I’ve had to pleasure to finally have time to watch anime for the first time in years. Seeing as I have a 40 minute bus ride to work, along with an hour wait before work starts, I obviously have plenty of time to watch to hearts desire. So here’s a few of my thoughts about the shows I’ve watched the past few weeks. And yes, there are spoilers ahead.
Sword Art Online
The first anime I’ve watched fully in lord knows how many years. Watched it only because my coworker suggested it to me and told me that it was pretty badass. I believe that we were talking about video games, and he went on to say that he hopes to live long enough to where video games get to where they are in SAO. With such high praise, I had pretty high expectations going into this show. And it definitely started off that way. The first few episodes had me hooked. Kirito is one of my favorite protagonists of any anime, mostly because of the fact that he isn’t a bitch. One way for me to stop watching an anime is when the main character is either dorky or nerdy or a wuss, which makes it easy to predict that their character arc is going to be them “overcoming their fears” and magically “growing stronger in times of great peril”. Kirito offers none of that, because from the very beginning he is basically the strongest and he knows it. This anime sports some of the most badass moments from any anime I’ve watched, and they’re all due to Kirito just wrecking shit. The battle with him versus the Gleam Eyes still gives me goosebumps and make me tear up due to the pure awesomeness of that scene. And when he brought down Rosalia and her orange clan, just straight cool with how he handles that situation. The entire first part of SAO up to Kirito waking up in the real world is amazing and definitely worth the watch.
The show goes a little bit downhill once it starts the Alfheim arc. There were a lot of stuff that I just didn’t care about nor was I given any chance to care about it. Like the flying and the wings and the elf ears? Why do I need all this in my anime? I get it, I really do. Because I’ve played MMO’s before and I get that they’ve got to include all this other stuff as a shout out to the Fantasy genre of MMO’s. But I just didn’t care because they pretty much took Kirito’s badass character from SAO and nerfed him into some little elf fairy. Like, you had this good thing going and you just decide to ruin it just for a change in scenery. Also, why do you need to include a whole story arc that’s pretty much a brother/sister incest story. There is no point at all to including it. You could have just had the reveal to be like “Oh hey we know each other in real life that’s a funny coincidence, lets not forget that my girlfriend being held captive is the main priority here” but no, we’ve gotta go into this whole emo sister phase and Kirito has to deal with that distraction instead of being able to focus solely on getting Asuna back. So annoying.
The Gun Gale arc didn’t bother me as much as it did other people. I thought the lightsaber sword was pretty cool to be honest. Really, the only thing I didn’t like about the arc was that the antagonist ended up being a complete random. I wish it had ended up being someone we knew from one of the previous story arcs, but no. Instead we just get a quick little random flashback about a battle that we never see, and we end up getting our antagonist from there. Genuinely did not care about the end of the Gun Gale arc, because I did not care about the identity or the motivations of Death Gun. Like, why couldn’t you make the character a Laughing Coffin member that we’ve seen before? It made the entire thing just feel like filler.
In all though, it was a pretty solid watch. It has its drawbacks, but I would definitely recommend it as an anime. It was one of those shows that I just had to complete, thought it did get kind of hard to watch at the end. Lots of wasted potential though sadly. Solid 7/10 show for me.
Attack on Titan
Wow where do I even begin with this one. What a freakin show. I get it now. I completely understand why this show took off in popularity. I understand all the cosplays, I understand seeing everyone wearing the emblems, and I understand the hype goddammit I understand now.
This anime is desperation incarnate. The whole show just leaves you feeling hopeless, about as hopeless as Armin staring into the face of a titan. The situation they’re in just increases in levels of “oh god we’re fucked” and halfway through the series you’re just left wondering if there’s any hope at all to be had in the show. At first, I didn’t get it. It didn’t follow with how I wanted the anime to go. As an experienced anime watcher, you go into certain animes just having assumptions on what you think is going to happen. I thought that after they graduated from being cadets that Eren and Mikasa and their gang learn how to be super badass with their gears and just wreck titan shit. But no, after they graduate, they’re left even more hopeless than before (with the exception of Mikasa because she is the badass of this anime). Then the twist happens and you finally get to see that little candle flicker with that first ember of hope.
Holy shit, Eren’s a titan? That is basically the opposite of where I thought the anime was going to head. And he has control over his abilities too? Oh here we go, finally humanity has a chance. I like all the political drama that happens as well. Eren’s trail is so intense. It’s like you could have dropped a pin in that courtroom. The church that believes that they walls are gods are annoying, but I can easily see the church having way too much political sway if something like this were to happen in real life. Even the corruption and the distinct class differences hit home pretty hard.
I genuinely cannot wait for season 2. There are way too many questions left unanswered. Like what the hell is in that basement?!?!? It’s tearing away at my soul not knowing what’s in there. I am in such a state of anticipation for season 2. The hype is real with this one. First season is a solid 9/10 for me, and it’s only not perfect because it’s just season 1.
Oh hey look I watched an old school anime. I remember watching bits and pieces of this series back in Anime Club in college, so my mind has always been an incomplete puzzle when it came to this show. So when I found it in its entirety on Netflix, I was ecstatic. Yay, I can finally complete this series after so many years.
I’m still debating in my head whether or not I enjoyed the characters in this show or if I hated them. I think I love the powers and abilities of the characters, but I hate their personalities. It’s as if they made them as annoying as possible, but super strong and badass. I couldn’t stand it when either Black Star or Death the Kid opened their mouths and spoke. I was in a constant state of wanting to tell them to shut the fuck up and just get on with it. I didn’t care for Black Star just constantly screaming or for Death the Kid to turn into such a bitch about symmetry. I think they meant to give the characters some sort of comedy relief, but oh god they just pushed the annoying level to the extreme with these guys. Soul Eater also includes the most annoying character in the history of anime with Excalibur. I actually skipped the episodes he was part of. Why annoy your viewers so?
Other than that, I loved the show. Art style and character design was fun to look at. The storyline other than the ending was amazing. Action scenes were damn cool. Watching the main characters up their skills and get stronger was a pleasure. I just can’t get past the ending because I still don’t fully understand what happened. I don’t get how Maya defeated the Kishin. Did she just prove to be too brave for the Kishins madness? I don’t get it at all. The show feels imcomplete to me because the ending wasn’t fulfilling at all. I think it suffers from trying to be too smart for it’s own good with how they choose to end it, when they really should have just gone the normal route and had Maya do something like unlock more of her mothers abilities and overwhelm the Kishin. That would have completely fit with the rest of the story of Soul Eater, but they decided to go another route and I was just left feeling incomplete at the end of it. 6/10 for me because of the ending. It is worth watching if you like seeing some badass fight scenes. Black Star vs Mifune is amazing.
Do I have a new favorite anime? Pretty damn close. Gurren Lagann was magnificent. Like damn, it really doesn’t get much better than this. If not for it being just average after the time skip, then this definitely would be my favorite anime.
The characters are fantastic. We all know Kamina is too cool and is only the kind of guy we can dream to me. Yoko is the #1 hottest anime girl. Simon is the classic underdog that actually becomes strong and looses his bitch tendencies pretty early on. Leeron is the perfect comedic relief and he’s actually not completely useless. Heck, even Boota has his uses.
The story is amazing as well. I love that they waste no time and there’s no useless filler when it comes to the story. It makes every episode and every second important. No need to draw out the series into some ridiculously long story. They just give it to me straight up without all the bullshit. And lets get this out the way immediately. Kamina dying is the best thing that could have happened to this show. You might have hated seeing him die, because I sure as hell did. But the show needed it. It made you think that nobody was safe in the show. Like how could they kill the most beloved person in the show could they kill everyone else now? It made you feel like every fight could end up with you losing someone else. But Kamina needed to die, because Simon is the drill that would pierce the heavens, not Kamina. And Simon needed Kamina to die so he could grow into that person that would eventually save humanity.
The show does falter a little bit when the time skip happens. It’s always fun to see time skips in shows because your favorite characters come back bigger and stronger and essentially cooler. And at first, it’s decent because of that effect. But then the storyline gets convoluted and complicated. It went from an easy storyline to follow of just kill the evil king. Then the time skip happens and we get all this drama about the Spirals and Anti Spirals and all this stuff just doesn’t make sense. I feel that the show got way too big for itself, like literally. They were fighting with actual galaxies by the end of it. There’s kind of an unofficial rule that you can only get so strong you know. But Gurren Lagann kind of seems to throw that rule out the window and they just keep upgrading their robot to the point where it just gets way too ridiculous for it’s own good. Like, everything was believable to an extent before the time skip, but then everything just gets tossed out the window and you just don’t believe what you’re watching anymore. For example, the freakin hamster Boota that has been following them around without any use at all ends up being this massive source of Spiral energy and assumes a human like form and is able to attack the Anti Spiral. That whole scene made zero sense to me and just left me dazed and confused.
This show is still a solid 9/10 for me, and it could have been the greatest ever if only it had kept it up through the time skip. But meh, one can only dream right.
The Irregular at Magic High School
What the heck was going on in this show? What the hell did I just watch. I genuinely did not understand the storyline at all. I get that magic has been militarized, but who is battling who and why is all of this happening and who are these people. Like this series is only around 25ish episodes long, yet it seems like there’s about a hundred characters, half of them being absolutely pointless.
Okay so remember me complaining about how Sword Art Online had some slightly incest stuff between the brother and sister? Well Magic High School took that to the extreme. Like what the hell? There were scenes with the brother and sister cuddling and nearly kissing and who in their right mind would actually have enjoyment from seeing things like that in a show? I don’t get why a super close brother and sister relationship seems to be a theme of anime these days but I’m sure not a fan of it. Especially when the anime is a harem anime disguised as an action anime. Harem you say? Yeah Tatsuya has like 10 of his classmates after him at any given time. He also has zero personality at all which is kind of his personality in the first place, but he’s still a pretty boring main character. It’s to that point where he’s almost too strong for his own good, and nothing touches him at all. They gave him the most OP ability ever which is to reload a previous version of himself to heal any wounds. So he literally can’t die. Then they casually toss in the clause that whenever he uses that ability, he feels the pain times 150 but that doesn’t seem to effect Tatsuya at all as he uses the ability repeatedly over and over again with no consequences.
The storyline is a muddy mess as well. You sit there watching the show without knowing who certain people are and why they are fighting each other. It starts off simple enough with just basic high school life, and if they had kept it simple, it would have worked as an anime. But no, they had to expand it to military and they had to make Tatsuya some sort of secret government officer and they had to have all these factions fighting each other over magic artifacts whose uses are never explained simply. It’s just a complete mess. Everything is a complete mess when it comes to storyline and things being explained. They make several vague attempts at explaining how the magic works, but you kind of just zone it out after the first few confusing sentences and give up trying to understand after awhile. Trying to learn their magic feels like learning a foreign language to me.
That being said, the fight scenes are pretty cool though, and the entire concept is neat as well. Though Tatsuya is overpowered, it’s actually kind of fun seeing him completely dismantle everything that stands in his way without even breaking a sweat. It’s like he always has yet another joker up his sleeve. And I love how none of his classmates even question it too. It’s like, “oh hey I just got sent this brand new prototype equipment that just got released last month and is probably uber expensive and now lets use it for this high school contest” because that makes so much sense.
Such a weird show but I stuck through it and finished it up. It’s nice if you like mindless action sequences, but other than that it’s kind of a pass. 4/10 for me!
And that’s all the animes I’ve watched in the past few weeks. If you stuck it out with me and read nearly this entire thing, then congrats for being as much of a nerd as I am.