Category Archives: Action

Yuki Yuna is a Hero

Type: Medoka Magica’s more upbeat little sister

Ouo9h43

Synopsis: In the future, the Japanese government asks young girls, around the age of 12-15, to fight monsters from a different dimension in order to protect the magic tree that is protecting humanity. They mainly recruit these girls using phone apps, because kids and their phones these days. The app says you can be a hero, and it even gives you cute fairies as sidekicks for free! Of course, once you get nice and addicted, it ramps up the difficulty of the monsters and that’s when you finally notice the in-app store purchases and start thinking….man, I could really use that power upgrade, and the use of my legs isn’t that big of a price.

Pros: Yuki Yuna is a magical girl anime. Specifically, the subgenre of dark-magical girl anime. This means that the big reveal is the price the characters have to pay for being magical girls. Without spoiling it too much, I’ll just say that I liked the “price” being paid, because it was drastic enough to be meaningful, but not too big to be forgotten. The girls don’t give up their have to give up their lives or anything, and the in some ways, the price is optional. It gave the characters a lot for agency in their decision to use their powers and ultimately made them seem like the “heroes” they aspired to be. This differs from Medoka Magica, the current dark-magical girl measuring stick, because there the price was pretty much an ultimatum done for selfish reasons. Yuki Yuna differs from Medoka in that it’s pretty positive. Yuki Yuna stays pretty light until Ep.8, with everything up till then being pretty typical female slice-of-life stories with good humor, like the new girl becoming friends with everyone, the young girl learning to be more confident, gossiping about love only to discover that none of them have any juicy stories because their in middle school. This is mixed with stellar actions scenes, so you never get bored. Compare this to Medoka, which gets dark at Ep.2. After Yuki Yuna’s Ep.8, things start to spiral, as the truth of the girl’s powers are revealed. What I liked about the reveal is that is was dark, but it didn’t overdo it. It didn’t come off as malicious, and there’s on “evil” organization controlling everything. The girl’s sacrifices are honored and rewarded. If anything, it’s a system whose tragedy lies in it’s necessity.

Cons: For as show called Yuki Yuna is a Hero, the title character is not really present all that much. There is a character named Yuki Yuna, but she isn’t really the protagonist, and she doesn’t act as a audience surrogate. Her only role is being the most “optimal” hero. In fact, Fu Inibozaki is a more likely candidate for main character. But the show really is more of an ensemble story. Speaking of the story, while watching it, I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. Ya know? I knew that this was a dark-magical girl show, so every episode I asked myself, “is this the one where it all goes to hell?” But since this happened to late in the show, fans of this kind of dark twist may be annoyed at the time it takes to get there. Don’t watch this show looking for a tragedy like Medoka, because you won’t find any. This anime strictly adheres to the happy ending troupe. No one dies, no one’s feelings are hurt, and the girl’s sacrifices are even mitigated by the end of the show. I’ll admit, that last part was regrettable as it lessened the impact of the girl’s decisions. I do wonder, however, how people who watch it blind may react to the show. Now let’s talk spoilers: In the show, the girl’s have to sacrifice something to unleash their full power. The people in charge of recruiting don’t tell the girls this because ignorance is bliss or whatever. But, as the show suggest, this leaves tremendous psychological scars on the chosen girls. Worse yet, because the sacrifice is required for an optional second transformation, a power boost if you will, there really is no reason not to tell the girls. A little “hey, you have this secret weapon, but only use it as a last resort because it will cost you something precious. ;)” text would have been sufficient.

Watch it: More upbeat than Medoka, but its most of its themes (4/5)

MVP: Fu Inubozaki

ca0f6ef525cc40084d6247e0eaa4ef64

Girl Power!

Best Episode: Ep9. “Those Who Know Grief” (that breakdown really got to me)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Cyborg 009 VS Devilman (OVA)

Type: Dawn of Trends

cyborg009vsdevilman

Synopsis: I was rooting for Devil Man.

Pros: Cyborg 007 vs Devilman follows the classic superhero vs superhero story points. The two heroes fight one another because of a misunderstanding, it turns out there’s a bigger threat, they work together, hugs and kisses and goodnight. The plot is more Cyborg 009 heavy. After the fight with the Olympian styled cyborgs, the Cyborg 1-9 are alerted to the dangers of a “demons,” run into newer cyborgs, and then have to fight cyborg/demon hybrids. The Cyborg side of the story is more proactive, giving them more presence in the story. On the other side, we have Devilman, who sorta just reacts to the plot. His involvement doesn’t become justified until the halfway through, when his girlfriend(?) is kidnapped to get his devil genes, or something. The crux of the story relies on the fact that both sides find the others existence possible. Having fought god themed cyborgs, Demon Cyborgs aren’t too crazy, and Devilman will mostly fight anything. I actually really found myself liking the Devilman aspects of the show. In a way, it completed its mission of making me curious about one of the franchises. As crossovers go, mushing these two seemingly antithetical franchises made in the 1970’s together worked surprisingly well.

Cons: I’m going to put this out there: I am not a fan of Cyborg 009. And it is for the pettiest reasons. Back in the day, Toonami replaced Rorouni Kenshin with Cyborg 009 on their 6pm slot, moving Kenshin to Saturday Nights. This occurred before the resolution of the Kyoto Arc, meaning I had to stay up late to watch Kenshin, which was now once a week instead of every day. As you can imagine, child-me did not appreciate this. And even since, I’ve been very bitter towards Cyborg 009 (even though I know that it was probably some dumb program managers fault). So naturally I found myself rooting for Devilman in this and resenting the plot heavy Cyborg 009 elements. That being said, this mini-series is very cannon plot heavy. It seems to occur after a big arc for Cyborg 009 and an early arc for Devilman. This was clearly done for the benefit of long time fans, because new viewers will feel lost and confused. In fact, I’d hazard to say that this film is meant to be a cannon occurance instead of a stand alone adventure. Did this make me a fan of Cyborg 009? No. It’s still not for me, and I still find Cyborg 009 and 002’s power redundant (if they both and super speed, we keep both?).

Watch it?: Now I wanna read Devilman (4/5)

MVP: Devilman

maxresdefault

I just think he stands the test of time better

Best Episode: Ep.1 Cyborg 009 vs Devilman (hero fights!)

Tagged , , , , ,

Wanna Be the Strongest in the World

Type: Idol’s becoming wrestlers exposes the business!

20558

Synopsis: The angle is that An idol decides to become a wrestlers after one of the veterans insults a fellow idol. Classic babyface run, and the idol’s celebrity helps draw a pretty huge crowd. The only real drawback is that the idol is green as grass, but she’s given a mega-push because she’s semi-well known. BECAUSE ONCE AGAIN THE COMPANY DECIDES TO BACK SOMEONE THEY WANT OVER WRESTLERS WITH ACTUAL SKILL AND TALENT THAT THE FANS CHEER. #IF HAGIWARA WINS, WE RIOT.

Pros: This got me excited, because I am a HUGE wrestling fan. The anime follows the struggle of Sakura Hagiwara, a Japanese Idol who turns into a Pro Wrestler mostly out of pride. Believe it or not, the depiction of wrestling in this show is fairly accurate. Wrestlers are very defensive about their sport, which makes the set up of the anime feasible. And wrestling training is fairly intense, with many a pro-atheletes naming wrestling work outs one of the most grueling in the industry. And there is a lot of pride in wrestling locker rooms, which makes what Hagiwara goes through, from the 100 man throws to having to earn her first win, pretty indicative of the actual wrestling industry. In fact, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the 100 man throws test is an actual thing in Japanese wrestling. The story is surprisingly engrossing, as Hawigawa is given a “babyface,” or good guy story of the never-say-die fighter. She loses quiet a bit, which makes sense considering that she starts off as a singer, not a wrestler. The whole thing is played straight, and is a standard sports drama. And the actual action is made to look pretty good, though Hawigawa’s inner monologue does get repetitive. I liked it.

Cons: This is a boob anime. Which is fine in and of itself. But the show does its best to give you those crotch close-ups. And of course, a lot of the holds have the female wrestlers make a weirdly suggestive expression, blushing very much included. Perviness aside, the show has a lot of wrestlers that are sadly not fleshed out due to the short length of the series. So this anime become yet another fighting girl show with one-dimensional characters. The story follows 4 arcs: Sakura’s road to victory, a fight with the world champ, the introduction of Moe Fukuoka, and the battle with the mysterious Blue Panther. The Moe arc was the only one I wasn’t crazy about. Moe’s another rookie who want to become a wrestler, and is given the same treatment that Hawigawa was given, making it a bit repetitive. Not to mention that’s she’s more of a natural than Hawigawa, being a Karater champ, so there’s not real motivation to cheer for her growth. That’s another thing. Unlike in real life, the wrestling in this show is a shoot, meaning that the punches and grapples are very much meant knock out the opponent. This is kinda a shame, because I would have loved to see a show that talks about angles, and working ‘heel,” and putting guys over. But I that kind of show really would expose the business.

Watch it?: Even if I stifle my own bias, it’s still a solid show (3/5)

MVP: Sakura Hawigawa

DTU9u

Sakuramania is running wild!

Best Episode: Ep.3 “Give-up” (I marked out for this one)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Golgo 13

Type: The Man with the Constipated Face

maxresdefault

Synopsis: The series follows the mysterious assassin Golgo 13…who has a passport, introduces himself as Duke Togo, only kills with a sniper rifle, and is clearly identifiable with his unique broad frame and Japanese features. His only companions are gunpowder and death…and a personal gunsmith, a network of contacts, a few children here and there, and a number of one night stands. Huh, in retrospect, he’s not a very good assassin, is he?

Pros: Golgo 13 is one of the oldest franchises still going. It’s based on a manga that first published in 1968. Which you can tell by protagonist, a silent hulk of a man with big sideburns. He’s the stereotypical masculine archetype of the 60’s and 70’s. He’s non-emotional, highly skilled, quiet, and seemingly irresistible to women. However, since his not much of a talker, and has the personality of a block of wood, the anime revolves around a random assortment of characters involved with Golgo’s latest case. The whole show is a story of the week. Sometimes, Golgo doesn’t show up until the very end. And his stories can very from gritty crime stories to Golgo having to shoot a violin string. It’s a great episodic show modeled after a western drama. High tension, subtle action. In fact, except for all the sex, you could easily make this into a live action TV show here in the states.

Cons: Golgo literally could not emote if his life depended on it. I know that in the old days, men weren’t suppose to show emotion, but damn dude. The only time you ever see Golgo lose his composure is when someone tries to walk behind him, and when someone reaches into their breast pocket. But that’s it. He could be facing a hundred men, or in bed with a beautiful woman, and he’ll always have that same stony look. On that note, there quiet a few sex scenes in this. They’re not bad, and the female characters always the ones to initiate. But most of the scenes are still images of women in the throws of ecstasy as Golgo just stares blankly. But they happen often enough that they get repetitive. In fact, if a woman is the main character, there’s a good chance they’re going to sleep with Golgo. The size of the show, 50 episodes, is a positive and a negative. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but some of the episodes start to blend together. I only remember a handful myself. And because all the episodes are stand alone, you aren’t really given an incentive to watch all the episodes. And this is more of a personal nitpick, but is Golgo really that good of an assassin if he has to A) Meet his client in person, B) Only has one way to kill, and C) is so well known by the underground and authorities that they both try to kill him at one point?

Watch it?: Good to watch in a long stretch of time, but don’t marathon it. (4/5)

MVP: Golgo 13

golgo13-duke

The textbook definition of an “ice-cold” killer.

Best Episode: Ep 4. “Pretty Woman” (a typical Golgo story)

Tagged , , , ,

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable

Type: Let’s party like it’s 1999!

jojos-bizarre-adventure-diamond-is-unbreakable

Synopsis: Once again, a perfectly normal show is being called “bizarre” just because it revolved around people who have psychic battle that sometimes result in someone turning into a rock, or collecting pocket change, or fusing a cat and a flower together that can shoot air bubbles. The show even tries to make itself presentable by using the setting of a peaceful suburban town…where you can eat at a restaurant the cleans your pores and go to a beauty shop that rearranges your face. Just what is so “bizarre” about that!

Pros: Ok, real talk, Diamond is Unbreakable is one of my favorites Jojo arcs. I flip flop between Diamond is Unbreakable and Phantom Blood. And, in all honesty, Diamond is Unbreakable is much more consistent, being Part 4 in the Jojo series. By this point the author is a seasons pro, stands have been introduced, and the stories are becoming more varies. Part 1 was a gothic shoen series. Part 2 was a martial arts shoen series. Part 3 was an adventure shoen series. But Part 4 is more of a slice-of-life suspense series. Basically Anime meets Twin Peaks. The story is mainly about this seemingly unassuming town named Morioh, which is actually home to a gaggle of strange, arguably bizarre, residents that each have weird powers called “Stands.” These powers can as straight forwards as turning invisible, or as specific a stand that turns pieces of paper into pocket dimensions. Like Twin Peaks, a lot of the best episodes are stand alone incidents involving Morioh’s abnormal residents. The show introduces some of my all time favorite Jojo characters, from the hard working Koichi, the love lorn Yukako, the mangaka Rohan, the stingy Shigekiyo, and the surprisingly compelling grade schooler Hayato. Episodes can range from deadly serious cat and mouse duels, to figuring out if the lunch your eating is actually a stand. I would actually argue that Diamond is Unbreakable is the easiest entry point for those curious about the series, but aren’t into the whole “fight-fight” shoen scenes. You can watch a random episode and not feel lost. You can follow it week by week. You can even marathon it. It has all the benefits of a slice of life show with a pinch of strange thrown in. The characters are great, as the main cast (and even some auxiliary characters) get their own episodes to shine. The show has 3 main arcs: The hunt for the Arrow, some downtime, and the search for Kira. Kira really takes over the show about a third of the way in, and his weird but deadly demeanor has made him a fan favorite antagonist, rivaling even Dio! (p.s. I also loved the color palette the show used, nice choice!)

Cons: Even though Diamond is Unbreakable is my favorite arc, it’s not without it’s flaws. As said above, a lot of the episodes are stand alone stories, with some feeling less important that others. So some points of the series may feel like the drag on too long (cough Highway Star cough). It feels like the author meanders between stories, probably returning to the main plot when his editor told him to. But your mileage may vary depending on your tastes in stories. I should also point out that because this is Part 4 of the Jojo saga, less attention is paid to the main protagonist. While Josuke Higashikata, illegitimate son of Part 2’s Joseph Joestar, if a good character and probably the most genial Jojo in the series, he can go long stretches of time without even appearing. The story often switches focus, sometimes going to Koichi, or Rohan, or even Kira! This is actually a trend that started in Part 3, and has arguably made subsequent Jojo’s feel less impactful. It doesn’t really hurt this story, but it seems like we get to know Josuke less than Jonathan or Joseph Joestar. Now, on to more subjective remarks: what the hell happened to the animation quality this season? I noticed so many animation errors and model mistakes! Either this was rushed or less people were working on it, because brah, we got some messed up picture up in here. There was also a lot more still shots, though this could be a result of simply having more episodes. Also, no women. Well, that’s not fair. There’s like 5 female characters: Two are moms, one’s killed off, one’s a love interest for a supporting character, and one’s a ghost. And, sadly, the Jojo franchise has still not gotten over giving explanatory commentary during it’s fights. This ain’t wresting! When a cat plant throws an air bubble at a serial killer, we get what’s going on!b (P.s.s. It was recently made aware of a big plothole in the show: Why didn’t anyone ask Joseph to find Kira using his stand, despite being brought in to find Red Hot Chilli Peper for the same reason!).

Watch it?: If you ever wanted to watch Jojo, start with this one (5/5)

MVP: Koichi

koichi_with_echoes1

A personal favorite, I admit

Best Episode: Ep.21-22 “Yoshikage Kira Just Wants to Live Quietly, Part 1 & 2 (this season was very hard to choose from, with funny and exciting choices, but one is Kira at his most menacing)

Tagged , , , , , ,

My Hero Academia

Type: Do Good to Others, and Every Man can be an All Might

Cl2BHcrUgAAL4sZ

Synopsis: World of Superheroes. Quirkless Boy. Mighty Hero. Plus Ultra.

Pros: My Hero Academia is about a boy named Izuku Midoriya who lives in a world where 80% of the population has super powers, and an established Superhero community. Midoriya’s dream is to become a hero like his idol All Might, but he doesn’t have any powers, or “Quirks.” It seems like he’s hoping against hope until he selflessly risks his life for a friend/bully, impressing All Might enough to bestow upon him his own superpowers. And this is just the first two episodes. The rest of the series is Miyoriya’s life in U.A. High School, a school for gifted youngsters (sister school to the Xavier Institute, I’m sure). The anime does have the name “Academia” in the title. While the school stuff is fun, and an easy way to introduce new characters, the real draw of the show is Midoriya. He has the heart of a hero, despite his twitchy demeanor and tendency for water works. He wins you over almost immediately with his fan boy love of heroes, and keeps your rooting for his through his determination to fulfill his dream, a dream no one believe in because of his handicap. It breaks your heart when he’s told its impossible, and you root for him when he overcomes a new obstacle. And In a simple but effective gimmick, Midoriya’s new quirk is a glass cannon. He can become just as powerful as All Might, but because his body isn’t use to the power output, he becomes incredibly damaged after a single use. So instead of powering through his obstacles, Midoriya has to think his way out of them (fun fact: Most Silver Age Superman stories did the same thing). He also has an in story reason for this, given his obsession of collecting data on heroes. Plus the fact that his quirk has to be passed down was a nice touch, and a good allusion to legacy heroes. As you can plainly see, I loved Midoriya and the show as a whole.

Cons: But that’s not to say that there aren’t bad things about this anime. For one, villains show up in the last few episodes, but they’re underdeveloped. The actual manga, which I devoured after watching this show,  does the same thing, switching between school arcs and villain arcs. The other heroes are also underdeveloped, with All-Might being the only one to get any real character development. The main theme seems to revolve around the term “underdeveloped,” which can all be sourced to the fact that the anime only got 13 episodes. It does have a second season, but a shoen show like this really needs more episodes in a season. But the first season has a cliff hanger ending. Because, as much as I loved it, you do get the feeling that you’ve only scratched the surface of the story in retrospect.

Watch it: Hit my Superhero feels button (4/5)

MVP: Midoriya

MHA_01_senko_01-1

Or, The Great Hero Deku

Best Episode: Ep.1-2, “Izuki Midoriya: Origin” and “What it takes to be a Hero” (The end made me cry. One of my newest favorite moments in all of anime)

Tagged , , , ,

Mob Psycho 100

Type: From the maker of One-Punch Man!

746648cbc49e05494bc250f40a0c84911467850041_full

Synopsis: A super powerful male character tries to live a quiet life while effortlessly defeating any challenge that comes their way. Sound familiar? Well, it shouldn’t, because in this case, the only challenges that are overcome easily are psychic stuff. But the main character, Mob, is more concerned about real world stuff like girls, social interactions, physical fitness, etc, which he kinda sucks at. But he wants to be better. Because being able to disintegrate buildings with your mind is all well and good, but it’s pretty useless during diner parties

Pros: Mob Psycho 100 is the thinking man/woman’s One-Punch Man. Both series are about an ultra powerful protagonist. But while the latter is mostly a parody, the former is a slice of life show. The star, Mob, is a fairly typical anime protagonists. He’s soft spoken, shy, and indecisive. He has near god-like psychic powers, but he doesn’t want to be defined by them. Like any teenage boy, he would rather be good with girls and conversations than in psychic battles. What makes Mob a good character is his desire and effort at trying to make himself better in ways he can actually achieve. He’s not trying to master a technique or become King of the Psychics, he just wants to be able to run a mile and talk to his crush without sweating buckets. It’s still a long term process, but it’s doable. The show does a good job at contrasting Mob with other characters who try the opposite, and fail miserably, showing that being exceptional in one thing is great, but being well rounded is probably better. Outside of great characters (I didn’t even mention Mob’s tendency to get Con-Men as friends and mentors, or his super nice club mates at the Body Improvement Club), the show has a distinctive “rough” animation style. The style is inspired by ONE, the author of the manga, and his notable messy drawing skills. But in anime, this animation style really works at getting the intensity and almost primal nature of Mob’s psychic powers right.

Cons: The show’s biggest fault it that it has a “read the manga” ending. That always suck. I mean, I was already going to read the manga because this show is amazing, but still. Later on in the show, the “Claw” organization is introduced. At first, I thought this was going to be a generic “evil” organization with forgettable villains that Mob has to beat. Which it kinda is. But it does contribute to the show’s massage of being narrowly exceptional vs. well-rounded. I would also consider the other “psychic” children introduced later to be dead weight, at least right now. And, yeaaaaaah, that’s about it. This is actually a pretty great show with lots of layered messages and characters.

Watch it?: 100% (5/5)

MVP: Shigeo Kageyama (aka Mob)

mob-psycho-100-blog

1,2,3,4….

Best Episode: ep5 “Ochimusha ~Psychic Powers and Me~” (Tears!)

Tagged , , , , ,

Sailor Moon Crystal (Season 1 & 2)

Type: Dark Kingdom and Black Moon

sailor-moon-crystal_0

Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a land of Beastmasters and Fresh Princes, there lived 5 Sailor Guardians who fought for love and justice. Together with their English cat, best friends from Brooklyn, and Surfer boyfriends, the Guardians thought a generation of boys and girls the importance of friendship, believing in yourself, and sometimes remembering to eat a balanced breakfast under the mantra “Sailor Moon says, tee-hee.” 20 years later, the legend of brought back to life, and its a hell of a lot more melodramatic than I remember.

Pros: So for various reasons, mostly the podcast “Sailor Business,” I have been slowly getting into the whole Sailor Moon franchise thingy. I watched the first season of the 90’s anime a while back, and now I caught up to the reboot. In all honesty, I liked the campy fun of the original, but this has some strong points. The best thing it does is emphasize the fairy tale aspect of the story, which works really well considering the nostalgia value this show has. Just look at the opening: five figures standing tall underneath the full moon. That shit is mythical imagery man. It also has gorgeous interstitials. Simply amazing. Crystal is suppose to be the show that follows the original manga, the Brotherhood treatment as it were. I can’t speak for the manga, but the anime is much more melodramatic than the 90’s show, making me think that the manga was meant for young teenage girls, not children. That’s not to say that it’s a bad thing. I loved the story of the tragic fall of the Moon Kingdom, which again, felt like it was straight out of a fairy tale. I mean, come one! The Princess of the Moon and the Prince of Earth fall in love, only to die in each other’s arms as their Kingdoms go to war? (I also had not idea that Usagi killed herself in that story. Way more hardcore than I thought would happen in a show were character yell “Make-Up!” to transform). I also really liked Sailor Pluto, which is interesting, because I didn’t think I would actually like any of the outer senshi. But her story’s so sad, and she has time travel and I’m a sucker for sad time travelers.

Cons: A common complaint that Crystal’s often given is that it doesn’t have the same charm as the 90’s anime, and isn’t quiet as engrossing as the manga. I myself found the show a bit dull at times. It’s definitely more subdued that the original show. The characters also looked weird to me, but you get use to it. Something you also have to understand is that this is Sailor Moon’s story. So while the other Sailor Scouts get intro episodes, there characters do not get explored much. They’re mostly Usagi’s support system. Literally, being her royal guard and all. I watched this in English, and let me tell you something, those voice actresses shreiked to high heaven during their transformation sequences. Which really takes out of some of the more dramatic scenes. Speaking of transformation, these iconic scenes are now in 3D, which I was not a fan of. Now…lets get to the elephant in the room: Chibi Moon. This was my first exposure to Chibi Moon. I was, ah, not prepared for what I got. I’m not going to waste your time talking about annoying child characters, or the holes in time travel stories–all I’m going to point out is that Chibi Moon is legitimately in romantic love with her father, is 900 years old, and threatened to shoot her mother in the face to steal her power. But she liked Sailor Pluto, and she automatically ran to her Earth grandparents when she saw them, so she gets a pass.

Watch it?: I prefer the silly original, but this is an interesting interpretation. (4/5)

MVP: Sailor Pluto

hqdefault

I am the watcher on the wall.

Best Episode: Ep.10 “Moon” (They were like Romeo and Juliet, but ended up in tragedy)

Tagged , , , , , ,

BlazBlue Alter Memory

Type: Time Travel + Fighting Game Story, Oh Boy!

BlazBlue-anime-poster

Synopsis: OK, anime fighting game plots. Yeesh. From what I could gather from the Wiki, a long time ago humans made a God in order to control time. This backfired, so they created a second God to kill the first God. This resulted in a time distortion and an evil organization trying to take take over all timelines. Then, there’s Ragna the Bloodedge’s story, the most wanted man alive who destroys government facilities after his brother betrayed him and took their sister, only to run into several artificial girls that look just like his sister, and one of them maybe or maybe not fusing with him to become the terrible monster of legend because of a time loop. Oh yeah, time loops.

Pros: I know I’ve been watching more and more anime based on video games. It’s not really on purpose, I’m just curious about them. Since most anime don’t adapt culturally relevant stories for me (cause I ain’t Japanese), video game stories that I’m familiar with are a nice compromise. That being said, I know that anime based on video games is for a very niche audience, and I wanted to experience that, hence BlazBlue, a fighting game franchise I know nothing about. Admittedly, the anime came off as confusing at first, but by the midpoint, it got me invested enough in the characters to do some research in the Wiki. Like most fighting game stories, the strong points are the characters, not the overall story (which is messy as F@#$). I really liked the Nu androids, and Noel’s story with her friends and military career, and felt they should have been the main focus. Ragna’s story is alright (but grouchy), especially when you delve deeper into it, but I feel he would have worked better as a cool secondary protagonist. He could still save the day, but not be the main focus. And Terumi, for as much as I wanted to punch the smug assh#$$ in the face several times over, was a very effective antagonist. I also liked Rachel Alucard, being the first “young girl aristocrat” troupe character that I liked.

Cons: The story. Just, just give up on it. It’s an anime story on top of a fighting game story. It never had a chance. Anime type stories in games are rarely coherent because they usually have to go on much longer than for TV. It’s obviously harder to keep a story straight if you have to stretch it for a long time. Add to that, however, the fact that this is a fighting game franchise, which often gives each of it’s characters a story line, stories that don’t often mesh well as a whole. And the main conceit of the plot is Time Manipulation. Time Manipulation! The anime also tries to condense what I believe is the first plot of the game in an anime, which means a lot of characters that don’t get a lot of breathing room are introduced, discarded, or simply ignored. And it would simply take too long to nitpick at why certain characters do or don’t do certain things (Why doesn’t Jubei kill Terumi? Why is Jin so insane? Is the reason why Rachel saved Ragna because of the Time Loop? Was Tsubaki such a good friend if she was more willing to kill her best friend instead of the boy who didn’t even like her? And if Ragna falls in love with a robot that looks just like his sister, does that mean he want’s to bang his sister?)

Watch it: Maybe it’s help clear up the story. Maybe. (3/5)

MVP: Valentine Alucard

Blazblue_alter_memory-03-rachel_alucard-vampire-twintails-blonde-big_red_bow

Refined.

Best Episode: Ep.8 “The Mechanical Soul” (Ragna come off as nice for the first time)

Tagged , , ,

Hyperdimensional Neptunia

Type: Henshin-A-Go-Go refefence!

hyperdimension-neptunia-the-animation-screenshot-05

Synopsis: We’ve seen guns turn into anime girls, animals turn into anime girls, and now, gaming consoles turned into anime girls! We go the Playstation, we got the Wii, we got the Xbox, we got…Sega. Yeah, lets have that sink in.

Pros: Look, I’m a big gaming nerd, so I can’t say I didn’t find some enjoyment from this series. The whole “Hyperdimensional Neptunia” franchise is a real gaming franchise that parodies the game industry from a Japanese viewpoint. It was fun to see the Playstation and the Wii and the Xbox as”real people.” We even get the 3ds! I was a little thrown off that Sega was included, mostly because Sega doesn’t make consoles anymore. But Neptunia was my favorite character, so I give that a pass. I also really enjoyed the little verbal easter eggs that were dropped. The action was pretty good, and my favorite segments were the slice-of-life moments that were used 2 out of 3 times.

Cons: First off, if you don’t know anything about gaming, you’ll still enjoy this. If anything, the amount of fan service will probably keep more viewers away than the premise. The story is….alright. It starts off with a “Friendship Pact” between the four gaming nations after years of war. I liked that aspect of it, with the second to last arc exploring what a console war would look like. Since I love gaming, I was a little disappointed with some character choices. I thought the Nintendo Analog should have been different. Older. Like a “Bancho” style character, as Nintendo is the oldest company still making consoles. But instead, she was depicted as a “flat chested” quiet/mean character. That’s a pretty weird depiction for the company that saved the game industry. And where was the Gameboy? Or Dreamcast? Or any of the older consoles? Did they just disappear? Did they transform? What’s the deal here.  I also really hated Peashy, a bratty child character added about three episodes in. She was ANNOYING and full of herself. I wonder why the analog for PC gaming would be characterized as rude, foul mouthed, immature, and trollish……

Watch it?: I am genuinely surprised automobiles haven’t been given this treatment (3/5)

MVP: Neptune

maxresdefault

Based on the canceled Sega Neptune

Best Episode: Ep. 7 “The Fruits (Deep Purple) of Revenge” (I also hate eggplant)

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,