User Reviews

Current and Classic Animation!
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Tori
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Re: User Reviews

Postby Tori » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:32 am

Yutapon is amazing and if he ever leaves Bones it will be a sad day for the studio. His obsession with details, especially when it comes to sword play is incredible, and we all know about the Yutapon cubes. Just a cool effect that everyone and their mothers decided to adapt.

Also, for those that are curios about what shows those clips are from. From the top down:
Concrete Revolutio
Cowboy Bebop
Sword of the Stranger
One Punch Man
ON EXTENDED HIATUS
SEE YOU IN DISCORD


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Eira
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Kemono Friends Review

Postby Eira » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:16 am

I did a Kemono Friends review and posted it originally to my MAL page. My MAL is in my signature so if you want the full review then you can there, for the sake of this being a forme post and as far as I can tell it’s meant to be shorter reviews I’m going to be posting an abridged version of sorts. I’ll basically just be taken some excerpts from my full review and compiling them into a shorter version.

I’d really love some feed back since I never get any on MAL, thoughts on my writing, my points, just anything really. While I’ve written many reviews I still don’t think they’re that great, although much better then when I started. So please give me all the feedback you can and you don’t need to make it nice if you think my review was trash, I want hoesnty!

So here me go, Kemono Friends:
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I have spoilers in my reviews becuase I pefer the ‘analyse the show and talk about it and explore it’s aspects’ kind of review rather then the ‘should you watch this?’ I’d say in the end it’s a mix of both but it’s more analysis then review and so spoilers are present. I’ve broken the review up into sections so feel free to open only a few parts, but know you’re proceeding at your own risk.

Expectations:
Spoiler:
When Kemono Friends first started airing I originally dismissed it completely, a Shinji CG show based off a failed mobile game, how could it be any good. But then it got very popular! While it was airing a friend of mine kept telling me about it and I kept seeing Japanese meme videos about it. So I noticed that many people were watching it and loving it. However the only good thing I heard about it was that it had hints of taking place in a post apocalyptic world but that was about it. So I continued to disregard it, thinking it was a bad show but that people liked it cause it was good meme fuel and some low tier world building was there. But let me tell you something, BOY WAS I WRONG!


Subtle world building:
Spoiler:
Kemono Friends has an interesting and deep world that explains itself to the audience in an organic way that I wish more shows strived for. It’s a prime example of world building done right, things feel like they exist because they’re a part of the world and not just because the show needs them for the plot. The history of the world feels real because people don’t just start explaining it for no reason. Things are left up to the imagination or aren’t fully explained at first, instead waiting for a time when it’s more natural for it to happen.

This is made obvious by the way it uses tropes to show how unique it is. We have our protagonist and she’s the generic ‘I don’t know anything about this world’ like an isekai protag or a transfer student, someone who isn’t familiar with the world. However most anime will use this aspect to get away with having other people explain everything to the protagonist and by proxy, the audience. However long exposition spouts never occur and instead we see our protagonist slowly and naturally get use to the world and discover things about it on her own. Other characters also just assume she should know more than she does and that she’s a part of the world and thus they don’t explain what they think is normal, they only do so if prompted by her confusion.

It also helps that you’ll usually figure things out on your own. You’re never confused about what’s going on or what the show is trying to say. By the end all the questions you would of had have been answered and most of the time you’ll be able to reach that answer yourself if you’re paying attention.


Friends: (basically characters, I just wanted to fit the theme of Kemono Friends)
Spoiler:
The character designs are really great and I’m sure that played a part in drawing people into the show at the beginning and thus giving the show a chance. All the ‘friends’ have really nice designs, you can’t always tell what animal they’re meant to be based off of but it doesn’t matter since the show will almost always tell you. And knowing lets you pick up on nice details instead of sitting there trying to figure out what animal it is. But most of the time you can make a pretty safe guess and be right or close enough.

The range of animals covered is also surprisingly large, animals are covered from all different environments and regions, it’s not locked to animals in Japan or just well known ones. Everything from penguins to lions to Tasmanian devils are included. Also it’s really easy to remembers everyone’s names since they just share their name with whatever animal they’re based off. And as for the protagonist, well she’s also got an easy to remember name, since it’s just Kaban, since she has a bag with her and no one knows what a human is for the majority of the show, thus she is named kaban and stays that way even after finding out that she’s a human, now about Kaban.


Kaban-chan:
Spoiler:
So very early on serval makes it clear that all the friends have one thing that makes them special and she's really confused about what makes Kaban special since as a human she doesn’t have any sharp claws or teeth, skin is soft and humans aren’t that fast, nor do they have any species specific physical features like wings or something. From right away I knew they were going to make her special thing be her innovation and ideas, since that’s just what it is in real life, humans took over the world cause of their intellect.

Even in the first episode we see things like Kaban knowing how to open up a box to get something that’s inside, which serval is very surprised by. And she also makes a paper airplane to distract a cerulean. After that it only gets more extreme, with Kaban becoming a saviour that goes around solving everyone’s problems with her intellect. Fixing bridges, making signs, helping people to coordinate, and resolving a civil war, because of course.


Side note: Don’t think this is spoilery, if anyone finds it spoilery then let me know and I’ll edit it.
First off I think this show is beyond wanting to sell a mobile game, there’s too many deep and creative ideas going on here for it to be a glorified ad. Personally I found it be a really fun show to watch. Typical episode is Kaban and serval meet two other friends and end up helping them out with some issue and hijinks ensue and world building thrown in for good measure and it doesn’t need to be more really, it’s enjoyable as is. (In my main review this whole sections about one aspect of one episode, cut entirely since it’s not imperative.)

Lucky Beast:
Spoiler:
The voice acting is overall pretty average, about what you’d expect. I really like the way everyone sounds. Especially Kaban, cause she’s voiced by Ucchi! In fact Ucchi does a few characters she also voices Lucky Beast and Mirai. Lucky is kinda the only character that dies, although not really since his belt voice thing remains and Kaban starts wearing it around her arm and lucky can still talk from it. Lucky was weirdly charming, the way he moves and walks around is cute and he’s honesty and obliviousness to the changes of the park adds a good dynamic. She only talks to Kaban since she’s a human and only allows herself to talk to the other friends when a human is in danger, which seems to be some kind of park rule.

I really enjoyed lucky throughout the show and when he finally talked to several towards the end and he treats her a bit different then if she was just another friend and more like an actual friend it just made me so happy, he does care about her, he just has to follow the rules and thus can’t talk to her most of the time. I’m not gonna say it made me cry... but it made me cry. Also is lucky a he or a she, I don’t know, I went with he but who knows.


The Waterworks:
Spoiler:
I cried a number of times and I think that’s the sign of good emotional storytelling, as well as an ability to make me care for the characters. Obviously this is also a very subjective aspect, not everyone’s going to cry at the same things that I do, but I think the fact that it made me cry is important because it means there’s a possibility for crying. I first cried in the a snowstorm episode at the start but that ended up being a fake out and during the second last episode I cried a lot towards the end.

The episodes are emotionally powerful thanks to great directing. The framing of Kaban in the final moments of the episode when the cerulean comes down and consumes her is dramatic and has impact, making it more sad, as well as what she says and how she says it. Luckies “death” in the final episode also made me cry and you better believe I was very teary eyed throughout the final episode overall, even once the normally sad stuff ended I was still teary eyed because the show was ending and it was just pulling off the ending so well. Good endings make me cry even if they’re not sad, Mahoujin Guru Guru was the same way for me.


Conclusion:
I really enjoyed Kemono Friends, the animation wasn’t a problem, I love the characters, it made me cry, and it’s overall an anime I’m not going to ever forget. I LOVE Kemono Friends, it’s a great show and I’ve been struggling with writing this for so long and gone about it so many different ways cause I want to do the show justice.

In the end I don’t think I was able to explain my thoughts correctly nor was I able to truly explain what it is about this show that makes it so great and the show is so deep and has so many characters that I wish I had the time and skill to write about all of it and still keep it interesting enough for someone to read.

I’m just going to outright say that I love the show and although I may not be able to explain it correctly I really think everyone should give this show a chance, if you skipped Kemono Friends after an episode or two or you just didn’t even try to watch it for whatever reason, then I implore you to go back and give this show a chance. It might just surprise you, it certainly did me.

I don’t know if I’ve changed anyone’s mind or if I’ve really shown anyone just how much I love this show, but I wanted to try and if it doesn’t seem like I love this show a lot then you need to know that I do, even if I can’t articulate it well, my English teacher said it best “you have great ideas, I can see that those ideas are there, but you need to explain them on the page a lot better.” I don’t think my writing does the show justice. But believe me, I love it and it’s great.

No score cause review scores are dumb, just to give it a chance if you’re unsure.
Everything I say is in relation to me, objectivity doesn't exist.

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BlueSpark
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Re: Kemono Friends Review

Postby BlueSpark » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:03 am

Eira wrote:No score cause review scores are dumb, just to give it a chance if you’re unsure.
Word.

I'd be up for giving this anime a shot, which is why I didn't delve into any of your spoiler tags. However, I don't think the chances of this receiving a dub are particularly high, so it might never happen.

On a personal note, though, I don't believe there's a single 'good' style for writing a review. I've read a lot of them over the last 3 years or so, and there are very different approaches that can work to great effect. Some are highly analytical, others use jokes to lighten up the mood, and others yet basically document the writer's very personal experiences with the show and even offer real-life anecdotes which relate to it. So I don't think you should feel pressureed to over-optimize your reviews in a specific direction.
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Re: Kemono Friends Review

Postby Fullmetal-Senpai » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:32 pm

BlueSpark wrote:
Eira wrote:No score cause review scores are dumb, just to give it a chance if you’re unsure.
Word.

I'd be up for giving this anime a shot, which is why I didn't delve into any of your spoiler tags. However, I don't think the chances of this receiving a dub are particularly high, so it might never happen.

On a personal note, though, I don't believe there's a single 'good' style for writing a review. I've read a lot of them over the last 3 years or so, and there are very different approaches that can work to great effect. Some are highly analytical, others use jokes to lighten up the mood, and others yet basically document the writer's very personal experiences with the show and even offer real-life anecdotes which relate to it. So I don't think you should feel pressureed to over-optimize your reviews in a specific direction.

I find scores pretty important, they help to quickly understand a baseline as to what your reviewer feels.

On the review style,I don't think it matters, so long as your style is consistent and your readers understand who you are or what your saying. Basically knowing your author is just as important as knowing your audience.

B's would you just take my word that some obscure Mecha is a 8/10, probably not because you know we don't agree, that being said if your favorite reviewer used my exact review but with them saying it you'd probably be more accepting if the possibility.

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Eira
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Re: Kemono Friends Review

Postby Eira » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:04 am

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:
Eira wrote:No score cause review scores are dumb, just to give it a chance if you’re unsure.
I find scores pretty important, they help to quickly understand a baseline as to what your reviewer feels.

On the review style,I don't think it matters, so long as your style is consistent and your readers understand who you are or what your saying. Basically knowing your author is just as important as knowing your audience.

I do understand the purpose of numbers but I just don't like them very much cause I feel like many people see scores different. I think a 6 is good but most people think anything lower then 7 isn't good at all and that warped perspective and difference in opinion on what numbers matter makes me not wanna use them.

I atleast do stay consistent, I think. I don't think I'm too great of a reviewer and maybe I can't explain myself super well but I'm always trying to improve. Either way I hope people at least take enough interest to read them and give me feedback, even if they tend to not have the same taste in shows as me.
Everything I say is in relation to me, objectivity doesn't exist.

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Re: Kemono Friends Review

Postby BlueSpark » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:43 am

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:I find scores pretty important, they help to quickly understand a baseline as to what your reviewer feels.
Fair enough. In that sense, they fulfill a "tl;dr" role. My problem with them is that numbers sound too 'hard' (as in "cold, hard facts"), creating the illusion of objectivity. I would assume (Yeah, I know what they say about making assumptions) there are many people out there who would be immediately deterred by seeing a 6/10 rating and not even bother listening to what the reviewer actually has to say about the anime.
Also, Eira makes a good point on how the interpretation of numbers is quite inconsistent from person to person (Off-topic, I wonder if that phenomenon is especially pronounced in the anime community as opposed to, say, movies or gaming).

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:Basically knowing your author is just as important as knowing your audience.
Nail on the head. The more I know about the author's preferences and tastes, the more I can see their thoughts on a particular show in proper context. And only then is a review ever worth taking to heart.

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:if your favorite reviewer used my exact review but with them saying it you'd probably be more accepting if the possibility.
That's on point, too. No way I can deny it. Nevertheless, I'd like to believe that your open letter appeal as well as big personal surprises like Darling in the FranXX recently have made me a little more open-minded towards differing opinions (emphasis on little, though :P).
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Flying Witch Review

Postby Eira » Sun May 26, 2019 11:18 pm

Hey, I finally found the time to do another review. Even though I did start one for the Broly movie and just never finished it.
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Review contains spoilers for flying witch so it’s gonna be behind a tag. Not broken up into segments this time because I don’t really follow that format anymore. I’m trying to be more concise while still covering everything I want to with this review and I think it turned out really well, let me know what you guys think!

It’s also on MAL so you can read it there too if you want, my MAL is in my signature and you can easily find the reviews page once you’re there.

Spoiler:
Flying Witch is the most Iyashikei Iyashikei I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. I wouldn’t call it the best Iyashikei but it certainly fits the genre the best and fully goes for it, it doesn’t really step outside of it much at all. It’s rare to see a show go so fully into Iyashikei, majority that I’ve seen like to fall into multiple genres with Iyashikei as an aspect rather then the entire point, but flying Witch feels like it’s entire point is just to be Iyashikei.

Flying Witch follows a witch - go figure - as she moves into a new town, staying with her uncle, aunt, and two cousins. She’s staying there as she had to move out in order to study witchcraft outside of her home with her parents. It does feel a little pointless to move from living with direct relative to somewhat distant relatives, you’re still relying on your family to provide shelter for you. But it doesn’t matter too much because that’s not the point, the point is that we have a Witch now living in the country and calmness insues.

Flying Witch like most Iyashikei is set in a small country town, and this always greatly increases my enjoyment, even if for a very personal reason. I love country towns in japan, I love the way the towns are laid out, I love the difference between wide open areas but then also small streets and alleyways, I love how clean and fresh the air is and I love how isolated it feels to be there. Whenever I’ve been to japan I’ve come out of my way to spend some time in rural areas because I just love the atmosphere there, it’s a very personal thing obviously but it’s adds to my enjoyment whenever an anime takes place in the country and captures the feeling and look right, which flying Witch dose.

Flying Witch despite being an Iyashikei also has a very deep world that it does take some time to build, without weighing itself down with exposition. If you’ve read my Kemono Friends review then you know I love good world building and there’s plenty of it here. It does world building the same way flying with dose, where the characters act like real people and don’t just randomly explain things without reason. If they ever do explain things it’s to people who don’t know or understand these things and want to know more about it, mainly Makoto’s cousins. And oh god you don’t know who Makoto is and I kinda like this gag so I’m not gonna edit the character part in to be earlier.

Our protagonist is Makoto, and I can’t believe I didn’t mention that earlier. As far as protagonists go she’s fairly generic, she’s a bit dumb and has a bad sense of direction which is a very common protagonist trait. She’s serviceable as a protagonist but most of the time I wasn’t too fond of her and she wasn’t what kept me around, but she does what she needs to do and I can at least admit the show would be lesser without her.

Her cousins, Chinatsu and Kei are a mixed bag, cause while I love Chinatsu, I hate Kei. Well, hate is a strong word but I’m not fond of him at all. He doesn’t do much for the story and a lot of the time he just came off as annoying or a buzz kill, I don’t think he was mean to be written this way but the voice acting really kills it. His dialog could be interpreted a few different ways and I’m sure I’d enjoy him more in the manga, but the way the voice actor dose him makes me dislike him. This voice actor is Shinsuke Sugawara and he is not talented, I can not believe that the way he delivers the lines is what the director wanted, he does not have many roles in the past and this was also his first main role, I think it was a poor casting choice and I wish someone with even a little more talent or experience had been cast instead. Although, for reasons I’ll get into later, I think they didn’t want to spend much money of voice acting.

Chinatsu is a cutie, she’s actually voice by someone talented who has a sizeable resume, thank god. And she’s absolutely adorable, she dose cute things and cute things… she’s really cute. What I’m saying is that the whole point of her character is to be cute, but also to be the person invested in the witch world who also doesn’t know anything about it, and thus the other characters can explain things to her and by proxy, us the audience. Chinatsu takes great interest in witchcraft and the ‘other world’ fairly early on and eventually even becomes an apprentice witch. We’re told it’s possible for her to become a witch but becoming one without being born into it is rare and takes a lot of hard work, which just reminded me of little witch academia, was bound to happen.

We never see Chinatsu start to use magic or make potions on her own, she contributes in small ways the what the other witches are doing but overall we don’t see her begin to truly be a witch in any way and for the most part is still in an observing stage of learning. But as I said, she’s just there to be cute and she really is cute, watching her run around and act like such a small child never fails to make me smile and since it’s Iyashikei and is just meant to make me feel good she never really faces much conflict either, things are usually going good which just makes her more happy and thus me more happy.

Makoto’s uncle and aunt don’t really do much, the aunt is really chill and fun and a total MILF, way too cute for her age, I like the uncle although he gets even less screen time, he’s got a real thick accent which always translates weirdly to subtitles but it’s a funny enough gag that Makoto can never understand her.

Akane is Makoto’s sister and she fits into a character trope that really annoys me. It shouldn’t annoy me cause it’s not a big deal but she’s basically set up as a character that isn’t around much, she’s usually off somewhere and thus she isn’t a part of the story right away. But then, as soon as they’re appear in an episode they just keep showing up and staying around after that, usually there’s some excuse for why they went from always being away to always being present but it still bothers me a lot.

So Akane is a set up as a nomad. Shows up for an episode and then goes away again, but next episode they’re talking about her and wondering when she’ll return, makoto says she’s doesn’t show up much and it’ll probably be a few months but then she just shows up there and then. And after that she just keeps being around the house and starts saying she just doesn’t feel like traveling for awhile. I am to an extent glad she’s there, cause she’s a good character but that small aspect will always bother me.

She basically acts as a much more experienced witch then Makoto and she’s extremely well versed and has large knowledge about the ‘other world’ and other mysteries things. She helps explain things to both Makoto and Chinatsu (and the audience) often. She’s a pretty important character and I was surprised to learn that she was voice by Kana Aoi who has very little roles, but she did a great job here! I really liked her performance and I think it fit the character super well. Akane is also host to one of the best gags, where she accidentally ends up making a portion of the ocean and land in china black and white, it’s a really weird but artsy scene and I was hoping it would lead into Akane and Makoto needing to restore it back to normal but the show is very episodic.

In fact, it’s not even episodic, it’s half episodic, most episodes being broken into two small stories, usually with some kind of connection. Early on most stories take a full episode to tell but it doesn’t take long for the show to become 2 stories per episodes. However there is one exception later on that I really enjoy and that’s the café “arc” can I even call it an arc. The second half of episode 7 is a story about Makoto, Kei, and Chinatsu going to café that’s hidden to normal people and only beings who know it’s there can reveal it and enter it.

This café “arc” ends up carrying over into episode 8 and then takes up the entire episode as well. Meaning it takes up 3 sections basically, and it’s a really fun story too, this café has a ghost as a waiter, run by witches and has all kinds of crazy quests. Some of which have really cool designs, like the brining or night who shows up at one point, and then ends up being really nice and gives chiantsu a candy.

The whole café section is full of fun little bits that made me smile or laugh or just feel happy and I wanted to stay there, the vibe of the café was great and I really think you could make a whole anime around just this café. I know the whole café with whacky quests is pretty generic but I really did enjoy this episode and I’d say episode 8 is my favourite from the series. Also pretty much every episode after this is consistently really good, the show definitely gets better towards the end.

Part of the end getting better is in the increased world building, I already mentioned how the café has a ghost and the bringer of night, which were cool things. But from here on out they really just keep adding any neat idea they have. We see a postman from the otherworld who delivers witch newspaper, we see a whale that flies through the set and has ancient ruins on its back, we see land fish, and all other kinds of crazy creative stuff.

The sky whale was a personal favourite, that was a really cool story and if it had been a full episode maybe i would of liked it more then episode 8. It was done with CGI that was actually really well done, the back was a super cool area and it combined with the ruins gave me Laputa vibes, this is another thing that is such a small part of this story but could be expanded into its own series or movie easily. I just love how deep each aspect of this world is, it really makes it feel grand and alive and I hope we keep getting more of both the manga and anime as I want them to continue to add creative ideas while returning to old ones often to expand on them. I don’t know if they return to ideas often but I hope they do.

Music is a huge aspect of Iyashikei, at least in terms of when it’s animated. We all know that music can be used as a great mood setter and it would be too easy to destroy an Iyashikei by giving it a poor soundtrack or a soundtrack that doesn’t suit what it’s trying to achieve. This is true of all shows but Iyashikei has the one of the widest erays of things that can’t be used and absolutely won’t work.

Luckily flying witch knows what it’s doing in this regard and has a great soundtrack fitting the subject matter and always giving a calm atmosphere. I found myself falling asleep many times while going through flying Witch, now part of this is cause I was watching it late into the night but the other part is that it’s just so calming. Of course I can’t read the subtitles if I close my eyes so if I ever got it the point of closing my eyes for too long I’d have to stop, but I think while this would be an insult to most shows it’s a compliment here. It really did its job well and when I had gotten home after a stressful day at uni this was a great way to wind down and just relax. I’m really glad I got to watch flying witch.

If anything I said resonates with you then be sure to check it out yourself, no numbers cause numbers are dumb. Just read what I said and you can figure out my thoughts fairly easily.
Everything I say is in relation to me, objectivity doesn't exist.

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