Name | Rating

Anime Rating Comment

Accel World

Seen: partially; Own: partially;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

9.25 (very good)

Acchi Kocchi

Seen: partially; Own: partially;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

9.25 (very good)

Air

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

9.25 (very good)

Air Gear

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011

8.00 (good)

Akane-Iro ni Somaru Saka

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

8.00 (good)

Amagami

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

1.00 (terrible)

Angel Beats!

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

9.75 (excellent)

Ano Natsu de Matteru

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

9.25 (very good)

AnoHana

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011

8.00 (good)

Another

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

9.75 (excellent) Halfway through the series, Another remains on form, the sixth episode being full of intrigue and mystery, not to mention a diversion into the completely unexpected and unexplainable which made me laugh so much that I nearly fell off the edge of my bed. Sakakibara's mind is a weird place, apparently. However, the rest of the episode, whilst by no means conventional, does at least approach it with an outstretched bargepole, and all things considered, it was a very good episode.

Story- 9/10

Have you heard of Tantalus? For those of you who are wondering, Greek mythology has nothing to do with the story; being constrained by strict limits on what I can say without spoiling it for those who haven't watched the series, I am trying to explain why I like the story without saying anything of substance beyond rating it highly; hence Tantalus, a man condemned by the gods to eternity in the underworld, immersed up to the neck in a pool of water from which he could not drink and under a tree laden with fruit which he could not reach, no matter how hard he tried. Now, if this is not too broad a jump, that is how watching this series feels; almost having the answer within your grasp, only to see your theories shatter before your very eyes. This series never goes where you expect it to, but it manages this without being a particularly complicated story, which is quite an achievement. I've read and watched many mystery stories, and I have found nothing ruins the story more than confusion caused by an overloaded storyline and a huge ensemble of characters. Here, it is simple: one tightly-written, carefully thought out storyline involving a relatively small number of characters, which is proving surprisingly durable as a twelve episode series, having avoided the trap of the same cliff-hanger ending every time; they always manage to throw in a new and interesting variation. As you will see...

Art- 10/10

The art is simply beautiful. This might actually be quite near the top in terms of the best series I have ever seen art-wise. The characters aren't that different from any other series, but the backgrounds are amazingly well defined; they really are just bliss to watch. The art mostly depicts death, lots and lots of death, with some dismemberment and impending doom thrown in. In almost every scene, there's a sense of decay, everything looks decrepit and rusty, the buildings look deserted, and there's gratuitous use of deep, dark reds wherever possible. If it's outdoors, there are crows perched on the roofs, looking hungry. If it's indoors, like the hospital, then the lights are dim and flickering occasionally (and for the provision of information to those who have watched the hospital scenes and noticed the missing fourth floor, it's because four in Japanese is either 'shi' or 'yon', depending on the context, and 'shi' can also mean 'death', so they tend to avoid using four when numbering things, like we do with thirteen. Right, fun fact session over). The use of dolls, often missing limbs, is prevalent (whether they're scary or hilarious just depends on the viewer) and appears to have more significance to the storyline than I originally thought. And every so often, in case you haven't got the message, there's a split-second image of a blood-stained knife which is lying on the floor. I mean, what could possibly happen next? (This was intentionally ironic. For those of you who don't get irony, just assume that this means it was hilarious). To sum up, the art sets up the atmosphere perfectly.

Sound- 10/10

Of course, we can't leave out the sound, as this is key (bad musical pun; I apologise) to the aforementioned atmosphere. From the start, the music creates a sense of eeriness, from simple melodies to electronic effects and string sections. As difficult as it is to describe, I would like you to imagine a full orchestra having a psychedelic freakout (think of that section of A Day in the Life) with a hair-raising selection of electronic hums and whines added, and then multiply that by about ten. That's about what it's like (or as best as I can put it into words). The music never quite goes away, unlike in other, lighter series; it drops right down to a few notes on a piano, but still gives you the sense that something's always just about to happen. The opening has some weird and unsettling vocal melodies going on, but it's effective in this context- after all, you wouldn't be considering watching this if you don't enjoy being unsettled. Basically, the soundtrack works perfectly with what's on screen.

Characters- 8/10

Now, the characters; obviously, we know next to nothing about any of them. If we did know all about them, then it wouldn't be a mystery, would it? They're all quite weird and unusual, and they're all either ruthlessly blunt or very obviously trying to avoid certain topics of conversation. As you can imagine, this makes the dialogue quite awkward. Kouichi Sakakibara, our horror story loving main character, seems to have more than half a clue what's going on, which makes a nice change from the average clueless/in denial character in the horror genre. Mei Misaki has developed a bit from the 'weird loner' presented in the first episode to someone who is frustrated by their situation and yet cannot change it. Of the other characters, Izumi Akazawa is probably the most interesting, as she has authority over the other class members for reasons as yet unclear. Although Sakakibara's 'family reasons' for coming to Yomiyama have to be of interest as well, as that's usually euphemistic in most horror series.

Overall- 9/10

If you are still with me (and it's quite likely if you are indeed reading this sentence), I recommend you go and watch Another now. It's only a few hours out of your spare time and you really have nothing to lose except a night's sleep if you are easily scared. If you are going to watch it, I can recommend watching it at midnight, it's surprisingly good fun (if your idea of 'fun' is the same as mine, that is). Personally, I reckon that from a fairly dull season, 'Another' will come to shine as easily the best new release this season, and possibly one of the better of the year.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011

8.00 (good)

Bakemonogatari

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011

8.50 (very good)

Ben-To

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

8.00 (good) pretty interesting ....

Black Rock Shooter

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

8.25 (good)

Bleach

Seen: completely; Own: partially;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

8.75 (very good)

BLOOD-C

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011

7.25 (above average)

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

1.00 (terrible)

Chrno Crusade

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

8.50 (very good)

Clannad

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011

8.75 (very good)

Cube x Cursed x Curious

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

7.75 (good)

Dantalian no Shoka

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

8.75 (very good)

Darker than Black

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011

8.25 (good)

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011

7.75 (good)

Dragon Crisis

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2011

8.00 (good)

DURARARA!!

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2011

1.00 (terrible)

ef - a fairy tale of the two.

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

9.75 (excellent)

Elfen Lied

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

9.75 (excellent)

Eureka 7

Seen: completely; Own: partially;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

1.00 (terrible)

Eureka 7: Astral Ocean

Seen: partially; Own: partially;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

8.50 (very good)

Fairy Tail

Seen: partially; Own: partially;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

8.25 (good)

Fate/stay night

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011

7.75 (good)

Fate/Zero

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Feb 07, 2012

8.25 (good) Type-Moon have made a habit of finding success with their dark blend of magic and supernatural elements in modern day settings, but with the release of the Fate/Stay Night visual novel on the PC in 2004, the developer seemed to have found its flagship title. Unfortunately things never really work out the way people expect, and while Studio Deen's 2006 anime adaptation of the "Fate" storyline was well received by fans, many who were unfamiliar with the source material found it all a bit ... juvenile.

At the end of 2006 the developer began collaborating with Nitroplus in order to create a prequel light novel series, but this time the story was penned by the relatively unknown Urobuchi Gen (with Type-Moon co-founder Takeuchi Takashi providing illustrations). Set ten years before the events in the visual novel, Fate/Zero chronicles the events leading up to and during the fourth Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City, Japan - the same place where the battle will be held in Fate/Stay Night. After three successive failures in the contest, the Einzbern family recruits the notorious mercenary Emiya Kiritsugu, also known as the "Mage Killer" - a man who is willing to use whatever means are necessary to realise his goals.

Meanwhile, the other principal magic families - Matou and Tohsaka - are preparing for the coming conflict, and although the church is taking part as well, they have also sent someone to assist the Tohsaka family - Kotomine Kirei.

At first glance it may seem as though Fate/Zero is just another action anime, but nothing could be further from the truth. The series has a very different tone than either Fate/Stay Night or Unlimited Blade Works, and in many ways it has more in common with the dark, brooding atmosphere of the Kara no Kyoukai movies. That said, the series does assume that the viewer has some familiarity with the franchise, but this is balanced by a much tighter plot than that of either of its predecessors, and more focus on preparation, planning, and even dialogue between the different parties. The result is that the narrative has far more depth and structure than one might expect in a supernatural action anime, and there are layers of subtext that are gradually added as the series progresses.

One of the most noticeable aspects of Fate/Zero is that it's a far more mature story than the original visual novel or its adaptations, and unlike many other shows, there are very few occasions where the characters engage in pointless conflicts or endeavours. The series carefully tries to avoid insulting the viewer's intelligence by adopting a patient, methodical build-up to the action set pieces, and on many occasions the story focuses on information gathering and planning. In addition to this, the battle lines shift constantly as the combatants form short-term alliances in order to counter the moves of other opponents, but there's always the understanding that the foundation of these is nothing more than "the enemy of my enemy".

In truth, this anime has far better examples of tactics and strategy than anything found in Code Geass, and certain plots are Machiavellian enough to give Death Note a run for its money.

When it comes to production values, Fate/Zero could be considered the final evolution of everything Type-Moon and Ufotable have learned from each other during their long collaboration on the Kara no Kyoukai franchise. The series looks every bit as good as one might expect, and the darker colour palette is offset by the high standard of animation. That said, although the action sequences are fluid and very well choreographed, the real testament to the quality of Ufotable's work are the subtle differences in the way the characters move.

While there are plenty of new faces in this prequel, it's actually the design of recurring characters like Sabre that really sets the standard. Fate/Stay Night's popularity turned her into one of the most iconic female leads in anime, but while she may appear to be exactly the same in Fate/Zero, there's an edge to her features and a preciseness to her movements that was missing in the original series. This fact is also true for the characters that are unique to this show, and even Tohsaka Rin's "adventure" has been given the same level of care and attention to detail.

The series opens with a well choreographed sequence that blends action with a montage of the main participants in the Holy Grail War, all set to the rather pacey rock song "Oath Sign" by LiSA. Each episode closes with "Memoria" by Eir Aoi, a bittersweet rock ballad that fits well with the images of the heroic spirits as pieces on a game board and at moments in their own history. Fate/Zero also has one of the most diverse scores in a 13 episode anime, with martial themes, operatic pieces, strange little tunes with drums or pianos as the major instrument, and more besides. The audio effects or of a very high quality, and the clash of steel on steel is as sharp and clear as the sound of the lightning whenever Rider makes a dramatic appearance.

One of the areas where Fate/Zero excels is the dialogue, and while there are occasions where conversations go on a bit too long, the script is intelligently written, rational, and insightful. One of the best examples of this is Rider's discourse on the true nature of kingship and Saber's reaction to it, but even that is nothing more than words on paper as everything lies in the delivery - so it's a good thing that the acting is of a high standard.

Kawasumi Ayako reprises her role as the King of Knights (Saber/Arturia) from Fate/Stay Night and Unlimited Blade Works, but her performance here is markedly different. Her portrayal of Saber is colder, deadlier, and far more focused than before, while Tomokazu Seki's performance as the King of Heroes (Archer/Gilgamesh), is more arrogant, more proud. That said, it's Ootsuka Akio in the role of the King of Conquerors (Rider/Iskander), who really steals the show, and his testosterone-fuelled proclamations and battle-born wisdom are one of the pillars that support the series.

When it comes to development, a large group of characters often means that some will undoubtedly fall by the wayside. Fate/Zero neatly sidesteps the entire issue of development because it's first and foremost a prequel of an existing story, but in addition to this the series has created a set of individuals who leave extremely strong impressions on the viewer, and much like Baccano!, there is a distinct lack of a true main character. Because of these factors the series can focus on showing how each of the combatants became what they are, and this plays a major part in one's enjoyment of the anime.

The emphasis on characterisation rather than development allows for a remarkable degree of definition, and although it's ultimately the personalities of each individual that captures the viewer's attention, standing at the top of them all is the King of Conquerors - Rider. His addition to the franchise has been nothing short of a revelation, and while die-hard fans will continue to worship the ground that Saber and Archer (not Gilgamesh, the other one), walk on, Rider's enjoyment of life, his exuberance and almost boyish eagerness for battle and glory, have captured the imaginations of many fans.

In many respects he, more than any other character, is the epitome of the heroes of old, but simply having a bunch of overzealous combat junkies beating each other to a pulp isn't really entertainment (unless you have an IQ equal to your shoe size), so there has to be something to balance it - and there is. Each of the mages taking part in the Holy Grail War is more like a chessmaster, planning as many moves ahead as possible, whilst preparing themselves for anything their opponents may try.

The simple fact is that Fate/Zero wouldn't work as either a story or entertainment if it was just the mages or the heroes, and it's this aspect of the series that separates it from not just its predecessors, but also many other action anime out there.

Unfortunately it's not all sweetness and light.

One of the main criticisms of this series is the episode about the young Tohsaka Rin, which many people found unnecessary. Now although there's some truth to that perception, one could also have the opinion that Rin's actions tie-in to an event in the previous episode, and together they lead up to the end of the series. Both are fair arguments, but in all honesty the whole thing doesn't really fit with the rest of the anime, and it seems like nothing more than an attempt to allow Matou Kariya some long overdue screen-time.

Fate/Zero isn't a perfect show, but while it does have several minor issues (and one "filler" episode), it does exactly what it sets out to do - capture the attention of the audience and make them want more. The story is intelligent, and while conversations and discussions can sometimes feel a little tedious, the dialogue is often quite interesting - moreso than the show's predecessor's anyway. Although the series can boast stylish, fast-aced action set-pieces, it also studiously avoids combat for the sake of gratuitous violence.

That said, Fate/Zero is still a prequel series, and at this point only half of the story has been told. Unfortunately the anime industry has a habit of messing things up, but given the quality of this show, the fact that the original story was written by Urobuchi Gen, and the knowledge that the series is being produced by Type-Moon's long time collaborators - Ufotable, fans can be cautiously optimistic about the second installment.

All we can do is wait and see ...

Five Centimeters Per Second

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

9.25 (very good)

Gosick

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011

8.50 (very good)

GUILTY CROWN

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

9.25 (very good) must be though for the staff :,

High School DxD

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

8.75 (very good)

High School of the Dead

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011

8.25 (good)

Hoshi no Koe

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

9.75 (excellent)

Hoshi o Ou Kodomo

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

8.75 (very good)

Hyouka

Seen: partially; Own: partially;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

9.50 (excellent)

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011

8.00 (good)

Infinite Stratos

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011

8.50 (very good)

Kamisama Dolls

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011

7.50 (good)

Kamisama no Memo-chou

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011

8.00 (good)

Kanokon

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Feb 07, 2012

7.75 (good)

Kanon

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011

8.50 (very good)

Kara no Kyokai

Seen: completely

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2011

8.25 (good)

Kuroko no Basket

Seen: partially; Own: partially;

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2012

8.00 (good)

Last Exile

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

9.25 (very good)

Lotte no Omocha!

Seen: completely; Own: completely;

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012

8.00 (good)

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