Which anime would you recommend to friends and fellow roleplayers?
In Irregular Reconnaissance I run through some of the series I’ve been watching in a collection of mini-reviews. There are no spoilers, just a little description of what’s going on and what I either like or dislike.
We’d love to have your anime advice in the comments below. What’s on your watch list? What’s to be avoided?
Rise Of The Yokai Clan series 2 part 2
Episodes 14 to 20
Nura is a series I jumped back into after missing out some of the first season. The first part of season 2 was easily good enough to hook me completely.
We’ve battling clans of “yokai” or Japanese ghosts and demons. In Demon Capital a very powerful Yokai as returned and successfully taken control of Tokyo. Our heroes have to get their act together and into the capital city in order to stop the ritual birth of some ultimate evil.
The first half of the second part of season 2 doesn’t paint a pretty picture. It looks like our heroes are outclassed in power and skill. This a visually appealing anime given the range of monster characters and their powers. It’s not childish either with some pretty layered plot.
Manga UK release the DVD of Rise Of The Yokai Clan series 2 part 2 on the 7th of July.
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic series 1 part 2
Episodes 14 to 20
Magi follows the magical adventures of Aladdin, Alibaba and the ex-slave Morgiana. I described the first part as odd but catchy as the blend of Arabian mythos, magic, manga storylines, young characters and headless genies felt a bit hard to relate too at times.
The second part of the series introduces Sinbad. It’s odd to see a secondary character so dominant. At times I wondered really who the hero in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic was supposed to be. Of the heroes; Aladdin is the mage.
Part two dips in quality to begin with as it chases new threads and seems to untangle. I’m glad I kept watching because this wobble lasts for just a few episodes and soon Magi gets much better. In fact, the second part is far less odd and far more catchy than the first. We end up dealing with the mage Aladdin and his band of friends against a dark mage and his band of allies. Whole kingdoms are caught in the middle.
Episodes 12 to 26
As foreshadowed in Irregular Reconnaissance #9 I very nearly stopped watching Nabari. The low point might be the episode in which two characters die – but don’t due to plot.
The good news is that Nabari gets better. I changed tactics to having the series on the TV while I multi-tasked. At the same time the plot gets darker, our hero seems to get as fed up of his colleagues as I was – and does something about it.
There is life or death tension, at least, in Nabari and it turns out this is what is needed to make it work. Motivations become more interesting, the lines of good and bad become blurry and I’m more or less glad I stuck with it. The final scenes are a bit of a let down, though. Lots of drama. Not much impact.
Episodes 15 to 28
Episode 28 finishes off season 1 of Dragon Ball. As it happens the release of season 2 is Monday the 7th of July in the UK.
This is a blast from the past. Goku trains on Turtle Island, learning with Krillin under the tutelage of Master Roshi. The World Martial Arts Tournament is a promise of the future.
Watching Dragon Ball again, even if it’s just on in the background, feels like the right thing to do. There’s a new movie coming and Hollywood may well finally try a movie again. Not sure if that latter point is good news or not!
Episodes 131 to 141
It’s actually quite hard returning to “classic” One Piece after watching the One Piece Movie: Strong World. Why? It just feels so different.
Episode 131 kicks off One Piece Collection 6. Sounds like a big number but there are more than 400 left to go and so we’re still catching up with early One Piece mythos! The Straw Hats dock at Mock Town, looking only for directions, but finding angry pirates who seem to have lost the ability to dream.
Blade and Soul
Episodes 2 and 3
The first episode of Blade and Soul looked promising and I was eager to watch more. I’ve watched more and seen the series introduce even more big boobs and powerful female characters.
I think Blade and Soul is an interesting anime despite the boobs, not because of them. We’ve already had betrayal, espionage and characters with hidden agendas.
Our hero is still on the run and takes shelter in a busy town filled the mercenaries. We discover a few things; our hero seems a bit odd, it’s not just shock or monk like training. Is something wrong with her? We also discover this is a very dangerous world with some highly trained mercenaries. The baddies look to outclass them all – significantly. The headcount is high.
Status: Optimistic, still
Episodes 1 to 12
Casshern Sins is a reboot of the 1970s Casshan (aka Neo-Human Casshern). I wondered if I had put the right DVD in the Xbox when it started as it seemed to start at the very end.
The series starts after something called the Ruin has pretty much destroyed the world, Luna has been killed by Casshern and a rusty army of insane robots barely have enough energy left to fight for the last scraps of life.
I’ve seen the whole of part 1 and still don’t know why Casshern killed Luna. It seems like an important question as doing so pretty much ended the world. We’re left in this post-apocalyptic world, which we tour (for the most part) with a memory blank Casshern and meet tragedy. It feels like a Greek torture, with people doomed to repeat the pointless and futile for an uncertain eternity.
All reviews based on real-life anime fandom. Titles here include those streamed legally online and those provided on disc for review by Manga UK.