Tag Archives: Winter 2014

Review: Nobunagun, Episode 13: Nobunagun

Review:

Nobunagun must have decided to take a page out of Dan Brown’s book in terms of presenting absurd historical twists. I refer to the fact that Jack the Ripper is revealed to have actually been Florence Nightingale, who was actually killing people who were carrying some virus that would be catastrophic if released. She knew who to kill by some unknown power that only activated when the Earth was in danger. Er… yeah. Granted, Nobunagun’s whole premise is weird, but in this instance they’ve chosen to essentially change the historic character that’s being portrayed. I suppose it is easier to accept Jack the Ripper as a hero for humanity if you change his past to something of tragic heroics, but then again the angle of redemption could have been argued for keeping the historical figure intact. At any rate…

Outside of the absurd backstory, the final episode delivers everything you’d want to see (and some things you don’t). Evolutionary Invasion Objects are destroyed, killed, and otherwise defeated, humanity is victorious, and Sio gets the guy. On the other hand, there is some fanservice thrown in that really didn’t need to be there (and, really, does fanservice EVER need to be thrown in there?). I suppose the ending is fairly predictable, but it also goes the way I would have hoped, so in the end I’m satisfied.

A Christian Perspective:

The language is light this time around, and the violence is mostly what you’re used to seeing, although with Jack’s background being revealed we do see some human death. Blood is also more prevalent than it has been in the past. There is also a point in the episode where all of the E-Gene holders are shown resting, and the female holders are all wearing something that I’ll say are akin to sports bras. That’s kind of shaky in and of itself, but what’s worse is that Cyx is shown to be in her panties, and at one point she gropes Sio’s breast. Cyx and Newton also drag Sio off to the shower at one point, and while nothing is actually shown, we do hear sounds coming from the shower. Whether anything is supposed to be implied or not, I don’t know, but this kind of content really wasn’t necessary.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “h**la”; 1 “h**l”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: The female characters are all shown wearing something akin to sports bras; Cyx is shown in said sports bra-esque thing and her panties; Cyx gropes Sio’s breast; Cyx and Newton drag Sio off while stating that they’re going to take a shower; there are sounds heard coming from the shower room, but nothing shown; in the end credits, Newton is shown holding Galileo by the face while Galileo blushe

Violence: An EIO has its tentacle sliced apart; a woman’s throat is slashed open; gunfire; the typical–EIOs shot, sliced, and blown up

Blood/Gore: A line of blood is seen running down a character’s face; blood squirts from the throat of a woman–her clothes are afterwards shown with blood on them; blood spreading below the bodies of other women; EIO blood is shown; a character gets a nosebleed; the same character has a bloody tissue stuffed up her nose

Review: The Pilot’s Love Song, Episode 13: The Sky Where You Are

Review:

If I had to sum up the final episode of The Pilot’s Love Song in one word it would be “underwhelming”. I had expected something centering around the attempt to re-take Claire, but what we get instead is a homecoming, as all of the people from Isla return to their homeland. True, Kal does make an appeal to the people for a second Isla project in order to retrieve Claire, but plans don’t exactly amount to action. Most of the episode centers around the characters, their relationships, and what their lives are like post-return. I suppose it’s not “bad” in the sense that it’s not entertaining, but it’s certainly not what I was hoping to see.

Admittedly, there are a couple of interesting points in this episode. Kal’s RA, for example, is revealed to be more than she appears. What that is, exactly, isn’t explained, but it certainly leaves the viewer guessing (and, perhaps, holding onto hope for a second season). The ending of the episode finally gives the viewers what they wanted–Kal attempting to rescue Claire. If you wanted one final dose of action, then the final episode delivers, although it certainly doesn’t end with a solid conclusion. Whether this will be the end of the series or the starting point for a second season can only be guessed at right now.

A Christian Perspective:

In terms of content, there is some bad language–including one use of blasphemy, characters are shown with glasses of what I assume is beer (although whether this is an issue for you or not will ultimately depend on what you believe about Christians and alcohol), and some violent imagery.

In terms of message, this episode continues with the theme of forgiveness. Kal’s speech to the crowd is a good example of this in particular, and it is a lesson that all of us who claim the name of Christ could stand to learn from.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “d**n”; 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: Characters are shown with glasses full of what is presumably beer

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: A character is punched in the stomach; at the end of the episode is a battle–planes are shot down and whatnot

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Golden Time, Episode 24: Golden Time

Review:

Here it is: the final episode. We pick up right where the previous episode left off, as Banri loses his memories. Interestingly enough, he doesn’t seem to panic like he has in the past, but instead runs to his mom and hugs her. As you probably anticipated, much of this episode revolves around the fact that Banri has finally regained his old memories, forgotten everything that’s happened since the accident, and ultimately returned to his home town. Honestly, the vast majority of it wasn’t a bad episode. We see what Banri’s life is looking like, as well as what happens with the other characters once his memory is gone. It isn’t until some where after the halfway point that things get weird.

Koko, of course, shows up at Banri’s home, although she doesn’t put on a big production or even try to tell Banri who she is. In fact, she even allows Banri to believe she’s someone else when he guesses wrong. It’s actually Banri who remembers Koko’s identity, and as a result he takes off after her, knowing that she wanted to visit the bridge that he fell off of. When he gets to the bridge, things get weird. Banri ends up in some kind of distorted reality, where he sees images of himself, and ultimately confronts “Ghost Banri”. Okay, this would all be fine and dandy if it was all metaphor, or a mental delusion of some sort. It certainly makes for a better ending to have Banri at peace with himself. The trouble is, this seems to be some kind of physical manifestation, as not only does “Ghost Banri” return the ring which real Banri had dropped earlier, but Linda also rushes onto the scene and confesses her love to “Ghost Banri”.

Now, maybe you’re thinking that she was really just talking to the real Banri, but I don’t think there’s anything to suggest that. “Ghost Banri” and real Banri are standing opposite each other, and Linda is clearly facing and talking to “Ghost Banri”. The whole thing is just weird, surreal, and strangely supernatural. It’s kind of out of place, especially when there was never any hint of other characters being able to see “Ghost Banri” throughout the series. Once this little oddity is out of the way, the episode continues normally and brings us to the conclusion we’ve all come to suspect. It would be a fairly decent—if not predictable—episode if it weren’t for the strange events at the bridge.

Maybe this should have been a two part episode—some tension could have been built before Koko finally faced Banri again. I don’t know. Did I enjoy it?  Yes. Could it have been better? Yes. In the end, though, the final episode is almost like a summary of the whole series: A fairly strong beginning, a weird and kind of weak middle(ish) section, and a decent ending.

Now Golden Time has officially come to its end. It was a bumpy road, with its high points and low points, but it ultimately made me care about the characters, and I think I can safely say I looked forward to it more often than not.

A Christian Perspective:

Not really a whole lot to say here. Other than one use of language, it was a fairly clean episode.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “d**n”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: Two characters head butt

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Engaged to the Unidentified, Episode 12: You Understand? I Understand

Review:

Wow, an episode of Engaged to the Unidentified that (almost) went by without Benio being creepy? On top of that, she was actually supportive in a normal big sister way for once. That said, this was kind of a lackluster finale. The “dramatic” moments of it–such as Kobeni being lost and exposing her fear of being left alone–would probably have had more impact had they been teased out throughout the series. As far as I can remember, we’ve never had anything to suggest Kobeni’s fear of being left alone, and her adventure to the mountains begins and ends in this episode. It’s kind of hard to build a bunch of tension for a situation that doesn’t even happen until partway through the episode, especially when you know the situation will resolve by the episode’s end; after all, it is the final episode.

All that said, I still enjoyed it. I really don’t know what it is about this show that I like. I mean, Benio is creepy, and overall there really isn’t anything “special” about this series. At the same time, it succeeded at being cute, especially when Kobeni and Hakuya started to get closer to each other. It was particularly cute to see how Kobeni was able to read Hakuya’s moods when no one else could tell the difference. Maybe it was the characters who made this series something worth watching. Whatever the case, it certainly wasn’t a terrible finale, and despite the more serious bent of the plot line, we still end with a more comedic, light-hearted tone.

I will give the writers credit for the fact that they seem to have brought things full-circle. The events of the past that have seemed to weigh heavy on Kobeni are, essentially, repeated here, except this time with better results. Granted, none of this would have happened had Kobeni stayed put, but I am just drawing a conclusion. It may not be what the writers intended at all.

A Christian Perspective:

There is a flashback in the closing credits to an episode where Kobeni was floating naked (I think it was a dream or something), but her body is pretty much shadowed, so you don’t really see anything. There are also a couple scenes with blood (nothing serious), and Benio makes some weird comments. Mashiro also pretends to fly on a broom like a witch, in case depictions like that are offensive to you. If not, then it’s actually a pretty cute scene.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: The flashbacks during the end credits show a scene where Kobeni is naked and floating (I don’t remember which episode it’s from, but just like in that episode you can’t actually see anything inappropriate due to the shadowing or whatever)

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: A character is shown with blood running from her mouth; the ending review shots/flashbacks show a character with blood squirting from her mouth

Other: Benio makes a comment to Kobeni and Mashiro about “keeping each other warm”; Benio is commenting about a little sister swim meet; Benio geeks out over seeing Mashiro act like she’s flying on a brook like a witch; other random Benio stuff

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions! REN Episode 11: Blue Moon Ragnarok

Review:

Episode 11 serves up a good mixture of drama and comedy as Sophia continues to battle with her inner emotions. Interestingly enough, though, this episode actually focuses more on Rikka and Yuta to wrap up this plot line (well, sort of, as this is a to be continued episode). Picking up right where last week’s episode left off, this week we see Rikka suffering the consequences of standing out in the rain (namely, a cold), Yuta and Shichimiya receiving advice from Nibutani, and Rikka still trying to find that third coin.

This episode kind of relates back to my post concerning what we’re conformed to. The fact is that Rikka puts herself in a bad spot, as she goes out to look for this coin despite being sick. What this says to me is that she is so caught up in her delusions that she is willing to risk her real health for the sake of an imagined scenario. One could even question whether she realizes that this is all in her had at this point.

It was cute to see just how much Yuta actually cares about Rikka, though. In the end, they leave us with a bit of a cryptic conclusion. Despite the fact that everything seems to have wrapped up nicely, Shichimiya leaves with a bit of a cryptic departure, so I suppose the next episode will let us in on what that’s all about.

A Christian Perspective:

Most of what I could say here is standard throughout the series–imaginary magical battles and the like. If you’re watching at this point, then chances are that this stuff hasn’t bothered you, at least not enough to stop watching it. As for real world violence, there is one instance where a character is knocked off his feet, then later that character is (presumably) poked in the eyes. There is a brief flashback to Rikka in a bikini, and one use of profanity.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “h**l”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A brief flashback to Rika in a bikini

Violence: A character is knocked off of his feet; a character is poked in the eyes (I think) off screen; there is a “battle” with explosions

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Two female characters touch noses; the typical stuff of the imagination battles (magic, magic circles, etc.)

Review: The Pilot’s Love Song, Episode 12: The End of the Sky

Review:

I came into this episode thinking that it was the finale, so I had a lot of thoughts in regard to that. Thankfully, most of those thoughts are now null and void, since we still have one episode next week. I’m just going to go ahead and put a spoiler warning here, because I just want to talk about the episode, so–SPOILER WARNING!!!

The episode begins after a six month time skip, before quickly jumping back to sometime shortly after the events of the previous episode. I was not pleased with the direction the plot took, despite the fact that this show pretty much sets itself up for a sad ending. Combine that with last week’s mention of a “final sacrifice”, and it should be no surprise that Claire and Kal are essentially being separated. Expecting it and liking it are two different things, though.

In comparison to the preceding episodes, this one is kind of anti-climatic. Whereas we were previously worrying about the fate of our characters, we are now simply watching relationships resolve and be healed. It seems that everyone has put their grudges to rest: Kal admits his love for Claire (and his determination to see her again), and Ignacio calls Kal his stupid older brother, although I don’t think Kal knows yet that Igna is his illegitimate brother. Still, the hostility that Ignacio held against Kal in the past seems to have passed. Of course, once you’ve faced death with a person and relied on them, I guess grudges seem a bit pointless.

So we wrap things up and then skip back to the present time to see the crew approaching the End of the Sky. As it turns out, this whole thing was part of the religion of this world, to fulfill the prophecy (and perhaps see if it was even true). Isla hits the End of the Sky and begins to disintegrate. That’s it. For all of the deaths and drama of the series, it is kind of anti-climatic. Of course, next week should (hopefully) have Kal now living up to his promise to come back for Claire, so let’s hope that everything goes well there.

I suppose these characters did finally deserve a break after everything they’ve been through, but when you think about it, doesn’t this episode kind of feel like a long epilogue?

A Christian Perspective:

The only content worth mentioning is that one character is considered to be a messiah-figure, but I do have a perspective to share.

As I’ve previously mentioned, the theme of forgiveness is big in this show. Kal is able to forgive Nina/Claire, and ultimately his love for her wins (as seen in this episode), and Ignacio is finally able to put to rest his old hatred for Kal. Even greater, though, is this episode’s conclusion. Essentially, the search for the End of the Sky was related to the religion of the world, which everyone seemed to consider as more of a myth than anything, judging by their reactions to the discovery. So, in the end, that which they considered to be myth turned out to be truth. I think that’s something we Christians can relate to. A lot of people chalk what we believe up to nothing by myth and superstition, yet they have no real proof other than their own disbelief. While we can’t set out on a giant floating island to search for Heaven, the point is still the same. People doubt the existence of something simply because they have never seen it, only to be held in awe and wonder when they do finally discover that it’s true. Such was the case in this series, and such will be the case on the Day of the Lord’s return (or, even, on the day when we each meet our own end).

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: None

Other: A character is presented to be a messiah-like figure

Review: Engaged to the Unidentified, Episode 11: Enjoying the Handkerchief

Review:

You know, I was kind of bad this week and put off writing a few reviews. Now I’m in a bind of trying to remember exactly what happened in this episode…

Well, I certainly remember enjoying the episode. The issue of why Hakuya wears his hair over his eyes comes up, which does eventually get answered (although the answer may not prove to be that surprising, to be honest). Mashiro also puts herself at risk of being seen using her powers, which might have made for an interesting subplot, but given that next (this, at this point) week will be the conclusion of this show, I doubt we’ll see anything come of it. Of course, Benio is still Benio here, although I don’t remember her doing anything particularly noteworthy this time (although she is volunteering at a kindergarten at one point–nothing offensive happens, it’s just the general bad idea of letting Benio around young children). When Kobeni and Hakuya go out on a “date” with Mashiro the third wheel, Kobeni finally gets her answer as to why he wears his hair the way he does. This, seemingly, causes what is kind of a surprise ending to this episode.

Well, that’s what I have. It’s more of an overview than a review, though, which is what I get for letting my memories of the episode run a bit dry….

A Christian Perspective:

One scene has Benio imagining a bust shot of Kobeni with only her handkerchief as a cover (nothing actually shows, though, as far as I remember), and there is another scene in the preview that shows Mashiro in a bikini and in the bath with conveniently placed soap suds. This is certainly not the worst it could be (especially considering some of the opening shots of the intro), but it’s still more than it honestly needs to be.

Other than that, there is one scene where a character is lightly hit on the head with a rolled magazine.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Benio imagines a bust shot of Kobeni with only the handkerchief as her cover; the next episode preview shows a shot of Mashiro in a bikini and another of her in the bath (with conveniently placed soap suds)

Violence: A character is lightly hit on the head with a rolled magazine

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Nobunagun, Episode 12: Operation Stone Forest, Part 2

Review:

Surprise! This isn’t the last episode! Well, maybe it was my fault for simply jumping to the conclusion that it would be. After a bit of a recap, this episode picks up where the last one left off, with Nobunagun in peril and the rest of the principle cast engaged in battle. I still don’t see the purpose of including content that is reminiscent of tentacle hentai, especially when it’s supposed to be a dire situation, especially when the one tentacle seems to be rubbing Sio’s face. I would think that the Object’s agenda would be to crush Sio/cut off her breathing/kill her in some way. I mean, it’s not like this is someone’s twisted fanfiction…

Well, that aside, the episode does kind of hit a lull about halfway through. After a bit of a cliffhanger in the first half, we are given scenes with the team inside Gaudi’s bubble as well as scenes involving Asao, two other girls from Sio’s class, and some other people on a train. The train scene kind of breaks up the flow, although seeing the other fighting group was interesting enough, especially as we see Hunter kind of go from wimp to hero.

The episode does eventually return to Sio, and more inappropriate tentacle stuff…. The ending is a bit surprising, though, if not a bit of a “deus ex machina” (I think I’m using that term correctly, anyway). We still have one episode left next week. I’m predicting a victory for the E-Gene holders and some awkward kind of love scene between Sio and Jack.

A Christian Perspective:

There is more perverse tentacle stuff this time around. Granted, you probably already knew that if you watched last week’s episode preview, but still it’s there, and while there is no nudity the content is suggestive, and Sio is shown red-faced and breathing heavy. While this content makes up a relatively minor portion of the episode, it may still prove to be a stumbling block to anyone who struggles with lust or anything similar.

Outside of the fanservice content is plenty of violence, and more blood than usual. It’s mostly monster blood, but it’s still blood all the same. A character is also seen handling an eye and an organ from an EIO, so overall this episode is a bit more gorey than usual. Vulgar language is also present, but not as bad as some previous episodes, although there is one use of blasphemy.

Other potentially offensive content includes two characters making a bet and a character communicating with the historical figure inside of him.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “d***ed”; 2 “d**n”; 1 “s**t”; 1 “j**z”

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A character is tied up by some tentacles, which cut portions of her uniform–no nudity is shown (it’s just the outer armor that’s cut); the same character is shown with two tentacles wrapped around her breasts, and she is breathing heavy; the same character is bound by tentacles again, with one wrapping between her legs

Violence: Gunfire; an EIO is shown having chunks shot out of it; EIOs are cut apart; an EIO is pummeled by a character; an EIO is shot and its tentacle explodes; an EIO’s eye is destroyed; a character is engulfed in flame; there are various shots of other E-Gene holders engaged in combat; a character cuts open a dead EIO and pries into it; an EIO is kicked and breaks apart; an EIO clamps down on another EIO; EIOs attack each other; a character chops an EIOs tentacles apart

Blood/Gore: A character pummels an EIO and is covered in pink goo; more pink goo (blood?) is seen; a character has blood running down her face–it also looks like a little blood squirts out of the back of her head; a character fills a needle with EIO blood and it is seen running through some kind of tube; blood splatter from an EIO as another EIO kills it; a character is holding an EIO eye; a character pulls out another organ from an EIO; more EIO blood

Other: Two characters make a bet; a character communicates with the person whose genetics he holds

Review: Golden Time, Episode 23: Last Smile

Review:

At least we finally have an answer as to why Koko did what she did. I wonder how different things in this show would be, though, if the characters would just, oh I don’t know, sit down and talk about their problems instead of taking drastic measures? Well, whatever the case, I’m really just trying to have something dramatic to say, because the only thing I didn’t like about this episode was basically the plot direction, and that, of course, is because it’s not exactly moving towards what I would like to see. In other words, it was enjoyable. It was entertaining. It just wasn’t what I hoped to see, but that doesn’t make it bad, not even in my eyes. It’s just one of those “Oh, come on!” moments.

I had actually gotten myself to the point of expecting a twenty-six episode series, so the fact that it’s ending at twenty-four got me. I know, I know, no one to blame but myself. This episode does do a good job at preparing us, though, as relationship threads are tied up, motives explained, and relationships restored. Even Banri seems to eventually find some kind of peace with everything that’s happening. The only ones left without peace are, well, us–the viewers. I suspect that we won’t have peace until next week, and even then it will probably depend on how the show ends.

In thinking about it, Koko may very well be stronger than most people give her credit for. When you see what she’s going through in this episode–and the proximity she’s willing to keep to Banri despite that–there is certainly some kind of strength there that hasn’t been explored before. Even though she broke up with him, she doesn’t run away from him, no matter how much it hurts. I’m really hoping this will have a happy ending for our couple.

A Christian Perspective:

Eh, nothing to say here, really. Banri gets punched in the head once, and there is a brief flashback to Koko in her bikini top. Other than that, the content was clean, although dramatic.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: There is a brief shot of Koko in a bikini top

Violence: A character is punched in the head

Blood/Gore: None

Review: The Pilot’s Love Song, Episode 11: Love Song

Review:

This episode does a good job of keeping you on the edge of your seat, and of preparing the series for a close. I thought it might last longer than this, but it seems like I was wrong. Is there more that could be explored? I’m sure. I doubt they’ll be reaching their goal next episode, but I don’t see how they could make the series any more dramatic than it’s already been. It’s a pretty tense episode that doesn’t give you much time to relax, as it seems that a character (or characters) you care about is/are in the hot seat at any given point.

In all honesty, I can’t think of a whole lot to say here. I think the tension was well done, and the action scenes were great. The episode’s end could certainly pave the way for more material if the writers cared to carry it on, and they leave us with one more cliffhanger for next week. Maybe they’ll surprise me and the series will continue past next week’s episode, but it certainly seems like they’re preparing to wrap this story up. The only thing I can think to say is that one character’s change of heart is kind of abrupt, and could have probably been teased out a bit more prior to this, but then again sometimes a dire situation can really make us gauge what we’re doing.

A Christian Perspective:

Lots of violence and some blood. If either of these is an issue for you, then you probably won’t enjoy this episode, as the vast majority of this episode involves aerial combat and explosions. There are only a few uses of harsh language, though there are also euphemisms, and a character (I’m sure you can figure out who) uses what I’ll call magic, because I don’t know what else to call it.

**Don’t read the rest unless you’ve watched the episode**

A good lesson from this episode is that of forgiveness. The theme has been briefly explored before, as Kal remembered his mom’s words from the past, but the theme plays out full circle in this episode. As the situation really seems to take a dire turn, Kal finally begins to consider what his mother taught him, and makes the decision to forgive Claire for what happened in the past. Kal’s forgiveness, in turn, allows Claire to once again use her powers, which ends up saving the battleship. As Christians, we are called to forgive, but let’s not wait until it’s almost too late. Let’s learn to forgive as quickly as possible–immediately, even–so that we’re not held in bitter chains for days, weeks, months, or even years of our lives.

Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (NIV)

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “h**l”; 1 “d**n”; euphemisms

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: Battleships shooting at each other; planes shooting at another plane; a battleship is hit and a section of it is blown up; a plane is shot and explodes; a plane is shot at; there is a large explosion; a battleship is bombed and it explodes; a plane is shot and explodes; another plane explodes; more planes are shot (and, of course, explode); a battleship is hit with missiles; more plane shooting; more explosions

Blood/Gore: A character is shown with his hand missing, and his sleeve is torn and bloody; a character is shown with blood on his face

Other: A character uses something like magic (I’m sure you can figure out who)