Lasting Impressions : Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007)

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007)

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

Continue reading Lasting Impressions : Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007)

Lasting Impressions : Log Horizon (2013)

Log Horizon (2013)
Log Horizon (2013)

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

Continue reading Lasting Impressions : Log Horizon (2013)

Retail Experience is a Must for Everyone

Wolololo~I’ll be honest, working in retail has taught me a lot. I’ve seen the measures people go through to get what they want. I’ve a great company falter in its goal to give the customer a fighting shot, either by miscommunication or management striving to make due with what corporate wants, which isn’t for the benefit of the customer.

I was lucky enough to start with a company that was stable, and I never feared about losing my job over petty things. If a customer was nice to me, I tried to be nice to them. If it was a mistake on our end, I would try to fix it. Of course, I wasn’t the best cashier. Hell, I wouldn’t even consider myself a GOOD cashier. I would come into work some days with a negative attitude, and I would struggle to make it through the day.

Point is, I’m happy that throughout my years in this retail job, I was able to gain the knowledge and experience I wouldn’t had learned otherwise. Essentially, be nice to the person serving you, whether it be cashier, waiter, retail assistant, manager, or other sales or customer service position. They will be more inclined to help you in the future, mainly because you made their day easier, better, or just less of a nightmare.

For customers out there, as a former cashier at a retail grocery chain in the United States, I’ve a few words for you all.

1) Please feel free to use coupons. I’ve nothing against them, nor do many cashiers. However, please learn the coupon policy for your store and be understanding. I’m not the one trying to stop you from using your coupons, but I’m the one who has to talk to my manager or store head because I let you through with too many coupons or overrode too many coupons. When I inform you of the situation, please be understanding. Next time I may be more willing because I recognize you and I know what may or may not slide with my managers.

2)Fraudulent coupons are growing more and more frequent. Please understand that I cannot take a coupon that I understand is fraudulent. I understand you probably aren’t the one who created the coupon, but if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. In fact, a better way to make money is to provide stores and companies with information regarding the creator or origin of the coupon. Many stores nowadays are offering rewards for that information.

3)As you shop, you may notice dates on a tag. If you see that the date is overdue, please feel free to bring that tag to the front so we can give you the proper price. Many stores will give you the tagged price if we left a tag up as it was our fault and we need to give you the posted price. This does NOT mean that if you put an 8 pack of Paper Towels on a 4 pack stand and say it was just placed there that we need to give you the price. We are not responsible for customers placing loose items on an empty rack. Fighting over issues like this is only going to make me less likely to go beyond for you in the future.

These are a few of the issues I want to bring to light as my final day approaches. Retail is a tough job, and it’s not fun, but if you are being courteous to the employee, generally we will go out of our way to help you. If we don’t, we may be having a bad day, but please be assured your kindness does help and we do remember it.

Next time, more anime and gaming news!!

Why Steins;Gate is my favorite series of all time


(This post may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

I was going to do a Lasting Impressions segment of Steins;Gate, but I feel that my opinions would be too strong for a series I enjoy as much as this. Therefore, I have posted my reasons as to why I love the series as much as I do.

This is the protagonist folks.
This is the protagonist folks.

Some may wonder why I have such a fascination with the series Steins;Gate. After all, the main heroine is commonly used for purposes of my avatar or header. However, before I can begin on the amazing reasons as to why I enjoy Steins;Gate so much, I have to explain some details about myself.

I have always liked the concept of time travel, and even as a little kid I dreamed about traveling through time and controlling the concept of time. Due to this fascination, anything to do with time travel interests me. Of course, most mediums fail to capture an agreeable concept of time travel, such as the movie Looper, whereas some grasp the concept well by establishing rules and restrictions to actually create a story worth telling. Steins;Gate performed this task well, and greatly enhanced the reasons behind following the story.


At the very beginning of the series the rules of time travel are explained and set, leaving no room for confusion or error. While they aren’t explained to the viewer right away, little signs and warnings are set into place to show the rules are in place, yet not exactly explained. In addition, the way the series handles the concept is extremely well done, utilizing points and branches to demonstrate the travel of time and using a convergence meter to show what timeline we are currently seeing. What’s even better is the fact that these concepts were developed by actual scientists and the series merely borrows the concept to create a story. Steins;Gate uses an already developed theory on time travel and expands upon this theory, leaving only the development on the story and how well to tie things up in the air.

But he's a guy.
But he’s a guy.

While I enjoy time travel and the concept of controlling time, there are a few other ideas and concepts that Steins;Gate utilizes to appeal to me even more. Nitro+(Nitroplus) and 5pb(Mages) write fantastic stories that are often based on real life events and set in the present time. This allows someone watching the series within a few years of release to relate with the series even more, understanding the companies, events, and conspiracies that may be referenced in the series. In addition, the series often uses suspense to confuse and anticipate the viewer, which only adds to the greatness of the series. The story is never fully understood until the final episodes, where everything is finally explained and things start wrapping up.


As for the characters, it increasingly becomes easy to connect and understand each one. Okabe, the main character of the series, or rather, the protagonist, often comes off as crazy and comedic. However, once things actually start moving in the series, his true personality comes out as caring, compassionate, and lost. Mayushi often comes off as bubbly, airheaded, caring, and carefree. However, one can see that she does have worries and fears, and becomes a victim to later events. Kurisu can often be described as a typical tsundere, but she does keep her hobbies to herself to preserve her image as a scientist and a scholar. This often gets poked at by the others when she references internet memes and trends. Daru is the smart computer nerd of the group, used mainly for jokes and jabs at the NEET population and internet savvy user. Moeka comes off as unfriendly, unsociable, and self-centered. It later shows that she is alone and scared due to past events, and is merely following what she has been given to believe in. Ruka gives off

This is the supa haka, Daru.
This is the supa haka, Daru.

feminine vibes, yet is shown early on to be a male. Suzuha comes out of nowhere and seemingly doesn’t add much to the plot, save for the few moments of confusion she gives when her words appear to make little to no sense. Once her backstory is explained, however, things begin to fall into place and her true intentions pave the way for the later half of the story. Ferris probably contributes the least to the plot, only giving little appearances at the cafe and one little sub-story in the large plot at hand. Another reason why this series bodes so well with me also comes from the fact that every character comes into play at least once. While some characters don’t appear to have a greater significance, it’s later shown that there was more to said character than meets the eye.

Ferris Nyan Nyan Time!
Ferris Nyan Nyan Time!

Although the story and characters make up a large part of my admiration for this series, another key factor would be the art direction. I’m not going to go out and say that Steins;Gate had the best art of the season. However, I love the art style used for this series. This goes for both the Visual Novel and the Anime, as both have such a unique style that really contributes to the uniqueness and power of the series as a whole. The art direction works wonders, and really left an impact on me.

Forever Best Girl
Forever Best Girl

Of course, the series wouldn’t be as fantastic as it is without it’s awesome soundtrack. The piano tracks that play during the series are phenomenal, and I love the Opening and Ending song of the series. Kanako Ito is one of my favorite singers, and Hacking to the Gate is a lovely song. Speaking of Openings and Endings, the subtle changes between the Alpha Opening and the Beta Opening was a brilliant idea, and a neat way to change things up without being too obvious about it.

Overall, I feel Steins;Gate was an overall fantastic series. Would I consider it the best series ever? No, that would be implausible. However, Steins;Gate does fall under my favorite anime of all time, and for these reasons above, I feel that my reasoning is sound. White Fox adapted the Visual Novel amazingly, which after the Chaos;Head fiasco (Which, the VN is amazing, but the anime leaves much to be desired), was a breath of fresh air. I’m happy that they’re taking the series a little further with a movie, because the characters are unique and fun, but I do fear that they may ruin some of what the series stands for if they try to add more mystery to the series as a whole. I love the series because it wraps itself up perfectly, leaving little to no holes, and for fan service purposes, I’m fine with fun, extra adventures with the cast and crew. For all intents and purposes, however, Steins;Gate as a whole should be its own separate story, boxed up and independent from future endeavors.


Lasting Impressions : Hagure Yuusha no Estetica

Hagure Yuusha no Estetica (2012)
Hagure Yuusha no Estetica (2012)

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

Oh man, it’s great to actually have time to watch anime again. Of course, it’s only fair to start off with a bang, and begin my new batch of impressions with an awesome, kick-ass show entitled Hagure Yuusha no Estetica. Baring resemblances to Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou and Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, the show follows a hero who goes by the name of Akatsuki Ousawa as he leaves the world he was summoned to and returns to his home world. While most stories begin with the summoning of a hero to save the world, this story begins with his departure, and upon arriving back in his own world, it becomes apparent that ‘Heroes’ are summoned often, and while many do not return, the few that do are sent to a school called Babel, where they can learn to control their new skills as ‘Heroes’ and adapt to the world with their new found powers.

The Main Characters Ousawa Akatsuki and Ousawa Miu.
The Main Characters Ousawa Akatsuki and Ousawa Miu.

The general idea behind this series piqued my interest early on, and it only helps that there is more behind the story than just the setting. First off, the main character, Akatsuki Ousawa, isn’t just a returning hero. He is unable to use magic, but his overall skill level is tremendous. Second, he brings the Demon King’s daughter with him to his world in guise of his younger sister. From the beginning, Akatsuki already has multiple targets on his back, ranging from the kingdom he saved before the series began, to the Babel Academy Student Council. The main characters in the series then range from the Demon King’s Daughter, named Ousawa Miu, to class clown Chikage Izumi, to Vice-President Haruka Nanase. Together the cast encounter wacky hi-jinks in their daily abnormal high school lives.

Clearly the best girl of the series
Clearly the best girl of the series

Unfortunately, this series lacks in character development and characterization. While every character contains some element to personalize them, they don’t really stand out among the crowd and honestly, don’t evolve and develop as the series progresses. However, it can easily be stated that this series wasn’t created to cater to lore fanatics and well-balanced fights. Every scene is catered to demonstrating how bad-ass Akatsuki is, and how he can solve every problem using his power that never truly gets fully explained in the show. Each arc consists of Akatsuki wanting to prove his strength, playing pranks on all the pretty ladies, solve some problems by creating misunderstandings, and usually ends with a woman crying with him coming to their rescue. This isn’t necessarily a terrible situation, as the show does what it intends to do. It entertains and provides great feelings to those who want a good “feel-good” show to watch. In addition, it doesn’t help that the story doesn’t conclude with the last episode, with a huge cliffhanger ending that begs to be filled with another season. Why can’t shows end without cliffhangers anymore? A huge portion of anime nowadays end up unfinished because the companies don’t make enough money to add another season, and the show suffers because of these poor creative decisions. If this show fails to bring a continuation, which I highly assume it will, I’ll be disappointed yet again.

You don't want to make him angry. He's a scholar and a gentleman.
You don’t want to make him angry. He’s a scholar and a gentleman.

The artistic and musical aspects of this series are phenomenal. The art, while not beautiful or gorgeous by any standards, doesn’t detract from the show and doesn’t appear lazy. While there is an excessive amount of fan-service, considering the audience I don’t view that as a huge negative. In terms of music, there aren’t many memorable tracks, but there is a fantastic rendition of the main theme that plays during the ‘epic’ scenes with Akatsuki, and I love series that contain arrangements of the main theme as they give the scene meaning and signal an important event. However, this piece of music was definitely overplayed, appearing in nearly every episode. Speaking of main themes, the OP for this series really brought the mood of the series, generally pumping the audience up for the episode with action and rock. There was some surprising foreshadowing in the OP that really caught me off-guard, and really made me appreciate the OP even more. As for the ED, a completely different approach was used, but I think it fits. It uses a catchy little song and consists of material focusing mainly on Miu and her relationship with Akatsuki. Overall, the OP/ED aren’t the greatest, but they do provide the correct emotions and enhance the series as a whole.

They're brother and sister, can't you tell?
They’re brother and sister, can’t you tell?

In all honesty, Hagure Yuusha no Estetica gives a great time for those looking for a bad-ass main character, tons of action, and some quick laughs. There’s a lot of fan-service, and doesn’t provide the best storytelling, leaving some loose ends both in the middle of the series and the end, but provides some entertaining experiences for those bored of today’s moe overload.


Why YOU Should Watch Anime Openings.

Openings are good for all. Just look at Nagi enjoy this wonderful opening.

While the changing of the anime seasons has already occurred, it only now dawns on me the importance of anime Openings and Endings toward the audience. While I have always loved these 1:30 intros and outros, it’s hard to believe so many people don’t understand the significance these seconds make on a potential viewer. The opening will often make or break the viewers opinion on the show, and whether or not the show is actually worth watching. While some people feel reading a synopsis or gathering opinions can give all the reason toward watching a series, the opening can give all the information necessary for judging that series.

I have determined, out of the various series I have had the pleasure of viewing, there are multiple types of openings, and often they will convey the following information. First, there is almost always a character role call. Second, there are subtle hints behind the progression of the plot and/or character development. Third, the opening will attempt to hook the viewer. Of course, there will always be exceptions, as some studios will travel off the path and create something unorthodox to catch the viewers off guard and in turn create more anticipation and hype for the show. I will demonstrate some examples at a later point.

First off, every anime opening consists of some sort of character role call. This doesn’t mean the opening will straight up say who is who, but instead features the main characters prevalently while putting minor and future characters in the shadows. Quite often one can watch the opening and see which character is going to have an impact on the story. For example, Code Geass R2 gives each important character their own segment. C.C appears in the beginning, taking up the whole frame, with Lelouch following in the next few scenes. Again, Lelouch takes up a large part of the frame, alluding to the fact that his existence in this series is important. The minor characters, or rather, the students, are often grouped together and don’t get their own scene. The antagonists are also given the spotlight, often paired up with their mechs giving the impression their battle scenes are going to severely impact the story. Of course, the main antagonist, Lelouch’s father, is given a whole scene to himself, taking up the biggest part of the scene of any character, only proving his power and dominance over the other characters. For one who has seen this series, there are almost limitless amounts of foreshadowing and allusions in this opening; I feel this opening perfectly fits the requirements of a good opening, and only improved the success of the series.

This opening shockingly sums up the series quite nicely.

Second, as hinted above in my rant about Code Geass R2‘s opening, there lies near limitless amounts of foreshadowing, allusions, symbolism, and other elements to make the series appear more interesting. While this doesn’t occur in most harem, comedy, school life, and other anime of that nature, they still convey the general idea of what will happen. For example, Mayo Chiki! Doesn’t change up the story often nor does it need to present foreshadowing and imagery to hint at story progression. However, the opening tells the entire story of the series in one minute and thirty seconds. A butler, who hides the fact that she is a girl, becomes friends with the main character. Slowly she becomes friends with other girls who crowd around her due to her popularity, and while she does have her misfortune, as told by the ominous rain and imagery, her life becomes brighter after she turns the other way, and embraces her feminine side. While I explained the story imperfectly and crudely, the general idea and story is still there. Another example of a great opening has to be To Aru Majutsu no Index II‘s opening, See VisionS. I love this opening, as it portrays all the assets of a good opening so well, and I love this song. (I love Mami Kawada; I can’t help my feelings toward this OP) The song starts out slow, introducing the main characters and showing off some of the relations between them. It starts to pick up as soon as Touma, the main character, begins running. At first, he starts jogging, with the music picking up, just slightly, and showing off some side characters that have or will have some relevance to the plot. Then, it slows down again, with some stills of Touma and Index, before kicking off into the climax with Touma bolting off into a full-fledged run. This then changes into the intense battle sequences of the series, showing off some of the antagonists and finally stopping with Touma and Index facing each other with the heavenly sky in the background. I can’t help but see this opening and get pumped; the opening just works so well it’s scary.

Finally, the openings are designed to hook the viewer into watching the series. An action series will often use rock or heavy sounding songs to pump the viewer up and get them ready for the intense show that’s about to begin. Comedy series will often use happy and light-hearted music to relax the viewer or get them ready for the great laughs that are to be had. If the series wants to put their viewer in a good mood, they will use appropriate music and animation to convince the viewer that the series is calm, relaxing, and light-hearted. Working!, for example, contains a very popular bouncy track that makes anyone smile, and Higurashi uses a creepy, almost scary song for its opening. Mystery series commonly use Jazz to relax the viewer and heighten brain activity. It’s amazing how well thought out some openings can be. One of my favorite examples is Shakugan no Shana Second. Mami Kawada’s JOINT just screams “We’re back! Get ready, it’s time to rock your socks off and fight some Tomogara!” I just love the effort put toward these openings, and that includes not only the music, but the animation as well. Quite often some of the best animation is presented in the opening, mainly as a hook to attract new, potential viewers. It’s amazing how much detail is put toward these opening, and I find it disappointing when they are skipped over like worthless garbage.

For these reasons, I attempt to include the opening in every impression post I write. If you, the reader, don’t get my feelings through my writing, then I pray that the opening will give you the final push toward watching or not watching a series. The opening tells the story without wasting too much of your time, and quite often, is accurate in its attempt to tell the overall plot of the series. However, there is one series that I’ve yet to touch upon that I know someone is just waiting to use against me.

I don’t have an actual video of the OP, but if you’ve seen it you know what I’m talking about.

Madoka Magica. The one psychological series that plays by its own rules. One would simply tell me this: “Well, if you believe the opening can tell the whole story, watch Madoka’s opening and tell me the story from that!” Unfortunately, I cannot tell the story from its opening. The opening in that particular series is meant to throw the viewers off. The shock appeal would have been lost had the opening been like High School of the Dead or Full Metal Alchemist. However, they definitely added that truth behind the series with the ending. How many Magical Girl shows have you seen with a grim and dark ending like that? That right there tells the progression of Madoka Magica. Light-hearted at first glance, but once you delve deeper into the story, the dark origins are revealed and the truth becomes apparent. While I don’t believe the series was as great as everyone claims, the combination of both the opening and the ending are wonderful, and I applaud the efforts of Shaft for going through that ordeal.

There you have it. I didn’t touch of endings as much, mainly because their importance isn’t as apparent and significant as the openings, but I usually love them both equally. As anime evolves, so do its openings, and while the style may change, I feel the importance of these intros will always exist, and to do away with them would only hurt the industry. Next time you’re considering watching a series, check out the opening; you may find that it gives you the final push toward watching that series.


Lasting Impressions : Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru (My Sister is Among Them)

Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru (2012)

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

There were few shows that found my interest this past season, but this one somehow caught my radar with its art style, and with the fun-loving feel of the OP and the mystery aura of its story, I was easily hooked into watching the series. Is that a regretful decision? For now, I won’t say, but I can say that this series did hold some unique traits that not only pander to the younger generation, but also contains a decent story to hook older audiences.

Cast (Right to Left) : Rinka Kunitachi, Konoe Tsuruma, Shougo Mikadono, Miyabi Kannagi, Mana Tendou, and Mei Sagara.

Story has always been a huge part of anime for me. If the series contains any trace of a decent story, one that not only sets up the stage for comedic elements but also pushes the series forward, it generally catches my eye and piques my interest enough to continue watching. When I first began this series, I was under the assumption that this series would follow the conventions of a harem or comedy show. While the show largely borrows ideas and aspects from harem and comedy series, there lies an undergoing story that moves the plot along. In addition, the air of mystery gives the viewers reason to continue watching. Perhaps it’s just my preferences, but I hate leaving mysteries behind and I have to know whether the story proceeds in the direction I anticipate.

Mister X – Best girl, hands down.

Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru, or My Sister is Among Them!, proudly comes off as a harem series with little details to keep you watching. Using the generic plot progression of a young man finding a wife within his last few years at school, the stage is set and the story can move forward. Or so they believe. During the first episode, the reveal of a younger sister, unknown to himself and the world, who just happens to want to marry this fine gentleman.

Nothing happens because morals triumph desire; this doesn’t happen in every situation, but refusing to do anything because one of them may be your sister is pretty intense.

The story follows Shougo Mikadono, thrust into a new school to find the love of his life. During the next few days, he meets his potential soul mates: Konoe Tsuruma, Miyabi Kannagi, Rinka Kunitachi, Mana Tendou, and Mei Sagara. One of which just happens to be his sister, and while he doesn’t know who the mystery sister is, he boldly claims he will not be found loving his sister as a wife. I think this aspect to the main character greatly improved my impression of him, as it seems more shows today would promote such values as incest. In fact, I’m sure most people don’t share my idealism of such values, and are disappointed with this outcome. Regardless, the series follows multiple phases, and progresses as a decent pace. After introducing each of the characters, we are also introduced to Mister X, a woman posing as a man to assist Shougo in his endeavors. While I could go on by listing reasons why she is best girl, I feel that it would be best to move forward and continue with the petty story.

Although this is a side character, I thought she would play a bigger role. I really liked her design.

This show teases at the fact that nobody knows who the sister is, and constantly leads to false accusations and endings that leave the viewer wanting more. There are bullshit excuses thrown out to give reason as to why Shougo was led to belive that this particular character was his sister, and once those claims are acquitted, it’s off to another girl that leads him on to believing that she’s his sister. Rinse and repeat for a couple episodes, and you’ve got the first half of the series.

Besides Mister X, I enjoyed Rinka as well.

The second half starts off with the big reveal of his sister(?), someone who wasn’t even a part of the original cast. This person, Yuzurina Houshou, comes out of nowhere and seems to put everything at ease, but once a big scandal begins to reveal itself, it’s once again proven that the search has yet to be concluded and the sister has yet to be caught. While I enjoyed this red herring, there were way too many questionable actions, mainly performed by the hidden “real” sister. Why the hell did the “real” sister hide while the “fake” took on this relationship? By doing so, and bitching how she wants to marry him even though she barely knows him and hasn’t seen him in ages, (Why do these sisters in anime want to jump straight into incestuous relationships? He sat there claiming he would love to love her as a sister, or in other words, a good happy family relationship. RAGE) she puts Shougo and his inherited company at risk due to a potential scandal. The actions behind some of these characters are ridiculous, and while it moved the main story along fine, the character progression suffered greatly.

As for the music, I really can’t remember the BGM of this series, but the OP and ED for this series are pretty catchy. The OP catches the viewer’s attention and introduces the main heroines of this series, while promoting the main premise of the story. The ED, while still poppin’ and rockin’, gets the viewer excited and ready to watch the new episode. I really enjoyed both themes, and if anything, they got the overall music down pat.

Just ending on best girl. Everyone knows this is true end.

Honestly, I really enjoyed the main premise of the series. A harem series that contained a sister with a protagonist who didn’t want to bang his sister. I really respected this side of the show, and the only aspects I really thought fell flat would be the character progression and development. The characters felt flat and uninteresting, and the decisions performed by these characters often appeared pointless and unreasonable. I’m happy the series successfully concluded, and revealed the big question every viewer was asking, the ending could have been so much more. The series ended in typical harem fashion, and just lost the last bit of momentum it held onto. This brings me back to the question of if watching this series was a regretful decision. While I critique this series due to its lack of character development, I really enjoyed watching this series. It still contained the humor and comedy of a generic harem series, and it had its moments. It’s not a series that I would deem a masterpiece, nor would I re-watch this series in the next couple of months, but I did enjoy the laughs and good feelings I received from this series. If you enjoy harem or comedy series, I believe Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru is worth the time. The art is decent, the music fares well, and there does lie a small intriguing mystery that can push you to conclude the series.


Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru OP -Choose Me Darling-

Initial Impressions : JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (Anime)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (2012)

I’ve heard a lot about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures throughout my time, and now that the anime series has finally begun airing, I finally have the chance to view this spectacle myself. With all that I’ve heard, I really had no idea what to expect in this series. However, I really think that this series has many qualities that characterize this show, and I can see how this story fares so well due to its uniqueness and story-driven plot.

Dio’s just lovin’ to point.

After watching this first episode, I can honestly say I am fascinated by the series. The rivalry between Dio and Jonathan, the connections between the Brando family and Joestar family, and the amount of character development in this series is superb. Just in this first episode alone, you can easily see how a story was formed between these two characters, and the development Jonathan goes through to match his new “brother.” While I didn’t find Jonathan to be the best character near the beginning, as he appeared a whiny, unappreciative brat, I later found appreciation for his character as he grew and evolved throughout this episode. To develop a character in such a short amount of time just demonstrates how much detail was put into this series. I haven’t read the manga, but from what I’ve heard there was much more time to develop on that medium, and I can only begin to imagine how detailed and vast the manga must be.

JoJo tries to have fun…only to have it end in utter defeat.

Animation-wise, I can easily say I was deterred after viewing photos of the series. The unique characteristics the animation holds definitely give meaning to the name of the series, and while the story alone proves to be wacky enough, the animation definitely struck the nail in the coffin to the word ‘bizarre.’ While it took a few minutes to get into the animation, once the story began to rev up I was able to cast my doubts aside and appreciate the series for what it truly was.

This is how you make an antagonist. Learn animation studios!

The OP, which arose during the second episode, gave a wacky and zany impression on what was in store for future episodes. Just watching the OP gives me the ‘bizarre’ feeling implied in the title, and the ED, while not amazing, doesn’t detract from the series as a whole. In addition, the use of foreign bands to perform the songs only added to the experience, as the setting of the anime lies outside of Japan.

While the series has only just begun, the vibes revived from this series were phenomenal, and I greatly look forward to future episodes. If you were on the fence about this series, definitely give it a try and don’t laugh it off until you’ve finished at least one episode. There’s a reason why Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures has such a vast following, and if the fan-base doesn’t expand to unspeakable territory, I feel this series can hold its own during the upcoming season(s).

Lasting Impressions : Oda Nobuna no Yabou

Oda Nobuna no Yabou (2012)
Oda Nobuna’s Ambition

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

For those who enjoy Japanese Culture, the name ‘Oda Nobunaga’ will often remind anyone of the unification of Japan. In pop culture nowadays, his trials and tribulations are often referred to and mentioned as a form of entertainment and study. Oda Nobuna no Yabou adds to the story and unveils its own twists to grab a new audience. Of course, one may be wondering what twists the animation holds, with the main change being the gender-bending of most, if not all, lords of the territories. This change caters to new audiences while retelling the classic story of Nobunaga’s Ambition.

All those figures of history. The two main characters, Yoshiharu and Nobuna are on the right, with the rest of the crew on the left.

The story begins with Yoshiharu Sagara, a present day Japanese citizen, running in the middle of a battlefield with who would become Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Unfortunately, Hideyoshi is shot and leaves his hopes and dreams with Yoshiharu. He later meets Nobuna Oda, the now female general of Owari. To his surprise, he later finds out that the people involved in the unification of Japan are not who they appeared to be, and he finds himself trying to adapt to this new situation. Luckily, Yoshiharu, now called ‘Monkey’ in place of Hideyoshi, happens to be a huge fan of Oda Nobunaga’s conquest, and begins his journey to aid Nobuna through his knowledge from the future.

In regards to story, it’s just another retelling of an already told tale. Being only twelve episodes, the retelling of the story has yet to be complete, and I’m sure there will be more to be told in the future. However, I really enjoyed the minor details and humorous moments that were added in to make the story more efficient and interesting, and I feel they worked well enough to keep someone coming back week after week. During its run, this was one of the few shows I kept tabs on as it aired, and I’m really looking forward to another season to complete this journey.

A badass old man works better than a gender-bent old man, right?

I really enjoyed this show’s animation as well, and I personally think the animation was fluid and impressive. Granted, there aren’t too many terribly animated shows out nowadays, with the standard improving and whatnot, but this animation clearly works well in this situation. The OP is also animated well, with the action swelling up in those seconds of introduction. Speaking of battle scenes, while this story revolves around many battles and bloodshed, there aren’t many scenes full of action and violence. There are a few, but I think this show mainly focuses on the mental and internal conflict aspects of his conquest. That’s not to say there isn’t any violence at all, but it’s definitely not a series that primarily focuses on violence; the series merely adds violence to spice the story up a bit, and remind viewers they are watching a series about conquest.

Just look at that monocle. You *know* he’s important.

I really enjoyed the OP/ED for this series, but I can easily say they don’t compare to my favorites. The OP really created the excitement and energy for the next 20 minutes, and the ED cooled things down with soft animation, slow music and a peaceful mood. While the action in the episode may have been intense, it’s always good to cool off with a nice, peaceful ED, and revolves around the OP to bring the viewer back to the game and hype the episode that’s about to be shown.

Of course, Nobuna is best girl. No way around that.

I’m actually surprised at how well the music brought out the emotions in this series. If there is one thing this series did right, it would be the music composition and placement. The tense moments became more tense as that awesome BGM began playing, and the sigh of relief that could be felt as the soothing music played after a battle or conflict had ended. I really enjoyed the music in this series, as it just felt right in every scene it played. Of course, as mentioned above, this also includes the OP and ED, as the mood wouldn’t have been set as well without it.

In short, I really don’t have too much to say about this series. I can easily say I enjoyed this series, and Nobuna is easily the best girl, but I can’t really say too much about the show in general. If one doesn’t know too much about the history of Japan, they can easily be overwhelmed by the amount of people and places important to this story. However, I feel that the series did its job well, and while not the greatest show in the world, provided entertainment for its run. If you enjoy history or harem / comedy series, I’m sure you’ll find somewhere to enjoy Oda Nobuna no Yabou. The animation appears decent, the story adds some favor to the mix, and the music deems appropriate for this series.

Oda Nobuna OP -Link-