A Review of DARLING in the FRANXX

After an incredible midseason finale, Darling in the Franxx kept going strong while taking things a bit slower to focus on the character drama. This part of the story has always been the most engaging throughout the entire program, and my hopes were high for the second cour of this fairly divisive show.

Sadly as it reached the conclusion, I became conflicted about the direction the show took. I waited patiently, knowing I wouldn’t have a solid grasp on my feeling towards the show until it was completed. Now that it is, I can safely say that Darling in the Franxx did not live up to the lofty promises that detractors would argue never bore fruit in the first place.
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A Review of Batman Ninja

A couple years ago, DC could undoubtedly be called the kings of animated Superhero film and TV. The old WB channel shows like Batman or Superman and the golden age of Justice League and the DC animated films from the 2000’s were my childhood. Early 2010 animated shows like Young Justice pushed the envelope further and DC was on top compared to even Marvel’s best successes.

Sadly, recent projects have been of mixed quality. Films like Gotham by Gaslight and Killing Joke are held back by their writing or uninspired artwork. Even worse, it is likely that future DC cartoons are fated to be relegated to DC’s new streaming service. Not all is in vain though, as Kamikaze Douga’s new animated feature, Batman Ninja, has managed to break this monotony, creating one of the most visually captivating films the studio has made in years.

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A Review of Violet Evergarden

Whether it be their classics beloved classics like Clannad and Haruhi Suzumiya or their new projects like Hibike Euphonium and A Silent Voice, Kyoto Animation is continuously creating some of the most talked about, visually impressive Anime in the medium. Their newest project, Violet Evergarden garnered a lot of hype ever since its reveal in 2016 and finally aired this past winter

Now that it has been available on Netflix for some time, is the show a new classic for the Kyoto Animation portfolio? Well, at the risk of spoiling the verdict early, I believe Tristan Gallant of Glass Reflections on YouTube probably summed things up best in the opening of his first impressions of Violet Evergarden some months back.

“Watch. Violet. Evergarden.”

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A Review of Your Name

It is ranked number 4 on the list of highest-grossing films in Japan and the single highest grossing Anime film of all time. It has garnered worldwide acclaim and has taken the Anime community and the mainstream audience by storm. For a long, while it even beat out Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood on the MyAnimeList charts and even now sits at a comfortable #2. Yes, I am of course talking about Makoto Shinkai’s breakout success, “Kimi No Na Wa”, or “Your Name”.
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Mid-Season Checkup – DARLING in the FRANXX

The spring Anime season is upon us and everyone is either watching Violet Evergarden now that it is on Netflix or the new season of My Hero Academia. Meanwhile, I’m over here still watching Darling in the Franxx, the collaboration between Trigger and A-1 that I covered a couple months ago. So before everyone forgets about it, I thought I would cover the show thus far and see how it has been shaping up as it enters the second half of its 24-episode run.
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A Review of B: The Beginning

For a time, I was concerned about Anime’s place on Netflix. Mainly, big seasonal shows like Fate: Apocrypha and Kakegurui were being licensed, but not released until the entire series was concluded. Granted, I’m not too crazy about Kakegurui now that I have it, but this was still a sign of Netflix’s misunderstanding of how the Anime community consumes the medium. However, as time has passed, my worries are slowly being erased completely.

Viral hits like Musaka Yuuasa’s recent Devilman: Crybaby or any of the many Polygon Pictures shows are being released all at once exclusively on Netflix. There are still hurdles though, like Violet Evergarden apparently being on Netflix in every other country besides America. Regardless, they are producing a ton of new shows and one recent addition to the roster may have been exactly the type of show that I have been waiting a while for.
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A Review of the Kizumonogatari Trilogy

Studio Shaft turned Nisio Isin’s bizarre, engaging, and dialogue rich novel series into one of the most visually appealing Animated series of all time and if you have never watched the Monogatari series before, now is the time to give it a try.

If aesthetic and visual storytelling is your jam, then Kizumonogatari will be your bible. Announced in 2010, this trilogy tells the tale of wounds that put the entire story of the series into motion, making it the perfect place to jump in for newcomers.

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A Review of RWBY, Part III: Volume Three

Featured Image by Shirow Miwa, Author of the RWBY’s manga adaptation

Part II: Volume Two

It was February 1st, 2015. I had gotten back from school and was ready to relax for the night until my friend sent my other friend and I a single text.

“Guys, Monty didn’t make it”

I had already known that Monty was in the hospital for several days, but not one part of me thought he would actually die. My friends and I were heartbroken and while it felt too disrespectful to ask, I’m certain everyone was thinking “what’s going to happen to RWBY?”

It would go on, as it turns out. We got a glimpse of the fight animation from the tournament arc at the following summer’s RTX convention and things were looking pretty cool. Despite that, I was extremely cautious of how well the show would look, how good the fight scenes would be, and whether or not the story would finally start improving. Even when Volume Three ended up premiering on October 24th, 2015, I wouldn’t have a concrete answer, but it was certainly the beginning of a new era of RWBY, for better… or worse.

[Spoilers For All of RWBY Ahead]
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A Review of Star Driver

I must say, ladies and gentlemen, I’m feeling a bit peeved right now. No one thought to notify me that Studio Bones produced a half magical boy, half mech show in 2010, bringing together an all-star staff list to produce one of the most flamboyant, bizarre and visually enticing works that almost none of my friends know about. A delightful gem by the name of Star Driver.

This staff list alone should garner attention from any Anime fan. The director is Takuya Igarashi, director of Soul Eater, Ouran Highschool Host Club, and Bungou Stray Dogs. The script was penned by Youji Enokido, who wrote FLCL, Redline and (again) Bungou Stray Dogs. Hell, sound director Kazuhiro Wakabayashi has so many credits worth mentioning that I’ll just direct you to his MyAnimeList page.

Impressive staff aside though, how do all the pieces fit together? And considering the pedigree of Bones and the other artists working on it, how has this show not been talked about more in the years since it’s release?
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A Review of Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond

Sequels can be risky. This is true in any medium, but to many, Anime has a particular reputation for dodgy sequels. Some shows see changes in production staff that rob the sequel of what made the first so great, such is the case with Psycho-Pass 2. Other times, we may never even get a sequel due to low Blu-ray sales and miss out on the closure that any good story needs.

Thankfully, some of my favorite shows have gotten worthwhile sequels, but often I just hope that whatever 12 episode show I watch ends conclusively enough that I won’t be heartbroken should it not get renewed. So it’s with great pleasure that I say that season two of Kekkai Sensen manages to continue the show strong, sticking closer to the source material without disregarding the Anime-original story that made me fall in love with season one.
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