Noragami Supernatural TV Anime Gets 2nd Season

Noragami’s finally getting a second season!!! Look forward to it, folks!!!

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Amagi Brilliant Park – Review – Owaranai Magic Hour!! (I wish)

Amagi Brilliant Park, an anime from the Fall 2014 season reviewed. About a narcissist tasked to bring 250,000 guests to the world’s most disappointing amusement park with the help of fan service and lewd shots of girls!!

NEW!!! Up-and-coming amusement park in Japan, Amagi Brilliant Park is now officially opened to all!!!! PV (Promotional Video) below!

As you can see in the PV, Amagi Brilliant Park is an amusement park filled with adorable mascots, state-of-the-art technology built into the facilities and most importantly, it’s family orientated! Bring your families along for the maximum fun exp–


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Amagi Brilliant Park is a 13-episode anime released during the Fall 2014 season and, boy oh boy, is it a one hell of fun ride! Despite its childish appearance, it really is one of the most entertaining series in the Fall 2014 season. And people, as always, judge it to be a childish cartoon despite not watching it. If you watched the PV above just now, you would have the same expression as the thousands of people who watched it:

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Ah…no, no, no, I meant this one.

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So, Amagi Brilliant Park revolves around a certain Kanie Seiya…saint-seiya-2015-2

Nope, not Saint Seiya. I meant Kanie Seiya, ok? This Seiya guy was just minding his own business when a mysterious and beautiful girl named Sento Isuzuisuzu

Ok, knock it off… enough of those terrible name puns. This Isu– Sento girl then forces Kanie to go with her on a date to Amagi Brilliant Park, which is called the world’s most disappointing amusement park. Sento then proceeds to bring him to meet the park’s princess who is from a mystical and magical world known as Maple Land…whose name is…

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Wait…hold it…Latifa…Oddly familiar name…Latifa? As in Queen Latifah? Kanie…Kanye? Seiya means West…so, Kanye West?

Mind. Blown.

Good luck figuring out who Sento is supposed to be… let me give you a hint. Isuzu actually means fifty in Japanese, so…


Anyway, Qu–Princess Latifa proceeded to declare that Kanie is the one prophesied by the oracle that will be able to save the park in its current state, being the “most disappointing amusement park” as labeled by Kanie himself. And so, the journey to self-discovery and restoring the park to its former glory (?) begins!


At first glance, it is easy to write Amagi Brilliant Park off as a show for kiddies and has utterly ridiculous or otherwise nonsensical plot but actually, there is more than meets the eye. Like the names of the characters. Crazy names.

Of course, more on that later. But first, let me introduce you to the crew ofAmaburi 3 the Amagi Brilliant Park. We have Moffle, the chief mascot of the park and fairy of sugar and candies.He is Latifa’s uncle and shares a mutual dislike towards Kanie thus, they are constantly at odds with each other. Then, we have Macaron, the fairy of music in the form of a sheep. He plays the violin Amaburi 5and…metal. ‘Nuff said. We also have Tiramie, fairy of flowers in the form of a pink dog who enjoys…uh…charming older women and is a pervert. Together, the trio form the backbone of the various mascots in the park and have the most screen time.

Aside from the mascots, we also have the Elementario dance group, another group of oddballs and airheads fairies, just this time more…um…flesh. Service. You’ll know when you see them.

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Ooh!!! I’ll have to hunch over!!!!!!

Last but not least, we also have the “mysterious and beautiful” Isuzu Sento, a royal guard assigned to protect Latifa. Due to her upbringing as a royal guard, her tendency towards violence and inability to convey her feelings is very much a running gag throughout the entire series. Allow me to demonstrate : Senjougahara Lite.

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On paper, this show looks like comedic gags held together by a paper-thin plot and tends to get repetitive over time, but unlike most comedy anime out there, Amagi Brilliant Park actually has a plot. Despite its ridiculously nonsensical plot at first glance, the plot is actually quite realistic and relatable, especially if you work in the management department as Kanie and Co. attempts to beat the clock to attract 250,000 visitors in three months to prevent a multinational development company from taking over the amusement park.

As the crew of Amagi Brilliant Park engages in a rat race to attract visitors to the park, we are served with heart warming measures by the crew, ranging from PVs to selling off a huge plot of land to even resorting to getting families and friends to come over in the very last-minute. Of course, with these oddball characters like the mascots, we can have many things go wrong. And of course, these unorthodox oddballs think of the stupidest stuff to do.

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Extreme Ironing, at best!

To be honest with you, I enjoyed this show quite thoroughly even though I didn’t quite like the looks of it at first. It may strike you as childish but let me assure you, this anime is not just for kids. Although the jokes were quite stupid, but it is so stupid that it became funny. But, stupidity aside, no other anime would be able to pull something like this off. One, because it features characters not of this world, literally, thus giving the writers more space for creative writing. Two, it’s simply because this anime has a lot of heart.

I mean, I have never seen something like this. The jokes are corny and cheesy but I didn’t feel anything because when I see the characters, I feel like snuggling up to them. I mean, all the characters, human or otherwise, are given so much development despite their limited screen time that you’d feel for them. You start to care for them unlike the generic characters we see in anime, these characters doesn’t just drive the plot. They literally are the plot, not through their backstories but through their actions.


I bet after those words you still won’t understand what I am talking about, so, here’s my verdict. This anime is a brilliant comedy anime that is genuinely heart-warming and despite its childish appearance, has a lot of heart and will make you laugh and cry all at once.

All in all, I freaking love this anime. I mean, what’s there not to love? Funnily crazy characters, great comedic timing and witty dialogue!

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Go watch it, it’s definitely worth your time! Suddenly, it’d never ended. Sigh~~

Thank you very hunch for your time! See you in the next review!

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Nodame Cantabile – Review – Puh-Kyaa!!! Classical Music!!!!!

Muh-kyaa!! It’s a review of Nodame Cantabile, another one of those shows about classical music!! Run for your lives!!

Muh-kyaa!! It’s another one of those shows about classical music!! Run for your lives!!


For some reason, people nowadays hate classical music for who knows what reason. Maybe it’s because of the length of standard classical music, for example, just one movement of a standard piano sonata can be around 5-8 minutes long. For concertos or orchestral performances, it’s even worse, ranging up to 20 or even 30 minutes long! Maybe it’s related to how parents nowadays force their children to go for music classes to improve their IQ or something like that. As a result, children are not happy with the way they are forced to play the piano or the violin. Thus, they don’t like classical music anymore, in fact, they tend to relate it with chores or boring and troublesome stuff. With all the stuff that goes around nowadays like rock, metal, pop etc., people, especially teens tend to like these genres because it’s catchy or it’s trendy. Of course, it doesn’t help that the society stereotypes classical music as just a tool to help children “realize” their talent or some chore you force on your children. That’s just tragic, because classical music is such a beautiful thing. Now, I won’t put down the other genres as inelegant like some old hag but it is seriously underrated.

Now, enough talking and let’s get on with the review!

In the spirit of Mozart and of all the ancient classical composers, I bring to you… …

 

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Oops…sorry. Wrong roll card.

Nodame

 

As a josei manga that began serialization in the josei manga magazine KissNodame Cantabile is a stand out manga even during the time of publication that was deemed realistic in the way it depicts the problems faced by musicians worldwide. In fact, it was so popular among the music lovers that it even has a cast of musicians known as the Nodame Orchestra, backed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphonic Orchestra to work on its orchestral background music and insert song. It even has a live-action drama series based on the manga, which got me started to watch this anime in the first place.

Nodame Cantabile revolves around Chiaki Shinichi, who is studying in a Japanese conservatoire. Despite being extremely talented in music and piano, he is interested in the art of conducting which he picked up when he was younger when he met the world-renowned Maestro Viera. However, due to a plane accident when he was younger, he has a phobia of airplanes and sea travel, impacting his career as a musician. One day, he heard a sloppy but somewhat brilliant rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No.8 “Pathetique” when walking out on the conservatoire’s famed piano teacher. It turns out the person playing that was his apartment’s next door neighbour, Noda Megumi aka Nodame. He was shocked when he found out she was the one. To his dismay, she fell in love with him and wouldn’t leave him alone. I can’t blame him though.

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As it turns out this Nodame is not only a carefree girl, she is a seriously, terrifyingly…well, how would I put it…unorthodox girl. She doesn’t clean up, she leaves her rubbish all over her apartment and doesn’t wash her hair. She doesn’t practice much either, and when she does, most of the time she’s playing songs she composed for kids, most memorably, the ‘Fart Song’.

Holy son of a …

Not only that, she is also a poor sight reader thus she prefers to play from ear instead of playing from the sheet. But even with these problems, Chiaki noted that Nodame had big hands, thus being able to play the difficult portions of music easily and she has a way of playing that charms even a talented piano and violin player like himself.

Of course, even after meeting Nodame, life goes on for Chiaki as he attempts to move forward and realise his dream of being a world-class conductor, even though he realises that without leaving Japan, that is impossible. In short, he attempts to hold on to slivers of hope, meeting different people.

This anime is an anime, before it is about music. Anime meaning that every episode isn’t about some boring, long long lecture about the piano and how you play some classical music. So, don’t worry about it and just watch it. If you’re a professional musician playing in an orchestra, you probably may find the anime a little unrealistic but hey, I did say this is an anime before it is about music, okay?

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The selection of the songs in this anime are of a great variety and it ranges from concertos to piano sonatas to solo pieces for different instruments such as percussions and strings BUT for people who don’t know classical music, it’s fine. Even if you don’t understand classical music, you can still watch it and still enjoy it.

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It lives up its expectations of being a josei anime with a quite good-looking male character, and is definitely a hilarious take on life as a student or teacher in a conservatoire. The chemistry between Nodame and Chiaki is also superbly funny and yet, surprisingly not as repetitive as it would seem since most of the time it’s just…

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Poor Nodame. Although on paper, it’s a little boring but this turns out to be a quite entertaining watch, though I can imagine some people may not like it because of the animal abu….no, no, I mean, girl…er…girl, yes, girl abuse.

In my opinion, Nodame Cantabile is a stupid anime where it paints a woman in a different light and inferior to men. The author of this stupid manga must think us women are just sexual creatures at their disposal to lob around. It tries to undermine the role played by woman in today's society by presenting a main female lead character.
- Overzealous Feminist
P.S. We hate men!

Of course, I wouldn’t call this a perfect anime because unlike what many music enthusiasts who watched this would call it. I’m not exactly a hardcore classical music fan so I reckon I am able to give an unbiased opinion of this show.

First and foremost, the writing is kind of weird and a little unconventional, sometimes even adhering to the all-too-common ‘boy-meet-girl’ plotline. I mean, it tries to be serious but it somehow fails as the problems faced somehow conveniently solved overnight. For example, how do you build an amateur orchestra? Simple, let’s call all the talented people we can find, because they all conveniently like you. Ah…that makes sense now…

Secondly, as to the way the plot goes, it just doesn’t make sense as to how Chiaki can end up with Nodame. I mean, Chiaki’s such a jer– adorable cute little person who loves music very much. He’s a tsundere. Too much of it.

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Thirdly, even though the characters are quite funny and fresh, but unlike the live-action drama, it lacks what its live-action counterpart: heart. For once, I actually thought that the live action series was better than the anime.

Fourthly, the animation. The artstyle I could accept, but that animation was not satisfying at all. Imagine my irateness when I, a former band conductor saw Chiaki conduct. In stills. Definitely not satisfying at all. Nodame Cantabile Paris Hen, the second season of Nodame Cantabile tried to correct this flaw but alas, the conductor in close-up now looks like a CG mannequin attempting to sway his hands fancifully with a baton.

Of course, the classical music more than makes up for those flaws, but still for people who don’t enjoy classical music, you may not enjoy it as much as I do but don’t be so sure yet. As a person who always hated practicing on the piano and who couldn’t understand classical music up until now, after watching this anime, I found myself understanding classical music more. I even went to buy a book filled with Mozart piano manuscripts and started practicing Czerny just to be able to play crazy fast. I still hate Schubert, though.

So, if you hate classical music or thought of it as a chore, watch this. This anime lets one see classical music in a new way. You will grow to realize that classical music is not boring but a very expressive and beautiful thing.

I hear the piano teachers clapping their hands in delight…

Until the next review, bonjour~

“Bonjour means Hello…”

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Thanks for your time!

Sadness and Alternate Worlds – Hotarubi no Mori E 蛍火の杜へ – Anime Review

Sorry for the late posting, but anyway, this is the next show with a splendid pile of feels, Hotarubi no Mori E@Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light! That ending though…I can imagine its impact on them fangirls…

Hello, people. Sorry for the late posting and stuff. Blame reality. I haven’t been watching anime properly for a whole week and I did only paperwork for a long, long time. But fret not, for now I am back with a renewed passion to write more reviews for more entertainment!!!

Sad anime is so tiring and draining. watching it either kills me inside or leaves me hanging so I decided to run the sad anime review marathon alongside my regular anime. For today, we have…


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蛍火の杜へ, Hotarubi no Mori E aka Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is based on a one-shot shoujo manga of the same title.

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It revolves around Takegawa Hotaru, a girl who lives in the city and goes to the countryside to live with her uncle during the summer vacations. When she was six, she entered the forest nearby that was said to be occupied by the mountain god and the spirits and got lost. When she was crying from exhaustion, a human-like entity wearing a mask approached her and comforts her. However, when she attempts to hug him, he dodges her and tells her that if he touches a human, he will disappear. And so, little Hotaru became more fond of the man/spirit whose name was later revealed to be Gin, and proceeded to visit him in the forest everyday of the summer vacation.

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Of course, like every shoujo manga, there’s always a normal looking girl as the main protagonist and the ever-mysterious yet charming male character as the love interest. But unlike typical shoujo, the characters are not exactly too tied up with its usual stereotyping due to the irregular setting. Like the movies by Makoto Shinkai such as 5 Centimeters Per Second or Voices of A Distant Star, the plot of this OVA/short film whose running time is exactly 45 minutes, the problems faced in real life are recurring themes in this anime too, although presented in a less orthodox way. For example, physical distance is the underlying theme as Hotaru is unable to touch Gin and that makes them yearn for each other more.

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In terms of story, plot and development, this anime is one of the most well-developed stand-alone OVAs I’ve ever seen. It’s run time of 45 minutes is utilized to the maximum and every scene and dialogue is used only to present the plot in the best way possible. More about that ending later.

Illustrated and published in the year 2001, the manga was so good that it was considered to be Yuki Midorikawa, the manga artist’s starting point for her best known work, Natsume Yuujinchou. The anime production began in 2011 and top of the class as well. Undoubtedly, this anime has one of the best storylines ever adapted for an OVA and the most depressingly relatable one I’ve seen so far.

Given its length, there is nothing much to talk about this anime. The plot was good, the characters were average, which is understandable given its shortness, the artstyle was quite artistically beautiful although not as stunning as Makoto Shinkai’s work. In short, it was a beautifully crafted animated story with a lot of charm that had a great finishing and is almost flawless in every aspect.

So, you’re thinking: “How is this anime sad?”

I’ll give you a few clues. [Minor spoiler alert]

  1. Gin is not a spirit but somewhat he is somewhat not of the human world. And that thing about him not able to touch humans is true. He also doesn’t age like humans do. In short, he is forever a teenager.
  2. Hotaru is a completely normal girl who like all normal girl characters in shoujo yearn for love as they enter adolescence. But do you think she can withhold herself from wanting to touch Gin?

Lastly…[Really, don’t read this if you still have completely no clue whatsoever to what is going to happen. Ignorance is bliss.]

3. What is going to happen when Gin touches a human?


 

Enjoy your feels while you’re at it! Enjoy your next day rolling on the ground crying, you crybabies!!! *Evil laughter*

Till the next sad stuff, ja ne~~

I can hear them fangirls crying their eyeballs off their sockets already.

Sadness and Distance – Voices of a Distant Star ほしのこえ – Anime Review

The predecessor of 5 Centimeters Per Second, if you’re a fan of the movie, or of Makoto Shinkai, please read on for the review of Voices of A Distant Star! Hoshi no Koe, ほしのこえ!

Can mobile phones work in space?

Duh…of course not! There won’t be any signal to begin with, so how can someone in space send messages from Earth to space and vice versa? I mean, how is it even possible when there are no telecommunication towers??

That aside, we are now entering the:

Feel Zone…

Voices

Like its successor, 5 Centimeters Per Second and Voices of a Distant Star is directed by the same director, Makoto Shinkai. As you should know by now, he is known for his realistic artstyle and slow-paced plot. Of course, it has a minimal plot, but unlike its successor, Voices of a Distant Star is less relatable, has a less engaging atmosphere and ultimately, less sad in a way.

Voices of a Distant Star revolves around Noboru Terao and his friend/classmate, Mikako Nagamine. It is evident in the beginning of the OVA that the both of them have feelings towards each other but for some reason, they never got together. Maybe it’s because of the fact that they weren’t exactly special acquaintances with each other, they merely happened to know each other in school. But when Mikako was enlisted into the UN Space Army and about to embark on a very, very long journey into space, for some reason, the feelings within the two of them grew and as days go by, their hearts become fonder.

UN Space Army? Fighting what? This is where it starts getting a little weird. Apparently, during space colonisation, humans encountered and fought against a group of aliens in a region in Mars named Tharsis, thus the aliens are named Tharsians. Here comes the questions…

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Why was a school girl from Japan enlisted to join a top-secret space army at such a young age to fight aliens? Why was there a war with the aliens in the first place? What are they? And the most important question of all, how on Earth can you send an email in space?

Pretty surreal, but that’s what this OVA is centered around: the emails between Noboru and Mikako. Apparently, the farther the distance between the two of them, the longer the time-lag between as the time taken for the email to reach them is getting longer to the point when sending one email takes year to arrive.

For people who is in a long-distance relationship, this anime will ring very much true and will touch their hearts. As for the rest of us, we may have more questions than answers when we finish this OVA. Instead of feeling sad, we may experience confusion and take more time trying to comprehend this story rather than enjoying the story in its fullest.

Like many sad anime out there, shortness helps bring out the atmosphere and the despair of the anime but this OVA is way too short to be able to bring out the despair and tragicness of the story to its fullest, especially when it’s plot is so surreal.

Even though the OVA has many flaws in its presentation, I’d like to applaud the writers for presenting the story through not just one viewpoint like 5 Centimeters Per Second, but giving us the perspective of both Noboru and Makiko, doubling the sadness factor. And of course, Shinkai’s style of art is spectacular as always but the 3D animation feels a little out-of-place though I guess that can’t be helped they were on a tight budget.

All in all, this OVA should be taken as it is: an OVA. Nothing more. Because unlike in a movie, OVAs are too short to give an impact big enough to affect its viewers for a long time. Despite its many flaws, Voices of a Distant Star is a decent effort from Shinkai, and if you can overlook its flaws or you’re a fan of Shinkai’s art or story telling, then this is a great anime OVA that is a must watch. But I must warn you, if you’re not a fan of sad anime, or Shinkai, then I advise you against watching this. It may enrage you further and push away from watching sad anime altogether. You should watch 5 Centimeters Per Second first.

Now, if your perception of sad anime is something like Clannad Afterstory, well, here is a refreshing take on the sad anime genre. Despite its many flaws, it is a watch worthy of your time. Please do watch it.

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If you’ve watched this OVA, here’s something about the OVA for you to think about. What do you think the Tarsians are? Why was it when Mikako was obviously overwhelmed by the Tarsian, the Tarsian did nothing to harm Mikako? And towards the end of the OVA, that mystical doppelganger that appeared to counsel Makiko, why did it take the form of a Tarsian? Does the Tarsians even mean any harm to the Earthlings or was it out of strategical convinience that the UN Space Army attack the Tarsians? Could this OVA end up being something like the ending from Ender’s Game?

Who knows, right? So, with mixed feelings, I shall go on to the next pile of feels.

Till the next pile of feels, sayonara.