DRAMAtical Murder Review

Dramatical_Murder_coverStory:
Aoba isn’t into the virtual reality game Rhyme that so many street gangs are into in his town. At least he didn’t think he was. But when he gets sucked into a battle against his will, he finds out that he may have more experience with both the game and its origins than he first believed…

Violence:
I’m guessing this is where the M rating for this came from, although I found the actual violence levels to be either on par or lower than most TV14 action shows. FMA certainly has more graphic images than this. But perhaps the rating was given due to the occasionally disturbing imagery in the dream/mental battles. They play out like nightmares, but they don’t last long and usually there’s still not enough blood to rate it M. Disturbing? Yes. Graphic? Not that much. There is a decent amount of blood, however, so if violence sets you off I still think this is one to skip.

Language:
Sh-t is the most common occurrence. I didn’t find it excessive, but it did make an appearance here and there.

Nudity:
Besides bare chests and a male character kissing another without permission, not much here.

Theology/mythology:
Besides the idea of robots possibly having souls/a heart and people being genetically crafted from birth with special abilities, nothing much to put here.

Personal impression:
This show has such a misleading title. And a misleading rating. This show is just straight up misleading all around. With “murder” in the title I mistakenly thought there would, ya know, be a murder that needed to be solved. Nope. Never happened. And any drama that occurred kinda worked itself out by the lead saying “I’ll be your friend.” Every time.
Don’t get me wrong. Friendship is great and all, but this show tried to sell itself as drama and possibly a murder mystery and was neither. Honestly I didn’t feel like this show was much of anything. It even tried to be yaoi here and there and couldn’t even pull that off. It’s possibly the most wishy-washy show I’ve ever seen. Which is honestly a shame as occasionally the dialog between characters sounded unusually smooth. So at least one of their writers was trying. Too bad he was washed out by others or was too rushed to be consistent.
Overall this is a pretty boring show. A boring show that has a lot of potential for more but never really… tried. It wasn’t so much potential lost to anger me as much as some other shows have. I just ended up disappointed and bored in the end.
All that said, there’s nothing super objectionable in this show (besides the side plot that the lead apparently killed someone years ago by accident? It’s glazed over and never brought up again which is… off putting….) sooooo if you like attractive guys being weird and/or buddy buddy with one another on screen, maaaybe? Otherwise, you might wanna skip this (which might be convenient as the last few episodes are scheduled to be taken off Yahoo in a few days from posting…)

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: M
Genres: Drama (didn’t see that coming did ya?), action
Production: NAZ
Company: Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Yahoo View

Seraph of the End Review

73474Story:
Yuichiro Hyakuya wanted more than his life of pain as livestock for the vampires who ran the ruined world. But his escape from their grasp held a high price tag and now, years later, he must fight alongside what’s left of earth’s resistance to reach his goal of vengeance.

Violence:
High. We have a lot of blood being lost, through limbs being torn off to the obvious blood sucking scenes common in vampire flicks. If blood freaks you out, skip this title. Because there’s really no way around it. This is definitely a show the pushes the boundaries of a TV14 rating for this sector alone.

Language:
Decently high as well. We have at least two or three characters that like using the b-wards or dumb-ss to insult one another. Expect foul language every episode (this exists in both sub and dub form).

Nudity:
We thankfully don’t have to worry about much on this end. Aside from one scene where two girls are taking a shower, nothing to note. And the mist and camera angles in the shower keep any details from being seen, by the way.

Theology/mythology:
Ok, here we go. Aside from the blood suckers, this show also deals with angels and demons. Our “heroic” group uses demon possessed weapons to fight vampires and if they aren’t in perfect control over themselves, they will be possessed and go mad. Random monsters in this show are often given Biblical like names and the trumpets of the apocalypse are also seen and referenced multiple times. God is rarely, if ever, mentioned and thus all the “religious” things seen in this anime are more like “inspired bys” than actually taken from any specific set of beliefs. Kinda like how Thor in the Marvel universe is a very liberal “inspired by” of Norse mythology. So expect an unholy (haha pun intended!) amount of liberty taken with this stuff.

Personal impression:
This was actually oddly entertaining for me. I usually don’t like these end-of-the-world kinda shows, but the cast really got me on this one. If you’ve ever seen the original Star Trek and loved the snappy dialog between Spock and McCoy or the snap backs between Edward and Roy from Fullmetal Alchmist, you’ll probably really enjoy Yuichiro’s relationship with his superior officer, which make for some pretty hilarious scenes. The supporting cast don’t disappoint either. Not only do they keep the dialog fresh with slap backs of their own, but the female and male cast members actually get equal screen time and background work. That’s pretty rare for action flicks these days. The amazing action, art and music just add to the surprisingly fresh chemistry between characters on screen.
But I’ve said too many good things. You knew it would come to this. The issues. The big, glaring, mammoth being the 24 episode run. Which ends on a cliff hanger and has zero chance of ever getting resolved. The original books aren’t done either and word on the street is they’re just as dead as the anime is. If you’ve read my thoughts on the 2013 Rozen Maiden show, you’ll know what my feelings are on unresolved stories. It’s not nice.
Now, if you can get past that, which granted is kinda  big thing to overlook, this is a really great action anime. But if you need closure of any kind… well… this really isn’t for you…

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 24
Language: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, fantasy, drama
Production: Wit Studio
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: Yahoo View

Saga of Tanya the Evil Review

youjo-senki-saga-of-tanya-the-evilStory:
Tanya didn’t used to be a girl. She used to be a salaryman in modern day Japan in line for a promotion. Until he (she?) died and challenged God. Now she’s fighting for her life in a reborn body, in another world torn by war.

Violence:
High. This is another show with a lot of bullet wounds, knife gashes and blood everywhere. A near tip over into an M rating, but just barely avoiding it. If you are even a little squeamish about violence, this isn’t for you.

Language:
Quite a few b-words, sh-ts and such. Like the violence, this show isn’t shy about fully using its TV14 rating.

Nudity:
We’re pretty much spared this one entirely. Considering the set up, I was expecting some pervy stuff. Thankfully our lead is committed entirely to moving up the ranks and no time is given to fanservice in any normal sense of the word. There are one or two innuendo cracks by the other solders, but not much.

Theology/mythology:
Reincarnation, God and morals are constant topics in this show. The lead is an atheist to the extreme and even calls God “Being X” for much of the series. However, the conclusion of this show doesn’t really give a clear “this is truth, this is not” message, leaving such things up to the audience. While you could say that the show implies God is cruel and malicious, there’s plenty of evidence for humans being far worse. This is one of those shows that, while containing religious topics at its core, isn’t pushing any agendas towards its audience.

Personal impression:
This is suuuuch a strange show. When it was first announced as part of the winter/spring line up for this year, I was worried as it was being handled by a new studio. But if this show is any indication, we might have a decent production company here. The art and music are consistent, even good, and the story… ok, the story is odd. Very. As is the lead, who is neither a hero nor a villain, but some grey area in between. “Being X” is even more strange, especially as we only “see” that character through Tanya’s very bias eyes. So if the typical school girls fight monsters story lines are boring you, rejoice. Also, the action is pretty high and well choreographed, which keeps the episodes from getting too bogged down by all the war and strategy talk scenes with political leaders.
The biggest issue for this show is in not having a clearcut message by the end or even much of a conclusion. Tanya continues on as she was at the start, which makes everything that happens throughout the show seem…. pointless? My end thoughts were: interesting ride, but the destination looks pretty close to where we started.
Overall, this is a very unique title. We don’t get these much in anime these days. I’ll give this new studio props for that. But they need a clear destination for the story. All that action only works if we get somewhere by the end. Unless, of course, you just like watching fight scenes for the sake of the fighting alone, in which case you’ll probably enjoy this just fine.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action
Production: NUT
Company: Kadokawa Pictures
Official streaming: crunchyroll