Top 20 Best Action Anime List [Must Watch]

Overview

Welcome to top 20 action anime list! Action anime has always been one of the favorite genres of many anime fans. There are different styles and types. Some have sword/weapon fighting, some have super powers while others are just old school ORA ORA ORA ORA bare fist fighting.

A lot of anime also have quite some nice fighting scenes with amazing graphic and fighting style. After a long day of school or work, it is one of the most enjoyable genre to watch to relax and take your mind off other things.

We have selected the action animes that we enjoyed watching and would love to share it with you all. Keep in mind that the list is in no particular order.

Samurai Champloo

Fuu Kasumi is a young and clumsy waitress who spends her days peacefully working in a small teahouse. That is, until she accidentally spills a drink all over one of her customers! With a group of samurai now incessantly harassing her, Fuu desperately calls upon another samurai in the shop, Mugen, who quickly defeats them with his wild fighting technique, utilizing movements reminiscent to that of breakdancing. Unfortunately, Mugen decides to pick a fight with the unwilling ronin Jin, who wields a more precise and traditional style of swordfighting, and the latter proves to be a formidable opponent. The only problem is, they end up destroying the entire shop as well as accidentally killing the local magistrate’s son.

For their crime, the two samurai are captured and set to be executed. However, they are rescued by Fuu, who hires the duo as her bodyguards. Though she no longer has a place to return to, the former waitress wishes to find a certain samurai who smells of sunflowers and enlists the help of the now exonerated pair to do so. Despite initially disapproving of this idea, the two eventually agree to assist the girl in her quest; thus, the trio embark upon an adventure to find this mysterious warrior—that is, if Fuu can keep Mugen and Jin from killing each other.

Set in an alternate Edo Period of Japan, Samurai Champloo follows the journey of these three eccentric individuals in an epic quest full of action, comedy, and dynamic sword fighting, all set to the beat of a unique hip-hop infused soundtrack.

Review/Comments

The premise is simple, three complete strangers drawn together by fate to embark on a long, very parlous journey across unfamiliar territory. However, it’s not the plot which makes Samurai Champloo note worthy, but rather the characters themselves. There is a very strong relate-ability present in the main characters Jin, Mugen and Fuu; no matter who the viewer happens to be it’s a more than safe bet they will instantly find common ground with at least one if not all three. This element within it’s self is the very one which drives the series forward, it offers added interest and added suspense as each of our three travailing companions find themselves in some rather tense situations quite regularly. The true paradox in Samurai Champloo is that it’s actually the main characters’ normality which makes them so extraordinary.

Jin is a quiet, very strong willed, mysterious man of few words and it shows through greatly in his swordsmanship. Gin fights the same way he lives, with decisiveness, with great resolve, and with honor. Jin is a man of tradition, and a man of respect. It comes as no surprise he isn’t one to allow someone under his skin during the heat of battle, he remains un-rattled and content with his abilities even in times of great adversities.

Mugen can easily be considered Jin’s polar opposite; unlike Jin, Mugen has no concept of reserve, always speaks his mind despite the outcome, he is an extremely reckless individual who is easily the most cut throat free spirit in existence. Mugen inadvertently thrives off of defying the laws and ‘order’ around him, but in reality he’s simply seeking an opponent who he feels would prove as a worthy match for his skill and ability. There are some who claim they’d laugh in the face of death, Mugen would beat each and every one of you to it.

Fuu is unlike either of the two samurai who accompany her. Although she’s a bit of a klutz and slightly clueless at times, Fuu proves to be a lot more cunning and determined than first impressions are willing to let on. Fuu is the type of girl who once her mind is made up, nothing except death could stop her from chasing and attempting to reach her goals and aspirations, but like everyone, some times she just needs a bit of motivation.

Samurai Champloo is able to excel where most other series fail, it’s ability to balance both comedic elements with serious, very deep subject matter is a direct result of the characters themselves. Nothing seems forced, every line of dialog is believable, everything seems to fit with the personality, actions and dominate traits Jin, Mugen and Fuu possess; although most would think this should be expected, it’s not an easy feat to accomplish. The multi dimensional perspective of Jin, Mugen, and Fuu’s outward actions, as well as inner feelings more than make up for the lack of complexity in the story’s plot. After all, who here hasn’t seen an anime about samurai?

Most importantly this series left me fulfilled, it didn’t leave any questions unanswered, and to me the ending, although somewhat anti climatic was in my opinion a more than suited one to close the final pages on what is one of my favorite animes of all time. You’ll laugh, maybe even cry and through it all you’ll enjoy every minute of it, and chances are you’ll want to experience it all over again in the not to distant future.

-FarewellToWords

Rurouni Kenshin

In the final years of the Bakumatsu era lived a legendary assassin known as Hitokiri Battousai. Feared as a merciless killer, he was unmatched throughout the country, but mysteriously disappeared at the peak of the Japanese Revolution. It has been ten peaceful years since then, but the very mention of Battousai still strikes terror into the hearts of war veterans.

Unbeknownst to them, Battousai has abandoned his bloodstained lifestyle in an effort to repent for his sins, now living as Kenshin Himura, a wandering swordsman with a cheerful attitude and a strong will. Vowing never to kill again, Kenshin dedicates himself to protecting the weak. One day, he stumbles across Kaoru Kamiya at her kendo dojo, which is being threatened by an impostor claiming to be Battousai. After receiving help from Kenshin, Kaoru allows him to stay at the dojo, and so the former assassin temporarily ceases his travels.

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan tells the story of Kenshin as he strives to save those in need of saving. However, as enemies from both past and present begin to emerge, will the reformed killer be able to uphold his new ideals?

Review/Comments

Rurouni Kenshin is one of the more well-known 90s anime series out there, and I’d heard lots of great things about it. On that premise, I decided to begin watching it.

RK can be divided into three major parts. The first part, the first 30 or so episodes, is basically an introduction-type of thing, where we get to know the characters and learn about them. It’s not any continuous story here, just a new event every episode, or maybe small 2-3-episode arcs. Every time, Kenshin and/or Sanosuke ends up saving the day, or Yahiko manages to prove himself just a little bit more. It’s not extraordinary in this part, but it’s still very good – I’d give it a 9.

The second part, which is from episode 28 to 62, is where the story finally begins to develop. Now it’s a continuous story, much like what most shonen anime series does. It is in this part that Rurouni Kenshin shows its best side, and there’s a lot of pasts to look on, tons of emotions and resolves to change, and great action. Te pacing is just right too; it’s not too fast, nor too slow. Everything about this part is perfect story-wise, if you ask me. This part also has an ending (since the remainder of the show is filler), which you may or may not like. Everyone, including the bad guys, get their story wrapped up, and for me, that’s fine, but not everyone may share my opinion. All in all, I’d give this part a 10, and the story ends on a 10.

The remaining 32 episodes are filler as far as I’ve heard, and I haven’t watched them yet. I don’t think I will, since I thought the story ended so nicely; it’d kinda ruin the end if I watched more.

The animation is very good – considering the time it was made, that is. The coloring is a bit dull, and drawing style of the eyes and hairs of the characters is a style I don’t really like a lot. However, aside that it’s really good – the environments are lovely, and at times the animation is really smooth, even when comparing to anime of today. Lighting effects are good too, but I noticed one or two failed attempts in that department. One more thing – during sword fights, I got a bit let down every now and then. They don’t always show when the sword hits someone. Instead, a a blue beam of light is shown and the character who’s been hit is flying from the impact. It may create a final blow effect, but I didn’t like it that much, really. All in all, I’m settling on a 8 score for the animation.

Character-wise, Rurouni Kenshin is a real masterpiece. The characters – even some of the bad ones, have pasts which have deeply affected how they act in the present. These pasts which serves as a motivation for their present actions adds depth to the characters, and it’s easier to sympathize with them – even the bad ones. In addition to that, there’s tons of character development; Yahiko evolving as a swordsman, Sanosuke turning from a fighter-for-hire into a person for fights more for his friends, bad guys questioning their being bad, and not to mention, Kenshin fighting against his past as a manslayer. I’m pretty much tied between 9 and 10, so I’ll leave it at 9.

The soundtrack is, in my opinion, awesome. The background music is moody, fits right in with the setting of RK, and the songs are awesome. However, this is highly subjective, so you’ll have to experience it for yourself. Unfortunately, the fansubs I watched didn’t have the OP and ED themes included, so I just had to listen to them on Youtube. None of them really appealed to me, but you might think otherwise. Again, it’s subjective, so you’ll have to listen for yourself. Sound effects are good; from explosions to swords clashing against each others to cicada chirping. The voice acting is very good too, and I really enjoyed Kenshin’s voice and his gozaru. Due to not liking the OPs and EDs, I’ll settle on a 9 (I’ve only heard them once, so for me it wasn’t a big problem).

All in all, I really enjoyed RK, and take my word: If you like shonen, RK is a must-see for you. Which means, most of the anime fans out there should see RK.

-TheLlama

Akame ga Kill!

Night Raid is the covert assassination branch of the Revolutionary Army, an uprising assembled to overthrow Prime Minister Honest, whose avarice and greed for power has led him to take advantage of the child emperor’s inexperience. Without a strong and benevolent leader, the rest of the nation is left to drown in poverty, strife, and ruin. Though the Night Raid members are all experienced killers, they understand that taking lives is far from commendable and that they will likely face retribution as they mercilessly eliminate anyone who stands in the revolution’s way.

This merry band of assassins’ newest member is Tatsumi, a naïve boy from a remote village who had embarked on a journey to help his impoverished hometown and was won over by not only Night Raid’s ideals, but also their resolve. Akame ga Kill! follows Tatsumi as he fights the Empire and comes face-to-face with powerful weapons, enemy assassins, challenges to his own morals and values, and ultimately, what it truly means to be an assassin with a cause.

Review/Comments

Akame Ga Kill should have been called Akame Ga Controversy.

With it deviating from the plot of the manga, loads of the original fans were outraged and called for White Fox’s head. But as someone who hasn’t read the manga, and probably won’t for a while, I’d like to call Akame Ga Kill a small success. It succeeds in it’s small niche of being the Game of Thrones of anime, and if you watched this while it was airing and didn’t get any spoilers — tell me your secrets, as this review will be completely spoiler free.

Story(6/10): The story begins as a young swordsmen named Tatsumi leaves the village he grew up in in order to send some money or support back to it. He plans to join the Imperial army when he is intercepted by a busty blonde that tricks him out of his money(that he was flaunting). Eventually, he has to sleep on the streets when a young, wealthy lady offers him a place to stay, which he accepts. Later on, you realize that people with even the kindest of demeanors and looks can be the wickedest, and this is when Tatsumi meets the infamous Night Raid, a group of assassins that specializes in the elimination of evil and corrupt denizens. He joins them on their mission to better the world as he is violently thrust into the world of fighting, bloodshed, and loss.

In Akame Ga Kill, there are weapons known as “Imperial Arms” that are age old tools that were created to help balance the world. They’re extremely powerful weapons of destruction that are present throughout the anime, and all Night Raid members have one in their possession, as well as the Jaegers, introduced later as the main force that will oppose Night Raid in the story until the brutal end. But as lavish as this all sounds, it falls short of anything really spectacular or even above average. The story/plot is just good enough to propel the whole anime forward, but it has problems throughout, such as it going for too much shock value, and trying to force watchers to feel emotions that just aren’t there. But in all, the plot was pretty decent.

Art(10/10): If there’s one thing Akame Ga Controversy does right, it’s the art. Not even manga readers should be able to talk smack about it. It’s vibrant, colorful, and remarkably fluid, including the animation. It’s an eye orgy the whole time, and its probably the best thing about Akame Ga Kill.

Sound(6/10): I’m going to be honest. I didn’t always notice the music playing in the background, if there even was any. There were moments when it definitely amplified the moment, but most of the time the whole soundtrack was pretty forgettable. Though at the same time, it’s nothing to talk down on either.

Character(7/10): The characters, a lot like the art style, were unique and likable. This connection of liking, or even loving for some, is essential to how the anime toys with your feelings and emotions, as it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that characters will die, and a lot will suffer before hand. However, for more than a few of the characters, I thought they didn’t get nearly as much development as they should have, and it made their deaths much less impactful than they should have been. Other times, the death flags were so obvious that you just start crying even before they die. An extra 2 episodes to make 26 for character devlopement would have gone a long way

Enjoyment(10/10): I’m a pretty nit picky person, but surprisingly, there wasn’t much to nit pick at in this anime. Everything just clicks and works fine from start to finish. Although I will say this is probably the simplest anime of the year and offered no depth whatsoever, but at the same time, that’s not what Akame Ga Kill aimed to be. This isn’t Serial Experiments Lain. This is your standard over-the-top Action anime, up there with Seven Deadly Sins and Bleach. And Akame Ga Kill excels perfectly in this area, and I didn’t struggle at all with watching any of it.

OVERALL (8/10):
Akame Ga Kill is a contender for anime of the year in my book, but still has serious competition to compete with. If you read the manga, you probably won’t like this adaptation at all, and will give it a poor score. Should I read the manga to see how much better it is? Maybe. But as it is right now, Akame Ga Kill was a fun, spoiler-ridden ride that’ll be hard to forget. Although the Story and Sound is subpar, it makes up for it with excellent attention to Art, and a nice and colorful cast of characters. If you’re debating whether to watch or read this, I’d say to definitely watch it first so you don’t end up hating it while you watch it. And I probably would have liked this anime a bit more if I wasn’t spoiled every day, but you my lucky reader, who hasn’t seen the anime, probably won’t have it as bad as when it was airing.

In all, Akame Ga Kill is a fun ride if you’re willing to excuse some bumps along the track. It’s not a master piece by any means, but if you look at it at just the right angel, you might find something I did not.

-Protaku

Ghost in a Shell: Stand Alone Complex

In the not so distant future, mankind has advanced to a state where complete body transplants from flesh to machine is possible. This allows for great increases in both physical and cybernetic prowess and blurring the lines between the two worlds. However, criminals can also make full use of such technology, leading to new and sometimes, very dangerous crimes. In response to such innovative new methods, the Japanese Government has established Section 9, an independently operating police unit which deals with such highly sensitive crimes.

Led by Daisuke Aramaki and Motoko Kusanagi, Section 9 deals with such crimes over the entire social spectrum, usually with success. However, when faced with a new A level hacker nicknamed “The Laughing Man,” the team is thrown into a dangerous cat and mouse game, following the hacker’s trail as it leaves its mark on Japan.

Review/Comments

Science Fiction has come a long way from stories involving the unknown reaches of space by the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to stories that draw social implications of our society from famed authors George Orwell and Phillip K. Dick. There is little doubt that anime productions have tackled a lot beneath the limits of the genre ranging from Space Opera to Cyberpunk. One series that is often considered one of the most popular in the anime Sci-fi genre is Ghost in the Shell. After the success of the movie, directed by celebrated director Mamoru Oshii, we now have Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex but this time without Mamoru Oshii involved with the production. Considering how well Oshii directed Ghost in the Shell, people were skeptical on whether Stand Alone Complex could get the best out of the movie in terms of quality storytelling and animation. Long story short, it did on almost every aspect correctly.

The way the story sets up isn’t just following one main story, which is the Laughing Man plot arc. Instead, it follows a formulaic style that makes us support the Section 9 team going after various cases around the world. An argument against the show’s credit that the Stand Alone episodes deviate the main focus of the Complex episodes that chronicle the Laughing Man plot arc, but I would argue that the Stand Alone episodes are essential to deal with a considerable amount of character development for our main characters. Some of the episodes offer memorable story arcs that aren’t important to the overall narrative, but they continuously show how immensely well crafted the writing is in not only the dialogue but of how well put together the world is in the show. What’s so great about the world of Stand Alone Complex is the subtle details the writers put into the account, such as the political and social plateau of how the world works that truly make it a living breathing world and not a superficial one.

As with character development goes, Stand Alone Complex stands out in how it gives a lot of time to put forth plenty of depth with each on-screen character. This doesn’t just apply with the main characters, many of the side characters in each episode that we come across have a deep level of characterization to where they aren’t just these one-sided antagonists who do evil, they’re just ordinary people who are in this situation because of the society they’re living in. About each specific main character, they all have their own uniquely written personalities that show off their presence in the show. Handled with great care and precision, they all play out so well with each other that make you care so much for their struggles and relationships as coworkers trying to handle any given situation they meet. Chemistry is the crucial part in tying together a well-rounded cast of characters and Stand Alone Complex hits the nail on that part exquisitely. Batou and Kusanagi are especially two of the best characters, only by how well the chemistry is between the two from their interactions and personalities.

What many consider the most poignant in the Ghost in the Shell saga is its music. Out comes famed composer Yoko Kanno producing all the music in Stand Alone Complex and provides a profoundly layered texture into the overall atmosphere in the show. Shows typically set in a futuristic setting relies heavily on electronic sounding orchestration mixed in to feel more natural within the landscape of the environment. While there are indeed a lot of that to experience through the ears, Yoko’s brilliant blend of Jazz, Electronica, and Classical musicianship that combine each other amazingly well to give the soundtrack it’s own unique style that she is widely known for. Although I find Kenji Kawai’s score in the Ghost in the Shell movie left more of a profound impact on me in how it incorporates a lot of dark ambiance to the atmosphere, there is no denying the creativity that Yoko put into the score and ignoring it completely would be insane when discussing the show.

Usually anime movies have the upper hand as having stellar animation and art while TV anime have a limited capacity in the level of budget that film studios have. There are, of course, exceptions to this and Stand Alone Complex is one of them. Sure the animation isn’t as fluid as the movie, but how the art’s quality perfectly compliments the ascetic vision that the artists were going for, it’s a real accomplishment to experience. How the city looked, the characters all having their distinct look that makes them recognizable the moment we see them, and how the 3D models of the machines flow with the 2D animation of the characters work each other sublimely.

It is haphazard to call Ghost in the Shell an action show since it relies heavily on Noir aspects of tone and pacing, unlike in your typical action show where the pacing is more fast-paced in that respect. However, once it does delve into action territory, that is where the animation and sound take it to the next level of technical genius. The fluid motions involving characters fighting each other still hold up to this day than many other action anime out there in terms of animated fighting sequences and gunfights. Sound effects of machines and gunfire feel very authentic and real that puts you on the edge of your seat as you’re transported into the scene. So yeah like I said, the show on the technical level is surprisingly still amazing to look at as it once was ten years ago.

One other aspect of Ghost in the Shell that is often noted when discussing the series is its profound philosophical themes. In the movie, it delved into the ideas of consciousness and ethics of A.I., while Stand Alone Complex is mostly centered on political corruption and conspiracy theories that involve the book “The Catcher in the Rye.” The one part where it does delve deeper into is when we follow the Tachikomas and how they describe the “Ghost” in each machine through their A.I. Oddly enough, it works even though these childlike voiced machines seem as though they were there for comic relief. With regards to the political themes thrown into the plot, it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as the writers thought it would have considering how it’s told through a conventional style of storytelling and not try to seem as though they wanted to make a big political statement out of it. That’s not the same as saying that it’s a significant knock on the show, but it’s something that I felt would’ve been much stronger.

Whatever the case, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex will surely leave a strong impression on people on what makes a story stand-out as one of the most well-crafted entries in writing great characters and a large detailed world. It is by no means a show that you can like for the action or the great animation because that is only one-third of what makes Stand Alone Complex so deep in its overall philosophy and story. Well written character progression, great world-building, and fantastic animation all combined into one glorious experience that will inspire anyone who wants to get into writing stories for years to come.

Grade: A

-Gonzo-lewd

Berserk

Now branded for death and destined to be hunted by demons until the day he dies, Guts embarks on a journey to defy such a gruesome fate, as waves of beasts relentlessly pursue him. Steeling his resolve, he takes up the monstrous blade Dragonslayer and vows to exact vengeance on the one responsible, hunting down the very man he once looked up to and considered a friend.

Along the way, he encounters some unlikely allies, such as a small elf named Puck, and Isidro, a young thief looking to learn swordsmanship from the former mercenary. As the ragtag group slowly comes together after having decided to join Guts in his quest, they will face incredible danger unlike anything they have ever experienced before.

Review/Comments

Berserk is one of the most beloved manga series of all time, with a successful anime in the nineties that covered the famed “golden age” arc. But the manga is so much more than that arc, so when a series of movies were announced, fans were rightfully disappointed that it was a retelling of the same arc. Well, come 2016 and we’re finally out of the golden age, with an anime promising to show us Guts as the “Black Swordsman,” but can it do justice to the legendary manga it spawned from? Let’s find out!

When adapting a long, dark fantasy manga with highly detailed art, what studio would you think to pick for the anime? Madhouse, famous for the stunning visuals of Claymore or Overlord? Bones, with their amazing talents for action like the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist and Kurau: Phantom Memory? Perhaps a-1 pictures, known for Sword Art Online, or maybe Deen, creators of widely acclaimed anime series Fate/Stay Night?

No, none of these studios can handle such a complex, detailed narrative, nor can they even hope to live up to the chaotic scenes of battle from the manga. And of course, none could possibly live up to the incredible artwork present in the manga. No, there’s only one studio clearly cut out to do this job: Studio Millepensee.

With their work on teekyuu they’ve shown they can tell complex, long form stories in a short span of time, which means that they won’t need 100, 50, or even 25 episodes to tell the story of Guts. No, a mere 12 episode run time might as well be the same as the total length of Detective Conan to them! And the frantic nature of the animation shows they can do justice to berserk’s fight scenes.

Art: 10

Move over 2D, your time has come. Far too many anime feel the need to bow to the pressures of tradition, following the old methods that were pioneered back in the 40s for gods sake! It’s time to move forward, and Berserk 2016 is a perfect example of this. The 3DCG animation featured in Berserk is stunning, the best CG I’ve seen since Knights of Sidonia. It really feels like you’re living in the world of Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage, the classic dreamcast game.

The way the camera cuts so as to obscure most of the action is a daring, bold choice. It shows just how larger than life both Guts and his sword really are, so large they can’t even fit into the screen.

Sound: 9
To accompany this torrential storm of cgi animation, we have a kick-ass rock soundtrack, exactly the kind of music you’d expect out of a dark fantasy series. Each song would sound right at home on a nickleback or disturbed album, and never once do they fail to fit the tone of the scene.

The sound effects however, are a different beast entirely. No cheesy sword shwing noises here, no sir. Only gritty, realistic metal clangs. The static, low quality nature of the effects only further enhances how realistic they sound. If I had one complaint, it would be that sometimes guts’ dragonslayer doesn’t clang loud enough for such an impressive weapon, but it is certainly an improvement over what we’ve seen before.

Story: 10

Millepensee has made the brilliant decision to only adapt the good parts of the manga, much like Mappa’s recent Ushio and Tora. Skipping the black swordsman arc entirely, it jumps straight into the real action of the series. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected them to reach Farnese by episode two, but they pulled it off somehow.

And in another amazing move, they introduced original content into the third episode, drastically improving the pacing of the story in ways I never dreamed possible.

Character: 10

Each character has been distilled down to their base, root personality traits. This is a good thing, as often times the manga can be too subtle and detailed for its own good. This is much easier to follow, meaning this anime is actually BETTER then the manga it’s adapting, similar to FMA 2003.

Enjoyment: 10

If you like shows like Claymore, Overlord, Knights of Sidonia, or Sword Art Online, watch this anime immediately. I was shocked every second of this show, I couldn’t believe my eyes, Berserk 2016 is an experience you have to have for yourself, I recommend checking it out on my favorite streaming site, Kissanime.

Overall: 10

Rarely does a show come around that does everything as well as this, thanks for recommending this to me Kotaku, you’re the best source for anime news I can think of. I for one can’t wait for the second season of this masterwork, which was announced at the end of the first cour.

-Rahkshilord

Code Geass

In the year 2010, the Holy Empire of Britannia is establishing itself as a dominant military nation, starting with the conquest of Japan. Renamed to Area 11 after its swift defeat, Japan has seen significant resistance against these tyrants in an attempt to regain independence.

Lelouch Lamperouge, a Britannian student, unfortunately finds himself caught in a crossfire between the Britannian and the Area 11 rebel armed forces. He is able to escape, however, thanks to the timely appearance of a mysterious girl named C.C., who bestows upon him Geass, the “Power of Kings.” Realizing the vast potential of his newfound “power of absolute obedience,” Lelouch embarks upon a perilous journey as the masked vigilante known as Zero, leading a merciless onslaught against Britannia in order to get revenge once and for all.

Review/Comments

Code Geass is awesome. If you have any qualms against it, whether you dislike mecha or anything like that, put it aside and watch a few episodes. Then you’ll see what I mean when I say that Code Geass is a great anime.

If you want an anime that is going to leave you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, waiting impatiently for the next scene–this is for you.

Art is pretty decent. It’s very colourful. The animation is also good–the action sequences are well drawn.

The characters are all interesting. Never have I seen an anime with a cast of so many anti-heroes before: lots of jerks, losers, obsessed freaks, and extremists, but they manage to make you intrigued with their lives and the happenings around them.

The sound was also decent. A lot of trumpet and sweeping epic battle pieces that complement what happens on the screen.

Code Geass is so original as well. It’s about colonialism, if you caught it. It’s like a cool History lesson–but with mechs. This is certainly one of the best anime to have been released this century.

Watch it. It’s totally fabulous.

-iamjoe

Attack on Titan

Centuries ago, mankind was slaughtered to near extinction by monstrous humanoid creatures called titans, forcing humans to hide in fear behind enormous concentric walls. What makes these giants truly terrifying is that their taste for human flesh is not born out of hunger but what appears to be out of pleasure. To ensure their survival, the remnants of humanity began living within defensive barriers, resulting in one hundred years without a single titan encounter. However, that fragile calm is soon shattered when a colossal titan manages to breach the supposedly impregnable outer wall, reigniting the fight for survival against the man-eating abominations.

After witnessing a horrific personal loss at the hands of the invading creatures, Eren Yeager dedicates his life to their eradication by enlisting into the Survey Corps, an elite military unit that combats the merciless humanoids outside the protection of the walls. Based on Hajime Isayama’s award-winning manga, Shingeki no Kyojin follows Eren, along with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and his childhood friend Armin Arlert, as they join the brutal war against the titans and race to discover a way of defeating them before the last walls are breached.

Review/Comments

Oh dear Shingeki no Kyojin, where do I even begin. If you’ve talked with your friends about anime, then the couple anime that everyone talks about are Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Dragon Ball, and… Shingeki no Kyojin. What’s the difference between Shingeki and the rest? Shingeki only has 25 episodes so far yet it’s on par in popularity with the other super long, Americanized anime. Why is it popular? Well that’s simply because it’s stunningly amazing. Those people that call Shingeki no Kyojin “overrated” may not have the same taste as me, and that’s perfectly fine, but in my honest opinion, Shingeki no Kyojin is one of if not the greatest anime to be made. It’s not popular for no reason.

The story is one of the most captivating stories I’ve ever seen. 100 years prior to the start of the anime, humanity has been on the bridge of extinction due to the monstrous humanoid Titans that devour humans. Now, present day in the anime, the remaining small population of mankind lives confined within 3 “heavenly” walls that are so tall and sturdy that even the titans can’t break in. The most outward wall was named, Wall Maria, the middle wall was named Wall Rose, and the most outward wall named Wall Sina. Unfortunately for mankind, a colossal titan, one that is even bigger than the 50 meter heavenly walls, breaks Wall Maria, allowing the other titans to rampage the city, thus leading to another massacre of mankind. During this massacre, our main characters, Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman watch in horror as a horrifying titan rips their mother’s head off, then gobbles her up whole. Vowing that he’d one day avenge mankind and exterminate all the titans, Eren Yeager trains to become a survey corp, brave heroic soldiers who go outside the walls, into the plains in order to fight the titans. But we soon find out, that Eren is much more special than he seems, not only is he a brave warrior, but he’s also something else that could be the key to humanity’s survival, but could also be humanity’s destruction.

My 3-word thoughts on the anime: Epic, Dynamic, Masterpiece. The suspense build-up was absolutely amazing, yet there was still room for improvement; that shows just how epic this anime can get. The anime not only includes epic fights, but lots of dialogue, and for those of you that hate dialogue, I feel sorry for you people whom only watch for action. The anime includes lots of other things as well: there’s lots of half-hearted, hilarious scenes, as well as sad, tragic scenes. The anime certainly has a good amount of gore, and will break your heart frequently (if you get attached to the characters). Many characters end up getting gobbled up mercilessly while trying to protect humanity in ways that are quite *shivers*. Have I teared up in the anime? As a matter of fact, I have.

Characters was another area (alongside every area) that was Shingeki’s strongpoint. There’s a diverse variety of characters that fight for humanity for all different reasons. There’s trust, friendship, along with betrayals, and pains. There’s comedy relief among many characters, especially Sasha “Potato Girl” Blouse. There are characters that people can definitely relate with, such as Armin Arlert, who wants to do the right thing and protect his friends, but can’t seem to do much because of fear. Fear is something that haunts us all, and prevents us from doing things in life. Another character that people can somewhat relate with is Annie Leonhardt, who fights alongside humanity, yet fights opposed to humanity. What does that mean? Watch the anime. Why is she doing this? Because of her past scars, “scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real” (watch to find out more). There were too many characters to development fully, but certainly the main characters were developed to their max. Levi is certainly a fan-favorite character, because of the fact that he’s cool, overpowered, badass, kind-in-the-heart, smart, straight-to-the-point, and most of all, hilarious with all his neat-freakiness. The main character, Eren Yeager is strong-hearted, and “special”, but he’s still not strong enough to defeat the titans. How he develops is one of the most interesting things, in this interesting-things-packed anime.

The art and music can be described in one word: WOW! The art drawings were absolutely stunning! From the characters/titans to the setting of the story to all the equipment used in battle. The characters all had a unique aspect to them. The settings of the anime were beautiful. The cities, and walls looked realistic, the plains that characters dreamed of seeing made me want to run outside to see for myself how beautiful nature really is, and how humans under appreciate the naturality of nature. The 3-D gear was something that really caught my eye, and will certainly catch other people’s eyes as well. A new form of action that’s never been seen before. The characters would literally fly from rooftop to rooftop slicing their swords at the titans at high-speeds that keep the viewers eyes locked onto the screen at all times. The soundtrack in the anime was epic as shit. The openings speak for themselves, they do the anime justice. The openings were epic and certainly set the mood of what was to come from the anime. “They’re the prey, and we are the hunters!” The rest of the soundtrack in the anime was okayasgduyasgda AMAZING. How can one describe how amazing those German OSTs were. They fit in perfectly with the epicness of the anime, and certianly added tons of suspense to the 3-D maneuver gear action.

Of course, I may be over-thinking things, but the anime certainly included some themes while creating this masterpiece of an anime. The aspect of being confined in an area, doing the same daily routine every day. People seek to be free, and to seek adventure. Watch for this. Another theme that the anime incorporated was that of the cycle of life. Humans, we steal animals away from their families, we kill them, we eat them. What’s so different from us, and the titans? The feelings of not being at the top of the food chain… Anyways, if you haven’t already watched this anime and you’re reading this review, then you’ve clearly been living under a rock all this time, and I definitely encourage you to watch this show even if it isn’t your style of anime.

-Sorrowful

Gurren Lagann

Simon and Kamina were born and raised in a deep, underground village, hidden from the fabled surface. Kamina is a free-spirited loose cannon bent on making a name for himself, while Simon is a timid young boy with no real aspirations. One day while excavating the earth, Simon stumbles upon a mysterious object that turns out to be the ignition key to an ancient artifact of war, which the duo dubs Lagann. Using their new weapon, Simon and Kamina fend off a surprise attack from the surface with the help of Yoko Littner, a hot-blooded redhead wielding a massive gun who wanders the world above.

In the aftermath of the battle, the sky is now in plain view, prompting Simon and Kamina to set off on a journey alongside Yoko to explore the wastelands of the surface. Soon, they join the fight against the “Beastmen,” humanoid creatures that terrorize the remnants of humanity in powerful robots called “Gunmen.” Although they face some challenges and setbacks, the trio bravely fights these new enemies alongside other survivors to reclaim the surface, while slowly unraveling a galaxy-sized mystery.

Review/Comments

“The story of a man who fights to forge his own destiny.”

Pretty much we can resume those words onto this story. To be honest i would have never thought that i would enjoy a show where you can find excesive and overadrenaline fights. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann called my atention just because of the very commotion of being such a overrated anime, or people calling it trash. Turned out that i was wrong to think that this anime would be a waste.

From unexpected shouts of wars to supergalactic fights that our imagination never would manage to have, we have Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, a plot that brings the story of a man who tries to forge his own destiny with the company of his friends. Sounds very simple isn’t? It is indeed, but just because it is simple it doesn’t mean it lacks of complexity and it still will be of easy understanding. The plot revolves in a very simple way, we can see the two main characters standing in a world they don’t quite feel comfortable with. What would you do if you were on their shoes? On the surface this seems like a fairly straightforward plot and you may be wondering what’s so special about it. And that’s part of it, the story is a straightforward tale of two dreamers and the path they take.
With zero weapons, zero plans and a lot of guts, our main heroes try to grasp this first dream; reach the surface.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann wasn’t really about being deep or carrying serious issues -although the themes dearest to Gainax, such as the adolescent growing and the contrast between reality and dreamworld, make an appearance; I think it nevertheless was a compelling story, and also not too much predictable -Sure, it is a Super Robot anime, the hero has to win every time no matter how it is unrealistic and predictable; but if its predictable moments are compelling and carried with style, they just succeed- no matter if you like it or not.
One of gurren lagann’s advantage is a story that could be told in 27 episodes without something like fillers or other annoying things. Why advantage? Because Gurren Lagann didn’t have enough time to pause and remind everyone their past and showing weaknesses and long ass monologues every episode.

I wouldn’t say that Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a masterpiece on terms of artwork and animation, The Cartoony yet ambitious style is why it fits so well. This is because even though it doesn’t look serious, it takes it self seriously. Yet in the other hand, the ‘draw’ efect that some episodes has is just incredible on itself, you will be really pleased with the changes that the time-skip this series had. Also when things get hectic and packed with alot of action the art changes to being very epic looking. Especially the scenes where they take a break half way through the anime.
It is indeed very stylish and artistic. I didn’t seem -in my opinion- perfect, because it didn’t seem to go above and beyond. It was very well done, but still seemed within the realms of ‘safe’.

The sound in itself fits so well, from the long battles scenes to even the dramatic moments, the music is just, is just incredible in all the sense of the word, you won’t be disappointed and therefore pleased you will be. The opening is inspiring in all ways, from the very first AMV to the last one, Sorairo Days will be on my mind always as one of the soundtracks most enjoyable ever and of course without leaving behind the ending,”Minna no Peace”, wich suits perfectly for such fantastic season. The hardcore songs in the middle of the battle will make you scream! Even to the point that it will give you the chills of how epic the music is! Believe me that the soundtracks of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is the very embodiment of exitement.

Well setup and mechas are two important ingredients of a good Giant Robot show, but any anime ultimately lives or dies based on its characters, and on this count, Gurren Lagann doesn’t disappoint.
Yoko almost has no purpose other than to fulfill the requirement for X amount of boobs in an anime. People may hate me for saying this, but she’s only there to balance the testosterone with estrogen. She saved Simon and Kamina countless of times, yes, but she didn’t moved too much the plot. (Hurts me to say this because i love her). Kamina in a lot of ways is the living embodiment of the series its spirit and he’s loudly outspoken, supremely confident in his and Simon’s abilities and believes so much in his dream, his friends and his own ability that he comes up with some crazy ideas. I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling the surprise, but Kamina, with his boundless ‘machismo’ and optimism, is an energetic and charismatic enough character that soon he has inspired humans all across the surface to join his banner and fight against their mysterious oppressors, the beastmen. And although Simon comes close to the whining protagonist archetype that bugs me so much, Kamina’s presence and his own inner reserves force him to come through in the clinch and ultimately make him a much more likeable character.

Other than Simon’s growth and development, though, the characters just aren’t that interesting. You may argue that they’re a perfect balance of different character personalities, but they really do nothing other than one thing (ugly button pushing nerd, grunting twins, dumb three useless sisters, conveniently placed old man, mindless battalion leaders, etc, etc).

Enjoyment? Do I need words to express this? To be honest, my first impression was really bad, thought that really changed as i saw every episode. This is, in my opinion, one of the most enjoyable series out there. All the explosions keep you at the edge of your seat wanting more and more. The story flows smoothly without an episode wasting its time on petty things. You will love each one of the elements on this series, his action, his drama, his comedy and even romance.

Emotionally, Gurren Lagann is all about self-belief, confidence and optimism; after all, that is ‘spiral energy’, an unrelenting, blood boiling ambition to succeed; even when all seems lost, dare to have hope and god dammit, believe in yourself.

“Who the hell do you think i am?”.
Indeed, without a doubt such words will stay on our memories forever as one of the war shouts more surprisings that an enemy could have.

Overall no other anime has ever crossed the line to make itself this predictable. Don’t you guys see? It’s this stupendous mash up of predictable and generic plot elements that also make this anime one of the most original animes I’ve ever seen.

-Mikiyo

Sword Art Online

In the year 2022, virtual reality has progressed by leaps and bounds, and a massive online role-playing game called Sword Art Online (SAO) is launched. With the aid of “NerveGear” technology, players can control their avatars within the game using nothing but their own thoughts.

Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed “Kirito,” is among the lucky few enthusiasts who get their hands on the first shipment of the game. He logs in to find himself, with ten-thousand others, in the scenic and elaborate world of Aincrad, one full of fantastic medieval weapons and gruesome monsters. However, in a cruel turn of events, the players soon realize they cannot log out; the game’s creator has trapped them in his new world until they complete all one hundred levels of the game.

In order to escape Aincrad, Kirito will now have to interact and cooperate with his fellow players. Some are allies, while others are foes, like Asuna Yuuki, who commands the leading group attempting to escape from the ruthless game. To make matters worse, Sword Art Online is not all fun and games: if they die in Aincrad, they die in real life. Kirito must adapt to his new reality, fight for his survival, and hopefully break free from his virtual hell.

Review/Comments

A brave young hero. His beautiful sidekick who becomes a love interest. Dual wielding swords. A world in chaos. Lives at stake. All seem so cliche, why would I even think to watch this? I made the right decision to. I know there is alot of controversy over this anime currently so I, naturally, must enter my two cents to defend and be realistic about this hot commodity anime of 2012:

*As spoiler free as can possibly be*

Story:

The story is indeed EXTREMELY rushed. While the ideals and thoughts behind the initial plot are absolutely outstanding and completely unique and original, the SAO anime timeline leaves little room for the storyline to blossom. As a 21 year old, I found it fairly childish at times yet still enjoyable. I feel as though younger people wouldn’t appreciate the underlying plots which the plot holes failed to fill and give way completely to imagination. As a biased idealist, I give the story an 8/10 because the idea is there, the timeframe wasn’t. But I guess that’s to be expected in today’s anime industry.

Art:

The art is visually stunning and appealing. The colors draw the viewer in and the scenery is the hook. The entire landscape of Aincrad is a feast for the eyes. On the flipside, some of the fights scenes were choppily done in comparison to the beauty of the backdrops. The boss details, especially the Skull Reaper, were phenomenal and several shots were created in a very different, unexpected perspective, adding additional interest to the episode’s events. So that’s an A++++ to colors and imaginary vision and a B to combat scenes to make a 9/10.

Sound:

Yuki Kajiura. Need I say more? 10/10. Absolutely outstanding and completely relevant and appropriate for the anime. The music truly makes the anime and hooks the viewer emotionally.

Character:

Kirito is your typical boy hero destined to save his love interest and destroy a corrupt system. Sure, seems pretty unoriginal. However, I connected to Kirito more than I feel many do. The episodes that seemed like fillers served as ways for us to get to know Kirito and his imperfections and taught us to let them go. While the anime completely fails in terms of side characters with failed attempts of Klein and Egil, the main characters are given enough spotlight to give the viewer a general consensus on their personality, actions, and values toward the Cardinal system of SAO. Asuna is a fantastic heroine at the beginning, immediately winning all the hearts of all male viewers and becoming a role model for young women. But as the anime progresses, the anime took a completely different direction in her character than I expected. While Asuna possessed so much strength and leadership, the anime fails to show this as it continues on, letting her slip into the whole damsel in distress role, especially in ALO. I truly felt the connection between her and Kirito and their desire to protect each other but their characters, as well as their love story, need more depth. 8/10.

Enjoyment:

I can’t lie. I truly enjoy this anime. I have such a vision of it in my head that I feel the storymakers truly intended to get across to all viewers. Whilst the anime is lacking in depth, can be corny/childish/predictable, and is unreally rushed, it provides an entertaining feast for the eyes and ears and even for the heart from episodes 8 and on. I can’t deny this one a 10/10 because I truly enjoy it.

Overall:

I have to give this anime a 10/10 wholly due to the fact that I can truly envision its perfection if it could be given more time. The character ideas are there, the unique and individualistic views are there, the fantastic composer and visual settings are there. It has the correct recipe, but the incorrect “bake time”. Putting aside my bias, it should probably deserve a generous 9/10 due to plot holes, rushed timeframe, and incomplete character development.

Here’s to hoping episode 25 will be a successful completion of an anime that could truly use a cherry on top of the sundae. The fandom will be on the edge of their seats and…so will I. I can’t help it, this anime is my guilty pleasure.

-etherealharmony

Claymore

When a shapeshifting demon with a thirst for human flesh, known as “youma,” arrives in Raki’s village, a lone woman with silver eyes walks into town with only a sword upon her back. She is a “Claymore,” a being manufactured as half-human and half-youma, for the express purpose of exterminating these monsters. After Raki’s family is killed, the Claymore saves his life, but he is subsequently banished from his home. With nowhere else to go, Raki finds the Claymore, known as Clare, and decides to follow her on her journeys.

As the pair travel from town to town, defeating youma along the way, more about Clare’s organization and her fellow warriors comes to light. With every town cleansed and every demon destroyed, they come closer to the youma on which Clare has sought vengeance ever since she chose to become a Claymore.

Review/Comments

Claymore is one of the most intelligent shonen anime that has come out in recent years. It has a pretty good, though rather classic plot of revenge. For a story synopsis go to animenfo.com. In any case, here\’s my review up to eps 14.

We see that the main character, Clare, does grow throughout the series so far, which means in each episode something happens and she is changed by it, and through out the story arcs, she is either benefited by the events or suffers the consequences whether she wants or not. I can talk about this character as if she were a real life person precisely because the balance of things that happen to her – I don\’t mean that she gets exactly half good and half bad as she journeys, but I mean she has her good days; she has her awesome days; she has her awful days, and she has her almost dying days. She grows through it all.

She has suffered a ton in her life time, and as a woman, she\’s seen a lot of dark side in men. Yet she\’s still on the job, partially because she doesn\’t want to quit. There are rules bounding her but we can assume that she can leave and go in hiding if she desired. But she doesn\’t quit her job. Why is that?

I think she has a sense that the rules of the game are to be followed, maybe not completely to the T, as sometimes she goes out and bend some of them, but not breaking them. There are priorities over organizational rules, after all, especially when it comes to saving a life and nurturing it. She learns that from her previous experience when she was in the position of being nurtured. However, at the same time, she nurtured the person who was supposedly the strong one (this happen when she was young and wasn\’t a Claymore). Something within Clare made her a strong person even before she grew up to become a Claymore – she recognized pain and suffering similar to hers.

Despite all the things happened to her, she\’s still going strong. She risks her life and being discovered (she\’s currently hiding) when she sees her comrades desperately need help; even though she\’s not quite powerful yet and her opponents-would-be are extremely powerful – a classic component of shonen anime. Here, I\’ll go into the shonen stereotypes.

Claymore is a shonen show with its classic plots – revenge, skilling up/powering up, mentors who train, and someone that comes out and help during the most desperate-to-the-urgency-of-death situation (hopefully only one). The biggest and the most obvious twist here is that all the strong characters are women – all the roles that would\’ve been filled by men in the classic shonen (Saint Seiya comes to mind) are filled by women in this case. What marks it apart from a lot of other shonen is the fact that it doesn\’t drag on and on and give out mindless battles or tournaments. That means everyone that the main character has to fight has a good reason to be there, and some of them do indeed come back later, like many shonen shows, but not because they just do, or they have some simple reason like they just want to come back for another round, but these characters all have their reasons, some forced, some by choices, and some by both.

What happens earlier definitely affects what happens later. Friends and enemies are made later because of earlier events and encounters (this anime would make a great RPG).

Because the plot doesn\’t drag – the anime came out when the manga is already on vol. 13 or 14 (I can\’t remember), which means they have a wealth of materials to work with, the arcs are well developed and I don\’t see any unnecessary fillers (at least not yet, I can\’t remember if this is slated to be a 26 eps series), each episode does something to move the story forward. That\’s what a good storyteller should do. In addition to that, the important characters are distinctive and form deep impressions, the unimportant characters mark their short impression and then they\’re forgotten and don\’t take too much of the viewer\’s attention for too long. All these are important to a good storytelling.

This show only suffers a little bit of cliches from shonen anime – one occurrence of ex deus machina. It also has other classic shonen characters like mentor that takes the disciple for training when the disciple has been badly defeated, sociopath characters, sidekicks, and a couple other smaller ones. But these traits get developed the right way, pile those with good character developments and an intriguing overall plot with good small arcs and you\’ve got an awesome storying that retells the classic revenge in its own way.

As for the other elements such as Art, animation, sound – it\’s production I.G. and I\’ll leave those for others to review, because…

this review is too freakin\’ long! I commend you for reading this far. Good job! =D

P.S. I obviously like it. For the reason see above! =D

-rayyhum777

One Punch Man

The seemingly ordinary and unimpressive Saitama has a rather unique hobby: being a hero. In order to pursue his childhood dream, he trained relentlessly for three years—and lost all of his hair in the process. Now, Saitama is incredibly powerful, so much so that no enemy is able to defeat him in battle. In fact, all it takes to defeat evildoers with just one punch has led to an unexpected problem—he is no longer able to enjoy the thrill of battling and has become quite bored.

This all changes with the arrival of Genos, a 19-year-old cyborg, who wishes to be Saitama’s disciple after seeing what he is capable of. Genos proposes that the two join the Hero Association in order to become certified heroes that will be recognized for their positive contributions to society, and Saitama, shocked that no one knows who he is, quickly agrees. And thus begins the story of One Punch Man, an action-comedy that follows an eccentric individual who longs to fight strong enemies that can hopefully give him the excitement he once felt and just maybe, he’ll become popular in the process.

Review/Comments

This is a complete review after watching all 12 episodes of One Punch Man.

**CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS**

I remember when I was 8 years old, I used to be excited for a new Pokemon episode everyday. I used to run from school to my house so that I wouldn’t miss any single moment. Then as you grow up, such excitement starts to fade away. No matter how good a show is, only a few shows can generate such an excitement for a viewer. I never would’ve imagined that an anime would make me feel that excitement again at 20 yrs. And lucky for me, it aired on Sundays!

Story: 7/10

One Punch Man’s story is simple- The story of an average guy who’s a hero for fun. Now what makes this unique is that this show is a parody. For people new to that genre, it’s an imitation of other work. Basically what this anime does is it makes a parody out of shounen genre, where you have a male protagonist who gets beaten down, and then trains or in some other way defeats the bad guy. Here, the MC is just over-powered to the extent that he gets depressed there’s no one strong enough to challenge him. You might think that such a strong person would be revered as a God by the people. Sadly, you’re mistaken. The people don’t even know he exists!! . This really plays a major point in the later episodes, when Saitama has to show his strength infront of the public, and becomes one of the highlight of this series. This show was created to poke fun at all tropes in anime. This is a story made to enjoy, not to be taken seriously. Anyone who is open-minded will enjoy this anime to its full extent.

Art: 9/10

Now the only reason I gave this a 9 is because of the meticulously high standard set by Ufotable in the Fate series and Kara no Kyoukai movies. But by no means is it far behind. In most anime, usually the MC has some kind of weapon, you can just add some flashy effects to go with it. But here, we have a hero who’s weapon are just his fists . The fights had to be carefully drawn and animated. And when you have a studio like Madhouse doing it, you know they rarely disappoint. Fluid motion, spectacular effects, no weird faces, nothing overdramatic. Simple, yet awesome. The best part of this anime has to be the “Saitama Expressions”. If you didn’t smile atleast a little when you saw the “OK” face, then I guess your sense of humour is locked up somewhere. Madhouse know how to make the viewer enjoy the anime to the full extent. The way they used Tatsumaki’s “chibi mode” expressions from the webcomic, and boldly animated it in the anime deserves separate praise. Also the landscape for OPM universe is also brilliant. Even the ordinary people are drawn with careful details. Another important aspect here is the design for the villains, especially Sea King and Boros, each having something unique, and they give out the “strong, badass” vibe when you just look at them. Also, the art in the final episode is 11/10.

Sound: 10/10

God-level. Simply eargasmic. When you have an opening theme that makes you want to shout “ONE PUUUUUUUNCH!” every time you hear it, you know the soundtrack’s gonna be amazing. For me, the first thing I’d hear in my mind every morning when I wake up is someone shouting “ONE PUUUUUUNCH!” That’s how much I love that opening theme. From character bgm’s to fight themes, the music suits every situation perfectly, making them more epic. I would rewatch every episode again just to hear the music, that’s how good it is. The voice acting is also brilliant, especially Aoi Yuuki, who brilliantly brought out Tatsumaki’s bratty voice, and Yuki Kaji, whose voice fits Sonic’s character perfectly.

Character: 10/10

Once in a lifetime you watch shows where every character in it makes an impact. One Punch Man is mine. I can probably name every single character that appeared in these 12 episodes. That’s how much of an impact they make. Saitama with his care-free attitude, the loyal cyborg Genos, Jack’o Lantern Panic, Brattymaki, Justice Rider, the S-class heroes like Silver Fang, Metal Bat, Pri-Pri Prisoner, King, and all the others have a uniqueness that makes you remember them. Even characters whom play a cameo like Carnage Kabuto, Mosquito Girl, Snek, Stinger, Amai Mask manage to leave an impression, which is something most anime fail to do. And when you have such a strong character cast, the anime rarely falters.

Enjoyment: 10/10

This anime was made to enjoy, and One Punch Man nails the formula. I enjoyed every second of it. 24×12 minutes of pure awesomeness. It makes you laugh, the “wow” feeling when you watch those spectacularly animated fight scenes, even the simple dialogues between the characters make you laugh hard. There is no walking in on naked girl scenes, boob-grabbing, fan service and other shit like that. This anime makes me remember that Charlie Chaplin didn’t have to talk to make people laugh and enjoy his movies. Just his reactions and expressions were enough. And Saitama’s expressions and reactions reminded me of that again. And no matter how many times you rewatch it, you’ll never get bored. That’s the kind of masterpiece this is.

Overall rating: 10/10

One Punch Man is a masterpiece. I’ve been watching anime for about 8 years, watched around 400 anime series, and I’d only have around 5 anime which I’d give a 10/10. But this show is just simply that good. If I could I’d have given this a 999/10 for enjoyment. Studio Madhouse is just leagues ahead of any anime studio. I wish I could go to Japan and personally congratulate them for making such a great anime. While I’m at that, I could also beg them to make a Season 2 of the anime when the manga has enough material for it. Natsume Shingo, the director of this anime, deserves all the credit for bringing together an amazing team, and voice cast to create this anime. Overall, One Punch Man does what it sets out to deliver, Entertain. And boy oh boy it does so in style!!

-MonsterLiebert

Guilty Crown

Japan, 2039. Ten years after the outbreak of the “Apocalypse Virus,” an event solemnly regarded as “Lost Christmas,” the once proud nation has fallen under the rule of the GHQ, an independent military force dedicated to restoring order. Funeral Parlor, a guerilla group led by the infamous Gai Tsutsugami, act as freedom fighters, offering the only resistance to GHQ’s cruel despotism.

Inori Yuzuriha, a key member of Funeral Parlor, runs into the weak and unsociable Shuu Ouma during a crucial operation, which results in him obtaining the “Power of Kings”—an ability which allows the wielder to draw out the manifestations of an individual’s personality, or “voids.” Now an unwilling participant in the struggle against GHQ, Shuu must learn to control his newfound power if he is to help take back Japan once and for all.

Guilty Crown follows the action-packed story of a young high school student who is dragged into a war, possessing an ability that will help him uncover the secrets of the GHQ, Funeral Parlor, and Lost Christmas. However, he will soon learn that the truth comes at a far greater price than he could have ever imagined.

Review/Comments

I began watching Guilty Crown on a whim. It was a pure coincidence. If I had anything else to do that day, I probably would never have started watching. However, it just so happened that I was bored out of my mind and at the bottom of my current “to watch” list. When I saw Guilty Crown peeking out at me from another member’s favorite anime list, I couldn’t resist the temptation. Reading the synopsis turned me off. It didn’t seem very promising. “Boy has power in his right hand that makes him special.” Okay… cool?

So I started reading the reviews. They were horrendously mixed, ranging from three to nine with very little middle ground. Well, the positive reviews piqued my curiosity. The negative reviews seemed rather confrontational and angry, as if the show had somehow personally wronged the writers. They railed and ragged on clichés, flat characters, and brought up similarities to other shows.

Being immensely bored and slightly curious, I couldn’t help but make Guilty Crown a guilty pleasure. I’ll admit that the story takes a while to warm up. The first episode was incredibly cliché, with the generic “boy meets girl; boy becomes superman; boy is involved with terrorists” story going on up until the end. But it diverged. The character (of his own volition) refused to acknowledge his power and left me wondering what could possibly happen next.

Indeed, what could this story be about if the main character refused to join up with what I had assumed to be the protagonist group? Well, Inori happened. Now, I’ve seen people complain endless about her. She’s essentially Ein with pink hair, a lovely singing voice, and a sword in her chest–right?

Sure, if you watch the first six episodes or so. Once you get past the initial “OMG SHE’S SO ,” you’ll start seeing how she grows. She’s a parasitic character. That is what makes her, well, her. She simply cannot function without a strong character to depend on. I don’t see how that makes her unrealistic? There are people like that in this world. The only hiccup is the justification. She’s weak because she’s a blank slate. Okay, maybe that is a little cliché. Does it make the character terrible? No… if she didn’t grow at all, then yeah, it would be cliché. Instead, facets of her personality are revealed throughout the show, including the afore mentioned shaky justification.

I’m surprised people don’t talk about Gai. He’s a sixteen year old who leads a terrorist group, who is a better killer than trained soldiers, a genius tactician, and has the ability to see Voids (which is all too convenient since the main character has the power to extract these Voids). There isn’t anything realistic about him for quite some time. He is my least favorite character of the series. He “grows” the most, if you can call it that, but his character itself is subjugated to Shu’s growth.

While I’m addressing things that were detrimental to my enjoyment, I’ll mention that there were a few inconsistencies as far as Voids are concerned, and a certain character that is built up as being incredibly important with a pretty serious power who is completely ignored in the second half of the show. Actually, if I recall correctly, he stops making an appearance before the plot changing event even occurs. I’m not particularly put-out with his exclusion, but a little explanation would be nice.

As for other inconsistencies, the Void regulations are pretty flighty. The whole “person must be under seventeen” rule is pretty laudable, and the Voids themselves don’t seem to be very relevant to a person’s heart except in a select few cases–which, if I might add, is downplayed afterwards. You have a character whose Void seems pretty useful, put to heavy use for support purposes, but then you find out that his power is actually among the weakest of the bunch.

However, I can overlook these inconsistencies. I can overlook some questionable plot devices. I can overlook quite a bit as far as this show is concerned. Why? To put it simply, the show is beautiful. The art is magnificent, and the sound wonderful. Everything is so fluid and Inori is just stunning. Couple that amazing art with a cliché story that becomes progressively darker, and I simply cannot help but enjoy it.

I’m not going to lie; there are plenty of areas that could have been handled better. The second half of the show, while my favorite in terms of mood, felt rushed at times. The first half annoyed me with its developments. The character’s choices were predictable at times. But, even though we could predict them, it was because of the way the story was told. (I’ll refer to everything revolving around Hare. Did we see that coming? Yes. Does that make it cliché? A little. Does that mean it wasn’t realistic or handled well? I’d beg to differ. I felt that the changes in mood that resulted were worth giving in to a few minor clichés to attain.)

This is a show you’re either going to love or hate. You will either latch on to the little things, or you’ll take the bigger picture into mind and just enjoy it as it comes. I personally enjoyed every second of the show and would re-watch if I had the time. Some people may draw parallels to Code Geass, but I don’t see them unless I specifically look for similarities. Even then, the ones I see are just general clichés rather than pieces drawn from the show. Some people may complain about the fanservice. I guess they’d be referring to Inori, or Ayase in her flight suit. To be honest, I didn’t see any of that as fanservice. It’s debatable, and heavily reliant on taste.

This show is not a master piece. It’s good, yes, but isn’t particularly insightful or groundbreaking. It’s eye candy, and interesting enough to spend a few days over. I’ll be sad to see it end, but it lacks that certain force other shows have.

-Resuki

Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Hunter x Hunter is set in a world where Hunters exist to perform all manner of dangerous tasks like capturing criminals and bravely searching for lost treasures in uncharted territories. Twelve-year-old Gon Freecss is determined to become the best Hunter possible in hopes of finding his father, who was a Hunter himself and had long ago abandoned his young son. However, Gon soon realizes the path to achieving his goals is far more challenging than he could have ever imagined.

Along the way to becoming an official Hunter, Gon befriends the lively doctor-in-training Leorio, vengeful Kurapika, and rebellious ex-assassin Killua. To attain their own goals and desires, together the four of them take the Hunter Exam, notorious for its low success rate and high probability of death. Throughout their journey, Gon and his friends embark on an adventure that puts them through many hardships and struggles. They will meet a plethora of monsters, creatures, and characters—all while learning what being a Hunter truly means.

Review/Comments

Heed my warning and heed it well: If you so choose to watch the gracious series that is Hunter x Hunter (2011), watch it well past the first few episodes. Though the first few episodes make the entire series as a whole seem bland, if you think this way, you’re wrong and you should feel bad. Really really bad. Think of it this way: the series is a marathon runner. A good runner prepares himself and warms up for the long arduous journey ahead (ie. HxH). The bad runner carelessly takes off from the start with no preparation and eventually dying down halfway through because of poor preparation (ie. SAO, although the first half was somewhat enjoyable, the second half obviously sucked). HxH takes a while to be set in motion, but its part of winning the marathon. Preparation is essential. Listen, give yourself the first 25 episodes, and you’ll see that it actually IS good and well worth your time — and it gets much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much better. Much better. In fact, I created an account with the sole purpose to explain why Hunter x Hunter is a must-watch.

Now, I shall ACTUALLY explain….

Story (10/10): Gon Freecss is a 12 year old boy, and an aspiring hunter with a taste for adventure. Sound familiar, eh? His father, Ging, left the newborn Gon, without leaving many clues to where the father had ventured to. Sound even more familiar, eh? Well don’t assume that this is like any other cliched storyline, because it’s far from it. Throughout his journey, he gains the acquaintance of Leorio (an aspiring doctor), Kurapika (a special-eyed boy enveloped in a deep vengeance for the killers of his tribe), and soon enough Gon’s closest friend, Killua (a member of the highest skilled assassin-family, showing the most potential). Throughout the group’s journey, each of the character’s story play an essential role in driving the plot forward, and oh how the plot thickens.

The story is constantly evolving and constantly moving, sparing no slack in pace. If you hate filler, you will love this show especially. It will constantly keep you hooked. If you’ve just started the series, keep watching I tell you, keep watching. It keeps getting better.

Art (10/10): Now I’m no art aficionado, but I can tell when too bright is too bright and too dark is too dark. All I can is that it’s well balance and is pleasing to the eye. Now it’s not seizure-inducing like NGNL, but it get’s the job done in an enjoyable manner. The palette, uh, looks nice, and uh, stuff. Yeah. There’s no “you’re trying too hard” to be expected in the artistic representation of Hunter x Hunter. Edit: and once you get to the end of the Chimera Ant arc, I give you my solemn word: you will not be disappointed with the conglomeration of art and sound and the overall feeling. No spoilers.

*Sound (10/10): Now this is my FAVORITE part. Part of what makes a series whole is the great sounds that go on behind it. I absolutely adore the music that went on behind the story. It did what I find other series have a hard time perfecting. When intrigue is being produced, music that correctly suits the situation will be presented, and in turn your intrigue will be piqued. When you’re on the edge of your seat biting your nails, music adds to that experience. I believe it sets a tone for the story, and does it in an extremely efficient way. However, the only fault is that the music does not fit perfectly sometimes, but it isn’t enough to irritate someone. It still gets the job done, and helps steep one’s mind into the story further. And possible the BEST part of the sound portion of HxH is the inclusion of Gustav Holst’s “Jupiter” from “The Planets.” It’s a beautiful song and it’s inclusion in the series legit made me shed a tear m8.

Characters (10/10): No stone is left unturned in the realm of character development. Every character has a specific motive driving them and the drive to accomplish it. There’s an explanation for every character’s purpose — and then it develops farther and farther. Think of Gon, the main character, as the main line. As Gon progresses, new characters come into contact with him, creating an infrastructure of development, moving forward at the same pace as Gon. The development only expands around Gon at the same time as Gon ventures about.

Enjoyment (10/10): Need I explain my enjoyment further? The rating clearly declares my sentiment towards the series. The only thing that I DON’T enjoy is that the series is ending at only 148 episodes. That’s right, only. By the time you go through the 145 episodes I’ve gone through, you’ll feel how I feel to realize that there’s only 148. 148 does not do this series justice. All I, as well as I’m sure anyone else who has ventured through the series thus far feels is that there should be more. and more. and more. and more. There’s much more to be explored! Given, there are only 350 chapters (at the moment) of the manga, and the anime finishes quite close. My only hope, and I’m sure I speak for many others, is that the series picks up maybe even a year or 2 later, when there is more of the manga for the anime to run off of — and not take 10 years to reboot and recontinue. All I can say is we want more, and more is an understatement.

TL;DR – Watch Hunter x Hunter (2011) past the first season, instantaneously become addicted, and see why this underrated series should be not underrated nor overrated, but rated with high regard. You will not be disappointed. Just watch it. 10/10.

-NiqAngel

Btooom!

Ryouta Sakamoto is unemployed and lives with his mother, his only real achievement being that he is Japan’s top player of the popular online video game Btooom! However, his peaceful life is about to change when he finds himself stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere, with a small green crystal embedded in his left hand and no memory of how he got there. To his shock, someone has decided to recreate the game he is so fond of in real life, with the stakes being life or death.

Armed with a bag full of unique bombs known as “BIM,” the players are tasked with killing seven of their fellow participants and taking their green crystals in order to return home. Initially condemning any form of violence, Ryouta is forced to fight when he realizes that many of the other players are not as welcoming as they may seem. Teaming up with Himiko, a fellow Btooom! player, they attempt to get off of the island together, coming closer and closer to the truth behind this contest of death.

Review/Comments

In my effort to find animes that don’t star some stupid little high school boy I decided to focus as much as I could on finding animes starring adults. My search didn’t take that long surprisingly when I came across of a description “A 22 year old…” that my friend was how I discovered BTOOM!

I decided to give the anime a shot to see if I like it and ended up watching the whole thing in two days. 😀 Let me first talk about all the things I liked about it.

The story is about a guy who sits at home playing videos games all day, he’s one of the top players in a game called BTOOM! Eventually he gets kidnapped and taken to an Island where he has to play the game to survive and win back his freedom. I immediately thought of myself and my Killzone 3 addiction. lol! So I can sort of relate to the main protagonist. I also love stories like “The Hunger Games” where people are forced to fight each other for their lives.

The Characters are a the biggest draw for me as they are all real people…or they feel like real people and not just a bunch of anime archetypes thrown together. The main character, Ryouta is just a regular guy who is very selfish and tends to think only about how things affect him. He’s not some goody two shoes but he’s not the devil as well. What was interesting to me more than anything was finding out that everyone on the Island was sent there by someone they know and we do get a glimpse into the reasons why some of the characters are there and with the others you can sort of see why, based on their actions, why someone would send them. In other words, some are more deserving of their spot there than others and with Ryouta, it’s up to you to decide if he should really be there or not.

The next main character is Himiko/Emilia a highschool girl who also played the game somewhat and even married Ryouta in the game. When I first saw this character I rolled my eyes because I wanted to avoid the high school kid thing but I was wrong. This girl is as real as it can get and someone I found myself rooting for and relating to a great deal. I love how her character was handled in some of the situations she was in. She was almost raped twice and it made her grow mistrusting of men in general, something that I know a lot of women go through. She just did bounce back and become some sex kitten, nor was she a damsel. she fought to maintain her purity in a world where men were eager to take it away from her. Even if it meant sacrificing her own life.

Anyway, the characters, even the ones I didn’t root for all had something about them that made me feel a certain way about them whether it was love, hate, disgust, etc.The anime did not pull its punches showing how horrible some of these characters are and for a story premise about how these people were chosen by someone “who wants them to disappear” that’s how it should be. The story is filled with betrayals and so on that constantly remind you of why they are there.

I really enjoyed the slow development of the relationship between Ryouta and Himiko. He’s not some stupid shy little boy and she’s not some super bitch or super sickly sweet chick. They are just two people thrown into a nightmare and they are trying to survive.

Now what I didn’t like about it:

First I was happy that Himiko was called a foreigner. she was a character with blond hair and blue eyes, it makes sense. Then later she calls herself Japanese?? I don’t know many Japanese girls named Emilia or at least that’s not a common Japanese name. Why can’t she just be a foreigner living in Japan?

The anime suffers from not being longer than 12 episodes. I would have liked to know more about the other characters and what was going on with the people behind BTOOM and this island version of it. It sort of reminded me of “Cabin in the Woods” the way they were monitoring them all.

The anime did way too many ‘That could have been messy” moments. For example: Himiko manages to toss a bomb off of her while the timer was at 1 sec. That is ridiculous considering the fact that we have seen other characters die from the same bomb type from a farther distance and I doubt she was able to throw it that far that fast in 1 sec. This also happens to the Ryouta a lot. Too many close calls takes away from the suspense of having them.

Overall feelings:

I really like this anime. I love the characters in it ad I really want to get to know more about them. When I finished the last episode I looked for a season 2 because there is just no way this anime is over. It pretty much finishes in the middle! However, sadly I read that it was one of the worst selling animes of 2012. *SMH* of course it is. Why am I not the least bit surprised that this anime was a poor seller. It isn’t starring some idiotic high school boy who spends all day blushing at chicks and riding mechs. It isn’t starring an equally annoying anime girl who is so sweet she might as well p*$$ maple syrup or a girl who is so emotionally devoid of life she might as well be a sock puppet. Everybody’s problems can’t be solve by saying “Believe in me/us/him/her”.

Oh well, I won’t hold my breath for another season and considering where it stops off at you would probably be better off not even watching it. here is a manga though so I’ll check it out.

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

“In order for something to be obtained, something of equal value must be lost.”

Alchemy is bound by this Law of Equivalent Exchange—something the young brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric only realize after attempting human transmutation: the one forbidden act of alchemy. They pay a terrible price for their transgression—Edward loses his left leg, Alphonse his physical body. It is only by the desperate sacrifice of Edward’s right arm that he is able to affix Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor. Devastated and alone, it is the hope that they would both eventually return to their original bodies that gives Edward the inspiration to obtain metal limbs called “automail” and become a state alchemist, the Fullmetal Alchemist.

Three years of searching later, the brothers seek the Philosopher’s Stone, a mythical relic that allows an alchemist to overcome the Law of Equivalent Exchange. Even with military allies Colonel Roy Mustang, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, and Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes on their side, the brothers find themselves caught up in a nationwide conspiracy that leads them not only to the true nature of the elusive Philosopher’s Stone, but their country’s murky history as well. In between finding a serial killer and racing against time, Edward and Alphonse must ask themselves if what they are doing will make them human again… or take away their humanity.

Review/Comments

First of all, I have seen the original FMA and although it was very popular and original, the pacing and conclusion did not sit too well with me. Brotherhood is meant to be a remake of the original, this time sticking to the manga all the way through, but there were people who thought it would spoil the franchise. That myth should be dispelled, as there’s only one word to describe this series – EPIC.

I admit that as I’ve seen the original and read the manga, the pacing of Brotherhood seems to start off being VERY fast (I finally got used to the pacing after watching the first fifteen eps or so). Events that took up half a volume of the manga and had spread though a few episodes of the original anime were now shown in just a single episode. However, after trying to look at it from the perspective of someone who’s new to FMA (not comparing it to the manga nor the original), I believe that the pacing works and it manages to tell an intriguing story effectively with little confusion. The plot is full of clever ideas and unpredictable twists that link various parts of the story together. By the final episode, all loose ends are neatly tied up and what’s left is a hugely satisfying epilogue.

The animation in FMA Brotherhood is crisp and very well done (although it does sometimes dip a bit in quality). Compared to the original FMA it’s a bit simpler but that’s just because the original set a very high standard to follow. The facial emotions of the characters are also perfectly presented. The action scenes are brilliant and VERY well animated, with a variety of alchemy techniques and other talents being displayed nearly every episode. The various battles are consistently exciting to watch, but somehow get even better towards the end of the series.

The voice acting is of an excellent and consistent quality, and I think that pretty much all the characters have voice actors which suit their personalities. The majority of the openings/endings are a pleasure to watch due to fantastic animated sequences and theme songs. The background music which play during the episodes usually fit very well with the situation, although some tracks seem to be overused a little at first. This becomes less of a problem as the series progresses, with plenty of new music being introduced to support the story as it reaches the finale.

Moving on to the characters (best thing about this series), the original FMA focussed mainly on Ed and Al and on their struggles to regain their bodies, whereas Brotherhood also explores other characters to great detail at the same time. The majority of the spotlight is still on the two brothers, but it highlights their interactions with new characters which were not present in the original anime. New characters include a group of people from Xing (a neighbouring country), another person from the Armstrong family (who I think has become one of the coolest members of the supporting cast), and a new main antagonist. For me, the Xingese characters in particular (Ling Yao and Mei Chang among others) provide a new dimension to the FMA world, by showing us a different culture to the militaristic one we’re familiar with. I think the new antagonist is an improvement on the original FMA, as this person has a much stronger and clever link to the Elric brothers’ father. Returning characters from the original FMA, such as Mustang and Scar, are much more awesome and developed due to the fact that Brotherhood is 100% faithful to the manga. Plus, Winry Rockbell now has a much more active role in the story. I can say for sure that this anime has one of the best main/supporting casts I’ve ever seen, and you’d probably find it difficult to label any of the recurring characters (whether they are good or evil) as being either boring or unnecessary in terms of the storyline.

One of the many good things about this series is that there has been absolutely no filler at all (yes, I’m thinking of Naruto, Inuyasha, etc), which prevents the story from losing momentum. All the episodes are concise and every scene is important as part of the huge plot. The dialogue fully explains everything and is straight to the point. As multiple characters are explored there are lots of side stories, but these are all perfectly intertwined with the main story of the Elric brothers and more often than not directly influence their journey too. Like most anime series, there are things from the manga which have been left out, but these are usually just restricted to comedy moments. There has been one episode which shows a lot of flashbacks of events so far, but that’s forgiven as it shows the most epic moments of the series, and also provided us with some history on the father of the Elric brothers.

FMA Brotherhood will be sorely missed now that it’s finished. It is excellent in every aspect and has very little, if anything, that can be called a flaw (maybe rushed character development at first due to the fast pacing, but this quickly subsides). Each episode feels like it’s too short, a testimony to how much it draws you in to the story and characters. There are moments which leave you smiling, laughing, sad and simply amazed. Try this anime, it’s recommended for absolutely everyone, to newcomers and to those familiar with Fullmetal Alchemist.

-tazillo

Dragon Ball Z

Five years after winning the World Martial Arts tournament, Gokuu is now living a peaceful life with his wife and son. This changes, however, with the arrival of a mysterious enemy named Raditz who presents himself as Gokuu’s long-lost brother. He reveals that Gokuu is a warrior from the once powerful but now virtually extinct Saiyan race, whose homeworld was completely annihilated. When he was sent to Earth as a baby, Gokuu’s sole purpose was to conquer and destroy the planet; but after suffering amnesia from a head injury, his violent and savage nature changed, and instead was raised as a kind and well-mannered boy, now fighting to protect others.

With his failed attempt at forcibly recruiting Gokuu as an ally, Raditz warns Gokuu’s friends of a new threat that’s rapidly approaching Earth—one that could plunge Earth into an intergalactic conflict and cause the heavens themselves to shake. A war will be fought over the seven mystical dragon balls, and only the strongest will survive in Dragon Ball Z.

Review/Comments

Dragon Ball Z is epic. No doubt this is one of the most popular series that helped spread the art of anime in the world.

The original Dragon Ball was fun, but in DBZ the characters have grown and the maturity is felt throughout the whole series. From the incredible Sayian Saga, an important Frieza Saga and the entertaining Cell Saga to the Grand Finale – Buu Saga, DBZ does not disappoint. It’s not all about the fighting, although the series have probably 4-5 battles that should be written in the anime history books. I was always astonished by the character development which is amazing and to emphasize this, I like the example of Vegeta. He was one of the greatest villains at first and one of the greatest heroes in the end. The way Akira Toriyama changed his perspective throughout the storyline and how he did not rush Vegeta’s judgement of his surroundings is astounding. Goku’s naive greatness and Vegeta’s indestructible pride completes, arguably, the single greatest friendship in anime history.

Still not impressed? Just watch the final DBZ battle. It is grand, it is electric, it is emotional and atmospheric. When two of the most beloved fighters, Goku and Vegeta, stand against the mightiest villain in an empty planet, when the last hope is on their shoulders, when the price of failure will erase everything that is worth living for, they look at the situation and smile: this is how life is supposed to be. A man without a challenge is a man who does not live.

-ChrisVarick

Psycho-Pass

Justice, and the enforcement of it, has changed. In the 22nd century, Japan enforces the Sibyl System, an objective means of determining the threat level of each citizen by examining their mental state for signs of criminal intent, known as their Psycho-Pass. Inspectors uphold the law by subjugating, often with lethal force, anyone harboring the slightest ill-will; alongside them are Enforcers, jaded Inspectors that have become latent criminals, granted relative freedom in exchange for carrying out the Inspectors’ dirty work.

Into this world steps Akane Tsunemori, a young woman with an honest desire to uphold justice. However, as she works alongside veteran Enforcer Shinya Kougami, she soon learns that the Sibyl System’s judgments are not as perfect as her fellow Inspectors assume. With everything she has known turned on its head, Akane wrestles with the question of what justice truly is, and whether it can be upheld through the use of a system that may already be corrupt.

Review/Comments

Psycho pass.

In a world where a persons mental state means everything, every action you make could mean a life in prison, or life as a slave to the new systems police force, If, you have talent for thinking like a criminal and solving murders.

This anime is fantastic, and for the first time in a long while the main threat is a perfect character. I am 15 episodes in and somehow this anime is still getting better and better.

Crime, action, intelligence and mental stability are all equally important in this story, and the plot is continuous and really showing a lot of growth in the main characters and direction of the story.

All ready there have been back stories and even episodes solely dedicated to showing us how the characters are were they are.
Great development.

Kougami is going to be a favourite of mine, and I am sure there will be others who will think the same,

Do you want to be emerged in a great plot with great characters in a world that is on the brink of falling into anarchy?
Where only a few can stop it?

Add in horror, action , mystery and crime and you have Psycho pass.
Must watch IMO.

-minatojs

Fist of the North Star

In the year 19XX, after being betrayed and left for dead, bravehearted warrior Kenshirou wanders a post-apocalyptic wasteland on a quest to track down his rival, Shin, who has kidnapped his beloved fiancée Yuria. During his journey, Kenshirou makes use of his deadly fighting form, Hokuto Shinken, to defend the helpless from bloodthirsty ravagers. It isn’t long before his exploits begin to attract the attention of greater enemies, like warlords and rival martial artists, and Keshirou finds himself involved with more than he originally bargained for.

Faced with ever-increasing odds, the successor of Hokuto Shinken is forced to put his skills to the test in an effort to take back what he cares for most. And as these new challenges present themselves and the battle against injustice intensifies, namely his conflict with Shin and the rest of the Nanto Seiken school of martial arts, Kenshirou is gradually transformed into the savior of an irradiated and violent world.

Review/Comments

When I first started Hokuto no Ken, I did not know a thing about Fist of the North Star. I had heard the name before, and I knew it was a popular franchise with bloody exploding heads. When I started watching the series, it looked so incredibly 80s.

In fact, the Shin arc made me stop watching it for a while. The endless mooks in poorly drawn 80s style really turned me off. A few weeks later, I decided to try it again. I am so absolutely glad I did. Hokuto no Ken is a post-apocolyptic epic, and I don’t use that term lightly.

The story is fairly simple. Shin (Kenshiro’s rival) steals Yuria (Kenshiro’s love), and Ken goes to rescue her. However, in the background, darker, more dangerous forces are moving. The story is cunning in its simplicity, and quite well executed.

The art is of course, very old, and often shows its age. It is the biggest downfall the series has. The series is backed up by strong, memorable music, and one of the most comically catchy OPs (YOU WA SHOCK!) I’ve heard.

One of the things that Hokuto no Ken does interestingly is the characters. 90% of the major characters are large, stoic men, with pecs of iron and manly logic. The two children, Bat and Lin, are there to cheer Ken on, and be terrified/annoying, respectively. The men Ken meets are almost all evil beyond redemption. However, in the legions of mooks and generic evil, are some interesting, legitimately cool characters, such as Rei, Juza, Toki and Raoh.

To today’s viewer, it would seem like you’ve seen all the elements of this before in other things. The reason for this is that Hokuto no Ken has inspired every single action show to come from Japan, especially the long-running shounen of today, in some form or another.

I cannot give this series a 10, between the early filler (which is just about completely gone after the Shin arc), and the recap episodes. I will, however give this a 9. What I thought would be a hilariously corny 80s romp through a field of exploding heads turned out to be a amazing, epic journey though a post-apocalyptic wasteland, starring, the manliest man to ever be placed on paper. With exploding heads.

-nicepants

Cowboy Bebop

In the year 2071, humanity has colonized several of the planets and moons of the solar system leaving the now uninhabitable surface of planet Earth behind. The Inter Solar System Police attempts to keep peace in the galaxy, aided in part by outlaw bounty hunters, referred to as “Cowboys.” The ragtag team aboard the spaceship Bebop are two such individuals.

Mellow and carefree Spike Spiegel is balanced by his boisterous, pragmatic partner Jet Black as the pair makes a living chasing bounties and collecting rewards. Thrown off course by the addition of new members that they meet in their travels—Ein, a genetically engineered, highly intelligent Welsh Corgi; femme fatale Faye Valentine, an enigmatic trickster with memory loss; and the strange computer whiz kid Edward Wong—the crew embarks on thrilling adventures that unravel each member’s dark and mysterious past little by little.

Well-balanced with high density action and light-hearted comedy, Cowboy Bebop is a space Western classic and an homage to the smooth and improvised music it is named after.

Review/Comments

Cowboy Bebop is an episodic series. By episodic, I mean that one episode doesn’t necessarily lead or follow the next one. With that being said, don’t expect a lot of “plot” in this series. You watch Cowboy Bebop for the characters, plain and simple. Spike, Faye, Jet, Ed, Ein are what make this anime arguably one of the most memorable series ever produced. The music is awesome (especially if you’re a fan of Jazz), the animation is top notch (considering when the series came out), and the enjoyment value is second to none.

While a lot of people want that “similar episode” feel, if you’re the kind of person that enjoys a fast paced anime (with each character getting his or her own spotlight), this is for you. If you’re not the type to enjoy fast paced, bounty huntin’ fun, and rather you like deep thought provoking, dark, mysterious shows…don’t watch Cowboy Bebop. Vicious (one of the characters) may be able to bring a little of that sinister side for you, but this isn’t that kind of show.

-Xinil

Fate Stay/Night

After a mysterious inferno kills his family, Shirou is saved and adopted by Kiritsugu Emiya, who teaches him the ways of magic and justice.

One night, years after Kiritsugu’s death, Shirou is cleaning at school, when he finds himself caught in the middle of a deadly encounter between two superhumans known as Servants. During his attempt to escape, the boy is caught by one of the Servants and receives a life-threatening injury. Miraculously, he survives, but the same Servant returns to finish what he started. In desperation, Shirou summons a Servant of his own, a knight named Saber. The two must now participate in the Fifth Holy Grail War, a battle royale of seven Servants and the mages who summoned them, with the grand prize being none other than the omnipotent Holy Grail itself.

Fate/stay night follows Shirou as he struggles to find the fine line between a hero and a killer, his ideals clashing with the harsh reality around him. Will the boy become a hero like his foster father, or die trying?

Review/Comments

Fate/Stay Night is a fabulous Romantic, Action, Adventure that will leave you amazed by the beautiful visuals and interesting fights. Just don’t let the main character annoy you too much, as he did with me. ^_^

After watching just the first 3 episode you basically learned the main plot of this anime, which was the Holy Grail War and also learned how similar this anime was with others; having the same little annoyances. I personally was annoyed with the whole my parents are dead and I just wanted this show to be different with the parents still alive at least. But most of all I was annoyed by how weak and pathetic yet lucky Shirou was, which just seemed unoriginal. What made it worse was how arrogant Shirou was and how he always wanted to fight his own battles, even though his Servant could do a much better job at it. Nevertheless I didn’t allow these annoyances to get in the way of this great show and if you do the same you may enjoy it too.

This show is an Action/Adventure with elements of both Romance and Comedy, however unlike most of this genre the romance is played down that even I found it difficult to tell who Shirou would end up with. This was one of the things that helped save the show from a bad score and another was the great character developments that occurred in the story. As the story went on, even though it seemed hard to believe from the beginning but Shirou greatly improved as a Master and became lass annoying to watch. He even had some pretty interesting fights although the bulk of the fights were fought by Saber. The fights were great to watch adding a decent amount of action to the show. On the other hand some fights had a lacklustre feel it them, so if your used to being glued to the screen from a spectacular battle dont count on that happening here often, however there is at least some interesting fights.

One thing I like in my anime is something that was missing in this show, a decent plot twist, but this is just my opinion. If you don’t mind it sticking to one storyline all the way through to the end, then there’s no chance in you being disappointed with the story you got.

Apart from Shirou the rest of the characters were OK with decent personalities but most of them weren’t developed well enough. Usually all you’re given is a few hazy moments and flashbacks of a characters past and forced to work out what is going on by yourself. Well at least the characters were well-drawn though.

The animation quality for Fate/Stay Night was lavish with some of the best used light and shadow effects I’ve seen in a while. Even though that may sound pointless, in this anime it was significantly noticeable. The music was decent but it could have been a lot better if it used some other track from the Fate/Stay Night soundtrack. Yet the music wasn’t much of a big deal in this anime and it was only near the end that the music really made a difference.

To summarize, this anime did a great job of mixing romance and action without making either one of them overbearing, although it could of done without the comedy. Even though the comedy was used to lighten the mood at times in this show, I didn’t feel it was needed. The fights were interesting but it could have done with the charged up yelling and screaming, mostly from Saber. I was very pleased with the ending, because it wasn’t too sad and it wasn’t cheesy, but it did leave me a little confused yet I was sure it had ended. Even up until the end there was still something I didn’t like about the character Shirou and it had to do with the Japanese voice actor that I and most Naruto fansub watchers will notice pretty quickly as well. So try not to let this spoil the show for you because this was an remarkable anime to watch.

Other Mentions

Naruto, One Piece and Bleach are not in the list as we think the mainstream media has promoted enough that most anime fans know about them.

Reference: MyAnimeList

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