Tag Archives: robot

Appleseed Alpha (2014)

Type: Weird name, cause it’s the third movie

Synopsis: In a story that makes way more sense, two soldiers are traversing the wasteland after a horrible world war. They in the search for “Olympus,” a mythical city said to have escaped society’s collapse. Along the way they must fight those who wish to restart the war that ruined the world. There, doesn’t that make much more sense than cloned robots or whatever?

Pros: I chose to review this movie instead of Appleseed’s direct sequel for two reasons. First, since this was a reimagining, I felt it was prudent to watch it to increase my level of investment in the franchise. Second, I didn’t know that this was the third movie and watched it by accident. Oops! Anyway, being made in 2014 gave this movie some major advantages over Appleseed (2004). Obviously, it’s computer animation improved tremendously. I’d compare it to Red vs. Blue season 10 in quality. The quality of the voice work has also improved, with quips and overlapping dialogue even inserted here or there to give off the sense of realistic  speech. And the story is much more straighfoward, giving you a better idea of Deunan and Briareos as a unit and as individuals. Keeping the story in the wasteland instead of Olympus was a nice touch too, as it kept everything down to Earth. Overall, I’d say watch this version of Appleseed if your curious at all about the series.

Cons: The animation is still janky. Not as janky as before, but you will notice a few lims moving unnaturally. The antagonists aren’t that interesting. They’re your typical fanatics trying to “reinvent the world” by using a big killer robot. In this movie, the real draw are Deunan and Briareos, and the colorful people the interact with in the wastes.

Watch it?: This is probably the only one you should watch.

MVP: Deunan and Briaroes

I finally bought them as a team

Best Moment: The verbal jabs (whoever was the English Voice Over director did good work!)

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Appleseed (2004)

Type: Finally, an anime about Johnny Appleseed!

Synopsis: Thank you. I’ll show myself out.

Pros: Appleseed is a sci-fi computer animated anime movie about humans and their relations with clones, or “Biroids.” A main conflict stems from the old human vs another species troupe. Sometimes it’s androids. Sometimes it’s clones. Sometimes it’s apes. Humanity is just not a friendly animal when it comes right down to it. The idea is interesting, and the movie does show glimpses of the discrimination the Biroids face, such as forced sterilization. To bad the whole story is a mess.

Cons: The whole story is a mess. The movie tends to cut between the past and the present, making it hard to determine what is happening when. The setting is also confusing. From what I gathered, a big war broke out, and some humans managed to build a Utopia called Olympus outside the carnage. One of the last soldiers fighting the war, Deunan Knute, it taken to Olympus becuase…reasons? I mean, I know it’s because her mother created the Biroids and owns the movie’s Mcguffin, but the film doesn’t do a good job at explaining that. Like, how can Deunan be a legendary soldier, but also be like 18? 19? Why was she still fighting a war that ended 2 years ago? Are we just going to ignore those weird mutants at the start of the movie? If everything is in 3 dimensions, then how come everyone moves awkwardly?…At the end of the day this movie can best be described as a starter anime. Ya know? Like, an anime you may find by accident at a video store or Youtube. You watch it because it looks vaguely cool, but later on you discover that Ghost in the Shell exists and just chalk up your previous enjoyment to a rookie mistake. What I’m trying to say is that this is the kind of movie you find at the $5 bin. It’s a movie your Uncle gives you to try to prove he’s with it. It’s the kind of film that low tier internet anime reviewers try to call bad without saying it’s bad because they don’t what to sound mean. Ya know?

Watch it?: Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

MVP: Anime face in 3d

Anime eyes know no dimension

Best Moment?: That time a Bioroid randomly asked Deunan what it’s like to fall in love (those dumb artificial creatures and their feelings)

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Time of Eve

Type: No Robots were harmed in the making of this anime

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Synopsis: In this little cafe in Japan, probably, I mean, the anime isn’t sure so why should I be? Just because everyone looks, acts like, and speaks Japanese. They could be in Detroit for all I know! The cafe, called Time of Eve, serves as a little refuge for humans and androids to interact with each other freely. There’s also a lot of talk about the Three Laws of Robotics: Serve the Public Trust, Protect the Innocent, and Uphold the Law.

Pros: I was super apprehensive about watching this show once I learned what it was about. The only worse than a sad robot story is a sad dog story. Luckily, nothing super depressing happens to any of the robots in the show (well, except that one guy). The plot is mainly about Rikou learning that androids have feelings, such as his own android, Sammy. The show is a sci-fi drama, exploring the social facets of a life with androids. Should they be treated as people, can they fall in love, do they have emotions, all these topics are explored. Something in the vein of A.I. and Bicentennial Man, or even a more serious version of Chobits. Everything from the shaky cam to color pallet has a near-future vibe to it. And with only 15 minute episodes, its a fast watch.

Cons: I honestly kept expecting things to do dark really fast, but it didn’t, and I am grateful. I already saw the Animatrix, I don’t need to be reminded of man’s inhumanity again. The stories don’t go beyond the main characters going to the cafe and dealing with their own prejudices and preconceptions about androids. The story alludes to a bigger political battle in the background, but nothing ever comes of it. So its an intimate story, but at the same time it feels unfinished. (P.S. Episode 4 is a particularly sad robot story, so I’d advise anyone not wanting to cry to skip it).

Watch it?: There’s a compilation movie of the show, so you could also watch that (4/5)

MVP: Sammy

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I wish there had been one episode from her point of view

Best Episode: Ep. 3 “Koji & Rina: Lovers of Eve” (Is love a human emotion?)

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Heaven’s Lost Property the Movie: The Angeloid of Clockwork

Type: 1 hour of original footage

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Synopsis: One day a poor girl named Hiyori secretly declares that she likes local pervert Tomoki Sakurai…then a busty angel/robot falls on top of him. She begins to stalk him from afar, afraid that this boob crazy maniac won’t like her or her big boobs. She does manage to start hanging out with him, even starting this strangely convenient relationship with Tomoki. Then she dies.

Pros: I didn’t know how much I missed Heaven’s Lost Property until I saw this film. It actually made me skim through the last parts of the manga. Most of the shows gags are still in place. Tomoki is a perv, people hit him for it, etc. The emotional core of the film was Hiyori, a hard working and earnest girl that has a crush on Tomoki. While not an original concept, you do feel sympathy for Hiyori, if for anything, developing feelings for a guy who once made panties fly in the sky.

Cons: This isn’t really a “movie” in the truest sense of the word. The first forty percent of the film is a recap of the show, with a few scenes put in from Hiyori’s point of view. This is Hiyori’s movie, so don’t expect to see a lot from Ikaros of the other angeloids. The rest is more like an hour long TV special, or OVA. The animation is also about the same as some of the better looking episodes of Heaven’s Lost Property. As I said, don’t go expecting to see an actual “movie-movie.”

What it!?: Skip the first third, then enjoy the rest

MVP: Hiyori Kazane

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A girl who likes plants

Best Moment: Tomoki’s purity challenge (so dumb, I love it)

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Steel Angel Karumi 2

Type: This Really Sucks

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Synopsis: 75 years after the Steel Angel Karumi learns to that a robot can feel real love and emotion, we learn that she was put into a statue for lol’s. She is awakened by Nako, the female descendant of either Karumi’s first true love, or his brother. It’s cool either way, since Karumi instantly fall in love with Nako, because any semblance of free will she gained from the first series was an illusion. Such is the tragedy of Steel Angels.

Pros: Again, this is really short. At 15 minutes (more like 8 min) each, these 12 episodes will go by fast. You don’t need to have watched Steel Angel Karumi to enjoy this. Any prior knowledge may even prove detrimental. Karumi’s English voice acting is still great, although a bit more nasal than before. Whether this was intentional to differentiate from her past performance or not is unknown.

Cons: Same problem as the original. Nothing super wrong with it, but still average. This one is more slice-of-life than it’s predecessor, but that’s fun in it’s own way. It did bug me that the main character’s catchphrase was “This really sucks,” mostly because it felt a bit lazy. On a personal note, I was bothered by Karumi’s ultimate fate. The show suggest that after the events of Steel Angel Karumi, Karumi and the rest of the angels were shut down and had their memories wiped. This negates all the messages of love and freedom that the first anime made. That’s really sad when you think about it.

Watch it?: Pretend it’s non-cannon (3/5)

MVP: Uruka Sumeragi

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The real star of the show

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “Master is a Girl” (robot maid)

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Steel Angel Karumi

Type: 15-minute long episodes

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Synopsis: Unknown to any historian, Japan apparently had mecha-tanks and android-angels from the future in their military by the 1920’s. Beating out American super-soldiers and British time travelers by several decades. One day an angel named Karumi is put in a cave, probably for having pink hair or something, and is found by a boy named Nakahito. She becomes his disturbingly clingy maid, then hilarity ensues.

Pros: I saw this in English, and I have to say, kudos to the voice acting team. Karumi’s voice actress was particularly good, and managed to make a character the said “master” half the time enjoyable. This may be a weird thing to say, but this show had the best whispering I’ve ever heard. Really nuanced. I just flew right through this show, though that may have been because of the 15 minute episode length. The humor is excellent, partially because some of the dialogue had curse words in it.  Any anime that gets the characters to say “fuck” and “shit” gets a pass in my book.

Cons: If I hadn’t watched it in English, I think my feelings for the show would be more negative. Even with it’s short length, this is a pretty by-the-books anime. Robots that may or may not be dangerous, an obsessive love interest, three girls that each fit a certain stereotype. It’s saving grace really is it’s length, because I don’t think I’d be able to handle 24 full episodes of Karumi saying “master.” (It’s just so condescending).

Watch it?: Fun in English, probably not as much in Japanese (3/5)

MVP: Karumi

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Love will save the world

Best Episode: Ep. 6 “Sisterly Love” (Love Shack)

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Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Season 1 & 2)

Type: I think I’m in Love

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Synopsis: Let’s try to keep this simple, shall we? In the distant future, Earth has become uninhabitable except for the islands of Japan. The country has been divided between outside nations, while the native population is forced to constantly travel on the ship Musashi. In addition, in order to restore the world’s civilizations, every country has decided to reenact history. Oh, and there’s also magic, ghosts, mechas, a perv that tries to save a robot that’s being inhabited by his dead girlfriend from future pope, a ninja that fall in love with Bloody Mary who may or may not be an actual fairy, and a Spain that seems to have a baseball-based military. It’s basically amazing.

Pros: I did mention that this was amazing right? This anime is visually vibrant, it’s action packed, it’s funny as hell, and knows the right ways to utilize music cues to get you hear racing and fist pumping. Seriously, I almost always to energized after watching an episode. It’s fun from the word go. The pilot is a battle-race that does an inspired job in introducing the rather large cast. Every character has their own personality and fighting style, and you honestly can’t wait to see one of them in a fight. I was also very cool to see how different historical figures where interpreted. Shakespeare was a particularly interesting choice. The first season focuses on rescuing the titular character Horizon from the Pope and Spain, while the second season focuses on the ninja Tenzo falling in love with a very blonde and very ample Bloody Mary, plus fighting England and Spain. It’s also has a tremendous sense of humor, with one of the characters straight-up being naked for the entire second season. I truly, truly hope we see more entries in this franchise in the future.

Cons: No matter how much I enjoyed this series, I cannot overlook the quagmire that is the plot. Seriously, I double checked on Wikipedia and still  cannot for the life of me tell you what’s going on. There’s just too much thrown at you to remember. The actual politics of the world itself are what lost on me. Like, why create doomsday weapons from the emotions of a dead girl? And why is society being run by student governments? And why repeat the bad parts of history at all, because you’ll really be wanting to skip all of 1913-1945. I can’t really say this was perfect if I didn’t understand what was going on half the time. Some of the girls also have what I like to call “balloon breast” that just came off as silly (though that may have been the point).  On a personal note, I know that there’s a game based on this show, and it sucks so hard that it’s only been released in Japan.

Watch it?: The most fun I’ve had watching an anime in a while (4/5)

MVP: Tenzo Crossunite

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Where can I get that hat!

Best Episode: Ep.1 “Those Lined Up Before A Horizon” (I don’t what’s happening, but I love it!)

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Kamisama Dolls

Type: Giant singing dolls

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Synopsis: There’s this village in the middle on nowhere that have “Seki,” people that are trained to control wooden battle dolls for some reason. Kyohei, our protagonist, left the village because obviously a rural town built around things called “God Dolls” is kinda ridiculous. Anyway, Kyohei’s past comes to haunt him when his psycho-killer best friend Aki follows him to Tokyo. On the plus side, all the crazy god dolls fighting seems to have scored Kyohei some points with the girl with the ridiculously ginormous mammary glands.

Pros: One of the best selling points Kamisa Dolls has is the relationship between Kyohei and Aki. The plot device of friends turned enemies is old, but consistent. The show’s at its best when Kyohei and Aki are in the same scene together. Another interesting facet was the dynamics of Kyohei’s village. Why are God Dolls so important? Whats the deal between Kyohei’s and Aki’s family? Why was Kyohei’s twin siblings separated at birth? These are questions I’m still curious about. I also really liked the fact that the God Dolls each had their own distinct melody that they emitted. It was a nice touch that gave the dolls a more ethereal quality. The show also manages to incorporate humor rather effectively. Overall, I was very intrigued by the anime, and hope they make more seasons.

Cons: My main gripe with the anime is Kyohei and Aki’s backstory. Now, their are two backstories that the show uses. The first, or main backstory, is that Kyohei and Aki found an ancient God Doll that corrupted minds and almost killed them. Alone, this would have been enough. It would have explained why Aki turned evil, why Kyohei left the village, and why his twin siblings are being pushed so hard. Sadly however, the show also incorporated an additional backstory involving the old “two friends love the same girl, then she dies” device. This aspect of Kyohei and Aki’s history felt superfluous, not to mention kinda creepy, considering that the girl in question was their school teacher.

Watch it?: A very enjoyable and entertaining show (3/5)

MVP: Kukuri

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Dig that god melody

Best Episode: Ep.10 “The Princess Arrives” (childhood sure is a dangerous time)

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FLCL

Type: Something to do with Space Guitars

Synopsis: Naota is a kid from Japan whose jealous of his brother’s baseball career, confused over the feelings of a seventeen year old girl, and physically in pain when he’s being run over by a space detective who now doubles as his live in maid. His bouts with cynicism aren’t helped by the fact that a war between robot, space pirates, and galaxy police has designated his forehead as a gateway to use Earth as a battlefield. Bummer bro.

Pros: How does one explain FLCL? Visually, its stunning in an erratic sort of way. For example, the town depicted has a blue collar feel, but at the same time, you can accept that its from the not too distant future. The show’s crazy plot involving space robots and detectives that fight with guitars mask a coming of age story that’s rather touching at some points. This show is more like a prolonged anime movie than an actual anime show proper.

Cons: Again, its hard to explain. The show throws a lot at you, but you sort of have to accept it. Pirate kings, robots, flying guitars. Its the type of show that you may need to see more than once to get the full meaning. Its weird. (p.s. I’m also not crazy about all the full grown women feeling up Naota, cause he’s like only 12).

Watch it?: Hell, rewatch it (4/5)

MVP: Haruko Haruhara

All guitar chicks are crazy

Best Episode: All of it (it only has 6 episodes)

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Kemeko Deluxe!

Type: Creepy robot girl stalks boy into Marriage

Synopsis: Imagine you live in a house with a mangaka for a mother and a housewife for a sister. Then imagine you have a childhood friend with Double D boobs who also has a mad crush on you. With me so far? O.k. Now imagine your inside said house, in your own room in fact, when a group of robots break through your window and start attacking you! But, that’s not all! Suddenly a small creepy robot in a weeding dress defeats all the robots and claims you as her robo-husband! And guess what? It only gets crazier from there!

Pros: Goddam it is this show funny. Funny as Hell! It’s all thanks to Kemeko the robot. This robot is soo creepy, yet it still manages to gain the complete trust of everyone around her. The protagonist Sanpeita is literally the only one that seems to realize how crazy and over the top Kemeko is, which is hilarious. It’s even more crazy when you realize that Kemeko is being controlled by a pretty pilot (M.M) whose too shy to come out. On top of that, you actually get good fan service laughs that don’t feel cheap or just for show, thanks to the busty Izumi. Honestly, if you don’t find yourself laughing when watching this show, then something is seriously wrong with you.

Cons: I wish it had more than one season. O.k., o.k., I’ll try harder. Uh, the um, oh! I got it! The background plot of the show is kinda weak. Its basically that M.M. belongs to this corporation that wants something out of Sanpieta, but she has inconsistent amnesia, and feels some sort of bond that makes her protect him. But this is minor complaint at best.

Watch it?: Duh. (4/5)

MVP: Kemeko

No words Ladies and Gentlemen. No words.

Best Episode: Ep. 4 When She Changes Into a Swimsuit (man, this show is so great!)

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