Fate/Zero

Fate/Zero

Continuing from Fate/Stay Night, this anime is actually the prequel. But Fate/Zero was aired on 2011. It tells us about the fourth Holy Grail War that involves Kiritsugu Emiya, a magus killer hired by the Einzberns. Together with his servant, Saber, Kiritsugu must win the fight between him and six other masters while finding the dark truth of the Holy Grail itself.

I don’t know why they chose to separate this anime into two seasons. But luckily, we can just watch all of them without waiting for two long, as there is a four-months-gap between the two seasons. At the first episode, I was a bit confused because the characters are just talking to each other (about the holy grail war) and this episode is about 48 minutes long. But things are clearing themselves as time goes.

Compared to Fate/Stay Night, for me Fate/Zero is waaay better with its rather dark plot.  The characters are more unique, where each are explained well so we know them not just as cameos and the conflicts between each of them are deeper. What’s striking me the most is the ending, but I don’t want to spoil the fun here.

As the anime comes later, the graphics are also better with flashy colors and effects. The character designs are still the same, which is not my favorite, but is great. I think that the servants are better here too than those in Fate/Stay Night. The soundtracks and BGMs are also great with Kalafina, Lisa, Eir Aoi, and Haruna Luna.

So far, this series is my favorite of all Fate anime.

MyAnimeList rating: 8.50 (season 1), 8.71 (season 2)

Personal rating: 9.00 (overall)

Fate/Stay Night

Fate/stay night

Just fyi, this one is the version that came out on 2006. I will write about the Unlimited Blade Works series later, promise.

Fate/Stay Night follows a journey of Emiya Shirou, a boy who is a survivor from a mysterious inferno. He was saved by a man named Emiya Kiritsugu who later adopted him and taught him about magic and justice. Shirou leads his peaceful ordinary days until a year after his dad passed away where he accidentally caught himself on a deadly fight between two men with superpowers also referred as “Servant”. He then was chased by one of them when luckily he somehow summoned his own Servant, a knight called Saber. Together, they got in a tournament between seven Servants and their Masters in order to win the fifth “Holy Grail War”.

I will review this from the point of people who never knew the series before. That is why I will say that somehow I get the idea and everything, yet I realize that there are some holes missing. That is how the story of this series become not that special. I like the idea, but the execution is not that smooth that you will leave some question marks here and there. Above all, I think big minus is the romantic relationship near the end of the anime. Yet I have to admit that those things didn’t stop me from watching, so it is actually pretty good.

For a 2006 anime, Fate/Stay Night offers much gimmick to the eyes. The backgrounds are great but what’s best is the CGI effect. The BGMs deserve applauses also. Somehow, this anime is dark and the musics are helping to create the mood. The opening and ending songs are also great and pretty much go well with the story.

Lastly the characters. There are a lot of characters in the anime and I like how they all have their own uniqueness (if not quirk). It shows how all the characters are very well-thought. Everyone leaves an impression for me and that’s how good they are created.

MyAnimeList rating: 7.57

Personal rating: 7.50

Kotonoha no Niwa

Kotonoha no Niwa

So, I decided to have Makoto Shinkai’s anime as my last 2016 review. Now, I decided to begin my 2017 reviews with another one from Makoto Shinkai also, and this one is my favorite of all his anime so far.

Kotonoha no Niwa or Garden of Words is a beautiful anime about two people. Takao Akizuki, a student who skips his class on rainy morning to live his dream in designing shoes, and Yukari Yukino, a mysterious woman whom he met in Shinjuku Garden. Throughout the rainy season, they keep on meeting each other, and somehow, simply being together has become their escape from their own problems. However, does their relationship will end once the rainy season ends?

I personally don’t know why I love this anime so much that I watched it for more than 10 times already. The story is simple, two people with each own problem and struggle, meet accidentally in a rainy morning and being in a good relationship. Yet, throughout the anime, there isn’t something magical like most Makoto Shinkai’s works. This anime is way simpler than that. This anime is about passion, something that people often forgets as they grow up. This anime also doesn’t need those romantic things yet you can feel the romance through the dialogues and how they act. Maybe that simplicity is what caught me in awe, apart from the beautiful sceneries.

As known of Makoto Shinkai, the sceneries are superb that you can find a comparison between the anime and real picture and there aren’t many differences between the two. The character designs are simple yet so fit the characters, a high school man in his rebellious stage and a calm lady who like to read classics. You can see the characters are growing as well, even only through a 45 minutes anime movie.

Last one that has also become my favorite is the OSTs. They are calming and beautiful and the OSTs are really helpful in building the mood of the anime. As for the ending song is “Rain” by Motohiro Hata. Also a good song even though not that impressive for me. Maybe if I have to point out my biggest concern from Kotonoha no Niwa, it will be that the ending could have been better if things don’t really rush and Makoto Shinkai just keep it simple. But, even with that ending, all it still beautiful.

Look at those details! sc: google
Both are sooo beautiful. sc: google

MyAnimeList rating: 8.34

Personal rating: 9.90

Hoshi no Koe

Hoshi no Koe

My last review of the year 2016 and it goes for one of Makoto Shinkai’s early work. So, Hoshi no Koe or Voices of a Distant Star is one of my first animes and I still rewatch it again sometime. I guess this anime is also made when Makoto Shinkai hasn’t really been well known like now. But even then, I knew how talented he is because of the story of this anime.

Hoshi no Koe is a 25-minutes OVA that tells us about a long distance relationship (yeah, we know how hard it can be) between a boy and a girl. Set in 2046 when mankind has discovered ruins of alien civilization in Mars and has developed the technology to go through galaxies, they have decided to send an expedition into space. One of the chosen pilot for the expedition is Nagamine Mikako, a junior high school students, whom because of this will be separated from her bestfriend, Terao Noboru who is entering senior high school.

If I only have one word to describe this anime, then I will surely go with “touching”. Both in heartwarming and heartbreaking ways. I was so little when I watched this for the first time and back then I thought “what kind of experts send a junior high school student to space?”, and actually I’m still thinking about it now. However, as you’ve read the summary, now we know that this is not your ordinary long distance relationship because we are talking about relationship through space. Maybe relationship is not the very right word because both characters are friends, not lovers. But away with the fact, you will see how they are hanging on the thin line with the distance and the time difference. I cannot say much about the story because I will spoil too much so just watch it for yourself.

Aside from the story, I will totally praise the music. The BGMs and theme song are great and I still put some on my phone and listen to them sometime. I even sing it along while I write this. But, you may have to be disappointed a little with the character design, though the art is great even though it is not as great as what Makoto Shinkai can do now. That is why somehow I think that if you are a fan of Shinkai’s works, you have to watch this anime and see how he isn’t that great from the beginning. He is learning and being better through all the process and that is how he become who he is now.

P.S.: If you are not that satisfied with the ending of this anime, you can read the manga with the same title because it has the continuation of the story.

MyAnimeList rating: 7.53

Personal rating: 9.75

Handa-kun

Handa-kun

Handa-kun is a prequel of an anime I reviewed before here, Barakamon, that is released two years after Barakamon ended. The story still focused on Handa Sei when he is still in his awkward life in high school. He always thinks that he is an outcast, even though people actually admire him because of his calligraphy skill and his good-looking face. While people think of him as cool, Handa actually think that people don’t want to befriend him. This never-ending misunderstanding has made a lot of things happened to Handa’s and others’ life.

When you have watched Barakamon, then you would have known how simple the story is. It goes the same with Handa-kun. The story is based on a daily high school life of a socially awkward high schooler. However, somehow this anime doesn’t really end up as well as the sequel. It is funny to see how Handa thinks that people hate him and how he avoids people because he doesn’t want to bring misery to other. But, on this anime you will meet new characters (his classmates) who adore him for whatever he does. This makes the anime is funny at first and gets boring after some episodes. Still, the ending pays it all for me because of how he remains misunderstanding things.

The art and character design is almost the same with the sequel, where you won’t find any eye candy throughout the series, except Handa itself of course (lol).  For the song, I don’t really like the OP song, apart from that it is in a metal genre which is not my favorite, I think it just doesn’t get along well with the story of the anime. The ED song is pretty good but also not the one that I will listen over and over again. As for the BGMs, I will say that they are pretty standard but I guess you can just get with them. Overall, for me it is not as good as the sequel, but better than another specific anime about a high school idol (that I never watched again after 2 episodes). However, if you need an anime with some jokes and simple story that I will surely suggest this one after Barakamon.

MyAnimeList rating: 7.46

Personal rating: 7.5

Rokka no Yuusha

Rokka no Yuusha

In a magical world, there is a fear from the people of the Demon God who is at the moment waiting to be awakened. However, mankinds still have a single hope on six people who are recognized as the Braves of Six Flowers. They are chosen by the Goddess of Fate with the mission to defeat the Demon God. The story focused on Adlet Mayer, a boy who proclaimed himself as “the strongest man in the world”. With other Braves, NachetanyaFlamie, and Goldov, Adlet went on a journey to meet the rest of the team before defeating the Demon God. But things are getting rough when there are seven heroes present and they doubt Adlet as the fake Braves.

When I heard the title, Rokka no Yuusha, I quickly assumed that this anime would be full of action and battle with the fiends, ended with the final battle with the Demon God. Of course, I also though of the happy ending where everyone is smiling after a rough battle and they are looking at the bright new day. But after a few episodes, those thought are gone. Rokka no Yuusha’s main point is not about defeating the Demon God, but looking for the seventh Brave who is a fake. So, it is more of a mystery anime, not action. Still, I find it pretty much easy to guess so I can’t really enjoy the mystery as well.

From the character, I won’t say much because there isn’t anything special for me, except for Nachetanya. She is a princess of a kingdom and this is her first journey. I like how they portray her naivetés because she never seen the world outside and how it can give her many surprises. I think that she develops well through the episodes. For other elements, I think they are also so-so. The arts are good but not so great and the BGMs are also not that impressive, though I like the OP and ED songs. I don’t know if they will make a second season from this anime because in the end they haven’t defeated the Demon God, so there is a possibility. But tbh, I’m not sure that I need another season.

MyAnimeList rating: 7.63

Personal rating: 5.00

Barakamon

Barakamon

Barakamon is an anime about a famous calligrapher, Handa Seishuu, who is sent to a small village because of his bad attitude when a veteran called his winning piece as “unoriginal”. The young and talented yet narcissist artist is now has to adapt to live far from the modern Tokyo. There, he wants to find new inspiration while learning new things he never thought of before in a place that will force him to face various people and events in the society.

Slice of life is usually not my type of anime because I found some boring. Yet, Barakamon has succeed to make me finished it in a day. The story is simple, but it comes with a good comedy and maybe it gives me a perfect image of how simple it is to live in a small village where people are nice, sceneries are pleasing, and you won’t find problems like traffic jam and people looking at their phone all the time as you will find in the city everyday. Through this anime, I went on a vacation where I am able to relax myself.

That said, you could see how I really pleased with this anime. The story of Barakamon is simple yet great and touching, supported by various interesting characters that are also developing through the anime, and of course, good comedy. The art is not mesmerizing but perfectly fit the story. The OSTs are also great, especially the opening and ending songs.

I personally find it hard to criticize this anime. To tell you the truth, if you look at it piece by piece, they are far from perfect. The story is simple, the art and character design is what you will find in most slice of life anime, the OSTs are great but not that special, and the characters are what you will find in your everyday life also. However, all of that components are so balanced that they make this anime as perfect as it is. So, if I have to say something bad about this anime I will just say that this anime should have been longer and make me laugh more.

MyAnimeList rating: 8.50

Personal rating: 9.75