Maoyu: Archenemy & Hero Review

MaoyuuStory:
Hero has been fighting to defeat the deadly Demon King for years. When he manages to get inside the castle and face his foe, it is not a king he sees, but a queen! Knowing that her defeat would only bring about civil war, she makes a deal with the human’s Hero for a truce. But a lot of work must be done to ensure it, calming both sides and blending their cultures to stop any and all future war. With both economies dependent upon the war effort, their task will not be easy.

Violence:
While we deal with quite a few fantasy creatures, the violence is still there. Blood from various injuries here and there, but nothing too bad. Pretty typical levels for TV14.

Language:
A few d-mns and sh-ts. Also a few b-words on occasion. Nothing new.

Nudity:
Fanservice often resulting from the heroine’s very large chest are sprinkled throughout the show. That said, it doesn’t really go far beyond that, thankfully.

Theology/mythology:
This is the section that will probably make or break this show for you. As you can see from the basic story, this is a world where humans and demons have been fighting for years. As is typical of anime, the traditional ideas of “demon” are pretty much reduced to them being monsters with magic. That said, the human religion, which shows signs of being Catholic like in nature, is dragged around as an excuse for humans to continue their war on demons throughout the show, which some might find insulting. While nothing is explained in extreme detail religion-wise, there are far more over and undertones of it in this show than most anime. If that makes you uncomfortable, this one should be skipped.

Personal impression:
This was actually a really great show. If you liked Spice and Wolf, you’re going to enjoy this title. Despite the fact that outright war is a looming threat the whole way, almost all of this show focuses on political and economic maneuvering to bring about and ensure peace between two factions that have never been so. The ideas are far more mature than most anime ever touch with a ten foot pole and they are handled very well. Also, because this show only has one season, things move along at a very fast pace, so if the slower walk of Spice wasn’t your cup of tea, this might be.
Animation and music were pretty typical overall, yet consistent. The characters themselves are no big surprise either. Yet the shining star of this show is definitely its attention to detail for its plot. If you enjoy more mature takes on take on what it would be like if two kingdoms were always at war, this show will give you want you want. You’ll even find a rather sweet growing relationship between our leads, another aspect that is shared with Spice.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, drama
Company: Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Hulu

Flying Witch Review

flying witchStory:
Makoto is training to be a witch, but she still has quite a bit to learn! For now she’ll be staying with a normal family in the beautiful Japanese town of Aomori.

Violence:
You couldn’t get more slice-of-life if you tried. So, yeah, no violence in this one.

Language:
Aside from a d-mn or two, nothing here either.

Nudity:
We have some tight clothing here and there, but very tame stuff.

Theology/mythology:
This is where some will draw the line. If the title puts you off, leave this one be. Because spells and such do occur in this show frequently. It’s almost all cutesy and herb based stuff, but it’s magic nonetheless. If you aren’t chill with that, best to leave this series alone.

Personal impression:
Good gravy was this show slooooooow. It was also very pointless. Very. I can’t even stress that enough. Think slice-of-life with zero plot, zero tension and no introspection of the characters. Nothing. Notta. Zip. Honestly, the only thing this show has going for it would be the steady art. It was very clean and smooth, I’ll give it that. But there’s nothing else about this show that stands out. Besides it being…. boring. Very boring.
At first I watched thinking somewhere down the line there would be pressure for the MC to suddenly get better at a spell or overcome some obstacle, even a small one. Something. But no dice. Nothing ever happened in this show. Not even the smallest character development. Nothing.
I once described this show to one of my faithful readers as a “plateau.” And having now watched the whole thing, I can saftly say I’m still right. It’s just flat land as far as you can see. No hills, no character, just flat nothing for miles. That’s this show in a nutshell.
Again, that might be your ticket if you like super laid-back shows to unwind to. It’s a very calming series. It just isn’t anything else…

Personal rating: All ages

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: PG
Genre: Slice of life, fantasy
Company: NTV
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Snow White with the Red Hair Review

swr_keyartStory:
Shirayuki’s bright red hair is both a blessing and a curse. When it draws the eye of a spoiled prince intent on forcing her into marriage, she takes it as a sign to run away from her homeland and apply as a court herbalist in a neighboring kingdom.

Violence:
Kidnapping attempts and assassination attempts are often the only ways in which violence comes up in this show. Thankfully it’s not overly common and usually very little blood is shown.

Language:
Rather tame overall. A few d-mns and b-words, but rare.

Nudity:
We’re spared from anything besides some shirtless scenes for the guys and the occasional bath scene with the girls, which is, thankfully, tastefully handled overall.

Theology/mythology:
We don’t really get much sense of there being any religions in this show.

Personal impression:
I actually really enjoyed this show. Despite the fact that the action is quite tame throughout, this series boasts a rather sweet and very healthy couple. Unlike my romances in anime where a girl’s goals seem to become secondary to being with their male counterparts, this show keeps its characters moving towards their own goals continuously. Both leads respect each others personal dreams and don’t let their growing relationship interfere with said dreams. In fact, they often try their best to support one another’s goals. An element that was beyond refreshing to watch, especially when so many romances in anime are heavily problematic if not downright destructive (see Wolf Girl).
As far as music and art goes, the show wasn’t anything special. That said, it was usually steady quality and it fit the tone of the show just fine: clean lines, bright and pastel colors and a style that is neither too cutesy nor overly mature. A good middle ground for a show that seems more than fine taking the longer route with the characters’ relationships.
That said, this show’s biggest failing is perhaps in its reluctance to shake up things too much. After two seasons, some pretty heavy story elements were either glossed over or not handled at all, leaving us in essentially the same spot at the end of season two that we were in at the end of season one. While some progress is made, it’s not as much as there could have been and, often, I felt as if the creators were holding back from rocking the boat too much. A shame as many characters were primed for far more development than they actually got.
Overall, however, this was a great show. Solid characters, healthy relationships and some good messages here and there. If you’re fine with the action being a bit more on the tame side, I’d say give this show a go.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 24 (season 1 & 2)
Languages: Sub and Dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, romance, fantasy
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: Hulu