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Soul Eater (2008)

Soul Eater (2008)

Soul Eater was friggin awesome.

I didn't really have too high hopes when it started out - in those first three episodes of character prologues, but before you know it you're really immersing yourself into their world - in the spontaneity and insanity of it all, and maybe not relating to, but wishing the best for this little group of inspiring heroes - the weapons and their meisters.

It's a different kind of world in Death City, where humans fight with other human weapons, and Death looks after the land, keeping it calm and peaceful. The sun and moon loom as living figures in the resiliently blue sky above.

Our main characters are students at the DWMA - The Death Weapon Meister Academy. There's Black Star, who might have lost a few brain cells along the way, but wins no matter what. There's Maka, who's scared, but fights her fear and has a heart of gold. There's Death the Kid - the kid of Death, a guy with his a skewed sense of symmetry, but straight sense of responsibility. And then there's the crazy Dr. Stein, the zombie teacher Sid, the mad witch Medusa, and a bunch of strong personalities that appear along the way.

It starts off with simple ventures - with learning, and chasing souls and things like that, but eventually it turns into an apocalyptic drama in which the order of the world is distorted by a wave of madness (not enough focus on that wave of madness though), and of course our three heroes are the only ones that can save the day.

It's an emotional battle, and an inspiring series, and I love how they bring everything to closure with the simple scenes as the credits roll. There are moments where I felt like I could've written a better script - when there were punchlines the characters could have come up with that would have been so much better than what they had, but their patterns of speech are parts of their personalities. They're only human, after all, and the series plays out in a natural way that way. Never mind the land of Death and soul hunting thing - when it's all over this world feels as natural as our own world, down-to-Earth and cozy. And it ends with that I-want-to-get-out-and-change-the-world kind of feeling I love to get. Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Prince of Stride - Alternative (2016)

Prince of Stride - Alternative

Here's a series about Stride, a fictional mixture of running and parkour.

It features a bunch of guys and buddies, a team, and a girl - the team leader. There's a lot of blue skies and emotional runs, and feelings floating around up there amidst the cloud. I realized too late it was an otome anime (noooooo), which I sort of wish I'd never been made aware of, because up until that point I was thinking it seemed like a surprisingly inspiring and refreshingly different show.When you know what it's all about there are suddenly too many guys, and just the one girl, and you start wondering if everyone's really straight, but...

It was a good show. Values of friendship intertwine with a will to win, a childhood promise, feuds and friendships between crews, and one final race that closes it at a rapid pace.

I was a bit disappointing at how it all ended in the middle of the final phase, with emotion and speed rather than with a definite victory, but they did win! All's well that ends well, and if there's any one show that's inspired me to get a move on in life this year, it's this one.

12 episodes total, and I don't think this is one of those series that'll span more than a season. There's also apparently an original version of this, which I wonder... if I should maybe leave alone. It couldn't have been any better than this, could it? Good watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Musaigen No Phantom World (2016)

Musaigen No Phantom World (2016)

In an alternate future, an outbreak happened that made humans able to see and interact with spirits, or phantoms, as they're called - beings that walk the line between illusion and reality. At times the lines overlap, and our main characters get dragged into parallel worlds or altered realities.

Certain people with special abilities are tasked with fighting these phantoms when they disrupt human life, and these people happen to be (mostly) students. Haruhiko Ichijou and Mai Kawakami are two such fighters, but they're not doing so well. Over the passage of the story they meet up with a few more colleagues, and friends, and get better, and fight a bunch of phantoms!

It's a bit like Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo! (also considering the main character's surrounded by a group of girls), but has a more serious/professional tone to it. Well, maybe not serious, but more... polished? More reputable? There's still plenty of ecchi, but it's not as crude as with the former.

All in all the episodes open up to intriguing scenarios of the supernatural, creative ones as such, and all the while a more sinister plot brews in the background. The characters are likable, albeit a bit stereotypic, and there's plenty of entertainment value. Don't know how I stumbled back to shows like this but... so far so good!

13 episodes this season, and no second one confirmed (though good ratings make it plausible). So far this gets a...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo! (2016)

Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo! (2016)

This one didn't start out the best. The main character Kazuma is a bit of a dick, and a pessimist, and the Goddess he hangs out with is arrogant, and greedy. The other characters seem to have better personalities - as weird as they may be. But give it a while, it gets better!

Somewhere around the 4th episode I started to really enjoy the show. Never mind the dubious intro and first episode. Never mind the common character conflicts and crude humor. Never mind the overload of ecchi and how the main character is constantly surrounded by girls, yet can only see them as troublesome. I just don't like his attitude! Do mind the entertainment though, and the story. It's not bad.

The plot: Kazuma dies (in an unnecessarily stupid way, it should be noted), and is welcomed to the afterlife by this arrogant goddess who finds great entertainment in his misery. The divinities are having some trouble with a villainous force of evil in a parallel world, however, and since he died so young and selflessly he is given a chance to redeem himself and be born again into this parallel world, to defeat this fiend. He can bring any one thing he wishes with him as well, so out of spite he chooses... the goddess.

She's not happy with it, and he's not happy with her (apparently she's nigh powerless), and it feels like the premises could have been a whole lot more positive if things had been different, but when they do get accustomed to the new world, and start living life like it's an RPG - gaining skills and growing stronger, it gets a bit better. Silly, often unnecessary, but entertaining! The bout with the headless horseman in particular, and the bombs. It has its moments.

This season was 10 episodes, and there's a second one planned. So far...

 rated 3/5: not bad

One Piece 733

This is where that shit goes down!!! Yeah! Finally.

Assassination Classroom (2015)

Assassination Classroom (2015)

I finished watching the first season of the Assassination Classroom today, and it was pretty great! Plenty of killing going on. Well, plenty of attempts. Plenty of trying to kill a tentacle teacher that just won't be done in - no matter what they do. It's a hate-love relationship.

As with most of these slice of life school day shows it all ends at a resort, but not really the normal kind of resort - this time it's an all for one grand assassination attempt. Of course, they don't manage to kill their teacher, and a new semester starts, a semester of life and death in the Assassination Classroom!

I started watching this show sporadically, but these last couple of days I just couldn't give it up. And now it's done. First season. More fun than I'd expected, and I'm really growing to like some of the main characters too. Will pick up season two in a year or two, whenever it's airing is over; I can marathon through it in peace. Great fun so far.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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