gakkou-gurashi-review

This was (and is) a difficult show to review, as it is full of ‘Gotcha!’ moments and secrets that if I tell too much, it will take away those moments of discovery when you watch “Gakkōu Gurashi! (“School-Live!” or “Living at School!“). At the very least, I can run down the cast for you, right to left:

Miki Naoki
Kurumi Ebisuzawa
Yuki Takeya
Yūri Wakasa
Megumi Sakura, sometimes called Megu-nee, the teacher. (PS, this is the closest you’ll get to fan service for the show)

Yuki, so very cheerful, along with her friends Kurumi Yūri and Miki, is a member of the Megurigaoka Private High School’s School Living Club. As Yuki seeks out fun school activities every day while living at school, the other girls work to keep her safe, because in reality……………..Continue reading

superb-song-of-the-valkyries-symphogear-gx-review

I was really surprised that a third year of this show came out, owing to how things were, more or less, wrapped up, but “Senki Zesshō Symphogear GX(Superb Song of the Valkyries: Symphogear GX”) came out with much disappointment for me. I supposed I watched it to ‘officially’ close out the franchise, but it was tough going.

The ladies are now part of a group called S.O.N.G., who provides disaster relief around the world. Kind of like the “Thunderbirds”, but without being marionettes. The problem is that they are attacked by an autoscorer while facilitating a rescue. This is a doll (more like an automaton) bent on the destruction of all the Symphogear girls and it looks like they might succeed, as they are stronger, faster and better equipped. The series looks into how our sextet can defends themselves and the world against a new, more powerful, threat that can even destroy their armor.Continue reading

suisei-no-garugantia-review

This was an anime I wanted to see at KrakenCon, but it either never got shown or shown at a time I was falling asleep in a panel. It was easy enough to hunt down Suisei no Garugantia” (“Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet”), but it is more like “Waterworld” than anything else.

It is potentially the year 2400 or so (gleaned from numerous vague references). Mankind has taken to the stars and formed the Galactic Alliance of Humankind, as Earth had turned into a gigantic space ice cube and all life had to flee or freeze. The Alliance is engaged in a perpetual war with a tentacled alien species known as the Hideauze, which looks more like a carnivorous flower (with nasty, big, pointy teeth…) Sixteen-year-old Ensign Ledo is a soldier in the Galactic Alliance, piloting a Machine Caliber, a humanoid-shaped battle suit with marvelous AI, which he refers to as “Chamber”. After a failed attempt by the Alliance forces to destroy an enemy super-weapon, Ledo is knocked into a wormhole and loses consciousness.Continue reading

braves-of-the-six-flowers-review

Although this was a fascinating series, in its cat-and-mouse, whodunit approach, the first season (and yes, there HAS to be at least a second season) of “Rokka no Yuusha” (“Braves of the Six Flowers”) was ultimately frustrating, as it came off as a tremendous tease with immense padding. I’ll explain, so settle into your bean bag chair with a couple of boxes of Pocky and I’ll relate the whole saga (part one):

In this Land of Nod, there is a peninsula to the west, a land filled with demons and monsters and unsavory types (kind of like Donald Trump’s condo). Every so often, they get the itch and venture forth to try and kill and/or enslave the residents of the rest of this continent island. Fortunately, coming to the rescue are Six Braves, individuals who have been chosen by the Goddess of Fate, endowed with special powers and abilities to meet the enemy head on and drive them back into their land of volcanos, choking smoke and unpleasantness (Los Angeles without the Starbucks).Continue reading

typhoon-noruda-review

This was not the movie I wanted to see, although ‘movie’ is a very loose term for this 27-minute offering. It really isn’t much more than an untethered OVA, but it was given to me as a ‘movie’, and underdeveloped at that. ”Taifū no Noruda” (“Typhoon Noruda”) could have really used more back story and more understanding as to what was/is going on. We end up with an elongated scenario with all the salient parts to make it work, but not fully exploited to tell a richly compelling story, and thus this is what we end up with. (I was looking for another movie, but I ran into this one and watched it instead, thus my cryptic opening comment).

We are at Unnamed Academy on Nomanisan Island and we are getting ready for the Cultural Festival. But there are storm clouds on the horizon, both actually and figuratively. The actually is that a typhoon is brewing off the coast and it promises to be at least a Category 8 and, potentially, one of those monster, once-in-a-lifetime storms that is so powerful, it tips the Earth on its axis.Continue reading

dragon-crisis-review

I was once told that there are only 10 plots for stories in the world and everything we do is based off of them. I got that feeling with “Dragon Crisis!” (“Doragon Kuraishisu!), as it smells like parts of “C3” and “Testament” (can you help out a damsel in distress?)

We begin with Ryūji Kisaragi, a mere lad of 15 summers (and that winter in Sapporo). His parents are ‘Lost Precious’ hunters (and keep your Gollum puns to yourself, please. We’ll have time for that at the end). Because his parents cross the world almost constantly, he is left to his own devices. His life gets upended when cousin Eriko Nanao (19 and very ‘healthy’) stops by. There is something afoot in the Black Market and a potential Lost Precious is being transported under cover of night and heavy security. They capture it (despite a car chase and a gun battle) only to find that it is the girl Rose. Ah, but a Rose by any other name would still be…a dragon?Continue reading

aoharu-x-machinegun-review

I am going to strongly suggest that you work through the first couple of episodes of this show. There is an interesting tale to be told, but Aoharu x Kikanjū” (“Aoharu x Machinegun”) starts off in frighteningly familiar territory that can cause a lot of people to hit the silk on it when they see it. I will explain…

Hotaru Tachibana (in the center) is a high school student and a ‘champion of justice’. There is no crime that goes unnoticed, no misdeed that goes unpunished. A shining beacon of truth amid a sea of despair, where one can turn their weary eyes for help. Hotaru then learns that a friend was fleeced at a local host club of all her money. Enraged beyond belief, the club is stormed and a pitched battle is engaged with Hotaru and the target of the anger and frustration, Masamune Matsuoka (to the left). The ensuing battle causes a huge amount of financial damages in the club, so Hotaru will have to work it off by….being a host here. No, Masamune has other plans.Continue reading

my-wife-is-the-student-council-president-review

I seem to be running into late-season perversity, as I have encountered a huge amount of smut-smack shows. At the time I wrote this review, I had two others shrimps on the barbie that had not yet reached a conclusion, but were well within sniggering and jiggering territory. This offering, “My Wife is the Student Council President” (,”Okusama ga Seito Kaichō!”) is like them, save that it is a short pull. That means they have to pack in more perversity than in your normal show, as they are only given about eight minutes to set free their mayhem.

The plot is fairly standard: Hayato Izumi (specs) runs for student council president at his new high school, but loses to Ui Wakana (pink), a perky and charismatic girl who pledges to liberate love on campus. To emphasis this over more sober topics, like the cost of school lunches and/or better funding for the clubs, she flings condoms into the audience during her election speech. She wins by a landslide and he ends up becoming the vice-president on the student council. What a bummer of a day!Continue reading

There’s no shortage of anime available, but so many follow a formulaic pattern that they start to blend together. It can be hard to navigate through the hundreds of different series and try to find something truly original. If you’re looking for shows that breathe life into tired genres, try out these amazing options:

Nishiura

Ookiku Furikabutte (Oofuri/Big Windup)
Genre: Sports

There are dozens of sports anime out there, but none of them are quite as heartwarming and character driven as Ookiku Furikabutte (Oofuri for short). The show centers around the pitcher Ren Mihashi. He’s driven away from his middle school because his pitches are too weak and everyone on the baseball team hates him because he won’t give up the mound to a more promising pitcher. He moves to Nishiura High School and joins the baseball team despite his conflicted feelings. With the help of the pitcher Takaya Abe and his teammates, he realizes he is a great pitcher and comes to gain confidence and skill.Continue reading

Monster Musume-review

This is a harem comedy taken, potentially, to the zenith that it could go for. It is less about the fact that this guy has six ladies or 12 ladies or all the ladies in Kankakee chasing after him, but more as what they are. “Monster Musume” (“Everyday Life with Monster Girls” or, “Monsutā Musume no Iru Nichijō”), tells the very bizarre story of the very bizarre world that Kimihito Kurusu (Mr. Dazed and Confused up there) lives in.

After many, many years of vehement denials, the Japanese Government finally copped to the fact that these ‘monster girls’ exist. That revelation ‘occurred’ three years before the ‘start’ of the anime, brought forth by passing a legal bill, the “Interspecies Cultural Exchange Act”. Now, they are officially referred to as “liminals”, although some still call them ‘monsters’ (I prefer the term ‘exotics’, but that’s just me). Society is trying to mainstream them in, so there is no longer a culture shock when you see a dullahan walking down the street. Kimihito is a volunteer or a host family or patsy for one of them, Miia (redhead at one o’clock), who is a lamia (half human, half snake). About three to four feet of her is human; the rest (potentially a total of 30 feet) is her snake appendage.Continue reading