AG Anime Review Guide

For my scoring I use a four point scale…

  • 0 – (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻  (Offensively Bad)
  • 1 – ლ(ಥДಥლ)  (Mediocre)
  • 2 – ʅ(◔_◔)ʃ  (Acceptable)
  • 3 – ୧(ᴖ◡ᴖ)୨  (Good)
  • 4 – ☆*゜゚*◝(✧ᗨ✧)◜*゜゚*☆  (Impressive)

similar to my movie reviews I give four scores according to the following metrics:

  • Artistic Merit – How are the concept designs, animation, and audio?
  • Characters – Are they compelling and written well?
  • Concept/Story – How is the basic concept, and how well is the story told?
  • Impact – How effective was the overall experience? Especially targeting its genre.

Impact is the most subjective and best indicator of overall appeal to its target audience. If its not really your type of series to begin with then give it less weight or ignore it entirely. A 1 or 2 for impact means it’s pretty forgettable and a score of 3 or 4 indicates good replay value.

Summer series ratings:

  • Chaos Dragon (3/2/2/1) 2 – “Kill any opponent in exchange for the life of a friend.” Vaguely interesting premise but childish in execution. Interesting side characters barely salvage this. The MC is of the unlikable emo variety, and the ending is basically a cop out.
  • Classroom*Crisis (3/4/3/3) 3.25 – “Student engineers fight budget problems.” Surprisingly complex plot with a large degree of political intrigue. Well written but probably not for everyone. It skews a bit more mature then its genre is normally.
  • Gangsta (4/4/3/3) 3.5 – “Everyday life of freelance killers.” Similar in setting to Black Lagoon but with a dryer humor. Very stylish with many great characters but needs a season 2. Great music as well.
  • God Eater (4/2/2/2) 2.5 – “Post-apocalypse and based on a game.” Great designs and interesting CG animation, but lacking in most else. It seems they had a problematic production which comes through in the product. Seems there are more episodes to be released later.
  • Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan (3/3/3/2) 2.75 – “A team of losers train to protect their floating city.” Pretty generic but watchable scifi school genre. The characters are likable enough but nothing really stands out about the series.
  • Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou (3/4/3/4) 3.5 – “A regular guy and his monster girl harem.” Extreme ecchi, but maximizes fan service for the sake of humor. A well made twist on the harem genre; silly and entertaining.
  • Overlord (3/3/3/3) 3 – “Another version of the trapped in a MMO genre, but from the perspective of godlike power.” Slow start, but overall effective take on a familiar premise. Some pacing issues, but the central appeal is seeing the OP main characters in action.

Spring season reviews:

  • Arslan Senki (3/3/3/3) 3 “Coming of age tale about a prince trying to reclaim his lost kingdom.” – Pretty standard stuff, but also consistent with likable characters.
  • Denpa Kyoushi (2/3/3/3) 2.75 “Genius otaku teacher and his unconventional methods.” – Amusing series with a large cast of likable characters.
  • Nisekoi season 2 (4/4/3/3) 3.5 “Slice of life harem series.” – Continues to follow the manga, but not as focused as the first season. Some added characters but no real plot progression. The series is more about just watching rom-com misadventures with the very likable cast.
  • Owari no Seraph (3/1/1/2) 1.75 “Post apocalypse vampires vs unlikable kids.” – Oddly watchable, occasionally great action, but also very irritating most of the time. Feels a little like SAO; lots of flash and potential but just bad overall. Also note it doesn’t have a satisfactory conclusion.
  • Shokugeki no Souma (4/3/4/4) 3.75 “Iron Chef high school.” – A typical shonen story, but framed in the culinary world which gives everything an interesting spin. The fan service can seem extreme at first, but its a defining trope of the series used to great effect and added foodgasm to our lexicon.
  • Triage X (1/2/1/2) 1.5 “Vigilante organization with a medical theme” – Same artist of High School of the Dead and it shares the needless level of fan service. However its not as interesting or written as well so never elevates itself to something worth watching.

Winter season’s reviews:

  • Death Parade (4/4/4/4) 4 “A mysterious bar where souls are judged by playing parlor games.” – Best thing I’ve watched all season and probably all year. You can feel the care and planning that went into this series. It’s rare to find a thought provoking series that doesn’t dumb itself down or have to overly dramatize material to make an impact.
  • Lie I told in April “Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso” – (4/3/4/3) 3.5 “A free spirited violinist helps a prodigy pianist cope with his trauma.” – An emotional journey that mixes classical music and unique visuals to create a moving experience. It’s hard to avoid the feels in this one even when they’re telegraphed well in advance. A large part of that due to the quality of music and animation. The characters themselves are a bit hit and miss but that may be due to their portrayals being so age approprate (young).
  • Seven Deadly Sins “Nanatsu no Taizai” (3/4/3/3) 3.25 “A fantasy adventure where a princess seeks the help of powerful outlaws.” – A good adaptation of the manga. It has an old school dragonball feel to it, but with much faster pacing. The characters are unique and instantly likeable.
  • Assassination Classroom “Ansatsu Kyoushitsu” (4/3/3/3) 3.25 “A superbeing teaches a class of misfits how to kill him before he ends the world.” – The concept is pretty silly but manages to work somehow. It captures the look and feel of the manga, but since it’s still ongoing in both formats it’s hard to say how things will finish up. (also note there is a live action version)
  • Kuroko no Basket Season 3 (3/3/3/3) 3 “The continuing adventures of Seirin High’s basketball team.” – Straightforward example of a sports anime. If you liked the previous seasons then this continues around the same quality level.
  • World Trigger (2/3/3/3) 2.75 “High school fighters use advanced tech to fight invaders from another dimension” – Although it can be considered a fairly generic action series it manages to keep a large, well defined, and likeable cast. It also has a fairly interesting technology basis. As both the manga and series are ongoing, it seems neither have reached the main plot yet but I still give the edge to the manga.
  • Akatsuki no Yona (2/3/2/3) 2.5 “Princess in exile seeks out four legendary dragon warriors for some reason.” – There are sharp tonal shifts that make it hard to identify what type of series this wants to be. The characters are individually likeable, but the story itself only feels like a framework continually building to something. Unfortunately you’re not quite sure where its going and it doesn’t get there by the end of the season. I’m on the fence about starting the manga to find out more.
  • Aldnoah.Zero Season 2 (3/2/3/2) 2.5 “Humans from Mars invade Earth with much stronger mechs.” – Vastly superior than the first season, but still doesn’t quite come together. It’s still hard to invest in underdeveloped or unlikeable characters but at least the main character is tolerable this time around. The fights make this mess watchable, but don’t expect much from any of the dangling sub plots.
  • Isuca (2/3/2/2) 2.25 “Generic supernatural fighting high school harem.” – Not a bad series, but comes across more generic than the source material and the animation cuts enough corners to make it feel dated. Its much better as a manga and its story makes more sense there.
  • Seiken Tsukai no World Break (1/3/2/2) 2 “High school fighters that draw power from their past lives to fight kaiju.” – A promising concept, but so poorly executed it becomes almost unwatchable. If you can deal with the bad animation and poor pacing then give it a shot when you run out of other options.