Monthly Archives: May 2015

Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club

Type: Boys of Swimming

-free-iwatobi-swim-club-35073930-960-682

Synopsis: A group of quite frankly RIPPED high school boys decide to restart their school’s swimming team. They mainly do this to reconnect with their old friend Rin…who goes to another school…and seemingly hates their guts now. They get Rin’s boy crazy sister to be their manager, their homeroom teacher and former swimsuit model to be their faculty sponsor, and the pizza man to be their coach. Plus, their all based on animals. Plus, plus, I’m pretty sure their this close to making out with each other.

Pros: Did I mentioned that these boys are RIPPED. Seriously, the got that weird V thing on their hips. What is that V thing? It is the top of your hip bones? Is it like a secret muscle only beautiful people know about? Ah, anyway, the show has stellar animation and pretty funny moments. It’s not an outright comedy, just about 85% of it. My favorite gags were Gou’s fangirling over the boy’s muscles, and Miho’s desperate attempts to hide her modeling past. The rest is melodrama, which mostly consists of slightly hurt feelings, but in that “I feel bad because I think I made someone else feel bad” way. Empathetic guilt. Not overwhelming, but predictable.

Cons: The opening is misleading. If it was meant as a joke, it definitely overstayed its welcome. Also, not a fan of Rin. He was way too whiny, even when he won. He’s also very weird looking. Every character is based on an animal and Rin is based on a shark. That’s cool, until you notice that Rin’s teeth are all pointy, so whenever he has a sad moment, he looks just plain silly. And he cares about swimming way too much. This is technically a sports anime, so that type of character is to be expected, but still. No one in Umisho got that crazy.

Watch it?: Sadly, no one makes out in this…yet (4/5)

MVP: Rei Ryūgazaki

__rei_x_reader_give_me_love___by_teamveneziano-d8gb4l7

Should have totally been a Swan, not a butterfly

Best Episode: Ep.4 “Captive Butterfly!” (I also only know butterfly)

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!

Type: It needs a shorter name

cute_high_earth_defense_club_love_team

Synopsis: Fighting evil by moonlight! Winning love by daylight! Never running from a real fight! They are the ones called Sailor…wait, wait, that’s not right. First off all, the Cute High Earth Defense Club, or “Battle Lovers” for short, never fight at night. They do do a lot of winning with love. As for never running from a real fight, well, that’s technically true, but does fighting a noodle-man count are real fighting? And one of the central stories involves someone turning their back on a friends, and “defense” is in their name, but I wouldn’t consider them really dependable.

Pros: So as you can tell, Cute High Earth Defense Club is a magical boy anime. Its about 5 high school boys living in this possibly post-apocalyptic world where no women exist. Like, at all. They’re chosen by this space wombat to protect world with the power of love. The show is full with a lot of cute boys of every preference, from the lovable blonde to the guy with luxurious pink hair. The homoerotic undertones are yours for the taking. It’s a comedy, and the boys do in fact comment on the weird turn their lives have made, as well as keep the dead body of their faculty adviser around. The show follows a monster of the week format, which is defeated the exact same way every time.

Cons: The show is formulaic, not particularly exciting, and the overarching plot isn’t that original. Good sailor boys vs bad sailor boys. My real gripe with the show is with the Battle Lover uniforms. I’m not really sure what they’re suppose to be. Their this puffy, short short get-up with ribbons. They look downright silly. Their rivals, the conquest club, had a much better uniform that looked military style. This was probably a reference to Sailor Moon or something, but it didn’t really land for me. This may sound kinda weird for an obviously female-driven audience, but I hope they butch up the uniforms a little for season 2. (Why not make them dress up in tuxedos?)

Watch it?: A solid parody show (3/5)

MVP: Akoya Gero

tumblr_inline_njs0jeeCtc1t4jnh6

Look at this guys hair…just look at it…

Best Episode: Ep.11 “The Trial Called Love” (the fated battle!)

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Air (Film)

Type: Look at our effects budget! NO, LOOK AT IT THOUGH!

20fuy5g

Synopsis: Same basic story as Air. A traveling hobo meets a semi-functioning dying girl and her still very hot aunt. They bond, then, like in Forrest Gump, the verging-on-handicapped person is left by the love interest because it would be a little weird to make-out with them. However, in this movie, everyone looks and acts relatively normal. Well, normal for anime standards.

Pros: I really liked the character designs in this over the original series. Its a bit anime-generic, but its way better than the weird mousy faces from before. They film only follows the Misuzu arc, and luckily for everyone, Misuzu acts more like a typical anime heroine than woman-child. It definitely feels that she has more agency in the film than the anime. I also liked her aunt Haruko’s design in this, mostly because she looks like an attractive late-twenties woman and less like every other girl. The story is more obvious about the romance between Misuzu and Yukito this time around, and given their new character attitudes, it feels way better executed.

Cons: My god, WE GET IT, you had a bigger animation budget. Was their really a need to show it off so much? This film is a textbook example of overdoing it. The constant bombardment of sun rays, rain, and the cherry blossoms! Was Feudal Japan constantly in the middle of a petal blizzard or something? But the hamminess doesn’t stop there. This film really notched the melodrama up to 11, and there are multiple times when it reaches comedic levels. Weird cuts, uneven humor, and way too many cinematic tricks. It made the mistake of trying way too hard to make the movie feel like a movie.

Watch it?: I’m torn. It has better characters, but the animation is way overdone.

MVP: Misuzu Kamio

Air_anime-movie_comparison

I liked her way more in this one

Best Moment: Leaning Misuzu could actually form independent thoughts

Tagged , ,

Air

Type: The best Avatar season…wait a minute.

air-anime_00348154

Synopsis: A long time ago, a women with wings helped humanity. In gratitude, humanity did what they usually do and killed them all off. Only one bloodline survived, kept alive by love and friendship and all that jazz. However, by “kept alive,” I mean that girls with wings are born every so often and fated to die young and alone. That’s not an exaggeration. Monks cursed the last winged females to get sicker and sicker whenever they make friends. Yet another example of the Patriarchy keeping Chicks down.

Pros: Air has the same director and studio as one of my personal favorite animes, Clannad: After Story. Air was actually made before, and you can see that a lot of the beats and emotional highs used in this carried on in Clannad. Its not quite as sad, but it does pull at the heartstrings. This anime is surprisingly efficient with its plot-episode number ratio. It basically had three story arcs and an origin story it needed to cover in 12 episodes. In the beginning, every character is introduced, and its take 4 episodes for the real stories to begin. I liked this, because it set up the premise of each heroine right away simultaneously, while other animes have the main character meet and solve one girl’s problem, then move on the next one in an inorganic matter. I also really loved the story in Feudal Japan, to a surprising degree.

Cons: While I did like the way it started, the beginning of Air is a little slow. The story isn’t specified right away either. Basically, the main character Yukito is the latest in his family to search for the “girl in the sky,” which is explained in the Feudal Japan story. In a beach town he meets three girls that might be who he’s looking for: Kano, Minagi, and Misuzu. Kano’s story line is the first and the weakest. It has to do with her being haunted by a past life, which also took place in Feudal Japan and thus clashes with Misuzu’s story line (obvious spoilers: she’s the girl with wings!). Minagi’s story is the shortest, but also incredibly sweet. Misuzu, as the main heroine, gets the most time, and surprisingly has more to do with her relationship with her mother than with Yukito (a lot of the anime has to do with mothers). The animation style is a bit older than modern fans might like and the ending is…alright, but it does have at least one happy ending.

Watch it?: It sucks you in. (4/5)

MVP: Uraha

uraha-from-air-tv

The real hero of the story

Best Episode: Ep. 8-9, “Summer,” “Moon” (you got me again Ishihara!)

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Elfen Lied

Type: Oh, geez anime!

339509

Synopsis: With the gore, and the nudity, and the child nudity, and the people with the horns and crazy invisible hand things, yeesh!

Pros: So yeah…I watched Elfen Lied, an anime with one of the most well known reputations for being disturbing. Its, ah, an honest assessment. The anime is about a mutant species that can kill people semi-telepathically. One of the most dangerous ones, Lucy, escapes and makes it back to her childhood friend. So one half of the show is about an evil corporation trying to kill Lucy with other mutants, or Diclonious, and the other half is about Lucy living an innocent life with her friends. Now, this thing is Violent. Gore fans will probably get a kick out of it. Its not as over the top as Blood C, or even Gatz, but its high up there. That’s kind of its selling point.

Cons: Let’s be real here. If you’re ganna watch Elfen Lied, its for the ultraviolence, not the story. The plot is not impressive in the least. We get it, humans are the real monsters. It also never explains where exactly diclonios originated from, or why they all look alike. This Dark Anime Drama covers such uplifting and totally predictable topics like: child molestation, torture, psychological trauma, dual personality, schizophrenia, child murder, and lots of nudity etc. Nothing innovative, nothing great. Its icky, but also kinda superficial. Part of this is because the anime still adheres to other anime troupes, and they mainly all happen in the Kohta household. Like when psycho killer Lucy, under a second identity, messages someones breasts from behind. What is this, a harem!? (p.s. Elfen Lied is kinda a harem). These moments fell really inconsistent with the rest of the show. I get it, these scenes are trying to juxtapose the cruelty of Lucy’s world with something more innocent, but the should could have been more subtle. Then again, a show where a little girl is amazed by giraffes one minute, then kills an entire family the next, probably doesn’t do subtlety.

Watch it!?: Eh, I’ve seen worse. God, I wish I hadn’t seen worse. (3/5)

MVP: Lucy

4422483-8941094902-34276

That first scene is still pretty good.

Best Episode: Ep. 08 “The Beginning ~ Beginn” (Those kids deserved to die, right? I’m not the only one who thinks that?”)

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,