[Review] Dies Irae – episode 0

In 1939 Germany, General Reinhard Heydrich takes one Karl Krafft on as his follower, since he’s a supposed sorcerer who can see the future. Through Krafft’s guidance and a series of encounters with a trio of women who call themselves Valkyries, an odd couple made up of a torture-happy beauty and her priestly companion, and another pair of superpowered oddballs on a rampage, Reinhard is gradually encouraged to throw off his self-imposed limitations and take the world by storm for his own ends.

[Review] In This Corner of the World

Otakon held a special screening of In This Corner of the World, the new feature film from studio MAPPA (Kids on the Slope, Yuri!!! on ICE), with an introductory talk from producer Maruyama Masao and animation director Matsubara Hidenori. There was also a post-screening Q&A panel with the two creators later that afternoon. The film had already drawn critical acclaim, so a good portion of the AniFem team attended both events, notepads and tissues at the ready.

Now that we’ve had some time to get our thoughts collected and our emotions under control, we thought we’d share our impressions of the film in a spoiler-free series of commentaries, similar to our team recommendations. If you’re in a hurry, the short version is that it’s excellent and we all heartily encourage readers to go see it. And if you’d like a little more detail than that, please check out the write-ups from Dee, Vrai, and Amelia below!

[Review] Princess Principal – episode 1

Five girls live in 19th century London, a city within the Albion Kingdom divided into east and west by a large wall. The girls serve as undercover spies enrolled as students at the prestigious Queen’s Mayfair school. The girls make use of their individual abilities to remain active in the underground world of disguise, espionage, infiltration, and car chases. Source: Anime News Network Minor bones of contention aside, this has the makings of an engaging and poignant action title. Princess Principal starts strong with a car chase sequence that wouldn’t be out of place in Lupin III (look if the show wants to have a jazz-influenced soundtrack and an anachronistic samurai whose team role is “cuts stuff,” I’m gonna make comparisons), introducing both its steampunk and magical elements in an active, showing-over-telling sort of way. The streets of alternate-history London are intricately designed and manage to look grimy and cluttered without distracting from the central action on screen.

[Review] Altair: A Record of Battles – episode 1

Mahmut is a young member of Türkiye Stratocracy’s council who holds the political and military title of Pasha. The council’s combination of warmongers and pacifists divide it. The threat of war and danger from the belligerent Empire put Türkiye’s safety at risk. As the country’s youngest military leader, Mahmut is determined to keep the peace. But with so much at stake, a long history of enemies and alliances draws the young man far into a political world he hopes to keep in check. The Pasha’s journey is not easy, and war may prevail despite his efforts. Source: Anime News Network It is not a good sign when your show starts off with a gigantic disclaimer worthy of South Park. Not a disclaimer the show itself put on, mind. This was a handy bit of ass-covering laid on by Amazon after the fact. My alarm bells were piqued and got gradually louder for 24 consecutive minutes.

[Review] Drifters – episode 1

Toyohisa of the Shimazu clan is on the verge of death after fighting bravely in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, which signalled the start of the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan. Suddenly he finds himself in a white corridor, facing a man in strange clothes sitting at a desk in a white corridor. A moment later he is in a new land, rescued from death by people who claim to be famous Japanese warriors of the past.

[Review] Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru – episode 1

Okay. Here goes. In the year 2205 a group of, like, 15 attractive guys who were actually swords belonging to famous historical swordsmen in real world Japan live together in a traditional Japanese house, from which they travel through time to prevent the History Retrograde Army from changing history. If you were won over by “15 attractive guys” this could be for you. If that didn’t make its own case, this is probably one to miss.

[Review] Izetta: The Last Witch – episode 1

Princess Finé is travelling covertly from her country Eylstadt to Britannia, to negotiate with the Allies for military support before her country is invaded by Germania (in a conflict that is definitely not World War II). The journey is dangerous, and while evading capture she comes across a capsule, strapped shut, with what looks like a girl inside.