Fragglepuss Anime Review 191: Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Action, Slice of Life, Comedy, Supernatural, Psychic

First Aired: Summer 2016, 12 episodes

Summary: Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama is a seemingly normal eighth-grader except for how he discovered his psychic prowess at a young age. Mob is an introvert that chooses to suppress his power. The problem comes when he reaches a breaking point where he is unable to suppress it any further. At this point his power bursts like a soda that’s been shaken too hard, destroying everything in his path. Mob teams up with some unlikely allies to get by in his day to day life and help him understand his power.

One of his allies is Reigen Arataka, a con artist claiming to be a psychic, who exploits Mob’s powers to earn an easy yen. Some other allies include his school’s bodybuilding club, who accept Mob despite his weak appearance. It’s up to Mob to juggle not only his psychic duties, but also his daily school responsibilities. As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, an even greater threat is looming.

Mob Psycho 100 is a fun watch with an entertaining cast of characters. Mob is a socially-awkward guy, but is complemented by the loud-mouthed and smooth-talking Arataka. The episodes work for watching one or two at a time and it’s interesting to watch Mob’s “limit break” fill throughout the episodes.

You might enjoy this if: You want a version of One Punch Man with less superheroes and more psychic abilities.

You might not like it if: You want a dramatic take on the world of the supernatural.

Similar Series: One Punch Man, A Certain Magical Index, Detroit Metal City, My Hero Academia

Note to the Viewer: Mob Psycho 100 was created by One, the same as One Punch Man. Some of the animation and humor makes it fairly obvious.

AMV – Lone Digger 100 by Phenom Sage

(Warning, the AMV contains minor spoilers. I figure if you haven’t seen the show, you don’t know what’s getting spoiled anyways, right?)

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 190: Brave Witches

Brave Witches

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Action, Ecchi, Magic, Military, Sci-Fi, Historical in an anime sort of way

First Aired: Fall 2016, 12 episodes

Summary: The year was 1939. Humanity was suddenly forced to stand against a mysterious new threat. The Neuroi invasion had begun. In the blink of an eye, the Neuroi had successfully laid siege to most of Europe. Millions lost not just their home, but their homeland. To combat the Neuroi menace humanity had to create a new type of weapon. They devised the Striker Units, war machines that could only be operated by young women with magical powers known as Witches. Witches from all across the globe gathered together, willing to use these Striker Units to take the fight to the enemy. A unit of Witches was formed. To the commanders of the Allied Forces they were known as the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing, but among enlisted forces and civilians they were fondly known as the Brave Witches.

Brave Witches is a spin-off of the Strike Witches series created by Humikane Shimada. I thought I had seen it all but this one is really out there. The witches look like your standard anime girl with cat ears from the waist up, but below the waist they have planes for legs, propellers and all. It’s worth watching an episode just to see what the show’s all about.

You might enjoy this if: You are ready to go down the anime rabbit hole.

You might not like it if: You want to remain on the surface of the anime iceberg.

Similar Series: Strike Witches, Girls & Panzer, High School Fleet, Sky Girls

Note to the Viewer: Humikane Shimada, creator of the series, has created several military girl anime. If you’re looking for more in that specific genre, check out his other works.

Brave Witches Official Crunchyroll Trailer

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 189: Gamers!

Gamers!

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Romance, School, Gaming

First Aired: Summer 2017, 12 episodes

Summary: Amano Keita is a seemingly normal high school boy who happens to be a passionate gamer. He may not be the best at any game, but he loves to play regardless. Keita’s life takes an unexpected turn when he is approached by the beautiful and perfect Karen Tendou, president of the video game club. Tendou is attempting to recruit Keita into the video game club, which is as dysfunctional as can be with each member being quirkier than the last! Will Keita join the club? What kind of hijinks will he get into while being recruited?

Gamers begins as a reference heavy show but turns into much more. Comedic romance hits full force as character A likes character B but dates character C because B is dating character D even though B is only dating D to appear more attractive to A. To complicate matters further, C likes D but cannot pursue since D is in a relationship with B. Oh, and D secretly likes C but cannot confess their love. Enter character E who is trying to get all the proper relationships started but secretly likes B as well. Confused yet? Don’t worry, it will all make sense as you watch the series and it’s fun to watch everything go down. In one of the episodes they are all playing Love Love Game of Half-Life (The Game of Life) and I was cracking up.

The various game references are enjoyable, especially since all manner of genres are covered. The opening intro alone covers a whole handful. The characters are entertaining with the different games they prefer and their complaints about other genres they don’t understand. I also enjoyed seeing the characters visit several Japanese arcades.

You might enjoy this if: You are a gamer or are seeking to understand the life of a Japanese gamer.

You might not like it if: You have had enough of the high school anime scene.

Similar Series: D-Frag, Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend, This Art Club Has a Problem, No Game No Life, Orange

Note to the Viewer: The series is produced by Pine Jam, an animation studio founded in 2015. Gamers is only the second anime produced by the studio.

Gamers! Opening

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 188: Love Tyrant / Renai Boukun

Love Tyrant / Renai Boukun

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Supernatural, Romance, School, Cupid

First Aired: Spring 2017, 12 episodes

Summary: Imagine if you will, a powerful notebook that makes anyone who has their name written instantly fall in love if they kiss each other regardless of the circumstances. This magical and very familiar item is the Kiss Note and belongs to an angel named Guri whose job, as cupid, is to create couples. She accidentally writes down Aino Seiji, a seemingly normal high school student, and unless he kisses someone, Guri will die. She convinces Seiji to kiss his crush, Hiyama Akane, the school’s popular girl who turns out has even stronger feelings for him, bordering on obsessive and psychotic. Eventually Akane and Seiji come together but not before Guri decides that she likes Seiji as well. Unfortunately for Seiji, he just wants a normal relationship without all the love notebook nonsense.

The obvious twist on Deathnote is what grabbed my attention, but the silly characters and the relationships between them is what kept me interested in the series. The animation is nothing special but the characters are unique and have fun personalities. My favorite besides Guri has to be Korari… When you watch the show you’ll understand why. He’s a polarizing character, some love him while others want nothing to do with him. I don’t usually watch an anime opening more than once or twice, but Love Tyrant’s is catchy and left me tapping my foot to the song every time. The Pac-Man reference thrown in is a nice touch. While humor is subjective, the comedy in Love Tyrant gives a look into Japanese culture and what they find funny. I found it humorous, mainly due to the ridiculous nature of it all.

You might enjoy this if: You want to watch the opposite of Deathnote.

You might not like it if: You want cohesion and a storyline full of depth and emotion.

Similar Series: Ah My Goddess, My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy (NOUCOME), Date A Live, Deathnote, Rosario + Vampire, Nisekoi: False Love

Note to the Viewer: Love Tyrant is produced by EMT Squared, producers of such series as: Rainy Cocoa, Kumamiko: Girl Meets Bear, and Nyanko Days

Love Tyrant Clip – Kiss Note

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 187: Ao Oni the Animation – The Blue Monster

Ao Oni: The Animation – The Blue Monster

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Horror, Short-Form, Monster, Haunted House

First Aired: Fall 2016, 13 episodes

Summary: Rumor has it that monsters lurk in an empty mansion on the outskirts of town. Hiroshi and his classmates, Takurou, Takeshi, and Mika, enter the mansion and are attacked by the bizarre monster known as Aooni. Can they solve a series of puzzles and escape the mansion?

Ao Oni is a quick and easy watch from start to finish. The 3-minute episodes fly by and you can finish the series in less than an hour. It’s full of silly violence, but nothing too crazy is shown, if that makes sense. For example, the Ao Oni monster will bite off someone’s head, but the cartoonish style of animation coupled with all the characters being chibis makes it more humorous than anything. If that’s not enough, any excessive violence is censored by way of pixelation. The clever puzzles set up by Ao Oni kept me interested, especially the one in episode 11.

You might enjoy this if: You like dark comedy with bits of horror sprinkled in. There is monster murder in every episode, but it’s the kind of death that makes you chuckle.

You might not like it if: You’re looking for a story line or any type of continuity between the episodes.

Similar Series: Another, Aggressive Retsuko, The Lost Village, The Master of Killing Time,

Note to the Viewer: Ao Oni is based on the freeware role-playing horror game released in 2008, which has more puzzles and horror to it than the anime series.

Ao Oni: The Blue Monster Trailer

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 186: Little Witch Academia (Series)

Little Witch Academia (Series)

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Magic, Fantasy, School, Fish out of Water, Witches

First Aired: Winter 2017, 25 episodes

Summary: Atsuko Kagari is a cheerful girl with high aspirations of becoming a witch and following the path of her idol, Shiny Chariot. Magic life begins with a series of mishaps and adventure on Kagari’s trip to the academy as she befriends Lotte Yanson and Sucy Manbavaran, who become roommates on campus. Atsuko quickly learns she must work harder than the other students to become a proper witch since she came from a non-magical family and has no history of spell casting. Lucky for her, Atsuko has an upbeat demeanor and a passionate attitude to do whatever it takes to accomplish her dream!

The homage to Harry Potter is strong in this one. The idea of traveling to an all magic school to learn nothing but spellcasting pretty much gives it away. There’s an episode on broom racing and the importance of respecting the broom. The initial trip to the academy is reminiscent of the constant trouble Harry would have getting to Hogwarts. Besides all that the series is a lot of fun to watch. The eccentric characters with unique personalities were enough to keep my interest throughout the season. The animation wasn’t the best I have ever seen, but I enjoyed the soft color choices. It is an easy watch, something you can sit down for a single episode or binge a dozen.

You might enjoy this if: You love Harry Potter and have always wanted to see an anime spin on it. It’s fun to see the anime spin they put on the witching world.

You might not like it if: You’re a Harry Potter fan that will critique Little Witch Academia the whole time because of the similarities.

Similar Series: Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Hero Academia, The Familiar of Zero, Nichijou – My Ordinary Life

Note to the Viewer: Keep an eye out for Little Witch Academia: The Magic of Time and the Seven Wonders, a Playstation 4 release coming at the end of the year. Bonus Note: Both Akko and Sucy from Little Witch Academia make an appearance in Space Patrol Luluco, Akko in episode 13 and Sucy in episode 8.

AMV – Stick Together by Koto

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 185: Castlevania

Castlevania

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Vampires

First Aired: Summer 2017, 4 episodes

Summary: Based on the video game franchise, Castlevania follows antihero Trevor Belmont, the youngest surviving son of his family, as he defends the nation of Wallachia from Vlad Dracula and his minions. If only it were that simple. Dracula only began his reign of terror in response to some terrible actions by the church and the townspeople. Who do you side with in this dark and gritty world?

Castlevania is produced by Adi Shankar, who has made the anime one of his passion projects. He told IGN, “This is going to be the best f****** video game adaptation we’ve had to date”. You gotta love his thirst to create a quality series. The unapologetic style shows that it has been created to be true to the franchise. While the violence is not constant, there are times when it is pretty gnarly. A couple of those whip moves, forget about it. The characters are building, the animation is quality, and the story is solid. It’s too bad the season is a measly four episodes. At least it’s already been picked up for a second season.

You might enjoy this if: Dark fantasy sounds appealing to you. Castlevania has it all with the Dracula, monster hunter, magic, and even monsters with the glowing eyes.

You might not like it if: Violence and gore deter you from a show.

Similar Series: Hellsing, Hellsing Ultimate, Berserk, Drifters, Claymore

Note to the Viewer: The original Castlevania is a video game by Konami released in September 1986. Dozens of Castlevania games have been released since then across multiple consoles.

Castlevania Teaser

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 184: Eromanga Sensei

Eromanga Sensei

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Manga Authors

First Aired: Spring 2017, 11 episodes

Summary: Like so many high schoolers in Japan, Masamune Izumi is a light novel author. Sagiri is Masamune’s younger sister, a shut-in hikikomori who hasn’t left her room for a year. Masamune wants his sister to leave her room since it’s just the two of them in the house. I think he gets bored, but that’s just my opinion. Also, the two of them are each other’s only family. Sagiri refuses to leave her room, but she is still able to boss her brother around. She even forces him to make and bring her meals when she stomps the floor. Masamune’s illustrator, Eromanga, is a reliable but somewhat perverted artist. Masamune had never met them and figures they are just a filthy, depraved otaku. Of course it comes to light that the one and only Eromanga-sensei is his own younger sister! IN case that wasn’t enough, a beautiful best-selling shoujo manga creator becomes their rival!

I don’t know about this one… I have no problem with strange, but Eromanga Sensei is next level. It’s funny at times, but the whole concept of Masamune writing questionable novels and his younger sister illustrating them, it’s bizarre. I realize it’s anime, and I never thought I would say this, but it’s a bit much. If you’re looking for a less creepy series about manga authors and creation, check out Bakuman. The rivalry between Masamune and the other manga authors was fun to watch.

You might enjoy this if: You’re looking for a quick laugh.

You might not like it if: I’ll say it again, if you’re looking for a less creepy series about manga authors and creation, check out Bakuman.

Similar Series: Saekano, Himouto Umaru-chan, New Game, Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai

Note to the Viewer: Eromanga Sensei is produced by A-1 Pictures, producers of series like: ERASED, Your Lie in April, and Silver Spoon.

Eromanga Sensei Opening

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 183: SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation

SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Music, Slice of Life, College, Vocaloid, Idol

First Aired: Winter 2014, 12 episodes

Summary: Super Sonico is your average 18-year-old college student with a few exceptions. In addition to classes and schoolwork she balances her budding career as a model, working at her grandmother’s restaurant, and performing as the lead guitarist in her band, First Astronomical Velocity. In case that wasn’t enough, she is a sucker for cats, adopting any stray that crosses her path. You’ll recognize Sonico by her long pink hair and signature headphones she never removes. Follow her exciting day-to-day life that could take her anywhere, from her grandmother’s restaurant to exotic Okinawa!

Super Sonico’s anime is fairly obvious to its purpose of promoting Sonico as a vocaloid, not that there’s anything wrong with that. From the first episode, you can see how they’re attempting to humanize her (ironic as that sounds). Despite that detail, it’s still a fun and easy series to watch. The episodes are light, with the best example being an entire episode dedicated to Sonico and her cats. Every episode’s end credits are unique, so be sure to watch all the way through. Not only are Super Sonico songs played through the credits, but the animation is different each episode, which sometimes borders on the bizarre.

You might enjoy this if: You’ve always wanted to get better acquainted with the daily life of a fictional Japanese singer.

You might not like it if: You are averse to fan-service. It goes without saying since this is a series starring a well-endowed vocaloid that models, but obviously, there is a fair amount of fan-service.

Similar Series: K-On!, Detroit Metal City, Fuuka, Sound Euphonium!, Sekko Boys

Note to the Viewer: Super Sonico’s character was created in 2006 for the annual Nitroplus music festival. Her popularity exploded in 2011 with the release of her first album, GALAXY ONE.

Superorbital by Super Sonico

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 182: Btooom!

Btooom!

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Psychological, Game, Explosions!

First Aired: Fall 2012, 12 episodes

Summary: Ryouta Sakamoto is an unemployed NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) and lives with his mother. He spends the lion’s share of his time playing “Btooom!”, a popular online game of battling team vs team using bombs to defeat the enemies. He is a natural at the game and has just become the number one player in Japan and the first Japanese player to crack the top 10 worldwide leaderboard. All the sudden he wakes up stranded on an island and has no memory of how he got there. He is in for a rude awakening when he is attacked by an individual that is not looking to be his friend. It appears someone has recreated “Btooom!”, but for real with life or death consequences! Armed with a few bombs, known as “BIM”, and his knowledge of the video game, it’s time to follow Ryouta as he learns the rules of the high stakes world and see if he gives into the desire to hunt the most dangerous game.

Btooom is a fast-pace series that hardly allows the characters a chance to stop and take a breather. Every episode introduces a new character or two, resulting in constant bomb battles. I enjoyed how the battles were not only physical or based on firepower, but wit and strategy as well. Everyone has their own type of bomb and they are in limited supply. It’s important to not be wasteful and use your bomb type to your advantage. The mind games between combatants was one of my favorite parts of the series. The animation was bright and vibrant, which I appreciate, but fairly standard. The intro and ending songs were great. My only major qualm with the series is that it’s been five years and we don’t have a second season! They left it open with many questions unanswered and I want to know! I mean, what’s going on with this Btooom world? I know what you’re thinking, “Read the manga”. Fine, if you’re going to be pushy, maybe I will! All right, my rant’s over.

You might enjoy this if: You are into survival games. Think Battle Royale or The Hunger Games. There is a similar vibe to Btooom.

You might not like it if: You don’t like to see the darker side of humanity and what individuals are capable of when brought to their breaking point. Also, there is the occasional fan-service moment.

Similar Series: Future Diary, Sword Art Online, Danganronpa, Deadman Wonderland, Highschool of the Dead, No Game No Life

Note to the Viewer: If you’re like me, you’ll immediately want to know more about the Btooom game. Bombs are known as “BIMs” and several types exist: Cracker, Implosion, Timer, Flame, Blazing Gas, Homing, Barrier, and Remote Control.

Btooom! Opener – No Pain, No Game

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