This past month, I’ve watched a couple different anime. If you listen to our podcast, you’ll have heard me mention these at least once before, but I never got around to do a full review of any of them – my bad. So, instead of trying to make a bunch of tiny posts about them, I figured it would be better to do a review post of everything I watched this month that I haven’t posted about yet. So, without further explanation, let’s do this!
Code: Realize | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV
Code: Realize was one of the first anime I watched toward the beginning of August. It was entertaining enough overall, but there was so much potential, with not enough follow through, in my opinion. I’m a fan of a good slice of life anime, but I also love action and adventure. When it’s done well, I love anime that touch on all those aspects. I feel like, this anime tried that but failed – it wasn’t really action or adventure or slice of life – it was just… in the middle and nothing at all? It’s hard to explain.
The story is about a girl who has been locked away and is kidnapped by the British army only to be rescued by a gentleman thief. Her body produces a deadly poison due to the horologium implanted in her chest. It keeps her alive, but it also keeps her from getting close to people. She needs special clothing too otherwise, even that will melt at the touch of her skin. She meets up and joins a group that is opposing the British army and crown. The group has the gentleman thief, the mechanic, the rich funder, the scientist (Frankenstein), the fighter (Van Hellsing) and a vampire (Dracula). With such an interesting line up of people, kidnapping, intricate plans, and the threat of the apocalypse, I wanted more from this anime.
Instead I finished the anime feeling a bit let down. The poison girl goes through training, but she never really becomes useful, other than melting locks with her hands. The thief doesn’t steal all that much but we’re supposed to just go along with the fact that he’s a master. Van Hellsing is a vampire hunter who doesn’t want to hunt and Dracula is a whiny kid with no real purpose at all. The fight scenes don’t provide any kind of rush or excitement and is very “stock” to me – sword fights where the heroes leave without a scratch on them. Frankenstein doesn’t invent much more than smoke bombs and to top it all off, the personalities of all these characters are lacking. While they are distinct to each character, they are the same in the first episode as the last.
I feel like this anime would be better suited to a dating game than an animated show. There’s one girl with a bunch of different suitor options who all fall for her (which feels a bit forced) while rescuing her in some strange incident or another and she picks one at the end of the problem to live happily ever after. Saying all that though, I don’t think this anime was bad. Although they stay the same, the characters are interesting; the situations are predictable, but they are entertaining; the winning guy isn’t a surprise, but it is satisfying to see them get together at the end. I wouldn’t recommend this anime, but it’s decent enough to watch if you’re in between anime at the time.
A Sister’s All You Need | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV
A Sister’s All You Need is a pretty deceptive anime but, in a good way. It’s like when you see a swimming pool and think it’s only about two feet deep, but then step in just to fall to the bottom of like twenty feet of water. This anime is a lot like that. From the beginning, you sort of peg it for a pervy anime that is just about a weird kid who doesn’t fit in, being weird with no real purpose to his life. Now, this anime is that, but it’s so much MORE than that too.
The main character is a writer who is obsessed with little sisters. All of his stories include them, so he is a bit weird. But the story is about his life as a writer, the ups and downs of being a published author, and his circle of friends who are all just as weird and eccentric as him. They usually meet up at his apartment for drinks and some type of board game. I really liked this anime because, aside from the over-the-top pervy parts, the characters are really relatable. They all hang out together and are genuine friends, but being in the same field of work really pushes them to work harder and do better. They compare themselves to each other and where they are and where they want to be and we see it from every perspective. And there’s one friend who is the “normal” one in college, but she still struggles because she’s not sure what she wants to do with her life, but is surrounded by people already paving the way to their future.
This anime touches on a lot of good stuff in a relatable and entertaining way. It’s funny in spots, unpredictable at times, keeps you interested with just enough amount information when you need it, and is told with the mindset that you’ll understand the motives of the characters without having to have it explicitly stated to you at every turn. There are a lot of subtleties to this anime which I think makes it great. On the surface, it looks silly and pointless, but there is a lot of goodness to be found watching this. It’s a good “finding your place in life now that I’m not in high school” anime. It reminds me of Barakamon, which is that same type of “not high school” vein — although the stories are vastly different.
Love Tyrant | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV
Love Tyrant is interesting, to say the least. I initially thought it would be a reverse anime of Death Note, but I was completely wrong. The anime follows Seiji as he gets a harem he never wanted. An angel of love — a cupid — knocks on his door asking him to kiss someone because if he doesn’t he’s going to die a virgin. Obviously, not being okay with this, he decides to go along with her plan. This ends him up in the center of a love polygon with the most popular girl in school who is also a crazy psycho killer who carries knives, her half-sister who is in love with her, their crazy cousin who just wants to have fun and is sadistic in the worst way, and the angel.
The anime is all about their crazy antics and the weird situations they get into. Akane (the popular girl) is the only girl who actually cares about him, the others are there just to get their kicks really. Guri (the angel) is there to learn what love is, and Yuzu (the little sister) is there to be with Akane. The cousin (Shikimi) is there as an antagonist of sorts to cause trouble for everyone.
The anime is interesting enough, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s silly and pretty pointless and confusing and it gets kind of old pretty quick. Seiji doesn’t really like any of the girls or “choose” one really, so it’s not super satisfying as a harem anime like High School DXD, and it’s not intellectual like Death Note, nor is it super funny or especially entertaining. The characters are unique for sure, but they didn’t appeal to me at all really. I’d classify this anime as nothing more than a time killer, to be honest. The idea is interesting, but… that’s about it.
Kino’s Journey | 12 Episodes | DUB | VRV
Kino’s Journey is a beautiful adventure and I truly loved every second of it. For starters, Kino’s journey is beautifully animated. I would easily put it on the same level as Ancient Magus’ Bride or right below it. It was gorgeous to look at. I also loved all the characters in this anime.
Kino is on a journey, exploring the world. Spending only 3 days in each country before moving on, it’s just enough time to learn what the city is about. Kino travels with a talking motorcycle (which is rare) and spends time exploring, getting in and out of trouble, and meeting people. Each country is unique with their own quirks and rules and history and ways of living. Watching Kino navigate it is super fun to watch. Kino meets plenty of people and they each have their own story as well — such as the man and his dog who are looking for a home and travel from country to country trying to find a place that works for them.
This anime is great because there’s just enough mystery; just enough interesting characters; just enough of the questions answered; just enough countries travelled to. This anime is like the baby bear’s porridge — just right. It does what I think Code: Realize failed at, it touches on the genres of slice of life, action, adventure, and mystery and does it masterfully so you feel like you got a lot out of the anime in 12 episodes instead of feeling deprived of every genre. I also loved that the characters, while interesting, they all changed slightly from meeting and interacting with each other, but they still had their own motives and flaws. I liked that the flaws were subtle and that they were just people — neither good nor bad.
I would highly recommend Kino’s Journey to anyone. It’s an adventure from beginning to end. It grabs you and takes you along at a pace that’s quick enough to get the point, but slow enough for you to enjoy it. I would watch this anime again and I hope that it’s lucky enough to get a second season. It’s quality anime in a way that you don’t often encounter at random and I’m really glad that I got to watch it.
Well, that’s everything. If you have your own opinions about any of these anime, feel free to drop a comment below!
The Otaku Couple