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Author Topic: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)  (Read 1308 times)

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Offline MahluaandMilk

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Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:00:06 AM »
I'll be honest: I have no idea where exactly to put my reviews of anime, but since my first one will be a rather lengthy review, I guess I'll just shove them into their own thread. If not, I mean, I'm sure someone will come by and tell me or move my thread, which I'd be okay with. Of course, since this will be a place for me to give reviews of anime I have watched in full, there's adequate reason to say

SPOILERS WILL ENSUE.

I don't really feel the need to mark them because coding when making a large post can be bluh if one little thing goes wrong and all that scrolling--I'm sure you follow. I won't be posting any images to make it easier on people who want to flip through and not read in case of spoilers just to go down to the end of the post and get my final rating, which will be on a scale of ten.

***About my ratings: I tend to rate anime based on more than just animation or soundtrack, because those things only really go into ratings if they subtract from the series, although I will address them in the full review. Just note that they rarely take part in the numeric score I give the show. Something can look pretty, sound pretty and still just be a massive pile of fecal matter, after all. What I do rate a show on is more on concept and execution, and the mechanisms by which these are carried out, usually plot and characters. That is to say, if a show can't bring me to care about the MC and his/her/their goal(s), then the show will likely receive a poor rating.

With all that out of the way, it's time to do my first review.


Yami no Matsuei (English Title: Descendants of Darkness)

Year: 2000
Studio: J.C. Staff
Genres: Supernatural, drama, comedy, shounen ai
Why did I watch this show?: First I heard there might be vampires, but then I read the synopsis on kissanime and thought, huh, well that doesn't sound too bad.
Dub or Sub?: I saw the year 2000 and noped away into sub-land. I wasn't about to deal with old dub s---. Discotek? Licensed by Geneon? In 2000? Oh dear. Did not want to risk.
OP: "Eden" by TO DESTINATION. Very 90s sounding J-rock, and I had to do a double-take because the vocalist sounds quite a bit like BUCK-TICK's Atsushi Sakurai. I liked it overall. It had some great hype to it.
ED: "Love Me" by THE HONG KONG KNIFE. Wow, uh, I don't really know what to think of the ending? The vocals were kinda sloppy, but I think that was the style of it? Kinda reminded me of the Gungrave ed, except more psychedelic and after like five espressos.

Concept: Basically the story follows some shinigami that ironically have the job of making sure that humans don't die until they're supposed to and wind up intervening when supernatural causes make them.
Execution: I feel like there were a lot of stereotypes and cliches thrown around, but the show was enjoyable and relatable. If it didn't rely so much on shounen ai tension and somewhat over-the-top sad backstory syndrome it might have been a lot better, though. Some of the characters also felt heavily underutilized, but for a thirteen episode series, I suppose it's passable.

Main Character: Tsuzuki was a pretty okay guy. He had a lot of depressive issues that kind of made the show's rating go more in the R direction because tw: suicide attempts in the past. In the first episode you're introduced to him as more of a goofball character, whose kindness is almost a fault with him, and for some reason he, at the start, is noted to have had trouble keeping a partner, although in this universe shinigami work in pairs. As the show progresses you see more of that he acts the way he does to atone for things he believes are his fault. He's so protective because he blames himself for that people have died on his watch, and this only gets worse as four young women die in the series. As a shinigami he is quite powerful and has the ability to call upon Guardians, which are basically what I would just call a familiar, to protect him. His other spell-like abilities mostly rely on talismans to work as shields against supernatural attacks. He also heals fairly quickly due to his shinigami nature.

Supporting Protagonists:
>Hisoka is the new kid assigned to be Tsuzuki's partner at the start of the show. He died at sixteen, apparently murdered by the show's main and recurring antagonist, but we'll talk about him later. He holds an immense grudge for this, and often acts out very angrily, as sixteen year olds tend to do. Early on he notes his partner's kindness and begins to soften up his hard exterior, and it is revealed that his family somewhat neglected him under the belief that he was some kind of monster? I dunno, this show seemed to like to torture it's characters. It seemed kinda dry to me because it happened so often. That aside, perhaps due to design and seiyuu choices, I also had a tendency to just imagine him instead as a girl, because either way it fit and the show was lacking feminine touches, but, then again, what do I expect from a shounen ai?
>Those two weird bird-things. I forget what they're named, but there's a blue-wearing one and a red-wearing one. They're twins who work at the shinigami's library or whatever, and they help with investigations. Honestly, they annoyed me a little bit, but at least they were useful. Could have easily replaced them with characters.
>Watari I'll mention if only because I actually kinda liked him. He was the nerdish shinigami who did a lot of the techie hacking stuff, and seemed to mostly be in charge of the Kyoto district, as noted later in the series. He's the one who usually does some of the final concluding on information or investigations. Like I said, I'm bringing him up mostly because I liked him.

Main Antagonist: Ugh, Muraki, while a medical doctor, was a total creeper (then again, maybe his being a doctor added to the creep factor?). Allegedly he was gorgeous, and I can see why, seeing as he had this smarmy all-white wearing schtick and the platinum blonde/silver hair going on. Not to mention that Hisoka saw him committing murder when he was thirteen, and rather than killing him, the dude up and like...mind controls him and tw: r---s him? Like??? Then he puts some kind of I assume mind-control spell on him for three years, probably keeping him as some sick pet, and THEN kills him, after making him lose his memories to torment him after death. It's never really revealed what he is exactly, but I assume he's some kind of demon since he also has the ability to call beasts and do some forms of dastardly magic. Anyway, his main beef is that he's a doctor who dealt with illegal transplants from time to time and even worked with some doctor who was trying to work on human cloning for the sake of building organs with ones own tissue, which, in 2000, was a new idea. All this, because he wanted to bring back his half-brother who killed his parents??? I dunno, the guy was a nutjob, and clearly he wanted to give the MC one, speaking of nutjobs. I could have gone without all the gay tension, but again, it was labeled shounen ai and I might should have expected as much. He also said something about wanting to be a doctor to learn how to kill humans or something. I believe that is what we call psychopathic behavior, sir. Well, not like killing girls to take as test subjects and transplanting organs illegally and dangerously leading to the deaths of many helps in that regard either.

Plot: The show is separated into four different arcs: an arc involving a vampire that introduces the characters and the main antagonist, showing that there's some beef going on, an arc about a cursed/devil-contracted violinist that gives a bit more depth to the main protagonists and why they do what they do, a third arc about cruise ship serial murders that then gives the primary antagonist a little more depth (wow, where have I heard of that cruise ship murder concept from before? *Looks over at Gosick*), and a fourth to fall back to the main antagonist primarily and tie up the loose ends. Each arc was three episodes, except the last, which was four. Each episode was somewhat fast-paced, and it often surprised me when the mid-episode commercial screen displayed, like "halfway already?", and not in the bad way. It meant that the show engaged me. It wasn't a matter of length, since each is 23 minutes with OP and ED. I felt that it was nicely paced, although the recap at the start of some episodes probably could have been a little shorter. Overall, nicely done, with the exception of the things I pointed out under execution as issues. They were a little glaring. Either way, everything developed rather well, all things considered.

Animation: Eh, about par for 2000. There were a lot of stills and simple pans and just lips moving, and some of the action scenes were a little lacking. It didn't look bad for the time, though. It just hasn't aged the best.
Art: Pretty good, actually. I'll point out here that the main protag wearing black and main antag wearing white was a great stylistic and conceptual choice for the series on a psychological level. MC was a good guy who thought he was terrible, and main antag was a stuck-up prat who kinda put himself above others. Still, Hisoka looking so much like a chick? Was that really necessary? I get that he's a young Japanese guy and that androgyny happens, but I still can't think of a purpose for it.
Soundtrack: Again, about par for the time. I thought some of the action tracks were pretty okay, but the tension track wasn't the best. Just some violin bowslides to a staccato tune.

I guess that's all of the main things to cover, since I don't particularly feel like picking every little detail of this show apart, and everyone is certainly free to watch the show and develop their own opinions on the little things. To wrap it up, here's the final.

OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 12:07:05 AM by MahluaandMilk »

Offline Forlorn Serpent

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 02:13:03 AM »
This the first I heard of shounen ai, good to know.

It was a good review, but you convinced me not to watch it. :tongue:

I would like if you would add what basic themes an anime is using and how they are playing with them.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 03:22:04 AM »
Yeah, Yami no Matsuei isn't for everyone with the kind of stuff it brings up. As for themes...I'd say atonement/forgiveness is a big one, and how sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself. We see this because hatred still binds Hisoka to practically desperately hunting down Maruki as a shinigami in his afterlife, and especially in how Tsuzuki hates himself so much that he attempted suicide in the past, as well as nearly doing so again towards the end of the series. It also showed, at least by my perception, the power of friendship (or love, if they were going for that) and how it can help change people and help them overcome such things. Tsuzuki's kindness kind of cracked Hisoka's shell, and in return, Hisoka's newfound warmth gave solace to a very unstable Tsuzuki later. A side note on that is that concept of "revenge makes you go mad", with revenge being the driving factor for the antagonist as well as one of the protagonists (Muraki and Hisoka, namely). I think the way they handled it is a big part of why it got above a meager passing grade on my rating.

Just as a little bonus note: shounen ai simply means "boys love", and refers to any kind of male/male relationship/attraction itching in the amorous or sexual direction, except unlike yaoi, the story itself has a plot and usually lacks an actual sex scene.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2016, 09:44:20 PM »
I've started a new anime, just because I still have a little time left to watch things before I'm shipped off to college. I'll give my first impressions of it here.

Yes, I'm watching the Shingetsutan Tsukihime (2003) anime. There were so many angry comments by VN purists bashing the guts out of it for not covering everything (what do you expect from a 12 episode anime?) and some people who thought it was all right. After watching episode one, I've come to some of my own conclusions.

Firstly, there is a glaring flaw to support the VN raging fans' anger: the story is hard to follow. I think the direction could've used some major help. The pacing is awkward and it's a bit of a struggle to understand what you're being shown and why, like someone desperately trying to tell you something in Ancient Macedonian. Luckily, as a survivor of Black Rock Shooter and the even more mind-boggling Boogiepop Phantom, I'm not too bothered by this as I'm sure some details will clarify things later.

The characters are...I don't even know. I feel like they weren't introduced properly and the MC keeps having these weird "event happens but timeskip and cover-up and then he thinks it was a dream" things. Totally not helping in the confusing story madness. Outside of his frustrating knack for having issues with "lost time", though, I've got a bit of an idea of who he is as a character, and it's not too bad. His friends are just wtf though; I can't get a read on them. His sister, however, seems to have something interesting going on in her head, and I love-hate her attitude. It's the inner brat-tamer in me. What can I say? Anyway, I don't think there's a clear antagonist yet. It could be Ciel-senpai, it could be his sister, it could be that blonde woman that he ""killed"" but showed up again at the end of the episode, or someone totally else.

I'll be watching more of this, and since it's twelve episodes, I might as well watch the whole thing. I'll give another full review when I'm done, as I did with Yami no Matsuei. Wish me luck.

Offline Forlorn Serpent

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2016, 08:15:22 AM »
Cough, "survivor of black rock shooter"?, cough. What?

I'll look forward to your review but you better do one for black rock shooter too :read:


Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2016, 06:42:48 PM »
I watched it like, years ago, though. :-\ I'd have to rewatch it to do it properly, and I have other things on my list.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2016, 12:40:07 AM »
Well, now that I've finished watching it, time to do the full review.

Shingetsutan Tsukihime

Year: 2003
Studio: J.C. Staff...again. Wow, two vampire shows from the same studio reviewed back to back? I swear it's a coincidence. I just like mah vamps.
Genres: Supernatural, mystery, suspense, drama
Why did I watch this show?: Vampires. Obvs. Besides, I have a friend who loves VNs and has been trying to get me into it. The only problem is that I don't have the time or investment in VNs personally.
Dub or Sub?: Sub. 2003 was still before dubs were getting into being well done. Besides, sometimes sub gives me a better idea of a few things. I'm not exactly a sub purist, though.
OP: Absolutely beautiful.
ED: Eh, it was all right. I wound up skipping it most of the time ngl.

Concept: Let's see if I can break this down into something managable. Guy can see the cracks in things because all things must end. Because of this, he blacks out, accidentally kills a vampire, and then because he's a pretty nice guy, he comes to and decides to help her out in her ploy to kill a rival of hers who's basically psycho-chaos incarnate.
Execution: Pretty okay for an anime adaptation. As I said, some of the direction in the beginning was a hot mess, and I can understand why fans of the VN might get upset at the lack of content and depth. A lot of background information was missing, and it left a lot of plotholes and me with questions of "wait wtf". Seriously, all this jibber-jabbering about going to an amusement park and you couldn't take the time to explain some serious universe mechanics?
Themes: Life and Death, the cycles of Life, Karma, and Protecting what you Love.

Main Character: Man, Shiki Tohno had some memory issues out the ass, which made a lot of the story somewhat difficult to follow in the first half of the anime. Basically he had forgotten a lot of what happened due to shock, and seems to have been mind-manipulated to conveniently forget some other things, although the mechanism for that was sorely not explained. However, as a person, he's...interesting. He's passionate, but he doesn't seem to have a set direction yet. He tries to act as everyone's friend, and juggling all of the things he planned to do caused him issues, which I liked. An anime yes-man that says yes too much and has to opt out some obligations for others, with some consequences such as other characters getting upset with him? Bless realism. Anyway, his ability to see the cracks in things which lead to death was a bit OP, although Roa having it as well leveled that out quite a bit. I did think it was a little funny that "I have this weird ability, but VAMPIRES? Ha, no way." was his initial reaction in episode two or whatever. It was also interesting to me that he had a knack for sneaking out and enjoying the night-time. I always kinda wished I could do that, and I admit to taking some midnight strolls in middle school. I should get back to that in my uni town sometime. It's a small thing about a character, but it helps me appreciate him, in a weird way. But, then again, how did he skip school that much? It seemed like that happened quite a bit...

Supporting Protagonists:
>Arcueid Brunestud: Resident Shinso vampire, who's lived for 800 years and suppressed her urge for blood. Her primary objective is to find and eliminate Roa as some kind of karma for falling from grace, at least according to the mishmash lore explained by Ciel in the second-to-last episode. She seems to have no idea how the human world works these days, which can be kinda funny, but I found it somewhat frustrating. Then again, she was interested in why this human was able to kill her, then it turned to hanging out with him and trying to find her guy, and then she learned something other than what she had been doing for supposedly centuries, and it made a difference in her. She got soft, and it may have actually weakened her. Most notably, though, I wonder about her suppressing her abilities, and her, as she put it, hatred or fear for drinking blood. It's interesting to me, and thanks to this lovely human phenomenon called mirror neurons, I sympathized with her need for something.
>Akiha Tohno: MC's (adoptive, as you find out towards the end) sister. She cares a lot about Shiki, and didn't want him to remember the painful truths of the past, and tried to protect him by setting a house curfew (which he ignored) and even going with him to the amusement park with his friends just to watch over him. She's quite bratty, in a sense, but I can't say that I was too surprised by the reveal that she wasn't all human, and I think she had some kind of magic ability? Again, explanations in this show were sub-par. In any case, when it came time for MC to know, she hardened up but let it happen. I find it peculiar that she was able to keep such secrets from him, almost til the end. I also understood her worrying over him, even if she acted not so accordingly to what I think would be best.
>Ciel: No, not Phantomhive. This one works for this not-well-explained organization simply known as "The Church". She acts as MC's senpai in school, and it's believed that she mind-manipulated herself into everyone's memories when she was there, and out when she left. She was a previous vessel for the destructive force of Roa, and now, like Arcueid, spends her time atoning for the carnage she committed through him by hunting him down. Neither Arcueid or Akiha like her at all, and she seems to have something against them, but at least she has the maturity to try to act respectful towards them, even in private conversation. She's perceptive and seemingly immortal, and can summon weapons from what I assume are like, Bible pages? At least, that's what they seem to explode into when de-summoned. She helped out MC a lot, often throwing a weapon between him and some danger, as if to say "back off and leave the innocent out of this." She was also the only member of the Tea Ceremony club at the school, and often tried to act as something like a therapist I guess to the MC, which makes sense I suppose, given that she doesn't want an innocent involved and yet figured that Roa would take over someone of the Tohno blood next.
>Aoko Aozaki: A self-proclaimed sorceress who appeared to MC after his childhood accident. She actually listened to him about his bizarre ability, and gave him glasses so that he didn't always have to see the lines of death. She also explained the fragility and importance of life, and what a precious thing it is. She then drops off the face of the earth, appears in a couple of flashbacks, and then pops up when MC goes to the place they first met at the end as if to say "you did good kid" and ollie outie. It's worth noting that she looks a lot like Akiha when Akiha's hair does some weird color-change nonsense that is again NOT EXPLAINED, but I assume it has to do with her "nonhuman" Tohno blood, and given that Akiha appeared to do some sort of fire magic or something, this might imply that they're both sorceresses.

Antagonists:
>Nrvnqsr (Pronounced Nero for some stupid reason.) :An assassin sent after Arcueid early in the show. He had dog familiars and powerful regeneration capabilities. He acted more or less like a buffer so that MC could get a taste of danger, although he was killed or sent off very quickly, and it was kind of anticlimatic. Worth mentioning, I guess, because his slaughter of a group of people, in which one of the MC's school friends could have potentially been a casualty, really pushed him to join Arcueid in fighting.
>Roa: The actual main antagonist they didn't introduce until like midway through the series. He's basically chaos that reincarnates itself by entering vessels of people who have partially nonhuman blood. A-f---ing-gain, a little expose on what exactly nonhuman means in this universe would've been nice. I mean, we've seen vampires and a sorceress and I still don't know wtf Ciel and Akiha are. Anyway, according to Ciel's expose, he poisoned the first Shiso princess and created vampires' thirst for blood...or something. Why does he want to kill everything? Who knows? In this story, he has inhabited the body of the real Shiki Tohno. No, not MC. Basically Mr. Tohno had a son but also killed some village (again, please, director, can you explain anything at all ever?) and MC was a survivor, so he took him in. He just happened to be about the same age as his own son, and they both had the name Shiki. That's not confusing at all. Anyway, Roa tried to take over his bloodson and stabbed MC in the chest, causing the "accident" that caused MC to have memory issues. Mr. Tohno then tried to lock him away in some cellar in the rich mansion, but clearly he got out eventually. So, then we have the string of vampire style serial murders that bring us to the plot at the start of the show. Then again, I'm not sure if Roa was behind all of that or not. I guess so.

Plot: I've already explained quite a lot regarding the characters, but going linearly: Mr. Tohno killed a village, with one survivor, who he took as his adoptive son. His real son was taken over by Roa, who then stabbed the other boy, leaving him with memory issues. Eight years later, Mr. Tohno dies and the Shiki that got stabbed is requested by his sister to return home, so he does. There have been a string of vampire-style serial murders happening, and on the way home after being spooked about this, he sees a woman who for some reason freaks him out and he stabs her in the weak point of her death lines (although it isn't explained why). He blacks out and seems to forget this incident until she sees him again, calls him a killer, and then says it's fine because lol I regenerated because I'm a vampire. She then explains that she's intrigued how a human killed her and coaxes him into helping her solve the murders happening, and he begrudgingly agrees. After a run-in with the assassin Nrq--f--- it his name is Nero, he is determined to help her. Family secrets are revealed, Ciel saves his sorry ass here and there, yada yada, final fight with Roa, YAY! A lot of the time was taken up by kind of exposition conversation that was pretty dry tbh, but there were enough pieces in each episode to keep me engaged enough to go on to the next one.

Art: Okay. Some of the varying line widths were confusing, like thin lines on Arcueid's hair but thicker around the outline of her face? But, backgrounds were gorgeous, as was lighting in many situations.
Animation: Again, just okay. There were some scenes that were beautiful, but some of the action was flat color characters and I could tell they were having a little trouble with it.
Soundtrack: Quite nice, although hearing that same violin riff got a little annoying. I wish they'd have mixed it up a little.

So, all in all, it was engaging, entertaining, and worth watching, BUT PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GODS WOULD EXPLAINING WHAT'S GOING ON FROM TIME TO TIME REALLY HURT THAT MUCH?


OVERALL RATING: 6.7/10

I wanted so badly to give it a seven, but with those glaring plotholes, I just can't. It's always a shame when good falls into mediocrity.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2016, 10:41:38 PM »
While I'm sitting here in my library not really doing anything in particular (when I should at least be looking over the rubric for the papers I have to write by the end of the month) I guess I should at least talk about one of the anime I've seen recently. So, my friends and I have created a system where we're going to watch hella anime together, and so far we've watched a lot of the Persona animations as well as additional scenes from the games (such as the P3 afterstory). However, the one I'm going to talk about tonight, at least a little bit and not exactly in my normal review style, is:

Re: Zero

Firstly, it's a good thing my friend introduced me to it before I had a chance to see just how terribly blegh the fan community is.

Secondly, it's a surprisingly deep and dark show for what it is.

However, my friend who introduced me to the show really, really, REALLY associates himself with Subaru. Like, a lot. I can understand feeling a connection to a character, but seriously, dude. He takes it a little far, as enough so to be at least slightly concerning for his mental health.

Now, I like the show overall, and at some point, I should probably give it a full review (because it deserves it), but I will point out something to make myself very clear.

I hate Subaru. Especially as a main character. I think he's an absolute idiot who should not have taken so long to realize things. I can understand his trauma, but seriously? SERIOUSLY? To top off the fact that he takes forever to put two and two together, his attitude even after his dramatic realization just. doesn't. change. Like, he just says he's changed and while he starts to show some outward signs of doing something totally normal like listening to decent f—ing advice, it's almost like the audience is supposed to have a "pet the dog" moment. Like wow. I'm so not impressed that you did what you're supposed to do right now. I want no part in your pity party.

I've been told by that friend, the one that really seems to like him, that I'm being entirely unsympathetic. I disagree. I definitely understand that he's going through a lot of things that suck and that it's really painful for him, and a lot of the time it's out of his hands. But, my problem is the fact that a lot of the things that he tortures himself for are things that are legitimate consequences of his own actions, which is a good way to develop the plot of a show. It's the fact that he takes pretty much the entire f—ing anime to realize "oh wow, I'm a f—ing idiot. Maybe I should listen when people tell me better ways to do things, or maybe I should ask for help when I'm over my head instead of getting myself killed. Again." that absolutely infuriates me. Subaru does have a single strong point in his diligence for what he's passionate about, but it's almost completely overshadowed by his over-the-top blatant stupidity. Or at least ignorance of himself.

My primary concern with my friend who connects almost obsessively with this character is just how unaware of himself Subaru is. Sure, even I connect to going through a lot of sh—. I can even sympathize with some of the exact emotional/relationship-related difficulties he goes through. But the difference is that I work adamantly now and consciously strive to constantly, always better myself by first understanding myself, and cry as my friend will, even by the end of the anime as it is right now, Subaru has just not shown that to me. He has not shown that development, and so I will not see him as how my friend sees him, and I definitely don't see him as some good thing to be alikened to. Despite having similar experiences, as I said, I would consider it an insult to be told that I act like that guy.


Ugh, that turned more into a rant about my friend and Subaru more than the show itself. Again, I reiterate that it's an excellent anime. I just really have beef with the MC.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Mahlua Reviews: Sister Princess
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2018, 10:57:46 PM »
Wow, necroposting so hard betcha thought this was Fro for a moment. Yikes, back when I used to type in yellow, all up there. Ah well.

It was about time for me to rewatch Sister Princess as I do every few years, and I have so many feelings about it that I wouldn't shut up on Ecchiworld for a hot minute, but considering that the show isn't even all that Ecchi, I figured why not share the love here on MR too?

I'll get to the point.

Sister Princess

Year: 2001 (Dub copyright: 2005)
Studio: Zexcs
Genres Slice of life, comedy, harem(ish???), drama, and WHO GIVES A CRAP IT'S SWEET AND WHOLESOME.
Why did I watch this show? Well, in this case, rewatch. Originally I watched it because I would pick up any anime dvd I found at my local library. They had individual releases with less episodes per disc, and they had volumes 2 and 7 of the dvds. Later, one of my aunts found the box set by pure coincidence and got it for me. As for the rewatch...on Ecchiworld it was pointed out that the way I talk about it makes it sound like it's a "window to my soul", and maybe that's true. After watching it, I see a lot more of its influence in my writing and in my life in general. It's weird. I seem to binge-watch my box set every couple of years, or at the very least I'll pick out the episodes I like. It's weird for me to not watch the Christmas Special in December. But more to the point, I gotta convince you guys to watch it too, because that's what I do here.
Dub or Sub: Man I always watch it in dub even though the more I rewatch it the more it sucks. But hey, it was ADV films in 2005. I'm surprised that they have names like Monica Rial, Hillary Haag, Christine Auten, and Shelly Calene-Black at all. Highly recommend watching sub if you wanna avoid the cringe of awkward pauses and drawn out words for seemingly no reason.
OP: "Love Destiny" will get stuck in your head. You can't escape it. One day it will creep up behind you, and in the recesses of your mind you'll hear it. The violins starting up, the peppy cliche rock guitars, and--"AITAI AI AI AI AI NONI, AENAI AI AI AI KONYA WA." I hate it to death, but if you think every time it starts up if I lived a lone I wouldn't shout along not caring how off-key I was, you would be sorely mistaken.
ED: "Tsubasa" is a sweet little song. Like with the OP, I find myself mouthing along to the words because I live with people and nobody wants to hear me sing, lol.

Concept: Guy discovers that his dad must have been a total player and that he has 13/12 younger sisters. Since he only got accepted to this one high school on this one island that they all happen to live on and there seems to be no more property to live on, he has to live with them.
Execution: Not as weird as you'd think. As I said before, minus the bizarre elements probably borrowed from the original visual novel in which "not actually your sister, lol, bone her" was a possible ending, it's actually pretty...wholesome??? And super sweet??? Like man I almost cry over this anime and I don't usually cry because I suppress my feelings like a coward.
Themes: Family, support, uhh...cute stuff. Yeah. DON'T FORGET THE FINANCIAL AID, BRO.

Main Character: Wataru is probably one of my favorite "harem" protagonists I've come across literally ever. Sure he has that cliche "nice guy who's kind of a good-for-nothing" going on, but there is development between his confusion, wanting to go back to the way his life was before all this madness, and eventually coming to want to be a good big brother. Never having had siblings, I can't imagine what I'd to thrown into that situation, so I have no idea how realistic it is, but I'd say it's fair.

Considering that the supporting cast include the 13 younger sisters, two of Wataru's school friends, and a few islanders, I'm afraid I'll have to be brief, because hhhhhhhhhh so many characters.

>Jeeves: Wataru's former butler who raised him as a boy--probably the one pulling the strings behind this whole getting shipped off to an island to discover your big family nonsense.
>Akio: Wataru's friend from Tokyo whom he sends frequent emails to from the island. Kind of an asshole tbh. I think he's supposed to be a loveable asshole, but I've never been into that type really. A loveable asshole is still an asshole.
>Karen: one of the major sisters who seems to me to get a lot of screentime. She's a pretty well-balanced girl. She plays piano. And also looks the most like a blood relative. Uhhh...very girl-next-door or childhood-friend vibes.
>Sakuya: Total girly girl. Does fashion. The biggest offender of taking away from the wholesomeness of the series by doing things that look a lot like flirting with her brother. Seriously, I get being between preteen and 15, but honey plz chill.
>Kaho: Resident cheerleader. Probably like ten years old or less. Likes gardening. Super clumsy. English dub voice nails it.
>Hinako: SWEET PRECIOUS CHILD WHO LIKES TEDDY BEARS AND SWEETS. DRAWS WITH CRAYONS A LOT. PROTECC.
>Mamaru: Sporty one. Teaches brother to swim. Tomboy (but like, one of those tomboys that doesn't give me an lgbt vibe, like, at all. Oddly enough you could probably convince me that almost anyone else grows up into an lgbt identity but Mamaru would have me baffled.)
>Haruka: The most traditional Japanese girl of all of them. Does archery and traditional dancing and tea ceremony and all that good stuff. Actually kind of a badass. I don't think I want to know where her mind goes when she gets all blushy, though.
>Marie: The sickly one. Likes to read. Has a sweet dog named Michael (pronounced with three syllables, like, emphasis on the -el). The chillest cucumber (probably because an increased heartrate would make her faint but no less chill).
>Chikage: MAH WIIIITCH (and MR profile picture btw). Does tarot and crystal ball stuff. Apparently was Wataru's star-crossed lover in a past life in accordance to the Japanese myth/tradition that star-crossed lovers are reborn as siblings. Talks to spirits sometimes (and animals???).
>Shirayuki: Does the cooking. Uhh...I literally cannot think of any other character points. She likes to cook, and she likes people to enjoy her cooking. Oh, she's also the only sister to refer to herself as a princess so I still don't understand the title.
>RinRin: Mech fetishist/engineer. Builds stuff. It took me years to realize that she's clearly supposed to be Chinese based on her dress. Is the reason for the financial aid joke up there.
>Yotsuba: Little girl wannabe Sherlock Holmes whose British tendencies are played up in the dub. Always wants to "check out" what her brother is up to and usually makes stupidly wrong deductions, but she's like, ten, so whatever.
>Aria: I think she's supposed to be French but she just looks like the living incarnation of sweet lolita fashion. Talks slowly and enjoys the little things in life. Also appears to talk to nature spirits and trip planes but like maybe that's just my witchy interpretation of her character episode.
>Mami: It's clear from the first couple of episodes that she's not Wataru's sister but he's an idiot and just assumes she is too. She seems to have been sent to spy on Wataru for...spoilers!
>Taro Yamada: Thinks he's cool, but totally isn't. Claims to be Wataru's best friend from pretty much the instant he steps on the boat to the island. Not exaggerating. Likes an old in-show based Gundam knock-off series. Covets Wataru's cute little sisters and probably wants to bone all of them, which is a little uncomfortable, but hey, he's an idiot and will probably never get even half the chance before he does something stupid like falls in the ocean over the railing by the house. Oh wait...

And I'm pretty sure that's everyone...so moving on.

Art: It's a 2001 anime. That's all that needs to be said.
Animation: Someone got a budget cut...by the second set of twelve episodes, a noticeable amount of the story is told through still shots, and even then some of the animation is still...eehhhhh :-\ But again, I mean, 2001 anime.
Soundtrack: Catchy, total nostalgia killer for me, but totally repetitive after a few episodes. You mostly just know what's coming. Or maybe I just do because I've seen it so many times. When the music gets "epic" (or tries to be) it's a little weird.

Final verdict:
8.5/10 Because I have a clear and evident bias. Will probably rewatch with my housemates this year to annoy them with the cringey English dub at the very least, even if it's just the Christmas Special.

Offline suuper-san

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2018, 04:54:33 PM »
Must admit I did think it was Fro lol
Man I need my anime review thread.
Will add to my watch list, sounds almost bearable :P

Offline Coach Fro

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2018, 12:35:45 AM »
Now to be fair, I didn't think Mahlua had a review thread. If I did I would've dug it out. I grave dig most things from memory. I don't always go digging just for sake of doing it. This shovel of mine has a purpose and it's purpose is--

Spoiler
-To start an MR Zombie apocalypse
Messatsu...



Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Mahlua Reviews (Or Something)
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2018, 01:38:38 AM »
Over the next few days I'll be rewatching Simoun, so you can look forward to that simultaneous upload of a review to here and Ecchiworld's yuri section.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Mahlua Reviews: Simoun
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2018, 04:40:30 PM »
Hey hey, I'm too lazy to reformat everything to fit with the colors on MR, so if you want my full review of Simoun, you can follow this little link to the Ecchiworld thread.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Mahlua Reviews: Prison School
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2018, 05:13:53 AM »
Yahoo, another Mahlua reviews session. This time, it’s an anime that seems to have been personally tailored to me despite my strict personal ethics regarding consent.

Prison School (Kangoku Gakuen)


Year: 2015
Studio: J.C. Staff
Why did I watch this?: Have you met me?
Dub or Sub: Dub. It was only a little awkward in some places, but overall the work was fun. Despite…y’know, the content.
OP: I liked the instrumental, but the lyrics are kinda dumb. I know they got the seiyuu to perform it, but I was disappointed with the lyric arrangement in particular. It was just so repetitive and didn’t really suit the metal style they seemed to be trying to go for. Come on, y’all aren’t BABYMETAL. Chill.
ED: Much better. 10/10 would drunkenly sing along to with a group of drunk friends.

Concept: An all-girls school with unbelievable discipline standards goes co-ed for the first time, and unfortunately some traditionalists make use of the discipline standards to make life a literal prison for the poor five new blokes on the block.
Execution: Takes the over-the-top violence approach, which concerns me given the underlying statements I see being made. At times it’s uncomfortable, not because it’s straightforward, but because it’s so exaggerated. Those were some major human rights violations, man…

Main Characters: Rather than discuss each one individually, as that tends to get lengthy, I’ll discuss them in groups.
The five guys: They just came here to have a good time and honestly they’re getting physically attacked right now. They’re all weird and quirky and I kinda love it? They seemed really trope-y, but they still of breathed well enough despite the lack of development (which is a common complaint of mine in the age of 12 episode anime). The only thing that bugs me is like, they took a lot, like, more than should really be possible, and for the sake of plot, they just…yeah they fight, but for the most part the final outcome of the series doesn’t quite do what happens to them justice, I feel.
The Underground Student Council: Uhhhh wow there is a lot to unpack with this pack of wild dogs. First there’s Mari who seems to be your typical aloof, has ridiculous power, crow wielding HBIC who reminds me of me in freshman year of high school for all the wrong misandrist reasons. I can’t say that I blame her considering her circumstances, but…seriously, chill. People are allowed to be attracted to things. It’s not a crime if a guy is into things, so long as he’s not hurting anyone. Then there’s the VP, Meiko, also known as sweaty sadistic tits with legs. And THEN there’s Hana. All three of ‘em need psych evaluations for different reasons but I would be fine if Hana were kept in the ward during the duration of observations, and not on the street…preferably.

Plot: So the guys get into this elite academy and “do what boys do” and try to take a peep, which they are of course caught in the act of and sentenced to school prison for. Literally. The story follows them pitting against the USC to try to break or earn their way out, but USC doesn’t make it easy.

Animation: I saw no problems, but I didn’t really see anything that sticks out as super spectacular either. The way Meiko’s sweat was handled was odd.
Art: YES. Interesting choice with the way that girls’ lips were colored. I feel like I’ve seen that technique before, but I can’t recall.

Final Thoughts:
There is a lot going on outside of the main plot. Like, societal and political statements and observations. I personally hate the idea of violence being turned on its head with the tired and stupid “equality” excuse. That doesn’t make anything fair. Like don’t get me wrong, I get that it’s over-the-top as part of the joke. I’m in on it, and I laughed too. Something under the surface about it is just unsettling to me is all. I’ll still definitely be collecting the manga when my wallet can handle doing so, and if they make a season two, I’d be here for it.
That said, just as an observation, dear gods why is “the unholy lovechild of Hana and Meiko” actually applicable to me?
Hot take: this anime is also some gay ass sh*t.

Overall Rating: 9.3/10
Because I’m weak.

Offline Coryn

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Re: Mahlua Reviews: Prison School
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2018, 10:50:27 AM »

Overall Rating: 9.3/10
Because I’m weak.


At least you're honest about it.

Will review stories upon request. My latest arc: http://goo.gl/KYgsfF