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Author Topic: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews  (Read 701 times)

Dudeman

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Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« on: August 23, 2016, 04:09:24 AM »

Rated out of 5 in these categories:

Draw: How well does the series attract the viewer in the first few episodes?
Main plot: Is it sensical? Is it well-paced? Does it affect the characters on a personal level? Do the filler episodes (if any) still relate back to the plot?
Subplots: Do the characters interact well beneath the main plot? Are their personal and interpersonal conflicts realistic and do they resolve sensibly?
Characters: Are the main characters round and dynamic? Do the supporting characters serve their purpose without being flat or irritating?
Character development: Do the main characters adapt to their situation and go through arcs as they become stronger? Is it realistic and sensical to the character's motives?
Peril: If a character gets slashed in the chest, is the viewer actually worried if they will survive? Does the series break its own survival rules?
Payoff: How well does the series tie itself off by the final episode? How many questions does it leave the viewer with?
Feels: If I cried I'll probably put at least a 3 here.
Mind-Blow: If I screamed "WHAT" really loudly I'll probably put at least a 3 here.

Currently Watching: _____

To Watch (in no particular order):
D.Gray-Man
Blue Exorcist
Tokyo Ravens
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
From the New World
Code Geass (rewatch)
Angel Beats! (rewatch)
Noragami/Noragami Aragoto (rewatch)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (rewatch)
Psycho-Pass (rewatch)
Seraph of the End (rewatch)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 01:46:57 AM by Dudeman »
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2016, 04:29:01 AM »

Soul Eater

Draw: 3/5
The first three episodes each focus on one of the main teams of the cast and do well to show off what their powers and personal motivations are. However, I feel that the series did a poor job of explaining exactly what kind of world the show takes place in. You find out later on that it's our world, with some major differences, but I was left guessing for a while, and it didn't help its first impression. (Also there's a fair amount of fanservice that is completely absent from later episodes, almost as if it's desperate for your attention.)
Main plot: 3/5
Each episode is fairly unrelated, but with the introduction of the witches and Medusa's use of the Black Blood, it starts to come together while still leaving room for the protagonists to do other things. Things are really good up until a crucial villain is released in the middle of the show, at which point the show almost becomes too focused on that plot and loses a lot of its heart in the process.
Subplots: 3/5
Another 3. The first half of the show is solid in this regard. The second, however...a lot of characters appear and do basically nothing but their shtick for the remainder of the series. A lot of the great character development is wasted and potentially interesting characters end up being incredibly flat and one-note, which is a shame. Even some great supporting characters don't get the payoff I think they should have received.
Characters: 4/5
This is where the show shines. The main cast not only has to relate within their own two-/three-person teams, but also to each other. They rarely come off as stereotypical (though they all have their motifs that they stick to) and there's a lot of heart between them. The side characters also have a lot of facets to them, making the interactions between everyone enjoyable to watch. Except Excalibur. Fuck that guy. On the other hand, the characters introduced in the latter half of the series hardly step beyond their motif and come off worse for it.
Character development: 4.5/5
The main characters all have significant arcs to them, none of which seem overshadowed by another's. Every one seems real and relatable, and I found myself rooting for characters to fight their own demons more often than I found myself rooting for them to fight the real ones. Black Star definitely is the best example, going from a devil-may-care "assassin" to a tempered and focused warrior. However, again, the characters in the latter half don't get much more than their motif to work with, and a lot of potential is wasted there, potential that could have made the series a lot better towards the end, and keeps me from giving this a perfect score.
Peril: 3/5
This series is comedic, so there's a lot of friendly "I beaned you over the head with a large object that would realistically kill you but it's a joke so whatever", which is fine. The problem is the sheer amount of serious instances of that, especially during the final battle. It is nearly impossible to tell if a character is actually in danger of dying or even serious harm. It's obvious when a character is up against a huge task, but not so much if it's insurmountable. Plus the series has a major "you can do anything if you look deep inside yourself" vibe going on, so if a character's in a bad spot, you can almost bank on them just believing in themself a little more to win.
Payoff: 3/5
Come on, Soul Eater, you were doing so well up until the end portion. Sure, the villain is defeated and there's plenty of "OH MY GOD THEY DID THE THING :DDD" moments, but a ton of characters from the first half don't get proper closure, and the villain's sudden weakness is...really, really confusing. A lot of characters don't die when they probably should have, and some take heavy damage when they totally had the ability to not do so. I'll always like the middle third of the series way better than the first or third.

Overall: 3.5/5
If you're looking for an intriguing story and a fleshed-out narrative, you probably won't find it here. What you will find is plenty of heart and a great main cast whose stories have far more weight than the story of the world they live in.
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 06:46:09 AM »

Okay, let's try that "short-winded" part.

ERASED
(Boku dake ga Inai Machi ~ The Town Without Me)

Draw: 5/5
Main character with strange disaster-preventing power is sent back in his life to avert something unknown. Gripping.
Main plot: 4/5
The protagonist never strays from his goal of averting the disaster, and every move taken moves the plot forward. No filler.
Subplots: 4/5
Not a lot to speak of, as there are not many relationships outside the main plot. What's there is touching and human.
Characters: 3/5
Protagonist and immediate friends well-fleshed-out and realistic. Others (and antagonist, a bit), not so much.
Character development: 4/5
Mostly in the main character's camp, but plenty of his friends have arcs and have their personalities affected positively.
Peril: 5/5
Aside from the (sparse) time travel, it's grounded in realism and every perilous situation has suspense and gravity to it.
Payoff: 4/5
While the villain's comeuppance is a little "oh okay sure", everything is tied off nicely and every character gets their moment.

Overall: 4/5
Lots of heart, emotion, suspense, mystery, and humanity throughout. Highly recommend.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 01:38:49 AM by Dudeman »
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Hero of Trains

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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2016, 09:24:44 AM »

These seem cool, great job! I'll have to look at that second one a little more, it seems really interesting. I'm not sure if the vagueness was caused by the short form or was intentional to avoid spoilers, but I might like a little more detail, especially for something I've never heard of. Anyway, good work, 10/10 would read again.
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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2016, 10:36:10 AM »

This is great! I'll definitely be popping in to read your reviews, Dudeman. :) I agree with many of you comments, so that gives me enough reason to follow your recommendations in the future.

I wouldn't actually mind reading longer reviews (like you have done for the first one), as it helps to better understand your reasons for those particular scores.
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 11:23:33 PM »

Thanks guys. It's hard to find a balance of text length so they're not a scary text wall but they're also not annoyingly vague. Hopefully I can refine that as I go.
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MasterProX

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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2016, 12:06:13 AM »

Loving the format. Also seconding that recommendation of ERASED.
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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2016, 12:53:57 AM »

Ehhhhh.
I didn't really like Erased. It was great until the last few episodes, and the storytelling and tone just fell apart. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. And that's not even mentioning it's worst sin:
Spoiler
THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON WHO COULD BE THE KILLER. IT CAN'T BE A MYSTERY IF THERE IS NO MYSTERY. Ahem. Yes, I was more ok with that than some people, and didn't mind how it shifted from "stop the murderer" to "make everyone included", but ... man, those last three episodes ruined it for me.
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Edit: Go watch Shinsekai Yori. All of it. It starts slow, but it's well worth it, and carries my highest recommendation.
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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2016, 01:43:30 AM »

I loved Erased!! It had a lot of flaws but I'm a sucker for any shows that have little kids who have cute adventures and stuff like that. Barakamon, anohana, etc are all on my too list for that reason lmao
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2016, 01:38:35 AM »

Death Note

Draw: 4/5
Light Yagami, genius-level high school student, stumbles across a notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name is written on its pages, owned by Ryuk, a god of death. With this in hand, he decides to rid the world of criminals and evil and become the god of a new world of innocence, no matter who stands in his way. The one problem with the draw is that there isn't really a tangible end goal for Light from the start, which makes it a bit harder to know where the series will go, but the concept is deep enough to keep the viewer interested.
Main plot: 4.5/5
The series revolves around one giant battle of wits. It's clever, it's nail-biting, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. My small problem with it is that it works on what I like to call "Holmes-suspense," where the characters' plans are only explained or really hinted at after they're executed. This is great for suspense; not so great at keeping the audience part of the action. I think the payoff is really worth it though.
Subplots: 3.5/5
There's not really much here, though that's not really a bad thing. The main plot is so well developed that it's kind of its own sub-plot; i.e., how the plot gets developed is the subplot behind the characters' plans.
Characters: 5/5
This is quite possibly one of the most real stories I've seen yet (supernatural notebooks aside). Every character not only looks real, but they act real and have layers upon layers of depth. The supporting cast is just as interesting as the main cast in this regard, which is incredibly important in a story like this.
Character development: 3/5
This is gonna be a bit odd, so bear with me. Even though the characters are so well written, they're also quite static. Their motivations and goals (and personalities) don't get altered much, which in most other settings would leave something to be desired. However, in this case, if the cast was to go through alterations in their character, that would also alter the course of the story. Light's plans would not remain constant, and the plans against him would not remain constant, and this would result in a tangled mess of work-arounds and altered deals. Besides, the point of this story is about who wins and who loses. In a contest, the rules must be clearly defined, and the cast's personalities are those rules. I think it works spectacularly.
Peril: 5/5
To say this series is "suspenseful" is the understatement to end all understatements. Sure, you can take guesses at who will win any given set of plan-arounds, but honestly it remains unpredictable throughout. No one is safe, and that's beautiful.
Payoff: 5/5
Damn, son. The last two episodes punch you right in the gut. I want to talk about it so bad but I can't say anything without spoilers. All I will say is that no one can delay the inevitable.
Feels: 2/5
Aside from the ending (I murmured "my life is different now" with a vacant expression a lot of times), I didn't really get emotional about much. That's okay, because...
Mind-Blow: 5/5
I CAN'T EVEN. EVERYTHING I KNOW IS A LIE.

Overall: 4.5/5
It's a Sherlock mystery where Sherlock is the culprit. Fantastic writing and an ending that will rip your heart out of your chest.
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Maelstrom

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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2016, 01:57:55 AM »

I disagree again. I like to split the show into 3 parts: The detective arc, the chairman arc, and the bad arc. The first part is really, really good. Some of the best anime I've ever watched. Then Misa was introduced, and her character felt a little out of place, but it was still good. Then the chairman arc happened. It was eh. The op sucked, and the show had a tone shift for the worse. Then there was that ONE GOOD EPISODE inbetween the chairman arc and the time skip. And then the final 3rd sucked. It sucked so bad. The writing took a drastic turn for the worse, and it became clear the authors had no idea what to do with the plot, other than keep on writing. N was boring. Mello was boring. That said, I loved the last two episodes, but they barely managed to help pull out a C+ overall for the show on my grading scale.

I get that we have widely different tastes in anime, but I can't help but feel like I'm hating on the ones you really liked simply because I'm holding them to a higher standard, and you haven't seen many of those anime I consider to be the gold standard.
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman's "Short-Winded" Anime Reviews
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2016, 02:03:44 AM »

I probably should have commented on the openings/endings because oh my god did the second OP suck. The first was meh at best.
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