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Gingitsune; Messenger Fox of the Gods (anime review)

Gingitsune; Messenger Fox of the GodsTitle: Gingitsune; Messenger Fox of the Gods on Blu-ray

Director: Shin Misawa

Anime Writer: Hiroshi Yamaguchi

Creator: Sayori Ochiai

Studio: Diomedea

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: March 31st, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 minutes

Genre: Supernatural, Slice of Life, Comedy

Age Rating: PG (All Ages)

Overall Personal Rating: A

Synopsis:

In Japan, it is said that if you pray to a deity with sincerity, you will surely feel the divine presence. However, as the successor of the Saeki Inari Shrine, Makoto Saeki can do more than that. She’s been seeing and speaking with spirits, kami and other messengers of the Gods since her mother’s funeral. It can be difficult, especially when her classmates can’t know about her latest “issues” with Gintarou, the irritable fox-like Herald who’s protected the Saeki shrine for hundreds of years. But at least Makoto’s father, who runs the shrine, knows that Gintarou is more than an imaginary friend.

Between them, the shrine maid and mystical Herald can usually manage to cooperate long enough to help those who need it. However, when a young man with a similar “gift” to Makoto’s arrives with his own shrine and Herald issues, it’s going to take more than just prayers to sort things out. After all, if there’s one thing that both human and supernatural can agree on it’s that the Gods often work in convoluted and mysterious ways. Just because you’re working for a higher power doesn’t mean you always agree with their intentions.

Commentary:

Gingitsune; Messenger Fox of the Gods just hit my list of the top 10 releases for 2015. It is a simple yet heart warming coming of age story that brings people together and create new friendships and at the same time helps to save the hopes and dreams of a couple young people. I don’t want to put too much on the shoulders of this series because it is a easy and simple story that in its own special way says a lot about all of us. Makoto and Satoru have been gifted with the sight to see the Heralds (sprits) who reside at the shrines and watch over humanity. They are gifted with the sight a young ages and well before they knew what they wanted to do with their lives. In their struggle to understand the importance of who they are and what they should do the  journey they take manages to give them the help and clues that need.

Even though I am an old softy when it comes to these type of stories and end up shedding a tear as I watch it became very clear to me that this series says a great deal about all of us, not just these two and their friends. It clearly points out that our paths may never be as obvious as we think and that we need to keep our eyes and minds open to the possibilities in front of us.

Overall Grade: A

From the opening episode I was hooked and ended up going through Gingitsune; Messenger Fox of the Gods in a very short period. I found myself want to see if they came to an end or even better if there is something that they learn that makes the difference. I’m not going to tell you but I can say that I wasn’t disappointed.

Gingitsune; Messenger Fox of the Gods is a series for everyone. I think the younger viewers will enjoy the Fox Gods and the older you get it will the story itself that draws you in. The only negative I have for the series is that Sentai Filmworks did not dub the series. I think that all too many possible fans will stay away because it does not have a english voice over. I find sub titles easy to follow, but younger viewers can’t read that fast and miss a lot of the story, or even some can’t follow along at all. I hope that there is enough interest in the series that at some point the money is put into the series to give it a solid english dub. In the mean time I will be pushing this series on everyone I know.

In today’s anime market It is great to see a heart warming series brought over that isn’t full of bloody fights, over the top silliness or even loaded with fan service. Some of the most heralded creators coming out of Japan give us stories that touch our hearts without beating over the head. I’m sure you can think of a few like Studio Ghibli, Makoto Shinkai and Mamoru Hosoda. There are plenty of other great story tellers out there and I for one would love to see them make it over to our country and be given the same marketing push that something like Attack on Titan got or even Space Dandy.

Gingitsune; Messenger Fox of the Gods is a hit in my eyes and I bet if you gave t a try that you too will find it very special.

My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy: The Complete Collection
 (anime review)

My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy: The Complete Collection
review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy: The Complete Collection


Director: Takayuki Inagaki

Studio: Diomedea

Author: Hiroko Kanasugi

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: November 11, 2014

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 10 Episodes and 1 OVA / 275 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Harem, School

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Date A Live, Excel Saga, The “Hentai” Prince and the Stony Cat

Choose…

Synopsis:

Thanks to a very strange curse called “Absolute Choice,” Kanade Amakusa’s life has turned into a “choose your own adventure” game from the depths of Hades. A series of options that seem designed to cause him the maximum amount of duress and/or public embarrassment randomly appear in front of him, and if he does not choose one he suffers agonizing headaches. Due to his bizarre behavior because of this curse, Kanade is branded as one of his school’s five worst social misfits, and things get even weirder when he chooses one of the strangest options yet: “have a beautiful girl fall from the sky.” Not only does the sweet and adorable Chocolat drop on him like a bag of rocks, but she seems to have been sent to help remove the curse! However, she cannot remember how to because she has amnesia. But it has something to do with the missions this flippant God has him perform, and if he fails to achieve the objective of any of them he will be stuck with the curse for life! Will Kanade be able to complete all his missions and get rid of this cruse for life? You will have to watch My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy and find out.

Commentary:

My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy is a story about choices. We make them every day. Some we put a lot of thought into, and some we do not. Imagine if you are issued the choices for you to choose from. You cannot deviate or severe pain will result. Now imagine that your choices are absurd, and any one of them will damage you some way or another. That’s what you get with this series. It falls into the over the top comedy category, which really does not have many choices, because they all usually range from “meh” to “why am I watching this stupid….” This one chose to be better than that. Combining an absurd storyline, absurdly cute girls, and an even more absurd situation, picking up this one is a choice that you will not regret.

Overall this series (too long to keep naming) does touch into several other genres other than romcom, but it never really looses that romcom feel. I know it can be classified as a harem, and that is its second strongest category, but falls short of it in feel. The humor is strong with this one and looking for something other than the humor would be a poor choice. The characters were developed as much as you would expect. Some were developed better than others, and most fell into the standard archetypes like tsundere, kun-dere, dere-dere, imouto, etc., nothing too unexpected. It even makes fun of itself and this very issue in the later episodes. One thing that was different was the main character, Kanade, who seemed a bit underdeveloped at times. If it were not for the curse, he would have been a very boring main character. Another thing this series was strong in was the ‘moe’. If the three main female characters got any cuter, it would have hurt. With such characters, a series usually dives deep into the fan service, but this one kept it light. A few shots here and there and most had a point that related to the story, not just for the sake of exhibitionism.

The art was nothing special, with exception of character design of the named females. They chose to take special care in making them sickenly cute and colorful. Outside of that the scenes where normal. The occasional CG worked in was annoying, but I always find CG worked in with regular animation annoying, and the overall backgrounds were nothing special. Sadly as I write this, I cannot really remember the opening and endings themes, so they were nothing special either. Your standard J-pop with character scenes. But those are not the reasons to choose this anime. You choose it for the comedy or the moe, or if you want to rile the flippant god, choose it for both.
Extras:

My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy: The Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with Japanese with English Subtitles as the only language option.

Overall Grade: B

My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy: The Complete Collection is a weird series but it is also very funny. Be advised though that there are a few dirty moments in some episodes. Watch out for episode nine especially.