Monthly Archives: November 2013

Last Order: Final Fantasy VII

Type: Why can’t they make a FFVII anime already?

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Synopsis: No, really. Why isn’t there an anime version of any of the main Final Fantasy titles?

Pros: Any Final Fantasy VII fan will consider this particular FF anime a treat. The anime is told through flashbacks, interchanging between two events that take place prior to the actual game. It once again retells the infamous Nibelheim incident, so you get to see Sephiroth vs. Zack, Sephiroth vs. Cloud, and young Tifa during her bizarre cowboy faze. The other story is Zack and Cloud’s escape to Midgar. All of this is presented via very pretty animation, the type you usually get with short licensed works like these.

Cons: Anyone not familiar with FFVII won’t enjoy it as much as fans will. Though, fans might not like it either. For one, it reminds us that there is still no proper Final Fantasy anime based on an actual game. Get on it Square. Second, it changes a few things from the Nibelheim incident that might be found distasteful. My personal beef, as an FF fan, came from the Sephiroth vs. Cloud fight, where Sephiroth jumps to his “death” instead of being thrown by Cloud. It’s a minor change, but it bugged the hell out of me.

Watch it?: A fun treat for Final Fantasy Fanatics

MVP: Zack Fair

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I’d even take a Crisis Core anime.

Best Moment: Sephiroth vs. Zack (ah, hell yeah!)

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The Ambition of Oda Nobuna

Type: Man, I wish they did this with the U.S. Civil War

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Synopsis: The year is somewhere around the 16th century. Those were turbulent times. Japan was in the middle of a countless civil wars, Religion/Political/Commercial leaders vied for power by any means necessary, and all the high ranking military personnel just happen to be pretty teenage girls. There was also this time traveler who helped Oda Nobuna, commonly misnamed Nobunaga, with his Nobunaga’s Ambition video game experience (which is a real game!).

Pros: Listen, I’m a fan of history, so I’m a tad biased when saying that having an anime re-imagine the Sengoku Period was pretty great. Making the famous Oda Nobunaga a pretty blonde girl made me think about other historical figures as pretty anime girls. I’m looking at you Abraham Lincoln. I’m not an expert, but all the major events in the anime seemed legit, and genuinely exciting. The history lessons were nicely woven with typical harem/love-comedy story beats. By itself, it’s an above-average harem anime. I also really liked the show’s celebration of a merit based society and international cooperation, which are two very noble goals even today.

Cons: I’m willing to let the fact that one of Japan’s most famous figures was a blonde girl go because this is anime, and having pretty girls as historical figures made learning about history more exciting. Though don’t expect a truly accurate retelling, because I doubt that elephants ever stampeded down Kyoto (though I really wish they had). My problem wasn’t with that, it was with the main character, Sagara. It’s never really explained how Sagara ended up in the past. Seriously. The show starts with Sagara already in the past. He just accepted it like it was nothing. That was weird. I also found it kinda iffy that Sagara’s “crew,” for lack of a better word, were all prepubescent girls. The show also had this habit of adding new characters every couple of episodes, which made the cast seem a little crowded.

Watch it: Any history or harem fan will love it (4/5)

MVP: Oda Nobuna

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Let’s Unify Japan Together!

Best Episode:  Ep. 6 “Sunomata One-Night Castle” (I wonder if this really happened?)

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Maoyu Mao Yusha

Type: Or simply MAOYU

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Synopsis: A Hero and a Demon King have a destined fight meant to bring an end to the ancient world between Humans and Demons. But the Demon King turns out to have really big boobs, like ridiculously big, so the fight is called off. The Demon King (Queen?) and the 15 year old Hero (I’m not kidding) set out to create world peace. They do so, and by “they” I mean the Demon King-Queen, by inventing: crop-rotation, the potato, dry compasses, corn, the printing press, paper, vaccinations, water pumps, and, I shit you not, orange soda.

Pros: First off, love the painted backgrounds. The whole series looked like it was out of a medieval painting. An excellent way to set the mood. This show series was set up like a storybook, with all the characters being called by their title, not their name. I liked the implied idea that the story between the Hero and Demon King was cyclical. The major themes of the show was politics, power, and economics, and how they are manipulated. In the show, the “bad guys” used the war with the demons as a scapegoat for politics, ensuring their power, which in turn protected their pocketbook. I loved that the Demon King sought to end this not with a show of force, but with technological progress. It was a rather insightful solution. Every one of her “inventions” were all real life historical milestone, making you realize how something as simple as corn has changed the world.

Cons: Since its that kind of Medieval Anime, the show is very thick. You might wind up missing a few details. It’s also open ended, though a second season would not be surprising. The Hero was also slightly underused. I kinda would have liked to see his first encounters with all the demon princess instead of just hearing about them. Aside from that, there was nothing really wrong with the show. The only thing that really bugged me personally was the Head Maid. Specifically, I hated the way she insulted two runaway serfs, Feudalism’s glorified slaves, for allowing themselves to be serfs. It was basically the equivalent of saying “It’s your fault your poor because you decided to be born poor.” I know that the show was really trying to say that every human should think and act independently, but the root of the idea was introduced in a very misguided way.

Watch it?: A pretty instructive Medieval Anime (4/5)

MVP: Demon King

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She’s basically Benjamin Franklin.

Best Episode: Ep. 9 “I am human.” (pretty inspiring if you forget the origins)

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So, I Can’t Play H?

Type: Powered by Eroticism

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Synopsis: Ryosuke Kaga sees a pretty girl standing in the rain and staring at his house. So what does he do? He invites her in and gets stabbed. But she’s not a hobo. She is in fact Lisara, a Shinigami who requires living energy to stay in the human world. She just happens to gain access to that energy through magical stabbing. Jokes on her though! Cause it turns out that ol’ Ryosuke’s energy is driven by, you guessed it, being a total skeeve.

Pros: This show was really charming, for lack of a better word, in its use of pervert powered fighting energy. The idea of a sexy girl getting energy from some dude isn’t really new, but So I Can’t H? was refreshingly honest about it. It really played around with the absurdity that a dude’s boner, or “The Kingdom” as Ryosuke (and now I) called it, would in any way help someone get more powerful. Ryosuke was an upfront pervert, who embraced his new found position as an ero-battery with such gusto and excitement, that you couldn’t help but admire him.

Cons: At about episode 6, the show takes an unwelcomed tonal shift, becoming more of a generic action show. The plot of the show kicks in, involving the Shinigami world and use of living energy, and actually proved detrimental to my enjoyment. The latter half of the show wasn’t bad, but it lost it’s charm. The action was repetitive, the plot wasn’t all that interesting, and Serious-Ryosuke was annoying. Had So I Can’t H? just stuck to the premise of “pervert powered fighting” for at least 11 episodes, it would have been a much better experience.

Watch it?: Good first half, lackluster second half (3/5)

MVP: Lisara Restor

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I love redheads

Best Episode: Ep. 4“The Gap Between Large and Small Breasts” (enchanted falsies)

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Campione!

Type: Gods of War, and such

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Synopsis: Imagine if your grandfather gave you a free trip to Italia in exchange for delivering a package that accidentally turns you into a god-slayer. Pretty sweet right? Well, that’s not all. In addition to having the raddest title every, you’ve also become incredibly attractive to four very pretty girls, and one god. Best part, your true powers only activate by making out with them. This is basically your middle school fan fiction.

Pros: I’ll give this to Campione!, it had the sexiest kissing scenes I’ve ever seen in an anime. Seeing this made me realize just how little kissing there actually is in anime. While this show does have a lot of problems, I found myself really liking the character Liliana Kranjcar. I thought her habit of writing romantic short stories was very funny, and actually had a lot of potential by itself.

Cons: Sloppy. This show is very sloppy. It kinda felt like fan-fiction a teenager had written during their summer vacation in Italy. It throws too much information at you arbitrarily. For instance, in episode 3 the show introduces a rival character and mention that he and Godo had a fight to the draw, but we actually never got to see any of that! It’s the third freaking episode, and the main character apparently got a rival off screen. How audacious is that! The action was also pretty weak, and while the idea of fighting gods was interesting, they never came off as anything but generic monsters. I found the character Yuri Mariya particularly boring as well, and felt she could have been cut all together. (P.S. I’m all for passionate kissing, but the scenes between Godou and Erica were a bit much. The sheer amount of fluids, sheesh!)(There’s this one scene in Ep. 12, well, I guess I shouldn’t spoil it....Godou and Erica have magic sex on the beach!!

Watch it: Nope. But do look up the make-out scenes it your feeling amorous (2/5)

MVP: Liliana Kranjcar

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Where is her spin-off!!

Best Episode: Ep. 9 “The Missing King” (I’d read her novel)

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Aria the Scarlet Ammo

Type: Lt. Murtaugh the Anime

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Synopsis: That mysterious entity know as the European Union has finally made its move! The E.U. has assembled the descendants of their greatest citizens for their nefarious purposes, from Jean of Arc to Count Dracula. They even got Arsene Lupin! (the French one, not the anime one). Luckily, we got Sherlok Holmes the Fourth and sort-of Watson on our side. Even more luckily, almost everyone involved is a cute teenage girl.

Pros: I really liked a lot of what I saw here. I was particularly intrigued by the protagonist’s Kinji’s unique power. The ability to transform into a super cool guy whenever sexually aroused may possibly be the most useful superpower ever. The show was really at its best when it played up its action side and comedic side. The detective/police action elements in Aria the Scarlet Ammo really made me yearn for more anime of that genre. Having the first story arc end with an improvised plane landing brought back flashes of Die Hard 2 in the best possible way.  I also laughed out-loud whenever the show delved into its love-comedy gags. Rei Kugimiya kills it once again in her role as a Tsundere teen.

Cons: This anime came close to being everything I didn’t know I wanted from an anime, but then it decided to add supernatural powers. I could accept Kinji’s Hysteria Mode, but I draw the line at moving hair and ice people. Why couldn’t the characters just be really good at shooting? Hell, I was even digging the whole descendants of historical figures fighting one another gimmick. Now that had potential. Apart from that, the whole show felt rushed. In the span of 12 episodes, it packs in 3 story arcs that delve into a lot of characters we didn’t have proper time to invest in. The reveal of the Buntei Killer was particularly anti-climactic. But I still hope it gets another season.

Watch it?: Yes, but as three parts instead of a whole (4/5)

MVP: Shirayuki Hotogi

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I found her wife/stalker approach towards Kenji delightful.

Best Episode: Ep.4 “Butei Killer” (jumping the gun too quick, but still pretty cool)

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Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail

Type: Image if Black Lagoon had 5 more episodes, which were awesome.

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Synopsis: Tell me if you heard this one before. A Japanese salary man is hired by wealthy South American boy to help find his missing maid, whose gone on a killing spree after the death of the boy’s father. The Japanese man needs to contend with the American Army Unit the maid is hunting, as well as the crime lords trying to keep their city from becoming a warzone. Still funny, right?

Pros: Everything you loved about the original Black Lagoon is still here. The show has maintained is high levels of excitement, drama, and style. The characters of Roberta and Rock particularly shined. Roberta was a beast, and Rock really played the chess master role well. For a minute there, I really thought he was ganna Break Bad on us. Despite the five year gap between Blood Trail and Black Lagoon, the quality and tone of the series has not suffered one iota. I would wholeheartedly support Black Lagoon releasing periodic OVAs from now on.

Cons: In the same way that everything you loved about Black Lagoon is still there, so is everything you hated about Black Lagoon. The show is still as bleak as hell, with some content not suitable for younger viewers (or some adults). While I would like to say that this story could stand on its own, it really can’t. You need to have watched at least the first season of Black Lagoon to understand this particular story.

Watch it?: F@#$ Yeah! Its more Black Lagoon! (5/5)

MVP: Rosarita “Roberta” Cisneros

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Death Poppins

Best Episode: Ep. 3 “Angels in the Crosshairs”  (shit gets disturbing)

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