What I’ve Been Watching: #3

Hello everyone, been a while since I’ve done one of these, anyway this is what I’ve been up to this week.

I watched a few OVA’s: Darker than Black: Origins and The Radio-wave like Girlfriend. The reviews for both are available here and here, respectively.

I also watched through Makoto Shinkai’s 5 Centimeters per Second, Review here.

Furthermore, I finished watching Sword Oratoria: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side. Which took me forever because I just couldn’t hold my interest. I finished it anyway because I vow to never drop a show. (Review coming soon, probably).

The Shows I’m currently watching include Yona of the Dawn and Angel Beats. I’m about 13 episodes into Yona and so far its fun enough. I have just started Angel Beats so I haven’t got much to say yet, but it’s not half bad.

Mini-Review: Darker than Black: Origins

1384792602_zerx-ru_1Darker than Black: Origins is a short four episode OVA series that details the events that transpire between the first and second series. Darker than Black: Origins started airing on January 27th, 2010. The plot follows Hei and Yin as they attempt to escape the syndicate, however, it is not long before Hei must take drastic action to protect Yin, or risk losing her forever. Little does he know, Yin is a ticking time bomb.

My Review: Darker than Black: Origins does an excellent job of filling in some of the gaps between the series. The plot itself is pretty short but I thought that it was well paced and covered a lot of important details. The action was exciting as always, well choreographed to show off the cool contractor skills. If you’re planning on doing a watch thought of the Darker than Black series then make sure you watch this OVA series between the first and second.

I rate this anime 6.5/10.

Thanks for reading!

H

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Top 10: Favourite Openings

Welcome to our monthly Top 10 anime list.
This month I am sharing some of my favourite anime openings. I will be taking into account the song and animation for each intro, as both are equally important for a catchy opening. This list isn’t in any particular order I’ve just numbered it for simplicity.

10. Darker than Black: The Black Contractor (Opening 1)

Song: “Howling”, By Abingdon Boys School

What better song for an action anime than the high-energy beat of this song. That being said, the visuals are considerably slower than the beat so it kind of doesn’t fit together well. Regardless this is still a really great opening.

9. Deadman Wonderland

Song: “One Reason”, By DWB (feat. Fade)

There are very few anime where I don’t just end up skipping the opening because I’m sick of hearing it over and over again. But while there wasn’t a single episode of Deadman Wonderland where I skipped this opening.

8. Absolute Duo

Song: “Absolute Soul”, By Konomi Suzuki

The song here is pretty fun, but what really makes it stand out to me is the way it matched the jumpy visuals so well. It’s pretty exciting and definitely gets you really to see some action.

7. Death Parade

Song: “Flyers”, by BRADIO

This intro is just so much fun. Every time I hear it, I just want to dance along. Which creates this weird contrast with how dark the show itself is. If you’ve seen the show then you’ll know what I mean, first time I saw this I wasnt sure I was wachting the same show it was that out of place.

6. When They Cry

Song: “Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni”, by Eiko Shimamiya

This intro is great, and it matches perfectly with the show its self. The dark, cryptic chanting matches the psychedelic flowers imagery to a tee. It sentiently makes a shiver run down my spine.

5. Date A Live (Opening 1)

Song: “Date A Live“, by sweet ARMS

This one is just a really fun song to open a really fun anime. To be honest the vocals aren’t really all that interesting but to me, the backing track really stands out. The whole opening really gets me pumped up for an episode.

4. Brynhildr in the Darkness (Opening 2)

Song: “Virtue and Vice” by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas

Probably not the style of music most people listen to but I just find this opening song to have so much energy, just makes me want to sing along. Although I do think that some of the visuals seem a little out of place.

3. Fairytail (Opening 21)

Song: “Believe in Myself“, by Edge of Life

I really like this opening, out of all of the openings Fairytail has had I think this one really stands out the most. Particularly with the arc, it’s paired with really combining with the visuals to add a sense of urgency and action.

2. Tokyo Ghoul (Opening 1)

Song: “Unravel”, by TK

I tried my best to avoid obvious picks for the list but this is the exception. The art style of this opening is absolutely beautiful and wonderfully vivid and colourful. The song also really sets the tone for the more emotional themes of Tokyo Ghoul.

1. Hellsing

Song: “Logos Naki World”, by Yasushi Ishii

We don’t see many opening like this one nowadays, the song has a really fun high-energy but steady and dark sound, fitting the visuals really well. I really love how despite everything going on in the visuals, we still get the feeling of just casually walking through it all, much like Alucard.

 

Thank you for reading my list, I hope you enjoyed it. If you have an idea of something you feel should have been on the list then leave a comment and let me know.

H

Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor Review

641Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor aired during the final three months of 2009. Read my review for the first season here. The Story continues on from the first season but this time the centre of focus has shifted away from Hei and onto a young girl called Suou Pavlichenko. When she was younger Suou, along with her twin brother Shion and their father, were camping out under the stars. A meteor crashed into the campsite causing Shion became a contractor. Even though her brother had undergone such a dramatic transformation, Suou managed to live a relatively ordinary life, attending school with her friends and enjoying the hobby of Photography. One day after witnessing one of her closest friends transform into a contract, she returns home to discover a masked man standing ver the corpse of her father. This starts a chain of events leading to Suou awakening her dormant contractor abilities.

My Review: My thoughts on this show are a bit muddled, I quite enjoyed the last season a great deal and so my expectations for this season were quite high. One thing that I wasn’t such a fan of was how Hei has changed from a really cool character into a homeless alcoholic bum. I actually quite enjoyed the story and how the main character has shifted to Suou, I fell it adds an interesting dynamic to the show and really sets the season apart from the last. I have heard that quite a few people really didn’t like Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor but I can not say that I agree with them while watching it I found myself getting wrapped up in the story and wanting to watch more and more, and it must be said that this season is about half the size of first.

I rate this anime 2.5/5.

H

Darker than Black: The Black Contractor Review

UntitledDarker than Black: The Black Contractor aired back in 2007. The plot follows Hei, a Chinese contractor working for the Syndicate. Contractors are special individuals who attained supernatural powers when a spatial anomaly caused two “gates” to appeared, one in South America (God’s Gate) and one in Tokyo (Hell’s Gate), alongside this all the stars disappeared and were replaced with fake stars. These stars are tied to the contractors and can be used to monitor their actions. Many of these contractors are hired as assassins due to their calculation and cold-blooded nature, however using their powers requires paying a cost, this may be something like having to smoke or causing self-harm. Hei must undertake many various tasks and missions for the Syndicate in order to gain intel about the “Hell’s Gate”. Along the way, Hei will have to combat the many other contractors that stand in his way, along with the inescapable demons of his past.

My Review: Darker than black is definitely one hell of a ride.  For a start, Hei is probably one of the coolest characters I have ever seen in an anime, his fighting style, and general aesthetics makes for one badass combination. The plot itself  can be somewhat confusing, jumping from side story to the next, along with this is the fact that each sub ark doesn’t really connect to the next and we’re left with more of an anthology of events. In terms of the other characters, there are some really interesting characters however, there isn’t really much development past a bit of background story. One thing I did notice is that Darker than Black has a really cool soundtrack with a really fun opening song.

I rate this anime 3/5.

H