Rate the last anime you watched out of 10

awadama

Cardcaptor
And a Christmas story at that (from what I recall). But people don't care to acknowledge the Christmas jumpers of their youth.
Definitely one of my fav Christmas tales, along with Jingle All The Way, Noelle (with Anna Kendrick) and the Yakuza games!
 

Dai

Stand User
Kemono Michi: Rise Up
What is the isekai genre missing? If you think it's pro wrestling, pet shops and butts, Kemono Michi has you covered.

Isekai has been pretty stale for years, and it usually comes down to a few reasons: lazy worldbuilding, cliched RPG plots, and boring protagonists. This show doesn't do much with its worldbuilding, and the basic throughline of the plot could have ended up as a typical defeat-the-demon-lord quest, but that gets derailed thanks to the protagonist. Rather than the usual otaku or salaryman, Genzo is a pro wrestler/animal fetishist whose plans to retire from wrestling and open a pet shop are scuppered when a princess teleports him to another world. When she commands him to rid the world of demon beasts (ie. animals), he responds by suplexing her into the ground and walking out. So begins his plan to tame/befriend/sexually harass demon beasts and open that world's first pet shop.

Genzo is this show's saving grace. He's presented with a cast of stock action-comedy characters (the hungry one, the money-obsessed one, the trashy vampire, etc) and stock fantasy quest setups, but his approach to problem-solving usually involves a clothesline and a submission hold. Repetition sets in at times, but its generally pretty funny, and gets all the more entertaining when Genzo starts setting up isekai wrestling tournaments. Cap it off with a plot arc that reaches a satisfying (if not entirely conclusive) conclusion within 12 episodes and you have an isekai comedy that manages to outshine the typical tired power fantasies.

7/10
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
Kotaro Lives Alone

This is excellent.

I don't think I've ever seen a show that so perfectly balances funny and heartwarming moments with some of the saddest and most heartbreaking scenes.

The cast of characters is great. I don't like kids (on TV or in real life), but Kotaro deserves the world. He's a weird little guy, but he's never annoying. His neighbours are all kinda strange in their own ways, but they're all supportive and bring something different to the story. Even minor characters like Kotaro's teacher and the shop assistant are all pleasant characters who have a lot of warmth.

Of course, there are some characters who aren't as nice - but any conflict or negativity that comes with them isn't enough to bring down the overall positive and hopeful tone.

The only BBFC content warning for the show is "child abuse". There isn't any physical abuse, but a main theme of the show is emotional abuse/neglect - in between all the cheerful and quirky parts of the show, there is some real sadness.

I'd definitely recommend this series, but be prepared to feel sad (especially if your childhood wasn't great).

An incredible show, but I would have called it My Neighbor Kotaro - 9/10
 
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awadama

Cardcaptor
Kemono Michi: Rise Up

I'm not a regular passenger on the isekai train, but this is definitely a stop I wish I didn't get off at. It comes nowhere near the highs of Konosuba for me (even though they allegedly have the same author) - but I liked it slightly more than Cautious Hero at least.

The main problem is the humour. The show really leans towards comedy over everything else, but I just didn't find it funny at all. The story is pretty flimsy, so with the humour not hitting for me, there really wasn't much else.

The characters and setting are mostly fairly nondescript (not awful, not memorable), but I really didn't like the main character. He's one of those horrible sex pest characters who likes groping people and beating women up (and leaving them with their underwear showing) for no good reason, but he gets excited by animals and animal-people instead of maids or nuns whatever. If he saw Lola Bunny, he'd probably transform into a Super Saiyan. Anyway, he's a total idiot and kinda just an asshole.

"Please don't hurt me!", pleads the tiny woman. "Denied!", screams the massive muscle man (our hero!) as he he smashes her into the ground. Haha.

I felt more sympathy for his victims, who I guess were meant to be the bad guys...? A wolf guy develops some kind of PTSD after being molested by our "hero" and it's hard not to feel sorry for him. He turns into a nervous wreck and didn't want to leave the house. I can relate.

Visually, it's not very good. Fight scenes are mostly just stills with some blurring/speed lines and everything else looks really cheap. It's better than something like Gokudols, but that's the bare minimum TBH.

I was kinda drawn to the show because the main character was a wrestler, but that didn't really factor into things too much. There are a couple of scenes in a wrestling arena at the start, the MC keeps doing German suplexes on a princess (following by a closeup on her underwear - truly the pinnacle of comedy) and later on there's a "wrestling tournament", which is just a quick montage of stuff like a boxing match and a drinking competition.

Then they do a proper one a couple of episodes later, which is a little better - but it's the last two episodes, so it's too late to really care.

The wrestling side of things is pretty superficial (and seems to be forgotten about most of the time) - sometimes it feels like the guy may as well have been a landscape gardener or a particularly strong travel agent.

In its favour, the opening theme is very energetic and there's a cute little dog. There's a vampire lady who's nice. The show has a fairly big cast of female characters and they don't spend all their time fighting over the MC, so that's something. It would be nicer if he didn't beat them up so much though.

The whole thing is definitely more Great Khali than Undertaker - 4/10
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
Moriarty The Patriot - season 1

I played a Sherlock Holmes game recently. I really enjoyed it, so that means I have to become obsessed with it for a while and absorb as much content as I can (until I totally lose interest and never think about it again).

Anyway, this show was a success for me. It normally takes me months to get through a series and I got this one finished in about a week (11 whole episodes!), so I must have enjoyed it.

The story is interesting and Moriarty is a great character. The last couple of episodes put a lot more focus on Sherlock (with Moz fading into the background a bit), but that's not really much of a problem. Those characters are entertaining together and the supporting cast all works well too.

I watched the dub and I was a bit concerned it might have gone into "Oi oi guvnor!" Mary Poppins territory - but thankfully it was all OK.

It's all pretty serious and there's not a lot of action, but it never gets boring. Between the intriguing stories and the charismatic characters, there's plenty to keep your interest - 8/10
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
The Testament of Sister New Devil

My run of watching something really good followed by a piece of absolute garbage continues.

It's pretty depressing when I think of the number of people who were involved in this abomination landing in my hands.

To start with, some weirdo had to think up the idea and write it down. Apparently he also wrote Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero. I'm amazed he hasn't been locked up yet.

Then a load of old men wearing suits in a boardroom decided it would be a good plan to get it animated. That studio is now bankrupt (financially and morally). That probably could have been avoided if they made better shows.

It was then unleashed on the unsuspecting Western world by Crunchyroll and Funimation - truly the most unholy union since Lord Zedd married Rita Repulsa.

Anime Limited could have released more Gundam, but they inflicted this on the UK instead (reprehensible). They even went the extra mile and gave it a collector's edition, which has apparently sold out - undeniable proof that the UK anime-buying public has more money than sense.

It even landed on the shelves of HMV, who were all too happy to take £10.99 out of my pocket for it (I could have spent that on sweets or something). They should have given me money to take it off their hands TBH.

Maybe the ultimate blame lies with me. Or at least the me of the past who'd just buy any random anime show without bothering to do any research on it in advance. Thanks a lot, me of the past.

It doesn't look especially good, the story is boring and gross (it's another "haha I'm a sex pest I need to grope you every episode lol" pile of crap), the music isn't appealing...there's just really nothing to redeem it.

If you ever wished there was a worse version of High School DxD (...why would you?), you'll probably appreciate this pile of trash - 2/10
 

Dai

Stand User
Here we are, it's Heartbreak Week again, when the shows we've become attached to for the last three months come screeching to a halt in the middle of the story.

Ya Boy Kongming
On his deathbed, legendary Three Kingdoms-era strategist Zhuge Liang (aka. Kongming) wishes to be reborn in a more peaceful era, and promptly finds himself in modern day Japan. A chance encounter with a captivating but unknown singer called Eiko leads him to formulate his ultimate strategy: to bring about world peace by becoming her manager. Yes, it's Bill and Ted: The Anime (with less time travel).

It's a weird concept, but it works, mainly because Kongming is such an irresistable presence every time he appears. The strategies he employs to raise Eiko to stardom all echo famous ones from the Three Kingdoms tales, often remixed in surprising and hilarious ways. There's an engaging amount of pathos at play too, as he seeks to rid the world of conflict without resorting to violent means, and reflects on his inability to do so in his own time.

Where the show falters a little is any time Kongming isn't around. Eiko is a likeable protagonist, but Kongming is this show's sole unique selling point, and the parts without him settle into overly familiar territory we've seen many times in anime about struggling singers. It still works well for the most part, except the episodes focused on rapper Kabe, since his rap battles are pure cringe.

The show does have a nice self-contained arc that builds to a somewhat satisfying conclusion. This is clearly just the tip of the iceberg in Kongming's plans for Eiko, though. We get no indication of his longer-term plans for world peace here; at this stage he's still trying to drag Eiko out of obscurity. Ultimately it can't help but feel like a 12-episode advert for the manga.

If it seems that I'm focusing a lot on negatives here, the high mark I'm giving it just reinforces Kongming's massive impact on the quality of the show.

8/10
 

Dai

Stand User
The Executioner and Her Way of Life
In a fantasy world that has long been on the receiving end of countless super-powered isekai protagonists from Japan (so-called Lost Ones), the decision has been made that they all need to be executed on sight. It sounds like a painfully meta, gimmicky concept, and it does come across that way in its bait-and-switch first episode, but once you get past that shaky start the show manages to overcome the hurdles it's set for itself.

It makes this needlessly difficult for itself in the early episodes, and risks alienating viewers. Part of this is because the Japanese high school kids are all whisked away to this world against their will by people who want to manipulate their powers, only for them to be brutally executed shortly thereafter. The other problem is the priestesses (ie. assassins). Protagonist Menou is the executioner of the title and comes across as ruthlessly efficient, making her difficult to engage with at first. Her giddy, bubblegum-haired sidekick Momo, meanwhile, is a flat-out psychopath who merrily tortures and kills people at the drop of a hat. All other priestesses seem to fall somewhere between those two personality types, and they all just come across as villains.

This is exacerbated when Akari enters the picture. This cheerful Japanese girl immediately becomes attached to Menou, blissfully unaware that she's next on the hitlist. Menou kills her with typical efficiency... and then Akari gets back up, uninjured, and unaware of what just happened. So begins Menou's quest to kill a seemingly immortal girl who adores her.

It all sounds like a mess in synopsis form, but to the show's credit it managed to win me over. First, it does eventually make an effective case for why the Lost Ones can't be spared. In classic Wheel of Time or Claymore fashion, the more a Lost One uses their powers, the more they lose their mind. We're soon shown evidence that Lost Ones inevitably become walking natural disasters of apocalyptic proportions. It doesn't make the unfeeling priestesses any more sympathetic, but it does explain why their role is a necessary evil.

Then there's the world-building. This story's world and magic have had a lot more thought put into them than typical off-the-peg isekai. The long-term presence of people from Earth has had a visible impact on life in this world in many different ways. Meanwhile the various magic abilities make for some interesting battle scenes, since it's rarely a case of people just flinging energy blasts around.

Finally, there are the twists. Practically every episode or two we get a new twist that presents interesting new possibilities, makes us reassess a character, or throws a spanner in the works. If you can get past the cold brutality of the first couple of episodes, the story really starts to escalate nicely.

The only problem after that is that this is the usual partial adaptation of a longer work. The stopping point isn't particularly satisfying, but the fact that it's an isekai hopefully means there's a relatively good chance of it getting a second season.

8/10
 
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Dai

Stand User
Aharen-san wa Hakarenai
This season's classroom-based comedy turned out well. It's one of those simple sketch rom-coms where each character has one gag, but it gets a good amount of mileage from them. Aharen speaks so quietly that she can't be heard without invading someone's personal space. Raidou has a hyper-active imagination and jumps to the weirdest conclusions about things he doesn't understand. Aharen's childhood friend is a well-meaning stalker who is always hiding somewhere in the scenery. Aharen's family are... well, I won't spoil that.

The whole show has a charming and adorable tone to it, which only escalates when it shifts from comedy to rom-com later on. It also makes more plot progress than you would expect for a single-cour adaptation. Between that and the situational jokes feeling like they've been played out enough after 12 episodes, it's a rare case of an incomplete anime adaptation that works well as a self-contained story. It ends by teasing characters who appear later in the manga, but that feels unnecessary. 12 episodes was all this show really needed.

7/10
 

Dai

Stand User
Birdie Wing: Golf Girls' Story
Based on the title and the key art, I assumed this would be a typical high school sports anime, perhaps one with tea parties and cake. I was wrong. I was so, so wrong.

I like to think that this show's genesis started with a production committee telling an animation studio that they wanted a story about crazy golf, but the writer had never heard of crazy golf. So instead of ramps and miniature windmills we find ourselves in a world where the criminal underground makes decisions based on the outcome of high stakes golf matches. Since Birdie Wing has no interest in subtlety, these matches take place literally underground. Golfers shout the names of their special golfing moves. There is psychological golf warfare. There's a nymphomaniac snake woman with fangs and questionable personal hygiene. The protagonist's scar-faced golf coach is voiced by Char frakking Aznable himself. Sounds crazy? I haven't even mentioned what happens when the golf mafia doesn't like the results of a match. Let's just say rocket launchers may be involved. I won't spoil the most jaw-dropping moment in the series; just make sure you keep watching after the end credits in episode 7.

Birdie Wing occupies that special zone of anime madness perfected by Fist of the North Star, where it simultaneously serves up deadly serious drama and over the top lunacy in equal measure, and you're never 100% certain if the people making it are in on the joke or playing it straight. Every episode I thought I'd acclimatised to it, and every week it proved me wrong. At least up until episode 9.

Perhaps the weirdest--and most disappointing--thing about Birdie Wing is the abrupt gear switch it pulls in episode 9. The golf mafia arc concludes, the protagonist moves to Japan and transfers to the same high school as her rival, and suddenly I was watching the high school sports anime that I'd expected at the beginning. By the time the first cour ends, the first 8 episodes started to feel like a fever dream that I'm not entirely convinced I didn't hallucinate.

In no way does it become a bad show, but it does become more conventional. The trailer for next year's second cour hints that the madness might just be lurking out of sight for now, but the 12 episodes we have for now make for an oddly anticlimactic experience by the end. It would be like if the original Dragon Ball had opened with several episodes of Frieza blowing up planets and then switched to kid Goku sparring with Krillin and Yamcha for the rest of the season. The viewer can't help but wonder where the crazy went.

7/10
 
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awadama

Cardcaptor
Spy x Family

A nice show...but not really deserving of all the hype TBH.

I'd already read a few volumes of the manga before watching the anime, so I knew what to expect and I wasn't let down.

The characters are good (especially Anya - one of the best anime kids ever, along with Kotaro). It looks really nice and the situations the family gets into are amusing.

I just don't think it's as amazing as it seems to have been built up to be. There's nothing actually wrong with it (apart from maybe the way it ended) - it's definitely enjoyable overall. It dips a little when Anya isn't around and Yor feels like a spare part a lot of the time, but there aren't any major flaws.

It's very good, but not great (and the ending was limper than Fred Durst with a sore ankle) - 8/10
 

Dai

Stand User
Nana
"If you had been born a man, you would have been the love of my life."

This story broke me.

Two young women called Nana happen to meet on a train while both moving to Tokyo to chase their dreams. One is the vocalist in a punk band; the other (who ends up with the nickname Hachi) is following her boyfriend who moved to Tokyo ahead of her. In some ways they couldn't be more different, but when they bump into each other again while looking for a place to rent, they decide to live together to split the cost. What follows is one of the most powerful and compelling romance dramas I've ever seen. The two Nanas struggle to find work and deal with their tumultuous relationships, all the while building a bond with each other that seems stronger than anything they have with their boyfriends. It starts as friendship, but soon Hachi becomes an obsessive fan of Nana's singing, while Nana becomes increasingly possessive of Hachi. It becomes clear that they need each other more than anyone else, but the other things going on in their lives keep threatening to pull them apart.

The show begins with an equal mix of romance, comedy, and drama. Around the halfway point, something happens to upset that balance and the comedy is dropped almost entirely for a long time. This part reinforces how important the comedy was, because without it the drama in Nana borders on being almost unbearably intense. A lot of that comes down to the story eschewing more traditional romance tropes in favour of something more mercilessly real, and by having its protagonists be more complex and flawed than we normally see in romance anime.

It's riveting. Despite being 47 episodes, I tore through it in three days, which is highly unusual for me at this point. Unfortunately, Nana shares a critical flaw with 99% of anime: it has no ending. That always hits hard with a great show, but it's much worse in this case for two reasons. First, it's so compelling and so much longer than the typical modern anime that the viewer has time to become more invested in the lives of all these characters. Second, while the rest of the source manga is available in English, that too is an incomplete work, and looks like it always will be. The manga abruptly went on hiatus in 2009 when the author was hospitalised with an undisclosed illness for a year, and as of 2022 that seems to have been a career-ending condition.

The final couple of episodes of Nana do tie up a couple of plot threads, but a dozen more are left hanging, including some that had only been introduced in the last few episodes. Critically, whatever tone the author wanted to end the original manga on, the cut-off point for the anime is extremely downbeat, bordering on flat-out tragedy. In a genre where the promise of a happy ending is practically sacrosanct, this was the final gut-punch. There's a solid argument that Nana was always building towards tragedy (the ominous narration at the start of each episode supports that), but that doesn't take the sting out of the blow, and if anything it hits harder because this isn't how the story as a whole was supposed to end.

In terms of the part of the story that exists, this is a 10/10 show. But there's no getting past the fact that this is a story fragment, not a complete story, and the better a show is the more that hurts.

9/10
 

Dai

Stand User
Why is no one bringing this to UK?!!
Unfortunately it's a lot of episodes to get BBFC-rated for a 15-year-old show with no prior release over here to prove sufficient demand for it. Plus it would likely get an 18 certificate due to one particularly unpleasant coercive sex scene. Based on the price of the Sentai set it's probably an expensive license, so I'd guess it would be £100+ over here. That's a lot of red flags for any UK distributor.

It's geo-locked though, so the US discs will run on a UK Playstation.
 
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Unfortunately it's a lot of episodes to get BBFC-rated for a 15-year-old show with no prior release over here to prove sufficient demand for it. Plus it would likely get an 18 certificate due to one particularly unpleasant coercive sex scene. Based on the price of the Sentai set it's probably an expensive license, so I'd guess it would be £100+ over here. That's a lot of red flags for any UK distributor.

It's geo-locked though, so the US discs will run on a UK Playstation.
Oh I see, that all makes sense. Good to know about the geo-locked aspect though, that's very handy. I've got a few import baskets with it in them, between rightstuf and otaku.co.uk, neither being cheap so making me reticent about putting an order in at the moment. Actually should get a up1 basket going as well... But definitely going to get Nana at some point, it's been on my list for a long time and I was just pleased it was re-released.
 

Girls with Guns

Mad Scientist
I have the 4 Viz Media DVD releases of Nana I picked up in 2015 for less than $20 each; for the last few years before this re-release, those sets were listed and actually selling for up to $400 each on eBay. I was really happy when Sentai put out the Series on Blu-ray and in a steelbook, so I grabbed that right away - although now my DVD sets have been severely de-valued on the secondary market, lol. It's definitely another series I want to show to the next-dour neighbor couple.
 
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Dai

Stand User
Kanon (2006 KyoAni version)
This was an uneven series. I gave up on the 2002 version after a few episodes because the characters didn't grab me and nothing interesting was happening. The 2006 version likewise starts with several episodes where nothing of note happens, but I've enjoyed enough KyoAni shows to persist and give it the benefit of the doubt. Unlike Clannad, which quickly started focusing on the arcs of each girl in turn, Kanon gets stuck in an interminable holding pattern where the protagonist spends one or two inconsequential scenes with each girl every episode. These are often near-identical scenes each time that only exist to remind us that all of these girls exist. It barely counts as slice-of-life when we're just seeing the same slice over and over. Thankfully it's made more watchable than that part of the 2002 version by the injection of a lot of humour, which makes most of the characters more likeable. That and a handful of mysteries were the only things that kept me watching initially, in no small part due to the protagonist often being an insufferable douche who has no clue where the line sits between teasing and bullying.

Kanon does eventually get into gear around episode 8, and starts focusing on one girl's arc at a time. These arcs are also uneven. The weakest is probably Mai's, since she's the most frustrating silent-type character I've ever seen, and much of her arc involves her swinging a sword at invisible enemies. Most of the others fare better, to varying degrees, but the show is often too blunt and stretched out in its attempts to make the viewer cry. Real emotional impact requires some subtlety, but this is like someone grabbing you by the shoulders and screaming in your face, "Be sad, damn you! That's not enough! Be sadder!" It doesn't help that the series piles on a ridiculous number of tragic incidents and tragic backstories. The rates of accidents and fatal illness in that town are so high, there must be cyanide in the water.

Fortunately, the climactic arc is probably the best, so the series ends on a high note. Kanon 2006 ends up feeling like a stepping stone in KyoAni's learning process of how to adapt Key games for TV though, since the elements they struggle with here are handled far better in Clannad.

6/10
 

RadFemHedonist

Death Scythe
Kanon (2006 KyoAni version)
This was an uneven series. I gave up on the 2002 version after a few episodes because the characters didn't grab me and nothing interesting was happening. The 2006 version likewise starts with several episodes where nothing of note happens, but I've enjoyed enough KyoAni shows to persist and give it the benefit of the doubt. Unlike Clannad, which quickly started focusing on the arcs of each girl in turn, Kanon gets stuck in an interminable holding pattern where the protagonist spends one or two inconsequential scenes with each girl every episode. These are often near-identical scenes each time that only exist to remind us that all of these girls exist. It barely counts as slice-of-life when we're just seeing the same slice over and over. Thankfully it's made more watchable than that part of the 2002 version by the injection of a lot of humour, which makes most of the characters more likeable. That and a handful of mysteries were the only things that kept me watching initially, in no small part due to the protagonist often being an insufferable douche who has no clue where the line sits between teasing and bullying.

Kanon does eventually get into gear around episode 8, and starts focusing on one girl's arc at a time. These arcs are also uneven. The weakest is probably Mai's, since she's the most frustrating silent-type character I've ever seen, and much of her arc involves her swinging a sword at invisible enemies. Most of the others fare better, to varying degrees, but the show is often too blunt and stretched out in its attempts to make the viewer cry. Real emotional impact requires some subtlety, but this is like someone grabbing you by the shoulders and screaming in your face, "Be sad, damn you! That's not enough! Be sadder!" It doesn't help that the series piles on a ridiculous number of tragic incidents and tragic backstories. The rates of accidents and fatal illness in that town are so high, there must be cyanide in the water.

Fortunately, the climactic arc is probably the best, so the series ends on a high note. Kanon 2006 ends up feeling like a stepping stone in KyoAni's learning process of how to adapt Key games for TV though, since the elements they struggle with here are handled far better in Clannad.

6/10

I loved Kanon 2006 but was still interesting to read your thoughts as someone who had a more mixed reaction (I even warmed up to the English dub a lot in the end). Like I'm generally not a big fan of the whole "watch them kick the puppy moe-girl and have a cry" school of drama and generally find moe a bit iffy if I'm honest speaking as a woman and a feminist (men's obsession with all these hyper-innocent childlike teenage girls who are invariably virgins and so on is kinda uhh... gross to me ngl) but Kanon did manage to connect with me regardless of all that, I did find it a pretty enjoyable experience overall and would rate it about the same as I do Clannad (I have misgivings about Clannad as well though actually for somewhat different reasons than just "it's very moe", but still loved it anyway.) I love the music and animation in Kanon as well (and really liked Mai a lot) :)
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc

I gave the last arc 9/10 on the previous page of this very thread.

Like that arc (Mugen Train), it's not quite as good as the first season - but it's still excellent.

Again - 9/10
 
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