Fate/Zero is a 2011 show created by Gen Urobuchi who would go on to create other works such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Psycho-Pass. The show was made by studio Ufotable a relatively new studio at the time which quickly rose to fame having made another popular series in the same universe as Fate/Zero the Kara no Kyoukai: Garden of Sinners film series. Fate/Zero is the prequel to the visual novel Fate Stay Night which studio Deen had adapted partly in 2006. For most people who have watched this series, it is more about the journey than the destination, as the ending for Fate/Zero has been told in Fate Stay Night and this anime serves as more of a story of how the ending happened, rather than focusing on what the ending will be. Recently most people I have been watching Fate/Zero before Fate Stay Night; therefore Fate/Zero didn’t feel as much of a prequel to Fate Stay Night, but rather Fate Stay Night felt as more of a sequel to Fate/Zero. So by this chain of events, I too saw Fate/Zero much differently than most of the older anime viewer, because I didn’t know the ending upfront, and because this was my introduction to the Fate franchise/universe.
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Probably the most controversial anime ever created will be discussed today. Neon Genesis Evangelion was created in 1995 by studio Gainax and their founder Hideaki Anno. Some proclaim it as one of the best storyline and tv series ever created, whilst others bash the show as being pretentious and some of the worst in anime. This show is not for everyone; it is heavily influenced by Hideaki Anno who was at the time going through serious mental issues and that is clearly present in this show as all the characters goes through their own mental battles.
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Hibike! Euphonium or Sound! Euphonium is a 13 episode anime produced in the spring 2015 season by Kyoto Animation, who have made a similar and more popular show that is notorious for kicking off the “moe era” of anime called K-On. Kyoto Animation is a prominent studio in the anime industry, as they have made many great and loved shows such as Haruhi, Full Metal Panic, Clannad and Nichijou. But they have also been criticised as only making moe otaku pandering shows that just result in “cute girls doing cute things” without and real substance, and with this show being so similar to one of their more disliked shows K-On; does this show live up to the criticisms against Kyoto Animation or does it try to succeed at being something more?
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Shokugeki no Souma or Food Wars! is a 24 episode shōnen battle cooking show. Produced in 2015 by J.C Staff who are more famous for creating some of the best romantic comedies in anime such as Golden Time and Ano Natsu de Matteru. This is some what out from left field from them as they are not really know for stepping into completely action-packed suspense driven shows. This show is basically Japan’s take on Gordon Ramsey’s: Hell Kitchen, with the sprinkles of all the overused anime subplots and tropes we’ve grown to love. Surprisingly Food Wars actually makes them feel new and original.
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Puella Magi Madoka Magica or simply know as Madoka Magica is a 2011 show created by Gen Urobuchi who is famous for other works such as Fate/Zero and Psycho Pass. This show was produced by studio Shaft and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo who’s partnership has created works like their 2010 smash hit Bakemonogatari. Madoka Magica is a magical girl show with a twist, on the surface it presents itself as just another magical girl show akin to shows like Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura but as you watch it you see that this show is far from these two. This review is not a standard review because to be fully able to talk about this show, knowledge on the show is needed; unlike other shows a review for Madoka Magica is more of a discussion then a recommendation to someone. So if you have not seen the show yet and are wondering whether to watch it or not: go see the tl;dr at the bottom and score I’ve given it as those don’t contain any spoilers from the show. So this is a review for people who have already seen the show and are either wondering what someone else thinks about it or I themselves are conflicted about it.
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Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso or commonly known as Your Lie in April is a show produced by A-1 pictures that premiered in 2014. It is a music based romantic comedy set in middle school in Japan. This show is highly acclaimed by the anime community as it is currently (in 2016) ranked at #14 best anime ever on MyAnimeList with a score of 8.93, and at #15 on HummingBird with a score of 8.84. As you can see this is considered to be the best in it’s genre and well as one of the best anime ever created by the anime community. But does it deserve this acclaim?
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Claymore is a series released in 2007 produced by studio Madhouse. On paper this should be an exceptional show since it was made by a studio giant and arguable the best out there, and released in the so-called “golden age” of anime. This anime contains everything it needs to be successful in the industry and hailed as a masterpiece: Beautiful women wielding epic weapons, large-scale battles as well as small “assassin’s creed” type infiltrations as well as political intrigue by touching on subjects such as alienation, prejudice, loyalty and vengeance. But sadly this is not the case, Claymore is not a masterpiece and hailed as a benchmark of the genre, but it is a superb anime and still deserved to be watched. So why is Claymore the way it is? Falling in between good and amazing, doing more than enough in some categories but not enough in others.
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