Light Novels

One of my current pass times has been reading Light Novel’s that anime’s I’ve enjoyed where based on. As there is only a small fraction of those that are licensed here in the States the main way to read these are through fan translations. While some can be a little rough to read most are done well enough to at the very least understand what is going on in the story. The problem though is that there is many different groups that do these translations that it is hard to keep track of what’s being done and by who.

In the last few days I have been keeping a list of all the novels that are being done. While the list isn’t complete it has over 200 novels that I am trying to keep track of. If there is any novels that you know of that are missing let me know.

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Anime Harem Ranking’s

The harem genre of anime is based around three or more characters having interest in the main character. While that usually involves three or more girls fighting over a male main character it doesn’t necessary mean that is always the case. A combination of males/females trying to win the affection would also be considered a harem. The same as if the main character was female and the suitors where male (however in that case it is considered a reverse-harem).

The genre is often looked down on. As most shows under this genre can offer little to no substance. Instead they resort to ecchi (perverted) plots with half naked or in some cases fully naked characters doing accidentally perverted things. All in the hopes of selling DVD’s that will contain the uncensored scenes. A quick and sometimes easy cash grab by a studio who wants to use the funds to keep afloat or fund an anime that might be less financially successful.

Even with taking out the problem of ecchi that is abundant in these shows the other main issue is the basic premise of this genre. In most cases the girls who fall for the main character do so for no other reason then he was nice to them or in a slight variation that he treated them like normal girls (if a supernatural element is involved). Reducing the females into needy codependent people who can’t function without the main character in most cases.

Which in truth isn’t that big of a problem when you consider the role the main character has to play. Unless the story shoots for a harem end (an ending where the main character get’s with all the girls) he has to spend the entire length of the show outside of the last 1/10 of the story completely dense and unaware of the girl’s feelings. In order to string along the audience waiting to see who ‘wins’.

At the end of the day though this genre is just mindless fun. Most of the time you can turn off your brain and watch the antics of the characters and have zero vested interest in how it ends. Well outside of rooting for who you think is ‘best’ girl.

So with all that said I will now rank the anime’s I have seen based on how I enjoyed them.

  1. Rokujouma no Shinryakausha
  2. D-Frag
  3. High School DxD
  4. Hagranai
  5. Monogatari
  6. No Game No Life
  7. Nisekoi
  8. Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
  9. Campione
  10. NouCome
  11. Oreshura
  12. HenNeko
  13. Yusibu
  14. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
  15. Seitokai no Ichizon
  16. Date A Live
  17. Seikoku no Dragonar
  18. Strike the Blood
  19. Nyan Koi
  20. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
  21. Outbreak Company
  22. Black Bullet
  23. Hidan no Aria
  24. Rosario to Vampire
  25. Sekirei
  26. Sword Art Online
  27. Gaworare
  28. IS
  29. Kiss x Sis
  30. Gokukoku no Brynhildr
  31. Asobi ni Iku yo
  32. Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai
  33. Kaminomi
  34. Nyaruko-san
  35. Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai
  36. NakaImo
  37. Omamori Himari
  38. Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Mao
  39. Hagure yuusha no Estetica
  40. Sora no Otoshimono

Hiatus

After writing the three recommendation I lost focus as to trying to figure out what it was that I wanted to write next. As this was a new project I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. Then I just got sidetracked with other things. Now that I have the time I thought about getting back to using this. Instead of just recommending anime’s at random based on the ones I like. I’m going to try and go based on category. Posting a short ranking of specific genres than doing a full break down of the show’s in relation to that.

In short the next posts will be focused on the Harem genre of anime as that is a highly request posts on animesuggest and it also happens to be a guilty pleasure of mine.

Recommendation – Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. (Oregairu)

ImageYahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru or the more common and easier to remember term that the show goes by Oregairu is a romance comedy anime that focus’s on the three members who make up the schools Service Club.

After writing that those who enjoy their youth should just up and die on his homework assignment asking him to look back at his high school life the main character Hachiman is forced to join the Service Club by his teacher and counselor in the hopes it will make him more sociable.

There he meets the only other member and founder of the club Yukino whose ideals and approach to life immediately clash with his own. While Yukino believes in telling people the truth in order for them to improve themselves. Hachiman sees himself as insignificant and thus is willing to do whatever it takes to make others around him happy. Usually in a way that further causes him to be an outcast. Both using their own unique outlooks on life assist those who come to the Service Club looking for help.

What sets Oregairu apart from other slice of life anime’s is the shows ability to bring real issues that high school students deal with to the characters and problems they face. While the setting is still a comedy in some regards it hits a lot of the notes in drama that is very rarely done well.

With each character being more then the character trait that defines them. (Hachiman self deprecating and unsocial behavior isn’t just a plot device, but rather a trait acquired over the years by just being someone who doesn’t quite fit in.) The show is filled with unique and interesting characters who each bring something to the table.

A romance subplot does linger across the episodes as the third member to join the Service Club Yui has a crush on Haichman, but in no way does that detract from the show and become a cliche. The handling of the relationship might be one of the best aspects of the show. Without giving to much away the show doesn’t take any of the normal approaches you might find in anime’s set in a high school setting.

With all that being said it is safe to say this is a strong 9/10 anime that has an audience base of just about anyone whose been in or is currently in high school.

Recommendation – Steins;Gate

Steins GateSteins;Gate is the anime that made me fall in love with what this type of media could do. This series so far is the measuring stick I use to rate all other anime’s. With just north of 100 different anime’s worth of exposure, from nearly every genre I have yet to find one that does everything better.

The premise of the show revolves around a self described mad scientist and his otaku (think geek) friend forming the Future Gadget Research Laboratory. When their not busy slacking off their trying to create futuristic gadgets though little success is actually made. That is until one day when they accidentally create a time machine. All be it a very primitive version of one.

With a bit of dumb luck their Phone Microwave which up until now could only turn banana’s into a green ooze gains the ability to transmit text messages into the past. An event that causes a domino effect leading them down a road of ruin.

Though each text is small and harmless the consequences have a far reaching affect on the mad scientist Okabe. With each message to the past the world around him changes in the smallest of ways. A major problem for him as no one else around him can notice the differences in time. Which slowly makes him realize that just because you can mess with time it doesn’t mean that you should. Though by the time he realizes it might be already to late.

Steins Gate takes on time travel in a way I have always wanted to be seen done. Using the theory of the multi verse along with the butterfly effect to the maximum limits allows the show to lead the audience on a whirlwind tale of mystery and excitement. The shows biggest flaw from the critics is how long it takes to get to the meat of the show. You will be spending nearly half the shows length at what might feel like a snails paces of story advancements. However without the show laying the ground work needed for the world and characters to work the pay off in the last half of the season wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying nor would the stakes being raise hit as hard.

With that being said and what should come as no surprise I give this anime a 10/10. The story is rich and has a large and interesting casts that makes this show a must see.

Recommendation – Fairy Tail

Fairy TailIt seems fitting that the first anime I do would be for the one that got me looking into what else this new media had to offer. Fairy tail is the story of a guild of mage’s who take on quests and go on adventures. Something that will be very familiar to anyone whose spent any amount of time on the endless numbers of MMORPG’ out these days.

The story is nothing spectacular with the same formula cut and pasted during each act. The mages find the bad guys, fight them and for some reason or another find themselves at a disadvantage until they remember in the power of friendship which gives normally the main character (Natsu) a timely power up that allows them to save the day.

For those familiar with Shounen anime’s this really wont come as a shock to you. If however your like me when I first started and have no idea what Shounen means its a type of anime whose target audience is for young boys. A lot of action with little romance. Something this anime is overfilled with.

The action scene’s are well done with a lot going on as the mage’s who each specialize in different areas fight. Natsu fire magic is very different then his teammate and rival Grey’s ice magic. (The show  as you can see clearly doesn’t do subtle approaches to storytelling). The visual’s along with the comedy offered normally from the talking blue cat Happy make for a very enjoyable experience most of the time.

Where the show falters is in its lack of substance. After the same story line is repeated for x numbered time the novelty wears off. Your then left with a hallow anime that looks nice but doesn’t offer you more than a show with a pretty package.

I gave this anime a 7/10 with where I had dropped it. The rating probably would have fell to a 5/10 at some point had I continued though. If your looking to dip your toes into anime in general or just to see what a Shounen anime is I would highly recommend this to you. With the catch being you should drop it when it starts to lose its shine and move on to something else. The good news though is you should get at least a good 40+ episodes in before that happens to you. I personally lasted up to 128 episodes out of the 175 that made up the first season.

A start

At the start of 2014 I made a resolution to try out something new that I had prejudged from the start. After one night in early January after being unable to find something to watch on Netflix to get to sleep my resolution seemed to have come quicker than I thought.

To my friends who over the years tried to introduce me to this forum of media; anime was Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. Both highly praised anime’s from critics and fans. Both painfully boring and dull to me. So for several years I based all my opinion’s on two movies I watched one weekend while hanging with friends.

I’m not one for making entire assumptions based on little facts. Which is to say I never bashed people who watched anime or thought really anything of them for enjoying the media. I just figured it wasn’t for me. With a myriad of options out there to keep one busy I never looked into anime again after that weekend.

Now with five months under my belt and with more free time than I care to admit to I have plunged deep into this new hobby. Leaving no stone unturned in my hunt of trying to embrace everything at least once.

The purpose of the blog with be for recommendation and reviews of anime’s I have liked, loved, and even hated. Getting my thoughts out into the cyber space in the hopes that maybe I can help someone else see the thing I had missed out on for several years.