Tag Archives: demons

Blade of the Phantom Master

Type: Wait, the Phantom Master doesn’t use a sword

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Synopsis: Is, is the girl the “Blade?”

Pros: Blade of the Phantom Master is about a spirit summoner (I’m not even going to try to spell his actual title), who travels the land, saving people while insulting them for needing to be rescued. Its like if a Fireman saved you from a burning building, but then called you a moron for getting trapped in a burning building. The movie has two stories, the first being about the Phantom Master Munsu’s travels to a desert kingdom, and then his travels to a island village. After the firs adventure, he us joined by Sando, or Chun, his new bodyguard. And that’s it for positives, because guess what, this movie isn’t very good.

Cons: This movie isn’t very good. The animation is low tier. The action is lazy. The plot was boring. It made me fell bad after watching it.  And the protagonist is thoroughly unlikable. When Munsu is first introduced, he single handedly takes down a corrupt king. As a viewer, this gives you the impression that he Munsu hate corruption, or tyrants, or maybe he fights for the people. Nope. After the desert kingdom scene, Munsu encounters a boy on the beach, pleading for help, to which Munsu responds to by leaving his corpse on the beach. So what we have is a bad looking film that contradicts itself. Is Munsu a tough guy who fights for justice, or a bastard that needs to be convinced to help out. Story writers need to realize that you can’t have both. You can’t have an anti-hero saving the day. That’s an oxymoron. A hero could he a hard-ass, like Wolverine. An anti-hero’s actions could indirectly save the day, like the Punisher. But you can’t give your anti-hero heroic moments without diminishing his/her character (which is why so many anti-heroes die doing something heroic). There are too many times in this film where the story tries to set up a “oh, isn’t he a bad ass!” moment. For example, in one scene, Munsu wordlessly shots a crow full of people, much to the horror or an onlooker. When the spectator finally tries to stop him, Munsu explains his reasons, despite the fact that he could have done so on the walk over to the crowd. Overall, this felt like a long tv show rather than a movie, and the tv show sucked.

Watch it?: Noooooooooooooooooo.

MVP: Sando

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She, ah….she was tolerable

Best Moment: The ending (in that it ended this horrible film)

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Blue Exorcist

Type: Damien ain’t go nothin’ on this

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Synopsis: My children, the Devil walks among us! Or should I say, his kid does. His name is Rin. Good guy. His goal in life is to kill Satan and avenge the death of his adoptive dad. Their was a custody battle involving blue flames and such, you know how these things go. But the only way to kill a demon is to become an exorcist, so Rin resolves to become the strongest exorcist alive, believe it!

Pros: In some aspects, the show surprisingly goes against shoen expectations. When your introduced to Rin in the show, you expect him to be an angsty teenager with a chip on his shoulder, like so many half-demon protagonists (Inuyasha, I’m looking at you). But by the third episode, Rin turns out to be a pretty positive and kinda ditzy dude. He’s kinda the male version of Sailor Moon. Not really arrogant, more empathetic than you’d think, and a little dumb. I point out ep.3 because the first two episodes are just Rin’s origin story, while the actual setting and premise are at the True Cross Academy. The world of Blue Exorcist is interesting, and I found the division of exorcist battle styles intriguing. In fact, the school elements where the most enjoyable. I liked Rin’s interactions with his crew of exorcists-in-training, and the instances where they had to work together were often my favorite parts.

Cons: I’d say that the worst parts of the show are when it dips into shoen stereotypes, or when it deviates from the manga. I’ve never read the manga, but you can tell which episodes and plot points are filler. In fact, the entire last section seems like the show was told midway that it wasn’t getting another season, so they decided to make their own ending. I fell that this show should have been 13 episodes, not 25. In terms of stereotypes, you have the big bobbed badass, the one teacher that’s actually a bad guy, mild sibling rivalry, and the love interest that’s all lollipops and rainbows. These aspects of the show really drag it down. I’m also not sure whether I should like or dislike Yukio. He seems like a tool, but I tend to give him a chance because Rin likes him. Same with Mephisto. Is he good? evil? chaotic neutral??

Watch it?: If you really want to know that the show’s about, skip to episode 3 (3/5)

MVP: Rin

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Who new the spawn of evil would be such a cool dude?

Best Episode: Ep.9 “Now a Certain Man Was Sick…” ( a good showcase of characters)

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High School DXD New

Type: The one with the boobs

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Synopsis: One day, this total loser got killed by this girl with big boobs he thought liked him. However, this turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him. Because right as he was dying, he was turned into a demon by a Demon Princess with even bigger boobs. Then he got dragon powers or whatever, that’s not important. What is important is that now, the loser’s life revolves around boobs. This is just a continuation of his story.

Pros: I remember really liking the first High School DXD. This fan service comedy really struck a cord with me, mostly because of the boob jokes. What can I say, I am a simple man. Now, maybe because I watched the first season censored, but I believe the nudity game was raised this season. Every dang episode has a bare boob in it. This season still deals with Devils, the Church, and Fallen Angels, but these factions become much more defined. We’re also introduced to a new potential love interest in the form of Xenovia (a exorcist), and we get more back story for Kiba and Akeno. It’s on par with the first season, but sometimes all you need is a good boob joke.

Cons: I really feel that the Sacred Gear concept is out of place in this primarily boob driven anime. They felt very shoen to me, almost like the show was trying to sell me a toy. I’m not sure that the mature audience for a show about demon girls smothering their boobs on a guy’s face would buy toys. The season has two arcs, one about the church vs fallen angels, and the other about a new vampire character. It was interesting to see the main character teach someone else, but the show is seriously veering to overflow character status. The main difference in this season was that Rise and Akeno were legitimately starting to fall in love with the protagonist. The harem is forming.

Watch it?: How maybe times did I say “boobs” (3/5)

MVP: Akeno Himejima
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Seriously stepped up her seduction game

Best episode: Ep.10 “Various Three-way Deadlocks!” (lap-pillow!)
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Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I, II, III

Type: Egg of the King, The Battle of Doldrey, The Advent

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Summary: So these three movies are based on an anime which is based on a manga that’s been going on for over 20 years. Before you start being impressed, note that it publishes irregularly, so there are only about 300-ish chapters. It’s not One Piece, but maybe quality beats quantity? But for those of your still too lazy to read, these three movies summarize the best part of the story, the one with gross demons, gross humans, and generally gross turn of events.

Pros: Berserk, specifically this part of the Berserk story, is basically Game of Thrones made in Japan. Evil knights, scheming friends, sex and nudity, magical subplots, intriguing tragedy, the whole magilla. You follow Gutz, a loner mercenary who gets charmed by the beautiful Griffith to join his band of mercs, The Hawks. That’s part 1. Part 2 deals with the Gutz’s growing relationship with Casca, the only female Hawk. Part 3 is largely about the downfall of Griffith and the Hawks, and the dark events that lead to the rest of Berserk. The ultimately tragic tale of Gutz, Griffith, and Casca is at the very heart of this show.  A solid dark fantasy story with surprisingly striking art work. Fans of Hard-R medieval stories will get a kick out of this.

Cons: Everything wrong that’s wrong with Game of Thrones is wrong in Berserk, but with an even more Japanese kind of way. Ultra violent (though not a much as the manga), truly horrific demons, rape, incest, a general cynical view of the world, and even worse roles for women. At least Thrones has Aria, Brienne of Tarth. I mean, Casca’s strong (sometimes), but she ain’t taking down no Hound anytime soon. Plus there’s the whole…maybe I shouldn’t mention it…fuck it: Casca get brutally raped by demons. That’s a thing that happens in the story, she become a simplistic invalid, and it’s disgusting. Like I said, it’s Japanese dark fantasy. The anime also uses a mixture of 3-D and 2-D animation which gives its a unique look and works…sometimes. Mostly for scenes involving the main characters. Then there’s the fact that this is just a retread of the original anime instead of exploring some of the other arcs in the manga, though this is admittedly the most interesting.

Watch it?: Only if you have a strong stomach

MVP: Puck

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He’s not in the story, but I love that little guy

Best Moment: Making references to the rest of Berserk in the opening title was a nice touch.

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Blood-C

Type: It’s all a big scam!

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Synopsis: So this is one of those shows were the twist makes it a lot more interesting in hindsight. Saya, a half-demon (I think, they don’t really make it clear), is captured an put in a slice-of-life Truman Show that happens to have man-eating demons. So Soya and the audience is tricked into thinking she’s just a normal small town girl who kills demons at night, until halfway through the show, when shit goes crazy!

Pros: Right off the bat, the fight scenes are the strongest aspect of the show. Go look these up if you can. Saya is a bad-ass, and the demons she fought were pretty cool. In addition, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really liked Saya’s school uniform. I normally don’t notice clothes designs, but the red and black really stood out. On that note, I also liked the contrast between the shojo-like character designs (pale skins, long limbs, stylish hair) and the show’s bloody core. It worked nicely with the plot of the show.

Cons: If you’re not a fan of gore, then you are not a fan of this. It’s called “Blood-C” for a reason. Even my censored version viewing was a bit much. The early episodes of Blood-C are kinda slow, because the first half is dedicated to showing Saya’s school life, and the second to her monster of the week. It’s not until episode 6, when her friends start getting attacked, that that show really gets into high gear. It has a slow manga-esque beginning, which doesn’t really work for an anime with only twelve episodes. As stated above, this is the kind of show that get way more fun to watch if you know the big twist before hand, because you can see how exactly Saya is being tricked. I feel that the show would have been elevated if the events of the entire series had been condensed into eight episodes, with the rest dedicated to the aftermath instead of separating that part into a movie. I really would have liked to spend more time with the “real” Saya.  Also, there’s a talking dog in this and I’m still unclear as to why.

Watch it?: It’s a mess, but its a mess with potential (4/5)

MVP: The Character Design

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These people look way too cool for this type of show

Best Episode: Ep.11 “Whom Then are There Now” (The cake is a lie!)

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Ah My Goddess! Flights of Fancy

Type: Also known as Season 2

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Synopsis: Keiichi is basically still living the swell life. After somehow ending up with the goddess Belldandy and her two not-so-wicked sister, Urd and Skuld, he’s more or less adjusted. He and Belldandy even manage to get closer on an emotional level, which is cool I guess. I mean, this kinda comes back to bite them when Urd’s mother, the LORD OF TERROR, decides to mess with them because why not? Can their love overcome the devil herself!? (Spoilers: Yeah, probably).

Synopsis: The animation seems to have gotten a bit of an upgrade between seasons, but not by much. I liked this season’s plot better than the first season. Aside from a few fluff episodes, the core story for season 2 is the growing intimacy between Keiichi and Belldandy, specifically on Belldandy’s side. This season, Belldandy experiences jealousy and possessiveness for the first time (she also gets drunk, which is always funny). Keiichi and Belldandy’s relationship are given several tests time around, and Belldandy’s new feelings boost the drama. Don’t get me wrong, this ain’t Days of Our Lives or anything, but I’m glad Belldandy and Keiichi were back to being the focus of the show after the lackluster second half of season 1. I also forgot to mention this last time, but I love the scottish influenced opening melody.

Cons: Again, nothing too bad or good. Aside from Keiichi and Belldandy, the other side stories are the inner turmoil between Urd’s goddess and demon sides, and a mini-arc about Skuld’s first love. A lot of episodes are still skippable, and you will most likely want to skim through a lot of this. Also, and I forgot the mention this last time, but this series has the weird habit of ending the plot two episodes early, meaning we essentially get two extra episodes for finales. That’s just weird.

Watch it!?: Did you know that Manga lasted 26 years? (3/5)

MPV: Belldandy

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She was rounded out a bit more

Best Episode: Ep.20 “Ah! It Doesn’t Matter Where, So Long as We’re Together!” (there’s nothing quite as romantic as a private dance together).

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Ah! My Goddess

Type: Sometimes pronounced “Oh!”

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Synopsis: Some college shumck strikes the lottery by accidentally calling a “goddess help line.” Surprisingly, this wasn’t a sex thing, because an actual goddess shows up to grant him a wish. He offhandedly wishes that the pretty goddess would stay with him forever, which forces this trans-dimensional being to be shackled to our mortal plain. But she’s cool with it. The duo  live out the rest of their days in psudo-marriged life, complete with in-laws and relatives.

Pros: This was a pretty good love-comedy. The first seven episodes were a solid relationship show, barring the fact that most of the emotional anxiety came from the male side. You care more about Keiichi and Belldandy as a result. They actually had a scene were they just talked to each other all night, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in an anime. Episodes 8-12 introduce a second goddess named Urd. She plays the sexy one, but the show doesn’t strays into harem territory, which was actually surprising. Episodes 12-26 introduce a third goddess, Skuld, who I could have lived without, expect for the fact that she was really good in one episode. This was overall a pretty tepid show, with not real frills, but you can burn through it pretty fast in a fast food kind a way.

Cons: Nothing good, nothing bad. Average. You can skip a few episodes without missing anything. There were a few characters I disliked. Skuld’s kid act could get annoying. The snobby girl Sayoko was largely pointless. There’s also a demon bottle at one point that was pretty racist. Pretty super racist. As mentioned above, I felt that the added characters diluted the Keiichi and Belldandy story. Maybe if the other goddesses had popped in every once in a while instead of staying permanently, it would have worked better. Still, I liked the show overall.

Watch it: Easy watch (3/5)

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MVP: Keiichi and Belldandy

I hope these crazy kids make it

Best Episode: Ep. 26 “Ah! Being an Adult is Heart-Throbbing?” (The one time Skuld was watchable)

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Inu x Boku SS

Type: Right on Time for Valentine’s

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Synopsis: A young girl named Ririchiyo Shirakiin moves into a high security hotel because her bad attitude and smart mouth have isolated her from the rest of society. This was mostly caused by years of psychological scarring due to neglect and bullying, but that’s beside the point. Actually, that’s totally the point because in this story Ririchiyo meets Soshi, her new bodyguard and first person to sincerely care about her. Oh yeah, and everyone’s a demon. That’s kinda important.

Pros: This show has some solid gags and gets pretty romantic at times. I’m specifically referring to episode 11, which really caught me by surprise. I never thought a butler’s backstory would be so engrossing, and I’ve read the comic where Alfred the butler fought Nazis during WWII. Since the show mostly takes place in a hotel, we get a menagerie of different characters. My particular favorites were Nobara, who always shouted “Maniac!” at cute things, the deadpan Karuta, and the self-proclaimed sadist Kagero. Ririchiyo and Soshi were no slouches either. Ririchiyo’s haughty attitude was hilarious, and Soshi’s over the top duty towards her always mad me laugh.

Cons: The show can be kinda slow at times. It can get a bit “slice-of-life” at times. A lot of this is to reiterate the important plot points. Or really the one important plot point about Ririchiyo’s self-imposed rude behavior. It seems that in order to protect herself from being hurt emotionally, Ririchiyo developed a sharp tongue, something she hopes to rectify. So, as the show points out, she’s not a “Tsundere,” but a “Tsunshun” (someone whose rude on purpose). The demon aspect seems a bit superflous, it actually becomes really important later on in original manga story.

Watch it?: Liked where it was going, looking forward to another season (4/5)

MVP: Nobara Yukinokōji

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Maniac

Best Episode: Ep.11 “Kagero” (It’s like The Lake House)

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Chrono Crusade

Type: Kinda like Fullmetal Alchemist, but not

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Synopsis: The year is 1928, see? The Church of Mary Magdalene fights demons in the mean streets of New York, see? One of their star members is Sister Rosette, see? She wears a highly inappropriate high-cut skirt for a nun and teams up with a devil named Chrono, see? Their looking for Rosette’s brother who was taken by this guy whose basically Satan, see? At some point they also team up with a cute apostle and busty bounty hunter, see? I hope you were reading this in an Edward G. Robinson voice, see?

Pros: This is a very solid action anime. I was particularly partial to the American setting, since I had a reference for the scope of the conflict. When they mentioned Denver, I knew their problems were for real. The version I saw was in English, and I must say, Chrono Crusade had some very stellar voice acting. Sometimes dubs are just phoned in, but you could really tell that the actors where giving it their best. The voice actresses for Rosette and Satella impressed me in particular with their wide range of emotions. The relationship between the eventual foursome of Rosette, Chrono, Satella, and Azmaria was very fun, and the eventual romance between Rosette and Chrono felt earned.This show also had a particularly slimy antagonist in Aion, whose smugness really made you want to punch him.

Cons: Well, you see, that is to say, the thing is….there is nothing particularly wrong with the show. It was honestly a solid manga-based anime. But there was just something missing that kept it from being more memorable. This thing really reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist, especially with Rosette being such a hot-head, while Chrono was so calm. But I can’t really call Chrono Crusade better. I enjoyed it for what it was, but it didn’t wow me. The anime actually diverges from the manga, so maybe that’s what made it feel vanilla. The ending was also kinda a downer.

Watch it?: A good show with great voice acting. Not a must see, but still entertaining (3/5) 

MVP: Aion

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He’s such a sleeze!

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “Hellhound” & Ep.18 “Photograph” (one’s funny, one’s sweet)

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The Sacred Blacksmith

Type: Should really have been called “The Knight Cecily”

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Synopsis: Basically, it’s about this Knight named Cecily Cambell. It’s her first day, and she gets totally owned by some random bum. She’s saved by this rude blacksmith named Luke, but is really impressed by his unique sword called a “katana,” and wants him to make her one. Then we all forget about this when the concept of Demon Swords are introduced, which are superpowered swords that turn into pretty girls because why not. There’s also this Old God named Valbanill whose curse became the foundation for modern society, but that’s beside the point.

Pros: I really liked Cecily Cambell. She had a real rookie hero charm to her, and you can’t help but root for her. She’s actively heroic, and lives up to the idea of Knighthood. The action started off a bit dull, but gets reeved up a notch when the Demon Swords are introduced. There are three story arcs, and I found the second one involving Charlotte E. Firobisher the best because it allowed Cecily to shine the most. The characters were likable, their dynamic was solid, and the humor landed well.

Cons: I disliked the fact that Cecily had to always be saved by Luke at the beginning, but the show does justify this by A) pointing out that Cecily is just starting out, and B) making Cecily more bad-ass as the show progresses. By the end of the first arc, Cecily is more or less able to hold her own. Aside from that, the show tends to gloss over characters that aren’t the main cast. I also felt that the show should have but in more effort when exploring Luke’s backstory. It was also weird that Cecily still wanted a Katana after all-but-mastering her own Demon Sword. Just saying.

Watch it?: Solid Anime with a valiant female lead. (4/5)

MVP: Cecily Cambell

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Since she’s a Knight, wouldn’t she be Lady Cambell?

Best Episode: Ep. 8 Departure -Resolution- (3 vs 1)

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