Called Third “Strike”

July 20, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Strike the Blood

strike-the-blood-anime-review

Another demon show, “Strike the Blood” tells the tale of Akatsuki Kojou, who was a regular kind of student, until an incident turned him into a vampire, as well as the Fourth Progenator. He lives on an artificial island complex where all caliber of monsters, demons and other mystic types reside in peace and solitude. However, dark forces are afoot (don’t these guys have any place to call their home? They are always afoot, causing mayhem and driving up the insurance rates) as they seek to unleash horrors and terrors unimagined….like a Miley Cyrus tour.

As the Fourth, he is viewed with a great deal of suspicion from the other Three Bosses. Just his mere presence is enough to tip the balance of power and the other three feel it would be best if he was dead. Akatsuki? All he wants to do is go to high school and be left alone; he wants no part of this craziness. Well, he doesn’t get a say in the matter. Since it helps things if he was pushing up daisies, the Lion King Organization dispatches a Sword Shaman, but she is to observe the Fourth and then decide to dispatch him, should he prove a danger. That happens to be Yukina Himeragi, who is a mere 14 years of age, but as tough as they come. Read the rest of this entry →

From the “Beyond”

July 18, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Kyoukai no Kanata

kyoukai-no-kanata-anime-review

Beyond the Boundary” (“Kyōkai no Kanata”) certainly starts off strange enough. High school student Akihito Kanbara (blonde guy in middle) goes to save his fellow schoolmate, Mirai Kuriyama (red glasses) from committing suicide, as she is standing on the other side of the top-floor fence of the school building. Following his pleas not to hurl herself into the stratosphere, Mirai suddenly stabs Akihito with a sword formed out of her own blood. She is shocked to discover that Akihito is an immortal “half-youmu”: the offspring of a supernatural creature called a youmu and a human. Mirai herself is a Spirit World Warrior; a specialist who protects humans from being affected by youmu. She is also the last surviving member of her spirit hunting clan.

The series is how their lives become intertwined, as Akihito seeks to help Mirai gain the confidence to kill youmu…so that she may stop attempting to kill him as practice.

They are currently located in a photo shop that doubles as the exchange house and information center for the Warriors. You see, when you defeat a youmu, they leave behind what looks like a jeweled rock. That is worth money and Read the rest of this entry →

On the Distant “Horizon”

July 8, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Log Horizon

log-horizon-review

OK, give this show a chance. The problem with “Log Horizon” is that it starts out EXACTLY like “Sword Art Online”, in that you have these people with this Virtual Reality, totally immersive headgear, playing a game (in this case “Elder Tale”) and 30,000 are online when the newest upgrade patch is put in and now are trapped in the game. They refer to the incident as The Apocalypse and they are stuck, with at least no immediate way out.

After this blatant establishing shot, the show decides to take a differing approach to things. One of the ‘benefits’ explored (if you could call it that), is that when you die in the game, you are reborn, so you aren’t completely erased from existence (although even that creates problems). It’s just that you are in this game with absolutely nothing to do: quests are bland and there is a huge amount of Player-Killers, bored to tears as there is no goal and rather than sit on my GCI butt all day, I might as well make things hard for others.

Kai Shirogane (glasses in the middle), called Shiroe, had a reputation among other players, most notable the “villain with glasses”. He was a stunning tactician for the Tea Party Brigade (a non-guild guild where people just had themselves a ripping good time). With his friend Naotsugu Hasegawa, (hulking dude sitting down), Atasuki (far right ninja and assassin) and Nyanta (cat), they decided to do something with the game that the original approach would not allow: transform this into a living, breathing society. This turns out to be far harder but, ultimately, more rewarding, than merely searching for treasure. Read the rest of this entry →

“Kill” Zone

July 6, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Kill La KIll

kill-la-kill-review-crop

If you have seen “FLCL” (AKA Fooly Cooly), you will enjoy this show. If you have not seen FLCL, well, I would suggest you go and see it, as it will prepare you for “Kill La Kill”. They share quite a lot in common: a rather free-wheeling art style, loose association to a plot (although this one is defined better) and a huge, take-no-prisoners, no holds barred, anything-goes approach to the entire show.

Welcome to Honnouji Academy, one of those academic islands in many animes (“Eiken” was set up like that). But this is more of an Educational Mountain, as everything ends up at the top and the school sits upon the pinnacle. The Academy is ruled over with an iron fist and the steel sword of Lady Satsuki Kiryuin, (the grumpy one on her head with the sword), and her elite four (to the left; more on them later).

Into this cauldron of resentment and travesty comes Ryuko (or Ryuuko, depending on who’s doing the subtitles). Her father was killed by Satsuki and she wants answers, but she cannot battle her. You see, those who Satsuki deems worthy is given a Goku Suit. It is imbued with Life Fibers that enhance your abilities. But it comes with a double edge: It makes your abilities better, but it also fuels and increases your arrogance, your condescension, your disgust of those beneath you. Read the rest of this entry →

Crazy Like a “Fox”

June 30, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Gingitsune

Gingitsune-anime-review

What is it like to be a real temple maiden? What it is like to really be able to see the holy messengers? What is it like to be different? What is it like to not open a review with a series of questions?

Gingitsune” tells the tale of Makoto Saeki (the one with the broom). She is a temple maiden and can see these heralds from the gods on high. Dad Tatsuo (carefree schlub at the far right) does not have this ability, so he has to rely on Saeki to help him out. There used to be two heralds at the temple (and there seems to be a rule that there are to be two), but Gingitsume (or ‘Gin’, as he is known, that really, REALLY big fox herald) is all there is. His partner left (or died or was recalled or went sightseeing) and he spends his days sleeping and eating tangerines.

He is a grumpy number, but if you had been around for 800 years or something like that, you’d be cranky as well. And I can’t imagine how his underwear rides up on him. That would make me very cross, especially if it was that way through the whole Meiji restoration! Read the rest of this entry →

Silence is “Golden”

June 28, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Golden TIme

golden-time-review

For those in the medical profession, Golden Time, (or the Golden Hour), refers to a time period lasting for one hour following traumatic injury being sustained by a casualty or a severe medical emergency, during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent death and/or minimize damage. Our anime series, “Golden Time”, follows the aftermath of such an event, although the title can have a double meaning

We start off with Banri Tada. While in his last year of high school, he suffered a traumatic head injury in a traffic accident that flung him off a bridge, that nearly killed him in the process, that effectively erased his memory and personality, so he recalls nothing of the event, save that it did happen.

He transfers to a new college to start a new life, but it is already fraught with peril. Late on the first day, he runs into Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and they immediately hit it off. As they get to school, a gorgeous blonde presents Mitsuo with a bouquet of roses….which she proceeds to smack him with. This is Koko Kaga and she and Mitsuo have been childhood friends since childhood and she is to marry him. But Mitsuo fled his hometown to start a new life here….without Koko. Not going to happen, dude. Read the rest of this entry →

More “Infinite” Possibilities

June 22, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Infinite Stratos

infinite-stratos-season-2-review

So, we are in the second season of “Infinite Stratos”. For those who may have forgotten, in this future world, there are these power suits (not really giant fighting robots; more like body enhancement armor). The trick is, only girls can use them…..until Ichika Orimura shows up as the only male who has ever been able to make it work. However, his training and understanding of the suit is well behind the curve and he is in catch-up mode for such a long time, he should change his name to “Heinz 57”.

The second season carries on with both his training to defeat the evil forces out there and his romantic encounters with the evil forces down here (the rest of the squad). They are beset by an anti-IS group called Phantom Task, whose main goal is to destroy all the IS units, but to also take Ichika into custody. I mean, a guy who can pilot this equipment is really rare, and he just needs to be taken out of the mix, so our plans of world domination can be fully employed.

Oh, I guess I should introduce the rest of the players, following behind Ichika:

Houki Shinonono
Cecilia Alcott
Huang Lingyin
Charlotte Dunois
Laura Bodewig Read the rest of this entry →

“Flamenco” Dancer

June 12, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Samurai Flamenco

samurai-flamenco-review

I had a hard time with this show, owing to so many mid-course corrections, until I just reached the point where you could not take this show seriously at all. It pretends to be dramatic, but it’s not. It wants to be serious, but it can’t commit to it. It strives to be important, but it undercuts itself. So, just sit down with a big bowl of popcorn and enjoy all the oddness that ensues.

The initial idea was a fine one. Masayoshi Hazama is a male model and that is a rather dull world for him. But he grew up watching all those Japanese superhero shows, believing that good can overcome evil. One night, he decides to go out and be a vigilante for justice, as Samurai Flamenco. Well, it doesn’t go too well for him as (a) he has no physical strength, (b) he has no physical presence and (c) he has no physical commitment, so he ends up getting the tarpaper smacked out of him.

He turns to Hidenori Goto, a neighborhood cop, who is against this foolish idea, but Hazama is committed to doing this. After a while, he does start to make a difference, as he is being taken seriously and this is where things start to go astray. Read the rest of this entry →

A “Miss” is as Good as a Mile

June 7, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Miss Monochrome, Short Pull Series

miss-monochrome-anime-review

Miss Monochrome” is another short-pull series. At four minutes, it’s short enough, but one of those minutes is taken up with the ending credits, so it runs even shorter than that.

Miss Monochrome is a caliber of robot, her best friend being that Roomba. She somehow was worth 19.2 Billion yen, but her rapacious private secretary took everything and left her destitute. She has a dream of being the best pop idol in Japan, but has no method or manner to do this. She gets a manager, who happens to be the shift manager at the convenience store she works at, to try and get her all kinds of gigs and public meetings to get her face and talent out there. A manager is a manager, right? Get the gigs.

But she is an absolute klutz when it comes to things and the episodes end where they started: with her no closer to her dream of being a pop idol. Read the rest of this entry →

Step “Brothers”

June 5, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Pull Series, Super Seishun Brothers

Super Seishun Brothers review

Super Seishun Brothers” is a series about two sets of twins and their amusing life together.

This is a short-pull series, as the episodes run about five minutes each, and it details the lives of (left to right):
Chika and Chiko Shinmoto
Mako and Mao Saito

We are going to assume the guys and girls are the same age, as the boys are second-year high school students and the girls are second year college students (except Mako does not go to college, but it helps with the reference).

We see their lives together as they fuddle through things. The episodes are pretty close to blackout sketches or run on one theme (the middle episodes contend themselves with adventures at the big Japanese anime/manga event), but are almost too brief to really build characters. They seem more like figures to say dialogue and hang stories from than any real people, and the problems are not really problems, more like observations on how a particular set of lives run. Read the rest of this entry →