Archives for : Kinema Citrus

Made in Abyss (anime review)

Title: Made In Abyss

Director: Masayuki Kojima

Studio: Kinema Citrus

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Oct. 23rd, 2018

Format: Blu-ray / 325 Minutes / 13 Episodes

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Drama

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Grade: A-


No one knows what’s at the bottom of the Abyss. No one who’s ventured that far has ever returned. What is known is that the Abyss is filled with strange creatures and priceless relics that have lured generations of fortune hunters into a diabolical trap. Because while anyone can descend into the Abyss safely, coming back up triggers a nightmarish series of transformations and madness. And the deeper you go, the less chance you have of coming back unchanged.

But when 12-year-old Riko receives a message that her missing mother might still be alive deep in the Abyss, she knows she has to go to her. She must go even if it’s a one-way trip for her and her robot friend Reg as they brave the ultimate darkness in Made In Abyss.

Special Features: Japanese Trailer & Promos, Kevin Penkin Interview, Jouel Event, Making of Made in Abyss 1 & 2, Music in Abyss, Clean Opening Animation, and Clean Closing Animation.


Made In Abyss is good, very good. It manages to take a simple adventure anime and turn it into something much deeper and provide a real mirror into what make us all so very human even when it is reflected in the form of a robot boy. Made In Abyss reminds me of why I like anime and that is simply the way the stories are more complicated than they seem and the overall outlook on the universe that surrounds us. We often just move through life without the wonder of what is happening around us and small things can be great wonders. There is a real symbiosis with life in Made In Abyss that is magnified by the abyss itself and there is also a metaphoric relationship between the abyss and life itself. The series gives us much to think about in a rather simple story telling fashion and also provides us with the escapist vehicle that take us to places very unexpected.

Overall Grade: A-

Made In Abyss does all this well, but the best thing it does is develop a few wonderful characters. Riko and Reg both are rich full wonderful characters that are very easy to like. Then we are given a few mysterious side characters that end up being something of a overwhelming positive support cast and finally we are introduced to Nanachi, an outstanding character that has such a tragic back story that it make you want to just hug her and hold her close.

The animation is lovely and very easy to watch even when it is giving us the brutality of the Abyss. There is a simple art design that is rich and colorful without being overbearing and allows for some of the hard edges to be just a little softer.

My real complaint comes with the overall story development and where we are left off. I guess this is a sign that I really like this series because I want to see more and am eagerly awaiting the films that will follow.

So, if you are ready for a great fantasy adventure anime then Made In Abyss will be a must have in your collection.

Black Bullet (anime review)

black-bulletTitle: Black Bullet Complete Collection

Director: Masayuki Kojima

Studio: Kinema Citrus, Orange

Creator: Shiden Kanzaki

Screenwriter: Tatsuhiko Urahata

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Oct. 27th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray or DVD / 325 Minutes / 13 Episodes

Genre: Sci Fi, Supernatural, Dystopian, Moe, Action, Adventure

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: C+


The Gastrea virus spreads like wildfire, causing each infected host to rapidly mutate, gaining new powers and abilities with every stage of development, even while they continue to attack, kill, and infect multiple new hosts. Unable to fight a pandemic enemy that turns defenders into adversaries, the shocked remnants of the human race are forced to retreat into cities surrounded by giant monoliths made of Varanium, one of the few materials that can stop the Gastrea.

Now mankind’s last hope lies in the Cursed Children: young girls infected with the virus who have managed to retain a hold on their humanity. Paired with a partner, they alone have the strength to take on a Gastrea in one-on-one combat. But the very thing that gives them power is a ticking time bomb, so even as they protect humanity, they are also feared and shunned. Are they girls? Monsters? Or mankind’s ultimate salvation?


Black Bullet is another of the many series that have gotten picked for the american market that have plenty of action and a edge of little girl perversion blended into a dark story of the potential end of humanity. Honesty I would love to see an anime that killed us all off. After watching Black Bullet I’m not sure if there is a reason to save us from our own self-destruction. Of course anime know only a few standard story lines and the end of humanity is at the top of the list. I guess if you want to get published then you need to give us cute young girls and a crazy dystopian future that only a few moral / righteous individuals manage to keep on the path.

I wish I could give this series more props, but it looses itself in its own vision and panders to a fan base that wants contemporary ninjas and magical young girls to save the world. If fan service is the point of the series they manage to provide plenty of nice looking women to drool over and enough young girls to make any Lolli perv happy. I just think all of that gets in the way of the story. Of course the story isn’t all that new or imaginative.

Overall Grade: C+

For all that I find lacking I do have to admit that the series is compelling enough to make it worth watching. The action and plot gives any viewer enough to latch onto in order to keep them watching. The animation is fair but considering that the series was originally produced in 2011 shows that it ended up the shelves of the original network and was an easy pick up for other to produce for their markets.

I understand why Sentai spent the money on giving this series a english dub but I wish they would have saved their money and used it on something that can been seen as an artistic achievement compared to a potentially strong fan favorite.

I guess that the marketing machine wants to give the masses what they think they want and not so much the stuff that they really should see. I personally love anime for the potential for artistic expression and when I see series like Black Bullet go straight for the consumer and lack the artistic or imagination that sets great series apart from the rest I just have to tell myself that it is all part of the market and needed to keep even the weakest fans engaged.

In all fairness Black Bullet does manage to pull off a strong ending that opens up the possibilities for more to come. I should also mention that their is a moral imperative that is launched and will make anyone sit up a little straighter as they watch it.

So, if you are looking for a series with plenty of action and a lot of tough little girls then Balck Bullet is right up your ally!


Code: Breakers Complete Collection (anime review)

Code: BreakerTitle: Code: Breakers Complete Collection 

Director: Yashiro Irie

Studio: Kinema Citrus

U. S. Distributor: FUNimation

U. S. Release Date: June 24th, 2014

Format: DVD / Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Supernatural, Crime Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Grade: B


Rei Ogami doesn’t have a problem with killing. As a Code:Breaker – a super-powered assassin employed by a secret government organization – he works outside of the law, existing in the gray area between right and wrong. When Rei gets an assignment, criminals are cremated in a blaze of blue fire. That is, until a classmate named Sakura witnesses his fatal flames in action and makes it her mission to keep him from killing again.

As Sakura becomes entrenched in Rei’s world of cruelty, mayhem, and violence, the line between good and evil begins to blur. When another Code:Breaker goes rogue and the remaining assassins assemble, murder might be the only way to make things right. Or is it? The more Sakura stays with Rei the more we discover about Sakura and it just might be possible that Sakura was meant to be part of the world after all. The further you go the more you will question so, get ready to be amazed and baffled at the same time.


I realize that it is somewhat normal for artist to get their ideas from other artist and there are plenty of copy cat series out there in the world just trying to sponge some money of an idea that capture plenty of attention and provide the be full of imagination. Code: Breaker manages to entertain while at the same time make you think about all the other series it has in common. The first one that jumped out at me was Darker Than Black, next I was whisked away to the world of Full Metal Panic lastly there is X-Men. I’m not going to go into all of the reasons why Code: Breaker reminds me of these series because it would spoil the plot and series for you. Just take my word for it, Code: Breaker was built on the backs of giants and it almost pulls it off.

There is plenty about Code: Breaker that made we want to root for it and continually come back for more.  At first I thought it might be similar to other crime dramas of the last few years that left me wanting for more or rather wishing I hadn’t waisted my time.  I kind of expected the over the top melodrama that was presented in Psycho Pass or the lack luster writing of Guilty Crown.  After a few episodes I was pleasantly surprised that both the drama and writing held their own against a story that  feels a little contrived. Even with the contrivance of the plot the characters and general writing stood up and gives you reason to keep coming back. I was a little concerned about the Sakura at first but once you get into the heart of the story her character stands out and doesn’t become some week cliché. On the other hand the Rei Ogami comes very close to being that overly hyped anti hero with some grudge against everyone and everything. There just so happens to be a few moments that bring him back from that dark hateful world that sucks all too many main characters into that pit of waited leading men. The rest of the cast holds their own and end up bringing plenty of solid diversity into the plot and in the end really do make a difference.

Overall Grade: B

I wish there had not been so mush reference to older classic series. I guess it is sometimes hard to avoid, but for Code: Breaker the similarities are at its core and if they are taken out all you are left with is nothing at all. I guess that my grade is at this level because the series does pull it off and gives you a product that is both easy to watch and enjoyable at the same time. One point of contention though, the set is called the Complete Series, but there are 3 OVA’s that go along with the 13 episodes and I have a feeling that those will come out later with a silly name attached and a high price tag. For a few extra buck I thing people would have rather seen it all together. If you are a fan of Darker Than Black I know you will enjoy Code: Breaker.