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Akira review

Posted : 17 hours, 40 minutes ago on 16 February 2020 01:26 (A review of Akira)

Hey! It’s 2020 and although pretty much a thing from the past, within just its first three days, people worldwide were afraid of the possibility of a Third World War. By the end of the past month the threat of a possible pandemic disease appeared and some places in Brazil were submerged under the water. Meaning, it’s the perfect time to read and review Akira, and since there aren’t many different things to say about its two formats, this review will cover both of them.

Nowadays many people don’t see the appeal of the title because it’s pretty much a product of its time, and I’m not saying that the movie is obsolete or that didn’t age very well, but its aesthetics and themes were reflecting the time when it came out and thus, when people watch it nowadays they don’t see its appeal, all they see is a well animated movie with weird mouth motions, mediocre voice acting, and a clearly fragmented plot which is also hard to follow.

That does not take away its historical importance though, which is why even if a new adaptation comes out and turns out to be a longer and closer adaptation of the manga, it won’t take away the value of this movie. It is safe to say that, back when it came out, Akira was the best animated movie ever produced in Japan, it was dealing with issues from its time that resonated with the people from that period, it had a very focused atmosphere, it served as a great summary of the manga, it was the title that showed the west what kind of animation Japan was able to produced and it even started the dark sci-fi era of anime.

The thing is, said impact wasn’t instantaneous, it took some years for Akira to become such a point in reference when it comes to anime, since not many people watched it when it came out and with how expensive it was to be made, it ended up causing the bankruptcy of its studio, which ended up becoming part of another bigger one.

As a sci-fi piece made between the ‘60s and the late 80s, Akira has all the themes you could expect from it, a gang of bikers become allies of a revolutionary army which opposes an oppressive government which abuses its authority through its military forces which in turns makes experiments on people in order to turn them into super soldiers with psychic powers to use against other countries in a post-World War III scenario, with some ideas about trans humanism as basis.

The post-apocalyptic setting is well presented, is a rotten and decadent society were morals seem to not matter, violence, drugs, profanity, gang wars and more are things present in everyday life in front of anyone in the streets, politicians spends a lot of time discussing what to do and how to take action in order to not affect its public image instead of actually doing something while the police and military forces submit people and do whatever they want with them, making them desperate. Since they can’t trust the authorities nor the political party which serves as an opposition, they result in becoming part of a religious cult in seek of a possible savior, which supposedly will appear in the form of Akira, the character whose gives the movie its title, despite being a plot device who only appears for a couple of minutes, before everything blows to pieces and the whole place falls under unprecedented chaos.

This is the major issue of the film, as interesting as the themes are and as well as the setting is presented, the same can’t be said about both of what should be its most important aspects, plot and characters. This is the result of cramming a whole seinen manga composed of chapters which has 40 to 80 pages each, the pacing is a complete mess. And it’s not as if the duration of the movie is too short, quite the opposite actually, with two hours of total screen time, it should have been a proper adaptation, and although lots of important scenes from the manga are present, even the finale which at the time wasn’t even made, the events depicted in the movie takes place one after another with seemingly no connection whatsoever and too fast to the point nothing feels believable. Heck, there’s even a coup d’état which happens in an instant, that’s just dumb.

Stuff happens for the sake of happening and makes you question how can everything happens with such ease, how are the antagonist forces so incompetent, and how is any of this stuff even possible to begin with. And it’s not like the movie have that much happening all the time, there’s quite the downtime where it could explain properly what is happening, why is it happening, and how is it happening, but instead wastes time in dialogues which don’t flesh out the characters nor do they give dynamic and interesting character interactions, thus they don’t serve a purpose in the film.

Even the metaphysical aspect of the movie is not properly explained, Kei gives a very pretentious monologue to Kaneda full of information about it, but when she finally was about to wrap up things and make a point, a freaking flying vehicle comes out of nowhere and chases them until its pilot is knocked out, whenever the movie is about to explain itself, an action scene happens and takes the whole screen time thus making it seem like senseless violence, very graphic violence, I must point out, which does not bother me but can turn off some viewers.

And I just have to point out the plot armor present throughout the whole thing, every random officer gets blown up to pieces in a matter of seconds but Kaneda survives whatever happens with so much ease to the point it becomes ridiculous.

The inconsistent pacing affects even the characters, there’s not much time invested in them thus they are not properly characterized nor explored, they are closer to plot devices than actual people, they have a specific objective (but not a clear goal), and they are proactive and constantly do stuff in order to make them happen, but that’s pretty much it, you know nothing about them and will even have a hard time remembering about them or their names.

The only character who is somewhat explore is Tetsuo, the main antagonist of the flick, he has some sort of inferiority complex, he’s a victim of his rotten society, and there’s a decent attempt at showing the psychological pressure he’s under during the whole thing, result of being manipulated by other psychic kids at first, and of him being consumed by his own powers later one, while his design and attitude change a lot during the movie, making him easily the most memorable character of the bunch. Even so, all of that is presented in a rather rushed way, thus is not very convincing nor does it make much sense. Also is very hard to feel sympathetic for a guy who’s killing people left and right in gory ways while laughing about it before turning into a grotesque monster.

There’s also Akira, the character title, but as I said before, there’s nothing to write about this child, he appears for just a bunch of minutes, makes a giant ball of energy, says something incomprehensible and then disappears while taking away consequences, leaving the spectators confused of what even happened.

Thus, the themes are deep and important, the setting is well presented, the characters are proactive and move the story forward, but when it comes to proper writing and characterization, this flick is mostly a complete mess and all of that ends up being just background decoration for all the very well animated spectacular action and very graphic violence, which is why some people, myself included, refers to this adaptation as just a “cool” summary and not much more.

Speaking of that, if there’s something about the movie that still holds up even today is the visual department, multiple layers of animation, extremely detailed drawings, especially when it comes to backgrounds and machinery, as well as all the graphic content, high frame rate, and even the unprecedented lip sync in Japanese animation, which I’m not even sure if it even happened again ever since. All of which being completely hand drawn. It’s still not a flawless aspect since the mouth motions seems weird by now and the characters look all so similar to the point it even becomes confusing and makes you think certain characters are doing the exact opposite of what they want because you mixed them up in your head due to how similar they look to another completely different character. Gender or age don’t matter, every character has the exact same face, although which noticeable differences such as wrinkles and such.

As for the sound department, is also polarizing, the sound effects are superb for its time, and the soundtrack is unique and haunting even to this day, it really sets the mood, fits the setting, gives an eerie atmosphere and get stuck in your head for how unorthodox it is, while also not being weird just for the sake of it, the complete pieces (not fully used in the movie) are complex pieces of work worth listening outside of the flick in which they are used. Unlike other soundtracks which loses appeal when you take them out of its source, this one remains mind blowing and becomes even better when you do that.

The problem with the sound is the voice acting, which is decent at times and plain terrible at others, and I’m talking about the original Japanese dub by the way, not the often criticized English dub made at a time when voice acting was kind of a joke of a work no one really cared about. Even in the original dub, the actors sound weird half the time, it kind of fits the atmosphere but that does not take away that it’s still weak as a whole.

So the movie is a well animated summary which remains impactful and very important but only on a superficial level and not so much on a critical level, but what about its source material?

First of all, unlike the movie, every character has a distinctive look which sets them apart from the rest, and the backgrounds and graphic violence are even better than in the anime adaptation, is actually impressive how, with how good the movie looks, the manga manages to be even better, when it comes to drawings, Akira still remains a landmark in the medium.

As for the rest, the pacing is much more appropriate which instantly makes both plot and characters to be way better than they are in the anime. Here you have a clear idea of the context of everything, it is clear what’s happening, why is it happening, and how is happening, everyone’s objective is much more clearer, and their train of thoughts and action makes much more sense, also the downtime serves to expand the scenario and introduce a few more characters that will be reappear and have a somewhat important role later on.

Also, Akira appears much sooner in the story, and although he still remains nothing but a plot device with no personality, his apparition and the big event concerning him at the medium of the story makes a big change in the plot, which leads to the conflict expanding in scale to the whole world, more politicians and military forces from the whole world taking part of it, with interesting events happening as a result. Also this leads to more, longer and more epic and brutal confrontations which are also way better shown than in the movie and despite being chaotic on a superficial level, it never feels random or hard to understand, while always depicting the horrors of the whole thing and the casualties it causes.

Another positive thing is having an actual backstory of when, why, and how everything began, as well as a much clearer approach to its metaphysical aspects and ideas about transhumanism and the search for a higher level of human evolution. Also, there are better pseudo-scientific explanations with more properly explained somewhat complicated terminology when talking about weapons, machinery and the energy used in the story, as well as the effects it causes and the scale it has.

As for the characters, they begin as the same archetypes they are in the movie, although with a stronger presence and more personality, and they actually develop throughout the whole manga, due to the major crisis which happens in the middle of the story, their ideals are challenged, they change sides or mix their objectives with new points of view while they form new alliances and they develop different interactions with different characters. In particular, the romantic aspect of the piece, which was very rushed and unconvincing in the movie, has much more time to actually develop in a better way here.

Also, lots of side characters which barely appear in the movie, if they even do, have far more presence and personality while are also proactive and have a personal goal, with a clear conclusion for each one. They also has at least a couple of interesting scenes, dialogues, courses of action, or interactions with the main characters and are not just background decoration or inexistent like in the movie.

With that said, they are not that great either since they still are closer to plot devices with not that much information about them being shown that actual people, with the obvious exception being Tetsuo, the main antagonist. He was the best character in the movie so here he shines even more, his inferiority complex in better explain, he has an actual sad background which left mental scars on him, he goes through a much bigger and way better shown psychological pressure and transformation, as well as a physical deformation much more anticipated than in the movie, it is also even more grotesque, and even more shown. His design also changes during the whole manga, just like in the movie, and he also has much more looked into interactions with both Kaneda and Kaori. He’s still a total threat who does horrible things and pays for them, but now you can feel some sympathy towards him.

But, despite being definitely better than the movie, the manga is not a masterpiece either since it still has some issues, such as:

-There’s still a lot of plot armor in it, Kaneda still survives a lot of things he totally should not. In fact it’s even worse than the movie in this aspect.

-Action scenes are still very unbelievable at times. How are Kaneda and Kei able to take out military soldiers with such ease at their young age is still beyond my comprehension, they also seem to always be able to infiltrate military facilities with relative ease and escape from them without much problem.

-Power scaling. As explained as the energy may be, it still feels like magic most of the time. Also Tetsuo escalates in power to the point it becomes just too much, and Akira is even way stronger because he does not even suffers mentally from using his powers, as Tetsuo does. It becomes quite ridiculous how they are unable to kill the main characters despite how ridiculously powerful they are. Yes, Tetsuo usually goes through a mental breakdown when facing Kaneda, while the latter tends to take him by surprise, and although all that is properly explained, it still feels very convenient for the good guys at times, which means, it worsens the plot armor.

-The previous point leads to another problem which is the finale, although also much better explained than the movie’s (although that isn’t saying much), it still feels kind of like a lazy copout, and although the story reach a satisfactory ending, you feel like there is still room for stuff to happen and things to be covered and shown.

Those issues are still not enough to stain the manga that much, and is still a more polished version of the movie, and a must read piece within the medium to the most part. As for the movie, despite being just a rushed summary, it is still worth watching despite being a product of its time, because it is not outdated nor obsolete. Even if a new anime is produced, covers the whole manga to the end and somehow manages to have a production half as memorable as the one in the movie, it won’t take away its historical importance and cultural impact.

Movie 7/10
Manga 8/10


-Terra e…, the first Choujin Locke, the first Gall Force, Windaria, anime movies from the ‘80s which were also focusing on some aspects present in this movie such as psychic powers, post-apocalyptic settings, military forces confronted, the search for a higher step in human evolution, young ones being affected by the war caused by the governments and its effects, and usually tragic finales.

-Tetsuo the Iron Man, a live action Japanese film which also shows a man going crazy due to a physical transformation caused by his contact with technology.

-Shin Godzilla, a live action Japanese film which also shows a big threat in the middle of a city and people suffering for it while politicians and militaries take a long time in take action due to bureaucracy and protocols.

-Galerians, a PS1 survival horror game very similar to Akira in themes and aesthetics.

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ProduccionesTrukini review

Posted : 6 days ago on 10 February 2020 06:40 (A review of ProduccionesTrukini)

Un par de aclaraciones antes de empezar:

-Conozco de sobra las reglas sobre reseñas de la página pero igualmente ésta será escrita en español porque no tendría sentido escribirla en inglés, voy a tratar una serie argentina, por lo que el público que puede consumirla se limita a aquel de habla hispana.

-Aunque agregué al canal que realiza la animación en sí fue solo por una cuestión de comodidad, es más fácil y representativo agregar un canal de YouTube que un solo video que actúe de representante de toda una serie.

Dicho esto, empezamos.

Tres Acordes es la mejor serie argentina que vi en mi vida, lo digo de arranque para dejar claro cómo será esta crítica y lo digo porque es verdad. Ciertamente, si se entra a mi perfil se notará que no consumí casi ningún clásico aclamado de la televisión argentina y en su lugar si vi casi toda la porquería televisiva sobrevalorada que produjo mi país, no es mi culpa, es la calidad de series que tuve la desgracia de consumir. Si bien es cierto que si vi “Los Simuladores”, una de las dichas series aclamadas, puedo decir con seguridad que es demasiado episódica y sus personajes son demasiado arquetípicos y, en el mejor de los casos, bidimensionales como para considerarla mejor o incluso a la par con la serie de la cual hablo acá. Así que sí, sostengo mi afirmación inicial, pero, ¿de qué trata Tres Acordes?

En un primer acercamiento, Tres Acordes no merecería ser llamada la mejor de nada sino más bien todo lo contrario. Al menos la mitad de la llamada temporada 0 es, por decirlo de una manera ligera, horrible. La premisa es sobre tres amigos que hacen estupideces con un humor muy juvenil y suceden cosas aleatorias constantemente sin llevar a una dirección clara hacia al final del capítulo de turno, y eso que en principio los videos eran, por lo general, bastante cortos. La horrible animación flash que lastimaba los ojos y la pésima calidad de sonido, incluso para estándares de 2009, no ayudaban.

Sin embargo ya en su etapa prototipo se veía que Tres Acordes era algo especial, o al menos podía llegar a serlo, a partir de la mitad de la temporada 0 los capítulos comenzaron a ser más largos, con un dibujo y un sonido un poco mejores, una narrativa más trabajada que la que suelen tener series similares, con un principio, conflicto y final claro, y con algún mensaje central a desarrollar en dicho capítulo, la ejecución de los mismos no era la mejor pero el potencial estaba ahí.

Con esto me refiero a que los mensajes eran muy directos, la presentación de los mismos muy unilateral y aunque se llegaba a un cierre hacia el final del capítulo, la narrativa de la serie seguía siendo episódica y sin mostrarnos mucho de los personajes, cosa que por suerte cambiaría con el pasar de las temporadas.

A lo largo de los años posteriores, los capítulos se extendieron en duración, mejoró mucha la comedia, incorporando algún mensaje importante o tema interesante tratado de manera satírica, así como también referencias sutiles a distintas obras de la cultura pop de distintas décadas, no solo eso sino que la narrativa en sí mejoró, ya no es solo que cada capítulo se siente auto conclusivo sino que además tiene continuidad argumental e incluso también temática con los siguientes, tornando así la narrativa de la serie en semi-episódica, muy propia de las caricaturas de la década en la que esta serie se estrenó y a lo largo de la cual se fue emitiendo.

A pesar de que el desarrollo de la trama es lineal, el orden de los capítulos no es necesariamente así, a veces un hecho mostrado en algún capítulo puede haber sucedido antes de algo mostrado en un capítulo anterior, algo que parece inconexo termina por tener relación con el todo, lo que mantiene el sentido narrativo de la obra al mismo tiempo que le da un toque Tarantinesco a su narrativa. Incluso hechos que parecían relevantes solo en un momento específico o que fueron olvidados, son retomados posteriormente en la historia, el creador construye sobre los hechos mostrados anteriormente y no pierde el hilo narrativo de su obra, no me sorprendería incluso si ya haya anticipado el posible final de la serie en algún capítulo, lo que es un plus.

La serie mejora incluso en sus valores productivos, aunque al ser animación hecha en flash la serie nunca llega a ser la gran cosa, se nota una clara mejora a lo largo de los años, los fondos pasan a estar mejor dibujados y más detallados, el diseño de los personajes cambia mostrando en ellos el paso de los años e incluso sus figuras y movimientos mejoran, además el creador incorpora mejores efectos por computadora con el paso del tiempo, o directamente los descarta en favor de más animación hecha a mano, además de experimentar con distintos efectos y perspectivas visuales a lo largo de la obra.

En cuanto al sonido, en un principio es atroz pero al igual que todo en la serie, luego mejora, Taxideral, el creador de la serie, referencia o directamente incorpora canciones populares, o hace covers de las mismas para usar en los capítulos, incorpora música de libre uso en Internet, o incluso agrega alguna que otra composición propia. Además, el mismo se encarga de poner las muy variadas voces a todos los personajes en un principio, para incorporar alguna que otra voz invitada más adelante. Los efectos de sonido mejoran algo con el tiempo, pero mentiría si negara que este elemento siempre fue y se mantiene como el más débil de la serie.

Como dije antes, la historia trata sobre tres amigos, Jaique Vortin, Adriel Rauschgift y Eduard Galder, y sus distintas aventuras a lo largo de su vida cotidiana. Al principio la serie era una más del montón, los tres pibes consumían alcohol y drogas y por esto terminaban haciendo estupideces y poco más, con el pasar de las temporadas se explora más a cada uno, su infancia, educación, relaciones intrafamiliares e incluso la relación entre ellos 3 y como fue cambiando con el paso de los años, se muestra cómo todo esto los formó en quienes terminaron siendo en la vida, lo que da como resultado tres protagonistas bien definidos y caracterizados, con presencias y personalidades fuertes, un trasfondo trabajado, virtudes y defectos que los marcan, y el hecho de que estén relacionados desde hace tiempo hace que la dinámica entre ellos sea muy fuerte y además esté en evolución constante.

En los primeros capítulos Jaique era claramente el personaje principal pero luego el foco se extendió a sus dos amigos, a mostrar tanto su vida individual como su pasado, sus distintas relaciones con todas las personas de su entorno e incluso tienen capítulos dedicados completamente a ellos, lo que hace que tanto Adriel como Eduard tengan tanto tiempo en pantalla, relevancia y exploración de personaje como Jaique.

Al mostrar sus vidas, gustos y hobbies, la serie apela a su público a través de referencias a productos de la cultura popular de entre la década de los ’90s y los tiempos actuales para presentarlos de manera paródica y agregarle un factor nostálgico a los capítulos. No solo eso sino que el solo hecho de mostrar sus actividades tanto en grupo como en solitario, a lo largo de todas sus vidas, hace que los espectadores puedan identificarse con los personajes en algún punto de sus vidas. Puedo asegurar que le pasará esto a cualquier argentino nacido en las décadas de los ’90s, ‘00s o incluso ‘10s que la vea, y digo argentino porque este es claramente su público principal, pero no es como si la serie sufriera (o al menos no mucho) de ser solo identificable para los oriundos de su país, ya que las situaciones presentadas pueden llegarle a cualquier hispanohablante en mayor o menor medida.

A veces el creador de la misma pone a los personajes en situaciones que dé para explorar un tema específico como el conflicto entre la vida laboral y la sentimental o social o la crisis de mediana edad, entre otros. También puede ocurrir que al autor se le ocurra presentar algún hecho relevante de la sociedad, ya sea pasada o presente, en forma de una crítica social presentada en forma satírica (por ejemplo hay un capítulo dedicado casi en su totalidad al actual debate sobre la legalización del aborto).

Y no es como si la serie se enfocara solo en ellos 3, si bien es cierto que son los protagonistas y por lo tanto son sobre quienes la serie dedica más tiempo, hay bastantes más personajes con los cuales estos interactúan, lo que tiene sentido porque si solo fueran ellos 3 eventualmente sus interacciones dejarían de ser graciosas y significativas y la serie se sentiría repetitiva y cansina.

Los personajes secundarios incluyen familiares y amigos de los protagonistas, compañeros temporales de trabajo, amores pasajeros, un abogado desquiciado, un par de oficiales de la policía, un hombre inmortal que sacrifica gente con tal de prolongar su longevidad, un Dios drogadicto y despreocupado...

Este conjunto de personajes obviamente no está tan explorado ni dimensionado como el trío principal, pero de igual manera tienen algo de tiempo dedicado a ellos mismos y el creador de la serie se las arregla para hacerlos memorables y darle a cada uno sus interacciones particulares y graciosas con otros personajes. Incluso personajes que parece que solo aparecen una vez o que solo serán mencionados, reaparecen en algún momento posterior como parte de la trama o en forma de cameo, lo que es un plus ya que da la idea de que el autor no los olvidó y que además todavía tienen algo que aportar al todo.

A pesar de tener lugar en un escenario mundano con una premisa típica y derivativa, la serie no es solo sobre la vida cotidiana de algunos personajes y ya está, ya que incorpora elementos científicos como distintas teorías físicas, o fantásticos como un hombre inmortal que realiza rituales de magia negra al sacrificar gente para prolongar su longevidad, estos elementos le dan más variedad y creatividad a la serie, expanden un poco más el mundo en el que tiene lugar e incluso dan pie para tratar temas de corte conspirativos y hasta existencialistas, lo que da más profundidad a la serie y da a que pensar cuando se ve sus capítulos o incluso luego de finalizarlos. La incorporación de distintas líneas temporales por ejemplo ayuda a explicar algún posible hueco argumental como algún suceso que haya quedado colgado en el aire o que haya sido olvidado por los personajes. Pero la serie pecaría de pretenciosa si se tomara en serio al tratar estos temas y no les diera un punto o un cierre, así como también si estos salieran de la nada. Por suerte Taxideral nunca cae en este problema porque mantiene un tono satírico claro y no pretende hacer una exploración seria de los mismos, aun así cabe destacar que sabe manejar las transiciones entre un tono cómico y uno serio, y que los temas a tratar son algo explorados en los capítulos de turno, tienen relación con lo que pasa en ellos, los episodios son construidos alrededor de la exploración temática mientras que al mismo tiempo no se sienten aislados del resto porque están relacionados narrativamente con lo que sea que suceda en la temporada.

Suena como si estuviera hablando de una obra maestra pero no es así y acá es donde comienzan los problemas con la serie, al ser semi-episódica esta mantiene una continuidad, sí, pero eso no evita que a veces algunos capítulos se sientan aislados e inconexos, o que lleva bastante tiempo el retomar puntos presentados anteriormente.

Además, la tira no tiene un punto fijo, se muestra la vida de los personajes en el momento, con cosas que se le van ocurriendo al autor, no hay huecos argumentales graves, porque Taxideral construye sobre lo mostrado anteriormente, pero está claro que no es una serie pensada y planificada desde un principio, no hay un rumbo claro y por eso corre el riesgo de volverse un long runner que se extiende innecesariamente y que pierde su gracia conforme avanza, ha pasado con otras series flash como Alejo y Valentina (la cual no vi, pero esta es la queja común de todos sus fans), o incluso con grandes e interminables producciones como Los Simpsons o Los Padrinos Mágicos, por nombrar algunas.

De hecho, ya hubo ocasiones que podrían haber servido como un cierre redondo para la serie, el final de la temporada 4, el final de la temporada 5, incluso el especial de diez años, pero la obra obviamente no terminó ahí porque está ganando cada vez más popularidad y se lanza cada vez más mercadería sobre la misma, ¿por qué el creador terminaría su serie sin rumbo fijo justo en el momento en que está ganando mayor popularidad?

Este problema se extiende a los mismos personajes, aunque tienen algo de desarrollo a lo largo de la serie, nunca concluyen cualquier intento de arco personal que tengan ni llegan a una realización catártica, porque eso significaría el punto final de sus exploraciones, el cierre al menos temporal de sus problemas, y por consecuencia el obvio final de la serie. A pesar de que a veces la serie critica el status quo y da una idea de cierre, siempre vuelve a este y continúa su emisión.

Al menos puedo decir que si la serie concluyera de un día para el otro tal como está ahora, se sentiría como un final satisfactorio, inconcluso, pero satisfactorio, a diferencia de Lisandro Leguleyo, que quedó en la literal nada luego de algunos capítulos y luego de que su creador haya abandonado el proyecto debido a que firmó un contrato con un grupo medianamente importante. Tres Acordes podría finalizar ahora y no dejaría un mal sabor de boca.

Así que eso es Tres Acordes, una buena comedia referencial y una buena parodia y sátira social con personajes explorados e identificables, narrativa elaborada, continuidad argumental, temas importantes y elementos interesantes que, aunque explorados superficialmente y presentados mediante monólogos extensos a cámara, en vez de mediante las acciones de los personajes, sirven para aderezar una serie que de otra manera se sentiría muy mundana y perdería su gracia, y cuyos valores productivos mejoran con el tiempo. No es una obra maestra porque no tiene un rumbo fijo y no hay arcos de personajes reales, y corre el riesgo de volverse una mierda más adelante, pero tal como está ahora es la mejor serie argentina que vi y mi favorita en general.

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Ajimu - Kaigan Monogatari review

Posted : 1 year ago on 26 January 2019 07:22 (A review of Ajimu - Kaigan Monogatari)

Ajimu: Beach Story is a weird case where a series is completely average and does not leave you with much to say about it yet it’s worth talking about. It also happens to begin in a most alienating way yet if you stick with it, it ends in a somewhat satisfactory manner.

The premise and overall story is as generic and predictable as it can get, it’s nothing you haven’t seen in another hundred romance stories, even by the time it came out. It’s this basic and overused premise of a guy immediately falling in love with a beautiful girl and then he gets to know her through misunderstandings, he gets rejected, later on he gets accepted but other characters blend in the situation, and a love polygon unfolds, you know the deal.

It even begins in a horrible way since the first episode is unbearably bad, every event that happens in it feels very forced to make Hirosuke get to know Ajimu and even more make him looks bad in her eyes, by being accused of molesting her in public due to a misunderstanding and then forcefully kiss her by accidentally falling over her.

The bad points don’t stop there since the episode follows with dried clichés and repetitive jokes until he meets her again by coincidence in several places and tries to apology to her every single time, he is so timid he can’t talk to her and thus it makes her believe he’s stalking her. I tell you, the first episode couldn’t possibly feel more forced in giving him a bad image. His attitude makes things even worse since he certainly follows her around and instead of apologizing properly, he remains silent, of course a girl would think such a guy is stalking her.

The visual department only makes things worse because it is terribly bad too. This is just a generic romance that normally wouldn’t require much effort to be presented with an acceptable visual department, yet Ajimu: Beach Story fails horribly even in that. The artwork looks horrible most of the time, the characters figures constantly go off-model, the movements are jerky, the backgrounds are clearly unfinished most of the time, and there are no remarkable special effects or directing tricks to make up even just a bit for such visual disaster. I understand that this was made in the early 2000’s and it was released through internet at that time, but come on, this level of quality is unacceptable.

Thankfully, there are a few times where the series looks good, sometimes the characters looks good in main frames, sometimes the illumination adds in delivering a certain emotion during a scene, sometimes the backgrounds look finished, sometimes. Also, although the character figures are bad, their designs are great, I mean, they are not particularly elaborate or memorable, in fact they look pretty simple and kind of generic, but for once here you have teenagers about to graduate from high school that look like young adults instead of kids from kindergarten. They even pass as university students in the first episode because of that.

Even better, the characters don’t have over exaggerated proportions and aren’t sexualized for the sake of fanservice. Ok, the series is not completely free of this, there is a panties shot and another boobs shot in two different episodes, there, two shots in the whole series. The girls also appear in swimsuits because, well, the events happen in a beach during summertime so what do you expect? Even then, the series never show these characters as walking fetishes, even when it could. You can show respect to these people.

So, the awful visuals improve a little but what about the story? Well, the misunderstandings are cleared and more interesting characters appear towards the end of the first episode, from then, there are both good and bad things to say about the plot. There are clichés and conveniences to justify why everyone know each other from the past and why everyone is attracted to a certain person within the same group.

There is also a dramatic event which came out of nowhere in the last episode, which happened just to spice things up and make the viewer believe there’s going to be a tragic ending, and there isn’t one. Normally I would shit all over a series for trolling its audience like that, but in this case it was a good thing because otherwise it would be a very lazy cop-out that came out of nowhere, tragedy for the sake of tragedy just for giving cheap feels to its audience.

There are two other things that bother me regarding the story, one is a fat chick who is a walking deus or diabolus ex machina that appears just to force misunderstandings, add silly comedy or help a certain character near the end, thankfully she doesn’t appear much. The other is that a seemingly very young girl is attracted to a 17 year old guy and a teenage girl has the hots for an old man. Thankfully either the guys know their places or the series never focus on such pairings, because nothing happens with them beyond that.

The good part has to do with the drama and the tone, as I said, there are no perversions here, the comedy does not really land but is never thrown when something sad is happening, the drama is presented in a satisfactory way because there aren’t exaggerated situations (well, at least not that much) and the presentation is not melodramatic. The conflicts the characters go through have to do with the people they like being in love with someone else or dealing with getting over a past love, and they don’t make a big fuss over those things nor they drag the situations, they are honest about their feelings and confront the people they love, they accept the response, and move on.

That is another plus of this series, the pacing. It is fast, no event is dragged more than it needs to because the characters face the other person and deal with their problems when they have to. That leads to another good aspect of the series, the characters, when you watch a romance anime aimed at young audiences you expect generic people with generic presence and generic personalities, girls with high pitched voices that either make you love them or get to your nerves, and guys who are complete jerks towards them.

This is not the case with this series, the characters here are pretty likeable, they are not that memorable nor they have any deep and complicating personalities, but they act in a very mature and sensible manner for their ages to the most part, which is really rare for this genre.

They have backdrops that explain their behavior and interactions with others, and they do get some development and catharsis as they get over what is affecting them. No one is an asshole, they are very friendly even with their love rivals and even help them sometimes in one way or another, they are also very honest and open with their feelings and not in an overblown way, which, again, is really rare for this genre, especially nowadays.

As for the ending, well, is somewhat satisfactory, it ends in a predictable and kind of open way, but every character got happiness in one way or another, that’s all I’m going to say, I’m not spoiling stuff, even if there is not much to spoil.

As for the sound, the voice acting is well done albeit nothing special, the songs are good yet not particularly memorable and they can get a bit repetitive, and the sound effects are serviceable. This department is good, nothing amazing, but good, it almost makes up for the awful visuals.

So down to it Ajimu: Kaigan Monogatari is nothing special or amazing, is not very famous nor is particularly memorable and it sure as hell is not rewatchable because of how generic and predictable it is. Yet, it hits the mark where it needs to, is not insulting in any particular way, it doesn’t last much to annoy you or bore you, is messy but not horribly written or presented and it has likeable characters.
It’s awful to look at and hard to get into, but if you stick with it, it somewhat rewards you for that, almost to the end, in other words, is the exact contrary to the vast majority of anime that comes out today, and that is another plus.

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Akame ga Kill! review

Posted : 1 year, 1 month ago on 30 December 2018 07:55 (A review of Akame ga Kill!)


This review has a few spoilers here and there so I'll just say in advance that the series is not worth your time. With that said, it's a really famous one, practically everyone has already seen it and those who didn't already know what happens in it but whatever.

Hey! Remember about this anime? It was hyped as the best thing ever when it was announced and then it diverged from the manga and everybody quickly began hating it and thus it became a dead horse...and I'm kicking it but whatever.

Despite whatever opinion one could have about the series, its initial hook can't be denied by anyone. It's basically the same premise as Assassin's Creed, a group of assassins fights (and kills) corrupt politicians and armies and both sides of the conflict are initially presented as grey.

To make things more interesting, the fanbase of the source material wouldn't shut up about how there's no plot armor through power of friendship like in a typical shonen and thus a lot of main characters die, I remember very well how the series was compared with Game of Thrones and Shingeki no Kyojin because of that.

And even more, the show was adapted by White Fox, a studio which received nothing but praise for its Steins; Gate adaptation. Also Taku Iwasaki, one of the most popular composers in the medium nowadays, was in charge of the soundtrack. So here you have a series with an interesting premise, a big fanbase comparing it with two big mainstream titles and big names behind its adaptation, what could possibly go wrong, right? Well, absolutely everything.

Starting with the visual department, it's easily the blandest such a story could get. The characters design is terrible, first of all, they look generic, just to name a few examples, Akame looks like a black haired version of the ninja girl from Angel Beats! and Leone and Esdeath are basically 2d versions of Yang and Weiss from RWBY respectively (hell, they even have similar powers). Just look at Tatsumi, the main character, and tell me he can't be replaced or mistaken by any other main character in the medium, he totally can.

And no I'm not implying this show ripped off those series in its characters design, or that those shows have unique characters design, but it's clear that Akame ga Kill! does not stand out in this department.

What's even worse than having such forgettable characters design is how they feel out of place in the setting, despite being promote as a dark series in a medieval fantasy-like setting with weird monsters in it, the characters looks very childish and colorful. Every character has the same color all over them, two at best, as if they were the Power Rangers. And their clothes are even worse, just look at Akame, Tatsumi, Mine, Chelsea or Esdeath, what kind of uniforms are that? It’s like the designer didn’t know if the characters belong in a fantasy setting or a contemporary high school.

On top of that, the characters would often make ridiculous poses in midair while yelling the names of their special attacks, as if this was JoJo or something, when it’s supposedly a dark fantasy series with political overtones. And hell, the designs are not even the worst aspect of the visuals, quality drops are abundant, motions are slow, battle choreographies are simple in a heavy action-packed series, backgrounds are well made but they are also generic and make the setting look like any other fantasy setting there is , and the special effects are plain ridiculous.

Ok, maybe there are some scenes where they look good (the final fight comes to mind) but in general they are weak. Add to it armors and a giant robot-like power that look like they came out of a tokusatsu series and you have surpassed the amount of ridiculousness you can tolerate in the visual department of a series. Heck, that’s not even the worst part of it, since the series also got laughable censorship despite the dark stuff and gory violence its manga was known for. And yes, you can claim all you want how later on uncensored Blu-ray releases came out but that does not change the fact that seeing a black hole where there’s supposed to be a cut hand when it was airing is plain stupid.

But that’s not all about its production values, the sound department is also weak. The sound effects have no impact, the voice acting is nothing special and even the soundtrack is pretty forgettable. There are a few good tunes in it such as the first opening or Le Chant de Roma, and one can definitely appreciate how Taku Iwasaki went for something atypical, but as a whole is a big disappointment coming from him.

But enough of that, let’s talk about what’s really important, plot and characters, and here’s where things get really bad; but I’d like to talk about its few positives first.
As I already said, the show has a few good tunes but also one can at least say that is trying. It tries to have a somewhat mature story with serious themes as well as questionable characters and ideologies from both sides and it also has some character development. It has a fast pacing thus it does not make events to last longer that they need yet there still are a few relaxation moments to show a few interactions between the characters to get you to like them. There’s actual death without resurrecting its characters thus it does not kills the tension like other anime and the series does not have a predictable and happy ending.

Sounds great doesn’t it? The problem is that absolutely all of the above is handled in terrible ways so let’s break down these elements to show what went wrong here:

So there’s this kingdom where the young King is manipulated by the Prime Minister who governs oppressively and keeps all the wealth of the country and that leaves the rest of the population in poverty, opposing him and the imperial army are the Night Raids, a group of assassins which is part of a revolutionary army that tries to take them down and save the people. These people used to be members of said army so in a way they are also trying to correct their past mistakes.

So far so good but those themes aren’t explored in a satisfactory way since neither the presentation, the exposition nor the tone back them up. First of all, there’s absolutely no subtlety at all in this show, the dialogue is way too obvious in trying to convince the viewer the main characters are assassins and no heroes and the imperial army has a morbid sense of justice; something it should show instead of right out tell.

Second, how is the spectator supposed to believe in the equality from both sides and their grey morality when the Night Raids are shown as heroic as possible (especially when they die) while the Jaegers are presented as bloodthirsty and sadistic as they can possibly be the very instant they engage in battle. Hell, this is not even limited to both armies since even the different social classes are shown in the same manner. Where are the equality, the ambiguous morality and the themes here? They were thrown down the toilet.

Third, the tone. This is easily the worst aspect of the show, it suffers from serious tonal whiplashes to the point nowadays whenever a series suffers from the same issues it is directly compared with this anime. Whenever a main character fights, he/she is presented as the right side of the conflict, not so ambiguous now, right? Whenever he/she performs an attack, he/she yells it as if this was a fighting series for teenagers and looks and sounds cool while posing, not so serious and mature now, right? What’s even worse than the battles is how right after a dramatic or plain tragic event happens, the characters do or say something stupid while the art style changes for a chibi one thus ruining the mood completely.

That’s not even the worst example, since sometimes the show recur to fan service right after someone was killed, I’m not joking, there are moments when the protagonist kills or see someone dying and all of a sudden he gets his whole face covered by the giant boobs of his female companions.

On top of that, the series is just not believable at all, the power level is totally inconsistent since the capabilities of the characters change every instant depending how convenient is at that moment in the plot, is laughable to see how veteran soldiers from both sides owns their enemies with ease but then they get killed off in an instant by rookies. The Capital is under total surveillance and even so the assassins can infiltrate constantly without being noticed despite their colorful clothes and hairs. They are covered alright, but this is still hard to buy.

Why does the King not suspect anything, he can’t be that clueless, didn’t he have any type of formation despite his position? Why are the nobles going so calmly around the Capital when they know that there are loose assassins who constantly attack the city? How come they do not complain at all? Also, how come people believe in the Night Raids so easily? They are former members of the same army that oppress them after all. You know what? Forget it, there are machine guns, power suits and an armor that looks like a giant robot here, things that does not fit the setting at all.

The answer to most of that is that you barely get to see actual people in the show, every character is either part of the revolutionary army, an imperial soldier, or a corrupt politician, and when you see citizens, they are victimized poor people treated as scum by the nobles who see them as nothing but sacrifices for their enjoyment.

I’m not even joking, in the very first episode, there’s a teenage noble girl who acts all cutesy and funny at first and then reveals that she fools poor people into coming in her castle only to drug them, torture them, kill them, tear them apart, and then collect their bodies in the storehouse. What kind of nonsensical characterization is that and how is that grey? The portrayal of the themes is clearly one-sided.

Even the art style and the voice of the girl change completely during that scene as if was trying to scare the viewer or something, when It would otherwise make them laugh because of how sudden and over the top that switch was, which shows how poorly directed the series is. By the way that effect was overused later on and would be used even during comical or tragic moments and so confusing the viewer even more about how they are supposed to react in such scenes.

If being horrible written wasn’t enough, the show also suffers when it comes to characterization, the characters are shallow archetypes that you can’t really tell apart from other characters from other series, at least as far as personalities go. Not only that but they barely have their background stories revealed and even for those whose backgrounds are revealed, they tend to be shallow and poorly handled, most of them are former imperial soldiers that turned against their government once the young King took over, that’s it, that’s their only motivation.

There’s no personal investment in there, it’s just an ideological one, and even if you say that it’s a noble cause or something, then why do they try to convince both the protagonist and the viewer that they are not heroes because of the horrible things they do when they fight for such a cause? Even worse, the only reason one of them has for having enlisted in the army in the first place was because he fell in love with the female general at first sight. That’s not only stupid but also unbelievable since he’s the pervert who constantly peeks and tries to take advantage of every other girl in the Night Raids.

The only characters who have somewhat decent background stories are Akame and Esdeath, the main antagonist, since they are both tragic and explain their basic behavior and serves as their motivations and ideological positions, yet even them are not exactly excused since their personalities are as inconsistent as they can be whenever they are not in battle. The latter is easily the worst case since she becomes a big sister type of character towards her squad and a shy teenage girl whenever she’s around the protagonist. As for Akame when outside the battlefield…well, she just goofs around.

The protagonist, Tatsumi, is the typical one you can find in most fighting shonen series: he’s dumb, naïve, idealistic, and for some reason his capabilities in battle change all the time, he feels completely out of place in such a story. The excuse of the fans of the show was that although he begins like that he later on develop because he’s affected by most of his companions dying, which is not true since he remains mostly the same until the end of the series and those deaths have no real impact in him, and even if that was the case, it wouldn’t be believable since he does not spend much time with them before they kick the bucket. Hell, not even the other members of the group seem to be affected by those deaths despite being long-time comrades.

Even worse, during relaxation moments, they devolve from their shallow archetypes to even more shallow archetypes since they become harem archetypes who are attracted to Tatsumi, for no good reason, even the male ones. And even if they’re not literally attracted to him, they still seem to spiral towards him as you never see them interacting with other people, meaning they are nothing but plot devices whose only purpose in the story is kill some bad guys, talk a few minutes with Tatsumi, and then dying in order to make him develop, which, as I said, does not even happens.

The Jaegers, the main villains of the story, are not exactly better despite being shown as basically the same group as the Night Raids, with every character being the counterpart of an assassin. First of all, by doing that, your antagonists will feel like evil rehash of your protagonists. Second, despite being presented as a not completely evil family who gets to love one another during relaxation moments, it’s not believable since whenever they engage in battle they laugh like sociopaths, their faces deform completely, they kill people in horrible ways, they enjoy what they’re doing and that is reflected in their dialogues, and some of them even betray their companions in battle in order to kill the protagonists. So much for a family that shares the same sense of justice.

Even worse is how, just like it happens with the Night Raids, none of them are affected by other members dying. The only member who is not a completely unbelievable total asshole is Wave, and the only reason of that is because he’s basically Tatsumi, he has a very similar personality and the exact same motivation, thus proving once again how this faction is just a copy of the other one.

But I understand why the series failed so hard in both story and characterization, it’s because of its pacing. Despite the fans praising how fast it is, what they never realized is how such a fast pacing wasn’t allowing proper character development or build up for the events, or how those events didn’t have enough impact before moving to something completely different, especially in terms of emotions.

Whenever an important event or a big revelation happens, it is almost instantly overshadowed by another one thus it does not feel important, whenever the characters train, the series skips the training thus they appear to be way more powerful out of nowhere. Whenever a character dies, the others get over it almost instantly. Thus, although the pacing is indeed fast, it is actually too fast for its own good and makes the story comes off as rushed.

Not even the relaxation moments help since, as I said before, whenever you see the characters out of battle, they act and feel completely different, with even more shallow personalities and interactions, with basic background stories and motivations behind them and they devolve to walking fan service, since the whole series mutates from whatever mess of a tone it goes for during moments when there’s tension to a harem comedy.

There’s even more, not even the not happy and not predictable ending is safe since it’s also affected by the rushed pacing, in the last episodes characters change their minds; reveal more powers; a giant robot-like thing appears to destroy the whole city; the assassins and the soldiers, along with the Prime Minister, fight each other in full daylight, unlike the rest of the series; a lot of characters die at the same time thus their deaths somehow manage to feel even less important than the previous ones and also; while you get to see the outcome of the conflict, you don’t get to see its effects afterwards.

What I mean by that is how did the kingdom recovered so easily from such a disaster, why does people trust Najenda with such ease and why is Akame blamed for everything that happened, when everyone knows exactly what actually happened? None of these things make sense or get an answer.

And finally I’d like to talk about the aspect that made the show so famous in the first place, the lack of plot armor, which was also portrayed poorly, for several reasons.

First, having a lot of characters dying so close to one another is equally bad as having no death since that way it makes them feel like nothing more than cannon fodder.

Second, if you kill them off before fleshing them out, they will seem unimportant to the plot, to the remaining characters, and more important, to your audience, who won’t get emotionally attached to them and thus won’t care about them when they die.

Third, it makes the show predictable in its own way since from a certain point the viewers were expecting every character to die thanks to the already big body count.

Fourth, and last and more important, this lack of plot armor is actually a lie since Tatsumi has the biggest possible plot armor in the show which is Esdeath falling in love with him. That way he’s assured of not being killed by her during the whole series and her squad going easy on him to the most part, plus it’s a big plot convenience, since she does not really loves him but she’s using him to learn what love actually is and Tatsumi just happened to fit in absolutely every very specific characteristic she wanted in a boyfriend.

As you see, despite the few good moments in its visuals and its neat ideas, the show as a whole is one big mess and has nothing in it besides its interesting premise.

The story is terribly written; the exposition is terrible; the themes aren’t explored properly; the characters are shallow and often rewritten; the tone is uneven; the pacing is too fast for its own good; the finale is weak; the production values are average at best; and the main hook of the series is actually a lie. For all those reasons, Akame ga Kill! is a terrible show, it didn’t deserve all the attention it got, it deserves all the bad fame it gets and I consider it to be amongst the worsts anime I’ve watched in general.

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Accel World review

Posted : 1 year, 11 months ago on 6 March 2018 04:44 (A review of Accel World)

NOTE: Although this review focuses mainly on the tv series, it covers the entire animated franchise up until this point. If you happen to be one of the few people that didn’t watch it, thought of giving it a chance, and are reading this right now, I should advise you that there are some spoilers here, so take this TL; DR instead: THIS FRANCHISE IS COMPLETE GARBAGE AND YOU SHOULDN’T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH IT. With that said, let’s move to the review.

Ah, Accel World, the title that blew everyone’s mind when it came out for being about people playing videogames with an advanced virtual reality technology, for featuring a fat ugly male protagonist and for being made by the author of Sword Art Online (this anime adaptation came out before SAO’s, but it was the other way around in the light novels). Since it panders to both the otaku and gamer audiences it was hailed as a masterpiece, and guess what, IT’S GARBAGE.

So the show presents this futuristic society where people basically get a wireless virtual world installed in their heads since they were born. They have access to internet whenever they feel like it and thus can mail and call other individuals, take notes and do their homework or search information virtually. All of which appears as windows in front of them which only they can see. It’s presented in the cheapest way possible with people moving their hands in front of thin air.

They can also talk to others mentally if two or more people connect each other with a cable. This is also presented in the cheapest way possible with people sitting on a table and talking to each other without even moving their mouths. Good use of an advanced technology story presented in a visual medium there. Also sometimes their thoughts mix in and sometimes they don’t. Is there a rule which controls that? Nah, it changes whenever the author feels like throwing an ecchi joke or not.

So it’s a society that wasted money and technology on an application that allows them to being anti-socials that don’t really communicate to each other but it’s really awesome because people can (not really) play crappy videogames from within. Yay!

Here’s some app called “Brain Burst” which transfers them to the “Accelerated World” that allows people to think way faster than the normal human brain but in order to do that they need some experience points and how does people gain said experience points? They play a crappy mmorpg and fighting game fusion which is obviously a serious and very dramatic thing.

The game already begins in a ridiculous way by basically raping the players’ mind to get information about them and create their avatars based on their emotions and psyche (mostly insecurities). Um, what? Why would someone do such a thing, why no one demanded the developer for being a potential cyber-terrorist group that brainwashes people? Who cares, let’s play videogames! And the designs are ridiculous, simple yet deformed robots with one or two colors and no explanations whatsoever about how that specific design reflects its player.

What about the game itself? A generic mmo where people kill creeps and gain level; there isn’t even some lore behind the world they play in. They don’t even form factions because those were already formed when the game started by some people that apparently didn’t have better things to do than playing a bad videogame the whole time, said people didn’t even wanted to reach the finale of the game and instead tried to be at peace. What kind of gamers are those? But don’t worry because the main girl of the show didn’t like that and betrayed them and decapitated the guy that proposed that and since then there are factions at war in the game.

What that means is that the little bit of story within the game was made by the players and no from the game itself, how sad is that for a game that is not about creating your stuff with whatever is given to you like some simulation game or Minecraft? (And even that game has some sort of story).

What about the leveling and abilities system and the gameplay? People gain experience by killing creeps or fighting against other players, just like in any other mmo. But since this is also an rpg they also unlock new abilities when they gain more level. How? Weren’t their personas based on each person? Why don’t they begin with all of their unique abilities if their avatars were created based on the individual characteristic of each one? Why are the character’s abilities so similar to the ones of generic rpg classes like mages or healers when they are supposed to be based on each individual? What about those abilities represents the players? Who cares let’s just play videogames!

Just like in any other mmo, the players have a health bar, and while that should balance the battles, it doesn’t. What I mean is that they play a game, they have health bars, they battle with specific abilities that consumes specific amount of energy (they have some form of it in the game too) and deals a specific amount of damage. Yet the protagonist can be easily owned by whoever he encounters and is always about to lose, but when he has the lowest amount of health you can imagine, the same abilities that almost killed him (or new even more powerful) now deal nearly to no damage, what does that mean? It means that he has a ridiculous amount of plot armor. Oh, and he also can easily defeat his opponents in the end with just a few attacks, of course. And let’s not forget that he is able to do that because he has THE SUPER AMAZING, UNBELIEVABLE, UNIMAGINABLE AND UNMATCHABLE ABILITY OF… being able to fly, wow…

The players gain experience points whenever they kill shit or defeat other players, you know, basic stuff, and that’s a super important and dramatic thing because if they lose all of their points they lose in the game, and if they lose in the game, what could happen? Are whole races and kingdoms going to submit to others like in No Game no Life? No. Will the players lose their lives like in Sword Art Online? No. THE SUPER IMPORTANT, DRAMATIC AND SERIOUS THING THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IF THEY LOSE THE GAME IS…wait for it…that they won’t be able to play the game ever again. The system blocks their ID and thus it doesn’t allow the losers to play the game ever again. Those are some really high stakes, right? Also, what kind of mmorpg blocks its players permanently? One that doesn’t expect to stay afloat for much time, I guess.

And the losers can’t even recommend the game to other people because the app instantly erases their memories of the game, and their time and role there. Do you need another proof that this developer is a potential cyber terrorist group? Say what you want about how games make people stupid, no game in real life (up until now) fucks up the players’ mind like this one, thankfully (well, maybe porn games, specially the vr ones that are being developed, oh God, what are we doing…).

That’s what happens when you create a nonsensical futuristic society with an advanced virtual reality without any form of control. How do they deal with hacking in such a society?
Anyways the brainwash is done supposedly because the game must remain secret, yeah, because having people yelling BURST LINK every time they enter is not suspicious at all.

Remember how experience points work? Well, forget about that, why? Remember when I said that the main girl of the show killed another player? Well, here’s what happened: she caught off guard the other player and instantly chopped off him. What happened with all the experience stuff? Well, turns out whenever two or more top players fight, they one-shot the other, taking away their whole experience and thus making they lose the game instantly. Why would such a broken rule which completely contradicts the mechanics of the game exist? Well, I guess it turns the game into something like Day Z and it becomes more interesting…if the protagonist didn’t have plot armor, that is.

You see, when Haruyuki, the protagonist, loses, he just gets his ultimate ability robbed by another player and becomes an unimportant player that slowly goes back to the top to fight against the asshole that defeated him once again, no big deal.

Even in their real life the main characters have plot armor. In the early episodes of the show Kuroyukihime, the main girl, wants to help Haru with his bully, so she gets him being punched by that guy so the asshole gets expelled, and what does he does for a revenge? HE ATTEMPTS TO CRASH HARU WITH HIS CAR, OF COURSE. But do not worry, dear viewer, here’s Kuroyukihime to save the day. After a long, unbelievable, lame, melodramatic, hypocritical and selfish love confession, she uses a once in a long time unique ability only the top players can use and thinks even faster, and uses her avatar to move her real body, so she gets crashed by the car instead of Haru, and after a few days, she’s ok and playing the game again, of course.
Let’s talk about the third arc of the series, because the other two were about people playing games where all those problems I already mentioned appear. So this particular arc is about how another student of their same school uses the app for something different than playing the game and that is cheating in the school exams so he gets better grades. It was refreshing to see something slightly different but the handling of this arc was also really bad. On one hand, it brings out an interesting question to the table, if we had and application like this, wouldn’t we abuse of it in order to get personal benefit? And wouldn’t we try our best to do that? Yet, again, the handling of this arc was terrible.

Leaving the fact of how minimal his main objective is aside, the antagonist of this arc is so edgy that you can’t take him seriously; he laughs as a maniac and treats everyone like shit because he gets better grades and because he has a higher score on a videogame. He does all that because he suffered bullying in the past from his brother, meaning he is not only edgy but also victimized; Haru went through something similar and he didn’t become a piece of shit. Also, he use one of Haru’s friends to gain points in the game, because she has THE SUPER AMAZING, UNBELIEVABLE, UNIMAGINABLE AND UNMATCHABLE ABILITY OF…being able to heal. What kind of lame ass mmorpg is this where a basic ability like that is a big deal?

This girl kept saying the whole series that everyone is stupid for taking a game so seriously and when an asshole tells her to betray her friends in order to gain more experience in a game she supposedly doesn’t care that much about she instantly agrees? Well Haru and this girl were extorted by the antagonist, yes, but it’s a futuristic society where they have all kind of stuff in their heads, they can record conversations and videos anytime they want. If it’s possible to do it today with no much difficulty, imagine how easy it should be for them, the whole arc could’ve been avoided.

And what does the super pro player Kuroyukihime is doing? She is on a school trip until she appears at the ends of the arc and easily defeats their enemies except for the main bad guy who has to be faced by Haru, because otherwise he wouldn’t regain his ultimate ability I guess. And of course, the final fight is full of plot armor, ass-pulls, new abilities similar to others and lame motivational speeches, what did you expect, strategies and fair conditions for each player? Oh, silly you.

This third arc ended up being the worst, not only has all the problems from previous ones such as plot armor and ass-pulls and could’ve been avoided as I stated before but it also contradicts the most basic rules of the series:

-Two players who have similar abilities to those of Haru and a girl from the second arc appear and Haru gets his ultimate robbed. How is it possible for his ability to get robbed by other player? How is it possible that there are players with similar abilities? Weren’t their abilities unique because they supposedly represent every player’s personality and psyche?
-During Kuroyukihime’s trip she has her own adventure fighting a random monster and she gets the help of her best friend, who was a Burst Linker before but she’s not anymore. It is stated at the beginning of the series that whenever someone loses the game and it’s uninstalled that person can’t play it again. What happened to that? Also this mini arc was thrown in during the last arc interrupting the story. I don’t care if it was a side story in the light novels or something like that, in the anime adaptation it killed the narrative flow just like a filler arc does.

Now, let’s talk about the characters, shall we? Unlike most of the others modern anime’s protagonists, Haru is fat, short, ugly, suffered bullying and have an inferiority complex. So this isn’t a story about a bland self-insert Gary Stu that haves all the chicks for stupid reasons and an empowerment fantasy for otakus and is actually about an interesting, flawed and well developed protagonist? No, is the same shit as the others but even more retarded. Why? Because lots of girls fall in love with him despite all of his flaws because he is kind and good at videogames, featuring not one but two cliché and lame characteristics of modern anime’s protagonists in one package that no girl would see as enough of a reason to fall for a guy.

To his credit, he gets some development throughout the story as he becomes stronger and thus he gains more self-confidence, but that is also inconsistent since he is constantly going back to how he was, and the circle repeats forever whenever something positive, immediately followed by something negative, happen to him.

As for the other characters, there’s Kuroyukihime, the perfect waifu of the show that is somehow a pro player, a top student, and a kind hearted person at the same time, yet in reality she’s selfish and hypocrite. I can’t believe how every fan of this series takes her characterization at face value and don’t realize how she only wants Haru for his (not real) capabilities of taking her to the top of a freaking mmorpg.

As for the others, edgy enemies with close to none characterization, and some turns out to be cliché harem archetypes that fall for Haru because of the aforementioned reasons; Takumu, a typical protagonist’s best friend, and Chiyuri, that bitch that isn’t just annoying and useless and not only betrays her friends for stupid reasons but is also jealous of Haru and Kuroyukihime and she tries to take advantage on him despite being his best friend’s girlfriend. Fuck this girl.

And that’s it for the series, although it has an interesting concept and some attempt at showing people’s change of attitude by the dependence of advance technology and less social interactions, as well as some attempt at showing how we would abuse of some power or facility gave to us if we have the chance to get benefits from it, along with some development for the main character, everything failed in the long run. Apart from the interesting premise, the only positive aspect regarding the story that I can think about is the pacing, which is not good, but not bad either. Take in count that while it’s still an adaptation with no ending, it covers three arcs where the protagonists fight against various other factions, which means that every important character was already revealed. But then again, this is also questionable because they keep making progress and going back to square one and then they constantly keep repeating the process.

If there are some positive aspects in this show, those would be the visual and sound department, the character designs are generic, bland, and Haru and the avatars are ugly and retarded, and the voice acting is nothing special; but the backgrounds, the motions, and the special effects are well done, and the sound effects and soundtrack range from fine to good, making the world they play in and their fights spectacular on a superficial level. I don’t want to waste more time in this, I’m moving to the rest of the franchise.

The tv series was followed by two ovas that were silly ova material about a pumpkin hunting other players full of fan service, even more retarded designs and melodrama regarding the not couple from the show and another one about onsen, Haru being fat and having to lose some weight in order to pass a medical exam in school, what does this have to do with gaming? Well if he doesn’t lose weight he can’t play videogames for stupid reasons. That’s it, don’t lose weight to gain better health and appearance, do it so you can go back to play videogames for another person. Overall good pacing, visuals and sound apart, there’s nothing more to these ovas, moving on.

After that, another studio released some two minutes specials about every character being even more retarded, barely trying to hide their fetishes (Haru’s best friend is literally treated as a dog by his girlfriend in these specials) and, of course, everything is shown in a crappy chibi style.

And finally, four years after the tv and ova series finished, Sunrise released a movie, and it’s easily the worst thing in the franchise. It tried, and failed, to be a recap movie, a sequel to the former entries, a stand-alone entry, and an adaptation of some volume of the light novel series to please the fans that were waiting for a second season, all at the same time. How is it possible to fail that hard? Well, like this:

-Bad as a recap movie: It only covers part of the series, leaving some details from the show off the summary.

-Bad as a sequel: The events here happen way after the tv and ova series, if it is watched by a person that never read the light novel series, said person would ask him/herself: Who are all of this new people? When and how did the long time characters gain so many new abilities? (Said abilities are pretty op btw) Why are the two factions still allies when they already accomplished their common objective in the series? Shouldn’t they go back to be enemies already since they want to reach glory (if you can call reaching the top of a mmo that) by their own? What are the new areas they go to? When and how Haru got rid of his curse?

-Bad as a stand-alone entry: You may think that this movie shouldn’t be judged as such because it doesn’t try to be one, but it is. Why would it include a recap then, if it wasn’t? The people that watched the series already knows the story, and the same goes for the people that kept reading the light novels, of course. Yet the movie starts with a recap that lasts for half its duration, and wastes said duration in stupid things instead of telling the viewer all of its important details. That aside, it’s also just a bullshit mission about two factions fighting against a feminine player that somehow allied with a monster in the game for escapists reasons, and she was defeated by the power of lame speech about love and friendship, and bullshit op new abilities. But that does not mean that the film can’t include some silly moments about the main (not) couple, right? Talk about wasting screen time in nothing.

-Bad as an adaptation: It is not even good as an adaptation of its source material because it changed some important details from the story it’s supposed to be adapting.

Good animation and sound apart, this movie is a complete disaster, there is not a single good thing about its script and thus, it does not deserve more than the minimal score.

And that’s it for the franchise, the tv series alone is slightly better but, as a whole, is the anime equivalent of the third Spy Kids film, and that’s definitely not a good thing.

Accel World: 4/10
Accel World EX: 3/10
Accel World: Acchel World: 2/10
Accel World Infinite Burst: 1/10

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Frame Arms Girl - From MyAnimeList review

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 7 January 2018 01:50 (A review of Frame Arms Girl - From MyAnimeList)

NOTE: This won't really be a review but a rant about this series, because I FUCKING HATED IT. You were advised to not waste your time reading this shit.

Oh man, what the hell is happening with anime? Just when I was thinking that I was being too harsh with newer titles and was giving 1/10 too much, I came across this title. It made me raise the ratings of some of those titles but on the other hand it proved me right.

So, a good for nothing lazy high school girl receives a doll, which is not really a doll but a robot developed to gain emotions along with battle training. And why exactly does such a thing exists? Is the Japanese government going to use them in a war or something? Who knows, the shows does not answer that in its first two episodes and instead wastes time being a terrible comedy/action series.

Incredibly dumb premise and bad pacing aside, everything is wrong in this show. Starting with the production values, everything is cheaply animated: from simple backgrounds to poor motions, generic character design for the female protagonist, and the worst part of this department, the cancerous CGI. If you thought Kemono Friends' models looked bad, this thing is ten times worse! Every problem the show has in its production values are even worse whenever these Frame Arms Girls appear on screen, and what could be even worse than characters done in cancerous CGI models? MOEBLOBS DOLLS DONE IN CANCEROUS CGI, THAT IS! And the special effects during battles are terrible too.

The sound department ranges from forgettable to horrendous too, moeblob voices, weak sounds and barely listenable soundtrack. Combine that with often no mouth movement at all and you just assured yourself one of the worst nightmares fans of sakuga could ever get in their lives.

But enough of that, what's important is the story and this series, at least in this early point in the show, doesn't have one. It's a CGDCT done terribly wrong. Well, no one could find this atrocious cancer CGI to be cute-looking anyways.

So, two more robot dolls are sent to this girl's house because they are going to teach the first one about battles and emotions, oh yeah, I forgot to say that, they actually fight...IN CANCER CGI, WITH LIFE BARS AS IF IT WAS ALL A SHITTY VIDEOGAME IN A POORLY DRAWN VR BACKGROUND. And even that part is terribly done because the main robot girl has an incredible advantage, HOW!? The other ones were clearly activated way before and thus have much more experience yet they can't defeat this newbie? Well that's because the human girl helps the main doll, thanks mc, she will be a great soldier that way...NOT! Also the main doll has an unbelievable amount of plot armor, the attacks of the others deal close to no damage to her, but her attack? IT ONE-SHOTS HER ENEMIES, OF COURSE.

Oh, and by the way, they fight with horrible mecha armors that, of course, leaves their bodies unprotected so the viewer can see their horrible CGI legs and butts, while activating said armors with magical girl like transformations with catchphrases and everything. The catchphrases aren't even the same each time they do that horseshit transformation.

The main doll, I mean robot, has a black miniskirt, essentially reminding me that I could be watching Nier: Automata porn instead of this horseshit if I wanted to see a sexy female robot with a fine piece of an ass. Who the hell would want to see the panties (because for some reason, the doll wears one) of a freaking robot doll!? Actually I don't want to know that. But the thing is, is an ecchi that lewds FREAKING ROBOT DOLLS while disguised as the most retarded CGDCT I've ever seen in my life.

It even throws in some yuri to cure a PTSD, I'm not even joking! THAT HAPPENED! Leaving aside the fact of how stupid that is, who would want to see two cancer CGI robot dolls kissing!? Actually I don't want to know that either. They are also activated by being charged, you know, like a cellphone, or a notebook, or something similar, and of course that means that the cable goes just above their buttholes, which makes them moan. Oh, and the human girl punish them by doing that constantly if they fuck up something. Please, stop being so cringy.

But what about the gaining emotions part? Well, badly done too, of course. The main robot girl already wants to learn new things, she have curiosity and memories, since she remembers the two other robots, and she also fears her enemy...wait, wasn't she activated for the first time in the first episode? Sigh; there goes the consistency on her characterization. Well, not that it would matter since on the second episode she laughs and makes her own opinions about silly stuff and more. If they wouldn't have destroyed her characterization on the first episode, they would've done it on the second.

In the second episode everything goes to shit, who cares about battles and emotions, let's have our ugly CGI dolls being chased by an iRobot (I think it's a Braava, but I'm not sure).

And that's all I could take from this series, in fact, since I don't rate stuff that I dropped on first episode, I watched the second only to hate it.

To be honest, maybe I shouldn't be this harsh with a series that is not trying to be anything more than a retarded CGDCT episodic comedy (or so it seems in its firsts episodes) made only to promote some weird figurines (even if those were already popular in Japan); but it's just terribly done in every department! It has no story, it's not going anywhere, the battles are unimportant, it's not funny, it looks and sounds horrible, it's one of the most cringy things I've seen in my life and it instantly became one of the entertainment products that I hated the most in my whole life. It made me raise some ratings, it made me hate moe even more than I already did; and deserves to be considered one of the worst and most insulting anime, or even entertainment products in general, ever.



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ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka review

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 24 December 2017 12:05 (A review of ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka)

When Acca came out it caused three types of reactions:

-Those who lost their shit because it was made by the same author that wrote House of Five Leaves.
-Those that lost their shit because it seemed similar to Joker Game.
-Those that didn’t watch any of those shows and thus didn’t care about it at all.

And I am one of those that didn’t watch it when it came out. So, I decided to check it out now and found it astronomically boring.

So, there’s a kingdom composed of thirteen states and a public service organization that maintains peace amongst all of them. Jean, the protagonist, is an inspector of said organization and is doing inspections in every state while rumors of a coup d'état have spreaded throughout the kingdom.

Starting with the strongest aspect of the show, the sound department; the sound effects are passable but the soundtrack is very good, sometimes calm, sometimes upbeat, but always classy. I’m not much of a fan of its opening and ending, but both were good, the former got a song with an original and interesting mix of different music genres and also great visuals, while the latter was simply beautiful. There is a second ending that was ok too. As for the voice acting, I think some of the choices in the casting weren’t accurate (Pastice), but everyone did a good job.

Following with the visual department, it looks weird mostly due to the color palette, it has some quality drops and since it’s not a series where the movement is important, that element is rather weak. Other than that, is a solid work mostly for the backgrounds and the character designs, which although having a generic look of a josei manga, they still manage to look different than most other series, again, mostly for the color palette. Although they have weird hair colors, most of the characters look as serious adults, with the obvious exception being the fat version of Tintin, seriously what’s up with that guy? Also, since every district that is part of the kingdom is evidently based on a real country, there’s a lot of variety amongst them in shapes, traits, skin, clothes and stuff. It fits the setting nicely, which, as I said, it is based on real countries from Europe, Asia and to a lesser extent, Africa; so there’s also a lot of variety in the series when it comes to backgrounds, and everything looks beautifully drawn.

Speaking about the setting, this is when the negatives start since it doesn’t make much sense, although the depiction of the countries the states were based on were mostly accurate, the whole setting looks like it’s based on the post-war era and yet there are satellite antennas and even modern day technologies such as cell phones and notebooks.

The plot feels slow, mostly due to the tone of the first episodes; where the protagonist, Jean, go to every state, sees the situation on everyone of them, takes little action on some small conflicts that happens there with a totally disinterested attitude, eats sweets and breads, buy some more sweets and breads for his sister (mostly sweets) and drinks lots of beer with his best friend; but midway on the series the story tries to convince the viewer that he was actually plotting the coup d'état all along. HOW? He was clueless about it until the Director of the organization told him. Also these first episodes have some silly moments like every scene with Lotta, the mc’s sister; and the prince, because, well, he is stupid, no, seriously, even the other characters point it out until the final episode.

Things get more interesting and serious on the middle episodes and onwards, there were still some comical moments, but from that point the series feels more focused on its plot and drama. The coup d’état was moving forward, slowly and completely by talking about it, but moving forward regardless; and there were some really touching moments regarding Jean and Jino’s past, where the show starts to present its characters as people instead of spies puppets. But when the series was going well, the finale came and it was a complete ass-pull. Turns out Jean had a master plan within his master plan all along; and what a plausible one, stop everything with two people, yeah, right; also, there was no foreshadowing about it, it was complete bullshit.

Jean is easily the most boring and uninteresting character in the whole show, although he has a great past, he doesn’t react to anything that is going on in an interesting way, not even the revelation of his real identity; I’m not saying that the series should have showed that in an overdramatic way but we got…almost nothing. Also he is labeled as some super genius by everyone else when he is otherwise clueless, disinterested and distant on the first episodes; but I will admit that he got slightly better on the middle when he starts having internal thoughts about how to proceed on the whole thing…until his stupid hidden master plan within a master plan ruined everything. Well, at least he is slightly better than most of the teenagers with first world problems modern anime is so full of; and most of Urobuchi’s passive mouthpieces. There was only a moment when Jean seemed a human, and that was only because he got turned on by Mauve.

Speaking about her, why wasn’t she the main character? Apart from being the definitive waifu from 2017 (with Angie Varley from Mahoutsukai no Yome being a close second), she is also constantly thinking and investigating about what’s going on, while also having strong ideals, she is the whole opposite of Jean, give her a past and make her the main protagonist, and this show is automatically better.

Jino was another decent character, although he is shown as only a typical cool mysterious protagonist’s best friend in the beginning, the revelation of his past, and his work as a double agent, as well as his actual thoughts and feelings about the whole situation, and being shown as someone with actual own will, made him a lot better.

That’s as far as the good goes with the characters; the others aren’t bad, but nothing more than passable, the antagonists are not psychotics PURE EVIL ones like lots of anime today like to portray theirs, but nonetheless; they still remained as typical mysterious master minds behind the whole thing with little to none information about them, and the secondary characters didn’t really matter, Lotta and the female subordinates of Jean were particularly annoying, what does sweets, breads, and girls talks have to do with a military setting where a coup d’état is taking place? They are useless and unnecessary but on the other hand at least they felt like people. Wobular could have been a good character if he had more presence, something that didn’t happen, but he was still ok; the exact same thing can be said about Oulu.

In the end, Acca wasn’t a bad series; it does have problems regarding its pacing, setting and closure, but the plot wasn’t awful thanks to its mid episodes, the cast was decent because it didn’t have teenagers with first world problems, moeblobs or psychotics villains, the production was good and the setting was realistic up to some point, and it didn’t ruined said realistic setting completely with a psychotic edgelord loli that blows up shit with magic like Youjo Senki did.

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Aachi Ssipak (2006) review

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 22 December 2017 06:06 (A review of Aachi Ssipak (2006))

AVGN aside, I was never much of a fan of toilet humor and lost almost every piece of appreciation for it when I passed my 13 years or so, which translates to me, now, not liking Aachi & Ssipak for most of its duration, but that does not mean that I hated the movie since it also packs a lot of something that I definitely enjoy since I was a kid, long and frenetic action scenes.

The movie does not hold back when it comes to that, lots of chase scenes full of gun fire and lots of splatter, and since the protagonists can’t defeat any of their enemies by their own, they have to make every little dirty trick and use whatever shit they can find on the nearby to even start thinking of fighting against deformed gang members and a cyborg police officer, all while defending a porn actress. Combine all that with a fast pace and the splendid animation and direction and you assured yourself a fine brainless action flick if that is all you want.

Now that I mentioned that, let’s talk about the production values. Starting with the obvious, despite being on every major anime database, this is a South-Korean film, which means no generic character designs at all in the medium it belongs to, two ugly punks, a deformed woman, a transvestite, a cute little girl with a fucked up look for a Mayor, and some Smurfs-like creatures for antagonists, oh, and the cyborg, who surprisingly has the least interesting design in the whole movie. All of which made on purpose to look cartoony, creepy and, yeah, ugly. But it does not stop there, at all; the place where the story takes place is also a completely rotten country that looks crude, ugly, broken and dirty, while also having lots of references to Hollywood movies thrown-in there. But what good would all of that be in an action film if it doesn’t have fluid motions? And it does have it, starting with the vivid expressions and movements of the characters and finishing with the crazy but no random camera movements during action sequences; add to it references to Hollywood iconic films and a nice blend between 2-D and 3-D and you got one of the most remarkable visual departments in anime.
But just like it happens with A Kite, the sound department is not as good, the sound effects are awesome, as they are reminiscent to Hollywood action films sound effects, but the voice acting and music aren’t special, despite being extreme and fitting with the setting and tone, too much superior competition out there when it comes to this (you know, Panty and Stocking, Dead Leaves, Redline).

Speaking about the setting, I realize I didn’t even mentioned what the hell this movie is about, well, take this, a future where natural resources are gone and the government of a certain country uses the excrement of its citizens as an energy resource, while giving them candy-like drugs to people as a reward for all their shit. There, our two protagonists, the ones that give the movie its title, steal and sell said drugs, which ultimately results in them being chased by the police and a terrorist group composed of those people that consumed so much of those candies that they became addicted to them and transformed into some weird creatures…whatever. As you can imagine, the plot is stupid and an excuse for the action BUT is not crap. Is not really evident but the film is actually a satire of post-apocalyptic, action and political films, making fun of all of it clichés while making them into something completely amoral, hell, even the premise is making fun of those titles, a typical post-apocalyptic premise where everything went to shit, low resources, social control from the governments to people, social critique about the greediness of capitalists societies…and everything is literally about shit. I said before that the film references Hollywood action films but forgot to say that does not references only that, but also ideological movements as well, but it does not just show or mention them, but presents them as the worst thing ever.

Even the cast is atypical; they try to make a living in this rotten world just like in lots of post-apocalyptic stories…by stealing and selling drugs and being completely unlikable assholes that all they want is money and would betray even their partners for that. You don’t really want them to succeed, but seeing that their enemies are worse, what other option is left to you?

And above all that, despite its relatively short duration, it managed to bring a closure to every plot point it presents, not in a really solid way, since the film is still a brainless action flick with lots of bullshit unrealistic things; but a serviceable one.

So, in the end, is a satire of post-apocalyptic films with lots of gross humor and very little critique to capitalism shown in the most ugly, stupid and unrealistic but also the most creative, unique and entertaining way. Leave it or take it as it is.

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Kite review

Posted : 2 years, 2 months ago on 17 December 2017 02:54 (A review of Kite)

There was a time when A Kite (or Kite) was the most famous porn anime before it was completely overshadowed by Sei Shoujo’s creations (especially Bible Black) and why not? I mean it is an adult oriented movie that is not only porn, but also a heavy action packed film, a crime thriller and a psychological drama too! Sounds amazing on paper but its execution is far from being equally good.

The plot is about two teenagers, a guy (Oburi) and a girl (Sawa), who work as assassins for two corrupt private detectives, and she is also constantly abused by one of them and carries with a tragic past.

The main problem this film has is its duration; it lasts for only fifty minutes and tries to pack all of the aforementioned elements, what could go wrong, right? Well, almost everything, but let’s go by parts, starting with the few positives things I can say about this title.

The production values are very good, even impressive for a hentai title, and even more when you take in count that this was the first work that studio Arms made, yes, there are some quality drops but to the most part it has a very solid visual presentation. The character designs are rather unique and there’s a lot of detail to them, even in their genitalia and body fluids, the motions are really fluid on the action sequences, which are packed with a lot of detailed and very well drawn graphic violence and big explosions. The sex sequences have good motions too, along with lots of positions and camera angles. And I must not forget to mention that the film did a good job depicting a neo-noir aesthetic with its rotten city filled with dark colors and the use of lots of shadows, everything accompanied with a splendid direction, at least when it comes to visual department…

You see, the sound department is not as polished, the sound effects and voice acting are overall good, but the soundtrack is not. Actually it’d be more accurate to say that is great but is terribly handled, as if they just told the guy that played the saxophone: “ok, do it” and they didn’t know how to integrate it to the movie afterwards, it even results in some unplanned comical moments.

Visual department and sex sequences aside, there’s nothing more that I could praise about this film; the good ideas were there but the handling of them wasn’t good at all. I can sort of accept that the plot is actually dark and the tone remains serious to the very end, but even that is debatable. With a runtime this short and so many things to portray, the plot comes off as rushed and the characters feel inconsistent. The movie spends most of its time in sex scenes that not always serve a purpose in the story and action sequences that, even if they are well animated as I said before, last for too long and take valuable screen time that is not invested on Sawa’s personal drama; and are also so over the top that you can’t take them seriously from a certain point. Her story is shown mostly in briefs flashbacks; because sex and gore seem to be more important in the director’s mind. The whole story doesn’t even have a good ending since it ends with a cliffhanger.

Sawa is the most inconsistent character here, the first time she appears kills someone with ease, then feels sorry for an old woman, then seems to be an android that can kill easily, have her eyes wide open and never looks at Oburi and looks at the camera instead with a soulless expression, then she jokes with him while you can tell that there’s a romantic relationship building up between them, and all of that in only the firsts 13 minutes of the movie! Imagine how much she is rewritten throughout the whole film. As for the rest, they are not even worth to talk about, the two antagonists are complete one dimensional assholes so the viewer can easily hate them right away, and then there’s Oburi, a guy that overreacts and shoots at a basketball for a stupid reason and there’s no more information about him, seriously.

So down to it, the movie is just a mess. The action is not good because it’s too exaggerated and you end up laughing on those scenes; the thriller part is not captivating because of how little time there’s invested to it, the drama is boring because you barely know something about the characters, and the one you know the most about is constantly being rewritten, the plot is erratic due to a short runtime wasted on style instead of substance, and also lacks a proper ending, and the tone is not so serious either, because of how unintentionally comical the film is sometimes. The only solid things in this ambitious movie end up being the porn scenes and the visual presentation.

A Kite is just bad and does not deserve its praise, I know that it shocked people for being an animated porn movie with plot, but if this is how well it can handle it, then it should have aimed for something much more simple yet polished, like 15 bishoujo, and lots of other hentai did.

And the worst part of it is that it received a sequel ten years later that doesn’t even have any well-made sex scene or good animation; Kite Liberator is just a complete disaster in absolutely every department.

A Kite 3/10
Kite Liberator 1/10

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The Story of 15 Beautiful Girls Adrift (15 Bishoujo Hyouryuuki) 2009 review

Posted : 2 years, 2 months ago on 14 December 2017 10:59 (A review of The Story of 15 Beautiful Girls Adrift (15 Bishoujo Hyouryuuki) 2009)

15 Bishoujo…something… has almost everything that a hentai needs to be considered watchable, at least for me.

-A quick setup: Here you have a guy and fifteen girls on an island and of course they fuck because...well because this is porn and it’s not trying to build any form of plot whatsoever, or is it? I’ll get to that later.

-Great pacing: This guy gets to fuck like…4 girls or so, on the very first episode, and yes, like the title implies, he gets to fuck the fifteen girls at the end of the series.

-Lots of sex scenes packed with lots of positions and different camera angles: This partly has to do with the fact that there are lots of girls here but that alone does not guarantee that there will be variety in sex scenes, if you watch, let’s say, Ane to Boin, there, as much sex scenes that title have (and trust me, there are a lot), most suffer of being composed of one position and two or three camera angles at best, not here, the protagonist fucks the girls in lots of different ways and the viewer gets to see it from different perspectives, and that’s a nice detail.

-Good animation overall: Well…as good as a title like this can have with its budgets, the girls looks good, their bodies’ proportions don’t change weirdly like in other titles and the motions are ok too, the show even bothered to have finished backgrounds (most of the time, at least), which is weird in a hentai…yeah I know I’m not supposed to be looking at that in a title like this but I do because to me any hentai is like any other anime, ok? If there are things that can be criticized in this department, those are: the protagonist’s design, which changes a little throughout the show, and that is weird, it could be excused that since he was in an island who knows how much time, he changed, but still…oh, and the character designs are bland and generic overall, and finally, since it came out after 2007, the fucking censorship on the genitalia which will always be stupid.

As for the sound department, it’s forgettable but it works, I guess, voice acting is good since they hired voice actors that actually worked on tv series and not just porn.

Well now let’s talk about the little plot this title is not even trying to have: you won’t ever know why these people are on that island and how they ended up there and there are even two androids and dog-like girl...but at least you’ll know what’s the relationship between the main character and SOME of the girls and how he gets to fuck all of them, it’s not much but there are porn series that don’t even bother to clarify that. This show also has a lot of comedy, even the way the mc gets to fuck the girls is hilariously stupid, and that’s a good thing, it shows that this series is aware of its bullshit and don’t try to be dramatic, something that in most hentai ends up being facepalming; and fortunately, it never throws off-putting comedy during sex scenes.

Another thing that I consider well done in a hentai is when it has a lot of different girls and everyone has her own look, body proportions, and, most important, personality. To me, by doing that, a porn movie or series will guarantee its major appeal to a wider audience, and this show succeeds at that to the most part.

As I said earlier, this show is not even trying to have a coherent plot and cares more about presenting a quick setup and go ALL THE WAY UP right away, and thus,  and since the maximum rate I give to a title like this is a 5/10, I can’t give it a higher score, but it is still watchable for what it is. As a contrast, the next title I’m going to review will be a famous and influential porn movie that tried too much for its own good.

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