Monthly Archives: August 2013

Squid Girl

Type: Girl who is also a squid

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Synopsis: A horrible invader from beyond the waves has come to ensnare us in her turquoise grasp! Tremble in terror at her tentacle might! Feel the sting of pure evil as she bathes you in her nautical ink! Realize how hard it is to come up with squid related phrases!

Pros: I loved Squid Girl because the show just decided to go with it. This is an anime. The main character has squid based powers. Go. The show is at it’s best when it plays around and experiments with different types of stories. You could really tell that the creators had some fun on this one. My particular favorites were the tale of Squid Girl’s first umbrella and the story of Mini Squid Girl. This is the type of show where you can just sit back and chuckle. And there’s nothing sweeter than that.

Cons: The show lost some of it’s charm when it tries to get all feel-good you. The very troupe heavy scenes aren’t bad, there just not original. We’ve all seen the moment when the protagonist realizes that someone else is really nice, so would you go back to the ink spitting all ready? Luckily, since the show is spit into segments, these moments are disperse well enough.

Watch it?: I’m ganna rewatch it. Like right now. (4/5)

MVP: Squid Girl

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She’s a girl and a squid. Get it!?

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “Squidn’t you bring an umbrella? / Won’t You Use It?” (the powers of friendship is beautiful)

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R.O.D. The TV (Part 2)

Type: Sequel of a OVA, which is a Sequel of a Manga, which is Based of a Light Novel

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Synopsis: Three sisters, Michelle, Maggie, and Anita, are forced to participate in a world wide conspiracy after successfully bodyguarding an “author” that’s only written one book in her entire life. They are joined by Yokimo, a fellow paper user and all around waste of space who everyone seems to be obsessed with for no real reason. Together, the high reliable Paper Sisters and useless Paper Agent have to stop a really, really, really old man from being reborn.

Pros: The second half of R.O.D., or second season for all intends and purposes, is a very contained story that serves as the Finale for the entire R.O.D. franchise. The glue that holds it all together is the antagonist, Joker, and the British Library. The British Library are such bad guys in this! They always seem a step ahead, and they never panic or get angry when the protagonist seem to get the better of them (which rarely happens). You may not sympathize with the antagonists, but you come to respect their ingenuity and efficiency.

Cons: Since this part of the show is meant to tie up lose ends for the R.O.D. franchise, certain elements from previous works are brought into the series. Concepts like I-Jins, The British Library, The Dokusensha, Yokimo Readman, Nancy Makuhari, and the revival of Mr. Gentleman. You won’t feel lost, but you also won’t necessarily care about the specifics. I’m specifically referring to Yokimo and Nancy’s whole deal. The show vaguely refers to their past exploits, and doesn’t do much to make them likable characters. Yokimo is a weak willed and short sighted bookworm, and Nancy is a obsessive woman with co-dependent issues. There presence takes focus away from the Paper Sisters to a degree, almost to the point of making the series their story instead. I really wish their roles had been relegated to a simple cameo.

Watch it?: Despite some unlikable characters, the story as a whole as exciting enough to warrant a watch. (4/5)

MVP: Anita King

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Paper Master

Best Episode: Ep. 20 “Bonjour tristesse” (Anita was right, Yokimo does suck)

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R.O.D. the TV (Part 1)

Type: Paper Sister Detective Agency

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Synopsis: Three sisters, Michelle, Maggie, and Anita, are dirt poor detectives hired to guard an author whose only written one book in her entire career. The three sister are all “Paper Users,” people with the ability to manipulate paper. Believe it or not, this isn’t the craziest part. Nor the fact that these super powered pretty girls are always strapped for cash. The real jump is believing that a person whose only written one book five years ago is considered an “author.” That’s just silly.

Pros: The paper based powers are cool. It’s kinda like the Avatar water, air, and earth bending all rolled into one. The animation really makes the power seem powerful, but at the same time graceful. The same goes for the three leads, the “Paper Sisters.” The sister really shine when on a mission, because you get to seem them use their skills and teamwork first hand. The show demonstrates that these girls are professionals. I would have been perfectly happy if the whole series had just been a series of one-off missions involving the Paper Sisters.

Cons: While the action driven episodes are strong, the rest are hit or miss. The fist half of the show focuses on the Paper Sister’s time with Nenene Suminegara, a temperamental author. I disliked Nenene and found her obnoxious, but the show does a somewhat decent job at explaining why she’s that way, and her relationship with the sisters increases her likability. Thing get really boring when Anita goes to middle school. Because, you know, middle school. The show changes in tone after episode 13, introducing elements from the larger R.O.D. franchise. So you might as well consider the first 13 episodes as a season 1.

Watch it?: Paper Bending is something you must see (4/5)

MVP: Maggie Mui

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I like the big strong silent type

Best Episode: Ep. 12-13 Twilight of Paper (Imagine Mission Impossible, but awesome)

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Popotan

Type: Ghost House (not really)

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Synopsis: Three sisters are stuck travelling through time in a magic mansion. They must do this because it’s their duty to…wait, they never explained that. I think it involved dandelions. You know, come to think of it, the only thing I know for sure is that it got really good halfway through.

Pros: O.K., you have to understand something. This show does not get good until episode 6, but when you hit that mark, boy, are you in for a ride. You see, by episode 6, the show starts exploring the real tragedy of time travel. The girls are forced to meet the friends and loved ones that they left behind. To them, it’s only been a few weeks. To their friends, it’s been decades. That’s a concept I wish more shows explored. The character Mai was especially compelling, because she was the first one to want to escape their assigned fate.

Cons: The really bad part about this show, aside from the animation, is that you have to watch the first half of the show to fully understand the second. The first five episodes are so cliche that you’ll honestly end up wanting to skip them. The tricky thing, however, is that these episodes lay the emotional framework for the second half of the show. For example, the friend that won Mai’s friendship in episode 2 has a daughter that Mai needs to win over in episode 9. If you skipped ahead, you would’t know who the hell this girl is, or why she’s important. The ending also bugged me, because it didn’t really solve anything.

Watch it?: Skim, but don’t skip, every episode up to Ep. 6, then enjoy the ride (3/5)

MVP: Mai

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She called her life’s B.S. way before everyone else

Best Episode: Ep. 6 “I’m Home” (it just gets good on you all of a sudden)

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Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Type: Touched by an Angel

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Synopsis: Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow

Pros: It’s like Adult Swim, Comedy Central, and Japan had a five week orgy whose essence became sentient after getting really, really drunk.

Cons: It’s crude, extremely sexual, and covered in poop jokes. No wait, I’m suppose to be doing negatives right now. In all honesty, if I didn’t know for a fact that this was made in Japan, I would be calling this the most American Anime I’ve ever seen. The animation looks Western, the humor is most definitely western, and I’m pretty sure it’s set somewhere in the good ol’ USA. I found this extremely refreshing, but anyone looking for a “traditional” anime will be disappointed, and possibly offended.

Watch it!?: I’m mad at myself for not watching it sooner. (5/5)

MVP: Panty

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Bitchy Angel, Hell Yeah!

Best Episode: You should really just watch all of them (They’re each special in their own way)

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Pani Poni Dash!

Type: Doogie Howser, the Anime

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Synopsis: Someone decided that it would be a good idea to give an 11 year old a teaching position at a local high school because she happens to be a genius. Sure, the entire school is full of unique characters. Yes, aliens are monitoring their very action. And admittedly, the school seems to attract strange events, like robots and talking rabbits,  that seem to parody popular culture. But come on, a prepubescent teacher? That’s just crazy.

Pros: If you love parody anime, then look no further. This show is chalk full of references that span the gamut, from video games to Chuck Norris. Every episode is a little weird, sometimes even random, but their in lies the charm. What better way to stave off the tedium that slice-of-life stories are prone to than adding crazy plot twists. What’s this, a boring episode about a PTA meeting? Well, let’s just add a dash of missing teacher, a pinch of masked parents, and a shake of impersonator!

Cons: If your not a fan of parody anime, then you may be out of luck. Granted, this show adheres more to plot structures than other parodies, but something was off. It never quiet grabs your attention enough. Maybe it was a bit too cartoony, or maybe the animation was a bit too old. It’s not bad, but it’s not amazing either.

Watch it!?: Pure comedy fans may love it, but everyone else probably won’t (2/5)

MVP: Ichijo

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I’m pretty sure she’s evil

Best Episode: Ep. 24 “You are responsible for your own death” (I’m a sucker for period pieces)

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Medaka Box

Type: Miss Superman Student President

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Synopsis: Supergirl Medaka Kurokami assembles a group of highly skilled individuals, a league you might say, to help others in times of need. This society is made up first by Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, a man with no special abilities but a keen mind. Second is Kouki Akune, the beautiful but deadly secretary. And Third is Mogana Kikaijima, who can swim really, really good. They make up the Justice….I mean the Student Council.

Pros: To be honest, it took a while to warm up to this show. It starts off as your regular love comedy, then morphs into a club show, and ends as an action series. Things don’t really hit their stride until episode 7, when the entire student council has been assembles. The show is at it’s strongest when it’s entire cast are able to play off each other. Luckily, the show employs half segments, so no episode felt dragged out. I really liked what I saw at the end with the Disciplinary Committee, as the show did a really good job at raising the stakes and making everything seem dramatic. I’m looking forward to the second season.

Cons: As I stated above, the show has a lukewarm start. About 2/3rds of the episodes are spend assembling the student council and exploring there backstory. Everything up to episode 8 is essentially this, or members of the student council helping out other students. I would have actually been o.k. with the entire series being a “case of the week” type of show, I just wish that the entire cast had been introduced earlier. The show transforms into an action program towards the end, which I liked, but it did feel out of place compared to the comedic tone of the previous episodes. My biggest problem was actually with the protagonist Medaka. She was like Superman, but not as endearing. Too strong, too smart, and gave off an aura of condescension. She straight up goes super saiyan at one point. Plus, her boobs were huge! Like defying gravity huge!

Watch it!?: Sure, but feel free to fast forward early on. (3/5)

MVP: Medaka Kurokami, War God Mode

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Her power level is over 9000!

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “This Is The End!!” (this is how Man of Steel Should have Ended)

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Majikoi – Oh! Samurai Girls

Type: Amorous Female Warriors

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Synopsis: Yamato Naoe belong to a school full of would-be samurai lords and warriors. He is extremely popular, with four really hot girls trying to win his hear. Sadly, his heart only belongs to Momoyo, the strongest and prettiest girl at the school who has rejected him twice. Then a bunch of stuff happened involving terrorist or revolutionaries, or something. I manly just remember the fan service.

Pros: For a 13 episode Action-Comedy show, Majokoi had some very impressive fighting scenes. But the show really shined in the comedy department. The show almost made making dirty jokes and delivering fan service an art form. Having the pervy Miyako open every episode was a masterstroke. It also implemented the use of half-segments, dedicating half an episode to Yamato’s relationship with a specific girl. It’s an effective way to showcase the cast dynamics in a harem-type show with only 13 episodes. I wish more harems would adopt this method.

Cons:  Half the episodes are pure sexy/funny harem episodes. The other half are pure actions episodes. The show doesn’t do a good job at mixing both genres. It’s disjointed.  Most harems try to focus all the plot in the first season, and then go crazy with the comedy in the second, but this show tried to do it all in one season. I wish it had just stuck to one genre, preferably comedy. There were also a bunch of secondary characters that I just did not care about. Most of these characters where part of the action episodes. The main plot was also weak, and involved a lot more Japanese social and political criticism than I would have liked.

Watch it: Only watch the comedy episodes (ep. 3, 4, 5, 6, and 11) (3/5)

MVP: Miyako Shiina

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Down girl.

Best Episode: Ep.6 “Seriously, Carry it With Me!!” (the mushroom scene!)

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