Tag Archives: 2011

Seitokai Yakuindomo (Second Season)

Type: OVA/Second Season/Dirty Joke Deliver Service

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Synopsis: A student council at a private school makes dirty jokes at one another while trying to uphold strict public morals. Like all people in powers, they’re obviously big fat hypocrites.

Pros: The “second season” of Seitokai Yakiundomo, or the OVA series if you’d like, is one of a seemingly increasing list of sequel seasons that I have gotten to extraordinarily late. To be fair, I didn’t actually know it had a second season. When I saw the number of episodes for this season in my research in the past, I thought it was still in progress. I wasn’t aware of the OVA system at the time. But I did go and eventually read the manga. All in all, the show still holds up. The skits are still funny. I still like the franchise. It has remained a steady show.

Cons: Another word for steady could be stagnant. After having read the manga, I have become aware of the repetitive nature of Seitokai Yakiundomo. The punch line for every joke is a something sexual. You fell in a puddle? Ha! I looks like you ejaculated! The joke does wear thin. I don’t know if I would have felt like this if I had watched this season right after the first one, but people with higher standards than mine will probably get tired of it. The show does hint that some romance between the main characters, but they’re only hints. The show has a formula and it sticks to it, but it made me smile more than feel bored.

Watch it?: A lot more of the same. Take that as you will. (4/5)

MVP: Suzu

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I’ve actually grown fond of her height complex

Best Episode: Not an episode, but the “Dried Squid” side story was hilarious (it was the squid!)

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+Tic Elder Sister

Type: Basically all I need

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Synopsis: Three girls hand out in a club and laugh at each other’s misfortune. It’s hilarious.

Pros: This anime is right up my alley. It’s an upsurdist gag comedy revolving around three high school girls. The jokes are hilarious, and is really something you need to see rather than it be explained to you. I mean, this show is most famous for two things: that time one of the characters put a school bag between her legs for revenge, and the time they imagined confessing to a boy by shaking their booty’s at him. Plus, the whole thing is like, 30 minutes.

Cons: Some of the humor is, well, I wouldn’t say “crude,” but it may push some buttons. It’s not like the girls are hateful to each other. Let me just say this, some of the jokes come from the behavior that you expect from teenage friends. Maybe “ribbing” is the best way to describe it. There was also this one character, a slightly overweight character, that was made the butt of the joke in two scenes for thinking she was pretty and graceful, if conceited. That came off as kind of mean in hindsight.

Watch it: I’m looking up the manga RIGHT NOW. (4/5)

MVP: Iroe Genma

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The best expressions

Best Episode: The whole season (it’s half an hour)

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Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison [Naruto Movie Month]

Type: Don’t Drop the Kunai!

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Synopsis: Mission 8- Destroy a Magic Box

Pros: Blood Prison is definitely the darkest Naruto movie. I feel that the writers took this opportunity to stick in a few Prison movie Easter Eggs (some uncomfortably so). The premise is that Naruto is accused of attempted assassination and is sent to a Ninja Prison. He spends most of the movie screaming that he’s innocent and trying to find a way to escape. He also has to stop the evil Grass Ninja from using the “Paradise Box” to take over the world. The idea of a Ninja Prison was interesting, and for once, the antagonist had an actual motivation for his actions. The final battle against the demon in the Paradise Box was pretty cool (we even get a Gamabunta appearance), though it does get very bloody. And the good guys don’t really “win,” more as got lucky. Again, the darkest Naruto movie by far.

Cons: There’s a lot of small movie conceits that annoyed me. In the beginning, we see the “Naruto” attack the Cloud Village. That’s why he’s sent to prison. But if any of the characters thought about it, they’d know it wasn’t Naruto. The attacker used a chain (not Naruto’s style) and he paused a minute to show his face (why would a secret assassin do?). Now I’m going to spoil something, because it’s really dumb: at the final battle it’s revealed that no one though Naruto was guilty, they actually sent him to Prison to find and destroy the Paradise Box. A box he was never told about. Why didn’t they just tell him!? Why have him believe that everyone abandoned him? Because it seems to me that a very powerful Ninja with no living family and a large history of neglect probably shouldn’t be given a chance to develop trust issues. I did like the villain in this, mostly because he was the first Naruto film bad guy who didn’t want to use the movie Mcguffin to take over the world. Also: this was my first exposure to the English dubbed Killer Bee. Man, that was….all I’ll say is that the rhyming speech sounded less lame in the manga.

Best Naruto Movie: Yes

Villain: Satori

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Forgettable Villain #8

Best Moment: When Naruto’s friends talk about Tricking Naruto at the End (they partially did it for the LoL’s)

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Shakugan no Shana: Final [Month of Shana]

Type: Too little, Too late

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Synopsis: Three seasons later and the plot finally arrives! Yuji has teamed up with a snake god to make a new world for the human eating demons he calls “Tomo….something.” The Flame Hazels are real assholes about it and refuse to let the demons have a new world. Shana ends up fighting Yuji, because even though she’s still in love with him, she ain’t ganna let no man tell her what to do. You go girl.

Pros: F#$ing FINALLY! After sloshing through the garbage of the first two season, we finally get to the good part. This season introduces the full forces of both the Flame Hazel and Bal Masque as they fight a world wide war. Where introduced to a lot of cool looking Flame Hazel and Bal Masque Tomogara. It’s basically franchise’s Return of the King. I just wish this had happened sooner. The most interesting part, as always, is the relationship between Shana and Yuji. Graduating from useless to fascinating, Yuji willingly sacrifices everything to create a peaceful world. Shana, to her credit, stays true to her role as a Flame Hazel, opposing Yuji’s plan. I will give the franchise this, they did a great job of making Shana a strong heroine, escaping the trappings that her moe-design suggested. There’s an interesting story here, and maybe in the future, someone will know how to tell it properly.

Cons: This season is good in the way that finding a completely wrapped candy bar in the garbage is good. You’ll eat the candy, but the faint smell of garbage will stay with you. This season did almost everything I’ve wanted the series to do. I did away with the boring high school cast and setting, it introduced ways more about the Flame Hazel, it made Bal Masque interesting, and it make Yuji cooler. But it’s simply not enough. And sadly, you can’t really watch this one without watching the last two season. Even that won’t clear up some of the confusion. The show introduces all these new Flame Hazel that were suppose to care about in one go. But I don’t know these people. I haven’t followed them for three season. Why should I care what a nun and army guy think about?  Who are they to say that the Tomogara can’t have a new home? That’s another thing, the show did a poor job at explaining exactly why the Tomogara getting a new home was such a problem to the Flame Hazel. All I got from it was that the Flame Hazel condescendingly thought they knew better than the Tomogara and didn’t trust them. Very First World vs. Third World. So naturally, I found myself rooting for the Tomogara. Finally, being the last season, I feel that the writers tried to cram as many light novel characters as they could, which never, ever works. They also tried to tie the loose end of Yoshida and Pheles/Johan, three characters I literally hate.

Watch it?: Why is the last one the most interesting???? (3/5)

MVP: Yuji

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Finally worth our time

Best Episode: Ep17 “For Whose Sake?” (ironic, I know)

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Supernatural: The Animation

Type: Killing Monsters. Hunting Things. Forming Harems. Wait, what!?

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Synopsis: I still can’t believe they got the rights to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas. It plays at the end of every episode! Ah, anyways, the show is about two brothers who hunt down ghosts and demons (and a bunch of crazier stuff after Season 5). Their mom was killed by a demon, and their dad went a little revenge crazy. The anime is a retelling of the first two seasons of the popular (?) American TV show that shoots in Canada.

Pros: Seriously, the anime somehow got the rights to “Carry oN My Wayward Son.” I think Eric Kripke may own the song or something. As you can tell, I’m a big Supernatural fan. So finding this anime was a special treat for me. The anime covers the first two season of the show, which depicts the hunt for the “Yellow-Eyed” demon. Trust me, this was the era of the show to cover. Season 1-5 is Supernatural in its prime.. Like the real show, the anime is mainly comprised of stand alone ghost stories, some of which are pretty scary, so newbies shouldn’t feel lost. It also covers some ground that the show didn’t, like giving Sam’s girlfriend Jessica a bit more character, and showing the boys visiting their old home. Veteran fans should like the fact that Jared Pedalecki did the voice for Sam in the English version, and Jensen Ackles joins him for the last two episodes as the voice of Dean.

Cons: I say this as a Supernatural fan, but there were a lot of little things that bugged me. Dean, for instance, felt off in the anime. While Jensen Ackles does voice him in the end, the majority of the show has someone else do the voice for him. Add to this the weird character model they gave him, as well as a tweak in his character. In the show, Dean is a cocky bad boy, but in the anime, he’s more of a happy-go-lucky goof. You could sorta tell that they anime writers preferred the more sensitive Sam, who takes the lead in most of the anime. Speaking of characters, the show also redesigned the boy’s father, as well as Bobby, despite coming out well after both characters were introduced. I think they might have had a image licensing issue. Also, in classic Supernatural tradition, women get the short end of the stick in this one. If you’re a woman in this franchise, you better invest in some life insurance, because you’re either dead, or evil, or both.

Watch it?: I mean, when are you going to have the opportunity to watch an actual anime version of a real American show? (4/5)

MVP: Dean Winchester

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Still my waifu.

Best Episode: Ep.9 “The Spirit of Vegas” (Anime!)

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Magical Girl Madoka Magica

Type: Kinda weird after watching Sailor Moon

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Synopsis: A deconstruction of the magical girl anime sub-genre that subverts stereotype by, wait, sorry, I have snort this ounce of cocaine while listening to this indy cd I bought while eating at a cruelty free thrift shop….and scene. Anyway, by “deconstruct,” I mean that it shows how all the stuff in magical girl shows, like talking cats and enchanted jewelry, are actually sinister.

Pros: All jokes concerning the hipsterness of pretentious critics aside, Medoka Magica is a deconstruction anime. It takes apart the elements of its genre and adds dark connotations to each. Evangelion did it, School Days did it, and probably a bunch of other shows I’m forgetting to mention. Case in point, in Medoka Magica: the cat is cute but creepy, the witches’ rooms are all twisted version of storybook drawings, even the opening has Medoka crying in her Magical Girl dress. There are a lot more, but discussing them would ruin the plot, so have fun catching all the references. Past the analytical aspects of the show, you’re left with killer fighting scenes and pretty imaginative enemies. Seriously, the fights in this are something to behold. Even if you don’t watch the show, you should catch on of these fights on Youtube or something.

Cons: For one, I don’t think the show’s promotional artwork properly conveys the actual tone of the show (though, this too could be part of its deconstructionness). I feel that the main characters were underwritten, with most coming off as two dimensional. Medoka is the modest one, Homura is the cool one, Sayaka is the tomboy, Kyoko is the wild one, and Mami is the wise one. None of them really move past their assigned role, well, maybe Homura and Sayaka. The ending could also be way better, but I’m guessing the series was leaving itself open ended for the movie sequel.

Watch it?: The hype is deserved, if overblown (5/5)

MVP: Mami Tomoe

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I really loved her fighting style

Best Episode: Ep. 10 “I Won’t Rely On Anyone Anymore” (origins!)

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Battle Girls: Time Paradox

Type: Nobunaga, Tokugawa, Hideyoshi, the usual.

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Synopsis: A girl is sent back in time to the Feudal Japan where she meets all the big named Japanese Leaders that are forever stuck in the anime cycle of death and resurrection. Now there’s a thought. What if the cycle of rebirth also includes fictional worlds? Like, you die, then get recreated in some poor shmuck’s fan fiction. That would suck. Huh? Oh yeah, synopsis time. The girl finds that everyone is also a girl and there are no men in the past, because girls are pretty.

Pros: There’s nothing much to say one way or another. This is a solid mid-tier comedy with only a very little bit of Historical Drama put in. This means that any potential betrayals or attacks are immediately forgiven after the fact. I will admit that the character of Hideyoshi isn’t the most annoying small-blonde character in anime history, but she doesn’t do much. No one in this anime does much. Although, there is one episode that deals with a woman’s love for another woman fairly earnestly. So it gets points for that. A fairly easy watch with some chuckles here and there.

Cons: So aside from the usual slice-of-life stories, the main plot involves Nobunaga collecting this mysterious “Crimson Armor” that will let her take over Japan. This was basically just an excuse to introduce other notable historical gender-swapped characters. The no guys thing is never explained, neither is the talking dog (p.s.There’s a talking dog). Since you probably already get a feel for what this show is, can I say how interesting it is that Oda Nobunaga is usually the central focus in these types of shows. Whenever anime goes to the past, they usually hit up Nobunaga. For those who don’t know, Nobunaga was the first of the Three Great Unifiers of Japan, followed by Hideyoshi and Tokugawa. Just a fun fact.

Synopsis: Total middle of the road show (3/5)

MVP: Yoshino Hide

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I wish her staff skillz had come more into play.

Best Episode: Ep. 02 “Confused Maiden” (Don’t get cocky kid)

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Penguindrum

Type: Terrorism is Bad

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Synopsis: There’s a lot of talk about circles and fate, but the gist is this. About twenty years ago, a terrorist attack killed a girl named Momoka. This made her younger sister obsessed with replacing her in the eyes of her parents and childhood friend. It also turned her best friends into obsessive psychopaths. Meanwhile, the children of the terrorists have a sick sister, and their quest to cure her forces them to cross paths with the aforementioned people. But it all turns out to be a battle between this evil bunny and a little girl with a magic diary.  And Penguins. What was with the Penguins?

Pros: Visually beautiful and dynamic. That’s not a word I get to use often, but this was very dynamic. Maybe dynamic isn’t the right word. Colorful? Bright? Bouncy? Something like that. I happened to watch the English dub, which was very good. A little flat in some parts, but overall excellent voice work.I really liked that the protagonist were brothers, because I don’t feel anime takes advantage of sibling protagonists that often. Its a pretty easy way to establish a relationship without backstory. There’s a good story here, if not entirely straightfoward. It’s also very funny when it wants to be. It even made some of the dark stuff they get into worth a chuckle. There was one scene between Himari and Masako that made me really want them two to have their own weird spin-off. There’s also a pretty tragic story underneath all the color, just in case your into that sort of thing.

Cons: First off, it has pacing problems. The first half of the show (ep.1-12) deals with Ringo, the girl who supposedly posses the “penguindrum” that the protagonists need to save their sick sister. We watch her stalk some teacher and try to impregnate herself with his baby. Yeah. This part drags on and on, especially compared to the second half, which just throws as much backstory and set up as it can. The whole story feels a bit full of itself, with incessant talk of destiny and fate. I feel that if this were set up in chronological order, from at least the day of the terrorist attack, some of the plot would work better. Speaking of the story, can I say that there was entirely too much weird sex stuff in this. There was implied rape, attempted rape, incest, obsession that turned out to be incest. I get that this is one of those stories, where the bright exterior hides as gritty underbelly, but can we not. Please. Can we just not. You already have terrorists, cults, and abandonment. Isn’t that enough? It should also point out that for a show that clearly spend a lot of animation, they recycled the Himari “Survival Tactic” scene way too much. And once again, what was with the damn Penguins? What do the symbolize, dancing? Did a watching of  March of the Penguins inspire some sort of existential crisis? What’s the deal?

Watch it?: It gets slack, because people clearly worked hard on this (4/5)

MVP: Shōma Takakura

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Clearly the main guy. Am I right or am I right?

Best Episode: Ep. 20 “Thank You For Choosing Me” (I was thinking of The Little Matchstick Girl when I saw this)

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Maken-Ki! Battling Venus

Type: I can’t believe this has a second season.

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Synopsis: Part of it involves a guy with glasses going to a school where all the students have superpowers. Possibly secret superpowers, but that bit was confusing. There’s also this background story involving the Yamata no Orochi, that eight-headed snake dragon that pops up every now and then. There’s also a lot of boobs, and panty shots, and, well, a lot of boobs and panty shots.

Pros: This anime is terrible. Let’s get that straight. But the animation is surprisingly good. Too good for a shitty harem show. The quality of the animation (by which I mean lighting and certain shots) is either a sign that anime has embraced digital coloring and HD to the extent that even low-tier shows are reaping the benefits, or that some pitiful fool thought it was a really good idea to pump money into this franchise.

Cons: Jesus, do I even have to point it out? The story is confusing, the characters are one-dimensional, and the fan service is gratuitous to the point of nausea. Every character is at least a D-cup, and sometimes is seems like their panties serve more like a flag proudly waving with the breeze than as underwear. You know, sometimes you can argue this point, but there not getting around it, this show is god damn sexist. But weirdly enough, it sometimes calls out characters on their own sexism, like Takeru’s refusal to fight a girl. So this may actually be an incredibly sly metacommentary on gender dynamics in story telling (whisper It’s totally not whisper). There’s also not a lot of quality fighting in this show called Battling Venus.

Watch it: As stated above, this anime is terrible. (2/5)

MVP: Azuki Shinatsu

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At least she looks cool…

Best Episode: When you find one, let me know.

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Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven is a Place on Earth

Type: In my day, movies were a lot longer

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Synopsis: Hayate and crew go on vacation. It’s hot. The ghost of Hayate’s grandmother shows up. I’m not really sure why this was called a movie, but hey, just go with it.

Pros: I like Hayate.

Cons: What constitutes a movie? Websters defines a movie as a recording of moving images that tell a story. But by that definition, commercials and television shows are movies. We could limit the definition to recordings that only show up in theaters, but that would still count trailers and teasers. To me, a movie has to be longer than an hour, and it has to tell a story you can’t really tell in any other medium. The Hayate movie fails on both counts. It feels more like an hour long special to an especially dull episode of the anime. It’s very slow, and the story is practically non-existent.  It lacks any of the original humor of the show in favor of a semi-emotional story that never really takes off. Yes, it was interesting to meet Hayate’s grandmother, but it was more interesting to believe that his entire family were just his comedically greedy parents. I know that anime movies traditionally like to break out and explore new story conventions, but this definitely felt like a step in the wrong direction.

Watch it?: No.

MVP: Someone

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I’m pretty sure someone was it.

Best Moment: The scenes between Hinagiku and Hayate were still cute

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