Patema Inverted Review

patema invertedStory:
Patema lives in a world years after an experimental failure at controlling gravity caused much of the earth to float away into the sky, never to return. Wishing to explore more of her small underground world, Patema ignores the advice of her elders and ventures deeper into the tunnels where gravity seems to be reversed…

Violence:
A few characters are injured and some killed. Near the end we see quite a lot of blood from a few gun and knife wounds. Not quite as bad as FMA, but still not for younger audiences.

Language:
Some d-mns and one or two b-words, but nothing excessive.

Nudity:
There is a villain who makes some rather suggestive remarks towards the lead, but nothing is shown or occurs (besides being creepy).

Theology/mythology:
The people in one of the “worlds” consider those who’s gravity is reversed to be “sinners” and that they deserve to float into the sky and die as it is divine punishment from God. This belief keeps many people in line with the government and is a plot point, so it can’t be easily ignored.

Personal impression:
I really liked this film. It’s one of the better science fiction films I’ve seen in awhile, not just in the realm of anime but in general. While the story itself isn’t overly complex, the way it is presented cinematically is amazing (although, the switching of the camera angle between gravitational pulls can be very disorienting so be warned on that).
The characters are well crafted and although we only have one film to get to know them, we are given enough context and dialog to get a sense of what drives them and what they fear. The two leads also have a pretty organic relationship, which is nice amidst all the rushed ones rampant in more recent films.
The plot twists are pretty solid as well and make for a pretty impactful ending.
If you want to take a break from TV series for a bit, I recommend looking into your local library or digging around Amazon for this one. Even if science fiction isn’t your usual go-to, this is well worth a watch.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: Movie
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Action, fantasy, science fiction, drama
Studio: Studio Rikka
Company: Cinedigm, GKids
Official streaming: n/a

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This Boy is a Professional Wizard Review

thisboyStory:
Chiharu is a wizard who works himself near to death, unable to trust those around him to help and believing he isn’t worth anything without his abilities in magic. When he runs into a traveler named Toyohi at a local bar, he begins to finally smile and even fall in love. If only his insecurity would allow him to trust…

Violence:
Pretty low stuff. We hear about things going wrong off screen, requiring wizards to interfere and save others, but we never see any actual violence occur.

Language:
A bit of negative self-talk and maybe a d-amn, but tame overall.

Nudity:
There is an almost implication of two characters sleeping together, but it turns into nothing and we don’t really see much besides a bit of bare chest. No details.

Theology/mythology:
If the idea of a world where magic exists bugs you, this isn’t a show for you. But if you’re chill with that, there’s really nothing deeper going on in this section.

Personal impression:
This is a wonderful, although sadly short, series. The animation style is very odd, moving more like a visual novel with swirling backgrounds. The story, tone and colors are nice enough to make up for it and it was refreshing to see one more healthy and somewhat natural relationship on screen.
The only downside? This is more of a mini-series, likely meant to promo a manga run. It’s a shame more of this won’t be seen on screen, or in a more fully animated format. Even so, it’s a great little story, sweet, to the point and lovely to look at.

Personal rating: All ages

Episodes: 4
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Romance, fantasy
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Company: CoMix Wave Films
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Strike the Blood Review

strike-the-blood-5563Story:
Akatsuki Kojo seems like the last guy on earth to be a vampire. But not only is he undead, he’s also one of the most powerful of his kind. Even so, the young girl who is sent to observe him isn’t easily convinced that Kojo isn’t a threat to others despite his lack of motivation for anything besides living day to day…

Violence:
Pretty high. People are stabbed and limps are sliced off pretty often. Most creatures can regenerate and/or survive so actual death doesn’t occur too much. Still, if blood isn’t your thing, probably best to stay away from this. Or really any vampire show, come to think of it.

Language:
Not too bad considering how many fight scenes there are. We have d-mn being the most common. With a b-word sprinkled here or there. Nothing too repetitive or frequent though. Standard TV14 fare.

Nudity:
This section is just as gratuitous as the violence. Yes, this is a harem show and yes, that should tell you everything you need to know. To elaborate, we have more than a few scenes using the ol’ light flare from no where hiding X rated stuff so they can still show this anime in a prime time slot and get more ad revenue in Japan/not tick off too many of their sponsors -thing.
Hey, I said I’d be more fair and give nudity the same passes I sometimes give violence, but still. The amount of “fanservice” in this show is beyond ridiculous. It’s enraging.

Theology/mythology:
Vampires are a thing. Demons are a thing. Even angels and God are used as plot points. Do they at all resemble their western or middle eastern versions? Nope. Religion has nothing to do with this show other than to give another name to some new super powered creature. That’s it. Even when one character goes on and on about being “close to God,” it’s less religion than it is a show trying desperately to make a point while having its head shoved so fair up the female leads’ skirts as to not matter in the slightest.

Personal impression:
If you couldn’t already tell: I hated this show. Deeply. But I fully realize some people like shows like this. I can’t tell you why any more than I can explain why some people enjoy reading Catcher in the Rye, which I also hated with a passion. Some people just like characters without growth? Plots that might have gone somewhere if the point wasn’t just getting a huge group of girls naked every couple minutes? I don’t know. I really don’t.
If you like fanservice and character arcs make you gag, go for it. You’ll probably like this. Otherwise you’ll likely be in the same boat as me and see this show as a slow moving tug boat full of garbage. It’s moving and someone is paying for it to run, but its sole purpose in life is to move trash from point A to point B. It has no other purpose.

Oh yeah and the animation is consistent though typical and the music is forgettable.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 24
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, action
Studio: Silver Link, Connect
Company: Showgate
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

The Place Promised In Our Early Days Reviews

565f866da841c21e33f400259b3f5f7a1267231176_fullStory:
Three friends in middle school make a promise to fly a plane towards the mysterious tower looming over the city. But before they even graduate, one falls into a sleep she never awakens from. The boys split up and take different directions in life…

Violence:
The violence in this movie doesn’t really hit until the very last part, when war gets declared and, well, something… bloody… hits the plane. Blood gets all over the windshield and it’s pretty sudden and disturbing. Though it thankfully doesn’t last long. Still… that alone bunked this movie to a YA rating.

Language:
Nothing worse than some d-mns. Pretty light stuff, actually.

Nudity:
Our lead heroine is naked in her hospital bed, but we never see anything. A few shots of her sitting in her uniform are a bit revealing. Nothing too concerning though.

Theology/mythology:
Ideas of parallel universes, subconscious communication and such get bunked around, but everything remains as theory and no one really comes to much of a conclusion or explanation.

Personal impression:
I had watched this movie years back when ADV films was still a thing and anime was booming here in the states. This movie was one of the more literary fiction approaches to storytelling, aka character based, much like 5 Centimeters per Second and Voices of a Distant Star. While all these films have some science fiction/fantasy elements to them, overall these movies are based on the relationships of the characters to one another, rather than the settings themselves. And, overall, this works great. The worlds are richer for their stronger characters and the stories leave a bigger impression too. I was surprised when I re-watched this movie only to find I recalled almost everything. Considering how long it’s been and how much anime I watch, it’s pretty amazing that such a strong impression was left.
Of course, if there is one flaw in this show, it’s right where its strength is: show don’t tell. This show is committed to not explaining itself. Which is great! …If you’re fine leaving this movie with a few questions that will never be answered. I kinda enjoyed that part myself, sick as I am of being spoon fed plot by most shows these days. Still, I can see how this aspect might be frustrating for those that enjoy getting all their threads tied up nicely at the end. Because that won’t happen with this show.
If you enjoy more realistic characters and are chill not getting every question answered, I recommend this film. But be warned! This is the kind of world you’ll get tossed in rather unceremoniously. So be prepared to pay close attention, especially to the “news” stations playing in the background of many scenes…

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: movie (4 episode parts)
Language: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Fantasy, literary fiction, romance, science fiction
Studio: CoMix Wave Inc
Company: ADV Films
Official streaming: Crunchyroll 

SERVAMP Review

servamp_page_imageStory:
Mahiru was taken in at a young age by his uncle when no one else would. Since then he has tried to keep life “simple” by throwing himself at any issue, as he believes solving problems quickly is more efficient than waiting around. But when he sees an abandoned black cat in an alley and takes it in, he may have made a mistake. It isn’t a cat at all, but a vampire!

Violence:
Decently high. Characters are sliced and shot at and cut pretty often. Or bitten. This isn’t Twilight. The vampires in this show are pretty violent. If it had gotten much worse I would have had to WZ it. As it is, it’s often stylized, which helps. Still. Blood is shown pretty often, be warned.

Language:
Another possible issue for some. The b-word is used semi-frequently as the fights are pretty consistent. D-mn and sh-t are pretty common too. Not quite at the level of some shows here in the US, but it’s definitely a YA title.

Nudity:
This is a surprising section as we really don’t have much here to note. One vampire takes after the sin “lust” and tries to strip a bunch, but, in a twist, this character is male, not female so it never gets worse than what you’d see at a beach. There are two female characters seen off and on in the background and we don’t really get much of any fanservice shots of them. Mostly they are forgotten. And even the male characters don’t fall into fanservice much either. Interesting, considering the set up.

Theology/mythology:
Vampires, the dead rising and being able to transform between human and animal forms, all exist in this show. The questions about if it’s ok to kill or keep those alive after they have naturally died, also come up. If any of those things bug you, skip this show. It’s not easy to avoid these bits considering it’s pretty much the whole show.

Personal impression:
I actually found this somewhat enjoyable. It’s not winning any awards, but it was… ok. The action was decent and so was the lead. He had strong morals and, though he struggled in how to keep them for awhile, he eventually finds his footing and doesn’t sacrifice who he is to end the fighting.
It was nice. We even get character development! The music is mediocre (aside from the sick metal opening) and the visuals are pretty standard, but both remain consistent, unlike the ins and outs of how the vampire servant laws work and what “subclasses” are, which seem to have been made up along the way, sadly.
Still, it was a decent vampire show (though they could have been just mutants instead of vampires as the classic vampire issues don’t really make many appearances). It didn’t rely on sex appeal and had a rather likable lead. If you would like to see an action series that has some good messages on friendship and a decent cast, you might wanna give this a go. Or at least look up and enjoy the metal opener. We need more of those. Freedom from pop!

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub, dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Fantasy, action
Studio: Brain’s Base/Platinum Vision
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

 

Mizu no Kotoba Review

[due to this being a short, I am making this into a more bite sized review]

mizu-no-kotoba-sp-3435Warnings:
This show doesn’t have much to scare away viewers in its short 9 minute run aside from its general strangeness. Still, no violence, language or nudity come into play here so no worries there.

Personal impression:
This is a slow and awkward starter, not a good thing for a short with precious little time to waste. That said the ending kinda made up for this in my book. There are hints at it early on, but the chaotic nature of the short made it hard for me to predict it (which is nice as most shows are too predictable for me). The messages of perception and the differences in points of view come out clear enough, even if the path to get there is rather blurred. Not to mention any under lying messages getting pretty lost along the way.
Overall, this isn’t the most memorable short I’ve seen, but it was a different and interesting break. Not to mention I really enjoyed the different camera angles and movement of focus from group to group (even if the animation itself was extremely rough).

Personal rating: 10+

Streaming: Crunchyroll
Language options: dub or sub
Genre: short film, experimental, fantasy
Studio/director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Company: DIRECTIONS, Inc