Archives for : Tōko Machida

Dive!! The Complete Collection (anime review)

Title: Dive!! The Complete Collection

Director: Kaoru Suzuki

Written By: Tōko Machida

Studio: Zero-G

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Dec. 11th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Sports, Drama, Comedy, Slice of Life

Age Rating: PG

Overall Personal Rating: B+


Tomoko Sakai has loved the sport of diving since he was a child, and there’s no place he’d rather be than the high board at the Mizuki Diving Club. Unfortunately, the MDC’s having hard time staying afloat financially and there’s a sinking certainty that the club is about to drown in a sea of its own debt. Fiery female coach Kayoko Asaki has a bold plan to throw the club a lifeline, but it’s going to require achieving something that’s almost impossible: get one of the club’s members on the National team for the next Olympics! Can this struggling group of young athletes pool their talents in time to resuscitate their club, or will they make the ultimate belly flop? It’s time to sink or swim as the whole team leaps for the gold!


Dive!! jumps into the deep end of the many sports and swimming anime that have littered the screen over the last few years thanks to the popularity series like Free and Haikyu!!. Most of the series that come out tend to be heavy on sports and drama and light on character development and substance. Dive!! on the other hand play lightly with the sport and focuses on the character development. This helps the short series rise to a level most don’t manage to find.

Being a serious fan of Haikyu!! I expect a sports anime to give me more that just cheesecake I want to care about these young athletes and really want to see then succeed. Dive!! manages to provide me with 3 characters that each have their own reason to compete and also have good reason to become friends. The fact that we don’t have the revenge rivalry amounts these 3 is great. They have their reasons to compete and go for the top, but they also see the best in each other. Often you find a team spirit that is only at the surface with some other deep seeded envy or unhealthy competitive nature lurking in the dark areas of the characters existence. Dive!! makes these young athletes friends before they become true competitors which helps them root for each other in a very natural way. That in itself would make the series work watching, but add that to full character development and you have a solid series that makes you smile more often than not.

Overall Garde: B+

I know you are asking why is it that I praised the series so highly and only give it a B+. The answer is simple, there series is just way too short. Everything seems to flow naturally through the first 10 episodes then like a flurry the story is wrapped up. There is a rush to complete that both disappoints and also lets these wonderful characters down. I wanted to learn more about all three of these main characters and get a better feeling of the struggles they each have to go through. In other words the series let itself down by being so short.

The rest of the production was solid from the animation to the voice acting. There were a few moments that I felt a softer tough with cell shading would have worked better, but they are not paying me to be a technical advisor so I guess that is just a personal issue.

If you enjoy sports anime and are looking for a quick fix then all I can say if Dive!! into it, you will walk away with a smile.



RE: Hamatora Season 2

RE: Hamatora Season 2Title: RE:Hamatora season 2

Directed by: Seiji Kishi & Hiroshi Kimura

Written by: Tōko Machida & Jun Kumagai

Music by: Makoto Yoshimori

Studio: NAZ

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: January 26th, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 12 episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Drama, Sci Fi, Mystery, Supernatural

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: A-


Having the incredible powers that come with being a Minimum Holder can be a huge advantage to a private detective firm like Hamatora, but how can anyone stop someone who can both come back from the dead AND steal your powers at the same time?

That’s the problem that now confronts Murasaki and Hajime, and it’s made even more vexing by the fact that the team’s founder, Nice, may be dead as well. But while it may or may not have been Nice, Art is definitely killing himself for more than just Art’s sake and his goal seems to be to gather as many stolen powers as he can in order to rival Nice’s ability.

However, the strength of a power isn’t all that matters, and a lesser ability can triumph over a greater one if used correctly. It’s Rock – Paper-Scissors but with super powers as Minimum Holder takes on Minimum Holder in RE: Hamatora!


Season 2 of Hamatora does something that every anime should do, tell a great story and give the fans a thrilling plot and solid ending. Season 1 set the plot up and season knocked it down. I thought I understood the characters from their solid development in the first 12 episodes, but that was nothing compared to what was provided in season 2. Honestly it has been a long time since I have come across a series that does this. Mt first thought was Darker Than Black and the complexity of those characters. Although, Darker Than Black was better written and gave us some very memorable individuals. In Hamatora there are plenty of great characters, it isn’t until the end that they become something more than entertaining.

Just as season 1 was quick and dramatic season 2 of Hamatora is a little slower and much more intriguing. Much of the first 5 to 6 episodes I was trying to understand what was really going on and it wasn’t until I got to the last 3 that everything began to come into focus. That is ideal in a dramatic series like Hamatora, but there a few moments that I was ready to step away just be drawn back in. I didn’t get that momentary doubt in season one.

Overall Grade: A-

RE: Hamatora just might prove to be a long lasting series. I just hope anime fans get the opportunity to see it. I have discovered over the last few years that all to many solid series get lost in  the hype and flash of the other super star shows that blast onto the scene. I miss the days where series are discovered and become a small wild fire through the fandom. Now-a-days it seems as if the ones that get the most advertising and hype get the all too much attention. Where there are many great series that get left on the self. I get people asking me about great series and I through out some names and more often than not I get blank expressions then something like “what do you think about Attack On Titan?”. I just smile.

Hamatora has it all and then a little more. If it would not have lost focus early on in season 2 I think it would have been a home run. If you are looking for a true drama that ends up being kinder and gentler than you might expect then you really need to check this series out.