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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My Hero Academia Review

[This review covers seasons 1-3]

bnha2Story:
Izuku Midoriya is one of very few children born without a “quirk,” special abilities nearly every human on the planet has. Because of this, his dream of becoming a professional hero is just not in the cards. At least that’s what he fears until running into his idol, pro hero All Might.

Violence:
This is a typical shounen show violence wise. So blood, broken bones and bruises occur a lot. Especially with our lead, who gets into dangerous and harmful scenarios a lot. If Fullmetal Alchemist violence bugs you, this might not be the show for you.

Language:
D-mn is the most common, but a few sh-ts and b-words. Almost all instances come from one ever angry character. I haven’t noticed the dub being worse than the original so it all comes down to how many lines that one character has in the episode. When he doesn’t say much, the language is pretty tame, but in episodes heavily featuring him it can spike a bit.

Nudity:
This really comes down to the costumes primarily. A few female characters have suggestive and very tight hero outfits. One common character has a v cut all the way to her waist. While the show attempts to address the practicality of these outfits (some quirks relay on skin contact, for example) the show does take advantage of these moments for some fanservice shots. They are aren’t very common, considering how many characters have outfits ripe for it, but it does happen now and again. There is also a spa scene in season three where the girls are covered by nothing besides, well, mist. It’s a very quick scene, thankfully.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from ideals about justice and heroism, nothing to note here. Religion has not really come into play at all thus far.

Personal impression:
When I first tried this show out, it was already just starting the third season’s stream. I was shocked with how much I enjoyed it, especially considering the genre it is, which isn’t known to have stable character progression. But not only is there some stable world building, but the characters, from the leads to the supporting cast, have all had amazing arcs and growth over time.
There’s a lot to like about this show, from the brisk pace to the enjoyable characters to the interesting world that seems simple at first but quickly fleshes out to a more complex setting that forces the themes of what it is to be a hero into the spotlight frequently. There are pitfalls in the story, but its one of the tighter shounen shows I’ve seen in a long time. Which makes sense considering studio Bones is behind this title and they have a lot of experience in taking a running manga and both faithfully adapting it to the screen while also cleaning up scenes to flow smoother into the overall narrative.
There’s a bit too much to unpack in only a short overview, but suffice to say that I’m really looking forward to the next season due out this fall.
If you love superhero media, but wish it was fun once again and not just angst for adults (looking at BOTH of you, Marvel and DC), give this show a go!

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 63
Languages: sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Action
Studio: Bones
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: Crunchyroll and FUNimation

 

 

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

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

 

Mob Psycho 100 Review

mob-psycho-100-visual-3-24-231x300Story:
Mob is a kid who excels at nothing other children his age strive for. He isn’t athletic, or academic or even artistic. But he does have psychic powers. Sadly, it isn’t very useful to his goals of becoming popular or catching the attentions of his crush… In fact, it tends to catch the attentions of the wrong people…

Violence:
The violence in this title is pretty high. The artistic art style makes it a hint less realistic visually, but the intensity of the art itself also makes it feel a bit.. heavy… at times. Characters seem to be murdered at one point, which is particularly dark. Blood, missing limbs and such occur in this one so if you don’t like violence, I’d avoid this title.

Language:
The b-word is used a bit more frequently in this title than others I’ve seen lately. This is likely due to having more “delinquents” show up here and there. It’s nothing too concerning (I’ve seen worse), but if you’re sensitive, be a bit careful with this one.

Nudity:
We’re pretty safe on this end. Fan service really isn’t a thing in this show, which is nice.

Theology/mythology:
This isn’t a part you can get around. Our lead can see spirits and there are some plots of people getting possessed. In fact, our lead is often hired to exercise spirits. So if these kinds of things bug you, avoid this title.

Personal impression:
I wanted to kick off the new year with a review for a show that got a LOT of good marks from other reviewers. Alas, while this show is unique in style, and the story is ok, overall this series ended up just… bland to me. At first I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized: the side characters in this show make far more progress by the end of this series than the lead. FAR more. We just don’t get much of anything from our lead in the end besides maybe being a biiiit more aware of how his actions affect his brother. That’s it. And considering that the show opens up with Mob being easily duped by a con artist and wanting to be more than his psychic powers, well, I was hoping we’d end somewhere… else. But we kinda end up in the same spot we start off in. Mob is still being taken advantage of by his boss and still has no skill set outside of psychic abilities. He IS making steps to better himself, but it hasn’t gone anywhere yet.
Considering how the series ends, I have no doubt the company hopes to put out a season two in the future, which might solve this little issue. But considering shows like My Hero Academia have ACTUAL development of their lead in shorter amounts of time… I just don’t think that’s a good excuse for this show taking twelve whole episodes to set up Mob’s life story. Because that’s what it felt like. It felt like a very long introduction.
The comedy might have contributed to that odd feeling as well. It’s one of those comedic moods that’s extremely exaggerated, which normally I like when pared with a straight man lead. But the frequency of these jokes is so high that it actually makes it hard to take anything seriously. Because very dark scenes will very suddenly switch to a pun and then, just as suddenly, switch back. It’s a whiplash ride, one I don’t personally enjoy.
Of course, if you like more classic action manga (or some of the more bizarre anime titles floating about), this might just be an answer to your prayers. The amount of both classic and off-the-wall flare this show has truly is impressive.
And it’s not like this show is all around horrid or anything. It’s… fine. Even good in spots as a few relationships the characters have with each other are interesting to watch.
But overall, this title just wasn’t my thing. Still, it’s definitely a unique flavor. And if you need a break from run-of-the-mill action shows, this might be a good retreat. Just don’t take anything too seriously.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, fighting, supernatural, comedy
Studio: Bones/TV Tokyo
Company: Warner Japan
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Classroom of the Elite Review

classroom-of-the-eliteStory:
Kiyotaka Ayanokoji enrolls in a top school and ends up in class 1-D, the lowest level of all the classes. The school works on a rewards system connected to how much work one puts into both their school work and social standing. In order to reach the top of the school, his class must accumulate an insane amount of points. But that’s difficult when the class at large is so disjointed…

Violence:
There a decent amount of punching and bruising and such going down as one of the classes is extremely physically violent. The blood is kept to a minimum and overall it’s tame for TV14.

Language:
Often only sh-ts and d-mns, but a few rare b-words pop up. Overall, this is another tame section.

Nudity:
This is one of those shows with little issue dragging fanservice around for no good reason at all. Large chested characters and bouncy boobs are here. It’s not as bad as a few other titles, but it’s very much there and a big contributor to my YA rating.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from some mythology stories discussed here and there, God and the supernatural really don’t apply. We actually don’t see much of traditional shrines and such either. So overall, this section is pretty bare.

Personal impression:
This show started out very boring to me, but actually got better by the end. Generally speaking, that is. The art and music are pretty standard stuff and I can’t say the directing was spectacular either, but the characters and plot were decent enough, even if their motivations are a bit too vague for much of the show (the lead male’s motivation turns into a plot point at the end, so I’ll give that one a pass).
This show’s biggest issue? Not enough time/ability to really come to love the leads. They remain pretty stoic and distant for much of the show and even when some things progress and get revealed at the end, it feels like little actually changes.
If you’re sick of highly emotional leads, this might be a refreshing experience for you. But if you want to deeply care for your hero? This show isn’t the type to invoke that kind of emotion.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Drama
Company: Kadokawa Pictures
Production: Lerche
Official streaming: Crunchyroll