Monthly Archives: March 2013

Midori Days

Type: Someone’s dream I’m sure

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Synopsis: Ok, Ok, um, Ok. There’s this guy right? He’s like the toughest kid in school, but all he wants is a girlfriend. Then one day he wakes up, and his right hand has been transformed into a teenage girl! I shit you not. His right hand literally transforms into a teenage girl from the wrist up. Not only that, but the girl is super psyched about it!  That’s insane on so many levels!

Pros: The premise. Oh, my god, the premise. How can something so simple be so bizarre? In hindsight, its amazing that no one has ever thought of making a story where someone turns into an appendage. The scenes between Seiji and Midori are fascinating to watch. You don’t really realize how much you actually use your hands until its pointed out. Its gets a recommendation out of it’s unique factor alone.

Cons: If you strip away the premise, you’re left is a rather bland anime. All the characters and episodes that don’t deal with Seiji and Midori directly are pretty average. My least favorite are episodes dealing with a doll otoku, mostly because it reminded my of my initial impression of the show. I originally thought it was going to be about a nerd whose only friend is a puppet (and I cringed at the possibilities). Luckily, it was just a show about a kid with a bad reputation who gets a cute girl grafted onto his arm somehow.

Watch it?: You seriously need to watch this once, just to say that you did (3/5)

MVP: Seiji Sawamura

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Mad Dog in the House

Best Episode: Ep.5 “The Power of Love” (quite handy, wasn’t she?)

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Magikano

Type: Too many witches

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Synopsis: Haruo Yoshikawa goes to school and briefly runs into a blonde girl. Then, for some reason, the blonde girls hires herself as the Yoshikawa’s live in maid. Then, for some reason, it turns out she’s a cursed witch Then, for some reason, it also turns out that Haruo is the only one who can lift the curse. Then, for some reason, we learn that Haruo’s sisters are all witches and won’t allow Haruo to know that magic even exists. Then, again for some reason, a robot and time travel happen.

Pros: Magiko has some really funny and really clever humor. For example, to convey sudden switches from joy to anger, the voice actresses will change the pitch of their deliver, going from normal to deep. It doesn’t sound like much, but the fact that every character does this really made me laugh. Each character also have one dimensional gags that work surprisingly well. My favorite was the youngest sister’s love of money.

Cons: Magiko is a show without substance. The show throws a lot of plot elements at you, and you’re just expected to care. So what if Haruo doesn’t know magic is real? So what if Ayumi is cursed? Who cares! The show loses sight of all this “have a plot” nonsense by the halfway point anyway. I really think it would have worked better if the show lost one or two of its plot devices. Have Ayumi be the only witch, remove the curse angle, have Haruo actually know about magic, anyone one of these suggestion would have made the show tighter. As it is, however, Magiko is left feeling like a generic anime with abnormally quality laughs.

What it?: It may be good for the occasional laugh, but you can live without it (2/5)

MVP: Fuyuno Yoshikawa

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Dolla’, Dolla’ bill y’all!

Best Episode: Ep.3 “Are They Really a Pair of Dangerous Siblings?” (that girl ain’t right)

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Linebarrels of Iron

Synopsis: Champions of Justice

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Synopsis: One day this kid get incredible powers and becomes a real asshole about it, but he learns that with great power comes great responsibility when his Uncle Ben…oh, wait, that’s a different story. The again, this story does have an outrageous boss. And the main character does join a team of earth’s mightiest heroes. And there are a number of super model level hotties that seem to like him. Well, at least his best friend never died….wait a minute!!

Pros: The best thing about this show is the character growth of the protagonist, Kouichi Hayase. Kouchi starts as a very weak person, being regularly bullied and resenting having to be rescued by his best friend Yajima. When he becomes the pilot of the Lineberrel mecha, he becomes arrogant and drunk on his own power. He only starts to snap out of it after Yajima dies. We then see a gradual change in Kouchi that ends with him becoming the kind of person others would follow and admire. He essentially goes from an immature kid to a respectable young man. This type of growth usually happens in the span of one episode or superficially, so I’m glad this show took its time with it. On a side note, I also love the boss Kunio Ishigami. He’s soo cool!

Cons: O.k. First off, this show uses the term “Champion of Justice” way too much. It’s like the writers paychecks depended on it or something. Second, I wrote above that Kouchi becomes an admiral personal, and that is true. But the sheer amount of trust this kid was given seemed a bit forced. I’m was kinda bummed by the 3-D mechs they used too. They weren’t bad or anything, but I personally don’t like when 2-D and 3-D animation to mix. The first half is also better than the second, mostly because Kouichi’s personal faults get more or less resolved by the halfway point. The last few episodes in particular were lack luster. They were your average final battle episodes, where the mysterious baddies finally show up and we get a big duel in space. I’ve seen it before, and I’ve seen it done better.

Watch it?: If you like Peter Parker, you’ll like Kouichi Hayase (3/5)

MVP: Kunio Ishigami

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I want this guy to be my Father and my Uncle and my Brother

Best Episode: Ep.4 “The Price of Justice” (this is how men do therapy)

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Today in Class 5-2 (OVA)

Type: Kid’s do the darndest things

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Synopsis: A bunch of kids in fifth grade are acting like a bunch of kids in fifth grade. They’re slowly maturing into that awkward phase of that usually manifests as saying and doing as many dirty and inappropriate things as possible. It’s like that weird summer where you find flipping-off airplanes so utterly amusing. Or maybe that was just me?

Pros: This show has some really funny gags. I found myself laughing out loud more than once. What’s really bad about this is that the best gags were dirty jokes. Its bad because the cast are all 5th graders. You laugh in sorta the same manner you laugh at the South Park kids doing inappropriate stuff. It’s that weird mix of “Oh my god, that hilarious!” and “I really should not be laughing at this.”

Cons: Like I said, the whole cast are 5th graders. That almost turned me off to the whole show right their. Add dirty jokes that make you feel weird laughing at, and you got yourself a conundrum. Granted, 5th grade is about the age you start getting into all that stuff, but this show takes it a tad too far. I won’t spoil where, but lets just say a shack is involved. Everyone on the show acts a lot older than they probably should, but admittedly, this is a somewhat honest portrayal of being 11 years old.

What it?: Its genuinely funny, though you may feel guilty afterwards. (3/5)

MVP: Ryōta Satō

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Life is wanna either kick his ass, or grovel at his feet

Best Episode: Ep1. “1st Period – ‘Wiggle, Wiggle’ / 2nd Period – ‘Collarbones’ / 3rd Period – ‘Undefeated’ / 4th Period – ‘Dial’ / 5th Period – ‘Sneak Attack'” (best and worst gag ever!!!)

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Karin

Type: Chibi Vampires

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Synopsis: In the 21st Century, a family of vampires have secretly created a home in Japan. The oldest daughter, Karin, is a the runt of the litter. And by runt, I of course mean the freak. She’s not a regular vampire. She doesn’t hate garlic. She can walk in the sun. And when she bites people she doesn’t suck blood, she injects her own. Karin manages to live a pretty average life until she meets Usui, a boy who’s presence immediately increases her bloodlust. We’ve all been there, am I right ladies?

Pros: I really liked what the show did with the concept of vampires. In this universe, vampires are attracted to the the blood of certain personality types. When a vampire feeds on a victim, they temporarily suck out that personality trait. So if a vampire drinks the blood of a dishonest person, that person become more honest. A prideful person becomes more humble. A stressful person becomes more relaxed. etc. This is a pretty clever twist on the vampire genre, and helps make vampires more sympathetic.

Cons: The show is a generic love comedy. The majority of the plot is different characters telling the two protagonists that their love is wrong and won’t last. Though, to be honest, most of this came from the big brother. But he’s a prick, so who cares. Then their’s the “rival” character for Karin’s love, who is annoying as all get out. Their’s also the subplot involving Usui’s mother’s job problems, which dragged on way too long. It was supposed to make Usui more sympathetic, but I think a poor boy whose father abandoned him and who unconditionally loves a freak vampire is plenty sympathetic. I was also bugged by Karin’s lack of agency. She’s the protagonist, but the only active thing she ever did was decide to trust Usui. Aside from that, she’s a pretty passive character, and almost everything is decided for her.

Watch it?: Skip it. (2/5)

MVP: Anju Maaka

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Little vampires be keeping it real

Best Episode: Ep.20 “The First Time is Embarrassing” (having a sister is hard)

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Kamisama Kazoku

Type: Anime Jesus

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Synopsis: Imagine if the Son of God was born in anime Japan and was partially in love with a pink haired angel living in his parent’s house? You refuse? Well too bad! Samatarou, a.k.a. Jesus, is a god in training living with an angel, Tenko, who is supposed to guide him on his rode to divinity. Sadly, the show missed out on the opportunity to create a 13 member harem to act as Samatarou’s apostles.

Pros: The show is divided into three story arcs that sorta bleed into each other, creating an overall plot. These arcs, while fairly melodramatic, are engaging enough  to make you stick to the series. The show is filled with gags that take advantage of the whole “god” angle, such as Tenko shooting steam out of her head whenever aroused or angered. Once I got to the last episode, I was left wanting more. As I should be.

Cons: The first thing you’ll notice is that the show mixed theologies slightly. The concept of Polytheism is combined with Christian religion, creating a world where multiple gods and angels reside. So Samatarou is not THE son of God, he’s just A son of A god. Samatarou himself presented a problem at first, as his character was presented as whiny and stubborn. This, thankfully, is resolved after the first story arc. In the last story arc, the show presents the concept of Devils, beings who reap human souls for consumption. When a Devil attack Samatarou and his family, the family is almost immediately demolished.  I now that you can’t use the “fight fire with fire” strategy when fighting true evil, but you would think Gods and Angels would have some concrete way to defend themselves.

What it!?: A truly solid show which goes by a lot faster than you’d think (3/5)

MVP: Tenko

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My guardian angel

Best Episode: Ep.7 “Growing Girl” (teenage parent *nodding disapprovingly*)

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Kamisama Dolls

Type: Giant singing dolls

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Synopsis: There’s this village in the middle on nowhere that have “Seki,” people that are trained to control wooden battle dolls for some reason. Kyohei, our protagonist, left the village because obviously a rural town built around things called “God Dolls” is kinda ridiculous. Anyway, Kyohei’s past comes to haunt him when his psycho-killer best friend Aki follows him to Tokyo. On the plus side, all the crazy god dolls fighting seems to have scored Kyohei some points with the girl with the ridiculously ginormous mammary glands.

Pros: One of the best selling points Kamisa Dolls has is the relationship between Kyohei and Aki. The plot device of friends turned enemies is old, but consistent. The show’s at its best when Kyohei and Aki are in the same scene together. Another interesting facet was the dynamics of Kyohei’s village. Why are God Dolls so important? Whats the deal between Kyohei’s and Aki’s family? Why was Kyohei’s twin siblings separated at birth? These are questions I’m still curious about. I also really liked the fact that the God Dolls each had their own distinct melody that they emitted. It was a nice touch that gave the dolls a more ethereal quality. The show also manages to incorporate humor rather effectively. Overall, I was very intrigued by the anime, and hope they make more seasons.

Cons: My main gripe with the anime is Kyohei and Aki’s backstory. Now, their are two backstories that the show uses. The first, or main backstory, is that Kyohei and Aki found an ancient God Doll that corrupted minds and almost killed them. Alone, this would have been enough. It would have explained why Aki turned evil, why Kyohei left the village, and why his twin siblings are being pushed so hard. Sadly however, the show also incorporated an additional backstory involving the old “two friends love the same girl, then she dies” device. This aspect of Kyohei and Aki’s history felt superfluous, not to mention kinda creepy, considering that the girl in question was their school teacher.

Watch it?: A very enjoyable and entertaining show (3/5)

MVP: Kukuri

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Dig that god melody

Best Episode: Ep.10 “The Princess Arrives” (childhood sure is a dangerous time)

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Maid Sama!

Type: Class President by day, Maid by night

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Synopsis: This girl that kinda looks like Rukia from Bleach is the class president of a school that is transitioning from an all-boy school to co-ed. She works part time as a waitress at a Maid Cafe. One day, she is accidentally discovered by this guy that kinda looks like Ichigo from Bleach. She peaks his curiosity and he starts hanging around her/flirting/romantically cornering her. So its basically Bleach fan fiction.

Pros: This show was very enjoyable to watch. The premise is relatively simple. Girl meets Boy and they spend the next 26 episodes dancing around each other. The show’s target audience is female. The protagonist, Misaki, is a strong willed and hard working individual, pretty without trying, but still shy when it comes to romantic stuff. Her main love interest, Usui, is a tall, handsome, strong, smart, romantic, and rich boy from school. Hell, he even made me swoon a couple of times. The show’s also legitimately funny with a good supporting cast (my favorite being the Moronic Trio).

Cons:  This may be because I’m a man, but I found that show’s message a bit, well, condescending. I mean, you could say that the show is about Masaki learning to rely on other people. But I felt that a lot of the episodes revolved around Usui reminding Masaki that she’s a girl and needs a man in her life. Then again, 90% of romantic comedy movies revolved around that same premise. Overworked female, charming man, overtures of romantic gestures. You could have replaced Masaki with Jennifer Aniston and gotten the same result.

Watch it?: If you’re in touch with your feminine side, you’ll like it. (4/5)

MVP: Naoya Shirakawa, Ikuto Sarashina, and Ryuunosuke Kurosaki

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The Idiot Trio

Best Episode: Ep.9 “A Maid, as Far as Momotarō Goes” (Momotaro!)

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