Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Sounds hilarious right? I imagined an Eikichi Onizuka (GTO) type spewing highly inappropriate nonsense at students in a magic academy setting. I was prepared to be entertained!

But it wasn’t meant to be. This show doesn’t know who it is. It’s not really comedy, not really fantasy, not really action, just kind of lost in the middle of it all. The characters are vanilla, the story is invisible, and the artwork is good but ordinary. Currently only a single season (as of March 2021), so perhaps it will improve if there’s ever a second.

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Sound of the Sky

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A beautiful experience! This is a perfect example of how a lightly dramatic slice of life anime should be. Beautiful, carefully crafted artwork, heartfelt characters and storyline, and to top it off, amazing audio work! I don’t know much about playing instruments of any kind, but I know I love the sound of trumpets when the setting is right for them. It’s quite beautiful, just like everything in this anime is beautiful.

As I write this in February 2021, this anime is even more poignant. Rio’s VA is Yuu Kobayashi. For those who don’t know why that’s important at this moment in anime history, she’s also the VA for the irreplaceable, and now unhappily departed, Sasha Blouse from Attack on Titan.

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Girls und Panzer

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

If you like tanks, you’ll like this anime. If you like diminutive highschool anime girls, you’ll like this anime. If you like diminutive highschool anime girls who drive tanks, you’ll really like this anime. If you’re not any of that, jump in your own tank and drive away from this show, and turn your turret to your six and weigh it down with lead if it chases you.

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Yona of the Dawn

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As the sun rises at dawn, so we rise to join in life. Or to join in battle. So Yona rises before us like the sun which burns life into our world. So Yona shines onto all around her, standing at the head of men who would not readily swear allegiance to even a powerful male leader. The beautiful scene with which this series (currently only one season) both begins and ends will ignite your heart and dazzle your eyes.

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Challenge: Tagging Stories with Color

The Hawk breaks his rule and writes a post that isn’t a review!! Normally I only post reviews, as that ultimately is what I foresee this site as exclusively containing. But today I make an exception. Thank you 7mononoke for inviting me to do the challenge and breaking me out of my self-imposed rigidity.

So hajimimashite and let us talk about colors!!!

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School Days

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

You’re watching this show, and you feel for these poor kids. They make their lives very difficult, and make tons of bad choices. But you’re experienced. You’ve seen these sad romantic shows. Somehow it will all work out in the end.

Not this time!

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Tsuredure Children

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

It’s apt that the final episode revolves around a game. Soccer is the quintessential game for children growing into young adults. It involves everybody, has a simple set of rules and one objective. It’s a good microcosm for young people learning about how to deal with romance in a school environment. And Tsuredure Children is all about these children and their romantic escapades.

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Sword Art Online

Rating: 4 out of 5.

People have very strong opinions about this show. Among popular anime, I see the most variation of opinion about this one. Some people totally love it and some people really, really hate it. And I can understand all of it. This show is one of the greatest isekai animes ever brought to life, but at times is so artistically misguided it’ll make you wonder why you’re watching it. It is a strange experience.

But that’s why it experiences so much success. It’s a very unique kind of show. Its great achievement is that while so bizarrely impossible, it is almost completely relatable. As we progress through the seasons this lessens a good deal, but from the first season through most of the second, it will touch your heart and wrangle with your emotions in a strange and unearthly way that makes it unforgettable. In our anime world, it is a fixture and rightly should be. Every anime fan, from yeah-I’ve-seen-Naruto to NEET otaku (I love you all equally) should see this show.

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Dies Irae

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Verweile doch, du bist so schön!. Das Ewig-Weibliche Zieht uns hinan.

My German and Japanese skills are roughly equivalent, meaning I had no idea what that meant. Fortunately we have tools for this kind of thing now, so you all can translate that as well as I can! And once you translate it, you’ll find it doesn’t really do anything to help our understanding of this bizarre series! I know it’s a quote from the famous German poet Goethe’s most famous work Faust. And that’s as much explanation as we get of this famous quote.

This show is either an unmitigated and confusing disaster or it’s one of the most clever animes ever devised. I think the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. To be as confusing as it was at times, it was pretty entertaining. Among lesser known anime, I give this one decent marks overall.

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Citrus

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

“There are things inside me that would please and terrify you. Both are there. Do you still want to look inside?”

Very pretty and very heartfelt, Citrus makes a good case for being definitive of the yuri genre. Though the story is somewhat contrived, it makes up for it with fun characters and some of the most beautiful artwork you’ll ever see. For those that enjoy yuri, this is a must-see. For those that cringe at it, if you ever wanted a good example of yuri, this is a good place to start.

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