Tag Archives: space

Space Patrol Luluco

Type: To infinity, and beyond!

Synopsis: Wait, wrong space cops. This is actually a story about a normal girl who learns a little lesson about what normal actually means….by having her father be frozen and being forced to work for an understaffed and under trained police force while also sorting out her complex feelings towards her criminal mother and budding sexuality. Normal girl stuff.

Pros: The show is produced by Trigger, everyone’s favorite pseudo-indie anime company. Like, they don’t make millions of dollars, but they can still afford to release season long anime every few years. Anyway, Luluco was their latest anime in 2016. The animation style was a mix between mostly Panty and Stocking and a little Kill La Kill during the action. I think the Kill La Kill song even plays at some point. The show is full of references to other Trigger/Gainax shows, with full blown, and surprising, cameos at a few points. I haven’t talked about the story because Luluco is your typical Trigger side-project farce. Most of Luluco’s adventures are silly stories with a punch-line ending, with the climax being about a girl’s first love. At 10 minutes per episode, it should take you under two hours to finish the whole series.

Cons: I liked the show. Fun plot about space hijinks. It does drags a little in the middle when the Space Pirate shows up, but I’ll forgive it for plot reasons. But I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very enthusiastic while watching it. Maybe I’ve watched too many Trigger/Gainax shows, but the magic just wasn’t there for me. Which is ironic, considering Little Witch Academia cameos. Speaking of, this really felt like a side project. Something for the team to do while finishing Little Witch Academia, Trigger’s actual next anime release. Luluco felt like Trigger’s Greatest Hits: The Anime to me. The show literally ends by fighting an galactic entity who can’t understand emotions! I don’t know, maybe I’m just a jaded old man who can’t remember what it’s like to be a 13 year old girl in love for the first time. I guess time makes fools of us all…

Watch it?: I mean, JUSTICE, right? (4/5)

MVP: Luluco

She got a space bike at the end.

Best Episode: Ep.11 “I Never Knew” (Legends never die!)

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Tenchi in Tokyo

Type: Not, ah, my favorite entry.

Synopsis: I was going to try to make a long point about people moving new places, dating new people, and how this sometimes means losing track of your old friends and family. But that was taking so long, so screw it. What this show is really about is Tenchi trying to escape his crazy life filled with alien girls by moving far away and shacking up with the most IRRITATING girl you could think of…only for her to be a psychic projection of another alien girl.

Pros: For all it’s faults, Tenchi in Tokyo does a good job at staying true to the characters of the Tenchi Muyo Series. There’s no real point that in the show that the characters act in a way that isn’t believable to them. The essential plot is that the bad guy tries and succeeds in separating Tenchi and crew, and each react to this in a way I can buy into. Mihoshi and Kiyone leave after getting a reassignment from the Galaxy Police. Ryoko goes on a violent rampage in space after having her heart broken, and goes through the best story arc she’s ever had in the franchise. Plus, it was cool to see Ryoko as a proper space pirate for an extended period of time. And Ayeka tries her best to keep it all together since, as a lonely princess, she most likely never had many friends. What’s also interesting is that this iteration of Tenchi may be the most unlikable he’s ever been, but arguably the most realistic. The catalyst for the show’s plot is when Tenchi decides to leave for Tokyo to further his studies. While there, he meets a seemingly normal human girl and starts to date her, leading to the group slowly drifting apart. What made Tenchi unlikable was his efforts to keep the girls away from him and his life in Tokyo. At first, it starts as him comedically trying to stop Ryoko and Ayeka from interrupting him from starting a new life. But as the show goes on, Tenchi starts to outright ignore his former friends. Almost as if he’s willing to abandon his friends if it means living a stereotypical normal life. The plot even revolves around this, as it’s Tenchi’s bond with the girls that the antagonist is trying to severe. What’s especially interesting is that Tenchi wasn’t tricked into doing this. Not really. All he did was move and meet someone. But that was enough to make him move one from his hometown life.

Cons: While the character work in this entry in the show was fascinating, and probably the best exploration of each member of the cast, or at least Ryoko and Tenchi, this show is a mess. The tone of the show is also all over the place. This show contains both the sillies jokes that Tenchi Muyo has ever broadcast, as well as it’s most dramatic moments.  It’s starts off way to slow. The first six episodes are basically an unfunny farce that do nothing to keep the audience’s attention. If I wasn’t for my commitment to the series, I probably would have stopped watching. Well, that’s a lie, I watch no matter how bad, cause I’m RIDE OR DIE. But I probably wouldn’t have payed as much attention. The real meat of the show doesn’t come until 7, when the show reveals how this version of Tenchi and the girl’s first met. From there we get Ryoko’s Date, Ayeka trying to hitch hike to Tokyo, Tenchi starting to date Sakuya–the real story basically. Then there’s Sakuya…OK, I don’t want to be that fanboy, but I’m gonna be that fanboy. Sakuya is a horrible character who forced me to skip every scene that she was in (which included the majority of Tenchi scenes). She’s a homewreaker. Literally. She was created to distract Tenchi and keep him away from the other girls. The other more interesting girls, like the bad-ass space pirate, or the alien princess, or the two space cops. The show tries really had to make the audience like her, but I don’t think she really added anything to the existing cast. Tenchi, like most harems, is build on troupes. Ryoko is the rude girl. Ayeka is the princess. Sasami is the cute one. Mihoshi is the ditz. Mihoshi is the exacerbated career woman. But no, Tenchi’s first kiss in the franchise had to come from Sakuya, another in a long line of cheerful school girls who makes boxed lunches every day and dreams of nothing more than being a beautiful bride, because Anime. Goddam it Anime. I think this whole thing would have worked better as a movie. It would have at least tightened the plot and reduced Sakuya’s screen time. That being said, I guess I can’t call this show terrible if it caused me to feel this strongly about it.

Watch it?: Man, for a average show, I sure had a lot to say about it. Heck I have more, like how Ryoko was the only one who trusted Tenchi with Sakura, but her trust was broken. Anime men are dogs! (3/5)

MVP: Ryoko

It was great to see Ryoko cut loose

Best Episode: Ep17-19 The Separation Arc (it’s like when your favorite band breaks up!)

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome to the Space Show

Type: A movie to surpass Star Wars!...maybe not, but it’s still good.

MANG3081 Inlay

Synopsis: A good rule of thumb for kids is to never talk to strangers. Especially if that stranger is a talking dog alien from space. Because next thing you know, you’ll end up on the moon and have to travel halfway around the galaxy to get back home because somebody reported Earth as dangerous. Personally, this is why I’m more of a space cat person.

Pros: This movie is stunning. It’s got a stylized version of space that sorta reminded me of Space Dandy of all things. But Dandy this is not. This is an all ages movie. In the same vain as a Summer Wars or Miyazaki picture. Is this movie as good? Kinda. It definitely apes the tone and feel of those movie. At least the first half. Basically, this film is about a group of small town kids who went camping in the local school house during Summer Break (because you can apparently do that), and get accidentally stuck in space. The group is made up of the responsible one, the nerd, the energetic one, the girly one, and the little girl. They have good interactions and feel like real kids. The first half off the film is them simply trying to get back home by taking up odd jobs around the space port. This is were the great visual designs come in, as the show uses the Space Cosmopolitan approach. Everything is shiny and futuristic, with cool looking aliens all around. This is one of those rare anime movies that everyone in the family can watch.

Cons: The first half is fun, but the second half doesn’t quite stick the landing. This is mostly because the movie starts to shift from the kids to the dog, Pochi. You see, throughout the movie, aliens have been trying to steal the kid’s wasabi, which is a rare commodity in the universe. Pochi thinks for something big, and the last half of the movie just becomes Pochi fighting against his old friends while the kids save one of their own. The story didn’t really need a climactic fight between Pochi and is best friend over the ethics of gene engineering. A simple confrontation to save the kidnapped girl would have sufficed. Speaking of story, while each of the humans have their one little character arcs, Noriko does not. She just sorta hangs around and doesn’t really do much. Natsuki has to learn humility and empathy, Kiyoshi has to learn to be more decisive, Koji has a love interest, and Amane is mad at Natsuki. But Noriko doesn’t have anything to learn. She feel more superflous than anything.

Watch it?: Yes. It has Pochi, a talking dog.

MVP: Natsuki

cqvhdavwgaa_-i5

A hero of justice!

Best Moment: Amane passing the Space Exam (so cute, but so wise)

Tagged , , , ,

Outlaw Star

Type: Poor Man’s Cowboy Bebop

outlaw-star-502d16e5ad56a

Synopsis: Group of wayward travelers end up traveling together, trying to makes ends meets on space jobs. Along the way, they each try to help keep their ship up and not starve. This crew of misfits comprises of a red-haired lady’s man, a bio organism, an 11 year old, some sort of beast master, and a samurai.

Pros: As stated above, this does remind me a lot of Cowboy Bebop. Funny enough, this actually premiered a few months before Bebop, though Bebop’s original manga predates Outlaw Star’s manga by a year. So basically, I’m not sure who stole from who. But we all know who the clear winner is….the audience, cause we got two cool space westerns! I love the later 90’s/early 2000’s future setting, as the animation at the time made everything look lived-in and used. Today’s HD just can’t project that same level of grime, ya know? The crew of the Outlaw Star is fun, though they don’t officially form until halfway through the show. The show does a good job mixing serious story arcs with more stand alone light-hearted tales. Sometimes it doesn’t work, like the time Gene spirals into meloncholy after learning that an assassin is after him was followed with an episode about searching for Pirate Treasure. But overall, the universe the show builds of Pirate, Outlaws, and Military serves to create some very interesting and varied stories. I also liked the general focus on the crew doing odd jobs, as a space crew doing missions is always fun to watch.

Cons: The story pacing if a little off. Their are six main plots lines in the show: Why Melfina was created,  who killed Gene’s father, the fights with the MacDougall Brothers, the Anten Seven, and the quest for the Galactic Leyline. The Melfina and Galactine Layline was the best executed, because they intertwine and are introduced at the very beginning. Gene’s father is more of a subplot, and you honestly forget about it after a while. The MacDougall Brother’s are interesting antagonists, though trying to portray Harry MacDougall as anything other than a crazy stalker felt hollow. Seriously, stop trying to make Predators sympathetic. It doesn’t work. They also don’t who up that much until the later half of the show. Ditto with the Anten Seven, who are described as super bad asses, but don’t do anything significant until the last 2 episodes. Character wise, I felt that Gene and Melfina’s relationship felt artificial, sorta like it was just the thing to do, and Aisha could come off as annoying at times.

Watch it: Space Westerns are the best (4/5)

MVP: Gene Starwind

outlaw1

They never did explain his star tatoo

Best Episode: Ep. 13 “Advance Guard from Another World” (future hijinks!)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Space Dandy (Season 1 & 2)

Type: Anime Futurama

maxresdefault

Synopsis: Meet Space Dandy. He’s a Dandy guy, from space.

Pros: When I watched Space Dandy, I was primarily reminded of two things: Futurama and Abenobashi Shopping Arcade. The series follows “Space Dandy” a pompodour looking fellow and his crew as they hunt for rare aliens. The set up already gives them an excuse to visit strange and varied worlds. Most of the episodes are stand alone, and like Futurama, some delve into deeper sci-fi questions and/or personal stories (luckily, nothing as hard as the dog episode). But like Abenobashi, a lot of episodes are non-sensical, full of cultural references, and some episodes even end with Dandy and his crew dying! So like all great sci-fi comedies, Space Dandy is a silly space romp with pretty deep messages, you just have to watch it to find out. [Season 1 is the one full of crazy deaths, Season 2 is the more philosophical one]

Cons: You know what? I actually can’t think of any negatives. I appreciated this show a lot. The varied episodes and animation really made it clear that a lot of people worked hard on this show. The show made you laugh, it made you think, and it may even have made you cry. I guess the only sad part is that you can’t watch it with everyone given the fan service bits, but you could always get around those with some navigating.

Watch it?: Stay Dandy (5/5)

MVP: Dandy

spacedandy

I really want his hair

Best Episode: Ep.17 “The Transfer Student is Dandy, Baby” (There are probably better ones, but his is Anime GLEE we’re talking here!)

Tagged , , , , ,

Planetes

Type: Space ain’t all its cracked up to be

254062

Synopsis: Space, the final frontiers. These are the non-voyages of Technora Corporation, Space Debris Section, DS-12 Toy Box. Their 26 episode mission: to explore the lives of mundance future people, to seek out meaning in the bleak nothingness of creation, to boldly go where most people have gone before in order to clean up their junk before it kill everyone.

Pros: Planetes really wanted to be a prestige anime. That’s not a knock, but you could really tell what it tried to be. It was made in 2003, but I though it was made in 2010! It was almost devoid of anime troupes, it had pretty consistent animation and tame character design, and the crux of the story dealt with the human condition. Specifically, Planetes was about ambition and social mobility, and how that will continue to evade people even in the future. Almost every character in the show wants, was denied, or has had, the opportunity to move up in the world, and the realities that goes with that. The show’s about space debris collectors, but its really about the people they encounter. It ironically shows a pretty down to earth future, where things like poverty and economic inequality are still very much real (they just spread to the stars). The show uses a mix of humor and drama to tell its story, and ends on a pretty positive note. It’s not “Drill to the Heavens!” but it leaves you with a smile. (P.S. It also uses a lot of hard science or whatever, I didn’t check for accuracy)

Cons: Did this succeed in becoming a cornerstone of anime? Yes and no. It’s good. Really good. But the fact that I didn’t even hear about it until recently kinda puts a blemish on its legacy. Its not Eva or Akira, even if the quality is arguably in the same ballpark. This show is thick. You cannot binge watch it. Even though a lot of episodes are stand alone, their each pretty packed. That being said, the anime doesn’t really do a good job at explaining what exactly is happening on Earth. From what I could gather, an UN like organization called INTO is creating a Hegemony, which most everyone seems cool with (unless you live in a third world state). INTO doesn’t really become important until the very end, where a terrorist organization attacks the station where the main character are at. They want equal distribution of space recourse, which they actually get (ah, spoilers). Its also kinda depressing since most of the topics explored hit close to home. On a personal note, I disliked Hachimaki, the “protagonist” of the series. I use quotation because even though he’s front and center in the opening and closing credits, I consider Tanabe a better main character. Hachimaki was a little too annoying for my taste.

Watch it?: You could easily make this live-action (4/5)

MVP: Fee Carmicheal

fee_carmichael_5726

I copy.

Best Episode: Ep. 05 “Fly Me to the Moon” (future problems)

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Cowboy Bebop

Type: The one everyone loves

Synopsis: Group of wayward travelers end up traveling together, trying to makes ends meets on space bounties. Along the way, they each try to resolve issues from their past. This crew of misfits comprises of an uptight ex-cop, a slacker hit-man, a pretty con artist, a hyperactive hacker, and a computer dog.

Pros: Let’s all be upfront about it. If you ask anyone with some anime experience about Cowboy Bebop, they’ll tell you its the best thing since sliced bread. Cowboy Bebop is one of those shows that manages to successfully mix different types of genres effectively, while also throwing in some homages. Other shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Community do the same with similar critical acclaim. Bebop mixes Western and Noir motifs, and sets it behind a sci-fi backdrop. One of the more original elements of Bebop is that each episode is mostly a stand alone story. Their isn’t an over aching story, but each character’s individual story is addressed at some point.

Cons: I was’t able to get blown away by it. Maybe it was all the hype surrounding it. I wasn’t a big fan of each of the character’s individual back stories either. The thing is, each character is very individualistic, so much so, that I never bought them as a cohesive group. The were just four people that were together for a while, not a team. Maybe that’s what the show was going for, who knows?

Watch it?: At least to see what all the fuss is about (5/5)

MVP: Faye Valentine

Do I even need to explain why?

Best Episode: Ep. 24 “Hard Luck Woman” (Spike gets owned so hard)

Tagged , , , , ,

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Type: Breaking Through to the Heavens anime

Synopsis: Simon (the digger) and Karima (the loud mouth) live in a cave city, find a little mecha, use it to fight a bigger mecha with the help of Yoko (the scantily clad). Together they escape the underground and form a rebel band to fight against the evil beastmen that have taken over the world. After that, they rebuild the world and have to defend it against the anti-spirals, civilization’s greatest enemy.

Pros: Aw shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! This show is so great. Its got insane macha fighting. Its got an inspirational message, its got a girl that never wears a shirt. What more could you want? The show has a bravado fueled by its own moral that you can’t help but admire. Its style, its action, its plot, all of it has a bad-ass attitude to it. (P.S. “Spiral power” means evolution)

Cons: No much to be honest. There are a few instances here and their where it gets corny on you (partly due to its inspirational nature). And for a 27 episode anime, it goes kinda fast, so be sure to watch ’em in order. Other than that, I wish Simon’s ending was happier. Its more bitter sweet that I would have liked. But eh, can’t win ’em all.

Watch it?: Do it. You’ll thank me later. (5/5)

MVP: Kamina

Kick Logic to the Curb and Do the Impossible!

Best Episode?: Ep. 27 “The Lights in the Sky Are Stars” (fight the power!)

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Tenchi Muyo! GXP

Type: Comedy harem with space things (again) and winter-spring romances.

Synopsis: This guy named  Seina Yamata is going to his local shrine when a giant space ship lands on him. He’s rescued by this hot blonde chick who turns out to be recruiting for the Galaxy Police. Stuff happens involving his extremely bad luck, space pirates, and furries. Oh, and every girl interested in Seina is about 5 years his senior, and the oldest is 15 years older. But their still hot, so that makes it o.k. I guess….

Watch It?: eh, depends. (2/5)

Tenchi Muyo! GXP good, but it’s not great. GXP is a proper 26 episode anime with an actual plot. Not a great plot, but a plot none the less. It starts with Seina joining the GXP, his promotion to Captain of his own ship, and his raise to fame due to his dealings with the space pirates. But their are points when GXP wants to be something its not. GXP is a harem comedy with science-fiction elements, not science-fiction with comedic elements. The “serious” moments of the show feel forced and out of place. Its hard to take Amane (blond space cop) comforting Seina after a traumatic mission when every other moment with her focuses on how jiggly her breasts are.

Another problem is Seina himself. Seina is nice. Super nice. Annoyingly nice. On top of that he’s not that assertive, and way too humble. He’s basically a passive player in his own anime. If not for the strength of his supporting cast, GXP would be un-watchable. But what a supporting cast! Amane the seductive blonde space cop, Kiriko the jealous childhood friend/ 30 year old, well, 30 year old. Then theirs Ryoko the hot space pirate/furry, and finally Neju, the younger sister type who is ironically the oldest out of the bunch. Not to mention the much loved new characters to the Tenchi Universe: Seto “Devis Princess” Jurai and Airi Masaki (Tenchi Masaki’s great-grandmother and grandmother respectively, and Seina’s bosses). So, if your a fan of Tenchi Muyo anime, not too thrown off the the serious age differences in GXP, and patient with your anime, then watch it. If not, pass.

MVP: Amane

Blonde, big boobed, flirty, and knows it.

Best Episode: Ep.12 Kamidake Seriously Damaged (solely for the fact that it has the best Ryoko-Seina scene in the entire series)

Video Summary: Here

Tagged , , , , , , ,
Advertisements