata Kaizaki quit work after only a brief  three months and has not been able to land a full time job since then. After a night drinking with old friends and lying through his teeth about work, he runs into a strange man who gives him a pill claiming it can give him one year to relive his high school days, allowing him to “restart” his life…

Violence:
Besides a tiny amount of slapstick, nothing much goes on here.

Language:
A few sh-ts and d-mns, but decently low.

Nudity:
Surprisingly low again. This show had a lot of room for nudity, but never takes advantage of it.

Theology/mythology:
Nothing much to say here either. God and the like aren’t discussed nor any clear theology of the world or mankind.

Personal impression:
This was surprisingly good! While the setup allows the main character to be pervy and horrid, the show never really takes itself in that direction. The lead is constantly reminding himself or being reminded by events around him, that he is an adult and those around him are children. This is great because it allows for some really natural character growth for both the lead and the kids he’s in school with. Both sides learn from one another (even though the kids are unaware their friend is their senior by quite a few years). The romance aspects of the show are also pointed towards side characters primarily and that helps keep the show from becoming a harem nightmare. In fact, speaking of female characters, we actually have a decent amount that have some big roles in the story. And they have relationships with one another that do not lean on the male characters at all! Finally.
All of that paired with some great subtle signs in the animation of character ticks and movement, made this show one of the better ones I’ve seen so far this year. One scene in particular, when two people are listening in on a very emotionally traumatic experience another person went through and one gently takes hold of the other person’s shirt sleeve for comfort as they listen, was very memorable for me. It was such a small scene, but made the dialog we heard so much more powerful for it. Show don’t tell at it’s finest.
Now, sadly, the show has some downfalls for sure. One being the odd choice in music and the strange placement of it. Upbeat tunes sometimes play during suspenseful or stressful scenes while heartfelt scenes end up with a piano solo that was probably meant to be emotional, but ends up sounding like a five year old at piano practice. Another gripe I had with the show was the slightly cliched way they get around the main character losing their job. Instead of taking the harder issue of people who quit or leave work for a stupid reason, they make the lead’s backstory tragic and thus justify his leaving. Now, I’ll give them points for taking this to the correct conclusion and making it clear that though this was the right thing to do, the unfair consequences still apply. The world is harsh, so yeah. Still, taking someone who is a good worker, just too honest for the business world, and turning them into a model citizen is a lot easier than taking an honest to goodness lowlife and turning their fate around. Both have confidence issues, but one lacks any drive to be good at work while the other is already a good worker to begin with.
Even so, this show’s good parts out weigh the bad in my opinion. I really enjoyed this one and I look forward to possibly seeing more of it in the future!

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 13
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of life, drama
Studio: TMS Entertainment Ltd
Company: FUNimation
Offical streaming: Crunchyroll

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Gugure! Kokkuri-san Review

kokkuriStory:
Kohina thinks she’s doll. A doll who is obsessed with ramen to an inhuman degree. One day she makes the mistake of trying to summon Kokkuri-san in a game. Turns out the fox spirit can’t stand to see children all alone and thus begins Kohina’s days living under the same roof as an ancient youkai.

Violence:
There’s a ton of slap-stick comedy in this show so expect to see a lot of nose bleeds and injuries from fantastical stunts. None of it is serious, but it’s not something that’s rare in this one either…

Language:
We get a few b-words between the youkai, but often it stops at d-mn or sh-t.

Nudity:
The youkai have a few scenes of shirtlessness (while in male form) and there is one instance of a male turning into a female with a large chest. The usual jokes and remarks are made. Also, one of the youkai is a womanizer. It is mentioned often and there are multiple scenes of him being a grade A creeper, like plotting to look up girls’ skirts. Most of it is just talk, but the implications aren’t nice. Another uncomfortable element is one youkai’s crush on the VERY young girl lead. It’s something that almost made me drop the show. That said, the other characters don’t see it as normal and it is treated like a joke. Still… it’s unnerving that anyone would find that kind of thing funny to begin with…

Theology/mythology:
Youkai.  If you aren’t chill with ’em, skip this. Also, there are stories of spirits being left behind and such (aka ghosts). So yeah, very supernatural based story here.

Personal impression:
This was a show I started to watch back when it was first airing. As you can guess, it was dropped after only a handful of episodes. As per usual, I’ve only finished this show due to it’s availability on an easier to use platform (Yahoo View). And also because it got funnier as the series went on. Thank goodness.
I’m going to admit right here that this series really takes its time finding a good setup. But once it finds its own comedy, it gets pretty darn great. Around episode 6 or 7 the cast evens out and the jokes start landing. From alien classmates to Kokkuri-san worrying about hair loss, this show actually made me laugh quite a bit during the last half of its run.
That said, I’m still unsure if I’d recommend this show. Taking that long to find your rhythm isn’t a good first impression, plus there’s all that shady business with one of the youkai making creepy pedophile comments about the lead (who’s still in grade school).
Overall, I’d say skip towards the middle of the show to see if it’s your jam. And if not… well, there’s quite a mix of other comedy anime out there without pedophile materials-
…..Actually… now that I think about it…. All the big titles kinda have at least one pedo character…. Uuuh… well… that’s a topic for another day I guess.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Fantasy, comedy
Production: TMS Entertainment
Company: Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Yahoo View

Fuse: Memoirs of the Hunter Girl Review

fusetitleStory:
A young huntress from the mountain journeys to the city to find herself unwillingly roped into chasing and killing the Fuse, supernatural creatures that can look human and suck the life out of others. But the Fuse might not be nearly as different from humans as they are said to be.

Violence:
The worse part of this show is probably sitting right in this section. The hunt of a wolf at the very beginning of the movie is pretty graphic for a PG13 title, but it’s a good indication of the violence levels for the rest of the show. The Fuse are often beheaded, the heads displayed for all to see, complete with flies buzzing around them. If the violence levels of Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex really put you off, this is a title to skip for sure. Also, there’s a bit of a trigger warning concerning the mention of babies and female prostitutes being killed in a ditch in the red light district, often as suicides.

Languages:
The classics are all here, the d-mns, sh-ts and b-words. Not every word, but not non-existent either.

Nudity:
Another trigger here is the red light district, where prostitutes sell themselves. We don’t see too much actual nudity, but a lot is implied (for obvious reasons). We see shadows of two people coupling for a few seconds and the presence of children in these places is very unsettling.

Theology/mythology:
Gods aren’t discussed much in the show, but the Fuse are indeed supernatural and human hybrids. There are implications that they were born of a super wolf and human coupling. This isn’t confirmed, however. Also, the Fuse seem to live off the souls of humans. Take from that what you will, but if these things bug you, this movie isn’t for you.

Personal impression:
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, oddly enough. The violence is a bit much, even for me, however, which keeps this show from the top anime slots in my mind. Also, as some reviewers have mentioned, this show is pretty blunt on the idea of not killing animals for sport and such. The agenda to show how human animals are (and how animalistic humans can be) is pretty blunt.
Even so, the ending isn’t cliche, though I feared more than once that it would be. The characters are interesting enough to hold interest and you honestly root for the heroes to win out in the end.
The art is a bit odd in places, but fits the show well. As does the music. My only serious critique being that the characters aren’t really explored as well as they might. But considering this is all crammed into a single movie, I’m willing to give quite a bit of leeway there.
If you like fantasy and action, with quite a bit of social commentary drama along the way, this movie is a great watch. Just don’t expect a perfect ending here. Or too much historical accuracy, come to think of it (feudal Japan didn’t have hand cannons for hunters).

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: Movie
Languages: Sub
Official rating: PG13
Genre(s): Fantasy, drama
Company: TMS Entertainment
Legal streaming: Hulu
Screenshots:
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