9 to 5 Review


You can definitely chalk this up as another film I had never heard of before watching it. 9 to 5’s got a fun setting since it takes place in a classic corporate job where the boss is rather corrupt. It’s a comedy that goes all out and embraces how crazy the story is. Ultimately this works out quite well. While I wouldn’t say it quite stacks up there with the best comedies, it has a lot of fun moments.

The movie starts by introducing us to Judy who is starting her first day at work. She is quite excited although her colleagues are not exactly thrilled at getting a new hire in. After all that is a spot that someone from inside the branch could have taken as a promotion. The person training her will be Violet. Violet’s been at the job for a very long time and is hoping to get the next promotion. She’s not exactly a happy camper but at this job there is little reason to be. Violet is playing nice since she wants the promotion but if she is not picked then there are going to be problems.

Finally you have the third main character Doralee. She is the boss’s secretary and has to put up with a lot of Franklin’s antics. She needs the job so she usually looks the other way and just makes sure Franklin never goes too far. Unfortunately nobody at the workplace likes her since it turns out that Franklin’s been spreading rumors around that they’re in an affair. Finally, the three ladies have had enough. They need to take Franklin down but how should they go about it?

The movie makes sure to paint quite the picture about what a bad boss Franklin is. Think about the worst boss you’ve had and then keep increasing the extremes. He constantly harasses Doralee and always takes credit for other people’s work. He is extremely quick to fire his workers even over something like gossip. The guy is massively obsessed with having power and of course he also steals from the company. Like I said, they go all in with how this guy’s a total villain.

So you’re not exactly going to sympathize with him once the main characters decide to start taking him down. He does make for an entertaining villain minus the Doralee scenes though. The guy is quite determined and does come up with a lot of plans. You certainly can’t say that he’s the type to give up at least. He also does put up a fairly good poker face when dealing with people who don’t know the truth about how he controls the place.

From the 3 main characters my favorite one was definitely Doralee. It’s fair to say that she was the most sympathetic character here. It’s no fun to have everyone exclude you, especially when you have done your best to be quite pleasant. This even includes the other main characters who believe the rumors and don’t make any attempt to get to know her. At least the others always had company so that’s why you feel the most bad for Doralee.

Especially considering that she was still keeping her integrity despite all of the external pressure. Doralee also had a gun which is very handy to have in these things. It certainly came in handy for keeping Franklin at bay. Then we have Judy who in some ways you could say has the largest focus although it’s close between her and Violet. Considering that she has just started at the job and is quite nervous I would say she does really well here. It’s natural that she makes some mistakes but she makes friends quickly and then is able to help out in the adventures.

Finally you have Violet who gives the film a lot of energy. The whole situation really starts to heat up because of her intervention. Grabbing poison from the store is quite the way to go about it even if it was an accident. The labels on both boxes were incredibly similar so you could see how the mistake could happen. Violet does tend to panic a bit more than the other two. She may be the most in control at the office space but outside of that the other two seem to adapt quicker.

There are a flurry of side characters as well even though I wouldn’t say any of them are particularly big. For example you have Franklin’s spy who spends a lot of time in the rest room just to try and gather gossip to give to him. She is absolutely desperate for his approval to a rather crazy degree. You also have Franklin’s wife who appears to be quite dense in this film. She doesn’t notice his incriminating behavior and buys whatever he is selling. Perhaps she will start to pick up on things if we ever got a sequel to this film.

As to the writing in general, I would say it was pretty good. As with all comedies you will have the jokes that land and then the ones that don’t. I would say more land than the ones that don’t so in general you’ve got a pretty good range there. I liked the dream sequence when everyone decides to chase after Franklin with their guns as he runs all over the place.

Then on the flip side I would say the Alice in Wonderland/Snow White one wasn’t quite as entertaining. Finally the Doralee dream was the least amusing in part due to it seeming to drag on a lot. Not to mention I wouldn’t say Franklin was quite as badly off in that one. That said, I think the true intent of that dream was also to show us more of what Doralee has had to put up with the entire time without having to actually put her in those scenes. Her revenge in a way is just flipping the way he had been acting the whole time.

Then you have some of the hospital hysterics which can be amusing but go on a bit long. In general I would say that’s the film’s weakness which is that some of the jokes do tend to overstay their welcome. It’s the difference from being a good comedy to being a great one. There are no negatives nearly serious enough to bring this film down from being a good one though. At the end of the day it properly hits on all of the essentials such as being entertaining, having likable characters, and containing a good ending.

The credits have a bit of an epilogue for each of the characters which is nice. One character very nearly got off a bit too easy but this fixed that right up. In general the ending is quite busy with a lot going on in the right ways. It’s really a satisfying ending for all parties involved.

Overall, 9 to 5 is a solid film. It’s definitely a comedy title that I can really recommend to any fan of the genre. It does a good job introducing all of the main 3 characters and they each even have a tiny supporting cast that appears for their origin of sorts. (In Judy’s case her character appears near the end) Not every scene may land such as the group deciding to smoke some marihuana but then you have the more epic scenes such as the shootout and general office moments like Franklin’s chair not working very well. It ends up being a solid all around mix of fun.

Overall 6/10

A Walk to Remember Review


A Walk to Remember is a film that has a classic Dirty Dancing feel to it where the where the main romance seems like it can’t possibly work out. The characters are from different social circles and have barely even known each other. You can guess a lot of how this will play out from start to finish except for one big twist near the end but unfortunately it’s not a good twist. It ends up hurting the score quite a bit.

The movie starts by introducing us to Landon. He’s in with a bad group of friends who go around pranking other students and making fun of everyone. One day they injure a kid pretty badly so Landon is nearly expelled. In order to stay at school he will have to do a lot of volunteer work including being in a school play. He doesn’t want to do any of this and asks the preacher’s daughter Jamie to tutor him.

Jamie is a rather quiet girl and the nicest person at the school so naturally everyone picks on her a lot. She still agrees to help Landon out even though he doesn’t really have her back at all. He wants to be secret friends to spare his image after all. Will things end up working out between them or is Landon going to go back to his old ways as soon as this is over?

As a main character, it’s difficult to like Landon. The guy goes pretty far into being a jerk so once the payoff happens and he starts to be nicer, it’s just very deep into the film. You still have your share of doubts about him. It’s a classic character arc so of course if we got a sequel he would probably look better there but in the meantime he’s just not likable. He should have left the group of friends a lot sooner as well.

Meanwhile Jamie is a fun character. She does her best to always take the high ground and continue to try her best and ignore everyone’s insults. She gets burned quite a few times with helping Landon but continues to press on. There really isn’t anything bad to say about her as Jamie remains a consistent character from start to finish.

Where the film really messes up is it decides to add some extra drama. I suppose it’s a spoiler to say exactly what happens here, but needless to say the film isn’t going for a particularly happy ending. It’s one of those endings that negates a large part of the overall adventure. The twist really didn’t even need to be in the film. If you skip that and play out the climax straight I dare say that the film would end up being a lot better.

I suppose the twist does differentiate it from other films in the genre but it’s not worth it. The rest is pretty straight forward as Jamie works on redeeming Landon and getting him to appreciate life a bit more. He goes from just taking everything nonchalantly to actually being serious about life. That part of the film will still work quite strongly with or without the twist.

Jamie’s faith is also a key part of the film since she is quite devout in her faith. She counters her father’s arguments against getting close to Landon by using scripture as well. That said, you don’t blame the father for having reservations. He knows Landon fairly well from being a preacher in this town for so long. While of course he won’t rule out the possibility of Landon turning over a new leaf, he naturally wouldn’t want to take a chance with Jamie getting hurt. Worse than the emotional risk would also be if Landon were able to take her away from her belief in God, corrupting her to the more worldly side. Ultimately I would say he was reasonable, it just took him some time to come on board with this.

The rest of the kids at school were all mostly petty. They do their best to try and cause trouble for the two leads by messing with Jamie and trying to hurt her reputation at school. It’s all classic bully stuff and you can tell that it’s not the nicest town to be in. Of course, that’s par for the course with most schools we see in these films so that’s rather normal.

This film is primarily a romance I would say but ultimately that would still be one of the weaker aspects of the movie. It’s just hard to buy into the romance because these two characters don’t really know each other like that. It’s only been a little while since they first met up and you have to also account for the fact that Landon was a jerk for the early scenes. By the time he begins to thaw out we’re already fairly deep into the movie.

A Walk to Remember also pulls out the classic moment of “Don’t fall in love with me” as Jamie tells Landon this but he quickly disregards it. As soon as those words are uttered you know that the friend zone is about to crumble. It’s a shame because you could have had a really good friendship dynamic here that would have worked well. That would probably not have overpowered the ending but it would have been a good move.

Overall, the writing is solid and the pacing is on point. I may be misremembering but I think there was also a good song or two that played at one point. On the whole it’s a good film if you can just get past the ending act. The problem is that the ending is a very important part of any film as it will have a lasting impact that is hard to forget. While it may not always be enough to destroy an experience, it can certainly weaken it. The film drops a few stars for the ending because it’s just a bad one that doesn’t give you that climactic final scene you’re hoping for. It doesn’t end the film on a high note so if we ever get a remake I would definitely say to change that scene. Maybe make it so the miracle referenced in the film isn’t about Landon, but about Jamie instead.

Overall 4/10

Anonymous Noise Review


Anonymous Noise is a title where I started the manga much sooner than the anime, but ended up finishing the show version first. Sometimes it just ends up working out that way. The anime is pretty quick after all. It’s a really solid adaption of the manga to be sure and while it does end really early, there isn’t a big divergent point so the anime could just get a season 2 someday and wrap things up. There’s definitely nothing about the adaption I would give a thumbs down.

The series starts with Nino at her first big day of school. Right away you can tell she probably has some kind of story since she’s wearing a medical mask as if this took place during Covid-19 but of course the show came out way before that. We gradually learn that she had two different origin stories. First she met up with a kid named Momo who she would hang out with. They had a great time singing and such but one day he vanished. Nino got depressed but then she met another boy named Yuzu. Yuzu couldn’t sing because he would vanish if he did but he would write music for her to sing. This went well until he vanished as well.

Cut to many years later where Nino is a teen now. She is still really into music though and decides to join the school’s music band. Surprisingly….Yuzu is the leader of this band. That’s right, they are reunited although he doesn’t seem thrilled about it and won’t even talk to her. Then Nino finds out Momo might be around but he is avoiding her as well. The only constant she has is music and she is going to use her voice to reach everyone. She aims to reach Yuzu as a friend and Momo as something else.

The opening episode has to be one of the strongest premiers I’ve seen in a while. It really does a good job of introducing all of the characters and setting the stage for the plot. The animation was really solid and there was a lot of energy throughout the episode. The colors are used well and the songs are really on point. I dare say it may even be the best episode of the series although the one where the cliffhanger had the characters finally meeting was pretty hype.

A lot of the suspense here is really because initially as the audience we know all of the characters but naturally they don’t know each other. For example, Yuzu and Momo actually become good friends but neither one of them know about the other’s relationship with Nino. You know that eventually they will find out though which is where the suspense comes in. The only question is, how long will it be until they find out?

Also, giving Nino two different origin stories was certainly a bold move. It’s not really something you see all that much. I remember there being one show/movie where the character’s friends all got murdered twice with a few years in between so I guess that counts but it’s super rare. So that was also another pretty interesting thing in the series.

The writing is on point and the character cast is pretty strong for the most part. The animation is also really solid. I like the contrast with all of the colors the whole time. It helps make the show feel even newer the whole time. A lot of effort was clearly put into this for sure. Then you have the soundtrack which is pretty excellent as you would expect from a music based show. The band Nino is a part of specializes in rock songs so you can expect to see a whole lot of that. There isn’t a big variety in songs but the series is only 12 episodes after all so that makes sense. You can only squeeze so many things in.

The opening and ending songs are both really solid as well as the songs they play in the show. So with all of this in its favor the show is basically firing on all cylinders right? There is only one thing that’s not so great and that’s the romance. Granted, I would say the romance is actually better here than in the manga in many respects since it ends sooner so there’s less jumping around. That said, you aren’t really given any good reasons to root for either guy.

First up is Momo. He’s taking on the role of the “mean boy” so get ready for him to constantly give Nino the cold shoulder. Now that might not be bad if he was just ignoring her or something but he openly goes past that with how rude he is. He insults her singing voice in front of everyone, tells her not to talk to him, insults her friends + the band, etc. So he goes out of his way to be as much of a jerk as possible. This never really stops Nino from chasing after him but you feel like it should. There’s just no good reason to root for the guy.

The only redeeming part for him is that he does have a fun supporting character in Kuze. She’s always messing with him and basically forcing him to make the right decisions once in a while. Without her at the ready he probably would be really doomed right about now. If anything I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of her in the series. Her scenes always tended to be a lot of fun.

Then we have Yuzu. So he is definitely the nicer guy even if at first he tries to play it cool as well. It doesn’t last past the first episode though and after that he’s good friends with Nino. The problem of course is that he doesn’t want to be just friends but doesn’t know how to tell her this. He’s always trying to climb out of Momo’s shadow but it’s a pretty tough challenge since the guy is just so talented. Yuzu’s best chance is to beat him in a battle of the bands but since he can’t sing he’ll just have to hope his song can do it. Both of them are primarily song writers after all so that’s where it will hurt the most.

I can’t really get behind the guy though because aside from the fact that he’s not straight forward with his feelings, he tends try and make advances to Nino even when she’s in a vulnerable spot. He’s not above winning as the rebound guy and he even steals a kiss at one point. That definitely doomed him absolutely. While I do like him more than Momo in the manga, if we strictly go by the anime Momo would probably have the edge here. It helps that his character hasn’t done multiple 180s at this point yet.

Naturally not all of the subplots can have a chance to shine just yet. With a limited amount of episodes that mainly meant some of the supporting characters would have to bow out. For example, Miou is one of those characters. To make the romance situation even more complicated, she likes Yuzu and is always dismayed since he only has eyes for Nino. Meanwhile, another member of the band named Haruyoshi likes her. The anime hints at this a bit but there’s never anytime to go into it.

That’s probably for the best since it would have been really rushed if anything happened just yet. He actually tries to confess to Miou at leas once but she assumes its a joke and keeps on going. Haruyoshi wasn’t very confident though so he did say it as if it was a bit of a joke. He’s a fun enough character here. Haruyoshi helps keep the band together and never really panics much.

Miou’s also a solid character as she’s one of the only characters who feels like she has always got Nino’s back. Some of the other characters may waffle around a while but she’s always right there with some good advice. That’s considering that she didn’t even intend to become friends with Nino for quite a while.

Speaking of which I didn’t really talk about Nino herself all that much. From all of the main characters I’ve seen she may be the one with the shortest attention span. Characters will be talking to her and then she’ll suddenly talk about something completely unrelated. Other times she’ll just tune out mid conversation. Fortunately the characters don’t take it as being rude but it’s so extreme that Nino feels quite unique.

When she isn’t having more comedic moments like this, she is quite serious about studying and everything. Even when she loses herself in song, she is able to keep concentrating on the outside such as when she was able to save Yuzu when he dropped his pick. She has a good awareness about her at all times except when it comes to romance of course. She makes for a fun main character.

Kuro is the last member of the band but his subplot never even starts or gets hinted at. That’s fine with me but effectively that means he is an empty character here. Aside from being in the band he doesn’t actually have a role in the story. He seems like a nice guy though and his drumming skills are certainly necessary to make sure the whole group has a good time. Finally you have Yana who is the manager of the band. I like his confidence and he doesn’t back down from a challenge. He gets them good gigs and really earns his keep.

The big climax here is really the battle of the bands which is a fitting way to end the show. All of the plots have a big update here and while nothing ends, it’s the kind of ending where you can easily fill in the gaps yourself. In general as I mentioned the romance wasn’t really my thing but I did find the story to be very engaging. The directing and everything was solid so the show never got boring. It’s a pretty easy title to binge.

As the story goes on you’ll end up seeing why Momo and Yuzu ended up leaving so suddenly. You can judge their actions further from that. Thing is, for me at least it doesn’t excuse their actions anyway. Couldn’t they have apologized, tried to find her, or at least acted friendly at school? A random bully from pre-school made more of an effort to be Nino’s friend than they did. In a way that’s just embarrassing for the two main guys.

At the end of the day, what makes the anime work is that it’s just a fun watch. There’s a lot of good banter between the characters. Nino definitely takes a lot of shots at Yuzu’s height but he never takes it personal which is good. Miou’s probably the most sympathetic character here since you get the feeling that she has absolutely 0 chance with Yuzu from the start since Nino exists. It’s a lot harder to sympathize with Momo/Yuzu since they’ve created a lot of their problems just by how they handle each situation. They would still have some family issues regardless but the situation would have been better for them.

It’s also fun how the band has such a revolving roster depending on the time of day. For example, Nino’s band is technically a secret one which is why they all wear masks. So by day at the school there is the music club which is the full team + Miou. Then at night it’s the team without Miou while she joins Momo’s team. Then by day Momo is writing songs for other groups. Each character is really wearing a lot of hats here. Of course Nino should be a giveaway in either team since she has a tendency to start screaming out the lyrics. The anime handled how this works really well as she effectively yells out all the lyrics. Fortunately since it’s a metal band that doesn’t seem to bother the audience much so they tend to get into it.

It partially ties into why she wears the mask. I didn’t delve into it much but it’s also more of a focus in the manga with how she begins to suffocate/want to scream without it. Basically the mask psychologically helps her not break down while she’s wearing it. It’s similar to how Yuzu believes he can’t sing and Momo can’t even think about writing if he sees Nino. Each character has a lot to deal with which is why the show can also be quite dramatic.

Overall, Anonymous Noise definitely makes for a fun show. If you’re looking for a good slice of life/romance title to watch then this is a good one. The musical scenes definitely help to take the series to the next level. It’s almost like a sports anime in that sense and that’s why the show is at its best when it is focusing on this aspect. The CGI for the shows is quite noticeable to be sure and can’t match the hand drawn parts of course but it’s nothing too bad. You’ll probably be focusing on the music anyway. After watching this one you will be all set to continue on with the manga to see how the story ends.

Overall 7/10

Horimiya


Horimiya’s a story about the popular girl at school becoming friends with the unapproachable quiet guy at school. They end up having a lot in common and hang out in secret. It’s a pretty laidback slice of life so far although I expect it may grow more dramatic as other characters step in. It’s pretty fun and I’ll have a review up for when I finish the series. We’ll see if these characters can resist the outsiders and remain as close friends.

Overall 7/10

Night Must Fall Review


When I saw the remake of this film I remember thinking that the whole thing was definitely quite bad. Still, the original ought to be a little better right since it usually gets a bump for having better writing? Well, that wasn’t quite the case here or at least it wasn’t enough to make a tangible difference. It’s the story itself that’s pretty bad so I suppose there is no saving that.

The movie starts with Mrs. Bramson getting ready to fire her maid Dora. Dora has been getting a little sloppy around the house but pleads for mercy as she tells Mrs. Bramson that she wants to marry a guy called Danny. Bramson meets him and is quickly won over so she hires him as a servant. Danny quickly begins to take over the house though as he and Bramson get quite close. Bramson’s nice Olivia isn’t thrilled about this as she’s pushed further and further out of the picture. The true threat here may be more serious than that though. Olivia suspects that Danny may have murdered a girl who went missing recently.

The characters all make a lot of really questionable decisions throughout the film in order to help Danny get ahead. For starters, Mrs. Bramson falls for his tricks way too quickly. Within minutes he’s got her completely suckered. Based on how tough she was talking at first you would think she would have done better than that right? She is harsh with everyone else but can’t bring herself to stand up to Danny. What’s worse is the fact that by the end she is panicking just for being alone which causes her to lower her guard immediately to the point where she nearly dies of a heart attack.

Dora is another pretty bad character. Danny manages to trick her with ease by continuing to promise that he will marry her but not doing anything about it. You’d think that Dora would pick up on the context clues and several characters even try to put her on the right track but she won’t hear of it. Considering that she’s the main reason why he got the job that makes her a little responsible for everything going on too.

We mustn’t forget Olivia either who is practically an accomplice by the end. She really thinks Danny committed the murder and as the film goes on this becomes plainer and plainer. Surely she will tip off the authorities or get out of there right? Instead she actively disrupts the investigation such as when she took the bag away that probably had the victim’s head in it. Why do that? There’s no good reason for it except that she wanted to help Danny.

Her character is certainly an odd one throughout. At times she tries to talk tough about how she will never like Danny but then she caves rather quickly. She doubts herself a lot and always ends up running back to the mansion. Each time she won’t actually tell Bramson anything. Olivia quickly ended up becoming the worst character in the series. She just wouldn’t stop putting everyone in danger. Her long speech about how the first lady may have been murdered was also rather disturbing. There was something a little off about her all the way through.

Then you have Justin who seems like a nice enough guy but he’ll certainly have a tough time of things with Olivia. Hopefully she should be okay now that the main adventure is over though. Finally we have the main villain Danny who’s just awful the whole way through. He certainly talks fast but I wouldn’t even call him a smooth talker. The guy makes a ton of rookie mistakes. He leaves out details with the cops that they quickly track down later on. He keeps incriminating evidence with him at all times and makes other mistakes like that.

He’s really quite lucky that he hasn’t been caught yet despite how tough he talks the whole time. Danny randomly fainting in the middle of the room was also a scene that showed he wasn’t quite ready for this level of excitement. If not for Olivia constantly covering for him the guy would have been in some pretty steep trouble.

I should mention he’s also not very pleasant to the cat like in one scene where he basically throws her. I wouldn’t even say the writing is all that good here because everything is so convenient in order for Danny to have a chance. Why are all of the characters living in this house so insane? His plan revolves around so many things to work out just perfectly that you really can’t believe it when it all lines up.

The film also drags on as a result. A whole lot of the scenes are just him complimenting Bramson over and over again as she falls for each comment. If you’ve seen one of their scenes then you’ve seen them all. Since Olivia’s not even remotely a good character it’s not like her scenes help to balance things out either. Of course after that you have the maids but they tend to vanish for large parts of the film so you even forget they are there. Dora also looks pretty bad since she also falls for his tricks.

Overall, Night Must Fall is a fairly annoying movie filled with bad characters. The main plot is just so preposterous as each character falls for Danny which lets him continue with his plans. The only good character would be the police officer and even he didn’t exactly do anything big until the end. A film like this will usually live or die on the intrigue of seeing how the heroes manage to solve the clues and figure out that Danny is the crook. The issue is that this never gets started since Olivia finds out very quickly and still chooses to do nothing. When that’s the case…it’s like the film gave up. Danny was even able to psycho analyze Olivia a few times which didn’t help her case.

Overall 2/10

The Earl and the Fairy Review


This is one of those manga titles that I certainly had not heard about before reading. It’s sort of like an old school Sherlock Holmes title only with a lot of supernatural fairies running around. It’s a quick 4 volume read that roughly covers two arcs. There’s always a lot going on and there’s a rather big cast of characters running around although I suppose not all of them get a super big focus or anything like that.

The series starts by introducing us to Lydia. She is a Fairy Doctor. Unfortunately, most people don’t believe in fairies so she has a reputation for being rather crazy. She doesn’t let this bother her though and just continues about her business as usual. Lydia is tricked into getting onto a ship where there are a lot of different factions after her. There’s a gentleman who says he needs her help since a bunch of troublemakers are on the ship and they may even have her father captive. Then you have a guy called Edgar who was getting beaten up but admits he is actually the Legendary Blue Knight, Earl Edgar. Lydia doesn’t know who to trust.

Both of these guys seem extremely suspect and her father never really shows up in time as it is. If she chooses the wrong side she will likely end up dead. Hopefully her fairy abilities will lead her in the right direction. She does have a fairy cat named Nico but unfortunately he isn’t much of a fighter so if the humans attack there isn’t really much that he can do. The first arc is mainly about this quest which is around 2-2.5 volumes. Ultimately she does side with Edgar who goes on to become the main guy of the series.

Then you have the second arc which is a little more low key. The heroes make it to a more formal part of society where a girl is really after Edgar. His flirty nature takes over so Lydia runs off to sulk. Unfortunately she ends up losing in a battle against one of the fairies and gets her soul stolen. Edgar must now find her before it’s too late. Her body can’t live for long without a soul after all so if he is too slow then she will cease to exist. The stakes are naturally quite high here but on more of a personal level.

While the final chapter feels like it has to move quite rapidly there was enough time to tell both stories here. The second one feels a lot smaller but it’s still pretty solid. Edgar finally starts acting a little more like a good guy since even by the end of the first adventure you’ll probably be quite skeptical. Even here I wouldn’t buy into his excuses about needing to be flirty to stay in character. If he likes Lydia then he should stop messing around.

Due to that, I wouldn’t say I ever ended up liking the guy. He can be a bit rough also and was willing to sacrifice Lydia on several occasions. Those aren’t the kind of things you can just look over so you feel like there should be no way they can possibly end up together. Surely she will remember all of that clear as day right?

As you can guess, I didn’t buy into the romance here between Lydia and Edgar. There’s also Ermine who likes Edgar as well but you know from the start that she is absolutely doomed. While Lydia’s skills as a fairy doctor are good, she does make quite a few mistakes when dealing with Edgar. It’s a shame that Nico can’t fight since that would at least even up the odds. Lydia’s a nice character who means well but ends up being completely out of her depth.

The best character would probably be Raven. He’s rather emotionless so he doesn’t always know how to act but he is the best fighter in the series. When needed he can take down as many opponents as required to give Lydia and Edgar safe passage into the next room. He’s a trained assassin from when he was a kid so he’s borderline super-human in the present.

Ermine doesn’t get a huge role but she was a good character as well. Things just never really seem to go her way but from Edgar’s main team she certainly had more compassion than the others right from the start. She actually felt human while the others would focus on just doing the most logical thing at the time.

Then from the second arc you have the main princess who chased after Edgar and was cursing her friend with the fairy. Of course she pulls the whole “I didn’t mean it tho” speech but she was easily the weakest character of the second arc. You can’t just put your friend in mortal danger and then not do anything about it. Even by the end she didn’t want to go and help since it would hurt her reputation. Yeah, you definitely can’t come back from a string of scenes like that. I was surprised that even by the end she wouldn’t do the right thing. If she said it was because she was scared that would be (a tiny bit) better.

As for the art, I’d say it looked pretty good. Edgar and the other guy from the first story do look rather similar but that may have been intentional to make it a little more difficult to determine who Lydia should go with. This is hardly an action series so don’t expect a lot of fights but the action scenes we do get are pretty solid. Whenever a character brings out a gun you can bet that there are going to be a lot of intense panels around that.

The series really flies by since it’s so fast. On one hand that means we don’t really get to finish a lot of the lore and concepts brought up in the series. Don’t expect to really get to any truths behind the Blue Knight lore or meeting up with the King of the Fairies. In general the manga feels more like an introduction to the series which makes sense since there are many more novels than there are manga volumes. In theory I suppose this would help you go to read them next.

I could see this going for a Natsume’s Book of Friends kind of vibe long term once the characters mellow out. Perhaps not quite as laidback as all that but with episodic stories about the fairies and such it could have that kind of vibe. We’ve seen an evil fairy that could fight so next I want to see a heroic one that can flaunt his powers. Giving Nico a huge power up would also be great.

The writing for the series is on point even if none of Edgar’s inner monologues really help me sympathize with the guy. We do learn a lot about his past as well as Raven’s and Ermine’s. The trio definitely didn’t have a great time of it and had to commit a lot of crimes in order to get out of there. It’s part of why they won’t hesitate very much in the present either since they’ve really been hardened at this point.

Overall, The Earl and the Fairy is a good manga. It’s one of those titles where I definitely couldn’t buy into the romance though. As the “mean” guy, Edgar goes a little too far so you just can’t root for him. The art is good though and the base stories are on point. The heroes definitely live in a very corrupt world but fortunately they don’t dwell on it compared to something like Black Butler or things could get dicey. If I were Lydia I would have just gone home after the first arc but hopefully as she goes on more missions she will be able to gain more fairies and maybe even get some power ups along the way. That would definitely help her in future situations like this. If you end up reading the series and liking it then you’ll probably want to try and find an English scanned version of the novels to continue the saga.

Overall 6/10

WIXOSS Diva (A) Live Review


Wixoss has returned although this time we’ve got a completely new cast, rule set and a world that’s so different this may as well be a hard reboot. Whenever a series decides to sort of go back to the drawing board it can be fun to see the new characters even if you end up missing the old ones. Aside from Pokemon, virtually every long running merchandise show has done this like Yugioh, Beyblade, Digimon, Cardfight, Buddyfight, etc. It’s just the way it goes so maybe this is a good sign that Wixoss still has a big future ahead of it. It’s a fun season that is going for more of a slice of life feel than the previous ones. Don’t expect the fate of the world to be in the balance but you can expect a lot of action.

The story picks up by explaining that the game of Wixoss has gotten incredibly big over the years. The top team was known as the Eternal Girls but they faded away into retirement very suddenly. Now the best team in the world is known as Deus Ex Machina and all of the idols strive to match that team. See, the battles are now 3 on 3 and those who fight in the arena as known as Divas. You are expected not only to win but also to put on a good show while you do it. You have to sing, dance, and show the world that you have skills as an idol as well as a player.

Hirana is a girl who really wants to compete with the best of the best but her two partners aren’t really into the game and so they aren’t the most powerful members of the group. Hirana heads to a show to watch some real opponents when she is baited into a fight. Fortunately, the cold hearted Rei happened to be around and Hirana’s good friend Akino who doesn’t like being in the spotlight. This team ends up coming together and winning so they decide to stick through with it.

It won’t be as easy as all of that though because each of these characters bring some baggage along with them. Rei has broken many teams apart because of how cold she appears to be. She wants to win at all costs and doesn’t accept anything less than 100% in every battle. If her teammates don’t live up to this then she leaves. Hirana is sure that Rei is still a good person but the rumors are flying around everywhere.

I will say though that Rei never appears to be nearly as cold as her reputation. Really if you take any scene she is in, you could make the case someone like Sailor Mars or Jupiter may have been colder at times. Rei does have skill though and does seem to be the most talented member of the trio. She’s a fun character and is always willing to try and handle the drama on her own so the rest of the team can relax. She’s selfless and gets the job done.

Then you have Akino and as I mentioned, she does not like the spotlight. You feel bad for her because she did step in to defend Hirana’s honor and overcame her shyness temporarily. It was never expected to be a long running thing though. That was supposed to be one and down, yet Hirana and Rei continue to pressure her to enter again. Ultimately Akino is too nice to turn them down but she probably should have just stayed firm if that really wasn’t her thing.

Especially since you have to dance and sing as well and her auto costume isn’t exactly the most conservative one. You feel like the deck is stacked against her here. From the main 3 she would have to be my least favorite member. I don’t blame her for not wanting to have to go on stage because it isn’t for everyone but I think she should have been more resolute about this. Either you’re in or you’re out.

As for Hirana, she’s definitely a very solid main character. She’s a classic lead who’s all about wanting to win every battle. Her catch phrase is that there are no limits so you always have a chance to win if you put your mind to it. There’s not a whole lot to her beyond that level of determination but it’s enough to build a solid character around. That trait has always been a solid one after all so it would certainly work out in a character.

She is tested after getting wrecked in a lot of battles though. You do have to wonder how much virtual damage you experience in this game. It seems like the games can actually get rather painful which is a little odd but maybe it’s just because it happened so many times in a row. I was pretty skeptical about the climax there to say the least but if it was painful then I can see how it would be traumatic.

Either way Hirana did stay in there for a while though and battled many times so I wouldn’t hold that against her. Her abilities are definitely the real deal and she did well playing in the center position despite not having a whole lot of practice earlier. She also put a lot of time into studying which is important.

Of course they aren’t the only team here so lets look at some of the others. First there is the music team led by Nana. I would say next to Deus Ex Machine this is the best team. They are a well rounded bunch who always put up a good fight and Nana is one of the best supporting characters. She isn’t afraid to throw in some music puns and also has a lot of confidence. She doesn’t give up as easily as most of the other characters and she can duel really well. Her teammates don’t get to do as much but they’re around for support.

Then there is Dr. Tamago’s team. They are all about using data to calculate victory and such. Usually there’s always at least one team for that. They’re a good team but relying on data will always be a rather dangerous way to go about things. You can only learn so much about the heroes without improving the skills of your own group. Her teammates were Big Bang and Koeru. I’ll give Big Bang this, it’s cool that they had an actual A.I. as a sentient partner, it’s a nice twist even if she still doesn’t really get a role.

Next up is one of the more powerful teams and one of the only groups where all 3 members get a big role. This is Mujika’s team and the big deal is that her teammates were Rei’s old group. Mujika gets a lot of hype when she first appears because she’s effectively on the level of the pros. That means that the heroes can’t afford to underestimate her although in a 3 on 3 battle it seems like that’s not something that matters a whole lot anyway. She’s a reasonable fighter though and also helps to stop the drama with the others.

Then you have Madoka who is rather naïve and one of the weaker characters. I won’t go into detail about the falling out with Rei here since it’s a rather big plot point but it goes back to the whole issue where a character just takes someone’s word at face value without even trying to contact the actual person being discussed. It’s like if person C tells A, “Hey, B doesn’t want to be your friend anymore” and you just say “Wow!” Madoka needed to do a lot more ground work here to be honest so a lot of this is on her. She’s not a bad duelist as she actually put up a pretty decent fight against Rei but ultimately she couldn’t quite manage to claim victory there.

The third member is Sanga and she has to be the worst member of the trio. In fact, I would go as far as to say she was the worst character in the series. She’s one of those really petty characters who gets away with a whole lot without any real consequences. The worst part is that Sanga doesn’t regret anything aside from being caught. She doesn’t get as much as a stern talking to here so there was no going back for her. Characters can make mistakes, but her decisions were no accident.

Mikoto’s team are fairly big supporting characters although they aren’t nearly as skilled as a lot of the other teams. They put up a good fight in the opening episode but that’s about it. Mikoto’s all about winning at any cost even if it means breaking the rules and playing dirty. In her mind, whatever you got to do in order to win is what you have to do. Certainly a rather intense mentality on that and one that won’t get her far. She was pretty entertaining though and makes for a very fun villain.

Then you have the big team Deus Ex Machina. The main member naturally has the biggest role here and she’s a fun character. We get the classic plot of her meeting up with Hirana in the real world so they don’t recognize each other only to later fight in the cyber world. It’s definitely a bit of a shock to the lead especially since Deus and the others are much more aggressive on the playing field. The other two members don’t get quite as much to do but the time is rather limited for them.

I wouldn’t mind Deus Ex Machine getting more of a central role going forward. Their team is clearly pretty well focused and they’ve been through a lot to get this far. With their level of skill and ability there is no one on the whole planet (Aside from a possible return of the Eternal Girls) who can even challenge them. Effectively these girls have successfully become world champions which is no small feat. So it was fun to see them. If the virtual damage is really high then the leader may have been excessive when beating Hirana up but if it wasn’t then I think the whole thing was fairly normal despite being portrayed as rather intense. Keep in mind that Hirana has to formally accept each challenge in order for it to continue.

One side character who doesn’t do a lot here but contributes behind the scenes is Azami. She runs the card shop and if you’re any card show beyond Yugioh (Where Yugi’s Grandpa never helped) then you know that she can probably fight. We learn a lot about her and her character arc has a satisfying conclusion. I’ll admit that I was hoping she could have actually fought a bit but I guess that would have to be a season 2 kind of thing. You can probably guess at least part of her story as soon as she appears just because it’s that kind of series. Azami was fun so I’ll expect good things from her.

Pretty much the whole season here is about nonstop tournaments and battles so that was always fun. As soon as one battle ends the next one is usually right around the corner. I’m pretty sure there was a battle in each episode. Now granted, while I would effectively call this a true slice of life, the show tries adding some stakes at the very end. See there is an actual plan beyond just having Deus Ex Machina knock the stuffing out of everyone.

A lot of the Wixoss players are rather soft so just losing once is enough to get them to retire. The “villain” of the show figures that she will get all of the weak players to retire so the game of Wixoss can be pure once more. It’s just too over saturated right now. Here’s the problem….that’s actually not a bad plan. Think about it, there’s nothing evil, illegal, or even morally bankrupt here. She’s not going around insulting the players or bending the rules. Literally the plan is to have the best team welcome all challengers on TV and win within the rules. Their power is just so incredible that a lot of people realize they can’t match up and retire.

There’s nothing problematic here at all. In fact, if you’re going to completely quit a game because you lost once…then you weren’t going to stick around with it either. The villain here is just speeding up the process and it has another positive benefit of giving the Deus team some new challengers since they were clearly bored. The side characters with the right attitude like Nana were also thrilled to have a chance to fight the top team in the world.

So the plan wasn’t nearly as bad as the show would have you believe. For that reason I wouldn’t even consider the “villain” to be evil or even an antagonist. It’s just a nice marketing plan she has that some characters overreact to. I suppose it did give some drama to the final bouts though so that’s always fun. The battles with Deus Ex are undeniably the best part of the season and they stole the show.

In general the show’s just very entertaining so that’ll keep you invested throughout. The main characters have a good dynamic about them. The cast is also at a reasonable size so in the 12 episodes all of the captains get to do something. Their teammates may just be around at times instead of making a name for themselves but it’s all juggled rather well. The writing is on point as well.

The show does manage to squeeze in some fanservice of course so that’s a bit of a downer. It’s nothing too crazy but just the usual tropes of transformation scenes that get recycled in each episode and one beach episode. It’s nothing too crazy but it does all feel rather pointless like the show is going through the motions of adding this because it’s just expected at this point. Akina is the worst example of this since her whole point is that she’s timid and she doesn’t like people staring at her. Why wouldn’t she change her costume? Don’t tell me you can’t change your costume in a futuristic world that is centuries beyond Earth tech. I won’t buy that for a second, it would make 0 sense not to have such a feature. So every episode she has on the same costume is one where you’ll shake your head at that.

At least the animation is solid though. I wouldn’t say it looks quite as good as the original seasons of Wixoss which may be a slight shot since those are older at this point. I don’t know why a newer version wouldn’t look as good but maybe the budget was slashed for this season? It would explain the transition to more of a slice of life setting with less focus on the battles since you don’t need as many solid animation effects there. It also would explain the constant recycled animation in each episode as they transform into their Diva forms.

The soundtrack is really good as well. Part of what helps is that every team has their own signature song so the ost is quite varied. Nana’s team has the best team song but all of the tracks are pretty good. It’s got that classic techno vibe which is always fun to see. Nothing can beat the opening to Wixoss season 4, but the opening and endings here are solid as well.

Much like the earlier seasons this one doesn’t bother explaining the rules much. I still feel like this is a super convenient way for the writers to do whatever they want. You’ll have a character getting blackmailed into not attacking for 8 turns only to suddenly win on the 9th when they can fight back. The rules are so completely lopsided that nothing makes sense. Now that it’s 3 on 3 this only gets more and more noticeable as the characters on the side can level their cards up whenever they want and enter the battle.

The show never makes it clear what each role is or how the battles work. You may as well be watching a game of chance. It’s why I said earlier that the skill levels don’t seem to matter. Whether you’re a pro or it’s your first week of battling it just doesn’t seem to matter at all. That’s one thing the show really needs to work on. The rules need to at least be modestly explained for anyone to take the battles seriously. Otherwise you don’t even need to try and follow along since it doesn’t really matter towards who wins.

Overall, Wixoss Diva is a good follow up to the other series. It does feel like it’s taking the franchise in a very different direction. It’s not trying to be part thriller with showing us the horrors of being a magical girl. This one’s a very up beat slice of life about girls trying to be the top Diva fighters in the world. I expect we may start to ramp up the stakes in a season two but maybe they will actually play it straight. So long as you go into this knowing that it’s not going to be an action title you should have a good time. It’s a well balanced show and tournaments are all the plot you need in these shows. Just seeing the heroes enter battles and win as they rise up the ranks is fun. Now I just hope that if we get a sequel we get to see the Eternal Girls fight this time. Of course the best thing to do would be to bring back some of the older characters into real supporting or even main roles to hype up a crossover.

Overall 7/10

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Rimuru’s Glamorous Life as a Teacher Review


That title’s definitely a mouthful isn’t it? In theory I could have taken out the franchise title since you don’t always need to have that as part of the intro but in this case it did make sense. This one’s a 3 episode special about Rimuru’s days as a teacher. It’s a fun little adventure and works well in this universe where Rimuru already does get to have a lot of down time between battles. You can picture him hanging out at the school for a while to flex and show why he’s a better teacher than the rest. It’s a solid adventure that goes by in a flash.

The special starts with Rimuru slacking off at school as per usual when Jeff shows up. This teacher has always had something against Rimuru. Rimuru doesn’t know if it’s because he’s always slacking off or the guy is just jealous that he transformed the most problematic class into the most powerful one. Either way Jeff lets him know that a big protection test is coming up at the school and as always Rimuru’s class won’t be invited since they don’t have equipment. Rimuru quickly changes that so now his class can in fact enter. The rules are simple, the kids will drive a van/wagon past the mountain plains and into town where they will drop off the teacher unharmed. They will all then participate in a cave challenge fighting monsters.

To keep things fair, the students will be guarding different teachers. So for example Jeff’s students will be guarding Rimuru and his students will be guarding another teacher named Tiss. Your points are based on how quickly you make it to the castle along with how smooth a ride it was. Rimuru’s not particularly concerned since his kids are far more powerful than your average class. They each have spirit animals and basic offensive magic skills at the ready. Still, this trip may be more dangerous than they had expected.

The special does deliver on the action as the kids are inevitably attacked by bandits. They handle them rather well and then even have to fight off an actual demon. They don’t look quite as good in that battle but I don’t think anyone would have been quite prepared to handle this guy. Not only does he have regeneration but he is also very fast and powerful. Such a foe is completely outside the limits of a usual school test. Fortunately we had Diablo show up to clean things up by the end. The guy continues to prove why he is one of the best characters in the series which is why it’s almost a bit funny that he hasn’t technically appeared in the main show yet outside of a cliffhanger, a prequel episode, and now an extra episode.

You can tell he will definitely make a splash when he gets a proper role. There’s also a bit of an epilogue as Rimuru helps cure a fatal illness because he’s just that good. One thing you figure out very quickly while watching the slime adventures is that there isn’t much that Rimuru can’t do. Thanks to Great Sage he is a super genius and he has so many extra abilities that he is also a whiz at combat. This makes him pretty much untouchable to at least 90% of the cast which is no small feat. He’s a fun character and definitely looks good in these episodes.

Then you have the rival Jeff who is fun. I mean, you know he is completely and utterly out of his league in the fight but it doesn’t take away from his being a rather amusing character. It’s always fun seeing these characters give the lead a hard time, particularly when like here it isn’t overdone. He’s not trying to frame Rimuru or do anything drastic, he just throws out a lot of insults.

Then you have the third teacher Tiss. She’s a nice person but you feel like she should be a lot stronger than she is. My main issue is that she looked up to Shizu as a great role model and aspires to be as powerful as her. You would expect that she would have started training then right? Unfortunately she acts like she has never held a sword a day in her life. How does that work out? It just doesn’t make any sense no matter how you slice it. I’m hoping when she next appears she would have gotten a lot stronger.

Meanwhile the kids are good, they continue to defy expectations and actually appear as very solid characters. I would say the weakest of the group is Gale mainly because the guy barely seems to have any character next to the others. Kenya is a blast though and is always ready to charge the enemy. With his sword and design he looks like someone out of Dragon Quest. Then you have Chloe who is also always ready for battle. Her chosen weapon may not be the best one but she makes up for it in hidden talent. Then you have Alice who is quite possibly the most powerful of the kids. She is a little more on the timid side but definitely fights when it counts. Ryota is also a fairly quiet kid so you won’t see him make a name for himself, but he is there ready and willing to help at all times.

While the special is a fairly light hearted endeavor, the action scenes are pretty serious. Kenya actually sliced off one guy’s arm which was unexpected but of course the guy had a potion to regenerate it. I’m glad Kenya had been prepared for this though. The kids put up a brave stand against the demon as well which was nice to see and of course this led to Diablo stealing the show as always. It was a great climax and the perfect way to end the special. If you merge the three parts this works quite well as a mini movie. It’s got a complete plot and while Rimuru doesn’t get to do a whole lot in terms of fighting here, he’ll have plenty of chances in the main series anyway. This one really focuses on why he is known as such a great teacher. He may be rather hands off in his approach but his sheer genius makes up the difference.

The animation is on par with the main show. It’s a very solid display for the character designs and backdrops. I definitely have no complaints with how anything looked. The soundtrack is also taken from the show so this is good as well. It is able to really capture the feeling of just being another pair of episodes which is good. It’s a seamless transition. The pacing is on point so this will also keep your interest all the way through.

Overall, This was a fun trilogy of episodes. I wouldn’t say there is a ton more to discuss since it’s a rather straight forward plot. It’s a quick challenge to see which class is best and we all know that Rimuru’s absolutely destroyed the others no matter what Jeff says. Of course, they all have super powers and spirit boosters so it may not be super fair, but that’s neither here nor there. I’d be cool with Jeff returning in the main series for more of a rivalry with Rimuru from time to time. The kids also still want to visit Rimuru’s village so I assume that is probably going to happen soon. If you want a fun little adventure to see the old characters again this is definitely a good special to check out.

Overall 7/10

A Raisin in the Sun Review


A Raisin in the Sun is a film that decides to bet everything on its writing. The entire film is structured around a few characters having a lot of disagreements with each others. Tensions grow pretty high the whole time. I’ve seen a few other films with this style but they have consistently failed in the past. Usually the issue being that throughout the arguments all of the characters will expose themselves as just being awful people so you can’t root for them anymore. Where this film succeeds is in keeping each character likable no matter how tough things get which is important.

The film starts off by introducing us to Walter. You could argue he is the main character since he is the only character who gets scenes by himself without the other characters. It’s close though since all of the characters get pretty big roles. He wants to open up a liquor store. Right now he is not satisfied with his current job or living conditions where his family is always low on money. Well, his mother is about to receive a check for $10,000 for life insurance from her husband. Walter believes that she should give him the check to put into the store. She isn’t keen on doing this though because she believes opening up a store like that would be luring people over into drinking a lot of wine and becoming alcoholics. Walter’s wife Ruth doesn’t think this is a good idea but Walter puts a lot of pressure on her to be on his side.

Ruth’s sister Beneatha meanwhile just wants to find someone she can marry and also enjoys getting involved in a lot of hobbies even if she ultimately tends to ditch them pretty quickly. One of her goals is to attend medical school which will be expensive so she hopes Lena may help contribute to that. Then you have the Mom Lena who wants to do what’s best for the family but at this point it’s clear that there is no way to make everyone happy. What can she do to ensure the family doesn’t go off on the wrong path?

From the main characters the weakest one would have to be Beneatha. Mainly I’d say the issue here isn’t so much that she wants to try out a lot of hobbies but that she is aware of how broke the family is right now. In light of this, she has to realize that buying so much expensive equipment all the time is a bit of a burden there. She definitely has the biggest personality of the group though as she always makes her thoughts known. Aside from Lena, I would say Beneatha is the most straight forward with everyone as she speaks her mind. That’s a good quality.

In comparison I’d say Walter’s not as good at that. Several times when he’s making his case about the liquor store you feel like he could make a better case for why he wants it. He clearly knows why he needs the store but a lot of the time he isn’t really able to explain why that is. In his head it’s because he has already explained it a ton of times but that should be good practice. He tends to give up more than the other characters and is quicker to compromise on his morals. While you can understand this in large part, I do think his final mistake in the film is pretty inexcusable. Once you’ve made a promise and are given a lot of responsibility you can’t just throw it all away like that. He wasn’t really able to recover after that and he had already been on shaky ground with his reaction to Ruth’s baby.

As for Ruth, she’s a very solid character. She does her best to make ends meet and works as hard as she can. She doesn’t want Lena to have to do everything for them so Ruth tries to be as pro active as possible. She’s patient with Walter as well and may have the biggest workload here. She’s also able to talk civilly with everyone and doesn’t get drunk so she stays mature throughout. The best character though is Lena. She is always ready to offer the correct advice and has always lived her life in a way where she can keep her head high with dignity.

Lena probably has a lot of the more emotional scenes here as she watches her household effective start to get torn down with the decisions they are making. She was clearly disappointed on many occasions. The film does end on a high note after all of the trials at least but it was definitely a tough road for all of them. The movie did a good job of adding a new obstacle to the family every time they would get past one. It’s good because it also keeps the conversations fresh and there is also some pretty good set up here.

For example, from the start we know that Walter wants the money but the check doesn’t actually arrive for a while. Even after that you have to wait until Walter arrives for the big confrontation. So the plot is pretty dynamic and the story is constantly adapting for the new challenges. You could easily make a sequel for their experiences in the next home but at the same time without one you can at least hope that things finally went smoothly for them and they didn’t have to worry about any extra drama this time around. It’ll be good if they can finally relax here.

Overall, A Raisin in the Sun is a solid movie. The dialogue is pretty strong all the way through. The movie may only really have the one main backdrop of being in the house but the characters are all written well so this doesn’t feel like an issue. Lena is definitely the standout character here. When Beneatha tries the whole “God is dead” argument Lena quickly shuts that down and establishes the ground rules that this won’t be allowed in the house. She consistently pushes the characters to make the right choices and without her they definitely wouldn’t have made it through this experience. If you’re up for a good drama as the characters discuss how the family should move forward then this is a good one to check out.

Overall 6/10

Edge of the City Review


When you think of the Edge of the City odds are that you’re thinking of either IHop in uptown Manhattan or the Domino’s at West 4th street if you’re in NYC. Those two places seem to be around the edges of each direction before you feel like you’re not in the city anymore. Well, in this film we have a warehouse near the water so you feel like you’re on the edge. Most of the film is rather good but the ending is definitely one of those film crushers. It really takes away from the feeling of accomplishment that you had in the film up to that point and it just felt unnecessary. There’s no way back at that point.

The movie starts with Axel arriving in town and needing a job. He uses an old connection to force his way in but now works for the corrupt Charlie. Charlie doesn’t treat any of his workers well and bullies Axel quite a bit since he has quite a lot of leverage there. He’s also racist towards Tommy but doesn’t have as much leeway there since Tommy is also one of the bosses in the company and doesn’t put up with anything like that. Tommy befriends Axel and convinces him to shift departments. They have a good working relationship and things are going well but Axel’s past is slowly catching up to him. Can Axel stay afloat or will it be time to flee?

From the start it’s clear that Axel is hiding a lot of secrets and those never stay buried for long. It’s a shame because due to this everyone seems to have leverage over him. In particular Charlie uses this to his advantage as he first takes money away from each of Axel’s paychecks and then only escalates his behavior from there. It’s why they say once you start running you will never stop. My main issue with Axel is how secretive he is about all of this until it’s too late. I think he could have at least told Tommy his story a little sooner instead of breaking it up into chunks over and over again until he could finally piece the whole thing together.

Axel acts tough but is never able to keep his cool. His empty calls to his parents were also a bit annoying after a while. Calling without saying anything doesn’t help either party. They were a lot more understanding about the situation than he had been giving them credit for as well. Still, the biggest slight to Axel’s character is how he handles the ending. That’s the part that really gets him. To go any further with that would be a spoiler so I’ll have to leave it at this. He is given multiple opportunities to ensure that justice is dealt and each time he decides instead to stay quiet and to flee. He absolutely should have fought hard to break through the people holding him back since this was all on him. Even after that though, he absolutely shouldn’t have just sat there and did nothing. When things got tough Axel didn’t step up and that’s a big shame.

Meanwhile Tommy is a good character. He adds a lot of good humor to the film and is also the voice of reason. He does his best to keep pushing Axel in the fight direction. Nothing gets him down and he is always determined to have a good time. He breaks up a whole lot of fights in the film so the situation would have definitely escalated a lot more without him there to oversee things. He’s easily the best character in the film. Meanwhile his wife Lucy is also a very solid character. They’ve got a good dynamic going. The other heroine gets less of a role. She seems decent but the romance with Axel seems rather fast and forced. Particularly since he does little to actually try and further the romance without a lot of prodding from his friends.

Charlie is the main villain of the film and he makes sure to remind you of this in pretty much every scene. He plays the part rather well as the guy clearly has something over just about everyone on the force. It’s why he can get away with so much since he can expose anyone who gets in his way. It makes you see why it would be so hard for one of the characters to rebel against him. After all, if you cross him then you’ll find yourself out of a job real quick. Still no excuse for Axel’s actions but you can see why nobody else would step up.

The writing is good and the movie does a solid job of balancing out the serious tone with more light hearted moments. Most of the film you could say is rather upbeat but at the same time you know things are going to take a turn. That feeling of dread is why I wouldn’t call this a cheerful film outright. It’s like watching Resident Evil or something. Even if there are a bunch of happy moments at some points like that scene in the town, you know that it won’t last so was it really a happy scene through and through? At the very least Axel and Tommy had a lot of great scenes.

The ending is one of the most important parts of a film though and this movie just couldn’t stick the landing. The last event just feels unnecessary. It would work better in an action blockbuster kind of film because with a lot of battles and going up against big enemies it’s reasonable for this to happen. For a more down to life film like this it’s just pretty tragic. It’s not like this is a movie where you would expect a sequel so there’s no reason to end it like this. What should be a triumphant film at the end just feels like it’s too little too late.

Overall, Edge of the City is a film that I would have recommended for most of its run but after that ending I would have to give it a thumbs down in the end. It’s just not the way you want to end a film like this. Switch the ending and the film instantly rebounds but as it stands you don’t feel like the heroes really got a proper win here. I’d suggest checking out a different film instead like To Sir, with Love which has a more wholesome ending or A Raisin in the Sun. Both of those films are complete titles that do have endings which hold up well.

Overall 4/10