Rate the last anime you watched out of 10

WMD

Kiznaiver
Well that's been quite a day. Started it this morning and just finished so my heads feeling a little full! A lot to digest. Anyways:

Made in Abyss

Oh my that was good. The cutesy animation style does not prepare you for what's in store! The show builds nicely, wasting no time getting started but constantly gives you a sense of world building as the story progresses. The characters head out on a journey of discovery and the last 4 episodes are an emotional rollercoaster!

The animation looks great and the MVM collectors edition is really nice too (MVM have really upped their game on these recently imo)

Hyperbole I know as I'm still processing but 10/10 ill definitely rewatch it in future.
 

Captaaainuniverse

Mad Scientist
Well that's been quite a day. Started it this morning and just finished so my heads feeling a little full! A lot to digest. Anyways:

Made in Abyss

Oh my that was good. The cutesy animation style does not prepare you for what's in store! The show builds nicely, wasting no time getting started but constantly gives you a sense of world building as the story progresses. The characters head out on a journey of discovery and the last 4 episodes are an emotional rollercoaster!

The animation looks great and the MVM collectors edition is really nice too (MVM have really upped their game on these recently imo)

Hyperbole I know as I'm still processing but 10/10 ill definitely rewatch it in future.
Hopefully not said through a mouthful if Ben&Jerry's. That dang rabbit...
 

WMD

Kiznaiver
Shomin Sample

Fun, mostly light-hearted comedy about a boy trapped at an upper class girls high school. Lots of nonsense and fan service ensues (mostly harmless but it gets creepy for one character who looks a lot younger than she is)

The humour was generally good and the 4 girls who form the core harem were all very distinct with well defined, if ludicrous personalities.

7.5/10
 

Greboruri

Brigade Leader
Shin Tetsujin 28
1980 - 1981 remake of the 1960's TV series. Modernised and in line with other giant robot anime of the time, a lot of the core elements seem really dated and out of place, especially the remote control aspect of Tetsujin and Chief Ootsuka's character design. Most of the episodes are self contained with a variety of villains. Only two villains, Branch and Space Demon King, have any sort of continuous story line. It's pretty much a bog standard kids show of that era and feels like a quite mediocre one at that. Yasuhiro Imagawa's 2004 adaptation of the same material is far superior. Best I can give this series is 6 out of 10.

Mazinger Z: Infinity
Set about a decade after Great Mazinger, this film manages to explain what happened to the characters afterwards as well as telling a brand new story really well. Some of the pseudoscience in the climax was really daft (and even one of the characters says so themselves), but the action sequences where really well choreographed and used the CG models to their full potential. And despite the large cast, the staff have managed to ensure every character was there for a purpose. In other words it didn't feel forced or like characters were just making cameos for fan service purposes. With the characters much older then what they were in the original series and also having children, it did feel like they were pitching this film to an older audience which I thought was interesting. 8.5 out of 10.
 

WMD

Kiznaiver
Yona of the Dawn

Princess with crimson hair is on the run after her father is dethroned. She sets off into the kingdom to see the world for herself and try to survive.
This show is essentially a mix of Heroic Legend of Arslan and Snow White with the Red Hair.

The character work on this show is really amazing. The first 6 or so episodes are all about the princess and her bodyguard as they flee the capital and as each member joins the group they'll get an episode showing us their backstory which makes them all very empathetic.

The story is essentially one long prologue with the princess chasing macguffins. If a second season is ever made the stage is set for a much better story to be told.

9/10 on characters, 5/10 story
 

Greboruri

Brigade Leader
Baldios (TV Series + Movie)
One of the latter super robot series, this show has elements similar to those which came before it and I thought some of the plot elements were similar to Godmars which was broadcast a year or so afterwards. Kaneto Shiozawa plays the lead, Marin Reigan. His voice is pretty distinctive and every time he spoke I kept thinking of Rei from Fist of the North Star. While the animation in the TV series is rather mediocre, the plot is kinda decent for a show of this era. Where it possibly falls over is the twist at the end of the series. I think there were trying to force fit it into the story. Might have to watch the early episodes again to make sure everything fits, but I suspect there are some plot holes there. The series was cancelled and there’s no definitive ending. The movie tries to conclude the story (it is simultaneously a recap and a new story, 70% new animation), but I think it creates more plot holes and changes some of the motivations and fates of some the secondary and main characters, which isn’t an improvement. On balance I’d give this show 6.5 out 10.
 

WMD

Kiznaiver
Land of the Lustrous

Humanoid inorganic minerals fight against lunar invaders who want to harvest their bodies.
Ok so the premise is a little weird but the world building is very well executed in this show. Just enough to give you a feel for the place without overburdening the story.

The show is mostly driven through the changes that occur to the main character. Most other characters have a fairly static personality mirroring the fact they are ageless minerals.

It's a pretty unique show and the animation is really stunning at times. The real value in this show is watching the main characters journey. The show knows this and never loses sight of that.

I felt the last episode was a bit of a let down compared to the rest of the show. It's mostly getting things in order for a potential second series.

8/10
 

Aaron

Dragon Knight
The Garden of Words

The animation is lovely and it looks so pretty. I found the story very boring though. It didn't hold my attention...it felt way longer than 46 minutes.

It looks excellent though and I can see why people would like the story...it just wasn't for me.

3/10
 

WMD

Kiznaiver
Girls Last Tour

Girls Und Panzer this is not. (I've enjoyed both shows btw but they are very different even if the art on the box may suggest otherwise.)

Two girls travel the ruins of civilization scavenging the food and fuel to survive.

In terms of plot there is very little. Instead this show is all about how the characters interact with each other and the world they travel through. Themes of what it means to live, die, be alive, have purpose, be hopeless are explored throughout.

The bouncy theme songs and buoyant attitudes juxtapose the realities the characters are facing which makes for an interesting albeit odd mix.

I really enjoyed this show. I found it really gripping, I think mostly because I really got into the world building and constant sense of something new round the corner. Also the two leads were engaging and distinct.

8/10
 

Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
Hi-Score Girl

While I don't feel the underlying story does anything particularly revelatory, this is a very sweet little series that weaves the history of 1990s arcade games into its plot with remarkable success. While I initially thought it would be little more than a romcom with a gimmick, it somehow manages to convey an awful lot about its characters through the way they play one another at the various fighting coin-ops, and it even charts the passage of time through the development of various Street Fighter II iterations. Not quite sure how I feel about the prospect of the recently announced second season though - even if it didn't really tie everything up, it seemed to end well enough where it did.

A Place Further Than The Universe

Much like its season-mate, Laid Back Camp, I didn't pay much attention to this one as it was airing, as it didn't seem like my kind of thing, but also much like Laid Back Camp, I actually ended up really enjoying it. While Madhouse are on good form with the production, it's the strength of the writing that really shines through here. Despite the slightly unlikely premise - high school girls wrangle their way onto an Antarctic expedition - I was completely sold on it from the word go. It's an incredibly lean, focused series where virtually every scene seems to somehow inform our understanding of the characters and their story. Don't think that I like it more than Devilman Crybaby, but I can certainly understand why so many folk named this as their top show of 2018.
 

WMD

Kiznaiver
Vatican Miracle Examiner

Mystery thriller with a religious skin makes for an engrossing tense experience.

The protagonists are 2 priests charged to conform or refute the claims of miracles thatvthebvatican recieves. Much like Hercule Poirot where ever these 2 go things quickly get out of hand. This makes for some well crafted tense episodes which keep you guessing.

The main pair make for a competent duo. One is all about history and mythology and the other all about the scientific method which both adds natural tension between the pair and also making it believable that the Vatican would charge them with such important tasks.

To say much more would be to head into spoilers but if you enjoy tense mystery thrillers it's worth watching. The multi episode arcs that most cases get allow the mysteries, locations and changing roster of characters time to breathe which does the show a lot of good.

8/10
 

Aaron

Dragon Knight
I finished Aggretsuko.

I actually started watching it months ago, but I wasn't feeling it after the first couple of episodes. I decided to give it another try recently and I quite enjoyed it. It's not amazing (especially the animation), but it's a pleasant series and I think it got better as it went along.

The death metal/karaoke stuff wasn't as big a part of the story as I expected it to be (it seemed shoehorned into some episodes) - I didn't enjoy like those parts and I think I would have liked the series more without them.

Overall, it works well as a gentle workplace slice of life series with animals, slightly spoiled by the whole karaoke bit.

6/10
 

Greboruri

Brigade Leader
Adieu Galaxy Express 999
Finally got these films on BD and saw the first film a while ago. Think this is the third time I have bought the films. One of the problems with Rintaro's work is that he goes for the grand spectacle over story or character development. Luckily the script is pretty good and isn't overwhelmed by the visuals. There's a few changes from the first film, the major one being that the Galaxy Express can speak and interact with the crew and the rest of the cast. One of the things that does amuse me about this film and other works by Leji Matsumoto is his stance against technology. I suppose what he's trying to say is machines need humans to control them and automation is wrong, but it does come off as a little bit contradictory considering how technology plays a large role in a lot of his works. Regardless, the film still looks amazing nearly 40 years on and story is great. 8.5 out of 10.

B't X

This almost forgotten TV series from the mid 1990's was based on a manga by Masami Kurumada of Saint Seiya fame. As a result it does feel similar to that series, but is more of a mecha show. Of course there are plenty of fight scenes. Some of the animation, especially in the first episode, is pretty woeful; very off model and bit substandard for a mid 1990's TV series. However it does improve a lot. Most of the series has the hero, Teppei Takamiya, trying to rescue his brother from the Machine Empire using an artificial lifeform (robot in reality) created by the empire called B't X. The story is a bit more involved than that, but for the most part follows a typical shonen manga template with lots of fight sequences, cliched baddies etc. The DVD set form Anime Midstream is OK for the most part. There's a couple of glaring typos in the subs, a couple of bad audio glitches or dropouts in two episodes, but mostly it's quite good. There's no translation for the Japanese cast though. The show doesn't have a proper ending as the manga was still running at the time of broadcast. However the follow up series B't X Neo concludes the series. 6.5 out of 10.
 

Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Rewatch)

Definitely enjoyed this one more on the second viewing. At the time it came out, the Lupin franchise was still hung up on trying to have high stakes and epic heists every time, so in part I think I was too busy looking for that to appreciate how well it works on a smaller, more intimate level, but it also took me a while to wrap my head around the often unflattering depiction of the characters. I don't think it even portrays them in the caustic way Mamo did, but the Lupin gang has never seemed so flawed and fallible - their foibles are often so foregrounded that it can be hard to notice the moments of subtle redemption. This is particularly noticeable with Fujiko herself (she is the focus of the show, after all), who is suddenly a complex, multifaceted person, encapsulating elements of all her previous iterations, as opposed to the three or four possible versions we usually see in shorthand.

I'm not much given to numerical scoring, but I feel like the show has gone up in my estimation from a mild seven to a strong nine - it's a strong, stylish character study that is still the most consistently interesting thing to come out of the Lupin franchise in many years. My only lingering complaints are that it leans too heavily on some stylistic devices (that crosshatching, gee whiz) to cover up the presumably modest budget and the ostensibly apocalyptic Cuban Missile Crisis episode is inexplicably dull. That aside, would highly recommend.

Rhea Gall Force (1989)

This was a far bigger departure from the original Gall Force trilogy than I'd expected - the reference point is now clearly the future war scenes from The Terminator, as opposed to Alien and Star Wars - but I appreciate their trying something different and I liked this one quite a bit. While there's not a lot of development given over to the characters, it still feels like there's enough here for it to work and, given the cyclical nature of the story, it's kind of a nice touch that the same character archetypes have emerged again (it's almost a little reminiscent of Blackadder) and a few of the original cast now have a new, yet slightly different equivalent.

Whether it's a higher budget, an improvement in production techniques or just a better transfer, Rhea also looks noticeably more polished than Stardust War did. Visually, I think it feels a lot closer to Bubblegum Crisis and presumably the animators have learned from their experiences of working on that. Equally, it hadn't occurred to me before that, presumably, the producers were trying to mould Gall Force into an ongoing series in a similar fashion to BGC - that might explain the decision to make two films of Destruction / Stardust War.

If I was being hard on it, I think some of the direction for Rhea lacks flair at times and I did miss the familiar theme tune, but I'm curious to see how the next instalments will pan out.
 
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Aaron

Dragon Knight
I finished The World God Only Knows.

The concept appealed to me and I thought it started off really well, but it began to lose steam halfway through and limped its way toward the end. God only knows how it got another two seasons.

Good: The first few episodes are good and made me look forward to the rest of the series. It's quite nice to look at. The OP/ED are both pretty great (except the ED for the last episode, which is an abomination).

Bad: It tries hard to be funny, but mostly fails. Most of the supporting cast are very forgettable and the regular characters are annoying. The second half of the series is a mixture of boredom and nonsense.

5/10
 
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