Tag Archives: Fighter

The Seven Deadly Sins

Type: “A Netflix Original”

sins

Synopsis: Giant! Fairies! Fan service! This is a tale set in a time before the worlds of human and magic were rend asunder, when Netflix was trying to get into the anime business. Crappy for normals trying to watch anime dubs in one convenient place (cough Funimation cough), but great for corporate petiness. That is the greatest sin!

Pros: Now this is an adventure anime! None of that unwanted preachy message that bogs down some other anime whose name shall not be mentioned (its Magi guys, I’m complaining about Magi). In this charmingly funny anime, a princess is on the run from Holy Knights that have taken over her Kingdom. Her only hope is to find the 7 Deadly Sins. Now, this isn’t a tale of a young woman’s spiral into hedonism (sorry pervs). The title “7 Deadly Sins” refers to 7 legendary warriors who were used as scapegoats by the Knights to take over the Kingdom. We get about 6 of the 7 sins, and the show does the smart thing of not giving them a real challenge until the second half of the season, emphasizing their skills and power. It also states that they aren’t even fighting at full strength due to missing their “sacred relics,” which allows these OP characters the possibility to lose. Th second half gives the Sins more of a challenge, and you get to see the sins fight more as a unit. I loved the whole “get the band back together” vibe of the show, and the writing was good enough that you got a sense of the personal dynamics between the group. And believe it or not, but an anime based on a manga actually ties up its story at the end!

Cons: While I loved the Sins and their fighting scenes, their powers sure do fluctuate for the sake of story convenience! One minute their beating the unbeatable enemy with no sweat, the next minute their near death against some jobber. On the topic of the Sins, the anime does the anime/manga things where the Sins aren’t actually guilty of their “sins.” The only thing they’re guilty of is feeling guilty about what their friends did. But being super cool guys, they take the punishment anyway. In fact, the worst thing they’re guilty of collectively is petty theft. And the show also does that thing where 99% of the bad guys aren’t bad guys at the end, despite killing a bunch of people (and it only really pulls it off for one of them). On a spoiler note: the show also did the thing where none of the good of bad guys died. So while I’d would argue that Magi tried a little too hard to be edgy, this anime tried a little too hard to have a happy ending. (oh! I forgot: quiet a but of groping here. At least at the start).

Watch it: I’d rather watch this on Netflix than that other thing (4/5)

MVP: Diane

nanatsu0702

The Friendly Giant

Best Episode: Ep.13 “Apostle of Destruction” (Giant Hammer!)

Tagged , , , , ,

Wanna Be the Strongest in the World

Type: Idol’s becoming wrestlers exposes the business!

20558

Synopsis: The angle is that An idol decides to become a wrestlers after one of the veterans insults a fellow idol. Classic babyface run, and the idol’s celebrity helps draw a pretty huge crowd. The only real drawback is that the idol is green as grass, but she’s given a mega-push because she’s semi-well known. BECAUSE ONCE AGAIN THE COMPANY DECIDES TO BACK SOMEONE THEY WANT OVER WRESTLERS WITH ACTUAL SKILL AND TALENT THAT THE FANS CHEER. #IF HAGIWARA WINS, WE RIOT.

Pros: This got me excited, because I am a HUGE wrestling fan. The anime follows the struggle of Sakura Hagiwara, a Japanese Idol who turns into a Pro Wrestler mostly out of pride. Believe it or not, the depiction of wrestling in this show is fairly accurate. Wrestlers are very defensive about their sport, which makes the set up of the anime feasible. And wrestling training is fairly intense, with many a pro-atheletes naming wrestling work outs one of the most grueling in the industry. And there is a lot of pride in wrestling locker rooms, which makes what Hagiwara goes through, from the 100 man throws to having to earn her first win, pretty indicative of the actual wrestling industry. In fact, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the 100 man throws test is an actual thing in Japanese wrestling. The story is surprisingly engrossing, as Hawigawa is given a “babyface,” or good guy story of the never-say-die fighter. She loses quiet a bit, which makes sense considering that she starts off as a singer, not a wrestler. The whole thing is played straight, and is a standard sports drama. And the actual action is made to look pretty good, though Hawigawa’s inner monologue does get repetitive. I liked it.

Cons: This is a boob anime. Which is fine in and of itself. But the show does its best to give you those crotch close-ups. And of course, a lot of the holds have the female wrestlers make a weirdly suggestive expression, blushing very much included. Perviness aside, the show has a lot of wrestlers that are sadly not fleshed out due to the short length of the series. So this anime become yet another fighting girl show with one-dimensional characters. The story follows 4 arcs: Sakura’s road to victory, a fight with the world champ, the introduction of Moe Fukuoka, and the battle with the mysterious Blue Panther. The Moe arc was the only one I wasn’t crazy about. Moe’s another rookie who want to become a wrestler, and is given the same treatment that Hawigawa was given, making it a bit repetitive. Not to mention that’s she’s more of a natural than Hawigawa, being a Karater champ, so there’s not real motivation to cheer for her growth. That’s another thing. Unlike in real life, the wrestling in this show is a shoot, meaning that the punches and grapples are very much meant knock out the opponent. This is kinda a shame, because I would have loved to see a show that talks about angles, and working ‘heel,” and putting guys over. But I that kind of show really would expose the business.

Watch it?: Even if I stifle my own bias, it’s still a solid show (3/5)

MVP: Sakura Hawigawa

DTU9u

Sakuramania is running wild!

Best Episode: Ep.3 “Give-up” (I marked out for this one)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture

Type: RISING TACKLE

800px-Garou_Densetsu_The_Motion_Picture_(Japanese_pamphlet)

Synopsis: Basically, a pizza delivery boy, a ninja, a boxer, and a blonde guy help a mysterious girl fight the god of war.

Pros: Fatal Fury, the movie, is possibly the best film adaptation of a fighting game. Well, aside from the Tekken movie. And the Mortal Kombat movie had its moments. All rights, its like the third best fighting game movie adaptation. Having nothing to do with the actual game story line, this film has Terry Bogart, Andy Bogart, Joe, and Mai fighting non-descript bad guys. The movie does a good job at animating each character’s special moves, and even throws in some camoes from other characters in the game. It’s all pretty dumb, don’t get me wrong, but dumb in that fighting game way, which is pretty cool.

Cons: Oh my god, we get it. Mai is super hot. Do we need that much boob jiggle? Although, I guess that’s game accurate. If you take your attention away from Mai for a minute, which Andy seems to have mastered, you’ll notice blatant animation dips. It was the 90’s. The story is…the story. But the biggest problem with the film is that, unless you have a working familiarity with the Fatal Fury universe, you won’t get a lot of the movie. Why is Terry the main hero? Why is Joe tagging along? Why is Andy not having sex with Mai right now? No, seriously. The lady has the biggest case of blue balls imaginable. But you won’t get that unless you know about the game story line.

Watch it: Yes, but keep in mind that this was made for the fans

MVP: Terry

620698_731707973524966_761701043_o

POWER GAISA

Best Moment: The whole crew fighting against the bad guy at the end (BURNING!!)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure

Type: Phantom Blood (ep01-09), Battle Tendencies (ep10-26)

j-stars-victory-vs

Synopsis: Part 1 stars an Englishman and his fight with his mean step-brother. Part 2 stars his grandson’s battles against old exhibitionists. I-I don’t know what so “bizzare” about it.

Pros: This anime is based on the extremely popular manga, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure. The manga has like a billion chapters and has been running for 30 years. So why haven’t you heard about it? Well, it lacks some of the cross-promotional appeal for the big North American distributers. Plus, the author likes to name his characters after Musicians, which is legally tricky as well. Oh yeah, and it’s f#$ing nuts! A guy popped out of a horse body once, and that was only episode 4! That being said, this adaptation of Jojo is amazing. It perfectly captures the weird and awesomely glam aspects of the manga. The animation style and color pallet really made it seem like you were watching the manga come to life. The gimmick behind the franchise, and the reason why it’s lasted so long, is because the series follows succeeding members of the “Joestar” family. Part 1 (my favorite arc) follows the noble Jonathan Joestar and his rivalry with Dio Brandon, one of the best antagonists of the series, and a complete asshole. In fact, part 1 has the strongest first episodes I’ve seen for a series in a while, almost serving as a stand alone story. Part 2 follows Jonathan’s grandson Joseph, whose more cocky and clever (and my personal favorite Joestar, and the only Joestar to survive to old age).  This anime was partly done in honor of Jojo’s 25th anniversary, and sorta works as a prequel to the 90’s adaptation of Part 3, which is most fan’s favorite story arc. So it has some noltalgia points there. Honestly, this is an amazing adaptation of a legendary manga series.

Cons: While I loved the animation style used, some people may find it a bit blocky. Inspired by manga panels, a lot of shots use freeze frames and close-ups. This doesn’t always translate well. Ditto for the dialogue. There a points in fights, especially in ep. 10-26, where a characters will give exposition for a particular move used, explaining it’s purpose and strategy. “Joseph just did X because of Y!” This is fine for a manga, but in an anime, it’s better to just show, not tell. And while the franchise is know for it’s offbeat humor and unique characters and situations, it’s still a fight-fight shoen anime. So you still get the fight arc, the training arc, the rematch arc, etc.

Watch it?: You need to experience Jojo at least once (5/5)

MVP: Dio Brandon

jojos_bizarre_adventure-01-dio_brando-antagonist-villain-lying-exposition

F@#$ING DIOOOOOOOOO

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Dio the Invader” (it’s like Jane Austen, but with punching)

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Inuyasha: The Final Act

Type: MIASMA. ALWAYS WITH THE MIASMA.

51nnI4etvxL._SX940_

Synopsis: In the ancient time of 2006, the anime Inuyasha premiered their final episode in America. This unfinished tale of a middle school girl and her half-dog demon companion was forever banished to extremely early morning time slots, fit for angry loners and joyful stoners. Little did anyone know that for some reason, someone decided that Inuyasha of all things would be the one to be given a proper final season. Not Rurouni Kenshin, not Rave Master, not Bobobobobo. Inuyasha. Weird.

Pros: I have a particular relationship with Inuyasha because I happen to be awake when it aired its reruns early in the morning. So I happen to have seen all of the original series. I knew that, again for some reason, the show was given a proper final season. I only just got around to it, however, because I found a dubbed version. Overall, while a lot stays the same, e.g. random monsters of the week, convenient deus ex machinas, and an admittedly linear story line, I really liked The Final Act. Given only 26 episodes, the anime doesn’t have time to drag its feet with fight scenes or plot points. This thing moves, so much so, that I almost wish every Shoen anime was given such limited time. It make some story events feel more important, and I think it may have actually made me like the main characters more. Shesshomaru and Sango in particular. It also benefits from updated animation, making it look crisper and glossier. And while this isn’t the anime I would have done this for, its nice to see Inuyasha, Kagome, Sango, and Miroku get a deserved farewell.

Cons: Even though the anime fixes the biggest Shoen problem of streeeeeching its scenes, Inuyasha still has a lot of its original negatives. Their are still so many random demons, new characters, and bland story lines. Every story line basically boils down to: they gatta kill Noraku, Miasma, they can’t, Miasma, Inuyasha learns a new fight move, Miasma, he hurts Noraku, Miasma, oh no! Noraku still escapes, Miasma. Rinse and repeat and Miasma. However, I feel that the story is helped tremendously by its relatively short episode count, which forces certain important plot points to manifest about every 2-3 episodes, which helps to cover up some of the work’s trademark flaws. On a less objective topic, apparently, the a lot of the original cast was replace for this dub, so you purist might not dig that (though I couldn’t tell the difference). Also, and obviously, if you haven’t watched the original, you will have no flipping clue what the hell is happening in this thing.

Watch it?: If you saw Inuyasha, Miasma (4/5)

MVP: Naraku

inuyashaTAF01

Spamming Miasma since 1996

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “Kagura’s Wind,” and Ep.24 “Naraku’s Uncertain Wish” (One for a sad death, the other for a verbal slap in the face, ouch!)

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Date A Live

Type: The Inter-Dimensional Dating Game!

44844l

Synopsis: In a world where horrible space quakes destroy cities and ruin families, one man can make a difference. This man is Shido Itsuka, who has the unknown ability of having a kind of good face and adequate breath. With the aid of his manipulative sister and her band of dating masters, Shido will save the world…by creating a harem full of homicidal alien warriors.

Pros: I really dug the character work in this anime. No, not things like character interaction or dialogue. That stuff was generic anime stuff. The cool stuff was the character design and associated power set. Kurumi’s were particularly intense.  Each character felt dangerous, and their powers were cool. Even the little girl character had a crazy ice bunny thing. I also like the premise of a whole group of people advising a guy on what do say on a date. However, Iike the Pixar movie, this would work better if it was all in his head instead of in the sky.

Cons: I hated what happened to Tohka. She starts off as this mysterious silent character, but once she’s won over by the hero, she becomes a child. A child in a very curvy body. She only reverts when she’s pissed. The other love interests are a little girl, “non-blood” sister, and quiet girl with secret kink fantasies…so, yeah. The concept of assembling a harem of fighters through kisses isn’t new, but this anime does have great looking fights. I only wish the ending was better paced, because it just happens abruptly. Hope the second season is out.

Watch it:? Fairly fun (3/5)

MPV: Kotori Itsuka
Kotori
Sister or not, she still has cool looking powers

Best episode: Ep.3 “Sword That Splits the Sky” (momentary awesomeness)
Tagged , , , , ,

King of Fighters: Another Day

Type: Are you O-K?

2a98mr6
Synopsis: Back in the 90’s, there was a momentary fighting game boom thanks to the popularity of Street Fighter 2. One of the most well-made challengers was the King of Fighters series, which was really a combination of other less successful games released by the company SNK. The anime itself tries to highlight some of the most popular characters, to varying degrees.
Pros: I truly believe that out of all types of games, Fighting games are the most anime friendly (with RPGs coming an immediate second). After all, fighting games are just two well dressed people with short back stories fighting each other. This anime has some of that. We see May, and Terry, and Geese’s kid show up and fight a little. If each episode weren’t so short, I could imagine this being a regular anime.
Cons: While I believe fighters and anime work well together, it’s usually only the animes that are turned into fighters. For some reason, the reverse almost never works out. Maybe it’s because fighters have too many characters, and most central plots are dumb (let’s be real, Shadoloo is dumb). In KOF’s case, the anime will only appeal to hardcore KOF fans, because I had no idea who 99% of these people were. The story is nowhere, consisting mostly of character interactions, which again, only matters if you understand who they are to one another. Even then, the events are weak.
Watch it?: Even KOF fans will complain (2/5) 
MPV: Terry Bogart
adfa9ba718fff9551fb28a68b77a9ace_480
Hey, get serious!
Best episode: too short to remember
Tagged , , , , , ,

Ninja Scroll

Type: The One You Were Too Young To Rent, But Saw Anyway

8scj3im6d4o2szt6ck2j868lxiv

Synopsis: So back in the 90’s, anime was still a relatively new thing in the States. With things like Speed Racer and Gundam being the only comparisons, many adults often made the mistake that “anime=for children.” So image your surprise when you walk into your local video store, your parents rent something called Ninja Scroll from the animation section, only to get home and watch a Japanese lord have sex with his concubine while a Kunoichi reports that all his ninja were slaughtered. Kids, be grateful you have the internet now.

Pros: From what I can gather, Ninja Scroll is one of the most famous anime movies in the west. In the same vain as Akira and Eva, its popularity can partly be attributed to the fact that it was actually released and dubbed for English speaking audiences during a time when anime was scarce. Thankfully, it  does live up to the hype. The movie is about a group of ninjas trying to get their hands on some gold, with our protagonists coming along mainly to kill people. This thing is a Hard-R, full of awesomely violent fight scenes, some nudity, and one sex scene. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for a modern movie, or some cable TV shows, but keep in mind that this was made in 1993.

Cons: If you somehow saw this back in the day thanks to the ignorance of the past…good for you? This thing is super violent and has one sexual assault (not rape, but close), so be cautious. The plot if fairly simple, being mostly about greed and revenge. I got a little confused about Kagero’s story line, because it seemed that in the beginning she resented being treated as a feudal woman, but in the end she falls in love with Jubei because, in her words, he treated her like a woman. Maybe she meant as an “equal” and it got lost in translation.

Watch it?: It’d give it a go

MVP: Jubei Kibagami

Jubei_Kibagami

Loosely based on an actual guy

Best Moment: The Last Fight (fire everywhere!)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting!

Type: The Sweet Science

hajime_no_ippo

Synopsis:  Ippo was nobody. But that don’t matter, you know? ‘Cause Ippo was thinkin’, it really don’t matter if he lost a fight. It really didn’t matter if that anime guy opens his head, either. ‘Cause all Ippo wanted do is go the distance. Nobody’s ever went the distance with a boxing show, and if Ippo could go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and Ippo’s still standin’, we’re all gonna know for the first time in our lives, see, that his show weren’t just another bum sport anime from the neighborhood.

Pros: I hate sports anime, but I didn’t hate Hajime No Ippo. I actually really enjoyed it. Ippo’s drive to be the best, the sacrifice he and other boxers make to follow their dreams, the psychology behind each fight in and out of the ring, the clearly corrupt calls, all of it. In a weird way, Hajime No Ippo both glamorizes and bluntly presented the sport of professional boxing. I think why this anime worked better for me than say The Prince of Tennis, is that boxing as a sport is very easy to romanticize. This is why movies like Rocky are more popular than Friday Night Lights and Coach Carter. Baseball stories are a close second, but probably only in America. You can really relate to the effort put into boxing because it mainly deals with one individual vs. another. Each of Ippo’s opponents have a backstory, even if it eventually boils down to trying to be the best. Ippo himself is very charming, as his meek persona outside the ring works well to balance his all-business attitude inside (he also appearently has huge genatelia that everyone makes fun of!). He kinda reminded me of Kenichi, Histories Strongest Desciple to be honest.

Cons: The story is fairly simple. Ippo has to learn a specific lesson or technique before a fight, he fights, then he wins and moves on to the next guy. Rise and repeat. The only variants are the character involved. Some of the fights also starts getting repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, this is probably the most intense cinematic boxing you’ll ever see, but that doesn’t mean they’re all masterpieces. What’s interesting about Ippo is that you get a shorthand introduction to the world of boxing, including the business side and economic and health reality for fighters. It’s actually pretty realistic at times, and Ippo himself ages from about 17 to 20, so it was neat to notice the subtle changes in him. I would have liked more scenes with his eventual love interest Kumi, but eh. To be honest, outside of the this being a boxing anime with repetitive story arcs, I can’t thing of any bad things about it (except maybe that his initial rivalry with Miyata goes nowhere).

Watch it?: If you like boxing stories, you’ll love Ippo (4/5)

MVP: Ippo Makunouchi

3688644-ippo

Him vs Tomorrow Joe, who would win?

Best Episode: Ep. 66 “My Takamura’s Tears” (he fights a bear!)

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The SoulTaker

Type: I DON’T KNOW WHATS GOING ON

hqdefault

Synopsis: Well, that’s a fib. I do have some idea of what’s going on. It’s not like I just use these things as background noise, ha,ha,ha….So, a long time ago, an alien from an extinct race arrives on the moon. He makes a deal with a doctor there to save his dying daughter in exchange for releasing a deadly virus that will create another alien by mutating the populous. This results in the doctor’s own grandchildren becoming aliens. Flash forwards 17 years later, where the doctor is desperately trying to kill the aliens he helped make, while his grandson tries to save the life of his twin sister who’s soul was split into fragments to protect her/stop her from killing all of humanity. Yeah, I don’t believe me either about the lying thing.

Pros: This show was very ambitious. Once you get to the end, you get a clear picture of what it was trying to do. Without spoiling much (except for the core twist up above), let just say it gets very Evangeliony. The plot involving searching for different aspects of a person’s identiy was pretty cool, and it’s got very stylized animation, something along the lines of Monogatari and Zetsubou Sensei. Angled framing, heavy shadows, liberal use of color, etc. I also liked the fact that most of the main characters’ motivation was trying to save someone they loved (which is kinda another spoiler when you think about it).

Cons: I’m still not sure what exactly happened in this anime. Something about aliens for sure, and mutants, and…ninjas? Ninjas showed up for some reason. I’m still not sure why. The thing about SoulTaker is that it’s kinda sloppy. It throws you into this weird world without properly establishing what it is. Are we in the future? Another world? The post apocalypse? Is everything science or magic, or both? We know that Kyosuke is looking for his twin sister Runa, and that her soul has been fragmented and is being hunted down. Ok, cool. A little creepy when the fragments hit on Kyosuke, but I can work around that. But then we add mutants, and aliens, and evil doctors, feuding organizations, and a bunch of other stuff that doesn’t make sense because I turned by head for two seconds. It was frankly a little exhausting to watch.

Watch it?: This does spin-off into a magical girl show (3/5)

MVP: Runa Tokisaka

download

A pretty interesting villain, until she go too handsey with Kyosuke that is.

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “Demon on a Deserted Island” (the plot appears!)

Tagged , , , ,