Episodic Reviews

Konohana Kitan – Episodes 1-12 [Complete]

Originally Aired: Fall 2017

Konohana Kitan is a cute, relaxing slice-of-life story about foxgirls running a mystical bathouse for spirits, ghosts, and other mythological entities. It features some lovely characters, lush art direction, and a few emotionally heartrenching stories (don’t you dare remind me about the dog). It teases it’s characters same-sex relationships a bit too much, considering it never goes anywhere particularly meaningful or deep with them, but Konohan Kitan is still the perfect series to pair with a warm blanket and some cocoa on a lazy afternoon.

You can find my full episodic reviews on Anime News Network.

Episodic Reviews

Garo: Vanishing Line – Episodes 1-24 [Complete]

Originally Aired: Fall 2017/Winter 2018

I love the basic concept of the Garo franchise: Heroes hunting demons in the shadows, using magical powers and badass suits of armor to do it. Vanishing Line is the first of the animated Garo series I’d seen, and while it delivered the action and spectacle I was hoping for (most of the time), it also turned out to be an unexpectedly engaging story backed up by a strong and well-developed cast of heroes.

The first half of the series is the most predictable: Meat-headed hero Sword and his stoic partner, Luke, are hunting down the source of the Horrors that have been plaguing their city, which come from a mysterious place called “El Dorado”. A young girl named Sophie happens to be searching for El Dorado too, as she believes it is where she’ll find her missing older brother. For the intial twelve episodes of the series, Sword and Sophie do the usual thing of slowly learning to trust each other so they can work together to meet their goals.

The second-half of the series is much more interesting, though. It takes the form of a bizarre, fantasy-horror tinged road trip across the fictionalized US of the Garo universe, with Sword, Sophie, Luke, and a buxom mage named Gina forming a makeshift family of sorts. The action and storytelling in the back half of Vanishing Line can be a little messy at points, but there’s far more heart there than I ever could have predicted would come from what started as the season’s other, better homage to the T&A fuelled violence of 80s and 90s OVAs.

You can find my episodic reviews of all 24 episodes of Garo: Vanishing Line on Anime News Network.

Episodic Reviews

Juni Taisen: Zodiac War – Episodes 1-12 [Complete]

Originally Aired: Fall 2017

Boy, what a mess. This series comes from the famed author of the Monogatari franchise, but it contains little to none of that former series’ wit, thematic density, or even it’s fun. The first couple of episodes promise a blood-soaked homage to the gory anime OVAs of the 80s and 90s, but instead Juni Taisen devolves into a messy, poorly told deconstruction of Battle Royale-type stories.

This would be all well and good, except Juni Taisen has no idea of what it wants to say outside of “War can be messed up, and stuff”. There are the whispers of better stories buried beneath all of the muck, especially with Tiger’s arc late in the season, but it is never enough to make up for the boring action, terrible characters, and awful pacing that plagues Juni Taisen for a vast majority of its runtime.

If you’d like to check out my episodic reviews, you can find them on Anime News Network.

Episodic Reviews

Grimoire of Zero – Episodes 1-12 [Complete]

Originally Aired: Spring 2017

Grimoire of Zero was an odd show. The story of a warrior-turned-fluffy-tiger-man and his young witch companion had some sweet character moments and a generally interesting storyline, but it was hampered by some very generic worldbuilding and some haphazard plotting. I enjoyed my time with this series well enough, but it’s not something I can see myself going back to any time soon.

My episodic reviews of Grimoire of Zero can be found on Anime News Network.

Episodic Reviews

Hand Shakers – Episodes 1-12 [Complete]

Orginally Aired: Winter 2017

Hand Shakers is probably the single worst experience I’ve ever had watching an anime. It’s like a slow-motion car wreck, except instead of viewing it from afar, you’re stuck in the passengers’ seat. It’s a catastrophic combination of terrible writing, awful characters, and some of the most nauseating animation and direction I’ve ever had the displeasure to witness.

If you would like to relive my torture in real time, you can find my episodic reviews of Hand Shakers on Anime News Network

Episodic Reviews

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Episodes 1-12 [Complete]

Originally Aired: Fall 2016

I really enjoyed the original Blue Exorcist back when it first aired in 2011, but it’s anime original ending left a sour tatse in many peoples’ mouths. Thankfully, in 2017 the manga storyline picked back up again with the excellent Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga. This was an exciting, emotional, and compelling story that perfectly picks up where the original anime ended its adaptational episodes, and I encourage any fan of the franchise to check it out.

If you’d like to read my episodic takes on the series, you can find them on Anime News Network.

Episodic Reviews

Drifters – Episodes 1-12 [Complete]

Originally Aired: Fall 2016

Now here’s a show that is what I would call the definition of a “mixed bag”. Creator Kouta Hirano’s story of time-displaced warriors waging a battle-royale in another dimension has all of Hellsing‘s style and bloody slickness, but the storytelling and characterization leave a lot to be desired.  The wacky humor that worked so well in Hirano’s most famous work just doesn’t acquit itself well in Drifters, and most of the characters fail to live up to their legendary namesakes. It wasn’t a bad show, but it could have been so much better than it ended up being. Joan of Arc was pretty badass, though.

If you want to check out my episodic reviews, you can find them on Anime News Network.

Episodic Reviews

Taboo Tattoo – Episodes 1-12 [Complete]

Originally Aired: Summer 2016

Jeez, I almost completely forgot I reviewed Taboo Tattoo. Here was a series that wasn’t quite as bad as Big Order, but it can definitely be ignored by any but the most punishing of anime masochists. I can barely remeber anything that happened in this show; I just know that none of it was good.

If you’d like to check out my episodic reviews of Taboo Tattoo, you can find them on Anime News Network.

Episodic Reviews

Big Order – Episodes 1-10 [Complete]

Originally Aired: Spring 2016

Oh, Big Order.  These are some of my earliest episodic reviews for Anime News Network, and the show still remains one of the most shockingly bad garbage heaps I’ve ever watched. Incomprehemsible edgelord storytelling? Check. Insane plot twists? Check. Phantom pregnancies, incest, and ethically dubious use of mind control? Check, check, and check. Despite being so bad, this remains one of the more entertaining hate-watches I’ve recorded in my reviews (in my humble opinion, of course).

If you’d like to check them out, you can find them on Anime News Network.