Mob Psycho 100 (Summer 2016) – Over 100%

“Mob Psycho 100” is just too exciting; too unexpected to talk about. While I prefer this show instead of “One Punch Man”, I believe I didn’t come too far. Both of the shows have the same creators. “One Punch Man” was probably one of the most popular shows when we back into 2015. As the manga getting an anime adaptation, this seems legit. The trailers and the hype are pay-offs. It’s just definitely one of the best shounen anime since this decade. Everybody loves both of the shows, an unfamiliar work by an infamous mangaka, ONE.

One thing sure I want to talk about besides anything is the artwork by one of the famed studios, Bones. Directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa, known with “Terror in Resonance” and “Kill la Kill”, definitely there’s something we ingrained. The representation of this show strongly supports how the visual is too gorgeous to talk about. Introduced Setsuo Itou as Shigeo Kageyama or well-known as Mob. He is an innocent yet optimistic 14-year-old kid attending school with nothing special in his life. He gained his special powers, the ESP, since as a kid but didn’t use his power as often as possible. Mob just wants to be a teen in general and falling in love with the girl in his school.

How come if he gets a lot of absurd events around him? Just because he lives a normal life doesn’t mean he is also normal. As an ordinary kid, the series features many absurd yet strange characters. He had to use his power when he becomes threatening. Yeah, it’s a bit similar to “One Punch Man”. Both of the shows have an OP main character who doesn’t have any motivation. I can say they are both a little bit nihilistic. But, both of them also have quite complex character development. Saitama gave us philosophy about what it means to be a superhero. On the other hand, Mob gives us a sentiment thought about normal life.

Mob is kind of similar to the Dude from “The Big Lebowski”. Both of them take on good karma and suddenly turn into bad karma. For an innocent kid like Mob, he isn’t a character you can just underestimate. When it comes to action, Mob is an overpowered character. But, is it only power? Is he nothing more than a copy-paint from Saitama? Nope. Mob seeks admiration. He, and the audience, just need a girl he likes to pay attention to himself. He has this kind of supernatural overpower and abilities like God. However, you just see his character, especially as he continues to grow. He is just a human being who makes many mistakes.

“Mob Psycho 100” has one of the funniest sidekicks and supporting characters ever, Takahiro Sakurai as Reigen. Initially, I thought he was just a manipulative guy who manipulated Mob as its own good thing and desire. He acts as Mob’s master but Mob’s innocence with the situation is just bad. Reigen provides a small reward in his job as a ghost hunter or the Ghostbuster. However, I see the development of his character has another meaning than why he existed in the first place. One of the best things about his character is his normal characteristics. He is just too normal to exist in the contemporary world with so many weird things. Just like “Earthbound”. I always see his character in a good way because he makes his client satisfied. He gives the true meaning of Mob’s abilities. He “polished” Mob to be a better person as well.

Another best supporting character is Miyu Irino as Ritsu, Mob’s younger brother. The relationship between Mob and Ritsu has similar characteristics to the Kaufman brothers from “Adaptation.“. Both of the brothers are a reflection between the two of them. How they connected yet also they pity and envy of each other. On the other hand, the uniqueness between the two of them is in inspiring each other. It’s a little bit complicated and long to talk about. Ritsu is the opposite of Mob. While Mob seems like the protagonist with nothing, Ritsu is too perfect and too normal in his life and school. He is smart, strong, handsome, and one of the members of the student council. However, he has an inferiority complex when he sees life as a self-awareness game.

Ritsu doesn’t have ESP and is also a little jealous of Mob. Therefore, he rather hates his brother because he is different from other characters in general. But, as he develops, you see how he understands his brother from another perspective; not just seeing him as an “object” or “monster”. After all, Mob is also too good when Ritsu has a redemption he can remember well in their childhood. Another character to talk about is Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Teruki. Teruki is an esper as well like Mob. But, what distinguishes him and Mob is their use of gifts.

Teruki uses his ability to conquer and achieve, by force, what he wants. He is a bully and has a God-like complex characteristic. His tempered, when the weakest made only one small mistake, no kidding. He is undergoing a complexity with Mob when he knows Mob is also an esper. Initially, the story introduces this character as an antagonist. But, as the show goes on, you can also understand how he is an important character in the story.

Regardless of the story’s lack of any understanding common sense, honestly this is the most creative shows in the season. Yeah, you got a lot of shows like “91 Days“, one of my favorites. You also get “Food Wars! The Second Plate”, “ReLIFE”, etc. Yet, the combination of a slice of life, action, and comedy is just another match-made-in-heaven show. Especially when it reaches 100%, you would never think you can hold it anymore. And the best thing I want to talk about is visual. I can’t accept a lot of people dropped this anime just because of the artwork. The artistic style reminds me of the old-time “Ping Pong the Animation” and “The Tatami Galaxy“. Both of the show and this show have a distinctive style of visual especially when it comes to anime.

Both the manga and the anime don’t get rid of its artistic distinctive style of the visual. The artwork is so unique both in terms of quality and effort. When everything gets serious, your heart pumped so much. You’re just speechless when you see one of the best artwork when it comes to its cinematography. The violent, the movement, every composition never suffers in the show as a gimmick. It well-portrayed in the background, the story, and the characters.

The design characters are unique as well. Not too surprised if this came with Bones. They did a fantastic job with this show. And the soundtrack, especially the illustration in the opening theme song. While both of the theme songs are stylistic and memorable as a whole, the soundtrack is intense. The voice actors do a great job too especially when it comes to pattern and exposition with the characters. They did an amazing job.

“Mob Psycho 100” is an excitement in every episode and feels like an old-style comic spectacle rather than any show. The show has everything in terms of personality and creativity. And it feels like one episode is still not enough especially if one or two seasons too. You just can’t remember what you have just watched. This show stands out as one of the best anime in the season. It’s not just a copy-paint or anything but this is the greatest piece of anime.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Sword Art Online (Summer 2012) – All of Us Dream

This is one of the series that makes me love anime until today. “Sword Art Online” become one of the roots of a game and fantasy genre. You see, there are plentiful and hundreds of shows are made after this anime. It even takes the same premise with different stories and characters. You could just say, some of it consider that some are just plagiarism. I don’t want to mention one of them but “Sword Art Online” became a grain from our community.

This is before “DARLING in the FRANXX”, before “Log Horizon”, before “Overlord”, before “One Punch Man”. You could name anything like overhyped shows that first came from your heads. I also don’t think about why I like this anime so much. It was first introduced by my friend along with “Accel World“. This is the time where I more often playing some video games. I didn’t know an anime or related to it. So, this is my review on the most overhyped influential show. It is often proud of casuals, newbies, fanboys, and even the internet hate it so much.

The story inspired by a video games genre called MMORPG. Surely, this anime has a big target and audience for gamers. So, this is not a coincidence that the number of redundant positive responses to this anime has a lot. Some of them always refer to the main character as one of the greatest swordsmen ever in entire anime. I mean, Guts from Berserk or just name one of your favorite character anime who uses a sword. This is a type of 24 or 25 episodes that divided into two cour or arc.

The first arc, the main character along with other players, are trapped in an MMO game called Sword Art Online. They must complete 100 floors or dungeon through beating the boss from each floor. However, the most interesting point is you die in the game world means you die in reality. So, this is the point which makes everything more interesting and you think the plot will be unpredictable. But, nope. The first two episodes are actually very good and still follow what the plot introduces. But, the story will focus more on that until finally it just falls at the place and feels pointless.

Each episode will tell and introduce side characters. They have no connection at all and nothing to do with them. Instead of side characters who help along the adventure, these characters feel just to be the heroine as the harem. I want to state that this is not a “harem” anime. But, the plot does something which it looks like. It just like a deus ex machina that comes in the right timing. It is in charge of filling in the “plot” itself but failing to enter the main story.

Not to mention, the romance element also comes just like that without any development characters. They are so obviously and felt constrained. Another thing that seems good at this point is the development main character at the first arc. It feels emotional in certain scenes. The second arc is set at a different time and used a time skip. Yes, I think the plot will end up by completing 100 floors but they lie to you. With a few side characters, the plot turns in an unrealistic way. It is like a hero who tries to save his queen.

As well as this is typical A-1 Pictures anime, I freaking love the art. They really do this as a fantastic and colorful way. The choreography prevails in the action part is perfect. The portrayal extends through the beautiful scenic of a virtual reality world. It’s also a worth point in this aspect. The character design, the bosses, and the effects make a very beautiful frame whether it’s seen from anywhere. It’s very clear that this is typical A-1 Pictures anime. Same as when they made some shounen anime, action, or other genres besides the two genres. It’s one of the best so far in this anime and it’s worth.

As with the visuals, the sound in this anime is well really great. The voice actings are decent. I’m sure of it but the soundtrack is just one of the best by Yuki Kajiura. I really like how she always makes the score in the form of a magic touch. It matches the scene. She also worked in so many projects. They were “Fate/Zero”, “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”, and even “ERASED”. In addition, the part when it comes to the choir sound just fits perfectly with the action scene.

The opening and ending theme songs are quite interesting yet memorable. Nobody can decide that “crossing field” by LiSA is always playing in your heads. “INNOCENCE” by Aoi Eir is also like that. I like both songs since the two singers are also my favorite J-pop singers. “Yume Sekai” by Haruka Tomatsu and “Overfly” by Luna Haruna are also both memorable. Though, not like the two opening theme songs.

And now, we are getting more serious because this is the whole worst thing ever besides the story. Kazuto Kirigaya a.k.a. Kirito, a term for OP character that has no weakness at all. He is a typical character that you will never deal with him but you just wanna punch him right in front of his face. He didn’t have any development at all because he was strong indeed from the beginning of his introduction. It was the most perfect character that ever existed, all the heroines have loved him whether they are, a villain who was very jealous because his presence suddenly became afraid and sometimes became his friend, and one of the characters who were specialists in everything either hackers, playboys, gamers, anything.

Asuna Yuuki, a typical character that I think is one of the coolest introductions ever in this anime but the development of her Tsundere character crap makes it blatant yet one of the “waifuable” characters. Since her meeting with Kirito, I think that she really dependent on Kirito and it makes her a useless character especially when it reaches the second arc. Who the hell cares about the other supporting characters both the heroine and the male character but we’ll discuss a little about Suguha Kirigaya. I discussed this character because she is who replaced Asuna as another main heroine regardless of Asuna’s existence. Yeah, it’s just an incest romance sub-plot that some people also care about but you don’t really give a little thing.

Yui is a typical character that just like that. Well, she is a character. Yeah, a character. A deus ex machina character that seems to ruin an RPG genre and whatever storyline make it one of the worst characters in this anime. It’s like the ending of “Clannad ~After Story~” which I hate it so much, this type of character feels like you are laughed at and you feel bad at them. Jokes that make the whole story and characters become pointless.

Although there are some people who hate this anime just because the internet also hates it and as if making them cool because they hate something popular, they don’t seem to have an opinion to tell and have no obvious reason why they hate it. Well, this show has a lot of potential and influence from its successors to make this anime a pioneer of everything. Sure, before “Sword Art Online”, there were various anime which discussed an RPG before. A few of cancer fanboys, a hater also the same as well, but it just one of the enjoyable and generic shows, I admit.

I also don’t know how many times I watch this anime just because some those features I consider good make me almost forgot with the storyline and characters itself. “Sword Art Online” is a show that feels solid and generic despite the many pointless scenes and aspects included in this anime. The pace is always balanced, sometimes slow and sometimes fast so it doesn’t feel boring to enjoy all the story elements. So yeah, this is one of the shows that you don’t need to enjoy without consuming a lot of ideas or you can enjoy with your eyes being closed. What’s more, this is my first anime to make me love anime and made me watch more anime again.

“Sword Art Online” is an overhyped, overrated, overpraised show all times. There are many fans and communities who really like this terrible solid show which feels forced in terms of story. There is no development of character at all, including the main characters who have no weaknesses. The first one and two episodes are great, introduces a simple premise and an interesting plot but fail at the whole story. The romance is just coming out like that and has no specific explanation about it. The music and the animation are all but closed with thousands of pointless stuff in this anime. This is one of the typical shows that first, you initially liked but you will also hate in the next few years.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (Winter 2017) – Coup d’état

“ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” is a fresh breathtaking anime in the pop culture and anime community. Sadly, it’s one of the most underrated anime of the season. It’s not followed by many people, one that many complain about. People don’t like it just because of the theme they carry. This is one of the shows which presents something new about politics that everyone hates. What’s interesting about an anime that uses politics as its theme or coup d’etat? “House of Cards” is one of the same TV shows. “Joker Game” which I’ve watched also carries the same theme.

“Legend of the Galactic Heroes,” “Code Geass,” and “The Heroic Legend of Arslan” are also anime that carry similar themes. In fact, “From the New World” in my opinion alludes the same theme. But, it focuses more on the dark side. What makes “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” so different from the others? The answer is that the theme it carries is a serious matter. Unlike “Code Geass” which combines elements of mecha and action, this show brings its theme like politics in general. It’s an aesthetic animation that presents something so relaxing with a complex theme and different experience.

“ACCA” presents something so intriguing from its own plot and character. Likewise, with the animation, it’s very difficult to say how this anime runs slowly. There is a difference between which anime is slow and which one is relaxing. So, you don’t want to move from your seat you’re sitting on. When a country has a dark history, no one wants to talk about it again. When a country seems peaceful outside, what really happens behind it? From this, political games are on so does the kingdom of Dowa which is divided into 13 states.

The state has an intermediary controlled by an organization known as ACCA. After 100 years later where the Dowa kingdom has a dark history, this organization works with a system. It’s a system that maintains the order of one state to another. They investigating all states so that there is always peace. The main character, Jean Otus is the second-in-command of the ACCA inspection agency. ACCA ordered him to monitor all conditions from each state. The task is to look at various situations in each of the states and report to the superiors.

This is one of the series I drop for just one episode. I don’t really understand what it means. Various kinds of anime I’ve dropped little by little. I began to understand what was really going on with myself back in the days. In fact, this is the most fascinating series that has ever existed. The main plot of the show introduces all the actions taken by Jean Otus. I still didn’t really connect with this show at first. The show seemed fails to attract any attention at the beginning. Until the third episode, I began to understand and assuming that this would be more interesting.

The plot in the third episode begins to run complex. In addition to introducing the coup as the main plot, the first impression seems quite slow yet smooth. The show wants us to participate little by little into the world with that broad scope. The show is very good at that because we still see how little details exist in the world. We’re looking at this state, the state of this province. There are those who suffer, some who are free, some are isolated, and so on. Jean Otus represented our view with everything really went smoothly. Only the theme is serious but it’s one of those shows where you want to take a closer look.

The show really fails to attract mainstream audiences. This anime wants to introduce the world, people, and characteristics that exist in that world first. The atmosphere, the ACCA, all of them. As a coup which the major plot, there is a connection between Jean Otus and all characters. It’s where all the characters just talk, talk and talks. All the pieces are returned from the main plot, the coup. The plot is rooted but it’s the nature brings some people at home to explore the world more.

First of all, we’ll be in an organization called ACCA. It’s just a political game. You don’t know who can be trusted, who can be considered friends, are considered enemies. Even your best friends are enemies too. ACCA is like a truth that maintains peace. But, there is some moment when the show forgets it as well as some minor character. Apart from the show running ‘slow’ but being careful in conveying the information, this anime doesn’t know where to go. However, it’s not a really matter because it doesn’t affect the ending itself. It still has to do with the coup d’état.

The cast doesn’t carry much of its impression other than Jean Otus, an unpredictable character. The majority of characters aren’t deepened too much even Schwan as a character who has an important role isn’t too focused regardless of his role as the trigger of the coup itself. There is Niino that acts as Jean’s best friend even though at first he didn’t really have such an important role but in the end, you will know the truth. Likewise Jean Otus‘ real identity in the climax episode. There is Lotta Otus as Jean’s younger sister who only fills side plot that isn’t too important but has an important role for Jean himself and Niino. There is Groshular, Lilium, and Mauve which are characters who have a very important role in the plot. The rest of its characters, it really didn’t attractive.

But, let’s talk about Jean Otus. Aside from being a protagonist, he is a compulsive smoker that makes him so attractive as the cigarette peddler where people call him that. The world in this anime also considers that cigarettes are so rare items that only certain people can have them. ‘Cigarettes’ was one of MacGuffin’s in Jean dealing with the problem of the coup in each state. He is uninterested in various ways, unpredictable, and has its own enigmatic. Its characteristics can handle something, calm, and rational thinking in response to something. He is a critical person.

Natsume Shingo besides directing “One Punch Man,” “ACCA,” on the other hand, is really a different case. With Yabuta Shuuhei who directed “Inuyashiki: Last Hero” and “Vinland Saga” for the upcoming anime, the animation, and artwork in this anime is so good from how the characters are designed and the background. The color selection is really suitable, giving an aesthetic impression especially in the opening theme song of the visual is really great. There are a number of things that are unique in this regard, too, when it comes to the flashback scene, especially Jean and Niino’s background, just amazing.

It fits with the tone of the show. The opening theme song seems to have taken influence from “Baccano!” with jazz impressions yet quite an improvisation. The soundtrack well suited to the anime seems to provide such an interesting experience. It blends with all of those as well as the voice actors. The ending theme song is nice too for shows like this. Bottom line, it helps with all the mood, both the artwork and the sound.

“ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” as if combining political elements with an impression of mystery. It’s a pure experience as well as the ideas in this anime because there are rarely anime that use politics as the main idea of the story. Sometimes, there are some unexpected things and moments, some intense scenes, and kind of action things. The pace is a misconception because something that distinguishes the anime is so slow in pace but it’s like an intriguing plot as if the plot is getting more interesting because of its complexity.

The character is a minor matter, but not worthy to talk because it doesn’t really affect. The approach of the world is built, the story, the narrative. I quite regret why I once dropped this anime just one episode. So does “Joker Game” which I don’t really understand while watching it for so long. “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” is a fresh air with an original story.

4 out of 5 stars.