Tag Archives: Anime

Wicked City (1987)

Type: A lot of sex and violence

Synopsis: But really, just a lot of sex, with some violence. Like, a 60:40 ratio.

Pros: Did I mention the sex, cause that’s gonna happen a lot. Well, like 5 times. At first I though it was kinda nice to have an anime with a sex scene between two consenting adult. Then the killer vaginas and rape scenes happened…cause anime in the 80s. Or anime in the 90’s. Or anime in the 00s. Or anime in general. Ya know anime industry, characters can just have sex for fun, or for romance. The portrayal of sex can be use for more than jokes or assault. Anyway, this movie is about two special agents, a human and a demon, trying to protect a mystic in order to renew the peace agreement between humans and demons. Since the human is a macho playboy from the 80s, and the demon is a sexy fashion model, they of course meet a lot of challenges, with sexy results. As stories goes, the plot jumps from action to sex scene to action to sex scene, with the final act feeling weak and anti-climatic.

Cons: This being a sexy movie with demons in it, there is some weird stuff. I’m taking demon vaginas coming out of a woman’s torso. In addition, Makie, the female protagonist and supernatural demon, is naturally sexually assaulted on three separate occasions. Once by an ex-lover, once by a tentacle monster, and once by a group of demons to motivate the male protagonist. No great. It’s also kinda sad to say, but Makie is also the only character with some spectrum of character development. In so far was we learn a little about her past. Taki, the human protagonist, is more generic. He really is just an 80’s cool-guy troupe that is really, really, really bad at his job. The demon antagonists are also kinda meh.

Watch it: It’s basically a once of those bad-movies to watch. But maybe by yourself.

MVP: Makie

Because at least’s she’s trying.

Best Moment: The demon with the vagina chest (You just can’t unsee that).

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Goku Midnight Eye

Type: Goku Furinji and his Cybernetic Eye

Synopsis: “Midnight Eye.” Get it? Like private eye, but in the future!

Pros: This anime is divided into two OVA stories. The first story is an origin story/80’s action movie. In it, Goku’s a rebellious private detective who takes the law into his own hands when the system fails. It has all the classic 80’s cliches: an evil business man, a sexy female partner, gratuitous violence, cyborg strippers that double as motorcycles. It’s like Paul Verhoeven directed it himself! The story is fairly passable, as Goku has to solve a string of murders loosely connected to him. Though they never really explain why Goku got his cybernetic eye, or why he wears no shirt but still insists on a tie. I have a theory that he moonlights as a Chippendale’s dancer to cover expenses. The second story completely forgets about all the previous characters except for Goku.  It deals with Goku being hired by a dame with legs for days searching for her brother, who is a cross between a super solider and a terminator. Both stories pretty much have the same structure: Goku is given a case, he’s actively attacked by the antagonist’s cronies, he and the female lead have sex, female lead dies somehow, the antagonists dies, and Goku feels kinda bad about himself. The end.

Cons: Being an anime from the later 80s/early 90s, you can expect a lot of violence, nudity, and sexuality. Blood, guts, and naked ladies. These aren’t the negatives, but get really for a really grimy feel when watching it. You also shouldn’t expect any real female character development here. Their main function in this story seem to be: sex object, nude enemy, or thing to protect/regret not being able to protect. And while were on the topic of characters, I have to say that Goku is pretty one dimensional. We never really get a sense for who he is other than the “cool detective” that the anime wants him to be. But we all KNOW that there’s a story behind that no-shirt/necktie combo. Animation wise, it’s pretty cheap. The images are well done, the coloring is well done, the shadowing is well done, but the actual movement is clunky. (P.S. For some reason, this story seems to have a real problem with the Chinese).

Watch it?:….not really, no. Unless you want to, I guess.

MVP: Goku’s eye

(But it really does to that motorcycle chick. I just can’t put a picture cause she is always naked)

Best Moment: Goku never actually fighting the evil business man in the first OVA (really subverted expectations, ya know?)

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Nichijou- My Ordinary Life

Type: Just a show about high school girls doing high school stuff.

Synopsis: Yep, just a realistic down to earth show…that’s off the wall and swarming with magic robots.

Pros: At least we have the Speedo Man. On the surface, Nichijou seems like any other high school comedy with female protagonists. That was certainly my impression of it. In fact, it took me two to three tries to really get going. But once your start this roller coaster of an anime, you won’t want to get off! Nichijou may just be the most well made, or at least artistically diverse, comedy anime in the medium. The only one’s that I would come close to it’s comedic variety and directorial flexibility are Lucky Star and High School Rumble. What you see in Nichijou is a show that continues to evolve right up to it’s last episode. It becomes increasingly funnier, and the choice of action becomes increasingly more impressive the longer you watch. While some of it’s jokes may not always land, due to a difference in humor between East and West, the good content far outweighs the bland. It’s little wonder that Nichijou stands as one of the comedy greats in anime, alongside shows like Konosuba, Lucky Star, and Excel Saga.

Cons: Nichijou is great. Nichijou also takes a long time to become great. The reason it took me a while to get started on watching Nichijou is because it’s a little slow at the beginning. You are slowly introduced to the characters and their dynamic. In addition, the reason the show feels like it keeps evolving is because it feels like the directors and animators take a while to realize how far they can go with the animation. If you look up Nichijou clips, you should be able to find amazingly crafted animations that are used to infuse certain jokes with more impact. The ways the characters move or react to certain things is what makes Nichijou so impressive. It’s just takes a while for that to become obvious. For example, the show relies too much on speed lines early on without really doing with them. A good way to observe this change is to notice how expressive Yuko and Mio become over time. Other than that, the pacing of the show is not without flaws. The anime tends to repeat certain jokes, such as hikus and poems to end a scene. The segments at the Shinomone Labs aren’t that funny, and takes up too much time during the first half of the show. But because one of the main girls, Nano, is stuck there so are we.

Watch it?:  Give it 6 episodes to see if it’s for you, or just look up clips online (5/5)

MVP: Mio

I’d give it to Yuko, but Mio’s growing assertiveness is way more relatable

Best Episode: Ep. 25 “Nichijou Episode 25” (Honestly, all of ep.14-26 is strong, but I love the Mio scene in this episode).

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How Not To Summon a Demon Lord

Type: Helpful PSA or Lewd Cartoon?

Synopsis: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Pros:  How Not To Summon a Demon Lord is about a shut-in computer nerd that gets sucked into a facsimile of his favorite video game. He was accidentally “summoned” by two cute anime girls that double as his personal slaves and grow to love him both emotionally and sexually. The narrative is all too familiar and does nothing to dispel the stigma of Isekai anime as male power fantasy. In our story, the protagonist is the strongest character in the game, he is basically invincible, and everything he says is re-translated into something intimidating/heroic. But the biggest issue is the anime’s portrayal of women.

The story both infatilizes and sexualizes each female character almost to the point of absurdity. Rem, who by all accounts should be the second most powerful character as she houses a demon lord within her, is literally an svelte cat girl who is obviously meant to invoke someone much younger. Not only does she look young, but she has no way to access her powers, and must rely on the protagonist to remove her power through tactile sexual penetration. Putting aside fiction’s general problem with women with power, Rem has no agency in this story. Her biggest decision was summoning the protagonist. The story also revels in scenes where Rem is in pain, which reveals a lot about the author’s sadomasochistic tastes. Then there’s Shera. Shera is the story’s main source of fan service. Where Rem is underdeveloped, Shera is overdeveloped. She is an adolescents, or immature man’s, ideal woman. Bubbly, large breasted, scantly clad, and abundantly amorous. Shera is the story’s biggest missed opportunity. Her entire story arc centered on her decision to break off the the shackles of her culture’s expectations of her to forge her own path. Although she struggles, oftentimes comically, her desire to become an adventurer instead of becoming a queen to bear hears was admirable. Or, at least it would be, if her actions weren’t negated by the story. Because after Shera shares her convictions with the cast and audience, she is immediately brainwashed and kidnapped by her finance, who is also her brother, who tries to break her by having a monster sexually assault her. She only escapes because the protagonist rescues her, and the story even has the gall to make Shera cry for her brother/rapist.

Is How Not to Summon a Demon Lord a sexist show? Yes. This story demonstrates a very problematic view of male and female roles and dynamics. It shows women as weak, childish, sexy, and often times all three. The ultimate example is Klem. THE most powerful being in the story. The ruler of all demons. Who is really a prepubescent girl who loves cookies, yet still wears next to nothing. Her demon form even has large breast in the design, and the protagonist could still hold her off single highhandedly! I know that here is a tendency to give anime the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the sexualization of women. But the excuses of “it’s a different culture,” or “westerners are too prudish,” were trite a decade ago, and cannot detract from what this show truly is: a power fantasy with clearly unequal social hierarchies and unrealistic and problematic sexual relationships.

Cons: [Exhale]…So yeah.

Watch it?: I mean, it was really easy to watch. It binged it in two days. And the show never pretends to be something else. You know upfront what your getting. But the more I thought about it, the creepier it got. (2/5)

MVP: The voice actors

The stuff they had to act through. God bless ’em.

Best Episode: “The Demon Lord Act” (cat ears).

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Record of Lodoss War

Type: Parn!

Synopsis: Parn! Are you there!! Parn!!! Paaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrnnnnnn!!!!!

Pros: Record of Lodoss War is a good ol’ fashion sword and sorcery anime based on DnD and Sword World RPG rules. Now, I don’t know anything about anything, but from what I can gather, this series is based on Japanese “replays.” These “replays” are transcripts of table-top RPG sessions. These transcripts eventually evolved into the Lodoss franchise. Which explains why so many of the characters in this anime seem straight out of a fantasy RPG. You got your hot-blooded knight, beautiful high-elf, prickly dwarf, sleezy thief, pious priest, and calm magic caster. I particularly liked Parn and Deedlit’s relationship, as well as Ghim’s backstory. They gave these characters a much needed extra dimension. I should also give a shout out to the Grey Witch, who I wish had stuck around for the entire story. The franchise’s origins helps give the series a very high fantasy feel. Since a lot of today’s anime fantasy stories are so intrinsically linked with Isekai stories, this series was a nice change of pace. I also have to admit a certain level of bias regarding older anime animation (I just think it looks more distinct). All in all, the series was a nice trip back in time when fantasy was about knights fighting evil kings and giant dragons.

Cons: Your enjoyment of this story can be measured by your tolerance for fantasy about knights fighting evil kings and giant dragons. Sometimes, another word for classic is generic. And this story is very generic. The story is about Parn, the son of disgraced knight looking to restored his family’s honor and make a name for himself. He’s brave but reckless. In fact, Parn might be the MOST generic protagonist I’ve ever encountered. Maybe even moreso than black-haired, average nice guy harem protagonist. At least they have comedic foils to play off. But Parn? He’s as exciting as avocado on white bread.  You also have the elf, dwarf, priest, thief, and caster who are so archetypal that I forget their actual names. One of the reasons these characters are so forgettable is because the series has to get the entire Lodoss saga completed in 13 episodes. So the pacing is very rushed. For example,  halfway through the anime the story transitions from the Valis-Marmo war to the War of Heroes. Which sucks because the Grey Witch and Emperor Beld made for much more interesting villains. Far better than some generic dragon and wizard. Yet the directors still found time to give Deedlit her ultra-detailed minute long close ups. Things move so fast that a lot of characters don’t get proper character development. The only characters you spend a lot of time with are Parn and Deelit, who are sadly have very static development. Aside from Ghim, all the other side characters are just that, side characters that don’t really change all the much. You know who actually changes the most in this story? The antagonists. The Grey Witch,  Ashram, Pirotess’s , and Wagnar each end the story is a very different position than where they started. You can’t really say that for any of the protagonists, as even Parn’s ascension into Knighthood is more superficial than anything. Finally, being an old anime, be prepared for a lot of still images and light-based special effects. Back in the day you either got detailed character design or fluid animation, but you ain’t getting both!

Watch it?: For fans of elf and wizards not contracted to a 7 person harem (3/5)

MVP: Karla, the Grey Witch

The more I think about her, the more I like her.

Best Episode: Ep. 05 “The Desert King” (Look Parn, we all have a Daddy fetish, but don’t string along a poor elf-girl when she dressed up special for your date, OK?)

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Goblin Slayer

Type: Basically anime Batman

Synopsis: Now hold your horses. I know what your thinking. Your thinking “But Genetleman Otoku, Batmans good! He’s not an edgelord that focuses on controversy!” To which I point you to: The Dark Night Strikes Again, Joker, The Killing Joke, All-Star Batman, Hush, etc. Now your thinking “Yeah, whatever, but Batman works with other heroes to protect Gotham.” To which I remind you that Goblin Slayer consistently works with a Priestess, a Ranger, a Dwarf, and a Lizard Man. Now your thinking “*%&$ you! At least Batman’s not a sh%#% harem show!” To which I also remind you of: Catwoman, Talia Al-Ghaul, Vickie Vale, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn (sometimes), etc. Face it, if you like Batman, you also like Goblin Slayer. May god have mercy on your deviant soul.

Pros: OK, aside from the fact that I know way too much about Batman despite not really resonating with the character, the stand by my analogy. Goblin Slayer really did remind me of Batman (with some Punisher thrown in there). The protagonist is a overly driven tactician/warrior who specifically focuses on goblins due to a mixture of trauma and pragmatism. He experienced a goblin raid, lost his sister, and now has a genocidal urge to kill every single Goblin in existence. Replace goblins with criminals, sister with parents, and kill with beat-up, and you have the caped crusader. Heck, one of the main throughlines of the show is Goblin Slayer learning to open up to others despite his loner nature. Like Batman, Goblin Slayer’s single mindedness and preparedness are what make his fun to watch. Also like Batman, it’s funny to see Goblin Slayer totally ignore world ending plots, like an apparent Demon King uprising, because local issues are more important to him. His relationships with the other characters are also key in softening his image, as this story could have gotten very old, very fast, if it was literally just killing goblins.

Cons: The show’s biggest problem is in its use of rape. The rape depicted in this show cannot be ignored. Nor should it. In the story, goblins are rapists, and this plot fact is used to make killing the goblins acceptable and ever gratifying. This series got into trouble when it’s first episode depicted the rape of one of it’s characters. The show never goes that far again, so don’t expect this to be another Elfen Lied or Kite. However, rape is still an underlying theme of the show. Every time the goblins appear, the show reminds us that they are rapist, usually with still images of them ripping the clothes off terrified women. Several characters are also affected by this. Goblin Slayer developed a hatred towards goblins because his sister was raped in front of him. The Elf ranger is barely survives an attempted assault by goblins, leading her to develop similar hatred. The priestess also witnessed a goblin assault first hand. And the Shield Maiden manipulated the Goblin Slayer and his party into killing a nest of goblins due to a previous goblin attack that she survived.  The thing is, this character trait for the goblins was not necessary. Them just being murderers would have been enough. Killer goblins would have sold the world of Goblin Slayer as a dangerous one just as well. But making them rapists just makes the show harder to watch. It wasn’t a necessary plot point, and therefore a mistake to use.

Watch it?: It depends on what kind of viewer you are (3/5)

MPV: My Batman comparison

Yes sister, I shall become an edgelord.

Best Episode: Ep. 05 “Adventures and Daily Life” (No goblins slaying, just a nice time in town).

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Hensuki: Are You Willing to Fall in Love with a Pervert, as Long as She’s a Cutie?

Type:  “If she ain’t blood, be a stud” -Ancient Proverb

Synopsis: Sigh. I was with you until the ending…

Pros: Look, I’m going to need to give me at least a few sentence here. But spoiler, you probably shouldn’t watch this.

Cons: I will say this, I came to this anime with an open mind. I was like, hey, I need something stupid to watch while I exercise. This seemed like an ecchi anime I can trust. The art style and hue of the show tells you everything you need to know. It going to be about a teenage boys and a harem of cute girls that like him for being relatively nice. And that basically is the show. In fact, I would hazard to say that the best, though generic, parts of the show are when the girls say why or how they came to love the protagonist. Those were at least mildly sweet moments. But the gimmick of the show is that every female character has some sort of “perversion” or kink. These kinks run the spectrum, from mild stuff like sub/dom play and fujoshi (boy’s love artist) to some hardcore stuff like voyeurism and exhibitionism. Each of the girls get about 2-3 episodes, with the major plot thread being the mystery of “panty-rella,” a girl that left her panties in the protagonist’s locker in ep. 01. None of this is actually that bad, and the friendship between the voyeur and the protagonist is kinda nice (since she’s the only girl that likes him as a friend). No, what turned me completely off the show was last two episodes, where it turns out that “panty-rella” was really the protagonist’s sister. What follows is a last episode that spends almost it’s entire run time trying to convince the protagonist (and audience) that humping your sister is totally fine, cause love is love. And hey, she’s not blood related, so no mutant babies for you! Goddammit, did that leave a bad taste in my mouth. There’s trash, and then there’s garbage. And that was garbage.

Watch it: No. No. No. At least the dubbing was silly. NO. (2/5)

MVP: The English Dub

At least they got paid.

Best Episode: Ep. 4-7 The Koharu Arc (For a show this bad, it had a pretty good male-female friendship develop here).

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Coyote Ragtime Show

Type: That Mister sure was a tall drink of…

Synopsis: Hello! I didn’t-I mean I wasn’t-I mean, boobs right? Right??….You know what? Nah. Nah son. It’s time to be loud and proud. Not just for myself, but for future generations. And I will proudly and loudly say that Mister is a top tier Daddy, and were it biologically possible, I would carry his children.

Pros: Coyote Ragtime Show is an anime space western, the best kind of space western in my opinion. The show follows a band of space pirates lead by the charismatic “Mister.” The entire show takes place in the span of about a week, with all the characters chasing after a treasure left behind by the king of the pirates. But this ain’t no One Piece were the treasure is friendship or whatever. This causes three main forces to all converge on the treasure: our lovable protagonists, Madame Marciano and her robot assassin “daughters,” and Detective Angelica Burns with her plucky if dimwitted sidekick. Mister and the crew of the ship “Coyote” play particularly well off each other, reminding you of an Ocean’s 11 esque style ensemble cast. But the emotional core comes from Franca, daughter of the kind of the pirates, and ward of Mister. Their relationship is cute, if a little cliche. The show does really well in handling it’s moving pieces without ever sacrificing pacing. A solid show all around.

Cons: The entire show revolves around all the character’s journey to Graceland, the location of the treasure. So it’s a bit of a shame that the closer we get to Graceland, the less interesting some of the stories become. The first four episodes are really great. They have a prison escape, a noir parenting story, a church shot out, and a high tech robbery. Top notch stuff that establishes the history of these characters. The last eight episodes aren’t as exciting, mostly because the have to focus on the race to Graceland. It also doesn’t help that the robot assassins aren’t allowed to kill the main characters for story reasons, nor the fact that two of the five main characters never get proper backstories. We never really learn where Bishop or Katana are from, or what their motivations are. Ditto with Marciano. She drops hint in her last battle, and Mister speculates, but there was more there that we should have been given.

Watch it: A pleasant surprise (4/5)

MVP: Mister

Our love is true!

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Prison Break” (exactly what it sounds like)

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How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?

Type: About 25 Lb.

Synopsis: I go for endurance, not strength. I flirted with 40LB for a while, but then messed my back up real bad after a prolonged combination of inconsistent workouts and bad form. Let that be a lesson, it’s important to do only what your body is able to do. If something is too heavy, then go lighter. Personal fitness is a journey, not a race. And remember, true strength comes from within!

Pros: How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? is a great show for people who want to get into exercise, or like me, trying to rework their workout routine. Every episode explores two different types of workout, from using gym equipment to isometrics to hiking. It’s a great show that lets you explore all the different ways there are to stay physically active. I would categorize this show as “Edutaiment.” It uses anime jokes and mild fan service to teach you about basic exercise. Who knew that the best way to get weebs to the gym is by making it 2D!? But seriously, I actually did use this show when I was trying to reestablish my daily workout routine. It helped me stay consistent while also giving me ideas for different exercises to try out. The show is fairly positive about exercise, and it’s approach really makes staying active look realistic (and even fun!).

Cons: I mean, you could argue that the main character’s desire to go to be gym because she thinks she’s fat is sexist. And it is. But let’s be real, 85% of most people’s desire to start exercising is due to vanity. Sure, sure, society has given men and women, especially women, unrealistic ideals for beauty that no normal person should have to strive for. Yet, I can’t help but be a little proud when I see a little bicep pop out when I bend my arms. The fact that I can lift my garbage bags without losing my breath is also nice. Aside from that, the fan service will probably be the most common barrier of interest. This is, after all, cute anime girls bending and squeezing until fatigue. So expect some tired yet sexy breathing. The show also likes to end it’s “Machio Muscle Lessons of the Day” skits with one of the girls posing in bed, beckoning you to join her in bed. Ya know, like you do. Finally, the show was not designed to be watched in one go. The way it explores the exercise world works better in increments rather than a marathon.

Watch it?: With clever editing, this would make an awesome exercise YouTube playlist. (4/5)

MVP: Mr. Machio

The personal trainer we all need.

Best Episode: “Sensei’s on a Diet, Too?” (I just like using dumbells. But all the episodes are great)

 

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Isekai Quartet

Type: The most ambitious crossover since…

Synopsis:…ya know, Endgame and Marvel did not invent the crossover. These things happen in media all the time. Comics had them since the 40’s. Movies had the Wolfman hanging out with Frankenstein and Abbot/Constello since before we landed on the moon. Hell, all of Smash Brothers is built on crossovers. I understand people want to have fun, but let’s not give more credit to the multibillion dollar company that it’s owed, yeah?

Pros: So Isekai Quartet is a show where the cast of 4 Isekai series crossover. Hence the title. This one has the folks from Konosuba, Overlord, Rezero, and Tanya the Evil. They all get transported into another world, again, only this time the setting is a Japanese style high school. Unsurprisingly, the best parts are having different characters from different shows interact with one another. I personally liked Albetto and Rem’s relationship, along with Ainz and Tanya. Because of course the two most evil characters in the show would get along. The show’s pretty short, and each episode is only about 15 minutes. So it was a pretty good refresher on certain shows, and a pretty good introduction to others. I personally have never seen Rezero, but the cast seem fun to watch. And at the end of the day, it’s that what it’s all about.

Cons: Since the show doesn’t have all the character I want, it’s a piece of ##$%. Ha! Got ya. Don’t get me wrong, I wish the the people from Reincarnated as a Slime and Log Horizon where here. I’m sure everyone has their favorites. That’s the problem with crossovers: everyone has a stake in the game. The only real issue is that because the show has such a big cast, a lot of characters get shortchanged. So if you have a favorite supporting character, they may not get the same spotlight the would get in their own show.

Watch it?: Yes. It’s short, funny, and full of reference. (4/5)

MVP: Tanya

I’m surprised, but Tanya has some of the best interactions with characters.

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “Tension! Introductions” (The Useless Goddess vs. the Lord of Nazaric!)

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