Crying over a book, tv, movie, video game, etcetera is something I often cannot relate to. But as I have grown, I do find myself having more of those moments where it feels like I am about to cry, with a few occasions where I do cry. Which is something I used to think was a bit weird, crying over something fake. On the contrary, it is quite normal and shows how our brain works, that it can get so invested and have as much empathy with a fictional character as it can with a real person. Plus it does show how it is possible to feel empathy for people dying who you might not know, but just reading the story of about them, for example, all the people who have died from COVID-19, can have the ability to make people feel empathy for strangers. I just wanted to share the few time I cry from watching a tv show or movie. Please let me know any moment you cry from a fictional work.
Marona’s Fantastic Tale is a movie I watched recently that is about a dog life flashing before her eyes after getting run over. It is easy to see how this could make me cry, but I do find it a bit fascinating that the initial shock of the dog getting run over did not phase me, but by the end it did. Similar to Grave of the firefly (granted nowhere near as depressing), the effect of the death of the dog was amplified at the end by seeing the journey and seeing her adventure. Seeing how the dog change people's lives and the constant struggle and loyalty did warm my heart and by the end of it, I felt like I was crying from happiness more than sadness. Because it’s a dog living its best life and giving it her all to help her owners. It was like I was on this journey with her and seeing her die almost so suddenly yet peacefully just resonated with me. It also helps that the movie was honestly quite good, and recommend it.
This is slightly embarrassing, but I think watching episode 20 of Gate was the first time I legitimately cried as an adult. So to give context, the show is about modern Japan suddenly being invaded by another world that is your average Jrpg fantasy world. The Japanese army tries its best to work with the people of the other world and try to avoid any war and help cooperate with them. The show seems to have lots of parallel to Europeans settling North America, but with the twist being not just Japanese settling to a new magical world, but the fact that they are not terrible monsters killing the native haphazardly or being racist. Which I found fascinating and almost inspiring. Showing that terrible actions of humanity in the past does not reflect the action of humanity today, even though let's face it, we still somewhat terrible people. Episode 20 in my opinion showcase something that is sadly missing in the world it seems, politicians with a moral campus. The scene in episode 20 is a bit stupid and cheesy, but it made me shed a tear of happiness.
Its Grave of the Firefly, nuff said. Similar to Marona’s Fantastic Tale, the reason why it was a tearjerker its less the sad moments, but the happy moments that fill the running time. True to reality, a person's death is often tragic, but not as much if they are just strangers to us. This movie did not make the main characters strangers, and invited us to their hearts, only to rip it out.
It is weird how seeing two people getting together can make someone happier than that time they got themselves a girlfriend, although to be fair, fiction tends to have a happier ending. Your Name manages to make me so happy that I was crying tears of joy by the end of the movie, it was just that wonderful.
Share any moment you had crying over fictional piece of work and stay safe.
Anime Furry fans must be happy with Netflix considering this year they have released two great furry anime with Beastars and BNA. For now, I will just be giving a quick review of BNA. BNA is a trigger anime where there is a world divided by humans and Beastmen. Beastmens are anthropomorphic animals that can change to their human form at will and back to Beast man at will. Our main character, Michiru, is a tanuki Beast man seeking refuge in Anima City, a safe haven town for Beastmens. Michiru meets a wolf Beast man as their life gets entangled in a city full of mystery. Overall the anime was really fun, it has the fun energetic energy you expect from Trigger. I enjoy the world-building and them delving into the discrimination the Beastmens have suffered and how the world works. Michiru is essentially an energetic girl who tries her best to help others, which was a good contrast with Shirou's character, a wolf Beastmen who tries his best to help injustice for the Beastmen, but also really hates human and has a temper problem. I like the interaction and the fact that it sorts of felt like a buddy cop show with them investigating crimes in Anima city. Granted is not just Michiru helping out Shirou, but also just her exploring the city and learning new things about this world through her eyes. Especially love the baseball episodes which showcase how different Anima city is from the human society in a fun over the top way. The animation and visuals always were amazing because this is Trigger, and their works always look good even when their shows are not. The animation does help with the fun and energetic energy the show has, making it a fun spectacle to watch. The main problem I have with the show is that I wish there were another season. The show only had 12 episodes, and I felt like there was more the show could have explored when it came to the world. As the show did face heavy subjects, and new ideas that were quite fascinating, I felt like there was more that could have been explored, and felt like it ended a bit too quickly. That being said, I had a really fun time, and those nitpick did not deter my enjoyment as ultimately its probably my favorite anime so far this year. While it is not personally as amazing as Kill la Kill or Little Witch Academia, it is another great show from Trigger instead of a dud. I give this a B+
The Wolf House is a stop-motion horror movie from Chile base on the events of Colonial Dignidad in Chile. The story its about Maria escaping from a colony to escape punishment and stumble to a house with two pigs. As the story continues the pigs become more human in a very surreal dark story with a wolf just waiting for them outside the house.
This was one of my most anticipated movies from 2018 that I never got to see since it wasn’t available for me to watch unless I visited other countries. Thankfully it has finally arrived in the US and made available to stream due to the current pandemic, so no need to go to a film festival or drive 30-60 minutes to a theater in a specific day and hour to watch this. The wait was definitely worth it as the movie manages to be a mesmerizing piece of dark surrealism base on some of the dark past of Chilean history. The stop-motion showcase the talents of Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León artistry with the artwork coming together while they are moving. Making the art feel like they coming alive and seeing all the hard work that goes into making this stop-motion movie. It uses a variety of different types of mediums from paper mache, doll, to wall art that kept the surrealism and creativity of the movie. Not to mention the stop-motion just looks creepy in general and helps with the atmosphere of unease. Just another wonderful showcase of how stop-motion animation does lend itself to dark imagery.
The story itself does seem to be very nonsensical with pigs being turn to humans and the logic behind that being strange and out of nowhere, and there is a German narrator and a mysterious wolf outside apparently. It is very much a metaphor that is admittedly hard to follow, especially not knowing the backstory the movie is base on, which is Colonial Dignidad. I had absolutely no idea behind that dark chapter of Chilean history, and only got a little introduction to it in the beginning. That being said I was able to get some of what the story was trying to say and was liking the creepy and dark surreal fairytale-like story. That being said, once I did read up on the history and the context of Colonial Dignidad, it recontextualized the story more and was able to better appreciate it. But again, even not knowing the background of what the story is based on, I was still able to enjoy it. There is always some sense of unease with the outside world coming from the main character Maria, but it slowly becomes overshadow by the unease inside the house with the two pigs. Plus it was just fun figuring out what the movie was trying to say and dig deeper into the lore and story behind the movie, which is refreshing to do once in a while.
Overall the movie was just an enjoyable piece of art that looks amazing, and base on one of the dark chapters of Chile. It is definitely not for everyone as the storytelling is a bit too nonsensical, and enjoyment varied depending on how entrance a person is by the animation. That being said overall, I had a great time with this movie and give it a B.
Its pride month, which is just a reminder that hey, people are not worth less for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Which is something that unfortunately need to be reminded, just as much as a person skin color does not make them less of a person.
But enough of that, this is just an excuse for me to talk about Yuri anime I like. Which if you do not know what yuri or shoujo-ai means, its a subset of genre of same sex relationship between female, or lesbians. There a slight different in definition but let just get into the list. Also not doing yaoi top ten since I barely watch any, but Banana Fish is awesome.
Sweet Blue Flower: A solid mature high school yuri anime. Being less dramatic, cheesy, and more down to earth compared to your typical high school yuri anime. While it is ultimately an advertisement for the manga, it’s a solid advertisement.
10. Re: Cutey Honey
Cutey Honey is a franchise made by the influential artist, Go Nagai (who made Devilman and Mazinger Z). The series is very influential for the magical girl series, and this 3 part ova reimagining by Gainax is no exception. The plot is about Honey, an android that can change clothes that gives her different ability, trying to find the person who killed her dad with her only lead being the evil organization called Panther Claw. The anime is credited with influencing Kill la Kill with the same people on Re:Cutie Honey ending up working on Kill la Kill. This fun 3 part OVA manage to be just a ton fun. It is sexy, fun, absurd, and has some solid plot that makes it an entertaining show all around. I mean its Gainax doing what they do best, creating a fun and over the top anime. This just happen to have a very fun female police officer who most likely has a thing for Honey.
9. Strawberry Panic
The cliché all-girl catholic high school anime that is overly dramatic, unintentionally hilarious, and overall just fun to watch, especially with a strong satisfying ending. It’s an anime that feels like it was made in the ’90s, but was actually made in 2006. The anime is about a transfer student going to an all-girl catholic school where she meets a gorgeous long silver hair girl with a mysterious past. There some love triangle, attempted rape, overdramatic fainting and falling, theater plays, tragic past, all the cliché except homophobia which was surprising.I think that what ultimately made the show entertaining, it can go overdramatic, but never in a way that makes viewers uncomfortable even when there attempted rape involved. It just a fun drama that you can have fun watching and rooting for your favorite couple to get together, and ultimately be a fun watch.
8. Yuri Kuma Arashi
The anime that will make you say, wtf am I watching. I drop the show in the first half of the first episode as I was laughing hysterically at how bunker this show is. Giving it a second chance years later, I got to admit, that while a bit too nonsensical at times, the artistry, soundtrack, and message in the show is amazing. The show is about a civilization divided by a wall, to separate the humans from the man-eating humanoid bears (who got that way due to a mysterious meteor shower). Two man-eating humanoid bears infiltrate the wall and meet up with Kureha, who hates bears. This is one of those anime where the more you think about what you just watch, the more brilliant the anime is. It has layers and layers of message and satire on Japanese politics and their views on same-sex relationships, and just the nature and cycle of prejudice and the people fighting for their right to exist. That being said, it is still a bit too nonsensical at times, which can ruin the engaging plot and make me wonder, what the hell am I watching. That being said, it still definitely worth a watch. Also the title literally translate to lily bear storm, nuff said.
7.Kase-san and Morning Glories
A feel-good high school girl anime ova that always manages to put a smile in my face. Which is worth a lot, especially in a time where the world seems to be on fire. The anime is about two high school girls, one a popular athlete, and one a gardener, dating in their senior years as they deal with relationship issues. It’s an anime where cute girls are cute, and while there is some meat to it as it does a good job of showing how being in a relationship can inspire one to strive for more, the main appeal it’s the fact it is just so wholesome. A lot of it is thanks to the soundtrack and art/animation that does create a warm looking show. The chemistry of the two main characters also helps out a lot as they do complement one another. It’s just a must-watch when it comes to people who enjoy this type of yuri fluff.
6. Flip Flapper
The show about two girls traveling to alternate world call “Pure illusion”, to find shards to get their wish granted before another organization gets it first. This show is a ton of fun with lots of amazing visuals and unique worlds that does allow the show to tackle different themes. It can go to a world that is mad max and DBZ, to a catholic all-girl horror school, mecha and kaiju, etc. Lots of the world are fun and do look great and beautiful. Tackling different subjects like anxiety, sexuality, depression, yuri, abandonment, etc. Overall it is a magical girl show, but it’s so much more than that and was quite entertaining with the sheer imagination and creativity display in the animation. The story as a whole is admittedly sort of messy, the episode themselves are just creative pieces of colorful entertainment.
5. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid
First of all, RIP to the director of the anime and the other people who unfortunately did die from the Kyoto studio fire, but will remember them for making a wonderful show like this one. This anime is about Tohru, a female dragon who falls in love with Kobayashi, a female office worker, and becomes her maid. As the show progress, more and more eccentric people start to inhabit Kobayashi's everyday life as she forms a family. As far as the romance aspect of the show, it is very one-sided, but the slice of life element is just fantastic. It manages to be a fun comedic slice of life that can be ridiculous due to having dragons, but can also be very down to earth and very mature when it comes to the topic of family and being mature. They're just so many quiet moments that just hit a chord with Kobayashi many words of wisdom. It’s an anime that manages to not only be cute but also engaging with its quieter moments. Making for a very fun and mature slice of life, even if it does have some awkward moments sprinkle in.
4. Bloom into you
Probably the only few high school girl yuri anime that made me say, goddammit I am very engaged with the drama unfolding. The anime is about Yuu, a girl who has never fallen in love before, meeting Nanami, another girl who never fell in love. After Yuu confession about never falling in love, Nanami falls in love with Yuu, with Yuu not feeling the same way but lets Nanami be in love with her. As the story progress, the layers of Nanami characters start to unravel as Yuu's feeling starts to change. This is just a good example of very engaging storytelling that manages to have the audience engage with the drama unfolding due to the perplexing dilemma the character has when it comes to their self-worth and their ideal self. It’s a love story that is full of complications that you want to see get resolved and manage to tackle so many different subjects. It is also one of the few yuri anime that does a really good job of tackling homophobia, and have side characters that do help elevate the storytelling. Not to mention the direction in this show is just amazing, the framing, the camera angle, and shots just make this solid-looking anime look even more gorgeous and helps with the storytelling. I hope this anime gets a second season because as much as I like the manga, it would be criminal if the studio does not get a chance to show their amazing skill once again. But even if it is only one season, it’s a season worth watching, and then go into the manga.
3. Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion
Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime is a thrilling dark psychological show about Madoka trying to decide if she wants to be a magical girl. The movie is a sequel to the series or recap movies; however, you want to see it. The movie is a fan service movie that devolves to what I love about the show, a psychological break down of the characters, and playing out the theme that the show is known for and going further with it. It’s a brilliant surreal masterpiece of art, soundtrack, and storytelling. Giving fans everything they wanted, then giving them what made people praise the show for. The only reason is not higher, is not because how divisive the movie is with fans (because this is my god damn list and I do not care about other people's opinion), but the fact that the yuri aspect, while important, is one-sided. This being a top ten yuri anime list, I do not know I can justify putting this higher on the list, but it is still a wonderful dark surreal psychological magical girl movie.
2. Sakura Trick
The anime is about Haruka and Yuu going a step above in their relationship by kissing each other. The anime is probably one of the few anime I would call dangerous because I swear every time I see it, I feel like I have just gotten diabetes because this is just too sweet, and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The main reason for that is that the main couple is just wonderful, with both of them being a different type of airheads that somehow do complement each other. The comedy is solid, and the side characters are entertaining. I do like how the anime also seems to have every character be in a different stage of their relationship, playing around with lots of yuri trope which I thought was clever. Granted if someone says it’s just an anime where two girls kiss each other every episode, they would not be completely wrong, but it is still an entertaining moe comedy in its own right. It manages to be an overall entertaining cute girl yuri anime with entertaining characters that make me filled with positive energy.
1. Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena
Probably one of the most influential yuri anime of all time, not just influencing a bunch of anime, but even western cartoons like Steven Universe and the She-ra reboot. Just full disclosure, I am putting the movie as number one and not the actual anime since only season 3 of the show was amazing while the other two seasons were just decent imo. The movie is a reimagining of the show, that has a bigger budget, and manage to have just as much imagery, symbolism, and message as the original tv show. The movie is about a transfer student, name Utena, who stumbles across a girl with a mysterious ring. Utena finds herself entrenched in a battle for the rose bride in a world that seems to not 100% be right. This is just a fantastic movie that I can watch a hundred times, and get something new out of it every time. From the score, the design, animation, the movie just looks gorgeous. I do love how they do explore the characters and their battle with grief as well as acceptance. It is a very surreal movie that can be unintentionally hilarious, but for the most part is just hypnotic, as I am just mesmerized by the visuals and trying to figure out what the story is actually about. Plus the movie easily has one of the best kiss scenes of all of anime, and anybody that disagrees is just plain wrong. Utena the movie is my favorite yuri anime.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Review by Jgames
JESUS CHRIST! Just damn, the title of the movie lived up to the title. I did not saw any of the trailers and forgot about this, decided to watch and just damn. They earn that R rating and manage to honestly have one of the better share universe movies in the modern era in the virtue of actually concluding to a finale instead of stopping halfway. Granted a bit unfair to say since these animated DC movies are cheaper to make than a big Hollywood movie, but manage to succeed in where the DCEU failed. Giving us one of the darkest DC movies that Zack Snyder wishes he would have had the chance to make (who knows with the Snyder cut).
When it comes to DC animated division, they have been known to release some great animated films, but when it comes to the New-52 Universe, they have been fairly entertaining but forgettable. I think part of it has to do with them just making Batman or Justice league movies, and they were a bit safe and inside the box just adapting the comics. Not to mention at the time, animated DC movies itself have given us some unfortunate stinkers during that time like “Batman and Harley Quinn”, “Batman Killing Joke” and “Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” which again is just shoving in Batman and ignoring that other characters exist. I think one of the more positive side effects of the DCEU is that the studio felt compelled to use their other superheroes which have translated to the animated movies. Finally getting a god damn Superman, Suicide Squad (without it being called a Batman movie), and Wonder Woman animated movie after so many years of just Batman. Not to mention, the DC animated movies have started pushing more boundaries of what they can do with their films and the use of mature elements. Embracing the comic books, mature elements, and using characters that were not just Batman and Justice League. It is because of this new direction that they were able to make this epic, dark and depressing climax to this animated universe and end in awe.
The story is about the Justice League, teaming up with some of the members of Justice League Dark and the Teen Titans to invade and fight Darkside. I won’t go further on the plot detail just in case you are like me and have not watched the trailer or anything and is going in completely blind. Just know that the main character is thankfully Constantine who is wonderfully performed by Matt Ryan. Granted Constantine is a bit of a deus ex machina character, as his magic basically can allow the team to get out of sticky situations, but it also leads to cool scenarios that I cannot complain about. Back to the movie itself, it was dark, apocalyptic, and epic. It is a life and death battle where death is plentiful and can happen to just about anybody. It also helps that the action is not bad either with them having full sets of characters with different and unique power set that they can take advantage of which lead to lots of fun action scene. Lots of the potential possibility that you might wish to see happen, most likely do happen. Love the fact that the minions are not just useless fodders but are legitimately threatening. There always a sense of dread whenever Darkside's army shows ups, since legitimately anybody can die, and the movie has no qualm in showing this.
So what about the characters and their arc in this movie, are they satisfying? Unfortunately, if I have to be critical of this movie, is that this could have been lots stronger if the other movies were stronger and more diverse. I think the movie does a brilliant job of choosing to focus on characters who had their own movies or had an actual arc in the team-up movies. Picking specific characters who can recall past events and have a full arc completed with, which is what a good universe movie should do. That being said, I felt like there was an opportunity for Constantine and Zatanna's relationship to be a bigger emotional core than it was. Not that it was weak, but compared to something like Flash and him wanting to save his mom, the emotional core was not as strong as it could have been. Part of that could have been helped if Constantine had an extra movie with Zatanna, or spend a bit more time with them in the beginning. While there was lots of adrenaline rush watching this movie, it could have had a much more emotional connection with the audience that just wasn’t there. I think the best emotionally satisfying arc in the movie was between Damian and Raven/Batman due to the past movies doing a good job of establishing and creating a relationship. Batman and Damian being a dysfunctional family, Damian and Raven potentially being more than just friends. Overall I think they did a good job of focusing on characters that had lots of opportunities to explore their relationship and give them a satisfying arc that does relate to their past movies. Is the emotional anchor and character journey as strong and resonating as some other DC animated movies; no, but still solid.
Overall I had a blast with this movie. If you enjoy the other DC-52 animated movie universe, you will absolutely love this movie as it is easily the best out of all of them. Giving the audience a dark and apocalyptic grand finale to the Universe. If you never care for the other movies, this movie probably won’t change your mind, but might be entertaining enough just due to how dark this movie can get. I am giving this movie a B+. Maybe a bit too high, but I don’t care this is my review, my opinion, I give it whatever rating I god damn pleased.
She-Ra the Princess of Power Season 5 Review by Jgames
No spoilers of course.
She-Ra the Princess of Power has just concluded its 5th and final season of the show. So overall I have been loving She-Ra with every season improving over the other. Even fixing some of the animation mistakes like the sword constantly disappearing and appearing. I have been loving Catra and Adora's complicated relationship. Specifically I just love Catra's self-destructive behavior interfering with her happiness due to past trauma and complicated feeling. I love how they do a good job of pacing and having an endgame that it was building up to. Season four ended with Adora's sword broken, Glimmer being captured by the big bad villain, Catra being at her low point emotionally but still is possible in a position of power with the big bad. Now let see if the final season manages to continue to improve upon the previous season and give us a satisfying ending.
So quick thoughts, I thought the season was not as good as season 4 in my opinion, but it was still overall solid and had a very satisfying crowd-pleasing ending that did put a smile on my face. Maybe a bit over the top, but in a time when the world is facing a literal pandemic, I take whatever happiness I can. So what did I enjoy from the season? I think the major positive from this season was how they handle the pacing and take time to make sure the important characters have a satisfying character arc. Whether it be Adora coming to terms with She-ra being used as a weapon and her destiny, Glimmer almost destroying the universe, Entrapta joining the horde, etc. I do like that like any good tv show, they do look at the characters' past action and their effect on the people around them. I like they continue to tackle themes of Catra's childhood trauma and environment making who she is, but trying to defy it and how people around you can help despite the people who raise you. The season just really did a great job of wrapping the important character's arc, even if some side characters were left out.
While lots of the characters had a good character arc and look at their past action, there is a weird exception with Catra. Look, the main reason I love the show is not because of Adora and her friends, but Catra herself. As I have said in previous reviews, I love how Catra is cunning, manipulative with lots of vulnerability due to being abuse and raised in a terrible place. It was so engaging to see her rise in power but at the same time abandoning her chance for happiness with her self-destructive behavior. Catra being at her lowest point from the last season, I was wondering how they going to handle Catra character arc for season 5, and was a tad disappointed. Catra character arc this season was by no means terrible, it was solid, but not amazing. The reason it was not amazing is that they did not look at Catra's past action enough in my opinion. I mean Glimmer and Catra's interaction was decent, but the show seems to have forgotten that Catra is the reason Glimmer's mom is stuck in some sort of dimension. They did a better job of accounting for Entrapta's past action than they did for Catra, which I just found a bit bizarre. Again, Catra's character arc was still solid. I do like how they do go over her emotional struggle and how she is trying to work on it. Catra and Adora's relationship, like always, was great. It just that I cannot help but feel there was more that could have been done with Catra's interaction with other characters. Part of the reason that might be is that they just needed more episodes or another season if they wanted to fully explore Catra's character without sacrificing other characters from completing their arc. This is understandable given this is the final season and have to not only give a satisfying conclusion to Catra character arc but other characters as well.
Another minor criticism that again does not ruin the show, or made the final season terrible, but did prevent it from being amazing, is the villain. The major villain, Horde Prime is not bad by any means. I am really happy that they were able to increase the threat of the villain every season unlike Voltron. It is great to see a show that was planned out and was executed with no studio interference. I like how Horde Prime is essentially a cult leader with the technology to brainwash people and switch minds with anybody he has control over. I love that concept and did make for a solid season finale episode. That being said, I do not like the fact that if Adora did not have any problem with becoming She-Ra, Horde Prime would not have been as big of a threat. Which I find bizarre considering Horde Prime has destroyed countless planets and have defeated the Ancient One who did create She-Ra. On one hand, Adora losing She-ra was an important part of Adora's character arc that again was done very well, but on the other hand, it felt like a cheap way to create a threat that should have been a bigger threat to She-Ra. That being said, overall the major villain was solid.
Also got to mention Spinnerella and Netossa do get more screen time this season which is always great to see since they felt like background character for the most part. That being said, some other side characters do get sideline, but I did not have a problem with that because they give the audience enough dose of them. Making sure to develop their characters and have an impact overall on the story aside for Swift Wings who just there to be slightly annoying. This gave more time for the story to focus on the important characters like Adora and Catra who are the heart and soul of the show, which I am glad they did.
Overall the season manages to wrap the show quite nicely. I like that it was able to have the subject of nature vs nurture, trauma, individualism, the responsibility of being a ruler etcetera in a digestible way for kids, but can be fully appreciated as an adult. I would have like for more episodes or maybe extended it to an extra season to better explore Catra character arc, and make Horde Prime a bigger threat than he was, but for what we got, it was still solid. It gave lots of satisfying resolution and did a great job of giving a crowd-pleasing ending that did put a big smile on my face. I give this season a B, and the overall show a B+. For people looking for kickass girls in a fantasy setting with lots of sci-fi element that has lots of engaging drama, this a show for them. For people looking for LGBTQ+ representation, they won’t be disappointed.
Side note, "Kipo and the age of wonderbeasts" from Dreamwork is amazing and I cannot wait to see more things from it. Dreamwork has been killing it with their tv shows. Also shout out to AJ Michalka, for not only doing an amazing job voice acting Catra, but for singing the opening song for season 5 trailer and making it sound legitimately great. Which is a huge feat as someone who truly despised that song and always skip the opening.
Pendleton Ward, the person behind Adventure Time, gives us an acid trip podcast cartoon on Netflix, The Midnight Gospels. Unlike Adventure Time, this is not a show for kids given the number of mature themes and imagery the shows contain. The Midnight Gospels center around the character Clancy going to alternate simulated reality of Earth where he interviews and talks with people while avoiding his real-life problems. The show is essentially trippy animation in weird worlds connected to a really solid podcast that talks range of subjects like death, meditation, religion,philosophy, prison, drugs, etc. This was a really interesting and cool idea as a way to talk about mature subjects in-depth while giving the audience fantastic imagery and small plot thread along with it.
The problem is that the animation and podcast sometime detract from each other. The podcast happens before the animation, with few extra dialogues to make it seem like the characters are interacting with the world. They even make mistakes and use the voice actors' names instead of the character name. The podcast does not always mesh with what is happening, creating a separation that makes it hard to focus on both the animation and the podcast. I felt like the best episode, like the last one from the season, work very well because the animation did blend with the podcast, helping enrich each other. That being said, for the most part, it did felt like the podcast and animation were competing for attention. It is hard to focus on the characters talking about religion when there are killer virus clown harvesting talking animals that eat baby clown. The animation was weird, trippy, and creative, giving the viewer a different world full of fascinating stories behind them. The podcast itself was engaging and go over heavy subjects. But two good things do not always complement each other, but when it did it was amazing. I give this show a B-. If they do make another season, I hope they better incorporate the animation with the podcast, as a person who regularly listen to podcast and audiobooks.
Scoob! is a new movie that I luckily did not have to pay for since I paid for the last rented $20 movie. I get why that is the case right now, but as a person who usually sees a movie by himself, I really hate the $20 rent system happening due to the pandemic. But back on topic, yay I get to talk about a new movie, I just wish it was a better movie.
Scoob! is a movie about Shaggy and Scooby's friendship as they go on an adventure with Falcon Fury to stop Dick Dastardly's evil scheme. If you go in expecting to watch a Scooby-doo movie, you will be very disappointed as the movie felt like a kid superhero movie with Shaggy and Scooby in it. The mystery gang is mostly separated from Shaggy and Scooby, leaving little screen time of all of them together. The movie mainly focused on Shaggy, Scooby, and the Falcon Fury team which is not what I expected. I get that the Scooby-doo franchise has to keep evolving and doing new things, but this was just completely different then what was expected. But does that make the movie bad; no if you are a kid, but most likely yes if you an adult.
The movie makes a joke about Shaggy sounding like what a middle-age guy thinks a hippie teenager talks like, which did get a chuckle from me but funny enough the movie is written like what a middle-age guy thinks today kids like. It makes so many references that seem aim to please kids, like someone doing a dab, or making Netflix jokes, twitter, toxic masculinity, and much more. Do not get me wrong, it has lots of fun Hana Barbara references which I appreciate, overall it was a kid movie that is only happy in entertaining kids, and not have the adult gouge their eyes. I mean the movie is mainly about friendship but does it in the most cliché way that most people have seen in other kids’ movies. If you are a fan of Scooby-doo, then you might be disappointed by the lack of the mystery team being together and instead of seeing Shaggy and Scoob interacting with superheroes which again just felt random. The Superheroes were not terrible I guess, but they were forgettable. I just do not understand why a movie that is meant for kids, does not feel the need to introduce the mystery gang to a new generation and instead focus on Scooby and Shaggy. Maybe if it was for an older audience I would understand, but it just felt like someone thought the movie cannot succeed unless it has a superhero in it. Making for a movie that felt nothing like Scooby-doo, and just another animated kids movie. Where the heroes go on a journey that tests their friendship, but not in a convincing way or adds anything new to it.
The animation by the way, just like the movie is nothing memorable. They are talents behind the animation, but it does not stand out in any way aside from the designs of the robots that remind me of Death love + robots. Granted I did appreciate them redoing the intro to one of the Scooby-doo show in CG which did bring me nostalgia. The CG for the mystery gang was, for the most part, great, with the exception for Fred. The animation was solid, nothing amazing compare to its competition, but nothing terrible.
Overall, this movie will entertain kids since it is a movie that has nothing god awful, has competent animation and voice actors, with a story that is nothing new but can be fun for kids. It’s a kid movie that is satisfied to just entertain kids and is just not for me. I give this movie a D+. Kids movie can entertain more than just kids, but not every kid's movie is interested in doing that, which is just the reality of things.
So it has been a while before I wrote anything, so I thought I just make it easy on myself and just finally released my favorite cartoons of the last decade since I made one for anime, but never felt like posting the one I wrote for cartoons. Similar to the anime list, I will only be looking at cartoons made in 2010-2019, and this is not in any particular order.
Love death + Robot
Love death + Robot is an adult anthology series comprise of various animated shorts that range a few minutes to half an hour. Each short has its unique art style and animation, with its own unique story that usually involves sex, robots, and violence, all thing I like. The animated anthology was really enjoyable with lots of talented writers and artists working on it. Some of the CGI was so photorealistic that it took me a moment to realized I was watching animation and not actual actors. It shows so much innovation, clever idea, and creativity that might turn some people off due to an excessive amount of nudity and violence, but I wholeheartedly welcome it.
The cartoon show that got me back to watching cartoons. At the time I was a giant anime stan fan who thought anime was superior to cartoons in every aspect instead of being equal with pros and cons. Steven Universe is a show about a boy learning to use his power with help from three female gems. It is a fun monster of the week that slowly expands to something bigger with rich lore behind it while dealing with lots of emotional problems that were relatable. Plus this being made by Rebecca Sugar, it has lots of really great songs that does make the show stand out.
Hey that show that made me think, maybe I should quit my job, comes Regular Show. A show about two colleges drop off working at a park in a world full of humans and autapomorphic animals, gumball machine and you know what it just Adventure Time set pre-apocalypse. Which looking at the comic, might be true. It was a really fun comedic show of two slackers getting to random supernatural like situations. The world was insane with characters that were relatable and did grow as the show went on. While the creator went on to make a show that seemingly looking like it won’t ever be released, this will always have a special place in my heart.
The blueprint to about every other show in Disney XD that came out after this, its Gravity Fall. A show about twin brother and sister visiting their uncle in a town full of paranormal monsters and mysteries. One of the unique aspects of the show is how much it invites the audience to analyze the mystery in the show. Awarding audiences who are analyzing and theorizing. It’s a mystery show that is funny but can also be thrilling as new mysteries are uncovered but raises so many other questions that keep the audience invested. It’s a show that made its mark on the audience and its influence can definitely be seen in other shows.
Star vs. the forces of evil
Star Vs is about Star, a magical princess from another dimension living with Marco in the human world. While at first, this show did just look like crazy shenanigan with a character that acts like Mable if she had a magical wand, it became something more. It became about revisionist history, discrimination, actual royal duties, and correcting past wrong. It was oddly very mature despite the fact that it was loud and colorful. Granted I do have some problem with the season finale, but not enough to dissuade me from putting this in one my favorite of the decade. Plus the sailor moon end credit is just too good.
Wait, why is an anime doing on my list? Oh wait it’s made in America, and despite very much looking like an anime, it’s a cartoon, okay whatever. The show is about Dracula's wife being murder which causes the king of the vampire to start sending his army of darkness to start wiping out the human race. Now is up to Trever Belmont and other companions he meets along the way to kill the vampire king. The show was and is still is freaking awesome. Granted there is some recency bias with season 3 being epic and having great dialogues, but this is my list and there not a lot of bloody awesome action series like Castlevania in the US. So for that, it’s on my list.
With so many terrible reboots, I was pleasantly surprised by Ducktales. A show about a rich uncle and his three nephews going on an adventure, this show manages to be a fun adventure comedy. Full of mystery, surprises, fan service, and new ideas instead of just being another crappy reboot. It can be easily seen that it took notes from Gravity Fall, which I am not complaining about. It does make the McDuck family feel like a family who does on occasion deal with emotional problems as new information is revealed that has to be talked over. It is a shiny example of how a reboot should be.
Voltron: the legendary defender
The sci-fi space epic reboot that is meant to sell toys and lots and lots of gay fanfic artwork in conventions. A show about five pilots from Earth piloting mechanical lions known as Voltron to defend the universe from space tyrants. The first two seasons were awesome, and the rest was great, but never as amazing, but still had fun. Being made by the same creator as Avatar the last air bender, the show manages to have lots of really cool action and hilarious comedy. I will be honest, one of the episodes I always look for in every season is the one-off comedic episode as they always manage to be creative and have the characters work off each other. While the show after season two does have quite a bit of a problem that the fandom has rightfully point out, I was still heavily invested in these characters and grew attached to them. Not to mention it was just nice to have a space war epic that spanned the entire universe and beyond. Fun characters, action, story this is a show that I will definitely be looking back on.
The show about Finn the Human and Jake the dog going to varied distant lands, its Adventure Time. This post-apocalyptic world is a genius in world-building, with so many great and memorable side characters that quickly became lots of fan favorite. Often varying in stupid fart joke that originally kept me away from the show to emotional and almost tears jerking episode that suck me into giving the show a chance. The amount of creativity and love put into the show is well respected and while Steven Universe got me back to cartoons, funny enough the Adventure Time comic books got me back to comic books. There so much to love about the show and it is somehow still going thanks to HBO Max. As the show says, the adventure will never end as it will be a show that will keep being revisited.
A show about a washup celebrity horse, name Bojack, dealing with depression, drugs and alcohol in the mess up and crazy world of Hollywood. This show manages to be both hilarious and a god damn depressing. I love how it does manage to have a cast of wonderful side characters who all do have satisfying character development and relatable problems. I will be honest, I think it should have ended at Season 3 since the season finale for it was so amazing that it left me speechless and constantly looking back at the episode. That being said the amount of clever satire and commentary were all appreciated. I love its look and presentation on addiction with a strong message that does seem genuine. It’s a masterful show that balance drama with comedy, causing a roller coaster of emotion that all intersect at the end, leaving us both exhausted and entertain. While the list is not in any particular order, I am confident when I say that Bojack Horseman is my favorite cartoon of the 2010s.
It's almost the end of the year and I do not feel like making a top ten anime of the year, so why not look at my favorite anime of the decade in no particular order. Feel free to say I have bad taste in anime and feel superior by posting your personal favorite anime of the decade. Again this is just my opinion and feel free to post what anime you love from this decade.
When it comes to the worst genre in anime, it definitely has to be the ecchi genre. I am not talking about anime that happen to show some panty or ass shot or have boobs jiggling, but the one where it's nothing but panty, breast and ass shots. The one that sell their entire premise on sex appeal, and tend to be horrible lazy piece of crap that take itself too seriously or does not try at all. Keijo premise is about a sport where people knock each other out of the arena into the pool using nothing but their butts and breasts. I had to watch it due to how stupid and hilarious that concept was and was ready to have a cringefest, but to my shock it was lots of fun. It’s the right amount of stupid and hilarious, with the writer still caring about the characters, being clever and making each episode more outlandish than the previous episode. Some people might cringe at this being one of my personal favorite from this decade, and they have all the right to think that. It just that there will never be any other anime quite like this that manage to be this entertaining. No other anime has made me laugh this hard and yet impress me with how far they were able to take with this stupid premise.
When it comes to the yuri fandom, this some people favorite and least favorite yuri anime. I for one absolutely love this anime. It’s about two airheads high school girl dating and trying to hide their relationship with friends who are in different stages of their relationships. It just so wholesome and in a time when people were tired of queer baiting, this show simply say "hey let show them kiss every episode". While at first glance it is very generic, I do love how it does play with lots of yuri trope and how each characters represent the different stages of character development in the yuri genre. It’s a cute fun moe blob yuri anime that again, if you into the yuri genre, you will either hated or loved it. While it's blu-ray sale was not amazing, it did help more yuri genre anime to take risk when showing representation. Which is not like I grave for representation, just good stories that are not hinder by self-imposed censorship. This is one of those anime that when I am feeling down, I can rely on it to make me just a bit more warm and fuzzy.
KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World!
Isekai is the equivalent to the superhero genre, saturated as hell and people keep swearing they will get tired of it, but then giving praise when the next one come out. While I am a bit sick and tired of the isekai genre, this one did manage to be entertaining. It’s a hilarious isekai that works by having a dysfunctional but lovable team taking quests and accidentally saving the day. Giving us memorable moments and memorable characters that we want to keep on watching.
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
Gainax last good anime from this decade comes essentially a raunchy version of the PowerPuff girl mix with Drawn Together. It follows the two sisters, Panty and Stocking who must defeat enough ghost to make it back to heaven. It's crude, tactless, and all over the place when it comes to their episode but manage to be overall really enjoyable. It manage to be the right type of crazy yet creative when it wants to and full of fun and clever western references. While it is unfortunate that this never got a sequel and had a cliffhanger, it still is a kickass fun show.
One of the first anime where if you want to watch the episode soon as possible, you have to watch the english version. From the director that gave you Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop, comes an anime that is essentially Cowboy Bebop if it was more of a comedic and could be as crazy as it wanted. It follow the adventure of Dandy whose job it is to classified unclassified aliens with the help of a cleaning robot and a cat like alien. I think this one of the few anime I actually watch on toonami instead of streaming it and was one of the major step when it came to dubbing anime quicker. Never mind the fact that the show itself was really entertaining, hilarious, visually wonderful and memorable characters.
Little Witch Academia
The premise is about Akko, a girl who want to be a witch that can make people smile like her idol Chariot, attending a school for witches. Discovering Chariot wand, and with the help her friends, Akko try her best despite being terrible at magic. When it comes to Trigger animation, the only anime everybody can agree of being great and a classic is Kill la Kill. Unfortunately this wonderful anime is not seen with the same lense, which is a shame in my opinion. This show is truly a wonderful spectacle and a fun story and journey of a witch trying to follow her dream. This is probably one of the few anime that manage to feel kid friendly for US audience and still be enjoyable, and that is because it takes lots of inspiration from western animation which is really cool. It has lots of the creative fast animation sequence that Trigger is so well known for as well as having lots of great character expression. It just so easy to fall in love with the character and the world. The message of the show also can hit adults hard just as much as it can to kids.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Edgy Magical Girl that people find deep because the third episode has surprise shock factor even though it's not deep.....the anime. Okay that a tad unfair to say but that basically what people sounded like when praising this anime. While I did enjoy the first time around, it wasn't until I watch the movie (which I absolute love) that I started to appreciate more the anime. The premise is essentially two girl finding a magic cat that grant wishes in exchange for being a magical girl full of dark twist. What I love about the anime was the visuals, direction and score. It just looks beautiful and can be atmospheric, as it analyze the characters and see them at their breaking point and does it hauntedly. I can listen to it's wonderful soundtrack all day and I absolutely love Homura character and her backstory. While I personally never really care about the main character Madoka, everything around the anime is truly wonderful. Especially when you look at the theme and how it can relate to real life and people expectation versus reality.
Microwave banana time travel the light novel anime. What else is more to say, that summarize the anime in a nutshell... Fine. The anime acts like a light novel, being a drama thriller with time travel where the main character, Okabe is the only one who can maintain his memory of previous timeline. It is an anime that is hard to get into at first, but when it gets going it is so easy to get suck into the anime. You get to learn more about the characters and grow closer to them and see the tragedies and the touching moments. It is a unique sci-fi time traveling show that again acts like a light novel, which the anime is based on. You get to see the different possibility Okabe takes to get the best ending he can get and you just rooting for him all the way.
One Punch Man
A bald guy that can one punch monsters. It has awesome animation and art, super hilarious...............What else is there to say aside for the fact I am talking about Season one and not the one with a reduce budget aka season 2. Oh and one of the most kickass opening.
Kill la Kill, an anime about Ryuko trying to find who kill her dad by trying to find who has the other half of the scissor blade. This is my personal favorite anime, as it has everything I love about anime growing up and everything I love as of right now. I love the fact that every time I watch it I can gush on just how amazing, smart and clever they were with their animation (okay except the ice skating cgi scene with Satsuki which is still awesome despite being flaw cgi). It was fun, awesome, thrilling, memorable characters, non-intrusive fan service, great soundtrack and a goofy plot that does have layers to it and can be analyze and talk about. It is the anime that put Trigger animation on the map and why it has a huge following despite the fact that this is the only anime people universally love from the studio while the rest are hit or miss. It is my personal favorite anime, not just of the decade, but in general.