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Little Busters! EX: Complete OVA Collection (anime review)

little-busters-exreview provided by Andrew and Katie

Title: Little Busters! EX: Complete OVA Collection

Director: Yoshiki Yamakawa

Studio: J.C. Staff

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: December 6, 2016

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 8 Episodes / 200 Minutes

Genre: School Life, Slice of Life, Supernatural, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Little Busters, Little Busters: Refrain

Synopsis:

Does the new girl in Riki Naoe’s life need his help, or is she actually trying to kill him? After a chance encounter on a rooftop brings the enigmatic Saya Tokido into the Little Busters’ world, the only thing that’s certain is that trouble is sure to follow.

As if saving the lives of his teammates wasn’t enough of a task to handle, now Riki must also untangle a web of new mysteries that seem to be rooted in his own personal past! Who are the Dark Executives, why do they want to keep Saya and Riki apart, and what is the nature of the secret treasure that Saya seeks? Sometimes, answers lead to even more questions as Riki and the Little Busters discover that they weren’t the only people drawn into Kyousuke’s artificial world in Little Busters! EX!

Commentary:

Little Busters! EX: Complete OVA Collection in the three-arc OVA series that follows Little Busters!: Refrain. However, it seems that Little Busters! EX: Complete OVA Collection takes place in an alternate world or universe and the characters know about it. Two of the arcs, the Kanata and the Sasami arc make the most sense and fit in with the rest of the series. Saya’s arc made the least sense of all because she only exists in the alternate world and the four episode arc is the only time she is in the entire series. Her arc was also the weakest in that it ends with no resolution while the other two arcs have some kind of resolution even though they are shorter in length.

There was a decent amount of character development in Little Busters! EX: Complete OVA Collection. Saya was an interesting character to say the least.  Apparently she and Riki met each other when they were children and that causes her to fall in love with him. She is also your run-of-the-mill tsundere that appears in every harem amine series. Sasami and Kanata are a bit more realistic but I can name other series where I have seen the cold/mysterious personalities. They are both every stand-offish and keep to themselves. However, both girls did grow as characters over their separate two episode arcs and eventually learned to trust and fall in love.

The animation was very pretty and the backgrounds did not take away from the characters. The voice actors did a good job of bringing the characters to life. The opening and closing songs were catchy and were fun to listen to. All in all, Little Busters! EX: Complete OVA Collection was an interesting addition to the entire series.

Extras:

Little Busters! EX: Complete OVA Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with both English and Japanese with English subtitles as language options.

Overall Grade: B-

Little Busters! EX: Complete OVA Collection is an interesting addition to the Little Busters! series. I recommend this release to anyone who has seen the rest of the series.

Azumanga Daioh Complete Collection (anime review)

azumanga-daiohTitle: Azumanga Daioh Complete Collection

Director: Hiroshi Nishikiori

Studio: J.C.Staff

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Re-release Date: May 3rd, 2016

Format: DVD / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Absurdity, Slice of Life

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis:

For the members of Miss Yukari’s English Class, a typical day may be just a little unusual. Part of that’s due to Miss Yukari herself, whose teaching style (and personal ethics) tend to be odd, improvisational and spontaneous, but her students are just as unconventional: There’s 10-year-old Chiyo, still at the top of her class after skipping five grades, and her opposite Ayumu “Osaka” Kasuga, whose poor grades are surpassed only by her horrific skill at sports. Then there’s Tomo, a competitive slacker who puts excessive energy into doing very little, and Koyomi, whose surprising maturity is compromised by a malevolent sense of humor. Tall, statuesque Sakaki’s athletic exterior hides both unexpected shyness and a most unfortunate obsession with cats, while tiny Kaori’s heart is mainly obsessed with Sakaki. They may all seem like perfectly normal girls on the outside, but even their most mundane activities magically become the most extraordinary adventures as they learn all about life, the universe and affairs of the heart in AZUMANGA DAIOH!

Commentary:

I was very happy to see that Sentai Filmworks was going to bring this gem back to life. The series as a whole is rather wonderful with its simple yet complex look on life and a rather perverted view of itself. I truly enjoy it for its rather absurd approach to the story and the silly character development.

The other aspect that I loved was the general happiness that ran throughout each episode. Azumanga Daioh is a older series that deserves to remain in the current lexicon on anime.

Overall Grade: A-

Okay, Anime fans lets set the record straight there are plenty of older anime series that should never get re-issued and plenty of series that should have never made their way over to North America. In the case of Azumanga Daioh neither of these are true. This series should have gotten picked up the day the original license was dropped. Thank you Sentai Filmworks for bringing this back to us. There is a whole new generation of anime fans that need to see this series just because it is great and a smile factory.

If you don’t own this series you must go out and buy it now. You will not be appointed.

Waiting in the Summer (anime review)

waiting-in-the-summerTitle: Waiting in the Summer Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Directed By: Tatsuyuki Nagai

Written By: Yōsuke Kuroda

Studio: J. C. Staff

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: March 15th, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes + OVA / 325 Minutes

Genre: Harem, Slice of Life, Fan Service, Romance, Sci Fi

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis: 

When a group of friends decide to make a movie over a long summer holiday, they end up learning a little about film-making and a lot more about each other and themselves. What begins as a simple way to avoid the summer doldrums quickly turns into something much more complex, intimate, and downright revealing.

As the summer heats up, so do the maturing relationships between the young cast members, taking some new, and sometimes unexpected, turns. Get ready for a whole new look at summer romance as hidden emotions get captured and secrets meant to be kept hidden inside young hearts instead spill off the screen for your viewing pleasure in Waiting in the Summer!

Commentary:

Waiting in the Summer is one of the sleeper anime that few people have seen. It has a rather straight forward plot and a simplistic romance structure, yet it catches your attentions and makes you really like these high school students on summer break and wish you could hang out with them and make a move too.

With this being a re-release and adding the OVA I am curious why there wasn’t a English dub. I understand that there is a large cost to doing that. I just think that a English dub would have brought another layer of fans to the series and proved to be profitable.

Overall Grade: A-

I is nice to see Waiting in the Summer re-released with the OVA and forcing me to take another look at it. One one level there is a warn innocence that flows though it and on the other hand a sad reality to some things just can’t be. With all that is going on with the film mirroring the plot line and the hidden specter of the men in black makes it hard to stop watching.

The animation is a smooth easy touch that is very typical   for anime of this type and the attention to detail done with such a soft touch that things flow together with the plot perfectly. I can’t think of any other style that would have helped tell the story any better. The only detractor I have is that it does drag a bit in the middle and leave the viewer a tad frustrated with what is going on. I still find the series strong and with the added OVA it is just that much better.

If you haven’t had a chance to see Waiting in the Summer then I think that this is the time to discover a series that is warm and friendly with layers of strange goings on. If you are in the mood for a easy going anime that has plenty of fun and oddities in it then Waiting in the Summer is for you.

Dai Shogun Great Revolution (anime review)

dai-shogunTitle: Dai Shogun Great Revolution; Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Takashi Watanabe

Writer: Dai Sato

Studio: J.C. Staff, A.C.G.T.

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: January 1st, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Harem, Pseudo Historical, Action, Ecchi

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

In a world where history took a different path, Japan has been isolated from the outside world by steam-powered robots that repel all invaders. Inside Japan, however, the people are divided into feuding and fighting feudal factions. Feisty Keiichiro Tokugawa dreams of changing this and unifying Japan, and he just may be the one man who can use the legendary giant robot Susanoo.

Unfortunately, just touching a woman makes him break out in hives, and the Susanoo ALSO requires a female copilot. In VERY close quarters. And just to twist the katana, while there seem to be plenty of women who might covet the copilot’s seat, not all of them have his best interests at heart! Who can he trust? Kiriko the Ninja? Chiharu the fox-demon? Or will Keiichiro’s rash ambitions be thwarted by rashes and a totally rational phobia of the female form? It’s a giant robot show like no other as the birds, the bees, and the giant robots take flight in Dai Shogun!

Commentary:

Dai Shogun is a series that, simply put, fun to watch. Of course it gets a little lost in the fan service and sexually provocative situations. This is more of a typical harem anime than I expected it to be and it does give us someone to root for other than the bouncing breasts everywhere you look. The story sets itself up for plenty of jokes and some of them are funny but most are rather contrived. Where the series succeeded was in the dramatic aspects and the central love story. Take the dense young man with something to prove and the beautiful, talented, shy woman who falls for his simple boyish charm and make them both virgins who must work together to save Japan. Well, add in plenty of other large breasted women and center the story at a bath house and it equals lots of peekaboo.

Once the series settles in and gets serious about the plot, things get entertaining and much of the sexual tension takes the back seat. This change in posture works, and makes most of the rest of the series worth watching. The writing was strong enough to carry much of the series, but the animation was a let down. It almost as if the series was given a cut rate budget and rather than push the limits, they cut every corner they could. The simple static figures with a moving background left me cold. I would have loved to see someone like Gonzo or even Sunrise animate this series rather than the sloppy work that was done by J. C. Staff.

Overall Grade: B

Now, Dai Shogun isn’t for everyone, but for adults it is a series that I think both men and women can enjoy. It has all the great trappings that a solid Harem anime needs and some of the perversion that a light ecchi anime would have. There is plenty of action and a solid moral backbone to the series that does make a difference.

I would have liked to see more background development on a few of the characters, but I understand that not every anime can tell all of the story. The ending is left open in the event some money should come their way, but I fear that some of the failure in the series will leave it destine to be a one shot series.

Anyway, if you want a decent love story that has a lot of action and plenty of well built women in it then Dai Shogun Great Revolution is something you need to check out.

Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season (anime review)

Hayate-Combat-Butler-2review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season

Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki

Studio: J.C. Staff

Author: Kenjiro Hata

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: October 20, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Harem, School Life, Parody

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Hayate the Combat Butler Season 1 and Hayate the Combat Butler Season 3: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

Synopsis:

Ever since he first met Nagi Sanzenin, Hayate Ayasaki’s life has become increasingly more crazed and chaotic. Which is a bit of a problem, since, as the eccentric heiress’ butler/personal bodyguard, he’s theoretically supposed to be a stabilizing and protective influence. Unfortunately, Nagi and her friends attract trouble the way dropped lollipops attract dirt, and if Hayate has to take a couple of nasty licks along the way, that’s just part of the job.

The real sucker punch, though, is that Nagi’s increasing attraction to Hayate himself is getting precariously close to transforming their professional relationship into something far less professional and much more like a relationship. Is Hayate up for the emotional perils of a round of “upstairs, downstairs”? Or will the purely physical dangers of life on Her Majesty’s Domestic Service do him in first?

Commentary:

Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season begins with Hayate still working as the Sanzenin Butler, and Season 2 features a lot more Hinagiku, as scenarios that include herself and Hayate allude to potentially mutual feelings between them. Nagi is also interested in escalating her relationship with Hayate, since Nagi’s perception of her relationship with Hayate remains based on the miscommunication that occurred on their first meeting. That is basically Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season in a nutshell. Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season completely ignores the filler material from the first season and picks up from about episode 25 and continues from there. With most of the filler material gone and forgotten from season one, the parody moments have dropped significantly.

Thankfully, with Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season we receive the character development that was missing in season one. However, Hinagiku takes up most of the screen time and some of the other characters lose out on their screen time and the other members of the Sanzenin household, Klaus, Tama, and to an extent Maria, take the back seat for a big chunk of the series. However, I feel that the “Hayate owes 150 million yen” arc was basically forgotten. It was brought up once or twice but it was basically abandoned and replaced with the Harem arc.

The art was bright and beautiful but different than the first season. The characters were well drawn and the background animation was pretty. The music was fresh and upbeat and the voice actors brought the characters to life before your eyes. The “Narrator” was drastically downplayed in this season. All in all, Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season was an enjoyable series to watch and I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys this type of series.
Extras:

Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season 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-

I feel that Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season is much more enjoyable than the first season because of the amazing interaction between characters. Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season has high quality humor and fantastic and likeable characters but most importantly it is just fun to watch.

Selector Infected WIXOSS (anime review)

Selector-Infected-WixossTitle: Selector Infected WIXOSS

Director: Takuya Sato

Studio: J C Staff

U.S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: Sept. 22nd, 2015

Format: DVD/Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 minutes

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Psychological Thriller

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: C

Synopsis:

In the popular game WIXOSS, there are special cards called LRIGs that few players know about – cards that possess personalities and wills of their own. Ruko is a teenage girl who just found one of these rare cards. Now, she can use her LRIG to battle in a strange, dark plane of existence. If she wins, her wishes will be granted – but what happens if she loses?

Commentary:

The brief synopsis of Selector Infected WIXOSS tell you everything you need to know. Of course there are plenty of other girls that have these cards and of course they all have their own desires that that would like to realize. The trouble is that it is not very inventive and thus explains why the series only managed to push out 12 episodes.

The series itself goes from being somewhat interesting to just another series that is here to sell you a dark story that finds a hard time catching your imagination. Over the past few years there have been countless others that promise something new and end up providing just more of the same old archetype in a almost new skin.

Overall Grade: C

Not all of Selector Infected WIXOSS is boring, there are several characters that lend them selves to a positive light. They end up being the crust of the show. Some of the action is fun and involved, but I keep getting sucked back into the tiresome aspects of the show that drag me down.

I found Selector to be somewhat difficult to watch about midway through the first episode, but as it developed it became a little more interesting. The one thing it does provide is a world of strong female characters who eventually begin to understand themselves better and are able to hold their own.

If you are looking for another cute girl anime that is steeped in the dark fantasy world then Selector Infected WIXOSS is a series you need to check out.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (anime review)

The Pet Girl of SakurasouTitle:The Pet Girl of Sakurasou complete collection on Blu-ray

Director: Atsuko Ishizuka

Writer: Mari Okada

Studio: J. C. Staff

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: April 14, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 24 Episodes / 600 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Absurdity, Slice of Life, Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

Banished from normal housing for the crime of adopting stray cats, Sorata Kanda’s life has gone to the dogs and he’s been impounded in Sakura Hall, a notorious den of troublemakers, geniuses and weirdos. Since he has a penchant for taking in small, cute but sometimes not completely loveable creatures, he’s been tasked with keeping fellow resident Mashiro Shiina, an acclaimed but highly dysfunctional and unfocused artist, from forgetting to eat, brush her hair or wear clothes. Then there are the other residents of Sakura Hall, all of whom have their own unique quirks and challenging relationships.

Commentary:

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou has finally been put together as a sin leg set and I think it could have found a good  number of new fans if there was a english dub, but Sentai Filmworks is not there yet. Never-the-less this is still a delightful series that doesn’t demand too much of you and at the same time manages to bring on plenty of good feeling toward this strange, but lovable group of misfits. Sorata may be portrayed as the normal one of the bunch and in some ways he may fit into everyday society a little better, but I see him as possibly the strangest one of the bunch. The fact that he has a unbridled weakness for cat makes him a huge favorite and he also allows himself to be the center of the group without being a overbearing shining obstacle to all of their uniqueness.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a delightful short series of 24 episodes that manages to give up plenty to smile about. The animation is perfect for the series. It is bright and cheery that helps keep the series in its element. I can’t say that it was powerful or moving like a studio ghibli movie, but it did go well with the story even if it was rather common for 2012/2013 standards.

Overall Personal Grade: B+

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou has a level of drama included that helps keep the story level and even. The trial and tribulations these young people are going through are similar to many of the struggle all of have gone through. Of course a couple of the demons are a little melodramatic but that too is fine because it gives everyone a reason to feel their sadness and also cheer when the rest of the world is being brought into their drama.

Again I feel like this is a great series and in many ways it put older classic slice of life series like Clannad to shame, but it doesn’t have a huge fan base in the states because there is no english dub. I know that there are the hard core fans that want the Japanese voices acting with the english subtitle. I think this is a little bit of a narrow view of things and a flash back to older dubs were they just simply sucked. Over the last few years I have only come across very few anime where the english dub ruins the series. Anyway, in the case of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou I am confident that a solid dub would propel it into the classic status it deserves.

Either way I have to tip my hat to the series and tell everyone that if they haven’t see The Pet Girl of Sakurasou yet then they need to get busy and check it out.

Familiar of Zero, The: Knight of the Twin Moons-The Complete Second Season (anime review)

Familiar of Zero, The: Knight of the Twin Moonsreview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Familiar of Zero, The: Knight of the Twin Moons-The Complete Second Season

Director: Yuu Kou

Studio: J.C. Staff

Author: Noboru Yamaguchi

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: March 10, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Magic, Romance, School, Harem

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Familiar of Zero, The, Toradora!, and Shakugan no Shana

Synopsis:

Louise the Zero and Saito are back in Familiar of Zero, The: Knight of the Twin Moons. However Saito has distinguished himself as a hero with Louise has started to get a handle on her Void magic. Saito is also Louise’s familiar of his own free will, but has that made any difference in their “professional” relationship?

Let’s just say that their relationship could be a ride at Six Flags because it is so full of ups and downs such as that perfect romantic moment and messy explosions. However, that does not mean they are not ready to spring into action the moment Queen Henrietta is kidnapped. With this new war brewing, will they be able to find a way to work together that does not end up with Saito getting the wrong end of Louise’s magic wand? Or will Louise still end up hurting the one person besides her family that she cares about? You will have to watch Familiar of Zero, The: Knight of the Twin Moons and find out for yourself.

Commentary:

I really believe that the Tristain Academy of Magic needs to invest in bomb squad, or build things much, much stronger. Familiar of Zero, The: Knight of the Twin Moons continues where season one left off, however this season seems to be more aimed at character development. There are still parts that are very easily predicted but they are occasional. The plot mainly focused on the relationship between Saito and Louise, the ongoing war with Albion, and Agnes’ story.

Agnes is the Captain of the Tristain musketeers in service of Henrietta. She is a military woman who loves her discipline. She hates Mages, especially fire Mages, with a vengeance. Apparently fire Mages burned her village to the ground when she was a child and she is the only survivor. Most of the episodes for this season focus on this and Agnes getting her revenge on the Mages who burned her village to the ground.

The relationship between Saito and Louise is interesting to say the least. Saito is his same perverted self and Louise does not put up with it at all. She seems to instantly know when he has a perverted thought and makes him pay for it. You would think he would eventually learn, but he does not. The character development has much more depth in this season with a few new characters and significantly more family back story for both new and old characters alike. We also meet the rest of Louise’s family and I fully believe that they might be the cause for her magic being like it is.

The art was just as beautiful as the first season. The backgrounds were very colorful and the characters were drawn well. The voice actors did an amazing job and you really connect with the characters thanks to them. The opening and closing animations were well done and the music was catchy. There is quite a bit of fan-service as Saito is a pervert, but there really is not anything too over the top.

Extras:

Familiar of Zero, The: Knight of the Twin Moons-The Complete Second Season 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: A-

I truly enjoyed watching Familiar of Zero, The: Knight of the Twin Moons and I cannot wait for the third season to be released by Sentai Filmworks. I would recommend the entire Familiar of Zero series to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre.

Maid Sama!: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray (anime review)

Maid Sama!Title: Maid Sama!: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Maid Sama!

Studio: J.C. Staff

Author: Hiro Fujiwara

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: January 27, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 26 Episodes + 1 OVA / 665 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Special A and Ouran High School Host Club

No, he is not my boyfriend. He is just my creepy stalker.-Misaki Ayuzawa

I’ll come to save you as much as you want. I’ll make you fall for me as much as you wish.-Usui Takumi

Synopsis:

Misaki Ayuzawa has many problems in life. For starters, she is the first female student council president of the formerly all-male Seika High School and she is trying to get more girls to enroll for the next year. Then she works at a maid café in the next town, so no one from Seika High will run into her, so she can help her family out. But who does she run into but Usui Takumi, a classmate. This causes things to get very interesting, very fast! Toss in a handful of extremely annoying transfer students and the inevitable trip to the hot springs and everyone is going to end up in hot water one way or another. But Misaki is not going to let any of that stop her from maintaining order in the classroom and taking orders in the tea room. Will Usui Takumi spill the beans about Misaki Ayuzawa? Will Misaki be able to handle the stress of working and being student council president? You will have to watch Maid Sama! and find out.

Commentary:

Maid Sama!: The Complete Collection is far from the regular romance genre anime and that is exactly why I loved it so much. If you are the hopeless romantic type of person, you will love how this series defines your anime dream romance to a “T”. Every episode gives you a chance to say “Awww” while also shaking your head at the main characters. But the ending is worth it. The comedy part of this series is also spot-on. Maid Sama! will have you laughing so hard that you cry in quite a few episodes.

The character development in Maid Sama! is interesting to say the least. Usui is the male main character and he has an adorable chibi form that appears whenever he is teasing Misaki. He is aloof and great at everything he tries. Misaki is your stereotypical tsundere character but eventually she shows more kindness over her aggressiveness. Plus she is adorable in her maid outfit. Usui and Misaki have wonderful chemistry together and the series does a good job showing it. There are many background and supporting characters in Maid Sama! but my favorites have to be the Three Morons. They make things interesting to say the least.

The art work was standard and nothing really stood out. However, the scenes did look good, but not great. The Japanese voice actors did a great job of bringing the characters to life. Personally, however, I did not care for the English dubbed version. The opening and closing animations were well done and the songs were catchy and enjoyable to listen to. I found myself humming the songs after a few episodes.

The OVA episode, or the last episode on the third disk, does not add anything to the series but it is really worth watching. It is a cute, fun episode albeit short. They could have made the OVA really special by extending the final scenes of the series. But at least Maid Sama! has an ending and a happy one at that.

Extras:

Maid Sama!: The Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This release also included the OVA for the series and has a new English dub track.

Overall Grade: B+

I really enjoyed Maid Sama! and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys rom-coms. The episodes seem to fly-by and leave you wanting to watch the next one.

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

Synopsis:

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!

Commentary:

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.