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ACCA | Accel World | Air TV | Aishiteruze Baby | Akagami no Shirayukihime | Akatsuki no Yona
Aldnoah.Zero | Angel Beats! | Animal Academy | AnoHana| Assassination Classroom | Asterisk War | Astro Boy | Azumanga Daioh

Bakuman | Beast Master | Beyblade | Birdy the Mighty: Decode | Black Bullet |
Blue Inferior |Brynhildr in the Darkness | Buddy Complex | Bungou Stray Dogs

[C]-Control | Captain Earth | Case Closed | Casshern Sins | Celestial Method | Charlotte
Chichikogusa | Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai | Clannad | Clay Lord | Code: Breaker
Code-E | Code Geass | Coppelion | Corset ni Tsubasa | Crest of the Stars | Cyborg 009

DanMachi | Darker Than Black | Darling in the FranXX | Dengeki Daisy
A Devil and Her Love Song | Diamond Cut Diamond | Digimon Adventure | Digimon Data Squad
Digimon Tamers | Dimension W | Disastrous Life of Saiki K. | Dr. Stone | .hack//G.U.+
.hack//link | .hack//Quantum | .hack//SIGN | .hack//xxxx | Double Gauge | Dragon Drive

Eden of the East | Elemental Gelade | Erased | Ergo Proxy | Eureka 7 |Evergreen

Figure 17 | Frankenstein Family | The Friendly Winter | Free! | Full Metal Panic

Gakuen Babysitters | Gargantia | Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun | GetBackers | Guilty Crown
Gundam Seed | Gunslinger Girl

Hayate the Combat Butler | Heat Guy J | Heroic Legend of Arslan | Hetalia: Axis Powers | Hitogatana
Horimiya | Hunter x Hunter | Hyouka

Illegal Rare | Immortal Rain | Inu x Boku | Irregular at Magic High School | Iris Zero | Isshukan Friends

Joker Game | Jormungand | Jyu-Oh-Sei

K | Kado | Kagerou Days | Karneval | Kiddy Grade | Kimi ni Todoke | Kimi to Boku | Kino's Journey
Kino: The Beautiful World | Kiznaiver | Kono Oto Tomare | Kotoura-san | Kuromukuro

La Corda D'Oro | Lagrange | Last Exile | Last Ranker be the Last One |Library Wars | Lime Odyssey
Little Busters | Love So Life | Lucky Star

Mai-HiME | Maid-Sama! | Majestic Prince |March Comes in Like a Lion | Medabots
Michiko & Hatchin | Monster Rancher | Mouretsu Pirates | My Hero Academia | My Little Monster
My Love Story!! | My Roommate is a Cat

Nagi no Asukara | Night Head | Night Raid 1931 | Nisekoi | No.6 | Norn9 | Nui! | Nukoduke!

Oban Star Racers | Okami-san and her Seven Companions | Okami-kodomo | One Piece
One-Punch Man | Orange | Oresama Teacher | Otomen

Pet Girl of Sakurasou | Plastic Memories | +Anima | Poco's Udon World | Pokemon | Princess Jellyfish
Psyren | Pumpkin Scissors

Re-Life | Rideback | R.o.D. TV | Romeo x Juliet | The Royal Tutor | Rurouni Kenshin | RWBY

S.A. | Saijou no Meii | Sailor Moon: Crystal | Samurai 7 | Sands of Destruction | School Rumble
Sgt. Frog | Shining Hearts | Shirayukihime to 7-nin no Shuujin |Silver Diamond | Skip Beat | SNAFU
Solty Rei | Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii | Spiral | Starry Sky
The Story of Saiunkoku | Sword Art Online | SAO II | SAO: Alicization

Tegami Bachi | Touhou Shinigami | Trickster | Trigun | Tsubasa: Those With Wings | Tsukikage Ran

The Unlimited

Valvrave | Violet Evergarden

Wasureyuki | When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace | Whistle! | WIXOSS | Wolf's Rain
World Embryo | World Trigger

Yatterman Night | Yotsuba&! | Young Black Jack | Your Lie in April | Your Name |
YowaPeda | Yuusen Shojo

Zankyou no Terror | Zennou no Noa | Zoids | Zoids: Chaotic Century

Kono Oto Tomare (Stop This Sound)

Plot: When the senior members of the koto club graduate, it's up to new president (and now sole member) Takezo Kurata to gather new recruits before the club gets the ax. When Chika Kudo, a delinquent infamous for vandalizing his grandfather's koto shop, barges into the club one day and demands to join, Takezo doubts his intentions and turns him away. Then, Chika steps in to protect him from bullies trying to trash the club, and Takezo learns that Chika is not what his reputation led him to believe. Chika joins, and the koto club slowly starts to grow in numbers and skill -- especially under the tutelage of koto prodigy Satowa Hozuki -- but do they have what it takes to reach their goal of going to the national koto competition? (Comes down to a familiar tournament anime-esque progression and uses some familiar plot cliches, but executes its story well through its characters. -- B)

Characters: Very nicely developed. This is one of those series where even background characters are likeable - even the archetypical idiot trio gets a fair share of development. -- A-

Art & Animation: Art is good, animation can sometimes be lazy. But when the concerts are highlighted and the animators pull out the stops, it looks really good! -- B

Music: The background music is good and some of the performance pieces on the koto are standout. -- B+

Voice Acting: A-

Objectionable Content: Profanity, anything else is mild

Other: This series was recommended to me. I binged the first season in under a week and then caught up on season 2 -- need I say I liked it? XD The traditional koto music may be a barrier to entry if that's not something you like much, but the characterization makes it worth a shot to try.

(Just a sidenote and something I found funny: The club president, Takezo, looks a lot like the main character from "Your Lie in April", and that's what initially caught my eye when I saw a clip of it. XD)

Overall Score: A

Recommendation: 3.5/5

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Dr. Stone

Plot: A mysterious phenomenon sweeps across the globe and turns every human to stone. Thousands of years pass, and the world has essentially been reset to the primitive ages. Among the first to awaken in this "stone world" are science devotee Senku and his brawny childhood friend, Taiju. Together, they set out to rebuild society through the power of science. (A)

Characters: Senku is an eccentric piece of work but in an endearing way. XD And Taiju is a muscle-head with a straightforward and sincere personality. The rest of the cast is not as well developed yet, but still interesting to watch. A-

Art & Animation: A

Music: B+

Voice Acting: A

Objectionable Content: Blood, profanity, suggestive themes

Other: This series is an intriguing action/adventure with a helping of education on the side as Senku experiments with materials in attempts to recreate things like gunpowder and glass. The humor can be a little off-kilter at times, but not enough to really detract from the series. I have never read the manga that it is adapted from.

Overall Score: A

Recommendation: 3.5/5

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My Roommate is a Cat

Plot: In search of inspiration for his next novel, an introverted writer named Subaru Mikazuki, who closed himself off after the death of his parents, takes in a stray cat. In learning to take care of her, he starts to open up to others and broaden his horizons. (Nothing ground-breaking here, just a fluffy slice of life. -- B-)

Characters: None outside of Subaru and Haru (the cat) are explored in-depth, but those two are explored well. -- B+

Artwork & Animation: B-

Voice Acting: A-

Music: B+

Objectionable Content: barely any

Other: This series is interesting in that the formula in 90% of the episodes is the first half telling events from Subaru's point of view and the second half telling events from Haru's point of view. Haru mostly acts like a real cat would act, so seeing her side of the story is always fun. ^^

I really enjoyed this, personally, and would recommend it to anyone searching for a good, clean, lighthearted series.

Overall Score: B+

Recommendation: 3.5/5

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A Blast from the Anime Past

I've been feeling nostalgic recently. From the early days of mon anime to the kids' shows that I watched later, I've been going back and revisiting them at least in part. So, here's a ranking/assessment with nostalgia glasses off.

7. Pokemon
The anime that hooked me before I knew anime by name. I went back to some of my favorite episodes, and while they were fun, this is definitely the lowest on the list.
Good points: The fun. This series was unabashedly fun.
Bad points: The least mature with the least-developed characters. The whole plot comes down to the tournaments without much reason to root for characters you have minimum investment in.

6. Beyblade
Fun enough that I go back to it every so often even if the premise is dumb.
Good points: Unlike Pokemon, character arcs are well-done, which ups the investment when the stakes get high. This series always manages to make me laugh, but it knows when to play it serious too. (On more of a sidenote, the first season's art is head-and-shoulders above the simplistic art in the rest of these series.)
Bad points: The premise is kinda ridiculous when all is said and done. Really bad voice acting really makes it not hold up well against the competition.

6 - TIE. Monster Rancher
Of all of the mon anime, this was the darkest. The episodes were played at random, so I never saw the end. I picked it up again intending to finally finish the series, but... I dropped it at some point.
Good points: More complex characters and storytelling.
Bad points: The story's uneven, sometimes taking random detours. I also can't take too much of Genki in a single sitting because he's just kind of over-the-top.

4. Digimon Adventure 01
While I enjoyed seeing this again, it didn't hold up as well as some of its later counterparts.
Good points: The "destined" aspect gives it a kind of epic adventure feel that gets lost in the later seasons. The world-building was also cool. The kids get nice character development, but not so much for the Digimon.
Bad points: Couldn't take the final boss seriously because of all of the jokes that were apparently added into the dub version. That took a lot of tension out of what should have been a climactic point in the series.

3. Digimon Savers (Data Squad)
Some parts of this season are definitely stronger than other parts. I find myself revisiting specific arcs.
Good points: Keenan. Yup. He's what hooked me and is still my main reason for watching. Okay, and also a more complex conflict that's a little less black & white than the one in the original series. Doesn't dumb things down for its audience.
Bad points: Marcus. ... He just wasn't as likable as the protagonists from the other series -- he has a major attitude problem, with less redeeming qualities than Tai and Matt, who were also hotheaded, but stronger characters. I also found Yoshi a bit grating. Standing alone, the premise is good. But taking it in the context of the franchise, it's lost its roots. The whole basis of the series has been changed, and the epic feel and sense of mystery are gone when the protagonists are now essentially regular kids on a police force and the Digimon are basically their Pokemon. (No, really, they even store them inside their digivices the same way Pokemon are carried in Pokeballs.)

2. Digimon Tamers (SPOILER WARNING)
I did skip a couple episodes here and there, but in my review of Digimon, this was the best season of the franchise, hands-down. It still has a little bit of the adventurous/magical feel of the first season but with the complexity of the more recent seasons. It balances a lot of fun moments with some downright dark segments and plays well to both.
Good points: Again, doesn't over-explain/dumb things down for its audience. The portrayal of having to hide and care for the Digimon in the real world is actually pretty realistic. This has some very good character development. Even characters that I initially couldn't stand (Rika) were developed well. The kids' bonds with their Digimon is highlighted particularly well.
Bad points: There were some moments in the final conflict that were just kind of thrown in without making much sense. One of them was the weird blonde girl that was the daughter of one of the developers, I think... She popped in, gave the heroes a convenient ace-in-the-hole for their big battle, and disappeared. There are also some kinda random episodes (Kazu and Kenta's adventure in the digi world -- pretty much anything with Kazu and Kenta is unnecessary) and cheesy parts, but overall this was still enjoyable to watch.

1. Oban Star Racers (SPOILER WARNING)
Good points: This is one of the best-written shows for kids and teens that I've ever seen. You understand the majority of the characters' motivations, and it's so emotional (particularly Molly's character arc). Creativity's also a strong point here.
Bad points: I was totally on board with the plot and the characters...until the very end. Caniletto and his whole destiny shpiel, and JORDAN, Mr. Blast-Everything-In-Sight, getting all the powers and authority of the highest alien lifeform in the galaxy? NO. Just NO. XD

To complete my nostalgia viewing, I'll have to go and dig up Astroboy 2003 and Medabots. Hmm... I wonder where those would fall in the ranking? I'll probably wind up revisiting this post. XD


I'm going a bit off the beaten path this time with a series that's not technically anime -- but it's sure close enough, and TDE has me on a roll with his recent analysis of the show.


Plot: In the world of Remnant, huntsmen and huntresses protect the kingdoms from the mysterious creatures of Grimm.

Thanks to her antics during a high-profile robbery, aspiring huntress Ruby Rose is accepted to the prestigious Beacon huntsmen academy, where she becomes the leader of her own team. Ruby, her sister, Yang, and their friends, Weiss and Blake, soon find themselves fighting much more than just the Grimm as tensions come to a head and secrets threaten to shatter the fragile peace. (Early episodes are standard school dramedy fare with a fairytale twist, but pieces of plot dropped here and there build into quite an involved web of events. The latest season or two have made this web a bit more tangled, and not in a good way. -- A-)

Characters: Even if some of them seem tropey or irritating at first, the main characters, and even some of the supporting cast members, grow and get some real depth as the series progresses. -- A

Artwork & Animation: The cel-shaded 3D style, reminiscent to the DBZ and Naruto fighter games, takes a bit of getting used to, but improves with each season. In the earlier seasons, especially, fight sequences look like something straight out of this type of game. -- B-

Voice Acting: First season -- C | Latest seasons -- B+

Music: Not a huge fan of the hard rock vocal numbers used in some of the fight sequences (because it jars me right out of the scene), but the orchestrated BG music is very nice. -- B

Objectionable Content: blood, occasional profanity

Other: I actually initially quit this series not even halfway through volume 1, but picked it up again after hearing how great the later seasons were. Volume 1 is an introduction to the world and characters, volume 2 sets up all the pieces that later come into play, volume 3 is where all the villains' plotting comes to a climax, and volume 4 is the fallout, where we get a lot of character development. Volume 5 builds up the action again, but this is also the season with the messiest (meaning most convoluted) storytelling and a number of other issues. Finally, volume 6 introduces a second major turning point in the plot.

Volumes 2-4 are my favorite. Volumes 5 and 6 have some elements that I enjoyed and others that I strongly disliked. I may not be watching further.

Overall Score: B+

Recommendation: Vol 1 -- 2.5/5 | Vol 2-4 -- 4/5 | Vol 5, 6 -- 2/5

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