Sengoku Night Blood Review

sengoku-night-bloodStory:
A young girl with no personality or life goals gets sucked into another world full of cute warlords who have the depth of puddles because anime.

Violence:
Characters get stabbed and cut quite a bit, and we do see blood, but considering a decent of the cast are vampires, it’s not all that often really.

Language:
Pretty tame. We have a few hot headed characters, but sh-t and d-mn are the most common words we ever hear and not too often.

Nudity:
Another one we din’t have to suffer much. A few bare men chests, but it was rare. Surprising for the genre…

Theology/mythology:
If you don’t like the themes of youkai or creatures like vampires, I’d skip this. Although, to be honest, the darker themes of these creature are never explored so it’s pretty shallow stuff overall.

Personal impression:
Another show to play while I worked. I tend to want to give good shows my full attention and since free time is something I’m rather short on, I go through the bad shows faster as better shows slow down to be savored.
So… here we are. No, the lead doesn’t reach any goals. I doubt she even has any. She mentions she wants to go back to her world more than once, but no reasons WHY are ever given. She doesn’t learn any lessons either. In fact, the male lead gets more character development than she does, although, like most things in this show, it’s pretty surface level stuff. Nothing about deeper self examination. Just general stuff, like looking before you leap, not letting anger rule you and how to prioritize tasks. Ya know, things a guy in a leadership position should have known years before even meeting the heroine.
If you want a shoujo show, I don’t recommend this. Try My Love Story or, heck, Ouran High School Host Club even. While those anime have their downsides, they both have a LOT of character development and just general overall effort put into them.
This one, not so much.
To be fair though, pretty sure this whole idea came from a… card game? Not gonna lie, that’s not the cream of the crop option when it comes to foundations for an entire TV series…. Then again, Pokemon managed it just fine… Hm. Ok, yeah, I do blame this studio.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, otome, shoujo
Studio: Typhoon Graphics
Company: Marvelous AQL Inc
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

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Sakura Quest Review

sakura questStory:
Yoshino has failed countless job applications for the entertainment industry. So when she gets a call to be a town’s queen for promoting tourism, she jumps at the opportunity. But the town she ends up in is far from what she expected… It’s small, country and slower than the fast life she envisioned for herself.

Violence:
Besides characters getting scratches from falls and the occasional rare nose bleed, nothing to put here.

Language:
Very low. There’s one character that can have a foul mouth, but even then actual cursing isn’t common.

Nudity:
Occasionally we hear an old man say something creepy, but nothing much beyond that. Even outfits remain pretty conservative. Not much to worry about here, thankfully.

Theology/mythology:
We don’t see anything mythical, but this show does have a decent amount of folklore and shrines in it. As this show focuses on cultural traditions being passed on and respected, this isn’t unusual. So if Japanese folklore makes you squirm, this isn’t a show for you.

Personal impression:
This show was surprisingly good, especially how it ends. It’s for sure a bit of a slow burner, but the entire adult cast and good message about pursuing one’s ambitions and finding joy in your work make up for that. Mostly.
Again, this show takes quite a long time to pick up speed. Around 12 episodes of mediocre, actually. It’s only in the second half that things pick up and we see significant character growth and the stronger messages of the show shine through. When it does kick in, it’s a pretty good run. But due to how long it takes to gear up… I wouldn’t be quick to recommend this one.
The animation and story are nothing unique either. The music is also… pretty forgettable, honestly. I can’t recall it at all right now.
But I gotta say the messages of ending up in jobs you might not like, but have to do to pay rent and yet finding joy where you can- of not being in your industry, but continuing to work towards it despite constant failure- of moving onward with your ambitions, even when it’s hard to leave those you love behind – these are all great messages, especially for adults. We’re often told as kids that we need to find our industry and get into it right away. But that’s just not often possible. It can take years to get where you really want to be. The reality of being an adult is that you often have to keep moving onward and upward, sometimes zig-zagging quite a lot, to eventually get to where you want to be. And this show’s second half was a great presentation of this reality.
But still… it’s slow… So it’s probably nothing to jump into if you like fast paced content.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 25
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of Life, drama, comedy
Studio: P.A. Works
Company: Toho
Official streaming: crunchyroll

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