The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star Review

[this is the continuation of my earlier review for the first episode of the promo 3 part special: Those Awaiting a Star. See the first episode review HERE. Review of series coming soon]

magus-bride

Episode 2

Warnings:
Remember how episode one didn’t really have any violence in it? Throw that right out of the window. A character gets, well, bitten pretty badly in this one (and dies. Be warned) and the way it’s done, while not showing much actual blood, is rather graphic. Think FMA: Brotherhood levels. Lots of fear and anxiety in the lead throughout keep the feeling very dark and tense as well, so I really don’t recommend this for anyone under the age of 10. And even some ten year olds will get scared… The tension is done very well.

Thoughts:
If you were looking for a cup of depressing, this episode provides. We get to see why books are important to our lead, specifically one special one. We also see some more positive, or at least less dangerous, encounters with youkai. And also some very dangerous ones.
This said, the violence near the end gave me a bit of whiplash I don’t feel often these days in anime. I was unsure about the sudden change until I saw the final part in this side story/prequel thing…

 

Episode 3

Warnings:
Same as the last one, though the violence is coming to a close. Episode 2 was more graphic overall… As an aside, language and nudity don’t come into play in this mini-series so have no fears there.

Thoughts:
This is why this show is such a big deal. Why the hype got so huge online. This mini-series closes out beautifully. We don’t see an obvious “happy ending” for the hero, but we do get gentle glimpses of things getting better. Of actual healing from mental trauma in the lead. Small acts of kindness given to her are handled in a soft, almost delicate, manner, making you feel and experience deeply just how unusual kindness is to our heroine. It’s a well thought out and executed story and one I’m looking forward to seeing in greater depth in the current streaming series.

Overall
If you’re curious about the hype around this show, this 3 parter does its job very well. You get a taste for the lead characters as well as the tone of the story itself and the world it takes place in. Nothing is overwhelming and, in fact, the story slows very intentionally. I could see a story like this easily running in a short story literary journal as a stand alone, making it a great bite sized series for people curious to try this one out.

Advertisements

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

Chronos Ruler Review

a18936-1382072408-1497548231Story:
Kiri’s father has lost his memories and much of his natural age when his time was stolen by a demon. Now father and son are chronos rulers, special individuals with the ability to alter time to fight these creatures and keep the world running as it should.

Violence:
Decently high, but not pushing the TV14 too hard. I’d say a bit more tame than FMA. So expect to see blood a little here and there. To be honest, it’s the slightly disturbing enemies and how they eat time (with people shrinking or shriveling up, that is more unnerving than actual violence. I wouldn’t recommend this title for kids.

Language:
A few scarce b-words break up the typical sh-t and d-mns but none of it comes on thick.

Nudity:
We have some typical creepy guy stuff (one dude likes female school uniforms a bit too much), but thankfully nothing gets too blunt, surprisingly. Worst it gets is a few really close panty shots of the female lead during combat, but we’re in the clear for most of the show.

Theology/mythology:
This is a strange one because the term “god” and “demons” is used off and on, but it’s not at all religious. In fact, religion has nothing to do with this show at all. Even the origin of the world is left unsaid. And while anime has a habit of taking religious symbols out of context for “creative purposes,” this show seemed especially committed to being completely off script. Which is a good thing if you want religion to be unmentioned in your shows, but a bit confusing as to why the terms were even used at all. But that’s anime for ya, I guess.

Personal impression:
Oh lost potential. Thou art so painful. If you caught my taste test of this last season, you’d know I was intrigued by the promise of a father son dynamic, especially given the aging (or lack thereof) issue. There’s a lot of good stuff to explore with a set up like that! Alas, twas not meant to be. What could have been an amazing character focused action adventure just turned into a pile of hyper cliche anime fight scenes so thick no hint of character growth could ever shine through.
Now, to be fair, episode one had some of that corny action dialog going down so I should have known, but… I always hope. And am often disappointed.
That isn’t to say this show is horrible. It’s not. It’s… fine, if you dig action and a few funny-ish side characters. But it can’t be ignored that a ton of potential was lost on this title. I almost feel like they intentionally went OUT of their way to keep the characters from getting interesting. I mean, how does one IGNORE a father son relationship when that’s the whole point of the quest? When it’s the two LEADS? Also there was that thing about his mom, another HUGE chance for extreme development intentionally left to rot.
…Where was I? Ah. Yeah. This series isn’t horrid. But it’s a far cry from great. And it’s cheesy. Like REALLY cheesy (the dialog made me laugh and I don’t think it was meant to half the time).
If you just want some action, this is a fine show. But it’s nothing amazing. And, honestly, other shows manage that part better too…

Personal rating: young adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, fantasy
Company: fanfan/FUNimation
Production: Project No 9
Official streaming: Crunchyroll