Due to the insanity that was my February (job applications, interviews, midterms, retreats), I didn’t do most of my February reviews until the first week or so of March, so I decided to consolidate all that content into a single post—and here it is!
Aquarion EVOL (Episodes 14-26): Well, I didn’t love the second half of the show as much as I loved the first. EVOL got serious after Jin died and, honestly, I felt like a lot of the fun got sucked out of everything that was happening thanks to all the darker stuff that was going on. The excursions into the original Aquarion‘s backstory were super ponderous, too, and really slowed down EVOL‘s pace—especially when we rehashed the mythology every other episode with microscopic revelations and clarifications. MIX won out as my favorite character in the series, and topped Zessica and Mikono as Best Girl. Schrade was easily my favorite guy character, followed very closely by Andy. I gave the full series a 6/10, with this half of Funimation’s DVD release getting a B. (Full Review)
The Eccentric Family: This show is really something else. I wrote a review on The Eccentric Family back after it finished airing in Summer 2013, but this new piece dives a bit more into the themes than I did in the original review. I’m still not quite finished with my re-watch of the show (4 episodes left), but I’m almost certain that The Eccentric Family will be getting bumped up to a 9/10 and into the top tier of my rankings by the time I’m finished with it. The NISA Bluray release I reviewed here is absolutely gorgeous—and it’s not like the show looked bad when it was streaming. So, yeah, this is the first A+ evaluation I’ve given anything I’ve review for OtakuReview, but I did dive into the themes of the show a in my review, so be sure to check it out! (Full Review)
Sword Art Online: Progressive (Manga): Not as progressive as the title would have you believe, unfortunately. If anything, using Asuna as the protagonist makes the benign sexism of the series even less palatable than it is in the original SAO. Although he displays considerably more personality in Progressive than he does in SAO proper, I’m of the opinion that Kirito holds the story back even more here than he does in the main series—forget sucking the tension out of the conflict, how about Asuna being unable to take any developmental steps as a character without Kirito being their to facilitate her growth or save her when she dives in over her head? But maybe it just bothers me more because I was hoping that, with Asuna as the protagonist, we’d get to see a different, better side of SAO. Instead, it was actually kind of annoying to read. I gave it a C, but there are points for technical strengths in there. (Full Review)
Engaged to the Unidentified: Hey, a cute thing! Like The Eccentric Family, this is a show I watched back when it was simulcasting that I had a chance to revisit. I actually liked it better this time thanks to Benio somehow coming off as less grating and thanks to a surprising uptick in the visual creativity starting in episode 8. Engaged to the Unidentified still boasts one of my all-time favorite OPs, and the understated romance between Kobeni and Hakyua really worked well for me this time around. And, of course, there’s Mashiro, who was just as high-pitched and fun to watch as I remembered her being. There aren’t too many technical flaws in Engaged to the Unidentified, but on the whole it doesn’t have too much to make it remarkable outside of scattered moments of greatness. I gave Sentai’s release a B (although maybe I should have given it a B- for the harsh yellow subtitles), which is pretty good for an unassuming show like this. (Full Review)
And that’s all for February! Hope you enjoyed the reviews & my little summaries here. More is to come!
Potentially Coming Up: The World God Only Knows S3, Tokyo Ravens (Part 1), SAO: Progressive [Novel 1], A Certain Magical Index Movie