One Piece – Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack Review


It’s time to jump far into the past with this one for a retro One Piece adventure. It’s a full original story with just the first 3 Strawhats so that’s pretty fun. The team has grown a lot over the years but there’s still something special about seeing the first crewmates team up to take a villain down. The special goes by very quickly but makes the most of its roughly 30 minutes. We get some good action here and Luffy gets one step closer to being the King of the Pirates!

The story starts with Luffy and the crew chilling on a boat when they are attacked by a giant monster. Unfortunately they are at sea so Luffy isn’t able to fight once he hits the water and this prevents Zoro from claiming the easy victory because he has to save Luffy. So Nami is kidnapped and eventually Luffy finds himself on a mysterious island. He saves a girl named Medaka from two pirates and finds out from her that the pirate known as Ganzack has taken down the whole village. They no longer have enough food to survive and need someone to save them. Luffy may not be a traditional hero but he likes his food so he is ready to help.

Ganzack actually does rather well as the villain here. For starters he actually takes down Luffy twice which is likely way more than anyone was expecting here. He just takes him down like it’s nothing and you may expect that once, but twice? Granted Luffy was much weaker back then but it’s still fairly unheard of to be taken out like that. Ganzack also talks about being the King of the Pirates several times which helps to really establish him as a big threat. He’s not someone who’s just playing around here but trying to accomplish his dreams.

There isn’t much more to his character beyond this but it’s enough to still make him a solid villain. I liked his fighting style with the little crab arms. It wasn’t something that you’d quickly forget. I dare say Zoro would have had a tougher time beating him though. This was early enough in the series where you could make the case that Zoro was stronger than Luffy. Some would say Luffy didn’t truly pass Zoro until he obtained Gear 2 but it would be a fun debate either way.

Regardless Zoro definitely looks great here though. He commands a lot of attention as the pirate hunter and pretty much takes down the whole army on his own. He didn’t need any help and he didn’t take any Ls. He was just around dominating the whole time with his 3 sword style. Meanwhile Nami is surviving as bet she can with a little trickery and it makes sense as a strategy. When you can fool the villain really easy then you may as well do that right? Luffy and Zoro should still have enough confidence in her not to think that she has actually turned evil or anything like that. I’m cool with the plan because it didn’t seem super risky and it’s not like she had to do anything villainous in order to gain Ganzack’s trust. So it worked out pretty well.

Meanwhile this is probably not Luffy’s best appearance since he was getting wrecked so often but I guess we can chalk it up to him being overconfident. By the end he was ready to make his comeback and start winning. It just took him some time to really get settled. Luffy gets credit for not backing down from a fight although that’s the bare minimum for any good lead.

It’s definitely interesting seeing One Piece with such a different animation style. It feels extra retro and not having the same sound effects when Luffy does his attacks will take a little getting used to. Still, I think this group could have done a fine job with the series. I liked the speed showings they gave to the characters and the action scenes are on point. I wouldn’t call this high budget but it has aged well enough so it works on that level. The soundtrack is more on the forgettable side for the most part. There are a few scenes where it feels like the music is about to pick up but then the scene ends real quick before that can happen.

The special is really short as I mentioned but it does work well. You’ll be engaged from start to finish and it’s really just a chance to see the characters get to fight some villains. It would have been nice if Ganzack had a right hand man or something so Zoro could fight him instead of the normal minions though. That would have helped make the film even cooler but this way at least they had Zoro taking on the whole army.

The original character here was also not bad. Medaka may just be a kid who wants to help her town but she doesn’t get in the way and actually saves Luffy twice. Once directly and the other indirectly by triggering his rage mode. So she really did a good job here and was likable which isn’t always easy for the heroes made up for the movies and specials. In general the writing here was on point which really goes a long way to making this a solid special.

Overall, If you’re looking for more One Piece content then this is a special you will want to check out. Ganzack makes for a memorable villain and there is a lot of action here so that’s all you really need. There is never a dull moment here and everyone gets something to do. It’s too bad they don’t make short specials like this quite as much nowadays. Personally with how One Piece sells I’d be trying to generate one of these every year. I’m sure the profits would be enough to cover the expenses each time. Maybe have a dedicated company that would handle these so it doesn’t impact the show.

Overall 7/10

Pandora Hearts Review


It’s time to experience the world of Pandora Hearts. It was always a very unique title with a whole lot of fantasy and adventure but at times it would get so convoluted that the story couldn’t really move forward. The anime finishes rather early into the series or at least it felt early. It was nostalgic to see the old characters again. I’d still say that it doesn’t end up being one of the stronger titles out there but at the end of the day I’d still call it a good show.

The series follows a kid named Oz who has had a really rough time of things. He is in line to be the King eventually but his father barely ever talks to him. He seems to dislike Oz on a personal level for some reason and no matter what Oz has done, he just never seems to be good enough. As a result Oz seems chronically depressed even if he always forces a smile on his face. One day during a ceremony a group of villains known as the Baskervilles appear and attempt to murder Oz. He ends up falling into the Abyss where he makes a contract with a chain known as Alice. This allows him to return to life rather than being stuck in purgatory but 10 years have passed. There is a lot of mystery about what happened on the fateful day that caused Oz to disappear. Why did his father seem to be in league with the villains and why does Alice have no memories anymore? All of the mysteries appear to converge around Oz’s lineage and so together with his childhood friend Gilbert, he seeks out the answers to these questions.

In a way you could say that the series is part mystery. A lot of characters know much more than they let on but they are always rather dodgy with their answers. Good luck getting a straight answer out of anybody. Everyone here appears to be shady so Oz can’t really trust anyone, not even his best friends. So this also causes him to be even more alone but at the same time part of the theme in the show is about trying to trust people again which is something Oz and Alice both have trouble with.

The show balances out the more serious moments with a lot of humor. The characters will get drunk and run around and we get a decent amount of slapstick humor. Alice certainly enjoys beating people up if they don’t listen to her and there are a lot of antic around. I’d say that the humor lands well and in some ways it even feels a bit nostalgic like an older humor style. While the cast may not be the strongest overall, they all have good dynamics with each other which makes for a lot of good banter.

Another thing the show does well is the soundtrack. It’s got a very grand feel to it like Sword Art Online. There are quite a few operatic themes in here and so it just sounds great on all accounts. It’s definitely a very good strength of the show. Meanwhile the animation is also pretty solid. I wouldn’t say it’s anything amazing but it’s consistent and the fights are on point. I wouldn’t call this an action show even though there are some fight scenes so it’s more about just making sure that the visuals are on point and the show does well there.

One thing the series does not do well is to convince us that Alice (AKA B Rabbit) is one of the strongest Chains out there. So in the Abyss there are a bunch of chains which are effectively monsters. Alice is so advanced that she has a human form and interacts just like a normal person. Everyone is always afraid of her because she basically rules the Abyss. Think of her like Godzilla on Monster Island. He is the unquestioned King. Well, you would expect her to be extremely powerful then and yet she loses so many fights.

There is always an excuse of course like she’s low on energy or Oz isn’t controlling her properly but these are things you would expect her to fight past. If she really is the best then what’s the problem with having a little handicap right? Much like Saber in Fate, I didn’t think Alice actually lived up to the hype. She’s a great character but the power levels in the show just felt a little screwy because of this. If anything Xerxes seemed to have a more useful ability at times since Alice is more about brute force and doesn’t have any hax type powers.

I’d say the other weak point of the show is the actual mystery. Keep in mind that a big chunk of the series is about “The Tragedy Sablier” and you’ll probably hear this phrase at least once an episode. It’s a really big thing and so we get flashbacks and everything but often times you’re more interested in the present. It’s because they really drip feed you things that are happening in the past so after a point you want them to just show you the whole thing or keep it moving. The show is often at its best in the present with the characters having a good time and getting past their personal issues. Each of the main characters have some kind of trauma that they have to get past so focusing on that works really well.

You’ll notice that there are quite a lot of really sad scenes in the show and the OST has a good amount of emotional tracks to reflect that. These scenes are always executed well and you could probably keep the mystery element to a smaller focus and the show would really be able to just focus on the present instead. The lowest point of the show is during one of Alice’s flashbacks where she deals with the other Alice and things get a little rough for one of the cats. One guy even loses an eye in the process. Xerxes and Alice went through a lot back then, that’s for sure.

Now as to the characters, as mentioned earlier Oz is a really good character. For starters I like that he doesn’t feel bad for himself. He’s been through a lot but always puts that big smile on his face so that nobody will worry about him. It works with most of the characters at least. People all handle sadness differently but in general the ones who put on a brave smile and try to keep going always tend to make for the best characters. Then you have characters like Gilbert and Alice who can see through this but they are rare for sure. Oz is always ready to stand up for his friends as well.

He’s definitely not a fighter but will pick up a sword so he can defend his allies and is also not quick to trust others. He’ll say all the right things but always keeps his eyes open and that’s a really smart thing to do. Then we have Alice and while I had the power level issues, I do like her a lot as a character. She’s one of those characters who may have a difficult time speaking her mind without putting in some tough talk but is very attentive. So she’ll notice if something is up right away even if the other characters don’t realize it. Oz would have been in a tough spot without her. I’d argue that she had an even tougher backstory than Oz with everything she had to go through in the Abyss, not even knowing if she would ever get out. That has to be an absolutely frightening prospect. Even if you are the strongest in that realm, being immortal and knowing there is no end in sight while also losing your memories is a raw deal.

Gilbert is Oz’s best friend but the whole thing is a bit awkward for him since he aged 10 years while Oz hasn’t changed at all. Additionally they didn’t part in the best of ways with how the incident went down. Oz is naturally glad just to be back together though and Gilbert is able to warm up and go back to the way he used to be even if it does take some time. It also can’t be quite the same way it used to be now that he’s older. He tends to fight with Alice a lot which makes for some fun scenes. Gilbert also had to make some concessions during these 10 years including leaving the service of Oz’s family for the Nightrays. I was glad that Oz took this in stride because it was a reasonable move. Gilbert needed to get more power and this was the way to do it.

In comparison Oz’s uncle Oscar is not quite as interesting. He didn’t do a ton during these last 10 years and while he is one of the only characters that Oz can really trust, he doesn’t know a lot of the answers that the other characters have. They basically kept him out of the loop so he is rarely all that helpful. He’s a nice guy and all so he’s not bad but you just wish he would be able to contribute a lot more than what he does in the show.

Oz’s sister Ada also gets a decent role here. Naturally the situation is tough on her as well since she was Oz’s younger sister but now she’s so much older. It’s gotta be tough to adapt to that. She’s not really a fighter but she is always ready to help out and stand by Oz’s side which is important. He needs a strong cast around him to make sure he doesn’t break under the strain of everything going on.

Sharon’s got a much bigger role here. She rules over Xerxes as a very mysterious third party. She’s someone who seems to know a whole lot about the tragedy, the abyss, and the Baskervilles so as you can probably guess she rarely ever tells Oz what he wants to know. It’s not that she knows everything, there is plenty that she doesn’t know but the fact that she won’t say what she does understand is why you can’t trust her. I found her and Xerxes to be two of the most suspicious characters in the show.

They can be very helpful and they get a lot of comic relief scenes but that’s not enough to consider them as allies for sure. One of the benefits of this style is that even villains can get comedic moments to try and hide their true evil. It’s an effective ploy in a mystery like this because then you really can’t rule them out. Likewise they could not be the main villains but still have goals that are at odds with the heroes. If Sharon is the planner then Xerxes is the muscle.

He is always sent off to do battle or aid the heroes when things get dangerous. He gets a lot of development here and even a bit of an origin story. It’s the kind of series where everyone is hiding something. Xerxes does come in handy a lot and saves Oz’s life on more than one occasion so whatever his true mission is, you know that Oz is still happy to have him in his corner for the time being.

The Baskervilles make for a very interesting villain group. Their objectives are wrapped in vague shadows but they say Oz is a curse and want him back in the Abyss so something is going on there. They seem to have some kind of cause that they believe in and a flashback gives more depth to this. Part of what helps them as a group is that they all seem to have their own character. They aren’t just mindless minions even if you’re unsure of exactly what their end game is. I guess you can add that as another mystery to the pile.

Never out of mysteries, the show gives us another one with the character Jack. He is one of Oz’s predecessors in the family and for reasons unknown his dead spirit can inhabit Oz’s body and take control of him. While Oz is frail and can’t fight all that well, Jack was known as the greatest member to ever be born into the family. He’s strong and commanding, even the villains will always stop and listen to what he has to say. This doesn’t help Oz’s confidence issues but Jack helps out a lot and he’s definitely one of the best characters in the series. He also tends to be cryptic though and would prefer to just vanish for a while than answer Oz’s questions. So again I would not trust this guy but he’s always cool to see even if his role is small so far.

Then there is Vincent who is up front about being a big villain. He mistreats his maid and comes across as a very intense guy. He’s quite cruel and a big change from Gilbert even though they are brothers. While he will listen to a request from Gilbert, he can ignore everyone else and follows his own agenda. Whatever his end goal is, you know that it’s not good. He makes for an interesting villain as he helps to mix things up even further but hasn’t done a ton yet.

Echo is fairly emotionless but it’s still rough to see her working for Vincent. It would be great if she could strike out on her own and just get away to a happier life. Working for that guy is just plain confusing and she seems like a nice enough character. She just happened to be on the wrong side. One character that is only hear to add more questions is a guy named Rufus. He is one of the dukes and a man of great stature but he spends most of his time messing with the heroes or intentionally spoiling someone’s backstory instead of answering the relevant questions. So he’s intentionally annoying to the characters even though he is someone who could also shed some light on things.

Then we have one of the best characters in the show, Elliot. This guy is great. He’s got a solid honor code and is a really stand up guy. He knows how to fight with a sword and has a very traditional mindset where he will do the right thing no matter how hard it is. He may seem out of his depth at first as a normal guy in a world with a lot of craziness but he always holds his own. He has a good skirmish with the Baskervilles and protects Oz. He may not get along with Oz at all really but he doesn’t let this slow down his sense of justice. That’s how you know that he is a real one. Other characters could have been petty about the whole thing. Unfortunately his role is small so you don’t see him much.

His partner Leo is also around but I was never as big a fan of that guy. He can be a little harsh to Elliot and can’t quite quite as well. His banter isn’t as funny as some of the other characters and so ultimately he doesn’t do anything to really enhance the show. Finally we have Oz’s father who is presented as one of the big villains. We still don’t know exactly why he wants to get rid of Oz but you can bet that his role would continue to get bigger as the series went on. Right now there’s no reason to like him as he just feels like a traitor who is on the wrong side.

So there is a lot going on here. Pandora Hearts builds up quite a large world with a lot of rules and mechanics. At times it feels bigger than what the show can possibly adapt as well which ends up being true since it ended early anyway. I still say that focusing on the present would be more fun but I understand that the mystery is a big part of the experience. One advantage the show has over the manga is it’s much easier to tell characters apart. In the manga quite a few of them look so similar that it’s hard to keep them straight while in the anime you can easily tell who is who. Ultimately I look at the show more favorably than I did the manga. It may not be quite good enough to get to the next level and lacks the replay value that some other shows have but I had a good time here from cover to cover and could easily recommend it. It’ll definitely make you engaged in what’s going on or laugh at the funny moments but either way there is something for everyone.

Overall, Watching Pandora Hearts is like reading half of a mystery novel. You’ve got the setup and all of the questions but the show ends before you can actually get the answers. Maybe one day the show will continue but it seems just old enough and the series just not popular enough to get that chance. You can’t rule out anything anymore though so I’ll just hope that it does return. At least because of this the ending does leave things off on a very intriguing note and you can do your best to fill in the blanks on your own unless you read the manga. I’d still recommend checking out the show. The ost is amazing as I said and it makes for an interesting watch. It’s fairly unique too so it’s got that going for it.

Overall 6/10

One Piece Film: Red Review


“The hierarchy of the One Piece franchise is about to change” Well this film definitely pulled it off. Eventually every great franchise has its definitive movie. That one installment that you feel will never be surpassed. Some do this multiple times like Dragon Ball Z (Original Broly movie, Resurrection F, Dragon Ball Super: Broly) but most will at least do it once. Justice League Crisis on Two Earths, Bleach: Hell Verse, Avengers Infinity War, Spider-Man 3, the original Mortal Kombat, Transformers G1 the movie, etc. Well this has finally happened with One Piece as it’s hard to see this one going down. Film: Red delivers on every front from action to music and it gets a massive bump in the theatrical experience. It’s a film that you have to see as soon as possible and it’s relatively new audience friendly so you can jump in and have a blast.

The movie starts out with a bunch of people yelling for help and they’re sad because the world is going to the pits and nobody is there to help them. The world is in the great pirate era after all so villains are everywhere and the government is so completely corrupt that you can’t really count on them to help you out either. Well, one girl has a dream…a dream of world peace! Her name is Uta and this is her story. In the present she has invited all of her fans to an island so that they can see her sing in person. Throughout her career she has only sung virtually through the cameras so this is a big deal. Just about everyone has come to watch her songs and 70% of the entire planet will either be watching her on TV or on the island. She almost literally has the world at her grasp and now she can try to achieve her dream. Is the dream really possible though?

Luffy is glad to see her because they used to be childhood friends until she mysteriously vanished one day. There’s a lot of questions about where she went and why she vanished but there isn’t much time to ask her at the concert. Things take a turn though when she announces that the concert will never end and she’s not letting anyone off the island. Is it even possible to have a never ending concert and how will this bring about world peace? All Luffy knows is that he needs to stop Uta but it won’t be easy as she has grown tremendously powerful over to the years to the point where there are few on this planet who can challenge her. He will have to go full force because if he can’t defeat her then he will never become King of the Pirates!

Right off the bat I can say that the movie absolutely delivers on the big songs here. One of the things the movie was getting a lot of hype for was how many songs it was going to have. Instead of calling it part musical I’d call the film part concert. Even as the battles are going you will usually have some kind of song going. It really helps to pump up the scene. One of the villainous songs sounds like something out of Lost Song and then you’ve got a ton of really peppy songs like in Sword Art Online. Hearing these in the full Imax settings was excellent. My ears were still ringing long after the film had ended and I was back home. I don’t think I’ve heard a movie with such loud decibels before but it’s perfect for a concert film.

You really felt like you were in one and that’s why the theater experience is a good boost to the film so I recommend seeing it in that setting at least once. The songs will hold up even after that though and I look forward to finding them online to listen to. Meanwhile the animation is also the best that it’s been in the series. It’s not surprising as One Piece’s animation grew quite noticeably better during Wano. And if that’s how good the show looks you can only imagine how good the movie would appear. They didn’t hold anything back here and every scene really shines. The colors are bright and there is a ton of movement in the fights.

Everyone looks powerful here and it also helps to really show just how powerful Uta is with her being able to block so many hits. In general I also liked the way her powers worked. Yes it seems incredibly broken but why shouldn’t there be a Devil Fruit that is this good? Eventually someone needs to have the best fruit out there and why not have hers be the best one? Because I think it’s fair to say that no other fruit can compare. It does have its own weaknesses of course but in most scenarios you figure that she will be able to defeat her opponents without a problem. The power levels in the film were all handled really well so I don’t have any issues on that front. I did find it a little funny that some randoms would actually challenge Luffy though. He’s one of the emperors now, would they actually try to challenge Kaido or Shanks? I feel like Luffy doesn’t get a lot of respect right now, maybe he just looks too young?

People who start their One Piece experience with this film may find Luffy to appear a bit on the weaker side but he is holding back for almost the whole film so he doesn’t really get to cut loose. That’s probably one difference compared to the previous films which is that Luffy doesn’t get a lot of action. It helps the movie avoid the usual power level concerns though. Keep in mind that Luffy is already Top 10 in the verse by this film so if he was having trouble with anyone then that would be hard to really make sense of. This way that isn’t really messed with.

Luffy also looks great in general here. He handles things very maturely and also does his best to respect Uta’s wishes even if they disagree on things. When she starts talking about how she doesn’t like pirates and how he should stop being one, he just walks away instead of trying to talk her out of it. He’s just not planning on having an argument and is ready to walk away. Perhaps confronting her would be best but they’re both super determined characters so he probably realized that it wouldn’t amount to anything. He also just doesn’t want to fight her since they’re still friends.

Luffy will fight his friends if he has to like when he took Usopp down but for the most part ever since then he tries to handle things peacefully like when Sanji would try and attack him. So it’s a solid character moment here and Luffy ended up fighting when the time was right. His best film appearance is likely still in Stampede but overall he has looked great in quite a few of the movie and this one would be near the top as well.

Uta also looks great here and is an excellent film original character. Film original characters usually have had a negative rep over the years although recently it hasn’t been much of an issue. That’s because they tend to be rather annoying and hold the cast back but that isn’t the case here as Uta is close to being the main character and a lot of the film is about her dream. We get flashbacks scattered throughout the movie on her childhood and what led her down this path. It’s all really emotional stuff and her plan is actually a very interesting one.

Make no mistake, she is a villain here and has gone off the deep end, but I do appreciate films where the villain is following their own sense of justice. It’s much easier to follow a villain who is at least trying to do the right thing and has strong ideals than one who is just evil for no good reason. (There’s a place for those villains too of course) Uta can handle herself in a fight and also really thought things through here. She had a strong plan that was nearly unbreakable so you really can’t ask for much more than that. It’s fair to say that she was the greatest threat to the planet in terms of sheer numbers and I’m not sure any future One Piece villain will top that.

At the end of the day Uta was by herself for many years aside from the old guy at the kingdom and she never lost hope. She just kept fighting until she got to her own answer on how to achieve world peace. It wasn’t the right answer perhaps but at least it was one. Now the film got a lot of hype for Shanks showing up but of course you shouldn’t expect him to do a lot here. It’s a fairly small role for him but it’s still nice to see the guy. He does leave an impact in his few scenes and you can tell that he is powerful. I have my doubts on if he could really take on Luffy right now but either way he is in the upper ranks.

I did disagree with Shanks’ decision to leave Uta though. You can watch the film to see how that all plays out but at the end of the day I think he needed to trust Uta to choose her own future a bit more. He may have thought himself to be doing something noble but I did not agree with it. It was not the right thing to do imo. It’s also nice to see his crew even if they don’t look as impressive as the Strawhats. Personally I think Luffy’s crew is easily the most powerful in the series by this point.

They get their own subplot on finding out a way to try and stop Uta but for the most part they aren’t as big a focus. You get to see them get some action and all though so everyone uses their special abilities. Zoro continues to prove why he is Luffy’s strongest fighter during this as several characters even react when he does his ultimate attack. Even Yasopp was impressed and that guy has seen Shanks fight up close and personal. Zoro was also the first one to react when Luffy’s crew was attacked and I appreciate that. You have to defend them right away. I give Bartolomeo similar credit because he was the first one to step in and try to help Luffy when he was nearly captured while a lot of other characters just froze.

There are a lot of guest stars here so be on the lookout for them. Some like Katakuri should have gotten a bit more to do if you ask me though. You almost wondered what the point of Katakuri was here since he didn’t end up adding much to the fight. It was still nice to see him though. Oven and Brulee were some of the more random ones initially but it did help to make the film feel a bit more ambitious. Having the canon characters show up to fight will do that to a movie.

The film does ultimately resort to a giant CGI monster as the final boss though so that still seems to be a curse in the anime movie industry. Why can’t we end with a humanoid battle? So many of them love the giant monster at the end and it’s just not as exciting. The movie’s top notch animation makes the most of it but having Uta as the final boss herself would have been a lot of fun. I’d say that would have absolutely been the best way to go here.

This movie has a ton of replay value either way. The pacing is really fast, I remember being surprised when the film goes to the present and we see that Luffy and the gang are already at the concert. No time is spent on them travelling there or an opening montage to set up. They’re just ready right from the jump and we get into the singing. It probably happens within the opening 10 minutes and things just keep escalating from there. The film doesn’t take many breaks either. We get some lore and flashbacks but always very briefly until we jump to the next big scene. The film is just really high energy and that fits in with the series always being a colorful adventure.

Fans of the government/navy who have lasted this long will probably be fine but if you’re someone who was on the fence about if they were good guys or not will want to step back here. They look so evil that it’s almost funny. They basically figure at one point that they should sacrifice millions of people to take one character down and you can probably guess who. At that point it’s not even cracking a few eggs to make an omelet. You’re destroying the whole farm for one. They just have no justification at this point and seem to just be trying to murder people for no reason. Kizaru was ready to destroy people without a second thought and the pirates have to stop them. Yeah the government definitely appear to be the true enemies here which is why anyone working for them feels complicit after a while. Just look at how they serve the Celestial Dragons who are still as evil and petty as they come.

Overall, One Piece Film: Red is excellent and one of the top anime films. I’m confident that it will be remembered as a big game changer for a long time to come. The writing is just excellent and set up a really great rivalry/friendship with Uta and Luffy from the jump. They have a better dynamic than most of the Strawhats to be honest. I can see why she was an instant fan favorite in the franchise. They should really drop Brook off the crew and replace him with someone cool like Uta. I wasn’t a fan of the way the film ended which is the only sour spot there but it’s not a horrible ending or anything like that. (After all, that would have kept this from being the best One Piece film) It’s just not how I would have done things, I would have gone with a slightly different ending because all you need to change is one thing. The scene after the credits is pretty fun though as one character gets re-energized. If you haven’t seen the film yet then it’s definitely time to change that.

Overall 9/10

A.I.C.O. -Incarnation Review


It’s time for another Sci-Fi show. There are quite a lot of these anime running around and this one really goes into the technical elements. Get ready for a lot of discussions on the burst, alien life forms, and cloning which can be pretty intense but at times it also means that the pacing can be a bit slow. This is a good title but another one where it takes the show a very long time to really get good. I don’t think it fully found its footing until near the end and the ending wasn’t ideal so while there is some replay value here, it won’t be near the top of the list.

So a while back there was an incident known as The Burst! A lot of people died in it and now some organisms known as Matter rule the area. They’re effectively mindless and touching it will result in your death unless you destroy the contaminated limb quickly. Now you need professionals just to get near it if you want to study the area or something like that. Our main character is a girl named Aiko and her family was seemingly murdered by matter but one day a guy named Yuya appears and says that this isn’t the case. They are still alive and Aiko needs to save them.

This guy is a bit shady though as he’s on the run from a mysterious military group and wants her to follow him without question. Aiko does want to save her family though so even though it means leaving her friends and old life behind, she follows him. Yuya and some other shady guys have enlisted a group of professionals who will guide them through the affected areas of the burst. At its center is presumably where Aiko’s mother and younger brother are. Once they save them then the day is saved….or is it? What does Yuya want out of this? Aiko figures she has no choice but to trust him….but this could be a mistake.

Now I would call that the basic plot but a lot of other things start to occur as the series goes on. I’ll go more into it in a minute but we have to answer the tough questions like if a clone is truly alive and what it means to sacrifice one. Do you sacrifice a town to save a kid who might be trapped within the Burst? Then you’ve got the government groups all fighting each other and a whole lot of chaos as outside governments want to weigh in on the conversation. I think the show could have tackled all of this in more interesting ways because there is a lot of cool stuff to discuss here but for the most part it is satisfied being more of a low key show that talks about it but mainly just from the main characters’ view. Extending this with another 10-12 episodes and bringing in more outside forces could have worked.

As far as the animation goes…it’s decent. I wouldn’t say it looks very good or anything like that but it’s not bad. It’s more that there aren’t a lot of good fight scenes because typically they’re just fighting the matter which is effectively mindless and can’t fight back beyond lunging at everyone so the fights aren’t super exciting. There are some episodes where you have the characters blasting the matter for the whole episode and yet you’re not excited because it isn’t a real opponent. Fortunately at the very end of the show we do get a real villain but it is very near to the end by that point.

As for the soundtrack, it’s not on the memorable side. The tunes within the episodes just don’t stand out and I wasn’t a big fan of the opening. It’s got to be one of the least exciting ones that I’ve heard in a while. The show is just not impressive on a technical sense so that means the actual story needs to hook you which it does not. This is starting to sound rather negative so I should say that what keeps this from being a bad show is that it does execute on some of the potential. While it does tend to drag out some elements and not take others to their full use, at least it is trying to tackle a bunch of Sci-Fi themes. Throw in an explosive climax (Even if the ending is underwhelming) and you’re really all set to at least get things interesting for the end. To it’s not the most engaging show out there and loses in most head to heads, however if you are looking for a decent Sci-Fi title to bring up then I would eventually mention this one. It’s still good enough where I could recommend it.

Now as for the characters, first up we have Aiko as the lead. I do think she’s a bit too trusting with the whole Yuya situation. She wants to save her family and that’s great but you still have to keep your guard up at all times or else you’re just going to walk into a trap. As the show goes on the mission appears to be riskier and riskier all the time. By the end Aiko learns a lot and makes a lot of good decisions. I do think she handled things maturely and did try to help out as best she could. Her being a bit naïve is her only bad trait, beyond that I liked her well enough as the main heroine.

She would actually contribute by firing the cannons and would disobey any order that told her to stand down. So Aiko did have some toughness to her and that was really important because if she was a passive main heroine then it would have been that much easier for the villains to take her down. As it played out this way, she was at least able to make decisions of her own and stayed in control of her destiny. Aiko definitely surpassed expectations here.

Unfortunately I could not say the same about Yuya. This guy starts off reasonably well as he’s very mysterious but you figure he’s got a good plan at the ready. You have to decide if you trust him the way that Aiko does or if this is all some kind of big mistake. Ultimately I did not agree with his plan at all and that is what ended up hurting him here. He is willing to make a whole lot of sacrifices and while the other characters get him to be more reasonable by the end, it doesn’t change what he was willing to do. You can’t trust him and he grew worse as the series went on.

One area where the show struggles is with the supporting cast though. Outside of Aiko and Yuya, the divers don’t really stand out. There are quite a few of them and you have the gruff leader, the hyper newcomer, etc but there isn’t much to them beyond that. One of these guys is Kazuki and he ends up liking Aiko from the start. It’s not a good idea to fall for the person you are escorting since this is supposed to be a mission where you stay neutral and everything. He definitely fails on that end.

I do give him credit for always having Aiko’s back though. He’s probably the only character in the series who doesn’t waver or get tempted to abandon her at any point. Yeah that’s because he likes her but isn’t that still a pretty good complement to his dedication regardless? When she falls into the cafe and asks for help he immediately tries to get her out of there while everyone else was still hesitating. That counts for something.

Unfortunately it’s not like he’s super strong or anything so ultimately he can’t stand in the way of the government but he tries his best. You figure that he’s doomed from the start too so you feel bad for him there. Maho and Daisuke are the two leaders of the diver operation so they have a lot of experience but they don’t tend to contribute a whole lot. As you watch the show you’ll see that they technically talk with the crew and make decisions but ultimately don’t change things up.

At least someone like Kaede may make her share of mistakes as she dives into the fights but she’s memorable because she gets a whole character arc about maybe being too impulsive. Her partner Haruka always takes the blame when this happens but it causes Kaede to really think about how she has been handling this situation. At the end of the day she doesn’t want to create more trouble and so she gets a bit more cautious as the show goes on. Haruka doesn’t really get an arc like this in comparison but at least this makes it easier on her as well.

Yoshihiko has his hands full with Kazuki but does as well as can be expected. He’s the more calm member of the duo so he usually has to end up being more of a boring character there but his advice isn’t wrong and in terms of pure skill he is probably better than Kazuki. Together these divers are good enough to blast away at the blobs and we’re told that they are the best in the business so even with their character flaws they make it work. Fighting in teams of 2 helps out with that I suppose.

Outside of the whole main plot with the heroes trying to save Aiko’s family we’ve also got a whole government conspiracy plotline going on as well. This isn’t quite as interesting as it could have been but I always appreciate seeing their take on things. The main character here is Akiko and her ongoing banter/feud with Susumu. They used to work together but now he’s on the rebel side with Yuyu while she works for the government. This leads to a lot of disagreements and subtle threats between the two. It’s always very subtle of course but you can’t help but think that Akiko actually would take Susumu down if she could.

I think what would help this plot a bit would be to have the characters actually talk things out a bit more. Typically how the conversation goes is she would ask him for details and after he gives the intel she hangs up on him. She’s very openly using him the whole time until the end where she decides to help but because of that there is no ideological battle or anything like that. I think that’s a missed opportunity because there is a whole lot you could do with that otherwise. She was a decent character though while Susumu is mainly forgettable.

The real standout character here is Kyosuke as the main villain. Basically he wants to save his daughter who is in a coma after the burst. He thinks that the answer to saving her lies within Aiko and that goes against Yuyu’s plan here so they are naturally at odds. It’s always a good idea to have the villain get a decent motive though and having him want to save his sister was an effective way to do that. He seems like a reasonable guy for the most part but as the show goes on he starts to go more and more off the deep end.

We even see how he used to function normally with how he had some friends and other doctors who had his back. Eventually they just weren’t able to do this anymore but it was nice to see because it makes sense that he would have some allied by this point. The premise makes it unlikely for everyone to have a happy ending but you are hoping that she will be able to pull through at least. Then thanks to Kyosuke we do have some more action by the end.

The climax still isn’t super exciting but at least it’s a bit different. Instead of all the blobs being mindless, now you have some being controlled by him and some by the daughter. Then you have Aiko controlling others as well so it all gets really crazy. The show’s ending is not very satisfying though which was another missed opportunity. So what I’m saying here is that the concept of the show was better than the execution. Giving us more monsters and such would have been great or give us more government meetings about what to do with the burst. This was a huge event that the show barely even bothers talking about except to nuke it all. I want to know more about the origins and how the other countries are taking this. It’s touched on but just barely.

Okay now I’m going to quickly talk about some of the more in depth parts of the show so skip the next 3 paragraphs if you haven’t seen it yet. Head out now because we’re starting fast:

So the big twist here is that Yuyu is trying to save the real Aiko who was captured by the monsters a while back and is used sort of like a core. He intends to sacrifice the cloned Aiko to bring the real one back to life. This touches on the classic theme of if a clone is truly alive or not. (The right answer is that the clone is alive so destroying it would be awful) As we’ve been with the clone Aiko the whole show we feel like she is alive and you would hope that he could see that but he doesn’t. Even up to the end he intends to destroy her until Kazuki knocks some sense into him. Of course by that point Aiko convinces herself to die for the original. It’s an interesting dynamic where both the clone and original would rather sacrifice themselves to save the original.

Clone Aiko looks a little bad at first though because she is fine with someone being sacrificed for a while but when the twist is that she will be the one sacrificed then she isn’t happy about the plan. I know she eventually comes around but it wasn’t the best look since it seemed to imply that she would be fine with someone else dying. It’s a good twist about the two Aikos though and the show has a good amount of foreshadowing for it. It’s easily one of the most interesting parts of the show and you know it must have been tough to be stuck within the Burst for so long without any way out. Likewise for the daughter who was in a coma but still conscious within the void all this time.

The show could be a little dark when you think about all of this but it’s not going for that angle. Now why did I not like the ending? Well, they save both Aikos which is great and what I was hoping for but they decide the family isn’t ready to know this and so one of them can never see the family again after the final goodbye. Cmon that doesn’t make sense to me, we’ve just survived a big sci-fi apocalypse. They can handle seeing two Aikos and the ending just feels unfair/forced. I didn’t buy that excuse and it just made the show forego what should have been a really happy ending.

If I could change one thing to improve the show rather dramatically it’s that I would cut out one episode of the heroes running through the mindless monsters and add it to the beginning. Have Aiko decide not to trust Yuyu at first and gradually she realizes that she wants to take a risk and goes off with him. That would help the pacing because part of what hurt the show is that the pacing died around the middle. You had multiple episodes of blasting away at the mindless ooze and it’s just not exciting. There’s action but how dangerous can these creatures really be? (Surprisingly they do pretty good at times)

After all in some ways the slice of life parts were better than the apocalyptic adventure which should never happen. I liked Aiko’s best friend even if she never appeared after the opening episode. The scenes of the characters talking and planning were better than when they were running through the endless labyrinth of monster zones. There’s even a blue gel creature that randomly shows up and at least you could wonder what it’s deal was. Meanwhile fighting the sludge monsters didn’t do anything for me.

Overall, A.I.C.O. Incarnation is a good show. While I had a laundry list of issues and weak points for the show, it shows just how strong the ideas and premise was. I saw a lot of potential that was left on the table and that’s what really made the show underwhelming for me. It didn’t look great on a technical level but could have still thrived without it. Unfortunately the writing and plot direction could not compensate enough for this. If you want to watch a Sci-Fi show though then this is a good one to check out because it’s short and it does touch on all those themes I mentioned. At least you can ponder them even if the show has no time for this.

Overall 6/10

Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea Review


At long last, it’s time to dive in to the aquatic romance drama from a while back. This is quite possibly the most dramatic romance that I’ve seen to date. Just about every episode seems to end with a massive cliffhanger like someone confessing or being (literally) swept away before they can do something. It’s a very interesting show so you’ll stay engaged the whole time and ends up being a solid show for that reason. That said, while there are a lot of romances in the show, I can’t say that I could get behind most of them, but the main romance was on point which is what counts right?

The show introduces us to a world very much like ours except for one big difference, a huge chunk of people live underwater. This started ages ago and so there is a divide between those who live underwater and those who live on the surface. They don’t tend to get along very well but at least the kids are allowed to attend school on the surface. They have Ena which effectively lets them breath and interact as normal but they must stay hydrated by swimming or splashing water on themselves every once in a while or they could dry out and die. It certainly makes everyday life a little trickier.

The surface dwellers are all completely normal while the underwater factions get a bit more supernatural too. See, they serve the Sea God and he is represented by a familiar/high priest who accepts their tokens and free meals in exchange for keeping things peaceful. You get the feeling that the surface dwellers wouldn’t buy into that as much. There is a whole world out there but the series mainly sticks to one village. I found myself wondering how the rest of the planet handles the situations and disasters that come into play later on in the series. I guess there wasn’t much time for that but it would have been interesting.

Now lets get to the main story. We follow a group of kids from underwater, Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname and they’ve always been a very close knit group. They would like for things to stay the same always but with their having to go to school on the surface and growing up that seems impossible. They’re all changing and there is no way to turn the clock back now. They can at least do one last big project together which is to create a Lady Ojoshi doll to celebrate the annual Ofunehiki festival. This used to be an annual thing before there became a lot of bad blood between the two factions of humans.

Having kids from the sea and surface work on this together could help to finally heal the divide but it won’t be easy because Hikari isn’t particularly happy about this. He started off on the wrong foot with the surface characters because a guy named Tsumugu is among them and Hikari’s childhood friend Manaka seems to like him. This is where all of the drama starts. The chain of events seems to be: Kaname likes Chisaki who likes Hikari who likes Manaka who likes Tsumugu. With everyone chasing after someone else, that means almost nobody can have a happy ending here.

This is a very character driven show of course so you can expect a whole lot of development for all of the characters here. The romances are a big factor in the show as well so I’ll talk about each one and how they stack up. The cast is at a decent size here as well but fortunately the series is over 20 episodes as 13 probably wouldn’t have been enough to really handle this one. As it is, you feel like the show did a good job of covering a whole lot of ground and even changing things up with a big time skip midway through the series.

The animation is fairly good here. I wouldn’t call it anything super special but as this isn’t an action series they don’t have to worry about big fight scenes or anything. The backgrounds with the water are on point and that’s what counts. The visuals underwater can be good as well and I liked the ice effects. The show could have a bit of fanservice at times but for the most part stays away from that so you could still call this a classier romance story. Falling into that trap would have been bad for the show.

The soundtrack is really good. In this case the second ending particularly jumps out as it plays early for a few of the cliffhangers and works really well. Whenever you hear the song picking up you know that something big is about to happen. It’s suitably emotional and works really well for the show. I’ve listened to it quite a few times and the normal tunes during the episodes are good enough as well. They really serve to enhance the scenes.

Where the show does particularly well is with the drama. The show takes itself really seriously and it works here. Typically I am more of a comedic romance fan if I have to watch something that’s part romance but everything here was dialed up to 11 and it just worked. The show doesn’t do anything halfway and the drama kept me interested so it succeeded. I’d say that’s a credit to the writing as well as to the strong character cast here. You wouldn’t be able to pull off a romantic drama otherwise which is why the genre is so tough to get right. There are some really annoying characters here but that tends to be intentional. The pacing is good as well but now lets go into the characters in more depth.

Lets talk about Hikari first. As the main character he will be getting a ton of screen time here. Initially he is very headstrong and always getting into fights as he lets his jealousy over Manaka get the best of him time and time again. He’s quick to fight and constantly gets into a lot of trouble. It’s hard to root for him at this point in time because he’s just causing so much damage. It’s also the wrong approach to try and win Manaka over as well.

After the time skip he’s a lot more mature and a much improved character. He definitely did good by that point and does his best to keep everyone on track. He really grew into the leadership role out of the main group of friends and by the end I liked him a good amount. Then you have his best friend Kaname who is much more of a quiet figure. He tends to keep his feelings to himself most of the time and just enjoys being part of the gang. Gradually as he sees everyone else making moves he starts to make his.

Unfortunately while Hikari went up as the series went on, Kaname kept on going down. He started out well as the smart member of the group who always had Hikari’s back but then things started to get rough when he would do whatever it took in order to try and win out in the battle of relationships. This would cause him to put Hikari on the spot and try to stir up trouble. He went way too far at different points and there was no going back for that. It’s quite possibly why his ending isn’t quite as bright as some of the others.

Manaka is the fun heroine here who always has a good time and sees the bright side of things. She’s always a fun character and also gets quite a bit of development as the series goes to the end. I don’t think she stuck out as much as the other main characters as her personality is a bit more simple and she doesn’t have as many big character moments to have to fight through. Still, she is always at the center of things so you will see a lot of her.

Chisaki is Manaka’s best friend but of course she likes Hikari so that makes things a bit tricky. Chisaki is always trying to be the very mature member of the group so in a lot of ways she is like Kaname there. That said, the more you bottle stuff up, the tougher it can be and so she makes the situation a lot tougher on herself. She just isn’t able to voice her feelings as easily as Hikari can. Chisaki certainly has her big moments here and of the 4 characters I would say that she gets the most tragic scenes. You feel worse for her than the other 3 in part because you really know that she’s doomed from the start while for the others you figure that they could possibly have a shot at some point.

Tsumugu is the guy from the land who is here to help out and he at least treats the ocean kids well from the start. You can’t say that about a lot of the other kids who were around. He knows a good amount about the ocean children which makes sense as the series goes on. I like that he has a cool head on his shoulders and doesn’t panic a ton the way the other characters do. Tsumugu calculates every move and then tries to find the ideal outcome. He takes this approach to romance as well and this makes for an interesting approach. I liked him well enough. He may have broken up the main dynamic of the main 4 which left them a little sore but he always meant well and he doesn’t tend to make any big mistakes.

Then we have Miuna and she starts out as a girl who causes a lot of little problems for the heroes but after the time skip she becomes a fairly big character. She likes Hikari but of course that’s a problematic crush there and so you can’t root for her and have to hope that she can get over it. Miuna feels doomed from the start due to this and while the whole thing is sad, you just need her to move on. Beyond that plot she was much improved after the time skip to the point where she could now think up plans to help with the festival and do her best to pull her weight.

Her friend Sayu gets a bit less of a role. She starts studying really hard though and does her best to be a bit of a genius. She tends to also be good at being direct with the other characters like Miuna and isn’t quick to get too discouraged or depressed. Her romance may have some of the least development to it but at the end of the day she has spent years on improving herself and putting herself in the best possible position to land her guy. I appreciate the effort into that.

Lord Uroko is an annoying character though and now he’s someone that you won’t be rooting for. He likes to remind everyone that he is just a scale of the sea god so he can’t do much but he rarely helps the heroes out. He tends to feel like a pawn all the way through but one who makes the wrong decisions. Attacking the heroes was already uncalled for with the ice but then helping with the tidal waves? This guy’s a villain if you ask me and I’m glad that Hikari didn’t give the guy a second thought as he went to save Manaka. Sometimes you just have to go out there and save lives even if the cryptic characters claim that it’ll just make things worse. You can’t listen to them.

Akari is a reasonable character for the most part. She was one of the first to rebel from the village since she liked someone from the surface world. I did not approve of the relationship but I agreed with getting out of the village. Those guys could be a little too dicey at times. She did her best to still mend the relationships with everyone in the meantime. Akari ended up being a very memorable supporting character. More so than her husband Itaru. I was less sold on him and he didn’t feel quite as pro active as she was. He was mostly just around but not doing much of anything.

Atsushi doesn’t have much of a role in the story at all except to be someone who likes Miuna but doesn’t seem to stand a chance. As soon as he appears you figure that he’ll get to do something though. I never really liked him much but his role is so small that you won’t really think about him anyway. Now Tomoru was a very annoying character. This guy is the chief of the village and yet he can never be bothered to actually help Hikari out. Worse than that is the fact that he will get in the way. The old traditions are just too important to him and he takes forever to act. He really needed to have Hikari’s back no matter what and helping out earlier could have also solved some of the issues they all faced ahead of time. By not doing that he just put them in an even deeper hole. He has got to be one of the worst characters in the show.

Now lets talk about the final pairings for the show and I’ll tell you which one(s) worked and which did not. This will of course have spoilers to skip the next 7 paragraphs if you haven’t seen the show yet. This is really about romance and drama so if you know all of the final pairing then it’ll probably take away from your enjoyment a bit. So yeah this is your big warning on skipping it because it’s time to dive right in!

First up we have Hikari + Manaka as the first final pair and this one you will probably have guessed. They’re the main two and the show is about all of the obstacles that get in their way. Hikari openly liked her from the start but it always seemed like Manaka liked Tsumugu so things weren’t working out. It turns out that she didn’t like him in that way and just appreciated having him as a good friend. Some scenes may make you think twice about that but at most I suppose you can write it off as her having a very temporary crush on him when they first met. That said, this is easily the strongest romance of the series.

It’s a romance where both of them were the top option for each other and that’s a good thing. There were no rebounds here and Hikari did try real hard for her. He got rejected several times for moving a bit too quickly and I’m all about slowing things down so that wasn’t bad of Manaka. Ultimately I could give this romance a thumbs up because a lot of time passed and so the relationship developed naturally rather than being rushed. It was a good romance all things considered.

Next up is Chisaki + Tsumugu and this one is definitely a lot weaker. Keep in mind that Chisaki has liked Hikari all this time. Tsumugu wasn’t even on her radar until deeper into the series once the time skip happened and Hikari wasn’t a realistic option anymore. Even then she didn’t want to get together with him because she figured that it just wouldn’t be right but by the end she “settled” for him. Second choices never really work and so naturally this one’s going to get the thumbs down. It’s still a rebound even if it’s slightly less so compared to some of the other romances coming up.

After those two is Kaname + Sayu and this is probably the weakest romance. Kaname was desperately after Chisaki and even played dirty with the other characters to knock Hikari out of the running but in the end she just never ended up liking him in that way. He still likes her by the end of the series and only gives Sayu the hope that one day he will like her. On one hand the pairing doesn’t actually happen yet so perhaps it never will but if it does then it wouldn’t work as another rebound. This romance also gets less screen time than most of the others. At the end of the day you felt like Kaname was probably going to lose out and as the show went on that is what happened. Playing dirty never pays.

Then we’ve got Miuna + Atsushi as another romance that takes a nosedive here. Atsushi likes Miuna a lot but the guy barely gets 10 minutes of screen time in the show. Miuna is flat out not interested because she likes Hikari. Glad that ship didn’t work out but Satoru would be a very obvious rebound if it happens. As with the last ship it was only starting to be set up and hadn’t actually gone through so that gives me a little leeway to not give it the full thumbs down yet.

Akari + Itaru is next up and this one is definitely a full thumbs down. Look, Itaru’s wife died fairly recent given how young their daughter Miuna still is and yet he is now going out with the wife’s best friend Akari? It’s easy to see why Miuna was so upset. It’s an unspoken rule that you never go out with friends and so that was a bad idea. It really didn’t make either character look good and while it’s supposed to be a very emotional moment, I wasn’t buying into it. This was a romance that didn’t really need to happen.

Finally we have the Lady Ojoshi and the Sea God. We get to learn more about this one and it just makes the Sea God look really petty and awful. He broke up a perfectly happy couple on a whim and while Ojoshi tried to be happy it was clear that this was not the case. By this point it’s not like you could take things back and so their relationship ends rather tragically. The Sea God then decides to be petty for the rest of his existence and becomes another one of the worst characters here so that’s definitely not a good look for him. In the end the only romance I actually thought was good was the main one with Hikari and Manaka. The rest of the romances lose out but the show is written well so it’s still a fun adventure.

I’ve mentioned quite a bit about how the writing was good for this show and it’s important because as a non action title you’re really counting on the writing and characters to be on point. Without them there is no way the show could have succeeded. It also made some really bold choices like having the big time skip midway through. Part of why that one was interesting was because only some characters aged as the ones in a coma did not. So that really served to change the dynamics up. A few years may not be too crazy and you could make it work in a relationship but at the same time it is still tough because you know that you missed out on several years of your life.

A lot of the show is about The Ofunehiki festival and creating a Lady Ojoshi. To be honest this tends to be the most dull part of the show relatively speaking as you’re more interested in the interactions than the actual play. It is used to great effect though as tragedies always happen around this festival. You can see why a lot of people don’t even want to do it anymore even if the adults handle it in a very petty way. Hikari really has to handle most of it which is a bad look for the grown ups. The time skip was a good way to show how things have changed for a lot of the characters and not as much for others. It’s almost like having two completely different shows rolled into one. Hikari is still stuck in his season 1 mode but everyone else has changed so much. Even the attitude when doing the festival again was very different for the adults and kids who had aged up. There was a lot less petty fighting and everything this time around as people saw the very real danger from last time but also the bonds that came through it. Still would have been interesting to see more of the outside world and I wonder if the threat was as apocalyptic as Lord Uroko made it out to be. Something tells me that he exaggerated a bit. This wasn’t the point of the show but it still made me interested.

Hikari also gets the best hype moments of the series like when he saved Manaka from the sea god’s trap. The shoe is not generally going for hype but it does have its moments. Due to the drama there will also be times during the show where everyone makes a mistake or two. I don’t think there is a single character here that acted perfectly but at least most of them are likable so it’s cool. Some moments may feel like they’re just here for drama but it just works out. Each episode has some kind of big development and that’s key for this kind of show. There is also some humor but for the most part this is a very serious show. A happy one as well as a sad one but you’re just along for the ride. It’s so eventful you may be tempted to say that it isn’t a slice of life but I think that’s still appropriate.

Overall, A Lull in the Sea is a good how. It’s a very emotional tale about romance and characters having to grow up. They all deal with a lot of drama and issues that pop up because no matter how hard they try, they aren’t able to keep the old dynamics the way they once were. It’s just not possible and the show is really about accepting change. While it may sound a little too dramatic on its surface, the show does a good job of keeping you invested. It just dives in 100% to being a super dramatic show and that really works out. I would recommend this if a drama sounds appealing to you. Then you won’t find ones much better than this title.

Overall 7/10

Lost Song Review


The power of song is definitely not something that you would expect to be the ultimate weapon but this show has characters weaponize it which makes for a pretty interesting story. The show is held back a little bit by rather sub par animation and it feels fairly low budget but at the end of the day the story is good enough to keep this as a good anime. It certainly tricked me a bit on how good I thought one character would look though.

The series starts off by introducing us to a girl named Rin who has the Power of Song. Basically her lyrics can turn into tangible power and so her grandfather forbids her from using this technique. Rin doesn’t get why he won’t even explain his reasoning but mostly agrees but one day while in the forest she runs into a guy named Henry who was attacked by a lot of foes and so she uses her songs to heal him. Unfortunately the villains notice this and burn her village to the ground which destroys her grandfather, sister, and everyone living there. She must now get to the capital and achieve her dream of singing in the choir to at least honor their memories.

Meanwhile in the other plot, Princess Finis has the power of song as well. Unfortunately the army is determined to use this ability in order to win their war. Prince Ruto says he will destroy Henry, the man she loves if Finis does not agree to this. So Finis uses her power to destroy opposing forces and heal their allies but each time she sings, a part of her life is drained away. If she doesn’t stop soon then she will die but how can she get around this hostage situation?

I always like having dual main characters so that you can eventually see the two meet up in a climactic moment. That appeal is lessened a bit in this show since it’s not a full action but either way you still want to see them meet up. The show is rather low key for the most part but things change in episode 7 and then the show kicks it up to another level. That moment is so good that it single handily elevates the show and from there we get some time travel shenanigans and alternate timeline routes which is great. It gets complex like Kingdom Hearts with a lot to think about but it works out really well.

As mentioned, one weak point of the show is the animation though. Sometimes it feels like they pretty much ran out of animation and so characters will barely move and the fights leave a lot to be desired. This show doesn’t look very good even if it occasionally has some decent shots. One that looked pretty bad though was one character burning to death but he looks just fine and you would almost think that he was casually tanking it if not for yelling. With the fight scenes being no good as well there just isn’t much to catch your eye.

The soundtrack isn’t all that memorable aside from the Song of Mortality which is really on point. It is fun how characters will just break into song though. It feels like an old Disney cartoon in that sense with how out of the blue it is. You’re definitely not going to see it coming. The first time it happens it will take you by surprise but in a good way. If it was overdone then it wouldn’t be good but I’d say that it works out well enough.

The most annoying character in the show is definitely Prince Ruto. For starters, he’s your classic prince who is using Finis and Henry the whole time but they don’t mess with him because he’s the prince. I always thought that was an annoying plot because they should just take him out. I never like it when the hero just holds back because of their station or because they don’t want to cause an uproar. This guy is actively murdering Finis by forcing her to sing so all bets should be off and you just stop him. Likewise Finis could take him out and then his threats on Henry wouldn’t work anymore.

The show makes Finis and Henry look really bad on this note though. They know that the guy is super evil. He hasn’t been subtle in this with the threats and forcing Henry onto the front lines. Yet, when Corte tells them that they should escape, they look shocked. They’re absolutely flabbergasted when she starts talking about just how corrupt he is. Then later on Prince Ruto summons a bunch of guards and asks Henry to come with him to his tent. Henry suspects absolutely nothing and walks in there without a care in the world. It was one of the most bizarre scenes I’ve watched in a long time. It’s like the writers left a bunch of scenes on the drawing board to explain why he wouldn’t suspect the obvious villain. Something wasn’t right here.

I did like Henry well enough in the show and he was my favorite character until Finis reached in and snatched that title by the end. Henry’s a good guy who is a soldier and is willing to risk his very life to protect his friends. There’s just one problem I have with him aside from being super naive and being an awful tactician. He is really weak. This is what took me by surprise by the way. Henry loses a whole lot in this show. He starts off episode 1 by losing to the enemy fighters but I figured it was a fluke. From there he is easily kidnapped on multiple occasions, loses every fight to the villainous Bazra until someone else has to literally fly him into the guy, and he doesn’t get any solid wins in the show.

The rough part is the show acts as if this guy is a super strong prodigy fighter but we never see that. The show definitely made some questionable decisions and this had to be one of the big ones. Then the supporting cast is a big weak here. We have Doctor Weissen as the quirky scientist character but there’s not much to him. It’s great that he was able to invent some good items but at the end of the day I wouldn’t say that he did much. There are several allies who follow Rin in order to help her but two of them don’t really contribute.

They are Monica and Allu. Monica is a girl who falls asleep whenever she is in danger. Yes that’s her entire gimmick here and it’s not a good one. Then there is Allu who has the amusing gimmick or hitting her legs like a drum whenever she talks but beyond that doesn’t have a whole lot of character. I really think the show could have left these two behind and kept the core hero group a little smaller which would have worked out better.

Finis has one ally in Corte but unfortunately she isn’t a great strategist just like Henry. She figures she can poison Prince Ruto but keep in mind that the guy knows she can’t stand him since she works directly for Finis. So one night an attendant is bringing Prince Ruto a drink and Corte quickly grabs a poisonous one. Okay this is brilliant, switch them out and the attendant will bring Ruto the wrong one right? Wrong! Corte says she wants to bring it herself and that’s where the plan died. Why would Prince Ruto accept a drink from her now of all times? Then she’s not subtle in staring him down to the point where he asks why she is so interested in him drinking this wine. It’s clear that she doesn’t usually act like this and that’s too many mistakes to come back from. She meant well but handled this really badly.

I’d also say that Rin’s grandfather Talgia didn’t handle his side of things very well. He should have just told Rin that if she used her powers then the army would come to kidnap her since they are kidnapping all users of the power of song. That’s it, just give that quick explanation and at least the odds of Rin listening go up dramatically. By acting like he just didn’t like songs and not giving a reason, it made him look completely unreasonable.

Now lets talk about the characters who were a lot more on the solid side. First up is General Bazra who is actually a really solid villain. He also uses Finis in order to attack the other armies but is a lot more strategic about it. He isn’t just randomly being petty and super evil but is doing it strategically in order to win. He has his reservations about her and is always on guard but in general he does well. It helps that I gained respect for his fighting ability every time he beat Henry over and over again. That’s not easy after all but he made it look easy.

Then we have Rin’s friend Goodlight. She’s a travelling singer and can be a little selfish with how she doesn’t want to pay for her room but as the series goes on she is a nice character who helps the heroes out. She is always ready to fight which is a good thing and really comes in clutch. Her fighting abilities may not be enough to get them out of trouble most times but it is a good start and the kids would be in trouble without her.

Rin’s best friend here is Al and he’s not really my kind of character ordinarily but I thought he did a good job of holding it together. When he gets emotional he breaks off from the group so that they won’t notice and while his inventions aren’t very good at the start, he does contribute later on. He definitely had a rough path in the show but did about as good as you could reasonably expect him to without any super powers that he could use.

As for Rin, she’s a decent main character but definitely a lot less interesting than Finis. Rin wants to sing as it was her dream but the dream doesn’t really feel like a big deal compared to most. With her village burning down, you’d almost think that she would be on a quest for revenge or something like that. Maybe it’s for the best that she didn’t go that route but singing still feels like it would be really low on her list of priorities.

Her songs are quite strong though and it is fortunate that she is able to keep on singing without losing her life force the way that most do. Rin gets a lot of big moments as the series goes on. The way her character arc ends isn’t particularly satisfying but at the end she made the hard calls and was a trooper throughout. I just think there should have been more to her character. There’s not much you can say about her beyond the fact that Rin was a good person and that’s more of a statement than a whole personality.

Finally we’re up to Finis and I have a very high opinion on her character. Now she didn’t start out great. At first she is rather clumsy, naïve, and tends to get into trouble. She may be a royal but she doesn’t really know much of what is going on around her. She is super popular and everyone looks up to her but she isn’t really able to leverage this into political power because of her lack of experience.

So at the start it’s annoying because she lets the prince do whatever he wants with her. This all changes in episode 7 and from there on she becomes a great character. I’m now going to get into spoiler territory here so if you haven’t seen the show then you can skip the next 6 paragraphs but it involves timelines and such which is always way too much fun not to talk about. So again this is your last chance and I’ll see you at the ending.

In episode 7 Finis is tricked into murdering Henry via being burned to death. She wasn’t able to react quickly enough to dowse him with water but in part this is also because she ran out of songs. This was the last one that she could use and now she would die. At least…that’s what everyone had said and Finis believed this as well. Desperate times call for desperate measures though and she decides to sing the Song of Mortality. This is a song that will cause doom and devastation and Finis intentionally uses it on a global scale to try and destroy the world. It’s her last big revenge against everyone who has wronged her.

The whole plot of the show changes a bit from this. Finis succeeded in a sense but the song also granted her complete invincibility. Now she has to live through life over and over again and each time it ends she wakes up in a new timeline. Each timeline is similar to the first but different in some ways. In one of them Henry became a scholar for example. But no matter how many times she lives, dies, and repeats she can never be happy. It seems like it just never works out for her. So her plan is to find a timeline similar to the original one but this time she will sing the song while being powered by the choir and can destroy everything absolutely. This can break the chain of immortality and put her at peace.

The plan isn’t foolproof because it’s possible that her immortality just can’t be broken but it’s a plan at least and so I suppose you’ve got to go with that. She has to cling on to some kind of hope at this point because otherwise living out countless lives while never being able to age or die is rough. It doesn’t help that people are corrupt in every timeline and always try to attack her. She also found out that her abilities didn’t have a limit and now she can freely use them to attack others. She puts this to good use in working for the villains as a means to an end.

Therein lies the main twist which is that the timeline we’ve been following was not the original but the latest one which is why there were two of her. The original timeline failed a long time ago, it reminds me of Eden Zero where they do something similar. I do like the idea that for once the original timeline wasn’t the chosen one or anything like that. We’re in a whole new one at this point and in a sense it’s the final one if her plan doesn’t work. Finis makes for a great villain, much better than as a hero. She was a lot of fun to root for as a capable opponent for the heroes.

Realistically if she went all out then they would have been doomed from the jump so don’t expect a real fight. It’s more of a conversation with hope and all. Rin also gets a big role to play but that’s why the ending of the show is no good. It turns out Rin was a song and so she ends up dying at the end to bring Finis back to full power as her role was over. It’s not the ideal ending and you were hoping that she would just come back to life. Instead, she is reborn as a baby where she can now grow up. Of course this means that Al is out of luck since their romance isn’t going to happen now.

This is the only part of the loop that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Rin ended up being the baby in the timeline she came from that wouldn’t have been possible. Song or not, the age of the event wouldn’t have added up. Perhaps there is an essay somewhere to explain it but I definitely thought that was a little on the sketchy side. The show tried a little too hard to make everything interconnected with lots of twists and such there. This time they probably just should have let that one go.

Overall, Lost Song is a fun show. It starts off a bit quiet but the second half is on point. Episode 7 is the turning point of the show and where things get good. The Song of Mortality scene is easily the highlight of the whole anime and you won’t soon forget the music or the animation there. On the whole the show doesn’t look or sound like anything special but they put out all of the stops. The ending may not be very good but it’s also not awful so it’s not going to completely derail the show or anything like that. I’d recommend checking this show out if you want to see a fun music based title. It’s only 12 episodes so it won’t take long.

Overall 7/10

Attack on Titan: Lost Girls Review


It’s time to take a look at the Lost Girls OVA that came out a while back. This one mainly focuses on Annie and Mikasa in side stories outside of the main story. One of them even works well as an AU of sorts that helped with the timeline theories from way back when. It always feels a bit odd to have a Titan story without the Titans really doing much here but it’s a good way to get some character development in and I can’t say that I really miss the titans must at all.

The first story focuses on Annie and it’s a two part adventure. Basically it’s almost time for her to pull off her plan of betraying the Survey Corps and kidnapping Eren but she needs an alibi and so she asks her roommate to cover for her as she takes a day off. The roommate says sure…as long as Annie does her a favor first. In this case it’s following up on a missing persons report that the girl just left hanging. The Military Police have a rather bad reputation of being extremely corrupt and not doing anything about it so Annie’s expected to just do the bare minimum but she has some free time so why not right? She is at a disadvantage though since the events happened a few days ago but she will give this her best effort.

So this is a detective story through and through. We get to see Annie checking around the city for any trace of Carly (The girl who vanished) and asking around. Most people would be far too scared to do anything like this because the city is so shady that you could die at any corner but when you’re a living titan with regen that makes things a little easier. Annie also knows a lot of hand to hand combat and takes out anyone who messes with her. The thugs of this town will certainly know not to mess with her next time. She uncovers the clues rather quickly and then has to decide how to handle this.

It’s not as simple as just solving the case since she can’t be tied up with any extra details when her mission is the next day. Additionally this isn’t just someone getting lost. It becomes clear that Carly disappeared deliberately so that also complicates things. Annie is quite efficient at solving the case though to the point where I thought this was only a single episode before checking and seeing that it was two. The mystery was handled well though so this was a good pair of episodes.

There were a good amount of twists and the writing was on point so it kept your attention the whole time. The animation looked good and the soundtrack was on point as well so definitely no issues there. Carly’s father was also a good character. I liked how perceptive he was. He wasn’t just some NPC to be tricked or discarded. Instead he had some good insight of his own and made sure that he wasn’t just being led around the whole time.

Meanwhile Carly does well for herself too. I wouldn’t say she is quite the strategic mastermind that the father is, but she was clearly able to strategize enough to pull off this whole plan so that’s impressive enough in itself. Then Annie did good in actually solving the whole case. In the end it’s one of those case where all of the characters are being rather corrupt and acting like criminals but I would expect no less from the world of Attack on Titan. After all, even the investigator herself was a titan traitor so that’s just how the ball bounces.

The only part of the special that may make you think twice is when Annie transforms for an instant near the end. No way the people of the town wouldn’t have seen that with such a large/bright flash of thunder. As a side story you want to make sure you don’t mess with the main timeline and I feel like this definitely does. The odds of nobody else seeing that is slim to none. You’re definitely going to notice that and so they probably should have had Annie win this without transforming. Sure, I bet they wanted to have her use the power at least once but it is a potential issue there.

The final story is about Mikasa and this one gets really trippy the whole time. You get lots of flashbacks, flash forwards, this is partially an AU and so everything is odd. There are random flashes of different times that Mikasa will get. Now this is fun for theory crafting and foreshadowing for sure but you definitely need to be ready for it. I was having a good time with it all the way through though. The actual main plot though is that Eren is coming up with a Hot Air Balloon so that he can finally escape this city and see the rest of the world. Mikasa desperately wants to go too so that she can always be by Eren’s side but a clown stands in her way. If she doesn’t get by him quickly then it’ll be too late.

This clown guy is definitely a rather odd figure. So his goal is to make Mikasa murder him and he figures he’ll prove that he can use his magic to corrupt anyone. Mikasa is just a little girl at the moment after all so this should be seemingly impossible. The anime uses a lot of fun effects to make this guy appear as deranged as possible and it definitely gets rather spooky. More props to the animation with this and the whole thing is framed very dramatically. It’s an effective way to use a short bit of time and make it intense.

Then by the ending we see more of how this is an AU although the balloon was a good first guess on that. It’s a solid special that may not be as important as the Annie one since the things there actually happened but it’s an interesting look on how things could have gone over here. Eren is just as ambitious and single minded as ever so the guy is always in danger no matter what timeline it is. The idea that the characters can see other timelines while they’re dreaming or asleep was always a good one. It’s nostalgic thinking of all the Attack on Titan theories from back in the day.

The animation for both specials is good as I mentioned earlier and the soundtrack is on point too. It’s a nice complementary piece for any fan of the series and I’d be cool with more OVAs for smaller adventures like this. You could probably have a lot of fun with it while keeping the Titans out although the series doesn’t have the most interesting cast so you probably would want to keep it to these characters and Eren. Not sure there are more than 3-4 other characters who could hold their own episode like this.

Doing more mysteries is probably the easiest way to generate more stories unless you want to do more AU type stories. The reason being, it’s not out of the question for the survey corps and military police members to have some down time between missions. There are quite a few empty gaps in time during the series and with the sheer amount of crime and craziness going on in the city, it would be believable that they were short staffed enough to add the characters in. You probably would want to keep it to short one shot adventures though instead of going for the big conspiracy mystery ongoing though because otherwise then you start to make things a little tricky. Having Carly’s father return would be fun as well.

Overall, Lost Girls is a good OVA. The title may not make sense in a literal sense but maybe what they’re going for here is how both of them have lost their purpose at the moment. Annie is being a traitor but doesn’t really know why so in the meantime she’s solving a mystery case. Meanwhile Mikasa is lost in a whole other timeline but rolls with it in order to save the day. At least that would be my interpretation of the title. There may not be much action here but the OVA is still interesting so I’d recommend giving it a shot. I think you’ll have a good time watching it.

Overall 6/10

Revisions Review


Revisions should remind you a lot of Attack on Titan in several ways. The main character is big into revenge and the world is quite apocalyptic so it’s got those vibes right from the jump. A whole lot happens in the show and it’s got a satisfying ending so this makes for an impactful 12 episodes. There’s a whole lot left to look at for future seasons so hopefully we get a sequel at some point.

The show starts by introducing us to Daisuke who trains hard every day. The reason for this is that he was kidnapped as a child and saved by a mysterious lady named Milo. She told him to train because one day he would have to save everyone from an impending disaster. Many years have passed though and everyone thinks that Daisuke is crazy. Even his friends don’t have his back and prefer not to even think about that incident which disturbs Daisuke. It’s like they’re just trying to forget everything for some reason. Still, the prophecy comes true when the city is suddenly transported into a desolate future where monsters have invaded. Milo appears again and gives Daisuke a mech suit which he can use to fight the invaders off. Finally all of his training has paid off but Daisuke almost seems happy about this which concerns his friends. Their friendship will be tested as humanity tries to survive this crazy situation.

Right off the bat this is a great premise. For once it’s not just one character who has been isekai’d but the entire city. So you’ve got a bunch of people all trying to adapt to this crazy situation in the future going up against monsters and the like. It also gives us a rare opportunity to se the government’s reaction to this. Naturally some of them crack under the pressure immediately while others stay the course and do what they can to help. It’s a nice dynamic that we don’t see too often. Additionally there’s an alien race that is here claiming they can help but it all could be a trap. So there is a lot going on in every episode.

This show starts off strong right out of the gate with a very powerful first episode. While the show is usually not all that violent, it does go all out in the first episode as the monster shreds everyone to pieces. We get to see which characters are brave like Daisuke and which ones end up cracking like the teacher but more on her later on. I thought the show did a good job of not dwelling on the violence too much while still emphasizing the danger here. Daisuke was also a great character right out of the jump and the mystery about what Milo said at the beginning was also very interesting. I do think that the show doesn’t capitalize on every plot that it throws out there like one involving memories that I thought was going to be a big deal but it covers a lot in 12 episodes. I actually thought this was going to have to run for 24 for a minute there but they do tie just about everything up.

This is an example of higher quality CGI as well. It’s still CG so I won’t say that it’s perfect but we have some solid action scenes here and the character models are good. There are a lot of great still shots that really stand out as well. The soundtrack is also good. I wouldn’t call it great, but I liked a tune or two in there and the opening is definitely catchy. On a technical level the show doesn’t falter and since the story is already good that’s a double winner right there. The pacing is really good and the story is on point so there’s a lot to like here.

The show doesn’t have any real big negatives either. The cast is strong and there’s never a dull moment in the series. There isn’t much fanservice at all and the violence is manageable. This has to be one of the rare apocalyptic shows that doesn’t feel it has to shove numerous character deaths in your face every episode and have everything be grim dark. There are some intense scenes like someone being destroyed in their suit, a few characters get blown up and squashed but it’s usually not as graphic as you would expect. Things are dire for the heroes but they still keep their hope up all the time. Some characters can be annoying and others are traitors but at the end of the day part of the theme is about humanity relying on each other and strong community spirit which works out well.

As I mentioned earlier, I liked Daisuke a lot as the main character. People called him crazy and gave him a hard time but he didn’t let that stop him. He still trained each and every day and never lost sight of his goal. I really like that kind of dedication in a main character. It’s certainly not easy and yet he was still able to pull it off. I doubt very many characters would have that level of conviction. While the characters get worried about him, I do think that Daisuke had his head on straight the whole time. Of course he is excited to be saving lives and using his abilities but I never thought this turned into anything twisted or that he lost sight of the overall goal. Everyone was just really hard on him the whole time and I thought it was a bit much.

He even gets locked up at one point after saving people. A lot of times the characters really don’t appreciate the hero until after the fact, that’s for sure. Then you have Milo who has a big role here. So we get into a little time travel with her and it’s time for me to explain more of the plot. So with the city trapped in the future, the way to go back is to destroy the main core device at the villain’s base. The Revsions (villains) seem to have the tech to voluntarily bring people through but don’t want to. They claim that Milo’s group, the AHRV are the real villains here and want to keep humanity trapped in the future for their own gain. So they will bring some selective people back to the past and this is part of what gets the local government into a civil war. Some believe the revisions and others do not.

It gets a bit deeper from there but you’ve got the basic structure now. Milo is sent on different missions across the timestream in order to ensure humanity’s survival and that is what led her to the past to save Daisuke and the other kids. That past hasn’t happened yet for her though as she doesn’t jump until the future so she doesn’t know Daisuke and friends. It makes for an interesting dynamic where they are just complete strangers to her. Milo is a solid character for most of the show though. She’s a good ally and someone who can actually fight.

She tries to play nice with the government and just be helpful as needed but sometimes this does put her in a tough spot when they get corrupt. On the whole I was on her side a lot until the end where she really started to fall flat. My big issue with her is that she goes way too far in following orders. I figured she would have her big moment where she just tells off the group and does the heroic thing but it doesn’t happen. In fact, she was seemingly about to follow their last order which would have made her a huge villain.

That was disappointing and it did do a lot of lasting damage to her character. It’s difficult to recover from this and so by the end she became a bad character. She cracked under pressure is what it boils down to. She was someone that I thought all of the characters could trust and in the end that was not the case. I like my characters to be independent and break the rules when they have to. Someone who mindlessly obeys all orders will always falter when it counts.

Of course she still isn’t close to being one of the worst characters. For starts you have Yumiko who is a teacher that can’t handle the pressure at all and goes as far as to lock a bunch of students on the roof so that they can get eaten by one of the Revision monsters. Gee that’s real helpful…it would have been bad enough if she just ran off but locking them up there was awful. Then there’s also a brief moment where she seems to be making a pass at Daisuke who is one of her students just so that he can protect her. As the protector of humanity he would have saved her anyway but that was a really bad moment on her part.

We can’t forget about Mr. Muta either. He’s the mayor and the guy is the biggest coward in the series. He agrees to all demands by the Revisions without complaint and doesn’t seem to care about how obviously shady they are. From his perspective, as long as he lives he doesn’t care how many people they murder. It’s a shame that he had to be the leader since he gets the humans into a whole lot of trouble on multiple occasions. Things would have gone quite a bit smoother if he wasn’t involved that’s for sure.

So lets talk about the good government figures here. First up you have Izumi who is a very loyal cop who works for Ryohei and does a good job of watching over the kids. It’s a really dangerous task since she has no mech suit and any of the Revisions could destroy her in an instant. Unlike certain other characters Izumi doesn’t crack under this pressure though. Instead she continues to fight hard and does well within her role.

Another solid character is Ryohei and he’s the guy who really takes charge while everyone else is in a panic. He gets some good plans and actually listens to the other characters as a good leader should. Muta gives him a lot of issues throughout but once Ryohei is really on top then he does a good job of gripping the reins. He’s also one of the few characters who will give Daisuke the time of day. Ultimately he won’t always have the kid’s back but at least he tries from time to time.

As for the other kids, most of the time they tended to annoy me. First up is Gai who seems incredibly jealous of Daisuke for the most part. He really dislikes how Daisuke is always talking about being a hero and saving the day. Gai even tells Daisuke off after the lead saved his sister from almost being hit by a bike. Sure Daisuke may have been a little over the top but the fact that he is trying to protect everyone should really resonate as a positive thing for Gai. I don’t get why he is so upset the whole time. Tensions run even higher when Gai is chosen as the official leader of the mech unit over Daisuke.

Gai gets even more unreasonable from this point on to the point where he asks for Daisuke to be kept off the team for the final mission. He’d rather that the guy rots in jail even if it means they have one less mech suit to fight off an entire Revisions army. Gai lets his personal feelings cut through way too often. He has his share of hero moments but ultimately he’s a really annoying character that is hard to root for. I never thought he was a good choice as leader and most of the fights between the characters are directly his fault.

Lu is much more reasonable and one of the few characters who would stick up for Daisuke at times. She is careful not to rock the boat too much though and tends to not get involved in the discussions too often. By the end all of the kids have mech suits so she is able to help out in the fights too. I thought she did a good job and was one of the nicer characters, I don’t blame her for not speaking out more too. It would be tough to do when everyone is against Daisuke.

I was not really a fan of Marin though. She’s the classic shy character of the group and has a hard time voicing her feelings. She wants things to stay the same as they used to be with everyone being friends but that really has not worked out for her at all. The group is just drifting apart and there doesn’t seem to really be a way around that. She has her spotlight moments in the show but on the whole I wasn’t impressed.

Daisuke’s final friend is Keisaku and boy does he go through a lot. The guy got sent to the future along with his mother so that’s a massive red flag right off the bat. Parental figures tend to have a rough time in these things. Daisuke has his uncle warp with him too but the mother angle will naturally be a whole lot more personal. Keisaku is fairly quiet and also just follows Daisuke’s lead but that means he also bottles things up a lot and is under a lot of stress.

He goes to great lengths to try and find his mother when she is taken and of course most of the characters say this is reckless but Daisuke is eager to help. Again, Daisuke is leagues above the rest of the characters. So I’m with Keisaku on this because with Revision monsters running around there is no time for a slow and steady approach. She needs him as soon as possible after all. Even if he enters a fight that’s a little bigger than him, he doesn’t go down without swinging and doing damage of his own. He did his best to surpass his limits and cause as much damage as possible which I appreciated. He was a very solid character throughout.

Chiharu is the first main Revisions member to get a role. She tries to smooth out the negotiations with the humans and even takes a humanoid form in order to chat with them. That said, I’m not sure that her plan was very well thought out. Her current form at least has some superhuman abilities to it but ultimately she wants to switch to a fully mortal body. I guess everyone wants what they can’t have but it’s a downgrade and puts her in immediate danger. The way things work out for her certainly wasn’t great and in general I would say that the villains in this show were on the weaker side.

The next villain from the big 3 is Mukyu and she has the form of a little girl. She likes beating up on Nicholas while he’s in the teddy form but is more of a follower than a leader. Chiharu makes all of the tough calls and Mukyu just roots for her from the sideline. She doesn’t see the writing on the wall until it’s too late either. The only villain who really looked impressive was Nicholas, but perhaps too impressive. He has advanced gravity powers that can even render a mech suit helpless.

He seems like the most powerful members of the villains by far to the point where the heroes have no shot. I think the show should have absolutely toned that down a bit. It then goes even farther when he has powers that are basically cosmic in nature. Revisions may not be a realistic show but the power levels were very grounded throughout so this sort of broke the logic of the universe. There was just no way the heroes could realistically take this guy down and so the climax does get a bit iffy on the power levels. I would say that the writers got themselves into a hole here. He did make for a good villain though.

There is also a mysterious creature/robot hybrid that shows up once or twice and is pretty cool. This fighter is incredibly powerful and really gives the heroes more than they can handle when he appears. I liked his savage fighting style and for a while there I figured he wouldn’t even be able to get this plot wrapped up before the season ended. The show pulled it off though. This is perhaps another area where the villain was a little too strong but it did make for some good fights. Maybe the show should have just boosted up the heroes a bit to even things out. That would have solved the power level issues and also been cool visually.

I did mention there was one plot which didn’t seem to be resolved though and that involves their memories. So when Daisuke remembers the past and is always talking about being a hero, the rest of the characters aren’t so sure. So then they try to recall the past but all of them remember Milo saying completely different things. In one flashback she says to trust the others, in another she says not to trust anyone, in Daisuke’s she says to be a hero, etc. Nobody can agree on what she said and it’s like she talked to everyone at the same time with different conversations. I thought this was going to delve into multiple timelines or something but it’s never acknowledged or brought up again.

That means we’re probably supposed to just take it as the characters not remembering properly due to stress or something but it’s a bit hard for me to swallow. I wonder if the writers just forgot about this. In general the time travel is a key part of the show so you’d think it would be top of mind but at the same time there isn’t too much depth into the mechanics. Basically the patrol agents go into the past which directly effects the future but seems to not actually create a new timeline. It’s an interesting mix of sorts and I’d like the series to have explained how it works a bit more in depth here.

Agents of AHRV can apparently see multiple timelines at once due to their quantum brains which is another concept that isn’t really explored much. I can’t say that the time rules here make a lot of sense but it does give the writers a lot of freedom to do whatever they want. This is especially crucial in the climax of the show when one character is messing around with multiple points of time at once. It’s a pretty interesting group of scenes for sure and I like the Sci-Fi concepts that mess with your head a bit. I’m sure if needed you could make it all work out with a long thesis and with more time I’d like to do that, but either way it’s an enjoyable scene. Again it stacks the deck too much against the heroes but lets not dwell on that.

The series leaves room for a sequel with how it ends and that’s always a good thing. It would be interesting to see how this all plays out because none of the groups seem all that trustworthy. AHRV is clearly one of those really shady groups that believes any sacrifice is worth it if it will save humanity. The issue is that they have absolutely no scruples as a result and will do whatever they feel is necessary. Probably not the most trustworthy group to have your back right? Of course they’re still better than the Revisions who are basically using sacrifices to power their human bodies.

If they do a sequel, I could see Milo being the only returning character. Have her assist a different timeline with a new temporal problem and that could be the format for the series as it goes on. I think that could be a good focus but it’ll be tough to have a main character as good as Daisuke was. It’s hard to have lightning strike twice like that. As for the villains, we’ll see if they try to go for a bit of gray again. At the end of the day the Revisions were basically victims of how things turned out. They just ended up taking thing way too far in their attempt at revenge and equalizing things. I don’t blame them for not trusting the heroes since the humans are often super corrupt and all but they’re no better with how they sacrifice people all the time. I think the Revisions as a concept were interesting and how they became Revisions but it never went to the point where I found them to be too sympathetic.

There is even the twist about the Revisions monsters which as I mentioned you will see coming right from the jump, but it doesn’t land nearly as hard as this twist in other titles because we’re not given as much reason to doubt if destroying them is still the right thing to do. Based on how it is presented here, you still need to take them out at the end of the day so it doesn’t really change anything as far as the objectives go. I assume in a sequel the whole concept of them would be gone though. Only way I could see them returning is if it turns out that the future didn’t actually change yet and a big plague is still coming. Then the heroes have to try and change the future again and I guess the theme would be that the future is impossible to change and they have to try and beat it somehow.


Overall, Revisions is a great show and I would recommend it. It does a good job of showing characters under stress and bringing some fresh perspectives into the apocalyptic future. You will probably see some of the twists coming while others you will not and it’s just a really solid sci-fi show. It’s got a nice blend of action and fun sci-fi concepts to play around with so you can enjoy it as a fan of many different genres.

Overall 8/10

ID-0 Review


Now this is an anime that I had never heard of before. It’s a Sci-fi title with a fairly original premise and it’s very unique. You couldn’t say that this one was emulating any other anime on the block. That said, while being original is good and all, I can see why this one didn’t ultimately get a second season. It starts off very slow and while it builds up by the end, it’s a little too late for this one to have really hit it big. I liked it well enough, but it does have its share of issues.

The show starts off by explaining that we are in the distant future and now one of the big ways to get rich is to farm the material known as Orichalt. It’s sort of like the great gold rush has returned, only now everyone is working on getting this material. You’ve got the government who is going after this as well as local pirates and such. In order to extract this material from deep space, people can put their soul inside of an I-Robot and control it virtually. It’s very safe since if the robot dies you just get booted back to your body at least. That’s true for most characters at least.

The main character here is Maya and she is still a student but has big aspirations for the future. Unfortunately there is a hitch to this plan as she has a run in with local pirates and is now framed for working with them to steal the Orichalt. Until she clears her name she will have to work with this group but gradually sees that they really aren’t bad people. Why was she even framed in the first place? She will have to work through these answers while also getting to know her new friends who are actually permanent I-Machines meaning that their bodies are long gone. This means that if they die, there is no coming back from that.

So lets tackle what I would consider to be the weak points of the show first. One is the main thing you may have guessed from the poster and that is that the animation isn’t very good. This is a CGI show and one that is very rough around the edges. While I’m not the biggest supporter of CGI, I can say that there are high end shows, medium, and lower tier. This one would be in the fairly low side as it’s all just very janky and at times the movement is off. Not to say there are no cuts here as the show does turn it up for the climax but for around 9-10 episodes it just doesn’t feel very natural.

A visual issue isn’t one that would hurt the series all that much on a score level though. While it may prevent it from taking the next stage, it wouldn’t make it a 4 or anything like that though. Animation is more like the frosting on top of the foundation so if your foundation is good then you’ll be okay. The other weak part I’d say is the story which is a bit more serious. It feels like the show is a bit more aimless for the first half and things don’t kick off for a while.

It’s hard to really care about the hunt for Orichalt. There is some tension between the government and the main pirates group regarding the hunt and how the government monopolizes this. The pirates basically hunt for it because they need the funds and there aren’t many other options. They also do like the thrill of the hunt as well. The show doesn’t pause on the ethics of this too much as it’s fairly direct. Think of these guys like the Strawhat Pirates. They’re on the wrong side of the law but at least they don’t hurt anybody and so it’s still easy to root for them. We’re not really given much of a downside to the pirates going hunting with how much Orichalt there seems to be everywhere.

The characters are fairly dry though and so you need something from the story to really get the cast going. Once the climax does start, then things get more interesting. We actually get a fairly deep dive into personas, the soul, and how it all intersects. One character has amnesia for example and part of the show is about finding out more about his past and the inevitable dilemma of what he’ll do if his personality was different back then. We’ll get into that more later but the show does get really interesting by the end, I just wish it did that a bit sooner.

The soundtrack is also virtually nonexistent for the most part. I wouldn’t say I remember any tunes and the theme song wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t catchy and there wasn’t a whole lot of animation in it. So the show just feels low budget on all fronts and that spills into the experience a bit. Now lets talk about the characters. Maya is the main heroine here and she’s a nice enough person. There isn’t much to her beyond this and she goes through a fairly standard character arc of not trusting these pirates until she finally sees what nice people they are. By the end she is ready to take more risks and is more confident in her navigational skills.

Ultimately there isn’t a ton for her to do beyond that especially as Ido seems to be just as good as her in this area. Often times he will come up with a plan and just ask her to confirm it or vice versa. It helps the group be doubly sure about everything but for the most part she doesn’t change much of what would have happened without her. She is here to give them a bit of an emotional push though as it can be easy to think of everything scientifically after being a robot for so long. Maya is still more on the emotional side. It’s annoying when she gets held hostage but in the end she’s okay, there’s just not much to her.

Ido is the best character though and does his best to hold up the show. So he has lost his memory which is why he calls himself Ido. (Get it? ID 0? As in his Identification is zero because he doesn’t know who he is) Ido doesn’t exist on any record and he doesn’t have an ID code like every other ID machine. He wants to find the truth to his past but without any hint at all it seems like a lost cause and so he’s really thrown himself into his work, almost to a dangerous degree. He takes a lot of risks because he just doesn’t think it matters all that much.

This all changes when a little girl named Alice appears and then we start to slowly get more info on the plot. I’ll touch on that second half a bit later. Going on with the character introductions, Alice is a little kid so there’s not a whole lot that she can do. She seems to possibly have some kind of powers and at the very least everyone is after her but there’s not a whole lot that she can do about it. Alice is mainly a tool for the plot but barely a character for most of this.

Grayman is the leader of the pirates and is always ready to make the tough calls. He’s a rather stern guy who is nice deep down but is careful not to get too entangled in the emotions from the crew. His role is a bit smaller than you’d expect but he does a good job of leading the troops. Rick is the comic relief member of the group although his backstory is rather tragic. The guy is always joking around and he can go really fast which comes in handy by the climax. It would be nice if he could dial down the flirting a bit though. They really need this guy to focus instead of trying to make moves all the time! Plus as a giant robot who will never have a human body again, it feels like he may be out of luck there. It’s good that he stays optimistic though.

Karla is a character who was good for the most part. She was a reasonable member of the crew who kept everyone grounded and was good at strategy. Unfortunately I lost a ton of respect for her later on. Lets just say that she made a deal which was awful and took huge risks with very limited upside. It leads to Ido’s best scene in the series but it wasn’t something that was going to help her win back any points. She really lost all likability from this point on and got off rather easy. This is not the kind of character that you want to have at your back.

Clair probably gets the smallest role in the group. As Grayman’s daughter she helps to be a mediator when he is arguing with someone. She’s always calm and nice about everything but there just isn’t much of a role for her here. I expect she would have done more in season 2. Amanza joins the crew later on in the show and she was a fun addition. She can fight which is always appreciated and has some good plans. The group would have had a much tougher time without her and she starts to contribute right away.

There’s a character in here called Sam Taylor who only appears for one episode but was a great character. Not only did he nearly outsmart the whole crew but he was talking really tough considering that he is only a human while they’re in giant mech suits. That takes a whole lot of confidence in your own abilities and he pulled this off with ease. On a separate note, the heroes do need to work on keeping their guards up though. They seem to drop their guards immediately when they let people in which is something that Amanza took advantage of as well. This guy just left a big impact and I remember him partially because this was the first really solid moment in the show that made me take notice.

Okay so now I’m going to talk about the meat of the plot from episodes 9-12 so big spoilers will ensue from here on out. Skip to the last paragraph if you haven’t seen the show yet and don’t want to know about this yet. This is when the series got really interesting and ambitious. If you ask me this should have been the focus from the start and that would have been perfect. So Ido used to be a guy named Kain. He was actually a rather extreme scientist back in the day and was willing to do anything to save his daughter Alice. This led into him working with the Orichalt and messing with its very essence which was related to a dark god. So Addams stopped Kain by sealing him away and Kain effectively died but was such a genius that he was able to transfer to an I-Robot but lost his memories.

Then we had Kain mass cloned and one of his clones got big ideas to replace him and assume his identity. It gets more convoluted by then and it’s all very interesting. This is the kind of story I like to see because while it can be tough to follow, it lends itself well to a lot of theory crafting. It’s just interesting to ponder all of the possibilities and the show gives you a lot of ammo for this because there is a ton of dialogue and flashbacks in these episodes.

It’s also interesting how Kain an Addams basically reversed positions after the memory erasure. Now Addams is the extremist while Kain has mellowed out and is trying to find a solution for everybody. I actually thought Addams was a really good villain throughout this. He is absolutely a villain of course but the objectives were sound here and you could absolutely see why he was going with the old plan. The situation was tricky enough where saving everyone seemed impossible so the idea was to guarantee a few rather than risking everyone.

At the end of the show the government has to decide if they trust Ido’s gamble to use the last of the Orichalt to possibly save everyone or everyone will die, or go with Addam’s plan which guarantees survival for a group but will definitely doom the others. Always a tough decision but I tend to go with the group of either everyone lives or everyone dies. It’s an equal playing field and no time for regrets since everyone will be dead anyway.

I haven’t even touched on this yet but with the dark god, basically he needs to reabsorb Alice to be complete and it’s why those dark crystals are constantly chasing her and attacking the heroes. It’s like a living version of Orichalt but interestingly his weakness is to weaponize actual Orichalt and stop him. Of course the ship can only carry so much of it and it’s like shooting money at the guy so that’s not unlimited either. It’s an interesting concept going on here.

Although I wouldn’t say it’s the most visually interesting plot. You can only see the heroes blasting away as pixelated objects for so long. The objects can’t even fight back per say, but touching them is bad and they can crush you with sheer numbers. It’s like fighting a never ending blob of pure matter which is certainly dangerous in space since if you’re caught, that’s it. It just doesn’t make for particularly interesting action scenes.

We do get some real mecha fights near the end though. Addams has his own mech suit of course and Ido is able to have a proper fight there. We also got an excellent scene where Ido was seemingly cornered but then moved with incredible speed and took out quite a few fighters. That was one of the best animated cuts in the show and likewise for the fight with Addams. It felt like they saved up a lot of budget to spend on the end and they delivered there.

The ending is fairly definitive so it’s the kind of show that did not need a sequel anyway although it still would have been pretty fun. I think if they built on the ending well enough then season 2 would have been stronger. You could mostly avoid the slow start because we already know the characters and that way you could jump right into the story. While I didn’t think the cast was very impressive, maybe they would be able to look better in a high stakes environment.

With the whole clones angle, there could always be another one out there so you could use that as a plot thread and of course even if the dark god is gone, you could have other pirate groups that are less friendly show up. Just don’t focus on the actual mining too much, that’s the part that won’t be as interesting even if we do understand that it’s super dangerous. One wrong move and you could die while getting the Orichalt but that would be such an anti climactic way to go out.

Overall, ID-0 is a unique show that just suffers from a very slow start and a fairly low budget. Once we get to the meat of the plot then things get very interesting. As long as you enjoy the discussions and what they’re talking about then you’ll love the climax. If you don’t tend to like all of the sci-fi jargon then you may not enjoy it quite as much but we also have a lot more action so that should help balance things out. I can also finally say that I’ve seen a whole anime about space miners so that’s nice bragging rights. The show is very short either at 12 episodes so I’d still say it’s worth a shot if you’re looking for another sci-fi show. Think of this more like an adventure like Star Trek as opposed to an action and you’ll be going in with the right mindset.

Overall 6/10

Tiger & Bunny: The Rising Review


All right, we’re back in action for another Tiger & Bunny movie adventure! This time it’s a brand new story with updated visuals and everything so it’s already showing some different improvements there. I would say this movie is definitely better than the first one. It’s fairly low key and does suffer from throwing the giant opponent who can’t fight back cliché in the climax but aside from that you can tell that it’s trying this time.

The movie takes place after the show so Tiger’s powers are all but gone at this point since he can only use them for super short amounts of time. He and Bunny are now a part of the second division for heroes so in a way you could call them the B team. It doesn’t earn a lot of money though and Bunny can’t help but feel like they should get back into the A league. The test is coming up soon but things take a spin when corporate gets involved. The companies are all bought out by Mark and he wants to change things up. He’s axing the second league and is now pairing Bunny with a new hero called Golden Ryan. Tiger is left out and he’s starting to wonder if he should retire. First he’ll have to stop a new villain group that is re-enacting tragedies from an old play. Can he do it?

For the main plot, it definitely feels like Tiger has to struggle with confidence issues a lot. In the main show when he was losing his powers that became a big thing and now it is resurfacing with how he’s holding Bunny back. He really needs to get his powers back to 100% or this is probably going to keep on happening with him. He handles things mostly well though and tries to make sure that Bunny is set up at least. Although I think the right move would have been to make more of a scene and convince Bunny to stick to the B league. Call Mark’s bluff and maybe he would have gotten Tiger back to the A team.

As for Bunny, well as always he is the big standout hero here. We see how he spends a lot of his free time helping out the orphans and making sure that they have a lot of stuff. Now that’s high quality hero behavior and he even gets them all tickets to the biggest party of the year. Bunny is all about giving back to the community now and you love to see it. He’s also still the top strategist among the heroes and easily the most powerful. He may never end up being the main character as long as Tiger is here, but you couldn’t ask for anyone better as the #2.

The rest of the heroes don’t get a ton to do for the most part. You have Sky High who is still one of the top heroes and he gets to be in the fights. There isn’t much of a character development arc needed for him though. Same for Dragon Kid but it was nice to see her fight more here. We didn’t get to see her have too many serious battles in the main show. She’s always a loyal ally and a fun fighter to have at the ready.

Blue Rose is still acting like a tsundere a lot but fortunately she always makes the right calls at the right times. I was glad that she wasn’t sidelined for the whole fight with trying to put out Fire Emblem’s flames because that would have been a shame. She still gets less action than the others but does contribute in the big fights. Rock Bison has a bit of a subplot where he isn’t feeling like he sticks out very much. So he starts ripping off other characters’ catch phrases and everything. It’s not a good look and starts to just put more pressure on him.

I feel that this plot still isn’t actually finished yet so we’ll see if the next season picks up on it. I feel bad for the guy but at the same time it is true that he is usually lagging behind the rest and taking a lot of Ls. Then we have Origami Cyclone who wants to be able to fight straight up instead of always going for surprise hits from behind. It was an interesting plot although there wasn’t a lot of time for it. Ultimately he did get to try fighting up close and personal but for the most part the opponents here are just a little too high tier for that to work very easily.

Now onw hero who does get a big role here is Fire Emblem. In the show he was easily the worst character as he was always messing with Rock Bison no matter how much the guy told him to knock it off. It was very in line with a character like Puri Puri Prisoner or even Master Roshi with how he would get physical. So fortunately this film doesn’t have any of that as it decides to tackle his plot on a more serious note. Of course that brings up issues of its own and I can’t say it’s the kind of plot that I’m a fan of.

It’s a bit late in the game to try and save his character. Hopefully if he keeps the development then in the next season things could work out but sometimes it’s just a bit too late. Like I never got around to liking Gajeel even though he’s been a hero for over 10 years now. Sometimes it’s just too late and then it’s all game over. Here Fire Emblem is taken out by the villains for most of the film so he’s indirectly causing another hero to be indisposed the whole time and then when he does return for his big fight…he gets taken out rather quickly. I was at least expecting a big win for him. I can’t say that Fire Emblem really works yet and we need more screen time to see if he has really changed or if he’s just going to be acting the same way when he returns.

Finally we have Golden Ryan who is a new hero who has shown up and gets a good amount of hype here. He has gravity powers which is always super useful in any context. I love gravity powers and consider it to be one of the most high-end elements that you can use. He does look really strong here too and automatically became the second strongest hero after Bunny. He can be rather arrogant and all but I’m liking this guy so far. He add a lot to the dynamic and doesn’t feel like just another guy. Actually enhancing the dynamic and changing things up is absolutely what you want to strive for with a new character.

As for the new corporate guy Mark, well he’s just your classic shady CEO. The guy’s so over the top that you will keep wondering whether he is super evil or just shady. Sometimes the line can be hard to distinguish in these things. The rest of the supporting characters are around as well and it’s always nice just seeing everybody again. The movie does have a huge issue with power levels though.

So you’ve got a few villains here, the 3 main ones and the big mastermind. The movie doesn’t bother to give the main 3 names but it was nice to have a full squad. My problem is that none of them should be all that tough. Take the disc throwing girl. She has to go up against Bunny and Ryan which should be the worst matchup for her. Gravity will negate her discs and Bunny has the speed to catch her no matter how many illusions she has. The film has to actively make Bunny and Ryan look awful for her to last so long.

Then you have a guy with super voice going up against Bison, Cyclone, and Sky High. That’s all this dude has, a super sonic voice and yet he’s crushing them with ease. I’d like to see some team work here or even some common sense like dodging the attack and countering with a quick energy hit from Sky High. It seems to me like this really shouldn’t be asking too much. How are these villains who have never really fought before taking on seasoned veterans?

Finally we have the third guy who is a literal old man with a staff and he is crushing Fire Emblem, Dragon Kid, and Blue Rose. I liked his memory abilities which are kind of OP but in hand to hand he should be getting crushed. It is a running gag that the pro heroes are super weak, what with their having trouble with random bank robbers the whole time. Yes, we get that scene again here as the opener where the entire cast of heroes can’t beat one random punk. It’s extremely embarrassing at this point and shows how low tier the fighters are.

I have to blame a good amount of this on the writing though because it just doesn’t make any sense. At least the final boss has a giant form where he’s huge and everything. It may not make for an interesting battle scene but you can see how he would be putting up a fight. That’s the kind of energy that we should be seeing. While I thought the fights didn’t make a lot of sense, I will at least say that the villain motivations were good. I liked how the film executed the reveal on who the mastermind was and why they’re doing this. I thought the motive was quite sound and that goes a long way for a villain. Same for the other 3 who were working for the leader.

So that part was good. Lunatic even gets to appear for a bit but the role was mainly filler here. He doesn’t actually contribute anything to the story except to appear a bit for the fans. It’s really just a cameo that comes out of nowhere, but I appreciate it all the same. As I said earlier, the animation is also greatly improved here which is good. It’s still not going to hold its own against many of the more mainstream anime titles but at least now I can say that it looks pretty good. The soundtrack is still on the forgettable side though.

Overall, It’s nice to have another movie for the series. Even if the stakes might be a little higher here than in the first film, I would say that it still feels like more of a calm movie. Maybe it’s just because you never feel like they’re all in a lot of danger. It still executes just about everything on a higher level than the first film. It’s also nice that each of the heroes at least got a bit to do here even if it wasn’t much and we got to follow them down their paths. I could see some of these plots continuing in the future as well. So if you’re already in the series then this is a good movie to check out and see the characters. You’ll probably be a bit lost if you jump straight into this one though.

Overall 7/10