Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto – Mini Review

I Laughed a LOT

79468Back in 2016, Sakamoto was my favorite show of the season hands down. It was extremely funny and fun to watch. I eagerly awaited each new episode every week and just couldn’t get enough of this fantastic show. What’s even more surprising? It’s a Studio Dean production.

Each episode follows cool guy Sakamoto during his everyday life as a high school student. Usually, somebody tries to make him look bad in each episode, but by the end they only manage to make him look cooler. Some episodes are just short gags and there were 2 full episodes that were more story focused in the series.

I recently had the pleasure of watching this again (for the third time!) with my younger brother and I can confidently say that Sakamoto holds up with each rewatch. Each episode was very funny and never got repetitive. My fan theory that he is an alien only gets more and more reinforced as well. There is just too much evidence! I mean, how else does he do all this stuff?

There was one episode that was pretty poor compared to the others part way through on first viewing, but it was an extremely necessary episode that setup the show’s conclusion rather well. On a rewatch, I hardly noticed this. I don’t want to say much else, because this is a show that I think is a must-see for any anime fan. Sakamoto is definitely a must-watch series!

What did you think of Sakamoto? Did it have you laughing or was it a major dud for you? Also, do you think Sakamoto is an alien? Let me know in the comments below. If you like my writing and want to help me out some financially just hit the button below to throw a couple bucks my way. As always, thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!

Image result for ko fi buy me a coffee button


Tsuritama – Perfectly Portraying Anxiety

Anxiety Sucks

Image result for TsuritamaI don’t think it is any secret that I don’t exactly handle stress well. Anxiety simply isn’t a fun time even if you don’t have any anxiety disorders or anything. It’s something we’ve all experienced at least once or twice. Not too long ago I accidentally purchased an anime titled Tsuritama which is about a group of high school boys who fish together. It’s also about aliens and saving the world but, that’s anime for you. What really stuck out for me though was how they portrayed the main character’s anxiety in the early episodes. Continue reading “Tsuritama – Perfectly Portraying Anxiety”

Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS Review & Series Retrospective

WIXOSS is a Great Series

As you guys probably know, I did a whole collaboration with two other amazing bloggers, Ayano and Leth (you should totally check ’em out by the way), covering each episode of Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS. You can read up on all those hereAs such, I don’t have a ton to say in terms of an overall review of the season so I’ll also be discussing my thoughts on the series as a whole and a quick rundown on the entire franchise. Let’s kick things off with my quick thoughts on this season!
Continue reading “Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS Review & Series Retrospective”

Megalo Box – Mini Review

It’s About the Journey, not the Destination

Image result for megalo boxThis is something I wholly believe in, but the thing is, the journey has to be interesting. Megalo Box fails to provide a compelling journey, in fact, I’d go as far to say that the destination isn’t all that great either. Despite the heaps of praise this anime received I couldn’t help but feel like watching this one was a chore each week. That said, I don’t think the show isn’t worthwhile or even bad in a technical sense but let me explain the three major reasons that killed it for me at least.

1. Overbearing Symbolism

From the moment the opening song drops you better have figured out that Joe is represented by a dog, specifically a scared up stray. Yuri is also a dog, Nanbu is a scorpion, etc… I like symbolism, motifs, and metaphor in storytelling but Megalo Box just kept beating its audience over the head with it. You would have to be an incredible moron (or just not paying attention) not to be able to pick up on this stuff here.

2. Boring Protagonist

Joe is boring. He is a flat character that I just don’t care about. I get that he has real boxing skill and should be doing better than fixed underground matches but… That’s as far as his character goes. The rest of the cast is a little better off but largely they are still pretty flat. The exception to this being Aragaki (and to a lesser extent Nanbu by association), a military veteran who gets more fleshed out than the main character. I’d honestly have rather watched a story about him.

3. Predictability/The Ending

Obviously, this show is supposed to be about the journey and not the destination. I get that, but the storytelling took all the stakes away from several of its situations by falling into repetitive patterns. For example, Joe would go down nearly every match around round 2 or 3, get up on the count of 9, and then proceed to win in the next round while on his last leg. This kept the matches from ever feeling exciting or interesting. There were two exceptions to this where the fights were battles of ideology, but still, they were somewhat lacking.

Furthermore, the ending for Megalo Box went in the single most boring direction possible. To explain what I mean, let’s jump back to the past with Ashita no Joe an anime which began its run in 1970 and was the inspiration for this anime. The end to that show results in Joe’s death. A lot of folks watching Megalo Box who knew this predicted that it would also end in a similar fashion. Instead, it went the least interesting route possible. Nothing really happens with the ending, Joe wins as expected and everybody is all the better for it. The only character who really loses something is Yukiko but that’s something that is kind of dumb. Not going to get into that but my point is, both the journey and destination are uninteresting.

You may be thinking, “Surely you dislike boxing in real life Jon, how else could you dislike this show?” Well guess what, wrong. While it isn’t my favorite thing to watch or anything, I grew up with boxing and am pretty familiar with it. Megalo Box just wasn’t a show for me.

Still, I do want to point out what I thought the show did well. From a technical standpoint the animation is great, the style of older anime was captured well, and outside of the opening, the music was enjoyable. Aragaki’s story was very good from a writing perspective. There is definitely something here with Megalo Box, but unfortunately the good was buried by the bad, at least for me.

Pretty positive that most of you enjoyed this one, so tell me why in the comments below. Did you happen to agree with me? Then I’d love to hear your thoughts below as well. If you enjoy my content then hit the button below and donate a few bucks via my Ko-fi account. I greatly appreciate the support! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and I hope to see you back here again at Jon Spencer Reviews soon!

Image result for ko fi buy me a coffee button

Caligula – Mini Review

Great Music, Ok Anime

Image result for caligula animeYou may recall a show that aired not too long ago, 18if which explored dreams and did that cool different director each episode thing, but wasn’t all that great in the end. Caligula is definitely one of those shows. While I enjoyed both, this one more than 18if, I felt more cheated after this one. The reason? Caligula has great music and a nice sense of style (at least when it wants to).

The first half of the anime is totally fine. Protagonist Ritsu is living an ordinary high school life until he realizes something isn’t quite right. Soon after this realization famed vocalist µ appears and begins to sing, turning (most of) his classmates into monsters that begin to pursue him. He then learns that he is trapped in the world of Mobius, a dream world of µ‘s creation, so that everyone can be happy.

Ok, the plot sounds dumb on paper, and it kind of is, but it was actually pretty compelling for me. Not only that, but it had one of my most FAVORITE THINGS EVER in it:  Idol singing and battles at the same time. A quick nod to Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE for sparking this before unrealized enjoyment in me. Boy, does the music deliver!

Borrowing this from Ace (check him out); listen to my anime here. It’s fantastic!

Featured in episode six (which unfortunately is the height of the series), “Tir na nOg” is my favorite song. I really love the anime specific version as voice actress Reina Ueda’s performance is top tier stuff. Not just in this episode either, µ‘s character is the reason to watch this show in general.

The other song that stuck out to me the song µ uses most often, “Peterpan Syndrome.” While not as heartfelt as the previous one I can’t help but get caught up in the music for this song as well. Really though, all of the songs are beyond good, but I don’t want to just give you hours of music, so we’ll call it with these two.

While you certainly won’t be impressed by the plot or characters in Caligula the music did make this worthwhile for me. If you are looking with some general action flair with occasionally interesting ideas and great music than I encourage you to give this one a watch, or at least the first six episodes (really, show was pretty on-point up to there). For an anime based on a game that shot for the stars and fell flat, I can say the anime did better at least.

Did you watch Caligula? Enjoy the music? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below! If you like the work I’m doing here and want to throw a little support my way than please head on over to my Ko-fi page with the button below. As always, thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here again at Jon Spencer Reviews soon!

Image result for ko fi buy me a coffee button

Welcome to the Ballroom – Mini Review

A Look From a Dancer’s Perspective

Image result for welcome to the ballroomAwhile back you may remember I released an article titled, “Welcome to the Ballroom – My Biggest Disappointment with the 2017 Summer Anime Season” where I discussed my disappointment with the fact that I couldn’t watch the show at the time it was airing due to the, now defunct, Anime Strike that Amazon tried out.

Some of you may also remember that I am big into ballroom dancing and familiar with the competition scene. Welcome to the Ballroom was a show I just had to watch but I was a bit worried because so many people complained about its quality when it was airing. Were these complaints warranted or was the show actually pretty good? Well, from a dancer’s perspective at least, the show was pretty decent but it definitively could have been better.

Let’s start with what the show does well. The characters are fairly well constructed with only a few moments where the writing drops the ball and undermines, what would otherwise be, a pretty consistent cast. When they do bother to animate the dancing, it looks good and is actually reasonably accurate (animating dancing is really difficult to sync up properly and have it look smooth, I’ve never really seen it done that well) which was a big plus. Furthermore, it was engaging not only because I was invested in the topic, but because the story didn’t follow the traditional shonen formula.

That said, the pacing wasn’t always the greatest. The main character gets really good at all the dances crazy quickly, which I could accept, but at one point they tell you in the show that his teachers didn’t even bother teaching him about frame until about 2/3rds of the way into the story. This is a fundamental basic so that was so beyond stupid I couldn’t believe it. Really, Welcome to the Ballroom does a terrible job at explaining how and why things work the way they do. This takes away from the appeal of dancing, and as somebody who thinks more people should give it a try, this is disheartening because if you aren’t already interested in dance then this will almost definitely not get you into it.

I mentioned above that Welcome to the Ballroom has a tendency to undermine its characters, specifically some of the female cast, which really knocked things down a peg. This was very unnecessary and not at all funny like the show was obviously aiming to be with these moments. Lastly, the story had a little too much needless drama towards the end.

In the end, I can see the community’s complaints and can kind of agree. This wasn’t the best series out their, especially not for the Summer 2017 season, but it is still one I recommend. Largely, the anime does a decent job at portraying dance well, but skimps out on capturing its entire appeal and inner workings. As long as you can get past the giraffe necks (had to sneak that one in here at least once, but really the necks loot to exaggerate the proper head position on dancers) and you have access, I would encourage at least giving this a shot. The second half improves dramatically but the first half has a few stunning moments itself.

Have you seen Welcome to the Ballroom? What special topics do you wish would be explored more in anime, fishing, sumo, or something else? Let me know your thoughts on both this and the series in the comments below. If you enjoy my content than please consider donating to my Ko-fi by clicking the button below. Hope to see you back around here soon, and as always, thanks for reading!

Image result for ko fi buy me a coffee button

The Lost Village – Mini Review

It’s a Comedy

0c7a446d4b906b325acf65f78cbe4bd41459543054_fullHow do I put this? Mayoigia, or The Lost Village in English, was a stupid show. It was a stupid show that I couldn’t stop watching. This series was strangely fun for my friends and I. Even on the rewatch, it was still a great time. I’ll be the first to admit that the writing wasn’t that great and there was a lot of dumb, everything, but The Lost Village managed to make me smile and laugh for a good chunk of its run.

There are a few reasons this show caught my attention, the first being the mystery aspect of the show. As my readers should know, I’m a huge fan of the mystery genre so it should come to no surprise that I wanted to check this out. While the mystery definitely loses its magic towards the end of the series, the initial episodes did an excellent job at capturing my interest in the series.

Although it is semi-concealed in the beginning, the show is most obviously NOT a horror anime. The direction, presentation, and dialog all suggest that this is a show that presents everything as seriously as possible despite the things on screen being more than a little ridiculous.

Despite this, the mystery still manages to stay intact up until the end where everything is given up rather quickly. The Lost Village also loses its proverbial mind and just becomes a hilarious mess. There is a lot of charm in it that fans of Another will definitely appreciate, even if this show isn’t as obvious (or good) as that one.

Another big aspect in the show’s favor was the 1980’s ‘Paranoia’ RPG vibe this show gave off. They are constantly at each other’s throats over the dumbest things. One character is constantly yelling “we should execute them!” which is never suspicious. However, if somebody so much as sneezes that’s grounds for massive suspicion.

Image result for the lost village anime

The characters are all nuts. Easy example is the, “execute” lady. I loved that all of them had very goofy handles that they all went by, even when they all meet up IRL. They all want to abandon their old life for some reason or another, but most of the reasons are so dumb.

When you finally start seeing some monsters, it only adds to this fact. The designs for the monsters were genuinely creepy, especially since a lot of the other designs are pretty pedestrian and uninteresting. Nothing scary mind you but this managed to impress me somewhat, even if not every monster was all that great.

Overall, The Lost Village didn’t take itself too seriously and was fairly funny. I know a lot of people didn’t like this one but I would recommend people check it out if they haven’t already. At worst it’ll make for some decent laughs. For me, it was a pretty good time.

Enjoy my look at The Lost Village? Let me know your thoughts on the both my article and the show itself in the comments below. If you would like to support the creation of content here at Jon Spencer Reviews please head on over to my Ko-fi page and buy me a coffee or two. The money will be used to upgrade the site and let me do more stuff around here. Hope to see you back again soon, and as always, thanks for reading!

Image result for ko fi buy me a coffee button

91 Days – Gangsters & Revenge

Sounds Good to Me

When 91 Days first aired in 2016, I was fairly confident that I would enjoy it. From the trailer it looked to be a serious drama set in prohibition era America. Seeing how I loved Baccano! I  was excited at the prospect of another great series utilizing this more unique setting. Additionally, this was an opportunity for Funimation to deliver a great dub as was done for Baccano! when that received one. Was this anime one that capitalized on all of its uniqueness or did it burry itself six feet under with a bog standard revenge story? Let’s find out! Continue reading “91 Days – Gangsters & Revenge”

Is Lucky Star Still Relevant for the Modern Otaku? – A Quick Review & Discussion With The Anime Blogging Party

Everybody is Told to Watch the Classics

Image result for lucky starThere is a lot of anime. Some shows come into the spotlight and stay there while others fall to the wayside to the, “next big thing.” Of course, there is the opposite that happens with time where a show went unnoticed when it first came out but is now heralded as essential viewing for devoted Otaku. Today I’d like to talk about one show in particular, Lucky Star. We’ll explore its interesting past, the cultural marks it left, and try to answer the question:  is this show still relevant? Continue reading “Is Lucky Star Still Relevant for the Modern Otaku? – A Quick Review & Discussion With The Anime Blogging Party”

Classroom of the Elite – Philosophical Ramblings Amongst a Myriad of Fanservice

Cool Premise but…

Recently I sat down with my younger brother and watched Classroom of the Elite with him. From the start we knew this show wasn’t going to be great, but it had such an interesting premise that we decided to give it a shot anyway. Imagine a school where upon graduation you have exactly the life you wanted for yourself, while at school everything you could dream of needing (or wanting) was provided, and you even received a huge allowance from the school itself. The catch? What you earn is directly tied to how well your whole class does. Anything can be bought with the school’s money, or point system, and I mean anything. Welcome to D class where the, “problem kids” are. Will they be able to rise to great heights with the help of the mysterious Ayanokouji? Continue reading “Classroom of the Elite – Philosophical Ramblings Amongst a Myriad of Fanservice”