Monthly Archives: September 2016

Negima!?

Type: A remake, who knew?

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Synopsis: In what I’m pretty sure is just a Harry Potter rip-off, a young wizard from England takes a teaching job at an all-girl’s school. While there, he makes semi-romantic pacts with his students and makes them do various favors for him. In a good way.

Pros: Negima!? is an alternate remake of Maho Sensei Negima! a manga and anime about a young wizard and his class of school girls. The manga was actually made by Ken Akamatsu, creator of Love Hina! As such, both series have a similar brand of goofy humor and love comedy. You have a girl with crazy pink tales and obsession with Chupacabras, a robot and vampire, a Blond girl who keeps calling another girl a failure, a samurai whose way too in love with her charge, it’s great! This particular version, however, was also made by SHAFT and director Akuyuki Shinbo, who worked on such anime as Medoka Magica and Nisemonogatari. So like a lot of SHAFT and Shinbo work, Negima!? is full of easter eggs (The Black Rose Baron), ranging art styles, match-cuts, short skits, etc. Just think Monogatari, or even Zetsubou-Sensei. In fact, the only reason I know about Negima!?’s production background is because it reminded so much of Zetsunou-Sensei that I had to double check. So while I was expecting a very generic looking love-comedy/harem, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the show.

Cons: Let me put it this way, having SHAFT and Akuyuki Shinbo saved the show. At its core, Negima!? is still a fairly generic harem anime. Its actually kinda weirder because he protagonist is a 10 year old boy, and all his love interests are about 14-15 years old. And the fact that all the girls have to kiss the child doesn’t help in the gross factor. Just imagine if it was a 10 year old girl and 14-15 year old boys. Ewwwwwww. But SHAFT and Shinbo’s style makes it sort of work. Now, its not perfect. The story arcs aren’t really that interesting. A lot of the early episodes are repetitive, with all the problems being resolved with Negima kissing a girl. Sometimes the animation and story don’t mesh, and the opening intro doesn’t really match the tone of the show. The central plot revolving around the “Star Crystals” and “The Darkness” are mediocre at best, but the gags and character interactions surrounding it are great. These two elements manage to balance each other out, and you’ll end up remembering the good over the bad.

Watch it!?: It takes a bit, but you’ll get into it (4/5)

MVP: Asuna’s Pink-Tails

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Officially the only anime girl I like with Pink-Tails

Best Episode: Ep.14 “‘Frankly speaking, in the face of magic, scientific theory might as well be nonexistent.’ by Hakase” (I just love that falling out of the sky scene)

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Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie

Type: Why do we fight?

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Synopsis: The world is on the verge of being take over by an evil organization led by a mad man with psycho power, while warriors around the world fight among themselves to prove their strength. But whatever, lets talk about some weird kid from Brazil (and I ain’t talking about Shawn).

Pros: Street Fighter Alpha is my favorite Street Fighter series. For you normals, the Alpha series was a prequel series that adopted more anime like designs for all the Street Fighter characters. What I’m saying is, I thought it was cool to see people like Birdie, Dan, and Sakura in the movie. The plot is fairly straight forward: Ryu is afraid of turning evil, he gets a “brother,” the brother is kidnapped, Ryu tries to rescue him and has to decide if turning evil is the best way to go. In, out, and to the point.

Cons: I hate the kid in this. Ryu’s “brother” can actually be omitted easily. Especially because Sakura is RIGHT THERE. Her whole plot is that she wants to be Ryu’s apprentice. Why couldn’t she tag along with Ryu? Why can’t she be struggling with the Dark Hadoo? Oh. my. God. Sakura could literally fill in for Ryu’s “brother” in every way! In fact, every original creation in this movie is bad. Why isn’t Bison trying to get the Dark Hadoo (you know, like in the game!?). But overall, this is pretty OK. Not great. I don’t think Street Fighter really translates well into other media. (p.s. Zangief was weeeeird in this).

Watch this!?: Better than the Street Fighter IV movie

MVP: Sakura

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You need to keep fighting, to find that answer!

Best Moment: Sakura trying to find Ryu (will she ever win?)

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Kill Me Baby

Type: Baby, Please Kill Me

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Synopsis: A comic strip about two girls gets turned into a comedy anime. One of the girls is an assassin. The other is a high school student. Schemeel, schlemazel, Hasenfeff Incorporated.

Pros: In the comedy section of anime, their is a subgenre of shows based on 4-panel comic manga strips. Kinda like newspaper strips, but, you know, with an extra panel. A lot of great shows like, Lucky Star and Hetalia, were originally 4 panel manga, or “Yonkoma.”  Yonkoma shows usually follow similar presentation styles. Short scenes were the characters do a little skit. That’s basically what the show is. Yasuna and Sonya play the comedy duo. Yasuna is the goofy one, and Sonya is the stern one. There’s also a third girl named Agiri whose a “ninja” that offers her services at incredibly low prices! Act now!

Cons: Unlike its counterparts, Kill Me Baby isn’t all too unique. Well, that’s not the best term. It just doesn’t pop as much as Lucky Star or Hetalia, or etc. Yasuna and Sonya have to carry the show almost by themselves, while those other shows have much more characters to play with. This leaves a lot of the episodes feeling a bit stagnant. Kinda like reading a newspaper comic strip. On a less important note, the theme song for the show has been listed as one of the most annoying anime theme songs of all time (but I really liked it).

Watch it?: Watch it in chunks. Don’t marathon it. (3/5)

MPV: Yasuna

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Hola!

Best Episode: Can’t really pick (they all feel that same)

 

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Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions

Type: Chunibyo, meaning something like Arrested Development

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Synopsis: Love will save the world. Chunibyo will inherit the Earth. And delusions will make you taller and lose weight. This anime…deals with none of that. It’s just about a girl whose weird and a boy who use to be weird, but grew out of it. Then they start dating. It’s kinda cute.

Pros: The first thing that pops up at you is the art style, which is reminiscent of other Moe-Centric anime like K-ON!, or The Melancholy of Haruji Suzumiya. All the movements looks smooth, and yet soft. The story has your typical mixture of light novel humor and slice-of-life drama. Each of the characters, except for 2, have gone through spurts of living in “delusions,” where they pretend to be something magical like a “Dark Flame Master.” This is either because they actually believed in it, thought it was fun, or simply needed an escape from their lives. To the writings credit, the characters aren’t ridiculed for their beliefs, nor necessarily praised for them. It’s more like the show simply argues that you should let people do what they like and be themselves. The humor in the show is pretty good, as the “delusional” character’s eccentricities play well with the characters trying to put that part of their lives behind them. Interestingly, the show sometimes lets the character’s delusions give birth to pretty cool action scenes, so a lot of genres are played around with. The main conflict of the show comes from figuring out Rikka’s motivation for her “delusions,” and the whole “accepting harsh reality” troupe.

Cons: Admittedly, the plot is predictable. You know something bad happened to make Rikka act the way she does. I kinda wish she was just weird for the sake of being weird, but I suppose that would make her too much of a manic pixie girl. Rikka tends to switch from her act as quiet cool girl to moe-cute girl a bit too much for my taste. Its  indicative of the show’s slight identity problem: is it a slice-of-life dramedy or a moe show? If you think about the show or its characters too hard, its becomes a bit sad and awkward. That’s why most of the “cool” actions scenes are cut with what characters are really doing. But anime is really good at portraying sad and awkward, so I can’t really count that as a negative. And there is an undercurrent of positivity here. My only real complaint is the reveal that Rikka got her gimmick from Yuta, because it makes their whole relationship a bit too convenient.

Watch it?: You know, this would make a good movie (4/5)

MVP: Sanae Dekomori

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I never new pig-tails could be such effective weapons

Best Episode: Ep.7 “Reminiscences… of Paradise Lost” (hard dose of reality, plus the beach!)

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