Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Episode 9


This was a great episode! It doesn't match up to episode three, but the execution of the final scene, the fantastic ending, and the hilarious dialogue in the beginning of the episode really made this stand out from the last two episodes. Sure it did have a few flaws that did stop it from achieving an excellent rating, but it was still enjoyable nevertheless. The episode centered around Ryner's side of the story, with Ryner and Ferris receiving a message from Sion through Eris, regarding the hero relic that turned into a dragon that they decided to leave behind, because...they didn't feel like it. *facepalm*

Unfortunately, due to the retardation of Iris, she neglects to give them the latter half of the message, which informs them specifically not to retrieve the hero relic, as many villagers had already been killed off by the hero relic. (Or so they presume.) Sion's order was smart, but it really makes me wonder why he chose Iris as the messenger girl. I mean, annoying voice aside, this girl has absolutely no special skills that make her more unique or superior than other messengers. So why pick her?!
So with the news of the dead villagers being unknown to them, the duo attempt to retrieve the hero relic. The rest of this episode however, was pretty interesting! Sure the fight scene in the middle sucked due to there being way too much exposition, but the villains were pretty surprising, even if they do seem like your generic villains who are being evil for the sake of being evil. The ending scene however, was phenomenal, as Ryner once again had another one of his weird Alpha Stigma "bankai" moments, meaning that while he did successfully fend off the villains, his inability to control this "Super Saiyan" form of his, means that he will probably try to destroy the whole entire world. This was probably the best way for this to end, as it really got me pumped for the next episode.

I would have given this episode an excellent rating, if it wasn't for another unfavorable aspect of this show, the flashbacks. A problem I have with this show, is that most of the flashbacks aren't interesting, and do very little to develop or make us care for the characters. For example, Bleach, as shallow as it is, has excellent flashbacks, as they do a great job of providing backstory to the characters, making us care about them. Here they don't provide enough detail to allow us to care. For example, the first flashback in this episode had Ryner standing in a battlefield with blood on his hands. The reasons for this are never revealed, as they never explain what he's doing there or what just happened on the battlefield. The same can be said about the Milk Callaud and the Sion flashbacks, as they focused too much on the childhood, meaning that the events which occur in the episode is a means of showing how bad their childhood was, the show using this to manipulate the viewer into feeling sorry for the characters, instead of providing them with a proper backstory that shows us how they got into the position they are in currently. 
Rating: Great

Shiki: Episode 8


This was an amazing episode! The fast pace of this episode really did an excellent job of keeping me interested, the buildup also being perfect! These guys really know how to create a lot of tension in certain scenes, also having the ability to make the show pretty creepy at times. Plus the lighting effects in each scene is done perfectly, as the shadows really do a great job of conveying a tense and dark mood to the show. I'm also starting to get used to the character models, as I'm glad to say that not a single scene was ruined by an odd facial expression or character model, something that really hurt the execution of the previous episodes.
The only flaw with this scene would have to be that she doesn't seem scared enough. If someone is grabbing you from behind and dragging you somewhere, wouldn't you do everything in your power to get someone's attention or fight the attacked off?
The episode begins with Natsuno, Kaori, and Akira digging up Megumi's grave, the group discovering that Megumi has risen from the grave as a vampire. During the discovery, Kaori is nearly kidnapped by a vampire, Natsuno knocking him out with a shovel before he could bite Kaori. A particular aspect that I found pleasing about this scene would have to be the reasoning that was used, Natsuno, using his lack of pulse and low body temperature to come to the conclusion that he is a vampire. The strategy to alert other people of the vampires was also a pretty goo idea, even if it did fail due to the vampire still being alive. With his plan failed, it seems that the group is now in danger of being attacked by vampires, as I'm pretty sure that the undead will try to eliminate those three now that they know of their existence. I have to say that at the start of the series, I was worried that Natsuno was going to be a pretty unlikable protagonist, but the smart tactics he uses and the fact that he's actually having inner conflicts after hitting the vampire with the shovel is starting to make him a likable character. The only problem that remains is that his emotionless demeanor may have the adverse effect of pissing many people off, as he seems to be a little too calm or apathetic at times.

Another aspect that I found likable about the episode was the development that was given to Sunako. Sure it was very small, but it's just enough to make us wonder if she's a vampire or not. I would like to say that she definitely is one, but the fact that she hasn't attacked Seishin yet or even tries to hide herself leaves me to conclude that she may not be one. Plus I liked it how Seishin is starting to go through the mental dilemma of whether or not Sunako really is a vampire or not, as the conflict really does a great job of making his character more interesting.

To top it all off, the ending of this episode did an exceptional job of getting me excited for the next episode, as it really presents countless possibilities on what direction this show can take! Honestly, this is the best episode of the series so far, as it delivered many plot twists, creepy moments, and a fantastic ending! Let's see what the next episode will dish out!
Rating: Excellent

Occult Academy: Episode 8


It seems that this show is going to be utilizing a two episode arc formula, each arc focusing on a specific character and situation. Hopefully this means that the show will start focusing on characters such as Mikaze, JK, and Smile, as they are all pretty flat characters despite their increasing involvement with each arc (Mikaze being an exception, as she's always in the background screwing around). I have to say that I'm enjoying what this show has done so far. The focus on developing the characters is working out pretty well, the only problem with this being that the plot itself isn't moving forward. I do enjoy the fact that they are taking the time to flesh out the characters, but with five episodes left, I'm starting to get a bit annoyed over why they haven't focused their attention on the main villains or the actual plot. It doesn't seem like they can wrap everything up in five episodes.

Anyways, the episode continued where the last on left off, Maya and Ami still feuding after the events of last episodes. I liked it how the issue was resolved quickly, as I was worried the feud would continue for a few more episodes due to the characters refusing to communicate with each other. My only problem is that Kozue was a real dumbass, as she mistook an attempted reconciliation between the two as a duel. Due to her ignorance, she decides to get a drink, only to lure a group of chupacabras to their location, resulting in Ami's kidnapping, meaning that Maya has to coordinate a rescue effort.

The latter half of the episode which had Fumiaki, JK, Smile, Ami's dad, Maya, and Kozue banding together in order to coordinate a rescue was probably the best part of the episode, as the fight scenes were well animated, the music was thrilling and the involvement that each character had in this episode really made for a triumphant finale to the arc. Fumiaki is really starting to improve with each passing arc, not to the extent that he's having a rushed transformation, but just enough for his development to be realistic.

A problem that I'm having with the episode though is that they still haven't given us any information on the motives of the villain. While I understand that they are probably saving this for the final arc, it would have been nice if they gave us clues to what the intentions of the villain are, as all we know is that the group is probably led by Chihiro, who for some reason is trying to cover up all the events that occurred in the areas that Maya visits. I'm guessing that those locations may hold clues to finding Nostradamus's key, meaning that they may be part of some cult that wants the prophecies of Nostradamus's key to occur. That, or they are a bunch of aliens who also time traveled to 1999 in order to stop Fumiaki from finding Nostradamus's key. (That being the my most unlikely prediction.)

Rating: Great

Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Episode 8


No we're back on track! This episode was a huge improvement from last week's annoying episode, as this focused on the Sion side of things. It wasn't perfect, as I did find a few unfavorable aspects, but it at least moved the narrative forward. The episode focused on a rebellion by Estabul against Roland, led by Lady Noa Ehm, but provoked by Miran in an effort to eliminate all of Sion's opposition by eliminating anti-king or anti-Roland factions involved in the conflict. Sion, weary of Miran's actions, decides to send Claude due to his reluctance to kill people, hoping that he will be able settle this conflict without too much bloodshed.

My biggest problem with this episode had to be Lady Noa Ehm, the leader of the rebellion. I understand that she is supposed to be the type of leader who cares about the happiness of her citizens, but her indecisiveness and naivety make it too obvious that she was being used as a tool by others in order to gain greater political power. Plus it doesn't seem that she would be a good political leader, as while she does have good intentions her naive ambitions and clueless demeanor make her the Jimmy Carter of this political scene. (I have nothing against Jimmy Carter, it's just that while he may have been a good person(I wouldn't know), he was not a good politician.)

However, the scene which had the Roland army battling the rebels was a pretty interesting. I liked it how Claude instantly killed the commander of the rebel army as quickly as possible in order to make the rest of rest of the army lose morale, thus increasing the chances that the battle could discontinue. The failure of the plan is also done well, as the distrust of rebels, the bad intentions of some of the leaders of the rebels and the indecisiveness of Noa cause the rebels to refuse surrender.

The latter portion of this episode was the best part of this episode though, as I wasn't expecting Miran to disobey Sion, as while he probably will be a villain later on, I can't figure out why he's trying to assist Sion, as he's much smarter and stronger, Sion not even being able to control him as Miran disobeyed his orders multiple times in past episodes. It will be interesting to figure out his true motives in later episodes.

Rating: Great

Occult Academy: Episode 7


Now this was a nice episode! The chase scene which had Fumiaki, Ami, Ami's father, Maya and Kozue chasing a flying saucer was well executed, making it a pretty suspenseful scene. Plus the development for Ami really did a great job of making her an interesting character, unlike previous episodes which had her as a pointless side character with no real purpose. The only flaw was the fact that Ami's dad basically set up the whole chase scene, meaning that the events had no relevance to the main story. Thankfully, it still gets a great rating due to the execution of the chase scene, the character development, and the surprising ending of the episode.
Is she all right?
The first half of this episode gave some insight on how the relationship between Ami and Maya is strained by Maya's hate of the occult. This half wasn't as strong as the second one, but it did do a great job of developing Ami and her father. The latter part was superior though, as the ending of the episode and the exhilarating chase scene were both very interesting. My only problem is that Kozue was basically reduced to a comic relief character, all of her jokes being only mildly amusing and nothing more. However, I did enjoy the fact that Fumiaki wasn't the comic relief character anymore, as he was pretty annoying in every episode before episode six.

The ending scene had to be the best part of this episode, as the conflict between Ami and Maya should provide for some interesting drama later on. Plus I suspect that they may start developing Maya's personality, as past episodes handled her cold personality in a comedic manner, the sudden change to a more serious tone indicate indicating that she may undergo a personality change later. (That isn't to say that I hate her personality right not, as I think her character in general is a huge departure from most female protagonists in anime these days.)
Overall, this was a pretty enjoyable episode. Sure the plot twist which had Ami's dad setting up the UFO incident was annoying, but it was made up by the fantastic ending and the suspenseful chase scene. While it would have been nice if the episode moved the plot forward, it was still enjoyable to see the show focus on fleshing out its characters.

Rating: Great

Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Episode 7


Please beat the crap out of her.
Never did I think that one character could do so much damage to a series. This episode decided to make the unfortunately decision of focusing on Milk Callaud, the captain of a unit pursuing Ryner and Ferris. The reason I describe this decision as unfortunate is because Milk is a very annoying and melodramatic. I understand that she is one of the women who falls in love with Ryner, but her chemistry with him is horrible and is completely overshadowed his chemistry with Ferris. It also doesn't help that her voice actor is even more annoying than Iris, making all her screen time unbearable.
That isn't to say that Milk is the only aspect that hurts this episode, as a plethora of other problems also made this episode poor. For one thing, the humor fell absolutely flat, even the jokes between Ferris and Ryner also missing more than hitting. A huge factor is due to Milk being involved, as her obsessive love for Ryner means that there is a lot of generic romance humor being utilized. I have nothing against this type of humor, but it doesn't work in a show like this. This show shines when it's being serious, not when it's trying to make the audience laugh, the only exception being the comedic moments between Ryner and Ferris, which are usually done pretty well.

Sion's side of the story also didn't go so well, as while it did have a little plot development, it mostly consisted of Sion mourning the death of Fiole (i.e. sitting on his ass and doing absolutely nothing.). Thankfully, they at least will have Fiole's sister, Eslina, taking Fiole's place, meaning that Sion will finally get over Fiole's death in order to move the story forward.

The main problem with this episode is that it didn't really develop the plot. Sure it focused on Captain Milk and developed her quite a bit, but the problem is that she isn't that interesting to begin with. Her melodramatic attitude, chemistry with the male lead and annoying voice actor undermines all of this development and a few scenes which are supposed to be dramatic or saddening. Hopefully the next episode will actually move the plot forward, as very little events took place, making it a pretty dull episode.

Rating: Poor

Shiki: Episode 6


This series just gets better and better! Sure it does seem that the character models just get more ridiculous with each passing episode, but the suspense and buildup is near perfect. While I did have a a problem with the lack of focus on Masao's death, the plot developments really did a great job of keeping me interested!
Is that a man, woman...or both? (Seriously! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING?!)
However, before I go into the good parts of this episode, let me talk about the flaws with this episode. I don't know what the hell they were trying to do, but these character models are the most disgusting...THINGS I have ever laid eyes on. Some of the female character models look like guys, while others have very odd hairstyles. The male character models are a little better, but not by much. Toshio, Natsuno and Seishin are the only male leads that look normal, everyone else having odd hair styles and weird facial models that make it really hard to take any of them seriously. I understand that this is Higurashi without the moe, but they didn't have to make the character models ugly.

Another problem was the fact that the show pays little attention to Masao's death. Sure he was a flawed character, but the show could of at least showed some sympathy towards him. Plus, no one seems to notice his symptoms or even tries to help him before his death, making it a very uneventful and pathetic one compared to everyone else's. Hopefully, the next episode will at least show a reaction from someone.

However, all of these problems are canceled out once you take into consideration that main characters have finally realized that they are under attack from vampires. Sure I was a bit surprised that Toshio accepted this in the course of a few seconds, but it at least means that Toshi, Seishin and Natsuno can finally start thinking of ways to counter the vampire attacks.

Another aspect that I liked about the episode was the use of visuals. Sure the character models suck, but the haunting environments really do a great job of creeping me out. The beginning scene which has vampire Megumi finally realizing that Natsuno doesn't like her (She had to die and be resurrected in order to find this out!), looks really creepy. Plus the whole rewinding thing was a pretty unique thing they did right there, even if it did feel a bit unnecessary.

So with the population of the villagers dwindling and the lead characters in constant danger of being turned into a vampire, I hope that the show can maintain the momentum and buildup it has created for the past few episodes. It really holds a lot of promise, even if the character models do tend to annoy me a lot! This episode wasn't as good as last episode, but it does raise my hopes for future episode of this series.
Rating: Great

Occult Academy: Episode 6


*Jaw Drops*
This was fantastic! I was honestly worried that characters such as Mikaze and Fumiaki were going to ruin the show, but this episode proved me wrong! The episode began with Maya and Ami trying to figure out what happened to Kozue during her near death experience, an event that caused her to lose her belief in the occult. During this, we are introduced to hilarious scenes that show Maya and Ami trying to convince Kozue that the occult does exist, a venture that is unsuccessful even after Fumiaki tries to fool her via a fake spoon bending trick. After doing everything imaginable, they conclude that Kozue may have lost her occult-loving heart in the afterlife, meaning that they have to go back into the afterlife to get her back. This half of the episode was the weakest part of it, as while it was funny, the arguments between Maya and Fumiaki get plain ridiculous and have no point to them
However, the second half is nearly perfect! After Fumiaki convinces Maya to allow him to go instead of her, we then discover through visions in the afterlife why Fumiaki is psychologically messed up. The reasons given finally allowed me to sympathize with Fumiaki, thus making him a likable character. Plus his decision to risk his life by going into the afterlife shows that he is a reforming character, making him even more likable. It also helps that Maya sees these visions, allowing her to understand Fumiaki and realize that he is telling the truth, meaning that progress to advance the story will finally be made later on.
The dream world in this episode was also much better looking than the one in the last episode. The added colors and visions did a great job of making it a visual spectacle. This is probably the nicest looking show of this season! My only problem would have to be that Fumiaki did spend too much time contemplating on his life while he should have spent time looking for Kozue. While I'm glad they did dedicate a nice amount of time developing his Fumiaki's character, it just seemed a bit counter intuitive.

Overall, this was a fantastic episode. While Mikaze remains the only annoyance in this series, it successfully made Fumiaki a likable character, meaning that the plot can finally move forward. Plus with the relationship between Maya and Fumiaki finally improved, the duo can now search for Nostradamus's key, something that wasn't focused on enough due to Fumiaki's personal issues and Maya's hatred for Fumiaki.

Rating: Excellent

Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Episode 6


This was a pretty good episode. While I felt that it did not go into enough detail about the plot to kill Sion in Nelpha, the moments which had Sion talking to the King of Nelpha was actually pretty interesting. Plus the moments with Ryner and Ferris bickering were, as always, amusing. However, I'm starting to notice that the political drama in this episode wasn't as good as previous episodes, as Miran eliminates everyone trying to kill Sion in the course of a few seconds, making me disappointed, as I was expecting Sion to come up with some complex strategy due to his lack of power. With Miran in the picture, Sion can simply snap his fingers, and the person he wants assassinated can be killed in a heartbeat.
A few other quirks also annoyed me in this episode, my biggest complaint being the loud rock music playing when Ryner and Ferris were guarding Sion at night. Why did the director think that this would be a good idea? I mean, Ryner and Ferris are climbing on top of a castle, not battling hundreds of enemy soldiers! Plus it does annoy me that Ryner seems to attract every girl he meets! Ferris is even falling for him! How the hell does he do it!?
The fight scene at the end of the episode was actually pretty good. I liked it how the enemies weren't actually arrogant like in most other action series and how they had to bluff their way out of the battle, giving me hope that later battles won't be determined by who has the highest power level. The battles themselves were also well animated and pretty nice to look at.
The spells in Legend of Legend of the Legendary Heroes are probably the best part of the visuals.
Overall, this was a great episode. Sure it had numerous problems, but the nice fight scene, interesting relationship between Ferris and Ryner and the fact that one of the relics have already been located (meaning that the plot is developing at a pretty fast rate) makes it a nice experience. Hopefully, Miran won't make Sion's moments so unbalancing later on and not everyone will fall for Ryner by the end of the show. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if the male cast started falling for Ryner.

Rating: Great

Shiki: Episode 4


Now this was a great episode! What distinguished this episode from the previous ones had to be that it actually had a few creepy moments. The scene where Megumi barges into Natsuno's room in a dream successfully scared the hell out of me, as the execution and dark visuals do an excellent job of providing a very creepy atmosphere.

The episode basically consisted of more build up, the doctors learning more information about the deaths while even more people die in the village. My favorite scene had to be the part where the nurses try to figure out which disease may have caused, coming to the conclusion that an infected animal may be the reason why people have been dying. Natsuno also starts to have creepy visions of Megumi being alive, those visions soon becoming a reality (hopefully) in the final parts of the episode when we see a resurrected Megumi and the weird cat guy (Tetsumi) trying too bite Tohru with Natsuno as a witness. I have to say that this was a spectacular way to end the episode, as now that Megumi has resurrected as a vampire (I'm guessing...), this will lead to a lot of interesting plot developments and character interactions later on. Hopefully Megumi will also be less bitchy now that she's a vampire.
GREAT! If she's annoying, we still may get the joy of seeing her getting killed off...again.
Seishin's weird admirer (Who I'm guessing is also a vampire.) is an interesting character that seems to be oddly intelligent for her age. Her voice does annoy me a little though, as I usually don't like young female characters with overly squeaky voices. A problem that I had with Seishin's appearance was probably the fact that no information regarding his hobby of cutting himself was given to us. I'm guessing that he used to be some alcoholic writer, but I would of really appreciated if they developed Seishin, as his appearances are starting to become boring.

Overall, this episode was very interesting. The character models do hinder the emotional value of some scenes, but the creepy atmosphere and great execution of horror sequences made the episode worth watching. Plus the plot developments advanced the story very much, something that the other episodes didn't really do that much due to the focus being too much on Natsuno's bitching.

Shiki: Episode 3


Worst facial model ever.
This episode basically contradicted my previous reviews of the show. It wasn't bad, but a few issues did result in a low rating. For one thing, the character models were absolutely horrible! I know that I previously said that the character models looked nice, but that was only because, despite her despicable attitude, Megumi looked nice. The main problem is that the hair and eyes look way too crazy. A perfect example of this would have to be Masao's face, as he looks like both a man and a woman. It's hilarious too look at his hideous mug, but this causes us the viewer too have the incorrect emotional response too his angsty and moody behavior. Plus the inhabitants of the village; Tetsumi, Seishirou, and Chizuru have the oddest hair styles that make me laugh every time they appear on screen. How the hell am I supposed to take the show seriously when I'm too busy laughing at their appearance?
Why is everyone in this village too stupid to realize that he has cat ears?!
Another problem with the show also has too be the male lead, Natsuno. At first I thought he would be a very likable protagonist, but after seeing this episode, I have discovered that he is actually more hateful than Megumi. His lack of appreciation for his friends and the village set him up as a character who spends way too much complaining about how he hates the village. It isn't like anyone treats him badly, as the townsfolk treat him nicely, only for Natsuno to act in a hostile and douchey manner. An example of this would be when Toru fixes Natsuno's bike, only for Natsuno to act very cold towards him for no reason.
And I thought Megumi was bad...
Thankfully, the episode was saved by the parts which had Toshio investigating the deaths occurring in the village. His parts mostly consisted of build up as we discover that the disease is probably connected to the arrival of the new inhabitants of the village. I have to say that Toshio is a much more likable protagonist than Natsuni, as he actually does something to develop the plot, whereas Natsuno just sits around and complains.
I prefer him as a protagonist over Natsuno.
Rating: Fair
Episode being streamed on Funimation.

Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Episode 5


Again, this episode wasn't as good as the third one, but it did at least offer a few nice plot developments. This episode had Ryner and Ferris arriving in Nelpha to do research on the hero relics they are looking for. Honestly, these moments are the best part of the episode, as the conversations between Ferris and Ryner are light-hearted while also moving the plot forward, making it very enjoyable. The flaws come into play when Ferris's sister, Iris, visits them to inform the duo that she will act as a point of contact between Sion and the group. The problem with this character is that while she can be amusing to watch sometimes, her voice actor is has the most annoying voice ever given, making her fucking unbearable the majority of her screen time!
Have to admit that the dead bodies do look nice...
Meanwhile, Sion is busy dealing with the political situation in Roland, as his secretary, Fiole, gets assassinated, meaning that someone knows of his opposition towards the nobles. I have to say that while I do find Sion to be a likable character, it seems that his hate for nobles is a bit too one-sided. Understandably, the nobles are complete assholes in Roland, as they act in a very stereotypical manner by treating Fiole's death as if it was a joke, but I hope that Sion realizes that not ALL nobles are evil. If he does, than I hope that the anime realizes that this mindset is way too biased and will try to reform him, if not, make him a degrading character.

That isn't to say that his moments weren't very good, as the political drama taking place in this episode was excellent, as I like how despite Sion gaining control of Roland, he still must make slow and careful progress in order to get rid of the various factions that oppose him. Plus it does make it more interesting that the wrong decision could result in his demise, as Lucile will kill Sion if he makes the wrong decision. However, the light-hearted mood and chemistry of Ryner and Ferris make their screen time much more enjoyable, despite the greater depth of Sion's predicament.

Overall, this episode did a great job of developing Sion's story, even if it isn't as enjoyable as Ryner and Ferris's appearances. I'm also starting to wonder when they are going to mention Ryner's Alpha Stigma ability again, as I'm starting to wonder when we the show will reveal his history.
Rating: Great