Space Dandy (Season 1 & 2)

Type: Anime Futurama

maxresdefault

Synopsis: Meet Space Dandy. He’s a Dandy guy, from space.

Pros: When I watched Space Dandy, I was primarily reminded of two things: Futurama and Abenobashi Shopping Arcade. The series follows “Space Dandy” a pompodour looking fellow and his crew as they hunt for rare aliens. The set up already gives them an excuse to visit strange and varied worlds. Most of the episodes are stand alone, and like Futurama, some delve into deeper sci-fi questions and/or personal stories (luckily, nothing as hard as the dog episode). But like Abenobashi, a lot of episodes are non-sensical, full of cultural references, and some episodes even end with Dandy and his crew dying! So like all great sci-fi comedies, Space Dandy is a silly space romp with pretty deep messages, you just have to watch it to find out. [Season 1 is the one full of crazy deaths, Season 2 is the more philosophical one]

Cons: You know what? I actually can’t think of any negatives. I appreciated this show a lot. The varied episodes and animation really made it clear that a lot of people worked hard on this show. The show made you laugh, it made you think, and it may even have made you cry. I guess the only sad part is that you can’t watch it with everyone given the fan service bits, but you could always get around those with some navigating.

Watch it?: Stay Dandy (5/5)

MVP: Dandy

spacedandy

I really want his hair

Best Episode: Ep.17 “The Transfer Student is Dandy, Baby” (There are probably better ones, but his is Anime GLEE we’re talking here!)

Tagged , , , , ,

Desert Punk

Type: Well, this took a turn

desert_punk_004_1024x768

Synopsis: The world’s sh#$. The people are sh#$. And anyone who points out the fact is especially sh#$. Take the case of Kanta, the “Demon of the Desert” or “Desert Punk.” He’s a horrible person. Perverse, greedy, selfish, cowardly, but ultimately real. He is who he is. A jackass. But in this godforsaken desert world, who isn’t?

Pros: The anime is a post apocalyptic story taking place in a Mad-Max/Trigun like cut-throat desert. Our protagonist is Desert Punk, a mercenary with only one rule: fulfill the contract. And I mean one rule. Outside of this, the Desert Punk has participated in such noble pursuits as: kidnapping, sexual blackmail, murder, human trafficking, etc. The show does an incredibly job at pushing the audience’s tolerance of him. He truly proves the point that a protagonist does not have to be likable (but also why he/she probably should be). Desert Punk is a jerk, so you laugh when he loses. But you also kinda root for him, especially when he deals with other equally hypocritical people. The show also keeps the tone relatively light-hearted, especially in the first half, that nothing comes off a disgusting. In fact, the first 12 episodes are basically a sex-comedy with Desert Punk as the main pervert. I have never head so many penis jokes from an anime. Then it take a more serious turn after, but still keep some of the comedy.

Cons: Well, the intros suck, first of all. The show takes a serious at about episode 13. It’s not bad, but it does change the course of the show. It goes from a few stand alone episode about Desert Punk and his apprentice’s misadventures to a more plot heary story involving a civil war. This turn makes the show lightly more generic. Character wise, the only real constant is Desert Punk, and he does become truly unlikable at times. I noticed with happened more when he had his mask off. Man, I wish his face had never been revealed. His cool helmet is kinda false advertisement, cause he hardly wears it. My least favorite version of him was when he kidnaps the big-boobed Junko and holds her hostage until she agrees to sleep with him. I mean, Junko’s also a bad person, but who does that!? It makes sense why Desert Punk is given a kid sidekick. Some may find her annoying, but she helps soften some of Desert Punk’s actions. Like the ending (ah, spoilers I guess), where Punk “betrays” his friends. But let’s be honest, his “friends” kidnapped him and forced him to help their cause. They don’t like him, and he don’t like them. The only person he offered to help was his apprentice, which is why she’s pivotal to the story (I mean, he still left her to die earlier, and tried to kill her a few scenes before, but like I said, he’s a jackass).

Watch it?: Maybe just the first 12 episodes (4/5)

MVP: Desert Punk

DesertPunk

He is truly dead inside. It’s hilarious.

Best Episode: Ep.1 “Demon and Boobs (The Demon and The Double D’s)” (a no faced pervert, perfect)

Tagged , , , ,

Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture

Type: RISING TACKLE

800px-Garou_Densetsu_The_Motion_Picture_(Japanese_pamphlet)

Synopsis: Basically, a pizza delivery boy, a ninja, a boxer, and a blonde guy help a mysterious girl fight the god of war.

Pros: Fatal Fury, the movie, is possibly the best film adaptation of a fighting game. Well, aside from the Tekken movie. And the Mortal Kombat movie had its moments. All rights, its like the third best fighting game movie adaptation. Having nothing to do with the actual game story line, this film has Terry Bogart, Andy Bogart, Joe, and Mai fighting non-descript bad guys. The movie does a good job at animating each character’s special moves, and even throws in some camoes from other characters in the game. It’s all pretty dumb, don’t get me wrong, but dumb in that fighting game way, which is pretty cool.

Cons: Oh my god, we get it. Mai is super hot. Do we need that much boob jiggle? Although, I guess that’s game accurate. If you take your attention away from Mai for a minute, which Andy seems to have mastered, you’ll notice blatant animation dips. It was the 90’s. The story is…the story. But the biggest problem with the film is that, unless you have a working familiarity with the Fatal Fury universe, you won’t get a lot of the movie. Why is Terry the main hero? Why is Joe tagging along? Why is Andy not having sex with Mai right now? No, seriously. The lady has the biggest case of blue balls imaginable. But you won’t get that unless you know about the game story line.

Watch it: Yes, but keep in mind that this was made for the fans

MVP: Terry

620698_731707973524966_761701043_o

POWER GAISA

Best Moment: The whole crew fighting against the bad guy at the end (BURNING!!)

Tagged , , , , ,

The Hentai Prince and The Stony Cat

Type: Or simply HenNeko

23ddec1c15c3a80151d1c002239cc7881365775506_full

Synopsis: DO NOT IMAGE SEARCH FOR THIS

Pros: This show is about a boy and a few girls making wishes to a Cat Statue, and the consequences that follow. With a title like “Hetai Prince,” expect some fan service. The show has a balance between Fan Service, Humor, and light melodrama. The best on-going jokes are: Tsukiko’s stone faced delivery and Tsukushi’s love for the “Younger” Yoto brother. Impressively, the show uses two-episode plot arcs, so a lot of story is packed into 12 episodes. You won’t get anything revolutionary in these stories, but you’ll get some entertaining stories.

Cons: The show has a slow start. It opens with my least favorite arc involving Azusa, an immature blonde classmate with trust issues. But after initial hump, a love triangle (rectangle?) develops between Yoto, Tsukiko, her sister Tsukishi (kinda inderectly), and Azusa. The show doesn’t remake the wheel, and some may find it generic. I found the romantic comedy¬† in the show really fun. Again, I really loved whenever Tsukiko got jealous, despite her emotionless exterior, and whenever Tsukushi got lovely dovey over “Young” Yoto (despite hating “Older” Yoto, who is the same person). That being said, I wasn’t stoked by Azusa and Tsukishi’s underdeveloped figures, mostly because it just made them seem much younger. We all know what your doing HenNeko. Gross.

Watch it: Just skip the first few episodes (4/5)

MVP: Tsukishi

Episode_05

Mayonnaise is Justice!

Best Episode: Ep. 6 “Welcome, My Friend” (a good summary of the show)

Tagged , , , , ,

Baccano!

Type: You could spend hours talking about this

baccano1

Synopsis: Dateline, Anime America. With Immortal toughs running amok, the passengers of the luxurious Flying Pussyfoot find themselves in quiet the pickle! Who will come out on top? The cry baby crime boss? The evening gowned assassin? The murder happy lunatic? Or America’s answer to Bonny and Clyde!? Be sure not the miss the next installment of- “Better than Durarara in every possible way!” [please read in 1930’s accent]

Pros: Ha! Just kidding. Kinda. But you could see why I made the comparison. Baccanno! and Durarara!! are both anime with huge ensemble casts and loosely linked story lines. The comparison is easy to make, and has most likely inspired some not-so-friendly debates from fans of both shows. Baccanno! takes place during Depression Era America, which is a pretty awesome setting for an anime. A large majority of the cast are 30’s mafia member, and the English cast did a fantastic job capturing tone and sound of the era. Every episode tends to skip around time frames and characters, with the first episodes actually starting at the end of the main story. The most common setting is the Flying Pussyfoot, a train caught in the middle of a gang war. Baccanno!’s other gimmick, and a pretty clever at that considering America’s history with prohibition, is the existence of an elixir of life, which make a few of the characters immortal. You learn whose immortal, or at least who survives, in the first episode. The fun come in finding out how they managed it in a story full of suspense, action, humor, and, dare I say, heart?

Cons: Because the show has such a large cast and skips around time lines, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of everything. This may make the first few episode a bit difficult to follow. It’s helpful that the show’s opening names each important character, as well as offering a brief summary of the important events so far. The show veers on being excessively violent at times, though this sometimes helps emphasize setting of the gangster filled America 30’s. I also found the main villain of the elixir plot generically evil. Oh! And don’t forget that even though some streaming sites may list this as a 16 episode show, it’s actually only 13. The other 3 were DVD only episodes that serve more as an epilogue/OVA, but are ultimately skippable.

Watch it?: Only if you’re not a big Palooka (5/5)

MVP: Miria and Isaac

42e4a50d68667a13dbc03a2c00e1aa7e

Just, just Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

Best Episode: Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I end up liking the entire series as a whole (but, maybe Ep.7 for subplot purposes).

Tagged , , , , , ,

Shakugan no Shana: Final [Month of Shana]

Type: Too little, Too late

large

Synopsis: Three seasons later and the plot finally arrives! Yuji has teamed up with a snake god to make a new world for the human eating demons he calls “Tomo….something.” The Flame Hazels are real assholes about it and refuse to let the demons have a new world. Shana ends up fighting Yuji, because even though she’s still in love with him, she ain’t ganna let no man tell her what to do. You go girl.

Pros: F#$ing FINALLY! After sloshing through the garbage of the first two season, we finally get to the good part. This season introduces the full forces of both the Flame Hazel and Bal Masque as they fight a world wide war. Where introduced to a lot of cool looking Flame Hazel and Bal Masque Tomogara. It’s basically franchise’s Return of the King. I just wish this had happened sooner. The most interesting part, as always, is the relationship between Shana and Yuji. Graduating from useless to fascinating, Yuji willingly sacrifices everything to create a peaceful world. Shana, to her credit, stays true to her role as a Flame Hazel, opposing Yuji’s plan. I will give the franchise this, they did a great job of making Shana a strong heroine, escaping the trappings that her moe-design suggested. There’s an interesting story here, and maybe in the future, someone will know how to tell it properly.

Cons: This season is good in the way that finding a completely wrapped candy bar in the garbage is good. You’ll eat the candy, but the faint smell of garbage will stay with you. This season did almost everything I’ve wanted the series to do. I did away with the boring high school cast and setting, it introduced ways more about the Flame Hazel, it made Bal Masque interesting, and it make Yuji cooler. But it’s simply not enough. And sadly, you can’t really watch this one without watching the last two season. Even that won’t clear up some of the confusion. The show introduces all these new Flame Hazel that were suppose to care about in one go. But I don’t know these people. I haven’t followed them for three season. Why should I care what a nun and army guy think about?¬† Who are they to say that the Tomogara can’t have a new home? That’s another thing, the show did a poor job at explaining exactly why the Tomogara getting a new home was such a problem to the Flame Hazel. All I got from it was that the Flame Hazel condescendingly thought they knew better than the Tomogara and didn’t trust them. Very First World vs. Third World. So naturally, I found myself rooting for the Tomogara. Finally, being the last season, I feel that the writers tried to cram as many light novel characters as they could, which never, ever works. They also tried to tie the loose end of Yoshida and Pheles/Johan, three characters I literally hate.

Watch it?: Why is the last one the most interesting???? (3/5)

MVP: Yuji

Yuji_One

Finally worth our time

Best Episode: Ep17 “For Whose Sake?” (ironic, I know)

Tagged , , , ,

Shakugan no Shana-tan [Month of Shana]

Type: Chibi Shana

Shanatan1

Synopsis: Reviewing this instead of Shakigan no Shana S, because CHIBI!!!!

Pros: Shana-tan is basically all the criticisms of the Shakigan no Shana series condensed into 5 minute shorts. These little segments make very self-referencial jokes at it’s own expense, noting the flaws of the parent series. The most obvious example is Shana, who is depicted as an immature chibi character. Another is Kazumi, how here is a two-face character whose actually very snarky in private (a major upgrade in my opinion). Comments are also made about the show’s lackluster supporting cast and confusing terminology. While I personally wise this was the main show instead, I know that’s just a pipe dream and enjoy what I got.

Cons: Aside from this not being the main series, it does have one major flaw. In order for you to enjoy Shana-tan, you will have had to have sat through Shakugan no Shana proper. You will not get the majority of the jokes otherwise. They may also be DVD exclusive, but that’s what the internet is for. (P.S. For those curious, Shakugan no Shana S is an OVA series, 4 episodes, one involves body switching, and the last two are a prequel adventure starring Shana).

Watch it!?: Again, I wish this was the main series (4/5)

MVP: Kazumi

1110

She went from one of my least favorite characters, to my most favorite

Best Episode: The Entire Series (their, like, 5 minutes each)

Tagged , , , ,

Shakugan no Shana Second [Month of Shana]

Type: The struggle is real

8227l

Synopsis: New season, new animation, same boring supporting characters. Yuji gets to become less worthless. Margery gets a bit of backstory. Shana stays, well, she’s still Shana. Burning eyes and all. She should really get that checked out.

Pros: So this season is more or less a continuation of last season. It’s more plot focus this time around. The first season was mainly focused on introducing and developing character relationships, while this season is more focused on introducing story specific revelations. For example, Yuji gets a power up because of the thing inside his chest, which is revealed to have been created by an ancient couple for smooching purposes. He also has “silver flames,” which ties him into Margery’s backstory and finally gives her character an excuse to stick around. Even though the anime still fluffs about with some filler episodes, fans of the show’s world building will like this season. And the anime got a major upgrade.

Cons: I am getting progressively angrier at this series. It’s starting to become a problem. I simply do not care enough about the supporting characters or main villains. How gives a F#$$ about Margery has her boy crew? Because I do not. WHY ARE THEY HERE???? It feel that the show creators just wanted a busty blonde around. Truthfully, if they had their own side series, I’d be fine, but their inclusion in these series really ticks me off. They take time away from Shana and Yuiji, who are all I really care about. Although, turning Yuji from just a random guy into a psudo chosen one is pushing it. And I kind miss Shana’s animosity with Kazumi. In this season, they become friendly rivals and compete over Yuji. It was all very early high school. The first arc is also predictable, and the last arc was unnecessary. It should have finished with the fight with the super assassin.

Watch it?: Slightly more good than bad (3/5)

MVP: Wilhelmina

1003

She takes on a super assassin by herself, while injured, and protecting someone. Badass.

Best Episode: Ep. 20 “The Scarlet Death Struggle” (uphill battle)

Tagged , , , ,

Shankugan no Shana [Month of Shana]

Type: Burning-Eyed Shana

-Zero-Raws-_Shakugan_no_Shana_-_13_(BD_1280x720_x264_AAC).mkv_snapshot_10.09_-2012.04.24_13.44.23-

Synopsis: A lot of confusing words are used to describe not-demon hunters who hunt down not-demons and not-vampires who eat human not-souls. This story stars a particularly not-developed “Flame Haze,” or not-demon hunter, who meets a recently not-ghosted boy named Yuji. Together, they fight not-monsters, go through puberty together, and sometimes waste their time in boring school with boring people and generally waste all our time.

Pros: So Shakugan no Shana is apparently a HUGE series, spanning multiple seasons. The first season mainly introduces all the characters and sets the foundation of their interactions. The two star performances come from the two stars, Shana the Flame Haze and Yuji. Shana was raised a warrior, but lack many of the social and emotional skills necessary to function in society. She’s not deadpan or quiet, she’s just a little rough with interacting. Sometimes this is funny, like all her bored expressions while at school. It was particularly fascinating how the adults in her life addressed this. Her sorta dad/necklace of power and sorta mom/maid didn’t view this as a problem, but Yuji’s mother/social mentor pointed out that if Shana doesn’t learn how to deal with people as as child, it will be a serious problem as an adult, especially when dealing with men. Then there’s Yuji, who becomes a Torch (basically a ghost), and is our introduction to Shana’s work. He suffers from momentary existential crises. The best part of the show is their interactions with one another. Their relationship is great to watch, in a “First time Boyfriend and Girlfriend” kind a way. So expect a few misunderstandings.

Con: You can tell right away that this show had a budget. I’m not talking about looking different become it comes from the pre-digital era, I’m saying you can notice cuts here and there made to save money. The exception is Shana’s Flame Haze form, which always looked really cool with the added floating ember effect put in. There’s also the matter of the side characters. Other than Yuji, Shana, everyone else was pointless. I simply did not care about Yuji’s school friends. Ike and Kazumi could go F@#$ off for all I care. They are not important. Kazumi does throw a love triangle wrench at Yuji and Shana, but a random new character that goes away after three episodes could have done the same. Then there’s the matter of Margery, Eita, and Keisaku, who I’m pretty sure are just their for filler. They add nothing to the story, and aren’t really related to the overall plot other than Margery being a Flame Haze. For real, they don’t hang out with Yuji or Shana, they have no real history with Yuji or Shana, and aside from going to the same school and I guess sharing the same plane of existence, they are not relevant. That, I feel, is the show’s biggest flaw. It’s 24 episode length meant filling it with a bunch of filler content, such as school events and side fights, that just acted as fodder for the skip button.But if you can, I’d advise looking for the Bonus mini-episodes. They put a very funny spin on some of the cliches.

Watch it?: Skip where you may (3/5)

MVP: Shana’s Outfit

sincerely-by-ayl-3-40-00-am-related-to-shakugan-no-shana-tick-one-1024x768

Burning Red Hair and A Black Trench Coat with the Collar Popped Up. Bad Ass.

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “The Burning Flame” (ironic title)

Tagged , , , , ,

I Couldn’t Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job.

Type: Don’t make sentences your title

20236

Synopsis: The year is…you know what? I don’t know what the year is. I guess it’s whatever year after the Demon Lord was defeated. This left the RPG like “Heroes” out of a job. Now derelict, one would be Hero got a reluctantly got job in retail. Where he’s surrounded by pretty anime girls. Who all have a crush on him. And wind up naked for one reason or another….I don’t know if I should feel sorry for him, or hate his guts.

Pros: This anime touches upon two important and surprising topics. First, it deals with is working in a small shop and having to compete with big mega stores. Anyone who has ever had a job, retail or otherwise, can sympathize with Raul and Phino. Having to learn the job rules, having to be nice to customers, having to deal with special events. Second, it sorta deals with the status of veterans. In the show, Raul was a trained “hero” who lost him purpose when the war against he Demon Kind ended. With nowhere left to go, he got a not-so-glamorous job. Raul, and other heroes depicted, feel out of place in peace time, with no real direction. Again, the title of the show has the word “reluctantly.” A part of him wishes he was still fighting. It may not have been an intentional thing, but I feel it does touch upon veteran life after war, especially since so many of today’s vet’s are young men and women. I also liked the setting of the show. A modernized RPG-like world was interesting, with monster becoming pests, and magical items turning into regular appliances. I also found Phino’s demon humor very funny.

Cons: This is a boob show. Let’s get that right out in the open. Phino has her boobs out on a regular basis. A third of the cast is very bouncy. Don’t let the opening fool you. The animation quality dips after the first episode. While the subplot of the show juggles the Store aspects and Raul’s Hero status, the main plot revolves around Phino’s hijinks as a rookie salesmen with big boobs. I doesn’t always pull it off. I also felt that this show was slooooooow. It’s based on a light novel, which usually produce not-so-quick stories. The show could have used less characters. Nova in particular seemed superfluous. The ending was also off. It didn’t feel earned, as the events were never alluded to. And the Amada Store arc is never quiet resolved, is it? I wasn’t a fan of Raul being criticized for “not following his dream” of being a hero. Mostly because THE WAR WAS OVER. He didn’t have a choice. It’s like hating someone for not following his dream of being a VHS salesmen. I suppose he could have just become a cop. Which begs the question, why didn’t he become a cop? He’s described as having high marks in Hero School. He’s skills are still good. Why not? I’m sure there are pretty anime girls at the precinct too.

Watch it?: I worked retail for 2 day. I would have stayed if there had been anime girls. (3/5)

MVP: Phino

yusibu-girl

Tremble at the low prices!!

Best Episode: Ep.11 “I Couldn’t Become a Hero, but now I’m Going to Rescue the Demon Lord’s Daughter” (hey, the budget!)

Tagged , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 154 other followers