Tag Archives: Ajin

Ktulu’s 6th Annual Awards & Shaming Ceremony

Welcome, Everyone, to this year’s rewards. Where we celebrate the best anime I’ve reviewed for the year and take shots at the worst. This year, we’ll be doing something a little different. At the end, after the individual rewards, I’ll be doing a list of the five best and worst overall. Now, as usual we’re covering everything from February 15th 2018 up to this week’s review of Hybrid Child.

We’ll move right into things with the best and worst of our bonus reviews. And no, we won’t be counting the bonus reviews for the top and bottom five. The list of potential candidates is: A Hard Day’s Night, Avengers: United They Stand, The Black Cauldron, Blake’s Seven Series One, C.O.P.S, D.E.B.S, Detroit: Become Human, The Hulk, Maximum Carnage, Pryde of the X-men, The Rescuers, Secret Six: Villains United, Silver Surfer, Star Trek: Next Gen/ X-men Second Contact, Stories of Ibis, The Thing

The Worst in Bonus:

It probably seems like this will be difficult since the lowest score I gave a Bonus review this year was a 3/10, and there were four things to get that score. However, it’s actually easy because there’s one thing that almost got lower and I still feel a “3” was a bit generous for. So, the worst of award goes to Detroit: Become Human. A terrible game with little game play and the worst toss in terms of writing, but it earned a merely bad score solely because its graphics are great.

The Best in Bonus:

This one was much tougher to decide. There were four 9/10 reviews this year and all of them have a lot to recommend them. We have thirteen issues of one of Gail Simone’s best comic runs, possibly John Carpenter’s best film, one of Disney’s best films & a brilliant collection of short stories with a cohesive narrative tying them together. Out of all those works, I ended up deciding to give it to Secret Six: Villains United.


While any of those four could have gotten it, I think that’s the one that had the biggest burden in terms of making the audience care and something had to be the deciding factor.

And the anime reward candidates are: A-ko the Versus, Aggressive Retsuko, Ajin series 2, Aki no Kanade, Ayane-chan High Kick, Bio Hunter, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Boku no Hero Academia, Citrus, Cowboy Bebop, D-Frag, Dirty Pair Flash, Dragonball: Majinjou no Nemuri Hime, Dragon Half, Dragoon, Elf wo Karu Mono-tachi, Figure 17: Tsubasa & Hikaru, Flying Witch, Fortune Quest, Futari wa Precure Splash Star: Tick Tack Kiki Ippatsu, Galaxy Angel 2, Garo: Honoo no Kokuin, Godzilla: Kaijuu Wakusei, Grand Blue, Hellsing Ultimate, Hybrid Child, Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san, Iron Man, Jinzou Ningen Kikaider, Junjou Romantica, Kakurenbo, Kanamemo, Made in Abyss, Mahoutsukai Sally, Makai Senki Disgaea, Mary to Majo no Hana, Meisou-ou Border, Melty Lancer, New Game, Ninja Batman, Ojamajo Doremi, Overlord II, Panda Kopanda, Pokemon: Mewtwo no Gyakushuu, Puni Puni Poemii, Renkin San-kyuu Magical Pokaan, Sailor Moon SuperS, Slayers: Great, So Ra No Wo To, Tetsuwan Birdy Decode, The Choujo, Tiger & Bunny, Uchuu Kaizoku Mito no Daibouken, Witch Hunter Robin, Xiao Qian, Yousei Hime Ren, Yuru Camp, Yuuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru, Yu Yu Hakusho the film

The Moffat Award for worst writing in a series or OVA we’re supposed to take seriously. Prior winners: Dansi Bunri no Crime Edge, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Madhouse’s X-men, Brain Powerd & Elfen Lied. This year they’re joined by Tiger & Bunny.

tiger and bunny2

With tacky product placements, massive plot holes, terrible characters and an inconsistent world Tiger & Bunny is truly garbage.

The Simone Award for best writing in a serious series or OVA. Former champions were Psycho Pass, Ghost in the Shell SAC, Nanoha StrikerS, El Cazador de la Bruja, & Mononoke. This year it has to go to the year’s one 10/10 series, Cowboy Bebop.


A classic in the truest sense and well deserving of the Simone award.

The Abrams Award for worst writing in a film. This has gone to End of Evangelion, Metropolis, Hetalia: Paint it white, Hanare Toride no Yonna & Arion. This year the two I kept coming back to were Bio Hunter & Godzilla: Kaijuu Wakusei. But only one can sit at the bottom of literal excrement and this year it’s Bio Hunter.

Bio Hunter2

Netflix’s Godzilla may have been slow, boring and had a really lame depiction of Godzilla but Bio Hunter is a film dedicated to having as many dumb, nonsensical plot points as it can fit. Which does make for a worse film.

The Miyazaki Award for best writing in a film. This year’s winner will join Nausicaa, Kara no Kyoukai 4, Spirited Away, Mononoke Hime, & Koe no Katachi. This year, it goes to Futari wa Precure Splash Star: Tick Tack Kiki Ippatsu.

Splash Star film

I struggled a bit to decide from this, Aki no Kanade & Slayers Great. This one ultimately gets it because I think it has the strongest pacing and a more engaging conflict out of the three.

The Macfarlane Award for worst comedy. Previous winners were OreImo, Kill la Kill, Sunabouzu, Kashimashi & Idol Project. This year it was hard to decide between Grand Blue & Elf wo Karu Mono-tachi. Both are absolutely terrible but the worst of the worst is Grand Blue.

Grand Blue1

Here’s the thing, I rolled my eyes a lot when watching Elf wo Karu Mono-tachi but I got more annoyed when watching Grand Blue and the reason both for that and Grand Blue ultimately getting it is that the characters in this are so unbearably obnoxious.

The Pratchett Award for best comedic sense. The prior winners were Bottle Fairy, Doki Doki PreCure, Yuru Yuri San Hai, Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka 2 & Azumanga Daioh. This year, it goes to Galaxy Angel 2.

Galaxy Angel 2nd 05-06

This series is just an absurdly good time. It’s hyperactive, zaniness at its finest.

The Meyer Award for worst romantic elements. We’ve given this to OreImo, Mawaru Penguindrum, Love Hina Again, Dance in the Vampire Bund & Wolf Guy. Romance is hard to botch as badly as these series managed but this year, we had one heavily romance-oriented work that did it. And that’s Junjou Romantica.

junjo romantica1

Yes, the story where the main couple has a relationship built entirely off of rape. It’s also our first winner that isn’t het, proving that any type of couple can be terrible.

The Kanemaki Award for best romance. Previous winners were Btooom (for Himiko/ Ryouta), Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanha StrikerS (both for NanoFate), El Cazador de la Bruja (Ellis/ Nadie) & Shuumatsu no Izetta (Finé/ Izetta). This year is a bit tough because there aren’t really any amazing romances but we do have more than one solidly good one and the best among them is Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san.


They don’t have a really complex relationship, but it is pretty damn cute. It’s just an enjoyable, light-hearted romantic dynamic.

The Anno Award for the worst cast of characters. The former crap crews were End of Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion. Love Hina Again, Kashimashi & Elfen Lied. This year the winner is Grand Blue.

Grand Blue

There are very few anime where every character is immediately hateable to this extent. Grand Blue seems to make it a point of pride to have trash characters.

The Moore Award for strongest cast of characters. The previous champions have been Sailor Moon, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin, Death Parade, Sailor Moon S & Hunter x Hunter 2011. Usually, this award goes to something with a very robust cast that manages to do a spectacular job with writing them all well. Simply because it’s harder to write a cast of a dozen well than it is to write a cast of five. This year, I have to give it to So Ra No Wo To.

sora no woto1

It has a smaller core cast than I’d normally look for, but every side character is really well written. The main cast is amazing and the series gives the “antagonists” sympathetic motivations and makes them very human.

The Bendis Award for worst conflict. The winners thus far have been From Up on Poppy Hill, SAO, Ice, SAO II & AD Police. This year the series that least knows how to keep things remotely compelling is Meisou-Ou Border.

While not among the worst series I’ve watched overall, it has nothing happening in it. The “conflict” is basically two idiots mucking about. Adventure?

The Claremont award for best major conflict. The plots that got this previously were Psycho Pass, Shingeki no Kyojin, Nanoha As, Haibane Renmei & Vivid Strike. This year, it goes to Figure 17.

figure 17

What makes this one really stand out in regards to this is that it has multiple conflicts. The whole situation with Tsubasa & Hikaru as heroes is one thing. Their interpersonal situations involve more and they’re all really compelling and they mesh together very neatly. Which is very impressive.

The Liefeld Award for worst visuals. Aku no Hana, Amada: Mario Brothers, Corpse Party, Garzey no Tsubasa & Elfen Lied all won this for the series category. For films, DBZ: Fusion Reborn, Hanare Toride no Yonna & Arion have taken it. This year, the winners are Ajin 2 & Godzilla Kaijuu Wakusei.

Ajin 2 earns its spot for having bad artwork that really hurts what it’s going for. Netflix’s Godzilla earns it by also having CG that looks like crap and also having the worst action sequence involving Godzilla ever animated.

The Urbino Award for amazing artwork. Series winners have been Mushishi, Stand Alone Complex 2nd gig & Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. Film winners have been Nausicaa, Tokyo Godfathers, Spirited Away, Mononoke Hime & Kaze Tachinu. This year our winners are Flying Witch & Mary to Majo no Hana.

I won’t lie, the series one was really hard to pick since Cowboy Bebop, Flying Witch and Boku no Hero Academia all have spectacular art and animation that stand out. But, ultimately, if I was going to just look at images from any of them because the series just looks so good, it would be Flying Witch. Mary to Majo no Hana was an easy choice. The backgrounds, characters and everything else in that film just looks great.

The Spencer Award for horrendous mouth noises. Previous winners were Sailor Moon’s English dub, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ice, Kashimashi & Wolf Guy. This year they’re joined by Yousei Hime Ren.

Elf princess Rane

The other two series I really considered giving this too were Grand Blue & Puni Puni Poemii but, while those both had really annoying acting, this one was so badly done it literally gave me a headache to listen to.

The Sir Stewart Award for greatest acting. This one is always difficult to choose but the previous stand outs have been Black Rock Shooter (OVA), Nanoha, Glass no Kamen, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu and Hunter x Hunter 2011. This year, it’s going to Cowboy Bebop.


Cowboy Bebop is a series with excellent actors and they’re all fantastic in it. So, while a lot of other anime I’ve reviewed this year have had great acting, it does stand out as the best.

The Perry Award for awful music. Previously, this was granted to English Sailor Moon, Street Fighter II, Mars of Destruction, Kagewani & Arion. This year, it goes to Puni Puni Poemii.


The soundtrack in this is what happens when a good composer seemingly doesn’t give a shit. And the OST suffers immensely for it.

The Kloss Award for fantastic music. Previous winners were Slayers Perfect, K-on the film, Love Live 2, Love Live the film & Shuumatsu no Izetta. This year I have to give it to So Ra No Wo To.

Sora no woto

Not only does it have a superb OST in general, but the whole motif it has with music is amazingly graceful. Which does help the series stand out from all the others with strong music.

Five Worst of the Year:

We’ve gone over the worst in various categories, now let’s do some rankings. Starting with the least bad and going to the worst. This year, all of this list is going to be populated by 2/10s. And we had six of those, so one is going to be left out.

#5: Godzilla Kaijuu Wakusei

Honestly, I think this one earns a spot because of how incompetent it is as a Godzilla work but it’s not quite as egregiously bad as most of the 2s. So, it gets the highest spot of the five.

#4: Bio Hunter

Bio Hunter is dumb. Really and truly insipid. But there isn’t as much wrong with it as there are with most of the 2s.

#3: Elf-wo Karu Mono-Tachi

I struggled with whether to give this one the two or three spot. But my big issue with this is its fetishy bullshit humour and I had a lot more negative things to say about the series that did get that spot.

#2: Tiger & Bunny

This series can take its tacky product placements, awful homophobic character who shares the name with an amazing game franchise and nonsense plot straight to Tartarus. I really hated it.

#1: Grand Blue

You probably saw this coming. Awful characters, horrendous jokes, random incest. This series is the Prince of Shite for the year.

Five Best of the year:

As usual, let’s end on a positive note. We may have seen some shit this year, but we’ve also seen true greatness. And here are the five at the top. Keep in mind, #5- #2 were all really close and separated by very slight margins.

#5: Yuru Camp

This series is highly endearing, features an adorable chihuahua, nice scenery, fun characters and a lot of les-yay.

#4: Flying Witch

This is a series that just feels good to watch, has a great cast of characters and looks amazing.

#3: So Ra No Wo To

A fantastic series with a phenomenal cast of characters, interesting events & superb music.

#2: Galaxy Angel 2

This one is just uproariously funny for the vast majority of it. It could be nearly a perfect comedy if not for that episode that takes a serious tone.

#1: Cowboy Bebop

Everything about this series is stellar. It’s not just a classic anime but a classic of science fiction. 

Ajin Series 2: Could be Better With Competent Art

I reviewed the first series of Ajin two years ago. It was okay but suffered from being under-developed in general and from having artwork that was bad enough to be detrimental. So, when we left off our antagonist, Satou, had gathered a group of Ajin in order to perform acts of terrorism under the guise of trying to win rights for their people. And our protagonist, Kei, had narrowly escaped capture along with another Ajin.

Ajin2 1.png


We open with a brief recap of what happened in the last series. You know, in case someone decides to watch the second series without having seen the first. Satou unveils his intention to assassinate a list of people who he accuses of being involved with experiments performed on Ajin. Meanwhile, Kei comes to the conclusion that he can’t beat Satou on his own and decides to join up with Tosaki and the group who spent the last series hunting him.

The biggest flaw with this one isn’t that they rush from big plot point to big plot point without regard for things like pacing or developing their scenario. The biggest issue with this one is that, in the first half, very little happens. Kei and his companion join with the group trying to hunt Satou and then they spend a lot of time talking about how they should catch him while we cut to him either murdering one of his targets, bragging about murdering one of his targets or making plans to murder one of his targets. While I appreciate them trying to develop their situation a bit better, the execution is more than a little tedious.

And then when they finally get moving halfway into the series, it goes right back to rushing through plot developments. It’s like they can’t find a happy medium and the result is going from one extreme to another.

Once again, the series has some good ideas buried beneath the flaws in the execution. The bits where Kei tries to connect with his sister and his old friend, Kaito, are pretty good. Although they still haven’t given any compelling reason for Kei’s friendship to mean so much to Kaito. The parts where they explore Shimomura’s back story and why she has such a strong sense of loyalty towards Tosaki are pretty strong. The element of giving both sides of the conflict legitimate reasons for fighting breaks down a bit which actually results in questions over whether or not the conflict is worth it and multiple characters deciding it isn’t. Which I can appreciate. At least the series doesn’t fully Flanderize one side and just decide they’re all evil now.


I’ll continue to give the series credit for mostly having characters with realistic motivations and personalities that have enough to them to ring true. This series does run into a bit of a problem, however. In order to continue Kei’s ongoing conflict against Satou, they start showing a selfless side to Kei’s character. Which really doesn’t mesh with anything we’ve seen from him before and there’s not really a compelling reason for the change. It’s like they needed him to be less self-centred and more moral in order for the plot to work and, instead of developing his character in that direction naturally they just changed it.


The artwork continues to be pretty bad. This is a case where you might be able to make the art style work for a comedy. Gdgd Faeries has worse artwork than this, for example. But, when you’re trying to have a more serious dramatic work, art like this really detracts from it. Having characters move in stilted, awkward ways, including one unintentionally hilarious moment where people are supposed to be fleeing in terror but look like they’re trying to have a dance flash mob, really lessens the impact and makes it difficult to have a real sense of gravity in the situation.

Ajin 2 2.png


The acting continues to be a strong point. Miyano Mamoru, Ootsuka Houchuu, Komatsu Mikako and Sakurai Takahiro are all solid actors. We’re talking solid enough to manage to convey things in spite of having no help from the artwork in quite a few cases. Kanno Yugo’s music is pretty strong as well.


All we have in terms of romantic content is hetero normative. None of the same sex dynamics come across as romantic.

Final Thoughts:

Like the first series, this one is okay. If the artwork wasn’t distractingly bad, I might go so far as to call it good. But as is, I’ll give it a 6/10. If you can tolerate the art, and the pacing issues aren’t going to bother you too much you might enjoy it.

Ajin: Could have used more development.

Let me start by apologising, somehow I got the mistaken impression that 91 Days was a horror anime, which it isn’t. I’ts a historical thriller. I got ahead of myself. For those of you who were looking forward to my reviewing that, I’ll review it in November, but for the moment, let’s talk about an actual horror anime. To be specific, let’s talk about Ajin. A supernatural horror mystery from Polygon Pictures. Based off of the manga from Sakurai Gamon. I have no idea what to expect from it. I haven’t heard anything about it. Let’s delve into it.



The titular Ajin look human, act human and think of themselves as human. The key differences are that Ajin can’t die. Every time they take mortal damage, a black mass swirls around them and they resurrect. Ajin can also summon black humanoid shapes that are invisible to human eyes. There are rumours about the Ajin. Some say that the government offers a reward of a hundred million yen to anyone who helps capture one. Some say they’re subjected to cruel and inhumane experiments once they’re captured. Nagai Kei is a quiet, studious lad who doesn’t much care for people. After an accident, he learns that he is, in fact, an Ajin. Now, the government is after him and he’s on the run, convinced that there’s some truth to the rumours.

The biggest flaw with this series is that it doesn’t really develop its ideas that well. It’ll spend a little time with something and then move on to the next thing without ever returning to flesh out the previous thing. The consequence is that there are a lot of plot points that are allowed to drop and others that could have been considerably more interesting, but aren’t given time to build up because they really wanted to get to the next big moment. Not like the big moment they were on mattered that much. It’s also worth noting that the “horror” of this series is largely just that it has supernatural creatures. There’s all of one moment in the entire thirteen episodes that actually kind of works as horror.

In spite of that, I do like the idea of the series. I like that it has moral ambiguity with neither side of the conflict being moral. And neither one is morally questionable in some over the top or cartoonish way. They have motivations that legitimately work, given the scenario. The narrative does also do a good job of keeping you interested in what’s coming next. In spite of its tendency to rush things. Its very good at ending its episodes at just the right moment to get the audience interested in what’s coming next.


This series is somewhat reminiscent of Phantom: Requiem in that it doesn’t have any morally good characters, mostly. It has a couple side characters who seem genuinely like good, supportive people. Its major characters, in contrast, are very much a self-centred group. Each of whom is willing to do terrible things if it serves them or helps them towards their goal. That being said, it is interesting to watch how they respond when their interests clash and they do, largely, come across as actual people, at least in terms of personality. It’s also kind of interesting that so many of them act out of desperation at various points in the narrative. That being said, the dynamics don’t always work. A big example is Kei and Kaito. We basically see flashbacks of how they used to be friends a long time ago and, somehow, it left such an impact that Kaito is willing to risk himself for Kei. Even though Kei’s literally spent years ignoring him. If their relationship troubles had been a recent development, it might be believable, but with that much time it comes across as really contrived. They really needed to show us more of their relationship and why it means so much to Kaito even after all this time, which does tie into the series’ general problem of rushing ahead without developing things properly.


(This fight scene makes Kirk vs the Gorn look  natural)


The artwork in this isn’t very good. Its not that it uses obvious CG, it’s that it uses obvious CG that looks to be at about the level of a Playstation 2 game, and not one like Final Fantasy XII that looked really nice. No, it looks like an early PS2 game when developers weren’t even close to pushing the system’s limits. It’s more than a little distracting to see those visuals when they’re trying to have a serious moment.


The vocal cast in this is pretty good. Miyano Mamoru, Ootsuka Houchuu, Hosoya Yoshimasu, Komatsu Mikako & Sakurai Takahiro are all good in this. Kanno Yugo did the music for the series and it’s decent enough.


There really isn’t any. Nor is there romance in the series in general, save for one character’s motivation.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately, Ajin is okay. It has some good ideas and it is interesting, but rushing from one major plot point to the next hurts it. As does the generally weak artwork. If the series had had twenty episodes and spent more time on its important plot points, it could have been really good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have that time. So, it’s rushed, but still decent enough. My final rating is going to be a 6/10. If the premise sounds interesting and you can forgive the artwork, you might get into it. Next week I’ll end this year’s horror month with Danganronpa 3: Zetsubou-hen. In the meantime, keep your fabulosity gauge filled.