Okay Caligula… You’ve got my attention…

So far this season I’ve watched three shows that were based of games (that I know of) and I think the one that has me the most interested is Caligula. I haven’t played the game and until I’m the lucky owner of a PSVITA I will have to just live in the anime world.

Most of the time when I watch anime that was a game I’m left with a slightly confused feeling like I’m missing something that the ones who played the game would only know. However, as I watched Caligula I really enjoyed the set up and I was confused but in a good way not the ‘something is left out that I should already know’ way. If that makes sense.

First off the visual reminded me of artwork which is always nice. The coloring was quite beautiful and it is a peaceful setting. There are some tidbits of information that seems like something it not as it seems and it keeps you curious as you watch.

In my mind the set up was perfect. Nothing was rushed in the climax of the first episode and it made me want to watch more.

This anime looks like it is going to be an interesting psychological ride something that I was hoping for last fall but wasn’t delivered.

I’m really enjoying the quotes from and the references to psychology I think that give this anime a sense of real-ness and legitimacy of what is happening.

In the end, I’m curious about this anime and I’m excited to see the next episode. I hope it pays off since I was disappointed last year. I’ve seen a lot of good first episodes this season but this was the first one that really had my full attention. Sometimes with turning games into anime it is lackluster so I hope they keep it up. This has an interesting world and set up with a bit of a matrix feel.

This looks like this anime should be an intense ride… Hopefully… Happy watching!

Looking back

This is a post that was meant to happen the first week of January. My real world kind of exploded and I haven’t had the time to sit down and write for a couple weeks. Now that things have settled down to be more normal, I’m hoping to get back to my schedule. Also I want to thank everyone for the award nominations. I tried to keep track… but I think I will end up missing a few. I’m so thankful for the nominations and thankful that you all follow my blog.

I’m going to look back to when I got an Amazon Strike subscription for one week to watch what I consider to be the best anime of 2017. Now that Amazon Strike is no more hopefully more will be able to watch “Made in the Abyss” and enjoy the story as much as I did.

At first glance when I saw the picture as I was scrolling through it looked a bit childish and I was unsure if I wanted to watch it. I pick anime based on my mood:  Do I want action? Romance? Adventure? Thriller? I was in a weird mood that day and I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to start. So I just dived in and started my free subscription and “Made in the Abyss” took me on a journey that I will never forget.

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The world building in this anime is fantastic. I tend to enjoy a world that has set rules and then stick to those rules. With this world there is a giant abyss (didn’t see that one coming huh? haha) and the people go down into the abyss to find relics of another era or time. That is a mystery that is still ongoing about what/who exactly left these relics (I have a few theories on that but I’ll let you find your own 😉 ). There are levels to the abyss and starting Cave Raiders are red whistles. They can only go to the first level without suffering too much from the “curse of the abyss”. The curse is ill effects that happen to your mind and body as you ascend from the abyss. The lower you go the worse the effects are. And when you go upwards even a few feet the effects start happening.

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The main character Riko finds a robot on one of her raids. He looks human but he can’t remember anything. He is then called Reg and the children decide to hide him since they believe that if they turned him in he would get taken apart to be researched. In this world all these children belong to a home and they have to give the head of the house everything they find at the end of the day. Right away you will realize that this isn’t an anime for children. The children are abused Riko is strapped up naked for keeping a relic from the abyss. There is a continuing theme of these forgotten children who no longer have parents or who have parents that are gone. It comes to head at the end of season one.

This anime does a great job of developing the world but not taking a long time to get the story started. Riko’s journey begins when a letter arrived from her mother, Lyza, telling her to meet her at the bottom of the abyss.

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Riko’s mother is what they call a “white whistle” they are the only ones who made it to the bottom of the abyss and survived the effects of the curse. Her mother has been missing presumed dead for some time. This letter leads Riko to believe that her mother is alive.

There is a great mystery surrounding this world. As you watch you get the feeling that something ominous is just around the corner that has been kept hidden. Secrets. That is in part of what makes this anime so good. You can’t just figure it out but you know it is there. There is a lie going around about this world and as you watch you have a desire to be let in on the secret. The white whistles have to be a part of that mystery. There is only a handful of them and we only meet one with Riko, Ozen, the one who trained Lyza. The others we see flashes of in another story. It leads you to believe that maybe these white whistles aren’t such great people and there is an agenda that we don’t know about.

Riko learns about her birth from Ozen. Ozen can be one of those characters that you want to hate but you don’t understand fully. I’m still not sure if I would ever trust her or not and I’ve seen the end result. Each character has their own motivation and again that is part of what makes this a great anime to watch. They all have their own goals and desires.

I think that goes with the world. It is easy to believe that people who want to be the first at something or the first to make a discover. We see these things even in Indiana Jones. The world of finding relics may be more cutthroat than we see.

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Seeing this journey through children’s eyes can be somewhat disconcerting. The story does a great job in setting up Riko’s character to make her believable and self sufficient. You kind of need to be in this world. Also I love that Reg’s powers have rules. There is no unlimited use. This anime doesn’t make things easy and that is also what makes it so great.

The creatures they meet along the way. Whew… They are just as amazing and unique as the characters themselves. Again they have rules and can be very horrifying and nightmarish. So not only do they have to worry about the curse of the abyss but with each level it brings in creatures that basically want to kill and eat them.

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There are a couple episodes at the end that open up about the darker side of this world. The characters and the backstory are truly heartbreaking and I had tears pouring down my face. It sets the conflict up well for season two and we know things are not going to get any easier for our characters.

If anything the art is visually fantastic. I also enjoyed the credits.

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I love little things like this… When you see the end credits you get to see where Reg and Riko are on their journey in the abyss. It add a nice touch and it gives your mind a map to follow along.

Each level in the abyss has its own world and story. Again give this anime a try. This is my top choice for 2017 over all the seasons. It is unique and I have no complaints about the plot. Every so often we get a truly amazing anime that leaves you sitting still in the moments after you finish knowing that you were just a part of something amazing. Happy Watching!

 

How plot organization ruined Juni Taisen

This post is one big spoiler…

This fall I was the most excited to watch the anime Juni Taisen. It is from the same creator as Future Diary which I also really enjoyed and is one of my favorite anime. The things I enjoyed about Future Diary were not in this anime which became very predictable. However, I did enjoy the backstory of each character, but the fact of how it was organized ruined the surprise of who would die next. Yes, I guess we never knew how they would die but by then it was usually a let down.

First off I want to say that after the first episode I was so excited. It was extremely good and the shock of Boar getting the huge set up only to die right away was just awesome. When I watched I was like, “Yes, this is the ride I want full of surprises” then came episode two…

We got Dog’s backstory and right away I knew he would die. Did the brilliance that led the first episode to being awesome ruin it for the following episode? In a way yes, from then on we could predict who would die next based on whose backstory we heard. This was a major failure with the organization since the backstory wouldn’t let us get attached to any character.

Don’t get me wrong each backstory was actually amazing but if fell flat with the viewer already being in the mindset that that character was going to die. It is unfortunate to have so many awesome unique characters and we couldn’t appreciate the sadness of their deaths or even cheer for our own zodiac because by then it didn’t take long to figure out another failure with the organization of the anime… The closing theme.

After about 2-3 episodes a viewer could see that the order of the zodiac in the closing theme matched the order of the deaths (except for snake) that was the truly disappointing thing about this anime. From the beginning you already knew that Rat would win. I don’t know why they did that, that seems like a stupid way to give away everything and it made me sad since I’m year of the Ox and I wanted him to win haha.

I was truly proud of my zodiac character and honestly he was pretty badass. His and tiger’s backstory was so sweet also and still the thought that I knew he was going to die wrecked the feelings I was supposed to have at the death of tiger and ox.

With their backstory they had more interaction with each other and I would have like to see more of that in the other characters. They knew OF each other but ox and tiger where the only two who had a movement before the Juni Taisen where he rescued her and she had a goal to one day fight him.

I think it would have been interesting to see the conflict of more characters facing people who they actually knew before they had the Juni Taisen. That would have even given more depth to their backstories.

The explanation of why rat won and his struggle for the wish was actually pretty nice. However, his power was a bit OP for this and seemed like a cop out for why someone who slept though everything would win. I think it would have been better if the others knew his power so they could try and find its blind spots (like they did in Future Diary) then it would have made it more interesting. Everyone was more concerned with rabbit than to notice the rat. Rabbit was enjoyable to watch even for just his awesome outfit ha.

When the main threat of rabbit died it was a bit disappointing but then the necromancy let it to drag out a bit and had a few surprises there, but again we all knew by then that rat was going to be the winner.

All in all I like the backstories and the way they had to introduce themselves before every battle.

However, it is too predictable so it lost those heart wrenching moments that we want from an anime like this. Also I would have like to see some fallout for the people who were betting on the battle. What was their deal? The warriors just let this keep going? I feel like if ox won he would have killed them :D.

Hope you all are enjoying the new year (year of the dog) and Happy watching!

Servamp

There are not a lot of vampire anime out there that I like (I really enjoyed Shiki be warned it is very graphic) and Servamp looked like a new twist on vampires that l thought would be interesting.

There are seven servamps and they all relate to one of the seven deadly sins. That is a popular theme in anime I’ve come to notice. They become a servant of a human if they are named and given a gift. The human is then known as their eve and they go off and fight merry battles together. Not really… I think I missed the whole point of them needing an eve and I wish that was delved into a bit more. Maybe I just missed it.

I’m not sure how to put this… It was a nice distraction to watch, but the plot left so many questions which kind of ruined it for me. This whole post is one big spoiler so if you plan to watch it you might not want to read ahead.

What I liked…

I liked the character Sleepy Ashef40173b77a60c1bad5c9f19ba6cb0915d9d1bae_hq

He is like my spirit animal. Sleepy Ash loves to sleep and eat. He turns into a cat if there is too much sunlight and he can’t be bothered to do anything. Love him haha.

The main character Mahiru apparently likes simple things (I don’t know what the point of that character trait was) and then decides to pick up a cat and name it. Thus becoming Sloths eve. The final contract is sealed when Sleepy Ash drinks Mahiru’s blood. As you can imagine it is very shocking when Mahiru finds out his sweet little kitty is a servamp.

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He gets thrown into a world where the eighth servamp is trying to kill his older brothers and sisters. We don’t really know why…. So the anime is a muddled plot of them trying to get the servamps to work together to fight the eighth servamp Tsubaki, finding out why Sleepy Ash is conflicted, what happened to their creator, and Mahiru’s friendship with a subclass vamp. All of which kind of gets sidetracked with various battles and meetings of servamps and eves.

I’m sorry if my review is a bit chaotic, this anime was kind of a mess…

Okay so Tsubaki wants to kill his brothers and sisters. There.

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He doesn’t understand his place in their world since their “creator” was killed by Sleepy Ash. So he decides his purpose is to kill the servamps since his powers are made to do just that. Then we find out he is looking for a key… Okay then…

My problem with this is that there is no really clear motivation for this character and at the end of the anime they finally give it and it just seems like “eh okay then.” It just seems so thrown together. I would have understood a more revenge driven plot that he loved his creator and was mad that he was killed by Sleepy Ash, it heads a bit in that direction but it doesn’t really fully come together. The whole “I don’t understand my purpose” motivation wasn’t working for me.

Then we get to a whole episode about the servamp called lawless. He apparently likes to kill his eves after his first one was lost in a tragic way.

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When I saw this I was thinking “Do we really have time for an episode just about backstory?” We got only a small intro for each servamp and eves and most of the characters have little to no introduction… Which makes is super confusing. Then we get a whole episode about Lawless’s first eve. I’m a sucker for good character development so I got into his backstory and I was like “heck yeah I get it he loved her” I was watching to see how he turned into a crazy servamp and losing his love was a great motivation for me to believe… Then… it happened… Dumbest plot point of this whole show…

His lady love Ophelia agreed to marry a prince from the neighboring country to bring peace. Okay that makes sense. Then oh no the peace was broken and they blamed the princess and decided to kill her. If she dies then that brings peace. What? If she dies then that brings peace. Whaaaaaat?

Okay so my knowledge of politics is a bit rusty. So if the country kills your princess that you sent over to marry their prince you want to be at peace with them? Did I miss something? I don’t understand why her death brought peace. I really don’t. That just destroyed Lawless’s backstory for me.

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Sorry this just made me mad but not in a good way.

We then learn a bit about Lawless’s new eve who is a self declared angel. They have a touching moment where they are nearly killed and they bond. For some reason his eve can create things like boots and a piano but we don’t know why. Just go with it at this point. I guess he knows how to use his powers of an eve. It was never really delved into that much.

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So in this anime we have background on Sleepy Ash and Lawless and his eve and at the end a bit about the villien Tsubaki. I don’t know if I even want to get into all the Subclass vamp nonsense…

So let’s just skip to the end where Sleepy Ash and Tsubaki fight. They fight. The end haha. Okay well then Mahiru goes up to help Sleepy Ash who now can turn into a huge lion (Whoa can all servamps turn into a huge beast? Who knows there are only a few episodes left at this point no time to explain that ****). For some reason Mahiru stops Sleepy Ash from killing the nut job Tsubaki… Yeah I don’t know why. Then his weapon that was a broom now a spear turns into a key… Whoa… (sorry if you can’t tell I’m being a bit sarcastic). That key goes into Tsubaki’s chest and unlocks his backstory.

Then Mahiru sees Tsubaki’s past and defeats him with a hug. Tsubaki goes away severing all ties with his subclass vampires and that is the end of the story. Seriously.

So in the end. This anime had a some plot holes and honestly if there were more than 12 episodes it would have been and interesting story and world to delve into. I did really like some bits of it. I loved the character Sleepy Ash and he was the only character that the viewer would get a chance to bond with. I liked the concept but it was explained poorly. I liked the art and how the characters looked and I also liked the voice acting. For all that is holy don’t watch the dub version. That was a snore fest. Subs all the way.

Did you enjoy it more than I did? Did I just miss some explanation somewhere along the line?

Happy watching!

 

Btooom!

Ever have that anime where you get to wait anxiously for news of a season 2 that may never come? That is the life of an anime watcher. There are many on my list that I hope to see a season 2 or 3, in the end I read the manga so I can get some closure to the anime.

I do try to avoid anime that I’ve heard just drop off after 12 episodes with no clear resolution and “Btooom!” was one of those anime. However, I ignored my warning that I was about to watch something that would leave me unfulfilled and started watching.

This anime has your usual NEET that is 22 years old and lives with his mother. Ryouta does excel at a game called Btoom! He is ranked 10th worldwide and then gets invited to play in a real life Btooom! game. This kind of reminds me of SAO but for adults. The characters are there in their actual bodies unlike SAO (as far as I know).

All the people are on the island and they need to kill each other and collect the green chips that are in their hands. If you get 8 you get to go home. This is your usual kill people and survive anime.

I know there are a lot of these anime out there that pit characters against each other to the death but once again it is the unique characters that make this anime great. Maybe people just like to watch the struggle of people who have never killed before be forced into situations. It is like a psychological study of human nature.

The backstory of the characters is what makes it worth it *some spoilers ahead*

Ryouta ends up forming a small band of people together to see if they can get off the island alive. He eventually teams up with Himiko who turns out to be his “online gaming wife” she has trouble trusting men which is understandable from her backstory of seeing her friends get raped. We do find out from her back story that she was nominated to partake in the game probably because she ran instead of helping her friends.

We learn through each backstory why the characters were chosen for the game someone had to just nominate them to disappear. The characters don’t know why there are there and have to figure out what their bombs are for and how they work.

Somethings I like about this anime is that there is a different strategy for each type of bomb and not everyone gets the same type. Before people attack they have the draw back of not knowing what type of bomb they will face.

Another thing I like is the backstory of the characters. You get a lot of tragic characters that you root for and then there are those where in your mind you believe they are worthy of their fate on the island (what does that say about us the watcher… 🙂 ). There is also a lovely crazy who gets to enjoy all the killing. Hey, there’s gotta be one in every anime right?

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Yes, this is a very graphic anime, but if you enjoy SAO and Future diary it is like a mixture between the two.

We can always hold out hope for a season 2 but from the looks of it the game didn’t sell well so we may be stuck with the unsatisfying ending of season 1. Happy watching!