Rate the last anime you watched out of 10

SpideyWrex

Completely Average High School Student
Your Lie in April
Not gonna be a long review, especially when I've already shared most of my feelings on the Discord server in #anime-spoilers. Instead, I'll just share a few thoughts here.

It's a bit of a mess in terms of pacing, really. The impact at the end just isn't as strong due to its constant focus on side characters I couldn't really care much about because 1) they are not well-developed enough, and 2) as much as the anime tries, they still retain a lot of shounen elements that bugged me.

One of the biggest reasons I couldn't cry at the end was probably because I had the ending spoiled for me ahead of time, but also probably because I just didn't really like Kaori all that much. Had they developed her much better and in more empathetic ways like a certain character in Monogatari SS, I might have cried at the end just as much as I did in Monogatari SS. Seriously, I was pouring buckets during that Monogatari episode, I believe I've mentioned several times. 🤣

Overall, the anime should have just focused on Kousei and Kaori alone. The music was not bad, even though I'm not a fan of classical music. The animation was well-enough enough, but lacks any style that differentiates it from 2010s SoL anime. Let's call it a...

7/10
 

SpideyWrex

Completely Average High School Student
LGH_MOVIE1_KEY_1200x450.jpg

War. War never changes.

Among the sea of anime, I have searched high and low looking for the best of the best, the most original and unique stories ever exchanged among weeb-kind. Among these myriad stars that shine across Japanese animation, one franchise stands out from all of them as one worthy of respect, one anime held in higher regards than the likes of Star Wars, Star Trek, Evangelion and even Ghost in the Shell. It's considered to be the greatest tale ever told, the masterpiece that nothing could hope to surpass, not Serial Experiments Lain, not Mushishi and not even Cowboy Bebop. Its name: Legend of the Galactic Heroes. This is its pilot movie.

If you think all that has been hyperbole... you would be half-right. Probably. But having re-experienced the film that started it all, I feel that such a legendary series requires a sufficient amount of dramatics. This introductory movie proudly displays the three important aspects needed for a thinking man's anime: politics, philosophy and strategy. Considering the year this film was released in, its style and animation still stand out as distinctive among other anime of its time. Its substance, on the other hand, is unquestionably amazing.

Let's start with the good points. This is not your average anime. In the 59 minutes it has to tell the story, "My Conquest is the Sea of Stars" manages to dig quite deep into both the politics and the philosophies of warfare more than any of the original SW trilogy (or even some of the most renowned war films) ever did. Rather than glorifying and romanticizing warfare, the film features a vast cast of characters who share realistic view-points on a war that's been going on for 150 years. Rather than focusing on superficial aspects like "a galaxy long time ago in somewhere far away," the movie's opening narrative talks about the history of mankind and their constant relationship with battles and warfare. Even among the allies of this short tale, the characters have small skirmishes among themselves, whether as a bar fight or bickering between the higher-ups and the soldiers forced to follow orders. Even the meaning of what a soldier is in times of war (and whether if one should just blindly follow orders) becomes an actual discussion in the movie. As another reviewer once said, "It's an antithesis of Star Wars." In short, expect very heavy analysis for the rest of the time you're spending with this franchise.

The good thing is, even though it's exactly as political and topical as the reputation had me believed, it's inaccurate to call it "dry" and "preachy". The panache and humor it has keep things from becoming unenjoyable. Most importantly, the wonderfully-written characters are the glue to hold those less interested in politics and more interested in a good story. There's rarely a black and white morality featured here and the realistic personalities easily help anyone to relate and connect with any one individual of the movie - almost anyone, but I'll get to that later.

The two protagonists are charming enough for the pilot of the OVA, but I find Yang Wen-Li more relatable than Reinhard at this point. That's not to say Reinhard is poorly written, however. He's an intelligent strategist the likes of Lelouch Lamperouge and Light Yagami, but without the ego that comes with either. Instead, Reinhard focuses on maintaining minimum casualties in his battles. And as if that isn't already an arduous task in times of war, he also has to navigate the political minefield his superior, Fleet Admiral "Gregor von Muckenberger," has set up for him. Gregor has the utmost disrespect for Reinhard due to his background as someone who (supposedly) only got promoted because of his connection with his sister. Needless to say, Reinhard is unlike any intellectual you've seen in the landscape of anime.

Wen-Li is a pacifist, but isn't afraid to take down the enemy to protect his people and allies - not out of a sense of patriotism, but more out of the obligation to cherish life. What's interesting is that he's pretty flawed for a pacifist, keeping him from becoming a one-dimensional saint. He knew that the actions of his obstinate commander would get his fleet-mates killed, but chose not to be too forceful with his superior so as to prevent any conflict.

The one hour feature is largely just two space-battles that set up the atmosphere and universe of LotGH quite well. The dialogues let you know that the writers aren't forcefully leaning against any one political view, and the discussion on men's tendency for war merely serves as a reminder of our human nature, not a lecture. However, there's one thing that hold this back from being a masterpiece, and it's ironically the best part of the movie as well - the characters.

Not all characters are morally-ambiguous; some of them are even outright cliched. You still have your drooling male perverts forced in to glorify some of the more 'morally-righteous' side characters to make them look like heroes; basically foils serving as plot-device. This first flaw is probably a product of its time, so I could at least turn a blind eye. However, there are also the antagonists of this film, the 'superiors.' Gregor has an understandable reason to disrespect Reinhard, so I have no problems with him, but Wen-Li's commander (Paeta, I think was his name) is an incompetent buffoon and thus easily stands out among the rest of the well-written characters. Scenes featuring him were obviously the least interesting parts of the movie.

Aside from that small gripe, the rest of the pilot movie works quite well for newcomers of the franchise. The soundtrack used belongs to the classical kind, featuring the likes of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 and Ravel's Boléro, very fitting pieces that set the tone for the kind of epic and poetic space opera you'll come to experience for 110 episodes. And it all ends with a promise of deeper explorations in the relationship between Reinhard and Wen-Li, one that will further intrigue audiences into checking out the highly acclaimed OVA.

Highly Recommended.

9.5/10
 

thedoctor2016

Symphogear
Free! Eternal Summer (Rewatch 6?)
As hard as I fight it this confirmed to me Free! is my favourite anime, favourite KyoAni show etc. Sound might be if I put my critic hat on better but Free! just makes me happy and ES is currently still peak Free it has the highs of the characters and the low and does still work as an ending even though how much more has there been 4 films and another series and another 2 films to be released in english to go.
10/10
High Speed! Free Starting Days

I dont get why this film seems to be ignored by people, directed by a great man RIP Takemoto it is definitely the most "normal" KyoAni part of the Free franchise I think because of Takemoto's direction as the sequels do try to merge both styles Utsumi and Takemoto but you can tell they lean more towards Utsumi's. This introduces 4 new great cast members, expands on people and Sosuke and is now required viewing for S3 and my main point why hasn't this been seen by many people. I think its FUNI's slow release of it (3 Years after JP Cinema) and the fact that people were turned off by the middle class ages even though S1 revolves mostly around the events of Elementary affecting high school. I think this is neat and now my favourite Takemoto work and I appreciate more and more and more each time.
10/10 RIP Takemoto
 
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WMD

Stand User
Free! Eternal Summer (Rewatch 6?)
As hard as I fight it this confirmed to me Free! is my favourite anime, favourite KyoAni show etc. Sound might be if I put my critic hat on better but Free! just makes me happy and ES is currently still peak Free it has the highs of the characters and the low and does still work as an ending even though how much more has there been 4 films and another series and another 2 films to be released in english to go.
10/10
High Speed! Free Starting Days

I dont get why this film seems to be ignored by people, directed by a great man RIP Takemoto it is definitely the most "normal" KyoAni part of the Free franchise I think because of Takemoto's direction as the sequels do try to merge both styles Utsumi and Takemoto but you can tell they lean more towards Utsumi's. This introduces 4 new great cast members, expands on people and Sosuke and is now required viewing for S3 and my main point why hasn't this been seen by many people. I think its FUNI's slow release of it (3 Years after JP Cinema) and the fact that people were turned off by the middle class ages even though S1 revolves mostly around the events of Elementary affecting high school. I think this is neat and now my favourite Takemoto work and I appreciate more and more and more each time.
10/10 RIP Takemoto
This reminds me that now I have a region Free blu ray player I should look into buying more of this show. I enjoyed Eternal Summer but it's the only part of the franchise I've seen.
 

WMD

Stand User
Saga of Tanya the Evil

Well I have to say this really is a cut above the usual isekei. It really managed to show the horrors of war and get into peoples emotions. The art, designs and animation were amazing. The battles, while chaotic, were still easy to follow and understand. Honestly it might have enjoyed it more if it wasnt an isekei but just about an actual maniacal 9 yr old who excels at war. But the premise of her taking on god by fighting the world is still an interesting one. Also the fantasy setting while still being a recognisable mix of WW1 and WW2 was well done.

Most of the show is an 8 but two episodes in particular, the one which showed the true brutality of total war (ep 8 I think) and the final episode that slowed down and allowed characters to talk about what war is really elevated it for me.

9/10
 

zrdb

Dandy Guy, in Space
I think that one of the major reason that Tanya The Evil is so cool is because of the way it mixes and matches various tropes to come up with a totally unique spin. The movie is really breath taking with it going up to 10, I really hope we get some more of this addicting series.
 
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