Review on ‘Steins Gate’

First off, I will say that the comments the series starts off slow are misleading. True, it takes awhile to get to the main point, but “Steins ;Gate” never fails to engage on any level, and in fact engages on all levels beautifully. Humor? Gut busting. Intensity? Oh yes. Drama? Undoubtedly. Starting out as the misadventures of a self proclaimed mad scientist who may have stumbled upon a means of time travel, this series can shift gears in the blink of an eye, without any sense of whiplash, because it can do every tone so strongly. It’s rare to see such a mishmash of genres pull off all of it’s genres. You have a sic-fi thriller with elements of Haruhi Suzumiya esque club based slice of life dramedy, with elements of political thriller to boot. I don’t want to say any more. This one should simply be experienced with as little foreknowledge as possible.

This is an amazing anime no doubt. Outstanding story and unbelievably unique characters that will stay with you forever. Unbelievably strong character development and plot structure. This is one of those anime’s that you could easily re-watch the early episodes and every time you do you will end up connecting more dots – “oh, so that’s why that happened! I get it now!”, you will think to yourself.

The first 11 episodes are slow paced but for a reason. Don’t give up watching because the early episodes are necessary to set the context for the outstanding story that follows. If you stick with this anime past the midpoint, you will not regret it. Episode 12 is where the action starts and from there the action doesn’t stop until the end.

Okarin, the main character, is amazing in the English Dub. You will laugh with him, cry with him, and feel with him throughout his journey. Some characters seem annoying at first, but they grow on you too, so be patient. Honestly, everything about this anime is unique; the characters are unique, the plot is unique, the writing is unique; it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and that is what makes it so wonderful.

One of the best anime’s I have ever seen.

If you are looking for a compelling story and strong character development, look no further.

Review on Naruto

I’ve seen a lot of anime throughout the years. I’ve seen what people call the ‘good stuff’, I’ve seen the ‘bad stuff’. In time, I realized and accepted that not everyone is going to like something, or dislike it. No matter what the anime (or movie, or book, or game, etc.) it boils down to personal preference. So, how do you know if you’d like something you’ve never seen but heard so much about? When I first started Naruto, I saw the potential in it. From the first episode, they presented a distinct setting with distinct characters. Sure, archetypes were being followed (the boy dreaming of becoming big, the old grandfatherly figure, the teacher, the rival). The first episode showed emotion and depth to its main character and what he will struggle with, along with the dynamics of his interaction with other characters and their quirks.

Cut about ten episodes later, the plot arc currently being followed felt to me like it was not going to matter much to the main story. Some episodes had drawn out battles, and I got that feeling that the anime would be the type where they would go from different area to different area, developing their skills and learning moral lessons and such, but there would be no grand plot, no B story, that tied the series together. I also worried it would fall into mediocrity. Without giving anything away, by the end of that arc (about 19 episodes in), my mind was changed.

Having seen all of the series up to the current episodes, I can say at least for myself that at its best Naruto is a deeper anime than some give credit to, and can be quite addicting. A strong focus is on its characters as they develop throughout the series and there are moments of real emotion, tragedy, intensity and even just amusement. It’s not perfect, as there are slow times in the series (and the cartoon suffers from tricks to get as many episodes out of the original story as they can), and I won’t say everyone will end up liking it but I can say it had unexpectedly become one of my favorite anime.