Category Archives: Tv series reviews

Your lie in April, Anime tv series (2014)

Sometimes you come across something that is so special, that it is almost impossible to put it into words. Your lie in April is just that. To simply call this an anime series, is almost to do it an injustice. Because it is so much more than that. I have seen quite a lot of anime (but trust me when I say that I am still a newbie to this wonderful  medium), but this is without a doubt the best and most emotional series that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. I am so excited to share my thoughts with you on this, that I can barely contain myself. But I am getting ahead on things.

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Yes, riding a bike like this can be very dangerous. 

Before I begin my loveletter to this anime, I have to thank someone namely Weekendotaku. Now I have been following his blog for quite a few months now (and seriously if you are not yet subscribed to it, please do so now. I promise you won’t regret it.) and he has always had very insightful reviews which have been a blast to read. On the 2nd of April he started a new feature on his blog, namely a rewatch of this series. I joined in and every day a new episode would be watched and reviewed on which we and everyone else who had joined could exchange thoughts. It was great, it was emotional, it was fun, and I would not have wanted to miss this for the world. So once again: thank you!

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So beautiful……

In Your lie in April we meet up with the promising pianist Kousei Arima. Well, at least he was promising, but because of a traumatic event in his childhood, he can’t hear the notes anymore while playing. Just to clarify, Kousei is not deaf, in fact his hearing is perfectly fine. Kousei has two very good friends, Tsubaki and Watari, who have been with him since childhood. Even though Kousei has very little colour in his life, he has resigned himself to that. One day though, everything changes when he meets up with a girl called Kaori. Kaori plays the violin, has a sparkling personality and is almost the opposite of Kousei in every way. Still, she slowly begins to draw Kousei back into the world of music. But Kaori also has a secret, and when that secret will be revealed, it might be too much for Kousei to bear……

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Erm…..you were going to say something?

Now I am a man, and there seems to be a general rule, that a real man does not cry. But recently I heard something else as well, a real man is not afraid to show his feelings. Well, let me tell you this, I have literally had tears in my eyes so many times while I watched this, that it took me completely by surprise. Anyone who says that anime is just shallow, and only for kids should maybe start watching this series. To tell too much about this anime would be to do you a disservice. It is something that you have to discover for yourself. But I will attempt to at least make you understand why this series is so very special.

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I did not know that pounding on someone’s head could make them laugh. 

First off it is the characters. Never before have I had such an attachment to characters in an animated series. When you first lay eyes on Kaori, you will fall in love with her. Her personality, strength, and everything she does in this series is so incredible, that she feels completely lifelike. And no, I am not turning crazy, I still know we are talking about an anime, but once you have seen this, you will know what I am talking about. But it was not only Kaori. So many characters, both with smaller and bigger parts in the series, were absolutely amazing. I could especially relate to Tsubaki, as the role she plays came so close to my personal life, that at times  it was hard to watch.

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Yep, even the fireflies agree that you need to watch this series.

But it is the story itself, filled with so many touching and heartbreaking moments, that really takes this anime to another level. Especially during the later episodes, this series will take you on an emotional rollercoaster that simply does not stop. I really recommend having a box of tissues standing by, because you are going to need them. The animation is breath taking. There are so many scenes that are presented so beautifully, that it is not possible to pick a favorite. And nor would I want to. Lastly there is the music. Even if you are not a fan of classical music, it fits this anime so perfectly, that you will be spellbound by it. There are numerous scenes on stage with various different performances, each one more beautiful than the other.

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This picture pretty much sums up how I feel about this anime. 

So is there nothing negative to report about this series? Well, maybe just one small thing. There can be very abrupt changes in tone. Sometimes you are in the middle of a very emotional scene, to have that turn into slapstick comedy two seconds later. This was especially so in the beginning of the series, but trust me when I say that this will grow on you. And with so many moments in which this anime does not hold back it’s punches in emotion, it is also nice to have some comedy to relief the tension. Well if everything you have read here so far has not already made it clear, let me spell it out for you. I loved this show. It is by far the best anime that I have ever seen in my life, and it has been an experience that I will remember forever. If you have yet to watch this series, go do so right now. Be prepared to become hooked and fall in love with everything this show has to offer. And that really is not a lie…..

I give Your lie in April a 10 out of 10 score.

 

 

Macross Zero, Anime tv series (2002)

Prequels. It is a concept that the past few years has been introduced in novels, movies, and tv series. The question I have always asked myself is what is precisely the point of a prequel ? Sure it is nice to find out some backstory about certain characters, or some kind of clarification about events that were not fully explained in whatever the prequel is based on. But because a prequel can ofcourse not change the events of the established story, I always find that it lacks excitement. You know the story of what comes after, and ofcourse which characters will be in the original so they can’t be killed off in the prequel. If done well however, it can occasionally be fun to find out what led up to certain events happening in the original story. Honestly though, I am not a big fan of prequels. I do watch them,especially for franchises that I really enjoy like for instance the anime series Macross. Just like Gundam Wing it has now had so many different shows, that it is hard to keep track of it all. I might do a post for the entire Macross saga in the future. For now, all you need to know for this one, is that Macross Zero is a prequel to the series that started it all.

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I believe I can fly….

It is the year 1999 and a gigantic alien spacecraft crashlands on Earth. At the time the world is engulfed in a global war, but with the realisation that mankind is not alone, an uneasy peace is established. Nine years later, a lot of new technology has been realised with the help of what is found within the bowels of the alien ship. Most notably the transformable Valkyrie fighters. Even though the war has pretty much died down, there are still a lot of skirmishes between the new U.N.Spacy and Anti-Un forces. During one of these fights, we meet up with the young pilot Shin Kudo, who gets shot down by a strange alien craft. Crashlanding on a Mayan island he manages to survive. When he meets up with the inhabitants of the island, he soon realises that they have a secret that ties them to the alien ship. Deep under the ocean there resides an alien weapon that has been buried for over 10.000 years. A weapon that may result in the end of mankind when released……

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Nothing can keep us apart, except maybe a pink bubbly thing.

One thing that Macross has always been good at, is showcasing transformable fighter planes that beat the crap out of each other. And in that regard Macross Zero certainly does not disappoint. This 5 part series showcases some of the coolest Mecha fight sequences in this franchise to date. This being a prequel it was nice to see a lot of the old craft from the original series returning, most notably the Skull One. But there were also some new Mecha that we did not yet see in any of the other series. These fights were definitely the highlight of the show.

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Kind of gives a new dimension to the word overkill.

Another thing that has always been a trademark for this series is the love triangle arc. This time it is between the hero of the story Shin, and two sisters from the island on which he crashlands, Sara and Mao Nome. The characters in this franchise are usually one of the strong points, but in this prequel I found them to be rather dull. I did not establish any kind of attachment to them whatsoever, and that usually is a bad thing. What I did like was the return of the tragic hero from the original series Roy Focker. Even though he played he a small part in the events for this series, it was an important one. As Roy has always been a fan favorite character, many will enjoy seeing his return.

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Yep, that really is Roy Focker.

The story for this prequel was rather confusing. It contained a lot of mythical mumbo jumbo, that I at times could not make heads nor tails of. This being a prequel it does ofcourse contain some interesting ties to the original series, and I guess that makes it somewhat worth it. Has it changed my view on prequels though? Nope, I can honestly say that it did not. Macross Zero is worth the watch for the incredible Mecha fights that are contained within these five episodes, but ultimately I found it to be a rather disappointing entry into the Macross mythology. If you like Macross though, this is one you at least want to watch once, if only to see a few classic things make a reappearance. If you have yet to discover Macross, I would recommend starting with the original tv series from 1982, which is still every bit as groundbreaking as when it was first shown on television.

I give Macross Zero a 6 out of 10 score.

Kishin Corps, Anime tv series (1993)

Ah, classic anime. Sometimes it can just be nice to rewatch something that you vaguely remember that you enjoyed at the time, but most of the details for it have become a distant memory. Kishin Corps was a series that I owned on videotape (you know, those black boxes that contained tape and that you put into a machine called a VCR to show videos). A couple of weeks ago I visited the Dutch Comic Con, where my eyes fell on the dvd boxed set for this 24 year old animeseries. I could not believe my eyes to be honest, and I decided to buy it. I just simply could not resist. But is this series still as great as when I first saw it, or has age caught up with this one?

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Kishin Corps takes place during the Second World War, albeit a very different one from the one we read about in the history books. We first meet up with a young boy called Taishi who is entrusted with a mysterious black box by his father. The train on which they are travelling together suddenly gets attacked by the Kanto army. While fleeing for his life, a second party appears, but this one of extraterrestrial origin. A furious battle ensues, in which Taishi only just manages to escape, but then gets cornered. Just when things become extremely desperate, the heroes of the series appear: the Kishin Corps. Taishi then gets caught up in the middle of an adventure the likes of which he has never experienced before in his life. The black box that he has in his possession, contains alien technology, that becomes the focal point for a power struggle. With both the Aliens and the Nazis trying to achieve world domination, the only hope lies with the members of the Kishin Corps and their powerful robots. Will they be able to stop the tides of war?

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Kishin Corps is a very unique series. While this anime is set during the WWII era, we get a very different take on it. This is a Mecha series, but we don’t get the fast robots that you might be used to. No, instead we get towering robots that move slowly, and let the ground shake with every step they take. The robots are seriously cool and gorgeously designed, and those alone make this anime well worth watching. Most of the characters are very colourful, and one of the highlights of this series. It is really fun to see how Taishi grows from a very innocent young boy, into a more mature man by the end of the show. The members of the Kishin Corps themselves also each have their own unique traits. I do have to say, that I would have liked to have seen some more background for them. There are real life figures that also make an appearance, like Albert Einstein and even Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress. Although most of them are completely different in the way that history remembers them.

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This being a 24 year old series, the animation style is pretty dated. This is old school anime and it shows. It did not detract me in any way from the series itself though. The soundtrack for this anime is very cool, and often reminded me a bit of Indiana Jones if I were to make a comparison. As far as the storyline goes, it starts off pretty well, but towards the end, things were rushed a bit. As such I felt the ending was poor, and honestly was not as good as I remembered it. It is funny how your mind can play tricks on you, with things such as this. Still, if you like classic anime, and also enjoy alternative history storylines, this series most certainly is a treat. With a cast of cool characters, high speed action, and big robots that smash the life out of each other this classic is still worth the watch. If you prepare yourself for an ending that could have been handled better, you might get a kick out of this 7 episode series.

I give Kishin Corps a 8 out of 10 score.

Knights of Sidonia Season 2, Anime tv series (2015)

I watched the first season of Knights of Sidonia quite a while back. (You can find my review for it here). While the series started off pretty slow, and was definitely not without it’s flaws, it eventually started to grow on me. Now recently D from Dtalksanime has started on this show, and I thought this would be as good a time as any to start watching season 2. First though, if you have not yet subscribed to the fantastic blog of D, do that first. They have great reviews on anime, post that are always a joy to read, and not only that they are great to talk to, so seriously what is there not to like: subscribe….now. So for those of you who are not exactly up to speed as to what this series is about I will give a very short discription. Obviously this anime takes place in the future. Humanity is on the brink of extinction fighting an alien race called the Gauna. A gigantic colony ship called Sidonia, is pretty much all that remains of the human race. Think Battlestar Galactica, but with subtle differences.

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The second season of this anime continues the story that began in season 1, and picks up almost right after the end of the first season. Garde pilot Nagate Tanikaze is out with his group about to engage a new and gigantic Gauna, that threatens to destroy the Sidonia. But just when the fight is about to start a new enemy enters the scene. As if one Gauna is not enough, two are more than a handful. It is right at that moment that something strange happens. The second Gauna engages the first one, and destroys it completely. Utterly baffled by this strange behaviour, the crew of Sidonia don’t know what to make of this. Is this new Gauna friend or foe? The answer to this question lies within Sidonia itself, and might hold the key to winning the war against the Gauna once and for all.

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So…Knights of Sidonia season 2. Where to begin? The first season of this anime was often criticised for it’s lack of character development. You never quite felt an emotional attachment to them, and that makes it hard to get invested in a series. With this second season it almost seems like they are trying to remedy that flaw, as the series spents much more time with the characters themselves, and focusses less on action. This would not be a bad thing were it not for the fact that this often resulted in a few pretty boring episodes, where not much of anything happened. I don’t mind slow, if it is going somewhere, but often there were just some things in the series that I felt could have been left behind.

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The series shines in the episodes that featured action, and it was during those episodes that I really enjoyed it. There were a couple of very cool Mecha fight sequences, especially during the last few episodes of the series. In the end though I found this second season not quite as good as the first one. The pacing was at times simply to slow, and I felt my mind starting to wander off, which is usually not a good sign. I had hoped that this season would answer every question that was still left unanswered, but the series ends without a resolution. There is still no official confirmation that this series will get a third season. But I honestly wonder if I will even bother watching it when it does get a release. I was pretty disappointed by this second season. Still, there are enough moments that do make it a worthwhile watch, especially if you liked the first season. Just be prepared to not see anything really surprising though.

I give Knights of Sidonia season 2 a 6 out of 10 score.

Blood-C, Anime tv series (2011)

I think horror can roughly be categorised into two parts: psychological horror, and the often not very subtle gory horror. I like both genres, it often depends a bit on my mood, but I do have to say that I am more of psychological horror fan myself. It is usually more scary as well, and I do love the jumpscares that are almost always included within those movies. That said, there are also a lot of horrorfilms out there, that have buckets of blood in them, and are very enjoyable in their own way. In Anime enough examples can be found that contain enormous amounts of graphic violence and gore. But I don’t think there has ever been a title that described better what the show is about than Blood-C.

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Blood-C tells the story of the young girl Saya. At first glance she seems like a pretty normal girl who lives with her father in a shrine in the woods. She goes to school during the day, and occasionally visits the small town located near her home. But as is so often the case, things are not always what they seem. Because during the night, Saya transforms into a fearsome monster slayer. Fighting creatures called Elder Bairns, the only one who knows about this side of Saya is her father. But when the attacks become more frequent, and the lives of everyone in town are threatened, Saya’s secret is becoming increasingly harder to protect. But just who is Saya? With strange memories beginning to surface in her mind, Saya is beginning to wonder if everything that she had been told is really the truth. The real horror might be more than Saya can handle….

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To say that Blood-C is gory, is an understatement. This series contains more blood than 10 horrorfilms mixed together. Literally entire fountains of the red substance are shown in every episode. It contains absolutely incredibly graphic and violent death sequences, and as such is not for the faint of heart. Blood-C is a follow up to the (pretty amazing) anime movie Blood: the last Vampire, which in turn was followed by the series Blood+. Now as you might have guessed, this series is not very subtle. Every episode is basically Saya fighting some kind of new creature, and as such a storyline is almost non-existent. I do say almost, because a very interesting twist in the story that occurs during episode 11, saves it from becoming a really predictable show.

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As for the characters in the series, they are very forgettable. Except for Saya, the rest of the cast in this series is very dull, and contain little to no depth at all. This also makes it hard to become attached to characters, and even when they die (and there are a lot of deaths in this anime), you could not care less. The animation style is very good though. The fight sequences, which are the highlights of the show, are cool and amazing to look at. The last thing worth mentioning is the musical score, which sounds epic, especially during the many fights that Saya gets into.

Now, I don’t know exactly why, but there was something about this series that I liked. Yes, it is bloody, and basically every episode is more or less the same, but the series is just very easy to get into and highly enjoyable to look at. If you get put off easily by graphic violence or squeamish at the sight of one drop of blood, you had best avoid this series. When you like action, gory horror, and don’t care if the story is almost not here, you might give this one a try. There will be blood though….oh yes…

I give Blood-C a 7 out of 10 score.

Steins;Gate,Anime tv series (2011)

Timetravelling. From movies such as Back to the Future and The Terminator, it has always been a concept that is endlessly fascinating. And why not? Would it not be incredibly awesome if one day the concept would become a reality? And where would you go? Would you travel to the past and correct certain mistakes that you have made ? Or would you head into the future and see what your life would be like there? Whatever choice you make, it will never be entirely without consequences. Who is to say that correcting a past mistake might not end up resulting in a future that is even worse? And when you already know what might happen in the future, would that not take the fun out of living your life? A lot of movies that deal with timetravelling deal with questions such as these. The highly rated and fanfavorite Anime series Steins;Gate is definitely no exception to this rule.

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When Steins;Gate starts we meet up with the strange and pretty goofy character Rintaro Okabe. He sees himself as a “mad scientist” and pretty much can’t stop talking about that fact. Seeing conspiracies everywhere, he also runs a labarotory in his appartment together with his friends the loveable Mayuri Shiina and Itaru Hashida. One day Rintaro attends a conference about time travel, a subject that has become a complete obsession for him. A firm believer in the fact that this can really be achieved it is not long after that he and his fellow lab members find out by accident that there definitely is a truth to this fact. Unfortunately however, Rintaro and his friends are about to find out that playing with time has it’s consequences. Ironically enough the imagined conspiracies Okabe has been afraid of all his life, will soon become a reality. And the lives of everyone he loves, as well as the fate of the world itself will hang in the balance….

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Steins;Gate has been recommended to me be my so many people that is was a very hard show to resist. Featuring time travel, one of my favorite science fiction concepts, already had me interested in it. Seeing the very high ratings this show has received over the years, I expected a lot from this series. And…..I am sorry to say that these expectations were not met. The first half of this series is just incredibly slow. I don’t mind slow series at all, but with all the quirky and crazy things happening in the beginning it was at times hard to stick with it. But I already knew that, as everyone kept saying that the series would redeem itself in the second part. By the time I had reached episode 12 the series really did change. It became very dark, and it was almost as if you were watching an entirely different show.

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Although the second part certainly had a lot of amazing twists, and some very clever timetravelling concepts, I still could not get into it enough for me to truly enjoy the series. One thing I did enjoy though were the characters. Rintaro reminds me a lot of Mel Gibson’s character from the briljant movie Conspiracy Theory. Completely nuts at times, but still a lot of fun to watch. The same goes for his childhood friend Mayuri, who is simply adorable, and one of those characters that you just instantly care about. The animation style and music also really fit this series. Even though there are certainly shows out there that have a higher level of animation, it just seemed right for this show.

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The plot of this series is clever, but because of the sometimes weird humor in the series, I often had a hard time wondering what this series wanted itself to be. As a comedy it certainly worked at times, and there were also quite a few episodes in the second half of the series that had me on the edge of my seat. Overall though the series was a bit too slow for my tastes. I have no regrets watching this, and it really is one of those series that does keep sticking around in your mind, which I guess is a good thing . Maybe in a few months time I will rewatch this series and might even rate it somewhat higher. For now though I can not help but feel slightly disappointed by the show after the incredible amount of hype this has received. As with everything, this is just a matter of opinion, so certainly don’t take my word on it alone. Go and judge this series for yourself, but do take your TIME for it though…..

I give Steins;Gate a 7 out of 10 score.

The Flash Season 1, American tv series (2014)

Superheroes are hot. Where in the past reading comic books and talking about it was something that was pretty much reserved for geeks (and I am proud to be a geek, thank you very much), these days superheroes have become incredibly popular in todays culture. This is partly because of the enormous succes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Marvel expanding and integrating pretty much all of their superheroes, it is something that has become really unique. Marvel’s biggest rival, DC, has so far unsuccessfully tried to do the same with their superhero franchises. Last year’s Batman vs. Superman, a movie I quite enjoyed, was not received very well by most of the moviegoing audience. This year, they get to try again with Wonder Woman and Justice League. However as unsuccessful as they are on the big screen, DC has been very succesful on the small screen. Arrow has been one of their most popular shows, and when a show has that many fans, it is almost inevitable that a spinoff series at one point will get a green light. And so we now have The Flash, but is that series as good as Arrow?

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The Flash focusses on Barry Allen, a young man who through an accident, becomes the fastest man on Earth. As a young boy Barry loses his mother in a strange incident. His father is accused of the murder, and is sent to jail. In the first season, Barry tries to find out who is behind the murder of his mother. He receives help from the mysterious but kind dr. Harrison Wells and a team of friends at S.T.A.R. Labs. But as the season progresses, and Barry gets more comfortable in his role as the new protector of the city, The Flash, he will find out that not everything is as it seems….With new and more powerful enemies appearing every day, The Flash will certainly have his hands full. Will he find out who is the real enemy though?

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Arrow is a show that is very dark, and even though it has it’s funny moments, overall the series has a very serious tone to it. The Flash is the complete opposite of that. The best way to describe the show is just by simply one word: fun. The Flash just simply puts a smile on your face whenever you watch it. I would not go so far as by calling this show a comedy, there are too many serious events happening to call it that. But it does have a very light tone to it, and that is refreshing especially when considering that The Flash has it’s origin in Arrow. The cast of characters is one of the show’s stronger points.

Barry himself is played by Grant Gustin, an actor that I myself had never heard of before, but I doubt that there is someone out there who could have been better suited to play the part. Grant just seems born for the role, and it really shows in the way he plays the The Flash. The other actor who is worth mentioning is Tom Cavanagh who plays the role of doctor Harrison Wells. His sense of calm, and mysteriousness is for me one of the highlights of the entire show. The other castmembers are also very good in their own ways, and only add to the strength of this series.

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This first season has a lot of great and wonderful episodes. Sure there are a few episodes that are not as good, but pretty much every tv series has it’s ups and downs. Another thing that is a lot of fun is the fact that many characters from Arrow make guest appearances. It really is great to see how these two shows work so very well together, and now with both Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow joining the same universe it can only get better. The Flash is a perfect example of how a spinoff series can definitely grow to be as good and sometimes even better than the original. For those of you that thought Arrow was too dark at times, I highly recommend checking this series out. You can watch it even if you have never seen Arrow as the series only references some small things that happened in the aforementioned show. Basically this is just a fun series, which should appeal to pretty much every superhero fan out there.

I give The Flash season 1 a 9 out of 10 score.

Arrow Season 3, American tv series (2015)

For those of you that might have been worried that my blog has died, I am here to put your minds at ease: no it has not gone dark. The past few weeks I have had something on my mind, which unfortunately at times robs me of the fun and energy to write a post. It is nothing serious, but it keeps circling around in my head. So my apologies for that, but I have tried to keep up with everyone’s blogs as much as I could. But enough about that, before this turns into a post about me, let’s do another review. Where Marvel shines on the big screen, it is pretty much the DC universe that rules the small screen. One of their most succesful series to date has been Arrow. It is not very hard to see why this is. The superhero show has fantastic special effects, great action, and a really appealing and ever growing cast of characters. The third season was definitely no exception to this rule.

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This third season of Arrow was all about identity. Oliver Queen has to face his worst enemy to date in the form of Ra’s al Ghul. When someone close to Oliver gets murdered, the Arrow crew will have to put everything on the line to find out who is behind it all. Even if this means forming alliances with some of their worst enemies. But it is not only that, Oliver himself will have to turn into something else. Even if that means that in the end he might end up losing all he cares about, and those who are his friends….

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Arrow season 3 has been the darkest season to date. And it is because of this that this entire season felt different than the previous ones. Besides it being dark, we also have a lot of new characters that made their entrance in this season, most notably Ray Palmer played by Brandon Routh. Now most of you will remember Brandon for his role in Superman Returns (a role I still think he played very well), and you can see the absolute joy he has in playing the character of Palmer. His chemistry with Felicity, really works, and I also thought the superhero character he ultimately turns into, is very cool.

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The story for this season, as mentioned earlier, was very dark, and that’s why it was great that there were at least a few lighter moments as well. Most of the comedy relief this season comes from Felicity (played by the amazing Emily Bett Rickards). Her character is just a joy to watch, and she just instantly lights up a scene when she enters it. Thea Queen, played by Willa Holland, was a character I did not enjoy this season. I am sorry to say that her turning into a sword fighting type of hero, just did not have me convinced. All in all though, this season is highly enjoyable. With numerous guest appearances by the Flash, it really seems that the DC television series universe is growing into something just as cool as the Marvel cinematic universe. If you have yet to discover Arrow, you are in for a treat (ofcourse start with season 1). Everyone who already knows the show will find this season to be every bit as good as the previous ones.

I give Arrow season 3 a 9 out of 10 score.

Psycho-Pass, Anime Tv Series (2012)

Throughout history crime has always been a problem in every country. With so many people living on this planet, there will always be people who find a thrill in committing a crime. Even though law enforcement has improved in the past centuries, it has never been succesful in completely wiping out criminal behaviour. And I don’t think there will ever come a time when crime will be a thing of the past. But what if there was a way to fully eradicate crime in our society?  And what would that world be like? It is this very intriguing storyline that is the focus for the anime series Psycho-Pass. And let me tell you in advance….what a fantastic roller coaster ride this has been!

Psycho-Pass takes place in a future Japan, where people’s minds are being continuously monitored for their mental state. The system responsible for monitoring these states, Sybil, can pretty acurately predict in this way the chances of a person planning to commit a crime. The data that is collected in this way results in a person’s Psycho-Pass rating. When the rating is above a certain number, a special unit of law enforcement is called in to either apprehend or kill the suspect. Psycho-Pass focusses on the young rookie Akane, who has just entered unit One of this special brand of police. Not quite prepared for everything that is thrown her way, on her first day she has to work together with her new colleagues. However these colleagues, the so called Enforcers, are themselves latent criminals. The Enforcers are placed under the guidance of normal police agents, who have a license to apprehend or even kill them should they pose a danger to the public. Akane soon realises that the job she has taken on might be more than she signed up for. Especially when a ruthless criminal appears who seems to have found a flaw in the Sybil system….

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One of the things that I find very important in anything I watch is that I can have an attachment to the characters. And oh boy, does this Anime have a truly wonderful mix of those lined up. The main Enforcer Kougami was a character that I pretty much liked from the very first minute he showed up. Everything he does has just got a very sense of coolness to it, and I also enjoyed the constant conflict that seemed to be inside him. The young rookie Akane, also went through an amazing journey throughout this series, and I loved the way how her character developed throughout the show. The rest of the cast, most notably the old Enforcer Masaoka and the villain Makishima, are also seriously entertaining.

The storyline of the series is the absolute highlight of this anime. It deals with a lot of themes, and it gives you a lot of food for thought at the end of this show. One really has to wonder about the morality of a society where everything you do or think is being monitored. The show has a lot of surprises and twists in store throughout it’s 22 episode run. The animationstyle is very cool, and I especially liked the use of colour in this anime. Lastly the music in the series adds to to the overall atmosphere of the show, and makes it an even more interesting watch. This review would not be complete without mentioning the Dominators (pictured below), the weapons that are used to subdue or kill the potential criminals. This was really one of the greatest pieces of hardware I have ever seen in an Animeseries. The first time I saw it being used in Lethal mode, I think my jaw must have hit the floor.

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I have pretty much nothing negative to say about this series. One could argue that there were a few slower episodes in the series, but that would be nitpicking. Overall this is simply a very entertaining sci-fi epic, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes movies such as Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell. I have heard that the 2nd season for this series has been a bit of a disappointment. I always judge things for myself, but it would be a real shame if that were to be true. Psycho-Pass is simply put, Anime gold, and is one of those series that is an absolute must watch.

I give Psycho-Pass a 9 out of 10 score.

Alderamin on the Sky, Anime tv series (2016)

Alexander the Great. Genghis Khan. Hannibal. Napoleon Bonaparte. All of these were great military strategists, that have fought wars with their armies and have won many of them through employing some briljant strategies. Wars in the past were always determined in the end, by the men that waged them, and through the commanders that gave the orders. Times have changed, and even though strategies are still important, these days wars at times feel like computergames. With the power to drop bombs on remote locations through the action of just flicking a switch, one has to wonder at the insanity of it all. Not that war has ever been sane anyway. The Animeseries Alderamin on the Sky can at times be compared to a game of chess. And unlike modern days, in this series we focus again on military strategies, and a man named Ikta Solork, who is destined to become a very important general.

Alderamin on the Sky takes place in a fantasy world, and focusses on two nations, the Kiorka Republic, and the Katjvarna Empire. Both of those nations have been embroiled in a war for a very long time, with apparently no end in sight. Ikta Solork is a man that pretty much despises the war. He has no taste for it, is lazy, and has far better uses for his time namely chasing women. One day while aboard a ship together with one of his long time friends, the fiery swordswoman Yatori, they both get caught up in the war in a very unpredicatable way. It is not before long that Ikta is in training for the Empire, and it is here that his true genius is beginning to take form. With the war closing in all around him, Ikta might become his countries greatest hero. And in the desperate times ahead, his military mind will be needed more than ever….

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I have had a love/hate relationship with this series. The first few episodes were great. We got to learn the main characters, and I especially liked the two leads Ikta and Yatori. Ikta is just a very unlikely hero. In the beginning he is a skirtchasing man, who just doesn’t fit the bill to become this all important hero. Yatori is a very skilled swordswoman, with great fighting techniques, and a strength to her that is instantly likeable. We are teased with a storyline that supposedly will lead up to a future where great battles and things that will change the world are supposed to happen. As the series progressed however, more and more characters were being added. That in itself would not be a bad thing, were it not for the fact that these characters had so little screentime that you almost had no time to get an attachment to them.

The storyline also dragged on and on, especially in the middle segment of the series, where not much of anything happened. With so many characters that were pretty flat, and a storyline that made little progress, I found my initial interest in the series start to fade. The last few episodes were a bit better, but with a pretty open ending to the series, it also did not bring about a proper closure. This series feels very much as a prelude to great things that may yet come (perhaps if this series might get a second season). The animation and music are very good, and a few battles were really cool to watch, especially with Ikta’s strategies coming into the light. I really wanted to like this show, and honestly it isn’t all bad. In the end though there were just to many things in the show that I did not like, to fully recommend this one.

I give Alderamin on the Sky a 6 out 10 score.