Lists · Top 5

Top 5 Studio Trigger Projects

Studio Trigger is a Japanese animation studio founded by two former Gainax employees Hiroyuki Imaishi and Masahiko Otsuka. The Studio Trigger is considered a successor to Gainax. Studio Trigger, Sanzigen, and Ordet joined the holding company Ultra Super Pictures. In 2018, Studio Trigger started a Patreon account that now raises $6,000 monthly. Since 2011, Studio Trigger a produced several high-quality anime series with a similar style to the Gurren Lagann series. 

Darling in the Franxx

science fiction romance series produced by Cloverworks and animated by Studio Trigger and A-1 Pictures, Darling in the Franxx is set in a dystopian future. In the Franxx universe, young people are manufactured to defend civilization. The story follows ten pilots, focusing on the pair, Hiro and Zero Two. The series uses symbolism from the mythological Jian. The series was praised for its “coming of age elements,” however, some of its content was criticized for sexually innuendo and pacing. 

Promare

Promare is one of the three films produced so far by Studio Trigger. Co-produced with XFLAG, Promare is set after a “calamity known as the Great World Blaze.” Half of the human population is killed. Several humans developed pyrokinetic abilities becoming known as Burnish. The firefighting group, Burning Rescue battles against the Mad Burnish, a terrorist group. Despite having a story that’s similar to the Fire Force series, Promare was generally well-received. Its colorful visuals, storytelling, and style received rave reviews. 

Kill La Kill

The first series created by Studio Trigger, Kill La Kill is an original work from the company. Kill La Kill tells the revenge story of Ryuko Matoi, as she seeks to avenge her father. She attends Honnouji Academy, where she comes into conflict with Satsuki Kiryuin. Kill La Kill features fanservice for both genders, high-quality animation, action, humor, and a shocking twist towards the end. The series was described as “magical girl anime on speed.” 

SSSS.Gridman

SSSS.Gridman tells the story of Yuta Hibiki, a high school student with amnesia. He’s given the mission to fight against Kaiju by Hyper Agent Gridman. Together they merge to defeat the Kaiju, aided by the Gridman Alliance. SSSS.Gridman has an intriguing villain and is an interesting mystery. Based on the series Denko Choujin GridmanSSSS.Gridman was a surprise hit in 2018. 

Little Witch Academia

The Little Witch Academia series has spawned two moviesLittle Witch Academia and Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, as well as a television series. Atsuko “Akko” Kagari enrolls in the magical school, Luna Nova Magical Academy. Determined to become a witch like her hero Shiny Chariot, Akko sets off to accomplish her dream. Akko is hard working but lacks magical abilities because of her non-magical bloodline. However, Akko’s belief in magic is second to none and she finally discovers her magical abilities. 

SSSS.Gridman Episode 1 & 2 Review

Misc

Kiado shocks, the Harry Potter Challenge, and Little Witch Academia

The three main protagonists from Little Witch Academia
The three main protagonists from Little Witch Academia

Kaido stuns the Pirates in chapter 985 of One Piece

Jay over at RJ Writing Ink reviews the latest chapter of One Piece. After a two week hiatus, the series returns with a shocking moment. As Kiado puts the end to “Wano” and begins his new “Onigashima Plan” this arc is making a dramatic turn. Together with Big Mom, Kiado plans on “seize the Ancient Weapons, conquer the world, and gain the One Piece.” That last part is certain to get Luffy’s attention. This chapter has a lot going on. Kanjuro’s clashes with the Scabbards, Nami, and Carrot are captured by Big Mom, and Luffy rushes to save Momonosuke. 

Check out the review

The 30 Day Harry Potter Challenge

Megan from the Geeky Gal blog is one day 21 of the Harry Potter challenge, which asks “What edible treat(s) would you like to try in the Wizarding World?” She tried several Harry Potter inspired treats at Universal Studios in Orlando, from “the Pumpkin Juice, to the Butterbeer, Chocolate Frogs, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Every Flavor Jelly Beans.” Megan will release the full list of 30 after she finishes. Until then I encourage you to read her list

A Little Witch Academia review

If you have been reading this blog long enough then you know I love Little Witch Academia. Originally a Kickstarter, the series began with two short films, Little Witch Academia and Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade. Two years later it became a series on Netflix premiering in 2017. The Traditional Catholic Weeb loved this series as well, stating that “LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA IS ONE OF THE GREATEST ANIME THAT GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH THE PRIVILEGE OF SEEING.” The review is well worth the read. Check it out and if you haven’t seen Little Witch Academia the series is still on Netflix. 

Anime Movie Review: Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade

Anime Movie

Anime Movie Review: Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade

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Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade is the Kickstarter-funded sequel to the acclaimed “Little Witch Academia”, released in 2013. This sequel has proven to be a worthy heir to its predecessor. The story continues to follow the story from the previous movie. Akko Kagari, the nerdy Lotte Yanson and the gothic Sucy Manbavaran, continue their magical education at Luna Nova Magical Academy and appear to be performing inadequately.

They create a monstrosity out of “brownie and a poisonous mushroom”, poisoning their classmates. They are punished (again) for their poor behavior and are tasked with organizing this year’s “Witch Festival”. Joined by thief Amanda O’Neill, Constanze Braunschweig Albrechtsberger manufacturer and seller of illegal high-tech devices and Jasminka Antonenko food thief.

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Akko takes Charge

Akko decides that she will take charge and change the narrative of the tradition festival, showing witches in a positive light. She shows that she is immature and self-centered. She ignores the opinions of her friends and alienates them in the process. Feel down and out after a series of setbacks Akko becomes inspired by her idol Chariot. She heads to the library and begins to study magic in preparation of the festival. Akko invites her friends to join her, she along with Amanda use a rod to steal some magic for the festival.

During the festival, things start off well. However, several of the towns boys harass them and steal their magical rod. The stolen rod’s magic awakens a sleeping giant that attacks the townspeople. Ursula, the teacher of Akko uses her magic to distract the townspeople and include the attack into the festival itself. Together the witches come together to subdue the giant and improve the perception of the Witches.

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Predictable but well done

Overall, Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade takes what made the previous movie in the series so exceptional, and expands on the world and the characters. Studio Trigger continues to impress with their animation style that made other series like Kill La Kill, Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt stand out Anime. The fluid nature of the animation with the muted color gives a lively feel. The series alludes to the “history” of witches being persecuted.

I think it should have expanded on this aspect of the universe, instead it was glossing over it. Finally, the rules of magic haven’t been explained. The series doesn’t leave the viewer completely ignorant of the magic system, but adding more depth would have been appreciated. While the story was predictable and the characters were formulaic, LWA remains a standard for good anime.

Little Witch Academia Episode 1 Review


Lists · Top 20

Top 20 Anime from the 2010’s (Part 2)

15. Goblin Slayer (2018)

Studio: White Fox | MAL: 7.60 | Genre: Dark Fantasy

On the surface it is a standard fantasy series,with mages, elves, goblins and guilds. In reality the world of Goblin Slayer is brutal. Adventurers come from all over the world to join the Guild, competing for contracts. Based on the light novel series from Kumo Kagyu, Goblin Slayer, follows a 15 year old Priestess. On her first day as a Porcelian-ranked adventurer, she joins a group of inexperienced adventurer. Their first mission is a disaster. Their ambushed by goblins in a cave, with many of the members killed and the females raped. The Priestess is rescued by the Silver-ranked Goblin Slayer, who’s obsessed with killing goblins. Known for their smarts and rapid reproduction, goblins are still considered the lowest level of monster. Goblin Slayer hopes to prove why thinking that is a mistake.

Check Out My Review of Goblin Slayer Episode 1


14. Banana Fish (2018)

Studio: MAPPA | MAL: 8.32 | Genre: Shoujo

Aslan Jade Callenreese better known as Ash Lynx, was a street kid that was raised by mafia don, Dino Golzine. The story of Banana Fish picks up when Ash is 17 years old. He forms his own gang and aims to discover the secret of a mysterious drug, “Banana Fish.” However, Dino interferes, sending his men to retrieve the drug from Ash. He’s introduced to Shunichi Ibe and Eiji Okumura as they photograph American street gangs. While at a bar they’re kidnapped by Dino’s men. Now, Ash is tasked with rescuing them, while discovering the secret behind Banana Fish. The series is highly regarded, featuring a complicated plot, sophisticated dialogue and action sequences. Banana Fish is also known for it’s depiction of a gay relationship between Ash and Eiji.

Check Out My Review of Banana Fish Episode 1


13. Parasyte: The Maxim

Studio: Madhouse | MAL: 8.47 | Genre: Sci-Fi

Parasyte: The Maxim (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu) focuses on high school student Shinichi Izumi. His right hand is replaced by an alien Parasite named Migi. Generally, these Parasites consume the head of the human taking over the entire body. Shinichi and Migi are forced to work together to survive as other Parasite’s arrive on Earth aiming to kill them. I think this series started of better than it ended and by the end I was glad it was over. However, the themes on what makes someone a human being, dealing with death and the hypocrisies that humanity possess. Parasyte: The Maxim is a well animated series with complex theme, get action and body horror.


12. Little Witch Academia (2013)

Studio: Trigger | MAL: 8.03 | Genre: Magic, Fantasy

Little Witch Academia doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but remains compelling regardless. Akko Kagari dreams of becoming a witch. Inspired by her childhood idol, Shiny Chariot, she enrolls in Luna Nova Magical Academy. Clumsy and hyper, Akko and her friends, Sucy and Lotte get into hi-jinks. Little Witch Academia begins with a light hearted tone but pivots to darker themes. Akko is the heart of the series, you end up sharing her enthusiasm for magic. Anyone familiar with the Harry Potter series will see parallels between the two. The characters in Little Witch Academia are variety, likable but predictable. As expected of Studio Trigger, the animation is fluid and consistent. Overall, Little Witch Academia is a well done series, even if it’s not groundbreaking.

Check Out My Review of Little Witch Academia Episode 1


11. Dr. Stone (2019)

Studio: TMS Entertainment | MAL: 8.49 | Genre: Sci-Fi

If there’s a series that will make wish you paid attention in science class, Dr. Stone is it. While it certainly takes liberties with science, Dr. Stone manages to make the subject engaging none the less. The series focuses primarily on the genius Senku. After several millennia, Senku frees his classmate, Taiju. The modern world is completely non-existent and nature has flourished. Taiju learns that Senku plans to return humanity to it’s original glory. With Taiju’s brawn and Senku’s brains will they be successful? Senku’s ideologies are challenged by the powerful Tsukasa. The story takes an unexpected turn when we learn that Senku’s father is an ancestor of a village that formed after they world was stoned.

Check Out My Review of Dr. Stone Episode 1

Anime

Little Witch Academia: Ursula Callistis is Shiny Chariot

Conflict between nations

Little Witch Academia is heading towards it season finally, in episode 22, titled Chariot and Croix, sees Akko come face to face with Croix. Two nations are on the brink of war for the fourth time over a soccer dispute. The nations have been at war since the middle ages. Andrew’s father berates his son for sticking his nose into business where he has no place. He reminds him of his responsibility as his heir.

The seventh word

Ursula tells Akko the seventh word, Phasansheer Shearylla. Ursula says that she doesn’t know what the word means, but that final word “lies within your heart.” Apparently, the seventh star will shine in response to the feelings in one’s heart. Once the seventh star shines, Akko needs to say the final word. Ursula attempts to tell her something else but is interrupted.

 

Andrew and Akko

Diana receives a message from Andrew for Akko to meet him at High Street. She quickly rushes to meet him and he explains the situation between the protesters. Akko and Andrew agree that the conflict is troublesome, Akko claims that if the protesters can witness Shiny Chariot they wouldn’t be so angry. Andrew shares in her hope but doubts it’s realistic. He asks her why she relies only Chariot so much, instead of just doing it herself? Akko decides that she will do it herself, nut becomes distracted by a floating cube.

Croix’s plan

While investigating the cubes, Akko runs into Professor Croix. She explains that she uses the cubes to absorb the energy from the human emotions. The aims to convert human emotions into magic energy, she calls it, Noir Fuel Spirit. While she doesn’t create the emotions, she does manipulate them, increasing the animosity between the nations. It is telling that she only seems to absorb negative human emotions like, anger, hatred, sadness, jealousy, fear and anxiety. Akko becomes disillusioned and thinks that magic should make people happy.

Ursula is Shiny Chariot

Croix attacks Akko with monster made from the previously mentioned cubes, Akko ends up captured. However, Ursula saves her, revealing herself to be Shiny Chariot. Croix reveals Chariot used, Dream Fuel Spiritwhich converts dreaming power to magical power. The consequence of using this power is that those who have their dreams converted to magic lose their magic. Basically, the reason Akko can’t fly is because she absorbed her magic. Akko is devastated and feels betrayed by Chariot and runs off.