Tag Archives: kiseijuu

Anifile’s Top 10 Anime of 2014


So the end of 2014 has come and all the anime are wrapping up for a Christmas break before another year of anime begins in 2015. I apologise immensely for not getting out my reviews for the Fall season…

[this video explains why in more detail]

In short, professional work took precedent and TeamFourStar content ate up the rest of the time. HOWEVER – I have been able to catch up on some of the anime and tabulate them into this list. Two make the cut! The Top Ten Anime of 2014 according to Anifile. Let’s waste any more time and get on with the show starting at number ten.

#10 – I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

husbandissaying_0FULL REVIEW

Despite this anime being only four minutes in length per episode, it is a sweet story of two people who marry for convenience and their mutual feelings of futility which quickly becomes a genuine fondness for one another. It’s short, sharp and mostly funny despite the cultural divide between East and West. If this had been a full length show, maybe it would be higher up this list; or maybe not. Its brevity makes its potent. It’s four panel comic origins have been sustained and indeed improved upon. Definitely give this anime a watch, the whole series will barely take up an hour of your time. Especially if you love otaku gags!

#9 – Gugure! Kokkuri-san

One of two anime from this season that I didn’t get to review fully but I did keep an eye on it and I’m so glad that I did. It’s a hilariously dark comedy which is also a four-panel comic in origin; but it works in a full-fat episode. Cleverly pacing its comedic elements with endearing touches which have quickly become an internet smash and one that Sentai Filmworks shall spread further. There’s the whole gamut of comedy here – from slapstick to wordplay to one-liners to seriously macabre skits. If you’re looking for something different, then the tale of a hermit-like elementary school who summons a fox spirit after playing a game of Kokkuri and their journey together shall satisfy you a lot!

#8 – Majimoji Rurumo

majimoji_1FULL REVIEW

I think this year has seen anime which start to buck the trend of their respective genres and instead choose to satirise them or bring new life into them. Indeed, the fallen witch Rurumo is a prime candidate for this notion. You think that when she comes into Kato’s life, she’ll be the typical transfer student; nope! She works in the school cafeteria. Unexpected! There are lots of moments in this series which don’t follow the traditional route of harem anime [although it DOES come close at times] but it staves off convention enough to present something truly unique which can only be good! I recommend this to anyone wanting a light-hearted magical comedy that wants something new!

#7 – One Week Friends

oneweek_1FULL REVIEW

One Week Friends is one of those shows which makes me proud to be an anime fan. It’s an example of how the medium can tackle a serious issue like mental trauma and turn it into a tale which is laced with positivity and love. Brains Base has produced an animated gem along with Matcha Hazuki’s brilliant premise. It might not be as action-packed or filled with gut-busting comedy to satisfy most slice-of-life fans, but it’s a touching and pragmatic story. It marks what true friendship really is; stand by your friend and help them through their woes, be there for them in their darkest hour and in their moments of happiness. I was blown away with how well this whole package came together and this is definitely a candidate for my top five list for this season.

#6 – When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace

What an interesting concept. Instead of making people with superpowers a rarity, why not make them common and those without powers the figures of interest or derision. Jurai, our main guy, has to deal with something worse; a lame power. A pithy fire…blob. This series may be unpredictable, but perhaps that’s what we need in a show these days; something we don’t expect. One episode could be action-packed, the other quite relaxed. You don’t know for sure! There is a smattering of character development but this anime is clearly meant to poke fun at the likes of Haruhi Suzumiya, D-Frag and all other school club anime be they imbued with superpowers or not. I can dig it!

#5 – Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun

nozaki_1FULL REVIEW

Ah, yes. This had to be on this list. It’s such an adorable show with an amazing soundtrack; so peppy! 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.

#4 – Nobunagun

Nobunagun_1FULL REVIEW

This anime is absolutely bonkers. Despite the alien threat, there are ridiculous heroes with absurd names and powers which creates an aura of epicness which is hard to emulate anywhere else; you can’t explain it, you have to see it to believe it. I may not be a gun aficionado, but I like some farcical action from time to time and the way that Shio [a gun fanatic] conducts herself both in and out of action means that I want to get behind her as she is not a whiny wimp or a callous prude; she’s a scared little girl who has felt out of place in the world and now she has found her calling. It’s wonderful to see her so happy, blasting aliens into itty bitty pieces. How sweet.

#3 – Sabagebu (Survival Game Club)

sagegabu_1FULL REVIEW

This comedy is amazing. It wrong-foots you every step of the way; what you think is going to happen doesn’t and instead you’re left with hilarity. Sabagebu is one of those shows that you simply have to see. I was sold after only a minute when I witnessed in admiration Momoka effectively giving the bird to tradition and carving her own path in the narrative. Girls packing heat! Not only that but it’s more accessible than most anime as most of its tropes and quirks are framed around Hollywood action movies and as such feels familiar to American audiences.

#2 – Kiseijuu (Parasyte)

Parasyte_0FULL REVIEW

Parasyte. THE standout anime of the second-half of 2014. A twisted and graphic romp which doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to detailing the sheerly horrifying idea of a parasite infecting humanity and turning them into terrifying abominations [If you watch episode one, then you might want to cover your eyes when a dog gets infected. Yeah].The package is mostly perfect; a right balance of horror, intelligent plot devices, emotional capacity and even a little bit of comedy here and there. Despite the iffy soundtrack in some places, the feeling of tension is spot-on. The buddy act of Shinichi and Migi quickly turns into a formidable team from what was a bumbling one-sided duo. It’s a manga from the late eighties which has now had its chance to shine and it shall now cements its place in the pantheon of manga and anime.

#1 – Knights of Sidonia

sidonia_1FULL REVIEW

Yes. Despite the constant takedowns of my reviews praising this show [Thanks, Molebeat.] I will stand by this fantastic series and celebrate the fact it’s spearheaded Netflix’s recent sojourn into anime on its streaming platform. A ‘Netflix Original’, the story of Tanikaze answering the call to protect humanity from the evil Gauna menace is an accomplished tale using cutting-edge technology to present a wholly 3D anime experience in a polished way. I’ve exhausted all I can say about this anime as I’ll be repeating myself; check out my main review for all of what I love about the show.

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So there we have it. Anifile’s top ten anime of the year. You might be wondering what were my worst anime of the year. Well…hold on and you’ll find out soon enough.

I once again apologise for the lack of reviews from this season but I’ll work on rectifying that in the new year, ready for our first anniversary! Stay tuned!

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Parasyte (Kiseijuu)


A fear that is common amongst humanity is the thought of losing said humanity; to feel your soul disappear and your body taken over by an empty organism with no emotion and one directive – to kill and survive. What’s more, it’s not even like you went down in a blaze of glory in a zombie attack; a virus gets you while you sleep. Or more accurately, a parasite. That’s what the famous manga series Parasyte presents before us, now having been given an anime after twenty years. This classic manga will hopefully become a classic anime.

Parasyte_1

The above image sums up the dynamic that the main characters, Shinichi and Migi, share. Shinichi is the host and Migi is the parasite. Migi’s name means right in Japanese; an allusion to the fact that Migi has infected Shinichi’s right hand. This symbiosis was not meant to happen though as the virus known now as Migi was, like the rest of his kind, meant to control the brain of their host; not just their limbs. It was down to some quick thinking on Shinichi’s part that managed to save his consciousness, at the cost of his right hand. Alone time will never be the same. Together they keep each other alive through a mutual understanding (Migi, as a virus or more commonly known as a Parasyte, doesn’t understand emotions) that being alive is a lot better than being dead. Migi quickly learns about human history and culture and the pair begin to deal with the task of destroying other Parasytes. The reasoning shifts from ensuring the survival of humanity and self-preservation; it depends on the situation. Either way, the show sets itself up as a rather unorthodox buddy series.

Parasyte_5

Let’s make one thing clear here. This show is pretty gruesome; no, REALLY gruesome. Soulless devouring of human flesh and gory transformations are left untouched by the censors [You hear that, Terraformars?] and offered up in glorious high definition. It all adds to the shock factor that Parasyte provides to the viewer. If you are squeamish then this show is not for you; there are no black bars to hide behind here. I think what draws me to this show is its emotive power. There are moments in the show where the usually emotionless Parasites begin to explore the realms of human feelings and their powerful influence. It all contributes to the incredibly strong character roster. All the characters here are fleshed out really well and they feel like real people; even the infected hosts! You comprehend the scenarios at play entirely and have little confusion left over, allowing you to watch the anime with little distraction.

Parasyte_2

Migi’s development is most interesting. At first you think he is going to find some kind of way to kill Shinichi, but eventually he realises through logic that the best way to survive is to work together and feed off his blood and nutrients. Along the way, the virus learns about humanity and soon begins to speak fluent Japanese and communicate effectively. At first both he and Shinichi are pure virus and pure human respectively; however, as time goes by, the pair slowly become ‘impure’ as Ryoko [one of the main villains of the story] describes them. They are of no use to her, but perhaps she should fear such a team. Shinichi shows flickers of callousness and Migi is more susceptible to reasoning and quickly understands how human emotions work; that doesn’t mean he has gained emotions, only that he knows what they are. All this character analysis and layering complement the raw action in that the viewer is more emotionally invested and therefore amplifies the ultimate reaction. Speaking of the violence…

Parasyte_3

The violence is more than just blood spattering about. We are talking about heads being split open like mouths, throats slit in an instant, multiple stabbings and all sorts of gory and supernatural bloodbaths. None of this is left to our imagination. Hitoshi Iwaaki’s original work is presented to us, warts and all. It’s unsettling to see a human being, or what you think is one, opening itself apart like an orange peel to reveal super-sharp blades that could cut you up before you know it. Not only that, but the killer has no remorse or satisfaction from it; you are a piece of meat whose sole purpose is to be eaten. How scary is that? Your fear is carried through Shinichi in the early episodes as he watches Migi fight enemies off who sense Shinichi’s humanity as an oddity. So it’s not like they can hide; the pair HAVE to fight. Another scary side effect is that Shinichi is slowly losing his humanity and I don’t think he realises he is. That’s unsettling. I’D like to know if I was becoming less human. Parasyte is perfect nightmare fuel for most people. If you are familiar with horror you might be less impacted by the visuals, but you will still be impressed by the level of gory content.

Parasyte_4

The timing of this review was deliberate. My previous review was of the heavily censored Terraformars and now we have the wholly UNCENSORED Parasyte. The former was ruined and the latter shows its confidence in itself and how it doesn’t need to rely behind a black curtain to promote future Bluray sales. It gives you the whole package and I thank the Parasyte team immensely. Iwaaki and Madhouse have presented a late eighties manga and seamlessly modernised it for today’s audience. The package is mostly perfect; a right balance of horror, intelligent plot devices, emotional capacity and even a little bit of comedy here and there. My only concern is the placement of music; it may not be bad all the time but some scenes were spoilt when tracks were mismatched with what was going on on-screen. That’s my only fault with this show. This is definitely going in my top three anime list.

Parayste is available to stream on Crunchyroll.

RATING: CONTINUE [A great blend of violence and narrative development. Never a dull moment.]

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Fall 2014: Preview Summary


The Fall 2014 season is just about to begin in earnest, with some shows beginning their runs in the past few days and others very shortly. This season has had a mixed bag and a surprising lack of NEW sports anime. Also I have merged the Game genre into the others to save confusion. One thing I’ve noticed is that there a lot of visual novel adaptations this season and not as many light novel adaptations.

If you missed any of the individual genre videos, click the following links to catch up!
Action / Fantasy & Magic / Comedy / Slice Of Life / Sci-fi & Mecha /

Now let’s take a look at my Review Priority Rating index [RPR] and how I rated the twenty nine anime eligible for review:

RPR #
High 4
Medium-High 11
Medium 11
Medium-Low 2
Low 1

You can rate the anime you’re most looking forward to in the poll below or CLICK HERE.

Remember, these ratings are based on first impressions and things can change as I begin watching them. Some can go up or down in estimation, you never know!

These shows have managed to catch my interest down to their innovative art styles, compelling plot and different spin on previously established archetypes. Reviews will be more forthcoming for these titles.

High Priority: Denki-gai no Honya-san, Kiseijuu, Magic Kaito 1412 and Sanzoku no Musume Ronja

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The medium-high list are the shows which are still very good but didn’t quite fill me with rapture at first sight or seemed to play it a little to safe for my liking. Reviews will be posted slightly later.

Medium-High Priority: Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken, Donten ni Warau, Garo: Honou no Kokuin, Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de, Nanatsu no Taizai, Ore Twintails no Narimasu, Orenchi no Furo Jijou, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis, Shirobako and Terra Formars

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The medium list comprises those productions which have either been considered good or inconclusive based on little or no information. This third premise is for shows that have either had no trailer or minimal content surrounding it published. Instead of labelling it bad, medium is a temporary default for such titles.

Medium Priority: Akatsuki no Yona, Amagi Brilliant Park, Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, Grisaia no Kajitsu, Gugure! Kokkuri-san, Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji, Sora no Method, Trinity Seven: 7-nin no Mahoutsukai, Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete and Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru

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The medium-low priority list is populated with shows that seem to either be OK or slightly disappointing based on its promotional presentation. Some of these shows DO have sparks of potential and I’m hoping to see them shimmer and generate a better review score.

Medium-Low Priority: Madan no Ou to Vanadis and World Trigger

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The low priority list. The shows which seem to have no hope for being good or original. The shows whose existence is questionable, depressing or bemusing. Two of these titles are here because there’s no trailer or supporting content to go with it other than one poster and a small blurb surrounding its plot. Their outlooks aren’t good but you never know. What I do know is that these will be reviewed with less of a priority than the other shows listed.

Low Priority: Girlfriend (Kari)

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Based on the tally, the season is looking to be quite good! Most of the anime are in the average/above-average category and only three are less than average. Of course that can differ once the shows begin broadcasting but for now I have high hopes for the season ahead! These results should be used as a barometer about what to watch; these are what I think will be good or not so good. In the end, it’s up to you; we have anime to watch! Good hunting.

So what anime are you looking forward to? Now’s your chance to vote for as many shows as you like so we can get a gauge on what the Anifile audience is excited about. If the results for one show in particular are high enough but the show is further down the review list, I will respond by pushing it up a little bit.

CAST YOUR VOTE!

Fall 2014: Action


Summer’s gone and Autumn [or Fall] has taken its place.  The anime is still coming by the boatload though and on Anifile we are delighted to be able to continue with the previews for the shows coming up. Like in the spring, we are separating shows into different categories based on their primary genre. There are thirty anime eligible for review on this site [As usual, I don’t count sequel seasons of series such as the two new Gundam series] and instead focus on the brand new franchises and see if they’re worth your time. Let’s begin with some action!

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Akatsuki no Yona
(Yona of the Dawn)

Animation Studio: Pierrot
Origin:  Manga [Kusanagi]
Date of Premiere: October 7th

Summary
On her sixteenth birthday, the only princess of Kouka [Yona] is greeted with the sight of her dead father at the hands of her cousin and love interest Soo-won. Before he can kill Yona, her servant Hak rescues her and takes her to an old monk who teaches them about four legendary dragons which can save the kingdom from the tyranny of Soo-won’s faction.

Initial Thoughts
Upon first glance, it’s a decent looking show with average visuals and some grandiose battle sequences thrown in. The plot is somewhat samey with the whole love interest angle despite the fact that one of the subjects killed the other subject’s father; kind of makes things awkward. It seems like a good show overall though but it’s not novel enough to bring to the front of the queue.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Donten ni Warau
(The Cloudy Laugh)

Animation Studio: Dogakobo
Origin:  Manga [Karakara]
Date of Premiere: October 3rd

Summary
In the Meiji era, the age of the samurai was starting to fade away into the history books. Carrying swords was made illegal, but crime spiked as a result. In response, the government created a huge island prison where the only way in or out is via boat. Three brothers from the Kumo family man the vessels as they transport convicts to the island. However, from first glance, it seems that things aren’t quite as straightforward as you might think.

Initial Thoughts
The last hurrah of the samurai is a hugely significant part of Japanese history and to focus on it in an anime is somewhat refreshing. It’s like how the Western genre revelled in the dying days of the cowboy in the 1880s. It’s the same thing! These trio of samurai-born warriors have a cool look about them and clearly show prowess in different ways. I’m intrigued with how this will pan out as it’s clear that the story goes far beyond simply ferrying prisoners. Let’s see!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Garo: Honou no Kokuin
(Garo: The Carved Seal of Flames)

Animation Studio: MAPPA
Origin:  GARO Tokusatsu franchise
Date of Premiere: October 3rd

Summary
The Valiante Kingdom has begun a massive search for wielders of Maki, both priests and knights. In the resulting purge, the art of Makai is brought to a near extinction. One man, Leon Luis, returns to the Valiante Kingdom at the request of the king’s son when his throne is taken from him by his former advisor. Leon wields the power of the Golden Knight Garo and only its power can help the land be restored to its rightful owner.

Initial Thoughts
Two thoughts came to mind. Knights transforming and ‘The past will come back to haunt you!’ This adaptation of the famous Garo tokusatsu series is a curious retelling of the concept. Unrelated to the live-action series, the anime plans to take a grander approach to the idea of knights with sentai-like powers. This show carries a lot of weight behind it and seems to look pretty cool too!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Kiseijuu
(Parasyte)

Animation Studio: Madhouse
Origin:  Manga [Iwaaki]
Date of Premiere: October 8th

Summary
In this world, Japan has been besieged by intergalactic parasites known as…Parasites. These aliens invade the population not with lasers but by burrowing into humans and animals through their noses or ears taking them over – in VERY disturbing ways. One boy named Shinichi is spared such a fate, or at least for the most part, because he was wearing headphones. He is still infected but only his right arm is infected; it develops a personality and together they fight other Parasites whilst using each other to survive and prosper.

Initial Thoughts
Wow. I thought Terra Formars was going to be the shocker of the season; this probably will give it a run for its money. It is a REALLY scary idea; parasites taking over your body without you knowing it and turning you into some kind of monster that likes eating other people. Even dogs aren’t safe! In any case, I really want to see where this goes and how Shinichi and his partner, Migi [Japanese for right as the parasite takes over his right hand] interact and help one another!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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World Trigger

worldtrigger

Animation Studio: Toei Animation
Origin:  Manga [Ashihara]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
The city of Mikado is home to some of the worst Neighbors you’ve ever seen. From another dimension, these beings destroy Mikado and have been for about four years before the story proper begins. The Border group meet this challenge with a brand new class of weaponised young kids, Triggers. Thanks to these Triggers, the city is brought back to a relative peace until a Black Trigger appears and threatens to disrupt the newly formed status quo.

Initial Thoughts
I don’t know. I’m not overwhelmed with the initial premise. I’ve seen this before and I reckon I’ll see this again in the future – demons appearing which cannot be stopped by regular weaponry and as such NEW weapons need to be made. Fortunately, the show in its entirety seems to be quite light-hearted and characterful with a neat main duo. My main concern is that Toei will skimp on the animation [which is somewhat evident IN THE PREVIEW] like it has done with recent shows that aren’t Dragonball or One Piece. If it can give this show a good animation budget then things should be OK, otherwise the look won’t match the feel.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-Low

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So we have five action-packed productions in the work. What else do we have? Well, we got twenty-five other anime to cover and seven of them are comedies which we will look at next time!