Archives for : Chiaki Kon

When They Cry: Complete Collection Season One on Blu-ray (anime review)

when-they-cry-1Review provided by Andrew and Katie

Title: When They Cry: Complete Collection Season One on Blu-ray

Director: Chiaki Kon

Studio: Studio Deen

Author: Ryukishi07

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks / Section 23

U.S. Release Date: March 15, 2016

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller

Industry Age Rating: 17 and up

Overall Personal Rating: A+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Elfen Lied, Another, and Future Diary


Moving to the picturesque town of Hinamizawa is going to be a big adjustment for Keiichi Maebara. For all its beauty, it is also very small, so small that there’s only one school, one where most of the students have known each other all their lives.

Fortunately, he soon meets four girls… Rena, Mion, Satoko, and Rika, who are willing to let the new guy in town join their afterschool club. And for a while, things seem wonderful. Until Keiichi starts discovering strange things, like when the project manager for a controversial dam project was found dismembered five years ago.

As he digs deeper, there are whispers and rumors of other murders and disappearances, stories of a town curse, and mysterious rituals. And then people he knows start to die. What secrets have the people of Hinamizawa kept hidden from the rest of the world? Could his new friends somehow be involved? The shocking answers to these and other questions will be revealed in When They Cry: Complete Collection!


When They Cry: Complete Collection epitomizes how you should never judge something by its cover. It looks like a simple, generic harem series at first glance; however When They Cry: Complete Collection is anything but that. When They Cry: Complete Collection is nothing short of genius and the whole setting, atmosphere, and mood are incredibly well executed. The plot may seem simple at first with a new kid moving to a strange, new town and meeting new friends but beneath the exterior appearance of this seemingly tame series lays a dark story of murder, violence, and mystery.

When They Cry: Complete Collection has a plot that consists of arcs. Although these arcs seem disjointed at first, it is all part of the plot and is actually an important part of solving the mystery of the Hinamizawa murders. However, When They Cry: Complete Collection is not a simple, generic murder mystery where the solutions are force fed to us. It is up to us to decide between what is true and what is not. This way we think and interact with the story. Each arc has a twisted finish that will leave you saying, “What just happened?”.

While When They Cry: Complete Collection is full of mentally instable characters, however they are extremely well written and developed. Luckily, the mental instability of the main characters does not take away from their personality and interaction. Each and every character serves a purpose to the plot in some way, shape, or form so be sure to pay attention to what a character does in different arcs.

The animation was normal for the age of the series but the background animation was breathtaking. The opening and closing songs were amazing and fit the series perfectly. The voice actors filled the series with psychotic laughter, blood-curling screams, and extremely cute voices in order to bring the characters to life.


When They Cry: Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. When They Cry: Complete Collection has both English and Japanese with English subtitles as language options.

Overall Grade: A+

I cannot begin to explain how excited I am that Sentai Filmworks licensed When They Cry: Complete Collection! I hope they release the rest of the series so that we can learn what else happens. I recommend that you watch When They Cry: Complete Collection if you enjoy the horror or psychological thriller genre. You will not be disappointed.




Devils and Realist The Complete Collection (anime review)

Devils and RealistTitle: Devils and Realist The Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Chiaki Kon

Written By: Michiko Yokote

Creator: Madoka Takadono

Studio: Dogakobo

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: March 17th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 300 minutes / 12 Episodes

Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Comedy

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B-


When William Twining breaks into his bankrupt family’s vaults seeking funds for his tuition, he has no idea what he’s about to pay for his higher education. Instead of cash, William discovers that he’s supposed to choose the (interim) ruler of Hell! That would be a bedeviling predicament under any circumstances, but when the bearer of said dread tidings is also hitting William up for the job… Well, it’s just not a good thing. Nor is it easy to put the would-be Devil behind you, as the impish Dantalion quickly roots himself into William’s school life while simultaneously jockeying with an unholy host of other Arch-Fiends-To-Be for the coveted position of Devil in Charge.

With a surprisingly large percentage of both students and faculty at William’s school turning out to be demonic in nature, he’ll need the Wisdom of Solomon to find a way to get all these devils off his heels – and fortunately for him, William apparently WAS Solomon in a former life! Will the hallowed halls of Stradford become host to the hordes of hell?


Devils and Realist set me back on my heals at first. I thought for sure it was going to end up as a yaoi series or at the very least a shonen ai. In many way I have to call it a shonen ai which pretends to be closer to a shojo comedy with the supernatural slant. It works for a while, but it becomes rather tedious after a while. The real disappointment comes in the story development. This use of an ancient soul of the wise Solomon and the control over the demons of hell could have been so much more interesting. It could have laid out a powerful interaction between the demons under covenant with Solomon and the powers that wanted him out of the pictures. It is not until the very end that I felt like it began to work.

The sexual tension between these fellas just seem silly and the character of William Twining / Solomon lacked any likable aspects. I know it was important to make William a cold calculating arrogant snob who didn’t believe in the occult, but he could have been a little more sympathetic and friendly. When it was important to have the other come to his aid and wish for him to make the right decision I’m not really sure why anyone cared.

Overall Grade: B-

Devils and Realist did have some solid points and most of the other characters were likable and well developed. The animation was above par and the products was superb. I just wish the story stood up along side the rest of the attributes.

I can see why it would have a fan base. There are plenty of pretty guys in this one and there is the demonic connection that attaches the demon to the human. I wonder where we heard that story before. Just in this case the demon doesn’t get to eat the soul of the contractee. It is also a slick production that doesn’t require much thought or effort. So, if you are looking for a light anime that focuses on pretty guys with a dark edge, Devils and Realist is for you.

Golden Time Collection 2 (anime review)

Golden Time collection 2Title: Golden Time Collection 2 on blu-ray

Director: Chiaki Kon

Author: Yuyko Takemiya (Light Novel), Fumihiko Shimo (Anime)

Studio: J. C. Staff

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 3, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Drama, Josei

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A


Adjusting to college life is hard enough for most students, but ever since Banri Tada lost all his memories he’s literally being haunted by the spirit of the person he was before the accident. And now that the Banri-that-is has fallen in love with Koko instead of Linda, the girl his old self was in love with, the ghost of the Banri-that-was is stepping up its efforts to sabotage his new relationship with every power at its disposal.

Since past-Banri can sometimes take over present-Banri’s body, the entire life new-Banri has built is now in imminent danger of being blown away like a house of cards in a whirlwind. That doesn’t even take into account Linda and Koko’s feelings, let alone those of Banri’s friend, Mitsuo, who Koko was formerly in love with, but who now has a thing for Linda – at least, when he isn’t crushing on Chinami. And if that sounds confusing, it’s nothing compared to how Banri feels as his old memories begin to resurface and the ultimate battle of Man Vs. Himself escalates!


Golden Time Collection 2 wraps up this outstanding series. Being an old soft when it comes to love stories I found Golden Time very satisfying. It takes you on a journey of discovery when it comes to the elusive beast know as true love. I know we have all felt like we are in love with someone and that feeling was presented early on, but as the series progresses it begins to explore the part of love that isn’t natural, but instead the aspects that must be learned. Being in love with a person is easy, but loving them and making sure they know it isn’t so easy and it is clearly demonstrated between Barni and Koko.

Other than the way in which this love story develops there is the relationships between friends that is also explored. There are some very real moments that both make you think about your own relationships, make almost off of the characters in the series very believable and sympathic. The fact that Golden Time walks a fine line between a sappy over the top love story and the melodramatic real life collage age drama helps make it both entertaining and somewhat realistic.

Overall Gade: A

Golden Time collection 2 is a heart warming love story that feels like it could go several different directions and in the end delivers a result that is extremely satisfying. You really don’t know which way Barni’s final relationship will go which I found to be realistic to a point. I think that the memory loss aspect to the plot made it very easy to wind through the possibility that he could possibly love two people and at the same time added some dramatic focus on the characters that was in many ways very unrealistic. That is what anime does and I think it hep keep Golden Time on step above the many slice of life / love stories that are out there.

I know that most people go to Clannad she they think about a solid love story, but much of Clannad is way to day to day and boring, but Golden Time adds the magic early on with the memory loss tension and how it intertwines throughout the series. There are also well written supporting characters that keeps the series solid and easy to watch.

If you are looking for a series that is a tear jerker that keeps you wondering all the way through I think you should give Golden Time a chance. It should also be noted that Golden Time collection 2 does a great job of wrapping the series up and providing closure and hope whereas other series just make you cry because that is what they want you to do.

Golden Time collection 1

Golden Time Collection 1Title: Golden Time Collection 1

Director: Chiaki Kon

Author:  Yuyko Takemiya (Light Novel), Fumihiko Shimo (Anime)

Studio: J. C. Staff

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Sept. 30th, 2014

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Drama, Josei

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-


Tada Banri is beginning anew in the busy streets of Tokyo as a freshman student at a private law school, away from the troubles of his former life. While managing to get lost on his very first day of class, he finds himself befriending fellow law student Mitsuo on the way. Things get a little more interesting when a stylishly well-dressed beauty suddenly appears – only for her to slap Mitsuo across the face with a bouquet of roses!

The mystery girl is Mitsuo’s childhood friend and self-appointed future bride Kaga Koko. It seems that more problems are on the horizon for Banri and his new friends with a troubling secret that will change them forever. What kind of new life has Banri stepped into and will he be able to survive the trials ahead of him? Join this group of friends as they attempt to discover themselves while juggling love, life, and a little drama!


One of the more popular story lines in anime over the last few years has been the use of amnesia as a important plot device. In Golden Time the discovery of this issue comes on slow, but ends up playing a very important role is creating the tension and drama in this straight forward love story. I have to say that using amnesia for this story works well and the way that it is given an almost counter intuitive aspect gives the series a life of its own.

The diversity in the characters also makes the series work well. It really does have the feeling of a collage where the students come from all walks of life and have a broad and various backgrounds. We have the rich who generally haven’t experienced much in life outside their sheltered worlds and there are also students form the other end of the spectrum who have seen all kinds of experiences and don’t always have the common sense to show restraint.

The animation itself is classic J. C. Staff. It looks warm and inviting.  I would think most us would connect with the artist work similar to Torardora! and even Waiting in the Summer. There is also some of the same feeling of visual statement found in Heavens Memo Pad. Golden Time continues to show why J. C. Staff continues to dominate these warm heartfelt stories and showcase their ability to make the visual and emotional come together.

Overall Grade: A-

I am easily soft at heart or rather a easy target for these emotional stories that give you great hope for the story and at the same time lee you wondering which way the love story will fall. There are plenty of possibilities left for Golden Time and don’t even come close to believe that it will stay on the same trajectory that it is on. I think that the second half of the story will bring the story home in a wonderful way that will not only continue to give us hope in the power of love but also in the spirit of the human soul.

If you enjoy love stories that have a twist and want to see one that takes place in college rather than high school then you must check out Golden Time. It is a winner in my book.