Tag Archives: rich people

Black Butler

Type: So many historical inaccurate

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Synopsis: The Earl of Phantonhive, also known as the Duke of Short Pants, also know as Lord Protector of Boys Love, has a problem. He’s alive, and so are the people the killed his mother as father. The problem is, he would like them to not be alive anymore. You see the dilemma here. Now, he can’t simply use his vast, vast, vast fortune, connection to the Queen of England, and his own notable genius to find these people. Instead, he sold his Soul to a demon butler to get his revenge. Even though the Demon Butler can’t leave his side. Or do anything without a direct order. And was possibly responsible for the Plauge. But kids, am I right?

Pros: The anime’s strongest asset is its characters. Black Butler has a set of amazing characters, from the haughty Ciel, the always debonair Sebastian, and the comedic servants. They are quiet versatile, working in comedic and serious moments. The anime is mostly made us of “cases.” As the Earl of Phantomhive, Ciel is the “guard dog” for the British Crown, often sent to various locations to root out corruption and wrong doing. Ciel is portrayed as a very good tactician. His family’s fortune lies in sweets and games, which allude to Ciel’s talent for manipulation and his young age and temperment. Sebastian often accompanies him as his highly skilled butler, sometimes comedically so, and he’s always used as the Mcguffin that saves the day. Then there’s the comedic servants: a pyromaniac cook, a cooky maid, and a jolly groundskeeper, how as indispensable as the comic relief (since the show can get dark on you). Like I said, it’s a solid group.

Cons: The anime’s story is kinda bland. It starts off strong enough, but loses it’s luster as it goes. The whole angel subplot was weak. And there was this one dog episode, Ep.7, that felt out of nowhere. I don’t wanna see dog fights. I’ll get that fix from Pokemon, thank you very much. I also felt that the story jumped the shark too quickly on the Jack the Ripper case. From my research (Wikipedia), it seems that the anime veers off from it’s manga counterpart around halfway through. For my money, Ep.7, ep17-20, and ep.22-24 are the worst story arcs of the bunch. Ep.21 stands out because it gives use the origin of the servants, which was fun. The any does delve into some darkish territory, in a psudo Victorian horror kinda a way. Your enjoyment kinda depends on your tolerance for bloody mysteries and arrogant protagonists. Oh, and your feelings on implied romance between a teenage (?) boy and his handsome adult butler.

Watch it: Pick and choose episodes (4/5)

MVP: The Servants

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My favorite characters

Best Episode: Ep.1 “His Butler, Able” (Comedic Downton Abbey)

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Love, Election & Chocolate

Type: Poli Sci, The Anime

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Synopsis: Somewhere in anime land, theirs this school where its student body takes a very hard core stance towards their extra curricular activities. So what starts off as a students attempt to save the Food Research Club by running for school president turns into freakin’ Chinatown, with politically motivated assaults and honest to goodness labor bashing. Again, these are high school kids doing this. I can’t even name my city’s major, much less my high school student body president, but these legally recognized children are willing to kill for the position. Rich people are crazy.

Pros: At times, this is a good comedy, at other times this is a good drama. Not every show can juggle both genres that well, but this one did. I’d rank the humor right up there with shows like Student Council’s Discretion and other student club based shows. The cast had a good dynamic and funny gags, my favorite being Oboro’s shameless remarks towards Yuki. On the drama side, this show hits that particular soap opera character groove that really shines in anime. The plots involving Hazuki-Sensei’s backstory,  Ojima’s plight as a financial aid student, and Chisato’s relationship with Yuki were personal standouts. The show really shined in terms of characters, who were able to range from serious to goofy with ease.

Cons: This is a pet peeve of mine, but any anime that takes a mundane subject way too seriously without a hint of self-awareness gets on my bad side. It happened once with tennis, then discount store food, and now with student clubs. The characters in this show are in fucking high school, they should not be taking things like student government so seriously. There were at least three death threats related to the election. On a more objective note, the opening scene sets up a mystery that distracts from the rest of the show and doesn’t really come up until late in the series. The humor can sometimes be a little flat. And despite my personal biases, the election plot is largely unimportant compared to the other side stories. It acts largely as a framing device. In fact, you could effectively skip most of the election scenes and still find the show very entertaining, maybe even more so.

Watch it?: It may have bugged the hell out of me, but I can’t deny it’s quality (4/5)

MVP: Oboro Yumeshima

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Undescribable

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Disbanding the Club” (The PTA is disbanding!)

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Special A

Type: Not to be confused with Abnormal B or Strange C

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Synopsis: Hikari Hanazono is the 2nd Best in the World in the PHA, which I assume stands for the Pacific Headlock-Wrestling Association. Her only real competition is Kei “Nature Boy” Takishima, whom she has never beaten in a big match situation. She had thus become obsessed with gaining what I again assume is a pin-fall or submission victory over him. Before we get to that, however, we have to contend with the other top 5 contenders, or “Special A,” consisting of Psycho Jun, Miss Megumi, Tornado Tadashi, Akira “The Snake” Toudou, and Sin Ryu.

Pros: This show has some pretty solid gags. I especially liked Hikari’s reactions whenever she loses to Takishima and Takishima’s own jealousy/annoyance towards Hikari’s denseness. I’d say the show is at it’s best when it’s trying to be funny with each of the character’s unique foibles. I could have done with way more “Inner Jun” stories. I also liked the pairings that each character eventually get into, and wish they had been introduced way earlier in the series. The comedic potential of these people trying to figure out how to date each other is staggering. In fact, any anime about two people trying to figure out the mechanics of dating sounds enticing.

Cons: Nothing this show does will surprise you. It’s fairly generic and in-line with most romantic high school comedies targeted at girls. Some of the boys are even prettier than the girls. You can gloss over most of the anime without missing much. The show doesn’t distribute it’s attention evenly, putting a disproportionate amount of time on Akira. Just because she’s the only other girl that can talk is not an excuse. I had a bit of a hard time sympathizing with the “Special A” rich people classroom, though to the show’s credit, it does address this fact in the very first episode. As I said above, I would much rather watch a show about 7 weirdo’s love lives rather than a show about rich people having tea in a green house.

Watch it?: If you’ve never watched a High School Love-Comedy aimed at Girls, this is a good place to start. (3/5)

MVP: Hikari Hanazono

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Hakari-Mania is Running Wild!

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “Boyfriend-Girlfriend” and Ep. 19 “Singing Voice-Bad Guy” (It should have been just this)

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C: Control – The Money and Soul of Possibility

Type: Confusing Name

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Synopsis: Once again we are shown the folly of our economic structure. For years we all thought that our financial instability was caused by unwise and short-sighted businessmen. Well, it turns out that the actual cause is the mysterious “Financial District” where people fight one another for money using their futures. On second thought, isn’t that exactly how the economy works now?

Pros: The central theme of this anime is the economy. Fights are for monetary gain, attacks are named after financial phenomena, special moves cost money, battles are called “deals,” and participants are called “entrepreneurs.” Hell, the major conflict in the show comes from the fact that people are required to put up their future as collateral in order to enter the fights in the first place. If a person loses too many fights and money, they go “Bankrupt,” and lose their future. Since the future starts in the present, this usually translates as a failed job exam, ruined company, or even a lost child. So the question becomes whether we should risk the future the ensure the present. This is all of course a giant metaphor for the current economic climate, where people in the financial world make decisions that have major ramifications in the real world (something that the show also portrays). There are a lot of other great things I could mention, but I think this should sum it up: Watch It.

Cons: First off, the show sometimes mixes 3-D models with it’s 2-D animations, which I always hate. Second, the main protagonist Kimimaro Yoga becomes less interesting as the show progresses. He is initially introduced as a college kid who could really use more money, a position that most of the audience can relate to. But once his money problems go away due to his success in fights, his major conflict becomes more philosophical, and thus less interesting He’s not totally passive, and he does act as a good medium for the audience, but he portrays a tad too much indecisiveness to be truly admirable. (p.s. The use of English dialogue was a surprising and occasionally hilarious addition).

Watch it!?: A part of me think this should be mandatory viewing for Econ classes (4/5)

MVP: Jennifer Sato

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I hope she gets her own spin-off series

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Complication” (it’s neat that every episode title starts with the letter “C”)

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Ladies versus Butlers

Type: Bouncy-Bouncy

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Synopsis: This kid named Akiharu Hino enrolls at this school that trains servants and teaches rich girls. On his first day he accidentally gropes the resident blonde rich girl, and is immediately labeled a sexual deviant. He’s almost lynched, but he gets saves by his childhood friend who mentally traumatized him because she had a crush on him. Then a bunch of nudity happens.

Pros: The biggest laughs usually come from the fan service jokes. I don’t want to label the show a “sex comedy,” but it comes pretty darn close. It’s certainly liberal with its censorship (just shy of full frontal). But what really popped out at me was the animation. The backgrounds are extremely well done. Its an aesthetically beautiful anime.

Cons: I really did not like the inclusion of a “little girl” character (19 my ass). I also felt that the anime was a bit lacking. You don’t really get attached to any of the characters expect for maybe the blonde one (Selnia Flameheart) and the roommate (Daichi). The rest are one dimensional.

Watch it?: Sure. Bouncy, Bouncy. (3/5)

MVP: Selnia Iori Flameheart

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Blonde Drills. Classic.

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Boy Versus Lady” (What a horrible first day!)

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He Is My Master

Type: Two broke girls resort to manual labor

Synopsis: These two sisters, Izumi and Mitsuki, run away from home because their parents won’t allow them to keep their alligator. As luck would have it, the local child millionaire, Yoshitaka, is in need of a few maids after his parents died and left him all their money. Better yet, Yoshitaka is a huge pervert with a costume fetish, and Mitsuki is an evil genius, thus ensuring the that the well developed Izumi never has a dull day.

Pros: Very gag oriented. This show never really relents on its comedy aspects. It’s the type of show that employs the classic mislead technique. No matter how many times it happens, you always think that the show’s sweeter moments are real. Because aesthetically, it screams cliche. But ever single time, it pulls the rug from right under your feet by turning the sweet moment into a funny one. Its all thanks to the duo Yoshitaka and Mitsuki, who constantly torment the protagonist Izumi (her own sister even started a naughty fan page behind her back).

Cons: The endings are repetitive. It always ends with Mitsuki looking at images of that weeks show, and Yoshitaka maliciously designing sexy costumes for next weeks show. This show borders on cliche. Heck, in some lights it may already be too far gone. The animations not impressive and the jokes rely on physical humor and wacky situations (conflicts are usually resolved through Contests). But the core characters manage to save it though their two dimensional selves. Izumi hate perverts, but has a crush on Yoshitaka. Yoshitaka is shallow, but doesn’t want to replace his new maids. Mistuki looks sweet, but is actually a master manipulator. Even innocent looking maid Anna is actually a crazy sex maniac (which is very funny by the way).

Watch it?: Yes, especially if you’re missing that old school anime feel (3/5)

MVP: Mitsuki Sawatari

Would you like to play a game?

Best Episode: Ep. 4 “Couples Formed Under Extraordinary Circumstances Don’t Last Long, You Know” (live free, die hard)

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Princess Lover!

Type: An anime about a dude loving some Princesses (duh)

Synopsis: Teppei Arima is a perfectly happy poor kid living with his parents until they’re horribly killed. Flash forward a year, and we see Teppei saving a big boobed girl from would be assassins. Then it turns out his mom’s family is stinkin’ rich. This news results in Teppei getting his own house, his own hot maid, and acceptance into a private school full of hot rich girls. Its like Batman, but with more booty and less thugs. And like all great Batman stories, its also got an, ahem,  adult tie-in episode….so, yeah.

Pros: It’s actually pretty fun. Teppei’s fish out of water story works really well. You enjoy Teppei’s dealing with most of his love interests. Sylvia and Teppei can actually carry a conversation with one another like equals (despite her humorous Tsundere character). Saika is able to keep Teppei on his toes. And Yu gives off this whole Cinderella vibe that it actually give Teppei a prince charming like aura. Its also got some good intense moments that help separate it from your generic harem shows. And some swell fan service to boot.

Cons: Surprisingly, its not the subplot involving terrorist assassins. That was actually pretty interesting. The real problem is Charlotte, whose supposed to be the main female protagonist (she’s got pink hair and everything). She’s way too chipper about all the kidnappings she goes through. She just bugs me, you know? She could have been omitted pretty easily from the story with no real problem (hell, she was omitted from the erotic episode….not that I would know anything about that).

Watch It?: I wouldn’t re-watch it, but a once over wouldn’t hurt (3/5)

MVP: Sylvia van Hossen

It could have been Yu, but who can resist a lady who could stab you?

Best Episode: Again, I know which you’ll watch (just remember to look the door this time)

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R-15

Type: Porn writer looking for respect

Synopsis: This school has the weirdest student populous requirement, each having to be geniuses. But, I guess in order to justify its lavish and unnecessary funding, it allows all kinds of geniuses. Our story follows Taketo Akutagawa, a genius writer that specializes in erotica. And only erotica, which makes his a social outcast. But lets get back to this school thing. How can a writer be a genius? or a photographer? Its not even art! All you do is push a button an-THIS SENTENCE HAS BEEN OMITTED BY THE NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY ASSOCIATION.

Pros: The best part of this show is when Taketo gets respect from his fellow students. The premise that Taketo’s brand of genius isolates him from the other students makes for a lot of funny moments. Its especially funny when girls really get interested in Taketo’s work, much to Taketo’s own embarrassing. Its like he really wants to be recognized for his special skills, but knows that his work isn’t meant to be publicly celebrated.

Cons: The whole show lacks depth. Taketo’s plight is undercut by the fact that he’s pretty proud of his ability to write erotica. It makes his seem a bit too conceited. The main theme of the show is that one’s genius can be a gift and curse, as each character is hurt by what makes them special. But I never really bought it. You just don’t empathize with any of the characters that much. The fan service is pretty good, but too little too late.

Watch it?: Nah, its pretty weak (2/5)

MVP: Utae Sonokoe

Its pretty cute when a bright eyed girl likes a pervert

Best Episode: Ep. 7 “Story of the Girl’s Dormitory” (if only he used his powers for good)

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Ouran High School Host Club

Type: Poor girl gets to join the popular boys against her will.

Synopsis: This rich school has a club called the “Ouran Host Club,” which is basically a reverse maid club. One day, frompy girl Haruhi accidentally breaks one of their vases that costs a butt load of money. The club cleans him up and decides to blackmail the newly discovered pretty boy into joining them. They then discover that he is in fact a girl, forcing them to hide the fact. As with any case with one female surrounded by lots of males, the group falls in love with her. Beautiful really.

Pros: The juxtaposition between the down to earth Haruhi with the empty headed Host Club. Haruhi is smart, level headed, but also a bit of a kill joy due to her modest background. The Host Club is the opposite, their silly, kind of stupid, but can have a good time only possible via mountains of money. Each of the characters are plays on the not so common male harem. They got a blonde husband, stoic tall guy, cool glasses dude, twins, and 18 year old kid. They even add an angry looking nice guy to even things out. The show’s the best when Haruhi reacts to the Host Clubs shinanigans, or when their cultures clash (ex: Host Club imagining what the less rich Haruhi’s house will look like). That, and Haruhi being the realest protagonist in any harem and still being likable.

Cons: Melodramatic. Their are a few episodes when the show falls into sad music melodrama that I’m admittedly not a fan of. Each of the male characters have their own drama, and some work better than others. The twins have to deal with becoming their own person. Good. Glasses dude has father issues. Good. Stoic guy has no real drama. Good. 18 year old kid refuses to grow up? Bad. Blonde husband can’t see his mother because his grandmother hate the west and threatens to withhold payments for much needed medication? Bad. Overlycomplicated. Melodramatic.

Watch it?: Leaning to a yes. (3/5)

MVP: Haruhi

Real girl forced to live in anime insanity. Classic.

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Starting Today, You Are a Host!” (Well, is she a girl or isn’t she?)

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Hayate the Combat Butler

Type: Poor kid gets hired by a young girl to be her butler/bodyguard.

Synopsis: Hayate is just a normal poor kid until one day he finds himself homeless for maybe reasons involving the mafia (or Yakuza in Japan). He saves this blonde girl who turns out to be a rich heiress. Hayate is hired, and needs to spend the rest of the show proving himself by fighting robots, mercenaries, and other butlers. Then he goes to school, and meets a pink haired girl that apparently everyone in the Hayate audienceverse loves, so I loved her too. But no homo. (Maybe a little homo).

Pros: This show is huge, with multiple seasons (like 2), so its strengths are inconsistent throughout the entire series. The first season is very much a parody anime, with references to shows like One Piece and Yugioh. This part of the anime was very funny. The second part of the anime is more tied to the show’s particular style of humor, which luckily is strong in itself (but not as strong as its parody elements). The show has a sort of self-referencing and running gags style that really works. Hayate is also a very strong protagonist, especially given the fact that the anime has some harem-esque traits that become more pronounced later in the series. Hayate is your regular humble and supernice guy, but this is used to amplify his backstory. His unending positivity in the face of his harsh life is so damn funny (He calls his parent’s loan sharks “the really generous people”). But his demeanor also helps make him a very sympathetic character, especially when you learn that he had to drop out of school due to his poverty. He’s strangely one of the more well-rounded anime character’s I’ve come across.

Cons: Like I said, the move away from parody made the show slightly weaker. The show’s also very long (first season is 52 episodes), so it may not be for everyone. There’s also a blandness issue in episode plots due the show’s length and somewhat cutesy style. One nit-picky issue is the character Klaus, the elder butler. In a world where butlers are supposed to be super strong, I wish Klaus was more than a comic relief character. Another weird thing is that the pink hair girl mentioned above,  named Hinagiku is more likable than the main heroine, and quickly gains equal if not more air time. That’s not necessarily “bad,” but still kinda off. Just saying.

Watch it?: Yes, but maybe in chunks. (4/5)

MVP: Hayate Ayasaki

Our century’s Japanese Tiny Tim, only funnier and more mobile.

Best Episode: Ep1. “In English, ‘Unmei’ Means ‘Destiny” (best origin ever)

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