S.W.A.T. Reviews: Winter 2017

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The premise of these reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down to record a review mini-podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. As always we only review new shows (so no sequels or continuations) and try to avoid anything that just looks outright awful.

Sentence: Free to Go

First impressions of ACCA from MADHOUSE. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Piacevole from Zero-G. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Chiruran 1/2 from LandQ Studios. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

Sentence: On Parole

First impressions of Chain Chronicle from Telecom Animation Film. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

Sentence: Lock ‘Em Up and Throw Away the Key

First impressions of Hand Shakers from GoHands. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Spiritpact from Haoliner Animation League. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Fuuka from Diomedia. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club from J C Staff. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of elDLIVE from Pierrot. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Idol Incidents from MAPPA. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Urara Meirocho from J C Staff. It is streaming on Anime Network. DOWNLOAD

The Reverse Thieves Fall 2016 Anime Awards

We’re highlighting each anime season with a mini-version of our end of the year awards. We hope this helps cap-off the season with a splash (and helps us remember all of great things by the time the end of the year rolls around). So without further ado, our picks for the best of fall 2016 . . .

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Fate/Grand Order: First Order – Cú Chulainn is the Eternal Top Dog

hisui_icon_4040_round Mobile Games are big business. I just had to type in the sentence into google and then pick from the dozens of links to find something I wanted to use to verify that last statement. There is a whole WORLD of criticism about the models that free to play games use to monetize their players to be profitable. This is not a video game blog so I will talk instead about the one major potential upsides. When these games do well they can generate a tremendous amount of revenue which in turn is then often funneled into an anime in which to promote the game and hopefully draw in new players. These productions can vary wildly. Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is still the gold standard of what these shows can be. Overall they can be utter drek to surprisingly fun material with most of the titles being middle of the road work for hire material. Neither grand or horrible but utterly serviceable in their complete banal mediocrity.

The main problem is most of these free to play games have a very loose plot. Just enough to propel the story forward but not much more depth than is needed. They use character designs and a loose bit of lore in place of substance and hope that fanon fills in everything else. Fate/Grand Order being a Type-Moon property means that unlike your standard mobile game there is a visual novel’s worth of story in the game alongside the volumes of material surrounding all the established characters in the Nasuverse. It is as if Lord of the Rings or Star Wars made a new full-fledged leg of the series solely told within a mobile game. While this means it has a very substantial feel it cannot escape the fact that it is an anime based on a video game. Anime based on video games have an oh so slightly better track record than movies based on video games but not THAT much better.

Fate/Grand Order: First Order is an adaption of the prelude chapter of the Fate/Grand Order. As it is the opening section it has the most exposition but it also has the most room to maneuver. In many ways, it is the best test of how well an animated Fate/Grand Order would fly. This is the time for Lay-duce to either show that they can make something enjoyable from Fate/Grand Order or add another example of why companies should avoid carelessly pumping out anime based on video games.

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