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Fox

Electric Ferret
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Blog Entries posted by Fox

  1. Fox
    Nine-Tailed Fox Anime Series Ratings
    These are all the series I have watched and the scores I gave them.  Link to my review is provided, if I made one for the show.
    I only rate anime series that I have watched in their entirety that season.  Usually I binge the series when the season is complete to get the full impact.
    My ratings system is based on how pleased my brain is with the viewing experience.  There is a lot of anime out there to watch and much of it is terribly forgettable. I just capture a score based on how my brain reacted to the anime stimuli at the time I watched it.
     

    Brain wildly entertained. Neurons saturated with entertainment.
    Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba  (My Review)
    Log Horizon & Log Horizon II  (My Review)
    That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime - Season 1
    The Ancient Magus' Bride
     

    Brain extremely entertained. Neurons firing regularly. Outside world forgotten.
    Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? - Season 1
    Made in Abyss  (My Review)
    Sword Art Online - Season 1
    The Saga of Tanya the Evil  (My Review)
    Saga of Tanya the Evil: The Movie
     

    Brain entertained. Neurons well stimulated. Brain wants to look for the blu-ray.
    Ascendance of a Bookworm
    Girls & Panzer: The Movie
    Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? - Season 2
    Kokoro Connect
    No Game No Life - Season 1
    Restaurant to Another World  (My Review)
    Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle  (My Review)
    The Rising of the Shield Hero
     

    Brain in Neutral. Neurons a bit stimulated. Brain generally pleased.
    Adachi and Shimamura  (My Review)
    Astra Lost in Space
    Bloom Into You
    Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious
    Girls & Panzer - Season 1
    Goblin Slayer  (My Review)
    Haganai: I don't have many friends
    Haganai: I don't have many friends NEXT
    How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
    INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!?
    Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? - Season 3
    Kaguya-sama: Love is War - Season 1
    Kaguya-sama: Love is War - Season 2
    KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! - Season 1
    KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! - Season 2
    Momokuri
    Monster Musume
    My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!  (My Review)
    Noragami: Stray God
    Noragami: Aragoto
    O Maidens in Your Savage Season
    Overlord - Season 1
    Overlord - Season 3
    Recovery of an MMO Junkie
    Scum's Wish
    Snow White with the Red Hair - Season 1
    Snow White with the Red Hair - Season 2
    Sword Art Online: Alicization
    Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld
    Sword Oratoria
    The Devil is a Part-Timer!
    Tower of God
    Trinity Seven
    Walkure Romanze
    White Album 2
     

    Brain in neutral. Meh, brain pleased just enough.
    Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor
    And you thought there is never a girl online?
    Are You Lost?
    Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest
    BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense  (My Review)
    Campione!
    Darwin's Game (My Review)
    Date a Live - Season 1
    Date a Live - Season 2
    Demon Lord, Retry!  (My Review)
    Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA
    Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya 2Wei!
    Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya 2Wei Herz!
    Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei!
    Gleipnir
    Grisaia: The Fruit of Grisaia
    Grisaia: The Eden of Grisaia
    How heavy are the dumbbells you lift?
    Konohana Kitan
    Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear (My Review)
    Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood
    Outbreak Company
    Overlord - Season 2
    Princess Connect! Re:Dive
    Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
    Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
    The Asterisk War - Season 1
    The Asterisk War - Season 2
    The Helpful Fox Senko-san
    The Misfit of Demon King Academy
    The Quintessential Quintuplets
    We Never Learn
    We Never Learn!: Bokuben
    Yamada's First Time
     

    Brain in neutral but occasionally displeased.
    By the Grace of the Gods  (My Review)
    Citrus
    Date A Live - Season 3
    Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!
    Domestic Girlfriend
    Eromanga Sensei
    Freezing
    Freezing Vibration
    Fruits Basket - Season 1
    Heaven's Lost Property
    Hensuki: Are you willing to fall in love with a pervert, as long as she's a cutie?
    In/Spectre
    Interviews with Monster Girls
    Is This A Zombie?
    Isekai Quartet - Season 1
    Isekai Quartet - Season 2
    Kakuriyo - Bed & Breakfast for Spirits
    Kämpfer
    Keijo
    Love Tyrant
    Miss caretaker of Sunohara-sou
    Monster Girl Doctor  (My Review)
    Netsuzou Trap -NTR-
    No-Rin
    Riddle Story of Devil
    Sword Art Online - Season 2  (Whatevs, just could not get into this one.)
    The Pet Girl of Sakurasou
    Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!
    Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs
     

    Brain displeased and not entertained. Brain thinking about doing something else.
    Ao-chan Can't Study!
    Astarotte's Toy
    Cat Planet Cuties
    CHOYOYU!: High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World!
    Cop Craft
    Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody
    Do You Like Your Mom and her two hit attacks?
    Girly Air Force
    If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord
    In Another World With My Smartphone
    Infinite Dendrogram  (My Review)
    Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story
    Mysterious Girlfriend X
    Sankarea
    Wise Man's Grandchild
    Yusibu: I couldnt become a hero, so I reluctantly decided to get a job
     

    Brain suffered through the show to warn you not to.
    Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero
    Dragonar Academy
    So I Can't Play H
    The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar
    The Sacred Blacksmith
     
     
  2. Fox
    Review: By the Grace of the Gods
    (Non-Spoilery)

    Season Aired: Fall 2020 - 12 episodes
    MAL Link: By the Grace of the Gods
    Watch it at: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    Sometimes anime series are just ephemeral clouds that pass through my eyes and out the back of my head.  I watched all twelve episodes of this show just a couple days ago and already I am hard-pressed to remember much about it.
    This show follows the adventures of a Japanese corporate drone from our modern world who is transported to a fantasy world to make a new life. 
    This type of show has become very common and formulaic. The main character who is transported to the fantasy setting possesses futuristic knowledge along with god-like power which makes them very difficult to challenge, physically.  Any stakes that the show raises for the main character are typically at the social or emotional level.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    The main character is a corporate worker in his 30's who literally works himself to death.  Having few good memories to show for his trip through life, the gods offer him the opportunity to start over as an eight year-old boy in another world.  A magic-based fantasy world, naturally.  That seems pretty typical of how these things go. Naturally, the gods gift the boy with great magical talent.
    And so, the boy's journey to live a better life than he did last time begins. Along the way he will used his overpowered talents to assist those in need and also help make the often dirty fantasy world clean and fresh.  Yes, he does a lot of cleaning in this show for some reason.
     
    My Verdict: 
    By the Grace of the Gods put me in a vegetative mental state for much of it's 12 episodes.  I watched it, but I can't say I was particularly engaged with it.  I don't mind putting on an anime and relaxing my brain while the pretty art and images go by.  I'm perfectly fine with that.  In a show like this which has no antagonist, no stakes and nothing which challenges the main character or the audience, relaxing with it is about all you can do. 
    This one mostly succeeds at that most basic of tasks, but not quite.  It does make your brain seize up and say, wait... this is dumb from time to time.
    Score: 2.5 out of 5

    Review Rating Scale:
    5     Brain wildly entertained. Neurons saturated with entertainment. An anime masterpiece.
    4.5  Brain extremely entertained. Neurons firing regularly. Outside world forgotten.
    4     Brain entertained. Neurons well stimulated. Brain wants to look for the blu-ray.
    3.5  Brain in Neutral. Neurons a little stimulated. Brain generally pleased.
    3     Brain in neutral. Neurons flat lined. Meh, brain pleased just enough.
    2.5  Brain in neutral but occasionally displeased.
    2     Brain displeased and not entertained. Brain thinking about doing something else.
    1.5 or less - Brain suffered through the show so it could tell you not to.
     
  3. Fox
    Review: Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear
    (Non-Spoilery)

    Season Aired: Fall 2020 - 12 episodes
    MAL Link: Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear
    Watch it at: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    This show follows the adventures of a teenager from our modern world who is transported to a fantasy world to make a new life. She is provided a bear costume to wear which protects her from danger with its overpowered abilities.
    This type of show has become very common and formulaic. The main character who is transported to the fantasy setting possesses futuristic knowledge along with god-like power which makes them very difficult to challenge, physically.  Any stakes that the show raises for the main character are typically at the social or emotional level.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    Fifteen year old modern Japanese teenager is obsessed with a virtual reality fantasy game.  One day when she logs into the game, she is asked some questions by the Game Master.  When she answers appropriately, she is transported to a fantasy world to start her life over.  She is provided a bear costume which allows her to defeat monsters and protect herself.
    Soon she has joined the local Adventurers Guild and so begins her journey to fight monsters and find a way to eat traditional Japanese cuisine in this new world.
     
    My Verdict: 
    Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear isn't terrible.  It just doesn't bring anything new to the table in the Isekai genre.  These kind of shows follow a pattern which is fairly predictable.  The differences between them seem to be around the edges.
    The main character is pleasant and relatable, so that is a plus in it's favor.  The art is fine, the production values are fine and the characters are cute and easy to watch.  The story is as easy to digest as a bag of Doritos, and about as memorable.
    Not every anime needs to be a masterpiece.  Switching off your brain for a couple hours to take in a show like this can be relaxing.  If you were entertained, then the goal was met.  However, if you are looking for a masterpiece or more mentally challenging fare, you will need to look elsewhere.
    Score: 3 out of 5

    Review Rating Scale:
    5     Brain wildly entertained. Neurons saturated with entertainment. An anime masterpiece.
    4.5  Brain extremely entertained. Neurons firing regularly. Outside world forgotten.
    4     Brain entertained. Neurons usually stimulated. Brain wants to look for the blu-ray.
    3.5  Brain in Neutral. Neurons sometimes stimulated. Brain generally pleased.
    3     Brain in neutral. Neurons flat lined. Meh, brain pleased just enough.
    2.5  Brain in neutral but occasionally displeased.
    2     Brain displeased and not entertained. Brain thinking about doing something else.
    1.5 or less - Brain suffered through the show so it could tell you not to.
     
  4. Fox
    Review: Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
    (Non-Spoilery)

    Season Aired: Fall 2020 - 12 episodes
    MAL Link: Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
    Watch it at: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    This show takes the classic trope about captured and sleeping princesses and turns the concept on its head.  In doing so, it finds a fresh and entertaining perspective on the classic fantasy premise.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    The Demon King captures the Princess of the rival humans and brings her to his castle.  The Princess quickly grows bored with being imprisoned within the Demon Castle as there is nothing to do. So, she determines to just sleep her time away. 
    However, circumstances at Demon Castle often conspire to thwart her desire for sleep.  And so, what follows is her quest to overcome the challenges of achieving perfect sleep in Demon Castle and make Demon Castle more to her liking. 
    Demon Castle may never be the same once the Princess is through with it.
     
    My Verdict: 
    Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is a very entertaining fantasy comedy.  It finds a lot of humor in the premise to give to the audience.  The fantasy setting itself is used to great effect in setting up the gags.
    The characters are fun to watch, but it is the Princess that is the beating heart of the show.  She is a perfectly crafted and written character for this show and it does not get old watching her in action over the 12 episodes.  The Princess is cute and adorable in appearance, but in behavior she is absolutely ruthless about getting her sleep and shows no mercy to anyone who stands in her way.
    Humor is very subjective.  I have watched a number of anime comedies that did not work for me, personally.  This one did, however.  The show had me chuckling from time to time through it.  It keeps the narrative and character development going while throwing out the funnies, which keeps it fresh.
    If the premise sounds like it would interest you, I think it is definitely an anime worth checking out.
    Score: 4 out of 5

    Review Rating Scale:
    5     Brain wildly entertained. Neurons saturated with entertainment. An anime masterpiece.
    4.5  Brain extremely entertained. Neurons firing regularly. Outside world forgotten.
    4     Brain entertained. Neurons usually stimulated. Brain wants to look for the blu-ray.
    3.5  Brain in Neutral. Neurons sometimes stimulated. Brain generally pleased.
    3     Brain in neutral. Neurons flat lined. Meh, brain pleased just enough.
    2.5  Brain in neutral but occasionally displeased.
    2     Brain displeased and not entertained. Brain thinking about doing something else.
    1.5 or less - Brain suffered through the show so it could tell you not to.
     
  5. Fox
    Review: Adachi and Shimamura
    (Non-Spoilery)

    Season Aired: Fall 2020 - 12 episodes
    MAL Link: Adachi and Shimamura
    Watch it at: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    This is a Yuri anime.  Yuri is a Japanese jargon term for characters, themes, content and a genre involving lesbian relationships or female homoeroticism.
    In this case, looking at it from the puppy-love angle.
    Adachi and Shimamura is like if somebody looked at the yuri trash-fire that was Citrus and said... hey, why don't we do that except with relatable, well developed and human characters?
    The two shows bear a certain similarity at first glance - you have the intense, introverted dark-haired girl and the somewhat more outgoing blonde girl navigating a relationship together.
    That's pretty much where the similarity ends, though.  Where Citrus quickly spun-off into the absurd and prurient, Adachi and Shimamura is a real character study of young people dealing with the awkward, confusing and sometimes painful emotional throes of a first love.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    This show is a "Slice of Life" which means it portrays the sequence of events in a character's life. There is no strong plot line - the point of the show is the journey; not the destination.
    As we follow the pair through their first years of high school, we experience what they do as they awaken to new feelings and grapple with it in their own ways.
     
    My Verdict: 
    The art and animation is really superb.  You can tell the artists and animators gave a lot of love to this production.
    The two main characters are deep.  their self-realizations about themselves and the people around them are what drives the show. 
    The show doesn't use cliches or character archetypes to give the viewer a quick reference point on the two main characters.  The viewer has to go on the journey of self-discovery with them as the layers of their personalities are exposed, episode by episode.
    And, overall, the show is really kawaii. The animators put a focus on the cute and adorable which makes the emotional pain of first love a bit less biting to the viewer.
    Score: 3.5 out of 5

  6. Fox
    Review: Infinite Dendrogram
    (Non-Spoilery)
     

    Season Aired: Winter 2020 - 13 episodes
    MAL Link: Infinite Dendrogram
    Watch it at: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    Anime shows that are about living in a fantasy game world are somewhat common. I tend to enjoy these shows because I enjoy fantasy games.  I am the target audience.
    These shows have the complete freedom to combine the elements of a sword and sorcery world with the high-tech elements which would make such a game possible. They pretty much get carte blanche from the viewer on suspension of disbelief.
    However, that doesn't absolve the show from delivering on a good story with good characters.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    So, the year is 2043 and virtual reality games have advanced to the point where players mentally travel to the fantasy game world and inhabit it.  This is the world of Infinite Dendrogram which promises infinite possibilities for adventure, fame and loot.
    Into this world comes our main character who logs into Infinite Dendrogram for the first time as the show begins. Just a newbie.
    Now something is going to have to happen right off the bat to give the main character some kind of an advantage in this new world. And, of course, it surely does.  Our main character becomes the owner of an intelligent sword that can turn into a cute girl dressed like a maid.
    Totally did not see that coming.
    With the help of this sword and his older brother who has been playing the game for awhile and offers occasional advice, the main character journeys into the world to find loot, adventure and level up!
     
    My Verdict: 
    Infinite Dendrogram is a hot mess.  It has a bland main character, a convoluted story line and characters whose motivations are meant to be mysterious but the viewer could really care less.
    That said, I did watch the entire series so as to get the whole impression of it.  I have to say, last couple of episodes - the climax with the big show down - I had little idea what it was all about.  The show did not really explain who the villain was and I had no reason at all to care.
    I found the battles mostly uninteresting.  I blame that on the main character being mostly uninteresting.  Besides having no appreciable personality beyond "generic do-gooder", there were also no stakes for the main character.  If he "died" he just got logged off the game for a day or some such.
    Pretty much the only interesting character in Infinite Dendrogram was the intelligent sword who could turn into a maid.
    The art and animation was alright. Nothing great.
    Score: 2 out of 5

     
  7. Fox
    Review: Goblin Slayer
    (Non-Spoilery)

    Season Aired: Fall 2018 - 12 episodes
    MAL Link: Goblin Slayer
    Watch it at: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    In fantasy games, goblins are often a low level monster that present an early challenge to players, but are rarely seen again beyond the very early game.   They are good for some early experience, but players typically have no interest in goblins once better options are available.
    I mean, I personally don't certainly.  I'm into better, sexier monsters that have better loot. But I digress.  
    This show recognizes that goblins are a very early game creature and embraces that stereotype.  Just like in fantasy games, this show has a whole cast of high level adventurers and none of them want to bother themselves with goblins.  It perfectly captures goblin's place as the lowest rung of the monster hierarchy. And yet, goblins are still a nuisance and a constant threat to humanity.  What to do?
    Enter the Goblin Slayer.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    The show is about a warrior who is obsessive about killing goblins.  There is, naturally, a tragic backstory involved which left the main character deeply scarred and with an unquenchable desire for vengeance. 
    The story opens with an absolutely brutal first episode that puts the viewer on notice that goblins are not to be trifled with.  Once that bit of world building is established, the Goblin Slayer concerns itself with the main character moving from one goblin related problem to the next.  Along the way, he is joined by other adventurers who have shared goals.
    The show is somewhat episodic and doesn't have a linear plot line.  Different adventures are broken up into episode blocks.  It does have a very satisfying no-hold-barred conclusion.
     
    My Verdict: 
    Goblin Slayer is a bloody violent fantasy romp.  The action, adventure and Dungeons and Dragons type callbacks are the draw here.
    For the most part, the characters in the show are served to you fully baked.  There are no character arcs to speak of besides, perhaps, that of the young priestess character that follows the Goblin Slayer around.  She is probably intended to be the audience surrogate and provides some gentle sanity to balance out the main character's obsessive violence.  The main character does see a bit of development, but it's subtle and around the edges.
    Goblin Slayer never apologizes for what it is: 12 blood soaked episodes about how to make goblins dead. And, because of how brutal the first episode is, you will likely be all for their often spectacular demise.  It is a dark, violent fantasy series and it succeeds admirably within that genre.
    Score: 3.5 out of 5

     
  8. Fox
    Review: Darwin's Game
    (Non-Spoilery)
     

    Season Aired: Winter 2020 - 11 episodes
    MAL Link: Darwin's Game
    Watch it at: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    Darwin's Game has some cool ideas and some fun fight scenes.  However, it will give your brain's suspension of disbelief circuits a workout.
    Now, most anime does require that the viewer suspend their disbelief in order to roll with the fictional story about incredible things.  All good.
    The problem with Darwin's Game is that it takes place in our present day and reality.  It presents the same science and city life that we are all generally familiar with.   Because it's using a familiar setting to the audience, the show needs to be more clever about presenting incredible things to the viewer.
    In this regard, Darwin's Game is about as clever as a dump truck crashing through your living room wall and asking to be filled up with all the suspension of disbelief you have available.
    The show does have it's cool and fun moments. But it's going to do things that will have you rolling your eyes at it.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    A mobile game called "Darwin's Game" causes its players to join an actual life or death survival contest against their will.  It's kill or be killed in this survival of the fittest contest where just about anything goes. 
    Our main character inadvertently joins Darwin's Game when invited by a friend.  The show focuses on his struggle to stay alive and figure out how to get out of the game.
    That is basically the plot. 
    Now, if the show had stopped right there, then this could have been a gritty and realistic "kill or be killed" thriller set in a grounded reality.  But, the show has other plans.  And here's where the viewer's suspension of disbelief is going to get some exercise as things get totally gonzo.
    Every participant in this death match contest is handed a free super power for use in the game.  Wut?
    And every contestant's individual super power is different.  You could get a cool and helpful power or you could get a mostly useless power.  That doesn't seem very fair, does it?
    But wait, there's more!
    Also, the shadowy cabal running this game seems to have unfathomable powers to bend reality around the city. This so that none of the normies notice these super powered characters running around killing each other and causing massive property damage.
    It's honestly a lot to swallow. But we're in it for the action and cool fights, right?
     
     My Verdict: 
    Darwin's Game absolutely has it's moments.  You'll need to just accept that a mobile game can give random super powers out like a slot machine and that a secret cabal can keep the population of a city from noticing their city is getting destroyed.
    If you can roll with that, then Darwin's Game will have you covered with some interesting characters using quirky powers to try and do in one another.
    The main character is fine; intelligent and level headed with no annoying character traits, which is helpful.
    I myself was won over by the action, creative use of powers and well choreographed and well animated battles.  I had fun with it. 
    Score: 3 out of 5

  9. Fox
    Review: Made in Abyss
    (Non-Spoilery)
     

    Season Aired: Summer 2017 - 13 episodes
    MAL Link: Made in Abyss
    Watch it at: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    The art style of this show might lead you to believe that this is a show intended for a young audience. 
    It is not.
    Made in Abyss is an 'R' rated show intended for more mature audiences.  In fact, showing this series to a child might just traumatize them, honestly.
    This series has scenes in it  that will haunt me for the rest of my life.  Made in Abyss is absolutely heartbreaking in parts. 
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    There is a vast hole in the Earth, "the Abyss", the depth of which is unknown.  The Abyss has levels all the way down, each of which has its own biome with unique plants, animals and dangers.  Each level of this Abyss is it's own little world, essentially.
    This Abyss has a magical property to it - a curse which makes exploring it difficult.  A person can travel down into this Abyss without issue, but coming back up causes pain or worse. As in ocean diving, if one dives too deep underwater, then coming back up can cause the bends.
    Despite this, explorers do go down into this Abyss seeking knowledge or fortune.  However, they have to be rated to travel down to certain depths depending on their ability to withstand the hardship of coming back up.
    The main character, Riko, is the daughter of one of these explorers.  When Riko's mother does not return from the Abyss, Riko becomes determined to find her.  And so, with the help of a mysterious robot built to resemble a little boy, Riko travels down into the Abyss in search of her mother.
     
     My Verdict: 
    Made in Abyss is a series with a unique premise, very creative set designs and strong storytelling. It has mystery, adventure and danger in abundance.  It is also violent and, depending on how susceptible you are to it, emotionally gut wrenching.
    The first couple episodes are spent setting up the world and the rules that the Abyss operates by.  Once that is established and the main characters dive in, it is a harrowing and brutal survival story.
    When I sat down to watch this on Amazon Prime, I had no idea what I was getting into.  I saw it in the anime titles and thought it looked like it could be a cute series to watch just based on the rabbit looking character on the cover.  However, it is not cute.  It does pack a punch, though.
    So much of entertainment in general is so forgettable and derivative that it seems rare to find something that can leave a lasting impression.   For me, this show left an impression.  I don't know if I could watch it again, but I will never forget it.
    Score: 4.5 out of 5

     
  10. Fox
    Review: Monster Girl Doctor
    (Non-Spoilery)
     

    Season Aired: Summer 2020 - 12 episodes
    MAL Link: Monster Girl Doctor
    Watch The Show Link: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    With this show, what's inside the tin is exactly what's printed on the label.  You have the main character who is a doctor whose patients all seem to be lady monsters. 
    Now it is apparent that the doctor studied monster issues as his medical specialty. That's all good. What's not so clear is if the doctor planned to specialize in medicine for lady monsters, exclusively.
    Is it just serendipity that causes only female monsters to need the medical attention of this doctor?
    And then we note that this anime is tagged as an Ecchi and we stop wondering.
    Yes, it's all serendipity. The monster patients are all female because Ecchi demands it.  And, yes, some percentage of the monster women will be hot for the doctor.  Again, because Ecchi demands it.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    A human doctor who has made monster physiology his medical specialty sets up a clinic in a city populated by all manner of fantastical fantasy creatures.  In this fantasy setting, monsters such as mermaids, harpies, centaurs, naga and so forth come to the doctor with their medical problems, such that they are.
    Each episode is kind of a Creature of the Week situation, with their particular problem that needs resolving.
    This occasionally leads to said creatures developing romantic feelings for the doctor.  And that leads to rivalries over the course of the season.
     
    My Verdict: 
    Monster Girl Doctor is a situation and romance comedy which has its entertaining moments.  If the premise of this show sounds like it would be entertaining to you, then it probably will be.  It is lite, generally stress-free entertainment fare that has some chuckles usually derived from awkward situations.
    One should not look too deeply at the medical treatments involved. The bizarre issues that the monsters suffer from usually require equally bizarre remedies.  Only in an Ecchi would a blindfold and spanking be a treatment for anything.  But, there you go - the challenges of being a monster doctor I guess.
    the Creature of the Week episodic nature of it helps keep it engaging and moving along.  The art and animation is serviceable for what the show is trying to achieve.  The lady monster character designs are decent, and that's where most of the focus is.
    I would say Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls did this topic much better already, but if you are looking for more of that, then Monster Girl Doctor has got you covered.
    Score: 2.5 out of 5

     
  11. Fox
    Review: BOFURI:
    I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense
    (Non-Spoilery)
     

    Season Aired: Winter 2020
    MAL Link: BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense
    Watch The Show Link: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    The setting for this anime series is a virtual reality fantasy game.  You log into the game, create your game avatar and then go explore the game world.  Along the way you find new gear, have adventures and level up.
    And maybe you make a friend or two in game who will share the adventure with you.
    BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense has all of that.  If you've spent any time playing fantasy role-playing games, you are probably going to feel right at home with this series. 
    And, if you haven't, it's really not too difficult to figure out what the rules of the game are.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    In many ways, the plot is right there in the title of the show.  The title gives us the premise, the plot and a spoiler all in one. 
    The main character and her friend join a new virtual reality video game together.  The main character doesn't want to get hurt by things in the game, so she puts all her points into defense.  All her points.  Yeah, all of them... all the time.
    Typically when playing a game such as this, the player wants to spread those stat points around some.  A gamer may favor a particular stat for their character but, in general, there's a balance to maintain.
    If you play games such as this, then the title informs you that the main character in this show is going to be completely out of balance in terms of their stats.  So, that's the hook of this show.  Furthermore, the stat in question is defense, so clearly there is no offensive ability.  How does that work?
    You might be intrigued by this.  You might want to know what happens when all your points go into defense.
    I'd say that is exactly what the show is hoping for - and why the title gives so much away.
    As the story unfolds, these questions are answered for you.  And along the way, we meet a cast of pleasant characters who have adventures, do quests and battle various monsters for fat loot in the game.
     
      My Verdict:
    This show isn't blazing any new ground or asking any big questions.
    It will trade you four hours of your time in exchange for some colorful fantasy adventure and light comedy.
    Whether the trade is worth it probably depends on how interested you are in the premise given in the show title and gaming in general.
    It did have some entertaining set pieces and game events.  I would say the show's final event between teams of players took the show out on a strong, high note.
    The main character is likable enough, the show is colorful and the 12 episodes kind of  breeze by.  I'll say the exchange of time for entertainment was fair, but only just. 
    Score: 3 out of 5

     
  12. Fox
    Review: The Saga of Tanya the Evil
    (Non-Spoilery)
     

    Season Aired: Winter 2017 - 12 episodes
    MAL Link: The Saga of Tanya the Evil
    Watch The Show Link: Kawaiifu
    Review:
    This is another entry in the "Isekai" genre of anime which has become so popular in the last few years.  The premise behind an Isekai show is that the main character gets transported from our normal Earth to some fantasy world or new reality. 
    This trope has become so common place that a new "Meta" Isekai show called Isekai Quartet assembles various well-known characters from other  Isekai shows and puts them all together in a new show.  And that show is also in an all new reality for all of those characters.
    Wrap your head around that.
    Anyway, the main character Tonya from this show The Saga of Tanya the Evil can also be seen in Isekai Quartet. So, she is a fairly popular Isekai character.
    And, as to The Saga of Tanya the Evil itself, I'd say it is among the top tier in the Isekai space. 
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    A Japanese business man who is of a deeply atheistic bent draws the attention of a higher being, whom we shall refer to as "God" for simplicity's sake.  God is perturbed by the lack of faith this business man exhibits.
    God speaks to this atheist businessman, demanding that the existence of God be recognized and his atheism be disavowed.
    The business man declines to give up his atheism or take up any faith and refuses to accept there is any after life.  Further, in defiance, he classifies God as "Being X" - simply an unexplained phenomenon that science will uncover.
    Needless to say that God is fairly annoyed by this attitude.
    This leads to a battle of wits where God is determined to get the faith of this human, and the human in question is determined to explain "Being X" within his atheistic philosophical framework.
    So, God proves his power by transporting the atheist businessman to a new war-torn reality where God assumes the atheist will be forced to recognize God's existence.  In this new reality the man finds himself in the body of a young girl named Tonya. 
    However, he retains all his memories of his former life, especially concerning this "Being X" who he is now really irritated with.
    At this point he essentially embraces Survival of the Fittest, adding some social Darwinism to his atheistic outlook and gets murderous on purpose.  Since this new reality seems to be based on an amalgam of World War I and II, he rolls with it and begins working his way up the military ladder as Tonya the child soldier.
     
    My Verdict:
    This show is a pretty entertaining ride. 
    It is an excellent war action / war drama based on historical fiction.  The story is very engaging as we follow Tonya through the trenches while leading her squad on missions.
    The animation, art and sound all have very high production values.  The battlefield and combat scenes have great detail and action.  The quieter scenes in European cities have great attention to detail in the architecture and surroundings.
    The overarching theme is the philosophical struggle between Tonya and "Being X".  This God vs. Man interplay seems like it may be referring to the writings of Nietzsche.  If so, then the Kaiser's WWI Germany would seem to be an appropriate setting for this dialogue. 
    This was a wild ride.  I was enthralled all the way through.  I binged it. Then bought the Blu-Ray.
    Score: 4.5 out of 5
     

     

  13. Fox
    Review: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
    (Non-Spoilery)
     

    Season Aired: Spring and Summer 2019 - 24 episodes
    MAL Link: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
    Watch The Show Link: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    This was easily one of the best Anime of 2019. It is also sitting with a very high score on MAL, so you might say it enjoys universal acclaim.  All this for good reason: it is a superb anime.
    The English Blu-Ray of the first 13 episodes just shipped from Funimation.   I received my copy and dove in with some relish. 
    Yet again, I was captivated by this series, just as I had been during the 2019 season when watching it subtitled on Crunchyroll.  I will definitely be getting the Blu-Ray set of the next 13 episodes.
    I have a spread sheet of over 140 Anime series I've watched and scored, so far.  This is one of the few I've rated so highly.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    The protagonist of the series is an honest and able lad who becomes aware of powerful. man-eating entities called "demons" due to a personal tragedy which befalls him and his sister. 
    An attack by one of these "Demons" leaves the protagonist's sister in a bad state.  And so, the protagonist seeks training in the ways of the "Demon Slayers" to combat these monsters and find a way to help his sister.
    That is all set-up in the first episode, so this is no great reveal.
    The series concerns itself with the travels of the two siblings, their search for answers and their encounters with ever more bizarre "Demons".
    Along the way they are joined by a cast of both other Demon Slayers and characters which support the activities of Demon Slayers.
     
    My Verdict:
    This anime has very high production values. The art and animation are excellent with great attention to detail in both the historical Japanese settings and the fight scenes. 
    The story is fully realized.  The world building starts slow, then begins to pull back the curtain and show us the two shadowy tribes of Demons and Demon Slayers - ever at odds with each other.
    The characterization is very good - especially with the main characters who carry the show with great confidence.  As usual in Anime series, I find that there is at least one character I have to roll my eyes at for their over the top behavior.  Thankfully, it is a supporting character in this series, and not the Main Character.  Even that character had a character arc that had me rooting for him in the final episodes.
    This is just a very solid piece of entertainment in general, and as an anime it exemplifies what the medium is capable of when it is hitting on all cylinders.
    Score: 5 out of 5
     
     
     
  14. Fox
    Review: Restaurant to Another World
    (non-spoilery)
     
    Season Aired: Summer 2017 - 12 episodes
    MAL Link: Restaurant to Another World
    Watch The Show Link: Kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    The premise of this show is that natives of a fantasy-type world visit Earth to dine at a unique restaurant in present day Tokyo Japan.
    An assortment of characters and creatures visit the restaurant from this fantasy world include dragons, elves, fairies, lizard-men and regular humans as well.  All of them eager to sit down in this fine establishment and enjoy a good meal.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    A Japanese chef runs a fine Western style restaurant in Tokyo.  It is an unassuming, clean and comfortable restaurant, not fancy.  The draw to the restaurant is the food the chef prepares which, by all accounts, is excellent.
    This unassuming and comfortable restaurant has an unusual aspect, however, which is the hook for the show.  The restaurant front-door shows up in various places in a parallel world every seven days.  And folks in the parallel world can open that door and step into the restaurant.
    The door may appear out in the middle of the desert, or in a wizards chamber, or in a dragon's hoard.  Wherever it appears, one need only open it and walk into the restaurant. And then, presumably, sit down and order a meal.
    Now, what I described above does sound pretty cool, I think, but it is not a plot.  It is a concept or a premise.  A plot is how the story unfolds and, honestly, I would be hard pressed to say there was any story to unfold here besides how these fantasy characters want their meal prepared by the chef each week.
    There is no conflict. There is no villain. There are, occasionally, some challenges getting to the door of the restaurant to have that fine meal but that's about it.  Occasionally, the fantasy world characters will discuss which dish in the restaurant they think is best but conversation rarely strays far from the menu... or getting to the menu.
     
    My Verdict:
    The show is like comfort food.  It is relaxing to hang out with comfortable characters, having a comfortable meal.  It's a fairly low-stress, chill kind of show.  There are some fun moments as mythical creatures like fairies, beast-men and dragons find this door and walk into the Japanese restaurant.  Then they are just handed a menu.
    The focus is very much on the food and every episode centers around a specific dish.  You will get hungry watching this.  You may find yourself wishing for a plate of what they are having.
    I've watched this 12 episode series a couple times. I enjoyed it equally both times.  It's very much a mood piece to chill out and relax to, tune out the world, and watch fantasy creatures blunder through the restaurant door and have a fine meal.
    SCORE:  4 out of 5
     
     
  15. Fox
    Review: Demon Lord, Retry!
    (non-spoilery)
    Season Aired: Summer 2019 - 12 episodes
    MAL Link: Demon Lord, Retry!
    Watch The Show Link: Kawaiifu
    Review:
    This show is another entry into the "Isekai" anime genre which has become popular in recent years.
    The premise in an Isekai show is that the main character is transported to some parallel universe or fantasy world.  Often it involves being transported to the world of a game they are playing. 
    Demon Lord, Retry! has an Isekai premise which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
    In Demon Lord, Retry! the main character is indeed a game player, and does have a powerful game character called "The Demon Lord".  This "Demon Lord" character exists within a high-tech, futuristic video game.  However, the world the player gets sucked into, as his character, is a pure Medieval Fantasy type world.   And apparently he got there because some evil priests were trying to summon a "Demon Lord".
    Now, how do summoners in another world end up summoning some random dudes video game character when they are looking for a demon lord? 
    In fact, as there are actual demon lords within their fantasy-based world, this seems completely contrived and ridiculous that they would somehow miss summoning one of those and instead some summon random dudes video game character called "Demon Lord".
    Anyway, all that goes down in the first five minutes of episode one, so you know the series is going to have plenty more contrived and ridiculous things to show you over its twelve episode run.  
     
     The Plot in a Nutshell:
    "Demon Lord" dude, who looks like a reject from a hair-metal band who went corporate, shows up in generic fantasy world with his suit, tie, a never ending supply of cigarettes he chain smokes though twelve episodes and futuristic powers.
    And his goal in this fantasy world with all his powers is to... build a hot springs resort?
    Yeah, I've got nothing. That's pretty much it.
     
    My Verdict:
    Demon Lord, Retry! is, objectively, a very terrible anime.
    The art and animation is about as low budget as it comes.  It is laughably bad at times and you can see the animators cutting corners at every opportunity that was presented.
    The story is pure cliche. The characters are two dimensional with bizarre motivations and over the top personalities.  The plot is mostly non-existent and very little that happens in the series makes much sense.
    And, of course, there are two bunny-human characters who must end every single sentence by exclaiming "Hop!" or "Bunny!"
    In fact, Demon Lord, Retry! is so bad that it comes back around to being entertaining. 
    You can tell that everyone who worked on this series in the Art and Story departments knew that they were given no budget or opportunity to  produce something good.  So they put their tongues in their cheek and leaned hard into the cliches and the futility of it all.
    I had to laugh a few times at just how ridiculous and awful it all was.  It's a train wreck that knows it's going to be a train wreck and embraces it.
    SCORE:
    Objectively it's 2 out of 5. And that's being charitable to it.
    My personal entertainment from laughing at it was a 3

  16. Fox
    Review: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
    (non-spoilery)
     
    Season Aired: Spring 2020
    MAL Link: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
    Watch The Show Link: kawaiifu
     
    Review:
    This show adds to the ever growing list of "Isekai" Anime that have been released over the last few years.
    Isekai is a genre that revolves around a normal person from Earth being transported to, reborn or otherwise trapped in a parallel universe or fantasy world.
    Usually, the fantasy world that the protagonist is transported to is based on a video game that they are playing at the time.  That is, they become their game character in a reality that is based on that game. 
    Now, I have a soft spot for Isekai shows because I get all the game references.  It turns out that all those years I spent playing World of Warcraft come in handy when viewing Isekai Anime shows.
    This one, however, was a curve-ball for me because it revolves around a genre of games I don't ever play: Romance and Dating Simulations.  Further, the protagonist is put into the role of the villain of the game.  That is quite unusual.  Typically, the main character enters the fantasy world as a hero.
    I was intrigued by the concept from the start.
     
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    The female protagonist is transported to a world based on a romance game she is playing.  There, she assumes the role of the games villainess, Katarina Claes.
    She quickly figures out what is going on and realizes that she's in deep trouble.  She is the main villain in the story and every ending for Katarina Claes in these romance stories is bad.  Some endings are simply terrible while others are very fatal.
    The show then deals with her gambits to avoid each bad ending and her interactions with the cast of characters inhabiting the romance story - including the actual game heroine.
    To her advantage, she appears in-world as the child Katarina Claes.  So she has some years to put events in motion that will derail the natural arc of her villainess trajectory.
     
    My Verdict:
    This take on the Isekai genre is novel and I was on board to see how she was going to avoid her bad endings.
    The cast of characters is colorful and, while each does inhabit a certain romance character archetype, they are well presented with good personalities and motivations.  Katarina Claes must navigate the traps each romantic archetype presents, so it's fine that we understand that the characters will not stray too far outside their archetype box.
    The art was colorful, well animated and provided some sumptuous costuming and locations, as one might expect from romance fantasy.
    The series started strong, however it did not finish quite as strong.  It could have benefited by having more intrigue and by having escape from the bad endings a bit more challenging overall.  The show does throw in a surprise at the end which helps make things a little more harrowing for Katarina Claes, and therefore more satisfying.
    I was engaged start to finish, though.  I did not consider dropping the show.
    SCORE:  3.5 out of 5

  17. Fox
    Review: Log Horizon - Seasons One and Two
    (non-spoilery)
     
    MAL Link: Log Horizon Season One - Fall 2013
    MAL Link: Log Horizon Season Two - Fall 2014
    Review:
    This show was one of the earlier entries into the "Isekai" anime genre which has become quite popular.
    Isekai is a genre that revolves around a normal person from Earth being transported to, reborn or otherwise trapped in a parallel universe or fantasy world.
    Following one year after Sword Art Online, which was a huge Isekai anime hit, Log Horizon would cover a lot of the same themes. But, in my personal opinion, it would do it better.
    Now, I enjoy Sword Art Online quite a bit. But Log Horizon blew my damn fool geek mind.
    It took all the references and tropes of massive multi-player online RPG's like World of Warcraft and dialed them up to eleven.  The attention to detail that Log Horizon takes in mining these RPG memes results in a wealth of Meta references and story situations that left me somewhat in awe.
    Now, granted, I am clearly the target audience for a show like this as I play the types of games that the show is based on.  If you aren't into online multi-player fantasy role-playing games like World of Warcraft, then Log Horizon may leave you wondering at times.
    The Plot in a Nutshell:
    A huge number of players from an Online Fantasy Role Playing game are transported to the world of their Fantasy Game.  That becomes their new reality and they have to learn how to survive in it.  They take on the roles and abilities of their characters from the game.
    They also enter the world still in the social organizations they had in the game: The Guilds.  Each of these guilds had different goals in the game, and now those goals spill over into this new reality.
    The players also have to deal with the world's NPC's (Non-Player Characters) who are now much more complicated. These NPC's have their own lives and objectives and they are keenly aware that the 'Adventurers' (as they call the players trapped in the world) are not like them. 
    It all leads to some interesting story lines and conflicts between these various competing interests with their own agendas.
    My Verdict:
    Log Horizon left me highly entertained.  So much so that after I finished watching it on Crunchyroll, I bought it on Blu-Ray and watched it again.
    Now granted, I am the target audience for a show like this.  That said, there are plenty of Isekai shows in the same vein that are out now and they don't pull it off nearly as well as Log Horizon.
    This show dives down into every RPG rabbit hole there is and keeps digging.
    Guilds, Crafting, Dungeon Raids, Skill Selection, Class Selection, Quests, Player Housing and just Game Systems Design in general.  I don't think it left a stone uncovered, and it was still bringing up fresh material at the end of Season Two.
    There are a lot of characters in Log Horizon, and they are well presented with their various motivations and objectives.  The dialogue and stories are often a lot of fun.  One story in particular which followed a dungeon raiding guild really got me as I watched them struggle to figure out the Boss Patterns without wiping.  Been there many times myself in Role-Play video games.
    Weighing in at fifty episodes, where most Anime series are just twelve, Log Horizon is a huge, sprawling adventure of a show with many stories to tell.
    I would say my one quibble with the show is the Animation.  It's not bad, no.  it's just they had A LOT of story to tell on a timeline and a budget and it feels a bit rushed in places.  It never interfered with my enjoyment, though.
    SCORE: 5 out of 5
     

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