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Moon Phase – Review

Being a vampire lover, Moon Phase was one of those anime that I bought just for that reason.  I knew nothing about the anime before I bought it so it was a bit risky.  Luckily, it was worth the buy.

Moon Phase is about a girl, Hazuki, who is a descendant of a royal vampire family.  The anime begins with the boy, Kouhei Morioka, who is a photographer.  He works for an occult magazine because every picture he takes has paranormal phenomenon in it; he doesn’t mean for it to happen.  He goes to an old castle and takes photos where he meets Hazuki who is being held captive.  Hazuki attempts to form a blood pact with Kouhei to make him her slave, but it fails; it has no effect on Kouhei, but Kouhei and his cousin end up freeing Hazuki from the castle.

Hazuki insists that Kouhei is her slave because of the blood pact, but, of course, Kouhei refuses to obey her, which leads to some interesting and funny arguments.  The anime is really about their relationship.  No matter how much they fight, Kouhei feels the need to protect Hazuki from those who try to retrieve her.

Hazuki is an interesting character because she has a duo personality.  Mistress Luna and Hazuki are two completely opposite people living in the same body.  Hazuki is energetic, annoying, loud, and sweet when she wants to be, but Luna is every bit a stereotypical vampire aristocrat as there can be.  Kouhei is an Ama Lamia, Vampire Lover, which means that no vampire can make him their slave and whenever a vampire feeds on his blood, their servitude ties with their masters are broken.  He’s really a normal boy otherwise.  The other characters are interesting in their own ways.

I found that, throughout this anime, I got tired of the story.  I think they were just trying a little hard to do two things at once, the relationship between Hazuki and Kouhei overshadowed the vampire drama a little.  Some good things, though, are the fact that the anime really starts off well and gets you interested almost immediately.  Another thing is that, even though I grew tired of the story, I was already so far into it that it would’ve been a bigger burden to not finish it.

There are 25 episodes, 16 volumes of the manga, and the music is really fun.  The openings are “Neko Mimi Mode” and “Tsuku Yomi Mode” by Dimitri from Paris.  The endings are “Kanashii Yokan” by Marianne Amplifier, “Nami no Toriko ni naru you ni” by Noriko Ogawa, “Pressentiment triste” by Marianne Amplifier, and episode 25’s ending is “Neko Mimi Mode.”

I really do recommend this anime to anyone interested in vampires, supernatural, romance, comedy, or just cute neko ears.

Story: 8

Characters: 8

Artwork: 9

Voices: 9

Music: 9

Overall: 9 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

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Black Butler (All-in-One) – Review

Finally, I’ve come to review my favorite anime of all.  I do have about five favorite anime, but I think this one above all is my absolute favorite.  Kuroshitsuji, or Black Butler, is just…EPIC!  There’s more than just anime for this one, too, so I’m reviewing it all in one!  There’s the manga, the music, and the anime…and a musical, which I haven’t seen yet, and a videogame, which I have yet to play.

Black Butler is about a demon, Sebastian Michaelis, who makes a contract with a boy, Ciel Phantomhive.  The contract is basically that Sebastian serves Ciel as his butler until he takes his revenge against whoever killed his parents; after that, Sebastian get’s Ciel’s soul.  It’s set in Victorian England.  The first season of Black Butler is about Sebastian helping Ciel take his revenge.  The second season is just the continuation, but introduces a new demon, Claude Faustus.
I don’t want to give anything away so that’s all I’m telling you.  HA!  On to my review.

Sebastian really is “one hell of a butler.”  He’s attractive, but so very mysterious.  He’s funny when the time’s right; I’ll say one word…cat fetish.  Ciel, even though he’s just a boy, is very mature.  I love his character because you don’t expect him to be the way he is.  Granted, once you find out everything he went through, you’ll be more sympathetic and understand.

There are so many characters that I can’t describe them all, but I will tell you about a few of my favorites.  Grell Sutcliff is my favorite character second to Sebastian.  This guy is hilarious and utterly drool-worthy.  Grell is a Soul-Reaper and is absolutely in love with Sebastian, or Sebas-chan as he calls him, which I’m guessing would be like calling him Sebby for short.  Undertaker is, well, the undertaker, and he’s very creepy, but in a fun way.

Claude Faustus, who is only in the second season, is another demon.  I know that a lot of people hate Claude and his contracted, Alois Trancy, but I actually like Claude.  He’s an interesting character.  I really wish I knew more about him than what the anime shows.  I really do hate Alois though…he can just die!  Some other important characters are Elizabeth, Ciel’s fiance, Madame Red, Ciel’s aunt, Queen Victoria, William T. Spears, another Soul-Reaper, Prince Soma, an Indian Prince, and Soma’s butler, Agni.  There’s also the others who help in the Phantomhive manor: Finnian, May-Rin, Bardroy, and Tanaka.  Oh, and I can’t forget Pluto, the hell-hound.

The story can be very dramatic and at times there are some real loving moments.  Sebastian is devoted to Ciel in every way.  You come to realize just how important Sebastian is to Ciel and it can be very heart-wrenching.  One episode in particular where you realize this is the episode involving the camera.  This camera shows, in the photo of a person, the most important thing to that person that has passed on to the next world.

The first season is out in English now, but the voices aren’t the best.  Some of them are ok, but the Japanese version is better.  Jun Fukuyama voices Grell, which is just perfect!  Daisuke Ono is Sebastian, which is another perfect match.  In English, the voices are done with an accent, which I think was a mistake.  Finnian’s voice is the worst, Jason Liebrecht, no offense, I just think it was a bad match.  Undertaker is way better in Japanese, too; it’s so much more creepy.  The anime is at a total of 36 episodes.

The manga is so much more in-depth and is ongoing as of right now, 11 volumes.  The anime stretches past the manga so the manga’s story hasn’t gotten to the point of even the first season of the anime yet.  Usually I don’t review anything until it’s finished, but the manga is great, too.  The artwork is beyond great and there’s so many more minor storylines.

As for music, in the anime, it’s so good.  The opening for the first season is Monochrome no Kiss by SID, the first ending is I’m Alive by Becca, and the second ending is Lacrimosa by Kalafina.  The opening for the second season is Shiver by the Gazette and the ending is Bird by Matsushita Yuuya.  You’ll want to get all the songs.  However, there’s some you’ll want even more if you love this anime.  You’ll want to get all the character songs, too, as well as the soundtrack.  The character songs are all great!  My favorites are the songs for Grell, Prince Soma and Angi (their duet), and Sebastian.  All the songs are sung by the character’s Japanese voice actors.  I love them!!!

I can’t possibly describe all the good things about this anime, manga, and the music.  I hope that the manga continues with the story in the anime and maybe past that so there can be a Kuroshitsuji 3!  Watch it!!!!

Story: 10

Characters: 10

Artwork: 10

Music: 10

Voices: 8 (in English); 10 (in Japanese)

Overall: 10 out of 10

This is a video of the first ending credits.  The song is one of my favorites and the video is…KAWAII!

^_^ Sayonara!

Elfen Lied – Review

Elfen Lied is a very psychological anime and contains a lot of graphic violence (blood and gore).  There is near nudity throughout the series, therefore, it’s for mature audiences only.

This anime has so much meaning behind the story.  It deals with a mutant species called Diclonius, which look like humans, but have two horns on their head called “vectors.”  These vectors are telekinetic arms that extend out certain distances, which is different for each Diclonius, and can cut, grab, crush, and kill whatever it wants.  The main character is a girl named Lucy who, as a child, was shunned by humans because of her horns.  Because of the torment, she is seeking revenge against all humans.

Lucy escapes from an experimental facility, Kanagawa Prefecture, and is injured causing her personalities to split.  Nyu, the child-like form of Lucy, is her counter personality.  Kohta and Yuka, cousins, find the girl on a beach and take her home.  A Special Assault Team is sent out to retrieve her as well as other Diclonius.  Kohta developes a close relationship with Lucy/Nyu, but there’s a dark secret.  He has forgotten his memories from his childhood; he no longer remembers anything about how his family was killed.  However, Lucy does know.

Elfen Lied deals with a lot of topics such as prejudice, alienation, forgiveness, humility, and so much more.  It causes you to really think about whose side your on.  At times, you’ll hate the Diclonius for what they do, but other times, you understand their hardships and have pity for them.  Every character changes from how they were at the beginning.  I can’t think of one character who doesn’t grow in some way.

Even though, it’s only a 13 episode anime, it ends very well and doesn’t leave any bad loose ends.  Other reviews say that the ending is too abrupt and is full of loose ends.  I disagree.  If you follow the series well enough and put some things together on your own, which is the purpose of the psychological genre, then the ending makes sense.  The loose ends, for me, were good ones that keeps you thinking about what happened.  They aren’t ones that will cause you to be angry.

The music is exquisite.  The opening song, Lilium by Noma Kumiko, and the ending song, Be Your Girl by Chieko Kawabe, really fit with the anime and the theme.  There is a corresponding manga, however, the anime series was created before the manga was finished causing mass differences between the two.  The manga is 12 volumes.  This is an anime that both I, a female who loves supernatural romance and more realistic anime, and my husband, a male who enjoys more of the action and adventure anime, loved.  I’d recommend it to anyone…as long as you can withstand the gore.

Story: 9

Characters: 9

Artwork: 9

Music: 10

Voices: 8

Overall: 9 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!

Love Monster – Review

Love Monster, when you first hear it, doesn’t sound like much.  It’s just another cheap titled Shojo manga.  However, it does have some way of getting you to finish it; there’s constant drama in this longer manga.

Osora Hiyoko, or Hiyo, is a normal human girl who is dealing with her high school entrance exams.  Her mother wants her to attend a prestigious school, but Hiyo’s grades aren’t going to get her into it.  After receiving the “We regret to inform you…” letter, she receives a box explaining that she has been accepted into S.M. Academy, a private school.  She finds out that in order to attend, you must have a recommendation.  Hiyo is informed that her father sent in a recommendation.  She decides to attend the school without knowing anything about it only because she respects her father’s wishes.

Soon after arriving, she meets the Student Union President, Tenma Kurou.  During the opening ceremony, meant only for her (she’s the only new student), she is told that the school is actually Saint Monster Academy and is only meant for monsters and also that she is Kurou’s fiance.  Everyone in the school believes that Hiyo is a human, but Kurou, a crow monster, knows different.  There’s a legend of a white crow who is sent when the world is in turmoil and this white crow is supposed to defeat the demon king and create a peaceful world again.  Hiyo is that white crow, but she has lost her memories of the time when she had her wings.  The problem is, Hiyo cannot fly and has no power whatsoever in order to defeat the demon king.

There’s a lot of people who are set out on taking the white crow or just splitting her and Kurou apart.  Maki, a cat-girl, who wants a crow for herself, Haine, a rival school’s Student Union President and grey-winged crow, who wants Hiyo for himself, Hiyate and Chiya, Kurou’s siblings, who want to split the two apart, L Bradford, a vampire who falls in love with Hiyo, and Miyako and Marilyn, ancient priestesses who want to kill the white crow are only a few of the characters who try to harm the white crow or her relationship with Kurou.

At first, I didn’t like Hiyo because of her childish nature, but towards the end of the manga, she began to grow on me.  She’s always getting into some sort of trouble, which Kurou has to get her out of.  Kurou, I liked from the beginning, as well as Haine and L Bradford.  Kurou is cocky, but he’s the strongest monster in the school.  Haine, at first, is the same, but he quickly changes into a kind-natured person.  L Bradford seems like he’s just a child, but he’s actually older and his aging has stopped because human blood no longer fills him so he is constantly becoming weak and tempted by all those around him.

With 12 volumes, I found that there were times where I became bored with it and wanted to drop it, but it soon picked up pace.  The artwork is so-so.  The way the monsters are drawn, in my opinion, is a bit childish.  It’s fairly easy to follow along with as far as storyline and the way it’s written.  There isn’t much mystery to it, which is something I would’ve liked to have seen.  Everything that was going on was pretty much expected.  It’s predictable.

Ultimately, the story was fine and the characters were good, but it’s not something that I’ll remember well or want to read again.  If you’re looking for something to quell boredom and want something that’s a bit more romantic, then go for it.

Story: 8

Characters: 8

Artwork: 6

Overall: 7 out of 10

^_^ Sayonara!