badcgishark

IMDb member since January 2018
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    IMDb Member
    2 years, 10 months

Reviews

Gankutsu-ô
(2004)

A Nearly Perfect Modern Day Animated Space Opera Version of The Count of Monte Cristo that Blurs the Lines of Good and Evil
The Count of Monte Cristo is a literary masterpiece that has been retold numerous times. An innocent man sent to a barbaric prison for a crime they did not commit, spending the years in lock up plotting revenge on those that put him there. In many retellings, the Count is often portrayed as a lawful good protagonist and the victims in his revenge are villainous characters that serve no other purpose but to be the enemies of the protagonist that the reader is supporting at every step of the way. What happens though when the collateral damage from the Count's revenge begins to blur the line between revenge and outright mayhem?

I don't want to go into the plot because it truly is wonderful. The characters are likable and three-dimensional. The pace of the story is perfect and the animation is incredibly unique. There are many CGI aspects of this series that have aged poorly, however it is not nearly as bad as some of the reviews here paint it to be. Some of the small things like a trans main character that is not sexualized is refreshing as is allowing male characters to show various amounts of emotion.

I loved it. The soundtrack is great and memorable, I'm not sure why this is being jeered so much. Also, many streaming sites have the 480p version (DVD quality) which is fine, but if you can part with the $30 or so for the blu-ray version, it would be well worth it to watch this in HD.

DARLING in the FRANXX
(2018)

A Poor Man's version of Evangelion with disgusting sexuality of minors
Just an awful show. While the main two characters form an interesting pairing, there is no reason to slog through this trite, boring copy of Evangelion. What is worse is the absolutely abhorrent sexuality of minors with the positions that they are in while in the mechs...it's just awful. The multitude of mech type shows out there are better worth watching.

Nanatsu no taizai
(2014)

The first two seasons are good, but the terrible fourth season ruins the entire series.
Seasons 1 and 3 of this show are charming and well paced (season 2 is just four short filler episodes). Ban's storyline in particular is phenomenal, however the other main sin characters are a mixed bag. Both the seasons are 7/10 and worth watching for fans of anime...until season 4 dropped.

Season 4 is nearly unwatchable. The plot is janky, the characters are all over the place, and the worst sin (hah) of all is the horrific animation and censorship. The entire season has done a One Punch Man season 2 with stiff, lousy animation and on top of that there is censorship all over the place. Seasons 1-3 were violent and this was an important part of the series, to change it up in season 4 is just another slap in the face to fans of the series. I'm sure the executives for this show are laughing all the way to the bank as they continue to release censored series that are only uncensored on their blu-ray releases, which is just garbage. Blood is often replaced with white fluids (ew...), and there are the dreaded black circles in many places, covering wounds. While most pronounced in episode 1, it still plagues the entire season. There will be *some* blood, but still the white fluid and censorship black circles.

I can't recommend this series due to how poor season 4 is, and season 4 is a direct sequel to season 3. The series has now become one of the many casualties of the cheap animation, censorship, and plot pacing issues that seems to continue to plague sequels over the past several years.

5/10 overall - Recommendation to avoid due to how bad season 3 is.

Buru Jenda
(1999)

Despite tropes all over the place, it is still a very good animated sci-fi series worth a watch.
I remembered watching the first episode of this show way back in the early 2000's on adult swim. I didn't care for it at the time, but due to the current pandemic I have been watching numerous anime series that feature a bleak, hopeless earth on the verge of collapse. Blue Gender fits this profile nicely and the story is dark, brooding, and besides the two main characters, there is little to no plot armor for anyone. There are numerous tired tropes that you will likely groan at during the show, however it has a strong enough plot and main characters to drive the story along.

Very good. Nothing amazing, but very good.

Ekkusu
(1996)

Watch the X Animated Series first, then this will be much more enjoyable.
I watched this back on VHS in 2000 and remembered loving it. I decided to watch the X animated series and then watch X the film again. It was a great choice! X the film is completely different than the X animated series. The X animated series is 24 episodes and fleshes out every single one of the 16 main characters (7 Dragons of Earth, 7 Dragons of Heaven, and the two psychic sisters). This film only has about 90 minutes and goes forward at breakneck pace, so there is little to no character development in the film. The characters in the film, while similar in appearance, are vastly different than their series counterparts.

If you watch the series first, you can then watch this film and look at it as another version of the story. Again, this film is totally different in so many ways and watching the animated series makes it much more enjoyable.

Also, the animation in the film is wonderful.

Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited - Hyoubu Kyousuke
(2008)

A very good series marred by pacing issues and lack of consequences for the characters.
This series starts out well and the world building is decent. I enjoyed the twist at the beginning that the one dude is a spy, and the first few episodes were pretty brutal. Hyoubu's crew ripping up other Espers could have been a good plot point, but it is relegated to a few small battles in the first half. The second half is rushed and not nearly as well paced as the first half. Also, there is no heaviness to the plot: Yes it was awful that all of Hyoubu's platoon were massacred, but the plot armor is so thick in this show that I was really surprised that Hyoubu's current crew didn't meet the same fate.

Not bad, not amazing, but it is very good.

Dorohedoro
(2020)

Wonderfully crazy, Harry Potter on Special K
This hits everything a good fiction show in this style should have:

Likable and three-dimensional characters Amazing animation Crazy world that doesn't take itself super seriously Great world building Just a blast to watch

I can't rec. this enough for anime fans as well as anyone who enjoys absurdest fiction.

Re: Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu: Hyouketsu no Kizuna
(2019)

A confusing prequel that removes too much from the manga.
I love the series as a whole and was interested in this prequel film. It isn't very good; there is just too much plot for this story to fit into 75 minutes. The manga version has more character development and explains where the mediator came from, why the main antagonists are after Emelia, the origins of Puck...and these are all missing from this film.

Read the manga version of this for a better prequel explanation as this film falls flat. It is far too confusing.

Ballmastrz 9009
(2018)

This show is freakin bananas. The number of references are insane.
If you liked SuperJail! you'll love the hell out of this. It's hilarious, the animation style is all over the place (in a good way!) and just a fun show. The characters are great. It's not incredible, but it's great.

The references to other shows and series are insane; Everything from Fist of the North Star to Spy vs. Spy, to Thomas the freakin Tank Engine are parodied. I doubt many people under 25 will catch all the references (e.g. the Vampire Hunter D episode, that anime is really old) but it really is something special that this show does.

Re: Zero kara hajimeru isekai seikatsu
(2016)

BRUTAL, Heartwarming, and amazing world building - SEASON 1 REVIEW
Not since Magical Girl Madoka have I ever been so floored by an anime series seemingly being one thing on the surface, yet being something so much more sinister and brutal at the core.

Going into this show, I only knew one thing; that the main protagonist, Subaru, can come back to life after dying. This is a pretty cool plot device and I decided to give it a go.

The first episode is decent- Subaru is essentially a gamer nerd that for some reason is not at all shocked or surprised to be transported to this other world. There is some slap-stick comedy and it is pretty light hearted. It didn't seem like this was going to be that different or a show, until he is straight up butchered and returns to when he first showed up in the new world. Now he must re-trace his steps...and then gets butchered again in only a few minutes. Now he must re-re-trace his steps...you get the idea. It is a great concept and creates an aspect of a thriller/ horror, especially when he meets his (First) killer in passing several hours before he was previously killed.

The first half of the season does some great world building and the main characters are all likable and three-dimensional. It does a great job helping Subaru grow as a character as his total lack of social skills that in the beginning were annoying, slowly get better and he becomes pretty likable. I will admit that there are some love-interest tropes here that are pretty cringe, but this is how I would imagine a person with no social skills to act in some strange new world: Like the protagonist of an RPG with very rigid gender roles and only a fictional understanding of how relationships work.

The second half though...BRUTAL. This is where I liken this to Magical Girl Madoka. Subaru had success going back in time during his previous deaths, but when he literally is butchered and destroyed over and over and over again, he starts to go crazy. It is shockingly well done and I'd even compare it to some David Lynch type horror: Watching your friends, innocent children, and yourself be butchered and murdered over and over without making any headway into finding a way to break the cycle.

When he finally does, and the White Whale battle happens, the series really transcends into 9/10 territory. Yes the romances are still weak, but everything else is so well done that I can forgive that.

I cannot wait for season 2!

Akame ga Kill!
(2014)

Disappointing - Way to many lame tropes make this mediocre series totally skippable
Akame ga Kill starts well enough, you have the fish out of water protagonist country boy who comes to the big city to make it big in the military. The city is corrupt, and in the first episode we see just how rotten and brutal the wealthy and ruling class treat everyone else. There are a group of assassins that are working to overthrow the government and punish those who oppress and destroy. Our main hero finds his way into the group, and now joins this group of assassins to fight for good.

It's a trite plot that has been done thousands of times before, and Akame does nothing to set it self apart from any other, similar, fictional series. The characters are all two-dimensional, the writing is just god awful in terms of gender roles (EVERY GIRL LOVES TO SHOP HAHA SO FUNNY!!) and the main protagonist is as Gary Stu as you can imagine.

The worst part of the series is how it tries to balance absolute brutality (towns people tortured and murdered) with really terrible comedy. Also, when really awful things happen, the characters don't act like they "should"; there is no weight to the loss of important people.

Overall it is a lame series that does nothing to make it worth watching over the thousands of other mediocre shows like it.

Kakegurui
(2017)

It's unique, flawed, and worth a watch.
This is one hell of a unique show and the first season is done incredibly well. Having a main protagonist who is a chaotic neutral (not bad, not good, and unpredictable) is fun. The first season was simple yet complex enough to really pull me in. It has great character development and many "OH DAMN!" moments that make it stand out. I'd easily give the first season a 9/10.

The second season was decent, but not nearly as polished. Way too many new characters, and the bets were either convoluted or meaningless. Possibly worth a watch, but the ending was completely lacking.

Season 1 - 9/10 Season 2 - 5/10

Series as a whole - 7/10

Watch the first season and if you really love it, go into the second season with lowered expectations.

The 13th Step
(2016)

Ignore the 12-Step zealots on here, this is a powerful and important message
It is very telling how many 1-star reviews are on here from angry people in 12-step groups who are angry about a documentary that details the terrible things that CAN happen in 12-step groups. Do these things happen in every group? Of course not, but they do happen and I have been a member of 12-step groups with disgusting older men who pray upon new young members for monetary and sexual gain. Court systems should not force people into these programs because they are not fully safe. There is an expectation of safety that new people have in these programs and it can easily lead to manipulation and harm for new members.

The film itself does a good job in covering the topic. It is a good documentary and one that more people need to be aware of.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
(2018)

Too many tired tropes and no sense of urgency make for a mediocre series.
I was interested in this series after hearing so many good things about it and, for the first six or so episodes I was really enjoying the series. However, by the time I reached the end of episode 15 or 16 (When Slime decimates the Orc Disaster), I lost interest in the series for numerous reasons.

The biggest problem in this series is that Slime is so OP and all major characters have ridiculous plot armor. I was greatly anticipating the battle between the orc army and the lizard army, but it was so bland. The war scenes were so boring and Slime and company made everything seem like a joke. I understand that most anime series have super OP main characters, but it just becomes boring.

God Eater
(2015)

Junk
The series is formulaic, unoriginal, and just ugly to watch. The constant breast closeups are so stupid, the characters are bland, it's just a mess of a show. I couldn't care less about the characters or plot. Awful.

One Punch Man: Wanpanman: The Martial Arts Tournament
(2019)
Episode 5, Season 2

What a boring mess of a season, I'm done with the show.
I loved the first season of OPM. It was well-written, unique, animated beautifully, and was one of the rare anime series that gained mainstream acclaim worldwide. Every episode of the original OPM was a treat to watch and it all came together perfectly in the end. The much hyped villain was no match for Saitama and Saitama's quest to find an actual challenge continued. The characters were well written as well, and it was able to juggle over a dozen main characters and not come off as shallow.

Season 2 is dreadfully boring. The animation is such a step down from last season, as are the characters and plot. The "hero-hunter" Garou is a joke character, terribly written, and in episode 3 or 4 (I can't remember, they are all so boring and generic) he ends up running into Saitama and is dispatched with no effort. It was stupid to have them meet up like that and kill any hope of a character being a match for Saitama. I don't care if Garou levels up or whatever, he lost all of his mystery and power (much like the new Star Wars trilogy where Kylo Ren is just a joke all around).

There are too many characters that are written poorly and two-dimensional. Saitama is such an afterthought in this season as well. Why was this written and directed so poorly?

This is how you kill a franchise. I'm five episodes in and I am done - I can't see how they can save this season with only 7 more episodes (around 2 and a half hours of actual episode) because they wrote Garou so poorly.

Ingress: The Animation
(2018)

Solid sci-fi Anime
I really enjoyed this series. I am not familiar with the game it is based on and it seems that you don't really need any previous knowledge of the game to enjoy the show.

The animation, story, characters, world-building, are all solid. It's an easy to follow story that focuses on just a handful of main characters. I've noticed a trend of recent Anime series focusing on dozens of main characters without much focus (e.g. Seven Deadly Sins) and it felt good to focus on about half a dozen characters, each with their own story arcs and character development. All of the main characters are well-rounded with motivations that make sense and some possible plot holes are explained and fixed as the series progresses and gives the viewer more information, which I think is a nice touch. While it isn't necessarily groundbreaking, it is a great series that hits the mark more often than not and is another solid addiction to the Netflix Anime collection.

Love, Death & Robots
(2019)

A New Liquid Television for a New Generation
In the early to mid 1990's, MTV was one of the few avenues in western society that someone could find visual media that went against the grain; not "edgy" so to speak (ok, SOME were way too edgy), but more hardcore and explicit than any other television network at the time. The internet was a niche form of technology at this time and, besides VHS Tape buying and trading, network and cable TV were the only way to watch visual media outside of movie theaters.

Liquid Television was a half-hour block of short animations done by various artists that ran from 1991-1994. It was the breeding grounds for numerous shows that would go on to be cult classics such as Aeon Flux, The Head, and The Maxx. It was also where the first episode of Beavis and Butthead aired, a series that would become one of the most successful animated franchises of all time.

As the 90's went on, numerous animated shows such as South Park, King of the Hill, and many others could trace their roots to the counter-culture animations, puppet shows, and other crazy shorts that graced American screens through Liquid Television. It wasn't all great though; I've gone back to watch some of these and think to myself "How the hell did I or ANYONE find this amusing or funny when it came out?". There was a good deal of crap to sift through to find some of the gems (Joe Normal still makes me laugh today).

With the advent of broadband internet in the mid 2000's, YouTube provided an outlet that was tailored for the type of media on Liquid Television. I was surprised and excited to hear that Love, Death & Robots had a very Liquid Television feel to it and that a show like this was being made for the massive Netflix audience. I was also happy to hear that all of the shorts had the benefit of decent budgets in their creation. The Liquid Television shorts were usually done on a shoe-string budget and had a raw-animated style to them with many relying on their writing to get their point across.

Love Death and Robots is amazing. It captures everything that made Liquid Television such a groundbreaking series. Zima Blue is one of the best written pieces of fiction I've ever seen.

Revenger
(2018)

What a let down
I am a huge fan of South Korean and other Asian revenge style films. Some of the best of these include I Saw the Devil, Oldboy, Bedeviled, The Man From Nowhere, Mother, Onk Bak 2 and 3, and countless other amazing films that not only provide great plots, but also amazing cinematography and fighting scenes.

Revenger has none of this. There is the bare minimum of a plot, the fight scenes are below-average, the characters are bland and two-dimensional, and the way that it changes language constantly is annoying. I usually check IMDB before watching a film, but this looked right up my alley. After an hour, I paused it, saw the current 5.5 score, and turned it off. I couldn't care less about the characters and the film just sucked.

Strong recommendation to avoid. See the other movies I mentioned if you want to see a film like this done well.

Devilman: Crybaby
(2018)

An incredibly well done series that does justice to the Devilman brand (Non-Spolier and Spoiler Review)
Nonspoiler review and a Spoiler-Heavy review:

NONSPOILER: Devilman: Crybaby is the latest in the Devilman anime series. There are numerous animated versions of this brand that date back to decades ago with a (now rather hokey old Speed Racer anime type show) Japanese television series. The series was revisited numerous times, most notably in the 90's when the MANGA brand brought back the show for a mini-series that updated the animation style, violence, and it was one of the bigger anime shows of the Western anime boom in the mid to late 90's. Devilman: Crybaby succeeds in bringing the brand to 2018 with a wonderfully well executed animation style, fast-paced plot, great characters, and doesn't have any of the hokey Japanese anime humor that often falls flat for Western Audiences.

I would recommend this show to anyone interested in a fast-paced, violent, action packed animated series that is written well and doesn't fall into many of the traps that other anime series fall into. This is an anime series that is catered towards western audiences, which may or may not be a good thing. I see a previous review that was upset with the nihilistic nature of the show and I agree that this is a very hard, NC-17, watch at times though, so be prepared.

SPOILER HEAVY: . . . Damn this show caught me off guard. I had seen it advertised a few weeks ago and was intrigued. I have seen a number of the Devilman branded animated shows; the original one I watched about a dozen episodes of 15 years ago when I picked up a cheap DVD set of it and thought it was ok, but I really enjoyed the 90's MANGA mini-series version of Devilman while I was a teenager in the 1990's.

Devilman: Crybaby's first half doesn't have much new if you have already seen the 90's mini-series. It has the same main characters with the same methods to turn Akira into Devilman, and also has some of the same enemy fights (the bird-woman, the turtle thing that ate Akira's parents with the faces shell) that are fought in the same style. What the first half does help with is building Ryo as the antagonist and also establishes about a dozen other characters who really help in expanding the scope of the series.

It is also a breath of fresh air that this series knows when to hold back and when to let loose. There are too many anime series where the stakes seem to never be high enough to really care about the characters. KuroMukuro is a prime example of this; the fact that there are cyborg aliens attacking the Earth seems to be almost a non-issue at times. Knights of Sidonia also fell victim to this in the second season as it felt like there is no sense of urgency in these shows. Other shows like Attack on Titan fall in the other group; always at a 10 with no real character development.

Devilman: Crybaby's first half helps to build the world and extra characters of the series. An example of this is the beat-box rappers seem to be one dimensional at first, but we actually care about them. Watching "Beta" Miki obsessing over her inability to beat her rival in running and go to the extreme of becoming a demon is another great part of the series before the second half when everything goes to hell, and damn does it go to hell in the second half.

After President Trump's brief first Anime Appearance of the year where the world finds out about the demons, the entire world goes to hell. The show goes from being about Akira fighting demons to the people of the world going crazy, not knowing who could be infected as a demon. It reminded me of Steven Carpenter's remake of The Thing on a grander scale and shows the dark side of humanity where panic can cause people to turn on one another and revert back to primal instincts. Ryo's trick news conference was analogous with some of the ultra-conservative movements currently happening around the world that vilify anyone who does not seem to be a "normal" citizen. Seeing the brutality of the mob-rules vigilante justice is hard to watch but also not hard to imagine.

Seeing the relationship with Mika and Miko end with them trying to save one another, even with all the animosity between them, was something else that was well done.

Ryo turning out to be Satan himself was a rather unique twist as was the series ending with Akira's death and God destroying the world and rebuilding it again back to its original form. The viewer is left to wonder if this is a cycle that has repeated before and/or is it a cycle that will continue to repeat endlessly.

Also of note, Akira does run close to Mary Sue/Gary Stu territory at times as a character who cannot do anything bad, but he eventually does break bad towards the end by killing the humans that killed his friends.

The gratuitous nudity, sex, violence, and just straight up weird shit (Akira having a wet-dream as a demon and waking up to his ceiling covered in cum was nasty as hell) is probably a turn-off for many and I can see why some people would write-off the series because of it.

That being said, this is a solid 9/10 for me and a great addition to the growing Netflix catalogue.

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