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

 

Plot:  

 

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.

 

Characters:

 

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:

 

None.

 

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

 

Plot:  

 

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

 

Characters:

 

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:

 

None.

 

Perverted Character:

 

None.

 

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

 

shyamalan

Sounds interesting.

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

The Baron said:

Sounds interesting.

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