Anime, Anime Review, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on GAMERS! – Review

GAMERS! – Review

This anime is frustrating, adorable and ultimately a wonderful show. Praise be to Gamers! as it brings to life one thing we never get to see; a gamer who just wants to play games. For once, it’s not about a genius gamer who can beat anything he puts his mind to. It’s not about being competitive or winning. It’s just about having fun.

Oh yeah, and dating hot girls.

Gamers! is an anime about Keita Amano and his friends getting into a mess of trouble. Amano just wants to play his games in piece, but the most popular girl in school just wont seem to let that happen. Karen Tendou is desperate for him to join her competitive gaming club, for more than just his skills. Through a series of events, we find friendships and romance blossom around the shared love of gaming.

The Good:

Honestly, I’ve never seen a character, let alone a main one, who wasn’t aggressive with their gaming. Amano loves video games with a passion, but he doesn’t feel he needs to prove it through beating everyone. At the end of the day, it’s all about loving and appreciating the game itself. It’s about having fun. Even in the real world, I think we have too many competitive gamers out there who aren’t remembering what’s important.

More than that, the characters, despite being so thick-headed, are actually really charming in their own way. I love most of them, well… Except one. While some of the romance felt really force and rocky at best, there were still wonderful moments that really grabbed at your heart. I think it’s best attribute, however, was definitely the love for video games itself.

The Bad:

I have to say, I did not like  Hoshinomori. At first I thought she was adorable! I love gamer girls with messy long hair and tired eyes; it’s my thing dang it! But Chiaki got progressively worse throughout the show and I have a major problem with characters, especially women, being thrown into romance plot for friction. Spoiler alert, she finds peace with herself at the end of the anime, which I was proud of, but overall I felt like she just kept trying to interfere with other people’s relationships which is an awful trope in anime.

I also wasn’t a big fan of Tendou and Amano’s relationship; yes really! It felt a little forced on his end. I didn’t get the feeling that Amano actually liked Karen at all.  Even when he said sweet things about her, I felt like she just intimidated him more than anything. And the confusion of the romance, while meaning to be funny, just came off as a lot to digest and too much frustration. It’s a lot for Elliot, my dudes.

Kitty Review:

Four whole happy Elliots? Absurd! But true. I actually did really like this anime despite my frustration. And sure, Elliot had a bit of a nervous tummy after watching it, but sometimes that means the anime is actually really good! I would recommend this one to any gamer/anime lover in my life. Overall, it’s still a really cute anime. Watch it!

Do you like playing video games for fun or are you a competitive player? Tell me in the comments below! 

Anime, Anime Review, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on Knight’s & Magic – Review

Knight’s & Magic – Review

Knight’s & Magic was the anime I thought would make me happy and ultimately… Well… Let’s just get to the summary.

This anime is yet another one with the theme of a main character reborn into a new world (which has been another trend on the rise lately). This one follows the reborn Ernesti who is absoltely in love with robots. A previous mech figure collector in his previous life, he now has the chance to work with real-life giants in his new life.

The Good:

I was fairly excited about a new fantasy-themed anime. I’m not the largest fan of mech anime, but I was still really excited to see them on this show. The animation is really well done and the art is simply beautiful. To a certain extent, I even sort of like the characters.

That being said, the beauty in the art of this show is purely where I would say the good ends. The only thing I would say is a positive is the mech fights. They’re really big, really well-done and honestly the only reason you would be watching this anime. If you like a lot of mech fights but aren’t too keen on good stories, this is probably the anime for you.

The Bad:

It’s half-baked at best. I felt like someone had made brownies and took them out of the oven before the batter had even caked. So we just have brownie soup like it’s an episode of Drake and Josh and everyone goes home with a stomach ache. There is no story line to compliment any of the fight scenes. It feels like anything that happens in the background is purely there to justify the next fight.

This could have been a well-thought out anime, but overall I feel like there was no build-up or good world-building in the writing. Instead, we gain new villains every few episodes and the same one dimensional characters. Each character has one thing to obsess over, but nothing else to add to their personality. It’s more than disappointing because I had high hopes for this anime.

Kitty Review:

Nothing make me sadder than brownie soup; just watery batter with the glimpse of what could be. A good fantasy mech anime is every nerd’s dream, but unfortunately, Elliot has spoken. Knight’s & Magic is not that anime friends. If you just want to watch well-animated mech fights, this could be the anime for you… But ultimately there’s nothing but bones here. And Elliot is a meat-eater.

Do you like action shows that are purely made up of action? Do you enjoy a good story line in addition? Let me know what you think! 

Anime, Anime Review, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on A Centaur’s Life – Review

A Centaur’s Life – Review

I knew when I clicked on this anime, I was going to regret it. After my run in with Interviews with Monster Girls, I said “Never again!” And yet, Elliot and I were sitting there on a Friday evening… Watching this… Because as soon as I saw a centaur girl on the front, I knew this was going to happen. We were just going to have to watch this.

A Centaur’s Life shows us the everyday life of Hime, a centaur (do I really need to explain this?). Hime does a lot of stuff; she hands out with her friends, she goes to school, she… Does stuff! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be half human and half horse, this anime is for you bud!

The Good:

Yes, much to your surprise there were things I actually did like about this anime. Namely, I like that I could tell the writer put a lot of thought into the world around their characters. This anime takes place in a sort-of second world setting where it’s the same earth but our population consists of humanoids; half animal peoples, angelic and demonic peoples and even some snakes thrown in there because why not?

This world surely sounds ridiculous, but if you paid attention, you noticed that they put care into how these people would dress, how much they’d need to eat, what their work/school environments looked like and even what sort of cultural practices made sense for their race; i.e. centaurs and archery. It was honestly a very well-thought out world that I could appreciate and admire as a viewer.

The Bad:

I… Yeah… So there were a few things. Namely, this is yet again another monster girl anime that just decided to be even more ridiculous. But besides them jumping on this bandwagon, I really didn’t feel like there was a story. At times, I felt inspired, but other times I felt like the title wasn’t kidding me. I was surprised I wasn’t watching Hime do even more boring tasks like brushing teeth.

I mean, this anime went as so far as to have a literal rendition of WWII and showed us an honest-to-god internment camp. I’m not making this up. That is in this anime. And while there was nothing wrong with this, it just felt so out of place. It showed you that this world was so deep, but we didn’t even get into it that much because people would rather watch this centaur go to gym class like? I don’t? Know? Overall, it just was super anti-climactic and I feel bad because a lot of thought really was put into this world.

Kitty Review:

Yeah I just feel odd after watching this anime, and rather indifferent to it as well. While I can admire where the creator’s were coming from I don’t feel like I gained anything. At the end of the day, it felt like it was just another anime jumping on the monster girls trend, and I’m not about that noise.

Elliot wept.

Do you like monster girls? Is this a trend you want to see grow? Leave a comment and let me know!

Anime, Anime Review, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on Netsuzou Trap -NTR- Review

Netsuzou Trap -NTR- Review

… I don’t even know what to say about this anime… So let’s just get into it.

Netsuzou Trap -NTR- is about two girls, best friends since middle school, who start falling in love. The catch? They both have boyfriends and one girl had no idea how she truly feels. It’s a rough go, but this short anime is all about coming out, domestic abuse and abuse all around. Yup.

The Good:

I was, honestly, very excited to watch this despite the negative comments I’d heard about it going in. Keep in mind, I had no idea what NTR meant going in; in fact, I didn’t find out about it until recently which changed my entire perspective on who this anime was made for. Despite these… Elements… I found that I really did appreciate how the topic of domestic abuse was handled as well as how our main character, Yuma, comes to terms with her feelings.

 

As a queer woman, I actually get what Yuma is feeling. You watch some girl you love just go down these weird, sometimes dark avenues, and feel like you need to follow. It’s because you’re friends right? Wrong. You like her. Said and done, the story always ends with some kind of broken heart. And while these were some of the great elements I felt brought some kind of awareness, I also felt like they were degraded by some of “the bad” in it.

The Bad:

 

There was a lot wrong with this anime; most of the comments I read going in weren’t totally wrong. Firstly, Hotaru is extremely abusive towards Yuma, I don’t care what anyone says. And while I feel like this anime could be a good example of abuse in queer relationships, I also feel like this was supposed to be one of those elements that made Hotaru “sexy” and “alluring”. I disagree, but maybe this is someone’s thing?

This whole thing was just one long negative experience. I really loved that Yuma was coming to terms with her feelings, I just wish it hadn’t been for such a horrible person. Granted, Hotaru is a victim herself and is often in terrible situations, but her controlling behavior was just… Nasty.

 

Kitty Review:

This anime probably did deserve less than what I’m giving it, but the emotions were just all three of these. Honestly, this just wasn’t really worth it to me. But hey, I’m actually kind of glad there’s anime out there that could spark a discussion about negative queer relationships? I just wish it wasn’t for a fetish-type of show.

 

What kind of representation do you want to see in you anime? Leave a comment below! 

Anime, Anime Review, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on Tsuredure Children – Review

Tsuredure Children – Review

This is the cutest short anime I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s almost as cute as Elliot, and that’s saying something. Despite being such a small anime, they really did pack a lot into it and made it enjoyable. So get ready for your heart to go doki doki.

This anime is comprised of several small love stories between awkward characters. Each story is about current relationships, relationships to be and crushes. There’s something for everyone, but they’re so short that I don’t want to ruin the story for everyone.

The Good:

I really loved the stories in this anime. It felt like each one had something unique about it despite each one being a form of tsuredure. Diversity people; it’s what we should strive for.

More than that, I never got the feel that any of these relationships were ill-willed and I honestly never got annoyed with any of the characters. That’s surprising seeing as I usually get annoyed with at least one character.

My favorite couple you ask? The student council president and the delinquent. I could have watched a full anime about them alone.

The  Bad:

While I did enjoy this anime, I always feel a little incomplete at the end of short anime. There’s just that extra layer or that depth that some shows can really thrive on. Short anime usually miss out in this department.

Also, I don’t think all of the couples or pairings ever resolve? Maybe? I’m not entirely sure? There are these little mini pairings in between sections that we never really get to know and aren’t brought up again. Honestly, a huge fault was definitely the uneven distribution between pairings.

Kitty Review:

I’l admit, I have a soft spot for short anime. But more than that, I think these cute little stories are kind of special. Do I wish it was more gay? Yeah. But I wish that with most things. And besides, my current partner and I looked forward to each new episode with excitement.

Cute stuff, really.

Who was your favorite pairing in this show? Tell me in the comment section! 

Anime, Anime Review, Seasonal Anime 0 comments on My First Girlfriend is a Gal – Review

My First Girlfriend is a Gal – Review

I was skeptical with this anime, if I’m being very honest. When I looked at it, I was distracted by attractive anime girls in bright colors. But after officially watching it, I can tell you that I’ve never been more unsure on an anime in my life. There are certainly things about it I detest and other parts I find a little charming. And yet, when it comes down to it, this is still just an anime about getting laid.

My First Girlfriend is a Gal is an anime is about a high school student name Junichi, who is an consistently shamed virgin. After a bet and a push from his misfit friends, he ends up asking out Yame; a gal. Gals, as defined in Japanese culture, are girls/women who are fashion conscious and usually very done up; lots of eyeliner, over-done nails, bleached hair, you name it. While I couldn’t find a definition specifically online, the anime treats gals with the attitude that they may also be very promiscuous.  If you can glean anything from this attitude, you know exactly what Junichi’s intentions are.

The Good:

There were a lot of issues I had with this anime, which I will get to, but it wasn’t all bad. There was a message embedded in the show that I actually both agreed with an appreciated a lot. Yame was a really well thought out character. Both she and her friend Ranko dealt with huge stereotypes. As stated above, gals seem to have this “slut” stereotype thrown on them that make men, including the main character, attracted to them for easy sex.

Spoiler alert, just because women look a certain way does not mean they are interested in sleeping with someone. The overall theme seemed to be Junichi realizing that his girlfriend, abet messing with him, really did like him. Despite being kind of rough on the outside, Yame just wants to go on dates and have fun with her boyfriend. You can tell that when he brings up a stereotype about gals or when she’s confronted with something that bothers her, it really hurts. The fact that she has such a side shows me they really put some thought into her creation. Also, Ranko is in love with her and I just think that’s fantastic ’cause the more gay women there are in anime the better.

The Bad:

I had some serious problems with the humor in this anime. It had a few funny moments, but some of it was just downright wrong. I’ll reveal a few spoilers that really have nothing to do with the story line itself, but are ongoing jokes in the anime. First of all, this guy [Minoru Kobayakawa]. I hate this guy. They have a full on pedophile in this show; no not just a lolicon or something where they just like older women who look like girls, a full on pedophile…

I think most people still find this kind of humor to be… Funny? But it’s not. It made me so uncomfortable anytime he opened his mouth or called high school girls “old hags”. I think this was an attempt at raunchy humor, but I wasn’t at all impressed. Alongside that, the entire anime really did revolve around one guy just trying to get laid. I think the ending was the saving grace where he actually figured out she wasn’t a bad person and just because she looked and acted one way didn’t really mean she’d sleep with him. But again, some of the jokes just felt like a middle-school boy wrote them. I wasn’t super impressed.

Kitty Review:

Me and my wonderful cat/son Elliot were not impressed. I love Yame and how sweet she is as a character, but only admiring about two or three characters out of a whole series just won’t cut it for me. I need more than that. This was a romcom anime that had poor excuses for romance and, overall, poor humor.

Did you like this anime? What would you have changed about it? Leave me a comment! 

Anime 0 comments on That One Girl in Gamers!

That One Girl in Gamers!

We need to talk, dear readers. We didn’t get a chance to talk about it last week, but this week we should talk about it.

We need to talk about this girl. This girl, and why she is important.

There’s a few reasons why I want to focus on her today. The biggest one, however, should be fairly obvious.

Konoha Hoshinomori is definitely a queer girl. Not only does Konoha clearly like women from the get go, but there’s also evidence that she also still likes men.

I should start shouting, “ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!” But I know what the biggest argument to this is going to be.

You may be asking, “But Ashley, doesn’t she also sexualize women? Is she not a part of the problem?”

While I can see that point of view, I surprisingly disagree. In most of our deepest attractions we can find some pretty problematic stuff. No matter the gender your attractions are aimed at, there’s always the influence of traditional and problematic media and societal ideas.

So the only thing we can do is translate to what it means underneath that. If you notice, Gamers! has been pretty good about not over sexualizing its female characters. Even when there’s fan service scenes, it’s not going crazy like some of those other anime (looking at you My First Girlfriend is a Gal). 

I think what’s important about Konoha is that she’s really in tune with her sexuality. Guys. I can’t express. How important this is. There are far too many girls who are just super shy and do the stereotypical “anime girl” trope or there’s the girls that just throw themselves all over the place. It’s like anime can’t seem to be in the middle.

But Konoha is. Sure, when we see her in her most private moments, she seems like a lot. But I’m sure most people are. That’s the whole point of having a private life. I think Konoha shows a side of all women (queer or not) that we don’t see enough. She’s not overly sexualized herself but she is a sexual being and owns up to it on her own terms.

That, my friends, is why she’s so important.

What do you think about Konoha? 

Uncategorized 0 comments on Introducing Gerald-Sempai

Introducing Gerald-Sempai

Good evening one and all! This summer has certainly been going by slowly with a ton of work on my end so tonight I will be giving you all a bit of an update.

Of course, Ashley’s Anime has released what anime Elliot and I will be reviewing this summer, but we will also be maintaining some new posts for your pleasure! First, here’s a little bit about what’s going on in my life and what it will mean for the site:

This year, I will be incredibly busy. Usually, between journalism and Black Moor, I have enough on my hands. Starting this school year, I also will have the awesome opportunity to work as an intern for a local publication here in Vegas while also maintaining a part-time job. Yes, yes I am a little insane.

Oh yeah, and this is happening! I’m publishing a book!

Honestly, publishing a book is really a whole new ball game for me, but I’m so ready for it I can’t even wait. It’s been a dream for so long and I hope it will help Black Moor reach new heights. To have been running Black Moor for over a year now while also managing this… It’s so incredible and I can’t thank my team enough.

That being said, I’ve been given some amazing opportunities and I cannot wait to get to work. I’m extremely grateful for the chance to even be  this busy. But this does take a toll on my flexibility and certainly with what I’m able to do on this site.

Do not fear, Ashley’s Anime isn’t going anywhere! Me and my fur baby are staying right here. However, we are going to bring on another new friend to the team. While our Admiral gets ready to set sale, Gerald-sempai is going to be taking over some new perspectives this blog hasn’t been able to delve into before.

Gerald will be managing topics such as “anime you should’ve already watched” and popular series such as One Piece or My Hero Academia. I usually write on these topics for other sites. So this will be a great opportunity for the blog to be more inclusive and diverse; I’m sure we’ll all love Gerald-sempai’s posts. He’s going to be posting every Tuesday so come back to check him out!

In fact, you can read his first one here! So go do that!

Thank you all for being loyal readers. Running this site has been a dream and I’m happy to have friends here to help with content and posting. I look forward to our future!

Anime 0 comments on Why One Piece is the best of the Big 3

Why One Piece is the best of the Big 3

In the world of modern anime, three anime have stood above the rest; I am of course referring to One Piece, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z. Each of these anime have been mainstays in conversation, each showcasing over two hundred episodes of content. While, One Piece is the last of the big three anime I have watched, it is by far the most entertaining and these are my reasons why.

Playing the Long Game

The greatest decision of One Piece’s creator Eiichiro Oda was establishing a power ceiling for late story villains with the creation of Hawkeye Mihawk. Mihawk shows up considerably early in the series and absolutely dominates Zoro, defeating him with just a small knife. Mihawk is already established as the greatest swordsman in the One Piece world, which means it is reasonable to say he is one of the strongest characters in the story.

The early introduction of Mihawk defined a power goal for our heroes while simultaneously giving the viewer an understanding of how powerful the big baddies of the One Piece world are (without revealing their specific abilities or powers). With this ceiling established and no sense of urgency to reach it. The writers gave themselves limitless opportunities to improve the Straw Hat Crew throughout the series. In comparison, an anime like Dragon Ball Z or Naruto establishes a new power ceiling each time a new villain appears. This exponential growth in power levels is what made the supporting casts (like Yamcha or Sakura) fall behind.

Blackbeard

From my viewpoint as a fan, I think Blackbeard is criminally unappreciated with his impact on the story line. The greatest strength of Blackbeard is his growth as an antagonist. When introduced to Blackbeard, he is still a very small time pirate with a crew smaller than Luffy’s and like the Straw Hat Crew, each character is defined and unique.

There is no cannon fodder for Luffy to Gomu Gomu- Gatling like in every other villain’s crew. Why? Because the Blackbeard pirates is a direct parallel to the Straw Hat Crew. The crews contrast each other as yin and yang, with both rising to the top for a grand stand clash at the end of the series. Even Luffy and Teach are not that different in terms of personality, the only true difference is in their motifs, Luffy chases freedom while Teach chases power. This is what Sasuke should have been to Naruto and what Vegata should have been to Goku. Growing and relatable antagonists instead of reluctant heroes.

One Grand Story Arc

While One Piece follows the standard arc setup that most animes follow, there is one structural difference. Each story arc the Straw Hats go through are all contributing to one grand final arc. This was touched upon in Naruto Shippuden with the ninja war, but it did not quite feel like each arc contributed to the war. It was more, Naruto and crew defeats a villain and somewhere else Orochimaru or the Akatsuki are planning something bigger. While in One Piece, the Straw Hat Crew defeats a villain, and the defeat of this villain opens up new possibilities and further unwinds this larger grand story arc. It’s a crescendo that is growing and building anticipation to the final resounding bang.

In Conclusion

One Piece is an anime about adventure, comradery, and growing. At its core, One Piece is not about flashy fights or powerful characters. It is about an entire world, a world that is living and breathing. There is even merit in the filler arcs which are interesting and feels like part of the story. I for one am excited to see where it leads and I hope you will chose to enjoy the story with me.