RElife Review

relife_coverStory:
Arata Kaizaki quit work after only a brief  three months and has not been able to land a full time job since then. After a night drinking with old friends and lying through his teeth about work, he runs into a strange man who gives him a pill claiming it can give him one year to relive his high school days, allowing him to “restart” his life…

Violence:
Besides a tiny amount of slapstick, nothing much goes on here.

Language:
A few sh-ts and d-mns, but decently low.

Nudity:
Surprisingly low again. This show had a lot of room for nudity, but never takes advantage of it.

Theology/mythology:
Nothing much to say here either. God and the like aren’t discussed nor any clear theology of the world or mankind.

Personal impression:
This was surprisingly good! While the setup allows the main character to be pervy and horrid, the show never really takes itself in that direction. The lead is constantly reminding himself or being reminded by events around him, that he is an adult and those around him are children. This is great because it allows for some really natural character growth for both the lead and the kids he’s in school with. Both sides learn from one another (even though the kids are unaware their friend is their senior by quite a few years). The romance aspects of the show are also pointed towards side characters primarily and that helps keep the show from becoming a harem nightmare. In fact, speaking of female characters, we actually have a decent amount that have some big roles in the story. And they have relationships with one another that do not lean on the male characters at all! Finally.
All of that paired with some great subtle signs in the animation of character ticks and movement, made this show one of the better ones I’ve seen so far this year. One scene in particular, when two people are listening in on a very emotionally traumatic experience another person went through and one gently takes hold of the other person’s shirt sleeve for comfort as they listen, was very memorable for me. It was such a small scene, but made the dialog we heard so much more powerful for it. Show don’t tell at it’s finest.
Now, sadly, the show has some downfalls for sure. One being the odd choice in music and the strange placement of it. Upbeat tunes sometimes play during suspenseful or stressful scenes while heartfelt scenes end up with a piano solo that was probably meant to be emotional, but ends up sounding like a five year old at piano practice. Another gripe I had with the show was the slightly cliched way they get around the main character losing their job. Instead of taking the harder issue of people who quit or leave work for a stupid reason, they make the lead’s backstory tragic and thus justify his leaving. Now, I’ll give them points for taking this to the correct conclusion and making it clear that though this was the right thing to do, the unfair consequences still apply. The world is harsh, so yeah. Still, taking someone who is a good worker, just too honest for the business world, and turning them into a model citizen is a lot easier than taking an honest to goodness lowlife and turning their fate around. Both have confidence issues, but one lacks any drive to be good at work while the other is already a good worker to begin with.
Even so, this show’s good parts out weigh the bad in my opinion. I really enjoyed this one and I look forward to possibly seeing more of it in the future!

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 13
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of life, drama
Studio: TMS Entertainment Ltd
Company: FUNimation
Offical streaming: Crunchyroll

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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

 

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