Tag Archives: 2015

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 , , , , ,

Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade (OVA)

Type: A sequel, apparently

ae2ba5fd4478ff9f116e89e1558c6e941444390433_full

Synopsis: So funny story. I thought this was Little Witch Academia 1. Well, that’s not so funny.

Pros: Once again, I continue my real life tradition of entering a franchise at a sequel by mistake. In this case, Little Witch Academia, released by Trigger. Trigger, of course, known for Kill La Kill. The animation is stellar, the characters are likable, and I am genuinely surprise this entire franchise isn’t the biggest thing in anime, because every0ne can watch this. It’s all age friendly, and easily appeals to westerners. And yes, there are a ton of references to Kill La Kill, other Trigger shows, Disney, Harry Potter, and Attack on Titan if you want to stretch it. I really liked Little Witch Academia. It’s basically about a school of witches. In this installment, the characters are forced to organize the school’s entry into the annual town parade. Akko, the protagonist, gets a little gun ho about portraying a more positive image for witches, which leds to some friction between for BFFs. Though, this does allow for the introduction of 3 new witches, Amanda, Constaze, and Jasminka.

Cons: I’m not ganna lie, it felt more like a TV show than a movie. For more than a moment, I though I was watching the back-door pilot for a series. I think Trigger thought so as well. Story wise, I think that Akko’s conflict with her friends was simply put there to thin the herd a little, so that the 3 new witches could be used instead. Weirdly, the 3 girls warm up to Akko right away, dispute not knowing her a few days before. They get so close, in fact, that I found it odd that they didn’t contribute to the friendship is magic blast at the end.

Watch it?: I hope this franchise blows up!

MVP: Akko

5276c52125f2e_gg_Anime_Mirai_2013_-_Little_Witch_Academia_BD1080p_FB8F8A1E.mkv2332

Keep reaching for the stars kid.

Best Moment: Passing around the wand at the end (beautiful)

Tagged , , , ,

Boruto: Naruto the Movie [Naruto Movie Month]

Type: Confusing Title

Boruto_the_Movie_poster_2

Synopsis: Mission 11- Milk the Franchise for all it’s worth!

Pros: Boruto: Naruto the Movie is…wait, before we start, can we all agree that “Boruto: Naruto the Movie” is a very dumb title. “Boruto: The Movie,” “Naruto Legacy: Boruto,” or even “Naruto the Movie: Boruto,” all these would have made more sense. Also, “Boruto?” as in “Bore-uto?” did no one make the connection? Anyway, Boruto is a sequel series to the Naruto franchise, following the life of Naruto’s son Boruto. Specifically, right after Naruto has become Hokage, but before Boruto takes his Chunin Exams. The plot of the film revolves around Boruto feeling neglected by his father, who’s very busy with his duties as Hokage. His growing resentment leads him to attempt to surpass his father, either by tutelage under Sasuke, or via a cheater Ninja device. Then the bad guy shows up and almost kills Naruto, making Boruto realize what a shmuck he really is. The world that Boruto shows is pretty interesting, as it has modernized quiet rapidly since the end of Naruto. Seeing the character’s kids in action was neat (though their similar ages makes me think the cast of Naruto coordinated their pregnancies). It’s a fair start to a new chapter, and I look forward to seeing more of it, and I applaud the franchise for daring to follow a new protagonist (unlike other series cough Dragon Ball cough). (P.s. However, personally, I would have liked the story to focus on Sarada Uchiha, because I find the story of an Uchiha who wants to be Hokage much more interesting).

Cons: So I think the big question in everyone’s mind upon hearing this was: Is Boruto any good as a character? Because he look’s just like his Naruto, and acts just like Naruto, but we just went through 12 years of Naruto. Is he redundant? The answer is yes and no. Boruto’s situation and motivation are different from Naruto, and that will determine whether or not you like him. Unlike Naruto, his son is every talented and popular, with a family that loves him. In fact, the reason he lashes out in the movie is that his father works too much (which is implied to be a recent thing). Which is different from Naruto, who lashed out more as a way to validate his existence. Or to put it another way, Naruto needed to prove that he mattered, while Boruto his just a brat. But the whole movie is Boruto having to realize this, so narratively, his behavior is justified. Personally, however…yeah, he’s annoying. More annoying than Naruto was? No, but Naruto had the orphan excuse. But his whole analysis does bring up the glaring fact that you can’t talk about Boruto without bringing up Naruto. And to it’s credit, the movie’s writing owes up to this, very much stating that “Yes, this is a continuation of the Naruto story” while also stating “but, this is a new story.”

Best Boruto Movie?: Yes

Villain: Momoshiki

Ōtsutsuki_Momoshiki

Forgettable Villain V.2, #1

Best Moment: The Last Fight (Hokage Level Combat!)

Tagged , , , , ,

Prison School

Type: Boys are Gross

prison-school-10-02-15-11

Synopsis: Five boys enroll in a previously all-girl’s school. Awesome right? Really puts the “not if you were the last boy on Earth!” excuse to the test. Well, think again! Because the boys, in classic boy fashion, fly a little too close to the sun and get caught peeping at the girl’s bath. Now they must serve their punishment by being kept in the school’s questionably legal prison for a month.

Pros: Kinda like Shawshank Redemption, but if all the prison guards were replace by a busty girl who cannot physically button up her blouse. The entire show is about the 5 male protagonist being in “prison” while the Underground School Council think of schemes to get them expelled. What I loved was the character work, as each character has their own motivations and characteristics, and the small cast of 8-9 characters allows the show to utilize them efficiently. The show does a great job capturing the prisoners vs. guards aspects of Prison-centric fiction. In terms of story, the first arc is Kiyoshi trying to figure out a way to escape to go on a date. The second arc involves the student council using a snitch to set the boys up for expulsion. And the third arc is the boys getting out of their expulsion. Now, the original manga is famous for its gratuitous fan service, which is still in the show. What really surprise me is that for a show that exploits a lot of the kinkier aspects of humanity, like the fluids, I still found myself rooting for the boys. I bought into their brotherhood, and reminded me that male friendship is a beautiful thing, even if it means getting a stick up your butt from time to time.

Cons: The series adopts what I can only refer to as “awkward realism.” You know, the type of show that allows its characters to be pathetic, sexually desperate, and kinda sticky. Every episode has an “anime is weird” example. The fan service skews more towards the kinky S&M side, with some waterworks thrown in. Hell, one of the subplots is the protagonist and one of the Underground School Council members being stuck in a cycle of fate and urine. So proceed cautiously. I also wasn’t crazy about Meiko’s design, because I felt her boobs were a little too big. Like “how can she function?” big. I know she’s the mascot, but what looks good in print may not always look good in animation.

Watch it?: It will get weird on you (4/5)

MVP: Takehito

a4dc1081fb17ee2644d881fd73ef8da2f5c47984_hq

The most noble of tacticians!

Best Episode: Ep.7 “Meiko’s Delicious Restaurant” (it was hard, but I think this captures a little but of everything)

Tagged , , , , , ,

High School DxD BorN

Type: Capitalization ErrORS

HS_DxD_3

Synopsis: In a series that has survived way longer than anyone thought it would, we see Issei Hyodo continuing to live the good life. He’s got a dragon armor powers, he’s attached to a very powerful demon family, and every girl he knows are smokin’ hot babes that like to sleep with him naked. This season, he gets a power boost, a fight with the god Loki, goes a little aggro, and gets another kiss from his demon king. All in all, par for the course.

Pros: Yet another season of High School DxD is upon us, and I’m OK with that. As stated before, I’m a fan of this series. It’s a perfectly harmless boob-comedy. This entry continues the series tradition of breast centric humor, some demon fighting, and generic melodrama. The season is divided into about 4 story arcs. The first is a training arc, where Akeno and Koneko get more backstory. This results in Koneko becoming yet another member of the “We love Issei” club. The second story arc involves fighting the god Loki. The third story arc involves Asia getting kidnapped and Issei going a little crazy. And the last story arc involves Rias. Each arc is serviceble, and I did get emotionally invested in the third and fourth arc, since they involved arguably the two main heroines. I watched the English Dub, and by this point, you can tell they’ve given up any semblance of seriousness, its amazing. As for characters, well, the only real standout moment was when Issei noted that he know the girls all liked him, but he’s still afraid of getting close to anyone after the events of Episode 1, Season 1. I thought that was a nice touch, and is something that’s stayed consistent throughout the series.

Cons: The thing about High School DxD is that it doesn’t get any better or worse. It must be popular, because it got an English Dub the same year it was released. The boob jokes are still front and center, the pacing is still wonky, and the show simply has too many characters to explore properly. I honestly forget some of their names. This season adds more characters, which doesn’t help. It also adds the norse mythology into the plot, which I’m sure won’t muddle anything. Story wise, my one real complaint would be the Koneko arc. Mostly because she falls for Issei way too fast. She goes from relative annoyance to undying love like someone flipped a switch or something. I feel that the series is drawing dangerously close to crossing the harem threshold of “girls chasing the main character” to “sister wives.” For me, that’s when most harems go from campy fun to problematic.

Watch it?: I wonder if they’ll be a fourth season? (3/5)

MVP: Rias

Rias_Flat_Stare

I keep misspelling it “Rise”

Best Episode: Ep.7-9 The Asia Kipnapped Arc (Gotta save the Demon Nun!)

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Jitsu wa Watashi wa

Type: Apparently “My Monster Secret” in America

Jitsu-wa-Watashi-wa-Header-001-20150410

Synopsis: When a boy likes a girl, he usually tries his hardest to show her his affection. This could come in many forms: gifts, small gestures, large gestures, dates, compliments, taking a blood oath to keep her unholy existence a secret. At least, that’s what Asahi “Eromine” Kuromine did when he accidentally found out that his crush is actually a vampire. It was either that, or letting her drop out of school. Blood-sucker or not, a fella can’t let his best gal miss out on an education.

Pros: This anime is based on one of my favorite manga’s. I’ve actually been following Jistu wa Watachi Wa (Actually, I am) for a while now. It has a unique art and humor style that really appeals to me. While it is basically another high school romantic comedy, the gimmick is that all the players are some sort of abnormal person. Shiragami is a vampire. Aizawa is a tiny alien piloting a fake body. Mikan has haunted glasses. Shishido is a gender swapping self proclaimed Pervert. And those are just the one’s in the show! Don’t get me started on the time traveler, angel, and other alien. Each character add a little bit of a twist to the typical rom-com anime recipe. For example, one episode revolves around Aizawa needing help getting back to her human body. And all the episodes with the Principle were awesome and perfectly captured the magic of the manga. It also occasionally uses a song cue for the really romantic scenes, which, while manipulative, works.

Cons: As a fan, I was happy that one of my manga’s got an anime. As an objective observer, I cannot ignore the fact that his is a very generic anime. You can pretty much predict what happens: Boy meets Girl, they bond, more girls are introduced, hijinks, a love triangle develops, misunderstanding, a self-doubt episode, and then the cast goes save the girl. I can’t say for sure that this isn’t how it went down in the manga, but I remember it happening a lot better.  The anime felt rushed, and in the end, nothing was really resolved. For example, a lot of Mikan’s original story is mushed into the anime, and doesn’t really go anywhere. The whole thing just felt a bit off, too mainstream, and failed to capture the real charm of the manga (just look at the intro to see what I mean). It all felt hollow, with inconsistent signs of it’s true greatness, and ultimately a disappointment.

Watch it?: Yes, Shiragami and Asahi eventually get together, and it’s adorable (3/5)

MVP: Akane Komoto

Jitsu-wa-Watashi-wa-Episode-7-English-Subbed

Always an evil delight

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “Let’s Save the World!” (Now, this is what I’m talking about)

Tagged , , , , ,

Ore Monogatari!!

Type: So Rinko’s totally dead, right?

[HorribleSubs] Ore Monogatari!! - 04 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_04.41_[2015.05.01_11.29.45]

Synopsis: This story is about the coolest MF’er in town dating the sweetest cinnamon bun in creation.

Pros: This is an incredibly endearing love story. It basically follows the relationship between Takeo, a giant of a teenage man, and Rinko Yamato, as very nice girl (who sometimes verges on being too vanilla). The show follows basic romantic-comedy troupes, wherein each of the couple’s romantic milestones are riddled with comedic situations. For example, Yamato’s confession of love happened while Takeo was hiding under the bed. While one may find some these moments cliche and familiar, the show elevates itself by accomplishing two very important tasks. First, it establishes Takeo as a genuinely good person whose abnormal size keeps him from dating girls. Seriously, the guys a teddy bear who happens to be incredibly awesome. Second, it establishes that Rinko is truly attracted to Takeo, both emotionally and physically. The latter was a surprising aspect of the show, as most anime don’t allow “pure” characters like Rinko to find anything about a man sexy. But we do get a few episodes where Rinko finds Takeo’s large frame pretty hot. You know what they say about big hands, shoulders, feet, lips, hearts and all. Unsurprisingly, the main couple make the show way more enjoyable than if would be without them. I’d also like to give big props to Suna for basically getting these two dopes together. The dude puts so much time into their relationship.

Cons: As mentioned above, looking at this show objectively, you will notice classic romance and comedy troupes. Whether it be love rivals, moments of doubt, or simple misunderstanding. However, I am happy to report that the show never resorts to heavy melodrama. Most of the conflict is relatively light, though as you get more into it you’ll notice a serious lack of stakes involved. You never truly feel that Takeo’s and Yamato’s relationship is in any danger. I mean, I’m grateful, because I don’t want any to happen to my OTP, but others might dislike this. I also found most of the supporting cast outside of Takeo and Yamato’s flock of friends boring. I truly did not care about Suna’s Sister’s Stalker/College Friend, or Suna’s Not-Girlfriend, or Yamato’s Weird Boss. Takeo’s would be student was OK, but she disappears after a while. In fact, most new character disappear after a while. Classic Arc-Specific Character Syndrome. And, what’s up with Suna.? Why’s he always hanging around? And what’s with all the catchphrases. I mean, come on!  If I hear one of “Suki da” or “Yokatta” or “Kakkoii” I am going to throw a thesaurus at my computer. Also, I’m not sure if there’s going to be a second season, BUT THERE SHOULD BE. I WANT TO SEE GRANDCHILDREN.

Watch it?: Best Love-Comedy in a While (4/5)

MVP: Takeo Goda

tumblr_nmr57ufkca1qa0mm4o2_r1_1280

I want this guy to be my brother, and my friend, and my lover

Best Episode: Ep.4 “My Boyfriend” (Takeo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Tagged , , ,

One Punch Man

Type: Japanese Superman

one-punch-man-episode-1

Synopsis: After doing the insane training regime of 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and jogging 10 miles EVERY SINGLE DAY, Saitama has become the strongest being in creation. Now bored out of his mind, he decides to become a hero for fun.

Pros: One Punch man is amazing. Even it’s inception is amazing. It started out as a nothing web comic, and now it’s one of the most popular franchises in the industry. I’ve personally read almost all the manga. The premise is pretty much what I described. Saitama is a super strong “hero” who beats all his opponents in One-Punch. The joke of the series is that all the super detailed and overly designed villains get decimated by this one simple looking dude. The series is full of monster of the week villains, but also heroes of the week. One Punch Man is full of random heroes that make up the “Hero Association,” a Justice League/Avenger’s style group that monitors that heroes. The main plot actually revolves around the Hero Association, even if Saitama is the guy to ultimately fix everything. This means that most fights involve other heroes, usually Saitama’s sidekick/desciple Genos, getting beat up by a villain. But that’s actually good, because we get to see that the other heroes are actually heroic, as well as padding out the series a bit. The anime does an excellent job at making the fights look amazing. Plus, it adds to the joke that after all this struggle, Saitama just had to anti-climactically punch something to megadeath. (P.S. There’s also a bunch of superhero troupes, like the constant destruction of a city, the random villains, the fact that everything is resolved by punching, etc)

Cons: The story. Not important. If you came for a compelling narrative, you came to the wrong place. That’s not to say that the plot’s bad, its not. It’s just kinda there. The sets up the world, but the Hero Association is not really crucial to your enjoyment. It just felt a little superfluous is what I’m saying. As such, a lot of the “drama” involving dead or dying heroes didn’t really interest me. After all, this is mostly a comedy show. But on that note, I should mention that some of the humor from the manga doesn’t really translate well to the anime. Particularly, the parts where Saitama is deadpan and has those weird shading likes drawn on him. And I’d skip episode 1.

Watch it?: Best Blank Look in the Business (5/5)

MVP: License-Less Rider

tumblr_inline_nwsrq3o3Sz1t6ltas_540

Justice needs no license

Best Episode: Ep.9 “Unyielding Justice” (shut-up, these aren’t tears!)

Tagged , , , ,

Attack on Titan: Junior High

Type: Comedic Spin-Offs!

attackontitanjuniorhigh

Synopsis: OK Haters, here’s the low down. Attack on Titan: Junior High is a reimagining of Attack on Titan set in a modern Junior High. All the human characters are either students or teachers. All the titans are students as well. They don’t eat people, their just jerks that steal the human students’ lunches. Eren, you know, the crazy kid from the original series? Yeah, he’s wants to commit genocide because a titan stole his “chee-burga.” It’s all wonderfully cute and funny. If you can’t deal with your super “serious” anime taking a silly side tour for a while, then that’s kinda on you.

Pros: So I loved this anime. Mostly because I loved the manga. Even though I understand Attack on Titan’s appeal, I didn’t really get into it until the comedy manga was released. If anything, it helped me remember the character names. So I was super excited with an anime was announced! The loosely follows the plot of the manga, with Eren and the gang becoming slice-of-life comedy characters. I wish the anime adhered more to the manga, but eh. Eren keeps most of his hatred for the titans, but now for comedic effect. Mikasa is now the calm girl with a crush. Armin is the cutesy character. Jean is the arrogant jerk. Krista is the pure anime girl. And Sasha, well Sasha is still Sasha. The characters all translated very well into a new genre, which I guess speaks to their characterization in the main series. In a surprising bit, the anime even throws in a few allusions to future story points in Attack on Titan. So one of two pivatol characters in the manga make their first TV appereance in this show!

Cons: About 20% of your enjoyment will depend on your familiarity with Attack on Titan. I mean, this is kinda a given since this is a parody anime. The show throws in a lot of hilarious references to the anime, like Levi’s intro, Hanji’s titans, etc. I’m hesitant to say that fans who hate spoilers should stear clear, only because you’d need to actually know what the spoilers are to spot them. Well, except the one in Ep8, so maybe skip that episode. And like my intro suggested, if your the type of fan that doesn’t like your favorite thing made fun of, then this probably won’t be your jam.

Watch it?: A good break between S1 and S2 (4/5)

MVP: The Easter Eggs

Image11-620x

I understood that reference!

Best Episode: Ep.10 “Recommendation! Titan Junior High School” (school elections!)

Tagged , , , , , ,

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan

Type: A Parallel Universe of a Parallel Universe!

HorribleSubs-The-Disappearance-of-Nagato-Yuki-chan-03-720p.mkv_snapshot_07.33_2015.04.17_16.11.10

Synopsis: Alien Robot turned Shy Book Girl turned Scatter Brained Gamer Nagato has a crush on Normal Guy turned Normal Guy turned Normal Guy Kyon. Naturally, Nagato can’t just confess her love, and needs the emotion support of her best friend/alternate reality murderer, Ryoko. They go to the beach, visit hot springs, classic anime high school stuff. Haruhi Suzumiya is here too, but with no godly powers she’s just a bossy teenage girl that every has to listen to. Again, classic high school stuff.

Pros: It’s weird to say, the use of Haruhi characters for  a slice-of-life romantic comedy really works. All the characters are on point, and they translate surprisingly well. Aside from Nagato, every other character is essentially the same. Kyon is still a slightly downtrodden straight man and Haruhi is still as energetic as ever. For the show, however, the continuity is based on the movie The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. So Haruhi and Itsuki go to another school, and Asahina isn’t a part of Kyon and Nagato’s club. For story purposes, Nagato has been turned to a more expressive and cutely-shy girl. But the show still finds a way to have them all hang out. It even touches on the possible romance with Haruhi.  It should also be noted that, as the title implies, Nagato is the protagonist. Thus, characters like Ryoko are promoted to regular supporting characters, while Asahina and the like are slightly demonted. But hey, if you liked these characters, comedy in general, and the fact that ALL OF THE ENGLISH VOICE ACTORS RETURNED, then you’ll dig it.

Cons: If your the kind of person that doesn’t like it when a show like Haruhi Suzumiya has a sillier spin-off, then you’re not going to like this. This isn’t a third season of the original series, and it’s ok to be bummed about that if that’s your prerogative. That being said, there is a story arc between Ep.10-13 that might appeal to Haruhi purists.

Watch it?: I approve of this Spin-Off, and would like too see more (4/5)

MVP: The Comedy

mxup72o0msdedg1kq89i

I’m still laughing!

Best Episode: Ep.3 “Haruhi Suzumiya!!” (Even when it’s not her show, Haruhi is great!)

Tagged , , , , , , ,