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Chaika The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle; Season 2 (anime review)

chaika-the-coffin-princess-2Title: Chaika The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle (Season 2) Blu-Ray

Director: Soichi Masui

Creator: Ichiro Sakaki

Anime Writer: Touko Machida

Studio: Bones

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: September 27th, 2016

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

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Supernatural, Harem

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis:

The battle on the floating fortress is over, but the quest to recover the scattered remains of Emperor Gaz is too important to delay. As Chaika and her companions seek out the hero Claudia in order to obtain the heart, they race against Red Chaika, who seeks the hero, Guy, who possesses one of the arms.

Even as Chaika struggles to learn the new magical skills required to defeat Claudia, a startling new revelation comes to light which may change their mission entirely: not all of Gaz’s magic research was destroyed, and information regarding the creation of the Chaikas may have been taken to a mysterious island!

With the possibility of uncovering the secrets behind their mysterious origins dangled in front of them, the Chaikas must decide whether or not they want to find the hidden island and brave its unknown perils. Could the entire thing be a trap?

It’s highly likely, but how can they resist the bait as the spellbinding adventure continues in CHAIKA THE COFFIN PRINCESS – AVENGING BATTLE!

Commentary:

After almost 10 months Chaika returns to complete the series. Chaika the Coffin Princess Avenging Battle is more than the second season it manages to take the series to another level. There was much less concentration on the harem aspects and real focus on the plot and character development. The simple fact that all of the characters knew what they were after and set their sights on completing their mission was very helpful in drawing a clear line between them. As the mystery unfolded for both the viewer and the lead characters it became obvious that there had to be some soul searching as the final battle drew close.

Overall Grade: A-

Unlike the first season of Chaika the Coffin PrincessChaika The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle is much faster and full of action. The plot develops at a lightening pace which is great if you are in a hurry to get to the end. I enjoyed it but felt like there could have been a little more story development to help explain everything that was going on. Even with the shortened length I still felt like there was plenty of information and  lots of excitement. I was even pleased with the ending.

It was refreshing to have the series focus on the end and also loose some of the emphasis on the Moe and Harem aspects to provide a solid series that has plenty of characters that anyone can connect with.

If you liked the first season of Chaika then you will love Chaika The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle. If you haven’t seen the first season and are interested in some fun and excitement then you should check out the series from the beginning. I think  you should be hooked and ready to see the rest.

Chaika: The Coffin Princess

814131014986_anime-chaika-coffin-princess-blu-rayTitle: Chaika The Coffin Princess season 1

Director: Soichi Masui

Creator: Ichiro Sakaki

Anime Writer: Touko Machida

Studio: Bones

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

Format: Blu-ray/ 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Supernatural

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

The end of the war with the Gaz Empire only meant unemployment for former Saboteur Toru Acura. So when he collides with fate in the form of a young girl carrying a coffin through a forest, it doesn’t take much convincing for Toru and his similarly inclined step-sister Akari to join young wizard Chaika on her bizarre quest: to collect the scattered body parts of the former Emperor.

Unfortunately, the severed pieces were carried off by the Heroes who killed him, and some think that reassembling them could restart the war! On top of that, Chaika may not be who she claims to be, as there are others conducting similar missions all across the kingdoms. Is Chaika a dead man’s daughter, picking up the pieces for burial, or is there something far more sinister in the works? The winds of war are stirring and there are dragons waiting in the darkness ahead for Chaika The Coffin Princess!

Commentary:

Chaika The Coffin Princess is not what I expected. I was thoughtful and full of dark mystery. The series first came across as just another dark fantasy, but as it progressed I found the plot to be much thicker and well developed. You never really know who or what Chaika is but it does become easy to by into the little group because of the blind faith that Toru who is looking for a reason to live.

The other thing that makes it easy to like this series is the animation. Bones does a lot of different animation it doesn’t always work, but for Chaika the look and feel is spot on. The story fits the fanciful world they live in and helps keep things moving along. That being said I am getting a little tired of seeing the magical rings show up in every show to evidence some summons or spell being cast. It is over used I think it would have worked just fine without it.

Overall Grade: B+

Chaika the Coffin Princess is a strong fantasy that give you enough story and plot to make it worth while to get involved in.  As it worked toward the end of the first 12 episodes I was hoping for more information and maybe even a secret or two to be revealed, but I was left wanting more. Sometimes it is a terrible way to setup a series but when the story and plot are strong enough it is a wonderful way to move the series along. Chaika the Coffin Princess  voice acting was rather tight and caught the feeling exceptionally well. The only draw back was Crystal LaPort who played Fredrika. She came across whinny and took to the high pitch end all too much that it became annoying, much the way Monica Rail plays many of her characters. It is just too much.

Chaika the Coffin Princess is a great option for the fantasy lover. It should be easy to get past the tired Lolita crap laid out with Chaika and get into the story. For those of you looking for something different then this might be just what you are looking for. I found much of the drama and action that is found in Sword Art Online and some of the solid plot of Fullmetal Alchemist.

Check it out and enjoy.

Amagami SS: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray (anime review)

Amagami SS review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Amagami SS: The Complete Collection

Director: Yoshimasa Hiraike

Studio: AIC

Author: Noboru Kimura and Touko Machida

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: November 25, 2014

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 24 Episodes + 2 OVA’s / 650 Minutes

Genre: Drama, Romance, School, Slice of Life

Industry Age Rating: 13 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: KimiKiss: Pure Rouge, Hatsukoi Limited, Clannad, and Kanon (2006)

Synopsis:

Junichi Tachibana has never been lucky in love. Ever since his date stood him up on Christmas Eve two years ago, he has pretty much given up on the whole idea and spends his days inside his closet planetarium, going to school and hanging out with his friends Kaoru and Umehara. However, there are quite a few girls who would all make wonderful partners for Junichi if he would only open his eyes and his heart. Could he have struck up a meaningful relationship with any of them if he’d done the right things and said the right words?

Well, it is time to find out as Fate steps in and decides to see what would happen if Junichi were to snap out of his funk and take a chance. This is a whole new twist on the idea of love at sixth or seventh sight, and if one boy and a whole lot of different girlfriends-to-be sounds like a lot of wishful thinking… well, it is! But wishes have that weird habit of coming true and the statistical odds are definitely on Junichi’s side as the guy without a date’s luck with the ladies goes from bad to multi-verse! Will Junichi find his good ending with one of the ladies, or is he to be lonely for the rest of his life? Watch Amagami SS: The Complete Collection and find out!

Commentary:

Amagami SS: The Complete Collection is a series that follows Junichi Tachibana as he falls in love with six different girls at different times within the same time period; almost like Groundhog Day. This series is based off a PS2 dating game with the same idea. Each girl gets their own story arc of four episodes and we usually get a nice wrapped up story within those four episodes. Some arcs were better than others, but I enjoyed them all. I am a hopeless-romantic and I love a good romance if it is well done and Amagami SS: The Complete Collection is one of the good ones. I can see myself rewatching this series again.

Junichi’s character is very well developed and we get to see this development through the arcs. However, he is always slightly perverted no matter what, but eventually you accept it and just laugh at those moments. Haruka is the girl the first arc is about. She is a very unique and cheerful girl who loves puppies and other cute things. She is really loveable and her voice actress did an amazing job bringing her to life. Kaoru is a childhood friend of Junichi and the second arc is all about her. She is hard-working and has a cool personality. Sae is the girl in the third arc. She is a first year student at the school and is very shy. They actually make a very cute couple. Ai and Junichi meet up for the fourth arc. This arc has the most emotion and development. The ending was beautiful and really moving. I could not help but feel attached to Ai as her personality is just too cute. Rihoko is the fifth arc’s girl. However, she already loves Junichi but he does not love her. This arc felt very slow and drawn out. She is not a horrible character but this arc did not hold my interest very well. We finally meet Tsukasa in the final arc. She is the class volunteer for the Christmas festival at school and Junichi decides to help her out. Eventually they get closer and something beautiful happens at the end. Tsukasa is a wonderful and likable character.

The opening and closing songs were well done and each arc has its own closing songs. There are two different opening songs and both are well done and catchy. Some of the closing songs are better than others but I think that has more to do with how you feel about the arc itself. The artwork was well done and the background pictures jumped off the screen.

Extras:

Amagami SS: The Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series only has Japanese with English subtitles as the language option.

Overall Grade: B+

Amagami SS: The Complete Collection is a wonderful romance and I recommend it if you enjoy that genre of anime.

Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection

Sengoku CollectionTitle: Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection

Director: Keiji Gotou

Studio: Brian’s Base

Author: Touko Machida

U.S. Distributor: Lucky Penny / Nozomi

U.S. Release Date: August 5, 2014

Format and Length: DVD / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Parody, Samurai

Industry Age Rating: 16 and up

Overall Personal Rating: C+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Battle Girls: Time Paradox

Synopsis:

Oda Nobunaga is a feisty Warring States era general who is locked in a massive struggle to dominate the land, however, that all changes when a strange light sucks friend and foe alike into our era. But how will the Warring States era generals and their servants adapt to a strange land full of technology? Some will do better than others and become Idols or models while others are determined to go back to their own era. Japan and Feudal Japan will never be the same again when the generals are done wreaking havoc and collecting the “Secret Treasures.”

Commentary:

Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection once again brings us an all female cast for the Warring States era generals, but this time they are brought into the modern era. However, I wish that the story line would have meshed together a bit better. Each general had one or two episodes devoted to their adventures in the modern era. The only character that was in almost every episode was Nobunaga. I wish the other characters would have had some more screen time and more advancement of their character. Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection ended up feeling like a slice-of-life anime because the episodes are very loosely related to each other and they did not add much to the main story. The name of this series makes perfect sense after watching because it is basically a collection of all of the generals’ stories with no actual plot. You see hints of a story line in each episode, but for the most part there is none.

There were also some problems with the characters. Some of the characters are horribly written and have almost no relevance to their Feudal image that they should have either been left out of the story or shared an episode with another character. One of those characters would be Tsunehisa Amago, the general that came into our era as a four year old child. Her episode really threw me for a loop. However, some of the characters were well written and brought their episode to life. Some of those characters would include Masamune Date, Nobunaga Oda, and Ieyasu Tokugawa. I really enjoyed their episodes and their voice actors really brought their characters to life. Some of the episodes were awesome, most were okay, and a few were a chore to get through. There were also a large number of parodies in this series but most are Japanese-related media so the average viewer will probably not understand the references.

The art work quality seemed to change from episode to episode, however it did not take away any enjoyment from the series for me. I thought the opening and closing songs were catchy and cute. Every episode had different styles and artists for the music depending on the episode and parodies used in the episode. Be forewarned, there is a ton of fan-service in this series and I felt it took away from the episodes and was overdone.

Extras:

Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and trailers as special features. This release only included Japanese with English subtitles as the language options.

Overall Grade: C+

Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection had so much potential but it was not executed well. This was still an okay series but at times it was tough to make it through an episode.