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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 Worst 5 Anime of Summer 2014


This season was pretty tough to pick which anime were my favourites, as was picking my worst; well THE worst one wasn’t! The trend of this chart was that of disappointment, anime which failed to live up to my expectations or quickly descended into mediocrity or simply made no sense from the start! Not a lot of rage here just sadness of what might have been. Right, let’s begin!

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#5 – Bladedance of the Elementalers

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FULL REVIEW

You might be wondering why this show is in the worst five list, it wasn’t that bad. I even said so myself! The reason is simply that it was a massive disappointment. Bladedance of the Elementalers had a lot of hype prior to release and seemed really good from what I heard from my friends; but when I came to view it though it was pretty mediocre at best. I think what got me annoyed mostly was the main character, Claire. She was so grating and ungrateful and selfish that she rubbed me up the wrong way. I didn’t want to sit through her exploits which often almost gets her friends killed. Plus the thrusting of her other lolita idol, Est, into our faces when she is first introduced in human form was so awkward that it threw me off balance despite the fact she is kind of cute; I didn’t feel comfortable! If you stick through this and accept the fact you’re not going to break new territory with this anime you can just about get through it in one piece. For me though, it’s something I cannot stomach.

#4 – Silver Will Argevollen

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FULL REVIEW

Argevollen is another case of disappointment for me. I was expecting a giant robot drama and all I got was a derivative of an anime which came out in the seventies. It’s a Gundam 0080 clone, straight up. The warring nations, the military mechs all looking like generic boxes and the sudden appearance of an unearthly mech all of a sudden. Coupled with unengaging characters which mostly follow convention save for the few plot twists which are scattered far and wide over the twenty-four episode run that this series has. There is potential for this anime to develop in its second half during the autumn season but it has failed to hook me in in the here and now. I, quite frankly, would rather watch Gundam because that’s more authentic than this rehash. It didn’t help that the show’s director is one of my favourites [Tatsuo Sato] and that he really dropped the ball with this one. Shame.

#3 – Momo Kyun Sword

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FULL REVIEW

Yep, another disappointment. This one was less of a surprise though. I knew this was going to be the show that was destined for public crucifixion. On the surface, it looks like a shameless fanservice anime with a theme around peaches and PEACHES. The detailing on Momoko’s breasts was hard to ignore and the attention they got condemned the show for most; but if you can look past the bosoms and look at the show as a whole, it’s not so bad. It’s a fun and simple story with some pretty cool powers, transformations and comedy which would fit the bill for a supernatural samurai romp. If Momoko had a normal figure, the fanservice was pushed back and the CAMERAMAN WASN’T INEPT it would be a decent show which you could have a little fun with. Instead, it’s an irritating and saddening anime which failed to be anything other than a cheap excuse to look at two dimensional boobs. I’m being generous here as it had promise. Moving on.

#2 – Rail Wars!

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FULL REVIEW

Oh man, this was a pretty swift about-face for me. When I reviewed this back in July I thought the show was OK, nothing special but decent. Almost three months later and near the end of its run, it’s become a nigh-on train wreck. You try and explain the concept of Rail Wars to people and you’re left clutching at straws. Is it about fighting trains? Is it about rival train operators? No, it’s rail cops. OK. It could be pretty exciting but it’s not! It’s pretty awkward over the course of the show’s run with only flickers of brightness in an otherwise complicated mess of a story about a guy who like trains. Can you really make an anime about that? No! You have to shove him into a situation he’s uncomfortable with and throw in TONS of breast and butt shots to make things even remotely interesting. Then you have the plots; they’re just random and confusing, each more ridiculous than the last. If you want to watch Rail Wars I insist you check out GiggUK’s hilarious parody here. [Strong language]

#1 – Glasslip

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FULL REVIEW

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I hate this show! That should be enough for you but I’ll elaborate a little more. When you first watch this show, you might be a little confused about the amount of vitriol I have towards this production; it looks so beautiful and first-rate. Yes, it LOOKS the business but by the time you get to episode four or five, you will understand what I’m talking about. NOTHING HAPPENS. Oh, unless you count awkward teenage romance and talking about a whole lot of nothing all day long. The characters are all as wooden as the finest mahogany and as one dimensional as cardboard. Our main characters are so dull despite their future powers which are rarely used throughout most of the show – what was the point of bringing them up other than to get the two together? Oh boy. Eventually you start to marvel at the horribly paced writing and revel in the uncomfortable feeling you’re getting deep in your stomach. It’s almost sadistic. I’ll stop here but ONLY watch this if you are OK with getting frustrated.

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There we go! Both our top and bottom anime have been listed and presented to you fine people! What was your worst anime? Cast your vote for the Anifile People’s Choice Award for Summer 2014!

Momo Kyun Sword


With anime originating in Japan, it’s natural that we’re going to get a lot of shows dedicated to the history and legends of said country. In this case, we are delving into a very “interesting” interpretation of the legend of Momotaro – the boy born from a peach which is steeped in Japanese culture. The “interesting” part comes in the very loose amendments they made to make this tale a little more accessible for anime audiences…especially male members. Momo Kyun Sword is the result and the only part of it that’s even remotely heavy or substantial is the chest of the leading lady.

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The story itself is simple to grasp. Evil demons are sent from the pits of hell to retrieve the mystical fragments of the Mimichi Peach which are scattered over Japan. Whoever gathers all the pieces rules over the land with a magical fist. Unbeknownst to the demons is the existence of a powerful girl named Momoko who was born from a peach which had floated downstream and raised by a farming couple. Note the difference in name, it’s different to the legend. In this show, the writers from Kibidango Project decided to change the name and gender to more fit an anime story. Most of the fundamentals from the folklore have remained the same in that Momoko befriends a monkey, a wolf and a pheasant as faithful companions and aides in her fight against evil oni [Japanese demons]. That’s where the similarities end. The rest of the story consists of magical girl tropes in fighting monsters every episode, an archnemesis of Momoko’s showing up [in this case named Onihime, get it? ONI instead Orihime. Brilliant.], revealing transformation sequences and drama up the ying-yang. Another addition is the inclusion of four heavenly angels named the Celestial Maiden Squad to act as help/comedy relief. This sounds a little thread-bare and you’d be right for thinking that. Momo Kyun Sword has to resort to questionable tactics to keep audiences watching and it’s bordering on the petty in this reviewer’s opinion.

momo_2The above image just about sums up the purpose of the show for most. It’s to showcase the “peachy” pair that Momoko possesses. Even the narration claims that Momoko, who was born from a peach, “grew lovely peaches of her own!”. Within fifty six seconds we are greeted to them. Not even a minute in and the directors are playing the booby card. Great. They’re not just ample, they’re peachy with a constant sheen akin to the fruit. It’s extremely petty in my eyes. Having to resort to deep-rooted carnal desires to garner viewership. Yes, this isn’t the first time this has happened in anime and it certainly won’t be the last but to see it so blatantly and so often is so depressing. Examples include camera pans that start at Momoko’s chest for no discernible reason, breast psychics that would make Einstein turn in his grave and here’s the kicker, Momoko’s clothes ending up completely shredded to pieces EVERY. SINGLE. EPISODE. Sometimes more than once! The character of Momoko herself is a walking hypocrisy; for someone so embarrassed of being half-naked, she doesn’t half show off her assets with little timidity, it’s only when she’s either drenched or in tatters that she gets shocked like she’s not noticed her attire! Momoko’s powers are pretty cool though. Her Possession Fusion involves her combining with her animal companions who have different traits which are useful for certain episodes and each has their own costume, each more revealing the last. Kijigami’s bird-based costume is the least tasteful despite being the most powerful…not much is left to the imagination. Oh boy. The trouble is though is that this trend keeps going and going in every episode. It doesn’t help that a lot of the female cast have ample chests or none at all, in this world it’s all or nothing. It’s such a slap in the face for gender equality and I can’t abide by that. It’s such a crushing blow; crushed underneath Momoko’s frontage. So let’s push them aside and look at the rest of the show.

momo_4When you take the boobs out of the equation, Momo Kyun Sword is a decent magical show. It’s nothing groundbreaking and by no means is it pretty to look at. It’s thoroughly unspectacular and cheap-looking, resorting to iffy character drawings and static shots interspersed with bursts of action. You can find better looking series quite easily which are ninja orientated, the first anime that pops in my head would be Ninja Nonsense. It may not be innocent itself but it’s a far more polished comedy and far better in appearance, go watch that and then compare the two. The animal companions [Inugami, Sarugami and Kijigami] are pretty funny mascots for the show and do point out that Momoko is a total klutz who just happens to be a powerful spirit in human form and they do help carry audience members through episodes if they are clamouring for an exit. The Celestial Maiden Squad are the help for Momoko and are sent from Heaven to assist her. I do find it cute that these guys aren’t adept despite giving off an air of professionalism and quite often they mess things up. Karin, the wind maiden, often screws up her predictions and it’s clear that these guys aren’t that clever; thankfully the main villains Onihime and Enki aren’t much better. I will say that this reaction to being crushed by a boulder [a deadpan “Wow.” from Onihime] did make me laugh and there were some moments that did generate a chuckle from me. Don’t get me wrong though, there are some elements of the story which are so stupid and convenient that they cannot be forgiven, but the flickers of comedy did save this show from being branded as a stinker. It has charm when you remove Momoko, although even then you still get the impression that women are objectified in the extreme.

momo_3I don’t hate Momo Kyun Sword, but I can’t hide my abject disappointment with it. There are flashes of comedy and moments of well-timed satire aimed at magical girl shows, but these are quickly snuffed out by the misogyny and sexualisation of the characters at play. Momoko’s design is pretty cool and peach-themed, but it’s ruined when her bosom is practically hanging out with little holding it back. I also wish the camera didn’t get such a hard-on from them and actually focus on the action and HER FACE. Seriously, it was irritating. It does have its moments when it comes to comedy and some relatively curious plot twists. It can actually be considered fun sometimes! If you can look past the glaring issue I’m having with this show then you might find some mild amusement here, but I would seriously push this to the back of your list of anime to watch. It’s not terrible but it’s not good. Not at all. It’s cheap titillation for young boys. *sigh*

Momo Kyun Sword is available to stream on Crunchyroll.

RATING: CANCEL [A sad and sort of pathetic ploy for male audiences which is thankfully charming enough to be spared being branded a “STINKER”.]

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