Ghost in the Shell (2015)

When I got to the end of the movie, could see the link between this and the first GITS movie. It was then that several things made more sense, and this was perhaps the movie which made the most sense to me (who is not a hardcore fan and all).

Ghost in the Shell always excites me with the massive amount of depth comes because of the inherent setting of their world. I must say, that this kind of designing of a storyline is one of a kind and that is something I would remember this franchise for.

Especially when it comes to futuristic genres, where the setting consists of sophisticated robots and lightning fast computers that blow away our minds, it is super important to get things right (I mean the story) because say all you want, in the end it’s pure fantasy although I hope I am proven wrong. In that sense, the first movie of GITS was released 20 years ago which is a blasphemously long time, and in that age having such futuristic ideas (which are entertaining to watch even now) is utterly magnificent. It is genius. This is truly a classic franchise worth your time.

This movie as opposed to the sequel has more elements of comedy and definitely lesser gore and absolutely no nudity which I find surprising (because, you know). Also, I understood this movie better than the first (maybe it’s just me). Another thing I would venture out to say is that there is much more action in this one.

Perhaps the only thing that it lacked was the serious atmosphere (with all the gore, nudity and longer political talks) the original movie had made for the viewer which got the franchise its fans. However, I liked this one the most 🙂

What makes Noragami

Noragami is possibly an anime liked by many, considering how all the top reviews on the MAL page gave it a 10/10. But the same sentiment is not reflected in the rank. Nevertheless, Noragami is quite a unique piece in my eyes. Noragami starts with a god named Yato who wants money to build his own shrine. He starts looking around the city and doing small errands for 5 yen each. Yato has a greatly fleshed character, and his every demand, whim depicts really what his personality is made of. I observed the way he asks for nothing more than 5 yen for any sort of job, no matter how difficult it is. It reveals how much this anime has got to offer. Noragami particularly excelled in storytelling than in execution, because the anime was quite boring in terms of animation at times when fights were pulled back from what they could have been if executed with great vigour. Even the dialogues were great! I reckon that the mangaka could write great romance manga.

Possibly what the whole audience was waiting for was the romance to finally set in. The anime provided the perfect pacing for a good and longing romance which is something that didn’t fully get materialized in the end. The love polygon was between the three main characters, although it is not made very apparent viewers will definitely want something happening between the characters. Noragami for some reason, by coincidence or not had a good mix of characters, and it managed to give them flesh in the limited time that it ran for. Not only was there some superb character development, the sheer number of characters were also nor too little nor too much.

In terms of animation quality and sound, Noragami did excellently. The animation was great, little CGI here and there but the only thing that’s worth pointing out is the lack of great animation during fights. Especially after watching Nanatsu no Taizai, pretty much any fight scene seems dull. But Noragami should have complimented the splendid story and the well fleshed characters with some vigorous animation. The OP was brilliant, and the ED was quite a good song.

I will say that even the great plot failed to save the anime at times. Firstly, there was little aim in the plot. Going around killing phantoms which will keep appearing because people keep dying (phantoms are basically people). The story started out trivially as well, if you remember how Yato first encountered Hiyori. The plot doesn’t have many special features on its own, but it certainly starts out with great riveting concepts such as gods roaming around cities doing errands for money and collecting shinki. There was the abrupt manner in which the villian suddenly broke into the storyline, which seemed nothing more than an annoyance to me. It was like eating oranges with tea. I absolutely can’t even think of such a combination! The final arc didn’t contribute anything to the story, however. It was no more than how team rocket got blasted off during my Pokemon days.

I think Noragami is a show with great ideas, but its greatest source of strength, its plot, led to its demise. I liked Hiyori and Yato a lot, and I would ship till to the end of this world! Several side characters were also brilliant, and they truly and honestly made up for the faults or shortcomings of the few interspersed premature plot designs. I didn’t miss the OP even once in those 12 episodes and 2 OVAs.

Reviewing Nanatsu no Taizai

The seven deadly sins the by far the anime that I have enjoyed the most. It has been made (by a genius, or by pure luck?) who strived to keep great pacing and an amazing story. But the ace in the hole for this particular anime is its fights. THE FIGHTS! My gosh, they are brilliantly done and completely riveting.

The anime comprises of a princess named Elizabeth (Liz) who comes in search of the seven deadly sins to fight off the holy knights who are holding the king (her father) in a powerless position. Thank god this did not get any more political than that (unlike Log Horizon), probably because it couldn’t. Haven’t you heard of the saying, “Only the strongest will survive”?. Oh yes, baby. They cut all the talking crap and brawled mercilessly. Let me say it again, the fight scenes are INSANE!. If you have even a remote interest in watching superhuman fights, this is the right anime for you. A review on youtube described it as a dragon ball fight without the huge buildups. It’s got a lot of fantasy like fairy tail does, but you know how in the end it all comes down to how powerful you are. Well, Nanatsu no Taizai completely does that justice.

Liz first encounters Meliodas, the dragon sin of wrath who takes her along with him since they share a common goal to find the 6 other deadly sins. This anime is basically a very well orchestrated shounen anime with fantasy, magic and superpowers all ccombined into one. The appealing bit is that it brings itself out as the best shounen anime I have ever seen. It shone on all the points that I was looking for, and at the end was immensely enjoyable.

During the battles, attacks are reused but it’s different most of the time. Unlike anime like Naruto in which Naruto uses the shadow clone jutsu against every enemy right from the beginning (it gets so annoying at times). There is reuse in Nanatsu no Taizai, but it definitely does not feel like they reused a clip of animation to save money or just to make the work easier. For a 25 episode anime, attack combos is a rarity. There are so many of those combinations, and the mangaka actually enjoyed the task of making up the name of two attacks combined in one.

Haikyuu!!: the review

I found Haikyuu to be greatly enjoyable, and even though sports and athletics is not really my thing and I haven’t played volleyball I could still appreciate and share the emotions of the characters. From the beginning, the concept of team work and the fact that a match is won as a ‘we’ not an ‘I’ was emphaisised and it lived up to its expectations truthfully. Like all good anime, the characters played an amazing role in the great feeling that this anime gave. I knew I was gritting my teeth all along while watching the matches. The competition! Those real emotions! This anime could not have been more realistic. For a volleyball player, I cannot say but I certainly hope most people found this to be a treat.

As the anime progressed, I was slightly reminded of Chihayafuru of how competitive the tourneys are and how the competitiors put in their hearts and souls into them. Chihayafuru was being very realistic about the emotions and feeling of characters during the games and I felt the same here too. As for the demography, there were a few female characters. There was Shimizu who was around to help their coach and sensei with the chores and stuff, but I am still unclear about her actual job and her motive for sticking around. Was it because of some guy? I doubt it though.

The pacing feels a bit slow, considering I just watched The Seven Deadly Sins which has some remarkable pacing. But the story and the overall consistency of this anime more than make up for it which makes it seem like a small quirk in the end, a small topic that just fades away when you discuss the anime with someone. For a simple game like volleyball, a bystander will assume that players are knocking the ball around with no particular strategy in mind much less complicated strategies like reverse psychology (I don’t even). But Haikyuu strips the game apart showing you the harsh reality of what real competition is like. At first, Haikyuu was centered on one (or perhaps two) characters but as the anime progressed all the characters in the team got the spotlight repeatedly. As far as the character development for the sake of the plot goes, Haikyuu gave it quite adequately. Well, how can you expect to go in depth into the lives of 11 different characters without making it into a slice of life and drama anime! Ha! Haikyuu had one aim in mind, volleyball. No romance, several small doses of comedy from time to time and of course a feeling of brotherhood. Whether you are interested in volleyball or any other sport or you just want to watch an anime pushed towards perfection, it’s your choice but I sure am glad there is a second season since I am already starting to miss it.