Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Food Porn (Koufuku Graffiti review)

Opening Songs
OP 1 - The 5 Ways I Know To Become Happy (Maaya Sakamoto)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - I Get A Smile On My Face (Rina Satou, Asuka Ogame)

Genre: Comedy, Slice Of Life

Episodes: 12

So I'm one of those few guys that actually WATCHED "Koufuku Graffiti" before I went onto "Shougeki No Soma", because every damn person was telling me "IF YOU WANT A SHOW ABOUT FOOD, WATCH THAT". Well, I'll listen to my heart for this one and move on to "Koufuku Graffiti", an entire anime dedicated to the wonders of nicely animated food. And Shaft's animation...and cute girls...but those are beside the point. If you want a show centered around food and discovering the secret delicacies of all the delicious things in life, I think "Koufuku Graffiti" does an amazing job. There's no anime out there quite like it at the moment (Yes, its very different from "Shougeki No Soma", people should stop comparing the 2), so it might not be for anyone, but for those with an open mind and want something new, this might be it. Don't expect anything too ridiculous out of "Koufku Graffiti", instead, a consistent journey of comedy and the beautifully animated cooking is what you should look forward to.

Well, I'd like to join in on that.

The opening theme is "The 5 Ways I Know To Become Happy" by Maaya Sakamoto, who has been doing quite well as a singer nowadays. Anyways, its a fairly fast, light hearted song with her using her slightly "cuter" vocals to keep up with the pace. It's certainly a unique song and for a unique show, I'd say it fits, but it's not really something that I enjoy too much. The ending theme "I Get A Smile On My Face", is sang by Rina Satou and Asuka Ogame, the seiyuus of Ryou and Kirin respectively. Once again, its a fast paced song with cute-sy vocals that's meant to be catchy. Its not as good as the opening theme, and it's not my kind of song in the first place...a skip for me.

Rating: 7.5/10

"Koufuku Graffiti" actually ends up being quite good for the right reasons. For an anime generally about slice of life, it does a good job with its 3 main characters. Also, the comedy, while somewhat inconsistent, manages to hit the right notes most of the time, and I ended up enjoying myself most of the way through. "Koufuku Graffiti" focuses on food for its main point of attraction, in terms of aesthetic, I can actually buy that. The show does a good job of...showing how our characters cook delicious food. Sounds really ridiculous, but the stuff on screen DOES look good, and Shaft did an amazing job on those...fried chicken pieces and rolled omelettes, I shit you not. More than that though, the anime has only 3 main characters, because of that, a lot of time is spent on these 3, and we quickly grow attached to them. Their characters vary quite a fair bit, giving us some great diversity when seeing them interact with one another. While there isn't much of a development in one of the 3 characters (sorry Shiina), the other 2 do change drastically throughout the entire show, and how everything ties to cooking really makes this series a satisfying one to watch.

Oh Shaft, you guys keep doing what you're doing, you rock.

Machiko Ryou is a middle school girl going that attends a special art school on weekends. For a majority of her life, her grandmother had been taking care of her, and she always cooked wonderful home-made meals for her...meals that she would come to remember for her life. Her grandmother passed away, and Ryou inherited her cooking prowess, turning her into one hell of a middle school chef. Anyway, since she had been living alone, she obviously felt lonely from time to time since her parents are always away on business trips. That was until a cousin of hers, Kirin, started to come over to her house on weekends to stay, since she attends the same special art school that Ryou goes to. Ever since her first visit, Kirin had been tasting Ryou's cooking, and she loved it. Ryou then understood that eating together with somebody else made her meals all the more tasty, and that with Kirin's appetite, she could cook a lot more than usual. Thus begins their weekly journeys of indulging into the wonders of the culinary arts.

"Koufuku Graffiti" is enjoyable enough in my book for a slice of life anime. Its unique theme and approach make it refreshing to watch. Its honestly nothing too ridiculous or out of this world as many would like to think, and that's actually one of its good points. Its a show we can relate to, and we can only how Ryou learnt to become such a godlike chef at the age of 14.


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Under Night In Birth Exe:Late

Gamespot Score: n/a

My Score: 7.5

(+) Pros: - Incredibly fun base fighting mechanics, - Fighting looks impressive, - Varied cast of fighters, each with their own unique style of combat, - Easy to learn, hard to master, has a fair amount of technical depth, - Basic lore and story are very interesting on their own, - Great soundtrack, - Net-play options are good, replay theater included, - Solid amount of unlockables can keep you playing for quite awhile.

(-) Cons: - Lackluster single player modes, - Bare bones story-telling when compared to many modern fighting games, - Lack of a tutorial or challenge mode.

Gameplay time: -

When it comes to anime fighting games, "Under Night In Birth Exe: Late", or simply UNIEL, is one of most highly regarded ones by the community. At least by the ANIME fighting game community...and for good reason. "UNIEL" is easily accessible to newcomers, its character cast is bright, colorful, varied, has a ton of bishoujos, bishounens, and even f**king MONSTERS added to the mix. Plus, the fighting feels fast, fluid, and most of the time, it looks flashy as hell, with colorful, powerful looking attacks filling up two thirds of the screen. Indeed, for a 2D fighter, it looks damned impressive, and the way the characters move is just awesome to look at, especially as they dash/fly around the screen like super humans. When "UNIB" first debuted in the arcades I sure as hell wanted to give it a go, but since it's japan only, I was disappointed. I was one of the first to jump up and down like a little kid when "UNIEL" was to be localized and released in English.  However, due to some life issues, I delayed buying "UNIEL"...but here I am. So, let's break down the console release of the game. Enter the night of "UNIEL".

Average High schooler Hyde Kido is an unfortunate kid. He is sucked into the hollow night unwillingly and was attacked by a Void. He is saved by an immortal In-Birth named Linne, and she explained the nature of the Night to Hyde. Hyde then awakens as an In-birth bearing the Insulator, a sword that is able to negate certain EXS abilities to some extent. After training and working his butt off, he finally wanders into the Hollow Night to pursue Linne, who's after a goal of her own with Waldenstein, her long time companion. There, he learns the true meaning of participating in the Hollow Night, as he runs into multiple In-Births, each with EXS abilities of their own, each fighting for their own reason.

Gathers under night!

As a fighting game, anyone would want to just jump STRAIGHT into the fighting of "UNIEL". "UNIEL"'s base mechanics are amazing, some of the most impressive ones within the available pool of 2D fighters. Like most anime fighters, this one focuses on mobility, air dashing and the like. "UNIEL" is a 3 button fighting game, with a heavy emphasis on taking to the air. I mean, D + forward launches you airborne towards your opponent. There are lots of universal mechanics in this one, like the GRD system and how to utilize it. Battles don't last too long as many characters tend to go at each other like a bunch of hounds, and since there are few turtle type characters, matches are intense, fun to play and to watch at the same time.

As mentioned earlier, "UNIEL" looks impressive. Sure, it may be a 2D fighter that still uses sprites, but on THAT front, it looks great. Many characters have very visually appealing move sets, like in "Blazblue", everyone goes f**king crazy when they start shooting out explosive waves from their swords or start to fill the screen with their huge AOE attacks. To make things even more ridiculous, some of the characters have very unique ways to move around, because of their physique (Merkava & Wald in particular), they look even crazier than other characters on screen. In terms of 2D fighters, "UNIEL" sure looks better, or at least as good as, than most of its competition.

Not enough swords in your fighting games? Here you go.

When we talk about fighting games, we need to talk about the fighters. "UNIEL" has a decently sized roster of 16 characters, and all of them are, once again, unique in their own way. We've got some characters who look a little same-ish in terms of character design (I mean, school students with swords & knives? I'm sure I can name more than a few of those), but when they take to the field, they all play very differently from one another. Be it an all-rounded shoto, a rushdown or keep-away character, this game has a combination of all types of characters, and then some. Most of their unique traits separate them from the rest of the game's cast, making exploring each and every character a new journey that's worth taking.

We've got a beginner friendly character in Hyde who has a little bit of everything in his move set. Linne is just set to rush at her opponents non-stop, try to mix them up and hit them with fast combos. Carmine is very controlled based with his blood moves, and Orie's mid-ranged pressure with Thanatos is great. Characters like Vatista and Hilda play their own kind of keep-away games, while guys like Waldenstein and Akatsuki just want to get in your face to hit you for tons of damage, despite their lack of mobility. The game changes with every character, and on the play field, everything you face off against is different. Then there's the GRD mechanic, in which every single character has their own unique way of utilizing it to win the fight in their favor. There's so much to take into consideration here.

Pew pew lasers. Yes, we have lasers.

Like quite a few Arc System Works games (though "UNIEL" was developed by French Bread, so technically, this is my first French Bread fighting game) of late, "UNIEL" is one of those games that's easy to learn but hard to master. I mean, anyone can pick up the controller, mash A for a super easy baby auto combo that does damage, but to dive deep into the game and learn the intricacies of "UNIEL" is where the fun is at. There are quite a few terms to the game, and you'll want to master everything you need in the training mode since this game doesn't teach you a whole lot on its own. It just gives you the basic BnBs from the auto combos and off you go, you're own your own, "UNIEL" doesn't hold your hand if you want to discover your own, custom made combos or do the hardcore ones.

The game has double jumps (triple jumps for Linne), cancels all around, multiple air dashes on certain characters and veil off canceling, if you want to make use of all of that, good luck. If you want to get down to the gnarly details, "UNIEL" DOES have a good amount of depth, and trying to get your character to pull off a decent combo that can consistently do 2500 damage or above can be quite difficult (IMO if your own BnBs can do about 2500 damage without any meter, you're good to go online). You can try out your new found combos against the AI in the arcade mode or any of the other single player VS modes in the game, like the Score Attack, Time Attack or Survival modes (though I'll be real with you, the AI in this game isn't really tough, even on the highest difficulty).

Ladies and gentlemen, Hyde Narukami and Orie Kirijo
(props to those who get it).

Speaking of the arcade mode, that's only damn thing in the game closest to a story mode, and because of that, I am incredibly disappointed. Why? Because what's there in the arcade mode, is SO damn interesting. The world of "UNIEL" has an insane amount of potential, and I think that if the game had a dedicated story-telling mode, it would be epic. There's so much that we don't know about, and yet, what's there is just good enough to keep you interesting. IMO it serves as a wonderful base for world building, in case French Bread or Arc System works decide to work on an ACTUAL story mode in their future console installments (come on, we all know UNIELST will eventually get its console counterpart). There's so much about the characters, factions and different interactions that can actually turn into an ACTUAL, full blown story mode, where everyone acts in the same Night and their actions actually turn into consequences for other characters. Now, wouldn't that be f**king fantastic?

Besides that, the game has a wonderful, WONDERFUL soundtrack. I'm talking almost Daisuke Ishiwatari's level of awesome, and I f**king love the "GG"/"BB" soundtracks too. The character themes in "UNIEL" are absolutely lovely, and each one of them sparks their own story about the character they represent. While "BB" themes are mostly metal/rock centric, the style of music here in "UNIEL" is quite varied, though most of them have a decent amount of electro/synth. They could have done more to add in some more VS themes, because Cross Thought was f**king amazing (Hyde Vs Linne? Orie Vs Gordeau? Orie Vs Merkava? Seth Vs Linne? ANYTHING?! Come on guys!). I'm always one that LOVES to get pumped during his battles in a fighting game, and "UNIEL"'s OST certainly helped (unlike something like..."Dengeki Buko Fighting Climax". The OST in that game was non-existant).

You ain't seen nothing yet.

Like most fighting games in the current generation, "UNIEL" does spot some decent net-play, with decent options like lobbies, private matches and the like. Also, it lets you train in the training mode while waiting to match up with an opponent (again, many fighting games have this nowadays), and it even has its own replay theater for you to view your matches against your opponents, so that you can study matchups more effectively. Besides that, the ranking system is fairly common, nothing too out of the world here. Playing online and everything else in the single player modes gets you IP, which allows you to purchase certain unlockables.

And when you talk about unlockables, this game has quite a lot for you to purchase. "UNIEL", for the good of the user, instead of charging DLC for EXTRA F**KING colors (f**k charging for extra color palettes, that should NEVER happen), allows you to UNLOCK these colors for free IN the game using IP, which you can gain fairly easily. Each character has 10 pre-existing colors and another 20 to buy, honestly, some of these colors are fantastic. THIS, is what the game does right. Other than that you can also purchase multiple icons and plate themes to customize how you represent yourself online before a match. Then there's the gallery, where you can purchase art work of all sorts, fan art, official art and even guest illustrations. Unlocking everything does take quite a while, which encourages more play time.

Trip over a loli, that's fine.

When it comes down to what "UNIEL" doesn't do right, there's actually a fair bit of things to talk about. While the fighting is bloody fantastic, some of the most fun I've had in fighting games for a while...the console port of "UNIEL" is solely lacking in single player content. I mean, seriously, look at "Blazblue" games, or even "Mortal Kombat" games, the amount of single player in those games are EXTENSIVE!  Here, we have a basic ass arcade mode, VS CPU mode, score attack, time attack and survival. I guarantee you, you'll play those once or twice and you're done, because there's no challenge or incentive, at all, plus, they're too damn easy, the AI in this game doesn't do much, even on the highest difficulty. Because of the lack of a proper story mode, story telling in arcade is BARE BONES, there's nothing to even look out for! Also, no tutorial? For a game with quite a bit of technical requirement, not having a tutorial is pretty f**king bullshit. Also, no challenge mode to learn combos, you basically have to figure everything out yourself. Better get researching.

"UNIEL" is a solid, fun fighter for those who enjoy 2D fighting games. While the fighting is amazing, the console port leaves quite a bit to be desired, more specifically a proper story and tutorial mode. It also lacks any of the content that previous Arc System Works have provided, making your experience a little bit bare bones. It sure tops the likes of "MVC 3", but against other fighters in the current gen, it loses out in terms of content. Its a shame, because the story has amazing potential and I love the combat in "UNIEL". Still, if you just want to head online, break faces or play locally with friends, this one is fantastic and I can wholeheartedly recommend it if only for that reason.

Happy Gaming!

Opening Songs
OP 1 - Yamato Nadeshiko Education (Triple Booking)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Aoi Haru (Angela)

Genre: Comedy, Slice Of Life

Episodes: 13

While there are plenty of shows circling about school life, only a select few manage to make an impact enough for you to remember for a long, long time. Fortunately, "Seitokai Yakuindomo" is one of those shows, and while I'm easily 4 years late to the party, I pretty much fell in love with this anime after the first episode. School life anime that usually focus on the student council and how they spend their school lives isn't rare, but few manage to do it like "Seitokai Yakuindomo". Despite being another harem, the characters in "Seitokai Yakuindomo" shine strong in the most ridiculous ways, and it is outright hilarious to see them go about their daily routine and have their insane conversations. For comedy fans with especially pervertic minds, "Seitokai Yakuindomo" scores well in many categories, and while its not visually erotic, the levels of lewd jokes that this anime can provide are pretty much off the charts.

We. Are. SYD!

As with every pervertic/comedic/harem/high school anime, we need a super catchy opening theme that sounds crazy as f**k. That song is going to be "Yamato Nadeshiko Education" by Triple Booking, which is probably a group that consists of the 3 main female seiyuus in the anime. All I can repeat to myself after hearing the opening song about 2 times is "We Are SYD!", which is good, because I sang along to that phrase many, many times. The ending theme is "Aoi Haru" by Angela, and its an energetic song. However, its weird to hear an energetic song out of Angela, a duo which specializes in epic opening themes. It sounds a little weird, that's about it.

Rating: 8.0/10

While I'm a little bit tired of these slice of life animes, "Seitokai Yakuindomo" is one that manages to suck me in quite well. For an anime that thrives on nothing but daily school life and pervertic jokes...it does a fantastic job. Incredibly likable characters and a harem atmosphere that doesn't seem to overstep its boundaries makes "Seitokai Yakuindomo" feel very natural. The pervertic jokes may not be for everyone, but they will VERY easily grow on you if you have a sense of humor. Character interactions are hilarious, and they have very likable personalities. There are also a nice variety of character archetypes, although most of them thrive on pervertic jokes, which is obviously the common theme in "Seitokai Yakuindomo". However, since this is one of those shows that stay on the same page throughout the entire series with very little character progression, it might not be for everyone. Still, for those who want a show that's very light hearted and easy to enjoy, "Seitokai Yakuindomo" is another one for you.

Sure you are...sure you are...

Takatoshi Tsuda is a very normal high school boy who's looking to attend his new high school. He chooses Ousai academy, which is a school near his home. However, he also realizes that Ousai academy was previously an all girls school, and that his badge of students is the first badge to ever accept male students, as the school undergoes its co-ed program for the first year. As such the female population of the academy is massive, with the guys taking only a small minority. On his first day, he is stopped by the student council, consisting of 3 girls, Student council president Amakusa, Secretary Aria, and the treasurer Hagimura. He gets criticized for his improper attire, and after some random sweet talk, the 3 girls decided to add Tsuda to the student council because now that they have a male student body, they needed a male representative to have a different view. He is added to the student council as the vice president, who practically does nothing but assist Amakusa. He was now on track to a fruitful high school life filled with pervertic jokes and ridiculous conversations.

And that's all for "Seitokai Yakuindomo", at least for its first season. As we are all aware, a second season exists, which came out in early 2014. I'm still on track to watch that, and honestly, I'm quite excited for it. This is one of the better slice of life animes out there that I can wholeheartedly recommend to many people, especially those who enjoy harems.


"What a lewd outfit!"...said no one, EVER.

Name: Lieselotte
From: Trinity Seven

This twintailed blonde bombshell appears almost out of nowhere and surprises EVERYONE with her explosive appearence AND personality. This girl is EASILY the most seductive out of all the girls in "Trinity Seven", and with good reason. She's a little slutty, so its only natural that her showing off so much of her skin turns others on. Plus, she uses her body to lure others into a false sense of attraction before attacking them. The way she kisses her own sister, strips her and takes her "essence" just seemed really f**king high. She's just one of girls that you can ALLLMOST see those titties, but because of convinient censoring, we see nothing. God dammit.

*Sigh*...No that's not Miku.

Name: Sona
From: League Of Legends

"League Of Legends" has plenty of babes, but of course as well all know, there's only one worthy twin-tailed waifu within the females in the league. Sona is the one champion that everyone looks at when they start the game and go, "Hey! That's Miku!", then they save IP to buy her...only to proceed to feed. Sona is just the definition of Miku with boobs, she even focuses on music for her concept in-game. Sona's boob factor is easily one of the biggest ones in the game, and when we compete for waifus, she's always up there with girls like Katarina and Ahri, those 2 whom probably dominate everyone else in terms of fan popularity.

We all love her and her string.

Name: Hestia
From: Danmachi

I haven't seen "Danmachi" yet, but how many arts of Hestia have I seen? Too damn many, I can't even count anymore. When "Danmachi" aired for the first two weeks, Hestia has seen a massive SURGE in popularity, almost so much so that its freaking insane. Sure, she's just another twin tailed girl who's cute, has big boobs and a boisterous personality. Yeah, she's sexy, I'll give her points for that, but what made Hestia so damned popular? Her outfit, more specifically, that f**king string. How does one even...pilot that thing? Cosplayers have proven over and over how impractical that thing is and yet she makes it work: because anime. Either way, the impact she has made is already there, but seriously, that girl is pretty hot.

Fate Extra Caster is best Caster.

Name: Caster
From: Fate/Extra

"Fate" has a bunch of nice ladies, but unfortunately most of the known servants are dudes. As for the female servants, most of them are nice, but our topic of discussion today is "Extra"'s Caster, the cute and sexy fox girl who just doesn't f**k around in battle. While she was plenty cute enough in "Fate/Extra", she went extra bold with her outfit in "CCC", turning her into this sexy semi-bdsm girl that just sobers up to you all day. Man, as if she wasn't attractive enough, this girl just manages to capture the hearts of thousands of masters, and her popularity easily surged into kingdom come. For good reason.

Why don't we ever see her in a swimsuit?

Name: Yukine Chris
From: Senki Zesshou Symphogear Series

"Symphogear" was a unique mahou shoujo series in a way that I never really loved it too much. It was nice, but it kind of went downhill from the end of season 1 to season 2. Anyhow, it doesn't stop me from talking about my favorite character in the series, Yukine Chris. Even without her epic background story, this girl was truly likable, and more importantly, she was sexy. She was a short, sexy tsundere with a temper that only increased her sexy factor even more. Having the biggest boobs of them all surely helped her out, and damn, I don't think anyone can ever beat her in the sexy-ness category in this show. Ever.

Opening Songs
OP 1 - Blade Of Hope (sweet ARMS)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Still Sis (Kaori Sadohara)

Genre: Action, Romance, Supernatural

Episodes: 12

Harems after harems after harems! Here's another one, and regrettably, I think this might be the best one of the winter season. I. Shit. You. Not. After the likes of "Absolute Duo", "Seiken Tsukai No World Break" and "Unlimited Fafnir", "Shinmai Maou No Testament" is an amazing breath of fresh air. Albeit, its a very pervertic breath of fresh air, but you know, who cares, its boobies, its fan service, we've all seen this before. First off, its already rare to see harems nowadays get this...bold. "Shinmai Maou No Testament" is one of those harems that thrive on its fanservice to carry itself. If I were to compare "Testament" to a harem that's already currently one of the most popular ones out there, its EASILY "High School DXD". Both go all out with their fanservice segments, both manage to pull off these segments very well, and both still manage to portray a somewhat serious plot alongside good action scenes. Overall, I feel like "DxD" does the story and action scenes better, but "Testament" is very close behind, which is a good thing.

And of course, the heroine just had to be a busty, red-head school girl...

Looks like Sweet ARMS is at it again. The opening theme to the anime is "Blade Of Hope" by Sweet ARMS, the wonderful people behind many great anime themes, with my favorite one being "Trust In You", "Date A Live II"'s opening theme. "Blade Of Hope" sounds a lot more orchestra based, and its certainly a good song with powerful vocals and an overall catchy beat. The ending theme, "Still Sis" by Kaori Sadohara, is...quite alright. It has a very fantasy-ish anisong feel, but its not very fast, catchy, or memorable. It quickly falls out of favor, but it isn't terrible by any means.

Rating: 7.5/10

I have a feeling "BURST" is going to be great and end up scoring higher, but for this first season, "Shinmai Maou No Testament" ends up being mostly entertaining. Season 1 is more or less a build-up to something more exciting in season 2, and honestly, for just a build-up, it managed to build up quite an impressive world. We've got the seperation of the human world and the demon world, with the demon world having some sort of internal struggle. There were also the heroes which did combat against the demons, their relationship was interesting enough for me to keep an eye out for the lore, especially with the hierarchy of the demons. Characters are mostly quite likable, with the occasional annoying main heroine, and the action scenes mostly well done. I say mostly, because things got a little lazy towards the end, but I'll look past it because the anime does have some good pacing, something that many similar animes fail at these days. Fan service is top notch, it holds nothing back, and is at least "DxD" levels of porn, though you'll have to wait for the uncensored episodes to pop out (for the censored versions you just see tons of white). All in all, its a solid package that loses some steam towards the end, but manages to already build some solid ground work before the second season.

Yeah...this looks really appropriate, am I right?

Tojou Basara lives with his father, Tojou Jin, alone for almost his entire life. Suddenly one day, Jin decides to adopt two daughters into the family, with the intend of marrying another woman. These girls are Naruse Mio and Maria, Mio is a busty high schooler while Maria is a snobbish elementary school girl. When they settled under one roof with Basara as the elder brother, Jin suddenly had to leave for work, leaving Basara alone with the 2 girls. Very quickly, the 2 girls try to drive Basara out of the house, and are revealed to be demons. However, Basara was going to have none of that, he unleashed his inner hero powers and fended them off. Quickly revealing his true identity, he easily drew the 2 demon girls out. After confirming with his father, the most power hero to have ever lived, that he adopted the 2 girls with all intentions of saving them, Basara goes after them, only to find them being attacked by rogue demons. Basara saves them and invites them back to the house, saying that as an elder brother, he would look out for them. Accepting his kind offer, Mio and Maria, the demons, would stay together with Basara, a hero, to avoid the forces of the current demon lord.

"Shinmai Maou No Testament" is easily one of the better harem offerings that the industry has to offer in quite a while. If you need your "High School DxD" fix, then "Testament" does the job quite well and fills up that need quite easily with its solid fan service and mostly interesting lore. There's quite a lot more to "Testament" than you'd think other than just boobies, and it does a good job overall. But lets be serious, we'll all just wait for the inevitable uncensored episodes to come out and...slowly research them, yes.


Opening Songs

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Ray Of Bullet (Manami Numakura & Rina Hidaka)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Magic, Romance

Episodes: 12

And here we are with the worst of the harems in the winter season ( I didn't watch Isuca, so that's still up for debate). "Unlimited Fafnir" is one of the most uninspired, lazy, boring, uninteresting animes in a long time. That's...pretty bad coming from me, considering how I even give credit to some of the more bland harem animes out there...but there's just nothing I can squeeze out of "Unlimited Fafnir". Honestly, its just one of those animes that I can't justify liking...no matter how much I try. I mean, there IS stuff to like here, but from the way its presented in the anime? Nope, there's really nothing that I can pick out that's good, great, or redeeming. I mean, the animation and visual style of "Unlimited Fafnir" in the anime is just so different from the light novel art, so much so that I think they might have went wrong somewhere with the character designs. Whatever, there's no turning back now, I don't like "Unlimited Fafnir". A harem is a harem, but I guess there are ones bad enough for even me to dislike.

What the anime should have at least attempted to look like.

The opening song is "FYING FAFNIR" by TRUSTRICK, which quite a subtle opening theme that doesn't pack too much of a punch. Its an alright opening for a magic/fantasy/high school themed anime, but you'll get tired of it soon enough. The ending theme "Ray Of Bullet" by Manami Numakura and Rina Hidaka, the 2 seiyuus of 2 of the main heroines in the anime, is much better IMO, since it at least attempts to be epic. Its a more fitting theme for an action anime with the powerful vocals and the slightly heavier music.

Rating: 6.0/10

As much as I want to like another harem with cute girls and big monsters, "Unlimited Fafnir" just didn't DO very well. The concept, lore and story of "Unlimited Fafnir" ISN'T BAD, its just that everything was so poorly executed in the anime. The action is dreadfully boring and most segments were poorly executed. For a harem, most of the girls are very uninteresting, hell, most of them don't even have ANY sort of story or interaction with the protagonist AT ALL. PLUS, the protagonist...he's just not very likable. A typical solo guy in an all-girls academy with combat experience beforehand, just that the fights that he is involved in: they're pretty boring. When it comes to being visually appealing, other than our protagonist's weapon materialization, everything else just seems so bland. In the end "Unlimited Fafnir" suffers a little bit from the "Girlfriend Beta" disease, too many girls with too little focus on some of them. You end up not giving a flying f**k about some of them, and I believe that's not how things should be done with a harem.

Well, we sure haven't seen THIS before.

Mononobe Yu is a very young soldier that's known as the strongest Fafnir, a code name used in his unit. In the world where dragons materialize and threaten the safety of the world, the existence of Ds appeared to counter that of the enemy dragons. However, for a long time, the only Ds that would emerge would be females, so only girls could combat against these otherworldly threats. But of course, since this is a harem, we need to have a male D, and that is none other than Mononobe Yu. He enrolls into Midgar, an island which houses young D females as they learn in a school about how to control their D powers, as well as receive education. On his first day, he runs into a naked girl named Iris bathing in the sea. After she accuses him for assault and realizes that he is the new transfer student, he introduces her to the class. Being a specialist on the fronlines, Yu hides considerable power from his classmates, as he tries to mix into his now class of many females. Being the only guy in school, he is in for the ride of his life.

"Unlimited Fafnir" could have had the potential to be a little bit more interesting. But as it stands, its nothing much to ogle at. There are much better harems and more importantly, in the very season that it aired, there are 3 other, better harems that are either way more interesting or entertaining. If you want another one of these 1 guy in an all girls school situation, watch "Infinite Stratos", trust me, its much better.


Now I'm going to do this a little bit differently. I'm not going to review the entire "Dark Souls II" again because that's pretty redundant. I'll be honest and say that while "Scholar Of The First Sin" does add some nice touches to the game, its pretty much the same game overall and it doesn't affect my previous rating of the game. "Dark Souls II" is still a damn amazing game and nothing can change that. Instead, what I'll do is expand upon the game beyond the vanilla "Dark Souls II" experience and give you my 2 cents on those things. Then, I'll rate the "Dark Souls II" experience as a whole.

I will say this straight up: I do think that the 3 crown DLCs should have been sold as one, single pack, not not 3 separate DLCs, that's quite a sham. I do like the fact that "Scholar Of The First Sin" was a free download though, because it would be pretty BS if I had to pay for a different ending and a few lines from a random new NPC. Still, while the DLCs were shammy, they were the absolute best things to have ever happened to "Dark Souls II". If you've ever thought that "Dark Souls II" was missing some of that "Souls" flair, then these 3 excellent pieces of DLC will most definitely give you your fill of death, torture, punishment and brilliance.

Scholar Of The First Sin

"Scholar Of The First Sin" is the free expansion for the game...and it also spawned a re-release for the 5th generation consoles. I for one, do not agree about the re-release, but fortunately, FromSoft had the brains to release it as free DLC for those who already owned the game...good move by them (at least they didn't pull a Capcom). Basically it puts Aldia into the game, giving him a few scenario where he communicates with the player, and gives the game a much needed alternate ending (which may I add, was pretty awesome). It also changes the game a LITTLE bit here and there on the technical side, like how they changed the Bonfire in Undead Crypt, or allowed for additional co-op for some bosses. But overall, not a massive change to the game.

The changes that "Scholar Of The First Sin" brought to the game...aren't too much honestly. STILL, it IS a free DLC, so nobody can complain about it. The best thing about it is the alternate ending, the extra fight with Aldia was just the icing on top of the cake. It opens up some extra insight about the lore in the game, which wasn't done as well as in the first game. This was probably the most insignificant of things to be brought to the table, but since it was meant as a re-release, I guess most of us will let it slide.

Crown Of The Sunken King

Now let's talk about the good stuff: the first of the trio of DLCs for "Dark Souls II". We're talking about none other than the "Crown Of The Sunken King". This one takes you to a brand new area behind the Primal Bonfire after you defeated The Rotten, and from there, its new grounds. Personally, this is my least favorite of the 3 DLC segments, but that doesn't mean its bad. It may be my least favorite, but its still a very well done piece of DLC. This one focuses a lot on very maze-like levels and a little bit of problem solving, something very unique to the game and is rather well done here.

For this one you'll be traversing across the ruins of the Sunken City of Shulva. The entire city is filled with buildings with complex architecture, rooms and buildings intertwine with one another. There are a lot of dead ends, a lot of falls, and a lot of ways to get stuck or trapped. There are tons of switches scattered all around, and these move the very terrain as the buildings start to move around. As you traverse these shifting terrain you are confronted by generic looking soldier enemies that try to gank you with a standard melee + bowman formation. Rather uninspired, but the terrain makes encounters against them rather challenging. There are also bugs that can destroy your equipment if you let them get too close, and these poison totems that constantly spit poison at you and cannot be destroyed.

Shulva is just straight out smart when it comes to level design, you then move to the Dragon Sanctum, which is just a straight out labyrinth/maze level with traps, narrow corridors and plenty of enemy flanks. Enemy variety is a lot more varied here, throwing in invulnerable ghost like enemies that can only be damaged once you destroy their bodies, or priestesses that shoot our projectiles to hamper your journey. There are also more switches that can change the interior of the sanctum, leading you to places you've never been to. Here, there are also Dragons, Drakeblood Knights, and a bunch of nasty invaders that prove a major challenge (F**k you Jester Thomas). At the very end you are challenged by a couple of bosses, one who's pretty epic, the other...not so much.

Then there's the cave of the dead, which is just a congested tunnel with a butt-load of enemies, I'm quite sure FromSoft just got lazy and decided to cheese the players by front loading a small area with an insane amount of enemies just to make it look hard. Running through this area to get to the boss is totally possible and highly recommended. At the end is one of my favorite bosses in the game, the 3 stooges. I won't spoil too much, but its an amazing fight that I enjoyed every second of.

Crown Of The Old Iron King

The Crown of The Old Iron King DLC is my favorite of the 3 DLCs, for simple reasons. The boss fights are absolutely epic and ridiculous to play against. I LOVE bosses which have the odds stacked against you at ALL TIMES, but don't seem too ridiculously cheap. The map itself doesn't have too much of an annoying mechanic, its mostly just an upwards tower with corridors and once again, congested areas filled with tons of enemies. Soldiers tend to ambush you a lot in this map, and the Ashen Idols make them super OP. Other than that, this map isn't very special in terms of the environment, but there's a lot more to it.

The Brume Tower is filled to the brim with generic soldier enemies that do a ton of damage and gank the living shit out of you. When it comes to enemy variety, this DLC suffers the most. Its just knights after knights after knights, big knights, small knights, ghost knights with long bows that can peck at you from a distance...you name it, this DLC has it. Nothing much really, there's also this big ass golem dude with fire spitting out of its shoulder, that's probably the most interesting enemy in the area. The tower starts off unpowered, with all the elevators and lights being non-functional, but when you start the big fire and everything starts moving, the fun begins.

Dealing with the Ashen Idols probably makes the map a lot easier as it makes all enemies around it really strong. By that aspect, From flooded most areas with Ashen Idols with enemies, making them really hard to destroy. They also added these little barrel dudes that explode when they come into contact with fire. You can play these guys to your favor and kill enemies without actually doing anything: its optional, but it makes for some fun puzzle solving. Also, when the entire tower actually opens up to you, you can explore a lot more areas, where more invader NPCs and enemies await you (F**k you too. Baldren). However, the map itself is very easy to traverse, and you can very easily make it to the boss of the map, The Fume Knight, which is one of the most ridiculous, challenging, and satisfying bosses I've fought in a video game. A TRUE test of your skill for sure, whether you play from afar or up close, this is one boss you need to look out for.

After that the map opens up even more. You get to experience the PAINFUL, PAINFUL area that's known as the Iron Passage, which is basically another Cave Of The Dead. Tight, congested areas with tons and tons of annoying enemies, as well as these f**king retarded caster dudes that ALWAYS cast that 1 hex that slows you to a crawl if you try to run past them....this area leads you to the Blue Smelter Demon, which is, you guessed it, a palette swap boss of the original Smelter Demon. Nice...talk about lazy, granted that this guy does magic damage instead of fire. moves slower, and has additional traits to his attacks, its still the same boss you've fought before. You also get to experience the memory of the old iron king...where another epic boss awaits. This one isn't as hard as Fume Knight, but is every bit as satisfying.

Crown Of The Ivory King

Now this is easily the sleeper DLC of the trio. "Crown Of The Ivory King", while my 2nd choice for the 3 DLCs, is an excellent journey nonetheless. Out of the 3 DLCs, Eleum Loyce is easily my favorite area in the ENTIRE game, better than any map in the original "Dark Souls II", and better than any DLC map. The layout, atmosphere and design of the entire area is INCREDIBLE, making it one of the most fun maps to traverse. However, like in previous DLCs, there are flaws in this one. While the enemy variety is a lot better in this one, there are still a lot of those vanilla soldier enemies that have been present in previous DLCs. PLUS, more importantly, Frigid Outskirts. This is the LAZIEST MAP every made in a "Souls" game, period. F**k Frigid Outskirts.

Eleum Loyce is a beautiful frozen city, and it shows us 2 sides of it. It starts off peaceful and barren, with the entire map blurred by a blizzard. While the map is littered with a variety of different monsters, you'll see the Maidens in white praying on the ground, completely ignoring you. They may be passive now, but later on, they'll become aggressive towards you. The city is massive, with twists, turns and large, open areas everywhere. You'll be hit up by a lot of ganks as enemies tend to hide behind the obstacles. The whole map feels dead and lifeless...until you light up the fire, get the eye and clear up the Blizzard.

When the blizzard clears up you can go to challenge the first boss of this map, which is a freaking huge ass invisible tiger. While that was a great fight, expect the next ones to be quite poorly done. After that, you speak with the queen, then the entire map opens up to you. The maidens in white will backstab you now, frost golems will materialize to kick your ass. You'll need to go around to look for frozen Loyce Knights in areas that used to be closed off to you. After you gather enough knights, you get to battle against a...rather annoying boss in the very end. Not the best way to conclude this amazing piece of DLC.

However, the most insulting thing about "Crown of The Ivory King", is the Frigid Outskirts, a lazy, LAZY map (shame on you From) that's probably one of the most frustrating things to ever happen to a "Souls" game. Its just a blank map with small buildings scattered all around, with a raging blizzard that blinds you for 99%, as you walk around aimlessly getting lost. Then you get attacked by OP as f**k unicorns that will come at you RELENTLESSLY. This MASSIVE area has NO BONFIRES and you'll be guaranteed to get lost unless you look for a guide. To add insult to injury, the boss of Frigid Outskirts is a recycled tiger boss from before...just that instead of one, you fight 2. Yeah....lazy, lazy, lazy....

Final Verdict

With "Scholar Of The First Sin" and all the 3 crown DLCs, the game does expand to become a more fulfilled experience. Overall I think the score doesn't matter: if you enjoy "Dark Souls II", do yourself a favor and get the 3 DLCs, they are fantastic and add to an already fantastic game. Overall, the complete experience of "Dark Souls II" is just like it was before: a great adventure game worthy of "Souls" fans.

Opening Songs
OP 1 - Colorful Box (Yoko Ishida)
OP 2 - Treasure Box (Masami Okui)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Animetic Love Letter (Haruka Chisuga, Haruka Yoshimura, Juri Kimura)
ED 2 - Platinum Jet (Donut Quintet)

Genre: Comedy, Slice Of Life

Episodes: 24


What is a perfect anime? What is anime anyway? Why do people make it, and how do they do it? "Shirobako" is like the ultimate anime experience about...anime in general. Its not something everyone can appreciate, and it definitely requires some form of inner veteran to fully understand its charm, but holy hell, if you can see "Shirobako" for what it is, its so damn worth it. From start to end, "Shirobako" is intense, its exciting, its emotional, and its a thrill. I have never felt the NEED to rush a show so bad in such a long, long, LONG time, and even making me revisit the show within the first couple of days that I finished it...that means something. "Shirobako" invoked something within me as an anime fan, something that I couldn't contain.

 To me, this was it, "Shirobako" was everything that I could have ever asked for in a show. I never expected it, I never asked for an anime like this, I never dreamed of watching one, but lo and behold, here I am, about to sing praises to this sleeper of an anime that deserves WAY more recognition than it currently has. "Shirobako" is love, it is live, and I consider it the lifeblood and ESSENTIAL of any otaku in the world. If you like anime, you owe it to yourself to give "Shirobako" a shot, its an anime like no other that provides an experience that is unique to itself.  Even if you end up not enjoying it as much as I do (you must be as stale as a stone then), it'll prove to be an invaluable experience that you won't, ever forget.

Cosplaying Miyamori is best Miyamori

If anything the opening/ending themes in "Shirobako" weren't particularly impressive to me, because these aren't my kinds of music. The first opening theme is "Colorful Box" by Yoko Ishida, and while the opening animations were interesting, the song was a little too easy-going for my tastes. The second opening theme as well, "Treasure Box" by Masami Okui had the same vibes as the first opening, and I can't say I like it too much as well. The 2 ending themes, "Animetic Love Letter" and "Platinum Jet" are all sang by the seiyuus of the 5 main heroines in the anime, and they're pretty generic cute-sy ending themes.

Rating: 10/10

I believe that there is no such thing as a perfect anime. To date, "To Aru Majutsu No Index" is still my favorite show because of personal attachment to the characters, but "Shirobako" is my 2nd favorite show because of....everything. Its amazing in every aspect, and to me, its a masterpiece. So many references to other animes only signify the fact that this is one for the veterans, those who have been sticking around to anime for quite a while. For a show about creating anime, "Shirobako" is painfully realistic, it hurts to watch the process, but then again, its so intriguing, intense, exciting and oh-so satisfying to see the characters meet the deadlines. The feel train is also strong in this one, with PLEEENTY of emotional moments that'll get you jumping on your feet or tearing up in joy, even moments where the show just grabs your beating heart and causes it to stop. The animation is top f**king notch, the drive in the story is amazing, and the characters are super relatable. The 5 heroines are SO well done, and its so easy to get attached to them as you see them suffer through the hell that is the animation industry, all just to achieve their dreams.

Life in the animation industry is hard.

There are so many morales and on-going themes about real life in "Shirobako" that I can't help but relate to them. Sure, other shows have done it before, but in my opinion none have done it better than how "Shirobako" has handled them. The pain, suffering and punishment for following your dreams always hurts, but at the same time, when you succeed or push through that immense barrier of hardships, the satisfaction is off the charts. "Shirobako" pulls off this "feeling" better than almost every other show, and I never thought my heart could pump faster from watching anything that's not an intense action anime. "Shirobako" portrays friendships, overcoming hardships and building relationships more than anything else, as well as the spirit of "not giving up", following a few key characters. Character progression is insanely good here, especially for a few of the characters.

When someone goofs, they all goof.

"Shirobako" follows the tale of 5 girls who want to follow their dreams of making an anime. These 5 high school girls made their own "animation" club in high school, and they created their very own anime through hard work for their culture festival...people liked it. Fast forward a few years into the future, main heroine Miyamori Aoi wakes up in her car in the middle of the night, remembering that she had to deliver keyframes to a keyframe animator. Aoi is now a production assistant for Musashi animation, one of the many animation companies in Japan, her job as a production assistant is to ensure that everyone else's job within the company gets done, she's sort of a mediator for the other departments. Out of her 4 other best friends in high school, 1 of them, Ema, is also working in Musashi, she draws keyframes. One of them, Misa, is still trying to get a degree so that she can write stories in the future. Midori is working on 3D animation for anothe company, and their inspiring voice actor to be, Shizuka, is still looking for jobs as a newbie seiyuu. Will the 5 eventually get together to work on something amazing? Only time can tell.

"Shirobako" is not just one of my favorite animes in recent years, its one of my favorite animes of ALL f**king time. Without being biased like I am with "Index", I'd say this is the best show I've seen, ever. Anime doesn't get any better when its about making anime itself. "Shirobako" tells us something, the dream is not dead, its just a matter of how far you are willing to take it to achieve it. For that, I love it, and with the way it concluded, I'm kind of leaning towards the possibility of a second season. I hope it does come, because I can't wait to see how far "Shirobako" can go.

Season 2 Please.

Covetus Demon
HP: 4440
Skills: Slam, Belly Flop, Roll, Consume
Souls: 13000

Difficulty: 1/5
Deaths: 0

After beating the Skeleton Lords its time to go back on track, you'll find yourself in the Earthen Peak, a dreaded castle housed by a dreaded queen and her poisonous comrades. Its a shitty place to be in, and what better way to kick off a shitty area than to make us fight a shitty boss? Covetus Demon is one of the biggest jokes in the game, making himself look like the hell spawn of Jabba the hut. Prepare for a lame, lazy and sleezy battle.

Oh you...you fat f**k.

The Covetus Demon doesn't look very menacing, and you would be right to think that he's going to suck. He's slow, so, so, SO slow, he'll never be able to hit you unless you STAND there like a statue and let him hit you. Also, for someone so huge, his attacks don't cover a lot of area, and he takes about 3 days to recover from a single attack, giving you 3 days to hit him without any consequence. Since he's so freaking huge he's also freaking easy to hit, you can't miss him.

Slam - He lifts his massive chin to slam onto you. Super slow and easy to dodge.

Belly Flop - He jumps and lands on his belly. Has minor AOE, easy to dodge and can be blocked.

Roll - He rolls sideways to squash you. Unblockable, but still slow and predictable.

Consume - He nom nom noms you and removes all of your equipment. Heavily telegraphed so you can just run away with ease.

There is no strategy, if you've made it here then you can kill this boss no problem, seriously, he's a f**king joke. He's super slow, he's big as f**k, you're always going to land hits on him without him landing any on you. All of his attacks take way too long to recover and are HEAVILY telegraphed. His health is decently high but his defenses are horribly, you can tear through him however you want without much effort.

Because he's large, his attacks do have minor AOE, though they are all easily dodged. Take care of his Roll if you're attacking him from his sides, he does some good damage despite being extremely slow. He can Consume you for some damage and can remove all of your items, forcing you to run to a corner and at least re-equip a weapon so that you can kill him. Still, you have a lot of room for error as long as you are not one-shotted. The arena is massive, so you can juke around for days and you'll still be good. Keep going at him and he drops quick, but beware, he's only one of the bosses in Earthern Peak.

You get 13000 souls for putting him down. That's not really a lot for a boss, but for a boss of his caliber, you really cannot complain. Definitely one of the easiest bosses in the game next to the Prowling Magus.


Mytha The Baneful Queen
HP: 3650
Skills: Spear Stab, Spear Swing, Backward Spear Swipe, Soul Spear, Soul Spread*, Tail Whip, Constrict*, Head Toss
Souls: 20000

Difficulty: 2.5/5
Deaths: 1

After you take down the Covetus Demon and continue to explore the Earthern Peak, you'll realize that things aren't as simple as they seem. Burn the windmill before advancing to this next boss, or you're to have a hard time. Meet the ugliest bitch in the game, Mytha The Baneful Queen. Compared to the piece of shit Covetus Demon, she's got the moves of a real boss, and you should be prepared. Even so, you've seen tougher days, she can be beat, all you need to do is be observant and she's probably just like every other boss.

A spear stab for half health? Seems good.

Looks wise you wouldn't think much of Mytha, other than the fact that's she's one hell of an ugly snake woman. I mean, the bitch holds her head on one of her hands...now that's wack. She's definitely got more moves than the Covetus Demon, and you'll need to be quick on your fingers to avoid her
attacks. Other than 1 attack, the rest of her moves can be blocked, so for a fairly simple time, keep your finger on the block button. She's got decent speed on both attacking and recovering, so you'll be able to get a few hits in with each attack. Here's her move set.

Spear Stab - She lunges forward with her spear. Low-moderate damage, easily blocked.

Spear Swing - She swipes her spear a couple of times for a short combo. Easily blocked, or you can just back off.

Backward Spear Swipe - She backs off and lets loose a quick swipe. Hard to see coming, but does low damage and can easily be blocked.

Soul Spear - Standard Soul Spear, she fires a straightforward projectile with minor homing. Easily dodged or blocked.

Soul Spread* - She screams and sends forth a wave of projectiles in a wide cone spread in front of her. Hard to dodge.

Tail Whip - A fast tail whip from her side or back, easily blocked, can be tricky to dodge.

Constrict* - A fast, somewhat unpredictable grab move. Does moderate damage, but cannot be blocked, you need to be fast to dodge this.

Head Toss - She throws her head, after a short period, the head explodes, dealing moderate AOE damage. Easily avoided.

She has a huge pool of attacks, but most are just fodder moves that you can very easily block. Do note that if you burned the windmill the poison in the arena will be significantly reduced, but if the fight against Mytha drags to the edges of the arena where the poison resides, she can still heal if she's standing on it. Whatever you do, try your very best to keep the fight in the center where you can go all out without fear of her healing.

Anyway, most of Mytha's attacks can be blocked. A majority of her attacks will be coming from her spear, which she likes to use regularly. Keep your shield up at all times when in range, because these attacks are easily blocked. She usually lunges at you with Spear Stab from a range, and when she's up close, she tried to nab you with Spear Swing, which is actually a multi-hit combo. All are easily blocked, and you can return fire with 1 or 2 hits after the attacks. Be careful not to go too crazy though, she might do a Backward Spear Swipe to retreat and get a cheap hit in. Since she always tries to get in on you and get out, rinse and repeat block for a fairly simple fight.

Bitch is ugly up close alright

However, that's not all she's capable of course, if you try to hit her from the side, she retaliates with Tail Whip, which is fast and can catch you off guard. From afar, she might attack with spells. Soul Spear is a standard projectile with minor homing properties, this is easily dodged. The tricky one is Soul Spread, she screams and sends out a wave of mini-soul arrows forward. You can always block this, but as with most magic attacks, the chip damage is unpleasant. Her recovery time is also quite long after magic attacks, if you happen to be nearby, you can go in for some free hits.

Her last 2 attacks are slightly different. From afar, she can also throw her head at you. After a short moment, the head explodes, dealing AOE damage. When you see her toss her head, run away as fast as you can, the explosion radius is quite massive. Her recovery time for this attack is long, so you can net free hits in, she needs to slither in and grab her head back after all. Finally, she has her Constrict, which is a very fast grab move. Needless to say, being a grab move, its unblockable, but it doesn't do too much damage. This doesn't seem to connect unless you're in front of her, so there's that.

Just hit Mytha after any of her attacks, she doesn't have too much HP so she goes down after awhile. You get 20000 souls for killing her, but that's nothing, the real battle starts now. What awaits you is nothing but the fires of hell.