Let me start off by saying there really aren't many "bad" episodes in this show, so when I give low ratings, it's more just in comparison to other, better episodes. Also, my ordering is based on the wikipedia article, maybe not the "official" order of the episodes and when they were released or where they were meant to be released. I'm not making a big deal out of it. Also, I would normally use a letter grade system for things, but I don't want to get that specific here. Instead, I'll be using 5 total ratings, which are as follows:
★✯✯✯✯ - pretty bad
★★✯✯✯ - not so good
★★★✯✯ - pretty average
★★★★✯ - good
★★★★★ - pretty great
It's a rough system, but I like it rough *winky face* I won't be writing big reviews here, I'll save larger write-ups for when I make my top 50 (or however many) favorite episodes countdown. Okay, let's do this.
'It Came From The Nightosphere'
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Storywise, there's nothing here that really stands out to me as particularly unique, and with just 13 episodes, it never has a chance to become fully fleshed out, so it's pretty hard to get too absorbed. The show started off with a bang, full of extreme violence and intensity, but by the end of the first episode it almost feels like a high school drama. Some shows are able to handle juggling genres, but this one just feels clunky as it alternates between them.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
I write this after starting and stopping 'Hellsing Ultimate', so any comparisons I make between the two shows are based only on what I saw from the first couple episodes. With that being said, the quality of animation in Ultimate is obviously more polished and impressive, but I still found myself much more invested in this show right off the bat, and that's possibly due to the 20 minute episodes. Or maybe it's just my love for early 2000s anime? I can't say this was a great show, but it scatched an itch I had for some mindless gore and badass action.
The obvious highlight of this show is in Alucard, the kickass vampire working for the titular Hellsing family. Unstoppable killing machines are a dime a dozen in action anime shows, and sticking one in a red coat isn't exactly enough to set him apart either (see: Vash the Stampede), but Alucard works on his own level as an antihero. Instead of just being a vicious killer vampire, he is given the role of a good guy, summoning his demonic powers to fight against evil forces. That alone makes him sort of special, but the sadistic joy he takes in obliterating his enemies makes you never forget just how bad this good guy really is.
Sadly, Alucard is the only character in the show that ever really works for me, with too much time being given to a young cop-turned-vamp whose entire arc falls flat. There are a few supporting players who have their moments, but the show is too short to give them much to do,and before you know it the show is finished and you're left thinking, "oh, that's it?" Also, if you hope to escape some of the mediocre English dub voice acting by watching Ultimate instead, it's still the same main cast, so better luck next time. Since it's only 13 episodes, reading it really isn't much of and chore, so don't be lazy about it: just read the damn thing.
As I said before, Ultimate definitely has this show beat on animation quality, and - from what I could tell - it seemed to flesh the story out better, but there is one undeniable aspect that the original is superior in: the music. From the opening theme (that kicks total ass and gets stuck in your head for hours) to the background music that ranges from orchestral to upbeat and in your face, this show has some awesome music and Ultimate just doesn't hold a candle to it. Though the closing credits music was pretty skippable. Oh well.
This is a super gory and action-heavy show that feels very episodic and doesn't place much emphasis on overarching story. By the time the show is coming to a close, you can tell they didn't have everything wrapped up as well as they wanted, but that doesn't change the fact that it is entertaining while it lasts. It didn't overstay its welcome, in the very least. The gore may be a bit much for some people, but I found it pretty fun and cool. I wouldn't expect many people to get emotionally invested in this show, but that's not what this one is all about. It's got action, gore, and a really cool vampire at the center of it all.
Episode count: 13
My grade: B
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Saturday, July 15, 2017
This is a show of almost endless twists and turns. Every time you start to get comfortable with a plot thread or characters, something comes along and mixes it all up on you by killing people off unexpectedly or shifting focus to seemingly unconnected threads for several episodes of time. In the end, the only real consistencies are in Dr. Tenma and Johan Liebert; the yin and yang whose parallels and distinct differences make up a great deal of the drive of the story, also serving as catalysts for the God/Devil and apocalypse themes found in the show.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Thursday, July 13, 2017
I thought for sure this would be a show that would focus a little more on a central character, and within one episode I had already found myself intrigued by the direction and the two leads. Sadly, after just 3 episodes they toss this out the window, and focused on a different story with a handful of other leads. I was all on-board for those until they tossed them out after 4 episodes... and this isn't even counting an episode in between these serials that had its own cast. While the "main" character is most often the Prince, he doesn't show up in several episodes, and even in the ones he's around for, he isn't often the focal point of the story.
Speaking of the Prince, he's very much one of those characters I can see being far more popular than he probably deserves, due to his comedic nature and larger-than-life personality. For a few episodes he's really entertaining, but much like the rest of the show he definitely starts to wear on you. As an eccentric and irresponsible alien with far too much power and free time, the show chooses to aimlessly wander with him, and with this free reign he is rarely giving an opportunity to play up the potential odd couple dynamics of his character beyond his interactions in the first 3 episodes. A shame, considering how much better he works in those situations.
The animation, while largely pretty standard, takes occasional departures into the realm of the nightmarish, blending in bizarre monstrosities of a CG nature that ought not e'er be seen by human eyes. Some of these scenes really threw me off, because they didn't match the tone of the rest of the show, but that doesn't ultimately matter. This isn't a show that uses its brain, so why should the audience? The music is forgettable, so I suppose they felt it necessary to set itself apart by doing random crap and adding to my list of bizarre images I kind of wish I hadn't seen.
In the end, for all its misgivings, I still did mostly enjoy this show. Unlike something equally as bizarre and cornball as Space Dandy, I never felt challenged or impressed by this show, and instead just let it happen to me -- a watching method that resulted in a handful of big laughs and many more chuckles. It's pretty easy to slip into, and watching aliens basically just be irritating to humans provides some reasonable entertainment.
Episode count: 13
My grade: C-
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
The obvious highlight of this show is one of the leads, a cold-blooded killer with a filthy mouth and a tendency to fly off the handle with little to no provocation. She's definitely something, and while the attempts to make her seem badass do tend to come off as very forced, in the end she is still very entertaining and one of the more (surprisingly) reserved characters once you get into the latter half, which as I said before is pretty packed with "flavorful" killers; gun-toting nuns, Romanian vampire children, and a girl with a chainsaw and an emotional attachment to her electrolarynx, just to give a few examples. It's all more than a little ridiculous, and it's a shame they let the leads fall into the back of the story by the end.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Dandy, while not being the most well-developed of characters, is somewhat unique in the realm of anime leads, a goofy Johnny Bravo-esque bounty hunter who spends every available minute at his favorite restaurant, "BooBies". The other two main characters are a somewhat snarky childlike robot and a talking alien ferret. It's definitely what one might call a motley crew, and seeing these lovable misfits struggle to find rare aliens and save up money to go to BooBies makes up a large part of the downtime in the show. Much like other Watanabe shows, there is a heavy focus on finding and eating food.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Thursday, July 6, 2017
You can't really talk about Death Note without first going into the characters, as it features two of the more well-established leads of any anime from the 21st century. Light Yagami is one of those villains that you can't help but to root for, as his goals seem essentially pure at first, but as the old adage dictates, power corrupts. And watching the developing darkness of Light (ha!) is an amazing bit of storytelling. L, his nemesis, takes on the more heroic role but is introduced in an almost antagonistic way, which really flips the script on the standards of how a show presents good and evil. Their rivalry/friendship dynamic makes for a hugely entertaining and unpredictable aspect of the story.
Monday, July 3, 2017
'90s anime has a mostly different look to it. I can't quite explain it, as I am by no means some sort of anime expert, but characters look clunky and the complete lack of smoothness is definitely a distraction. Watching this show I became more aware that I was watching an animated flip book than I would ever like during a show -- but then again, anime has always had an issue with frame-by-frame clunkiness, so this is by no means a complaint that only applies to NGE. But while most anime shows have a tendency of offering up some beautiful images, this one was severely lacking in that department.