Clannad (2007-2009) Season 1&2 Anime Review

A common criticism that I hear about Clannad is that the ending ruins the show. People seem to think that the events from episodes 17-21 of After Story were all a dream… YOU’RE WRONG!!!

In order to explain what really happened, we’ll have to go back to Series 1, specifically Kotomi’s Arc.

Clannad’s Ending Explained

Remember her?

In case you forgot, one of the key (no pun intended) plot points of the Arc was that her parents have been doing ‘very important research’, this research is later revealed to be the possibilities of multiple worlds. This is later brought up in episode 15 of After Story. Remember this.

In episode 8 of After Story, Tomoya notices an orb of light ascending into the sky. Yukine brings up the legend of the town, being that people are awarded orbs of light when they help others who are in need. If enough of these are collected, a person could potentially wish for whatever they want to.

*I apologise for bringing up episode 16 in the next paragraph. I shed a tear just writing about it*

Fast-forward to episode 16 of After Story. Nagisa is in critical condition, as she is in labour. The baby is delivered, however, Nagisa passes away *let those manly tears flow*.

5 years pass and Tomoya rekindles his relationship with Ushio, as well as wishing peace for his father, with his father moving to the countryside with his mother. This scene is crucial, as Ushio notices an orb of light which enters Tomoya’s chest.

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Fun times ensue, until one day, Ushio is struck with the same illness as her mother. After repeated refusal, Tomoya agrees to take Ushio on a trip. Unfortunately, she also passes away (I can’t see what I’m writing through my tears), leaving Tomoya on his own.

Some have speculated that Tomoya also died here, as he now no longer had a reason to live.

Do you remember the sequences with the robot and the little girl? They weren’t irrelevant, rather they piece all the information together. In the final episode, the girl in the other world reaches the end of her journey. After saying some things, she calls the robot ‘father’.

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The Robot is Tomoya, the Girl is Ushio

Meanwhile, Tomoya is back where the anime started, he is on the hill slope where he met Nagisa for the first time. He has conflicting feelings, ‘If I didn’t talk to her, none of this would have happened’. She walks past him without saying a word, but at the last second Tomoya shouts out for her, runs up and hugs her.

In this moment, it’s as if Nagisa knows what has happened.

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Tomoya wakes up and is beside Nagisa during the birth, only this time, she is alive and Ushio has been delivered. We then get a 5 minute video going through the next 5 years. Most things that Tomoya does is the same as before, but with Nagisa by his side.

So what does all this mean?

Well, the world with the girl and the robot is a world created by Tomoya and Ushio, comprising all the orbs of light that Tomoya gained from helping people throughout the series. If you look closely, you can see an orb of light appear at the end of each arc.

Tomoya collected enough orbs of light to be granted an ultimate wish, so he wished for time to reverse back to when Ushio was born, only with Nagisa surviving the delivery.

He still remembers everything that happened during those 5 years, so he knows what to do now. He has to go to the field with Ushio and talk to his grandmother; he has to make amends with his father. This time though he will be even stronger because he has Nagisa to support him.

In the recap episode, episode 24, Tomoya recounts the entire events of the anime, including that which happened after Nagisa died, to Ushio. Proof that he remembers what happened during those 5 years. Unfortunately Ushio is asleep while he is explaining everything which is awkward

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On a side note, I love how the anime does this CG from the VN ^^

The big thing to note is that the anime is based off of a Visual Novel, and in the VN there are 13 orbs of light to collect. When you start After Story in the VN you will have at least 7 orbs, and you will see the bad end, where Ushio dies… That’s it. You can get more orbs of light during After Story which will unlock the true end where Nagisa is revived.

There is one more major confusion surrounding the final scene of the anime. We have an extended ‘epilogue’ where Fuko can smell a familiar girl. She follows the smell and finds the girl from the illusionary world under a tree.

Firstly, she is attracted to the smell because the girl is Ushio from the illusionary world. But why is she there? It’s kind of an easter egg for VN readers. Like I said before, you collect orbs of light in the VN, and when you collect one, it is shown on the title screen under the tree to the left. After all 13 orbs of light are collected and you complete the true end, the orbs of light are replaced with the girl from the illusionary world.

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Season 1 Trailer

The Promised Neverland Anime Review (2018)

The Promised Neverland (Japanese: 約束のネバーランド Hepburn: Yakusoku no Nebārando) is a Japanese manga series written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since August 1, 2016, with the individual chapters collected and published by Shueisha into sixteen tankōbon volumes as of October 2019. The story follows a group of orphaned children in their escape plan from an orphanage.

An anime television series adaptation by CloverWorks premiered from January to March 2019 in the Noitamina programming block. A second season will premiere in 2020.

Viz Media licensed the manga in North America and serialized The Promised Neverland in their digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.


Set in the year 2045, Emma is an 11-year-old orphan living in Grace Field House, a self-contained orphanage housing her and 37 other orphans. Life has never been better: with gourmet food; plush beds; clean clothes; games; and the love of their “Mother”, the caretaker, Isabella. The bright and cheerful Emma always aces the regular exams with her two best friends Ray and Norman. The orphans are allowed complete freedom, except to venture beyond the grounds or the gate, which connects the house to the outside world.

One night, an orphan named Conny is sent away to be adopted, but Emma and Norman follow after noticing that she left her stuffed toy, Little Bunny, back at the house. At the gate, they find Conny dead, and they realize the truth of their existence in this idyllic orphanage. Determined to break out of Grace Field House, Norman and Emma join with Ray to find a way to escape along with their other siblings.

My Personal Thoughts

I crave for a new good horror series or movie in the anime medium. And I know this is a sentiment many people share in the community. Good horror is rare nowadays, and this goes double in anime. There are just so many times I can rewatch Higurashi, and as much as I love shows such as Attack on Titan and Parasyte – they don’t maintain the horror aspect for long.

The Promised Neverland was a, well, promising contender for the very small club of good horror anime well before its airing.

As a manga, The Promised Neverland is nowadays considered one of the most acclaimed titles published by Shonen Jump. Yes, the same magazine responsible for popularizing and dominating the shonen battle sub-genre also hosts a manga that could easily pass for a seinen magazine.

And frankly I was a little worried for this anime adaptation due to a multitude of reasons; horror in general is a very hard genre to execute in the anime medium, and the studio responsible for the anime, CloverWorks, are a new name in the industry with a hit-and-miss list of works.

But you know what? After watching the entire show twice, I can safely say that our prayers have been mostly answered.

So without any further delays, let’s review the 2019 anime based on the manga written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu, directed by Mamoru Kanbe (Letter Bee, Elfen Lied) and produced by studio CloverWorks: The Promised Neverland.

Now I should probably warn you that if you have no idea about what The Promised Neverland is about, close this review and go watch the first two episodes before coming back. The Promised Neverland is one of those shows that only reveal their true nature at the end of the initial episodes.

Okay, so now as the uninitiated are gone, let me explain the series’ premise and sudden plot twist.

Emma, Norman and Ray are three kids growing up in a small orphanage called Grace Field House, circa the year 2045. It’s a lovely place, with Emma and her friends being taken care by Isabella, the orphanage’s “Mother,” who sees to every need of the kids. The kids enjoy excellent food and can play anywhere within the orphanage’s limits.

Of course, if anything, such a “perfect life” premise is never without a catch. And indeed, at some points the kids are supposedly sent away from the orphanage to caring foster family. When one of the kids leaves, Emma and Norman decide to follow her, and their world is turned upside down upon discovering the true nature of their lives.

Demons exist in this world. The orphanage is a little more than a farm for the demons to harvest human children, specifically their brains. And Isabella is merely the overseer of the children’s growth. But that doesn’t stop Emma, who quickly concludes that in order to avoid their gruesome fates, the children must escape the orphanage.

From here on out, over the course of twelve episodes The Promised Neverland focuses on Emma and her friends trying to uncover the truths about their world and hopefully escape before their day of shipment would arrive. What follows is a terrific game between the kids and their seemingly stoic caretaker, with the potential for new, equally dangerous opponents.

One thing that The Promised Neverland excels in, is the best asset horror has: the atmosphere. When the first episode starts, the world seems bright and lively, and the kids enjoy their peaceful lives. Even when a kid leaves for a so-called foster family, it’s a bittersweet departure because the kids are led to believe their friend found a warming family.

But something still feels off, and once The Promised Neverland decides to remove any pretense at being a perfect orphanage comedy, the real dread sinks its teeth into the series. When the three main heroes realize that everything they’ve known throughout their lives was a big lie, their once pleasant home suddenly becomes distant and cold, swarming with an eerie sense of danger from every corner.

Nothing feels safe anymore, and the surrounding forest next to the orphanage at times feels like a less scarier place than being near Isabella. Despite a fairly gruesome shot in the end of the the first episode, The Promised Neverland almost never relies on gore or violence; the suspense and fear come almost purely from great directional shots and excellent dialogue.

While I wouldn’t say The Promised Neverland is the scariest thing, or even anime, that I’ve ever watched, it is still a step in the right direction. Nothing made me jump off my chair or pause the screen to catch a breath, but the series never lost its dark, eerie feel after setting off. Each episode introduced new twists and pieces to enrich the experience, keeping up a good pace throughout all twelve episodes.

And then comes the fact that the orphanage is really just the starting area. Imagine this; even if you could escape what is basically a farm for human brains, there is still an entire world out there, filled with vicious demons who see you as nothing more than a delicious meal. And when your protagonists are little children, the tension and fear grow stronger.

But that might be among my biggest gripes with the series.

The Promised Neverland hints at a much larger setting that is far more dangerous than anything posed in the orphanage. We get bits and hints about the relations between humans and demons, the existence of other plantations and even a tiny glance at the demon society, but little more.

Thankfully, a second season has been confirmed right after this one ended, so we will get our answers, and I do understand the need of the series to keep its cards close to the chest, but when I think of how larger the world of The Promised Neverland really is, I can’t help but feel that this first season is a little more than an appetizer.

And don’t forget: the story is set in the 2040s, which means we have around three decades of lore and mysteries to unravel, and it’s definitely something I’d love to see explored in sequels.

Despite the rather light touch on the setting, I do have to say that The Promised Neverland manages to handle its central theme of life and survival very well. Aside from focusing on the kids desiring to break away from their cruel fates, the series also takes time looking at it from the other side.

Their opponents also present their own struggles to stay alive in a world where they are just as replaceable as the kids, if not moreso. How far one will go, what morals are they willing to stomp on… Those are legitimate concerns and actions the characters ponder on, and the series even acknowledges that selfishness is fine at times.

And to close this segment, let me just say that the ending for this season was amazing. Even if this show wouldn’t have received the confirmation of a sequel, I’d still recommend the series because of how well this season ties up its story arc. It was briskly-paced, engaging and satisfying.

One of my favorite things about The Promised Neverland is how, due to the playful nature of the series and its reliance on tension and surprise, a lot of the characters come off as somewhat two-faced. And not in a bad way, though we do have some characters like that.

What I mean by saying that, is that a lot of the major and even supporting characters manage to sell the idea of “more than meets the eye” almost seamlessly without feeling inconsistent.

For example, you have Emma, the series’ primary protagonist. For the most part, Emma feels and acts like your typical shonen protagonist – itself an interesting choice of a lead for a horror series; she’s wild, energetic, chipper and almost always spots a massive smile on her face.

However, as the bleak reality weighs down on her, Emma depicts another side to her. A colder, more calculating and sometimes even terrifying side that will shock even the most stoic of characters. This change in personality still links to her desire to save her peers, so it never feels at odds with Emma’s true demeanor.

Meanwhile, the white-haired Norman is presented as the calmest of the main trio. In first glance, he appears to be collected and calculating for the most part. But this brilliantly sets the stage for when he breaks due to the series’ main hook, yet at the same he manages to cover his fear with his usual confidence, to the point of easily tricking his caretakers.

Finally we have Ray, who unfortunately I can’t talk about in depth due to a few plot twists regarding his character, but he starts off as the cool-headed and somewhat aloof young boy (it helps that he is voiced by Killua’s voice actress in Hunter x Hunter), only to reveal multiple different sides to him ranging from manipulative to similarly emotionally broken.

And the series really shines when the three of them are together, as the differences in each kid’s mindset and approach to their problems compliment each other beautifully. Not to mention that over the course of the season’s twelve episodes we get to see how deep and organic their friendship is.

But The Promised Neverland also has surprisingly complex and deceptive antagonists. I’m not talking about the demons, though; they don’t get enough time to establish themselves as more than just hungry man-eating monsters. No, the real meat is in “Mother” Isabella and Sister Krone, the children’s primary opponents for the season.

Isabella might be the series’ poster girl for deceptive characters, as she sells the image of a kind and motherly figure before subsequently stomping on said image with a stoic, almost sociopathic control and manipulation over the children. And indeed, she is among the series’ biggest players as she easily deduces what Emma is up to.

At the same time, however, she is not without her humanity, and I was fairly surprised as the series hinted and implied at her genuine love towards the children, both with subtle and obvious character acts. And that is without mentioning the amazing conclusion to her character arc during the show’s finale.

Krone is also a fascinating villain, often showing a disturbing amount of both affection and unhinged terror through expressions and movements alone. Despite her supposed ties to Isabella, Krone is more like a dangerous wild card with loyalties only to herself.

But underneath those psychotic grins, Krone hides genuinely painful experiences in life that make her actions and state of mind more understandable, and while she doesn’t get nearly as much as development or screentime as Isabella, she is undoubtedly a wonderful adversary with enough depth to be able to relate to.

The supporting cast is extremely large, ranging from kids around Emma’s age to babies, to shadowy humans who work with the demons, but given the series’ limited time, only a handful get meaningful appearances, namely Don and Gilda, the two kids closest to Emma, Norman and Ray’s age.

While the series doesn’t focus on them as much as the core trio, both characters get the time to build their personalities and quirks, which sometimes come to blows with their friends. This makes for interesting dynamics, with Don and Gilda being somewhat self-aware that they’re not as important as the leads, but I hope that a second season will throw a bone to their direction.

As I mentioned in the beginning of my review: before its airing, The Promised Neverland had me worried a bit due to the fact it was produced by the relatively new studio, CloverWorks. CloverWorks is an offshoot of the larger A-1 Pictures studio and is best known for its work on Persona 5: The Animation, Bunny Girl-Senpai and, alongside Trigger, Darling in the Franxx.

And while these shows have their merits – Bunny Girl especially is a remarkable experience, I wouldn’t say that visually they’re exceptional. I mean sure, some shots are nice and Darling has some great action scenes, but they’re rather inconsistent overall.

But for the most part, The Promised Neverland looks good. At times even great. Vibrant, saturated day scenes contrast the dark, moody atmosphere present at night or inside the walls of the orphanage. Lighting is used carefully, CGI environments are blended surprisingly well and the series employs wonderful long shots to invoke suspicion and dread.

The animation too can get pretty fluid and beautiful from time to time, and you know, it’s the kind of series that has a good enough screenplay to hold its own even if the presentation was lackluster, but I greatly appreciate the effort to polish The Promised Neverland’s aesthetics to a more acceptable zone.

My one fault with the art direction would lie with its character designs. At this day and age it’s not strange to find thriller anime with moe artstyles, but as with many of them, The Promised Neverland included, it may prove to be an acquired taste.

The child characters’ big heads and relatively small faces, alongside their noticeable chins might take an episode or two to get used to, even if I personally think they work well against many of the dramatic scenes.

And this brings me to the biggest criticism I have against the series: Krone’s design. She’s a fantastic character, but her general design might carry a few… unfortunate implications, and we’ll it at that. I do think the writing, at the very least, manages to make up for it.

The soundtrack for The Promised Neverland is probably among my favorites in recent memory, and it’s rather surprising considering that the composer, Takahiro Obata, hasn’t done anything of note beforehand; if to believe MAL, it’s actually his first work.

To tell the truth, if this is Obata’s starter work, then it’s a fantastic way to establish himself as a promising new composer.

As with the rest of the show, what makes the soundtrack of The Promised Neverland work so well is its duality. It has many tracks that are cheerful, upbeat and relaxing such as “Like a Refreshing Morning” or “Tag”, and then it slowly creeps into eerie, chilling pieces such as the aptly named “Tight Tension”.

You even have more experimental pieces such as “Examination”, and tracks that could have starred in more action-heavy shows, including “Training For Escape” and Emma’s downright epic theme with its ominous vocals and hard-hitting guitar chords.

And yes, it will be a disservice not to mention the soft, poignant piece that is “Isabella’s Lullaby”, which might very well stand as the soundtrack’s best track. If there’s one track that deserve to return for a second season, it’s this one.

This doesn’t mean the theme songs are bad; on the contrary they’re pretty damn good. “Touch Off” by UVERworld is a fantastic opening theme that combines rock and electronic music. Meanwhile, “Zettai Zetsumei” by Cö shu Nie is a solmen, yet fast-paced rock song that captures the spirit of the series wonderfully.

There is no English dub yet, unfortunately, but this may be for the best as simulcast dubs tend to be of a slightly lower quality than ones released months or years after the series’ original airing. Unsurprisingly, the Japanese dub is excellent, with special note going for Sumire Morohoshi’s Emma, Mariya Ise’s Ray and Maaya Uchida’s Norman.

It’s suffice to say that The Promised Neverland has exceeded my expectations despite lukewarm thoughts prior to its airing. If studio CloverWorks can maintain the quality that they showed in last year’s Bunny Girl and this series, then we may see a new star in the anime industry, and I’d go as far as to say that The Promised Neverland is the kind of anime thriller that every studio would have wished to have it under its belt. A bold claim, that one might be, but given the horror genre’s status in the medium, not an inaccurate one.

The only real gripes I have with The Promised Neverland are its barely-explored setting and art style, but the former is just a temporary issue for sure while the latter only takes an episode or two to get used to. But in most aspect this series soars; it has an excellent story with good pacing, engrossing themes and fantastic characters. Excellent presentation with a slick atmosphere and flexible shifting style. And a glorious soundtrack to boot. The Promised Neverland is easily one of 2019’s best anime titles so far, and a must-watch for anime fans of thriller and horror.

I will rate this Anime 10/10.

GenreDark fantasy, science fiction, thriller
Written byKaiu Shirai
Illustrated byPosuka Demizu
Published byShueisha
English publisherNA Viz Media
ImprintJump Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Jump
English magazineNA Weekly Shonen Jump
Original runAugust 1, 2016 – present
Volumes16 (List of volumes)
Oyakusoku no Neverland
Written byShūhei Miyazaki
Published byShueisha
MagazineShonen Jump+
Original runJanuary 11, 2019 – March 28, 2019
Anime television series
Directed byMamoru Kanbe
Written byToshiya Ono
Music byTakahiro Obata
Licensed byNA Aniplex of America
Original networkFuji TV (Noitamina)
English networkUS Adult Swim (Toonami)
Original runJanuary 11, 2019 – present
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Live-action film
Directed byYūichirō Hirakawa
Written byNoriko Gotou
ReleasedDecember 2020

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection Anime Movie Review

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection (Japanese: コードギアス 復活のルルーシュ Hepburn: Kōdo Giasu: Fukkatsu no Rurūshu) is a 2019 Japanese anime film by Sunrise. It premiered in Japan on February 9, 2019 and ran in over 120 theatres. It is based on the Code Geass anime series, with the plot taking place after the Zero Requiem arc of the recap films’ universe. It is directed by Gorō Taniguchi, written by Ichirō Ōkouchi with music by Kōtarō Nakagawa and Hitomi Kuroishi, all of whom previously contributed to the TV series in the same respective roles. The film has been licensed by Funimation and it had a limited theatrical release in the United States and Canada on May 5, 2019.

“Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection” is set in the alternate universe which is composed of the 3 previous movies. It is not a sequel to the original series “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion”, but to the 3 alternate universe movies, which generally kept the same path as the anime series but had a few meaningful changes in characters’ motivations and relationships, and some major changes in the survival of a previously dead secondary character because of the removal of some major events.


A year has passed since the events of the Zero Requiem, a scheme Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia formulated to end conflict with his death, and Nunnally vi Britannia rules Britannia while aided by her bodyguard Suzaku Kururugi, who has taken the identity of Zero. Nunnally and Suzaku are in the middle of a goodwill visit to a desert nation when they are ambushed by a Knightmare squad; Suzaku is easily defeated and they are abducted. The two find themselves in the custody of Shalio and Shamna, the sibling rulers of the Kingdom of Zilkhistan which has suffered from the world peace crippling their primary export: mercenary soldiers. Shamna explains their plan to use Nunnally to access the collective unconsciousness within C’s World to restore Zilkhistan’s political might.

Suspecting Zilkhistan’s involvement, Kallen Stadtfeld, Sayoko Shinozaki, and Lloyd Asplund infiltrate the country and run into C.C. and a surviving but timid and nonverbal Lelouch. C.C. explains that, after the Zero Requiem, their school friend Shirley Fenette smuggled Lelouch’s corpse to her and that she resurrected Lelouch from the dead by reconstructing his corpse, but his memories and personality are trapped in the collective unconsciousness. The group launches an assault on a Zilkhistan prison, where they rescue Suzaku and discover an Aramu Gate, a portal to C’s World. C.C. uses the portal to fully resurrect Lelouch. Lelouch once again dons the mantle of Zero and meets up with Britannian forces led by his half-sister Cornelia li Britannia and his former lieutenant Kaname Ohgi.

Lelouch’s forces track Nunnally down and find her in a Zilkhistan temple. Lelouch infiltrates the temple and kills Shamna, but she activates her Geass and travels back six hours in the past, allowing her to perfectly predict Lelouch’s actions. Lelouch uses his tactical prowess to deduce the mechanics of Shamna’s Geass and knocks her out. He frees Nunnally, but learns that her mind has been transported into C’s World. C.C. guides him into the collective unconsciousness, and he successfully rescues Nunnally. Suzaku kills Shalio in combat, destroying Shamna permanently. In the aftermath, Lelouch once again bequeaths the title of Zero to Suzaku and departs on a journey with C.C. taking the alias his idea of a marriage proposal.

My Personal Thoughts

Not only was it well thought out, it also included characters that I could truly feel connected to. Unlike many other anime titles, Code Geass ended with a well wrapped up conclusion. Though the main character, Lelouch, dies at the end, the ending managed to do justice to the story as well as the characters, providing viewers with a sense of closure.

When news broke about a film adaptation being made, I was skeptical, and even more so when it was teased that Lelouch would return. Though this captured my attention, I didn’t actually think that they would bring back a character whose death provided the perfect ending to the series. I was wrong.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection really did bring Lelouch back from the dead. The film began where the series left off, with the world at peace, the way Lelouch intended. However, it’s revealed that there’s more to the power of Geass than we, audiences, knew about. We learn, rather early on in the film that Lelouch is indeed alive and well, dragged into a power struggle where he must use his wit and his Geass in order to save his kidnapped sister, Nunnally.

Though the narrative is familiar, the gripping story telling that I saw in the anime series felt lost in the film. The plot felt rushed and appeared to be something set in motion simply to justify bringing Lelouch back to life. This made the story rather lacking in comparison.  However, the film was watchable and in many ways quite enjoyable, particularly in terms of the reunion between characters and watching the ever conniving and cunning Lelouch in action. 

The introduction of new characters and more detail into the various Geass powers illustrated that there was so much more to Code Geass than what the anime series provided. The way in which the narrative flowed also illustrates the creation of opportunities for more Code Geass anime or films to be made in the future, an idea that I particularly am not quite sure I like, due to how well the original anime ended. Often, the perfect ending can be ruined by the addition of more story.

In addition to the delight that came from seeing familiar characters return, it was also a treat to see the knightmare frames in action once again, as are the visual effects that come with them. The animation style was exactly as I recall in the series, which of course gave off a sense of nostalgia and added to my enjoyment of the film. It would have been a lot more epic to watch the action, had there been some epic soundtrack to go with it. 

Nevertheless, I had mixed reactions to Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection. The animation, action and seeing recognisable characters made the film enjoyable, however, the idea of Lelouch’s return, coupled with a rather slow and lacking narrative made it rather frustrating to continue to appreciate Code Geass overall. It would have been much better had they not done a film or perhaps had better pacing and a story that was more captivating.

All in all, the film was an enjoyable watch, but not one that I would be able to watch a second time around. It’ll be interesting, though, to see what’s next for Lelouch and the Code Geass series.

I will rate this Anime Movie 9/10.

Japaneseコードギアス 復活のルルーシュ
HepburnKōdo Giasu: Fukkatsu no Rurūshu
Directed byGorō Taniguchi
Screenplay byIchirō Ōkouchi
StarringJun Fukuyama
Takahiro Sakurai
Ayumu Murase
Nobunaga Shimazaki
Wataru Takagi
Keiko Toda
Music byKōtarō Nakagawa Hitomi Kuroishi
CinematographyHiroyuki Chiba
Edited bySeiji Morita
Distributed byShowgate
Release dateFebruary 9, 2019
Running time114 minutes

7 Seeds (2018) Netflix Anime Review

7 Seeds (7SEEDS セブンシーズ Sebun Shīzu) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yumi Tamura. It has been published by Shogakukan since 2001, first in the magazine Betsucomi, then in Flowers. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic future, long enough after a meteoritehits Earth that new species have evolved, and follows the struggles of five groups of young adults to survive after they are revived from cryonic preservation. The title comes from seven caches of supplies, called “seeds”, laid down by the Japanese government. In 2007, the series won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo manga. An anime adaptation by Gonzo for Netflix was announced and released on June 28, 2019. A second season has been announced.


When astronomers predict that the Earth will be hit by a meteorite, the world leaders meet to develop a plan for human survival called the Seven Seeds project. Each country will preserve number of healthy young people through cryogenics, which will allow them to survive the devastation of the impact. After a computer determines that Earth is once again safe for human life, it will revive each group.

The Japanese government creates five groups of survivors named Winter, Spring, Summer A, Summer B, and Fall. Each group consists of seven members, who are not told about what will happen before they are put in cryonic preservation, and one adult guide who is trained in wilderness survival. These groups are scattered across Japan: the Summer groups in southern and northern Kyūshū, Fall in western Honshū, Spring in central Honshū near Tokyo, and Winter in Hokkaidō. The project also prepares sealed caches containing seeds and instructional books near the “seven Fuji”. These seven Fuji are not related to the famous Mount Fuji, but are regional landmarks also named Fuji:

  • Bungo Fuji in Ōita Prefecture is Mt. Yufudake, where the cache is marked by a statue of the Buddha Dainichi;
  • Ogino Fuji in Kanagawa Prefecture is Mt. Kyogatake, where the cache is marked by a statue of Monjubosatsu, the bodhisattva Manjusri;
  • Kobe Fuji in Hyogo Prefecture is Mount Futatabi of the Rokkō Mountains;
  • Natori Fuji in Miyagi Prefecture is Mt. Taihaku, near Sendai, where the cache is marked by a statue of Kokūzō;
  • Akan Fuji in Hokkaidō is Mt. Meakandake, where the cache is marked by a statue of Senju-Kannon, the goddess of mercy.

Awoken from the cryogenic sleep many years later, the young men and women find themselves amidst a hostile environment bare of any human life. Their former home country Japan has greatly changed. Completely alone, they can depend only on themselves to survive in the new world.

7 Seeds takes place an unknown number of years after the collision of a large meteorite with Earth. As a result of the impact, the climate of Japan has greatly changed from what the characters knew from the present day. In the Kansai region there are only two seasons, a dry season and a longer, heavier rainy season. Takahiro of Winter group describes the winters in the northern island of Hokkaidō as being as mild as in Kanagawa Prefecture where he grew up. In addition, sea levels have risen greatly: downtown Yokohama is completely underwater, only the top hand of the statue in Nagasaki Peace Park is above the surface of the ocean. The geography of Japan has changed as well: after an eruption of Mount Aso, Kyūshū has been split into two islands, and the Kansai region is separated from central Honshū by a wide strait. The series depicts a Japan in which, as a result of the new environment and mass extinctions, ecosystems have changed and several new species of animals and plants have evolved.

For example, on the island where Summer group B first lands, off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture, Botan notes how few of the ecological niches are filled, including no birds or flying insects, and that the limited number of species are still radiating to fill empty niches.[ In particular, a local rodent resembling a rabbit is in the process of speciation into herbivorous and ravenously carnivorous versions, which are still visually similar. Other dangers new to the characters include swarms of carnivorous white cockroaches and gigantic Venus flytraps, sundews, and nepenthes. Species that are unchanged but were previously unknown in Japan include banana trees and crocodiles. Semimaru notes that neither on the island nor on the Kyūshū mainland do they see any ants, bees, or similar insects.

In the Kansai region, Fall group domesticates flightless birds about the size of a chicken and sheep that have grown to resemble llamas, which can be ridden, milked and shorn for wool. Izayoi tells Natsu that a local wasp is deadly, killing with a single sting, and another species has a sting that sickens the victim for a day. According to Akio, corn is the only crop from their seed cache that grows in the area’s soils, but Fall group also cultivates a variety of tobacco with a narcotic effect when smoked.

In the southern part of central Honshū, Natsu, Arashi, and Semimaru of Summer group B cross a desert with cactus scrub. Throughout the region they find remains of large reptiles that revive from estivation during the rainy season, which remind Natsu of velociraptors from Jurassic Park. These “dinosaurs”, as the characters call them, have grassland and woodland varieties, and during the rainy season are the dominant predator from the south coast to at least as far north as Tokyo.

On the island where the Spring group first lands, off the coast of the Kantō region, Hana notes that there are no vertebrates on land or in the sea, and Momotaro describes the ecology as similar to that of the Carboniferous Era. On land, there are giant insects the characters call “boat beetles” and swarms of bees with stings that are painful but not deadly, which force the group to live on rafts off-shore. In the island’s swamps, there are giant praying mantis and giant dragonflies. While at the island, the group lives off shellfish and shallow-water nautiluses, but see no bony fish. The characters find the climate changed as well, as it is too overcast to see the stars for the first two weeks after they are awake, even though it is spring, a season that in the present day is noted for clear weather.

On the mainland of the Kantō region, Spring group meets large aquatic lizards living among the submerged ruins of Yokohama, which hunt in groups. Nearby, in the ruins of central Tokyo, the party from Summer group B is attacked by a giant predatory fish, which Takahiro of Winter group identifies as descended from a deep-sea fish, the only kind of bony fishes to have survived. They also meet a fungus-like growth Takahiro calls “blue mucus”, which infects Hana’s skin when she touches it. This growth goes dormant in the dry season, and Takahiro realizes it is intolerant to salt and uses it to cure her.

In northern Honshū near Sendai, Natsu, Arashi and Semimaru of Summer group B find the first flowers they have seen during their journey over most of the length of Japan.

In southern Hokkaidō, Winter group encounters grasslands populated by many mammals they do not know, including small-eared rodents, herds of unknown ruminants, and tigers with saber-teeth. They also meet wolves with the ability to project illusions normally used to help hunt.

My Personal Thoughts

7Seeds (or 7 Seeds, take your pick) puts emotional impact and personal revelation before anything else. Despite the synopsis above, this isn’t really Natsu’s series. 7 Seeds sets itself more to be an ensemble, flitting between numerous groups of characters, all struggling to survive after awakening from cryo-sleep on an Earth now devoid of mankind’s influence. Each cast of characters is suffering their own emotional journey, often influenced by the lives they led prior to going into cryo-sleep, and the very fact that they were forced into cryo-sleep against their will. Every episode is predicated on tying the character’s emotional struggle to whatever latest task is required to survive. We constantly flit about between these groups, sometimes even flashing back to events prior to the start of the series, all detailing the tragic lives these people now lead in this new and deadly world, filled with monstrous bugs and lethal fungi.

The trouble is that 7 Seeds doesn’t get a whole lot else right besides its efforts to get you balling tears. Every episode is rife with problems, from visual failings thanks to mediocre animation and art design, to cutting tons of the manga’s original content in order to cram in as much of the story as possible (12 episodes of 7 Seeds ‘Part 1’ equates to over 80 chapters of the original manga!), to simply botched concepts that fail to lend believability to the whole scenario. This means there’s a lot, and I do mean a lot, you have to overcome in order for any of the harrowing events these characters suffer to actually pull at your heart strings and leave you a blubbering mess as the author intended.

7 Seeds starts decent enough. Natsu, a shy teen girl, wakes from her cryo-sleep aboard a sinking ship, with a few other people rushing to abandon it before its too late. While the series maintains an air of mystery it actually work pretty well. That first episode is all about discovering what’s actually happened to them, and even when the series unnecessarily cuts between two other groups (one of which doesn’t appear again until over six episodes in) and the animation flags, it’s still engaging, if troubled.

It’s in Episode 2 that 7 Seeds pulls back the curtain, detailing that the ‘7 Seeds Project” is meant to repopulate the Earth after the discovery of an impending disaster. The project, as we come to learn, involved forcing unwitting civilians into cryo-sleep, either by paying their families off, or simple kidnapping. That part of the idea already doesn’t make a lot of sense, though it pales in comparison to the concept of a handful of 7-man teams working to repopulate the planet (You need several thousands people to stave off genetic disorders from a limited gene pool.) The series eventually retcons this, later adding this was an ‘experimental’ effort. Also, individuals are chosen for their ‘special skills’ and while some characters are architects or botanists, there’s an awful lot of Japanese Traditional Dancers or Baseball players, who you wouldn’t think would have any practical value in restarting humanity, especially high school baseball players. The very concepts of the series’ conceit don’t make a lot of sense, and that can really hinder more discerning viewer’s ability to get invested.

Another inherent problem is the tropey writing. One of the biggest annoyances to the story is how often assholes are ‘redeemed.’ The trope of redeeming an asshole isn’t terrible in and of itself, but it is when several characters are shown to harbor rapey elements, such as one young man who sexual assaults both girls in his group, and jumps on another woman multiple times, only for his unwanted advances to be brushed aside, and his character to be expanded upon to give him ‘excuses’ as to his poor behavior. There’s even a full on attempted rape later on, though these 12 episodes don’t redeem that particular rapist just yet. (I’m pretty sure he gets redeemed based on dialogue queues.)

Another issues is how much logic the series throws out in order to achieve its emotional highs. In one such instance a group of humans living in an underground shelter suffer from a horrible plague, that if unleashed above ground could threaten any attempts by humanity to reclaim the Earth. One character decides that to lure out everyone who is infected she’ll sing her beautiful song, pied-pippering them into a cold storage room, where they will be locked away and frozen to death. The ludicrous nature prevents this from feeling like the emotional gut-punch the series wants it to be, turning the episode into something that’s all too difficult to take seriously.

End of Spoilers

Assuming though the emotional gut-punch at the cost of logic is still your thing, and you’re not bothered with the examples above, know that 7 Seeds has cut so much, and rearranged so much, that you might be better waiting for the official manga release, if it ever gets one. 7 Seeds not only trims a ton of content, and condenses other sequences, but reorders loads of events. Sometimes it’s to the benefit of the story, introducing characters that are, at least, a bit more interesting than our initial four man cast. At other times we snap cut to stuff that feels disconnected from anything we were witnessing before hand. Episodes often end with a thud, lacking an impactful moment to send audiences out on a high, dying to know what happens next. You’re often left with one last scene that falls flat on its face, and then the credits roll, and you wonder what was the point of any of that additional content.

Ultimately 7 Seeds may be the worst title Netflix has launched yet. It’s ugly, it’s tropey, it’s poorly adapted, and abandons logic far too often to try and pull at your heart strings. If the concept still seems like your thing, cross your fingers someone decides to officially translate it, though that seems like a long shot seeing as the series has been concluded for two years now. I’m not much of a fan for the core story, but I feel for anyone intensely interested, as this version of 7 Seeds is an absolute awful way to experience it.

I will rate this Anime 9/10.

Written byYumi Tamura
Published byShogakukan
DemographicShōjo, Josei
MagazineBetsucomi, Flowers
Original runNovember 2001 – July 2017
Volumes35 (List of volumes)
Original net animation
Directed byYukio Takahashi
Written byTouko Machida
Music byMichiru
StudioGonzo (season 1 & 2)
Studio Kai (season 2)
Licensed byNetflix
Released June 28, 2019 – present
Episodes12 (List of episodes)

The Saga of Tanya the Evil (2019) Anime Movie Review

The Saga of Tanya the Evil, known in Japan as Yōjo Senki (幼女戦記, literally “The Military Chronicles of a Little Girl”), is a Japanese light novel series written by Carlo Zen and illustrated by Shinobu Shinotsuki. It began serialization online in 2012 on the user-generated novel publishing website Arcadia. Enterbrain acquired the series and since then has published nine volumes since October 31, 2013. A manga adaptation with art by Chika Tōjō began serialization in Kadokawa Shoten’s Comp Ace magazine from April 26, 2016. An anime television series adaptation by NUT aired from January 6, 2017 to March 31, 2017. A theatrical film taking place after the events of the TV anime series premiered on February 8, 2019.


An unnamed atheist Japanese salaryman, in the moment of being murdered by a disgruntled subordinate who he had fired due to poor performance at work, is confronted by a entity that could stop time which he refers to as “Being X” or god, who condemns the man for not having ‘faith’. He is sentenced to be reborn in a world that is similar to World War I Europe, mixed with early aspects of World War II and magic, in an empire torn apart by countless wars with all nearby countries. The salaryman is reborn as an orphaned girl, Tanya Degurechaff. According to Being X, if Tanya either does not die a natural death or refuses to have faith in Him, her soul will leave the cycle of reincarnation and will be sent to hell for the countless sins that Tanya has committed in her previous life. In search for an escape, Tanya decides to enter into the Empire’s Mages Division and fight in the war, hoping to reach a high enough rank as fast as possible to remain far from the battlefield, and in this way avoid the risk of being killed. Even if she’s now forced to speak with a young girl’s lisp, Tanya soon turns into a ruthless soldier who prioritizes efficiency and her own career over anything else, even the lives of those beneath her, especially those that get on her bad side.

My Personal Thoughts

Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Movie is a bit of an outlier when it comes to anime films, as most that are based off of an existing series either exist within an unimportant narrative vacuum, or are condensed recaps of plots that already played out on the small screen. This is not the case for Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Movie, as it is a direct continuation to the anime’s first season. This works in the movie’s favor, as the assumption that viewers know what’s going on allows the film to focus on telling a brand-new story. And though the movie feels a bit bloated with secondary characters, the main cast deliver a satisfying follow-up to Saga of Tanya the Evil Season 1.

In Saga of Tanya the Evil, after being killed, a random salaryman encounters a mysterious voice that demands the man refer to it as God. The man refuses to put his faith into someone he’s never met and decides to call the voice Being X instead. Believing the man would turn to God if he were to lead a life filled with suffering first, Being X reincarnates the salary worker as a girl named Tanya Degurechaff in a world that closely resembles Earth in the early 1900s. Born in the world’s version of Germany, and noticing world events are closely following the history of Earth, Tanya joins the military when she turns nine years old and sets her sights on ending the conflicts that are beginning to pop up before they escalate into what she knows will be World War I. Being X warns Tanya that the only way she’ll be spared eternity in hell is if she dies by natural causes or accepts Being X as God.

Following a rather cryptic opening–that the film could have really done without, as it adds nothing to the overall plot–Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Movie picks up seconds after the anime series’ rather abrupt cliffhanger ending. The movie feels like the missing piece to Season 1, as it neatly wraps up the final plot point of the season before hinting at the next big arc. The film delivers the showdown between Tanya and Mary Sue–the daughter of a man who Tanya killed–that Season 1 heavily implied was imminent, and also sees Tanya’s goals change as a result. Realizing her home country’s government is flawed and that World War I is inevitable, she begins influencing her country’s leaders in hopes of preventing anything like what transpired in Earth’s Germany during the 1900s. It’s a satisfying conclusion to the first decade of Tanya’s life in this fantasy world she finds herself trapped in, while also setting the scene for her new role in the military.

Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Movie contains no recap, so newcomers might be lost–especially since there is no explanation as to who Being X is. That doesn’t matter too much, though. Chances are, if you’re watching this movie, you’ve seen the original series. And the movie uses that fact to its advantage, playing off those expectations that something terrible will befall Tanya at any moment. Tanya’s greatest ambition is to free herself from Being X, so it’s unnerving to not feel its god-like presence in the first half of the film. There’s a palpable tension in that first half, as things are going almost too well for Tanya.

But that all changes with the introduction of Mary Sue, and her and Tanya’s new rivalry becomes the focus of the movie’s second half. Tanya meets her match in her newfound adversary, especially after Mary’s love of God and desire to always see justice fulfilled is twisted into vengeful hatred upon realizing Tanya is the one who killed her father. Mary’s descent into animalistic fury is the first time Saga of Tanya the Evil has introduced a character who’s more monstrous than Tanya, and Mary wields Being X’s power against the nine-year-old with violent force. Tanya gets to witness, for the first time, how her own influence can bring out the deranged madness of those around her.

Being X may have given Mary the power to take her revenge, but he hasn’t affected her mind like those who’ve stood against Tanya before. Mary is an enemy that Tanya created through her actions alone, and she realizes–in one of the few moments of humility for the character–that she must grow as a person if she hopes to avoid her own destruction and spare being sent to hell by Being X. The country she protects will have to change too. It’s a startling moment of maturity for her character, and it influences her actions in the movie’s final moments–setting up what could be an intriguing next arc.

Admittedly, it isn’t much growth, and that’s thanks in large part to the movie’s insistence on devoting screentime to the minor characters that make up Tanya’s battalion, Mary’s squad, the headquarters of their respective armies, and one-and-done villains. There are way too many secondary characters, and the movie spends too much of its time justifying the inclusion of each one, referring back during important narrative moments to names and faces that have seconds of screen time and little introduction.

When the movie stops worrying about the side characters and focuses on Tanya or Mary instead, the best parts of the story come through. The two characters act as foils for each other, and watching their conflicting ideologies and personalities escalate their initially modest back-and-forths into a magic-fueled aerial dogfight is one of the best parts of the movie.

But even before the two come to blows, both women sell the movie with smaller, quiet moments. Tanya’s predicament–being an arrogant and cruel adult trapped in a little girl’s body–leads to several humorous moments. She’ll mock her subordinates in one scene and ask them for a step stool so she can see the battle plans on a table in the next. Mary has some pretty good moments too, especially the ones where hints of the growing darkness inside her leak out, breaking the facade that she’s the perfect girl everyone believes her to be.

The movie has plenty of action scenes. Tanya’s story is clearly more of the focus, but several battles play out across the film’s hour and a half runtime. Most aren’t great, with static figures shooting at the enemy while goofing off and talking to their teammates. Tanya and Mary’s final fight, however, is the best Saga of Tanya the Evil has ever looked. Both women are carefully animated to showcase the speed of their aerial ballet, and their faces twist in both fury and exhaustion as they each become more frantic in their desire to kill each other. And as gruesome as it is, the movie does a good job of showing the violent details that comes with a rifle splintering a rib or breaking an arm. There’s so much movement to their duel, conveying how both women are on a completely different level of skill in comparison to those around them.

Ultimately, Saga of Tanya the Evil – The Movie is a good time. Provided you’ve watched Season 1 of the anime, the movie is a satisfying continuation to one person’s desperate struggle to one-up a god by ending a worldwide war, only for her to learn the price for her hubris. It introduces far too many characters to keep track of, though, opens on a scene that definitely didn’t need to be included, and squanders most of its battles with incessant chit-chat from all those involved. But watching Tanya outsmart her opponents with sadistic glee is enjoyable fun, and her final fight with Mary is the best the anime has ever looked.

I will rate this movie 8/10.

GenreFantasy, military
Novel series
Written byCarlo Zen
Published byArcadia
Original run2012 – 2013
Light novel
Written byCarlo Zen
Illustrated byShinobu Shinotsuki
Published byEnterbrain
English publisherNA Yen Press
Original runOctober 31, 2013 – present
Volumes11 (List of volumes)
Written byCarlo Zen
Illustrated byChika Tōjō
Published byKadokawa Shoten
English publisherNA Yen Press
MagazineComp Ace
Original runApril 26, 2016 – present
Volumes16 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Yōjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil
Directed byYutaka Uemura
Produced byShō Tanaka
Norifumi Kikujima
Takuya Tsunoki
Noritomo Isogai
Keisuke Arai
Written byKenta Ihara
Music byShūji Katayama
Licensed byCrunchyroll
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, Sun TV, KBS, TV Aichi, BS11
Original run January 6, 2017 – March 31, 2017
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Directed byYutaka Uemura
Written byKenta Ihara
Music byShūji Katayama
Licensed byCrunchyroll
ReleasedFebruary 8, 2019
Runtime115 minute

How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift Anime (2019) Review

How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? (ダンベル何キロ持てる? Danberu Nan-Kiro Moteru?, lit. “How Many Kilograms of Dumbbell Can You Lift?”) is a Japanese manga series written by Yabako Sandrovich and illustrated by MAAM. It has been serialized via Shogakukan’s Ura Sunday website and MangaONE app since 2016 and has been collected in eight tankōbon volumes. The manga is licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment. An anime adaptation by Doga Kobo aired from July 3, 2019 to September 18, 2019.


Hibiki Sakura is a second year high school girl who has a voracious appetite; this habit leads to her gaining weight. Once this is brought to her attention, she relunctantly thinks about joining the Silverman Gym. At the gym, Hibiki finds out that Akemi Soryuin, a schoolmate of hers, is also thinking about joining. Upon meeting Naruzo Machio, one of the trainers, she falls heads over heels in love with him and joins the gym. Motivated, Hibiki vows to lose weight.

My Personal Thoughts

Cute girls doing cute things has been the winning formula in anime throughout the last decade, consistently producing popular series that aim to show just how cute their cute thing can be. This template has become so popular it’s been applied to everything from music, to camping, to bread (for some reason), and has reportedly been successful in drawing increased public attention to the topics the anime series have covered. In light of this success, semi-newcomer director Mitsue Yamazaki (Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai) and cute-girls anime pioneer studio Doga Kobo have graced us with Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?

The plot involves high school gyaru Hibiki Sakura who joins the famous Silver Man gym after failing to stay committed to working out at home. She and the audience are treated to a dozen episodes of exercise edutainment and gratuitous fit-girl fanservice courtesy of easygoing personal trainer Naruzou Machio, student council president and muscle adoring Akemi Souryuuin, boxer best friend Ayaka Uehara, love-starved teacher Satomi Tachibana, and fiery arm wrestler Gina Boyd. Their shared quest for body improvement promises to treat the voyeur viewer to endearing escapades and fitness fetishization.


The most important way Dumbbell distinguishes itself from the pack is through its focus on viewer education. While its genre contemporaries mostly commodify their subject matter into moe gimmicks, this show is the rare exception that is not only well researched, but takes time out of each episode to directly educate the viewer on proper workout routines, how to develop good eating habits and dispel common exercise myths (did you know you’re not supposed to stretch before a workout? We didn’t).

Helpful facts like these are sprinkled throughout each episode and the show spaces them out evenly while giving them all a lighthearted tone which keeps the pacing tight and never makes the lessons come off as condescending. If you want to learn how to reach your fitness goals, a gym membership is probably your best avenue, but if you must do so through anime, this one will definitely help.


Some people listen to music during their workouts, cool people watch anime. And since the entire point of Dumbbell is to sell viewers on how awesome exercising is, its visuals paint a picture of the practice that’s sure to keep you in the spirit to sweat. Male characters are animated like powerful shonen heroes and female ones are all drawn with lean alluring physiques.

The aesthetic admittedly leans much more towards male appeal, but never to the point of exclusivity and people of all walks of life will be able to get behind Dumbbell’s attractive portrayal of exercise.

How Many Unrealistic Body Standards Can You Lift?

Since the series begins with Hibiki deciding she needs to lose weight, you would expect her to be at least a bit heavier than average, but aside from maybe 2 shots she’s drawn with a completely average build before she ever starts losing weight and the implication that other people with completely normal body types should immediately lose weight is an uncomfortable one.

Some could attribute this inconsistency to cultural differences, but the fact that Japanese people tend to be on the skinnier side means little when we don’t even see any improvement on this journey of body improvement. Later episodes repeatedly discuss how well Hibiki’s figure is improving… only to show her looking exactly like how she started, which heavily undercuts Dumbbell’s narrative flow.

Easy on the Ecchi

Arguably the biggest error in bringing Yabako Sandrovich’s manga to television was losing the images’ lewdness. The animated scenes still maintain a sexual direction through choice of angles and the occasional moan from a girl lifting weights, but it’s nothing compared to the manga which was overflowing with detailed body outlines borderline o-faces and so many ecchi poses that it even makes the act of grabbing a water bottle seem like a sex act.

The girls in the anime are still drawn attractively, but it loses a large portion of the manga’s appeal by toning down its sexual angle. To be fair, some may enjoy the series more without these fetishistic aspects, but those whose enjoyment of ecchi shows is inversely proportionate to how ecchi they are are probably just better off not watching ecchi shows regardless.

This workout fanservice show may lean much more on the workout than the fanservice, but what it does with that stance works out (heh) well enough to be educational and entertaining. Be sure to leave a comment telling us what you thought of the show and how heavy the dumbbells you lift are and be sure to stick around for more on anime and fitness… or at least one of those.

I will rate this Anime 6/10.

GenreComedy, sports (weightlifting)
Written byYabako Sandrovich
Illustrated byMAAM
Published byShogakukan
English publisherNA Seven Seas Entertainment
ImprintUra Sunday Comics
MagazineUra Sunday
Original run2016 – present
Anime television series
Directed byMitsue Yamazaki
Written byFumihiko Shimo
Music byYukari Hashimoto
StudioDoga Kobo
Licensed byNA Funimation
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, KBS, SUN, TVA, BS11
Original run July 3, 2019 – September 18, 2019
Episodes12 (List of episodes)

Baki Anime (2016) Part 1 Review

In December 2016, it was announced that the “Most Evil Death Row Convicts” arc of the second manga series will be receiving an anime television adaptation. The 26 episode series is directed by Toshiki Hirano at TMS Entertainment with character designs handled by Fujio Suzuki and scripts overseen by Tatsuhiko Urahata.

The two-cour anime series started to stream on Netflix in Japan on June 25, 2018. It began streaming outside Japan in Fall 2018, with the second cour released on April 30, 2019. The international release was labeled as “Part 1” and “Part 2” by Netflix. Its opening theme song is “Beastful” by Granrodeo and its ending theme is “Resolve” performed by Azusa Tadokoro with lyrics by Miho Karasawa. The series started to air on several Japanese television channels beginning with Tokyo MX1 on July 1.

In March 2019, the fourth season of the anime series, Netflix’s Baki Season 2, was greenlit for production. The new anime will continue to be a Netflix exclusive.


The series adapts the Most Evil Death Row Convicts Saga of the second manga series. The protagonist, Baki Hanma, trains with an intense focus to become strong enough to surpass his father, Yujiro Hanma, the strongest fighter in the world. Five of the world’s most violent and brutal death row inmates are gathering to face Baki. Their objective is to taste defeat – their unmatched strength and skill have led them to grow bored of life itself, and they now seek out Baki in the hopes that he can overwhelm and utterly crush them. In this crisis, other underground martial art warriors gather to fight by Baki’s side: Doppo Orochi, Kaoru Hanayama, Goki Shibukawa, and Kaioh Retsu.

My Personal Thoughts

BAKI, one of the newest anime to make its way to Netflix, sits in a rather unique and confusing place among the many anime the service has to offer. It is the newest adaption of the nearly thirty year ongoing, martial arts-focused, Baki the Grappler manga series by Keisuke Itagaki. Though you would be wrong to think that this new series is a reboot. BAKI is actually the third adaption of the character’s story and it chronologically takes place after the first two adaptations, essentially making it Season 3. The first adaption, Baki the Grappler, was 24 episodes and released in 2001. Later that year, the second adaption, Grappler Baki: Maximum Tournament, adapted the titular Maximum Tournament arc. To add to the confusion, Netflix has only screened the first half of BAKI, releasing 13 episodes so far, with the second half now set to be released on the 30th of April. So with the anime (and Netflix) timeline of BAKI now slightly less confusing (hopefully), let’s see how the first part of this new ultra violent, muscle-popping saga has fleshed out.

The overarching story follows Baki Hanma as he trains to surpass his father, Yujiro Hanma, currently known as the strongest fighter in the world. Having won the recent underground arena tournament, Baki has now established himself as one of the world’s most elite fighters, even though he is young enough to still be attending high school. Unbeknownst to him, a far more deadly challenge now awaits in the form of five of the world’s most violent and deadly death row inmates who have come together in Japan to face Baki with one goal in mind: to finally taste defeat. Hearing of Baki’s reputation, they believe he could be the one to finally beat them. He does not face them alone, however, as he is joined by fellow fighters: Kaoru Hanayama, Gouki Shibukawa, Retsu Kaioh, and Doppo Orochi as they look to survive and defeat the attacking inmates.

If you haven’t already realised from that brief summary, the story is bonkers, particularly for this “Most Evil Death Row Convicts” arc. The opening of the series sees five unrelated inmates, all about to receive the death sentence, only for them to all escape or even inexplicably survive and simultaneously make their way to Japan to find Baki. Some of them even swim across the ocean to do so. The story is ridiculous, absurd and has no right to be as enjoyable as it is at times. At some points it feels like an inversion of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure where in the place of flamboyant camp it has overwhelming machismo with ninety-nine percent of problems being solvable if you have the sheer muscle mass to deal with it. I’m not even joking: a character’s ability to defeat something, even death, seems to be entirely dependent on how much muscle they have. With the main cast all looking like water balloons wrapped in an abundance of thread on the verge of popping, they prove that they can survive anything from gunshots, explosions, and even electrocution. At this point it seems like nothing will stop these fighters short of an atomic bomb, but we will have to wait and see as maybe this will be attempted in the series’ second half.

The draw of BAKI is not really in its often nonsensical story, but in the fights themselves. It’s in these fights that we learn of the structure the show often takes. Two fighters will face off and as a new ability or technique is displayed, we are presented with a narrated aside to explain this. These can range  from simply explaining how the ability is executed all the way to a ridiculous historical event that somehow relates to these two fighters punching each other in a car park. There is not a great deal of genuine emotion or nuance to these fights, but they do become a bit of a guilty pleasure, a fight of particular note being between the convict, Speck, and Yakuza leader, Kaoru Hanayama. It continues on for a ridiculous amount of time and every time you think it’s over, there is another absurd aside for the narrator to explain why the fight is far from over. Over 26 episodes, this could become tiresome, but in this first half they still have some novelty.

As someone who has watched combat sports for years, the martial arts aspect of the series and how it would be portrayed was one of the most intriguing aspects to me. A show that is essentially based around confrontations between different martial arts practitioners has a lot of potential for stylistic clashes, and incredible fights, if the richly (sometimes grossly) detailed manga is anything to go by. Unfortunately, the translation from the manga has not been particularly smooth. The characters all look ridiculously muscular and detailed as adapted for the series by the studios TMS Entertainment (also responsible for the Baki OVA released in 2016) and Double Eagle, but these hulking masses of muscle don’t work as well in motion. In fact there is very little fluidity in the animation of the fights, often being represented as a collection of still frames showing the momentous points of impact or, when more movement is required, some really uncomfortable-looking CG animation. It is just unfortunate that in a series where the fights are the focal point, the animation cannot really convey the action properly.

The voice acting across both the Japanese and English dubs is pretty solid, with the cast generally portraying many intimidating and often twisted fighters. The exception, at least in this first part, is Baki himself. He is essentially a background character in his own series with several episodes not even having him present. The episodes where he does have a prominent role, he comes across as stoic and gormless, often being outsmarted by his opponents. As a result, the voice acting by Nobunaga Shimazaki and Troy Baker is fairly minimal and dry. This isn’t a criticism of the actors themselves as Shimazaki has shown his talent across many anime and Baker is an accomplished voice actor in games with incredible performances such as Joel in The Last of Us. They are just not afforded the time or the script to really showcase their ability. The narrator is probably the most important role in the whole series being voiced by Toru Furuya and Kirk Thornton. I emphasise this because he has by far the most dialogue and holds the whole story together. He provides exposition for the characters’ origins, previous events, and the show’s many bizarre asides. The narrator essentially ties together and attempts to rationalise the insane events of BAKI and both actors do a great job with their stern performances.

Beastful by Granrodeo is the series’ opening for this first part and it is everything you would expect going into a hyper-violent series such as this. It is a furiously paced metal track with the visuals showcasing the series’ many musclebound characters throwing punches and kicks with splashes of blood and wind shear exploding across the screen. It fits the show like a glove, demonstrating what is in store without trying to sugarcoat the gruesome violence that is in store. The closing theme, Resolve, performed by Azusa Tadokoro (lyrics by Miho Karasawa) is just as intense as the opening, immediately hitting you in the face with guitar solos, followed by Tadokoro’s powerful vocals. It is safe to say that this series is not following the common trend in anime of winding down each episode with a more calming theme. Then again, BAKI is an intense series ,so it feels appropriate to bookend each episode with songs of this nature.

We still have another month to wait (at the time of writing) until the second half of BAKI is released on Netflix and it is unfortunate that the first half ends so abruptly. The absurd, violence-driven plot may not be to to the taste of many, but if you don’t take it too seriously it can be really enjoyable. It is just unfortunate that the animation and the characterisation of Baki himself has so far been lacking as that could really have pushed the series up a notch. I will give the second half a chance when it is released on April 30th and possibly renew my gym membership in the meantime so I don’t feel so bad watching the second part.

I will rate this Anime 8/10.

BEM (2019) Anime Series Review

BEM (ベム, Bem) is the remake of the anime Humanoid Monster Bem (妖怪人間ベム, Yōkai Ningen Bem), an original classic supernatural adventure anime aired from 1968 to 1969. In the original 26-episode anime, Bem, Bela, and Belo are ugly humanoid monsters (yōkai) who fight for justice. The monsters live among humans and protect them from evil yōkai. The three find themselves ostracized from both humans and other yōkai, but the three continue to fight in hopes of one day becoming humans themselves.

The new anime will be part of the 50th anniversary project for the franchise. Katsuyuki Konishi will voice Bem, M.A.O will voice Bela, and Kensho Ono will play Belo.

Bem, Bela, and Belo are ugly humanoid youkai who fight for justice. They live among humans and protect them from evil youkai. The three find themselves ostracized from both humans and other youkai, but the three continue to fight in hopes of one day becoming humans themselves.


The plot of the series revolves around three yokai (supernatural creatures), Bem, Bela and Belo, who arrive at a large coastal city and come across an evil atmosphere, which was brought about by immoral behavior by humans and mischief caused by monsters and yokai. They therefore decide to stay in the city, fighting against other monsters and yokai which attack humans, making a few friends along the way. Even though the three yokai are often abused and discriminated against by other human beings due to their appearance, they still strive in protecting the human populace of the city from other monsters, one day hoping to become human beings in return for their good actions.

My Personal Thoughts

I didnt saw the original series or the 2006 remake so i had nothing to compare it. I saw this show with no expectations at all and i think that best way to watch it in an objective way.
The story is a mess… The show introduces 3 main characters Bem, Bela and Belo anthropomorfic monsters with the long to be humans that live in Libra City, a city that symbolize classism, and that summarize the whole show. The way that was written and directed are the main problem, the show tried to be a social criticism about the classism, humans being the real monsters and corruption in goverments. Because of that the anime doesnt explain a thing… we dont know the origin of the main trio, how they met, why they live in that city and the secondary characters like Sonia or Vega “the main villain” are only plot devices to continue the story.
The final battle is rushed and the purpose of it didnt make any sense. I attribute all the to the low budget that the show had.

BEM-Wallpaper-502x500 BEM Review - "Who Wants to Live Forever?"

1. It Has Excellent Themes

While its themes may not be original, they’re still executed rather well. The motivations of Bem, Bela, and Belo all come from a real place and the series gives you the opportunity to see what drives them. While they’re immortal, their immortality gives them a point of view where everything seems to be trivial and by gaining mortality, they can get a better sense of what life is truly about and why people value it. As the famous Queen song goes, who wants to live forever?, and the series does a great job of exploring that very question.

2. Sharp Designs

Like the 2019 Dororo series, this is a remake. While the original Dororo does take inspiration from its source material for its respective designs, the character designs in Bem are entirely different from its source material to suit its respective story and setting. While this particular quality is more for a Then Vs. Now article (which we’ll make at some point), we’ll mostly concentrate on the 2019 series. The designs to the 2019 Bem are very sharp, and they do a great job of reflecting modern day anime techniques and how the youkai genre has evolved this past decade.

The city portrayed in this city is very accurate in its architecture to modern American metropolises, most notably the Big Apple. While Bem, Bela, and Belo are in their human forms, granted they do have qualities that are demonic with their ears and eyes, they can still blend-in with humans as they normally interact with them, but with their stoic expressions, you can see they can only view humans externally and still can’t internalize what they’re about.

3. Varied Soundtrack

If you like a variety of music with your anime, then Bem has it all. If you want pop, techno, jazz, or something orchestrated, Bem has it all to set the mood. The opening them is a jazz tune to get you into the classic noir setting, and the ending theme borrows more from J-pop to give you more of an upbeat perspective, and the music within the duration of the episodes are largely orchestrated to suit its action and horror settings. Overall, the music does a well-rounded job of introducing you to its world. Why You Should Skip Bem

1. Poor Use of Sonia

Sonia serves as our introductory character to the series. Through her, we first learn of the outside (think of it as Chicago’s South Side or LA’s South Central, but with monsters), of Bem and his allies, and the youkai ningen. You learn that she can’t stand the corruption and she’s world weary of being a police officer. After the first episode, she’s in and out and she’s just in the anime just for the sake of it. Throughout most of the series, she more or less feels underwhelming and her role as a surrogate for the audience just disappears. You don’t really learn more about her until the climax (which is very minimal and told in passing), and her individual development and her development with Bem are pretty much forced and inorganic.

2. The Series Is Too Short

As it relates to the poor use of Sonia, considering the two first incarnations of Bem were 26 or so episodes, it just feels insulting that the latest edition gets only 12. If the series were given 26 episodes, there’s no doubt that Sonia could’ve gotten the development she deserved. The first episode provides an excellent foundation to her character, and after that, as we shared before, the ball is more or less taken from her and her use as a surrogate for the audience is taken out.

3. Showing Vs. Telling Balance

When it comes to a shorter series, it doesn’t allow much opportunity to fully build the world. Granted some things are revealed at the last minute, but with more episodes, you get more opportunities to tell a more enriching story. Granted you do learn some things, but for example, nobody really talks about why the outside is the way it is, etc. It more or less relates to the argument of showing vs. telling. The anime has a lot of showing, but it lacks telling. We’ll admit most people rather want showing over telling, but there are some instances where a balance is necessary, and Bem is one example of that.

BEM-Wallpaper-502x500 BEM Review - "Who Wants to Live Forever?"

We’ll admit after watching this series, we’re very interested in its previous installments and when the time comes, we’ll do a Then Vs. Now comparing comparing all versions. Nobody can deny, the youkai genre is progressively getting oversaturated, but when you take into account this is a remake of a 50 year old series, in a sense, you’re watching one of the OG youkai anime that takes place in a modern setting but made for modern day audiences.

I will rate this anime 5/10.

Directed byYoshinori Odaka
Written byAtsuhiro Tomioka
Music bySoil & “Pimp” Sessions
StudioLandQ Studios
Licensed byFunimation
Original networkTV Tokyo, TVA, TVO
Original run July 14, 2019 – October 13, 2019
Episodes12 (List of episodes)

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Anime Review (2019)

Legend of the Galactic Heroes (銀河英雄伝説 Ginga Eiyū Densetsu), referred to as Heldensagen vom Kosmosinsel (incorrect German, translating to “heroic tales from the cosmic island”) in the opening credits and sometimes abbreviated as LOTGH (銀英伝 Gin’eiden), is a series of science fiction novels written by Yoshiki Tanaka. In humanity’s distant future, two interstellar states – the monarchic Galactic Empire and the democratic Free Planets Alliance – are embroiled in a never-ending war. The story focuses on the exploits of rivals Reinhard von Lohengramm and Yang Wen-li as they rise to power and fame in the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance respectively.

An anime adaptation of the novels, produced by Kitty Films and animated for the most part by Artland and Magic Bus, ran from 1988 to 1997. There is also a manga based on the novels, with art by Katsumi Michihara. In addition, there are several video game adaptations with the most recent release in 2008 being a real-time strategy game. The series did not receive an official English release until 2015, when North American anime and manga distributor Viz Media announced they had acquired the license to the novels. On the same day, North American anime licensor Sentai Filmworks announced their license to the anime and the anime was later released on Hidive starting on June 20, 2017.

A new anime adaptation by Production I.G ran from April to June 2018, along with a film series that will premiere from September to November 2019.


In AD 2801 the Galactic Federation is formed, which results in political power moving away from the planet Earth (now named Terra) and the Space Era calendar replacing the Gregorian calendar, with 2801 AD now being SE 1. Rudolf von Goldenbaum, an ex-admiral turned dictatorial politician is elected to power, makes himself Emperor Rudolf I, absolute monarch of the renamed Galactic Empire, and restarts the calendar again, starting the Imperial Calendar on SE 310/AD 3110. Rudolf adopts extremist policies including the suppression of any opposition and the extermination of anyone perceived too weak, such as the disabled and those in poverty, which he carried out until his death in IC 42/SE 351/AD 3151. He also moves the capital of the Empire to the planet Odin, third planet in the Valhalla system.

In IC 164/SE 473/AD 3273, a group of serfs in the Altair star system manage to escape captivity and make “the Long March of 10,000 Light-Years” into the Sagittarius Arm to escape the Galactic Empire, which is located within the Orion Arm. These people set up the Free Planets Alliance, a democratic republic, using the Space Era calendar, founding the Alliance in SE 527/IC 218/AD 3327 on the planet Heinessen. In SE 640/IC 331/AD 3440 the first battle between the Empire and Alliance occurs, resulting in a major Alliance victory. The two realms have been at war ever since.

A third realm is also set up, the Dominion of Phezzan, a planet-state (city-state on a galactic scale) with connections to Terra. It technically remains a part of the Empire and pays tribute, but it also maintains a relationship with the Alliance. Ruled by a domain lord called the “landsherr” Phezzan gains power by acting as both the paragon and trickster, providing the only link between the Empire and Alliance whilst simultaneously playing the two sides against one another.



The story is staged in the distant future within our own Milky Way Galaxy, starting in SE 796/IC 487/AD 3596. A portion of the galaxy is filled with terraformed worlds inhabited by interstellar traveling human beings. For 150 years two mighty space powers have intermittently warred with each other: the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance.

Within the Galactic Empire, based on mid 19th century Prussia, an ambitious military genius, Reinhard von Müsel, later conferred Reinhard von Lohengramm, is rising to power. He is driven by the desire to free his sister Annerose, who was taken by the Kaiser as a concubine. Later, he wants not only to end the corrupt Goldenbaum dynasty but also to defeat the Free Planets Alliance and to unify the whole galaxy under his rule.

In the Free Planets Alliance Star Fleet is another genius, Yang Wen-li. He originally aspired to become a historian through a military academy, and joined the tactical division only out of need for tuition money. He was rapidly promoted to an admiral because he demonstrated excellence in military strategy in a number of decisive battles and conflicts. He becomes the archrival of Reinhard, though they highly respect one another. Unlike Reinhard he is better known for his underdog victories and accomplishments in overcoming seemingly impossible odds and mitigating casualties and damages due to military operations.

As a historian, Yang often predicts the motives behind his enemies and narrates the rich history of his world and comments on it. One of his famous quotes is: “There are few wars between good and evil; most are between one good and another good.”

Besides the two main heroes, the story is full of vivid characters and intricate politics. All types of characters, from high nobility, admirals and politicians, to common soldiers and farmers, are interwoven into the story. The story frequently switches away from the main heroes to the Unknown Soldier fighting for his life on the battlefield.

There is a third neutral power nominally attached to the Galactic Empire called the Phezzan Dominion, a planet-state which trades with both warring powers. There is also a Terraism cult, which claims that humans should go back to Earth, gaining popularity throughout the galaxy. Throughout the story executive political figures of Phezzan in concert with the upper-hierarchy of the Terraism cult orchestrate a number of conspiracies to shift the tide of the galactic war so that it may favor their objectives.

Christopher Farris of the Anime News Network wrote that the novels focus on “personal matters of the main players” instead of being “rote historical accounts”, while the 1988-1997 anime series focuses on “the big picture of the war” with multiple characters chronicled, and the 2018 series focuses “only on the major plays by our two main actors to fit within its shorter, more focused format.”

My Personal Thoughts

I didn’t expect this. In this season of revivals and forgotten sequels, I didn’t expect Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These to be one of the better titles. I am amazed this reboot didn’t try to cram 110 episodes into 12. No lies, my expectations were barely above the quality of The Last Airbender movie. Imagine my surprise when Die Neue These (German: The New Thesis) got me with that grand opening, a fleet of ships soaring to the heavens as a spine-tingling aria lifts hope itself.

Even after that good impression, my expectations remained tepid. It looked and sounded good, but story and character matter above all else to me – and when it involves some of my favourite characters in the best story anime has created, no amount of visual flair and evocative music can distract me from what matters.

Like the original Legend of the Galactic Heroes, the story is about a clash of ideologies. Democracy stands on one side – chaotic, corrupt, and idealistic, but free and with great potential. On the other side stands an absolute monarchy, where the people’s quality of life is dependent on the decisions of a single person – prosperity one generation doesn’t prevent utter despair the next. We follow Reinhard, a young commander in the Galactic Empire’s fleet on a steep upward trajectory to greatness, and the thorn in his side, Yang Wen Li, master tactician of the Free Planets Alliance.

One fascinating thing about seeing the same story – any good story – adapted multiple times, is in how it demonstrates that idea and premise alone aren’t enough, that execution matters most. Pride & Prejudice is my favourite classic story, with numerous adaptions over decades of cinema. Despite my love of the story, most of these adaptations aren’t good. Not because they aren’t faithful, but because they aren’t engaging. Give 10 directors the same book to adapt and you will likely see 10 different stories of varying quality.

In the case of Die Neue These, it does a good job of creating an engaging story with interesting characters and tense action. The execution is solid, in essence. However, this anime is in a precarious situation, for it is reinventing one of the giants. Comparisons to the original are inevitable, just as everyone will compare any version of Pride & Prejudice to the BBC’s 1995 miniseries starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.

Die Neue These does have the advantage of releasing two decades after the original’s conclusion. This is long enough for it to have a potential new audience, particularly one that has no interest (at their own loss) of visiting such an old anime. Legend of the Galactic Heroes looks old to the new anime generation. Die Neue These took the idea of the original and brought it forward with all new bodywork and shiny paint, slick against the wind.

Storywise, the largest change is a streamlining of the dialogue-heavy scenes of old and the significant increase in action shots (I suspect the original would have had more action had they the budget for animation). When I talked of execution earlier, the dialogue was one of the original’s key elements to success, so to have it lessened should spell doom for the series.

It doesn’t.

At its core, this is the same story full of scheming, smart strategy, questionable decisions, grey characters, and losses on both sides. Yang is still Yang and Reinhard is still Reinhard. Sure, it’s not as good – not even in the same planetary system – yet it isn’t a disaster. Able to let go of comparisons to the original, I enjoyed this. Honestly, I think the fact that it wasn’t terrible allowed me to relax and go along for the ride. I looked forward to my nightly episode.

Die Neue These does have its share of problems, even on its own merits. The most glaring issue is the speed at which some scenarios resolve. I’m not talking of how the original took its time to go in depth with every character and every thread of its complex political web, while the new trims that down to focus only on major characters. No – you get the sense that an extra episode on a conflict here or there could have fleshed out the strategies and politics employed. And it’s not as though they were rushing to hit a perfect story beat for episode 12, the season finale. Episode 12 doesn’t feel like a point where one would think to leave the audience wanting more. A “down swing” episode is an odd choice on which to end.

I won’t pretend that I love Die Neue These. Most of the great experiences I had towards this series were reminders of watching the original for the first time. I cannot erase the original in my mind.

But this isn’t an anime for fans of the old series, like me. Do you know what people like me do when we want Legend of the Galactic Heroes? We go to the original. I’ve said it many times before: there’s no point in doing the exact same thing again. Look at Psycho’s remake. Take a risk. It probably won’t be as good, but who knows, it may provide something different and interesting. An adaptation doesn’t affect the original either.

I need more seasons (story’s barely started at 12 episodes) before I can give final judgement on Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These. I’ve enjoyed it so far. Pleasantly surprised.

Art – High

Die Neue These can do the one thing the original could not – animate everything. As such, we have a lot more action scenes this time. They look good, the spaceships’ CG blends in almost all the time, and the scenes fit the younger, higher energy of this series. I still prefer the refined character designs and classic look of the original, though I have little problem with the art direction here.

Sound – High

With many of the original actors no longer with us or retired, the team decided to go with a completely new cast. I am too used to the originals to prefer the new, but they do a good job. Different this time around is the inclusion of a dub (the original never crossed the ocean). I could get used to a dub easier than I could a changed Japanese cast, as it would be a new experience. However, I can’t say I agree with several of the casting choices. Reinhard in particular doesn’t sound right in English without that calm commanding presence befitting his character. I suppose that if the dub is your first viewing it may be fine. Love the music!

Story – High

An alliance of free planets battles to hold onto their freedom against the Galactic Empire as ideologies clash and heroes rise. This streamlined adaptation of a classic has nothing on the original, but seen on its own targeted at a new generation makes for a solid anime.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: If you don’t find the original series engaging because of its dialogue-heavy nature and old visuals, then I do recommend Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These. You’ll be missing several key qualities, but you won’t know what they are, so no harm there.

I wiil highly recommend this Anime to Watch and my rating on this Anime 8/10.

You can find Second Season of this Anime also its airing now. Soon i will do Review of second season of this Anime.

(Ginga Eiyū Densetsu)
GenreSpace opera, military science fiction
Novel series
Written byYoshiki Tanaka
Illustrated byNaoyuki Kato (vol. 1–5)
Yukihisa Kamoshita (vol. 6–10)
Published byTokuma Shoten
English publisherNAViz Media
Original runNovember 30, 1982 – November 15, 1987
Volumes10 (List of volumes)
Novel series
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Side Stories
Written byYoshiki Tanaka
Illustrated byKatsumi Michihara (vol. 1, 3-4)
Akira Kasahara (vol. 2)
Hiroshi Yokoyama (short stories)
Published byTokuma Shoten
Original runSeptember 1, 1984 – July 31, 1989
Volumes4 (+5 short stories) (List of volumes)
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Golden Wings
Written byKatsumi Michihara
Published byTokuma Shoten
PublishedAugust 10, 1986[citation needed]
Written byKatsumi Michihara
Published byTokuma Shoten
MagazineShōnen Captain
Original runAugust 1986 – February 2000
Anime film
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars
Directed byNoboru Ishiguro
Produced byShaun Clayton
Written byTakeshi Shudo
Music bySetsuo Sasaki
StudioArtland & Madhouse
Licensed byNASentai Filmworks
ReleasedFebruary 6, 1988
Runtime60 minutes
Original video animation
Directed byNoboru Ishiguro
Music byShinsuke Kazato
StudioArtland (all episodes)
Madhouse (eps. 1-26)
Magic Bus (eps. 27-110)
Licensed byNASentai Filmworks
Released January 8, 1988 – March 17, 1997
Runtime25 minutes (each)
Episodes110 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Golden Wings
Directed byKeizou Shimizu
Music byTomoki Hasegawa
StudioArtland & Magic Bus
Licensed byNASentai Filmworks
ReleasedDecember 12, 1992
Runtime60 minutes
Anime film
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Overture to a New War
Directed byKen’ichi Maeda
StudioArtland & Magic Bus
Licensed byNASentai Filmworks
ReleasedDecember 18, 1993
Runtime90 minutes
Original video animation
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: A Hundred Billion Stars, A Hundred Billion Lights
Directed byNoboru Ishiguro
StudioArtland & Magic Bus
Licensed byNASentai Filmworks
Released February 9, 1998 – September 26, 1998
Runtime25 minutes (each)
Original video animation
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Spiral Labyrinth
Directed byNoboru Ishiguro
StudioArtland & Magic Bus
Licensed byNASentai Filmworks
Released December 24, 1999 – June 27, 2001
Runtime25 minutes (each)
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Portrait of Heroes
Written byKatsumi Michihara
Published byTokuma Shoten
MagazineMonthly Comic Ryū
Original runOctober 19, 2006 – September 19, 2012
Ginga Eiyū Densetsu
Written byRyu Fujisaki
Published byShueisha
MagazineWeekly Young Jump
Original runOctober 8, 2015 – present
Anime television series
The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Kaikō
Directed byShunsuke Tada
Written byNoboru Takagi
Music byShin Hashimoto
StudioProduction I.G
Licensed byNACrunchyroll
Original networkFamily Gekijo, Tokyo MX, MBS, BS11
Original run April 3, 2018 – June 26, 2018
Anime film series
The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Seiran
Directed byShunsuke Tada
Written byNoboru Takagi
StudioProduction I.G
ReleasedSeptember 27, 2019 (part 1)
October 25, 2019 (part 2)
November 29, 2019 (part 3)

Isekai Cheat Magician Anime Review

Isekai Cheat Magician (異世界チート魔術師 Isekai Chīto Majutsushi, “Fantasy World Cheat Magician”) is a Japanese light novel series written by Takeru Uchida and illustrated by Nardack. The series began as a web novel series on the Shōsetsuka ni Narō website in 2012, where it is still ongoing as of January 2018. The novels were then published in print by Shufunotomo beginning in 2013; eleven volumes have been published as of September 2019. A manga adaptation by Karin Suzuragi began serialization in Kadokawa Shoten’s Monthly Shōnen Ace magazine in December 2016, with six tankōbon volumes released so far. An anime television series adaptation by Encourage Films aired July 10 to September 25, 2019. On October 1, 2019, Crunchyroll started showing the dubbed version.


Taichi Nishimura and Kanade Azuma are two ordinary high school students who also happen to be childhood friends. On the way to school, a magic circle appears beneath their feet, and Taichi and Kanade both get mysteriously transported to another world called Altia.

While trying to grasp their current situation, they get attacked by a vicious monster. Luckily, a group of adventurers comes to their aid and rescues them. After arriving at a nearby town, they decide to enroll as adventurers themselves. However, while enrolling, they discover that they possess incredibly powerful magic and physical prowess. Thus, their adventure begins as the most powerful ‘cheat magicians’. However, as Taichi is forced to discover, his presence in Altia was willed by a mysterious woman who wishes to use his power to control the fate of this world.

Isekai Cheat Magician Characters:

Rin Azuma

Rin Azuma is the female protagonist of the show who aspires to become a great adventurer like Taichi. But she often fails to match her words with her action and tends to goof up when it comes down to actually doing things. After being summoned into the magical world, she is gifted with several powers that include the four major magical elements—fire, wind, earth and water.

When it comes to her appearance, she has long brown hair with bangs on the sides that hang loose on her cheeks. She has big blue eyes and a cute looking face. She wears brown shorts along with a yellowish shirt and sports a long blue colored Cape. She is Taichi’s childhood friend and always walks to school with him. Her key abilities involve fire magic which allows her to throw fireballs and arrows. The wind magic involves the power of thunder, swords of lightning god, air hammer, dust whirlwind, and many other cool power-moves that she can use during battles. Compared to her other abilities, her Earth magic is not too strong and only involves the stone bullet move.

Taichi Nishimura

Taichi Nishimura is the main protagonist of the anime who gets transported to a fantasy world along with his best friend Rin Azuma. Unlike her, he is an expert adventurer and has a natural instinct that allows him to solve all the problems that come in their way. For his age, he is slightly short and has a lean build. He has jet black hair and dark greyish eyes. Compared to Run, his outfit is pretty simply — he wears a white shirt and black trousers along with a brown sleeveless jacket. He is also gifted with an immense amount of magic after he is summoned and he is also able to use these new abilities more responsibly.

Some of his key powers include Enhancement magic, wind magic and the Osmosis blast. He also possesses a Dagger which later becomes his default weapon. Taichi slowly becomes extremely powerful and overpowers all the others. But he never lets his ego get in the way and always uses his powers for helping others. His magic value is 120,000 and his magic power is 40,000, which is a lot more than most other characters of the anime.


Myura is an elf who becomes Remia’s apprentice. She is incredibly good looking and because of this, she is usually referred to as “the golden swordsman”. She has long blond hair with deep blue eyes and she wears an outfit that has shades of both green and black. Unlike Remia and Taichi, she is a preeminent magician who has absolutely mastered fire and earth magic. Even her sword fighting skills are really advanced and she has the authority to take on A-rank missions. Her fire magic involves several moves such as fireball, Red Lotus and scorching heat slash. Her magic value is 30,500 and her magic power is 3,800.


Remiya is a top tier magician who is commonly referred to as the magician of fallen leaves. She’s known all over the world as one of the best magicians. In the present events of the anime, she lives in the outskirts of the frontier town, Azpire. She’s quite attractive and has a very curvy figure. She wears an entirely black outfit that matches the dark color of her hair and like Rin, she also wears a long black cape.

When it comes to her personality, she is usually quite cheerful but makes sure that she’s always pushing Rin and Taichi so that they reach their full potential. Her main magical abilities include the power of fire, wind and water, and she can easily take on A-ranked missions. Her magical value is 43,000 and her magical power is 6,000.

My Personal Thoughts

This light novel adaptation had the great misfortune to come out in the Summer 2019 season, a time so packed with isekai fantasies that it wasn’t even the only series of its type to air on the same day. (It was most directly up against Demon Lord, Retry!) Even if it had not faced so much competition, I doubt that Isekai Cheat Magician would have garnered much attention or made any long-term impact. That’s because it suffers from two crippling problems: low production values and a plot so generic that it does little to distinguish itself from the plethora of other isekai titles out there.

The one way that the series stands out slightly from competitors is in its basic premise. Rather than being transported solo, Taichi is accompanied by his female childhood friend, and she winds up being more than just baggage. Though Rin’s magic potential is just a fraction of Taichi’s nation-leveling power, it still puts her in the company of the most powerful wizards in Elistain. She also quickly shows an impressive creativity with magic, with the faint suggestion that a familiarity with modern chemistry gives her an edge. Even though Taichi usually takes the lead, Rin can stand well enough on her own in most situations and even gets some of her own action scenes. I hesitate to draw the comparison to Sword Art Online’s Asuna, as Taichi and Rin are clearly friends before anything romantic (at least at this point in the story), but that’s probably the closest comparison to their dynamic. The series also conspicuously features a number of other strong female characters, including the elf adventurer Myura (Muller in Crunchyroll’s subtitles), who trains Rin and accompanies the two at times. There’s also Lemia, the famous Mage of Falling Leaves, General Sumella, the Supreme Commander of the Royal Army, and a female barbarian Rin allies with on the battlefield late in the story.

However, the story is also careful never to stray too far from genre norms. Rin may be strong on her own, but Taichi is still the center of events and the linchpin of the story. Taichi is also eventually surrounded by a suspiciously high concentration of hot women, including the aforementioned strong characters, a gorgeous female assassin who he wins over by defeating in combat, an equally gorgeous princess, and an adorable spirit who eventually grows into a more physically mature form; the general character is especially interested in having Taichi father her children once she sees how strong he is. How much any of these might be romantic competition for Rin is unclear, as she seems uncertain about whether or not she wants to escalate her friendship with Taichi to the next level, and the potential romance aspect is never a focal point anyway.

The plot is also as generic as they come, with the only significant difference being a notably slower build-up; the series actually takes time to show Taichi and Rin being trained and learning how to master their prodigious powers, rather than the powers being available from the start. Both characters also increase their powers significantly as the season progresses. Somewhat surprisingly, Taichi is not infallibly powerful; he’s quite vulnerable on at least one occasion past the first episode and has to work at subduing foes on others. That doesn’t make him much more relatable, because he’s still the generic good soul who’s all about protecting his friends, whether it’s Rin or the assassin girl he travels with for a couple of episodes. Rin also doesn’t stand out much in personality, while Myura mostly just comes across as serious-minded. The setting of the story is also sparse on world-building, beyond some basics about how the magic system works. While Taichi and Rin are on their adventures, larger powers are manipulating select challenges before him for indeterminate reason. A later plot about the two getting caught up in a potential civil war also doesn’t offer anything fresh or interesting beyond a little philosophical debate. Basically, there’s little to the story that couldn’t be found in a number of other isekai titles.

The series also doesn’t have much support on the technical front. Ordinary character animation doesn’t look bad, but the series consistently fails to provide much verve to its action scenes, which results in even the bigger set pieces being humdrum affairs. This weakness especially shows when CG effects are inelegantly applied to masses of soldiers being possessed by bloody frenzies—and then the soldiers are only as aggressive as a shambling pack of zombies. Magical effects and backgrounds aren’t impressive either. Taichi’s design is so lacking in distinction that he might be hard to pick out of a lineup of isekai series leads, while Rin stands out more through her odd combination of shorts with a wizard’s cloak; she looks more like she’s attempting a half-baked cosplay most of the time. Other outfits are fantasy anime standard, with Myura’s more conservative dress starkly contrasting with the more revealing outfits of other female characters. Most of the series’ mild doses of fan service come from various characters wearing cleavage-baring outfits.

The series also doesn’t do much exciting on the musical or voice acting fronts. The soundtrack sounds like Generic Fantasy RPG BGM, with no numbers distinguishing themselves. That also applies to the more boisterous opener and the gentler closer, which exclusively features Rin. Major roles are suitably cast but there are no stand-out perfromances.

Some anime series seem destined to be quickly forgotten, and since its source novels have yet to be licensed or released in English, Isekai Cheat Magician is a prime candidate for this. The franchise is popular enough in Japan to warrant a spinoff manga series, and it isn’t entirely without entertainment value, but it isn’t good or distinctive enough to warrant a recommendation to anyone beyond hardcore isekai junkies.

Isekai Cheat Magician Season 2 Release Date: When will it premiere?

‘Isekai Cheat Magician’ Season 1 premiered on June 10, 2019 and with a total of 12 episodes, came to an end on September 25, 2019. Now if you’ve already seen the show you’re probably wondering if it will have a new season or not. There has been no confirmations from the Studio’s end yet, but based on our own speculations, we do believe that it has a good chance of returning for a season 2. The anime has been adapted from a light novel series that only has 6 volumes to date. Though it should not be challenging for the creators to adapt 6 volumes in a 12-episode season, the 6th volume was just recently published, so for obvious reasons, it will not be a part of season 1. As a result, there remains at least one volume of the light novel which can later be used for its renewal.

The anime has been doing fairly well and is quite popular among viewers. So at the end of the day, it will all come down to the BD/DVD sales of the anime. Till then, it’s hard to determine if the anime will be renewed for a new season or not. Even if the creators do plan on renewing it, we cannot expect anything till July, 2020. And since the Light Novel author only publishes two volumes every year, the creators of the anime will have to wait at least till 2021 to have enough content for a whole new single cour season. So as soon as we get any official confirmation regarding ‘Isekai Cheat Magician’ Season 2, we will update it here in this section. In the meantime, do check out our list of other great Isekai anime.

You can watch this anime both in Japanese and English Dub. Recently First epiosde got uploded in English dub. I will rate this Anime 5/10.

(Isekai Chīto Majutsushi)
GenreAction, fantasy, isekai
Novel series
Written byTakeru Uchida
Published byShōsetsuka ni Narō
Original run2012 – present
Light novel
Written byTakeru Uchida
Illustrated byNardack
Published byShufunotomo
ImprintHero Bunko
Original run2013 – present
Illustrated byKarin Suzuragi
Published byKadokawa Shoten
MagazineMonthly Shōnen Ace
Original runDecember 2016 – present
Anime television series
Directed byDaisuke Tsukushi
Written byTakayo Ikami
Music byYoshiaki Fujisawa
StudioEncourage Films
Licensed byCrunchyroll
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, KBS, SUN, TVA, BS11
English networkSEA Animax Asia
Original run July 10, 2019 – September 25, 2019
Episodes12 (List of episodes)