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Rozen Maiden: Zuruckspulen: Complete Collection
Rozen Maiden: Zuruckspulen: Complete Collection
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
Price: $53.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Living Dolls, August 25, 2014
Jun Sakurada is a middle school hikikomori who one day receives a strange letter asking him if he will "wind or not wind". He chooses to wind and soon strange living BJDs (ball joined dolls) called Rozen Maidens are showing up at his door. In another universe, collage student Jun Sakurada chose not to wind. He hates his classes, his job, and his life. Everything changes when he receives a text from the self that wound.

I never saw the original Rozen Maiden or read the manga or knew much about it other than it involved living dolls. The first episode of this series was therefore a little confusing, but while I am sure much went over my head, the rest of the story was easy to catch on to.

I found the collage Jun's struggles and growth to be the most interesting part of the series. He starts out totally pathetic, but by the end he has grown enough to start taking hold of his life and making a change.

I liked the character designs and art style, and the dolls seemed a very accurate portrayal of the BJDs I've seen. At one point collage Jun assembles a doll and you get to see all of the parts and how they fit together.

If you like dolls, this series is probably worth checking out for that alone. If you fear dolls, well, other than their size they look just like the humans in the show. So you probably will be ok. Unless they come out of the screen and attack you.

For me this series was about a 3.5 star rank, but I thought it deserved to be rounded up rather than down because I think a fan of the original series would probably enjoy this a lot; seeing all of the characters again and seeing what would have happened if Jun hadn't wound.

Golden Time: Collection 1
Golden Time: Collection 1
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
Price: $44.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life’s Golden Time, August 22, 2014
This review is from: Golden Time: Collection 1 (DVD)
Tada Banri moves to Tokyo to attend collage and escape his past. Yanagisawa Mitsuo chooses to attend the same collage instead of his parents first choice in order to escape his obsessive childhood friend, Kaga Koko. The two meet when they get lost on the way to orientation and immediately become friends. Unfortunately for both of them, their past is catching up.

When I started this show I had zero expectations. I wasn’t really that interested in it, but I heard from a friend that it was supposed to be good and read one positive review, so I figured I should set aside my reservations and give it a shot. I’m glad I did.

This show is really about the romance between Koko and Banri. It is sort of love at first sight for him, but for her it takes the development of friendship and the loss of her original object of affection before she realizes that Banri’s willingness to accept her obsessive personality is really what she needs. Watching a relationship develop between a very strong willed person and a very mellow person is pretty entertaining.

But what fun would a simple romance be? Though Banri and Koko enjoy a fairly solid relationship, they are still young and unsure. But even better, there is amnesia and a high school sweetheart involved! Then there are their friends and their relationships. Unrequited love, broken hearts, and love triangles all enjoy appearances. Not that this show is all about love and tears. It has a healthy dose of comedy as well. All in all it is fairly well balanced.

I watched this show on Crunchyroll in Japanese. It is 24 episodes long and tells a complete story (no cliffhangers, probably no second season). This set contains the first 12 episodes.

PS If you are a Miss Monochrome fan, keep an eye for her, as she has cameos twice in the first half and once in the second.

Sunday Without God: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Sunday Without God: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
Price: $59.48

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A world without death is one without life, July 15, 2014
So Monday God started making the world, and by Sunday he decided to abandon it. I worry about his attention span.

Once God abandoned the world, both death and new life left with him. If a fatal wound is felt, the person simply gets up and continues on. The only ones who can lay those who should be dead to rest are the gravekeepers. Ai, a young girl living in an idyllic village, is one of these gravekeepers.
One day a man named Hampnie Hambart shows up. Coincidentally, that is the name Ai’s mother said her father went by. What might have been a happy reunion is ruined by Hampnie slaughtering everyone in the village except for Ai. Is her father really the monster he claims to be and is he even really her father?

The concept behind this series is quite interesting and the series dives into it a bit. If a person is killed, but unable to die, what should be done about it? Should they be forced into eternal rest or allowed to live their lives normally? Does dying change a person?

But this wouldn’t be anime without a cute, innocent, annoying girl character! Honestly, Ai wasn’t as bad as I thought she would be. She even grew on me a bit. She is also probably the only character with character development (series is too short).

The first and last stories really well done, while the seconds story had some cool stuff (like a city of the dead), and we will simply forget about the third story arc (did they really need to try and do a forced school setting in what is basically a dystopian future?).

At only 12 episodes, Sunday Without God is a thought provoking, sweet, and sometimes sad show. It wraps things up pretty well at the end, but does leave room for another season (though I haven’t heard anything suggesting one).

Servant x Service DVD Complete Set
Servant x Service DVD Complete Set
Offered by Anime Corner
Price: $88.98
4 used & new from $72.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Portrait of a Civil Worker, June 17, 2014
Lucy is out for revenge. Somewhere out there is a civil servant that did her a great wrong and she has joined the ranks of civil servants in an effort to find him. But being a civil servant isn’t an easy job, as she encounters angry citizens, wacky co-workers, and a boss that is a stuffed rabbit.
But she will not lose faith! Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi Shiori Rinne Yoshiho Ayano Tomika Chitose Sanae Mikiko Ichika Yamagami will have revenge on the civil servant that approved her ridiculous name!

Despite the main premise being revenge, this is actually a slice of life romantic comedy. The revenge does tie in, but Lucy spends more time bemoaning her name than actually looking for revenge.

I enjoyed the characters in this show. Despite her clumsiness, Lucy is quite capable and quickly makes herself valuable at work. Saya is the sweet girl whom everyone loves, but isn’t too happy with that. Yutaka is the lazy slacker guy, who is amazingly good at doing his job and hits on girls simply to collect their numbers/emails. Together, the three of them and their other whacky co-workers make watching a show about civil servants an entertaining experience.

Most of the show is episodic, but there is the overarching romance plot that I actually really liked and thought was well done and sweet.

Servent x Service is based on a manga of the same name by the author of Wagnaria!!, another working comedy. They are both very similar, mostly through their working style environment and the style of humor, but they are by no means clones of each other.

Servent x Service is 13 episodes long and has a decent ending (so no "read the light novels/manga to find out what the ending is!"). The manga is still ongoing though.

Buying tip: if you buy this set from RightStuf it is only $59.98, instead of the Amazon price of $88.98. Or you can just watch it on Crunchyroll.

Devil Is a Part Timer: Complete Series [Blu-ray]
Devil Is a Part Timer: Complete Series [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
Price: $40.29
9 used & new from $35.79

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ganbatte Maou-sama!, May 27, 2014
The Maou (Demon King) Satan is well on his way to world domination when he is predictably thwarted by a valiant hero. He makes a hasty retreat to another world - modern day Tokyo. What is a demon king to do in a world without magic? Flip burgers of course.

Ah how the mighty are brought low. Without his magic, Maou becomes a hard working, honest, and generally good guy. Of course, it is possible he was a nice guy before and only wanted to conquer Ente Isla for the peoples own good, but that side of him is never really explored, so it is hard to tell (too bad, it would have been interesting). But as the dedicated part timer, he strives hard so that he and his friend are able to eat and pay rent. He continues to claim that his plan is to work to the top and take over Japan, but as other characters point out, that is very unlikely to happen, even with his elongated life span.

Most of the story is slice of life and the rest magical battles. The story takes place almost exclusively on Earth, but naturally characters from Ente Isla make there way towards Maou for various reasons. There isn't a whole lot of overall plot, but the story does move along as Satan advances through the ranks of McRonalds and makes new friends.

I thoroughly enjoyed the humor of the series and Maou's dedicated work ethic. I liked most of the characters and surprisingly the magic system as well (not very complicated, but something different from normal). I watched it with a group of friends and we all enjoyed it. We watched it streaming on Funimation, but I am planning to buy the series on DVD.

From the New World: Collection 2 [Blu-ray]
From the New World: Collection 2 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
Price: $43.08
19 used & new from $38.98

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The deeper you dig, the darker it gets, May 1, 2014
Episodes 14-16 finish up the teenage years plot and 17 skips us forward to the characters' mid twenties. The friends have drifted apart into their sperate lives. But they are brought back together when something starts happening in the monster rat community. This builds up to a shocking event that shatters the peace and safety of their village, leading them to take desperate steps towards survival.

I was hooked on this series after the first episode. But I didn't realize the ambitious scope of the series until the end. There are 4 basic plot lines and each one brings up different difficult issues. This set wraps up Mamoru's plot and deals with the terrifying question - if you are certain that your village wants you dead and certain that you can't survive outside of the village, what do you do? The last plot line is the most ambitious, dealing with themes like sentience and freedom.

From the New World was based on a novel and is 25 episodes long. This set contains the final 12 episodes.

Snafu: Complete Collection
Snafu: Complete Collection
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
Price: $35.28
20 used & new from $28.92

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Com wa Machigatteiru, April 21, 2014
This review is from: Snafu: Complete Collection (DVD)
Hachiman Hikigaya is a realist. He knows that life is unfair and everyone is a liar. He has learned to deal with it: avoid people as much as possible and if necessary, ward them off with painfully cutting remarks. But after one pessimistic essay about his high school life, his teacher forces him to join the Service Club in an attempt to improve his personalty. There is only other member of the club: Yukino Yukinoshita, the schools prettiest girl, though it turns out she has plenty of problems of her own.

The humor is this series is pessimistic, wry, and pretty darn entertaining if you like that sort of thing. Hikigaya is a great character, full of down to earth pessimism and a sharp tongue. He is also fairly good at understanding people and how to deal with them, but due to his antisocial attitude, he simply uses that ability keep people away from him. This is both amusing and a little sad. Yukino is surprisingly likable despite her superior attitude. Partly because she is as pretty and as smart as she thinks she is. It can be annoying, but if it is true, why try to deny it? The other characters have their own quirks and appeal. There is the nice girl who is forced to deal with her try-to-please-everyone attitude, the nice guy who is really as nice as he seems, the guy who looks like a girl from a shojo series, and assorted others.

The series is formatted into short story arcs with a little bit of a overarching story involving a car accident. One friend I watched this with complained that nothing had happened by the end of the series and this is mostly correct. Characters' relationships evolve, but not to any major levels. Hikigaya is never cured of his attitude problem. But it is the journey that is entertaining. Plus, a second season of Snafu was recently announced, though it wasn't said when it would air. So there is more Hikigaya goodness to look forward to!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2014 7:45 PM PDT

Problem Children: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Problem Children: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
Price: $46.46
23 used & new from $37.00

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely Addictive, April 17, 2014
Izayoi Sakamaki, Asuka Kudou, and You Kasukabe are "special". They each have a strange ability and find themselves discontent with their everyday life. One day they receive invitations from to different world called "Little Garden" and are suddenly transported there where the sender of the invitations, Black Rabbit, explains that the world centers around playing games.

This series is great entertainment. If you stop and think about it too much it sort of falls apart, but if you just sit back and relax you can have a very enjoyable experience. The plot is not complicated. The characters are not deep. The world isn't even really explained all that well. But watching a bunch of super powered and super confident teens set loose in a magical world where everything is decided through games is pretty fun. Izayoi was especially fun due to his ability.

The series is kind of short with only 10 episodes. It ends in such a way that a sequel could be done, but doesn't have to be done (I would like to see more though).

Also, the ending credits have the characters dancing in chibi form. Its funny.

Maoyu Complete [Blu-ray]
Maoyu Complete [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Maoyu
Price: $37.28
20 used & new from $29.13

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Demons and Humans working together, April 17, 2014
This review is from: Maoyu Complete [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A hero's job is to defeat demons and save people from their vicious clutches. So when humanities' greatest Hero invades the Demon King's palace, it is his aim to defeat the demons once and for all. But the Demon King ends up being a pretty young woman with an unusual proposition for the young hero - an alliance to bring about a peaceful end to the their war.

Maoyu is a refreshing series. Instead of fighting desperate battles to end the war, Maou plants potatoes and works to manipulate economies. There are discussions about how war affects the economy, technological advancement, and politics. This series is often compared to Spice & Wolf in how it talks about economics, but I thought Maoyu handled the technical stuff much better (and I liked the series better overall). The characters are fun and slightly more complex than shown at first glance.

If there is one thing I didn't like about the series it would be the odd amount of fan service . If felt strange for Maou to be such an intelligent person in one scene and then bosom bait in the next. It also made the series feel rather unbalanced.

One odd thing about the series is that none of the characters have names. They are referred to by their positions/jobs. So the two main characters, Maou and Yuusha, are literally Demon King and Hero. There is a Older Sister Maid and a Younger Sister Maid and many others like that.

Maoyu is a fun show with interesting topics and enjoyable characters. It is only 12 episodes and tells a complete story (so no cliffhanger ending or random cutoff). If you enjoy stories that involve economics and the study of society, then this is the series for you.

Majestic Prince: Collection 1 [Blu-ray]
Majestic Prince: Collection 1 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
Price: $59.99
18 used & new from $39.87

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aliens attack, Rabbits defend, April 9, 2014
Izuru, Asagi, Kei, Tamaki, and Suruga are a group of genetically engineered teens who were raised and trained to be pilots of giant robots. Sadly, they suck. At school they have earned the title "Fail Five" and despite plenty of enthusiasm, they just generally make a mess of things. But when they are chosen to pilot units called AHSMB (Advanced High Standard Multipurpose Battle Device), the discover that it is possible for they to overcome their weakness and save the planet from the aliens that are attacking it.

I am not really a fan of mecha, but I'll watch mecha shows if it contains more than cool robots. I started this show expecting to drop it after a few episodes of mindless entertainment. Strangely, I kept watching. I think I was really hooked when the PR campaign started. Suspending disbelief a bit about teenage pilots carrying the fate of the world, the series did a decent job of handling the situation realistically. Sometimes you do need to do a little PR, sometimes you have to raise money where you can, sometimes constantly risking your life will cause stomach problems. The aliens' reason for attacking was interesting, as was the explanation for their incredibly human appearance.

The space battles were excellently animated and fun to watch. Normally the fighting is where I start zoning out in mecha shows, but I actually looked forward to the battles in this show most of the time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series. It isn't all awesome though - Tamaki is incredible annoying and sometimes the story goes a little slow - but it was great entertainment. Of course, great entertainment doesn't necessarily mean it was a great series, I won't be recommending it to my friends as a must watch, but for someone looking for a good space/mecha show, this one should fit the ticket.

I watched this series as it was airing on Crunchyroll, so I am not sure how it would hold up when watched all together. But in small chunks it was fun. I wanted to give it a 3.5 star rating, but Amazon isn't that flexible so I bumped up the rating a bit.

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