Monthly Archives: February 2013

Princess Resurrection

Type: Necromancer Lady

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Synopsis: Good guy Hiro Hiyorimi dies trying to save a young woman from certain death. His good deed impresses the young women so, that she rewards him by reviving him. But theirs a catch. Hiro has to be continually revived, or else he dies for good. The price? Eternal service to this demon princess whose family is currently in the middle of a war for the throne. Not only that, but the royal family is apparently very good for you to eat, forcing Hiro to defend the princess from every swamp-thing, mummy, and Jason that comes a-calling. Maybe death wouldn’t have been so bad…

Pros: Their are two aspects of the show that I really liked. First, I really enjoyed the monster aspects of the show. Instead of going for traditional demons, the show decided to use werewolves, vampires, witches, ghosts, the classics basically. Its got an old school monster movie feel that I really enjoyed. I mean, the Princess’s royal guard is really just a werewolf, vampire, frankenstein, and zombie. Second, I was intrigued by the war for the throne. I’m a big fan of parallels in anime, so it was a treat when a member of the Princess’s family showed up with their own royal guard and robot bodyguard. If the show ever gets more seasons, I hope it decides to incorporate more of the royal family dynamic into the plot.

Cons: The first half of the show is stronger than the second half. The show begins by slowly introducing the main cast, using monsters of the week to flesh out the story. For example, the invisible man was used to showcase the intensity of the war for the throne. The second half of the show is used to transition into the main plot about the royal family, but it does it in manner that makes the episodes feel like fillers. Character wise, the protagonist Hiro Hiyorimi kinda bugged me. He’s an alright dude, but is completely useless in a fight. But weirdly enough, he always participated in fights. Why didn’t the princess train him? Why does she even keep him around? Hiro’s whole role felt forced a times, making you wonder why he was even their.

Watch it?: Give the first 13 episodes a shot, then see if you want to watch the rest. (3/5)

MVP: Flandre

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Huga

Best Episode: Ep.25 Princess Delinquent (bad robot)

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Ichigo 100%

Type: Strawberry Panties

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Synopsis: One day, a kid named Manaka Junpei goes to the school roof for a peaceful time, but suddenly gets flashed by some pretty girl’s panties. Feeling a mixture of violation and fascination, Junpei seeks the mysterious girl out. Along the way, he picks up a blonde girlfriend by the pull-up bars. Then he discovers that strawberry panties is actually the local wallflower. Then she gets hot. So Junpei has to balance these two, along with two other girls that can’t seem to get enough of him. We’ve all been there, right?

Pros: I’ll give the show this, it has a surprisingly brisk pace. The plot progresses farther than you would expect a harem-esque show to. It starts with Junpei in middle school, and ends in his second year in high school. We see him get and lose his first girlfriend. The identity of the mystery girl in the first episode is revealed in the second. The tsundere character falls for Junpei in the span of one episode. Most other shows would draw this out for at least two seasons, maybe more. It was also refreshing to see a protagonist who knew he liked all the girls in his life, instead of just acting oblivious to it. So kudos Ichigo 100% for actually making things happen in your show. Kudos.

Cons: Every character in this show is way too sensitive. All the girls are like a second away from bursting into tears. So as you can imagine, it gets a bit overly melodramatic at times. The animation seemed inconsistent at times, and you could really notice the moments where it dips in quality. On a personal note, and I don’t know why, but at times I felt that the plot was seconds away from something incredibly tragic happening. Maybe that was just me.

Watch it?: Excellent for a High School soap opera fix (with some humor too) (3/5)

MVP: Satsuki Kitaoji

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Cute face. Big boobs. Actual personality. Will she ever get a date?

Best Episode: Ep.4  “Troublesome High School Life / The Wrong Heart and Mind” (hope that camera wasn’t expensive)

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H2O: Footprints in the Sand

Type: Village full of jack-asses

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Synopsis: Blind boy Takuma Hirose just recently moved to a small town in the country. The town’s favorite pastime is mercilessly tormenting this young girl named Hayami Kohinata for no real goddamn reason. This being an anime, Takuma manages to get the younger generation to cool off Hayami. Then it rains and something incredibly stupid happens. Their’s also this fairy girl in it, but I forget why.

Pros: This show managed to get an emotional reaction out of me. It plays off the small town setting really well, establishing a shared history that you just can’t get in more urban environments. You may not agree with the village’s thinking, but you at least understand their mentality. There’s are also some funny moments that help alleviate the dramatic tension. Overall, a good anime soap opera.

Cons:  I really hated everyone in the village for being so incredibly mean to Hayami. I understand that this is basically the foundation for the show’s conflict, but seriously, fuck those villagers (Hayami got beaten up waaay too much). I felt that the show used too many flashbacks. I felt that the show got too cartoony in its attempts to balance humor and drama. The ending also really bugged me. It employs a last minute twist that never really works and just comes off as lazy story telling.

Watch it?: Its a Small Town Soap Opera that’s worth the watch (4/5)

MVP: Hayami Kohinata

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Martyr Complex much?

Best Episode:  Ep.8 “Otoha” (a bit of fun before the end)

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Genshiken

Type: Nerds

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Synopsis: Nerds go to college. They start a club. I’m still not sure what the club was actually supposed to do. A girl starts sitting in on club meetings because her boyfriend is a member. She hates everyone involved. Then this other girl with big boobs joins the club because she loves to cosplay. Then nothing happens for a while. Then another girl joins, but she only did it because she secretly draws porn or something. Then they graduate.  So its basically a The Big Bang Theory anime.

Pros: I really give the show props for not dramatizing or mocking otoku life. A lot of anime tend to treat Otokus as comedic foils or psychologically stunted losers. But in Genshiken, Otokus are just people. People with hobbies that don’t have the best reputation. So the shows really just a light comedy about a group of nerds. The show’s not super hilarious, but its good for a chuckle or two. The key element is Saki Kasukabe, the only non-otoku member. Her total rejection of otoku life juxtaposed with the sheer amount of nerdiness surrounding her is very funny.

Cons: Their is no real main character. The whole group is the main character, and not all characters are created equal. I would have liked it if Saki had been more of a focal point, because her unfamiliarity with Otoku culture would have made her perfect for the lead role. I also wasn’t crazy about the episodes where the club goes to conventions. They do this about four times, and it just felt like filler to me.

What it?: Its was surprisingly enjoyable (3/5)

MVP: Saki Kasukabe

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Nerdy’s the new Sexy

Best Episode: S2, Ep.10 “Otaku from the USA” (I love English in Anime)

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Seitokai Yakuindomo

Type: Pretty Girls Saying Naughty Things

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Synopsis: On his first day of school, Takatoshi Tsuda is punished for wearing his school tie loosely by being forced into becoming the vice-president of the student council. Then a bunch of dirty jokes happen. You know, thinking back, someone really should have reported the members of the student council for sexual harassment.

Pros: This show is basically a sex comedy. Only, instead of using fan service, the show relies more on dirty jokes. For some reason I found this a little bit naughtier. I have always been a proponent of more perverted females in anime. Overall, you can tell that the creators of the show had a lot of fun making this show. The humor’s quick and the punchlines always land where they need to.

Cons: The show kind of uses the same joke structure a lot. One of the girls will say something inappropriate, Tsuda will react, and we move on to the next scene. I personally never got tired of this, but other people might. There are also times when the show will divert to skits that are either hit or miss in execution.

What it?: Yes. And pray there’s a second season. (5/5)

MVP: Shino Amakusa

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[Insert Dirty Joke Here]

Best Episode: Ep.8 “Oh?! You’re the Strawberry Panties from This Morning!” / “Virgin Sex Might Become Popular” / “I’ll Fight in Place of the Others!” (this is my child!)

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Umishō

Type: Nude Swimming Series (thank you English translation)

Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho

Synopsis: One day this kid named Kaname Okiura almost got dragged to his sea death by some mermaid looking creature. Fast forward ten years later, and he’s still too traumatized to swim. This is especially trying considering that he’s the managers of his schools swim team. His world gets turned around (don’t they always) when an energetic green haired girl named Amuro Ninagawa lands on the beach. Now Kaname has to deal with a swimming savant who may or may not have been his attempted murderer (whisper It was totally her whisper).

Pros: I tried for a while to figure out what I liked about this anime. Was it the fun characters? Was it the unique feel? Was it the admitedly funny fan service? Then I realized, their is almost no melodrama in this show. I cannot tell you how refreshing this is. This show is literally a comedy about a swim team. The developing romance between Kaname and Amuro is the “main” plot, but it never overshadows the humor of the rest of the cast. You get a speedo man, a straight man, a storyteller, an idol, a secretly perverted girl, a kid who isn’t annoying, a bullet head. Like any good comedy, the show’s able to build unique individuals without sacrificing the group dynamic.

Cons: As much as I appreciated this show, nothing about its humor and plots really popped out. It’s not especially flashy, even with its colorful characters. Ironically, the characters in this are so interesting, that episodes that deal with actual plot stuff is lesser for it. I liked the swim team, but only when they weren’t actually competing.  The ending also bugged me. In the last episode you get a montage that basically depicts a whole season worth of plot in two minutes. I really would have loved an actual second season instead, but whatever.

Watch it?: Its a very solid show (4/5)

MVP: Mas Ikariya

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I respect any man in a speedo

Best Episode: Ep.9 “Help Me Forget…” (Oh, my youth!)

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Gantz

Type: The Fucked Up Kind

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Synopsis: So apparently the biggest dick in the universe is this thing called Gantz. This big black orb thingy randomly makes copies of dead people and forces them kill aliens for its amusement. To be fair it does give you weapons, power suits, and the target, but that’s about it. No instructions. No tips. If you die in the game, your dead for good. If you try to run away from the game area, your head explodes. Gatnz insults you at the end of the game and gives you points. Your free to live your life in-between games, unless Gantz copied a person that wasn’t fully dead, then you sorta have to avoid awkwardly meeting the original you.  Once you get 100 points, Gatnz lets you go for reals.

Pros: If your a fan of “realism” in anime, then you’ll probably be a fan of this. All the characters in the show act like real people, full of flaws and anxieties. What makes the show interesting is seeing all these “real” people deal with such an extraordinary situation. To makes things more interesting, the show actually allows people to die, no matter who they are. So in every Gatnz Game you get a new set of people and group dynamic. The only constant being the protagonist Kuruno. While I’m not a fan of this type of anime, I was genuienly interested in what was going to happen next, and hope they make more seasons in the future.

Cons: As stated above, this show incorporates “realism. This means that the characters are drawn realistically, which I was not a big fan of. It also doesn’t shy away from issues like abuse, bullying, crime, suicide.  When I used the term “real” people, I of course meant assholes (if I had a dollar for every dirtbag that wanted to molest Kei “big breasts” Kishimono…). The characters in Gantz aren’t very likable. Some are angry, some are crazy, some are losers, some are whiny, some are self centered, some are killers. Gantz tends to revive a mix of people. This show also has a lot of casual nudity and violent gore. So if anything stated above is not your thing, don’t watch it. (p.s. Kato cried waaay too much. That boy had feelings.)

Watch it?: Only your 18+ and have a strong constitution. (4/5)

MVP: Kei Kuruno

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I will survive.

Best Episode: Ep.17 “Is It OK to Shoot Them?” (I gatta be cool guy now)

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