Wow. Well… I should have known once I saw this was a P.A. Works production. It’s beautiful and pushes all of my buttons. The animation is phenomenal (as expected anymore from them), Manaka is adorbs, the osananajimi vs. newcomer storyline hits me right in my vulnerable spots, and the setting is nicely inventive and stylistic and adds to the charm and the presentation. The music is above average, with nice OP/ED themes, and the sound and voice work is equally great. And it’s also a full two cour that doesn't drag? Oh dear…
Feb 27, 2015
Super cute, colorful, and charismatic. Do you revel in lolicakes? This show excels in loli by putting on a fantastic presentation. It’s got fairly high production value and it shows by having gorgeous storybook backgrounds, a swelling soundtrack, and more cute little girls being friends and cute together then you’ll know what to do with. Pedobear approved! And did I forget to mention the Engrish? Because there’s lots of it. Part of the setup is that one of the main girls is from England, so… yeah. It’s pretty
bad rad. (No, they don’t try for any British Engrish… probably for the best.) A lot of later jokes and conversations revolve around this foreigner shtick particularly with regards to blonde hair… despite the main cast including girls with red and blue hair. Who knows, maybe in this universe Japanese people are limited to a Ro G. Biv palette of follicles.
Jan 24, 2015
It seems like every time I review a genuine romance anime (as opposed to one of the many fluff pieces) I’m constantly making comparisons to Toradora! and revisiting my opinion of it. True enough, I keep coming away with the same general conclusion: I was probably too dismissive of its merits in hindsight. Perhaps having seen so many inferior series since then has given me renewed appreciation but I still don’t think it excuses Toradora!’s many faults. And, really, is it that much of a compliment when I’m effectively just saying “Wow, you’re not so ugly compared to these other girls!”
Dec 18, 2014
Toying around with Christian imagery and ideas is not a foreign concept to anime (with Evangelion being the most extreme example) but it is often a gimmick or confusing at best. I attribute this mostly to the awkward handling of Western religions in general for Japan, but whatever the cause it is usually either a bit cringey or silly (or both). Fortunately, that isn’t the case here but that may be because other than some lip service there isn’t really anything terribly religious going on. Instead, we get an often clever, challenging, and curious take on death and ethics and so on, mired at times by a confusing delivery that’s trying too hard and a short length that leaves things a bit curtailed though not wholly unfinished.
Dec 10, 2014
Time and time again, I feel like I end up defending myself a little bit in these reviews, desperately scrounging at times to justify why I watch (to completion) and subsequently review (no small effort) so much transparently commercial otaku-bait. I get it: the anime genre itself is, on the whole, fairly niche and uniquely pandered to. Most production companies know they aren’t going to score widespread appeal and so deliberately opt to zero in on their reliable base market of late-teen-to-twenties males who already watch and, perhaps most importantly, buy anime merchandise. It’s why anime home releases are so expensive. And so it’s also little surprise you see so many clichés that never seem to die. I’ve been wallowing in the weeaboo now for about fifteen years and I’ve pretty much seen it all. There are countless samey-shows and me-too series. And yet, here I am… about to spend ~3300 words on yet another one.