This is totally crazy, I know. This is the show everyone in the interwebs is drooling over. Surely I must have caught some rogue virus that rots away the parts of the brain that enjoy moe anime. I mean, I don’t like K-ON!! either, so just what is wrong with me? You’d think since I enjoyed Clannad so much this new offering from the same writer would be just as good, or at least have the same amount of impact as its predescessor, right?
Looking back at previous Key series, it turns out I didn’t like Air or Kanon very much, so it should hardly seem surprising that Angel Beats! ended up on the disappointing end of the scale with the rest of them. Why is that? The tried and tested formulas were there: mysterious afterlife world, highschool setting, girls with guns, a bit of fun thrown in the mix with emotional reefs to run aground on, etc etc etc. Oh, and a lead female protagonist who looks like Haruhi. Yup, all the key ingredients were there to satisfy my brain, and by all accounts Angel Beats! should have been win… yet it wasn’t.
Okay, confession time. How many of you clicked on this review just because it had “Railgun” in the title?
If you did, you’re in good company; that’s the very reason I started watching A Certain Scientific Railgun in the first place. It was only later that I learned it was a spinoff of another anime called A Certain Magical Index, which itself was adapted from a series of light novels by Kazuma Kamachi. Ever heard of him? Yeah, me neither. However, you don’t need to have seen Index to understand Railgun; the latter stands on its own as a highly enjoyable mix of action, scientific intrigue, comedy and slice-of-life. Yup, this show has something for everybody… including Bleach fans, since its second half contains an inordinate amount of soul-crushingly boring filler. Unfortunately, that turns out to be the major flaw that drags down an otherwise awesome show.
I have a confession to make. I am not a big manga reader. I follow a few titles, but I’m generally ignorant of the latest Japanese comics until I’m clued in by one of my friends. So I came into GA-REI -zero- with only basic knowledge of the manga. I knew it was about slaying evil spirits in the modern world, but that was all; and, honestly, that’s all you need to know. The show works fine on its own. It even made a fan out of me.
Be warned: the first episode is a massive tease. As usual, Tokyo is going to hell, this time because of a massive spike in spirit activity. A group of elite spirit hunters—whose best member is clearly the girl who uses her motorcycle as a weapon—is brought in to clean up the paranormal activity. They’re doing quite well up until the end, when a mysterious girl kills all of them with her katana. Continue reading →