6 Star TV Shows, TV Shows

My Little Pony: Pony Life


MLP has returned with a new series! It’s off to a fun enough start. The animation has taken a bit of a nosedive and I’m never a fan of going for 10 minute shorts rather than 20 but I think this one should manage to be consistently good. I’m hoping the series starts throwing in some fight scenes but either way I’ll be in it for the longhaul.

Overall 6/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga Review


It’s time to look at the next installment in Blue Exorcist. This is a pretty unique season two because for starters it completely ignores the second half of the first season. That’s because the first season diverged and ultimately went to filler. It’s a pretty interesting tactic but one that makes sense and more titles should give it a try. That said, I don’t mind series going all the way back to the starting point because it means more adaptions of hype fights. That said, one problem here is that most of the characters have slid way back in terms of character development. It’s a solid show but definitely one that has its flaws.

The show starts with Rin and Yukio stopping a kidnapper from getting away. The guy seems rather skilled though and was able to easily best Yukio before escaping. This compounds with Yukio’s inferiority complex over Rin getting all the power and friends which causes a bit of a rift between them although Rin is oblivious and Yukio tries not to show it. They each go their separate ways as Yukio is called to a mission in the mountains while Rin goes with his friends to a temple mission. The problem is that nobody likes Rin anymore after the events of the forest arc. Even the super nice childhood friend seems to have turned on him.

Rin does his best to cope with this though. At the temple things aren’t quite as they seem. The two main factions are feuding with each other and the leader always skips meeting. They suspect he may be a traitor now which would be devastating. See, the temple is in charge of protecting two eyes because should they ever be brought together then a giant monster would appear and end the planet. Rin wants to help but he is not allowed to do so on account of his devil powers. Will the heroes be able to get past all of their individual dramas in order to help save the day?

As you can see, this season does bring up a lot of plot points from the past and they are necessary to fully get what’s happening here. The show has a lot of flashbacks though so you’ll be up to speed real quick. Here’s why part of the season can feel like a retread though. In the first season once it turned to filler, the series decided to delve into Yukio’s character quite a bit. It makes sense because the manga had been building up this plot since the start and if the anime was doing its own thing anyway they may as well finish it right?

In the first show Yukio briefly turned evil due to mind control and such and he finally got to properly have a talk with Rin. They squared away their differences and vowed to get stronger in their own ways. While the filler arc wasn’t all that great (Trying to turn the Devil into a sympathetic guy who didn’t know any better is still pretty crazy) this plot was handled reasonably well. It’s about at the same level as how the real one went although Yukio not flat out turning evil here is a plus.

The other plot was about Rin’s friends not trusting him after he saved their lives in the forest. (By the way the friends are pretty awful about this in every possible context. If Rin didn’t step up and fight the guy then they all would have been murdered. The friends are so petty the whole time that it’s crazy) That one was handled in the first show as well so the got back to being on good terms. This show has to go through all of that again since they are back to square 1. It’s not that the show does any of this poorly though. Other shows also handle the same plots over and over again with changes like the Fate series as you go through the different paths. It’s rare that you see it in a classic Jump anime though.

All right, that’s enough about the similarities. The whole thing is pretty fun to look at though. Ultimately it makes sense why the series would ignore it and do things the canon way. The series is only 12 episodes so it definitely goes by you in a blast. It’s very nostalgic seeing the old characters and part of what helps seal that effect is they grabbed all of the classic themes. The Blue Exorcist series had a terrific OST so this was a smart play. I’d liked to have seen more of Rin’s theme as it only gets played once or twice but he doesn’t get to fight much here so I suppose that makes sense. I also like the 90’s techno/jazz theme that plays. It’s hard to describe that one but it’s always sounded pretty great and gets you pumped for what’s about to happen.

The animation is definitely on point as well. I always like how they draw the blue flames here. They pop out at you and the same goes for the fire blasts as well. All of the shots look crisp and modern so I’ve definitely got no qualms about this. On a technical level the show definitely holds its own and maintains a consistent quality throughout.

Rin’s still a pretty solid lead. That’s a good thing because at times it feels like he is holding the entire show on his shoulders as far as the cast is concerned. He’s definitely the most interesting character and always puts up a brave front. One subplot here is that Rin has lost a lot of his confidence after his friends undermining him the whole time but he tries to never let this show. To an extent I feel like it was also the sword trolling him or someone preventing him from using it though. I feel like he should have been able to use it sooner. Regardless, Rin always dives into action and definitely handles the situations pretty well.

Shiemi is the main heroine here but she doesn’t manage to stack up as well as most. The reason for this is even she is unable to stay by Rin’s side and is a big reason as to why he has lost confidence. Later on it’s played more like she was too nervous to talk to him but it was hard for her to rebound from this. In comparison Izumo handles things a lot better. She’s already mean to everyone and isn’t afraid to talk to Rin throughout the adventure. She treats him the same way as normal and at least that helps Rin’s experience feel a little more normal at times. Izumo is also portrayed as one of the most skilled exorcists here. She is quick to help heal the monks and also thinks fast during the invasion. From the supporting cast she was definitely the best one.

Ryuji is more of a mixed bag but I would definitely put him on the lower side. He mainly just gets in Rin’s way and gets the lead into trouble on quite a few occasions. It would help if he could fight a bit more or something but most of the main characters can’t really fight for beans. He had his big moments at the end of the season since this is his arc so I think he’ll be a much better character in the next season. At least he ended strong right?

Konekomaru is definitely the worst character though. He’s the one most actively afraid of Rin and getting everyone else to fear the lead as well. The guy never really minds his own business. Look, I would cut the characters a little more slack if I could see why they were scared of Rin but I’m not really buying it. He totally saved them all. Konekomaru just needs to remember that. He’s also one of the most reluctant to go and help Rin when it counted.

Shima is also pretty sketchy although not specifically for Rin. The guy just never wants to risk his life so he’ll run for safety even if it means that all of his friends will die. There’s no real way to support him after something like that. I did appreciate that he was a little quicker to start being cool with Rin again though.

Yukio is still pretty jealous of Rin’s abilities for most of the series. He covers It up by acting calm and collected but as Shura pointed out that makes it a lot easier for demons to manipulate him. Todo plays a ton of mind games with him for most of the series although Yukio ultimately stays strong. He looks better than his first series self in that respect. I liked the magic trap that he used near the end of the series. It was pretty well thought out and at least helped him start to make a comeback. Todo was a supremely difficult opponent to stop so any measure that slowed him down is solid.

So right now I don’t really care for Yukio but hopefully he’ll be on the upwards trend now. He is still keeping secrets from Rin though so I can’t see that ending well. Mainly Yukio’s worst scene here was leaving Rin to die and even trying to stop him from using the sword. For a proper redemption arc we need Yukio to step in and save Rin next time or at least defend him when the chips are down. That’ll go a long way to raising him up the ranks.

Then we have Todo who is the big villain of the arc. The guy definitely does pretty well here as he holds off multiple exorcists and even eats two different spirits. This gives him incredible powers in addition to what he already had. The heroes really had a hard time taking him on to the point where he probably should have crushed them almost instantly based on the speed we saw from him. The guy was just out of their league and when you mix in his regeneration abilities this makes the matter even worse. He was a fun villain. Ultimately I don’t think that guy will be super well remembered but this series hasn’t really had many good villains so almost by default he’s my favorite villain in the series right now.

The show does suffer from a bit of fan service at times. For the most part it’s nothing crazy but it seems like the mentor’s only role at times. Shura’s whole attack on Mephisto is one of those scenes because everyone knew the plan had 0 chance of success. If anything it just makes her look pretty terrible. Is she really so scared of this guy? Why even pick the fight if this was out it was going to end? She also doesn’t look too impressive considering she’s a mentor since Rin is able to shake her a few times and in the final fight she helps a bit, but not a ton.

It’s always a bit dicey to have a villain like Mephisto working with the heroes when he’s way stronger than them and they know it. I don’t see how they can all get along so well. I don’t think the dynamic works to be honest. He puts them into a ton of danger and helps the demons out a lot. Why is the guy still here? While the heroes are very weak compared to the villains, I wouldn’t yet call it a hopeless situation for them. The reason being that there isn’t really much of a villain group yet. The villains just do whatever they want and usually almost beat the heroes. This random monster (Well the Impure King is a pretty cool name and I guess he’s not totally random but there could be a lot of other monsters like this guy around) is apparently pretty strong but for one monster to basically have the whole order in check is a bad sign for them. Without Rin the heroes would be doomed and they should really start to realize that soon.

We get quite a few characters from the two sects over at the temple although most of them won’t stand out. Mamushi gets a big role since she gets involved in the conspiracy. She appears to be a bit gullible the whole time but is certainly dedicated to the cause. I do think she had good reason to doubt that Tatsuma was on the level though. She was a fun character. Then you have Juzo who was my favorite character from the group. He had some good fire abilities and took more of a leadership role compared to the others. That being said, I do think it was a bit odd that he tried to stop Mamushi from saving the eye. At that point nobody knew who the traitor was, but it was about to be burned in flames and the whole point is that they need to protect it right? Seemed like an odd moment in the show and the defense for doing that was real weak. Finally we also have Tatsuma as a character with a big role but he’s pretty terrible from start to finish. The guy was just impossible to redeem by the end and his actions still make no sense if you ask me. Stirring up trouble and getting the sects to suspect each other of treason was not the right way to handle this.


Overall, It’s nice to see Blue Exorcist back. The manga seemed to start diving off the deep end and going nowhere fast but anime is a solid medium that can make things more exciting. The directing here seems solid so I’m sure they could pull more seasons off. It seems a bit unlikely right now since this one came out a while ago, but there’s always a chance for another season. Considering that this one had to work with almost no fights and was still entertaining I think the next one should be in a good position.

Overall 6/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

The Reflection Review


Stan Lee made a few works over in Japan that I’ve already checked out. Hero Man was pretty fun. It was a good show/manga with a fairly basic premise but one that just worked out well. Then we had Ultimo which had a great premise, but questionable execution which caused it to stumble across the finish line. Finally we’ve got the Reflection and unfortunately this is closer to Ultimo than Hero Man. The terrible animation keeps this from being a true contender even though the story itself isn’t that bad. It’s not a show you’ll likely ever re-watch but it’s reasonably interesting.

The show starts off by introducing us to the Reflection event. One day a mysterious cloud showed up and rained the world in bolts of energy. These bolts destroyed some people and it gave others super powers. The vast majority of people experienced no real change. The ones who have changed are known as the Reflected. The ones who were blasted with purple energy turned into villains and the green rays turned the others into heroes. Society still doesn’t know how to deal with them so they’re treated like mutants in X-Men. The government wants no part of them and Reflected are at risk of being destroyed just trying to live in every day life. So when some of them go missing nobody seems to care.

This takes us over to Eleanor. She is looking into these vanishings and is approached by a guy named X-On who asks her to look into Wraith. She finds out that Wraith is related to a villain organization with some kind of mysterious plot. She doesn’t know what it is, but is quickly dragged into the battle. Wraith wants her as well as all of the other Reflected and is going around attacking political figures. Eleanor bands together with X-On to stop them and gradually the group grows but their partnership is a very weak one. Will they actually be able to work together or is this partnership doomed to fail?

Reflection’s plot is rather vague. Most of the series is the heroes trying to stop the villains, but not really knowing much about why they’re doing this. Stopping the kidnappings is reason enough so the heroes don’t really need to know much more than that. It’s easy to see that they’re not particularly invested though. Their fights tend to end in stalemates with the villains getting away. Even by the final episode we still don’t really know anything and everyone is at large so nothing really gets accomplished. Needless to say this show ends on a big cliffhanger which will likely never get resolved. It’s hard to know what the show was going for so it ends up being an odd experience, but not necessarily a bad one.

The show’s only real problem is the fact that the animation is terrible. It’s probably the worst animation I’ve seen aside from FLCL and Pop Team Epic. You could also make a strong argument that while those two were also using experimental animation styles they were higher quality than Reflections. Reflection looks like the 1960 Marvel motion comic shows based on Thor, Avengers, Iron Man, and the other originals. You have to take the time into account so back in the 60s that wasn’t bad. Post 2000s? That’s downright horrible. It’s really hard to get as invested in the show as you could have with proper animation. I’m convinced that it cost the title at least a star.

Reflection is only 12 episodes but it still made the questionable choice of having episode 2 basically be a repeat of 1. We go through the same events from a different point of view with recycled animation. I know this isn’t the first show to do it, but it’s a terrible move. The opening episodes are where you try to get in viewers. Using recycled footage like this is only good for eliminating viewers and no show would actually aim to do that. You can see how the show got off to a rocky start. At least the soundtrack is decent. It’s incredibly limited so you’ll be hearing the same tunes a lot but at least they aren’t bad.

Okay, I think we’ve got the negatives out of the way. Lets look at the positives. I-Guy is a fun character who gets a surprising amount of character development. He starts out as a bit of an annoying celebrity who values his background noises more than actually stopping the villains. This results in a lot of innocents getting murdered on numerous occasions. Eventually this leads to people close to him getting bumped off so he finally takes being a hero seriously and aims to wipe everyone out. He’s a compelling character and by the end I was more interested in his plot than X-On’s. I also liked the armor design.

Reflection also has a solid atmosphere. It’s similar to Dead Fantasy or early RWBY. Due to the nature of the animation and how gray-scale everything is, you can never tell when something serious is going to happen. I-Guy’s allies being murdered or the villains destroying the old lady are very unexpected. In a more traditional anime it’s often obvious when someone’s about to die and there’s a big deal made about it. In a show like this it just happens out of nowhere and you aren’t given as much time to process it before going to the next event. While some shows may go too far in the shock value, Reflection uses this sparingly which makes it that much more effective.

The various characters also have solid designs aside from I-Guy. A good amount of detail was put into the villains and heroes. Lets talk about some of the other heroes first. X-On is the main hero who shows up in every episode and he wants to get Wraith for personal reasons. We don’t end up learning what those are. He has some kind of mysterious origin which is the biggest deux ex machina I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I’ve seen people use that term a lot in anime, but this has to take the cake because there is nothing leading up to the twist. It also happens to be the only way that the heroes can possibly stop the villain’s plan. X-On isn’t one of the best characters though because he’s pretty mean to Eleanor for absolutely no reason. His tactics just make it easier for the villains to make a move. His copy ability is also super handy yet he uses it in all of the wrong situations. It should have made beating the enemies quite easy in a lot of episodes.

Eleanor is the heroine who gets dragged into all of this. She can teleport, but her ability has a short range and she isn’t exactly a fighter. She means well and does her best to help the others who are in trouble. Unfortunately she cracks by the end of the show and makes a terrible decision. At the end of the day she is the one who pulls the trigger on making a really terrible call. It’s at the very end so I wouldn’t say it’s a character destroying moment though. At least it made her more interesting. It just came at a heavy cost.

Lisa has the ability to turn into a giant mech which is pretty handy. The robot may be clunky but it is very durable which is handy. She’s a little impatient at times and just wants to jump into action. I’m not the biggest fan of her character. From the heroes she is one of the less interesting ones. The worst would have to be Michael though. His ability is that he can see other Reflected so he takes them all to an underground shelter. Most of them seem to like this but it ends up just gathering everyone together to get bumped off. Too bad most of them can’t fight right? His partner is Vy, who used to be his wife until she was turned into a giant monster. She’s a lot better than Michael as she can fight and actually does well against the villains. Usually he chickens out and tells her to stop early though which is unfortunate.

From the villains we had a lot of members but most of them didn’t have much character. Wraith doesn’t actually do anything until the last 2 episodes. He has a cool design and his powers are definitely crazy. The guy likes using a lot of mind games but at the end of the day his big plan is basically to merge with darkness and give up on life. It’s not the best way to go out and as a leader it basically means he failed. His plan doesn’t make any sense to me and just seems pretty terrible to be honest.

We had a thunder villain named Volt who really didn’t have much character. He appears a lot but doesn’t do much. Same can be said for the guy who can turn into a dog. Flaming Fury’s character seems to be that she is merciless even as far as the villains go. Her fire abilities are fun at least. Then you’ve got Stan Lee who you expect to be the big villain the whole time but it turns out that he is just another underling working for Wraith. His telepathy is good but it seems like he may not be able to fight.

The two biggest villains were Steel and Dead Wing. Steel is the squad leader while the villains are on a mission. She can manipulate steel and is a formidable foe. Towards the end of the series she starts to have doubts on her mission, but it seems late for that since she is one of the main villains who was murdering a bunch of people. It’s possible that she is related to Eleanor or something based on how she acts at the end. From the villains I’d say that she was my favorite though. I like a good character arc and she probably would have had a good one.

Finally we have Dead Wing who seems to particularly like messing with I-Guy. In this case I don’t think there is a connection though and he just enjoys murdering everyone. His fights with I-Guy get pretty boring after a while but I suppose you have to like his confidence. No matter how many times he gets beaten he gets right back up. It works out well for him too since in the final fight he was easily dominating I-Guy. That’s why you should always fire your lasers when you’re in a robot suit instead of falling to your knees immediately.

Now there is one more problem I had with the show. That’s the fact that the heroes and villains keep fighting each other over and over with no actual progress being made. I-Guy fights Dead Wing 4-5 times throughout the series which is way too often. There’s not much point having a colorful villain cast when it’s always going to be the same pairings. It would help if the fights weren’t always stalemates but almost every time the fight ends with one character just walking away. That gets old very quickly. Same with X-On vs Flaming Fury or Steel. A lot of the time it feels like these fights are just to buy time. It’s less of a problem in most shows because at least you have fun animation but we’ve already gone over the fact that this won’t be happening here. This show easily has some of the most boring battles I’ve ever seen.

Reflection also seemed to forget about some of its characters at times. I suppose in fairness the show must have planned this out, but throughout the show there is a group of girls who are on their way to America. It takes them forever to make it though and they fight until the very last episode of the show. You’re waiting since episode 1 or 2 and the payoff is terrible. Literally they lose their first fight so what was the point of the hype? I expected them to at least win, but even 4 against 1 they ended up getting completely wrecked. I don’t think the writers were big fans of these characters.

Overall, The Reflection is a show that is interesting for its plot and atmosphere. You should be engaged on your first run through. It’s playing itself up as a mystery and that’s what it is. That’s the best way to go into the show. The animation will prevent you from ever coming back to the show on a second run. It does succeed in looking a lot like a comic book, the problem is that it looks like one of those comics that I probably wouldn’t check out of the library. There’s just not a whole lot for you to come back and experience. If it ever got a second season I would certainly be there though. One of Reflection’s greatest strengths is the fact that it didn’t make any big mistakes. While that may not sound as enticing as other positives, it’s still an important one to have. If you want to see Stan Lee’s take on creating a whole new set of heroes and villains then this is a fun one to check out. Get ready to watch the characters make some questionable decisions though. The only one who can save them all is I-Guy.

Overall 6/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

A Certain Scientific Accelerator Review


It’s time to look at one of the Index spinoffs. The series has definitely expanded itself into a full franchise at this point with several manga and anime each spinning off into their own thing. It’s definitely neat that Accelerator got his own show since he is the best character in the franchise. Unfortunately he surprisingly isn’t able to carry his show into the spotlight as it just ends up being weaker than some of the other titles. An underwhelming climax and general lack of Accelerator ultimately stopped this season from reaching its full potential, but it’s still a fun ride.

The season starts by introducing us to Accelerator, the strongest Esper in Academy City. At one point he used to be a mass murderer, but has since made it his mission to protect Last Order. Last Order is a kid who also serves as a memory generator for the rest of the Misaka units who are still alive. As a result Accelerator tries to hide her from the darker parts of society. Unfortunately Academy City is as corrupt as they come so this is difficult. We’ve got various groups trying to either destroy the city, claim it, or just murder people for fun. Accelerator has to stop them all. One of the problems though is the fact that he took a lot of damage in a previous arc. He now relies on a web link to Last Order to keep his brain active which is also how he can use his limitless abilities. If someone turns off the switch then he shuts down.

The main story arc here revolves around Esther. She was a necromancer until she realizes that messing around with the dead seemed like a very shady thing to do. As a result she has decided to step away, but first she has to clean up one last mess that was made. See, Esther decided to help Mikihiko with his experiments and now he has enough tech to use dead bodies to fuel his robots. The guy is teaming up with an underworld group called DA and they have been making several moves against the cops. Esther wants to stop them, but she isn’t particularly powerful so she asks Accelerator for help. He couldn’t care less, but then one of the Misaka units gets captured and now it’s personal. Together these two fighters will have to stop DA and any other groups they hire to slow the heroes down along the way.

Accelerator never likes to be considered as a hero so he constantly tries to remind everyone that he is still a villain. Nobody really ever seems to buy this, but he definitely isn’t as merciful as someone like Touma. He will give the occasional heroic speech, but it’s all hidden between the lines so you have to pay attention to really get it. It’s a very interesting approach and I can roll with it. At the end of the day Accelerator does what he needs to in order to protect Last Order. This may usually go in line with the heroes’ interests, but that may not always be the case so he’s making it clear who his priority is. It’s why he doesn’t need a hero label and at the same time doesn’t want to suddenly be in charge of protecting other people like Esther.

This gets difficult though since Esther gets pretty attached to him right away. She sees Accelerator as her mentor and hangs on his every word. I suppose it’s hard not to look up to someone like him since Accelerator is mega powerful. He’s definitely a great character as always and has all of the best scenes. Pretty much nobody here can stand up to him which is something the show has trouble with. Either Accelerator completely overwhelms his opponents in a single hit or he fights a cosmic entity who can’t be hurt. There is no in between, but he never loses his confidence.

Meanwhile I thought Esther was a good heroine. She definitely does tend to hesitate and isn’t all that powerful, but she does her best to do what she can to help. At least she did quit the villain group right away when she saw it was getting dangerous and tried to stop everyone else. Esther just needs to hesitate a lot less and stop freezing up when everyone is counting on her. Esther’s resolve needs work and she can be a bit oblivious. Still, her core character is good and I always do enjoy a heroine who can fight back. That’s definitely important.

Then there is Last Order who is a fun enough kid. As you may or may not know I’m not a big fan of kids in these kind of shows because they tend to be used as hostages or just be slow on the uptake so everyone has to recap events for them. Fortunately Last Order doesn’t really fall into these traps and comes across as a nice enough character here. You do get the idea that she knows more than she lets on at times, but at least she doesn’t use this to slow Accelerator down. She’s also extremely handy since without her Accelerator would be powerless.

One of the Misaka units appears in the show for a while, but looks terrible the whole time. I think her character wasn’t used all that well. She has electricity and should be able to fight yet she forgets this the entire time. She loses every fight and you would think that she was a powerless human half of the time. The real Misaka hopefully would have showed a lot more fighting prowess and as a clone I’d expect the same from this one. Then we have the villain group Skill-Out. These guys are pretty fun. They may not be nearly as strong as ITEM, but they can certainly still fight and I always love having a whole group show up.

First up is the leader Iizumi. Her ability is that she can find you no matter where you are. She’s got the proper confidence that you need for being a leader, but her abilities definitely aren’t that handy in a fight which does hold her back. Having an offensive ability is pretty necessary if you want to last in this show. Naruha was a lot more impressive in this regard as she could make a giant rabbit suit and manipulate paper. She was pretty fun and one of the highlights in the group. Hopefully she’ll get another chance to fight at some point. Then we have Seike who is the best character of the group. Admittedly I never guessed that the character was a guy until I looked him up to remember the name for this review. His ability is the most dangerous since he can manipulate frictional coefficients. Essentially he can stop you from moving and it was one of those super scientific abilities that the series loves to use. I imagine there is quite a lot you can do with such a power.

Youko is one of the villains from the very beginning of the series. She was super out of her league with her tech suit and gun against Accelerator, but she gave it the ole try which is admirable. I always like villains who are confident and while her group may not have kept their hype for very long, they were still good to have around. Her two allies left less of an impact though. Hasami is the last ghost on Esther’s side and gets a big role. Since she is manipulating the body of someone who is already dead she feels no pain. Effectively she has no emotions either and as a result doesn’t tend to understand human cultures much. This makes for some forced scenes, but otherwise she is a good fighter to have around. She has basic super strength and speed which are two abilities that will never steer you wrong.

Time for some of the characters who go off the deep end. First up is Hirumi and we can blame most of the series on her selfish actions. She is a very obsessive character who appears unhinged from the start. I feel like the series was obvious about that so it’s no real twist. Her decision to make the ultimate sacrifice when it was not necessary and nobody wanted her to do it really sums up her character. Her will power is so low that two different characters possess her at the same time. You’ve got the demon and then you’ve also got Isaac. While this may make for an interesting villain it really does her no favors. The final episodes really go crazy with all of the various forms and such. It doesn’t make for an exciting climax but more on that later. Either way she was one of the weakest characters in the series.

Finally there is Mikihiko who is also a very dicey character. From the start the show establishes him as an evil character who is also quite sketchy. He betrays everyone and messes around with people who are dead. His sister is without a doubt his top priority but he doesn’t notice when she starts acting rather off. For a genius he is surprisingly slow on the uptake. Some scenes are a bit iffy too like how he found a short cut to catch up to the heroes when he was bleeding out and on the ground, but we’ll assume he’s just that good I guess. He gets quite a lot of development and scenes near the end. While he doesn’t turn good, the show does try to make you sympathize with him for just wanting to help out his sister. It doesn’t work though because of how much of a villain we saw him be earlier. He’s just one of those villains who wants to have it both ways. I prefer him to Hirumi but neither one of these villains were particularly good.

That basically wraps up the main cast. It’s not a bad cast, but really Accelerator has to do most of the work here. Esther and Last Order are good as well, but I wouldn’t call them great characters. Then for the villains I liked the more minor Skill-Out fighters more than the actual main villains. The DA guys were just insane the whole time and I already spoke at length about Hirumi and Mikihiko. The writing is good though as the series still has that scientific feel that Index is famous for. Nothing will top the fight between Accelerator and Kakine from the main Index fight in terms of dialogue though as it perfectly sums up the series. Still, we get a lot of technical dialogue here as well which is great.

It should come as no surprise that the soundtrack is great. The team did a great job with the catchy Shadow is the Light theme song. It’s got that rock theme to it as well which really fits in with Accelerators character as someone who helps out in the dark so nobody even knows that he is helping out. Throughout the season the themes are solid as well. Meanwhile I thought the animation was good. It’s definitely not quite as striking as the Index seasons or Railgun, but I’d still call it pretty good. The only episodes that didn’t look quite as good were the ones in the climax since everyone turned more gray scale. It was an effect that the villain had of course, but I saw it as a quick way to lessen the animation budget a bit. The show would kick it into high gear at some points, but not all the time. Still, it’s still animation that looks nice as you’re watching the show.

Naturally the show does have some fanservice issues at times. Characters forget that they’re not supposed to change while everyone else is around and at times the fighting starts suddenly so they have no time to properly get dressed. Most of their attires aren’t great even when they are ready. It’s never quite as extensive as in the main show fortunately. It adds up enough to be noticed, but definitely could have been a whole lot worse. It’s not the biggest problem that this title has. The main problem in Accelerator is unfortunately the fight scenes.

So how do you make fights for a guy who is pretty much all powerful? Well, I’d say that it was a difficult dilemma except that the main show has had no problems with this so far. The battles against Kakine and the archangels are perfect for showing how this could go. Since Accelerator is still hooked up to the device you can give him a run for his money. The first half of the season did a reasonable job of it with Accelerator wrecking everyone. Then the second half came up and all his fights were with robots. The problem here is that you couldn’t really call them fights. It’s really just him firing a shot at the robots, they dodge, he fires, etc. These scenes just never really amount to anything and feel like they’re stalling for time. Then we get to the final episodes where he is effectively firing at plants the whole time. Of course he can blow them up with ease, plants can barely fight back.

The climax is incredibly weak which is disappointing since there is a lot they could have done with the concept. Accelerator’s first half of the show was considerably stronger than the ending. The main villain by this point was becoming a cosmic being with a bunch of persona fighting for attention. The setting felt like an end of the world type of battlefield too so it at least looked cool. The problem is that the villains stayed in a cocoon the whole time which meant there was no chance of a real fight. When she strapped in I knew that the series had given up on giving us a big fight at the end. This is the main thing that lowers its replay value. You’ll definitely be interested and engaged as you run through the show for the first time, but it’s unlikely that you would come around a second time because there isn’t much you would need to re-watch.

Esther’s origin story also took valuable time away from getting to see Accelerator. It’s not a terrible flashback or anything but without Accelerator at all it couldn’t hope to match up to the present stuff. I’d rather see more of the reluctant Accelerator mentoring Esther dynamic. That was always pretty entertaining with how insistent Esther was on following Accelerator and him always trying to escape the situation. It’s unlikely that Esther would be a main character in the next season since the cliffhanger is already throwing him into another adventure, but I wouldn’t be shocked if she showed up again at some point.

Overall, A Certain Scientific Accelerator is an enjoyable show, but one that always leaves you feeling like it has some missed opportunities. Accelerator himself misses out on quite a lot of screen time as Esther gets her backstory and the other characters all try to be relevant. I believe focusing on him would have made the show better and it’s really the only advice I need to give to a potential season season. Still, just getting to see him as the main character for a while is fun and you’ll get to learn more about the Index franchise as a whole. I’d recommend checking this one out and hopefully we’ll get more Index seasons in the future.

Overall 6/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On Review


It’s time to look at Monster Hunter. An anime that may be different than what you’re expecting as it is based on a very specific game in the series that is about riders instead of hunters. The series never really manages to break out of its shell and become something too epic which is a shame. There are certainly some more interesting things they could have done here and it could have potentially opened up into something like Pokemon. Still, it’s a reasonably good show and one that lasted for a long time so the show had time for a lot of things to happen.

There are two main arcs, but lets say 3 since the pre arc was rather long. The start of the show is about Lute, Cheval, and Lilia as they journey throughout the village and into towns as they learn more about being Riders. Unlike Hunters who destroy monsters for rewards and safety, Lute and the gang grew up in a village where they live as pals. Lute aims to prove that having kinship with a monster is the right thing to do while the hunters aren’t very sure. Hijinx ensues and the cast often have to wonder if this is the right call. Even if it is, how will they convince anyone to change sides? To become a rider you have to get a special jewel and to do that you basically have to join a village so that’s a tough sell for anyone.

The next arc is the darkest of the show as Cheval’s life is forever changed when a blighted monster destroys the village. He decides to avenge his family by hunting down and destroying all blighted monsters. Lute doesn’t think that this is the way to go though and decides to purify all of the crystals instead to stop the corruption at its core. The two of them become enemies now and while Lute is convinced that they can still be friends with differing opinions, Cheval doesn’t agree. He aims to destroy Lute once and for all to prove that sometimes Kinship isn’t enough to keep two people together.

Finally, the series brings in a new group of villains known as the Black/Ebon/Dark Riders who show up and kidnap Avinia. They aim to bring the world to its knees by performing a forbidden ritual and getting unlimited power. Lute and Cheval have to try and stop these guys, but the problem is that they are outnumbered and these villains are also way too powerful. They will need some kind of power up to hold their own. The other villagers realize that they will have to get stronger as well, but can they bridge the gap in time?

The show’s tone was all over the place, but for the most part it was rather light. Think of it as a classic slice of life series for a while as the heroes head to various towns and chat with people. That’s why in some cases the episodes could get a little boring since the cast isn’t amazing. Then the show gets really dark for the main Blighted Monsters arc. One thing the show is rarely clear about is if defeating monsters means destroying them. It seems like this is the case due to how everyone reacts and Lute always tells everyone not to defeat the monsters except for when he does. The show’s just really not consistent here. This may be more the dub than anything, but it really tried to never use the word destroy. As a result, “defeated” is the term always used even when a monster is slain.

That’s why the middle arc gets really dark as Cheval goes around destroying all monsters who have been in contact with the blight and even any other that just gets in his way. Lute and the others are unable to save any of them. Chieval even commands a Nargacuga of his own as a revenge of sorts for the main one dealing with his family. He is very mean to it of course and then abandons it. Cheval never really had to answer for all of this much and I just felt bad for the monsters. Then of course we have the hunters running around slaying them all. It’s definitely a rather brutal world that Lute and the others live in. The worst part is that Lute has his kinship stone which can purify all of the blighted monsters but he typically forgets about this and still tries to take some of them down at times. This whole part of the saga definitely brings it down quite a bit and is one of the main reasons why the Black Rider arc ended up winning. At this point the monsters started getting written out a bit although Shadow still destroys quite a few along the way as well. I guess they all need to become pals with a main character quickly before it’s too late.

Lute is your typical main character. He believes in the power of friendship (Known as Kinship here) and is always willing to lend a helping hand. He’s really close with Navirou so they trade insults quite a lot but all in good fun. Lute’s only real flaw at times is just how much of a pacifist he is. Even when being attacked he refuses to fight back if he is up against a fellow rider. This is at its worst during the final arc when he first fights with Gale. Considering that this guy kidnapped one of his friends and may destroy the village, Lute really has no time to keep trying to dodge the fight. You’ve got to make a stand and it’s not like simply fighting the opponent is the same as destroying him. Aside from that it is nice to have a more experienced Lute for the final arc. He is treated with a lot of respect at the end since he did help save the world and his new design does a good job of getting that across without any words. As soon as you see the design for the first time you can tell that he has gotten stronger.

Navirou is Lute’s travel companion and he is very useful for navigation in his mind at least. He is the main comic relief character of the series so you can probably guess that he isn’t very good at almost anything. He does have some thunder abilities which are really handy when Navirou actually remembers that he has such a power. Unfortunately that isn’t very often so don’t expect to see it much. Navirou’s cross armed salute is probably his best running gag but I also don’t mind his “Navi rules.” Cutting out some of his comic relief would probably have been nice though or even some of the cat episodes in genera. Overall I think he worked well as a support character and I’m glad he was around but the character could have been better.

Lilia is technically one of the 3 main characters for a while but starts to get written out by the end. Her path in the show was doomed from the start as she did t have a monster to protect her. Without a monstie in an action show like this, of course she wouldn’t ultimately stand a chance. It’s the same situation as being in a Pokémon show without catching a Pokémon. Lilia decided that she wanted to be a researcher instead which is fine but that kind of character rarely gets to do all that much. Lilia ends up being rather bland as a result.

Then we have Cheval who is the main rival. He gets a very Sasuke esque role here as he starts out by being one of the more heroic characters, but quickly starts to let the darkness consume him. He goes as far as to try and destroy Lute multiple times and nearly destroys one of his own Monsties. His whole arc gets rather dark at times. Naturally he also gets the redemption arc at the end as well. It may be a little tough to buy into as well especially since he did claim quite a few victims. Lute may accept him, but should he? Ultimately it’s hard to see Cheval as anything but a villain even by the end. It’s a shame because his character type is always nice as he becomes the rival that he always should have been by the end. The guy certainly went through a lot of character changes.

Avinia is a mysterious figure who shows up in the series from time to time before getting a big role in the final arc. She does lose this mystique almost right away but it was nice to finally have another rider who could fight. At the time Lute was the only heroic rider so he really needed an ally. Unfortunately, we never did get that Avinia vs Cheval fight I was hoping for. Once again I can say that the show dropped the ball with Avinia quite a bit. She has one of the best designs in the show and a monstie with a lot of potential. Despite this she rarely fights in the series and spends most of the final arc on the sidelines. Considering how powerful she apparently is, I would have liked to have seen her play a more active role. Still a cool character but one who wasn’t given enough to do in the show.

Of course we can’t forget about Deb….Li. Every character in the series likes to mess up his name and it is heavily implied that this is intentional. That’s because they say his name normally when he isn’t around. We already have a handful of comic relief characters but I guess you can never have too many as this one was thrown in as well. For the most part he is about as obnoxious as you would expect. He yells quite a lot and can’t seem to do anything right. The one running gag that he does right (Aside from the whole name thing since that one is decent because of how Debli panics every time) is when he Rides on. The animation and fake sound effect that he gets for it is handled beautifully. Debli toes the line between being a sympathetic character and an annoying one and does a good job of making it ambiguous. In the end I was okay with him although I wouldn’t have been sad if he had never shown up.

Reverto is probably one of her biggest unintentional jokes in the series. He gets a lot of hype throughout the series as being one of the world’s greatest hunters. If that really is the case then that doesn’t bode well for the hunters in general. He can barely handle any legitimately strong monsters and forget about taking down a plot important villain. In this show all hunters can do is swing their sword around and hope to land some good hits. They have no special abilities or even any enhanced physical ones. They are just guys with swords. Of course one of the main themes of the show is that the Riders are right and the Hunters are wrong so I wouldn’t expect them to look that good but they look downright horrible by the end. Hundreds of hunters can accomplish what a single rider can because they have no special abilities. Why would they possibly not want to become riders then? How have they not all been wiped out by this point? Anyway, there isn’t anything actually wrong with Reverto as he is a decent character but you just can’t take him seriously when he is fighting because despite all of the tough talk you know that he won’t end up coming out on top. He is just there to buy time for Lute.

Simone would fall into the same issue except from the start she is portrayed as a researcher rather than a fighter. Her intel is rarely useful and barely goes beyond the realm of common knowledge but I guess her role isn’t all that bad. She’s just not a very interesting character and none of her scenes really leave an impact. Cut her out from the show entirely and nothing really changes at all. That’s never a good sign.

Dan is one of those comic relief characters where you aren’t sure if it is intentional or not for a while. Technically you would think that he is rather skilled since he is rather old and teaches the kids, but they end up surpassing him very quickly. Part of the issue is the fact that he chose a very weak monster to be his monstie. He never explains why he doesn’t just pick a different creature. Perhaps it has sentimental value or perhaps he just isn’t the smartest rider in the group. Either way, his character doesn’t work too well and his “In top Form” battle cry is so half hearted that you will wonder why they built a whole character around the line. As you can tell, many of the supporting characters just aren’t very interesting. I won’t even get into the various elders who never do anything or the riddle master who is just annoying.

Mille is one of the side characters who is actually good. She can fight and in the final arc is probably the strongest rider aside from the main 2. (Lute and Chevall) O would have liked her to have gotten more of a role though. From the start of the show you got the impression that she may turn out to be a bit of a rival or at the very least would remain as one of the main fighters for a while. Instead she is effectively kept to the background for most of the show. Still a good character but she could have been even better.

Instead a lot of screen time is wasted on Hyoro as he tries to overcome his timid nature. The plot does not go well and he even sides with the villainous Chevall to take on the village. Yes, Mille does this as well but at least she was already a quality character. Hyoro never ends up becoming a good character and even after he gets stronger off screen for the final arc it’s hard to ever gain respect for the guy. He just never had a big moment where he got past his fears and did something amazing. Instead he essentially proved his doubts right as he never got to be all that strong. Genie is Hyoro’s older brother and the main reason why the kid turned out the way that he did. Genie can be overly critical of Hyoro but of course he says it is only to make Hyoro better. I didn’t mind Genie, but he was a rather half hearted bully who couldn’t back up his tough talk. Ultimately he was about as weak as the other side characters and Hyoro likely surpassed him in the end.

Gale is the Shadow Rider with the biggest role in the series. He gets to fight Lute quite a few times and his skills are the real deal. He is also the strongest member I’d say although Shadow would give him some competition for that title. He gets quite a few plot twists. While his plan may not have been amazing and he probably should have tried doing something a little earlier, he did make for a good rival. He just kept getting stuck in rather bad situations. While he was also unable to make the hero move at the end which nearly caught him, it’s a mistake that I could sympathize with since he was so close to finally accomplishing his goal. It was an intense moment and he’s in my top 3 characters in the series. I’d say that he is second only to Lute.

Next is Shadow who is certainly the 2nd coolest member of the group. Her speed is astounding to the point where the heroes can’t even keep track of where she is. There is a plot twist about this that I was a little mixed on. It is essentially a nerf, but I didn’t see it coming so I’ll give the show that. I also think Shadow’s rage mode should have kicked in instantly after what Anvis ends up doing to someone instead of waiting til their next meeting. It’s not as if anything would have changed in the outcome though.

Then we have Mad who is one of the villains that you can’t take seriously. I guess in the end the Riders could only score a 50 as 2 of their members were good and the others weren’t. Mad is just one of those guys who only cares about his looks and as a result he can be defeated if you simply get some dirt on him. Even his monster’s design isn’t all that good. It’s basically just a huge worm so that’s not too impressive. Same goes for Wrath but to an even bigger extent. Wrath is the strong but not smart type, but he isn’t even all that tough. There’s nothing original or interesting about him as a character.

Finally we have Anvis, the leader of these guys. Somehow he was able to gain control over an Elder Dragon even before undergoing the complete power up ceremony. Considering this, he does earn the title of being the strongest rider in existence. He makes for a solid final boss and a solid character all around. He definitely thought things through and stayed one step ahead of Gale and the heroes for a while. He’s a considerable improvement over the doctor who was the main villain of the first few arcs. He is reduced to comic relief for the final arc and was never much of a threat anyway. His episodes had a tendency to simply be rather boring so I was fine with him being gone.

There are also the Numbers, but they never had much of a point in the story. They are really just around to get their long piece of recycled animation over and over again. The show certainly loved doing that to save on the budget. The animation for the show is fairly decent. It does take a lot of shortcuts by using recycled animation constantly though. This becomes a bigger issue in season 2 as we even get little scenes of the characters reaching out when calling their monsties. It feels really forced and I could have done without that. I’m happy they all got armor but it just feels like another way to save on animation. It also uses quite a bit of CGI. We do get some real animation whenever a big fight happens though. Some of the special abilities also look really good like Chevall’s energy disc. Overall, the animation wouldn’t hurt the show, but it wouldn’t really help it either.

The soundtrack is rather bland as well unfortunately. You will definitely start to remember the tunes after a while since they keep on popping up, but that’s because the soundtrack is just really limited. I would have loved to have had some really great tunes to amp up the fight scenes, but alas it was simply not to be. This title could not deliver.

Finally I have to say that the show’s ride on mechanic seems rather odd. Basically the monstie that is summoned shows up when a character strikes the pose. The show portrays this as the monsters are just hiding nearby until they are needed but what are they doing in the meantime? Shouldn’t they just be with the heroes then? Lute has over 6 monsties in the show, but only uses his main one for basically the whole series. What is even the point of everyone having up to 6 if they only use one for all of the fights? They should have just had Pokeballs of some kind to keep the others in as that would make more sense if you ask me. I think the show dropped the ball a little on the collect them all aspect of the series.


Overall, This isn’t a bad show. I’d say that Monster Hunter is fairly decent. The problem is that it’s only average or below average in most areas. There isn’t a single section that I could point to and say that the series was amazing. On the contrary, the series could be a little boring at times. The characters just aren’t strong enough to hold the show as well as others could. It got a little more exciting towards the end but the show also amped up the crude humor and comedy to match. I’d recommend checking it out at some point if you need a good fantasy show, but there are many others that I would suggest seeing before this one. At least there is a lot of content here since the show managed to make it to around 70 episodes. That was actually pretty impressive.

Overall 6/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros Review


It’s time to look at the Mario OVA which is so obscure that I wouldn’t blame you for not hearing of it before. There are 3 episodes in this OVA which each tell a story that shows why Mario is a true hero. They decide to mess with his origin a bit and each story is a stand alone, but it’s interesting to see Mario be used in a bunch of classic fables like this. It may not be the greatest Mario adventure, but they aren’t bad.

The first story starts with Peach and her Hammerbro parents. They are not able to protect her from the mighty Bowser. That’s where Mario comes in as he is born from a shooting star and grows up very quickly. He heads off to save her, but he will have to deal with many powerful threats like the King of the Koopas. Mario isn’t scared though and quickly gets ready to take them all down. This is a more vicious Mario than we are used to as he even wields a gun. It’s cool to see Mario fight like this. He actually uses some hand to hand skills which is something that never happens anymore. We seriously need the upcoming big budget Mario film to have some real fights. This is the Mario we deserve. The whole special is very surreal though, like how are Peach’s parents Koopas? I figured they would at least be Toads or something. Bowser doesn’t look very good as can be expected though. It’s a short little story and one that is fun enough.

The second story is about Mario but this time he is only 1 inch tall. Mario doesn’t care about this and wants to go check out the big city anyway. He knows that this will help him quickly become one of the all time greats. He meets Peach along the way and has a great time. Unfortunately, Mario’s plans are cut short when Bowser appears and decides to take Peach away. Mario can’t have this so he grabs his sword and then begins a fight for the ages. Mario may be small, but he has some serious moves and Bowser makes the mistake of swallowing Mario without chewing. I never quite get why the big villains do this since of course Mario will stab him from the inside. Bowser didn’t really think this plant through, but I suppose I can give him some kudos for the attempt. It’s a fun special as well although I prefer the first story. Mini Mario just doesn’t make for as endearing a character as his normal form.

Finally, the OVA decides to end with a bang on the last episode. This one is a Snow White homage as Bowser dresses up as an old lady and tricks Peach into biting the poison apple. Mario arrives too late to save her, but breaks into the castle in a rescue attempt. Surprisingly he wasn’t doing too well this time, but granted Mario was outnumbered. Fortunately Luigi comes in to save the day and the duo finally get to team up. It was nice to see Luigi actually show up for a bit since I thought the OVA had forgotten about him. This was the last special but probably also the best one so it was a good way to close things out. The action was on point.

So, it’s hard not to like this special as how can you not enjoy a Mario anime? Granted, the anime is fairly low budget. There is a lot of reused animation throughout the specials and they went for stills whenever possible. There’s not much of a soundtrack here either so on a technical level the OVA is pretty bad. That’s why you always want to have a good story to help counter balance these elements. If this wasn’t a Mario product then it probably wouldn’t rate quite as highly as it does. Still, it is great to see Mario on the big screen so I guess he deserves some props for that.

Even if you combine all 3 episodes the OVA isn’t all that long. You can fast blast through this with ease. The pacing for each special is pretty good as a result. It’s all pretty easily available online if you decide to check it out. Mario makes for a good hero and Peach is pretty consistent. Bowser isn’t a great villain though and you probably won’t be able to take him seriously for any of the specials. I think Bowser Jr/Baby Bowser may have been a better pick here or perhaps a made up villain. Bowser just seriously needs a better goal than constantly trying to marry Peach. It’s a futile mission and one that was doomed to failure from the start.

Overall, The Amada series may not have put Mario on the map, but they gave it a good shot. The special is reasonably fun, but there isn’t too much replay value to be found here. Watching it once is good enough to enjoy the surreal elements of the OVA. After that you’ll probably want to stick to the main Prince Haru movie. That’s where most of the Mario elements stayed after all. Of course, if you want to see Mario with a gun, then you have no choice but to run to this series. Either way, if you’re a Mario fan then I recommend checking this special out. If not, then I probably wouldn’t recommend it quite as highly as you could find better alternatives, but it’s a good adventure story for any viewer.

Overall 6/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Pokemon Generations Review


It’s time to review the recent web series that Pokemon got. It was a relatively short show as it only had 18 episodes and they were each 5 minutes. It was a good show, but also very disappointing as I had been expecting something a little more grand. From the premise and the poster, I was awaiting a magnificent look at the best moments in Pokemon history, filled with a lot of great high budget fights. Unfortunately, that was not to be. There are little to no fight scenes to be found here so the series plays out like a commercial. Really, I feel like these were made to be little cutscenes inside of a Pokemon game and wouldn’t be shocked if they announced something like that in the future. It’s important to go into this series knowing this beforehand as you’ll enjoy it a lot more. There won’t be any fights, just think of the series as a commercial for the games.

The first segment is just an overview of what’s to come. We see Pikachu take on a lot of Legendaries and prove that he is the strongest Pokemon of all. It was an interesting way to start the series and I wasn’t against it since I love seeing Pikachu wreck everyone. Unfortunately, it did give the wrong impression as this segment did have a lot of Pokemon action. No full fights as they were all interrupted, but it was still epic. The second episode sees Looker attempt to capture Giovanni, but the mastermind had already escaped. It was a fun little sleuthing episode even if you knew from the start that Looker was doomed. He’s no Red and that’s the only person who can stop him. Looker actually appears quite a lot in the series so if it ever got a full anime, I could actually see him being the main character.

The third segment is easily the best one. It’s about how Blue took down the Pokemon League and became the champion, only for Red to arrive and dethrone him. While most of the fights are skipped over, we do get some nice trash talking and Blue’s voice actor does a great job in the role. The whole thing felt epic and it’s always good to see Blue getting his props. Especially since he didn’t look particularly good in Origins. Next up, we see Lance and Dragonite attack a Team Rocket base and they witness the Red Gyarados. This was another fun segment and Dragonite got a lot of personality. It’s safe to say that the villains stood absolutely no chance against an opponent of Lance’s level. He could wipe the floor with them without even trying.

Next up is the weakest one so far. Looker asks Silver to tell him where Giovanni is, but the kid doesn’t have any answers at the moment. It was also bad timing since Silver was getting ready to take on the Pokemon League and Looker was throwing him off of his game. The discussion is interesting enough, but since you know that the series isn’t very long in the first place, it really just feels like filler. Following that is a story about how Suicune, Entei, and Raikou originally started out as normal monsters and after dying, Ho-Oh brought them back as Legendary Pokemon. I was glad about the twist since the animal violence would have been terrible otherwise. The story is still a bit of a downer as the humans chase off the legendaries anyway. This segment was probably the most boring one as nothing really happened.

The next two segments are essentially flipped versions of each other as one deals with Kyogre and the other with Groudon. It’s not surprising that Groudon had the much cooler version as we see a trainer infiltrate the base and some really cool music is playing in the background the whole time. That part was the best part of the segment and even beat the main plot of Groudon’s awakening. The legendary Pokemon waking up was neat and then they destroyed the world, but it was more of a disaster scene than a fight so I was still hoping for some extra action. The music ensured that the Groudon segment was good though while the Kyogre one was a little underwhelming.

After that was the Deoxys vs Rayquaza segment. Finally, a segment with a big fight scene! Naturally, this was one of the best ones and perhaps it was the best aside from the Blue one. This fight was handled really well in the movie and I was glad to see it return here. Deoxys is easily still one of the best Pokemon out there. After that was a horror episode as a girl and her Chansey walk into a spooky mansion. It was a change of pace and wasn’t so bad I suppose, but the main character really annoyed me. She was scared of everything even though she has a Pokemon and likely dies in the end. Cmon….I expect that from horror movies, but not in Pokemon land where you have Pokemon fighters at the ready. I thought that the scenario didn’t make much sense.

Now we arrive onto the Dialga and Palkia plot. They get captured as per usual, but luckily Giratina is here to lend a helping hand. This was a fun segment and I did like that Giratina got the last laugh against the villains. Legendaries should always show the humans who’s boss in situations like this. They certainly have the power so there is no excuse not to humiliate the humans. The 12th segment had Heatran show up and take on Looker and a kid. It was a fight scene so that was neat and while Heatran isn’t the most interesting Pokemon to fight, he is still pretty tough. Looker showing up again also made the episode feel plot important.

The next episode saw a bunch of the gym leaders come together to try and fight the region’s equivalent of Team Rocket. Naturally, the special ends before the fight can really get started, but it’s still a fairly neat premise. Usually the cliffhanger would be exciting, but it doesn’t work when you know that the next episode is just going to completely ignore it. After that was a segment where the world is frozen. This one was probably one of the weaker ones again. It had some nifty energy blasts and what not, but it’s the kind of segment that could have really used an extra battle scene or two. It just felt a little hollow.

Luckily, we returned to the action with the next segment as N showed up to try and save the world. He gets crushed, but at least we actually got to see the fight this time. I feel like he should have put up a better fight to be honest. The segment ends when the main character comes in as backup and that’s a good thing for the villain since he would have been doomed. This one was solid so it was followed up by a more underwhelming one. Lysandre tricks the world into thinking that he is a good guy by day while actually being a villain by night. The special doesn’t really go anywhere so it is the ultimate definition of a 5 minute filler episode. We are nearing the end now so episodes like this one are the kind that you do not want to see.

The second last episode sees a girl get a meta human suit and perform super feats. Unfortunately, she uses her skills for evil since she has been mind controlled. It was a good special although her Pokemon should have dodged the blow. Looker returned once again for his final appearance and showed that he still had some moves. Finally, the last episode was very underwhelming as it was the most disappointing episode in the whole batch. It starts off with some hype as a guy showed up to challenge the champion, but then cuts away to an incredibly boring flashback that lasts all the way through the special. Disappointment….that’s basically what the whole series boils down to.

Well, the animation is pretty solid for the segments. I suppose they were able to save a lot of the budget by not having fight scenes so it could be used for the environment and destruction moments. I’d like to see a whole series of this, but I suppose it would take a while. That’s why I would have settled for one well done 30 minute episode as opposed to 18 5 minute ones. Hopefully they do something like this soon as an Origins sequel or something. The soundtrack was also fun as it had a lot of good themes and some familiar ones. The show had fun experimenting with different genres and tones so that allowed it to use a bunch of different themes.

Overall, You can kind of get the gist of what I think of the review from the tone alone. The show should have done a better job of marketing itself as a series of commercials rather than a revisit to the best moments in Pokemon. They wasted too much time on stories and flashbacks when they could have been used for fights instead. The Pokemon anime has more action on a week to week basis, which is too bad since I was hoping that this series would have focused on all the action since they could use a higher budget for the 5 minutes. Despite all the disappointment, it’s still a good show in its own right. It won’t last you very long of course as combined it’s only about an hour or so, but it’s a good little watch. At the very least, it should be a little nostalgic if you’ve played all of the games. I’m still behind on those, but I’ll catch up one day. The final takeaway that you should get from this review is that the directors, producers, and anyone who had a say in Generations should be fired ASAP and replaced with people who know what they’re doing. There’s no excuse for having a Pokemon anniversary series that is light on action. Now, the next big Pokemon product to look forward to is the reboot movie. I’m definitely pretty hyped for that one so hopefully it doesn’t let me down!

Overall 6/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Transformers Rescue Bots Review


It’s time to look at the recent Transformers show that may have finished. There’s always the chance that they could announce a new season at some point, but for all intents and purposes the show is over. It had a good run and seeing as how it is the longest Transformers show of all time, it left a good legacy. I originally started watching the show way back in 2011 so it’s been quite the ride. It’s a nice enough show.

A routine space mission goes wrong one day and four rescue bots fall to Griffin Rock. They are met by the Burns family and quickly realize that they will have to work together if they want to save the island from the many disasters that plague it. By work together, I mean that the humans call the shots and the Autobots help out as best they can. By the end of the show, several other Autobots appear and we even get some guest star appearances from bigshots like Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee.

One thing that you need to be aware of before starting this show is that it is aimed at a younger audience than the rest. What this means is that you can’t go in and expect a bunch of fight scenes. The show is really aimed at the same audience as Arthur or My Little Pony. There will be some danger scenes like a tree falling down or robots gone haywire, but typically that’s the extent of it. Occasionally there will be a real threat like a mad scientist and his robots for the really big episodes, but this show is more about friendship and morals at the end of the episodes.

It’s a show that is definitely better one at a time than in big marathon batches, which sets it apart from the average show. Watching it on my own probably wouldn’t be all that exciting and other shows like Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures were actually more engaging even if they weren’t as good in terms of quality. Still, you can find the fun in any show and at least you’ll get used to the characters the more you watch the show. Shows like this one are better to watch with other people so you can poke fun at it or do drinking games like taking a shot every time someone is super polite or passive aggressive. That happens a lot in the show since the Burns family has to be careful not to outright insult the townsfolk.

The animation is flash based or at least it looks as if it is. It’s definitely not all that good and I’m thinking that flash animation just has a very low ceiling. It can look clear, but it’ll never get above a certain point. So, I wouldn’t say that Rescue Bots has bad animation I suppose, but it would certainly be near the bottom of the scale. There are few shows that I’ve seen with worse animation and this could be bottom 3. There aren’t too many tunes to be found here, but at least they are memorable. Especially since the same danger theme played at the first commercial break for just about 90% of the episodes. After a while, you could easily anticipate the theme and predict exactly when it would show. There were a few other tunes as well and even if they screamed “Public Domain” music, they weren’t all that bad. They were passable and there’s only so much that you can do for talking scenes anyway since a big fight theme would have been out of place.

Chief Burns isn’t the main character, but he may as well be. He’s the head of the family and always takes charge. He’s not afraid to defy the Mayor and he gives out the morals a lot of the time. Burns makes the hard calls and he’s probably the best character in the show. I still love the name as well since Burns is a really cool last name. Cody is the real main character and he’s one of the nicest kids that you’ll ever meet. He takes things in stride and can’t wait until he is old enough to have his own Rescue Bot. It’ll take some time, but at least he will have a lot of experience in the field by then right? There’s definitely nothing to really dislike about him. Kade is the hotshot who is sort of tough, but not very smart. He’s the character who usually gets humiliated so that the others can learn a lesson. His overconfidence would be a good trait if he could actually back it up from time to time, but he just gets defeated over and over and over again, which is a little sad.

Dani is the pilot in the series and she is always arguing with Kade about everything. While Kade is the one who talks tough, Dani is typically the one who actually is tough. It’s tough for her to balance her piloting job and being a rescue operator in town, but she gets the job done. Graham is the smart one of the group and he likes science so much that he actually finds it enjoyable to talk about. The others don’t agree about the merits of science, but they try to be understanding about it. Graham’s not quite as charismatic as the others, but he tries. Woodrow is the hardcore brother (or cousin, but I think it’s brother) of Chief Burns and his thing is that his voice is always super calm and almost sarcastic. He likes going on adventures and having fun as opposed to the very safe and isolated life that Chief Burns leads. It typically gets him into trouble, but Woodrow is a character that would have been a nice addition to the main cast.

As for the Rescue Bots, Heatwave is the confident leader and probably the best member of the group. He’s very serious, but this isn’t the right show for that so everyone pokes fun at it and forces him to mellow out. By the final episodes he has basically stopped putting up the front because it wasn’t getting him anywhere. Still, the team would be lost without him. Blades is the comic relief member of the group. He is scared by just about everything, but he does like watching a lot of movies. He keeps the team grounded and is always ready for fun. He’s not exactly my kind of character, but his antics can be all right at times I suppose. Boulder is easily the least interesting member of the main crew. He’s very strong so naturally that means that he is the delicate character. He likes nature and reading. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, but the other three have more interesting personalities. There just isn’t much to Boulder and he may as well be Bulkhead given how similar their designs are. Chase gives Heatwave competition for the best Rescue Bot member. He likes the old westerns and does his best to follow the lawbook to the letter. He’s a great law abiding citizen and you know that everything will be okay when Chase is on the scene. Nobody messes with him and Chase keeps the other characters honest. If they even think about doing anything that is morally dubious, Chase calls them out on it.

Blurr is one of the new recruits from the later episodes. Unfortunately, he was nerfed a little too hard in this show. His whole gimmick is that he’s super fast, but he loses a race to Quickshadow and just holds his own against Heatwave. Doesn’t this defeat the whole purpose of his character? He’s portrayed as a hothead who doesn’t like to follow the rules, but the heroes tame him rather easily so he ends up being a character with no real purpose. Salvage is a lot worse though as he is basically Boulder 2.0. He’s also a strong, but really delicate fellow who likes to build things out of junk so that he can prove to the others how everything has a purpose. He never really gets to do a whole lot and the show intentionally gave him the most annoying voice possible. Luckily, we did have one good new recruit. Quickshadow is essentially a James Bond homage and was even featured in this universe’s equivalent. She is deep undercover and shows up to test the Rescue Bots and provide assistance when necessary. She gets a lot of hype and lives up to it for the most part. Her hand to hand skills are at a higher level than the other bots so that’s why it’s a shame that we never got any real opponents for her to fight. That would have been a perfect way to show off her skills, but at least we got to see her embarrass the others in training exercises. Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee were also cool to see. Prime may have been a little unreasonable at times as he would just suddenly show up and bark out new orders at times, but I guess that’s how most of the bots would see him. The Rescue Bots did their best to follow his orders to the letter even if splitting up the gang was a little iffy. He also came in person to help them out once in a while. Bumble Bee’s appearances were also interesting as he transformed from Prime version to Robots in Disguise by the end. It was certainly interesting to see the sudden change in character personality and I can certainly say that I prefer the Robots in Disguise version. It seems a lot more genuine and is also more charismatic.

Frankie is Cody’s best friend and she’s a kid genius. She appeared a lot less during the final seasons, but still had a moderate role throughout. She’s a nice character and is certainly a lot more likable than her baby sister. Frankie never got her own robot, but she did get a skateboard and an alternate persona so she could help out the gang from time to time. Her father, Doc Greene had a big role as his inventions are usually what ended up putting the town at risk. He has no time to apologize though because he is typically already hard at work building the next one. The voice actor did a good job of making him sound completely oblivious and proud of it too as he kept on making defective products. Morocco is the main villain of the show and the heroes actually have to resort to some morally dubious methods to take him down. Case in point, they mind wipe him and send him to the past so now he can live out his life as a nice person. Yeah….that’s totally shady and uncalled for. The heroes completely crossed over the line on that one and while the show glosses it over….I can’t find myself forgetting that anytime soon. It’s too bad since he was definitely one of the best villains. We had a Morocco doll who took over his role as one of the big villains, but it wasn’t quite the same. No shots intended at the doll…but I would hardly call it intimidating.

Myles and Evan were sub villains that showed up once in a while. Honestly, they didn’t do all that much at all, but I just liked to see them show up because they’re just ordinary teens who somehow cause a bunch of trouble. They break out of jail many times (How?) and they laugh a lot. I suppose I’d be laughing too though if I could outsmart and hack Autobots. That’s not a bad feat at all and these guys were always amusing to watch. Madeline Pynch is probably the biggest villain in the show aside from Morocco. She is rich and uses her money to obtain powerful weapons and skirt the law without repercussions. She has a freeze ray and an invisibility suit thanks to the Burns family not being able to keep them safe and she defeated the whole team at one point. Her overconfidence got the best of her though as she let the team grab the weapons back. She shouldn’t have lost that round, but the show made her a little too powerful. I mean, she even had a memory displacing weapon to trick the heroes with. The plan should have been FOOLproof, but she proved that it was not. Quint is a game hunter who matches wits against the Rescue Bots. He defeats and humiliates them several times over the course of the show in a tribute to the original G1 show where a hunter captured all of the Autobots. He’s a cool villain and I like the accent. His robots are actually pretty overpowered when they first appear as their barriers can easily trap the Autobots. This guy definitely had personality and spunk.

At 104 episodes, the show definitely had a lot of time to throw in many different plots. Since the majority of the episodes were stand alones, that’s almost 100 unique adventures. We got to see the heroes turn into Dinobots and Heatwave even got a boat form. There were other bots who would show up and even other scientists as well. Since this was in the Prime continuity, it certainly expanded the universe quite a bit. It is sad to see the show go since I would have liked it to have kept on extending the episode count. Still, I doubt anything will be surpassing it anytime soon. Getting to be this long is incredibly difficult for an American cartoon nowadays.

Overall, You should check out Transformers Rescue Bots if this sounds like your kind of show. It’s pretty calming to watch and seeing the characters deal with everyday troubles in town should be nostalgic from the old Andy Griffith show. If you grew up in a small town like this one, then that could help as well. It can maybe be a little boring at times since there isn’t much action, but that’s where the cast comes in. They’ll either make or break the title for you, but hopefully the former. It’s probably the worst Transformers show by default, but it’s still not bad. I’m giving it a 6 because a 5 seems a little too low, but a 7 is definitely too high. It’s just right as the show has decent writing and there are no real negatives to speak of here. It probably is the best time for the show to stop though since the final episode decided to really shake up the status quo and that could have been a very risky move. Maybe we would have gotten some new characters though and that could have been interesting. The show was no stranger to Transforming though as season 1 was very isolated, but by season 4 we had a mini army of Autobots and space bridges to use for instant travel at a moment’s notice. The characters really got to experience a lot during their time on the island.

Overall 6/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen 2: Revenge Review

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It’s been a while, but it’s finally time to look at the sequel to the first Orphen show. Interestingly enough, this show took a dramatically different approach compared to the first one. While the first season was very dark, somber, and dramatic the entire time, this one shifts gears into a full on comedy. You can see what the writers were going for here though. In the first show, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to see the cast just hang out and have fun since there were always a lot of things at stake. With the world completely safe once more, it’s the perfect time to pit the cast in all kinds of wonky situations. For the most part, this works well, but some parts of the show really just make no sense. Plot points are brought up and then completely forgotten. It makes for an odd blend, but at the end of the day the show is fairly good. The first season definitely takes the win here as I did miss “hardcore” Orphen from the search for Azalie, but this title has a lot of great moments as well.

Orphen has been having a lot of strange dreams lately. He’s trapped in a cave and bad things always seem to happen. He’s chased by giants, laughed at by the unknown, or even attacked by monsters. The one constant is that whenever he wakes up, he finds the main heroine Cleao in his room to the dismay of both of them. The shenanigans continue for a while until a new character, Licorice shows up. She wants Orphen to come with her to the royal knighthood of honor chaps so that they can properly award him. Orphen refuses so she decides to follow him until he relents. The upside for Orphen is that she is backed financially by the group so now he can use her money and live a decent life instead of scraping for pennies.

Meanwhile, a Red Haired girl continues to follow them and plays the piano during the night. Her plot twist is really obvious and I guessed it as soon as she appeared, but for those who are not too familiar with the trope, it may take a little longer than that. There are also a lot of monsters which keep showing up and try to destroy Orphen from time to time. There seems to be a mastermind behind them, but who can it be? One thing’s for sure, Orphen and the others are not going to be getting a lot of rest this time!

As mentioned earlier, the show doesn’t really know where it’s going at times. Let’s take the first plot, where the two heroes keep waking up in the wrong room. This is never resolved. There is no actual reason for the characters to be sleep walking and if the show intended for this to be a pure comical subplot, then it was not handled well. During the entire show, you’re waiting for the revelation of what is causing this, but it wasn’t to be. We can’t forget Orphen’s dreams either. He gets them constantly and some of them are even used purely for comic relief and have no purpose. One of them does come true by the end, but what about the rest? Has Orphen’s imagination just started to run away with him in his old age? I dunno, it just felt pointless once again.

Finally, Orphen’s new magical symbols are also odd. As opposed to the first show where he could just send off a spell at will, we now get a visual of an odd looking circuit board. We can definitely assume that Orphen is drawing energy from this tech to use his magic. I had a theory going on for a while that this Orphen was a clone and that was going to be the big twist. That would have really been something and I think it could have been handled very epicly. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be I guess. It was purely an animation change that the show did for kicks. Gotta save the budget whenever possible right? There is certainly a decent amount of stock footage in this season.

That being said, the animation is reasonably good here. It hasn’t changed all that much from the first season, but it didn’t really need too. As it stands, everything looks to be on point. The fight scenes are always exciting and all of the character designs make sense. It’ll remind you of the classic 90’s days for sure. The soundtrack is pretty uninspiring, but we have 1 or 2 very catchy themes. The theme songs look pretty good animation-wise. I’d say that the first theme song of the original series is probably the best. As for the music of these intros, I’ll update this review with something on those once I listen to them again within the next day or two.

As mentioned earlier, most of the show is rather lighthearted and fairly aimless. While this may not sound good to the action readers in the room, it was rather nice to see the group just hang out and engage in witty banter. There are some shows where you never really get to see the heroes have fun like in DBZ so this is a welcome change. Let’s face it, Vegeta and Goku bickering could make for a lot of good episodes. This cast isn’t quite as dynamic, but they can do a good job so long as the two trolls and Orphen are the main focus. My favorite episode of this season actually wasn’t an action episode, but a comedy one instead.
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In this episode, Orphen gets cloned so that there are 4-5 other Orphens chasing him. Orphen even compliments this concept since the only one who can defeat him must be another him right? I can actually follow this train of logic. The fight scenes in this episode are a lot of fun and the dialogue is also rather strong. This episode simply could not be surpassed no matter how much plot they crammed into the final episodes. Some of those titles did put up a good fight, but none could match the brilliance of this event. If you thought that clone episodes couldn’t really be all that good, you’ll want to watch this one to reassess that statement.

The characters haven’t changed all that much since the first season as you’d expect. Orphen’s still the tough main character who is always ready to throw out some insults. He’s still a tough mage as well, but is portrayed as being a lot lower on the totem pole than usual. He is actually on the losing side of just about every serious fight in the series. He loses to all three of the main villains in one on one fights and ultimately only proves to be dependable against comic relief characters. I don’t think his fans will be too pleased at that part. I really thought that the writers didn’t give Orphen enough credit in this season. Maybe that will change if we ever get a season 3. He’s still a great lead though and I’d definitely say that he is the best character in the series.

I still have to give Volkan the runner up spot. He’s actually a really great comic relief character and puts most others to shame. He’s very consistent and never has a moment where you’re supposed to feel bad for him or respect his abilities. He plays the role of the comic relief guy right up until the end and that’s how it should be. He never loses his nerve and we’ll always see him try to make Orphen’s life more difficult. It would simply be odd if he ever switched from this tactic. I still don’t care for Dortin though. He doesn’t pull off the road nearly as well. His voice actor does a good job of giving him a very old/raspy voice, but that’s the only real positive for him. He really needs to get behind Volkan and help him out more against Orphen.

Majic is not nearly as terrible as he was in the first show, but there’s still little reason to root for him in this one. He’s still letting Orphen cheat his father out of a small fortune via the tuition when Majic isn’t actually learning anything. We had a whole episode about this and the moral was basically that Orphen is a terrible teacher, but Majic may as well continue to pay him out anyway. Not the greatest ending for Majic fans. He’ll have to really improve for me to like him more as a character.

As for Cleao, she’s still a good main heroine. It’s definitely fortunate for her that she has a super powerful dog in the form of Lucky. Even Orphen’s afraid of that little guy. She may not be able to fight all that much on her own and it can get old to see her quit the group so often, but at least she can be reasonable and her arguments with Orphen are always entertaining. Unlike Majic, she’s actually a very good supporting character who helps to push the show along. There are other characters from the first season who show up like Orphen’s child hood friend and the new leader of the spell castors, Azalie. Unfortunately, they don’t do a whole lot here and their roles aren’t great. You’d think that Azalie would get a lot of hype since she is one of the strongest mages in the world, but her quick cameos are just there to remind the fans that she exists. She doesn’t really get to do anything in the grand scheme of things. As for the child hood friend, his hobby of transforming into a superhero identity is still around, but beyond that he mostly spends his appearances getting beaten up or beating up on weaker monsters. There’s no real middle here and he can’t hold a candle to the stronger fighters. Neither can Orphen though so I suppose we couldn’t expect much more out of him.

Licorice is one of the newer characters and she gets a large role. Unfortunately, she is a pretty bad character. She wasn’t too bad at first as I didn’t mind her gimmick of always mentioning the Royal Knighthood. It could be catchy and she wasn’t bad. However, she started to get a lot worse once she started uncovering the truth behind her past. Suddenly, she would start getting very snippy with everyone and had a tendency of running off into the rain. She tried destroying herself 3 times or more and tended to get in the way of the heroes at all times. She lost any dignity she had by this point and ultimately the show would have been better off without her.

Erukarena is the final boss of the show and is an example of how you make a good final boss. She is a high above being who just so happens to look like a little girl. Don’t let her appearance fool you though, her powers are immense. She has super speed and a wide variety of spells to the point where she is able to take on McGregor and Orphen teaming up. They really don’t fare very well against her at all. She may look innocent, but takes great joy in making life tougher for everyone else. She may not have many goals or aspirations, but at least she makes sure that the heroes feel her sting. The design really worked well this time.

McGregor was the big villain for most of the series. (When he appeared anyway) He got to show off his skills quite a lot as he took Orphen down rather easily. He moves pretty fast for an old man. The show tries to make him a sympathetic character by the end as we find out a few plot twists about his past. It’s all pretty intriguing and while most of his decisions were good, it doesn’t really excuse the fact that he went off the deep end. Whatever the intentions may be, it doesn’t change the fact that McGregor was a complete villain by the end of all this. He was someone who needed to be taken down for the count. At least he made for a good villain though.

As far as the villains go, the final one is Flamesoul. Surprisingly, the show presented him as a greater magician than Orphen. The court room scene with Flamesoul interrogating Orphen was handled pretty well. He’s not the greatest of villains as he can be rather dramatic at times. He doesn’t know that Orphen was actually framed for murdering his mother so he seeks revenge throughout the series. He is definitely lucky to have an array of monsters to back him up, but he actually does a very good job. He came so close to completely getting his revenge here. I definitely liked him a little more than I thought I would by the end, but he does lose to the first two.

Finally, we have Esperanza. I would have liked her character more if she had stuck to playing the piano in the background. Instead, she gets a lot of development and is unsure of what she should do. Protecting Licorice is her main goal, but she also wants to take Orphen down which would be bad for Licorice emotionally. It’s definitely a tricky call either way as it will be tough for the two of them to get along. I also have to say that the kiss between her and Orphen felt very random and out of nowhere. That scene definitely had no real purpose if you think about it. Esperanza may have been mysterious, but unfortunately she was not a good character. I also happened to be playing Sword Art Online Lost Song at the same time as I watched this and that game had the very same twist as this title involving a mysterious red haired girl. It made the resolution to this plot that much more obvious.

Holding back this show from getting a complete 7 is that it did have a little more fanservice than it should have by the end. It’s nothing too drastic, but the little scenes here and there do add up. Most of the comedy episodes weren’t bad, but they were also pretty devoid of action, which widened the gap between this season and the first one. It was very close to matching the score, but in the end it just couldn’t pull it off. I’m sure that a season 3 would likely get the job done though.
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Overall, Revenge is a fitting title for this season as several characters have this motive over the course of the show. It’s not as fitting though when you find out that this season is mostly a comedy. The action scenes do look really good when they show up of course, but it does take quite a while for them to really get going. Once you’re in the climax, you get a glimpse of how epic the show could have been had it stuck to this genre. We do have the first season for that though. If you like the characters then you will still enjoy the show regardless as the comedy is handled rather well. Had some plot points actually ended or been removed entirely, the show would have been even better. As it stands, I’d certainly recommend this show. The franchise may appear to be about 95% dead, but there’s always a chance that we will get a movie or another show someday. Never stop hoping for that sequel!

Overall 6/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Review

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After reviewing the legendary Batman and Superman shows, it’s time to look at something that’s on a lower level. The Hulk show is essentially in the current Marvel show continuity, which means that you can expect a whole lot of comedy with a touch of action at some points. It doesn’t work as well as Ultimate Spiderman or Avengers Assemble, likely because the characters aren’t as interesting. It’s not a bad show and still looks good when placed next to Pac Man, but I can’t really say much for it. Ah well, it made for some good times.

The show ran for 2 seasons and actually had a bit of a long running plot. Rick Jones was turned into A-Bomb due to gamma exposure and one thing led to another so he became the Hulk’s teammate alongside Red Hulk and She Hulk. He decided to start a webshow which would prove that the Hulks are actually heroes. A mysterious being known as Skaar appears and is defeated by the heroes so he joins the team. The 4 of them stop many local threats, but there is typically a mastermind in the shadows. His name is the Leader and I hope you like him since the guy will be a major recurring villain throughout the entire series. The heroes humiliate him in every way possible, but he never stands down so you’ve gotta like his determination. Another plot that comes back a lot is the Kree as Ronan is always trying to get revenge against the Hulk and even the Avengers have to step in at one point.

Depending on how much you buy the whole quantity vs quality, you’ll like the fact that the Hulk show has a lot of guest stars. Some of them actually look good too so that’s definitely a nice plus. They certainly help to spice the show up and provide us with a little variety. Without the guest stars, the Hulk show would likely not be nearly as interesting. As with the Superman and Batman show reviews, let’s take a look at some of the good and bad episodes here.

I’d say that the opening two parter was good as we got to see Hulk fight Skaar and there was certainly a lot of action. Another good episode was when the Hulk’s personality switched so that he became an intellectual who didn’t fight except as a last resort. We got to see the Hulk think his way out of his problems, which was a nice twist and blew the Leader’s plan away. A few of the other nice episodes which didn’t involve guest stars included a challenge by the Titan Xemnu, as he fought all of the Hulks. His physical power was incredible and the fight was actually quite good. Likewise, I liked a roller skating episode that came shortly afterwards as the heroes got to test their skills.

Most of the episodes with guest stars were naturally a lot of fun. One of the highlights was when Ghost Rider appeared to drag Red Hulk to Hell. It was an intense episode and Ghost Rider was definitely given his due respect. He looked very powerful as he should and was no nonsense. The Avengers get to help out in the final two part episode against the Kree. The episodes were a little light on actual action scenes, but it’s always nice to see the Avengers show up and remind us that continuity can be real. It’s like jumping into the Avengers Assemble show.
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The Guardians of the Galaxy also showed up a few times and it’s always nice to see them. They even got to be in a Christmas episode and there aren’t too many shows which let Christmas appear anymore so that was neat. I think all shows should have a Christmas episode at some point. Dr. Strange helped out against Dormammu and his Mindless ones. Those Mindless ones would eventually appear in Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spiderman so they definitely get around. Even the Silver Surfer showed up in one episode to fight off some nightmares. His voice was admittedly very anticlimactic and not one that I would have chosen for the character. Still, I always liked the Surfer so seeing him back in animation again was certainly cool. Spider Man was also around a few times and he even got to take on Venom in one of the episodes. It was definitely neat to see the Wall Crawler show up and he always makes for one of the best guest stars with his epic quips and constant readyness to show up the Hulks.

Deathlok and the Inhumans also appear in the series. Things get a little dicey for Black Bolt and his friends as they get trapped within a dome, but the Hulks are always ready to help out. The fight with Deathlok was also fun and his guns sure pack a punch. That fight should realistically be a cakewalk for the Hulk, but we’ll just say that he was holding back. The Thing helps out in one episode although his rivalry with the Hulk doesn’t quite work as well when the Hulk is in full control like he is here. It’s just there, but it doesn’t feel as natural. Aside from being on the Avengers, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man all get episodes in the series. Iron Man probably has the best role as he mostly sticks in character although his defenses shouldn’t be able to be hacked so easily. Captain America gives up on hope with his episode very quickly, which was more than a little iffy.

The worst would tragically have to be Thor. In one episode, the Leader becomes the All Father so Thor and Loki decide to serve him regardless of how evil he is. Apparently, they must follow whoever is on the throne as if they were from the Shiar. That’s completely out of character for Thor and it was just odd. The writers clearly didn’t know what to do there.

One of the episodes that definitely wasn’t very good was when the Hulk decided to live underground because the mole people were his true friends. It was pretty hilarious to see how easily Hulk was willing to ditch the surface dwellers, but it still didn’t make any sense and any episode with the Mole Man will typically get a thumbs down from me. Mission Impossible Man was another miss episode. I definitely don’t care for the Impossible Man as a character and this certainly did not increase his chances of being a likable character. We also can’t forget the Planet Hulk two part saga as Ego The Living Planet is involved in a huge twist, which was not a good one. There was also more crude humor than usual to be found there.

I’d say that most of the Hulk episodes were decent. The only bad ones were really the episodes that overdid it with the humor. That just happened to a lot of season 1 episodes as they would sound good on paper and then get a little gross while watching. Season 2 improved on this, they never became perfect, but you could actually go through some episodes without major crude humor attacks. That was a start, but the series never got to see if it could really go on a role.

Time to talk about the characters. Hulk is the lead and he’s definitely very heroic. You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but he really cares about everyone’s safety. Hulk’s a very selfless hero and also quite intelligent as this incarnation seems to have Bruce’s smarts along with his typical strength. He rarely ever enters into a rage and is always portrayed as the most capable hero while also being the strongest. Hulk’s essentially the perfect lead. He may make a mistake once in a while, but Hulk always gets the job done, even when the other heroes don’t believe in him.
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She Hulk doesn’t like the cold, but aside from that she is always one of the more reasonable characters in the show. She has a very inconsistent rivalry with Red Hulk that shows up once in a while. She Hulk may not be as strong as the Hulk, but she helps to remind him not to lose control at certain points and she always has a witty remark at the ready. Red Hulk is essentially a one dimensional version of Vegeta who tries to act as tough as the Hulk even when he knows that the Hulk is actually the stronger, smarter fighter. He is always upstaged, but he continues to talk tough in every episode so I suppose that he deserves some props for that…I guess.

A Bomb is the comedy member of the group so he’s always thinking of some quick lines to remind everyone why he’s so tech savvy. He can turn invisible, which is a great trick, but this is Rick so he doesn’t use it as well as he should. He’s a fairly likable member of the group, although I prefer Red Hulk and She Hulk. The worst member of the team is easily Skaar. Skaar is basically here for the crude humor jokes and they can get quite disgusting at times. It’s best to just forget about him as he never contributes to the show and just brings it lower and lower.

As for the villains, the Leader is certainly the main one in the show. The Hulks won’t rest until they’ve thoroughly humiliated him in every sense of the word over and over again. They force him to plunge their toilets and work at a fast food joint among other things. The Leader puts up with it because he wants to be ruler of the world someday, but it is pretty embarrassing for his fans. His plan with Skaar was also poorly thought out to the point where you will wonder what the point of it is. His whole “Query..etc etc, Answer, etc etc” gimmick was pretty neat though. This is mainly just because the Leader’s voice was spot on. He sounds bored with every line that he utters and while the other villains also push him around, the Leader never loses his confidence.

As for the Abomination, he’s essentially a stronger version of the Leader. He doesn’t get quite as many good lines, but he almost takes down the team a few different times and he even took over the base at one point. Abomination can be a little generic, but he was certainly given more credit here than in Avengers EMH so that’s a good thing. He’s finally almost on Hulk’s level in strength like he’s supposed to be. He even took over a town, which was very…interesting to say the least.

Normally, I like to talk about how good the animation is, but I can’t really say that this time. Whoever draws the character does not know how to draw teeth, as they are simply too big and stand out way too much. Think of the classic shows like Justice League, Spectacular Spider Man, or the old Transformers show. Do you remember the teeth? Naturally, the characters had teeth and smiled sometimes, but you didn’t notice a giant pair of teeth every time they talked. That’s what happened in the Hulk show and it can be quite distracting. The fight scenes can be decent when they happen though and the character designs are good. It’s similar to how Accel World’s animation was terrific, except for the human characters. As with this show, it’s a big enough negative that you have to take a double take. I’m going to give the Hulk show a bit of a thumbs down here, but it has its moments.

As for the soundtrack, you’ll probably forget it right away. This isn’t the kind of show where you will typically remember the music. That being said, I do remember Red Hulk’s theme because it plays whenever he fights or has a meaningful scene. It’s essentially a generic “tough guy” theme, but that doesn’t stop it from being decently good. At least it was memorable and maybe that’s all I could have asked from it. The show did need a theme song though. I don’t see why everyone is ditching the theme songs nowadays. They were classic and theme songs help to take a show to the next level!

One unintentionally humorous thing from the show was that the very first episode had a plot hole. It ended with Rick being taken to the base to heal, but in the second episode, Hulk never actually made it to the base. Whoops…heh heh. It’s something that you would expect from the Hulk show, but at the same time, you didn’t expect it to happen so soon. It had a retro vibe to it I suppose, but it’s something that you’d think the writers would have noticed. Especially since it aired as a two part event.

While the Ultimate Spiderman show has the gimmick of Spiderman constantly breaking the third wall and stopping time, Hulk goes for a more practical option. At the end of every episode, he’ll sit down in front of the camera and explain that episode’s moral in case you missed it. The messages are more inspirational and heartwarming than My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. Now, that’s a little bold to say as My Little Pony has some of the best messages out there, but Hulk teaches you about caring for your family and teammates, ignoring any bad qualities they may have and focusing on the good, how problems shouldn’t always be solved by violence, trusting in your teammates, and dozens of other great morals. It’s never handled very subtlety, but sometimes that’s a good thing. Being able to talk about these things with a straight face is a good thing and the Hulk show is great for impressionable kids you are watching the show.

One of the things that really bogged the Hulk show down was the unfortunate crude humor and the uninspired dialogue. While the crude jokes are not as frequent as Pac Man (That would almost literally be impossible) they can definitely get pretty dicey at times with a lot of sneezing and potty jokes. They force the Leader to live in the bathroom for a while and the toilet is clogged so he has to try and unclog it. It gets preeeetty dicey for him to say the least. If there is a crude humor joke to be thought of, it’ll be in the show and it certainly gets old. The obvious puns and gags from A Bomb and the others can be good as long as they stick away from that area. Ah well, I guess the show didn’t want its solid seven.

Without that, the show would have been decent. It would have been similar to shows like Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spiderman. I would never go as far as to call them great shows, but they were still fun and add to the mythos of the characters. I’m still really glad that those titles are around and I can’t say the same for the Hulk title quite as easily. Even this upcoming rating that it got is very close as you can make a decent argument for one star lower. I think it was just good enough, but it was definitely on the edge.
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Overall, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. is a show that had potential. It’s essentially a Marvel version of Batman Brave and the Bold, but with less guest stars, sloppier animation, and inferior writing. Also less of a soundtrack, but that’s to be expected. It couldn’t quite keep up with the Avengers or Ultimate Spiderman. It should be really thankful that it got a season 2 as that saga certainly helped the show improve. Otherwise, I’m tempted to say that it could have gotten a 5. Still, there were enough positives for me to call it a decently good show and I’d recommend it to Hulk fans who wants to watch some fun action. That being said, you’d be better off watching the 90’s Hulk show or just going for Avengers EMH. I’m confident that Guardians of the Galaxy will beat the Hulk show so maybe everything will start to look up from here…maybe. Also, make sure that you stick around for the moral at the end of each episode!

Overall 6/10