Time travel is a subject that’s been done in science fiction almost since the genre’s inception. It’s easy to see why, since there’s a lot of different ways to tell stories with it and it lends itself well to creative ideas. The problem is that very few stories do it well. It’s hard to write time travel without ending up with plot holes or paradoxes everywhere. Even good time travel struggles with these issues, especially the Grandfather Paradox. Steins;Gate is one of the few time travel stories from any medium that completely avoids these issues.
One of the first things I thought after I finished Claymore was that it was the least shonen-like shonen that I’ve ever seen. It’s clearly a shonen-the manga was published in a shonen magazine, friendship is an important theme in it and it has a few tropes from the genre-but there’s a lot about it that’s different from your usual shonen manga adaptation.
Most anime involving young girls puts a lot of emphasis on cuteness. Even if that’s not strictly the focus of the story, cuteness inevitably leaks in, mostly because it sells. Gunslinger Girl doesn’t do this at all, even though the premise makes it seem like the kind of show that would.
Warning: Spoilers for Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress up to episode six and Attack on Titan in general.
One of the things I value most in a story is a proper ending. A well executed ending can excuse a lot of flaws in the beginning and middle, while a badly executed one can weaken an otherwise great story. This problem crops up a lot in anime because TV anime frequently have “read the manga endings,” endings that don’t actually finish the story and require you to read the source material to get the complete story. Anime original endings are generally better, but they’re not always as good as the rest. Following the source material doesn’t automatically make something better, but it frequently ends up that way. To illustrate this, I’ll give a few examples of endings that made things great and endings that dragged otherwise great shows down. Since I’ll be talking about endings, there’ll obviously be spoilers, so be forewarned.
Very few anime have had as long a life as Berserk. Beginning as a manga that’s been running since the 1980s, Berserk has spawned a television series, three movies and a second television series that’s airing later this year. The original television series is how most people (myself included) got into the franchise in the first place and that’s what I’ll be reviewing now.