Ben-to (Anime review)


Anime is an art form with a lot of weird premises. Yurikuma, for example, is about bears attacking an all-girls school. It presented what happens when this tactic of including an outlandish idea is utilized in the right way. Another show with a strange setup is Rio Rainbow Gate, which involves fan service and magic battles with characters based off of pachinko games (needless to say, the writing wasn’t very good for Rio). Even something as nostalgic as Ranma can be considered incredibly strange to many people when they first get into anime. In the twelve episode television series from 2011 called Ben-to, the plot is propelled by the idea that high school students are brutally fighting each other within convenience stores, in typical shonen style, for half-priced packaged meals. The beginning of Ben-to seems to be an odd choice, but it grabs attention.

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The Girl from Phantasia (OVA Review)


The Girl from Phantasia (aka just Fantasia) is a little known anime, and for good reason. I will basically spoil the whole thing for you, because it’s only one episode long and it isn’t even worth the twenty minutes of your time. However, if you are curious to see just how long the generic harem conventions have been at work for, this is certainly evidence of a concept that expired decades ago, despite being still used today.

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Kiznaiver (Series Review)


Kiznaiver is a show with good production values. Compared to a lot of other studios, Trigger really hasn’t been around too long since its inception in 2011 as a result from the little Gainax disbanding, but the animators there certainly know what they are doing. The character designs for Kiznaiver are sharp and appealing, but it’s even better that the fluid, confident animation is there to back them up. In other words, Trigger managed to continue its penchant for quality visuals, and even threw in an excellent opening theme this time. The directing for this science fiction story is also quite good, with character framing being incredibly important considering the moments of talking heads. The writing is another story though, because while it’s still not a terrible script, it never quite gets to the point of becoming spectacular and instead seems to just run in circles.

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Patema Inverted (Movie Review)


I remember being bored in class a kid, wondering what it would be like if suddenly there was some sort of gravity malfunction and upside-down would become right-side up. I pictured myself stuck to the ceiling of the classroom, afraid to venture outside of the door and fall into the sky. This is the same dilemma the lead character in anime film Patema Inverted faces. No, it’s not that she is bored in a classroom, but the shift in gravity does become a problem when she ends up in an alternate world. I know I’m not the only one to think of this concept before, as I’m sure it’s a daydream thought that’s crossed the minds of many people, but there is a childish fantasy element to it. In this way, it was a good decision for the writers of Patema Inverted to make the movie for kids. In 2013, Patema came and went, but as it stands, it’s a fun children’s feature that has a nice element of mystical science fiction.

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Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans (Season One Review)



Gundam will never stop and it’s kind of overwhelming. There are just so many commonalities between each series that it seems like it might as well be one big giant story compiled of a bazillion seasons rather than separate shows altogether, UC excluded titles regardless. Last fall we started a new story within the Gundam Universe (or rather the one of the several universes) with the title Iron Blooded Orphans. There were still the cold and calculated mecha action sequences along with some of the retread themes of peace versus war, but there were at least enough differences and quality writing overall that squares it as a highly recommended show.

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