Heidi, Girl of the Alps (1974)

Heidi, Girl of the Alps Review……………………………………………………..

Heidi, Girl of the Alps Review

Heidi, Girl of the Alps is a 1974 anime series directed by legendary Isao Takahata. It is a very good, wonderful adaptation of the classic book.

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“Is it all right with you that you’ll never be able to walk?!”

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Heidi, Girl of the Alps Review……………………………………………………..

Because I loved the book, I naturally enjoyed this show a lot. It has its differences, but most of the book was faithfully adapted which I immensely appreciated. To me the anime is so good that it is almost of the same quality of its literary predecessor which just goes to show how great a director Isao Takahata is and certainly one of my favorites when it comes to anime.

I will now talk about each and every character in-depth and thus I will also comment on the storyline as a whole through those characters. Heidi is as great as she was in the book. Her look got me some time to get used to, but I liked her personality and I admired that she was more flawed than she was in the novel. Clara is also very good and the relationship between the two is expectedly touching and wonderful to witness.

As for Peter, I was so disappointed that they excluded his terrible treatment of Clara and how he threw her wheelchair. That was one of the highlights of the novel as it made him more human and relatable. But even though they got rid of that point, he is still pretty good and memorable here and I loved his interactions with the two girls.

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Heidi, Girl of the Alps Review……………………………………………………..

The grandfather is also very good and faithfully imagined, but I wished to have seen more of his spiritual rediscovery as seen in the original. Miss Rottenmeier is excellent and one of the rare characters that is actually improved here as she is less theatrical and more realistic and I loved that. The voice acting is pretty good and mostly very professional.

The animation is excellent for its time period. I loved its pleasing colors and I especially adored some of its imagery. It wonderfully recreated the mountain scenery as the Alps are wonderful here. And I liked the use of the animals too. Frankfurt was also very well depicted.

The soundtrack is one of the show’s greatest accomplishments. The sound effects and the score are great, but the closing theme is pretty good and of course the opening theme is just amazing. It is so immensely catchy, perfectly fitting in tone to its country origin and filled with wonderful imagery. That whole opening was one of the standouts of the anime.

Heidi, Girl of the Alps has a pretty solid structure in that most of the episodes work as standalone stories, but they still are coherent and lead to an overall firm storyline. I liked that and even though that meant that some episodes were less interesting than the others, that was expected for a series with the high amount of 52 episodes. But they covered most of the storylines and subplots of the book and I was eventually pleased by it. The anime is emotional, wonderfully childlike, always endearing and sometimes even pleasantly humorous.

In the end, Heidi, Girl of the Alps has its problems, but it is overall a stupendous anime series that is one of the best from the seventies without a doubt. It is also one of the best children’s anime with wonderful characters, a faithfully adapted plot, charming animation and such a good score with a catchy and fun opening theme.

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Worst Episodes: One More in the Family, I Want to Fly and Clara Walks.

Best Episodes: To the Mountain, A Visit to Grandmother’s House, Another Grandmother, In a New House, The Doctor’s Promise and Until We Meet Again.

My Rating – 4.5

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South Park Season 20

 South Park Season 20 Review……………………………………………………………

South Park Season 20 Review

The twentieth season of South Park aired in 2016 and it is another low for the series.

Yes, this season is even worse than its previous two seasons. It again has ten episodes, but this time around absolutely none of them got not only 5, but not even a 4 rating from me and that is really saying a lot about its quality. It is one of the most consistent of the recent seasons, but that is here not a good thing as all of the episodes are barely solid and never more than that. Plus you have the fact that this is the most connected season ever with the three subplots being repeated throughout, but not one of them got a proper conclusion and not one of them was particularly entertaining of funny.

Member Berries is a solid opening which is far from a great episode, but it does have a very good moment with the national anthem plus the conclusion in which the troll is revealed to be Gerald Broflovski is a well done twist ending.

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Member when there weren’t so many Mexicans?

Oooh, I member!

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 South Park Season 20 Review……………………………………………………………

Skank Hunt is a weaker episode from the previous one mainly because it is the start of downfall when it comes to Cartman and watching the boys destroy his stuff was absolutely heartbreaking to watch. Such a tragic character Cartman is and what the creators did to him.

The Damned is probably one of the best episodes of this season which again isn’t that great, but it features some of the funniest moments and watching everyone react to Heidi’s quitting of Twitter as if she had committed suicide was such a hilarious and truthful take on how important we perceive the internet and social media nowadays.

Wieners Out features a good exploration of how neglected the men might feel in this PC culture today and it is a solid introduction to Dildo Schwaggins. And of course the scene in which Sheila urinates on Gerald is the most memorable and traditional South Park crazy scene.

Douche and a Danish is a weak episode, but watching Garrison offend all those women is the standout moment for sure. Fort Collins isn’t that memorable, but it is a good progression of the Member Berries storyline that unfortunately would not conclude well, but more on that later.

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 South Park Season 20 Review……………………………………………………………

Oh, Jeez is the first truly mediocre episode here that is just bad. That is because the creators always intended for Trump to lose and when he actually won, it screwed up their entire storyline and the effect is evident – the episode feels disjointed and aimless.

Members Only makes fun of SpaceX quite amusingly and it was also fun watching Garrison as the newly appointed and totally clueless president. Not Funny is a mediocrity and Sheila was taken too far here. Yes, she was over-the-top in the movie too, but there it served the plot whereas here it just seems redundant and overly aggressive. And of course The End of Serialization as We Know It is just the worst with all of the three subplots poorly concluded with too much action and I just hope that the title of this episode proves true for later seasons.

As for the subplots, I really disliked the one with Cartman and Heidi. Yes, their ridiculously pathetic outburst were funny at times, but the jokes here were too repetitive and, as I said already for many times, Cartman is absolutely ruined and now there is no hope for him to come back as a great character he once was.

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South Park Season 20 Review ……………………………………………………………

The subplot with Gerald has its moments and the troll jokes were solid, but the entire Danish involvement felt far too arbitrary and the villain was just too cartoony. And the part with the boys and girls as well as Randy is probably the best of the bunch and Butters is solidly utilized, but what they did with Member Berries is just so frustrating. They were the absolute shining force of the season as these incredibly funny and likable characters that were a perfect and wonderfully cartoony attack on stupid nostalgia, but they simply forgot about them and did not conclude their story.

In the end, this twentieth season is the weakest ever season of South Park which has its funny moments, is as smart as usual and Member Berries are simply unforgettable, but it is never as connected or as concluded as it needed to be and none of the episodes are particularly good leading to a new low for once great show.

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Worst Episodes: Not Funny and The End of Serialization as We Know It.

Best Episodes: Member Berries and the Damned.

My Rating – 3.1

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South Park Season 12 (2008)

South Park Season 12 Review…………………………………………………………………….

South Park Season 12 Review

The twelfth season of South Park is definitely a good one, but it is disappointing when compared to its previous seasons.

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It doesn’t matter, Butters!

You never shoot a guy in the dick!

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South Park Season 12 Review…………………………………………………………………….

Tonsil Trouble is a very good AIDS-related episode. What I found to be the highlight here is definitely the mocking of people’s attitude towards the decease which they deem to be the thing of the past. That was quite funny and you have to continually respect the show that somehow finds the humor in the bleakest of themes. And of course the conflict between Cartman and Kyle is terrific as always.

Britney’s New Look is one of the most disturbing South Park episodes ever. It is so relevant and so truthful, while still being heartbreaking and brutal in its depiction of paparazzi and celebrities. And while it lacks the humor in the process, the story is so well told and so important that I really admired this episode.

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South Park Season 12 Review…………………………………………………………………….

Major Boobage is such a fun episode that is a refreshing change of pace after the last two socially conscious ones. The parody of ‘Heavy Metal’ is so good here with a particularly strong animation which is wonderfully reminiscent of that film. But this is a showcase of Kenny’s character and his obsession with women and he shines in this one. It is such an entertaining and wild trip.

Canada on Strike is very flawed. On the one hand, it has a phenomenal use of Butters and some really memorable scenes, but on the other hand, Canadians are somewhat boring with only the ending and a couple of other scenes being funny. It is a solid, but forgettable episode.

Eek, a Penis! is so strong on both fronts as both of its storylines are very good. The Cartman subplot is stupendous and this is one of his most memorable invented personas, but the Garrison storyline is even better as it perfectly concludes his sexual identity trip with him going back to being man again. And that ending is just hilarious. It is really a shame that they got rid of this fantastic character basically after this episode. Yes, he got many great episodes to this point and his overall plot progression has been of the most satisfying kind, but I still wish that they made use of him even more.

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South Park Season 12 Review…………………………………………………………………….

Over Logging is without a doubt one of the finest episodes of this season. It has probably the best use of Randy ever and that is really saying a lot. They used Mr. Garrison more to this point, but from now on, Randy will get a lot of screen time. And this is a perfect showcase of his character and his perversions with so many hilarious scenes. But the entire episode is great because the story is fantastic, the feel and tone is perfect and it wonderfully makes fun of our internet obsessed society.

Super Fun Time isn’t the best episode here, but it surely benefits from an awesome Cartman/Butters dynamic and of course from spectacular new characters. The museum people are so funny here and they are easily the highlights here.

The China Problem has a weaker use of Cartman and Butters, but the other subplot makes up for it in spades as it perfectly makes fun of Americans being obsessed with movies and movie characters and it wonderfully mocks George Lucas and Steven Spielberg as well. It is one of the funniest and most graphic parts of the season.

Breast Cancer Show Ever is just awesome! This is the kind of episode that I like best. It takes such a simple premise with no social commentary or parody whatsoever, but makes full use of it with Erik Cartman getting some of the best lines and moves ever. It is one of the most purely entertaining and funniest episodes ever and it is definitely one of South Park’s finest to this day.

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South Park Season 12 Review…………………………………………………………………….

And now we come to the weakest point of this season – Pandemic and Pandemic 2: The Startling. Now these are definitely solid episodes that benefit from a good use of Randy and the best ever use of Craig, but this story in particular did not deserve to get a two-episode treatment and that is evident in its execution with a repetitive tone and slow pace. And they ridiculed ‘Cloverfield’ really well here, but it still did not need to be a two-parter.

About Last Night… is such a ridiculous episode. Yes, it is silly and sometimes typical, but I still liked it because it is wonderfully apolitical which is very interesting as it deals with such a subject matter. But it went in a more fun and adventurous route and that was great as it produced some very charming scenes.

Elementary School Musical is such a classic. It succeeds as a parody, but it is great mostly because it gives us Bridon’s father who is one of the best and funniest characters to appear in just one episode. The entire episode is extremely hilarious and it makes use of its subject to the fullest extent with some catchy songs, many great character moments and a terrific humor.

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South Park Season 12 Review…………………………………………………………………….

The Ungroundable is the last episode of season 12 and it is a pretty good one. The Goth kids have never been my favorites, but this is the exception as they are used really well this time around. But the entire part succeeds mostly because of Butters who is so hilarious here with many unforgettable moments. It is a different, but still funny episode.

In the end, while it does have its problems with a couple of weaker episodes and a lack of variety, this twelfth season is still a very good one. It is inferior to season 11 and season 10 for sure, but it does finish off Garrison’s story in a good way, it does have a great use of Butters and Randy along with having a couple of interesting new characters.

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Worst Episodes: Canada on Strike, Pandemic and Pandemic 2: The Startling.

Best Episodes: Over Logging, The China Problem, Breast Cancer Show Ever and Elementary School Musical.

My Rating – 4.4

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Parasyte (2014)

Parasyte Review…………………………………………………………..

Parasyte Movie Review

Parasyte is a 2014 science fiction horror anime series directed by Kenichi Shimuzu. It is one of the best anime shows I’ve seen recently.

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Actually, you shouldn’t even think that you’ve figured

out another species based on your standards.

I think it’s human arrogance to think we understand how other life forms feel

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Parasyte Review…………………………………………………………..

It follows Shinichi Izumi who one day gets a parasitic creature inside his right hand. But because it didn’t reach the brain, both are alive and start a symbiotic relationship along with fighting other parasites in the city. Now, the show is both derivative and original at the same time. It is familiar as we’ve seen sci-fi horror movies like this where the creature looks like a human and is parasitic and actually disgusting etc. ‘The Thing’ is basically all of that.

However, the anime is authentic for going much further than most movies of this type as it introduces a conflict between the two species as well as some very intriguing action. What I loved about its story is not only the huge entertainment factor to it, but also its brain. It is a very smart and sometimes even thought-provoking series as it explores humanity or “humanity” and how humans are actually pretty selfish and only look for themselves and are putting every other Earth’s species on risk.

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Parasyte Review…………………………………………………………..

That is something that I adored about it. It at first showed parasites as these cold-blooded murders and humans as being great, but eventually started taking a more gray approach to both species and the relationship between them. How it ended was amazing and particularly its last couple of episodes were incredibly clever. Some of the middle parts were lacking and the big problem here is the pacing. Those parts were slower and not much happened in them. But the fist third is so riveting to watch and so exciting and entertaining that it puts many other anime to shame. And, as I said, it ended remarkably well.

Shinichi Izumi has some character choices and developments that are typical for this medium, but is mostly a very good, pretty realistic hero. Migi is fantastic and I just loved the relationship between the two. Who would have thought that you would care so much about a friendly relationship between a human and his parasite? That whole premise sounds so silly, but the execution is so good that it surprisingly worked. And their farewell sequence was pretty sad to be perfectly honest.

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Parasyte Review…………………………………………………………..

Satomi Murano is a solid love interest and how they finished their arc I found fantastic. Kana is also pretty good and such a tragic character. Uragami is very memorable as a dangerous serial killer, Mamoru Uda is very realistic and likable as Shinichi’s companion with the same problem, Reiko Tamura is so fantastic and how they concluded her story was incredibly emotional and powerful and Gotou is of course pretty terrific as the show’s biggest baddie.

I loved Parasyte on technical grounds too. Its pacing is problematic, but the voice acting is great, the character development is terrific, the emotional investment is pretty strong and the anime has a very serious, dark tone which I loved. It has excellent world building and terrific attention to detail. It explains us everything we need to know about these creatures, but smartly leaving out some details for us to think about on our own.

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Parasyte Review…………………………………………………………..

It totally succeeds as a horror series. It isn’t as scary or as gross in its later episodes, but in its beginning, it was surprisingly intense, dark, creepy and sometimes delightfully disgusting without going too far. But it succeeds as a science fiction tale even more so than a horror one again owing to that thematically rich storyline. The action is also exceptionally well choreographed and executed and always being exciting and very fun to watch with particularly high stakes. I’ve always felt danger which was necessary for it to work. The dialogue is sometimes too on-the-nose, but is mostly satisfying and sometimes pretty clever. And I liked its realism a lot as it was for the most part grounded in reality.

In the end, even though its middle parts weren’t that great and the pacing is off, Parasyte is one of my favorite anime series so far as it is such a terrific sci-fi horror tale that is thematically rich and even emotional. It has a lot to say about the human race, but without sacrificing its action which is always exciting and its characters which are incredibly well realized.  Such a great anime.

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Worst Episodes: The Blue Bird, Hello Sadness and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Best Episodes:  Metamorphosis, Devil in the Flesh, Feast, Quiscence and Awakening and Parasyte.

My Rating – 4.4

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Ronia the Robber’s Daughter (2014)

Ronia the Robber's Daughter Movie Review……………………………………………………………

Ronia the Robber’s Daughter Movie Review

Ronia the Robber’s Daughter is a 2014 anime series directed by Goro Miyazaki. It is such a pleasantly childlike show that I liked quite a bit.

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Life is something you have to take care of – don’t you realize that?

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Ronia the Robber's Daughter Movie Review……………………………………………………………

It is based on the titular novel written by Astrid Lindgren. It is about a girl who befriends a boy from a different clan and the adventures the two have in the forest and how eventually the two clans learn to co-exist. Obviously it is about a girl growing up but, as Miyazaki said himself, it is also about the bond between a parent and child as well as friendship.

Now obviously this is a children’s show and I for one really liked that about it. There aren’t a lot of anime shows that are made for children which is why this one is so refreshing. Its quality is also evident from the beginning. It isn’t really deep and is overly simplistic and familiar in its plot points, but it is certainly moving and sweet at times and I just loved its adventurous spirit.

The characters are really well developed and all are very likable. Ronia is quite good and I loved her relationship with Birk. The two were wonderful together. Lovis is a bit one-note and Mattis is goofy, but wonderful and a complex character. All of the others are solid,  but not individually and rather as a team they shine and work well together. The voice acting is pretty good as well.

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Ronia the Robber's Daughter Movie Review……………………………………………………………

I loved its mythical and fantastical elements. Gray Dwarfs were so funny and amusing while Harpies, on the other hand, were very creepy and served well as the series’ major and sole villains. Even though I really liked the familial drama here, I actually found its adventure elements much better and more entertaining, at least they were to me. Whenever they were in the forest, I was bound to have a joyous time.

Speaking of the forest, I simply adored it. The animation here is so strong and absolutely fantastic to behold. I just marveled at its sheer polished strength and it was admirable to see such strong work on a TV show no less. The forest is lovely, the creatures have good designs and some of the scenery was mesmerizing to behold. I also really liked the castle and that we got to explore its many sides.

But there is one flaw in the animation and that is the character design. It is odd watching the show have awesome natural animation and yet have such terrible looking human beings. The animation overall is 2D and traditional, but the characters are 3D and CGI. Needless to say, it was distracting and they looked cheap whereas the scenery looked professional.

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Ronia the Robber's Daughter Movie Review……………………………………………………………

Another problem in Ronia is the pacing as it’s quite slow at times. The show could also become typical and rather repetitive in certain episodes and even though the conclusion was great, I would have gone with less of those over-the-top fights near the end. Ronia definitely has too much goofiness and typical anime trappings in it, but other than that, the humor is actually quite sweet and solid. It can also be quite dark and serious at times while also being poignant in some episodes.

Adventurous and spirited yet also filled with good familial and poignant drama, Ronia has all of the hallmarks of a good children’s show and even though it can be quite goofy at times with not that great pacing and pretty awful character design, the natural animation was just beautiful to behold and the characters were both likable and well developed. Such a good, charming Studio Ghibli offering and I hope they will make more TV shows in the future.

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Worst Episodes: Fall Descends on the Forest, A Thing Done in Secret, Our Summer and One Strong Band of Robbers.

Best Episodes: The Forest, Stars and Dwarfs, Song in the Fog, A Whistle in the Basement, The Endless Dispute (Part 1) and The Shout of Spring.

My Rating – 4.1

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The Flintstones Season 3 (1962)

The Flintstones Season 3 Review……………………………………………………

The Flintstones Season 3 Review

The third season of The Flinstones has its great episodes and is overall quite good, but is never as great as its previous seasons owing to too many weaker parts.

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It’s true, folks, the Flintstones are gonna have a baby.

And I want everybody in the whole wide world to know it!

YABBA-DABBA DOO!

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The Flintstones Season 3 Review……………………………………………………

I really liked Dino Goes Hollyrock and as the title self-explains, he starts a movie career and of course Fred misses him a lot. It is an episode where we see for the first time how important Dino is to The Flintstone family and it is both funny and heartwarming. Fred’s New Boss is absolutely terrific and just perfect for this show. Here Barney becomes Fred’s boss and of course the tension arises in a hilarious fashion.

Barney the Invisible has a weaker beginning and it doesn’t really feel like a Flintstones episode, but it is because of that authentic and of course pretty fun. Bowling Ballet is a solid episode with a particularly good use of a tired bowling subplot, but it ended in such a disappointing and odd manner.

The Twitch is again too much of its time with an overemphasis on rock and roll music, but Fred is so good here and the overall storyline is mostly very crafted and it ended satisfyingly. Here’s Snow in Your Eyes is such a traditional entry owing to its convoluted plot points and a lot of shenanigans and it works beautifully with the girls being especially sympathetic this time around.

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The Flintstones Season 3 Review……………………………………………………

The Buffalo Convention makes use of this pretty annoying Buffalo group to tell a familiar, yet fun story that usually works in this format. The Little Stranger feels odd in retrospect for obvious reasons, but as a singular episode, it is pretty original in premise and is executed so well with a perfect use of a very annoying Arnold kid.

Baby Barney is about Barney pretending to be a baby to satisfy Fred’s cousin and, needless to say, it is an incredibly odd and just plain unbelievable episode, but rarely in a good way. As for Hawaiian Escapade, it is an incredibly forgettable affair not worth talking about more.

Ladies’ Day is another quaint and a bit dated episode with this type of humor not being up to today’s standards. Nuthin’ But the Tooth follows a good continuous shenanigans, but it could have been more memorable nonetheless.

High School Fred has such a wonderful premise in which Fred goes back to finish school in order to earn the diploma for a job. It starts off really great and the entire two thirds are excellent, but the last sports-oriented act was immensely disappointing. Dial ‘S’ for Suspicion sees Fred worrying about Wilma wanting to murder him and naturally it produces many good laughs.

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The Flintstones Season 3 Review……………………………………………………

Flashgun Freddie is one of the most purely entertaining and original episodes of this third season and it was so fun watching its clever premise unfold. The Kissing Burglar is hilarious. It is again too convenient in a typical Flintstones fashion, but it is so funny in its crazy ending and although it is now the third or so episode revolving around burgling, it never felt rehashed as the approach here is quite different.

Wilma the Maid is funny, but we’ve seen episodes like this before. The Hero is certainly frenetic, but absolutely terrific as it makes use of Fred’s guilt wonderfully and it is one of the sweetest episodes concerning his friendship with Barney. The Surprise is an absolute classic as it is not only an episode that is dramatic and funny, but also deeply emotional and important as it not only changed the status quo for the family in adding a soon to arrive baby, but it showed us Fred’s sweet and caring nature wonderfully and how he will make an absolutely great father despite not seeming like it. An amazing episode.

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The Flintstones Season 3 Review……………………………………………………

Mother-in-Law’s Visit is another classic as it shows Fred at his best trying to please his mother-in-law who continues to be an exceptionally strong presence and easily the best supporting character on the show. Foxy Grandma makes use of its crazy twist wonderfully and although it is a familiar episode, it managed to be both funny and entertaining nevertheless. And given the importance of Fred’s New Job, the actual episode felt surprisingly weak.

The Dress Rehearsal is another baby-centric episode that doesn’t quite work this time around as Fred and Barney’s misadventures such as this one are a cliché up to this point. Carry On, Nurse Fred shows us the importance of Wilma in the house, but in a boring and unfunny manner.

Ventriloquist Barney is a return to form after a couple of lackluster episodes. And truly Barney’s new skill here provides to be a great comedic routine in fooling Fred. It is one of the funniest episodes of the season for sure. The Big Move is a good commentary, but again lacking in the actual laughs which is something that this season struggled with continually.

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The Flintstones Season 3 Review……………………………………………………

Swedish Visitors had a great advantage of having foreigners in it which is something we haven’t really seen before on this show, but the execution itself is so weak with the actual characters being forgettable and the music again taking over the episode too much. The Birthday Party is just awesome and a perfect finale for the season. Fred is afraid that the gang forgot about his birthday and that provided us with many chuckles and such a fun ending.

In the end, this season of The Flintstones is such a good, if a bit disappointing season that is never as funny or as consistent as the previous two seasons, but it has more than enough classic episode and also important for the future parts that make it a very good run.

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Worst Episodes: Fred’s New Job, Carry On, Nurse Fred, Baby Barney, Hawaiian Escapade and Swedish Visitors.

Best Episodes: Dino Goes Hollyrock, Fred’s New Boss, The Hero, The Surprise, Mother-in-Law’s Visit, Foxy Grandma and The Birthday Party.

My Rating – 4.1

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Girls Season 5 (2016)

Girls Season 5 Review…………………………………………………………………..

Girls Season 5 Review

The fifth season of Girls is such a stupendous season of television that ranks among the best that the series has had.

Yes, this is easily the best season of Girls after the first one. And it is always admirable when you’ve got a show this long in its run that is this good. Most of the characters got proper and satisfying arcs and the season is well filmed, well shot and again stupendously well acted.

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I need to see how other people see me,

because it’s the only way that I can see myself

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Girls Season 5 Review…………………………………………………………………..

First, let’s talk about Shoshanna. I really liked her during this season, especially because she finally got a lot going for her and she even got an entire episode for herself which was great. I really do not know how to feel about Girls’ depiction of Japan and its society and somehow the portrayal felt fake to me. But because I am not sure and I don’t know enough about said subject, I do not consider it a big problem.

I loved her friendship with Ray and I really liked her problems and how she was nostalgic in Japan and yet frustrated in America after she witnessed the gentlemanly quality of the Japanese people. That was all very well done and I am looking forward to the next season and I hope she gets to have her happy ending because she is the only decent person of the foursome.

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Girls Season 5 Review…………………………………………………………………..

Now Marnie is an interesting character this time around because she is much more likable and much better developed than ever before actually. I really admired her breaking up with that scumbag Desi, but her episode with Charlie is just absolutely astonishing! It is probably my favorite episode of the show to date as it is just so great. I always respected the show for having different story structure than other similar shows in that the characters sometimes get the whole episode for themselves which is unusual but highly welcome. Her entire episode could have been a disaster, but it ended up being incredibly romantic and so well made and acted with the city adventures between the two being beautiful. And it was interesting watching Charlie after all those seasons and how he changed a lot physically as well as financially and that was well crafted.

Jessa is as unlikable as she ever was, but at least she is aware of that which is something I’ve always appreciated about her. She is a very bad person, but is self-aware at least. Her relationship with Adam felt odd from the beginning and their argument in the finale felt abrupt and unusually disappointing, but at least their hooking up and their trouble with Hannah was well realized. I didn’t expect Adam to be this selfish, but the friction that this relationship caused between Jessa and Hannah was well explored and realistic.

Hannah’s breaking up with Fran was somewhat typically handled, but I liked how they portrayed Fran and how he suffocated her with that niceness and judging nature. She didn’t get a lot to do in this season, but I liked how confident she ended and her relationship with everyone including the city is strong and she is a very realistic and very well developed main character.

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Girls Season 5 Review…………………………………………………………………..

As for the supporting characters, Ray continues to be used by all these women, but at least him ending up with Marnie could hopefully lead to his happiness. Hannah’s parents and his dad coming out and the marriage staying somehow afloat isn’t as well depicted as I hoped it would have been, but it was still interesting to follow. Elijah is the best he’s ever been in this season and this is the first time that we get to follow him and his relationship was very well handled, it was dramatic and it ended in a heartbreaking manner. I have never liked him, but at least he is becoming a better person as is evidence with his interactions with Hannah and her parents.

Overall, this fifth season of Girls has its many problems, but it is mostly very strong with all of the characters getting mostly very good storylines, the finale was satisfying and the season is filled with good dialogue, emotion and excellent performances.

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Worst Episodes: Japan and Homeward Bound.

Best Episodes: Wedding Day and The Panic in Central Park.

My Rating – 3.8

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Girls Season 4 (2015)

Girls Season 4 Review…………………………………………………………….

Girls Season 4 Review

The fourth season of Girls is a flawed, yet solid season that is pretty much on par with the previous one.

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She’s always been one of my heroes,

because she is such a strong woman struggling so nobly with her very curly hair

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Girls Season 4 Review…………………………………………………………….

Let’s first touch upon those supporting characters and then I will elaborate much more on the main foursome. First off, Elijah. He continues to be one of the most unnecessary, stereotypical characters on the show, the one who never gets anything of real substance and is also rather annoying at times.

As for Mimi-Rose, I never really got her as a character and I thought that was the point there so I don’t really blame them. Her relationship with Adam wasn’t the strongest, but the highlights were her scenes with Hannah as those were pretty interesting. Ace is only the catalyst for these two to end things off and nothing else.

Speaking of Adam, he is pretty good and again one of the strongest characters on the show. I really respected Girls for not taking the expected road of the two getting together again and that scene in which Hannah turned him down was so emotionally powerful, but also essential. Ray is interesting. On the one hand, his frustration with the traffic was pointless and that led nowhere and was basically a filler. But his friendship with Shoshanna is very sweet and his infatuation with Marnie produced some excellent results such as that awesome fight in which he roasted Desi.

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Girls Season 4 Review…………………………………………………………….

Yes, Desi is just the worst. His fake naivety and good nature really got on my nerves and he is such a major manipulator and a typical douche. But he and Marnie deserve each other as she just continues to be insufferable and gets worse from episode to episode. Their engagement is expected and I don’t know what is in store for the two of them, but she is so annoying and just such a bad, self-involved person and that wasn’t in the series’ best interest this time around as she was not only annoying, but also sometimes clichéd and even bland during this season. But her bland songs did lead to a lot of great reactions from the rest of the girls.

Shoshanna is as great as she’s ever been, if a bit underutilized once more. Her move to Japan is an interesting plot point for the next season, but her relationship with her new soon to be boyfriend is well established, her friendship with Ray is great and those job interviews of hers were super entertaining to watch.

Jessa is infuriating. Her and Marnie continually get on my nerves, but this time around Jessa is by far the worst. What she did to Hannah in terms of Adam was just awful and I don’t know if her good part in Caroline’s birth near the end can really redeem her. But even though she was just such a horrendous human being, her friendship with Adam was great and I liked choice that quite a bit.

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Girls Season 4 Review…………………………………………………………….

Hannah continues to be the strongest character and not only because she is the protagonist of the show, but because she mostly gets the best material too. I really liked the start of her relationship with Fran and her stay in Iowa was great and although those criticisms of her writing were brutal, they were also really funny and Lena Dunham this time around stole the show and gave the best performance during this season for sure. I also liked her relationship with Tad even though his coming out really wasn’t handled properly and was sometimes a bit too homophobic and outdated in its approach.

Overall, this season features very good arcs for Hannah, Adam and Shoshanna, but Marnie and Jessa are too unlikable even for this show’s standards and their stories weren’t the best. I liked most of the supporting characters and most of the episodes here were good, but not many of them were truly great and that inspired feel is something that this particular season was lacking in comparison to the previous ones. But in other areas, it is pretty much on par with its predecessors and I really liked that ending and flash-forward and how it successfully teased the fifth season.

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Worst Episodes: Close-Up and Daddy Issues.

Best Episodes: Sit-in and Home Birth.

My Rating – 3.7

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WataMote (2013)

WataMote Review……………………………………………………………………………………

WataMote Review

WataMote is a 2013 anime comedy series directed by Shin Onuma. It is such a funny, but simultaneously incredibly relatable anime.

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Ah, those bitches.

As soon as it starts getting warmer out,

they start oozing pheromones

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WataMote Review……………………………………………………………………………………

It follows Tomoko Kuroki who spends most of her time in the house playing video games. She is a loner who has a sever social anxiety disorder and the series follows her attempts to become more popular. Now, most of those attempts are humorous, but some are quite emotional too. And I have a deep admiration for this show for finally presenting this important issue and for giving us a glimpse at this kind of personality while being both comedic and respectable about it which was great.

The reason why I loved WataMote lies in its main character. I found her character to be absolutely fantastic and so relatable because I myself had this issue for many years. Nowadays I don’t have that social anxiety, at least not in such a magnitude as before. But I still do live a sheltered life, being surrounded by a very small number of people and mostly living through my hobbies indoors. That is why I found Tomoko to be quite like me and I found myself in her, at least to some degree as she is still the extreme version of me.

WataMote is a very weird show. It mixes comedy and drama and not in a very subtle way. In its ending, she reached nirvana and finally accepted herself and chose to be happy living this particular life and not following social norms. That was so moving, satisfying and just such an important, beautiful message. However, it all came all of a sudden and that shift from comedic to dramatic wasn’t handled properly. The tone is one of the biggest problems here as well as the tendency to somehow ridicule its protagonist in some episodes.

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WataMote Review……………………………………………………………………………………

But besides that ridicule, most of the episodes were great and very funny. I loved the humor here and it is the funniest anime show I’ve watched thus far for sure as I laughed out loud countless times. The highlights were her inner monologues, especially those angry outbursts. That was simultaneously realistic and hilarious. And of course every scene with her planning on something, playing video games and making sexual remarks was so amusing.

Speaking of that sexuality, WataMote is an interesting case. Yes, some of it is too over-the-top in a typical anime fashion, but most of it was actually pretty funny and I admired the series for presenting us a female character obsessed with boys in a sexual way as that is rarely seen in other shows. But I didn’t know what to think about her evident bi-curiosity. On the one hand, it was funny watching her lust over boobs, but on the other hand, that wasn’t properly addressed and we never really got a confirmation whether or not she was really bisexual.

WataMote has very good acting and most of its supporting characters are great. I loved her cousin and that episode was easily the funniest one because watching Tomoko trying to prove that she’s popular and a slut to her was incredibly entertaining.

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WataMote Review……………………………………………………………………………………

The animation is pretty good, albeit not outstanding. The music is one of its weaknesses as it is never particularly inspired or interesting, but the direction and the pacing are both solid and I really liked some of its more inspired artistic choices in its stylization. For example, the classmates she didn’t interact with and thought of as uninteresting or forgettable didn’t have a fully animated face and that was great as well as the blackout scenes with her figure being the emphasis on the screen.

WataMote is tonally problematic and sometimes quite troublesome in a couple of episodes, but more often than not, this anime is incredibly funny with such a strong humor while also being moving and relatable with some of the best and most realistic anime protagonists ever in Tomoko Kuroki. It has its problems, but it is so entertaining and often hilarious.

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Worst Episodes: Since I’m Not Popular, I’ll Go See the Fireworks and Since I’m Not Popular, Second Term Is Starting.

Best Episodes: Since I’m Not Popular, I’ll Enjoy Summer Vacation and Since I’m Not Popular, I’ll Put on Airs.

My Rating – 4.1

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Angel Beats! (2010)

Angel Beats! Review……………………………………………………………………..

Angel Beats! Review

Angel Beats! is a 2010 fantasy action anime series directed by Seiji Kishi. It is one of the most disappointing anime shows I’ve seen thus far.

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Let me tell you something.

Humans don’t even have the patience to wait even ten minutes for something!

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Angel Beats! Review……………………………………………………………………..

It focuses on a boy who dies and he doesn’t remember his previous life in the afterlife and enrolls in the afterlife school and joins the organization that fights against the student council president, a girl with supernatural powers. The genre diversity of the show is its two-edged sword. On the one hand, it is original and sometimes even quite inventive. On the other hand, it creates a jarring shift in tone and it doesn’t balance its different tones and plot points well at all. It is basically a mix between fantasy, action, comedy, drama and even musical. But the problem is that it only succeeds as an action show because the fights are really well executed and as a comedy because some episodes were really funny. But it fails in other areas unfortunately.

The characters are all really underutilized which is a shame as they are actually quite solid on surface. Of course Tenshi is one of the highlights, the protagonist is pretty good himself and the standout has to be Yurippe who is such a highly capable, tough and yet human and really well developed female character. The voice acting is pretty good as well.

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Angel Beats! Review……………………………………………………………………..

The animation in Angel Beats! isn’t the most memorable, but it is pretty polished and memorable in its surroundings. The world building is actually pretty commendable. But the use of the weapons is so inventive and the sound effects as well as the special effects are some of the highlights here.

But unfortunately, I just never was invested in this anime, rarely actually. The highlight was that action packed episode where they attacked Tenshi and had to go through her traps in order to get to her. That was not only extremely entertaining, but also funny and quite adventurous to be honest. But most of the other episodes are lacking and the ending itself never moved me. I got that it was supposed to be very emotional and even heartbreaking, but because I didn’t connect with the characters and because it felt jarring in tone and way too abrupt, it left me feeling cold. The entire show is very abrupt and packed with too many characters and different plot points. Something different is always happening here and unfortunately not a lot of it is effective or memorable.

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Angel Beats! Review……………………………………………………………………..

In the end, Angel Beats! disappointed me a lot. I respected its world building, some of the humor, the originality and the diversity of genres, somewhat strong characters and some impressive action scenes, but it is tonally a very uneven anime with jarring shifts in tone, overly emotional but not actually moving finale, rushed pacing and it was just rarely genuinely involving or exciting to watch. It succeeds as an action comedy, but not so much as a fantasy musical and it was overall immensely disappointing.

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Worst Episodes: Change the World and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

Best Episodes: Guild and My Song.

My Rating – 3.5

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