My Top 20 Anime of The Decade

The 2010’s Were Full of Great Titles!

There were so many great titles in the past decade, in fact, that I had a hard time only picking 10 of them. So, since we are entering 2020, I thought I’d expand the list to 20 titles! Before we dive in, I need to state that only shows I actually watched to completion were eligible for the list, so if a title is missing, I probably just didn’t watch it yet. Additionally, films will be included on this list as well since there were a few that came out and I saw that I really liked, but not enough for a separate list. Finally, these are my picks, so if you disagree, just make your own list, I’d love to see it! Continue reading “My Top 20 Anime of The Decade”

Saying Goodbye to Amazon Prime with 3 Anime Mini Reviews – Re:Creators, Irozuku: The World in Colors, & Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 2

Was Nice Having you Amazon Prime

I got a lot of use out of the couple of years I was able to afford having Amazon Prime. However, I’m practically out of money so this is one of the things I have to let go of this year (along with a lot of other things). Anyway, since I officially lost the service today, I thought we’d look back at a few shows I quickly watched before the service ran out on me. I ended up having time for 3 shows which are:  Re:CreatorsIrozuku: The World in Colors, and Yuki Yuna is a Hero season 2.

These shows were chosen because they were Amazon exclusive, things that I wanted to, or in some cases, already started watching, or had some buzz about them. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time for Banana Fish but it is what it is. I’ll be reviewing the three shows I did manage to get around to just like I would normally for Mini Reviews. Enjoy! Continue reading “Saying Goodbye to Amazon Prime with 3 Anime Mini Reviews – Re:Creators, Irozuku: The World in Colors, & Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 2”

Zombieland Saga – Mini Review


Related imageThe Fall 2018 season of anime brought with it several interesting anime but one was a pretty big mystery at the start, Zombieland Saga. Nobody really knew what this show was going to be, outside of it plausibly containing zombies. It was with great surprise to many, myself included in this, that it was an idol show of all things. Not a fan of shows like Love Live!? Wait! Don’t go… Zombieland Saga may just be for you, so let me tell you why.

One of the big draws of this anime is its premise. Zombie idol girls? Sure! Cold opening with main character Sakura hurrying out the door, excited to apply to an idol group, only to end up getting hit by a truck (in the slap-stick comedy kind of way, complete with metal-type music). It’s one heck of a hook that immediately sets the tone. Zombieland Saga isn’t going to take itself seriously, or at least, that’s what it wants you to think.

A major problem some folks have with idol anime is the large cast and melodrama surrounding every little event. While it would be wrong to say that this show doesn’t have any of that, it largely avoids this problem with the prior established tone and a greater focus set on providing biting commentary on the current real-life state of the idol industry.

Related image

Each character represents different facets of the idol industry, which is achieved because each girl is, well, a zombie! Since most of the girls get a dedicated episode you learn more about certain aspects of not only that character, but the context of what being an idol was during their time in life. In this way the show is very clever.

Zombieland Saga also chastises how the idol industry treats people now. Restrictions on the girls dating, overwork, and several other issues are also explored. Generally, these are given a comedic slant with the girls’ manager, Tatsumi, Koutarou (voiced by Miyano, Mamoru of Steins;Gate fame, by the way) screaming at them about how he can do whatever he wants with each of them because they are zombies.

Image result for zombieland saga lilyLastly the show wasn’t afraid to feature socially forward thinking through the character, Lily. She’s a trans person, and idols like this do exist in real life. For an example just look at K-Pop’s Harisu. Zombieland Saga isn’t the first, and surely not the last, anime to do this in the idol genre, but it was handled particularly well (even if fan reaction wasn’t….). Even if you don’t agree with this sort of thing, it is out there in the real world and deserves a place for exploration in media like this.

Ok, so maybe one reason you’ve avoided an idol show in the past is the music. Fair enough. Well Zombieland Saga is going to go to some outright weird places as far as your typical idol show is concerned. Death metal, rap, the more traditional songs, and even a commercial jingle! There is a fair amount of variety here and it just works. Don’t like a song? No problem, the next one is going to be different.

On the subject of music, the OP is super stylized. It’s not even something I can explain fully so please check it out for yourself (provided below). What’s more? You can listen to the OP and ED for free on Spotify if you would like as well!

All-in-all the story here is interesting, especially as a gateway into other idol anime. It does a surprisingly good job of cluing you into the culture surrounding this type of media, the story beats, and can even get you generally excited for/invested in the very characters.

However, this does lead me to the bad bits of the show which prevent it from being as good as it should have been. First off, the pacing towards the end is not very good and basically repeats an arc twice in a row. The context for this is fine, but it wasn’t exactly the most interesting to watch. Then you have the actual ending itself, which was, in a word, unsatisfying.

Zomebieland Saga feels like a big prologue for a much larger story that you might see from the longer-running idol anime like Love Live!. A fair number of the plots are tied up and you know the general outline of why/how every character relates to each other and the events occurring, but it just feels incomplete despite that.

I had to include the ridiculous trailer XD

Still, I would ultimately recommend Zombieland Saga, especially if you’ve never watched an idol show before or are looking to get into them. For all the playing around with the troupes these types of anime contain, it still plays into them just as hard but in a way that doesn’t take itself overly seriously. Plus, it was genuinely one of the better shows of the season.

Did you enjoy Zombieland Saga? Are you a long-time idol anime fan, or was this your first time? Going to watch other idol shows now? Let me know all this and more in the comments below! Please support my content creation by clicking my donation button and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!

My Anime Music Playlist – A Response to Apprentice Mages Lounge (Nearly a Year Later)

Ok, I Know This is Late…

Way back in December 2017, Derek posted on his site, Apprentice Mages Lounge, a post titled, “My Anime Music Playlist…” in which he shared his anime playlist at the time. He then went and requested others share their lists with him. I had intentions to do so, but I wanted to wait until I had a respectable list. Well, nearly a year later, I believe today is finally that day with my current 80+ song list which I updated weekly since the day Derek originally posted! Continue reading “My Anime Music Playlist – A Response to Apprentice Mages Lounge (Nearly a Year Later)”

What I’m Watching – Fall 2018 Anime

Heya Folks!

So today was supposed to be the next Anime ABC’s entry for Psycho-Pass but I really wasn’t feeling up to writing the rest of it. Don’t worry though, it is coming and I think you will like the direction I took things. I just want to take my time on it and not rush completion for the sake of an arbitrary release date. Additionally, I have a nifty surprise for the next round so look forward to that. You didn’t come here to hear about that though! No, you want to know what anime I’ll be watching this season and hear my quick thoughts on each as well. Continue reading “What I’m Watching – Fall 2018 Anime”

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games 999 – Reviewing Them All Part 1

The Stuff Conspiracy is Made of

During the Steam Summer Sale I decided to pick up a few games while they were on the cheap. As per my friend’s recommendation along with one from Mother’s Basement, I decided that I would pick up ALL of the Zero Escape series. Today I’ll be looking at just the first game, 999, or Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The game is a visual novel escape room hybrid that is embroiled in mystery and conspiracy. By the end you won’t be able to look at the number, “9” the same way again.  Continue reading “Zero Escape: The Nonary Games 999 – Reviewing Them All Part 1”

The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 7 – My Anime Crush?!?

I Wonder if Senpai will Notice Me

30-day-anime-challengeBefore we dive in, here’s a quick reminder of what’s come so far and is yet to come later. Today is day 7 of the challenge and I’ll be talking about my anime crush. Who could it be? I’ve done the “Five Flaming Hotties” tag in the past, so maybe one of them? You’ll just have to read on to find out! Continue reading “The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 7 – My Anime Crush?!?”

The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 3 – My Favorite Male Character

Too Many Choices!

30-day-anime-challengeHere’s a quick look at the schedule in case you forgot what we’ve done so far and what’s to come. Day 3 I’m supposed to talk abut my favorite male character and there are just too many great choices! Hmm, I can’t pick him because that means tomorrow it’d have to be her and… well that’s day 8 so…

I would probably give a different answer to this each time so let’s go ahead and make this a top three instead because these guys are all tied. Continue reading “The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 3 – My Favorite Male Character”

Taking a Look at my Desktop Backgrounds

Doing Something a bit Different

Today I felt like talking about my desktop backgrounds and my thought process behind how and why I choose the ones I have. This article is a good way to get to know me some more and an opportunity for folks to share some cool images with each other. This isn’t really meant to be in-depth or anything, just for fun. I know this is something fairly atypical of me but I hope you’ll indulge me a bit and enjoy 🙂  Continue reading “Taking a Look at my Desktop Backgrounds”

Top 25 Anime Openings

nfzmig8When the OP is Just Right…

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve personally put an actual article up on here. So I thought I’d get back into the swing of things by celebrating some of my favorite anime openings. I’ve seen a couple hundred anime, so this list took some careful consideration to whittle down to just 25.

The list is in no particular order and the only rule is that the opening has to have come from a show I’ve seen. Other than that, no repeats for stuff I’ve reviewed outside of honorable mentions. Obviously this is just my personal taste, so if an OP you love isn’t on the list I probably didn’t see the show or just didn’t like the opening that much ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  Continue reading “Top 25 Anime Openings”