Anime TLDRs

I want to record my thoughts and opinions on some recent Anime I watched. I’ve decided I want to do this for everything I’m going to watch going forward and looking backward.


After some thought, I came up with this checklist of the things I care about when I’m out to pick what to watch next, so I thought I’d use it as my review structure.

  • Genres/World setting (historic/sci-fi/dystopian/slice-of-life)
  • Themes/Plot (philosophy/personal ethics/social ethics/politics/adventure/sports)
  • Tone (quirky/funny/dramatic/tragic/sarcastic)
  • Pacing (per-episode pacing, overall pacing)
  • Aesthetic/Animation/Effects quality (art style/keyframe count)
  • Soundtrack consistency (jarring and inconsistent/forgettable but serviceable/good/exellent)
  • Intelligent? (Is the plot tight and logical or is it swiss cheese?/Are smart characters smart?)
  • Dramatic? (unnecessarily dramatic/occasionally dramatic/rarely dramatic)
  • Trope check:
    • Fan service? (eg. pick 99/100 anime)
    • Power of friendship? (eg. Naruto and too many others)
    • Using guilt and self-pity in excess to fabricate emotional depth? (eg. any of the CBS DC TV shows)
    • And maybe a slew of other things I notice.
  • TLDR

These are recent anime fresh in my memory.

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

TLDR: Surprisingly good. Animation seems bad in the beginning but it’s really just the art style. Has great themes, good world building and interesting chracters. Serviceable sound track, intelligent execution of a good theme, but keeps enough of the tropes to make it familiar to the mainstream anime consumer without over-doing them.

Attack on Titan

TLDR: Fucking masterpiece. Intelligent and dramatic (rare!), excellent animation and soundtrack, great themes and world-building, comfortable but dynamic pacing.


TLDR: Really good. Very intelligent, rarely dramatic but well-done (subtle), passable soundtrack, good word-building. Per-episode pacing is great (starts off as self-contained episodes but evolves into a continuous plot), but overall pacing is too fast for the word-building to really sink in, which is a shame because it’s actually very good.

I’ll fill these out more in the future and tweak the assessment criteria as I go along. I can probably use many of the same criteria for story-rich games too.