Tag Archives: English Dubbed

Tenchi Forever! The Movie [Tenchi Universe Trilogy]

Type: You’re saying that my grandfather’s girlfriend has the hots for me!?

Synopsis: I’m starting to develop some emotional discomfort due to all these inappropriate advances by female relatives and friends.

Pros: Ok, so Tenchi Forever! The Movie, also known as Tenchi Muyo in Love 2: Distant Memories, is the final movie and story in the Tenchi Universe cannon. So of course it ends with Tenchi finally getting laid. By his grandpa’s dead lover. Yeah. You know, it’s kinda weird that the least sexy Tenchi Muyo shows end up getting Tenchi to make more romantic progress than the original OVA’s. Tenchi in Tokyo shows us Tenchi’s first kiss. And this movie showed us Tenchi’s first sexual experience. I’m focusing on this a little because this movie is fairly melodramatic and mature compared to every other entry in the series. In the story, Tenchi disappears for 6 months, and all the girls separate in an effort to find him. The pairing we see the most of is Ryoko and Ayeka, who become roommates during their search. While they do bicker, this is the best portrayal of their friendship, as they provide emotional support for one another after, essentially, the loss of a love one. Speaking of which, I liked the way that Tenchi was removed from his weird life of aliens into a more intimate life with a girlfriend, something that was NOT handled well in Tench in Tokyo. We see an older and more self-assured Tenchi, who really knew how to rock long hair.

Cons: The instigator of Tenchi’s disappearance was Haruna, Tenchi’s grandfather’s old lover and the reason why he left Jurai in the first place in this cannon. She was fine, and her design was pretty, but I had a though when watching this. The concept of Tenchi being stuck in a parallel world with a lover is great, but I would have changed the girl he was with. Instead of Haruna, it should have been Ayeka. Because despite Ayeka being one of the main love interest, she always plays second fiddle to Ryoko. So what better way to explore her underdeveloped character than by having her take the initiative and create her ideal world with Tenchi. It would have been a great spotlight on her character, and helped develop new layers to the love triangle between Ryoko, Ayeka, and Tenchi…I should probably also mention that Tenchi was basically brainwashed into being in a sexual relationship with a stranger, and that this would 100% not work if the genders where reversed.

Watch it?: No real finality, but an interesting  attempt at a more serious Tenchi Muyo story

MVP: Tenchi’s long hair

I mean, just look at it.

Best Moment: The Reveal that Tenchi was drawing Ryoko’s picture too (true love shatters any illusion!)

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Tenchi the Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness [Tenchi Universe Trilogy]

Type: My daughter has the hots for me!?

Synopsis: Wait, that wasn’t my idea!

Pros: So this one is about a girl that says she’s the daughter of Tenchi and crashes the Masaki household around Christmas time. So this is really just a Christmas special. The self proclaimed daughter, Mayuka, isn’t all that interesting and can be irritating with her child like antics. What was most interesting what everyone’s reaction to her, especially Ryoko. Ryoko’s often the most reactive to romantic rivals (that was her entire arc in Tenchi in Love) so she’s allowed to act out more by the writers. This eventually culminates in a shocking moment that even had me go “whoa.” And I’ll admit, more a moment I did think that Mayuka really was Tenchi’s daughter from the future or something, and all her scenes with the other girls had me playing “guess the baby mama.”

Cons: Mayuka is annoying. Mayuka is very annoying. She’s got a woman’s body but a child’s mind. I’m not talking about a 17 year old mind. I’m talking about like 5 year old’s mind. Her childish demeanor was meant to be a hint to her real origins, but it didn’t make all the fan service any less creepy. By the way, this is NOT a movie. It’s a Christmas OVA. It’s one hour and doesn’t really reveal or change much. I know that the story implies that Mayuka is reborn as an actual child, but the events of the next film contradict this.

Watch it?: I’d say no, but that Ryoko moment has to be seen

MVP: Ryoko

If you haven’t realized, I really like Ryoko

Best moment: The Ryoko-Mayuka living room scene (Damn!)

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Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love [Tenchi Universe Trilogy]

Type: You mean my mom has the hots for me!?

Synopsis: Man, this is heavy.

Pros: I mean really, this is just Back to the Future. This is part of a series of movies that I like to refer to as the “Tenchi Universe Trilogy,” or Tenchi Universe Season 2. Sorta how like the Futurama movies are all considered Season 5. The Tenchi Universe series isn’t my personal favorite in the franchise, but it is the most accessible. This one explore the issue of Tenchi’s mother. A bad guy tries to kill Tenchi’s family by attacking Tenchi’s mom in the past, so Tenchi in the gang have to go to the past to make sure that Tenchi isn’t erased from existence. This was pretty cool, and I liked Achika Masaki better than Kiyone Masaki, Techi’s mother from the OVA series. Mostly because Kiyone wasn’t given much screen time. I also really liked Ryoko, as I always do, and she had a pretty slick, if brief, but of fight animation. In fact, since this was a movie, it has pretty good animation in general.

Cons: The movie is fine for what it is, but is doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t play around with the 1970’s setting. It doesn’t play around with the idea of time travel much. But worse, it doesn’t really explore Achika outside of her early relationship with Tenchi’s dad. She isn’t really a character, she’s a Mcguffin. The only real emotional conflict comes from Tenchi trying hard to protect his mother, who he never really talks to in the movie. Which sucks because we could have gotten interesting interactions with Achika, Ryoko and Ayeka. We could have seen how Teanchi’s grandfather behaved as a father to a young woman. Or we could have just gotten a story of Achika’s daily life. Her status as at least a part-alien living on Earth with a royal lineage strongly mirror’s Tenchi’s life, and we could have seen them bond over their unique situations. Kinda a waste of potential at the end of the day. (p.s. There was also this bad guy that wasn’t really the antagonist who was really there to misdirect the audience and died a useless death).

Watch it?: If you like Tenchi Universe, then sure

MVP: Achika’s brief power ups

She also got the final hit on the bad guy.

Best Moment: Ryoko’s brief fight scenes (Ryoko deserves a killer fight scene!)

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Akiba’s Trip: The Animation

Type: Gonzo’s 25th Anniversary special!

Synopsis: Akihabara, the city of Otoku dreams! Well, really its a small area in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo that mainly sells electronic goods. But really really, its a place where Japanese nerds can hang out. Which is cool, until bugged out aliens try to ruin it by introducing things like employment and girlfriends. Screw that! I got figurines to buy!!

Pros: Here’s a fun fact. Apperantly, Akiba’s Trip was one of the first anime that Funimation tried to silmudub with the Japanese release. When you think about it, it’s not that surprising. The anime is a fairly straightforward comedy show. While it is based on a video game, the show’s main focus is showcasing the various hobbies that Otoku tend to obsess over. Things like guns, idols, fighting games, card games, and even audio equipment for some reason. A lot of the episodes are really just fun stand alone stories where our male protagonist Tomatsu falls deep into a different Otoku hole while his friends sorta watch (his life’s dream is to live off “unearned income). What ties all the stories together is the sub plot where our heroes, dubbed “Electric Mayonnaise” have to protect Akiba by stripping their enemies of clothing (the actual goal of the original game). So you get some nerd lessons and some fan service, what’s not to love!

Cons: This anime was released in 2017, but it feels a lot older. We haven’t really seen this level of silly story telling in a while. At least, not one set outside of a high school. The show could even be described as cartoonish at times. Shades of Excel Saga even, though nowhere near as irreverent. Not that I’m complaining. I loved the humor, right down to watching an entire episode revolve around getting good at Street Fighter. Knowing that this anime was meant to celebrate Gonzo’s 25th anniversary, you can really understand why so many Otoku references and Easter eggs are crammed in here. I’m guessing it’s the studio’s way of thanking the very fan base that allowed them to survive all this time. I mean, the last episode is basically a commercial for why Akiba and Otoku are so great. Not that the show is perfect mind you. The enemies are all forgettable, and Matome largely becomes a side character after her introduction, despite being the female lead. But overall, it’s a fun show that you can watch or put on as background music.

Watch it?: Honestly, it’s a lot of fun (4/5)

MVP: Tomatsu

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For some reason, I really resonated with this character…

Best Episode: Ep.9 “Whoa, I battled with Game Cards!” (all the episodes are great, but as a old fan of Yugioh, this one hit home)

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Love Tyrant

Type: It’s amazing how quickly they abandon their original premise.

Synopsis: The show is about a notebook that makes couples, not corpses. No! It’s about three new angels how have to foster love or lose their souls. No! It’s about a generational divide between mothers and daughters. No! It’s about a socipath corrupting a young cupid. No! It’s a harem. Wait! It’s all these things and more!!!

Pros: Love Tyrant is a manga based anime with a bit of a muddled plot. The gist is that the cupid Guri creates a love contract with a boy named Seiji, which eventually includes the yandere Akane and her obsessive sister Yuzu. The humor comes from the mixing of these four very different personalities, with Seiji playing the straight man. The show emphasizes the “comedy” part of love-comedy more so than other shows. It gives Love Tyrant a bit more of a unique taste than it’s fellows in the genre. My particular favorite running joke was the characters forgetting what the premise for the show was (i.e. that they have to make couples or lose their souls). I also liked it when Akane violent rage played off against Guri’s playful personality. In fact, Akane and Guri’s over the top personalities make them some of the strongest characters I’ve seen in any harem. Each of the females main cast have interesting backstories involving a struggle between heaven and hell and a family drama, with Seiji acting as an audience inaugurate whose along for the ride, which is what a good harem show should try to shoot for.

Cons: As stated above, you do forget what the original premise is. It’s not crucial to the show, but still. The only episode that really follows the premise is episode 2, so of course it’s the weakest episode. I highly recommend skipping that episode (it involves a student-teacher relationship, which makes it unfunny and icky). And the show doesn’t really break the love-comedy mold. It just stretches it to add more irreverent humor. Stabbings, parodies, boys-love, the show is just a very funny harem show. Oh! And I forgot to mention one of the best characters in a show of great characters: Shikimi. Shikimi is the primary antagonist of the show, and is so delightfully evil, it’s great! Shikimi is Akane’s cousin, and almost always steals the show with her manipulative personality and sadistic nature. The show makes you feel scared of her, but also strangely attracted. The only real bummer is that the show may not get a second season, which sucks because the next story arc fully introduces and explores Akane, Yuzu, and Guri’s mother.

Watch it: The manga’s great too! (4/5)

MVP: Shikimi

While Akane is best girl, Shikimi can’t not be the best.

Best Episode: Ep.10 “I’m Here to Stay the Night x I’m… Growing Up, Too” (slumber party!)

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Masamune-kun’s Revenge

Type: The kind you shouldn’t think too hard about

Synopsis: Because really, a show where our hero’s mission is to essentially seduce a girl for the purposes of cruelly breaking her heart is something a sociopath would do for sexual gratification.

Pros: Ok, to be fair for what is stated above, our protagonist Masamune has a reason for doing this, immature are it may be. When he was younger, Masamune was “rejected” by his childhood crush Aki “because of his weight.” I use quotation marks because we all know this is a big misunderstanding. And if you didn’t, well, sorry. Masamune dedicates himself to becoming physically attractive in order to launch his “dead of love” plan, where he’ll make Aki fall in love with him and then dump her like she did him. Two interesting story points come from this. One, Masamune’s reactions to being treated differently because he’s good looking, which the show doesn’t really play with enough. I know that this is because Masamune doesn’t really blame others for his previous appearance and unpopularity (he was a bit of a snob), but a little social commentary would have been nice. And two, Masamune’s incredible inexperience with girls makes him flustered every time he gains a step forward in his seduction plan. That were the comedy in this love comedy comes from. So while this in no way revolutionizes the genre, it’s a funny little show with a novel gimmick.

Cons: The show has pretty typical light novel slight ups, which is weird because this is based on a manga. Are we finally reaching the convergence points where light novels and manga become one!? By saying this, I mean that characters aren’t really explored all that much. For example, we don’t really get to know a lot about Aki despite technically being the main heroine. All we know is that she’s rich, eats a lot, is a mega tsundere, and hates all men because her childhood crush left her without saying goodbye (I’m sure that’s in no way related to our main story, let’s just forget I mentioned it). She’s know as the “cruel princess,” because she enjoys rejecting all would be suitors harshly, but the show also tries to make her out to be a kind girl at heart. Like, she’ll call your penis small, but she’ll also pay for your therapy bills. She’s portrayed inconsistently is what I’m saying. And at 12 episodes, the show only really covers one story arc, the Neko Fujinomiya arc, were a pretty girl comes to vie for Masamune’s affections while not being completely honest with him. Masamune’s suspicious of Neko’s true intentions are suppose to mirror that of Aki’s towards him, but he doesn’t really learn anything from it. In fact, by the end he decides to double down! Which is weird, because in the dub he literally says “if this girl wasn’t such a liar, we could have had something real.”  Of course, being a girl in an anime, Neko’s motivations are more innocent than Masamune’s (she was sick, which is why she was so secretive). Still, it’s a funny light show if your in the mood for that.

Watch it?: Yeah, but never forget that this is a show were a teenage girl is being emotionally manipulated into having feelings for a boy for his own selfish satisfaction. (4/5)

MVP: Masamune

You’re a psycho, but your misadventures entertain me.

Best Episode: Ep.8 “It’s Not You” (Does Masamune go for the busty girl who totally wants to jump his bones, or stick to his plan to traumatize a chick that dumped him with he was 10? Anime is sometimes exhausting.)

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Eureka Seven: AO

Type: All you need is the original.

Synopsis: A blue haired boy joins a peace keeping organization in order to stop giant coral reef aliens from blowing up. This is in contrast to his father, who joined a pirate ship in order to hit on a pretty girl. But since the father had more episodes to play with, his comes out to be the more interesting story.

Pros: This anime is difficult to talk about because it had a lot of potential. The protagonist is the rare son of former protagonists whose following his own story instead of continuing the previous story. The setting is a slightly altered version of the real world, fought with political commentary. And the mecha are mainly piloted by pretty teenage girls. Later on in the series, the show even introduces the idea of alternate realities and time travel just to add a little bit of sci-fi spice into the story. An adult Eureka and Renton also show up in this story, so fans who saw the 2005 show as teens can now see their old heroes as grown ups like them. The show is at it’s most interesting when it explores all these factors, especially the last two. It’s just a shame that it fumbles it all so badly.

Cons: I’ve been doing this review thing for a while, but I still lack the words needed to communicate exactly what went wrong with this series. Because on paper it has everything it needs to succeed. It ticks all the generic anime mecha boxes: a boy pilot with daddy issues, robots that can only be piloted by teen girls, not so subtle jabs at American foreign policy, and psudo bulsh$t sci-fi. It’s also a sequel to a well known (kind of) show. But it all feels…hallow. The show has no soul. It all felt too by the numbers, nothing felt earned, and it never took that extra step after a big twist or reveal. “Betrayals” are almost immediately reversed, only one important character dies, romances are only hinted at, and the alternate reality stuff is not explored nearly enough. They don’t even show Eureka raising Ao by herself to understand why Ao loves her so much and resents his father. This is going to sound weird from a guy who likes to keep things light, but the show is just not mean enough. Eureka Seven was mean. Renton was beaten repeatedly by his own side! Holland kicked his 14 year old whining behind constantly, because he was not a father, he was a pirate. Eureka didn’t fall for him immediately, she didn’t even like him that much until 25 episodes in. And the kids of the show were plagued with all these new feeling that they didn’t know how to handle because they were teenage kids, while the adults were haunted by their past actions and still didn’t know who to handle certain emotions. But in AO, everyone loves AO. All the adults are extra nice to him, all the girls eventually have crushes on him, and Ao even forgives his dad after like a 5 minute skirmish. We never get to see Ao deal with the smaller, confusing moments in life that would make the audience empathize with him. He’s never shown to be weak, or rash, or awkward, or selfish. All this actually made me dig a little, and it turns out that the show was directed by the same guy who did Eureka Seven, Tomoki Kyoda, but not written by the same guy (Dai Sato). This would explain the dissonance I got while watching it. I’ll be honest, part of the reason why this show annoyed me was because Eureka Seven was one of my shows. An early anime that caught me as a teenager that I would watch at 4:30 am-5:30am before going to Calculus morning classes. It’s a show I’m very familiar with, and its sequel just does not satisfy me at all.

Watch it?: Let me summarize my points: you don’t sympathize with the protagonist, the plot is rushed, too many ideas are crammed in, you only get excited for the parts when Eureka and Renton show up for their one respective episode, you’re still left with a bunch of questions about what happened to everyone else in the original show (like Eureka and Renton’s other adopted kids) and the show has the gall to save the interesting alternate reality stuff for an online-only episode. (3/5)

MVP: Eureka and Renton

Sorry Ao, but your parents are just more interesting

Best Episode: Ep.13 “She’s a Rainbow” (hey, it’s Eureka!)

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Tsugumomo

Type: When your mom’s friend starts to hit on you.

Synopsis: In Japan, there’s this myth that if an item is possessed by a spirit, it gains self-awareness, often with the caveat that the item has to be 100 years old. In anime, characters often use anthropomorphized items as weapons/lover, especially when their human form is a cute girl. However, this become a bit awkward when the demon items are passed own the generations, and they start to tease you with their naughty bits.

Pros: Tsugomomo is what you would call a great commercial for the manga. I say this with no malice. In 12 episodes, the anime sets up the plot, the world’s rules, and provides you with enough sizzle to want more. In the show, a young man inherits his mother’s obi, a sash, that is actually a demon possessed item (a tsukumogami). They end up fighting together against the recent increase in evil tsukumogami and spirits. Of course, the obi takes the human form of a cute girl and Kiriha, whose power level determines her body shape. So she can become a mature beauty, or loli jail bait, but either way she’s still a flirty hot head. The protagonist, Kazuya, is surrounded buy spiritually inclined women, from a chibi-God to a well-endowed servant, to a thirsty child hood friend, making this a harem show as well. And boy, they do take advantage of that. And it always, ALWAYS, caught me off guard. I mean, just don’t expect that many blowjob jokes in a anime manga series, yet here we are.

Cons: In 12 episodes, you only get an introduction to the world. In a lesser show, the “read the manga” ending would be irksome. But this show is of a quality that it can get away with that. It has the right mix of action and comedy to keep you entertained. The only this it doesn’t do well is drama. Because the show is pretty light hearted, both in tone and art style, the more dramatic moments don’t land. For example, in one episode Kazuya and Kiriha have to stop a wig tsukumogami from attacking students. The big reveal was that the tsukumogami is possessing the dead corpse of a young girl who killed herself after her friends mercilessly bullied her for liking a boy. Pretty dark stuff, but none of it has any impact because you still have Kazuya and Kiriha bickering like an old married couple. So don’t watch this for the stakes. Watch it for the fun stories and characters, serviceable action, curb ball episodes, and moments that make you say “did I just see that!?”

Watch it?: I’m probably ganna read the manga later (4/5)

MVP: Kiriha

I loved that her speech patters where so formal, yet so rude

Best Episode: Ep.8 “A Certain Day in the Kagami Household/The Super Popular Fragrance” (a silent episode and and echii episode, what more could anyone ask for!)

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Dagashi Kashi

Type: A show about nothing, nothing but Penny Candy!

Synopsis: Candy shop. Check. Manic Pixie girl, check. Manic Pixie girl with big boobs. Check.

Pros: Maybe not that simple, but come on! The opening sets the tone for the entire series. How is Hotaru, the resident pixie girl introduced? First doing a backwards bow, second by hugging her breasts. That’s kinda how the show treats Hotaru, as a sexy weirdo. She’s not a bad character. In fact, she’s a super fun character. All manic pixies are. She’s an over the top candy fiend and her English voice actress plays her to perfection. I just wanted to point out what were dealing with here, because the anime is also super fun. It’s a slice of life anime that’s really light hearted and silly. Every episode explores a scenario set up by Hotaru using candy as a catalyst. I’m not sure if the penny candy is real or not, but if it is, it really reminds me of Mexican penny candy, down to the wrappers! But Hotaru’s antics only work if she has someone to play off of. Enter Kokonotsu, the male protagonist who Hotaru is trying to convince to take over his father’s dagashi shop. What I liked about Kokonotsu is that he’s very much a teenage boy. While he can play the typical “nice guy” protagonist, he’s still very well aware of Hotaru’s beauty, and would love to be more popular with girls, and goofs off with his best friends about pervy stuff from time to time. Both Kokonotsu and Hotaru make a good comedic pair, which all you need in a comedic anime.

Cons: On the surface, this show seems like a funny show with candy as a gimmick. But it’s actually a little pervy. Some of the jokes are definitely NSFW. Hotaru’s physique aside, they throw some dirty jokes at ya. Kokonotsu staring at Hotaru see through shirt I can understand. Hotaru being covered in “yogurt” is something else. A lot of verbal and visual innuendo going on here. So if your not into that type of humor, maybe look elsewhere. There are some sweet moments though, like when Kokonotsu’s dad complimented To, implying that maybe To’s dad isn’t round? Because you don’t really see alot of characters outside of the main cast. The only other thing to look out for is the fact that the anime doesn’t really “End.” It finishes. Whether or not Kokonotsu stays at the shop or leaves is not resolved, nor does he become a couple with Hotaru or childhood friend Saya. It’s a “read the manga” ending.

Watch it?: Almost as good as actual dagashi (4/5)

MVP: Hotaru

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How is candy so arousing?

Best Episode: Ep.4 “Fugashi, Fugashi, and… / Glico, Glico, and…” (the essesnce of Hotaru)

 

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Koro-Sensei Q

Type: From the makers of Dragon Quest (not really)

Synopsis: Did you know that Dragon Quest was originally known as “Dragon Warrior” in America? It wasn’t officially called it’s original name until Dragon Quest 8 in 2004. Speaking of that, did you also know that Nintendo released a version of DQ8 for the Nintendo 3DS? I head it has a few new features, and it’s a great way to experience the game if you didn’t get to it back in the day. Definitely one of the best entries in the series. YES, even better than Dragon Quest 5 and 7….oh right! The review. The anime is Assassination Classroom if it was a comedic RPG.

Pros: As stated before, I have a soft spot in my heart for comedic anime spin-off parodies. And this one was no different. The premise is exactly as stated before: Assassination Classroom if it was a comedic RPG. It’s Assassination Classroom without any of the drama. Aside from the setting and tone, everything else is the same. Koro-Sensei still “teaches” the misfits of Class-E under the idea that they will one day kills him. Only instead of being an alien, he’s a Demon King. Karasuma is a knight instead of a government agent, and Irina is a seductive witch instead of a seductive assassin. The show itself is fairly short, 10 minutes, with interstitial to break up the scenes.  Fans of the original series, or RPG spoofs, will get a kick out of it.

Cons: Like most parodies, viewers will need a passing familiarity with the original source materials to get the full experience. The jokes are mostly funny, although I do feel the rely more and more on boob jokes as the series goes on. Two characters get more of a spotlight this time around: Okajima and Ristu. Okajima’s lewdness is played more for laughs, and Ritsu is allowed to be more comedic this time around instead of cutesy. And, yeah, that’s about it.

Watch it?: It’s pretty solid overall. Funny and quick. (4/5)

MVP: Ritsu

If you ever have a question about continuity, a wizard did it.

Best Episode: Too short to really pick (but ep8 was a freaky friday riff!)

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