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Anifile’s People Choice Award for Summer 2014


The summer anime train has almost reached its destination. Shows are wrapping up or have wrapped up as of writing. I’ve listed my TOP FIVE and WORST FIVE anime from this season and I have now turned it over to you guys for your thoughts. I included polls at the end of each list and after a week of voting and around two hundred votes, we have our people’s top five and worst five. Let’s not beat about the bush and get this list underway with the top five!

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#5 – Tokyo Ghoul

The top five was a close affair this season, only five votes spreading as many shows. First off we have Tokyo Ghoul. I remember really liking the offbeat idea of zombies [or zombie-like people] having some kind of community whilst eating people’s flesh. It had a quirky charm to it which I really liked. Why didn’t it make my top five then? It was tough but it was between this or Terror in Resonance and I felt the latter had more shock value.

#4 – Barakamon

I’m very relieved to this on here. Like me, you were all entranced by the simple story and the charming characters which had an original feel and personality about them. Such a laidback show which doesn’t require too much criticial thinking, instead just kick back and enjoy the sweet narrative and gorgeous scenery.

#3 – Aldnoah.Zero

The thinking man’s Gundam. I wasn’t sure about this show in the end all because the main character, Inaho, was a little too dry for my liking. That being said, it’s a very well put together story and supremely clever in its execution; I completely understand why it’s so popular. While it was airing, I regularly saw friends of mine huddled around their tablets catching up on the latest episode; it’s got the West hooked and Aniplex has intentions on bringing it stateside…for a price.

#2 – Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

You agree with me that this show is brilliant! It’s so adorable and the characters are genuinely funny and engaging. The execution was flawless and the comedy worked for a non-Japanese audience which is not all that common with comedy anime that don’t resort to slapstick. Everything about this production is first-rate. Buy this on DVD when Sentai Filmworks releases it – their twitter account can’t get enough of it!

#1 – Akame ga Kill!

OK. I get why this is here; the characters are colourful and the premise is pretty accessible. I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about this show from everyone I know but my misgivings with the sudden mood swings peppered about the story, it put me off enough to keep it off the top five list but it’s still up there. [If I had a top ten it would be in it.]

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Next up, is the worst five as chosen by you.

#5 – Tokyo Ghoul

This is odd. Tokyo Ghoul starts off both the best and the worst. This is probably because the idea of the show is polarising to some extent. The idea of zombies lusting over human flesh and the almost fetishistic attitude about it could put some people off the idea as would the copious amounts of blood. It’s not a light hearted romp all the time and I imagine that it didn’t sit well for those that voted here.

#4 – DRAMAtical Murder

A massive flop, good and proper. When a show fails to properly adapt its original source material and completely nullifies it, you’re gonna have a bad time. A game with strong yaoi content and pretty boys is stripped off what made it sell and left with something without a sense of direction and even when it gets close, it’s all tons of awkward.

#3 – Momo Kyun Sword

We now have a jump in votes for the top three and we start off with the story of a well-endowed ninja girl with superpowers which involve getting even more scantily-clad. It’s a shame because the idea itself, minus the fanservice, is pretty decent and could’ve worked quite nicely had the amount of female anatomy on show been dialled back A LOT. It looked kind of fun but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

#2 – Rail Wars!

Another big leap to Rail Wars. Another shameless fanservice show framed around a very baffling premise concerning trains and what if the national rail network was never privatised. The Wars in Rail Wars refers to the rail cops in the show instead of giant train robots fighting; that would’ve been a lot better. Skip this one as it’s cheap, confusing and off-putting. Do not choo-choo-choose this.

#1 – Glasslip

THANK YOU! You, like me, think that this show is one of the least competently written anime in recent memory. Glasslip received almost DOUBLE the amount of votes that #2 got. That is a clear sign that the production was a dire affair full of pointless dialogue, awkward ‘romance’, squandered plot devices, aggravating main characters AND ATROCIOUS PACING. SERIOUSLY.

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So your winner is Akame ga Kill and your ‘winner’ is Glasslip. I guarantee that that will be the only time you’ll get those two anime together in the same sentence! The summer has now ended, sadly; but fear not! We have a new anime season coming up very shortly and I shall be making a preview post on the matter, stay tuned!

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Anifile’s Top 5 Anime of Summer 2014


Another season has come to an end and we’ve managed to find some really good shows despite the initial outlook. Here at Anifile, at the end of every season, we take the ten anime which have either impressed or disgusted and put them into something that everyone likes – lists! So without further ado, let’s begin with the top five!

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#5 – Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror)

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FULL REVIEW

Terror in Resonance is one of those shows which knows what it’s doing. At first, it makes you think that the two main characters are cold and ruthless killers who do this for sheer pleasure and enjoyment; that shocks you and yet makes you curious. It envokes the very human reaction of “Why?”. That’s answered very quickly and you start to learn that Nine and Twelve are not out to kill but to disrupt the government which locked them away and made them essentially go nuts. The anime we’re watching is the ultimate result of what happens when humanity plays God and tries to cultivate artificial super geniuses; they go insane. This anime is very clever and it shows in its execution. What marred it for me was how Five, one of the other geniuses, was introduced. Her character kind of skewed the whole anime for me which results in it placing slightly lower than it would’ve otherwise done. Nevertheless, it’s going to be one of those future classics because it dares to be different!

#4 – Majimoji Rurumo

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FULL REVIEW

What makes Majimoji Rurumo stand out a lot more than you might think is that it flies in the face of convention. You think it’s going to be a standard, cutesy harem anime but instead it chooses to break tradition and add some original twists to an otherwise tired genre. Rurumo and Kouta are a great double act in what is a very good slapstick comedy using magical elements. It’s not going to win awards for visual presentation with a lot of weird designs and overly chibified characters, but it gets the job done at making the audience laugh and praise the heavens for something unusual in their romantic comedies. Seriously! You have no idea how happy I was to see Rurumo arrive in Kota’s school as a lunchlady and NOT AS A TRANSFER STUDENT!! That’s big, people! This is another clever anime which is also self aware and is not afraid of showing it. Go watch and be refreshed, my friend!

#3 – Barakamon

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FULL REVIEW

This show is adorable. The whole idea is admirable. A world weary calligraphist is sent to a faraway island to refocus his priorities and find his inner mojo after having a major hissy fit at a major arts exhibit just because somebody dared call his work dull. While there, he meets a young girl named Naru who manages to bring our lead, Seishu, out from the cold and into the bosom of a warm and caring community which treats him with kindness and respect. Every episode, Seishu understands what’s wrong with his psyche and he begins to chip away at his insecurities and neurosis allowing his mind to flourish and create some truly passionate work! Once you step back from that loving story, you realise that the world itself of Barakamon is truly sublime. It makes you want to jump inside the screen and join the characters; each one looking unique and rustic which is a fantastic sight to see in a sea of ubiquity which is the trend of modern anime. Also it pays to get REAL child actors to play children; it adds a genuine note to the performance. A breath of fresh air! If you liked this anime, check out Usagi Drop. I guarantee you’ll love that too.

#2 – Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

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FULL REVIEW

Studio Dogakoba should be proud of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, as should Sentai Filmworks who have picked the show up for the American market. THIS is what The Comic Artist and His Assistants should’ve been. An adventure into the world of manga with a team of quirky individuals who work together to produce an acclaimed creation free of any awkward suggestiveness or nuances of sex. All of the characters feel distinct and work together to produce something with tons of charm, comedy and care. It’s simply a joy to watch and will generate a lot of smiles and leave all those who watch this elated to have dedicated their time to it. I was so glad that I got to see this and by the huge amount of requests I got to review it. I was not disappointed in the slightest. Tsubaki’s four-panel work has easily generated a four-star anime. Perhaps five stars for some. A must-see; it’s easy to pick up and understand and requires little background knowledge to fully appreciate. This show was my favourite of the season for the longest time until the next show came along and upped the stakes comedically.

#1 – Sabagebu (Survival Game Club)

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FULL REVIEW

This was a close one! In the end, Sabagebu squeaked Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun on the grounds that it’s absolutely bonkers! It hooked me in right from the start and has only continued to make me laugh and do double takes with only the occasional fumble which is to be expected; not everybody finds EVERYTHING to be funny. You though that Momoka was another sweet girl because of the pink hair, didn’t you? Admit it! I did. I was so very wrong; she’s actually a vicious, vengeful and cynical mademoiselle! When she’s joined by the cast of characters from her new school’s Survival Games club, the whole package is complete. Each character brings something to the table and adds to the laughter track which is growing in volume. The level of self-awareness is acute and the amount of fourth wall breaking is so much that I’m surprised there are any houses left standing! Short, sharp stories keep the momentum going and if you miss an episode you’re not going to be punished for it. Enjoy the ride and have an absolute blast!

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You’ve had the best, now let’s try the worst coming up on Anifile!

What do you think was the best anime? Cast your vote now!

Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun


When a girl loves a guy, the first thing she does is declare her love and the pair become a sweet couple…or it could go horribly wrong and end in a complete emotional fireball. You wouldn’t expect it ending up with being the guy’s assistant in his manga project along with his eccentric gang of friends and colleagues. Our main gal has ended up in just a situation in the slice-of-life comedy Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun, an amusing tale about how a fan and a manga artist became friends and a jolly good team!

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Sakura Chiyo is a girl who has had a crush on one of her classmates, Nozaki. She is a bit of a nervous nelly when it comes to proposing the idea of a relationship and then blurts out that she’s a fan. Nozaki mishears this as her being a fan of his work and invites her over to help him on his latest project. He then finds Sakura to be rather good at helping to ink out his artwork and it’s there that we find out that Nozaki is a manga artist, a successful manga artist to boot. Sakura then melts into a humanoid blob of embarrassment which is adorably portrayed. Along the way, Sakura tries to grow closer to Nozaki but still finds herself too shy to fully admit it to him and he’s nowhere close to admitting himself; not because he doesn’t like her, it’s just he’s got no clue how to do it as he’s never had a girlfriend before…yet he’s a lauded shoujo manga writer. He goes under a female psuedonym for his published work so as readers would take his work seriously and not jump to conclusions about him being a male high school student and therefore having no clue about such stuff as romance. He is surprisingly good at it; but he’s not perfect. He does show his shortcomings and it’s up to Sakura to help fill in the gaps and together they make a great team as they grow closer and closer together along with their madcap mates. It’s a simple schoolyard story and I love it.

nozaki_4I love Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun sheerly because it’s so freaking cute. Not only that but it’s properly funny. It may not be hysterical, but it’s consistently amusing and really well timed. All the jokes and musical cues come at the right time and hit their marks with precision despite the lightweight subject matter. It’s not trying to be a polished and sophisticated magnum opus, instead the show simply wants to be a charming story about how a couple got together through a harmless misunderstanding. Nozaki may be adept at channeling emotions onto paper, but when it comes to his own life he’s as dense as an osmium brick [that’s dense.]. Sakura is more attuned to emotions and love but she is burdened with being supremely shy when trying to express it. As a result, she ends up as his assistant instead of being his girlfriend. However, that doesn’t really seem to be a big deal to them at this point in time. They get on great and have fun together; is that enough? I think what really makes it for me is the short, sharp deliveries from the show’s four-panel beginnings from the pen of Izumi Tsubaki and his 2011 manga which first debuted online. Tsubaki’s punchy comedy whilst remaining light-hearted is truly sophisticated and something to enjoy on a mellow day.

nozaki_6Another plus point is in the show’s side characters. You see stereotypical characters but they’ve been completely taken to pieces and made fun of in the best way possible. For example, there is Nozaki’s best friend Mikoto; he is loved by girls and spouts out arrogant nonsense that the girls lap up relentlessly…but when they’re gone he gets frightfully embarrassed by what he says and is scared of talking to girls in actuality. He gets his experience from playing dating sims and we even spend half of one episode hearing how Mikoto believes of the virtues of digital love to Nozaki and schooling him in the arts of eroge [erotic gaming]. This simple sequence was amazing to see and really opened up Mikoto as a character for me; it was hilarious and such a breath of fresh air to see such a pompous douche be really a scared and timid little boy who can’t believe his own luck that he’s popular with the opposite sex. Then there’s Kashima, the female pin-up who girls adore to a fault. She is so adored that she causes destruction to anything in her path from the sheer number of girls following her and being powerless to stop them. It’s almost as if Tsubaki is tearing apart the rulebook and reconstructing these character models as real people who are either putting on a facade or people who can’t control how other people think of them – “With great power comes great responsibility”, you could say. It’s the mark of a great show where you can find fun in the minor characters as well as the main characters. It all adds up to an enjoyable experience which isn’t heavy on plot or meaning. It’s a well-rounded and joyous adventure.

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Studio Dogakoba should be proud of this production, as should Sentai Filmworks who have picked the show up for the American market. Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun is what The Comic Artist and His Assistants should’ve been. An adventure into the world of manga with a team of quirky individuals who work together to produce an acclaimed creation free of any awkward suggestiveness or nuances of sex. It’s simply a joy to watch and will generate a smile and leave audience members pleased to have dedicated their time to it. I was so glad that I got to see this and by the huge amount of requests I got to review it. I was not disappointed in the slightest. Tsubaki’s four-panel work has easily generated a four-star anime. Perhaps five stars for some. A must-see; it’s easy to pick up and understand and requires little background knowledge to fully appreciate.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is available to stream on Crunchyroll.

RATING: CONTINUE [Uncomplicated and consistent amusement for those looking for a peppy comedy.]

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