Top 5 Anime That Contain Cute Monster Characters

Top 5 Cute Monster

Why cute monster characters?

I realised I’d completed a list a while back of creepy monstrous creatures in anime but I’d never celebrated all the adorable monsters out there. It is time to correct that oversight with my list this week. Now, this is not a list of cute monster girls. That would be its own list entirely. Instead these are actual monsters, that look like monsters, but they are just so cute.

What are my top 5 anime containing cute monster characters?

Please note: There will be spoilers below.

Number 5: Mamoru from Kamisama Kiss

Mamoru is definitely a cute monster character.

Kamaisama Kiss is full of very hot yokai males so adorable isn’t the first word that comes to mind when describing the characters. Yet, season 2 of Kamisama Kiss brought us an exception to the rule in the truly cute Mamoru. Maybe it is because Nanami had to hatch Mamoru as a test in the first place and she’s fiercely protective of her shikigami, but Mamoru is one of those characters that just makes you want to tilt your head and soak in the cuteness. Just look at those big, innocent eyes.

Okay, in fairness the adorableness is a little less apparent when he transforms into his more human form so my vote is to just stay as that sweet little monkey.

Number 4: Kyubey from Madoka Magica


I actually had to think a long time before I decided to include Kyubey on this list. Not because he isn’t cute and all, but because I think he kind of stretches my definition of monster. I see him more as an alien or an inter-dimensional being more than a standard monster. Then again, he is arguably the one who acts most monstrously out of all the characters on the list this week so I’m going to just let it go.

That said, if that cute little thing showed up at my house with those adorable pin eyes and cute little ears, I’d be hard pressed to turn down the chance to make a contract. Do you think he’d let me touch his tail?

Number 3: Rimuru Tempest from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime


I get that Rimuru spends the majority of his times after eating Shizue as a more humanoid character but you have to admit there is something truly cute about this little, blue, bouncing ball of slime. Maybe it is the way he emotes. Or the way that at times his movements defy all logical and physics. Or maybe it is just that we’re used to slimes that are either slow or fairly useless and yet Rimuru just kind of zips about and does as he pleases.

Either way, it is hard to argue against his cuteness and the fact that he was reincarnated as a monstrous slime and so absolutely deserves a place here.

Number 2: Tama from Natsume’s Book of Friends


Narrowing it down to just one character from Natsume Yuujinchou was incredibly challenging but ultimately it had to be Tama. Maybe it is because like Mamoru from earlier in the list, Tama was found as an egg and taken care of by Natsume and Nyanko-Sensei in one of the cutest sequences ever. The hatching scene itself was quite adorable and then emerged this cute little button.

Okay, Tama definitely doesn’t stay tiny and cute all that long but for a short period he was adorably co-inhabiting Natsume’s room and destroying everything made of paper to build his own nest. So, so cute and really should have been number one except that there was one undeniable winner from the moment I thought of this list.

Number 1: Mii-Kun from How To Keep A Mummy

For those who follow my blog, was there ever any doubt who would sweep the top spot?

I mean seriously, look at that little bundle of bandages?

A traditional Egyptian monster given new life and cuteness in anime form. Okay, I’ll admit the story didn’t have a lot going for it outside of the cute monsters but when the titular mummy was this cute I really don’t care. How To Keep A Mummy was absolutely worth watching for the sheer adorable factor alone.

I did not know I needed a miniature mummy in a Santa-hat until this anime came along. Thank-you.

Top 5 Cute Monster
Which cute monster characters would you have included on your list? Let me know in the comments below.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Top 5 Creepy Monstrous Creatures In Anime

Top 5 Monsters

Creepy monstrous creatures is a great description largely because I could put almost anything here as long as I find it creepy or monstrous. I mean, some people find Kyubey from Madoka Magica creepy and monstrous. That said, I’m going for kind of scary, gross designs and there are a lot of them to be found in anime.

What’s your favourite creepy monstrous creature?

Number 5 – The Skull Reaper from Sword Art Online

Skull Reaper

This one might be only a program but it is definitely creepy and all those legs are definitely off-putting. This monster is responsible for the deaths of a lot of front line fighters and honestly even the main characters were lucky to get through this fight alive. When this thing appeared above the characters, clinging to the roof, that was one terror inspiring moment that would given any horror movie a run for its money.

Number 4 – Hollows from Bleach


While later on the standard hollows become almost a non-entity in Bleach as the villains and monsters get more and more ridiculously over-powered to match the protagonist’s growth, the very concept of hollows is pretty terrifying. If you think about it from the point of view of someone with just a little bit of spiritual energy, a creature you can’t really see might very easily be stalking you and can kill you before you even know it.

Worse, if your spirit is eaten by a hollow you could become one yourself and then prey on your loved ones. While some of the hollow designs are more amusing than terrifying, they are still pretty creepy both in concept and appearance.

Number 3 – Akuma from D Gray Man


Definitely another case were the concept is pretty horrifying. D Gray Man definitely does creepy well and the primary monster the exorcists are fighting are the akuma created by the Millenium Earl. It gets worse when you realise these things are powered by the soul of a loved who was summoned in desperation and then they were forced to kill the one who summoned them. Yeah, there’s nothing right about the akuma.

Number 2 – Various Diseases from Cells at Work


You know the problem with anthropomorphic representations of cells in the body is that when creating germs, bacteria and even cancer cells, what you end up with is something straight out of your nightmares. While Cells at Work isn’t aiming in any way to scare, the depictions of the various ailments are sometimes incredibly creepy. Worse when you start thinking about what might be swimming around inside your own body.

Number 1 – Anything from Made in Abyss


The abyss is not a nice place and the creatures that call it home are incredibly monstrous by design. While there’s any number of horrifically creepy crawly I could describe I’d rather not spoil the impact of checking these monsters out first hand. However, for an anime that isn’t necessarily a horror, Made in Abyss most certainly new how to craft monsters.

Your turn now: what are your favourite creepy monsters from anime? I definitely considered the titans from Attack on Titan and the parasites from Parasyte though ultimately they didn’t make the final cut for me. How about you?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Is Ajin Really A Commentary on the Selfish Nature of Humans?


Ajin has a lot to say about human nature and like so many anime before it does it through the not-so-subtle method of making the main characters not exactly human. However, subtle or not, it is effective and the end result is a character like Kei Nagai who is an interesting character to take a closer look at. Actually, there’s a number of characters in Ajin who would do well with some more scrutiny, but let’s start with Kei today.

Remember if you have a character you wold like to see a post on, simply fill in the quick survey here and provided I know enough about the character I’ll take a crack at writing about them. Thanks to everyone who has suggested a character and I’m sorry to those who I can’t respond to as I just don’t know enough about the suggested characters.

What if Kei Nagai had actually been a nice guy?
Kei Nagai - on phone - Ajin

Nagai’s story is pretty disastrous when you think about it. If you had to live it I am certain it would break you. The poor kid is run over in episode one and if this had been an isekai story he’d soon be meeting a god like figure, getting a power up, and suddenly becoming the lead of his very own fantasy harem. Alas, wrong genre. Nagai is fortunate in that he doesn’t die but it is amazing how nobody views it that way. He learns that he is actually one of the immortal Ajin and from that point forward he is on the run.

It works very well within the context of the story, but you have to wonder why nobody seems more upset that someone ran over a kid on the street. It is straight to tracking him down and using him as a test subject. Even his family almost immediately distance themselves from even the thought that there is a connection between them.

And again, this fits with the context. Why we get little time with Nagai before his close encounter with a vehicle, he’s cold and removed from others. Even his family find him hard to deal with. This isn’t the same as him being an active jerk or the like. Nagai is very careful to go through the motions of family life and school and his outward appearance is one of being a perfectly normal kid. Yet, when a crisis hits, there’s only one person who actually reaches out to Nagai and through Kaito we learn just how cold Nagai can really be to others.

Nagai drinking coffee - Ajin

It makes it difficult at times to sympathise with Nagai. Which is probably what was intended because if we actually felt sympathetic, some of the stuff he goes through would be fairly sickening to watch. Okay, it is pretty stomach churning anyway but with just enough emotional removal (your mileage may very).

Every decision Nagai makes is for his own benefit.

While you could probably argue that most decisions most people make are for their own benefit, not so many are quite as cold as Nagai. Even his facade of model student is so that he won’t be hassled by parents or teachers rather than any real desire to follow the expectations. His interactions with peers are sufficient to prevent him being ostracised or bullied but not enough that others actually impose upon him. In short, every interaction in Kei Nagai’s life is a calculated one and that is even before he realises he isn’t human.

Nagai after bike accident - Ajin

After the realisation, there are a couple of moments when Nagai briefly allows himself to make an emotional decision when it seems like he’s encountered Sato who seems like he understands what Nagai is going through. However, given how that ends, we don’t see Nagai doing that again. While a lot his actions in season 2 seem like they will benefit others, ultimately Nagai is concerned with self-preservation.

Was it his immortality that changed Nagai?

It might be argued that the reason Nagai was so removed from people even before he knew he was an Ajin was because he wasn’t human. Certainly when we start meeting other Ajin it becomes clear that the majority are violent or crazy or both (though whether they are like that because they are Ajin or because of the way Ajin are treated is an argument that could definitely be had).

Tosaki is a little intense - Ajin

However, when we turn our attention to the human characters in the show, such as Nagai’s family or Tosaki who is tracking the Ajin down, or even Nagai’s former classmates, what we see is an ongoing array of characters who only care about themselves and their immediate goals. Nagai’s family more or less immediately cut him loose once they realise his nature in order to be left alone with Nagai’s sister outright betraying him at one point. His classmates see his experience as a source of gossip. And Toaski treats everyone with contempt whether they are human or Ajin.

About the only decent human in the story is Kaito and he really gets the short end of the stick on so many occasions it makes you wonder why he is still trying to stand by Nagai.

Kaito and Kei - Ajin
It’s up to the audience to determine the true monsters.

As I said in the beginning, Ajin isn’t subtle. While the Ajin themselves are problematic in that some of their behaviour is clearly villainous, the monstrous actions of the authorities as they seek to control them are more concerning. When Kei is taken captive, after being set up by Sato in the form of a lesson, what is done to him is horrendous. That Kei is not the first they’ve done it to is worse.

Nagai captured by humans and experimented on - Ajin.

Like so many stories before it asks the question of whether monsters are monsters because of their nature or whether the way they are treated creates monsters. Not to mention it asks us to really look at human nature and the actions we tolerate within our societies. While the Ajin are fictitious, discrimination really isn’t.

Affiliate Link – Book
Ajin: Demi-human Vol. 1

Nagai isn’t a nice guy but his story is important.

I don’t like Nagai as a person. He’s cold and at times cruel and his vision only extends as far as his benefit is concerned. Yet, he is a fascinating character because his existence makes you question your own moral compass and guide to making decisions as well as those of people around you. As part of a cast of characters who all raise interesting questions about moral choices, Nagai works very well and it would be interesting to see how is character developed in the events after the anime ends.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Would You Like To Read More Posts About Characters?
  • Is Ajin Really A Commentary on the Selfish Nature of Humans?
    Kei Nagai from Ajin is one of those characters I kind of love to hate. Within his story he works beautifully but he would be a horrible person to know in real life. Today I’m taking a closer look at this student who ends up on the run after learning he isn’t exactly human.
  • Why Ririchiyo Was Doomed To Fail Alone
    Ririchiyo Shirakiin from Inu x Boku is an interesting character type. Not the usual sharp tongued tsundere, Ririchiyo falls into the Tsunshun category and regularly falls into bouts of self-loathing and second guesses herself. I definitely loved watching her character in action and I was really happy to take a bit of a closer look at her in this post.
  • Is It Belief or Convenience Driving Koizumi?
    Koizumi was something of an interesting character in amongst the zany cast of Haruhi Suzumiya. Thanks to Aria, this week I’m taking a closer look at this enigmatic character and seeing if I can figure out what makes him tick.
  • Naofumi’s Progress From Zero to Hero to Not-So-Anti-Hero
    This week I’m turning my attention to Naofumi from The Rising of the Shield Hero. As a character he’s already been criticised and mocked and I’m not jumping on that band wagon. Rather I want to look at what his character was trying to achieve, what he did achieve, and where he was found wanting.
  • Up Close with Diamond
    A shining example of a supporting character: Diamond in Land of the Lustrous is the voice of support for Phos but also deals with their own feelings of inadequacy. Here’s a closer look at Diamond from Land of the Lustrous.
  • Up Close with Liliruca Arde
    Yes, we are back to DanMachi (Is It Wrong to Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon) with another … Continue reading Up Close with Liliruca Arde

One Punch Man Review Season Two Episode Nine


Those Who Would Call Themselves Hero


One Punch Man Season 2 Episode 9

The dashing Saitama comes racing to the rescue and saves the day. Well, not quite. Saitama does get his amazing entrance in his hero costume and Suiryu is suitably impressed by the entrance of his saviour. However, a one punch fight is over pretty quickly and once again we see the true ennui that has overtaken Saitama’s existence.


That seems to be the focus this episode as Saitama realises he missed a lot of the monster fighting and then seriously begins to question why he’s even doing it. A chance encounter with King allows him to wax philosophical, at least until the hero hunter Garou shows up. It has been awhile since Garou was even vaguel relevant and yet he’s still running around, licking his wounds after being beaten by a hero and ready to take an opportunistic shot at King. Naturally that’s a lot of build up for a non-encounter as Saitama simply pushes him aside and into a wall as though he’s nothing and King and Saitama continue on business as usual.


However, Garou isn’t the only non-nemisis making an appearance this week as Sonic is training when he’s approached by representatives of the monster association. I did actually enjoy what they did with his gag as he’s given the monster cell and chooses to eat it in pursuit of his goal of beating Saitama, however decides first to cook it, which I assume renders it fairly useless.


Affiliate Link

By episode’s end, the monsters have sent a message to the hero association and I guess we’ll find out what they are after soon. This episode felt very fragmented as we lurched from one event to the next and one group to the next, with even Genos making a brief, if broken, appearance. It very much feels like the set up of things to come but with only three episodes left I have to wonder if it will end up being a big enough ending to warrant all this set up or whether we’ll be left hanging for a third season that just might never be.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

One Punch Man Review Season 2 Episodes 7 + 8


The Hero And The Pretender


One Punch Man Season 2 Episode 7

The S Class heroes are finally on the move against the monsters, not that the audience or One Punch Man cares given how little screen time the catastrophe striking multiple cities is given. Instead our focus is either on the end of the tournament or on a little aside with some swordsmen that ends up revealing that by consuming monster cells humans can become monsters.

The Hero Association really isn't very good at their job - One Punch Man Season 2

I’m certain that’s actually worth knowing given the smart monster association currently causing all the problems (even if the S Class Heroes are mostly mopping them up) but this episode doesn’t dwell on that situation and takes us back to Saitama.

I’m sure this will be important but right now I want to know who won the tournament.

Which is okay actually. The tournament doesn’t linger on the lead up but gets to the fight between Saitama and Suiryu in relatively short order. The similarities between the pair are drawn into the open as is the overwhelming difference in the conclusion the two have drawn. Both characters have suffered from being too strong and essentially facing no opposition and wanting a fun fight. Yet Suiryu looks down on heroes and others in general where Saitama is mostly hopeful of finding a challenge and doesn’t look down on those weaker than him, even if he isn’t always particularly nice to them.


The fight is lively enough and entertaining in the ongoing joke of Saitama holding onto his wig. Still, at the end of the day, there was no way he was going to get away with his impersonation. I guess I’ll find out what happens now that Saitama’s done at the tournament next episode.

Affiliate Link

One Punch Man Season 2 Episode 8

Oh yes, the turning into monsters part was definitely an important sidenote that became the basis for this episode really. As the monster’s plan concludes, for now, some very nasty monsters turn up at the martial arts tournament determined to convince the strong contestants to eat the cells and become monsters, or to kill them. It is a simple conflict but one that is delivered fairly well in this episode of One Punch Man.


With Saitama already gone after being disqualified for having a wig (and impersonating someone else), it seems like this group of marital artists are doomed. A few try to fight and are summarily beaten down with very little in the way of fanfare. Then Suiryu steps up. Not because he wants to be a hero. But because he’s a human shaped blob of ego who clearly didn’t believe he could even be challenged and before he even takes the stage he elicits a promise from a girl that she’ll essentially be his prize after his victory.

Which kind of makes watching him struggle against the humans turned monsters satisfying.

At this moment, I was hoping the monsters would win.

Then all that satisfaction turns to raw horror as he takes on some brutal punishment. To his credit, he doesn’t actually try to run away until after everyone else has already gone except for the two heroes who were in the tournament who come back for him. It doesn’t do him any good, and the sounds of bones breaking are all kinds of horrific, but it does make the sight of him lying on the ground, reaching out, and crying for a hero affective. Seeing such a massive contrast from the beginning of the episode to the end just works.

Now I kind of want someone to rescue him.

However, as with all good hero stories, just when you think it is all over, in swoops the hero, cape flying all.


Sometimes Saitama just looks completely cool. Then he goes back looking like a doofus, but seriously, that entrance was awesome. Looking forward to next week.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

One Punch Man Review Season 2 Episode 6


Everybody is Monster Fighting

One Punch Man Season 2 Genos

Episode 6

Monsters outside the arena and monsters inside it. This episode keeps cutting between the two and both are interesting enough in their own way.

Alright, I’ll be honest. I liked this episode a lot because we got quite a lot of Genos. Genos left the arena to go fight some monsters and we get a number of sequences of Genos taking down monsters and just looking awesome. Of course, One Punch Man isn’t above disassembling or crushing Genos and by the end of this episode he’s been stomped into the ground (or at least that’s what it looked like) but he certainly got to look cool first and that is worth celebrating.


It should be noted that episode 6 doesn’t really progress anything. At the end of episode 5 we had monster outbreaks everywhere and the martial arts tournament was underway and the rich guy’s son had been kidnapped. This episode we still have monster outbreaks, a couple more heroes are down, the son is still kidnapped and the hero association is freaking out about the possibility of losing an investor (rather than the fact that they are currently failing miserably to actually stop the monsters) and Saitama is still taking part in the martial arts tournament.

I mean this looks cool and all but is there a point other than being cool? And does it matter?

It could be considered a waste of an episode except that the cuts between fights were all interesting enough and One Punch Man has never been one to avoid burning screen time on the set-up for a fight or a joke. What matters is whether or not it was an entertaining spectacle rather than whether it drove the plot particularly far.


In that sense there’s a bit of a mixed response. Without the impressive soundtrack and smooth visuals from season one there’s a lot less wow factor in these mini-skirmishes and while watching Genos is always awesome I kind of wanted a bit more spectacle. I mean, if we’re having spectacle for spectacle’s sake it should be extraordinary and yet this was just kind of okay.


Affiliate Link

Still, if you like watching the heroes and monsters scrambling about and seeing some pretty standard tournament smack talk before various opponents are put down way too quickly there’s entertainment to be had. That, and all the Genos fans out there will certainly be happy with his screen time this week. I certainly was.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

12 Days of Anime Characters – Elias

12 Days of Anime Title Image

As we enter day 4 of the 12 Days of Anime and today I’m turning my attention to someone far more mysterious and supernatural than the Princess Ani from Dame X Pri. However is being mysterious enough of a character trait?

I guess that’s something to be discussed while we are looking at Elias from The Ancient Magus’ Bride.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Elias

I really wanted to love The Ancient Magus’ Bride when it began. I loved the three episode OVA that came out prior to the series and I think that really elevated my expectations, that and the hype surrounding the title. Ultimately, the anime works and is certainly aesthetically beautiful, you could lose yourself in endless screen caps of it and in the music, but the plot itself and even how the characters are presented at times remains fairly ordinary. Not bad mind you, just not particularly good and certainly not as strong as the other elements.

However, today I want to look at Elias as a character because he was quite the intriguing figure throughout the anime and one who I don’t think was given enough time, or enough scope to really be all that he could be. In the end, the idea is more interesting than the execution. Now, I haven’t read the source though it is on my read list for that eventual someday, so my views here are entirely constructed through how Elias is presented in the anime.

The Ancient Magus' Bride

In the beginning, the air of mystery surrounding him worked in the anime’s favour. He was this mysterious figure steeped in magic who swept in and took Chise under his wing when she was at her lowest.  However, this character type only works with the understanding that as the plot progresses we will come to understand him and see him in a different manner.

While The Ancient Magus’ Bride most definitely gave us some back story on Elias, actual emotional connections with him were few and far between and far too many of them were buried underneath his relationship with Chise. While that was really a fundamental part of the story it meant that Elias as an individual was neglected and only the Elias in relation to Chise really got to progress anywhere. There seems like there’s a lot more to his character but it just never had the time to go anywhere.

The Ancient Magus's Bride Elias and Chise

By the end of the anime series I still feel like I don’t know Elias as a character. He’s still that mysterious figure with one foot half in the world of magic and one foot firmly in the human world and trying to guide/help Chise to navigate her own path, but who he is and what he actually wants remains very much something surrounded in mist. Which is a shame because I would have loved to get to know him more.

It is possible that this is all there is to the character, but it seems more likely that with time constraints and everything else, his character just didn’t get the chance to really go anywhere. I do know that one of my main disappointments as I look back on the show is that I never really felt like I got to know what Elias was all about.

The Ancient Magus' Bride

So here’s to Elias and the hope that if the anime gets a sequel his character gets the fleshing out it deserves or at the very least a little bit more revealed to help the audience to connect with him or understand him more.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
Consider supporting the blog by:


Buy Me a Coffee at

x click but21

Or, use one of my product affiliate links.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
The Ancient Magus' Bride ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

Friday’s Feature: Facing Fear – The Unseen Is Always Scarier

village 9

Welcome to the last feature in October and the last horror focused feature for awhile. If you missed the previous posts I’ve looked at visuals, the victims, and how characters can make the audience feel the fear, and today I am looking at whether the seen or the unseen is scarier.

Now every horror fan knows that it is the unseen enemy that is far scarier than the giant monster stomping houses flat. This was true of older films because the special effects weren’t up to the task of bringing anything really to life, but it is true even now. The thing that will scare an audience faster than any amount of gore, jump scares, or bizareness on the screen is their own imagination. We are our own worst enemies.

The Lost Village attempted to capitalise on that particular trait (admittedly it failed pretty hard due to the writing, characters, and literally everything else to the point where many people will argue it is actually a satire rather than a failed horror). In the story the characters, sick of their lives, run away together to live in a lost village on a mountain somewhere. However, once they get there, they find themselves confronted by their worst fears.

In early episodes this kind of works. The characters are still horrible and the writing questionable, but at first the audience isn’t shown what the characters are seeing. We hear noises, we see reactions, we realise characters have gone missing but we don’t know why, and it is kind of building up a creepy atmosphere.

Village 9

Then, and fairly early in its run time, they start showing us these apparitions the characters are seeing. Not only are the visually kind of lame, but even metaphorically they really kind of fail. One guy sees a giant penguin, another is literally chased by a giant silicone implant and so on. These visions are incredibly literal given what we’ve learned about the characters and they aren’t scary. It is about that point in the story that even the audience members hoping this show would salvage itself gave up.


In Another, the threat is intangible in the first place. It is a curse. While there might be someone who is actually dead in the class, you don’t know who and they look the same as everyone else. There’s nothing to see of the villain that would be frightening. And it is the absence of a tangible threat, while characters are literally dropping like flies that really helps to add to the tension in the story.

shiki 3

Some stories take a different approach. Shiki isn’t overly shy about revealing the vampire threat early on to the audience and to a few key characters but many of the characters remain in the dark. Those characters feel the tangible fear fo the unknown so even while the audience knows what the threat is and what is coming, the characters manage to draw us into their fear of the unknown.


Moving away from anime, if we look at an older Stephen King adaption, The Langoliers, from 1995, what we see is a story that manages to be fairly creepy and suspenseful (even if it is pretty boring) until the end. Why? Because while we realise the world the characters have found themselves in is wrong, and while we have heard approaching sounds, until the very end we do not see the actual Langoliers. Once they finally appear, they are so laughably terrible that any tension the show may have attempted to build goes out the window.

Still, it is really appreciated when a villain or monster can take the screen and still manage to creep out and disturb the audience. They are few and far between and for the most part the less we see them the better, but every now and then you get one that works.

What really amazes me about fictional fear is how emotionally it hits you the same as fear in real life. You get the same response to it. What is scary, is scary, whether it is fake or real. Which is why I’ve always wondered why characters try to tell themselves something is only a dream as if that will make them feel better. Scary dreams are still pretty distressing.

So what do you prefer when watching a show? Do you want to see the villain right from the start? Do you want to be kept in the dark? Or are you sitting somewhere in between?

That concludes this series of features on horror. Thanks for joining me during October and be sure to have a great Halloween.

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.



Karandi James.


Sword Oratoria Episode 3



Spin-off by their very nature are always going to be compared to the original and cross overs between events in the original series and the spin-off are more or less inevitable. However, Sword Oratoria seems devoted to walking us through the events that Bell experienced, only without Bell actually being present but for the occasional run past Ais’ line of vision. The end result is that the character we’re following is really not facing any actual conflict or issues and is kind of just walking around while interesting events happen elsewhere.

In fairness to the show, they try to counter this by having the elf girl slowly getting over her fear of fighting monsters and learning to use her magic in combat, but to be perfectly honest they’ve given me no reason to care about her and the story is pretty ordinary at best, so as a distraction from a distinct lack of plot elsewhere it falls tragically short.


I had a small glimmer of hope that maybe this episode would actually explore Freya’s motivation for pursuing Bell, given this was not really addressed in DanMachi, but Sword Oratoria doesn’t seem interested in giving more information about events in the other story, it seems content to view them from the outside while not adding anything of substance. And that is probably my overall conclusion for this so far. Lacking in substance or anything to engage an audience. This episode was so lacking in detail, I’m thinking without knowing the original story of the monsters being set free most of the events will just feel completely without meaning.

Definitely not a satisfying viewing experience.

Sword Oratoria is available on AnimeLab.

Are you a fan of

If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.



Karandi James.


Attack on Titan Series Review



Eren Yeager has grown up in a city surrounded by walls. Three in fact and they are the only things keeping the titans (really large humanoid monsters) from eradicating what is left of humankind. However, Eren wants out of the city. Then, a titan breaches the gate and Eren’s world comes crumbling down. Training as a soldier, Eren eventually gets to fight against the titans.


Attack on Titan is another one of those shows that will blow you away with the opening. The music, the action sequences, the sheer horror and visual feast presented in episode 1 just kind of freeze you in place glued to the screen. It hits every nerve and makes you just sit and take it in. And that high emotion can carry you clear to the end of this first series if you let it. However, what you find when you step back from those emotions is that while Attack on Titan is amazing in so many ways, there are some issues sitting beneath it that just continue to threaten to unravel your viewing experience.


Firstly, I have to be honest and point out that I fell in love with this series in minutes of watching the first episode. I rewatched that first episode so many times I lost count, but it kind of did everything you would ever want from a first episode in an anime. We met the characters, knew what the threat was, and felt that threat. We weren’t just told titans were bad or scary. We saw them literally tear Eren’s world apart and lay waste to the town. It wasn’t the gore that sold this episode (although visually it is quite confronting). It is the way we see this destruction from the multiple perspectives. We see it from Eren’s point of view as he is helpless to save his mother. We see other characters who are either running or hiding or crying or trying to fight and failing. We get down and personal with them even though we only know some of these characters for a short space of time. But we also see the bigger picture. We get the sweeping shots of the city and the overhead view. We see the titans looking down at the fleeing humans and you can’t help but see ants scurrying from the rain. It’s an intense first episode and sets up a world and a conflict that are inherently interesting and clear.

The rest of season one maintains this clarity of titans bad but it does spend a lot of time muddying its own waters by building in multiple human conspiracies. While this is not necessarily a problem in terms of narrative, and is in fact needed unless all you want is human vs monster conflict, the issue is that very few of the characters in Attack on Titan are anything more that the mouth-piece of whatever ideal is needed in that setting. Actually, if we are honest, most of the characters shout. A lot. Repeatedly. I really, really wish some of these characters would stop shouting (Eren particularly).


Possibly if these sub-plots (although it kind of feels like some of these human conflicts are going to end up being fairly important to the main plot) had been handled better or if the characterisation had been up to it this could have been a really interesting way to flesh out the world established in episode 1. Instead it all feels like clutter and a distraction from something that was infinitely more interesting.

By the time we get out of the city with Eren (okay, and Levi who is probably the coolest character I’ve come across in a modern action anime) the level of excitement has gone down significantly but this is where they start turning that around. The speed at which the extras get knocked off in this sequence (even though they are apparently trained for this) is disheartening (which I think is the point given we’ve kind of been led to believe they have a chance and this clearly shows they don’t). At every stage after this you get the distinct impression that these characters are well out of their depth and that sense of shared helplessness really helps drive home the drama as they struggle against the fate of dying without accomplishing their goals.


Of course, there’s no getting around the elephant in the room. It didn’t end and then season 2 got pushed back and back. Season 2 is meant to come out this year so let’s hope but at the moment no matter how amazing an experience you had with Attack on Titan all you’ve been left with are questions, spin-offs and adaptations.

I know I haven’t spent a lot of time on characters. There are actually some pretty cool characters in this story but all of their character journey’s have been cut short at this point and time due to the story just stalling. So I’ll do a better review of the series as a whole once I know where they go. That and any of the extras we meet are likely to just get eaten anyway.

Essentially if you like action with high stakes and a bit of horror, aren’t turned off by gore, and you don’t mind characters who aren’t fully realised, then Attack on Titan will amaze you. It’s beautiful, fast paced, and dramatic and when it is at its best it truly shines and those moments will carry you over the slower bits. If we actually get a continuation that matches the feel and quality of season 1 then this could be a very memorable anime. Otherwise I think it is one of those ones that had its moment in the sun but without finishing won’t have staying power.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James