F: this review ladies and gentleman goes to the anime Sasameki Koto however before I start my review I want to thank everyone on the forums that help me search for a new show particularly Doc Huas for his awesome chart of wonderment. Oh and John if your reading this I promise I’ll watch Utena I just needed to watch something real quick before my copy of Heavy rain gets in and sucks away at all my social life.
Anyways getting to the actual review the setting is actually kind of original because of its grounded realism. It surrounds a co-ed school and the lives of two girls who are best friends, Tazama a out and proud adorable lesbian with a taste for cute girls and Sumi a not so out and proud, but still a lesbian with a big crush on Tazama. However Sumi is a strong bad ass karate using tall girl with a mean serious strike not exactly Tazama’s M.O. plus with societies pressures that’s another added reason she’s still in the closet, poor girl. The show has a big theme of being slowly paced and meticulous with how it moves like real life even the opening is really indicative of the slowness of the series.
Ahh the negatives always the part I hate writing. Well patently the negatives are mostly just the lack of sticking to the theme of the show and its good parts. It has a habit of straying from what makes it feel really nice and fluid going with more common anime practices that are not very good. I feel that I should say it here and now stop switching up parts of languages I don’t like hearing some English in Japanese subs its poorly pronounced (I’m a foreigner and even I know that) and feels really forced. I’m not talking about Japanese words that sound like their English counterpart I’m talking about full on parts of sentences when people get really excited. Okay when one of the characters said “oh Jesus” in a flat pan voice right before the rollercoaster started was pretty good anyways back to what I’m saying; I like it best when anime feels uncompromised and its own thing even if I don’t really injoy it, but when and anime just tries to match its competitors it breaks the literary illusion and makes it all feel fake. My other complaint is mostly a terrible ending because they wanted to leave I open for a new season that I know they will never make. Ah the ending is so anti-climatic it hurts like badly.
Aside from those blemishes when it sticks to the theme it’s really good. The first episode is really really great and rips are your heart oh to love a girl and they not love you back god it’s a terrible feeling. A really good thing they do especially when it’s like an important episode is focus on really great expressions on the characters over giving you monologue after monologue to explain how this person feels you just read it off their face using context clues over flash backs and expressions over words makes everything feel more realistic where we don’t have the magical power to read minds. However this skill is more or less squandered on non story important episodes where they favor monologues giving me the feeling there is a lot of filler I’m not noticing since I had dent read the manga. The art is very simplistic and not at all stylized, but I think that’s mostly on perpose to make it feel more like the real world over a magical anime world of goodness. I’m also glad that it doesn’t fall into the yuri trap of being super fantasy like where every one is a lesbian and no one acts weird out and everything is fine because honestly that feels really fake I mean I wish personally the world was more like that, but its not and this show knows it. For example they have an episode where they use a very funny poor kid that’s makes a cute cross dresser to hunt for lesbians to join the school however towards the end it would seem as if there was only five gay girls in the entire school which is less then mine! Not to say they won’t be crazy sometimes when its funny from exploding kitchens and stuff, but it defiantly feels more grounded then fantastical.
Oh just as a note but it’s not review relevant this show kind of crept me out I mean the main two characters are (if Tazama was the main character and liked tomboys) an almost like direct translation of my friendship before we started dating. My girlfriend also is crazy tall also a black belt also acts like a boy, also wears glasses (though uses contacts more) and on my side I also am such a girly girl also kind of ditz and also an out of proud girl that has a brother who is a writer whom uses lesbian characters (he started just making me short stories of weird adventures about me in middle school because of how lonely I was and actually got them published by accident crazy.). It really was kind of creepy.
Aside from all that I really enjoyed the whole experience even if it was short a great more realistic story of love that is somewhat touching if not a bit slow earning 3.5 broken Printers Out of 5
M: Claymore hmm possibly one of the hardest things I’ve given a review score to my gut feeling going completely ageist what I kind of analyzed. I mean I feel as though I shouldn’t like Claymore, but I really kind of do like it a lot actually. It’s a complexed feeling I’ll try to get across in the review but if you feel my review score is unjustified well you can write your own review now cant you?
The setting of Claymore I actually do like it’s based in a kind of medieval Europe something I generally like from the point of view of anime. However instead of the black plague, War, Vikings, and Mongols to deal with they get nice little man eating freaks called Yomas. They turn into people then lure them away to be tortured and eaten, and no we are not talking about your girlfriend. These monsters are well hidden and can only be killed by beings call Claymores (Grey wardens) they can sense these Yomas (Dark spawn) do to having Yoma blood in their veins. At least we know bioware crypts its stories form interesting stuff. Anyways dropping the completely unfounded assumptions The Claymore are all women having joined the ranks of their fellow warriors for separate reasons and hunt them from town to town. They all share the same blonde hair silver eyes and fair skin that makes them bacisly Hitler’s dream team if he wasn’t to busy being evil and tweaked up on meth. This story fallows one of these
particular bad asses the claymore Clare the lowest ranked claymore.
Ah so much is wrong with claymore but much of it is kind of core to the whole thing. The show claymore suffers from what I call Obsessive compulsive underdogism or as my friend Eric so eloquently puts the bitch factor. This is something seen a lot in tournament based shows or in other fairly long adventures like Naruto and bleach where the main character is forced into the position of the underdog fighting some never before matched enemy and narrowly wining by doing something amazing and never before seen. This of course leaves us with a problem if she now knows this bad ass skill how is she the underdog and how can her allies still keep up? Well good you asked we solved that by making a new set of bad guys that make that skill seem useless and pitiful and if the main character does something awesome everyone she knows and their mothers can do it too now. Rinse and Repeat this process a few more times and that is the bitch factor This keeps Clare from ever seeming like a bad ass till the end and makes the enemies seem more arbitrary and ever accomplishment starts to feel like a step backwards. However this does not always ring true some movements make Clare feel still rather cool, but it feels like a lot of missed opportunity and makes you want to slap some people for always over looking her. Another issue I hear a lot, but didn’t really affect me is that all the characters have the same hair and eye color making it hard to tell them apart. Oh a more personal complain is I really really really hate Raki the main love interest. He is such a useless whine brat with the most annoying voice I had to switch to Japanese before switching back because the Japanese voice for him is even whinier (also the creepy glasses dude has such a great voice in English I couldn’t help but go dubbed.) He serves as nothing more than a love interest no real reason why his character couldn’t be better or more interesting or different in a way with a little storey tweaking. I know romance is important but why not make a more interesting counter part or as my friend F was in favor of make the love interest Jean, but I guess that’s catering to a different audience though I would be totally In favor of it. My last complaint has to do with the ending so I’ll save it for the ending No spoilers of course.
The Positives are kind of superfluous aside from one so I’ll try to get through them quickly. The story feels really interesting especially with a lot of mystery surrounding the inner workings of the claymores, but they never go into that. A lot of story stuff that I was really interested never really got discussed like the scars on the claymores or the true reason behind hiding the truth about half awakening. A lot of promising story treads cut short, but they still pulled me in. The art is really good too and while I don’t really bring it up but the character art like even the clothing is really cool for even the most unimportant stuff like the knights clothing when Clare pretended to be a knight for like one episode was really ornate and thought out. It’s kind of cool like my all time favorite outfit being on shall we say a certain women with one arm. Another thing I’m really glad about is that though the fan service is their it’s done very stubbly pleasing anyone who wants it but letting people like me who find it distracting ignore it easily. A minor thing too that made things easier to deal with no calling out the name of the technique they use which is such a nice head ache reliever. Al this is unimportant when compared to the thing that really really made me like this show, the characters. Each character is so different from each other and aside from Raki they all are kind of cool. Even characters that are seen only once feel well thought out. Specifically characters like Ilena, Teresa, Clare, Jean, The creatures of the abyss, and the creepy guy with glasses all intrigued me, but I don’t really know why. There isn’t something corporeal that can show what I mean by that they just are. Maybe it’s the way thye all interacted more then why they interact with people. A good story technique I almost forgot to mention that I give them credit for is the willingness to pull the trigger on characters rather quickly and without much preparation. Plenty of surviving what shouldn’t be survivable but another good chunk of just well yeah you’re dead and that’s all we got to say about that. It makes everything feel up in the air and makes death kind of have a bigger meaning when it seems permanent and recurrent. Oh and as a final funny note the claymore totally make the star wars tie-fighter blaster noise when they power up which made me laugh for like an hour cause I couldn’t help but think they could totally use a light saber.
The complaint I wanted to address at the end is the ending. The ending feels really out of place and kind of just filled with empty promise. The final fight tries to be extremely epic even including a fucking volcano, but it just feels kind of dull and kind of kills whatever tricks they had in store for the future. They set it up for a sequel much like the start of a video game Ip where it feels more like a just in case then an actually promise. I mean they could go interesting places with the way they ended it, but doubt they will and even if they do make a second I don’t see them actually doing anything interesting which just makes me depressed.
In the end of things I really loved it, but I can’t even figure out why. All things considered I want to give it a 3 or 3.5 but I just can’t make myself do it for some reason no matter what I just know claymore earns a 4 purple blood showers out of 5
Oh as a additional note I feel that I should ask you anime vice consortium or those of you who have read and watched claymore judging from how I felt do you feel I should read it? If so do I need to start off point zero or can I jump in somewhere and if so where? Oh an is Raki any less annoying in the manga?
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Essentially a double short telling of the halo timeline from the forerunner war to the modern told from Cortana. It works a a good reminded piece an matrix style however it’s not much to add to someone who is at all into the halo universe which is most people buying this. The Art oddly isn’t good in part one but fine in part of a strange lack of polish makes the first part hard to watch, but that blemish seems to fade when You leave you in part two. In the end this segment in Halo legends just gets a 2.5 five nanosecond epic battles out of 5 not bad not good and a little less then middle.
A short story revolving an arbiter whom claims the covenant and the journey a lie. He claims the elites no longer fight for honor, but for power. The Covenant of course claims him a demon and sends people to assassinate him. The Duel is probably the best of the bunch at least in terms of art. Using a water color art it feels like a moving painting very stylized and done very well. The story itself is more a cipher in a way to show you the elite society. They live like the Japanese of old all dressed in the formal gear straight from the warring states period. A very samurai esthetic that arguably seems like a just appeal t the japanophiles, but as a great love of old samurai and of the elites it feels like a perfect. The character designs are great and there is a flipping female elite FEMALE ELITE!!! So I give the Duel a 5 space samurai out of 5
Another short story this time revolving a female Spartan named dizzy I think she was from the books, but regardless it revolves around her past and a battle shes in. Its art style is rather plain anime nothing big or artsy like the Duel, but fine. This story more than the other two feels the most halo and the most anime. Plenty of halo music brings back memories however the story feels very last-episode-of-a-pretty-decent-anime-esk (put that on the back of the box) but still made someone who is rather desensitized a little emotional. No tears just a little of awe, but not much. If it were a one shot which it is the anime equivalent of I would give it a 4 bad grunt art out of 5
A spoof of halo in the opposite vain of red vs blue. Though I never laughed as hard as red verse blue Odd one out did a pretty good job. I expected it to be terrible, but it seemed pretty heartfelt funny. Not laughing funny but plenty humorous. The story is of Spartan 1337 already the name is a bad joke accidently landing on a planet and a super covenant yet brain dead soldier sent after him. IT was clear early on that the people who made this watched a lot of Dragon ball and decided yeah we will just make that with halo which seeing as I spent a far portion of my childhood watching terrible episodes of DBZ it came out really funny. A straight up homage complete with crater and pod, dinosaurs a scouter joke aura representing energy. Even a scene where the villain powers up. It’s pretty funny and a lot better than I expected earning 3.5 “heck of a mama”s out of 5
Another short that turned out to be really good. Surrounding the Cole protocol and a Marine by the call sign of ghost this short main center focus is the difference between being human and a good soldier and weather you can be one without the other. The art is regular but with a lot more attention to detail and production value the earlier (Okay Duel can’t compare different style) the combat detail and art feel a lot better. The best part of Be Human is without much talking it says a lot making me give a kind of emotional reaction. Not crying not jumping out of my seat just a sober reaction the best a short can really do. It’s probably my second favorite and is noteworthy part of the package. This earns a 4.5 they be stealen my mecha out of 5
Again a short story I think you’re getting it now. The story is this time a mission a bunch of ODST and a Spartan are sent to assassinate a prophet. Basically a halo mission where its all stealth. For the most part this is pretty good addition I really liked the end to it and the art was really good to. Not as great as The Duel or Be Human, but another simple but surprisingly good short of which I at first thought would be terrible earning 4 HEADSHOTS!!! Out of 5
Let me start off by explaining that the one thing all the high rated short stories have in common is they were an anime shorts more than halo stories which is the key to why they were good however the Package is not it is terrible. The story is that the Spartan team from the books master Chief (John) Kelly author Fred and Salomon are sent to find “the package” in the covenant ship. The art is CG and well it’s not good not because the production value isn’t great its just that anime CG is almost never good and CG western (which is what it ended up) is utterly terrible. As for the content it’s just a bunch of forced references to the books and games including a just horrible first person sequence like the one in doom the movie and twice as bad. Its so played out and is a concentrated dose of everything bad about halo. Which scares me because that means that’s what Microsoft thinks we want from halo good god I miss bungie already. I can’t believe the ended that with a score 1.5 leave the theater early ending out of 5
There is a making of which is always really cool in anime box sets in my opinions as well as commentary and some other cool stuff. + half a score to the end score
I thought it was going to be terrible I mean I knew I would like the duel, but I didn’t think I would like anything else. The package is really a nice thing especially for a halo fan and I think I can break it down to this. If you like Halo and anime get it its really worth it just skip the last minisode if you only like anime just barrow it from a friend and watch the duel, babysitter, and Project be human and you got what you want. If you just like halo you needn’t bother it’s like the ani-matrix if you just like the matrix it’s not enough. The incredibly varied package ends up with 4 shot glass sized shorts out of 5
M: A one off manga based of a side story about mostly Silabus and Alkaid told from the perspective of an Alkaid look a-like friend of Silabus named Nanase. The story bacisly fallows her trying to be a stronger person instead of being a copy of everyone else which she does both in real and the world life. Being in my police to review everything I read or watch mostly in the hopes of dropping my average review score so I don’t seem like the average YouTube user that will five star anything with music on it.
M: Start off with the bad Well to be plain and simply the book doesn’t have anything for anyone at all it provides no insight it doesn’t really elaborate on the characters and causes more questions than answer. Like why in the game does Silabus or Alkaid not say anything when they met each other? Why does Alkaid never show up at canard if she was there every day like in Alcor? Why does she look different in this book in real life then the games? Do they even check to make sure stuff make sense? Do we care? IT really has no merits aside from having Alkaid in it which means that it’s awesome anyways.
M: positives Well let’s see umm sadly enough just having Alkaid made it entertaining enough for me to get through it So much so if it wasn’t for me spending the time to think about it objectively I would have given it a 3.5, but damn it’s not god. Its crap, but I enjoyed it I feel like they have screwed my mind again. It made me wants to go back and play the old .hack games. Is that the point to force old .hack fan boys and girls? Is this some sort of ingenious marketing campaign? I don’t know anymore
M: In the end of it all it’s not worth anything innless you really like .hack and well I do bite me. Objectionably I got to give it a 2 I dream of Alkaid sometimes at night out of 5.
F: M’s remade our format to fit manga in what we call mini-reviews. This is the first one and I hope you like it. However M will not be her to edit or re write my review still enjoy
F: Kashimashi: girl meets girl surrounds Hazumu Osaragi a former boy who in the earlier manga was crush by an alien space ship. The alien being out of his damn mind, but a nice guy rebuilds him as a girl and returns him to his family. Over the course of the first manga till things were kind of set up like this. Hazumu loves both her best friend Tomari and her original crush Yasuna. They are waiting for her to choice however the alien brings up another problem she doesn’t have much time to choose before she dies!
F: The story itself is just rather weird and is in no way deep and it all seems like a cipher to give a reason why the weak willed Hazumu would even be decisive. The major complaint is it’s kind of boring until the end it seems to be way to long maybe it’s the fact that as a omnibus no matter how much you read it seems like it goes on forever, but I should be happy it never end not wishing I was doing something far more interesting. Another issue is as I believe Erica once said that too many Yuri use gender-bending as an excuse for having Yuri without
having to have Lesbian characters. It seems played out, but true and just makes me a little sad.
F: however not everything is dark bottomless tartorus pit that M would like you to believe life is. What the show lacks in diverse story telling it makes up with interesting characters expressions are not overused and tend to be reveling and the differences between admittedly mostly the female characters are many. The ending is actually really good the last few chapters are really warming and enjoyable. They story picks back up and ends well after half way through defiantly not a total loss.
F: In the end it’s alright and that good enough for me even if it’s half rate more Yuri isn’t bad it’s a small enough theme that I’m willing to suport almost anything from it. The totally mediocre package gets 3 why does nobody ever says the word lesbian in Yuri? out of 5