Tag Archives: ghosts

Supernatural: The Animation

Type: Killing Monsters. Hunting Things. Forming Harems. Wait, what!?

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Synopsis: I still can’t believe they got the rights to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas. It plays at the end of every episode! Ah, anyways, the show is about two brothers who hunt down ghosts and demons (and a bunch of crazier stuff after Season 5). Their mom was killed by a demon, and their dad went a little revenge crazy. The anime is a retelling of the first two seasons of the popular (?) American TV show that shoots in Canada.

Pros: Seriously, the anime somehow got the rights to “Carry oN My Wayward Son.” I think Eric Kripke may own the song or something. As you can tell, I’m a big Supernatural fan. So finding this anime was a special treat for me. The anime covers the first two season of the show, which depicts the hunt for the “Yellow-Eyed” demon. Trust me, this was the era of the show to cover. Season 1-5 is Supernatural in its prime.. Like the real show, the anime is mainly comprised of stand alone ghost stories, some of which are pretty scary, so newbies shouldn’t feel lost. It also covers some ground that the show didn’t, like giving Sam’s girlfriend Jessica a bit more character, and showing the boys visiting their old home. Veteran fans should like the fact that Jared Pedalecki did the voice for Sam in the English version, and Jensen Ackles joins him for the last two episodes as the voice of Dean.

Cons: I say this as a Supernatural fan, but there were a lot of little things that bugged me. Dean, for instance, felt off in the anime. While Jensen Ackles does voice him in the end, the majority of the show has someone else do the voice for him. Add to this the weird character model they gave him, as well as a tweak in his character. In the show, Dean is a cocky bad boy, but in the anime, he’s more of a happy-go-lucky goof. You could sorta tell that they anime writers preferred the more sensitive Sam, who takes the lead in most of the anime. Speaking of characters, the show also redesigned the boy’s father, as well as Bobby, despite coming out well after both characters were introduced. I think they might have had a image licensing issue. Also, in classic Supernatural tradition, women get the short end of the stick in this one. If you’re a woman in this franchise, you better invest in some life insurance, because you’re either dead, or evil, or both.

Watch it?: I mean, when are you going to have the opportunity to watch an actual anime version of a real American show? (4/5)

MVP: Dean Winchester

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Still my waifu.

Best Episode: Ep.9 “The Spirit of Vegas” (Anime!)

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Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

Type: I Am Afraid of All Ghosts

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Synopsis: Japan once gain prove they have the best ghost stories. No only are their ghosts smokin’ hot babes, but they can also change clothing, touch you, and mess with your friends. Sure, this particular spirit, Yuko Kanoe, may or may not have a dark past that keep her eternal soul trapped on the mortal plain. But she’s really positive about it and starts dating a freshmen, so it’s cool.

Pros: First, amazing animation. Simply stunning. It was produced by Silver Link studios, who seems to have been inspired by Shaft studio’s work on Monogatari and Sayonara, Zatsuno SenseiQuick paced, creative, and in-synch with the story. Again, amazing. It had one of the strongest first episode I’ve ever seen, which basically depicts the same scene from two different perspectives. And was it just me, of did Kirie starts posing more as the series went on?. The humor was top notch. Despite appearances, it’s really wacky at times. My particular favorite joke was Yuko’s embarrassment over her skeleton, stating its “as naked as she could get.” But it can also get really dramatic. Towards the end, Teiichi and Yuko’s relationship really drew me in, touching on a wide range of emotions. An absolutely stellar anime.

Cons: It’s an intimate story, meaning that it only concerns about 4 people. All the other characters are just blank figures, which is fine. Although, given the first episode, I would have liked more scenes showing Teiichi talking himself, or being fed by floating chop sticks. I also feel that Yuko’s backstory is a bit convoluted, and would have worked better with a more personal motivation. Finally, and this may be nit picky, but the tears used for when Teiichi cried looked off. A bit too thick for my taste.

Watch it!?: This show did everything it needed to do and more in 12 episodes, a rare feat. (5/5)

MVP: Momoe Okonogi

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A part of me kinda wants , a redo of the show, but from her perspective.

Best Episode: Ep.1 “Ghost Maiden” (A great harbinger of things to come)

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Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Type: Touched by an Angel

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Synopsis: Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow

Pros: It’s like Adult Swim, Comedy Central, and Japan had a five week orgy whose essence became sentient after getting really, really drunk.

Cons: It’s crude, extremely sexual, and covered in poop jokes. No wait, I’m suppose to be doing negatives right now. In all honesty, if I didn’t know for a fact that this was made in Japan, I would be calling this the most American Anime I’ve ever seen. The animation looks Western, the humor is most definitely western, and I’m pretty sure it’s set somewhere in the good ol’ USA. I found this extremely refreshing, but anyone looking for a “traditional” anime will be disappointed, and possibly offended.

Watch it!?: I’m mad at myself for not watching it sooner. (5/5)

MVP: Panty

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Bitchy Angel, Hell Yeah!

Best Episode: You should really just watch all of them (They’re each special in their own way)

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The World Only God Knows

Type: The Pick-Up Artist for Nerds

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Synopsis: Keima Katsuragi is the god of conquering girls, specifically 2-D girls from dating sims. A cute demon named Elsie mistakes him for an actual player and forces him to hunt down evil spirits living inside his female classmates. If he doesn’t, he and Elsie will be beheaded. Since Keima has little to no experience or interest in real life women, he must use his computer gaming skills to seduce each girl. So its like that one horrible book, but like, the anime version.

Pros: I found the premise of the show rather refreshing. It was nice to see a show where a male character had to actively chase after a number of girls, instead of the other way around. This is sort of like a harem show, except all the girls never meet each other, and only interact with the lead one at a time. And they actually kiss, which almost never happens in these show. Every girl is different, representing a different anime archetype (tsundere, rich girl, normal girl, teacher, etc). The humor was also much funnier than I expected, interjecting fun gags and cutaways to help balance some of the more dramatic moments.

Cons: This show is divided into arcs. One girl’s story equals one arc. And a lot of the arcs are built the same way. Keima learns which girl has a spirit, he does some preliminary research and interactions, we learn the girls tragic backstory, and Keima kisses the girl and makes it all better. I get why every girl needs to have some sort of emotional hangup, but I’ve never been a huge fan of melodrama. But I guess that’s the price to pay for an otherwise enjoyable anime.

Watch it?: Press Start Now (4/5)

MVP: Elsie

New Picture (5)

She’s just too cute

Best Episode: S2, Ep. 8 “Flag.8.0 Her First Errand” / “Flag.8.5 Tea for Three.” (Hate the Game, Not the Player)

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Soul Eater

Type: Grim Reaper school for kids

Synopsis: A school secretly located in Nevada, USA, teaches a bunch of kids to hunt down evil spirits and witches in order to create weapons for the Grim Reaper. That pretty much says it all. (Unless you forget to mention that this particular school year focuses on stopping an insane god from being reborn. Whats that? I did forget to mention that? Oh. My bad.)

Pros: This was actually a pretty cool show. Its art style is far-out, giving it its own distinct feel that makes it stand out  from other action anime. I liked that every witch was based on an animal. I liked that every student (or meister) had their own unique weapon. I liked that the main theme of the show was “madness,” which feed into the whole aesthetic of the show. I liked that it could do a really serious fight scenes one minute, a rather disturbing scene the next, and a absolutely silly scene after that. Versatile. I just liked that show.

Cons: As much as I liked the show, some things did bug me. First, the antagonist Medusa. She’s supposed to be this manipulative badass, but she never seemed like that big a threat. She always seemed from like a crony. Second, the meister Dr. Franken Stein. He’s supposed to be the strongest graduate from the Grim Reaper’s school, but I had a hard time buying that. He never really lives up to his reputation. He’s a lesser version of the Kakashi Hatake character. Third, and this is a positive really, I wish the show had explored some of the other meisters students a little more. Their was this one guy with metal boxing gloves that looked awesome. So I hope that the show gets more episodes in the future.

Watch it?: Its too cool not to. (4/5)

MVP: Black Star

Little punk with a loud voice, whats not to love?

Best Episode: Ep. 17 “Legend of the Holy Sword 2 – Wanna Go Drinking, Gambling, and Playing?” (Excalibur!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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Angel Beats!

Type: People trying to fight anime girl God with guns

Synopsis: A plucky girl in limbo decides to fight off destiny by forming a club of rebels without causes for her own cause. They incite terrible theological conflicts in the form of rock concerts and gun fire. The girl really goes to a lot of trouble in order to not graduate from high school. Because, like all anime heroines, she will disappear from existence once high school is over.

Pros: A strong balance between comedy and drama. Angel Beats! did something I really liked. It was able to be super silly and heartbreakingly tragic at the same time. The basic premise is that the cast is in limbo because they had unfulfilled lives. Some dies young, some didn’t accomplish goals, and other just had tragic lives. This early revelation creeps up and eventually takes over the show, making the first episode and last episode almost seem like different shows. Even the three main characters Otonashi, Yuri, and Angel grow considerably over the course of the show, gaining almost a surprising and welcome level of depth. But the humor of the show is able to keep on par with the emotion of the show. Every character has some sort of shtick soo stupidly funny (morons, muscled geeks, Christ-wannabe, ect). Then there’s limbo.  Limbo prevents anyone from dying, so we get a lot of humorous deaths (*spoiler: one involves a rocket desk).

Cons: Some of the inner logic of the show is confusing at times. I’m not really sure why limbo would be hackable. Or how could a bunch of young people build a secret weapons factory. And some of the cast backstories are either too melodramatically clique (twins, little sisters) or non existent (only 7 out of 15 cast members get one). Aside from that, I kinda wish it were a little longer, maybe in OVA form. The cast grows on you, and I wish I could have spend more time with the supporting cast and learn about their whole deal (I mean, wouldn’t you want to know what a Ninja and an American break dancer are doing there?)

Watch it?: Angel please. Of course you should. (5/5)

MVP: TK

Drop that beat son!

Best Episode: Ep.13 “Graduation” (what a long, strange trip its been)

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Bakemonogatari

Type: Ghost stories done anime style

Synopsis: Half-vampire goes to high school and sticks his nose into the business of a few cute girls. Each of the girls have some sort of mental demon that becomes a real demon for some reason. The half-vampire doesn’t really solve their issues, but takes the credit for it. Funny enough, half of the girls’s problems are because of the half-vamp, since he’s so damned shiny and mysterious (he is in high school after all).

Pros: An anime about ghost stories is pretty cool on paper, and the show doesn’t disappoint. Like all real ghost stories, the real monster is human nature. Each of the girl’s “demons” is the manifestation of their individual psychological issues. The show’s cool animation style and sporadic cinematics give each episode an aura of a film (especially because each episode has its own individual openings). Slow starts and intense climaxes. This one’s really worth a watch.

Cons: The protagonist Koyomi. Well, not the character, but just his back story. Problem is, you don’t know a whole lot. It all gets covered in the pilots opening, and is never really looked into again (though, given its sequel and movie, it may have in fact already been). I also have a problem over Hitagi, the female protagonist (sort of). Her back story is a bit too elaborate (it involves cults). But these things are really just nit picking an otherwise intriguing anime.

Watch it?: Yes, or it’ll haunt you later in life (5/5)

MVP: Suruga Kanbaru

To be honest, I just think shes cute

Best Episode: Ep. 9-10 “Nadeko Snake” (the whole arc)

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Ah My Buddha! (Season 1 & 2)

Type: Buddhist temple full of hot nuns and one pervert monk.

Synopsis: A monk named Ikko is the most powerful monk in the world, but his powers can only be activated through the power of nudity! Enter six hot girls, three of whom have really big boobs. Season One has a bunch of hijinks and nipple burgers. Season Two gets more of a story with the intro of a blond nun with big boobs. But not to worry, cause there’s still nudity galore! Hooray!

Pros: The show’s biggest strength was it’s concept. A monk whose secret powers can only be activated by getting turned on had a lot of potential. The real strong jokes come from having the girls strip (either purposely or not) in order to get out of a jam. As ecchi animes go, that’s a pretty promising premise.

Cons: The show is structurally weak. None of the stories are that memorable or funny. The show fails to live up to its ecchi potential by trying to be serious at some points, as this makes it enter the generic. The second season is especially guilty of this, as it gets darker in tone, and far more generic. It actually adopts the harem troupe of devoting an episode of two to the girls’s relationship with the protagonist, which screams cookie-cutter.

Watch it?: Nah. (2/5)

MVP: Kazuki Kazusano

Only character to show signs of true comedic genius.

Best Episode: Honestly, I cant really recommend one. (Their all forgettable)

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