Tag Archives: Anime Review

NCG Watches: Kiss Him, Not Me

Last night I finally decided to check out Kiss Him, Not Me on Funimation.  It looked like a cheesy enough Shoujo series that might be ok.

The plot of the series is Kae Serinuma is a huge fujoshi and otaku who loves picturing men in romantic relationships.  She is a chubby girl who somehow manages to gain the attentions of all the hot guys in school (in a non-romantic way).  When she locks herself in her room for a week after her favorite character dies, she somehow loses all that weight and becomes… pretty?  Her new look captures the hearts of four guys in her school who all begin to compete for her affections.

I lost complete interest in the series after the first episode.  Maybe it gets better but I am not too interested to find out.  Why not continue? Because of how shallow the characters and story is.

What really irks is me is why did Kae need to lose weight in order to become attractive?  I think she could have been an attractive character even if she was drawn larger.  The whole concept of the series is being beautiful based on your personality and interests, so why did this beauty have to physically manifest?  I think it continues to convey that beauty comes from being thin and your odd interests can only be accepted by others if you are still ok to look at.  This is a terrible message, particularly for younger girls who might pick up the series.

The attraction the boys feel toward Kae is shallow.  They didn’t pay romantic attention to her until AFTER she became “pretty” making their interest just as petty as the unintended transformation.  Their dialogue is shallow with no real depth to their characters other than an arch-type.   It works in the way that it plays off of Kae’s boys-love fantasies, however, it does not make for a compelling story.

I would not recommend this series to anyone who likes shoujo or shounen-ai/yaoi manga.

Did you have a chance to check out this series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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NCG Watches: Juni Taisen: Zodiac War

I am never usually quick to pick up a seinen series, but I’m glad I got a chance to start Juni Taisen.  Maybe it’s my obsession with killing games (since Battle Royale happens to be one of my favorite series) or it’s my obsession with plots that feel unpredictable.

Based on a light novel by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Hikaru Nakamura, Juni Taisen takes place in a city where 500,000 citizens have been evacuated so the deadliest killing game can take place. The tournament happens every 12 years and the winner will have a wish granted to them.  Each character is a warrior with a fighting style and name based on the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals.  In order to ensure the battle is quick, each warrior must swallow a black gem that will kill them in 12 hours.  Their goal is to retrieve all other gems before their time runs out.

What I enjoy about the series is how unpredictable it feels.  We start off following the Boar, assuming the story will follow her.  However, the series takes a quick twist when she dies at the end of the first episode.

Not only is the series unpredictable, but there’s a variety of characters.  Each character has a unique, almost inhuman ability that gives them an advantage over their opponent.  It is fun watching the battles play out wondering who the winner will be.

That said, I recommend checking this series out to anyone who doesn’t mind violence and prefers a more mature story line.

I will admit that I do worry about the ending.  I’ve noticed that some series with strong openings tend to fall flat in the end.

Have you had a chance to check out this series? What do you think of it so far? Let us know in the comments!

NCG watches Gamers!

Anime is always out to touch the heart of a gamer.  We saw Sword Art Online, No Game No Life (just to name the big titles), and now we have Gamers!

We meet Keita Amano, an plain high school student who loves games. While he’s picking out a few games from the game store, he runs into one of the prettiest girls in school, Karen Tendou.  Not only is she talking to him, but she invites him to join the Gaming Club! Despite wanting to live a “refreshing high school life” making new friends, Amano rejects her offer.

The story touches on the concept of competitive gaming VS casual gaming and what games mean to different people.  We meet all sorts of arch-type gamers so gamers out in the real world can find a character they can easily relate too whether you’re the hardcore competitive gamer, closet gamer, the friend that always has a different opinion, or a casual gamer who plays everything.

There are an abundant amount of game references and in-show game play, which makes the series fun to watch.  Gamers! is a light series to pick up; it won’t leave you at the edge of your couch at the end of every episode. It follows basic slice-of-life, romance, shounen plots but it’s a good watch to pass the time.

Gamers! can be found with English dub on Funimation, or with subtitles on Crunchyroll.

Have you had a chance to watch this title? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Restaurant to Another World – Anime Review

I am always afraid when I see a maid on the cover of any anime.  The anime “market” has been so saturated with fan service so it’s hard to find a series that isn’t just a slew of pantie shots, nose bleeds, bouncing breasts, and awkward situations.  Not to mention adding food? Food Wars (although an ok series) nearly scared me off from Restaurant to Another World, however, I gave it a shot anyway.

Western Resturant Nekoya specializes in Western and Japanese dishes, but on the 7th day of the week at midnight the doorway to the restaurant appears in another realm.  Creatures from another world are able to dine at Western Restaurant Nekoya and experience a delicacy non-existent in their world.

We meet a variety of characters with their own unique tastes and watch them experience their “magical” restaurant experience. Not only that, we experience their journey to encountering a restaurant whether it be an creature or human.

When food is consumed by the mystical patrons, they have an experience like no other – the food is always so delicious!  It’s an interesting concept introducing foreign food to another world.   But this aspect gets dull pretty fast.  Particularly with the “orgasmic” approach to eating food.  Everything is “exquisite” and fits the diners palette just so darn perfect.

The highlight of the series is learning about food dishes, following the lives of the creatures outside of the restaurant, and seeing how the magical world has influenced and impacted the restaurant.

While the series seems to have very little conflict, it’s a good watch if you’re looking for a mellow and “mature” series.

Have you had a chance to check out this show? Have you tried any of the dishes featured in the show? Which dish would you like to try? Let us know in the comments!

 

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories Season 4!

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is a horror anime series animated in 5 minute shorts.  Each short is based on a tale from Japanese urban legends or myths.  What makes this series stand out is the unique animation style drawn to mimic Kamishibai style of story telling; street story telling using drawn scrolls/boards and simple theatrics. It was really popular in the 1930’s.  This one of those series where you gather your friends together, sit in a dark room, and see who screams first.

What I enjoy the most about Yamishibai is the pacing and flow of the stories.   The lack of in-depth animation and the simplicity of the dialogue create some wonderful moments you will be thinking about before you turn out the lights. With each season, we experience a different director’s take on Hiromu Kumamoto’s stories. Each season carries its own pace, tone, and method of story telling -pretty darn close to the original stylistic roots of Kamishibai!

Moving into to season 4, another style change is being implemented.  So far, only the first three episodes have been released on Crunchyroll.  What viewers will notice is that the stories have gone back to the roots of season 1, however, the episodes are heavily narrated; the story is told rather than shown through the animation and short dialogue.  So far, I really enjoy the stories of season 4 since it traces back to the roots of season 1. I haven’t picked up on a theme quite yet (Season 3 was all about monsters), but I’ll just have to wait until a few more episodes are released.

I have a lot of hope for the rest of the season.  Keep an eye out for a review on the first three episodes (coming soon)!  Have you had a chance to watch this series? What do you think of Season 4 for far? Let me know in the comments.