As I mentioned in the earlier blog post, RIP Funimation!, as my final fair well to the dying Funimation anime streaming service I was going to try a whirl wind last chance anime binge challenge of all the anime series that I wanted to watch that might not be migrated to Crunchyroll when the clock strikes midnight on March 31. I have to admit, this challenge was the most fun I’ve had while saying good bye to something so great as Funimation! Though not all of my final binge anime selections were the best anime I’ve ever watched, there were quite a few that were surprisingly good and I am so glad I had a chance to see them before they might have become unavailable. I think what surprised me the most while completing this challenge was how many series were nothing like I expected. There were series that sounded like they were something I would really like to watch (based on their description) and yet I really didn’t enjoy them much. Conversely, there were also anime that I had pretty low expectations for, but they ended up being some of my favorite! So here’s a quick review and ranking of the Last Chance Anime Challenge! Rankings are based on a 1 through 5 purple smiley face system. 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.
This is a hilarious school love anime about an average high school girl that has a huge crush on the most Ace, boring male student in existence, but the muscle bound school delinquent also has a huge crush on her. All three are abnormally dense so no one knows how the other one feels. 4 purple smiley faces!
In general I do like magic girl anime, and this one certainly starts out pretty darn good. It’s about a high school girl that recently moved in with her step-mother’s family when her father remarried. She now lives in a mansion, she has two pretty step-sisters her age, and even her new step-mother is nice to her, but she still feels alone and unhappy. That’s when the Leaf knights show up (a group heroic guys and cute little boys) and tell her that she’s a princess that is supposed to save the world with magic powers! Sounds pretty great right? Well, it was until we meet the villain. The villain of the series is the former world saving princess that became evil after her crush told her that he didn’t feel the same way about her. Not in a mean way, he just said he didn’t want to date her . . . yeah, and that was supposed to be enough to make her go insane and want to destroy the world. And for that reason it only gets 3 purple smiley faces.
Magic Knight Rayearth
I really enjoyed the first season of this iconic magic girl/giant robot anime. I wasn’t that surprised at how much I liked this one, I am a huge fan of Clamp and they didn’t disappoint! This has everything a 90’s anime should have, cute girls, swords, giant robots, fantasy setting, monsters, a returning cast for the bad guy teem, and spherical cute helper monsters. How could you not love Mokona! The ending was a bit sad, but it totally worked! This gets a ranking of 4 purple smiley faces!
Good Luck Girl
This was kind of funny, but I didn’t really like the idea that the main character had to be miserable just so other people could be happy. I only watched 2 episodes before I lost interest in this one. It gets 1 purple smiley face.
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Too long, didn’t watch. ranked: ???
This should have been an anime that I really enjoyed. It was a steam punk fantasy setting where people are turned into fairy/human cyborgs and they use the fairies powers to fight each other. And yet there were so many problems with this one. For one thing the good guys seem to be perpetually three steps behind the bad guys. The good guys can’t seem to hit anything when they use their guns. I watched 12 episodes and I don’t remember the good guys hitting anyone even once! This is a bit of a problem because the main character is a riflery person. Her one and only weapon is this huge rifle she carries around everywhere, and yet she can’t actually aim! And no one thinks to try target practice. This gets a ranking of 2 purple smiley faces.
Drowning Sorrows in Raging Fire
For some reason I couldn’t get this series to play on the Funimation UI. I don’t know what the problem was, and I tried to get it to play several times, but it never seemed to load the video. Ranking of: ???
This was a rather complex one! It’s about people that can use magic powers with the help of technology. In this world beings from the angel realm, the devil’s realm, fairies realm, and I think there was one other realm can all come to Earth. And all of these beings are in a power struggle and are looking for a Gate which is supposed to have all the answers and grant wishes. Though tricky to keep track of all the characters (there’s a lot of them) it was fun to watch. This gets a ranking of 3 purple smiley faces.
Dimension W was another anime that started out really good, but kind of faltered in that last 4 episodes. It’s about a world where scientists discover another dimension that has unlimited energy and they build these huge towers to collect this energy so everyone on the globe has cheep electricity. But the electric company is doing more evil then just jacking up your bill in the Summer! It’s hiding a dark secret about the dangers of their power collecting. The hero of the story is a retired soldier that is a coil collector (someone that tracts down people with illegal batteries and arrests them). Once again, this is an anime with a villain problem. A villain isn’t even hinted at until episode 8 (the whole series only has 12 episodes) and he’s just like this crazy guy and his motive is that he’s crazy. Uhg! This gets a ranking of 2 purple smiley faces.
Coyote Ragtime Show
In an earlier blog post (Anime perfect pairings) I once said that Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star were a great match. It was a comment on that post that made me rethink this idea, and watch the anime Coyote Ragtime Show. Now that I’ve seen CRS it really seems that this anime would be a better match to Outlaw Star rather than Cowboy Bebop. Though the art style of CRS is much more similar to Cowboy Bebop, the story and characters are really more like the the crew in Outlaw Star. There’s a kind of fun loving light heartedness to CRS that also can be found in OLS that the much more grim Cowboy Bebop is sadly lacking. Regardless of which anime is a good match, Coyote Ragtime Show is certainly an anime just as enjoyable as Outlaw Star and Cowboy Bebop, so it gets a rank of 5 purple smiley faces!
Case File N221: Kabukicho
Case File N221: Kabukicho was described on the Funimation website as a Sherlock Holmes themed anime set in modern day Japan. I’ve been a fan of Sherlock since I was in middle school, so of course I was looking forward to this one! I expected the anime to be a Sherlock Holmes kind of anime set in modern Japan (gee, I wonder where I got that expectation from?) what the anime actually turned out to be was a very strange parody of some of the modern depictions of Sherlock Holmes thrown into some very odd random events (they weren’t really mysteries). I watched one episode, that was all I could muster. This anime is generously ranked at 1 purple smiley face.
The anime Ben-to is a bizarre battle royal of dorm living high school students over half priced bentos at a local convenience store. When I say battle royal, I mean it, things get bloody! It is kind of funny, but it’s a little too violent for my tastes. This is ranked at 3 purple smiley faces.
Baka and Test
Baka and Test is a seriously funny anime! It’s about a high school that is divided by rankings as to which class you will be in. The smartest students go to class A, the dumbest students go to class F. Class A gets the best classroom, it’s like a luxury lounge, while Class F gets the worse classroom, they don’t even get desks! Classes can challenge each other to up grade their classroom. If class F beats class A, class F would get to be in the luxury lounge. This anime is about class F and the antics they get up to as they try to up grade their classroom. What they lack in intelligence, class F makes up for in hilarious sneakiness! This gets a ranking of 5 purple smiley faces.
I’m not a fan of gory anime. Berserk and Attack on Titan are sooo not my thing! I like happy, fluffy, cute anime! Really I do. And yet I really like Blood-C too. What drew me in was the pretty visuals of Clamp (They did the character design) all the art work was so lovely. And the story was really good too. And the characters were really likable. And there was mystery too. I love mysteries! And yes, there was a lot of people getting messily eaten, and there was a lot of monsters getting chopped up, but there was just so much I liked about the anime that it didn’t really matter. So I still stand by my statement that I’m not a fan of gory anime, but maybe there’s a little place in my anime heart for the right kind of gory anime. This gets a well deserved 5 purple smiley faces.