Hello dear readers,
My 200th anime review is three reviews away! When I started this site a little over two years ago, 200 reviews seemed a decade away and I never imagined thousands of you would be interested in reading them. I am truly grateful to each one of you for your interest, feedback, and review requests (I love doing those, no matter the anime quality).
Before 200, expect Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (sequel to the first Gundam) and Aoi Bungaku, a compilation of Japanese literary classics. As for the 200th review, it will be for a special anime revealed on the day.
My goal with this site was to have reviews that were relevant to a viewer today. It always bothers me how difficult it is to find reviews for media that factor in sequels, changing standards, better iterations, poor aging, and so on. We mostly hear of what a piece was like at release. Yes, that anime may have been amazing in 2001, but is it still a must watch today? To that end, I must update older reviews to keep in line with this objective. The reviews and criticisms stand, though their weighting adjusts. (Feel free to challenge and present your argument on any of my reviews, by the way.)
Several anime have had their ratings adjusted and awards added or removed. Furthermore, I outright deleted many negative award categories. The awards are designed to make it easy for a fan to find more anime with a certain strength. Love great villains? The ‘Phenomenal Villain’ award is for you. The negative awards, on the other hand, are to signal possible deal breakers. Can’t stand it when the protagonists are terrible? Then avoid anything with the ‘Rubbish Major Characters’ award. A good deal of the negative awards are more comedic than helpful (‘Ridiculous Names’, for example) and certainly wouldn’t be deal breakers to viewers. As such, these have been deleted, while several other awards have merged to reduce clutter. The list of changes is extensive, so I compiled them into patch notes below with reasoning for the change.
I hope to have you all for the next 200 reviews and beyond.
Kind regards and thank you!
2.0 Patch Notes:
Perfect Blue – changed overall quality from High to Very High. Being one of my first anime movies, I thought I had nostalgia blindness and overcompensated by giving it a lower rating. But no, it truly is top tier.
Legend of Black Heaven – changed overall from High to Medium. I love this anime, but it’s not worth a High rating.
Clannad After Story – changed overall from Medium to Low. I wanted this to be better than Clannad to the point where I went easy on it. Yes, it’s better than Clannad, but with a chunk of useless episodes and an ending that erases the prior story, I can’t go above Low.
Karin – changed overall from Medium to Low. I was being too nice that day. With so many more anime completed, the standards for Medium have changed.
Gunbuster – changed overall from Low to Very Low. I think I was trying to be nice, yet I have gone back to this anime several times since the review and it just gets worse each session. The core characters and plot are atrocious.
Rose of Versailles – changed overall from high to Very High. My thinking with the High rating was to factor in the impediments of its technical qualities, art in particular. However, I don’t know why I was worried since anyone interested in this anime would see the style as part of the charm. The story carries the Medium (unchanged) art regardless.
Nudity Warning: Removed from all reviews.
The idea with the nudity warning was to prepare for embarrassing situations in a ‘not safe for work’ type warning. What is the point though? None of you are children incapable of handling nudity, so this is a pointless warning. The nudity tag remains, as many viewers want to know how ‘adult’ an anime gets with its material when they ask me for recommendations on what to watch (i.e. does this romance have actual sex or does nothing happen sexually?).
(Some anime inherit the remaining award after a merger.)
- Excellent Visual Effects – deleted. Unnecessary – ‘Stunning Art’ is enough.
- It’s in the Details – deleted. This isn’t reason enough to watch an anime.
- Unique Visual Style – deleted. Most of these have the ‘Stunning Art’ award already.
- Dissonant Sound Effects – deleted. Not a serious issue to warrant an award.
- Goes on Forever – deleted. ‘Poor Pacing’ already covers the relevant parts of this.
- Especially Bad Opening and/or Closing Sequence – deleted. Not reason enough to avoid an anime.
- Needs More Frames – deleted. Similar to ‘Dissonant Sound Effects’, this isn’t serious enough for its own category. Bad art in general covered elsewhere.
- Poor Physics – deleted. More humorous than helpful.
- Ridiculous Names – deleted. Same as ‘Poor Physics’. Let’s be honest, this would be nothing but Gundam anime after a while.
- Worse Than You Think – deleted. If an anime is worse in the end, it would be because of other factors, which are awarded elsewhere.
- Disturbing – merged with ‘Induces Stupidity’. Redundant.
- Harem – merged with ‘Useless Side Cast’. A bad harem character is the same as any bad character, so there’s no need to distinguish them.
- Flat Character Detail – merged with ‘Ugly Artistic Design’. If the art isn’t bad overall, it won’t be a deal breaker.
- Charm removed from Ah My Goddess Season 2, Bakuman, and Rain Town. Ghibli films have made me rethink this award altogether.
- Deep Narrative removed from AnoHana. Good, but not spectacular – beginner’s bias.
- Stunning Art removed from Ah My Goddess TV, Ah My Goddess Season 2, Allison and Lilia. I was too lenient in the early days.
- Atrocious Story added to Clannad. How did I forget this? The drama still has me in awe at its disconnect from reality.
- Disappointing removed from Asura Cryin’ and Blood the Last Vampire. How could I be disappointed when I had no expectations?
- Hollow World Creation added to Re:Zero. A case of forgetfulness on my part.
- Incomplete removed from Berserk. It’s getting finished!
- Weak End removed from Ah My Goddess Fighting Wings. A flat end, yes, but not a standout case.
- Fixed many dead links for the trailer videos.
- Added Code Geass Not sure why one wasn’t there…
- Fixed several links in the sorting tables.
- Added review request links to older reviews.
- Rewrote the introduction page – cut down.
- Minor edit to Azumanga Daioh with mention of Yotsuba (manga by same creator).