21 Mar 2015

Tamako Love Story Anime review


Type: Movie
Episodes: 1
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 26, 2014
Producers: Kyoto Animation
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
Duration: 1 hr. 18 min.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

"Everybody loves somebody."

"Bitter memories are proof that you did something".

Do you ever get that choked, somehow disappointed feeling when you finish a great show or movie? A void that lingers in your mind, trying to piece together everything you just watched? You curl up in your bed or floor, both incredibly happy but sad at the same time, thoughts racing through the mind? Yep! This particular movie will definitely leave you with that feeling. Tamako love story is a small, nice, pleasant, sweet, adorable and touching film. Highly recommended and a must watch!


 Tamako Love Story is that closure to Slice of Life anime that many don't have. The romance between the characters were apparent in the original series, but nothing really happened. Even though this movie is only an hour and 26 minutes long, it's the perfect ending to a series that was good. Tamako and Ooji are both in their third year of high school, and times are changing. While both are still the same character, you see development in both of them about perspective for the future, and just about each other.


Sometimes you don't need a romance filled with actions everywhere, and also sometimes you don't need a serious dramatical romance. You just need a simple, but profound love to find the perfect beauty of romance. That feeling of embarrassment after telling someone you love them and same for the one being confessed, every step was in this movie. This movie shows just what it's like if you are confessing to a friend, or even anyone, and what it can do to a relationship.


Development in all the characters are something that was really emphasized, even besides the main two. Tamako and Ooji are the main ones with development in the film, but the side characters are also moving on along side the both of them. Tamako Market and the movie itself has really nice art, I can't deny that. Kyoto Animations have always been praised for their excellent art, but there's one problem with it for me. Stunning backgrounds and quality are nice, but their diversity in character design just isn't there, not for this series at least. 


Music was always said to affect many people in different ways, but it's shown in this movie that music is definitely something that can help people. Aside from this aspect, the music was beautiful and sound clips were soothing. Take the stream scene for example, the scenery was visually stunning, but the sound of the water enhanced it to the next level to bring the feeling to life. Sound was certainly a department that didn't drop in this movie. 


"Everybody loves somebody." as the preview suggested has perfectly fit the theme of this movie. This has probably made more of an impact than the series itself, It's breathtaking, light, and brings serenity to your heart. It was quite enjoyable for me, if you are a fan of light story I fully recommend Tamako Love Story. If you have watched Tamako Market (The series) or not, you should definitely watch this Movie.

Trailer:





Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji Manga review


Synonyms: Ookami Shoujo to Kuroouji, Wolf Girl & Black Prince
Type: Manga
Volumes: Unknown
Chapters: Unknown
Status: Publishing
Published: Jun 11, 2011 to ?
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo
Authors: Hatta, Ayuko (Story & Art)
Serialization: Bessatsu Margaret


"A secret no one can say, a true nature that can't be shown, everyone has an 'underside'!" --cover page of Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji


"Generally a high school life is all decided in the first two months."
Do you agree this? Maybe you don't but this is what the main character of this stroy, Shinohara Erika, believes.Trying to build a reputation in school is what Erika needs to survive. But when you're a 16-year-old that has never even dated someone it's way harder. The solution? Lie.
So she pretends she has a boyfriend. The only one who knows the truth is her friend, San-chan. But without any proofs of having this "perfect boyfriend", Erika sees herself wrapped in her own lie. Her new friends start doubting her. Trying not to be called a liar, she takes a picture of a random cute guy walking on the street so she can show her friends.


Okay. Problem solved, right?
WRONG! In fact, this guy she took a picture of studies in the same school as her. The famous "Prince", Sata Kyouya. She then asks him a favor: prentending to be her boyfriend.
Cute adorable sweet and understandable guy agrees happily and a beautiful cliche love develops?
YOU'RE WRONG AGAIN! This so called "Prince" is a great sadist. He accepts the deal, but... now, Erika is his dog! Here begins the journey of the Wolf Girl!


Kyouya is unafraid to voice his most cynical views. Heck, if he sees an old lady struggling to walk across the road, he may as well be that person to send her to her doom. The refreshing part of his personality is that he shows no signs of other personalities. He's just being himself. It may get over the top at times but it's interesting but poor Erika has to put up with that. She knows this as well and tries her best to cope with it. It doesn't come as a surprise that other characters are not as unique as Kyouya or Erika. The friends of Erika feels static. But from Kyouya's side, one of them turns to be more interesting to read than how I thought he'd be. He's chirpy and friendly, a striking opposite of Kyouya, but is equally enjoyable.


What really made me into the story was the original plot. In shoujo manga, the story is almost always fluffy, cute, adorable and heartwarming. There are also those heartbreaking, tragic and sad love story. Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji is a totally nonsense and new love story. A sadist and an almost-masochist making so much success is a little new in the shoujo industry.


The artwork are nicely drawn, not mind-blowing but enough to get the storyline/characters conveyed. After all, if the artwork wasn't at least decent, how will Kyouya be such a yummy eyecandy? Putting superficial preferences aside, its characters and plotline are top-notch. You've got to love Kyouya's cynicism and Erika's struggle to deal with that. But it is not recommended for everyone.... because some might find both protagonists absolutely worst....well think about it  - Will you date this guy if he was real? If yes... then its for you :)



Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji Anime review


English: Wolf Girl and Black Prince
Synonyms: Ookami Shoujo to Kuroouji, Wolf Girl & Black Prince
Type: TV
Episodes: 12
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 5, 2014 to Dec 21, 2014
Producers: VAP, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, TYO Animations, Sentai FilmworksL, Nippon Television Network Corporation
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


A desire for acceptance is something that most of us can relate to, and at times that can drive us to certain extremes. It's a premise that is not necessarily unique, but for a shoujo series it actually is. The clichéd trope of a spineless heroine and her tsundere love interest is all too common. However this series provides us with a slight variant; our main character is a compulsive liar and her love interest is a two-faced jerk who is content to treat her like a dog.


The story centers around Erika Shinohara, a vain 16-year-old girl who tells her friends about her romantic exploits, but she actually has no boyfriend. She claims that a handsome boy in a candid photo is her boyfriend, but it turns out that boy is a schoolmate named Kyouya Sata. She has no choice but to make him her fake boyfriend. Unfortunately, Sata may look like a sweet person, but he is actually an ultra-black-hearted sadist. Sata takes advantage of Erika's weakness and treats her like his dog.


Erika is not your traditional shoujo heroine, she's actually a plucky, resilient lead who actually seems to enjoy Kyouya's treatment. When situations arise that would stereotypically end in an angst-filled fight between our couple, Erika maintains her usual headstrong, blind determination to win over her ice-hearted prince. She does actually develop as the series progresses. Kyouya is, quite frankly, a jerk to Erika constantly and only occasionally showers her with some vague form of affection. But the series doesn't try too hard to redeem him—he has no sad backstory to fall on and his behaviour is not entirely without cause - being cynical and misanthropic seems to run in the family. The supporting cast is entertaining but they receive minimal attention or development. That is a disappointing fact about the series


In regards to the animation, the colour palette is vibrant and charming. In comparison to the manga, it actually has adapted all of the character designs quite nicely. Although it is like any other shoujo style, each design is unique and rather fitting giving each character's unique persona. Unfortunately another weak area is perhaps the soundtrack. The opening is catchy and adorable, but during the course of the series there are a few scenes with background music that just seem utterly out of place in an almost comedic sense. 


Overall, the series has enough merits to warrant it being a good shoujo anime. This certainly is not for everyone, it's not about a sweet couple that fall in love gradually—it's about two characters who are so entirely human that they are flawed and utterly unlikeable, but as a result of which, happen to be highly entertaining together.

Opening titles:






6 Mar 2015

Hana Yori Dango Anime Review


English: Boys Over Flowers
Synonyms: HYD, Boys Over Flowers: Jewelry Box, End of the Century
Type: TV
Episodes: 51
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Sep 8, 1996 to Aug 31, 1997
Producers: Toei Animation, Viz Media
Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


I am absolutely positive that everybody must have heard about Korean Drama called "Boys over flowers" with 'Lee Min Ho' and' Kim Hyun Joong' as the lead actors. Or The Taiwanese drama called "Meteor Garden" or the Japanese drama that goes by the same name "Hana Yori Dango".When I started this anime, I have seen all the versions of the dramas based on this anime. Hana Yori Dango, being the original version, beats all the other versions out there. It sticks to the manga. Though the animation is old, the art and sound are not good, the emotions involved are raw and powerful. I recommend it to the people who haven't  seen any versions of the dramas yet and also to who have watched all of them. Trust me guys. you gonna enjoy it more than anything that's out there in this genre. 


The anime starts out in a most likely way that you wouldnt expect any romance to develop from. Tsukushi Makino is ranked as a lower class student at an all exclusive high school with the majority of the students coming from a wealthy background. The school is crontrolled by the F4 known has the Flower 4, a gang of 4 guys that come from extremely rich and powerful families. Basically, the entire school idolize them but also lives in fear of getting on their bad side and getting the red card, a declaration of war by the F4, which basically means your school life becomes a living hell until you transfer out.Tsukushi goes about her day just trying to be unnoticed until she graduates, leading a fairly miserable existence. This all changes when she jumps to her freind's rescue against F4. As Tsukushi fights back and starts to gain the respect of many classmates and even begins to befriend the F4, we learn that they are not quite as bad as initially thought. About the romantic aspect of this anime is quite difficult to say without giving away any spoilers. The journey is quite an unforgettable ride that you dont want to miss out on.


Tsukushi Makino in my opinion is a boss bitch. She is tough, honest, loyal and no-nonsense type of girl Viewers will be drawn to her, She is overall a very inspirational character.
Tsukasa Domyoji is the leader of the F4 and one of Tsukushi’s love interests. He has all the classic elements of a shoujo love interest. He's wealthy and handsome. Initially he will be seen an extremely frightening character making him almost impossible to like at all. However has the series progresses he becomes less and less cold spoiled little brat and turns into a decent and sympathetic human being. Although I tried my best to keep hating him, he wore me down into actually loving him. 


As for Rui another member of F4 and another main love interest of Tsukushi. He is almost the complete opposite of the hotheaded Tsukasa. While still from an enormously wealthy family and suitably good looking, Rui is far more introverted and shy. I liked him far more at first than any of the other men in the cast but he really isn’t any nicer that Tsukasa is. My feelings for him are pretty much the reverse of what I felt for Tsukasa. I lliked him at the beginning of the series but towards the end, I actually got tired of his personality.


Given the age of this series, the animation and visuals aren't very much a fair site to look at. And I know some people really do care about the outer appearance of anime and won't even give this show a chance which is really a shame because like they say don't jude a book by its cover the same goes for this anime. Even though the hair styles and fashion are extremely dated. The artwork given for the anime does match the one for the manga. The audio for me gives me mixed emotions. There are time where i would despise the background violon music which obviously dated. But overall the voice acting is outstanding


Overall Hana Yori Dango is a series that should be on your number 1 must watch list of animes for a serious romance anime fans like me. When I say there is no other anime like Hana Yori Dango i mean it. This show is very intense and it will bring you so much emotion as a viewer. I can say that it is one hell of a rollercoaster ride.





24 Feb 2015

Horimiya Manga review


Type: Manga
Volumes: Unknown
Chapters: Unknown
Status: Publishing
Published: Oct 18, 2011 to ?
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Shounen
Authors: Hagiwara, Daisuke (Art), HERO (Story)
Serialization: GFantasy


Horimiya may look like your average shoujo romcom manga but its not! Horimiya is the shining light amongst the excessive flood of rehashed high school romances. There, I said it! So pick it up and read it cause this manga is very special and unique. But what makes this manga so special? It has the same cliché scenario, after all: a popular female lead, a shut-in otaku male lead, high school setting; the list goes on and on. The premise may be unoriginal, but Horimiya excels greatly in the one aspect that most romances fail to deliver.
Intimacy!!
The amount of intimacy that can be felt between our two lovers, Hori-san and Miyamura-kun, never ceases to amaze me. Unlike most romances, their love for each other never feels forced. Author did a delicate job of developing the relationship between Hori and Miyamura so that their romance doesn't seem strained but rather genuinely real. 


Horimiya's story  has refreshingly fast pacing, unlike other romances where it seems to take forever for the main couple to realize their feelings for each other. The moment from when Hori and Miyamura meet to when they start dating moves along without any conflicts that feel stretched out into many chapters. The drama of the series is dealt with immediately and any misunderstandings aren't painfully drawn out. Hori is a very popular girl at her school, so she has to face the doubtful and negative reactions from people discovering that she's dating a "closet otaku." Miyamura, who had been ostracized all of his life, struggles to gain the self-confidence to see himself as someone who can make a great girl such as Hori happy. The story brings in a fresh air through Hori and Miyamura overcoming their individual flaws and the problems that arise from an odd couple such as theirs.


The characters are what makes this manga above average. Especially Miyamura Izumi. In school, he is seen as a shady guy with glasses and a possible otaku. Looks can be deceiving though. Miyamura is in fact, not a otaku and looks like a a punk rock kind of guy with 9 piercings and a bunch of tattoos. In reality, he is actually an airhead that only excels in physical education and health despite his looks in school. Hori Kyokou is the MC  of the manga. In school, she is cute, smart, and popular. After school though, she goes straight home and becomes similar to a housewife. She is also a sadist. Despite the uncertainty Hori and Miyamura have about their relationship, Horimiya is a very lighthearted and sweet read. The interactions between not only Hori and Miyamura, but also the rest of the cast feel very natural and often caused me to grin or chuckle. 



Every character is distinguishable from the others and the designs are simply eye-candy. Yet, even though Horimiya's characters look great, its background detail isn't anything special. The school windows, desks, and so on are average in terms of how high school settings go. In many panels, it's even just the characters on a white and gray background. Despite this flaw, I find the characters' designs to make up for the lack of detail, especially Miyamura's transformation from his school image to his true image.


One notable fact about Horimiya is that author continues to develop Hori and Miyamura's relationship past the confession scene and shows the hurdles they must cross to maintain their romance. Horimiya is a fresh read among the many romances who call it quits after their main characters finally start dating. Horimiya is the manga that kicks clichés to the side and stands firmly atop



22 Feb 2015

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou Anime review


English: The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior
Type: TV
Episodes: 12
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 4, 2014 to Jun 20, 2014
Producers: Brains Base, TBS, Sentai FilmworksL
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Slice of Life
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older



What is love? The Oxford English dictionary defines the word "love" as: a strong feeling of affection. However is it really just that? The definition for love is different for everyone is it not? It's complex, it’s unique, it’s a roller coaster and above all love requires time and work. And with that resonating definition, we have Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou. It is a good light romantic and little comedy themed anime. The story is very unoriginal, stereotypical and blatant. Nonetheless it's a good romance anime that people can enjoy watching, get a good giggle out of, and feel happy about. Of course, I love almost all romance anime, so if you don't like romance anime, then this anime probably isn't going to be that appealing to you.


Anyways, the plot is very simple. It's about a high school freshman, Kazunari Usa who movies into a boarding house and it turns out that the love of his life, Ritsu Kawai is living there too. The story focuses on the development of the relationship between these two. Basically Ritsu loves books (a little too much), and is easily bothered/annoyed with other people, especially those that talk too much. She really doesn't show any kind of emotion towards other people, and doesn't show any sign of "love" towards Usa. Usa basically tries everything he has to get Ritsu to notice him, but sort of fails due to his shyness. But that's where the other fun characters who also live in the same boarding complex come into play! 


In terms of character development, we have Ritsu as our pupil. Her development is based off the main plot of this anime, which is flowering relationship between herself and Kazunari. If I were to use the caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly analogy; I would say that Ritsu evolved from a caterpillar to a cocoon by the end of the series which I find perfect because it just makes the concept of love more authentic and leaves an air of mystery for the audience. .Of course you have to deal with stereotypes for the most part, but they are overall a good relatable cast, which have their flaws and never feel too one sided.It's also funny how characters become more likable the further the show progresses. It is evidence of character progression.


The art in the anime is nothing special, nothing that stands out particularly.he sound is perfect; everything from the pedalling of the bikes to the rustling of the bed sheets when someone wakes up is heard, it’s all there. The opening was nice to listen to; I watched/listened to the opening every episode. The voicing didn't disappoint either, each character's voice fit their personalities. 


 I was going into this series expecting two people to eventually fall in love, confess to each other and by the end have their first kiss and that would be the end of this anime; just like and typical romantic comedy. To my surprise, it was the complete opposite of what I thought. If you like romance comedies, then this anime is one that you might want to check out. I enjoyed it despite it's obvious, unoriginal plot. Kind of a relaxing anime, that isn't very serious, and there's absolutely nothing scary or confusing about the anime. 

Opening titles: