7 Seeds Part 2 – It’s Like Two Different Teams Worked on This Series

There’s Not a Better Way to Put it

If you recall my review from last year for the first half of 7 Seeds, then you’d know that I thought it was an utter train wreck that wasn’t worth your time. In spite of that, I did say I was still curious about the second half, so here we are with “season two” almost a full year later. You may not believe me, but it’s almost like two different teams of people worked on the show. It’s not actually the case, but that’s just how much better this second half was. 7 Seeds managed to take almost all of my criticism and improve on it. Continue reading “7 Seeds Part 2 – It’s Like Two Different Teams Worked on This Series”

Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk – A Strong Finish

Certainly Worth the Watch!

Picking up right where Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk left off, the second season of the anime opens with one powerful episode. That said though, before I get into any of that, and why you should definitely watch this, be aware that there will be spoilers for season 1 in here. If all you were looking for was assurance that the whole series is worth your time, I can confidently say it is. Now, on to the review proper. Continue reading “Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk – A Strong Finish”

Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk – A Surprising Delight

Probably the Best Video Game Adaptation Turned Anime I’ve Seen

Awhile back while searching for another anime I happened upon a show called “Tower of Druaga“. This title was one I was quick to disregard, except two things struck me about it when I looked it up. The first being that this was somehow based on a 1984 Namco game and the fact that this was a Gonzo production. If you don’t know already, I have a philosophy that all Gonzo shows are at least interesting, even if they aren’t good, but sometimes they really delight. So the big question is, did Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk deliver? Continue reading “Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk – A Surprising Delight”

7 Seeds – Mini Review

Worse than Hero Mask?!?

Image result for 7 seeds animeI’ll save you the trouble, yes, 7 Seeds was a worse Netflix show than Hero Mask was. That’s really saying something, and a massive disappointment because this show is based on a very well regarded manga that is extremely interesting! This adaptation does have the intrigue, but it fails on almost every level to execute on any of it.

Long time readers will know that studio Gonzo and I have a history as I’ve watched a surprisingly large amount of their library. It’s impressive that they are still producing stuff even today, like in today’s case with 7 Seeds. Even though I think this show is rubbish, it does live up to my main thought on Gonzo’s work:  not all of their shows are good, but they are all at least interesting.

This is a doomsday survival story. The world is about to end, so the government forms teams of people, putting them in cryosleep, so that they can one day rebuild society long after the remainder of humanity has been wiped out as a last resort. It’s such a strong premise, which I am not doing justice to.

I was just praising Phantom in my last article for how well it adapted its source material by making changes, that I feel kind of bad about what I have to say on 7 Seeds’s behalf. It too makes changes, but it really doesn’t work at all. Shots are pretty faithful to the manga, the issue more lies in that an episode could cover up to 10 chapters of the manga at a time. That’s absurd!

All of this isn’t helped by the fact that the anime chooses to jump all over the place, following various groups of people, some even on unique timelines. It isn’t like things are hard to follow, but stuff is just constantly happening and way too quickly. Especially the bad stuff.

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This arc was just way too much for me, and I LIKE dark stuff…

What I mean by that, is the bad things that happen to the characters. Even if you somehow cared for any of them (seriously, there are maybe 3 I didn’t totally hate), you have no down time to appreciate when they have a moment of calm. Unrelentless is how I would describe this, it just keeps throwing tragic event, after tragic event.

On the note about the characters, they are all terrible, even the supposed “good guys” from the “good teams”. Let me give you an example, one character hates another character because he is kind of a coward. She does horrible stuff to him and others. Later, he dies to save her life and MAGICALLY she gives a huge speech about how much she loved and cared about the dude. It all feels so fake. These don’t even feel like characters.

It wasn’t all bad though, like I said. There was a lot of cool world building details and concepts tossed around. 7 Seeds even managed TWO whole (mostly) effective story beats! One was about an underground shelter, the first way the government tried to protect people. This was the more effective of the two, even if it was a little goofy and over the top in places. The second was about Jesus, but he’s good at baseball and also has dogs. It was just his backstory.

Otherwise, the animation was baffling in terms of how bad it was. The character’s look great, aside from the gross hair thing, which is cool because the manga art would not have translated well to animation. Music was a joke, even the OP and ED. I’ve already spoken to the writing and direction, so that’s it really.

I guess there is one pretty big thing left. 7 Seeds doesn’t even have an ending! Netflix really has a bad habit of not finishing what they start when it comes to these “original” projects. Thankfully, I do know that the second half of this series is coming soon, but it was a pretty big mistake to leave things hanging like they did.

Not going to lie, I was still interested in watching to see how things progressed. The world was interesting and critiquing the issues with things was fun for me. However, leaving off on what I wouldn’t even call a cliff hanger, literally just cutting from the middle of what feels like a normal episode, was gross. It also wasn’t clear that this was meant to just be a part 1 either.

Should mention, the dub is not bad. Anyway, this trailer doesn’t look too bad, does it? Yeah, I wish it was true…

Of course it isn’t hard to figure that out once you finish the “final” episode, but it just doesn’t sit well with me. Clearly, I mean I’m on my third paragraph about it now. Do yourself a favor, totally pass on 7 Seeds. If you really want to check it out, at least wait until the second half drops on Netflix so you (hopefully) get a complete product.


Did you make the mistake of watching 7 Seeds? Totally disagree with me here? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Consider dropping a few bucks my way by hitting the Ko-fi button below if you like my articles here. Thanks for reading and see ya soon!

Red Garden – Mini Review

A Gonzo Show! I loved it… Right?

Image result for red garden animeYou might not have heard of this bizarre anime from the Fall 2006, so let me do my best to explain this one a bit. Wish me luck:  

A series of strange suicides have been plaguing New York. Four girls from an elite high school find themselves in a strange situation when they realize their friend is one of the suicide victims. That’s when the butterflies appear and rip Kate, Claire, Rachel, and Rose from their normal lives. They are all quite different, but circumstance has forced them together. Upon following the butterflies, they meet a man and a woman who inform them that they are dead and now must fight for their right for continued existence.

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That, or I could have just said, this is a lot like Twilight but if it were somehow more poorly written, acted, and WAY more enjoyable. Even if horror-comedy-musical-tragedies aren’t normally your thing, you may very well still want to check out Gonzo’s Red Garden. Let’s dive right in and find out why.

OMG, I’ve never seen this trailer before. Most anticipated horror-action of the YEAR guys! 

The first big thing about Red Garden is that director, Kou Matsuo, has this weird fascination with Western media. One thing in particular being musicals. For the first handful of episodes in the series, sometimes a random, in-character musical number breaks out. These don’t add anything to the show, but knowing that was enough to peak my interest.

What’s more is the crazy story format. It jumps all over the place. Sometimes it is a slasher show, a comedy, romance, etc… when I read about the plot a few years back, I just knew that this level of out-there was something I’d enjoy. I was right too, but it also was more of a slog to watch than expected.

Red Garden suffers immensely from pacing. This isn’t helped by the inconsistent format, poor acting, and generally bad writing. Plot wise, it actually isn’t hard to follow, but the dialog and events are an absolute mess.

The Western influence did bring about some more interesting things for the show though. For example, setting the show in New York, most notably Roosevelt Island, was a nice touch. The girls, while design wise not always the best, wore unique outfits that were generally believable. Additionally, the socioeconomic differences between its cast were more highlighted here, even though they all attend a rather prestigious school.

There were a lot of little touches like that in Red Garden that added to its depth when it wasn’t being a totally bonkers genre blend of a story. It also knew how to restrain itself and tell human stories that actually mattered. They were far-and-few between, but it was a nice break from the supernatural drama.

In essencethis is a vampires vs werewolves story. The girls are newly-made vampires, except they suck lemons instead of blood. Really, they are more like zombies, but the show also gives them vampire powers. Werewolves are part of this other clan and are the rivals of the vampires.

Both sides are under a curse due to some dumb thing that happened a long time ago. They each resent the other side, and want to solve their own problem without helping their rivals. However, there is a twist. If the girls win the day, they’ll lose all of their memories and become immortal.

Upon this revelation the Red Garden really gives this time. The final battle brought things to a fairly decent close, and the series ended on a decent note. Then the OVA happened.

The OVA takes place far into the future and all of the girls have taken on new personalities. They have no memory of who they once were either. For whatever reason, all the other characters are also in this OVA, which ends up being funnier than expected. The OVA turns things into a futuristic sci-fi action-mystery with mecha in it for good measure. Seriously, it is bizarre.

That’s the appeal of Red Garden though. It’s so utterly unique and interesting that calling it outright bad would be a disservice. It certainly isn’t good, but it does entertain. There are some very slow bits, but ultimately, it was worth the watch.

I should note that watching this either in Japanese or English made no difference. Both tracks are intentionally done poorly. I went with English because it was easier to understand and the atrocious singing was a lot funnier to me. You’ll probably want to flip subtitles on for at least that though, you can’t understand them well when they sing. Partially because they are BAD, but also because it is really quiet.

Sorry the quality isn’t the best. This was the only good example I could find. Check out the OP & ED’s for the show though, those are legit good.

I’ll link to one of the songs here so you can see what I mean. It’s probably the best way to sell you on the show, as counter intuitive as that may sound. Gonzo certainly has put out a lot of shows I’ve loved, and while Red Garden doesn’t quite measure up to their other works, I still think this one was a valuable edition to my collection.


Have you seen Red Garden? Be sure to share your thoughts. Additionally, what is your favorite Gonzo show? There are a lot to choose from! If you enjoyed this article, consider dropping me a donation via the button bellow. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!

Anime ABC’s N is for NHK ni Youkoso!

Welcome to the Depression

Image result for welcome to the nhkFor this entry in the Anime ABC’s series I’m taking a look at NHK ni Youkoso!, or Welcome to the NHK as it’s known in English. It’s a depressing story that has a positive spin in the end but man is it a long journey. This 2006 adaptation of the novel of the same title is one that offers a unique story that shouldn’t be missed by more serious anime viewers. For some, Welcome to the NHK is going to hit pretty close to home but for others it offers an interesting look into the world of hikikomoris and the dangers of social isolation taken to extremes. Continue reading “Anime ABC’s N is for NHK ni Youkoso!”

CG in Anime – A Brief History & Discussion

Love it or Hate it, We’re Stuck With 3D & CG Work in Anime

Since I took a look at Ajin‘s first season earlier this week I thought it might be interesting to explore my thoughts on the use of computer generated content and various 3D elements that are becoming ever present in the anime industry. Before all that though, let’s explore the history of CG in anime.

Continue reading “CG in Anime – A Brief History & Discussion”

Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing -Part 2 The Discussion-

Overview

This is part 2 of my look at Last Exile:  Fam, The Silver Wing and anime review 3.5

If you haven’t read part 1, (why are you even here?) be sure to go and check that out before continuing on. In this article, I will discuss my thoughts on Fam as a sequel to the first season, Last Exile. Be warned, I am not concerned AT ALL with spoilers for either series. If you haven’t watched either of them and wish to avoid spoiling yourself leave now. Continue reading “Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing -Part 2 The Discussion-“

Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing -Part 1 The Review-

Overview

Anime review number 3

We will be taking a look at the show Last Exile:  Fam, The Silver Wing (Fam for short). Part 1 will be a spoiler-free review of the second season of the Last Exile franchise, while part 2 will discuss my opinions of the anime as a sequel to the original series. If you have not seen the first season, I highly encourage you to do so before reading this review as I will reference the first season. Additionally, if you have not seen my review of Last Exile go read that first before continuing with this article. Continue reading “Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing -Part 1 The Review-“

Last Exile Anime Review (Season 1)

Overview

Last Exile is a 26 episode anime produced by Gonzo that aired in 2003. The story follows Claus Valca, a vanship pilot, and his navigator Lavie Head. The two are sky couriers with aspirations to one day be the first people to cross the Grand Stream in a vanship. During one of their missions they are tasked with protecting a young girl, Alvis, from her pursers. Before long, Claus and Lavie soon find themselves wrapped up in the middle of a war between the Anatoray and Disith people. The two attempt to bring peace not only for themselves, but for the world, in this highflying show. Continue reading “Last Exile Anime Review (Season 1)”