- Nathan Maruyama
A genre of harem, comedy, romance, and a some other minor things, Akane-iro is a school type anime where the protagonist eventually ends up with a ton of female friends, one or two male friends that are really into ecchi things, and eventually wind up liking one of the female friends more than the other ones. This anime was based on a visual novel and also has a manga out.
The male protagonist is Nagase, Junichi. Back then he was a delinquent and was called "Geno Killer," now he's just a normal high schooler. His parents are one thing though..they travel the world and do all sorts of stuff while leaving Junichi's sister, Minato, in his care. One time Junichi saw a silver haired girl get bullied by some guys, and dealt with them. After he dealt with them, he didn't think he'd see her again, but apparently she was the new transfer student to his classroom. Everything was fine until he made a mistake and kissed her on the lips by accident.
Akane-iro, unlike anime like Amagami, shows one complete arc/route. Though it may show mini-character debut arcs for each person, they won't complete the arcs/routes just like Amagami SS. Personally I don't like that. This way it will leave fans of certain characters dissatisfied unless the arc they wanted was shown. Unless the creator did something really unique that made all the characters happy, then that's something else..
Overall, there's nothing really special to this anime unless you're looking for a modern day school themed comedy, which Akane-iro really delivered. The OVA they had was nice eye candy as well. If you're looking for something really unique in a school themed anime this isn't the kind, but it's something to watch if you want to get some mild laughs. I reccomend if you're a school theme liker or ecchi comedy fan, no reccomending if you expect more. I give it an 8 out of 10
- Nathan Maruyama
Did you ever mange to watch the second series of Suzumiya, Haruhi? Did you manage to watch ALL of it? Well whether or not you watched all of series or not, this movie's storyline is directly linked to the second season. And if you have watched it (and remembered it,) then be glad. You remembered. Unfortunately I wasn't able to remember much due to the longest time when it came out.
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, (Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu,) like I said, is basically a continuation of the storyline from where season two left off, only in one well developed movie. When you watch it, it makes you wonder why Season Two even came out before this. (Excluding the repeat event moments in the series.) Though you do have to watch Season Two thoroughly in order to see those moments in the anime where it left you thinking "wtf?" in order for you to completely get why those "wtf" moments happened in the show. You'll see Adult Mikuru probably the most in this movie and it probably the most screen time she's even had, humorously. You'll also see a returning character, Asakura, Ryoko, as well as a different side of Haruhi...the rest you'd just have to watch.
The rest of the movie is somewhat similar to what you would see in a typical episode, just more planned out since its a movie people paid to see. (There's not much to talk about that, since I believe I reviewed one of those series' before..) But I do seriously reccomend watching it as soon as you can if you haven't. It'll have you regain some respect back into the Haruhi franchise if you lost some from the Second season. I give it a 9 out of 10.
(I'm upgrading my voting standards and thought only 5 ratings were too small since I always stay in the 4 zone, so now I'm going to grade it to 10 numbers, 10 as in awesome, 9-very good, 8-good, 7-average, 6-below average, and so on...)
Are you the Lucky Star fan? Never really bothered to feel like watching hardcore anime and just felt like watching anything that would give you a little "lulz?" Like art? Or perhaps...Shaft anime? Then Hidamari Sketch would probably be the kinda of anime you'd want to watch.
For an anime to be somewhat like a "Lucky Star Replacement," Hidamari Sketch is probably the one that would the best choice to watch. The series has gone on for three seasons already, each including with their own OVAs, and some specials. Shaft's animation artwork also really brings the anime alive as well for a "real-life" anime. So it doesn't seems as boring as some anime of that similar genre.
In the first anime, Hidamari Sketch, the main story is about a girl named Yuno, who just moved and arrived at Hidamari Apartments to attend her new high school, Yamabuki Arts High School. It was her dream to attend there and the people she meets in Hidamari Apartments become her new friends, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro. You could probably say that they eventually become like sisters more than close neighbors once they all get along. You'll notice very quickly that there's a very nice, but very eccentric teacher in the school named Yoshinoya, who is also almost always scolded by the high school principal by her behaviors and her cosplays. You'll also learn about Sae's past friend, Natsume, and Sae's little sister by time.
In the second anime, Hidamari Sketch x365, the story continues from last season, where Yuno's dream was to attend Yamabuki Arts High School. Now this is her life during her school year. No new people debut in this season. This is just a continuation of the first season.
In the next season, Hidamart Sketch xHoshimitsu (or x Three Stars,) the story changes where a year has passed already and the group has moved up a year in high school. There are also new characters in the apartment, Nazuna and Nori. The veteran group welcomes them with open arms and they eventually all become best friends like before.
One thing good about the Hidamari Sketch series is that even if you take a long break from watching it, you can still watch the next episode much later and still not feel lost. That's how a "real-life" genre should be like. There's no rumor yet whether or not that this anime is officially over, so there's a tiny chance for a 4th season. I think it's a good real-life anime to watch. I give Hidamari Sketch a 4.7 out of 5, Hidamari Sketch x365 a 4.8 out of 5, and Hidamari Sketch xHoshimitsu and 4.8 out of 5.
- Nathan Maruyama
Amagami...ever wanted to know what that meant? By definition, the term "amagami" in Japanese means "gentle bite." And apparently, the anime made no passes on this. Amagami SS (no clue what the SS is for,) is a usual harem anime based off a game on PS2. The anime ended and had an anime special which was known as an extra arc for the series. Amagami has become one of the more popular harem anime of the recent seasons.
The general story is about a guy named Tachibana, Junichi. During one Christmas Eve, he had his heart broken when his girlfriend didn't appear for his date on Christmas Eve. So in order to not relieve these events, he isolated himself away from other Christmas Eve events, and usually hung out with his best friend, Umehara, Masayoshi and Tanamachi, Kaoru. Depending on what arc the anime is on, it continues in her favor continuing towards the next Christmas Eve in hopes for Junichi having a better chance to get a girlfriend and not re-living his sad past.
Unlike other harem anime, which only decides for one route or has it's own unique route, this one actually shows all of the girl's routes within 4 or less episodes, which gives fans of each girl something to be satisfied with. If all harem anime were like this, then there would much better reviews-but back onto topic..there are about eight girls the anime focuses on. Morishima Haruka, Nanasaki Ai, Nakata Sae, Sakurai Rihoko, Ayatsuji Tsukasa, Tanamachi Kaoru, Kamizaki Risa, and Tachibana Miya. Compared every other girl, who gets 4 episodes per arc, the last two girls I just named only gets one episode. They story didn't really do to bad for their one-episode arcs though. When you watch it, you'll see.
There's really not much I can tell you about Amagami SS without spoiling the story. I just recommend that you watch it and see how you like it for yourself. There's a lot of arcs revolving around the same story, so you won't really get that bored of it. Here's what a few of us rate some of the arcs based upon the arcs. You don't have to watch it based on those, it's just something you can think about when you finish the anime yourself.
My favorites (My rating between Morishima and Tanamachi are too close to rate, so they're actually even. Same between Sae and Miya.)
1. Nanasaki Ai
2. Ayatsuji Tsukasa
3. Morishima Haruka
4. Tanamachi Kaoru
5. Nakata Sae
6. Tachibana Miya
7. Sakurai Rihoko
8. Kamizaki Risa
Anthony's favorites (Apparently Miya was second to last and Risa is dead last on his list.)
1. Tanamachi Kaoru
2. Nakata Sae
3. Ayatsuji Tsukasa
4. Sakurai Rihoko
5. Nanasaki Ai
6. Morishima Haruka
1. Nanasaki Ai
2. Tanamachi Kaoru
3. Morishima Haruka
4. Kamizaki Risa
5. Tachibana Miya
6. Ayatsuji Tsukasa
7. Nakata Sae
8. Sakurai Rihoko
Lastly the special episode is Miya's arc aka episode 26, not to be fooled with the upcoming OVAs. So expect the OVAs to be coming out sooner or later. I give Amagami SS a 4.85 out of 5. Reason it's not a 4.9 rating is because it gave me such a hard time to rate! =P
- Nathan Maruyama
For the iOS, League of Evil is a flash game that was eventually ported to the iOS and has been recently released. You play as the Super Agent, defeating the League of Evil, that being evil scientists, their minions and the many many levels of insanity. Think of it this way: It's an 8-bit Super Meat Boy for the iOS. I wouldn't quite say it's Super Meat Boy hard, but it's definitely top-tier difficult. So far there are 4 chapters, one of which appropriately titled the 'Impossible Levels', even branded with its own caution to players stating that this section is 'Only for hardcore agents.' With that, this game is ridiculously addicting as well as frustrating. It's a mini-platforming hell, but it's by no means incredibly, incredibly difficult, but it's just really hard. I'm having a real hard time just passing some of the impossible stages. However, there's very little to hate about this game. It's got real tight controls, great music, lovely pixel art, and increasingly difficult stages. Not only that, but it's associated with OpenFeint, meaning that there are achievements as well as leaderboards. Even better is that the team behind League of Evil is teaming up with the team behind The Blocks Cometh, a similar game also for the iOS, and are collaborating to promote each others games by creating different chapters and stages for their games. (LoE creating levels for TBC, and vise versa) It's a terrific idea, and I'll probably pick up The Blocks Cometh soon as well. This game has plenty to offer: different challenges, plenty of replay value, leaderboards and achievements, awesome gameplay and plenty of difficult stages to run through. (So far, there's 130.) With all these pros, there's nothing to really hate about this game at all. Maybe except. . how difficult it can be sometimes, but if you're one for games like this as I am, by all means, buy it. It's $1.00 How can you pass up such a good game for that price. Really.
"Would you kill someone you love because of love?" That's the main quote coming from the prequel to Ga-Rei which is Ga-Rei Zero. A story based on action, drama, and supernatural demons. (In some cases, slight humor and yuri-ish moments.)
Ga-Rei Zero story revolves around the characters Tsuchimiya, Kagura, and Isayama, Yomi. Yomi works for a supernatural disaster prevention team to exorcise (or kill,) demons. Not everyone can see a demon, so Yomi is special. She was also hired to protect Kagura ever since she was a little girl when Kagura's mother died. As for Kagura, She was born into a special family where they basically hold the most powerful demon in possession (basically demons can also be summoned and used if the exorcist is strong enough.) Kagura's father hold Byakuei, an Inugami who is so wild and strong that he needs to contain it within his own soul. He wants Kagura to be stronger, so Kagura joined the exorcists that Yomi was working for (as an after-school thing.) Yomi and Kagura eventually became great friends and so the story continued from there.
Like I said before, Ga-Rei Zero was the prequel to Ga-Rei. Unfortunately, the Ga-Rei manga was never adapted into an anime. If you compare Ga-Rei Zero to Ga-Rei there's not much difference in storyline since the manga starts off almost right where the anime leaves it off. The big difference in the manga is the manga's genre setting. There's more action, comedy, and ecchi-ness to it compared to Ga-Rei Zero. Zero was more a the drama thriller to push you to want to read the manga (which it did.) There's also a difference in main characters as well...
The new main character is a guy named Nimura, Kensuke. A person who has seen ghosts all his life. They also like to follow him too, when that happens he either runs, yells at them, or hits them (while the rest of the students think he's crazy.) He can't even maintain a stable relationship with a girlfriend like this. But one day by fate (or accident,) he ran into Kagura (a three yea older version of her from the anime, Zero.) At first she didn't know he could see ghosts, but when she did, she wanted to make use of his abilities and turn him into an exorcist. They both ran into a huge ghost/monster-like thing and eventually Kagura summoned Byakuei. When Kensuke saw this, he was bewildered. The defeated the ghost, and Kensukes adventures with Kagura started..
Compared to Kagura, Kensuke wasn't as strong as her, (just as normal for starters,) but even through the manga he really never became the "supreme ass-kicking hero." Both roles of Kagura and Kensuke were kind of equal throughout the manga. Eventually old friends appeared as well new ones. Also anything that was unexplained in Ga-Rei Zero was explained in the manga, which was a big plus in my opinion.
Overall, the entire Ga-Rei Zero and Ga-Rei story is a good one. There's plot twists, humor, and moments that may touch you. I personally think you should watch the prequel first so the ending of the manga truly feels like an ending. The only gripe about it is that in the manga, there's a final chapter and an epilogue chapter. I recommend skipping the epilogue, since to me it feels like it throws off that "mushy-sad-comfort zone" feeling you get when you try to complete a story. From what the manga creator said, the epilogue was only made to have closure of the manga and nothing else. But besides that, they're both awesome imo. I give Ga-Rei Zero a 4.6 out of 5 and Ga-Rei a 4.8 out of 5.
- Nathan Maruyama