Quick Non-Specific Anime Review Update

Since I essentially ran full-force into the brick wall of blogging burnout a few months ago and put a screeching halt to my relentless (yet largely meaningless) anime reviews, I’ve still been watching various anime shows. But because I didn’t want to interfere with my previously-planned schedule of reviews (which at that time I was still planning on continuing), I shifted my focus to other shows entirely.

For the past few months, I’ve gone back and I’ve been watching what is available on streaming services through Roku — notably Netflix, but as the pickings start to get a little thin on Netflix I can easily shift over to Hulu, Crackle or Crunchyroll as well. Netflix’s current offerings can basically be summarized as “Funimation’s Dubbed Non-Current Greatest Hits”. There’s a couple hundred series available, but nothing subtitled, nothing newer than 2010, and also (much to my displeasure) basically nothing from before about 1998.

Now, given the choice, I’m much more likely to choose a subtitled version of a show over the dubbed version. Yet, I am most definitely *not* a “dub snob” who will turn up my nose at anything that is dubbed. Back in the eighties and nineties, the quality of the American voice acting was truly a terrible experience that made shows largely unwatchable (although occasionally HILARIOUS). But with experience the dubbing studios have definitely improved, and nowadays badly-dubbed shows are few and far between. Most are “acceptable”, and in some cases quite decent.

And the one big advantage to watching a dubbed show over a subtitled one is that I can do what I am doing at this very moment: Sit in front of my computer typing away with some mediocre show on the television in the background. With a subtitled show, I must focus by undivided attention and eyes to screen — with subtitled anime you can’t do two things at once.

ANYWAY…

I kinda sorta want to get back to doing some sort of anime reviews, albeit at a much greatly reduced rate. The previous way I was doing them required many, many hours a week, going episode-by-episode with a shit-ton of screen grabs to boot. Instead, I’m thinking of completely changing things up, one or two paragraphs, a picture or two, more of a capsule review than multi-paragraph theses.

I’ve already watched a few dozen different series, usually moving along at one episode a week on each as I work through my Netflix queue. It really does run the gamut of good, bad and ugly shows. There’s the good (like Canaan, Ghost Hound, Moribito, Birdy), the bad (like Air Gear, Slayers, Kaze no Stigma>, and the godawful bad (like Rosario and Vampire, Dragonaut, Shuffle, Moeyo Ken). There’s the Better Than Expected (like Gunslinger Girl, Princess Tutu, Schools Rumble, Full Metal Panic Fumoffu), the Worse Than Expected (like Chobits, Fruits Basket, Blue Gender, Baccano), and the About As Expected (like Sacred Blacksmith, Full Metal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Trigun)…and of course the incomprehensibly unwatchable (like Tokyo Maijin, D.Gray-Man, and Tears to Tiara).

And I really should get back to finishing off what I started with all of those shows that I left hanging from 2011. There’s around 20 shows I was in the middle of watching that I just stopped cold-turkey, like Nichijou, Mawaru Penguin-Drum, Ano Hana, Stein’s Gate, Usagi Drop, Last Exile, Hanasaku Iroha, Mirai Nikki, Chihayafuru, and many more.

Not to mention that I have intentionally avoided watching anything from 2012 — even though I’ve been told this year’s shows include some of the best new stuff in a generation. Oh well, I guess that means I just have that much more to look forward to.

Anyway, sorry about the radio silence. I’ll make no promises for the future, though, I’ve been terrible about keeping those promises before.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anime Burnout!

For the handful of people that may have been following the various reviews that I have been doing, ya’ll may have noticed that I have slowed down quite a bit over the past few months. For the casual follower of my reviews, ya’ll might have also noticed that I’ve been plodding through shows that first aired several months (or even over a year) ago, and here it is the first day of Summer and I haven’t even touched anything from 2012.

I think the problem can be diagnosed as a case of Anime Burnout. Or, more specifically, Anime Review Burnout, because I’m actually watching just as many of the cartoons as I always have, but it’s a chore to get around to actually reviewing them.

The simple fact, which I have been obstinately avoiding, is that the amount of time I’ve been spent writing and ham-fistedly critiquing the shows far outweighs the amount of time it takes to actually watch said show. If it takes twenty minutes to watch an average episode of your average anime series, it should not take the better part of an hour (or longer) to whip up a full-fledged review complete with image scans and online blog reactions. I just sorta-kinda burned out on the whole process.

A little while back, I made the decision not to take on any new shows (as in the Winter 2012 Anime Season, much less the Spring 2012 Season or the now-upcoming Summer 2012 Season) until I take care of what I’m already working on. My plate is full, have to clear off room on my plate before I add anything new. This is why I haven’t touched anything from the current year yet, even though I posted a “upcoming season preview” some months back.


So, here’s the deal: I’m throwing any semblance of any sort of schedule out of the window. I’ve never really been concerned with being timely with reviews, and this just is a confirmation of that already-existing policy. I will continue to methodically work my way through reviewing shows from 2011 that I’m already in the middle of watching, episode-by-episode, until I’m done. Even if it takes until the end of the year. (At the moment, that’s well over two dozen episodic shows from the Spring, Summer and Fall 2011 Anime Season)

I will completely finish off what I started, which means reviewing in full every single show (even if it’s just the first episode) of every single series, movie, OVA, or special from 2010 and 2011. That’s right — there’s still a tiny handful of shows (mostly odds-and-ends movies and specials) from 2010 that are on my place. The rate that I’m plodding away at right now (roughly an episode a day, or less) seems about the right workload for me, so it is going to take several months until I’m done.

When I am finally finished with that, in all likelihood around the end of this year, I’ll do my comprehensive year-end review and rankings. THEN AND ONLY THEN will I finally take a look at stuff from this year. (I’ve heard there’s some really good stuff, but I’ve intentionally avoided looking ahead or reading various people’s reactions and reviews lest it taint my own views).

At that point, I’m planning on drastically changing how I do reviews. For example, for a series do a review of the first three episodes together as one review. Then those shows that get a passing grade, do a review of the next group of three episodes. Then if those get a passing grade, watch through to the end of the series. So, that means between one and three posted reviews for a series rather than one for each damn episode. And for many (but not all) specials, OVAs and movies, shortened reviews rather than a full-length post. The idea is to cut the amount of time I spend writing about shows by at least half, closer to two-thirds or three-quarters.


Up next (as in probably the next day), I’ll be posting a long-delayed “Where Things Stand” post that summarizes the last four months of reviews. Then I’ll keep working away at the remaining shows from 2011 I’m still watching (I’m close to wrapping up the Spring 2011 Season shows at this point). Any “season preview” posts for 2012 shows are on indefinite hiatus until I’ve cleared by queue of 2011 shows.

P.S. For those of ya’ll who occasionally comment on my reviews either on WordPress or on Livejournal, please be assured that I definitely do notice your messages. Even if I very rarely respond, I am listening.

Furthermore, in addition to all the crap that I’m reviewing here, I’m watching a whole bunch of other anime shows, currently I’m working my way through what’s available on Netflix. Lots and lots and lots of dubbed anime on Netflix — the decent, the bad, and the terribad. It’s easy to have a dubbed anime show on the television while I’m typing away on the computer, so I can listen without having to keep my eyes glued to the screen for subtitled. I half-jokingly call it “Hilary Haag’s Greatest Hits”, because it almost seems like she’s a voice actress in literally everything on Netflix. For better or for worse (mostly the latter). I’ll do some sort of quick summary of that crap at some point in the future. There is some interesting stuff out there worth recommending. And even more stuff worth ridiculing.


So, that’s the deal. I’m going to keep what I’m doing at my own pace, and finish off what I started before moving onward. I’m not touching 2012 until I’m done with 2011. The end. And as always, have fun out there, kiddos!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Anime Review: gdgd Fairies Episode 2

Anime Review:
gdgd Fairies Episode 2

What this is about: Separating the anime wheat from the chaff! Reviewing every subtitled anime show from 2010 and 2011! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Gdgd Fairies is a weekly anime television series featuring computer generated animation, starting in October 2011. Three magical fairies, pkpk, shrshr and krkr, sit around talking about the world and practicing their magic.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Very Quick Episode Summary: pkpk, shrshr and krkr sit around and talk about waking up late, finding money in your pockets and life’s little joys. Later, they decide to hold an extreme bungee-jumping-bread-eating contest. Then they make fun of a baseball pitcher accosted by a giant chicken.

My Impressions: Does anyone remember the very first episode of Lucky Star when the girls were just sitting around a table talking about eating chocolate coronets for several minutes? The bulk of gdgd Fairies is *just like that*, with the characters sitting around talking about the most unusual of topics, coming to the most unlikely of conclusions. Especially the emotionless, demure krkr as she seems to always be trolling the other two nearly all the time.

You can’t take anything in gdgd Fairies seriously. At all. It’s like watching an inside joke for about fifteen minutes, either you “get it” or you don’t. It’s like some Japanese writers got stoned out of their gourd and decided to watch a Xavier: Renegade Angel marathon. Then decided to create a Japanese anime version, only with cute moe-style anime girls. The whole shebang seems almost designed to fit within the old Cartoon Network “Adult Swim” post-midnight block of programming.

The verdict:

I can’t really call this a “good” show or not, but I can definitely say it is different and you can never expect what is going to come next. The inanity of the bungee jumping contest makes no sense, and krkr breaking out in her non-voice-acting voice (that whole segment has to be unscripted) at the end. This show is just bananas, I tell you! Bananas!


For more information:
  • My earlier reviews of the series:
  • Info resources:

    Sampling of Online Reviews:

    • If anyone posted an honest-to-god actual review of the second episode online in the past eight months, they’ve done a damn good job of hiding it from Google Search! No reviews at all! Except for mine!

      ROUND TWO (Second Episode) RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:

      Thumbs-up for Round Two: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Episode 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate/Zero, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter, gdgd Fairies

      Thumbs-down for Round Two: Working Season 2, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain, Tamayura: Hitotose

      Coming up next: None – round 2 is over!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Anime Review: Tamayura: Hitotose Episode 2

Anime Review:
Tamayura: Hitotose Episode 2

What this is about: Separating the anime wheat from the chaff! Reviewing every subtitled anime show from 2010 and 2011! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Tamayura: Hitotose is a 12-part anime televisions series between October and December 2011, a sequel to the 2010 4-part Tamayura OVA series. After the death of her father, Fu moves back to her hometown after several years away. Taking up her father’s hobby of photography, she works to shake off her shyness and make new friends.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Very Quick Episode Summary: After the flashback introductory episode, the series moves forward to the present day, after Fu has moved to the new town and started to fit in with her new friends. Fu has a sleepover with her new friends. They do girlie stuff. Nothing of significance happens. The end.

My Impressions: One of the genres of anime is the notion of the Iyashikei, or “healing anime”, and Tamayura fits that category to a tee. It’s all about the ridiculously-shy Fu as she makes new friends and moves on with her life after the death of her father, all through the magic of taking really bad photographs with dust spots on the lenses.

It’s all light and heart-warming and inoffensively fuzzy-wuzzy and all that crap, which is fine and dandy. But it’s also incredibly boring.

I’ve been down this road before, having watched the original four-part Original Video Animation of Tamayura last year, and this second episode fits right into the mold that was set earlier perfectly. Tamayura is a whole lot like the much more popular K-On, as it features a clique of four girls who spend their days doing not much of anything of significance, where the journey of their life through their friendship is more important that the destination itself. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but it does make for an unexciting show.

The verdict:

Since I know where this show is going (as in NOWHERE), might as well cut it short at this point. I don’t fault anyone else for watching this show, but I see no reason to keep watching a show that I consider inconsequential and boring.

Also, I really don’t think I could take one more episode where one of the four major characters communicates primarily by whistling. Talk about one of the most annoying character traits ever!


For more information:
  • My earlier reviews of the series:
  • Info resources:

    Sampling of Online Reviews:

    • “Tamayura is as gentle and pleasant as a morning breeze, and I do find the TV more engaging than the OVAs. But I confess, the whole affair is still a bit boring for me.” – Lost in America
    • “I’ll say it again…this show is so relaxing. The music’s always light and the mood is never too extreme.” – Marth’s Anime Blog
    • “From the sleepover, it seems that Fu has finally settled with her two new friends and childhood friend. Through her motivation to carry her father’s legacy on, she’ll improve and maybe surpass his skill. Even so, I look forward what lies ahead for these girls.” – Chikorita157
    • “Pretty slow paced, so if you don’t like episodes that kinda laze along, you may not like this series, but I think it’s a good pace for this show.” – Josh’s Anime Blog

      ROUND TWO (Second Episode) RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:

      Thumbs-up for Round Two: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Episode 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate/Zero, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter

      Thumbs-down for Round Two: Working Season 2, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain, Tamayura: Hitotose

      Coming up next: gdgd Fairies — then it’s on to Round Three (3rd episodes)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Anime Review: Hunter x Hunter Episode 2

Anime Review:
Hunter x Hunter Episode 2

What this is about: Separating the anime wheat from the chaff! Reviewing every subtitled anime show from 2010 and 2011! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Hunter x Hunter is a weekly anime television series started in October 2011, based on a long-running shonen action/adventure manga series. In addition to over two dozen manga volumes, there was also an anime adaption in 1999 and extended OVA series in 2002; this is a brand-new series, not a sequel. Gon has always dreamed of growing up to become a “hunter”, one of the elite few who travel the world on dangerous missions to find rare creatures, items or people. At the age of 12, he decides to leave the island and follow in his legendary father’s footsteps to take the Hunter examination.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Very Quick Episode Summary: The Hunter candidates arrive in town with instructions to head to a certain spot at the top of a hill for the actual examination. But along they way, the three of them are waylaid by and old lady who requires them to answer a riddle to pass. Later, they meet up with some shape-shifting creatures in the forest, which also turns out to be part of the test.

My Impressions: Keeping this very short, because I really don’t have much to say about this series at all. It really is following the path of a stereotypical shonen-action-adventure series, albeit a moderately decent one. We are still in the very early stages of defining the world they live, as well as the main characters and the trials they have to face, but given the history of how these type of shows go, I wonder if there will be enough “meat” in the story to keep me interested. Already it is definitely showing how it is aimed at a ten-year-old male audience with the storytelling style; while there is nothing wrong with that per se, it’s not the sort of thing that appeals to a crotchety old dude like myself.

The verdict:

I am guessing that the decision whether or not to continue watching Hunter x Hunter will rest largely on how interesting the characters become. Gon as the bright-eyed, naive, optimistic and talented main lead is fine enough; Kurapika remains somewhat of a mystery. However, Leorio is an unsufferable prick, I hated him immediately and nothing he has done changes my opinion. Only three main, recurring characters at this point, but now that we’re heading into the next scene, I’m sure we’ll get a whole new batch of regulars.


For more information:
  • My earlier reviews of the series:
  • Info resources:

    Sampling of Online Reviews:

    • “Until we get to the real meat of the hunter exam, there’s not much to really say. Everything is going smoothly, and our characters are learning more about each other and growing to trust each other more. When the hunter exam does begin, though, I’m expecting a rather powerful change to the story at hand, and is something I’m really looking forward to.” – Emory Anime Club
    • “I certainly enjoyed the second episode just fine. This is an agreeably high-energy series, bright and loud and cheerful – though I know it gets darker as it goes along…The premise is pretty straightforward and easy to grasp, and not uninteresting. I don’t have anything to compare it to as I haven’t read the manga or seen the original series, bur so far I have nothing to complain about. At the same time, I’m somewhat hard-pressed to find too much to say about it.” – Lost in America
    • “This show certainly has charm. Just mentioning ‘Magical Beasts’ immediately gives off that adventurous feeling. Anyway, for me– they did a good enough job compressing 2 chapters an episode. It didn’t feel too rushed.” – Hachimitsu

      ROUND TWO (Second Episode) RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:

      Thumbs-up for Round Two: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Episode 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate/Zero, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter

      Thumbs-down for Round Two: Working Season 2, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain

      Coming up next: Tamayura Hitotose, gdgd Fairies

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Anime Review: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Episode 2

Anime Review:
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Episode 2

What this is about: Separating the anime wheat from the chaff! Reviewing every subtitled anime show from 2010 and 2011! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, or “I Don’t Have Many Friends”, is a 12-episode televised anime series between October and December 2011, based on a continuing light novel series. Kodaka recently transferred to a high school, but ends up being ostracized due to his appearance and a bad first impression. Until one day he comes across Yozora, who also is friendless, and decides to make a club for the express purpose of finding new friends.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Very Quick Episode Summary: Yozora decides that the best way to form new friendship bonds is through video games. However, starting with a “monster hunter” role-playing type game, Kodaka discovers that Sena and Yozora are much more interested in playing against each other. Later, Sena brings in a “gal game”, and she ends up getting hooked.

My Impressions: Hm. Considering that Kodaka is the male lead of the series, in this episode he gets pushed back into barely a supporting background role as the two girls are practically at each others’ throats the entire time. This has suddenly turned into the Sena vs. Yozora Show.

More than that, you certainly can understand exactly why this series is titled “I Don’t Have Many Friends”, as the two girls have about as much social grace and personal amity as a sack of rocks. Very angry rocks. Socially inept, clueless rocks.

One might think, based on the initial set-up, that this series is going to devolve into Yet Another Tiresome Anime Harem Series. But after two episodes, I’m certainly not getting that impression. These girls have about zero sexual awareness, it seems, as Kodaka has about as much presence as wallpaper, most of the time. A love triangle seems to be one of the most distant of possibilities at this time.

At this point, I am sort of flummoxed as to exactly where this is all supposed to be heading. Given that this second episode was all about video games, and largely poking fun at people playing these sort of games, I wonder if it will run the gamut of otaku activities by having the girls (and guy) run through the gantlet of standard tropes? Or perhaps I’m overreaching, and this was just a way to further define the main characters and their personalities…so far. And by that I mean we only have three named characters, and if they just keep slinging verbal barbs back and forth repeatedly that will get tired fast. Please, time to throw in a new character or two, to sweeten the pot!

At this point, I would hazard to say that the amount of enjoyment you would get out of this is directly tied into how much you are steeped in the anime/gaming/otaku culture already. They’re clearly aiming for the anime-insular audience, which is fine, but it does limit the possible appeal to an already clearly-defined pool of potential viewers. I would say that if you enjoyed “OreImo” (which, much to my shock, I did) or “Genshiken”, then this is right up your alley.

The verdict:

At this point, I’m not sure whether I like this series or not. I was truly surprised by how much I enjoyed the first episode; but the second episode leaves me wondering where this all heading. However, I must admit that I was largely entertained throughout. And that’s a good sign.


For more information:
  • My earlier reviews of the series:
  • Info resources:

    Sampling of Online Reviews:

    • “As of now, this series seems to be strongly oriented towards more hardcore otaku in general. The comedy relies upon your familiarity with otaku culture, so for those that aren’t too keenly aware of such, this episode won’t hold quite the same level of impact. If you do understand it though, it’s pretty darn funny.” – Emory Anime Club
    • “I can certainly say that I enjoyed the second episode of Haganai much more than the first. This was more in line with what I was expecting – a lot of sass, a little sex, and some very funny dialogue…While it was at times wildly entertaining there’s not a lot of specific moments I can pick out as genius. Rather, the overall experience of watching the episode worked because the dialogue was really sharp.” – Lost in America
    • “Though they have done quite a good job in adapting, I feel the anime isn’t portraying the comedy as efficiently as the manga does; being hesitant whether or not a wide audience would find certain scenes ‘comedic’. If you’re one of those who’ve decided to knock off Boku Tomo I’d suggest you to give the manga a try first.” – Sekijitsu
    • “I must say that I watched this episode with a stupidly wide grin plastered across my face, while sitting on a train in London bound for Oxford, and with people facing me in the seat across. But Haganai really pulled out all the stops in the second episode with a torrent of blatant references, parodies and spoofs. Of games, no less.” – How I Met Your Otaku
    • “I have a feeling that inevitably, Yozora and Sena’s fighting will become a means by which they show affection for one another, following the “even though they fight, deep down they are friends” sort of scenario…The two are more similar than they care to admit, or perhaps even recognize at this point in the show. However, it is clear the constant arguing leaves space for the two to develop into genuine friends, a desire the girls also have in common.” – AniMaybe

      ROUND TWO (Second Episode) RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:

      Thumbs-up for Round Two: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Episode 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate/Zero, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

      Thumbs-down for Round Two: Working Season 2, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain

      Coming up next: Hunter x Hunter, Tamayura Hitotose, gdgd Fairies

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Anime Review: Fate/Zero Episode 2

Anime Review:
Fate/Zero Episode 2

What this is about: Separating the anime wheat from the chaff! Reviewing every subtitled anime show from 2010 and 2011! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Fate/Zero is a 13-episode televised anime series starting between October and December 2011, a prequel to the popular Fate/Stay Night franchise from Type Moon. The story is set ten years before the events of the Fate/Stay Night series, during the fourth Holy Grail War. Seven different warriors are chosen to be teamed up with legendary Heroes to obtain the greatest prize: The Holy Grai, where they battle until one victor remains.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Very Quick Episode Summary: Waver talks with his servant, Rider (Alexander the Great), who is less interested in the upcoming battle than with his place in history and conquering the modern world. Saber reconsiders her opinion of her master, Kiritsugu. A serial killer summons a demon, who turns out to be Bluebeard, the final contestant. With all the players in place, the battle begins.

My Impressions: I came into this episode fully prepared to dismiss it completely and give it a definitive thumbs-down. After all, I have been less than kind (to put it charitably) with everything else related to this series in the past.

And yet, this second episode (which was really an extension of the hour-long snoozefest introductory episode)…I did not hate. Not that there was anything special; it was nothing more than filling out the cast.

Perhaps because between now and when I watched the first episode, I actually listened to someone accurately describe what the whole grand storyline was about. Hence, I was not immediately lost in the complicated, unexplained storyline anymore. This was not something that was done when I watched the Unlimited Blade Works movie. This was not something that was done when I watched the first part of the Fate/Stay Night TV Reproduction (as a recap/compilation series, it certainly was a failure at what it was supposed to do). And it was not something that was done in the first episode of Fate/Zero — or, if it was, then I was so achingly bored out of my gourd that I couldn’t tell and didn’t care.

My lack of understand of the series may be a product of my bass-ackwards way of sampling it (first the movie, then the Reproduction, then the Fate/Zero series). If instead I had picked up Fate/Stay Night with the first episode like everyone else, I might not be in this sorry state. Or perhaps the writers are just awful at their job of explaining the big picture, and get so lost in the details that they don’t allow for an entry point for new viewers. It says something about the ability of the writers and producers of this series that I am much more able to get a handle of the big picture after a ten minute fan review from some minor podcast blog, than I am from watching over four hours (so far) of Fate-related shows.

The verdict:

Either way, I am thinking that I may not have given the series a fair shake, and really should give it a few episodes to see how it works out. Now that I understand the whole back-story of the Grail Wars, who the warriors are (in terms of resurrected heroes from the past), and all that. Mind you, at this point nothing has really happened, they’ve only really put the chess pieces on the board and made the first move. I’m not so much as giving the series a thumbs-up at this point, rather keeping my mind open. Hopefully something interesting will happen to maintain my interest, because if they just keep with the long-winded expositional scenes, I’ll just get bored fast.


For more information:
  • My earlier reviews of the series:
  • Info resources:

    Sampling of Online Reviews:

    • “I can’t knock anything about the series so far – production-wise it’s flawless, with great visuals and a terrific cast. The sense is that Urobuchi has created a pretty powerful and epic story here, somewhat reminding me of a modern dark fantasy with a sort of “Game of Thrones” feel to it. With GoT, it was also mostly admiration for me in the first few episodes – and then the emotional buy-in kicked in once all the facts were established, and the show became something great. Hopefully Fate/Zero will follow that same path for me.” – Lost in America
    • “Fate/Zero doesn’t miss a beat as the build-up and exposition continues on in this second episode. It maintained the same pacing as the hour-long premiere and was just as epic too. Compared to Fate/stay night, there’s been a lot less emphasis on Saber and it sometimes feels like there’s no “main” protagonist at all, which as unusual as it may sound, is actually one of the reasons why I’m enjoying this prequel as much as I am.” – Random Curiosity
    • “Most was much better than the first episode. Waver was one of the few parts in the first hour-long tedious affair that wasn’t terrible, and the first 10 minutes were all spent on him and Iskander arguing between conquering the world or fighting the Grail War. UFOTable did a decent job actually giving Kiritsugu a bit of personality besides “standing there stoically” with his interactions with Ilya too. Assassin dodging Adobe After-Effects at the end was rather corny looking, but hey… actual movement showing his agility and skill instead of just telling us about it. It’s a bloody Christmas miracle.” – Tenka Seiha
    • “This was a really cool episode, and even better than the first, now that most of the explanation is out of the way. But man, does this show really like horror stuff; first the worms, now the kid? I won’t complain though, at least something’s taking itself seriously these days.” – The Notaku Blog
    • “To wrap things up quickly, Fate/Zero is proceeding along at a good pace, and the dynamic between Uryuu and Caster is one of many interesting devices presented to the audience. As long as it isn’t pushed aside and left to fester until it’s needed for the plot, I have a feeling their relationship will be one of the highpoints in anime for the year, regardless of how much they’re actually developed.” – Shinde Iie

      ROUND TWO (Second Episode) RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:

      Thumbs-up for Round Two: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Episode 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate/Zero

      Thumbs-down for Round Two: Working Season 2, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain

      Coming up next: Boku Ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter, Tamayura Hitotose, gdgd Fairies

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment