I know there's at least one other fan of anime on this board, and perhaps more, so I thought I'd do a review of some of the anime I've watched. I'm hoping others will do the same.

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Some sound good to me. Are these online or are you watching disks?

Some of these are available for streaming on Crunchyroll.com. Others I've watched over time in a variety of formats. Recently, however, my interest has spiked for various reasons.

There's a couple of anime I started watching recently that I won't be reviewing because I have no plans to finishh them, but I thought I'd give some brief reviews over what they are and why I gave up on them.

The Madness Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - This is the story about a young high school girl named Haruhi who's bored, and of the people she recruits to the club she creates, the SOS Brigade, a club for investigating odd phenomenon.

Initially I really liked this. There's a lot going on that the previous paragraph doesn't cover that I'm not going ot go into , but for the most part this was really entertaining with some excellent characters, particularly Haruhi and the male protagonist Kyon.

So why did I give up on it? Well, at some point, the friends get stuck in a time loop, and the viewer gets to watch them over and over as they attempt to escape the time loop. This would have been fine for 2-3 episodes, but this particular story line runs for 8 with little change between episodes. I finally just gave up in disgust. A lot of other people have made the slog through, however, and if it weren't for this, I likely would have recommended this anime.

Ninja Nonsense - One day, an aspiring female ninja named Shinobu breaks into Kaede Shiranui 's house to steal her panties. They become friends, and hilarity ensues.

Did you like Bo-Bo-Bo Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo (or however it's titled)? If so, then you'll likely love this show. I liked Bo-Bo-Bo initially, but the humor soon wore on me, particularly when the character dynamics shifted from Beauty and Bo to Bo and anyone else but Beauty.

This is the priaary issue with this anime. The two characters we first meet--Shinobu and Kaede--have a great dynamic and there was plenty of humor and conflict in their relationship to support this anime.

Instead, they're reduced to fanservice fodder as other (male) characters take center focus. Basically, in my mind it's a bait and switch, and one I'm not particularly fond of. Why not just let the two girls be the actual  leads of the series?  There's plenty of room for wackiness between them, partcularly from Shinobu, but instead we get unfunny side skits over and over again. Midway through the second episode, I realized I wasn't enjoying myself and dropped out.

The humor is goofy and absurdist, much like Bo-Bo-Bo. If that's your cup of tea, you may enjoy this.

I've read all of the Haruhi Suzumiya novels, and they're actually quite well-written and thought-provoking.  I've never seen the anime, but I've heard of the "Time Loop" arc as something that is infamous among fans.

Yeah. My understanding is that much of the content that was planned for season 2 ended up getting used in the movies/OVA's,. so they came up with the time loop to fill the space out. At least, that's what I've heard. It doesn't work, and I find it more frustrating than interesting.

Up tot hatt point, I was really ejoying the series quite a lot.

The Baron said:

I've read all of the Haruhi Suzumiya novels, and they're actually quite well-written and thought-provoking.  I've never seen the anime, but I've heard of the "Time Loop" arc as something that is infamous among fans.

Title: Mob Psycho 100

Episodes: 12

Category:  Comedy/Shonen




Middle School student Shigeo Kageyama aka Mob (I don’t know why) is a fairly normal, unexceptional kid, except he’s got psychic powers, and works for a psychic agency.




Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama – Our protagonist, he seems pretty ordinary, outside of his psychic powers. He’s not terribly athletic, gets middling grades, and isn’t terribly popular. However, he’s loyal and good to his family, and has no desire to use his powers against people.

Arataka Reigen – Mob’s boss at the psychic agency, he’s a charlatan and a con man. Despite all of these shortcomings, he’s a bit of a mentor for Mob.

Dimple – Dimple is a spirit that Mob defeats early in the series (he’d attempted to use his powers to brainwash people into his religious cult and unknowingly recruited Mob). However, Mob didn’t completely destroy him, and he hangs around to act as a mentor/bad influence on Mob, although he fails at that too. Despite this, he and Mob form a bond.

Ritsu Kageyama—Mob’s younger brother, who is everything Mob isn’t—smart, popular and athletic. However, he envies Mob’s psychic powers, hoping that he would manifest similar ones someday.

Teruki Hanazawa—Another powerful psychic, he uses his powers to take over the delinquent gangs in  his school and generally lord it over all of his classmates. Mob defeats him and changes his outlook on who he is and what his powers mean, and he later becomes a powerful ally for Mob.


There are a number of other characters as well, but these are the main ones.


What's good:


Mob Psycho 100 was created by “One” the same man who created One Punch Man. There are definitely some similarities between the two, particularly in terms of humor. Some of it’s silliness, some of it’s fine satire—some of the best delinquent satire I’ve seen since Cromartie High School—and a lot of it just comes from people being people.


Mob is extremely likeable. He reminded me of Herbie Popnecker in some ways, particularly in terms of his demeanor. He tends to be fairly unemotional, mainly because he’s scared to lose control of his powers (the 100 part of the title refers to his emotional state and how far he’s been pushed. When he hits 100, look out). The other main characters are fun too, and the secondary characters definitely have their moments, especially the delinquents.


Ultimately, it’s a fun show.


What doesn't work:


The ending was an interesting way of not succumbing to the usual tropes, but it also ended up being a tad anti-climactic and unsatisfying in many ways. I can’t say it was bad, but it definitely left me wanting more.


Fanservice Level:


None. Oops, not entirely true. There is one upskirt shot, although that’s really a situational thing. I’d barely call it fan service.


Perverted Character:




Final Thoughts:


This is really a fun show and well worth watching. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.


My rating: 8/10


Title: Durarara!

Episodes: 25

Category:  Drama




Various characters in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district interact and intertwine.




There are so many characters I can’t list them all. I’ll talk about some of the more important ones:


Celty Sturluson – An Irish Dullahan. She is what she seems.


Izaya Orihara – An information broker. He isn’t what he seems.


Mikado Ryuugamine – A somewhat shy high school student who’s just moved to Tokyo from a rural area. He’s not what he seems.


Masaomi Kida – An outgoing, braggart of a high school student and Mikado’s best friend. He’s not what he seems.


Anri Sonohara – A shy, bespectacled high school student who befriends Mikado and Kida. She’s not what she seems.


Ikebukuro – A district in Tokyo.


What's good:


Durarara! is a bit of an odd beast. Rather than the usual linear storytelling one normally gets from most entertainment, here the story jumps from protagonist to protagonist, weaving their stories together along the way. While not every character is involved with every other character, in most cases their stories overlap in both time and space. This works well, as despite the myriad number of characters, you get a good feeling for whom each and every one is and what their character is all about—until, of course, you find out that not everything is what it seems. This story has so many twists and turns that M. Night Shyamalan might shy away from it.


Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. In fact, all those twists and turns kept things interesting throughout, as you were never really sure what reveal was going to come next—nor were the reveals so incredibly farfetched that they took you out of the story—well, in most cases. We’ll get to that.


There’s also a decided undercurrent of the supernatural running throughout as well, especially considering one of the main characters is an Irish Dullahan. While the show mostly has a realistic bent, this element adds just enough to the story that it’s not overwhelming, but adds spice instead.


All in all, between all the interesting and fascinating characters and the myriad twists and turns, I felt like I got a very satisfying story.


What doesn't work:


The show (the first season, I haven’t watched beyond) starts by focusing single episodes on single characters or groups of characters, weaving their unrelated stories into an intricate tapestry. This works well and is very appealing. However, around episode 13, the tone shifts slightly to focus on the exploits of just a handful of individuals, and while it’s not bad, it’s disappointing compared to the early episodes. I do think the show is hurt by a shift to more linear story telling, but I don’t think it destroyed the impetus, just shifted it. Basically, if you were enjoying the way the first 12 episodes went, you got something different, and that’s not always pleasing.


Another thing that sort of pricked my suspension of disbelief meter: the second half of the show more or less follows a three-way street gang war, which is fine. The only problem I have with the gang was is that one of the gangs was started by one of the characters when that character was in middle school, and considering that most of the gang members are significantly older, it just made me question how the character was able to put together such a large and powerful gang without being constantly challenged for leadership by the older members. It’s weird that this is what I question when you have all of these other ridiculous elements out there, but there you go.


Fanservice Level:




Perverted Character:




Final Thoughts:


I was able to finish this in about three days. While some anime have forced me to keep watching “one more episode” this one didn’t, although in most cases I did eagerly await the next episode.It’s fun, there are some hilarious moments (the last episode acts as sort of a coda rather than wrapping up the story, and in context it’s utterly hilarious)., there are some great characters and some good twists and turns.


My rating: 7.5/10



Sounds interesting.

Pretty much every twist left me thinking, "wait, did that just happen?" I personally found it fascinating.

The Baron said:

Sounds interesting.

Title:  Cromartie High School

Episodes: 26

Category: High School Comedy

Plot:  The ostensible protagonist is Takashi Kamiyama, a first-year attending Cromartie, an notorious school for delinquents.  The anime never explains why he is at Cro High, but instead refers the viewer to the manga. The manga explains that Kamiyama, an honor student who could had his choice of schools, enrolled at Cromartie in order to prove that a smart person could learn well at any school. None of this is ever brought up in the anime.  He ends up becoming the de facto leader of his circle of friends. Kamiyama's two closest friends are:

  • Shinjiro Hayashida. He is preternaturally stupid. Hayashida wears a purple Mohawk wig because he wants to look like a badass, but also doesn't want to scandalize his parents.
  • Akira Maeda. The One Sane Man who points out the absurdities of life at Cromartie.  Naturally, no one ever listens to him.

Other major characters include:

  • Yutaka Takenouchi. The burly, terrifying boss of the first-years at Cromartie. His secret weakness is a susceptibility to motion sickness.  He comes to consider the blissfully unaware Kamaiyama as a mastermind who is out to destroy him.
  • Takeshi Hokuto. The arrogant heir to a rich industrialist, he enrolled at Cromartie inadvertently, but steadfastly refuses to admit that he signed up at the wrong school. Tells outrageous lies that come back to haunt him Wears the wrong uniform.
  • Hokuto's Lackey.  Hokuto's faithful stooge, his great heartbreak is his inability to tell the others his name. Seriously, the laws of physics will violate themselves to prevent him from saying his name.
  • Noboru Yamaguchi. The boss of the first-years at Destrade High School. He is obsessed with comedy, and considers the unwitting Kamiyama his comedic rival.
  • Shinichi Mechazawa. A robot who is uncomfortable around technology.  Only Kamiyama, Hayashida and Maeda seen to notice that he's a robot. He is surprisingly easy to damage.  Has a little brother, Mechazawa β, who is always getting stepped on.  Their origin is unknown.
  • Masked Takenouchi. A hijacker who hides out at Cromartie, pretending to be Takenouchi while the real thing is stranded in the USA. Despite the fact that his disguise consists of a luchador mask with the character for "take" ("bamboo") on it, the other students either don't notice or don't care that he's a fake.  Remains at Cromartie even after the real Takenouchi returns. 
  • Freddie. A large, child-like, unspeaking man who strongly resembles Freddie Mercury. No explanation is given for his presence at Cromartie.
  • Gorilla. A gorilla.  No explanation is given for his presence, either. (My head-canon is that he somehow found his way form Gorilla City to Japan.)  Smarter than any of the other characters , with the possible exception of Kamiyama.  He gets an entire episode to himself, wherein he goes to work at a sushi restaurant, reconciling the owner and his son.
  • Jun Ishikawa. Yamaguchi's second-in-command.  Possibly the only living human stupider than Hayashida.  Takes frequent beatings from Yamaguchi for telling crass or stupid jokes.
  • Pootan. The star of a comedy program popular among the delinquents. Yamaguchi thinks it's stupid.
  • Maeda's Mother.  A large, hulking woman, who looks just like her son. Mute in the English dub, she only makes wordless grunts in the Japanese dub. Her grunts are performed by Megumi Hayashibara, an extremely famous voice actress. Hiring her to do grunts that anyone could do is a joke in and of itself.  She is the only female character of note, although "female" versions of the lead characters appear in a segment of the final episode.  Additionally, Dejiko, Puchiko and Piyoko from Di GI Charat make brief appearances, probably because both animes were directed by Hiroaki Sakurai.

The series itself is a parody of the "toughest guy in the school" genre However, we see very little violence. Instead, the characters do a lot a talking about how tough they are. there's no story arc as such, and the characters mostly just react to the daily events that go on around them - school field trips, alien invasions, that sort of thing.

What's Good:  This show (and the manga as well) seems perfectly tailored to my sense of humor. It's idiots who take themselves too seriously finding themselves in one absurd, impossible situation after another. One of the few shows to make me laugh out loud.  This show, and Excel Saga, were two of the first shows I got into after "discovering" manga and anime (not counting the shows I watched as a kid long before I knew the term "anime"), and it's still one of my favorites.

What Doesn't Work:  Nothing for me.  If you have a different sense of humor than I do, you might feel differently.

Fan Service Level:  None, unless Freddie floats your boat.

Perverted Character:  None.

Final Thoughts:  I just re-watched this series over the last few nights, and it still holds up quite well for me.

Rating: 10/10. Still an all-time favorite of mine.

I was watching a video recently  that brought up Cromartie High School. Apparently the showw was animated in between whatever work the studio was doing as a joke, and part of that joke was the low quality of the animation and other animation mistakes like moving ears and such.

Title: Yu-Yu Hakusho

Episodes: 112

Category:  Shonen




Yusuke Urameshi, a delinquent middle school student, is killed attempting to save a child from being hit by a car. Rather than transporting him directly to the afterlife, he’s instead recruited to become a Spirit Detective, and deal with demons that have crossed over from the demon realm to ours.




Lots of good characters to go around, and it’s one of Yu-Yu Hakusho’s strengths. I’ll highlight a few:


Yusuke Urameshi – he’s the main protagonist of the story and a fairly fascinating character. He’s rude, surly and generally disagreeable, and he pretty much stays this way throughout the series. However, there’s a reason for the act he puts on—we learn early on that his mother is an alcoholic who can barely take care of herself, and his father is nowhere to be seen. He’s actually not a bad guy at all, but puts on a façade to keep people away from him. He worries a lot about losing the people he cares about, but thinks they don’t care about him. His special technique is called “Spirit Gun”, where he focuses his spirit energy through his index finger like a gun.


Kazuma Kuwabara (my personal favorite) – Kuwabara (only one other character in the anime uses his first name) is a rival delinquent from Yusuke’s school, and he and Yusuke have fought one another many times. He’s not terribly handsome…or smart…or funny…and everyone knows this. However, he’s exceptionally stubborn, lives by a personal code that will never allow him to abandon people in need, and he loves kittens. In short, he’s a big dumb oaf, but there’s a lot more to him than that. He’s very sensitive to spirit energy and uses a weapon called a spirit sword, where he manifests his spirit energy as a sword. Considered to be the weakest fighter of the main four, he still manages to prove himself again and again.


Kurama (aka Yoko Kurama, Shuichi Minamino) – Kurama is a demon, and was an antagonist on one of Yusuke’s first cases as Spirit Detective, as he and two other demons had stolen some extremely powerful artifacts from the Spirit World. As it turns out, Kurama had participated because he particularly wanted a special mirror that would grant any wish at the cost of the wisher’s life—namely to save his human mother. You see, Kurama was actually a fox deity that had been injured and hid himself inside the body of a baby to rest and heal. Over time he came to love his human family and humans in general. Kurama is extremely intelligent and kind, particularly for a demon; however, do not underestimate him, as he’s also a serious badass, especially when he transforms to his full demon form. He can control plant growth and his primary weapon is a whip he makes from a rose.


Hiei – Hiei is also a demon, but unlike Kurama he has no love for humans. He had joined Kurama in stealing the artifacts and Yusuke defeated him in battle. In order to commute his sentence, he agreed to aid Yusuke a number of times on his cases. He’s very short in stature and tends to dress in black robes. He wears a headband, but it’s there primarily to conceal his third eye, which he had implanted to give him greater power. If he needs it, his primary attack is the Dragon of the Dark Flame, where he channels the power of a dragon imprisoned in demon world through his body. The attack is very difficult to control and using it can cause damage to his body.


Genkai – An ancient psychic who ends up being Yusuke’s mentor and teacher. She’s very old and near the end of her life, and so chooses Yusuke to pass her powers on to. Her primary attack is called the Spirit Wave, which is similar to the spirit gun but launches as a wave of energy rather than a single point.


Koenma – Koenma is essentially the son of God and runs the spirit world. He functions as Yusuke’s boss. His normal appearance is that of a toddler with a pacifier in mouth, but he’s capable of altering his appearance to that of a teenager—also with a pacifier in his mouth (the pacifier ends up being pretty important). He’s generally short-tempered and a little abusive to his office staff—well, not his entire office staff, mainly his personal ogre assistant—but he will take responsibility for the things he screws up.


Botan – Botan is a grim reaper who works directly for Koenma. She has the responsibility of escorting dead souls to the spirit world, or in the case of someone like Yusuke, offering them an alternative. She normally wears a pink yukata, but later on when she’s allowed human form she dresses like most teenagers. She aids Yusuke with his transition to spirit detcctive and gives him most of his early cases, as well as equipment to help him accomplish his missions. She’s not a fighter, but she does swing a mean baseball bat.


Keiko – Yusuke’s childhood friend and classmate. She attempts to keep Yusuke on the straight and narrow. She and Yusuke have very strong feelings for one another, but neither will directly admit it to the other—at least not if they’re both conscious. She’s also the best at getting Yusuke to toe the line when he needs to.


What's good:


Yu-Yu Hakusho is considered by many to be a classic shonen anime, and I think it fits the bill. You have some really good, complex characters, a lot of shades of grey (it’s a primary theme throughout, as many humans are much worse than demons and vice versa), and the story and fights are fun and interesting.


One thing I very much enjoy about this show is that the protagonists aren’t quite the usual shonen types. For instance, most shonen protagonists are nondescript but well-meaning people with a goal of some sort, but Yusuke is nothing like that. He’s the terror not just of his school but all the surrounding ones as well, his teachers actually really do have it in for him (Kuwabara as well), his family situation stinks, and he thinks that no one likes him at all. In many ways, he shares a lot of traits with George Bailey from It’s A Wonderful Life. Additionally, there’s not nearly as much filler as you get in other shonen (the longest one-on-one fight lasts about 2 ½ episodes).


Another thing that works really well even if we don’t get to see as much of it as I might have liked is the relationship between Yusuke and Keiko. The two of them are charming together, and although Yusuke does many things to annoy her, you can tell that these traits are something she loves about him. She does slap him about from time to time, but it’s not the usual Tsundere trope rearing it’s ugly head. The two of them have genuine affection for one another.


Now, it is a shonen, so that means two things: fights and more fights. If you like tournaments, you’ll love this anime as there are several, most notably the Dark Tournament which lasts around 40 episodes. The fights are exciting to watch, and there’s not necessarily the feeling that our heroes are going to win. The opponents are strong as well, whether they be totally evil or just guys who like to fight.


Speaking of opponents, I didn’t list any in the characters section, but the villains of each story arc are strong and fun to watch. There’s some silliness here and there, but mostly there’s a good presentation of menace and malice.


What doesn't work:


The show does have some weaknesses. After the aforementioned Dark Tournament arc, it seems that the rest of the series dips slightly in quality.  There are a number of notable reasons for this, ranging from the quality of the Dark Tournament simply outshining the rest of the show to the addition of new main protagonists who bring little to justify their existence. 


There are additionally some really odd choices made during the show that didn’t sit right with me. For instance, at that end of the Dark Tournament there’s this weird attempt to humanize the two main villains despite the fact that we’ve already seen that both of them deserve exactly what they’re going to get. Also, a major character is killed off and heavily mourned, then comes back to life shortly afterwards and everyone acts as if things are just supposed to be that way. It’s explained in a throwaway line, but given the time spent mourning the character, I’d expect more attention.


The show also suffers a little from what I call “shonen creep” where the antagonists become so powerful over time that only the main protagonists could possibly deal with them, rendering any secondary characters into nothing more than a Greek chorus of cheerleaders.


In a rare instance, I chose to watch the show in the English dub. For the most part the voice acting is good, but there were two secondary characters from the Dark Tournament that had some questionable accent choices (Australian and Irish) that made both hard to understand. Considering that these were two very charismatic and interesting characters (and I would have liked to see a little more of them as well) I found this tremendously annoying.


Fanservice Level:


There’s really not any. Sometimes notice is paid to the fact that some of the female characters are attractive, but there’s nothing blatant going on.


Perverted Character:


Yusuke tends to act in a fairly perverted fashion towards Keiko. However, it’s presented in such a way that it doesn’t feel creepy, more like a teenage boy and girl flirting.


Final Thoughts:


If you haven’t seen this one, I definitely think it’s worth tracking down. It does have it’s flaws, but by and large it’s a fun ride and very enjoyable.


My rating: 8/10


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