Tag: Review

Anime Theme Songs for your craving!

Anime Theme Songs for your craving!

Are you listening to something right now? Maybe an OST from one of your favorites? Maybe a (boring) pop song? Or is it an opening theme song? Well, an awesome OP is probably one of the tall tale signs of a good show right? Here’s a list of pretty good theme songs that you might like. Don’t worry, I’ve included lesser known titles and a brief mini-review on every single one. Feel free to debate with me if you spot something familiar, I’m all ears.

-Gosick

If you’re looking for a good detective story then Gosick is a tempting choice but it’s a double-edged sword mind you. The detective stories are not actually mind boggling puzzles that require a great deal of scrutiny to solve, which is what the detective genre is famous for, they piece that and that together and the crime is done and dusted. But the animation is the real deal here, the mysteries are pretty nice but the setting and the atmosphere are also one of Gosick’s strong points. It’s set in the fictional European country of Saubure in an early 1900s era where dark practices, unexplained phenomenon, ancient legends and devious cults are pretty rampant throughout the whole country so expect some plot twists. Now the only gripe that you might have about the show would probably be that the mysteries feel kind of toned down and predictable once you’re a fair amount into the story. You might also not like the protagonist, Kazuya because he will literally bore you to death with his generic personality, what keeps him floating is his relationship with Victoria (she’s actually the one who does all the thinking here). Overall, an enjoyable watch just make sure to remember that this is not as perfect as you might expect.

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-Nagi No Asukara

Literally a MUST WATCH if you are ever looking for a drama-focused story casting a range of characters with their own unique feel to them. You will fall in love with the amazing underwater shots and attention to detail. The heartwarming ways that the characters face their problems and go past them will pull you into Nagi No Asukara’s beautiful world. The dynamic of the story would be the main characters growing up, they really did a wonderful job on making us see that the characters really changed for the better while silently planning the next heartbreaking scheme or plot twist. There were no cliché awkward moments and there was no trace of the word ‘generic’ anywhere you look, it’s that special. This genuinely a hidden gem in the vast ocean of anime and once you finish it, it will probably be a milestone for you no doubt. You can check out my own review here.

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-Your Lie in April

Your Lie in April is a story about Arima Kousei who used to be a widely known pianist at a young age. Unfortunately, while he was growing up, he lost his mother. The emotional shock rendered him unable to hear the sound of the piano again, this also made him introverted and hard to communicate to. But he slowly started to regain his love for music when he meets a violinist, Kaori Miyazono. The romance here was kind of a closed-group thing, I’m sure you’ve seen the formula before, Kousei falls in love with Kaori but there’s competition for his affections between her and his childhood friend, Sawabe Tsubaki. The comedy was a good addition because the artstyle was genuinely sweet and the characters were pretty accepting of each other. This is why I would call it a closed-group romance with a little bit of comedy mixed in for good measure. Something that you should take note of though is the possibility of you not getting what is going on at all. The show is pretty subtle on symbolism and likes to portrays its ideals in a visually alluding fashion rather than saying it directly. So if you’re only used to taking everything at face value then the episodes where they do play the piano will feel like a boring marathon that is super tiring to watch.

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-Boku Dake ga Inai Machi

Out of all the time travel mystery animes, this one more or less skims through the mysteries to give the story some breathing room. Any determined person can easily find its flaws. Though when a serious Sherlock Homes makes sight, this show is going to get lit with a flamethrower. I blame the lack of a good thrill to the mysteries and overly apparent focus on other remote themes to be the biggest factor. But if you’re a casual viewer without a clue who only wants to see the character interactions, heartwarming moments and favor a more contained and slow pace, it fits like a glove. Surely this one could have been so much than it is now. The murderer for crying out loud is already pretty obvious even from the very beginning and the undeniable evidence always mounts. There’s also crucial missing details about the villain that they never cared to explain either. Still, this is a very good show about the main characters growing up (technically). Go check out my review here.

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-Noragami

This show centers around the god of war (no not that bald guy from the game) Yato, and Hiyori a high school student who, after an accident, has gained the ability to enter the spirit world where all sorts of strange creatures lurk among the populous, seemingly invisible to ordinary humans. Hiyori asks Yato to fix her condition but she is soon dragged into the world of Kami (gods), for better or for worse she is stuck in the boundary between two worlds. Can she still live her life like it was before? Is there really a way to pull her back from this boundary?

A really brilliant mix of action and comedy. Yato’s cheesiness and the funny character expressions, easy going humor and anything-goes attitude make this a joy to watch. The characters are pretty wacky and hilarious but turn serious when they need to. The best thing about is that the comedy and all the stuff relating to the gods and spirits don’t undermine each other, they’re neatly separated and never ruin the mood. A very fun and engaging watch indeed.

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-Terror in Resonance

Terror in Resonance opens up with two mysterious teenagers ironically named Nine and Twelve, sneaking into a top secret nuclear fuel processing facility and stealing an activated plutonium core. Six months later, both of them set off a series of terrorist attacks on Tokyo under the name of Sphinx. They upload a series of riddles on the internet that give away the location of their Sphinx’s next target and task the police force in finding the answer. An investigation team is formed with former detective, Kenjirou Shibazaki being the leading man. But a conflicted and depressed high school student, Lisa Mishima, is almost killed by one of their scheme after which she is forced to keep quiet about their involvement. Through a series of events, she willingly becomes an accomplice in their plan to retaliate against the world. Will destroying the world have any meaning?

There are some slight annoyances that pop up though. The main detective pretty much knows all of the Greek mythology that the riddles are based on in a dime. Lisa never actually changed from the depressed and repressive teenager that she was. There isn’t much to talk about the two main characters to be honest, we learn everything there is to them in like the first two episodes and their motivations are… And don’t get me started on how unrealistic the story is, there’s just no way two kids could do that. But if the phrase “Terrorism in Anime” sounds interesting to you then jump right in, it is not going to be the cat-and-mouse game that you might imagine it to be.

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-Strike the Blood OP2

The video was pretty awesome huh? This show is going to be worthwhile right? No, poor chap it’s not, unless you want to be scared forever mate.

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This…this guy’s chick magnetism rate is off the charts. Complete BS.

Strike the Blood is definitely a controversial one in my books. I mean the second half of the first season is loaded with fan service/ecchi at every corner, you can’t escape it and almost every girl here gets objectified one way or another, often like what’s shown above. But if you can miraculously look beyond all that then yeah Strike the Blood is a notably good fantasy anime (the real reason I watched it in the first place). Just don’t expect them to explain everything. Our MC, Koujo will pummel all the bad guys with his harem, guaranteed. I’m obliged to stop writing about it cause it’s so hard to even consider being two feet in front of and not be deemed innocent. Only watch it if you know what you’re doing bros.

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-The Irregular at Magic High School OP2

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure why I even bothered with binge watching all 26 episodes but I enjoyed it none the less. If you’re in search of an infinitely cool overpowered protagonist, then look no further. Our main man, Shiba Tatsuya, never blinks, never misses, never budges an inch and most important of all, he’s fu*king famous for being a badass. Every character just talks about how godly he is, it’s like self-glorification. And there’s only one person that he wants to protect, his sister of all things. You immediately know this when you hear “Onii-sama” for like twenty times in a single episode. Even if you don’t understand it though, it’s pretty good humor. Tatsuya can do miracles quite literally, he can rewrite magical sequences in an instant, create new magical tech like he was feeding his hamster, assassinate targets from unimaginable distances, trace the exact path of a bullet, vaporize a moving truck and sense if a computer is infected with a virus or not by LOOKING at it. OMG! Does this guy ever sleep? What am I talking about, you’ll love his awesomeness, the other less than perfect facts can be ignored anyways. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to give a go at being superman! (or batman)

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Yay! You made it! *pats shoulder* I hope this post was a fun and refreshing change of pace for your day. I thinking of doing another post like this again so stayed tuned.

Sakamoto desu ga is actually a sad story?

Sakamoto desu ga is actually a sad story?

Everyone in Gakubun Prefectural High School is talking about the first year who transferred to the School not long ago. He is stylish at carrying out class duties, stylish at lunch break, and stylish at almost everything he does. All the girls in the class are crazy over him and no one can seem to disrupt his coolness no matter how they try. Wait, you haven’t heard about Sakamoto!?

Sakamoto is a very interesting character at first. You’ll laugh at how he turns the whole situation into a one big laugh, trust me. Sakamoto is well prepared for any kind of trouble he might get himself into and his elaborate and unexpected personality makes it all the more cheesier. Throw a bucket of water over him and he’s got an umbrella. Ask him to do one thing and he’ll wrap it up in style. Need help stopping some bullies? He’ll help, but not like what you’d expect. A fire broke out in the school? Don’t worry Sakamoto will make sure that everyone comes out unscratched. He’ll be jumping out of windows, building bird houses (that’s random), making sure there are no unfortunate accidents and more importantly, helping everybody around him as much as he can, especially his classmates.

He’s a little weird sometimes. I mean, he’s too perfect to be true. He’s also got the looks to match, enough to make every women obsessed about him, they even cheer for him at every PE class. One of his weakness would be his disinterest that he clearly shows, he takes no sides, he has no favorites and doesn’t have any trace of concern in most cases whatsoever. Life is sunshine and butterflies for Sakamoto.

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The plot is very simple, Sakamoto solving a bunch of people’s problems. He always does this for the good of both sides. His actions actually teach the characters about how they were approaching their struggles the wrong way and how to fix them. Sakamoto is a nice and caring person but he doesn’t show it. We clearly see that he has emotions, he’s not a completely boring character. My rule of thumb would be: “If the protagonist isn’t a racist asshole, I’ll watch”.

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Look into his eyes I dare you, don’t you get a feeling that he may be hiding emotional traumas from his past and not just trying to look cool? Not a little bit huh? What makes him so shallow anyways? I can’t stress enough that there can be characters who don’t reveal much about themselves not because they are poorly written but because they were so by design. You’re no fun mate, there are a lot of clues peppered in the story.

This is actually one of the reasons that he gets written off as a boring protagonist by a lot of people but say what you want, he is far from one dimensional. I find his coolness to be hilarious and……cool?  I just love it when he goes all like…..Secret Technique…….

While we’re on that, there’s a stalking revelation that I want to discuss in this post to those of you whom watched all 12 episodes.

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The episodes are arranged like a set of side stories with two or three parts in each episode, with mini-stories having their own set up, and of course their fair share of good laughs. Or an episode might focus on one particular event. And all of them have their own story to tell. Some are purely comedic. Some might convey us life lessons. Some show us more about the characters and so on. You’ll also notice some nicely hidden references from previous episodes. Not a lot of tension throughout the show because Sakamoto is pretty invincible as it is.

The humor and comedy are a hit or a miss. I absolutely love the way the show makes everything Sakamoto does absolutely fabulous. I’m a big fan of that word. It gets me laughing as soon as something completely unexpected (and often ridiculous) happens and Sakamoto is always at the center.

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Nothing’s really special to talk about the animation here, the characters look normal, and the backgrounds are far from astounding, even the effects used are standard issue. Although they thought of some cool uses for the stylish effects, aside from the adrenalin- pumping scenes, it’s kept to an acceptable level.

Now let’s move onto the theory that I talked about. This theory contains minor spoilers so skip to The Conclusion if you don’t want any (there’s no plot twists so what’s the harm?)

I first found this theory (more like a fact really) when I finished watching the last episode and I was curious about how Sakamoto answered Hayabusa-senpai’s question. The pieces fit in too perfectly, this actually may be the real story of Sakamoto’s first year in high school. Here it goes……….Sakamoto is Dying! He is terminally ill, he only has one year left to live so he attends high school to make new friends and to experience everything that a normal high school student would without holding back and to leave no regrets behind before he dies. Sounds depressing, right? If I were in that kind of situation, I’d actually have a hard time controlling my emotions. Okay, proof…..

  1. Don’t you think his personality is a little doubtful? He doesn’t speak much. He puts on the same face every time. Nobody knows his first name (he is not allowed to say it on-air actually). Yet he’s smart, cunning and physically adept. Does he even have a hobby? Why does he isolate himself from the rest of the class? Hypothetically speaking, considering that he is good natured, shouldn’t he be socializing? Are Achan and Kubota his only close friends?
  2. Why does he take it to himself to help every single person that he finds? Performing school duties, resolving people’s personal issues, fixing things like bird houses and equipment, and doing every good deed out there. Who knows what other good deeds he may have done? Doesn’t he have anything useful to spend that time, or did he memorize the entire text book before classes even started?
  3. How the hell does he blaze through something at lightning speed? Is he an alien? Probably, not likely. He must have had prior training. How much time he devoted to his training is a mystery but he definitely did spend a lot of time to train. His techniques don’t seem ethical either.
  4. Sakamoto doesn’t seem to care what happens to him at all. It’s like he’s a daredevil. Sliding through a gap in the gate when the teacher was closing it, fighting in the rain in episode 5 and getting a fever the next day. Seems like he actually didn’t care.
  5. The song that he picks on episode 10 is about a father, his sick son and death. The father seeks help but his son plays with death and dies. It reflected his condition. He is playing with death by going to high school. Obviously a hint.
  6. At episode 11, when Achan and Sakamoto have a snow fight, Achan says something like this: “I thought I would be able to walk side by side with Sakamoto……..at that time I still……believed it.” Bad news….
  7. His little talk with Fukase-san at the infirmary in the last episode. Sakamoto’s answer was serious.

There’s an entire reddit thread about the final episode and this theory here.

The Conclusion

Sakamoto desu ga is a mixed bag, you might like it or you might hate it. The comedy is well done in my opinion, especially at the fact that Sakamoto is such a funny protagonist to watch. He is the main reason you should give this some thought. The side-stories are good and don’t feel forced or out of place. Aside from Sakamoto, the characters don’t bring anything new, they get their time in the spot light but after that, not much appearances. Again, this is to be expected on a twelve episode anime. But they’re enjoyable none the less. Sakamoto gives a hand to every single one of them and we’re revealed enough about them to be able to relate to their personalities. Overall, a great anime to watch if you’re feeling down. The jokes will stretch you right up.

-KKSparrow

Break Blade First Movie Impressions

Break Blade First Movie Impressions

Oh boy do I have something to tell you about! I’m hooked, yep definitely hooked. Okay, let me just explain to you what’s going on……..It’s just one of those times when you have nothing to do, casually strolling through google cause you’re bored, then you have this great idea to type some random title in the search bar and bam!…….you found a result that looks intriguing, you check it out on MAL, come to the conclusion that it’s worth a watch, you desperately investigate leads until you’re finally able to watch it before midnight but after that amazing experience now you’re too excited to even sleep? That is actually me now. Right, right enough of that let’s move on.

It all starts when the Athens and Orlando invade Assam, which resulted in Athens gaining control of the region. The Athens then attack Krisna. As the two armies fight, it is clear that Krisna is slowly losing the war, there is still hope however as our protagonist, Rygart Arrow is able to pilot (barely) a Golem built by the antients. He does not possess the ability to control quartz, which everyone is able to do even at a young age. Although he is described as an un-sorcerer, Rygart is the only one that can control the ancient Golem and it is now his responsibility to save the entire kingdom from destruction.

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Yes, I do know that there is also a TV series with the same name that’s basically tells same story but I figured since movie adaptations always have a bigger budget, it’ll probably be more enjoyable if I watched the movies first (there are six films in total). And movies always have superior animation compared their TV counterparts anyways.

Like I mentioned above their kingdom is in a tough pinch so Hodr, the King of Krisna, invites Rygart to the capitol, unknown to him however, they have discovered a new type of Golem and Hodr is hopeful that Rygart can pilot it since everyone else have failed to even make it move. Meanwhile, a group of five Golems continue to cut through their defenses, quickly becoming a threat.

Let’s see, a new ancient all-so-powerful mecha, check.  Deemed as the last hope, check. No skills at anything whatsoever, check. That’s about all I can say without spoiling too much, there’s not much to say after all. Do note that this is still the First Movie so this might just be introductions. The real action is not here……..yet.

As soon as it started playing, the first thing that I noticed was how beautiful the animation was. The backgrounds were top-notch and so were the close ups. The shadows on the characters, the cool mechas and the fictional setting all deserve points. The entire movie was well polished and some scenes are just splendid to look at. There were times when they toned it down a notch, luckily only very rarely they do. This left a good first impression on me, nothing makes me happier than a good dosage of fluid and premium quality animation. Ah, that hit the spot…..

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The second thing that I noticed was how the characters were protrayed. I know there’s a long way until they fully flesh them out but I’m confident that they’ll get better as the story goes on. Our main characters Hodr, the Queen, Sigyn, and Rygart get the most screen time.

I’m not being picky but strangely, I have a hard time relating to them. Maybe it’s the setup, maybe it’s generic, it may even be my mind playing tricks on me. Okay, let me think……….oh, I think Hodr seemed powerless, Sigyns too optimistic and near-sighted (you’ll see how close) and Rygart, underdeveloped and poorly represented. None of them have any sign of character progression and I can’t help but think that they’ll practically stay this way. What I say might me a little rash, we’ll see who’s right I guess.

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The opening themes perfectly fits in with the Break Blade universe and themes that they introduced us to. We’re put in a world where people build cities made of stone, construct weapons and vehicles from steel, these have ligaments containing quartz, which in turn could be manipulated to push pistons, fire crystal bullets at enemies and ultimately control a golem. And there’s also a war going on.

Some people might be sold on this because of the giant mechas, it’s got the stuff alright though the fights are not as tense as I’d like. Aside from the face off at the end, you’ll be watching mechs blow up in style most of the time here. Rygart is unskilled at moving his Golem and he doesn’t exactly pull off any awesome moves either. Still, I’ll let that detail slide as it’s too early to judge. There’s just enough action to keep most of viewers entertained but not enough to particularly wow us.

So far so good, I’m hyped about what I’ll see in the next movie. Is it going to impress? Is it going to disappoint? Who knows? Will the characters improve? Will there be an epic battle? Will the story look a little more original? Can they add more backstory to the characters? Will the animation quality hold? So many questions but no answers……………………

-KKSparrow

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Review

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Review

I personally love the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and a surprising amount people could either agree or disagree with me on the contrary. The name might leave you wandering as to what kind of show this might be. You might think that this is another slice of life in a school setting but you’d leave out some crutial details. The show is a mixture of many different genres including Science Fiction and Mystery. It’s the kind of concept that might bore some and leave others asking for more. I’ll define it as “Haruhi’s crazy and otherworldly adventures” for now.

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We start off with Kyon, who as a kid believed that aliens, espers, time-travelers and evil organizations existed. Now in high school, he has stopped being interested in such trivial things. They can’t possibly exist, right?

As luck would have it, Harushi Suzumiya just so happens to be in his class. She’s odd, energetic, and guess what, she still believes that the supernatural does exist……….somewhere. What seem like generally accepted facts to most don’t apply to her and she’s also thick-headed to add, no one can convince her.

Unluckily for Kyon, she gets the brilliant idea to make her own club from him. Haruhi starts (cough) recruiting new members for the club while he is left to deal with all the mess. After getting enough members, Haruhi establishes the ‘SOS Brigade’ right on the spot. Everyone in the room don’t have the slightest idea as to the club’s activities or anything else as for that matter. What the hell has he done? The club’s name is laughable and are they supposed to help old grannies walk around with chopsticks….walking sticks or something?

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The story is actually very entertaining and the execution is solid, you never would have thought that they could turn it into such an enjoyable experience. An event or occurrence pops up every few episodes and the SOS Brigade are always involved. The club members essentially have to put up with Haruhi’s endless annoyances and bizarre interests. She will seem like a huge asshole at the start of the show but watch on. Basically, Kyon has to get out of his way to stop her doing something extreme.

As much as a chore she might seem for Kyon and everyone on the team, they just can’t help it cause she’s a god after all. What do I mean by GOD? Well, I meant someone possessing the ability to make miracles happen, change the properties of any object without ever blinking and resetting the universe. Shivers! Seriously, she can do twenty backflips…….No, I’m joking. The series has a lot of workarounds because of this, like some saying that it was Kyon’s unconscious mind behind it all due to his desire for aliens, time-travelers, and espers to actually exist.

“With any great power, comes great responsibility” is what I would like to say in this case (without quoting every spider man movie in existence).

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If you’re thinking the club just messes around keeping Haruhi from destroying the world, half of what you think is true, they keep an eye on Haruhi but the story is surprisingly complicated and well written in my opinion. There is a fair number of scientific theories explored, topped off with an ever looming sense of unpredictability. Alien Crickets? A magic baseball bat? Humanoid ultra-dimensional beings? Oh, oh, A Sonic Death Ray!? No Death Ray? Not fair!

The gang go on a vacation to a remote island, screen a movie for the cultural festival, play against the computer club in a video game they made. And what else? Ah, and they experience summer break over 15,000 times. Not bad right?

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You’re not left in the dark to figure it out yourself though. The characters come up with their own theories of why Haruhi has so much power in her hands, and why the universe mysteriously obeys her every thought. It’s very interesting stuff to a science geek, bound to click your eyes in place on the screen. Looking for hard science fiction? Don’t pass this one off. By the way, black holes are over used IMO.

To be honest, me and Haruhi have a love or hate kind of relationship. I absolutely hate her for being a total jerk at times. She is a huge pain for everyone in their little group, especially Kyon. It’s like she has been oblivious to social norms all her life and don’t get me started on how annoying she can be at times. I’ve watched this several times with a friend and she despised Haruhi, ironically, she said this show was shit. Can’t blame her.

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Look at the positives, there’s Kyon on our side. Kyon was the most memorable character by a long run. The fact is, Kyon acts like he doesn’t want anything to do with what Haruhi has planned and possibly doesn’t care much about anything, he has a calm way of handling things and generally cares about Haruhi even if he only realizes it later on. He is the only one who can say “No,” to Haruhi, and shows compassion towards her no matter how mistaken she is. It’s similar to when you end liking something you thought was going to be a waste of time. For example, me and chocolate donuts, who would’ve figured?

What if……….What if……… you found out that humans are not the only ones in the universe? What if you found that time travel is possible? What if you found out everything centers around Haruhi’s desires? The entire thing is presented from Kyon’s perspective, so we usually hear his criticism on all the craziness that’s going on. His voice acting is very respectable also, which brings some good old humor to the fights, strange happenings, and downright crazy situations that he’s often gets dragged into. Kyon just wants his normal high school life back. He’s suddenly involved in some mind boggling stuff just because he met Haruhi.

Aside from Kyon, Haruhi and Yuki, the other characters don’t really change as the plot progresses. They don’t give us any insight into their thoughts, we’re left watching empty shells coupled with set-defined personality traits. This is one of the reasons why I won’t recommend it most people, it will get very boring if you’re not interested or paying attention.

On my first watch, I was pleasantly surprised after watching episode 1. I thought this one would go down the drain but I was wrong. Right off the bat Kyon’s sense of humor and Haruhi’s charismatic personality were the main selling points. You’ll be hard pressed to put any one of the two in a particular character archetype or find similarities with other anime characters. And maybe that’s the reason why it is one of my personal favorites. If anyone asks me what exactly makes this show special, it would be the characters and the story that make this shine, and this show is certainly weird after all.

If you’re going to give this a chance, start with season 2. The second season is a re-airing of the first seasons with extra episodes presented in chronicle order whereas the first season was in a non-chronological format.

Sorry for the long wait for just one review guys. I was on a family vacation for three days and the internet there was sloppy. Now that my schedule is in order, I’m thinking of posting my impressions of some popular airing shows so stay tuned for that. As always, thanks for reading my reviews. I know they’re not perfect but still, thanks. See you again!

-KKSparrow