Initial Impressions: I have no idea what to expect, so I can’t wait to watch it.

This is a mature anime for the gore. If you’re under the age of 15 or sensitive to blood and gore, this is not for you. Like… at all. However, this anime is very detailed in its artwork and you can tell already that each character has a well thought out personality and oddity about them. In the very beginning of the episode we meet a character with blonde hair, carrying two very large machine guns, who we later find out is from the family of the boar. Almost immediately after meeting her we see a really intense training session where her father is pushing her harder and harder.

Throughout this scene and the rest of the episode we see the dynamic between the father and daughter of the boar family. Not just father and daughter, but also dynamic between the two sisters. The older sister is slighted in a way that really on anime can depict, and so goes down a path of revenge against her sister to steal back her spot in the family hierarchy.

During this episode we also see the current time line and as the title suggests, we are introduced to the Zodiac War. In the show it is referred to as the Juni Taisen and each member there is the representation of one member of the Chinese Zodiac: the boar, the monkey, the ox, etc. The war begins after all present members ingest the poison that was given to them and the rules are explained. The rules are very vague, but also very simple and straightforward.

Kill everyone else and steal the jewel they swallowed. The winner is the last one left standing with all the jewels and they get any wish they want, granted.

After that, the floor explodes beneath them and we see the fights begin. I will honestly say that the first fight did not end the way I thought it would and it sets the stage for an awesome second episode if it keeps with this level of action, suspense, and surprise. I’m excited to watch the next episode and see what other twists and zig-zags this show takes next.


The Otaku Couple

Initial Reaction: This is the anime version of The Karate Kid and is about to be a really good come-up story.

This first episode was really good. It has a good “hook” factor to it; it makes you want to watch the second episode. From the very beginning you understand the plight of Kenichi very well. He’s a weak kid who wants to learn karate to become stronger. He meets this new girl and that’s really where his story starts.

This story had some action, and it wasn’t really unexpected given the genre (martial arts anime), but his reaction to it was. Like, there isn’t this “GAAAAHHHHH I WILL BE THE BEST IN THE UNIVERSE! GAHHHHHAHHAHAHAHA!!” feeling to Kenichi. He’s a guy who wants to learn karate and become stronger to help and protect people. That’s it. He’s not out to take down a bunch of people or just love to fight. He just wants to be stronger.
Given other anime like Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Kenshin, and Taboo Tattoo and others where the main character LIKES to fight (not kill, but fight), it was nice to see this trait in a main character.

There is an intro, but it adds to your understanding of the show without throwing in spoilers. It’s nice actually. We understand immediately what kind of life Kenichi lives and there’s plenty of things that you don’t expect. It’s a solid beginning and I’m definitely going to keep watching. It also seems like one of those anime that is probably better if it’s watched with someone else. It gives this impression that there are going to be a lot of “oh! Did you see that?” moments.


The Otaku Couple

What makes a good first episode? This is the question we consider when we watch anime and when we decide whether we’re going to commit our precious time to a new anime. Because, let’s be real here, if the first episode is no good, a lot of us are unlikely to commit to watching another 11 episodes of it.

We know this, and we’ve come up with our own system of rating first episodes. It’s usually pretty reliable in determining if an anime is going to be worth our time or not. Obviously it’s not a fool-proof system, but over our anime lifetime we’ve noticed that a lot of great anime have these things in common on their first episode.

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GA-REI-ZERO | 12 EPISODES

Initial reaction: it’s a slow start, but don’t sleep on it.

The first episode seems like, in a different anime, it would have been the last or next to last episode. You jump right into action, the characters already have great synchronicity with each other, their awesomeness (you assume) has been established and we know that they’re about to get the job done. The highlight of this episode comes during the last 10 minutes when things get EXTREMELY unexpected. You go from not really caring about this show or these characters you know nothing about, to being on the edge of your seat, eyes wide and profanity pulling it’s way out your mouth. If the second episode starts the way the first ended, we’re in for something good.
There was no intro on the first episode, so that’s always a positive sign of good, quality anime.

There was definitely some gore involved and its rated mature, so not recommended for anyone under the age of 15, in my opinion. I’m not actually sure what the characters names are, what the story line is or what’s going on. But based on the last 10 minutes, I’m okay with that.


The Otaku Couple